Open Thread

Health care reform is getting rocky and it’s making a lot of people say this or that thing…hate to break it to ya, guys, but this is how laws get made when there is debate. Obamacare is how laws get made when you’re determined to shove something down everyone’s throat. If you don’t like this, I suggest you move elsewhere…this is how it’s done.

Wikileaks is saying the CIA can get into your smart phone. I don’t doubt it in the least. Personally, if I were in charge of a government department, all orders and instructions would be either verbal (face to face) or via the printed word…nothing of consequence would ever go out electronically. For you and I, this is the rule: if you can’t do it on your front lawn, in broad daylight, with your grandmother watching, don’t do it on the internet. Privacy is easily secured, if you want it…just don’t use a system which is owned by someone else and even in its most benign aspects is designed to collect data about you.

Schumer threatens to filibuster Gorsuch. I’ve heard that the plan is to scare our more weak-kneed Senator GOPers and get them to sign off on a deal which would have Schumer drop this filibuster in return for a GOP promise to not nuke the filibuster for a later nominee. That would be the dream scenario for the Democrats. Gorsuch does not alter the ideological balance of the Court…a Kennedy or Ginsburg leaving the Court and being replaced by a Conservative would. Of course, there’s zero chance that anyone Trump appoints would be as mindless a liberal vote as Ginsburg is, while the very worst that Trump could appoint would wind up being no worse than Kennedy. So, we’re pretty cool no matter how this goes. But, the Senate GOP should not agree to any plan to hold on to the filibuster. At minimum, it goes away the second there is a Democrat Senate majority which needs it to go away. We’d be suckers to keep it at the price of saving the nuking for the Democrats to do.

Why men who live around beaches live longer.

Seems that the troops the North Korean government relies on to keep everyone is line are going on short rations and not feeling too happy about it. If so, then this series of North Korean provocations is designed to extract bribes from South Korea and the rest of the world. If you ever wondered how such tyrannies maintain themselves, it is by providing a better life for those willing to kill in defense of the regime…but if the good times go away…

So, the threats to the Jewish Community Centers turn out to be all or mostly the work of left wing people. From now on, any hate crime which supports the Progressive Narrative should be considered a lie until proven otherwise.

50 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. simoneee9 March 24, 2017 / 6:18 am

    I wouldn’t underestimate the cowardliness of the House Republicans. They very well could cave tomorrow, if only to kick the problem to the Senate. This is by no means over, and people shouldn’t assume that the AHCA is dead based on the preliminary whip count. It’s not over until it actually loses the vote.

    It’s a lose-lose situation for them. If they pass it, they’re passing a terrible bill that costs tons of money, raises premiums, and takes 25 million people off of health care – moderate republicans will get torn to shreds for taking people’s care away, and die-hard conservatives will be chastised for passing “Obamacare-lite”.

    If they don’t pass it, it’s just another big political loss for Trump and the Republicans. It makes them look inept and incompetent. Paul Ryan loses all clout within his party, and Trump gets to add another leadership failure to his list.

    Nobody likes this bill. Not Dems. Not RINOs. Not die-hard conservatives. Not even the lobbyists. They’ve set themselves up for failure in multiple ways.

    • Amazona March 24, 2017 / 12:19 pm

      If they pass it, they’re passing a terrible bill that costs tons of money, raises premiums, and takes 25 million people off of health care.

      Thank you for your succinct analysis of Obamacare. This is nearly word for word what we said to Dems back in 2008, and we were proved right.

      …takes 25 million people off of health care… Don’t be silly. There is relationship between the contractual agreements between people and insurance companies and the health care the companies agree to pay for, but insurance is NOT “health care”.

      …moderate republicans will get torn to shreds for taking people’s care away… and here you go again, claiming that insurance equals health care.

      True to the concept that even a blind pig will find an acorn, sometimes, Simon is actually right for a change, though only in a very small and very obvious way. Some Republicans ARE cowards. But his winning streak stops there, and it’s nothing to brag about.

