Be sure to follow me on Twitter @leftiblog

Friday, October 26, 2018


Headlines for Oct. 26, 2018

Click here to listen to this week's segment on Loud & Clear Radio. 
Headlines with an * are the ones we managed to fit in in our allotted 11 minutes.

Worst, Most Misleading & Funniest Headlines for Oct. 26, 2018


Also a Candidate for Dumb and at the same time Alarming:

*Beijing’s Nuclear Option: Why a U.S.-Chinese War Could Spiral Out of Control
They really mean “The U.S.’ nuclear option.” The author even admits “China has long stood out for its nonaggressive nuclear doctrine. China has a much smaller and simpler nuclear arsenal than its resources would have allowed. Chinese leaders have consistently characterized nuclear weapons as useful only for deterring nuclear aggression and coercion. Historically, this narrow purpose required only a handful of nuclear weapons that could ensure Chinese retaliation in the event of an attack. To this day, China maintains a “no first use” pledge, promising that it will never be the first to use nuclear weapons.”

*A Push for Safer Fertilizer in Europe Carries a Whiff of Russian Intrigue
Really? It's now "Russian Intrigue" for a company to support legislation which would benefit its products (which just happen to be better for the environment than the competition)? Incredibly, the article even brings up this nonsense from the Jan. 2017 DNI report: “The television network RT, which American intelligence officials have labeled a Kremlin propaganda outlet, has also focused on fracking.” And the very next sentence in the article refers to “Moscow’s creation and worldwide dissemination of false stories” as if there was anything false about RT’s coverage of fracking. And, not that it matters, but “PhosAgro, a publicly traded company, dismissed any notion of Russian government involvement in its efforts.”

Some white Northerners see a flag rooted in racism as a symbol of patriotism
For a growing number of white Northerners, the Confederate flag represents a link to President Trump’s “Make America Great Again” brand of patriotism. But to others, flying the flag is simply racism by a different name.
How exactly does the flag of a region that seceded from the union, committing treason, qualify as “patriotism”, and why does the WaPo dignify that assertion with equal billing with “racism”, the real explanation? And what does waving the flag of a region that was defeated in war, like waving the Nazi flag, have do with making anything “great” again? From the article: “Historians wrestle with how a flag that stood for treason can be seen as patriotic.” Really? That’s something you have to wrestle with?

*Saudi Arabia’s Invisible War: The Khashoggi crisis has called attention to a largely-overlooked Saudi-led war in Yemen.
Similar headline last week in the WaPo; this time it’s the NYT. And whose fault is that, NYT? And, by the way, you might mention the US role before the 6th paragraph: “Americans, whose military has backed the Saudi-led coalition’s campaign with intelligence, bombs and refueling, leading to accusations of complicity in possible war crimes.” Note the three weasel words in a row: “accusations”, “complicity”, “possible”. Just say it. The US (and of course Saudi Arabia) is guilty of war crimes in Yemen, full stop.


*A look back at Trump comments perceived by some as encouraging violence
“Perceived by some”???!!!
"If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously, OK? Just knock the hell ... I promise you I will pay for the legal fees. I promise, I promise,"
"I'd like to punch him in the face, I'll tell you."

*Justice Dept. charges Russian woman with interference in midterm elections
No, they did not charge her with "interference in midterm elections", but with *conspiracy* to do so, which means they don't actually have to show that any actual crime occurred (or that, e.g., creating a fake persona on Facebook, or tweeting about NFL Protests under a false name IS a crime).


*What Could Kill Booming U.S. Economy? ‘Socialists,’ White House Warns
A report from the Council of Economic Advisers compares Bernie Sanders to Chairman Mao, and warns that pickup trucks cost more in Sweden.
From the report: “The socialist narrative names the oppressors of the vulnerable, such as the bourgeoisie (Marx), kulaks (Lenin), landlords (Mao), and giant corporations (Sanders and Warren).” Other great quotes: Comparing Mao described “the ruthless economic exploitation and political oppression of the peasants by the landlord class” with Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren saying “large corporations . . . exploit human misery and insecurity, and turn them into huge profits” and “giant corporations . . . exploit workers just to boost their own profits.” And “Speculators” are also blamed for high prices and other social problems, as by Marx, Stalin, Senator Sanders, Senator Warren, and Fidel Castro, who said that they “have turned the planet into a giant casino.”

