What Media Bias? Part 201

Been a while since I did one of these – but this article has some interesting things to say regarding media bias and the 2000 election:

…The northwesternmost part of Florida is the Panhandle, which stretches along the Gulf of Mexico to Alabama. Often called the “Redneck Riviera,” it is the most Republican part of Florida, regularly giving Republicans big margins in state and national elections. The nine Panhandle counties that are farthest west—Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Holmes, Jackson, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton, and Washington—are in the Central Time Zone, and one additional county, Gulf, is split between Central and Eastern Time. According to the Miami Herald, “It is only a few miles to the Alabama border from anywhere in the western Panhandle, but more than five hundred miles and a cultural light-year to Miami.”

On Election Night, between 6:30 and 7:50 p.m. Eastern, anchors on all the major networks and cable channels reported over and over again that the polls in all of Florida closed at 7 p.m. Eastern. Not once did anyone on ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News Channel, NBC, or MSNBC inform the audience that Florida has two time zones and two poll closing times. During that hour and 20 minutes, 13 journalists asserted a total of 39 times that there was only one poll-closing time throughout the entire state of Florida…

Why does that matter? Well, after 7pm Eastern, voting dropped off to practically nothing in the Florida Panhandle. It was over, you see? The Networks were already calling Florida for Gore before the polls closed in the Panhandle. The article goes on to note that the drop off probably cost Bush a net of about 11,000 votes – that margin would have still triggered an automatic re-count, but with that large a margin the result would never have been in doubt. Gore would have, at the latest, conceded a day or two after the election…no Bush vs Gore to the Supreme Court, no doubt cast over President Bush’s legitimacy. A lot of things would have been different (as an aside, I still recall very vividly that when the Networks finally did call the State for Bush, it was something like 97% of precincts reporting and Bush had a healthy lead – all of a sudden, a bunch of votes reported from heavily Democrat precincts and, presto!, it was effectively a tied race…I do wish someone had looked into that little, electoral miracle; that sudden surge in Democrat votes in FL is what caused the Networks to re-re-call FL and Gore to suddenly refuse to concede).

In light of this, you might recall the JournoList scandal – where it was discovered that a bunch of journalists had a private chat room, as it were, where they could discuss and coordinate their message…in the service of Democrats, naturally. We don’t know if there was such a thing during the 2000 election, but such things as JournoList and the massive repetition of the “polls close at 7 Eastern” lie over all MSM outfits in 2000 does indicate that the friendliness of journalists for their Democrat pals probably extends beyond mere friendliness. It might well go all the way to Democrats and journalists coordinating their efforts to tear down Republicans and build up Democrats in the public mind.

Remember, it wouldn’t take much – a hint here, a short phone call there and there you have it…messages all in agreement, everyone takes essentially the same line about whatever issue is being pushed at the moment. It’s not like this hasn’t happened – Ben Rhode’s demonstrably coordinated the MSM talking points for Obama’s Iran deal, after all.

We all know that almost all journalists are liberals – Progressives; Democrats with by-lines, as Instapundit puts it. They are not in journalism to serve objective truth – most of them, given their education, probably don’t believe there is such a thing as objective truth. But they do believe in Progressive ideology – they are quite certain that the world will be a better place if Progressive ideology triumphs in every particular. We know they are not on our side – but we only partially accept that they are on the Democrats’ side. In a certain sense, we know this – but in a larger sense, we still reject it…still expect that when facts are on our side, they’ll have to acknowledge it and (however grudgingly) go along with the facts. Drop that – if the facts disprove Progressive ideology, then the facts are wrong: this is how Progressives always have and always will view matters. And if they have to simply make up facts – or work up a scandal to destroy the purveyor of anti-Progressive facts – then that is what they’ll do.

