Sunday, April 12, 2020

Collected comments on The new trend to scapegoat China, instead of dealing with the failing system in the U.S of A.

      This blog post is the beginning of something I am seeing coming out of the conspiracy theory right-wing, racists, and even self described liberals (they're neoliberals, not actual liberals). The thought process goes something like this. The pandemic started in China, this will cause a depression, the stimulus will create an epic period of hyper-inflation, the U.S. will fall deeper into depression, China will take over because the U.S. no longer manufactures anything (that's not entirely true) and then WWIII will break out.
     Of course this is ludicrous thinking. This fantastical slippery slope is racist opportunism at its worst. Figures on the right like Steve Bannon are using this time to to seize the moment and push their "post-fascist" agenda. We should be taking this time to see how we can better our society instead of lashing out in an attempt to consolidate global capital. These efforts must be seen for what they are. These efforts are an attempt to create a new cold war. This new cold war will line the pockets of the multinational corporations, and bring us to the next phase of late stage capitalism.
     This blog post will be a living document that I will update over the next few weeks. Below are arguments from respected leftists.
It is vulgar and racist to call CV19 the "Chinese virus" or "Wuhan virus." I understand why the right is doing this but it really bothers me that people who think themselves on the left are defending the practice. Don't do this. It encourages bigotry and violence and it's really bad politics. Humanity faces a lot of threats as climate change worsens and we need solidarity not racist bullshit. Stop this now. - Doug Henwood
Not just neocons. Regular liberals too. The entire foreign policy establishment is in a panic over the possibility that they will lose their propaganda war to prove the American Way is the best system. If they don’t blame some foreign cause - Chinese bats, the Chinese bureaucracy, Russian influence, what have you - Americans and others might conclude there is something seriously wrong with the failing American system, and start to demand both an overhaul of our government and public control of our massive private wealth. - Dan Kervick
The WHO changed best practices in 2015 to not refer to geographical areas, groups of people, cultures or animals when giving infectious diseases names. Long overdue. This just happens to be the first pandemic under the new rules. - Ian Goodrum
It is the capitalism virus. It just so happens that China is the world’s rapidly developing industrial core right now, creating the right conditions for modern plagues to emerge. They used to come from Europe and the US. (I learned this from Chuang.) If Bill Maher doesn’t like it, he should blame capitalism. - Jaime Peck
This is organized - not just spontaneous US racism. From the beginning of the crisis US foreign policy mandarins have been going after China, Cuban doctors, and the whole gamut of US enemies. Among other things, they are deliberately trying to increase the death totals in Iran and Venezuela so they can point to them as evidence if the need for regime change. We live in an evil, genocidal empire. - Dan Kervick
The entire COVD-19 crisis is a shot in the arm for the racist right, worldwide. It's full of resources for extremists to exploit and expand their base. From the very start, the equation nationalists have made between sovereignty and purity, equating multiculturalism and diversity with disease and loss of control, has been key. I wrote a piece in February about this, vis a vis Salvini: - Joel Schalit

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Bias in the News. How this is not neat. Reuters and Bloomberg have a vest bias.

     I need to point to Zizek on this kind of thing. Zizek makes an argument something along the lines that the best ideology is one that we don't recognize or consider to an ideology, but is just the way life or reality is. This point can be clearly found on how this chart puts the heavily pro business Reuters and Bloomberg, as neutral. The way this chart uses the word Partisan* is extremely problematic as well. Sources like Democracy now and the Intercept are not mouth pieces of a party. If you consume articles or audio from those sources they take both parties to task on a regular basis. Amy Goodman gained huge notoriety in the 90s by taking a campaigning Bill Clinton to task when, he thought he was going to get the puff piece treatment by an up and coming "liberal" commentator happy to speak to a presidential candidate, but Goodman pressed Clinton to a point of anger because he was pressed on his platforms. (Here's that interview. )

      Then you have the intercept. If they were hyperpartisan they would be towing the Russiagate talking points that the DNC was desperately trying to float as fact. However the Intercept worked hard to show how flawed this was pointing out how mouth pieces of the DNC like Rachel Maddow were ignoring evidence in order to spin Russiagate into the minds of our body-politic. On this same point, this graphic lists MSNBC as opinion and fair persuasion when it should be lower on the chart as propaganda/contains misleading information.

      I take credence with the following quote.

