Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 12/17/2017: Sick Of Train Wrecks, Sick Of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside!,” Sick Of Being Lied To. Merry Christmas!

Good Morning, And Merry Christmas!

(and no, my tree isn’t decorated yet. As usual, there were complications…)

1 “You’re one of THEM, aren’t you?” Curse everyone on all sides of the political spectrum who have, by shear repetition, turned the mere act of saying “Merry Christmas!” into a presumptive partisan greeting. A recent study indicates that about 90% of the public celebrates Christmas, not some amorphous holiday, either in its religious or secular form on and around December 25th. There should be nothing malign about the salutation at all, and yes, the polite and pleasant response to “Merry Christmas!” is “The same to you!” or “Merry Christmas!” Yesterday, I received a silent glare and a scowl from a merchant to whom I gave the happy wish, and he was selling Christmas tree stands!

2. Not AGAIN! This is one of those periods during a year when the same ethics issues hang around like a bad odor, and I am faced with the choice of intentionally avoiding them, even though they continue to make news and to be the topic of conversation online and on TV, or to keep covering them no matter how bored I get. In fact, all of 2017 feels that way. Every day now, I have to face a new swerve of the Harvey Weinstein Ethics Train Wreck, and its cultural, ethical, and political implications. (Chris Matthews! Rep. Bobby Scott!). The news media disgraces itself daily in its partisan hatred of the President of the United States. “The resistance” and Democrats (but I repeat myself) continue to unethically push the nation into a constitutional crisis as their remedy for the longest loser’s tantrum in recorded history, and, yang to their yin, President Trump continues to be as unpresidential in his manner, words and actions as I thought he would, but hoped he wouldn’t, feeding the flames of division.

3. “Baby, It’s Cold Outside!”  Here is an article protesting the movement to “ban” (figuratively, not literally), the seasonal duet “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”  for “being insufficiently PC in the sexual assault/harassment realm.” Ethics Alarms called the song “date-rapey” two years ago, so while I don’t exactly want to ban the thing, I am sick of hearing it on Christmas playlists. On Sirius-XM’s “Holly” station, I’d estimate that over 50% of the “Holiday songs” have to do with sex (none have to do with the religious holiday, by design), and I blame “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” which on the alternative Christmas channel, “Traditions” —where every song is sung by someone who is dead, with the exception of a few hangers-on like Tony Bennett and Johnny Mathis, either of whom could drop any second—“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is played every hour, sometimes more than once. Pearl Bailey (dead), Steve and Eydie (dead and dead), Sammy Davis Jr, and Carmen MacRae (both dead), Dean Martin (dead). Writes the blogger,

“But if you actually look at the lyrics, it’s clear that the woman wants to stay, and that her protests are merely for the sake of propriety, and that the whole thing is a flirtatious little game of seduction. In her objections she keeps mentioning what other people will think, not her own feelings. So you might say she’s striking a blow for autonomy and throwing off fusty old custom when she acquiesces at the end.”

Fine. What does that any of that have to do with Christmas? She also extols the song because it was written by musical comedy master Frank Loesser (“Guys and Dolls,” “How To Succeed in Business…”—talk about sexual harassment!), which is like arguing that “You’ve Got To Be Taught” isn’t preachy and nauseating because it was written by Rodgers and Hammerstein.

4. Just what we need…There is now a website, Rotten Apples, that allows you to enter a TV show or movie and be told whether anyone involved has been accused of sexual misconduct—you know, so you can refuse to watch it ever again, because as we all know, entertainment is only entertaining if the performers are a pure of heart as Joan of Arc. It needs some work: I entered “The Longest Day,” and it responded that the D-Day movie, which has a huge cast, had no offenders or alleged offenders. Just off the top of my head, I know of two: Sean Connery, who was in the film the same year he was cast as James Bond, has said in the past that he approved of beating women to keep them in line, and “Rat Pack” member (And Kennedy in-law) Peter Lawford ran women for President Kennedy.

Then I entered the old Hollywood movie about Custer’s Last Stand, “They Died With Their Boots On.” It was also rated as miscreant-free. The film starred Errol Flynn! Flynn made Roy Moore look chaste. He had a well-documented and infamous two-year affair with 15-year-old Beverly Aadland. Before that, Flynn had already been charged ( and found not guilty) of the statutory rape of two other  underage girls in 1942. It’s not like the website doesn’t know about the film: it had a photo of Flynn as Custer with its results.

