Closing Thought–02May17

Since the early days of the 2016 election there has been a plethora of shitty news or shall I call it fake news, running around the typical media outlets….and in all that time there has been a conversation on just how to spot this type of news…..that is considering that someone wants the news and not some bullsh*t that massages their ego……

Is the media being played?

Every other month, a major political event is described as unprecedented, unexpected or unpredictable.

From the election of US President Donald Trump and Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, to the growing popularity of the far right and the many outlandish, divisive statements by world leaders, headlines increasingly tend to write themselves.

But should it be this easy? Should journalists rush to cover each and every comment posted to social media? Is the industry playing a role in distracting the public from key issues? Are news organisations handing out platforms? In short, is the media being played?

Here are some views …

Source: Is the media being played? | Journalism | Al Jazeera

Recently the founder of Wikipedia has an idea on how to control the bullsh*t…..

“The news is broken and we can fix it.” That’s the lofty promise of Wikitribune, a new “living, breathing tool” launched by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales that he hopes will combat “fake news” by teaming ace journalists with citizen volunteers. “I’m not sure that anyone’s ever been as radical” in coming up with an idea for “sustainable community journalism,” Wales tells the Guardian, explaining the volunteers will help write, fact-check, and flesh out articles on a range of topics without “chasing clicks.” The site—looking to initially hire 10 or so reporters before its first issue—will be ad-free (and free for readers), and Wales is crowdfunding to raise money to pay reporters. Donors will have a say in its direction, including what articles will appear. “It was when Kellyanne Conway said ‘alternative facts’ and I was just like ‘f— it … we have to do something about this,” Wales tellsWired.

The site uses the Wikipedia model, displaying sources—meaning “you can make up your own mind,” without facts that are tainted by bias, taken out of context, or “just plain … made-up,” per the site. Wales tells the Guardian that Wikipedia itself is “not a perfect place,” but he adds it also hasn’t been overrun by fake news. “If there is any kryptonite to false information, it’s transparency,” Wales recently wrote in the Guardian. A Dutch site has ventured into similar crowdsourcing. An American University professor tells Nieman Lab that Wikitribune could succeed because it’s a hybrid and because of its “narrow domain.” But Nieman Director Joshua Benton tells the BBC that “I have a hard time seeing this scale up” and that “another 10 to 20 people are not going to ‘fix the news.'”

Whatcha think?  Good idea or just a fart in the dark?

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Werewolves To The Right

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Note:  My schedule has tightened up…actually it has become a bit hectic…..between teaching and contract work I am at a loss for time…..I am having a difficult time running on 38 hour days……I regret that after today I will lighten up on the blog posts….instead of 5-6 posts a day…I will cut back to 2 or 3…..this is only temporary….I will still answer replies when I have a few minutes to myself……..please bear with me on this…..thanx for understanding……chuq

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I admit it…I watch the History Channel and its other identity, the AHC, but only when they have something historic airing….I will NOT watch the mindlessness of their reality shows about idiot stump jumpers chasing alligators or the modern day dumpster divers……and  as usual I find holes in their propaganda…they give only a very limited and nearsighted account of some of the situations.  At best it is propaganda rather than fact.

These days many people are looking for reasons why such barbaric groups as ISIS and AQ could come into being….the problem is that they are looking at simple excuses and not the root cause.

I was watching one such episode entitled, “Nazi Jihad”…..it was lame attempt to connect AQ and ISIS to a program of the Nazis late in WW2…the “werewolves”….a very simplistic attempt to tie jihadists to Nazi Germany…..

But first…the Nazi werewolves?

Werner Naumann, Goebbels’s top aide at the end of the war, sent out this interesting message by teletype to the Nazi Party’s regional propaganda offices in early April 1945. It calls on the remaining propagandists throughout Germany to devote their full efforts to building an underground resistance movement that would make Allied occupation unbearably costly. The Allies were in fact worried about the possibility of the Werewolf movement, but in the end Germans were more than ready to have the war over and not much came of this last-ditch effort.

Source: The Nazi Werewolf Movement

The history of this organization is colorful……but it is not the organization that gave rise to AQ or ISIS……some tactics may be similar but so are some of those used by the Great Khan….

The Werewolves were originally organised by the SS and the Hitler Youth as a diversionary operation on the fringes of the Third Reich, which were occupied by the Western Allies and the Soviets in the autumn of 1944. Some 5,000 — 6,000 recruits were raised by the winter of 1944-45, but numbers rose considerably in the following spring when the Nazi Party and the Propaganda Ministry launched a popular call to arms, beseeching everybody in the occupied areas — even women and children — to launch themselves upon the enemy. In typical Nazi fashion, this expansion was not co-ordinated by the relevant bodies, which were instead involved in a bureaucratic war among themselves over control of the project. The result was that the movement functioned on two largely unrelated levels: the first as a real force of specially trained SS, Hitler Youth and Nazi Party guerrillas; the second as an outlet for casual violence by fanatics

Source: Minutemen of the Third Reich (“Werewolf” guerilla movement – postwar sabotage & terror not new)

The tactics used by ISIS or AQ are just updated versions of “Art of War” and tactics used by the great Khan…..to mention only a few….

