When Reading the News, Skepticism is the Way to Go

A very good and interesting piece from Matthew Continetti:

Events are turning me into a radical skeptic. I no longer believe what I read, unless what I am reading is an empirically verifiable account of the past. I no longer have confidence in polls, because it has become impossible to separate the signal from the noise. What I have heard from the media and political class over the last several years has been so spectacularly proven wrong by events, again and again, that I sometimes wonder why I continue to read two newspapers a day before spending time following journalists on Twitter. Habit, I guess. A sense of professional obligation, I suppose. Maybe boredom…

I’ve been saying that for a while, myself. But I’m rather late to the game. Here’s another view:

It is the one great weakness of journalism as a picture of our modern existence, that it must be a picture made up entirely of exceptions. We announce on flaring posters that a man has fallen off a scaffolding. We do not announce on flaring posters that a man has not fallen off a scaffolding. Yet this latter fact is fundamentally more exciting, as indicating that that moving tower of terror and mystery, a man, is still abroad upon the earth. That the man has not fallen off a scaffolding is really more sensational; and it is also some thousand times more common. But journalism cannot reasonably be expected thus to insist upon the permanent miracles. Busy editors cannot be expected to put on their posters, “Mr. Wilkinson Still Safe,” or “Mr. Jones, of Worthing, Not Dead Yet.” They cannot announce the happiness of mankind at all. They cannot describe all the forks that are not stolen, or all the marriages that are not judiciously dissolved. Hence the complete picture they give of life is of necessity fallacious; they can only represent what is unusual. However democratic they may be, they are only concerned with the minority. –G.K. Chesterton, The Ball and the Cross

As I’ve said before, even when journalism is trying to get it right, it really can’t. As Chesterton noted, it only concerns itself with the small number of people who do something odd or have something odd done to them. But it’s even a bit worse than that – because of time and space limitations, journalism can’t give us the full story even of these small slices of human life. Even the most intrepid and honest reporter simply won’t be able to give us all the facts. Outside that, the real problem comes in when the journalist is not being intrepid or honest – when he is just mouthing a line designed to serve a particular end and dressing it up as honest journalism. This is where we are today – in a world where hardly anyone is even trying to report it straight. Everyone’s got an agenda.

It must be remembered that you don’t have to push entirely false information to push an agenda. You can have a whole bunch of true things in there, even if you are trying to get across the most monstrous of lies (such as, for instance, the lie that Hillary was even remotely qualified to be President, let alone the allegedly most qualified person, ever). In fact, the more true stuff you can squeeze in there, the better – makes it harder to attack the main lie. But as I’ve also said before, if you add a ounce of lie to a pound of truth, what you’ve got is all lie. The two things just don’t mix. In the end, you are either telling the truth, or you are telling a lie…there is no half-truth, there is no white-lie.

The bottom line, for me, is that I simply do not believe what I’m reading unless I can ascertain a demonstrable fact…and even then I must be able to fit it all into a coherent worldview, informed by my knowledge of history. Skepticism is a requirement these days – you simply can’t take what is said in the media immediately at face value. It has to be checked – and it has to be pondered. Does it make sense? For instance, in that Georgia House race…we were told, endlessly, that the Democrat was a little ahead and that Democrat enthusiasm was at a huge peak…well, in the end, the Democrat lost by 4 percentage points and didn’t get any more votes than the Democrat had in 2016. It was a gigantic nothingburger from start to finish. I was confident all along the GOPer would win – because there was nothing real which would indicate that a GOP-leaning district was going to repudiate the GOP and Donald Trump. I believed this because I didn’t find any facts to dispute it and all my knowledge indicated it would be like that. But there we went, for weeks people salivating over it…and pouring in untold millions of dollars based upon reports which were simply false.

It is rather sad that it has to be this way – and the fix for it would be easy, and quick. All the MSM would have to do is report things straight for just a few weeks and their credibility would be restored. They won’t do it, at least not any time soon, because most of them are committed to the Progressive cause and all of them are fearful of the wrath of the Progressive gate-keepers if they step out of line. So, for now, all we can be is skeptics.

