Cry Wolf Take II

20 May

This is a story of two villages.

Once upon a time, in two villages – we’ll call them Alpha and Beta – there were two teenage boys who were charged with guarding the sheep. Only one boy from each village could be spared for this very important duty because it was a hardscrabble life – every man, woman and child needed to work to ensure the village could survive the winter. And it was an important duty because everyone knew there were wolves in the mountains. If the wolves killed the sheep, the villagers would starve.

One day, those two boys – in their separate fields – decided to play a joke. They cried WOLF!

There was instant pandemonium! The villagers dropped their tools, grabbed their weapons and ran for the fields. And when they got there, the villagers each found the boy laughing at them. He showed no remorse at all for his little joke.

In Alpha, the boy was severely punished. He was thrashed by his father, scolded by his mother and shunned by the rest of the village. No one would talk to him, his friends abandoned him, no girl would consider marrying him. Eventually, he left the village in disgrace and was never seen again. The rest of the villagers took note.

In Beta, the boy was feted as a hero. Most of the villagers thought the joke was funny – “boys will be boys” – and the ones who didn’t were accused of lacking a sense of humour. He was surrounded by friends; he had no trouble finding a girl willing to marry him. His life seemed perfect. And the rest of the villages took note of that too.

Over the next few weeks, the mountains surrounding Alpha were quiet. But the mountains surrounding Beta constantly echoed with the cry of WOLF! At first, the villagers would rush to arms the moment they heard the dreaded cry and hurry to defend their flocks; later, they would ignore the cry, reasoning that it was just another young boy trying to cement his position amongst his peers. A handful of villagers swapped homes – some thought that Alpha had been too harsh, others that Beta had been too lenient.

And then, one day, the cry of WOLF was heard in both villages.

In Alpha, the villagers rushed to arms – they raced to the field, caught the wolf and killed him. The sheep were safe.

In Beta, the villagers ignored the cry. The wolf ate the shepherd, the sheep and slunk away happy. Eventually, when someone realised that the shepherd hadn’t come home and went to check on him, they discovered the truth. But by then it was too late.

The Alpha villagers lived happily ever after.

The Beta villagers starved to death.

***

It won’t surprise anyone to know that I used to spent a lot of time on internet forums. I still do, although these days I really do have too much else to occupy my time. And, to be frank, there were incidents that convinced me that it wasn’t worth letting them take over my life,

One pattern I noticed was simple. A group of posters – I thought of them as trolls – would target another poster and harass him mercilessly. They’d pick his posts apart for evidence of wrongthink – sexism, racism, whatever – and accuse him of being sexist (or racist or whatever). Everything their victim said would be taken completely out of context and used against him. He couldn’t say a single thing without getting dogpiled by five or six trolls.

Instead of being proved guilty, he was put in a place where he had to prove his innocence. And you can’t prove a negative. This was seen as de facto proof he was guilty.

Some of their victims learnt to ignore the trolls. They made liberal use of ignore lists to make sure they didn’t have to read trolling statements. The trolls who had a track record of this harassment could be banned, if they went too far. But this was never easy. The victim might feel that he was under constant attack, but it was difficult to prove.

Others buckled under the pressure of concentrated attack. They snapped, either leaving the forums or lashing out at their tormentors. When they did, the tormentors used their words to convince the admin to ban the victim. (This is the same kind of treatment that leads to the ‘they’re all against me’ mentality.) The trolls chalked up another victory and moved on.

I see something like this in the constant attacks on President Trump.

Trump has been attacked ever since taking the Oath of Office. (He didn’t get the customary 100 days grace.) Every day brings word of a new scandal, a new problem that will end Trump’s Presidency before it can fairly begin. Every new scandal is the worst scandal in all of American history … just like all the others before it. Very few of these scandals have lasted long, but they have wasted Trump’s energy in responding to them.

Over the last couple of weeks, Trump has been blasted for firing Comey. You know, the same Comey the Democrats wanted fired a day before Trump canned him? Trump was a bad guy for not sacking Comey and now Trump’s a bad guy for sacking Comey – is it too much to ask, really, for a little consistency?

And then we have the suggestion that Trump fired Comey because Comey refused to end the investigation into Russian hacking. I’m no expect, but (according to people who are) that makes Comey complicit in a crime himself. If Trump made an illegal request, it was Comey’s duty to report it. But this is the first we’re hearing of the accusation … what does that tell us? Well, nothing … apart from the fact that Trump’s firing of Comey was entirely defensible. Comey just covered up a federal crime!

The problem with being President is this. No matter what you do, there will be people who’ll hate it. There will also be people who’ll expect you to bring world peace, somehow please everyone and be all things to all men. These people will not understand that things take time, that it can take months or years for a new president’s policies to take effect. (Or, for that matter, that there will always be teething troubles. And, when these people are outright enemies, the slightest setback is magnified into complete disaster. If Trump does 100 things – and 99 of them are great successes – you can bet good money that his enemies will focus on the odd one out. Trump will be forced to spend more time defending his lone failure – because admitting a failure normally means political disaster these days – than touting his successes.

I am a firm believer in the right to criticise one’s political leaders. Trump, whatever his flaws, is not the one who’s acting like a fascist. But, at the same time, such criticism needs to be nuanced, balanced and given with a clear understanding of the options, powers and limitations of the leader in question. Trump can no more be all things to all men than Obama, Bush, etc …

… And, if your sole response to a political move is hysterical screeching about impending disaster, why do you expect anyone to take you seriously?

***

I am not a military vet. But, in the course of my career as a writer of MIL-SF (among other things), I have corresponded with many real veterans who have been happy to offer me insights into military life. I have also read countless books written by veterans, from personal stories to campaign histories and overviews.