And they do it all the time – right now, they are inventing “facts” to show that Hillary Clinton’s foundation is just this wonderful, life-giving entity out to serve the poor and downtrodden, even though all the actual facts show it to be nothing but a slush fund to keep the Clintons and their minions on the gravy train. What genuine charity would hire a political hatchet-man like Sid Blumenthal at $10,000.00 a month? Don’t get me wrong, almost all major political figures have a hatchet man or woman on the payroll; it’s part of the nature of things in politics…but 10 large per month for a hatchet man at a charity? Come on! That is just a bit of payola to your hatchet man…keeping him well fed until you needed him for political work. But, if you listen to the MSM, they’re going to have you believing that the Clinton Foundation was the next best thing to Mother Theresa…and perhaps better because the Clinton Foundation is pro-abortion (remember, in the topsy-turvey world of the left, being in favor of abortion in saintly).

And, so, don’t believe them. Oh, you can read and listen to their reports – and when an identifiable fact comes across, you can believe it (but check, to be sure – and even if it’s confirmed elsewhere, run it through your “does this really seem likely?” mental filter). But remember that even when the MSM reports something true, it is bound to be mixed with lies – and as I said the other day, add an ounce of lie to a pound of truth, and you get a lie. The stories will be reported, if they relate in any way to politics, in a way which will reflect ill on GOPers/Conservatives and well on Democrats/Progressives.

As it relates to 2016, the real problem is that Trump is giving the Democrats and their MSM lapdogs a lot of ammunition – but, even then, keep in mind that as bad as Trump may be, the MSM will paint him as worse than he is (and they’ll be assisted this year by a section of the right which has decided that hating Trump is vastly more important than stopping Progressives). Don’t fall into conspiracy theory stuff about it – it isn’t a conspiracy, once you understand that the nice, attractive and well-spoken reporter on TV is as dyed in the wool Progressive as Hillary and is convinced that come heck or high water, Hillary simply must be elected President. Even if they wanted to be honest, this simple fact of life will color their perception of what is going on…and if they don’t care about being honest, then it’ll just be worse as far as telling the truth goes.

Random Thoughts

A Conservative movement would argue for a ban on no-fault divorce.

Here’s a shorthand of our problem: we’re a nation which has 800K+ divorces per year and we’re mad about politicians not keeping their promises.

People are furious that the drug maker Mylan has jacked up the price of the EpiPen. Progressives are upset over the price hike while Conservatives are out there pointing out (correctly) that the reason Mylan can do this is because of restrictive, government regulations which prevent a competitor from placing a different EpiPen product on the market…but even the Conservatives are missing the point that Mylan has spent just in 2016 $875,000.00 lobbying the government, and they spent $1,550,000.00 lobbying in 2015. Who wants to bet that some of that lobbying was related to making sure that Mylan has a clear shot at the EpiPen market? Who wants to suppose that even a penny of it went to lobbying for a more open drug market? As I’ve been saying for years, Big Corporation is no friend of ours – they are not Conservative. And, yes, this means that we Conservatives should be fighting against Big Corporation. That is, if we ever want to win. I advocate for a law requiring the break up of any corporation that has a market capitalization in excess of $50 billion (that, by the way, breaks up all the large corporations you’re likely familiar with). Competition is good – let’s have some.

Whatever level of immigration we ultimately decide upon, it should be based upon merit and national need. We don’t need people over 45 moving here. We do need more doctors and engineers. Don’t need more billionaires. And we don’t need that many of any sort – we’re rising towards 320 million people, and we’ll hit 400 million by mid-century. In and among such a large population, we should be able to find all the people we need.

A Progressive is someone who continually changes his goal – every time something a Progressive does fails, it isn’t a time to re-assess the original desire, but to make up a whole, new desire and then pretend that was the goal all along.

Public schools are built on the concept that everyone has the same general education desires and abilities. I’ve looked around a bit and noticed one very stunning fact about people: they are different from one another. Some kids are good at this, some are good at that – and the parents likely know best what the kid likes and is good at. To be sure, there are bad parents out there – but most will make an effort at it; and if we didn’t have a public school system, then we’d have a myriad of different types of schools catering to different desires and different income levels. We, as a people, need plumbers, electricians, carpenters and mechanics far more than we even need engineers…and vastly more than we need Liberal Arts grads. There is an honorable place for those who learn essentially for the sake of learning – who delve deep into history and philosophy and try to understand the nature of humanity…but when the faucet is leaking, you need a plumber. You’ll never actually need someone to explain Cartesian philosophy to you.

