Commentary

Media bubbling

For anyone who wonders why President Donald Trump’s regular and often erroneous rantings about “fake news” resonate so well with a certain segment of America, here’s a reason why:

 

“Bear meat is no delicacy, and hunters almost never eat it.

“But that did not stop two Alaska men from going after some big game over the weekend. It didn’t go well.”

Those are the first two sentences from an Oct.1, CNN wire story about an Alaska-based soldier seriously injured in a bear hunt on the Kenai Peninsula.

The first sentence is factually wrong. Most bear meat in Alaska is eaten as it is elsewhere in the country. The state of New Jersey, which once had a big debate about whether it’s growing bear population should be hunted, now publishes its own bear meat cookbook. 

But the problem here isn’t just the factual inaccuracy.

There is a cultural divide in this country. The media regularly reinforces it. And Trump plays to that.

The president doesn’t have net approval ratings in Texas, Wyoming, the Dakotas, Missouri, West Virginia and much of the South, or in Alaska for that matter, because of his blue-collar roots. He has none. He’s a rich guy from New York with weak moral values who grew up in privilege and got ahead by playing the system.

He is also, unfortunately, the best that people who work with their hands could hope to get, and they know it.

He doesn’t attempt to explain away their behaviors, as former President Barack Obama did, with the observation that “they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” 

Instead of denigrating working Americans for a lack of regeneration, Trump promises to “make America great again.” And every time the mainstream media mocks him for that phrase, every time the mainstream media demonstrates its – not his – class distinction, the greater grows the cultural divide.

“…You could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?” Democrat presidential candidate Hilary Clinton so famously observed in the run-up to the election. “The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people — now 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive hateful mean-spirited rhetoric.”

Trump did, and he does, and for a lot of those people it all, sadly, seems like nothing more than payback for a long period of offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric directed their way.

A bear’s revenge?

Picking up on CNN’s account of the hunting accident that left 28-year-old William McCormick in intensive care, Robin Andrews, a writer at Forbes, wrote this:

“The latest story of a big game hunt gone wrong, as spotted by CNN, could be summed up by not one, but two clichéd phrases: be careful what you wish for, and revenge is a dish best served cold.”

What better to do with a story about a husband, father and soldier from Indiana injured in a bizarre Alaska hunting accident than to make fun, right?

”…McCormick and 19-year-old Zachary Tennyson were out hunting, armed with (presumably) rifles. They then spotted a bear above a ridge, which they promptly shot. Before they could declare victory, however, gravity befell the ursine creature: the bear rolled down the slope towards them, knocking off not-insignificant amounts of rocks as it did so,” Andrews wrote.

“McCormick was ultimately struck by the bear, as well as one of the rocks his wounded beastie had dislodged.”

Declare victory? Wounded beastie?

Ah yes, a story about a couple of country bumpkins who got into trouble. Let’s have fun with this.

CNN did later fix the most egregious error in its story. The first two sentences of the story were changed to say this:

“Mature black bears can weigh up to 350 lbs, while brown bears can tip the scales at more than 1,000.

“But that did not stop two Alaska men from going after some big game over the weekend. It didn’t go well.”

CNN did not mention why the story changed or write a correction for the original that was by today a week old and still alive in plenty of places elsewhere in the tubes. The bear actually weighed a couple hundred pounds, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Ghost editing

CNN is not alone in the practice of ghost editing. It goes on in online media all the time these days, and it only adds to the sense of distrust.  It is as if reporters and editors believe no one will notice.

When the Alaska Dispatch News was imploding in Anchorage more than a year ago, Alaska Public Media described it as a newspaper with a circulation of 41,684. Where that number came from was not reported. At the time, ADN publisher Alice Rogoff could only dream that the circulation was that high.

After the reporter was queried about the sources for the number, all references as to the newspaper’s actual circulation magically disappeared. If you go back and read the story now, you will find only that the “state’s largest newspaper” was filing for bankruptcy.

And how many people were subscribing to the state’s largest newspaper? The story doesn’t say.

If you watch closely, you will see this sort of thing going on at most news websites. Almost every day, the media seems to do something to undermine its own credibility, but the problem is especially acute in rural and small-town America where it isn’t limited to ghost editing and constant errors.

