Archive for Mind Games

No matter how much you try, the numbers tell their tale

Equality is often put as a highest value and any perceived inequality is presumed to be a matter of oppression. When groups are involved, the accusations of some ‘ism’ comes to the fore. The Bell Curve is one example of numbers telling one tale but desires demanding another. That was race. Gender is another one. Mark Perry says that the 2016 SAT test results confirm pattern that’s persisted for 45 years — high school boys are better at math than girls. Five tales of the numbers are described.

Bottom Line: Even though female high school students are better prepared academically than their male classmates on many different measures of academic success, both overall and for mathematics specifically, female high school students score significantly lower on the SAT math test, and the +30-point differences in test scores favoring males has persisted for several generations and exists across all ethnic groups.

Despite the persistent, statistically significant differences in math performance by gender on the math SAT test that have continued for close to a half century, we hear statements like this: “There just aren’t gender differences anymore in math performance,”

Further, the fact that women are underrepresented in STEM occupations and hold only 26% of STEM jobs according to a 2013 Department of Commerce report certainly isn’t because female students are being discouraged from studying math and science in high school. In fact, the evidence shows that females are excelling in math and science in high school – they outnumber males in AP/Honors math and science courses, and are more likely than their male counterparts to take four years of math and science courses.

Further, compared to boys, high school girls get better grades on average, and are far more likely to graduate in the top 10% of their high school classes, and are much more likely than boys to attend and graduate from college and go on to graduate schools. By all objective measures, girls have essentially all of the necessary ingredients that should result in greater representation in STEM fields like engineering and computer science except perhaps for one: a huge, statistically significant and persistent 30-point gender gap on the SAT math test in favor of boys that has persisted for more than 40 years. If there are some inherent gender differences for mathematical ability, as the huge and persistent gender differences for the math SAT test suggests, closing the STEM gender degree and job gaps may be a futile attempt in socially engineering an unnatural and unachievable outcome.

In other words, girls take the classes, get better grades, and still don’t test as well. That is why the testing is under assault. The axiom is that there are no differences between genders and that has driven a lot of push to remedy supposed imposed gender bias that must have been the cause of observed disparities. That axiom is not one subject to test or reality and the result is a lot of misplaced expenditure and effort. The efforts to force equality are having implications that may be causing more harm than good.

If you think something needs fixing, the first thing to do is to get a good grip on reality and make sure you understand it properly.

Leave a Comment

Blinded by fantasy: Snowden

The heroes many put on a pedestal these days should make one wonder. The old values of integrity, honesty, courage, and so forth don’t seem to matter much. Instead, it is a reverence for the tantrum against perceived or imagined ‘bad things.’ That can range from those who think a $20 million salary represents racial oppression and honor Chavez and Castro to those that engage in treason and sedition. Lynn Westmoreland is a Republican member of the House of Representatives from Georgia, describes Edward Snowden’s gambit — “It continues to threaten U.S. security and endanger the lives of innocents.”

Mr. Snowden’s pose as a privacy advocate could be a real reflection of his values or it could be nothing more than an elaborate cover for his criminal behavior. His actions certainly are inconsistent with a man concerned about privacy. Mr. Snowden stole the credentials of his coworkers and used them to rifle through their personal files, accessing the files of human resource managers that had nothing to do with spy programs. And he gathered personally identifiable information of thousands of intelligence community employees, exposing them to our nation’s adversaries. These are not the actions of a dedicated patriot scouring for evidence of government maleficence.

So what were his motivations? The fact is that Edward Snowden began stealing classified information shortly after a workplace argument and subsequent reprimand by management. The evidence suggests that Mr. Snowden is a disgruntled man driven by narcissism and reckless disregard for those he was hired to protect. However, it is difficult to know the whole truth until he returns to the United States to face prosecution.

Trust is something that is hard earned and seldom recovered when lost. Trust is a cornerstone of a healthy and vibrant society. From Snowden to Clinton, trust doesn’t appear to hold much value and their followers show that many just don’t care or don’t know why it might be worth something.

Leave a Comment

Powerline connecting the dots – people who can’t think

The Powerline blog hits three current stories that connect dots, illustrate a theme, and provide some sense to nonsense. First, Hinderaker explains why he thinks Trump will win.

At one point, when I was opposing Trump during the GOP primaries, I said to the press: Stop attacking Trump! Liberal reporters often began with a valid point, but their hysterical hatred for Trump caused them to go too far, making arguments that were patently unfair and unsustainable. Therefore, the more they attacked Trump the more his support grew. The same thing is happening now: most Americans have a pretty good sense of fair play, and they know that Trump is being treated badly by the establishment–a group for whom most Americans have no great affection.

