My First and Last Word On Michael Jackson

 Culture, Entertainment, Music  Comments Off on My First and Last Word On Michael Jackson
Jul 152009

I know it would seem I’m late with this post about the recent death of Michael Jackson, but the drama continues to unfold and will for some time. The story is no where near its end, but the dust is settling some, and media hype is now down to a dull drone. I thought this would be a good time for me to offer my opinion.

Jackson was definitely the consumate entertainer. It really isn’t going too far to proclaim him “King of Pop.” He was innovative, talented, and I believe genuine in his wish to please his fans.

One of his sisters was said to have made a comment that he was, “the greatest person who ever lived.” I think I’d take exception to that. I have given him credit as an unmatched influence on popular and popular culture, but I hope she was just a little carried away in her grief.

As is so often the case with a person vaulted to such a lofty place in our pop culture at such an early age, Jackson definitely had his problems. He certainly became and extreme eccentric, and in the end, it became his undoing. As with so many who gain his level of fame and fortune, he became surrounded with sycophants who never him accountable for his own actions, and who encouraged his every eccentricity.

A lot of people spent a lot of time referring to Jackson’s legal issues over the molestation charges, and calling him a perverted. As noted, he was certainly eccentric, but the charges were never proven, and he was, in fact, acquitted. In this country, that means he is innocent, and we would do well to remember that applies to everyone all the time.

Frankly, I don’t believe Jackson ever did molest anyone. I really don’t think he was very sexual at all. But he did certainly exercise some very poor judgement, and had some ideas about how one should relate to children that make most of us uncomfortable. Did he sleep with these kids? Most likely he did. That’s weird for most of us, but not illegal.

You have to face the fact that this was a high profile crime, and the prosecutor and police were under tremendous pressure to get a conviction once the charges were made. But despite that, they were not able to make a winning case. Also, we have to remember that Jackson was a high-profile and potentially lucrative “target” for these parents.

But let me state again, he did exercise poor judgement and engaged in unacceptable behavior.  Continue reading »

Newt Gingrich Blames Virginia Tech Tragedy on Liberalism

 Crime, Culture, Politics, Society  Comments Off on Newt Gingrich Blames Virginia Tech Tragedy on Liberalism
Apr 232007

This will come as a surprise to no one. He even tries to tie it to McCain-Feingold election financing. Go figure.

Appearing on ABC’s This Week yesterday, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA) blamed the Virginia Tech tragedy on “liberalism” and the “culture” it has “created.” In the wake of the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, CO, Gingrich made a speech in which he said, “I want to say to the elite of this country — the elite news media, the liberal academic elite, the liberal political elite: I accuse you in Littleton…of being afraid to talk about the mess you have made, and being afraid to take responsibility for the things you have done, and instead foisting upon the rest of us pathetic banalities because you don’t have to courage to look at the world you have created.” Asked by host George Stephanopoulos if he would apply those same words to the Virginia Tech tragedy, Gingrich said “yes,” before launching into a ramble attempting to connect Virginia Tech to Don Imus and McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform. Gingrich has repeatedly spun tragedy for ideological and partisan gain. In 1994, after Susan Smith confessed to drowning her two children, Gingrich quickly blamed liberals, saying the only way to avoid similar future incidents was “to vote Republican.” After former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) was forced to resign over his sexually inappropriate behavior towards House pages, Gingrich declared on Fox News that conservatives didn’t stop Foley because they “would have been accused of gay bashing” by liberals. At the Conservative Political Action Conference earlier this year, Gingrich blamed the residents of New Orleans’s 9th ward for “a failure of citizenship” — by being so uneducated and so unprepared, they literally couldn’t get out of the way of a hurricane.”