The Experts are Coming …

We have (I probably should say the main stream media has) created a whole new class of experts.  

This phenomenon is not exclusive to the United States.  In the UK, for instance,  the mother of a slain teenaged boy has been elevated to peerage solely on the basis of her loss and now pontificates on matters of police prejudice, teen violence and immigration and race.  

For incomprehensible and absurd reasons we seem to elevate the families and friends of people involved in and victims of tragedies to the status of experts on subjects they know NOTHING about beyond their own obvious prejudice.  

It’s sad that your mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew got killed, maimed, injured, blinded, burnt, hanged, knifed, shot, or variously incapacitated.  I am truly sorry that it happened.  But that does NOT make you and expert on the law or its enforcement.  It does not make you an expert on immigration if you got jailed crossing the border illegally.  It does not make you an expert on the concept and definition of “self defense” if your relative gets himself killed by doing something DUMB.  It does NOT make you an expert on gun control and the constitution because someone in your family was gunned down.

 I respect your pain and grief.  I understand and empathize with you feelings of loss and anger.  BUT … you are no more an expert on any subject NOW than you were BEFORE any tragedy happened.  Further, nine times out of ten; you are being used by people who wish to exploit your tragedy to their own advantage.  Al Sharpton’s “National Action Network” would not exist and PROSPER with donations without people like you.  You are, for all intents and purposes, the product that he sells.

Days of Rage: Hours of Opportunism

(Amateur radicals with nothing to do are in NYC for a radical camp out. Not many people really take much notice here; so they will keep escalating until they get a reaction the the media will cover.

This is a great piece that about says it all.)

The last time I passed the Days of Rage protesters in downtown Manhattan, amid their litter of expensive camping equipment, iPhone chargers, mobile hotspots and handwritten cardboard signs, they reminded me of people who walk up to you in bars pretending that they just discovered a new brand of beer they want to share with you. Those people are plants, so are the people with torn cardboard signs surrounded by a few thousand dollars of equipment.

There are people who have reason to be enraged at Wall Street, but they rarely show up at rallies. They are too busy working a second job in their seventies or sitting outside a factory that was shipped off to China. And the people who do show up at rallies invariably have nothing to do with Wall Street and are financed by billionaires who made their money, directly or indirectly, in the stock market.

The paradox of Wall Street financed radicals protesting against the Street makes as much sense as a dose of class warfare from Warren Buffett. But the Street is a devious place, which makes money by betting against itself, and whose favorite politicians denounce it around election time. The cynical game of broken expectations is played here like nowhere else and the entire economy is on the table.

Obama poured money into Wall Street before denouncing it, and like Kerry, he was against Wall Street, before he was for it, before he was against it. At luncheons in exclusive restaurants, his allies are still explaining to hedge fund managers that Barry doesn’t really mean it. He’s just trying to get elected.

Democrats sometimes like to take off their Harvard jackets, loosen their club ties and try on a little populism, but it never sticks. They’re always against NAFTA, before they’re elected, and for it once they do. At towns with the rusted steel of lost manufacturing, they pledge to stand up for American industry, and then fly off to a fundraiser thrown by the outsourcing firms who have the actual money.

The belated crusade against Wall Street is even more pathetic as it is coordinated by groups who wouldn’t exist without men like Soros, who made their money from deals that make the Street look sparkling clean. It’s class warfare as a cynical jab at the populist center, the people who mutter to themselves that the Street is full of crooks and so is Congress.

They’re right and the Days of Rage protesters, who usually have a trust fund at their back and a degree in creative arts on their shelf, would never admit it. They’re not here to protest against power, but for those in power. Or else why target Wall Street now, long after the bailouts and the fizzing outrage over Corporate Personhood.

The Days of Rage are an Obama election rally, coordinated ahead of time to coincide with Obama’s own descent into class warfare
The Days of Rage are an Obama election rally, coordinated ahead of time to coincide with Obama’s own descent into class warfare. Which makes them a pro-government rally.

The yuppie ragers may try for comparisons to Tahrir Square, but they’re more like if Mubarak had thrown a rally blaming the whole thing on international bankers. It’s equally pathetic and desperate. And if the media had any credibility or ethics left, they would be doing something other than covering a disguised election rally as if it were the new Battle of Seattle.

Desperation is the only tactic here. Obama has lost on every issue and so the same fake “grass roots” plants who dialed up the social media during his last campaign, are sending the zombies into the streets to pretend to be leading a revolution. But if these are popular protests, then why do they look so much like an Abercrombie and Fitch take on the Battle of Algiers?

Where are the unemployed cannery workers, the bilked Madoff investors, the homeowners used as fronts for the massive Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac swindle by progressive billionaires like the Sandlers? Where are the victims of Buffett’s insurance companies and the ordinary taxpayers who show up to Tea Party rallies, who are paying for all the crony capitalism?

Days of Rage are more like a temper tantrum meant to manufacture the perception of public outrage
They’re absent because the Days of Rage are more like a temper tantrum meant to manufacture the perception of public outrage, while lying about the things that the public should be outraged about.

