But when Obama did it

From conservatives I often hear the excuse for atrocities happening under Trump that “no one cared when these things happened when Obama was in office.”

On the face of it, it’s a fair criticism. However, it does tend to gloss over that things are happening today that need to be fixed. You can’t hand-wave away terrible things because the other guy did it too. We must all strive to be better people, rather than just fall back on “well they do it too”.

Having said all that, it’s the media here who are ultimately culpable for this. Take, for instance, the issue of children being separated from parents and detained. A horrible thing which cannot be denied. However, the media only sought to bring it to the public’s attention now, rather than a few years ago.

This isn’t a defense of Trump, but an indictment on the media.

Now I hear protestors making small sound bites at their demonstrations that Trump is “imprisoning children” – a provocative claim that is both dramatic and light on substance. It sounds good, is simple to digest and horrifies anyone listening. Except it’s a superficial examination of what is happening.

The protestors don’t care about the children being supposedly imprisoned. They only care about the points they can score to smear Trump. If they truly cared about these children, they’d be at the border or at detention centres rather than in London beneath a Trump baby balloon.

And they’d have done it well before Trump came into office.

So when conservatives respond with “But Obama did it”, it’s not to defend Trump, but to call people out on their dishonesty. These people don’t care about incarcerated children. They just care about getting their anti-Christ out of the White House.

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The unloseable position for Democrats

With the recent nomination to the Supreme Court in Brett Kavanaugh, Democrats are completely deploying their passionate and loud voices in order to not appear powerless in the world of politics. Because I do feel that the only real power that Democrats seem to have lay in the area of optics and spin – rather than actual power.

Each and every Democrat that has weighed in on the nominee for the Supreme Court has highlighted their concern about any attempts to overturn Roe versus Wade – as though such an action would result in widespread banning of abortions; nothing short of an attack on women’s freedoms.

When such an overturning would only really result in the matter falling back to the states to decide.

However, this kind of yelling on the part of democrats is a win-only proposition. By claiming that Trump seeks to overturn Roe versus Wade, and seizing control of the narrative like this, it means that any attempt the court makes to overturn this ruling can be painted as an abhorrent attack.

On the flip side, if the Supreme Court decides to not even go anywhere near Roe versus Wade, Democrats can claim that it was their intense pressure that made the court shy away from the matter. It’s win-win for Democrats.

Such a matter was also employed with the issue of separating children from their parents if they attempted to cross the border into the United States illegally. As I wrote before, Democrats could have changed matters through law, but instead they pressured Trump to enact an Executive Order to change things – a tactic I highlighted as disgusting in the way it used children as pawns in a sick political theatre.

But Trump executed an order, as requested. And it didn’t result in much, other than Democrats claiming a victory for the cameras.

Camera victories mean nothing if it doesn’t result in anything. If the Supreme Court leave Roe versus Wade alone, it won’t be because of pressure from Democrats. It would be be from malaise and indifference.

Democrats need to actually work on policy, and a message to the people beyond “We disagree”

To the defense of Trump

Now that the clock ticks on and we gradually eke toward the US election mid-terms, it is becoming more and more clear that the media is having less and less interest in doing its job of reporting facts. Frankly, it appears that their modus operandi has gone from being self-appointed bastions of truth and cornerstones of democracy into “Get Trump”.

This is where we, as citizens, need to be astute in what we consume, and recognise the media’s operations. Like any decent investigator, we must always ask ourselves, “Is our source of information reliable, and do they have an interest in selling us a skewed version of events?”

Because, in all likelihood, they have an interest. If it hasn’t been obvious so far, then I fear people haven’t been paying attention. Look at any news story that features Trump versus another person, and the photo of Trump’s target is one showing a face of stoicism, whereas Trumps face is contorted into some stupid way to make it look like he’s trying to shit out a tree stump.

If the media were truly interested in impartial reporting, they wouldn’t need to stoop to such tactics, and they would trust that the reader could formulate their own solutions.

But that’s a big fat nope, and now we have media doing all they can to smear Trump in the hope that the midterm elections will rout Republicans from the House and Senate so that impeachment proceedings can commence.

Because that’s the end game. Impeachment and removal from office.

So, why does that bother me? Despite all my recent postings here, I am not a Trump supporter.

I have long held a belief that politics had been polluted by ultra-wealthy and well-connected types who knew how to say the right things in order to get in. They were hyper-polished but ultimately milquetoast individuals who said nothing committal and spoke in roundabouts and fog. They weren’t motivated by actual serving of the people, but rather by their legacy.

They wanted to rule, and to rule for as long as they could. To stay in power, they just needed to say the right things and avoid the bad things – not necessarily do what is right.

