Commentary

Self immolation

the smirk

The face-off that might have mortally wounded the American media/KC Noland, YouTube

Let’s imagine for a moment that, as some have suggested, the Russians could be behind @2020fight – the Twitter site that helped drive the false narrative of a story about American Native elder Nathan Phillips abused by the Covington Catholic School boys – because why wouldn’t the Russians do it?

 

Theoretically at least, social chaos is the soft underbelly of American democracy. If you can keep Americans preoccupied squabbling in the homeland, they won’t pay much attention to what is going on around the globe.

And if you can get the American media to discredit itself in the process, all the better.

Adolph Hitler understood this more than a generation ago. He managed to keep the U.S. out of World War II until the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and dragged the country into the planet’s biggest and ugliest of battles.

“Hitler knew that Americans were particularly susceptible to public opinion, which could be manipulated by the press and other mass media,” writes Klaus Fischer, the author of Hitler & America.

“Although Hitler knew little about the American media, suspecting that it was under the control of Jewish interests, he realized its importance in influencing public policy. He was particularly interested in isolationist sentiments in America, and he thought about ways and means by which Germany could reinforce the isolationists.”

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) was in the late 1930s leading a divided nation and having a bit of a time dealing with academia, much as President Donald Trump is today. (This is not meant to in any way compare the two presidents, but it is interesting to note the history.)

“I like your word ‘shrimps,'” FDR wrote to his old Harvard University history professor prior to the 1940 election. “There are too many of them in all the Colleges and Universities — male and female. I think the best thing for the moment is to call them shrimps publicly and privately.”

“Shrimps?” Doesn’t that sound awfully similar to a popular modern label? Can you say”snowflakes?”

One is a small crustacean with no brain, as Susan Dunn observed in a story in The Atlantic about the social turmoil preceding the 1940 election. The other is a fragile entity in need of a safe space because it is intellectually and emotionally incapable of handling the trials and travails of the real world.

Hitler encouraged isolationists in America – chief among them Charles Lindbergh, the son of a Progressive member of the House of Representatives from Minnesota – because a divided America was good for the Nazis.

Why would the Russians, or for that matter the Chinese or any number of others, not encourage anyone or anything that could deliver a divided America today? There is a long list of interests that would like to keep us busy squabbling with each other.

How about ISIS, which has proven itself fairly internet savvy? Why wouldn’t it engage in supporting anything that shifts American focus away from the bloody fighting in the Middle East?

Especially when the costs are so small because we’re so damn easily distracted by nonsense.

Nonsense

The Detroit Free Press, Phillips’ home state paper, has devoted more than a fair share of time to the Covington/Phillips nonsense and has little to show for it. Among the things you won’t find there is a good profile of Phillips, the key player in all of this.

Blame social media. Free Press editor Peter Bhatia did.

“Social media remains a tool that is often exploited for bad purposes,” he wrote in a Friday commentary. “This story illustrates it.

“Those of us in the so-called mainstream media know caution is always called for, and we do not presume social media posts to be true until we have verified them ourselves. In this instance, we all wish we had understood more about the origins of the furor, and the pivotal role played by the trolls Twitter has since expelled from its website, earlier in the game.”

The commentary is horribly self-serving, but worse it is inaccurate.

“The initial (Free Press) post Saturday night said that Phillips was a Vietnam vet,” Bhatia wrote. But that is not exactly what it said. This is exactly what it said:

“Phillips said he grew up in an abusive home, started working on construction and lumber jobs, and then joined the Marines, serving in the Vietnam War.”

The story has now been changed on the newspaper’s website, but you can go back in the tubes and find the original thanks to the Wayback Machine. The important words in the original story are “Phillips said.”

Either, he said it, in which case he lied and the Free Press got played, or he said something that led the reporter to draw the conclusion. If it’s the latter, the Free Press has some explaining to do.

There is video of Phillips on Facebook claiming to be a “Vietnam Vet,” and there is a CNN interview in which he claims to be a ““Vietnam-times veteran,” which is enough for the supposed fact-checking site Snopes to conclude that reports that he lied are “unproven.”

Snopes explains all that this way:

“It’s difficult to determine at this point whether Phillips has deliberately misrepresented the nature of his service, whether he has been so vague and ambiguous in many of his descriptions (unintentionally or otherwise) that misinterpretations have entered his narrative, or whether he has tried to be accurate but may have just occasionally slipped up in his many, many hours of conversation and sometimes neglected to include the qualifiers about his service that he has used in many other videos and press interviews.”

Right. People always slip up and say, by accident, “I’m a Vietnam vet, you know.”

