AMERICA THE EXTREMELY SHORTSIGHTED

This epitomizes how I feel about the RIDICULOUSLY USURIOUS CONDITIONS we impose on young people in this country who merely would LIKE TO GET AN EDUCATION. How we nail them with a debt bigger than most people pay for a HOUSE before THEY EVEN START WORKING!

Jeez, America! Why are we even ARGUING about this? It is SOOOO STUPID.

 

LIES, DAMNED LIES, AND REPUBLICAN LIES

There’s these two guys, one named Thomas Mann, of centrist/liberal Brookings Institution, and the other being Norman Ornstein, from the conservative American Enterprise Institute They are “longtime political observers” by trade, and have won the respect of both Republicans and Democrats for their independence and incisiveness. To quote: they are “two longtime centrist Washington fixtures” who generally yak about some pretty boring issues, like global economic policy and governance. But let’s not hold that against them.

Here’s what Mann and Orenstein had to say about 2012 – the “greatest untold story of the year” was the blatant, consistent, ideology-based LYING that the Republicans resorted to all through the Presidential campaign.

In the view of Mann and Ornstein, the Republican Party displayed themselves as “ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.”

“I can’t recall a campaign where I’ve seen more lying going on — and it wasn’t symmetric,” said Ornstein, a scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute who’s been tracking Congress with Mann since 1978. Democrats were hardly innocent, he said, “but it seemed pretty clear to me that the Republican campaign was just far more over the top.”

One conclusion some people have drawn is that it explains why the Republicans were so completely shocked and nonplussed when they got whipped in the election –  the GOP could not believe the polls because they were caught up in such a web of lies they completely lost track of reality.

Whoa! Embarrassing! How did they get away with all this LYING, anyway?

Two ways. One is the complete utter balderdash concerning “balance” in the media. This is where, if somebody makes an intelligent, reasoned, factually-researched argument on some topic, the media feels duty bound to find somebody – be it lunatic, liar, or totally-uninformed-man-on-the-street – to provide “balance”. This creates a false equivalency – where intelligent, reasoned, factual argument is scrimmaging with some loopy Birther nonsense on the same field. THEY DO NOT BELONG ON THE SAME FIELD. In a world where reason prevailed, news outlets would not be ideologically guided by people with vested interests in misleading the public, which causes them to fire the reporters that actually call out false equivalencies.

The second special and wonderful thing that completely enables certain segments of our society to completely bullshit you mislead the citizenry is the fact that lying is not illegal in the US! But Fox News was banned in Canada because it’s illegal to broadcast lies and label it news, according to Canadian law.

Have you heard about the overturning of the Stolen Valor Act? That was a law that was passed that prevented people from entirely fabricating a heroic military record, complete with commendations and medals, often in service of their being elected to something. But the Supreme Court, led by that shining legal light John Roberts, struck down this law under the auspice of free speech. So now, lying is actually free speech, which means the SCOTUS has given the constitutional go-ahead to everybody in the US to lie about anything they want. The NRA can lie about guns. Monsanto can lie about gene-spliced food. And General Electric can pretty much lie about everything it sells.

Wow! How could THAT possibly be a problem!

So let’s get back to the issue of lying Republicans in the last election. Sure, there were lots of kind of stupid lies, like about how Mitt was really a hip, cool guy, which most anybody could see right through. Far worse in effect were the BIG lies the Republicans tirelessly wallpapered the nation with. In the words of columnist Dan Froomkin,  the Repub Party’s “most central campaign principles — that federal spending doesn’t create jobs, that reducing taxes on the rich could create jobs and lower the deficit — willfully disregarded the truth.”

Republican lying gets people to vote for things that don’t make sense because sooooo many Republicans are low-information voters. Although the recent study that “proved” Fox News viewers had lower IQ’s than people who didn’t watch ANY news was a hoax, there remains the troubling fact that Fox News lies through its teeth on a regular basis. Also, people who watch Fox News have a big fat confirmation bias problem – meaning, they will pretty much swallow anything they hear that agrees with what they already believe, of which beliefs are constructed on what they already heard on Fox News. The relentless reconfirmation of ridiculousness, over and over,  eventually becomes “truth” in the fertile fields of the conservative mind, aided and abetted by the astonishingly unbelievable flights of fancy the Republican National Committee kept implying was FACT.

