Ponder Fox News


By virtue of proximity and despite two dedicated news sources of our own, Canadian businesses favor CNN. Without exception, hotel bars, financial institutions and corporate offices display muted CNN backdrops. Fox is a non-issue, Canadians shun twisted babble contrary to the fibre of our collective identity. In 2010 while working at a Hilton hotel two American businessmen entered the bar. Immediate disdain for CNN enveloped the room, protestation vocalized as “Communist News Network” preceded their first sip of Jack Daniels. As manager on duty it fell on me to politely explain Fox wasn’t an option.

Communist News Network, a disquieting statement spoken with ease of a baseball score. Right wing America had my attention, those three words delivered a epiphany – dismissive scorn for all things Fox was lazy, conduct no different than knee jerk conservative condemnation of CNN. Distasteful as it might be, Fox loomed as a necessary evil. The only way to defeat an adversary is to know them.

Thus began sporadic exploration of the world according to Fox. Not for the faint of heart, Fox immersion requires fortitude.

Image result for fox news

Tonight, ten Fox minutes was all it took to glean the following –

Democrats are the bane of America. By refusing to work with Trump on issues of commonality, the left undermines America’s future. Democrats are behind the “war on culture” – despite Trump having the highest approval rating of any president in U.S. history, left wing cultural attacks such as Stormy Daniels erode the institution of democracy. Democrats had the audacity to think a sex scandal could crack Trump support.

Trump economic reforms have resolved race issues in America. Al Sharpton is a publicity seeking headline hunter whose appearance at Stephon Clark funeral in Sacramento proves a desperate attempt to fuel racial discord.( Clark was a unarmed black man killed March 18 by Sacramento police, officially in self defense. Clark’s family hired an independent pathologist, that report stated he was shot 7 times in the back and an 8th time in the thigh after falling to the ground )

Hillary is crooked as ever. Crooked as they come for fees related to speaking engagements.

AR15 rifles are no different than shotguns, both fire precisely the same way. March For Our Lives student activists are puppets of bleeding heart Hollywood elites.

Fox commands propaganda. Much as revulsion calls for snickering guffaws, each and every one of us needs to suck it up long enough to experience first hand manipulation of collective sentiment. Trump’s America is a reality, Fox propaganda aims to keep it that way. Stop laughing at absurdity, it isn’t funny anymore. Scrape your mind off the wall. Fake news is alive and well at Fox – experience it, acknowledge it, call it out, demand legislation to regulate it.

 

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Another Will McAvoy Ponder


 

The clip below isn’t new to this blog, I’ve lost count of how many times Will McAvoy’s scene from HBO’s short lived series The Newsroom  graced this page. I vow to post this over and over again. Not for the certainty most won’t bother to watch, but for the slim chance a handful of Americans might take sentiments of a television news anchor to heart.

2.1 False Claims A Day And Counting


Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale’s pursuit of Trump falsehoods began innocently enough. Last September, around the time Trump called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas” , Daniel wrote a column on weird/false wannabe president Trump Tweets. Popularity of the piece prompted his editor to suggest it become a regular feature. Eight days later filmmaker Michael Moore tweeted – “this Canadian journalist, every single day in the Toronto Star, lists all the lies that Donald Trump spoke that day. Shames the US media.” Thus began Dale’s diligent scrutiny.

Being a well mannered Canadian Daniel stopped short of calling Trump froth lies. Benefit of the doubt took ignorance into consideration, choosing instead “false claims”. Today the Star published all fact checked “false claims” since Trump’s inauguration on January 20, 2017. Ponder 337 and counting, an average of 2.1 false claims a day.
Linked below – all false Trump claims since inauguration including a searchable data base by topic.

https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2017/06/26/donald-trump-has-said-100s-of-false-things-heres-all-of-them.html

 

This Land Is Your Land


Yesterday Bernie Sanders warranted admiration and support, today Sanders basks in gob smacking adoration beyond my wildest dreams. Late afternoon dictated a sluggish path home, listening halfheartedly to CBC radio, alternating news, traffic, weather, gridlock melted into rush hour impatience. Without warning, ears pricked as Bernie Sanders spoken word rendition of “This Land Is Your Land” filled the truck. CBC had my undivided attention.

