So the “election” has concluded in Russia, where exit polling indicates Vladimir Putin’s party will again be the big winner? And the major media is reporting out the story as though it should be taken with even an ounce of credibility? Seriously?
Down in the great State of Florida, currently so overcome by the Delta Variant, that for a time they were being forced to ship Covid patients out to other states, that goober police department that failed to take the boyfriend into custody after he returned from a trip with his girlfriend’s camper but not the girlfriend, has yet to provide any explanation as to how they could so completely botch things up. Somebody from the media needs to go after them and the local DA with a vengeance, until they get some answers. Maybe Barney Fife was on duty when the boyfriend came back with the van but without the now missing girlfriend? According to one report, the cops in North Port, Florida, are now working on “multiple person investigations,” and are asking anyone with any information to contact the FBI. Yeah, contact the FBI, that’s probably a real good idea.
Some consideration needs to be given to the fact that the Islamic State is taking credit for a couple of bombing attacks against the Taliban. In other words, the civil war in Afghanistan continues but without Americans being stuck in the middle. Is there anybody out there who still believes we shouldn’t have gotten out? That Joe Biden, didn’t do the right thing? I’m sure there are, but then, some still believe the election was stolen and that we continue to be under threat from Jewish space lasers.
And finally, congratulations to the four civilian astronauts who just managed to orbit the earth and splash back down into the ocean. Something Col. John Glenn, USMC, accomplished in 1962, as part of a space program that was a joint military/civilian effort which concluded with our putting men on the Moon.
Glenn , for those who don’t know, was the first American, to orbit the earth. At the time it was a huge big deal, because the Russians had already done it, we were playing catch up, and Glenn, put his life on the line to get it done using rocket science which, at the time, wasn’t all that dependable.
I knew John Glenn, and he was probably the closest anybody will ever come to being a real-life “Captain America.” Consequently, I can’t get too excited about these billionaires going out into space to play, only because they are standing on the shoulders of giants like Col. Glenn. A little more perspective on what’s really happening, a little context with regard for the past would be nice. All I’m hearing is a lot of mindless cheerleading, almost nothing about the giants who got us to where we now are or the possible pitfalls of abandoning what was a relatively successful civilian/military partnership, in favor of a privatized space program. Something tells me that at some point we may come to regret this whole privatization thing. It would be nice, at least, if somebody started talking about it. If not thinking about it as well. I know that’s asking a lot.
If you missed Ted Koppel’s piece on ‘CBS Sunday Morning,’ then you missed a wonderful piece of broadcast journalism. It deals with the real “Mayberry, RFD,” in Mt. Airy, North Carolina, the boyhood home of Andy Griffith. How it’s been idealized and why, and what it might mean to us as a country. Koppel’s report was excellent. Here’s a link to it. Click here.
Republicans have lost control of the White House and the Senate, and gas prices at the pump are once again through the roof. Happens every time the Republicans get booted out of office, almost like big oil is penalizing us for our voting, while, at the same time, trying to make the Dems look bad. Like they are screwing up the economy. I’ve seen this happen repeatedly over the years. Of course, there are a million “valid” reasons big oil has for unilaterally cranking up the price sky-high. Yeah, a million of them… Can’t happen with “free trade” and “open markets,” right? Admittedly, I could be totally wrong. Just imagining things. Again.
Now there are no actresses, just actors. As our language becomes less specific, we will all have a more difficult time understanding one another. Also, with this new “fast talking” thing that’s happening among young people, I already have trouble following anythinthyersying. Add to that words that are less descriptive, and we have a problem. Communication matters. Without it, we’re just great apes, swilling beer and watching football. Long live enunciation! Enunciation, is dead.
Why is so much being made on Facebook, of Eric Clapton not wanting to play to an audience that has been “discriminated against” with demands that they have all taken certain precautions against spreading Covid? You know, an attempt at preserving the public health? Clapton, is a musician. I don’t recall him ever claiming any credentials as an epidemiologist. Not sure he attended college? That said, he does have a right to his opinion, as well as a fundamental right to discriminate against those who have been vaccinated against Covid-19, by refusing to allow them to attend a concert out of the presence of possible superspreaders. You might say that in refusing to discriminate, Clapton, is being very discriminating.
For the record, I am a huge Clapton fan. Love the man’s music but I have no intention of relying upon him for medical advice.
And finally, a word about CBS News, and their star anchor, Nora O’Donnell. The word is, I do not care what Ms. O’Donnell’s opinions might be about any specific story she is reading. Good journalists, in fact, are supposed to keep their opinions out of their work. It appears as though Ms. O’Donnell, has been told to be as opinionated as possible, issuing little quips and asides after selected stories, telling us how she thinks we should feel. It is not cute. It is not becoming. It is not informative. It is bad journalism, and it’s turning me off to CBS News. Walter Cronkite, would condemn it.