Quite apart from the ethically dubious theory behind the site’s mission, Rotten Apples is incompetent.

5. “Don’t’ confuse us with facts, our minds are made up.” Part of the endless 2016 Post Election Ethics Train Wreck is the collusion between the mainstream news media and Democrats to convince the public that everything the Trump administration does is a literal catastrophe. This is working: it is a major reason why Trump’s poll numbers are low. One of the more unethical examples is the hysteria over so-called “net neutrality.” I don’t pretend to understand all of the ramifications of the controversy, but I know outrageous disinformation and hype when I see it. The FCC reversed a rule last week,  and it was covered with headlines like this…

and cable news graphics like this:

Both are fake news.

How often have you heard the news media, in any of its coverage, mention that the FCC’s action did nothing more radical than return regulation of the internet to the way it was until February of 2015, and how it had been for two decades? That’s accurate: CNN’s claim that the internet as we know it has been ended is pure deceit, and the headlines about “equal internet access” being ended are contradicted by how we all should be able to remember the internet worked for the majority of its existence. The coverage has been fear-mongering and deception, for political purposes, not for the benefit of internet users.

Naturally MSNBC has been pushing the propaganda, and inadvertently demonstrated how cynical and dishonest the coverage of this topic is. Ali Velshi  invited former FCC commissioner Robert McDowell to enlighten his audience about net neutrality, which he did, but not the way Velshi hoped.

McDowell began by noting that the regulations that were just repealed to anguished cries of doom were not created until February of 2015. Then he responded to Velshi’s argument that repealing net neutrality might freeze out startups by reminding him that new tech companies like Facebook were created well before 2015, and that consumers were protected by various laws from the supposedly looming horrors being hyped by Velshi and others.

“You have the Federal Trade Commission Act, for instance, you have the Clayton Act and the Sherman Act,” McDowell said. “Those are three very powerful federal statutes that kept the internet open and free prior to February of 2015….What Title II [net neutrality] has done, in the wireless space anyway, is reduce investment in the past two years by 18 percent. We need about $300 billion over the next decade to build out [5G] networks… the 1,000 requirements of Title II have created tremendous uncertainty.”

Velshi countered that Facebook could subsidize faster internet speeds in exchange for preferential treatment, reducing competition in the overall marketplace. Wrong, McDowell explained, saying,

“Section I and Section II of Sherman Act and Section III of Clayton Act…you just triggered all three of those sections That would be an anti-trust violation…that was against the law before February 2015 and it will be against the laws of today.”

At this point Velshi panicked, realizing he was over his head and dealing with someone who had facts to work with, not just partisan fervor.

“Look, I just feel like we’re having a really unfair conversation here, I’m trying to have a conversation on the merits of the principle of unintended consequences, and you’re dropping a lot of legalese,” Velshi whined.

In other words, as Ralph Kramden used to babble when he was caught like a rat in a trap, “Humminahumminahummina…”

“The legalese is the merits though, Ali,” McDowell was unkind enough to point out.. “That’s what’s at play here, and maybe you haven’t read these laws.”

Of course he hasn’t read those laws! Neither have 99% of the people freaking out over the issue. They just react to what propaganda agents masquerading as journalists tell them.

“I’m very familiar with net neutrality!” Velshi replied indignantly. It’s really irritating to have your ignorance exposed by someone who knows what he’s talking about. “I’m really not that familiar with being condescended to.”

Here’s the video of the exchange. If McDowell made the same case on Fox News, it would be brushed off as typical Fox bias.

 

56 Comments

Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Business & Commercial, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Popular Culture, Religion and Philosophy, The Internet

56 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 12/17/2017: Sick Of Train Wrecks, Sick Of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside!,” Sick Of Being Lied To. Merry Christmas!

  1. 5- “I’m really not that familiar with being condescended to.”

    Poor Velshi, his ”experience” was acquired shortly after it was needed.

    McDowell showed great reserve by not wishing him a “Merry Christmas;” that may have sent him over the edge.

  2. 3. It would be a shame to lose the original “Baby, It’s Cold,” with Betty Garrett as “The Wolf” and Red Skelton “The Mouse.”

    Two songs that should play hourly on the “Traditions” channel are Count Basie’s version of Jingle Bells and Pearl Bailey’s “Jingle Bells Cha-cha. ” It wouldn’t be such a bad idea to have a separate Jingle Bells channel.

