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Friday, April 20, 2018


 

DNC sues Wikileaks


Headline: "Democrats file suit alleging Russia, Trump campaign, WikiLeaks conspired to interfere in 2016 campaign"

Leave aside the question of suing Russia and the Trump campaign, and focus on Wikileaks. When Wikileaks released emails from the DNC and Podesta, the Clinton campaign said as vociferously as they could that no one should read them because they were fake. In fact, however, they weren't, they were completely real. The DNC is thus suing Wikileaks for TELLING THE TRUTH about what they were doing. Put another way, they are suing Wikileaks for doing journalism. A VERY DANGEROUS development if it moves forward.

I need to add, because people are always saying "but her emails", that "her emails" in that phrase actually refers to the fact (NOT revealed by Wikileaks) that Clinton maintained a private server for her emails and possibly mishandled classified information, and that she destroyed many of them. It's THOSE emails that James Comey was involved with, and which arguably DID have an effect on the election.

The hacked (or leaked) emails from Podesta and the DNC are a different category of emails. First of all, they got minuscule amounts of coverage compared to the ones above. And second of all, what did we learn that we didn't already know? The DNC was biased in favor of Clinton over Sanders? No s**t, Sherlock! Hillary Clinton gives speeches to Wall Street banks and, lo and behold, she didn't chastise them for being greedy? Again, tell me something I don't know! IMHO, no serious case can be made that those emails, the ones which were the original focus of the government's claim of Russian interference, had any effect on the election whatsoever. And if they did (which, as I just said, I don't believe), it isn't because they were "fake news". It's because they were true.

Friday, April 13, 2018


 

Headlines for Friday, April 13, 2018


Listen to my recorded segment on Loud & Clear Radio here; see the full set of headlines, including many that we don't have time for on the air, below.

Boxer wears ‘America 1st’ shorts in bout with Mexican, finishes second 
Nothing like a little schadenfreude. And kudos to the headline writer, because finishing “second” in a boxing match is commonly called “losing”.

Kids don't know about the Holocaust because schools are pre-occupied with social justice
What on actual earth does this even mean? There are museums and days and history books and many movies dedicated to the awful insane Holocaust and this generation of kids paying more attention to inclusivity and equity does not negate that. On top of all that, the headline is not even true. Although 2/3 don’t recognize the specific name "Auschwitz", 78% recognize the Holocaust, which is way higher than the percentage of Americans who accept evolution (62%). Basically, this is just an author justifying her loathing for social justice and the fact that millennials are paying more attention to it than she wants them to.

Russia’s nefarious meddling is nothing like democracy assistance 
True. Because the former, still not actually proven to have anything to do with the Russian government, cost a hundred thousand dollars. BILLIONS have been spent on the latter, like the "democracy assistance" in Ukraine which ended in a fascist-led coup, or the "democracy assistance" in Syria which basically started and certainly has prolonged a war which has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands. Also of note, even if everything Russia is accused of were true, the most significant of aspect of the "meddling" was the release of Podesta and DNC emails, so if they were "nefarious", it was because of the people who wrote them and who did the things described in the emails, not because of the people who released them!

3 things Donald Trump did wrong in his taunting Russia tweet
Threatening a nuclear country? Planning to commit a(nother) war crime? Not waiting for actual proof there even WAS a chemical attack, much less who did it? Not one of the three! No, CNN is only concerned with the impropriety of announcing an impending attack on Twitter, or announcing it in advance at all. They're completely down with the attack itself.

Trey Gowdy: James Comey book is 'beneath the dignity' of the FBI
Wait...what FBI dignity?? The dignity of the institution that tried to get MLK to kill himself, before they went ahead and did it?

Students demand university president purchase a Prius to help the environment
Were this true, it might be ridiculous. In fact, however, it was one demand among many aimed at making the campus greener and reducing carbon emissions.