Here are some of the real plum lines of complete bullshit from various conservative sources:

“Obama is a socialist”. Oh please. The guy is more conservative than Nixon was. Go ahead, check the record!
“Obama was born in Kenya.” How about if we don’t beat this dead horse any longer.
“More guns in the streets makes people SAFER”. Okay, check with your own internal compass on this one. Mine points straight to “obviously idiotic”.
“You didn’t build that.” Refer HERE to what Obama ACTUALLY SAID before Republicans built a vast edifice of unsupportable propaganda on top of it, complete with extended TV ads.
“President Obama controlled the Congress and got everything he wanted for the first two years of his term.” Obama had a Senate majority for only 4 months at the end of his first year. Republicans had the House, Senate and Presidency (Bush) for FOUR consecutive years! Gosh, ya think they might have done something about abortion then, if a majority of the nation actually wanted to? OR, if the Repubs didn’t need a reliable topic to whip their low-info constituents into a frothing manic frenzy every few years? Gawd, it is SO OBVIOUS.
“Obama is conducting a war on religion.” Okay, this was the Catholic contraception brouhaha. First of all, WHY DO MEN GET VIAGRA ON THEIR INSURANCE, while women have to PAY OUT OF POCKET for contraception? Let’s see, what’s more taxing on somebody’s health: having a frickin’ baby (roughly similar to carting a live watermelon around in your belly for 9 months and then shoving it out through a pea shooter) or not getting your pecker up when (and of course, WITH WHO) you want to?

And then, when Obama works out the problem in a properly inclusive way, the Repubs have a COW about the “war on religion” when he came to EXACTLY the same conclusions as 1. George Pataki, REPUBLICAN governor of NY (2001) 2. the REPUBLICAN Iowa Legislature (2000) 3. The Arkansas legislature and REPUBLICAN governor Mike Huckabee (!!) (2005) 4. REPUBLICAN Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who signed a healthcare overhaul that kept in place a contraceptive mandate signed by his REPUBLICAN predecessor. (2006)

Okay, I’m tired of tormenting myself by looking up all this offensive and disturbing proof that the Republicans are HUGE dissemblers. And DO NOT tell me “Oh, the Dems are just as bad!” THEY’RE NOT. They lied too, sure. Here and there. Peripherally. But not in the institutionally sanctioned, consistent and constant way of the Republicans, where “the party’s most central campaign principleswillfully disregarded the truth.”

But I guess when your message has been demonstrated to be crap, you resort to desperate behavior. As this well-dressed dude points out, and rightly so –

NH2

 

 

 

WHY DO MIDDLE CLASS WHITE GUYS LOVE TO KILL PEOPLE?

I had a really good cop friend for a long time – he’s passed, but I do think of him often. He was my conservative foil. We used to fight so hard that people in the office would come and check on us to make sure everything was “all right”. One time I asked him what he would think if I could virtually cut in half the number of suspects he would have to engage to find a perpetrator. He said “No way!” I said “Easy – violent crime, 99 times out of 100 – MALE!”

It’s true. Especially regarding major massacres, like Newtown and Aurora. Virtually EVERY mass shooting in US history – of which many have been screened from you because they are “local”, which means they only get “local” reporting, and nobody from the mainstream picks up some news bit that has become so appallingly common it boggles the mind – has been perpetrated by a MIDDLE CLASS WHITE MAN. Of course, you could also say “Middle class white BOYS”, because there is a significant portion of these so-called men who have never become adults, mentally, at least. We shall call these people “White Boy-Men” because nothing else seems to fit.

I have had conversations with African-American people about how it is possible to maintain dignity and self-control in the face of the hostility, anger, superiority, bossiness, arrogance, belittlement, and pure hatred of certain white folks. They say – and I quote – “You cope.” Somehow they cope, while maintaining their own powerful sense of self.

In a world where cause and effect held sway, the people who would be perpetrating hideous mass killings would be BLACK PEOPLE, and BLACK WOMEN in particular. They have BY FAR the most reason! They are BY FAR the most kicked-around of all people! But – no. They cope. It’s MEN, especially WHITE men – who, despite their privileged position in society, seem to think the insults levied against their persons are sufficient to go kill off a bunch of innocents just to show how pissed they are about how they aren’t privileged ENOUGH.