So what exactly was it “Phillips said” to the Free Press. Was it the “I’m a Vietnam vet” version of the untruth or the “Vietnam-times veteran” version? And is it worse to claim you were a Vietnam Vet when you weren’t, or to lead people to draw that conclusion with a disingenuous claim to being a “Vietnam-times vet?”

Maybe it just depends on “what the meaning of is is,” as former President Bill Clinton once observed in testimony before a grand jury. 

Bad reporting

But let’s not stop this examination with a simple, factual problem that could have been solved by a reporter asking one simple question – “So what unit did you serve with in Vietnam?” – and go on to the media’s bigger role in all of this.

The media is, or once was, where people with a healthy sense of skepticism went to find the facts if they read something on social media that just didn’t sound quite right. Those days are quickly coming to an end.

Andrew Sullivan, a reporter and commentator who the Palinistas came to hate for his constantly pointing out the stupid shit former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said, contends the problem is that the “mainstream press has been poisoned by tribalism.”

As much as I share Sullivan’s concerns about tribalism, I’m not sure but that there isn’t a bigger problem – the death of healthy skepticism among journalists.

They have become too much stenographers – “hey, that’s what he said” – and too little reporters who believe the truth matters.

So let’s go back to that Free Press story with reportorial red flags waving all over the place. Here’s the second paragraph of the story:

“On Friday, his battle gained national attention, as social media videos captured his standoff with a group of taunting Catholic school students in the nation’s capital. The video of Phillips, peacefully drumming and singing, while surrounded by a hostile crowd illustrates the nation’s political and racial tensions.”

You have to wonder if the reporter watched the video. Go watch it. The original, posted by one “KC Noland” on YouTube and viewed by almost 5 million people, can be found by clicking here. Noland, incidentally, cannot be found, and 26-year-old Kaya Taitano told her hometown newspaper, The Guam Daily Post, that she shot the video. 

“Taitano took a video of the entire ordeal and posted it on her Instagram page, drawing the attention of national media,” the newspaper reported.

“‘The kids were saying, ‘Land just gets stolen. That’s just how it is.’ They’re so arrogant,'” she said. National media reported the kids were chanting, ‘Build that wall. Build that wall!'”

Several hours of video of what was going on in the plaza in front of the Lincoln Memorial have now been uncovered, and none if it contains anyone chanting “build that wall,” which doesn’t make sense anyway.

The wall is about Latin American immigration. The Washington, D.C. confrontation involved Native Americans, Black Israelites and some white Catholic kids. The wall wouldn’t keep any of them out of the country.

But let’s get back to that original Free Press story.

Sources?

The headline on the story said “Native American leader of Michigan: ‘Mob mentality’ in students was ‘scary’.”

The Nolan (or Tatiano) video directly contradicts that headline. The kids are smiling, clapping and bobbing. The angriest looking person in the video is Phillips. Sixteen-year-old Nick Sandmann seems to be simply trying to maintain his composure as Phillips bangs a drum and loudly chants inches from his face.

At one point, an African-American classmate of Sandmann standing just behind and to Sandmann’s right breaks into a dance. At another point, an adult woman behind Phillips, who looks to be part of his group declares, “You guys are acting like a mob. That’s what’s going on. Fucking mob mentality. It’s awesome.”

She does look a little angry, but not at all scared. The photographer in the “Indigenous People’s March” t-shirt with the blue-and-black Keffiyeh round his neck shooting every second of the Sandmann-Phillips encounter looks a little scared, but it might just be worry about missing the perfect shot.

Phillips himself actually wanders around in the crowd pounding his drum and chanting before he focuses on Sandmann. Sandmann is one of maybe a dozen, at most, kids wearing a red, Make America Great Again (MAGA) hat.

The hats standout, but the people wearing them are a small minority in the sea of people. Phillips actually passes a less friendly looking teen in a MAGA hat to Sandmann’s right before settling on the innocent-looking Sandmann, who seems at first caught by surprise, then smiles and finally stands there clearly not knowing what to do and finally smirks as Phllips puts on his show.

Two other videos connected to this incident are also posted by Noland. One is a Phillips stand-up viewed by fewer than 77,000 people in which he looks into the camera and says:

“You know, when I was there singing, ‘I heard, I heard  them saying, Build that wall. Build that wall.'” 

The third Noland video catches Sandmann in passing, either before or after the face off with Phillips. In that video, Phillips marches across the plaza outside the memorial to where he stops, raises his hands in the air and shouts “Relatives, relative, relatives!” in an apparent attempt to draw a crowd.

As a people gather round, he says, “relatives, let’s make America great. Let’s do that.”