Telling the truth is not the same as not lying – you can say nothing and thus not lie, but you aren’t by that act telling the truth. Telling the truth, as our famed oath in court says, means to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The problem with modern times is that, for the most part, people refuse to tell the truth – to tell everything that relates to the subject at hand, in clear and concise language that cannot be mistaken in meaning.

There is no such thing as a half-truth, by the way. Add an ounce of lie to a pound of truth and all you get is a lie.

If you are opposed to Big Government, you should be opposed to the death penalty. After all, a wise man doesn’t trust the government to consistently get it right about trivial matters – it is the height of folly to somehow think that the government will always get it right on the matter of executing a human being. I don’t know about you, but I don’t ever want it on my conscience that an innocent man was sent to death because of a mistake, or because of prosecutorial misconduct.

The End of Superficial Politics

I got to use the word “jejune” today – not too often I get to use that word, but when considering all the punditry I’ve seen since the 2016 Presidential cycle got rolling, “jejune” seemed quite appropriate. I’ve never seen so many people – including people who are supposedly smart and informed – be so utterly childish and superficial in their views.

The thing which set me off has been the response to Trump’s statements on whether or not African-American and other minorities in the United States should roll the dice on him. In the end, all Trump said was that a lot of things are very bad, Hillary represents precisely the people who created the bad and, so, why not give something new a chance? That was it – all of it, actually, quite sensible, in a way. It’s not that anyone can be sure that Trump has any answers but that we can be sure that Hillary will merely continue the status quo…a status quo which has African-American youth unemployment at more than double the unemployment rate for white youth…31% against 14%. A status quo which also has African-American (and other minority) youth trapped in failing schools, forced to live in crime-ridden neighborhoods, enduring the long-term effects of family breakdown. If there’s something Trump could possibly do to make things worse in America’s minority communities, I’m all ears. Tell me. I’m listening.

And as I’ve been listening, most of what I’ve been hearing on the anti-Trump right is mere echoes of the Progressive critique – Trump’s words are racist, apparently because they point out what is wrong and assert that Hillary and the Progressives can’t (won’t) fix it. To give an idea of the silliness we’re getting into among some on the right, I pointed out that Trump is the first GOPer in a very long time to directly address the African-American community. I was immediately hit back with all the times GOP candidates for President have addressed the NAACP! As if that is to address the African-American community! Sorry, folks, but the NAACP is a mere arm of the DNC – the NAACP is an organization which provides a rubber stamp of approval for whatever Progressive notions the left has seized on at the moment. What is the NAACP? An organization which is now fighting tooth and nail against charter schools – the very charter schools which give, among others, African-American kids a chance to escape the failed public school system. The NAACP made a choice – black kids, or union bosses (and their donations): the NAACP choose the union bosses. To speak to the NAACP is to merely speak to the DNC. It is not a worthwhile activity for Republicans or Conservatives. To speak to the African-American or other minority groups what needs to be done is to speak to them, directly. Trump did that. Yes, it would have been vastly better to do it in Detroit – but various Progressive groups would have started a riot to prevent Trump from actually pointing out, at ground zero, just how lousy Progressive policies are.

It seems that we are not allowed to discuss certain things. Make certain points. Bring to light certain truths and falsehoods of modern, American life. For the longest time, we thought it was only Progressives who were proving gate-keepers preventing certain things from being discussed. Turns out, plenty on the right are, as well. I don’t know why. Perhaps they are afraid to – it is risky. As we can see, discussing it merely brings the charge of “racist”. But that doesn’t excuse childishness – nor cowardice. The people who live in the hell-holes the left has created in America are our fellow Americans. They are part of us – they are our fellow citizens; our brothers and sisters. We must go to their aid – and even if they reject us in scorn, we are still bound to try. But here’s the thing – I think that if we do go and try, out of every ten people, nine might reject us in scorn but one might be moved to listen…and that is one more person who can help us reform our nation. If we do nothing, we’ll still be called racists, but we’ll also not have any chance of getting any of their votes…any of their aid, that is, in saving our nation.

