Our Very Own Pravda

Tom Wheeler headed the Federal Communications Commission during the Obama Administration. From all indications, he took his responsibilities seriously; he was a vocal defender of Net Neutrality, for example, unlike his replacement, a former Verison executive whose decisions have been reliable wins for big telecom companies.

So when Wheeler sounds an alarm, that alarm is worth heeding.

Wheeler has indeed sounded an alarm. In a report for The Brookings Institution, he highlights a recent, blatant effort at propaganda from Sinclair Broadcasting (aka the Fox News of “local” television–or, as John Oliver dubbed it, “the most influential media company you never heard of”).

“Many members of the media and opponents of the president have used this issue [separation of children from immigrant families] to make it seem as if those who are tough on immigration are somehow monsters. Let’s be honest: while some of the concern is real, a lot of it is politically driven by liberals in politics and the media.”

The above is the conclusion of a two-minute “must run” that Sinclair Broadcast Group forced its over-100 local television stations to air. Read by Sinclair political director (and former Trump White House advisor) Boris Epshteyn, the attack on the media and those who might disagree with the president is no great surprise.

Wheeler has been following the activities of the agency he headed, and he reports that under Trump,  the Commission has been diligently working to assure that Sinclair is able to expand the reach of its partisan political messaging.

By rewriting the rules governing local broadcasting, the Trump FCC is allowing Sinclair to turn supposedly “local” television operations into a coordinated national platform for the delivery of messages such as the one cited above.

When television was a relatively new communications medium dependent upon use of publicly-owned airwaves, the licenses of locally owned and operated stations were conditioned on undertakings to operate in the public interest, as local outlets for local news and information. In order to protect that localism, the law forbid national media companies from acquiring them.

However, the Trump FCC effectively allows a company to exceed the ownership limit. The agency replaced the rule prohibiting “sidecar agreements,” where a company claims not to own a station’s license despite collecting all the revenue, making all the hiring and programming decisions, and forcing the station to carry “must-run” content. Sinclair lawyers originally conceived these legal fictions to skirt the rules protecting localism, and the FCC rubber-stamped the charade.

While ordinary Americans are responding–haphazardly–to the White House’s daily, highly visible assaults on democratic norms and the rule of law, Trump’s appointees are working behind the scenes to dismantle the rules and regulations that have been put in place to keep plutocrats from raping the rest of us. What gets lost in all the anti-regulatory rhetoric is the fact that we owe clean air and water, safe food, and honest news reporting, among other important things, to good regulations.

Good regulations ensure that “level playing field” we all claim to support. I’ll be first to concede that not all regulations are good, but the answer is not a wholesale dismantling of the rules–if a regulation is outdated, or counterproductive, that particular regulation can be changed. That, of course, takes work–not to mention subject-matter knowledge and a commitment to the common good.

It is impossible to overstate the damage that has been done by propaganda arms like Fox News and Sinclair Broadcasting. There are plenty of other propaganda outlets on both the Left and Right, preaching to their respective choirs, but none have the reach and influence of Fox and Sinclair. Sinclair’s propaganda is particularly potent because it is unrecognized– cloaked in the pretense of independence and localism.

When Mike Pence was Governor of Indiana, he made a much-derided attempt to establish an “official” state news bureau. Genuine news sources immediately dubbed it “Pravda on the Prairie.”

Thanks to Sinclair and Trump’s FCC, we now have Pravda for the whole country.

 

35 thoughts on “Our Very Own Pravda

  1. SK Says
    What gets lost in all the anti-regulatory rhetoric is the fact that we owe clean air and water, safe food, and honest news reporting, among other important things, to good regulations.

    While Trump Inc has taken the destruction of America to a new level, it has been a Republican goal for decades to bring us Dirty Air, Dirty Water, Dirty Food, Quack medicines etc etc as long as the Republican donor base gets richer. They are winning.
    and
    There is NO comparison in Right vs Left Media. The Right Media is NOT fact based. Hard to compare them.

  2. ” United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is responsible for protecting our nation’s borders in order to prevent terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the United States, while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel.

    United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is responsible for the administration of immigration and naturalization adjudication functions and establishing immigration services policies and priorities.

    United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security, is responsible for identifying and shutting down vulnerabilities in the nation’s border, economic, transportation and infrastructure security.”

