"Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?" - Chico Marx
Recently Bill Maher, on his nighttime talk show, pontificating on Trump's popularity ratings, said:
“His popularity rating keeps going up, not down. It’s almost in the range of a normal president, which is really scary. Because he certainly is not that. So, they (his supporters) obviously don’t care about so many things they used to care about like decorum, or policy, or democracy, or freedom of the press.”
Intentional or not, Maher is impugning a massive number of people and their motivations. And of course he can't help but malign Trump, because he is appealing to his Progressive audience, and therefore, truth is relative.
Maher's choice of words are intended to invoke anger and hatred, to rally his ultra-liberal following, to create some team spirit and resistance energy. He is addressing the troops of anti-Trump Progressives and pumping them up for the second half of a game in which they are trailing, bigly.
For example, he says Trump's ratings are almost in the range of a 'normal' president. No, Bill, they are right in the same range as Obama's ratings were after his first two years. So either Trump's ratings are normal or Obama's were abnormal. You can't have it both ways.
He claims that Trump supporters don't care about decorum. I would argue that millions support Trump's position on standing for our National Anthem, not to restrict NFL players free speech, but to stop the hijacking of a public display of respect for our nation and its heros. It is the lack of decorum, the abject disrespect for the moment and the venue that is objectionable, not the credibility of the issue of police abuse or racism.
As for policy, I would suggest one 'obvious' reason Trump won is he ran against the wrong policies of the Obama era. Obama seemed to care more about illegal immigrants, Islamic fanatics, or being liked by foreign despots, than he did about the American working class, and the security of our citizenry. The same issues that drove many otherwise recalcitrant voters to vote for Trump.
Maher claims Trump policies are bad for minorities, women and gays, but the facts contradict him. Employment stats indicate all minorities are finding work at record setting rates. Hate crimes are down, female incomes are up, and it was Trump who warned Republicans to get used to gay marriage as it was now the law of the land. His stern military and domestic security measures have made us all safer from Jihadi attacks and removed weekly beheading videos from television news broadcasts.
Bill, you are too smart to keep referring to America as a democracy. America is not a democracy, it is a Constitutional Republic governed by a document that cedes power to the people, but also demands all citizens respect the rights of its minorities. The founding fathers purposely chose not to make America a purely democratic government, because it leads to mob rule. It is Progressive anarchists that invoke mob rule, using intimidation and violence to shut down debate on campus, in congress and across social media.
"No Trump! No wall! No borders at all!"
Progressivism is communism in disguise, where (in Marxist theory) everyone gives according to ability and receives according to need. One party, or a totalitarian dictator, manages everything from the top down. Under their form of government, celebrities like Bill Maher do not exist except to act as propaganda agents for the authorities. Dissenting opinions, like we see on The View or any number of American news/talk shows, are not tolerated in communist countries.
Maher conflates 'Free Press' with freedom to say anything without attribution or consequences. The abuse of those journalistic freedoms by using unnamed 'reliable sources' instead of cross-checked and verified informants, is a major threat to a free press.
I have a liberal definition of news because I think news can be what excites people. I’m not very sanctimonious about what news is and isn’t.
- Diane Sawyer
It is becoming increasingly obvious, too many MSM journalists agree with Diane Sawyer. They subjugate boring civic activities to bloodsport mayhem that attracts leering audiences and increases advertising revenues and reporter salaries.
The only current restrictions on journalistic excess are coming from powerful pressures to conform with politically correct dogma. Newspapers, TV and social media are more concerned about what people 'think' than what is true. And they feel compelled to direct what their audience thinks. The Progressive angle on censorship is over what constitutes 'hate speech', what hurts people's 'feelings', and what comports with their approved template of 'inclusion, social justice and fairness,' just as Kim Jong Un does in North Korea.
Maher worries about Trump policies that will censor Progressive thought, but it is conservatives on TV, on college campuses, on Facebook and Twitter that are being shadow banned.
Bill Maher's definition of decorum, policy and freedom of the press, is obviously, not objective. What is scary, and just as obvious, is that he has such an eager and receptive audience.
The Villagers are on the rampage. They are calling out the "Fake News".
People on the Left think the Mainstream Media is bought and paid for by powerful international corporations and Republican donors. People on the Right are convinced the Mainstream Media is a cabal of leftist leaning elitists and globalists who would prefer that government be the head of our collective family.
