December 2, 2018 at 5:11 pm #44163Raúl Ilargi MeijerKeymaster
Frans Masereel Montmartre 1925 The way ‘news’ is reported through known outlets changes so fast hardly a soul notices that news as we on
[See the full post at: Smear Slander Rinse and Repeat]December 3, 2018 at 1:04 am #44164VietnamVetParticipant
Times are changing. Newspapers can’t make money by themselves. They serve their owners other interests; like staying on top of the hierarchy. You can’t believe the Internet. What seems reasonable?
There are conspiracies. “Behind every great fortune there is a great crime”.
Born and raised in the West, in my 75 years, never before, have I heard of housing developments totally burned to the ground like the last two years in California. Something changed. The Washington Post published expert opinion that it was poor zoning and not cleaning out the brush, removing wood, screening vents and the lack of fire proof roofing and sprinklers. Yet, the Post fails to mention that if your neighbors don’t do the same this is pointless especially as the environment becomes hotter and drier. The internet reports that the fires are caused by government space laser weapons. Instead, I think the actual cause is the failure of government and ruling neoliberal ideology. Today, it is everyone for themselves. Community is extinct. Every dollar horded by oligarchs is lost to society. We are unprotected.December 3, 2018 at 1:13 am #44165V. ArnoldParticipant
Wonderful piece Ilargi.
Excellent course in dissecting the bullshit and outright lies, that now passes for news.
I no longer (for decades) have any allegiance to any western media source; just to trusted authors. And even then, always with a critical eye and ear.
Intellectually, spiritually, and to some extent physically, IMO, we’re in critically dangerous times.
Looking back 73 years brings to the fore a horrible but fascinating present.
Don’t let the bastards get you…December 3, 2018 at 8:48 am #44166teriParticipant
Moon Jae-In is the one responsible for bringing the Korean peninsula closer to peace than its been in decades. In fact, it’s been his desire and goal since he became an adult. He has been the one doing all the heavy lifting with North Korea, the one who has arranged all the meetings and brought about the only measurable achievements so far. Give credit where it’s due. And this one has all been due to the efforts of Moon Jae-In. Trump’s people go in and offend everyone – and do it every damn time they set foot there.
I see a number of “liberal-leaning” writers now refusing to criticize Trump for the reasons you give: that the MSM goes too far in that direction and that, after all, he is “only doing what Obama did”. (This website, Kunstler, Peter Van Buren come to mind immediately.) However, none of you excused Obama and declined to call him out, although he was “only” building on what Bush did. You held Obama accountable for his actions. I find it bizarre that you won’t hold Trump responsible for his, even though he and his administration are going so far beyond Obama that we may not ever recover. I am thinking specifically of the damage to the environment, the number of far-rightwing judges placed in the courts, the on-going attempts to defund our education system, the huge expansion of wealth inequality brought on by the tax cut shit, the ending of the Iran nuclear agreement and subsequent reimposition of sanctions (which are harsher than any the US has ever placed on Iran), the increased use of drone-bombing on even more countries, the weaponization of space and ending the nuclear treaties, workplace deregulation, more taxpayer money going to the Pentagon than ever before… I could go on.
If you don’t hold Trump accountable, things will continue to deteriorate, and it’s a real short step for the next guy to take us right back to the middle ages’ feudal system, in a country that has been turned into a toxic waste dump and where there is no funding at all allocated to the social commons.
There is no reason to jump on the b.s. Russia thing or to give credence to all the dumb blather about the silly Mueller investigation, but seriously, why let Trump get away with the really bad stuff he actually is doing? This country is going to be in a very bad situation after two more years of the Trump/Republican dismantling. Are you going to just watch it happen and refuse to remark on it all because you have chosen to take the stance that criticizing Trump is “just jumping on the bandwagon”? The MSM is criticizing him for the WRONG reasons. You ought to go after him for the RIGHT reasons, not just let him get away with all this shit without comment.
Frankly, I don’t get it. Trump is too stupid, venal and cruel to be the one president who gets a pass from writers who seemed to have cared about environmental and societal issues before he came into office.December 3, 2018 at 9:08 am #44167V. ArnoldParticipant
You ought to go after him for the RIGHT reasons, not just let him get away with all this shit without comment.
And just what do you suggest? I do not recall Ilargi giving Trump a pass on anything. He just doesn’t jump on the bandwagon as all the rest are so inclined to do.
I despise Trump; but very rarely even comment on him; what would be the point?
For myself, I see no future for the U.S., and no longer contribute anything to support it.
Voting is a very cruel joke as is the hackneyed term democracy.
Most Usians do not understand their true position in the world, much less in their own country.
The education system you decry, is one of the leading reasons for the mass ignorance of the population.
I wish you no ill, but suggest you give a serious rethink of your position.
Regards…December 3, 2018 at 11:05 am #44177Raúl Ilargi MeijerKeymaster
The problem people like Kunstler and I have, as I’ve explained often, is that the NYT, CNN, Guardian et al have monopolized criticism of Trump. And they’ve done it largely with nonsensical allegations. Russiagate. The Guardian tries to outdo them all. On Twitter people think they can call Trump any derogative term they like.