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What Media Bias? Part 202

From Conrad Black:

The two signal facts, or “alternative facts” in the well-chosen parlance of the brilliant and engaging co-counselor and victorious campaign manager of the president, Kellyanne Conway, are that public approval of the national news media now stands at 14%, and the allegations the press are now making against the new administration are of no interest to any serious segment of the public.

After a while, if you lie constantly, no one is going to believe you – even if, for the moment, you are telling the truth.

What happened to the MSM in 2016 was the cumulation of their dishonesty over a many-decade period. This was helped along by the MSM going entirely overboard, even by MSM standards, in their desire to destroy Trump at the behest of their Democrat friends and Trump’s ability to command the center of attention with a willingness to punch back very hard. The MSM is now exposed as a hollow threat – and even mainstream GOP politicians will cease to tremble in fear of offending it. But let’s take a look at how the MSM did this to itself.

G. K. Chesterton – himself a journalist – pointed out very long ago that there was no need of a censorship of the press because we already had a very functional censorship by the press. The press – the MSM as we call it today – takes sides. If they like a person or a particular grouping of people, they will go soft on them. If they don’t like a person or grouping of people, they will be merciless in hounding them. This does have an effect on how some people can be viewed even long after they are dead.

Take, for instance, Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. Roosevelt is lauded in the history books as the strong President who got things done. Taft is derided as a well-meaning man who simply didn’t have the ability of Roosevelt. But, if you dig a bit into the history of things, you’ll find that even on something as signature to Roosevelt as his “trust busting”, Taft actually did far more. Roosevelt did start the Panama Canal, but he did it in a manner which caused grave harm to America’s reputation among Latin American people…Taft actually got the thing properly organized for construction and then kept a close eye on matters until it was nearly done (it was completed about 18 months after he left office…but by then it was all over but the shouting). If you’re liked by the MSM, you’ll have an easy ride – if you’re hated by them, then no level of excellence will be sufficient. When you translate this to the political parties, the MSM likes the Democrats, hates the Republicans – and this goes back quite a long ways: at least to FDR, but a case can be made that the MSM has hated the Republicans ever since Republicans thwarted Wilson, whom they liked, after World War One.

Of course, to take sides means you are simply not going to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. You can’t – because the truth will some times work against your side. Even you don’t flat-out lie for your side, you’re still going to present things in a manner which gives best advantage to your side, and most disadvantage to the other side. And you can speak quite a lot of truth without giving the whole truth; of course, if you don’t give out the whole truth, you’ve carried out the functional equivalent of a lie…but as you can’t be caught out in a factual inaccuracy, you can pretend that you just speak the truth. And that is what the MSM did for many decades. As long as their good friends, the Democrats, generally ran things – and from 1932 until 1980, they generally did, in spite of a few GOPers managing to get into the White House – there was no need to lie; you could just tell that part of the truth which reflected most ill upon Republicans. After the election of Reagan – and, especially, his re-election – that started to change.

I still date the break with truth-telling to be Ted Kennedy’s speech against Robert Bork in 1986. No matter how you want to slice it up, Kennedy got out there and delivered a pack of lies about Robert Bork and then the MSM refused to just call them lies. This, I think, is where old Rush gets his view that, for the MSM, it isn’t the facts of the case but the seriousness of the charge which matters…we are to discuss the charge, not the facts. Kennedy made serious charges – essentially saying that Bork was a Nazi set to destroy freedom in America. Republicans were then asked to prove that he – and they – weren’t in favor of Nazi tyranny. We still weren’t to outright fabrication by the MSM, but we had stepped away from telling even partial truth. Later, especially after the GOP won Congress in 1994, the MSM went to flat out lies in defense of their side.

They felt they had to. The reason Reagan won – and Gingrich’s GOP won – was that the system created by the Democrats was starting to fall apart. The Welfare State wasn’t working. The military system and alliances created by the Democrats wasn’t working. The economic system of the Democrats wasn’t working. To tell the truth about anything pretty much meant you were going to have to say something bad about Democrats. The MSM could still tell bits of truth about the GOP which were bad for the GOP – so, of course, whenever a GOPer was caught in genuine scandal, it was played up for all it was worth – but that wasn’t enough, because the GOP was proposing alternatives to failed policies and even if the alternatives were untested, it was clear that we couldn’t just go on and on with policies which were failing right in front of everyone’s eyes. It became necessary to just cook up things to say which would either help Democrats, or harm Republicans. And that is where things started to go wrong for the MSM – took a while, but as I noted, when you lie enough, eventually people just stop believing you.