He then strides off followed by one of his entourage, asking “How do we do that?” before waving his finger around, apparently pointing at MAGA hats, and observing “not like that.”

It would seem most likely this video came after the Sandmann encounter Phillips described to the Free Press as a “moment when I realized I’ve put myself between beast and prey. These young men were beastly and these old black individuals was their prey, and I stood in between them and so they needed their pounds of flesh and they were looking at me for that.”

There is simply nothing in any of the videos to support those statements nor the claim of shouts of “Build the wall!” In fact, everything on video points away from that. There is no beastly behavior. There are no threatening faces. There is no sense of danger.

Mob behavior?

“The crowd of students, some of whom wore MAGA caps, mocked Native Americans while chanting “Build the Wall” and using derogatory language,” the Free Press reported. “The students had a ‘mob mentality’ that ‘was scary. … It was ugly, what these kids were involved. It was racism. It was hatred. It was scary.'”

Those quotes aren’t attributed to Phillips directly, but it appears they were meant to be. But there is nothing on the Indigenous People’s March  video to  support any of those claims, either.

Neither has anything emerged in subsequent videos to support these claims, which remains a part of the updated and partially corrected Free Press story. 

“I will not take sides with the roaring voices of the right who suggest the young people did nothing wrong, nor endorse the view that the original narrative was essentially correct. To me, that still isn’t entirely clear,” Bhatia declared.

“Nor do I know if the students said ‘Build the Wall’ (as Phillips asserts) or made other potentially inflammatory statements. I didn’t hear that in anything I reviewed, but I can’t warrant it didn’t happen.”

This is the ass backwards media of today at its best. With the unproven narrative now out there, someone must provide proof that the unproven is wrong. And it is damn difficult to prove to an absolute level that something didn’t happen.

You couldn’t prove to an absolute level that there weren’t aliens hovering over the Lincoln Memorial when this incident took place. They could have all been in a cloaked Romulon spacecraft we lack the technology to detect.

And then there is the Free Press claim that Phillips was years ago “racially harassed by a group of students at Eastern Michigan University. Fox 2 Detroit reported on the incident at the time.

“Phillips said he was walking by when he noticed students dressed up as Native Americans, saying they wanted to bring back the university’s previous logo of an Native American tribe, the Hurons.

“‘I told them … that was racist and they got upset with that,’ Phillips told the Free Press. ‘One of the students threw a full can of beer at me that was unopened and hit me with it, and the police did nothing. The school did nothing.'”

Could that have happened? Of course. This country is full of racists. But what do the school and the police say? It’s a question any responsible reporter has to ask after watching the Washington, D.C. video so out of sync with Phillips’ description that you can’t help but conclude he’s not fully reliable.

About the only thing that is clearly accurate as told by Phillips to the Free Press is this: “‘We’ve got a lot of work to do’ in educating people about Native Americans and racism.”

No doubt. There are way too many people in this country who think Native Americans inferior. Some of these people are classic white supremacists, the Nazis of our day. Others are American elites who will never, no matter what they might claim, consider Natives as equals because of their belief in the intellectual inferiority of everyone outside their peer group.

If you’re a Native American reading, take heart. Those elites hold the same view of about 90 percent of the American population, if not more.

The American media, sadly, employs a disproportionate number of these smarter-than-everyone-else people. The American media is so smart it is daily losing the American public.

“Some demanded a retraction or apology,” Bahtia wrote. “I don’t believe the Free Press owes anyone an apology. We did what news organizations do.”

Well, if by the latter, he means make a mess of reporting, he’s right. But this isn’t about what new organizations do; it’s about what news organizations should do.

More importantly, it’s about what news organizations must do unless they want to do nothing but join the chorus of chattering squirrels in the forest of social media.

If that’s the case, rant and spin away. But if you want to be reliable media rather than social media, do your damn job.

“What was so depressing to me about the Covington incident was how so many liberals felt comfortable taking a random teenager and, purely because of his race and gender, projected onto him all their resentments and hatred of ‘white men’ in general,” Sullivan wrote.

“This is the abyss of hate versus hate, tribe versus tribe. This is a moment when we can look at ourselves in the mirror of social media and see what we have become. Liberal democracy is being dismantled before our eyes — by all of us.”

Unfortunately, members and former members of the American media are often leading this parade. At a time when journalism should be rising above the maelstrom to hold everyone accountable to documentable truths, it’s reveling in false narratives that echo what some journos wants to hear.

Sullivan warned that this is becoming “the orthodoxy of elite media, and it is increasingly the job of journalists to fit the facts to the narrative and to avoid any facts that undermine it.