    Sinclair Broadcasting:
    “Many members of the media and opponents of the president have used this issue [separation of children from immigrant families] to make it seem as if those who are tough on immigration are somehow monsters. Let’s be honest: while some of the concern is real, a lot of it is politically driven by liberals in politics and the media.”

    Trump and Sessions are using ICE agents to carry out their own racist rulings; nothing in any of the immigration department’s responsibilities requires removing children of all ages from family members. Sessions; “Zero Tolerance” is based on racism; it was put into effect with no pre-planning, no regulations, or destinations for these thousands of children. However Sinclair Broadcasting and Fox News wants to broadcast it; these actions are racist, they are not being “hard on immigration” – they have accomplished NOTHING to alleviate the number of illegals pouring into this country. THEY used the example of “separation of children from immigrant families”; this is not an issue being “politically driven by liberals in politics and the media”, this is but one anti-humanitarian issue from Trump’s administration being driven by American citizens who fully understand the dire need for immigration problems to be addressed directly – not by tearing families apart as punishment. Illegal immigration has been approached but never dealt with for at least 50 years; Trump and Sessions have merely taken an action which will keep those thousands of immigrant children – who are illegal immigrants – in this country while trying to convince us he is ridding the country of illegal immigrants.

    As for the FCC; they cannot even resolve the problem of local news stations providing closed captioning for hearing impaired and profoundly deaf viewers during severe weather, in fact, local stations here only provide cc sporadically on all weather reports on every news broadcast.

    This government, working for years to put basic, protective regulations in place which are now being systematically repealed at the discretion of Trump’s whims and upheld by Sessions legal powers. THEY ARE MONSTERS!

  3. Communications and the media has been extremely important in allowing the Plutocrats to control the message. It’s also why they’ve started censoring the messages sent over the internet and television.

    They’ve worked very hard to assemble their power and deconstruct the power of the people by destroying unions. By the way, Trump admitted that our wages are too high in this country. I’m wondering if he’s referring to CEOs or the labor force.

    Anyway, Google and Facebook have already worked on demonetizing dissident voices. This will continue. Don’t forget, Sessions first job as AG was to seek out the organizers of the march protesting Trump’s inauguration. Even my internet service provider sent me a letter saying they were hiring lawyers to protest the request to turn over IP addresses associated with certain websites, etc.

    As for Facebook and Google, they will work with the government. Our very own CIA has accumulated a private venture fund to finance start-up tech firms. Don’t you think these come with backdoor access?

    I’ve heard the police have access to some nifty tools. The Intercept did a great story about the NSA’s buildings in the USA that are giant concrete vaults storing every email, text and voice conversations occurring over AT&T services. And AT&T was chosen because they have “special contracts” with other telecom providers.

    The Plutarchs have been closing down the government since 9/11 when two aluminum planes brought down three concrete and steel buildings in New York. We got the “Patriot Act” and Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

    I’d refer to the DHS as the brownshirts but the American people have been told they were formed to protect us from “evil doers”. Once you give the government powers like the NSA and DHS, what do you think will happen?

    Do you think all the cameras going up across the country are for public safety?

    It’s called safety from the masses when we realize we’ve been conned by very greedy people who have used the government to accumulate wealth and power. They have NO intentions of handing it back to the people.

  4. A free press is one of the cornerstones of our democracy. This is not an event to be taken lightly.

  5. Hitler had the SA (brown shirts) as he first came to power and later the SS which was augmented by the Gestapo. The SA was made up of unemployed, disgruntled, poorly educated men who were allowed and encouraged to terrorize the general population. Once Hitler took real control of Germany he plotted to get rid of the SA and their leadership and replace them with a more sophisticated force that could be used to continue the terrorism but also dominate the military. He placed SS officers inside of every military group and police station. They answered to him alone. Soon the Gestapo emerged as the plain clothes “detectives” who went after anyone who was part of the resistance. Thus, those who were in charge of the enforcement of law and the protection of the country were “politicized.”

    The above is only a small piece of the history of the Third Reich. Hitler plotted and planned his ascent and take over of Germany. He eliminated the free press and replaced it with a one source propaganda outlet. After that, the rest was easy.

