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Three score and ten or more

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I really am not going to begin posting on politics again, but I really have to comment on some of the media stuff that I see that fits into my professional background. The first is the press conference given by Senator Obama in which he wished his opponents and the media (mostly, of course the more conservative media) to quit picking on his wife for what she says and does in public. Michelle Obama is a graduate of a prestigious university and sits (or has sat) on the boards of both major corporations and not for profit corporations, some of them educational. With that kind of background, she should already have learned the lesson that I learned as the moderator of a college radio/TV program when I was a sophomore in college.

The lesson is this "When microphones are around, and television cameras are on, either shut up, or turn on your brain before saying anything." Microphones and television cameras make your most stupid, off the cuff comments permanent parts of the public record.

I hate to try to tell Senator Obama anything about public communication, because, as I have stated many times publicly, he is one of the most masterful public communicators I have ever seen or heard, but if he wishes to keep the folks from doing what he called "low rent" business on his wife, he is going to have to quit allowing or encouraging her to stand up before microphones and TV cameras in his behalf. Perhaps he should provide her with a Burka or keep her in a closet. Campaigning against Hillary Clinton he should be constantly reminded that the off the cuff or on the cuff statements by a president's wife are going to be publicly analyzed by that presidents friends and foes. (and though I am not thrilled about it, I deeply suspect that he may be the president and have to cope with this fact)

I have very mixed feelings about what is going on in the courts, the press, and in general, relating to the folks from the Yearning For Zion Ranch, in Texas. I don't have any fondness for the FLDS types that were there, and I agree that the toleration of some of the things that the press says happened there must be difficult or impossible if the press reports are true. On the other hand, it doesn't take much of a legal or constitutional scholar to know that acting on what now appears to be a fictitious complaint by one young girl against one man (who has been identified and was not at the ranch at the time, or at any recent time) is darn poor grounds for going in and traumatizing hundreds of kids. (I personally think that the actions of the Texas authorities seem much more in the line of abusive than any thing that has been evidentially demonstrated to have happened on the ranch.) I think all of us who hold strong opinions, politically or religiously should feel a chill when that stuff comes on the air.

Having said that, I want to get to the point. The other evening I tuned into the Nancy Grace show on Fox TV. I listened to that obscene little monster orgasmically drooling over her quotation of the Texas Judge to one of the mothers in question. The mother of eight children stated to the judge that she would follow all of his instructions in order to regain custody of her children, but she hoped that those instructions would not cause her to violate her commitments to God and to her religion. The judge was quoted as saying something like "My judgements trump those of your God and your religion".

Nancy Grace (misnamed, she has no grace) was bouncing up an down in her chair screaming the judge's words, and commenting further on what else he could have done. I wonder if she doesn't wake up at night sobbing that she was born too late to have been around for the Salem Witch trials where she might have been able to personally hang, or light the fires under a burning "witch". Talk about drooling, there's something with which that ugly little (apparently female) obscenity could have "got it on" .

When I was doing some amateurish work on a college radio/TV program in the fifties, I got cut off the air because one of the politicians I was interviewing called one of the others a "Son of a Bitch" on the air. He said the words and I looked at the monitor to see the flag waving and the sounds of "Oh beautiful for spacious skys, - - -" ringing out to our stations. Nancy Grace opens her mouth and obscenities stream out (though she is careful to couch them in non-obscene words. I believe in Freedom of the Press as I believe in Freedom of Religion (both Constitutional guarantees) ,but both the FLDS and Nancy Grace give me pause in that belief.


At 9:41 PM, Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

Well, I did my first, only and last post about the FLDS: they're a creepy cult but Texas bureaucracy seems to have become a very intrusive over the past few years.

As for Mrs Obama: everyone PC person knows that you're not meant to criticize affirmative action recipients.

At 7:56 PM, Blogger Three Score and Ten or more said...

I really didn't intend this post to be about the FLDS as much as about Nancy Graceless, but the fact that the appellate court has tossed out the whole exercise just about drove her nuts. The small blond troll was just beside herself today. I don't know how many times she screamed that this was done "By three judges appointed for life, sitting in their little ivory tower."

I wanted to call her and suggest that their main problem was that they had read the constitution and believe it. She ranted over and over about what has been discovered after the children were taken into custody and I wanted to quote the lines so often quoted on Law and Order, that you can't count evidence that came through breaking the law. It is "Fruit of the Poisonous Tree."

Poor Nancy. I believe she has a law degree. I sure would hate to have her involved with any legal business belonging to me.

I called her ugly yesterday, and she is, in so many ways, but I decided, as a true male chauvinist that she does have pretty eyes.

