Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Grey Lady Has Faded. Can't Take It Anymore. Sen. Perdue Ended On An Upbeat Note. I Remain More Cynical.

As with so many formerly great organizations The New York Times has outlived it's usefulness as a reliable source of reliable news reporting. Of late, they have experienced far too many episodes of rushing to print false stories and their bias seems unlimited.

I have always been an advocate of a free press but, like with States Rights, I always attached the word State's Responsibility. The right to enjoy freedom also carries with it a moral demand for responsibility.  That does not mean different view points are not fair game and "verboten," Of course they are.  But responsibility for being factual, for not being driven by underhanded deviousness, by an ulterior motive is also critical.

I do not know when/why the New York Time's went adrift.  They still have some fine writers and they are chock full of interesting stories about art, literature , sports and those Sunday Crossword Puzzles etc.  This all changes when it comes to the political side of the paper and their editorial page and many, far too many, of their by-line reporting. They seem not to care that their slanting is obvious and beyond fair reporting.

I know the paper was founded by Jewish Families who felt a civic responsibility to fight for the under dog and, over time, the paper's Jewish blood has thinned as most of the founding family members intermarried and switched religious affiliation, I guess, in order to achieve social acceptance and as so often happens an antipathy to one's past takes over as a method of psychological denial of one's roots.
Jewish anti-Semitism is the worst kind and thus we have J Street and Soros.

I am no psychiatrist so I will go no further but I rest my case by posting the article below.

My friend, Bret Stephens, left The Wall Street Journal for the NYT's recently and I asked him whether he would feel comfortable there?  He responded same message different audience/readership.

Bret has devoted plenty of black ink espousing his antipathy towards Trump and I posted his most recent diatribe.  Perhaps Bret is a future tunnel through which the paper will seek a somewhat more conservative audience after Trump has left the political scene.  That remains to be seen. Perhaps he will become the NYT's version of a conservative Trump hater.  Time will tell.

Meanwhile,, I do not read The NYT's and prefer to stick with The Wall Street Journal and other sources to get my news and varied opinions.  You decide.  (See 1 below.)
As I noted in my previous memo, I heard Sen. David Perdue speak today and he noted he was totally behind Trump's basic goals and agenda and said we need an unorthodox president for these times.

I just received the posting below from a dear friend and fellow memo reader and it reminds me of the movie about the newscaster who yelled out the window: ' I can't take it anymore.' (See 2 below.)
Has what divides us become greater than what unites us?

I e mailed Sen. Perdue, who ended his comments on a positive note, I was not as hopeful as he was.

One of the reasons that makes me so cynical is the biography I am reading about Bush 41 by Jon Meachem. The author was given total access to Bush's and Barbara's diaries and notes and the various chapters about when he served in Reagan's Administration as VP and the period prior to his own first run for the presidency reveal how small and back biting those who work at the seat of power are. They lie, they start rumors, their vanity drives them to do nasty things as they rationalize it is always to save the nation etc. Even Bush was guilty of lying regarding the arms shipment to Iran through Israel in order to serve his/our president.

Trump is up against the mass media, the entire Democrat party and all the various entities that want to bring this nation to its knees. They have their agenda and it does not accord with Trump's in any manner except when it comes to spending more money than we have and can afford.

Sen. Perdue pointed out three Republican Senators, who for personal and petty reasons, blocked the health bill and, by doing so, did a disservice to the nation.

As I wrote someone recently, "we like what our politicians say , then they return to D.C and we do not like what they do or fail to do." I just do no see this changing because most people attracted to a political life are a certain breed. They seek power, they believe they know what is best for others and most live rather questionable lives. Also, the Republican Party is so fractured and the Democrats are insane.  Again Sen. Perdue gave us statistics on the numbers from both sides of the aisle who have been there virtually all their working lives.  He said corporate executives last about 6 years and a large number of those in the Senate have been their for decades, some for 6 terms. There is something to be said for continuity but there is also something to be said for sweeping out the cobwebs.

Lord, save me from the do gooders! You decide. (See 3 below.)


1) New York Times Blames the Jews for Donald Trump

By Ira Stoll -

The New York Times is blaming the Jews for Donald Trump.

That’s what I took away from two pieces in the newspaper over the weekend.
The first was a news article from Jerusalem, headlined, “As Trump Offers Neo-Nazis Muted Criticism, Netanyahu Is Largely Silent.”

The article faulted the Israeli prime minister for failing to condemn President Trump in a manner that the Times judged to be sufficiently speedy and specific.

This is strange on two fronts. First, it’s a double standard. When Netanyahu publicly faulted former President Barack Obama for the Iran nuclear deal, the Times complained he was meddling in US politics and making an enemy out of an American president. Now that Netanyahu is doing his best to avoid a public fight with an American president, he gets criticized for that, too.