  3. valkygrrl

    the polite and pleasant response to “Merry Christmas!” is “The same to you!” or “Merry Christmas!

    So if someone says merry christmas, and i reply with happy holidays you’re saying I’m impolite? What about happy hanukkah, can I say that? I am Jewish after all. Can I say happy christmas like they do in Harry Potter? Can I say happy festivus?

    Curse everyone on all sides of the political spectrum who have, by shear repetition, turned the mere act of saying “Merry Christmas!” into a presumptive partisan greeting.

    I’m sorry, who exactly made it partisan? Who is it going around demanding that other people must say merry christmas, I forget.

    3: If simple persuasion causes the creepy song to be played less, that’s cool. Might I also suggest a soft ban on all things Kardashian?

    • La Sylphide

      When my children were young and they would hear someone wish us a Merry Christmas they would whisper to me “but mommy, we’re Jewish”. I taught them early that the proper response, when someone offers a well intentioned good wish, is always “Thank you! The same to you!” To say anything in response that might make the well-wisher feel that their good intention missed the mark, simply because you don’t share their faith, would be rude.

      • valkygrrl

        Of course the well-wisher is condescendingly assuming that everyone around must share their faith and even if they don’t , it’s expected to reply on their terms.

        You know, privilege.

        • Except that it is both a religious and a secular, cultural holiday, requiring no common faith whatsoever, as the millions of American Jews (and atheists) who celebrate Christmas can attest. This is a great example of contrived offense for something 100% benign.

          Your complaint sounds very similar to what Scrooge tells his Christmas-loving nephew, Fred before he is enlightened.

          I’d stay away from knockers if I were you…

        • La Sylphide

          Condescendingly? Naively, perhaps. But I prefer to view the world as being (mostly) full of good, well intentioned people. And in return I do my best to respond in kind to those good intentions.

          I’m not sure it’s the well-wisher who’s being condescending here.

        • La Sylphide

          May I ask you a question Valkygrrl? Observant Jews don’t celebrate Halloween. Do you get offended if someone wishes you a Happy Halloween? Or do you hand out candy? And how would one know what you celebrated or didn’t? We make up 2% of the population in this country. I think it’s unfair to put the onus on the other 98% of making sure they don’t say something that might offend; especially when it is safe to assume that there was zero intention of doing so.

          • Other Bill

            “We make up 2% of the population in this country. I think it’s unfair to put the onus on the other 98% of making sure they don’t say something that might offend.”

            That’s an awfully nice thing to hear you say, LS. Thank you. But I think that train left the station years and years and years ago. I suspect “Happy Holidays” or “Seasons Greetings” became the default setting on Christmas cards and verbal wishes among anyone with Jewish friends, acquaintances and colleagues decades ago.

            I recently wanted to send season’s greetings to a long ago (Gentile, as am I) friend I was trying to make contact with again who has long since been married to a presumably Jewish (classic Jewish first and last names, has an MBA from Yale and lives on Long Island) guy. There was no way in hell I was going to wish her a Merry Christmas, any more than I’d play in traffic.

            But hey, Merry Christmas!

            • La Sylphide

              And I think that’s unfortunate.

              Here’s the thing: in Jewish law, it is a grave sin to cause someone embarrassment. In fact that particular sin ranks right up there with murder. Because when you embarrass someone, you kill a part of their soul.

              So I would hope that your friend, whether married to a Jew, has converted to Judaism, lives as marginal cultural Jew, hasn’t converted or still goes to church every Sunday, would be thrilled to hear from you. And the wish of “Merry Christmas” would be received with with the warmth with which it was intended.

              I will also say this: every Orthodox Jew I’ve ever known would receive your wish as such.

          • valkygrrl

            I’m not particularly observant, I’m jew-ish. But I don’t celebrate halloween and I haven’t seen a trick or treater in years. They go to the mall for candy not house to house. No I don’t care if someone wishes me a happy halloween. At the same time. no one demands that I say happy halloween no one gets angry and insistent if I don’t say it back to them.

            • Isaac

              You seem to be projecting by imagining that anyone is “getting angry” at your cold response to “Merry Christmas” in order to claim that some sort of oppression is happening just because you prefer to do a thing that is generally considered rude.