With $1 billion fine, tough year for Wells Fargo gets even worse
WOW with a $97 billion gross profit in 2017 alone how will they survive?? But don’t worry...according to CNN, “At his own recommendation, CEO Sloan isn't receiving a cash bonus, according to filings late Wednesday” but he’s “getting a 36% raise” to the tune of “$17.4 million” for his total compensation.

Trump Calls Comey ‘Untruthful Slime Ball’ as Book Details Released
Straight out of the mouth of Donald Soprano, don of the Soprano oops I mean Trump crime family. But what do expect in a country where even respectable news anchors talk about “taking out” America’s “enemies”? Just one more step in the Mafiazation of America. Interestingly, and I'm not proud of this, Comey agrees with me: ABC: Comey compares Trump to mob boss

The Vindication of Dennis Kucinich: When he ran for president, he was ridiculed and dismissed. It turns out he was the future of American politics
Subhead: He “personifies the current populist moment in American politics — where traditional left-right divisions are becoming obsolete.”
The Washington Post fails to mention that it was they and the rest of the establishment who "ridiculed and dismissed" Kucinich.
Here's Kucinich from a 2004 Presidential debate: “I’m the voice for getting out of Iraq,” Kucinich recited earnestly. “For universal single-payer health care. For getting out of NAFTA and the WTO. For having our children go to college tuition-free.” He spoke in favor of same-sex marriage. But then this (from the Washington Post article): “But Kucinich didn’t just anticipate where the left was headed. He previewed elements of where the right was going, too.” Why? Because of Trump’s “working-class populism”! That was a charade! And the biggest "populist" part of Trump's platform was an (alleged) opposition to NAFTA, which is a left-wing position. There is nothing "right-wing" about Dennis Kucinich.
Here's a reminder from the 2007 debate in which he was ridiculed…by Obama on a subject still very relevant today: Obama “[Iran is] in the process of developing [nuclear weapons], and I don't think that's disputed by any experts”. Kucinich interrupts to say “it is disputed”.  In another debate he said “for the past few years I've been saying that there's no evidence that Iran had a nuclear weapons program.” The Post forgot to remind readers of that aspect of Kucinich's program.

Why Not Mike Pence? 
Basically this article is a plea to evangelicals to not oppose impeachment, but to embrace it, because Pence is just as evil and will do exactly the same bad things as Trump, but he's more "moral".

Syria 'chemical attack': France's President Macron 'has proof'
Not until the 10th paragraph do we read about this "proof": "He did not give the source of his information but said: "We have proof that last week chemical weapons, at least chlorine, were used by the regime of Bashar al-Assad.""

Trump’s Tax Cuts Didn’t Benefit American Workers, Just Made Rich Companies Richer
Shocked, shocked I tell you!
“only 4.3 percent of workers will receive a one-time bonuses or wage increase tied to the business tax cuts, while businesses received nine times more in cuts than what they passed on to their workers. And companies spent 37 times as much on stock buybacks than they did on bonuses and increased wages for workers.”

Senators Urge Secretary of State Pick to Avoid Trump’s ‘Worst Instincts’
Does he have any instincts that don't qualify?

Do millennials really not know how to cook? With technology, they don’t really have to. 
Subhead: "Like the fact that nearly 60 percent of them don’t know how to make salad dressing"
As a friend put it, why not criticize people for not making their own mayonnaise? Or ketchup? Why on earth would you want to make your own salad dressing?

Monday, April 09, 2018


 

The latest "chemical attack" in Syria


If you think Trump is wrong and lies about literally everything, but is suddenly telling the truth about a chemical attack by the Syrian government, perhaps you need to think more deeply.

Here are two simple facts for you:

1) The Syrian government and the rebels holed up in Ghouta reached an agreement this weekend that the rebels would leave within 48 hours (Syria had already defeated and driven out almost all the rebels; this was just the remaining "pocket" of them). The war in that area was effectively over.
And 2) As this article makes clear, many of the civilians remaining in the area were effectively being held captive, prevented from leaving by the rebels, not by the government. The people killed (if indeed there were people killed, which is not a given at all) were likely supporters of the government, not opponents.


