FT220: “The legacy of the Obama Administration will not be the scandals but the complicit and corrupt media.” —Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 2nd, 2014

Fundamental Truth

Free Speech can be an Instrument of Change

Before there was a Nazi Germany there was a German republic.  The Weimar Republic.  Where people were free to say anything they wanted to.  In fact, it was that freedom of speech that allowed Adolf Hitler to rise to power.  Who then took that freedom of speech he used away from everyone else.  Pumped out state propaganda (i.e., lies).  And did horrible things to people.  Including to his fellow Germans who dared to speak freely.

Free speech can be an instrument of change.  Hitler knew that.  And used it.  But knowing what an instrument of change speaking freely can be he banned free speech after he effected change with it.  And then started the lying.  Joseph Goebbels, the head of state propaganda, lied and he lied big.  Saying that if the people heard a lie enough they would believe it.  Especially a big lie.

Germans are not evil people.  But they did vote for members of the Nazi Party.  Of course, when they were voting for members of the Nazi Party it wasn’t the Nazi Party of the Holocaust.  No.  It was a much kinder and gentler Nazi Party.  A party for the workers.  And the people.  For the Nazi Party was the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.  It was nothing more than big government taking care of the people.  At least, that was the lie.  And the people fell for it.  Giving us one of the darkest chapters in world history.

The Natural State of Life for people throughout History has been one of Oppression

As Nazi power expanded free speech withered and died.  The free press became an arm of the state.  Telling the people only what the state wanted the people to hear.  Not what the people wanted to know.  The truth.  No.  Instead, all the people got were lies.  To advance the state’s agenda.  And to squelch any discontent of the state.  For the few who dared to speak up or criticize the state the Gestapo (the state police) was there to arrest, torture, imprison or kill them.

This is why truth is so important to a free people.  And why it’s such a threat to an oppressive state.  For the governed far exceed those who govern.  So the only way a minority power can rise to a dictatorship is by cowing the people through fear and intimidation.  Keeping them blissfully ignorant of the truth.  And feeding them nothing but lies via the state propaganda machine.  Something a free press makes difficult to do.  Which is why a dictatorship shuts down free speech.

This is something as old as time.  For the natural state of life for people throughout history has been one of oppression.  Something our Founding Fathers were very aware of being gentlemen of the Enlightenment.  And students of history.  Which is why they gave us the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

And a big part of the First Amendment is protection of the truth by the guardians of the truth.  A free press.

The Complicit and Corrupt Media supports a Political Agenda instead of being Guardians of the Truth

The free press brought Watergate to the attention of the American people.  And caused President Nixon to resign.  Because of the cover-up.  Not the crime.  When Oliver North traded arms for hostages during the Reagan administration the free press was all over that.  Irangate.  A play on Watergate.  And when news surfaced that the Bush family pressured the military to improve President George W. Bush’s Air National Guard service record during the 2004 presidential campaign they were all over that, too.  But it turned out that this was a lie.  And we now know this as Memogate.  For the documents that CBS said proved this were obvious forgeries.

In other words, the media lied during the 2004 presidential campaign.  To harm President Bush’s reelection chances.  Making the media less of a free press and more an arm of the Democrat Party.  A propaganda machine.  For the mainstream media these days is less about the truth and more about Democrat propaganda.  As the Obama administration has had a flurry of scandals that gets scant coverage in the free press.  The IRS targeting of conservatives.  Benghazi.  Spying on the Associated Press.  Accusing journalist James Rosen of being a criminal for reporting unflattering news leaked to him (referred to as Rosengate).  Fast and Furious.  The lies, misinformation and backroom deals to pass Obamacare into law.  Etc.

The legacy of the Obama administration will not be the scandals.  But the complicit and corrupt media.  A media that was derelict in its duty to safeguard the truth.  Instead choosing to disseminate lies.  And ignoring news that is unfavorable to the Obama administration.  Should this nation stop being exceptional.  And become ordinary.  Like the history before us where the natural state of life was one of oppression.  It won’t be the emerging dictatorship to blame.  It will be the complicit and corrupt media that allowed it to happen.  By choosing lies over truth.  And supporting a political agenda instead of being guardians of the truth.

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Benghazigate versus Bridgegate

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 16th, 2014

Politics 101

Even though Hillary Clinton lied about Benghazi the Press is more Interested in Bridgegate

The Senate Intelligence Committee released its report on the 2012 attacks in Benghazi.  Surprisingly, or perhaps not surprisingly, actually more of a stating of the obvious, at least for those without their heads up their backsides in blind adoration of President Obama, those who can find no fault with him or his administration no matter how many scandals and lies we catch them in, as their heads are up their aforementioned backsides, the report does not agree with the Obama administration version of what caused this tragedy (see Senate report: Attacks on U.S. compounds in Benghazi could have been prevented by Adam Goldman and Anne Gearan posted 1/15/2014 on The Washington Post).

A long-delayed Senate Intelligence Committee report released Wednesday faulted both the State Department and the intelligence community for not preventing attacks on two outposts in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador, in 2012.

The bipartisan report laid out more than a dozen findings regarding the assaults on a diplomatic compound and a CIA annex in the city. It said the State Department failed to increase security at its mission despite warnings, and blamed intelligence agencies for not sharing information about the existence of the CIA outpost with the U.S. military…

The document contains only one mention of then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton…

President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton and UN Ambassador Rice all stated publically that the attack in Benghazi was caused by a spontaneous protest over an obscure YouTube video.  They didn’t say it once.  They said it again and again.  It was the YouTube video.  Period.  Which can’t be true if the State Department could have prevented this attack.  For the only way that could have happened was if there were in fact identified security issues that were promptly ignored by the Obama administration.  Not an unknown and unexpected spontaneous protest out of nowhere one day.  So they all lied.  It was planned and coordinated.  And had nothing to do with that obscure YouTube video.

And yet they only mentioned Secretary Clinton once in their report.  Odd considering she failed to do everything she could to protect her people and then lied about it.  You’d think that would warrant more than one mention.  This is big news.  At least you’d think it would be.  But other than a few newspapers and Fox News the media isn’t talking about how Secretary Clinton lied.  Instead they are more interested if another politician lied.  A governor.  In New Jersey.  Who the polls show is the greatest threat against a Hillary Clinton presidency.  They want to know what Chris Christie knew.  When he knew it.  And if he lied about knowing it.

Hillary Clinton’s Incompetence and Indifference to Americans dying doesn’t Interest the Press

They call it Bridgegate.  A play on Watergate.  Something a young Hillary Clinton went after Richard Nixon like a hyena tearing away at the entrails of a fallen prey.  Because Nixon lied.  He knew about a rank amateur burglary after the fact.  And then used the power of the executive branch to try and cover it up.  Much like the Obama administration has done often.  Only Nixon didn’t have a complicit press that would do whatever they could for their dear leader.  But I digress.

Apparently the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., didn’t endorse Governor Christie in his reelection campaign.  And as payback a couple of Christie’s staffers closed some traffic lanes on the George Washington Bridge to cause the mother of all traffic backups in Fort Lee.  No one died like in Benghazi.  But this is what the press and the Democrats (even the Democrats outside of the press) want to know about.  And some are even using the ‘I’ word.  Impeachment (see Subpoenas Expected for Chris Christie Aides Over Bridge Scandal by GILLIAN MOHNEY posted 1/12/2014 on ABC News).

Legislative subpoenas could be served to the aides of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as early as Monday sources told ABC News today.