One thing that most veterans have in common, at least in my experience, is a complete distrust of the media. They saw reporters as the enemy. And this wasn’t actually a bad attitude. The vast majority of reporters – particularly the ones who weren’t embedded – had a habit of publishing before they got the full story, obscuring what had actually happened. Worse, they insisted on portraying soldiers and their enemies as morally equal, even though one side was clearly willing to use the most barbaric methods to gain tactical advantages and the other operated under heavy restraint. The military took a beating because the generals back home would respond to the media rather than the troops in the field. Worst of all, their lack of context made it impossible for them to understand the realities in the field. The military was held to an impossible standard, which – obviously – it couldn’t meet. And then it got slammed for failing to meet it.

(A couple of reporters also picked up on this attitude. One reporter even noted, in his book, that soldiers would offer him the exposed position, apparently in hopes he – rather than a soldier – would take the brunt of an IED blast. Of course, this might be another crack at troops who had no reason to welcome an interloper who was taking up valuable space.)

Over the last few years, I’ve seen this attitude move more and more into civilian life, both in America and Britain. The media is seen as biased and is, therefore, no longer trusted. Obama and Hillary Clinton had their scandals buried as much as possible, while Republicans who weren’t impossibly perfect were attacked every time they made a gaffe. This worked very well for the Democrats. Any potential GOP candidate who might prove a real challenge could be weakened easily, once he made a gaffe. Indeed, as I noted earlier, one of the reasons the GOP base voted for Trump – despite his massive flaws – was that Trump was the first major GOP candidate to defy the media to do its worst.

“We can’t spare this man,” the GOP base said. “He fights.”

Unfortunately for the media, the internet – and the independent news media, bloggers and suchlike – has undermined their dominance. A lie can still go around the world at terrifying speed, but the rebuttal can move fast too. So too can blog posts exposing matters the MSM won’t touch, from the failures of President Obama to Hillary Clinton’s endless string of scandals. One doesn’t need more than ten minutes on Google to find articles explaining precisely what Hillary did, what laws and rules she broke and why those laws exist in the first place. And, most importantly of all, why she shouldn’t have been allowed to even have a chance at the nomination.

This created a problem for Hillary that, I think, she never truly comprehended. The MSM dampened down her scandals as much as possible, turning her mountains into molehills (and doing the exact opposite for Trump). But, because the MSM no longer enjoyed absolute dominance, the average American promptly did a mental reversal. Clinton’s molehills were actually mountains; Trump’s mountains were actually molehills. And when Clinton had a real molehill and Trump had a real mountain … well … they got switched too.

In some ways, this worked out in Trump’s favour. He was seen as the underdog, while Hillary Clinton enjoyed support right across the political, media and entertainment classes. The widespread perception that the media was lying about him – as I bemoaned earlier – made it impossible to properly assess him in any way. And because the MSM is now seen as lying constantly, very few of Trump’s supporters are going to be shaken in their faith. Indeed, they will see Trump’s enemies as the true villains.

And, in many ways, they will be right.

trump-scandal

The morale of ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’ is simple. A person who lies constantly will soon develop a reputation for dishonesty, which will ensure that he will not be believed when he is telling the truth. And the morale of my rewriting of the tale is that a community that accepts, justifies, enables and ultimately excuses such lying will eventually suffer because of it.

To call President Trump a fascist is simply not that bright. On one hand, it shows a lack of awareness of what fascism actually is. And, on the other, it shows a striking ignorance of people like Putin, Kim Jong-un, Ali Khamenei and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Trump has not gunned down protestors in the streets, taken control of the economy, clamped down on free expression, murdered homosexuals … indeed, if you did a list of ‘evil world leaders,’ Trump would be pretty far down any objective list. It is Trump’s enemies who have acted more like fascists. Attacking his supporters – or anyone who dares to disagree with you – is pretty fascistic. That’s exactly what Hitler used to do.

But the more fundamental lesson is this. The MSM has created a situation where its hysterical claims about GOP candidates are simply ignored. Of course they are. The MSM has no credibility left.

And the problem with this? When a real fascist comes along, no one will believe the media.

Why should they?

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54 Responses to “Cry Wolf Take II”

  1. Vapori May 20, 2017 at 7:55 pm #

    Hmm you really like the mount Clinton caricature
    Well true he is no Fascist and I wouldn’t put him in line with the named fascist or autocratic leaders.
    He is more like a mix between Silvio Berlusconi Lula de Silva and Jaruslav Kashinsky and some others. One could always point out that he isn’t like them because of one thing or another.
    Yes all of those leaders have their good moments too, just like trump does.
    Still he and they polarize and then it’s often a matter of perspective.

    He babbles a lot of nonsense in an oversensitive time, and of course liberal reporters and editors are quite thankful to make a scandal out of that.

    and for Hillary’s Skandals, she was also a person closely watched, and served as a politician for a considerable time,
    No politician in certain positions can be without a scandal of some sort for a certain period of time.

    I checked the last 6 Foreign minsters all of them had at least 1 scandal or massive controversy, if you look long enough. (like 2 minutes)
    Some of them were more liked figures and surly more competent then Hillary ever was.

    For example Colin Powell lied in front of the United nations about Sadams Weapons of mass destruction, since then many nations, think that the US or the republicans who ruled during that time, were the guys who cried wolf.

    .

    • BobStewartatHome May 21, 2017 at 6:48 pm #

      Collin Powell did not lie. He simply gave the U. N. the benefit of the best available intelligence. Looking back, we can see that the western intelligence agencies were at least partially wrong. Others shared this problem, including Iraqi generals who expected chemical munitions to be used against the American led invasion. It is also the case that chemical munitions caches were being unearthed as late as 2007. About 20 American soldiers were injured by these weapons. Typical of the Bush Presidency, these men and women were denied Purple Hearts, several retroactively. This action severely limited the health care available to the injured soldiers. And there were reports of convoys of Iraqi truck entering Syria, a Baathist ally, loaded with munitions of unknown character. The “other side” of this story needed someone other than Bush to tell it. He is our Hamlet.