    IMO what we are seeing today in the United States is too similar for dismissal.

  6. im late,heres a article from james henry, theamericaninterests.org. the curious world of donald trumps russian connection, from yesterdays subject, hes a forensic accountant,with international work. very good piece of work, and probably muellers investigation case on trump..
    as far as net nutrality,, try this gen5 wifi is here, im sure the telecoms want more money for this.. like gasoline,we cant live today without the net.. like today,if they say unlimited wifi, ask where, it goes from 4G to 3G, service?a scam, they dont mention this, unless you ask…in rural areas,like north dakota,we have NO protections from telecom scams. they have dragged tnier feet on coverage because of corprate bidding for areas. hense,we are a third world wifi/cell country..the govenors past insist, its free market,more like a free screwing of those who pay for this service..

  7. The damage being done to the US is nearly unimaginable. Were Orwell or Huxley writing today, they could not describe a more dystopian world than the one we are currently creating. Vote Democratic.

  8. We’re experiencing a RE-CREATION of Nazi Germany by the use of “White Supremacy masked in Christianity.” Those aren’t my words. Those were the words of Walter Cronkite over twenty years ago.

  9. Reading all this today makes us sound like a truly “1984” country. If all this “intelligence” gathering, immigration fear and privacy violating describes nothing else, I’d say the terrorists have already won the war they have wanted to conduct against the West.

    The corporatists and their Republican lackeys, including the corporate driven media like Sinclair, have seen profit in our defeat and are playing our fears to the hilt as they rake in the bucks. We are eating ourselves from the inside out. I don’t think Osama bin Laden could have asked for anything more.

  10. Marv,

    You are so right. Most people do not know or understand that Hitler’s rise to power started in 1919! Not the 1930s. Today’s events are the result of a compression of time due to modern communication. Hitler went from pub to pub with his message of hate and intolerance. Today’s’ demagogues hold a rally that is televised live to millions.

  11. JoAnn:

    “United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is responsible for the administration of immigration and naturalization adjudication functions and establishing immigration services policies and priorities.”

    And the Dems are so inept that some are calling for “Abolish ICE”, playing directly into the charge that we are the party of open borders.

    Further, Nancy and Chuck want to make the Supreme Court nomination battle about health care instead of Roe v Wade.

    God help us!

  12. Over the past three years, I’ve left this blog three or four times, but I always have come back. I never realized why I have continued to go through that same routine. A few weeks ago, I made the statement that SheilaKennedy.net is “Radio Free America.” Again, I didn’t fully realize what was going on until today.

    For the three months of March, April, and May, I had over 5000 visitors from all over the world to my website http://www.Democracide.info, because of comments I made on this blog. Last Friday, when I came back again, I had over 100 visitors. On a day that I don’t comment on this blog, I might have at most 5 visitors.

    I stayed away for 10 days in a row last month. On the day before I returned, I only had 1 visitor to my website. The day I returned it increased to 75.

    The reasons for my huge numbers comes from the benefit of Sheila Kennedy and her integrity for the truth which I’m now realizing is unparalleled within the confines of the U.S. The number of those that use this blog world-wide for information about the U.S. must be staggering.

    At the deepest level we’re not a democracy. The DNA of our BODY POLITIC is now much more FASCISTIC than DEMOCRATIC. That’s why Fox and Sinclair are so strong. They only reflect our present reality. Unfortunately, It couldn’t be otherwise.

    That’s why I tweet exclusively into Europe and for the most part Sweden. Fortunately, it still is a democracy.

  13. Theresa,

    We can only understand present day America, by a thorough understanding of Nazi Germany starting as you have stated in 1919. To do otherwise, would be acting like a STUPID FOOTBALL TEAM that decided to play against its opponent without the benefit of a scouting report.

  14. John Neal; United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is a totally SEPARATE government department from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). ICE is part of the Department of Homeland Security which was formed in 2002 after the September 11, 2001 attack by terrorists on this country. This is why Dems are asking to shut it down; Trump again doesn’t know what the “F” he is talking about. As an attorney Sessions must be aware of the separation but is sucking up to Trump with his Zero Tolerance order, probably to seek forgiveness for recusing himself from all things Russian pertaining to Trump. Below I have again copied and pasted the basic description of the duties of ICE.

