Three Things You Need to Know – February 12, 2018

Kim 2.0

Kim Kardashian has got a big problem. The media has their sights set on replacing her with a new Kim 2.0. Kim Yo Jong, the sister of Kim Jong Un, was all the media could talk about this weekend.

Kim 2.0 made an appearance at the Olympics, but she didn’t bring tanks or missiles. She brought an army of red costumed smiling cheerleaders. Hmm… women dressed in red and forced to do the bidding of a tyrannical regime. You’d think since it’s all the rage right now, that the media would have went all Handmaid’s Tale on Kim 2.0, but here’s the headline that most outlets ran with: “North Korean Cheerleaders are stealing the show.”

That was from USA Today specifically regarding the cheerleaders, but CNN used the exact same headline for Kim: “Kim Jong Un’s sister is stealing the show at the Winter Olympics.”

The Washington Post called her “enthralling” and the “Ivanka Trump of North Korea.” Reuters flashed a smiling picture of Kim 2.0 and deemed her the “winner of diplomatic gold at the Olympics.”

I feel like I have to say this every week, but I have completely given up on the media. It’s comical… they actually have no idea why no one trusts them anymore. While they were glamorizing and legitimizing a mass murdering slave state, they were simultaneously vilifying MIKE PENCE. Look, I get that their opposition to Trump has made it to where they’d prop up anyone opposed to him, but this is getting out of control.

Far be it for the media to report the truth, but this is the reality. Those red-clad cheerleaders are probably the most tragic sight at the Olympics. Make no mistake, those are human slaves. Do you think they have a choice to be there? What do you think happens to their families if they make a mistake or, God forbid, run away? They’d be put to death, and every media outlet turning the Kim family into the Kardashians knows it.

And this new Kim 2.0? She’s number two behind her brother. She sits at the top of the North Korean Politburo. When Kim Jong Un gets sick, she fills in until his return. She’s responsible for the enslavement, torture, and murder of thousands upon thousands. And probably the most ridiculous thing about the media’s grotesque fawning is that her primary job - as head of North Korean State propaganda - is to put on these shows specifically to deceive the press! Is the media that gullible, that stupid, or that eager to support literally ANYONE that defies Trump?

Imagine being Otto Warmbier’s mom and dad, flipping through the channels this weekend and having to deal with this media coverage. This is grotesque and sick. So, to the media, thank you for giving us one more reason not to trust you. Thank you for showing us who you are and what you stand for. I’m done with you.

What $1.5 trillion is going to buy us

Are the bridges and roads in your town climate-change proof?

Today, President Trump is expected to unveil the $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan that he talked about often on the campaign trail and highlighted in his State of the Union address.

The extensive repair list has apparently been prioritized and the bill tallied. Cracked bridges? Check. Crumbling roads? Check. Rusted railways? Check. Climate-change threat assessment? Oops – I knew we were forgetting something.

The federal government does not have $1.5 trillion to pay for infrastructure improvements, but according to The New York Times, that is the very least of the concern here. In their alarming story over the weekend, non-specific “engineers and researchers” say Trump’s plan is probably not taking into account that many parts of the country are “increasingly vulnerable to rising waters and other threats from a warming planet.”

Clearly, we’re just days away from having to grow gills like Kevin Costner in Waterworld, because all land is about to disappear and those science-haters in the White House aren’t factoring this into their infrastructure plan. Couldn’t they at least budget for floaties and snorkels for America’s women and children? The humanity!

According to the Times story, questioning the risk that America faces from global warming and rolling back climate change regulations is one of the Trump administration’s “defining regulatory principles.”

The climate-change crowd is beside themselves with grief that their alarm is not front and center in the government’s infrastructure planning. They say if we don’t consider now how global warming and climate changing will destroy our bridges, and roads, and drown our airports, then it will cost the country way more money in the future. That’s certainly a new strategy in promoting climate change – as the fiscally responsible thing to do.

So, the Left is concerned about how much something is going to cost the government in the future? That’s a new one too.

The climate-changers shouldn’t lose too much sleep over this one. The way parties and politicians have been switching sides lately, they’ll probably just end up dumping all of that $1.5 trillion into climate change research.

Further proof the internet has made us dumber

Dachau concentration camp in Germany is a place overrun with misery and despair.

It was established by the Nazi government in 1933 as one of the first concentration camps.

At Dachau, many medical experiments were tested on the prisoners.

Here the Nazis’ froze people to determine how to treat hypothermia. They used them to test their attempts at making seawater safe to drink. They intentionally inflicted people with contagious diseases like malaria and typhoid fever to test how they could treat them.

At least 28,000 prisoners died horrific deaths at Dachau.

Vice President Mike Pence and his family visited the concentration camp last year.

When the photos of this event were posted, the Pence family all appear overcome with sadness. How could they not be?

If you’ve ever been to a Nazi death camp, that is the only way you know how to feel.

