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Topic Summary

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: September 27, 2017, 09:13:07 pm »

Is Identifying With The Billionaire Class a Form of Stockholm Syndrome? ???

Sep. 26, 2017 4:30 pm

Thom takes your calls discussing how people who identify with the Billionaire Class might have a form of Stockholm Syndrome. What do you think, are the temporarily displaced millionaires of America really identifying with their captors?

Agelbert NOTE: Republicans LIE almost continuously (and the Democrats do next to nothing to call them on their lies.)  >:(.

Enough People Couldn't Vote To PREVENT Republicans from "winning" the Election, Just like they Planned   

Sep. 26, 2017 5:00 pm

Thom talks on the population who was actively discouraged from voting through conservative intimidation and just how great such an effect really was. The election wasn't rigged, it was stolen.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 19, 2017, 05:03:50 pm »

Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.  :icon_sunny:    



Bill O’Reilly is officially out at Fox News
Bill O'Reilly let go from Fox News Channel amid sexual harassment claims

Bill O'Reilly, longtime host of Fox News's top-rated show, “The O'Reilly Factor,” will not return to the network. His departure comes after six women alleged he sexually harassed them. (Peter Stevenson/The Washington Post)
By Paul Farhi April 19 at 2:41 PM

Fox News has ended its association with Bill O’Reilly, the combative TV host and commentator who has ruled cable-news ratings for nearly two decades and was the signature figure in the network’s rise as a powerful political player.

The conservative-leaning host’s downfall was swift and steep, set in motion less than three weeks ago by revelations of a string of harassment complaints against him. The questions about his conduct represented yet another black eye to Fox, which had dealt with a sexual harassment scandal involving its co-founder and then-chairman Roger Ailes, just last summer.

[The fall of Roger Ailes: He made Fox News his ‘locker room’ ]

“After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel,” 21st Century Fox, the news channel’s parent company, said in a statement Wednesday.

After Ailes’s departure, Fox and 21st Century Fox — both controlled by Rupert Murdoch and his family — had vowed then to clean up an apparent culture of harassment at the news network. Instead, the allegations kept coming — against Ailes, O’Reilly and some of the remaining senior executives that Ailes had hired.
Bill O’Reilly is out at Fox News. (Richard Drew/AP)

Fox has also lost popular hosts Greta Van Susteren and Megyn Kelly since the turmoil began last summer. The network, however, continued to roll in record ratings, driven in part by viewer interest in Donald Trump, a longtime friend of Ailes, Murdoch and O’Reilly and a frequent interview guest for years.

The loss of O’Reilly, however, is of a different magnitude: His program, “The O’Reilly Factor,” has been the network’s flagship show for nearly 20 years, and in many ways has embodied its conservative-oriented spirit.

[How much turmoil can Fox News handle?]

It was just last month that Fox re-signed O’Reilly to a multimillion dollar, three-year contract, fully aware of the long history of complaints against him.

He still seemed to be at the peak of his popularity and prestige only three weeks ago. His 8 p.m. program, which mixes discussion segments with O’Reilly’s pugnacious commentary, drew an average of 4 million viewers each night during the first three months of the year, the most ever for a cable-news program. His popularity, in turn, helped drive Fox News to record ratings and profits. O’Reilly was also the co-author of two books that were at the top of the bestseller lists in April.

But the fuse was lit for his career detonation when the New York Times disclosed that O’Reilly and Fox had settled a series of harassment complaints lodged against him by women he’d worked with at Fox over the years.

The newspaper found that O’Reilly and Fox had settled five such allegations since 2002, paying out some $13 million in exchange for the women’s silence. Two of the settlements, including one for $9 million in 2004, were widely reported. But the others had been kept secret by O’Reilly, Fox and the women involved.

In addition, a sixth woman, a former “O’Reilly Factor” guest named Wendy Walsh, alleged that O’Reilly had harassed her in 2013. Although Walsh never sued or sought compensation, she spoke against him in public, drawing more negative attention to Fox and O’Reilly over the past few weeks. A seventh, still anonymous woman filed a complaint with the company on Tuesday, alleging that he had made disparaging racial and sexual remarks to her while she was employed at Fox in 2008.

O’Reilly has never acknowledged that he harassed anyone. In his only public statement about the matter in early April, he said his fame made him a target of lawsuits and that he settled the harassment claims against him to spare his children negative publicity.

After the revelations, Murdoch and his sons, James and Lachlan, were forced to decide whether the economic and reputational fallout from the O’Reilly scandal were irreversible.

O’Reilly had previously survived several controversies during his 21 years at Fox, including a lurid sexual harassment case in 2004 that was fodder for New York’s tabloid newspapers. He also beat back a wave of headlines in 2015, when reporters examined his claims about his days as a young reporter and found them to be dubious. All the while, O’Reilly’s audience not only stuck with him, but continued to grow.

But this time, the intense media coverage surrounding O’Reilly led to a stampede of advertisers away from O’Reilly’s program, leaving it almost without sponsorship over the past two weeks. Various organizations, including the National Organization for Women, called for O’Reilly’s firing, and intermittent protests began outside Fox News’ headquarters in New York. Morale among employees at the network reportedly was suffering, too.

The Murdochs also had more than just O’Reilly’s TV career to consider: The O’Reilly controversy was casting a shadow over 21st Century’s $14 billion bid to win the British government’s approval to buy Sky TV, the British satellite service. Leaving O’Reilly in place would likely have been a public-relations nightmare for James and Lachlan Murdoch, the sons who head 21st Century Fox, Fox News’ parent.

The Murdoch family abandoned a 2011 offer for Sky amid another scandal, the phone-hacking conspiracy perpetrated by employees of the Murdoch-owned News of the World tabloid in London. A parliamentary panel later declared Rupert and James Murdoch to be “unfit” to run a public company — a description they hoped would not be revived by regulators with the O’Reilly matter hanging over them.

In the wake of the Ailes scandal last summer, the Murdoch brothers vowed to clean up a workplace environment that women at Fox had described as hostile under Ailes. In one of their few public statements on the matter, they said at the time, “We continue our commitment to maintaining a work environment based on trust and respect.”

But those efforts have seemed unavailing, and at times have even seemed hypocritical. Since the Ailes scandal, the company has continued to employ almost all of the senior managers who were in charge when Ailes’ was allegedly harassing employees, including Bill Shine, currently Fox’s co-president. Shine was accused of enabling Ailes’ retaliatory efforts against an accuser, Fox contributor Julie Roginsky, in a sexual-harrassment lawsuit Roginsky filed earlier this month.

The external and internal pressure left the Murdochs with a dilemma: Keep the networks’ most valuable asset and hope to ride out the storm around him, or cut him loose and end the drama.

In the end, even an endorsement from President Trump couldn’t save O’Reilly: In an interview with Times reporters on April 5, Trump called O’Reilly “a good person” and said he shouldn’t have settled the complaints made against him. “I don’t think Bill did anything wrong,” Trump said.

Fox said that Tucker Carlson, host of a discussion-program now airing at 9 p.m., will take over O’Reilly’s 8 p.m. timeslot. “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” in turn, will be replaced at 9 p.m. by Fox’s 5 p.m. show, “The Five,” starting on Monday. “The O’Reilly Factor” will continue for the remainder of the week, with guest hosts Dana Perino and Greg Gutfeld. Martha MacCallum and Sean Hannity will remain in their current spots at 7 p.m and 10 p.m,, respectively, and the 5 p.m. hour will be occupied by a new show, hosted by Eric Bolling, starting May 1.

F u c k ing prick.

Like Ailes, he's so rich he won't miss the job. Fox will just find some other right-wing A-hole to be head cheerleader for austerity and military interventionism.

Now THAT is good news. 

I hope his pal pervert Trump will soon get the same treatment from his current "job" wrecking the government.

At any rate FOX News, on behalf of the plutocratic BASTARDS at the top, is a serial Propaganda Pushing LIAR on anything that is of importance for we-the-people .

A truthful image from the UCS about Media propaganda.

It's an OLD STORY in the USA:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 01, 2017, 02:34:42 pm »


As the climate becomes more unstable, the media becomes more silent
How Broadcast Networks Covered Climate Change In 2016 

Mediamatters.org, March 17, 2017

In 2016, evening newscasts and Sunday shows on ABC, CBS, and NBC, as well as Fox Broadcast Co.'s Fox News Sunday, collectively decreased their total coverage of climate change by 66 percent compared to 2015, even though there were a host of important climate-related stories, including the announcement of 2015 as the hottest year on record, the signing of the Paris climate agreement, and numerous climate-related extreme weather events. There were also two presidential candidates to cover, and they held diametrically opposed positions on the Clean Power Plan, the Paris climate agreement, and even on whether climate change is a real, human-caused phenomenon. Apart from PBS, the networks also failed to devote significant coverage to climate-related policies, but they still found the time to uncritically air climate denial -- the majority of which came from now-President Donald Trump and his team.

Total Climate Coverage On Broadcast Networks Cratered In 2016

Combined Climate Coverage On ABC, CBS, NBC, And Fox News Sunday Decreased Significantly From 2015 To 2016, Despite Ample Opportunity To Cover Climate Change. In 2016, ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox Broadcasting Co.’s Fox News Sunday* aired a combined 50 minutes of climate coverage on their evening and Sunday news programs, which was 96 minutes less than in 2015 -- a drop of about 66 percent.

*Fox Broadcast Co. does not air a nightly news program

As was the case in 2015, ABC aired the least amount of climate coverage in 2016, covering the topic for just six minutes, about seven minutes less than in 2015. All the other major networks also significantly reduced their coverage from the previous year, with NBC showing the biggest decrease (from 50 minutes in 2015 to 10 minutes in 2016), followed by Fox (39 minutes in 2015 to seven minutes in 2016) and CBS (from 45 minutes in 2015 to 27 minutes in 2016).

Networks Had Ample Opportunity To Cover Climate Change In 2016. Despite the pronounced decline in climate coverage, the networks had ample opportunity to cover climate change in 2016. As The New York Times reported, in 2016, climate change took on “a prominence it has never before had in a presidential general election” given the stark contrast between the candidates’ views. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump had a long track record of climate denial and differed with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton on a range of important climate issues, including the Paris climate agreement, the Clean Power Plan, and the continued use of coal as an energy source, with Trump pledging that he would put coal miners “back to work” and Clinton proposing a plan that would help coal communities transition to clean energy. Additionally, there were also a host of non-election climate stories worthy of coverage in 2016, including extreme weather events tied to climate change, like Hurricane Matthew and the record-breaking rainfall and flooding in Louisiana (which the American Red Cross described as “the worst natural disaster to strike the United States since Superstorm Sandy”); the signing of the Paris climate agreement and the U.N. climate summit in Morocco; the official announcement from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that 2015 was the hottest year on record by far; and investigations by state attorneys general into whether ExxonMobil committed fraud by misleading the public on climate change. [The New York Times, 8/1/16; Media Matters, 5/26/16; The Huffington Post, 9/8/16; DonaldJTrump.com, 9/15/16; Media Matters, 3/15/16, 10/7/16, 8/17/16; The Huffington Post, 4/22/16; The Guardian, 4/22/16; InsideClimate News, 11/3/16; The New York Times, 1/20/16; InsideClimate News, 12/28/16]

ABC, CBS, NBC, And Fox Failed To Discuss Climate-Related Ramifications Of A Clinton Or Trump Presidency Until After The Election. ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox News Sunday did not air a single segment informing viewers of what to expect on climate change and climate-related policies or issues under a Trump or Clinton administration. While these outlets did devote a significant amount of coverage to Trump’s presidency, airing 25 segments informing viewers about the ramifications or actions of a Trump administration as they relate to climate change, all of these segments aired after the election. Examples of post-election coverage include a PBS NewsHour segment about Trump’s selection of Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Pruitt’s history of climate denial and ties to the fossil fuel industry; a CBS Evening News segment about Trump appointing climate denier Myron Ebell to his EPA transition team; and an NBC Nightly News report on Trump’s promise to roll back President Barack Obama’s executive actions on climate change. [PBS NewsHour, 12/7/16; CBS Evening News, 11/15/16; NBC Nightly News, 11/9/16**]

**We included citations of specific shows when we described the content of a segment. We did not include show citations for general tallies. We linked to episodes that were available online but listed only the date for those that were not.

PBS NewsHour Was The Only Show To Discuss Climate Ramifications Of A Clinton Or Trump Presidency Prior To The Election. PBS NewsHour*** was the only show in our study that examined what impact a Trump or a Clinton presidency would have on climate-related issues and policies before the election. On the September 7 edition of PBS NewsHour, correspondent William Brangham discussed “what a Clinton or Trump administration might mean with regards to climate change” with The New York Times’ Coral Davenport and The Washington Post’s Chris Mooney. And a September 22 segment explored “what the early days of a Trump presidency might look like” and featured Judy Woodruff interviewing Evan Osnos of The New Yorker about whether Trump would renounce the Paris climate agreement. [PBS NewsHour, 9/22/16, 9/7/16]

***Unlike the nightly news shows on ABC, CBS, and NBC that air for a half hour seven days a week, PBS NewsHour airs five days a week and is a half hour longer.