    “United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security, is responsible for identifying and shutting down vulnerabilities in the nation’s border, economic, transportation and infrastructure security.”

  15. We thought Mitch Romney’s political career ended when a reliable source recorded a speech of his in which he promised not to represent the poorer half of the nation in order to focus on the wealthy half. That Republican promise was dismissed by some as political rhetoric when in fact it’s the mantra of the entire party and the reason that they didn’t resist the hostile takeover of the Trump hoard leading up to 2016.

    Republican minds have been easy to take over by the big lie on entertainment media that the poorer half of nation doesn’t create all of the wealth of the nation but that wealth comes from the investments of the wealthy half which the poor half steals endlessly. So taxes aren’t investments in the country that enable all of the wealth to be created by workers but mere welfare for those who take without giving. In other words the opposite of what’s true.

    So not collecting taxes is patriotic as it allows more capital to be invested in privately held companies rather than in building and maintaining and growing wealth producers, workers, tax payers, consumers, parents, citizens.

    You and I are merely collateral damage of the Romney stated but Republican held belief that Trump fed steroids to.

    Of course wealth comes from more than labor. It comes from natural resources too. Those too must be taken over and distributing that wealth for consumption among only the wealthy half gives them much more pie than distributed among all of us.

    It’s a party for oligarchs being held by the party of oligarchs. How hard is it to sell a party on entertainment media?

    Of course it is the end of everything America is and has always been.

    We have one move left to stop it in Nov, in a couple of months. We need to stamp out Republicans in Congress as well as state offices. Not that that will end it it, it’s a necessary but in itself insufficient step in the process of ending 4 decades of hostile takeover of the country.

    Please join me.

  16. The first step toward Media Conglomeration-Mergers in recent times took place during the Neo-Liberal Regime of Bill Clinton. Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

    Per Wiki: The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was the first significant overhaul of telecommunications law in more than sixty years, amending the Communications Act of 1934. The Act, was signed by President Bill Clinton, represented a major change in American telecommunication law, since it was the first time that the Internet was included in broadcasting and spectrum allotment. One of the most controversial titles was Title 3 (“Cable Services”), which allowed for media cross-ownership.

    The Act was claimed to foster competition. Instead, it continued the historic industry consolidation reducing the number of major media companies from around 50 in 1983 to 10 in 1996[23] and 6 in 2005. An FCC study found that the Act had led to a drastic decline in the number of radio station owners, even as the actual number of commercial stations in the United States had increased. This decline in owners and increase in stations has reportedly had the effect of Radio homogenization, where programming has become similar across formats.

    The Telecommunications Act of 1996…enabled the handful of corporations dominating the airwaves to expand their power further. Mergers enabled tighter control of information…The Latin American writer Eduardo Galeano commented…”Never have so many been held incommunicado by so few.”
    ===================================================================
    As Einstein said: “Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development and the increasing division of labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of smaller ones. The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society.”
    ===================================================================
    It was Bill Clinton, and his signing of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 who gave as Einstein points out: “The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society.”

    What you have today with the Sinclair Broadcast Group is the logical end game. The McMega-Media are in control vertically and horizontally of most of what we see and hear.

  17. Sorry JoAnn,

    Doesn’t alter my criticism of inept Dems.

    And while I am casting a jaundiced eye at things this morning, let’s not hail Tom Wheeler as an independent, truth telling oracle.

    Wikipedia:” Prior to working at the FCC, Wheeler worked as a venture capitalist and lobbyist for the cable and wireless industry, whom the FCC is now responsible for regulating, and holding positions including President of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) and CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA).”

    Cable TV and cellular wireless industries have fought many pitched battles with the broadcast industry. He is just picking sides.

  18. Monotonous,

    “….as Einstein points out: “The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society.””

    I’m also a great fan of Einstein. But, I don’t think he meant that the oligarchy can’t be stopped. I believe he was thinking of ordinary democratic NGO’s like the Southern Poverty Law Center or the N.A.A.C.P. which are mostly impotent at this juncture in history.

    As a matter of fact, the oligarchy and its political front, President George Bush, was EFFECTIVELY CHECKED by my ALARM REPORT which I alluded to yesterday. It cost him his re-election. See http://www.TheAlarmReport.info.