“There’s a reason why, in the crucial battle for the legitimacy of a free press, Trump is still on the offensive. Our mainstream press has been poisoned by tribalism. My own trust in it is eroding. I’m far from the only one.”

I have to confess to the same, and it both depresses and scares the hell out of me. The day the media fully loses our trust, there will be only one entity available to fill the vacuum: government.

And there starts the road to totalitarianism.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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67 replies »

  1. James Mykland.………..in addition to being a Red Diaper Doper Baby is a Washington State Resident and Commercial Fishing Carpetbagger.

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      • That is the thing with anonymous posting, all the hate and venom comes out, with no consequences or backlash.
        MAGA hats are racist, since they are representing a form of hatred toward immigrants, minorities and people of color.
        America was already great before our current POTUS came along. He and his cronies call themselves “nationalists”, that works, just like Rep. Steve King from Iowa, who was stripped of all leadership roles in the US House. If this is the future of our country, I am dismayed.
        My fathers parents immigrated from Norway in 1913. My mother’ ancestors, numerous generations ago, come from the UK.
        We are a nation of immigrants, period. We need that steady influx of people to keep this nation strong.
        As I said before, majority of mass shootings in America, are perpetrated by angry mentally white males, not illegal immigrants.

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      • Hmm, Ok Jame’s, MAGA hats are racist. Some silly liberal chit there. But, you are from Washington State so, I guess that wins brownie points there. America has never had an issue with LEGAL immigrants. Libs like you always leave out the “ILLEGAL” immigrant part. Meaning CRIMINAL as soon as they step foot on our soil. I am pretty sure in your liberal mind you would find all this “racist” but, it is not. Since you cleaely are a racist and love calling everybody else a racist, name one thing that makes Trump a racist? MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN? Awe!!!! Come up with a real thing, not that leftist, made-up CNN garbage that gets your kind all spooled-up. Also, try looking up MS-13 gangs and murders in the U.S.. Then look-up inner-city murder rates, and then look-up white mass-murders and compare. I think your liberal eyeballs will fall out of your head. Now, did I say anythimg racist? Haha

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      • “MAGA hats are racist”
        How, pray tell, is an inanimate object racist? That’s like saying your chair is racist, it’s just nonsensical. You could say it represents racism, you would still be wrong, but you could say it and you wouldn’t be spouting nonsensical things about inanimate objects.

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  2. The part that amazes me the most is that time and again people are fooled by the dumbest things, all because it supports their chosen narrative, from the journalists to the consumer of the news. A week from now or a month from now or a day from now, there will be a story about something that shows a supporter of (name your cause) in a bad light and those opposed to that cause will jump on the bandwagon decrying the tragedy of it all with feigned outrage. Then it will be shown that whatever the story is was made up or the truth twisted or lied about and everyone will be outraged about that. Meanwhile another story will come along and we will rinse and repeat, that is the news cycle now and we are supposed to take it hook line and sinker every time and forget all about the last story.

    The good news is that there are a few waking to the fact that our media has been lying to us for years. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me…it pays to be skeptical and use your brain.

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      • Well James it takes one to know one. I do have a DD-214 with 25 years of honorable service and I don’t go around pretending to be something I’m not. So go eat shit for dinner and die you Red Diaper Doper Baby! How do I know you are a RDDB? Because that’s the only kind of assholes that engage in and defend Stolen Valor.

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      • Plus, you have PTSD, that was never diagnosed, and you are about to go postal. Please, make an appointment with the nearest VA clinic, and get some long over due help!
        Have you ever wondered why it is the male Caucasian, that commit the majority of mass shootings in America?

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      • Burt you have done nothing but present facts . Well done . Also thank you for your service. Military is not an easy job . Thank you for sacrificing and being ready to hold the line at all costs . I bow down to you and your brotherhood of all branches of the armed services. I have many relatives in the service including a sister in South Korea. You all have my utmost appreciation. Your families make many sacrifices.

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      • Look at James. Typical liberal – Attack, Attack, Attack, Racist, Racist, Racist, Bigot, Bigot, Bigot, repeat, repeat, repeat. The problem James is you have skin in the game. You have listened to, been brainwashed by, and have suffered from your parties racist guilt your whole life. Now your party tries to “erase” its racist past by destroying statues of their hero’s, calling others racist names, or rewriting history in the books. Face it James, you have been steamrolled. Please find another playbook. Bigot thos, racist that, gets so, so old and meaningless.

