Sunday, February 5, 2017

Can The Mass Media Learn? At War With Mexico? Ignorance and Social Media Technology A Volatile Combination.Liberalism's True Face.

Sent to me by a good friend and fellow memo reader:

"I’ve developed a few core philosophies . . . .    

The first is the ability . . . to know what is true, what is not true, and what’s real and what’s not real.  That grounds everything.  You can have a group of super smart people, but if they have the wrong view of the world, they can waste a lot of energy going down the wrong track.  So I tell every employee, if something’s fishy, question it.  The foundation is all about truth.

The second is how you behave as a team to solve problems.  A lot of energy can be wasted, because in an unchecked environment, 80 percent of what’s being said is posturing, and it’s got nothing to do with the problem.   Everybody’s trying to figure out how to look smart . . . or they’re solving a problem that’s completely different than what’s on the table.  So we set some ground rules about problem solving, including that it’s actually O.K. if you sit there.  If you’ve got nothing to say, don’t say it.

The third is about mistakes.  We tell people you’ve got to love your mistake.  If you go through a whole day without making a mistake, you just wasted a whole day because you probably haven’t pushed yourself.  You need to see mistakes as opportunities to improve.”

     — Yuchun Lee, co-founder and CEO of Allego, a Boston-area start-up focused on sales education.
The mass media will never get what is happening to them and why they are being rejected by so many as long as they continue to be themselves.

It would not surprise me if  the mass media writes a story about how Trump is planning to go to war with Mexico. (See 1 below.)

Meanwhile, mix ignorance with social media technology and you have a volatile combination. (See 1a below.)
Liberalism's true face? You decide. (See 2 below.)
Apparently, the best team won.
1)The Press Eunuchs Rattling Their Cups

In Imperial China, the palace eunuchs were given cups (paos) in which their external genitalia were preserved in alcohol. Watching the once docile and obedient to Obama press continuing their rage at the new order reminded my friend Thomas Lipscomb of the scene in the movie The Last Emperor when the exiled eunuchs “proceed to demonstrate their anguish by waving their mummified masculinity and howling.” I cannot think of a better analogy to this week’s continuing media meltdown.

I cannot begin to list all the fabrications being peddled by the now out of favor and all but exiled mainstream media this past week. John Nolte published a list of fake news by the national media  as of January 25 and this week followed up with another list of the biggest lies for the ensuing week. If you read a newspaper or watched TV newscasts, you might want to read his dissection and links lest you remain forever misled. Paraphrased in short form, here are some of the most significant:
  • The entire media lied about Trump’s immigration suspension being a Moslem Ban
  • Time magazine blamed its misreporting on Trump’s Executive orders on Trump.
  • The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler “called on foreign service officers to sign a dissent memo” which was then used as an anti-Trump story.
  • The media has omitted informing its audience of the documented threats from foreign-born immigrants. AP misled readers into thinking that Trump’s vote fraud expert committed fraud because his name appears on registrations in three states.
  • They falsely reported that former Vice-President Cheney had criticized Trump for his refugee pause. They reported the refugee pause was occasioned by Trump’s business interests, when, in fact, the list of countries to which the pause applied had been prepared by the Obama administration. They concocted and spread the fairytale that refugee pauses create terrorists. They spread the lie that the son of Trump’s National Security Adviser had characterized the pause as a “Muslim ban”’
  • They falsely reported that there was a “mass exodus of senior Foreign Service officers” at the State Department when in fact the resignations had been asked for, standard procedure when administrations change.
  • The NYT’s Maggie Haberman falsely claimed that only the San Bernardino shootings involved a “Non-US-born attacker”. The media lied when they claimed Obama did not discriminate against Christian refugees. They lied when they published that Trump had installed a gag order against the EPA, ignoring that the directives were standard operating procedure during a change in administrations. They covered up and lied about Obama’s 2011 refugee ban from Iraq and pretended it was different than Trump’s. Covering Prime Minister May’s visit, the Washington Post published an anti-Trump editorial as a news story. NBC’s Chuck Todd admitted that reporters knew how unpopular Hillary was in the Midwest and covered it up because “it would be sexist to tell the truth”. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported in 2016 that the murder rate there was increasing and when Trump agreed with him they called him a liar. The Atlanticpublished a fake story advancing the pro-abortion narrative by dehumanizing the unborn and has been forced to publish repeated corrections to the multiple clear errors in it. The media continues to demonize and lie about Steve Bannon, a key Trump adviser. ABC cut out of its official transcript Trump’s criticism of the media for underplaying the massive crowds at the March for Life.
  • The media consistently ignores evidence of widespread vote fraud.
Thomas Lipscomb, a former reporter executive for the NYT himself, took particular aim at that paper’s “sheer lousy reporting.”
In their polemic staff editorial against "President Bannon" they build up the "alt-R" fantasy issue and now have Bannon both publishing Breitbart for this MSM chimera, AND aggrandizing power in the WH for it. The NYT has yet to run an article on Alt-R and seem to think it is sufficient for their degraded paper to wave the bloody shirt.
In their even worse article on the Yates firing, they still get wrong that she was NOT the only person at DOJ who could sign and carefully omit the fact that her opinion was not only not based upon any legal argument, but her own Justice Legal Review had approved the action.
I have no problem with anyone being anti or pro Trump, but there are key elements of the issues that have to covered in a respectable article. 
Getting little purchase in its war on Trump and Bannon, the media have targeted Trump’s family as well. A boycott effort by two women has persuaded the financially troubled Nordstrom’s to virtue signal by dumping Ivanka’s clothing line. (, a Canadian outfit, which did the same, announced bankruptcy shortly afterward.) The Forward carried a despicable article by Peter Beinart on her husband Jared Kushner.
One might think there’s a Journalism for Lying Dummies handbook they’re working from -- and this week the fairytale narrative is “chaos”. 
Probably the worst of the stories this week are the accounts of the private phone calls between the president and the leaders of Mexico and Australia. One wonders what their sources of these private conversations were and how they got them so wrong.