How about the dude Cho, of Virginia Tech? Not a white person, but he DID have a dick. His behavior at Virginia Tech, prior to the shooting, was  ‘troubling’, to say the least. He had been harassing female students and taking pictures of their legs under desks. He’d  been accused of stalking female students  on THREE separate occasions. Supposedly he left a note that in part, raged against women.

How about John T. Miller? In 1992, John T. Miller, angry that his wages were being garnished by court order, claimed that “child support had ruined his life.”, “He went into a county office building in Schuyler County, NY, walked up to the child-support unit, and shot and killed four women whose jobs were to collect child-support.

And so it goes.Too many to recount.

Where do all these crazy people come from? I can tell you that – crazy parents. Often, crazy dads (Take a look HERE for an eye-opening account). But also, a crazy CULTURE. Boys don’t cry. Cowboy up. Army of one. Don’t let ’em see you sweat.

What are we doing? Boys that show compassion and empathy are labelled “gay”, which at this time in our history, actually should be considered a compliment as opposed to the asshole victimizers the regular “boys” are encouraged to become. Sensible young people who try to find middle ground are considered “weak”. But a guy like John Bolton – class-A stapler-throwing, temper-tantruming, insult-factory boy-man-boss from the Outer Limits – was an ADVISOR for a presidential contender in the 2012 election! What fresh hell is this?

I for one am SICK TO DEATH of this ridiculous double standard of our culture, where these whack-job white-guy borderers are not only perpetrating murders left and right, but being elevated in politics, business, and culture. And don’t get me started on the “Equal Rights for White Males” movement. Oh please. Give me a BREAK. Like, you guys haven’t HAD all the benefits up to now? Poor babies!

And until we come to SOME KIND of detente with what America has REALLY become – a teat for a significant part of the population to become whiny, self-centered, entitlement-minded boy-men – all the weapons-banning in the world will help us only a little.

And, to all those men who are wise, balanced, thoughtful, sensitive, and kind – I regard you with awe and affection. To resist the tide of boy-man-ism is indeed a difficult task. You have succeeded where many have failed, and have become true human beings.

OF GUNS AND TOAST…

Here’s what somebody said on a comment line the other day: “If you say, ‘Guns don’t kill people – people kill people!”, isn’t that like saying “Toasters don’t toast toast – toast toasts toast!”

Wow. This impressed me. In a stroke, it laid to rest all of the asinine, self-serving, my-desires-first arrogance of the entire pro-gun argument.

Yes, we have a crappy mental-health safety net. Yes, our culture of cheap thrills has opened new career paths for dangerously crazy people. Yes, the ridiculous climate of fear fostered by the likes of Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly has encouraged people to fall off the deep end. HOWEVER –

Why does this prevent us from even engaging in a dialog regarding some form of control over the tide of deadly weapons washing over the nation? Last I looked, the 2nd Amendment said ” A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

WHY is that part about the “well regulated militia” ALWAYS left out of the argument? Because gun rights proponents know it is gonna cause a problem, that’s why! So the 2nd amendment has been truncated to say what it is that people of a certain political bent WANT it to say, and NOT what is actually says. Talk about rewriting the Constitution.

How about the fact that the Founding Fathers were talking about FLINTLOCKS? Muskets! Breechloaders! Not handguns, automatics, semi-automatics, grenade launchers, or mortars. Where in the fervid imagination of Thomas Jefferson did he ever picture a gun-toting madman filling the 50-pound body of a Newtown first-grader with ELEVEN slugs?

And why – oh why – does every meaningful debate about guns rights I attempt to have with one of the Stepford gun-rights proponents invariably go one of two ways? The first way is to devolve into insults and name-calling, like a less-sophisticated version of a Fox News contributor. Sometimes it just starts out that way – I say something along the lines of “Maybe we need to talk about some form of firearms regulation”, and the well-thought-out response is the ever-popular conservative quip, “You have your head up your ass!” Sometimes these persons will proceed on with misinformation about how many people protected themselves with their trusty weapons (except for the guy just yesterday who put his pistol on his dashboard, which promptly fired and killed his 7-year-old son who was buckling himself into his car seat. The irony of the pistol on the dash (“I thought it was unloaded”) contrasted with the little boy’s safety seat is … awful.) There’s also the fact that most of this so-called info, when checked, is more full of holes than the straw bales surrounding a target on a shooting range. Statistically, “protective” firearms are more useful for shooting babysitters, newspaper carriers, trick-or-treaters, domestic partners, wives, husbands, co-workers, schoolchildren, politicians, people you are mad at, people you don’t like, yourself on purpose, or yourself accidentally, than protection.