      • PhilippeO May 22, 2017 at 6:18 am #

        when people in Internet talk about “Iraq WMD” what they means is “Yellowcake”.

        Powell statement about that is widely debunked, and considered to be mistake in Intelligence community. Its White House/Vice President who insist on adding them in report, with several Intelligence agencies in dissent.

  2. Katharina I. May 20, 2017 at 8:08 pm #

    Reading your posts it has always been clear to me you have very different political views than me. It’s actually part of the reason I read your posts – I don’t want to be caught in some internet echoing chamber of my own beliefs. I can respect your opinion, but in this case I do feel the need to vocally oppose what you’ve said. You said that Trump hasn’t been given the typical 100 day ‘grace period’ other presidents get. First I would like to mention that NO president goes completely without criticism when they first take office. More importantly, however, is the fact that you don’t live in America. I’m sorry if this seems like a shallow argument but I do live in the states and I don’t think your not being a resident is unimportant. Everything Trump does in the next three and a half years could have a huge impact on the rest of my life. I’m about to start college and I’m constantly aware that every year more and more money is cut from public universities – both my parents teach at state schools and I’m not oblivious. In a few years I will be to old to be covered by my parents health insurance. Plainly put I, and just about everyone else in the same boat as me (middle class young adults), can simply not afford to NOT be vigilant. Our futures ARE at stake and unfortunately Trump is not a person I’m willing to leave in charge of my, or anyone else’s, future.

    • MAD-ness May 20, 2017 at 8:31 pm #

      Fortunately for Americans and unfortunately for the rest of the world, what happens in America DOES impact the rest of the world. Especially our closest allies (Britain being at the top of the list) and our worst enemies.

      Chris is one of the few commentators from the UK who seems to both recognize and accept this fact which is one of the reasons that I take the time to read his political posts.

      • chrishanger May 22, 2017 at 11:42 am #

        Thanks!

        It’s not something that can be ignored. (Nor is the fact that many other nations would behave worse with the US’s power.)

        Chris

    • Bob Imus May 20, 2017 at 8:49 pm #

      Lining is California, I’d like to see cuts in college funding. Not sure what state you are living in, but not here. One problem is easy education loans which drive up the price of education.

      • Bob Imus May 20, 2017 at 8:50 pm #

        Living not lining… cannot spell today.

    • utabintarbo May 20, 2017 at 9:00 pm #

      The fact that you think Trump, currently, is “in charge of your future” is symptomatic of the actual problem – reliance on government. If people would only be willing to take responsibility for their own lives and well-being, they would have reason to be less concerned about whoever holds the Presidency at any given time.

      Sadly, this seems to have been bred out of our young people.

      • andreas May 29, 2017 at 2:09 pm #

        Trump and any other political leader of any country is in charge of changing the circumstances. For example, I live in Germany, if a Trumplike Candidate would arise, take offiice an destroy public healthcare like they do now in the US, Millions of people would be without healtcare. I would be without healthcare because of some chronical disease. If they would implement a college system like in the US, like 90% of the Students in germany wouldn’t be able to start studying.
        Politics shape the way you live and Trumps and Republicans politics make it harder for everyone in the US who isn’t a millionaire to study, to get public healtcare and so on. It is always good to take resposibility for oneself, but politics has a huge impact on everyones lifes.
        And there are some policis that directly influence you and your chances in life. Defunding public schools is killing the future of your country. From my germany point of view, the US is crazy. In Germany even the Democrats would be seen as right-wing and the republicans as crazy people because of the policis they want to implement or are implementing right now.

    • sjallen343 May 21, 2017 at 2:38 am #

      Firstly, well done for venturing out of the echo chamber. That takes character that not many people bother to develop.

      But…

      Why should you be covered under your parent’s insurance? It’s not yours. Get a job and pay your own way to college. Live in your own house and make your own life. Hard? Not really, just takes persistence and effort. Struggle even. Perhaps spend a few years saving for college and you’ll make far greater use of your time because you EARNED the right to be there. The degree you work for will be one you know you can use and applies to a career that pays money.

      • Jensebaum May 21, 2017 at 4:51 pm #

        I confess that I don’t understand your comment.
        How is he supposed to find a job that pays enough to get him trough college, with an incomplete education? Especially if he has to pay all his expenses, like insurances, himself?
        Also, he would probably have to save all the required money beforehand, cause studying is a full-time job in most subjects today.

        Finally, you propose he should “live in his own house”… I dont know how expensive houses are where you live, but I doubt that paying for one is even remotely possible at his age, without a good job – which, again, he won’t be able to get until he completes his education.

        Lastly, even if by some wonder he actually manages to scrape enough money together to pay his way trough college with a bad job, it will take years to collect so much. He would enter the job market easily a decade older than everybody else, without having gathered actually useful experience for any job that needs a college degree.

        What you propose is simply unrealistic.

      • Jensebaum May 21, 2017 at 4:56 pm #

        *she, not he, apologies.

    • BobStewartatHome May 21, 2017 at 7:32 pm #

      Katharina, if you were “middle class” you would be able to support yourself, medical insurance and housing included. You are simply the daughter of middle class parents, and it will be incumbent on you to take the initiative to better yourself. As it has been thorough out the American experience. It is difficult to get a useful perspective on your life and prospects, particularly as you are just embarked on your career. When I was your age, we completed college in four years with very few exceptions. But on graduating, we found that buying a house was not likely, even with STEM employment opportunities. Interest rates were at 7%, which means the house my father bought ten years earlier at a rate of 3.5%, would require double the monthly payment, ignoring the appreciation in value of any home we might want to buy. And then there was Vietnam. So everything that I had personal experience with was basically null and void. And I suspect you are in the same boat.