The Washington Post ran an AP account which reported that Trump had threatened to invade Mexico and was forced to concede the story was not properly sourced, but not before it had been widely quoted by other media outlets: “Editor’s note: This article has been updated and a reference to an AP report on the details of a phone conversation between President Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto removed because they could not be independently confirmed.”

The account of the conversation with Australian Prime Minister Turnbull was equally suspect, but more importantly it exposed another piece of treachery by Obama and former Secretary of State John F. Kerry. The impeccable reporter Shoshana Bryen explains the underhanded post-election deal and why Trump has every reason to scotch it
Australia wants to prevent immigrants arriving by sea and has dumped them on the islands of Nauru and Manus where they are kept in utterly appalling conditions, creating a public relations nightmare for the Australian government. Bryen writes:
In September, Turnbull agreed to resettle Central American refugees who were in a processing center in Costa Rica. At the time, Australian officials said firmly there would be no quid pro quo. "There will not be a people swap," announced Scott Ryan, a special minister of state. The American agreement to take Australian internees came two months later, providing a convenient way for Mr. Turnbull to keep his promise to his people and get rid of people who had become a public relations disaster.
 Then-Secretary of State John Kerry worked out the deal with Australia to "fast track" the immigrants, but did not tell Congress. In November, responding to information it received, WND reported that the chairmen of the House and Senate judiciary committees demanded details:
"Congress only learned of the deal through media reports two weeks ago [November, 2016] and -- according to a letter sent to administration officials by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) -- the deal is not only a matter of grave national security concern, but it could be illegal."
 It would be illegal if the deal was considered a treaty negotiated by then-Secretary Kerry. According to the Constitution, it would have to have been sent to Congress for ratification.
Asked if he had discussed the deal with then-candidate Donald Trump, Turnbull said, "We deal with one administration at a time and there is only one president of the United States at a time." But Donald Trump is now president and his decision appears to have left the Australian government with few choices.
 Asked if there was a "Plan B" for Australia, Turnbull said he was examining several options, but that Australia would not back down on its decision not to let those refugees stopped at sea enter the country:
"Our expectation naturally, given the commitments that have been made, is that it will go ahead. The only option that isn't available to [the refugees] is bringing them to Australia for the obvious reasons that that would provide a signal to the people smugglers to get back into business."
 Whether there is an agreement to be had between the United States and Australia for the resettlement of Australia's interned population or not, it is clear that this deal had more to it than the Obama Administration -- or the Turnbull government -- wanted to admit. The United States and Australia both had reasons not to admit the migrants closest to their borders, but trading Central Americans who wanted to come to the U.S. for Muslims who wanted to reach Australian shores would allow Turnbull to keep a campaign promise and Obama to divert attention from the massive breach of America's southern border.