Then Johnson picks up a comment about a Clinton and Kain book and sets the stage:

Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine claim the authorship of the campaign manifesto Stronger Together, released in paperback by Simon and Schuster on September 6.

The book isn’t doing well commercially. Who wants to pay to read a party platform, even at a paperback price lower if it were published in hardcover? I’m holding out for the post-election remainder price.

At InstaPundit yesterday Glenn Reynolds mentioned the “amusing” reviews the book has garnered at Amazon. Could the “reviews” represent a groundswell of revulsion of the kind reflected in the famous Boston Globe editorial decrying “Mush from the wimp” in March 1980? I should like to think so.

Despite what he says, the commenter is not in the target market for Clinton’s manifesto. He knows too much. His memory is too good. He is too well informed.

The comment (at the link) is satire and its impact is a measure of what you know about the Clinton scandal history.

Then its another Hinderaker comment about three violent attacks where the authorities struggle vainly to support the view that they are independent and have nothing to do with Islamic terrorism or any other commonality.

Three stories have hit the news almost simultaneously; consider the features they have in common. In Philadelphia, a 25-year-old man named Nicholas Glenn walked up to a police car and started firing on the two officers inside. He then shot four civilians, one of whom died, before being cornered and killed by police officers. Glenn left behind a letter “in which he expressed hatred toward police and probation officers.”

In New York, a Palestinian named Akram Joudeh was picked up two months ago while screaming “Allahu akbar” outside a Brooklyn synagogue. He was ordered deported, and was in Midtown on Thursday appealing his deportation notice when he started attacking bystanders with a meat cleaver.

This morning, a “suspicious backpack” was discovered shortly before the race was to begin, causing organizers to cancel the event. Not long thereafter, a pipe bomb exploded in a garbage can along the route

Yeah, maybe not organized and ideologically based terrorism but it is the same fundamental issue that has NFL players playing games with the national anthem and others whose ‘free speech’ is based on ignorance and indoctrination from false propaganda. The lack of intellectual integrity is on parade. Maybe there is pushback. We will see.

Leave a Comment

Foolish and ignorant. Or an alternative.

Bruce V. Sones provides a comparison and contrast in Choosing Tillman or Kaepernick — “Recent events point to one who was the real hero and patriot.”

As I began reading the Colin Kaepernick article in the sports section of Monday’s Columbia Daily Tribune it provoked me to ask myself the question: Are you a Tillman or a Kaepernick? I am speaking, of course, of Pat Tillman and Colin Kaepernick. Both men heard our national anthem and each had a different reaction. Mr. Tillman ran to the sound of the drums and Mr. Kaepernick ran from the sound of the drums. I thought about the differences.

As I read the article further I marveled at the magnitude of how much press I had heard or seen on the Colin Kaepernick story over the past couple of days. I felt saddened our sports events are no longer a place for us to go to get away from the daily grind and our sports figures are no longer sports heroes but are social tools of our political wings and the media.

As I laid the paper down I realized Colin Kaepernick, by sitting through the national anthem, is doing what he should be doing. He does not deserve to stand for our national anthem. He is uninformed and his actions do nothing to make America better but do everything to continue the false narrative of his new teammates, the agitators.

UNR still has Kaepernick on a pedestal and there’s even a display at the airport. It should be an embarrassment to hold up as hero one who shows that the education he received at the university was so flawed and so poor.

Are you a Tillman or a Kaepernick?” Are you one who builds a society and defends it or are you one who tries to destroy it and steps aside when it comes to actually doing something for the poor, the oppressed, and the ignorant? Do you see what you advocate such as in Cuba or Venezuela or other places where the heroes you put on your T shirt have held sway? Is intellectual integrity and social responsibility anywhere on your set of desired values?

Leave a Comment

Factions and success in the small vs failure in the large

Richard Fernandez discusses ideas in the Federalist Papers that are visible in modern politics. Successful Failures is about survival of the fittest in the jungle with the local tribe as not necessarily being best for the health of the jungle as a whole. It is about factions, poisonous leaders, ruling elites, and informal networks.

The paradox that Putin exemplifies is that while factions breed formidable conspirators, they also create poisonous leaders. They succeed in themselves but cause the society around them to fail. That is because they dispense a favoritism which is ultimately ruinous for the nation. The result is a self-vetoing enterprise. Marian Tupy observed that Chile began to succeed at the moment when its junta began to allow economic freedom while Venezuela started to fail by going the other way. But few ruling elites have the sense to get themselves out of the way. Usually they have to be shoved aside.

