27 April 2015

Mining Nuggets from the Nabobs of the Nerd Prom

The White House Correspondents' Dinner has been an annual event since 1921 when the press corp rubs elbows with the Administration in a social, cocktail fueled supper.  Some serious journalists, like New York Times columnist Frank Rich have refused to go to the dinner as  it "illustrates how easily a propaganda-driven White House can enlist the Washington news media in its shows."

In recent years, the White House Correspondents' Dinner has drawn increased public attention and glamour as  the guest list has grown to be "more Hollywood". The event has evolved from a humble one night affair into a  week long celebration by celebutards, power players and the press.  The WHCD attendees certainly ate well, unlike many DC Dinners of rubber chicken.

Patrick Gavin, a reporter formerly of Politico and the Washington Examiner, produced the film "Nerd Prom" (2015) which documented the pomp and circumstance of the 2014 White House Correspondence Dinner.  The title derives from the face that most of the reporters would not have been the cool kids  in secondary school, so the White House Correspondents' Dinner is a replacement prom.  

As a political animal residing in the District of Calamity (sic), I appreciate opportunities to make light of my favorite contact sport--politics.  But knowing that the press corps is overwhelmingly liberal and  the timidity of inquiries during Presidential press briefings of late, it is unreasonable to expect that the jokes would be evenly divided.  But by mining the nuggets from the nabobs of the Nerd Prom from  Celebrity in Chief President Barack Obama and keynote comedienne Cecily Strong one can discern some interesting insights.

Cecily Strong  was the keynote speaker. While Strong is a Saturday Night Live cast member, she was not a marquis name.  Strong self-deprecatingly quipped that she was the vaguely ethnic woman featured in college recruitment brochures. Strong reveled that she was the first female host of the White House Press big bash in years.  Strong also noted: “I’m also the first straight woman to host this in 20 years, so, we finally made it, straight people.".  Thus the routine was going to be packed with progressive identity politics with an emphasis on female power and gay glory.

It was clear from the material that Strong was not a Washington insider.  She wanted to play up sex scandals in the Capital City, so she segued “It is great to be here at the Washington Hilton… is something a prostitute might say to a congressman.” Then Strong pivoted to the point by musing: “The Washington Hilton you guys. If these walls could talk. They’d probably say ‘clean me.’”  Kind of funny, but when a District of Calamity denizen associates hotels with scandals,  toe sucking at the Hay Adams (by then Clinton adviser Dick Morris) and the Mayflower (where Democrat NY Gov. Eliot Spitzer rented room 941 with his Empire Club call girl) or maybe DC Mayor Marion Berry's drug bust at the Vista.  The Capital Hilton is remembered as the Hotel where President Reagan was shot in 1981. But why let reality get in the way with a funny quip.

Strong played up the progressive press pieties by jabbing that Memories Pizza from Elkhorn Indiana would not be catering because of a rumor that Barney Frank would be attending thus they could not taste that world class Indiana Pizza.  A triple play in a homage to the homosexual lobby, a fly-over country jab and massaging the egos of Nerd Prom.  Of course, the family pizza joint does not cater (but got caught up in a media made mess over RFRA and same sex weddings in INDIANA), Rep. Frank left Congress over two years ago and these media nabobs would never be caught eating pizza in public.  Strong worked in hits on Hobby Lobby being anti-women with opposing contraception (for employees of a faith based corporation), even though that was a Supreme Court decision nearly a year old. 

Some of Strong's ziggers were sharp, but her delivery was weak.  Her stand-up did not pack a strong punch (sic).  It might have hurt that she kept looking down to read her one liners, which accented her exaggerated fake eyelashes.  It seems that she could not get use of TOTUS (Teleprompter of the United States).

Strong seemed more successful when using props and slight physical comedy.  For example, Strong scourged Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL 18th) with a slide show mocking his travels and surfing while implying infidelity. That was less than courageous comedy as Schock announced his resignation six weeks ago over funding improprieties (not sexual harassment) and left town a month ago.    When Strong chose to savage Mr. Obama about being weak on ISIS, she could not utter his name but did an eye roll towards the President. 

Where Strong seemed equal opportunity in her irreverence was towards the media.  Strong zinged CNN over its Ebola obsession, MSNBC for being long winded and showing prison documentaries and lamenting over FoxNews losing viewers ("May they rest in peace") and being like a party scene from Weekend at Bernie's (1989) full of hot women and old guys. Strong did not spare NPR  or the Huffington Post's alliance with AOL.