Regardless, or in spite of the possibility this cloistered Canadian missed the memo on Sanders 1987 “folk music/spoken word” album “We Shall Overcome” – fresh ears listened to This Land Is Your Land without influence, hype, suggestion, editorial or preconceived notion. Grinning like a mad fool, it didn’t make the slightest difference that “then” Mayor Bernie Sanders of Burlington, Vermont recorded the album almost 30 years ago. Surprisingly at ease with Sanders effort ( certainly not bile gagging as with William Shatner’s Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds spoken word ), subsequent mental polishes of Bernie’s patina flowed effortlessly.

Donald Trump spews inane platitudes, robotic Hillary Clinton’s tiresome politics beg boredom for merciful deliverance. Social media blisters with Trumpisms, news feeds glisten with fresh polls, projections and “presumptive” nominee dribble. Bernie Sanders indomitable vision of America plays second fiddle to Trump Tweets or Clinton’s righteous indignation.

News flash America – Bernie Sanders is alive, well and steadily gaining on Clinton. Citizens for Bernie aren’t stupid, they don’t equate social justice with communism, nor do they favour unfair taxation. They embrace This Land Is Your Land because like Sanders, they recognize the fabric of America is inclusive. Sanders supporters understand Trump’s “Make America Great Again” agenda is selective discrimination, the banality of Clinton’s wearying sound bites make them cringe.

Sanders “spoken word” has evolved into an anthem of sorts.  This land narrative forms the basis of numerous YouTube videos …..

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bernie-sanders-discography_us_55d64df6e4b00d8137edc0c1

With more substance than Trump or Clinton could hope to possess – Bernie Sanders for President.

 

Woody Guthrie’s Trump


I begin with a nod to https://elfkat.wordpress.com/ for shining light on this story.

Woody Guthrie’s music epitomized struggles of the working class. The Great Depression, Dust Bowl, farm workers rights, trade unions, civil rights, social injustice – Guthrie became the voice of disenfranchised America. John Steinbeck wrote –

“Woody is just Woody. Thousands of people do not know he has any other name. He is just a voice and a guitar. He sings the songs of a people and I suspect that he is, in a way, that people. Harsh voiced and nasal, his guitar hanging like a tire iron on a rusty rim, there is nothing sweet about Woody, and there is nothing sweet about the songs he sings. But there is something more important for those who still listen. There is the will of a people to endure and fight against oppression. I think we call this the American spirit.” – John Steinbeck

Woody Guthrie’s life waits for a dedicated ponder ( for the curious, linked – a biography from woodyguthrie.org below ) – this ponder focuses on Guthrie and Donald’s father Fred Trump.

http://www.woodyguthrie.org/biography/biography1.htm

I’ll begin with a quote from Donald Trump –

“My legacy has its roots in my father’s legacy.”

Post war America faced a critical affordable housing shortage for scores of returning military. Enter the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) with loans and subsides to construct urban apartment blocks. Fred Trump was one of the first housing “project” developers to profit from free flowing federal financing. Fred Trump dubbed his project Beach Haven. Not only did Trump Sr. begin construction before the project was approved, he rented to veterans six months before he had to start repaying federal loans – pocketing an estimated 1.7 million dollars. He also pocketed a 5% “developers fee” and knowingly borrowed 3.7 million over and above construction costs. In 1954 Fred Trump was investigated by a Senate Committee for “profiteering off of public contracts”.

