The Long Version

Retired broadcast journalist. Blogging helps scratch the itch. Recovering exRepublican – Sober and still Conservative.

Archive for the ‘News’ Category

CBS News Reporter Confirms: News Media Has Leftwing Bias

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Lara Logan CBS NewsLara Logan may not be a household name in the world of journalism, but she has been a part of some well-known international news stories over the past decade.

Logan, who is from South Africa, began her news career there in Durban in 1990 and has worked for Reuters, ABC, NBC, and CBS as a freelance reporter internationally. In 2002 Logan was offered a correspondent position with CBS News where she spent most of her time on battlefields reporting in war zones around the world. Logan also made regular appearances on CBS 60 Minutes.

But Logan is perhaps best known for what happened to her off camera than on. In 2011 she was in Egypt covering the Egyptian revolution when she and her camera crew were arrested and detained by Egyptian police. They were later released but as they moved back into the streets a large group of Egyptian males encountered them and began to make lurid comments about Logan. Soon the crowd became aggressive and Logan was taken by the mob and sexually assaulted. She would later say she believed she was going to be killed. She spent several days in a US hospital upon her arrival from Egypt.

With nearly 30 years of journalistic experience at major news networks around the world, Logan is a prime candidate to speak on the subject of bias in the news industry. She sat down with retired Navy Seal Mike Ritland and was interviewed for Mike’s podcast “Mike Drop.” Logan had interviewed Ritland 6 years earlier for a segment on 60 Minutes. Now Logan was on the side being questioned.

Ritland has been a harsh critic of the American news media, calling it “absurdly left-leaning” and that “Democrat biases were a huge —-ing problem” and a disaster for the country. “I agree with that. That’s true,” Logan replied. She also implied it wasn’t just an American problem. “The media everywhere is mostly liberal, not just the U.S.,” she said. In the U.S., Logan says there are only a small number of news organizations that don’t march to the Leftist drumbeat. She cited Fox News and Breitbart as two examples.

In the podcast with Ritland, Logan talks about her experience in newsrooms.

“Visually, anyone who’s ever been to Israel and been to the Wailing Wall has seen that the women have this tiny little spot in front of the wall to pray, and the rest of the wall is for the men. To me, that’s a great representation of the American media, is that in this tiny little corner where the women pray you’ve got Breitbart and Fox News and a few others, and from there on, you have CBS, ABC, NBC, Huffington Post, Politico, whatever, right? All of them. And that’s a problem for me, because even if it was reversed, if it was vastly mostly on the right, that would also be a problem for me.”

“My experience has been that the more opinions you have, the more ways that you look at everything in life — everything in life is complicated, everything is gray, right? Nothing is black and white.”

“This is the problem that I have. There’s one Fox, and there’s many, many, many more organizations on the left. … The problem is the weight of all these organizations on one side of the political spectrum. When you turn on your computer, or you walk past the TV, or you see a newspaper headline in the grocery store If they’re all saying the same thing, the weight of that convinces you that it’s true. You don’t question it, because everyone is saying it. Unless you seek out Breitbart on your computer, you’re probably not even going to know what the other side is saying.”

She wonders how people can know what’s accurate and what’s not when so many news outlets are saying the exact same thing, in many cases word for word.

“How do you know you’re being lied to? How do you know you’re being manipulated? How do you know there’s something not right with the coverage?” she asked.

“When they simplify it all, there’s no gray. It’s all one way. Well, life isn’t like that. If it doesn’t match real life, it’s probably not. Something’s wrong. For example, all the coverage on Trump all the time is negative. … That’s a distortion of the way things go in real life.”

Logan continued, “Although the media has historically always been left-leaning, we’ve abandoned our pretense, or at least the effort, to be objective today. We’ve become political activists, and some could argue propagandists, and there’s some merit to that.”

Another major problem she sees is the use of anonymous sources, particularly in the government. “That’s not journalism, it’s horse shit,” she said. “Responsibility for fake news begins with us.”