But recently, their photo has turned into an internet meme of sorts—with people mocking the Pence’s for looking grim. They are trying to make a game out of the photo. ‘On a level of 1 to the Pence family, how sad are you?’

What can someone possibly gain from tastelessly commenting on the Pence family? A few chuckles from a stranger in their basement? A few retweets by like-minded idiots?

I’m really not sure if the internet has made us smarter or dumber.

There’s a bigger lesson here. Just because you can post it, doesn’t mean you should.

MORE 3 THINGS

Remember when cartoons were happy things? Each panel took you on a tiny journey, carrying you to an unexplored place. In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud writes:

The comics creator asks us to join in a silent dance of the seen and the unseen. The visible and the invisible. This dance is unique to comics. No other artform gives so much to its audience while asking so much from them as well. This is why I think it's a mistake to see comics as a mere hybrid of the graphic arts and prose fiction. What happens between . . . panels is a kind of magic only comics can create.

When that magic is manipulated or politicized, it often devolves the artform into a baseless thing. Yesterday, Occupy Wall Street published the perfect example of low-brow deviation of the artform: A six-panel approach at satire, which imitates the instructions-panel found in the netted cubbyhole behind seats on airplanes. The cartoon is a critique of the recent news about immigrant children being separated from their parents after crossing the border. It is a step-by-step guide to murdering US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents.

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The first panel shows a man shoving an infant into a cage meant for Pomeranians. The following five panels feature instructions, and include pictures of a cartoonish murder.

The panels read as follows:

  1. If an ICE agent tries to take your child at the border, don't panic.
  2. Pull your child away as quickly as possibly by force.
  3. Gently tell your child to close his/her eyes and ears so they won't witness what you are about to do.
  4. Grab the ICE agent from behind and push your knife into his chest with an upward thrust, causing the agent's sternum to break.
  5. Reach into his chest and pull out his still beating heart.
  6. Hold his bloody heart out for all other agents to see, and tell them that the same fate awaits them if they f--- with your child again.

Violent comics are nothing new. But most of the time, they remain in the realms of invented worlds — in other words, not in our own, with reference to actual people, let alone federal agents.

The mainstream media made a game of crying racism with every cartoon depiction of Obama during his presidency, as well as during his tenure as Senator, when the New Yorker, of all things, faced scrutiny for depicting him in "Muslim clothing." Life was a minefield for political cartoonists during the Obama era.

Chris Hondros/Getty Images

This year, we saw the leftist outrage regarding The Simpsons character Apu — a cartoon representation of a highly-respected, though cartoonishly-depicted, character on a cartoon show composed of cartoonishly-depicted characters.

We all remember Charlie Hebdo, which, like many outlets that have used cartoon satire to criticize Islam, faced the wrath and ire of people unable to see even the tamest representation of the prophet, Muhammad.

Interesting, isn't it? Occupy Wall Street publishes a cartoon that advocates murdering federal agents, and critics are told to lighten up. Meanwhile, the merest depiction of Muhammad has resulted in riots throughout the world, murder and terror on an unprecedented scale.

The intersection of Islam and comics is complex enough to have its own three-hour show, so we'll leave it at that, for now. Although, it is worth mentioning the commentary by satirical website The Onion, which featured a highly offensive cartoon of all the major religious figures except Muhammad. It noted:

Following the publication of the image above, in which the most cherished figures from multiple religious faiths were depicted engaging in a lascivious sex act of considerable depravity, no one was murdered, beaten, or had their lives threatened.

Of course, Occupy Wall Street is free to publish any cartoon they like. Freedom of speech, and so on—although there have been several instances in which violent cartoons were ruled to have violated the "yelling fire in a crowded theater" limitation of the First Amendment.

Posting it to Twitter is another issue — this is surely in violation of Twitter's violent content policy, but something tells me nothing will come of it. It's a funny world, isn't it? A screenshot of a receipt from Chick-fil-A causes outrage but a cartoon advocating murder gets crickets.

RELATED: Twitter mob goes ballistic over Father's Day photo of Caitlyn Jenner. Who cares?

In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud concludes that, "Today the possibilities for comics are — as they've always been — endless. Comics offers . . . range and versatility, with all the potential imagery of film and painting plus the intimacy of the written word. And all that's needed is the desire to be heard, the will to learn, and the ability to see."

Smile, and keep moving forward.

Crude and awful as the Occupy Wall Street comic is, the best thing we can do is nod and look elsewhere for the art that will open our eyes. Let the lunatics draw what they want, let them stew in their own flawed double standards. Otherwise, we're as shallow and empty as they are, and nothing good comes of that. Smile, and keep moving forward.

Things are getting better. Show the world how to hear, how to learn, how to see.

People should start listening to Nikki Haley

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images

Okay. Let's take a vote. You know, an objective, quantifiable count. How many resolutions has the UN Human Rights Council adopted condemning dictatorships? Easy. Well. How do you define "dictatorship"?

