Ramadan Bombathon report 2019

Ramadan ended last week.   Here is the tally.

No casualties in America this year.   A pretty big number overall.   911 killed and 1006 wounded.   Do you recall seeing any of this in the news?   Didn’t think so.

Continue reading “Ramadan Bombathon report 2019”

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Enemy of the People –Antifa connections

RedState has an interesting post up about recent work by Dr. Eoin Lenihan to establish that a scattered collection of journalists have multiple ties to Antifa.

Antifa, yeah, those guys.   The violent mask-wearing thugs who roughed up Trump fans and shut down some free speech rallies.   Real terrorists.

What the good professor did was to start with a handful of known Antifa Twitter accounts.   Then he collected a long list of associated Twitter accounts and screened for Twitter accounts with multiple associations to the known Antifa accounts.   Then he searched that list for journalists, and, sure enough, found plenty.

It is good to have a little sunlight into the dark world of journalism.

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evil Google — curator of your information flow

I put up a couple of recent posts to observe on a surge of obituaries on the news business.   But all y’all internet denizens are still reading news.   You just don’t take daily newspapers anymore, and only a very tiny share of y’all subscribe to any kind of news provider.   That is the way most of us operate any more.   But information flow, especially the flow of recent events information, aka ‘news,’ is now screened for most receivers of news by evil Google.

Yeah, I know; some Ratburghers are boycotting Google by using DuckDuckGo and a couple of other search engine alternatives.   But the problem remains.   Over half of all news articles that are accessed on the internet were landed on through an evil-Google search, which means that evil Google gets a shot at screening the news for over half of all internet news consumption.   This finding comes from a Northwestern University study that was recently presented at the “2019 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems” that was held in Glasgow.

Continue reading “evil Google — curator of your information flow”

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Drag Queen Story Story

I posted a few months ago with a story that was broken by LifeSiteNews.com.   That is a small Catholic pro-life news aggregator and blog based in Toronto.   They are very well-known in pro-life activist circles, and were otherwise unknown until they published the famous letter from Archbishop Viganò.  Archbishop Viganò said that the Vatican had known about Cardinal McCarrick for several years, but that Pope Francis had rehabilitated him anyhow.   The reason the letter was published by LifeSiteNews is that they are the only English-language journalists that Archbishop Viganò trusted with his letter.   I bring this up as an introduction to a new story from LifeSiteNews that you do not see in mass media journalism, this time from Houston:

Now, it turns out that a second Houston Public Library Drag Queen was convicted of multiple sexual assaults against young children, according to records uncovered by Houston MassResistance activists. The man has also written a lurid article describing his work as a transgender prostitute. And he was photographed at a Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) event carrying a rubber chicken — a symbol used by homosexuals to indicate a sexual preference for young boys.  …

It’s becoming clear that the outrages we’re exposing are not an anomaly, but more likely the norm — not only in Houston, but probably around the country.

Yes.   LifeSiteNews ran an article back in March that was investigated by Catholic activists MassResistance, in which they broke the story about a drag queen from Drag Queen Story Time who had a record of sexual abuse of minor boys.   Houston brushed it off as a one-time thing, of course; an anomaly.

So here we are with a second DQST drag queen from the Houston library program with a record of sexual abuse of minor boys.   I searched evil Google News for the name of this second drag queen.   Google News did not turn up the LifeSiteNews article at all, because evil Google is suppressing everything by them.   But it did turn up a media criticism article by my favorite media critics, whose angle is that this is yet another instance of a story that would be considered newsworthy but got suppressed by all the journalists because it goes against the Leftist narrative.

This is the sort of thing that is only known by those of us who follow Christian niche media.   It might or might not get picked up in conservative niche media.   Then, if it stirs up enough social media outragey quarrels, it might, just might, get a footnote in legacy media.   A more likely way for an item like this to make it into Big Media coverage would be if President Trump mentions it in a tweet.   Otherwise, this story will remain buried.

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Saving Journalism

Fake News, you say?  Indeed, this is to discuss the turmoil in the field of journalism, which is both a cause and a consequence of the Leftist tilt of the entire field.   Journalism is in crisis, you see, and Leftist media watchers are looking for scapegoats.   President Trump figures high on their enemies list, with his “fake news!,” “Enemy of the People,” and Sarah Huckabee Sanders.   See my previous post on this topic.   In that post I reacted to a journalist who blamed the end of professionalism in journalism on President Trump.   In this post I will discuss the reasons for the collapse of journalism as we knew it.