Who the hell is running that show? Interesting that Susan Zarinsky, was shown the door. She was probably too much of a journalist for what CBS News has become. In fact, I’d bet on it.
Back when I was still working for others, as a member of the “mainstream media,” it always amazed me that there was a pervasive view of what we were doing as a targeted attack on somebody or some idea, when all we were trying to do was present the facts while being fair to all sides involved by keeping our personal opinions out of it. Now, here I am, thirteen years away from the business, and it appears to me that the mainstream is launching an attack on Joe Biden. An attack that is unbalanced, without context and therefore, unfair.
Biden, went from being in the hotseat for pulling the country out of Afghanistan, to being the guy whose popularity plummeted as he attempted to manage “multiple crises,” for which, it was made to appear, he was somehow responsible. It was pack-journalism “multiple-crises” time. I don’t know who started it but before long it was pervasive. Let’s take them one by one.
With regard to Afghanistan, it’s too early following the pullout to condemn anybody for anything. The point, I think, is that a great many Americans are just happy to be out of that unholy mess. War without end, amen. You can have it. It could be that years from now, Biden will be seen as the one president who finally had the courage to get us out of there and that going into Iraq, was a mistake from the beginning. A Republican mistake.
Then there is Covid. Biden didn’t start that one, either, but it could be argued he is managing it as best anybody could under the circumstances, and certainly a thousand times better than Trump and the Republican anti-vaxers did.
Rounding out the tri-fecta of media crisis condemnation is Hurricane Ida. Again, this is not Biden’s fault and he and the Feds responded to it in a timely fashion. No, he wasn’t out throwing paper towels at the peasants like the idiot Donald was, and his response was again a thousand times better than either Trump or Bush.
Biden got us out of an endless war he did not start. Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld, did. Biden, is also doing a better job of handling the Covid situation and problems associated with Hurricane Ida, than any of his Republican predecessors, particularly Trump, whose stalling and denial in the beginning only made matters worse with Covid, and George W. Bush, who pretty much just ignored Katrina until it became so embarrassing that he was forced to leave his birthday party and go do something.
But these facts, this perspective, is seldom or never mentioned by the mainstream media, which seems intent upon condemning Joe Biden, making it look like they are trying to take him down, rather than pursuing an accurate contextual accounting with regard for historical perspective. You know, balanced journalism, without continuing to pretend the developing fascism of the right should be treated with the same credibility and validity as those who believe in and continue to support democracy.
It is past time to stop pretending this is about anything less than the central question of the expanding fascism of the right taking on the patriotism of those in the center and on the left who are being pilloried for their alleged liberalism. Or, simply put, Neo-Nazism on one side and the supporters of American democracy on the other.
This is not opinion. To any reasonable, rational, informed person, it is fact. And it is time for the mainstream to get down to business and begin reporting out the facts regardless of the backlash, because our country, our very liberty, is at stake. Business as usual, pretending both sides have equal validity, no longer works. Not when one side is Neo-Nazi, and cares nothing for the truth. It is time for the mainstream to get out of the hair and makeup infotainment business and back in the journalism first business, no matter how much it hurts.
It almost feels like the mainstream is afraid of telling it like it is with regard to how badly the Republican Party has abused and misused the power it has been granted by the American people over the past several decades as Republicans continue to shift from the party of Reagan, to a Neo-Fascist mob.
A gang of liars who fear the truth will expose them for who they are. Women-hating, gun-toting, science-deniers, who attempted a coup de’tat against the country and failed. The mainstream media needs to get on that instead of attacking Joe Biden, who so far, has done a pretty damn good job as President, without inciting a riot or encouraging anyone to stage a coup.
In Afghanistan, the Taliban, without us to fight, are now at war with some other local “element” while they are also busy shutting down anything resembling any kind of equality for women.
Here at home, the State of Texas, has just made it easier to carry a concealed firearm while they too infringe upon the equality of women by making it impossible for a woman to get a legal abortion after the 6th week of pregnancy and work to make it more difficult to vote.
In response, Lyft, has just donated a million dollars to Planned Parenthood. Lyft and Uber, are offering to pay for the defense of their drivers charged under the new “bounty” law in Texas, which offers $10,000 to anyone who turns in someone who assisted a woman in getting an abortion, including anybody who just drives her somewhere.
