Friday, August 28, 2015

A Tale of Two Dorothys

Democratic rivals Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have a unique thing in common with each other - both of them were born to mothers named Dorothy... Ironically, they also both credit their upbringing with helping to shape their ideas about society and the economy.

Hillary Clinton released a campaign advertisement about her mother, Dorothy, in which she described her influence this way:

"It opened my mother's eyes... For the first time, she saw parents who loved and cared for their children. That became the kind of loving family that she provided for us. You see, when she needed a champion, someone was there.  I think about all the 'Dorothys' who fight for their families and never give up."

Bernie Sanders, in an interview with the New York Times, used far fewer words to summarize his maternal influence:

"Sensitivity to class was imbedded in me then quite deeply."

Both candidates describe their mothers as having dealt with poverty and it is surmised that both women were somewhat outcast from society early in life.  But Sanders mother, a Polish/Jewish immigrant, never got to realize her marker of success... The ability to live in a "private home".
Finances were probably a challenge for Eli Sanders, a struggling paint salesman whose own parents were killed in the Holocaust before he escaped to the United States.  Sanders' mother died at the young age of 46 when he just 19.

It is for these painful reasons that journalists and supporters should give Sanders some additional privacy concerning his family and avoid too many comparisons. 








Dorothy Howell Rodham did not live quite long enough to see her daughter become the first female President of the United States, but she was present all through Hillary's tenure as First Lady,  Senator and was even present at Hillary's swearing-in as the 3rd female Secretary of State.  That's definitely something.  It's enough for Hillary's mom to have known that she did what her own parents may not have been capable of - a confirmation.

Dorothy Glassberg Sanders would undoubtedly be just as proud of her son's accomplishments as a Congressman, Senator and Mayor of an American city.  Unfortunately however, it was not possible for her to witness the full scope of her son's greatness in this physical realm. We can only hope the universe is kind enough to communicate that to her.

I wish both candidates good luck as mothers across America will be anxiously looking to them for answers to problems such as income inequality and gun violence...  The former issue being a very good reason to listen to Sanders, the latter is quickly becoming Clinton's strong suit.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Why All of Our Eggs Shouldn't Be Placed in Glenn Greenwald's Basket

Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden Supporters Are Being Discredited (by the) Left and Right Because Of Their Self-Appointed Mouthpiece.




I'll just say it... Glenn Greenwald is not a real journalist.  Not even close.  He's a fame-monger and he's very successful at that much.  Salon.com and The Guardian are both taking a lot of hits lately in the credibility department but they don't care because they are raking in the cash and page views.  This is the path that Greenwald has led them down.

Here are some problems with Greenwald and why the libertarian left needs a new hero:

1. He wants to be the "decider".
Greenwald encourages his readers to have blind trust in anyone who is willing to steal files and breach security.  He believes that individual citizens and employees acting on their own accord are better equipped to decide what information you are exposed to than the governments you have elected with your votes.  George W. Bush garnered a lot of well-deserved criticism for calling himself "the decider" and that seems to be how Greenwald views himself as well.  He will not tolerate oversight or checks and balances.  Most recently, that has taken the form of threatening the UK government with more leaks because airport security dared to detain his boyfriend.  It didn't take Joy Reid any more than 30 characters to sum up the problem with his logic:  "Welcome to 'Punishment Journalism'":

Regardless of where you stand on privacy and government surveillance, you should be skeptical of someone who wants to override your democratic vote and make their own rules.  You should ponder the difference between a "whistleblower" and someone who has broken the law out of vengeance or egotism.

One last word on George W. Bush, The Great Decider... Greenwald was a pretty big fan of his work back in the day.