The question is whether Madison’s defenses failed and the factions are inside the wire. America for a long time beat the odds but recently things have taken a turn for the worse. It is no accident that many of America’s troubles have coincided with the growth of identity politics, special interest groups, foreign lobbying and corruption. If so they have spread their poison and created an American version of the “informal networks” that proved so fatal in other countries, as Madison feared.

Moreover, the American factional system operates in the worst possible way. The Clinton Foundation and private email scandal is a portrait of venality without competence. The peculiar characteristics of American factionalism have bred something singular; a phenomenon at once cunning yet stupid, both corrupt and inept.

It is the freedom of the individual that is the source of accountability. If the group, the tribe, the faction becomes large enough to suppress or inhibit that freedom yet small enough for Putin like successes, then danger lurks.

Leave a Comment

Chasing El Dorado and burning bridges

An IBT Editorial: Apple Now, Google, Amazon Next? Why EU Hates Successful U.S. Firms.

Taxes: The European Union’s laughably misnamed “competition commission” has slapped a $15 billion penalty on Apple for supposed back payments of taxes. This is nothing more than a cash grab by money-hunrgy Eurocrats, and is Exhibit A in why the EU is failing.

We’ll spare you all the dry technicalities of Apple’s case because, in fact, the EU is going after a whole slew of mainly U.S. companies that do business there — including Google, Amazon, Starbucks and McDonald’s. The reasons in each instance are as varied as the companies themselves.

In the meantime, the EU has investigations going on just about every major successful U.S. company doing business there. But companies will only take so much abuse. Sadly, the EU’s socialist-leaning rulers show no signs that they get it.

It is the quest for gold and burning the bridges on the path to wealth. It is the appeal of socialism. It is the idea that money is found and discovered and must be taken from those that have it. The problem is that wealth is created and taking it from those that have it destroys the machinery that creates more of it. 

Leave a Comment

Opportunities or Filters?

Oh, the poor dears. Women and Physics by Laura McCullough provides another attempt to try to understand humans.

How do you make a physicist? Well, you start with a child, and poke at it for 25 year or so until it become something, and maybe it will become a physicist. Meanwhile, the growing and developing individual passes through several stages. If the child is a male, those stages are called opportunities. If the child is a female, they are called filters.

McCullough surveys and describes the filters, and the stages. She looks at how women are challenged at every stage. She describes what the field of Physics has done so far to remove gender biased barriers to women’s progress, and what needs to be done in the future.

Is gender so hard to understand? There is this a priori presumption that there is no difference in humans by gender. The evidence shows otherwise. That leads to attempts to deny reality and construct a fantasy to explain things. But look at the list of filter evidence provided and you see themes. One is aggression. Another is recognition of gender. 

There is much to learn but the idea that the barrier is some form of oppression and conscious social forcing and leaving out the fact that there may be inherent individual differences that are related to gender cannot be left out. That’s another attempt, like with climate, to simplify the problem by pretending it isn’t what it is.

Leave a Comment

The State Propaganda Machine Discussed

It’s the Washington Times pundits, again. This time the theme is the MSM, mainstream media, or the State Propaganda Machine. The fact that major media have earned a ‘propaganda’ title is becoming more clear to more people and undergoing some examination and discussion. Here are a few examples from today’s edition

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. on how The media make history — “The anti-Trump frenzy signals the collapse of American journalism.”

The MSM is aroused by Mr. Trump’s words but unbothered about actions that Mrs. Clinton has actually taken. They seem to think that Mr. Trump’s misfired jokes or loosely formulated statements are more dangerous to the commonweal than Mrs. Clinton’s decisions with her emails and her mendacious cover-ups.

Michael Goodwin has drawn our attention to an important historical development. With the trashing of Donald Trump and the celebration of a career criminal, the mainstream media have become passe.

Clifford D. May on The Soros smear effect — “Rather than debate his opponents, the billionaire arbiter defames all of them.”

About five years ago, it became clear that a concerted effort was underway to defame me and the national security policy institute I founded just after the Sept. 11 attacks, along with other individuals and groups focusing on the toxic ideologies that had been gaining ground in what we now call the Muslim world. The activists’ goal was to brand us as “Islamophobes” — haters, racists and bigots who should be shunned, drummed out of the public square, made to shut the hell up.

What I didn’t know then was that this smear campaign was being financed by world-famous billionaire and leftist philanthropist George Soros. Recently, a website called DCLeaks purloined and published online more than 2,500 files from Mr. Soros‘ Open Society Foundations (OSF).