Second, the Charlottesville marchers weren’t just antisemites, they were also, at least reportedly, racists. It was a Confederate statue that triggered the whole thing, not any Jewish symbol. But the only country whose leader got put on the spot in a full-length Times news article, at least so far as I can tell, was Israel. There was no full-length Times news article I saw about any majority black African or Caribbean countries or majority Asian countries (other than Israel) and their prime ministers’ or presidents’ reactions or non-reactions to Trump’s response to the Charlottesville events. Maybe there were some such Times articles that I missed. But I usually read the paper pretty carefully, and I sure did not spot any.

In the same Saturday issue of the Times came a column by Bret Stephens headlined “President Jabberwock and the Jewish Right,” critical of “right-of-center Jews who voted for Donald Trump in the election.” This is such a small group in proportion to Trump’s overall support that it’s hard to see why it merits an entire column. Not a single one of these “right-of-center Jews who voted for Donald Trump in the election” is actually named in the column, which claims that such Jews are now subject to “moral embarrassment.”

The column says Jews should have known not to vote for Trump because of “the denunciations of ‘globalism’ and ‘international banks’ and the ‘enemy of the American people’ news media.” Yet on July 3, 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt sent a message denouncing “the old fetishes of so-called international bankers.” Plenty of Jews nonetheless voted for FDR without any moral embarrassment. Likewise, Bernie Sanders attacksthe press, including CNN and the New York Times, just about as vociferously and directly as Trump does. Plenty of Jews voted for Sanders, too, and Sanders’ attacks on the press haven’t been widely interpreted as antisemitic.
In my own view, the danger of antisemitism right now is less in the Oval Office and more in the Times comment section and editorial moderation. It was just days ago that the Times was assuring us that its decision to award a gold ribbon and “NYT Pick” stamp of approval to a reader comment describing Netanyahu as a “parasitic thug” was an inadvertent mistake. Yet in the comments on the Stephens column, the Times again awards a gold ribbon and “NYT Pick” label to a comment that reads in part, “It also remains to be seen whether American Zionists have learned to stop prioritizing ‘good for Israel’ over ‘good for America.’” That comment, which earned “thumbs up” upvotes from at least 410 Times readers, could have easily fit into the Times news article about the Charlottesville racists and antisemites “in their own words.” (It was also consistent with the Stephens column itself, which explicitly mentioned Israel as part of “the gist of the Jewish conservative’s case for Trump,” but omitted taxes, deregulation, or the Supreme Court.)
There was an extended discussion in the Times this weekend about bigoted commenters. That discussion came in a Times magazine article about the website Breitbart. The Times reported:

Breitbart functioned as a legitimizing tether for the most abhorrent currents of the right wing. Benkler referred to this as a ‘‘bridge’’ phenomenon, in which extremist websites linked to Breitbart for validation and those same fanatics could then gather in Breitbart’s comment section to hurl invectives… many of the writers and editors at Breitbart really were inclined to a pedestrian politics, but they were happy enough to welcome bigots if it meant increasing traffic. …he says he doubts that many of his former colleagues realize how deplorable their commenters can be. ‘‘They’re mostly just seen the way a lot of websites see their commenters, which is: ‘Oh, God, these idiots,’’’ he said. ‘‘I think there was a lot of opportunism going on. If they could get traffic from those people, then they got traffic from those people.’’

When a Times column blaming right-wing Jews for Trump generates a reader comment with 410 upvotes and a gold ribbon “NYT pick” for asserting that US Zionists prioritize Israel’s interests ahead of America’s, some people might start suspecting the Times itself of engaging inBreitbart-style reader-comment opportunism.

So long as the Times is on the topic of “moral embarrassment” — well, let’s just say, if not much of that seems on display among the paper’s own editors, it’s not because it’s entirely unwarranted.

More of Ira Stoll’s media critique, a regular Algemeiner feature, can be found here.
2) This email reflects how many people feel today.

I am now in my 60’s.

Recently I received a questionnaire and request for money from the Republican Party and strongly agree with every question, as I have since Obama was elected.

Unfortunately the one question that was missing is: What have the  Republicans done for the American people?

We gave you a majority in the House and Senate, and you never  listened to us. Now you want our money, my money, more money. You should be more concerned about our votes, not our money.

You are the establishment which means all you want is to save your jobs and line your pockets.

Well guess what? It's not going to happen.

So far, TRUMP hasn't asked for a dime.

You might think we are fools because you feel Trump is on a self-destruct course, but look beyond Washington and listen to the masses. Nobody has achieved what he has, especially in the state of New York.