      There are Republicans so stupid they think they have to “replace” Obamacare, just as there are people so stupid they think there should be ideological “balance” on the Supreme Court. We just need to rein in emotional spasms that lead Republicans into Leftist theories, and/or work to replace them with people who can actually think.

      I think what has brought Simoneeeeeek slithering out of the woodwork is the awareness on the Left that its strategies and failures are being exposed, and if there is any real threat to Leftist ideology it is the hard cold light of Truth shining on it. So they just bleat their resentment and telegraph their frustrations.

  2. simoneee9 March 24, 2017 / 7:00 am

    This is a man who has called the ACA “a disaster”, questioned it’s constitutionality, said “Obamacare can’t be reformed, salvaged, or fixed. It’s that bad”, supported government funded health care…

    And now he’s threatening the people whom he swore to protect. Not the GOP mind, but you. He’s threatening everyone in the United States with this “disaster” of a health plan that “can’t be reformed, salvaged, or fixed” and that he believes is unconstitutional.

    ‘If you don’t pass my bill, I’ll make sure you’re all stuck with terrible healthcare’ ~ Trump’s threat.

    He’s fully willing to let the population suffer simply because his Yes Men are acting like Maybe-Only-Sometimes Guys.

    • Cluster March 24, 2017 / 8:34 am

      He’s fully willing to let the population suffer

      Why are they suffering Simon?

    • Amazona March 24, 2017 / 12:05 pm

      Simoneeeeeee is now upset that Trump stated the obvious—that the bizarrely-named Affordable Care Act (which is not affordable and has nothing to do with care) is a “disaster”. Poor little Proggies, always fretting about having people talk about the reality of their pet agendas.

      Note that Simon steadfastly refuses to answer any direct questions, such as: Why do you care? Do you even have a dog in this hunt? What is your standing, vis-a-vis bleating about American politics?

      The whine about our former health care system was that there were 30 million Americans who did not have health insurance. This included people covered by policies they did not own, such as many students, and many healthy young adults who simply chose to spend their money on something other than health insurance. It was never verified as an accurate number of Americans who wanted to buy health insurance but who could not afford it. But it was a club wielded by the rabid Left in its pursuit of taking over one-sixth of the nation’s economy and forcing Central Authority onto all of us.

      I don’t need to go into the details of the many fatal flaws of Obamacare, which began at its being ramrodded down the throats of Americans by the votes of party hacks who admitted they had never even read the bill, a bill which was written by organized labor and not even by a legislator and which went on to destroy the health insurance industry and leave tens of millions of people technically insured but saddled with policies that are nearly unusable. Only a Proggie, or Proggie plant, could try to defend a plan that costs more, covers less, and has a massive deductible.

      There was never a single element of the ACA that was developed or promoted with the welfare of the American citizen at heart.

      “Unconstitutional?” Read the Constitution. Read the 10th Amendment. Then point out where the Constitution allows federal interference in health care decisions. Point out where the Constitution delegates health care to the government. Don’t bleat to us about the Supreme Court. In spite of what you Proggies believe, the Court does NOT have the ability to override the Constitution or add to or remove anything in it. The Court can be wrong, has been wrong, and has taken on far more power than ever allowed to it when it was created.

      What Proggies never mention (and what the dumber of them, probably including Simon, probably don’t even understand) is that the ACA didn’t have one single thing to do with health CARE. It was about federal intervention in contract law. An insurance policy is a contract between a company and a person, in which the person agrees to pay a certain sum of money on a regular basis and in return the company agrees to make payments to health care providers if necessary for health issues covered by the contract.

      Simoneeeeeek is a plant, a speed bump wannabe with no skin in the game who is here just as a blog vandal, spouting canned Proggie nonsense.

  3. Retired Spook March 24, 2017 / 8:16 am

    Looks like we are getting closer to getting to the bottom of the “wire tap” allegations by Trump.

    Capitol Hill sources told Fox News that the revelation from Rep. Nunes (R-Ca.) of the “incidental surveillance” on then President-elect Trump came from multiple sources and it corroborated what Nunes knew about the matter even before Trump made the accusations.

