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Nederlog

Jan 20, 2017
Crisis: On Obama, Trumpian "Laws", Trumpian Appointments, NYT's lies, Journalism
Sections                                                                     crisis index
Introduction   

1.
On Final Day of Obama Presidency, a Look at His Mixed Legacy
     & the Rise of Neo-Fascism in Washington

2. On Verge of Trump Era, Republicans Push New Laws to Clamp
     Down on Protest

3.
Trump Is Appallingly Behind in Making Most Key Appointments
4.
How the NYT Plays with History
5.
Why Readers Shouldn’t Trust Staff Reporters
Introduction:

This is a Nederlog of January 20, 2017. It may be that there will be no Nederlog tomorrow, because I have troubles with my teeth again.

Also, today is the day - according to many psychologists, including myself, and according to many psychiatrists, and see the links -
that the insane man Donald Trump, who also is a genuine neofascist as I have defined "neofascism", becomes president of the USA.

It is an extremely sad day that much increases the probability that the earth will be blown up by nuclear bombs: Your livelihood, your life, and your chances, whoever you are, wherever you live, are now in the hands of an insane neofascist.

This is a crisis log with 5 items and 5 dotted links: Item 1 is about a Democracy Now! article, mostly about Obama, that is sensible; item 2 is about the new laws that the
Republicans are introducing, which means you may get killed by the police, or be put in jail for walking on the street; item 3 is about the fact that Trump at present only appointed 4% of the people he should appoint; item 4 is about a good article about how The New York Times lies a lot; and item 5 is a somewhat exaggerated bit about journalism: I agree more than not, but find quite a few bits I don't agree with.
As for today (January 20, 2017): I have the day before yesterday attached a message to the openings of both of my sites which points out that for somehing like a year now both of my sites more or less systematically, but unpredictably, show the wrong date and the wrong files, indeed going so far back as 2015, and as if I did not write anything since then.

Today, the Danish site is correct, but the Dutch site still shows it is January 18 while it has been properly uploaded for more than 48 hours: Someone really wants that my sites are not being read.

More about this later.
1. On Final Day of Obama Presidency, a Look at His Mixed Legacy & the Rise of Neo-Fascism in Washington

The first item is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!:

This starts with the following introduction:

Today marks President Obama’s last full day in office. On Friday at noon, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will swear in Donald Trump as the country’s 45th president. On Wednesday, in his last press conference as president, Obama defended his decision to commute the sentence of Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning, and condemned the Israeli occupation. He also warned Trump that he will not stay silent if he sees what he called the nation’s core values at risk. To look back at Obama’s legacy and what lies ahead with the new administration, we speak to Eddie Glaude, chair of the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University. He is author of several books, most recently, "Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul."

Yes. As people who have read Nederlog for quite a while know, I think that Obama was a major fraud, indeed like Bill Clinton was, who excelled at saying the one thing and doing the other thing. Both were for the rich and against the non-rich, and if that is taken as given, both did a fine job.

Clinton was made a multi-millionaire after being president, paid by the nice managers of Goldman Sachs he helped so much, and I take it Obama awaits the same (though I guess he will be paid a bit less, because he is black: We are speaking about the USA, after all).

Here is professor Eddie Glaude:

EDDIE GLAUDE: Well, I think it was important for the president to kind of identify the threat that Donald Trump poses to the fourth estate. He did it in his own unique and, of course, centrist way, but the idea of calling attention to the fact that a free and independent press may very well be under siege as Donald Trump enters the White House, I think, is an important—was an important—an important gesture. I would—you know, I would want to caution, though, that the way in which the president made the point, he, of course, wasn’t attentive to the corporate dimensions of the press, that in some ways the so-called free press has been compromised by big money, by its own pursuit of profits. And so, it’s a critique that only goes so far.

Glaude is referring to Obama's last speech. I am a bit less optimistic than he is, and my reason here is that there is no "free and independent press" anymore (see item 4 and item 5) within the mainstream media that are the sources of "news" that the vast majority consumes, while he wholly neglected, and thus effectively denied, "the corporate dimensions of the press".