At the end of the three hour and forty-nine minute interview, Logan said something that in itself is very revealing of the state of our free press in America. She said, “This interview is professional suicide for me.” A sad, but likely all too true, sentiment in the era of Trump and the news media.

Here is the full video of the interview from the Mike Drop podcast.

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Written by DCL

February 19, 2019 at 10:45 am

Don’t Be Evil – Google’s Hypocrisy

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Larry Page as Dr EvilHas Google become something it once told us never to be?

Anti-trust regulators say Google unfairly and illegally used its dominance in search to promote its own products over those of competitors paying for ads and placement in its search engine.

Then there’s the company’s repeatedly defensive and dishonest responses to charges that its specially equipped street-view cars collected private internet communications — including emails, photographs, passwords, chat messages, and postings on websites and social networks.

Next we learn of Google’s plan to work with China to develop a search engine that will censor websites and search terms on human rights, religion, protests, and democracy. Something called Project Dragonfly, which brings us to the multi-billion dollar question, is Google testing this censorship technology in the U.S. for political and corporate gain?

Political conservatives would quickly say yes, from experience.

Google’s internal culture has been laid bare by James Damore’s lawsuit alleging employment discrimination. The picture we get is a corporate culture of lockstep ideological uniformity, enforced by censorship, badgering, and blacklisting. Damore provides, in his evidence, a note from a Google manager in 2015, addressed to “hostile voices.”

I will never, ever hire/transfer you onto my team. Ever. I don’t care if you are perfect fit or technically excellent or whatever. I will actively not work with you, even to the point where your team or product is impacted by this decision. I’ll communicate why to your manager if it comes up. You’re being blacklisted by people at companies outside of Google. You might not have been aware of this, but people know, people talk. There are always social consequences.

In other words , “you will think and act like us or you will be turned into a pariah.” How open-minded and free-thinking.

But the laundry list goes on…

  • There’s the ill-conceived launch of Google-Buzz which made all of your contacts in Gmail viewable to the public. A huge privacy issue that ticked off pretty much everyone.
  • Google’s tendency to buy up companies and sunset them without any notice, even if they are turning a profit like Jetpac and Picnik, leaving company employees looking for work.
  • Is Android an open platform? That may be more lip-service than reality. In a lawsuit by Skyhook Wireless, Google was accused of forcing Motorola to cancel a deal with Skyhook to provide location-based services for Motorola phones because Google wanted them to use their location services instead. Big boot squashing little company…
  • Then there’s the time Google got caught “tricking” Apple’s Safari browser into letting Google monitor Apple users’ web-surfing behavior.

But perhaps the biggest reason Google has become what it told us never to be is their total lack of respect for your privacy. Google built its reputation and empire on the idea that it would always put users first and build its products on the premise that they would always function in the user’s best interest, not their own, hence the motto “Don’t Be Evil.” Google built a lucrative company on a reputation and model of mutual respect. That was reversed in 2012 when Google announced their new privacy policy and the “cross-pollination” with regard to your private information being pulled and shared through multiple Google products and services. Bottom line: everything they told us prior to this change was a load of crap.

Google began as a unique and superior search engine that was very much a model of free enterprise and free market principles. But as the phrase “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely” reminds us, those who grow into a position of control and dominance too often take their advantage to extremes, whether by intent or by losing control of the giant they’ve created.

Still millions of people use Google products every day either due to ignorance or because convenience and ease of use has chipped away at our resistance to losing our privacy online.

Google, it seems, has become one of two things. The modern technological version of Frankenstein’s monster or something much worse. Either way, growing public opinion suggests Google has become something it once told us never to be.

Evil.

Note: I will continue to add article links to this post as Google does more evil stuff.

townhall.com – John Stossel discusses censorship by Google and social media giants.

How Google Tracks Your Personal Information – An insider’s account of the dark side of search engine marketing

Written by DCL

November 19, 2018 at 10:05 am

Posted in News, News Media

Tagged with ,

No. Socialized Medicine Is Not the Answer

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Socialized medicineWhenever I see people arguing about universal healthcare aka single-payer system aka socialized medicine, I always see the same rationale when it comes to why it would work here when it has been less than ideal in every other country where it is used. “Because we (America) can do it better! We can do it right.”

