53 thoughts on “News/Politics 12-28-16

  1. Reuters) – Fights, disturbances and false reports of gunfire caused chaotic scenes and shut down several malls across the United States on Monday during the typically busy post-Christmas shopping day.

    Eight to 10 people suffered minor injuries during a melee in the food court at The Mills at Jersey Gardens in Elizabeth, New Jersey, the mayor there said on Twitter.

    Organized chaos. There will be more of this.
    This age of lawlessness comes from no defined places in the world.
    Who can marry who. Who can use what rest room, who can wear what where, What words you’re careful not to say. Who is allowed into the country and who is an American..

    It goes on and on. The only purpose of those riots is to create commotion.


  2. More and more will shop on-line and malls will disappear.
    I told you before, middle GD does groceries on-line.
    I still go to the store.
    But have you noticed that much of what is advertised on TV is not sold in stores?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. How does one win the questionnaire?
    How do we know there was no cheating? I started to mark that I had never been on a factory floor. It was only a summer job.


  4. Yea, how did he win? He lives in a pretty thick bubble according to his score.

    I on the other hand, had a 79, the thinnest bubble of the bunch. What do I win? 🙂

    I could use some NY Giants tickets…….. 😆

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I didn’t pick any of the food eateries listed, because, well, most of them suck and I don’t eat there. I’ve heard of them, but they ain’t my kinda place for dinner out. If I’m eating out, I want real food, not the high salt and preservatives slop those places generally have on the menu.

    I thought that would bring my score down, but maybe it didn’t. Or it did, and that’s why my bubble didn’t just pop. 🙂


  6. I don’t mind springing for airfare and hotel if those Giants tickets are against the Cowboys in the playoffs. I’d be up for watching Big Blue slap the Cowboys around in Texas. Again. For the 3rd time…. 🙂


  7. Oh……..

    I thought Ricky won. Now I see that Tychicus and I did, and Ricky’s providing the prizes…..

    Duh. 😉

    I catch on eventually….. 🙂


  8. Wow! I need to wake up earlier to protect my wallet.

    Tychicus, Your Spurs look good again. I am enjoying The Westbrook Show in OKC. I thought about you while watching the Thunder last night. Westbrook used to be a tailback in football. You can tell. The best basketball player I ever coached was primarily a soccer player. He was also a great receiver in football. His Dad said that soccer helped in every sport. Akeem Olajuwon said the same thing.

    A J, I like the Giants receiver with the tumbleweed hair. Most of my neighbors dislike the Giants and cheer for the Cowboys. However, most of us who are NeverTrumpers also stopped following the Cowboys when Jerry Jones fired Tom Landry. I think Jones and Trump may be distant cousins. Chris Christie is oddly attracted to both of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Speaking of things in Dallas that were great, but went bad. AJ is correct that Chili’s is no longer great. However, once upon a time there was one Chili’s in the world and it served the world’s best hamburger.


    In early 1977 the only Chili’s was on Greenville Avenue in Dallas. You had to get there before 11:00 if you didn’t want to wait in line. I guess things probably started going bad when Levine sold out to Norman Brinker, but It always seemed like the decline began when Reagan left office.


  10. Michelle,

    The Obama admins so-called foreign policy has been a total disaster.


    “All our Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, is missing is a fiddle. For the duration of the seemingly endless Syrian civil war, she has figuratively fiddled while that country burns. Now, with one foot out the door from a tenure that has all but obliterated her once formidable reputation as an anti-genocide activist, she’s decided to kick Israel in the teeth.

    What most amazes me about this past Friday’s anti-Israel resolution that was cooked up by Barack Obama, John Kerry, Susan Rice, and Power is not that it took place. We have long known that the quartet had this in the works, and my organization, The World Values Network, even took out a full page ad against the proposed UN resolution a few months back.

    Rather, the truly shocking part is that the most senior members of the American foreign policy team were pushing this resolution through while Aleppo burned.

    Just imagine — there is a genocide going on for years in the Middle East in general and Syria in particular. It involves ISIS targeting Yazidis and Christians for extermination, and, in Syria, Shia Muslims joining Alawites to exterminate Sunnis. This is the classic definition of genocide where an ethnic group is target for annihilation.

