George Sarant

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Posts Tagged ‘media

THE FALSE NARRATIVE

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The media has created a false myth regarding President Trump and the recent events in Virginia. Two weeks after the fact, the obsession has continued as “Charlottesville” has become a code word for associating the president with the most virulent forms of racism, and the left has been delighted to run with it ever since.  But even if you loathe Trump it ought to be evident that the coverage has been atrocious and the level of unfairness has been breathtaking. This has been used to relentlessly club him for things he didn’t say based on assumptions that have no basis in reality. Fairness and objectivity are essential if we are to receive and process information accurately before forming opinions. It has been completely missing here and has little to do with Trump and everything to do with the truth. 

The thing that has everyone rattled is the Nazis, thanks to the inordinate amount of attention on a group that represents no one, has no power or influence, and who are primarily useful as a tool for the left for fundraising and otherwise pushing goals that have little public support. The reality is that if you gathered all of the Nazis in this country you couldn’t fill a closet, and various hate groups combined have but a few thousand members nationwide even according to left-leaning sources. 

When Trump said there were “good people” and violence on “both sides” the media knew damn well he was referring to opponents of removing monuments, not the “Nazis” and the KKK. They nevertheless ran with the story they wanted to believe, and even though he subsequently denounced both groups, as well as, justifiably, the violent left-wing radical 

Antifa, the media ignored the latter and along with the left spread the lie that Trump was a sympathizer and “racist” himself. To link a president who has Orthodox Jewish grandchildren with the Nazis is beyond ridiculous. Otherwise, he didn’t denounce them strongly enough, yet nothing he could possibly say would satisfy these critics, who simply want to justify their preconceived prejudices. 

What is going on is a chance for people who have a grievance with Trump for other reasons to pile on, i.e.. especially Republicans piously condemning him, never mind that they in fact are supporting the left-narrative and delusion that there is widespread racism in America today. For what we really are seeing is a spate of violence from left, and unprecedented lawlessness in attacking statues as well as free speech. These are the same people who have blocked mainstream conservatives from even speaking on campus, and violently attacking police, yet little of this is being shown. It is also clear that most of the perpetrators are white radicals, not black people, who have more important things to worry about. 

Never mind that a solid majority of Americans of all backgrounds oppose removing confederate monuments and the President’s remarks reflected their views, as they have largely been able to see through all the unfairness and outright propaganda of the media. It has become evident as this lunacy spreads beyond confederate monuments to include even Lincoln, Columbus, and Joan of Arc! What is really happening is nothing short of an attempt by a small minority of self-hating white left-wing extremists to destroy the US, and for that matter western civilization in general. For these people object not only to the confederate flag but the American flag as well. Yet the political establishment, taking its cues from the media, has largely been silent on this. They have even further confronted spineless CEO’s and public officials with a false choice, based on a lie, of either condemning Trump or being pilloried themselves merely for associating with the administration, and most have folded given the power of the media to shape the perception of reality. 

The media has been guilty of ideological malfeasance in creating the Charlottesville myth, which nevertheless has rattled mostly the establishment elites, rather than the public. Yet while some may selectively process information to confirm their prejudices, most people are fair-minded and see through all the hysteria, so all this has done is to further delegitimize these institutions. The point here is not to absolve Trump but to point to the fact that the truth has been the biggest casualty in this whole affair. 

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Written by georgesarant

August 29, 2017 at 7:49 PM

THERE IS NO PERFECT JUSTICE

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I did not follow or express an opinion on the George Zimmerman case for the simple reason that I could not form an accurate judgment without access to the facts presented to the jury. I also felt that this was a local case subject to local jurisprudence and did not warrant the extensive media coverage that ensued. But since it unfortunately garnered so much attention and raised passions on both sides some analysis is in order, particularly insofar as it involves the objective of achieving justice.

There is a basic problem with the position being taken by those outraged by the verdict, particularly when shouting for justice. But this entails a preconceived notion of what constitutes “justice,” for which there could be only one possible outcome. The belief is that Zimmerman had to pay, one way or another, with his trial presumably resulting in justice fulfilled. By any standard that is what it did, but for believers in this cause only one possible outcome could be legitimate.

