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Thursday, December 19, 2019

IS THE GOP BEING BLACKMAILED?

You can’t deny the change is stark. Looking at the Republican party when Donald Trump first came down the escalator and announced he was running for President of The United States. The Republican establishment was clear Donald J. Trump was not to be taken seriously. How that has changed is not just startling, but is suspect and as time went on, perhaps sinister.
In a crowded field of candidates for the Republican nomination Trump stood out for his unabashed willingness to sling insults, name calling and vulgarity. Portrayed as a successful businessman on a reality television program and through marketing from the TRUMP Organization, he was an attention  and ratings goldmine for media. In an election year that was assumed to be wrapped up with the election of the first female president, Hillary Rodham Clinton, on the heels of the first African-American president the media lavishly covered Trump. One thing was clear though; the Republican party saw Trump as a side show with no chance of winning, either the nomination or general election.

With a talent for showmanship and perhaps a nothing to lose attitude Trump attracted crowds and media attention. His attacks on Republican opponents were crude and visceral resonating with a portion of the voting public which had become cynical of the established political cast. Through this early period the feelings amongst the Republican party and it's major donors remained the same; Trump was a Side Show. Even as established candidates dropped out and Trump rose the message was the same. Candidates and others in  the Republican party stood up and attacked Trump as a non Republican who was wholly unqualified to run for, never mind be president. He was for certain seen as and portrayed as a candidate who had no chance at winning against Hillary Clinton.

Republican candidates were not able to counter the insult laced, even childish attacks Trump leveled against long standing members of the Republican mainstream. For certain they were not prepared for the way expanding portions of the base were responding to him. They were likely, early on at least, unaware of the backup Trump was getting from trolls and bots through Facebook and other social media platforms.  Those bots and trolls coordinated and crafted by Russia, according to the entire American counter-intelligence community.

Well established candidate after well established candidate fell. The now familiar pattern of campaign rallies carried on as did the name calling and childish attacks and, as time went on, so did an increasing amount of mention of Russia. It was a faint murmur at first, growing louder over time. Growing softer over the same period was Republican push back on Candidate Trump. Candidates like Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz who took verbal beatings dropped out of the race, eventually having meetings with Trump and becoming staunch, almost religious supporters. As the campaign pressed toward the nominating convention the TRUMP candidacy was assured, the softening tones toward Russia were louder including resolutions favouring Russia and the Republican Party was now firmly Trump's.

The question remains how did the political outlier knock out Republican heavyweights and subdue dissent so completely? Is it so impossible for Trump to have gotten the same help with the RNC that he asked for and received with the DNC email? Moreover, would it make sense for the Russians, while looking for an advantage in disrupting the election to only hack one of the major parties? Having even put in a useful idiot, if the party won't conceal around the useful idiot and protect him, there is only so much he can do.

There has been ample reporting of Russian money making its way to Republican candidates and to Super Pac in support of Trump and other Republicans. There has also been reporting of Russian money making its way to Republican  Candidates after being funnelled through the NRA. These are serious considerations when trying to find a pattern of coercion around the control of money. Does control of money, alone make a case for understanding the complete collapse of resistance to Donald Trump within the Republican party? Further, than the lack of resistance, what accounts for the blind following of factless conjecture and outright fiction presented as reasoning for Trump remaining in office?

Some represent Trump's base as the power that he seems to hold over the party, but is it realistic to look at their beliefs and assume they would run to the Democrats if Trump was removed from office, or at least given proper bipartisan oversight? It seems, or, in times where reality was a concept, seemed hard to picture a scenario where the Republicans lost this base support. So the question is; “Is there enough evidence to require an investigation into the possible BLACKMAILING of the GOP?”

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

PREPARING FOR THE ESCALATING CYBER WAR PART 2: MEMES

SURPRISE, MOST MEMS AREN'T FOR INFORMATION! Some are clearly for pure and simple entertainment. For a large portion of the MEME traffic that makes its way to you, there is purpose in how it gets to you. When you get a propaganda meme either as a pop-up or in your feed, it is no accident. YOU ARE THE TARGET, and the MEME is a cyber weapon. There IS a hot war going on in cyberspace with attacks and counter attacks.

Don't be fooled, or lulled into a false sense of security because the battlefield in this war is in cyberspace. It spills out of the computer world and into the physical. Air travel can be delayed when vital information systems are attacked and systems shut down. The most troubling spillover of this cyberwar is you. As mentioned earlier YOU are a target, most specifically your feelings. Also worth mentioning for our American readers, The 2016 election interference attacks were launched BY RUSSIA. RUSSIA, Repeat RUSSIA AND V. PUTIN DID IT. This is worth mention here because of the propaganda campaign ongoing from THE GOP. Trump's "win" and his presidency are good examples of the effects of war in cyberspace extending to the physical world.

In a cyberwar, a meme can be a weapon. A weaponized meme is a propaganda poster or leaflet delivered directly to you and as mentioned it is targeted. A lot of content, on Facebook, in particular, is fed to you based on what are looking at so ads and promotions match your interests. It could be candy, movies, golf or even White Nationalism. So now the attackers know where to find you and how to feed propaganda directly to you and the algorithms know what presses your buttons, and its bombs away in the cyberwar.

Let's look at the parts of a propaganda meme, as I understand them.

It is extremely easy to spin a quick narrative. There are a lot of different production levels and techniques, the level of extremism is dependant on the audience targeted. These are quick to make and the target group is very much motivated to pass on and propagate the dissemination of the message. Designed by professionals, of which I am not, they are a key weapon in the cyberwar we must be ready for. A quick review of an earlier piece, "HAVE YOU BEEN INFORMED OR INFLAMED?" will give a little more insight into how you can be led down a path by the words an author uses to mould your feelings. That is after all what this is all about, inflaming your feelings, not informing you about the world.

DO YOU KNOW ANYONE ON FACEBOOK WHO NEEDS TO SEE THIS?


Thursday, November 21, 2019

PREPARING FOR ESCALATING CYBER WAR

We have to prepare ourselves for the information war to escalate.  We are at war in cyberspace and the western democracies are losing badly.  The war is not physical, it's psychological. We are being ripped apart, nations and institutions. It is not only the United States being attacked. It is the entirety of western democracy.

We are being turned on each other. It's like the classic movie scene where the guy escapes by getting the people angry at each other and running away when they start fighting. It is again not just the Americans.  It's Brexit, its separatism in Western Canada, it goes on and on.

How do we prepare? What are the weapons? How do we recognize a cyber weapon? What's real news? What's fake news? So many questions. It is very easy to not take the risk seriously. If the Russians were flying planes and dropping bombs, we'd get it fast. If the Russians were dropping leaflets from aircraft we'd get it fast. If the Russians were writing in the sky we'd get it. They are not doing these easy to notice things, but we still MUST GET IT.

