Tuesday, November 01, 2016

What Will The Next Chapter Be About?

Baby boomers now running our country, or seeking to run it, came of age during the hubris of the 1960s and 70s. That era shaped them for well or ill, and we’re seeing more evidence of the latter as this unprecedented campaign unfolds. Being a teenager and young adult at the time, I recall quite vividly that societal norms governing sexual behavior were thrown to the wind. The ethos of the age was such that religious and cultural strictures around sex were considered repressive and unnatural. They were shredded so we could be “liberated.” People should “do their own thing” regardless of millennia-old exemplars. The principle that sex is best confined to marriage sex produced children who were best raised in nuclear families was widely accepted Though violations were frequent, they were stigmatized. Since the sixties, however, we’ve been “defining deviancy down,” to borrow a phrase from Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY), and here we are, like it or not. Sex isn’t for procreation anymore. It’s recreation. Babies are more a problem than a blessing.
Anthony Weiner

Much of today’s media has been pornified, but remember that the sixties began with John F. Kennedy’s presidency. His White House promiscuity has become widely known but few knew at the time. Media knew but chose to ignore it. Public scandals were confined to politics: Watergate in the Nixon presidency and Iran-Contra in Reagan’s. Clinton’s scandals were sexual but Obama’s returned to the political. Now, however, Clinton’s sexual escapades have been resurrected by Trump after his own were widely publicized. And now, bizarrely, those of the former congressman with the unfortunate name are back in the news. Sex, especially its misuse, dominates America’s attention as we approach election day. The FBI is investigating former Democrat Congressman Anthony Weiner after he was caught for the third time sending unwanted pictures of his genitalia — this time to a 15-year-old girl. The probe turned up something unexpected which may determine who becomes our next president. Exactly what that is, we don’t yet know, but it’s evidently important enough to make its existence public at this critical time.
Sex has so dominated public discussion of the biggest election campaign in years that other issues get little attention. An hour before the first big Wikileaks email dump on Friday, October 7th, NBC released the now-famous Trump remarks on the bus in which he claimed women let him grope them because he was famous. Before that, he had been talking about world and national issues and cutting into Hillary’s lead. Some polls even showed him ahead, but he slid behind again after his prurient 2005 remarks went public. They consumed so much media oxygen that few Americans learned about Wikileaks emails showing that Hillary lied even more often, about even more things, than we already knew. Suddenly it was all about sex again.
Bill Clinton at 2nd debate as Trump fingered him

In their second debate two days later on October 9th, Trump turned the sexual focus back onto the Clintons, claiming he only talked about groping women while Bill Clinton actually did it. He brought several women into the debate hall who alleged President Clinton had groped or even raped them while he was Arkansas Attorney General, Governor, and president. Then, for days after, about a dozen women claimed that Trump had groped them over the last three decades. Trump’s denied their allegations, threatened to sue them, and continued his slide in the polls. Americans felt soiled by sordid charges thrown back and forth and looked forward to the election being over.
Trump finally went back to talking about issues and began creeping back up in the polls. Continued release of Wikileaks emails and FOIA (Freedom Of Information Act) documents pried out of the State Department continued damaging Hillary. The biggest bombshell dropped last Friday when FBI Director James Comey notified Congress that he was reopening his investigation into Hillary Clinton’s unsecured, classified emails. At least it didn’t involve sex, we thought. Only hours later, however, we learned that Comey’s investigatory turnaround was prompted by information found as the FBI gathered evidence on Weiner — the estranged husband of Hillary’s closest aid, Huma Abedin, who evidently left thousands of emails on his computer. It was back in the cesspool again for all of us.
This is the third presidential election during which I’ve been able to interview candidates — seven this year including Hillary Clinton. For me that makes the process more interesting, but this cycle has focused more Americans than any other. It’s forcing us to look at ourselves. Our votes — Democrat and Republican — gave us these candidates. Why, then, are we disgusted with them? To answer that, we have to look at the culture in which we’re swimming. Lying and sexual misdeeds don’t seem to matter much anymore. Everybody does it, right?
Next Tuesday we’ll know who will occupy the White House in January. We’d like it to, but it won’t be over next week, I’m afraid. It’ll just be the beginning of another chapter.