When news of the deal broke this week, Australians supported Trump’s refusal to abide by it:
1) Chronology is important here.
1. Ten months out from U.S. presidential election, Turnbull visits U.S. He meets Hillary and snubs Trump.
2. In the weeks leading up to U.S. presidential election, Turnbull does a deal with a dead [sic] duck president.
3. Turnbull and Obama agree to not announce it (hide the deal) until the U.S. presidential election is over. They both want Hillary to get up, and the deal would be excellent ammunition for Trump in a campaign dominated by illegal immigration.
4. Trump wins. Turnbull panics.
5. Turnbull has to call Greg Norman to find out how to get in touch with Trump.
6. Turnbull announces deal publicly five days later, and before he has spoken to Trump about it.
7. Trump understandably gives him a smack down on the phone.
8. Turnbull spins the phone call, and in desperation to announce something good in his otherwise failing prime ministership, announces the deal as done.
9. Trump is annoyed that Turnbull couldn’t keep quiet. Trump has been placed in a contradictory position that could damage him politically.
10. Trump gives Turnbull a smack down on Twitter, and leaks the phone call to return the favour.
The problem exists because of Turnbull, and Turnbull alone.
– At no point has Turnbull invested in a personal relationship with Trump. Mostly because he exists in the same elitist bubble as people who predicted a thumping Hillary win.
– He did a sneaky deal with left wingers and helped hide it from voters in the U.S.
– He then tried to pump his own political fortunes up and didn’t care about the damage it might do to Trump.
Turnbull has to go. He is damaging the Liberal party and the nation.
The now odious White House Correspondents Dinner, which for years has merely highlighted the inappropriate media-Democrat love fest, may be cancelled. And it turns out that not only did many viewers find it a distasteful show but in fact more money went to the organizer than went to fund scholarships -- its stated purpose.
There’s also a question of what the WHCA really is. According to their Form 990 filing for 2015, the not for profit group had $330,000 in expenses in 2015. Nearly half of that money -- about $145,000 – went to their president, Julia Whitson, in salary. Only $86,550 went to grants to individuals like journalism students. Indeed gifts, grants and other monies received have declined sharply from $293,189 in 2010 to $63,420 in 2014. They claim total net assets of $602,550 for 2015.
In the meantime, I advise you to insert the word "not" in any story you read or hear or see from the mainstream media -- they’re just rattling their cups and wailing.

1a) Hashtag Mentality and Today’s College Students

We are at a point in America where much of the populace has become no more than a reactionary mob.  While assorted protests may appear to be an exercise in our liberties such as freedom of speech as well as a natural desire to rebel, the reasons are more prosaic: the ignorance of our citizens, primarily the college-aged.  It’s compounded by a lack of real-world experience and by social media, a dangerous combination.  While a lack of understanding of the world isn’t necessarily the fault of any college-aged citizen, social media is another matter, with its use playing a special role in the creation of reactionary mobs. 

Take the highly charged executive order halting Middle Eastern refugees signed by President Trump.  As is the case of most executive orders, few individuals took the time to read it.  Instead, the masses reacted based on what they saw on social media.  Some enterprising individual created the deceptive hashtag “MuslimBan”, and the outrage began.  Obviously #MuslimBan is total fallacy, because it is in fact not a Muslim ban.  But social media isn’t about facts, it’s about clicks, it’s about drawing attention, regardless of one’s political affiliation.  It is also the primary means of news and conversation for this generation of college-aged citizens.

Age is a significant factor in the ignorance of social media warriors and hashtag experts.  A 21-year-old college student was a mere five years old when the twin towers fell on Sept. 11, 2001.  To a five-year-old, such an event might not even elicit a stored memory.  They have no recollection of the way things were before the terrorist attacks, and most of their memories have formed after it.   During that time, the country has been more akin to a police state as we trade liberty for security.  It is the only world they know.  I hardly expect those same children to have remembered when President Obama temporarily halted Iraqi visas in 2011, five years earlier.  The average 15-year-old has much more on his or her mind than American politics and actions stemming from wars they have always been familiar with. At the same time, they have no memory of why we were and still are fighting them.

The naivete and outright ignorance of those post-Sept. 11 children has set the course for what is now a generation of college students.  All that is needed is a catalyst to set them off.  Enter the rise of social media; a domain where even a rumor or a sliver of fiction can snowball into reality. 

With the advent of social media, fact-checking has gone the wayside.  Compounding this is the fact that the media of today is so biased it can be viewed as the mouthpiece for the Democratic Party, except for a few news outlets that veer so hard in the other direction they cannot be considered balanced, either.  Objective news reporting is dead.  TV is a relic of a bygone era to our youth who have no concept of real news, never having grown up with it. 

Combine it with a generation that has grown up in a sheltered environment, codified with the mentality that everyone is a winner and that they should always get their way and a sense of entitlement and the result is a perfect breeding ground for creating social justice warriors and hashtag experts.  Social media provides self-gratification by allowing this generation to quickly find large bodies of like-minded individuals while providing the capacity to drown out dissent.  Hashtags make this process even quicker.