Must it be said again? After only six weeks, many women don’t even know they are pregnant. Get it? So Texas, with the backing of an ultra-right U.S. Supreme Court, has pretty much outlawed abortion, period.
In addition, the “high court,” straining under the intellectual vacuum created by three Trump appointees, has ignored settled (established) law regarding abortion rights in the U.S., and possibly also violated the 4th Amendment right to privacy as outlined in the Constitution of the United States, a document these great legal minds have sworn to uphold.
It all sounds very Nazi-like, doesn’t it? Like Texas has created a whole new class of “brown shirts” running around turning in their neighbors for attempting to do their jobs – which in this case might involve improving healthcare. How do the Uber or Lyft drivers know why the hell a woman want’s to go somewhere? Are they supposed to interrogate their passengers as to the reason for their needing a ride? Did anybody think this through?
Beyond that, why do the Texans and the Taliban hate women? Why does this hate for women and a love of guns seem to go hand in glove for so many of these people? Might it have something to do with control? With having power over the lives of others, and isn’t that a hatred of freedom? Or do they just have some deep-seated fear of women?
Is it coincidence that so many big oil and gas companies are headquartered in the Lone Star State? Do American big oil people have some problem with women? Is there a connection here worth pursuing, particularly with regard to protecting oil interests overseas and needing domestic issues for deflection of the topic here in the U.S.? Or maybe it’s as simple as the guys running these big oil companies thinking women should be kept barefoot, pregnant and muzzled in their kitchens, while the real work is performed out on the job site by the men-folk.
In 2020, mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction contributed more than $233 billion to the Texas GDP. According to opensecrets.org, for the 2022 election cycle alone, oil and gas interests have already directed $6,795.765 at “federal candidates, parties and outside groups,” with most of the money going to Republicans.
WEEEEHAW! Don’t think Texas, isn’t telling D.C. what to do. It may be a matter of degree, but all those millions buy plenty of influence.
Robert Freeman, writes on the commondreams.org website, “The oil companies have eviscerated Biden’s Infrastructure plan, denuding it of anything that might boost renewable energy. The weapons makers have just been granted a $753 billion budget by the Biden administration, despite now losing Afghanistan, in addition to Iraq. It is supposedly to combat China, which has exactly one foreign military outpost in the world, to the U.S.’s 800. But if the U.S. military cannot win wars against fourth-world countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, how is it going to win one against China, which has nukes and has just surpassed the U.S. as the largest economy in the world? It’s psychotic.”
At least we’re no longer trying to mediate the civil war in Afghanistan, like a cop trying to get between two really angry parties in a domestic dispute, which frequently doesn’t work out all that well for the cop. That said, our troops had nothing to do with the political reasons for our being there, so thanks to all who served out of duty to the country and thank you to Joe Biden, for finally getting us out.
I should probably say something about the “backdoor draft” at this point, but I don’t want to be accused to attacking the military – which is one reason the backdoor draft worked so well for the Bush family dynasty. You can probably connect those dots for yourself, and if not – well, like the QAnon Shaman, who says he still likes Donald Trump, even though he failed to issue the Shaman a pardon, you’re probably too far gone for anyone to get to.
You probably can’t fathom the economic issues involved in starting a major land war that continues for years as opposed to avoiding said land war with diplomacy or replacing a mandatory military draft out of necessity to defend the nation with a patriotic call for heroes to defend the needs of big oil.
It couldn’t possibly have been that simple, could it? Eisenhower, warned us about the “military industrial complex,” and the words of Country Joe continue to ring true, “There’s plenty good money to be made, supplying the Army with the tools of its trade.”
Of course, nobody dares go there anymore, after everyone who put on a uniform suddenly became a hero and the distinction between supporting the troops as opposed to insane political directives was erased. Very complex, these military-complex people. Very good at shutting down those who wanted simple answers to simple questions. Questions most of us stopped asking at the risk of being called a traitor or Un-American.
When are we going to start going to war specifically to defend America, as opposed to defending “America’s interests” overseas? Going to war with Hitler’s Germany and Imperial Japan, was about defending America against fascism, not about some abstruse “interest overseas” that can mean damn near anything a politico wants it to mean.
The country is currently so utterly screwed up in its collective thinking that a good portion of the electorate actually believes there is something wrong with opposing Fascism. If ANTIFA actually existed, we should all be supporting it and not opposing it. This is madness, led by a madman who has taken us to the verge.
Let’s see how long we can avoid another unnecessary war. This last one should have ended after President Obama, got Osama bin Laden. Let’s see how long it will take for another Cheney or a Rumsfeld to show themselves, all lathered up and drooling for war with another Saddam, with a slow-witted president waiting in the wings, eager to follow their advice and a giant military-industrial complex eager to supply everything needed to pull it off.