I am happy to see the recent obituaries for Big Journalism.  But before we discuss the real problems with journalism, please consider what the crisis looks like to the journalists.   There have been a rash of articles and editorials from journalists that have expressed fear and frustration.   This is an excerpt from an article that appeared in the New Yorker back in January:

Conglomeration can be good for business, but it has generally been bad for journalism. Media companies that want to get bigger tend to swallow up other media companies, suppressing competition and taking on debt, which makes publishers cowards.  …  Craigslist went online in the Bay Area in 1996 and spread across the continent like a weed, choking off local newspapers’ most reliable source of revenue: classified ads.  …  By 2000, only three hundred and fifty of the fifteen hundred daily newspapers left in the United States were independently owned.  …  Then came the fall, when papers all over the country, shackled to mammoth corporations and a lumbering, century-old business model, found themselves unable to compete with the upstarts—online news aggregators like the Huffington Post (est. 2005) and  Breitbart News (est. 2007), which were, to readers, free. News aggregators also drew display advertisers away from print; Facebook and Google swallowed advertising accounts whole. Big papers found ways to adapt; smaller papers mainly folded.

(When researching for this post, I saw an article from 2016 that said local newspapers had shed 60 percent of their workforce over the previous 26 years.)

In January of this year they had a particularly tough day, in which 1,000 journalism jobs were chopped in one day.

Now, I have been part of several Ratburgher discussions in which we generally agreed that mass media journalism is the Enemy of the People, so I don’t expect to hear a lot of sympathy for the journalists here.   But there is a problem that I want to address.

Where does news come from?

Yes, there are some intrepid conservative organizations that do great investigative journalism.   But they are few in number and are concentrated on political matters.   When your local paper dies, how do you get local news about the ordinary life of your community?   You would have to join a dozen local blog sites to be able to continue to be aware of the shenanigans at City Hall, or the hoo-rah at the School Board, or the embezzler in the suburbs, or the police blotter, or area high school sports, or any of a number of local matters.   You might not be very much interested in any of those matters, but it used to be that you could be generally well-informed about the community you live in by just skimming the headlines in the local paper on a regular basis.

Those days are gone.   My local Memphis paper is now owned by the USA Today Network, which is part of Gannett.   The people who lay out the paper work in a rival city in another state (Louisville).   Shortly before I canceled my subscription last year they ran an article in the “Local News” section about an industrial park.   That industrial park is in my state, but it is a seven-hour drive from my city.   So much for “local news.”   It was fine in two other papers that are owned by the USA Today Network, so it was just too easy to pretend that it belonged in our paper, too.   Their “customer support” is in the Philippines, Sales is in Phoenix, and the payment processing center is in Cincinnati.

So, what now?   There are the local TV stations, but they just pretend to do news.   They only have “reporters” who are transcribers.   They look into stories after they are alerted by citizens who call, or mostly they just pass along the police blotter and the stuff that comes to them in press releases.   After they learn that something is going on, they scramble a camera guy (no longer a camera crew) to race out and act like they covered the event for hours.  Also we have a couple of local blog sites that are attempting to make a name for themselves as the go-to place for local news.   But they are the same old Leftist journalists who recently lost their jobs due to downsizing at the newspaper, and so their political coverage is the same old Leftist bilge through and through.

Killed by the Internet

Local papers were killed by the internet.   On the internet, “information wants to be free.”   Local stories get picked up by aggregator services, and it became really easy to check out Google News for local news.   Facebook tried to provide local news links for a while, but the way they promoted Leftist news and suppressed conservative news caused such a backlash that they dropped that effort.

What gets blamed a lot for killing local papers is Craigslist, which is where all the classified ads went.  But the real culprits are Google and Facebook, which now have all the ads by the big chain retailers.

But if there is no local paper, then Google cannot steal their news any more.   Nor can Facebook or any conservative alternative aggregator.

Follow the Money

There was about 129 billion dollars in digital advertising in America last year.   Google slurped up about half.  Facebook took in about 25%.  Youtube, Instagram, Microsoft, Verizon and Amazon combined for about 22%.   All newspapers combined brought in about one percent.   All magazines combined brought in about one percent.   Craigslist brought in about one percent.