Christie has been under intense political scrutiny after it was revealed that some of his top political aides shut down key traffic lanes on the George Washington Bridge — the busiest bridge in the world — in September for what appear to be politically motivated reasons…

Some Democratic lawmakers are saying that Christie could face impeachment hearings if it turns out he knew about the lane closures and authorized them.

Wow.  Completely different from the approach in getting answers from Secretary Clinton.  Where when she finally appeared before Congress the Democrats spent more time puckering up and kissing her backside.  And when she said “what difference does it make” if it was her incompetence and indifference to Americans dying or if it was some spontaneous protest where average ordinary Muslims pulled rocket propelled grenades and mortars out of their wallets and purses to storm the American mission in a military assault they applauded her moxy.  Saying, “You go, girl.”  Figuratively, of course.

Without an Independent and Free Press you can’t keep Government Honest

It’s not so much a double standard as it is a biased press.  Much of the mainstream media today is more an extension of the Democrat Party than a free press.  Who spend more time writing propaganda for the left.  Democrats.  Elitists who think like they think.  And know as they know that they are better, wiser and more enlightened than the ignorant masses.  This is why they are foaming at the mouth over Bridgegate.  And ignore Secretary Clinton’s incompetence and indifference over the attack in Benghazi.  She who criticized candidate Barack Obama and his lack of experience.  Saying he wouldn’t know what to do if he got that 3 AM call like she would.  “There’s trouble brewing in Benghazi as we approach the anniversary of 9/11?  Well, what do you want me to do about it?”  Or, perhaps, it was something more like this.  “Tell it to someone who gives a damn.”  Of course it should be noted that this trouble did not start with a 3 AM telephone call.  It was a gradual buildup of trouble that she responded to with incompetence and indifference.

It’s sad what the American press has come to.  Even Britain with her socialist tendencies following World War II at least still has a fierce free press.  That will speak truth to power.  Put their country first instead of puckering up and kissing the backsides of those in the political party they favor.  Ignoring their lies, crimes and misdemeanors.  Such as letting Americans die so as not to spoil the campaign narrative.  Al Qaeda was reeling and in retreat.  And they couldn’t allow security concerns in Libya to upset that message.  So they abandoned the Americans in Benghazi.  And hoped the resurgence of al Qaeda in Libya wouldn’t hurt President Obama’s reelection chances.  And counted on their friends in the media not to question and disseminate the lie about the YouTube video causing a spontaneous protest that caused average Muslims to pull out rocket propelled grenades and mortars from their wallets and purses to wage war.  Now contrast the sycophant American press to the British press (see David Cameron says British Press plays ‘vital’ role in democracy by Matthew Holehouse posted 1/17/2014 on The Telegraph).

“At its best, the British Press, the political Press, have a vital role to play in our country.

“Yes: rowdy, tenacious, sceptical, uncontrollable, often uncomfortable for our politicians. But British political reporting is deservedly respected around the world, for the way it probes, it inquires, it scrutinises, and these things are linchpins of our democracy…”

Mr Cameron spoke movingly of a trip he made, accompanied by political reporters including from the Daily Telegraph, to a newspaper office in northern Sri Lanka, where journalists had been murdered after criticising the government.

“It was an incredibly powerful moment. It was a reminder of just how fortunate we are in this country to have a Press that is free, that is open, that is able to stand up to the powerful.”

Without an independent and free press how do you keep government honest?  How do you protect the American people from the lies, crimes and misdemeanors of government?  You can’t.  Instead you get propaganda that helps the powerful grow more powerful.  And it eventually gets to the point that politicians no longer debate in the arena of ideas.  They just look for opportunities to destroy their enemies.  Challengers to their power.  Like Chris Christie.  Who polls better against Hillary Clinton than any other potential Republican candidate.  So they attack Christies over Bridgegate.  To destroy him.  And they circle the wagons around Hillary Clinton to protect her from her incompetence and indifference over Benghazigate.  While never worrying what their helping the powerful to become more powerful could do one day.

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Our Free Press has become an Extension of the Democrat Party instead of Safeguarding Democracy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 9th, 2014

Politics 101

Our Free Press embraced the George Washington Bridge Scandal to ignore Robert Gates’ Autobiography

“The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.”  A quote attributed to Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and Wendell Phillips.  To name a few.  John Philpot Curran may have said it first when he said, “The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt.”

This is why the Founding Fathers gave us the First Amendment.  And freedom of the press.  Which exercises that eternal vigilance.  To safeguard democracy.  By keeping government transparent.  And making it difficult for government to hide things from the American people.  Especially when those in power use their positions of power for self interest.  Instead of the public’s interest.

So this is the free press as envisioned by the Founding Fathers.  Is it still that noble institution?  Well, you be the judge.  Recently Robert Gates just published a tell-all memoir putting the Obama administration in a very poor light.  Saying things like Vice President Joe Biden has been wrong on every important foreign policy issue.  That senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama voted against the surge in Iraq for political reasons.  What was best for them.  Not their country.  And that as much as Candidate Obama said Iraq was the wrong war while Afghanistan was the right war he never believed in the war in Afghanistan.  He didn’t have any interest in winning.  Only in getting out.  Big news.  But now you don’t hear anything about it because someone in Chris Christie’s administration caused gridlock on the roads leading to the George Washington Bridge.

President Obama sacrificed the Americans in Benghazi for the sake of a Campaign Message

The George Washington Bridge scandal has gripped the media.  It’s all they can talk about.  Unlike those ‘phony scandals’ president Obama complained about that the Republicans were creating out of nothing.  Like the ATF Fast and Furious scandal.  Gunwalking to put thousands of weapons on the street.  So the Obama administration could pick them up after they were used in a crime and say, “See?  We need to pass new gun control legislation.”  In Fast and Furious that meant new controls for multiple rifle sales or long guns.  As explained in Demand Letter 3.  One of these guns killed a U.S. border agent.  And countless people in Mexico.  But that was a phony scandal.  Not a real one like the George Washington Bridge scandal.

The Solyndra scandal funneled money to a maker of solar arrays that was bleeding money.  To delay the bankruptcy until after the 2010 midterm elections the Obama administration promised the largest private investor—and Obama donor—to restructure the loan.  To put him above the taxpayers in any bankruptcy filing.  In violation of Section 1702(d)(3) of Energy Policy Act of 2005.  The Obama administration did.  And the taxpayers’ ate the private investor’s loss.  But that was a phony scandal.  Not a real one like the George Washington Bridge scandal.

With the death of Osama bin Laden President Obama said al Qaeda was reeling.  On the ropes.  On the path to being no more.  And he was going to ride this foreign policy achievement into the 2012 presidential election.  Which is why when Ambassador Stevens requested additional security at the Benghazi mission the Obama administration denied his request.  For how would it look if they were beefing up security in the country they just liberated when the threat from al Qaeda was receding?  The problem was that al Qaeda was resurgent in Libya.  It was so dangerous the British pulled out completely after an attack on their people.  But President Obama sacrificed the Americans in Benghazi for the sake of a campaign message.  And after four Americans died President Obama, Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice blamed their deaths on a spontaneous protest that turned deadly due to an obscure anti-Muslim video no one had heard of in Benghazi.  A spontaneous protest where people had rocket propelled grenades.  And mortars that were pre-sighted on their targets.  Things few people normally carry on them.  The administration lied and they stonewalled Congress over Benghazi.  Hiding the truth.  Of how politics trumped the lives of four Americans.  But that was a phony scandal.  Not a real one like the George Washington Bridge scandal.

