The Public Watchdog and the Low Information Voter

 

Watchdog journalism is when the press reports clearly and accurately the events going on in the world. Journalist report the news of local, state, national, and international events and they became the eyes and ears of the people.

The Press was expected to act as a force outside of the clergy, the government, and the business world to report the news to the common man about what was happening in the world. The Press was identified as the Fourth Estate. A resource available to the individual, to the voter to know what was happening around them because they had to work and support their families. The press was the truth finder for the individual.

Wikipedia describes The Fourth Estate as: The Fourth Estate (or fourth power) is a societal or political force or institution whose influence is not consistently or officially recognized. “Fourth Estate” most commonly refers to the news media, especially print journalism or “the press”. The term makes implicit reference to the earlier division of the three estates of the realm: the clergy, the nobility, and the commoners.

The freedom of the press was so important to life in a civilized society our Founding Fathers wrote the First Amendment to secure freedom of speech to support the press in their efforts to be the public watchdog.

Wikipedia says Freedom of the press or freedom of the media is the freedom of communication and expression through various mediums, such as electronic media and published materials. Wherever such freedom exists mostly implies the absence of interference from an overreaching state; its preservation may be sought through constitutional or other legal protections.

A shoemaker or a widowed mother couldn’t be at a public rally or at the seat of government to witness their elected representatives as they made law that would impact their daily lives. The shoemaker or widow couldn’t be out in the streets to witness a horrific crime that could also impact their lives. The press in the form of a newspaper could inform them adequately.

The ability to read a paper and stay current with the events of the day allowed the individual to vote responsibly on election day. Reading the news and understanding the facts became a regular part of the individual’s day.

The free market as well as the freedom of the press made that possible. Different newspapers with different reporters and editors give the newspaper or the magazine a personality, a flavor. This caused some papers to have a larger circulation than others. Over time we gained a trust in the reporters and the papers.

As time passed and we developed radio, TV, cable news and the internet our choices got more difficult.

Journalists developed a set of standards.

Wikipedia says this about Journalistic Standards.

Journalism ethics and standards comprise principles of ethics and of good practice as applicable to the specific challenges faced by journalists. Historically and currently, this subset of media ethics is widely known to journalists as their professional “code of ethics” or the “canons of journalism”. The basic codes and canons commonly appear in statements drafted by both professional journalism associations and individual print, broadcast, and online news organizations.

Standards:

  1. Reporters are expected to be as accurate as possible given the time allotted to story preparation and the space available, and to seek reliable sources.
  2. Events with a single eyewitness are reported with attribution. Events with two or more independent eyewitnesses may be reported as fact. Controversial facts are reported with attribution.
  3. Independent fact-checking by another employee of the publisher is desirable.
  4. Corrections are published when errors are discovered.
  5. Defendants at trial are treated only as having “allegedly” committed crimes, until conviction, when their crimes are generally reported as fact (unless, that is, there is serious controversy about wrongful conviction).
  6. Opinion surveys and statistical information deserve special treatment to communicate in precise terms any conclusions, to contextualize the results, and to specify accuracy, including estimated error and methodological criticism or flaws.

With our variety of news sources available we should expect the same personality or flavor of each news source. More Variety and more choices should produce a better product. It’s my opinion the product has developed into irrelevance.

Too many journalists have completely abandoned even trying to maintain journalistic standards, we used to be able to take the facts from the newspapers or news reports. We used to know that the facts were the facts and the news was the news. Now we can’t believe any of them. There are so many choices out there about what the facts are if one or two tell the truth and do follow journalistic standards they are lost in all the noise.

The media has abandoned being the pubic watch dog, they’ve stopped reporting the news and have started trying to shape the news. They don’t want to tell us what happened, they want to tell us how to think and what to believe.

Far too often I listen to a speech or watch a briefing given by a government official and then see a report or read an analysis of the same event and wonder what they saw because it didn’t resemble what I witnessed.

We have too many low information voters in the world. They still believe what they see on the news or found on the internet. The public watchdog is not providing facts, they’re making up the mind for the low information voter. They are corrupting reality by abdicating their responsibility of being the public watchdog.

Too many in the main stream media are dishonest and disloyal to the individuals who rely on them to find the truth and inform us accurately.

I have more faith in a Ouija board and a crystal ball.

 

Gino DiCostanzo

 

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The Opposition is out of Touch

 

Pat Buchanan has an excellent article called “The Impeach-Trump Conspiracy”

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2017/06/09/the_impeach-trump_conspiracy_134146.html

The opposition and in this case, it’s the democrats, the media, and the Never Trumpers are so incensed that Trump won the election they are trying to undo the election of 2016. This paragraph from the article sums it up pretty well.

“Seeking a rationale for its rejection, this city has seized upon that old standby. We didn’t lose! The election was stolen in a vast conspiracy, an “act of war” against America, an assault upon “our democracy,” criminal collusion between the Kremlin and the Trumpites.”

It’s their opinion that the election was decided even before the polls opened on November 8. Hillary had already been anointed and the only step left was the inauguration. The voters were incidental to this process. Hillary was president, end of story.

The Electoral College disagreed with their conclusion and President Trump won.

This could not be a function of fair play and an honest election. There had to be an unseen force that cheated Hillary out of her due!

This is the same story that caused the following Gold Ethical Dilemma:

You are playing in the club championship final and the match was all square at the end of 17 holes. You had the honor and hit your ball a modest two hundred fifty yards to the middle of the fairway, leaving a simple 7 iron to the pin. Your opponent then hits his ball, lofting it deep into the woods to the right of the fairway. Being the golfing gentleman that you are, you help your opponent look for his ball. Just before the permitted five-minute search period ends, your opponent says: “Go ahead and hit your second shot and if I don’t find it in time, I’ll concede the match.” You hit your ball, landing it on the green, stopping about ten feet from the pin. About the time your ball comes to rest, you hear your opponent exclaim from deep in the woods: “I found it!” The second sound you hear is a click, the sound of a club striking a ball and the ball comes sailing out of the woods and lands on the green, stopping no more than six inches from the hole. Now here is the ethical dilemma: Do you pull the cheating bastard’s ball out of your pocket and confront him with it or do you keep your mouth shut?

 

The Hillary campaign believed the game was fixed and fixed in their favor. How fixed was it? I don’t know that we will ever know exactly. WE do know that the Democrat Party clearly sabotaged the Sanders campaign to favor Hillary, we also know the media and Lynch / Comey were trying to skew the election in Hillary’s favor. We also know the democrats consistently oppose voter ID Laws for a variety of inconsistent reasons claiming that it will surprises voting, but the same ID Requirements are necessary for travel, banking, and public assistance. Nothing there seems to be suppressed by ID Requirements.

The Hillary campaign was confident they cheated adequately to win and since they lost it could only be because of cheating, the possibility of losing to an honest election is not possible.

That shows how are out of touch the media, the democrats and the Never Trumpers are. There are too many middle Americans who feel that they are ignored and not cared about by the elite. We’re taxed too high, they don’t care about our jobs, and they only see us for our contributions to the public piggy bank. They don’t see us as a big enough voting block to make a difference. Trump did, that’s why he’s president!

Their anger and hatred for an outsider being in charge blinds them to reality. Their anger and hatred is their closest associate right now and they will not see reason and prudence. As they lose their credibility and their relevance they will slowly fade away.

They expect President Trump to self-destruct, but that’s what they are doing and they don’t realize it! Maybe the beating they’ll take in the 2018 elections will open their eyes.

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The Cowboy Code

imagesHEWCN9B1

As I’m getting older I’ve been reading westerns, especially those written by Louis L’Amour. Cowboys and Cowgirls lived good decent lives. And they lived by a simple code that guided them through life:

  • Live each day with courage
  • Ride for the brand
  • When you make a promise, keep it
  • Your word is your bond
  • When your friends are in trouble run towards them not away from them
  • Talk less and say more
  • Remember that some things are not for sale
  • Take pride on your work
  • Do what has to be done

 

Let’s look at these one at a time and relate them to our elected officials.

Live each day with courage. Our elected empty suits could really be effective if they lived by this. What kind of courage do they need? I want to see them demonstrate the courage to live by what they promised those who voted for them and especially for those who are paying taxes. I want to see them demonstrate the courage of their own convictions. When they speak I want them to say what they mean and what they believe and then live and act by those beliefs. Say what you mean and live by what you said, don’t change your position when you speak to different groups or when your handlers tell you to change what you believe.

Ride for the brand means that you’re loyal to your organization, the brand identified who owned the cattle. When you rode for the brand you felt an obligation to support your organization in every way possible. Loyalty and respect for your organization and the other members of that organization. Loyalty and trust are important at home and in public. Elected empty suits rarely ride for the brand; they ride for the highest bidder. Not necessarily for a crude cash payment to buy their vote, but by adjusting their position on a topic to adjust their vote in ways that don’t support or defend what they said when they were running for office. The tax payers and voters in their districts are their brand, they must show loyalty and respect to their brand.

When you make a promise, keep it. Your word is your bond. How simple is this to live up to? When you say something to get elected, do what you say. You said it in public to people who trust you, doing what you say should be an easy thing to live up to. Representing yourself as a decent hard working representative of the taxpaying public should make it easy to do what you promised. Do what you said you would do, every time, no exceptions. I can forgive stupid; I won’t forgive disloyal or untrustworthy.

Your reputation and credibility are built on your past actions. Lie to me today, and then try to sell your lie as a practical application of your public efforts on the tax payer’s behalf is a lie and will be seen as a lie by those who expect you to live by the code.

When your friends are in trouble run towards them not away from them. Personally and professionally stand by your family and friends. Stand by your family and friends no matter what. Friends and family make mistakes, sometimes serious mistakes, as far down as they go they need friends and family to help pick them up when they stumble. Friends do define you, but we can’t control the actions of our friends and we can’t choose our family. You don’t have to condone what they did wrong, but you can stand by them to help them get right after they fall. Run towards them never away from them. I won’t vote for a fair weather friend, anyone who turns against you for standing by a friend in deep deep trouble isn’t worth keeping with you. Do the right things regardless of what some people think.

Talk less and say more is good advice for everyone. Elected empty suits can learn from this. Most questions can be answered by a few simple words. Long multisyllabic responses to simple questions are a clear sign you’re lying. Most responses should be yes, no, I won’t do that ever, or I will do that every time I get a chance. A longer response only sets you up for an opportunity to do something different after you’re in office.

Remember that some things are not for sale. This should be obvious, but from what we’ve seen with elected officials they obviously need a reminder. Your word is your bond, when you make a promise you keep it, the respect and loyalty you are expected to have for the tax payers and voters who put their trust in you should be enough to keep you as an elected official to be your own man or woman while in office. Party leaders, campaign contributors, wealthy people in your district who want something special, which may not be in line with the position you took while campaigning for office. Don’t let your position change and have it appear you sold something that should not be sold. What you sold was the trust the tax payers had in you and their respect for you as a man or a woman.

Take pride on your work, be proud of who you are and who you represent. You’re riding for your brand and you should be proud that your friends and neighbors trusted you to represent their best interests. You should be proud that they trust and respect you. Do the job with pride and stand by your words. Make them proud that they voted for you. The tax payers in your district are paying for what you’re voting for, the voters in your district voted for you. Not all voters are tax payers, take care of your tax payers as well as your voters, but make sure you are mindful of the burden you’re placing on the tax payers.

Do what has to be done. Some jobs are difficult and some cause you to get beaten and bruised along the way. Do what has to be done and do it well. Do the right thing for the right reasons no matter what. You may have to take some lumps as you do the right thing, but do it and do it right. Make the tax payers who voted for you proud that they voted for you. If you have to take some lumps and bruises along the way make sure they are on the front of you, not on your back. Get hurt going towards the danger not running away from it.

If you want my vote, Cowboy up and ride for your brand!!

Posted in General Political Issues, Language, Leadership and Supervision, Social Issues | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Good Vs Evil

Roger L Simon published an excellent article in PJ Media. “Leakers and Journalists Are Destroying Our Republic” He explains that there are people within the government who are committed to causing the Trump administration to fail. They leak information that causes the administration to look foolish, inept or criminal.

The media will publish information as if the information that leaked is a serious threat to the nation. They depend on the low information voters to accept the information and accept it in the mean spirit that it was delivered.

Not enough consumers of news are patient enough, or skeptical enough to read what’s in front of them. The media is telling me that Trump is corrupt and here’s the proof. That’s the attitude too made consumers of the news have.

Here’s the example Mr. Simon used:

“We have an epidemic of leaking in our society unlike anything I have seen in my lifetime. It’s approaching Plague level — but with no vaccine in sight.

The latest, at this typing, is that Jared Kushner is under investigation by the FBI.  Here’s the headline at CNN of an article signed by no less than four authors (it takes a village) –Evan Perez, Pamela Brown, Shimon Prokupecz and Gloria Borger: “FBI Russia investigation looking at Kushner role.”