Not mentioned in the article (or in the report): China has lifted more than 800 million people out of poverty in the last 30 years, more than 70% of all people in the world who have been lifted out of poverty. And the pickup truck thing? It isn’t really about the cost. It’s about the cost of ownership which basically means gasoline, and that’s because gasoline is much more expensive in Europe due to higher taxes, and it has nothing to do with “socialism”.

Also bizarrely, the report mentions Cuba, China and the U.S.S.R., countries with actual socialist economies, more than 30 times each. But the star of the report is Venezuela, which is mentioned nearly 60 times, and which does not have a socialist economy, a fact the Times fails to point out, nor does it mention U.S. sanctions on Venezuela, basically all-out economic war as having anything to do with Venezuela’s economic problems.

Inside the Saudis’ Washington influence machine: How the kingdom gained power through fierce lobbying and charm offensives
Not money? Or oil?

*Five Novelists Imagine Trump’s Next Chapter
What will happen with the Mueller investigation? Since the investigation hasn’t yet, as far as we know, uncovered any actual evidence about collusion, NYT wants fiction writers to speculate.

Friday, October 19, 2018


Headlines for Oct. 19, 2018

Click here to listen to this week's segment on Loud & Clear Radio. 
Headlines with an * are the ones we managed to fit in in our allotted 11 minutes.

Worst, Most Misleading & Funniest Headlines (WMMFH) -- Oct. 19, 2018


*After journalist vanishes, focus shifts to young prince’s ‘dark’ and bullying side
Of course the WaPo and all other establishment media has been primarily responsible for the fact that the focus hasn't been on that all along. Even in this article allegedly focusing on his “dark” side, they can’t resist describing bin Salman as “charismatic”, “ebullient” and “charming” and the original headline, as revealed by the URL, called him “dashing”.

*How One Journalist’s Death Provoked a Backlash That Thousands Dead in Yemen Did Not  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/17/world/middleeast/jamal-khashoggi-saudi-arabia.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share
Took them a week to write a headline like this. “Psychologists have repeatedly found that people experience a greater emotional reaction to one death than to many, even if the circumstances are identical. Perversely, the more victims, the less sympathy that people feel. The effect even has a name: collapse of compassion.” I have a different explanation. US support for/participation in  Saudi-led war in Yemen started under Obama; it’s bipartisan. But this is something the establishment can pin on Trump, and use as part of an effort to discredit him.

*‘Blue wave’ or ‘left-wing mob’? Anti-Trump fervor fuels a new movement aimed squarely at winning elections.
Even if it’s a Trump quote, why would you dignify this ridiculous slur with equal billing in a headline?

A President Who Believes He Is Entitled to His Own Facts
Couldn’t bring themselves to say “lies” even in an article about them; the only time the word “lie” appears in the article is Trump saying doctors “lied” that there’s no connection between vaccinations and autism. But the article has problems of its own, namely, not understanding the meaning of the word “fact”. For example, the article includes a reference to “widely doubted commitment to denuclearization by Kim Jong-un”, as if it is a fact that the DPRK has no intention to denuclearize. And the article is filled with “facts” like that, and actually sparse of real facts that Trump lies about all the time.