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      • James, “Caucasian, that commit the majority of mass shootings in America?”. Seriously? Is this a joke? Have you ever wondered why blacks who make-up 13% of the population and commit 70% of all the violent crime in this country? Do you really want to compare weekly inner-city murder rates in the thousands to the occassional serial killer? More college campus silly narratives. Heck, just pick Chicago alone. Ha

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  3. Would Medred dare to write something about the MEDIA that was worth reading? I mean something, after reading the first paragraph, one actually wouldn’t know what was to follow?

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  4. I don’t think you addressed the taunting by the teens. The “tomahawk” chant is offensive to natives. I found that the most offensive.

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    • I thought maybe the boys were educated in the “tomahawk” chop, explained most eloquently by Red Jacket, the Seneca orator and chief of the Wolf clan. His speech on “Religion for the White Man and the Red” (1805) has been preserved as an example of his great oratorical style.

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    • It is called provocation. The teens should have put that drum on the head of that phony Vietnam Vet and did the “tomahawk” on it. Poor natives will survive.

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      • Keep your opinions to yourself, they are disrespectful towards a certain % of our population. In fact, that was a racist comment.

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      • James, is your real name Bull Connor? Of course it is “racist”. Isn’t everything through the rose colored glassses of “race, class, gender”?

        Liked by 1 person

    • Nor did he address the harassment of women that the boys were engaged in before starting to harass the indigenous people. Those little shits are not defensible. This is less “toxic masculinity” and more “pathetic masculinity.” Bad look, Craig.

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  5. So the Detroit Free Press gets a little rip from the author for over-reporting this story and then he goes on for, seemingly, hours about an issue that has absolutely ZERO relevance to the story. What difference does it make if Phillips is a “Vietnam vet,” a “Vietnam times vet,” a Vietnam era vet, or even a NON-VET? If you want to bitch about problems with the media, start with this article.

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    • Because he is a multiply proven liar. He has claimed, on camera, to be a “Vietnam vet,” not just the multiple insinuations by “Vietnam times” and such. He has claimed to have been “spit on when coming home.” He claimed during the ND pipeline stand off to have been a “recon ranger” (there is no such thing) in the military.

      He was a multiply demoted Reserve Marine refrigerator tech who never left the state, much less the States.

      All of this was easily found, yet the mainstream media never bothered, they simply took everything he has said as gospel. The man has zero credibility, and that fact should have been brought up years ago, and would have been if “reporters” did any actual dispassionate reporting rather than reprinting press releases and giving people who fit their preferred narrative softball interviews.

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      • Matthew, let us not forget that fraud Phillips went AWOL 3 times. Real piece of work he is. Typical hero of the Left. Kind of like Michael Brown.

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      • Well said . Public needs to stop accepting trash inaccurate planned narratives agenda reporting. It Does our nation and the world a massive disservice. The editors need to step up and put a stop to it .

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  6. Craig,
    Your sentence:
    “If you can keep Americans preoccupied squabbling in the homeland, they won’t pay much attention to what is going on around the globe.”
    This is frightening true as the Globe is facing increasingly difficult economic challenges and instability.
    Venezuela is the current hotbed for U.S. involvement as they hold more oil than Saudi Arabia.
    As the U.S. tells nations to “pick a side” the future of world conflict looks bleak.
    China, Russia, Iran, Turkey, Uruguay, Mexico and many other countries do not support the U.S. backed Coup in Venezuela.
    This is the 3rd or 4th attempt to over throw their Socialist government.
    The new opposition leader in Venezuela has only been on the National Assembly since January 5th of this year and is mostly unknown in his own country.
    He attended college at George Washington university in the U.S. and studied economics under the “Chicago Boys” at a neo con think tank in the U.S.
    Forcing this on a military and country that does not want re-elections could have drastic consequences.
    Russia has already flown bombers to Venezuela in support of Maduro and China has invested heavily in their resource development and petrol industry.
    This could be another “Cuba” all over for the U.S.?
    Last year the U.S. bombed 9 countries around the globe and we are closer to WW3 than ever in my lifetime yet our “lame stream media” has little to no coverage from Venezuela or any of the conflict sites in North Africa or the Middle East.
    Instead, we are bombarded with B.S. stories online while the NSA silently collects every picture, contact, text, email, phone call, contact list, google search, link, etc from ALL Americans.
    “Documents indicate that PRISM is “the number one source of raw intelligence used for NSA analytic reports”, and it accounts for 91% of the NSA’s internet traffic acquired under FISA section 702 authority.”
    “The leaked information came to light one day after the revelation that the FISA Court had been ordering a subsidiary of telecommunications company Verizon Communications to turn over to the NSA logs tracking all of its customers’ telephone calls.”
    This spying on the people has not been seen since the “Iron Curtain” fell over the Soviet Union many years ago.
    “According to the Washington Post, the much less known MUSCULAR program, which directly taps the unencrypted data inside the Google and Yahoo private clouds, collects more than twice as many data points compared to PRISM. Because the Google and Yahoo clouds span the globe, and because the tap was done outside of the United States, unlike PRISM, the MUSCULAR program requires no (FISA or other type of) warrants.”
    As the U.S. becomes more and more Authoritarian in their government and control of it’s citizens, this data collected can be used to target activists, dissidents, Democrats, anyone the power elite feel are a threat to their “modus operandi” at the moment.
    We are seeing this today in China and Google is partnering with the Communist party in charge to go after any dissenting opinion online.