Here is more by Glaude:

EDDIE GLAUDE: Well, look, it’s one thing for President Obama to point to increasing inequality in the country, and it’s another thing for us to look at his policies. When we look at over the last—when we kind of assess the last eight years, what we’ve seen is that you’ve had a series of policies that really have benefited Wall Street and left Main Street behind. We have a policy that is, in some ways, fit—it fits perfectly with the increasing financialization of our economy, that’s really tailored for the top 1 percent and top 0.01 percent. And there’s kind of modest gains for everyday, ordinary people working. Even if they tout job creation, we know, from one of my colleagues here at Princeton, that 95 percent of the jobs created over the last 15-plus years have been part-time and contractual work. So people are working harder and earning less.

This is quite correct in my opinion: Obama lied about the "increasing inequality in the country", simply because he had eight years of legal opportunities and as president to decrease them, but while he talked about inequality and complained about it in words written for and addressed to his voters, he legislated for very much more inequality, he legislated for the rich, and he legislated against the poor, whom he also made a lot poorer.

Here is the ending of this article:

Now, where do we—where are we now, and where are we going? Well, we have deepening racial inequality. We have deepening economic inequality. We have a neo-fascist who is about to be inaugurated. We have the billionaires and millionaires who are about to take over government. What we are in, in some ways, is a conjunctural moment where crisis opens up space for us to put forward a more progressive vision of what this country could and ought to be. So we need to prepare ourselves for day one, as Donald Trump ascends, and attack the policies that, in some ways, Barack Obama’s administration, Clintonism broadly, has made possible.

I agree with this as well: There is much more racial and economical inequality in the USA, thanks to Clinton, Bush Jr. and Obama; there is a neofascist who is the next president, and I call him by my term, "neofascism", because that is the only clear definition I know; and the cabinet of the neofascist is composed of billionaires and generals.

Then again, I am less optimistic (I think) about the possibilities of a "
crisis" that "opens up space for us to put forward a more progressive vision of what this country could and ought to be", for the simple reason that the Real Left is mostly quite dead; the "left" that replaces it is mostly interested in "political correctness" and "identity politics" (which are not Real Leftist but rightist themes [1]); and I have seen little real resistance in the USA since 2001.

And while I do hope for the possibilities that a "crisis" may bring, my own main hopes are in a major economical crisis, that will make it clear to many that the present elites are incompetent, have been lying for decades, and should be removed.

Then again, I grant that while this hope is realistic - there will be another economical crisis, and it very probably will go deeper than that of 2008 - it also is quite vague: I don't know when, and the outcome of such a crisis - which will kill many anyway - is quite uncertain.


2. On Verge of Trump Era, Republicans Push New Laws to Clamp Down on Protest


The second item is by Nika Knight on Truthdig and originally on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:

Republican lawmakers around the country are pushing legislation that would criminalize and penalize nonviolent protest, apparently anticipating an upswell of civic engagement during the coming Trump administration.

Spencer Woodman reported at The Intercept Thursday on the anti-protest bills proposed in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Washington, and North Dakota.

“Over the past few weeks, Republican legislators across the country have quietly introduced a number of proposals to criminalize and discourage peaceful protest,” Woodman wrote.

Among a swath of bills proposed in North Dakota that would allow police to crack down further on public protests, the state legislature put forth one that would legalize running over protesters, as Common Dreams reported.

Yes, and I am very frightened of this, because I think that Trump is a neofascist who wants neofascist powers and will do his best to get them, indeed in the extremest form he can (that also includes shutting down all press that criticizes His Greatest Of The Great Genius in any way: He Is The President And Whatever The President Says Is Right). And this is just the very beginning, in my view.

Here is some more:

Woodman summarizes:

In Minnesota, a bill introduced by Republicans last week seeks to dramatically stiffen fines for freeway protests and would allow prosecutors to seek a full year of jail time for protesters blocking a highway. Republicans in Washington state have proposed a plan to reclassify as a felony civil disobedience protests that are deemed “economic terrorism.” Republicans in Michigan introduced and then last month shelved an anti-picketing law that would increase penalties against protestors and would make it easier for businesses to sue individual protestors for their actions. And in Iowa a Republican lawmaker has pledged to introduce legislation to crack down on highway protests.

“This trend of anti-protest legislation dressed up as ‘obstruction’ bills is deeply troubling,” Lee Rowland, staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), told Woodman.

“A law that would allow the state to charge a protester $10,000 for stepping in the wrong place, or encourage a driver to get away with manslaughter because the victim was protesting, is about one thing: chilling protest,” Woodman added.