      But your challenge is greater than mine. You are a victim of the false reality that progressives have been pedaling for over a century. The notion that the enormous advances in physical sciences would be matched in our studies of human behavior and institutions has not been realized. And yet your generation was brought up thinking otherwise. Some boys behave badly at school. The traditional correction involved a spanking at younger ages, and more severe corporal punishment as the child approached adulthood. You have been taught that the solution is to give the boys a slow release pill of a cocaine-like drug called Ritalin. This is not a beneficial life lesson, and yet approximately one boy in ten is subjected to this protocol in our public high schools. We have been led to believe that psychological disorders can be handled on an out-patient basis with a few costly visits to Psychologists, and a regimen of drugs, all paid for with tax money. The reality is that these homeless people flood our emergency rooms when it’s cold and/or wet, and the true cost of dealing with these unfortunate people is dumped on the medical staffs of our hospitals. Our hospitals practice real medicine and they can solve a range of maladies, but we saddle them with a hopeless task when it comes to these homeless people. ObamaCare did nothing to address this problem, and yet your generation was led to believe that it was a magnificent advance.

      The best thing you can do would be to get a real job, doing just about anything. My kids spent their first year out of high school working, and both learned a great deal. We were very proud of them. And their experience paid off when they went back to school. And be careful with who you choose as friends. If they are hard working and upbeat, they will support you. If they are not, if they feel they are entitled to happiness, then they will draw you down. And if you are actively and happily engaged in your job, you will be surprised at how little you care about Trump and his difficulties. And if your job isn’t working out, find another one. But be realistic in assessing what it is about the job that is unsatisfactory. Not being the boss is not a good reason, but a bad boss is. My best wishes to you.

    • chrishanger May 22, 2017 at 11:41 am #

      Everyone is welcome to disagree

      Chris

  3. MAD-ness May 20, 2017 at 8:27 pm #

    As someone who thinks that Trump is a complete idiot and a pompous windbag I do have to agree with you that the sensationalism and hysteria surrounding his administration is absurd.

    Just as Obama wasn’t truly a socialist (as so many conservatives loved to rant on about) neither is Trump a fascist.

    The fortunate fact (or unfortunate depending upon perspective) is that no single president has the power to fully impose their will or political concepts upon Washington and thus, upon the rest of the nation.

    Hopefully if someone truly evil does come along we won’t all be so fatigued with hearing the nonsense that we ignore it until it becomes too late.

  4. FarWalker May 20, 2017 at 9:58 pm #

    Chris – another well reasoned article. I agree completely. While Trump has his faults the people that voted for him will never believe the mainstream media. That is especially true when the media’s bias is so evident. A recent study concluded that over 90% of the stories in the mainstream media regarding President Trump were negative. When the press is so overwhelmingly rabid it’s easy to see why mainstream America ignores their rhetoric.

  5. bretwallach May 20, 2017 at 10:16 pm #

    Chrishanger wrote: “And the problem with this? When a real fascist comes along, no one will believe the media.”

    I think the problem is quite different.

    Because of the media alternatives mentioned, everyone will know when the real fascist comes. I may not trust mainstream media, but I trust the aggregate of the wide assortment of alternative media that I consume (including this blog, for example).

    The problem is that eventually a real fascist will come along and one side will be so sick of the constant and hysterical discourse of the other than they’ll welcome the fascist and tolerate the loss of freedom to shut the other side up. At some point, as crazy as it is, just shutting the other side up is worth anything, even total loss of freedom. Even death.

    We’re getting closer to that point and once it crosses a threshold, the United States will collapse like Venezuela and that might cause substantial setbacks to much of the rest of the world as well.

    So it’s not that we won’t see the fascist coming, it’s that we’ll welcome him (or her).

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard May 20, 2017 at 10:35 pm #

      Sadly, I believe the line that goes “When fascism comes to America, it will be called anti-fascism”.

      Elements of the Left in the US are already using fascist tactics. 😦

      • FarWalker May 21, 2017 at 12:45 am #

        It’s the promise of cradle to grave government care that the left is constantly promoting. You no longer have to make a living and earn your way. Everything is provided to you by the government by taking from those who have earned it. In return all leftist democrats ask is that you vote for them and what’s the other fella’s shall be yours.

  6. kilowog77 May 20, 2017 at 10:19 pm #

    Is there a firm date on SIM 12?

  7. sjallen343 May 21, 2017 at 2:53 am #

    Not from the ‘states, so their mileage may vary in regards to veterans.

    The problem in Australia is that nobody cares except for on one day a year and that is mostly because they get a public holiday and the pub opens first thing in the morning.

    The lugenpresse is the sole reason that the war of our generation is such a mess. I’d rather shoot them than the “real” enemy any day of the week. Twice on Wednesdays.

    Not mistrust.

    Hate.

    The worst accusation I can make in regards to what society has become is simple. If I had my time over again I’d have stayed at home and stolen cars instead. The criminals here are treated with far more respect than any veteran.

  8. Don May 21, 2017 at 3:17 am #

    Sorry Chris but I have to strongly disagree.

    Trump set the tone of his coverage from day one of his term when his ego could not let go about his crowd size, “Historical large electoral college win” and etc. Why lie about things that could be fact checked so easily.

    When republicans pass a bill that allows internet providers to sell your information(remove that little amount of privacy left and it is not about security but just cooperate greed bill), total climate change denial that follows on to removal of regulations protecting people from lead in their drink water. (so his donors can make a quick buck so don’t have to spend money to remove toxic waste in safe manner.) health bill that is tax break for his fellow rich people so poor can only die or be medical bankruptcy. (Republican go to emergency is bull shit and you know it)

    Work hard you would say but shit happens in life and when you put into the system through tax then you would expect some back from government not kick in the head when you are down.

    Also I thought that conservatives are all for personal responsibilities and I never saw Trump take any for his many mistakes. Just cry that media is so mean to me and only me. When Fox start to question Trump the blog post become questionable.

