Friday, January 6, 2017

Those Whom the Gods Will Destroy, They First Make Mad -- Part 2


Why has Syria become the touchstone for so much humanitarian outrage and political posturing over the past six years?  And why so much attention from corporate media?

Six years ago, few people could spell Aleppo, much less find it on a map, and many still think Ghouta is a kind of cheese.  Just ask Gary Johnson, shortly after he quit weed to run for President. For the last three years, Syria has become the only global disaster worse than climate change and Putin's Jedi mind control over American voters. Indeed, Syria is a tragedy of almost unspeakable dimensions, a war that, according to the WaPo,
has killed almost half a million people, spurred the largest refugee crisis since World War II and given safe haven to a global terrorist threat in the form of the Islamic State.
How could that happen?  What could a little country such as Syria do that would generate so much angst in Europe and the Middle East?

Well, let me fast forward past all the shibboleths we hear from TV pundits to tell the story they won't tell.  The short and cynical version is,  It's the oil, stupid!  More specifically, it's the profits of moneyed globalists and their political puppets.  The large-scale swath of death and destruction in Syria is essentially kabuki theater for oil rights.

First, some background.  Syria's internal problems reached a crisis point in 2011. A fifty percent drop in domestic oil production, a commensurate drop in wheat production, increasing dependency on food imports, a rise in food costs and fuel costs, and a growing national debt all happened to dovetail with another and more regional phenomenon, namely, the Arab Spring.  People began to protest.  The Arab Spring spread across much of the Middle East, from Tunisia on one end to Saudi Arabia and Iran on the other.  Seeing this, Syrian protesters became more emboldened, some calling for regime change.  Assad reacted strongly to tamp down the protests in his own country. He understood the potential threat from outside agitators and terrorists, so he used a heavy hand.  The protesters also got violent.  Things went downhill from there.

Normally, you would think that, okay, times are tough and Syria will need to solve its internal problems and dig itself out, just like other countries do when hard times lead to civil unrest.  We all face exigencies that confront us with tough choices.  That's as true in the world of nations as it is in the world of our private lives.

So why did the West's humanitarian spotlight get focused almost exclusively on Syria these past few years?  Was there nowhere else for the media to turn their cameras?  Is Haiti all better now?  And Afghanistan?  And Libya?  And Chicago, for that matter, where I hear the annual murder rate has set new records?  Of all places, why would nations choose sides and fight a proxy war in Syria, slaughtering so many innocents in a gambit that could have been avoided but wasn't? And why so much interest from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran, France, Britain, the U.S. and Russia?

Hmm.  Let me ponder those entanglements for a moment.  Okay, I'm done.

The answer is quite simple.  There's a major oil play to be made in Syria.  Trillions upon trillions of petrodollars are on the line.  Follow the money to see who profits from Assad's fate.  If you want to get down in the weeds on this one, start here and here.  If you don't, then just keep reading.  As for the murder rate in Chicago or riots in Venezuela or starvation in Yemen, well, eh, who really cares, right? Syria is where the action is.  But if you're looking for a higher cause to explain all the carnage in Syria, such as God or the value of human life, you'll be disappointed.

Here's the money angle in three easy-to-remember parts:  Petrodollars pull the cart .... politicians hold the reins ... investors tell the drivers where to go ,,. and the road leads through Syria.  It's really that simple.

With this game plan in hand, listen to Wesley Clark describe the money at play:



And here's the oil angle.  It's a competition between two groups:

Note the purple line which traces the proposed Qatar-Turkey natural gas pipeline and note that all of the countries highlighted in red are part of a new coalition hastily put together after Turkey finally (in exchange for NATO’s acquiescence on Erdogan’s politically-motivated war with the PKK) agreed to allow the US to fly combat missions against ISIS targets from Incirlik. Now note which country along the purple line is not highlighted in red. That’s because Bashar al-Assad didn’t support the pipeline and now we’re seeing what happens when you’re a Mid-East strongman and you decide not to support something the US and Saudi Arabia want to get done.
h/t:  mintpressnews

You will notice that one oil pipeline starts in Iran and flows through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon on its way to European markets.  Russia is allied with Iran and Sryia.

The other oil pipeline starts in Qatar and flows through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and Turkey on its way to European markets.  The U.S. is allied with Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Syria hangs in the balance, since both proposed pipelines must go through Assad's country.  That helps you understand who is in favor of Assad versus who wants Assad deposed.  To replace Assad with a more amenable ruler, one first must fan the flames of rebellion.  Money is needed.  And rebels. Rebels need weapons.  Lots of them.  Enter Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the U.S., France and Britain.