Sadly, rather than conducting independent fact checks, these individuals latch on to a hashtag that sounds catchy or tugs at their empathy.  The hashtag suddenly becomes the news.  Using #MuslimBan once again as an example, thousands of college students accepted the hashtag at face value.  Then, by clicking the hashtag, they were greeted by thousands of other individuals with the same thoughts and feelings of general outrage.  Half-truths and blatant lies pass from one person to the other with a failure to check the original source.  In previous decades when social media did not exist, such fallacies would have been caught and corrected before widespread hysteria ensued. Now, the spread takes mere minutes.  It is the hashtag mentality.

A simple fact check, or reading of the executive order would have revealed that Trump’s executive order was not a Muslim ban.  It was a temporary freeze on the inflow of individuals from the most war-torn countries in the Middle East.  Dozens of other Muslim countries, such as Indonesia, were never affected by the order.  Social media-driven mobs, however, likely don’t know that Indonesia is host to more Muslims than any country in the world.  It doesn’t matter.  Social media users don’t care.

This is not to give the executive order a free pass.  The rollout was ill-thought-out and poorly managed.  But that is different issue.  It is merely an example to support the overall thesis that today’s twenty-somethings are for the most part incapable of independent thought, fact-checking and objectivity.  They really can’t be blamed though.  It is the world they were brought up in.  This timing and the rise of social media will continue to hinder their growth as adults until they achieve some form of world experience or else when something occurs that affects them directly.

One can thank Facebook and Twitter for the rapid spread of news that has not been properly vetted.  One can further thank them for the speed at which young users incite their peers into outrage.  We can only stand by and watch as they march off to do social justice battle armed with half-truths and non-facts. 

As our wisest politicians have already stated, we will not be destroyed by outside enemies, but from within.  It is getting closer in the age of the hashtag mentality.

2)The true face of liberalism

The aftermath of the US elections reveals the duplicitous nature of Liberalism, exposing it for the fascist ideology that it has become.
Uber CEO’s bland response to the President’s three months immigration ban has put him in the crosshairs of liberal zealots, who regard themselves as “progressive.” The same thing happened to Silicon Valley’s poster child, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, for not criticizing the ban more resolutely. These bullied dignitaries did not agree with Trump. Their only “sin” was that they did not chastise him with a torrent of slurs and profanities, as is commonplace these days among the “enlightened left.”

Before the elections, the press was concerned with the question, “What happens if Donald Trump loses?” Los Angeles Times reporter Doyle McManus, like many other liberal journalists, did not even consider the possibility that Trump might win, and concluded that after Trump’s loss, “it’s hard to imagine that Trump will simply fade away.”

But Donald Trump won, and his surprise victory exposed the true face of progressive liberalism in America. There are ample examples of the undemocratic nature of today’s American liberalism, such as their latest attempt at stymying the formation of the country’s government. Yet, perhaps the most authentic testimony I have seen came from a student of mine who wrote me about the situation in the Northeast, on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution from “liberals” and “progressives.” Below is just some of what my student wrote.

An Entire Generation Was Educated in Fantasy [student’s own title]

We grew up in this liberal bubble, a fantasy land. Our English classes required we read liberal books that championed the plight of immigrant minorities while condemning the westerner as the perpetual antagonist.

I like to think I have a decent moral compass. I take no pleasure in disagreeing with the trend. A person is terrified to say he is not liberal. Universities and schools raised us to breathe the notion that non-liberals are racist, backwards, white, old, men, and bigots.

Right now, what I see in the liberal-left is the new fascist ideology. They are the least embracing group in this country. Somehow, we have arrived where our society is an eggshell of political correctness. Everything is racist. Jerry Seinfeld made a joke about his friend whose last name is black. He said ‘Black's life matters.’ It was funny, but Seinfeld was almost crucified for racism. This is a sickness.

I am a progressive. I define progressivism as openness to all opinions, challenging everything. I also see myself as a champion of the oppressed. The oppressed right now are the Trump voters—the people who are not represented by Hollywood, the media, or tech and financial institutions where H-1B visa immigrants have all the good paying jobs.

I'm very alarmed at my generation's insensitivity to those with a different opinion than theirs. Trump is obviously not always right. But the outright temper-tantrum the left and my generation are having right now is a turn-off. They are entitled and SAD!
From Entitlement to Fascism

In the late 1940s, Baal HaSulam, my teacher’s father and the author of the Sulam (Ladder) commentary on The Zohar, wrote about the inherent problems of democracy in his compilation, The Writings of the Last Generation. According to Baal HaSulam, “We should not learn from the modern democracies, as they use various tactics to deceive the constituency. When [voters] grow wiser and understand their [leaders’] cunningness, the majority will certainly elect a management according to their spirit. And their [leaders’] main tactic is that they first create a good reputation for people and promote them either as wise or as righteous, and then the masses believe and elect them. But a lie does not persist forever.”