Kyrsten Sinema's anti-war activist past under scrutiny as she runs for Senate
“Republican groups and her opponent have sought to make her judgment an issue, highlighting her liberal activism and anti-war work in ads...Sinema, then a law student at Arizona State University, was a frequent organizer of anti-war rallies, organizing 15 by the start of the Iraq War. Sinema would later boast on a progressive message board in 2006 of her opposition to Afghanistan from the start...BUT AFTER SHE BECAME AN ELECTED DEMOCRAT her views “evolved”...She now favors aggressive diplomacy [genocidal sanctions] with military intervention as a last resort. She said she would have still opposed the war in Iraq, but supported the war in Afghanistan. She voted against approving the Iran deal and backed President Donald Trump's decision to strike Syria. In 2015, she voted to stop admitting Syrian and Iraqi refugees until the vetting process was strengthened.

Mitch McConnell on Rising Deficit: ‘It’s Not a Republican Problem'
Whaaaat? Republicans in control of legislative & executive branch, passed huge tax cuts? What he actually means is—it's not a problem for millionaires like him, who don't depend on Social Security or Medicare and won't care if they're cut.


Trump says 'who cares' after Warren takes DNA test, denies $1 million offer
Despite video of him doing exactly that. Why isn't that in the headline? Anyone reading just the headline will think it's a "he said, he didn't say" situation. It isn't. Even Shep Smith on FOX News was mocking Trump for this claim.

G.O.P. Finds an Unexpectedly Potent Line of Attack: Immigration
Really? It comes as a shock to the NYT (and this is an article, not an op-ed) that bashing immigrants is a "potent line of attack" for the GOP? Where were they during the 2016 election?

'That grip and grin will come back to haunt him': Pompeo takes heat for friendly Saudi sit-down
Still waiting for the invasion of Iraq to come back and haunt George W. Bush

Brazil’s Bitter Presidential Race Leads to Scores of Assaults
A typical “both sides” headline. Except for the stabbing of Bolsonaro himself, all the examples of *actual* events (dozens of assaults including two murders) are of attacks on Workers Party supporters. No surprise, since “During a recent campaign rally in the northern state of Acre, he hoisted a tripod, pretended it was a machine gun and told supporters, “Let’s shoot Acre’s Workers’ Party supporters.”” And also there’s “even a computer game in which players can use an avatar of Mr. Bolsonaro to kill gay people and leftists.”


*Trump says he has 'natural instinct for science' when it comes to climate change
"You have scientists on both sides of it. My uncle was a great professor at MIT for many years, Dr. John Trump. And I didn’t talk to him about this particular subject, but I have a natural instinct for science, and I will say that you have scientists on both sides of the picture."

*China’s new booze university wants to change how Americans drink

*Betsy DeVos was asked whether U.S. schools are teaching kids to be socialists. Her answer was rich.
Everything about Betsy DeVos is rich. Her answer is just bizarre: "I think number one, students aren’t getting the kind of foundation in civics and government that I recall getting as a student in K-12 education. And they’re coming then into higher education without the background to even know and understand competing ideas, and then without the ability to discuss and debate them."

‘There’s no place for that’: Ryan rebukes Trump for insult of Stormy Daniels
My one-liner for the week: It's a classic case of "Good GOP, Bad GOP"!

*Jeff Bezos predicts we'll have 1 trillion humans in the solar system
Proof that you don't have to be smart — or even sane — to be rich. Current population of Earth — 7.4 Billion.

Witches to 'hex' Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh; exorcists pray in response
Scary thought - exorcist is described as "the exorcist for the Diocese of San Jose, California", i.e., at least the periphery of the technological heart of the country here in Silicon Valley. “Conjuring up personified evil does not fall under free speech,” said the exorcist.

All we know about the White House portrait of Trump drinking Diet Coke with Abraham Lincoln
It’s bizarre. It’s in the style of “dogs playing poker”. He did not commission it. But Trump did hang it in his private dining room.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018


Headlines for Oct. 12, 2018

Click here to listen to this week's segment on Loud & Clear Radio.
Headlines with an * are the ones we managed to fit in in our allotted 11 minutes.
Worst, Most Misleading & Funniest Headlines (WMMFH) -- Oct. 12, 2018


Susan Collins Consents
A strong contender for most disgusting headline of the year. A rape joke? Are you kidding me?