    Nunes said that the surveillance he saw from a source not revealed to the House Intelligence Committee as of yet, showed that Trump’s team members were targeted without any reasonable relationship to investigating Russians.

    The key to that conclusion is the unmasking of selected U.S. persons whose names appeared in the intelligence, the sources said, adding that the paper trail leaves no other plausible purpose for the unmasking other than to damage the incoming Trump administration.

    • Cluster March 24, 2017 / 8:31 am

      Today’s revelation could be interesting:

      The FBI hasn’t been responsive to the House Intelligence Committee’s request for documents, but the National Security Agency is expected to produce documents to the committee by Friday. The NSA document production is expected to produce more intelligence than Nunes has so far seen or described – including what one source described as a potential “smoking gun” establishing the spying.

      Why is it so hard to believe that an administration that spied on Angela Merkel and Netanyahu, and unethically targeted conservative groups with IRS audits and tax exempt application delays, would surveil their political opponents? This is who they are.

      • Retired Spook March 24, 2017 / 9:23 am

        Bob Woodward thinks they should be prosecuted. The poll at the top of the article suggests that virtually everyone reading the article agrees.

      • Amazona March 24, 2017 / 12:29 pm

        Of course they should be prosecuted.

        One of the most corrosive developments in the United States has been the establishment of different laws for different people and different classes of people.

        People in the country illegally can pretty much violate the law at will, because there isn’t really a mechanism to prosecute them. They are held to different standards of the law than citizens.

        The rich and powerful can violate the law and basically flip off the rest of the country as they walk free, with government agencies like the FBI and Obama’s Department of “Justice” providing them cover.

        Black groups such as the New Black Panthers can openly solicit murder for hire with no concern for prosecution, and black groups can openly call for the assassination of law enforcement officers, with equal impunity. Laws don’t apply to them.

        Leftists can put national security at risk by avoiding security measures to try to hide their profiteering, with no penalty. Leftists can publicize classified government documents in efforts to harm opponents, with equal impunity. They know they are safe, protected by their status.

        Activist judges can and do violate their oaths of office in ruling to support agendas rather than according to the law.

        Government officials, including mayors and governors and attorneys general, openly state their intent to defy the law and implement their own personal concept of legality.

        There are so many examples of different laws applied in different ways to different people or groups, depending on their skin color, legal status or political affiliation, they can’t all be listed. But the overall impact of such selective application of the law is immense, as the very structure of the nation is being undermined.

      • Cluster March 25, 2017 / 9:03 am

        Amazona, that is just an excellent post and hits the nail on the freaking head. Your socioeconomic status now determines which laws will be applied, all as a result of political agendas and that is as UnAmerican as it could possibly be.

    • Cluster March 24, 2017 / 10:30 am

      “Suggesting they had destroyed evidence”?? Really?

      Hillary admitted to deleting tens of thousands of emails that only she and her lawyers decided were not “work related”. That’s not how that process works. And her lawyers never had the clearance required to sift through those emails in the first place.

      • Amazona March 25, 2017 / 4:10 pm

        The guy who ran her server out of his company in Denver had never even been looked at for a security clearance, much less granted one.

  4. Cluster March 24, 2017 / 12:27 pm

    Proof positive that the progressive mindset is poison. Now wasn’t it Hillary Clinton that said that ALL women who claim sexual assault should be believed and supported? Yes, I think it was. And I am not familiar with Maryland statutes, but I really don’t think a 14 year old girl can consent.

    • Amazona March 24, 2017 / 12:41 pm

      I am so impressed with Tucker Carlson, and I hope he is inspiring journalists to do what he does, drill down past the rhetoric and the BS to find out the truth. I loved it when he called out this guy on the morality of trying to trash this girl’s reputation.

      If Hillary were the defense attorney, her stance would probably be the Paula Jones rhetoric—“She’s too ugly to rape”.