Here's why I want Trump. Yes, he's a bit of an ass; yes, he's an  egomaniac; but I don't care.
      The country is a mess because politicians suck.
      The Republican Party is two-faced and gutless, and illegals are  everywhere.
      I want it all fixed!
      I don't care that Trump is crude.
      I don't care that he insults people.
      I don't care that he has changed positions.
     I don't care that he's been married 3 times.
      I don't care that he fights with Megan Kelly and Rosie O’Donnell.
      I don't care that he doesn't know the name of some Muslim terrorist.

Our country has become weak, and bankrupt. Our enemies are making fun of us We are being invaded by illegals. We are becoming a nation of victims where every Tom, Ricardo and Hassid is a special group with special rights to a point where we don't even recognize the country we were born and raised in, "AND I JUST WANT IT FIXED."

 And Trump is the only guy who seems to understand what We The People want and need.

I'm sick of politicians, sick of the Democratic Party, the  Republican Party, and sick of illegals. I just want this thing fixed.

Trump may not be a saint, but he doesn't have lobbyist money controlling him; he doesn't have political correctness restraining him; all you know is that he has been very successful; a good negotiator; he has built a lot of things; and, he's also not a politician.

And, he says he'll fix it. And, I believe him because he is too much of an egotist to be proven wrong or looked at and called a liar.

I don't care if the guy has bad hair.

You are welcome to pass this on, or not.

Thought for the Day  "No country can sustain, in idleness, more than a small percentage of its numbers. The great majority must labor at something productive!"

Don R. "Dick" Ivey, PhD
P.S.  No Borders, No Language, No Culture = No Country.

The Principles That Divide Us Might be Greater Than Those That Bind Us Together

 I believe that a) most realities happen over and over again in slightly different forms, b) good principles are effective ways of dealing with one's realities, and c) politics will probably play a greater role in affecting markets than we have experienced any time before in our lifetimes but in a manner that is broadly similar to 1937.

I'm essentially an economic mechanic who focuses on how reality works by studying the cause:effect relations and how they played out in history to help me bet on what's likely to occur. For reasons previously explained in "Populism..." it seems to me that we are now economically and socially divided and burdened in ways that are broadly analogous to 1937. During such times conflicts (both internal and external) increase, populism emerges, democracies are threatened and wars can occur. I can't say how bad this time around will get. I'm watching how conflict is being handled as a guide, and I'm not encouraged.

History has shown that democracies are healthy when the principles that bind people are stronger than those that divide them, when the rule of law governs disputes, and when compromises are made for the good of the whole—and that democracies are threatened when the principles that divide people are more strongly held than those that bind them and when divided people are more inclined to fight than work to resolve their differences. Conflicts have now intensified to the point that fighting to the death is probably more likely than reconciliation.
Average numbers hide the depths of the divisions. For example, by looking at average figures, one might conclude that the United States economy is doing just fine, yet when one looks at the numbers that comprise those averages, it's clear that some are doing extraordinarily well and others are doing terribly, with gaps in wealth and income being the greatest since the 1930s.
Largely as a function of these economic differences and differences in the principles that people believe most deeply in, we are seeing large and increasingly firm political differences, which are apparent only by looking below the averages. For example, Donald Trump's approval rating of 35% is a result of 79% support among Republicans and 7% among Democrats (Gallup). Of those who approve of President Donald Trump, 61% say they can't think of anything Trump could do that would make them disapprove of his job as President, and 57% who disapprove of Trump say they are never going to change their minds on the President's job performance (Monmouth). Similarly 40% of those polled (PRRI) would favor Donald Trump’s impeachment, which consists of 72% of Democrats and 7% of Republicans, and most of them won't change their minds.

In other words, the majority of Americans appear to be strongly and intransigently in disagreement about our leadership and the direction of our country. They appear more inclined to fight for what they believe than to try to figure out how to get beyond their disagreements to work productively based on shared principles.
So, where does that leave us?

While I see no important economic risks on the horizon, I am concerned about growing internal and external conflict leading to impaired government efficiency (e.g. inabilities to pass legislation and set policies) and other conflicts.

I of course hope that the principles that bind us together are stronger than the ones that divide us. I believe that this is a time when it is especially important for us a) to be explicit about what our principles are in order to be clear about what we agree and disagree on, b) to practice the art of thoughtful disagreement, and c) to respect our ways of getting past our disagreements so we can start rowing in the same direction. I believe that how well this is done will have a greater effect on the economy, markets and our overall well-being than classic monetary and fiscal policies, so I continue to closely watch how conflict is handled while tactically reducing our risk to it not being handled well.

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