Well, one metric is the UN Human Rights Council Condemnation. How many have the United Nations issued to China, with a body count higher than a professional Call of Duty player?

Zero.

How about Venezuela, where socialism is devouring its own in the cruelest, most unsettling ways imaginable?

Zero.

And Russia, home of unsettling cruelty and rampant censorship, murder and (actual) homophobia?

Zero.

Iraq? Zero. Turkey? Iraq? Zero. Cuba? Zero. Pakistan? Zero.

RELATED: Nikki Haley just dropped some serious verbal bombs on Russia at the UN

According to UN Human Rights Council Condemnations, 2006-2016, none of these nations is as dangerous as we'd imagined. Or, rather, none of them faced a single condemnation. Meanwhile, one country in particular has faced unbelievable scrutiny and fury — you'll never guess which country.

No, it's not Somalia. It's Israel. With 68 UN Human Rights Council Condemnations! In fact, the number of total United Nations condemnations against Israel outnumbers the total of condemnations against all other countries combined. The only country that comes close is Syria, with 15.

The Trump administration withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday in protest of what it perceives as an entrenched bias against Israel and a willingness to allow notorious human rights abusers as members.

In an address to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, Nikki Haley said:

Let's remember that the Hamas terrorist organization has been inciting violence for years, long before the United States decided to move our embassy. This is what is endangering the people of Gaza. Make no mistake, Hamas is pleased with the results from yesterday... No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has.

Maybe people should start listening to Haley. Hopefully, they will. Not likely, but there's no crime in remaining hopeful.

Here's a question unique to our times: "Should I tell my father 'Happy Father's Day,' even though he (she?) is now one of my mothers?"

Father's Day was four days ago, yes, but this story is just weird enough to report on. One enjoyable line to read was this gem from Hollywood Gossip: "Cait is a woman and a transgender icon, but she is also and will always be the father of her six children."

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Imagine reading that to someone ten — even five — years ago. And, honestly, there's something nice about it. But the strangeness of its having ever been written overpowers any emotional impact it might bring.

"So lucky to have you," wrote Kylie Jenner, in the Instagram caption under pre-transition pictures of Bruce Jenner.

Look. I risk sounding like a tabloid by mere dint of having even mentioned this story, but the important element is the cultural sway that's occurring. The original story was that a band of disgruntled Twitter users got outraged about the supposed "transphobic" remarks by Jenner's daughter.

But, what we should be saying is, "who the hell cares?" Who cares what one Jenner says to another — and more importantly and on a far deeper level — who cares what some anonymous Twitter user has to say?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob? Because, at the moment, they've got it pretty good. They have a nifty relationship with the mainstream media: One or two Twitter users get outraged by any given thing — in this case Jenner and supposed transphobia. In return, the mainstream media use the Twitter comment as a source.

Then, a larger Twitter audience points to the article itself as proof that there's some kind of systemic justice at play. It's a closed-market currency, where the negative feedback loop of proof and evidence is composed of faulty accusations. Isn't it a hell of a time to be alive?

These days, when Americans decide to be outraged about something, we really go all out.

This week's outrage is, of course, the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy toward illegal immigration along the southern border. Specifically, people are upset over the part of the policy that separates children from their parents when the parents get arrested.

RELATED: Where were Rachel Maddow's tears for immigrant children in 2014?

Lost in all the outrage is that the President is being proactive about border security and is simply enforcing the law. Yes, we need to figure out a less clumsy, more compassionate way of enforcing the law, but children are not being flung into dungeons and fed maggots as the media would have you believe.

But having calm, reasonable debates about these things isn't the way it's done anymore. You have to make strong, sweeping announcements so the world knows how righteous your indignation is.

That's why yesterday, the governors of Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and Connecticut declared they are withholding or recalling their National Guard troops from the U.S.-Mexico border until this policy of separating children from their parents is rescinded.

Adding to the media stunt nature of this entire "crisis," it turns out this defiant announcement from these five governors is mostly symbolic. Because two months ago, when President Trump called for 4,000 additional National Guard troops to help patrol the border, large numbers of troops were not requested from those five states. In fact, no troops were requested at all from Rhode Island. But that didn't stop Rhode Island's Democratic governor, Gina Raimondo, from announcing she would refuse to send troops if she were asked. She called the family separation policy, "immoral, unjust and un-American."

There's so much outrage, we're running short on adjectives.

The governors of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York all used the word "inhumane" in their statements condemning the Trump administration policy. There's so much outrage, we're running short on adjectives.

In a totally unrelated coincidence, four of these five governors are running for re-election this year.

I've made my position clear — separating these children from their parents is a bad policy and we need to stop. We need to treat these immigrants with the kind of compassion we'd want for our own children. And I said the same thing in 2014 when no one cared about the border crisis.

If consistency could replace even just a sliver of the outrage in America, we would all be a lot better off.