      Dems are such hypocrites. This guy flinched at the idea of his little girl being in the same school as this Sanchez guy, but he wouldn’t even answer the question.

      • Cluster March 24, 2017 / 2:03 pm

        Tucker is doing a great job and his show is must see TV. I also love it that he is dwarfing Megan’s ratings when she filled that time slot.

  5. Cluster March 24, 2017 / 12:36 pm

    And here is Nancy Pelosi speaking an Alliance of Iranian Americans. Any questions?

    “We have to work harder in our country, this beautiful country built on a poetic vision, to rid our country of some attitudes, some negative attitudes that are not poetic, that are not constructive because we do believe that all the newcomers that come to America make America more American.”

    • Amazona March 24, 2017 / 12:42 pm

      “…all the newcomers that come to America make America more American….” except, of course, those who hate American and its “poetic vision” and who want to destroy it.

      Do you think she had Mohammed Atta in mind when she said this? The Boston bombers?

      • Cluster March 24, 2017 / 2:11 pm

        That statement from Pelosi is simply word salad that says nothing. She is mind numbingly stupid. Actually Nancy, this “beautiful country” was built on a document that proclaims all men to be equal with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and not a poetic vision. I also don’t really think Nancy fully understands the right to life part of those inalienable rights.

      • Amazona March 25, 2017 / 4:12 pm

        Nancy claims to be a deeply religious Catholic, yet she defends and enables abortion. Of course, her priests and bishop still allow her to receive the sacraments and the Pope gave her a private audience, so I guess there is enough hypocrisy to go around.

      • M. Noonan March 26, 2017 / 12:04 am

        Two Popes to re-affirm Orthodoxy after the mess made about Vatican II. One Pope to re-affirm the centrality of Mercy. Next Pope – perhaps will engage in the political fight.

  6. fieldingclaymore March 24, 2017 / 1:55 pm

    I don’t know about you guys but I am getting tired of all of this winning.

    • simoneee9 March 24, 2017 / 5:03 pm

      Awesome win today for Trump and Ryan.

      • Amazona March 24, 2017 / 7:53 pm

        Awesome win today for the nation as its leaders legislate the way they are supposed to, presenting alternatives, defending their positions, and sorting through problems, and letting the nation see the process.

        The rabid Left liked it their way—-have the SEIU write a bill, have their minions all vote on it without even pretending to read it, lie to the nation about what it means, tell us we have to vote on it to even see what is in it, and then just rewrite it as they go along afterward without even any pretense of being bound by what it says.

      • M. Noonan March 24, 2017 / 10:31 pm

        I see this as a First Act…at the end of the day, any bill which passes will likely require buy-in from all GOP factions, and it will be very worthwhile to peel off at least 2 or 3 Red State Democrats in the Senate to make it a bi-partisan bill. We’ll see what they do – right now, lots of people are saying lots of things, all of them wrong, in my view.

  7. Amazona March 24, 2017 / 2:36 pm

    Gorsuch does not alter the ideological balance of the Court…a Kennedy or Ginsburg leaving the Court and being replaced by a Conservative would.

    And we let the Left get away with claiming that there is any Constitutional or even rational basis for creating an “ideological balance of the Court”. The very term itself is a tacit admission of not only condoning but promoting ideology-based decisions rather than sticking to the true original intent of the Court in the first place. The Court was never INTENDED to provide an ideological means for distorting or rewriting the Constitution, but that is what it has become, and the very concept of “ideological balance” on the Court supports that.

    We need to shut down that statement and that concept every single time it rears its ugly head.

  8. Cluster March 24, 2017 / 4:00 pm

    And we wonder what is wrong with our educational system.

    Montgomery County School Superintendent Dr. Jack Smith, under fire for his delayed response to the alleged rape of a 14-year-old girl at Rockville High School last week, rakes in a taxpayer funded salary of $275,000, months of paid time off and a whole goody bag full of other pricey benefits.

    We’re a messed up country.