In 1950 Woody Guthrie signed a two year lease for a Beach Haven apartment in Brooklyn, New York. Within a year Guthrie agonized over residing in what he now referred to as Bitch Haven.He wrote –

    I suppose
    Old Man Trump knows
    Just how much
    Racial Hate
    he stirred up
    In the bloodpot of human hearts
    When he drawed
    That color line
    Here at his
    Eighteen hundred family project ....

FHA guidelines included avoiding “inharmonious uses of housing” – translation, keep housing projects racially segregated. In 1979 Village Voice reporter Wayne Barrettt published a two part story on the Trump real estate empire. Included were excerpts from court cases filed against Trump between 1973-1979 by the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. In the story Barrett summarized evidence from Trump employees –

According to court records, four superintendents or rental agents confirmed that applications sent to the central [Trump] office for acceptance or rejection were coded by race. Three doormen were told to discourage blacks who came seeking apartments when the manager was out, either by claiming no vacancies or hiking up the rents. A super said he was instructed to send black applicants to the central office but to accept white applications on site. Another rental agent said that Fred Trump had instructed him not to rent to blacks. Further, the agent said Trump wanted “to decrease the number of black tenants” already in the development “by encouraging them to locate housing elsewhere.”

This is the legacy America’s Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump is proud of?

    Beach Haven ain't my home!
    I just cain't pay this rent!
    My money's down the drain!
    And my soul is badly bent!
    Beach Haven looks like heaven
    Where no black ones come to roam!
    No, no, no! Old Man Trump!
    Old Beach Haven ain't my home! - Woody Guthrie

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/01/new-documents-reveal-how-donald-trumps-racist-dad-inspired-woody-guthries-most-bitter-writings/#.VqEicY-AkwY.facebook

 

 

Hillary Clinton A Big Mistake?


I’ll be honest, Hillary Clinton’s official announcement of presidential intent left me feeling unsettled. The painfully bloated process of convincing Democrats her presidential nomination secures a White House term has begun. In a perfect world, the stuff of bitch slapping justice – American voters would ice two terms under Obama with a heaping layer of – “Hey conservative America, stop pinching yourself – this isn’t a bad dream. Pay attention – the people traded a black Democrat for a female Democrat.” Hard as I try, pondering Hillary as that female arrives at inspiration begging for a new home.

Lacking any basis for conclusion other than gut feeling, coupled with the fact I’m not even American, should have prevented tackling a subject based solely on opinionated babble. Truly wishing I’m out of my Canadian mind, until convinced otherwise – I think Hillary for first female Democrat president of the United States is a mistake.

Politics is a fickle game – weighing probability of success against greatness isn’t for the faint of heart. Compromise is the tough choice taken to assure political victory. Hillary is a household name, she leans to the right of left – a position appealing to vastly more fence sitting voters than a idealistic unknown, controversial shit disturber, Christian morality ruffling visionary or bleeding heart liberal. Hillary strikes me as a safe, uninspired calculation.

It’s entirely possible my naive reaction stems from utter contempt of political posturing. Given a choice between Hillary and any Republican front runner – Hillary looks like a breath of fresh air. If only she wasn’t so boring.

Every so often a politician comes along equipped with electrifying ideas, persons capable of restoring  purpose, hope, and dignity to otherwise disillusioned masses. Obama’s vision of America began that way, I can’t help but wonder if Hillary is a Democrat compromise following Obama’s horrifying slaughter at the hands of right wing nincompoops. America squandered change under a great man – perhaps the Democrats are banking on ho-hum Hillary, appealing to safe middle ground.

If I could choose a female candidate for the Democrats, Elizabeth Warren would take the prize.Warren is a remarkable American – one smart enough to speak her mind, pick her battles and politely refuse Bill Maher’s offer of $1 million dollars to run for president. Elizabeth Warren isn’t boring, complacent or afraid of anything – smarten up Hillary and prove me wrong.

http://www.politicususa.com/2015/04/11/million-dollar-offer-bill-maher-convince-elizabeth-warren-run.html