Facebook and Google to the rescue?

So I was sort of amused to see that both Facebook and Google have new initiatives to muscle in on the local news business.   Now that they have killed off the newspapers, they want to take over.   The trend going forward looks like our people becoming even more dependent on Google and Facebook.   This is not good.

Slow News

There have been several recent articles advocating “slow news.”   They come from journalists who are observing that the field of journalism has been overtaken by a rush to clickbait.   The Editor of NewYorker.com quoted Pablo Boczkowski, a professor of communications at Northwestern University:

“If you’re an average site, you have five to seven seconds to tell your story.”

The solution preferred by journalism ‘leading lights’ is the digital subscription model.   Only a handful of outlets are likely to survive via that model.   Journalists are hungry for readers who will read a full slate of news articles at one site, the way we used to read the morning newspaper over breakfast.   But, as Professor Boczkowski observed, contemporary consumers of news learn the news one click at a time from dozens of sources, mostly those that are shared on social media by their circle of Facebook friends or the people they follow on Twitter.

News Desert

A “news desert” is a place that does not have any source for local news.   Lots of America is heading into news desert status.

As happy as I am to see the obituaries for Big Journalism, we still need news.   How do we get real information about our community and our state?   Conservative and Christian niche media seem to me to do somewhat well on the national scene.   But I really hate the thought of being dependent on evil Google for information from my state capitol.

No Solutions

I don’t have any answers.   I suppose we will have to hope for a cadre of citizen journalists to blog the news of the day.   The problem is finding them amidst all the competing noise on the internet.   And, if they also blog with conservative opinions, then their posts will be suppressed when you try to search for them.

Perhaps all you Ratburghers could start posting local news here.   Ratburger.org could become a rival for Google and Facebook, right up until Google or Facebook noticed us and took us out.

Anybody out there have any bright ideas?

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Killing Journalism

“It’s almost as if the effort to undo Trump has had an unexpected effect — that Trump has somehow broken the news media.”

That is a quote from a long essay at Esquire last month by Peter Boyer.   Boyer wrote about changes to news coverage of the President of the United States because of Donald J. Trump.   He, of course, blames Trump.   But he is clearly distressed at the current state of affairs.   His essay concentrates on the New York Times, with a long section about the Washington Post and a couple of asides about CNN.  I bookmarked the link to Boyer’s essay.   It is an interesting read.   I think it will make a helpful addition to the obituary for the national press.

Elite newsrooms jettisoned everything they learned in that required Sophomore class “Ethics of Journalism.”   They tossed the New York Times Manual of Style right out with the trash, at least the parts about “neutral voice” and “counterbalance” and context and completeness and anonymous sources and several other picky matters that used to be important to them.

Further from Boyer:

Back in the early months of the Trump presidency, I had asked Liz Spayd, the public editor, if the  Times’s new business model was to become a sort of high-end Huffington Post.

“I hope that is not the case,” she said. “I think that would be a sad place for this country to find itself, that one of the strongest and most powerful and well-financed newsrooms in the country would speak and have an audience only on one side of the political aisle. It’s very, very dangerous, I think.” Spayd had become the voice of the old traditions at the  Times, a position that earned her the opprobrium of progressive critics outside the paper (“This editor appears to be from 1987 or earlier,” Keith Olbermann tweeted. “Sorry—get in the game or get out”) as well as inside the newsroom. Five months into the Trump presidency, her job was eliminated; she now consults for Facebook.

The very thing Ms. Spayd warned about had come to pass.   The New York Times subscriber base consists entirely of Leftists and hotels and libraries.   Nobody reads the New York Times except the white woke Leftist elites who control the Democrat Party, and then the rest of us read the things that make the top of the Google News feed, or we read them if they are cited for some particular outrage in the conservative niche media.   They have become profitable again as the Opposition Party.   Nobody expects the NYT to be anything else besides the PR of the far Left.

How sad.   This is what prompted P. Boyer to write that essay.   The theme is despondency over the death of the old “American model of Journalism.”

