img_1020

Fake News

Worries about “fake news” are all the rage right now. It’s gotten elevated attention lately due to “pizzagate” culminating in some nutjob firing a semi in a Washington DC pizzeria. Pizzagate, for the uninitiated, is a false conspiracy theory stating that Hillary Clinton was running a child trafficking operation out of the basement of a popular DC pizzeria. (From what I’ve heard, said pizzeria has no basement.)

What is striking to me is that no one in the MSM is fessing up to where fake news finds its roots.

“News”: Barack Obama disparages the white working class of America by saying “you didn’t build that”.

“News”: Hillary Clinton tells Pat Smith that her son died because of an offensive video.

“News”: Michael Brown is savagely gunned down by racist Ferguson cop.

“News”: Donald Trump says Mexicans are rapists.

“News”: Trump attacks gold star mother.

“News”: Countless other stories about Donald Trump.

The pattern is clear. Over the past eight years (at least), the MSM has been feeding us incendiary pop fluff (sometimes outright lies) for profit. The boundary between straight news (which utilizes FACTS, not hearsay and innuendo) and opinion/propaganda has become incredibly fuzzy. Thirty years ago you could not tune into a network like MSNBC or Fox News Channel and get four hours of propaganda on a nightly basis.

It was only a matter of time before someone caught onto the idea of pulling stories straight out of his ass and publishing them as news to a public hungry to satisfy confirmation bias. The only shame is how our “legitimate” news sources lack the introspection to realize how they contributed to the current mess.

What do you think? The bar is open.

Fox – Fair and Balanced – Seriously

Far left manifesto Daily Kos beat me to the punch with the headline “Pigs Fly – Megyn Kelly Slams Cheney”.

I was sitting away from the TV when I thought I heard Fox’s Megyn Kelly ask blowhard ex VP Dick Cheney the question any self respecting journalist would have asked him but lacked the guts to. But it could not be. This was Fox, the network that single handedly powers the mechanical heart of Darth Cheney. I had to see it with my own eyes.

Alas, it was true. Dick Cheney, the heartless Tin Man to Bush’s brainless Scarecrow, got his ass handed to him just when he thought he was in his safe place. Since 2009, Bush ’43 has shown nothing but class. It might be modesty about his self-perceived accomplishments or shame about his obvious failures. It matters not. Bush has been a true patriot, honoring the Presidency, if not Obama, with his silence.

The same cannot be said for Dick Cheney, one of the architects of the most expensive and deadly boondoggles in recent history. The man just can’t shut up. His latest pronouncement about Obama in the Wall Street Journal topped all previous examples of arrogant self delusion.

Rarely has a U.S. President been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.

Megyn Kelly threw his words back in his face, confirming what every honest American already knew.

But time and time again, history has proven that you got it wrong as well in Iraq, sir. You said there were no doubts Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. You said we would greeted as liberators. You said the Iraq insurgency was in the last throes back in 2005. And you said that after our intervention, extremists would have to, quote, ‘rethink their strategy of Jihad.’ Now with almost a trillion dollars spent there with 4,500 American lives lost there, what do you say to those who say, you were so wrong about so much at the expense of so many?

Cheney’s answers to Kelly were predictable and not worth inclusion here. Suffice it to say he is unable to accept responsibility for the grave injury he inflicted on his country. The phrase found in much of the coverage of his Op-Ed is “unmitigated gall”.

The bottom line is that in a fifteen minute interview Megyn Kelly transformed Fox News from partisan hackery to serious journalism. She also laid to shame every other network without the balls to put Cheney in his place – to his face.

There are those who say Cheney and his merry band of neo-cons from the dawn of this century shouldn’t even be allowed to spew their bullcrap on TV. I disagree. Bring them on and let’s have more folks like Megyn Kelly expose them for the dangerous fools they are.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

For the full Kelly video and more Fox commentary go here.

Three Liberal Landmines

In the spirit of introspection, alluded to in my previous post, here are three thoughts on liberal landmines ranging from the trivial to the dead serious.

The Better Scandal

MSNBC spent the better part of the first two months of this year focused on one story: Bridgegate. Each prime-time show lead with some update on the New Jersey traffic snafu engineered by Chris Christie admin officials and appointees.  At first they tried to make hay of the possibility that an elderly woman died because her ambulance got stuck in the traffic jam caused by a bogus “traffic study”. Unfortunately, almost immediately a relative of the deceased woman said she didn’t blame Christie for the death, so MSNBC had to drop that bit of melodrama. In the backdrop was the fact that Christie was the only potential 2016 Republican candidate who was giving Hillary Clinton a run for her money. The obvious attempt of the network to discredit Hillary’s only real opposition was transparent — and disappointing to me, a long time fan of the network for their left-leaning but fair reporting.