    The genocide reaches fever pitch in December 2016, just as the Obama administration, which hasn’t lifted a finger to protect 500,000 Arabs from being slaughtered, is winding down. Aleppo is in the news daily, as the world watches the horrors of bombings of civilians amid incalculable loss of life.

    And what was Samantha Power, the great anti-genocide campaigner, doing while Aleppo and its residents were being reduced to rubble? Why, scheming against Israel, of course!

    Power should have resigned over Syria long ago. She decided instead to embrace the hypocrisy of having written a Pulitzer-prize winning book condemning previous American administrations who were bystanders to genocide, while becoming one herself.”


  11. Ricky,

    Another Goldberg on the “fake news” hysteria…..


    “Troubled about the recent scourge of “fake news,” the plague that suddenly descended upon us over the last few months? Bernard Goldberg, the author of the seminal book Bias* and a veteran newsman, offers us some perspective on “fake news” and its use by the same people engaging in hysterics over it. Long before Donald Trump even thought about going into politics — and long before the Internet — mainstream media outlets ginned up their own versions of “fake news,” mostly as vanity projects … or what we would call “virtue signaling” today:

    Long before fake news became a hot topic, liberals in the mainstream media were practicing their own special brand of fake news. They weren’t misleading the public for malicious reasons; quite the opposite. They were simply showing off their humanity.

    The best examples of this fake news-for-a-good-cause go back to the 1980s, when two of the biggest stories in America involved the rise in homelessness (in the age of Reagan) and the national scare over a new disease called AIDS. I was a correspondent at CBS News at the time and I witnessed first hand how – and why — the media got both those stories monumentally wrong.

    Goldberg explains that both homelessness and AIDS were real problems, not fake ones, but the media coverage deliberately faked major parts of them in order to stoke panic, drive government spending, and viewership. They manipulated the stories to exploit the audience in ways that served their agenda. That agenda wasn’t entirely partisan, but it certainly played out that way at times. The homelessness crisis seemed to disappear from the media radar when the Clintons took office. One has to wonder whether it will return when the Obamas leave it.

    Faked news in the mainstream media matters a lot more than “social media clowns,” Goldberg argues:

    And in many ways the mainstream journalism version of fake news is worse than what the social media version, where jerks put out ridiculous stories about non-existent underage sex rings run by Hillary Clinton out of a pizza parlor.

    Unlike the social media clowns, mainstream journalists have legitimacy. They help set the national agenda. They influence legislation. And it’s not just about fake homeless and AIDS stories. They’re still putting out fake news – about the supposed sexist wage gap between men and women doing the same job with the same experience (– if that were true why wouldn’t companies only hire women and save a boatload of money in labor costs?); about the epidemic of rape on college campuses; about the 99 percent of scientists who supposedly believe Al Gore’s version of global warming and think everyone else is an ignorant science “denier”.

    But hey, they’re faking the news for good causes, right?”

    They seem to be taking the Dan Rather “fake but accurate” approach.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. The biggest fake news story came out of the NYTimes in the 1930s, when their reporter refused to tell the truth about the famine in the Ukraine, a deliberate starving of an entire land manufactured by Stalin himself.

    Front page, NYTimes: “Any report of a famine in Russia is today an exaggeration or malignant propaganda. There is no actual starvation or deaths from starvation but there is widespread mortality from diseases due to malnutrition.”
    (as reported by the New York Times correspondent and Pulitzer-prize winner Walter Duranty)


    Duranty was absolutely wrong–and had to be maliciously so. As Robert Conquest’s searing book, The Harvest of Sorrow, explained–for every letter in the book–some 200+ pages long-
    -10 people died.


    Ever since I read The Harvest of Sorrow in the 1980’s, I’ve been conscious that you can’t completely trust the NY Times.

    I like their book reviews, however.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. The mall problems seem to be teenagers. Malls may have to start a rule that teens must be accompanied by an adult. I can think of no worse punishment for a teenager than having to go to the mall with their parents. Serves them right. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  14. A very good article by Bernie Goldberg, AJ.