As I’ve said all along, Trump is no one’s answer – but I will credit him with this: his candidacy has exposed the massive hypocrisy at the center of American political life. A hypocrisy which is a sick bit of theater wherein we pretend to argue, but all eventually just go along to get along.

It is time to end our superficial politics. We have real problems. Real people are actually suffering – some of them unto death. It is time to attack what is wrong – all of it, every where. It is time to start doing what is right – even if it is difficult. More than likely, we’re going to have Hillary as President – that will have to be endured. But if all we do is dance around the real issues then come 2020, we’ll fail, again, to take a step to reform our nation. Some have said that Trump ensures that we won’t get another Trump – the truth of the matter is that Trump ensures we’ll get an endless parade of Trumps, on both sides, unless we actually start to deal with the real problems. You see, as long as we keep up this kabuki theater of pretending to argue and pretending to do things – while leaving a corrupt Ruling Class to just keep rolling along – then the anger which propelled Trump will not only remain, it will grow.

Weekend Open Thread

Nothing better proves the complete hypocrisy of the left better than the way they’ve treated Obama’s non-action on the Louisiana floods. The left only cares about people when they can wring political advantage out of it – there’s no upside in highlighting disaster in Louisiana (Democrat President, Democrat governor), so there’s just nothing to care about.

LA Times tracking poll shows Trump once again with a national lead – not that big a thing, but the LA Times did pick up the previous Trump surge in the polls. I suspect that Trump’s “pivot” (as it were) over the past week is going to bring most GOPers home to him…and that will work to increase his poll numbers.

Libertarians should focus on liberty. Of course. But they don’t seem to be – in fact, in 2016, I’ve seen them as de-facto Democrat Lite.

Ed Morrisey’s review of the Ben Hur reboot. He gives it 4 out of 5 stars. I’m very wary of watching remakes as 99% of them suck very, very badly. This is especially a tough hill to climb for me because (a) I was always a big fan of Charlton Heston and (b) that version of Ben Hur is now a beloved memory of my youth. I think, though, that I might give this one a shot.

A Palestinian who rendered aid to a Jewish woman is facing persecution by his fellow Palestinians. Couple this with that Egyptian athlete who refused to shake hands with the Israeli in Rio and you really get to the crux of the problem: all too many Muslims refuse to concede the basic humanity of Israelis. Obviously, given the subject of the story, some of them do – but enough of them don’t to cause all the trouble.

The glories of socialism – Venezuelans raid zoo for food.

Some people are upset at questions regarding Hillary’s overall health – but I think it just natural. She’s pushing 70 and Trump is over 70…both of them should be observed closely as to whether they have the sheer physical stamina for the job. And there’s Trump, out on the hustings day in and day out…while Hillary keeps to a light schedule and just isn’t in the news all that much. To be sure, part of this is just in the nature of things – Hillary is disliked and her advisors have probably carefully explained to her that the less people see her, the better her chances…but surely the Democrats can come up with enough friendly audiences to keep her busy?

Honest conversations about race are anything but. The bottom line is that the Progressives don’t want such a conversation as anything relevant and true on the subject indicts them. But, meanwhile, the right also doesn’t want such a conversation because, well, I guess we’re afraid to have it. But it does need to be had – and Trump, to his credit, has at least dived into it. I’m praying that we on the right start seriously talking about it – and, more importantly, listening about it. The future of our nation really revolves around how we resolve this issue…Tribalism is what can break us apart and finish us as a people. We must become united.