Anonymous said...


This is a Brexit vote for America with trump, just like in GB it may not take but if we make it for the next four years, the political climate hopefully will get rid of the uniparty and the corruption there.

scenario said...

If the press was spending hours talking about Trumps affairs I would agree. His personal life should be mentioned but not focused on. But Trump essentially said I enjoy committing felonies and I get away with it because I am rich. The sex made it big news but the reason it stayed is because you have a candidate bragging about committing felonies.

Would any other political candidate, Republican, Democrat or any other party get away with bragging about committing crimes and getting away with it because they were rich? I cannot see any of the presidents or major candidates in the last 20 years survive politically if a tape like that came out.

I find it difficult to understand why someone can support a candidate that not only admits that they have committed felonies but has bragged about them and is even proud of it. What happened to the family values voters?

scenario said...

I really do think that articles like this show the true culture wars between far right conservatives and the rest of the country. I've come to the conclusion that many far right conservatives really do not understand the concept of consent. Let's look at three politicians.

1) Bill Clinton had affairs with willing adult women.

2) Donald Trump has bragged about sexually assaulting women and when confronted about it he says it locker room talk.

3) Any of several conservative family values congressmen who use their families as props. They talk all the time about family values and about how gay sex is an evil that must be stamped out. Then they are caught having sex with an under aged same sex partner.

Most people who look at these three situations realize that the important distinction between them is consent. But many far right conservatives viewing the exact same thing cannot understand that point. To them all sex that is not in marriage, done strictly with the goal to have children is morally wrong and they cannot see the difference between these three cases. It's a really fundamentally different way to view the world.

Anonymous said...

Hiliary laughs about murdering people, I can't imagine anything more felonious than that.

Anonymous said...

And further she and the DNC conspired to steal the selection from Bernie Sanders. Millions of Bernie Supporters were disenfranchised by Hiliary and the DNC.

Then you have the complete recklessness of Hiliary and her private server and a probable Pay for Play from foreign governments and corporates to the fraud charity Clinton Foundation, and you want to talk about sex as being a heinous crime, only a troll could suggest that.

Anonymous said...

Tom seems to think we should always follow "millennia-old exemplars. " Like those of slavery, torture and massacre as described in the Bible, and not allowing women to vote, ....we should also tow the line on old fashioned sex ideals along with these other "exemplars"?

But actually, what "millennia old" sexual exemplars is he actually speaking off? Roman orgies? Pedophile priests? Submissive wives? If anything, we have improved our sexual norms.

"Family values" Trump voters seem to turn a blind eye to his sexual deviations, maybe because they admire other of his family values - like mocking the handicapped. Or his perpetual lying? His bullying?

Anonymous said...

"you want to talk about sex as being a heinous crime, only a troll could suggest that."

Is Tom getting called out for being a troll on his own blog?

Anonymous said...

Just in case the uninformed anonymous who claimed Hillary laughed about murdering people is actually just intellectually lazy, and not someone purposely trying to spread lies, why don't you really investigate for yourself? Can you find a tape or video of this happening?

Intellectually lazy said...

Hillary is evil


scenario said...

You have to be kidding. Another edited video. Give a link to an unedited video proving that Hillary laughed at death.

I didn't bother to watch the video past the first few seconds. It may be funny to some people but its not evidence.

Anonymous said...

Hillary did laugh at a death. The death of a mass murderer who was known for raping teens, among many other atrocities. I wouldn't blame her for dancing in the street about that, as I hope she did after Bin Laden's death.

I assumed you meant she laughed at the death of a "human". Besides, the claim was "people", meaning more than one.

Anonymous said...

Next Tuesday we get to see...who the Electoral College will consider...to occupy The White House.
AFTER the "challenges", "discovered ballots", unprosecuted "irregularities", and inexplicable deviations from expert scientific statistical polls, are reviewed in court, of course.
Because democratically elected Republic.

Michael Corthell said...

Good wordsmithing Tom, as always.