They can't both be right, can they?
Well if I am right, I think a mad doctor ( who obviously graduated from one of our multicultural schools) has created a two-headed monster that is both Leftist and Conservative. His monstrous creation, FrankenMedia, is schizophrenic, delusional and quite unpredictable. The mad doctor? That would be Dr. MarketForces Frankenstein.
I know, many of you will be saying, "What? Everyone knows the media is biased toward the Democrats!"
And I would agree if we look only at the American News Media. But when we patch together the worldwide media, and all of the social media platforms available, we get an entirely different monster. Though everyone on the planet is dependant to one degree or another on the information distributed by the rapidly expanding digital media panoply, the number of choices has grown exponentially. The concept of 'broadcasting' is extinct. The consumer can pick and choose from thousands of digital platforms, effectively customizing their information streams. We now have a 'narrowcasting' industry, brewing every kind of ideological tonic that will draw that 'drive-slowly-by-the-accident' audience.
The popularization of the term 'Fake News' is an oversimplified colloquialism, symbolic of what is wrong with our civilization. We are driven to package everything in truncated blurbs by our ridiculously short attention spans. The whole concept of journalistic integrity, the serious examination and distribution of information, has morphed into a new form of life.
What was for nearly half a decade a resource we could count on, the 4th Estate, has degenerated into an arcade ride labeled 'News.'
Like much in the culture of Western Modernity, when we find something we like, we exploit it to death! We over-use it and beat it into an unrecognizable bloody pulp version of itself. If one is good, two will be better, and ten must be awesome!
Our culture is not satisfied with four or five beer choices, so now when we go out for a drink, the beer menu is twice as thick as the dinner menu. The same holds true for our information streams; we can monitor dozens simultaneously, not to mention the sharing platforms of Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and many others. Information comes in sound bites, truncated and even abbreviated, but collectively, it dominates our attention. TV's are everywhere, from restaurants to airport and hotel lobbies, to the top of gas pumps. The news we experience today bears no resemblance to the news we trusted when only the local newspaper, the local radio station and maybe two or three networks competed for our attention.
The ever present, multifaceted FrankenMedia Monster is unavoidable!
What we no longer have is accuracy in news. No one can claim to have the correct information because there is just too much of it. And who is to filter or edit it for accuracy? Just when you think you have gleaned all that can be said about an issue, here comes some bombshell from 'unnamed sources' blowing the story to smithereens!
What we do have is a FrankenMedia Monster that was created by committee of market forces that demanded the news department deliver higher ratings, garner more advertising revenue, and keep the audience tuned in for longer periods of precious advertising exposure. Producing the news is relatively cheap because you don't have enormous fixed costs for actor salaries, set construction, and massive production crews. The news is spontaneous and perpetual. Paying news collectors is much cheaper than paying content creators and story writers.
The news operations have come to be the branding mechanism for cable TV. I bet you can name four or five news channels but would have a hard time naming very many of the entertainment channels. Some of the most successful and well known media celebrities are 'Infotainment' stars like Oprah, Bill O'Reilly, Megyn Kelly, and Matt Lauer.
Narrowcast cable or online platforms like YouTube, Netflix and others, are now producing original content too. But when you look close, nearly all of it is the sensationalization of recent news stories. The hit mini series, The People vs. O J Simpson, starring Cuba Gooding Jr., was an FX Channel original. It combined the intrigue of a domestic violence, a beautiful victim, a celebrity athlete and a gory murder. And it was true! Just what the ratings doctor ordered!
The FrankenMedia Monster is pieced together from different disciplines: the basic news is the skeleton, but hanging on the bones are a variety of garish attractions, to grab the attention of the audience. There is political intrigue (that's a big one because it has so many vested interests). There is entertainment from sports, film and TV celebrity, from human interest in trouble caused by chance (weather, earthquakes, tsunamis, healthcare and disease, etc.) and of course, war. There are wars waging 24/7 somewhere on the planet.
The FrankenMedia Monster is fed by cannibalizing the news; taking parts from different locations and origins, and ginning up the most possible commotion. Mixing one part entertainment with two parts news creates an elixir that audiences crave. When Trump slips up and fails to grab the headlines for a day (which doesn't happen very often), the Brexit Story, German troubles with Islamic immigration or something really incesstuous, can quickly fill the void.