“Progressive counterterrorism policies.” “The anti-hate movement.” “An appreciation.” Don’t you just love it? Investor’s Business Daily observed that Mr. Soros‘ practice is to spend “money to delegitimize governments and others with whom he disagrees. It’s not about debate, and certainly not ‘open,’ as his groups’ names all suggest. It’s political subterfuge in service of a far-left agenda.”

Shockingly but not surprisingly, editors and producers at liberal-progressive media outlets have seen nothing worth reporting in these revelations about how a man of enormous wealth and power uses such methods to shape public opinion and government policy.

Tammy Bruce The legacy media meltdown over Donald Trump — “Panicked and muddled, anti-Trump forces ignore Americans’ concerns.”

The editorial is the hallmark of projection, or the assignment of your intentions and beliefs to others. They complain about “hatred” from Mr. Trump, yet how about The New York Times editorial opening with an idiotic and vile comparison of Mr. Trump to the Hindenberg (I can hear it now in the editorial board room, “Yeah, great idea! It’s a Nazi thing and people died!”) to going after his supporters in a vein that would make Mr. McCarthy quite proud.

Over the top, overboard, hyperbolic and such attributes are becoming more common in line with the idea that the reason must be desperation. Perhaps people will notice. Perhaps they do notice which is why circulation is down. “The MSM is aroused by Mr. Trump’s words but unbothered about actions that Mrs. Clinton has actually taken.”  This is not just the NYT but also the American public if the polls are saying anything. That is an effect of the propaganda and it is an example of the corrosive and destructive forces at work. We can hope those forces are overcome with reason and integrity.

Leave a Comment

Ever consider the implications of what you think you want?

Jazz Shaw provides an example of dissonance where ideology is in conflict with reality. Watch: Clinton supporting small business owner realizes Dem minimum wage plan is pretty awful.

It’s just another day in the life of a presidential campaign. We have activists out in the streets arguing in favor of someone who is promising to deliver programs which fundamentally damage their own self-interests. At least in Ms. Rosenberg’s case she’s aware of the issue and the damage which is coming. How she squares that with her political views is another matter entirely.

The basic question is about the proper role of government. See Venezuela if you want an example of thinking that control of all commerce is the proper role of government. Actually seeing the destruction doesn’t seem to have any impact and that is what is (or should be) worrisome.

Leave a Comment

The Washington Times: dissonance

The Washington Times pundits are at it again. Consider these thoughts:

Stephen Moore on What Republican turncoats forget — “If Obama/Hillary win a third race, there won’t be a conservative movement.”

I certainly don’t mean to disparage conservatives who say they won’t vote for Mr. Trump. One’s vote is a matter of personal conscience. But to actively support Hillary is to put the other team’s jersey on and then run a lap around the stadium.

It’s worth examining the case of the Republicans for Hillary, because none of the arguments make much sense.

Robert Knight describes The reality of a pipe dream — “Socialism has been at war with marriage and family for more than 200 years.”

There’s something about deploying the government as a mugger to obtain the fruits of someone else’s labor that appeals to the worst in us. But it invariably leads to poverty, dishonesty and even tyranny.

A common myth perpetuated in academia and the media is that a straight-line axis would put the Nazis and Fascists on the far right and the Communists on the far left, with Socialists in the middle. But the Communists, Nazis and Fascists are all, in fact, on the far left under the umbrella term of Socialism. On the far right would-be anarchists who believe in no government. America, with its limited government and guarantees of individual liberty, is somewhere in between.

To sort this out, here’s a tale of two cows that I didn’t originate but did embroider a bit.

Anarchy: You have two cows. You sell milk at a price your neighbors want or they kill you and take the cows.

Fascism: The state takes both and sells you the milk.

Communism: The state takes both and gives you milk — but only if you have party connections or stand in the right line.

Nazism: The state takes both and shoots you if you’re Jewish, a gypsy or a troublesome Christian.

Socialism: The government takes one and gives it to someone else. Then they come for the other, accusing you of being selfish and hateful.

Finally, there’s Capitalism: You have two cows. You sell one for a fair price to your neighbor . and buy a bull.

Speaking of family matters, in the 1930s, J.D. Unwin, an Oxford anthropologist, released “Sex and Culture,” a study from every continent over 5,000 years. He found that all cultures throughout history honored marriage, and those that abandoned monogamy soon were depleted of energy and were destroyed. This helps explain the fall of Greece and Rome.

Now, why is this important? It’s because Socialism has been at war with marriage and the family since the late-18th century. The most prominent socialist thinkers, including Rousseau, Marx and Engels, promoted the sexual revolution in which marriage and family were devalued in order to eliminate loyalties other than to the state.