I agree with many of the above comments. I think that things are seldom as they appear on the surface. I challenge everyone to really dig deep into the history of politics, not only in America but in ancient Rome and Greece. Look back at the 1860 presidential campaign. Educate yourself on how and WHY Rome fell. Finally, if you are a believer in God, know that God ordains all kings and governments. He sets them up, and He knocks them down. He also gives us exactly what we all deserve. He's generous like that! God Bless us, every one. And may God bless our 'keystone' nation, the United States of America.

Anonymous said...

"Hillary did laugh at a death. The death of a mass murderer"

Obama and Hillary have killed more people by proxy than Ghadaffi could ever imagine, certainly never did. They took a prosperous country and turned it into a complete hellhole and they laugh about it and you defend it. Not surprising however Democrats will always defend mass murder if they can put some moral spin on it.

How many families have Obama and Clinton blown to hell with our tax dollars? They are still blowing up people in Yemen and Syria and will continue to do so.

Murderous bastards are what they are and you are a murderous bastard for defending them.

Anonymous said...

A sixties Marxist radical was fond of saying, "The issue is never the issue, the issue is always the revolution. Pick any agenda, gay rights, civil rights, the environment, immigration. For the Left the issue is only relevant if it advances their agenda of accumulating power and wealth to the exclusion of everyone else."

Now, those radicals are in power. Conservatives are in a culture war with the Left as is the West in a culture war with Islam. The Left has formed an "unholy alliance" with the Islamists which makes this revolution even more dangerous. We really are at a tipping point with this election.

Anonymous said...

"The Left has formed an "unholy alliance" with the Islamists which makes this revolution even more dangerous." See, it's statements like that that earn you conservatives names like wingnut, nutbag, and batshit crazy. Have you no shame?

Anonymous said...

Well it is pretty much a know fact that Obama/Clinton formed an alliance with radical muslims in Libya to over throw Ghaddafi and then moved these same radicals with their weapons into Syria to battle Assad. That's right Obama Clinton is allied with ISIS to fight Assad.

I guess its the old the enemy of my enemy is my friend, the enemy being the duly democratically elected Assad and the friend is anyone willing to take US weaponry and money to fight the Assad regime. I guess Clinton/McCain/Obama just expect these radicals to turn them all in once Assad is defeated.

Now let's talk more about sex.

Anonymous said...

"Now let's talk more about sex."

Yeah, that is what conversation Tom started, so let's keep up the sex talk!

scenario said...

So you believe the fact that Obama/Clinton formed alliances with locals in a proxy war is horrible.

Both Bush I and II did the same thing in the middle east. Reagan gave guns Al Qaeda in Afghanistan to fight the Russian. Johnson's war in Vietnam. Nixon expanding the war to Laos. If you keep going back you've got Eisenhower supporting groups in central american countries to overthrow governments the U.S. didn't like. Or even further back, Teddy Roosevelt backing groups in Panama to steal the Panama Canal zone for the U.S.

The U.S. using its military to interfere with foreign governments has a long long history. It's fine to complain about it but don't pretend that Obama started it.

And getting upset that Hillary cheered when U.S. troops killed Osama Bin Laden or Ghadaffi is laughable.

Does anyone think that Trump will have any kind of coherent foreign policy? He has said little or nothing coherent about it so far. His policy will totally depend on who he chooses for his cabinet. If he chooses war mongers like Bush II did, he's more likely to get into another war than Clinton is.

Ancient Rome fell for many reasons. One big one is that they had no clear method of succession. Many successions involved civil war which cost a lot of resources that should have been used to defend the empire.

Another reason is that the core of the Empire paid no taxes. The Roman empire got dependent on conquering new territories in order to generate enough revenue to survive. But as the Empire got larger and larger it got more difficult to govern.

Another problem is the method of ruling their conquered territories. Governors would be appointed whose sole objective was to generate tax revenue in order to support the core of the empire that paid no taxes. The governors tended to be brutal and frequently destroyed the economies of the places they ruled.

There are similarities between the U.S. and Rome. In ancient Rome the ruling class paid no taxes and raised the tax on everyone else to pay for the empire. And in the U.S. the ruling class pays no taxes and is raising the taxes on everyone else to pay for the empire. The richest one percent of Americans pay little or no tax just like the core of the empire didn't in Rome. The government is forced to keep raising taxes on the remainder of people or borrow money from our enemies in order to keep government running.