Beyond the city lights, as the Alaska bear-hunt story well illustrates, the big city media takes liberties. It too often mocks the intelligence of the people in the Heartland, jokes about their leisure time activities, and denigrates their values. If Clinton had looked inward, she might have observed redneckophobia among the elite.

Politico writers Jack Schafer and Tucker Doherty concluded last year that there is a reason for this. 

“The Media Bubble Is Worse Than You Think,” they reported in Politico Magazine in June 2017. “We crunched the data on where journalists work and how fast it’s changing. The results should worry you.”

Their basic conclusion was that journalists now cluster among the upper class in or around a handful of big American cities, and they reflect the views prevalent in their environment.

“The national media really does work in a bubble, something that wasn’t true as recently as 2008,” they wrote. “And the bubble is growing more extreme. Concentrated heavily along the coasts, the bubble is both geographic and political. If you’re a working journalist, odds aren’t just that you work in a pro-Clinton county—odds are that you reside in one of the nation’s most pro-Clinton counties. And you’ve got company: If you’re a typical reader of Politico, chances are you’re a citizen of bubbleville, too.

“The ‘media bubble’ trope might feel overused by critics of journalism who want to sneer at reporters who live in Brooklyn or California and don’t get the “real America” of southern Ohio or rural Kansas. But these numbers suggest it’s no exaggeration: Not only is the bubble real, but it’s more extreme than you might realize.”

The problem only seems to have gotten worse as the Trump presidency has progressed and increasingly polarized the nation.

Now when someone in the hinterlands is seriously injured in an unusual hunting accident, it’s something to joke about or mock. If a copy machine blew up in a New York office and seriously injured someone would CNN write a story like this:

“Copies are ancient technology, and nobody makes them anymore.

“But that didn’t stop a New York office worker from pushing the copy button. It didn’t go well.

“Boom!”

Of course not. It’s not funny when people are seriously hurt.

A bear is a bear is a bear

And exactly who says bear meat is no delicacy?

“Infused vodka palace Russian House  has a special treat this weekbear meat,” the Austin (Texas) eater reported last winter. “The restaurant will be serving black bear meat sourced from California….”

Bear meat might not be a delicacy to all but, like haggis  – “the Scottish delicacy,” it’s a delicacy to some. 

The CNN story has a link to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game website for “Brown/Grizzly Bear Hunting in Alaska,” which might have led to CNN reporters’ conclusions on bear meat. If you prowl around there, you can indeed find another page that says “some game meat has received a bad reputation for palatability. For example, many hunters shun bear meat. However, most hunters who do eat black and brown/grizzly bear say the meat is usually good or very good, unless the animal has been feeding on fish. Regardless of what a bear has been eating, its meat should always be well cooked to prevent trichinosis, a parasitic disease (also found in domestic hogs) that can infect humans.”

This could be where CNN staffers most likely writing from “the Boston-New York-Washington-Richmond corridor or the West Coast crescent that runs from Seattle to San Diego and on to Phoenix,” as described by Schafer and Doherty, got the idea that hunters “almost never” eat bear, although even that is a step beyond “many hunters shun.”

And, of course, as anyone in Alaska knows there is a big difference between black bears and brown/grizzly bears. Most of the latter prey heavily on fish. A lot of the former subsist on greens and berries.

Grizzlies, of which there are about 30,000 in the state, are not widely eaten, although there are Alaska Native tribes that have historically consumed grizzly bear, and there is little doubt that in the tough times of the old days all tribes ate grizzly bears at some time because if you are hungry enough you will eat almost anything.

And all tribes have a history of killing grizzlies for their fur as do the white men who arrived later in Alaska.

Black bears, on the other hand, are regularly shot for food. For a long period of time in Alaska history, black bears were considered village meat and shot any time they ventured too near a village.

In a historical context, this no doubt had a lot to do with the fact bears often cause problems. If, for instance, you are trying to dry salmon to keep you alive through the winter you don’t want to risk allowing bears to get close enough to steal it.

And if the bear can provide even more food plus a fur blanket to keep you warm in the cold, all the better. But how would the 73 percent of online reporters living in the aforementioned corridor or crescent know this?

They wouldn’t. So they’d write a story about some doofus hunting bears for undefined reasons who is almost killed by the bear setting off a rock slide that rolls down on him. And they wouldn’t think twice about it because facts are unnecessary when you’re smarter than anyone involved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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57 replies »

  1. From Hillary (they are insane along with the media):
    “You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about,” Clinton said.

