The March? -Fog of Vague Purposes

Remember “Occupy Wall Street?” More currently, “Black Lives Matter?”  And the latest example, “Women’s March?”  They have this much in common:

  • Loose Organization
  • Diverse Membership
  • Aggregate Complaints
  • Unfocused Intentions
  • Non-Specific Proposals
  • Outdoor Meetings
  • Catchy Names

“Occupy Wall Street” was pretty much just news items about their encampment.  “Black Lives Matter” fails to note that Federal statistics show that 80-90% of murdered “black lives that matter” are victims of black killers.  Half of all murder victims, nationally, are black; blacks are less than 15% of the population.  Where is that protest and call to action?

In the context of this protest, do they mean “Black, Mexican, Muslim, LGBTQ, Women’s Lives Matter?”  Or do they mean “Black, Young, Men’s Lives Matter,” but this just happens to be a women’s march?  Just what do they mean?

It seems that the “Women’s March” was all about disappointment, fear, and frustration transformed into pink anger.  Disappointment that Hillary did not win, fear that women’s rights will be undermined, and frustration that women do not receive equal pay.

Trump became the effigy to blame for everything.

Misogyny:  How many participants, do you think, could cite specific instances when President Trump recently disrespected women who were not attacking him?  Where is the acknowledgement of the nonchalant treatment of wives and women by iconic presidents such as JFK, and Bill Clinton?

If the marchers are promoting equality for women, his business organizations reflect great respect for women by hiring them, promoting them into management and paying them well; sounds like equality to me.  Why not ask women who work for the Trump organization how they feel about their misogynist boss?

Immigration:  First, Trump got trapped in the “Newspeak” of the way we use “immigrant.”  Many foreign nationals, from many countries, apply for visas, “green cards,” and citizenship every year.  Those who gain permanent residence or citizenship can rightly be called immigrants.  A great number of Americans are immigrants or children of immigrants.

The proponents of unlimited immigration and aligned journalists fought to not use the legal term “alien.”  They insisted on substituting “______-immigrant” until it became commonplace.  The problem is that non-hyphenated, legal immigrants heard these “_______-immigrants” being criticized and threatened, and felt included in that group; they took personally the anger, fear, and distain.

By verbally lumping the “_______-immigrants” together with immigrant citizens, they built support for their open-borders philosophy.  If we had stuck with “aliens,” and “foreign nationals,” the citizens would not have felt combined with them.

Exactly, what did he say about Mexicans?  Not just the clips, the whole statements. He said that among the illegal migrants were, drug smugglers, human traffickers, fugitive criminals, including murders, and rapists.  Is that true?  Yes.  Trump’s opponents extracted this description and implied that he meant ALL Mexicans fit these profiles.

Muslims:  Trump wants to limit and vet prospective refugees entering the US from Islamist countries tied to terrorism.  He wants Muslim communities to help identify and thwart jihadist terrorists.

Women who live in Muslim countries might not be sympathetic with the complaints of the marchers; certainly, they would or could not march on their capitals protesting.  Why not ask Muslim-American women what they would face if they went home to Arabia and Africa?  What would you face going there as a Christian?  Count your blessings that you live here in America.

There are no government proposals or actions right now that threaten women; he just took office Friday.  All the rhetoric is about what could happen; what rights they fear might be lost; what affronts they fear they may face.  Fear is a factor, but not fact

The one thing that stands out to me is concern about reversing Roe v. Wade.  I understand opposition to abortion challenges.  I support safe, informed, reasoned choice for every woman.  So, focus on defending that right or you risk people writing you off as generally disappointed with the election results, and righteously irritated at the challenges of being a woman.

The last point is this:  What do you propose, aside from replacing Donald Trump?  Many commentators have shrugged their shoulders about the purposes of the march because the marchers are not clear about what they are championing.  It was a shame that all the time, money, effort, and commitment it took to get people on the streets ended in a fog of vague purposes.

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NPR, Please Take Away “The Takeaway”

Update 12/4/17:  John Hockenberry lost his job at “The Takeaway” amid claims of sexual harrassment.