And it did take a while. It took ten thousand accusations of GOP racism, sexism and homophobia. Ten thousand accusations that GOPers want to starve kids and shove granny off a cliff. It took ten thousand stories about how swell Democrat things are while people could see for themselves that they were getting worse. It took, finally, eight years of servile MSM devotion to Obama winding up in lunatic MSM opposition to Trump to finish the job.

I’ve seen some articles by MSMers wondering how they can get their mojo back – in none of them do I see, “we’ll report the truth, no matter what it is”. They still can’t go there for the same reason they could never go there: they still like the Democrats (actually, of course, they are Democrats), and still hate Republicans. How things will work out for the next four to eight years remains to be seen. But we do actually need an MSM which will just tell the truth. The alternative media is great – and played a role in breaking through the MSM lies – but it is also contains many people just as willing to lie for their own side as the MSM has been. As soon as someone figures out that what will really sell is an MSM outfit which will just tell the truth – the verified, honest truth – no matter whom it hurts, that will be the MSM outfit which comes to dominate all others…and leads to a restoration of a genuine free press in the United States.

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.

What Media Bias? Part 200

The New York Times headline:

1 Israeli and 3 Palestinians Killed in Attacks in West Bank

Sounds like someone is attacking, but the headline doesn’t make clear who attacked – but given that its three to one dead Palestinians, must be those dratted Israelis, right?

So, what happened? Well, three Palestinians launched attacks against Jews in the West Bank. The attackers managed to kill one Jewish woman while the three Palestinian attackers were killed by Israeli soldiers and civilians. A headline for this should properly be, “Jewish Woman Murdered in West Bank” or some such…but the New York Times can’t do that because Narrative. A narrative which has it that Israelis are somehow responsible for all deaths in the West Bank, Gaza and Israel.

The most horrific aspect of the story is that the terrorists sent out a 16 year old girl to do some killing – she was rammed by an Israeli car and shot by an Israeli soldier before she could carry out her design. In reality, that is the lede – nicely buried by the Times under a fog of “reporting” which attempts to get the reader’s mind off what is really happening – Jews are being targeted for random attacks and the people orchestrating the attacks don’t care even for the lives of their own children (though the Times manages to quote the father of the girl saying the killing of the would-be 16 year old murderer is a crime against childhood!). What the world needs to know is not the body count (and especially a body count which by noting the higher number of Palestinian deaths tries to make out that the Israelis are acting badly), but a clear understanding of what sort of people the Israelis are dealing with – people who send out children to commit murder.

The truth is what we need, but that is not what we’re going to get from the MSM.

A Freely Censored Press

We don’t need a censorship of the press. We have a censorship by the press. G. K. Chesterton, 1908

So, as you can see, it has been going on a rather long time – meaning, this process whereby what is happening isn’t actually revealed in a timely manner by the press.