Next up, racial tensions and unjustified police shootings!
I remember hearing one anchor say, "We will start our broadcast on this very slow news night with a story about the spread of hepatitis in San Diego!" Apparently President Trump forgot to slander someone with a Tweet that day...
Whether P.T. Barnum actually originated the phrase, "There is a sucker born every minute" is irrelevant. The point is, there is a news story born every second, whether it is fake or not. And advertisers know there are millions of suckers out there anxious to eat it up. Dr. MarketForces and his many assistants, lead by Igor Advertiser, have created an efficient and dangerous monster.
Get the whole story in my new book Trump's Reckoning: Bulldozing Progressivism, Rebuilding Americanism by Rick Elkin, published by Liberty Hill Publishers, and available online through Amazon or Barnes and Noble, or through most major booksellers.
Excerpted from an interview with the SDUT:
Gavin Newsom said…
"The folks closest to me held me to a high level of accountability on it. The newspaper did, on a weekly basis, called Shame of the City series. Every week when I was mayor... chronicling our successes and failures, our setbacks, our triumphs, our overpromising, our under delivering, our under promising and over delivering, depending on the category, but I feel very strongly unless the state intervenes, your mayor down here, Mayor Kevin] Faulconer, is not going to solve it on his own. Mayor Garcetti is not going to solve it on his own. Mayor Libby Schaaf, you want a problem, go to Oakland, you can’t even get off the freeway. I mean they’ve literally taken over lanes as you get off the freeway into the streets. It’s that bad. It has to be regionalized and we have to have a statewide frame and we need the federal government to get involved because again we’re manifesting a national problem disproportionate on the streets of the state."
He is admitting that California is a mess and he is crying for help from the Federal Government because the Democratic Regime in California has totally lost control, and continues to exacerbate the problem with open borders and sanctuary city policies. Now he wants California to put him in charge so he can push even more idiotic Peoples Temple-style solutions until we collapse like Venezuela….
Caring is overrated.
There are just too many things to care about. If you spread your caring too thin, the result is not helping any cause enough to make a difference.
Worse yet, it seems that people are stressing over the demands of caring. From the moment we wake up till our head hits the pillow, someone, some cause or some issue is demanding that we care about it.
The Politics of Caring is what the Progressives feed on. Caring about our dystopian future, the overheating planet, refugees of war, immigrants seeking asylum, discrimination against women, people of color and animals. We are told we must care about secondhand cigarette smoke, how much gluten we eat, how we use words, so as to avoid hurting anyones feelings.
No matter what the issue is, Progressives always claim to 'care' more than conservatives. It is Argumentation 101: Assume the upper hand of the emotional side of the discussion.
Leftists use their definition of 'caring' as a tool to disrupt our culture. They have hijacked the emotion because caring is a universal motivator. It transcends many levels of political persuasion. Who doesn't care about the environment, or what happens to abandoned children? We all worry about what kind of world our children will inherit. Anyone who dissents, for any reason, is an extremist.
The question is, how do we focus our caring and to what extent are we willing to forgo other important goals to achieve a particular end? And is 'caring' in and of itself a solution?
Some people have become so overwhelmed by the tsunami of media hatred and anger towards President Donald Trump, that they have decided to just tune out the endless cacophony of talking heads on radio and TV, in movies and in newspapers and current event magazines. In a world of enormous diversity and endless news events, our media has been obsessed with Trump for nearly two years!
And who would feel more sensitive to the destructive nature of the media's assault than the First Lady, whose husband has been the target of relentless character assassination, fake news stories designed to undermine his administration, and threats of violence from high profile celebrities?
So Melania incorporates her sensibilities in a fashion statement. Something she knows a lot about. She wouldn't wear a silk screened tee shirt, nor would she don a cotton gym hoodie. No, she puts her message on the back of a fashionable Zara military-style overcoat, painted to look like pop art graffiti.
The FrankenMedia had a field day, linking the phrase "I don't care, do u?" to the illegal immigrant issue, since she was simultaneously visiting the Mexican border. But, as usual, they fell right into the Trump Trap. While they focus on the politics, and whining about 'divisiveness', 'bigotry' and her 'lack of sensitivity', she is focusing on the demonstrable dishonesty of the media. And the jacket is the perfect metaphor.
