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My date with MSNBC

Yesterday I took the Princess of Patience out for her birthday lunch-dinner. She is 49, again, but looks young enough that a waiter asked what my daughter wanted for dinner. No lie. Clean living apparently has its just rewards.

On the other hand, I look like hell.

So while she and I were on our date together, celebrating another notch in her gunstock, in terms I can relate to, our eyes kept getting drawn to the TV playing in the sitting area. For whatever reason, it was stuck on MSNBC, a channel I have obviously heard of, but to which I have had very little exposure. Then again, I watch almost no TV, ever.

So, being of open and easily distracted mind, I ignored my wife on her big day, and instead paid increasing attention to the people on MSNBC. It was in truth a date with the TV channel, as I got sucked in so deeply that I forgot entirely to compliment, thank, and engage with the actual human next to me.

Like I said, she is the Princess of Patience. What she sees in me is a mystery. A normal guy would throw rose petals in front of her every morning. She makes me coffee. I am lucky beyond anything I deserve.

But what of my date with MSNBC?

Well, after a solid hour of really paying attention, let us never again call this a “news channel,” nor its personnel “reporters.”

MSNBC is a wholly dedicated political advocacy program. There is no news being reported. Rather, there is news being edited, commented on, subject to opinions from one perspective, one side, one view. No opposing views or analysis are offered, and the questions designed to sound like alternative perspectives are asked of political advocates with whom the interviewer agrees.

The show was totally dedicated to the Parkland High School shooting and to promoting gun control, gun confiscation, and citizen disarmament. The comments made by the guest people, ranging from high school kids to grey-haired retirees, followed a single line of thought. Most of the comments were just factually wrong, and no one challenged them.

Give credit to the two young high school kids who were interviewed, two young men, they stood in front of the camera and answered questions. But their answers were what you would expect from high school kids: Factually incorrect, emotional, without reason or logic. These kids were being used by MSNBC to promote the channel’s political viewpoints, so no one challenged them on any of their nonsense.

For example, both boys kept stating that AR15s shoot “200 bullets a second.”

That is about 199 bullets more than an AR15 actually shoots in one second.

An AR15 is a semi-automatic firearm, not an automatic firearm. Semi-auto firearms shoot a bullet with each manual pull of the trigger, and most have clips holding 20-30 rounds, not hundreds, as the one boy claimed. And very few automatic firearms of any sort, much less hand-held small arms, shoot at that very high rate of fire.

But MSNBC will not allow actual facts to guide their line of thought.

Consider the fact that the armed deputy assigned to protect the children at Parkland WAS HIDING AS THE SHOOTING OCCURRED.

Yes. When the shooting began the school’s paid deputy sheriff, today a retired deputy sheriff, immediately fled the school and went outside, where he basically curled up in a fetal position.

The man abandoned his post, was derelict in his duty, and let the killer slaughter children and teachers, unopposed.

Consider also that the police had been to the shooter’s home three dozen times for domestic disturbances, and at any time could have intervened between an obviously troubled youth and his gun.

Similarly, the FBI had been repeatedly contacted about the young man’s public threats, and they did nothing. Zero. Nada.

But none of these huge adult failures stop MSNBC from exploiting children, living and dead, from promoting their political agenda of gun confiscation.

And the hour went on like this, a parade of fake data, fake outrage, fake news. At the end of my date with MSNBC I understood why adults I know have a similar disconnect as the adults who failed Parkland’s students. Adults who watch MSNBC and believe they are getting actual news, and actual facts, are failing themselves and those around them. You cannot watch MSNBC seriously, because it is an arm of a radical political movement, at odds with American traditions of news reporting, good government, and legal gun possession.

Watching MSNBC may re-affirm your beliefs, but it will not teach you anything accurate or factual.

MSNBC’s purpose is to persuade watchers of one perspective, not to inform them of facts. MSNBC is fake in every way.

I wondered aloud how much of our other media is like MSNBC, feeding watchers inaccurate information from a political perspective?

That question was answered during the live press briefing at the White House yesterday, which was shown real-time on MSNBC, during our “date.”

