THE DANGER OF BELIEVING PROPAGANDA

It is getting so that the news media embarrasses itself every day. How do I know? Instead of believing those people I just wait for the truth to come out. Even when the truth is often something else, they must have their narrative. So they can’t be trusted.

Why is this a problem? Lot of us rely too much on too few news sources. Here is an example, an excerpt from a comment (Check out the comment and my response).

Doug
My point, Tom, is a matter of trust and confidence that a news source is credible. I watch CNN largely because I feel they are credible, as I would the three major network news sources. They have a vested interest in getting the reporting of a story as correct as possible. I don’t select a liberal bias and conservative bias then make my own decision. My quest is for accuracy as as close to the facts as possible from a single source. I firmly believe this idea of a “liberal media” is simply sour grapes when the media reports the “not good” about a politician as having greater news value than the positive side the politician prefers. (from here)

Since most of us (me included) would rather do something besides digesting the news, it would be great if one single news source could be trusted. However, imagine what would happen if there was such a source. Imagine the influence the folks who owned that news business would weld. How long would it be before the owners succumbed to the temptation to abuse that power?

Most of us have a low threshold for temptation, and the news media is no exception. Consider the story insanitybytes22 writes about here, About Those Covington Catholic Boys…. It is a silly thing. Apparently, the news media misrepresented some high school kids as racists just because some of them were wearing MAGA hats.

Of course, some of them are trying to bury their earlier coverage. Here is what Google shows for an earlier version of the CNN story.

Teens in Make America Great Again hats taunted a Native American …

https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/19/us/teens-mock-native-elder-trnd/index.html
Jan 20, 2019 – A crowd of teenagers surrounded a Native American elder and other activists and mocked them after Friday’s Indigenous Peoples March at the Lincoln …You visited this page on 1/21/19.

The link is the same, but the story has been retitled and rewritten.

Anyway, if you want to see how irresponsible the news media can be, check out ‘s post, About Those Covington Catholic Boys…. It goes to show that the guys with the “scoop” don’t necessarily have the correct version of events.

165 thoughts on “THE DANGER OF BELIEVING PROPAGANDA

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  1. The media has gone beyond lying to outright sabotage to the country. They should be held responsible for the riots and damage this continued nonsense is sure to cause.

    Another doozy too is the Buzzfeed story about Trump directing Cohen to lie to congress. Turns out that was a big fat lie too yet CNN glorified in it for two straight days.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Where/who, of an credibility, has indicated the Buzzfeed story was false? At best (or worst) Mueller has indicated the story is not totally “accurate”. Nothing about “completely false”, “totally inaccurate”, “completely untrue”…. you have an inside connection to have reached your conclusion?

      My takeaway of this, given there’s no absolute confirmation one way or the other… yet… it would certainly follow the modus operandi of everything that’s being revealed so far, hence the story is very possibly true or has some element of truth. But I certainly am not making “whoppee” over it. More like.. “it wouldn’t surprise me in the least.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “Nothing about “completely false”, “totally inaccurate”, “completely untrue”…. (snip)hence the story is very possibly true or has some element of truth.”

        The story of Mikey and the pop rocks is not totally inaccurate. There was perhaps some element of truth…he did occasionally eat pop rocks, and he sometimes drink soda.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s completely irresponsible for BF to publish a story like that, even more so because it wouldn’t surprise you if it was true. They know that’s what their readers desperately want to believe and that’s why they wrote it.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. So, what you’re suggesting is that this is a typical example of the Conservative, “But it’s so obvious!” excuse? It’s being reported that Mueller is investigating the NRA for possible complicity in the Russian complicity in a possible Trump complicity… yada, yada. I suppose we can assume all this is a lie… because “it’s so obvious” that it is.

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          1. No, i’ts a point of Buzzfeed’s outrageous behavior in publishing a false story about the President which provoked even Team Mueller to break precedent and denounce. Not one other “real” news outfit has been able to corroborate it (and you know the NYT, CNN etc…have tried like crazy to) and all BF has is an anonymous source they refuse to reveal. Sorry this doesn’t come close to passing off as legit.

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          2. And you are worried about fake news when you yourself are ignoring someone proving or disproving to get to the truth? If BF screwed up that’s on them and a black eye for the media in general. No one has yet determined this BF report is completely fake or not.. but Mueller indicated “not completely accurate”. If you wanna run with that inconclusive story to formulate your opinions, go for it.
            I do know this much… some media outlets do screw up.. most publish an apology correction. I consider that an honest mistake, largely done by humans, that so far have not always been perfect. Also.. BF, like the others, are in business to make money, not dump politicians with fraudulent stories. They loose their credible reputation, they loose revenue. So there’s an impetus for some level of honest reporting. I would wait until the story is proved or disproved. If I went with the “It’s so obvious” conclusion I would have gone with my first impulse… yep, sounds pretty much this would be true given what’s been true so far. But I’ll wait.

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  2. A better tittle for this post might be “Don’t Trust YOUR OWN Propaganda”. It’s important to realize that this story was basically driven by social media rather than mainstream news.

    Social media for us is mainly just way that my wife and I keep up with our friends and relatives. It is innocuous enough at that, but it does have a dark side. When I first saw this on social media, I figured that there was something fishy about it. Here’s a column by David Brooks that puts it in some perspective:

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    1. @tsalmon

      So the news media now just echos the social media? That’s your excuse?

      The news media is supposed to be skeptical. Should be second nature. Instead, they just piled on, confirming a lie.

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          1. I’m trying to understand the logic here, Tom. You are suggesting that someone was born… then grew up to an adult.. and decided one day that “big government” was a good idea. So somewhere there are people sitting around promoting “big government” as a political ideal. They are sitting around brainstorming ways to make government bigger… for the sake of big. And that’s a Conservative criticism of liberals? Kinda goes along with “liberals want open borders”.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. @Doug

            Liberal Democrats always advocate government as the solution. When more government becomes the solution for every problem, government gets bigger. Duh!

            Liberal Democrats don’t have any proposals for limiting immigration that amount to anything. All they do is fight whatever Conservatives propose. So it logical to assume Liberal Democrats want open borders.

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          3. “If you think the government can run as much as you want it to run, it had better be simple, but it ain,t.”

            And exactly how much do you imagine that I want government to run? You mean like passing new libel laws so that government can run our speech and the press? No new “big govmint” there?

            Funny, how when you see a problem, you jump right to the government to solve it, but when you see liberals do it, it’s “big government”. 😏

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          4. @tsalmon

            It like yelling fire in a crowded theatre. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if there isn’t any fire nobody is suppose to do that. It is spreading a dangerous falsehood. Is it an easy problem to solve? No. That is why we get the new version, bomb threats, all the time. Not easy to do anything about it.

            Now we have agitators, including many in the news media, spreading falsehoods through the social media and the news. They put those kids in danger with a lie. That makes it a government problem.

            Liked by 1 person

          5. Tom,

            Apparently, you’ve never read about the SCOTUS’s “clear and present danger” rule on public safety verses free speech, you big government liberal you.🤬

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          6. “And you were smart enough to be an officer in the Space Force and you reach conclusions like that.. and accept them?”

            @Doug

            I feel your frustration. Tom is stubbornly, even blindly, ideological, but I can assure you that he is ridiculously smart and extremely hard working. I think you know this already, but Tom also absolutely believes everything he writes. He has more integrity than just about anyone that I have ever known. I also sense the same from you.