This is be the beginning of a series on Factmissile.com where we are going to layout preparations for the cyberwar targeting YOU. it is important to understand YOU are the target.  Your point of view, your feelings, your relationships, your loyalties, your patriotism and much more are under direct attack.

Our next in this series, DISSECTING A MEME.

NOT WATCHING FULL IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS IS DANGEROUS IF NOT DESTRUCTIVE

As the United States, and frankly, the world continues to watch the impeachment hearings there is a clear sense of history. There is also a clear hope that the hearings will, as happened during Watergate, bring public opinion around. Around to what depends, honestly on your grasp of reality. In any case, people are hoping their position on the event will gain traction among the public at large, voters more particularly. Is there a difference between Watergate, BJgate and Ukrainegate? Of course, there is a difference.

In the previous two impeachment cases, there was no social media or even the Internet. You would not have been reading anything from a small website like FactMissile, or any other little opinionated guy. Everything came from the major news sources of the time. Some argue this is a good thing, though even as I sit here putting this together for you to read, I am less sure about it than many. Although I appreciate the opportunities this wide open landscape offers, there is far too much availability for abuse. Meddling in the minds of people watching is incredibly easy in the highly targeted world of Facebook and other platforms. Misinformation and lies have always been a problem but they are pervasive now. Media companies have large conglomerations of properties causing skepticism of the freedom of their news units and the intelligence and propaganda divisions of governments have become skilled at crafting campaigns to twist the narrative to suit their goals.

People have busy lives nowadays, right. They have little time to sit and watch hours and hours of testimony coming out of the impeachment hearings. People spend so much screen time it is really hard to say with a straight face they couldn't focus it on something as important and historic as what is happing now in Washington DC, but the truth is many won't, leaving the people crafting sound bites free to patch together whatever narrative they want to, presenting a sideways view to the people they reach. This is beyond dangerous, it is DESTRUCTIVE. Republican members have already orchestrated stunts that were designed for only the purpose of creating soundbites for their twitter and facebook accounts to broadcast an appearance that they are being shut down from asking their own questions. They have a considerable reach with the many people who don't have an attention span or time to watch it fully to assess the context of the hearings on their own. There is little doubt that the RUSSIANS will also be playing this game along with the Chinese and other governments hostile to American interests.

It is vital that people take the time to watch these proceedings on their own and get the full context of the hearings and events that have led to this point in history. The fate of the United States
literally rests in the balance.

Monday, November 4, 2019

CONSPIRACY THEORY WORD PLAY

A good conspiracy theory often starts with a real occurrence or at least a factual seed on which a pile of misinformation is heaped. Sometimes they are just plain fabrications like "The Bowling Green Massacre". So what are we looking for to pick up on a conspiracy theory?

Vague connections between people are given more weight than they have in reality. This is used heavily in Clinton murder conspiracies. John Doe worked for the Jane Doe Campaign and died under unclear circumstances. Campaigns of the size required to run nationally are massive undertakings. Staff can be, and often are spread over large areas. Many work for campaigns without regular contact with a candidate. Any number of these workers would have minor roles nationally with little contact and limited access to vital information. In life things happen and again, with the size of national political operations there is lots of opportunity for unrelated occurrences.

"Mysterious circumstances" is another conspiracy theory catch phrase, along with others that give the same signal. Something's happening  that we don't know about,  or more to their point, there is something going on, "they" are not telling us about.  Not every piece of information has to be released on an investigation. There is clearly opportunity for corruption in investigations for a number of reasons ranging from prestige and self promotion to greed and criminal coverup along with others. When information is not released it is easy, even natural to fill in the blanks, though, insisting that the missing information is incriminating MUST COME WITH FACTUAL EVIDENCE.

Don't be confused, there is room for legitimate questions when things go down, but along with asking those questions there has to be someone we are willing to accept the answer from, even if it isn't the answer we were expecting to hear.  Ask yourself who you are willing to believe on any question if the answer was not what you thought it would or should be. There are a ton of very legitimate questions around the attacks on September 11th 2001, however many of them have been answered and we can't just shrug them off without real verifiable evidence. How did 3 buildings, hit in different areas,  one not directly impacted at all collapse straight down, minimizing impact on surrounding structures? It's a valid question. Just because some of the answers don't make sense to me doesn't make them invalid,  my expertise in the field is EXTREMELY limited.

Conspiracy theories can come from people who have legitimate concerns about issues, people who have a point of view and trouble dealing with reality and most troubling, people who want to manipulate the first two groups. It's important to not shrug off the early questions but for all of us, we have to ask questions evaluate real evidence and take responsibility for not being taken in by manipulation coming from near by and far away

WAS THIS WORTH SHARING?


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

BEING RIGHT IS NOT THE SAME AS GETTING IT RIGHT

Arguments can be difficult. They can cause hurt feelings and in many cases can muddy the waters on what is and is not correct about the topic being argued. Of particular concern can be the motivation of the participants of the argument. Are we debating the point to come up with the correct solution to a problem or are we in it to win it? The latter is more and more often becoming the case, we are not out to get things right, but to be right and this is causing huge problems in all aspects of life now, but nowhere as much as it is in politics and governing.

Being right and getting it right can be the same thing, though it depends on the motives of the person involved. Getting it right can often be objectively assessed, where being right can just as often be a feeling of victory as opposed to being correct about the substance of the issue. The tactics are different for sure. Trying to be right can involve a tactic to shut down the debate, to conclude it, to plan a move to win. Trying to get it right, involves listening to opposing points and factoring them into your thinking and making a legitimate attempt to get facts on the issue or problem to be addressed. This is where we have often gone off the rails in government and the reason is not just as simple as we might think. There are 2 main areas that people in government manage to get solutions wrong, excluding simple corruption and nepotism.

1.    Inexperience.
We don't, and can't know everything. If a person running for office is a lawyer by trade they come in with a background in law. This is a healthy place to start when having to draft laws and regulations etc. It creates problems when the individual is called on to make decisions in areas where they lack training and experience. They may also be operating with "some" knowledge on the subject. We've all heard the saying: "a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing". Lacking experience can go in about three directions. a. The person, understanding their limits seeks out people recognized in the area of expertise and consults, takes advice and makes decisions based on that advice. or b. Driven by ego and perhaps feelings of inadequacy the person takes an interpretation that comes from their own thinking and runs with it, afraid to ask questions or entertain thoughts offered by colleagues for fear of being seen as dumb or weak and being pushed out of their position. c. Being weak in the subject matter is pulled in a bad direction by someone who suffers from the same lack of experience, but is a forceful personality. This person may be pulling, trying to do the right thing but is unable to grasp the issue any better than our hero, or might be maliciously trying to lead the decisions in a particular way.