As America drifts from our spiritual origins, there are signs of the socialist disease: rising obsession with redistribution and sensate entertainment, loss of virtue and respect for innocent life, mounting public and private debt, and an ever-growing government.

David Keene on Why Venezuela faces collapse — “With a socialist government and a disarmed populace, prospects are grim.”

The Venezuelan collapse is perhaps the starkest modern example of just how quickly socialism can destroy a basically wealthy, democratic nation. When Hugo Chavez came to power, the left in this country celebrated him and his policies. Hollywood types and “progressive” politicians praised him and looked forward to a demonstration of just how effectively socialism could transform a country — and that’s what everyone’s witnessed since. But it wasn’t quite the sort of transformation they expected.

Where are we headed? Where are we going? What are we likely to find? A lot of that can be seen from the travels of others and from where we have been.

Leave a Comment

Road to perdition

Edwin Meese III and Kelly J. Shackelford describe How the lawyers plan to stifle speech and faith — “The American Bar Association’s new code must be rejected.”

Frighteningly, the ABA leaders’ statements verify that they understand — and intend — the ramifications of Model Rule 8.4. President Paulette Brown advocates that the ABA must prevent “bias” in ways that go far beyond current law. Committee member Drucilla Ramey insists bar authorities go “to the top of the legal profession” to “incentivize” attorneys to change their views and speech on these issues, views and speech often informed by attorneys’ religion. All this, despite committee testimony that such a rule has “little relation to concerns” arising in most lawyers’ offices, could be “used tactically against someone inappropriately,” and will “have a chilling effect on something that has always been in the best traditions of the bar: representing minority views and unpopular positions or clients.”

The purpose of our legal system is to ensure freedom. Popular speech rarely needs legal protection. The law protects dissenters’ right to disagree with governmental orthodoxy. It must not become a weapon to oppress those dissenters.

The ABA’s un-American censorship regime is beyond draconian; it coerces conformity regarding religious and political beliefs on a level unprecedented in American history. It borders on fascism, and must be explicitly repudiated.

Silence the opposition. Squash any debate. Maintain conformity by bringing everyone down to the pablum level. Tolerate no divergence from the ideal and spew hate and contempt on those who dare question the orthodoxy of correct politics. The road to perdition begins here.

Leave a Comment

Decay is hard to reverse

Peter J. Wallison If you believe a President Trump could not stop regulation, think again. A precedent has been set. A small step has been taken.

After Donald Trump’s speech yesterday, many on the left hastened to note that the president doesn’t really have the power to stop the regulatory juggernaut as Trump promised. They are wrong.

Again, Congress will howl, and those of us who protested what the Obama administration was doing will agree, but it will be too late. Congress, and sadly the media, too — for wholly partisan reasons — has abandoned the principle that independent agencies are supposed to be independent, and that principle will not easily be reclaimed when a Republican president makes use of it.

Much of the principle that provided the check and balance process in governance has been eroded. Trying to reverse this is difficult and goes against the grain. See Venezuela for what going with the grain produces.

Leave a Comment

Grok Trump?

The IBD claims that Establishment Republicans Shoot At Trump — And Hit Themselves In The Foot

many of the examples these erstwhile Republicans provide to back up their decision apply as much to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as to Trump.

Trump has serious character flaws, to be sure, but Clinton has an actual record of failure in just about everything she did as secretary of state. And that’s to say nothing of the cavalier disregard for national security with her use of an unsecured private email server while at State. Even the head of Obama’s FBI admitted that Clinton’s recklessness likely put classified information in the hands of our enemies.

Constructive criticism of any candidate is important. But there’s a difference between constructive criticism and the tawdry political opportunism on display this week by Republicans who ought to know better.

There are other groups that are making fools of themselves, too. Thomas Lifson takes up the case where Trump successfully baits media into hysteria. Again.

The anti-Trump media (another name for the mainstream media) have resumed their frenzied claims that Donald Trump is out to unleash indescribable horror in the American people. The current version of doom is that he is calling for NRA assassins to kill either Hillary Clinton or her Supreme Court nominees, or both. What he actually said was this:

“By the way if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”

Within thirty minutes, according to Rudy Giuliani interviewed on Fox News this morning, the Clinton spin machine had shaped the media narrative. Trump was not calling for electoral activism (at a rally of electoral activists!). No, he was calling on “Second Amendment People” to use their evil guns to kill someone or other.

Given these conditions, it would make sense for Trump to capitalize on the media’s inability to be fair, and get them to anger his base to turn out. And also to discredit themselves in the eyes of persuadables in the general public. People who despise him are going to write bad things about him anyway, so why not push them over the edge into revealing more than they intend about their own prejudices?