            Sorry to interject, but we are all equally brother Americans here, only Tom and I are more equal here than others.😉

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          7. @tsalmon

            Notice my reply to Doug. Doug made me the subject. I am not the topic. The topic is an aspect of ethical behavior.

            I could talk about how smart I am, and demand status as authority because of that. Wouldn’t work. Not that smart.

            I could talk about how wise I am. I could display my great and grand knowledge of scripture and demand acceptance of my words in God’s name. Since that wouldn’t be humble, it could not be wise.

            So there is not much point in posing as some kind of powerful authority. In fact, I have to settle for what any serious authority does, make the best arguments I can with respect to what I believe to be true. Instead of trying to make someone the issue, may I suggest that you and Doug try that too?

            Liked by 1 person

          8. Tom,

            I respect that as long as it’s mutual. Casting someone as part of an enemy tribe that they don’t actually claim allegiance to is a form of identity politics that makes it personal too, don’t you think?

            There is also a caveat. When the topic is rocket science, or chemistry, or whatever you used to do before you retired, it’s fair to assume some subject matter expertise without your really making it about you.

            That said, my impression of Doug is that his style of debate is good natured, even self deprecatingly humorous. That’s why I enjoy your debates with him so much. You seem to bring out the best in each other. Something that I fear you and I don’t always do.

            Liked by 1 person

          9. @tsalmon

            Don’t try to get anyone to believe something on this blog just on my say so.

            That tribal thing is your fetish. All I am saying is that you have in fact picked a side. You cannot eat the cake and have it too.

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          10. “That tribal thing is your fetish. All I am saying is that you have in fact picked a side. You cannot eat the cake and have it too.”

            Now how can it only be my fetish if you’re so consumed by “sides”. Ok then, I pick the side of a God of love. I pick the human tribe (although apparently we’re letting in dogs as well). I also choose the American constitutional tribe in so much as the American ideals and processes that the Constitution manifests.

            Apparently, however, you have chosen to be in the Trump tribe and what and embarrassing membership that must be to choose. A tribe lead by a pathological liar, a consummate fraud and a purveyor of vice as virtue. I don’t even think Trump likes dogs. 😇

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          11. @tsalmon

            A political party that stands for love? How? By destroying those who disagree with what it calls “love”, like a rabid support abortion “rights” and outright destruction of those who stand against it?

            Am I exaggerating? Look at what the news media did and is still doing to those boys just because they wear MAGA hats, are pro-life Catholics, white, and male.

            I could write this about about you.

            I feel your frustration. Tom is stubbornly, even blindly, ideological, but I can assure you that he is ridiculously smart and extremely hard working. I think you know this already, but Tom also absolutely believes everything he writes. He has more integrity than just about anyone that I have ever known.

            But it is not about you or me. The truth is not you or me. It is something God creates, and we are suppose to seek. A political party that tries to become God instead of protecting our right to seek God tries to block us from the Truth.

            No mere man can be our savior. We cannot be trusted. That’s why it is foolish to give politicians more power than absolutely necessary. History has shown time and time again we will abuse power.

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          12. Not seeing a lot of love from the liberal tribe.
            Whoopie Goldberg did recently have a moment of clarity on the View.
            “So many people admitted they made snap judgments before all these other facts came in. But is it that we just instantly say that’s what it is based on what we see in the moment and then have to walk stuff back when it turns out we’re wrong? Why is that? Why do we keep making the same mistake?”
            She recognizes the problem.
            Her coworker, Joy, didn’t miss a beat when she responded, “Because we’re desperate to get Trump out of office”.

            There you have it. Whatever it takes.
            I think better of Whoopie for asking this very important question. I couldn’t think much less of Joy (she’s in the Kathy Griffin category…as a person who brings negative value to the world).

            Liked by 1 person

          13. “A political party that stands for love? How? By destroying those who disagree with what it calls “love”, like a rabid support abortion ‘rights’ and outright destruction of those who stand against it?”

            I don’t think you’re getting this brother. I don’t feel the need to defend that or any other tribe. I think that there is something inherently unchristian about blind allegiance to a prolifical party, placing such allegiance above the love that is God and that God commands. Everything that you proclaim here is a consummate blind tribal fealty to the Republican tribe, a tribe whose leader who constantly lies, a leader who worships the god of greed, who proclaims the virtues of selfishness, pettiness and all consuming hatred. If Christianity was about such closed tribal fetishism rather than open pluralistic love, we would just be an obscure Jewish sect, if Chistians existed at all.

            It sounds like there was plenty of such tribalism and internecine posturing to go around in this nothing news story. Peacocks do less preening and puffing up in their male dominance displays than all sides were showing at this event. (Given that I worship as a Catholic, I’m ashamed and sad that a Catholic school allowed children to be put in the middle of such nonsense). You think there is black and while innocence and guilt here, but the guilt is the infection of hateful pride is as old as Adam and Eve, as Cain and Able, as the obstinate tribalism that crucified Christ.

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          14. @tsalmon

            I joined the Republican Party because political parties nominate candidates for public office, and I wanted to help the best Republicans get nominated. Will I be held responsible for that decision on Judgement Day? Yes, but I hope God will look favorably on that decision.

            Do you have to defend your choices from me? No, you can proclaim your good intentions and attack and attack, but good intentions are not enough. When you make foolish choices and vote for candidates who are obsessed with identity politics, it is just absurd to excuse yourself by disowning tribalism.

            Your hatred of Trump doesn’t even make sense. Democrats have investigated him for years, and you still don’t have anything except an endless supply of venom. Where is the love?

            With respect to respect to the Covington Catholic High kids, you are blaming the victims. Shame on you. The boys went to a pro-life demonstration. The people attending that were perfectly safe. Those boys could have been accosted by liars and the news media anywhere. And yes, it is black and white, innocence and guilt.

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          15. Ohh.. don’t get into the Covington kids here, Tom. Your perceptions of that are entirely misguided (nothing new there.. cheap shot.. boom!).
            I’ve spent way too much time trying to educate and enlighten IB and her followers on this.. I’m getting tired.

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          16. “Not seeing a lot of love from the liberal tribe.
            Whoopie Goldberg did recently have a moment of clarity on the View.”

            @Liz

            Can’t you see how this polarizing monster shaming contest is a loser for your side? Whoopie does not lead liberals or Democrats or African Americans, or anybody. Whereas the actual leader of your ridiculous brand is Trump and you by affiliation are his follower.

            It is now undisputed that Trump was desperately working to win Putin’s approval for a Moscow Trump Tower throughout the primaries and into the general election possibly right up until Trump surprised himself and won the general election. It would have been one of Trump’s most lucrative ventures ever and he needed Russian approval and financing to make it happen, which means he needed Putin. He also needed sanctions lifted.

            All the while that Trump was singing Putin’s praises and acting as an apologist for Russian aggression, he was lying to you and to all the American voters about his self serving ulterior motives. Because Putin knew Trump was lying, but the American people didn’t, Trump was and is the counterintelligence definition of being compromised by an adversarial foreign power. You supported Rubio and Tom supported Cruz. Do you think Republicans would have chosen Trump and voters would have elected him, had you and they known he was essentially acting as a foreign agent and compromised himself by covering it up?