In fact, it is a lot more than "chilling protest": It is plain neofascism that intends to forbid all protest by classifying any public protest as "terrorism", and by prosecuting or persecuting said "terrorists" with the full apparatus of state terrorism, that soon will include the possibilities of killing them "legally", after changing the laws.

3. Trump Is Appallingly Behind in Making Most Key Appointments

The third item is by Kali Holloway on AlterNet:
This starts as follows:
In the weeks following Trump’s election, reports on the transition offered an up-close view of how incompetence and lack of preparedness yield disorganization and confusion. The Trump team flaked out on important meetings with the Pentagon; experts who could fill the knowledge gap were fired or quit in frustration; and Trump, who still hadn’t been briefed by the Obama team, was using his unsecured personal cell phone for highly sensitive conversations with world leaders. (He’s still doing that, actually.) What’s more, critical positions weren’t being filled, a situation that persists even as the final touches are being put on inauguration events.
Yes indeed, though in fact I see three possibilities: (i) Trump is incompetent and unprepared, but will get things done later; (ii) Trump will continue to do as he pleases, insisting that He is president, that whatever He does is presidential, and that nothing ought to be criticized (and all critics will be prosecuted or persecuted); (iii) a bit of a combination of both. For the moment my guess is (iii).

Here is more on the present actual facts:

As Bloomberg columnist Jonathan Bernstein notes:

There's no Trump appointee for any of the top State Department jobs below secretary nominee Rex Tillerson. No Trump appointee for any of the top Department of Defense jobs below retired general James Mattis. Treasury? Same story. Justice? It is one of two departments (along with, bizarrely, Commerce) where Trump has selected a deputy secretary. But no solicitor general, no one at civil rights, no one in the civil division, no one for the national security division...Overall, out of 690 positions requiring Senate confirmation tracked by the Washington Post and Partnership for Public Service, Trump has come up with only 28 people so far.

This is extremely strange, unless it is a matter of policy - and note that 28:690 = 4%: Only 1 in 25 governmental jobs have been regularly filled by the Trump administration.

Then there is also this, that ties in the with the fact just established:
Bernstein points to a FiveThirtyEight piece that shows a president generally gets the most done in the earliest days of his administration. The “honeymoon period” allows for legislation to get passed and productivity to hit a level it rarely reaches after, for a host of reasons. Trump is already operating at a deficiency in this area, considering he will make history as the most unpopular president to take office in four decades. This, along with the fact that he is the least prepared, least informed president quite possibly ever, and a general disinterest in his job and being on-site during work days, doesn’t bode well.
But then again, quite possibly the newly elected president does not want to be an ordinary president of the USA.

He certainly thinks He Is The Greatest In Everything That Counts (in his own mad opinion), and for all I know He may dream of being crowned a Caesar, with Caesaristic absolute powers (see Suetonius, "The Twelve Caesars", which you should read if you didn't).

I do not know, but starting with a team that has been completed for 4% is very odd.

Here is the last bit that I'll quote from this article:

Bernstein also notes that “[e]ven if there's no catastrophic failure, lack of leadership will, as should be no surprise, yield inertia and low morale, leading to steadily worse performance.”

This is what happens when you install an inexperienced, dangerously uninformed leader to “shake things up,” selecting him based on a demonstrated ignorance that reminds you of your own. While a steady parade of unqualified candidates are rushed through confirmation hearings, their answers to the most basic questions displaying their lack of knowledge, the executive office sits largely empty. It’s a safe bet that the federal government will be hobbled by having Trump at its helm, and his team lacks the skills to compensate for their boss. It’s yet another reason not to “give him a chance," one that just compounds the millions of others. Trump is already on track to do a fine job of destroying the country. Don’t let dumb optimism lead you to help him at the task.

Hm. I agree that "Trump is already on track to do a fine job of destroying the country" but otherwise I do not know. For all I know he only manned 1 in 25 of the jobs he ought to man, because he dislikes government, and wants to leave everything to the rich, with full "legal" possibilities to do what they want.

But indeed we soon will find out.

4. How the NYT Plays with History

The fourth item is by Robert Parry on Consortiumnews:

This starts with the following summary:

Special Report: By failing to tell the hard truth about Establishment wrongdoing, The New York Times — along with other mainstream U.S. media outlets — has destabilized American democracy, reports Robert Parry.