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    • Just like the years 1909-45. In August 1937, the Japanese army invaded Shanghai where they met strong resistance and suffered heavy casualties. The General Staff Headquarters in Tokyo initially decided not to expand the war due to heavy casualties and low troop morale. Nevertheless, on December 1, headquarters ordered the Central China Area Army and the 10th Army to capture Nanjing, then-capital of the Republic of China. Perhaps the most notorious atrocity was a killing contest between two Japanese officers as reported in the Tokyo Nichi Nichi Shimbun and the English language Japan Advertiser. The contest – a race between the two officers to see which could kill 100 people first using only a sword – was covered much like a sporting event with regular updates on the score over a series of days…The massacre occurred over a period of six weeks starting on December 13, 1937, the day that the Japanese captured Nanjing. During this period, soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army murdered Chinese civilians and disarmed combatants who numbered an estimated 40,000 to over 300,000, and perpetrated widespread rape and looting…”Since we are socialists, we must necessarily also be antisemites because we want to fight against the very opposite: materialism and mammonism… How can you not be an antisemite, being a socialist!” Adolph Hitler “Why We Are Anti-Semites,” August 15, 1920 speech in Munich at the Hofbräuhaus. The chief Nazi newspaper, Volkischer Beobachter, repeatedly praised “Roosevelt’s adoption of National Socialist strains of thought in his economic and social policies” and “the development toward an authoritarian state” based on the “demand that collective good be put before individual self-interest.” Study up on our Indian Reservations by Andrew Jackson(D). Hitler took it and ran, just change the name to Concentration. “Denial, ain’t just a river in Egypt.” Mark Twain

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    • The list of countries you list as supporters are all civil rights nightmares, but keep running with that.

      The duly elected President of their legislature is a Democratic Socialist, not any kind of right winger. He was first elected to office in 2010 and again in 2015. He is not some dark horse “installed by the US.”

      Conversely, Chavez was, and Maduro is, a Stalinist strongmen. The revolt against their use of terror and antidemocratic reelection is utterly grassroots, only “useful idiots” like yourself in the West claim otherwise. Maybe look at the actual words of actual Venezuelans on social media.

      In any event, we have no need for “Venezuela’s oil.” We have more than enough available due to fracking. The whole “we just want their oil” schtick was trite decades ago.

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      • Carberry blog has some good points . Yes Obviously concerning to have an Iran contra affair person involved in Venezuela. To be fair though some of those folks are not as bad as appeared as they got shaft / left holding the bag as their government politicians and law enforcement basically put them into the situation and let them be fall guys . So a careful analysis of each personal case would be important to get to facts .

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      • Opinion, we need to look at the reasons behind the Iran-Contra affair. I am going off 35yr memory here but, didn’t Reagan tell the lib professors who demanded to be allowed to go amd teach in Beirut “that of you go to Beirut we will not be able to protect you and you are breaking the law”? What happened? They went anyhow got kidnapped and then the optics looked bad – American Hostages”. Thus Iran-Contra is born… I’d let the leftist dirtballs rot.

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    • Why do trumps detractors avoid giving him credit for working hard to pull out of Syria , Afghanistan- making peace with taliban preparations to pull out , working hard on peace with Northkorea . Trade deals with nations to better our citizens job opportunities, Tighter boarders for a safer country. Sure Trump is no Angel and sure isn’t perfect but he’s working hard to better our nation and the world situation. People need to educate themselves with open mind not press narratives . Get behind this guy who is fighting tooth and nail to resolve the problems created by past leaders . He’s being attacked right and left from folks within our own nation. Who else recently had brokered such hard peace agreements? Who sacrificed his comfortable life to be attacked and try to lead our nation out of its hole . This man didn’t need this job . He is as rich famous and comfortable. He is donating his salary to our government needs . Quit taking msm as gospel . Wake up ! The alarm bells are now . Newsgaurd / news speak for censorship and citizen propaganda programming. We have a free press . It’s not supposed to be infringed for a reason. We need to start asking why? Who wants to control you ? It’s benign control . Sneaky. We have independent minds for a reason. Why does msm fear our access to alternative news ? Control? Why ? Who ? Are we on the cusp of a benign Chinese style culture?

