Archive for Media

2/28/2017: Fake News, Fake Reality, Trying to be ‘Nice’

IBD: Sorry, Bush Is Wrong — The Media Aren’t Doing Their Job – “President George W. Bush has issued a full-throated defense of the media’s role in modern society. He’s being way too generous.”

While we deeply admire the former president for not holding a grudge, the media spent much of Bush’s eight years in office actively lying about what he was doing and what he was trying to do.

The Obama administration had scandal after scandal — Operation Fast and Furious, the IRS going after conservative groups, wire tapping of media, outright lies about what transpired at Benghazi, the Department of Justice seizing media emails and phone records, the National Security Agency’s apparent illegal spying on Americans, the list goes on.

But the “independent” media stayed mum. Instead, they behaved more like bought-and-paid-for courtiers or sycophantic lickspittles, despite Obama’s open contempt for them.

The media need to take a long look in the mirror and address their extreme ideological bias. If not, the media have no one to blame but themselves for being treated as what they are — political partisans with an ideological agenda.

Ed Morrissey has a view more focused on the victim: Bush: A free press is “indispensable to democracy” – “Did former president George W. Bush use a book-plugging appearance on NBC’s Today show to take shots at Donald Trump? Perhaps, but if so, he took a much more clear shot at the president in between the two of them.”

It’s no secret that the Bushes were not fans of Trump, and vice versa. However, Bush clearly tried to avoid being seen as directly criticizing Trump, and even scolded Lauer a bit over the rush to judgment on “healing” after only a month. It’s not exactly a shocking statement to herald a free press as indispensable to a democracy; it’s absolutely true, but also a cliché, especially in the framework of Lauer’s question, and so is the line about immigration policy. Like much of what we see in the media coverage of this administration, it’s a triumph of sound bites over context.

The book is Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors by George W. Bush.

Scott McKay asks Did Democrats Aid and Abet Terrorists Seeking American Secrets? – “Since Donald Trump took office there has been ubiquitous media coverage of what can most properly be termed crap.”

It’s not so surprising those outlets spend time on contrivances. Without The Russians! and those vaporous Trump abuses calling forth the echoes of Hitler and his brownshirts, airtime and column space might have to be devoted to other stories which would be less useful to the various narratives being concocted in New York and Washington editorial conference rooms.

One such inconvenient story is that of the Awan brothers.

Do Carlos Slim and Jeff Bezos, one might ask, really believe they can’t sell papers with such a story to tell?

And then one might conclude Trump is well within his rights to treat these people as enemy propagandists, because to have buried such a profoundly disturbing story sure looks like a mockery of the public’s trust.

Ed Morrissey picks up on another example: Spicer: Special prosecutor? For what? Update: Issa backpedals – “When ABC’s Jon Karl asks about appointing an independent investigator into rumors of connections and coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence, Spicer reminds everyone that the FBI has been probing this for months already, under two different administrations, and have found bupkis so far.”

“A special prosecutor for what? We have now for six months seen story after story about unnamed sources saying the same thing over and over again and nothing’s come of it,” Spicer said. “At what point, you have to ask yourself ‘what are you investigating?’”

The sudden media interest in a special prosecutor for potential executive-branch misdeeds seems rather curious, to say the least.

we don’t need a special prosecutor unless and until we establish that the Department of Justice has been compromised in its law-enforcement role. You know … like when the Attorney General takes private meetings with the spouse of an investigation target.

Jazz Shaw: So who is leading the field in the new Party of No? – “In the era of “Resist!” there seems to be a competition to see who can oppose, obstruct and defy president Donald Trump more than everyone else.”

For the folks out in the streets with their pre-printed signs and genitalia themed headgear it’s probably hard to pick a winner. Not so in the halls of Congress, however. Democratic Senators are lining up to lead this parade and one of the best measures they have in demonstrating precisely how willing they are to defeat the new president at every turn is the frequency with which they vote against the confirmation of his cabinet nominees. It should come as no surprise that the leaders in this race include some of the same people who are already being quietly discussed as possible presidential nominees in 2020.

Even Allahpundit gets in on this. Rubio: I’m not going to hold a town hall just to be heckled by liberal activists – It may not be (but then again) astro-turf or paid protesters but it is organized and scripted and ugly and without anything in mind other than destruction.

He has firsthand experience with liberal activists trying to put him on the spot this month even without having held a town hall. They’ve staked him out at a few places around Miami to confront him on camera about why he hasn’t held an event yet. He’s not wrong either about liberals cribbing from the “Indivisible” pamphlet, a protest guide “full of pointers on how to bird dog their members of Congress in the language of Capitol insiders.” The authors of the pamphlet claim it’s been downloaded more than a million times since December.

Rubio’s attitude is that a member of Congress has a duty to meet with constituents but no duty to provide them with a target for a media-friendly spectacle that’s not really about either side listening

The Rampant Incivility of the Left by Steve McCann – “Those vehemently opposed to Donald Trump are apparently incapable of voicing coherent and compelling criticism.”

The compulsion to compare, either directly or deviously, one’s political opponent to Fascists, Nazis, Hitler, or Mussolini is indicative of the so-called Progressives’ inability to present a coherent argument in support of their policies. The mindless references to the World War II period (including the 1930’s) are an affront to and a denigration of the memory of nearly 60 million people who died in the War and the countless millions who suffered and were displaced. Far too many on the left side of the political spectrum, who so glibly throw around these comparisons, apparently do not know, or do not care to acknowledge, the socialist underpinning of Nazism and its parent Fascism and do not have the slightest concept of the real-life experiences of those who were there.

It is an admission that the Left knows it cannot compete in the larger arena of ideas. They know the only means they have to accumulate power and win elections …

These are, in fact, some of the same strategies utilized by the despots of recent history in their seizure of power. If there is any group in the United States today that could be truthfully compared to the Fascists, it is the current iteration of the American Left.

On the kind of people behind the left is the ongoing saga of the floodplain camp protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. Besides a million dollar cleanup bill, there is a need for care in picking up the trash. John Sexton has pictures: Dakota Access Pipeline protesters left puppies behind at frozen camp. “When police shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp last week in accordance with a deadline established weeks earlier, protesters left behind cars, loads of trash and also a number of stranded pets. KFYR in Bismark reports on the efforts of one local rescue shelter to round up the abandoned animals.” Let the excuses continue.

Scott Johnson on Fake news: A case study about Rumana Ahmed – ““Burrowing,” as it’s commonly called, is the process through which political appointees move into career government status.”

In “Fake news, exposed.” Smith digs into the story behind Ahmed’s story … Smith finds the hidden hand of Obama fabulist Ben Rhodes behind Ahmed’s story (as well as the story of Ahmed’s former White Hourse office mate Ned Price). Please do read the whole thing.

Women In the World in association with the New York Times promptly picked up Ahmed’s story and sought to amplify it in “‘Only hijabi in the West Wing’ shares the story of her exit from the Trump White House — after just 8 days.” The Times now professes to be big into “truth,” but the “truth” is that it remains an organ dedicated to pumping out story lines and fake news on behalf of the left.

The NRA titles the video below “Truth doesn’t matter to the New York Times.” The video’s critique of the Times is that the Times is a latecomer to the cause of truth. I doubt that this critique is sufficiently harsh.

For a different view of the President, John Hinderaker picks up on Trump Unbound, At Dinner – “For a completely different view of President Trump, check out this report by Benny Johnson at Independent Journal Review, titled “Inside Trump’s Secret Dinner.”

Benny Johnson got a tip that he was going to have dinner at the BLT Steakhouse inside Washington’s Trump Hotel. So he reserved a table near where he expected Trump’s party to be and arrived early. His account includes pictures and several videos.

Benny Johnson’s report is a nice counterpoint to the anti-Trump propaganda with which we are bombarded 24/7. It is easy to understand why Trump doesn’t believe the media’s constant negativity reflects the views of most Americans.

A. Barton Hinkle says The Solutions Are Sitting Around a Campfire, Not In Congress – “Everything’s going to be more or less ok.” He is missing the pressure is putting on pushing their ideas to corrupt what he describes but it is still a ‘feel good piece’ for the day.

At the same time, it is possible to make too much of our current troubles. A little perspective is in order.

One way to regain that perspective is to spend a few minutes on HumanProgress.org, which tracks the generally meliorating conditions of human existence over the short, medium, and long term. It is filled with data showing how much better things today are than they once were: Hundreds of millions of people have climbed out of poverty. Literacy rates are rising, the gender wage gap is shrinking, child mortality is falling. Air travel is both cheaper and far less dangerous, food is more plentiful, malaria deaths have plunged, and on and on.

If your learning style is more experiential than data-driven, then you might try spending a few days with a Cub Scout pack. Few things are as likely to restore your confidence that everything is basically OK.

Eight-year-old boys don’t care if you’re an immigrant or black or white or Asian or Muslim or evangelical. They just don’t. As comic Denis Leary once put it, “Racism isn’t born, folks, it’s taught. I have a 2-year-old son. You know what he hates? Naps. End of list.”

While you’re telling that story you look around and realize none of the boys has touched an electronic device for a day and a half. They’re all running around in the woods with sticks, building forts and having swordfights. And you think, it’s not just this bunch of kids; this is going on all over the country. And it’s not just the Scouts but church groups and 4-H and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and sports teams and too many others to name. None of it created by Washington, none of it imposed by executive order. Just ordinary people, doing their part.

You look around and you realize: One of these days these kids are going to grow up and take over. And things will be just fine. Maybe even more than fine.

Economist: Wind and solar power are disrupting electricity systems – “But that’s no reason for governments to stop supporting them.” The underlying theme in this article is top down energy cost manipulation assuming that it is only via legislation that the price of energy is determined. The “free energy” myth that ignores both capital costs and lifetime issues is also present.

Normally investors like putting their money into electricity because it offers reliable returns. Yet green energy has a dirty secret. The more it is deployed, the more it lowers the price of power from any source.

Policymakers are already seeing this inconvenient truth as a reason to put the brakes on renewable energy. In parts of Europe and China, investment in renewables is slowing as subsidies are cut back. However, the solution is not less wind and solar. It is to rethink how the world prices clean energy in order to make better use of it.

First, the splurge of public subsidy, of about $800bn since 2008, has distorted the market.

Second, green power is intermittent.

Everyone is affected by a third factor: renewable energy has negligible or zero marginal running costs—because the wind and the sun are free.

In short, policymakers should be clear they have a problem and that the cause is not renewable energy, but the out-of-date system of electricity pricing. Then they should fix it.

