The Long Version

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

Posts Tagged ‘Politics

Are You a Builder or a Wrecker in this Election Season?

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Years ago, when the internet was beginning to blossom for businesses around the world, I traveled the world teaching people how to take their businesses to the web.

One of my colleagues had a poem he liked to quote at the end of his presentation and it has stuck with me since.

It’s words are cause for self-examination.  A personal inventory of our character to help determine the kind of people we really are.

As I watch the candidates, their campaigns, their staff, and zealous followers in this presidential race of 2016, the words to this poem become even more compelling and acute.

I watched them tearing a building down, photo 3-1
A gang of men in a busy town.

With a ho-heave-ho and lusty yell,
They swung a beam and a sidewall fell.

I asked the foreman, “Are these men skilled,
As the men you’d hire if you had to build?”

He gave me a laugh and said, “No indeed!
Just common labor is all I need.

I can easily wreck in a day or two
What builders have taken a year to do.”

And I tho’t to myself as I went my way,
Which of these two roles have I tried to play?

Am I a builder who works with care,
Measuring life by the rule and square?

Am I shaping my deeds by a well-made plan,
Patiently doing the best I can?

Or am I a wrecker who walks the town,
Content with the labor of tearing down?

~ Charles Benvegar

What are you? What is your preferred candidate?

Which category do your words, actions, and interactions on social media or in person place you in?

I know I have some work to do.

 

 

The New York Times is the Paper of Advocacy

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If anyone was still arguing whether the New York Times was fully vested in the Liberal mantra and political ideology, you need only look at the front page of Saturday’s edition, December 5, 2015.

An editorial on gun control.

Not since 1920 has the times run an editorial on page one.

In the past 95 years not a single page one editorial on Nazism, Communism, Pearl Harbor, Japanese internment camps, segregation, JFK’s assassination, or 9/11 to name a few noteworthy exceptions.

No, the Times feels gun control is the most important issue of the past century…

But this isn’t about the article. If you want to wade into the depthless and mundane here is a link to the editorial. 

This is about blatant, open, in-your-face, advocacy by major news media. The paper of record is the paper of activism. Journalistic objectivity and integrity be damned. They’ve chosen sides.

“But it’s an editorial” you shout at your computer screen! “It’s opinion! It’s not the same as news!” Unfortunately in today’s “new media” the lines have been so blurred, that argument is becoming tougher to win.

The Times editorial, poorly written and shallow as it is, hit the Leftist talking points with shameless consistency, including a jab at Republican congressional leaders who “offer prayers for gun victims and then, callously and without fear of consequence, reject the most basic restrictions on weapons of mass killing, as they did on Thursday.”

What happened on Thursday?

“Every Senate Republican except Mark Kirk of Illinois voted against legislation to prevent people on the F.B.I.’s consolidated terrorist watch list from purchasing guns or explosives” and this has the Times editorial board on fire with righteous indignation aplenty!

How dare those hateful Republicans vote to allow over 700,000 people (up from 47,000 at the end of the Bush presidency) any form of due process or right to be considered innocent until proven guilty? How dare they consider the fact that these lists are about as arbitrary as any “Top 10 Best” lists you’ve ever seen, in the wake of these shootings?!?

Now Rewind to 2014 and two “New York Times” editorials. This was the Times’ stand on the terrorist watch lists just ONE YEAR AGO.

No Fly List is Unconstitutional!

Terror Watch Lists run amok!

The intellectual gymnastics being preformed by the Times would make any side-show contortionist proud.

This is what happens when you practice agenda driven journalism. Consistency goes out the window. Journalistic standards must be ignored or abolished altogether and before long you find yourself struggling to remain off par with the publications on the grocery store tabloid rack at the checkout stand.

It’s embarrassing to watch journalists become overzealous converts to a political ideology they are meant to watch and cover with skepticism, ever questioning, never endorsing, always neutral.

With the exception of editorials of course. Sure, whatever.

Written by DCL

December 7, 2015 at 1:14 pm

The Magic (D)

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Not too long ago there was a fun little thing going around Twitter where conservative minded folks decided if they put a (D) next to their name they could pretty much say and do anything they wanted on social media or anywhere else for that matter, without repercussion or reproach.  The idea being, if you’re a Democrat you can get away with anything and the media won’t call you out on it.

Whether there is a lot, little, or no truth to that assumption is up for debate and opinion, but it seems as we read, listen, and watch our mainstream media to have at least some validity.

The Magic of (D)Example: Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was convicted today on 24 counts of racketeering and other federal corruption charges. Witnesses in the five-month trial said Kilpatrick steered city contracts toward a friend for a share of the spoils. He also used political donations and a non-profit fund for personal spending. Kilpatrick could get 20 years in prison. He already served 14 months in an unrelated obstruction of justice case.

Kilpatrick’s political career has been a mess of corruption, scandal, indictments, and prison time. One would think he would be a national laughingstock by now — especially given that he’s the son of a former congresswoman — and if he were a Republican, he may very well have become one of the most ridiculed men in America. But because of the “D” that follows his name, the liberal media hold back on the venom, opting instead for either the kid gloves treatment or complete silence.