Our Free Press is NOT exercising that Eternal Vigilance that safeguards Democracy

CBS correspondent Sharyl Attkisson was one of the few in the media to investigate the Obama administration.  Breaking stories on Fast and Furious.  And Benghazi.  Someone hacked into her computer in late 2012.  Someone sophisticated who was searching for something on her computer.  And knew how to cover their electronic tracks.  Well, almost.  The Obama Justice Department denied any involvement.  But they did spy on reporters at the Associated Press.  And Fox News journalist James Rosen.   Attorney General Eric Holder even personally signed an affidavit naming him a potential criminal for doing his job.  And then lied under oath when asked in Congress.  Saying he didn’t get involved with the prosecution of journalists for doing their jobs.  Even though he had.  But these were phony scandals.  Not a real one like the George Washington Bridge scandal.

And then there was the IRS scandal.  Which targeted enemies of the Obama administration.  Holding up tax-exempt status for Tea Party groups.  Hindering their ability to fund raise and exercise their free speech during the 2012 presidential election.  And conservative donors faced punitive IRS audits.  Dissuading others from donating.  Further hindering fund raising and free speech.  The Obama administration said that those responsible were low-office holders in the Cincinnati office.  But when the head of the tax exempt division, Lois Lerner, appeared before Congress she pleaded the Fifth Amendment.  For the paper trail led to her.  And possibly into the White House.  For she was an active Democrat supporter.  And wasn’t above breaking the law to help her party.  Such as violating Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code.  Forbidding her to disclose income tax return information to anyone.  Even another governmental agency.  Which she did.  And now we learn that the Justice Department lead investigator for the IRS scandal is a Democrat donor.  But the IRS scandal was a phony scandal.  Not a real one like the George Washington Bridge scandal.

Of all of these scandals which one are you most familiar with?  Probably the George Washington Bridge scandal.  Because our free press is NOT exercising that eternal vigilance that safeguards democracy.  They have become an extension of the Democrat Party.  Putting politics above the wellbeing of the people.  Helping the Democrats to advance their agenda.  While hiding their scandals.  To destroy what the Founding Fathers gave us.  Liberty.  And expand one-party rule.  Putting us on the road to servitude.  Just as John Philpot Curran warned.

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Greek and Latin Books, the Printing Press, the Gutenberg Bible, Newspapers, Desktop Publishing, the Blogosphere and the Internet

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 16th, 2013

Technology 101

(Originally published December 28th, 2011)

Monks worked by Candlelight Painstakingly Copying by Hand the Great Books of Greek Knowledge

Alexander the Great spread Greek thinking and the Greek language throughout much of the known world.  From the Mediterranean to the Indus Valley.  Everywhere Alexander went he built new cities. Where that Greek thinking took hold.  Astronomy.  Geometry.  Architecture.  Engineering.  Philosophy.  Etc.  The Greeks impressed the Romans.  Even though they conquered them.  But the empire they built used that Greek thinking they so admired as its foundation.  They studied the Greeks.  Mastered their language.  Read their books.  And translated the Greek books into Latin.  The new universal language.

The Roman world was an advanced world.  And a Latin world.  The great minds throughout the Empire spoke and studied in Latin.  Which helped to diffuse this knowledge throughout the known world.  For you were never outside the Latin world.  The common people may not have spoken Latin.  Instead speaking the common language of their people (French, German, English, etc.).  But in their universities they all spoke Latin.  For educated men everywhere spoke Latin as their second language.  The language of knowledge.  Education.  And of the Church.  Where the masses were in Latin.  Until the Great Schism in 1054, that is.  When Greek replaced Latin in the Eastern Orthodox Church.  But Latin remained the language of the Catholic Church in the West.

It was the Church and their medieval monks that brought this knowledge forward through the Dark Ages.  For it wasn’t dark in their monasteries.  Where monks, the few people who could read and write, worked by candlelight painstakingly copying by hand the great books of Greek knowledge.  Making this knowledge available for the select few who could afford these works of art.  Which they were.  For each one was one of a kind.  Which made them rather costly.  And unavailable for the common people.  Including the Bible.  No, these belonged to the wealthy.  The universities.  And the Church.  Until a German goldsmith came along with a brilliant idea.

The Printing Press gave us Inexpensive Books, Newspapers, Censorship and Revolution

That idea was moveable typesetting.  Individual letters arranged to spell out lines of text.  Clamped together with other lines of text.  Placed into a press.  Smeared with ink.  Then pressed onto paper.  In this way Johannes Gutenberg published the first mass-produced book.  The Gutenberg Bible.  And knowledge would never be the same.

Printing spread.  As did the mass production of books.  Reading was no longer for the well-to-do or Church clerics.  Everyone was learning to read.  And they were reading books.  In their own language.  Which put an end to Latin.  Because the printing press made books so cheap they printed them in all sorts of languages.  Making knowledge more readily accessible to the common people.  Anyone who wished to learn to read could.  And did.  Thanks to Gutenberg.  And the printing press.

But not only books were printed.  Knowledge was taking shape in a new form.  Newspapers.  And this type of knowledge was powerful.  People throughout a kingdom knew what was happening in their kingdom.  And what was happening in other kingdoms.  And they more often questioned authority.  So much so that it ushered in a new government policy.  Censorship.  As governments tried to suppress unfavorable news.  Such as the British blockade of Boston Harbor.  Soon Boston’s problem was everyone’s problem as the news traveled throughout the American colonies.  Escalating what the British thought was a Boston problem into a revolution in America.  And later in France.  After the French read all about the American Revolution in their newspapers.

Desktop Publishing, the Blogosphere and the Internet has Revitalized the Free Press

With newspapers came newspaper advertising.  A great medium for advertisers to promote their goods.  And a cash cow for publishers.  Advertisers kept the price of newspapers low.  Making them affordable to the masses.  Giving publishers great power to control information.  Which they did.  Newspapers started out as tools of political parties.  Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson viciously attacked each other in print.  Through anonymous editorial content.  So using newspapers for political purposes is nothing new.  But in the age of advertising the stakes were much higher.

Newspapers soon assumed an air of neutrality.  They weren’t tabloid news anymore.  But journalism.  Reporting the facts so their readers can make their own conclusions.  And they were neutral for awhile.  But the captive audience of a large daily was just too much to pass up.  Papers could influence and shape opinion.  And many did.  With clear biases even though they denied it.  Frustrating their readers.  Who began to look for other sources of news.  And they found a big one.  So big that it is destroying the giants of print media.  Shrinking these newspapers’ circulation numbers.  And with them their advertising revenue.  So what was driving people away from the once storied titans of news?  The Internet.

The Internet has revolutionized the way we get information.  And has revitalized the free press.  We can get news from anywhere without it going through the editorial filter of a politically connected publisher.  Desktop publishing and the blogosphere allow anyone to write and publish at little to no cost.  Some blogging platforms are free thanks to online advertisers.  Now anyone can report, think, opine and publish.  Technology has made the costs of electronic publishing almost free.  Gone are the days when you needed mammoth printing presses, typesetters, copy editors, delivery trucks etc.  Today all you need is a computer.  Or a cellular device.  And an Internet connection.

People in the Middle of the News can Report the News in Real Time thanks to Micro-Blogging

Few newspapers today can afford to stay in business with their low circulation numbers and lost advertising revenue.  But people have never been more informed.  Sources of news and opinion are electronically everywhere.  For a fraction of the cost.   With some of that news being published within seconds of the news event happening.  From anywhere in the world.  Thanks to the Internet.  And micro-blogging platforms such as Twitter.  Even if the news arrives to us in a foreign language we can use an online translator to read it.  With some simple copy and paste commands.  News has never been more convenient.

