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Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of the press

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Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of the press

I see numerous pundits, including some on this site, declaring that President Trump is attacking the Freedom of the Press. Various arguments are proffered, generally referring to the claim that CNN, the “Failing New York Times,” and others are “Fake News.” Somehow this is an assault on the right to free speech granted by the founders to newspapers and their modern equivalent, the electronic media.

Give me a break! Hyperventilation like this serves no useful purpose. As Scott Adams notes in “Win Bigly,” Donald Trump is a master persuader. He uses a number of techniques, including hyperbole, to get attention and steer the discussion. One good example is “Build the Wall!”

When Trump talks about the “Wall,” the Left hears “a 30-foot concrete barrier from sea to shining sea.” That was never his intention. He fully recognized that there are places where a “wall” is not practical or needed. In those areas, other forms of barrier or monitoring are sufficient. To deter “wetbacks” from crossing the Rio Grande River, all he has to do is make sure that the channel stays dredged to eight or ten feet for a width of twenty or thirty feet. There won’t be any place for a person on foot to cross. Simple and cheap. Remember the Wollman ice skating rink in Central Park.

Trump’s objective has never been a sea to shining sea concrete wall. But his rhetorical flourishes in that direction fixated his opponents on border security, which has been his intention all along. He doesn’t resort to nerdy arguments that no one will hear. Instead, he talks about crime, victims, and diseases that are a feature of neglected security. His adversaries find themselves arguing about fact-check Pinocchios while keeping the public focused where he wants it. In short, they are tame house cats batting at a shiny object on a string while the President gets things done.

So what has President Trump actually said about freedom of the press? “We want total freedom of the Press. That’s more important to me than anyone would believe.” That certainly doesn’t sound like an assault on the press. And when a search is done for actions against freedom of the press… crickets. Yet many perpetuate the myth that “Donald Trump doesn’t believe in the free press.”

The New York Times claims that Trump’s comments are “damaging American democracy.” But one must ask why the Times, Washington Post, and CNN have published so many stories based on “unnamed sources” that then have to be retracted because they were false. CNN’s Jim Acosta is a particularly biased reporter with little regard for the truth. President Trump has pointed him out on multiple occasions for his false reporting. But he has never taken any action to get Acosta fired. In fact, there are no occasions where the President has pushed for any corporate or legal action against any reporter or news outlet.

The President has suggested that libel laws could be changed.

“One of the things I’m going to do if I win, and I hope we do and we’re certainly leading. I’m going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money. We’re going to open up those libel laws. So when The New York Times writes a hit piece which is a total disgrace or when The Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they’re totally protected.”

Notice carefully that Trump did not then, and has not to date, offered any legislation on this subject. No less a figure than Justice Clarence Thomas has opined that this change would be overdue, since the current standard of “actual malice” toward a public official is “almost impossible” to meet. Thomas’ opinion notes that the original common law of libel has been perverted to a form that gives considerable license to intentional false statements by the press. It even limits remedies for private individuals who would have only had to demonstrate “a false written publication that subjected him to hatred, contempt, or ridicule.” If this legal standard were to apply as it did until 1964, then Donald Trump would have had dozens of opportunities to sue various news outlets.

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Of course, if the standard were changed back to the original meaning where libels against public figures were more serious than against private persons, Donald Trump would lose much of his freedom to tweet or call out the press as “the enemy of the people.” He would be on the receiving end of the lawsuits. Sauce for the goose…

So one must ask what the President is doing when he points out Jim Acosta and CNN as “Fake News.” Is he attacking freedom of the press at all? I propose that he is not. He is acting as a persuader.

Americans have gradually become accustomed to the fact that certain news outlets lean one way or another. Often they wish for a simple newscast, such as I discovered on One America News while traveling. (I can’t get it at home.) Donald Trump has accelerated our awareness of this bias. Even as a “sophisticated” consumer of news, I was less aware of the radical slant presented by the legacy media: CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, the New York Times, Washington Post, and a few others. I had found them offensive and moved to Fox News, which slants a bit in the opposite direction. This made me unaware of just how far Left those legacy outlets had gone.

The “Fake News Media” is only that subset of the complete media galaxy that repeatedly publishes poorly sourced and often unverified slanders against the President and conservatives. They have uncritically given voice to proven liars such as Jussie Smollett, James Comey, and Andrew McCabe. And rather than featuring positive stories – the economy, rising wages, etc. – they have been over 90% harshly negative, even to the point of admitting that they are “the opposition.”