Ironically this story has not generated the kind of interest a story like, say, Todd Akin (R) and his rape remarks got, or Marco Rubio’s awkward sip of water during the State of the Union rebuttal, and neither of those were criminal acts!

The CBS Evening News and ABC World News both broadcasted from the Vatican and focused most of their attention on the pending election of the next pope. But even when they got around to other news, there was not a peep about Detroit’s ex-mayor.

PBS, to their credit, did mention Kilpatrick on the NewsHour. However, the story was condensed into a 25-second blurb and stuffed into the “Other News of the Day” segment. What’s more, PBS failed to mention that Kilpatrick is a Democrat even though we have seen party affiliation of Republicans in trouble with the law reported before.

Perhaps they were busy with what are clearly weightier matters. Monday’s NBC Nightly News, for example, found time to mention Justin Timberlake’s recent appearance on Saturday Night Live, the ten worst places to retire in America, and the plight of penguins in Antarctica, but doggonit, no time for Mr. Kilpatrick’s conviction.

Maybe that (D) thing has something going for it after all.

NewsBusters.com

When You Treat Only the Symptoms and Ignore the Cause

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When it comes to our health we’re taught not to ignore symptoms of illness and get them treated quickly so they don’t develop into something more serious later.  If we visit a doctor he or she will attempt to learn the cause of the symptoms we are experiencing, find the root of the problem, diagnose and treat.

Done right, we get well and our symptoms disappear.

However, if the diagnosis only treats the symptoms in an attempt to only relieve pain or discomfort, the root cause will get worse and if left untreated can result with far worse or even fatal results.

Using this analogy, our nation has been suffering with painful symptoms of corruption, crime, debauchery, to name a few, for decades. Some will argue these problems have plagued our country in all generations, but I would suggest not at the magnitude or frequency we see today.

hippocratic-oath-medicineThe doctors in this analogy are our civic leaders, elected to govern, to prevent societal ills if possible and treat them when discovered and to provide laws and regulations that work but are not overreaching or infringe upon the rights established in the constitution.  Like a doctor, our leaders should have the knowledge and skill to diagnose the root cause of a problem and attack it with the proven methods to solve it. The doctor uses medicine, the politician uses principles.  Without these tools the prognosis of a cure in either case is bleak at best.

The skilled physician who is altruistic in his approach can diagnose and treat disease with high levels of accuracy and success and with permanency.  The not-so-skilled doctor or the doctor who may be less concerned about the patient than the pay, may only treat the symptoms prescribing treatment to provide temporary relief but certain to require return visits and more prescriptions. Regardless of intent this is not an uncommon occurrence in the medical practice today. president-barack-obama-takes-oath-office

The skilled politician who is altruistic in his approach and true to his oath of public service will look to long-standing principles that have worked to the benefit of all segments of society throughout history to diagnose and treat the ills described and attack the problem at its source through legislation that is enforceable, fair, and specific.  The politician who seeks office for reason of fame, fortune, power, or anything outside the core values of public service will too often treat only the symptoms through appeasement, redistribution, giveaways, cronyism, deficit spending, inequitable taxation, and a litany of procedures to distract the public from the root cause and thereby avoid the more difficult task of actually solving the problem.  Regardless of intent this is not an uncommon practice of political leaders in government today.

For an example we need only look at the current gun control debate.  Too many elected officials are focused on a symptom, guns, when regarding the problem of violent crime specifically that of mass public shootings amplified by the recent school shooting in New Town, Connecticut where 26 people were shot by a mentally deranged man, 20 of those killed were children under age 7.

Indeed, guns are used to kill people, which is abhorrent to nearly every human being and because it is such a horrible thought it incites an immediate and powerful emotional response.  But decisions made in the heat of emotion are almost always wrong.  History, crime statistics, gun crime statistics, and common sense overwhelmingly discredits the current political diagnosis and prescribed treatment of the problem of violent crime in this country.  Yet the emotional response being pushed by politicians and media is to ban entirely the weapons used in the commission of these crimes which infringes upon the rights of all people not just the criminals who voluntarily abdicate their rights the moment they commit a crime.

Emotion doesn’t recognize logic and emotion is driving the debate.  Imagine your doctor making every decision on your behalf based on his or her emotional attachment to your malady. It doesn’t work in either case.

Until our elected officials recognize the root cause of most or our societal ills, moral decay and the blurring line between right and wrong, the disease will get worse and at some point it will become fatal.

I’ll punctuate my argument by sharing a video from the ongoing public hearings in Hartford, Connecticut concerning gun control, where Henson Ong issued a passionate defense of the Second Amendment with irrefutable facts and historical data. Exclamation point.

Where Have I Heard That Before?

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President Obama says all the right things.  And guess what?  We heard all these things in 2008.

The President’s problem isn’t what he says, it’s what he does.

Do you really believe saying the same things now that you said four years ago will make the next four years any better than the last?

Written by DCL

October 22, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Remember When: MoveOn.org’s Faulty Memories

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Media Matters Romney Smear

Picture posted at moveon.org

No Obama didn’t do those things, yuk yuk yuk… But here’s what I do remember Obama doing.