The strife in Syria is not due to an internal conflict between Sunnis and Shiites.  Or between Syrian nationals and rebels.  Or secularists versus fundamentalists.  It's about  oil and gas and the money at stake for years to come.  Follow the money to see who benefits.  Tragically, it's almost always about the money.  The Syrian conflict is a case in point.  ISIS has been a major player. A cruel and brutal player.  But many of the mercenaries in Syria are fighting for whoever pays them more. They are killing for pay in a violent game of hide-and-seek.

Obama was correct when he called ISIS a JV team.  The fact is, ISIS can be reduced to nuisance status merely by taking away their access to oil, money and weapons.  It may sound difficult, but it isn't.  Up until the buttinsky Russians got involved, ISIS and al-Nusra mercenaries were useful tools against Assad.  And some of them were admired by the mainstream media, provided we called them white helmets rather than terrorists,

Did I mention that our current allies, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, provide financial and military support to ISIS and were recipients of our export of arms from Libya to Syrian rebels?  And that Iran is an ally of Russia and Syria and does much the same for Assad? But, then, you already knew that.  What you may not know is that the Obama regime got those arms into terrorists' hands by way of Qatar, Libya and Turkey through a secretive back-door scheme known as Operation Zero Footprint. Catchy name, eh?  Mix deceit with a little treachery and that's the kind of code name you get.  The name comes in handy when you need to blame the debacle in Benghazi on an anti-Muslim film.  Or when the militants you are supporting in Syria morph into the enemy (ISIS) that you oppose in Iraq. Talk about insanity. That's like subsidizing the tobacco industry while suing them for causing cancer. Huh, wait! What?  That happened, too? Why, that's insane.  It's utter madness.

Anyway, we were talking about Syria going up in smoke.  So let me give it to you in a nutshell.  The horrors in Syria come down to one question:  Who will be the major oil and gas supplier to western Europe in the coming years?  Europe has become increasingly dependent on Russia for oil and gas, an arrangement that benefits Russia financially and politically.

So keep your eyes on the money players.  Forget the humanitarian rhetoric.  That's for the nightly news.  The coin of the realm has only two sides -- Iran and Qatar -- either of which holds value for a lot of global companies.  No matter that a few hundred thousand eggs get cracked to make the deal work.  That's merely the political version of Let's Make a Deal.  As for politicos, many will posture for the high moral ground in Syria, but they really don't give a damn about the lives of ordinary people, Syrian or otherwise, unless it leads to re-election, empowerment, or an improvement in some of the private investments they make.

Yes, I'm being harsh.  And cynical.  But how else to deal with such madness?  The same folks who condemned George W. Bush for regime change in Iraq have been promoting regime change ever since, first in Libya and now in Syria, only these days it's called "Responsibility to Protect" or R2P, either of which is code for a coup.  At least, that's how John Kerry described it in regard to Syria. Cute acronym, isn't it?  R2P"  And dripping with righteousness.  Hubris is a god of a thousand faces, even moral ones, evil though they be.  Over 400,000 dead Syrians bear witness, plus another 4,000,000 refugees.

Millennia ago, Socrates referred to hubris as extreme pride or arrogance.  It takes many forms.  Envy is one.  Greed is another.  Lust for power is a third.  And madness a fourth.  Wanting to be like God, one presumes to act like a god and take what one wants.  The inevitable result is tragedy.

The horrors in Syria are nothing if not mad.

R. Stephen Bowden blogs at the Steve Bowden Journal at bowdenbeat.blogspot.com

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Trump for Dummies

For those who like videos, here are a few.  First, the Na, Na Na Na, Goodbye tribute to George W. Bush during the Obama inauguration ceremony in January, 2009:



And now payback begins, a month prior to Donald Trump's inauguration:



I don't like such stuff.  It's adolescent, to say the least and does little more than feed the beast of divisiveness.  Trump is a populist.  His concern is for all Americans, sectarian though they may be.  A lot of people don't get that about him, but soon they will.  It's his strong suit.

For those who want to understand the Trump phenomenon, here's a speech from Newt Gingrich at the Heritage Foundation that lays it out forcefully, accurately and in historical perspective.  You can skip the introductions by going to the 4:30 mark.  Once you begin listening, you will want to hear it all::






I'm White as Hell, and I'm Not Gonna Take This Anymore!!!

Ah, how to navigate the treacherous waters of Obama's America?  The Scylla of white privilege looms dangerously on the right, the Charybdis of racial injustice on the left.  Either direction spells ruin for frightened passengers.  Waves pummel the ship.  The current is unpredictable. Masts are full and the wind is strong. The captain must steer the dangerous middle of an angry sea, Our hapless pilot got his training along the coast of France, his birthplace, where he became a skilled man of the sea like his father and grandfather before him.  Only now, while the tempest is up, many of the passengers have grown wild-eyed with fear.  They blame him for wind and water and for having set sail to begin with. Bitter aspersions are shouted at him.  Some taunt him without mercy.  Others curse him and his heritage, asking why a Frenchman should have his hand at the wheel.