People in the middle of the news can report the news in real time.  A process that started with the Greeks and the Romans.  Who diffused all that Greek knowledge.  That a lot of monks brought through the Dark Ages to the age of print.  Feeding our insatiable hunger for knowledge.  The printing press gave us inexpensive books.  In our common languages.  And the newspaper.  That eventually gave us desktop publishing.  The Internet.  And instantaneous knowledge.  All of this without having to learn Latin to boot.  Good for us because that is one thing the Internet can’t do well.  Translate Latin.  For that you need a person.  Or years of education.  And who has the time these days for that?  I mean, we can’t even wait for a daily newspaper these days to get our news.

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From Journalism to Propaganda

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 9th, 2013

Politics 101

Whenever an Unscrupulous Politician would look over His or Her Shoulder a Journalist would be There

It took 8 years to formally end the American Revolutionary War.  America was finally free from the arbitrary rule of a foreign government in a distant land.  The states could now govern themselves.  Without that distant government trying to tax them.  Regulate them.  Or oppress them.  Which is why there was fierce opposition to the new federal government.  Only 4 years had passed since the end of the war.  Memories were fresh.  They did not want to trade one distant oppressor for another.  It took a Bill of Rights to finally ratify the new Constitution.  And the very first amendment to the U.S. Constitution stated:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

In the First Amendment is the right of a free press.  Allowing our news media to report everything that happens without fear of governmental retribution.  Even if it pisses off those in government.  Especially if it pisses off those in government.  Just to let them know someone is watching them.  To keep them honest.  Transparent.  To let the people know the second they try to exceed the bounds of their constitutional authority.

It’s a noble profession.  Being the guardian of the people.  To speak truth to power.  To dare say that the king isn’t wearing any clothes.  Standing up to the powerful to protect the people.  Just like the Founding Fathers did.  When they stood up to the world’s greatest superpower.  The British Empire.  And so would the free press.  Who would not be intimidated by any government.  No.  They would get into their face.  And be on them like ugly on a pig.  For whenever an unscrupulous politician would look over his or her shoulder a journalist would be there.  Ready to report to the people all of their unscrupulous deeds.

The Mainstream Media wrongly blamed Radical Conservatism for Boston, Newtown, Aurora and Tucson

And how is that brave and noble profession doing today?  Don Henley wrote a song about it in 1982.  Dirty Laundry.  The title says a lot about how Henley felt about television journalism.

I make my living off the evening news
Just give me something-something I can use
People love it when you lose,
They love dirty laundry

Well, I coulda been an actor, but I wound up here
I just have to look good, I don’t have to be clear
Come and whisper in my ear
Give us dirty laundry

And little has changed since 1982.  Television news loves it when people lose.  And for these people reading the teleprompters on air nothing is better than when bad things happen to good people.

We got the bubble-headed-bleach-blonde who
Comes on at five
She can tell you ’bout the plane crash with a gleam
In her eye
It’s interesting when people die-
Give us dirty laundry

Unless those dead people are in Benghazi.  Or their deaths can be traced to radical Islam.  When they die for some reason it’s not interesting.   When those bombs went off at the Boston Marathon the news media was all over the place.  If you turned on a television there was someone standing somewhere in Boston telling us a lot of nothing.  Because no one learned anything yet to tell.  But they were offering up possible motives.  It was in Boston.  It was Patriots’ Day.  Close to the anniversary of the fiery end of the siege at Waco.  Close to the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing.  And it was tax day.  April 15.  It could mean only one thing.  The bomber had to be a radical conservative.  Just like they blamed the Newtown, Aurora and Tucson shootings on before they knew any of the facts.  But radical conservatives committed none of these crimes.

When they found out the bombers were a couple of radical Islamists, though, things changed.  Especially when we learned one of them had traveled to Dagestan, a hotbed of radical Islam.  Stayed there for 6 months.  The Russians had even warned us about this guy becoming radicalized.  Yet the FBI let him back into the country.  Didn’t pursue him.  And didn’t even tell the Boston police about him.  So they might take a closer look at him or his Islamist anti-American YouTube playlist before a big public event like the Boston Marathon.  Now the news hardly mentions these new developments.  For once they ruled out radical conservatives as the culprits they lost that gleam in their eye.

Today the Mainstream Media is nothing more than the Propaganda Arm of a Distant Powerful Government

Not only has television news degenerated into cheap tabloid journalism it also has become partisan.  Instead of speaking truth to power they have become an arm of the powerful.  President Obama blamed our troubles with radical Islam on George W. Bush.  Because he was mean.  So President Obama was going to be nice.  He changed the language to be kinder to Islam.  So as not to offend our Muslim friends.  When Nidal Hasan shouted “Allahu Akbar” like other radical Islamists do before they start killing innocent people President Obama called Hasan’s killing of 13 and wounding of 30 workplace violence.  For the president refused to blame anything on radical Islam.  In fact, after he killed Osama bin Laden he said the War on Terror was over.  Al Qaeda was on ropes.  And there were no more radical Islamists trying to kill Americans.  This was the campaign message of the 2012 election.  Osama bin Laden is dead.  And General Motors is alive.  Which the dutiful media reported without hesitation.  Even though radical Islam had just killed 4 in Benghazi.

So in the president’s eyes there is no radical Islam.  This is why the attack in Benghazi was a spontaneous uprising.  By people who walk around with RPGs in their back pockets.  Who were incited by a YouTube video.  Not an al Qaeda attack.  For the president won the War on Terror.  So it couldn’t be al Qaeda.  No.  The Muslim world now loves us.  Because George W. Bush is no longer president.  But since President Obama has been in office radical Islamists have been trying to kill us.  There was the underwear bomber.  The Times Square bomber.  And the Christmas tree lighting bomber.  All plots that failed.  Then there was Benghazi.  And, of course, the Boston Marathon bombings.  Proving that radical Islam is alive.  And that they still hate Americans.  No matter how much nicer President Obama is than President Bush.  And now three whistleblowers are testifying before Congress about Benghazi.  People who were there.  And they contradict what the Obama administration has said.  But other than Fox News no one is reporting this.  Instead, they report more sensational tabloid news.  While attacking and dismissing as partisan anyone that pursues the Benghazi story.

Dirty little secrets
Dirty little lies
We got our dirty little fingers in everybody’s pie
We love to cut you down to size
We love dirty laundry

We can do “The Innuendo”
We can dance and sing
When it’s said and done we haven’t told you a thing
We all know that crap is king
Give us dirty laundry!

Journalism was once an honored profession.  But journalists today have sold out and gone over to the dark side.  Instead of standing up to power they protect those in power.  Case in point Benghazi.  President Obama, Secretary Clinton and Secretary Rice blamed Benghazi on a spontaneous uprising in response to a YouTube video.  That according to the people there had nothing to do with the terrorist assault on the American mission.  So the Obama administration lied.  Few believed the lie back in September.  No one believes it now.  Yet the media doesn’t investigate why the administration lied.  Instead, they attack those who do and call them partisan.  Protecting the government.  Unwilling to report to the people a single unscrupulous deed government does.  Unless the unscrupulous one is a Republican.