During the press event, the national media personnel (they are NOT reporters) were openly hostile toward the president and current administration. They are uniformly and firmly of one political mind, and using their positions as would-be reporters to try and damage an administration they personally oppose. They are advocates, political activists, just pretending to be professional news reporters.

Add this media failure to the long list of other adult failures surrounding the Parkland shooting.

I won’t be going on any more dates with MSNBC again, or with any of her silicon sister media friends, either.

 

Pentagon Papers II receive a cold reception

What is the modern equivalent of the Pentagon Papers is receiving an unusually cold reception from the establishment media, from people who have not even seen or read it yet, and yet who already have talking points and criticisms of it, without actually knowing what is in it.

Back in the early 1970s, what became known as the Pentagon Papers were leaked from secret government files to the Washington Post, a news-paper that used to operate in Washington DC.

Those Pentagon Papers helped build a public case against the politicization of official government duties, and they formed the basis for investigatory reporting by something called news reporters, an extinct animal that has not been seen since.

When the Pentagon Papers reporting was done, a sitting president was impeached and forced from office, because the public was disgusted by his obvious mis-use of public power.

Fast forward to February 1, 2018, and we have a similar situation unfolding in Washington, DC. Reams of text messages, emails, and document analysis have recently uncovered a clear conspiracy among FBI agents and DOJ officials to unfairly exonerate Hillary Clinton of obvious crimes, and to unfairly target for illegal spying and criminal prosecution a presidential candidate and then president-elect, Donald Trump.

None of this behavior by the FBI and DOJ staffs is legal. None of it is OK. None of it is acceptable. It is the very essence of corruption and misuse of government power.

The Mueller “investigation” is exposed as an open-ended political witch hunt and fishing expedition based on a fake “dossier” bought by Hillary Clinton’s campaign, illegally used to obtain a search warrant used to illegally spy on a political campaign and then the president-elect, all for political purposes.

Despite knowing this first-hand himself, Mueller continues with the only thing he has, fake “process crimes,” like alleged obstruction of justice. Evidence is clear that FBI agent Peter Strzok (and many others) used his official position for partisan political purposes, and Mueller removed him from his witch hunt because of it. But Mueller himself does not have the integrity to call off the entire farce, most of which is based on Agent Strzok’s previous activity.

Now there is a concise memo about this illegal government activity, by an obscure Congressman Nunes from California. This memo lists the data sources and how they were analyzed to uncover this criminal conspiracy, and it is being provided to the sitting president. This is standard protocol. This is how representative government works.

Instead of retrospection and respect for the rule of law, however, the opposition party and their communication arm AKA the media are in full out assault against the memo and its author.

Instead of taking the memo and reading it, sharing it with the American public, and shedding light on government abuse so the American people can make informed political choices and hold political officials accountable, the media are doing the opposite. They are doing everything they can to protect the prior administration, the Hillary Clinton campaign, and the current opposition party, despite knowing full well what illegal things they did. They take attacks by members of that opposition party and report them verbatim as fact. They ignore or denigrate the information in the memo.

Which makes one wonder about the whole Pentagon Papers thingy way back when.

Was that really news reporting in the public interest, or was it the first successful take-down of a sitting president by a partisan media?

After all, President John F. Kennedy had plenty of naughty, unethical, immoral and illegal behavior going on in his administration (as did his successor, LBJ), and yet the media treated Americans to nothing but close-ups of fake smiles by JFK’s long suffering wife and of his fakey white smile.

For the enterprising media watchdog, the JFK administration had lots to chew on, if the desire was but there. Obviously it was not. Lying, cheating JFK was promoted as a hero, and his misdeeds were swept under the rug for decades.

“Camelot” the charade was called. Oh golly, the shivers!

The press’s treatment of the Kennedy Administration became a model for how the media would subsequently treat the administrations of JFK’s political party: The president is always brilliant, kind, heroic. Never mind that he is selling our uranium stocks to our biggest enemy, and lots of private money is changing in public hands. On the other hand, the Republican presidents are always portrayed as evil, stupid, a foolish dullard, a tool of outside interests.