    What happen to Trump saying no holiday for him and no golf like Obama so save tax payer money but wow so many trips and playing golf. Where is the republicans calling him out on it like they did Obama?

    I don’t see you say how mean the media was to Obama and Trump with his birther. What goes around comes around. Trump is getting what he said about Clinton during the 2016 election. Suck it up like a man and work to prove them wrong not cry about it.

    If this blog posted was month ago then we could debate it but now …….

    When Tories come back and in 5~10 years I can’t wait to see what the state England will be in. (Ireland and Scotland maybe not part of the UK any more)

  9. Anarchymedes May 21, 2017 at 3:43 am #

    But what if Trump is the real wolf? What if he has actually betrayed his country and served Putin, just to get the top job, and is now covering his assets, including the Syria bombing as a side show? All businessmen and polititians lie through their teeth to win; so does the media, just to attract readers. Who do we trust?
    Well, at the end, we, so adult, so mature, so ‘over’ all the emotional mumbo-jumbo, still trust our hearts. People love Trum because he destroys the system they hate, while keeping them entertained at all times. That’s why no matter what the FBI might’ve uncovered, they’ll never prove anything beyond reasonable doubt: that doubt is not reasonable; it’s the faith in the champion. The people will refuse to believe any evidence, no matter how compelling, of their Pharaoh’s culpability, and label it all as ‘fake news’ instead – and again, there is a lot of real fake news out there, so who could blame them?
    I’m no better than others: I would’ve voted for Trump to dance on the establishment’s bones, and now I’d like to see him impeached to destroy his personality cult (yes, it’s getting there, almost like with Stalin). Just funny how desperately we all try to pretend to be rational, when in fact we’re not – and there’s nothing wrong with that.

    • Lindsay May 21, 2017 at 6:48 am #

      What exactly, is Trump being accused of regarding his dealings with Russia? In what way did the Russians ‘rig’ the election? I have seen lots of accusations that seem right out of tinfoil hat territory but can anyone tell me what the actual problem is?

    • chrishanger May 22, 2017 at 11:44 am #

      That’s my point.

      If Trump is not a wolf, then the media (et al) is destroying his career for nothing.

      If Trump IS the wolf, his supporters won’t care because they’ve heard it all before.

      Chris

  10. pkohonen May 21, 2017 at 9:31 am #

    I like your books – please just focus on writing them. Leave The Politics outside of your literary blogs…

  11. Dan May 21, 2017 at 10:52 am #

    Chris,
    You generalize too much. First point is that you can prove a negative. It is the foundation of many mathematical proofs.

    Second is that many vets see the media as our friend. I served in the Israel Defense Forces and every journalist I knew did too. They knew what really happens in the military and they were the best means of getting what we wanted out to the public and past the politicians and high ranking officers who had their own agendas.

    • chrishanger May 22, 2017 at 11:46 am #

      Most of the vets I met and/or corresponded with were either British or American. But yes – what i heard can’t be generalised over the entire military.

      Chris

    • sjallen343 May 24, 2017 at 11:49 am #

      There’s the difference right there, your journalists had served. Ours make it a point of pride to be above such menial grunt behaviour. They go out of their way to make soldiers look bad and find “dirt” to sell stories.

  12. Dan May 21, 2017 at 1:00 pm #

    Chris,
    The election is over, Trump won and Hillary lost, deal with it. Obama is no longer president and no one cares about either one of them anymore. Accept the facts and move on.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard May 21, 2017 at 1:06 pm #

      The problem Dan, is that it appears the News Media and the Democrats don’t accept that Trump “actually won”.

      They have decided that “Trump didn’t deserve to win” and are spreading shit in an attempt to “reverse” the election.

      • Conrad Bassett Jr. May 21, 2017 at 5:13 pm #

        Okay I will chime in here . The problem here is most of you do not live in the United States of America. So your comments show a lack of intrinsic understanding of this country. For the record people have not excepted the legitimacy of the last three presidents for one reason or another. I’m not gonna get into the merits of why these presidents were not excepted . However to ignore the fact that Donald J Trump is not the first president to have been treated as if he was not legitimate shows a lack of understanding and political savvy. If you are going to talk about something at least be accurate. Now to Chris’s point that Donald Trump is not a fascist; he cannot make that claim at this time. The jury is still out as to whether or not his authoritative tendencies will grow into full fledged fascism. What we do know is he has violated the Constitution which is an impeachable offense. Whether or not he will be impeached for it is another matter entirely.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard May 21, 2017 at 5:21 pm #

        I am an American and I don’t buy into the nonsense that Donald Trump has “Violated The Constitution”.

        Note, I’m assuming that Conrad is talking about the nonsense that Trump’s foreign business violate the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

        Too many American Politicians (on the Federal) level have “foreign investments” but the Democrats ignore that.

        Because IMO they are just looking for a club to beat on the man who defeated their “Holy Queen Hillary”.

  13. Stafford1069 May 21, 2017 at 4:10 pm #

    The way I understand the “Russia-Trump” link is that many voters in the privacy of the voting booth were about select the Hilary option, when Putin’s Russian Mind Control Waves on Trump’s command, intersected the voter thought process and they selected Trump!!!!!!

    Also the United States Airforce in the Pentagon have a MAP OF RUSSIA. This CAN ONLY MEAN that the US Air Force is in-league with Russia!!! After all why else would the US Air Force have map of Russia????

  14. Chad May 21, 2017 at 4:28 pm #

    Most of Trump’s political positions are mainstream. The media is definitely guilty of being biased. However it misses the boat if you don’t recognize that Trump is a con man and has been his entire adult life. He is a manhattan democrat who ran as a republican an because in his words “they are the dumbest voters.” He doesn’t have an strong beliefs or positions. He will sell out his base in a minute to make a buck. He hasn’t been able to accomplish much and most of his bad press lately has been self inflicted. He uses dog whistle racism and protectionism to rev up his base but he has never shown himself to be racist in the past and has always appeared to be a globalist. He won’t ever be a totalitarian leader because turning: a mature democracy into a fascist state is hard damn work and he doesn’t work hard. To give him credit he did pick some top notch national security advisors. If he can shut his piehole and run his tweets by the pros he has hired we will be ok.