2.   Entrenched Ideology.
We have all met up with a person in our careers or home life that has a strong personality. They have a way of doing things and they aren't open to too many options on changing it. It can be as simple as the way they do it has always worked, so why change. Sometimes though, it is not that simple, sometimes it does not work and they simply don't accept it. In political circles, this is a huge issue. These strong personalities, often called Ideologues have an idea or a notion of how something is supposed to work and will not sway, It takes a lot of energy to maintain an appearance that things are working when they are not. Whether puritan far-right or puritan far-left there is no one system with all the answers.

At either end of the political spectrum, there is little debate, only argument. There is little room for getting the issue right, it's about being right, having the win and having the power that goes with the win. The power to continue pushing the single answer that has been the answer all along. When the system put in place does not solve the issue, it's not "our fault", there is always someone else to blame and the answer is simple, keep doing what we have always done, just be a little more extreme.

So open up your social circles and your minds people. Spend time with people from different backgrounds and views and listen to them. Let what they have to say swirl around in your thinking. We may find out that the world's problems are solvable if we just take a little bit of everyone's experience and find a happy medium. Take the time to know the issues we are dealing with and what the possibilities are, then commit yourself to worry less about being right and more about getting it right.

WAS THIS WORTH SHARING?

Friday, October 25, 2019

IS THIS BLOG GOING THE DIRECTION IT STARTED

Taking a moment to question how things are going can be hard, but if you don't you end up often being what you thought you were here to combat. When this was started it was a direct counter to things like FOXNEWS and INFOWARS. Well patronized and produced propaganda whose factual content seemingly relied as much on accidental coincidence as it did on good investigation. It was certainly never our thought to be countering propaganda with propaganda, but putting facts back into the conversation.

Rand Paul was recently on The View and presented the facts on taxes. Lower income earners in the United States pay little to no income tax and the top 1% pay approx 40%. I say this like I know it, but it was Politifact that did the fact check for Mr. Paul in this case. It would have been easy to sit in that audience and jeer at the facts because it doesn't fit the popular narrative.  It's too easy to assume that a person is not being factual just because they have a history of being misinformed.  It's also easy to sit on the couch and tap pearls of wisdom into a smartphone and click publish. Trying to do an in-depth analysis of the amount lower-income earners pay in consumption taxes is for a different post.

We started off trying to be a fact checking site  but soon decided that thumbing through the established fact checking sites every time a fact needed to be checked was not really being honest about what this was supposed to be. (There are links on the sidebar to visit them.) A slight change in direction now sees us trying to put things in perspective in very short posts, usually around 3 paragraphs, to match the attention span of people online, but still more thorough than a tweet. Trying to keep it simple for those that need a little help crossing the "information " superhighway.

Our intention is not just to stand by crying; "Liar liar pants on fire", but to give people some skills to sort out for themselves if the piece they are reading, or listening to is trying to inform or if it is simply trying to make them feel a particular way. Giving people the tools to sort out what they are being fed is the most important thing we can do in the medium and longer term. In the short term we have to take on these forces directly. FOXNEWS needs to be held to account for intentionally providing false information. Not "misinformation" not "erroneous information", but intentionally FALSE information, hiding behind it being opinion. It has to stop and one way it can is for people to understand it and see it for what it is. We hope to help with that.

IS THIS MESSAGE WORTH SHARING?

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

WHAT IS THE EVIDENCE OF RUSSIAN INVOLVEMENT IN AMERICAN POLITICS?

If you look past the incredible number of occurrences in the past two and a half years that have been of clear benefit to the ambitions of Vladimir Putin, what evidence is there of direct Russian involvement in the American election process?

Let's be honest, this little internet rag is not resourced like the news sites attached to the major networks or newspapers.  So what can we possibly know? That depends on how many places we are willing to look and how committed we are to sort out the facts from the efforts to elicit our feelings. We also have to draw a clear distinction between the question of Russian involvement and collusion, which are not the same thing.

It is possible that a person gullible enough could be pulled into a plot and receiving huge benefit from behind the scenes operations, be unaware of their participation. This person may in good faith say "NO COLLUSION", even as they are steered through their participation. We're going to set this aside as well to just look at the information in the public realm that makes the case for Russia steering the 2016 American election process.

The Mueller Report:
Robert Mueller's report was less than powerful in his conclusion on Trump's direct involvement or cooperation with Russian government interference with the 2016 presidential election. It was not cloudy or foggy in the conclusion that Russian government assets and internet companies waged a sophisticated campaign on social media sowing discord, spreading rumours, and baiting racial tensions.

Facebook And Twitter Accounts:
Facebook and Twitter both indicated they have found accounts that were run by Russians or Russian backed entities that were(are) producing and spreading memes and other propaganda material stoking fear and anger around immigration and terrorism.

There is evidence now that the same organizations have begun, never stopped really, working on the disruptions to the current election cycle. Facebook has said they have shut down Russian accounts spreading misinformation currently. Without going into things I have no qualifications or resources to look up, we know the evidence exists that proves Russia has and is working to disrupt and control the 2020 election in the United States.

IS THIS WORTH SHARING?

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

CULTIST CONSERVATISM WON'T CARRY IN CANADA

After a tight election, Canada moves forward toward a minority government after an election that was only decisive in one way. Just shy of 65% of Canadian voters rejected conservative platforms.  With the exception of the anti-immigration stance of the Bloc Quebecois, the traditional drumbeat of conservative talking points was turned down.

The obvious exception to the generality is the oil-producing provinces in the west. The economic reality of oil jobs and revenue and their unwavering support of it, sways the vote to the conservative based parties very reliably, but it's on the basis of long term promises they can't possibly keep. There is a small conservative religious base in Canada, but it doesn't have near the power of the Evangelical presence in the United States. Canada is, by and large, a socially progressive country with a tolerant ideology. Canadians are far less likely to look south of the border and think  "I want that...", than used to be the case. 
The circus in the White House and failure of conservative politicians to uphold the law and live out the religious platitudes they preach does not go unnoticed by the majority of Canadians.

If Conservatives want to be more than the Bloc Quebecois of the Prairies they are going to have to move, kicking and screaming if necessary, toward a more realistic and factual platform, and mean it. The blind rejection of science, the coddling of religious extremism and business leaders that works so well in the United States does not play as well in Canada's generally more pluralistic and literate society. If conservatism can't evolve with a changing climate, it faces extinction.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

IN SYRIA, TRUMP VS. PUTIN IS A PEEWEE VS. A PRO GAME.