So how should our hapless captain manage this desperate moment?  What prayer might he raise to heaven as torrents of rain beat against him?

Maybe he could start here, shouting: I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!




That's Peter Finch in the role of Adam Beale.  The clip is from a 1976 movie entitled Network. Beale is a TV broadcaster who learns he is to be fired, and he's not happy about it, He has given his lfie to the news, and now, due to a fall in ratings, he learns he will be cut loose by the higher-ups. He is allowed to make a televised farewell speech.  But his farewell address turns into a rant on the banality of existence. Surprisingly, his uncensored diatribe leads to an immediate improvement in viewership. People like what he's saying.  Callers flood the station's phone lines.  People want to hear more from Beale. And they do.  Ratings improve as if by magic.  So the corporate players allow Beale's nightly rants to continue, if only to see where they lead. Tragedy ensues. Beale, after all, has chosen to swim against the tide.  People drown that way.  That's the story line.

In that same vein, though not for banal reasons, let me now rant:  I'm white as hell and I'm not going to take this any more.

Do you find that racist?  Unhinged?  If so, why?  Because I said white? ... hell? ... not going to take this anymore?  Or perhaps because my ancestors are merely Scots, French, Slavic, German, Jewish, Cherokee and one guy who was so drunk he didn't remember his contribution to our gene pool. I'm a witches' brew of Anglicans, Huguenots, Calvinists, Lutherans, Sephardics and henotheists.  Is that why I don't rate?  I thought such a tapestry might qualify as multicultural. Surely I must belong to some protected class.  On top of that, I'm probably a genetic test away from African ancestry. Maybe as far back as the Olduvai Gorge, Lucy and beyond. Except my ancestors were too poor to own anybody, white or black or otherwise, far as I know.  I'm pretty sure someone else owned us, or else we worked for them.  Unlike your recent ancestors, Ben Affleck, not that you should care, though strangely you do.  At some point you have to let go of the past and the outdated narrative that warps your thinking.  You're an American.  Act like one.

These days, I am told that Mena has been proposed as a new racial category.  Such an anti-science political invention cheers me up. After all, given my heritage, I am clearly a multi-racial cur. No telling how much student funding I'll qualify for if I go back to school.  And what with the re-definition of racism to fit the contemporary multicultural narrative, someone probably owes me reparations.  Pony up, you mono-racial bigots. My Jewish ancestors were discriminated against by the Chicago police department, who favored their Irish kin. And that's not to mention what the Catholics did to my Huguenot relatives in France, or what colonists did to my Cherokee ancestors in South Carolina and what Hitler did to my German cousins in Europe.  Remind me again how many gas ovens were operating in America during the 20th century?  And how many of your relatives were tortured during the Spanish Inquisition and in Nazi concentration camps?  Simple numbers will do. Someone owes me some simoleons. Lots of them. My family has many grievances.

Of course, that's not the point of our ahistorical social justice warriors, is it?

Their point is skin color.  Or more specifically, African skin color and now middle-Eastern skin color, mixed though they are.  My historic grievances are merely against fellow whites, or mostly white, depending on whether George Zimmerman and Geronimo were caucasians,  The NY Times claimed Zimmerman is caucasian, despite his hispanic heritage, so I guess that settles it.  But it also makes Obama a black white, or a white black.  And me a left-handed right-hander, since I batted both ways in high school and clearly belong in someone's protected class.  I'll leave you to parse that kind of nonsense.

Anyway, what was my point?  Ah, yes, skin color and ancestry and being mad as hell.  I'm sure North Africans had something to do with the Moors' conquest of Spain and their incursions into France in the 15th century, if history counts.  I have every reason to believe my ancestors suffered terribly at their hands. Why does that not matter?  What part of that history should fill me with white guilt? What happened to the global village?

Truth of the matter is, people do stuff, good and bad. Always have and always will.  Skin color is irrelevant.  Blacks sold blacks into slavery a couple hundred years ago, and some blacks and native Americans bought them as chattel in America. In fact, the wealthiest black man in South Carolina in 1860 owned 40-60 slaves, but you probably won't read about him in your history books, or hear about it in a History Channel documentary if violinists are playing in the background.  It's irrelevant anyway.  That sad era ended over 150 years ago.  My real subject matter is the contemporary assault on white males, who otherwise are known as the perpetrators of modern patriarchy, racism, income inequality, unemployment, inner-city crime and the three-pronged attack on women, abortion and free birth-control.  So lets move forward slowly, starting with the subject of males in general.

