Class Warfare Blog

December 22, 2017

I’ve Been Dreading This Day

Filed under: The News — Steve Ruis @ 11:23 am
Tags: , , ,

I just read on BillMoyers.com that Mr. Moyers is retiring his blog. He is now well into his eighties and if anyone deserves a restful retirement it is Bill Moyers!

Thank you, Bill!

Bill Moyers has stood for the highest quality journalism for many decades now and his retirement will be felt. This is a time when journalism is in decline. It has happened before but this time seems particularly critical as plutocrats are actively undermining what democracy we have left. Propagandists seemingly abound on almost every street corner (certainly every intersection of the Internet) and quality journalism is hard to find.

Thank you, Bill!

I find myself reading the NY Times with increasing skepticism, even disgust as they seem to be trolling for dollars in any way they can as respectable journalism is not selling well right now. They also seem to be almost a poster child for what “corporate media” has become. I subscribe to The Guardian (U.S. bureau of a U.K. news organ) and scour blogs for more honest takes on current events. The days of Edward R. Morrow, Walter Cronkite, Chet Hundley, Ben Bradlee, and David Brinkley are far behind us. I consider Bill Moyers the last of that long line of inherently respectable and trustworthy journalists. It wasn’t always like that. Journalism may have attracted the likes of Samuel Clemens, but it was hardly a reputable undertaking for many, many years. It seems that the profession is heading back down from the heights of those worthies.

I will miss Bill Moyers, and even though we differed on a number of topics, I respected his opinions as always being well thought out and well said.

Thank you, Bill!

I wish … I dearly wish … that this could be a passing of the torch moment but I see no one in U.S. journalism worthy of such a nod, would that there were.

Thank you, Bill!

PS The BillMoyers.com site will apparently remain as an archive site and for that I am thankful as we will be able to go back and see how many times he and his colleagues were prescient.

 

Advertisements

December 17, 2017

Strange Narratives

Filed under: Politics,The News — Steve Ruis @ 10:20 am
Tags:

I am hearing and reading all over that the senatorial election in Alabama was won because of the African-American vote. Someone took the trouble to check this and looked up the turnout and Democratic party support of Affrican-Americans is the previous few important elections. Everything was “same-same.” Now this was a special election and it is often the case that voters don’t show up for them as they would general elections and African-Americans did show up and did vote for the Democrat, but not in extraordinary numbers.

What won the election for the Democrat was a bump in whites voting Democrat. Substantially more whites voted democrat that in previous elections (no where near a majority, but a significant increase of support in the largest demographic segment, means a lot of votes), which seems to be the reason for the Democrat victory.

So, why the bogus narrative? Incompetence? There must be some political operatives that could have seen a “whites turning against Trump” possible narrative in this and yet, not a peep from the usual suspects.

I find myself still needing to go overseas and to blogs to get news I can trust.

This is a sad day for democracy, the lifeblood of which is accurate news reporting and analysis. (Granted, the “news” during the Revolution was little better than propaganda, but we are supposed to be getting better over time, and we are not.)

November 22, 2017

How the Media Keep Failing Us

The Nation published an article under the miswritten title: How the State Can Make Inequality Worse by Steven Teles and Brink Lindsey. The subhead was “From zoning and licensing boards to bank bailouts, the state has often been captured by corporations and the wealthy.”

I have not read the article. (I used to subscribe but I had to trim back such expenditures.) But I am writing about the piece’s title and the mistaken impression it gives.

For one, why “can”? Why not “does.” There are myriad examples that show that the rules of our government, “the state,” have been manipulated to benefit the elites and disadvantage ordinary citizens. Can implies possibility, does implies certainty.

For another, the use of the term “the State” makes it sound as if some collective institution is responsible for the activities described. This is in the same vein as when conservatives use the word “government” as if it were some alien system imposed from outer space, instead of a stand-in for “us.”

Allow me to re-write their title to make it more clear as to what is going on. How about?

“How Corporations and the Wealthy use the State to Make Inequality Worse”
“From zoning and licensing boards to bank bailouts,
the state has often been captured by corporations and the wealthy.”

That seems to be much closer to the truth. And you can use the same subhead.

The media seem to be oh, so polite when addressing the elites. If this keeps up, soon it will be mandatory. Speaking against the elites will be made a crime. (It has been done before and is currently in use in religious hierarchies).

I hate to bash The Nation as it seems to be one of the few newspapers dedicated to publishing the truth, but if such obfuscatory journalism establishes a beach head there, we are probably all doomed to being citizens of an oligarchy.

 

 

 

November 10, 2017

Boy, I Love Ian Welsh

But unlike most of the rest of the world, China is actually trying to tackle problems, to think decades ahead, to plan and to do big important things. Some of what China considers important, like its expansion of a truly oppressive surveillance citizen which will include a public score for every citizen, I don’t like, but China does big things, good, bad or flawed, while we watch approaching catastrophes and gently hum to ourselves, then check our phones.

Follow the brilliant mind of Ian Welsh at his blog.

November 5, 2017

Oh, Come On!

Filed under: Culture,The News — Steve Ruis @ 11:01 am
Tags:

The Guardian ran an article under the compelling title of “Is New York’s preternatural calm a sign of resilience or is terror the new normal?”

Oh, for pity’s sake. Eight people died on one day by a terrorist wielding a truck. There is no resilience or “new normal” involved.

On an average day, roughly, there is a death in New York City every 9.1 minutes. That’s 158 people a day roughly: this includes deaths from aging out, suicides, murders, drug overdoses, traffic accidents, etc.