    Speaking to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee said, “That’s why I believe, if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and/or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again. But until then, the only thing Republicans seem to recognize and respect is strength.”

    Clinton’s comments come amid escalating attacks against Republican lawmakers and Trump administration officials by left-wing activists.”

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      • Here’s a little tip for ya Bryan, replying to your own post more or less puts you in one of two categories: idiot or troll. In your special case, I’d say both apply.

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      • Monk, and only you would support someone of Hillary’s stature calling for violence.. Hmm, now what words to describe you??? Oh, so many!!!

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  2. “Forget the idiocy of a press that covers our descent into tyranny as if it were a sports contest between corporate Republicans and corporate Democrats or a reality show starring our maniacal president and the idiots that surround him. Forget the noise. The crisis we face is not embodied in the public images of the politicians that run our dysfunctional government. The crisis we face is the result of a four-decade-long, slow-motion corporate coup that has rendered the citizen impotent, left us without any authentic democratic institutions and allowed corporate and military power to become omnipotent.”
    https://www.truthdig.com/articles/trump-is-the-symptom-not-the-disease/

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    • Longer than 4 decades. He who controls money , food and information controls all . was stated with slightly different words by a banker who still has his tentacles into everything . He got his money by stealing from a German prince who got his money by renting out his men to fight against Americans during revolution then keeping the death payments instead of passing to families of soldiers killed . That’s what I call tainted blood money. Who is this banking family? Few years back they had a wedding in the White House .

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      • Opinion,
        So you agree the “Banksters” control the media…like Rubenstein and Rogoff did in AK for a while….and you do think corporate influence has gotten out of hand, so why do you not see the connection between our “leaders” and the bankers who are backing them (say with millions in their Political Super Pacs like Dunleavy)…
        You said:
        “I think it’s time to stop using fascist or hitler as a smear. At least for Americans and or for our republic. It just isn’t accurate”
        Yet right now on ADN news sites, the AK Republican Party under Tuckerman Babcock is threatening Lisa Murkowski with “Reprimands”???….asking her to report to the “central committee”.
        Does this sound like a Democracy or Republic?
        Can our elected leaders no longer cast their own independent votes in Congress?
        Must everyone do as Trump says or face the “lashings” or threats?…
        One commentator on ADN stated:
        “Let’s see where else does the “central committee”, define and demand proper behaviour? Um, that would be the former USSR, China, Cuba…. , rant on Comrade Babcock.”
        So others are seeing the new wave of “Trumpism” take hold in America. (With the help of many media and PR online sources…like Fakebook and Twitter).
        Looking at the accurate definitions may help you further decide how “national” our country is leaning right now.
        “Nationalism is a political, social, and economic system characterized by the promotion of the interests of a particular nation, especially with the aim of gaining and maintaining sovereignty over the homeland.”
        “Fascism is a form of radical authoritarian ultranationalism, characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and strong regimentation of society and of the economy.”

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      • Steve I was shocked at the daily news headline you speak of . Obviously extremely inappropriate. That said I’m not a Murkowski fan . Her father was a known crook throughout recent Alaskan history. Fingers in all financial pies big time banker and drove Alaskan economy into the ground. Then utilizing nepotism to insert Lisa into senate . Lisa has done questionable things as well . Mostly aligning herself with big money instead of her constituents. That said she should have absolute freedom to vote as her conscience says and not be harassed by rebublican big wigs . That’s just step to far . Absolutely unacceptable unless she took money from someone who pushed her vote . I disagree with how she voted but gotta respect it If was her own . She was getting massive pressure from out of state people who were pressuring Alaskans to vote against. ( I was heavily pressured to call her many times by out of state entities) I personally respect Lisa’s vote and I condemn any party that exerts undue pressure on her to conform . I still am of opinion capatalism was is pulling Republican and Democrat strings . Unacceptable. Immediate reforms are needed!

