*uck The Tuck

*uck The Tuck

Tucker Carlson started out as a bowtie preppie pundit on CNN

*uck The Tuck

By D. S. Mitchell

Remember When

I remember when Tucker Carlson was a bowtie preppie pundit on CNN and then later on MSNBC. This was when he was at least a semi-accurate, semi-reputable, semi-serious, semi-cautious journalist, that appeared to crave authenticity and most of all respectability. Truthfully since his move to Fox News(sic) I feel as though I have been watching the making of the Republican Darth Vader.  Anakin Skywalker, lured to the dark side, is now in his full power bending the minds of Americans and directing the guns of his Death Star at the foundations of American democratic thought every night at 8 pm.

Outrage-Driven Commentary

The Tuckster has turned deranged populism, hate spewing madness, irreverent contempt for decency, white outrage, racial grievance, and aggressive nastiness, into a combustive cocktail for his audience of over 3 million devoted followers. Whatever the topic may be-crime, ‘defund the police’, BLM, immigration, race, vaccines, education, health care, or the Democrats, Carlson uses it as fuel for his outrage-driven commentary. Red meat to the masses. Fox News is the Roman Coliseum of today.

Red Meat Culture

Carlson is a product of wealth and privilege. Some might call him a boarding school elitist. His racism and homophobia near legendary. He has always been a bomb thrower and a pompous ass, but over the last decade at Fox he has given up any pretense of journalism and his schtick has devolved into open senseless cruelty. After a visit to Iraq Carlson is reputed to have said, “it’s a crappy place filled with a bunch of, you known, semi-illiterate monkeys.” He has famously called women both “whores” and “pigs.”

A Change Overcomes Him

Tucker Carlson is now approaching five years as host of his hugely popular nightly political talk show, ‘Tucker Carlson, Tonight.’  His stint of peddling bullshit on Fox seems to have self-radicalized the man.  Whatever the topic he offers, he’s pissed off about it, and so should you be, he tells his audience.

Strongman Support

Whether it is vaccine skepticism, white nationalism, or his increased support of anti-democratic right-wing regimes around the world, Carlson is all about being an entitled white man. He recently wasted a week embracing and promoting Hungarian strongman, Viktor Orban. Even I have been amazed at Tuck’s open love affair with authoritarianism.  Of course it is white male authoritarianism he likes and supports, certainly not black,  brown, or female (ha, ha) dictators.

Are Tuck’s Questions Really Legitimate?

Carlson uses his platform to portray his bad faith attacks as honest, good faith inquiries. He sounds alarm bells over issues of fact under the guise of asking legitimate questions. There are answers to his questions, but Carlson suggests there are not. Conspiracy theories fill the ether as well as outright lies. Tucker, like Hannity has grown fat and bloated, continually sneering at liberal democracy as the seed of our destruction. He focuses on culture war stories that fuel the Republican base. Tucker Carlson is certainly the best the extremist right has to fan the fires of Trumpism and righteous Americana outrage.

Carlson’s Message

Tucker Carlson’s message is simple and he does not hesitate to play it over and over. The existential future of America is at stake. At the heart of the matter is the doomsday scenario painted by the right wing media.  Tucker Carlson believes America is on the verge of being lost, because old white men might lose political power in the United States. I’d say to Tucker, “about time.”

https://www.calamitypolitics.com/2021/08/21/opinion-fox-news-and-its-shameless-bias/

“Fox News” and Shameless Bias

“Fox News” and Shameless Bias

“FOX NEWS” and Shameless Bias

“You see, the truth is Murdoch has become a cancer – an arrogant cancer – on our democracy,” K. Rudd,  former Australian PM

OPINION:

“Fox News” and Shameless Bias

D. S. Mitchell

“An Arrogant Cancer”

A democracy is dependent of diverse, reliable, independent, and accurate information. Kevin Rudd a former Australian prime minister has described Rupert Murdoch’s monopoly of Australia’s media as a “cancer on democracy,” that effectively serves “to chill free speech and undermine debate.” Mr. Rudd continued, “Murdoch has become a cancer – an arrogant cancer – on our democracy,” adding that over the past decade Murdoch has “viciously” campaigned against democracy in support of right wing, white  nationalism.

Politically Polarized and Manipulated News

The effect of Murdoch’s philosophy and his powerful media presence is not only effecting Australia, the UK but also the good ol USA, where media ownership has become increasingly concentrated in the hands of the few. The end result has been that Murdoch has deliberately encouraged politically polarized rhetoric and manipulated news for his own agenda.

Enemies In the Crosshairs
Rupert Murdoch through his company News Corp uses its power as a media Goliath to routinely attack his enemies whether it be in business or politics.  Murdoch uses his billions in wealth and power derived from that wealth as a media cudgel to “attack opponents in business and politics by blending editorial opinion with news reporting,” alleging that, as a result, those “who hold contrary views have felt intimidated into silence.”
Typical Strategy
This is very similar to what we see in the United States with Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity and the Tuck.  According to Rudd, Murdoch with the strength of his cable viewing audience seeks “to maximize his political power in. . . defense of his ideological interests; one being climate change denial.”