              I assume you don’t celebrate Diwali. Should you ever go to India, where it’s observed by at least 80% of the people in every province, and someone says, “Happy Diwali” to you, would you continue your good fight against the privilege and oppression of the majority by deflecting their greeting with “Happy Typical Autumn Day?” I’m just curious about whether it’s important to be an ass consistently or just when interacting with Christians.

            • La Sylphide

              Be that as it may, Happy Chanukah and gut yontiff!

            • They go to the mall for candy not house to house.

              How sad for your part of the country. House to house is still alive and well in Texas.

              It gives a non threatening chance to interact with your fellow citizens, where (mostly) politics is not involved.

              • I don’t know how consistent that is. I think that era and neighborhood make all the difference. I know some neighborhoods that are dark and foreboding on Halloween because the people make an extra effort to keep houses extra dark with that subtle message of “don’t trick or treat here” (except it’s the entire neighborhood). Then I know some neighborhoods that are well known “destination neighborhoods” for trick or treaters. Our old neighborhood was one, because a considerably greater than normal proportion of homeowners were 30s-40s couples with children. Then there are the neighborhoods that are in between, with a noticeable trickle of kids, but not a flood.

                Our new neighborhood had way fewer trick or treaters than the old one because there is a slightly less than normal proportion of homeowners in that “young family” age group.

                Oddly enough, during my childhood, we lived in a neighborhood that was more balanced by generations, but still tended to be greater than normal in the “young family” age group…just we were all “poor” (or so the demographers said). The culture of that neighborhood I think wavered between “why would we buy loads of candy to give out for free when we barely have the disposable income to have some candy as a special treat for ourselves” AND “halloween is friggin stupid, we aren’t dressing up for that”. So there were trick or treaters, but not very many of them.

          • I asked a guy I worked with briefly (1981) if he was going to do anything with his children for Halloween.

            I was informed, in no uncertain terms, that as a Jehovah’s Witness, Halloween was a “pagan” holiday in which he wouldn’t allow his kids to participate.

        • Manners and civility aren’t an exclusive quality held by “the privileged”.

    • I don’t take it that way, but it does have the flavor of a correction, or a rebuke. “AND happy holidays!” gets past that.

      Happy holidays could have been written about Labor Day.

      • Most people around here don’t make a big deal about how you answer, unless you make a big deal.

        Then you are labeled an asshole, and (bless his heart!) not invited to parties…

    • “I hope everyone has a very MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR!

      The cordial greeting is presented in good cheer, returning the greeting does not mean you’re committing some heresy to your own beliefs or lack thereof. A simple “Thank you! The same to you!” as La Sylphide taught her children is a respectful reply that acknowledges the good cheer contained within the greeting and works great! The point is that it really doesn’t matter one bit what your beliefs or your religion are, the hope and good cheer presented within the greeting are warm an sincere for the most part, how you take it is your own business, how you respond to such a “greeting” shows your respect of others and reflects on your personal character.

      The people that vocally demand that their religion or lack thereof be respected by others and reply to cordial greetings with indignant self-absorbed snottiness are character flawed disrespectful hypocrites that have earned a bit of public chiding.

    • I think context, tone, demeanor, body language and facial expression communicate everything about a person’s response (of course, it communicates everything about a person’s initial ‘greeting’ as well).

  4. I think we might be overestimating the impact of a corrupt media on the masses, most of my current social/family stopped or never paid much attention to them in the first place. They pay attention to different issues that affect themselves and neighbors as a group, multiple ethics/ages/jobs/religions/etc are in that group. So it’s not social justice, but fairness. The hype just floats by most of the time. This group doesn’t care about doing polls on either side, taking or reading, because they have more important and necessary things to do. They have been given different names (silent majority, etc) when politicians and media try to or claim to influence them, but they end up more elusive.

    They are not blind to Trump’s jerk trends, but they can see some blocked things are moving forward for a change and that PC has gone way too far.

    That does not mean that the net neutrality is not an issue. The talking heads, (blaring in a same style as general anti-Trump stuff) again are presenting it badly. It’s really whether people want their ISP deciding what they can see. No one really likes their ISP, they have completely lapped infrastructure providers like electricity, water etc. People once claimed customers don’t really NEED power to live, but how many live like the Amish today? Internet access is on the same path as necessary for a modern citizen, and my little guy email or blog should not be lost for an ephemeral ad. The issues are complex inside the internet bones, but should should ads and megacorps like msnbc and disneyabc have priority on the internet when it was created by and for people long before they got it?