Some Odds and Ends

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. – Winston Churchill

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. – Abraham Lincoln

We can’t have full knowledge all at once. We must start by believing; then afterwards we may be led on to master the evidence for ourselves. – St Thomas Aquinas

Did you know that Herman Goring had an elder brother? Albert Goring. Helped Jews during the Nazi regime.

The SS America after a long and glorious career, wound up on the rocks. Let’s hope this isn’t prophetic.

Russian bombers are now based in Iran.

Is there no Latin word for Tea? Upon my soul, if I had known that I would have let the vulgar stuff alone. – Hilaire Belloc

The Sherman tank, built during World War Two, was giving good service in the Israeli armed forces as late as the 1973 Yom Kippur War. It has been up-gunned, but clearly that was a design that worked very well.

An ISIS fighter was receiving welfare. Of course.

To succeed in the world, it is much more necessary to possess the penetration to discern who is a fool, than to discover who is a clever man. – Charles Maurice de Tallyrand.

God is more ready to pardon that we have been to sin. – St. Catherine of Siena

The ship of democracy, which has weathered all storms, may sink through the mutiny of those on board. – Grover Cleveland

Anything But Trump Open Thread

Hillary is, without a doubt, the most dishonest person to ever enter American political life. She’s even scrubbing her own website when statements made in the past don’t square with current reality.

What is going on in Milwaukee is what happens when some people – in this case the DNC and their MSM water-carriers – decide to inflame hatred for political purposes. People have already died because of this – but we’re supposed to think Hillary and her allies are the calm, reasonable people…

The people who rule our world are coming to despise those they rule. I do believe a great deal of the push for mass immigration around the world is that the Ruling Class wants to dissolve their constituencies and elect new ones.

City planning commissioner resigns and moves out of city – because city policies are artificially keeping housing prices sky high. This sort of thing advantages those who already have – and keeps out interlopers of an unacceptable social background. We used to call it “segregation”, now we call it “housing policy”…but as it was in the past so it is today: people who got what they want diligently work to make certain that they keep it and no one else can get it.

Our use of air conditioning is a worse threat than ISIS – but our convicts must be provided it as a Constitutional right. We’re very close to Peak Liberal Idiocy, folks.

Globalization saved the middle class? Perhaps, if, that is, you define “middle class” as “college educated people who don’t actually make, mine or grow anything for a living”. You see, a guy working construction or in a factory should be middle class – in other words, with one income be able to afford a house, auto, raise kids and provide for their future and his and her retirement without necessarily needing government subsidies. I’m in favor of free trade – but I point out, with great care, that we can’t have free trade with tyrannical regimes. They cheat. All the time. Free trade must be absolutely fair and reciprocal on both sides. Nothing wrong with free market competition, but don’t try to sell me the notion that there is a free market between the United States and China.

Remember when we were all called Islamophobic racists for pointing out that within the stream of legitimate refugees there were bound to be terrorist infiltrators? Well, we were right. As usual.

Turns out ultra-leftist Mayor De Blasio’s Administration is pretty much like every other ultra-lefist government out there – corrupt. Under a free market, the rich become powerful; under socialism, the powerful become rich. Always. Everywhere. Never even the slightest variance – whenever you get a leftist government, the people who run said government rake it off like no tomorrow.

Trump is Doomed: Here’s How He Can Win

That is the consensus – and looking at the polls, there’s not much one could say otherwise. Keeping in mind my view that the electorate on 11/8/16 might be very different from what we expect, the bottom line is that all factors in the election indicate that Hillary will win. Probably a bit narrowly in the popular vote, but with a crushing margin in the Electoral College. Right now, there’s no indication of a collapse for down-ballot Republicans, but that could emerge if people decide not only that Trump is unacceptable, but that if we’re to return the Clinton dynasty to power, might as well go all-in and give it a Democrat Congress.