Males have dominated the history books in America, as they have in most cultures around the world, for reasons that are part biological, part sociological, and mostly common sense.  If by patriarchal you mean who can swing the biggest sword or retreat the fastest, I'll take the guy nine times out of ten, simply based on foot speed. That's how genes work.  If women had left their children behind en masse to serve on the front lines in history's conflicts great and small, and if they had done so in numbers far greater than men, they would probably have decided the terms of peace and extracted whatever tolls were due after the conflicts ended. But they didn't.  That's not patriarchal.  Or sexist. Or even remotely racist, since all races acted similarly. I'm pretty sure the Sioux and Cheyenne will have my back on this one.

Now on to America's white patriarchal society.

From the perspective of history books, which includes subjects such as war, treaties, councils, politics, economics and the occasional sex scandal, human history has been written from a patriarchal perspective.  No one argues that point. Stories from history are almost exclusively told from a male point of view, same as American history has been told from a British rather than Spanish historical point of view, even though the Spanish got here first. In the case of American history, the British fought the Spanish and won, so the British got to write the books.  Duh.  Life works that way.  That's why you learn about William Bradford and the pilgrims at Plymouth Rock rather than Cabeza de Vaca's exploits in Texas, which happened much earlier.  In the case of Man v. Woman, the men hunted for food and fought the wars. So, right or wrong, they got to write the books.  Pick any point along the spectrum of history and you will find that to be true.  I have yet to see a documentary about the famous Samurai Geishas of 13th Century Japan, Femmes vs Zulus in 17th Century sub-Saharan Africa, a YouTube special on Amazons Annihilate Carib Warmongers in Pre-Colombian South America, or a book entitled Geronimo and His Fierce Chiricahua Conchitas.  I'm probably beginning to sound a bit like Donald Trump at this point, aren't I?  Let's call it the Trump Effect. Anyway, history is what it is. Patriarchal themes dominate recorded history.  And most of that can be explained by biologists and evolutionary sociologists.  Conversely, I've yet to meet a man who claims in private that he really is head of the household. Sexual supremacy works both ways, yet differently, and in the end it evens out.  I heard of one husband who claimed authoritatively that he had his wife on her hands and knees. What he failed to mention is that she was screaming, "Get out from under the bed, you coward."  Other women have gotten out of the house to lead countries (Thatcher, Meir) and global companies such as Hewlett-Packard, or else make millions fighting MMA style.  I don't invent history.  I merely report it.

Ah, but that's not taking into account the economic impact of historic discrimination, I am told. Economic disadvantage is the real discriminator.  Whites make a disproportionate amount of annual U.S. income.  And they are disproportionately under-represented in jails.  And whites have so much more of the world's goods than non-whites. To whom more is given, more is required, or so the sermon goes.  And it's not a bad sermon, properly understood.  Only, somehow, the sermon gets misinterpreted by the time it filters down to the social justice warriors.  Excuse me for fast forwarding, but somehow SJWs take it to mean we should expect less moral behavior from anyone who makes less, and on a sliding scale.  The poorer you are, the less is expected of you, unless you happen be be white and poor.  Wanna' loot and burn down inner city Baltimore?  Or Ferguson?  Have at it.  I'm the mayor and I'll order the police to stand down and look the other way while you do your thing.  Snag a few TVs along the way.  Are you working in this country illegally and receiving benefits while not paying taxes or else receiving tax credits for dependents who don't exist?  Yes, by all means, let's not allow school children to wear T-shirts with emblems of the American flag.  It might offend someone who is not American but who has learned how to game the system.

In my best Adam Beale voice, let me repeat:  I'm white as hell, and I'm not going to take this any more.

Now on to something more anecdotal.  I made a research trip to Nicaragua and El Salvador back in the 1980s.  I was interested to learn what role Christians played in the revolutions going on down there, particularly among the Sandanistas in Nicaragua.  Lots of shooting was going on.  And lots of poor people.  Poor dead people. You could make the case that poor Nicaraguans had been economically disenfranchised since the days of Spanish occupation in the 16th century.  Especially among the mestizos or half-breeds.  They've had a hard life. It's been that way for generations. Almost all of them are now Christians, mostly of the Catholic and Moravian variety. Back in the '80s, I was interested to know if they supported the new nationalism of the Sandanistas and were willing to take up arms for the cause. Anyway, one afternoon I walked alone through a poverty-stricken section of Managua, the Nicaraguan capital, which was now under Sandanista rule. On either side of the street, burnt-out concrete structures served as homes for many poor and disenfranchised families.  An earthquake and various civil disturbances created those conditions.  I recall one particular building with charred streaks on the outside of the structure, the obvious result of fire. A child emerged through the front entrance.  I would normally say he came out the front door, only there was no door and there were no paned windows.  Just empty holes. Apparently the little boy could tell I wasn't from the neighborhood.  He ran up to me on the street and we playfully chatted.  He wore a faded T-shirt and ragged shorts, with tanned skin and bare feet.  The child's mother came out and stared at us for a moment. She carried a broom.  After watching us for a moment longer, she began to sweep dust from the dirt entrance.  Don't ask me why. Then she poured water into two little flower pots that adorned her front entrance, then disappeared back inside.  It made me think of inner-city America. And how different people are. Neatness mattered to this boy's mother. She took pride in her humble dwelling.  And she watched over her son.

