Joel Pett Hates Adopted Kids
Posted on 11.20.15 by Danny Glover @ 8:12 pm

Joel Pett, the editorial cartoonist at the Lexington Herald-Leader, chose to celebrate National Adoption Month this week by using the children of Kentucky Gov.-elect Matt Bevin as “mere props” to mock Bevin’s stance on Syrian refugees.

Bevin has said that when he takes office, he will work to keep Syrian refugees out of the Bluegrass State. That stance, one echoed by dozens of governors, didn’t please Pett so he attacked by drawing pictures of Bevin’s Ethiopian children into a cartoon. The strip depicts Bevin hiding under his desk, with an aide holding a family photo and saying: “Sir they’re not terrorists. … They’re your own adopted kids.”

As a journalist and vocal proponent of free speech, I give editorial cartoonists wide latitude for using mockery to make a point. But as an adoptive parent, I can’t let this tasteless jab go without engaging in some free speech of my own: The cartoon is despicable; Pett is obnoxious for drawing it; and the newspaper is tone deaf for publishing it as the country celebrates adoption.

Pett sounds petty when he says Bevin started it by using his children in campaign commercials first. He sounds arrogant when he says he has endured “little controversies” like the outcry over the cartoon for 30 years and scolds Bevin for rising to the bait. And Pett plays the hypocrite when he accuses the critics of Syrian refugee policy of demagoguery even as he engages in it himself.

The Herald-Leader is equally hypocritical for publishing a cartoon that uses a politician’s children as pawns. Journalists rightly raise questions when the children of Democrats are the targets of such attacks. Remember, this time last year an obscure Republican aide was driven from her job on Capitol Hill after mocking Sasha and Malia Obama. But let a Republican win a key race like Bevin did two weeks ago and suddenly his children are no longer off limits.

Bevin missed the mark in his reaction to the cartoon. Without any supporting evidence, he accused Pett of holding to a “deplorably racist ideology” and the newspaper of allowing “overt racism” into its pages. (It’s worth noting that editorial-page editor Vanessa Gallman, who approved the cartoon and said she “did not see in it the issue of race that Bevin has raised,” is black.)

But Pett and the newspaper crossed a line they shouldn’t have. Shame on them.

P.S. I have no reason to believe that Pett actually hates adopted kids, but he’s clearly a big fan of distorting people’s true opinions. I figured he would appreciate the headline.

Full disclosure: Several years ago I interviewed for a job as an editorial columnist at the Herald-Leader. I don’t recall whether I met Pett, but I did interview with Gallman. The paper offered the columnist’s job to one of its editorial writers.

Filed under: Adoption and Government and Media and News & Politics and People
Comments: None

The Christian Response To Syrian Refugees
Posted on 11.18.15 by Danny Glover @ 6:25 pm

Accepting or rejecting Syrian refugees is a policy issue, not a spiritual one, and some politicians and religious figures are taking Christians on guilt trips in order to convince them otherwise. This is both discouraging and devious.

The current appeals to Christian conscience as a way to advocate an open-door policy typically go something like this: God demands that His followers show compassion to those who are less fortunate, especially widows and orphans. He also tells us not to worry in general or to fear those who can kill our bodies. This means Christians should support Syrian immigration and reject irrational fears about terrorists who might use immigration policy to sneak into the country.

While the teachings behind that rationale are true, they are not particularly relevant to the ongoing policy debate. Here’s why:

  • Most of the New Testament is written to individual Christians, local congregations or the church as a whole. Relatively little of it addresses secular government, and the parts that do mention it are about God’s design for government (“a minister of God to you for good,” “an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil”) and our relationship to it.

    In our democratic republic, Christians can and should encourage leaders to incorporate biblical values into governing policies. Showing compassion and overcoming fear arguably may be values that our government should weigh in developing policies about Syrian refugees.

    But to the extent that those teachings directly apply, it is only to individual Christians who: 1) could show compassion to refugees if they eventually are welcomed into the country; and 2) should not let themselves be ruled by fear of Syrians in particular or Muslims in general.

  • The suggestion that it is immoral to oppose the immigration of Syrians is scripturally flawed for another reason. The belief is built upon the notion that it is wrong to ever turn away refugees, but the United States does that all the time.

    By last count, there are about 60 million refugees in the world. About 9 million Syrians alone have fled their homes since 2011, and 6.5 million are still displaced. The current debate in the United States is over 10,000 refugees. Even in the next two years, our government is talking about admitting no more than an additional 185,000 refugees from various countries.