I was thinking about this the other day when I came across something I hadn’t thought of before – I was looking a bit into World War Two’s “Battle of the Atlantic“; the war-long conflict where the Germans were trying to strangle Britain via sinking merchant ships. I think anyone with a cursory knowledge of World War Two is aware of the phrase “loose lips sink ships”. This was a propaganda effort ostensibly to ensure that Americans on the home front didn’t discuss ships movements – lest the Germans get wind of them and thus massacre our poor merchant ships. It seemed to make sense; and it always did to me until I saw a comment which noted that this might have been more an effort to prevent the American people from discussing the fact that merchant ships were being massacred right off the coast of the United States. The Nazi submariners called this “the second happy time“. The first happy time for them was right after the Germans got control of France’s Atlantic ports, thus massively increasing the effectiveness of German U-Boats against British targets. But the second happy time was a real good time for the Germans – about 1/4 of all merchant ships sunk by U-Boats occurred during this 7 month period. It was really bad – and the response by the U.S. Navy and the American government was less than pathetic. To be sure, there were circumstances which could not be swiftly corrected (most notably the shortage of suitable Naval escort vessels for merchant convoys) but, still, it was just a terrible Naval defeat for the United States. One wonders: maybe “loose lips sinks ships” really reflected a concern that the Germans were learning of ships movements via careless talk but, then again, maybe it was just a means of suppressing news of what was happening? And, after all, it isn’t like the Germans during this time needed to get top secret information – all they had to do was lay off American harbors and wait for the targets to conveniently present themselves in succession (it really was that easy for them – hence, “happy time”…nothing a submariner likes better than easy targets). Now, just where was the vaunted free press of the United States? It was a rather sensational story, wasn’t it? Ships being destroyed in sight of America’s greatest cities. Heroic efforts to rescue people from the briny deep. Widows and orphans of the dead to be interviewed. Questions to be asked about why the Navy was so unprepared – and what steps they were taking to combat the crisis. But, from all appearances, the MSM of the day was going along with the official line.

I wrote a bit ago about the really terrible way World War Two was conducted on our side at the highest levels. Some really bone headed mistakes were made, and all through the war. To be sure, Admiral Kimmel and General Short were cashiered after Pearl Harbor, but not many officers of senior rank felt the heat (and Kimmel and Short both did have some valid extenuating circumstances – but as an old sailor, I still fault Kimmel – the Navy’s job is to be instantly ready for war; regardless of what else was going on, Kimmel should have had his ships in a state to immediately repel an attack from any quarter, 24/7). Let’s take a look at Eisenhower, for instance. In charge of Operation Torch, which was intended to get to Tunisia before the Axis powers could occupy it, he allowed his massively strong forces to be checked by a handful of Germans flown into Tunisia with nearly no heavy weapons. In charge of Overlord, he got his forces hung up in grinding, attrition warfare and when the enemy finally cracked, he failed to close the ring on them, allowing many to escape to fight another day. In charge of the drive towards Germany, he got to the gates of Germany at a time when there were, at most, the combat strength of 10 German divisions to cover hundreds of miles of front, and then paused just long enough for the Germans to scrape up troops to defend against attacks, thus extending the war by months and countless dead. After that, caught completely flat-footed by the Germans in the “Battle of the Bulge“. None of these mistakes, all of them costly in blood and treasure, resulted in a rebuke for Eisenhower – indeed, he was lauded as the great hero and got to be President of the United States for eight years. One wonders if we had in World War Two the sort of press we had during the Civil War just how long Eisenhower could have hung on in command (the Army of the Potomac had four commanders tossed out due to mistakes – but no mistakes they made were any worse than the mistakes made by Eisenhower…or a bunch of other senior commanders during World War Two). And that leads to the question: just how much censorship by the press have we been getting?

Conservatives tend to be aware of what is really going on with things like ISIS and what is at stake in Hillary’s private server – but isn’t that because we tend to read conservative media of various types? Are the full stories of these things – as well as many others – even being reported in any significant way to the average American who doesn’t consume conservative media? I doubt it highly – after all, it is just downright bizarre that more people aren’t demanding vigorous action against ISIS; they are doing very nasty things all the time, after all. Doubly bizarre that the Democrat front-runner may very well have committed a whole series of felonies and yet she remains the front-runner. It can only be explained, as far as I’m concerned, by most people being unaware of what is going on.

Do people – average, every day people who don’t seek out alternative news sources – know that Planned Parenthood is America’s largest abortion provider? Do they know that China is making a bid for Naval supremacy in the western Pacific? Do they know that Japan, India, Australia and South Korea are all building aircraft carriers of various capabilities because of the China threat, and the worry we won’t be there if a war breaks out? Do they know that Iran and Saudi Arabia are coming to military blows over Yemen? Do they know that the Egyptian government is battling Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups in the Sinai? Do they know the United States has record natural gas production and our cheap energy means that with a bit of effort, manufacturing can come back to the United States? Do they know we can produce even more if the government will get out of the way? Probably not – none of these stories are any more helpful to the Ruling Class (of which the MSM is a member) than stories of tankers being blown to pieces off Long Island would have been in World War Two. And, so, they aren’t told in a way which would make people sit up and notice…which means repetitive reporting about it for several days in all the MSM outfits (it takes a while to drill a story into the public mind – an in-depth report on page A-28 of the New York Times won’t do it…it has to be on page one of the major dailies for several days while the talking heads on TV are mentioning it again and again and again…proof of this is if we polled how many Americans know who Kim Kardashian is against the number who can even identify Yemen on a map).