The sheer cost of HUD’s scams, the money diverted to friends of politicians, and the entire edifice of a corrupted capitalism where money is made by failing and then getting bailed out by the government deserves a real day of rage—but it’s not one that people from organizations funded by all that stolen money are going to express. You might as well ask members of the Communist Youth Movement to denounce the Politburo.

As Social Security swirls down the drain and millions of Americans eat paste out of a can, there’s lots of money available to pay photogentic young people to hand-letter cardboard signs, put on their costumes and pretend to be angry about something other than a Defense of Marriage amendment or a supermarket that still uses plastic shopping bags.

People who are as detached from the economic turmoils of a sinking economy as possible are the worst possible representatives of populist outrage
People who are as detached from the economic turmoils of a sinking economy as possible are the worst possible representatives of populist outrage. And why should they worry, as long as rogue billionaires like George Soros or Warren Buffett keep trying to run the country to suit their own interests and agendas—then they can expect a steady paycheck.

The exploitation of outrage is always an exercise in hypocrisy. But it’s a particularly pungent odor when the upper class mimes revolution, when they really mean status quo. This isn’t 2008, it’s 2011. These aren’t rallies meant to bring down a government they oppose, but to keep a government they support, with some bottom line differences, in power. To divert attention from its failures by resorting to a wholly phony populism that’s little more than a subway stop game of three-card monte.

It wasn’t the Street that squandered the Social Security Trust Fund or decided that the economy would look better with a 15 trillion dollar deficit
Hate the Street or not, the problems we face didn’t begin there. They began in Washington D.C. It wasn’t the Street that squandered the Social Security Trust Fund or decided that the economy would look better with a 15 trillion dollar deficit. The Street certainly played its role in suggesting to the politicians which side of the river to throw the money in, but it was at best a bagman. And the robbers are still off the Potomac, smirking their way through Senate sessions, and trading email notes with the organizations behind the populist protests.

Wall Street isn’t the cause of our economic problems, it’s the patsy for them. Bankers are always there to invest the loot when a government robs its own people blind. But unlike the leaders of so many Banana Republics, ours aren’t piling money in suitcases and flying on the next four engine prop plane out of a dusty tarmac surrounded by palms. They’re staying behind and running for reelection.

The Obama Administration is not the first government to pile up a huge deficit and treat the treasury like its own cash machine. It is not the first government to try and tough it out, by finding a villain to throw to the wolves and pledging to make them pay. These are all antics so outdated that you can read about them in the original Latin. Greek if you’re willing to dig deeper. Phoenician and Hebrew if you’ve got an excellent dictionary.

“I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!” Casablanca’s Captain Renault says. We have no shortage of Captain Renaults who show up at Wall Street to display their shock that the national economy is little more than a bunch of roulette tables, a few thousand pinball machines and a game that only exists so long as people have enough faith to keep throwing money into the pot.

But the Renaults know all about it, because they not only get their weekly cut, but because the entire system works only because the Renaults funnel money to the tables and then take their cut. And when the bubbles die, the jobs go down the chute and voters look for a scapegoat—the Renaults put on their best self-righteous faces and burst into the establishments to knock the cards out of the players’ hands. Shocked, shocked. This time they’re really going to regulate those naughty brokers.

We’ve played this game long enough that the Renaults and the players have gotten cynical, but the public still hasn’t quite caught on. When people mutter that Social Security is in trouble because there are thieves on Wall Street, they tragically miss the point.

Social Security is in trouble, because like everything else from D.C. to Wall Street, it was built for the interests of those in power, not for its supposed beneficiaries. Which was all-right when the men in the big chairs knew what they were doing, could count to ten, and understood that the system worked so long as you kept on top of it. When those men were replaced by overgrown boys and girls with Harvard degrees and blackberries and all the sense of responsibility of a crackhead with a bladder problem on the Number 2 train, then what we have is universal bankruptcy while the people responsible stuff bonds into their pants and try to distract us with a Day of Rage by the employees of their paid political movements.

This game can only go on for so long, as the numbers rise into the trillions. And where then? Debt is fine as a commodity until it comes time to cash the checks. It’s fine to point the fingers at Wall Street before hitting them up for a donation, but that won’t solve the problem either. Nor will rearranging the tax code to benefit Warren Buffett’s financial interests. You can raise taxes on some of the rich some of the time, while the others will be buying stocks in solar companies and bailed out banks right before a government bailout.

For Halloween, the people behind the mess have decided to send their kids to Wall Street dressed as grass roots protesters. As Elizabeth Warren says, no one got rich on their own. The solar panel factory had government grants. The Harvard lawyers had consultancy fees. The unions had their own politicians. The politicians had book deals. The billionaires have trust fund zombies with cardboard signs. The question is what do we have?

Daniel Greenfield

Daniel Greenfield is a New York City based writer and freelance commentator. “Daniel comments on political affairs with a special focus on the War on Terror and the rising threat to Western Civilization. He maintains a blog at Sultanknish.blogspot.com.