"If you look at this chart and are convinced your “extreme” source belongs in the middle, you just might be part of the problem plaguing America today."**

I am not saying that the outlets I mentioned should be in the center. I am trying to say that there really is no center and the chart is flawed. That top center category has an inherent interest in making sure what gets reported is through the western lens of reporting. This western lens has a concerted interest in making sure the channels of capital remain open and flowing.

      I also realize that this article is really trying to take the extreme media outlets like INFOWARS to the shed. I agree that Alex Jones' efforts has completely damaged the minds of his listeners. I have a friend who cannot get away from the kinds of conspiracy theories that has made Jones famous (by the way Bill Hicks might be playing a joke here)***.

      If we look back to a bygone era of news anchors like Walter Cronkite, Edward Murrow, David Brinkley, Peter Jennings, Ted Koppel and Dan Rather even they presented heavily biased information. Yes they were often reporting as news was happening but we have to acknowledge that they were reporting through the ideology of the United States. This ideology is a mixture of lots of different dynamics. These dynamics are something we need to dissect and cross reference to get at the heart of what happened.

     To that point this is why a good education in critical thinking is necessary in a democracy. We have to know how to think and how to dig beyond what we want to hear or see. The age of social media has allowed us to build bubbles so we hear and see only what we want to hear and see. This is the age of cognitive dissonance. We need to strive for the strength in ourselves to be able to reality check our deepest inner beliefs in order to have any kind of real grasp on reality.

      Sorry for the long ass diatribe here, but I see this chart as extremely scary because it lets us off of the hook if we stay within whatever guidelines we accept from this chart. This is a terrible time in history to do this, because even those neutral and non-biased news outlets have by in large stopped doing investigative journalism and just accepted whatever briefing is fed to them, be it from the white-house or from a multinational corporation.

*Partisan means more than party loyalty. It can also mean adherence to a faction or interest e.g. liberal or conservative. However in our times the dominate mind set, is liberal equals democrat and conservative equal republican. Labeling strong investigative work as partisan dissuades the mind, and creates bias before we even begin reading or listening.


***If you got this far in my blog post The crack about Bill Hicks is related to a little known conspiracy theory that argues Bill Hicks is Alex Jones...

Again sorry for all of this, but I have to disagree, in saying this chart is anything but neat.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Liberally privileged enough to remain ignorant. REBLOG

   This is a FB post from the thoughtful Tangerine Bolen. I think this is important enough to re-blog because I agree that the ends do not justify the means in the case of undermining Trump. Similar to past shortcuts in use of power towards "justice" we see these distorted means will eventually be abused by more brutal and power-hungry actors.