The second way that my encounters with gun-rights proponents go is straight to the technical gee-whiz factor. For some unknown reason, guy after guy (and they are ALL guys) seems to think that a bunch of technical bullcrap about the velocity of the slug, the rifling of the barrel, the relative merits of this-or-that firing mechanism, the “rate of delivery” (eeewww), and a veritable host of other details somehow relates back to the argument, BUT IT DOESN’T. These facts relate ONLY to soulless, childless, bloodless technology. This is similar to one of those geeky people who are super-excited to show you some slick feature about your computer that you will never use in a thousand years, when all you want to do is send a message to someone. The difference is, computer misapplication generally does not have fatal consequences.

What is this about? Are they trying to distance themselves from the basic, inarguable fact that “people with guns kill lots of people really fast”? Are their brains so bifurcated that they just block off the road that leads to the human-misery quotient and merrily proceed along the more innocent byway of “guns are cool”? I wish I knew.

Then this Virginia study comes out, about how more handguns (up 73%) meant less crime in Virginia (down 24%) last year. Oh, the gun-rights people are head over heels in love with this. But of all the places on the Net I have gone to kind of get a feel for this guys research technique, I have come up empty. For all the effort I made to get a handle on this guy’s potential confirmation bias, I came up with nada. So for all I know, his “study” might just be another setup bunch of queries, like:

“Select the one that most agrees with your feelings regarding Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare):
A) I hate Obamacare
B) I intensely dislike Obamacare

 

This is what is called a “leading question”. But I would really like to have some insight into his methodology, and I don’t think anybody down South is gonna look into it. (By the way, my esteemed representative Cathy McMorris Turniphead Rodgers is well-known for this kind of useless “questionnaire”.)

So we have ONE study that is far from transparent, that is INTERPRETING something, and may or may not be trustworthy. This does not change anyone’s mind on the fact that WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT GUNS IN THIS COUNTRY. The NRA has battened down the hatches. But let us recall, the NRA is its own entity now. It is a corporation, a brand, a logo on a rear bumper. Its mission is to protect itself, and reason has nothing to do with the equation. Its leaders want to keep their jobs, and they want to feel that they are still  powerful, a force, and at this point, whether they wield that power for social  betterment or detriment is irrelevant. Its members don’t want it to change, either, because change is hard in general, and especially hard for authoritarian, “I’m the boss of you” types who think they are correct on every issue they feel like expounding on. You know, “rules people”. Constitutionalists. People who think the world is like a picture behind a piece of glass: static, unchanging, still. Sorry, rules people. The only unchanging fact of the universe is that everything changes and is always in process.

At this point, everybody on the regulation side wants Obama to do something NOW. But we forget. It is not his job. We still live in a democracy – it is OUR job, all of our jobs.  So write a letter to the editor, sign a bunch of those petitions, talk to your gun owning buddies (although most of them actually already agree that automatic and semi-automatic weapons have no place in civilian hands), and do whatever you can to spare other Americans the horror of Newtown.

Vamanos!

 

THE YEAR’S BEST QUOTES

QUOTE OF  THE YEAR:  Honors go to Mitt Romney for the following peach of a comment! Yaaaaay!

 

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what … who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims. … These are people who pay no income tax. … and so my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
—Romney’s “moocher” video

 

 

RUNNERS-UP, BOTH SERIOUS AND HILARIOUS:

 

“We took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet (in Massachusetts). I went to a number of women’s groups and said, ‘Can you help us find folks?’ and they brought us whole binders full of women.”
—Romney’s second debate

 

“[Republicans] want your vote, but they don’t want you to know their plan. And that’s because all they have to offer is the same prescription they’ve had for the last thirty years. Have a surplus? Try a tax cut. Deficit too high? Try another. Feel a cold coming on? Take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations, and call us in the morning.”
— President Obama

 

‘‘If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.’’