2. The only thing bigger than the Government is Greenwald's ego.
Glenn Greenwald has a longstanding tendency to answer questions with insults and name-calling.  We'll elaborate on that point in a moment but it's also worth noting that he fails to recognize the credibility of anyone but himself. This is not something that makes for a good journalist.  Here is an example of Greenwald putting his foot in his mouth in a blatant show of unnecessary one-upmanship:  Greenwald to State Dept. Official and Princeton PhD: "Edward Snowden has done far more for the world in the last 2 months than you have in your life."

3. He will not be questioned by the likes of you.
Morning Joe host Mika Brzezinski  once asked Glenn Greenwald if leaking government files was legal or illegal. Moreover, she wanted to know if metadata collection was really comparable to the kind of surveillance where someone is reading your personal emails or listening to your phone calls.  The response from Greenwald was an angry accusation that she was just blindly reading "White House talking points".  He managed to avoid the question entirely.

Accusing everyone of being a blind "Obama follower" is Greenwald's signature insult.  The accusation is his 'slim jim' that can be used to get him out of any jam.  By pitting himself against the President of the USA, anyone who questions his sources or accuracy can be instantly labeled and sent away as part of the vast conspiracy against him.

When I asked Greenwald to provide sources for his claim that thousands of Muslim children were being intentionally targeted by "Obama's drones", this was his response:


It's important to note here that Greenwald never did source or give proper citation to his rant about "Obama's drones killing Muslim children".  Most of the "sources" that I gleaned from his loyal fanbase were just random bits of supposed eyewitness testimony from Afghan and Pakistani tribesman sloppily pasted together with photos of children who we KNOW are not even dead and who were actually injured by Al Qaeda.
Furthermore, Greenwald often conflates the numbers of children killed by drones during the Bush Presidency with numbers from more recent years.  "Hundreds of Children Killed by Drones" made for quite a headline in 2012, but Greenwald neglected to mention that those numbers had been stacking up since 2004.

4. He's a cyberbully.
Michelle Malkin started a nasty little trend on the internet that is a unique blend of cyberbullying, tabloid journalism and "reality tweeting".  If you are not familiar with her website, Twitchy.com, you can read all about that mess right here.  But Malkin is not the only one who uses her massive number of followers/fans to beat down any opposition and cyberbully regular joes on Twitter.  Greenwald does that too.  As can be seen in exchanges like the one with Daniel Serwer and a few with myself,  Greenwald's followers pay close attention to every tweet he sends out and when he argues with someone or calls attention to a twitter user, that person is subject to hundreds of angry threats and namecalling from Greenwald's mob.

It's becoming increasingly common for famous people to "retweet" a negative reaction to their followers so that the critic will be bombarded with attacks from the celebrity's fans.  This is unfair and unethical, in my opinion and people who are enjoying their moment at the top of the mountain should not be focused on causing avalanches for the villagers below.

5. He doesn't verify his talking points for factual accuracy.
Greenwald and his partner-in-crime David Sirota are infamous for their flagrant flame throwing and audacious omissions of substantive facts. This is well documented all over the internet, but if you insist that I give you some examples, you can read about that here, here, here and here.  Glenn Greenwald will simply move on to the next talking point if it becomes too obvious that the first one is a bust.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Tea Party Circulating FAKE Images of Chris Stevens Being "Tortured" (GRAPHIC)

They Have No Shame!  


In their desperate fear of a Hillary 2016 run, the Tea Party is yet again attempting to politicize and propagandize the Benghazi Consulate Attack... This time, with photos that they claim to be Stevens being "tortured and crying for help" as Hillary and Obama ignore his pleas for "seven hours".

One such Graphic Meme comes from a website called "Uncle Sam's Misguided Children":


But, a reverse image search reveals that the photo we see could not have been Chris Stevens being tortured being tortured by Muslims because it was taken prior to the year 2009 and the Benghazi Consulate Attack that Stevens died in was a 2012 incident.  Stevens reportedly died of smoke inhalation.

Here is a webpage that features the same photo which hasn't been updated since 2009.

Nice try, Tea Party... But your lying attacks on this administration will only serve to discredit everything else you have to say!