And Howard Kurtz explains how the Media justify anti-Trump bias, claim he’s too ‘dangerous’ for normal rules,

The media’s legions of Trump-bashers are finally acknowledging the obvious.

And trying their best to justify it.

But there’s one problem: Tilting against one candidate in a presidential election can’t be justified.

This is about the mainstream media’s reporters, editors and producers, whose credo is supposed to be fairness.

And now some of them are flat-out making the case for unfairness—an unprecedented approach for an unprecedented campaign.

Many of the reporters who feel compelled to stop Trump are undoubtedly comfortable because all their friends feel the same way.

But they are deluding themselves if they think that going after one candidate in a two-candidate race is what journalism is about.

Deluding themselves, indeed. Jim Rutenberg of the NYT refers to “coded appeals to racism or nationalism” which is the kind of language used when you are not able to find a reality to support your perceptions.

This is the establishment under the microscope. Establishment has been an ugly word since the 60’s, Those who made it an ugly word were successful and became ‘establishment’ themselves. Now they are trying to defend themselves because they have become the worst of what they railed against in the past. Trump is the one who brought to microscope to the table and what he is making visible is not pretty. But the ‘people’ knew that. That is why Trump is getting traction. Some of the ‘establishment’ get this, they Grok Trump. Others don’t and they are suffering dissonance.

Leave a Comment

Tactics. Propaganda.

Robert Knight on The truth about lies — “Lies are embraced when the truth plays second fiddle.”

Omitting key details is one way to lie. We still hear about the shooting of the “unarmed teen Michael Brown” in Ferguson, Missouri with no mention that he was attacking a police officer. Adding adjectives is another. In supposedly objective news stories about voter ID laws, the writers keep inserting “restrictive” in front of them in order to make them sound onerous. All laws are “restrictive” in some sense. They never do this with gun laws, by the way.

Even when the press gets caught red-handed, they just move on as if nothing had happened. Much of the ease in which so many in the media embrace dishonesty can be traced to their formative years on campus, where leftist academics taught them that truth is in the eye of the beholder.

A former newspaper editor who has seen it all, Mr. Duigon said that a lie of this magnitude “takes your breath away.”

If past is prologue, we’d better break out the oxygen masks.

Why do so many seem to feel ‘at this point, what difference does it make?’ Something strange is happening.

Leave a Comment

the State Propaganda Machine vs. Trump

Jeffrey Lord on the Media vs. America.

Monday night at that Trump rally here in Pennsylvania, a rally I have described here in The American Spectator, Trump drew what was unarguably his most sustained applause when he said of his campaign:“the biggest problem is the media.” The audience erupted, applauding and cheering, with many turning – unasked by Trump – to the back of the room where the television cameras were perched on risers and booing repeatedly.

Frank Miele on ‘Mediagate,’ the scandal you won’t hear about on cable news.

In the last two weeks, it has become obvious that a political scandal is unfolding which exceeds in scope anything seen previously in our country’s 240-year history.

I’m talking about “Mediagate” — the attempted coup d’etat by the talking heads at CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC, who aimed salvo after salvo of Trumped-up stories at the GOP nominee as soon as he appeared to be closing in on Hillary Clinton following the Republican National Convention.

Then there’s Reena Flores on a Report: Donald Trump never threw a baby out of a rally.

On Friday, Trump charged the media with being “dishonest” about his handling of a crying baby at an Ashburn, Virginia, rally earlier in the week.

That same day, Trump’s general election opponent, Hillary Clinton, came out with a mocking video of Trump’s own words from that memorable Virginia campaign stop, circulating it on social media:

The enterprising fact-checkers at the Washington Post tracked down two sources — an eyewitness to the proceedings and the mother of said baby — and determined that Trump was, in fact, telling the truth Friday about how he treated the bawling infant.

“The media did in fact blow this entire situation out of proportion,” Ebert, from Virginia, wrote in an email. “I’m not looking to make it into anything bigger. All I’m hoping is that Trump personally is aware that I am in agreement with him and stand by the fact that I was never kicked out of the rally.”

Then there’s Scott Johnson: “If you read the story like Russians used to read Pravda, looking for the nugget of truth that might be buried in an article, you will find this

A while back it was a concern that Trump leveraged celebrity for favorable media coverage to win primaries. At least that was honest. Now the wheel has turned, honesty has gone down the tubes and the State Propaganda Machine is in full spin mode to destroy what it created. People do notice. We will see if if matters to the public at large.