And if eight extra deaths are added, that makes the number … one death every 8.7 minutes. That’s supposed to traumatize people in New York? WTF? Terrorism is not normal, but size does matter. Consider the state of residents of New York the day after the 9/11 incident.

Heck, in the U.S. 95 people die every day from preventable incidents involving guns and we don’t care enough to crush the gun makers dick suckers in the NRA. Eight people is peanuts. Come back when you can report on real terrorism.

 

October 26, 2017

Okay, People, Listen Up

Filed under: Sports,The News — Steve Ruis @ 10:32 am
Tags:

I am more than a little sick of the round the clock hyping of sporting events. Every damned Monday Night Football game has a longer pre-game show than the first forty Super Bowls did, for example

I wakened this morning to this sports headline:

World Series: Astros save season in wildly dramatic Game 2 win over Dodgers!

Save season …, WTF?!

Idiots, I am surrounded by idiots.

The World Series is just that, a series of games. The team which entered the playoffs with the better won-loss record has what is called home field advantage. In this case, the Dodgers had the home field advantage because four of the possible seven games were scheduled to be played at their stadium and only three of the seven scheduled for the Astros home stadium.

It is called the home field advantage because the team that plays half of their games in that stadium during the regular season, the home team, the team which considers that stadium their home, tends to win those games more often than not. This is because: they get to sleep in their own beds, eat home cooking rather than restaurant cooking, they don’t have to sit in an airplane seat for five hours the day before a game, they get to play on a field they are more familiar with than any other field (they know all of the subtleties, quirks, and oddities about “their” field). Not only that but American League pitchers don’t normally hit in their lineup; National League pitchers do, so every ninth batter on the American League team has had virtually no practice hitting major league pitching. That is part of the home field advantage for National League teams. (In American League parks and games, the National League looks at the ability to basically pinch hit for their pitcher, using the same pinch hitter over and over, to be a major benefit, so that lessens the home field advantage for the American League teams.)

The home team has the advantage over the other team when the games are played on their home field. (That’s why it is called the …) Get it?

In the previous series, the Astros lead off winning the first two games … at home. Then the games switched to the Yankees’ home stadium and the Yankees won the next three games … at home. Then the Astros won the next two games, becoming American League Champions and winning the right to go to the World Series … at home.

Get it? It is called home field advantage for many, many reasons.

Every school boy when I was growing up knew that a series couldn’t end until Game 7 or at least the “away team” won a game in the other guy’s park.

Every school boy when I was growing up knew that the team without the home field advantage had the goal of winning one of the first two games because … wait for it … wait for it … then they would have the home field advantage. The current series is tied 1-1, but now the Astros have three games scheduled to be played in their home park, but the Dodgers only have two of such games left (they played two of their four already).

So, now the Astros are “in control,” or “in the catbird’s set,” or “one up on the Dodgers,” but if they had lost Game 2 in Dodger’s Park, well, that would have been normal, just like it was in the American League Championship Series against the Yankees.

So, “Astros Save Season?” WTF?

Could these news companies please get some headline writers who understand baseball … please? At least get someone who is over 25 and didn’t grow up playing video games all of the time. They don’t have to have played baseball, but at least understand it … that would be nice.

 

June 27, 2017

The Teenification of Us

Filed under: The News — Steve Ruis @ 8:43 am
Tags: , ,

I am reading “news stories” in which the writer states that President Trump tweeted this and then his son in law tweeted that and…. This sounds like two young teenagers in a conversation “He went … and then I said … and then he said, and I went…”

Can we stop with the reports on who tweeted what. These are not official communications, nor are they particularly interesting. They sure as Hell aren’t “breaking news.”

April 12, 2017

Why the “Mainstream Media” Has Lost Our Trust

Filed under: The News — Steve Ruis @ 8:27 am
Tags: , ,

The corporate media always seems to take the side of other corporations. Another example, still in the news is here.

 

February 3, 2017

Ignore Trump

Filed under: Politics,The News — Steve Ruis @ 12:37 pm
Tags: , , ,

Yes, I am advocating that we do just this, at a time when people are running around with their hair on fire screaming “Trump wants to do this … Trump wants to do that.”

Ignore him I say.

There are two good reason for doings this. The first is that Trump doesn’t have an ideological or policy-driven mind. He has no ideas. He takes other people’s ideas that seem to resonant and attract attention and runs with them himself, but the ideas are not his.

We need to be laser-focused on what members of Mr. Trump’s administration are doing, though. (How that term ever got promoted is beyond me, lasers can’t be focused.) Mr. Trump himself is the embodiment of distraction. If we watch him, we miss how the magic trick is done. Ever second we watch him, is a second things are done out of out sight.

Pay him no attention.

This is the second of my two points: Mr. Trump seems to need attention … more than anything else and that includes money. If we withhold our attention, then maybe … maybe … we can get him to do something for us, rather than his current work for his puppet masters.

It is a long shot, but it might work. If not, you will have the satisfaction of denying him his heart’s desire.

So, from now on, do not use his name. Talk about “this current administration,” or “this official” or “that agency,” do not use his name and pay no attention to his antics. If you do, we lose.

January 15, 2017

Trump Trumped?

Filed under: Politics,The News — Steve Ruis @ 8:17 am
Tags: , ,

The NY Times has joined a chorus of writers on a singular topic: should the recent accusations associated with Russian claims to have a “hold” on Mr. Trump have been released to the public (“Was BuzzFeed Right to Publish Accusations Against Donald Trump?,” 1-11-2017).

I find this puzzling. Mr. Trump was elected because the news media provided many millions of dollars of free television coverage precisely because Mr. Trump made outrageous, unverified, untruthful claims about his opponents and the state of the nation.

So, when were they supposed to stop? And why?

 

Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.