And Trump has started to complain about the legitimacy of the succession of power, just like ancient Rome did.

To BC64: So the courts will have sorts out all of the legal and less legal tactics the Republican party has been using for years to try to steal elections before the new president can take office.

Anonymous said...

"Sex isn’t for procreation anymore. It’s recreation. "

And between consenting adults, shat a fantastic recreation it is! Hurts no one. Gives great pleasure. How can one find fault with that? You poor thing...how many years ago was your last child born?

Brian said...

"Lying and sexual misdeeds don’t seem to matter much anymore."

Huh? How can you say that? Didn't you just also write that sexual misdeeds brought Trump down in the polls. And isn't lying one of the main reasons both these candidates are so disliked?

Strange wrap-up to the column.

scenario said...

What is a sexual misdeed? What is okay sexually in one era is not in another. Which set of sexual values do you want to use? The 1700's, the 1800's, the 1920's, 30's, 40's etc. Do you like the 1950's values where it was perfectly okay for a man to have an affair but not a woman? Or maybe the ancient Greeks, where homosexuality was considered masculine.

In the U.S. today, most people do not care what two consenting adults do in the privacy of their own bedroom. Consenting is the key term. Why should people care?

In the U.S. one fairly small group cannot force their morality on the majority. If you put every adult in prison who has had sex that was not for the purpose of having a child, most of the people in the United States would be in prison. Yet, that is the morality that hard core religious right wants to force the country to observe.

Unknown said...


as far as to your way too lengthy BS diatribe about rome etc. The fact is that Hillary is a psychopath who has no qualms about killing murdering innocent people either through direct explosions depleted uranium or just killing them by with holding medicine other wise known as sanctions.

You and your Hillary ilk are murderous bastards and may you rot in hell once you meet your maker.

To think that you murderous bastards consider yourself moral is laughable.

Anonymous said...

what is laughable is that so-called religious people call Hillary and anybody that doesn't hate her "murderous bastards", but are somehow quiet when it comes to Trump stating that he would murder the wives and children of terrorists. What happened to protecting the lives of innocents? "OH, we must save the unborn!" When it comes to abortion, hillary agrees with the catholic tenet that God has given us free will to make choices. And just as God does not actively intervene in a woman's choice, Hillary also maintains that the government should not presume to act as God's agent in such matters.

But why am I attempting to communicate with a wackjob that strings together the words "direct explosions depleted uranium"?

Anonymous said...

But wait - it was Congressional Republicans who slammed Obama for lifting sanctions on Iran, and yet wackjob Mike G wants to somehow blame Hillary for the sanctions? Good golly miss Molly.


scenario said...

What I don't understand is why is Hillary a psychopath when the majority of presidents and secretaries of state before her did very similar things. GWII lied to start a war that killed over 100,000 people, and he's okay according to conservatives. Every president in American history has blood on their hands. President Obama is probably in the top half but not at the top. If your talking numbers killed, that would be Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Wilson. GWII is near the top of the list of blood on their hands presidents because his war was unnecessary and built on lies. Trump has said on multiple occasions that he'd use nukes if he was given the chance. Is this better? If the Republicans had put up a sane candidate, I'd consider them.

So you are against all wars and economic sanctions? Okay, I'll buy it but what are the alternatives? Wars hurt people. Yeah, that's kinda the point. Sanctions hurt people, yeah that's kinda the point.

The discussion of Rome was a direct response to an earlier post. It is pointing out that much of the Republican policies are duplicating Roman policies that caused the fall of Rome. Plus Mr. McLaughlin was a history teacher, so it seemed appropriate.

Anonymous said...

Trump defenders mistakenly equate Trump's remarks with Bill Clinton or the over-sexed society. And they miss the point. Trump glorified sexual assault and was caught red-handed. Sexual assault is morally wrong. Bill Clinton's activities may be wrong too but (a he's not running for president and b) he didn't admit it.

there are still plenty of reasons to vote for Trump over Hillary - not getting into a war with Russia being a good one - but let's not gloss over Trump's faux pas so easily.