With the pull out of American forces from Syria and the emerging catastrophe for the Kurdish people a clear void is being left that the Russians under Putin are rapidly filling. This is indisputably a loss for the Kurds, being hung out to dry by Trump after many years toting a heavy load in the fight against ISIS, eroding ISIS' control in that region and keeping them unable to mount attacks in North America. This is a huge win for ISIS and it remains to be seen what it means for their ability mount attacks against targets on the American homeland.

Emerging in this is an uptick of Russian influence in the region. There is a huge downside to this for America and the west as we watch to see what Putin's end game is.  Of particular concern is what goal Putin has and the obvious differences between Trump and Putin.  Trump is clueless on most government issues where Putin, in this scope, very much knows what he is doing. It really is a peewee vs. a pro game going on and that is not good for America.

With the utter chaos underway in Washington and the starburst of focus that America's intelligence services have on issues in and outside the American capital Putin has a pretty much open field in the middle east. America's president has chosen to put his country on the bleachers. We can only hope that Putin's plan will be complete in a short time period with merciful speed. With the void left by Trump's uninformed impulsive move, we are likely to see horrific consequences for our once allies, the Kurds, and negative implications for America and the west for years to come.

THE ARGUMENT FOR OIL IN THE NEAR TERM

There is an argument for oil in the near term and we need to hear it and heed it.

Oil, in western society, has become a very integral part of what gets us through the day, That and electricity keeps our society moving. Like wildlife that gets fed by humans visiting a wild area, we have become dependent on oil and electricity to simply survive. People in North America for sure, and many places in western Europe and other industrialized nations, for the most part, do not have the skills to survive without them. Does this mean we can not alter the system?; no not at all. The issue is the need for a transition.

The transition is going to take time, and many argue that we don't have the time, but sorry there is not a scenario where this can happen overnight. The task is huge and needs to be taken on, with or without the participation of those that resist for personal and business reasons. Governments need to take bold action based on the best advice from the best people. So what about the argument for oil in the near term? Survival. We need to keep society together during the transition.

We live in a huge apartment complex, that when we started was amazing, but time has taken a tole and our complex is, frankly due to be condemned. We are all being told we have to get out of the complex, but there is nowhere for us to go. We can't just drop the system we have, we don't know how to do it outside of the complex we are in. We must begin, with haste, building the new complex, but until we are in a position to move into somewhere new, beating the drum that we are doomed and must leave is going to be met with resistance from not only those with business interests, but those that simply have to make it through the day.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

BEST CANDIDATE? GETS VOTERS OUT TO THE POLLS.

No matter how thirsty some of us may be for the all encompassing and substantive candidate, the fact remains that the most important issue in the 2020 election is electability.  No other issue takes precedence over the ability to motivate reasonable people to get up, get out and vote.

That means the candidate has to withstand the blistering attacks that are coming, and those attacks are going to be coming from a fictional databank already being built.  The candidate and the Democrats as a party have to be able to keep their stride and momentum because the goal is not going to be to turn voters on to Trump, the attacks will be to turn  democratic voters off.

You only have to look at what the Russians and others are gaining with Trump and the equally hapless GOP in place, to know for a fact they will be playing an active role in all aspects of the 2020 U.S. presidential election. Who is chosen as the candidate and the willingness of voters to wrap themselves around that person is not only vital to the future of the United States,  but this time, to its continued existence as a democracy.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

NO, MAINSTREAM MEDIA IS NOT BIASED ON TRUMP

"The mainstream media is biased against Trump. "

It's a refrain from supporters of Donald Trump that the mainstream media has a negative bias, only reporting on negative things going on. The issue here is the role the media is to play in a constitutional democracy is one of the checks on the power of government.

It is well proved that Donald J. Trump has lied to the extreme while in office. Lied on an astonishing number of subjects, often requiring very little effort to debunk. Many of the lies swirl around efforts to interfere with investigations of conduct of his family, businesses and campaign with direct links to his role as President Of The United States. There is considerable evidence of criminal activity around the president. This is not a conviction in court, Donald Trump remains innocent until proven guilty of any crime.

With all of this going on what is expected of the journalistic community? Putting it in a smaller, easier to understand bite, think of your family. Think of someone saying they were going to help, saying they were going to fix complicated issues, telling you bad things about your friends and other that have helped you in the past. All the while it appears he has been taking advantage of your family on many levels, maybe it's money, maybe it's with the women in the family, whatever it is he appears to be doing very serious wrongs to the family. Who in the family is required to remind you that he did a great job grooming the yard?

If there was a balance between the questionable and the positive there would be an argument for balancing coverage, but there is not. The negative and the false are the primary items on the menu and no one is obliged to make it softer for the president who is incapable of doing it himself.

Monday, October 14, 2019

LIFE OUTSIDE EARTH

Intelligence is an open question, but it is the height of hubris, to spin and whirl around our little sun, on our little wet rock, and assume no other of the infinite rocks and stars in what we understand as our universe can support even mold. Reports in a number of outlets indicate that the U.S. space agency NASA is preparing to make a statement regarding life on Mars.

Some quotes and teasers are signaling that we may not be ready for such a historic announcement. To this we say, bring it on because unless they are going to announce they have found a Martian couple sipping wine reading a copy of Harry Potter, it's not that big of a deal. Granted it will be cool to have the question answered.

As special a place as Earth is, it is a planet and to restrict our thinking on what it takes to support life on a planet to our planet and nothing else, well, it's just silly. Looking forward beyond the announcement to important discussions on what we can expect in the future of space exploration.

Friday, October 11, 2019

EVIDENCE DOESN'T SUPPORT ATHEISM

Atheists follow a belief that there is no god  or creative entity to explain our existence. It all just simply happened. Objective evidence can't support this position. On the other hand there is clearly no objective evidence for God, in any form that organized religion has offered.

Where atheism falls short is the absolutism that no creator can be involved. Even fully accepting that the big bang was the beginning of the known universe, where did the pinhead size infinitely dense ball of matter come from? That will never be anything but speculation. Did it happen as a chain reaction to something else,  or is it a cycle of expansion and contraction that goes on infinitely? Or did an experiment lead to our universe? Either way we are here and there is no way to know for sure where the start point came from.

The objective evidence in favor of an overseeing entity is equally scarce. There is in fact no evidence whatsoever of any management at all, at least in the realm of human activity. A system of checks and balances exists in the natural world, but was that by intelligent design or just a matter of ebb and flow falling into place? Whether there was intelligence behind the design or not is immaterial, at this point it is what it is.

As for human endeavors the evidence does not support an overseeing entity,  period. An all powerful entity could, be able to oversee and control the workings of human society with little effort and without subletting power to humans with whom power is easily and observably abused. Why should an entity with as strong a need for adulation as is taught in most religions allow the abuse by religious leaders that causes so many to question the existence of God? They wouldn't.

