2nd vs 1st Amendment

preface: thanks for the comments. never really believed anyone would read so I will try to be better with the grammar and also try to include some photos. But thanks!

The consumers of media are being ill-served by the supposed laws of modern journalism. Journalism is being equally held hostage by the ethics of the profession. No better example of this dichotomy of sorts is NPR’s -albeit not alone- coverage of the unprecedented national presidential election that is 2016. Maybe this opinion and observation is far from unique, nevertheless, it’s an opinion that’s escaped my view in reading through the NYT, WaPost and WSJ’s editorial pages. I’ll try to briefly explain what I mean.

Mainstream media organizations, those that put on an air of fairness and balance in coverage, -let’s preclude MSNBC & FOX for now- almost never accuse someone outright of lying. And in many instances this is a sound policy, from my perspective at least. 2016 seems to have ventured into rather stormy waters? There have been several, if not many, statements made by both candidates and campaigns -I believe the lions share are from the Donald however- that fall far beyond the usual white lies and can -and should- be called out by the media as outright lies, fabrications and/or intentional deception.I’d argue that this is new. I’d also argue that being of the unprecedented nature, mainstream, objective media, needs to modify their general practices in order to serve the public, to serve Democracy and the 1st Amendment.

When Secretary Clinton uses legalese, oratory gymnastics, and obfuscation, as she continues to employ regarding her use of her private server, the media -CNN, NBC, CBS, NPR, ABC etc- should begin calling it for what it is: lying. When the Trump campaign claims they had nothing to do with the GOP platform committee changing language, softening its position in respect to Russia and the Ukraine, that same media needs to stop dancing around, applying the same techniques with words, and simply say: “that’s a lie.” 

Why is this simple, yet possibly dramatic modification necessary? Count me as ever skeptical, but the truth is, many American’s trust many of these news outlets to give them the truth. They might not like what they hear initially, might even tune out, yet in the end, I believe the ethical decision is gravely important for our Nation. When Walter Cronkite told us the War in Vietnam was lost, feelings were probably hurt, the Pentagon lost its shit and the Executive Branch howled, but in the end, it was the truth that did the most good, ultimately, along with courageous Americans the likes of Martin Luther King, Muhammad Ali and Daniel Elsberg, we slowly corrected our course. The 15 year, unwinnable War On Terror is the modern equivalent and the media has failed epidemically. Like the Iraq War, those voices many Americans trusted, sounded off the truth far too late and only when popularity in the war had sunk so low, their ratings went unaffected.

Their ratings today cannot get any worse. Maybe telling the truth, in time that is, would paradoxically be the right move in our Capitalistic business/news/entertainment landscape? Maybe telling the truth by calling the lies a lie would ultimately be the most sound financial, moral, ethical and patriotic move? Maybe, in the words of Edwin Murrow, words condemning Senator McCarthy’s unconstitutional and abhorrent search for Communist’s in a supposed “free” United States, “let us speak the truth, for we are not born of fearful men,” or close to that, maybe that network could ascend to the top of the ratings along with the top of those protecting the 1st amendment? Because how can we expect our politicians, or candidates, to protect the 2nd Amendment if they aren’t willing, or not bright enough, or honest enough, to protect and defend the 1st?

So from me to you: they’re lying. Neither 2 major candidates has a stump to stand on when calling the other a liar. It’s not like the pot callin’ the kettle black, no, more like the coward callin’ the chickenhawk brave. So Meet the Press, This Morning whatever, NYT, Don Lemon….even Rachael Maddow or Megan Kelly, as a start; a spades a spade, a liars a liar…until they’re not.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clinton & Legalese Double Speak

There’s little more to say about The Donald. It’s clear: As a confidence man, or con man if you’d rather; the man is top shelf. As a world leader with the breadth and might of our mammoth military and massive economy; the man would be an apothalyptic -a word I just made up for the occasion- disaster. So what about Hillary Clinton? Maybe no one will ever read my opinions on the matter, nevertheless, I tend to best find my feelings upon jotting them down. And so…

I’ll start with a quote from today, a quote so indicative of her political doublespeak so many find repulsive; or at least I do. When asked AGAIN about the private server bullshit she spews this legalese:

The FBI director said my answers were truthful, and what I’ve said is consistent with what I have told the American people”

What the focker does this even mean? And to imagine her in some room with her advisors and lawyers coming up with this after all that’s taken place, I just cannot get my head wrapped around the logic involved? Isn’t there anyone with clout on her staff that can straighten this out? Just tell the voters the obvious: After 30 years in the public eye, my poor decision to hide my personal business was a reactionary move that I’ll do my best to not repeat. If classified material was compromised in any way, it was wrong. I’ve learned from this and hope it will make me a better, more informed leader. The end!

But hell no! It’s this dribble dribble that falls out of her mouth among the constant pauses of, um, uh, um, uh, uh, that only solidifies voters assessment of her honesty, or dishonesty, as it were. You have to wonder how she interprets the public’s perception of her in general? Is she unable to distinguish independent voters from the 24/7 media and how substantively they are different? Or maybe I am way off base here and her unsuitability and dishonesty stems from other cues? Sure, conservative voters latched to the GOP come hell or high water will likely never find her agreeable, no matter her polish. The bloc I speak of is made up of Sander’s ardent supporters, centrist older white voters and those who typically do not vote. These are the subsets that in many ways elected Obama in 2012, Clinton in 1992 and Carter in 1976, and are the voters Hillary would need to win up against most establishment Republicans. Against Trump however, she will likely skate by either way. But look out for 2020….unless the GOP is foolish enough to go with Ted Cruz, another fringe lunatic.