    • bretwallach May 21, 2017 at 4:58 pm #

      Chad wrote: ‘…because in his words “they are the dumbest voters.”’

      Perfect. That’s fake news ( http://www.snopes.com/1998-trump-people-quote/ ) and pretty much makes the point of anti-Trump bias. 🙂

      The question is why you have to use fake quotes if Trunp is such a lying con man. Surely you could make your case without them?

  15. Chad May 21, 2017 at 6:44 pm #

    Bret,

    You are absolutely right that is a fake quote. It was lazy on my part to post it. I am usually more careful. Thanks for pointing it out before I repeated it again.

    That admission aside I stand by the con man comment. His rambling blather would fit right in a dozen hucksters I have met in my life. If you think he is an honest well meaning man of the people nothing I write will change your mind. However I think Peggy Noonan’s (name may be misspelled) recent Wall Street Journal article was on point. Our Democracy is not his plaything.

  16. Billy May 21, 2017 at 7:47 pm #

    I had a thought:

    Think Star Trek

    Trump = Captain Kirk

    The Federation = Republicans and Conservatives etc

    Democrats = Klingon’s

    Liberal Mainstream Media = Klingon propaganda outlets

    Is Captain Kirk (Excuse me — > Trump ) going to surrender to the Klingon demands coming from their propaganda outlets ?

    Or will there be a big battle where the Klingon’s( Democrats) get destroyed and Kirk (Trump ) comes out of it a super Hero ?

    Get out the popcorn, the movie has just started 🙂

    I am voting for Kirk , excuse me Trump (And I already did)

  17. kell May 21, 2017 at 10:21 pm #

    I’m in my mid 20’s and I live in America and I am a black woman.I will say that many of us in the Army were disgusted with Hillary about Benghazi. We did not trust this political minded woman cause we felt she didn’t really understand us. While others were so happy to elect there first woman president the rest of us just wanted to gag. From the beginning I didn’t take Trump as a joke. I felt like he was a republican that could actually win. None of the other candidates were strong enough or had enough leadership clot. You want to blame anyone for trump blame the republicans for not stepping up. We wanted change

    Obama care failed, our foreign policy was a joke. And Obama was gutting our military. It says something I think that more African Americans voted for a republican then any previous Republican in a long time. And yes the Mass Media for me was confusing and self serving. I hate our current health care. Our medicaid is way too much. As a single adult working part time going to school in Utah. I am paying so much for other people’s insurance that I can’t afford my own. Really a huge chunk off my check goes to medicaid and other taxes.

    There our Jobs out there. Some our crappy but there our jobs. People want more and more government assistance rather then working hard but we can’t pay for it. We are in debt. There is no such thing as free. I don’t hate Hispanics. Many our great people, but in working customer service I notice that the majority of them that come in use food stamps and can’t speak English. I’m sorry this frustrates me. I used to live in mesa AZ near the border of mexico (for you internationals). So many were illegals it was ridiculous. So I understand why so many people are angry with Hispanics cause we just keep giving out free hand outs and it’s the middle and lower class that our suffering. And yet people think the solution is more government. NONONO

    There were times when Trump said some crazy things but I felt some hope. At least during the first 100 days he has tried to do what he said he would. I wish he would consult the law makers more but it’s been more then the republicans have been able to accomplish. But yea the Mass media is has turned him into a joke. His picks for cabinet have been worrying. And he is not helping himself at all.
    The media keeps looking for things to ponce on and he just keeps walking into it. Stop tweeting. Stop using your personal phone to make stupid calls, Listen to your advisers on ways to avoid scandal. It’s been very frustrating.

    I watch Saturday night live were they tare him and his people apart and I just laugh at all you people saying he is a fascist. Hello the man can’t get away with anything. Do people think this stuff would happen in Russia or China? Or North Korea. His legislature is being fought on every turn and people our still like he is the next Hitler. It’s ridiculous. Still I think Chris is wrong about the whole crying wold at this point we are still running at the cry. Were not yet ignoring it. Most of the US our sheep that hate who were told to hate. We believe what we here. A lot of people still believe the media.

  18. Conrad Bassett Jr. May 21, 2017 at 11:31 pm #

    Drake why would you make assumptions? I didn’t say anything about Donald J. Trumps business connections to Russia. If you have doubts about what I was talking about, then you should’ve asked question instead of assuming. No I was talking about his handling of the F.B.I. investigation and termination of the F.B.I. director, and the Muslim travel ban that the courts ruled unconstitutional. These are impeachable offenses as a U.S. citizen, you should know this.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard May 21, 2017 at 11:55 pm #

      Other people have said that those Judges have ruled from their “feelings” not from the Constitution and Constitutional Law.

      For that matter, Congress gave Obama the same authority to “ban entry” that Trump used in those EOs.

      As for the “firing” of the FBI director and the “so-called” interference, that’s not a matter of “violations” of the Constitution.

      For the “firing”, you Democrats were calling for the FBI Director to fired long before Trump did so and now you whine because Trump fired him.

      As for the interference, that’s another Lie by the Democrats and the News Media.

      And yes, I am an American but Trump hasn’t been proven “guilty” of anything impeachable.

      But then, you just keep believing the Lies because you wanted the Glorious Hillary to be the first female President.

  19. Tarun Elankath May 22, 2017 at 9:02 am #

    There is no doubt that Trump is getting a bit of a raw deal from the media who are hyper focused on him. However, he has no-one but himself to blame for that – he keeps putting his foot (which seems mighty bigger than his hands) into his mouth all the time. Gosh – he isn’t a tyrant, he is a raving lunatic.