    The United States has approved the entrance of less than 800,000 refugees since changing its policies after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The total number to enter the United States since 1975 is 3.25 million, still well shy of the number of Syrians left homeless by civil war and the jihad of terrorists.

If it is immoral to keep 10,000 Syrians at arm’s length for security reasons, what about the millions of others still stuck in that country? Aren’t we compelled as a “Christian nation” not only to welcome them but to use all of our resources to rescue them? Shouldn’t we have done something long ago, initially to prevent this tragedy and later to put an end to it?

And what about the rest of the world’s refugees? Do Christians sin if they do not advocate opening our borders to all of them immediately? If not, where are we supposed to draw the line, and what factors are righteous to consider when drawing that line? And if it’s OK to draw lines, how can anyone possibly argue that it is sinful to draw them now to ensure the safety of the hundreds of millions of people who already call America home?

The phrase “while we have opportunity” in Gal. 6:10 keeps coming to my mind: “So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.”

Maybe Syrian refugees are such an opportunity for the United States, and maybe Christians should be the loudest voice for such compassion. But these decisions are not as simple as politicians and religious leaders like to pretend in their spiritually manipulative platitudes.

Filed under: Government and News & Politics and Religion
Comments: None

Why Post The French Flag Colors On Facebook?
Posted on 11.15.15 by Danny Glover @ 7:25 pm

One of my friends asked a good question on Facebook today: “Why change your profile picture to have the French flag colors on them? Changing your picture does what and for whom?”

I actually gave the question some thought before I changed my picture — a first for me and thus not something I do lightly — and again after he asked the question, so I thought I’d share my explanation here in addition to on his Facebook wall.

For me, a profile picture with the French colors superimposed on it makes a multifaceted statement:

One of empathy with the people of France. I was in Washington on 9/11, within walking distance of the White House, one of the presumed potential targets of the plane that went down in Pennsylvania. I remember what it was like walking to the Metro at the end of that workday, the capital city all but empty except for military vehicles and armed soldiers. The terror was palpable.

One of solidarity with the French government. However you decide to pursue and punish ISIS for this evil, I am behind you. (Hours ago, the French bombed some ISIS targets in Syria.)

One of purpose for our president, lawmakers and military leaders. I want them to stop saying terror is “contained” and start committing the money and people necessary to do it.

One of importance to my Facebook friends. As I mentioned, the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks on France mark the first time I’ve been motivated to change my Facebook profile picture for a cause. That has been intentional. Many things matter to me. I write about some of them on Facebook and on this blog. This particular historical event matters enough to also merit a simple, symbolic gesture that won’t change anything but will let people know the attacks have changed me.

Filed under: Blogging and Family and Government and Military and News & Politics and Social Media
Comments: 1 Comment

Of Redskins And Rednecks
Posted on 11.05.15 by Danny Glover @ 8:30 pm

For years the speech police have been pressuring Washington’s professional football franchise to change the name of its team from Redskins to something that isn’t “offensive” to American Indians. Team owners past and present have ignored the outcry, but back in June a federal judge voided the Redskins trademark.

That led to an interesting legal brief from the Redskins organization this week as it appeals the ruling. The team challenged the notion that the federal Trademark Trial and Appeal Board can overturn a brand name because it is “disparaging.”

Rednecks get a shout-out in one section of the brief. It rebuts the claim that the government’s continued allowance of the Redskins mark could be interpreted as an endorsement of the term.

The team’s lawyers make their point by listing several other potentially offensive terms the trademark board has approved. “Redneck Army Apparel” is right there in the middle of them.

That’s the first time I’ve seen anyone as enlightened as a big-city lawyer admit that “redneck” is a disparaging word. Granted, the Redskins legal team is arguing that entrepreneurial Americans should be free to use brand their products with a stamp of redneck approval, but at least there is an implication that “redneck” just might be a slur, depending on the context. That’s progress.

On the other hand, “redneck” may be a moneymaker. I entered the word into the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s search system, and it generated 649 results. “Hillbilly” and other similarly disparaging terms make appearances, too.

The takeaway from this stroll through the bureaucracy: Sometimes it pays to be offensive, whether you own a football team or just have a marketing gimmick geared toward rednecks.