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      • Sc confirmation process is disfunctional. Work a bit better if there were minimum of three choices for senate to choose from . Undue power in hands of a president to nominate choose only one person. It truly puts senate in a bind and caused national unnecessary turmoil. I think senate should have not been placed into a conflict situation. More people would have been happy with a different option. IMO

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      • Opinion,
        So how do you feel about Don Trump appointing his son in law to a top White House Advisor?
        You say…regarding Murkowski:
        “Then utilizing nepotism to insert Lisa into senate . Lisa has done questionable things as well . Mostly aligning herself with big money instead of her constituents.”
        Yet both Jared and Don have done “questionable” things in the real estate market and with Russian businessman.
        Jared’s trust fund was grown through Welfare vouchers for housing that are paid to the conglomerate real estate companies he owns.
        This is all on top of “Kennedy Laws” which are supposed to prevent Nepotism in the White House.
        How can Trump circumvent so many existing laws?
        https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.economist.com/democracy-in-america/2017/01/10/donald-trump-taps-his-son-in-law-for-a-job-as-senior-adviser#ampf=undefined
        Lastly,
        I feel Lisa listened to many Alaskans who contacted her through email and flying down to protest outside of her office.
        She stated she did what her supporters asked her to do.
        Remember the GOP already tried to toss her out of office with Joe Miller and what a fiasco that turned into…

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      • Steve, I’ll bet that Lisa is just shaking in her boots about Republican threats to primary her with another Joe Miller. The big issue back then was Lisa didn’t support the winner of the primary. Ooooooohhhhhhhhh! The horror. Politics is not sure tiddlywinks.
        I’ve even heard that quitter Sarah is even thinking of throwing her hat into it. Heheh!

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      • Steve I think we have drifted to far off topic. Though an incredibly important one . I will answer you better on another article Craig presents another time . Very briefly I think all laws should be followed. Ethics in buisness are very different than in public service at this time . Thus trumps / kershner methods. As to appointment of kershner as advisor it’s acceptable only if it’s legal . That’s my take . President is expected to find advisers he trusts . We the people expect him to do that . It’s a bit different than frank appoints Lisa as senator when he steps down to governor? That’s kind of a power coup ? Probably legal though? I guess I see trump as elected / hired to do a job to straighten out America best he can . He appears to be trying to do that weather I agree with his methods is another story. I don’t really care what he did pre election as long as he works his arse off as president and gets us on course and leaves our nation better than when he entered office . In his words he didn’t need to be president. He had a comfortable life . He is doing this for America and Americans to give back because he was given so much . Steve thanks for the polite discussion and transfer of ideas . Let’s wait for Craig to present other topic outlines. Many Thanks

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  3. And for the record, while there has been fake news in the past, the term “Fake News” was generated by CNN and the Democrats to slander Fox. Trump played their own hand and threw it back in their faces last election cycle to roaring success. Why? Because the likes of MSDNC and CNN are fake news.

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    • To some degree you are right . What I have found though is if you completely ignore cnn and others you will not get full picture and when you don’t get full picture your view will be off kilter from reality . To understand a situation it’s nesasary to understand where the people you disagree with are coming from – or rather how they are thinking because very often they will be correct to some degree just unable to present it in a fashion that’s understandable.

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      • I cull my news from an aggregate, too. The bias and blatant misinformation utilized by ALL news sources (coupled with outright ignorance such as Craig write’s about) demands that a patient reader sort through half a dozen takes on any particular subject and pieces together the real story himself. If I find a particular story that’s important to me, I’ll invariably get as many as a couple dozen perspectives on it, equal amounts liberal/conservative viewpoints.

        When I was a kid growing up on the Yentna River, I remember a bunch of TV execs who came out to Dan & Jeanie’s lodge for a three day retreat. Dan hired my dad to help ferry them around and take them fishing and show them the sights. I remember one particularly charismatic executive CNN talking about his news editing philosophy over a can of beer and a fishing pole–he said when it comes to editing a story and presenting it to the public it was “Keep it simple for the stupid, because that’s what the average Joe viewer/reader was: stupid.”

        That powerful (and accurate) statement really stuck with me over the years.