    I can remember the biased coverage of homelessness and AIDS. We have now reached the point where almost half the population completely distrusts and discounts all of the major media except FoxNews.

    I would feel better if Fox had a few more Brit Humes and two less Hannitys and O’Reillys. Nevertheless, I expect the next few months to be humorous and interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Ricky, Michelle was a reporter once upon a time, if I recall correctly, and has at least studied the history of reporting.

    KBells, when I was in Chicago, riding CTA buses, my heart fell every time a gaggle of teenagers entered. What I soon realized was that children came onto the bus accompanied by parents, who more or less were responsible to see that they behaved, and adults knew the social rules of riding on a bus or watched others and learned them. (There might have been a few exceptions, people who were mentally retarded or mentally ill, but they’d appear one at a time and usually were just a little disconcerting.) Teens would descend on the bus five or six strong, all talking and laughing, insulting and pushing each other, yelling out the windows, basically doing whatever they wanted to do. Old enough to be “on their own,” but with no one holding them accountable to act like adults, they were a social nuisance. I prefer the old days, when people could chastise one another’s children, and any report of public misbehavior would have received limitations on one’s freedom. It’s perfectly acceptable to Americans that for a decade or so, young people have no social restrictions, no moral restrictions, and few if any obligations. (They don’t have to work to support the family or do anything they don’t want to do.)

    Liked by 1 person

  16. A grim assessment from a FB post:

    Caroline Glick
    Yesterday at 03:09 ·
    Here is what I think is a reasonable assessment of Obama’s likely timeline for action against Israel.

    Today, December 27, 2016: John Kerry is scheduled to address the UN Security Council and lay out his blueprint for the establishment of a Palestinian state in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

    January 15, 2017: Kerry participates in French President Hollande’s summit along with other leaders of the so called Quartet. The Quartet produces a document ratifying Kerry’s speech as a unanimous position.

    January 16, 2017: Obama makes a speech for Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday. In his speech he merges Palestinian statehood with the civil rights movement and announces it is time for Palestine to be formally recognized.

    January 17, 2017: The Security Council convenes to ratify the Quartet’s blueprint for Palestine as a Security Council resolution. The resolution will probably only speak of a process of bringing Palestine in as a full member in order to prevent automatic US defunding of the UN in accordance with standing US law requiring a funding cut-off in response to any UN recognition of Palestine.

    January 20, 2017: Donald Trump is inaugurated and presented with Obama’s fait accompli.

    Obama has without a doubt been lobbying the incoming members of the Security Council to support this program, just as he lobbied the current members to support last Friday’s resolution.
    The only person who can derail this operation is Donald Trump.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Ricky–I graduated from high school a year before you did, so I’m obviously older.

    I flipped a coin on my major and it came up English rather than History.

    I’ve read maybe a half dozen poetry books since I graduated from college in the Dark Ages with a degree in English Literature, but I’ve read probably a couple thousand history books.

    I’ve read a lot about Russian and Chinese history–Robert Conquest was a terrific writer and researcher. The Harvest of Sorrows was written during the Reagan administration when my husband was busy defending the country from . . . . all sorts of things. I paid close attention to geopolitical events in those days. Conquest was scathing in his assessment of Duranty and I believe the Pulitzer was revoked from Duranty as a result of the truth coming out.

    As to journalism’s history–I’ve done a lot of research on it during the WWI time frame because my as-yet-unsold novel, A Poppy in Remembrance, is about a young woman trying to become a foreign correspondent circa 1915.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. I was thinking about that silly “bubble test” yesterday, and its limitations. As I said, it seemed to focus more on one’s contact with pop culture than to some aspects of life that are more basic, like whether one interacts with people of other races or ages.

    But I was also thinking about the job history questions. One that it asked was whether one has ever been in a factory, and I said yes, and then it followed up with whether one has ever been there to work, and I said no. It asked whether one had experienced pain from working, other than carpel tunnel and other desk job functions, and I said no. So that probably labeled me as a person who has only ever had professional jobs, and that simply isn’t true. Most likely I have experienced pain from work–I worked for a year at the busiest McDonald’s in Arizona, for a boss so nasty she had a reputation all over Phoenix, and I put myself through college. One of my college jobs (my freshman year, 20 hours a week during the school year and 40 hours a week during all breaks, when most of my classmates were back home for Christmas/spring break/ summer) was cleaning, and one summer I made beds for conference attenders. Most likely I did have times I was achy from work, but I was young and that was a long time ago, and my focus was on college. But just the fact that I did four years of college with not a single penny from family should say I am not in fact upper middle class, right?