  9. simoneee9 March 24, 2017 / 5:17 pm

    What an utter failure for the Republicans’ first legislative effort – with control of the presidency, senate, and house – on one of their core issues after 7 years to ensure they had a bill that would garner support.

    It’s difficult to say at this point who looks worse, Trump or Ryan.

    Paul Ryan created this bill to be his big achievement and actively sought to eliminate outside influence and knowledge from his fellow congressman. It is completely Paul Ryan’s fault this thing failed.

    Trump just looks silly because he was trying to force a bill through no one liked using threats of loss of public support from him. Well, when 60-70% of your constituents don’t like a bill Trump can’t make things worse for you.

    Then again, Trump made all those ridiculous promises during the campaign that you could have it both ways and he pushed hard for this bill. It’s Ryan’s bill but it was also Trump pretending to make good on his campaign promises even though it fell way short of his ridiculous pie in the sky claims.

    Either way, it’s amateur hour.

    • Amazona March 24, 2017 / 7:31 pm

      Really, the bleatings of an ardent Trump-hater Ryan-hater Republican-hater like puppet Simon is supposed to matter? He can’t even answer a single question about who he is, where he comes from, why he cares, or anything else, but he presumes to lecture us on what he thinks is wrong with the current administration. Simon has no standing here because so far he is just noise, just a squeaky wannabe speed bump whose only “skill” is regurgitating what his minders feed him.

      What he is seeing is the messy, sometimes turbulent, process of actual legislation, and it is not what he likes. He prefers the old days when the president’s party lined up to obediently file their votes and never found a backbone among them to stand up for what is right. His preference is clearly in the Boxer/Pelosi/Reid/Schumer mold.

      • Cluster March 24, 2017 / 7:41 pm

        Which incidentally is the Putin/Kim Jung/Mullah mold too.

      • Amazona March 24, 2017 / 7:48 pm

        Yep, all the heroes. Fidel and Raul, Che, the All Stars of the rabid Left.

        Someone once said that making laws is like making sausage—it’s not always a pretty sight. Of course, that is when making laws is done the right way. Simon and his ilk like the streamlined approach of the Central Authority laying down the law and telling their followers what they think and how to vote.

  10. Cluster March 24, 2017 / 5:34 pm

    Simon, you said earlier that the population was suffering and I still want to know why. Why do you believe the population is suffering? You obviously deem yourself to be an astute observer, so it shouldn’t be difficult to explain why you said that. Thanks in advance.

    • Amazona March 24, 2017 / 7:49 pm

      Simon does not answer questions. Simon is a fake.

  11. Cluster March 24, 2017 / 5:41 pm

    I think the pulling the AHCA bill is a win for Americans. Well at least those Americans who actually work and pay the taxes that keep this country solvent. Obamacare needs to collapse under its own weight and it is well on it’s way to doing just that. Let’s allow the premiums to continue to rise, the deductibles to grow increasingly unaffordable, for rural hospitals to continue to close, and for Doctors to continue to decline to taking on more Medicaid patients. In other words, let’s allow sheer panic to set in amongst those who grovel at the alter of entitlements before we do anything. I want to see that day.

    • Retired Spook March 24, 2017 / 6:40 pm

      I don’t view this as a horrible loss for either Ryan or Trump. The media will paint it that way for a few days, but in the end it’ll disappear from the political landscape without much fanfare. It is humorously ironic that the term, “well, at least we tried” doesn’t seem to work for Republicans nearly to the extent that it does for Democrats.

      It was refreshing to see the process work in a transparent, out in the open way, and it was clear from the debate that the players involved at least read the bill, unlike ObamaCare, where the Democrats told Republicans, “we don’t want your input, and we don’t need your votes,” and then had to pass it to find out what was in it.

      I agree it’s time to just let whatever is going to happen to ObamaCare happen on it’s own.

    • simoneee9 March 24, 2017 / 7:10 pm

      But why when Republicans have the Presidency, the House and the Senate, would you wish this nightmare on Americans? Can’t they do better than that?

      • Amazona March 24, 2017 / 7:27 pm

        Nightmare? What nightmare? What has happened to make things worse for Americans?