Tyndall Report Found No Discussion Of Climate Change In Issues Coverage During Campaign. The Tyndall Report, which tracks the broadcast networks' weeknight newscasts, analyzed election-related issues coverage on the major networks’ weeknight newscasts and found no issues coverage devoted to climate change in 2016 up through October 25. The Tyndall Report defines election-related issues coverage as that which “takes a public policy, outlines the societal problem that needs to be addressed, describes the candidates' platform positions and proposed solutions, and evaluates their efficacy.” [The Intercept, 2/24/17; Media Matters, 10/26/16; Tyndall Report, 10/25/16]

Networks Aired A Disproportionate Amount Of Climate Coverage After Election Day. In the roughly 45 weeks before the November 8 election, the networks aired a total of 55 segments about climate change -- roughly one per week. After the election, the networks aired 32 climate-related segments over approximately seven weeks till the end of the year -- about five stories per week.

Networks Ignored Links Between Climate Change And National Security And Rarely Addressed Economic And Public Health Impacts, But Some Detailed Impacts On Extreme Weather And Plants And Wildlife.

Networks Did Not Air A Single Segment On Link To National Security. Numerous military and intelligence organizations have sounded the alarm on climate change’s connection to national security. A September 2016 report prepared by the National Intelligence Council and coordinated with the U.S. intelligence community stated, “Climate change and its resulting effects are likely to pose wide-ranging national security challenges for the United States and other countries over the next 20 years.” And following Trump’s election victory, “a bipartisan group of defense experts and former military leaders sent Trump’s transition team a briefing book urging the president-elect to consider climate change as a grave threat to national security,” E&E News reported. Yet the national security implications of climate change never came up in any of the networks’ climate coverage for 2016. [Media Matters, 1/13/17; Scientific American, 11/15/16]

PBS Was The Only Network To Address Economic Impacts Of Climate Change. PBS was the only network to report on the economic impacts of climate change. Two segments about Washington state’s carbon tax ballot initiative that aired on the April 21 and October 20 editions of PBS NewsHour featured the president of the Washington State Labor Council explaining that Washington’s shellfish industry “has left the state and gone to Hawaii because the acid levels in the ocean has risen so much.” And on the November 17 edition of PBS NewsHour, correspondent William Brangham reported that 365 American companies “have written to the president-elect imploring him to uphold the Paris accords and warning -- quote -- ‘Failure to build a low-carbon economy puts American prosperity at risk.’” [PBS NewsHour, 4/21/16, 10/20/16, 11/17/16]

Networks Rarely Addressed How Climate Change Impacts Public Health.

The World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Climate Assessment have all concluded that climate change has a significant influence on human health and disease. And as 2016 saw the first local spread of the Zika virus in the continental United States, Climate Signals found that “climate change creates new risks for human exposure to vector-borne diseases such as Zika, particularly in the United States where rising heat and humidity are increasing the number of days annually in which disease vectors thrive.” However, only two segments on NBC Nightly News dealt with the link between climate change and public health -- no other network covered the issue. In a January 18 report about the spread of Zika, correspondent Tom Costello noted, “Researchers are also studying whether climate change and El Nino are causing certain mosquitoes populations to grow.” And a July 4 report about a massive algae bloom creating a toxic emergency in Florida featured correspondent Gabe Gutierrez explaining, “The debate is raging over what`s to blame for this latest growth, but scientists say there are many factors including population growth and climate change.” [World Health Organization, accessed 3/21/17; CDC.gov, accessed 3/21/17; National Climate Assessment, accessed 3/21/17; Climate Signals, 8/23/16; NBC Nightly News, 1/18/16, 7/4/16]

CBS And ABC Rarely Covered Climate Link To Extreme Weather, While NBC And Fox Ignored It Completely. 2016 saw no shortages of extreme weather events influenced by climate change, with Hurricane Matthew making landfall on the East Coast; wildfires -- which have become a consistent threat thanks, in part, to climate change -- charring more than 100,000 acres in seven states in the Southeast; and record rainfall and flooding in Louisiana causing what the American Red Cross called “the worst natural disaster to strike the United States since Superstorm Sandy.” Yet NBC and Fox never addressed the link between climate change and extreme weather, while CBS did so in four segments and ABC did so in just one segment. By contrast, PBS NewsHour aired eight segments dealing with the link between climate change and extreme weather. [The Weather Channel, 10/9/16; Media Matters, 10/6/16; The New York Times, 11/29/16; Climate Central, 11/23/16; Media Matters, 8/17/16]

PBS Led The Networks In Stories Detailing Climate Impacts On Plants And Wildlife.

PBS provided the most coverage of climate impacts on plants and wildlife (six segments), followed by CBS and NBC (three segments each), and ABC (one segment). Examples of this reporting included a “Climate Diaries” segment on CBS Evening News about how climate change is “taking a toll on endangered mountain gorillas” in Central Africa by making their food supply less predictable and forcing human populations searching for water into their territory and an NBC Nightly News segment about how Yellowstone grizzlies are threatened because one of their food sources -- seeds from whitebark pine trees -- has been decimated by climate change. Another example was a PBS NewsHour segment reporting that “two-fifths of bees, butterflies, and related pollinating species are heading toward extinction” thanks to “a range of factors, ranging from pesticide use to climate change to habitat loss.” [CBS Evening News, 11/17/16; NBC Nightly News, 5/22/16; PBS NewsHour, 2/26/16]

Specific Climate-Related Policies Received Sparse Coverage Outside Of PBS

The Clean Power Plan Was Almost Completely Ignored On Sunday Shows And Received Sparse Coverage On Nightly News Shows. The broadcast networks provided scant coverage of the Clean Power Plan even though Trump had promised during the campaign to eliminate the policy. The Clean Power Plan establishes the first-ever federal limits on carbon pollution from power plants and serves as the linchpin of President Obama’s program to meet the nation’s emissions reduction obligation under the Paris agreement. Fox News Sunday was the only Sunday show to feature a climate-related segment on the Clean Power Plan, in which Washington Post editorial writer Charles Lane claimed that the Democrats’ focus on the plan is an example of how “environmentalism in a crucial way worked against the Democratic Party this year,” because Trump carried coal-dependent states in the election. But contrary to Lane’s claim, numerous polls conducted in the run-up to the election indicated that a majority of Americans consider climate change an important issue and favor government action to address it. On nightly news shows, ABC was the only network that did not air a climate-related segment on the plan, while PBS NewsHour covered the Clean Power Plan the most (seven segments), followed by CBS Evening News (three segments) and NBC Nightly News (two segments). [DonaldJTrump.com, 9/15/16; The White House, 8/3/15; The New York Times, 3/2/16; Fox News Sunday, 11/13/16; Media Matters, 11/29/16]

PBS Far Outpaced Networks In Coverage Of U.N. Climate Agreement And Summits. In 2016, world leaders met on Earth Day for the signing ceremony of the Paris climate agreement reached by 195 nations and later again in Morocco for talks about implementing the climate accord. In Trump’s first major speech on energy policy, in May, he vowed that he would “cancel” the Paris climate agreement. But after the election he told The New York Times, “I have an open mind to it.” Despite these developments, PBS was the only network to devote significant coverage to the U.N. climate agreement and U.N. climate-related summits, doing so in 21 segments, while CBS aired five segments, NBC and ABC aired just three, and Fox aired just two. [USA Today, 4/22/16; The New York Times, 12/12/15; InsideClimate News, 11/3/16; BBC.com, 5/27/16; DonaldJTrump.com, 5/26/16; The New York Times, 11/23/16]

CBS, NBC, And Fox Addressed The Climate Impacts Of The Keystone XL Pipeline Only Once, While ABC And PBS Failed To Do So At All. During the campaign, Clinton and Trump staked out opposing positions on whether to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport tar sands oil that is 17 percent dirtier than average and would “increase emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases linked to global warming” from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast. Yet there was a dearth of coverage on Keystone XL’s link to climate change, with CBS, NBC, and Fox each airing just one segment that connected Keystone XL to climate change and ABC and PBS ignoring the topic completely. The networks also ignored Keystone XL more broadly -- airing just four additional non-climate-related segments on the pipeline. [Business Insider, 9/25/16; Media Matters, 1/15/15]

Fox Was The Only Network To Cover The Dakota Access Pipeline In A Climate Context. The Standing Rock Sioux and other Native American tribes, as well as environmental activists, protested against the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline in 2016, citing, among other concerns, the impact a continued buildup of oil infrastructure would have on climate change. Yet Fox was the sole network to cover the Dakota Access pipeline in a climate context. On the December 11 edition of Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace previewed his upcoming interview with Trump by saying that he would “ask [Trump] to clear up exactly where he stands on climate change.” After returning from a commercial break, Wallace said to the Trump, “Let me ask you a couple specific questions. Will you still pull out of the Paris climate agreement, which has been signed by more than 100 countries to reduce carbon emissions? Will you restart the Dakota Access pipeline, which the Army just stopped?” To which Trump replied that he was “studying” the Paris climate agreement and would “have [Dakota Access] solved very quickly” when he takes office. ABC, CBS, NBC, and PBS did air multiple segments on the Dakota Access pipeline (airing eight, 10, four, and 10 segments, respectively), but none of these segments linked it to climate change. [MPR News, 12/7/16; Time, 12/1/16, 10/28/16; Fox News Sunday, 12/11/16]

Major Networks Completely Ignored The “Exxon Knew” Story. Reports from InsideClimate News and the Los Angeles Times revealed that Exxon’s own scientists had confirmed by the early 1980s that fossil fuel pollution was causing climate change, yet Exxon-funded organizations helped manufacture doubt about the causes of climate change for decades afterward in what became known as the “Exxon knew” scandal. The reports prompted the attorneys general in New York, California, and Massachusetts to each launch investigations of Exxon, as well as countersuits from Exxon and subpoenas from members of Congress in defense of Exxon. Yet none of the networks covered any of these developments over the course of 2016. [Media Matters, 9/1/16; InsideClimate News, 12/28/16]

CBS, Fox, And PBS Uncritically Aired Climate Science Denial In 2016 -- All Of Which Came From Trump Or Trump Officials

CBS, Fox, And PBS Aired A Combined Five Segments That Included Unrebutted Climate Science Denial In 2016 -- All From Trump Or Trump Officials. In 2016, CBS Evening News, PBS NewsHour, and Fox News Sunday aired a combined five segments that misled audiences by featuring climate science denial. Half of Fox News Sunday’s climate-related segments included climate denial. In every instance, it was Trump or Trump officials promoting denial.

• On the September 27 edition of CBS Evening News, correspondent Julianna Goldman fact-checked a portion of the September 26 presidential debate in which Clinton stated, “Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. I think it’s real,” and Trump interjected, “I did not. I did not. … I do not say that.” Goldman noted that Trump had in fact tweeted that climate change is a hoax, but she did not fact-check the veracity of Trump’s statement that climate change was a hoax. [CBS Evening News, 9/27/16; Media Matters, 5/26/16]

• On the November 9 edition of PBS NewsHour, during a segment on world leaders’ reactions to Trump’s election victory, correspondent Margaret Warner reported, “Also in question is America’s participation in the Paris climate accord. Trump has called climate change a hoax, and while it would take four years to formally pull out of the agreement, there are no sanctions in place for ignoring it.” And in a report on the ways in which Trump would dismantle environmental policy on the November 17 edition of PBS NewsHour, correspondent William Brangham stated, “Trump has repeatedly expressed his own skepticism about climate change, like in this 2012 tweet, when he said: ‘The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing noncompetitive.’ Two years later, he wrote: ‘Global warming is an expensive hoax.’" In neither instance did the correspondent note that Trump’s statements are at odds with the scientific consensus that climate change is real and human-caused. [PBS NewsHour, 11/9/16, 11/17/16]

• Shortly after Trump’s interview with The New York Times in which he stated that he had an “open mind” on climate change and the Paris climate agreement, Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace asked Trump’s incoming chief of staff, Reince Priebus, how flexible Trump would be on his campaign promises. Priebus answered that as “far as this issue on climate change -- the only thing he was saying after being asked a few questions about it is, look, he'll have an open mind about it but he has his default position, which [is that] most of it is a bunch of bunk , but he'll have an open mind and listen to people.” Priebus then moved on to discuss the potential nomination of Jim Mattis as defense secretary before Wallace concluded the interview. And during Wallace’s interview with Trump on the December 11 edition of Fox News Sunday, Trump declared that “nobody really knows” whether human-induced climate change is happening. Wallace didn’t challenge Trump’s claim that blatantly misrepresents the consensus of the world’s leading scientific institutions that human activities such as burning fossil fuels are the main cause of global warming. [The New York Times, 11/23/16; Fox News Sunday, 11/27/16, 12/11/16; NASA.gov, accessed 3/21/17]

Other Nightly News Segments On PBS, CBS, And NBC Also Included Climate Science Denial, But Reporters Pushed Back On Those Claims, Noting That They Conflicted With Established Climate Science. Segments on PBS, CBS, and NBC nightly news shows also included climate denial, but reporters noted that that these statements were at odds with established climate science.