            It is now undisputed that the Republican Trump campaign, through its Chairman colluded with Putin connected oligarchs by providing confidential proprietary Republican polling data to the Russians. The only possible reason for providing such data is so that Russia could specifically target with propaganda the key states where Trump won the election by only tens of thousands of votes.

            This is your Republican tribe. This is your leader. This is how they win. And you want to demonize
            Whoopie? Respectfully, you and Tom may want to clean up your own fetid house before you scream at the neighbors to mow the their lawn.

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          17. Tom,

            Can’t you see the awkward irony of your using “identity politics” as a shibboleth for promoting your own identity politics?

            Because I may vote for a Muslim, I am not proclaiming affiliation as a Muslim (not that there is anything wrong with that). Because I voted for a black man, I don’t claim personal blackness. Because I voted for a woman I don’t claim to be transgender. Even by claiming to be a Christian, I’m not proclaiming my tribe, but instead pronouncing a belief in a love that transcends the petty tribalism of self involved identity politics.

            School officials allowing Catholic white boys to wear such tribal MAGA hats and placing them in the middle of a hate fest for competing tribal war chants is an abrogation of our faith and of thoee Catholic officials’ responsibility to those children. Because Catholic Christians promote the sanctity of life does not mean we are against civil rights or against indigenous rights or immigrant’s rights, or for or against the numerous outrageous hate filled nonsense that the Trump Party stands for these days. Catholic children should not have been allowed by their chaperons to present such affiliations for all Catholics. I am indeed ashamed that a Catholic School didn’t act with more virtuous Christian discretion. (BTW, by trying to shame me, you are not making it about me? Ya, sure).

            As for Trump’s and the Trump campaign’s supposed innocence of Russian compromise, maybe you’ve been hiding in you your own news silo too long but that ship has sailed. See my comment to Liz.

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          18. I cannot believe the banging away I’ve been doing over at IB’s blog in trying to convey exactly that Covington event message you said here, Tony. Seems Conservatives just want this to be all about how unfair that people assign the MAGA hat as anything confrontational about Trump… and that it’s all a grand violation of free speech. Frustrating as hell.

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          19. @tsalmon

            Tribal MAGA hats!😱😈

            Worn by Catholics!

            Let’s see. What else is so tribal it offends someone? Clerical outfits. Police and military uniforms. The dress we associate with various countries/cultures. Male/female specific garb. National flags and symbols. Religious symbols. Because people are so easily offended, lots of things!

            Is it not wonderful? Look at all the things busybodies still have yet to ban.

            Pro-life is the official position of the Catholic Church. You are voting against it.

            MAGA stands for Make America Great Again. That is too controversial for you, and you don’t think you are tribal? Weird!

            I’m not proclaiming my tribe, but instead pronouncing a belief in a love that transcends the petty tribalism of self involved identity politics.

            Seriously?

            Ŷou attacked the president. You do it all the time. Without any evidence, you assert a bunch of nonsense as facts, and anyone who disagrees is tribal? But you are not?

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          20. I never said I wasn’t contributing in some meager form (wish it were much more actually).. to the current nationwide tribalism, Tom. But here’s the thing… definition time…

            DEROGATORY…
            the behavior and attitudes that stem from strong loyalty to one’s own tribe or social group.

            Now.. the Trump Tribe are totally devoted to Trump. Since I am Republican, hence to some degree a Conservative, and I am anti-Trump, the counter tribe to the Trump Tribe would be.. what.. Liberal Tribe? I’m not a liberal. Maybe.. Anti-Trump Tribe? I personally hold to no center line loyalty.. and I am quite willing to promote compromise. So maybe I feel left out of the rank-and-file Anti-Trump Tribe, being more a member of a tribal faction perhaps. I just want the man out of office for his pure incompetence and behavioral shortcomings. What he has or has not accomplished thus far is simply the result of the negative elements I adhere to. The state of the country is a result of the elements that define my opinion of him.

            Anyway.. who said anything about banning clothing of any kind? The Germans don’t like swastikas being displayed to the point it’s illegal. Here.. well.. a swastikia is freedom of speech but it’s generally not a good thing to stand next to one being displayed.. right?

            You’re groping, sir. (not in an consensual way, of course)

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          21. Ya Doug, Trump’s MAGA self identifies with so much selfishness. Because hatred of immigrants is the centerpiece message of Trump’s MAGA campaign, you know keeping out Catholic and Muslim refugees, a MAGA hat affiliated those Catholic boys with identity group policies that would horrify Catholic Church elders, and that is antithetical to both Catholic Christian and Christian catholic theology.

            Do you think that those children even knew what that symbol meant that they were representing? I doubt it. They were too young to know better, but that is no excuse for their chaperones.

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          22. Oh those kids were old enough to know what the hat meant.. but we were that age once and we always thought we were entitled to do what we wanted and screw the safety part of it all the adults worried about. 🙂

            In fact, I posted this “over there” just yesterday…

            Story #1 –
            Back during the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago.. I was 17… typical high school junior. Me and some like-minded buddies were watching TV and the Mayor Daley Chicago Police thugs beating on demonstrators in Grant Park. Stuff you would never see today without federal convictions galore. We wanted to go downtown there.. and I recall asking my folks… “No way, young man! I don’t care what side you favor… that’s no place for kids.” mother declared.

            That’s what parents do… not ok them to wear political statements.

            Story #2 –
            Oh.. another short story… a couple years before dad had put up one of those mast pipe flag poles from Sears in the front yard. We started recognizing the patriotic holidays putting up the flag.. but then I got this patriotic thing about putting up the flag each day. I was an idealistic young republican my-country-right-or-wrong guy in those days; pro war if the government said we should be. Well, after a time the daily flag thing turned out being a bit of a nuisance job.. putting it up and taking it down each day, in spite of the fact I did enjoy seeing it flying in front of the house.
            During that time.. and the subsequent “Days of Rage” across the nation.. mother told me one day.. better not put up the flag for a while. “Why?”, I asked. “Well.. just to be a bit safe since we don’t know where all this protest stuff if going to end up.”
            I was a bit taken aback on that. We lived in a strong middle class, all white section of the city.. light years away from the downtown political head bashing, civil rights violence, and hippie anti-war demonstrations.
            I was seldom defiant to my mother; I wasn’t any sort of the typical rebellious teenager defying authority. “That’s not right, mom.” I said, as I grabbed the flag as I went heading off to school.. thinking I was something akin to Mel Gibson leading the charge in “The Patriot”… and raised it up the pole… and went to school. At the end of the day when I got home.. “the flag was still there”… and the house was intact.

            Liked by 1 person

          23. @Doug

            It is a PRO-LIFE demonstration. DC is crawling with police. Good people. Administration officials make speeches to the attendees.

            No one physically attacked the boys. Some “religious” folks called them names. Some “Indian” beat a drum making nuisance of himself, and the news media took his lies seriously.

            We don’t have to go to a demonstration to encounter liars.

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          24. Good analogies Doug. Thank God, they did not have social media to record all the stupid things I did in my youth. The permanent public shaming that we can inflict even on the adventures of coming of age make Middle Age pillory and pranger stocks seem benign by comparison. We definitely grew up at the right time and place in the world.