That’s a fallacy.

No different than this idea that we can somehow make Socialism work as a political governing ideology. No, we can’t. No one has and no one will.

Socialized medicine will fail here just as we see it failing, or at best providing benefits well below what we’ve come to expect from American medicine. Why?

Human nature.

People lack appreciation and/or respect for things they get for free. If I have to provide examples here, you’ve never been in a public park restroom. People don’t value what they don’t pay for. When there’s no skin in the game they don’t care. When you take competition from a marketplace and replace it with guaranteed free services it creates expectations from which an entitlement mentality forms.

It is well documented in single-payer systems where doctors and nurses deal with more self-entitled people coming into their facility demanding healthcare because, “my tax dollars pay your salary.” It’s demoralizing for medical professionals. Quality of care suffers. People become objects to be slowly dragged through the system (often waiting long periods of time between treatments or to begin them) to milk as much money from the government as it can.

When you try to take the profit motive out of business and give government the reins to that business, all you really do is transfer the motive away from the business to customer relationship required to maintain customer loyalty to that business, to “how can I get more government money from this person?” To combat this the government with its deep pockets of taxpayer dollars, will pour more money into a broken system. It will pass more regulations to make things “fair.” Due to the fact that tax dollars are NOT unlimited, the government must, at some point, pick and choose what it deems a “necessary” operation or treatment to save on costs. In one example out of Canada a dental patient was in need of a root canal. The government said no, it was an “unnecessary tooth” and would only pay to have the tooth removed. “Necessity” is subjective.

Our healthcare system became the best in the world because of our innovation which is spurred by competition. Argue till you’re blue in the face, but if you take away competition, innovation will slow or even die with it because innovation is risky and expensive. Who will invest in new treatments, drugs, or surgical procedures, if government price-fixing doesn’t provide a way for the risk taker to get a return on investment?

The problem isn’t our medical system. The problem is with our politicians who always manage to get their grubby fingers into the private sector. They’re in bed with the insurance industry, big Pharma, and the large healthcare conglomerates. The mutual back-scratching is endless. Regulations have largely catered to these big businesses, not to patients or doctors. I believe one step to take would be to remove as many federal regulations as possible. Allow insurance to be sold across state lines. Make it a true competitive marketplace. Insurance shouldn’t be tied to employment. That doesn’t mean employers can’t use it as a benefit to entice high quality workers but it shouldn’t be incentivized with tax perks. We should be allowed to shop for our healthcare just as we would a car or home. Enough with these hospital “networks” that only take such and such insurance.

Free market forces are incredible regulators and balancers when allowed to function properly and under the watchful eye of honest ethical leadership. Does that mean there will be winners and losers? Yes. But that’s life. Those who provide the best care and service for the best price will win and prosper. Those who don’t will lose and go out of business. Family doctors and practices will return to communities rather than reside only with large, exclusive, medical conglomerates. Family practitioners and general physicians would be salaried in a single-payer system with less control over their pay and though many argue their pay would not go down that simply isn’t feasible unless the number of doctors and nurses is curtailed or reduced. Over-specialization in medicine, which is one reason costs are so high in the U.S, will self-moderate based on market forces.

The truly needy who can’t afford care can, and should, be provided with care. There must always be a safety net. There is no reason we can’t create one that actually works within the private sector.

I don’t claim to know all the answers, nor do I believe government can’t have a role in our healthcare system, but it should be one of oversight and enforcement of laws to make sure the care providers and companies in the medical industry are operating fairly and ethically. Government enforces the rules and laws deemed necessary by the people it governs. That is one thing it can and should do well. Government should not be paying individual bills or managing the private sector. That is not its function and it has proven over and over again how poorly government manages anything business related.

We can get our healthcare system back to where it is healthy and functions to help all Americans afford and have access to proper healthcare. We don’t need to follow in Canada or Great Britain’s footsteps.