Contrast this with Fox which for the better part of the past 18 months focused on Benghazi. Say what you will of the merits of the Benghazi “scandal”, four dead Americans including an ambassador trumps an amateur hour traffic jam any day of the week. If liberal news networks are going to go after Republicans they better come up with juicier stuff than Bridgegate.

A Drag on the Family

When conservatives compare our country to “the family” it usually sounds like grade school oversimplification.  The typical example is “why would you want your country in debt? You don’t want your family in debt do you?” I am pretty sure that many economists agree that a little debt is actually GOOD for a country while it may not be good for a family.

But I was thinking the other day about another country/family analogy and this one resonated a bit. Picture the family who is pretty normal except for that one loser who has never applied himself, never looked for a job and is always mooching off the other family members. The family either applies “tough love” and cuts him off or they go down the drain with him, constantly bailing him out.

I do not subscribe to the notion that all welfare recipients are lazy loafers, or in Paul-Ryan-speak, “takers”. But I am beginning to question whether the current welfare state discourages work. When I got laid off seven years ago, I did not apply for unemployment insurance because I wanted to start my own business and I assumed doing so would make me ineligible for assistance. When my wife applied for unemployment insurance after her layoff last year, one of my concerns was how this would affect her ability to earn money. From what I understand, she can make a small amount and still receive government assistance but a job that would pay only slightly more than the assistance we receive would make us ineligible. So living day-to-day, paycheck to paycheck, there is a disincentive to find at least a low paying job. In a sense you find yourself saying “I can’t afford to get a job”, as crazy as that may sound. And in this case we are talking about responsible people, my wife and I. If a hard-working person can’t afford to find a job imagine how a true loafer feels.

Welfare and unemployment insurance don’t allow you to live like a king (or the proverbial queen) so many conservative complaints about welfare recipients do  not resonate with me. Welfare recipients don’t live in swank penthouse apartments. But it is worth considering how government aid creates an unintentional disincentive to work.

Two approaches that come immediately to mind are workfare (not new) and mandatory health care assistance. How about the government paying your salary at a company instead of handing you a check while you’re not working? Basically you “volunteer” at a company — they pay nothing — and the gov pays you to work there. Time limits could be applied while you find a company who will pay you to work. In the area of mandatory health care assistance, how about legislation that forces any company with a health benefit plan, to continue to provide that benefit to any employee fired without cause (e.g. layoff)  for a period of two years while they search for employment.

The bottom line is liberals need to think outside the box, stop focusing on victimization of the poor, creating greater dependency, and find new creative ways to lift folks out of poverty. Creating a dependent class hurts those relegated to that class as well as the country that goes down the drain supporting them.

The New Jim Crow

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” by Michelle Alexander is a book that I shall never read. I had the distinct misfortune of seeing the author discuss her premise and one phrase she used, yes — one phrase, left me so irritated that I will not give her book a chance. In discussing the plight of young minority men going to prison for longer terms than their white counterparts (the crack vs powdered cocaine dichotomy, to name one) she said (very close paraphrase), “these young men go to jail and are labeled criminals”.

NO NO NO. They are not labeled criminals. They ARE criminals. When you break the law you are a criminal. While it is perfectly correct to make the punishment fit the crime, isn’t our time better spent getting folks to STOP committing the crime in the first place? Words have meaning. When you say someone is “labeled a criminal” the implication is that forces beyond his control have created his condition. There are folks in the ghetto who would sooner die than break the law. This notion that ghetto life ipso facto creates criminals is the most counter-productive condescension imaginable.

It reminds me of a battle I fought in the comments section of another blog where a woman said she “found herself pregnant”. Mind you, she was not raped. She was not the victim of incest. She got pregnant through unprotected consensual sexual intercourse. She willingly actively engaged in behavior that, on occasion, results in a pregnancy. Yet she “found herself pregnant” as though no action on her part was involved. A total surprise — the sperm genie visited her while she was sleeping. Puhleeeze.

The same goes for this “labeled a criminal”. Brotha didn’t do a damn thing and our terrible racist society “labeled” him a criminal. Bull crap. Liberals use language to abdicate responsibility for behavior. It is always someone else’s fault. Frankly I’m sick of it. There is this thing in business called “root cause analysis”. When you “find yourself pregnant” or get “labeled a criminal” by some evil third-party, you are not getting at the root cause. Stop unprotected screwing! Stop buying, selling and using illegal drugs! Those are the root causes of the problem.

The question that remains is, are liberals well-meaning in this obfuscation or actually more odious than the “cold-hearted conservatives” whom they regularly attack? The jury is out for me on that one. But I can tell you this much– libs need to change their language and their perspective on the “down-trodden”. Some folks get screwed over because they screwed themselves over. That is not a problem we can fix by demonizing rich white men.

Respectfully,
Rutherford