    This wasn’t a problem 20 years ago as there wasn’t as big a corporate traffic and money then. Wild and wooly is fine for a frontier with open and sparse population, but once there’s people there and robber barons and poisonous mine tailings, water safety and access has to be regulated. Many, many small or no profit sites do not have the masses of cash to bribe the isps for equal access with ads for male pep pills or the latest chromecast model. A dense canopy doesn’t leave much room for smaller plants. Access to sites like wikis, blogs, and creative sites won’t go through the fast lanes that the customer is already paying for, but slid aside for ISP/megacorp ads for the latest movie you don’t care about. Regulation for the last couple of years has not squashed new offerings.

    This isn’t the end of the world or end of the Internet, that’s absurd. Regulation will return, just like for water, electric, broadcast frequencies… But it will hurt smaller businesses, the major area of job growth, especially for smaller high-tech startups. It also will make us less attractive for that kind of startups if we are that different than the norm we started, like China and other restrictive areas. We can’t mock the limited access Chinese citizens when free access here of information is taking a hit, as those with major conflicts of interest applaud.

    … And (overplay aside) I like a flirty rendition of “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” particularly Ella Fitzgerald’s. Flirting should not be banned, even if some people say ick, when they’re both having fun.

    • The fact that Trump has actually accomplished a great deal, especially meeting his promise regarding cutting red tape and reducing regulations, and yet his poll numbers remains low suggest to me that the negative drumbeat by the news media is having its desired effect.

      Not to rehash the post, but why do you think the ISPs will limit access when they didn’t in the 20 years before Obama’s FCC put in the Rules?

      On the other hand, the reason I can’t get high speed internet without getting into the dreaded Comcast zone is because Verizon and ATT won’t invest in the necessary infrastructure to make it available in Northern Virginia. I have it on good authority that once the 2015 rule is gone, one or both will, meaning I will have better internet access, not worse. Right now, for example, I can’t download a video blog post—my internet is too slow. My net freedom is LIMITED by “net neutrality.”

      • Other Bill

        The media has very successfully turned my bright, easy going son into an idiot when it comes to Trump and Russia. Which is very disheartening personally and not a good canary in the coal mine socially. Just a single data point but a very large one, at least to me. “Net neutrality” hasn’t come up but I’m sure he’s outraged about that as well.

        • Other Bill

          And speaking of fake news and being lied to, why does the media care about whether Roy Moore has or hasn’t conceded to Jones. Moore’s concession is irrelevant. I think the media is sad to see Moore go.

          • Hillary often sounds as if she hasn’t conceded to Trump…

          • valkygrrl

            Not sure why they care about a concession or not. Either Alabama law will allow for a recount or it won’t. (I don’t think it does but that’s based on news reporting) Unless Moore takes steps to prevent Jones from being seated, there’s a whole bunch of nothing to see here.

            I do have a question in a similar vein. Does Strange get to keep voting until Jones shows up or does he stop being a senator as soon as the vote is certified?

            • Easy: he’s the Senator until the new Senator is sworn in, next year. Just as Obama was the President for more than two months after Trump was elected.

              • valkygrrl

                Obama had a set term, he wasn’t a placeholder.

                • Irrelevant. Strange is a placeholder until Jones’ term starts.

                  • valkygrrl

                    Yeah see that’s the question. Jones’ term hasn’t started, Strange is a lame duck but he has the right and obligation to vote in what he see’s as Alabama’s interest. Once Jones is certified though does Strange have the right to cast votes in between that time and when Mitch McConnal sees fit to seat Jones?

                    It seems to me that Jones’ term would start the moment he’s credentialed the same way a president’s term starts at noon and the outgoing president loses all authority even though the actual oath of office may not happen for five or ten more minutes.

                    • The term ends January 3rd, hell or high water. I don’t think it’s necessary for McConnell to actually seat Jones, but even if it were, that’s Strange’s dead-date.

                    • valkygrrl

                      That’s for a different class of senators, Jeff Sessions’ term ends in 2021.

                      McConnell can’t refuse to seat Jones but he is the type who would delay it if he could get away with it.

                • He seemed like a placeholder.