The “out of date system of electricity pricing” is the capitalist free market modified by governmental oversight to control the monopoly fears. The fact is that individual customers have choices they can compare to the public grid and some find that other sources of energy work best for them. The ‘dirty little secret’ in ideological driven energy choices is that it cannot compete and must, therefore, be mandated by government and paid for by public funds or by extra consumer fees and costs. That is a cost that hits hardest on the poor and needy.

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2/27/2017: Fake Justice, too? Being able to see turns out to be difficult.

Robert Knight: Fake justice and the rise of a new religion – “Post-modern progressives, contrary to popular belief, are not irreligious. They worship at the altar of government power, lifting the chalice of “diversity” and eating the bread of “tolerance.”

In recent years, progressives have used the courts to establish newer classes of protected behaviors that effectively trump the explicit constitutional protection of religion. What is not written takes precedence over what is. You’ve heard of fake news? Welcome to fake justice.

The only cure for this existential threat is to assert strongly the unalienable rights granted to us by nature and nature’s God. We need to work and pray so that real justice replaces the fake variety.

Rowan Scarborough: Obama loyalists suspected of ‘sabotage’ with leak of travel ban report – “Intel report leaked to press ‘incomplete,’ open source.”

“This was not really a leak but sabotage,” the source said. “This report was commentary. This is insurrection. They all took an oath.”

The leak to The Associated Press appears to follow a pattern of suspected Obama loyalists still inside the government releasing draft documents that are immediately refuted by the White House

Andrew Malcom Opinion: The truth about Trump’s worrisome war on media – “worrisome” tells you about the bias in this opinion but otherwise Malcom has a few good points to consider.

Americans are not dumb, even if you disagree with their presidential choice. In the years B.T. (Before Trump), millions decided the Fourth Estate had become more of a fifth column to combat traditional values and fairness.

That’s dangerous because our democracy needs a healthy, honest press, now also financially troubled. The best way to restore both trust and business health is to reboot and become real journalists again, this time with a professional conscience. Because it takes two sides to keep a war going.

Lloyd Marcus provides balance asserting that Fake News Still Lyin’ About the Tea Party – “Harriet Baldwin posted on Facebook: “Pisses me off when the alt-left media likens these paid Obama/Soros/Alinsky violent protesters to the Tea Party.”

It has infuriated me the way the despicable fake news media intentionally branded the salt-of-the-earth good Americans at the rallies a bunch of redneck racists vehemently opposed to America electing its first black president. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Folks, Tea Party people are not racist. They love their country. They desire equal justice for all Americans. They do not want government dictating how to raise their kids and micromanaging their lives to achieve the Left’s absurd goal of equal outcomes.

Trump calling out fake news outlets is exhilarating.

And now, fake news media has the nerve to place the Left’s paid deranged, violent, and chaos-producing thugs on a higher moral level than the Tea Party. Heaven forbid.

Taylor Millard illustrates the inability to make critical distinctions on this issue by asserting a plattitude: Biased press is free press – “There’s this notion the only press for a presidential administration should be good press. President Donald Trump and his allies sure think that’s the case.” This misstates the President (big clue is use of “think”). “Good” implies agreeable and supportive whereas the President has been explicit in asserting that his interest is for an accurate press. There is a glimmer of realization about this:

But there’s another factor to all of this, which not everyone is talking about: the press needs to be honest about its biases.

But bias and accuracy are not the same. Bias may lead to the many retractions and obvious falsehoods in the press. It may stimulate headlines that are contradicted deep in the story. But bias is no excuse for corruption, deceit, and dishonest in a propaganda war against duly elected officials. Millard and others have a ways to go on getting this internalized and properly understood.

Even GWB is getting into this with the idea that the press holds government accountable. That gets a lot of happy press. What is missing is who holds the press accountable. The phenomena at hand right now is an irresponsible press, not an irresponsible government. The angst right now is a press squealing about somebody having the gall to think they need to be accurate and show intellectual integrity. 

Another example of denial is provided by Karl Bode: ‘Fake News’ Now Means Whatever People Want It To Mean, And Legislating It Away Is A Slippery Slope Toward Censorship – “We’ve already watched as Donald Trump and his supporters have whined endlessly that absolutely any information they don’t like should be mindlessly deposited into the “fake news” bin — without the pesky and annoying effort required to intelligently analyze each piece of data or reporting on its merits.” That looks like projection. Bode also gets into the ‘stupid public’ meme which is characteristic of the ‘attitude’ that is often cited as being one source of the problem.

The discussion about “fake news” certainly began with good intentions, with participants earnestly focused on how disinformation, shitty journalism and bullshit clickbait were filling the noggins of a growing segment of the public for whom critical thinking was already a Sisyphean endeavor. The solution for this problem was never as clean and easy as most of the conversations suggested, especially given that Americans — thanks in large part to our struggles with education quality and funding — have never been particularly adept at spotting disinformation, much less understanding how you expose, undermine and combat it at scale.

That said, it might be a good idea to make sure we’re not making things worse as we learn. And it shouldn’t require too much pesky critical thinking to realize that the efforts to combat “fake news” can be subverted to aid those trying to rip truth from its very foundation, or that letting politicians define what truth is may only expedite our Orwellian descent toward chilling legitimate expression.

The idea that it is politicians subverting the truth is also indicative as is pulling in Orwell and finding some chilling of “legitimate expression” by those politicians. The fact is that the only expressing chilling going on these days is from the organized Left outside of the political realm in academia and in paid-for riots and social media of all sorts, including the media.

E. Joseph Cossman – “Middle age is when your broad mind and narrow waist begin to change places.”

Thinking about those awards ceremonies? Marilyn Monroe – “Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.”

Mark Perry cites Warren Buffett on America’s miraculous achievements and amazing abundance, thanks to free market capitalism – “From Warren Buffett’s annual letter to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway, which was released yesterday

Above all, it’s our market system – an economic traffic cop ably directing capital, brains and labor – that has created America’s abundance.

However our wealth may be divided, the mind-boggling amounts you see around you belong almost exclusively to Americans. Foreigners, of course, own or have claims on a modest portion of our wealth. Those holdings, however, are of little importance to our national balance sheet: Our citizens own assets abroad that are roughly comparable in value.

Early Americans, we should emphasize, were neither smarter nor more hard working than those people who toiled century after century before them. But those venturesome pioneers crafted a system that unleashed human potential, and their successors built upon it.

What is worrisome is that a third or more of the population wants to destroy this legacy. Fred Wilson points out that the Buffett letter also suffers from a false political pronouncement: “Sadly one of those four pillars is at risk – “a tide of talented and ambitious immigrants.” This is political blindness at its worse as it is conflating efforts to keep terrorists out of the country and the enforcement of law with that of banning “ talented and ambitious immigrants.” That is a falsehood used to impugn the newly elected administration and it is that sort of falsehood that is one of the greatest threats to the prosperity described. – the comments to his posting do discuss this.

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2/25/2017: The hubris of reporters and their part in the insanity

Wallace, substituting for O’Reilly, interviewed Goldberg who asserted that there was no Fake News and that Trump just couldn’t tell bias from Fake News. Bias was illustrated by the contempt Wallace and Goldberg showed for the President. Bias is headlines that are contradicted deep in the story. Bias is in patterns of questionable adjectives. Fake News is publishing stories based on sources committing crimes that turn out to be fabricated or false. Think Dan Rather and the TANG stories for the epitome of Fake News. Consider the many instances where the NYT and CNN have found it necessary to issue story corrections. Wallace and Goldberg need to step back and consider their own biases and inability to distinguish bias from Fake.

Sundance explains Very Fake News – Back Story Behind Spicer Gaggle Shows CNN and NYT Constructing False Narrative… – “There has been a lot of attention paid to Sean Spicer’s decision to not invite the New York Times, CNN and Politico to a press gaggle in his office today. “

However, against the backdrop of the attempted hit job by CNN and the New York Times the Spicer decision was modest.

CNN framed a story of White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus asking the FBI to rebuke an earlier story -based on anonymous leaks- of Trump campaign contacts with Russia. According to the agenda, CNN wanted to make it look like the administration was pressuring the FBI to provide the White House political cover.

However, the truth behind the entire episode shows an entirely different story than the false narrative created by CNN.

So the entire construct by CNN of the White House (via Priebus) trying to pressure the FBI is complete nonsense. Very Fake News…. aka a false narrative.

However, perhaps more important, it’s the leaks within the FBI, to CNN which aid in the construction of the false narrative, that are now becoming more concerning to President Trump.

Don Surber: Press coverage of Trump at CPAC shows the Vanity of the Press – “I read the press accounts of The Donald at the CPAC and I must have misunderstood. They described a speech I did not witness.” Read his examples.

Trump Derangement Syndrome emerges as a public health issue by Thomas Lifson – “Mental health professionals are starting to open up in public about the mental health issues among liberals experiencing Trump Derangement Syndrome.”

TDS sufferers are inflicting their anger on others. They are thus a public health hazard. But of course, the LAT cannot openly make such a statement, and instead seeks to portray the issue as equally affecting Trump supporters: …

Ahem, the anger and aggression are one-sided, coming from the TDS sufferers.

Worst of all, mental health professionals are beginning to corrupt their profession owing to shared feelings with the TDS crowd

There are so many absurd fantasies about Trump that are widespread among liberals – that he is antisemitic (with a beloved daughter who is Jewish!), that he is Putin’s puppet (yeah, right – that’s why he is encouraging fracking that would devastate Russia’s heavy reliance on oil prices being high), and that he is somehow authoritarian (by wanting to reduce the power of the unelected bureaucrats to makes laws).

It is time for the wider community to counsel TDS sufferers that they are ill, but that they can receive help. Counseling, disengagment from politics, and if all else fails, medication.

Limbaugh answered a caller’s question about the uncivil behavior in the news by mentioning that “anger and aggression” as hate that drives the Left. With hatred paramount, other considerations for civil society fade and the result is the sort of destructive behavior being seen from the Left.

Paul Mirengoff: Law profs file frivolous bar complaint against Kellyanne Conway – “I hope someone is cataloging all of the low tactics employed by the left to impair the Trump administration. Such a catalog will be useful the next time a Democratic president takes office. … But many of the tactics will have to be rejected as too idiotic. Filing a bar complaint is one of them.”

Via Glen Reynolds: Walter Russell Mead harshes the narrative: Trump isn’t sounding like a Russian mole: Trump’s core global strategy is intended to destroy any illusions in Moscow that Russia is a peer competitor of Washington’s. – “So blind does hatred make them that they cannot understand how their own behavior is driving American public opinion in directions that bode ill for liberals in the future.”