Written by DCL

November 9, 2018 at 3:33 pm

Progressivism By Any Other Name*

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Progressives are true pros at renaming their failures. Socialism, Communism, Fascism, and their derivatives, all function with commonality.

What socialism, fascism, communism, and other such ideologies have in common is an assumption that some very wise people — like the ones advocating it — need to take decisions out of the hands of lesser people, like the rest of us, and impose those decisions by government fiat.

But, but, fascism is a “far right” ideology the progressives will scream.

There is overwhelming evidence of the fascists’ consistent pursuit of the goals of the left, and of the left’s embrace of the fascists as one of their own during the 1920s. Mussolini, the originator of fascism, was lionized by the left, both in Europe and in America, during the 1920s. Even Hitler, who adopted fascist ideas in the 1920s, was seen by some, including W.E.B. Du Bois, as a man of the left.

It was in the 1930s, when ugly internal and international actions by Hitler and Mussolini repelled the world, that the left distanced themselves from fascism and its Nazi offshoot — and verbally transferred these totalitarian dictatorships to the right, saddling their opponents with these pariahs.

(progressives are also experts at shifting blame and making it stick)

The left’s vision is not only a vision of the world but also a vision of themselves, as superior beings pursuing superior ends. In the United States, however, this vision conflicts with a Constitution that begins, “We the People…”

That is why the progressive left has, for more than a century, been trying to get the Constitution’s limitations on government loosened or evaded by judges’ new interpretations, based on notions of “a living Constitution” that will take decisions out of the hands of “We the People,” and transfer those decisions to our betters.

The American system of capitalism, even in its current adulterated state of cronyism, is better for the individual, better for liberty and freedom, and better than socialism, democratic socialism, and the other distasteful ism’s they inevitably morph into.

The socialists talk a good game. It all sounds so logical and practical and “caring.” They had an eloquent teacher in Karl Marx. But the lessons of history reiterate the old phrase “talk is cheap” while the price paid by millions under the heavy hand of socialism turned communism turned fascism was anything but.

Here’s to the hope that American’s will fix what’s broken in their current economic system by getting back to the free market principles that made it the most effective path for personal economic progress and wealth creation on the planet and reject the siren’s song being hummed by the socialists among them.

*Attribution: Some concepts and excerpts were taken directly from the writings of economist Thomas Sowell

Written by DCL

October 17, 2018 at 4:19 pm

Slamming Capitalism: The New Youthful Fad

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I see it a lot these days.

Social media posts and memes deriding Capitalism and romanticizing Socialism.

I honestly don’t know where it comes from outside of historical ignorance. It’s puzzling.

A link to such a post appeared in my email the other day. I’ll link to it below if you care to read it. It will provide context to what I’m about to write next.

Authored by a gentleman named Umair Haque. But don’t let the name lead you to assume anything. He’s an American citizen, young, idealistic, and dead wrong when it comes to capitalism.

The title of his article?

Does America Have Capitalist Stockholm Syndrome? – Why Are the Fiercest Defenders of Capitalism Those Who’ll Never Be Capitalists?

Ah yes, evil capitalism and those stupid white men dying to defend it!

Unfortunately, I believe Mr. Haque completely missed the point of their defense. It has nothing to do with their personal capitalistic ventures as he noted with his friend’s father. It has everything to do with the ventures of others which have made their lives, and the lives of their families for generations now, better. Infinitely better.

Period.

Perhaps the best defense for capitalism I’ve ever read comes from Economist Deirdre McCloskey. McCloskey doesn’t like the word “capitalism.” She likes to call our economic system a “technological and institutional betterment at a frenetic pace, tested by unforced exchange among all the parties involved” but that’s too long. Instead, we can use another term she coined, “trade-tested progress.”

Below I post her argument in quotes. If you disagree, provide a better model with an equally compelling mix of evidence, but please don’t go into a tired and fruitless rant about Socialism or any similar construct that has failed miserably over and over throughout history.

“Perhaps you yourself still believe in nationalism or socialism or proliferating regulation. And perhaps you are in the grip of pessimism about growth or consumerism or the environment or inequality.