Donald Trump has not assaulted freedom of the press. All that hyperventilation by those he attacks simply demonstrates that they are full of hot air. And as this drumbeat continues, we hear the President on Twitter.

The persuasion continues. Once again, the President points out that lies by certain outlets are bad for us. The truth of this proposition is so simple that almost no one can miss it. Our very system of government depends on people making decisions based in reality, not falsehoods. That is what America hears. The subliminal message is, “Don’t trust CNN, NYT, etc.” And the more that unsourced and unvetted stories have to be retracted and corrected, the more people believe Donald Trump and disbelieve the Fake News Media.

All of the other statements, such as “With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!”

are mostly noise, simply designed to make us think about how awful the Fake News Media is without sounding like repetitious talking points. The key truth is, they are bad for the country. And in the face of a drumbeat of same-sounding apocalyptic pronouncements about the “evils” of Donald Trump, America is starting to tune out. How else do we explain an approval rating that started at 36% and has now hit 49%, without ever seeing a sustained decline in the two years of his presidency?

Donald Trump truly loves the First Amendment. He loves press freedom. And he loves having CNN, NBC, NYT et. al. as foils. No, he doesn’t love their reporting, but the cavalcade of lies in the legacy media gives him an enormous opportunity to show his opponents to be without substantive ideas of their own. His own accomplishments show through as a light amid the darkness.

As Justice Story said in Dexter v. Spear, 7 F. Cas. 624 (No. 3,867) (CC RI 1825), “The liberty of speech and the liberty of the press do not authorize malicious and injurious defamation.”

 


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Conservatism

The complete fraud that is National Socialist Healthcare

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The complete fraud that is National Socialist Healthcare

The home state of Mr. ‘Medifail for All’ tried National Socialist healthcare and it didn’t work. What is the point of ever trying it again?

One would think that the operation of a socialist health care system in the home of Bernie ‘Medifail for all’ Sanders would be touted until the bovines hit the barn. Well, one would be wrong in that assumption since it never worked as advertised.

The Washington Post recently profiled the rise and spectacular fall of ‘Green Mountain Care’ from the fantastic promises at its inception to its inevitable crash as is the case with every socialist system. The Vermont rendition of single payer – a state version of National Socialist Healthcare – came onto the scene with great promise and fanfare. The problem is that states are forbidden to counterfeit [oops! ‘print’] currency, so they quickly ran out of other people’s money and the whole rotten edifice collapsed.

Why Vermont’s single-payer effort failed and what Democrats can learn from it
Three and a half years after then-Gov. Peter Shumlin of Vermont signed into law a vision for the nation’s first single-payer health system, his small team was still struggling to find a way to pay for it.

Two days later, on Dec. 17, 2014, Shumlin, a Democrat who had swept into office promising a health-care system that left no one uninsured, announced he was giving up.

The trajectory of Green Mountain Care, as Vermont’s health system was to be known — from the euphoric spring of 2011 to its crash landing in late 2014 — offers sobering lessons for the current crop of Democrats running for president, including Vermont’s own Sen. Bernie Sanders (I), most of whom embrace Medicare-for-all or other aspirations for universal insurance coverage.

[Our Emphasis]
Oddly enough, the local socialist Senator rarely mentions this when trying to sell everyone else on this statist snake oil. Those with a modicum of intelligence tend to learn from the colossal mistakes of others, implementing what works while rejecting that which does not. Then there are those on the Left who insanely insist on repeating those mistakes, hoping for a counterintuitive outcome.

This is no academic exercise, born of the Platonic dialogs from 2,400 years ago on the ‘Ideal state’. This is a deadly serious matter with millions of people’s lives at stake. Not to mention that as reported by the Associated-Press that ‘Medicare for all’ was projected to cost $32.6 trillion.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for all” plan would boost government health spending by $32.6 trillion over 10 years, requiring historic tax hikes, says a study released Monday by a university-based libertarian policy center.

That’s trillion with a “T.”

Optimal conditions – and single payer still failed

One couldn’t ask for better conditions for this failed experiment in state socialist health care. The same report from the Washington post on this failed experiment noted that:

It has some of the nation’s healthiest residents, with some of the lowest rates of uninsured. It is small and homogeneous. It shares a border with Canada, putting an existing single-payer system within sight. And it has just one main insurer, the nonprofit Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont, repeatedly ranked the most efficient Blue Cross Blue Shield plan in the nation.