Yes, I agree. And I also agree that to understand this you have to know the evidence for this proposition, and that there is a decent amount given in this article.

Then again, because I have given rather a lot of that evidence in many Nederlogs, and have concluded a long time ago that the mainstream media simply cannot be relied upon to tell the truth, though they often can be relied upon to lie, to suppres, to deny, or to propagandize a biased verskion of the truth, I will skip the evidence given in this article.

The article starts as follows:

Whenever The New York Times or some other mainstream news outlet holds itself out as a paragon of professional journalism – by wagging a finger at some pro-Trump “fake news” or some Internet “conspiracy theory” – I cringe at the self-delusion and hypocrisy.

No one hates fake news and fact-free conspiracy theories more than I do, but the sad truth is that the mainstream press has opened the door to such fantasies by losing the confidence of the American people and becoming little more than the mouthpiece for the Establishment, which spins its own self-serving narratives and tells its own lies.

Rather than acting as a watchdog against these deceptions, the Times and its mainstream fellow-travelers have transformed themselves into little more than the Establishment’s apologists and propagandists.

I mostly agree, although I doubt that the "No one" that starts the second paragraph is literally correct. Then again, I agree that Robert Parry does a good job, and that I like Consortiumnews (without always agreeing, but then I am a thinking man [2]).

Here is a little bit about some specific lies that The New York Times propelled:

If Iraq is the “enemy,” we are told wild tales about how Iraq’s non-existent WMD is a danger to us all. If Syria is in Washington’s crosshairs, we are given a one-sided account of what’s happening there, black hats for the “regime” and white hats for the “rebels”?

If the State Department is backing a coup in Ukraine to oust an elected leader, we are regaled with tales of his corruption and how overthrowing a democratically chosen leader is somehow “democracy promotion.” Currently, we are getting uncritical stenography on every conceivable charge that the U.S. government lodges against Russia.

Yes indeed, and after this there is a good amount of similar evidence, also with sources.
As I said in the beginning of this review, I will skip all of this, though I recommend you
read it in case you believe the New York Times is a decent and reliable paper.

This article ends as follows, after quite a bit of history of the lies of the NYT, that I skipped but recommend to anyone who believes the NYT is decent and factual:

Lies as Truth

The fact that mainstream media “stars” lie in calling facts a lie – or they can’t distinguish between facts and lies – has contributed to a dangerous breakdown in the public’s ability to sort out what is and what is not real.

Essentially, the problem is that the mainstream media has sought to protect the integrity of the Establishment by dismissing real cases of institutional criminality and abuse of power. However, by shoring up these defenses – rather than challenging systemic wrongdoing – the mainstream media has watched its own credibility erode.
(...)
Rather than join in demanding real evidence to support these claims, the mainstream media seems intent on simply channeling the Establishment’s contempt for both Russia and Trump. So, whatever is said – no matter how unlikely – merits front-page headlines.

The end result, however, is to push more and more Americans into a state of confusion regarding what to believe. While some citizens may seek out honest independent journalism to get what they’re missing, others will surely fall prey to fake news and conspiracy theories.

Yes, I agree and I have two additional related points.

First, about lies, "lies" and - so called - fake news:

The basic problem is in fact that the mainstream media decide what they call "lies", "truth" and "fake news" not anymore because they have real evidence, but because calling so agrees with the propaganda requirements of the governments they serve willingly.

And whether any of the things they call "lies", "truth" and "fake news" in fact are lies, truth and fake news cannot be established at all from the "evidence" they gave, firstly because very often they give no evidence but demand respect for their kind of "truth", which is reported as if it is the truth, and anyway, for any "evidence" they do give precisely the same applies: Hardly any normal reader can decide whether this "evidence" is real evidence, or another set of lies, propaganda or deceptions.

And second, the fundamental problem is that the majority of the Americans "surely fall prey to fake news and conspiracy theories", which they do not recognize as fake news nor as conspiracy theories, but believe as if it were the truth.

If the majority is thus deceived, that means that democracy has ended, for democracy absolutely requires that the majority is properly and truly informed about all the real facts that influence their lives.

They are not. They are deceived by fake news presented as if it is The Truth.