Sara Zaske: Teaching Children to Play With Fire – “Mr. Karawahn’s workshops aim to prevent tragedies caused by children playing with fire in secret.” This, perhaps, is something for those physicians who are obsessed about guns and insist on intruding into patient’s lifestyles on the topic. A safe lifestyle is more likely had with proper training and parenting and neither of these are in the physician’s scope.

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2/24/2017: That Propaganda Machine of the Left

 

Valerie Richardson: Hundreds of scientists urge Trump to withdraw from U.N. climate-change agency – “MIT’s Richard Lindzen says policies cause economic harm with ‘no environmental benefits’

“Observations since the UNFCCC was written 25 years ago show that warming from increased atmospheric CO2 will be benign — much less than initial model predictions,” says the petition.

“Restricting access to fossil fuels has very negative effects upon the wellbeing of people around the world,” he says in his letter.

“It condemns over 4 billion people in still underdeveloped countries to continued poverty.”

Jonah Goldberg doesn’t quite get it, yet. He thinks The Press Is Not the Enemy – “But it’s not objective, either.” You can tell because he shines on enlightenment that doesn’t fit his view and does not realize that a propaganda campaign is a primary indicator that one is dealing with an enemy. It seems he thinks the President needs to stay above the fray but recent experience has shown that taking that approach spells doom for a Republican.

Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, had an unfortunate turn of phrase the other day. She said it’s the mission of the press to “control exactly what people think.”

But the misstatement resonated with a lot of people, as did Trump’s claim that the press is an enemy of the people.

It was a grossly irresponsible thing for the chief constitutional officer of our government to say. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a point or that people are crazy for seeing it.

it seems patently obvious that the “objective” press is in the business of subjectively shaping attitudes rather than simply reporting facts.

The media play these kinds of linguistic games all the time. Economics professor Tim Groseclose walks readers through countless examples in his book Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind.

The language games are part of a larger tendency of journalists to follow certain scripts that conform to how coastal elites see the country.

Kelly Riddell: Playing the xenophobic card – “The press and Trump’s critics rekindle a narrative of anti-Semitism.” It’s a story of the media and their narrative and their persistence in trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

Last week, The New York Times detailed President Donald Trump’s press conference, and wrote: “A Jewish reporter got to ask Trump a question, it didn’t go well.” … CNN, also aghast, had a headline … The Washington Post, also clearly upset … Yet, Mr. Turx wasn’t insulted — heck, he actually understood Mr. Trump’s point of view.

When a reporter asked the president if he felt his administration was “playing with xenophobia and maybe racist tones,” contributing to the surge of anti-Semitic acts, Mr. Netanyahu was quick to step in and defend.

But he doesn’t know the American press. When they sense they have an opportunity to paint Mr. Trump as a fear-mongering racist and xenophobe, they’ll pound that narrative home.

On Tuesday, Mr. Trump dealt with the issue head-on.

Still, it wasn’t good enough.

That afternoon White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was asked six times about Mr. Trump’s remarks.

Of course, Mr. Spicer’s answers weren’t good enough — they were never going to be good enough.

Mr. Goldstein took the entire exchange out of context. But he wasn’t done there. Asked why he thought all of these anti-Semitic attacks were happening, he had a simple answer: “Because our president is creating an incubator of hatred.”

Will not accept reality and then wonder why they get lambasted for Fake News and polls show them as more despicable than Congress?

If you want to know who Tucker Carlson is, Mckay Coppins has an answer: The Bow-Tied Bard of Populism – “Tucker Carlson’s latest reinvention is guided by a simple principle—a staunch aversion to whatever his right-minded neighbors believe.”

When I ask him why he was so infuriated by Duca, he thinks about it for a moment.

Finally, he answers, “It was the unreasonableness … It’s this assumption—and it’s held by a lot of people I live around—that you’re on God’s side, everyone else is an infidel, and by calling them names you’re doing the Lord’s work. I just don’t think that’s admirable, and I’m not impressed by that.”

Fair or not, this is the essence of Carlson’s case against the educated elites and well-heeled technocrats that comprise America’s ruling class (not to mention his neighborhood). They are too certain of their own righteousness, too dismissive of dissenters, too unwilling to entertain new ideas.

Notice that the header asserts “aversion to whatever his right-minded neighbors believe” while the reality is that the aversion is to a behavior pattern, not the people or their beliefs. In this, Coppins makes his own significant error that is common in the Left that tends to personalize everything. 

i.e. intellectual integrity matters.

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2/21/2017: Cultural Marxism and the Demolition Derby

Cal Thomas: Donald Trump’s demolition derby – “The president collides with the media and the public cheers.”

When CNN’s Jim Acosta addressed the president at last Thursday’s raucous news conference, he accused Mr. Trump of damaging the First Amendment by his frequent questioning of the media’s fairness. It is actually the other way around.

Some reporters believe they have an obligation to hold leaders accountable, and they are right to a point, but they don’t appear to believe anyone should hold them accountable.

Mr. Trump is an unconventional president dealing with conventional media. They don’t get it. He does.

Few people would deny the right or even the obligation of journalists to be skeptical, but, in too many instances, skepticism has become cynicism. Just think of how the media characterizes all things conservative.

The media are like the second choice and as ratings and subscriptions sadly show, people are walking their business out the door. I seriously doubt the newspaper campaign will attract new customers. Virtuous people and noble professions usually don’t have to convince others of their virtue and nobility. It is obvious. With much of the media represented at White House press conferences, virtue and nobility are in short supply.

Conrad Black: A Purblind Press, Unable To Admit Error, Boycotts the President

That leaves the press, and the president’s elevation of his counterattacks on the “failing” New York Times, CBS, ABC, NBC, and CNN as “enemies of the people.” Provided that what is meant is that those outlets have been so slanted and malicious that they have misled the declining section of the country that takes them seriously and that this is inimical to the country’s democratic desire for an informed electorate, it is a justified statement.

The Democrats’ fears, though not their tactics, are justified; the press’s unprofessional and dishonest calumnies are not. The press should revisit its boycott of the president and contemplate their own shortcomings. It is they, and not he, who threatens a free press. Mr. Trump, and the country, will win.

The Mainstream Media Have Forfeited All Respect by Steve McCann – “Over the past half-century, the mainstream media in the United States have evolved into interloculars for and the Praetorian Guard of the Ruling Class.”

Beyond the boundaries of the Washington-New York axis, a significant majority of the people are fully cognizant that a leviathan encompassing the entertainment complex, the education establishment and the Democratic Party, has successfully inculcated a plurality of the American people into believing there are no moral absolutes and that the state can grant any rights it so chooses to whomever they choose. Further, the nation’s founding documents are arcane, racially insensitive, and unsuitable for today. Thus, religious liberty, property rights and freedom of speech are under aggressive assault. The mainstream media have chosen sides and their reporting reflects their alliance with this leviathan, … There is virtually no balance in media coverage and to the average citizen there is no doubt that the media has an agenda.

Reporting? Liberal Media Have Much More in Mind Than That by Joe Schaeffer – “The issue, however, has nothing to do with that. It’s that these organizations are openly asserting a right to define, control and impose their world-view on us. That’s the real problem.”

To start, they are defining what is and isn’t offensive in America today, claiming they can make those designations even while admitting they don’t have all the facts, and that you, the reader, deserve to lose your job if you fall outside of the rigid box they construct. There are numerous recent examples.

These media elites are openly ascribing to themselves the right to define and control the information you receive and even the personal judgments you make after absorbing that information.

This is the same media complex that dares to assert that Trump is pushing an oppressive totalitarianism by moving to enact the campaign promises he made to the electoral majority of the American people.

In case you wondered, this is what the term “Cultural Marxism” looks like in real life.

Charlie Martin: ‘Trump Trance’? Media Sure It ‘Heard’ Sweden Comment Trump Never Said – “The furor about the Trump presidency has gotten to the point that people are literally (and I don’t mean figuratively literally, I mean literally literally) seeing and hearing things that aren’t there.”

It’s easy to dismiss this as another example of “fake news,” the phrase that went from novel to cliché in about 22 minutes, but that’s not what happened here. This was an entirely different phenomenon: people’s perceptions are actually being altered, first by their attitudes toward Trump, and then by the reinforcement from various outlets that share their attitudes toward Trump.

The media is in a trance. They are concentrating on seeing “Trump the idiot” or “Trump the liar,” and no one sees the dancing bear. Anyone concerned with understanding what’s actually going on needs to be aware of this.

Some – a lot – of what’s being reported is just not true. It didn’t happen.

Victor Davis Hanson: Seven Days in February – “Trumps’ critics, left and right, aim to bring about the cataclysm they predicted.”

Currently, the political and media opponents of Donald Trump are seeking to subvert his presidency in a manner unprecedented in the recent history of American politics.

The elite efforts to emasculate the president have sometimes taken on an eerie turn.

Fake news proliferates. House minority leader Nancy Pelosi and Representative Elijah Cummings recently attacked departing national-security advisor Michael Flynn by reading a supposed Flynn tweet that was a pure invention. Nor did Trump, as reported, have a serious plan to mobilize “100,000” National Guard troops to enforce deportations.

Clearly in empirical terms, nothing that Trump in his first month in office has done seems to have justified calls for violence against his person or his removal from office. What then accounts for the unprecedented venom?

Trump’s efforts to return politics to the center — enforce existing laws, complete previously approved projects, rein in government regulations and growth, recalibrate U.S. alliances to reflect current realities, unapologetically side with friends and punish enemies — were viewed as revolutionary rather than as a return to conventionality

ending Trump one way or another is apparently the tortured pathway his critics are taking to exit their self-created labyrinth of irrelevance.

Robichaud: Election of outsider Trump rankles federal bureaucrats – “War has been declared on President Trump. It’s actually a war against those of us who work for a living, pay taxes, don’t collect a government handout, pay for our own health insurance and don’t have lobbyists on the payroll.”

Since the November election, it has been a nonstop barrage of hate from the Democrats and the mainstream media … At first, you probably thought the crybaby routine was due to them being sore losers, but that’s not the case. The main reason is that we elected an outsider with a mandate to drain the swamp.

George Neumayr: Who Will Hold the IRS Accountable? – “Congress needs to get to the bottom of Obama-era harassment of non-profit groups.”

In the bubble of Washington, pols strain at the gnat and swallow the camel. They chase after media-driven pseudo-scandals while letting real scandals linger.

Americans don’t toss and turn at night over fears of a hazy network of Russian hackers. But they do fear letters from the IRS.