 Initially, Strong said that she could not say anything about Brian Williams since  she worked for NBC.  But during the Shock and Aw surfing slideshow, Strong said sotto voce "Brian Wiliams, come on--you weren't there.".  The camera panned to a black female reporter who had a priceless look of disgust on her face. 

 It was telling how the room gravitates towards the camera, as Strong joked that print media was serving the tables and there was appreciative laughter.  It was funny when Strong spoke to CSPAN viewers in their native tongue "Meow".

Strong slammed law enforcement by claiming that the Secret Service it was the only law enforcement agency that would get in trouble if a black man was shot was edgy while fueling the police brutality narrative.  Strong's quip that Mr. Obama's hair had gotten so white that it could talk back to the police also reflected the racial divide and the false hands up don't shoot narrative.  

These "jokes" were delivered as there was civil unrest occurring in Baltimore, forty miles to the north. When the Mayor of Baltimore holds Orioles fans in their seats because there are rioters outside of Camden Yards, this ceased to be funny even for black satire. It  just shows how the Amtrak corridor elites are out of touch as well as pushing a progressive narrative.  

Vice President Joe Biden was the butt of several stinging observations.  Strong noted that her Amtrak experience was augmented by a Biden massage seat, alluding to his creepy tendency to manhandle women standing next to him.  Later, Strong quipped that our national treasure Joe Biden could be found in a ball pit at Chucky Cheese.  So much for the boomlet of Biden for President in 2016.

Strong was unabashed in her support for Hillary Clinton's White House run.  It seems that it was important to put a "real woman" in the White House, not a right woman like Carly Fiorina. No surprise from a celebrity waxing politically.  Strong did joke about foreign entities getting more favorable treatment by contributing to the Clinton fund. But Strong tried to be serious by chiding the press not to comment on Hillary's appearance, which garnered modest applause.  But the press has already been told how to cover Hillary and they know that going against these demands will cause them to loose access, get minders following them or be locked in a holding cell during events.

[L] Keegan Michael Keys at "Luther" the Anger Translator & [R] Barack Obama as  the 44th President 

of the United States at the 2015 White House Correspondents' Dinner 

As for President Obama, he always does well at these political-press love fests.  His writing was better than Mr. Obama's misplaced jocularity at the recent reception of Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots at the White House

Some feel the President Obama demeaned the office by the puckish slideshow which included a picture of the President swimming in a White House fountain. However, Mr. Obama already demeaned the prestige of the Presidency by granting an extended interview with an internet phenom whose claim to fame was bathing in a tub of Fruit Loops and milk. So when Mr. Obama opined that his new policy methodology rhymed with "Buck it", it fit right in with the vulgar values of a Daily Show and Reddit audience. 

That being said, Mr. Obama displays an odd sense of humor in public.  One wonders why he continually goes back to birther jokes-- is this a political dog whistle, a psychological perseveration or a healthy sense of humor?  And his comment that he needed as much money as the rumored $1 Billion that the Koch Brothers will contribute to the Presidential campaign in this election as he has a middle name of "Hussein" seems strange and in your face to the American electorate.  Mr. Obama's writers had a clever quip based on Bernie Sanders that: "We could put a pot smoking, socialist back in the White House-- an Obama third term.".  Is that reductio ad absurdum humor or epater le bourgeosie?

Part of President Obama's shtick was assisted through an anger translator played by Keegan Michael Key.  This skit culminated by Mr. Obama feigning losing his cool over racial issues and his "anger translator" holding him back.  This segment had been preceded by allusions to Blackish.  This obsession with race contradicts Mr. Obama's first forays  onto the public scene as a post-racial President.  More alarmingly, playing up internalized anger over racial strife seems to fan the flames of Fergusion which are now burning in Baltimore.  

The Lame Duck President could afford to take some jabs at the Presidential field.  Obama unleashed a few stingers at Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) which shows who liberal elites seem to fear.  While Mr. Obama mocked much of the Republican field, I do not recall any snide snips against Governor Scott Walker (R-WI).  Surprisingly, President Obama gave a towel snap to his former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D-AR NY).  Mr. Obama joked about a friend living in a van in Iowa, which alluded to Hillary in the "Scooby" Mystery Machine during her brief Iowa listening tour. This reveals the reality that there is not much love lost between the Clinton and the Obama "dynasties". 