We have now fully transformed America into the “European model of Journalism.”   The Europeans have parliamentary governments.   This led to a multiplicity of parties.   The newspapers generally all serve as the PR mouthpiece of one or another of the dozens of parties.   With the legacy media now champions of open borders, Communism, and hostile to traditionalist religions, we can comfortably call them the “Enemy of the People.”

We have been a long time in making this transformation.   Looking back, it is easy to see how the press always leaned left, how the leftward tilt got a huge push when the universities started up degree programs in journalism in the late 50s and 1960s.   Mass media news in America slid further and further leftward until they went into full-on campaign mode in 1992 to boost Bill Clinton past G.H.W. Bush.   It was the campaign of 1992 that turned Rush Limbaugh into a household name.   He single-handedly saved AM radio by turning it into the media refuge for conservative thought.

The internet completed the transformation.   Now the NYT is just a bigger, badder HuffPo.   But the demise of mass media journalism is not because of President Trump.   It is only partly because they lurched even further Left than they previously were during the Obama Administration.   The internet brought them down.   More on that in my next post.   First, another couple of points about Boyer’s essay.

My favorite media critics are liberals (pro-life Democrats).   They noticed P. Boyer’s essay.   They have been saying the same thing pretty much ever since the campaign of 1996, which is when they became frightened at the excesses of supposedly ethical journalists at elite publications.   They connected the adoption of full Leftist advocacy “journalism” to the decades-old tradition in elite media for full Leftist advocacy “journalism” in culture war issues.

As a Social Conservative, I have noticed that elite newsrooms think that people who share my views on matters such as abortion, sex, sin, privacy and personal responsibility are people who are not worth covering accurately.   This was revealed anew earlier this month by the fawning coverage that Mayor Pete Buttigieg received when he launched a religious attack on Mike Pence.

Terry Mattingly of GetReligion concluded:

Thus, elite newsrooms were no longer interested in doing accurate, fair, objective coverage of about half of the United States of America.

I am actually happy to see the obituaries begin.   Leftist mass media helped put Obama in office and keep him there.   They nearly delivered the White House to Hillary.   They have opposed President Trump in every particular, revealing that they only care about scoring political points.   They do not care about what is good for America or the American people, nor do they particularly care about the accuracy of the information that they sell as “news.”   As Leftists, they are anti-American and anti-Christian.   They oppose everything I value.   They are the Opposition Party.

They needed killin’.

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Changing their tune

The James W. Foley Legacy Foundation held their annual awards dinner. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was not there. Instead, he was the interviewee at Fox and Friends, where he revealed that he had been notified that he would be the recipient of their signature award and had been invited to the Foundation’s annual banquet, but then he was notified that they were rescinding the award and he was dis-invited.

The return of hostages isn’t partisan. It’s not political. This is an American activity,” he said.

We worked with Democrat members of Congress on this. This is not partisan.

And yet, it sounds like some in the media, who were underwriting this event – sponsors for the event said ‘if Pompeo is there, we won’t be.’”

In January, he had received an apologetic note from Mr. Foley’s widow, who was sorry that the Foundation had decided to make the change. The change they had made was that they decided to give their premier award to someone else instead of Secretary Pompeo, after they had originally sent him a notice that he would be the recipient. Evidently she revealed that it was pressure from the keynote speaker and some of her friends that caused the Foundation to drop Secretary Pompeo.

The keynote speaker was Christiane Amanpour of CNN, and her pals were all media people.

Mike Pompeo wrote a gracious response to Mrs. Foley and did not say anything in public about the disinvitation until the week of the dinner.

Since James W. Foley had been a journalist, and since the Foundation has promoted journalism about Americans that are held as political prisoners around the world, the Foundation has a lot of connections to media and gets a lot of support from media. James W. Foley had been held hostage and ultimately was the subject of an ISIS beheading video.

Rather than honor the Trump Administration for diligent work to free political prisoners and hostages, the Foundation instead slammed the Trump Administration.  The Foundation denied Secretary Pompeo’s account. They are saying that they rescinded the award because of Administration indifference to the murder of Jamal Kashoggi:

The decision with respect to the James W. Foley Hostage Advocate award is being mischaracterized by some media outlets. While it is accurate that our foundation intended to present our hostage freedom award to Secretary Pompeo, and we extended the invitation to him on November 19, we ultimately decided we could not present the award as planned due to the dramatic change in circumstances when the Administration did not press for genuine accountability from the Saudi government for the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. 