She is playing to the Trump Base.
Like everything else about the past 18 months, there are two ways to look at the controversy: The media wants to paint her as uncaring, rich and anti-immigrant. She, on the other hand, says the message was to suggest she was no longer going to give any attention or energy to the 'Fake News'. Like so many folks, she is burned out on 'Trumped Up' BS.
There have been a number of articles and sound bites about how so many people are turning off the news and tuning into lightweight entertainment. I read a story by Claire Suddith at Bloomberg News, where she recorded some comments by a systems designer from Massachusetts who says she gave up watching the news and watches travel shows instead.
“Basically, a drone just flies over and tells you cool things about pretty landscapes,” she says. “It’s way more relaxing than reading about Melania’s terrible jacket choice.”
Where did she see the story about Melania? Why did she react to "Melania's choices" so negatively? Was it her opinion that wearing the jacket was a 'terrible' choice, or was she just parroting the media's analysis?
Isn't hating Melania a little presumptuous? After all, Melania speaks five foreign languages, is herself an immigrant, and has personally been extremely successful in business. Isn't she the ultimate poster child for women's empowerment?
If the woman from Massachusetts was seriously disengaged from the news cycle, how would she know about the incident and why would she care? You can't really have it both ways, can you? And if she doesn't really care anymore, isn't she in agreement with Melania's provocative silk screen?
Oh well, who cares?
The world is a better place
because of it.
It was, and is, a miracle
that it ever happened.
“What is the essence of America? Finding and maintaining that perfect, delicate balance between freedom ‘to’ and freedom ‘from’.”
- Marilyn vos Savant
As appears on the History Channel website:
"From 1774 to 1789, the Continental Congress served as the government of the 13 American colonies and later the United States. The First Continental Congress, which was comprised of delegates from the colonies, met in 1774 in reaction to the Coercive Acts, a series of measures imposed by the British government on the colonies in response to their resistance to new taxes. In 1775, the Second Continental Congress convened after the American Revolutionary War (1775-83) had already begun. In 1776, it took the momentous step of declaring America’s independence from Britain."
"For over a year, the Continental Congress supervised a war against a country to which it proclaimed its loyalty. In fact, both the Congress and the people it represented were divided on the question of independence even after a year of open warfare against Great Britain. Early in 1776, a number of factors began to strengthen the call for separation. In his stirring pamphlet “Common Sense,” published in January of that year, the British immigrant Thomas Paine (1737-1809) laid out a convincing argument in favor of independence."
"On June 7, Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee (1732-94) complied with his instructions. Congress postponed a final vote on the proposal until July 1, but appointed a committee to draft a provisional declaration of independence for use should the proposal pass."
The History Channel continues:
"The committee consisted of five men, including John Adams and Benjamin Franklin (1706-90) of Pennsylvania. But the declaration was primarily the work of one man, Thomas Jefferson, who penned an eloquent defense of the natural rights of all people, of which, he charged, Parliament and the king had tried to deprive the American nation."
"The Continental Congress made several revisions to Jefferson’s draft, removing, among other things, an attack on the institution of slavery; but on July 4, 1776, Congress voted to approve the Declaration of Independence...Though the vote for actual independence took place on July 2nd, from then on the 4th became the day that was celebrated as the birth of American independence."
The Continental Congress proved inadequate to deal with the problems the new nation confronted after the Revolutionary War. From that hellacious mess (immense debt and an unstable economy, combative and unorganized states, and insurrection) came a decision to restructure the planning documents of the Union.
Starting with the Philadelphia Convention in 1787, two years later the Constitution of the United States of America was born in 1789. The United States of America committed its future survival to an idea that had never really been tested or successful in the history of the world. British royalty thought it was arrogant and preposterous!
Since then, millions of Americans have given their lives to promote and protect that idea, that all humans were created as equals and have a God-given right to seek happiness and to organize their political affairs free from authoritarianism.
It really is just an idea that has become known as Americanism, because no other country has ever been able to duplicate it. The DNA required to accomplish what we have established and managed to protect for 242 years is unique to our petri dish.
There are those that have come to 'hate' Americanism, but they all have one thing in common: none of them have had to live under any other form of government. They emote from a place of ignorance.
“There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America."
- President Bill Clinton
Happy Birthday America!