"How is it so many liberals fail to understand that this radical means justifying – this willingness to be completely unmoored from any guiding principles or ethics—this willingness to abandon democratic principles, in an alleged pursuit to recover them, all that guarantees an even more dystopian future?
Accepting monstrousness in your zeal to get rid of a monster isn’t merely a devils bargain – it all but ensures a greater devil in our collective future.
I understand that you hate Trump and are terrified of him. He is a deeply disturbed and sick individual, yes, he is causing tremendous harm.
But the enemy of your enemy is not your friend. In this case, far right Republicans hell-bent on enacting policy that utterly guts this country, insures people in vulnerable populations literally die, keeps kids in cages, provides tax cuts for billionaires, and otherwise works hard to engender every single thing you claim to hate – actively – as we speak – and yet you want to imagine that that anonymous person is somehow your ally? How does this compute? How do you actually say out-loud worse, think, that a person, or people, who are actively and doggedly pursuing literally horrifying policies—every single day—because they write a juvenile op-ed, about things we already suspected, that they are suddenly good?
How do you not understand that embracing unethical, amoral, even criminal means (while there are viable, legal means) to out, expose, and get rid of this person, actually leads us all down the very path of which you are so terrified?
Are you so shortsighted that you think your desperate expediency won’t backfire? Will be contained in a Trump bubble? That you’ll get away with it “just this time“ and what you are doing isn’t in fact simply furthering the very seachange in which Trump is engaging?
You think your willingness to abandon the rule of law “temporarily“ is somehow in a vacuum? Is somehow miraculously contained to this exact moment in time and has no effect upon our shared future?
Do you imagine you are doing damage control by abandoning ethics and principles like this? That we will miraculously bounce back from this terrible time, despite the fact that the last 35 years are essentially what paved the way for Trump? That Trump himself didn’t happen in a vacuum? That his election actually wasn’t a surprise to many people on the left who have been involved in activism for a long time? Who have long bemoaned the systematic, multifrontal assaults upon all of our institutions, to deaf ears on our own side of the aisle? Who have long shouted from the rooftops that integrity matters and when your own party is losing it, we will all be in serious trouble?
We’ve been telling you the sky is falling for 20 years. You have laughed and sneered at us. You have reflexively dismissed us, just like you did during the Clinton campaign. Just like you did me and others, like Noam Chomsky for example, who predicted a possible Trump win—given our exact milieu.
You have sneered, laughed, and dismissed us for years as hyperbolic, irrelevant, losers. Even during an election in which a good minority of us could clearly see the writing on the wall you try to tell us again and again that we were wrong. And in the aftermath, when the obvious monster triumphed, you try to blame us for his win.
No matter how long or how desperately we had asked you to hear us. To listen. To take heed. To see these myriad, subtle things that matter, and matter critically.
The far right constantly denigrating government and bureaucracy in not just accurate but in wildly inaccurate and unethical ways. The deregulation of media by the FCC under Bill Clinton paving the way for Fox news and its chronic, pathological lying, and stoking the basest instincts of under-educated people in this nation. People being uneducated because both the right and liberals have gutted public education funding for two decades.
The criminal student loan syndicate, given hall passes repeatedly to rape our children financially, in one of the greatest schemes ever played out in this country, and on young people no less. Those hall passes provided by both parties.
The failure to prosecute the Wall Street bankers and financiers who orchestrated a global recession and near depression, and Obama’s failure not only to prosecute them but to pass regulations that would prevent them from doing this again in the future. Democrats and Republicans alike siding with corporations over the people again and again and again and making life unbearably hard for millions whilst fox news blames all of that on liberals, to the point that they want to kill us.
We’ve been begging you to pay attention for years. Some of us since NAFTA under Bill Clinton. But I remember being a clueless liberal back then. I voted for him twice. I was absolutely caught up when they played Fleetwood Mac at their inauguration. I remember some hippie guy in Sonoma County warning me in whispered tones about how devastating NAFTA would be and yes, unfortunately, I scoffed at him. I was a middle-class liberal and I thought I knew better.
No, I was just privileged enough to remain ignorant, insulated, in my comfortable little bubble. To be entrenched in unconscious class warfare against those who had suffered longer and thus studied these things, and who yes, knew better than I did about what was happening. Because they were more on the margins, not in the main stream, I assumed all kinds of stupid things about them. Yes, I dismissed them.
But you know what? At some point I decided to genuinely start paying attention. To not get my news and views from mainstream media. I decided to start reading smart, marginalized media platforms, many of those recently denigrated in fact by the propaganda-driven, no-end-of-snark, dismissive Friedman-worshipping Washington Post. I began perusing magazines and online journals with far better writers and reporters than the WaPo has ever employed. Like the late Fred Branfman. Greenwald when he was with Salon. Chomsky, Hedges, Taibbi, and others.
The more I read, and the more I traveled, particularly in Western Europe, the less I could deny how unbelievably pathetic is our main stream media. Not just pathetic, but rather criminally bad, because they are not only completely failing to do their jobs, they have played a singular role in helping to dumb down America.
Much like when I scoffed at that young man back in the 90s as he warned me about NAFTA, after I had cried the whole night when this nation was busy electing Obama the first time, and when my PhD advisor, an expert on executive orders who was responsible for outing President George Bush and his use of them, mentioned dispiritedly that Obama was just more of the same, I got angry. I felt really defensive about this man over him I was so excited. So hopeful, given his soaring rhetoric!
I thought my professor was being a grumpy old curmudgeon. But I remember that even then I was tempered by my foolishness from the first time around – when I had dismissed that man and the knowledge and comprehension he possessed that I didn’t have. I had a niggling feeling that I might be wrong, even as I bristled at Dr. Cooper’s suggestion. I wasn’t so arrogant this time around. I began to listen.
My professor was dismayed by 2/3 of Obama’s appointed cabinet being the architects of the global recession – which was completely contrary to everything on which he had campaigned. He had the majority then, and for a while after that, and he went back on countless promises during that time that he absolutely had the power to do otherwise. He continued and went beyond Bush-era war on terror policies, including those that are unconstitutional and deadly gray areas – both of which have given Trump enormous, unbounded powers to harm us. He set horrifying precedents such as using drone bombings in an extra legal fashion so he didn’t have to go to Congress to start wars. Drone bombings that have killed thousands upon thousands of innocent civilians. Again, powers that Trump now possesses. And uses. As indiscriminately as possible.
But you, multiple of my real life friends, and countless of those I know on social media, have been repeatedly defending means justifying. Often with the same kind of total certitude I had when I was still in my comfy bubble in the mainstream. You are so terrified of this man that I and others absolutely predicted would win – because we knew the lay of the land – and you are still so certain that you are justified and right in your impulse to jettison principles, ethics, and morals, in order to get rid of him. Despite the fact that legal means have not yet been deployed. Including actual whistleblowing.
What does it take for middle-class and upper middle-class liberals to finally start listening to those who have suffered far longer than you have done? For you to listen to those who have known the kind of fear, discomfort and uncertainty you are just feeling now in your lives? For you to understand that your fear, discomfort, and uncertainty is neither new, nor unique to you?
That yes, while Trump is a particularly noxious entity, to those of us who have long been paying attention, he was sadly also a predicted one?
What is it going to take for you to hear us now? Telling you that abandoning principles and ethics in order to get rid of this man will invite the next iteration of Trump to come roaring through the darkened doorway you have absolutely helped open?
What, I wonder, is it going to take to see some actual adults in the room?
Yes, times are scary, and hard. Yes, we need Trump, and his entire nefarious administration, gone. But how we do that matters.
Integrity matters now, more than ever. It IS what will ensure we *actually* get out of this nightmare, and to the next stage of profound, collective work, and soul searching this nation must do, in order to both recover and move forward, into anything healthy and sane, and hopeful, for us all, and not merely for a shrinking, privileged few." - Tangerine Bolen