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          25. Well, Tony.. in some way we.. our generation.. has created this crap we are now swimming in. We can accept the blame or the credit.. it’s all relative (and I never liked my ex-wife’s relatives!). Maybe we were spoiled as kids… maybe not. But even in all the confusion in the world around us in that era (which still was far worse than now).. we still could come home at the end of the day to some balance… and love. I firmly believe “Gilligan’s Island” was a gift from God.

            Liked by 1 person

          26. @Doug

            I firmly believe “Gilligan’s Island” was a gift from God.

            Sort of, I guess. God gave us the gift of laughter. When we are wise we laugh with each other at our pretentions. When we are not wise, we laugh at others.

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          27. Well, there’s a lot here and I’m not sure how it’s worth the time to address everything. Also, I’m beginning to get confused on the reply feature with the long thread…..
            But let’s just take this bit for now:

            “Whoopie does not lead liberals or Democrats or African Americans, or anybody.”
            and at the end:
            ”This is your Republican tribe. This is your leader. This is how they win. And you want to demonize Whoopie?”

            I actually paid Whoopie a compliment.
            I said I thought better of her (though not Joy, her coworker, whom I’d place in the same category as Kathy Griffin).
            Whoopie’s commentary showed that she is a reasonable person, with critical reasoning skills. A rare trait on any side, but particularly the left these days.
            While Whoopie herself is not a party leader, she did state something that is: The actual topic for this thread.

            ”Can’t you see how this polarizing monster shaming contest is a loser for your side?”
            You misrepresented what I stated (I doubt it was intentional, but it illustrates the point Whoopie was making, ironically enough), followed by…quite a polemic.
            Maybe I’ll add more later regarding the “hate” (unfounded), “racism” (unfounded), and “foreign agent” assertions (also unfounded).

            Liked by 1 person

          28. @Liz

            You are quite right. I used the wrong liberal as representative of the opposing tribe as the object of your scorn. Apologies for the mistake.

            But the point is the same. Trump is the leader of the Republican Party. If he lies, cheats, or is hides his foreign conflicts of interest, then that reflects on every Republican. What someone says on The Veiw, on the other hand, means what? That you better not join The View?

            I think it was Woody Allen who said the he would never join a club that would have him as a member. I think that’s sound advice, but maybe for the opposite reasons. The Democrats don’t represent all my views on everything. But who even knows what a “conservative” is nowadays, if Trump is actually their leader? Certainly not for efficient government, not blowing up the deficit or crony capitalism. Now that the evidence is public knowledge, Trump has already admitted that he lied about his Moscow conflicts. Manafort’s lawyers accidentally let the cat out of the bag on the Trump campaign’s Russia collusion, and Rudy has to retool his story by the minute. Is it really going to surprise you to find out that Trump has bumbled his way into being the “Charlie Chaplin goes to Russia” remake of the Manchurian Candidate? Why would anyone want to be affiliated with that?

            In so far as Democrats promote extremist pisitions like pure Socialism, abortion as a sacrament, or any number of other extremist positions, I think I’ll pass on that as well. Give me tribal independence or give me death. 😁

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          29. “Nice job of demonizing the opposition Mr. Nontribal Man.”

            Ha! Who is my opposition? I’m for love remember?

            Is this another one of your “I know you are but what am I” taunts? It’s good that we can be young boys again. But if you don’t quit picking on me I’m telling Mom up in Heaven. Because you were the older brother, she generally took my side. 😉

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          30. “Let’s see. What else is so tribal it offends someone? Clerical outfits. Police and military uniforms. The dress we associate with various countries/cultures. Male/female specific garb. National flags and symbols. Religious symbols. Because people are so easily offended, lots of things!
            Is it not wonderful? Look at all the things busybodies still have yet to ban.”

            I know nuance is not your forte brother, but are you really again only one step away from calling anyone who disagrees with you a NAZI and claiming that they are all about to throw us into concentration camps?

            I’m not the one here who proposed that the government use libel laws to legally ban speech that I disapprove of – uh, that would be you.

            I think that you may be conflating the constitutional right to “disapprove of speech” with the right to say any stupid hateful thing that you want without anyone legally banning you. The right to speak disapprovingly is not “banning speech”. If you you can find somewhere that I said anyone’s speech, including MAGA hat wearing children, should be legally banned, I’ll eat my electronic words. In my mere opinion, as a practicing Catholic, Catholic school boys should not be representing the Catholic faith with MAGA hats, but when my opinion starts amounting to legal bans, MAGA hats are not where I plan to start using my super powers.

            As for abortion, I don’t think either political party genuinely reflects my views on this very difficult and emotional topic. Indeed, I’m not even certain of my views on every aspect of telling women what they can and cannot do with their bodies based only upon nothing more than my religious opinions on religious metaphysical philosophy. And like many controversies from birth control to gay rights, even the views of the Catholic Communion are far from unanimous. But I guess you will assign me any extreme position that you want because that is how you roll these days.🙄

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          31. @tsalmon

            Slander and libel are not constitutionally protected. The courts have give the news media lots of leeway, presuming an absence of malice. The news media detests Trump so much it is obvious that explains their reckless disregard for the truth.

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          32. I am force-fed reading all your posts, Tom. There’s some quirk in my email client the gets your posts twice, in two places. Kinda in-my-face all the time.

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          33. “Funny thing is I don’t think I ever tattled. By the time the fight was over Mom knew everything anyway.”

            Not me, I tattled like crazy when you and John wouldn’t let me go with you. That why Mom dubbed me “little be too”. You’re right though – like many Mothers, the woman had eyes in the back of her head.

            Liked by 1 person

          34. State tort laws of slander, libel, defamation, innuendo, false light, invasion of privacy, truth and other defenses, 1st Amendment constitutional press rights, speech rights, 14th Amendment application to states, National Security exemptions, clear and present danger requirements, the SCOTUS ”strict scrutiny” and “substantial state interest” balancing tests, and on and on and on filling whole sections of law libraries. Suffice it to say that, from a legal standpoint, this is far more complex than you imagine, but legality really the issue?

            If lying and breathless biased reporting is really the issue, then Fox News has become a virtual propaganda arm of the Executive Branch, although there are a few Fox News reporters that still maintain some journalistic credibility. I suppose no one is unbiased but I think that to say the same is true for CNN or MSNBC, stinks of a false equivalency. Just my opinion though.

            Trump has played the “fake news” mantra in such a way that, since the beginning, he has played media for amazing amount of air time and attention, making news networks rich and relaunching the falling stars of the dying print media.

            Social media, the real driver of the story in question, is a whole new animal because it is able to focus advertising dollars, including political advertising and pure propaganda, like a laser directly at the target market like nothing else before. We all self select into our own bubble of information, enforcing confirmation biases and polarizing us even further. Why would such media ever self regulate for truth and credibility as we expect other media publishers to do when the business model of endless screaming outrage is so lucrative and so emotionally satisfying to its happy clients and frothing users? At first outraged liberals got to vent their spleens onto the seemingly smug faced, MAGA hat wearing apparent epitome of the Trumpian youth corps. When that seemed to fall apart,, outraged conservatives got to vent their spleens in defense of this poor innocent child nearly torn to pieces by the pitchforks of diverse brown radicals and virtue signaling white elites.