Leave a Comment

The State Propaganda Machine gets some notice

Thomas Lifson note that there is Fifty times more TV network coverage for Khizr Khan than Pat Smith

Media bias has entered new territory in the United States with the nomination of Donald Trump. Somethig approaching scared moral duty to defeat him permeates newsrooms across the country. So it is no surprise that news judgments are ridiculously skewed, to the point where comparisons with totalitarian regimes are becoming thinkable.

Jim Waurishuk picks it up with The Left’s Anti-Trump Political Media Show

What went on last weekend mainly on CNN and Sunday News/Talk shows is an outrage. The liberal media is in the tank for Hillary Clinton, and they know it. First of all the Khans stood on the stage of the DNC Convention and not only told their story, but savagely attacked Mr. Trump. They said two things that were way out of bounds; The First, that Mr. Trump has made no sacrifice, and the Second, that Mr. Trump never read the Constitution.

Then there’s Matthew Boyle on Khizr Khan: ‘I Was Just Joking’: Media Apoplectic as Khizr Khan Attack on Donald Trump Goes Down in Flames.

Over the weekend and for the past few days since Khan spoke alongside his wife Ghazala Khan about their son, U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, who was killed in Iraq in 2004, media-wide reporters, editors, producers, and anchors have tried to lay criticism on Trump over the matter. They thought they had a good one, a specific line of attack that pitted Trump against the military—and supposedly showed him as a big meanie racist in the process.

But, as Breitbart News showed on Monday midday, that clearly was not the case. Khizr Khan has all sorts of financial, legal, and political connections to the Clintons through his old law firm, the mega-D.C. firm Hogan Lovells LLP. That firm did Hillary Clinton’s taxes for years, starting when Khan still worked there involved in, according to his own website, matters “firm wide”—back in 2004. It also has represented, for years, the government of Saudi Arabia in the United States. Saudi Arabia, of course, is a Clinton Foundation donor which—along with the mega-bundlers of thousands upon thousands in political donations to both of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2016—plays right into the “Clinton Cash” narrative.

Meanwhile, hours after Breitbart News presented this information publicly in a coherent report on Monday, others in media engaged in willful distortion of the story’s origins.

But, facts be damned, the entire mainstream is on a warpath to try to stop Donald Trump and elect Hillary Clinton. It’s also worth noting that each and every one of them is in their own right working to undermine Trump and elect Clinton.

Much can be gleaned from the moral preening seen as a faux outrage filled with judgment and prognostication that reveals the propaganda. One problem is that many of those ‘neverTrump’ camp followers do not notice the “faux” in their outrage and nobody ever thinks they are engaging in moral preening. This tends to lead to hyperbole and sometimes that goes astray. It appears that the Gold Star episode is yet another of those. One wonders how many and how often for these reveals is needed to make a dent.

Leave a Comment

The Pope and the ‘everybody does it’ fallacy

At The Guardian Pope Francis says it is ‘not right’ to identify Islam with violence — “Leader of the Catholic church says all religions have a ‘small fundamentalist group’ and that faith was not the only cause of terrorism.”

Pope Francis has said it was wrong to identify Islam with violence and that social injustice and idolatry of money were among the prime causes of terrorism.

“I think it is not right to identity Islam with violence,” he told reporters aboard the plane taking him back to Rome after a five-day trip to Poland. “This is not right and this is not true.”

The Guardian view on Pope Francis in Kraków: what religions are really about
Editorial: The pontiff shares some traits with John Paul II, but has a very different agenda
Read more
The pope was responding to a question about the killing on 26 July of an 85-year-old Roman Catholic priest during a church service in western France. The attackers forced the priest to his knees and slit his throat. The killing was claimed by Islamic State.

“I think that in nearly all religions there is a always a small fundamentalist group,” he said, adding “We have them,” referring to Catholicism.

Picking out money as the bogeyman despite plain evidence to the contrary is bad enough. Ignoring the teachings of the Koran raises things to a whole new level. A reasonable person might conclude that this is bearing false witness but the Pope is supposed to be above that. Confusing the sin in human nature with the teachings of false prophets is dangerous territory for any religious leader. Rather than bemoaning the evil of others concerning greed and money, perhaps some introspection about one’s own ‘wanting nice things’ is in order, especially when those nice things are for a reflection of humanity that does not exist and that your faith warns you about.

Leave a Comment

How did it get this far apart?

Robert Knight calls it A tale of two platforms and says that “The glaring differences give Americans a clear choice.”

Regardless of the Trump-Clinton matchup, it’s instructive to contrast the Republican and Democratic Party platforms. While nearly identical in length, they reveal utterly opposite worldviews.