Please, for the good of the wretched of the earth, reconsider.

Many humans, in short, are now stunningly better off than their ancestors were in 1800. … Hear again that last, crucial, astonishing fact, discovered by economic historians over the past few decades. It is: in the two centuries after 1800 the trade-tested goods and services available to the average person in Sweden or Taiwan rose by a factor of 30 or 100. Not 100 percent, understand — a mere doubling — but in its highest estimate a factor of 100, nearly 10,000 percent, and at least a factor of 30, or 2,900 percent. The Great Enrichment of the past two centuries has dwarfed any of the previous and temporary enrichments. Explaining it is the central scientific task of economics and economic history, and it matters for any other sort of social science or recent history.

What explains it? The causes were not (to pick from the apparently inexhaustible list of materialist factors promoted by this or that economist or economic historian) coal, thrift, transport, high male wages, low female and child wages, surplus value, human capital, geography, railways, institutions, infrastructure, nationalism, the quickening of commerce, the late medieval run-up, Renaissance individualism, the First Divergence, the Black Death, American silver, the original accumulation of capital, piracy, empire, eugenic improvement, the mathematization of celestial mechanics, technical education, or a perfection of property rights. Such conditions had been routine in a dozen of the leading organized societies of Eurasia, from ancient Egypt and China down to Tokugawa Japan and the Ottoman Empire, and not unknown in Meso-America and the Andes. Routines cannot account for the strangest secular event in human history, which began with bourgeois dignity in Holland after 1600, gathered up its tools for betterment in England after 1700, and burst on northwestern Europe and then the world after 1800.

The modern world was made by a slow-motion revolution in ethical convictions about virtues and vices, in particular by a much higher level than in earlier times of toleration for trade-tested progress — letting people make mutually advantageous deals, and even admiring them for doing so, and especially admiring them when SteveJobs-like, they imagine betterments. The change, the Bourgeois Revaluation, was the coming of a business-respecting civilization, an acceptance of the Bourgeois Deal: “Let me make money in the first act, and by the third act I will make you all rich.”

Much of the elite, and then also much of the non-elite of northwestern Europe and its offshoots, came to accept or even admire the values of trade and betterment. Or at the least the polity did not attempt to block such values, as it had done energetically in earlier times. Especially it did not do so in the new United States. Then likewise, the elites and then the common people in more of the world followed, including now, startlingly, China and India. They undertook to respect — or at least not to utterly despise and overtax and stupidly regulate — the bourgeoisie.

Why, then, the Bourgeois Revaluation that after made for trade-tested betterment, the Great Enrichment? The answer is the surprising, black-swan luck of northwestern Europe’s reaction to the turmoil of the early modern — the coincidence in northwestern Europe of successful Reading, Reformation, Revolt, and Revolution: “the Four Rs,” if you please. The dice were rolled by Gutenberg, Luther, Willem van Oranje, and Oliver Cromwell. By a lucky chance for England their payoffs were deposited in that formerly inconsequential nation in a pile late in the seventeenth century. None of the Four Rs had deep English or European causes. All could have rolled the other way. They were bizarre and unpredictable. In 1400 or even in 1600 a canny observer would have bet on an industrial revolution and a great enrichment — if she could have imagined such freakish events — in technologically advanced China, or in the vigorous Ottoman Empire. Not in backward, quarrelsome Europe.

A result of Reading, Reformation, Revolt, and Revolution was a fifth R, a crucial Revaluation of the bourgeoisie, first in Holland and then in Britain. The Revaluation was part of an R-caused, egalitarian reappraisal of ordinary people. … The cause of the bourgeois betterments, that is, was an economic liberation and a sociological dignifying of, say, a barber and wig-maker of Bolton, son of a tailor, messing about with spinning machines, who died in 1792 as Sir Richard Arkwright, possessed of one of the largest bourgeois fortunes in England. The Industrial Revolution and especially the Great Enrichment came from liberating commoners from compelled service to a hereditary elite, such as the noble lord in the castle, or compelled obedience to a state functionary, such as the economic planner in the city hall. And it came from according honor to the formerly despised of Bolton — or of Ōsaka, or of Lake Wobegon — commoners exercising their liberty to relocate a factory or invent airbrakes.”

