Let’s Give Them A Push: Americans Already Favor Near Far-Left Policies

As I have mentioned before, I consume a good amount of mainstream news to keep a finger on the pulse of what the American people are learning. And what I have learned is that the American people are much more favorable to far leftist policies than the pundits and “anchors” would have you believe.

Notice these two linked articles below, one from Fortune and one from FOX News:

“Support for raising taxes is widespread, according to a new poll, which found that 76% of registered voters want the wealthiest Americans to pay more.”

http://fortune.com/2019/02/04/support-for-tax-increase-on-wealthy-americans-poll/

“Voters prefer increasing spending on domestic programs over cutting taxes and reducing spending, and their preferred way to finance that spending — is tax the wealthy.”
https://www.foxnews.com/politics/fox-news-poll-voters-favor-taxing-the-wealthy-increasing-domestic-spending


This is completely contradictory to the picture painted by the entertainers on cable news that is brushed every night. These supposed “news shows” would have you believe that such opinions are too far to the left to be held by the citizens of the United States. But as you can see from the objective measures quoted/linked above, one of the main tenets of the rad left platform is favored: redistribution of wealth through a strong state.

Now notice these two linked articles on healthcare policy in the U.S.:

“Six-in-ten Americans say it is the federal government’s responsibility to make sure all Americans have health care coverage, including 31% who support a “single payer” approach to health insurance, according to a new national survey by Pew Research Center.”
https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/10/03/most-continue-to-say-ensuring-health-care-coverage-is-governments-responsibility/

“Some 56% of respondents said they favor Medicare-for-all, in which all Americans would get their insurance from a single government plan.”
https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/23/politics/kaiser-medicare-for-all-poll/index.html

Universal healthcare is right within our grasp.

As I have put forth in past posts, in Chomsky’s “Manufacturing Consent”, the news media only allows a spectrum of valid opinions and political stances the rich and powerful deem acceptable. That’s why the news media is center-right. The talking heads dismiss polling results that are too threatening to those in power. They are dismissed by political commentators as “pony promises” if endorsed by a candidate.

Sure, these opinions are not exactly pure Marxist reforms, but it shows that the people could be exposed to far-left ideas not too much further to the left than the ones they already possess. Taxing the rich at a high rate, and Medicare-for-All is not too far from the redistribution of wealth and universal healthcare coverage. There’s an opening there.

In conclusion, polls show that the American people are far further to the left than the news media would have you believe. And this is a function of the breath of the spectrum of acceptable political opinions sanctioned by the rich and powerful. The people are closer to a positive view of the far-left than you would believe. Let’s expose them to it through various forms of organizing and propaganda and let’s see what happens.

Proposed Tax On Million Dollar Living Spaces Serving As Second Home

“For properties valued between $5 million and $6 million, a 0.5 percent surcharge would be added on the value over $5 million. Fees and a higher surcharge would apply to homes that sold for more than $6 million, topping out at a $370,000 fee and a 4 percent surcharge for homes valued at more than $25 million.”

This would be huge in NYC where so many high end living spaces remain empty for they are just investments.

Would be great for a subway system revamp, and any leftover for remedying the housing crisis there.

www.nytimes.com/2019/03/11/nyregion/mta-subways-pied-a-terre-tax.html

Maduro Critic Even Argues A U.S. Coup Attempt is Occurring in Venezuela

A great Democracy Now! interview with a Caracas professor who, though being a Maduro critic, explains how U.S. aid is an attempt to incite the Venezuelan publics support for a Guaido/U.S. coup.

Also explains how U.S. sanctions are true cause for Venezuelan economic crisis.

Plus, for good measure, they have snippets of Trump spewing lies at one of his rallies calling Maduro a “Cuban Puppet.”

www.democracynow.org/2019/2/22/this_is_not_humanitarian_aid_a

“AP Explains: Venezuela’s humanitarian aid standoff”: Where’s the sanctions part?

From the AP: https://apnews.com/6c66de0a22944b58b276d43eef91c093

The suffering of the Venezuelan people is heartbreaking. But:

A) This is not a result of a failing socialist system but rather an economic strangling committed by the U.S. and the International community, who are in our pocket, through strong sanctions, and,

B) If Maduro lets in the U.S. aid, it would be seen as a gift from Guaido which would strengthen him immensely. And Guaido would be a U.S. puppet.

The only thing that should solve this is the delivery of aid by Russia or China. Where are they at?

Frontline Must-See: “Secrets, Politics, & Torture”

080513_frontline_stack_card.380x212.jpg.fit.480x270This episode of Frontline entitled “Secrets, Politics, & Torture” is a must watch. It covers the entire CIA torture history since September 11th, 2001, and all that surrounded it in the political world.

It explains how torture techniques did not lead the CIA to any actionable intelligence and how the film “Zero Dark Thirty” is a piece of propaganda portraying torture methods as effective.

Must Watch! Here’s the link.

Frontline: “Secrets, Politics, & Torture”

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Science In The News

leadI’ve been working on this general thought all week. You will find it very rough at first, but follow below for some full context.

The mainstream media has a deeply flawed style of reporting science stories. They take a single scientific study, not a trend in the literature, and reports it as almost indisputable fact. This is a huge problem. To observe this phenomenon just watch your local news. I don’t know if drinking red wine will let me live forever, or kill me tomorrow. They just jump on the latest, single study from a peer reviewed journal and report it as settled science. The public does not know enough about the pillars of the scientific method to understand. They just rely on the reporting of their local information gate-keepers. The news just throws up a tease before a commercial break saying something like, “How eating chocolate may affect your health. Coming up in 30 seconds.” This then is followed by a report that is far too short for even the study’s abstract to be read aloud. This is unbelievably irresponsible.