• In a segment about Trump selecting Scott Pruitt as his nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency on the December 8 edition of PBS NewsHour, anchor Judy Woodruff reported, “Pruitt is in sync with President-elect Trump on a range of issues, including his skepticism about man-made global warming. Writing in the National Review this year, he said: ‘That debate is far from settled. Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming.’ In fact, the vast majority of scientists agree that human activity contributes to global warming, all of which underscores questions about whether a Trump administration will refuse to abide by the Paris accords on greenhouse gas emissions.” And on the December 14 edition of PBS NewsHour, Woodruff asked Sean Spicer, who was then communications director for the Republican National Committee, “Does the president-elect still believe, as he said on the campaign trail, that the science behind climate change is still not settled, in other words, something that most climate scientists say is absolutely correct?” Spicer replied by denying the consensus on human-caused climate change, stating that Trump “understands that there’s elements of man, mankind, that affect climate, but the exact impact of it and what has to be done to change that is something there is some dispute about within the community, not just science, but within the industry.” [PBS NewsHour, 12/8/16, 12/14/16]

• A November 15 CBS Evening News segment on the appointment of climate denier Myron Ebell to Trump’s EPA transition team featured footage of Trump calling climate change a “hoax,” followed by correspondent Chip Reid stating, “President-elect Donald Trump has left little doubt where he stands on the issue of climate change. He wants a dramatic increase in the production of coal and oil, which he says will create jobs. And his EPA transition team is being led by Myron Ebell, a leading climate change skeptic. Ebell, who is not a scientist, disagrees with the overwhelming majority of climate scientists who say the driving force behind the warming planet is the burning of fossil fuels.” [CBS Evening News, 11/15/16]

• The December 14 edition of ABC’s World News Tonight featured footage of Trump transition official Anthony Scaramucci denying climate change by arguing, “There was overwhelming science that the Earth was flat. ... We get a lot of things wrong in the scientific community.” Correspondent Brian Ross introduced Scaramucci’s comments as “a Trump transition official continu[ing] the public assault on established science.” [ABC’s World News Tonight, 11/14/16]

Because hosts or correspondents on these programs noted that the statements in question contradicted mainstream climate science, they were not counted as denial in our study.

Climate Scientists Were Completely Absent From ABC’s World News Tonight … Again

For The Second Consecutive Year, ABC’s World News Tonight Did Not Feature A Single Scientist In Its Climate Coverage. ABC’s World News Tonight did not feature a single scientist in its climate coverage for the second year in a row. By contrast, NBC Nightly News and CBS Evening News featured five and six scientists, respectively, and PBS NewsHour featured 18.

Sunday Shows Did Not Feature A Single Scientist In Climate-Related Coverage. After featuring just two scientists over a five-year period from 2009 to 2013, the Sunday shows featured seven scientists in 2014 alone, and then backslid in 2015, quoting or interviewing just two scientists (4 percent of all Sunday show guests). In 2016, that backslide continued, with the Sunday shows featuring no scientists in their climate-related coverage.

PBS And CBS Frequently Aired Coverage Related To Climate-Related Scientific Research, While NBC And ABC Did So Less Often. PBS and CBS far outpaced their counterparts in the number of segments focusing on climate-related scientific research that they aired on nightly news shows. PBS NewsHour aired 10 segments on climate-related scientific research, including a segment that featured scientists explaining climate change’s influence on wildfires in Southern California and flooding in Louisiana; CBS Evening News aired seven segments on climate-related research, including a segment featuring interviews with scientists who discovered unprecedented rates of sea ice melt in the Arctic Circle. Conversely, NBC Nightly News aired just three segments on climate-related research, and ABC’s World News Tonight aired just two. None of the Sunday shows featured any segments on climate-related scientific research. [PBS NewsHour, 8/17/16; CBS Evening News, 3/4/16]

Sunday Shows’ Climate Coverage Dropped By 85 Percent

Every Network’s Sunday Show Significantly Decreased Its Climate Coverage. After dropping slightly from a high of 81 minutes of coverage in 2014 to 73 minutes in 2015, the Sunday shows’ climate coverage dropped 85 percent to just 11 minutes of coverage in 2016 -- the third-lowest amount in the eight-year time frame Media Matters has examined. Every network saw significant declines in Sunday show coverage, with Fox leading the way (down 32 minutes from the previous year), followed by NBC (down 17 minutes), CBS (down 10 minutes), and ABC (down four minutes).

Bernie Sanders Brought Up Climate Change Four Times As Much As Hosts Did On ABC, CBS, And NBC Sunday Shows. On every Sunday show except Fox News Sunday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) brought up climate change significantly more often than the hosts themselves did. ABC’s This Week, CBS’ Face the Nation, and NBC’s Meet the Press aired a combined five segments in which the hosts brought up climate change, while Bernie Sanders brought up climate change 21 times during his appearances on those shows. Because our study counted only those segments where a media figure brought up or discussed climate change, those 21 segments were not counted in this study's overall network tallies.

Nightly News Shows On ABC, CBS, and NBC Aired Roughly Half As Much Climate Coverage As They Did In 2015

NBC Nightly News And CBS Evening News Significantly Decreased Climate Coverage, And ABC Once Again Lagged Behind Network Counterparts. The nightly news shows on ABC, CBS, and NBC collectively decreased their climate coverage from approximately 73 minutes in 2015 to just over 39 minutes in 2016 -- a drop of 46 percent. NBC Nightly News had the biggest drop in climate coverage, decreasing by about 22 minutes, followed by CBS Evening News, which had a drop of approximately nine minutes. ABC’s World News Tonight, which aired significantly less climate coverage than its competitors in 2014 and 2015, once again continued its downward trend, dropping even further from roughly seven minutes of climate coverage in 2015 to just four minutes in 2016.

For Second Year In A Row, PBS Aired More Climate Coverage Than All Other Nightly News Programs Combined. For the second consecutive year, PBS NewsHour aired more segments addressing climate change than the other nightly news shows combined. PBS NewsHour aired 46 climate-related segments, while ABC (five), CBS (19), and NBC (12) aired a combined 36 climate-related nightly news segments. However, PBS NewsHour’s climate coverage decreased from 2015, when the network aired 58 climate-related segments.

CBS And NBC Nightly News Shows Have Stepped Up Climate Coverage In Early Months Of 2017    ::)

In 2017 So Far, CBS Evening News Has Already Aired More Than Half The Amount Of Climate Coverage It Did In All Of 2016. In the first few months of 2017, CBS Evening News has already aired about 17 minutes of climate-related coverage, just eight minutes less than the show aired for all of 2016. In fact, CBS Evening News aired nearly half as much climate coverage as it did in all of 2016 in just one week of 2017; this coverage was during a series of climate-related reports from Antarctica for its “Climate Diaries” series. [Media Matters, 2/13/17]

In Early Months Of 2017, NBC Nightly News Has Already Aired Nearly Half As Much Climate Coverage As It Did In All Of 2016. In just over two months, NBC Nightly News has already aired about five minutes of climate-related coverage, roughly half as much as the show aired for all of 2016.


This report analyzes coverage of "climate change" or "global warming" between January 1, 2016, and December 31, 2016, on four Sunday news shows (ABC's This Week, CBS' Face the Nation, NBC's Meet the Press, and Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday) and four nightly news programs (ABC's World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, and PBS NewsHour) based on Nexis transcripts. Fox Broadcasting Co. airs Fox News Sunday but does not air a nightly news equivalent; Fox News is a separate cable channel. PBS NewsHour is a half-hour longer than its network nightly news counterparts, but it airs five days a week, compared to seven days a week for the other nightly news shows (PBS NewsHour Weekend was not included in this analysis). In one instance, Nexis categorized a segment that did not mention "climate change" or "global warming" as being about climate change; because the segment provided other clear indications that it was indeed about climate change, it was included. To identify the number of segments networks aired on the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, we used the search terms Keystone w/20 pipe! And Dakota w/20 pipe!.

Our analysis includes any segment devoted to climate change, as well as any substantial mention (more than one paragraph of a news transcript or a definitive statement by a media figure) about climate change impacts or actions. The study did not include instances in which a non-media figure brought up climate change without being prompted to do so by a media figure unless the media figure subsequently addressed climate change. We defined media figures as hosts, anchors, correspondents, and recurring guest panelists. The study also does not include teasers if they were for segments that aired later on the same program. We acquired time stamps from iQ media and applied them generously for nightly news segments when the overall topic was related to climate change. For instance, if a nightly news segment about an extreme weather event mentioned climate change briefly, the entire segment was counted as climate coverage. However, if a significant portion of the segment was not related to climate change, such as a report on the pope giving a speech about climate change, immigration, religious freedom, and outreach to Cuba, only the portions of the segment that discussed climate change were counted. For the Sunday shows, which often feature wide-ranging discussions on multiple topics, we used only the relevant portion of such conversations. All coverage figures have been rounded to the nearest minute. Because PBS NewsHour is an hour-long show and the other networks’ nightly news programs are half-hour shows, our analysis compared PBS NewsHour's climate coverage to other nightly news programs' coverage in terms of topics covered and number of segments, but not in terms of number of minutes.

Research intern Katherine Hess and Sarah Wasko contributed to this study.


Agelbert NOTE: NOW you KNOW why the Trump Fossil Fuel Fascist Wrecking Crew    is in such a hurry to DEFUND PBS. 

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 29, 2017, 03:00:02 pm »

Al Gore slams Trump in statement & mocks him in new documentary 'An Inconvenient Sequel' 

By Leslie Salzillo   

Wednesday Mar 29, 2017 · 12:38 AM EDT


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 29, 2017, 02:28:58 pm »

"I've heard this before, and, just to be clear, there's no social science to support your position on that," Carlson said. "There are no actual studies that show a sanctuary city is safer. Sorry."

Alex did not let that comment go unchallenged.

"I disagree with you, Tucker," Alex responded.

Tucker tried to have the last word.

"There's no disagreement -- there haven't been studies done on that that show it," Tucker said.

Alex did not cower as he responded. More importantly, in addition to pointing out the increased safety of these cities, he included some economic realities.

"Let me just correct you there," Alex said.  "I can talk about it right now. The most comprehensive study to date is the University of California study done by Ted Wong. It basically looked at sanctuary cities across the country, and it said that there are 35.5 fewer crimes committed per 10,000 in sanctuary cities than non-sanctuary cities. It also said it's even better in smaller municipalities. And, importantly, sanctuary cities have stronger economies, lower poverty rates, lower uninsured rates --"

had no comeback, so he had to resort to the connection, causation, and speculation argument. Of course, Republicans usually depend on much less as corroboration of their ill-advised policies.

Tucker Carlson falls apart as guest confronts him with university study on sanctuary cities  ;D

Tuesday Mar 28, 2017

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 05, 2017, 10:07:47 pm »


Real News Doesn't Side with Russian or American Oligarchs

Published on Mar 4, 2017

Kim Brown and Paul Jay discuss TRNN's approach to covering Jeff Sessions and the Trump-Russia connection controversy

Help support The Real News by making a donation today: http://therealnews.com/donate
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 04, 2017, 04:24:36 pm »

What to Do with Latinos: Get Used to Them 

Mar 3, 2017

By Fred Reed 

“Information Clearing House” –   Following Mr. Trump’s kaleidosopically shifting policies isn’t easy. He was going to declare China a currency manipulator on day one, but didn’t, going to impose a forty-five percent tariff on Chinese goods but apparently won’t, was going to shift the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem but isn’t, going to tear up the Iran treaty but hasn’t, going to end the wars but isn’t, and going to rid the country of illegal aliens within two years. Now it seems he has backed off this too, and there is  in the air the merest whiff of…amnesty?  ???  ;D

Oh well. Mass deportation was a loony idea to begin with. Consider:

For years there have been said to be 11 million illegals, a number having a  suspicious stability. Foes of immigration have put it at thirteen or fourteen. Call it at least 12 million. To deport them in two years, Trump would have to deport 500,000 a month. For twenty-four months. To deport a tenth as many, he would need to expel 50,000 a month.

Is the man crazy? Does he just shoot from the lip on crucial policies without thinking? Can’t do arithmetic? Or lies in the normal manner of politicians?

His promised expulsion would rank among history’s most awful humanitarian disasters. Mexico could not possibly absorb such a huge tsunami of returnees. They would have nowhere to stay, nothing to eat, no jobs.

The embittered anti-immigration people, readers of sites like Vdare, would not care. Screw the vile brown scum, rapists and welfare parasites, murderers, drug peddlers, low-IQ nasty unevolved human flatworms. The bastards came illegally, so to hell with them. But, I think, not enough of the country will buy it. Stopping the influx will probably fly.  The Wall? Maybe, but I wouldn’t bet on it. We seem to hear less about it. Criminals? Most would favor deporting them.

But twelve million? Or anything resembling it? For many reasons, both charitable and self-interested, too many groups aren’t up for mass arrests and deportations. Not businessmen, who want the cheap labor, nor the Democratic Party that wants the votes, nor academia, nor the media, nor sanctuary cities, nor many of the young, nor liberals. Nor…California.

The question is not whether it was a good idea to encourage illegals to come. It wasn’t. The question is not even whether it would be good for the country to run them out. Doing it would be too ugly to gain support from the public. Too many illegals have been in the country for five, ten, fifteen years, speak English, have employers who value them, have children who are citizens and sometimes do not speak Spanish.
The Hispanic Genie is out of the bottle. 

The Hispanic genie is out of the bottle. It is a done deal. Trump can’t do much about it. Neither can anyone else. Deporting a few hundred thousand of 56 million would not make a dent.  A million would constitute less than two percent of the Latino population.