    For the trump supporters here who appear to have MASSIVE blinkers on – Firing the FBI directory is *definitely* an impeachable offence _especially_ when the firing looks like obstruction of justice. Remember – he has admitted to Lavrov that he called Comey a ‘nut-job’ whose firing eased great pressure from the Russian investigation. If the special counsel validates that to be true and finds sufficient evidence to gauge that Trump acted in obstruction of justice, then he can definitely recommend charges and formation of a federal grand jury. If that happens, then he will loose massive support from the Republican party and senators and the democrats will push for impeachment. There is a fair possibility that this can happen. Don’t take my word for it – even the conservatives and right wing media are nervous that this can legitimately happen.

    Actually, I do believe him when he says he is not under direct Russian influence. However, he has a tendency to strong nepotism towards his supporters – he tried to protect Flynn and Flynn most definitely has highly questionable Russian connections and he most definitely made a terrible mistake here in attempting to obstruct investigation into Flynn by rubbing Comey’s hands. By the way, doing something like that is good enough to get any ordinary American citizen or official into jail. He doesn’t get a free pass just because he is POTUS.

    If the republicans loose seats next year, then Trump’s position becomes much worse. The democrats will want the investigation to drag into well into 2018 and milk everything possible from it. After all, the republicans showed them how do to it with Benghazi and the DNC has now (finally) learned from the tactics of its opponents. If the special counsel condemns Trump, there is a fairly good chance that the democratic base is energized and the republican base demoralised sufficiently, so that DNC can wrest control of the senate. Then its most definitely impeachment time!

    To be honest, the way Trump torpedoes himself so regularly, there will be no doubt lots of ammunition gathered by next year to make any sort of presidential governance impossible. He isn’t going to get out any working health plan (one that passes both houses), He isn’t going to get out any tax plan – all he will do is rave and rant like a rabid dog on twitter. All he can do is lick desperately at the boots of the Saudis for money – the same folks who are promoting Wahhabi extremism and responsible for ISIS. The same folks he was calling ‘evil’ on Twitter all the time some months ago.

  20. john gruchow May 22, 2017 at 9:22 am #

    Fists of justice is out on amazon now

  21. B May 23, 2017 at 10:43 pm #

    Ok I’m tired of being silent this is going to be a multi topic theme so it’s probably going to look like a rant. I agree there is a problem of boy who cried wolf causing people to tone out but there is also the problem of going in the opposite direction and that is people excusing everything Trump does no matter how stupid and trying to make it seem like he can just get a pass on everything. This has been the theme throughout the campaign and his presidency.

    Also this false equivalency that keeps showing up with Trump apologists is stupid as well, where somehow using a private email server was worse than bragging about sexual assault, hiring people who had clear ties to foreign interests despite being warned to the contrary, firing the person responsible for investigating and coming up with an excuse that no one will believe, then after that contradicting everything you put out officially and attacking the country’s whole system of checks and balances designed to keep one person from having too much power. Not to mention meeting with the exact same guys the probe was about after you fired the guy responsible. No one with half a brain would have thought that would good.

    Trump’s problems are his own fault, half of which could have been avoided if he just shut up and let it go instead of whining on twitter every time he has been criticized. Also it is tiring watching people who think reporting on Trump’s issues by the main stream media is somehow worse than the right wing media effectively creating it’s own reality for its viewers and now is peddling conspiracy theories which it refuses to give up on no matter how much they have been debunked even after one of them admitted in court that he was playing a character.

    This whole thing about the media bias isn’t about country or politics it’s about market share, compared to Fox News, yes, everything is to the left but that was the game in the first place, corner a market by making them believe you are the only one they can trust, this does happen on the left as well but nowhere near this completely.

    Also whether or not the media is biased is irrelevant. Even if the media reported everything exactly as it happened people are going to call it biased because they want to believe that it is so even a thoroughly vetted report for or against Trump is going to be called biased no matter what. Trump might not be fascist as of yet but he doesn’t seem to have any clue what the president can and can’t do which is why a number of his executive orders where shot down, not because of some witch hunt but because it went against U.S constitution and that is why the judiciary exists in the first place.

    Also you didn’t seem to be bitching about media obsession over the Benghazi investigation which went on forever and yielded nothing, you just went and said they covered up for her I also doubt you gave Obama the same excuses early in his presidency. So don’t try to convince me that you are somehow looking at this fairly instead of just being another right-winger who just keeps writing about how it’s perfectly fair when they investigate people you disagree with but when they investigate Trump it’s just left wing obsession and cry wolf syndrome.

    This isn’t limited to Trump either, I saw that massive call out of Fidel Castro but you don’t seem to be at all bothered by the dictators that the U.S and U.K have and continue to support no matter how brutal they me be. You didn’t seem to care when he was received by the Saudi monarch who rules a country where torture is routine. You also didn’t care when he praised Erdogan who did end democracy in his country. Castro was no doubt brutal but I get annoyed when right-wingers can’t own up to the real reason the west hates Castro and that he remains popular in much of Latin America, he told big U.S businesses to screw off and he got away with it. That’s why they assassinated Lumumba and tried to smear and get rid of Nasser but were perfectly fine with Marcos, Erdogan, the Saudi Monarch, Suharto, Pinochet, the Shah, Batista, and before they turned into liabilities Noriega and Saddam Hussein.

    So yes you do make a good point about tuning out to someone who could be far more competent at instituting fascism instead of just a moron who screams and cries whenever he doesn’t get is and since the system is set up to prevent that will happen a lot. The main problem with this is that you go and write off all criticism of Trump as simple case of alarmists and obsession with Trump and then you go on and reiterate your own obsession with Clinton and how all that was perfectly reasonable. Just like how Trump couldn’t love Comey more when he was investigating Clinton but when Comey was investigating Trump’s staff all of a sudden he was “nut-job” and incompetent. So ultimately you can scream obsession and conspiracies and left-wing all you want but the simple fact of the matter is that Trump’s worst enemy has been Trump and the fact he never says anything that he doesn’t later contradict on twitter or the news.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard May 23, 2017 at 10:47 pm #

      Shakes Head And Walks Away.