Sorry Bill Maher, we can't disprove the possibility of an entity above us starting the chain of events leading to our existence. It is clear though, if a genesis entity does exist, it either does not know, or does not care about the humans on planet Earth.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

WHY DON'T WE CONSIDER INTENT ANYMORE?

Is the real question, why aren't people allowed to learn from past mistakes. Politics are probably the extreme example of this phenomenon where we need people with experience to deal with the issues we face, but they are somehow supposed to get their experience without the most important tool for developing experience; error.

There is no lapse in judgment tolerated in a politician's past, no matter how informative it is to their current situation. Whether it's a poor choice in costume in the past or membership in an organization when they were younger, but now see as reprehensible, good people, of all political stripes need to be allowed to grow. Grow intellectually and grow emotionally to develop the balance of knowledge and experience that will allow them to understand and solve extremely difficult problems.

If we are going to insist on leaders with the innocence of a baby we are going to get leaders with the judgment of a baby.

HAS THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC BEEN LOST?


A lot has happened since this original post.  There was a previous update focusing on the impeachment, but all of that means little now. COVID-19 has stormed on to the scene and left bare the ridiculous ineptitude of DONALD JOHN TRUMP, the first NONPRESIDENT to be in office and the worst crisis manager in United States History.

HAS THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC BEEN LOST?

The question seems to ask itself.  Why is there nothing happening to try and stop what appears to be such overwhelmingly obvious corruption in the United States Government?

By every measure the Republican Party appears to be aiding and abetting Donald Trump in making money off of his presidency, obstructing investigations into his conduct, before and after the election, in getting assistance from foreign powers in getting elected, tearing down the systems that are meant to keep things in check. So what is the situation?

What are we to expect from the Democratic House Leadership? It seems that a line of some kind has finaly been crossed.  Since the revelations about the contacts between Donald Trump and the president of the Ukraine in which Trump asked for an investigation to dig up dirt on Democratic candidate Joe Biden, the House of Representatives has now begun a formal impeachment enquiry.

Trump's propaganda machine has been trying to undermine the investigation,  as they worked at doing during the Mueller investigation, but seem out of practice, having released a summary transcript of the call which clearly shows Trump asking for an investigation of his political opponent and his son.

If the mainstream media is accurate in their reporting and they do all seem to have gotten the same release from the White House, then we have finally arrived to where America just may be able to save itself.  Powerful Trump defenders like Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell need to come around. If these men are being blackmailed, and it really seems possible; a deal and protection may be in order for the good of the American nation.

Whether Trump is a puppet of a foreign power, or has managed to install a mafia style system on his own the problem is the same.  The political machine in place right now is intent on seizing power and dismantling the government institutions that keep at least some balance between those who seek unlimited power and those who have the least power.

For the record this is not just an American issue. A destabilized America is an open door for nations, not all with good human rights records, to spread influence and perhaps their boundaries. So step up, get informed and get involved and help ensure the answer to the question " Has the American Republic been lost?"; is a firm and resounding; NO!

Friday, September 20, 2019

IN THE AGE OF IMMEDIATE RAGE, WE ARE LOSING OUR ABILITY TO REASON.

Not that long ago, if you heard something you didn't like or made you angry there was a cool down period. If it was news worthy you could get some information from the newspaper or TV or radio news. None of these sources were perfect, but for the most part the were credible agencies and there was enough of them to ensure some competition toward getting the story right.

Now days RAGE is a business and an effective political strategy. Rage keeps the clicks coming in and the money and the votes. Somewhere along the line we have given up the concept of critical thinking.  The ability to point out places where a narrative doesn't make sense and ask ourselves whether it is real or fake, worth agreeing with or standing against.  How have we gotten to this place?

One obvious thought is a down turn in education and literacy. People of all walks of life don't know how to read effectively.  No, reading is not just being able to pronounce words. It involves not just being able to figure out meaning either. In today's environment, reading also means being able to interpret intent. Why is the writer trying to make the point and what is the writer trying to make me feel. Make no mistake that the majority of things you read are attempting to make you feel something, because you will act on your feelings. Feelings of rage motivate people to the polls, while feelings of resignation and apathy keep people away from the polls. Either case can be a plus depending on who the piece is targeting. This piece included.

Yes I'm targeting you.  I am trying as best I can to wake people up and give them some tools to recognize when we are being manipulated. It's vital to getting our civilized society back.

Monday, September 16, 2019

STOP IT. IT'S BEEN TRIED, REGULAR FOLK CAN'T BE PRESIDENT.


We have to deal with the problem of romanticizing the notion of "a regular person" as a national leader. Joe working the counter at the gas bar/donut shop since he was sixteen is not equipped to deal with the issues in modern politics. He can't deal with international disputes, has no clue about the spies, environment, etc. etc. etc.etc.

We all love the thought that our "common sense" if there is such a thing, could be effective in solving all the great issues we face. And the simple answer is WRONG!.

The truth is, most people have a limited capacity to deal with and understand things on a macro level. World politics and conflict and economics are not things that can be summed up at the kitchen table. Most average people have trouble balancing income and expenses for their household nevermind a national budget.

We need people in these positions with focus, and a capacity to look at situations from many angles without defaulting to an entrenched ideology which all too often has proven wrong. It makes common folks crazy, but these types of people tend to be successful on their own, which only makes sense, if they have the skills to organize a campaign and operate an enterprise as complicated as government, they have the capability of attaining personal wealth and success.

Now we can focus on the real issue. Not all billionaires and millionaires are the same.  They don't have the same values or lack of values. They aren't all sociopaths or all philanthropists. So, yes we must choose wisely who we want to lead our society,  but let's not try and give the job to the hopelessly unqualified out of simple jealousy.



Sunday, September 8, 2019

WHAT DOES IT TAKE FOR TRUMP TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE?

Trump takes his lying and delusions very seriously. After enormously saying that Hurricane Dorian was forecast to possibly impact Alabama he produces a self doctored map showing an extension to the forecast track of the storm, presumably drawn with a Sharpie. The most appropriate reaction to this comical show of pettiness, as expressed by both mainstream and social media was to laugh out loud while calling it out.



A Trump apologist embedded in NOAA was directing, legitimate weather forecasters to not challenge Trumps imaginary forecast track, as shown in the infamous and ridiculous crayon drawing.

In an environment where real fact based reporting is called FAKE NEWS such a childish attempt at covering up an obvious inaccurate statement would cross some sort of line within the Trumpers, right? Sadly, no.

What is the secret behind Trump's contagious and constant state of delusion?

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

TRYING TO SLOW THE SPREAD OF TRUMPOLITICS.