In any event, running out the illegals would leave 44 million legal Latinos. Or, increasingly, sort of Latinos. Is Rosa Gutierrez, nineteen, born and raised in California, whose English she speaks flawlessly–a Latina? Quite possibly she has never been to Mexico. She thinks that she is an American. Why isn’t she?

Worse, Rosa is pretty and feminine. If Pew is to be believed, the intermarriage rate is at 26 percent. This horrifies white nationalists   , gratifies assimilationists, but neither horror nor gratification is going to change things

Will Rosa’s children, had in conjunction with her husband Robert Williams, be Latinos? They won’t think so. And you cannot deport American citizens.

Much of the hostility, though expressed in practical terms of lost jobs and so on, is in fact racial, and therefore incurable.

Many of the white nationalists exhibit an almost effeminate squeamishness at the thought of their precious bodily essences being polluted by oozing dark sludge. Well, as you will. There are reasons why this view isn’t going to prevail. See below.

"Oozing dark sludge".    Young Anglo men may not see her exactly that way.

Since huge numbers of Latinos are in the country, and are not going to leave, the intelligent question–yes, I know this is a political column, but we can try a little eccentricity here–is: Can they be part of America? Well, let’s see.
They are approximately Christian, though like all Christians they don’t always remember the parts about adultery and fornication. They don’t do terrorism. Brown Lives Matter doesn’t burn malls and loot shoe stores, in part because it doesn’t exist. They don’t genitally mutilate their daughters, forbid them schooling, or make them wear funny black bags. They do not yell “Pancho-hu akbar” and stab people .An estimated million Americans including your scribe live amicably in Mexico. If it were such a horrible experience, you might expect us to notice. Wherever I have been in the US–LA, San Fran, New York, San Antonio, Houston, Laredo, Chicago, Washington–they have seemed integrated, working in restaurants, doctrine’s offices, what have you and both learning English and, often, forgetting Spanish.

There are down sides. While very few Mexicans are involved in the drug trade, a high proportion of those involved in the drug trade are Mexicans. Another is that if government can turn them into welfare dependents, it will.

What the white nationalists can do, perhaps, is to alienate white from brown and split the country into three mutually hostile groups, white, black and Latino. The constant disparagement of Latinos by Trump and the anti-immigrant enthusiasts appears aimed at just that. Strictly speaking, Trump might respond that he is not against Latin Americans ;) but only against criminals and illegals, but it certain sounds as though he hates Mexicans. The racialist sites post endless stories, not infrequently dishonest, about Latino stupidity, crime, shiftlessness, and vile behavior. Mexicans, rightly or wrongly, conclude that they are hated. This does not encourage assimilation–assimilation being of course the last thing that white nationalists want. To endorse assimilation would be to grant legitimacy to  the assimilated.

This attitude will prove unfortunate, since assimilation is the only hope of not having the United States become an ethnic disaster.

White nationalists tend to believe, and obviously hope, that Latin Americans are genetically criminal and incapable of  of fitting into nations of the First World.  This allows a comforting faith that mixing  should be prevented at any cost. Yet those who have  traveled in the world will have seen that economics, not genetics, is primary in behavior. In particular, as people move into the middle class,  crime and fertility decline sharply and interest in education rises.

Just so, here. The Mexican middle class is no more violent than anyone else’s. (From which we derive genetically fascinating conclusions. Apparently the presence of a refrigerator and indoor plumbing alter the genetic makeup of those near them.  Weird Kelvinator rays, one supposes.) Another observation readily made around the planet is that middle classes usually get along well with each other. All of this would suggest that encouraging immigrants to move into the middle class might be a Real Good Idea.

Unfortunately an assimilated Mexican middle class would intermarry vigorously with whites, thus polluting our precious bodily essences. Many of the anti-immigrants simply do not want anything to do with any Mexican ever under any circumstances. Thus they have no policy other than getting rid of people most of whom cannot be gotten rid of.

In particular they furiously oppose amnesty for illegals. This would be a rational position if there were a possibility that Mr. Trump could chase them out of the country–which he can’t do in significant numbers, which would mean many millions. At that point keeping them illegal amounts to preventing their economic rise and creating another permanent underclass.

Gosh, what a swell idea.

Fred, a keyboard mercenary with a disorganized past, has worked on staff for Army Times, The Washingtonian, Soldier of Fortune, Federal Computer Week, and The Washington Times. http://fredoneverything.org

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 20, 2017, 12:06:44 pm »

Agelbert NOTE:
Trump Team reaction to the above:  

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 29, 2017, 06:43:35 pm »

You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs and Trump is cracking eggs.  Family first, then friends, then everyone else.  There is nothing wrong with that mantra. 

Recent American political leaders inverted this fundamental equation of human existence considering themselves not to be Americans but elite citizens of the world and they have treated the American people horribly as they prospered their own class with stratospheric riches by their seizure and transfer overseas of American treasure.  They expanded their empire and ruined the domestic economy.  Trump is standing the existing order on its head.  Overpopulation is leading to collapse and if the number of immigrants who dilute my citizenship one at a time is cut to zero let it be so.  When America has no poor and we are taking care of all our own and every American has a decent job at a decent wage let us ask if there is room for anyone else but until then a pox on those arrogant enough to think they have the right be bestow citizenship on anyone they please.  Right now America has too many resource hogs and we don't need any more.

You may not like Trump.  You may hate Trump and you may disagree with his attitudes but Trump is the first politician we have had who has had anything but a childish inkling about how the world works for a long time.  Trump understands the world will not run on magic.  Trump may still be wrong about how he thinks the world works in almost every way but the path America has been on so far has been going at a hundred straight for a cliff.  Just about anything else is an improvement, for the path we have been on was certain ruin.  Trump in his bumblings is forcing change and a badly needed examination of the national character.


The truth finally comes out. K-dog LIED when he said he did not vote for Trump.

K-Dog is a hopelessly biased TRUMPER!

YOU do not have the remotest idea of how the  world works. ALL you can come up with is clever witticisms to ridicule those who see what a POS POTUS Trumplethinskin is in your pathetic attempts to appear objective, while you CONSISTENTLY DEFEND every Fascist move Trump makes.  ;) You don't fool ANYBODY.   Keep talkin' about cracking eggs when you REALLY want Fascist Trump to crack HUMAN minority heads, TRUMPER!

The Trump omelet K-Dog wants us to EAT 
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 28, 2017, 10:02:06 pm »

"Trump’s lies, and his urge to tell them, are pure Big Brother crude, however oafish their articulation."
You may have heard that George Orwell's book, "1984" is once again, for the first time since 1948, the top selling book in the United States, in the wake of Kellyanne Conway making her iconic "alternative facts" quip. In Orwell’s “1984” and Trump’s America Adam Gopnik, also of the New Yorker, unabashedly compares Trump's bullying and lying to Orwell's antagonist, Big Brother:

There is nothing subtle about Trump’s behavior. He lies, he repeats the lie, and his listeners either cower in fear, stammer in disbelief, or try to see how they can turn the lie to their own benefit. Every continental wiseguy, from Žižek to Baudrillard, insisted that when they pulled the full totalitarian wool over our eyes next time, we wouldn’t even know it was happening. Not a bit of it. Trump’s lies, and his urge to tell them, are pure Big Brother crude, however oafish their articulation. They are not postmodern traps and temptations; they are primitive schoolyard taunts and threats.

The blind, blatant disregard for truth is offered without even the sugar-façade of sweetness of temper or equableness or entertainment—offered not with a sheen of condescending consensus but in an ancient tone of rage, vanity, and vengeance. Trump is pure raging authoritarian id.

And so, rereading Orwell, one is reminded of what Orwell got right about this kind of brute authoritarianism—and that was essentially that it rests on lies told so often, and so repeatedly, that fighting the lie becomes not simply more dangerous but more exhausting than repeating it. Orwell saw, to his credit, that the act of falsifying reality is only secondarily a way of changing perceptions. It is, above all, a way of asserting power.

When Trump repeats the ridiculous story about the three million illegal voters—a story that no one who knows, that not a single White House “staffer,” not a single Republican congressman actually believes to be true—he does not really care if anyone believes it, even if, at some crazy level, he does, sort of. People aren’t meant to believe it; they’re meant to be intimidated by it. The lie is not a claim about specific facts; the lunacy is a deliberate challenge to the whole larger idea of sanity. Once a lie that big is in circulation, trying to reel the conversation back into the territory of rational argument becomes impossible.

Full article at link:
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 28, 2017, 03:21:21 pm »

The fake news is coming from inside the White House!

By Hunter   

Saturday Jan 28, 2017 · 10:00 AM EST


What's clear, then, is that the Spicer-led White House press room will be moving toward more relaxed definitions of "news" than even Facebook is currently comfortable with. Will LifeZette use their new status to inquire of Sean Spicer as to whether the "Clinton Body Count" will be a topic of White House investigation, or if Jim Hoft's team wishes to re-litigate Obama's birth certificate yet again, or if one of those Macedonian teenagers we have heard so much about during the last campaign will get the opportunity to insist that the president re-examine whether that children murdered in the Sandy Hook shooting were truly dead, or—as some gun advocates believe—the whole thing was staged by the federal government.

But there's another catch here too. It won't just be conspiracy theorists squeezing their way into the White House press room. As Sean Spicer works to ensure the administration's preferred hoaxers make it into one room, Trump's ex-Breitbart chief strategist is attempting to fill the offices elsewhere in the building with   staff members known more for their propaganda efforts than for their accuracy.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 28, 2017, 02:56:52 pm »

UB said,
agb, degraded DNA aside are you saying horses shouldn't be ridden, sheep shouldn't be sheared, and dogs shouldn't be used to round them up or find fugitives or lost hikers or drugs or lead blind people or just keep their owner physically and psychologically healthy by taking them for a walk and warning them the House is on fire or greeting them when they get home?

Nope. According to the Wayne study, the wolf/dog was associated with mankind for as much as 80 to 100 thousand years WITHOUT any greater DNA degradation than what happens in the wild from Natural Selection. That is because mankind's relationship was mostly empathic and provided happiness and protection to both man and dog. That bond will remain. No special INbreeding is necessary to provide that.

But 150 years ago, we went off the deep end and started super specializing the dogs. That was WRONG.  It made life a lot easier for ranchers and hunters. It made some people a lot of money. So?

In the light of today's scientific discoveries, it was unethical. We know that now. We should not perpetuate or celebrate unethical behavior just because it is profitable. Beyond companionship and empathy, both traits present for thousands of years without more than the very gradual, and hardly measurable, normal Natural Selection degradation of the DNA of wolf/dogs, all the other functions can be done quite well, or better, by robots. That is ethical. And by the way, many different dog MIXED breeds (because mutts are SMARTER) make great seeing eye dogs. Diverse DNA dogs (Mutts) can provide all the mutual companionship and protective loving relationships both these fine animals and humans crave. Kennel clubs are unnecessary and unethical. 

What I am saying is that we should stop creating artificial founder effect box canyons, that are deleterious to these animals. JUST BECAUSE WE CAN.   

All scientific work is incomplete — whether it be observational or experimental. All scientific work is liable to be upset or modified by advancing knowledge. That does not confer upon us a freedom to ignore the knowledge we already have, or to postpone the action that it appears to demand at a given time.‎
Appears in 62 books from 1950-2008

When Darwin dreamed up his theory, several mistakes were made with the best of intentions (see quote above). BUT NOW, we know better. So NOW, we have to EAT CROW and admit that we WERE GRIEVOUSLY WRONG.

It's hard for breeders to admit that. Palloy said he was sad because he could not find a "suitable stud" for his Dalmatian bi tch. He does not get it.    One of the deleterious "founder effect" genetic box canyons is precisely the incredibly damaging act of using sperm from ONE "ideal" dog from a "pure" breed to inseminate several females of the same "breed". That is one of the two WORST THINGS they could do (that they STILL DO!) based on DARWINIAN "pure" bloodline CRAP. The other thing is breeding for dogs to achieve a modified phenotype in stature.

That said, the breeds are there now.

I certainly DO NOT recommend killing them for any reason.

I certainly DO recommend providing them with the happiest and healthiest living conditions possible.

I certainly DO NOT recommend castrating or spaying them just because they have genetic disorders. That too, is ASS BACKWARDS DARWINIAN THINKING. They should ALL be encouraged to OUTbreed with mutts. NO "pure" bred dog should be allowed to mate with the same "breed", PERIOD.

The whole dog show IDIOCY should be eliminated.

And for those special working breeds that love to do what they were bred to do, let them keep doing it!
As long as genetic testing indicates that no FURTHER accelerated DNA degradation is going on, rescue dogs and riding horses, as well as dogs for protection are okay. Even herding dogs like the tiny Corgi are okay IF we STOP all Inbreeding NOW. 

They exist. We are at fault. Let them do what they were bred to happily do. But let's NOT compound the error, OKAY? 

I also think is high time we STOP the "pure" breed NONSENSE (see ENRICHED URANIUM) and started showing some respect for SCIENCE and GENETICS by labeling the Genetically Diverse Dogs (GDD) with relatively few inherited disorders as TOP DOGS , instead of the pejorative "Mutt" label.   