      • Vapori June 3, 2017 at 4:57 pm #

        Simple denial of his claims won’t change that some of them are reasonable if put into perspective.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard June 3, 2017 at 5:04 pm #

        I have little desire to go through the garbage to find the diamonds.

        I’ve heard too much anti-Trump garbage as it is.

    • B May 24, 2017 at 2:44 am #

      One other point, you say that people tune out hysterical stories but in fact the opposite is true. People thrive on sensationalism despite how intellectual debate would say it is stupid and will cause them to lose interest. After all that has been Fox News’ model for decades and it served them very well. After all, half their stories during Obama’s presidency compared him to Hitler or whoever the despot of the week was and how his policies on day one brought down the republic.

      So while I don’t think it is a good thing, the only people who are going to tune it out are the people who don’t want to listen to it. After all that’s why Fox News according to survey’s is both the most and least trusted news station depending on who you ask. It is also why Rachel Maddow is now beating Fox News in the ratings. Well that and the O’Reilly issue.

      So Trump does for the left what Obama did for the right the people who want to hear it become more into it and those that don’t tune it out but the country is so polarized that those that don’t hardly matter because they most likely never believed anything the other side had to say in the first place.

    • sjallen343 May 24, 2017 at 12:20 pm #

      You know what? I’ll have a crack at this one.

      1. The email server is important because it violates 2 specific information security laws. Both of which carry the penalty of no longer being eligible to run for office. In contrast, taken at their absolute worst, Trump made a joke about sexual assault. Tasteless, but not illegal.

      2. The media has been shown to be objectively dishonest and biased in their reporting. If Trump went through the normal media channels, do you really think that they’d report to the entire world how dishonest they are? If so, I have a bridge in Sydney to sell you.

      3. Further to that, the “Fact Checking” organisations were also shown to show bias. Trump said that Clinton had acid washed her server and they said that was absolutely false. Most people don’t bother to read past the giant glowing headline to see that underneath they’d written that she’d used a program called BleachBit. Bias and lies.

      4. Benghazi was a massive cover up. Clinton lied about the entire thing from start to finish. That nothing came of it only goes to show how deep the rot goes.

      5. Comey had proven that he had no loyalty to the office nor the oath. He hedged his bets with the investigation and lost. His announcement speech that he wouldn’t be recommending charges included the charge wording for the specified offence!

      6. Geopolitics. You want to go around pissing off all the people who *might* be able to help fix the world’s biggest human problem then go right ahead. But hey, you know what, it’s a lot easier to get people to help you when they don’t hate you so much. The Saudi’s, Erdogan, Israel…

      These are the people who can fix the Middle East. And by fix I mean to get them to stop sending hordes of people overseas to attack civilisation.

      7. Trump is the beginning, not the end. Do not think that what he’s uncovered will go away any time soon, no matter the result of the next election.

      All you do is act like an antibody that solidifies his supporters behind any real fascist that comes along in the next eight years.

      • Drowe May 24, 2017 at 6:20 pm #

        Regarding 2:
        The media has shown itself to be biased and dishonest, it doesn’t matter if they are left or right leaning, they are trying to influence public opinion in favour of their own ideological position. Right wing media is just as biased as left wing media.

        Regarding 5:
        Comey was widely criticized by Democrats and accused to have cost Clinton the election, whether his actions had any impact or not is besides the point. I’m not an expert in law, so I do not know if she could have been convicted or not, and even those who would be qualified would presumably need to review the evidence first and might come to the same conclusion as Comey did. Firing him while the FBI is conducting an investigation into Trump however is suspicious, whether it’s justified or not. If Obama had fired him during the Clinton investigation, regardless of the reason given, would have been just as suspicious.

        Regarding 6:
        I wouldn’t call Erdogan or the Saudis people who can or even want to fix the Middle East. The Saudis are funding and promoting islamic extremists all over the world, and Erdogan has shown himself to be more interested in fighting the Kurds than ISIS, there is some evidence that he even supplied ISIS with weapons, although that hasn’t been proven beyond reasonable doubt. Turkey is rapidly descending into a fascist dictatorship. Neither the Saudis nor Erdogan have any interest in ending the civil war in Syria since neither of them have achieved their objectives. Erdogan wants the Kurds exterminated and the Saudis want Assad gone because he is not a Sunni.

        Regarding 7:
        Of course he is not the end, but that doesn’t mean that’s a good thing. The current polarization is not healthy, I am very worried by the Marxist ideas coming from the left, but also by the populism from the right. You shouldn’t forget, that Hitler was a populist too, though I do want to make clear that I don’t think there is any parallel between Trump and Hitler besides both being populists. People should be deeply suspicious of populists, whether they come from the left or the right. That doesn’t mean don’t vote for them, they serve as a balance against government becoming complacent, but never stop to think critically about what they say or do.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard May 24, 2017 at 6:51 pm #

        On “Hitler was a populist too”, Hitler was also a vegetarian. 👿

  22. George May 29, 2017 at 9:36 am #

    Recently I read George Washington’s farewell address. 32 handwritten pages from someone who desired to leave politics, political power, and face nothing more strenuous than retirement. And yet, had such a deep love and concern for his country that he would take the time to pen a primer on the grand experiment. I personally think it should be read and studied by every American, and every proponent of democracy.

    I look forward to the day when serving in public office is truly service, when “career politician” is an oxymoron, and the 2 party system is anathema to the American public.

    Will President Trump’s term in office advance any of these desires? Only time will tell.

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