If I would go after him for the RIGHT reasons, whatever they would be, I’d be in their camp. Our news needs to find a balance, and I can help that along by criticizing those who smear Trump, not by inevitably being put in the same corner they operate from. One can’t hold Trump accountable without being linked to that corner. It’s a 2D world.
It’s certainly not something I asked for.December 3, 2018 at 3:51 pm #44180kultsommerParticipant
Trump is embodiment of everything that US is today, thus making him a “perfect” president if you will.
Most decent person in entire nation, if by some miracle elected, would be brought down in no time not only by the “big players” but majority of populace which still believes that “American life style is not negotiable”.December 3, 2018 at 7:37 pm #44183Dr. DParticipant
Teri– Our paradigms are so different I have a hard time composing a response, but let’s follow my namesake and play Devil’s Advocate:
IS Moon-Jae-in the primary cause of the Korean peace? Why did this much-wanted peace only happen now, 50 years after the ceasefire? Why was it getting worse for many years, and only now, very suddenly improves? If Trump is sabotaging it, as you suggest, whyso? If the U.S., the major partner, protector, and some say de-facto controller of Korea and Japan is trying to stop the peace, is Trump just really bad at stopping it? Is Moon in charge of the removal of mines, the detonation of the development facility, or the cessation of the U.S. military drills? Osaka has been determined to expel U.S. forces from Osaka for decades, to be met with active increases instead. Yet Moon is able to control U.S. military policy and maneuvers on the DMZ, while Trump is both active AGAINST peace AND impotent. If he’s impotent in Korea, why? If he’s that impotent in general, why worry? Clearly he has no power.
Perhaps Trump is riding the coat tails of this peace, and is an indifferent, accidental actor. Yet peace has also come to most of Syria after 8 years of pitched battle. The U.S. has left much of Pakistan and made noises of a de-facto surrender in Afghanistan. Is this also an accident? If we leave and it’s by effective surrender, is Trump a good guy for leaving, or a bad guy for losing? What would you do instead in his shoes, having inherited at least 6 wars? If he is so impotent Korea ignores him, would his generals even listen if you told them to leave?
HAS Trump damaged the environment? How? Has he done this more than his predecessors, the owners of the Flint scandal, the Keystone Pipeline, the ANWAR drilling plan, the Fracking debacle, 2 record-breaking EPA spills, then Bush in the Deepwater Horizon and Corexit spill and cover-up, the 911 contamination and depleted uranium suppression and so on; before that, Clinton opening drilling in the Gulf, the tar sands promotion and pipeline, cover-up for Gulf War Disease, etc. How is Trump any different from these people? If we include only Democratic Presidents as contrast, the record is little changed, and in fact would probably be against Democrats in general as Nixon signed the Clean Air and Endangered Species Acts.
HAS Trump stacked the courts with rightwing judges? I cannot find narrow statistics, but I believe it has been well-established he has been stonewalled from placing not just judges, but any appointments at all. He only recently got a few judges through, TWO YEARS into his Presidency. Whether those are good judges or not, it’s been 220 years of precedent that the President has the right to alter the administration of his predecessor: that’s why we have elections. If Trump could change nothing or do nothing his voters wanted, it would not be a democracy but a tyranny of the bureaucracy, and in fact we see this pretty strongly. This is what is reported as the “Deep State”, which is very vocal in opposition with Brennan, Comey, Clinton, Acosta, Bezos, etc. The papers and indeed top-level positions in the Justice Department and elsewhere are breathless in saying they won’t take orders from the President, they won’t declassify, they won’t enforce. If so, what makes you think Trump is in charge of the government at all? Perhaps he controls 20% of it, as I believe. Is he responsible for a government and bureaucracy that refuses many direct orders? If he’s not, is the unelected bureaucracy responsible for any new wars or ecological disasters? Why not?
Taking that a step further, under our government, the President controls nothing: he is the EXECUTOR of the will of CONGRESS. CONGRESS writes the laws, CONGRESS funds and defunds, CONGRESS oversees. How is he, or for that matter, Obama, Bush, Clinton, Carter, “in charge” and responsible for all that goes on? Is that ours, the peoples’, fault? Since Congress won’t cooperate with him either, is he in charge inside OR outside the beltway? If so, how much? Since Congress can remove and defund him at will, and Congress doesn’t like him, and the Executive branch won’t obey him, the press won’t report him, and even Korea ignores him, how much should we worry about one man, whatever his will or intent?
Back to the judges, the word “far right-wing” is now a required prefix before everything lacking the prefix “far left-wing”, and vice versa. ARE his judges “far right wing”? Since Trump was a long-time business Democrat, and holds none of the signal “far-right” views such as state’s rights, abortion, or gun control, IS he promoting far-right judges? Since the self-same media and rating agencies such as the SPLC have been shown to be biased, what would we base our judgment on?