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Berserkely Cabaret

     I am going to make an unpopular point on something we think we understand. I spent Saturday (8/4/18) glued to the livestreams of protests and counter protests in Portland Oregon. The protesters are Trump supporters, and the counter protesters are... not. I then attended the rally in Berkeley. Like last year this rally was labeled the, "Say No to Marxism Rally". Again the protesters were Trump supporters, and the counter protesters were, not. What seems clear just from the sample size I viewed of these faction is, these two factions of our society really, I mean really do not like each other. One side receives clear protection from the police, and the other side does not. In both instances in Portland and Berkeley the Trump supporting, and police protected side has been much smaller than the counter protesters. It seems that in terms of the folx who came out to protest on the west coast Trump supporters are highly outnumbered (no surprise).

     If you were to try to get a general consensus from each group, one side would call the other side a bunch of commies, and that side would call the first group a bunch of white supremacists fascists, and or racists. Neither consensus is wholly accurate. The unpopular opinion I want to debunk is the fact that the Trump supporters are not necessarily white supremacists or racists. Of course there are white supremacists and racists among the Trump supporting protesters, but also among this group are people of color (POC). I am not arguing that people of color cannot advocate white supremacy. Nor am I arguing that the Trump supporting protesters are intolerant of people of color. This group is tolerant of people of color so long as cultural normative practices and beliefs align. In making sure that the cultural beliefs align this group which includes POC have a strong tendency towards xenophobia. Evidence can be found in too many of Trump's endless non-stop bullshit campaign tours. The tendency towards ensuring a homogeneous cultural normativity is combined with xenophobia and a healthy dose of jingoism. The characterization of the belligerent acceptance and parroting of a burgeoning nationalistic foreign policy is readily apparent. I am not saying these groups are not white supremacists. This group is doing its best to be inclusive enough to shuck the title of being white supremacists. Calling these people racists or white supremacists just leads into a rhetorical k-hole where these people try to show how humanistic they are in terms of racial inclusivity.