Now put that information together with the headline shown above — just as Trump announces he wants to get out of Syria "soon, very soon", and just as the Syrian government is about to be in total control of the area in question, all of a sudden a militarily useless "chemical attack" materializes out of nowhere, pulling the U.S. back in, with fevered calls from U.S. "action" from all quarters ranging from Lindsay "Never met a war he didn't like" Graham to Howard "The antiwar Democrat" Dean, not to mention other actors including the Israeli government. There are multiple suspects for who might benefit from this attack. The Syrian government is not among them. Likewise there are multiple countries and groups who will benefit from a U.S. response. The Syrian government is also not among them.

 

Additional headlines for April 9, 2018



Here's the link to the "Headlines" segment on Loud and Clear radio from April 9. It got cut really short, but you can see the originally planned headlines here and the ones added later below.

 

Fox News is less trusted than CNN and MSNBC, Fox News graphic show


That’s Fox News host Howard Kurtz asking for someone to take down this graphic, which was shown at the wrong point during a “Media Buzz” segment on Sunday: ‘That is not the graphic we are looking for. Hold off. Take that down, please.’



ICC says Israel, Hamas acts may be war crimes

So, burning tires is now a war crime? Well actually no, what ICC said was ““the use of civilian presence for the purpose of shielding military activities” could also be a war crime. Except there were no “military activities” being conducted by Hamas.
Burning tires, tear gas and live fire: Gaza clashes turn deadly
These read like clashes between two equals. Burning tires (hundreds of yards away from Israeli troops) vs. live fire does not amount to clashes.

He was wearing a vest marked ‘PRESS.’ He was shot dead in Gaza by Israeli troops.


Not bad or misleading or funny, but the most remarkable headline of the week and possibly the year. Amidst countless headlines like “Seven Palestinians die in Gaza border protests”, and talk of “clashes”, this one was actually accurate. The Palestinians, including this one, didn’t just “die”, as if they had a heart attack, they were killed, executed actually, by Israeli snipers. Same is true with cop-killings, by the way. The only quibble with this headline is that, rather than "shot dead", "execute" is actually the proper term to describe an unarmed person who posed no threat to anyone shot dead by either a military or a police force.

Trump ‘did not want sprinkler protections’ in his Fifth Avenue high-rise, former safety official says


Didn't just "not want", but actively lobbied against laws requiring them. Donald Trump in the late 1990s helped lobby New York City officials to drop a proposal to require expensive fire sprinklers in older apartment buildings, including his Fifth Avenue condominiums at Trump Tower, according to a safety expert involved in the debate.

“He [Trump] fought against it. He did not want sprinkler protections in those buildings because of the cost,” John Viniello, former president of the National Fire Sprinkler Association, said in an interview. Viniello said he was involved in discussions with city officials and opponents in the real estate industry.


Trump is so obsessed with his wall he’s giving up on the real war


The "real war"? That's Syria (where the U.S. presence is totally illegal, of course), according to Joe Scarborough, one of MSNBC’s flagship stars. The money quote: “the U.S. president announced his plan to cede Syria to Vladimir Putin“. The ridiculous "Putin's puppet" meme carried to its logical extreme.