            It all reminds me of that gruesome scene from Gladiator where, after an unshielded Russel Crow commits total murderous mayhem on six armor clad opponents completely decapitating the last one, he throws his bloody sword at the frenzied crowd, and shouts, “Are you not entertained. Are you not entertained”.

            Are we not entertained here?

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          35. I’m getting confused with the replies so this is my last post on this long thread, but I wanted to address a couple of points more:

            ”It is now undisputed that Trump was desperately working to win Putin’s approval for a Moscow Trump Tower throughout the primaries and into the general election possibly right up until Trump surprised himself and won the general election. It would have been one of Trump’s most lucrative ventures ever and he needed Russian approval and financing to make it happen, which means he needed Putin. He also needed sanctions lifted.

            The above is an example of propaganda.
            If he was so desperate to build why didn’t he ever build when just about every other major hotel chain in the world had already done so? Hilton has five hotels in Moscow, wow they must really have Putin on speed dial! Trump never actually built anything in Moscow. So when he said “I don’t have any deals in Russia,” he was correct. His name is, however, on hotels throughout much of the rest of the world to include U.A.E., Turkey, Indonesia and Azerbaijan…wait a minute…sure he isn’t a Muslim foreign agent? but he’s a racist Nazi!! how can this be? But he’s in Russia’s pocket and has never built there…all part of his maniacal plan of course). To continue…

            There is no evidence whatsoever that Putin was standing in the way of Trump Tower in Moscow. What was standing in the way was a developer willing to do it. The only thing he was selling was his name…he was looking for a licensing agreement from someone who wanted to pay him for his name. That’s it. And since he has something on order of 55 or so licensing agreements (I’m not going to look up the actual number but there are “Trump towers” around the world…same sort of agreement) I doubt this particular one would be more lucrative than any of the others…what reason is there to believe that, particularly when the Russian economy hit the toilet in 2014?
            Furthermore sanctions imposed in 2014 were against individuals, financial institutions, energy and defense and related sectors. So Trump didn’t “need to lift the sanctions”.

            Now let’s consider what has happened since Trump became president: More sanctions and drilling. Oil is at 1.89 a gallon now…not good for the Russian economy. There’s nothing Trump has done to make anyone believe he is friends with Russia. Leaving Syria is a smart move for us…staying to attempt regime change a catastrophically stupid one, as has been proven elsewhere again and again. But people are so anti-Trump they’d rather place our soldiers in harms way needlessly and stare down a potential WWIII situation than admit Trump is right. I’ll state now that leaving Syria was the number one reason (out of a vast vast number of reasons) I wanted Trump to defeat Hillary. I am ecstatic we are leaving.

            ”All the while that Trump was singing Putin’s praises and acting as an apologist for Russian aggression, he was lying to you and to all the American voters about his self serving ulterior motives. Because Putin knew Trump was lying, but the American people didn’t, Trump was and is the counterintelligence definition of being compromised by an adversarial foreign power. You supported Rubio and Tom supported Cruz. Do you think Republicans would have chosen Trump and voters would have elected him, had you and they known he was essentially acting as a foreign agent and compromised himself by covering it up?
            It is now undisputed that the Republican Trump campaign, through its Chairman colluded with Putin connected oligarchs by providing confidential proprietary Republican polling data to the Russians. The only possible reason for providing such data is so that Russia could specifically target with propaganda the key states where Trump won the election by only tens of thousands of votes.”

            During the 2016 election year I was inundated 24/7 with pro liberal propaganda. I’d turn on the computer to an image of Hillary with a halo over her head, and Trump looking like he’s constipated and about to beat a child. Every news network was the anti-Trump all the time channel (except FOX, and btw, I don’t watch FOX). Sharing polling data is obviously a widespread practice. Every time I get a commercial or email it’s because I’m on someone’s list. And I’m supposed to be het up that a campaign advisor who was also the advisor for Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Bob Dole, shared polling data as though it were classified intelligence and this all makes Trump a foreign agent.
            Hillary had over twice the funding from super PACs.
            https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/2016-election/campaign-finance/
            We already know in 2016 almost 22 billion dollars was contributed to campaigns from foreign connected PACs. That’s 22 billion dollars in foreign money all designed to influence our election process via super PACs. But, no way that would involve the exchange of any polling data, eh?

            Liked by 1 person

          36. Heh, a couple of mistakes above….1.89 for a gallon of gas, not oil
            And I was off by some zeros on the foreign connected PACs, it’s 22 million.

            Liked by 1 person

          37. @Liz

            Sorry, I had already moved on and did not see your last long post until just now. Although I appreciate the time that you put into your post, it is mostly what we lawyers would call a giant smoke screen designed to obscure what is staring us right in the face.

            First of all, comparing Trump’s real estate schemes to anything that Hyatt or Hilton does is laughable. It’s apples and oranges as to business models, financing desperation, transparency, clientele and the need for Putin’s
            approval. In the end, like Watergate, this will ultimate become more and more clear as investigators who have followed the money lay out that complex web of deceit. For now, what is undisputed is clear enough to draw some obvious conclusions.

            So rather than go point by point, let’s just take the truth that is undisputed and that shines through all of Trump’s smoke and mirrors. (1) Didn’t Trump continuously lie about his dealings in Russia throughout the campaign while he was all the while aggressively pursuing the exact business dealings he was lying about, (2) would those lies, were they known at the time, conclusively have effected voting in the primaries and the general election, and finally, (3) didn’t such lying and covering the lying up by definition make Trump compromised by Putin?

            The answers to all those questions is a definitive, indisputable “yes”.

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          38. @tsalmon

            It is undisputed because of what? You want Trump to be guilty?

            All you are doing is making unsubstantiated assertions. That is all you have. Otherwise, Trump would already have been thrown out of office.

            If people like you held Democrats to the same standards you hold Trump, H. Clinton would be serving time. Instead, we have the FBI rousting people out of their beds and hounding them into bankruptcy for process crimes. As a lawyer, you ought to be ashamed, but here you supporting such abuses.

            It is called a double standard, and it is the very definition of hypocrisy.

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          39. Why is it that Conservatives (like yourself) constantly and consistently try to compare Trump’s alleged crimes with that of the Clintons or even Obama? There is no comparison for many many reasons.. apples to oranges. The first and foremost.. Trump is President.. running the most powerful country in the world in the most powerful position in the world. Clinton and Obama are not. The second item… whatever alleged “crimes” by the Clintons or Obama don’t even compare to the widespread corruption and illegal activity of so many Trump operatives, allegedly in the name of Trump, with Trump’s full knowledge. Does anyone truly believe that all these people surrounding Trump were doing all their misdeeds and Trump had no knowledge? Makes Trump out to be a true buffoon (well, we know that already). As for who has allegedly profited more in real money/assets from their misdeeds, Trump again far surpasses the dollar amounts that might be assigned to the Clintons and/or Obama.
            The third non-comparison… the FBI investigated Clinton and Obama and found nothing to press forward. Now.. if Conservatives want to believe the republican management in the DOJ and FBI are corrupt political turncoats and are bias toward Clinton/Obama to have swayed justice one way or the other.. then why didn’t the Republican Congress do any investigations?

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          40. @Doug

            It is quite obvious the Obama Justice Dept. and FBI was partisan.