James Murdoch, one of the 90 year old mogul’s sons  revealed recently he had quit his position on the board of New Corp because of “disagreements over certain editorial content … and certain other strategic decisions.”  Most particularly he pointed to the company’s coverage of Donald Trump’s presidency. He continued, “I reached the conclusion that you can venerate a contest of ideas, if you will, and we all do, and that’s important. But it shouldn’t be in a way that hides agendas,” James Murdoch said in a New York Times interview. It should be noted that James and his wife give millions to liberal causes and democratic candidates in direct opposition to his father’s espoused philosophy.

James Murdoch Should Know

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Digital Revolution: Kinda Awesome

Digital Revolution: Kinda Awesome     

Trevor K. McNeil

 

Going Digital

Everything is going online, the so-called “Digital Revolution” generally considered to be as significant as the Industrial Revolution. For good or ill, more things are moving online from correspondence to media. The terms “old media” and “new media” going from cultural terms to more significant distinctions.

On the Bright Side

One of the positive impacts of the shift to New Media, and the general reduction in production costs, is the opening up of popular media to traditionally marginalized groups. People are more able to make their own media, free of the censorship, stigma and traditionalist bullshit still rife in the studio system. The sort of attitudes that would have female nominees banned from the red carpet for not wearing high heels.

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Former (R) Governor Ridge Takes To Twitter

Former Gov. Tom Ridge calls out Donald Trump on his refusal to concede the 2020 presidential election after losing by more than 7 million votes

Former (R) Gov Tom Ridge Takes To Twitter

D. S. Mitchell

“Thomas Joseph Ridge is a Republican politician and author who served as the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security from 2001 to 2003, and the first United States Secretary of Homeland Security from 2003 to 2005.”-Wikipedia. Mr. Ridge also served as governor of the sate of Pennsylvania. Mr. Ridge tweeted the following in reference to the corruption of Donald Trump and his disgusting efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

@GovRidge Twitter:
“History will record the shameful irony that a president who lied to avoid military service staged a bogus event on the hallowed grounds of Gettysburg in a brazen attempt to undermine the Republic for which scores of real patriots had fought & died to preserve since its founding.”

https://www.calamitypolitics.com/2020/05/27/time-for-twitter-to-take-action-14270/

Time For Twitter To Take Action

When Is Enough, Enough?

By D. S. Mitchell

Hello, Jack Dorsey

I understand that Twitter is a private company. I presume that you are afraid of Donald Trump. He has a lot of people quivering and quaking in fear. You need not look any further than the Republicans in the Senate and the House of Representatives. He is after all, a man with enormous power. Being the president of the United States however, does not mean that he is above the law, or above basic restraints.

Rules For Everybody

Twitter has posted community rules that clearly describe unacceptable behaviors. Those rules are designed to apply to everyone that uses the Twitter platform. Trump has been misusing Twitter for many years, and sadly Twitter has been complicit. Until yesterday’s institution of “fact check alerts” on some of Trump’s tweets, Twitter has done nothing. Trump and several other politicians, have been allowed to get away with reprehensible and abhorrent behavior, and Twitter has taken no disciplinary action.

@Windsor Mann

Windsor Mann reminded us, “So far today, the president has accused someone of murder, accused Democrats of rigging the election, bragged about 100,000+ deaths, called a congressman a fraud, called the Speaker of the House crazy, and misspelled “too.” And that’s just on Twitter.”

Misuse Of His Office

Trump has demonized his perceived enemies from behind the Resolute Desk. The Oval Office has become the center of false grievances and smear campaigns. Donald Trump has slandered families of veterans and war heroes from the Rose Garden. But his platform of choice is Twitter, where he lies, smears, insults and bullies people everyday. He is an out of control bully. He has been a bully since childhood. His conduct is shameful, and at some point his conduct must be censured.

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Behind The Hype

Behind The Hype

By Trevor K. McNeil

The Public Image

Media Studies and Communications are two academic disciplines that examine the content, history, and effects of mass media on the public. It is well-known that media is able to create a particular image. This is neither good or bad in and of itself. It only goes pear-shaped when the impression given is either deceptive, or lacking in important information. Such as making a boarish, pig-ignorant, retrograde failed businessman turned reality show host, who inherited close to half a billion dollars from Daddy but blew it all, look like a viable candidate for president of the United States.  A distinct opposite being the case of Dr. Anthony Fauci,

Popularity Kills the Cred

The 21st century is littered with examples of fraudulent, or at least dubious individuals claiming the title “Doctor” or more often “Dr.” Most often in an effort to legitimize and profit from their self-serving point of view. Author and TV huckster Dr. Phil, does have a PhD in clinical psychology and once held a license in Texas. The state of Texas censured him more than once, for ethics violations. After settling those ethics violations, he gave up his license to practice in 2006. Dr. Phil has been sued twice in California for practicing without a license.  So much for taking advice from this TV doctor.