    In fact, I remember that when I flew from Phoenix to college my freshman year, a man from college picked me up at the airport, and also picked up two other freshmen. One of them, it turns out, had been on my same flight, but farther back, and it had occurred to her to wonder if I was going to college, and possibly to the same one, though I hadn’t seen her until we got on the van to go to college. She ended up in the same freshman English class. The first day of class the professor sought to get a feel for her new students, and she asked us (for a show of hands) all sorts of questions like who came from the Midwest or the South or wherever. She asked about our family background, and this girl raised her hand identifying herself as having come from the upper middle class. (She may have been the first person I ever knew with such an identity.) A year or two later, I flew back to Phoenix for a week at Christmas–the only one of the four that had me return for Christmas, and I played it by making it half of two separate weeks, and having my bosses give me pretty close to 40 hours each of the half weeks I was in Chicago. And I found out this girl paid less than I did for her return to Phoenix, and it left me frustrated, because she was upper middle class and probably her parents paid for the ticket, and I was paying for my own ticket (my mom and one brother paid $50 toward it, together, which was the only “financial aid” from family I received in my college years). I couldn’t afford to go to Phoenix for Christmas that year, either, except that my mom pressured me because everyone else was going to be there, and so I said if she could help buy the ticket, I could. Fifty dollars toward it wasn’t really “enough,” but I decided to go ahead and do it, anyway, since I hadn’t seen family in so long and at least they sent something.


  19. “Fake news” originally and most accurately referred to sites designed to look like real news sites but were entirely fake including the content. Most originated from Macedonia where teenage boys creating mostly “conservative” websites made thousands from Google ads by enticing Americans to read about the Amish endorsing Trump (to name one more famous example).

    After the election, the “regular” media enlarged the definition to include hyper partisan sites which selectively edited news stories and commentary to ensure it cast an opponent in the worst possible light. These differed from fake stories in that the actual event it referenced had occurred. The problem here is the fact selection, word choice, and hyperbole were incredibly biased. Both the left and right have sites who specialize in this hyperbole. This is fake only in the sense it ignores and manipulates relevant facts to ensure the most partisan presentation.

    The media that completely ignores an event — i.e. millions starving in Ukraine — isn’t publishing fake news. It self-censors or selects news according to a bias. The bias could be political, corporate, relevance, personal, etc. Frequently, corporate media selects on the basis of what they think Americans are most interested in yet by doing so reinforces what is thought to be relevant. The corporate media tends to ignore news that casts corporations in bad light, news that undermines the two party system, news that requires sustained attention, news which it deems against the national interests, news that requires effort and expenses etc. Hence a Trump rally is covered an its entirety but the Standing Rock protests against a pipeline merit minor local mention. Cheap celebrity gossip fills up the newscast rather than expensive to produce international news.


  20. Ricky and Michelle,
    I was born in 1947 and graduated from high school in 1965. Where does that put me in relationship to you two?
    I think only Chas has me beat on here. And I think I have been on here longer than anyone else. That plus $1.11 will get me a “K-cup” of coffee…

    Liked by 2 people

  21. @10:07 Some people may be tempted to think the Donald Trump Rooster erected by the Chinese is an insult, but maybe not. For the Chinese, the Year of the Rooster begins January 28, 2017. And this is its meaning:

    Rooster is almost the epitome of fidelity and punctuality. For ancestors who had no alarm clocks, the crowing was significant, as it could awaken people to get up and start to work. In Chinese culture, another symbolic meaning of chicken carries is exorcising evil spirits.