        We know what has happened to make things worse for Democrats. The nation is seeing that big decisions are hard, and require a lot of discussion, debate and effort to try to get it right. They are seeing that decisions like this have to be made by Congress, not by special interests. They are seeing legislators who take their jobs seriously, who study the components of various suggestions, and can compare this to the Dem puppets who meekly voted for a bill they never even read.

        They are not being told they have to vote for a bill to even find out what is in it. They are seeing open discussion with all elements brought out into the open.

        I can see what a Prog would find this to be a “nightmare”. Normal people, not so much.

  12. simoneee9 March 24, 2017 / 7:09 pm

    This gem from Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), who:

    “…admitted as much as he left the meeting Friday. Reporters asked why, after Republicans held dozens of nearly-unanimous votes to repeal Obamacare under President Obama, they were getting cold feet now that they control the levers of power.

    “Sometimes you’re playing Fantasy Football and sometimes you’re in the real game,” he said.

    “We knew the president, if we could get a repeal bill to his desk, would almost certainly veto it. This time we knew if it got to the president’s desk it would be signed.”

    So they were full of shit all that time — over 50 repeal votes over 7 years but it was just “Fantasy Football”? They were just playing chicken and lost? The dog that caught the car and now doesn’t know what to do with it?

    • Cluster March 24, 2017 / 7:37 pm

      No, it’s actually just common sense American trying to figure out a way to save “suffering” Americans from your colossal F**K UP.

    • Amazona March 24, 2017 / 7:44 pm

      Poor sap Simon either lacks the intellect to see the bias in the “reporting” or just doesn’t care. The term “getting cold feet” shows a lack of journalistic integrity but it is just what the Simons of the world love to see. I notice that the quote claims that reporters—plural—asked this question in this way. I doubt that. No real reporter who cares about true journalism would ever spin a question that way. I notice the lack of a link so we can’t see what rag he is quoting.

      I think Barton nailed it——under Obama and the guarantee of a veto, everything the Republicans discussed was abstract, was a “what if”—-and now things have to be nailed down.

      The last paragraph is an interesting, if somewhat creepy, peek into the mind of Simon as he explains how he sees things. Ick—but that is what we get from Proggies. They were just playing chicken and lost? That doesn’t even make sense, but it is nasty so I am sure Simon loves the taste of it.

      I wonder who Simon really is, and where he came from. I don’t wonder a lot, because I really don’t care—he is just the latest empty shell of blog vandal sent out to infest conservative blogs. But there is a certain familiar odor about him………

      • Cluster March 24, 2017 / 7:52 pm

        “Familiar odor” – too funny. He does remind me of Mersault. Progs like Simon aren’t in this for any advancement of positive legislation, or improving the country in any way shape or form. This is simply a blood sport for people like Simon. Pure Alinsky. He simply gets off on attacking the character and motives of his opponent. It’s probably the only thing he has in what is most likely a very mundane and pointless life.

      • Amazona March 24, 2017 / 8:09 pm

        Well, his canned “commentary” is certainly mundane and pointless. Have you noticed that he never actually presents a thought, just snipes at Republicans? I guess he acknowledges his limitations.

  13. Retired Spook March 27, 2017 / 9:40 am

    I’m not a big Hannity fan, but his his interview with Ted Koppl illustrates much of what’s wrong with the media. Great comments too. This is a good example:

    There never has been any ’news’. It’s always been propaganda. There are 3 new types of so called ’news’. 1) Fake News = reporting using non-existent facts and mythical rumors; 2) Stupid News = featuring and reporting on people who are featured in the media for the obvious purpose of showing everyone how patently stupid they are (Maxine Waters, Pelosi, Shumer, et. al.); 3) News News = reporting on and featuring people from other media outlets – like Koppel interviewing Hannity. In this, the media has gone a level beyond what Marshall McLuhan predicted in ”the medium is the message” and is creating ’news’ among themselves. There are tons of features published every day where the subject is what another media person has said or says. All of these new types of ’news’ are done in the extreme mode. Mainstream media is completely vacuous.