Obama left office claiming that his administration had been “scandal-free,” a whopper blatantly refuted by the politicization of the IRS on his watch. If Congress fails to ventilate the IRS scandal sufficiently, Obama’s embeds at the IRS will continue to harass conservative groups. A lazy and biased media has pushed the propagandistic line that the scandal was overblown and is now ancient news. It isn’t.

Under the framework of the founders, the people are masters, not servants, and the IRS holds no bondage on their freedoms.

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2/19/2017: Unhinged. Trumpian Thoughtcrimes, Imaginary News

John Hinderaker: McCain Drives Into the Ditch – “John McCain suggests on Meet the Press that President Trump is “suppressing” the free press, which is “the first thing that dictators do.”

John, John, get a grip! Who is “suppressing” the press? Do you seriously not understand the difference between criticizing the press and suppressing it? The press is not above criticism. On the contrary, it deserves to be called out constantly for bias and inaccuracy. President Trump has taken a good step in that direction, but a great deal more press criticism is in order.

Jazz Shaw: John McCain’s “dictator” talk ignores reality and his own past with the media – “We can have a debate over how much criticism should be fairly applied to cable news and the major newspapers if you like, but “suppressing the Free Press” is simply fake news.”

If you want to see actual suppression of the press you need look no further than the nation of Turkey. Over there, a nascent dictator on the rise quickly moved to engage in some actual press suppression immediately following the attempted coup last year. Rather than criticizing journalists who might have commented negatively on his policies, Turkey’s president simply shut down all of the media outlets aside from those sanctioned and controlled by the state. He upped the ante from there by not only putting hundreds of journalists on the unemployment line, but tossing a significant number of them in his dungeons just for good measure.

That, my friends, is what actual media suppression looks like. What’s taking place in the White House today is push back and criticism of American journalists. They are still on the air 24 hours a day and printing their newspapers, free to respond to these critiques and they have been doing so since the moment Trump began speaking in Florida yesterday.

Neo-neocon: The courts rule on Trump’s intent and the “Muslim ban” – “The EO does exactly what it says it does, and the court should not be guessing at whether there is some sort of Trumpian thoughtcrime behind it.”

Those who say that of course Trump’s EO on immigration was meant to be a ban on Muslims are relying on Trump’s long-ago campaign statements as well as a more recent remark of his and some recent comments by advisor Rudy Giuliani. As an example of this type of reasoning, see this article by law professor Ilya Somin, quoting Brown University Professor Corey Brettschneider (writing here)

Here is a direct quote from Giuliani during that interview:

“We focused on, instead of religion: danger, the areas of the world that create danger for us. Which is a factual basis, not a religious basis. Perfectly legal, perfectly sensible, and that’s what the ban is based on. It’s not based on religion, it’s based on places where there are [sic] substantial evidence that people are sending terrorists into our country.”

I don’t know how Giuliani could have been more clear. Giuliani explicitly says what “it” means: the goal of banning the entry of people from places where terrorists come from and will be coming from (places which, by the way, had already been identified by Obama as such). But Somin calls the EO a “case of discriminatory motives hiding behind a vener [sic] of neutrality…an attempt to target Muslims without saying so explicitly.”

Their argument, such as it is, rests on believing the worst of Trump (and Giuliani) without proof, claiming Giuliani is flat-out lying here—and not even giving their readers the benefit of the full quotes, so the readers can decide for themselves. They are certainly free to think that, but as a logical argument it leaves a great deal to be desired.

Scott Adams: Imaginary News – “I think we can all agree that there has been plenty of fake news coming from both sides.” A logical fallacy is not a good way to start in trying to explain hallucinations.

The Huffington Post is literally seeing something that is invisible to me and other observers. We see a President Trump talking the way he normally talks. They see a 77-minute meltdown.

So how can we know who is hallucinating in this case? The best way to tell is by looking for the trigger for cognitive dissonance. In this case, the trigger is clear. Trump’s unexpected win forced the Huffington Post to rewrite their mental movies from one in which they were extra-clever writers to one in which they were the dumbest political observers in the entire solar system.

The key is objective observation of behavior. From “banning Muslims” to Presidential meltdowns and other such things there are many examples of stretching reality to fit fantasy. Whether it is disciplining children or leading a large organization, being able to match perceptions to reality and making sure that it is real, observable behavior and that distinct and clear standards are used to determine measurement is a key to success. 

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2/17/2017: Media Bulls v Matador Trump

David Prentice: The Left’s Once Mighty Echo Chamber Is Losing Power – “They don’t see how they have driven themselves over the edge of reason and can no longer convince others.”

Just because the Democrat/media complex is in full, swashbuckling, we’ve-stormed the castle, we’re-going-to-impeach him-mode is no reason to panic. … The left is blowing its own opportunity by hyper-exaggerating their case.

There are several reasons the left’s capacity to take out Trump will not work. The first has been mentioned: The echo chamber is out of gas, its hyperbole is way beyond believable, and their petulance and anger is obvious. Like in the Wizard of Oz, they don’t realize Toto has torn the curtain away, and we’re seeing who is behind that curtain.

The second reason: The Trump team is implementing its agenda one step at a time. The administration is actually doing what they promised they would during the campaign.

The third reason: The Trump voter is still engaged. Not only are they engaged, they are doubly thrilled that he isn’t backing down to these people.

A look at popularity polls indicates that Trump suffers in comparisons to other Presidents due solely to the hatred of Democrats en masse. The only area where Democrats get up to the normal beyond 30% acceptance is in agreeing that Trump is keeping his campaign promises. The sub 10% acceptance in everything else polled is extraordinary and dangerously partisan.

A must read from VDH: The Deplorables Shout Back – “The full lessons of the 2016 election are still being digested (or indeed amplified), but one constant is emerging that the world outside our bi-coastal dynamic, hip, and affluent culture is not very well understood by those who lead the country.”

Trump was rural America’s shout back. One way or another, he will be its last. Either Trump will fail to restore prosperity and influence to the hinterland and thus even as president go the way of a flash-in-the-pan, would-be president Ross Perot—or he will succeed and thus make a like-minded successor superfluous.

Also by VDH: “The cracks on the face of Oroville Dam remind us that we have abused and caricatured what we inherited. In penance we might do better to listen to the wisdom of the past rather than to parrot the ignorance of the present.”

Roger Simon: The Media Bulls Have Met Their Matador in Trump – “The press doesn’t just have Trump Derangement Syndrome. They now have full-blown Trump Psychosis. And like most people with serious disorders, they are teetering close to the brink of self-immolation.”

David Middleton provides a takedown on Fake News: Fukushima Edition – “Yes, the reactors were old (1960’s) technology… But it wasn’t the nuclear technology which triggered the disaster. It was a failure to anticipate anything more than a 3.1 meter tsunami.” But …

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2/13/2017: Oozing hatred: The dangerous part isn’t the deranged part.

It’s all over the news this morning. From the ACLU’s plans to litigate the government to a standstill no matter the cause or reason to the efforts to find something to ‘impeach Trump’ no matter how deep a hole needs to be dug, to the assertions about mental illness, to the community organizing to disrupt citizen meetings, and on and on. A new study has brought up the Voter Fraud issue again. It questions those who impugn and denigrate Trumps comments on the topic. Another example is illustrated in answering the question Why Was Betsy DeVos At Jefferson Middle School? [twitter source] Two pictures: one of the rioters in front of the school and another of the school noting its annual failed grade.

This is the kind of civil behavior that kills people and breaks societies. One only has to look at history over the last century or so to see where that leads.

David Prentice: The Handmaidens of Hatred – “It’s unfortunate that this has to be a discussion about hate – unfortunate because hatred is divisive, destructive, and at the very least unpleasant.”

It has never been totally gone from us, and now it is in the process of overwhelming an entire side in our political debate.

What is surprising has been the hatred, and the degree of it, from the left-leaning leaders and citizenry of our own country toward their own domestic political and social opponents. That’s we. What is hated is quite countable: Christianity. Class, wealth, and accomplishment. Conservatives. The GOP. America as founded. These all have been targets of left-wing hate. But now it’s also the average U.S. citizen who does not walk in lockstep with the left – and finally, any person, even those who lean left, who does not 100% agree with the new Inquisition.

But there is darkness hiding in the shadows for us, seen daily – darkness that should upset us all. Approximately 35% of our population have become unhinged maniacs. That’s a huge amount of our population that has accepted hatred of its fellow citizens as okay. That’s a monster waiting to rear its ugly head, a Godzilla that will destroy everything in its wake just to survive.

This is a national disaster in the making. No adult on the left will stand up and say what needs to be said.

We cannot survive with this many people on the edge of sanity. This is an ugly, and unsustainable state of affairs, one that cannot remain without grave consequence for us and our nation.

Democrats, this is your problem. Let’s see you come to the aid of your party.

Karin McQuillan says the Dems Made Their Bed with Leftists, Now They Must Lie in It – “After 8 years of exploiting and enflaming the grievances of identity politics, the Democratic Party is being eaten by the monster they rode to power.”

Something new is happening before our eyes. Radicals are completing a takeover of the Democratic Party. Sure, there’s been a lot of mockery among conservatives about hyperventilating Democrats. Pundits point out the obvious: that Democrats screaming that Trump is illegitimate deliver no positive message for working class voters who want jobs and that mobs in black masks are not appealing. Such analyses fall short.

Radicals don’t need to be a majority – they never are. They dominate through mob violence, media manipulation and threats. They are now dominating Democrat politicians, not allowing them to “normalize.”

Hinderaker may be mystified by what he persists in calling liberal behavior because he mislabels it. These Democrats are not liberal. They are radical. These people are not just stamping their feet, they are knocking Trump supporters unconscious and beating them with clubs. They are trained, organized and well financed political agitators.

The radicals are professional bullies. They believe in what they call “direct action,” that is, coercive violence. They demand no compromise. They are awash with money. They are professionally trained, ten thousand alone by Obama’s Organizing for America foundation. The radical agenda, now the Democratic Party’s agenda, is ideologically driven to destroy all normalcy in our government.

So far as I have seen, not one single Democrat has condemned the bloody attacks on Republicans.

Lloyd Marcus thinks The Left’s Campaign to ‘Bush’ Trump Will Fail – we can hope.

Even before Trump took his oath of office, the left launched their immoral, unethical, and lawless 1,460-day (four-year) plan to destroy Trump. The left intends to block Trump from implementing everything we elected him to do.

Despite leftists cautioning their side to tone down their over-the-top hysteria, the left’s rabid opposition to Trump continues to escalate to absurd levels. It’s a bright, sunny day. If Trump comments about it, the left will try to convince the public that it is raining, and Trump lied about the sun.