At 9:43 PM, Anonymous Kathleen said...

I couldn't agree with you more on both fronts. But, dear friend you really made me laugh in your response when you admired her eyes. FUNNY!

At 5:54 PM, Blogger Norma said...

I think Texas has way overstepped. I can't imagine how terrified all those children must be.

I disagree that Obama is a good communicator. 1) Says nothing well, 2) when interviewed with no prepard speech, he's really poor--stammers, obfuscates, makes huge errors.

At 7:56 AM, Blogger exMI said...

Nancy Grace and her ilk are a disgusting subculture that grew like mold in the off hours of 24 hour cable news. Clorox needs to be applied.

At 5:47 AM, Blogger Gayle said...

You left a comment on my post about FLDS that I probably knew how you felt from reading your post on this subject, but I hadn't read it until now, Richard. We are in agreement, though, and since I am a resident of Texas I'm not happy about the way they handled the situation. Defiant Infidel made a good point in his comment on my post about this: "I submit that the job of the CPS worker is to defend the child when evidence of wrongdoing exists... not to "protect" the child from what could exist or possibly occur. These are different things. CPS cannot guarantee that crimes against children will never occur. Not without separating them all from their parents, in all cases. Another risk we accept for a free society." Exactly!

As for Obama, I'm terrified of the prospect of him becoming President and you're right about his wife. If he doesn't want her to be analyzed by the media or attacked by the GOP then she needs to go back to the kitchen!

God bless you and Janet. :)

At 9:50 AM, Blogger brad said...

Not that Fox is completely guilt-free on the subject, but I feel like pointing out that Nancy Grace is actually on CNN.

News TV is awful, isn't it?

At 4:18 PM, Blogger DWJ said...

well brother now that I am out of hospital I have decided to read some of your blogs and made comments First of all you misspelled Maslow entirely misunderstand what happens to a person when they realize they have been wrong and decided to come out of hiding.Having been child and welfare worker in charge of investigating child abuse I found there were many problems. One time for example a juvenile court judge to me said you have to do something about the ex X. X. family or I have to quit going to Kiwanis club. the local postmaster is going to drive me nuts because he knows what's going on in the family and no one is able to do anything about it. We'll local postmaster did not volunteer to come to court and testify. He just wanted us to do whatever is necessary to remove these children. I found that to be a frequent problem lots of people know that there are wrong things going on but they are not willing to come in and testify before the judge. I feel very sympathetic towards the Texas Department off protective services because they are not dealing with people who will present in the day in court. I personally think the major crime being committed in the FLDS Ranch is not necessarily sexual or physical abuse but is likely to be brainwashing, and how do you prove that in court. There are a lot of things you cannot prove in court. I had a family once where I removed five children from the home and promised the mother that when she got it cleaned up and got her sewer and water working out would return the two oldest children. When I did return is when the crap hit the fan. I was called in before my director and told in no uncertain terms that I was being removed from the case and another social worker would be appointed to win more clearly fall of the dictates all of the woman's landlord and the deputy sheriff who lived across the street. I didn't have any of the parties involved are willing to meet with me in court and therefore both the children, the mother and I at the social worker suffered from it. I don't know if I have anymore to say now but I do justify that is a difficult problem and will probably never have a satisfactory solution. I know we have a Constitution and it gives us certain rights but I also know that those rights are not usually taken away even though they should be because people are not willing to stand up and be counted. Well my back hurts and I guess I better get back in bed but I wanted to give a couple of these things off my mind. This comment is from your brother who has you in hhis prayers along with Jan and those others we love. Paragraph I just received word that Alice's father died in Finland in the last hour. I don't know what kind of problems this is going to pose for us and I don't know how she's going to go back to Finland for any kind of a funeral. Let us know how you are doing. Doug

At 6:22 PM, Blogger Three Score and Ten or more said...

Thanks brother for your comments. I will not take responsibility for the spelling of Maslow. I should know it, somewhere in my almost forgotten academic past, I have a published paper with a statistical study of the accuracy of his hierarchy of motive need, and a convention presentation on the same subject (different study) but I have reached the age where I feel good if I spell my own right two out of three times and remember the names of all my grandchildren. If you had seen me sitting in rapt concentration in front of the computer trying to remember "Mazlow's" name you would not begrudge me a spelling error.

I recognize your feelings about the whole FLDS thing. It is/was/may yet be such a mess. On the other hand, when we deal with criminal behavior, or suspected criminal behavior, I hold the constitution paramount.

I feel really bad about Alice's father and the complications that puts on both your lives. Getting old is not for sissies.


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