5. Why Readers Shouldn’t Trust Staff Reporters

The fifth and last item in this Nederlog is by Eric Zuesse on Washington's Blog, and originally on unz.com:

This starts as follows, and can be seen as a continuation of the previous item, though it is independent from it:

Journalism — especially about important matters — is not a profession. It’s a calling.  Or else, if it’s not a calling, then it is public relations; it is propaganda, “PR” — done for the purpose of receiving pay, not really for the purpose of conveying truth. But propaganda isn’t journalism at all. It’s not merely fake ‘news’; it is fake ‘journalism’. Corporate-owned ‘news’ is that, but so too is government-owned ‘news’. That’s the problem: journalism, as it exists, isn’t what people think it is, and expect it to be. What is called “journalism” is actually now just a branch of the PR profession, and doesn’t deserve to be trusted more than that.

I mostly agree, though I should remark that (i) the above presumes a definition of "journalist" that implies that journalists normally try to tell the truth [3], and that (ii)
I do not, myself, believe that journalism, as I just defined it, is a calling. [4]

My reason for my last conviction is that I believe most people want to tell the truth rather than lie in public so as to deceive the majority. This may be naive [5], but it does suggest to me that most journalists who do "public relations" do so because they have "a calling", and that is to lead a rich, lazy and convenient life by deceiving the public.

Here is what successful "journalists" (who indeed are not real journalists anymore, and therefore occur between quote marks, that in this case means something like: These people pretend to be journalists, but are really deceivers) have to agree to in order to keep their jobs:

In order to be a staff journalist, one must adhere to the propaganda-aims of the individual(s) (the employer) who control(s) the given ‘news’ medium. No newsmedia-owner hires ‘reporters’ or editors who report (or allow to be published) facts which contradict that owner’s (or controller’s — because this applies to ‘non-profits’ as well) central viewpoint. The employees are purely megaphones for their boss’s views. That’s what they were hired to be, and that’s what they are if they succeed in their profession and rise up the career-ladder in it. Anything that a staff journalist writes (or allows to be published, if that person is an editor) contradicting the owner’s views, counts against that employee, and increases his/her likelihood of being eliminated, or at least of being denied a deserved promotion (because not doing the person’s job for the employer).

Yes, I think that is more or less correct, but again I have two points.

The first is a reference to the last Nederlog of yesterday, which contains a long but quite interesting and quite good interview with Chris Hedges, who was a reporter for The New York Times for 15 years, and who reports similar things, that led to the New York Times preparing to fire him, and Hedges leaving before they did.

The second is that it probably is not (or feels not as if it is) quite true that "[t]he employees are purely megaphones for their boss’s views": I feel rather certain - having worked in a paper, and having lived with a journalist, although indeed both in the previous century - that most journalists are offered some semblance of independence.

This probably only covers non-important news, but then it also makes it possible for the
"journalists" in question to insist that "no, no, we really are quite independent - look at this, and that, which I wrote and published".

Here is some more on  staff "journalists" - who, when regularly on TV, are also very well paid - and the corporations they function in:

To be a staff ‘journalist’ is to be a ‘reporter’ for hire, who is willing to exclude reporting whatever facts the owner wants his/her audience not to know (which can be some very important things, such as that the President is clearly lying to say that solid evidence exists that “Saddam’s WMD” still exist). Unfortunately, almost all media-owners have an agenda that overrides truth — they don’t obtain the huge funding that’s necessary to build audience-share if they aren’t backed by big money (billionaire investors, and mega-corporate advertisers) to begin with.

The - asserted - fact that "almost all media-owners have an agenda that overrides truth" is quite important in making the media these owners run media for "journalists", deceivers, liars etc.

I think it is true, but I also think that in reality it is probably more complicated. The reason I think it is mostly true is "the huge funding that’s necessary to build audience-share"; the reason I think it is more complicated are my own experiences with journalists (I lived with one for two years, in Norway) and my being a psychologist.

Indeed, one way to protect the president and his lies is to pretend that the president - Our Very Own President - just cannot lie, or at least just cannot be described as if he is a liar, even if everybody who heard him and who was minimally informed agreed he lied.

Here is a judgement on who are the best journalists, these days:

The best journalists, and news-sites, are low-budget, basically volunteer operations (such as you now are reading, and wikileaks). The big corporations don’t own them, and don’t advertise in them — and so, don’t control them.