I submit that the Left cannot tone down their brain-dead, emotion-driven, foot-stomping temper tantrums because it is who they are. It is like the old joke: “I helped you because you promised not to bite me. Why did you bite me?” The snake replied, “I’m a snake. It’s what I do.”

Folks, the left is going to pull this crap every day for the next four years. When leftists push free speech to breaking the law and destroying public and private property,

Oh, one last point. I’ve heard concerns that the left will react violently if we resume Trump rallies. Well, I am sorry, folks, but freedom ain’t free. As a matter of fact, God has designed life in such a way that anything worth having requires backbone and risks.

Are you guys ready? Great! Let’s roll!

One story looked at a SCOTUS case on consumer fraud and conflated alternative facts with fake facts. That disqualified the story as the differences between these concepts – alternative and fake – is important. That sort of intellectual laziness and nonsense is called out by Andrew Klavan asserting that Yes, CNN IS Fake News – “This week’s World’s Smallest Violin Award goes to Fake News Network CNN — specifically to be shared between Fake Newsman Jake Tapper and Fake Newsman Chris Cuomo, both of whom took whiny umbrage at being called Fake News while purveying Fake News.”

The problem is this: CNN — like the New York Times, like the network news departments at NBC and ABC and CBS — is virtually the definition of Fake News, a phrase made up by the left to attack Trump but which blew up in their faces like a trick cigar when it turned out everyone knows what liars they’ve been for the past sixteen years at least.

This is not even a question of the almost ceaseless series of mistakes, distortions and obfuscations that our leftist news media, in their hysterical rage against political reality, have committed since the election of Donald Trump to the presidency. These errors and lies — which include cover-ups of Islamic extremism, lies about right-wing websites, and suspiciously incendiary “mistakes” about the White House — are being ably catalogued by the mighty and terrible John Nolte over at the Daily Wire.

That list at the Daily Wire is up to 76 documented episodes and counting.

For an example, consider this CNN Headline: Four Republican gripes about Obamacare analyzed listed under “Trumponomics.” Partisan complaints is the head, not the real issues involved. Those issues are a part of the article, though, and they have nothing to do with politics. Market collapse, excessive costs, care for the poor, and employment are observable problems that need bi-partisan solutions. They don’t need Fake News headlines and irrational defenses of a failed program put in place with an in-your-face partisan effort.

Bilious Maximus, M.D. has an idea for Cutting the health insurance Gordian Knot – “Most medical businesses show no mercy to the poor.” That starts the problem as the law requires service to the poor in this business yet the business has to make sufficient money to be able to stay in business. Having the government determine the price as well as requiring service levels is a recipe for disaster, a disaster that can be observed in most countries with socialized medicine. Maximus does have a strong point about inequalities (to use the current PC term) in medical service pricing but he does not address the reason for them.

This long-ingrained habit of billing exorbitant and unpublished fees is of no consequence to insured patients, or those with Medicare or Medicaid. They or their insurers all have contracts to pay only their contracted fees, which are invariably far less that what is billed.

But pity the poor uninsured patient. He or she has no contract with the provider to pay reasonable fees, but is required to sign an agreement to pay what is charged in order to obtain services.

For example, there are health fairs sponsored by local hospitals that provide a blood panel screening for about $100. The same medical business cites the price for that test as $800 on MediCare statements so the patient can understand just how great his insurance is because he didn’t pay anything. Why does this happen? A government edict isn’t going to make anything better as this situation is just one effort to find a solution to what the government has already done.

Jazz Shaw gets a two-fer: Green card holder sentenced for imaginary voter fraud in Texas – “That imaginary voter fraud problem we are consistently assured we don’t have appears to be about as persistent as a late case stage of herpes.”

In the Lone Star State authorities have uncovered that rarest of beasts, an actual conviction and sentencing of an immigrant for the crime of voting while not being a citizen. A 37-year-old green card holder has been sentenced to nearly a decade in prison for voting in the 2012 and 2014 elections. (Washington Post)

As with virtually all of these cases, reporters and their liberal supporters are quick to invoke the, “yeah, but…” defense.

Another two-fer as Colin Lahiff hits both the Flynn persecution and the intelligence agencies war on their boss as Mike Flynn, Russia, deportations and real fake news – maybe make that a three-fer with the Fake News.

Yes, you’ve got that right. Flynn spoke with the Russian ambassador, which is, and I underscore this (and CAPS for extra emphasis) PAR FOR THE COURSE. Campaigns and newly elected officials and their reps meet with foreign ambassadors often. Obama’s people did, and did so with the intent of undermining the outgoing Bush administration. Bush’s people did it when Clinton was leaving. McCain’s team did and they weren’t elected. There’s nothing that stops people from meeting with curious foreigners, and there’s no law that forbids any American from talking to those foreigners. If that American was negotiating on behalf of the United States, maybe, just very very maybe, they’re in violation of US law, but probably not, as again, talking with foreigners is not illegal. (The Logan Act suggests it is illegal to work with a foreign government to resolve their dispute with your own. However, the notion that this would survive a constitutional test, or that Flynn was collaborating against his own government, is far from proved, or even credible.)

What is illegal is leaking highly sensitive classified information about signals intelligence from spying on the Russian ambassador. And what is also illegal is for the CIA to spy on Americans. This is not a maybe, or an if, or a sorta. It is ILLEGAL.

Scott Adams explains it as Good Example of Our Two-Movie Reality – “I have been saying since Trump’s election that the world has split into two realities – or as I prefer to say, two movies on one screen – and most of us don’t realize it.”

We’re all looking at the same events and interpreting them wildly differently. That’s how cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias work. They work together to create a spontaneous hallucination that gets reinforced over time. That hallucination becomes your reality until something changes.

This phenomenon has nothing to do with natural intelligence. We like to think that the people on the other side of the political debate are dumb, under-informed, or just plain evil. That’s not the case. We’re actually experiencing different realities. I mean that literally.

Ed Morrissey pulls up a pertinent Sunday reflection: Matthew 5:17–37 – “whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

“whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.”

People complain about rules and balk at the boundaries, but they like rules a lot more than they’ll usually admit. From the time we are old enough to realize that we can transgress, we want to know where the lines are. Sometimes that’s because we want to be good and not accidentally do wrong, and at other times it’s because we want to know just how bad we can be without getting into trouble. The brighter those lines get, the more secure we feel in our own actions, and our judgment of the actions of others, but also the bolder we get in actions that fall just short of the lines.

What we miss in this reaction are the reasons for the laws, and their purpose. In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus explains to His disciples that they are missing the forest for the trees when it comes to God’s laws, which the Israelites have come to see as an end unto themselves.

Thus, Jesus warns, when we set our hearts on division and hatred, we have already rejected the law. It is not enough merely to follow the law by our actions; we need to let the Lord write them on our hearts, that spiritual core where our intellect and will combine. When we do, we enter into solidarity with one another and harmony with God, who loves us and provides the law for that purpose.

In other words, we have to act beyond our own native impulses and think of others as well as ourselves.

This is the problem of our times and Christ tells us what to do. It is how we can see the two movies on one screen and know which one is guiding us and which one should guide us.

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1/18/2017: Bullies with vitriol and where’s the Truth?

Just a few more days and the pessimist wonders what these folks will turn to, then.

The bullies at the gate ahead of the Trump inauguration – “Hollywood, liberals and the political establishment descend into panic.” By Tammy Bruce – – Wednesday, January 18, 2017

As Jan. 20 approaches, the bullies are at the gate. Hollywood, liberals and the political establishment are panicking because they have no idea what to expect when Donald Trump officially becomes the president of the United States.

What Hollywood does know is that anyone in their industry who does not conform to the standard Trump Derangement Syndrome will be bullied until they submit.

The civil war we’re experiencing is not limited to the political parties and Washington, D.C., it’s throughout a culture within which a select few have cultivated an “us vs. them” mentality in order to benefit from government largesse and the power and influence that it provides.

The bullying isn’t only about performers. The Woodmont Country Club is also getting the treatment. Jazz Shaw:

“But the mayor – one Jeffrey Slavin, who I’m just going to assume is a Democrat – seems to be milking this for all he can get out of it. Rather than simply disagreeing with his fellow golfers, he’s chosen to quit and put out a statement describing the potential decision as intolerance. It doesn’t take much ability to read between the lines to know what that means. He’s accusing the members of being racists and the press is picking up the ball and running with it.”

On that civil war thing, consider the mercenaries. Record protest crowds expected to greet Donald Trump at his inauguration – “Take President-elect Donald Trump, add the rise of the professional protest class, and you’ve got a recipe for a record-shattering inauguration protest.” By Valerie Richardson – The Washington Times – Tuesday, January 17, 2017. The professional protest class has become prominent enough to attract scammers. Hoax ads in two dozen cities offered protesters up to $2,500 to agitate at Trump inaugural – “‘Dominic Tullipso’ prompts Fox host to laugh, say ‘this is performance art’.” Meanwhile, O’Keefe drops another video (DisruptJ20 Dramatically Scales Back Plans to Sabotage Inauguration After Project Veritas Sting) …

On the climate front, there is the ying and the yang. Richard W. Rahn describes the Bias, ignorance and reality in climate science – and why “Refusal to own up to the distortions of climate science is a costly mistake.” Then Seth Borenstein illustrates what Rahn was talking about by asserting Global warming could steal postcard-perfect weather days.

Trump Gores a Sacred Cow, and Liberals Lament – “The great Broom of Time recently swept away another failed ideology and political movement.” By Daniel L. Mallock

That the reaction of the Utopian Progressive Left is based upon anger, resentment, hatred, intolerance, and pique rather than logic is not important to them; it is a point that remains always unaddressed. Every political “dirty trick” that seems obviously a sham is accepted at face value, and bitter attacks built upon these false accusations immediately begin. The dizzying speed of the reactions, the overwhelmingly standardized nature of the talking points and commonly invoked yet faulty arguments, suggests a uniformity of thought more typical of an ideological movement or cult than of reasoned, cogent advocacy for a political candidate within a democratic open society.

Roger L Simon: The Real Reason John Lewis and Company Boycott the Inauguration – “When people “act out,” it’s often because a particularly raw nerve has been touched, some basic fear triggered.”

But that’s the surface of what’s really upsetting them, what the shrinks call the “presenting complaint.” Deep down it’s something else, something far more potent.

They’re afraid Donald Trump might actually succeed.

In a world where we often talk of disruptors in business, Trump is the ultimate political disruptor.