It will probably happen again, you know. But until then, all the money the country saves can be plowed into public education and the Social Security Trust Fund, depleted over the years by a corrupt Congress. They might even direct a billion or two into women’s health and local law enforcement and food for hungry Americans. If Texas, will allow it.
Learned today that Ed Asner had died. And Lou Grant, along with him. A purist has left us.
I first met Mr. Grant, on tv, while working as a reporter for WBNS-TV, in Columbus, Ohio. I hadn’t paid any attention to the Mary Tyler Moore Show before Columbus, but when I got there and noticed everything in the newsroom either slowed or stopped when the “MTM” show came on, I too, started paying attention and laughing along with everybody else.
Often times, the buffoonery the show portrayed was close to the truth of what went on in America’s tv newsrooms. Sometimes, it was right on target. Uncomfortably so, for some of us in the business.
The second time I met Lou Grant, it was at a fundraiser for a youth symphony orchestra in Los Angeles, and he was playing Ed Asner. We were in what was serving as a “green room” for celebs. I knew who he was and was surprised when he knew who I was as well, and for some reason, maybe because he had played a tv newsman and I was a tv newsman, we hit it off and started talking about the news business.
It was his contention, that the news business was done. That it was dead, and that it wasn’t coming back. For my part, I argued that like everything else, the news game is cyclical, and while the trend toward “infotainment” may have taken us down the wrong path, surely it would not last. Surely, the pendulum would eventually swing back in the direction of journalism being primary and infotainment being secondary. I pointed out that we had previously gone from the “yellow journalism” of William Randolph Hearst, to the excellent product the New York Times and CBS News were putting out in the 1960’s, with Walter Cronkite on the news desk. “Not gonna happen,” he said. And that was that. Lou Grant in the person of Ed Asner, had spoken. Or maybe it was Ed Asner, speaking for Lou Grant. For just a minute there, as the conversation got a little heated, I wasn’t sure.
I never bumped into him again, at least not that I can remember. If you’re in Hollywood long enough you meet so many celebrities so many times that you forget who you met when or how often, and I was there for more than 30 years. What I can tell you is that I’m not sure Asner wasn’t right in his conviction that the golden era of American Journalism is over and that it won’t be coming back. At least, not like before. Not like it was when Lou Grant was City Editor at a major paper in Los Angeles, working for a family that cared about their reputation in the community as opposed to a corporation that cares only for the bottom line. I just don’t know. I do know from following his political causes that Ed Asner, was a purist. A great actor who gave life to the characters he portrayed and believed in the purity of the causes he supported like the United Farm Workers and the Screen Actors Guild, where he served two terms as president.
His death leaves a big hole in who we are. Regardless of what you might have thought about his politics. Perhaps I feel this way because I spent a lifetime in the news business. Or maybe it’s because Ed Asner was just that good at bringing to life the character of Lou Grant, and the ethical, principled and fair, old-school news business he represented.
He may have been art representing reality, but it’s a reality we all desperately need.
It feels like it was just a few months ago. I was at my desk at KTLA in Hollywood, and was about to receive one of the strangest calls of my life. It was from my friend and former colleague Bob Campi. A news photographer, Bob, was calling from a spot somewhere near Tora Bora, in eastern Afghanistan, where the U.S. military was attempting to “take out” Osama bin Laden, following the attacks of 9-11. “They think they’ve got him,” Campi said, adding that the military thought bin Laden, was trapped in a cave somewhere not far from where he was talking to me via satellite phone. I could hear explosions going off in the distance, as Campi, did an excited play-by-play, telling me that it wouldn’t be long before Osama, was no more.
We, of course, had no idea at the time that President George W. Bush, would pull our troops back from the attack on bin Laden, sending them over to assist with an invasion of Iraq, something Bush’s Veep Dick Cheney, and Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, had reportedly been longing to do for years
I’ve been thinking about that call a lot lately. Almost every time I see a network news show slamming Joe Biden, for what they claim is his botched job of getting the U.S. out of Afghanistan. Almost never is there adequate context provided, alluding to the fact that it was the Administration of George W. Bush that got us into Afghanistan in the first place, only to pull back our troops just as they were about to capture or kill bin Laden.