The mainstream media stopped being objective journalists long ago.  And today is nothing more than the propaganda arm of a powerful government in a distant land.  That stifles the free press.  By cutting anyone down to size who dares to criticize the federal government.  Entertaining us instead of informing us.  And here we are, 8 months after Benghazi and they still haven’t told us a thing about that terrorist attack that killed 4 Americans.

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FT158: “Journalists are more partisan than wise.” —Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 22nd, 2013

Fundamental Truth

The Mainstream Media sacrifice their Journalistic Integrity to help the Obama Administration Advance their Agenda

The president has warned that the $85 billion in spending cuts of the sequester will gut government programs leaving Americans at great peril.  This despite baseline budgeting automatically increases spending every year.  From 1974 (after Nixon decoupled the dollar from gold and the government adopted baseline budgeting) through 2008 (before the spending orgy of the Obama administration) federal spending increased approximately 7.5% each year.  Crunching the numbers for the spending increase from 2012 to 2013 we get $284.7 billion.  Applying the cuts of the sequester reduces this increase in spending to $199.7 billion.  We will spend more in 2013 than we did in 2012.  Even AFTER the sequester cuts.  So all the peril the president is warning us about is not real.  He’s lying for political gain.

Yet the mainstream media is discussing this issue as if there are real cuts in spending.  That we will reduce spending in the numerous government programs the president warns about if we let the sequester happen.  Less food inspection.  Less airport security.  Fewer police officers.  Fewer firefighters.  Fewer teachers.  Fewer flu vaccinations.  And less childcare.  In their reports they discuss these as a matter of fact.  When they are just not true.  And it’s no secret.  Anyone can do what we did and look at federal outlays and see the automatic spending increases each year.  And see that we will still spend more in 2013 after the sequester cuts than we did in 2012.  You’d think a journalist would study the facts.  The historical record.  And then question the president and his administration.  Ask them why they are lying.  But they don’t.  Why?

Because they are partisan.  Committed to the leftist agenda the president is trying to pass.  So they either help spread the lie.  Being complicit in the lie.  Or they spread the lie because they are victims of the lie.  They are so committed to the leftist agenda that they don’t question anything coming from the liberal left.  Because they want to believe.  They sacrifice their journalistic integrity to help the administration advance their agenda.  More a propaganda arm of the administration than a free press.  The kind of journalism they practice in Venezuela.  Cuba.  China.  North Korea.  And the kind of journalism they practiced in East Germany.  The Soviet Union.  And Nazi Germany.  Where there was no free press.  Only state propaganda.  Propaganda in a totalitarian regime is one thing.  They already oppress their people and their news is more for the benefit of outsiders.  Where they lie about record harvests.  And record gains in industrial production.  Things their people have long stopped believing as they suffer through the misery of the reality.  But it’s different in a free country.  For it lends legitimacy for illegitimate actions of government.  And allows them to overstep the restraints of their constitutional authority.

The Mainstream Media helped Downplay the Resurgent al Qaeda in Benghazi to help President Obama win Reelection

In 2010 the greatest cause of accidental deaths for children age 5-15 was motor vehicle accidents.  In 2010 there were 806 deaths.  Representing 49.1% of all deaths.  The number two cause was drowning with 251 deaths.  Or 15.3% of the total.  Next came fire/burn at 135 deaths.  Then death by suffocation at 79 deaths.  Then death by other land transportation at 68 deaths.  Then poisoning at 54 deaths.  Then came firearms at 37 deaths.  Yet many in the mainstream media actively support the Obama administration in their push for gun control.  Especially a ban on assault weapons.  Even if (as they say so often) it saves only one child.  But guns aren’t the leading cause of death for children.  In fact, as horrific as scenes like the Newtown shooting are they are very rare occurrences.  Far more children die in automobile accidents each year.  No doubt because we are driving smaller cars to save the planet (lighter cars means greater gas mileage and less pollution).  But the journalists don’t report this fact.  Because they endorse the leftist agenda of saving the planet.  And more gun control.  Even if saving the planet means the death of more children from driving in smaller and less safe cars.  While more gun control probably won’t save a single child.

The Obama administration’s foreign policy record has been a poor one.  The greatest threat to peace and stability in the Mideast and North Africa is Iran.  Yet the Obama administration did not support the Green Revolution protesting the 2009 Iranian election results that most felt were unfair.  There are few bigger enemies of the United States.  The Iranian supported insurgency killed or wounded a lot of U.S. military in Iraq.  Our strongest allies in the region (Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia) all feared growing Iranian influence in the region.  But given an opportunity to support an uprising that could overthrow a great enemy to peace and stability the Obama administration did nothing.  But when the Arab Spring swept through Egypt the president abandoned one of America’s most stalwart allies and the anchor to stability in the region.  Hosni Mubarak.  Now the Iranian influence in Egypt is stronger than ever.  When the Arab Spring spread to Libya the Obama administration supported that movement, too.  Despite Colonel Muammar Gaddafi having denounced terrorism and supported the Americans in the war against al Qaeda.  When the Arab Spring spread to Syria the president did not support that protest.  Despite Syria being Iran’s strongest ally in the region.  A sponsor of terrorism.  And a nation with a chemical arsenal likely manufactured by Iraq (those weapons of mass destruction that Saddam Hussein had used on his people but had disappeared when the Americans arrived on the scene, likely having skedaddled across the border into Syria).  As bad as the ruling regime was in Syria we did nothing to help Syrians overthrow their oppressor.

Now civil war engulfs Syria.  Elements of al Qaeda have joined the opposition.  Making sure Iran wins however things turn out there.  And the Iranian influence is stronger than ever in Libya.  When al Qaeda killed the American diplomat in Benghazi the Obama administration made up a story about a YouTube video causing spontaneous protests that led to the ambassador’s death along with three other Americans.  To downplay a resurgent al Qaeda during the 2012 election campaign.  As they had refused to beef up security in Benghazi as the ambassador requested.  Because it would look bad in the 2012 election.  Yet the mainstream media did not question these very poor decisions the Obama administration made for political reasons.  Instead accepting their position that there was nothing newsworthy in Benghazi.  Which they wholeheartedly reported.  Refusing to even ask questions.  Such as why did they refuse the ambassador’s request for more security?  Who edited the talking points for Ambassador Rice used for the Sunday morning shows?  Or why is al Qaeda now stronger in the Middle East, North Africa and West Africa after 4 years of the Obama administration that they were during 8 years of the Bush administration?  No.  They showed no journalistic curiosity.  Or integrity.  Simply accepting the administration’s statements as fact.  While the Middle East and Africa become more dangerous places.

The Mainstream Media is no longer a Free Press for the People but a Propaganda Arm of the Obama Administration

Obamacare is the most sweeping change to the American economy since LBJ’s Great Society.  Which was the most sweeping change since FDR’s New Deal.  The American Left has always wanted a national health care system.  Just like what they have in the United Kingdom.  The Left likes to point to their National Health Service (NHS) as the right way to do health care.  As does the mainstream media.  Yet if you read the British papers their NHS is not all the American Left says it is.  Britain’s aging population has caused health care spending to explode.  The UK is in the midst of massive budget cuts to bring down health care spending.  While the NHS has long tried to deal with chronic problems of long wait times.  Rationing.  A shortage of doctors and nurses.  Even ambulances.  Their emergency rooms are overflowing with people with non-emergencies as the NHS closed their neighborhood clinics to reduce costs.  And the quality of care has been falling in their hospitals.  The problems in the NHS are no secret.  All you have to do is pick up a British paper and read about them.  For they are ongoing.  Yet the mainstream media never reported these problems during the Obamacare debate.  Or what passed for a debate.  No.  They never asked how Obamacare was going to avoid all the problems they were having in the NHS.  Which they should have.  As the US has an aging population, too.  Worse, they have about five times the population the UK has.  Guaranteeing any problems they have will be five times worse in the US.  Serious questions a good journalist should have asked.  But no.  They didn’t.  Because they support the liberal agenda more than they believe in journalistic integrity.  So they only report what helps the administration.  While avoiding anything that is critical of them.  Or their agenda.