There is an active movement outside of the United States made up of people who are not affiliated, not organized and not intending harm the U.S. as they work toward the common goal of stopping Donald Trump. More accurately, it is to stop the brand of politics that has seen Donald Trump rise to a position of such power.

Mr.Trump has been branded many things; misogynist, racist, fascist, authoritarian, and sociopath just to name a few. The most concerning trait, though, is clueless. Let's be clear that Donald Trump has been running an organization for a lot of years. We can argue as to how well he runs the Trump Organization, but bottom line, it has afforded him a number of properties, worldwide recognition, a private jet etc. Clearly, in no way has that prepared him for the Presidency. On macro issues, outside of his home organization he is uneducated, uninformed and seems unable to transition into the role of POTUS.
A key problem is the support system that continues to prop him up, by feeding him hopelessly bad information and steering him in directions not only bad for the United States,  but all nations, and Trump himself. A person displaying traits commonly associated with narcissism unable to admit his lack of knowledge or even recognize it, Mr.Trump would be putty in the hands of skilled political and intelligence operatives. Donald Trump's supporters are just as pliable and they are not alone. There are people in all nations who are frightened and concerned about their way of life.

The forces at play around Donald Trump are varied and don't necessarily share the same goals. They have seen the same opportunity though,  whether it's to destabilize the United States and by extension NATO, enhance the power of religious and business leaders or simple greed and self-enrichment, there is no shortage of organized and unorganized efforts to sway Donald Trump. Mr Trump appears unequipped to understand nevermind deal with forces at play around him. To be fair, I wouldn't stand a snowball's chance in hell either. Standing in the hurricane is far different than watching the satellite loop from a smart phone.

Twitter and Facebook are loaded with actors spreading misinformation about political, religious and civil conflict effectively tearing apart countries. Stoking fears of migrants attempting to take over countries instead of becoming part of their new homeland. Misinformation about political leaders and parties, religious leaders, climate science, it goes on and is as effective and destructive as any weapon. Twitter and Facebook are also loaded with people trying to counter this misinformation. Troublingly, this is sometimes done with misinformation as well. People need to know where and how to find correct information for there to be any trust again.

Any way you look at it, what happens in the United States has an effect almost anywhere on the planet. Whether it is by policies that are developed or by simply normalizing this type of political operation and conduct we all have a vested interest in what happens in Washington DC and for returning it to America's normal political workings.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

DOES DONALD TRUMP LIE?



The question is does he lie or is he simply talking about the world he sees. A world of imagination where the reality most of us see does not exist. A world where he does know everything, and how could he not, it's all of his making. It seems in Donald Trump's world he can fly and is the only one who can fix anything.

The more important question is why do so many people join him in his world? Why do so many suspend their intellect and join him in an imaginary dimension where what you see is filtered through his delusions?

Being frustrated when Donald Trump says things that are clearly not true may be the same as getting frustrated when a quadriplegic doesn't stand for the national anthem. Determining what is true seems to be beyond Donald Trump's capabilities and it can be argued that it's not his fault.  Can it be argued that it makes him unfit for a government job, nevermind the job of president?

Sunday, August 18, 2019

LISTENING TO SOMEONE YOU DON'T AGREE WITH IS ONLY HELPFUL IF THEIR POINT OF VIEW IS BASED ON FACTS....

It is just that simple. Trying to understand and perhaps even agree with the point of view of a person is only worthwhile if they are based in reality. Why am I going to spend hours, or even just minutes, listening to a person's views on climate change, if their point is that there is no scientific consensus when there is. The argument has to be based on fact. Colourblindness aside, I am not going to argue with a person that the paint on my house is the wrong shade of blue when the paint on my house is green.

This brings us to, not only Donald Trump, but his supporters, and a majority of the Republican Party. They, on purpose, or not, don't deal in the truth or facts. They are not worth wasting time on.




Wednesday, May 8, 2019

YOU DON'T HIDE SOMETHING THAT PROVES YOUR INNOCENCE.

Human nature can be a funny thing.  It can make us hunker down in an argument, knowing we are wrong and keep pushing trying to win. Trump supporters are locked in this cycle now, it matters not if they are right, it is simply to win is now the only thing left. There are those who simply don't want to admit to being swindled, maybe out of shame  and this is also normal. It's what allows con artists to rack up successful swindles with out being turned in. So where does this put Trump?

Trump is locked in an obvious battle to prevent the people in and out of Congress from seeing the material in Robert Mueller's report.  A report, keep in mind  he trumpeted as exonerating him. Now think about any argument you have been locked in and think, how hard would you work to keep hidden, the information that would have proved you were right.  Now ask why Trump us blocking access, and is willing to give up his next 2 years as president if all we need is to see all the information that proves he's right?

Be objective and be reasonable and you know the answer.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

THE AMERICAN HEALTH CARE DEBATE MAY BE THE MOST CONFUSING

The American health care debate never stops being amazing to the outside world.  Why?  Rarely, have so many people been lead so far astray with so few facts for so long.

To be clear, there is access to some amazing technology and facilities in the United States devoted to health care, and some AMAZING PEOPLE in the industry.  For all of the potential it is held back by a few people with motives ranging from money to power to just plain old prejudice.

The propaganda around a single payer system being SOCIALIST and therefore inherently evil has been played up the conservative and Republicans for a long time.  The TRUTH is that the arguments are held mostly on fear mongering and lies about government panels deciding who lives and dies.  This is COMPLETE BULL SHIT.  In truth the profit based systems are far more discriminatory.  There are problems with the single payer system, but they are not anything like the problems that exist in the purely for profit system in the states.

The FACTS ARE CLEAR:

- As a whole system Americans have THE MOST COSTLY healthcare on earth.  Vastly more money per person is spent on healthcare than comparable democracies.
- As a whole, the outcome of American healthcare is much lower than other comparable democracies. As a whole, for everyone.  You may have had a great experience,  but is it reflective of the whole?

In Canada I shop around for my personal or family doctor.  There is ZERO interference with choosing my family doctor.  If I have an issue,  in consultation with my family doctor I get a referral to an available specialist.   If there are several specialists, I can ask to go to or avoid any one of them.  I can't just walk into a cardiovascular surgeon's clinic and say hi.  I need a referral. This is not a negative,  it's part of what makes the healthcare system, a system. There is a process that gets you from one place to another.

When a person presents at an emergency department they are seen based on their condition.   Rich people do not get seen ahead of poorer people because they flash their gold card.  This terrifies people who want their hang nail looked at before  a "lesser" person's heart attack. It has meant some long waits in emergency rooms for some very uncomfortable,  but not life threatening, conditions.