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      • Jason,
        I think your experience sipping bears with CNN dude who “keeps it stupid” sums it up for a lot of MSM, yet half of the world’s population does not consume Alcohol and many folks closer to conflicts in middle east and Africa, etc are better suited to report on world affairs, this is why many sites like RT and AlJazzera are gaining readers and viewers which scares the state department into labeling them as forgein “agents of state”…
        Hell, I even think the U.S. bombed one of AlJazzera’s stations once in Iraq….the pentagon claims it was a mistake.
        “Al-Jazeera cameraman Tarek Ayoub was killed when the station’s Baghdad office was bombed during a US air raid on April 8 2003. On the same day a US tank shelled the Palestine hotel in the Iraqi capital.”
        https://www.theguardian.com/media/2005/nov/23/pressandpublishing.iraq

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      • Thanks, Opinion. I wonder how many millions of Americans world viewpoints he’s shaped over the decades? And I highly doubt if he’s the only exec with that philosophy in the information biz; mainstream news is basically the equivalent of syndicated television in that it’s aimed at the lowest common denominator in terms of interest/intelligence/prejudice/aptitude/appetite. Something to consider when deciding which news outlets to trust with the keys to your brain.

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  4. That otherwise knowledgeable and astute people still believe almost anything put out by major media outlets, even when they repeatedly show themselves unable to do the simplest of journalism, much less reveal biases, can be explained, in the latter case, by people sharing those biases and enjoying the reinforcement of their beliefs, in the former by the Gell-Mann effect.

    “Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them. In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.”

    — Michael Crichton

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  5. The Trumpism rhetoric of constant bashing “fake news” and calling reporters “enemies of the state” goes much deeper than Alaskans who eat too much red meat…
    “Throughout our history we have seen the presidency as the repository of all of our highest hopes and ideals and values. To demand less is to do an injustice to the blood that bought our freedoms.”
    — Mike Pence, in a 1990s column”
    “The Mike Pence of the 1990s would be horrified at the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency. And 1990s Pence who penned eloquent articles defending liberty would know the American press is not the “enemy of the people,” as Donald Trump has referred to them repeatedly.
    It’s a phrase that Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev argued in 1956 should be banned as it was a phrase Joseph Stalin used to justify the murder of 6 million dissidents; 6 million enemies of the state”
    These terms have been used for decades to support hyper national, fascist beliefs that may be challenged by a free press….
    Does any American think about Yemen, Syria or Somolia on a daily basis…
    Probably not, cause we are too busy commenting on fake bear, squirrel and weather stories…good propaganda shield.
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.dailyrepublic.com/all-dr-news/opinion/local-opinion-columnists/the-other-side-fascism-is-enemy-of-the-people/%3famp=1

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    • You missed the article point. Facts matter . Sweat and hard work matter . True research of actual occurrences and their situation matters . Accurate writing matters . That’s what’s causing division and confusion in this country fueled by the media and big tech . Pushed by big money . Our current msm is disctictly not concerned with accurate reporting of facts nor using a reasonable perspective of those involved. This causes distrust and spreading of misinformation and misunderstandings. I’m not even touching on the cases where msm purposely twists news to accomplish an agenda. Such as lock step efforts between Clinton msm and democrat party. Or fox and trump. Feel free to research that if you don’t believe me . Msm knows they used to shape public opinion. When you shape public opinion it’s no longer news it’s propaganda. Kindly said ,Not news, it’s opinion at that Point. Thus a very reasonable mistrust. Thus the concept “ fake news” it’s nothing to do with nazis or Russia. America has very few parallels with those countries or political systems. The msm is causing a problem by misinformation of the public in a factual way. Their use of taking bits and pieces of the info then throwing their spin onto the conclusions does us all a disservice. If Americans were presented with just facts then it is -news and then we would be accurately informed. Extremely important to read all news sources and information sources if a desire for balanced reality is desired. If you completely disregard one side or the other ,the looser is the reader and whoever they spread their unbalanced information to . IMO