Moreover, later in the book, Baal HaSulam writes, “Reality proves that the step following the ruin of a democratic government is that of Nazis or Fascists. …Whenever the democratic government is ruined, a fascist, Nazi regime will inherit it.” Indeed, the exposure of the fanaticism of American liberalism proves that Baal HaSulam’s analysis was dead on. The “liberals” are showing their true, fascist faces. Ironically, it was acclaimed liberal progressive author and journalist, Nicholas Kristof, who best described the liberal dichotomy in a column he wrote for The New York Times titled, “A Confession of Liberal Intolerance.” According to Kristof, “We progressives could take a brief break from attacking the other side and more broadly incorporate values that we supposedly cherish—like diversity—in our own dominions.” Today, without proper measures to mend America’s perilous trajectory, the fallouts for the American society and for the world at large could be horrendous.

Establishing Sustainable Pluralism
A government whose leaders are in office for a fixed and relatively short term requires certain preconditions in order to succeed. While term limits guarantee that no leader becomes a monarch, they also compel candidates to vie for campaign funds and seek the benefit of their big donors every four years. This inevitably makes lawmakers and leaders hostages in the hands of a powerful few who exact their fees after the election, in complete disregard of the public interest. The inevitable outcome of this skewed system is a parade of puppet presidents who dance to the dictates of their donors, as we have seen for the past several decades. The wealthy elite are the real rulers of the United States; the “government”—a reality TV show.

As Baal HaSulam said in the above quote, today’s heads of state cannot be elected unless they are advertised like a commodity until the public “buys” the stories sold about them. In such a state, the president is not elected based on leadership skills, but based on acting skills and amicability. Are these the right criteria for choosing a nation’s leader?

To elect good leaders, people must determine what they want to see in a leader. If the constituency has the interest of the entire nation at heart, they will elect leaders based on the interest of the entirety of the country. In the case of America, for people to have such a broad view they must care for America, and especially for the American people, all American people.

Lessons from the Past
In today’s era of extreme self-absorption, the only way to restore stability to the American society is to embrace plurality rather than reject it. If the liver and heart fought over blood because they both need it for survival, we would die. But their complementary functionality guarantees that we have a toxin free flow of blood to the entire body.

Likewise, every person in humanity is important because health and strength are achieved when we unite above our differences, and not when we exhaust ourselves trying to be the last one standing. The constant battle we are fighting with each other is exactly how cancer behaves toward the rest of the body, and we know how this ends for the cancer and for us.

When the ancient Israelites connected above their differences, they managed to build a nation out of millions of separate individuals. Once they pledged to unite “as one man with one heart,” they were tasked with passing the method for connection to the rest of the world. The Torah defined this task as being “a light unto nations” because today disunity is “darkening” people’s lives. When depression, violence, and alienation are engulfing all of humanity, unity is the only possible light at the end of the tunnel, however dim or faint.

In Olat Raiah, the great Rav Kook wrote, “Unity that strives to benefit each individual is unsustainable. Even when it seems to grow, it will end in a flame of hatred and war among brothers, since each one is pulling in his own direction. However, unity that derives from recognizing the value of love of others will last and strengthen over time.”

Indeed, Israel’s method for achieving unity can succeed precisely in a state of social disintegration and alienation because it is designed for such a state. It does not dread frictions; it embraces them as tools for achieving greater unity and social cohesion.

My students all over the world carry out this method, which they titled, “Integral Education,” and prove repeatedly that people of different backgrounds can unite if they are willing to rise above their differences. They need not suppress their views like today’s intimidated supporters of the President.

I think that America’s strength and stability are too important to the world for this country to behave recklessly. I think it must reinstate the value of embracing all views. Only when America does this can it begin to cautiously open its gates to immigrants. However, even then it must be done on condition that immigrants also embrace the values of pluralism and unity as the basis of democracy.

In the coming years, the global challenges will increase and intensify. The basis for successful coping with these challenges is unity. If America establishes this, it will succeed. If not, it will end up like Europe.

Michael Laitman is a Professor of Ontology, a PhD in Philosophy and Kabbalah, an MSc in Medical Bio-Cybernetics, and was the prime disciple of Kabbalist, Rav Baruch Shalom Ashlag (the RABASH). He has written over 40 books, which have been translated into dozens of languages. Click Here to visit his author page.


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