Care About Palestinian Refugees? This Is Why You Should Back the U.S. Cutting Millions in Aid to Them
A close second for most disgusting headline of the year (which seems to have now been changed, perhaps in response to complaints?). The only mention of the right of return is this “The camps fuel unrealistic hopes of return to places of origin. They preserve the status quo, and therefore maintain the Israeli-Palestinian deadlock.” Yes, that’s why there has been no progress on the “peace process”.

*‘We bombed you to save you’ – NATO head Stoltenberg speaks about 1999 bombings on visit to Serbia
Can’t fault the headline; it’s the story that’s disgusting.
The classic "destroying the village in order to save it" language. Probably won't be seeing this headline in the WaPo or NYT. Many hundreds to thousands of Serbians were killed in the bombing; including 16 killed when Radio Television Serbia was bombed.

*Michelle Obama: George W. Bush is 'my partner in crime' and 'I love him to death'
A sad but true commentary on the state of politics and the ruling class in America. Quoting Twitter user Sarah Abdallah: “Considering Bush destroyed Afghanistan and Iraq while Michelle Obama’s husband destroyed Syria, Libya and gave Saudi Arabia the go-ahead to commit genocide in Yemen, “partner in crime” is actually the perfect phrase.”


U.S. Opens Probe into Alleged Chinese Mattress Dumping
Domestic manufacturers say Chinese products have been sold at roughly 259% to 1,732% below normal value. So a $1000 mattress is being sold for $55? Seems unlikely.


*The end of the Saudi Whisperer
Subhead: Tom Friedman bet big on Mohammed bin Salman and lost. What can we learn from that?
It is true that Tom Friedman has been the single biggest person talking about “reform” in Saudi Arabia. But he is far from alone among American journalists or politicians. For example, Adam Johnson at FAIR documented “David Ignatius’ 15 Years of Running Spin for Saudi Regime” in an article last year (https://fair.org/home/david-ignatius-15-years-of-running-spin-for-saudi-regime/)
Friedman’s defense (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/08/opinion/jamal-khashoggi-missing-saudi-journalist.html ): “our job is to help curb his bad impulses and nurture his good ones.”

Rand Paul’s Wife Says She Keeps Loaded Gun By Her Bed Out Of Fear Of Liberal Attacks
She thinks that liberals will start breaking into her home based on the fact that Trump administration people are being heckled in restaurants in Washington, DC. Classic projection.

Friday, October 05, 2018


Headlines for Oct. 5, 2018

Click here to listen to this week's segment on Loud & Clear Radio.
Headlines with an * are the ones we managed to fit in in our allotted 11 minutes.
Worst, Most Misleading & Funniest Headlines (WMMFH) -- Oct. 5, 2018


The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies
Denials in 10th paragraph.
Bloomberg’s report of Amazon’s denial: “It’s untrue that AWS knew about a supply chain compromise, an issue with malicious chips, or hardware modifications when acquiring Elemental.”
The actual Amazon denial: “As we shared with Bloomberg BusinessWeek multiple times over the last couple months, this is untrue. At no time, past or present, have we ever found any issues relating to modified hardware or malicious chips in SuperMicro motherboards in any Elemental or Amazon systems. Nor have we engaged in an investigation with the government.”

China inserted surveillance microchip in servers used by Amazon and Apple, report says
In the Mercury News version of the article, Apple and Amazon denials come in the 16th paragraph. In the Post, we now read: “Editor’s note: This story has been updated with additional reporting on the views of U.S. officials about the Bloomberg Businessweek report. One official who previously had conveyed confidence in the report later expressed uncertainty. The story also includes additional denials from Apple and Amazon.” In the article, we now read: “Several U.S. officials contacted by The Washington Post said they were uncertain about the accuracy of the Bloomberg Businessweek report. One U.S. official who said Thursday morning that the thrust of the article was true later expressed uncertainty about that conclusion.”