Friday, April 06, 2018


 

Headlines for Friday, April 6, 2018


My segment on Loud & Clear Radio got postponed until Monday thanks to the latest Israeli massacre in Gaza. Regardless, I'm starting a new policy on the blog, which is this: every Friday I'll post the headlines we did talk about on the show, but also the ones we just didn't have time to talk about. There are so many "good" (usually meaning "bad") ones each week, then 10-12 minutes doesn't come close to doing them justice. Here are this week's gems, with a few comments about each:


Saudi Crown Prince: Iran's Supreme Leader 'Makes Hitler Look Good'

Prince Mohammed said, “I believe the Iranian supreme leader makes Hitler look good. Hitler didn’t do what the supreme leader is trying to do. Hitler tried to conquer Europe. … The supreme leader is trying to conquer the world.” So much to say about this (besides for "balderdash"). Just start with the fact that the Islamic Republic has never initiated a war with another country since its beginning in 1979, and that Hitler was not only responsible for the death of 10-11 million people in his gas chambers and concentration camps but also responsible for the death of 20-25 million Soviets who died resisting the attack of the German Army, and another million or so from other countries including the UK and US. Also, not to quibble, but Russia is not just a European country but occupies most of the land mass of Asia, and I seem to remember Rommel and his campaign in northern Africa. That's three continents already, not just Europe.
From there we look at

Saudi 'Prince Charming' Mohammed bin Salman comes to Hollywood

BBC in its headline calls MbS "Prince Charming". That's not a quote from anyone other than BBC. In fact it's the opposite, because the only reference to that nickname in the article is a CodePink protester carrying a sign saying ""bin Salman is no Prince Charming"!!!
and then

Mossad chief ‘100 percent certain’ Iran seeks nuclear bomb

Not one word of proof, or even evidence, to back up the scare headline. Nor one word that US intel agencies said in 2007 Iran had no nuclear weapons program (and hadn't had one since 2003), nor that Khamenei issued a fatwa against them. But this is all part of the "Saudi Arabia good, Iran bad (or worse!) mythology that permeates the Western media.


A few quick out-and-out lies:


Russia Presses Trump for White House Meeting With Putin

“Pressing”? The Kremlin foreign policy adviser, Yuri Ushakov, said in Moscow that Mr. Trump, in a telephone call with Mr. Putin on March 20, proposed that the two leaders meet at the White House in the near future. Mr. Ushakov made clear that the Russian leader would like to take him up on the suggestion. “This is a rather positive idea,” he said.


One by one, European ambassadors learn they’re being expelled from Russia

No ambassadors were expelled.


Trump conjures a new immigrant rape epidemic

"Conjures" is such an innocuous word. "Unless Trump has some information the rest of us don't about this epidemic in the caravan, though, it seems he is spreading conspiracy theories again." No, saying women are being raped in record numbers is not a "conspiracy theory". It's an out-and-out, racist lie!


And more, not lies, just misleading:


Facebook bans over 200 new Russian accounts

Since I've seen over and over accusations that Russia was going to meddle (or was already meddling) in the 2018 midterms, I assumed when I saw the headline that's what this was about. No, these accounts carried Russian- language content meant to influence *Russian* elections! Apparently Russians influencing other Russians is against FB policy now.


Britain’s Boris Johnson accused of misleading public over Skripal poisoning evidence

How about — entire Western press and political class accused of misleading public over Skripal poisoning?
Which brings us to…

UK government deletes tweet about Russian spy's poisoning

LOL. The Internet, like elephants, never forgets! But consider this article (from CNN and many other sources) together with this:

Russian counter-propaganda exploiting UK weaknesses over spy poisoning

"Russia will also be delighted that on Wednesday morning it spotted a now deleted Foreign Office tweet from last month that attributed responsibility." Actually the deletion of the tweet was spotted by the politics editor for HuffPostUK, NOT by "Russia". And apparently CNN and every other media outlet who has reported the deletion of the tweet is now part of the “Russian counter-propaganda” operation.


White House Says U.S. Will Remain in Syria Despite Trump’s Eagerness to Withdraw

Wait, I thought when we saw a headline reading “White House says…” we’re supposed to take that as the position of the President? And, about that “Deep State” that “doesn’t exist” according to “the Resistance™”? If the President, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, wants the armed forces to do something, why aren't they doing it?