Filed under: Business and Government and Hatin' On Rednecks and News & Politics and Rednecks and Sports
Comments: None

The Manassas Of Tomorrow
Posted on 10.14.15 by Danny Glover @ 9:25 pm

The character of Old Town Manassas changed for the worse about three years ago when the local newspaper ceased publication. The building it once occupied has been vacant ever since, looking somewhat like this but at times concealed by weeds and shrubs:

That will be changing in the coming months. The City of Manassas announced today that people who have been parking in the vacant lot will have to find new spots as of Oct. 19 because the property is going to be redeveloped.

The lot will be the future home of Messenger Place, which, according to the land lawyers who helped negotiate the deal with the city, will look something like this:

I hate to see a storied building like a newspaper office disappear, but over the past several years, the city has done an admirable job of ensuring that such properties in Old Town Manassas are redeveloped in appealing ways. Messenger Place is billed as “a five-story mixed-use building with 3,500 square feet of retail/commercial and 94 upscale apartment units.”

I like that the developers incorporated the “Messenger” name into the property, and I look forward to seeing how well it blends into the community.

Filed under: Business and Government and Media and News & Politics
Comments: 1 Comment

Enlightened Rednecks Expose Volkswagen
Posted on 09.25.15 by Danny Glover @ 9:04 pm

Behold the power of enlightened rednecks:

Volkswagen was recently brought to its knees when scientists discovered the company had installed a device in its diesel-powered cars to fool emissions tests. Its stock price tanked, its reputation has been damaged, and its CEO resigned on Wednesday.

So who made the discovery that sent the German car giant into a tailspin? A group of scientists at West Virginia University.

Remember that the next time you read an article trashing West Virginia or hear some elitist tell a joke about those hillbillies in the Mountain State. A little redneck common sense made the researchers at my alma mater skeptical, and a little hard work on their part exposed the alleged deception of a multinational corporation.

Filed under: Business and Education and Government and News & Politics and Rednecks and West Virginia
Comments: None

What Should Have Happened To Ahmed
Posted on 09.20.15 by Danny Glover @ 7:07 am

If the Internet has taught us anything about the news, it’s that the outrage of the week (or day) isn’t always as simple as it seems on the surface.

The heroes and villains that journalists love to anoint in their coverage rarely live up to the hype or down to the demonization. The trite hashtags that the online masses parrot without contemplation seldom reflect the complexity of a situation. The conventional wisdom about winners and losers usually isn’t all that wise.

Think back to the deadly police incidents in Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore or the jailing of county clerk Kim Davis in Kentucky. Such explosive stories typically involve a chain of events where several people make bad decisions. Just one burst of wisdom could break the chain of foolishness, but no one finds the will or courage to exercise it.

As the stories play out, I often wonder what should have happened at every point along the way.

With that in mind, I’m debuting a new feature on this blog. As opportunities arise, I will compare what actually happened in a given story with “What Should Have Happened.” I won’t address the possible motives behind given decisions; I will simply explore how the various players could have changed the outcome by behaving differently.

I’m going to start with a topic that garnered significant attention last week – the arrest of Ahmed Mohammed, a 14-year-old in Texas, for taking a harmless, homemade “clock” to his school. Suspecting that it might be a hoax bomb, school officials called police, and police briefly detained Mohammed. The school suspended him a couple of days. Local news coverage fueled global outrage, much of it online with the hashtag #IStandWithAhmed.”

Here’s what should have happened:

  • Mohammed’s parents should have prevented him from taking his project to school. The incident occurred just a few days after the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2011, terrorist attacks, a time of heightened awareness and frazzled nerves. That is not the time to be carrying a case with a device that may look like a bomb.
  • The engineering teacher should have kept the clock until the school day ended. Mohammed took the clock to school to show it to his engineering teacher. The teacher praised the project but told Mohammed not to show it to anyone else. The teacher should have intervened more directly.
  • (more…)

Filed under: Education and Media and News & Politics and People
Comments: None

The Rocket Boy Defends The Clock Boy
Posted on 09.18.15 by Danny Glover @ 7:35 pm

Homer Hickam, the enlightened redneck from Coalwood, W.Va., who rose to rocketry and writing fame, knows exactly how 14-year-old Texan Ahmed Mohammed feels. Both were falsely accused of mischief during their scientific adventures, Hickam for allegedly starting a forest fire with an errant rocket launch and Mohammed for presumably perpetrating a bomb hoax in his school.