     These changes in tendency or at the very least the changes in public optics and or messaging is a concerted effort to be out in the open about the pro-jingoist, pro-xenophobic rallying cry of the alt-right 2.0. The messaging used by the protesters appears not too be racist on the surface. This new messaging allows for the appearance of a multiracial inclusivity, while also pouring on the xenophobia and jingoism. This is the southern strategy version 10.0. This latest rendition of the alt-right has changed from a year ago. Their message has been normalized. These aren't your older brother's racists. Why does this strategy work? Well after years of messaging these folxs no matter their racial heritage can agree that multiculturalism is bad. Beyond the agreement that multiculturalism is bad we dig deeper into a layer of red-scare tactics. It's as easy as simplifying every model of every economy to simply being capitalistic or communistic. This red-baiting serves as a clever rhetorical tool. This tool allows for the dismissal of anything that appears to be
prima facie liberal. Within this rhetorical tool is the outright dismissal of the notion that there is a vast difference between leftists and liberals.   
     After years of misinformation decrying how evil liberals  has culminated in absurd conspiracy theories, anyone unable to cross reference information, who falls for the easily digested sound bytes of patriotism will be readily welcomed into the fold of these right wing, pro-Trump groups, so long as their cultural normative views align. A nuanced, and highly contentious culturally normative trait that these groups share is privilege. This privilege is shared. This privilege aligns on income and wealth, and most importantly the love affair of the mythic entrepreneurial spirit. Now if we all could just be entrepreneurs capitalism would be saved and all the commies would die on the vine... (Sarcasm). It's important to mention the demographics of this current iteration of the Trump base because they are not the same group we saw during the summer of 2017 or in Charlottesville Virginia during the deadly unite the right rally. Heather Heyer we still weep for thee.

    "Please halp me my free speech is under attack" say these pro-Trump spongers. The government is not attacking their free speech, and neither are the counter protesters. Disagreeing, even if it is done loudly does not equal a subversion of someone's first amendment rights. If you paid attention to this week's actions in Portland and Berkeley the exact opposite is actually true. In both Portland and Berkeley the Police were creating safe spaces for these groups. Shielded from most of their opposition, the protesters had all day to sell their bourgeois notions of liberty and freedom to make someone else rich. In Berkeley the police used a series of roadblocks and several squads of cops dressed in riot gear to maze out counter protesters from reaching the site of the protest at MLK Park. If you're one of the three people who will read this, I assume you are asking yourself "the Trump supporters needed safe places?" Yes these privileged Trump supporters needed a safe place.

     My write-up here is an act of futility. The persons I am attempting to critique are highly individualistic and contrary to what some leftists think, they do not operate within some kind of hive mind. The only thing I am trying to describe is that some individuals of the alt-right 2.0 are attempting to move away from the racist stereotype they were once branded with. On August eleventh 2018 president Trump tweeted "The riots in Charlottesville a year ago resulted in senseless death and division. We must come together as a nation. I condemn all types of racism and acts of violence. Peace to ALL Americans!".

     Does a re-branding without a lot of work to understand why a person is racist mean, they are no longer racist or xenophobic? Of course it doesn't. However here we are witnessing this shift away from past racist rhetoric. How this plays out in the coming months, we'll just have to wait and see.

    For a much better write-up click the following link.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Cuckery you cucking cuck

      It's interesting that the emerging dude-bros/alt right has taken to calling everyone they disagree with "cucks". The term is a play on the word cuckold. I realize the updated meaning the dude-bros have assigned the word cuck is different than the standard definition of cuckold but let's unpack this. What is really behind the popularization of this insult? I think there is insecurity and a need for control. Indeed this is part of the "take back" mindset. A good friend pointed out to me the effectiveness of third and fourth wave feminism. Third and fourth wave feminism challenged male dominated patriarchy in ways that other social movements were unable or unwilling to do.

     This applies to the cuck insult. The word cuck as an insult implies, that a man who opposes the dude-bro is so weak that his woman cheats on him. Right here we see the mind set that womxn are possessions, and the dude-bro fears this happening to him. We also see womxn are to adhere to the social; dominant/patriarchal institutions, which ultimately seek to control a womxn's body and mind. The "cuck" who is unable to control these aspects is weak, and of course that makes his arguments invalid.

      The cuck insult is a way to re-frame male dominance, and thwart the progress of third and fourth wave feminism by attempting to insult the virility and strength of male allies. Does the average dude-bro who uses this insult realize this? I don't think so. These dude-bros are parroting an insult of an emerging culture that they feel will benefit their own male slice of the patriarchy.

      I should also mention (as a buddy pointed out in a DM) that some of the racist dude-bros also use the term cuck in reference to social programs that benefit POC. The term is quickly becoming a catchall, and my first round of thoughts will expand. Thanks for reading. Let me know your thoughts.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Economic stats January 21st 2017

     It is hilarious that such a large faction of the so-called business class supports a guy who will inadvertently rip up the abilities of the small business entrepreneur. Yes even their interests will be betrayed over the next four years. If I'm wrong and everything goes hunkydory for that section of the electorate I will acknowledge it. For now I'm going to kick my feet on the streets, and cower at the growing wealth disparity enveloping the masses. For the overprivlegided men and women (especially my cracker demographic) these next four years I predict won't be a drastic break from board meetings, caviar and the hedonistic world paid for by our work. The stock market my crash and some will go from billionaires to millionaires, but what how will that section of our electorate actually suffer?