I recall wondering at the time, why we were even still waging old-fashioned conventional warfare when so much brand new hi-tech stuff was available, with drones, cruise missiles and undoubtedly several other top-secret implements we know nothing about at our military’s fingertips. Hadn’t Bill Clinton nearly taken out Osama with a cruise missile strike just months earlier? Wouldn’t we have that same opportunity again, and without sending tens of thousands of Americans overseas in a massive deployment with any number of experts warning that our incursion had the potential for turning into another Vietnam? Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and company refused to listen. They knew better and went in with a massive military force, anyway. And then, when they were on the verge of killing bin Laden, they pulled back and went after Saddam Hussein instead.
But that’s not why we went into Afghanistan. We went there to get Osama, not Saddam. At least, that’s what we were told.
Now, here we are, twenty years later, with network newscasters landing all over Joe Biden, for not being clairvoyant enough to envision a future not seen by his intelligence people, whereby some 300-thousand American-trained Afghans, would throw down their weapons and melt away into the countryside at the Taliban’s advance.
It’s so easy to forget who got us into this mess, screwed it up royally at the beginning and then refused to pull our troops out for so many years with the declared purpose of “democratizing the Middle East!” That’s what George W. Bush, said he was going to do, even though it was not why we were there and it would, over the long-haul, prove to be impossible.
It was Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney, who got us into this mess and then failed to get us out, not Joe Biden. Why we were there in the first place has all but been forgotten. A little context would be nice.
We’ve been in and out of Afghanistan and Iraq so many times that it’s easy to forget that we first went into the area in 1991, under President George H.W. Bush, to push the Iraqis, who were invading Kuwait, back into Iraq. It was all about oil.
Iraq, under Saddam Hussein, claimed Kuwait, was actually part of Iraq, and they wanted it back. Others pointed out that the Kuwaitis, ruled by a royal family and allies of the United States, had been overproducing from their oil fields, driving down the price of crude, and it was costing Iraq a lot of money. But for whatever reason, Saddam, who had been buying a lot of munitions from the United States, invaded Kuwait.
So the first Bush Administration, with the backing of numerous allies, sent the American military in to kick Saddam back into Iraq.
I was at a desert airbase in California, when our troops were being loaded onto airliners for the trip over. All those men and women, both young and middle-aged, getting on commercial jetliners. It was the first time I realized that the country needs the commercial airlines for large scale deployments overseas. I wondered if what we were doing would be worth it. I remember thinking, “My God, we’re sending young mothers off to war,” and wondering why we were really going and how many Americans would be forced to die for the cause of letting the Royal Family of Kuwait, keep their oil fields. I wondered how many American kids might lose their parents in the fight. I thought about how much the character of American warfare had changed since World War II and Vietnam. Since the end of the draft.
With Saddam and his Republican Guard, booted back onto their home turf, George H.W. Bush, followed the advice of his people and pulled our troops out of the region, not wanting to risk getting stuck in another Vietnam War scenario. Turned out to be a very smart choice, one his son, George W. Bush, wouldn’t follow just a few years later following the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.
The point here, is that the United States incursion into Kuwait, was thirty years ago, not twenty. If memory serves. Meaning, we’ve been in-country over there for so long that at this point it’s difficult to remember exactly when we went in or why.
When we first went into Kuwait and Iraq, the phrase “boots on the ground” had yet to be invented and the media almost never referred to military “deployments.” That kind of military jargon was only adopted later, as the media became cheerleaders for a military rather than a diplomatic solution to a regional religious conflict as old as Islam, itself.
Military failure is a tough taskmaster. Especially so, when no one’s paying attention. The Chinese, the Japanese, the French and then the U.S., all went into Southeast Asia, thinking they could win. Or in the case of the United States, there appears to be evidence thanks to Daniel Ellsberg, that an ongoing stalemate, with bodies continuing to pile up, would have been acceptable going forward. But nothing seemed to work. Not for the U.S., or any of the others. In the end, all the invaders were pushed out by the Vietnamese.
Then the British the Russians and finally the U.S., did the same in Afghanistan and the Middle East, again thinking they could subjugate the indigenous people. And again, the invaders were pushed out. The point, is that we’ve been there for a very long time and President Biden, is probably right in pulling us out. He’s right to tell the Afghans, that it is their fight and that they are going to have to fight it. Finally. The only other option would be sticking with George W. Bush’s vision of “democratizing the Middle East,” which probably would have meant our ongoing presence in a never-ending war in a conflict where a military solution is probably impossible. Would it be worth another twenty or thirty years of war to find out?
France 24 reports that 80% of those under 35 years of age did not vote in the most recent French regional elections. In the United States, “52%-55% of voting-eligible young people, ages 18-29, cast a ballot in the 2020 presidential election.”