What about the "lack of competition"?  While major hospitals are owned and operated by the provincial governments my doctor has a PRIVATE PRACTICE.  His office is a partnership with another doctor.   THEY choose what services they want to offer and I get to stay or shop around based on the services and atmosphere or what ever I choose.


Competition in medicine,  as it relates to cost is counter intuitive.  Attracting clients to, hospital is based on having ALL the bells and services. CAT scan, MRI, helicopters, biggest and best EVERYTHING.  You don't look for a two for one deal on an appendix operation.  Competition in medicine more often than not drives costs up.

A for profit hospital needs the MRI to pay for itself.   To pay for itself, it needs people put through it.  It's hard to say no to the doctor treating your kid when told he/she needs a $1000.00 test done. These add cost, not always for the best of the patient over the best for the investors, but who the heck can tell?

The single payer system does prevent a real issue that drives up costs.  There is only one billing system to worry about. American hospitals have massive departments looking after billing and collections.  Often there are major portions of the admin department devoted to each insurance company.  The claim systems are very individual and complex.

There is only one major democracy in the world that has not accepted the notion that we are stronger together than we are divided.  We are also stronger when we are HEALTHY and able to participate fully in the economy.

The single payer system is NOT PERFECT.  Heck, it's not even perfect's cousin once removed.  It does do what it does, pretty well.  It guarantees the largest number of people the best overall chances at a healthier, longer more productive life. Why defend it so much, you may be asking.  It gets berated by forces with a lot of backing and money.  Defending it is not solely about giving the American people the chance to experience a healthcare system that CARES.  It is about comforting the people that have it now, that the picture painted by single payer's detractors is not the final word on the condition of the system.  We are rightly proud of s system that keeps us healthy as people and strong as a nation.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

RIGHT, LEFT AND CENTRE. THERE'S A VIDEO FOR EVERY IDEOLOGY.

There's one for every occasion and one for every narrative.  They are the white supremisist, the Muslim, the misogynist, the animal abuser and they all have a few things in common.

1.  They RARELY tell the whole story
2.  They ALWAYS have an angle.
3.  They're ALWAYS repeated over and over, retweeted and shared, over and over.
4.  They're NEVER used to bring us together or to SOLVE a problem.
5.  For every person defending the specific video, there's one bashing it.

What is their value?
What is their purpose?
How do we get rid of the problem?

Folks, this is not going to be a quick read from FactMissile, as we have been acustom to.  We have to get some things straight about the damage these videos are doing.  Moving MEMEs are a major problem, a major tool in the internet propaganda battles.

The current one that is causing all the rage features a native American elder in what appears to be a solitary protest in Washington DC.  Whether it is solitary or part of a larger protest is made irrelevant,  he appears to be solo and interviews make it sound as though he was acting alone for his specific cause.  He was not the only protester,  other causes were being voiced as well.

A widely re-posted video taken by I don't know who shows the protester, surrounded by a group of young white men who appear to be mocking the elder's traditional Native American chant performed with a traditional drum.  One young man in particular,  wearing a red MAGA hat, as were several others, was very much up in the face of the protester with an obviously arrogant or condescending facial expression.  It does not paint a good picture of the young men or the school they are associated with.

There have been videos surface showing the interaction from other angles and painting a slightly different picture of the events. Each video, where ever shot from can paint an entirely different picture of the events.  Think back to an earlier Quick Read; A SINGLE FACT CAN BE A DANGEROUS THING.  You need to see as many angles as possible to have an informed view on the event. Whether it is a single view of an event from one focal point, or a single event out of thousands, it is entirely possible to be completely led a stray by one view and a few words to push you in a given direction.  As is predictable, and frankly understandable the press and twitterverse have made hay out of this event for both sides of the MAGA debate. Although the spin on this one, out of the gate, was from the anti Trump/anti MAGA side.

Certainly it is not to imply the pro Trump/pro MAGA supporters don't do the same thing.  They are to be blunt near addicted to it.  At times pulling up stuff that one would only find in obscure little corners of the web.  As with any of them, they can and do provide their own narrative. As mentioned earlier, those few words to push viewers down a given direction.

Often time the video features language that has to be translated and we are at the mercy of the poster to let us know what horrible thing is being said.  The propaganda issue is the same as the video of the boys in red hats as well.  The video captures one point of view and one small chunk of what is often a much larger event, or it does not even accurately depict the event at all.  How do we know what the goal of the poster is?  This takes us back to an earlier post; " HAVE YOU BEEN INFORMED OR INFLAMED?" It is not very often that the poster of any of these videos is simply trying to provide dispassionate, balanced reporting.  It is out there to create outrage.  Outrage after all gets people to the polls and it gets people clicking and sharing.  Sharing means clicks, clicks mean coin.

It's not limited to the debate over MAGA and the border wall by any stretch. Climate Change, Porn, Gun Rights, Animal Welfare, if you have a cause you can find a video to make your point, while ignoring everything else going on outside of the view of that one camera.

How do we work our way around it?

1.  DON'T GET ANGRY, GET FACTS.
2.  GET MORE THAN THE ONE OR TWO FACTS BEING SHOWN
3.  ANALYSE AND ASK IF YOU ARE BEING INFORMED OR INFLAMED.
4.  STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE, TRUTH IS RARELY COMFORTABLE.

Find out who is benefiting and how from the fixation that is being created on the video that you are being drawn in to.  Someone is getting something out of it.

We have to start taking a lot more personal responsibility for the views we are developing from the propaganda that is surrounding us.  Right, Left or Centre we are not benefiting from the constant bickering and distrust that we are being conditioned to maintain.  There are puppet masters out there that want us to continue to look at each other with distrust because if we ever stopped to look at the world they are creating we might just demand better from the powers than what we are being offered.


Saturday, January 19, 2019

THE EVIDENCE SAYS THE U.S. SOUTHERN BORDER IS NOT IN CRISIS.

The southern border is not in crisis.  That doesn't mean there is nothing to fix or there is nothing wrong.  It does mean there is no need for a shutdown,  no need for stoking fear and no need for a wasteful military deployment.

Like laws or don't like laws, if you don't follow the law, you have broken the law.  If you don't like the law, change it.  This needs to be the focus of attention.   If the economy benefits from these workers, and the evidence is that it does, in a big way, make the process support them.

But make no mistake; all of this has ZERO to do with the border and has everything to do with distraction,  deflection and deception. These are the three "D"s that define Putin's Proxy Presidency in Washington.

BUZZFEED, AN HONEST ERROR VS. INTENT TO MISLEAD?

A Trumpian wet dream come true or a deflection to protect the investigation?  How much do we read into a one paragraph response from the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller to Buzzfeed's report?  I am of the view that we need to relax and let things come out.

If it's an honest error let BUZZFEED take care of correcting it.  If they are intentionally trying to mislead then we can read or not read them just like FOX"news".