I wonder if the irony dawned on Obama when he announced on Comedy Central that the legacy of racism in America has not ended.  Does he not appreciate that his mother was white?  Does he not recall that he didn't need to cross a picket line to get into Columbia or Harvard or to gain access to the White House?  Does he understand how many non-black Americans voted for him in both of his presidential elections?

Or maybe he was just playing fast and loose with language.  Pointy-head academics do that all the time. So do politicians who have skin in the game, so to speak.  Then again, maybe Obama was aiming for ironical comedy, which is best performed with a straight face.  I choose to take it for the humor it is.  Much like the audience of Comedy Central, I watch the show to laugh and be entertained.  So I'll take his comment as tongue-in-cheek.  He does keep a good straight face, though, doesn't he?

Obama came from nowhere to become President of the United States.  How?  Maybe because he enjoyed the benefit of his parental heritage, black and white. And moreso because he applied himself in school. And was curious and ambitious.  And driven to succeed.  And no one -- institutional or otherwise -- stood in his way, though quite a few helped him along the way.  Did non-black Americans attempt to impede his progress?  If so, I wish he would cite the experiences in detail, list the obstacles thrown in his path, and explain how he struggled to overcome them. Somewhat like Ben Carson had to do, and Condoleeza Rice, Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele, and Herman Cain.  Or Martin Luther King, to go back a ways, and George Washington Carver.  Otherwise, Obama's lament sounds trite and sycophantic. And also arrogant, as though he succeeded only because his genes are superior to most other black genes, but I don't think he wants to go there, nor should he. Barack, how many crosses were burned in your front yard?  How many of your friends were lynched, or driven from the restaurant counter, or taken through the back door as if they were Benjamin Netanyahu, or had face-to-face encounters with masked men such as Hamas and Hezbollah?  Please tell us.  And also tell us how much better poor inner-city whites and hispanics and asians have it because they are not black. Does one poor man's dollar buy more than another poor man's dollar? Please explain. Once you head down that road, we also will expect you to tell us why such intransigent racism still exists. Specifically why.  No platitudes or skewed generalizations.  And no appeals to disparate impact. We'll be asking unscripted questions afterwards, some of which will make sense to everyone but you, so be cautious what you say.

Ugh.  The notion of disparate impact -- which claims that only equal outcomes can define whether an adverse impact exists -- is such a stupid legal premise.  Some may not realize it, but Jews and Japanese are disproportionately non-black, the NBA is disproportionately non-Swiss, the NFL is under-feminized, no Tibetans have won as many gold medals in track as Hussein Bolt, and the disparate impact adds up to billions of dollars annually.  What do you propose we do about that, Mr. President of All Americans? Please hurry up with an answer.  The Olympics are but three years away. Lots of training is needed if we're to upend Hussein Bolt's stranglehold on world records and the wealth it brings him.

Since when did white become the new ugly?  Why is it racist to have a skin color that happens to be labeled white?  Those folks did well to raise the value of everyone's life in America, last time I checked.  More whites died for that conviction than have ever died for any other cause that Americans believe in. It's called the War between the States, 1861 to 1864, if you need to check. White Americans started that war, and they fought alongside black soldiers to end the tyranny of slavery.  They fought to improve the civil rights and economic prosperity of all citizens, despite their race or heritage or economic status.  They also created eleemosynery institutions such as the world had never seen before.  And adopted abandoned children and fought against alcoholism and yet died for the freedom to be free.  Those are bad things?  Pro Hall-of-Famer Jim Brown doesn't think so.  I don't either.

We have come a long way in 250 years.  Obama insists that structural racism still dogs this country and is the reason for so much poverty and strife among minorities, yakkidy yakkidy yak, ad infinitum, ad nauseum. Give it a break, Barack.  No one beyond your echo chamber listens to that tiresome diatribe any longer.  It's not their fault for not listening.  It's yours.  You never quit riding the wave you rode in on, even after it hit the shore and washed back out to sea.  We do not live in the racist country of your imagination. We're getting tired of reminding you of your privileges -- which you largely earned, by the way.  So kick back, roll another doobie and enjoy retirement at your beach house, as we know you will.  No harm, no foul.  You worked hard and got the rewards that came with it.  Armed guards will have your back. Big paydays are in store.  And your children will enjoy the benefits of your efforts.  Good for you and them.  Call it the benefit of privilege.  It's there for the taking.  All you have to do is reach for it.