I’ve come to really like the WNYC podcast, On The Media. Of course the show this week started with a Trump themed piece: Has he finally gone too far, this time, this time, this time, the shameful ticky-tac with the Khan family the latest. The host interviewed a reporter from The Daily Caller, a conservative site that’s posted articles recently calling into question the patriotism of the Khan family. Listen to it if you get the chance and you care about Veteran’s issues. The lengths to which some in the right-wing media will go to defend Trump is quite despicable, however, it reveals the politicization of Vets and the Military by some in both wings of the media. The lip-service is usually just that. Vets are little more than a ladder to power and ideological purity, and little else. It sickens me. Thanks to Bob Garfield at On The Media for the great unveiling! Listen here.

Too many days for me away from the cabin this week. Dealing with the VA where I am at is a chore. I suppose it is anywhere? It’s good to talk with Vets waiting at the offices. It’s the one place I cannot hide the fact that I am one of them, yet it’s the one place that I wouldn’t want to. It occurs to me that our soldiers, especially the ones who served post-9/11, have been to psychologically damaged due to the abuse of our patriotism among other aspects of America 2016, many of my fellow Vets are willing to support Trump in the face of his careless psychopathy. Another words: the establishment -lead by the likes of Clinton, W. Bush and Obama- has caused such harm that anyone challenging their control of government, is thereby necessary? I could argue the public writ large, especially the middle class who’ve been so disrespected, lied to, sent to war, and ever falling behind the elite, see Mr. Trump as a kind of fire breathing monster, capable of crushing the DC oligarchy?

So yeah, that might have been the closest I’ve come to the ramblings of a madman? I do have other interests beyond politics, as unlikely as it may seem?

What about the Rio Olympics? Has anyone else noticed -the Sochi winter games were similar- the press coverage leading up to the actual events? How many stories have we heard relating to athletes, their story, their sport, personal pieces meant to give us individuals to root for? Yes, there was the millionaire golfer who publicly refused to attend due to Zika, but otherwise? I read a nice piece on a female boxing phenom from Flint Michigan. What we have been fed is Zika, open sewers, political corruption, zika and zika. I tend to agree that the IOC, like FIFA, has lost sight of the games as competition, to the games as revenue. And of course, terrorism. We don’t hear that it is winter in Rio, a time of relatively few Mosquitoes. I hope the games go off peacefully? But why not? Brazil seems like a strange place for ISIS or Al Qaeda to target?

Gotta run.

 

 

 

 

 

Trump, Clinton, Libya & Addiction

This opinion may no longer be unique? Nevertheless, after reading the Washington Post, Donald Trump interview transcript today, –I will try later to link here if I can figure out how– it occurs to me that the man is, in fact, seriously psychologically damaged. I’ll refrain from elaborating in detail. The transcript speaks for itself. I have little doubt he will crumble prior to November. The pressures are tremendous and even the most disciplined politicians find the process so taxing they avoid beginning the race altogether. What seems most fascinating to me is how he will manage the destruction, or how the GOP as a party will play the circus?

As a former drug counselor and recovering addict, my first reaction to his instability is to assume he is on drugs, particularly some type of amphetamine / sedative combination. I write this off almost unconsciously, yet maybe we/I shouldn’t? The abuse or dependence on substances typically evolves from a co-occurring disorder related to a mental health condition. Self medicating is the loose terminology. I might be off base, perhaps, or as Trump might say: ‘many people have written this, I’m not saying but, you know?” His ever increasing seemingly uncontrollable behavior and his increasing need to be affirmed by polls and ratings, might suggest an addict slowly losing control? His behavior is consistent in process, but increasing in lack of control.

Wednesday August 3rd, 2016

After an appointment with the VA this afternoon, I have to consider the fact that many folks in this country support The Donald, come hell or high water. Just today I had brief conversations with strangers who all supported Trump. My question in all cases was, why and how? Little was learned despite my openness. I just cannot imagine a future with this man anywhere near the Oval Office. Call it hypothetical cognitive dissonance if you’d like?

Another tidbit I came across was an interview Hillary Clinton did in the immediate aftermath of Qaddafi’s execution by NATO supported rebels in Libya. It was cringe worthy and revealing unlike most of the sanitized views of Clinton. Her maniacal laugh and obvious joy with the killing of a head of state, had it been a leader of another country, would’ve been rightly condemned. She obviously learned NOTHING from the lessons of Iraq. Anyone with a brain and accurate information could have easily predicted the future of Libya, yet she seemed blind? Either she truly is ignorant, or more likely, a Libya lawless with nonstop civil war is the policy of our government? Either way, how can we support her for POTUS? A question I will continue asking myself as the campaigns come to a close.

It makes me glad that some actually read some of my rambling thoughts. Thank you, and I appreciate any feedback, positive or negative.