Hickam empathized with Mohammed in a blog post that recalled not only Hickam’s own arrest but also some of the run-ins that other brainiacs have had with authoritarian school bureaucrats and police officers:

We boys of Coalwood, West Virginia, had a very similar situation to what Ahmed is now facing. We were summarily commanded to appear at our high school principal’s office to be yelled at by the police for allegedly starting a forest fire with our amateur rockets. We were entirely innocent but that didn’t much matter.

Although we weren’t handcuffed, we were surely told in no uncertain terms that a “bomb squad” would not be allowed at school. This occurred nearly sixty years ago! The intolerance by some school authorities toward bright kids has never really stopped but, during recent years, has been exaggerated by the adoption of zero-tolerance rules.

The other examples of nonconformist geniuses being suspended for their creative pursuits included a boy who made a cardboard mockup of a rocket from a potato chip canister and a girl on the honor roll whose science experiment produced a puff of smoke on school grounds.

Hickam gave the latter student and her twin sister scholarships to Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala., and now he is offering the same thing to Mohammed. “Space Camp is one place where really bright kids can blossom. … I’m there often enough to see how youngsters, often picked on at school for being too bright, thrive when they find themselves with other students just like them.”

Filed under: Aviation and Education and News & Politics and People and West Virginia
Comments: 1 Comment

The Best Snake Oil Salesmen In The World
Posted on 09.10.15 by Danny Glover @ 7:14 pm

If you’re ever bitten by a venomous snake, you may be better off if it happens in Mexico. A vial of antivenin there will cost you $100-$200 versus $14,000 in the United States of Price-gouging Insurers. Money-grubbing lawyers have a hand in this racket, too:

The cost of actually making the antivenom — of R&D, animal care, plasma harvesting, bottling, and the like — added up to roughly one tenth of one percent of the total cost. Clinical trials to evaluate the efficacy of the antivenom accounted for another 2 percent. Other miscellaneous costs, including licensing fees, wholesaler fees, regulatory, legal and office costs, and profit to medical providers, added up to 28 percent.

Finally, over 70 percent of the cost — responsible for most of the “sticker shock” you see in so many stories about envenomation care — comes from hospital markups that are used as instruments in negotiation with insurance providers. Depending on the hospital and the insurer, some percentage of this amount later gets discounted during the final payment process.

Filed under: Health and Human Interest and Wildlife
Comments: 1 Comment

Crackers Everywhere Arise
Posted on 07.11.15 by Danny Glover @ 8:10 pm

While we’re on the subject of politically correct vengeance against all things supposedly offensive, there is now a satirical petition at that exposes the ridiculousness of the movement. It calls on the restaurant chain Cracker Barrel to change its name and logo.

“I say all of us European Americans start protesting C****er Barrel,” the petition says. “It uses an offensive slur and it is deeply offensive and mocks our long and proud heritage. The name is offensive, [and] their logo stereotypes European Americans as people who sit on chairs and lean against what appears to be a bourbon barrel, claiming we are all a bunch of alcoholics.”

Although the petition is just a joke, a few years ago there was a more serious movement to “save the redneck” by exposing the frequent attacks on the only class of people still fair game for mockery without outrage in America. Cracker and redneck are just two of the terms of derision for this breed. Bumpkin, hayseed, hick, hillbilly, peckerwood, rube and yokel work, too.

But if you’re really intelligent — in this case a synonym for elitist — you can demean an entire region without using any of those words. All you have to do is disguise your scorn with a catchy headline like “How the South Skews America” and sell it to a sophisticated rag like Politico.

“Minus the South,” liberal propagandist Michael Lind wrote earlier this month, “the rest of the U.S. probably would be more like Canada or Australia or Britain or New Zealand — more secular, more socially liberal, more moderate in the tone of its politics and somewhat more generous in social policy. And it would not be as centralized as France or as social democratic as Sweden.”

A sizable population of Americans, not just those in the South, have no interest in becoming as secular or socially liberal as Canada, Australia or New Zealand, let alone the British we rebelled against. But with wacky insights like that, Lind could well be the brains behind the bigotry in the “C****er Barrel” branding.

Filed under: Culture and Hatin' On Rednecks and History and Just For Laughs and Media and News & Politics and Rednecks
Comments: 1 Comment

previous posts »
The Redneck Report

Featured Entries

Recent Entries


RSS 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Social Networks

November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
May 2007
January 2007
July 2006
April 2006
March 2006
September 2005
August 2005
June 2005
April 2004
March 2004


Blogs I Read

Enlightened Reads

My Other Blogs

Redneck Reads

Video Stops

Copyright © 2015 Danny Glover. All rights reserved.
Site by Three Group