To quote Jim Brown in a recent CNN interview, "The thing about America, if you get off your butt and apply yourself, you can be successful."

Okay, I feel better.  I'm not mad as hell anymore.  Thank you, Jim Brown.  And you, too, Adam Beale.


R. Stephen Bowden blogs at the Steve Bowden Journal at bowdenbeat.blogspot.com.


Thursday, December 15, 2016

When Good Answers Are Never Good

You cannot give a good answer to a bad question.

"Have you stopped beating your wife?" for example.  It's a simple yes or no.  So go ahead.   Pick one. Either answer will make you the talk of the neighborhood. Socrates dealt with this false dilemma about 2,500 years ago.  Yet it persists.

Another such question has been put to Donald Trump recently by the legacy media and their Democrat acolytes, namely, "Will you admit that the Russian government, or their surrogates, hacked the DNC prior to the election and laundered their stolen goods through Wikileaks?"

This question is a bit more subtle than the wife-beater example, but in form it's the same.  Either answer Trump gives will expose him to brutal attacks by the legacy media, none of which attacks will have a basis in fact. If he answers yes, he will be accused of acknowledging that he doesn't deserve to be President because fifty-million Americans are too stupid to realize they were being pawned by Russian propagandists. If he answers no, it demonstrates he is a Putin-friendly obstructionist who is opposed to the legacy media's propaganda.  They basically are asking him:  "Are you, Mr. Trump, suggesting that Russia's propaganda is more effective than ours?" Yes, I'm being snarky, but you get the point.  For decades the legacy media has enjoyed controlling the flow of information to America. And controlling politicians and bureaucrats who are dependent on media coverage.  That's why journalists get invited to Washington cocktail parties and have an annual correspondents dinner during which presidents show up to pay obeisance by ridiculing themselves to the delight of all present. Correspondents like it when politicians dance to their tune.  It helps make up for the low wages that most endure.  The other payoff is that they get to create the narrative for the rest of America.  They get to decide what is news and what is not.  And in recent years, they have found ways to justify their journalistic bias for one candidate over another, or else one worldview over another.  Objectivity has been tossed aside. Subjectivity is the new potion that fills their ink wells and stains their teleprompters.  They are social justice warriors with a keyboard/camera and an audience.

Only, Trump out-flanked them.  He beat them at their own game.  And they don't like it one bit. They're flexing what little muscle they have left.  By means of subterfuge.  Anything to get him under their thumb. Only, he won't let them.  They call him an airbag and grab the balloon in their fist, aiming to get a hand around him.  But each time they squeeze, the air slips beyond their grip.  That's what a balloon does when you squeeze it in the center.  And that's what Trump does.  They can't ever get a choke-hold, try though they do.  About a year ago -- after casting my lot with Trump -- I decided to invest in popcorn and watch for a while.  It's paid off nicely.  The legacy media hasn't disappointed. Despite their best efforts, they have yet to put the squeeze on him.  And they won't.  They have never lived in his world.  The turf is different where he comes from.  So are the rules.

The problem with the question to Trump from the legacy media about Russian involvement is that the question itself has no basis in demonstrable fact.  Like the wife-beater example, there is no reason to ask the question unless there is credible evidence.  If one's spouse has no observable bruises or never has implied to anyone that abuse was or is occurring, why would one ask the question in the first place?  Unless, of course, one wants to make the husband look bad.

As for the Trump question, Russia and Julian Assange have both denied that the Wikileaks emails came from a Russian source. Moreover, neither the NYTimes nor the WaPo will cite anyone in the CIA who has come forward personally with proof of the alleged Russia-Wikileaks conspiracy. Moreover, no one in our intelligence agencies stepped forward prior to the election with proof of Russian interference. Moreover, the media and now the Obama administration didn't make the allegation until after the election.  Moreover, Obama seemed satisfied enough with election results that he called Trump to congratulate him after election day -- despite having up-to-date intelligence on Russia at the time.  And finally, why did Craig Murray, the UK's former ambassador to Uzbekistan, state explicity that the leak of Podesta's emails came from within the Democrat machine itself, and that he knows who leaked the information?  Also, please note the difference between leaked and hacked.   Murray says the emails were leaked from within.  The NYTimes and WaPo report the emails were hacked/stolen.  There's a world of difference between the two.  To me, all those things are newsworthy for interested investigative journalists.  Except that investigative journalists don't seem interested.