    So Trump as Rooster could be more prescient than you think. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  22. I never trust any “news” I read on Facebook and am apprehensive about sharing any of it unless I know the person who posted it and respect them or I go off of FB and research it for myself. I have been extremely disappointed with the bias in the New York Times and CNN. I also cannot believe the comments people make. We need some remedial history classes in this nation and NOT that garbage revisionist history they started teaching.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Both the Times and WaPo have been disappointing, but I have long been in the habit of reading or watching the news critically. The same goes for Fox news. Even when they are not deliberately slanting news stories, they are of necessity picking and choosing. They really are not giving information so much as selling a product: news. And as with all products, buyer beware.

    Liked by 3 people

  24. Bob, You would be our big brother, ten years older than me. However, without a birth certificate I still think Michelle may be our younger sister.

    By the way, it has been 80 degrees here in Fort Worth the last two days. Hurrah for global warming! Thank you, ExxonMobil!


  25. I have viewed the NYT and the WP through a very skeptical lens since I was a teenager. However, Judith Miller’s coverage of the build-up to Little Bush’s invasion was an eye-opener for me. The country’s leading newspaper assigned a reporter to the most important story who was ignorant, inexperienced, and easily conned and no one at the Times stepped in.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. There are other press biases that aren’t strictly liberal vs. conservative:

    1. There is a pro-Israel bias. The NYT and the WP give the Labor Party view while Fox, The Weekly Standard and others are the mouthpieces of Likud.

    2. There are urban and Northeastern biases. These partially explain the relatively favorable treatment of Trump in the primaries. The Northeastern Media thought:

    “Trump is an ignorant lunatic, but he is our ignorant lunatic. He lives in Manhattan. He has New York values. We listened to him regularly on Howard Stern. At least he is not a Southern Bible-Thumper like Cruz or Huckabee.”

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I still think much of the free press Trump got early on was partially deserved (who else besides Bernie Sanders could fill a stadium) and partially because some thought that if he was given enough rope, he’d hang himself and leave Hillary looking pretty for the White House. Ooops.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. After I posted that above, I remembered that for sure I’ve had work-related pain: in doing foster care I got scratched, bitten, kicked, hit, and spat on. That counts, right? I also got called bad names and got lice.

    Liked by 3 people

  29. Barry’s time is limited. He’ll be gone soon. Republican control of Congress however, has a long way to go. 🙂


    “Congress is already setting the stage to cut off U.S. funding to the United Nations in the wake of a contested vote last week in which the Obama administration permitted an anti-Israel resolution to win overwhelming approval, according to congressional leaders, who told the Washington Free Beacon that the current administration is already plotting to take further action against the Jewish state before vacating office.

    Other punitive actions by Congress could include expelling Palestinian diplomats from U.S. soil and scaling back ties with foreign nations that voted in favor of the controversial measure, according to multiple sources who spoke to the Free Beacon about the situation both on and off the record.

    The Obama administration is still under bipartisan attack for its decision to help craft and facilitate the passage of a U.N. resolution condemning the construction of Jewish homes in Jerusalem, a move that reversed years of U.S. policy on the matter.”


  30. Trump was a pretty remarkable story, actually, which is why I think he got so much media attention early on. No one took him seriously … except a lot of voters, apparently. So his unlikely and unexpected gallop through the primaries in which he defeated so many other “serious” party candidates was a natural story for journalists throughout the campaign.


  31. Not sure why the Republicans are so adamant against a UN statement condemning West Bank settlements. Many Israeli political parties are against settlements and are for a two state solution including the main opposition party, Labour. Netanyahu and his revisionist Zionism only survives through support of the orthodox religious parties. Revisionist Zionism has the support of two parties and 36 seats vs the two-state solutions which has several parties and 44 seats. The remaining seats are split up by religious parties and Arab parties.
    Strange that US politicians are more supportive of Netanyahu than the Israelis themselves.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. The two state solution while opposed by Netanyahu and the US is supported by about 50-60% of Israelis depending on how the questions is framed. Netanyahu is currently PM in a coalition gov’t with religious parties who have little interest in Zionism rather they are concerned about religious observance and education. Netanyahu is certainly not a dictator but his views on Palestinian statehood do not receive a majority support in Israel.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Thanks, Hwesseli. It’s true that we often make compromises when electing our officials (give in one area because another is favorable). I guess in the parliamentary form of government, that calculation is even more removed from the ordinary voter.


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