We communicated the reason for this decision to the Secretary’s team on January 11. Our decision had nothing to do with whether we received media pressure. In addition to advocating for the safe return of American hostages abroad, the protection of free speech and promotion of journalists’ safety is a key pillar of our foundation and this award would have been in conflict with that key principle.

We thank Secretary Pompeo for his extraordinary efforts to bring Americans home and are grateful for all that he and this administration have accomplished to prioritize the return of our citizens. In particular we are thankful for the time he recently dedicated to meeting with families of American hostages. We look forward to working closely with Secretary Pompeo and this administration on these efforts to bring Americans safely home.

Of course, it is not “some media outlets” that characterized the rescission as due to media pressure. That was what Secretary Pompeo said.

Secretary Pompeo is entirely deserving of the award. Kashoggi is just an excuse. Kashoggi was employed by the Washington Post, but he was being paid for by a grant from Qatar and had been putting out a series of hit pieces against the Saudi ruling family. Now it is sort of a complicated mess that Prince Salman chose to go full Bond Villain and commission the gruesome assassination on Turkish soil. He managed to poke Turkey, Qatar, the Trump Administration and western journalism all at the same time, plus put all his enemies on notice to lie low.

Kashoggi is just an excuse, however. Consider the record that prompted the Foundation to select Pompeo in the first place. The Trump Administration has obtained releases for as many political prisoners in two years as the Obama Administration managed in eight years, and without paying huge ransoms or releasing terrorists from Guantanamo. The Washington Examiner provided a copy of Secretary Pompeo’s letter to Mrs. Foley, with this excerpt:

This work has been accomplished without the concessions that only encourage more hostage taking by the kidnappers and terrorists.”

Here is another quote from Secretary Pompeo’s letter, via the Washington Examiner:

I understand that the Foundation decided to rescind the Freedom Award and my invitation to attend the 2019 James W. Foley Freedom Awards due to pressure from its media partners and your fear, stated in your letter, that some guests at the dinner would not show my office proper respect if I attended,” wrote Pompeo.

How sad is it that base politics and hatred have been allowed to creep into even this sphere of our national activity? The safe recovery of Americans held hostage overseas should be beyond politics and must enjoy the support of all Americans. I regret that pressure of such a cynical and abominable nature was brought to bear on you and John,” he added in a reference also to James Foley’s father.

I absolutely expect “cynical and abominable” from CNN, the Washington Post and the New York Times. They are the Enemy of the People.

Secretary Pompeo and President Trump deserve accolades for their work on this front.   The Washington Examiner reports that President Trump takes an active interest and gets twice-weekly updates on political prisoners.   We saw President Trump looking fresh and excited at 1:00 am when he went to greet the plane arriving with hostages released from North Korea.

MAGA

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Journ-o-list redux

A new platform for journalists to strategize on the narrative of the day.   This is based in Canada, I think, and is being pushed out to journalists in the UK and America as well.

Right.   They already think alike anyway.   No conspiracy needed.

The app needed to allow us to communicate and collaborate with teams, share files, chat in real time or switch to video/audio conferencing and even have highly secured “Off The Record” end-to-end (E2E) encrypted communication.
The result is a secure communication platform that doesn’t have the myriad of risk that comes with proprietary or off-the-shelf applications such as Slack.

The Enemy of the People.

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A Study in Fake News

A friend and former colleague sent me a link to the following brief article: A Strong Start to Sierra Snowpack. It purports to be a factual report of the water situation in California. Such stories are always interesting for the things they leave out: the dog that didn’t bark.

Start with the title. Since the snowpack is already above the normal peak, which is referenced to April (seasonal peak), it would be more accurate to say that the snowpack is already well above average for the whole season though it’s still only February. That’s more than a strong start. Furthermore, though the 2017-2018 year was below average, the prior year was well above average. Together, they were about average.It is in the nature of snowfall to fluctuate from year to year.

Next, the article states that “…most of the reservoirs are already more than half-full, and several have water levels that are above the historical average for the middle of February.” It would be more accurate to write that all the reservoirs but one are at or above the historical average for February. The exception is Oroville, which is low because of a major structural failure two years ago. Furthermore, all of the reservoirs are more than half full, which is also misleading because it’s not normal for them to ever be full. Should they ever be almost full, the headline would be “Reservoirs Nearly Full: Flooding Crisis Looms” since they would need to release large amounts of water, which could raise downstream rivers to flood stage.