It was supposed to lower costs, insure more people while eliminating waste, fraud and abuse [Stop us if you’ve heard this joke before]. Unsurprisingly, it failed to do this. Nevertheless, the hometown senator of this communist catastrophe still touts the same ‘features’ in trying to sell his $32.6 trillion pipe dream.

Unfortunately for the purveyors of these plans presumably fueled by pixie dust and allusions to brand new ‘rights’ conjured up out of thin air the author of the piece failed to offer a solution aside from ‘controlling costs’ [read: death panels] or counterfeiting.. er.. ‘printing’ more money to endlessly throw into the bottomless pit that is the government.

It ran into all manner of problems, including what to do with people coming in over the border for all the free goodies [Stop us if you’ve also heard this one before]. Ever increasing tax rates hobbling the economy, ending with the fact that the costs of a bloated bureaucracy would mean less coverage that what the people already had.

Ironically enough, when the whole system died an inglorious death, Bernie Sanders was in Iowa testing the presidential waters, never mentioning the failure of single payer in his home state, the very idea that he incessantly touts. Why bother with facts and logic when one can just invoke counterfeit civil rights, paid for with other people’s money?

Meanwhile, the ‘objective’ media cheerleads for socialistic slavery

Still, this hasn’t stopped the ever ‘objective’ national socialist media from writing ‘News’ stories on the subject, such as this sickening saccharine piece from the Associated-Press ‘Medicare for All’s’ rich benefits ‘leapfrog’ other nations.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Generous benefits. No copays. No need for private policies. The “Medicare for All” plan advocated by leading 2020 Democrats appears more lavish than what’s offered in other advanced countries, compounding the cost but also potentially broadening its popular appeal.

Reading that infomercial for socialism, one can almost imagine the rise of a superhero in the guise of a later-day superman. The virtual embodiment of every wonderful feature of ‘Medifail for all’ vanquishing every cost overrun, taking down the ever evil private health insurance monster, providing free healthcare for all while dispensing Mocha Lattes on the side.

Faster than a speeding cost overrun. More powerful than free enterprise. Able to heap benefits to all in a single bound.

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird. It’s a plane It’s Single payer socialism! Here to save the day…. Until it implodes the economy.

After which, no one is helped.  How is that compassion?

Single payer can never work

Sadly, the author of the Washington post piece failed to cite how to get the bloated edifice off the ground. This is because there is no way to get it to fly.

The proper way to address this problem is to try a different direction, away from authoritarian socialism and towards economic Liberty. Conjuring up new civil rights does little to pay for all the freebies. As way experienced with a single payer experiment under ideal conditions, the end result was worse than what already existed.

There is no point in trying something that is doomed to failure, single payer [or whatever it’s called] can never work as advertised.

The Takeaway

It should be obvious that a governmental solution to the problem does not exist. Thus, it only makes sense to try a different approach. This won’t empower the Socialist-Left, but they claim to only have everyone’s best interests at heart. Let them show that is the case with a system based on economic Liberty instead of socialistic slavery.

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Healthcare

Shocking NY Times headline calls evil good and good evil

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Shocking NY Times headline calls evil good and good evil

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! – Isaiah 5:20

There are four tactics favored by many mainstream media outlets, including the NY Times, that help them fulfill their two primary goals. Let’s start with their goals since they’re blatant: get more eyeballs for their paid subscription model and help Democrats win elections.

How do they do this? They have standard journalistic strategies that work for them well because they’ve been around for so long. They have access to people, manpower to cover stories, and resources to acquire assets necessary to make their stories popular. Those are the positive strategies they use, strategies that every news outlet strives to benefit from to various degrees. But they also use four tactics that help them with their secondary goal of pushing the left’s agenda:

  1. Shock headlines. While they rarely go as far as smaller outlets or tabloids, they are masters among the “big boys” at generating headlines to make their points.
  2. Credible experts with an agenda. One can argue that this is a technique all good outlets use to push their various agendas, but nobody is as adept at it as the New York Times. For example, if they’re pushing global warming, they get the best activists with science studies degrees to push the narrative.
  3. Manipulative statistics. Again, this is a common tactic, but the NY Times has mastered it. They have stat-finders on staff who comb the various studies of the world to find data that supports their premise. If that sounds natural, let’s not forget the idea should be the other way around. They should use statistics to form their premise.
  4. Begging the question. Contrary to the popular use of the phrase, it actually refers to a logical fallacy in which a premise becomes the basis of evidence for the premise. Similar to circular reasoning, it assumes a disputed notion to be factually correct.