French youth are apparently rejecting the established way of doing things in a “get back to the earth” movement, similar to Hippies in the U.S. back in the 1960’s. This includes not going to the polls. Here in the U.S., it seems the opposite is happening. Interesting, no?
To me, it is absolutely confusing. Undoubtedly because I have no understanding ot the youth culture in France. And yet, I have to wonder if what is happening there won’t eventually happen here in the U.S.?
While CNN and MSNBC continue hammering away with their Covid/Cuomo obsession to the exclusion of almost all else, I had to go to the BBC, to find out that the Russians have (again) been targeting us with disinformation about Covid-19 vaccines on Facebook.
“Facebook Removes Anti-Vax Influencer Campaign,” the headline reads on the BBC. Their reporting explains further, that Facebook, “…has removed hundreds of accounts which it says were involved in anti-vax disinformation campaigns operated from Russia.” The campaigns, according to the article, targeted “India, Latin America and the U.S.” with the express purpose of undermining pubic confidence in Covid vaccines.
Why is Vladimir Putin trying to sew chaos around the world? Could it be because he wants us diverted from his big picture efforts aimed at destroying democracies and extending the power of oligarchs? American broadcast journalists have taken their eye off the ball, because they don’t know what the ball even is. At their urging, the American public spend their time debating the insidiousness of a politician making women “feel uncomfortable” and the value of wearing a mask as the Delta Variant storms across the United States.
Not that none of that matters, but at the same time, the unforgivable “Citizens United” decision is all but forgotten with a river of dark money influencing our public officials and oversight of the media all but non-existent, the Fairness Doctrine now long-forgotten and ratings-driven profits being all that really matters to tv and cable execs in front offices and boardrooms across the country.
Welcome to the U.S.A. The best government money can buy while the media watchdog takes a snooze in the corner. Isn’t this what we should be most worried about? The loss of our freedom of choice? Our liberty?
For their part, the Democrats, are trumpeting their great accomplishment with their infrastructure bill, an issue that will have faded from view as the Republicans, assisted by the Russians, pump so much smoke into the air that millions of us won’t be able to find our way to the polls, much less know who we should vote for, the Republicans, the new whiter than white party of the right, or the Democrats, who have seemingly been overtaken by a new inclusive diversity frenzy of the far-left that appears to view straight white men as the enemy as their numerous alphabetized categories of sexual definition grow ever longer, with “his” and “hers” all but eliminated in favor of “theirs.” No men, no women, just unisexual democrats. Whatever you do, don’t tell a woman she looks good or pat anybody on the back. Just don’t touch anybody. Ever. Even if you’re culturally predisposed to do so and the people you come from have been for thousands of years.
The Republicans increase their influence through fear-based KGB-like disinformation tactics and race-baiting, while the Dems, once again prove to be their own worst enemy, as they tear themselves to shreds from the inside-out, with their far-left attacking their more moderate base, leaving millions out in the cold, wondering if the Democratic Party’s really for them, or if its left-leaning faction has strayed too far to the left to suit their moderate sensibilities.
It occurred to me the other day, that what we need is another Ross Perot. For a time, it looked like he might provide an answer, the dawn of a new political day for America with his “Reform Party.” He appeared to be a true moderate. But it wasn’t to be. In 1992, he pulled in 18.9% of the popular vote, but got not even one electoral vote. Such is our system, with the winners taking it all and the losers being invited to “get lost.”
Then, at least, there were limits on funding campaigns. Now there are no limits as to how much money anybody, even a foreign power, can pump into the process to influence a campaign or an issue and we the people have to rely upon the BBC to tell us what’s really going on?
But who listens to the BBC? Exactly.
You can be sure Mr. Putin, finds all of this most amusing while others among us, fear for the worst.
The endless Covid/Cuomo cycle to the exclusion of almost everything else on the 7/24 channels will put you in therapy if you let it. Just like FOX, CNN and MSNBC, put Donald Trump in the White House. Just as the unending stream of accusation is about to sink the career of Andrew Cuomo and possibly his brother as well, simply for being his brother.
After hearing someone being condemned forty or fifty times, one is likely to believe the condemnation regardless of its legitimacy.
This incessant yammering about the same two or three stories over and over is dangerous. The government needs to step in and somehow balance out the demands of the First Amendment with what’s best for the country as new tech continues creating a new intensity in communications with too little attention being paid to the quality of the product.
As a species, we are barely beyond the “monkey see, monkey do” phase in our development. We can’t be expected to deal with this.
Will the 78 year-old Joe Biden be able to run for another four years? Will Kamala Harris be able to fend off a Desantis campaign in 24 or will Desantis tear her to pieces as he grows the right-wing base by attacking the far-left? Or will Donald decide to go for it one more time?