But the wound is too severe. Even devoid of a viable ideology, they fight on tooth and nail. Power itself has always been more important than what it stands for. The battle, as is clearly evident, is far from over.

To illustrate that point, John Merline: The Washington Post Takes Anti-Trump Bias To A New Level — 

The mainstream press loves to tell readers that it can be trusted because it employs professional journalists backed by layers of editors. Oh, and they’re all unbiased.

So how to explain a recent Washington Post headline, which manages both to misrepresent its own poll and expose the ridiculous extent to which its reporters and editors will go to bash President-elect Donald Trump?

Or, there’s this by John Kass: Trump, the media and a cure for hysteria.

So how about gigantic, five-gallon jugs chock-full of Prozac, or other such antidepressants, placed in every newsroom?

Because it should be clear by now that something is needed, since much of journalism leans to the political left, and that many of the left are beyond fear and hysterics over Trump.

And so, here’s the Democratic game: Delegitimize Trump even before his term begins, use outrage and media anger toward Trump to shovel it out to America, and shame anyone who dares say otherwise, to save those 10 senators running in the pro-Trump states.

So what do you do if your voters are getting itchy? You bind them with fear and anger.

Ace provides another example citing Mollie Hemingway and the Generals Leading the Intelligence Community’s War on a Duly Elected President. “A plausible answer, it seems to me, is that the media is protecting the sources it knows damn well are the leakers.”

Regarding the Manning commutation, see Jazz Shaw on The aftermath of the disgraceful Chelsea Manning commutation – “What’s of greater interest to me is the proper level of outrage being expressed over this blatant insult to the military, the intelligence community and the citizens of the nation. The New York Post provided a fairly good roundup of some of the initial reactions last night. Speaker Ryan was one of the first out of the gate.” Even Allahpundit picks up on this: “Sean Davis extracts the lesson here: “Giving classified info to Wikileaks is good as long as it only endangers national security and not Democrat careers.”

This isn’t the only one and the release of Gitmo terrorists is just another part of this story of Obama’s thinking about terrorism and treason. Consider also the commuting of the sentence of Oscar López Rivera, a former Chicago community organizer turned FALN terrorist. Andrew C. McCarthy explains The Damage Done to America by Manning … and Obama

Third, the degree to which Obama has wielded executive power in favor of America’s enemies and against his own political opponents and scapegoats is breathtaking.

But if you are Dinesh D’Souza, a conservative Obama critic, the Justice Department inflates an administrative violation into multiple felonies and aggressively advocates (thankfully, without success) for a stiff prison sentence. If you are a tea party group gearing up to fight Obama’s re-election, here comes the IRS. If you are “anti-Muslim video producer” Nakoula Basseley Nakoula and Obama needs a scapegoat for his derelictions in Benghazi, you end up in the slammer. If you are a deep-pocketed financial institution that Obama wants to make the culprit for the government-driven financial meltdown, or to raid so the radical left’s legion of “community organizers” can be funded, prepare to pony up a 9- or 10-figure “settlement.” If you are a police department, be ready to be scandalized as a practitioner of racially malicious enforcement. If you are Israel, brace for the “international outlaw” smear.

A standard defense for the current crop of Barack Obama’s pardon and commutation binge is that it is only about folks incarcerated for inoffensive drug possession or, perhaps, the awful racist U.S. injustice system. Jazz Shaw says The clemency train is ready to pull out from the station again and cites Heather Mac Donald at National Review [who] covered this [nonviolent criminal] problem last year.

For an example of the TDS vitriol, consider Rachel and her Truth in the Age of Trump – and this from a self professed ‘conservative’:

Quite apart from the security headaches, the road closures, and the not-inconsiderable prospect of violent demonstrations the day of, or the days after the event, the prospect of it filled me with disgust. I wanted to be far away from the pleasant city that is our national capital. Donald J. Trump has repeatedly revealed himself as a lying, crooked, narcissistic ignoramus, incapable of generous thoughts or deeds, indeed, incapable of seeing beyond himself at all. The idea of that man living in Lincoln’s house is nauseating.

But he is the President, so what is one to do? More particularly, what are conservative intellectuals to do?

The most important thing is to speak the truth, indeed, to become somewhat fanatical on the subject.

Perhaps a first step towards finding truth is to examine the basis of one’s own perceptions? The nausea is a clue that there is a problem in this area. You cannot speak truth until you find it. Blinded by hatred is no way to find the pathway to truth.

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1/11/2017: Dezinformatsiya

The observations on the politicization of U.S. agencies (and everything else) continues.

Warren L. Dean Jr.: The CIA disgrace – “It’s not the agency’s place to cast doubt on the legitimacy of a U.S. election

Now they are blaming their ultimate political humiliation, the loss of the election to Donald Trump, on Vladimir Putin. There seems to be no recognition in Washington that the entire exercise looks to the rest of the world to be a callow, if not cowardly, effort to find a scapegoat for yet another domestic political failure. And that is exactly what it is.

Clifford D. May: Lost in cyberspace – “Cyberespionage is a concern, but cyberwarfare is far more serious.”

Russia’s hacking of the Democratic National Committee was mischievous. Did it change the outcome of the 2016 elections? No evidence suggests that and the intelligence community isn’t claiming that.

Victor Morton: Trump blasts Buzzfeed over Russia reports: ‘Fake news,’ ‘unverifiable,’ ‘witch hunt!’ – “Ally Michael Cohen rebuts claim in intel dossier, saying he’d never gone to alleged site of secret meeting

Steven Hayward: Fake News Jumps Fake Shark

But that is just a warmup, apparently. The story Paul noted below about the supposed Russian dossier of compromising information about Trump is looking phonier by the moment. Without even referring to the critics who are calling it a hoax, there are a number of obvious peculiarities in the document that has been released to call its authenticity into question. I’ve read a lot of declassified CIA reports of this kind over the years, and this one looks off. Way off.

I’ll bet this story falls apart faster than a Dan Rather memo on national guard service.

This is likely just a taste of what is coming and why the mainstream media has no credibility. Jennifer Harper has more: Donald Trump gets zero honeymoon with the press, major media attack now underway

unverified claims about Mr. Trump in BuzzFeed … “All three network morning shows parroted Democrats’ complaints … Pollsters are also in on it

There have been few calls for critics to ease up on the negativity, which has been percolating for two months.

“Sorry, but the Republican Party isn’t ‘extremist.’ Liberals have been making the same argument for 35 years (at least). It’s still not true,”

It appears that the Fake News™ goes back through John McCain. That does not credit his honor nor his integrity. Jazz Shaw picks up on this sort of incivility in describing how a WaPo writer ponders how to “remove Trump from office” before he’s even sworn in

… Richard Cohen’s column this week which carries the not very ambiguous title of, “How to remove Trump from office.”

Let’s leave aside for a moment the somewhat inconvenient fact that Donald Trump isn’t even in the office yet. What was the thinking going on inside the hallowed halls of the WaPo when they approved an editorial like this?

If you want an example of early onset Trump Derangement Syndrome, this is one case which almost demands that medical authorities be rushed to Cohen’s home immediately to save him from himself.

let’s close with a callback to the original question I posed. Exactly how unhinged are the senior members of the Washington Post staff in terms of Trump Derangement Syndrome? I’m guessing that this will be widely reflected in their newsroom coverage over the next four years. I’d be thrilled to be proven wrong, but you probably shouldn’t bet too heavily against me.

John Hinderaker asks Why Are Liberals Such Racists? – The prompt is a MTV reporter tweet about Sessions holding his granddaughter on his lap.

As a conservative, I essentially never encounter racism. I don’t have any racist friends or acquaintances. The issue never comes up. Liberals, on the other hand, tell us that they are swimming in a sea of racism. I don’t know, they might be right. Maybe in their liberal world, racism is still an issue.

But what is it with liberals and racism? Remember when liberals tried to make some kind of scandal out of the fact that one of Mitt Romney’s grandchildren was African-American? What is wrong with these people? This kind of thing happens a lot. If you are looking for racism, look to the left.

The moral of the story is that, while most people think liberals are just ignorant, the truth is much worse.

Hinderaker has another one about how Disgraceful Democrats Depict Police Officers As Pigs – this is the story of the contest winning painting from an 18 year old in William Lacy Clay’s district.

This painting obviously violates the rule against “depicting subjects of contemporary political controversy,” and it is, in any event, outrageously inappropriate for display in the Capitol. But Congressman Clay, a far leftist, nevertheless insists that it hang in the corridor.

the issue here isn’t the First Amendment, it is the politically-inspired myth of police racism. The reality is that Rep. Clay and most of his fellow Democrats are delighted to see police officers depicted as pigs, because this particular smear fires up their base and is to their political advantage. The lines here couldn’t be more clearly drawn.

The episode tells you the nature of the Democrats, their unwillingness to work with others, their lack of respect for law and order, their lack of intellectual integrity, and their persistence over any barrier including reason or reality. It is good to see the ruckus getting discussion as it needs airing and inspection and introspection about civility and the proper means for advancing governance over political ideology.

Luboš Motl: What does Obama’s drivel tell us about the Science magazine – “For the editors, the left-wing cult is a higher priority than science.” It’s about Science magazine publishing a paper by Obama.

The conflation of science and politics displayed by Obama’s article is very bad. It’s actually bad in both directions. It’s terrible when some political cults are ultimately above scientists in the science journals – when politicians and their ideologies and programs may influence how scientists talk about science. But the opposite influence is also bad. It’s bad when scientists think that they have the “right” to make political decisions just because they are scientists – even though the “right” political decisions obviously cannot be determined by science alone.

There is so much to examine, to analyze, to ponder.

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Another round for gun control, another hysteria episode for media, and caring for an unclaimed veteran

Here’s a few more from the morning’s news and comment scan. Shaw provides links to the NV AG on the problems with the narrowly passed effort at more restrictions on self defense. Hinderaker provides an example of the bias and hysteria in the State Propaganda Machine with foreboding about what this implies is coming. Finally, there is an “unclaimed veteran” and a few high school kids who stepped up.

Jazz Shaw: Oops. Bloomberg’s $20M gun control bid in Nevada has fallen apart – (but, don’t worry,you can bet they’ll fix the problems and try again)

Having the plan in place only works as long as the facilities are available for sellers to obtain the mandated background check and the only avenue provided under the legislation was to have the FBI do it. But they don’t have the resources available to cater to this program so they won’t be participating. This leaves a situation where otherwise legal sales couldn’t take place due to reasons beyond the control of the seller. In other words, the measure is completely unenforceable.

