by baldilocks

Just got through with Part One of Future Learn’s Holocaust course. I’ve read a lot of books on the topic; speak German; was stationed in Old West Berlin for four years, and this course is more like a refresher course than a true study—at least the first part is. We’ll see about the second part.

Reviewing what happened during the rise of the Third Reich has always been essential, but this is especially so right now. We have opponents of President Trump comparing him to Hitler while, with no sense of irony, rioting, destroying property and assaulting his supporters. Would any of them be inclined to “review” this history? Doubtful.

But more reasonable sorts—both proponents and opponents of the Trump Administration—should take the time to do this. Oh, not because anything like the Third Reich is possible yet in the USA, but because such a thing should be recognized from a long way off. And you can’t prepare for something you don’t recognize…or something that you misremember.

Example: my cousin is warier of Donald Trump than I am and asserted that Americans are “just as capable of voting in a Hitler as the Germans were.” Americans are certainly capable of making mistakes in picking who sits in the Oval Office, but the problem with the analogy is this: the German people did not vote Hitler in as Chancellor. His party didn’t even win a majority of votes. It received a plurality; the German President Paul von Hindenburg “decided” to choose Hitler as chancellor and thus began the descent into Hell. That’s the short version.

My cousin is very intelligent and very knowledgeable about this period of European history, but he forgot this essential thing about parliamentary elections and about that one in particular.

It takes just a little bit of effort to make sure one’s metaphors are correct so that one is not crying wolf on the day when a real wolf comes knocking on the door.

For a better essay about the absurdity of calling any American president Hitler, go here.

Thanks to Michael Tyson, Major, USAF (ret.)

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done on February 2017! Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

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baldilocks

The New York Times asked me for my opinion about their news coverage, so I gave it to them with both barrels.

As a subscriber to the digital edition of The Times, I became one of the “lucky” candidates to spend more than an hour answering dozens of questions about the newspaper and myriad other issues.

Although the survey is not intended to serve as a scientifically based poll, the bias oozed from the questions.

For example, here’s one question: What three words best describe your initial reaction to Donald Trump winning the election? I doubt that elated sprung to others’ minds like it did for me!

Another one: Which of the following best describes Donald Trump when it comes to “sticking to the facts?”

–Sticks to the facts better than most politicians
–Sticks to the facts about as well as any politician
–Plays it more “fast and loose” when it comes to facts
–There has never been a major politician as devoid (or empty) of facts as him

When the survey asked for my opinion about The New York Times, I was asked to compare it with Fox News, the Drudge Report and Bloomberg News. That seemed like an extremely odd combination. I understand that the news organization thinks it competes with the world, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post seem like better comparable news organizations.

But then I got some red meat!

Question: How often do you come across news stories about politics and government online that you think are not fully accurate?

–Never
–Hardly ever
–Sometimes
–Often [My obvious choice].

Question: And how often do you come across news stories about politics and government online that you think are almost completely made up? Check. Often.

Question: What three words best describes your feelings about the news media and news organizations right now?

My answer: unreliable, biased, partisan

Question: In general, what is your overall impression of the news media and news organizations?

Very unfavorable [check].
–Somewhat unfavorable
–Neither unfavorable nor favorable
–Somewhat favorable
–Very favorable impression of the news media and news organizations

In general, how satisfied are you with the news coverage you are currently getting about President-Elect Donald Trump?

Not at all satisfied
–Not very satisfied
–Somewhat satisfied
–Very satisfied
–Extremely satisfied

Um, not at all satisfied seemed appropriate.

Here are some weird choices—many of which lean toward a favorable review of the media. I was supposed to pick the ones I agreed with.

–There are not enough positive/uplifting stories in the news
–Most news stories are generally accurate
— Most news stories get the facts straight
— In presenting news about social issues, most news deals fairly with all sides
— I’m taking a break from news for awhile
— It is easy for me to tell the difference between hard news and opinion
— I’m seeking more “soft news” these days
— I find sensational news headlines irresistible
— In presenting news about political issues, most news deals fairly with all sides
— News is no longer relevant to me
— I think the freedom of the press is part of a healthy democracy
–Most news is generally trustworthy
— These days it seems like news cannot be objectively reported
–All news is pretty much the same regardless of where you get it
–Most news is reported without bias

I really needed a selection here for “other.”

Here is an example of confirmation bias: Now thinking about news organizations in general, which of the following applies?

–Practice high journalistic standards [Seriously?].
–Objectively report the news [You betcha].
–Provide a service to the public [C’mon!]
–Has reporters with strong expertise in the topics they cover [Paul Krugman and Charles Blow?]
–Are trustworthy [About the same as car salesmen, with no offense meant to auto dealerships].
–Lie or mislead [Finally, I can agree with something!]

Here was one in my wheelhouse: Now, thinking about The New York Times, which of the following applies?

Practice high journalistic standards [Nope].
–Objectively report the news [Nope]
–Provide a service to the public [Ditto]
–Has reporters with strong expertise in the topics they cover [Are you kidding?]
–Are trustworthy [Sorry, car salesmen].
–Lie or mislead [YES, YES and YES!]