I won't hold my breath waiting for Palloy to sign on to that... :(
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: September 13, 2016, 02:10:30 pm »

I'm not sure aspiration pneumonia (actually a pneumonitis, caused by inhaling (aspirating) vomit) is a bad call. It isn't the same as "regular" pneumonia at all really, but since lay people don't know the difference, it's a way to make it sound like a fairly minor problem (bacterial pneumonia) with a definitive treatment. Meaning Hillary would be well in a couple of weeks (nothing to see here, move along). That isn't the case with aspirating stomach acid, which would be a continuing problem, and potentially fatal if she has a bad episode.

I have followed all the anti-Hillary stories about her coughing fits and momentary lapses of coherence while speaking, and I think there is SOMETHING going on, something that's definitely being soft-pedaled. I'm guessing whatever medical records are released will be massaged to make the situation seem more minor than it is. I don't think she'll be off the ballot unless she drops dead.

But as to the "Pneumonia" diagnosis, it is TOTAL bullshit. Pneumonia has SLOW acting symptomology. It is breathtakingly arrogant for the propaganda liars to claim Hillary passed out from pneumonia. ANY brief study of the symptoms of this disease will show that Hillary, if she had pneumonia on the day she passed out, would have had BREATHING and COUGHING and FEVER symptoms prior to the 9/11 photo op. Her team would have given her some powerful medication. It is possible that she had a reaction to the DRUGS in her system, which induced a syncope, but in either case, it points at RAPID LOSS of OXYGENATION. Pneumonia doesn't DO ANYTHING RAPIDLY, PERIOD.

I don't think her having pneumonia is totally implausible. Let me tell you I have had a heart attack AND pneumonia in my life-time and I say that my bouts of pneumonia gave me a greater degree of breathlessness than the heart attack. The first time I caught pneumonia it actually caused me to collapse on the ground after pushing myself physically. The fall was similar to Hilary had she no aides to catch her so I think it is possible to fall like it especially if one pushes themselves to the limit. Let us not forget she is a 67 year old woman so quite likely the symptoms could be worse on that front. As for coughing, breathing and fever she could have been given some medication to reduce those symptoms. In any case though it is all speculation and it is possible she has something other than pneumonia however I would not discount the idea she has it. Time will tell what she has. If this is a one off episode then it lends credence to the idea it is just a bout of ill health but if she has continued episodes especially in the coming months then something more sinister is at foot.


Your argument ignores the fact that Hilary was NOT pushing herself to any sort of limit. You also ignore that fact that you did NOT pass out and she definitely did. Her symptoms are typical of syncope, not pneumonia, of any sort. I am older than Hillary. I know EXACTLY what a syncope is and what it feels like. I stand by my view that she had a syncope.

One thing nobody here wants to talk about is the FACT that presidential candidates (and all presidents for the past 50 years or so) are "medicated" (i.e. ON something) out the wazoo on a regular basis.

Eddie talks about different types of pneumonia, yet neglects drug interactions that can frequently cause syncope. In fact, ER visits for syncope in general, and most collapse situations, ARE drug interaction related, regardless off whether the dosage is considered an OD or not.

I stand by my view that Hillary is taking pep pills. I don't know if they caused her syncope or not, but pretending that is implausible is ignores Occam's Razor here.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: September 12, 2016, 03:52:06 pm »

So I have a question here ....
Is there a medical relationship between Parkinson's Disease & Vascular Dementia ?

Dementia can be the result of several different disease causes. Parkinson's is just one of them.

But as to the "Pneumonia" diagnosis, it is TOTAL bullshit. Pneumonia has SLOW acting symptomology. It is breathtakingly arrogant for the propaganda liars to claim Hillary passed out from pneumonia. ANY brief study of the symptoms of this disease will show that Hillary, if she had pneumonia on the day she passed out, would have had BREATHING and COUGHING and FEVER symptoms prior to the 9/11 photo op. Her team would have given her some powerful medication. It is possible that she had a reaction to the DRUGS in her system, which induced a syncope, but in either case, it points at RAPID LOSS of OXYGENATION. Pneumonia doesn't DO ANYTHING RAPIDLY, PERIOD.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: September 11, 2016, 05:20:11 pm »


Interesting. As a veteran of some serious syncope episodes prior to my pacemaker implantation, I wish to inform readers that they way Hillary collapsed is precisely the way you pass out from syncope. It could also be a stroke but strokes usually take minutes, not seconds, to knock you out.

In syncope, your heart just stops in its tracks. About 10 seconds later, you are unconscious. The heart starts up on its own about 15 seconds later. Syncope is NOT a heart attack.

I just wanted to add that, minutes prior to a syncope, you feel fatigued and you get paresthesia (tingling in arms and head). This is because the heart is already stopping and starting for a second or two, not enough to knock you out, but enough to reduce the oxygenation in your extremities (tingling and pin pricks).

Hillary could have started to feel woozy, taken out, and then had the main (15 seconds or more) syncope at the SUV.

I just found this. This doctor seems to agree with my diagnosis.  8)


Hillary Clinton almost fainted. I’m a doctor. It’s really o.k. | Dr. Jen Gunter

10 hours ago - Hillary Clinton left early from the 9/11 commemoration in New York as ... With near syncope it is pretty easy to intervene, as Mrs. Clinton's team did, and prevent the faint. ... breath as I am pretty confident that if Mrs. Clinton did have shortness ... with symptoms consistent with vasovagal or orthostatic syncope, ...


Agelbert NOTE:
The vasovagal syncope is the one where the heart stops. The Orthostatic syncope is caused by low blood pressure (hypotension) from rising up quickly from a sitting or squatting position. Also, soldiers at attention in a formation sometimes lock their leg muscles inadvertently causing loss of blood pressure. They keel over and wake up embarrassed. I DOUBT whether Hillary's syncope was orthostatic.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 22, 2016, 07:15:09 pm »

The Modern Invention of the Medieval Executioner

August 21, 2016 By Medievalists.net

The Modern Invention of the Medieval Executioner

Lecture by Joel Harrington

Given at Vanderbilt University on May 7, 2015

We all know the hooded, ominous figure of the medieval hangman, but in fact that image owes much more to nineteenth-century imaginations than to any historical reality. After a brief description of a real sixteenth-century German executioner, based on his personal journal of forty-five years, this lecture will explore the legal, artistic, and literary origins of one of the modern age’s most recognizable stereotypes, as well as how this has helped distort our common understanding of the European Middle Ages. This lecture will explore this topic as told in part in Harrington’s most recent book, The Faithful Executioner: Life and Death, Honor and Shame in the Sixteenth Century (Picador, 2014).

Joel F. Harrington is Centennial Professor and Chair of the Department of History. He as published widely on various topics in social, legal, and religious history, particularly dealing with Germany during the early modern era (ca. 1450-1750). Projects currently underway include a study of the late medieval mystic Meister Eckhart and a comparison of the early modern prosecution of infanticide and witchcraft.

Professor Harrington has taught a variety of graduate and undergraduate courses at Vanderbilt since his arrival in 1989, including the history of Christian traditions, Reformation Europe, religion and the occult in early modern Europe, and early modern social history.

From 2004-2011 he served as Vanderbilt’s first senior international officer (Associate Provost for Global Strategy), a full-time administrative position, and before that, from 2000-2004, he was Director of the Center for European Studies.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 17, 2016, 04:23:22 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: Happiness equation proves that water is wet and selfish people are made, not born. Ya mean you didn't know that before you took calculus?   

This is the updated equation to predict happiness, where t is the trial number, w0 is a constant term, other weights w capture the influence of different event types, 0 < γ < 1 is a forgetting factor that makes events in more recent trials more influential than those in earlier trials, CRj is the certain reward if chosen instead of a ga mble on trial j, EVj is the average reward for the ga mble if chosen on trial j, and RPEj is the RPE (reinforcement prediction error) on trial j contingent on choice of the ga mble. The RPE is equal to the reward received minus the expectation in that trial EVj. If the CR was chosen, then EVj = 0 and RPEj = 0; if the ga mble was chosen, then CRj = 0. The variables in the equation are quantities that the neuromodulator dopamine has been associated with in previous neuroscience studies. The additional term w4 relates to advantageous inequality (guilt) when the reward received by the subject Rj exceeds the reward received by the other player Oj, and w5 relates to disadvantageous inequality (envy) when Oj exceeds Rj. Credit: Robb Rutledge, UCL

A new equation, showing how our happiness depends not only on what happens to us but also how this compares to other people, has been developed by UCL researchers funded by Wellcome

The team developed an equation to predict happiness in 2014, highlighting the importance of expectations, and the new updated equation also takes into account other people's fortunes.

The study, published in Nature Communications, found that inequality reduced happiness on average. This was true whether people were doing better or worse than another person they had just met. The subjects played gambles to try to win money and saw whether another person won or lost the same ga mbles. On average, when someone won a ga mble they were happier when their partner also won the same ga mble compared to when their partner lost. This difference could be attributed to guilt. Similarly, when people lost a ga mble they were happier when their partner also lost compared to when their partner won, a difference that could be attributed to envy.

"Our equation can predict exactly how happy people will be based not only on what happens to them but also what happens to the people around them," explains one of the study's co-lead authors, Dr Robb Rutledge (UCL Institute of Neurology and Max Planck UCL Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research). "On average we are less happy if others get more or less than us, but this varies a lot from person to person.

Interestingly, the equation allows us to predict how generous an individual will be in a separate scenario when they are asked how they would like to split a small amount of money with another person. Based on exactly how inequality affects their happiness, we can predict which individuals will be altruistic."

For the study, 47 volunteers who did not know each other completed several tasks in small groups. In one task, they were asked how they would like to anonymously split a small amount of money with another person that they had just met. In another task, they played monetary ga mbles that they could win or lose, and were told that they would see what another person received from the same ga mble. In this way, subjects could get the same or different outcome from a social partner, sometimes getting more and sometimes getting less. Throughout this experiment, participants were asked how happy they felt at regular intervals.

The results showed that people's generosity was not dependent on who the partner was or which partner they said they preferred. This suggests that people were acting according to stable personality traits rather than specific feelings about the other player. On average, people whose happiness was more affected by getting more than others, something that might relate to guilt, gave away 30% of the money. Those who were more affected by getting less than others, something that might relate to envy, gave only 10%.

"Our results suggest that generosity towards strangers relates to how our happiness is affected by the inequalities we experience in our daily life," says Archy de Berker (UCL Institute of Neurology), co-lead author of the study, "The people who gave away half of their money when they had the opportunity showed no envy when they experienced inequality in a different task but showed a lot of guilt. By contrast, those who kept all the money for themselves displayed no signs of guilt in the other task but displayed a lot of envy. This is the first time that people's generosity has been directly linked to how inequality affects their happiness. Economists have had difficulty explaining why some people are more generous than others, and our experiments offers an explanation.

The task may prove to be a useful way of measuring empathy, which could offer insight into social disorders such as borderline personality disorder. Such methods could help us better understand certain aspects of social disorders, such as indifference to the suffering of others."

 Explore further: 'Happiness gap' in the US narrows

More information: Robb B. Rutledge et al, The social contingency of momentary subjective well-being, Nature Communications (2016). DOI: 10.1038/ncomms11825

Journal reference: Nature Communications search and more info website

Provided by: University College London search and more info website

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 06, 2016, 03:00:07 pm »

Big Ag Forces Firing of Long-Time Farm News Cartoonist  >:(

Marion Nestle, Food Politics | May 6, 2016 9:49 am

I love cartoons and was appalled when I read this tweet:

✔  ‎‎@romenesko 

"I am no longer the editorial cartoonist for Farm News due to the attached cartoon..." http://bit.ly/1WCSRmI

12:07 PM - 2 May 2016

Here’s the offending cartoon:

In a Facebook post the cartoonist, Rick Friday, explained:

I am no longer the Editorial Cartoonist for Farm News due to the attached cartoon which was published yesterday. Apparently a large company affiliated with one of the corporations mentioned in the cartoon was insulted and cancelled their advertisement with the paper, thus, resulting in the reprimand of my editor and cancellation of It’s Friday cartoons after 21 years of service and over 1,090 published cartoons to over 24,000 households per week in 33 counties of Iowa.

I did my research and only submitted the facts in my cartoon. 

That’s okay, hopefully my children and my grandchildren will see that this last cartoon published by Farm News out of Fort Dodge, Iowa, will shine light on how fragile our rights to free speech and free press really are in the country.

The Des Moines Register explains further:
The CEOs at the ag giants earned about $52.9 million last year, based on Morningstar data. Monsanto and DuPont, the parent of Johnston-based Pioneer, are large seed and chemical companies and Deere is a large farm equipment manufacturer.

Profits for the three companies, all with large operations across Iowa, also have declined as farm income has been squeezed. After peaking in 2013, U.S. farm income this year is projected to fall to $183 billion, its lowest level since 2002.

U.S. Uncut adds more details:

Friday received an email from his supervisor at Farm News, informing him that he would be fired, citing he was “instructed” by a superior to not accept another cartoon from Friday. The supervisor told Friday that “in the eyes of some, Big Ag  cannot be criticized or poked fun at.” 

It also published Friday’s cartoons based on his firing. Here’s one:

Friday has done other cartoons like this. It’s not surprising that he has corporate advertisers upset.   

How to help?
Consider a quick note to Farm News about how badly Americans need a free, independent press to discuss farm issues. 

