Monday, December 26, 2011

Politics, Honor and How the Unfair and Unbalanced Network Sells Out America (Sherlock Holmes Weigns In, Including on the Disgraceful Movie)

German aristocrat, explaining why Gritian will NOT fight to protectBelgium, even thoiugh it had a traty to support Belgium:

"In today's utilitarian age, no one cares about honor. Why should Britain fight for Belgium, when she can have peace, at least for awhile." (from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stry, "His Last Bow"--slightly paraphrased.

No, this is not an arti cle about wa r and peace, although the above--along with Pearl Harbor--illustrate why Ron Paul's foreign policy is such a dangeruos thing--not to mention the "America has no need to be first" philosophy of teh left. The left, of course, are the natural ancestors of Neville Chamberlain's "peace in our tme", and of the idea that the bet way to deal with the Soviet Union was to avoid antoganizing them (an idea conclusively proed false bly Ronald Reagan).

No, this is an arti le about SELLING OUT principle, and not directly about war and peace. Yep. We are back to the "payroll tax cut" and the way it was covered by the unfair and unbalanced network--along with the way the coeards of teh GOPP establishment approached it. Did I just say that both Fox News (waiver instantly granted to myself as to not mentioning the name in this blog) News and teh GOP (politicians-establishment) have NO HONOR? Yes, I did. And I mean it. If you have not gotten the messsage by now, I have no respect for these peopole--either of the unfair and unbalanced network or the political class of the GOP.

What was the thrust of the Fox News "coverage" of teh "payroll tax cut" bill? Was it whether the bill was right or wrong for the United States of America? Wa it even abut explaining the provisions of the bill, and the objective arguments for and against those provisions (including the differing provisions in the Democrat and GOP bills)? Not a chance. As you k ow, I only SURF Fox "Newqs" now, because it is a USELESS source of "news" (much less "conservatie" thought). But I did surf it a little more than my present limit of 2 minutes per day during the 'paryoll tax cut' battle, because--as readers of this blog know--I regard that battle as a defining moment for the country, and especailly for the doomed GOP. EVERY time I checked in on Fox, the approach was the same: POLITICS. Was the gOP the POLITICAL loser in any fight over teh "payroll tax cut", or even the mere two month POLITICAL bill produced by the Senate.

Say waht? Whatever happened to the idea that politicians are there to DO THE RIGHT THING, and not to worry exclusively about their own election. Fox, for one, has aboandoned that idea totally in faovr of the idea that politicians should SELL OUT AMERICA rather than do a politically unpopular thing. Charles Krauthammer, for example, said--to nods on the unfair and unbalanced network--that the Senate bill was an ABOMINATION, but that the GOP had to swallow it POLITICALLY. Say what, again? When I was growing up, "journalists" actually seemed to take the positioin--pubicly, anyway--that politicians were supposed to put their country ahead of POLITICS. I stil remember (funny what sticks in your mind) a episode of "the Farmer's Daughter", with the incredibly beautiful Swedish actress, Inger Stevens. The episode was all about how the Congressman male lead refused to advocate some sort of Federal project for his disgrcit, because he thought another place was better. And he said so. This was TV, and so it came out happily. But the point is that it was ACCEPTED WISDOM that the IDEAL was for politicians to put their country ahead of their political future. ("The Farmer's Daughter", the MOVIE, by the way, is teh best FEMINIST movie ever made, and wi was made in about 1947--with Loretta Young giving the performance of a lifetime as the Swedish farm girl who demanded HONOR among male, establishment politicians.)

Fox has turned this "accepted wisdom" on its head. For Fox, it is all about POLLS. That is true, of course, for all of the rest of teh media as wel, but Fox is at least as bad as the rest, and perhaps worse. For that alone, this blog wuold BOYCOTT Fox. This blog has shown you that polls are evil, meaningless things, sued mainly as an excuse for both politicalk COWARDICE and "journalistic" LAZINSS and incompetence. For Fox, this 'payroll tax cut" bill was all aobut the POLITICS, and Fox could not have cared less about the MERITS of the bill. Further, that is how Fox approaches EVERY political fight. President Obama, at least SAID that it waws time for politicians to "do the RIGHT THING, and "set aside politics". Obama, of course, is a LIEAR (Liar-in-Chief). He and teh Democrats were all about politics on this. But that is not the pint. I NEVER heard Fox, or anyone form the GOP, eve TALK about doing the "right thing". It wa all about POLITICS, and what would hurt the GOP politically. Oh, Hohn Boehner made a cople of statements about the GOOP House tring to do the right thing, but that is NOT what GOP people were doing BEFORE the Seante passed that "abomination" (quoting Fox's Chrles Krauthammer, before he recommended SELLING OUT AMERICA by accepting the abomination).