— President Obama, remarks at campaign appearance, Roanoke, Va., July 13

 

“I can’t do that to myself!”
— Clint Eastwood to “President Obama” during his empty-chair stunt at the GOP convention

 

“People ask me all the time how we got four surplus budgets in a row. What new ideas did we bring to Washington? I always give a one-word answer: Arithmetic.”
— Bill Clinton’s convention speech

 

“We’ve given all you people need to know and understand about our financial situation and how we live our life!”
— Ann Romney

 

“Sarah Palin said she could see Russia from Alaska; Mitt Romney talks like he’s only seen Russia by watching Rocky IV.”
— Senator John Kerry

 

“With so much at stake in this election, both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan should go rogue!”
— Sarah Palin

 

“President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob!”
— Rick Santorum

 

“What’s missing from the Romney-Ryan plan for Medicare is Medicare.”
— HHS Sec. Kathleen Sebelius

 

“Back in my day they used Bayer aspirin for contraception. The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn’t that costly.”
— Billionaire Foster Friess

 

“Each and every day that I’ve been a United States senator, I’ve been…in secret meetings with kings and queens.”
— Senator Scott Brown

 

‘‘You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military has changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.’’

— President Obama, third presidential debate, Boca Raton, Fla., Oct. 22

Cribbed from Boston.com

THE UNDEREXAMINED TOPIC OF MEDIA BIAS

Of course, to HAVE a thorough examination of media bias would require the MEDIA to take an incisive, no-holds-barred look at ITSELF – akin to having the weasels producing honest copy on the strengths and weaknesses of the nation’s chicken coops. As perhaps you might imagine, this will not be happening soon.

So how biased IS the media, anyhow? Easy answer: VERY. They are not in the business of enlightenment: they are in BUSINESS. After reading through innumerable prognostications insulting to progressives in particular and anybody with a brain in general from Yahoo News, it occurred to me – hey! These guys are ASSHOLES, and they have an AGENDA. Here I was with my old-fashioned faith in the power of the unbiased media, and whaddya know … I had my head stuffed in the sand, taking the news media at face value, which is NOT the reality.

And television? Don’t get me started. I haven’t have TV for YEARS now, and each time I encounter it anew – in somebody’s house, at the dentist’s, in the tire shop waiting room – I am astounded all over again. First of all, do people even realize how they are being talked down to? How condescending and insulting commercial television has become? I mean, really. Don’t treat me like a child.

And then there is the hypnotism of it all. I recall I went to Universal Studios theme park in the off-season, about ten years ago. There was this line for the dinosaur ride, or whatever it was called. Long, intricate line, rimmed with strap barriers and oscillating back and forth. There were TV’s suspended where everyone in line could see them, but they weren’t on all the time. In fact, they would only come on right when you were at the point where the hoppy canned music started to get a little boring, and the guy in line cross the strap had nothing else to say. Presto! The TV’s came on! They’d play a bunch of exciting, noisy stuff that had to do with other rides and things to do at Universal Studios, and then, right when  you were ready to overload – click. Off. But you were in a different spot in line, standing next to a different person, the music would come back (after obligingly shutting off during the TV part), and there you would be for another span of time. At least until the system that Universal Studios had devised under the direction of research psychologists deemed it was time to give you another jolt of entertainment and keep you quiet for 15 more minutes of frustrating line-waiting.

Commercial TV has learned the same lessons. It would not be exaggerating to say there is more than a little mind control being exercised – when to excite, when to calm, when to crescendo, the whole nine yards. Indeed, television can be a useful tool of control! In fact – perhaps that has become its PURPOSE. Education – a little. Entertainment – yup. Propaganda – Oh, yeah, baby!

DOES MEDIA BIAS REALLY EXIST? HELL YES!
(With credit to Andrew Cline, PhD., Rhetorica.net)

1.   Money bias: News is money. If the news outlet can make money off a story, they’ll run it so people will buy the paper or watch the network. Boring and happy stories don’t sell. And it doesn’t really matter if the story is true or not, because you can fix it later, or just ignore it until the news cycle does its 24-hour turnover.