Don’t let the current version of capitalism where business and industry leaders have become common bed-partners with politicians and government bureaucrats creating a crony-infested mutation, sour you on the concept. Seek to understand it in its purest form and work to move it back to what made it the most productive and beneficial economic system the world has ever seen.

Freedom, liberty, trade, and betterment for all.

Hence the fruits of capitalism are sweet indeed.

 

Written by DCL

September 5, 2018 at 4:54 pm

Posted in Good News, News, Politics

Tagged with ,

When the Press No Longer Pretends to be Honest

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I’m honestly getting tired of defending Donald Trump from the news media.

He’s not my favorite person. As a human being he’s…not very nice, to put it nicely. But he was elected under the laws of this country to be its president. I don’t support all of his policies and ideas, though I believe he’s done some good things to help spur the U.S. economy.

But doggone it, right is right and wrong is wrong! I am sick and tired of people working in the profession I loved and honored when I was part of it, abusing their privilege and tarnishing the 4th Estate with such shoddy and negligent reporting.

President Donald Trump’s remark referring to some illegal immigrants as “animals” Wednesday drew backlash. People went nuts. “See! He’s a racist!” they shrieked.

If all you heard was the president’s reply, which was a response to a direct question by a Sheriff in attendance, you may have felt the same anger and disgust. But there’s a problem here and it speaks to the dishonesty of many working in this country’s major news media.

If you didn’t hear the question asked by the reporter, you didn’t have any context by which to judge the answer, but judge is exactly what everyone did. Wrongly.

Here is the soundbite including the question which provides the context.

 

The question was specific. It was a direct question from a law enforcement officer about MS-13 gang members, many who have come into the country illegally. According to the Associated Press the gang has indulged in rape, beatings, beheadings, dismemberment, and extreme cruelty to human beings that get in their way or cross their paths. When you consider what these people do to other people, animals probably isn’t an adequate comparison.

But our Free Press, led by the New York Times, took the president’s answer and reported it completely devoid of the context within the question he was asked. They made it look like Trump was calling all immigrants animals… Even now 24 hours later, these press outlets have refused to inform their readers and viewers of the omission, providing no added context to their earlier, misleading, reports.

After a White House press briefing, some of the news outlets updated their stories adding the reference to MS-13 and the question that was originally asked.

Accidental? A mistake? An oversight?

You tell me.

When Spending Becomes a Sickness

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Pelosi McConnell and RyanIf your congressional representatives or senators voted for the omnibus (more like ominous) spending bill, you now have a great reason to vote them out when they are up for re-election. They are ALL, (R)s and (D)s alike, addicted to our tax dollars and spending more than they make. A habit that would send you and I into bankruptcy.

For those in love with the president. He signed it. He now is culpable. He is also clueless. He’s being played by both Dems and Republicans and our kids and grandkids and great grandkids are now stuck with the bill. This is unsustainable.

For fellow Utahns, Orrin Hatch was the only Utah representative in DC that voted for the bill. Of course he won’t have to answer for it because he’s not running for re-election.

The proponents all point to the BUZZ items in the bill that we’ve all heard reported by the lap-dog media, like money for school security and the wall (not actually funded by the way), and defense spending, but do you have any idea what’s on the other 2200+ pages? Neither do they, because they had less than 15 hours to read it before voting on it…

This has become the way things on done in DC. Massive stacks of legislation pages with far too many to read and a very short window before a vote must be cast. It’s criminal, but then they’re immune from such things…

Don’t expect it to change though. The voters will do pretty much what they always do in the November midterms keeping incumbents and sticking to what makes them “feel” good.

No this bloated hog isn’t going anywhere. Not until the house of cards comes crashing down and buries it.

Written by DCL

March 23, 2018 at 1:16 pm