This 300-word article manages to pack in a tremendous amount of misinformation, brought to you by NASA. This brings to mind the Gell-Mann amnesia effect, or in more modern parlance, fake news. Also relevant is Mencken’s observation  that

Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.

I would only change the last half to read “…the whole aim of practical media is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.”

Snow is forecast for tomorrow and Thursday in the Sierra.

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USA Today cheerleading for impeachment

They have got nuthin’.   This is a long feature, prominently highlighted at the default Google News aggregator, purporting to list a bill of particulars.   None of this is concerning; it is all old news, with the case for corruption resting on a house of cards of innuendo, guilt by association, and denigrating land development business as somehow inherently evil.

Six years ago I was thinking of USA Today as one of the least unreliable of the major mass media news organizations.   But in the Age of Trump they have energetically leapfrogged their competition in a rush to Leftist advocacy exclusively.   They are Fake News.   The Enemy of the People.

I don’t think I need to refute all this mess for the Ratburghers.   Every charge in this article has been discussed, and we generally agreed that there was no evidence of collusion between Team Trump and Russian government hackers.   We observed that the members of Team Trump who have been indicted, and who have spent time in jail, and slapped with large fines, and threatened with ruin, were being squeezed in order to get them to flip on President Trump.   One of the prominent bits cited in this long feature is Michael Cohen.   We have previously observed that he pled guilty to an act that is not a crime.   It is clear that the prosecutors were more interested in tainting President Trump than in any issues of justice or ethics.   Which, I think, indicates that the prosecutors themselves ought to be brought up on ethics charges.

Other crimes by members of Team Trump predated their involvement with Trump by several years.   They also were clearly prosecuted in order to squeeze them for testimony damaging to President Trump.

Michael Flynn lying to the FBI is a real curiosity to me.   Why did he lie?   He had done nothing wrong, nor had Trump.   Nevertheless, Flynn’s lie is a much lesser crime than many crimes that this same team of prosecutors chose not to pursue.

Fake News

I expect that all y’all will see similar instances this week of Leftist mass media cheerleading for impeachment.   This is going to be a very popular theme from Big Media for the next little while.   This feature from USA Today is attributed to three staff reporters, even though it is entirely a rehash of stuff from weeks or months ago.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/12/30/forces-threaten-donald-trumps-presidency-robert-mueller/2347032002/

May God bless and keep President Trump in His care, and grant wisdom and health and safety as he leads America even while under the “assault of the ten thousand lawyers.”

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Media v Evangelicals –2018 part 9

Tribalism.

Yes, that stale accusation is making the rounds once again. After a diversion of several weeks, Big Media is now in panic mode since early voting has started. Big Media was distracted by Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, and used that as the launch pad for attacks on white women, in an attempt to shame and bully white women who were leaning towards Republican candidates. They showed how desperate they are to wedge voters away from the GOP and President Trump. Now they are returning to more familiar ground, which is continued attacks on white Evangelicals in an attempt to wedge them away from President Trump’s GOP.

Of course the New York Times is leading the charge. They ran an article that purported to provide a political history of Evangelicals: “Religion and Right Wing Politics: How Evangelicals Reshaped Elections.” It is mostly forgettable. It contains several howlers, such as “American evangelicals had long steered clear of politics,” which is silly. It would be better to say that American evangelicals had long been politically divided. This article incorrectly cites the Moral Majority as the beginning of political realignment of Evangelicals. I think that is really clueless. The Moral Majority got its start and gained traction because the Democrat Party started kicking traditionalists and conservatives out and embraced moral confusion. Along the way, the NYT quotes Michael Gerson as part of the “Religious Right.” Ha.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/28/us/religion-politics-evangelicals.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article

The New York Times also did a feature where they invited young Evangelicals to comment on their personal politics. They said they received 1500 comments. They printed ten or so. It was pretty much what you would expect. The New York Times’s favorite Evangelicals are actually ex-Evangelicals. The young Evangelicals the NYT chose to quote expressed quite a lot of confusion and dissatisfaction with their Christianity.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/01/us/young-evangelicals-politics-midterms.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