Sunday, January 13, 2019

WE NEED CRITICAL THINKING TO SOLVE PROBLEMS.

There are examples all over, of people who have complicated, responsible, important jobs that they execute thoughtfully and efficiently.  Then they step outside and seem to lose even the most basic abilities for critical thinking.  We all have biases.  It's part of our nature.  When we look at a problem, challenging our biases is how we solve the problem.

We need to look at the information provided to us and apply common sense and critical thinking.   The wall is being pushed as a way to stop the "invasion" coming from the south.  The data is clear that there is a near historic low in people coming across America's southern border.  Even if there was a massive throng of people crossing that border, the people who are of concern are healthy enough to find another way.  ISIS isn't sending someone to Mexico to cross the border, then just give up and hit the beach because there is a wall.

There is a problem at the southern border.  It is people trying to get in around the rules.  It needs to be solved, like them or not the rules exist and should be followed or changed if they don't meet the current needs.  But, to be clear, the people you are worried about are NOT coming in with migrants crossing the border.  They have the health and the means to come in where and when they want.  This wall distraction is making it easier for those with means and intent to come in.  Not even accounting for the lapses being created by the shutdown.

Critical thinking can solve problems and open minds. The wall isn't a solution.  It's a distraction diverting attention from real problems.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

TOO MUCH EXCITEMENT FOR THE FBI INVESTIGATION ON TRUMP.

In the real world an investigation into how Trump interacted with the Russians appears to have been undertaken by the FBI in 2017.  It is significant,  but in the resistance world has taken on an aura of fait accompli.  If there was an obvious smoking gun that the president was probably acting on behalf of the Russian government does that mean that the FBI would have moved by now or they would hold until he didn't have the power to evade?

In the current Russian run TRUMP/GOP administration is there any safety in making a move?  Likely not.  The FBI investigation results are meaningless until the GOP senior leadership is taken down by what has to amount to a coup within the party.  That assumes that it is the leadership that been compromised, not the party proper.

Are there any patriots left in the party of Lincoln,  or is this the end of The Grand Experiment?

Friday, January 11, 2019

REALITY CONTINUES TO BE A CHALLENGE FOR CONSERVATIVES IN AMERICA.

The southern border has issues.  Yes people do make their way over the border.  Many of these people are not following the rules when they cross into the United States.  Yes, that makes them illegal immigrants. The problem is that the conservatives are portraying the issue as a crisis of public safety.  It is not. To be clear, there is an influx of illegal immigration, but there is NO MASS SAFETY ISSUE RESULTING FROM IT. These people seek, even crave to stay below the radar.  They want to make a pitiful wage, doing jobs that the American public is often uninterested in doing.

There are true risks to the safety of the American public.

GUN VIOLENCE COMMITTED BY AMERICAN CITIZENS ON EACH OTHER TAKES 10s OF THOUSANDS OF LIVES EVERY YEAR.

HEALTH CARE THAT IS OUT OF REACH OF THE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS, MANY OF WHOM HAVE TO DECLARE BANKRUPTCY DUE TO A FAMILY MEMBER BECOMING ILL.

You can think of several more I am sure.  The next one is of greater concern than many of us thought would ever be an issue.

THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES HAS BEEN HACKED BY FOREIGN POWERS AND IS BEING RUN BY A MAN WHO WANTS TO BE DICTATOR, BACKED UP BY, AND MANIPULATED BY,  A LIFE LONG INTERNATIONAL SPYMASTER.  TRUMP DOES NOT HAVE THE FACULTIES TO UNDERSTAND WHAT IS GOING ON.

THE GOP HAS LEFT AMERICA FOR DEAD.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

FAR FROM FAKE PART 2: IS MONEY GOTTEN FROM RATINGS, OR ARE THEY PAID TO EFFECT POLITICS?


Where is the media falling down and why?

The flow from reporting, to analysis, through commentary to the almost, or outright propagandizing that we now see in outlets like FOXNEWS on the right, and to a lesser extent MSNBC on the left.  These are clearly not the only cases, but are the most obvious. 

What has set MSNBC apart from FOXNEWS, until the last couple of days is the willingness, or allowance to criticize their guy.  It was possible to hear MSNBC comment negatively toward a democrat, whether president or other elected official.  It may not have been exceedingly common, but you were not surprised, or at least were never shocked to hear it.  FOXNEWS on the other hand, until the last couple of days, would never make a comment that implied any critiquing of the Republican Party or for sure the President.  Some of that is changing in the current state of affairs, but it remains to be seen what the motives are for figures like Tucker Carlson and Anne Coulter taking a shot at reality in their talking points.

MSNBC’s nightly line up consists of several commentators who are, for the most part, prodigy of Keith Olberman.  The main anchor show of the evening line up is The Rachel Maddow Show. It’s a good factual cable news program.  Like most of the cable news programs, it is high in commentary.  It’s commentary the person writing this, happens to agree with, by in large.  It is also based on provable facts.  That is to say, that you can trace down the information the information and verify it.  The repetition of the messages is something that takes, for me, the process beyond informing and allowing judgement to trying to change people’s point of view.

Sowing outrage, whether for the right or the left, does not help get people together to work on issues that matter to everyone.  This all being said, agree or not with my opinion on whether or not it is commentary or reporting, we need a balancing weight for the left to counter the propagandizing coming from FOXNEWS.

We need to get back to cover the facts and move on.  Ratings are important, it is how we pay for the news, but focus on ratings has given Donald J. Trump more power that his stature and background should have provided for him.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

WELCOME TO 2019.

As nations ring in the new year a couple of factual thoughts to guide us into the next year.

1. This numbering years thing only matters to us humans.  Earth has far more trips around the sun under its equator than the pathetically minor number of 2019 that we are celebrating.  It's only raised to put some perspective on our role on the planet.  Despite our talent for damaging its life support systems and our verbose ego, humans have, but a minuscule role in the history of our planet.   We seem hell bent on shortening our time on earth.  Let's hope some reality can enter our motives moving forward.

2.  Everyone involved, on both sides of the Atlantic, in the unending attacks on reality must be brought into check.   They are using a vast power of religious beliefs and their understanding of phycological science to change people's perception of reality.  Education must return critical thinking to curriculum everywhere.   It's a scary prospect to those seeking power, that the people they are intending to coerce might be able see the tricks they play.  Now more than ever, knowledge is power, but also freedom.

2019 has every potential to be great, or tragic.  The new energy economy will not only save a place for humans on earth, but is worth TRILLIONS of dollars.  Let's unshackle the innovators in 2019.  The transition is going to take time and there is plenty of room for every sector,  new and old to benefit.

Good luck and Happy New Year.