Which, if any, of the following applies to The New York Times? I dispatched the complimentary ones and chose the following:

–Does not deal fairly with all sides on political issues
–Arrogant
–Too focused on New York
–Makes it difficult for me to tell the difference between hard news and opinion
–It’s politically biased
–Does not get the facts straight
–Unreliable; I don’t trust their reporting
–Too liberal
–Does not deal fairly with all sides on social issues

I will allow that I was a bit disingenuous on some questions. I said I voted for Hillary Clinton. I wanted to see what happened. Later, I was asked again if I really voted for her.

I said I was a moderate who supported equal rights for everyone. I was tempted to choose one of the many religious options, including Shinto, Muslim, Taoist, Hindu or Buddhist. I settled for Christian since Catholic was not an option.

I accurately described myself as an educator who lived in a large metropolitan area and had a good income. Alas, deplorable was not an option here.

I doubt that my answers will affect the way The Times operates, but it sure was fun to take the survey. In fact, it’s the most fun I’ve had since the day after the election!

Here is a podcast about this column:

http://datechguyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/harperdatechguypodcast.mp3


Christopher Harper teaches media law.

Back in December we reprinted my post from Ladd Ehlinger’s site on the movie Captains Courageous from 1937 as an appropriate repost with the election of Donald Trump because the posts in this series:

serve to explain what happened to our friends on the left who are still pulling out their hair over the events of November

If you look at that movie it’s the image of the Kindergarden of Eden I described yesterday.

At first the Captain (Lionel Barrymore) is willing to let Harvey’s attitude go and offers to make him part of the crew beside his son Dan (Mickey Rooney). He refuses to work, he starts ranting about sending the entire crew to jail unless they take him to New York, disrupting the ship.

Remind you of any group of people protesting in the streets lately? Remind you of an entire generation of children who will have what they want when they want it from their $600 iPhones to the latest video games? Our film instructor is torn seeing a mirror and not liking the reflection, and that’s where one of the pivotal moments in the film takes place.

Captain Troop, with the good of the ship and the livelihood of the entire crew to worry about, notes he can’t risk months of fishing on a boy’s yarn. When Harvey still rants Troop finally concludes: “I guess there’s nothing left for it.” He rears back and gives Harvey a slap that knocks him flat.

Now I want to remind you I wrote those words in >December of 2011 at the time when Obama’s power was still at its height and the idea of Donald Trump being president was about as remote as the odds of a kid falling in the ocean being picked up by a fisherman before he drowns.

Yet here we are six years later and not only is the left still screaming but Donald Trump is smacking them by simply enforcing the law:

There’s evidence raids and/or detentions are occurring, as reports pop up throughout the country in at least eight states (California, Georgia, Texas, Arizona, Kansas, New York, Virginia, South and North Carolina.) ICE insists the raids are targeted and nothing new and denies social media reports that checkpoints were set up in communities. In California, ICE now says it rounded up 160 people, targeting those with felony records or who are fugitives and called reports of widespread raids “irresponsible” and false, The Orange County Register reported. The newspaper labeled the ICE actions in California a “surge.” In George and the Carolinas, ICE picked up 200 people, reported NBC News.

Some of the scenes are growing intense, with protests in California, New York, Texas, and Arizona. In at least one case, the Mesa deportation, the person detained had a deportation order that dated to the President Obama administration.

And they’re it’s getting worse:

immigrant rights activists and Democrats are raising concerns this weekend about recent immigration enforcement actions — though immigration officials maintain that only routine actions targeting criminals were underway.

Fear is running high among immigrant communities since President Donald Trump’s inauguration — and after the recent publicized deportation of an undocumented Arizona mother of two after a routine visit with immigration officials, reports have been spreading of Immigration and Customs Enforcement stepping up its actions nationwide.

And think of the people who are being picked up.

He said the operations targeted convicted criminals, gang members, individuals who re-entered the country after being deported and individuals who had final removal orders from immigration judges.

Those arrested included a citizen of El Salvador with a criminal conviction for assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering and self-admitted MS-13 gang member; a citizen of Jamaica with a criminal conviction for first degree sexual assault of a victim under the age of 11; a citizen of Mexico with a criminal convicted for first degree sexual assault of a victim under the age of 11.

More than 680 people were arrested in the raids across the country, officials say. Of those arrested, 75 percent were criminal aliens, convicted of crimes including homicide, aggravated sexual abuse, sexual assault of a minor, lewd and lascivious acts with a child, indecent liberties with a minor, drug trafficking, battery, assault, DUI and weapons charges.

Because nothing is going to win the American people over to the left’s point of view like freaking out over the deportation of people convicted of serious crimes.

Of course in Captains Courageous when Harvey gets knocked down by the Captain it begins the moment where he finally figures out what’s important in life and begins to grow, I really question if the left is capable of this.

But I’m a catholic and know that with God all things are possible

Even the left growing up.