When it comes to economics the mainstream media are all supporters of Keynesian economics.  Despite their record of failure.  When Nixon decoupled the dollar from gold in 1971 it allowed the government to go all in with Keynesian economics.  And they did.  Printing so much money that it led to excessive inflation, high unemployment and economic stagnation.  Ronald Reagan reversed those Keynesian policies.  His administration stopped printing money.  And got the government out of the private sector economy.  Cutting regulations.  As well as tax rates.  And economic activity exploded.  There was so much economic activity that tax revenue nearly doubled.  Even at those lower tax rates.  But the mainstream media doesn’t report this.  Instead, they revise history.  Always supporting Keynesian economic policies as they allow government to expand.  So they can implement their leftist agenda.  Which is anti-business.  Pushing higher regulations.  And higher taxes.  And whenever anyone talks about Reaganomics they say those cuts in tax rates only increased the deficit.  When the historical record clearly shows tax receipts increased.  Which they could easily look up (see Table 2.1—RECEIPTS BY SOURCE: 1934–2017).  But they don’t.  Or chose not to.  Preferring to support the liberal agenda.  Instead of having journalistic integrity.

The mainstream media today is no longer a free press for the people.  They are an extension of the Democrat Party.  At least the liberal wing of the Democrat Party.  More of a propaganda arm of the Obama administration.  That is more interested in changing the country than keeping our politicians honest.  Or reporting the facts.  They are fiercely partisan.  Or they are just not very smart.  Either woefully ignorant of the material they report on.  Or so in the bag for the Obama administration that they will report falsehoods as truth.  The kind of thing that isn’t a big deal in a totalitarian regime.  But a pretty big deal in a free country with a government that continues to try to exceed its constitutional authority.  For a free press is the vanguard of a free country.  Keeping the politicians honest so they can’t exceed their constitutional authority.  And if the journalists aren’t going to do their job by the time we find out what our politicians are doing it will be too late.  As we now have Obamacare as law.  Which passed on partisan lines.  With enough moderates and independents voting for Obamacare as few in America knew of all the problems the British were having with their national health care.  Today it’s Obamacare.  Tomorrow it may be gun control.  Or a war in the Middle East thanks to a resurgent al Qaeda.  And a growing Iranian influence.  Thanks to such a poor job in foreign policy that if the mainstream media had reported it honestly President Obama may not have won reelection.  And four Americans may not have died in Benghazi.

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Greek and Latin Books, the Printing Press, the Gutenberg Bible, Newspapers, Desktop Publishing, the Blogosphere and the Internet

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 28th, 2011

Technology 101

Monks worked by Candlelight Painstakingly Copying by Hand the Great Books of Greek Knowledge

Alexander the Great spread Greek thinking and the Greek language throughout much of the known world.  From the Mediterranean to the Indus Valley.  Everywhere Alexander went he built new cities. Where that Greek thinking took hold.  Astronomy.  Geometry.  Architecture.  Engineering.  Philosophy.  Etc.  The Greeks impressed the Romans.  Even though they conquered them.  But the empire they built used that Greek thinking they so admired as its foundation.  They studied the Greeks.  Mastered their language.  Read their books.  And translated the Greek books into Latin.  The new universal language.

The Roman world was an advanced world.  And a Latin world.  The great minds throughout the Empire spoke and studied in Latin.  Which helped to diffuse this knowledge throughout the known world.  For you were never outside the Latin world.  The common people may not have spoken Latin.  Instead speaking the common language of their people (French, German, English, etc.).  But in their universities they all spoke Latin.  For educated men everywhere spoke Latin as their second language.  The language of knowledge.  Education.  And of the Church.  Where the masses were in Latin.  Until the Great Schism in 1054, that is.  When Greek replaced Latin in the Eastern Orthodox Church.  But Latin remained the language of the Catholic Church in the West.

It was the Church and their medieval monks that brought this knowledge forward through the Dark Ages.  For it wasn’t dark in their monasteries.  Where monks, the few people who could read and write, worked by candlelight painstakingly copying by hand the great books of Greek knowledge.  Making this knowledge available for the select few who could afford these works of art.  Which they were.  For each one was one of a kind.  Which made them rather costly.  And unavailable for the common people.  Including the Bible.  No, these belonged to the wealthy.  The universities.  And the Church.  Until a German goldsmith came along with a brilliant idea.

The Printing Press gave us Inexpensive Books, Newspapers, Censorship and Revolution

That idea was moveable typesetting.  Individual letters arranged to spell out lines of text.  Clamped together with other lines of text.  Placed into a press.  Smeared with ink.  Then pressed onto paper.  In this way Johannes Gutenberg published the first mass-produced book.  The Gutenberg Bible.  And knowledge would never be the same.

Printing spread.  As did the mass production of books.  Reading was no longer for the well-to-do or Church clerics.  Everyone was learning to read.  And they were reading books.  In their own language.  Which put an end to Latin.  Because the printing press made books so cheap they printed them in all sorts of languages.  Making knowledge more readily accessible to the common people.  Anyone who wished to learn to read could.  And did.  Thanks to Gutenberg.  And the printing press.

But not only books were printed.  Knowledge was taking shape in a new form.  Newspapers.  And this type of knowledge was powerful.  People throughout a kingdom knew what was happening in their kingdom.  And what was happening in other kingdoms.  And they more often questioned authority.  So much so that it ushered in a new government policy.  Censorship.  As governments tried to suppress unfavorable news.  Such as the British blockade of Boston Harbor.  Soon Boston’s problem was everyone’s problem as the news traveled throughout the American colonies.  Escalating what the British thought was a Boston problem into a revolution in America.  And later in France.  After the French read all about the American Revolution in their newspapers.

Desktop Publishing, the Blogosphere and the Internet has Revitalized the Free Press

With newspapers came newspaper advertising.  A great medium for advertisers to promote their goods.  And a cash cow for publishers.  Advertisers kept the price of newspapers low.  Making them affordable to the masses.  Giving publishers great power to control information.  Which they did.  Newspapers started out as tools of political parties.  Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson viciously attacked each other in print.  Through anonymous editorial content.  So using newspapers for political purposes is nothing new.  But in the age of advertising the stakes were much higher.

Newspapers soon assumed an air of neutrality.  They weren’t tabloid news anymore.  But journalism.  Reporting the facts so their readers can make their own conclusions.  And they were neutral for awhile.  But the captive audience of a large daily was just too much to pass up.  Papers could influence and shape opinion.  And many did.  With clear biases even though they denied it.  Frustrating their readers.  Who began to look for other sources of news.  And they found a big one.  So big that it is destroying the giants of print media.  Shrinking these newspapers’ circulation numbers.  And with them their advertising revenue.  So what was driving people away from the once storied titans of news?  The Internet.