We could spend another year debating the need for a father to get a background check on his son or daughter before passing on a hunting rifle to them, but that’s really not the point here. As Bob points out, this is a case of a poorly thought out plan which relied entirely on their program being paid for by somebody else. And in this case they put the law up to a vote before even asking the “somebody else” in question whether or not they were willing and able to provide the required resources.

John Hinderaker – Trump Press Conference Prompts Hysterical Reaction – it’s off to the races!

Yesterday Donald Trump gave a very brief press conference at Mar-a-Lago in Florida, and spoke again with the press later in the day. If the reaction by reporters and editors is any indication, we are in for a long four years.

Similar stories go on for pages. The Associated Press jumped into the breach with a piece headlined, AP Explains: Did Trump just create 8,000 jobs? If you read carefully, you find out that the answer is Yes.

So Trump has taken credit for this particular job creation twice? The horror!

I don’t know whether Trump’s effort to promote job creation in the U.S. will succeed or not, but the alacrity with which the press tried to deny him any credit for these developments is troubling.

The moral of all this is that the press declared all-out war on Trump long ago, and his election has done nothing to cool the anti-Trump ardor of American reporters and editors. We are in for much more of this partisan coverage over the next four years.

The feel good story of the day is by Lauren Katzenberg. 6 Teens Serve As Pallbearers For Navy Vet They Never Met – An “unclaimed veteran” needed pallbearers. A funeral home worker’s son had another commitment but he had friends at Long Beach High School in Mississippi who volunteered for the duty. “All six decided they would have it placed in the Bearcats’ locker room. Warden said she would have a case made with a plaque that bears Pino’s name to display the flag.”

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+49% ? Say What? Really? Rush Indeed.

In the last year, The Rush Limbaugh Show experienced combined audience growth of +49 % with Persons 12+ and +23% with Adults 25- 54 on Cumulus-owned stations in Chicago (WLS-AM), Detroit (WJR-AM), Washington, D.C. (WMAL-FM), Dallas (WBAP-AM) and San Francisco (KSFO-AM). Nationwide, the program has experienced significant year-over-year audience growth in 2016 with Persons 12+ (+21%), Adults 25-54 (+13%), Adults 18-34 (+12%) and Women 25-54 (+17%). (Sources: Nielsen Audio, JAN-NOV Avg 2016 vs 2015, PPM Exact Times, AQH – Combined AQH; Nielsen Audio, JAN-NOV Avg 2016 vs 2015, PPM, Exact Times, AQH).”

per a press release from Premiere Networks and Cumulus Media cited by Jeffrey Lord in Talk Radio Thriving as Rush Limbaugh Signs New Contract That Shows His Dominance. Limbaugh messes with the minds on the left something fierce somewhat like Trump does and Lord lays it out. He cites ex-Bush speechwriter David Frum as an example:

“On the one side, the president of the United States: soft-spoken and conciliatory, never angry, always invoking the recession and its victims. This president invokes the language of “responsibility,” and in his own life seems to epitomize that ideal: He is physically honed and disciplined, his worst vice an occasional cigarette. He is at the same time an apparently devoted husband and father. Unsurprisingly, women voters trust and admire him.

And for the leader of the Republicans? A man who is aggressive and bombastic, cutting and sarcastic, who dismisses the concerned citizens in network news focus groups as “losers.” With his private plane and his cigars, his history of drug dependency and his personal bulk, not to mention his tangled marital history, Rush is a walking stereotype of self-indulgence—exactly the image that Barack Obama most wants to affix to our philosophy and our party. And we’re cooperating! Those images of crowds of CPACers cheering Rush’s every rancorous word—we’ll be seeing them rebroadcast for a long time.

Rush knows what he is doing. The worse conservatives do, the more important Rush becomes as leader of the ardent remnant. The better conservatives succeed, the more we become a broad national governing coalition, the more Rush will be sidelined.”

Look at the modifiers being used then look at the perceptions described and then look at the ad hominem. Think about how many times Obama excoriated Republicans and blamed them (as a race) for everything evil and bad and try to fit that into Frum’s description. Consider the ‘keep your doctor’ claim and many other (significant) falsehoods used to sell or rationalize as well. Then listen to Limbaugh for a while and try to fit what you can actually hear every day on the radio with how Frum describes it. Then, of course, the lack of intellectual integrity is put on parade with the assertion of “ardent remnant.” Here’s Lord’s conclusion.

In other words? In other words not only have the critics of these talk hosts and talk radio in general gotten it wrong repeatedly. But in not paying attention to the audience all of them have – or worse contemptuously dismissing them as (to borrow from Hillary Clinton) a “basket of deplorables” who are “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it” — they completely missed the outcome of the 2016 election. Completely and totally.

As this politically tumultuous year comes to a close it is worth noting that it closes, most fittingly, with the good news that Rush Limbaugh has been re-signed. There is a reason. For those paying attention to Rush there is not the slightest surprise the election ended as it did.

Merry Christmas, Rush! and for thinking, open-minded people who listen to Limbaugh’s, Mark Levin’s, and Sean Hannity’s talk radio you have a gift under your tree that should brighten 2017 all year. From the numbers provided, it’s a very Merry Christmas for Premiere Networks and Cumulus Media, too. 

Also see: Robert Feder: WLS Locks in Rush .. (Dec 14, 2016), Premiere Networks PSA (Dec 14, 2016)  – incredible news needs comparable support!

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First it was pre-season football. Now it’s pre-season politics

Jazz Shaw says Democrats already accusing Trump of “treason” a month before he takes office.

This weekend you can catch a preview of what the next four years of mainstream media coverage of the Trump presidency will look like by checking in at the Boston Globe. … Yes, you read that correctly. It’s still more than a month before the PEOTUS will be sworn in and we’ve already got someone bringing up the word “treason” and tying it to his name.

No, it doesn’t appear that this was manipulation on the part of the Globe. Shattuck fires of the “treason” charge only four words into the article. And the basis for this suggestion rests entirely on the fact that Trump took issue with the conclusion drawn by some in the intelligence community that the Russians hacked the DNC’s email accounts to help him win.

Oh… so there’s no evidence. But you’ll just fire off an editorial in the Boston Globe suggesting it anyway, eh?

the real issue here is why a long established newspaper would agree to run such a blatantly hyperbolic, partisan piece of trash which is clearly designed to undermine national confidence in the electoral process and delegitimize the incoming president. In a more sane period of American politics you might expect that a newspaper with the standing of the Boston Globe would take a look at this column and at least hesitate before giving it the green light.

Sadly, that’s not the case today. The mainstream media learned nothing from the lessons of 2016 and you can expect to see a non-stop barrage of attacks on Trump over every single thing he says or does over the next four years. Today’s example is just one of many cases where we see that the press isn’t even waiting until he takes the oath to begin attempting to derail his presidency. So fasten your seat belts, kids. There’s a lot more of this to come.

Forecasting the future is always difficult and is particularly suspect when it has no tie to reality – as much of the Left’s fantasies about Trump appear to be. Things are a bit different when you extrapolate from what is currently in evidence. Pre-season football is about choosing a team roster most likely to win based on what players actually do on the field. Shaw is doing much the same thing here: anticipating the future by looking at what the media is currently doing. As such, his advice to “fasten your seat belts” is worth serious consideration.

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Real Fake News: Cyber Russian edition

Charles Lipson has hias Brief Guide to Russian Hacking of the U.S. Election with a few gems buried inside and what sounds like a ‘reasonable suggestion.’

What do we know about foreign hacking into the U.S. election?

Quite a lot, actually, even if we don’t have a parking pass at CIA headquarters. But there is also a lot of confusion. Call it the “fog of cyberwar.”

the heart of Russia’s campaign was collecting secret information, such as private communication among political operatives, and then disclosing that material selectively. They may also have tried to hack election databases in several states. It is unclear if they actually sought to manipulate votes, but, if they did, they had little success. There is zero evidence they changed any vote counts.

The impact of cyber espionage on the 2016 election came through information, not direct manipulation of the results.

the disclosures all hurt Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump. That favoritism does not seem accidental, although it may have been aided by weaker cybersecurity on Clinton’s side. The clear implication …

Even if foreign cyber operations did not flip the outcome, they are unacceptable interference in American elections. What should we do next?

A serious investigation should not be an excuse for denying the outcome of the 2016 election or for saying it was rigged by a foreign power. The election is over, and Hillary’s loss cannot be attributed to Russian interference.

The best solution is a bipartisan commission. …

The best solution is for everyone involved to implement known and established security policies and keep their systems secured and properly protected, not another commission that will spend years to produce a report that no one will read and is out of date when published. And, using the 9/11 commission example given, such a commission does nothing to stop the conspiracy theories.

But all of this is just part and parcel of The left’s relentless war against Bannon, Breitbart and real journalism. Alicia Colon describes the situation. Same tactics; just another front on the same target.

I finally understood why the left is obsessed with Bannon and Breitbart. They haven’t a clue about what real journalism is.

I’ve been writing op-eds since 1998 and my pet peeve has always been that editors write the headlines that they feel will attract attention rather than reflect what the article is about.

Real journalism demands this concrete evidence. Real Journalism also requires presenting both sides of an issue.

The mainstream media dominated by the left has abandoned all Fourth Estate credibility by eschewing journalism for personal ideology. Now these miscreants in the press are alleging the prevalence of ‘fake news’ without doing due diligence investigating an issue.

Trump’s election caught the MSM by surprise because it ceased being legitimate journalism and instead became a wing of the Democrat Party. While the left wing is relentless attacking the right, the figment of the imagination alt-right and just plain common sense, it may find that the public at large has learned to read behind the headlines and will seek out the truth without any help from the media lapdogs.

On the ‘Russians are coming!’ Fake News(tm), the height of concern should match the strength of the evidence. “zero evidence” and “cannot be attributed” do not provide strength for anything of significance. The fact that there are Democrats conflating this evidence with the deaths of an ambassador amd three others that was rationalized with a Fake News(tm) story about a video indicates that intellectual integrity is long gone on the election concerns.

The underlying issue, that of information systems security provides another clue. One side had loose security and was hacked. The other side had better security and its information was kept secure. Instead of seeing this as an example about how information security can and should be addressed, it is twisted to support the idea of partisan interference by some outside party. There are times when introspection is likely to be much more profitable than wild tantrums throwing furniture at anyone handy.

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Fake News: subtleties and the Time cover

Time did its thing with a new Person of the Year cover controvery. Again. Here’s one description of the issue: The TIME Magazine Cover Controversy — “creative work is usually more intentional than casual observers give it credit for being.” For an analysis of what the photographer was doing, see JP Danko on Trump Trolled by Time – a photographic deconstruction of the man of the year 2016 cover.