*A lot of the criticism of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' actually came from Russian trolls and bots, new study finds
Subhead even goes from “a lot” to “Much of the "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" backlash came from Russian trolls — not fans — according to a new study.”
As this propagated through the media, it became simple fact, e.g.,
*Why The Russian Trolling Of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Proved So Successful
In a word, no. Even the author really doesn’t say that: “I have discovered political agitation for right-wing values using The Last Jedi as a placeholder for left-wing positions. Furthermore, it appears that political activists have used bots and sock puppet accounts to troll left-wing fans, and there is even evidence that Russian influence operators have inserted themselves into the debate to exploit and exacerbate the conflict, thereby securing more media attention to the conflict, which again helps spread the perception that America is divided and in chaos.”

He studied 206 Twitter accounts which tweeted negatively (basically racist and misogynist content) about The Last Jedi; 16 (a whopping 8%) of them "appear to be Russian trolls, or at least possess several of the Russian troll characteristics presented above"; those characteristics include "Russian trolls usually target “very specific world events” and “political threads”" and "prefer the Twitter web client over the mobile client". "They predominantly report their location (if at all) to be in the U.S., Germany and Russia"

Indicative of the “scholarship”, he found this tweet suspicious and likely “Russian” because it was short and had misspellings “So, now explain why Mark Hamil didn't like Luje in TLJ?”. Apparently he has never looked at a keyboard! [amusingly, while I was writing this I typed lijely instead of likely!)

Notes: “Star Wars movies, books, video games, tv shows and comics have consistently attempted to convey left-leaning values. For years, the franchise’s creator, George Lucas, has explained the series’ impetus as partially being a comment on the Vietnam war, which ended just as Lucas started work on the first Star Wars film. The evil, oppressive, technologically and economically superior Empire represented the United States, while the far less advanced, but resilient South Vietnamese [sic] forces and their unlikely victory inspired the “good guys” in the Rebel Alliance.”
Link to paper: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/328006677_Weaponizing_the_haters_The_Last_Jedi_and_the_strategic_politicization_of_pop_culture_through_social_media_manipulation


*College students say they can't send in their absentee ballots because they don't know where to buy stamps
Funny not funny. But here’s the funniest (but actually serious) part: “The US Postal Service also has a policy that it mails absentee ballots, whether or not they contain postage. Instead of returning the ballot to sender, they charge the local election board.” But the absentee ballot (at least in California) doesn't bother to tell you this.

'We fell in love:' Trump swoons over letters from North Korea's Kim
What can you say?

China reveals its new party line: We're trying to save the world from the US
If only they were talking about imperialism and not just economic trade wars.
China hit out against the U.S. in a 71-page paper, accusing President Donald Trump's administration of "trade bullyism practices" that have become "the greatest source of uncertainty and risk for the recovery of the global economy."

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle visit namesake county of Sussex
Highlighting the absurdity of the concept of “royalty” and royal titles — the “Duke” and “Duchess” of Sussex visit Sussex…for the first time! Imagine “the King of Sweden visits Sweden for the first time”, etc.

*Kavanaugh writes op-ed arguing he is an 'independent, impartial judge' after emotional testimony
Uh huh.

*Drunk birds are causing havoc in a Minnesota town. Police say they’ll sober up soon.
A member of our local Audubon Society  is quoted in this article!
An early frost meant that berries had fermented earlier than usual, he explained, and Cedar Waxwings were eating them and getting drunk.
The Gilbert Minnesota Police Department issued a press release filled with fake news, telling residents to call if they saw:
• Heckle and Jeckle being boisterous or playing practical jokes. #FakeNews — H&J are Magpies, not Cedar Waxwings!
• Woodstock pushing Snoopy off the doghouse for no apparent reason. #FakeNews - Woodstock is a small yellow bird, possibly a Yellow Warbler, and definitely not a Cedar Waxwing!
• The Roadrunner jumping in and out of traffic. Again, #FakeNews — not a Cedar Waxwing.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours? Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com High Class Blogs: News and Media