In light of the above rant I wrote and re-wrote on  my iPhone at work all week, I found on the web today a terrific article in The Atlantic that backs me up. The Thursday piece is about a Pew Research poll  that shows people have no doubt in science’s progress and usefulness, yet they still disagree with some specific findings. These include hot-button issues like global-warming, genetically modified food, and opinions on vaccines’ effectiveness and safety. So let me quote something from the article I found that contributes to my argument:

For their part, scientists in the Pew survey faulted the media and the public itself for the existence of these gaps. The “public doesn’t know much about science” was reported as a major problem by 84 percent of scientists, and 79 percent considered “news reports don’t distinguish well-founded findings” a major problem. About half of scientists said oversimplification by the media and a public that expects solutions too quickly were major problems.

Fair enough. The translating of dense, precise scientific studies into digestible, clickable news stories is a tricky business. When a publication mistakenly says a single study “proves” something, or, heaven forbid, implies causation where there is merely correlation, those who know better are eager to jump in and point out the mistake. And it probably doesn’t help the publications’ reputations as legitimate sources of information. Of course, no matter how careful a writer is to say “associated with,” to transparently point out small sample sizes, to repeat the scientists’ claim that “more research is needed,” you’ll still get commenters crying “pseudoscience.”

So we must be vigilant. The misrepresented news of peer-reviewed publications’ studies and experiments need to be reported as part of a larger conversation. And that includes the work of many researchers over a usually lengthy amount of time, not just a 20-second news bite or Yahoo! article.

 

James Foley and Real Journalists

subFOLEY-2-master315James Foley, an American journalist who was kidnapped in Syria nearly two years ago, was decapitated by ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) militants on a 4:40 minute video this past Tuesday posted on the internet. ISIS claimed that the murder was in retaliation for recent airstrikes by the American military on their forces in Iraq which, but today’s post is not just about Mr. Foley’s tragic death but by the dangers faced by journalists around the world.

It’s about journalists being heroes, and I’m not talking about “talking heads” or, God forbid, pundits. I am speaking about journalists taking dangerous assignments to get to the heart of a story. And I am talking, again, about real journalists who really stick out their necks, not Anderson Cooper or Christine Amanpour or Wolf Blitzer who report miles away from danger.

We would be nowhere without journalists who risk their lives everyday who keep the gate open to dangerous information as “gate-keepers.”

The problem is that in American society the occupation of a journalist is only rated ahead of attorneys in the list of most contemptible occupations. But at the root of this perception is that fact that Americans lump all journalist endeavors together. Thanks to most people not paying attention to the news, Americans classify journalists together with the entertainment beat. When they think of journalists they think of tabloid journalism, TMZ, or the paparazzi, not those like James Foley.

Unfortunately their is too much tabloid- journalism stories going around. The other day, on CNN, I saw Blitzer say, “Stay tuned, we have some video you will want to see. A Los Angeles car chase ends in a horrific crash.” How is that good journalism! That’s just baiting the worst in our cravings for the unsubstantial!

The problem with the American perception of journalists is these types of stories. They grab our attention and leave the work of Woodward and Bernstein (who took down a U.S. President) or Glenn Greenwald (who reported Edward Snowden’s revelations ab0ut NSA spying-tactics) at the wayside

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), 834 known journalists have been killed since 1992 in the line of their work. Below is a table by CPJ that breaks down the numbers of journalist deaths by individual countries. I will leave you with these sobering statistics.

20 Deadliest Countries

  1. Iraq: 166
  2. Philippines: 76
  3. Syria: 67
  4. Algeria: 60
  5. Russia: 56
  6. Pakistan: 54
  7. Somalia: 53
  1. Colombia: 45
  2. India: 32
  3. Mexico: 30
  4. Brazil: 29
  5. Afghanistan: 26
  6. Turkey: 21
  7. Sri Lanka: 19
  1. Bosnia: 19
  2. Tajikistan: 17
  3. Rwanda: 17
  4. Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory: 16
  5. Sierra Leone: 16
  6. Bangladesh: 14

 

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Kerry Blames Israeli Settlements for Breakdown

09post-articleLargeAn update in the NYT reports that Sec. of State John Kerry blamed the breakdown of the most recent attempt Mid-East peace talks on Israel’s announcement of new settlements in East Jerusalem.

Notice how, though, as in almost all major media outlets in America, the NYT quickly reports that the Palestinians are just as at fault with their supposed “tit-for-tat” actions by applying for statehood with various international unions.

In the American mass media, Israel can mostly do no wrong.

Read Here.

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A Short History of The Media

bad_tv_news-620x412A great column in Salon.com is an excerpt from the book “The Invention of News: How The World Came To Know About Itself” by Andrew Pettegree. Anyone interested in the Communications field or just interested in media studies in general will love it.

It gives a good account of how the news world came into being before the NYT or Fox News.

Read Here.

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Is Rolling-News Outdated?

Sky-news-studio-007A great piece from The Guardians’ Media Blog giving several criticisms and argument points on how rolling-news channels (mainly what we see on cable news channels where it continues with an anchor 24 hours a day) are outdated in a digital world with Facebook, Twitter, and, yes, blogs. A must read.

Read Here.

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