I think George Takei totally nails the the negative subliminal queues present in this image (in under 140 characters too in his Tweet “Trump trolled by Time”): “Devil horns, monster shadow, unretouched bald spot, delapidated chair, literally resting on laurels…Trump trolled by Time.” h/t N. Freedman

Note that Takei is the Star Trek Star who is taking heat (ridicule) for his overt Trump Derangement Syndrome expression. He illustrates what the ‘never Trump’ clan perceives in the Time cover. Danko’s analysis shows why this perception was intended artistic expression as well as how different people can get different impressions from the cover.

First of all we need to understand that Time Magazine’s 2016 person of the year cover was meticulously planned. There is nothing in this image that was not deliberate – Kander’s image of Trump is crafted to tell the viewer a specific story.

The obvious story at the surface of this image is that of a successful, powerful, tough businessman – and Trump certainly embodies that narrative.

The viewer’s interpretation is dependent on the viewer’s world view – in other words, if you are a Trump supporter, or Trump himself, you’re probably going to look at this image, interpret the obvious story and come away with a positive impression of Trump the businessman.

Of course, the real story that this image is trying to tell is the opposite of the obvious. … lets deconstruct the image further, from a photographer’s perspective.

Trump’s pose in this image is designed to convey the feeling of an elite with a palpable disdain for his inferiors.

Given the subliminal queues provided by Trump’s pose, his expression becomes a lot more ominous.

Next we have the prop – a tattered old gilded chair.

Then there is the lighting.

Finally, if there was any doubt about intentions of the true story Kander and Time are telling about Donald Trump there is the caption “President of the Divided States of America”.

This single statement ties all of the positive and negative visual subliminal queues together into a neat concise story.

Time will tell how Nadav Kander‘s image of Donald Trump will be judged, but there is no question that it is a powerful image telling an interesting story.

This is an example of Fake News ™ in the form that many do not notice and that can be denied by minimalization logical fallacies. It is also a testiment to the power of the arts in propaganda. The hyperbolic shrieking in headlines and the ‘interesting’ adjectives and adverbs so visible in much of today’s commentary is crude by this standard. Either way, the mark of dishonesty is indeed something “time will tell” whether graphic or written.

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Hyperbole, Fake News, and Reality

Marisa Schultz reports on Hillary Clinton: ‘Lives are at risk’ because of fake news. Harry Reid wants to undo what he did to Senate rules that protected minorities. The there’s the IBT editorials How Can You Tell A Good Trump Pick? By The Establishment Freakout and Trump Owes The Media Nothing — Here’s Why. Then there’s the Fake News(tm) rebuttal Pentagon Documents Prove Trump is Right – Boeing Air-Force-One Over $4 Billion and confirmation of the IBT point So many reasons to love the designation of Andrew Puzder as head of the Department of Labor.

Donald Trump knows well how to goad his adversaries into overplaying their hands, and that is likely to be the way it will unfold for M. Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants … Even worse, if that is possible, he has used sex appeal to sell burgers. … Because it is true that in general the left “never forgets anything and never learns anything, “ a nice touch is that Carl Karcher, the founder (CKE stands for Carl Karcher Enterprises) of the company was a well-known conservative and a major GOP donor, which has got to bother a lot of Dems.
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the Trump opposition, which is essentially the entire MSM apparatus, went into apoplectic rage and attack mode because, according to them, there was no basis for the price assertion at $4 billion.

However, Pentagon contract documents obtained by The Daily Mail show Donald Trump was precisely correct, and all the moonbat antagonists were precisely wrong.
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You know when left-of-center media watchdogs see media bias against a conservative candidate it must be really egregious. And the respected Shorenstein Center’s report found that both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton took their share of hard hits by the media. But Trump came in for especially vicious treatment. … As the Washington Post noted, “CBS had the most negative coverage and Fox News Channel the least negative, but the differences between the two were not vast.”

In other words, Trump was treated with scarcely concealed contempt by nearly everyone in the media.

In the coming weeks and months, you will hear much wailing, keening, moaning and gnashing of teeth from the Big Media about Trump’s poor treatment of them — and how voters don’t appreciate what they do. When they do, please remember: They’ve earned the contempt.
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An easy way to tell whether one of Donald Trump’s leadership picks is a good one is to gauge the freakout level among the left. By that measure alone, the person Trump is considering as head of the Food and Drug Administration would be an outstanding choice. … Thus, we’re seeing headlines that describe O’Neill as “an insane Silicon Valley libertarian,” and that Trump is putting “eccentricity over expertise,” and that O’Neill should “scare pharma.”

What a ruckus! Thin skin, hypersensitive, and prone to hyperbole in fantasies that confuse reality with personal dreams. 

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Been there, done that, have the T Shirt: Fake News as State Propaganda

Gavin McInnes says Fake News Is Unreal. “If you want to talk scary, how about this “fake news” controversy?”

Barack is ultimately calling for the abolition of facts and suggesting America take up some kind of state-run media the way Britain and Canada have.

I’ve lived in both those countries. The scariest thing about state-run propaganda is how well it works.

the fact that Trump said, “You’d be in jail” meant he was going to imprison all his opponents the same way Stalin and Pol Pot and Mao did. It was a ridiculous premonition and it’s part of the reason they lost.

Their idea of a threat to America, of course, is anyone who threatens the narrative. The same way Jill Stein’s crusade only investigates states where Trump won, these people define “fake” as “not liberal enough.”

It goes on to page 2 listing example after example. Talk scary, indeed.

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Fake News an outgrowth of Fact Checking an example of Denial

Sheriff Clarke says fake news started with the “hands up don’t shoot” lie.

“It’s the anniversary of that fateful summer night in August of 2014 that started with the ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ lie that was propagated by every mainstream liberal media across this country,” Clarke said. “The New York Times, The Washington Post, the LA Times, the Chicago Tribune, CNN, MSNBC all propagated that ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ lie. It was from that time forward that this concept of fake news was talked about.”

That’s when it became popular but the actual leftist propaganda tactic goes back to Dan Rather and the TANG or even further to Walter Cronkite and his reporting on Vietnam. The term “fake news” only became popular as a matter of projection in trying to come to grips with the Trump phenomena. It arose because the “fact checking” was getting stale and stilted.

The basis is the same: find a fault, any fault, to discredit and impugn. That means that most rhetorical techniques used by humans to communicate with each other become ripe targets for attack. All human discourse gets held to the standard of legal contracts and court decisions. The effort is biblical (Matthew 7:3) and contrary to any goal of attempting to understand and have an honest discussion.

Good to see it being laid bare as that is a first step in working towards restoring intellectual integrity.

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Alt Reality

By Tom Trinko notes that The Problem Isn’t the Alt-Right – It’s the Alt-Reality.

We hear about the alt-right and the alt-left, but the real issue is the alt-reality.

Most Americans’ perceptions of the world are shaped by information they get from primarily liberal sources such as the media, academia, and government.

That’s why many Americans live in an alternate reality where Hillary did nothing wrong at Benghazi, abortions occur only due to rape, global warming is supported by 97% of scientists, the economy is doing great, emotions are good and reasoning is bad, Republicans are racists, Castro was a kind and caring man, and Trump is an insane tyrant.

What led to the Trump win is that the liberals have become so out of step with reality that many Americans decided to completely distrust them.

And Professor VDH expands on this with Universities and the media: arrogant, ignorant, and ripe for reform.

In media land, Donald Trump is a reckless tweeter; Barack Obama’s outreach to GloZell and rapper Kendrick Lamar is just kicking back and having fun (Lamar’s latest album portrayed the corpse of a judge to the toasting merriment of rappers on the White House lawn). In media land, Donald Trump risked world peace by accepting a phone call from the democratically elected president of Taiwan; Barack Obama’s talks with dictators and thugs such as Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega, and Raul Castro were long overdue. In media land, jawboning Carrier not to relocate a plant to Mexico is an existential threat to the free market; not so when Barack Obama tried to coerce Boeing to move to Washington State to produce union-made planes, or bullied a small non-union guitar company, or reordered the bankruptcy payouts of Chrysler and essentially took over the company.

The university and the media share two traits: Both industries have become arrogant and ignorant. We have created a climate, ethically and professionally, in which extremism has bred extremism, and bias is seen not as proof of journalistic and academic corruption, but of political purity. The recent election, and especially its aftermath, embarrassed journalists and academics alike — and should not be forgotten.

Instead of introspective self-critique, the media have now gone postmodern, doubling down on their biases, under a new project of attacking supposed “neutrality” and “objectivity” themselves.

Awareness is a first step. It may take a while for the alcoholic to accept he has a drinking problem but his friends certainly will notice the problem and they will, eventually, get the message across. Is this the process we are seeing here?

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Republican surrender monkeys

Sundance puts the Green party burden on Wisconsin in context: Green Party Fleeces Sheeple and Files for Recount in Wisconsin….

The difference between the Democrat and Republican party has always been the distinction between one side who will do anything, say anything, manipulate anything, and fight to the death to get their way – and the other party being polite Republican surrender monkeys.

The goal is not to change the election outcome, that possibility is beyond absurd, the goal is Alinsky opposition: create mayhem, cause angst, create disruption, seed doubt, undermine, isolate, marginalize the opponent. These moonbat behaviors are simply the antagonistic leftists fulfilling the nature of their ideology.

Wisconsin TeacherThe professional left even acknowledges that fundraising to advance these challenges is essentially a scam. However, it’s a scam that has benefits even in its futility.

Keep in mind that these are the people who have been going to the wall to prevent any effort at voter ID or other measures to combat voter fraud under the pretense that it doesn’t happen.

The take a look at Charles Sauer on the Forest Service trying to seize private land from Montana ranchers — “Nope, the bully never stops. The Forest Service, by fiat, claimed an easement through the ranch.”

Daniel Payne picks up another on how Paul Krugman Illustrates The Damaged Political Psyches Of The Left — “The election damaged the political psyche of liberals in ways that it will probably take a while for us to understand.”

But here’s the real majesty of this whole debacle, the rather astonishing aspect of it all: there is no real indication that the education of Paul Krugman is going to stick.

Got that? When a Republican challenges the results of an election, it’s a “coup.” When the loser is a Democrat, however, such a challenge is absolutely necessary, “just in case.” The next four years are not going to be kind to Paul Krugman and to people like him: they are going to discredit themselves even more thoroughly than they already have, all under the auspices of an insufferable, smarmy intellectual superiority.

We are not in an age of reason and intellectual integrity. Phase I is acknowledgement and it might be, just maybe, that we are getting to that step. Maybe.

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