Look at this blog's articles over the past several weeks. Paul Gigot, of Fox and the Wall Street Journal (owned by Fox's parent company) said that the "payroll tax cut' was probably a BAD IDEA that should never have been passed int he first place, but that the GOP nw HAD to go along with it or face disastorus POLITICAL conswequ3ences. When Fox was not INGORING the case against any "payroll tax cut", arguments againt it were disissed for ONLY this reawon: teh GOP would LOSE POLITICALLY. As far as I can see, it is now the OFFICIAL policy of Fox tghat PLITICS is ALL that matters, and nto what is best for the country. Fox is certainly not interested in prsening Americans with te MERITS of anythign, but ONLY with the POLLS and POLITICS. This is a network with NO reason to exist, and it is getting worse by the hour.

Time after time, GOP and "conservative" estalbishment spokesmen would go on Fox and give nothing but POLITICAL reasons why the "payroll tax cut" should be extended. In so doing, they ACCEPTED teh Democrat prmise that "middle class" America wants to be BRIBED, and that teh GOP can't let the Democrats get ahead of them on the bribery game. Dubts were often expressed about the MERITS of the "payroll tax cut", but the GOP seemed unable to get past the POLITICS of it. But Fox was WORSE than the GOP. For Fors, spewing the estalbishment gOP line, it was ALL aoubt POLITICS. Whenever a GOP person,or conservative, TRIED to menton on Fox that the "payroll tax cut' was a bad idea, Fox DISMESSSED teh idea as political stupidity--raising the red herring of a "tax increase" for 160 millioin Americans.

"Wait, Skip, is there not SOME case for not withdrawing the STIMULLUS of money in the pockets of millions of Americans, even it it was never a "real" tax "cut"? Sure, there is SOME (not much, , but some) case for that, even though IT DID NOT WORK over the past year: the "payroll tax cut' being passsed in December of 2010 as a ONE TIME "stimulus" for the economy and 'price" teh GOP paid for extending the "Bush tax cuts' for only a short time. The point, however, is that Fox was NOT INTERESTED in presenting the MERITS of the bill Al Fox was interested in was the POLITICS of the bill. Is that what "journalism" is all about? The POLITICS of every issue? bEcaue that supposedly makes "exciting" televisoin? For Fox--"journalists" without honor--I am afraid that is the case. The mainstream media actually has more HONOR in this regard thatn Fox, since those LEFTISTS will dEFEND and PRESENT leftist ideas as "right", even when politically unpopular. Does that not mean that Fox is ore "balanced"? Sure, except they are INSANE (the "unbalanced" in my title). Fox is developing into a network that does not present EITHER decent advocacy or decent "journalism". As stated, it is a network WITHOUT HONOR, and with no reason to exist.

"But, Skip, isn't the ont here that defeating Obama is the important thing, and that theGOPcan't afford to give that up over a meaningless principle regarding the 'payroll tax cut;'. Is not Fox merely recognizing the reality, as are all of those GOP and 'conservative' types, that you can't beat Obama be depriving the American people of their BRIBE?"

That MIGHT be an "excuse" for the POLITICIANS. It is NO "excuse" for Fox, which has merely shown itself to be a network without either honor or courage. A "news" network should deal MAINLY with the MERITS of legistlation, and the "politics" shoudl be an AFTERTHOUGHT. Fox did not even go so far as to consider the MERITS an AFTERTHOUGHT,. For Fox, and the peole Fox put on, the merits meant NOTHING at all. Their new "accepted wisdom" " SELL OUT the country, if that is what it takes to defeat Obama.

Problem: You cn'at defeat Obama this way. Whiile Obama is out there talking aobut doing the "right t;hing" (albeit lying through his teeth), the GOP is acting like they have no idea what they think the RIGHT THING is. perhaps more accurately, the GOP is sending the message that it DOES NOT CARE what the "right thing" is, so long as the GOP does whatever it takes to "defeat Obama". Sure, Obama and the Democrats MIGHT "bail out" the GOP by being so bad that the GOP can get away with the people believing they have NO PRINCIPLES except beating Obama. However, that is NTO the way to both win an election and be able to govern.

But the key problem here is that the "payroll tax cut' is not important, since it just gives away money to the middle class (and almsot everyone else, except the elderly and the homeless). This blog has tried to explain to you why that is the single MOST IMPROTANT thing we now face. This idea that it is up to the government to BRIBE its way into the affections of the American people is the single most imprtant reason we are where we are. Just how is it an "advance" for the GOP to adopt the idea thaqqt BRIBERY is fine, so long as it is BRIBERY of the "middle class"? The dirty little secret is that the GOP politicians have basically adopted the "magic wand theory of government": the "theory" that all the Federlal Government has to do is wave the right "magic wand" and "solve" all of our problems. A corollary of this is exactly the idea behind the "payroll tax cut" GIMMICK: the idea that Federal money is FREE MONEY, that we can "pay for" with FUTURE PROMISES (while INCREASING teh debt and deficit now).