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Don’t Write Off The Postal Service

The post office is in big financial trouble.

The United States Postal Service is in big financial trouble partly related to coronavirus country wide stay home orders and other economic issues.

Don’t Write Off The Postal Service

By Wes Hessel

Laying Post Office

The United States Postal Service (USPS) roots are so deep, they predate the country itself.  Benjamin Franklin was appointed by the British Crown in 1737 as Postmaster of Philadelphia. In 1753 he was promoted to one of two Joint Postmasters General for the American colonies.  On July 26th, 1775, the Second Continental Congress confirmed Ben Franklin as the first Postmaster General of the United States. In 1792 the congress created the United States Post Office through the Postal Service Act.

Service Oriented

In 1970, postal workers went on strike. They became the first federal employees to engage in collective bargaining. In 1971, the Post Office was reorganized into an independent federal agency and was renamed the United States Postal Service. By 1983, USPS received no public service funding, except as noted by Wikipedia, “subsidies for costs associated with disabled and overseas voters”.

Times Change

with so many business closing, postal delivery has been reduced, along with income.

The closure of so many businesses and colleges has reduced post office income.

The United States Postal Service had surpluses in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.  However, first-class mail income peaked in 2001.  The agency faced intense competition from FedEx and UPS for parcel and express shipping.  Furthermore, email and social media, dramatically reduced Postal income.  One national crises followed by another also hurt the Postal Service income. First, 9/11, then the Great Recession and now the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Facebook, AI, yi, yi

Facebook, AI, yi,yi

Facebook

Facebook would rather cover up, deny, and deflect than fix inherent problems.

Facebook AI, yi, yi

By Wes Hessel

Facing IT

One of the largest trends in technology today is that of “Artificial Intelligence” or AI. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines AI as “a branch of computer science dealing with the simulation of intelligent behavior in computers.”

Predictive Models

Facebook intends to connect with our brain waves

Facebook intends to literally connect with our brain waves.

The idea of bringing technological “thought processes” closer to human thought pattern isn’t a surprising goal. In particular, to aid companies in  handling repetitive tasks. But, more deeply, companies want to use a predictive modeling approach, to statistically glean an anticipated decision, occurrence, or reaction. Imagine a virtual coin toss. Statistically, how many times out of 100, 1000, 10,000 or ten million will a flip result in a heads or tails outcome? Or, that you will order a Marguerita, not a Tequila Sunrise.

Fuzzy Logic

A “fuzzy logic” algorithm evaluates the truth values of variables. It is employed to handle the concept of partial truth, where the truth value is measured across a range. Standard logic indicates completely true to completely false. Such “fuzzy logic” and other similar algorithmic programming methods are being used in many aspects of our life.  It is used from traffic management (be it vehicle, data, or human) to security (physical and virtual) to that “smart speaker” sitting on your table.  One place most of us (at least it seems) encounter such “machine intelligence” is with the king of social media, Facebook.

Book ‘Em, Mano A Mano…

Often simple thinks like posting and sharing are made difficult due to FB AI procedures.

Simple procedures like post and share are complicated by FB artificial intelligence platforms.

Parts of our interaction with others through Facebook are “one-on-one” connections – Messenger and so on; others are more like broadcasting, such as the classic “Post” and “Share”.  But behind those various communicative methods are multiple “back office”-type operations. Artificial intelligence systems and similar procedures are used more and more to do things as “easy” as suggesting your friends “Tag” up to these complex structures. For example, such structures are designed to help security people keep social medias safe, monitoring for prohibited language, identifying illicit bots, hacking, or illegal enterprises.

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OPINION: COVID-19 Threatens Populism

OPINION:

COVID-19 Threatens Populism

By Sonnet Gomes

Capitalist vs Communist

After the end of the Second World War, the world experienced a new political polarization. New alliances were established. Capitalist and Communist propaganda divided the entire world into two camps. This polarization also influenced the global economy. Over the last decade the world has watched as a large number of populist political leaders have ascended to power, changing dynamics in a new way.

Two Powerhouses

Despite the existence of a few non-alliance movements, the US and USSR have been the dominating military powerhouses for six decades. Economically, Russia is a third world country and has never challenged the United States in that realm. In the 1980’s through the 1990’s it was the U.S. facing off against ally Japan for economic dominance.

Challenging The U.S.

Over the last two decades it has been China that has challenged the U.S. for world economic dominance.  The world has seen a lot over the last couple years, as power shifts, both militarily and economically.  A devastating trade war between the US and China has shaken up the accepted.  With Brexit, the economic difficulties in Greece and Italy the European Union is showing signs of unraveling. There has been an ongoing shadow war among the Middle Eastern states, resulting in the death of hundreds of thousands of civilians in Yemen, Syria and Iran. Additionally, economic polarization is rearing its ugly head among Latin American nations.

Change On The Way

It can be easily imagined that the post-coronavirus era will be even more complicated. In fact, all the fundamental existing alliances and collaborations are likely to fade away. Eventually, a new world with modified political beliefs and economic strategies are predicted to evolve.

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