Either way, with Donald or Desantis running, Harris, was the wrong choice for VP. She is without the necessary gravitas to run for president and represents a major mistake by the Dems. She has the persona of a grinning party girl from California, and that won’t win a national election.
If Trump is reelected, it could very well mean the end of our democracy. He went for one coup d’etat and got away with it, so why wouldn’t he go for another? Meantime, Desantis, is clearly running down in Florida, doing all he can with the mask issue to gin-up and grow his misinformed base for 2024.
And up in New York, Democrat Andrew Cuomo, is toast for allegedly making women “feel uncomfortable.”
Will the New York AG, Letitia James, ever file charges against Donald Trump? Not his company, mind you, but against Trump himself? Or will he walk away unscathed by criminal charges from James, who was widely touted as being the woman who would bring the Donald down?
Can you imagine Donald Trump doing any jail time? For anything? I can’t. Forget about the 26 women who allege sexual misconduct, and go straight to the more obvious stuff, like inciting to riot or staging an attempted coup d’etat against the United States of America? Not that either of those allegations, if proven, would merit any time behind bars. Or the allegations of 26 women. Despite all that, Trump, theoretically, could still run again while Andrew Cuomo, is toast. It isn’t easy being a Democrat.
Social media seems tailor made for what appears to be a peculiar kind of mental illness whereby some participants actually feel superior to others by employing name-calling or irrational or nonsensical arguments. For most of us, this kind of childish behavior was left behind on the playground in grammar school. The frightening reality however, is that all of these people have the right to vote, despite their obvious intellectual shortcomings.
Perhaps researchers will come up with an RNA vaccine that will improve the human thought process. If they do, you can be sure that at least one-third of all Americans will refuse to take it, preferring the bliss of ignorance to the challenge of enlightenment.
Can’t get it out of my head. That story about those two young people who went to a movie back in California, only to be executed by a guy who came up behind them and shot them in the backs of their heads. It was the latest “Purge” movie, and the sound was so loud that none of the other moviegoers heard the shots being fired. The young couple were found by a cleaning crew that showed up after the movie ended.
Made me think back to a similar incident at a movie theater in Aurora Colorado a few years ago with 12 dead and 70 injured, 58 from gunfire. This time only two were killed. An 18 year-old and a 19 year-old, both allegedly murdered by a 20 year-old, all attending a movie with a rancid plotline designed to target their demographic.
You have to wonder if the shooter was following suit with the screenwriter’s rank imagination.
We were still in Los Angeles, when the Aurora shooting took place. I remember having concerns about going out to a movie, especially in the afternoon in that big theater with only a few moviegoers in the seats. I remember wondering if some loon with a gun might wander in and just open up, just as the gunman had done in Aurora. If someone opened up on you out on the freeway you were at least in your car. But there, in a theater, you had nothing between you and the gunman. No car to hide in. You couldn’t step on the gas to try and get away.
It feels as though it just keeps getting worse. It feels as though nothing is being done to stop the slaughter as fear continues to grow.
I thought about fear yesterday, as I spotted a black pickup on a local highway. It was all decked out in black and white, flying a big black and white “Don’t Tread On Me” flag from a pole in the truck’s bed. The words “We The People” were stenciled in the rear window next to a big white skull with teeth that looked like they were melting from the skull’s lower jaw. I later learned the skull is from some comic, that it represents a character called the “Punisher,” and wondered exactly what message the truck’s owner is attempting to convey, although I’m pretty sure it has something to do with fear.
Even now I have friends who are buying guns while newspapers run stories about the country’s ongoing ammunition shortage. My fellow Americans, it seems, can’t get their hands on enough guns and ammunition.
For its part, Hollywood, keeps pushing the “Purge” and other films of a similarly murderous ilk while the country remains on a psychological razor’s edge from the Covid pandemic. At the same time, facts be damned, millions of Trump supporters refuse to accept reality about the pandemic or the validity of the election or our need for gun control. Never wanting to let a bad thing pass them by, the Russians apparently continue doing all they can to seed social media with disinformation designed to tear us even farther apart.
You’ll have to forgive me for being a little concerned.
There was an interesting comment by one of the pundits yesterday, following the testimony of four police officers who defended the Capitol against treasonous thugs on January 6th. He noted, that during the Revolutionary War, about a-third of the colonists wanted to remain with the Crown. That is to say, they wanted to be British rather than American. As you know, the Americans, with some very heavy assistance from Lafayette and the French, won.