It is said that a free press is vital to a free society – and that is true. But what happens when the press refuses to be free? That is, when it refuses to confront people with what is really going on, preferring instead to just repeat what the bosses think the people should hear? Can a people be free when they can only choose between false alternatives presented to them by a press which is venal and in the hip pocket of those in charge?

I really don’t have a solution to this – among the freedoms the press enjoy is the freedom to sell itself entirely to one side in the political debate. If people wish to be puppets on a string, then it is their right to be such. But we do, I believe, need something of national reach which will tell the actual truth – tell what is really happening in our nation and in the world. How to get it escapes me – but I hope that someone out there with the resources will get on it.

A Riot of Idiocy

I don’t know much about the Mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. Her Wikipedia entry indicates a pretty conventional political career for a Democrat – you know: went to college, got out of college and got into government and has never left it. Some say her “space to destroy” remark is being taken out of context and I’ll go ahead and buy that – maybe she was trying to put out an idea and it got mangled in transition from mind to mouth…it does happen to us all. But, on the other hand, she’s the Mayor, not some small-time blogger, like me. Within the city limits of Baltimore, she’s the Commander in Chief in an emergency…it is to her that the law must refer when riots erupt. Within the city, she – and no one else – is ultimately responsible for the lives and property of the citizens of Baltimore. Do understand this – when the chips are down, it is to the top person everyone looks. Not the city council, not the chief of police – to the Mayor. Regardless of whether her destroy remark was out of context, the city clearly fell apart on her watch.

This reminds me a bit of Hurricane Katrina – while the MSM and the Democrats (but, I repeat myself) managed to fix in the public mind that President Bush (who bore zero legal responsibility) was at fault for the failed response, the reality was that the Mayor of New Orleans and the Governor of Louisiana failed. The two leaders were both also rather conventional Democrat politicians who had spent most of their lives in politics – and were the kindly, public faces of the party to the electorate. But, they failed miserably. I think this is because our Democrats are rather clever in most instances – they know they need a kind face in front and so they find one. One who will do as they are told, not rock the boat and allow the nauseating sea of Democrat corruption to continue unhindered by reality. I don’t know for certain if Ms. Rawlings-Blake is as much of a zero as the Mayor and Governor were in Louisiana, but my guess is that she was elevated to the Mayor’s office by the Democrat powers-that-be not because of a sterling record of accomplishment but, rather, because of her loyalty and pliability (she signed off on a plan to fix Baltimore’s disastrous fiscal problems – and it promises to reduce a shortfall over ten years from $750 million to $400 million…which means it fixes precisely nothing and, I’ll bet, even the $300 million saved is probably due to fiscal hocus-pocus; a real leader doesn’t sign off on a solution which doesn’t solve; the difference is in what Walker did in Wisconsin – he really fixed Wisconsin’s fiscal woes).

The main thing to keep in mind outside of the particular merits of the current leaders of Baltimore is that the last time a Republican ran the city was from 1963 to 1967, and Republicans have held the Mayor’s office only 16 out of the last 100 years. Baltimore is the Democrat’s city. They own it. If there is anything wrong with Baltimore, it is 100% the fault of the Democrats. And very liberal Democrats, at that (as an aside, Nancy Pelosi’s dad and brother both served as Mayor – her brother botching the 1968 riots so badly that he was booted out of office after one term; another oddity is that at that time, as well, a Democrat mayor botched the response and a Republican Governor, Spiro T. Agnew, called out the National Guard – and, eventually, federal troops courtesy of the President – to restore order). Bottom line is that if the Baltimore Police Department is a racist oppressor, then it is made up of and run by liberal racist oppressors. I fully expect at the next election the people rioting in the streets will vote for the same people running the show today.