Looking back, it is now evident the Pentagon Papers served as the press’s first big political hit, a model which the media have tried to employ about every four years ever since. They never fail to have an “October surprise” for Republican candidates, and hardly vet or investigate Democrat candidates at all, always protecting them from public scrutiny.

A new movie about the Pentagon Papers is out starring serial sexual harassment enabler Meryl Streep and my once-favorite actor, Tom Hanks. This movie glorifies news reporting as a sacred duty and core function of a free republic, which it is. But it also puts the partisan news reporters of the Pentagon Papers on an unassailable pedestal. Judging by today’s openly politicized, partisan media, no such credibility or accolades are currently warranted, and now we realize they probably were not warranted back in the 1970s, either.

The subjects of this new movie, former Washington Post employees Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, remain openly and unrepentant political partisans to this day, their purportedly fair-minded views relied upon as though handed down by Moses on Mount Sinai by a fawning younger generation of partisan media communicators.

And this is how the entertainment-media industrial complex creates fake news, fake heroes, fake election results, and protects a government rotting from within, starting with the very people sworn to uphold the law.

Release the Nunes memo, Mister President, and let the accountability begin. This, not the hoarding of power, is the role of government.

Thor & Moore: Media-Entertainment Complex On Defense

What does the new Hollywood “Thor: Ragnarok” movie have to do with the NFL and Judge Roy Moore’s US Senate campaign?

A lot.

Besides both being part of the Media-Academia-Entertainment Industry complex, both Hollywood movies and the NFL have been on the decline. A freefall might better capture these downward slopes.

Hollywood managed to combine insipid and pedantic movies appealing to very few people for a long time, and watched its profits end by simple market forces of supply and demand.

But Hollywood also has a preponderance of sanctimonious fools, professional actors and producers living life so far removed from the great deplorable unwashed that they openly mock the very people who spend their money on Hollywood products, and then wonder why their “art” goes unappreciated. And unprofitable.

Ditto for the NFL, where guys who get paid millions of dollars for simply running up and down a field decided they knew better than their fans what their fans wanted. And so they, too, became sanctimonious fools, hectoring people in the bleachers about phony political issues. Only to wonder why the stands are now so empty.

Enter politics! Whoda thunkit, but yes, politics is now heavily laced throughout everything in America, whether you want it, or not.

The same newspaper that endorsed a far-left candidate in Alabama for the US Senate three weeks ago suddenly publishes fake sex accusations against that candidate’s opponent. The accusations are so wild and out of character that voters would just have to believe them. I mean, that bad, that crazy, they gotta be true, right?

And that is how the Washington Post tries to shoehorn in a blue candidate into a red state. Just make stuff up. Like they did with our current president, when they couldn’t defeat him with facts, too. Lots of fake news. Fake news defines the Washington Post, and for good reason.

The Washington Post is simply one communication arm of one political party. It is not a news organization in the sense that it reports actual, factual news. Rather, the Washington Post creates news, suppresses news, edits news, and interprets news to support a political narrative conducive to its political favorites winning and its political opponents losing.

So it should come as no surprise that this same newspaper is trying to discredit destroy Judge Roy Moore, the conservative candidate in Alabama who sure looks like he is going to win that US Senate race. A charismatic, principled guy like Judge Roy Moore in the US Senate is a huge threat to the two-party career political hack dominance of the DC swamp, of which the Washington Post is the written record of record.

And in the same Washington Post this week there are scads of sugary sweet write-ups and promotional “reviews” of the new “Thor: Ragnarok” movie.

This is a movie carefully designed to have enough violence, unvarnished manliness, and traditional iconic weapons that red-blooded Americans just might be enticed back into an evening with Hollywood, even if just for a couple hours. In a way this movie is a last gasp from an industry that is fast taking on water and looking like it is about to go under from the one-two punch of having bad products and bad people.

The Media-Academia-Entertainment Industry complex that has for so long softly, gently held America by its throat is now struggling to maintain its grip. America has slowly awakened, sat up, and recognized what has been done to her while she slept. NFL players slapping Americans across the face, Hollywood actors spitting in America’s face, newspapers and media personalities laughing in America’s face…at some point America was going to wake up from it all.