The 54-page Republican platform calls for greater personal responsibility; decentralizing power; a balanced-budget amendment; reducing the size and scope of government; parental rights; gun ownership and religious liberty; tax incentives for economic growth; reducing taxes across the board; a crackdown on the Internal Revenue Service; overturning the Supreme Court’s rulings on Obamacare, abortion and same-sex “marriage”; rejecting any treaties not vetted by the Senate; rescinding President Obama’s executive orders granting amnesty to illegal immigrants; withholding federal funds from “sanctuary cities”; building a wall on our southern border; rebuilding American military strength, and exerting international leadership against ISIS and other threats.

The 52-page Democratic Party platform promises a new War on Poverty and the Bernie Sanders-inspired Socialist War on the Rich [not their wording]; massive new public works projects; expanding federal programs at every level; more tax-subsidized abortions; cradle-to-grave health care; a “cradle-to- college pipeline”; free public college tuition for all; free childcare; mandatory national service; racial affirmative action; the LGBT political agenda; new regulatory mandates on businesses; a radical climate change agenda; leading “a broad coalition of allies and partners to destroy ISIS’ stronghold in Iraq and Syria,” and sky-is-the-limit confiscatory taxation, including a new levy on financial transactions, to pay for it all.

The question is how the politics became this divisive, how the two major parties became so separated in values and perceptions.

Leave a Comment

Perspective and context

VDH ponders Trump and the Politics of Moral Outrage. The current brouhaha about Russian hacking is just one example that illustrates his points. That example is about perceptions, actual causes, the use of satire and humor, outrage, and political machinations.

No doubt, some of Trump’s flamboyant invective is isolationist, nativist, and protectionist. Certainly, we are in the strangest campaign of the last half-century, in which members of Trump’s own party are among his fiercest critics. In contrast, the ABC/NBC/CBS Sunday-morning liberal pundits feel no need to adopt NeverHillary advocacy. They apparently share little “Not in my name” compunction over “owning” her two decades of serial lying, her violations of basic ethical and legal protocols as secretary of state, her investment in what can be fairly termed a vast Clinton pay-to-play influence-peddling syndicate, and the general corruption of the Democratic primary process.

Amid the anguish over the Trump candidacy, we often forget that the present age of Obama is already more radical than most of what even Trump has blustered about.

Is Trump’s threatened “isolationism” worse than the present “lead from behind” or the empty step-over lines, deadlines, and red lines of the last seven years? Or than refusing to increase security at Benghazi and creating fables to hide the dereliction? I often hear the question: “Who knows what Trump might do?” I hear it much more often, in fact, than I hear anyone recall “We came, we saw, he [Qaddafi] died” or “What difference does it make?” The point is not to excuse Trump with “you too” moral equivalence, or to cynically race to the bottom of low-bar politics, but again to remind our ethicists that we live in an age characterized by Petronius’s Satyricon, not the elder Cato’s moral republic — and if they object to that fact, there were plenty of occasions to voice their outrage long before Donald J. Trump left The Apprentice. Trump may well be Trimalchio, but neither Clinton nor Obama is a Scipio (more likely a Catiline, Clodius, or Milo).

Like it or not, this election is about degree, relative political agendas, and comparative hazard, not about marrying ideological purity and consistency with sobriety and character — a sad fact that did not enter our politics with Donald J. Trump.

The current campaign is change and the state propaganda machine and established politicians are having a tough time trying to figure out what is going on. There are lessons to be learned about the people and about the wisdom of those who framed the U.S. systems of government.

Leave a Comment

Diagnosing tactics: the AP

John Hinderaker: The Association Press Plays the Race Card.

The Associated Press was once a straightforward, relatively nonpolitical news source, but those days are long gone. Now some of the most hard-core Democratic Party advocacy comes from the AP. Thus, it is no surprise that the AP is trying to advance the Democrats’ narrative that Trump is a bigot.

Is that assertion true? The AP takes no responsibility, it is just what “some observers say.”

“Coded racial language” is big on the left, but note that so far, the AP hasn’t quoted a single word that Donald Trump actually said. Not one. The AP goes on in the same vein, quoting Trump’s far-left critics, but never citing any of Trump’s own words.

And tomorrow, the AP will run a story on how Communists and Socialists are cheering for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. They won’t do that, of course, because fringe people are of interest only if they support Republicans. It’s just another day in the lives of liberal journalists who are devoted to advancing the interests of their party.

At least the propaganda is being dissected and exposed. There is still a significant gullible market for propaganda and that means that there will be those to serve the market. There is a lot of work to be done to shrink that market and education about tactics, techniques, and methods may help promote better integrity.

Leave a Comment