Pearls & Vodka

Friday Happy Hour: Is all news fake news?

Elaine Chao once said, “There are many reasons to worry; the evening news is full of them.” Secretary Chao has many worries in life; sure, she has to be concerned about the Department of Transportation that she is in charge of, but she’s also married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, which for me, would be worry enough.

We’ve become a society that has been inundated with the 24/7 news cycle. The days of sitting down after work and catching the 6:00 p.m. local news, the 6:30 p.m. world news and 7:00 showing of Wheel of Fortune are over. In our world, today you can whip out your “smartphone” and read the same story from every news outlet in the country in a matter of minutes. You can even share the news story on a handful of different social media outlets, becoming your very own personal version of Tom Brokaw or Diane Sawyer.

If President Trump had a keyword, or phrase, to summarize his Presidency so far, my inclination is that it would be “FAKE NEWS!” He’s said it a million times, and he has said it about everyone in the business. And truth be told, he’s really not that far off. Every news outlet has their own spin. Does it make the news itself fake? No. But it can certainly make their presentation of the story fake.

Our goal here at Pearls & Vodka is to always give both sides of the story. It’s a huge compliment when our readers say they can’t tell at first what side we are on. It might do our country some good to adopt that policy, to stop being on a side and start just looking at everything as having value to add to the narrative of our nation.

I’m not sure we can solve the world’s issues on here, at least in one blog post, so with that, happy Friday and welcome to this week’s edition of the Happy Hour!

Headlines don’t sell papers. Newsies sell papers. Without newsies, nobody knows nothin’

If you’ve never seen Newsies put it on your bucket list and make it happen. And if you have, always remember, “never fear Brooklyn is here!”

The New York Times reported yesterday that there is a video of the horrific shooting that took place in Sutherland Springs, Texas, this past Sunday. The video makes it very clear that Devin Patrick Kelley had every intention of killing every member of First Baptist Church that day. He very methodically fired quickly, only pausing to reload, while shooting his terrified victims, in the head, execution-style. Even the small children. At this time law enforcement agents have declined to say whether they will ever publicly release the video. The shooting lasted about seven minutes. Reports have flooded in about Mr. Kelley’s background of being dishonorably discharged from the military for domestic abuse towards his wife and her son and his confinement in a psychiatric hospital that he escaped from for a period of time. He also had charges against him for animal cruelty that had prevented him from getting a license to carry a handgun in Texas in 2015. [1]

This latest mass shooting in our country has reignited the gun control debate that has barely lost traction from the last attack in Las Vegas.

Many are now discussing if showing this video from this shooting would make a difference in the opinions of those who are against strengthening our gun laws. Their belief is that perhaps it brings a sense of humanity to a sterilized news story.

American politics are a disaster; please tell me you aren’t surprised by that news

Many “Never-Trumpers” found solace in the election results Tuesday night. Many believe that the seats that were flipped are only the beginning of a Democratic sweep of next year’s midterms; and thereby, leading to their ultimate goal, the impeachment of Donald Trump. The problem with “Never-Trumpers” is not that they are wrong about what the results might mean, it is that they think impeaching Trump would fix our political system. If you know anything about American history, you know that the “governing majorities rise and fall over the course of entire generations.” [2] Every single time one party feels that they have reached dominance, the other shoe drops. Karl Rove swore in 2004 that there was a chance for a “permanent Republican majority,” two-years later Nancy Pelosi became the Speaker of the House. In 2008 most Democrats announced that Barack Obama’s defeat of John McCain would usher in the Democratic majority dominance for decades to come. And yet, following the Obama Presidency, we find ourselves with none other than Donald Trump as President of the United States of America. Donna Brazile has been traveling the talk show circuit pushing her new book that explains her take on what happened in 2016. She’s pointed out that by assuming the DNC’s debt that the Clinton campaign was in control. But what she has done best is show that the DNC is in as much trouble as the RNC, and for Republicans, that’s good news. The RNC is filled with turmoil and a Civil War style internal battle. You have the Trumpers, and the Never-Trumpers, all in bed together. It’s certainly not cozy, it feels more like when you are trapped in the middle of the bed between your husband and son and the heater is blazing and all you want to do is throw the covers off and jump out of the bed.

But alas, here we are.

Americans have got to realize that the only way to truly “fix” our political system is to escape from this two-party system we have pledged allegiance too. The stark reality is that most “millennial” voters don’t see things as black and white, right or left. They or I guess as a baby of 1983; I should say, “we,” see things as gray, centrist in ideology and independent in party. The DNC and RNC will have to figure out what to do with us. Many have argued that the DNC is better equipped to deal with the younger, centrist voters, but basing our political ideology on groupings with a party simply based on Hollywood’s support is ludicrous and insulting to those of us who actually care.

Speaking of Hollywood…

I Love You, Daddy

Louis C.K.’s new film, “I Love You, Daddy,” was set to premiere last night. “Due to unexpected circumstances…” the event was canceled. I’m a bit confused by this “unexpected circumstances” narrative coming from Hollywood. In 2015 articles started being published about how Louis C.K would call you up to his hotel room and expose himself while pleasuring himself. So, what does Hollywood do? They play a role in the production of “I Love You, Daddy” a movie about a father trying to put the brakes on a relationship between his underage daughter played by Chloe Grace Moretz and a 68-year-old filmmaker played by John Malkovich. The entire film is filled with child rape jokes and an on-screen semblance of sex allegations against filmmaker Woody Allen who was accused of molesting his adopted daughter.

These circumstances are everything BUT unexpected.