If “Thor: Ragnarok” is as much of a financial disaster as it deserves to be, and if Judge Roy Moore wins his special election the way he deserves to, the evil Media-Academia-Entertainment Industry empire will have taken two hard blows. Not fatal, but enough to stagger an opponent backwards.

So this weekend I WILL be mailing a donation to Judge Roy Moore’s campaign, and I will NOT be watching the silly Thor movie.

Take that, swamp critters.

 

A Murder of Crows

My two greatest thrills in the outdoors are native wildflowers, like the trilliums and pink ladyslippers, and native birds, like grouse, turkey, woodcock, wood ducks, and various migratory songbirds.

All of these flowers and birds are under pressure under the best of circumstances, and in many places they are succumbing to that pressure because of artificial factors.

Native wildflowers are naturally browsed by deer, and increasingly collected by people who sell rare plants (and animals). If deer herds are balanced with the carrying capacity of the landscape and surrounding habitat, then the plant colonies can sustain the browsing. The collecting is usually illegal, involving sneaky trespass on private property and violating state law and regulation when done on public land. It is totally unsustainable.

When it comes to my favorite birds, the usual pressures of predation or hunting are hardly a factor in their population success. What is a growing factor is the impact of ground mammals on ground nesting birds, including all of my favorites above and others like more common ducks.

Ground mammals like raccoons, possums, skunks, fox and coyote have a natural place in the natural world, but humans have so greatly altered that natural world that some of these animal populations are disproportionately growing and having disproportionate impacts on other wildlife.

Exhibit A is low density suburban sprawl type residential home development, relatively large home lots in the one to five -acre range.

Low-density suburban sprawl residential development is now the ground zero for artificially high numbers of skunks, possums, and raccoons. Sprawl development provides perfect backyard habitat for these predators to breed and den, but these back yards are too small to hunt or trap effectively or legally.  So these burgeoning and unchecked predator populations keep pulsing out into surrounding farmland and forest. In those more stable habitats, these artificially high predator numbers wreak havoc on the other species who live there, notably my favorite birds, which happen to be ground nesters.

Ground nesting birds are highly susceptible to nest disturbance and egg loss when they are surrounded by artificially high populations  of skunks, raccoons, and possums. In many areas ground nesting birds are experiencing dramatic population declines because they simply cannot nest long enough to hatch a brood of chicks, or the chicks cannot survive predation long enough to develop flight, so they can escape from otherwise slow moving predators like skunks and possums. Adding to the challenge for ground nesting birds is the dearth of brush and young forest which provide the best places to hide a nest on the ground. Most farms today are devoid of brush, and “select cut” high-grade logging has ruined most private forests, while anti-conservation activists decry aggressive forest management on public lands. Brush and young forests are nearly a rarity today, despite serving as nature’s best habitat.

Yesterday I got into one of those internet debates most normal people avoid. It centered on allegedly real photos of a flying mature eagle with a talon stuck in a foothold trap, posted on Lancaster Online. Lancaster Online is run by politically partisan legacy media staff, and it is a huge source of fake news and alternate facts. So when I saw there the photo of a completely closed foot hold trap, with not even a tiny jaw spread to accommodate the eagle’s foot, it looked like yet more fake news and I posted comments.

As you might imagine, a murder of crows of sorts descended upon the article, and upon me, and upon any other poster who either questioned the facts as presented in the article, or who promoted trapping.

Crows are natural enemies of eagles and other raptors. Crows are huge nest raiders, eating baby bird chicks whole right out of the nest. In the context of the Lancaster Online article, the crows took human form: Animal rights promoters, PETA advocates, anti-trapping and anti-conservation voices.

Like with a surrounding pack of crows (called a “murder”) wildly harassing a lone eagle in a tree, the loudly hysterical anti-trapping commenters immediately invoked emotional appeals, personal attacks, lies, advocacy for trespassing, leash-less dogs, and private property theft and destruction. None of them made any sense. None were based on fact, though it is true that occasionally an animal in a trap gets hurt (never mind that every single one of those hypocritical commenters has a direct hand in wildlife death and destruction).