NeverTrumper David French wrote a column at National Review in which he riffed on the NYT comments from young Evangelicals and blamed this youthful religious confusion on Donald Trump. He charged “tribalism.” How tedious.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/11/the-two-different-temptations-facing-young-evangelicals/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NR%20Daily%20Monday%20through%20Friday%202018-11-01&utm_term=NR5PM%20Actives

My favorite media critics noticed all this, but in this case they are very clever but ultimately less than helpful. They are pro-life Democrats, though, so it is not surprising that they are not up to the challenge of giving this mess the thorough mocking that it all deserves.

https://www.getreligion.org/getreligion/2018/11/2/thinking-about-donald-trump-young-evangelicals-the-new-york-times-and-screwtape

They did manage to pass along this nice observation:

it’s amazing the degree to which the voices in this unscientific survey that ended up in print — in the world’s most powerful newspaper — sound exactly like you would expect young evangelical Times readers to sound.”

Exactly.

Elsewhere, NPR is rooting for liberal Evangelicals, hoping that they will persuade some traditionalist Evangelicals that Trump is so immoral that they should not vote for him.

https://www.npr.org/2018/10/25/660375278/finding-common-good-among-evangelicals-in-the-political-season

So, as you might expect, a last-minute flurry of attempts to wedge Evangelicals away from President Trump. All of this is oriented towards the midterm elections.

Nothing new; I just thought I ought to put out an update before election day.

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bimbo number three

Senator Grassley has an admission from the third lady that her story of Kavanaugh rape was entirely fiction.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/11/02/brett-kavanaugh-accuser-referred-fbi-doj-investigation/1863210002/

“…took responsibility for authoring an anonymous letter that made allegations that Kavanaugh and a friend raped her. After she was tracked down and interviewed by Senate investigators, the woman recanted and said she was not, in fact. the author  and had never met Kavanaugh.”

Grassley claims the woman is a left-wing activist and told investigators it was “just a ploy,” he wrote in the letter. Her full comments to investigators were not made available ….

There is more detail at Twitchy:

HOLY S*IT: Woman who claimed Brett Kavanaugh raped her now says she made the whole thing up

She further confessed to Committee investigators that (1) she “just wanted to get attention”;
(2) “it was a tactic”; and (3) “that was just a ploy.” She told Committee investigators that she had
called Congress multiple times during the Kavanaugh hearing process – including prior to the time
Dr. Ford’s allegations surfaced – to oppose his nomination. Regarding the false sexual-assault allegation she made via her email to the Committee, she said: “I was angry, and I sent it out.”
When asked by Committee investigators whether she had ever met Judge Kavanaugh, she said:
“Oh Lord, no.”

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LifeSiteNewsDotCom

LifeSiteNews is a small anti-abortion activist group, pro-life journalism outlet, and news aggregator. It was launched in 1997 as a spinoff of Campaign Life Coalition. Both are based in Toronto. Unless you are a traditionalist Catholic or a pro-life culture warrior, you probably never heard of them.

They have had a lot of excitement lately.   For a year they have been fighting for their life as an organization. They had become very dependent on their Facebook page as their primary way to communicate with their network of donors, most of whom are Catholic families making small-time contributions. Facebook has been waging war against them.

Facebook ghetto

In addition to filtering them out of searches and giving them the “shadow ban” treatment, Facebook has refused to run their ads:

One response that our team received as the reason for Facebook’s disapproval of our ads is equally concerning. The ad pertaining to this response simply showed an image of a pregnant mother holding a photo of her baby’s ultrasound…

I do see that the ad has a fetus and while it involves your ad text and topic, it may be viewed too strong for Facebook to allow to show.

Such viewpoint discrimination is a direct attack on our shared life and family values, and is greatly affecting our efforts to fundraise and spread our news.

Yes, a pregnant woman showing off the ultrasound picture of her baby is “too strong” for Facebook. That is a transparent excuse that says Facebook does not like advocacy for babies. Facebook is enforcing the Culture of Death.

They do this by decreeing that accurately reporting on the abortion industry and Planned Parenthood is “fake news.” Truth is irrelevant; what matters is the narrative.

Facebook recently admitted to combating “fake news” by developing a system that ranks users’ trustworthiness on a scale from 1 to 10. This is determined by users’ opinions rather than objective investigations!