Here’s the publisher’s contact information: Larry Bushman at lbushman@messengernews.net.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 30, 2016, 04:19:40 pm »

It has always been my contention that the reason northern European countries have been willing to be so heavily taxed is because they perceive that they get what they're paying for...that the government has, for most of the last half century, lived up to its promises, and a workable, fair social contract has existed.

I have also believed that this has come about, or has been possible largely because the population of those countries is ethnically homogeneous, or has been until fairly recent years.

I contrast that with the way we in the US have not done so well with universal health care, old age pensions, and disability benefits. A lot of that is a real or perceived unfairness that some people pay more than their share and others, who may not pay anything receive more from the social welfare system.

I predicted that this would happen in Sweden and Norway and Finland if they allowed immigration to create a permanent underclass with a different language and different values from the mainstream.

Guess what? I was right. I can't help but feel the slightest bit of schadenfreude, since those Nordic countries have always been so adamant about their lack of racial discrimination and their PC stance on diversity.

Welcome to our world, y'all.


No you weren't right. The TRUE welfare queen caused expenses that are undermining the economies of the Western world are NOT the social costs you have been propagandized to believe (along with the cleverly disguised racist notion that only ethnically homogenous populations can "support" a social safety net).

If you ever bother to compute the visible and INVISIBLE (but easily quantifiable) SUBSIDIES to VARIOUS industries (NOT just the fossil fuel industry, though they are one of the BIGGEST recipients of WELFARE from the BIGGEST welfare queen system - the USA corporate giveaways - in the world ), you would then start to see that the social safety net cost numbers are PEANUTS compared with the corporate welfare.

People like you REFUSE to see how ALL government research on almost EVERY invention out there, and the R & D needed to make them technologically and financially SUCCESSFUL, have been HANDED OFF to connected elite corporations for a song, ALWAYS bypassing we-the-people, who paid for all of this, when the time to sell the product to us arrives. 

Frankly, your ideological blinders are fascinating in their sturdiness and amazing ability to discount and discard real expenses that we-the-people are charged for. 

Good luck with your "real world".  Now I understand why MKing frequently tries to ingratiate himself with you. Scratch the surface, and under your apparently Guru inspired sympathy for the downtrodden of the world, you agree with MKing's "real world" Predators 'R' US world view.

AND, you are always looking for material to "fix the facts" in support of your ideology.

I'm going to be prick here, Eddie. I think, though I may be wrong  ;D, that I have finally figured out how you tick. You, at some point in your education, were convinced of the efficacy of game theory in human relations.

Game Theory, as you know, is what the Defense Department AND Wall Street uses to justify excluding absolutely any altruistic behavior in competitive strategies. It was created by an autistic mathematical genius IDIOT who worshipped Spencer and did not understand Darwin.

The problem with game theory in the REAL real world is that it fails to model it properly. By totally excluding altruistic behavior (except as a ploy to sucker the opponent into a position of weakness  ), it is doomed to, not just fail miserably, but to degrade the sine qua non conditions the species engaging in it requires for perpetuation.

YOU DO NOT understand that, Eddie. YOU are sold on Game Theory, as are most Capitalists, Libertarians, Wall Streeters and, of course, the Military Industrial complex.

You ALL are WRONG. But you talk a good game (theory).  ;)

Every time you fine fellows try to finger social safety nets as "welfare queenery" or "someone else's money" (Thatcher greed is good idiocy) OR "bad for the economy", while WILLFULLY ignoring the MASSIVE corporate welfare queenery, you just want brainwashed average Americans to act against their best interests, AND BE HAPPY ABOUT IT (see below).

Darwin would not be amused with Game Theory.

Forget Survival of the Fittest: It Is Kindness That Counts
A psychologist probes how altruism, Darwinism and neurobiology mean that we can succeed by not being cutthroat.


The FACT is that we, as a species, WILL NOT SUCCEED if we CONTINUE to exclude altruism (involving ALL LIFE, not just our family!) from our modus vivendi.

Have a nice day.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 30, 2016, 04:04:25 pm »

I'll level with you I'm not really that sad about my engineering career not working out, I frankly hated the corporate environment.  Just wish I had a little security and a place to call home.  I'm all but selling my soul out to the frackers to get a shot at buying some land and a cabin but its not exactly panning out that great either.  Not only has the pay gone to S H I T it's just goddammn boring and monotonous. MKing thinks way too highly of the drilling world.  Maybe it was different in his day but punching holes in the bakken is la cookie cutter process. Im going brain dead mwding there is not an iota of technical challenge left to the job, I'm getting paid for sleep deprivation and the ability to be a trained yes sir monkey.  The next rung up as directional driller isn't too much better either from a technical perspective.   Maybe my cabin will have to just be a cheap cube van and a tent lol..

99% of all jobs are boring and monotonous.  The nature of a "job" is that you do the same thing, day in and day out.  Neurosurgery is boring.  Spinal fusions, every day, that is the meat of the practice.  Milking cows is boring.  Driving a truck is boring.

Artists have slightly less boring jobs, but even art is monotonous.  If you're a painter, every day you paint.  What you are painting may be different one day to the next, but you're still dipping a brush in paint, over and over.

Why do people do these boring and monotonous jobs?  To make MONEY of course.  B&M jobs are somewhat more tolerable the more money you make, although not always.  Beyond the problem of B&M, unless you are the CEO you always have some "boss" you have to please, and who also more often than not is an ass hole.

All of this serves to make the world of work quite unpleasant, and even though I did work I mostly enjoyed,  I just about always had ass hole bosses.  So I definitely do not miss the world of work, and sure am glad I got my opportunity to retire on Mailbox Money!  :icon_sunny:

However, you are quite a few years away from this unless you become disabled, which of course is not much fun itself, but on balance it is better than working!  lol.

So, let's assume you can get your college loans paid off and you put together enough money to buy a cabin, or some land you can build one on.  You didn't particularly like milking cows over the last winter, you didn't like working as an engineer, you don't like poking holes in the ground for the fracking industry...so what are you going to do for money once you do buy said cabin?  ???       If you go on the cheap with a Stealth Van, what are you going to do for money to buy gas, assuming as you do that gas will be available and cheap for some time to come?


Selling out your soul is a bad plan. 

But I admit anyone that does that has lots of company in Amerika.

The routine selling of one's soul for the MYTH of  "personal freedom of choice" is what made Amerika a BANANA Republic run by those corporations you abhor.

Ka figured this out. I'm sure you can figure it out too.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 13, 2016, 09:49:31 pm »

Krugman Maliciously Attacks Senator Bernie Sanders >:(

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 16, 2016, 09:09:00 pm »

HUGE Victory: Senate Rejects the DARK Act

Wenonah Hauter | March 16, 2016 1:03 pm |

Today, the Senate did the right thing and did not advance a bill from Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) that can best be described as the Denying Americans the Right to Know  (DARK) Act. The bill would have prevented states from requiring labeling of genetically engineered (GMO) foods and stopped pending state laws that require labeling to go into effect.


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 03, 2016, 03:00:15 pm »

Don’t Cry About Super Tuesday—Bernie Sanders Is Winning the Future   

Posted on Mar 2, 2016


“Judging from Super Tuesday’s results, Sen. Bernie Sanders has a long row to hoe if he is going to overtake Hillary Clinton and become the Democratic nominee,” Bleifuss began. “By and large, the margins of her victories were larger than the margins of his. And as In These Times Deputy Publisher Christopher Hass reported last week, it is in the size of these margins that the Democratic standard bearer will be determined.

“But the race for the Democratic nomination is not only a contest between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. It is also the venue for competing ideas about how social change is made, in which two visions for the future have been offered.”

Look at how the debate over healthcare has played out. Sanders is an unabashed supporter of getting insurance corporations out of the healthcare business and establishing a single-payer, Medicare-for-all system. Clinton has campaigned to defend the Obamacare status quo, and tinker about the edges. Ditto with banking. Sanders promises he will break up banks that are too big to fail. Clinton wants to—well, she says she will hold Wall Street accountable and reduce risks, but we don’t exactly know what her agenda is, since she has refused to release the texts of speeches she gave to the bankers who have funded her. As for making college affordable, Sanders wants to provide free tuition for students who attend state institutions. Clinton wants to make community colleges free and reduce costs at public universities. The list goes on, but you get the picture. The choice is between radical change and incremental reform.

And that’s reform that 26 million Americans who still lack reliable access to health care six years after the passage of President Obama’s landmark health insurance law would be justified in seeing as no reform at all.

“Again and again,” Bleifuss continued, we get the same “measured caution” from Clinton. “Dreams are for the future. ... Enjoy the feast. Half a loaf is better than none.”

True to the interests of his constituents, Sanders “is having no truck with such a meager meal.” As the senator put it in a speech in Fort Collins, Colo., on Sunday:

I believe that if you start your campaign and run on a platform calling for a full loaf, at worst you’re gonna get a half loaf. If you start your campaign talking about a need for a half loaf, you’re going to get crumbs. And the American people today do not want, do not need crumbs. They need the whole loaf.

With Clinton measurably closer to the nomination, “it looks like we’re sitting down to a pretty lean victors banquet,” Bleifuss continued. But if Sanders does lose the nomination, he asks, “In the long-term, who is the real winner? Who has put ideas on the table that herald a future that transcends the status quo? As he has done before, on Super Tuesday, in state after state, Sanders won a majority of Democratic voters under the age of 30. Clinton may yet win the nomination, but the future of the party belongs to Sanders.”

The young people who make up a significant portion of Sanders’ movement “are not clueless dreamers. The harsh realities of employment precarity, debt, low wages, inequality, climate change, etc., have forced young Americans to reassess their circumstances in a cold, harsh light.”

If life in America is basically peachy keen, then the small-bore reforms proposed by Clinton and the neoliberal technocrats who helm the Democratic Party make a lot of sense.

If, on the other hand, the status quo is intolerable—as it is for millions of Americans—then what Sanders calls “political revolution” becomes a moral imperative.

Clinton and Sanders offered America’s millennials two futures. They made their choice.


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 18, 2016, 04:07:26 pm »

VIDEO: Constitution Alert

Rovian trick, claim the opponent's strengths, and accuse him of your own weaknesses.  :evil4:
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 05, 2016, 10:46:24 pm »

VIDEO: Is Hillary Clinton a Progressive?    Not According to Her Policy Record

Posted on Feb 4, 2016

EXCELLENT video that tells the TRUTH!   


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 25, 2016, 07:51:19 pm »

Uh,oh, indeed.

Uh, oh is right.

It seems that hip boots will no longer suffice.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 16, 2016, 07:21:14 pm »

Can you give me a list of common psychological biases?

Milan de Reede

Alexander van Hattem, Human, Doctor, Mental Health Professional

Oh man, so many of those. If you are really interested in the subject I can recommend you some good books.

First of all there's the 6 "biases" that Cialdini identified in his book.

•Reciprocity: We are bound to return favors, even if the favor was unsollicited. Someone hands you a rose, you feel obliged to give them something back, even if you do not want the rose at all.

•Consistency: People always want to look consistent. Simply put, offer people $50 if they will try to use less electricity, then after a few days take away the original incentive, and people will still try to be consistent with their new self-image of "energy saver".

•Social proof:
The simplest one, really. Enter an elevator where everyone has their backs turned to the door and you're likely to turn your back to the door as well. When given incomplete information people tend to just go with the group.

We are more likely to be influenced by people that we like. This makes sense, however this means we are more likely to agree with or buy from people that share superficial similarities with us, regardless of their relevance to the situation. Your grandmother's name is also Jessica?! Great, I should buy your car!

We are likely to agree to do something simply because an authority (doctor, professor) asks us to do it. This can be easily exploited by people pretending to be an authority (think actors playing a doctor in a series advertising for a new drug) or by even just looking like an authority (white lab-coat). For an interesting experiment on authority, google Milgram experiments.

•Scarcity: This is what's in play everytime you see "Only 2 of this shirt left!". In our minds something scarce has more value. If there is one jar with 2 cookies left and one with 20 cookies left, the one with 2 cookies will not only be more tempting but we'll say the cookie tasted better (simplified).

Those are, I believe, the biggest ones. There's however a whole sling of other biases we have.

•Even by mentioning something as odd as dwarves or by mentioning how lucky you are, biases come into play. For example, think of a number now. Was it 7? Mentioning dwarves (seven dwarves) and lucky (lucky number) made you more likely to pick 7, which I see as a bias. This is called priming. Priming someone by having them mention their gender before a maths test makes women perform worse than men, even if these women do not believe in the stereotype. Priming someone by having them unscramble words related to elderly people makes them want slower afterwards. Priming someone by showing them the Apple logo for a few seconds makes them more creative afterwards. There really are countless examples here, google priming.

•Anchoring bias. Do you think that when he died Abraham Lincoln was older or younger than 120 years? 120 years is a ridiculous number, but after reading this and answering the question you are likely to give a higher answer than you would if I had asked whether he was older or younger than 17 years when he died.

•Availability heuristic. If people just saw a news item on murders, they believe the murder rate is higher even though this is only 1 data point.

•Perceptual contrast. Seeing a "regular" woman after seeing a picture of a model will make that "regular" woman less attractive. This can also be used with prices.

•Gam bler's fallacy. When you're playing roulette and the ball keeps landing on red, you're bound to think the odds that it must now land on black are bigger. They aren't, they are the same everytime. People are terrible at statistics.