I responded frequently there, and was answered by a surrounding murder of crows, loudly cawing, squawking, screaming, wildly flapping their wings and leaping from tree to tree. Pretty funny to watch, because not one commenter there debated wildlife biology, habitat, etc. Only emotional appeals mostly based on lies and fake news were presented. Lots of hysteria, not much reasoning.

And that right there is why I trap, dear reader.

There are too damned many cantankerous crows, skunks, possums and raccoons eating all of the really cool, cute, useful little birds I enjoy so much. I haven’t sold a pelt since I was a kid. Instead, today I trap to thin out the populations of the destructive ground predators so that the defenseless animals they eat have at least a sitting chance.

As for the eagle photographed flying around Lancaster County with its talon caught in the foothold trap, I have pledged fifty dollars toward its rehabilitation, if it is caught alive. And I want to personally inspect the trap rig, because what is seen in the photos makes no sense. One commenter, a trapper, noted it appeared to be an illegal trap specifically set to catch a raptor, like the eagle, in which case this subject isn’t about trapping, it is about illegal wildlife poaching.

But you’d never know that from the deafening screaming and cawing and flapping from the uncaring, unthinking, hostile, mob-like murder of crows.

UPDATE: 2/8/17 4:30 pm “Just received a call from PGC Director Matt Hough. Matt informed me that the eagle/trap incident was a true event. Fortunately, PA Game Commission officers were able to capture the eagle and remove the trap. There was no damage to the talon. The eagle was released and flew away with no impairment as a result of the incident. Matt did not have any information as to the individual responsible for the trap,” from an email sent to me this afternoon.

 

 

NPR’s alternative facts undermine media credibility

Seasoned NPR employee Mara Liasson asked a question at a White House press briefing the other day, and it has taken me days to accept the brazenness of her bald-faced lie.

Asking Trump Admin spokesman Sean Spicer about allegations of voter fraud, Liasson asserted that Trump had claimed the number of fraudulent votes in the November 2016 election were between three and five million.

Unfortunately, Spicer is new and did not challenge Liasson’s lie. Trump never claimed that number. He did say he believed between one and two million of the votes for Hillary Clinton were fraudulent. How Liasson arrived at five million votes is something only she knows.

But we know why she did it: Mara Liasson is personally opposed to the Trump Administration.

Unfortunately, Mara Liasson is like the other NPR employees, she is a partisan political activist. Her personal politics shapes her professional behavior. Nothing that Mara Liasson does is news reporting, as in reporting of actual facts. Her brazen creation of alternative facts in this one instance resembles her many prior years of alternative facts creation and fake news aimed at her other political enemies.

In one public moment, Mara Liasson has re-opened the worm can of fake news and alternative facts, used to attack and undermine the mainstream media’s political enemies.

And NPR fans wonder why their credibility is so low, and why there are so many loud calls to defund NPR and strip it of the publicly owned intellectual property it manages, like its trademarks and logos.

UPDATE: Fifteen minutes after writing this, I read a New York Times article published today, written by Richard Fausset, another political activist who wears the credentials of a “news reporter.”

What catches my eye right away is the following statement by Activist Fausset:

The scrambling of what’s real and what’s illusion began well before Mr. Trump’s counselor Kellyanne Conway offered the concept of “alternative facts” on Sunday when commenting on false statements by Mr. Trump and Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, and before Mr. Trump’s repeated false claims on Monday that millions of illegal voters cost him a popular vote majority.”
…….Without presenting data or evidence to support his own claim, Mr. Fausset simply asserts that Trump and his spokesman Sean Spicer made “false statements,” and “repeated false claims.”
……..Plenty of recent evidence from Chicago, Detroit, and Philadelphia show voter fraud. Hell, in November Detroit had more votes than registered voters, and in 2012 some Philadelphia voting precincts reported 100% voting for Obama, and not even one ballot cast for Romney. California issued driver’s licenses to a million illegal aliens, which can be used to cast illegal votes, and the governor of Virginia defied his own state’s laws and issued illegal voting rights to hundreds of thousands of ex-felons.
………So despite lots of up-front, easily accessible evidence to the contrary, and having done no investigation of their own, the New York Times goes right out there and calls President Trump a liar.
………You talk about alternative facts, hell, the New York Times doesn’t need no stinkin’ facts, not even alternative facts. They just simply assert the opposite of what their political opponents say and print it, hoping their zombie-like readers will not check the facts.
……..And the mainstream media wonders why Fox News, Breitbart, and other actual news sources have emerged…it is because the New York Times and its sister mainstream media organizations, like NPR, have zero credibility as honest brokers of news or accurate facts.
UPDATE: 2/1/17 Listening to the radio news over the past week, I have heard a professional CBS “reporter” state that President Trump’s assertion about vote fraud was false, and then mock Trump’s goal of having an investigation into vote fraud, and then complain that an investigation will be funded by the American taxpayer…and the mainstream media wonders why their credibility is so low. This is Exhibit Z, but who is counting….and then yesterday on our local NPR affiliate station, the “news” involved NPR hosts asking softball questions about Trump Admin policies of elected Democrats and leftist activists, with no alternative voice. This means NPR is simply a propaganda outlet for one political party. This means NPR is Fake News.