U.S. and China Play Chicken on Tariffs, and Neither Swerves [from the Times home page; headline on the article itself is different]

NYT needs to re-watch Rebel Without a Cause to learn how "Chicken" is played. Two cars start at each other AT THE SAME TIME; both sides are equally responsible for the initiation of the game. Retaliation for attacks (or tariffs) is not "chicken".


TV anchors decrying 'fake' news put spotlight on Sinclair Broadcast Group

As if NBC News and CNN, MSNBC, NYT, WaPo et al don’t all have virtually identical news on subject after subject — Israel, Russia (everyone except FOX, thanks to their slavish devotion to Trump), Iran, Syria, DPRK, you name it.


Tesla asserts Autopilot ‘unequivocally makes the world safer’ — days after fiery, fatal crash

Oops.


Friday, March 30, 2018


 

Headlines for Friday, March 30, 2018


Here's my "Worst and Most Misleading Headlines" segment from today's Loud & Clear radio. The headlines we covered were:
Check it out to hear what's behind these misleading headlines. Listen here.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018


 

The two big lies: "A few bad apples" and the "Blue Wall of Silence"


At first glance, this story headlined "Brooklyn man wins nearly $1M lawsuit after NYPD cop tried to frame him on DWI charge" might almost seem like a feel-good story. A cop in a marked SUV ran a stop sign and crashed into another car. What did the cop do? Being one of those "few bad apples" we often hear about, he of course arrested the guy for DUI! Alas, he made one critical mistake — the guy he charged with DUI doesn't drink! Oops. Three years later the guy gets a cool mil in a settlement from the city.

But as Eugene Puryear once said in a quote that I like to repeat, no one ever remembers the full "few bad apples" saying, which is "…spoil the whole bunch". Because it wasn't just one cop who was involved in this false arrest, it was five of them. And it wasn't even just those five, but their bosses in the NYPD too, because none of the five are facing any charges from this incident; all are still on the force. And as for the "Blue Wall of Silence"? The article doesn't explicitly say, but it's safe to assume that the other four officers didn't just "stay silent" about the incident, but actively testified to back up the story of the arresting officer. We've seen that happen time and time again, for example, in the murder of Laquan McDonald in Chicago. Cops are active participants in helping fellow officers evade justice, not passive ones.

It may be true that there really are just "a few bad apples" who would initiate an injustice, whether it be a false arrest like this one, a murder like Laquan McDonald's, or anything in between. But the "bunch" who get "spoiled" by that action, and who routinely and actively participate in its coverup, covers a huge percentage, quite possibly a majority, of their fellow cops, especially in big cities like New York and Chicago and Philadelphia and Los Angeles and most others.

Saturday, February 24, 2018


 

Putin’s gamble is paying off big-time?


The subject line, minus the question mark, is the title of a truly remarkable opinion article by Max Boot in the Washington Post. Remarkable, even if you were to believe (which is simply assumed in this column) that Putin was responsible for Russian “meddling” and that those efforts were responsible for Trump’s election, both remarkably dubious assertions.

The article compares the pros and cons of Putin's alleged "gamble" of getting Trump elected. Here are the cons for Russia which Boot himself lays out: "he has authorized the sale of lethal weaponry to Ukraine, expanded sanctions to include 38 Russian individuals and companies involved in the invasion of Ukraine, requested more defense spending and launched a cruise missile strike on the Syrian regime of Russia’s ally Bashar al-Assad." Facts. He even omits some, like the fact that Trump hasn't even returned the seized Russian compounds.

Now check out the supposed pros for Russia which represent the “gamble paying off big-time”. Most of them are words: Trump "routinely trashes everyone from Oprah Winfrey to Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), [but] never has a negative word to say about Russian President Vladimir Putin." Trump "still plays down its [Russian meddling] importance and refuses to respond". The one actual deed he cites is the fact that Trump, via Mike Flynn, talked Russia into not immediately retaliating for Obama’s expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats. Wait, wasn’t that a good thing for the U.S.? How exactly did that benefit Russia?

Remarkable.


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