In effect, the question to Trump is pure propaganda.  It illustrates the meaning of "fake news." In fact, all their allegations of "fake news" are but a propaganda effort by the legacy media to insert their own fake news.  I'm generalizing, of course, but then again, I'm generalizing about a generally known fact. The Russian conspiracy angle and the fake news meme are on a par with their sudden preoccupation with the electoral college.  And their years-long claim that the science of global warming is settled. And their use of terms such as follows, courtesy of The People's Cube, which offers better parody than I can muster:




I thought the media would self-correct after Trump's election.  They didn't.  They still don't understand why people turned out en masse for Donald Trump on November 8.

Break the habit, folks.  Stupid is as stupid does.  The legacy media doesn't deserve our respect or our attention.


R. Stephen Bowden blogs at the Steve Bowden Journal at bowdenbeat.blogspot.com.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Ah, Yes, the Media. They're Still Around.

Media bias.  No one doubts it.  And no one confronts it quite like Nigel Farage:


The Fourth Estate is teetering.  If it doesn't correct itself soon, it will go the way of transistor radios.

_____


Speaking of those who propagandize by promoting"fake news," the Washington Post comes to mind. The WaPo recently passed along a story without even bothering to check it for accuracy or integrity. The article was about conservative websites in the U.S. that have been blacklisted by a website called PopOrNot.org.  The researchers at PopOrNot.org accused 200 websites of being uncritical puppets of Russian propaganda -- i.e., websites that promote or pass along "fake news" whether they know it or not.  Unfortunately, the PopOrNot folks outed themselves as a fake news source.  So what does the WaPo do?  It passes along the fake news -- otherwise known as propaganda -- as if it was a fact. You can't make this stuff up.  It's a good example of how ideology influences our view of reality.  You will find the backstory here and here.

Once you've read it, you'll want to read the response made by one of the blacklisted websites, Naked Capitalism.  The website historically has focused on financial markets and Wall Street news in general.  But it also dabbles in politics and public policy.  In response to the WaPo article,  Naked Capitalism offers up a parody on how to do propaganda correctly.  The tongue-in-cheek riposte is titled:  Is it Propaganda or Not?  Your Friendly Guide to Better Propaganda.

It's an amusing read.

_____


For anyone still interested in the global warming scam, here's a reminder that "the science" (whatever that means) is far from settled:

All global temperature data sets confirm that global temperature has fallen rapidly in recent months as the recent El Nino ended.
Over the last couple of years there have been many articles about how they have been record-breakers in global temperature. It’s often sold as a simple ‘the planet is getting warmer only because of us’ story. As I have discussed before the concurrent El Nino was dismissed by some climate scientists as having an insignificant contribution to that record. However, there is a great deal of confusion and diversity in the assessment of its contribution. Some scientists maintain that it was the recent very strong El Nino that elevated the temperature to record levels.
Nevertheless some maintain that warm records would have been broken without the El Nino (although the significant contribution made by the highly unusual warm “Pacific Blob” is usually ignored).
As the 2015/16 El Nino started to wane wiser heads said the records would fade along with it, “No El Nino, no record,” they said, showing that the El Nino was responsible for edging the years to be records.
It is obvious that the world is cooling after the El Nino and nobody knows how much it will as global temperatures bottom out. So the time is right, one would have thought, to monitor that cooling process and see what can be deduced to set the recent record warm years into their proper context.

Wait for it in 3...2...1.  Someone will respond that global cooling is just one more proof of global warming.  Seriously.  Watch for it.  The complainant's name will rhyme with Al Hore.  And he will make no more sense tomorrow than he did yesterday.  On a different note, does he look like a beached whale, or what?  Yes, that is derisive.  And intentionally so.  He stood to make a fortune off the global warming scam.

Fighting against those whose opening comments begin with statements such as "the literature says" or "experts agree" just proves those folks don't understand "the literature" or the nature of hard science.  Just ask Ptolemy and Newton.  For every one of them there is an Einstein.  The list goes on.

So don't sweat global warming.  My advice is to grab a jacket and button up.  A 'norwester is on its way.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Renzi's Rendezvous With Destiny


For those who don't pay attention, the United Kingdom opted out of the EU back in June.  It was a major blow to the globalist efforts of market makers everywhere.  Prominent pundits said it would spell disaster for the British financial markets.  It didn't.

In November, Donald Trump was elected President of the United States.  It was a major blow to the globalist efforts of market makers everywhere.  Prominent pundits said it would spell disaster for U.S. financial markets.  It didn't.

Today, Italy said "NO" in a referendum to keep Italy in the EU. It is a major blow to the globalist efforts of market makers everywhere.  Prominent pundits say it will spell disaster for the Italian financial markets.  It won't.

Ugh.  Talk about fake news.  Will these mainstream media pundits ever give up their losing narrative? I guess not.