Yes a connection can be made…..like a connection can be made that the US waqs the originator of ISIS and AQ……,but that does not make it so….this was fake news and even worse…fake history.

Another One Bites The Dust

Trump has just past his first 100 days in office….and there will be mixed emotions on whether he is a success or if he is failing…..

The admin has had a helluva time keeping national security advisers…..the two women from FOX as deputies on the NatSec team have come and gone…..the biggest failure was that of Michael Flynn as national security adviser….he lasted 24 days I believe…then there was Bannon who has been kicked off the NatSec team and now yet another adviser on national security is set to split from the team……

Insiders say a former Breitbart editor with links to the far right will be leaving the White House in the days to come—and it isn’t Steve Bannon. According to CNN‘s sources, former Breitbart national security editor Sebastian Gorka, who has been serving as a national security aide in the White House, will be leaving the administration this week. An administration official tells the AP that Gorka, a dual British-US citizen with Hungarian roots, had been hired for a role on White House strategist Bannon’s Strategic Initiatives Group, a national security panel that group “fizzled” in the early months of the administration.

Gorka was charged with taking a gun through a TSA checkpoint at Reagan National Airport last year, which made him unable to get a security clearance to serve on the National Security Council. The Guardian reports that Gorka’s links to the far right in Hungary, where he attempted a career in politics before moving to the US, had been under increasing scrutiny in recent weeks. Earlier this month, the Guardian reported that Gorka, known for his hardline stance against radical Islamists, had been seeking the role of special US envoy to Libya, though sources say foreign diplomats were alarmed by a partition plan for the country that he drew up on a napkin during a meeting

The president is having a really hard time finding and keeping national security advisers….why is that?

Is it the people that are not experienced enough?

And what does all this chaos in the NatSec team do for the country’s security?

Snuggling Up To Strongmen

There is a situation that has had little press but is a bit disturbing….well to me at least…..

Pres. Trump is snuggling up to those authoritarian leaders on the planet…..and that is in line with previous admins…..the nation has snuggled up with the likes of Saddam, Mubarak, the Saudis, Noriega, etc…..so this is something in-line with our policies in the past.  But is it the best policy?

Trump took office in mid-January and soon met with the King Of Jordan…..an authoritarian figure in his own right……but a solid ally to the US…

the Trump administration — which has defined its top priority as defeating the Islamic State — needs stability in Jordan and a close strategic relationship with Amman. The kingdom is a major base of U.S. air operations for the campaign in Syria, a key intelligence sharing partner, and a leading Arab ally in the battle of ideas against radical Islam. Recognizing this importance, the United States provided nearly $1.6 billion in military and economic assistance to Jordan last year — a figure that represented more than 10 percent of the kingdom’s annual budget and made it the second-largest recipient of U.S. foreign assistance dollars in the world.

Then along came the strongman of Egypt, al-Sisi……slinking into DC…….since coming to power Sisi has become a bigger dictator than Mubarak…..

The president spoke in these meetings about Egypt’s keenness in promoting democracy and protecting human rights, stating that Egypt is undertaking great efforts to respect civil and human rights, while strengthening security and stability as well.

Speaker Paul Ryan released a statement after his meeting with Al-Sisi, saying that “the strategic partnership between the United States and Egypt is essential to securing regional stability and defeating terrorism.” He also added that the congress is keen to cooperate with its Egyptian counterparts during the upcoming period.

Again the US will accept authoritarian rule as long as their is a proxy in there to help with the US hegemony….respecting human rights while throwing protesters, journalists and bloggers in prison…..

Then there is the Turkish president and his referendum recently…..basically the referendum was an assault on rights of the people…..seriously limiting democracy in the country….and Trump was the first to call Erdogan and congratulate him on his win…..

Trump has acted according to type in singling out these categories, too, for his hostility, to the point of calling the press “enemies of the people” and calling for the imprisonment of his political rival, Hillary Clinton, an idea he has returned to from time to time.
Turkey shows us what can happen when rhetoric passes to action. Let’s take the example of the media and higher education. Over 100 news sites have been closed, and over 100 journalists have been imprisoned; Turkey is now the country with the highest number of confined journalists in the world. Many university professors, accused of anti-government sentiments or insulting the leader, have been escorted out of their homes and workplaces in handcuffs, as though they are criminals — which, for Erdogan, they now are.
Not a surprise to those of us that watch the international scene…..Trump has never hidden his love of strongmen. Moammar Gadhafi, Vladimir Putin, and even Saddam Hussein have all come in for praise by him for their decisiveness and take no prisoners attitude toward their enemies.
And now there is one more mini-dictator that has claimed the admiration of the president…..the Philippines…..