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      • Opinion,
        As for how close is Trumpism to Fascism, and how close are we to the Germany of the 1930’s….well we can each have our own opinions on that….
        But I recommend you listen to the short podcast I will link to at bottom: it is called the Scheer Intelligence report…Truthdig site has many of these….Scheer is a long time journalist (he was in the fields of Vietnam as well as the sandbox know as Iraq)… he is quite alarmed at Trump’s rhetoric.
        Here is a comparison between U.S. 2016 and Germany 1930’s….
        “Some conditions, however, were similar. Koehn points toward a sense of dissatisfaction about economic and social conditions among both middle-class Americans today and Germans of the 1930s.
        There was, too, a growing perception that government was inefficient and unresponsive to the needs of the public.
        [There was] growing sense among different parts of the population, but nontrivial parts in terms of their numbers, about the legitimacy of government and frustration with elites, Koehn said.
        Perhaps most strikingly, Hitler—like Trump—campaigned on a platform of restoring Germany from a perceived loss of greatness. Both relied on rhetoric singling out minority groups as scapegoats for the country’s perceived economic and social problems.
        Hitler rose to power…by claiming he would make Germany great again. He didn’t use exactly those words, but his message was about nationalism, about xenophobia, Koehn said.”
        https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.wgbh.org/news/2016/12/13/local-news/how-similar-america-2016-germany-1933%3f_amp=true
        https://www.truthdig.com/articles/america-has-become-a-functionally-fascist-state/

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      • I think it’s time to stop using fascist or hitler as a smear. At least for Americans and or for our republic. It just isn’t accurate. Please look up definition of facism starting with Italy . Ignore Wikipedia which has become complete nasty biased misleading sneaky propaganda. Go to source of facism . Nazis were extreme fascists I believe. It absolutely doesn’t fit with Americans becouse in musillonis words facism is at odds with democracy . Very few countries have a form of facism or even fascist leaders . In America due to our checks and balances in combination with rights and freedoms we are so far from facism it’s at opposite end of spectrum. Even socialist and liberals are opposite facism according to original fascists .so let’s all just drop the nonsense of calling each other fascists or even hitler . There are no comparisons.

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      • Interesting side note . I was told be someone far more educated than I , in the circles he traveled in during debates the first person to call someone akin to fascists or hitlerish automatically lost the debate. Not sure if that’s functional but it’s a thought.

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      • Opinion – you are correct. But, in truth names, descriptions most certainly apply. Democrats self admitted all the way to the Obama White House that they were Socialists and Communists. Hell, Obama’s own head of the CIA (scumbag Brennen) voted for the only Communist to run for president – Guss Hall. Not to mention Obama’s Jew hating William Aires. Obama policies were facsist by definition. Tue problem we get into is Steve parrots these labels he knows nothing about like calling Trump a Nazi or Facsist when he polar opposite. Like being a proud American is a bad thing. Hitler rose to power hating Jews. Steve’s comparisons are silly to say the least.

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      • Actually Rayme, Godwin’s Law doesn’t say a thing about the person making the fascist (or Nazi) comment loses the debate or argument but that the conversation has “gone on too long.” The Law states that as a conversation gets longer, the probability of a comparison involving Hitler approaches 1.
        Now you also express it extremely unlikely that fascism could not happen here but here is a look at fascism you might learn from: http://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-listen/video/tv-show/fascism
        In particular you might look at this quote from a German tour guide: “Fascism happened here in Germany, the center of civilization, in the land of Beethoven, Goethe, and Schiller. And if it could have happened here, it can happen anywhere in the world.”

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      • Rayme,
        Your isolated view of Fascism is lacking in content.
        Do you remember the Roman Empire?
        Stalin Regime in Russia?
        Genocides in Indonesia?
        What is currently going on in the Phillipines?
        China?
        Comparing the America of today with Germany of the 30’s is just one type of fascism.
        It is always different.
        Germany was actually a very Democratic country with bourgeoisie lifestyle and private property, family farms, etc in the 1920’s…(so was Poland) Very similar to U.S. before the financial crisis of 2008.
        Currently almost 30 percent more Americans will never own a home, and many of that 50 million or so now relies on government vouchers (welfare) to buy their food and pay rent.
        If this is not a step towards blanket Socialism, then what is?
        When Hitler took power in Germany he had a phase for the people, it translated to “Speak through a flower”.
        This means no bad can be spoken of milatary, war or the president.
        We are in a current state when one must look to forgein news sites to even know what our country is up to abroad.
        George Bush would not even let media film the caskets of dead soldiers returning from Iraq?
        These wars have greatly effected my family for generations, ever since my grandfather was a POW in Germany in one of Hitler’s “camps” for captured G.I.’s.
        Many of my extented family was killed in Poland as the Russians and Germans committed genocide on the people….my wife’s family escaped Czechoslovakia with her mother hidden in a basket, so we are very tuned in to the progressions towards a fascist state and loss of minority voices in Democracy.