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      • “Sure Trump is no Angel and sure isn’t perfect but he’s working hard to better our nation and the world situation.” I’ll step up and suggest that the only truth here is that “Trump is no Angel.” Heheh!
        Your assumption that “he’s working hard to better our nation and the world situation” is something that many take exception to-remember that “if” your assumption is false then every conclusion after that is also false. Thus it’s very important to get that assumption right IMO.

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      • Very true bill . Your words hold weight! . Hopefully I’m not wrong. Have you seen any perfect leaders who sacrificed everything to try recently? Perhaps my two concepts should not be paired together.,Aside from trump I guarantee I’m right about the threats to our freedom privacy and free thinking due to technology intrusion and oversight.

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      • There is no verdict on Trump’s sacrificing everything, as yet, and there are several arguments that he is using his position to further his own gains. He is first a capitalist and no reason to think he has changed his spots IMO.
        We will get a look at his tax returns, that should go a long way into whether/not he is interested in bettering our nation or has other ideas.

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      • Bill, I assume you were that adamant about getting a look at Obama’s records? I mean, just take a look at these SEALED OBAMA RECORDS:
        1. Occidental College Records
        2. Columbia College Records
        3. Columbia Thesis Paper
        4. Harvard Records
        5. Selective Service Registration
        6. Medical Records
        7. Foreign Student Aid Record?
        8. Illinois State Senate Schedule
        9. Illinois State Senate records
        10. Writings Harvard Law Review
        11. Batism Record
        12. Passport used to visit Pakistan in 1981?

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      • Bryan, we are talking Trump here.
        What does Obama’s records have to do with whether Trump is using his position to further his own nest or wanting to better our nation?

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      • Kind of like saying – just ignore both Hillary and Obama’s Russian connections because we are talking about Trump. How about we use a Hillary line – “what difference does it make”?

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      • Not at all Bryan!
        Pretty clear that their Russian connections (if any) have nothing to do with whether/not Trump is out to further his own nest. Did you forget to mention Benghazi??

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      • my Thought is tax records won’t show much except a business man doing his job for the company. No one is dumb enough to add Putin Russian money into American taxes . Besides it’s pretty likely the politicized IRS and FBI have already sifted through those in hopes of condemning foreign money info long ago . So it’s probably a mute point . Politicians , media , fbi just want to find some little iota in it to hopefully smear Trump . Bet they could find something on almost anyone. It’s time Americans choose to recognize their overreach and condemn it for what it is . Particularly the politicization of the press , law enforcement, surveillance and our branches of government. Bottom line is actions matter over words . Who donated their salary? Who fights tooth and nail for America first ? Who is fighting to get us out of Syria? Who is fighting to get us out of Afghanistan? Who is creating a relationship with North Korea to end a decades long technical war ? Who has called out The lying media for what it does ? Who has changed nafta to benifit you and I ? Who has called China on its predatory trade practices? Who is trying to strengthen our boarder and protect its citizens. Who was willing to buck the political status quo ? Buck past methods ? Who was willing to say I take responsibility for government shut down ? A true man has done this for our nation regardless of harsh media opinion. It takes a very stalwart man to ignore lies and mistruthes spread about them while staying the course . Actions matter . And so far the president has made his best effort to stand for you and I and America . Right or wrong success or failure he’s putting his money where his mouth is . Actions matter. Proof is in the pudding. If he was solely for himself he would have stayed off political stage not rocked the boat and kept on stashing cash up the wazoo . Those are all facts Americans should recognize. For better or worse this man is trying his hardest and putting his money where his mouth is and taking responsibility whereas the House was happy to pass the buck . Trump played a true leadership roll and said blame me . That’s admirable especially for someone who spent his life trying to make the perfect trump image that was marketable. Your turn – show me someone who is gambling more . Only ones close are military and first responders. Trump is gambling his and his family’s life as well as his past and future reputation. That’s a lot .

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      • Just a bunch of opinions, Opinion.
        I will say that Trump was duped into saying that he would take responsibility for govt. shutdown and then he tried his damnedest to blame it on Democrats.

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      • Good piece Opinion. Here is another one to add to your list: MAGA!!

        U.S. (Trump) and the Taliban reportedly agreed over the weekend on a draft framework for a peace accord in which the American-NATO-led foreign troops would withdraw from Afghanistan in exchange for guarantees to prevent other terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) from operating in the country.