The Internet has revolutionized the way we get information.  And has revitalized the free press.  We can get news from anywhere without it going through the editorial filter of a politically connected publisher.  Desktop publishing and the blogosphere allow anyone to write and publish at little to no cost.  Some blogging platforms are free thanks to online advertisers.  Now anyone can report, think, opine and publish.  Technology has made the costs of electronic publishing almost free.  Gone are the days when you needed mammoth printing presses, typesetters, copy editors, delivery trucks etc.  Today all you need is a computer.  Or a cellular device.  And an Internet connection.

People in the Middle of the News can Report the News in Real Time thanks to Micro-Blogging

Few newspapers today can afford to stay in business with their low circulation numbers and lost advertising revenue.  But people have never been more informed.  Sources of news and opinion are electronically everywhere.  For a fraction of the cost.   With some of that news being published within seconds of the news event happening.  From anywhere in the world.  Thanks to the Internet.  And micro-blogging platforms such as Twitter.  Even if the news arrives to us in a foreign language we can use an online translator to read it.  With some simple copy and paste commands.  News has never been more convenient.

People in the middle of the news can report the news in real time.  A process that started with the Greeks and the Romans.  Who diffused all that Greek knowledge.  That a lot of monks brought through the Dark Ages to the age of print.  Feeding our insatiable hunger for knowledge.  The printing press gave us inexpensive books.  In our common languages.  And the newspaper.  That eventually gave us desktop publishing.  The Internet.  And instantaneous knowledge.  All of this without having to learn Latin to boot.  Good for us because that is one thing the Internet can’t do well.  Translate Latin.  For that you need a person.  Or years of education.  And who has the time these days for that?  I mean, we can’t even wait for a daily newspaper these days to get our news.

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FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH #64: “National security can be a messy business. Especially when your enemies don’t play by the same rules.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 4th, 2011

Adolescent Boys Lie to get what they Want

“But I do love you,” he said.

“Do you really?” she said.

“Oh, baby, I do.  I really, really love you,” he said.

“That’s good because I really, really love you,” she said.  “Do you have any condoms?”

“No,” he said.  “But what do condoms matter when we’re in love?  Especially when that love will be forever?”

“Oh, baby, I love you so much,” she said.  “My parents just don’t understand.  They’re just so out of it.  They don’t understand love.  True love.  Like what we have.” 

A month later she found herself pregnant.  Had gonorrhea.  And her best friend coincidentally had gonorrhea, too.  And her ‘forever’ love?  Gone.  Not ‘gone’ gone.  But gone as in not there with her.  There’ll be a trickle of child support.  But she will raise her baby with the help of her ‘out of it’ parents.  Proving what liars boys are when it comes to love.

The preceding was a work of fiction.  Any resemblance to anyone past or present is purely coincidental.  The moral of this story?  Boys lie to get what they want.  Often with a total lack of concern for the potential consequences. 

Hitler Lied to get what he Wanted

But it’s just not young men with raging hormones that lie.  Others lie for far more sinister reasons.  Adolf Hitler lied when he said that the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia was his last territorial claim.  And Neville Chamberlain believed him.  Said he and Adolf Hitler reached an agreement.  He had a piece of paper.  And Hitler’s word.  A solid piece of diplomacy.  Of course, anyone looking at a map could see East Prussia lying on the far side of the Danzig Corridor.  East Prussia was German territory.  But Germans traveling on land to and from there had to cross Polish territory.  And with German-Polish history being what it was, there was no way that this was going to end well for Poland.  Especially after Hitler took the rest of Czechoslovakia.  And signed a nonaggression pact with the Soviet Union.  The Nazis had Poland surrounded.  But the Sudetenland was his last territorial claim.  Honest.

Yeah, well, he lied.  For it was in Poland that Heinz Guderian introduced the world to blitzkrieg.  The original shock and awe.  Airpower cleared the way for armor assaults which cleared the way for mechanized infantry.  It was fast.  Guderian’s columns advanced deep into Polish territory like a hot knife through butter.  All the while the Soviets protected the back door.  Who agreed to split up Poland with the Nazis.  So the Soviet Union was complicit in starting World War II.  Chamberlain was stunned.  As Stalin would be later when Hitler reneged on their agreement, too.  And unleashed blitzkrieg on the Soviet Union.  Proving what a big liar Adolf Hitler was.

The preceding was actual history.  Any resemblance to anyone past or present was purely intentional.  The moral of this story?  People lie to get what they want.  Often with a total lack of concern for the potential consequences. 

Communists Lie to Oppress their own People

The communists are a sneaky bunch.  The ultimate pragmatists.  The ends justify the means.  They’ll lie, steal and cheat to get whatever they want.  Even make a deal with Adolf Hitler.  Even though Nazis and Bolshevists were bitter enemies.  Not so much in a philosophical sense as they were in practice very similar.  But in a political sense.  Before Hitler secured his power there were Bolshevists vying for that power in Germany.  So Hitler checked the spread of the Bolshevist Revolution in Germany by blaming them for some of the crimes he committed.  Like the Reichstag Fire.  So there was little love between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.  But Stalin couldn’t pass up all that Polish territory.  Or getting the Baltic States back.  Hitler knew how to sweet-talk Stalin.  Offered him exactly what he wanted.  Just like a boy with raging hormones will sweet-talk a girl to get what he wants.  Blinded for the moment by lust.  The boy blinded by his sexual lust.  Stalin blinded by his power lust.

Like the Nazis, the communists had a closed society.  There was no free press.  Instead, they used propaganda.  They lied to their people.  And their school children.  Rewrote history.  Soviet children grew up believing that the Western life was horrible.  Decadent.  And hungry.  The propaganda machine reported the great success of the latest 5-year plan while talking about abject poverty and famine in the West.  Also, that the West were war mongers.  Trying to spread their brutal imperialism against peaceful communist countries everywhere.  Of course, the Soviet people couldn’t see for themselves.  They couldn’t leave the USSR.  They couldn’t watch Western television.  Or read Western newspapers.  So they had little reason not to believe the lies.

But communism didn’t bring out the best in people.  In a society where everyone was ‘equal’, no one worked harder than the next guy.  So Soviet society lagged Western society.  And the only way they could advance Soviet society was through espionage.  They stole what they could from the West.  With a vast network of spies.  Working outside the Soviet Union.  Which presented a bit of a problem.  These spies saw the truth.  And that everything they learned in the Soviet school system, on Soviet television and in the Soviet newspapers were all lies.  The Soviets lost quite a lot of spies who defected to a better life in the West.  So the Soviets had to fix that problem.  By bribing the spies with a life of luxury far greater than the average Soviet ever could imagine.  Or holding family members hostage.

Cheaters Prosper unless others Cheat, Too

Putting all of this together and you can see how they complicate diplomacy.  And national security.  First of all, people lie.  As do governments.  To their own people.  And to other nations.  Which can make getting the truth a little more difficult.  Or telling the truth to your people.  In the Vietnam War, for example, the Soviets were supporting and supplying the North Vietnamese.  A lot of that war material made it to South Vietnam via the Ho Chi Minh Trail.  Which wound through Laos and Cambodia.  Countries we were not at war with.  They were ‘neutral’.  But our enemies violated their neutrality.  They brought war material through these neutral countries into South Vietnam where they used them to kill both civilian and military personnel in South Vietnam.  And Americans.  So what do you do?  Ignore this?  Let the enemy bring in war material unmolested via the Ho Chi Minh trail?  Or do you try to stop it?