Astonishingly, President Obama actually used the word “thugs” to describe the rioters. Per many liberals, this actually makes President Obama a racist as the word “thug” is code for “N word”. President Obama, more true to form, did manage to place some of the blame on the GOP for the riots, claiming that GOP failure to pass his agenda has meant less money for programs to alleviate the problems which led to the riots. This in service of the ideal that only vast sums of federal cash funneled to bureaucrats can fix our problems. I actually figure the use of the word “thug” was because someone did some polling and found out that riots don’t play well for the 2016 narrative – after all, it has been a couple days and Obama is only speaking just today.

Lost in all this is the man who’s death in police custody sparked the riots (or, at any rate, provided an excuse for criminal elements to go on a rampage). Freddy Gray was no exemplar of good citizenship – but what caused his arrest is that he took off running when the police approached him. He was found with a switchblade and arrested. To be sure, running from the police is not a good idea – but I don’t find in the available information any underlying crime being committed…and arresting someone for having a knife seems a bit extreme (and you can probably thank the good liberals who run Baltimore for making sure that knife possession is illegal). Irritatingly, some on the right are pointing out Gray’s long rap sheet as some sort of justification for his death. Sorry, folks, but being a petty criminal doesn’t in any way, shape or form justify death. Unless the police can come up with credible evidence that Gray attacked them, then the police did wrong (to be sure, in the Ferguson case, the evidence ended up being open and shut – the dead man did attack the officer…and maybe over time some evidence of this will come out in the Gray case: so far, it hasn’t). Most of Gray’s arrests seem to be over drugs, so I guess we can count this as another victory in the War on Drugs? And may we please surrender in that war?

The MSM covered itself in it’s usual glory here – first ignoring the riots when they started because that might have made Obama’s appearance at the White House Correspondents Dinner look bad. Next by trying to some how justify the riots based upon American racism without even once noting that the city is run by liberals (and has a black Mayor, black Chief of Police and is, indeed, 63% black). Interspersed among this has been the sensationalist showing of videos of burning buildings and lack of police presence – coverage assured to get everyone off the couch and off to the looting (except for one young man who has the best mother, ever).

In all of this, I don’t think I’ve seen any intelligent commentary or suggestions. The thing to be done is, of course, a national campaign to reform police practices and for the GOP to start getting into these deep blue cities and start campaigning. Offer the people there a choice, for crying out loud. Do you really think that most people in Baltimore want to live like that? Of course they don’t – but all they get is, at best, a choice between the liberal Democrat who is favored by the party bosses and the odd liberal Democrat who thinks he or she should have been favored by the party bosses. Nothing will change in places like Baltimore until there is something to change to.

It is all really rather sad and enraging – I pray for the people of Baltimore, and of our poor nation, so badly served by politicians and media.

UPDATE: If this is true, then it is a complete game-changer in the Freddy Gray story.

It Should Come As No Surprise – Open Thread

As the GOP Senate and House are sworn in today, the liberal media is not surprisingly grilling new GOP representatives on how and where they plan to work with Obama. Donny Deutsch on MSNBC went so far this morning to say to an incoming GOP House member that considering the “low gas prices, new dialogue with Cuba, and one of the most important pieces of legislation passed in a generation (ACA), this President is viewed as a huge success, so what are your plans to continue to get things done”. Appropriately the response was right on target when he responded by saying (and I don’t remember who he was)  that “thanks to folks in North Dakota and Montana we have aggressively extracted our domestic crude resources on private lands almost in spite of the President’s desire, and have added substantially to the world supply helping lower prices, and if you are referring to the ACA I would remind you that that bill is still very unpopular with the majority of Americans and has many problems, and in regards to Cuba, that open dialogue has done nothing to free dissidents, or to stop the flow of Cubans who so desperately want to leave that country”.

Obama has already demonstrated that he has no intention of working with the new GOP Congress, so it should come as no surprise that the media will follow his lead and berate the GOP for actually representing their constituents rather than being a lap dog for Obama as Harry Reid was for so many years. Let the games begin.