Want a thread that ties the United Kingdom to the U.S. and to Italy (and also to Austria, Slovakia, and France, all of whom have looming elections)?

Try this one:  IMMIGRATION and OPEN BORDERS.

Italy's referendum was not simply about the amount of unilateral power that their president should have to make decisions without parliamentary approval.  The real issue smouldering beneath the surface was immigration, or more appropriately, the way globalists view immigration and the impact their policies have upon sovereign nations.  That most of these immigrants come from Muslim countries is not insignificant.  Here's a sample of Italy's experience:



It's a subject on the minds of many Italian citizens, as you can see in this broadcast on Italian TV:



Slovakia also has a problem with the EU immigration strategy.  It has become a major platform issue in Prime Minister Robert Fico's re-election campaign. And, again, it has to do with the influx of Muslim immigrants.  Here are the particulars:

Parliament in Bratislava has approved a bill that effectively prevents Islam from being registered as a state religion in the near future.
Sponsored by the Slovak National Party (SNS), which is a member in Prime Minister Robert Fico's coalition, the legislation was passed Wednesday, Reuters reported. The law was approved by a two-thirds majority in parliament, comprising both ruling and opposition parties.
The new law more than doubles the required number of a religion's followers for it to qualify for state subsidies and run its own schools. At least 50,000 members, against the previous 20,000, has now been set as a threshold for gaining official status as a religion.

© Alkis Konstantinidis'Blackmail': Eastern European govts lash out at EC's quota penalty proposal
Currently, 62 percent of Slovakia's 5.4 million population are declared Roman Catholics.
Slovakia's far-right People's Party-Our Slovakia wanted to raise the bar to 250,000, but their proposal was turned down by a majority of lawmakers.
"Islamization starts with a kebab and it's already under way in Bratislava, let's realize what we can face in five to 10 years," chairman of the Slovak National Party (SNS) Andrej Danko said, as cited by Reuters. "We must do everything we can so that no mosque is built in the future," the politician was quoted as adding.
According to the last census, Islam has some 2,000 followers in Slovakia, Reuters reported, adding that there are no recognized mosques in the central European country. The Islamic Foundation in Slovakia, which has not commented on the new legislation so far, puts the number at around 5,000.

Google the problems that have unfolded in Germany and Sweden and you'll get the bigger picture. Be sure to include the words "Muslim immigrants" and "rape" in your search.

This fellow sums up a popular sentiment found throughout western Europe these days:


Simply put, there seems to be an effort afoot to break down borders all across Europe and North America. Notions of nationality are intentionally meant to be destroyed.  The goal is to make us world citizens. A global community.  Literally. And politically.  The financiers are the ones who want this.  They aren't evil people.  They simply enjoy money and power, and globalization is the way to get more of it.  They live in gated communities apart from all the hubbub of enforced multiculturalism.  It's no skin off their noses.  And the best way to create a single multicultural world is to nix the notion of sovereign statehood by destroying borders and mixing the gene pool beyond recognition.  This means sacrificing customs and cultures that have been in place for hundreds if not thousands of years (think Athens and Rome, for starters).  If you think this isn't part of the plan, you simply aren't listening.

No, I do not think there is a shadow government of evil people out to destroy the world.  Nor do they meet with Dr. Evil and Mini-Me to plan their next move.  But I do think there are a lot of very wealthy and powerful players who don't seem to mind chaos on the streets of Athens and Rome and Paris and Stockholm because, hey, they don't walk through those neighborhoods at night.  Instead, they're watching the equity and futures markets on CNBC, more concerned about the rise and fall of global investments than the rise and fall of neighborhoods and cultures.  That's why today's referendum in Italy is so important.  The people are pissed.  Italy just said "no, no, no."  And by a 20% margin.  Renzi bet his political career that they would say "yes."  I suggest he call Hillary Clinton for consolation.  She'll understand.  Here in the U.S., we call it The Donald Effect.  But in reality, it's the people's effect.  They are the ones who vote.

People don't easily give up what takes them centuries to create.  Not for an ungodly dollar.  Or an ungodly euro.  Italy can go back to the lira and do passably well, thank you very much.  And Greece can print drachmas again.  It won't be easy.  But they don't need Brussels telling them how to live or what to make or who they must make room for.  That's the meaning of today's referendum. We just held our own referendum on November 8.  Buh-bye, Barack, we said, and hell no, Hillary.  But it was the United Kingdom that got it all started.

I'll let UKIP's Nigel Farage close down the show:







Friday, December 2, 2016

Time for Some Intellectual Froglegs

It's Saturday.  A day to relax.  So sit back.  Be lazy and enjoy some Intellectual Froglegs.  It works for me:




Nuff said.

You can find Joe Don Gorman's website here.