Update 9/21/17:  I challenge NPR to either, 1.  Stop airing “The Takeaway.” or 2.  Add a program that is as conservative as “The Takeway” is liberal.  

From what I have heard on the show, not one feature, interview, or report portrays or supports even moderately conservative issues, proposals, or actions.  They use only readily identifiable liberal news sources, interview only liberal congress members, experts from liberal think-tanks or universities, or radical celebrities.  

I invite the ombudsman, or whoever has programing input, to read transcripts of the shows and describe their contents compared to the proclaimed position of NPR as being unbiased.

I would not mind if they added Libertarian, Populist, or any other points of view to balance the atrocious bias of non-stop, leftish propaganda spewing from this program.

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I read, watch, and listen to as much news as I can.  I try to take in all sorts of ideas,  from various points of view, and sort them into my version of a “reasoned” view.  Although I tolerate them, I find extreme narrators, articles and programs abhorrent and unworthy of serious consideration, yet they  have their audiences.

Public radio depends on tax dollars and donations; that makes them responsible to stay away from radical views and political campaigning.  My favorite radio source is KERA, a local NPR radio station, which carries the BBC, as well as national and local news.  KERA stands out in excellence, variety, and quality, as long as they stick to journalism, news reporting, and entertainment. 

Unfortunately, their programming includes programs disguised as news that have social and political agendas.  They use euphemisms such as:

“We cover news that does not usually get covered.”  This is code for items that do not fit the balanced or factual standards of journalism, such as advocating illegal immigration, amplifying micro-minority tragedies, and, entirely opinionated, leftish commentary.

“We put different spins on the news.”  Code for biased reinterpretations of events from very liberal political or social views.

Another tactic is choosing interview and show participants with very biased points of view; the hosts feed them leading questions and suggestions, or allow them to digress into unrelated political rants.  Sometimes hosts or guests use dismissive or derisive inflections when discussing or describing conservative or non-progressive people or groups.

Taxpayers deserve better from publicly funded radio.

Donald Trump has caused those that pretended to be journalists to show their true “blue,” liberal colors.

We all have our biases; most of us are blind to our prejudices; we see the world through our beliefs.

I do not have to comment on Diane Rehm, as she and her show retired last year.

Today, Jan 2, 2017, I heard another blatant politically slanted discussion on “The Takeaway” radio show on KERA, Dallas/Fort Worth.  This show, sponsored by the New York Times, has never mentioned any ideas other than “progressive” ones.  The criticism of the conservatives, and Donald Trump is non-stop.  This show is as leftish as it gets.

John Hockenberry, was talking to the Istanbul correspondent for “buzzfeed.com” about the terrorist shootings at a nightclub there.  While describing the turmoil and confusion, secular and religious accusations, the correspondent said something to the effect of “this is what I fear when Donald Trump takes office in the US.”; and we are supposed to be a democracy, and he did not really win.” What???  Hockenberry referred to and repeated this negative notion when talking about how we can change ourselves in the new year.

(I have my own discussion of the electoral college vs popular vote in my blog, https://2thinkis2be.wordpress.com/2016/12/13/sour-grapes-over-electoral-college-congress-is-designed-exactly-like-it/

and I know that the popular vote rant is the last bastion of the losing candidate and her supporters.)

NPR and KERA tout their unbiased news, but this show is nothing like unbiased.  What can we do to keep such divisive and partisan programming off the air on public radio?

To:  ELIZABETH JENSEN, Npr ombudsman

From:  Von Smith, v.smith@von-mail.com, KERA

Date: 1/11/17

Once again, NPR gave 15 minutes of air time to an anti-Trump liberal to denigrate the president elect.  The former speech writer for Obama, expressed fear, dismay, disrespect, disappointment, and distain for Donald Trump’s election, wrapped in a “response” to President Obama’s farewell speech.  Why did the interviewer allow and include these unrelated, partisan comments?

Where is the objectivity, civility, and courtesy, or at least someone expressing an opposing view?

On another front, a program featuring Cokie Roberts, was promoted earlier this morning.