President Trump called Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte and expressed his commitment to their alliance and in developing “a warm, working relationship,” a Filipino official said Sunday. Presidential spokesman Ernie Abella said Trump mentioned he was looking forward to visiting the Philippines in November to attend an East Asia summit and that Trump invited Duterte to the White House, reports the AP. “The discussion … was warm, with President Trump expressing his understanding and appreciation of the challenges facing the Philippine president, especially on the matter of dangerous drugs,” Abella said. A White House statement described Saturday’s call as “very friendly” and said the US-Philippine alliance “is now heading in a very positive direction.” The remarks reflect a departure from Duterte’s antagonistic stance toward former President Obama, whom he once told to “go to hell.”

During Obama’s final months in office, the Philippine president moved to build closer ties with China and Russia while threatening to end his nation’s longstanding alliance with the US. On Sunday, three Chinese navy ships were welcomed in Davao city, Duterte’s hometown, by his daughter, city Mayor Sarah Duterte. Abella said without elaborating that North Korea also came up in Trump’s talk with Duterte. CNN notes that Duterte suggested earlier Saturday that the Trump administration should back away from standoff with North Korea to avoid risking a nuclear holocaust that could smother Asia. “It would be good for America to just restrain a little bit and if I were President Trump, I’ll just back out, not really in surrender and retreat, but just to let the guy realize that, ‘Ah, please do not do it.'” Duterte said. “It behooves America, who wields the biggest stick, just to really be prudent.”

Duterte is a murderous little toad…..I do not think the America needs friends like him…….we can do so much better.

For the love of the “Little Dictator”……why are these people high on the “approval” list for our president?

Have an opinion?  Then let it fly.

Is War Coming To North Korea?

No one wants a war on the Korean Peninsula, but that could change.

There is lots of testosterone flowing in DC over the situation in North Korea.  I have talked about what a war with NK would look like if war were to come….and now the question that many are asking these days……

The United States and North Korea are hurling threats at one another. In Japan, the sale of bomb shelters is booming. And in South Korea, a country that has seen this all before and is typically nonplussed about a test or two, citizens are feeling a bit anxious.

Could war really break out on the Korean Peninsula? Could a conventional war lead to the first use of nuclear weapons since 1945? Is this actually for real?

Well, there is some good news and some bad news. But it has to be said, the good news isn’t that great and the bad news is potentially horrific.

Source: Is war coming to North Korea? | North Korea | Al Jazeera

To predict with accuracy I would need the algorithm of De Mesquita and he is guarding that with his life…..all I can say is the rhetoric does not leave me optimistic that an alternative can be found…..but talk is cheap maybe there is hope yet.

A Russian Defense

AS a child of the Cold War I NEVER thought I would see the day when Americans, ordinary Americans, would come to the defense of Russia or anything Russian…..would this fall under the category of “seen it all now”?

Since so many Americans have found this new love for Russia I thought I would post a couple of articles from one of the Russian leaning journals….”Neo Eastern Outlook”…….

The first one is what this group sees is happening around the world….the US many interventions…..is it pressing its will or is it searching for stability?

US foreign policy has for decades been predicated on achieving and maintaining global peace, security and stability. In reality, it has for over a century constituted an overreaching desire to achieve and maintain global hegemony.

And where US efforts focus on achieving hegemony, division and destruction follow. From the Middle East to Eastern Europe, and from Southeast Asia to the Korean Peninsula, US intervention politically or militarily all but guarantee escalating tensions, uncertain futures, socioeconomic instability and even armed conflict.

Source: US Foreign Policy: Hegemony or Stability, Not Both | New Eastern Outlook

The US is fighting so many wars around the world…..this group questions whether the US has a strategy or not……

It’s getting pretty crazy, the warring around of Washington since the Trump Project took office January 20. The question is whether there is a true strategy behind the dramatic escalation of Trump Administration military aggression around the world. There definitely is in my view, and it’s not good for world peace, not good for the United States and the rest of the world.

First, just a week into office, the new President authorized a Navy Seal illegal attack in Yemen’s civil war in which one Seal was killed and four wounded, allegedly intervening to hit the Al Qaeda in Yemen terrorist organization, yet another spin-off of the CIA’s Afghan Mujahideen. Then on April 7, a Syrian false flag sarin bomb allegation, with no independent international verification, was used by Washington as excuse for the US Navy to launch 59 US Tomahawk missiles to try to destroy a key airbase of the legitimate government of Syria. Videos, most faked, showing dead or suffering children was the offered pretext as well as the alleged disgust of Ivanka Trump, the President’s alarmingly influential daughter.

Source: The Not-So-Grand Strategy Behind America’s Warring Around | New Eastern Outlook

There this for all those in support of Russia…..you have a good look at what they are thinking about our interventions and our wars…..

Any comments from the “Peanut Gallery”?