Thursday, May 01, 2008

Now Will Ben Stein Shut Up?

Polygamy Cult Apologist Cries Out For The Kids, Who Really Don't Need His Help

During his bizarre commentary on "Sunday Morning" on CBS, Ben Stein lashed out at the state of Texas for being all mean and judgmental to the families of the polygamy cult whose kids are now in foster care while the state investigates allegations of abuse.
Stein's bought into the FLDS cult's PR spin hook, line and sinker, to the point that he said Texas was guilty of "Gestapo tactics, pure and simple."
A lousy analogy, to be sure, and as a Jew, one Stein should be more careful throwing around. On Sunday, he bleated:

Why are they being dealt the most drastic punishment imaginable, separation from their mothers and fathers without any reason? The State of Texas has not found one single crime against these children yet. Even if they do find one or two, how can that be as reason for taking dozens, maybe hundreds of children away from their mothers?

The kids here are the victims not of cruelty from their parents but of the incredible cruelty and incompetence from the state of Texas. Look, if there's any evidence of cruelty by these families to these kids, where is it?

Maybe Stein can come back with another commentary, after reading today's Houston Chronicle, which recounts a hearing that revealed that dozens of the FLDS children have had broken bones, and that there are disturbing allegations of sexual abuse of boys.
And this item from the Austin American-Statesman, which reveals that of the 53 girls identified as being ages 14-17, more than 30 are pregnant, or have given birth. In Texas, girls under 17 cannot legally consent to have sex.
Sounds pretty criminal, huh Ben?

Stein was on much safer ground the week before, when he talked about how abandoned pets are also victims of the mortgage meltdown. He advocated tax breaks for people who adopt dogs or cats from shelters. Turns out, he feels the same way about Fido and Fluffy as he does the FLDS kids.
"Not one of them is guilty of anything bad. They're all innocent."
Unfortunately, Stein may no longer be in a position to say the same thing about the FLDS cult. Maybe he can come back with another commentary and explain that away.

1 comment:

ripplevac said...

I also worked in the Newspaper Industry and observed it for 26 years,(1981 through 2005). My core observation is that it has gone from, "If your Mother tells you that she loves you, check it out!", to, any government source will do. We're in Iraq because the press didn't do its job and insist on verifyable evidence.

This FLDS thing is very similar. XRays of you and I would likely show old untreated stress fractures in several of our toes and likely our fingers and wrists as well. I've only stubbed a toe perhaps several dozen times, fallen out of trees, been slammed around in sports, etc. It's likely that some of my 5 children have old fractures, particulary the skateboarder.

All the information about the FLDS children "fractures" (note that there is no CPS definition of what defines a fracture) has come from CPS which will be the target of lawsuits if many assumptions turn out wrong. In politics this would be called pre-emptive spin.

My feelings about the underage marriages are no different than the average public. However, I don't think that separating mothers and children can be justified in any way since neither would be held legally culpable.

The law will deal with the men, where the charges can be proven, as it should.

Ben Stein is correct that what was done to the children and mothers is state abuse of power. In the end, the cost and publicity to the State of Texas won't be worth it. The stain of what happened will remain, much like WACO while the FLDS will survive.

In the plant kingdom, it's the redwoods that stand the tallest, and the most likely plants to survive are those interconnected by underground root systems. These plants tend to come back after attempts to eradicate them. The FLDS are like that, many parts interconnected in a single unit. It’s exactly what causes the attacks - the increasing unified political power next to frightened city that resents it.

I suspect that Ben is smarter than both of us, put together, and his understanding takes in both the trampled guarantees of our US Constitution and the historical perspective of his own ethnic group.

I’m rather impressed with Ben. He should have been a journalist.