Her February, 2016 opinion column condemning Donald Trump (http://cjonline.com/opinion/2016-02-26/steve-and-cokie-roberts-gop-must-stop-trump-now#), triggered this response:

“NPR’s senior vice president for news and editorial director, Michael Oreskes, said the opinion column indicates Roberts has not been sufficiently identified to listeners as a commentator. Additionally, he wrote in a memo to staffers that news executives would work with her to refine the contours of her job.”

 http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/03/14/470340825/npr-clarifies-cokie-roberts-role-after-anti-trump-column

Exactly what refinements have been instituted?  Have her opinions changed?

“Commentator,” and “Pundit,” are terms for advocate or proponent or partisan that many people misunderstand, versus, “Journalist,” or “Reporter,” or “Unbiased.”  “Political Commentator,” still does not clarify her positions on current affairs.  At minimum, NPR should state her political position when introducing her (and any other person expressing political beliefs)

In a March, 2016 blog, Cokie Roberts, NPR and the impossibility of objectivity, Mark Swain gave this reference”

In an interview with Roberts on Monday morning, NPR host David Greene (http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/03/14/470340825/npr-clarifies-cokie-roberts-role-after-anti-trump-column) said this to Roberts: “Objectivity is so fundamental to what we do. Can you blame people like me for being a little disappointed to hear you come out and take a personal position on something like this in a campaign?”

 Roberts very sensibly explained that she was not a full-time reporter covering politics but a commentator engaging in commentary, and implied furthermore that Donald Trump’s rise is the kind of exceptional situation that demands greater assertiveness on the part of someone like her. “There are times in our history,” she told Greene, “when you might be disappointed if I didn’t take a position like that.”

 https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2016/03/15/cokie-roberts-npr-and-the-impossibility-of-objectivity/?utm_term=.df011687d51d

In August, last year, she called Trump supporters “morally tainted,” on MSNBC

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/cokie-roberts-donald-trump_us_57b45b9fe4b0edfa80da567c

Spotlighting Cokie Roberts, in addition to programs such as “The Takeaway,” “Latino USA,” “Fresh Air,” etc., make me question the neutrality of the “news” on NPR.

 

 

Donald Trump–The Matryoshka Candidate?

Matryoshka

I am amazed at the number, scope, and continuous flow of speculations about Donald Trump, as president-elect.  Now we have an American, billionaire, capitalist, accused of being a Russian sympathizer, and even a collaborator with Russia’s Putin to win the election.  Does that sound like the Russian version of “The Manchurian Candidate” to you?  (FYI:  a Matryoshka (ma-trosh-ka) is a hollow, Russian, nested, wooden doll with smaller and smaller dolls inside.)  I guess there are no limits on imagination, enmity, paranoia, malice, and disappointment.

Those who oppose Donald Trump, and those who are left bitter, dazed, angry, and confused by his election as President do not need to be rational in their relentless attacks on anything Trump.  Those accusing him of being soft on Russia, a Putin sycophant, and naïve about our enemies might take a minute to reflect on how silly that sounds.

Is it soft to sell some rich Russians overpriced condos and land in the US?  Is it sycophantic to use Putin to criticize political opponents as being weak?  Is it naïve to get the Russians to pay premium prices to have the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow?  Do I hear a no?

Until now, Mr. Trump’s interest in Russia has been limited to money, i.e. making money, not losing it, and not giving it away.  All his dealings with Russians have been real estate in the US, or visiting Moscow for a US-based beauty pageant.  Trump has never met Putin face-to-face, or made any deals with him.  Putin even cancelled a scheduled meeting with Trump during the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow.  Does that sound like love to you?  I believe Trump could continue to make money from Russians without being President, and without being friends with Putin; therefore, I do not think there is a sinister link. What else would he have to gain?

Some cite the friendly, respectful tone of comments and letters between the men.  A friendly demeanor is not the same as friendship; sometimes negotiations can benefit from pleasant diplomacy.

Others suggest that Putin sees Trump as weaker than Clinton.  Do we have some evidence that Trump is as passive as Obama has been in foreign matters, such as Crimea and Syria?  Or maybe evidence that Putin is afraid of Hillary after meeting her as Secretary of State?

Let us see what happens after January 20th.