•Loss aversion. When given the chance to win $1000 or lose $1000, we should see this as a neutral possibility. People however are very averse to (potential) losses, meaning the loss looms larger than the gain. Some studies have shown losses loom twice as large as gains, meaning even a 50/50 bet to win $1500 or lose $1000 wouldn't be taken.

That's just a quick selection.
If you really are interested in the subject, there are a lot of interesting books on this subject. Influence by Cialdini would be a good start.

Thanks for the A2A.


Agelbert NOTE: AS you can see, normal humans are inherently caring and cooperative. These are good traits that, rather than being labeled as "biases", should be celebrated as evidence of our inherently social, not individualistic, nature.   

HOWEVER, Game theorists, who eschew altruistic behavior or reciprocal kindness, except as a ploy to lower the guard of a competitor  , study all the above in order to manipulate, make suckers of, and profit from, humans outside their circle of Welfare Queen "Apex Predators 'R' US". 

Game Theory is and always was, a cheap rationalization for conscience free "might is right" STUPIDITY.

"Might is right" is the cornerstone of Capitalism.

The 'greed is good' worshipping advocates of this evil ISM have a complete vocabulary of terms and phrases coined for the express purpose of demonizing egalitarian social systems that protect, care for and preserve the people and the environment on behalf of present and future generations. 

In fact, all those disingenuous terms and phrases (wasteful bureaucracies, unsound social engineering, irresponsible spending of other people's money, coerced and undemocratic taxation, etc.) apply 100% to the capitalist corruption of the tax system and the government in this country (and others).

Some hair splitters will claim that's PREDATORY Capitalism, not good old patriotic American Capitalism.  "Predatory" (is a redundant adjective because there really isn't any other kind of Capitalism, regardless of what you have heard from Capitalists  ;)).

THE PATH that this empathy deficit disordered, 'greed is good', 'might is right' ISM is pushing human civilization along will, if not stopped, lead to the following future. See Below.

Whether they admit it or not, people are brainwashed to believe that a "successful predator" is one that NEVER engages in altruistic behavior.

This is wrong and it is stupid. But that's what people are brainwashed with in our "educational" system and in our business community.

Consequently, if a person is not directly being threatened, they are made to believe that the "normal" behavior of an "apex predator" (like us) is to NOT help the downtrodden, but to seek to PROFIT from their misery..

Game Theory is what the Defense Department AND Wall Street use to justify excluding absolutely any altruistic behavior in competitive strategies. It was created by an autistic mathematical genius IDIOT who worshipped Spencer and did not understand Darwin.

The problem with game theory in the REAL real world is that it fails to model it properly. By totally excluding altruistic behavior (except as a ploy to sucker the opponent into a position of weakness), it is doomed to, not just fail miserably, but to degrade the sine qua non conditions the species engaging in it requires for perpetuation.

The brainwashed DO NOT understand that. They therefore DO NOT lift a finger to help the minorities in this, or any other, country. THEY, (particularly the "conservatives") are sold on Game Theory, as are most Capitalists, Libertarians, Wall Streeters and, of course, the Military Industrial complex.

THEY ALL are WRONG. But they talk a good game (theory).

Every time those fine fellows claim they "aren't racist", even as they try to finger social safety nets as "welfare queenery" or "someone else's money" (see: Thatcher 'greed is good' idiocy) OR "bad for the economy", while WILLFULLY ignoring the MASSIVE corporate welfare queenery, they just want brainwashed average Americans to act against their best interests, AND BE HAPPY ABOUT IT (see below).

Game Theory is the cornerstone of racism AND our degraded democracy and biosphere.

Forget Survival of the Fittest: It Is Kindness That Counts

A psychologist probes how altruism, Darwinism and neurobiology mean that we can succeed by not being cutthroat.

The FACT is that we, as a species, WILL NOT SUCCEED if we CONTINUE to exclude altruism (involving ALL LIFE, not just our family!) from our modus vivendi.

We ARE our brother's keeper. Our species will not survive if we don't learn AND LIVE that, not as religious principle, but as a basic tenet of Biosphere Math Successful Species Perpetuation.

Have a nice day.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 14, 2016, 07:44:02 pm »

It has always been my contention that the reason northern European countries have been willing to be so heavily taxed is because they perceive that they get what they're paying for...that the government has, for most of the last half century, lived up to its promises, and a workable, fair social contract has existed.

I have also believed that this has come about, or has been possible largely because the population of those countries is ethnically homogeneous, or has been until fairly recent years.

I contrast that with the way we in the US have not done so well with universal health care, old age pensions, and disability benefits. A lot of that is a real or perceived unfairness that some people pay more than their share and others, who may not pay anything receive more from the social welfare system.

I predicted that this would happen in Sweden and Norway and Finland if they allowed immigration to create a permanent underclass with a different language and different values from the mainstream.

Guess what? I was right. I can't help but feel the slightest bit of schadenfreude, since those Nordic countries have always been so adamant about their lack of racial discrimination and their PC stance on diversity.

Welcome to our world, y'all.


No you weren't right. The TRUE welfare queen caused expenses that are undermining the economies of the Western world are NOT the social costs you have been propagandized to believe (along with the cleverly disguised racist notion that only ethnically homogenous populations can "support" a social safety net).

If you ever bother to compute the visible and INVISIBLE (but easily quantifiable) SUBSIDIES to VARIOUS industries (NOT just the fossil fuel industry, though they are one of the BIGGEST recipients of WELFARE from the BIGGEST welfare queen system - the USA corporate giveaways - in the world ), you would then start to see that the social safety net cost numbers are PEANUTS compared with the corporate welfare.

People like you REFUSE to see how ALL government research on almost EVERY invention out there, and the R & D needed to make them technologically and financially SUCCESSFUL, have been HANDED OFF to connected elite corporations for a song, ALWAYS bypassing we-the-people, who paid for all of this, when the time to sell the product to us arrives. 

Frankly, your ideological blinders are fascinating in their sturdiness and amazing ability to discount and discard real expenses that we-the-people are charged for. 

Good luck with your "real world".  Now I understand why MKing frequently tries to ingratiate himself with you. Scratch the surface, and under your apparently Guru inspired sympathy for the downtrodden of the world, you agree with MKing's "real world" Predators 'R' US world view.

AND, you are always looking for material to "fix the facts" in support of your ideology.

I'm going to be prick here, Eddie. I think, though I may be wrong  ;D, that I have finally figured out how you tick. You, at some point in your education, were convinced of the efficacy of game theory in human relations.

Game Theory, as you know, is what the Defense Department AND Wall Street uses to justify excluding absolutely any altruistic behavior in competitive strategies. It was created by an autistic mathematical genius IDIOT who worshipped Spencer and did not understand Darwin.

The problem with game theory in the REAL real world is that it fails to model it properly. By totally excluding altruistic behavior (except as a ploy to sucker the opponent into a position of weakness   ), it is doomed to, not just fail miserably, but to degrade the sine qua non conditions the species engaging in it requires for perpetuation.

YOU DO NOT understand that, Eddie. YOU are sold on Game Theory, as are most Capitalists, Libertarians, Wall Streeters and, of course, the Military Industrial complex.

You ALL are WRONG. But you talk a good game (theory).  ;)

Every time you fine fellows try to finger social safety nets as "welfare queenery" or "someone else's money" (Thatcher greed is good idiocy) OR "bad for the economy", while WILLFULLY ignoring the MASSIVE corporate welfare queenery, you just want brainwashed average Americans to act against their best interests, AND BE HAPPY ABOUT IT (see below).

Darwin would not be amused with Game Theory.

Forget Survival of the Fittest: It Is Kindness That Counts
A psychologist probes how altruism, Darwinism and neurobiology mean that we can succeed by not being cutthroat.


The FACT is that we, as a species, WILL NOT SUCCEED if we CONTINUE to exclude altruism (involving ALL LIFE, not just our family!) from our modus vivendi.

Have a nice day.
Yeah, AG. You have me all figured out. Not.

I actually agree with almost everything you said. I understand that we could have a much better safety net here if we didn't **** away all the money on wars and corporate welfare. But, strictly speaking, that doesn't bear here.

I am skeptical about social engineering. I have watched it fail for my whole lifetime here, Now it is failing in Europe. Fact.

I have no interest in game theory. I'm not into competition. I'm not a racist or an elitist. I'm a realist. You, on the other hand, are a dreamer. Nothing wrong with that, other than it seems to be related to your penchant for making personal attacks on me, occasionally.

Because I say that widely disparate cultures have difficulty living together in harmony, no matter what "programs" the statist central planners try to force us to participate in, pisses you off.  I can live with that. Don't get so steamed up.

I get along with MKing to some degree because I understand who he is, what his roots are, and what his values are. I've known a lot of guys like him. I'm not exactly that type, though.
I'm gong to walk a tightrope here and offend both of you.   

Far as AG's arguments, he always looks at the very worst that a Diner offers up, and then attacks that without recognizing the good parts of that Diner.  We are all mixed bags with some good aspects and some bad ones, with some Diners having more good than bad, others more bad than good.

Far as Eddie's arguments, although he has great sympathy for the downtrodden of the world, he does hold similar feelings to Moriarty that if you just have enough gumption and intelligence you can bootstrap yourself up, and socialism/communism is anaethema to him.  He certainly doesn't like anything socialist in the world of medicine or dentistry, that is for sure!

Eddie is similar to Moriarty in his class and income, the type of vacations he takes, cars he buys and so forth.  Much in common there.  They differ in that Eddie has a conscience and understands the problems the majority of the population has, Moriarty willfully ignores it and further belittles those who suffer these problems.

It is unfortunate IMHO that AG will go on the ATTACK on so little provocation on some Diners, I don't think either Eddie or Roamer deserve some of the opprobrium that AG has heaped out on them here.  It is unfortunate also that Eddie buys the portion of Moriarty's arguments that he does, and doesn't hammer down on him harder than he does periodically, but this is a function of class and belief and not too surprising overall.

I write analysis like this so that I am certain to be hated by everybody.   

It seems to me that a factor often overlooked in discussions of "overextended welfare systems" is the matter of priorities. That is apparently why God made lobbyists: to instruct Congress on what their priorities should be, and to whom to direct the boodle extracted from us "tax donkeys and debt serfs."  AG makes it quite clear with his graphs about subsidies. Doesn't seem that we need a great deal of further instruction on how the agencies charged with regulating industry have been captured by those industries via lobbying and the subsequent revolving door.

The most successful lobbying has been done by military-industrial complex, who've elevated the notion of military spending to a sanctified level of received wisdom, in service to that elusive chimera, "national security."  Underwriting the success of the European social welfare state has been the fact that, in the 60 years after the end of World War II,  defense costs for Europe have been born by the American taxpayer. And for the Pacific rim as well, especially Japan.  And our client states get churlish when we ask them to open their wallets and take on more of the burden.  Given the fact that American "military" priorities have been given over to execute political aims concocted in the fever-dreams of neocons, I would expect more rather than fewer conflicts with our vassals in the future along these lines. Israel, of course, is a special case. But then the Zionist apartheid state is always a special case. Lobbyists see to that.

But lets talk about priorities.

In peace time, the US government used to spend very little on defense, about one percent of GDP. But that changed after World War II when the United States found itself in a global contest against Communism. Ever since, defense spending has never been less than 3.6 percent of GDP. In wartime, of course, the United States spends as much as it can command. In World War II defense spending exceeded 41 percent of GDP in 1945.
At the start of the 20th century, defense spending averaged about one percent of GDP. Then it spiked to 22 percent at the end of World War I. Defense spending in the 1920s ran at about 1 to 2 percent of GDP and in the 1930s, 2 to 3 percent of GDP.
In World War II defense spending peaked at 41 percent of GDP, and then declined to about 10 percent during the height of the Cold War.

Currently, the FSoA spends more on military expenditures than the next 13 countries combined. Such are the costs of empire, and maintaining 1000-plus overseas bases, black sites, etc.

[And none of this counts the so-called "black budget," the off-the-books rathole that finances the Deep State.]

Defense spending declined in the 1990s after the end of the Cold War and increased in the 2000s during the War on Terror.

Of course it did.

Here's a broad overview:

site: http://www.cbpp.org/research/policy-basics-where-do-our-federal-tax-dollars-go

Here's another way to look at priorities. The U.S. Treasury divides all federal spending into three groups: mandatory spending, discretionary spending and interest on debt. Mandatory and discretionary spending account for more than ninety percent of all federal spending, and pay for all of the government services and programs on which we rely. Debt payment is self-evident. A snapshot:

Here's how military spending dominates all discretionary spending:

By far, the biggest category of discretionary spending is spending on the Pentagon and related military programs.

And a roll-up:

Since the great majority of federal spending is "mandatory spending," the privatizers and other thieves of the commonweal have set their sights on Social Security, Medicare and the like, and are licking their chops to get their hands on that big wad of expenditure. IMO, the charts reveal that we can actually afford to do any damn thing we want if we can summon the will to reorder our priorities. A prospect about which I am not optimistic.

Now I'm going to wrap this up before RE pastes a "Captain Obvious" sticker on me.
Interesting thread.   

Nobody wants to talk about Game Theory's OBVIOUS failings. I wonder why.  ;)

Excellent points by Surly AND RE.

Howevah, I am just a bit tired of RE always wanting to categorize my rants as "attacks", while deliberately ignoring the passive aggressive style used by Eddie in defending the indefensible. Eddie is GOING ON THE ATTACK every single time he throws out a quote from Thatcher or makes a context free post like he did at the start of this thread.