In one editorial they published yesterday, they used the four tactics all at once. The title of the story is, “Pregnancy Kills. Abortion Saves Lives.”

I won’t link to it.

The article itself is an exercise in begging the question. For the statement in the headline to be remotely true, one has to assume that the preborn baby that’s aborted is not a life. If it were a life, then the statement would be (and in fact, is) ludicrous.

Of course, it obviously makes excellent use of the first tactic, the shock headline. I rarely read anything from their news outlet anymore, but it got me to click through and read it. When I did, I realized exactly what they were doing. First, they used the second tactic, a credible expert with an agenda, to not only help with the article but to actually write it. In this case, the expert is Dr. Warren M. Hern. His expertise is being a physician and epidemiologist who specializes in late-abortion “services.”

Dr. Hern proceeds to use the third tactic, manipulative statistics, to make his point that abortions are less likely to kill the mother than pregnancy or childbirth. Is it true? Absolutely. I learned this myself when my wife nearly died as our fifth child was lost in a miscarriage. Both pregnancy and childbirth are risks to mothers, much more so than abortions.

Nobody can dispute this fact. But the way this fact and others are framed, such as a statistic showing African-American women were more likely to die as a result of pregnancy than Caucasian women, were intended to be terrifying to mothers and to support his claim that pregnancy kills the mother at a higher rate than abortion.

But again, his entire argument relies on the notion that the child in the womb is not actually a life.

We are faced with a society in which a large percentage feel the same way. They have to in order to maintain their own self-perception of not doing harm to another human. Otherwise, abortion becomes murder. The only way it can’t be seen as murder is if the baby inside the mother isn’t seen as life.

This is why it’s so very important we start looking at abortion in America as more than just a political or even religious issue. It’s a cultural issue, one in which we are failing to deliver the right message. Most people can be made to appreciate the value of the life within the womb if they’re allowed to look beyond the politics. They are getting bombarded with the same two messages. Pro-abortion activists say they’re defending women’s rights. Pro-life activists say they’re defending the baby’s rights. Both arguments can have merit based on how a person perceives the baby in the womb. If it’s seen as a life, it’s hard to say that life has no right to live. If it’s seen as a parasite, clump of cells, or “potential” human, then the rights of the mother prevail.

Articles like this one in the NY Times are meant to change the way culture perceives abortion. We must fight back by continuing to push reality, that a baby in the womb is a life. We have the truth on our side. It’s time to use it.

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Democrats

Why Democrats will drag out impeachment for as long as they possibly can

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Why Democrats will drag out impeachment for as long as they possibly can

Democrats have been playing a dangerous game of politicizing their efforts towards and against impeachment ever since they won control of the House of Representatives with the 2018 midterm elections. They have all the information they need in order to make a definitive decision about whether to impeach President Trump, but they continue to delay. Their reason is very plain: They want the news cycle to stay focused on their efforts until something else other than illegal immigration can come along and save them.

We’ve actually talked about this once or twice before, but it bears repeating and reframing as more the process evolves.

The crisis at our southern border has been untenable for several months as reports of increases in migrants and decreases in options make it crystal clear the policies of the Democrats and the failure of the Republicans to change them have encouraged the breach of our borders. The blame may fall on both sides’ failures over time, but the current stance of the GOP and the constant proclamations of the President put the full brunt of the responsibility on the left’s open borders policies.

Whether Americans support impeachment or not is actually irrelevant to the Democrats. They want things to stay in the middle on the issue, ebbing and flowing between support and opposition. The longer they can keep the media focused on their latest set of subpoenas or new voices calling for impeachment, the easier it is for them to ignore the border crisis. It’s their crisis. They own it. But they don’t want to pay politically in either direction for it.

They can’t do anything about it because doing so would be to admit the President was right. They can’t ignore it indefinitely because eventually it will be so big that mainstream media will be forced to move impeachment talks to page two while they focus on the crisis. Between the two options, Democrats are hoping to avoid the second by ignoring the first. They believe if they can keep media looking at the Mueller report and screaming about obstruction, something will eventually happen that’s even bigger than the border crisis. War with Iran? Economic collapse? Big mass shooting? Another abortion bill? Whatever it is, they’re using impeachment talk to fill in the gaps.

Democrats have to keep talking about impeachment and doing impeachment-related activities without actually impeaching. Once they pull the trigger, it’ll be over soon enough and Americans will look at other news like the border crisis.

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