The GOP had beter PRAY for Ben Bernanke to pay no attention to them, and stay on the job IF the GOP somehow wins the next electino while abandoning all of their principles. Yes, I AGREE with the GOP mantra that Ben Bernanke should GO ( a mantra that Romney does not seem to have joined, except maybe belatedly). However, Bernanke has FINANCED the Obama spending spree by PRINING MONEY. In the end, that is DOOM. But it is the ONLY thing that has kept us "afloat" (if on life support) in the short run. The deficits and debt would have kiled us, except for the Federal Reserve PRINING MONEY. What Bernanke has done is SACRIFICE THE FUTURE of tghis country for heroin addicitn to "printed money". It is doom, but it CONCEALS the disaster of the deficit and debt for awhile-especially with the rest of the world doing so badly that our own currency--inflated as Bernanke ha made it--does not look so bad. IF the GOP somehow wins, they wil NEED Bernanke to try to keep the game of musical chairs going. The only quesion is going to be what party is going to be left wihout a chair when the music stops?

This blog? You know the position of this blog. BOTH PARTIES shold be left without chairs, because we should ull the chairs out from under both of them and STARTT OVER.

For now, however, consider the LACK OF NONOR of the Fox "News" network, and all of those GOP and "conservative" people who are putting POLITICS ahead of their country. I have no respect for them. Sure, you always have to "consider" politics in the battles you choose, and the comromises you make. But when you just blatantly announce that ALL that matters is politics, and not the MERITS of what is done, then you have gone completely over to the dark side. You can't be trusted, and NO ONE Should trust either the Fox "News" netowrk or the GOP/"conservative" establishment. The Tea Party problem is that tooo many people who "wannabbe" "Leaders" in that movement are becoming PART of the "establishment".

P.S. No proofreading or spell checkng (bad eyesight). Oh, Sherlock Holmes. I gave a rfeview of tghe first Sherlock Holmes ovie whcih correctly sated that it was a BETRAYAL ofwhat made Sherlock Holmes one of the ost enduring characters in all of literature. The Sherlock Holmes stories were all about the INTELLECT. Hollywood keeps trying to turn him inot an ACTiON HERO, complete with SPECIAL EFFECTS. I gave the first moveie a rating of 59 as an ACTOIN MOVEIE (not quite worth seeing, even as that), and only 5 (out of 100) as a SHERLOCK HOLMES movie. Well, my older daughter has seen the NEW Sherlock Holmes movie: what migaht be regarded as "Sherlock Holmes II". You can take this as my daughter's review, to which I have applied my ratings standard (as I, myself, willl not be seeing the movie). my older daughter convincingly says that the new movie is WORSE thatn the first Sherlock Holmes movie. Again, it is all about speical effects. Robert Downey, Jr. has the QUIRKS of Sherlock Holmes, but not the INTTELLECT (or his chareacter does not). Further, my daughter correctly points out that Downey is NOT a very convincing "action hero". In fact, Sherlock Holmes is not a very convincing acitn hereo. If you are supposed to be about the INTLLECTA, you cannot act like you are a combianationof Joh Wayne and Jackie Chan. Martial arts yet!!!! Holmes was suposed to be an "expert boxer", but thre are almost NO real ACTIOIN scenes in ALL of Sir Arthur's stories about Sherlock Holmes. The stories realy are almost totally about the INTELLECAT. Sure, that can be hard to put on the screen, but it has been done (including the first effort with Basil Rathbone). Rating for this Sherlock Holmes movie (with me in the role of Mycroft Holmes provinding the conclsuions from facts discovered by my older daughter): 41 as an ACTIOIN MOVIE; 9 (ZERO) as a Sherlock Holmes movie. The movie will probably make a mint. Too bad we have sunk so low as a society that POLLS are the only way we know how to "cover elections and "issues', and special effects are the only way we know how to make a movie--along with "quick cuts" and edits to keep our attention from wandering, even if no one can follow them (even those people who can SEE). As I ahve previously said, I watch almsot exclusively the movies on Turner Classic Movies, which are so much better than current movies it is not even close. To the extent there are new moviews who avoid "special efffects", they try so hard to be POLITICALLY CORRECT, andor edgy, that thaey are unwatchable. I just saw "You Agaij" (todayh's version of a "romantic comedy"). It wasnt real bad (66 out of 100,where 60 is worth seeing), but it is so far BELOW Wiliam Powell and Myrna Loy that there is no contest. It may beven be a "minnomer" to call "You Again" a "romantic comedy", since it is not really about 'romance'. It is about HIGH SCHOOL, and how that can ruin your life. Taht subject resonates with people, which is why I give the movie as high a rating as I do (along with relatively few funny moments). The EXECUTIN of the idea is NOT GOOD, and the characters do not sem close to real. It is as if today's movie makers do not WANT the characters to seem real. Or maybe it is todyay's PEOLE who are not real, and teh movies are being ture to life. Either way, themovies are not very good. The last REALLY GOOD American movie I saw was "The Lord of the Rings"--especially the thrid one. Even on dramas, the "technical" suff of the movie making seems to have taken the HEART and SOUL out of the movies--along with that desire to be "edgy" for today's video game, short attention span, generation. See 'The Lady Eve", if you want to see a really gOOD comedy. As stated, see "The Farmer's Daughter", if you want to see a really GOOD feminist movie. And see the John Wayne/John Ford moviews if you want to see a really gOOD action movie with the REAL JOHN WAYNE (and not Downey doing some sort of parody). Or see Hitchcock's "North by Northwest".

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