Normally, I just play dead because I do not possess Surly's wordsmith skills or his patience for putting data together or a rebuttal presentation. But, I'm only human. Selective blindness, for the purpose of defending a 'greed is good' ideology disguised as fiscally responsible practicality, pis ses me off, PERIOD.   

When someone want to crow about "BEING RIGHT", it is customary for an educated gentleman or lady to clearly present all sides of the issue. I did not see that here so I stepped in with, granted      , about as much finesse as YOU, RE, use when you disagree with something or somebody.

RE, I understand your message. I will endeavor to play dead more often when I read fecal coliform filled, greed is good propaganda. Whether you wish to admit it or not, any attack on the, already too threadbare, social safety nets in the countries of the world in general, and the USA in particular, is a frontal attack on common decency and a defense of empathy deficit disordered, predatory elitism/capitalism/fascism, fu ck you buddy-ISM.

Simon and Garfunkel once said something about Christianity in one of their songs. Although that was not their intent, that phrase PEFECTLY fits in regard to a 'greed is good' ideology disguised as fiscally responsible practicality.
Laugh about it, Shout about it, When you've got to choose, Every way you look at it you lose.
They were wrong to mock Christ and Christianity. Heaven DOES hold a place for those who pray.

Howevah, they were right to mock the hypocritical "Christians" who are anything but Christian in thought, word and deed.

The common ground between 'greed is good' ideology disguised as fiscally responsible practicality and fake Christianity is HYPOCRISY used to manipulate, fool, dominate and disingenuously profit from your fellow man.


Have a nice day.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 06, 2015, 05:15:24 pm »

Top Ten List of Big Lies perpetuated by America's Corporate Masters and their Mass Media.

1. America is the land of opportunity where anyone who works hard and makes good decisions can get ahead and have a better life.

False. In the energy-rich years after WWII Americans got used to a life where anybody who was willing to punch a clock and show up for work could make a middle class income. Now all the jobs that pay well require brains, technical expertise, and more hours for less pay. People who grew up here are so lazy, most of those jobs are being claimed by immigrants and their children, who are still hungry and willing.

2. America is involved in geopolitics to promote democracy everywhere and help developing nations improve their standard of living.

False. America has a long tradition of corporate imperialism, based on same the extractive models of earlier systems, like the Dutch East India Company and the British Raj. We have a long history of meddling in the sovereign affairs of other countries to set up weak vassal states that are controlled by dictators like Manuel Noriega and Saddam Hussein.

3. Bigger is better. Big Business, Big Agriculture, Big Cities, Big Cars and Big Box Stores make our lives better, by making goods and services more affordable and of higher quality than why they would be otherwise.

False. The trade-off is for quantity over quality, in food, and for uniformity and homogenization in goods and services. Now we have cheap food that poisons us, and every town in the country has an identical mall selling the identical items of every other mall in the nation. It didn't used to be that way. Meanwhile, the loss of local business has killed our small towns and communities.

4. The key to success in life is to get a college education.

False. Colleges and universities have morphed from academically centered institutions run by teachers and run for students, into profit making businesses dominated by a parasitic layer of mid-level executive management that drains off the money, making college cost more each and every year and delivering less and less, in terms of classical education,technical training, and critical thinking skills.

5. Characters on television shows are an accurate representation of real life.

False.  TV teaches our kids to think the world is full of Dr. Huxtables, but the reality is more like the world is full of Bill Cosbys. War is not like MASH. Life in the Great Depression wasn't like The Waltons. Since I don't watch TV anymore, forgive me if all my examples are a bit dated. I've never seen the Kardashians.

6. You can be happier if you just manage to buy a new car every three years and use the right deodorant.

False.  Now car loans are for six years, and your deodorant probably causes swelling in your axillary lymph nodes.

7. America's experiments in social engineering can solve issues of race and gender inequality and create a tolerant diverse society.

False.  After fifty years of court ordered social justice, we have a bigger racial divide than ever, and every possible class of people who can claim minority status is clamoring for more consideration from the rest of us. Those who point out that the current strategy isn't working are labeled racist, sexist bastards who need to be sent to re-indoctrination camps.

8. Free market capitalism is the American business model.

False. Crony capitalism, corporate control of government, and laws made by the rich and for the rich are what we have. All our markets are rigged.

9. Globalization and so-called Free Trade has made life better for Americans.

False.  The only jobs left in this country are at Burger King, Starbucks, and Home Depot. The days of union pay scale and employer paid health benefits are a distant memory. The corporates have gotten so greedy they have forgotten what Henry Ford knew...that the best customers are your own decently paid employees.

10. Patriotism can be measured by how many yellow ribbon stickers you have on your car and how much you support the troops and thank our military veterans for their "sacrifice".

False. This egregious behavior is promoted by the Deep State, who want us to be good sheep who wrap ourselves in the flag and send our children off to get maimed in the interest of Big Oil and the perpetuation of foreign child labor. If we don't "Support the Troops"tm we must not be loyal Americans. Bullshit.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 19, 2015, 03:40:20 am »

In an earlier era, Vermonters abused opiates

Oct. 18, 2015, 9:43 pm by VTD Editor

Quack Doctor, T.W. Wood
“The Quack Doctor,” by Vermonter Thomas Waterman Wood, shows a man hawking his patent medicine to a crowd. Wood added a visual pun, a group of ducks walking and apparently quacking  :D beneath the wagon.

The doctor’s name, “I.M. Cheatham,”    is painted on the side of the wagon. Wood took another shot at this sort of charlatan by painting the rear wheel to partially obscure the final three letters of the name. For this painting, Wood used his native Montpelier as the backdrop, including the archway that once spanned East State Street. Photo courtesy of the T.W. Wood Gallery, Montpelier

Gov. Peter Shumlin’s State of the State address in 2014 shocked many people.

“In every corner of our state, heroin and opiate drug addiction threatens us,”
the governor declared. The problem was so serious that Shumlin took the extraordinary step of dedicating his entire address to a single issue.

The image of Vermont beset with a drug addiction crisis was jarring. It ran counter to the popular perception of the state as a secluded community immune to the horrors of modern life.

The news might have been less stunning if people had known of an earlier and equally alarming report prepared by a University of Vermont dean about opiate abuse by Vermonters. The dean revealed that, based on his survey of doctors and druggists, Vermonters consumed an average of one-and-a-half doses per adult per day. It’s an astonishing figure made all the more stunning by the fact that the dean believed that, because of the uncooperativeness of many he surveyed, the true number of doses was perhaps five times higher.

Don’t feel bad if you missed news of this report, however. It’s not exactly new. The dean, Dr. Ashbel Parmlee Grinnell, issued it in 1900.

Historian Gary Shattuck will deliver a lecture entitled “Opiate Use in Vermont: The Present Reflects the Past” at 7 p.m. on Oct. 20 at the Waterman Memorial Lounge at UVM. This will be the inaugural Sam B. Hand Memorial Lecture, sponsored by the Vermont Historical Society and the University of Vermont Center for Research on Vermont and Special Collections. The late Professor Hand taught and mentored many of the state’s current generation of historians.

The 115-year-old report is getting fresh attention thanks to Gary Shattuck, a writer and historian. Shattuck has unearthed sobering facts about the state’s history of opiate abuse. His research forms the basis of his essay in the new issue of Vermont History, the journal of the Vermont Historical Society. Shattuck will also deliver a lecture on his research at UVM on Oct. 20.

Like Shumlin’s speech, Shattuck’s findings will surprise many people, even some longtime Vermont historians. Shattuck has a way of shining a light into the dark corners of the state’s past, and finding, well, darkness. A former assistant U.S. Attorney for Vermont, he is the author of “Insurrection, Corruption & Murder in Early Vermont: Life on the Wild Northern Frontier,” a book that detailed the shadowy world of smuggling during the early 1800s.
 Shattuck says it is his nature, and his professional training, to try to establish facts. “I’m always asking what caused something to happen,” he says. “That is where I try to live my life, with primary sources, not secondary ones.”

While researching his smuggling book, Shattuck noted how prevalent drinking was during the early 1800s. Drinking became such a problem that the state outlawed alcohol production and sale in 1852. That left Shattuck wondering: “If prohibition was supposed to be so successful, what were people doing to get stimulants?”

The answer, Shattuck found, is that they were imbibing an astonishing amount of opiates. Vermonters didn’t get their drugs in illicit, back-alley transactions; they got them from their doctors, or from their closest general store or druggist.

Vermonters were using opium long before the spike in demand that Shattuck attributes to the state’s prohibition on alcohol. In fact, he unearthed references to opium consumption as far back as 1786, before Vermont was even a state. That year, Eben Judd, a self-proclaimed doctor, described treating others with opium and discussing with a doctor in Guildhall how to make opium from poppies.

Vermonters had a long tradition of self-medicating. Part of the reason was because many people distrusted elites of any sort, a feeling that grew out of the anti-Masonry movement, which started in the late 1820s.

An advertisement for Greene’s Syrup of Tar, which had heroin as an ingredient, was manufactured by a company in Montpelier.

Another effect of that distrust was that Vermonters resisted creating a system for granting medical licenses. Requiring that doctors first graduate from a medical college in order to practice smacked of elitism to some, so for decades Vermont’s Legislature only sporadically monitored who could practice medicine. When it did require that doctors obtain licenses, the requirements were minimal. Making matters worse, the state also had several “diploma mills,” in Rutland, Bennington, Newbury and Newfane, churning out untrained men passing themselves off as doctors.

Even many trained doctors were ignorant of the dangers posed by opiates. Doctors relied so heavily on opium-based medicines to treat a range of maladies that nationally an estimated 16 percent became addicts themselves. The pharmaceutical industry and pharmacists were also unregulated and had a perverse financial incentive to push drugs that guaranteed return customers, who were literally addicted to the products.

The state Legislature could have remedied these problems with some careful regulation. But when doctors like Grinnell pointed out the seriousness of the opiate problem, the Legislature turned a deaf ear. Lawmakers were myopically focused on alcohol prohibition as the way to treat society’s addiction problems, and didn’t take the opiate crisis seriously, Shattuck says.

Doctors relied on opium and opium-based drugs because of their obvious effectiveness. Unlike most of the other treatments at their disposal, a dose of opium would quickly quiet a suffering or agitated patient. As a result, no one questioned the drug’s inclusion in countless patent medicines.

Vermonters didn’t have to rely on doctors to provide them with opiates. They could simply buy them at their local general store or druggist. Untrained clerks sold opium to the public in various products, such as Allen’s Lung Balsam, Dr. Bull’s Cough Syrup, Godfrey’s Cordial, Perry Davis’ Pain Killer, Lee’s Bilious Pills, Bateman’s Pectoral Drops, Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup or Dr. Moore’s Essence of Life. No prescription needed.

The Vermont Pharmaceutical Association tried to institute a mandatory prescription system, but doctors resisted. When doctors did write prescriptions, some used a code only decipherable by a favored druggist, who would kick back money to the doctor.

Vermonters also made the drugs. The state was home to one of the nation’s largest patent medicine manufacturers, Wells, Richardson & Co. of Burlington, which employed 200 people. Shattuck found numerous medicines containing opium listed in 23 pages of the company’s 1878 catalog.

Though some Vermonters tried their hand at growing poppies, most of the opium in the state originated in Asia Minor and the subcontinent.

“The problem was that drugs were so readily available and some doctors didn’t really understand the addiction that they were responsible for,” says Shattuck.

But some doctors saw the dangers of the powerful and highly addictive drug. In 1890, Elliot Wardsworth Shipman of Vergennes wrote that he had witnessed “five victims of this habit” enter his local drugstore and “purchase what opium and morphine they desired, within less than two hours time and no questions were asked.”

Shipman related horrible examples of malpractice, including a doctor who, when he grew tired of a young woman’s physical complaints, told her to buy a hypodermic needle and dose herself with morphine when she felt the need.

Indeed, the development of the hypodermic in mid-1800s exacerbated Vermonters’ habit of self-medicating with opiates, as it gave addicts a more efficient way to take the drugs.

By the late 1800s, some in the state pharmaceutical industry were becoming concerned by the prevalence of opium addiction. At the annual meeting of the Vermont State Pharmaceutical Association in 1898, Dr. J.C.F. With said that all druggists were familiar with opium and morphine users who “under one pretext or another” ask for their drug of choice. “I have seen a man get from a druggist an eight-ounce bottle of laudanum (opium mixed in alcohol), tear the wrapper off and deliberately drink half the contents,” he said.

With said he feared the man was attempting suicide, but then the man just wandered off as if this were a regular habit.

Some Vermonters began offering treatments for people addicted to opiates, alcohol and tobacco. In 1892, the Keeley Institute in Montpelier started offering three-week sessions for alcoholics. Four-week sessions were prescribed for morphine addicts.

By the early 1900s, as other states passed laws restricting opiate use, Vermont gained a reputation regionally for its lax or nonexistent laws. Addicts from neighboring states began visiting the state to buy their drugs. The Vermont Legislature finally acted to tighten state law in 1915, when it passed “An Act to Regulate the Sale of Opium, Morphine and other Narcotic Drugs.”

A century later, the state is still wrestling with how best to protect its citizens from the dangers of addictive drugs.


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