Daniel can be reached at: sultanknish@yahoo.com

The man behind the curtain …

In 2006 a young man I was working with started telling everyone within earshot about the guy Obama. He praised him as one would the messiah. Within a month he started wearing teeshirts with “Obama 08” in a variety of colors and designs. Remember this was 2006, not even close to the election year!

Since this seemed to be a growing cause; I started to do some research on this man, Obama. What I found was that there was very little to find about the man, who her was, where he came from, what he thought. There was nothing about our boy Barry that, to a rational mind, would make him “presidential” material. In fact most of the little I found showed him to be self serving, inexperienced, egotistical and very arrogant. The fact that there was not any mention of his actual life experience seemed very, very strange considering the amount of press he was starting to receive.

Dick?!?!?!

Did Halperin do a bad?? Was it what he said? Was it the way that he got baited into saying it? Was it where he said it?

The point has been made and I agree that this is a tempest in a teapot. A tale told by an idiot … you know the lines about sound and fury signifying nothing. If Shakespeare was speaking about politics (and I guess he actually was); he would again be right. Sharp observer of the politic was old Will.

A degree in journalism is the bare minimum required today to become a pundit. That and a willingness to ignore fact and espouse a party line will get you hired. Spouting the popular opinion and ignoring the truth is how you become popular and will allow you to eventually attain a spot in the number one market in the country. Does this degree and fawning attitude make you capable of intelligent and in depth analysis of global affairs? NO WAY!

The analysts that we are speaking about here have far more education and experience than a bachelors degree. But they have long ago sold out.

To start with, the situation today is made worse by the fact that most college programs as taught today are radically biased. Facts and proven formulas are ignored in favor of political agendas. Networks and cable news outlets are driven by two things: (1) the political agenda and profile of the parent company and (2) the current tide of populist opinion.

That said, the fact that this was said on MSNBC, with its close ties to the Obama administration through its connection with General Electric; makes it far more of a news item than it would normally be. If the same exact word was uttered on ANY other news outlet; it would have been bleeped or cut or just taken as part of a conversation and let pass. The fact that it was MSNBC (considered in the business as the house organ for the Obama administration) is what is shocking.

I believe, after seeing the clip, that the statement was shocking to the other pundits on the panel, not for the word used but that it was said and they could not even allow themselves to agree. So much for any unbiased opinion on MSNBC. They rest of the group looked afraid. Scared that THEY would suffer the consequences of this “mis-speak.” But there was a silent undertone there. I think that way down deep they were thinking: boy, I wish I could have said that.

Remember that this same MSNBC has never corrected their personnel for blistering and downright vile verbal attacks on conservative politicians and even their families.

This is what passes for news analysis. Biased, unsupported, sometimes hateful, opinion is the order of the day. It is worse now than it ever has been and the general public does nothing to change it. They are entertained by it. It actually will in the short term boost ratings, and MSNBC really needs any kind of boost it can get.

The average American has access to more information today than at any other time in history. It is instantly at our fingertips 24/7. Why don’t we avail ourselves of the remarkable capabilities inherent in the internet? Why don’t we do our own research and come to our own informed decisions? I guess it’s just too easy the other way. We are lazy and continually desire to be entertained.

It takes an effort to do the research. It takes an effort to find out for yourself.

But I will say this; if people had done the research on 2006-2008; Obama wouldn’t have been elected so easily.

Oh, and with apologies to all thosed named Richard; yes … he is a Dick.

Ms. Bachmann … are you a flake?

Now, I’m not a fan of PolitiFact. They pretend to be more factual then they are and they are wrong a good percentage of the time BUT, even if they are only a third right on this list … she IS a flake!

PolitiFact | All statements involving Michele Bachmann
http://www.politifact.com
PolitiFact.com is a project of the St. Petersburg Times to help you find the truth in Washington and the Obama presidency.

For me this list is just something to use as a reference point. I don’t expect them to be unbiased or even accurate. I am also willing to accept the fact that at times we have all misspoken or been misinterpreted or misunderstood,

The problem is that I have seen, heard and read some of this “misspeak” and what I have seen, heard and read is disturbing.

After seeing a network piece where Ms. Bachmann waxes poetic for a number of minutes about the “fair tax”; I subsequently see yet another piece where she wants a national sales tax because:”that’s the right way to go”. In another forum type interview, when asked about the sales tax; she says she has not brought the plan forward as a bill, “because they would want both” (meaning I presume both a sales tax AND an income tax). Further, her explanation of the “sales tax”, is actually more in line with the classic VAT.

I will be upfront in saying I don’t particularly like lawyers. They deal routinely with the concept of “legal fictions” which allows them the leeway of explaining ANYTHING to their advantage. I have found that tax lawyers use this concept more than most other specialities. Let’s face it, a tax lawyer isn’t considered “good” if all they do is have you pay your tax bill. They must devise ways and plans that allow you to get away with paying less. So, telling me that you are a respected tax lawyer doesn’t do it for me. Just the words “tax” and “lawyer” in the same sentence can be a huge turn off.

I won’t even go into the bit where Ms. Bachmann goes into her modesty routine where she talks about being an overachieving, super human, ultra-altruistic UberMom. But even beyond all that; (and I’m sure she has some great points); is she really electable?