Donald Trump proving his detractors wrong, over and over

Donald Trump is proving himself the right choice for president every day, as his enemies melt down over every little thing.

And every little thing thrown at Trump is created out of whole cloth.

His cabinet nominees are subjected to garbage accusations designed to impugn their reputations. For example, Dr. Tom Price, the HHS nominee, whose stockbroker ordered $300.00 (three hundred dollars) worth of stocks without his knowledge, is being attacked with fake news stories that he somehow especially benefited from this. Thank you CNN, 100% fake news.

And Donald Trump is batting 1,000 as he keeps smacking fastballs out of the ballpark. Via Twitter, via honest and plain-spoken responses to ridiculously shallow politics. Which is all liberals have left.

And all I can say is, please keep going, liberals. All you are doing is proving our selection of Trump was correct.

 

Is censorship American?

Wasn’t calling someone a “censor” one of the worst things you could do, way back when?

After all, the First Amendment to the US Constitution prohibits infringements of free speech, guaranteeing to all citizens the right to speak our minds.

Enter the mainstream media, captured by one political party since the 1960s and now an unabashed arm of that single political party.

For so long has the mainstream media been an integral part of just one political party and its agenda, an orthodox culture has developed around it.

Deviation from the script, the narrative, the talking points of that orthodoxy and media results in huge amounts of flame, vituperation, scalding attacks. Even worse, two generations of Americans have not been taught critical thinking skills. Oh, that narrative is drilled into their heads by the media, Hollywood, their high school teachers and college lecturers. But the ability to discern correct from incorrect, false from true, accurate from inaccurate is a skill that has been purposefully cast aside.

Now that the media has been thwarted and bypassed by alternative modes of communication, the ultimate result being the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, a new effort is under way to reestablish control over the information flow. Information must flow with the orthodoxy, the narrative, the agenda. So when new voices, critical thinking voices, bubble up from the huddled masses and serfs below, the media strikes back.

“Fake news,” is what the media calls irony, sarcasm, and also honest, factual reporting that does not fit with the media’s established agenda. Now FakeBook is working hard with a cadre of “fact checkers” funded by billionaire anti-American activist George Soros and staffed by hardened politicos, to censor news and information that does not fit the agenda.

Even the ACLU has embraced this move to shape public opinion. Once upon a time, the ACLU was against censorship, but now that power and control might be lost to the exercise of free speech, even that once vaunted group has thrown in with the censors. We cannot have those puny serfs making up their own informed minds!

Is it American to be a censor, to censor what people can read, or to block or shape what information Americans can obtain? I don’t think so. I believe it is fundamentally un-American. The great irony of all this is that the LA Times, the Washington Post, New York Times, NBC, CBS, BBC, NPR et al all routinely publish news and information that can only be called fake. This information is grossly inaccurate and at best a misrepresentation of some fact the media do not like.

Who would have thought that in 2017, the protected establishment media would be seeking ways to silence alternative sources of information, so that they can maintain their hegemony over the flow of information, ideas, and public opinion?

Among some Americans today, being a censor is the proudest thing they can be, and that is sad. How do we get our nation back?