        U.S. President Donald Trump’s top reconciliation envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, and the Taliban have confirmed the existence of the draft peace pact.

        Citing Taliban sources, Reuters reports that U.S.-led foreign troops are expected to quit Afghanistan “in 18 months” as part of the peace pact, marking a significant American concession long sought by the terrorist group

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      • Bill I respect that you are correct. Many of the statements are at least partially opinion. The important ones are not though. They are all researchable and have backable info . The problem is media is obsessed with creating their own narratives and burying fact and positive efforts as deep as possible. They pull anyone along that will listen or who has trusting bones in their body . It’s time to always ignore the media articles conclusions and leading statements while finding multiple sources to find the basic truth. As well as carefully choosing what we believe. A hard job in our current culture. It’s time for Americans to carefully analyze every word and statement from media with analytical sceptisim . Have you read up on news guard ? Do people really need that ? It’s obviously a propaganda tool to irrationally discredit opposing or competitive news sources. Control the information flow and the narratives. Irregardless of whether trump is a good president what we should all be concerned with is who is trying to control our information and why ?as well as ,has accuracy been affected and does it put fear into dissenting opinions? It’s coming to the cusp of totalitarian information control and invasion on our private conversations- proven by Snowden and Wikileaks among many other modern day heroes. Yes bill you are right – it’s my opinion. Sadly I expect I’m correct.

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  7. Solid take on this YUGE subject, Craig. I know that I fell for the general news take on this subject and feel burned for trusting AP, NPR and others. Better self policing is definitely in order if news organizations are going to survive the near future.

    I’ve been thinking a ton about this story since last week and our (Americans) reactions to it. I’ve also been thinking about our (again) lack of general civility towards each other and my part in that (generally not saying something while someone is getting shouted down because of their beliefs or opinions – mob style!). I’m still thinking about how best to respond to it, however, I have made up my mind that I’m not going to put up with abusers anymore (obviously I’m not saying that I’m taking on a mob, however, I will do whatever I can to stop verbal bullies whenever I can – just like I have been doing with physical bullies since I was an adult. I’m sure that this is mostly going to involve me stopping my friends from pushing other people around (verbally – obviously) when they spout something that isn’t popular to the immediate public.

    I’m still thinking this through, however, I know that I’m going to not allow verbal, mob-style bullying in my presence. Being civil and open to debate is critical if we are going to survive as a people.

    Cheers all!

    Liked by 2 people

    • If you think that we’re closer to WW III today than ever before, you never got under a desk and kissed your ass goodbye. You need to learn some history rather just recite lefty cant.

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    • How sweet Art! I’m not a lefty, I’m a hard-core, fiscally-conservative, libertarian who probably knows more about modern history in general and almost certainly more about the Cuban missile crisis (I think that’s why you were kissing your ass – unless that was a game you were playing) than you – I’m a history buff. You keeping up with your history or did you just pull a degree 40 years ago? Anyway, that’s not what I was referring to. I was referring to the fact that instead of having a debate about a subject, people are more inclined to shout down (think college campuses like UCB or LSU) riot style. I would also imagine that you and I would have a little more respect towards each other if we were face to face vs throwing pixels around. Something to do with the underlying possibility of disrespecting the other person off so much that you end up with their hand in your mouth tends to make face to face interaction more polite. Please don’t take this as a threat – just part of my big ‘lefty’ thoughts that I’ve been going through lately – just like the old adage that an armed society is a polite society. I think that we’ve gone to a new level in which nameless cowards can shout down others online secure in their mommy’s basement – just look at the douche bags yelling at each other in half of these comments. I’m just impressed that you use your actual name – puts a bit more weight behind your comments IMO.
      Cheers Art!

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  8. Remember this fabricated, media stoked LIE? ALL DEMOCRAT LIES, ALL MEDIA LIES TO SUIT THEIR CORRUPT “NARRATIVE”. RACISTS IS WHAT DEMOCRATS ARE. The Covington, media lie looks exactly the same as this:

    “Demonstrators outside the U.S. Capitol, angry over the proposed health care bill, shouted “ni@@er” Saturday at U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia congressman and civil rights icon who was nearly beaten to death during an Alabama march in the 1960s.

    Protesters also shouted obscenities at other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, spat on at least one black lawmaker and confronted an openly gay congressman with taunts.

    Capitol Police escorted the members of Congress into the Capitol after the confrontation. At least one demonstrator was reported arrested.

    “They were shouting, sort of harassing,” Lewis said. “But, it’s okay, I’ve faced this before. It reminded me of the 60s. It was a lot of downright hate and anger and people being downright mean.”
    https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/article24577294.html

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