Then, not all that many years later, about a third of the nation formed the Confederacy and attempted to break away from the United States, in the name of preserving slavery. And that, brings us up to our contemporary mess, with, once again, about a-third of the country following Donald Trump and his call, driven by malignant narcissism, to seize the Capitol and “stop the steal.”
Why is it that about one-third of the country keeps getting it wrong? It’s safe to say, I suppose, that this time, as with the Civil War, the bitter bile of racism is again the cause. Bitter enough to have led to a Trump-inspired attempted coup d’etat.
All one needed to do, was to glance out at the audience at any of the Trump rallies or at the faces of the goons storming the Capitol to see that they were nearly all white. And all male. So, here we go again, but this time we have the additional problem of the 7-24 news cycle, taking something that used to be reported only once in the morning papers, then a second time on the 6 o’clock news and a third time on the 11 o’clock news and running it over and over again in an endless loop, until it feels as though all hell is about to crash down on our hapless heads. That, coupled with the unfiltered nature of social media, has taken us to a new and potentially dangerous place, a new low in our informational cycle, one that has disinformation and misinformation controlling our lives with some of it even being pushed at us from enemies on foreign soil.
Some of these “media people” will say almost anything if it means ginning up their ratings, the country be damned. And since Reagan and his free-traders killed the Fairness Doctrine and most other controls over the broadcast media, we are now like babes to the slaughter, mindlessly staring at whatever garbage someone feels like pushing through the flatscreen or smartphone at us. Media influence is overwhelming. In 2018, Nielsen reported that Americans spend eleven hours a day “connected to the media.” In 2021 PEW reported that three in ten adults are almost “constantly online,” with non of it having been checked and double-checked by Walter Cronkite and the CBS Evening News.
It could be argued that social media is addicting, and as such, should be treated as a public health issue.
Unlike those pre-social media days, when professional journalists filtered out all the nonsense, and would have called Trump out for being the dangerous buffoon that he is (read Mary Trump’s book), we now have millions who are being informed by entertainment outlets worried primarily about profits and social media outlets worried about not knowing what they should be worried about because what they are doing has never been done before, leaving them mostly interested in profits alone. Plus, they’re sometimes run by a bunch of geeky kids with no interest in history other than the plot line for The Lord Of The Rings.
This time, not even Bilbo Baggins will be able to save us as we head into the midterm election with about a-third of the country continuing to believe the last election was stolen, a giant cancerous boil that continues to be carried forward on the collective rump of about a-third of the country who feel a need to follow the madness of the unfiltered, unjournalistic and some might say treasonous extreme right-wing media.
We can only pray that the other two-thirds feel motivated to go to the polls in 22.
Interesting day so far here in the Mid-Atlantic. First came the vultures.
Our friend Sue notified my wife that several vultures had congregated near the trash she had left out for pickup in her front yard, and she wasn’t sure what, if anything, she should do about it. This was new for me. I had no idea what, if anything, to say about it, but I can see where vultures hanging around the house, particularly in the front yard where they would be the first thing you see when you look out the window, could be a real drag. Particularly for those of us in our 70’s and 80’s. I just put a new roof on the house and it’s a chilling thought that the roof will probably outlast me. So there was that. Until receiving news of the great DC housefire.
A friend, who lives down near the district, was about to jump in the shower when there was a banging at his door. It was a neighbor lady from across the street, frantic with news that there was smoke coming from the house next door and that the elderly man who lived there, wasn’t home. My friend, we’ll call him Fred, took it to heart. He threw on a robe, went outside and saw white smoke pouring out of the chimney of the house next door – which, according to the neighbor lady, was empty.
Fearing the worst, my buddy Fred grabbed his 100 foot garden hose and directed water at the top of the chimney while yelling at the neighbor lady to “Dial 9-1-1! Call the fire department!” Which she did. They also tried knocking on the door, but nobody answered, adding to fears that the house was unoccupied. I should add, just to be fair, that it isn’t all that common to see smoke pouring out of a chimney in July when temperatures are in the 80’s.
The fire department got there pretty fast according to Fred, as their firehouse is located less than 200 yards from the “incident.” The firemen arrived and started banging on the door and this time someone answered. The old man who lives in the house told everybody to calm down. He had been in the basement he said, where he couldn’t hear the knocking. As for the fire, he needed to get rid of some old papers, he explained, so he was burning them in the fireplace, causing smoke, which in the words of my buddy Fred, “Looked like the fire at the Vatican when they’ve got a new Pope!” Which is why he was standing there in his bathrobe pouring water on the chimney.
Interesting day here in the Mid-Atlantic. Wondering what’s coming next. Maybe Kramer and Elaine will drop by for lunch.