Now if Zimmerman had been found guilty, that apparently would have been “justice”  in their eyes, ratifying the fairness of the process.  That this did not happen hardly makes the process any less just. One cannot call something unjust under these circumstances because one’s expectations were not fulfilled.  If the jury outcome produces justice in one instance it must all do so in the other.

However, those now protesting do have good reason to be outraged, because of the miserable job done by the mainstream media. The coverage was so slanted against Zimmerman that it became, in the minds of many, a foregone conclusion that he would be found guilty. The media wanted a show trial and very nearly produced one. Going back to the beginning of this incident, by the laws of Florida the local authorities found no cause to arrest Zimmerman. This led to an outcry, still local, until the media picked up on it. An opportunistic prosecutor (there are few who aren’t) then stepped in and charged Zimmerman with murder, in what essentially became a political prosecution and it appeared as though he was a goner, having already been judged guilty until proven innocent. But the prosecution was also inept, and if there was a case to be made, they failed to make it, and the jury made its decision based upon the facts presented, with more honesty and integrity than the “system” itself.

But the race-baiters and left-wing ideologues could not let such an opportunity go unexploited and so they have sprung into action. People like professional agitator Al Sharpton, who has also been a frequent White House visitor as well as commentator on the awful NBC “news” network, are now fanning the flames. It has rekindled a sense of grievance about the system being generally unfair to the interests of black people, who are powerless when faced with it. However there is a problem with this narrative. If anyone was powerless in this case, it was Zimmerman, who had some seriously formidable institutions lined up against him. The people out for his scalp were obviously far more powerful, given that they were able to get the government to go after him, from the top down.

So since the trial did not produce the desired result, now other avenues must be pursued.  We have the racially obsessed Attorney General  Eric Holder looking to find some way to bring Zimmerman up on federal charges, such as “hate crime,” and further pontificating on race even though thorough investigations produced not a shred of evidence along those lines.  But curiously Holder is quiet about several retaliatory mob attacks that have already occurred against innocent white and “Hispanic” people that are, in fact, completely racially motivated; fat chance the “justice” department will investigate these incidents. Most legal experts doubt he has a case and thus it won’t be pursued. That remains to be seen, when the facts are subordinate to the politics. Again, the reality of who actually has power in the justice system and in terms of government influence is obviously far different from what is being claimed.  

I repeat I am not a Zimmerman supporter or sympathizer, and had no particular interest in the outcome. What I cannot abide is the reaction to this trial, the media circus, and the talking heads on all sides making arguments that diverge from the actual case. What I can predict, based on first hand experience, is that the US Attorneys will make every conceivable effort to build a case against Zimmerman, because the judgment as to whom to target and whom to prosecute is very often entirely political. It is a fantasy to believe that these people sit around and objectively evaluate cases. Political calculation, in terms of whom to go after, and which to not bother with, is a common practice, and often a self-serving one. This entire case reeks of it, and the end result is that neither Trayvon nor Zimmerman can possibly get “justice.” If a human agent can make decisions regarding the legal fate of someone in a way that would not be applied to someone else the system is flawed. For the system is imperfect, sometimes produces confounding results, and sometimes lets people slip through the cracks. On the whole, however, it does basically work to the extent that any human institution can. Much of the time it produces results that appear to be reasonably satisfactory to an outsider, and justice is served to some extent. However, as with any entity inhabited by human beings, there is fallibility and no possibility of ever achieving perfect justice. No society can ever be completely just, no matter how good it is. For, as I’ve written elsewhere, in this life, the best you can hope for is some justice.

Written by georgesarant

July 16, 2013 at 3:56 PM

CAN THE IRS SURVIVE?

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Many people may be angry about scandals that have emerged with regard to the Benghazi attacks, IRS political shenanigans, and government actions against the press, but more are oblivious to it all. It requires a modicum of civic knowledge to understand the nature of these offenses, a characteristic that is sorely missing among a substantial part of the population, who are more aware of celebrities and television shows, having never learned any of the basic principles of government while attending failing schools. Thus, without relentless media attention, they will likely blow over. That is why the actions against certain media figures are  unbelievably stupid. Why James Rosen? He is not even a partisan. Why CBS and the Associated Press? Whether that is enough for the press to do a turnabout from their uncritical coverage and stay with these stories remains to be seen. 