I more or less agree, and do so on the basis of extensive experience, though I should add that while my site (over 500 MB of information) is "basically [a] volunteer operation" and indeed is owned only by me, and that all advertisements are and have been consistently refused by me (and there have been quite a few offers, indeed considerably more than I have received mail about my site since 2009 [6] (!!!)), I must immediately add that I do like Truthdig, Common Dreams, Democracy Now!, AlterNet and quite a few more and that these are being run by real journalists, who do need real money and real payments to continue to do their job.

Also, while I think I write well and am a real intellectual, who - among other things - does know a lot about truth, I also do not think, and neither do I pretend, that I am a journalist: All I am is an intellectual who likes to read and to write the truth, in so far as that is possible - which I agree these days means that one must somehow keep one's personal and financial independence [7].

Here is one bit about when lies are called lies, and when lies are not called lies in the American mainstream media:

Lies are not permitted to be called ‘lies’, unless they are made by the ‘enemy’ (such as Putin), even if the ‘enemy’ isn’t really the one who is lying.

And indeed that is the policy of some mainstream media (who also pretend that Our President either cannot lie, or should never be described as lying).

Here are some examples of lies:

Did the ‘news’ media report that the Obama-gang’s entire case against Russia is based upon lies (even if some of the things that Russia’s Vladimir Putin has said have also been lies)? Did they report that Obama’s charges that Russia is the world’s #1 ‘aggressor’-nation are rabid lies from the world’s actual #1-aggressor-nation?

Volunteer journalists (such as “bloggers”) can report these things; well-paid ‘journalists’ cannot and do not. In true George Orwell 1984 fashion, reporting these things is called ‘fake news’, by the actual fake-news masters — and unfortunately suckers believe them. Even on serious domestic-policy news, the prestigious ‘news’ media pump the aristocracy’s lies, and inculcate the desired (by the super-wealthy) misconceptions.

As I've said above, and indeed since 2006 - see here, though it is in Dutch - and in 2008 - see here, again in Dutch - I am not a journalist; I believe in (real) journalism; and I think they still exist and should, if possible, be retained somehow (notably by paying for the magazines in which they publish).

So I don't quite agree with the second paragraph, indeed because I know that there are quite a number of things I cannot do as on lone and ill volunteer, although I would want to see them done, whereas these are quite possible to paid journalists in decent publications, which still exist, also in the USA.

The same is true of the following:

Thus, the question for many young reporters nowadays is: “Will I be bad enough to keep a good job, or maybe even atrocious enough to advance in it?”

As for the consumers of journalism, there is no substitute for a reader’s demanding that every news-report include mentioning each of its sources, and that those sources are 100% reliable ones on the matter alleged, and that the report link directly to the root-source and not to any mere paraphrase of what it allegedly says. In a democracy, the public don’t trust the mere allegations from ‘authority’. Because, to trust ‘authority’ (note: this refers to fake authorities, not to methodologically careful scientific research) is to invite fascist rule, aggressive wars, and mass-exploitation.
No, not quite.

First, I very much doubt "many young reporters" put the question to themselves as stated in the first paragraph. (I am a psychologist, and I know how convoluted people may make their own opinions to escape unpleasant facts about themselves.)

Secondly, and speaking as a consumer of journalism, I have no time to write to papers (as one of the very many who do), and I know that most sources simply are not "
100% reliable", also if they are quite honest and quite informed. (All I want, in nearly all cases, is probably correct reporting with some sources.)

And thirdly, it is not true that "
to trust" "fake authorities" "is to invite fascist rule, aggressive wars, and mass-exploitation": The two are not the same nor equivalent.
If you trust fake authorities, your judgements will probably be mistaken, but that is
all that can be ascertained (and you may trust all manner of fake authorities, and
that has happened a lot in the past without leading to "fa
scist rule, aggressive wars, and mass-exploitation" - and are there any non-"aggressive wars"?)

This is from the ending of the article:
Even today, Republicans approve of George W. Bush, and Democrats approve of Barack Obama. Democracy is thus virtually impossible in America, because both sides are polluted by the same aristocracy. The aristocracy controls both Parties. And the government. And the press.

And that’s the problem. Nobody has figured out a solution for it. And America’s press won’t allow even its existence to be published. So, the public cannot understand why they cannot understand.