            1. The head of the Justice Dept. met B. Clinton on airport ramp. Thereafter, Comey assumed, inappropriately, the authority to decide whether to prosecute H. Clinton.
            2. Comey almost comically detailed all the evidence that H. Clinton had had a server with classified emails on it and then said no one would prosecute.
            3. For no particular reason, the FBI gave numerous associates of H.Clinton immunity from prosecution.
            4. Emails indicated the profound biases FBI agents. Many of these people have been fired.
            5. The DOJ/FBI used the Steele dossier to get warrants to spy on Trump’s even though they knew the dossier was not trustworthy, and they illegally withheld that information from the judge.

            And that’s just off the top of my tiny little head.

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          41. Well, as you always ask me when I lament about Trump’s alleged misdeeds.. where’s the proof? I know, I know.. it’s the old “It’s so obvious” defense.

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          42. @Doug

            Everything I mentioned is uncontested public knowledge. Google will retrieve a video of Comey’s speech in a snap.

            Comey did not prosecute Clinton because she was a presidential candidate. Trump is president, and he is the subject of a witch hunt. That is a blatant double standard. It is hypocritical.

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          43. Ok, Tom.. let’s entertain this for a moment.. Both Clintons get investigated for everything from Lewenski to Benghazi to the real estate fiasco to the foundation to Russia uranium deal to Comey to anything else I’ve not listed here. Let’s toss into this mix whatever it’s been suspected Obama is alleged to have done that bears investigation. Now.. let’s presume everyone is found guilty on everything they were charged with. How does that change anything to do with Trump in any way? Let’s go even further… the Supreme Court finds enough bias to determine that everything the Mueller investigation turned up, all the indictments, are reversed… and everyone in prison as a result is set free. How exactly does that change/insulate/protect/nullify anything to do with Trump and Congress? More to the point.. how does that change the outcome of the next election? Everyone else was bad so Trump was obviously good all along?

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          44. @Doug

            The issue is hypocrisy. We have a partisan news media and DOJ/FBI that could not be bothered to bring charges against the Clinton’s even when they had an unambiguous case. Yet look at what they did to Roger Stone today. That was absurd.

            Think. If the Trump campaign was in cahoots with the Russians, and Wikileaks was in cahoots with Russians, why was Stone trying to do what every other reporter was doing? Why was he trying figure out what Wikileaks had? If Trump was colluding with the Russians, wouldn’t he already know?

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          45. “The third non-comparison… the FBI investigated Clinton and Obama and found nothing to press forward.”
            You must not be familiar with the latest. Whistleblowers from the Clinton foundation have accused her of fraud (ostensibly with documented evidence). Kind of a forgone conclusion when your charity goes bust coincidentally just when you lose an election.

            But TSalmon is right in the sense that time will tell for both Clinton and Trump.

            Liked by 1 person

          46. @Liz

            As I understand it, the foundation also employed a bunch of Clinton loyalists.

            The other thing that I found laughable is that the Clinton’s accepted huge speaking fees from foreign interests. The Democrats ignored that, but they happily went after Trump for violating the emoluments clause. You can’t make this stuff up.

            Like

          47. ”The other thing that I found laughable is that the Clinton’s accepted huge speaking fees from foreign interests. The Democrats ignored that, but they happily went after Trump for violating the emoluments clause. You can’t make this stuff up.”
            Agreed, Citizen Tom.

            Just one more.
            Glenn Greenwald is a liberal and I disagree with him on a lot of things, but he is one of the rare liberals who does not suffer from propaganda-induced TDS (along with Scott Adams, and perhaps Whoopie Goldberg).
            He lists what he has determined are “The 10 Worst, Most Embarrassing U.S. Media Failures on the Trump-Russia Story” in this article.

            ”But in homage to BuzzFeed’s past viral glory, following are the top ten worst media failures in two-plus-years of Trump/Russia reporting. They are listed in reverse order, as measured by the magnitude of the embarrassment, the hysteria they generated on social media and cable news, the level of journalistic recklessness that produced them, and the amount of damage and danger they caused. This list was extremely difficult to compile in part because news outlets (particularly CNN and MSNBC) often delete from the internet the video segments of their most embarrassing moments. Even more challenging was the fact that the number of worthy nominees is so large that highly meritorious entrees had to be excluded, but are acknowledged at the end with (dis)honorable mention status.
            Note that all of these “errors” go only in one direction: namely, exaggerating the grave threat posed by Moscow and the Trump circle’s connection to it. It’s inevitable that media outlets will make mistakes on complex stories. If that’s being done in good faith, one would expect the errors would be roughly 50/50 in terms of the agenda served by the false stories. That is most definitely not the case here. Just as was true in 2002 and 2003, when the media clearly wanted to exaggerate the threat posed by Saddam Hussein and thus all of its “errors” went in that direction, virtually all of its major “errors” in this story are devoted to the same agenda and script:

            https://theintercept.com/2019/01/20/beyond-buzzfeed-the-10-worst-most-embarrassing-u-s-media-failures-on-the-trumprussia-story/

            Liked by 1 person

          48. @Liz

            That’s quite a link

            The press is publishing or putting on the air so much nonsense more than one outfit celebrated the end of 2018 with a list of phony stories. I guess that’s how many will celebrate the end of 2019 too.

            Like

    1. @grabaspine

      No doubt there are some shows worth watching on cable, but they try too hard to make the news entertaining instead of informative, and the bias just reeks. When five journalists, four of them with the same political views start debating each other, we should be rolling on the floor with laughter. That’s how we are suppose to get the news? Those people have the nerve to make fun of radio talk shows?

      Like

        1. @grabaspine

          Occasionally watch at the gym when I am on some kind of exercise machine. Otherwise, I don’t bother. I have learned there better things to do.

          Quit when my oldest was two in 1982. My wife complained about the sex and violence, and I “lost” that argument.

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  3. Hey Tom,I appreciate the mention! I really like your title, too, “the danger of believing propaganda” indeed. Well said. I’m really worried somebody is going to get killed due to one of these internet mob hits that go out on certain individuals. I’m not a big fan of the law, but I really think justice would be served if some so called journalists actually got sued for libel and false reporting.

    So when this incident first came across the air waves I was actually watching a documentary on the holocaust,a couple of women trying to explain how people were dehumanized, how a community hit was taken out on someone, how it wasn’t perceived as evil at all, but rather justice to rid the neighborhood of what was perceived as “vermin,” as a threat to the well being of society as a whole. Bit chilling but I saw some elements of that same kind of mindset go across twitter and FB the past few days.

    People were literally calling for the death of these boys, people were releasing their personal info, telling others to destroy them, ruin their lives, contact every college they’ve ever applied too. Kathy Griffin the washed up comedian,was encouraging hatred and violence, even a couple of congressmen said some stuff that was way out of line.

    All over a lie. It was not true. Sheer propaganda. Scary stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Careful what you wish for Tom. The Left and the Right are both guilty of spreading nonsense. Maybe even more so from the Right. Remember how Hillary was said to run a child prostitution ring in the basement of a pizza restaurant that didn’t have a basement, and remember how high school shooting survivors were supposed to be paid actors. (I saw that last one appear as a comment on this blog). If Fox News got sued every time they said something untrue, they’d be bankrupt in a week.

        They best way to keep speech honest isn’t to destroy the 1st Amendment.