Jeremy Piven, from Entourage fame, has been accused now by three women of sexual misconduct. Ed Westwick, of Gossip Girl fame, has been accused by two women of sexual assault. Terry Crews, from Everybody Hates Chris and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, has filed a police report alleging sexual assault by a high-level Hollywood female executive.

The hits just keep coming. The allegations are coming out rapidly, daily.

I remember the days of hoping your favorite actor and actress wouldn’t get divorced, and now, we find ourselves hoping that the breaking news of sexual misconduct is not about the ones we love in Hollywood.

We’ve built a beast of billions and billions of dollars that feed this monster of sexual misconduct.

Only we can stop it.

It is worth repeating however, that we do live in a country where you are innocent until proven guilty.

Speaking of guilt or innocence…

If you are going to get arrested, do NOT do that in China

Big Baller Brand was created by a father who is riding the coattails of his athletically talented sons, founder Lavar Ball has some other things to worry about now besides “staying in yo lane.

LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill, and Cody Riley were arrested early Wednesday morning in Hangzhou, China for reportedly stealing sunglasses from the Louis Vuitton store near their hotel. The UCLA Bruins are in Hangzhou for an exhibition game with Georgia Tech that will be played today, without those three players. The boys are now under hotel arrest and not allowed to leave for the foreseeable future. The differences between our US criminal justice system and the Chinese law are enormous. Chinese legal studies expert, Benjamin Liebman gave the following options, “There are a few ways it can be handled: First, the police can choose to deal with it administratively, which could mean just a couple of days in detention or a fine. Second, it could be considered criminally, and that could result in longer detention or deportation. Third, it’s conceivable the prosecution would drop the case entirely. But if it goes into the formal prosecutorial process, guilt is almost assured. The prosecutors have the discretion to drop cases, but once it goes to trial, you almost never see a verdict of not guilty.” [3]

One could wager that a sense of entitlement led the boys to steal the merchandise earlier this week. It’s that same sense of entitlement that has led men like Louis C.K. to force himself on those around him sexually.

I’d rather be someone’s shot of whiskey than everyone’s cup of tea

Line up the shot glasses, and pick your poison.

Lemon drop, Fireball, Tequila, Washington Apple, Alabama Slammer, Flaming Dr. Pepper, Irish Car Bomb, Jager Bomb, Jell-O Shot, Kamikaze, Mind Eraser, Red Snapper, Three Wise Men…

PSA to my Momma, I, of course, know nothing about those shots…but…

Here’s a quick, rapid-fire list of some things that happened this week and of course, some opinions:

  • Four women have accused US Senate candidate Roy Moore of making sexual or romantic overtures to them when they were teenagers, and he was in his 30s. Moore is an “evangelical Christian,” Republican candidate for the vacated seat of Jeff Sessions. Roy Moore was Steve Bannon’s candidate of choice, that should have been reason enough to vote against him. Again, he could be innocent. But as Senator John McCain tweeted, “The allegations against Roy Moore are deeply disturbing and disqualifying. He should immediately step aside and allow the people of Alabama to elect a candidate they can be proud of.” [4]
  • A Boston researcher released images and details showing that former New England Patriot star Aaron Hernandez had such severe brain damage that she had never seen the likes of in a brain younger than 46 years old. Hernandez took his own life at age 27. Many have asked the same questions that Dr. McKee had, “why did a young man with wealth, fame and a potentially bright athletic career ahead of him kill a friend and wind up in prison?” Sure, there have been rumors of gang affiliation, and while that may all be true, the CTE damage that Dr. McKee reported on is astonishing. I love football. But as a mother to a little boy now, I have to wonder if we will allow our son to play the game I’ve loved watching my entire life; a game he already enjoys watching as well. The concerns of such drastic acceleration in this disease that attacks the mind are just disturbing. [5]
  • China Energy Investment Corp, the world’s largest power company in regards to asset value, agreed to invest $83.7 billion in shale, gas, power and chemical projects in West Virginia this week. President Trump has secured as much as $250 billion in deals during his Asia trip over the past few days. Maybe all news, isn’t bad news.
  • The superstar cornerback of the Seattle Seahawks Richard Sherman ruptured his Achilles Tendon in last night’s game. The irony of his injury does not fall on deaf ears. Just this week Sherman complained about playing Thursday night games, only allowing their bodies four short days to recover from their Sunday games. Perhaps the latest string of big-name injuries will cause the NFL to reconsider their schedules.
  • If you have followed my blog much lately, you know I wrote a letter in response to Larry Provost on his opinion of the actions of Jerry Falwell Jr., President of Liberty University and Jonathan Martin, a preacher from Tulsa, Oklahoma. I’ve paid closer attention this week to Mr. Falwell’s Twitter account, and frankly, I find it disturbing. Y’all I’m a Republican and even I’m not comfortable with his level of political rhetoric on his social media. My prayers are with any left-leaning students at Liberty, if there are any left, may God give you the grace to deal with such utter disrespect and poor leadership.

With that, have a good one folks.

And remember; do good, be kind and protect those who cannot protect themselves.

[1] https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/11/08/us/texas-shooting-video-devin-kelley.html

[2] https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/tuesdays-election-proves-it-american-politics-are-a-disaster/2017/11/09/5ed37e84-c599-11e7-afe9-4f60b5a6c4a0_story.html?utm_term=.516bccbbd6fa

[3] http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2743394-experts-on-liangelo-balls-murky-legal-situation-after-arrest-in-china

[4] https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/09/us/politics/mcconnell-roy-moore-sex-teenagers.html

[5] https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/11/09/563194252/researcher-says-aaron-hernandez-s-brain-showed-signs-of-severe-cte

Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash