Tag Archives: Media Circus

Fake News?

I saw a picture 5 days ago online that was part of a story how the sexist Ukranian army was making female soldiers march in high heels. MUCH outcry over it also, with the world denouncing the barbaric practices.

This story came from the Washington Examiner and was (theoretically) vetted by MSN News before they also posted the story. The Examiner even claims that the photo in question was released by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense.

BUT, are we REALLY seeing what we are told we’re seeing? These are cadets practicing for a parade supposedly. HOWEVER… The picture immediately raised several questions for me.

First, why are they all wearing numbers like they’re entering a marathon? Hardly military.

There are also several other inconsistencies with their “uniforms”:

  1. Their stockings are all different. No Uniformity.
  2. Their T Shirts are different colors and worn differently also, with sleeves folded or rolled at the wearer’s whim.
  3. There’s no rank or any other military insignia anywhere on the uniforms
  4. Their pants are too tight, with many of the girls looking like they’re wearing stretch pants almost. Military combat uniforms are loose to allow freedom of movement.
  5. Hats are pulled down with their bills creased to varying degrees as well.

There’s a variance in posture, head position and hair styles that don’t speak to being real military cadets as well.

For comparison, I did A LITTLE scouting around the internet and quickly found several pictures to fact check. Something it SEEMS that the Examiner and MSN should have done:

image via Reddit

These are actual Ukrainian soldiers (as opposed to alleged cadets). Note that everything I pointed out as wrong in the above picture is different here.

image from UniformGirls.blogspot.com

Above is a picture of women wearing a Ukrainian army dress uniform.

image via warnewsupdates.blogspot.com

And for comparison, there’s the men’s uniforms above and the women’s’ full combat uniforms below:

MY CONCLUSION:

I’d bet that first picture that the Examiner ran with was a fake created by Russia, and wasn’t even fact checked. Russia has wanted The Ukraine back under it’s thumb for a long time, and propaganda is a favorite tactic. If they can make Ukraine’s government look evil, less people will complain when Russia rolls in to take the rest of the country after already seizing part of it’s coastal area for naval bases.

That said, I do indeed smell a rat here, AND wonder where the fact checking and named sources are. I also wonder how we’re supposed to trust the media when things like this are regularly turning up as “factual” news.

Social Commentary: Let’s Define Some Terms

As I mentioned in my last post, I dropped the ball on defining some of the terms in me What the Elites Fear post. I don’t blame Jyvur Entropy (free blog plug removed for trolling) there. Terms like “Elites” are kicked around by everyone from hard core marxists to conspiracy theorists to libertarians. Everyone has a different definition also; dictionary be damned.

For my new readers, I’m a moderate who leans conservative. What that means in plain English, is that I see the flaws in the extremes of both sides of the political debate. I believe strongly in honesty also. If I see a good idea come from anybody, doesn’t matter if it’s Trump or Pelosi, I’ll give them credit while still holding them accountable for their bad ideas.

Being a free thinker, I’m an acquired taste. People that dogmatically follow any given ideology have a hard time following me and sometimes say I sound like two different people. Such is life.

All of that MAY be somewhat irrelevant anyway. I’m not sure I’m going to continue with social issue posts. I’ve found them a big distraction from my creative writing, and a mood killer as well.

Regardless of if I continue, I do need to go back and define a few terms for readers.

Let’s start with the dreaded “elites”.

For starters, as I was using it yesterday (and in other posts), I was referring to the super rich who have more money than God, and a god complex about what they think that entitles them to do. George Soros is a great example. So are Mark Zuckerburg and a handful of other tech billionaires. Just examples though, NOT the entire list. These people use their money to screw with people’s lives and freedoms, try to indoctrinate others to their ideologies, and generally don’t care who they run over to increase their wealth and power.

There are others as well… Top level executives that sit on the boards of interlocking corporate directorships and are nameless to the vast majority of people. Interlocking corporate directorships are when board members of one company sit on the board of one or more other companies as well.

One great example of how this can create a conflict of interest is when Brand X does something horrible, and Media Company A white washes the whole situation because Mister Smith is on the boards of both corporations. Or maybe “Retail Company A” won’t carry some new start-up’s product because Manufacturer X sees it as a threat to their market share and there are people who sit on both companies’ boards of directors. Note investopedia says interlocking directorships are a COMMON practice too.

Capitalism… PURE capitalism, is a wonderful thing. It’s created more millionaires and lifted more people out of poverty than any other economic system out there. How these people make their money is nothing close to Adam Smith’s idea of capitalism though.

OK, I got off track there BUT I think it’s worth leaving the two paragraphs intact to show you don’t have to be Mark Zuckerburg to screw with the populace. It also shows that one can be a good American and capitalist, and strongly disagree with the way mega-corporations do business.

Then we have the politicians.

Do I really need much explanation here? They’re ALL whores for sale to the highest bidder, even if they come in with genuine good intentions. That’s why I believe in term limits all the way down to city dogcatcher. Get people out before they become corrupted. They spend more time fund raising and campaigning than they do legislating. Ultimately it always becomes about the perks.

Great movie, BTW… If you’ve never seen it, I highly recommend it. The scene pretty much shows what independent thinkers already know; the issues are a smoke screen that enable politicians to keep the base fired up and at each others’ throats while they collect money and laugh behind our backs.

The Media…

This goes beyond trainwreck to “Death Star remnants crashing into Endor”.

First there’s the reality that many journalists are biased. Factor in the power and influence of their corporate overlords and those interlocking directorates, and you’ve got a real mess. My previous rants against the media have been because I can’t find a single story online, be it Fox, MSNBC or NPR without thinking “Where’s the supporting evidence?”, “That’s a blatant lie”, “That’s completely misrepresenting what was said”, or “You’re playing on emotion and not reporting facts”.

Combine that with networks carrying commentary shows disguised as news like Rachel Maddow or Hannity and the waters really get muddy. Call them on something and the reply is almost always the same too; you’re a racist or a marxist.

The Whole Illuminati / N.W.O. Conspiracy Theory

Sadly if you’re a free thinker, this is often the defense used by the corrupt and their (usually) well meaning supporters; you’re a conspiracy nut.

To a large degree, I think the whole Illuminati thing is nonsense. Note I said “to a large degree” however. Just because the vast majority of the stuff on the topic out there is completely insane doesn’t mean it’s all false. Look at the Georgia Guidestones:

courtesy of Wikipedia. Link above.

Somebody spent a TON of money to erect a monument that spells out the New World Order philosophy in plain English, and permanently buy the land owner’s silence on who it was. There’s remarks from Kissinger, Soros, and several other politicians and super rich spouting similar ideas too.

Many of the same ideas show up in the extreme views on climate change and other social issues as well, including a need to drastically reduce the Earth’s population (AKA Genocide).

So yes, there’s a LITTLE truth there. I don’t believe they’re this all power shadow syndicate running the world, but they wish they could be. The best way to hide what they’re doing is to bury it under a pile of seemingly related crap so deep that no sane person would give it any credit either.

My Disgust With the Media Continues to Skyrocket

Finally having more time to turn my attention back to current events, I’ve become more and more disgusted as I see a constant stream of lies and half truths from the media. Everything from stupid shit there’s no reason to even spin, to lies on major news events.

Let’s lead into this rant with something light: The Wall Street Journal ran a piece saying that truck drivers are feeling isolated with no places to stop to eat, use the restroom, shower, etc… There were some other issues raised that were likely very legitimate, such as falling prices paid by shippers, etc…

I just got done driving the length of California, through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee though. Damned near coast to coast. I stopped frequently also due to the RV’s carbon monoxide leak and horrific gas mileage. We stopped at truck stops almost exclusively due to better services too. EVERY truck stop had an open restaurant, restrooms and showers. We even used the showers at one facility in Arkansas. There’s NO grey area here. The story is BLATANTLY lying about this situation. The only question is WHY? Just for ratings? In hopes of drumming up more fear about COVID-19?

On a more serious note, I saw another WSJ story that implied Attorney General Barr was dropping the ball on the George Floyd case as he had previously done on the Rodney King case. The only trouble here is that it was the Feds (AKA Barr) that got civil rights convictions on those dirty cops after local prosecutors had failed to get criminal convictions for “assault under color of authority”. As it is, the local and federal investigations and prosecutions in the Floyd case have barely even begun. How about we give justice a chance to start to work before we make STUPID judgments?

I had been operating under the misguided assumption that the WSJ was one of the few remaining unbiased, reputable media sources out there.

Then you have the Minneapolis mayor blaming “white supremacists” for all the damage and looting during protests. Why the hell is not ONE media source calling bullshit on this guy and challenging his city’s unwillingness to follow through on reforms after similar past incidents? Why is nobody doing an in-depth report on Minneapolis using it’s police force largely as a revenue collection tool, and focusing those efforts on the city’s poor of all races?

More importantly why doesn’t the media care about their spreading lies like this contributing to the violence and destruction? The modern media reminds me of the sick kid in school that always used to run around spreading lies to provoke fights and feuds between other students.

Even on the local front, we have the “news media” more intent on stirring up drama to create news instead of reporting on it. Two different stories from two different sources on the EXACT SAME event:

The Murfreesboro Post reported that the protesters gathering at the city square for George Floyd were all “Southern nationalists and white supremacists”, and peaceful counter-protesters would be gathering elsewhere at a park.

U.S.A Today, hardly a right leaning paper by any means, reported that the downtown protest was going to peaceful and FOR George Floyd.

Same story, who’s telling the truth? Better yet, how are we supposed to trust ANY of them when they lie this much? By the way, want to know what the actual truth was here?

There’s your “white supremacist” protestor shaking hands with cops. Damned funny looking Klan robes…

For the record… I FULLY support peaceful protests, and they are certainly called for in this situation. I also fully support stomping a mud hole in ANY protester that turns violent. I don’t care if they’re a white racist trying to stir up trouble, or a just plain punk or any race. The rest of the crowd should turn on them, NOT follow them.

If silence is complicity in the case of the initial crime, it is with the mob following the trouble makers as well.

Luckily things stayed largely peaceful here.

People of all races praying for peace and justice. There’s the truth.

The closest thing we got to a “Klan rally” downtown was a couple of peaceful protestors that showed up in support of law enforcement in general and against looting:

Note EXACTLY what the sign says also.

  1. Rioting is NOT Protesting
  2. Crime is not Justice
  3. Not ALL Cops are Bad.

What the guy is protesting is half of downtown Nashville being burned and vandalized the night before, and Minneapolis practically in ruins. Do I think this is the time or spot to try to make those points? Not really. At the very least he should have had a sign directly and clearly advocating peaceful protest.

Nowhere does he say that George Floyd deserved what he got. I’d be all for a Pinata Party right there if he had. None the less the news had to put their biased spin on it. Here’s the blurb that accompanied that picture:

Hunter Culling of Murfreesboro holds up a sign in front of police officers during demonstrations in Murfreesboro Public Square in Murfreesboro, Tenn., on Sunday, May 31, 2020 in reaction to the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after being pinned down by a white Minneapolis police officer on Memorial Day. HELEN COMER / DNJ

In reaction to the death of George Floyd, NOT in reaction to the looting despite the sign saying so.

I’d ask if they were too ignorant to understand the difference, but they know. It’s a deliberate effort to divide people and create conflict. If the news truly cared about change and civil rights, they’d be promoting communication and unified peaceful effort.

After reporters had been stirring them up for hours, the crowd finally did start to get unruly near sundown too. Police ordered them to disperse and had to use tear gas to get some of them to do so. Afterwards a curfew was put into effect to prevent things from turning into what happened in Nashville.

I’m REALLY at the point of thinking we need some sort of regulation or oversight of the media. On the simplest level, such an idea SHOULD be utterly abhorrent. Yet reality is that civil liberties of all types are based on the concept that they will be used responsibly with regard to their impact on others. The oft cited “Freedom of Speech doesn’t give one the right to yell “FIRE” in a crowded theater” for example.

How we do that when we likely can’t trust any oversight group to be unbiased either, I have NO idea.

I used to think lawyers were the great evil in our society. Nowadays, I think it’s the press.

Stupid Story of the Day:

I was hoping to stay away from politics and the virus today, but… ABC just had to work my last good nerve.

HEADLINE: Health care workers fear losing their jobs during coronavirus pandemic.

We’re expected to believe that during a global pandemic of “epic proportions”, that small and rural hospitals are laying 43,000 people off in order to focus exclusively on emergency room treatment of patients, per the story.

“This may seem counterintuitive as we read daily of health care providers caring for COVID-19 patients stretched to capacity, but other types of health services have been shutting down like the rest of the service economy. This month’s losses were concentrated in ambulatory care settings, including physician offices, dental offices, and offices of other practitioners. As non-essential visits were cancelled, and states began ordering social distancing, such offices were closed. Even telemedicine visits, directly linking providers to patients, reduce the use of support staff.”

Here’s why I’m calling BS:

1) Rural areas, despite all the false stories of them struggling to cope, have seen minimal intrusion by the coronavirus. Everywhere you look, it’s URBAN areas with dense concentrations of people that are getting hit the hardest. New York City being the poster child there; high population, EXTREMELY crowded and it’s an international city. Placerville CA, by contrast (with a population of roughly 11,000) hasn’t seen a single case at all.

2) “Ambulatory Care” is walk-in type services. Nothing in that definition implies non-essential. Dentists are walk-in and while many are putting routine teeth cleaning visits on hold, they’re certainly still seeing people for impacted wisdom teeth, chipped or knocked out teeth, cavities, etc… Same is true with all other non-ER medical treatment. It’s only the completely routine and preventative stuff that’s being delayed.

3) Any place where the coronavirus IS an issue, personnel are getting shuffled around to other departments to help deal with it. Doing something to care for patients, (with the virus or otherwise), in some way. Even if it’s just running supplies and records back and forth.

4) It flies completely in face of the constant barrage of stories about there not being enough health care workers to deal with this “crisis”.

5) Why is this supposedly only happening in small and rural hospitals, not urban ones? Again, this sounds simply like bias against the deplorable, smelly Walmart shoppers who vote conservative.

You just don’t furlough health care workers in the middle of a pandemic UNLESS they’re in a completely non-helpful role, such as the gift shop AND / OR they are NOT willing to come in and help for fear of the virus. That IS happening with a few health care workers too. One of my fellow bloggies here was forced to make that decision and opted to stay home. I can’t judge her either because I don’t have a small child to think about as a factor to such a decision. She does.

WHAT’S NOT SAID IN THE STORY:

Even if we assume this story IS true at all, let’s consider a couple of key facts that were left out. Can’t put in important details if you’re trying to create blind panic for ratings, right?

1) What jobs these people have. I’d seriously bet that none of the furloughed people are actually doctors, or nurses. Hell, even janitors are needed to clean and sterilize areas.

2) How many of these “lost jobs” are people that were just too afraid to come to work thanks to the media-created hysteria. There’s a HUGE difference between that and a hospital saying “we just don’t need you now”. As a side note, I’d imagine a few of them are even normal retirements.

3) That, per the CDC, there are a total of 18,000,000 (18 million) health care workers in the United States. Now, for those who aren’t willing to do the math themselves, that means that the 43,000 “lost” jobs, if they’re real at all, amount to .24% (a hair less than one quarter of one percent OR 1 in 400) of the total heath care workforce.

Is ANYBODY out there starting to see just how far the Media will go to exploit a crisis and outright hurt people for the sake of ratings?

Let the flogging begin!

By the way… ABC’s parent company is Disney. THIS kind of manipulative, shoddy reporting is what your money spent on Disney stuff goes to support.

TIME OUT!!!

Today is SUPPOSED to be Friday Fun Day here at the blog. Things have been crazy though. Trying combat the fear mongering and BS out there is exhausting. Not really good for my hypertension when I see all the manipulative wording. “Coronavirus Related Causes” being a MASSIVE one in reporting on deaths. Most of the time, these poor people were in BAD shape to begin with. The virus just hastened their demise. That doesn’t sell papers or get TV ratings though.

Nobody is telling us truths. We’re getting “could possibly”, “is likely to”, etc… on top of tricky word games like the above. The media and the government need to quit playing games and start giving us accurate, complete disclosure. How else are we supposed to know what to do?

Then there’s the political manipulation and division too. Bloomberg published an article recently about how the South was the epicenter of the outbreak and was so backwards that it was completely unprepared to handle it.

I think they’d better check the NYC death totals. This is a pandemic, not a opportunity to take cheap shots at groups you’re bigoted against, Mr Bloomberg and CO. Division and hate have NO place in the current situation. Doubly so when you’re giving people bad info on the pandemic.

On a personal level, we’re behind on getting packed for our move. We’re also wondering if it’s even going to be possible at this point with travel restrictions in place in some places. You can’t even get good information on how they work due to all the hysteria in reporting. Either way, we have some real catch up work to do and my time here may be limited in the immediate future.

In the mean time, I’ll leave you with a partially Fun Friday:

Those from ICanzHasCheeseburger. Always a good place for an animal related giggle. 🙂

Beware Media Hysteria & Manipulation

It’s Tuesday! Time to take out the trash again. LOL

The coronavirus mess has done a lot to highlight media sensationalism and manipulation IF you’re paying attention and looking for facts. I’ve gone over the statistics in recent blog posts. This virus should be taken seriously. Sheltering in place and social distancing is a good idea. Is it the end of the world though? No.

If you paid attention to most media outlets, either we’re all going to die and it’s going to be worse than the Spanish Flu of 1918, OR we should all go out and lick shopping carts because it’s a hoax.

Ironic that the last proponent of “it’s all a fraud” that I heard was Rand Paul. He was on the radio a little under a week ago howling that it was all just an attack on civil liberties. No word on if he’s changed his tune since coming down with the virus. O_o

On the hysteria side, the best example I’ve seen was media sources quoting Emily Landon, MD, Executive Director Infection Prevention and Control, University of Chicago Medical Center in saying this was the Spanish Flu of 1918 all over again.

She (and the media quoting her) completely neglect to mention that the Spanish Flu killed somewhere between 17 and 50 million people. Some say as many as 100 million. She also fails to mention that the Spanish Flu was much more dangerous to younger people with stronger immune systems than COVID-19 is. There were also other secondary factors like areas still physically recovering from World War 1 getting hit extra hard.

As of today, we have 18,605 total deaths worldwide, 2091 just today. That’s enough to merit taking this seriously. It’s a FAR cry from 50 million people in a year though.

Here’s the thing with the shelter in place and other measures we’re all being advised to follow: If they work properly, it’s going to look like they were never needed, or at least were a big overreaction.

Stay calm, realize this will pass, and take anything the media EVER tells you with a grain of salt. Be skeptical. The media thrives on creating fear and anger.

So, let’s look at some of their more common tricks:

“Expert” Opinions:

The two examples above illustrate that the media will ALWAYS be able to find an “expert” to back up whatever opinion they have. Rand Paul and Emily Langston are both doctors, but have COMPLETELY opposite views on this mess. Why? Personal motivations.

Rand Paul was raised by his father to be a huge civil liberties guy. Normally we could use more of them too. Sometimes, common sense has to balance civil liberties with social good.

Emily Langston runs the Infectious Disease Center at the University of Chicago. A) the more noise she makes about this, the more money her center will get from the government and private donors. B) Given her role, she probably sees every new outbreak in terms of an absolute worst case scenario.

“Experts” almost always run off of motivated self interest before anything else. Another example from this pandemic is that it’s being reported that the CDC was actually downplaying how dangerous this outbreak was at the beginning. They supposedly got blindsided by it and didn’t want to look ignorant. I’ve only heard a few unconfirmed reports here, but if true it explains where the White House and others were getting bad info from.

Just hit a search engine if you want to see how many times the CDC has dropped the ball before. Anybody recall they were all for e-cigarettes as a healthy alternative to smoking when that first started?

Partial Truths:

Keep in mind that no matter how bad any media outlet spins a story, there’s always going to be just enough truth to avoid having to admit they bald faced lied. What do I mean?

OK, let’s say there’s a news story about some EVIL person swooping into the local store and buying up their entire inventory of toilet paper. The story takes on a whole different light if that “entire inventory” was the last package they had, doesn’t it? Technically they reported accurately BUT would they have given a true picture in that scenario? I’ve seen the media go this far in other cases to create ratings. I always ask what I’m NOT being told anymore.

Half Quotes:

Another favorite tactic of the media. Politicians on both sides either benefit or suffer from the tactic’s use. It all depends on who is doing the reporting on whom. Reagan used to get misquoted by the media all the time regarding his proposed shutting down the Department of Education. They’d report that he wanted children to suffer. They ignored that what he actually proposed was sending the funding directly to the states instead, believing people closer to the issues knew better how to spend the money than bureaucrats in Washington DC.

Leaving Out Key Facts:

There’s no test kits and medical supplies!!! How often have you heard THAT exaggeration in the news? Well, they’re ALL manufactured in CHINA, right down to every antibiotic that’s sold in the US. Anybody see a problem here? Anybody hear that fact reported, or is it all blaming the government and evil corporations?

Manipulative and Misleading Language:

I’ll finish this up with this one last major tactic. The media, politicians, corporations and PR firms, and some of the more manipulative individuals out there all pull this trick. Manipulative language is everywhere

One story on MSN’s home page talked about how the number of deaths from COVID-19 *SOARED* in the US. It sounds so dramatic doesn’t it? Virus spreading everywhere, no one is safe! If you look at the numbers though, we’re at 600 deaths nationwide. In a population of 330 million, that’s a pretty damned small number.

Again, let’s follow the advice out there and keep that number small. Be kind to your fellow bloggers and human beings too. Even when you know the facts, this is still a kind of scary situation.

BOTTOM LINE:

Be skeptical of anything the media tells you. Displaying personal bias and social engineering are seen as good things in the media today. Strong negative emotions = strong ratings also. No single source is going to get it all correct. It’s not enough to go to a source with a similar outlook also. If you like CNN, you’re only going to get the same info at MSNBC. You have to go to TownHall.com or Fox. The same is true of you flip the coin. Fox and talk radio slant the truth also. I catch them regularly. You have to look at and fact check both sides to find the more complete truth in the middle.

And for the love of humanity, DO NOT get your news from late night comedians or social media! Talk about fountains of misinformation and hysteria…

COVID-19: Is There More Going On Than Meets the Eye?

Welcome to Wildcard Wednesday. At least today I can justify a virus related post fitting within the structure of the blog.

In response to my last post, The Hinoeuma posted a couple of links to some interesting stories related to the hysteria and government action around the coronavirus. Factual, statistics based level headed reporting in the case of the first link too. The second didn’t have as many supporting facts and figures, but was logical and persuasive.

The more I read, the more I wonder what’s going on here.

Italy has 1016 deaths from COVID-19 thus far. It’s held up as the worst case scenario and proof of the end of the world by a few. The interesting thing is that Italy also has 16,000 deaths annually from the normal flu. Spread over a 7 month flu season, that’s 2000 deaths a month. Twice the rate of COVID-19.

Most other countries are lagging well behind that scenario. The US has only 100 deaths currently.

By comparison, in 2010 the H1N1 strain of Swine Flu swept across the U.S. (and many other parts of the world as I recall). 59 million Americans contracted Swine Flu, 265,000 were hospitalized, and 12,000 died from the 2009/2010 outbreak. That per US Centers for Disease Control stats on Wikipedia.

That makes for a .02% death rate from Swine Flu. You MAY say there’s the answer; a lower mortality rate. The truth is we have NO idea how many people have COVID-19 and will never even see a doctor because their symptoms are so minor. The current 9/10ths of 1 percent death rate for COVID-19 only reflects KNOWN cases. Its one of those situations where statistics can be VERY misleading.

While I do recall the press making some noise about the H1N1 epidemic, most of the coverage was about it’s spread in Asia. Same with SARS and the Bird Flu during their time.

100 dead vs 12,000 dead though… Which one sounds like it requires an extreme response? If you want to add in an even more drastic number the CDC said 80,000 people in the United States died from the garden variety flu last year.

Keep in mind that the 2018 stats were lower than last year. Looks like the Flu just may be a whole lot more dangerous after all, huh?

Likewise, the World Health Organization reports that 1.5 million people died from tuberculosis in 2018. Where’s the hysteria over that?

I understand we’re dealing with an unknown here, and unknowns are always scary. COVID-19 seems to spread very quickly also. The amount of sheer panic seems completely overkill when looking at the bigger picture though.

DISCLAIMER: As I’ve said in previous posts, I still advocate common sense steps to keep safe from this outbreak. Good hygiene, reasonable levels of social distancing, proper rest, nutrition and supplementation, etc… COVID-19 should be taken seriously.

That said, there’s a level of reaction that’s difficult to explain with this scenario. I’m going to try to look at a few possible explanations.

THE MEDIA:

Anyone who thinks they aren’t biased just isn’t paying attention. Various outlets have their own political biases (left or right) and they ALL have a bias towards conflict, division and panic to promote ratings and profit. In short, they know you’re not going to watch a story that’s presented calmly and rationally. There MUST be human suffering, and the grander the scale, the better.

In short, my opinion is that the media is mostly whipping up fear for the sake of ratings.

THE GOVERNMENT:

Democrats, especially the Presidential candidates have been trying to capitalize on the outbreak since the get go. To be fair, I have little doubt Republicans would be doing the exact same thing if the situation were reversed. Both parties trash talk the economy when the other is in office. Politicians are power hungry and opportunistic. Period. Personal power gain certainly is ONE factor here.

We have other things going on though… Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, testified that the coronavirus death rate is 10 times worse than the seasonal flu. Given that 10,000 Americans die per month from the flu, that would require the coronavirus to have already killed 100,000 Americans. Clearly he’s lying.

Likely motive here? 1) it gets him attention and in front of the cameras. That leads to 2) Government bureaucrats measure their power by how big their department budget is. Creating a panic helps him grow his budget and power as a bureaucrat by leaps and bounds.

There’s also the power grab in the form of increased laws and regulations. Congress is voting on hastily put together laws, and have no idea what’s in them. Much like the Patriot Act and all it’s attached laws, this has the potential to be a major blow to freedom and civil rights.

BIG BUSINESS:

It’s also possible that he and other bureaucrats are getting some sort of covert kickbacks from various industries. Think that’s not likely? Big Business is benefiting from the hysteria. The US Federal Reserve pumped 6 TRILLION ( $6,000,000,000,000 ) dollars into Wall Street in the last six weeks. 215 Billion Dollars a day. A good portion of that was in the form of secured loans, not outright give-aways. Still, the bailout for the great recession was only 1.5 trillion dollars. Are things REALLY four times worse now than they were when the housing bubble burst?

Does anybody remember what the banks did and didn’t do with those bailouts last time? They were SUPPOSED to start loaning to consumers to jump start the economy. Instead they sat on it and used it to buy up their competition. Smaller banks are almost non-existent now.

Big Business will find a way to profit from this, even if it’s only waiting out the collapse of their smaller competition and gaining more of a monopoly in their niche. Giant loans and give aways from the government only make that easier for them.

All total, the big bailout passed over the last weekend is supposed to be 5 TRILLION dollars. 1.5 Trillion of that going to banks, wall street and big business, on top of what they’ve already gotten.

Five Trillion dollars is more than the ENTIRE record breaking 2020 proposed US Budget also. That same budget leaves almost 1 Trillion dollars of it unfunded also. 1 Trillion dollars in deficit for just one year’s budget. NOW we’re supposed to wave a magic wand and find another 5 trillion more to add to that?

Regardless of how bad the virus may or may not be, people are clearly taking major advantage of the fear. Corporations are getting obscene amounts of money, and I have little doubt that politicians are getting something in return.

“You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” – Rahm Emanuel

More properly stated “…you couldn’t get away with before”.

Simply put crises like this and 9/11 are treated as opportunities to exploit by both politicians and big business. I didn’t even mention Big Pharma. They have a history of trying to turn out unsafe products and now they’re on the verge of getting all FDA standards thrown out the window for the sake of some sort of treatment.

CONCLUSION:

The public needs what it’s NOT getting; full disclosure about how fast this virus truly spreads, and how dangerous it can truly be. What we’re getting from the media and ALL our public officials is inconsistent and increasingly self-serving.

We clearly need to keep a better eye on both groups also, given how morally bankrupt and self-serving they’ve become.

In the meantime, take care of yourselves and practice all the common sense safety you’ve heard here and elsewhere.

The two articles that I mentioned are here:

https://www.zerohedge.com/political/if-contrived-political-hysteria-what-objective

http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/march/16/the-coronavirus-hoax/

For the record, I find Ron Paul to be a bit… extreme in the pursuit of Libertarian ideals. He speaks truth to power but sometimes seems to forget that we as individuals also have some responsibility to the society around us. He IS also a doctor though and makes some good, if strongly stated, points regarding the coronavirus.

A Second Round of Coronas

Things have started to calm down with the house now that we’re actually listed and showing again. The big exception being when we have open houses. I came back to start playing catch up on replying to posts by others. Unfortunately, much of what I found was COVID-19 hysteria. I just cannot get wrapped up in that. SOMEBODY has to be the adult in the room.

Let’s go over some facts again:

There have been 6000 deaths worldwide thus far. With a current world population of 7,800,000,000 that means that COVID-19 has killed 1 out of every 1,300,000 people

In all my research, I can only find ONE child, somewhere in age between 10 and 19 in China who died from it. NO information on any secondary health issues that the kid in question may have had. I haven’t read of anyone under 20 dying yet in Western countries.

China had roughly 45,000 people being treated. They have a population of 1,500,000,000. That means that only 1 in 33,333 people were bad enough to see a doctor at all.

As I posted earlier, and Statnews.com has also said, the overall death rates are LOW, unless you have major secondary health issues:

“Co-morbidities also raise the risk of dying from Covid-19. China CDC’s analysis of 44,672 patients found that the fatality rate in patients who reported no other health conditions was 0.9%. It was 10.5% for those with cardiovascular disease, 7.3% for those with diabetes, 6.3% for people with chronic respiratory diseases such as COPD, 6.0% for people with hypertension, and 5.6% for those with cancer.”

Those figures are straight, across the board percentages also and do NOT take into account the age factor. Under 30 year old fatalities and serious hospitalizations are so rare as to almost be non-existent. You have to get to over 80 with those above secondary issues to reach a 14.8% chance of serious medical issues or death.

I can rattle off statistics all day. Some people are addicted to drama though. That more than anything is what makes me fear for the future of the world. Everything has to be all or nothing for too many people. Nobody even wants to understand complex middle ground realities. These people and those leading them around by the nose will be the ruin of civilization.

For those who want to read more from the StatNews.com source I cited; here’s the link below. They’re a very balanced, rational source of information on just about anything medical. They will NOT tell you to go lick shopping carts; it’s all fake, NOR will they tell you we’re all going to die.

StatNews.com Article on Who Is Getting Sick from COVID-19

COVID-19 *IS* something we should be reasonably cautious about also. I said that in my Y2K repeat post. Avoid large gatherings, get good nutrition, wash your hands, etc… USE COMMON SENSE and limit your activities in a rational way. There’s zero need to barricade yourself in a bunker or plan funerals for all your family and friends though.

It’s Y2K All Over Again!!!

Yes, I’m talking about the complete insanity surrounding the outbreak of the Corona Virus. You can’t find toilet paper, bleach or paper towels within 20 miles here. Bottled water, frozen and canned food is starting to be in short supply also. Parents in Tennessee are hosing their kids down with disinfectant!!! Well, it IS Tennessee…

Can we just STOP and get a grip on reality?!? I know that’s hard when the media is playing up the hysteria for the sake of ratings, but…

THE FACTS:

Children 18 and under are all but immune to the virus. They’ll show minimal symptoms if any at all.

You’re in almost as good a shape if you’re 30 or under. All I’ve heard and read says at worst you’ll feel like you’ve got a mild to moderate cold or flu.

IN FACT; you have to be OVER 80 WITH SECONDARY HEALTH ISSUES before you get to a 15% chance of severe complications or death. In Wuhan Province where the virus started, 50% of the population over 80 years old still smokes.

Bottom line; this too shall pass. It will pass before we know it also. It was 44 days from outbreak to life back to normal in China. *IF* China’s government is to be believed, there were under 1000 deaths too. Considering the extreme population size of China, that’s not too bad.

Right now, in the U.S. we have 2200 cases with 48 deaths. The news is being pretty tight lipped about the demographics of those deaths thus far also. It’s a 2% rate however. Serious, but not “we’re all going to die!!!”.

Look, practice good hygiene. Reduce your public activities as well WITHIN REASON. Supplement with some Vitamin C and similar immune boosting vitamin and minerals too. This whole hording and heading for the hills mentality is the exact same mentality that we saw prior to Y2K. People were selling all they owned to move to bunkers in the woods and horde food, water and guns. In the end, the effect was almost non-existent too.

It also reminds me of AIDS hysteria in the 1980s. For a couple of years, some people were terrified to get within a mile of a LGBTQ person.

It was the media largely driving those hysterias, and it’s the media, along with opportunistic politicians driving the hysteria now. The Corona Beer sales story was a perfect example. Corona Beer’s CEO came out a week later and said their quarterly reports showed they were having one of their best years ever.

How many news outlets did you even hear make any sort of retraction or correction there? Nope, just off to the next exploitable angle on the hysteria.

Then there are the opportunistic politicians trying to exploit the situation for their own ends. Bernie Sanders said the death rate would top war casualties from World War 2.

https://news.yahoo.com/sanders-compares-covid-19-crisis-202250028.html

He’s not a doctor, has no crystal ball and is guilty of trying to create a national panic.

OK that’s enough politics. Look, this IS more serious than a common flu. It’s NOT the bubonic plague though. It’s not likely to even come close to rivaling the Spanish Flu of 1918. Should we be reasonably cautious? ABSOLUTELY. Do what I advised above, keep calm and carry on. In a month and a half, this will gone and forgotten.

Chris Mathews is Gone…

My first “Tuesday Trash” post following my blog reorganization.

Chris Mathews abruptly resigned, errr… “Retired” from MSNBC at the start of his “Hardball” show last night.

For the record, I never cared for Chris as a journalist. His “thrill up my leg” comment about Obama’s election is just one easy example of how biased he was. NONE THE LESS, as with Trump, I feel compelled to defend him here. Fundamental honesty and fairness demand it.

Mathews “retired”, briefly making some vague remarks about inappropriate comments. Most folks are saying they believe that publicly this has something to do with him flirting with a co-worker or some woman. I’m not up on the exact details.

If this IS the case, the fact that multiple female frequent guests to his show have jumped to his defense says ALOT. I’ve said in previous posts that I feel we’re losing something in this society when we can’t even compliment a person of the opposite sex on their looks, clothing, or casually flirt. I do STRONGLY differentiate flirting from sexual harassment as well. The difference SHOULD be common sense.

At the very least, “flirting” stops when the other party clearly says “Stop, not interested”. Somehow, we’ve gotten to the point that we have to protect people from the need to speak up. If you think about it, THAT only dis-empowers them. If you’re a feminist, the idea that you’re too weak to say “Sorry, not interested” should be repugnant.

All of this assumes the alleged flirting is even the issue.

Many people are also speculating that Chris Mathews was pushed into retirement over his criticism of Bernie Sanders, and anything else is just an excuse. This would NOT surprise me. MSNBC has been going more and more hard core socialist Left in it’s views.

That is all the more reason MSNBC needed somebody like Chris Mathews. I don’t think he’d give a person on the Right a fair shake to save his life. HOWEVER, he was more honest than most on his network about the pluses and minuses of various left-wing issues and people. He served as a balance to the extremists and kept the network better anchored with moderate liberals.

Now that’s gone. What’s worse is that IF it was a Bernie issue, we’re talking about a freedom of speech issue from an organization that no longer seems to realize it’s existence thrives on that same freedom.