        Just don’t patronize media that doesn’t take their own factual credibility seriously, whether that media is Left or Right leaning. And even then, be skeptical. Let’s avoidthe impulse to be outraged constantly (I know – look who is talking😏), and let’s try to keep our sense of humor. We’re all just dumb humans after all.

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          1. Maybe so, but what knowledge of state libel law and constitutional 1st Amendment protections are you basing that “opinion” on? How long will it before the “The Art of the Fraud” Trump goes bankrupt under these new standards? You’re a media publisher here Tom. How long will it be before you too go bankrupt, maybe for just publishing someone else’s libelous defamation? Like I said – careful what you wish for.

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      1. That’s an even better jest suggestion, I agree.

        Actually, every day after reading the latest new reports on Trump and Pelosi, I have to laugh.

        Professional comedian writers can’t compete with a more laughable script taking place in Washington politics., in my opinion.

        Sad

        Regards and good will blogging.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Under this epistemology, Oliver is indeed fancy, but you better be careful Tom. As only the hypothetical indirect phantasm of Oliver’s realty through me, you may be the illigal immigrant into this world. Out of brotherly love, I’ll try to hold on to you as long as I can, but then my dog, Oliver, may just deport you into oblivion.😁

        Like

          1. And Liberal Democrats never admit the irony of their own actions. Not stupid. Just don’t care.
            1. President Trump wants a wall for security. Speaker Pelosi wants to postpone the State of the Union for her security.
            2. President Trump has to stay in DC during the shutdown to show he cares. Pelosi vacations in Hawaii. Democrats go on a lobbyist funded “working” vacation in Puerto Rico. Trump has to cancel a week-long taxpayer funded Democrat to Europe and the Middle East.
            3. Liberal Democrats support tolerance except for pro-life Christians, white men, stay at home married moms, deplorables, Conservative blacks, Conservative women,…
            4. Liberal Democrats condemn white nationalism (or white supremacists) but the ignore black racism and the antisemitism of many of their members.

            I could go on, but the holier than thou crap is getting old.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. This is were I think you are wildly misinformed, or in the least misinterpreting, Tom. No question there are some Trump idealists (forget “Republican” ideals.. we are in Trump World now and he’s bastardized traditional Republicanism) who relish disputing traditional liberalism ideals.. and some liberals disputing Trumpian agenda ideals. But this entire “hate Trump” thing that you feel is picking on Trump loyalist ideals is doing nothing of the kind. The center of this entire dispute is Trump himself. Some of his agenda has merit but it’s the way he goes about things that ruffles his own GOP. But more to the point.. it’s every single thing I’ve been blasting away about the man since I started my blog. He’s a poor measure of a President of the United States… and he rubs against the grain of most of America. You and all the Conservative blogs love to wallow in the idea that it’s all about his agenda and some “new” rural American groundswell of revolting against urban elites.. whatever that means. You keep missing the point. It’s all about Trump the man. Personally my abhorrence to it all is that Conservatives are so willing to justify the actions of the man with “But look at all the good he’s done!”, as if the end justifies the means.
            Those MAGA hats didn’t start out being an icon of those elements Trump seems to teeter on.. and a stigma on who attends his rallies (those aren’t rallies anyway.. that’s “Trump worship”). Those hats became a symbol of everything people despise about Trump.

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          3. You’re just frustrated because Pelosi is exposing Trump for the sad “art of the fraud” that he is.

            I guess it doesn’t bother you that Trump was trying to get Putin help him finance and build a Trump tower in Moscow right up until the election and that he lied to the voters about it the whole time? You and I wouldn’t be given a security clearance if we were half that compromised by a foreign adversary, but you voted for that fraud as our president and still support him?

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          4. Scuse me, Tom.. who took all those videos? People with phones that posted those images all over social media.. of which CNN, et al, are a part of. the news media is not the only media at work here. The news media arrived on the scene AFTER social media got the images. The interpretation of those images was entirely up to the viewer.. and here’s a real shocker.. the average viewer is all of us who tend to take images at face value rather than absorb the completeness of a story. Problem there is that most of the time it takes a while to get the entire story for context… in the meantime, the original images are circulating around.
            I know you pride yourself on not having watched TV in five years or whatever, Tom, but you removed yourself out of a part of social existence and political awareness.. and most of all, exercising your own skill set to separate fact from fantasy on the fly by working within the media itself as they are also a reflection of the mood of the country. But.. you have religious convictions that you are entitled to and I acknowledge that. We are who we are. Just saying, by avoiding TV you are avoiding a mirror of the society we live in… and a measure of credibility to support your view of the world.

            Like

          5. “I think you are a good example of why I wrote this post.”

            How so? What are you trying to make me a straw man for? Because these kids were wearing MAGA hats, aren’t you saying that they unfairly were cast as straw men for every awful thing that Trump has said and done? And now you expect me to be your foil for literally all the stupidity in the world?

            These were just dumb teenagers who don’t deserve to have their lives ruined by extremists on either the Left or the Right. I’m just a dumb adult who reads and watches the most credible news and opinion sources that I can, and even then with a jaundiced eye. However, it may not surprise you to find out that I’m not always perfect in my skepticism? But seriously, don’t you find all this faux outrage and blame gaming at all humorous?

            Trump got elected by throwing out false conspiracy theories, lies, as ad hominems and innuendos about all his opponents, starting with birtherism continuing with JFK’s assassination by “Lying Ted’s” dad and ending with “Crooked Hillary’s” supposed treasonous emails. The man continues to lie and falsely defame people by the minute. And you can seriously proclaim outrage because the media makes a stupid mistake every now and then? I can’t see you right now, but do you really have a straight face as you’re doing this, because I can tell you that I’m laughing my butt off?

            Like

          6. @tsalmon

            I would be silly to point to Trump as a saint. He ain’t. Some of the stuff Trump said during the campaign was awful. Still the alternative was someone much worst.

            But seriously, don’t you find all this faux outrage and blame gaming at all humorous?

            Given the paragraph that follows this statement, yes.

            Liked by 1 person

          7. So the leader of the Republican Party can commit any immoral act, indeed he can promote vice, but the Press and the Democrats should be vilified for the slightest infidelity to the truth, and you see no ridiculous hypocrisy there?

            I’m sorry Tom, as long as Trump is your leader, your constant outrage is at best laughable. But, unlike Trump, at least we know your intentions are good. In my opinion that actually means a lot.

            Like

          8. @tsalmon

            Don’t spout nonsense!

            So the leader of the Republican Party can commit any immoral act, indeed he can promote vice, but the Press and the Democrats should be vilified for the slightest infidelity to the truth, and you see no ridiculous hypocrisy there?

            If the Democrats and Establishment Republicans had proof that Trump was guilty of anything that amounts to anything, they would have happily thrown him out of the White House. He is not one of them.

            That’s the outrage! Without proof, just innuendo, you repeat and repeat and repeat lies.

            Is everyone suppose to believe the crap just because you want to believe it? Well, in spite of all the nonsense, Trump’s approval numbers have actually gone up. Because the truth generally catches up with liars, the lies are not working.

            Like

        1. @tsalmon

          Ollie is a welfare state dependent, not a working dog. Dogs and people who work generally don’t develop a sense of entitlement for what rightfully belongs to someone else.