All in all, the writing for the 2015 White House Correspondent's dinner was better than most Saturday Night Live political skits.  Unfortunately, Strong's delivery lacked a punch.  Mr. Obama showed his snarky side, which was smooth but not flattering.  Even his attempts at self depricating humor about being self absorbed were not endearing. But at least First Lady Michelle Obama let the crowd enjoy roast before these self important nabobs at the Nerd Prom are condemned to consume cake.  

No wonder some serious journalists refuse to make spectacles of themselves in self congratulatory ceremonies.  The only thing missing from the White House Correspondents' Dinner from entertainment awards shows is an array of lucite trophies beng awarded. It has been said that "Politics is Hollywood for ugly." But Patrick Gavin is right that the White House Correspondents' Dinner is not Hollywood for the ugly, it's a Nerd Prom.  The only trouble with this analogy is that Nerds are capable of making useful contributions (despite their social awkwardness), whereas today's crop of White House Correspondents seem like either stenographers for their Dear Leader or "jo-whore-nalists" for a progressive cause.

23 April 2015

Justifying Georgemas

British Great War Recruiting Poster 

According to the Gregorian calendar, April 23rd is the Feast of St. George (or Georgemas).  The Orthodox also admire the attributes of St. George but follow the Julian calendar which marks the feast on May 6th.  St. George born in Syria Palestrinia in the late Third Century who served as an officer in the Roman army that guarded the Emporer Diocletian, but who was martyred for not renouncing his Christian faith.  The emperor tried to bribe George to renounce his faith and tortured him, but to no avail. Before he was decapitated, St. George gave all of his wealth to the poor.

St. George is one of the most venerated saints in the Catholic Church, among Anglicans, Orthodox, East Syrian churches. Even Muslims revere this honorable military man. In the Twelfth Century a legend was attached to St. George about slaying a dragon.  The standard Orthodox icon of St. George depicts him slaying a dragon with a woman in the background.

The dragon is generally understood as being both Satan and the monster from his own life (Diocletian). The woman in the background is Alexandra, the wife of Emperor Diocletian. Crusaders credit an appearance of St. George This was probably legend which traveled back with the Crusaders from the Holy Land and was embellished in courtly Romance retellings.

Legend has it that a plague bearing dragon came down from the mountains and terrorized the countryside.  The dragon could not be appeased with ransom of livestock.  This  dragon would not stop his rampage unless the King tied a young maiden to an oak tree in the center of the village.

The King's nobles used a pigeon to decide what to do.  If the bird flew to the east then, they must take the King's own daughter Sabra and tie her to a tree, as the dragon demanded.  The pigeon flew off to the east. As the knight rode back in triumph with the princess

But as fate would have it, the pigeon managed  to attract the attention of a knight called  George and guided him back to the princess. Just as the dragon was about to devour the princess, the good knight clad in armor fortified himself with a sign of the cross and then brought the fight to the dragon.  George cunningly slowed down the dragon by driving a ball of pitch down his throat, and then speared the dragon with a grievous wound with his lance.

The Wedding of St. George and Princess Sabra by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1857)

According to Eastern versions, the knight rode back to the city along with the princess and the dragon in tow.  As George approached the city, he promised to slay the dragon if the town would become baptized Christians.  Fifteen thousand men took to the baptismal waters and George slayed the dragon with his trusty sword Ascalon (recalling the city Ashkelon in Israel).  The king was so grateful that he bestowed nobility (some say Sainthood) to George and gave his daughter Sabra's hand in marriage and promised to build a church were the dragon was slain.

St. George is the patron saint of England yet it is not a public holiday in England. The reasons why celebration of Georgemas is muted are cultural, historical and now tinged with political correctness.

St. George was neither English nor roundly associated with England, even though King Edward III formed the Order of the Garder under the patronage of St. George in 1348.  The Reformation played a part as Protestants did not care much for saints' days. In addition, celebration of St. George's day has been in decline since the Act of Union between England in Scotland completed in 1707.  In today's world,  the Daily Telegraph reports that many English people are concerned that national symbols like St. George can be considered racists,

Aside from the fact that many pubs in England are named after George and the dragon, it makes one wonder why this legend matters. Modern man is quick to dismiss myths (unless it is anthropogenic global warming), but this is short sighted. Myths convey essential truths although the romantic story elements may not be exact.  For instance, the story of George Washington chopping down the cherry tree may have been apocryphal but it does "I can not tell a lie" does illustrate some of the virtues of Washington's transcription of "The Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior", which molded the first President's life and were put into practice at the founding of the American Republic.