I felt that politics needed a good flush out. It needed someone willing to do what they felt was right, and not what was popular by polls. For all the flaws of Trump – and there are many – I can honestly say with some certainty that he’s doing what he thinks is right and not what is popular. He does what he thinks will take the US where he wants it to go, and not what he thinks will get him reelected.

And regardless of whether you think he’s wrong (and he can be very wrong), you cannot fault him for not following through.

I don’t want politicians motivated by reelection. I want them motivated by doing what they think is right – yes, even if i disagree with them.

Because I prefer someone doing something because it’s their idea, not because they think their idea will get them what they want.

And because in Trump I see this person, and because I see a malicious monolith of entrenched power (in the media and established politicians) seemingly conspiring to have Trump thrown out on the most specious of reasons, it feels like a fight between two parties; the ultra powerful and wealthy individuals of an ultra upper class who believe they were born to rule versus, well, the people.

So, I don’t defend Trump because I like him. I defend him because he won the election and because those forces that are trying to remove him shouldn’t be so powerful in the first place. Politicians serve the people. The people spoke. The politicians should listen and try again next election instead of trying to throw out the peoples’ choice.

Issues as ammo

The world has eyes on the US, and in particular there has been much talk of the issue of the separation of children from their parents as a result of illegal immigration.

The photos of distraught children are harrowing and distressing for anyone, let alone when it is whipped up by a melodramatic media – of whom I have been continually critical on this blog.

Of course, a President who was elected for his seemingly tough stance on illegal immigration is now facing a media backlash for the very stance he promised to take – even though he’s executing the law as per the 2016 9th Circuit Court ruling of not detaining children.

But it must be said with the sincerest of Fuck You’s to the likes of Chuck Schumer who, instead of working with Republicans to actually change the legislation, would prefer everything occur as an Executive Order from the President.

This is not a sign of someone who wants a problem fixed, but of someone who wants to use people as political hay.

Why would he want an Executive Order when he can actually change the law to fix the problem? Because the problem with doing things with “a flick of a pen” is that those actions can be undone with the same simplicity. Whereas changing via law can only be undone via changing the law.

Schumer cares not for children separated from their parents beyond how he can use them to pressure Trump. It’s just a game for him. There are actual people suffering as a result of legislation, and he would prefer to get headlines over working with the other side of the aisle to get a result.

Fuck off. People are not to be used in this manner. They are not your leverage so you can forward your own celebrity and agenda.

Further media biases

There appears to be a major culture war occurring around us, and the sounds of battle are in the screeches of modems and the splashes of virtual ink. The sounds of war have become so incessant now, that it is impossible to ignore it. News cycles ring out each day, notifying the masses of the actual and perceived slights being experienced by people online.

The Roseanne Barr shitfest most recently being an example of a battle raging for seemingly ages, with the result being Barr’s loss of employment, dashing of future career, and a complete and utter wipe out of her previous career. Apparently her entire series has been pulled, including the seasons of yesteryear.

While Bill Cosby’s show remains oddly and readily available, despite his recent conviction.

Eric Schneiderman was recently to have found to be sexually assaulting his partners, oftentimes calling them his slaves, and hitting them. Despite this case being a prime example of the kind of racism and sexism the media would willingly decry and hold as an example of the ugly society we currently inhabit, this case seems to have yielded very little coverage in comparison.

Why?

Eric Schneiderman is a Democrat. His behaviour could definitely hurt the image of the party, and it would seem that the media seems complicit in limiting the fallout. Oh, they’ll cover the story, sure. But they won’t return to that well for more water to carry.

The media seem keen to portray themselves as this bastion of truth that is a fundamental part of a functioning democracy, yet when their allegiances are on naked display, this claim is hokum. The infuriating part about this, however, is their plausible deniability on these matters. They can point to maybe one or two stories and then claim that they covered the Schneiderman case, and then shrug and rationalise away why they run Roseanne Barr stories day-after-day.

Perhaps if they were just upfront about their biases, I could perhaps stomach the churn. But it’s the pretention of balance that really irks me. Yes, I feel the same about Fox as I do CNN – stop with the veneer of impartiality when your preferences are clear. Perhaps then I can feel like we can recover some semblance of civil public discourse.

This isn’t “Whataboutism”, or whatever baked-up term the culture-savvy seem keen to throw out as attacks on arguments against their dim world views. I am not defending one because another is worse. I am pointing out the media’s actions on one, and their inactions on the other while claiming to play some pivotal role in society.

Remember; Roseanne had her career scrubbed from today and from history over a single (albeit terrible) tweet. Schneiderman resigned, but his offences seem to have been buried in the news cycle quickly and efficiently. It was there, but no one will ever speak of it again.

While these kinds of things occur, and the media continue to flap their junk in the wind while calling it news, they will continue to discard audiences, losing the trust of populations.