          Like

  4. Personally, I think I exist because it only makes common sense to act as if I do. My dog has that much sentience.

    Or maybe, since my dog eats and is sheltered at my expense and has better health care coverage than my children, I really just exist as a figment of my dog’s imagination. I don’t know about the rest of you though because my dog doesn’t really know you folks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dogs do know how to live. Take your dog to the DMV in some states and they will sign it to vote. Would even be an undocumented illegal immigrant. Even has its rabies shots, no doubt, which makes it safer to be around than most people.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Don’t know how “special” Doug is. Think everyone is special, but I was definitely amused by your post.

      Most people want the illegal immigration problem solved. Close to eighty percent. So you were being kind to folks like Doug with that 50 percent figure. The Democrats get the votes they get because immigration is not the only issue that drives votes.

      Especially enjoyed the way you connected sanctuary cities/states with school choice. Clever!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The Covington Boys story.. in it’s rebutted version and presented by the students, has been re-played on CNN at least once an hour for the last day and a half (and on their site for at least 24 hours). So, here’s the thing, after seeing the commentary by the students (and “Nick”, the one doing the staring down of the native American).. and listening to the CNN sourced audio of the other group(s) represented doing the taunting of the students… this has all come out to appear as being a very complicated display of fragmented crowd dynamics, very likely spawned by tauntings of the “Hebrew Israelites group. CNN did their job.. but more to the point… I used critical thinking skills (some might call it common sense) to determine for myself the accuracy of the reporting.

    1. The students provided their explanation of events well after the mainstream media was reporting them as being the “villains” toward the native American fellow. Questions: Could it be the students, “Nick”, got scared at the “bad” media presentation and tried to distance himself from something he made a poor decision to do? Could it be that “Nick” and his classmates were legitimately explaining their role accurately?
    Supporting Visual: The students were wearing MAGA hats.. visually suggesting/questioning a racial component? In fact.. in a time where people in general are toning down their political affiliations in public for fear of stimulating some nutcase retribution, a) why the hell were students wearing MAGA hats in public at all.. at the Lincoln Memorial of all places.. and b) what educators/chaperones allowed the students to wear such potentially dangerous icons in public?

    Lesson for the Students: Free speech is wonderful but it does NOT serve to insulate you from public opinion that could prove harmful.. and students are NOT old enough to make that value judgement to wear such political signage without their parents’ permission.

    2. My Assessment of the Entire Event: Anyone wearing/displaying their cause and/or political affiliation is asking for trouble… and given the three “groups” represented there that day at the same time (the MAGA students, the sign carrying “blacks for Hebrews” or whatever, and a native American drawing attention to his ethnic status with his garb and drum beating) all of them well within their free speech rights to be there, could have very well erupted into some perfect storm confrontation with injuries. At the end of the day everyone went home unscathed.. the students hopefully learned a number of lessons… the parents/chaperones of those students getting chastised for placing their “protectees” nearly in harm’s way… and the blacks-for-Hebrew whatever bunch, they live to wave signs another day.
    The event was not as it seemed.. but all parties had a role in getting it close to what it seemed.

    In my opinion.. media coverage did their jobs… at least CNN did. And I used my own common sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @Doug

      The news media got it wrong from the get-go. They behaved like a lynch mob. Now they are in coverup. That’s your source.

      You have called me a bigot. I guess that is because I have a MAGA hat too.

      Name the issue. Disagree with a Liberal Democrat, and too many start the name calling.

      I think you are wrong. You think I am evil.

      You think I do the same thing because I bring my religious beliefs into it? Well, not really. We are all sinners. We should hope for the best in people, but it would be naïve to be surprised when one of us fails.

      I think racism is sinful, but my faith requires me to assume the best of people I associate with. So I should not jump to the conclusion someone is a racist unless they bring up the issue of race in order to justify what they want to do.

      Democrats have weaponized the charge of racism. They scream racism just because people disagree with them and demonstrate that disagreement by wearing a hat.

      Trump is president. Lots of people support him, and precious few of his supporters are racists.

      It is MAGA hat, not a hat with a Nazi swastika. When we can’t tell the difference, that’s pathetic. Is the hatred is in CNN or the kid wearing a MAGA hat?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Ugh. Tom, the media I watched simply reported events… then they reported another side of the events as presented by those allegedly there to see it first hand. That’s news.. and you reach your own conclusions from that, which I did. And if you noticed I didn’t side with anyone in particular. (but I gotta say I was pissed at the parents/guardians of that student group).

        Now.. about the other ridiculousness you indicated.. I dare you to go prancing around the national monuments in D. C on a busy day wearing a MAGA hat and not get some comments. No.. better yet, Tom.. have one of your kids, or grandkids, wear one. I didn’t once suggest MAGA=racism… I DID suggest that wearing a MAGA hat in this political climate is likely asking for some trouble given there’s been some racist volatility assigned to what that hat has been alleged to represent. C’mon.. you can’t be completely shut off from reality.

        I consider you politically misinformed likely as much as you think I am. Where does this “evil” stuff come from? Jeez.. Tom.. I don’t even elevate Trump as being an evil person. He’s a misguided incompetent.. with bad impulse control and poor social skills… and hugely narcissistic to a fault. But he’s not an evil human being. But I gotta tell ya… the far right wing skinhead neo-whatevers that also love him do teeter on the edge of that definition and the only thing keeping them from going over the edge is law enforcement, the FBI, and the DOJ. Oh wait.. those are the deep state folks. Silly me.

        Apparently, unlike you, I don’t see American politics as some great Biblical battle of good vs. evil. I have absolutely no problem that we are all sinners, Tom. My problem comes in that I prefer the sinner we put in charge of the most powerful country on God’s earth is not a greater sinner than you or I… combined.

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        1. @Doug

          It is irresponsible to report “events” without getting verification first. Check out what happened when Orson Welles broadcasted an adaptation of H. G. Wells’s novel, “The War of the Worlds (1898)” live on the radio as a Halloween episode at 8 p.m. on Sunday, October 30, 1938.

          Yep! You are more noble than I. You graciously forgive the violent exercise of unjustified prejudice against MAGA hats whereas I expect Conservatives to exercise self control and not harass those wearing Democrat campaign paraphernalia.

          Like

        2. ” I DID suggest that wearing a MAGA hat in this political climate is likely asking for some trouble given there’s been some racist volatility assigned to what that hat has been alleged to represent.”

          Yet another example of media-created hostility. The only reason anyone associates racism with a Make America Great Again hat is false reporting, and media generated outrage.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. @Doug

            Don’t be so dense. Read what Liz said.

            Yet another example of media-created hostility. The only reason anyone associates racism with a Make America Great Again hat is false reporting, and media generated outrage.

            If someone lies and yells “fire” in a crowded theatre, and people get killed stampeding for the exits from a fire that does not exit, what is the trigger? Who is at fault?

            Like

          2. You mean when Trump uses fear and completely unfounded statistics from his own government to build a wall because HE wants it to sell that fear for support for his wall? I see what you mean.

            Like

        1. I did include.. believing in your own sound judgment. It’s a team. Seems to me one has to have faith in themselves before they can have faith in anything else. How you wish to assign spirituality to it all is entirely up to you. Faith is indeed a form of trust.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Exactly, who dictates what should be believed and what should not. It’s up to the individual to decide for themselves.

            The desire to be right is what motivates people to literally kill one another. We are so weak that we cannot allow others to choose for themselves.

            Liked by 1 person

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