    • Chris marschner

      You are equating ISP’s with major telco firms that connect ISP’s to fiber networks operated by ATT, Sprint, and a few others. Anyone can become an ISP but very few if any but the largest fiber carriers can can maintain global networks.

      If I buy bandwith and start selling/leasing IP addresses and the big carriers start throttling my contracted speed then they would be in violation of my TOS agreement. If it can be proven that they ATT, et al are creating an unfair competitive environment to eliminate competition the FTC can bring antitrust charges against them.

      I find it odd that no one is complaining about the concentration of content ownership at Disney or Time Warner. That is where monopolization of valuable content is taking place.

      The focus should be on the ownership of content not on the mechanism of transmission. Disney just bought all of Fox’s entertainment businesses. What happens when they decide that if you want that entertainment you must also buy other content you don’t want and they also refuse to license that content to other providers. It wont matter if they throttle the consumer’s speed or not they just withold it.

      Internet access and data speed is not the issue. The monopolization of currently valuable content is. Fortunately, anyone who is creative and ambitious can create valuable content. Hulu Netflix all originated before 2015 so someone will simply aggregate content unless the few owners deny them the right to license it.

    • My key takeaway from determining this Net Neutrality:

      1) progressives are literally behaving like this is the end of the world. They only do this when their handlers from above have told them to. The fact that they are freaking out disproportionately to this is evidence enough that the Left desperately needs net neutrality for something. If he Left likes it…there’s an 85-90% chance it isn’t good for America or the free market or liberty.

      Yep, that’s right folks, the Left has done enough to show us its cards, that as long as we know the Left wants it, it probably isn’t good for us.

      2) Big corporations are actually coming out against the move of Ajit Pai. Big corporations. If Net Neutrality is supposedly good for the little guys, why on earth would bug dogs who like stifling competition be for it?

      (Oooo! I know! It’s because Net Neutrality actually imposes on the market in ways that give a leg up to the big dogs)

    • Chris marschner

      Keep in mind streaming video requires megabandwith while wiki, blogs and text based data transfers do not. Movies are data transmission hogs.

      The idea that hightech startups will be unable to compete is questionable. How can the ISP throttle data transfers between two biotech collaborators or videoconferencing among global offices of a firm if the TOS specifies minimum transfer rates.

      One must also consider throughput is limited by the slowest link. My router can’t handle 1 gig speed but will get close. Further if I want to lease an OC 48 line to give me a 10G pipe I can push out up to the limit of the pipe. For most people the hype about FIOS or other gig speeds surround the ability to watch entertainment content not for knowledge development.

      Once, Disney,ABC and others push content out at a rate sufficient to create a quality experience then and only then will your ISP’s TOS limit your speed.

      Sure, ATT may give Direct TV subscribers deals so what they have been doing that for years. So has Verizon and Comcast. There is nothing wrong with lowering consumer prices. That is public policy. Where has the outrage been when some communities have only 1 ISP or cable firm.

      I really don’t consider Hulu, Netflix, Facebook and other media platforms “hi-tech”. They use technology but for the most part they just transmit information not create it. I would venture a guess that large manufacturing operations develop and employ higher technologies than any content provider.

    • mariedowd wrote, “I think we might be overestimating the impact of a corrupt media on the masses, most of my current social/family stopped or never paid much attention to them in the first place.”

      Marie,
      I honestly think you’re truly underestimating the impact of propaganda from the media on the masses. Your current social/family may not pay much direct attention to the media but that in itself does not isolate you or them from the indirect effects of the media. Where does your current social/family get their direct information from; how are those direct sources directly/indirectly effected by propaganda from the media? The point is that you cannot completely isolate yourself from the indirect effects of propaganda from the media by not reading the news paper, reading internet news sources, or turning off the TV, the only way is to isolate yourself from media propaganda is to isolate yourself from society as a whole – become an actual hermit.

      Media propaganda is a malignant cancer that infects all aspects of the lives it touches, regardless of whether that infection is the result of direct or indirect contact; you simply cannot stop the tentacles of propaganda from effecting society. Propaganda directly and indirectly targets motivation and it’s usually concocted in a devious manner to trigger negative motivation. Motivation isn’t optional; everyone is motivated to do nothing or to do something, either negatively or positively.

      • The current evidence is the unpopularity of the tax bill, which is only unpopular because the news media has been repeating Democratic Party talking points. Nobody, literally nobody, actually knows with any certainty whether the bill is “good” or “bad.”