And regular people will see their claims of being “important to free democracy” and laugh their asses off.

Orbiting the drain

Further to yesterday’s post, in where I highlight the bellowing dumpster fire that is, and forever will be, Roseanne Barr’s poorly-thought-out tweet, I have begun to notice that somehow, prominent people have seen fit to point score – like the Activist Journalists they so desire to be.

Will ampersand Grace star Debra Messing was seen making the following observation:

I am not one to usually cast stones when it comes to acting chops, because I get the feeling these days that whether someone’s acting is “good” is often associated with whether the judger of the acting actually likes the actor. However, if I could use this tweet as a gauge of the kind of ACTING that Messing performs, then I don’t think much of her ability.

Tears? Of relief? That someone who made a single, albeit racist, tweet got shown the door? Because that person shows inklings of wrongthink? Get a grip.

But its the middle part that really raises an eyebrow. “Trump’s orbit”.

What exactly does this mean? Well, from what I can tell, Messing is trying to draw a correlation that it’s a certain kind of individual that is attracted to Trump. This is divisive rhetoric to say the least, and it’s the kind of thinking that needs to go die in a well. It’s the extremist view that suggests that if you don’t one-hundred percent condemn anything associated with Trump, that you’re a racist. An irredeemable human.

Did these people not learn how they got Trump? This is how they got Trump. And this is how they’ll continue to get more Trump. When one side is willing to throw horrible labels at opponents, as well as people who are undecided on the fence, then they shouldn’t act surprised when fence sitters shrug and say “Well, I might as well side with the other guy then, if I’m such a bad person for asking questions”.

Did they learn nothing from Clinton’s “Basket of Deplorables” speech?

Speaking of Hillary Clinton, shall we do a quick analysis of the kinds of people in her orbit?

Because let’s be consistent here. If we are to judge people upon the company they keep, or of those who are drawn to them, we should apply the same standard, right? Let’s do a quick look.

Hillary Clinton with former KKK member Robert Byrd. Sure, he stopped being a member, but when has time passing been a redeemer of people?

And of course, the kicker, the man whose lechery kicked off the Me Too movement; Harvey Weinstein, long-time supporter and donor for Hillary Clinton.

What I write here is not to defend nor condemn anyone, but rather highlight how stupid it is to try and shame people for being in “an orbit” of someone. People are not their groups, and cannot be condemned for the bad actions of the company they might have kept.

 

Barred from research

I have written previously on the mob mentality, and have each time lamented how peoples’ errors should not mean that their livelihood is attacked. It is a sentiment that I stand by, but probably warrants clarification in the wake of Roseanne Barr’s bafflingly idiotic joke at Valerie Jarrett’s expense.

After looking up who exactly Valerie Jarrett is, it revealed the shockingly poor taste of said joke, and it is something that cannot simply be defended. It was something which ABC, Barr’s employer, needed to immediately address considering Barr’s profile and the apparent success of her show’s reappearance.

The cancellation of her show was clearly something that Barr’s employer felt was too hot to deal with, and ABC was within their right to distance themselves from her and her “joke”. I feel in this case, it was an employer acting quickly, rather than it being a result of a widespread campaign on the internet to pressure employers to let Barr go.

Therein lies the difference between my stance on online twitter mobs and the Roseanne case.

Barr, it seems, doesn’t seem to be taking the dismissal lying down, after her odd excuses fell flat and did nothing to redeem herself in the eyes of the audience. However, there are a couple things I do find strange, and it may require a couple posts to address the many issues.

Firstly, let’s look at Roseanne’s tweet:

In this tweet, Barr claims to have been an activist for fairness in the US. Okay, fair enough. A claim warrants investigation. However, let’s look at internet search results for “Roseanne Barr activism” to see if we can get any information on her claims. This is what I got:

It would seem that the only information that immediately comes to hand is news covering the recent events, and “Celebrities, activists and co-stars react to ‘Roseanne’ news”. There’s a bizarre repeating of the same headline here. Looking on, I began to search the second page of search results:

Holy cow, there’s a remarkable lot of parallel thinking along these myriad websites. How very, very odd that everyone seems to be repeating the same headline, over and over.

I don’t profess to understand why and how this kind of thing happens, but the result of what I am seeing is what goes beyond oddity and into Orwellian territory.

When news comes out that smears someone, particularly someone who has been saying things that align with “the bad side” or played a character on television who aligned with “the bad side”, then that news is posted again and again, so that all the possible noise you can find reinforces what story that someone, somewhere wants the people to know.

I don’t know whether all these outlets follow the same headlines because that’s what the SEO algorithm uses to garner clicks, or whether there’s a concerted effort to ensure only one story is told, but the result, to me, is as scary as glowing shit.

For now, it seems, we are at war with Roseanne, and we have always been at war with her.