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      • Post Bill , yes Godwin’s law refers to probability of 1 but it also has created a tradition amongst internet users that whoever first uses nazi related terms automatically looses the argument or discussion/ forfeiture. What you are misjudging on second part of your statement is the likelihood of a fascists government in America. It’s improbable because of our checks and balances as well as our extreme independent citizens. You need to carefully look at definition of facism then re-examine our history and culture. It bears little to no resemblance to facism. It bears huge resemblance to capitalism. People who compare Trump or Obama to Hitler are being confused by msm fear mongering . And or lazy thinking.They just need something bad to say to color their opponents. No worse than Hitler right . “ top that”The reason it’s imperative to stop using complete bull pucky fascist description is becouse it stops viable conversation. It hides the true descriptions of what actually occurs . It’s a very poor description / comparison of actual occurrences and stymies actual progress of understanding a situation which is why in educated circles whoever violated Godwin’s law looses and discussion ends period . Thus if you ,Bryan , Steve ect want to have a viable discussion use a more accurate descriptor.feel free to tear apart what I said but if you look deep enough you will find I’m right .

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      • Please stop with the “Post Bill” horseshit, Rayme.
        And, by the way, your opinion about probability of fascism in US are just that, your opinion. You’ve not given us anything to back it up. Further, you opinion about the “in educated circles,” relative to Godwin’s Law, is plain bullshit. Try backing it up!
        And I haven’t used the term as a descriptor and we surely like your own interpretation that “you are right.” Heheh! You have to admit this is a real joke.

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      • Steve , thank you for shedding some light . Also for reminding us of the terrible history of ww2. I also lost many close relatives on both sides . So I completely understand your sensitivity to it . It’s always a good idea for our country to be on guard against such terrible occurrences. What I’m trying to explain ,is America’s history is so extremely different than Europe and the rest of most nations ,our political system and culture so different that a true fascist leader nor government will not arise in any forseable future. Anyone who travels in their mind down that path of concern misunderstands the true dangers to our society which you so often thankfully present. Our real danger is excessive capitalism devoid of moral boundaries. Invoking hitler or fasism masks that and damages discussion. Here is where history and truth take a strange turn . Trump the ultimate capitalist and trash talker understands this . Truth is stranger than fiction. Trump is using all his show biz experience to grab our attention to lead our nation back to where people can afford their own homes and get off welfare . Have some self pride . He clearly states his objectives and motives . He wants to give back to the country who gave him everything. You can debate his methods all day long but if you open your mind you will find I’m correct as are aprx 40% of the populace . As to you or other folks trying to draw parallels to trump and hitler . Let’s check that out . Hitler was illegitimate child – outcast in a very controlling culture . – Trump was a legitimate child in a free culture. Hitler grew up an outcast bitter and wanting revenge. His family was difficult and he never made it well in school or business. Dismissed on his passion of art . Trump was in a loving family supported by them and he excelled in buisness and was accepted by his associates. To this point there is abosolutly no parallel. Hitler followed political power like a drug , spent time in prison wrote a manifesto and through luck and vociferous and animated speech rose to power in a truly vicious fascist freedom hating party- considered war to basic part of facism political right . ( per musilonis own description) trump on other hand spent time free raising to monetary power by his efforts wrote books on buisness while free spent his own money to be elected by a free people to a nation stuck in capitalistic wars but governed by senate , judicial, house and elections. There are very few parallels. Carefully watch hitlers speeches – insane animated vociferous loud obnoxious body language in a culture that expects conformity. Trumps speeches relatively quiet calm measured In a society that expects non conformity. Granted trump says extreme sometimes ridiculous things . Those are for attention period . To move his name around. Hopefully you can understand why I think it’s backwards to bark up the wrong tree when there are so many true factual concerns at hand . I would say same thing for Obama. Though I truly disagree with his methods and his associates. Obama was not Hitler as so many foolish people tried to smear him . Republicans loved that term but it was misleading and inaccurate.Steve hope that all made some sense and can move the conversation in a positive direction. Thanks

