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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.

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Murder by Drone and the Legacy of a Myth

Murder by Drone

As I watched Barack Obama “take responsibility” for the death of Warren Weinstein, I momentarily left my body and inhabited that of his widow. I thought, what does it mean that you’re taking responsibility? How can you possibly compensate me for my loss? Will you go to jail for my husbands murder? If not, who will?

Weinstein, a USAID worker died in what can only be honestly called a Keystone Kops operation. What’s more shocking is that it is Keystone Kops by design. This was not a botched attempt to rescue Weinstein. It was not even an attempt to take out specific Al Qaeda personnel. This was a “signature strike”. A signature strike, as I understand it, is a drone attack on a target that shows terrorist activity, comings and goings. However the folks who are coming and going are not identified. The target simply meets the signature of bad guy activity. They didn’t know Weinstein was there. Two terrorists killed in this attack were killed entirely by accident. Again, not knowing was a feature of the operation, not a bug.

There is already controversy about the collateral damage done by drone attacks against known human targets. To expand this carnage to operations where we don’t know who we are killing seems a step too far. How did we get here? It’s the impersonal nature of the technology. It’s high stakes video gaming.

At the White House Correspondents Dinner, Saturday night, Obama promised to bring jailed Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian home from Iran. All I could think was, “if we don’t kill him first.”

The Legacy of a Myth

Michael Brown did not deserve to spark a movement. He was a juvenile delinquent destined to be a blight on society barring unlikely effective intervention. Yet the myth of Brown’s demise in Ferguson, Missouri (hands up, don’t shoot) has indeed been a game changer.

No matter how much the true facts of Ferguson were twisted, the Ferguson incident has laid down a new marker. There is a “mad as hell and we’re not gonna take it anymore” mood on the streets of many urban neighborhoods right now. The war zone behavior of some police (justified or not) will no longer be tolerated.

Bottom line, “fair” or not, a white cop better have a good reason for killing a black suspect or there will be marches and in the cases of Ferguson and Baltimore, cities will burn. That is the new reality brought about by the undeserving standard-bearer, Michael Brown.

What do you think? The bar is open.

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Garner is not Brown

One of the problems when America has a “conversation about race” is we lump together people who have no business lumped together.

Eric Garner was killed in a chokehold by a Staten Island policeman. Not only does a video tell the tale, the coroner ruled Garner’s death a homicide. This means someone killed him. Yet today a grand jury decided not to bring charges against the police officer. At the time that he was confronted by police, Garner was selling loose cigarettes on the street. Yes, he was breaking the law but his take down was wildly out of proportion to his offense.

Makes you wanna holler right? Want to know why lots of folks won’t listen to your outrage? Because you and the left wing media just wasted gobs of time and energy over the justified shooting of a common criminal, Michael Brown. When you burn down stores over the death of a hood, caught on camera in a robbery, you lose ALL credibility.

Now, sadly, Eric Garner’s totally unnecessary death stands less chance to outrage because so called race hustlers can’t discern between the malicious and relatively benign within their own tribe.

The implications of Michael Brown’s elevation to hero and martyr run deep, not just in setting race relations backward but in achieving true justice for those deserving it.

What do you think? The bar is open.