Too many consumers of the main stream media’s report would read this and assume that President Trump’s son in law is being investigated for criminal activity with the Russians during last year’s presidential campaign. However, Mr. Simon continues:

 

“Who leaked that and what did they tell them about the president’s son-in-law? Has Jared been selling us out to Putin?  It certainly sounds that way.

Well, not really. Look no further than the second and third paragraph and you discover:

Points of focus that pertain to Kushner include: the Trump campaign’s 2016 data analytics operation; his relationship with former national security adviser Michael Flynn; and Kushner’s own contacts with Russians, according to US officials [ i. e. leakers] briefed on the probe.

There is no indication Kushner is currently a target of the probe and there are no allegations he committed any wrongdoing. [bolds mine]

In other words, there’s no there there other than leaks that continue to pour out, even after the installation of the supposedly confidential investigation by Special Counsel Mueller. How repellent and, frankly, illegal is that? Has Mueller launched a leak probe of his own? He should.”

 

The headline is intended to make the low information voter believe that the President’s son in law was colluding with the Russians during the campaign. Too many consumers of the main stream media’s reporting don’t read that far into an article and many wont connect the dots. The only purpose to this CNN report is to cast a shadow on the President’s son in law and for that alleged stink to attach itself to the President.

In the long run the main stream media is going to lose this battle of smearing the President.

President Trump has a much better chance of being successful at fulfilling his campaign promises than the main stream media has of smearing his reputation and performance to a point that he can’t function or is impeached.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines credibility as “the quality or power of inspiring belief” The organizations that make up the Main Stream Media are in the business of reporting facts. As they distort, misrepresent, and mislead the public as to what the facts really are their credibility suffers.

Without credibility, how can an organization that sells facts stay in business.

 

This doesn’t even address The Society of Professional Journalist’s Code of Ethics. The preamble of the code states:

“Members of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. Ethical journalism strives to ensure the free exchange of information that is accurate, fair and thorough. An ethical journalist acts with integrity.” It goes on to say:

“The Society declares these four principles as the foundation of ethical journalism and encourages their use in its practice by all people in all media.”

It lists seventeen statements such as:

“Recognize a special obligation to serve as watchdogs over public affairs and government. Seek to ensure that the public’s business is conducted in the open, and that public records are open to all.”

They’ve abandoned their ethics to bring down the sitting president because their standard bearer couldn’t win a fixed election.

President Trump is doing his best to live up to his campaign promises. He’s trying to make America great again. The democrats with the help of the main stream media are doing everything they can to cause his failure and removal from office.

This is a classic duel of Good Versus Evil. The President is trying to do what he thinks is right and best for the country. President Trump won the election, his beliefs are what count now, he’s entitles to set the agenda.

Years ago, the opposition was referred to as the loyal opposition. I can’t see using that term today. I don’t see loyalty in the opposition.

The opposition has deliberately abandoned their ethics. They’ve deliberately abandoned fair and impartial treatment of all public figures. They’ve deliberately chosen to shape the facts as they want them shaped not to report the facts and serve as a public watchdog.

In this battle between Good and Evil the Good will win and Evil will lose because the opposition has abandoned the right to win by abandoning their ethics.

Ethics keeps us honest, without ethics they will go too far and they will sink so deep, they will stray so far from credibility that they will self-destruct as Good to move forward and wins.

 

 

 

 

 

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Chicken Little and the Sky is Falling

Sky is falling

What we’re seeing in the news is exactly what Chicken Little’s folktale warns us about. First there’s a non-event, a leaf lands on Chicken Little’s tale, that causes Chicken Little to over react and panic. A Leaf on the tale equals the sky is falling.

Chicken Little was naïve, gullible, and lived for drama. Chicken Little didn’t need facts or truth to report what he honestly believed. Chicken Little told Henny Penny that the sky is falling. Chicken Little shared his assumption that the worst-case scenario was reality and shared his panic with Henny Penny. Henny Penny, just as naïve and gullible as Chicken Little assumed a similar state of panic, she ignored all facts and ran around sharing her worst fears with anyone and everyone. Henny Penny told Ducky Lucky that the sky is falling, Ducky Lucky then told Goosey Loosey, who told Turkey Lurkey, who finally told Foxy Loxy.

Sky is falling 1

Everyone got into a state of panic because one drama loving Chicken went from a nonevent, the leaf landing on his tail, to a worst-case scenario. Chicken Little managed to convince everyone the end was near.

Foxy Loxy, the only adult in the group, looked around and saw the obvious, the sky was not falling. Foxy Loxy started asking questions. Do you hear the sky falling? Everyone said no that they didn’t. Do you see the sky falling? Everyone answered no again.

Then Foxy Loxy asked the most important question, why do you think he sky is falling? They started to look from one to the other and the trail went from one to the other until they got to Henny Penny, in a weak voice she said, because Chicken Little said so.

Sky is falling 2

Foxy Loxy then asked Chicken Little, why do you think the sky is falling? Chicken Little said because a leaf landed on my tail.

They all went home and lived happily ever after.

The nonevent we are witnessing now is the allegation of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. If there was any substance to it the facts would be public by now. The worst case scenario is that the Trump Campaign was elected because they colluded with Russia to steal the election from the Clinton campaign. The main stream media is less concerned with facts or reality than they are concerned with causing President Trump to look foolish and incompetent so they spend every day screaming that the sky is falling.

Too many voters in this country are as naïve and gullible as Henny Penny, Ducky Lucky, and the rest to ask the questions that will calm the panic.

We don’t have enough Foxy Loxy’s in this country.

The sky is not falling, and the false narrative and inflated sense of panic created by the main stream media significantly impacts the media’s credibility. The day will come where there will be a real story and their constant stream of the sky is falling will drown out the severity of the real crisis.

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Trump vs Tammany Hall

img_8731-3  Boss Tweed

What’s happening in Washington is more than just sour grapes on the part of the Democrats who lost the presidential election. Its more than a left leaning main stream media with an agenda to get President Trump impeached. It’s a desperate attempt by the Washington Establishment to hold on to what they believe is theirs.

I’m not suggesting that there’s a single person behind a curtain pulling the strings that controls the country, but I do believe that there are groups of people who are controlling events in such a way to benefit themselves and their constituencies. Their motives are selfish with little to no concern for the tax payers.

This is like the way Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall ran New York in the 19th century.

According to Tweed biographer Kenneth D. Ackerman:

It’s hard not to admire the skill behind Tweed’s system … The Tweed ring at its height was an engineering marvel, strong and solid, strategically deployed to control key power points: the courts, the legislature, the treasury and the ballot box. Its frauds had a grandeur of scale and an elegance of structure: money-laundering, profit sharing and organization.

Some of the anger and the hatred directed at President Trump I believe is fueled by the forces that want to retain control over the gravy train that they benefit from.

President Trump was elected by tax payers who felt they are expected to fund the avarice of the powers that be. Elected officials at the federal state and local levels spend tax dollars to achieve their own agenda not to care for the public good. President Trump is not one of them and he refuses to participate.

Boss Tweed 2

Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall were eventually shut down and sent to jail, partly through the efforts of cartoonist Thomas Nast. This cartoon shows part of what we’re seeing today. A loosely associated ring of liars, thieves and cheats distorting reality to work the system to line their own pockets.

Tammany Hall was organized and had a single leader. I don’t think that’s what’s happening now, but it’s possible. I think it’s more likely that the system as it is benefits those in position to reap the benefits as they currently do. President Trump changes the game in a way that they can’t control and they see the potential for their loss of control and loss of serious income.

Some of the outrage and hatred is genuine and some is generated to fuel the fire.

There is too much hatred and emotion directed toward President Trump to be coming from those outraged at losing a rigged election. There must be more in play than just that.

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The Comey Firing

The Comey Firing

 

http://blog.dilbert.com/post/160515646406/the-comey-firing

 

Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert writes a great blog. This article from his blog offers an excellent opinion about the firing of Comey. It includes an interesting opinion of how Comey handled the Clinton case before the election. I highly recommend reading his blog.

 

My opinion of Comey’s handling of the Clinton email issue remains the same. I believe he sacrificed his career and reputation to avoid taking from the American voters their option of having the leader of their choice. If Comey had pushed for Clinton’s indictment, the country would have ended up with a President Trump without a “fair” election. That was the worst-case scenario for the country and the world. Comey prevented that disaster while still making it clear to the American public that Clinton was not guilt-free with her email server. He let the voters decide how much weight to assign all of that. In my opinion, Comey handled the Clinton email situation like a patriot. The media is spinning the situation as “making it all about himself.” That’s true in the same sense that a Medal of Honor winner who jumped on a grenade to save his buddies is “making it all about himself.” I don’t disagree with the characterization that Comey was trying to be the “hero” because that’s how it looks to me too. 

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