 But what is likely to be more lasting is the scandal of the IRS targeting conservative groups for political reasons. A lesser known corollary to this is the vast network of left-wing “nonprofit” groups engaged in political activity who not only are given a pass but are even funded by the government. People tolerate the IRS because the assumption is that everyone gets treated the same. Once it becomes clear this is not true, the basic foundations of the revenue system are undermined. 

While this partisan activity  is an ominous abuse of government power, the damage may run deeper. The IRS has the authority to gather a considerable amount of personal information about citizens; in fact, it is sanctioned to compel disclosure from recalcitrants. With that there is a basic trust that this information will be handled discreetly and objectively by an impersonal bureaucracy. This trust has now been shattered, and with it there has been a loss of legitimacy, for it is no longer a disinterested public institution. Now it is nothing more than another part of the cluster of institutions aligned with the left, which is unsurprisingly providing cheering section condoning and applauding these abuses, and revealing a troubling totalitarian mindset.

It was natural all along for the IRS and its personnel to be aligned with the party of government, both having an interest in ever increasing revenue. But it is more than revenue. In the process they get to peruse and evaluated your life, assuming you’re part of that half of the population that files and pays taxes. Think about it. When you file your taxes the government is basically compelling you to account for yourself over the past year, and if you don’t meet the deadline you’re in trouble. You must report to the government every year. If you get audited, you’re guilty until proven innocent, and the IRS holds most of the cards. As the agency has expanded the powers and activities it has been allowed to pursue since its inception,  it has been able to infringe on basic freedoms, reducing your privacy and ability to be left alone. 

Can its legitimacy ever be restored? Should it be restored? There are many alternative revenue schemes that could be adopted that are far less intrusive. I’m not advocating any particular solution here, so much as the idea that we ought to be looking at alternatives that are far less intrusive on private life. This would restore some basic liberties while reducing the power of government, and hence the potential for that power to be abused. It would allow for a single standard applicable to everyone. Whether politicians will actually adapt such a system is another question, for they love tinkering with the tax code to appease various interests, or provide “incentives” and exemptions for what they want done. This results in a system that is not only unfair, but now clearly is illegitimate. The IRS is beyond salvation.  It’s tainted. We should just get rid of it. 

 

 

 

Written by georgesarant

May 24, 2013 at 6:28 PM

EGOMANIA AND POWER

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Today’s New York Times, of all places, contains an article about President Obama’s unbridled ego, his hypercompetitiveness, his high opinion of himself, and his need to dominate, even in relatively trivial pursuits. However, “he tends to overestimate his capabilities,” to put it mildly. For a long time I have felt that egomania is one of the most significant negative features of our time, an idea that will be developed in detail subsequently.

 Everything kids are taught and fed today is designed to build and reinforce “self-esteem.”  As a result, we have a population that views itself as the center of the universe, has a sense of entitlement, and often engages in obnoxious behavior as a result. Everything revives around “me,” and “I” is a term you read and hear ad nauseum. The world is viewed entirely through the prism of the self, so that everything is perceived in terms of how it affects or relates to that individual, which determines its place in the hierarchy of values. Everything is perceived in terms of how it relates to “me.” So, for example, in the case of an actor who was informed of the death of a friend, his only reaction was to say that he wasn’t feeling so good either, going on to describe a slight pain he had. But if everyone, or at least many people, go around thinking “I am special,” we wind up with things like aggressive driving and road rage when they are not given their proper due behind the wheel.