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      • Rayme,
        A wise man once said : “Never argue with a fool, cause in the end, no one knows who is right”.
        If you would like the most recent example of a Democracy / Republic that collapsed into rubble, then research Yugoslavia in the 1999…Clinton’s silent war.
        Nearly 90 percent of that country was bombed to pieces (just like Germany in the late 30’s).
        Prior to destruction, Yugoslavia was VERY similar to the U.S.
        Good quality of life, private property, pensions, healthcare, family values.
        One of my best friends in college escaped to New England and watched his family home destroyed in former Yugoslavia…
        This shit really happens…
        And just like Germany, the Yugoslavia people watched as their media filled the air with propaganda…aka “fake news”….
        Journalist Chris Hedges writes in great detail on the similarities on the collapse of Yugoslavia…
        He states:
        “It is one of the hallmarks of our trade that stories we report can assist, in the short term, those we would least like to empower.”
        https://niemanreports.org/articles/in-yugoslavia-the-consequences-of-not-reporting-the-truth/

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      • Bill I will gladly stop with Post Bill bullchit when you address me by my actual handle and you try harder to understand what’s being said . (Arguing with a post) where my family came from – western- everyone had a nickname so there is no insult intended. Be glad you weren’t nicknamed stink finger Ernie like like a guy who accidentally shit on his hammer while mending fence . Or chief flapping jaws like a past boss I had . I think Post is pretty descriptive and relatively non mean . Again if you choose to use my handle opinion I will politely use your preferred handle Yankee Bill . I’m ready to change are you ?

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      • And, by the way, Rayme I had no idea that you had a problem with my addressing you by your own name. Further, right above my own post is another poster addressing you also as “Rayme,” with no objection from you.
        I’ll refrain from posting anything to you, if it works for you. That should solve your problem IMO.

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      • Wow, so now America is sliding down the slippery slope of Fascism? Seems like a serious over-reaction to the left’s inability to successfully destroy the Kavanaugh nomination.

        America is the greatest force of good on the face of this planet, and our stability both economically and militarily is integral to it’s ability to be that force of good in the world. President Trump is a bully who regularly employs a brand of “smash mouth politics” that I personally find distasteful, but to label him a Fascist and act like we’re heading for Nazi-ism using comparisons such as Steve has been wielding is insanity. Right now, speaking as someone who would have jumped out of a plane before voting for him, I have to say he’s done a stellar job in contrast to the ineffectual leadership of the last three plus decades.

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      • Bill ok . Wanna call a truce ? We will each use our appropriate accurate handles . (Yankee Bill ) and (opinion)So conversation can continue. My apologies I had no idea you didn’t know my distinct preference for opinion. Yes Steve occasionally uses wrong name but he agreed to use opinion and I think he uses wrong one by accident. His old habit I suspect. Your choice! I won’t use post bill if it offends you ! My apologies I just thought it was funny . Evidently not .

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      • You just can’t play well with others, Rayme.
        My handle is not Yankee Bill and never has been-I occasionally post by accident as baznyankee but that just seems to pop up as I’ve used it in some instances. What did you think funny about Post Bill??
        Go ahead and fuck off!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Steve, fist off we are NOT a Democracy. Good heavens!!! Secondly, nothing Trump has done is defined as Facsism. Comparing American pride to Germany in the 1930’s is a stretch. Ok, now Obamamotors = Facsism, Obamacare = Facsism, etc… ” What President Obama has been pushing for, and moving toward, is more insidious: government control of the economy, while leaving ownership in private hands. That way, politicians get to call the shots but, when their bright ideas lead to disaster, they can always blame those who own businesses in the private sector.”
        So, you should see, I think, that it is the Democrats who are FACSISTS!!!

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  6. there are tons of news sites – just takes a little looking to get decent ones: Reuters, CBC, Al Jazeera English, The Conversation, Haaertz, Wiki Tribune, Truthdig, Realnews, Common Dreams – just some of the ones I at least peek at every day

    Liked by 1 person

      • Q anon drops is a recommended one though needs deciphering . Not technically news but often provides inside information on our government and what it’s dealing with,that’s hard to find anywhere else . It’s a strange mixture of heavy opinion and actual straight document fact . I like it because it provides documents in the raw and links . As always use common sense when reading it .

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  7. Just drove a total of roughly 14,000 miles crisscrossing a lot of country before ending up in TN….you are spot on about the polarization of this country. I was amazed at the cross sections that this country holds. One really does need to get out and see middle America…..it is a whole different land. And yup, love black bear meat….you are spot on…

    Liked by 1 person

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