2.   Time bias: If it hasn’t happened in the last five minutes it is old news, because many Americans have a five-minute attention span. If there isn’t any news, you can make something up, or spin the same story.

3.   Visual bias: Consumers want cool pictures. If there aren’t cool pictures, forget it. You can’t illustrate complicated policy debate, so life-affecting, substance-oriented stories are dumped in favor of cats being rescued from trees with full video coverage.

4.   Bad news bias: Good news is dull, and doesn’t photograph well either. So all we hear about is awful events and awful people – who probably aren’t as bad as the news makes out (see #1)

5.   Narrative bias: The news media cover the news in terms of “stories” that have a beginning, middle, and end. No gray areas, no ambiguity, and not always clarity regarding cause and effect.  A good story requires conflict and resolution. If there isn’t dramatic tension, the story doesn’t sell. Today’s media makes the story more important than the reality, and dramatically enhance conflict.

6.   Status Quo bias: The news media has a vested interest in believing “the system works.” The basic “rightness” of the American way is never questioned. We may hear a lot about Presidential campaigns, but never a word on whether this is actually a pretty stupid way to elect a president.

7.   Fairness bias: A sensible, well-thought-out proposition require the media to dig up the response of some flakey wingnut who hates it, just to provide “balance”. Thereby, it creates the appearance of more contention and disagreement that there actually is. (See #4 and #1.)

Completely asinine counterarguments do not provide balance, but they do give the media providers opportunity to portray some conflict and make some dough while the sun shines. And of course, they aren’t blind to the fact that if the viewing population is kept sufficiently ignorant, they won’t have the acuity or education to perceive something as foolish and will be easy to rile up. Present facts to people? Fuhgeddaboutit! Keep ’em dumb and argumentative!

I have been occasionally refreshed  when I hear a politician baldly dismiss ridiculousness, such as Birther nonsense and disconnected Tea Party blatherings. Does anyone remember that 2009 health-care oriented town hall meeting in Dartmouth, Massachusetts? One of Barney Frank’s constituents asks, “Why are you supporting this Nazi policy?” Frank responded: “On what planet do you spend most of your time?” He then calls her approach “vile, contemptible nonsense.” He closes by saying: “Trying to have a conversation with you would be like arguing with a dining room table.” No attempt at “balance” because her question was RIDICULOUS, not to mention insulting and inflammatory. Fact and reason has to be “balanced” by inflammatory ridiculousness? WHY?

Alan Grayson was also pleasantly refreshing with his comment about the Republican health care alternative -“Don’t get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly.” If the Republicans had done their jobs and put forth a credible health care alternative, there would have been a reason for arguing the veracity of Grayson’s statement. But they didn’t.

8.   Expediency bias: Quick! Quick! Time is money! When you’re owned by people who expect big fat dividends and live-and-die by viewer/readership, speed is of the essence. If the first person a reporter gets on the phone is the absolute worst source for a story, they’ll take it to save time and be first. Better yet, find some snippet that has sales potential and run it totally out of context. Yee-haw!

9.   Glory bias: You think reporters don’t have egos? Oh please. Some feel they are players and have power and are going to be competitive and nasty and self-promoting. The tendency is to report stuff that makes them look good, and in a stirring, risk-taking, martial way. So they highlight the stories that are going to feed their own images. Think Geraldo Rivera and Cooper Anderson and all those reporters hanging on to trees during hurricanes.

Ah yes. Media. It ain’t what it used to be back in the day of Walter Cronkite. And yet, ironically, the closest thing we have to media that simply reports, as opposed to attempting to sway, is NPR! Yes, that very National Public Radio that the Repubs are constantly, relentlessly, trying to rub out.

You go, guys. Totally proving the point: some authoritarians would love to control the national dialog, have the purchasing power to do it, and are in fact, diligently working at it even as we speak. Example: Portland is a liberal town, and so is Seattle. Clear Channel Radio ran liberal programming on ONE station in each of those towns. Then Obama won his second term. Within DAYS, both of those stations had been issued new programming (sports talk and classical), and people had been fired. Excuse: not enough listeners.

WHAT? Bald-faced lie alert!

And THIS is the face of today’s media. Watch out what you are swallowing: it may be harmful to your mental health.