    • M. Noonan March 27, 2017 / 10:57 am

      Ben Rhodes – the guy who generated the lies in support of Obama’s policies – does have it right: most media people are young, inexperienced and simply don’t know much. They don’t have a fund of historical knowledge to filter current events with; they don’t have the street experience which would allow them to ferret out a story…all they know is each other, so they are always talking to and about each other…and when not doing that, the just slightly modify talking points provided to them by Democrats. I remember when that aspect of it got started – back in the 1980’s, when groups like the Union of Concerned Scientists would send out a press release via fax and the MSMers essentially just transcribed it…because even as long ago as that, we were losing the old, experienced reporters who could tell when they were being played.

      • Retired Spook March 27, 2017 / 11:29 am

        It’s really evident when you try to get specifics about any particular breaking news story. Usually one source, often the AP, breaks the story, and dozens of other news outlets just glom onto it and repeat it, often just cutting and pasting the entire report. Very rarely does any mainstream news organization do any investigative reporting and contradict the original report. I’ve done Google searches where I’ve gone 8 or 10 pages before finding something that contradicts the original report. You see the same thing (and Limbaugh often plays a montage) of broadcast reporters using exactly the same words and phrases in describing an event. On the bright side, I do see more and more people, albeit primarily on the Right, who are beginning to question just about everything they read, see and hear.

      • Amazona March 27, 2017 / 11:33 am

        It’s the cumulative effect of effective Leftist strategy. Starting in school, when young minds are active and should be encouraged to look outward, at the world around them and what has gone before, to think for themselves and to expect and plan for independence, we have shaped our young in opposite directions. So our young have been taught things that are false, and at the same time encouraged to see themselves as the center of the universe.

        Look at the self-centeredness of our youth—and too many adults.
        Facebook=Look at what I am doing
        Twitter=Look at what I am thinking
        Selfies=Look at me doing what I am doing…..
        ….all based on the assumption of such vast self importance that OF COURSE the world finds this all important and fascinating.

        Yes, blogging can fall into this generalization, but at least many bloggers seek interaction and exchange of ideas. We can see the difference between them and those who merely regurgitate talking points to foster their illusions of participating in something. Many blogs take the place of the old coffee houses where people would gather to exchange ideas, debate and and spark thoughtful dialogue.

        I think humanity has a built-in need for some kind of involvement, and in a shallow society filled with superficial knowledge that need is expressed in shallow superficial ways, such as the “Women’s March” and “protests” when the participants can’t even explain what they are marching for or what they are protesting, beyond a platitude or two. It’s the illusion of participating that matters, an attitude exemplified by participation trophies and illustrated by our blog vandals here.

      • Amazona March 27, 2017 / 11:37 am

        Spook, I know what you are talking about. A topic will show pages of links, but when you look at them it is the same link posted and reposted over and over again, and/or linking back to one story. It’s mindless regurgitation of a single theme, but it takes on mass and volume every time it is repeated.

      • Amazona March 27, 2017 / 11:38 am

        “….losing the old, experienced reporters who could tell when they were being played….” I think many if not most of the new “reporters” don’t even grasp the concept that being played is a bad thing. They seem to see themselves as mere conduits of what they are told, instead of trying to seek out facts for themselves.

      • jdge1 March 27, 2017 / 12:24 pm


        I think the phenomenon you explained is more than “participating” but one of “belonging”. It is one of the biggest reasons I see as to why young people start smoking, or men get ear piercing, or people get tattoos, or joining gangs, and so on. It is in part why people join radical groups or join in what is sometimes called “protest” when it’s really violent interaction in the name of some perceived “greater good” or because “my friends” are doing it or even worse yet, “I don’t want to be criticized by not participating”. The need to belong also seems to play out in other ways such as people gathering to eat and watch a major sporting event that they would otherwise have little interest in doing. I think most people have an inherent need to belong and will even engage in activities they know are not in their own best interest.

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