    It can be done. You just have to be willing to handle the RETALIATION, which can be somewhat disturbing….. two FAILED attempts to have me disbarred, loss of reputation, and setting me up for coded assassination in “The Chamber”by the Bush family friend, John Grisham. See: http://www.KillingtheMessenger.info.

    Other than the few inconveniences that I have outlined above, it can be done quite easily.

  19. From South of the Border:
    Mexico election: historic landslide victory for leftist Amlo
    Baseball-loving nationalist who counts Jeremy Corbyn as a friend will be the new president.

    Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a silver-haired 64-year-old who is best known as Amlo and counts Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn among his friends, was elected with at least 53% of the vote, according to a quick count by Mexico’s electoral commission.

    López Obrador’s closest rival, Ricardo Anaya from the National Action party (PAN), received around 22% while José Antonio Meade, a career civil servant running for the Institutional Revolutionary party, or PRI, which ruled Mexico for most of last century, came in third with around 16%.

    Exit polls also suggested the party Amlo founded in 2014 – the Movement for National Regeneration or Morena – had won at least five of nine gubernatorial races, with the winners including Mexico City’s first elected female mayor, Claudia Sheinbaum. “We won! We’ll rescue the City of Hope,” she wrote on Twitter. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/02/mexico-election-leftist-amlo-set-for-historic-landslide-victory
    ==========================================================================
    I thought what was interesting is Amlo founded his party in 2014. Just as side bar Emmanuel Macron, now President of France formed his political party En Marche. It was founded on 6 April 2016 by Emmanuel Macron.

    Here in the USA, we have no choice of new political party to challenge the Corporate Establishment Democrats, or the Trumpter Republican Party.

    Immigration has surfaced as a topic today. We know the Trump (Agent Orange) policy. What is the policy, plan, strategy or platform the Democratic Party is proposing concerning immigration, other than some photo-ops????????

  20. Monotonous; I can hardly wait to see how Amlo’s offer of friendship with the United States works out and how Trump responds to his offer. Will it include Mexico paying for the wall; the only friendly offer Trump seeks from south of the border?

  21. Marv @ 10:51 am, >>I’m also a great fan of Einstein. But, I don’t think he meant that the oligarchy can’t be stopped. I believe he was thinking of ordinary democratic NGO’s like the Southern Poverty Law Center or the N.A.A.C.P. which are mostly impotent at this juncture in history.<<

    Einstein covered that base: "The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society."

    "This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature. The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population. Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights."
    ===========================================================
    Einstein wrote this in May 1949, long before Media Conglomeration-Mergers, PACS, Super PACs, and Citizen United. Einstein was visualizing a future few people at the time did. https://monthlyreview.org/2009/05/01/why-socialism/

  22. Monotonous,

    “It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in MOST CASES quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights.”

    Thanks for Einstein’s full statement. It must be the attorney in me, but I always like to have precedent on my side. I’m not so bold, as to contradict the wisdom of Professor Albert Einstein.

  23. Einstein was right, as usual, and he hasn’t been around since 1955 (the year I graduated from law school and passed the bar). The whole answer to most nearly all of our problems today whether in communications, labor, or whatever is public financing of elections. The Kochs, Mercers and other buyers of power and policy, of course, aren’t having it, since if the public provides the funding for elections the senators and representatives would owe a fiduciary duty to the people to make good policy for them as opposed to making policy which benefits their current financiers, i.e., the Kochs, Mercers and other purchasers of power.

    Can’t afford it, you say? You cannot afford the present arrangement which is not only depressing wages but giving us and our children’s children trillions in debt to finance today’s tax cuts for the rich (and increasing interest on our national debt’s management) far into the future (if we have one). Public financing of elections is far cheaper and guarantees a more responsive look by our legislators at public need rather than further enrichment of the already rich.

    When an if we take power again, this should be in the top ten of our to-do list, along with tax cut repealers and perhaps an expansion in the number of Supreme Court judges. FDR’s so-called attempt to “pack the court” in the Thirties was shot down because it had to do with his frustration at the court’s declarations of unconstitutionality of some of his acronym agencies whereas our “packing the court” as it were would be for the noblest purpose ever, to wit: saving our democracy.