Well, the Soviets used the West’s adherence to international law against them.  The Soviets, on the other hand, violated this law and lied that they were not.  But the Americans just couldn’t do this.  At least, they couldn’t do it officially.  To protect American security interests (our South Vietnamese allies and our troops in South Vietnam), America had to cheat, then.  A little.  We call them black operations (i.e., black ops).  Unofficial missions.  Missions that ‘never happened’.  Where Special Forces, CIA forces or even small units of the regular military (sometimes unknown to them) violate neutral territory to combat our enemies who were themselves violating these neutral territories.  Of course, when these missions became public, the media had a field day.  Protests erupted on college campuses.  Providing great aid and comfort to America’s enemies.  And ultimately to the abandonment of South Vietnam.  And if you’re wondering how all that turned out just look at a map today.  Where there is no South Vietnam.

American football is an exciting game to watch.  Primarily because each team plays by the same rules.  If one team could cheat no one would watch.   Because everyone would know that the cheater would win.  So they enforce the rules.  But you can’t do that in international diplomacy.  Because the international referee (i.e., the UN) is impotent.  They can’t stop cheaters.  So cheaters prosper.  Unless others cheat, too.  As in the world of black ops.  Where only cheating can keep the game fair.

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The Mainstream Media and their Owners are biased in Favor of Government Largess, not Objectivity

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 10th, 2011

The Mainstream Media is Biased after All

Problems with a for-profit education dependent on federal student loans beset The Washington Post.  Reveals a clear and present bias.  And threatens the venerable masthead (see The Washington Post’s dependence on the government it covers by Glenn Greenwald posted 4/10/2011 on Salon).

“The fate of The Post Co. has become inextricably linked with that of Kaplan, where revenue climbed to $2.9 billion in 2010, 61 percent of The Post Co.’s total,” the article detailed; “the company is more dependent than ever on a single business,’ [CEO Donald] Graham wrote in last year’s annual report, adding that the newspaper had never accounted for as large a share of overall company revenue as Kaplan does today.”

And that single business is an educational one.  A network of for-profit universities aimed at those who can’t afford a traditional college education.  These ‘poor’ people often pay for this education with federal loans.  And, of course, education is highly regulated by the federal government.  So this puts this The Post Co. into a bit of a sticky wicket.

Put another way, the company that owns The Washington Post is almost entirely at the mercy of the Federal Government and the Obama administration — the entities which its newspaper ostensibly checks and holds accountable.

Which is another way of saying there is a conflict of interest.  Which may taint their objectivity.  At times.  Not necessarily.  But possibly.  Which may explain the dominance of FOX NEWS.  Who may be beholden to corporate interests, too.  But it is clear that they are not beholden to the Obama Administration.  No, the current administration doesn’t much care for FOX.  Which can’t help but to lend an air of objectivity.

Beyond being reliant on federal money and not alienating federal regulators, the Post Co. desperately needs favorable treatment from members of Congress, and has been willing to use its newspaper to obtain it…

The Post is hardly alone among major media outlets in being owned by an entity which relies on the Federal Government for its continued profitability. NBC News and MSNBC were long owned by GE, and now by Comcast, both of which desperately need good relations with government officials for their profits. The same is true of CBS (owned by Viacom), ABC (owned by Disney), and CNN (owned by TimeWarner). For each of these large corporations, alienating federal government officials is about the worst possible move it could make — something of which all of its employees, including its media division employees, are well aware.

Of course, they left off two other entities that depend on not alienating the federal government.  PBS.  And NPR.  They have no corporate middlemen.  They get their funding directly from the federal government.  So they’ll be even more careful not to bite the hand that’s feeding them.

It would appear that journalism somehow went awry.  They will still criticize corporate fat cats.  Just not the corporate fat cats that sign their checks.  Or the government that signs the corporate fat cats’ checks.

The whole point of the First Amendment’s free press guarantee is that adversarial journalism is possible only if journalists are independent of political power. Yet the U.S. now has exactly the opposite dynamic: most major media outlets are owned by corporations that are anything but independent of government: they are quite dependent upon political officials for their profit in countless ways. We have anything but an independent press, which is another way of saying we have anything but a free press.

It is interesting that many attack the Republicans for being in the hip pocket of the big corporations.  And some of their loudest critics are themselves in the hip pocket of big corporations.  But claims of media bias are laughed off by those in the hip pocket of big corporations.  Meanwhile, they attack FOX NEWS for not being a legitimate news organization.  When many of these attackers are themselves far from legitimate.  So are these people inherently immoral?  Amoral?  Or are they just human?

Currying favor with political officials is how they secure scoops, leaks and access. Because media stars are now as wealthy and celebrated as the politically powerful whom they cover, they identify on socioeconomic and cultural grounds with these political officials; media stars are far more integrated into the halls of political power than they are outside of them.

They’re just human.  Craving attention.  Fame.  Wealth.  The good life.  And more fame.  They all want to be Walter Cronkite.  To become a legend.  By achieving greatness just for reporting the greatness of others.  That’s why reality television is so successful.  People watch rank amateurs achieve celebrity without any real talent.  And they say, hey, that could be me.  And so it is with many of today’s journalists.

FOX NEWS Dares to say the King Isn’t Wearing any Clothes

So how biased is today’s media?  Perhaps not that biased.  Here’s a newspaper story pretty critical of President Obama (see O meets the fog of war posted 4/10/2011 on New York Post).

Gen. Carter Ham, who commanded US military forces in Libya until control of the operation was handed over to NATO, told a Senate hearing Thursday that “there might be some consideration” of sending US ground troops to Libya to aid the anti-Khadafy rebels.

But President Obama said there would be no boots on the ground.  That we were only there on a humanitarian mission to protect Libyan civilians.  That we would be in and out in days, not weeks.  That there would be no mission-creep.  But this sounds like mission-creep.  A lot like in Vietnam.  We were only advisors at first.  To help an outmatched military force.  Then the mission crept.  And the next thing we knew we had hundreds of thousands of boots on the ground.  Could history be repeating?

The point being that situations, both on the ground and in the air, tend to change in unpredictable ways.

Gen. Ham surely knows this. Indeed, brand new second lieutenants know it.

But there’s no indication that President Obama and his defense team understand it — which probably explains why he doesn’t hesitate before making sweeping promises about the length and nature of America’s military commitments.

Perhaps.  While another Democrat president bungles us into another long-term military commitment in a land far from home that never attacked us.

Now that’s a pretty critical, objective news report on the Obama administration.  Perhaps the news media can maintain objectivity in the face of their corporate overlords dependent on the federal government for their profits.  Wait a tic.  The New York PostRupert Murdoch owns this, doesn’t he?  The same Rupert Murdoch who owns FOX NEWS?  Why, yes.  He does.  No wonder the New York Post isn’t afraid to say the king isn’t wearing any clothes.  Their income isn’t dependent on pleasing the king.

I guess a good rule of thumb for objective journalism is this.  Does Rupert Murdoch own the media outlet?  If so, it’s not an Obama administration toady.  And most likely objective.

A Detailed and Objective Mea Culpa

If you want to read more about the problems besetting The Washington Post thanks to its Kaplan division you can read a pretty detailed and objective accounting of it in The Washington Post (see The trials of Kaplan Higher Ed and the education of The Washington Post Co. by Steven Mufson and Jia Lynn Yang posted 4/9/2011 on The Washington Post).  It’s a fascinating read.  And quite the mea culpa.

Yes, they may be biased.  But they don’t like the position they’re in.  And that says something about the organization.  Besides, Charles Krauthammer is a columnist over there.  Not exactly a friend of the Obama administration.  And any paper that has Krauthammer as a columnist is all right by me.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

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