This means that aggressively pro-choice and anti-family Facebook users can rank LifeSiteNews as “untrustworthy” with the simple click of a button – just because they dislike the facts that we publish.

Facebook has therefore made it ridiculously easy for our highly organized, well-financed (George Soros, etc) and hateful opponents to have LifeSiteNews wrongly categorized as “fake news” and our traffic suppressed according to Facebook’s “terms of agreement.” Truth does not matter according to this mob-mentality-serving process.  

Sex scandals

If you are wondering where it was that you recently saw their name, it was because they landed the biggest Catholic scoop of August. In the middle of the Catholic summer of distress over new sex scandals, Archbishop Viganò released a letter that said that Pope Francis and the rest of the Vatican were aware of Cardinal McCarrick’s habit of pressing young seminarians for sex, and also that he had covered for homosexual priests who preyed on teenage boys. Pope Francis had rehabilitated McCarrick in spite of this knowledge.

Archbishop Viganò gave his letter to two conservative Italian journalists that he trusts. He also sent it to LifeSiteNews. Evidently that was the only English-language outlet that he trusts.

Since then, other traditionalist Catholics have gone directly to LifeSiteNews with background and new developments on these scandals.

Search and you will not find

Facebook is not the only internet service that is hostile to pro-life advocates. Several news aggregators have the habit of demoting LifeSiteNews as well as other conservative outlets. So for the past weeks we have seen searches that turned up dozens of articles and editorials that cited LifeSiteNews, but unless you type “lifesitenews” in your search, you will not see their original reporting on the first four pages of results.

Allies

I am not a Catholic. As a Lutheran, the Church of Rome teaches that I am condemned to hell as a Schismatic. Nevertheless I have several Catholic friends, and I find that traditionalist Catholics are my most trustworthy allies in the culture wars. I need strong Catholics to help rescue western civilization from the assaults of Satan.

Please consider giving a little support to LifeSiteNews, either with a few bucks, or by sharing their plight with your Catholic and pro-life friends.

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Enemy of the People 2018-08-16

Today we were treated to a burst of collusion by the lamestream media.   For the past week, the Boston Globe has been encouraging journalists to publish editorials today that would condemn President Trump for calling the “fake news media” the “enemy of the people.”   Somewhere around 350 editorials were published today in answer to the Boston Globe’s call.   There were also a handful of editorials that opined that this collective effort would surely backfire and only prove Trump’s allegation that the journalists are partisan Leftists and “the Opposition Party.”

So, Ratburghers, did you bother to read any of these editorials?

Did you see any new points that you had not already heard many times?

Did you see any really good examples of arguments against President Trump?   Any criticisms that seemed to be helpful or useful to the public discourse over the battles between Team Trump and mass media?

Have you heard any conversations triggered by this effort at a collective rebuke of President Trump?

My thinking is that this is a really small deal.   Nobody will be persuaded to think differently than they already did.

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Enemy of the People

This tweet followed this interesting follow-up exchange at the White House yesterday.

For the sake of this room, the people who are in this room, this democracy, this country, all the people around the world are watching what you’re saying, Sarah,” Acosta said. “The president of the United States should not refer to us as the enemy of the people.”

I appreciate your passion,” Sanders responded. “I share it. I’ve addressed this question. I’ve addressed my personal feelings. I’m here to speak on behalf of the president. He’s made his comments clear.”

Acosta and his fellow-travelers in mass media think they are on the high ground here.

I think they are “the enemy of the people.”

In fact, I think they are unwittingly doing the work of the Enemy.

President Trump called them the “Opposition Party.”

They 0ppose my political values.

They oppose my social values.

They oppose my moral code.

They oppose my traditionalist Christianity.

They oppose my ability to freely exercise my religion.

They oppose American leadership in the world.

They hide the murderous crimes of America’s enemies while trumpeting any fault they can find with America.

They hide the murderous crimes of all other religions aside from Christianity, including Atheism, while haranguing us with repeated tales of Christians’ violence.

They do not want me to be able to teach my children my religion and values; they do not want me to be able to defend my family; they do not want me to have a voice in the public square; they do not want me to know the truth.

I think they are the enemy of the people, even more than President Trump does.

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