But, Trump could still win this. All he needs do is complete the un-Conservative circle he started to make in the primaries. Remember, Trump is not committed to Conservatism – he has nothing to lose by alienating Conservatives, especially as such a large number of prominent Conservatives are firmly #NeverTrump, and some are rapidly drifting towards #ImWithHer. To be sure, Trump has offered Conservatives some olive branches – he’s pledged some rather solidly Conservative judicial appointments, offered a series of tax cuts and some rather substantial regulatory reform in order to bring Conservatives on board. It hasn’t worked – and, I think, it won’t work. Because Trump is not a movement Conservative – in other words, because he hasn’t been selected, burnished and propelled along by the gate-keepers of Conservatism – Conservatives, as such, will not come over to him. So, what, then? Simple – go full on populist.

Hasn’t he already done that? Not really. He’s done the border security/fight the terrorists part of populism as well as rumbled about trade deals and such…but to go full populist he’d have to start offering some specific goodies to the people.

Earlier today on Twitter a friend posted a bit noting that Trump’s support among young Americans is lower than even Nixon’s was – and Nixon, remember, was busily fighting the Vietnam War which required a certain number of young people to be drafted and shipped off to get shot at. Rather difficult to gain the love of people in that situation. It immediately occurred to me that Trump could massively shake up that problem by simply proposing to annul student loan debt. Hillary – propelled by Bernie – has made some noises about offering some relief on student loans but if Trump were to go her one better and say that such debts will simply be cancelled, a very large number of people would immediately be grateful to him. Now, if he were a Conservative he’d couple this with a proposal to abolish the student loan program, but he’s not a Conservative…so, he just goes with annulment. And, remember, whatever Hillary says about student loans, her bit is still keeping the debt there and providing mechanisms where the indebted youngsters can become government serfs in return for debt relief…Trump would be offering to let them off; she can’t top that. And running as Mrs Responsible in the campaign, she can’t even try to top it.

Other things Trump can do:

Propose a hefty hike in SS benefits for current retirees – for a lot of years there has been no or minimal COLA hikes in SS benefits because, officially, there hasn’t been inflation. But, of course, there has been and a lot of elderly people are feeling the pinch. Offer a 10% hike in 2017, and a lot of oldsters will sit up and take notice…and it would completely kill any Democrat attempt to portray Trump as someone who is against Social Security.

Propose a big increase in the child tax credit – bump it to five thousand dollars per child. Parents who are raising children are heavily burdened financially; something like this would be an immense relief for them, and a huge incentive to vote Trump.

Propose a 20% reduction in the number of non-essential government employees. Remember them? They are the people who were furloughed when the budget shut down happened…and everyone asked, “if they are non-essential, why do we have them, at all?”. Make an issue of it. Say that it’ll help pay for the boost in SS benefits. It’s a bit of a class warfare thing – in this case, the Government Class against the Governed Class. Given the contempt most people hold government in, this is a winning issue…make Hillary defend non-essential government employees with their fat pensions.

Propose that refugee settlement and Section 8 housing be moved to the high-end neighborhoods. This is another bit of populist class warfare…and it ties into the fact that all those calling anti-refugee people racists are living in neighborhoods the refugees won’t be settled in…and they are the same people who call for more housing aid for the poor. Ok. Give it to them – where it hurts. Make them defend the current system of shoving poor people into poor neighborhoods…

You can probably come up with more along these lines. The whole idea is, as I said, to complete the Trump process – but with real teeth. As I’ve said from the beginning, Trump is no one’s answer…but Hillary is everyone’s corrupt nightmare. If we’re going to have this, then let’s have it in a way which at least gives a bit to the people and sticks it a bit to those who have been busily ruining the nation. The people are angry – such a program as this plays into it.

Now, do keep in mind that I remain Conservative – Distributist to the core. But I’m not going to get Conservatism or Distributism from Hillary or Trump. I’ve no dog in this hunt – this is just me pondering how Trump could still win this. One thing which has struck me among Conservative pundits is their inability to think these days – Trump has seemingly blinded them. They are so worked up at how un-Conservative Trump is that they have lost their ability to ponder what is happening and how out of this nettle, Trump vs Hillary, we might yet eventually pluck a flower which is Conservative government. We have to roll with it in 2016 – and hope for better days in the future.