The reason that St. George matters so much to the English is that the legend reinforces characteristics which the English admire and seek to emulate.  St. George is a knight who exemplified chivalry. St. George and the dragon also champions the little guy as well as the triumph of good over evil.  The versions which depict him making the sign of the cross depict deep dedication to principles (if we dare not declare faith).  These romanticized virtues along with the more verifiable versions of his hagiography make St. George a man worthy (bank holiday or not) for Englishmen to emulate.

22 April 2015

Are You Happy About Star Studded Climate Change Hypocrisy?

Pop music phenom Pharrell Williams has been lending his voice to star studded crusades against global warming global climate disruption  carbon pollution anthropogenic  climate change.

First, the singer songwriter who originated the peppy hit "Happy" jetted to Davos, Switzerland to be with former Vice President (and Inconvenient Truth purveyor) Al Gore to announce a second round of Live Earth concerts in June which is intended to "harmonize humanity all at once."  

[L] Al Gore [C] Pharrell Williams at World Economic Summit in Davos, Switzerland 2015

While Pharrell Williams fondly remembers having a ball at the Rio de Janeiro concert in 2007, he lamented:  “You would have pundits and comedians who didn’t understand global warming and we were often ridiculed. We wanted to do something very different this time.”

Pharrell lent his celebrity status to the International Day of Happiness at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on March 20th.

His clarion call to convert from Climate Change to Climate Action rings hollow considering his hypocrisy.  Pharrell sits alone on a private plane and globe trots in order to attend  green dog and pony shows, yet the little people are supposed to sacrifice for climate change.

To celebrate Earth Day with a telling backdrop, President Barack Obama flew to the Everglades for an event (as Alligator Alley can be portrayed to be already effected by Climate Change).  Per Mar Knoller, that day trip to Florida was an 1869 mile jaunt in which Air Force One 9,180 gallons of fuel alone.  But that's OK, since the President's plane also ferried Bill Nye the Mechanical Engineer billing himself as a Science Guy for PBS Kids, in a "Call to Action" 

 That must have covered their carbon footprint, right?

If that's not enough policy pollution, consider the Global Citizen Earth Day Concert on the National Mall last weekend.  Hoards of ecologically conscious citizens of the world flocked to see Mary Blige Usher and the Fall Out Boy. The organizers may have been proud that the concert was powered through solar power, they ought to be ashamed at how their people left the open space in the District of Calamity (sic).

15 April 2015

Hillary Hiding Her EMails Continues to Haunt Her Reputation for Honesty

Prior to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's (D-NY) formal campaign announcement, there were questions about her emails while at the State Department . It was revealed that Mrs. Clinton exclusively used a personal email (HDR22@clintonemail.com) stored on a private server during her tenure at Foggy Bottom.  Additionally, Mrs. Clinton only turned over her emails in late 2014 with paper copies of the work emails that she deemed relevant.

Of course, there are plenty of questionable things already associated with the email imbroglio. Only using a personal email account was highly irregular and probably insecure.  Mrs. Clinton's lame rationale about using only one device associated with an email was lanced when it was shown that Hillary used both an Ipad as well as her trusty Blackberry.  State Department policy requires immediate surrender of all work materials to an archivist, who then determines what is personal. It was odd that Hillary printed out emails for the State Department rather than the electronic originals (making it difficult to do computer searches).  Then there is the oddity of months longs gaps in emails including when  Mrs. Clinton traveled to Libya and was photographs of her using her Blackberry, there are no record of documents.  Hmm.

 Now it has been revealed that House Government Reform and Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA 49th) had sent a letter to the State Department on December 12, 2012 which specifically asked if the Secretary of State ever used a personal email account to conduct official business.  Uh oh.

Well, Mrs. Clinton resigned from the State Department February 1, 2013.  The State Department did not respond to the House Government Reform Committee until March 27, 2013 and their response merely was a copy of the policy that all State Department employees : “should make it clear that his or her personal email is not being used for official business.”.