        • Jack Marshall wrote, “Nobody, literally nobody, actually knows with any certainty whether the bill is “good” or “bad.” “

          That’s not what I hear in my circle of life; I’m generally told that it’s bad because bad people created it, they are absolutely certain of it.

          Last night where I tutor kids, one lady that doesn’t know a damn thing about the tax bill – I mean absolutely nothing, I asked – actually said that it’s bad because they’re racists undoing what Obama did; yup that was her only logic. Do you wanna know what the affirmative reactions from the others in the room sounded like, well it sounded like one of those choreographed movie characterizations of a preacher and his congregation in a southern baptist church; these people never fail to show off their hive minds.

  5. 3- ”Christmas Carols For Those Fighting The Patriarchy.”

    Instead of <hymns, let’s call ’em HYRRS!

    And instead of “Deck The Halls,” it should be “Kick The Balls!”

    http://www.diogenesmiddlefinger.com/2017/12/christmas-carols-for-those-fighting.html

  6. A.M. Golden

    Jack, I wish McDowell would have responded the same way you suggested that Herman Cain should have responded when his interviewer decided to take an answer personally. This interview was not about Velshi’s feelings, but he decided to make it all about himself. McDowell should have pointed out that Velshi was getting rather defensive for an interview that was supposed to be about facts and, if Velshi couldn’t handle the facts, perhaps he should’ve checked his biases at the door or handed the interview over to someone who didn’t expect his guest to follow the script that required him to trash the President and his administration.

  7. Rob Palmer

    I’ve never met someone who was personally offended by “Merry Christmas,” only people who told me I shouldn’t say it because someone else might be offended by it. Who are these other easily-offended people we must always watch our speech around? It will forever be a mystery.

    Personally, the Christmas song I can’t stand and wish would die is “Wonderful Christmastime.”

  8. joed68

    Wow! What an arrogant jerk, and a sore loser! Is his point that the little guys will get squeezed out despite the preexisting laws (so he thinks that some legal redundancy will remedy that?), or that he doesn’t believe those 3 laws exist?

  9. 2. Come on Jack, we know that Chris Matthews only gets tingles up his leg for Obama.

  10. “Sick Of Train Wrecks, Sick Of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside!,” Sick Of Being Lied To.”

    Sick of this? sick of that? There are so many things to be sick of!

    What I’m really sick of is feeling sick and tired of being sick and tired because nothing in our society seems to change for the better, all our societal changes seem to be heading towards division, hate, chaos, instability, etc. Society is changing but it’s heading the wrong damn way.

  11. Jack, the Christmas Lights in the picture should be lit, regardless that they are unplugged. It is like you WANT your son to be trapped in the Upside-Down (#strangerthings) Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year

    1. This is an issue that even our local schools started to dabble in… until concerned parents started questioning the motives. The pendulum is swinging back in Texas. There are even fewer lawsuits in Texas over Christmas expression this year, I heard, as many of the old ones were slapped down (and counter suits filed to pay the bills)

    2. ‘longest loser’s tantrum in recorded history…’ I like that. “Elections have consequences.” -B.H. Obama

    3. Virtue Signalling that is backfiring on the progressives, like many such efforts recently. People are waking up, and are fed up with the constant bullying from the left. Don’t like the song? Change the station, moron!

    4. Jack, they are not interested in consistency, just in ostracizing selected targets. The sex scandal harpies only have so much time to gin up false outrage, you know, so we need to focus on bang for the buck.

    5. (Full Disclosure: I work for a small ISP/bandwidth provider) We were kept in check long before Obama’s Internet power grab, by the things already mentioned here. This was about using rules from the 1940s to apply the Fairness Doctrine to 21st century technology. The ‘Fake News’ drumbeat was supposed to play into this: ‘we need rules about what content is allowed’ was what the entire Russia/Fake News combined narratives were originally about. These have now both backfired on progressives, and the repercussions are only beginning. The current NN outrage is because now they have to show the need for the new law once they return to power, after everyone sees that the Internet does not explode upon a repealed executive rule.

    The rule was a tool of oppression, plain and simple. In addition, selective applications of the rules will allow partisan choice of winners and losers (one reason big companies with deep pockets are for it) in the marketplace.

  12. On “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”, I still haven’t heard it on our local station. But I haven’t listened as much and I still have yet to do the spreadsheet.

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