  24. “Sinclair political director (and former Trump White House advisor) Boris Epshteyn”

    Did anyone else notice the new spelling of the old honorable Brooklynese Yiddish name from “Epstein” to Epshteyn?
    I can’t help wondering why Boris would try to bury his honorable ethnicity in such an alphabetically contrived and corrupt sobriquet and palm it off as modernism.
    This must be a source of chuckles at temple meetings. What do you think, Sheila? The sin of pride?

  25. Thanks to Marv Kramer for the testimonial about the reach of Sheila Kennedy. I encourage all of Sheila’s readers to share her blog with family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances around the world and invite them to become regular subscribers There is no power like word of mouth, and fortunately, social media makes it possible to share Sheila’s words first hand with so many others.

    Our nation and the world is on a very dangerous trajectory. Forewarned is forearmed, and Sheila has armed us with ammunition. Let’s arm more troops.

  26. In the Declaration we will celebrate on Wednesday we should focus on the line, “…deriving their just power from the consent of the governed.” That is what the radical right has been screwing with for decades. The result must be resistance and revolution.

  27. Sheila: I hear what you are saying, but we have a problem here in Indianapolis that is not so much driven by partisan politics, but by the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee, whose membership includes major developers, big law firms, realtors, all of the local media, etc.. Ever notice that when the local news outlets discuss weather, they always throw in a plug for whatever sports team is playing that evening, including putting their logo at the bottom of the high and low forecast for each day? Free advertising. Ever notice how the local media plays up the Indy 500, promotes events there, including concerts, even though open-wheel racing and even NASCAR are on the decline? If there was a story there, it would be the fact that fewer and fewer people attend those events. The Indianapolis 500 is scrambling for survival. How long before they hit up taxpayers for a handout?

    Do any local news outlets ever criticize the virtual disregard of the limits of TIF handouts for developers? TIF is supposed to be used to help develop areas that wouldn’t otherwise qualify for conventional financing because they are blighted, not as a free handout to developers who would rather have the taxpayers take the risk of borrowing money instead of risking their own. How did the local media cover the re-writing of the local zoning ordinances to conform with the desires of developers? Answer: not at all. That’s why you’ll see dense, cheaply-constructed apartment buildings towering over traditional single family homes. How about coverage of Red Line? If the goal was to improve public transportation, why waste money tearing up streets to install bus stations, instead of curbside pickup? Why not start with areas of greatest need? Answer: to help certain developers who own property on College Avenue qualify for grants. The local media, as members of the GIPC, support the agendas of other members. That’s why there is no objective news coverage in this town. That’s why I discontinued the Indianapolis Star.

    Yes, allowing Sinclair to take over and mandate the political content of local news is a bad thing, but local news also sucks and is far from objective.

  28. Every day, the fingers point to IQ45! That it is HIS fault that the US is in such a state of (fill in the blank). I don’t get it. I don’t call him POTUS or his name, I refer to him as IQ45 because I really believe that he doesn’t have the mental capacity to be POTUS.

    Which begs the question, why is everyone blaming him?! He is incapable of doing all of this crap, day in, day out. Yes, his tweets are the WORST but he has a huge staff of brown shirts doing these deeds. He’s just the head of it all. We need to point the fingers where they belong – at EVERYONE in his administration. There are many, but we can do this. They are the ones that are making our lives and every non-political citizen of this country sick to death of the outrage.

    IQ45 is just the fall guy. I can’t bear to listen to 2 minutes of his voice because he’s so stupid, I get dumber listening to him but he’s not the biggest problem we have.

    Those Pence folks are doing this damage under the cloak of 45. Pence has obviously called in the troops to make our lives as miserable as possible and we are watching the wrong one. Wake up people. It’s not IQ45 that is doing most of the damage, it’s Pence, it’s his minions, his holy roller sheep, his hungry enablers, his blood thirsty bigots that have taken over our government. Revolt. Resist. Vote!

    Or you could do what I did, leave the country. I’m gone but I did not give up.
    *waves from across the pond*

  29. 1984, Orwell: DEAD WRONG
    People who allude to Orwell and his 1949 novel as having predicted today’s American world are DEAD WRONG, as well as lazy thinkers.