I remember when President Obama presided over a downgrade to the credit-rating of the United States twice, violated the War Powers Act, was held in contempt of court for illegally obstructing oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, required all Americans to purchase a product from a third-party, and abrogated bankruptcy law to turn over control of companies to his union supporters.

I remember when he by-passed Congress and implemented the Dream Act through executive fiat, sealed records from the largest US trial on terrorist funding organizations, known as the Holy Land Foundation Trial, to prevent a foreign policy disaster for his administration, actively tried to bankrupt an American industry (coal), and fired an inspector general of Ameri-Corps for catching one of his friends in a corruption case.

I remember when President Obama filed lawsuits against the states he swore an oath to protect (AZ, WI, OH, IN) when they tried to protect themselves, and told the military men and women that they should pay for their own private insurance because they “volunteered to go to war and knew the consequences”, and I remember when his Auto Bailout forced hundreds of independent car dealerships around the nation to close, costing this country about a hundred thousand jobs.

Those are the things I remember about this President that actually have an impact on the people of this country.

Romney’s dog, his tax returns, and his foreign accounts, have NO personal effect on me or any other American whatsoever.  ZERO. NADA.

MoveOn.org, it’s time to move out!

Rolling Stone: From Music Mag to Smear Machine

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Illustration by Robert GrossmanAs I started reading the Rolling Stone “expose” on Mitt Romney and Bain Capital by Matt Taibbi which is scheduled to be published in the September 13th addition, I was genuinely interested to see if someone had actually found a crack in the Romney “character” armor.

Nope.

It didn’t take long to realize this was going to be nothing more than an envy laced, bigoted, intellectually dishonest, source-less, opinion piece that doesn’t even pretend to adhere to some resemblance of objective journalism.  All of which was revealed in the first two pages.

What happened to the days when Rolling Stone was about seeing your favorite Rocker on the cover?

As a retired broadcast journalist and former news director, I was trained in the old school ways of news gathering and reporting.  When journalists did their best to leave personal bias and ideology out of the story and clearly labeled opinion as such.  Not these days.

The title, Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital, really should be changed. It should read “My Angry Personal Narrative About How I Believe Mitt Romney Got Disgustingly Rich, and Why it Pisses Me Off”, By Matt Taibbi.

That title would be a far more accurate indicator of the story to follow.  Oh Taibbi used all the proper dates, names, and second-hand quotes, he just organized it and spelled it out the way he sees it as opposed to how it actually happened according to those who were actually there and participated in the many Bain deals on both sides.  What we read in Rolling Stone is an interpretation.  Taibbi wasn’t there.  He didn’t participate in any discussion of any deal Bain ever did.  He didn’t even research it very well.  Where are the interviews?  The smoking guns?  Where is the irrefutable evidence that everything Taibbi is telling us is the absolute undeniable truth?

He appears to rely on old rehashed stories and quotes from other publications but even then we only get snippets and selective quotes with little or no context.   He names sources such as, former Bain employees, one Wall Street trader, or a prominent Wall Street lawyer.  Tough to cross-examine those witnesses.

He did interview a guy who was once at KB Toys, but I don’t know why.  The Bain KB Toy deal happened long after Romney had left Bain to run the Olympics and then to run for Governor of Massachusetts.

In fact Glenn Kessler, fact checker at the Washington Post had this to say about Bain, Romney, and KB Toys. “Can you really say Romney was responsible for the closing of 600 stores at KB Toys in 2004, given that the initial Bain investment took place in 2000, when he was at the Olympics, and he had clearly left Bain by 2002? It would have been fuzzier if the investment had started under Romney’s confirmed leadership, but I could find no evidence of his direct involvement in this deal.”

Taibbi’s narrative about Ampad is just as shaky. If you want to know the facts about Bain and Ampad or even GST go to this link at Factcheck.org.  It’s not quite what Taibbi leads us to believe.  I’ve also written about the GS Technology deal.  You can read about it here.

Taibbi’s method of fact gathering and reporting resembles one of a reporter who decides to do a write-up on a football game while seeing only the final score but then proceeds to tell you how he thinks the game was played based on the outcome. Even though he was never in attendance.

I get it. Your guy looks like he could be beat and all you’ve got to date is that Mitt Romney cut a kids long hair when he was 18 and he strapped a dog kennel to the roof of his car… I get it. But I don’t get the disdain for success and the need to demonize those who attain success by so many in the media and on the left. I really don’t.

Perhaps it was Taibbi’s time spent in Russia that led him to despise individual success and see it as an affront to the welfare of the collective.

This story might have been easier to swallow if it held even a tiny hint of objectivity.  Bain did have many success stories.  Companies who did make it after they were acquired and are still doing quite well.  A true story would include those truths too, would it not?  But why ruin a good smear with good news about a good man you want to look bad?

I get it.

I’ve been told Matt Taibbi wished he had been a novelist rather than a journalist. After reading this piece of fiction I’d say he got his wish.

Written by DCL

September 1, 2012 at 1:49 am