While the Lamestream Media sought to create a frenzy for Hillary's Mystery Machine Listening Tour road trip to Iowa, Mrs. Clinton is slipping in the polls in key battleground states to Republican challengers.  Quinnipiac Poll Assistant Director Peter Brown attributes this drop to the perception that Hillary Clinton is a dishonest politician, which can be attributed to the continuing email embarrassment.

If convicted, an official who obstructs or destroys federal documents could be barred from office. It is almost inconceivable that an Obama Department of Justice (under Attorney General Eric Holder or the stalled nominee Loretta Lynch) would ever prosecute or seek to convict such a high profile progressive politician.  But there are no such strictures in the court of public opinion.  Hillary for America intends to raise $2.5 billion for their campaign.  But she who raises the most cash does not always win (sic). In 1980, Governor John Connally (D R-TX) was considered a great orator and had a distinct fundraising advantage.  In the end, Connally spent $11 million and only garnered one delegate. How embarrassing.  Actually, not as embarrassing as Hillary's continuing email embarrassments.

h/t: Hot Air
      John Cole 

09 April 2015

Michigan Football Coach Lends Support for American Sniper Showing on Campus

It is as rare as a rocking horses manure that a campus screening of a Hollywood major motion picture makes the news, much less the sports section, but we live in interesting times.

The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor was scheduled to show "The American Sniper", the 2014 highest grossing motion picture about a Navy Seal who served four combat tours .  But the "American Sniper" screening was cancelled because of an open letter published by some U of M Muslim students which claimed that the Chris Kyle biopic ab that the film about the decorated Navy Seal was about “a racist who took a disturbing stance on murdering Iraqi civilians.” Aside from that blood liable, the letter worried that  American Sniper "not only tolerates but promotes anti-Muslim … rhetoric and sympathizes with a mass killer.”

So what does the University of Michigan, an institute of higher learning which sports the motto: Artes, Scientia, Veritas, do in a civil clash of ideas. The first instinct of the U of M Administration was to censor the controversial.  University officials canceled the showing and apologized for potentially making Muslim students feel unsafe.  The University planned to show Paddington instead, no joke.

After the Ann Arbor University Administration suffered from widespread derision over the politically correct pusillanimous decision, U of M backpeddled and promised to eventually show "The American Sniper" but only in a "safe space".

So allow for protests and ideological indoctrination afterwards.

Even this University of Michigan equivocation did not score well with incoming Wolverine football coach Jim Harbaugh.  Harbaugh took to Twitter to unabashedly show support to Chris Kyle and "The American Sniper".   Harbaugh played college football at "The Big House" of U of M before spending 14 seasons in the NFL then coaching in the NFL, including the San Francisco Giants.  Haurbaugh's bold proclamation about Wolverine Football gives the impression that he will not countenance safe spaces on the football field.

An early scene from "The American Sniper" depicts a life lesson given to a young Chris Kyle about the three types of persons in the world.

It is clear that Coach Harbaugh emulates a sheepdog.  What remains to be seen is if the team which he inherits, which went 5-7 in 2014 (including a Big Ten 3-5 record), are going to transmogrify into Wolverine Sheepdogs or remain collegiate sheep on the sports field?

A better question is what the University of Michigan learns from this episode.

06 April 2015

Hillary Clinton Surrogates Threaten the Competition

Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm (D-MI) spoke on behalf of inchoate candidate Hillary Clinton on Meet the Press.  Granholm's defense of Hillary's record included an oblique threat against prospective Democrat candidate Governor Martin O'Malley (D-MD)

Granholm may not have been the best surrogate for Mrs. Clinton considering her record governing the Great Lake state.

But Granholm's technique is characteristic of Hillary's presidential politicking. 

Just like the 2008 campaign, Hillary Clinton is relying upon the inevitability argument for the nomination and the White House.  Thus no one should stand in the way of the inevitable coronation, lest they be labeled "sexist". 

The HRC Super Volunteers emailed a New York Times reporter warning the press not to use thirteen terms which are deemed "coded sexism" when applied to the former First Lady/Senator/Secretary of State.   These forbidden words include:  "polarizing," "calculating," "disingenuous," "insincere," "ambitious," "inevitable," "entitled," "over-confident," "secretive,"  and "out of touch."  