    Orwell was wrong: Instead of every person being under the watchful eye of government cameras, today almost every act of government is under the watchful eye of millions of private cameras in the hands of individuals.

    Orwell was wrong: Instead of persons losing their individual identity, today in America individuals have taken individuality to its extreme, to the point where consensus and cooperation has become impossible. America cannot be the ME FIRST society and the Orwellian society of lost individualism at the same time.

    Orwell was wrong: Instead of an America of repressed sexuality, we have instead an America addicted to sex, so much so that nearly every supplication, appeal, petition, advertisement, or commercial must allude to sex in order to get a word in or make its point (get a word in and make its point are both examples of the sexual allusion).

    Orwell was wrong: Instead of a world consisting of three mega-states, as he prophesied, rather than hundreds of countries as we know it, we have a world of hundreds of puny, sissy states whose power and actual existence compared to the power and existential mass of multi-state corporations and oligarchs has become mostly make-believe and/or old history.

    Orwell was wrong: His prediction of government’s use of Newspeak, a form of English that the book’s totalitarian government utilizes to discourage free thinking, was wrong. Orwell believed that, without a word or words to express an idea, the idea itself was impossible to conceive and retain. His belief was correct, but his application missed the mark. Today, it is the public that removes meaning from words; it is the public that despises the exactness of words (freedom, justice, welfare, rights, profit, male, female, and about 100,000 more), rounding them off to meaningless blobs of assumptions useful only as sounds in a stream of effluvia from mouths with no off switch.

    Tens of millions of us are eager to trade being right for being one of the ignorant group: I made that prediction while in grade school in 1943, before Orwell gave much thought to 1984. I think I was more right than Orwell. Donald Trump is the product not of the Orwellian world but of our non-Orwellian world.

    Readers have my permission to quote me with all the disregard for actual truth and meaning that they employ in 99% of their most fad-ish quotations.

  30. AgingLGrl,

    It was good hearing from you. You made a wise decision. Your statement was very important. Trump is a zero without those Pence folks:

    “Those Pence folks are doing this damage under the cloak of 45. Pence has obviously called in the troops to make our lives as miserable as possible and we are watching the wrong one. Wake up people. It’s not IQ45 that is doing most of the damage, it’s Pence, it’s his minions, his holy roller sheep, his hungry enablers, his blood thirsty bigots that have taken over our government.”

    Take good care.

  31. Larry – I enjoyed reading your Orwellian comparisons and especially to your reference to “sissy, puny states.” You are right on. Very few know that California has the world’s fourth largest economy, surpassing such puny states as Russia, Italy et al. Russia is a puny state with atomic bombs, Italy has just elected a left wing government, as has Mexico; Hungary has elected a racist government; the British are not through with Brexit, Merkel’s conservative government is in trouble, and we have a dum-dum in this country who is “deconstructing the administrative state” per Bannon, which is shorthand for destruction of our democracy. About the only state solidly in tune with its past, its today and tomorrow is France, even a past stretching back to 1789.

    Orwell is wrongly used as a standard for reform which he never intended. Thanks for reminding us of that.

  32. Natacha @ 1:30 pm, you hit the nail on the head with your comments. Our local media has long been in the pockets of the crony-capitalists here. The idea of the Red Line is a joke, when you consider this project. The crony-capitalists did manage to hype up this Red Line and found several non-profits that carried the water.

    The Star has never seen a Corporate Welfare Program they did not like, especially when it come to building stadiums for Mega-Billionaires.

  33. Monotonous – your pointing at Bill Clinton is a sign of what went wrong with the Democratic Party. Reagan scared the hell out of them, so they decided to abandon the New Deal and the Great Society and tried to make themselves pleasing to the Reagan crowd. Reagan won because of Reagan Democrats, therefore they are the only people that matter. Trump won because of whoever, therefore Donnelly has to only care about winning Trump voters.

    OMG, Epshteyn is a Russian Jew and the spelling represents the Russian pronunciation. It actually is probably a bit closer to the “academic Yiddish” pronunciation.

    People should remember that most regulations come about to fix a problem. They are not usually made up before hand (I am aware of several exceptions, mostly in the scientific arena).

    As far as propaganda on the right and on the left, while that is true, it needs to be remembered that reality has a liberal bias – evidence-based is more liberal than truthiness.

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