But the more severe the pathology, the more one is likely to fall off a cliff at some point, as limitations become unavoidable, and it becomes clear that one is not so special after all. When this recognition is achieved, it essentIally determines how mature a person is, and the best characters learn it sooner rather than later. But a few people go through life never having to deal with a larger reality, as everything they encounter seems to reinforce their special status and confirm their self-perception. It never registers that their situation has come about largely due to luck and they continue to perceive themselves as possessed with some special grace. The result is the kind of megalomania we see with stars and their entourages, or Presidents with their worshipful aides.
However, under such conditions contradictory information tends to get filtered out, reinforcing a sense of invincibility increasingly divorced from reality. That appears to be what is happening in the White House today, with a President who believes he is always right, the best at everything, and inherently great. He was anointed with a Nobel Prize before he even did anything. He was chosen as “the One” by millions around the world. He was validated by a fawning media, which only confirmed the inevitability of his rise. Thus it is unsurprising that he has an overabundance of confidence.
There are, however, “facts on the ground.” He is often described as “eloquent,” which only indicates how far our standards of rhetorical quality have fallen. For he is a mediocre man in a time of mediocrity. His idea of the Presidency is all appearance and ceremony rather than substance, so, for example, he left it to the congress to fashion his unpopular health plan, while he has spent his time almost continuously campaigning with agreeable crowds. When there is such a dynamic in Hollywood it is frivolous, but when coupled with real power in government it is frightening.
Due to the fact that his eminence is constantly reinforced, anything that stands in the way is heretical. Thus, his greatness should not be limited by inconvenient nuisance things like the the Supreme Court and congress, or an obsolete document like the constitution. Given this, we may be headed for catastrophe if he wins the election- not because he would be President again, but because he would feel vindicated to the point where he would feel entitled to rule by decree. He would issue proclamations and presidential orders contravening the other branches of government and possibly precipitate a constitutional crisis, resulting in impeachment proceedings. Then while our government is self-destructing the world would spin out of control; all because we have a man who is not as great as he thinks he is, but there is no one who can convince him of that fact. That is the truth of our situation today, which can only be rectified, perhaps, by the electorate.

 

Written by georgesarant

September 5, 2012 at 12:08 AM

HEALTH CARE, THE MEDIA, AND THE MAJORITY

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I had an indication of what health care may become like the other day when I had to stand in line for an hour and a half to get a flu shot at a pharmacy, since none of my doctors had it on hand. Whatever the outcome of this legislative process it is going to result in something infinitely worse than what we currently have. The original purpose for health care “reform” was the forty something million who are uninsured. Never mind that this consists mostly of illegal aliens and young people who don’t want to pay for insurance. Nevertheless if the government was really interested in a safety net for those without coverage, it would provide for that, not upend and revolutionize the coverage everyone else has.

Over 70% of the population is satisfied with the coverage they have, so the liberals, in typical fashion want to destroy something the majority has because they cannot abide a minority without. In the liberal mindset any minority that is at variance with the majority average must be accommodated, almost always at the expense of the majority. Think about “affirmative action, “ etc. and you get the picture.

But in the process they are pursuing two mutually exclusive objectives- expanding coverage and reducing costs. This is a no-brainer that most people can figure out; it just isn’t possible without taking something away from someone else. As a result there is skepticism and opposition from many quarters, even as pernicious organizations like the AARP betray their members interests. In desperation the administration has proactively attacked perceived enemies, such as Fox News and the Chamber of Commerce, going beyond anything Nixon ever did.

I’m particularly nervous about News Corporation, the parent of Fox. I own stock in the company, although as an investment it is a turkey. I had mixed feelings about the purchase of the Wall Street Journal, for as people like John Stossel move over to Fox you have virtually the entire right located in one company. This is a recipe for disaster should anything go wrong. Although the head-on attack on Fox backfired as even the “official” media balked at excluding them from briefings, the company is particularly vulnerable to back door pressure, via administration appointments to the FCC, which will certainly be gunning for them. Meanwhile Fox ratings are increasing while the administration’s popularity is decreasing, and continued public support and vigilance is the best safeguard for what in truth is press freedom. Jefferson said given a choice between a government without newspapers and newspapers without a government he would choose the latter, and his word echo to the modern media of today.

Overall I believe that the administration and congress have seriously overreached and there will be a reaction in 2010, which should help undo whatever damage they have done by then.

Written by georgesarant

October 26, 2009 at 4:55 PM

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