I think this is also too strong: The first paragraph is an exaggeration (for the Republicans trusted Republicans and the Democrats Democrats long before the 2000s) and the second paragraph also is exaggerated and false:

It is not true that "
the public cannot understand why they cannot understand":

Everybody
who has at least a decent intelligence, some private initiative, and a little time can find out a lot by reading
Truthdig, Common Dreams, Democracy Now!, AlterNet and quite a few more.

And finally there is a clear "solution" for the problem: Journalists should write the truth or the probable truth.

---------------------------------
Notes
[1] Political correctness is a rightist theme because it consists in censorship on how one should express one's own thoughts (which is nearly always utter baloney); identity politics is rightist because it consists in stopping to deal with real individuals, and consists in treating everyone the same because they are supposed to belong to a group.

(And since I had Real Leftist parents and grandparents - communists and anarchists -
there is no one who can convince me I am seeing this wrongly. And indeed I have been sorely abused by political correctness (which made the University of Amsterdam deny me the right - quite illegally - to graduate as an M.A. in philosophy because my ethical values were not sympathetic to the utter fools who "educated" me there) and by identity politics (which made it impossible to say anything as a real individual against being classified as if I and my ex were not ill, and are not ill, for 38 years now).)

[2] In fact, in my youth - say, in the 1970ies - this addition would have been self- evident, but since the climate of opinion has much degenerated since then, I do add now (occasionally) that I may like someone without completely agreeing with him or her.

[3] And I agree to such a definition, and believe it implies most of the things said in the paragraph I quoted before it (which is too complicated).


[4] I don't believe journalism is "a calling", mostly because I believe that the majority of people incline to tell the truth: It is difficult - I think - for most people to say (in public) that they saw a short, fat, ugly male who spoke French, when in fact what they saw was a tall, thin, beautiful female who spoke English (if only because many others saw the same). Then again, this is a fairly extreme case: see note [5].

[5] I do think most people rather like to speak the truth, simply because all they learned, from language onwards, was based on there being a truth about which one could agree.

Then again - as readers may find out by checking out groups, groupthinking, and features or moral norms, for example - I also think that there are incredible amounts of lies and deceptions. But the reasons are very many and normally quite human, and
are often not of the form that makes for bad journalism, which is essentially corruption.

There is a lot more to be said about dishonesty, but this is not the place.

[6] Yes, indeed: Until 2009 I had a telephone modem that worked extremely badly (I very often had to phone in 10 or 20 times to be abled to see whether there was mail, and this went on from 2001 till 2009, which cost me a whole lot of money, whereas all my complaints were disposed of thus (by the perfect lie for persons who are supposed to help one): "Because others do not have your problems, you do not have them either - goodbye": The "xs4all.nl"s answer during eight years of my complaints), and since 2009 I have a fast modem, that works well, but that came with almost every time I ask for mail with "no new mail".

By now, I have decided - having had hundreds of thousands of visitors since 2009 - this was a lie: There very probably are people who tried to reach me, but who could not.

Well... I am very sorry, but if you sent me mail and did not receive a reply, it is almost certainly because your mail never reached me.

And yes, I know I have an original, large, good looking, well-written and very large site. About which I hardly got any mail since 2009: it seems to me that I almost only get mail from people I have to write to first. I think so because since 2009 - in eight years - I got something like 10 mails about my very large site, and these were all about philosophy.

So by now I think most mail gets intercepted before it reaches me. I am very sorry, but I cannot do anything about it (but will keep writing on).

[7] And I have kept my own personal and financial independence. The former is genetical, in the end (I descend from poor anarchists and communists much rather than from rich liars or from the masses of conformists), and I maintained my financial independence by learning to live from little money while I was ill (that gave me for 31
years
an income less than the minimal income, indeed in considerable part because my illness was never accepted, and is not accepted now), and from a smaller pension than anyone else has (who lived all his life in Holland: I did not and thus am denied again that money.)

Anyway, this is how I did it, but I do like
Truthdig, Common Dreams, Democracy Now!, AlterNet and quite a few more, and I think they have to be supported if these few sources or real news are to continue to exist. (And Trump probably will attempt to have them declared illegal: They do not bring the wildly praising "news" He thinks is His due.)

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