    If we view wealth disparity as a game of "tug o war", it becomes obvious that it is our side's job to get a foothold and strike back. The problem is, every other man on our team is faced in the opposite direction arguing about the greatness of their own demise. Maybe the necessary tactic is to let go of the rope altogether and let the so-called winners topple with the use of their own golden showered momentum.

   I decided to trip out on the metrics that seem to universally piss off our collective masses. The numbers, ratios and rates posted below interlock, and are inter-dependent. What is going to happen during this second gilded age after we gave a billionaire the most important rubber stamp in the history of the world?

What will these look like in a year, 2, 3 or 4 years?
Gas $2.358
Crude oil $52.42 (Nymex) $55.49 (ICE)
Dow 19827.25
NASDAQ 5560.7
U3 Unemployment 4.7%
U6 Unemployment 9.2%
Average Household income $57,206
average ratio of ceo to worker pay (as of 2014) 303.4-to-1
Let's see what make America great again looks like.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Intelligence community blames Putin. The same day the US ships tanks to Poland.

     Have you ever had a feeling that reminded you of a terrible experience you had in your past? I have. A dude with my past relives regrettable moments everyday. This feeling of déjà vu
is a memory I have, during the year before the invasion of Iraq. My tenure as a long hair community college burnout was shifting gears in 2003. I was beginning to see the world in a different light. Our US government put on it's best shit eating salesman grin and was selling us the lie of weapons of mass destruction. Out of nothing more than intuition I refused to buy that lie. More than a decade later I refuse to buy what could be another lie and another possible war.

     On this  Friday (1/6/17) the Intelligence community (IC)  released a declassified report blaming Vladimir Putin for influencing the US national election back in November. The declassified report received support from the NSA, CIA and FBI. It is repetitive and fails to provided the slightest whiff of a smoking gun, or concrete casual evidence to support some very serious allegations. According to the IC
We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.[1]

    I think we can actually see proof of this on any given night, but not in the deleterious way the IC is claiming. Search for and watch their US programming for any length of time and you can see Russian sponsored propaganda directed towards US business interests and polticians. In principle it's not very different from the swill any of the cable news outlets pours onto us every day and night of the week.cAre we going to start intimidating Rupert Murdoch or those idiots O'Reilly and Hannity with tank war games on the front door of the Fox tabloid news studio, because that is what the US is doing to Russia. Now I am not defending Putin or RT, but on this very same Friday (1/6/17)

Two shiploads arrived in the northern port of Bremerhaven and a third was due in a few days, bringing the fleets of tracked and wheeled vehicles for use by around 4,000 U.S. troops being deployed for exercises in NATO states near Russia.[2]
    I pray (to the flying spaghetti monster) that these two acts are unrelated and the threat of war (cold or hot) between the US and Russia is just paranoia from my stoner days reasserting itself. I also pray to the currently false belief that we as human beings are capable of something real and good. This is an impossibility when we allow our leaders and representatives to lie straight to our faces, while they prepare for new wars. Earlier this week, and before the declassified report was made available, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper returned to the senate floor. The last time Clapper was in front of a senate hearing his lies were all too obvious, and we later learned that he had no problem intentionally deceiving not only the senate but the US citizenry as well.

     During Thursday's (1/5/2017) hearing, Clapper was asked if the "Russians may have been involved in creating 'fake news'"[3]. Clapper stated that Russia was indeed responsible for the creation of fake news. I again argue that MSNBC, CNN and Fox are also guilty of creating their own brand of fake news. Why hasn't Clapper testified against Newscorp, NBCUniversal or Time Warner? We let Clapper lie to us and keep his job once, why the hell are we going to just take his word for it this time? The onus is on this bald face liar. Clapper and the entire IC ought to show exactly why increased tensions with Putin's Russia are justified. The last time we accepted a lie of this magnitude it ended up costing hundred of US lives, thousands of Iraqi lives and trillions of dollars. Increased skepticism and more time spent searching for hard lined truth is warranted.