By one example, Kavanagh is emphatically NOT a right-wing judge, despite incredible rhetoric. He believes in the sort of Patriot Act prosecution, in gun control, in federalization and executive power, and will not take a position on abortion. His views on these signature issues as well as everything else, show he is FAR from a Constitutionalist, agrees with the far-left on unlimited government power, and — if the Left hadn’t attacked him — would have been more in danger of being shot down BY the Tea Party and far-right on his own voting record, as he is against everything they stand for. The left actually AVERTED Kavanaugh being refused fairly, openly, for his own voting record as judged by the actual Right. So when stakes are high, Trump pointedly did NOT choose a “Right-wing” or “Tea Party” judge. Since he dangerously places far-right judges, why didn’t he try? Since Kavanaugh is a run-of-the-mill GOP moderate, why was he so opposed?
IS Trump attempting to defund the education system? Trump is presently under a discretionary budget, so why is the Education department still operating? Since educational standards have fallen every day since the DoE was created, wouldn’t its defunding or elimination be a GOOD thing? Would you rather he fund it fully and choose all the textbooks as is proper protocol? Again, since to Constitutionalists and anyone in the right-half of the GOP would believe the DoE is unconstitutional, if Trump is really in charge, and if he is arm’s-length from Hitler, why doesn’t he act on this? Or gun control? Or affirmative action? Or State’s rights? Or health care? Or 100 other actual “far right-wing” ideas? Is he impotent here too? If so, why pay attention to or fear him? If he can’t get anything done, and doesn’t even try, he’s a political non-entity, a nobody.
With only 2 years data I had a hard time finding immediate stats on Drone and wealth, but you can see a broad outline here:
I THINK this says, like Syria, that the top strikes were under Obama and his expansion of Arab Spring into 5 new wars, and the number of drone strikes and wars has been falling. While the numbers were low in Obama’s exit, they have not risen under Trump, despite articles like this one: https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/03/26/the-drones-are-back/ — which ironically uses this chart that shows the drones are NOT back. This does not excuse their use, but if they are FALLING, not rising, it’s difficult to sound new alarms about how he is a danger that is worse, rather than a guy essentially inheriting the third world war. He didn’t invent the many wars, or the drones, or their use on U.S. citizens. So IS he actually worse? Trying to be worse but failing at it? On what statistics?
Similar with income disparity. The chart above shows that income disparity rose coincident to inflation and financialization in 1974, dropped temporarily (due to market crashes) when Bush and Obama entered, but overall has been unchanging for 45 years. While we can ARGUE that the tax cuts will have this effect, there is a time-lag and we cannot KNOW there is. Reagan cut taxes, which seems to have no effect on the chart starting in 1974, however, Kennedy cut taxes the largest, and the income spread did not move in 1960. Does that imply there is more than one moving part? If there’s a 100% chance it has no effect, as neither President’s large tax cuts show an increase, why infer failure or bad motive?
Similar ideas are present in deregulation: according to one paradigm, deregulation is good, and the other it is bad. Which is it? Do we know? Reagan theoretically deregulated, and if that were true, and if it mattered, the economy boomed, but at what cost? Yet Roosevelt, Carter, and Obama regulated, and their economies tanked. Is that coincident, consequence, or is it worth the cost regardless of the price?
In their way of thinking, Trump is giving YOU the power, your own tax money so YOU can control the social commons. That is Conservative, or even business Democrat thinking. Do you not WANT the power, the money, or the responsibility? Why is government the best or only holder and insurer of this ill-defined “commons”? Can’t you run a charity, a church, or a natural trust? How successful have they been in their stewardship in the last 100 years? Are people safer? Has poverty decreased? Has crime fallen? Do we use fewer drugs? Are healthier? Are their marriages stronger? Are the streets safer from gun and violence? Is there less crime? More trust? Is the environment cleaner? Cheaper, better education? Cheaper housing? Are we less indebted and more loved around the world? Since the government – including decades of each party – controls or is deeply involved in all these things, if they are a good steward of the social commons, why have these exact items generally gotten worse? Perhaps they worse in either Democratic or Republican areas? Does one prosper and succeed? If so, why?
We can and should hold Trump accountable, but only for the things he’s done. Even then, much of what we believe is based on faith, that “this way is better than that way” while the stories, the statistics don’t bear out the partisanship and dogma. One thing’s for sure, “Trump” is not in charge. Not in theory, for the PEOPLE are, or by law, where CONGRESS is, or in fact, as a great number of his orders aren’t followed, and his suggestions, such as passing health or immigration bills, or appointing officers, are lambasted and stonewalled. Since no one’s paying attention to him, and he doesn’t control anything, why would they pay attention to this dictatorial “next guy”? If the society doesn’t already intend to go into a “middle ages feudal system” who is going to make them? Since Conservatives in theory are SHRINKING government, and REDUCING its power and influence everywhere, while ARMING the whole population, including the left; if Trump and/or the “far right” take power, how is a smaller government, with less power and smaller tax base, going to make a more-armed, more-annoyed population obey which already ignores the large, powerful, well-obeyed, and well-funded government of today?
See how different our ideas are? But it makes a difference in what we think is going on, and even which facts we credit as true and relevant.
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