Many of these adjectives could easily be applied to many politicians.  But somehow when referring to HRC they become coded sexism. Even a female panel on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews is skeptical that all of the banned words were coded sexism.

How convenient.  Limit the lexicon of the press when referring to the chosen candidate, limit access of reporters covering the campaign and pull credentials of pesky press which are willing to publish "inconvenient truths". 

It is not happenstance that Clinton surrogates sent the cyber dead horse head to Amy Chozick.  Chozick was the journalist who had the temerity to report that the Clinton Global Initiative sent monitors to follow credentialed journalists into the bathroom as well as limiting access to real participant. 

04 April 2015

Contemporary Civil Crucifixions?

Contemporary Crucifixions

As the Christian faithful commemorate the Triduum, when their blameless Lord was persecuted and crucified for their sins, we can contemplate contemporary crucifixions.

Sadly, we live in a world in which ISIS Islamists actually crucify and martyr "Nazarenes" for their faith.  Yet we do not have to look abroad to see contemporary civil crucifixions.

Consider how masses have been riled up and incited to violence over lies emanating from the chief priest of liberal secular humanism in social justice circles and the media. Ferguson, Missouri brought forth the meme "Hands Up, Don't Shoot", which inspired rioting both in the Show Me State as well as civil intimidation in Brooklyn.  Yet the Ferguson Grand Jury Decision showed that the "Hands Up Don't Shoot" manta was  all based on lies.

Then there was the Rolling Stone gang rape story which was meant to peddle the war on women wedge issue especially college fraternities.  Once again a fabrications yet the fraternity at the University of Virginia was forced to close until police reports showed that the accusation was based on a tissue of lies.

Lately, the focus has been on Indiana, as the Hoosier State passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  Progressives painted a rainbow smear claiming that RFRA would allow businesses to discriminate against homosexual customers.  In reality, Indiana's  RFRA was modeled after a 1993 Federal Law (which President Bill Clinton signed)  and 19 other states (including Illinois which State Senator Barack Obama voted for), with updates to reflect the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling.

Rather than being a weapon for business owners to pursue discrimination, RFRA is a shield which allows those with a strongly held religious belief to simply have their day in court.  The masses where whipped up into a frenzy under the rainbow banner to stop bigotry.

One enterprising jo-whore-nalist from ABC 57 in South Bend, sought out a pizzaria in Elkhorn, Indiana supposedly to get a small town perspective on the Hoosier RFRA law. ReporterAlyssa Marino  "randomly" chose Memories Pizza, which just so happened to be a Christian establishment. They  entertained a hypothetical of catering a same-sex wedding and concluded that participating in that ceremony would be against their religious beliefs.

This naive admission set off a firestorm of protest against the small town pizza parlor.  Rush Limbaugh suspects this was a set up for a Christian business and was being magnified by a small group of progressive activists who spin a cyber chimera of being an internet army. How else could a UHF TV station in South Bend generate thousands of social media protests in less than ten minutes?  

The hype over Memories Pizza got so severe that a high school teacher tweeted seeking comrades to help burn the place down. Memories Pizza was forced to close with all of the crank calls and calls to violence

After her suspension is lifted, she should stick to instructing girls' golf rather than teaching hatred and inciting violence on the internet.

Fortunately, like the miracle of the resurrection after the public crucifixion, there is a happy ending for Memories Pizza.  BlazeTV personal Dana Loesch organized a crowdfunding effort to help the O'Connor family with their Memories Pizza business.  In a couple of days, 30,000 people contributed over $850,000. This will allow Memories Pizza to weather the RFRA firestorm and to expand.  

Yet progressives still sought to punish Memories Pizza.  Some conspiracy minded liberals implied that the O'Connors intentionally created the media frenzy for online donations.  These are the same type of people who obsess over Loose Change  Another internet activist, who co-incidentally is a social media employee of WTVR-TV CBS6 in Richmond, Virginia, implied that the crowdfunding was fraudulent to discourage contributions.  

While during Holy Week it is facile to focus on crowds being whipped into a frenzy to be the cat's paw for leaders.  But it is also worth considering why the Romans resorted to crucifixions in their empire.  These brutal crucifixions served as examples not to challenge the orthodoxy of the powers that be. 

Crucifixion (even the civil kind)?  No, I would rather choose religious freedom. 

But like Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979), it is best to "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life".