Anonymous said...

Tom, two questions
1) did you sleep with anyone before you got married?
2) did you ever use contraceptives with your wife or do do you have a family of 10 now?

Anonymous said...

Oh, come on, we know that Tom will not answer a question like that. He won't even dare answer much less personal questions. He is glad to throw out his opinions, but when it comes to backing them up, fighting for them, and answering questions about them, he runs and hides. When his opinions get exposed to facts and deep thought they wither away. It's a shame when a man can't back up his convictions....

Unknown said...

Yes but what you ignore is that Trump hasn't killed anyone. Talk is cheap, he can say all kinds of things to the crowd he is talking to, just like Hiliary does. But she has actually killed thousands while his talk is just hyperbole.

Yes Clinton Bush Obama are murderous bastards also and what is really the murderous bastards is America or what it has become in the last three decades.

Anonymous said...

What is ridiculous hyperbole is the claim that Hillary has killed thousands.

Brian said...

If Hillary is responsible for murdering thousands, just imagine what kind of murderer that makes Lincoln, who was much more responsible for a war that killed over half a million.

Dopey hyperbole.

scenario said...

What president hasn't made decisions that haven't lead to people dying? Making the hard decisions is part of the job description. Every president during my lifetime has had some kind of military intervention that has cost lives. If you look through American History, most of them have done something militarily that cost lives.

If you want to go into detail anyone in a position of serious power has killed people indirectly. I'm sure that Trump has laid someone off. Who lost their health insurance. And they or their dependent ended up dying because they couldn't afford to pay for the necessary treatment.

Read history. America is not a whole lot different today than it always has been. What is the difference between Presidents Obama and Bush overthrowing a middle eastern government and Eisenhower using the CIA to overthrow a central American Government? Or Teddy Roosevelt essentially conquering Panama to build the canal. Or how bout "Remember the Maine." Or stealing the American west from Mexico (who stole it from the natives). Or stealing Florida from the Spanish. America is not the morally perfect country that some conservatives think we are or were.

Anonymous said...

Make America great again?

One could easily argue that America has never been greater. Would anyone care to name another era and list the reasons why our country was greater at that time?

scenario said...

If I talk about Hillary, on the good side I can talk about her experience. On the bad side bad e-mail management.

With Trump, I can literally list over 200 things on the bad side, including he was and is a terrible business person, has a tendency to say sexist, racist and ablelist things on a regular basis, among many other faults.

What are the good things about Trump? I honestly cannot find a single thing that I admire about the man. Whenever I looked at the man, I always saw comic relief. I'm really not trying to say bad things about him. I just honestly cannot see anything about the man that says that I should vote for him. If he was a good businessman, I could see supporting him. But the man lost a billion dollars running a casino. The only thing he is good at is self promotion. Is that enough to make the man the most powerful man in the world?

Anonymous said...

Vaporization may be coming to the world sooner than later.

Tom McLaughlin said...

Scenario writes about Hillary:

"On the bad side bad e-mail management."

That might be the most naive comment ever to appear on this blog.

Anonymous said...

The emails are not on the bad side?

As for being the most naive, you must not be including the countless naive statements you make. So naive that when asked to think about them more deeply and respond you are unable.

scenario said...

Hillary Clinton's e-mail management was poor. She inherited a poor e-mail system from her predecessor that was in place because the official government e-mail server was so poor that it was unusable. She didn't upgrade the system like she should have. The law changed after she was using the system for a few years and she was too slow to switch to the new system.

I don't automatically jump to the idea that something is a massive deliberate fraud when complacency explains the problem just as well.

If I were to give a letter grade to Hillary as a candidate, I would give her a B-. Passing but with a lot of room for improvement. My grade to Trump would be an F-. I can see much, much more negative to Trump and I cannot find anything positive.

But you never answered my main question. What are the good characteristics of Trump? What things make a person want to vote for Trump?

Anonymous said...

I would say that Trump voters are a combination of angry and ill-informed. Many probably have right to be angry, with government looking out too much for the fat cats, and not enough for the working people. They see a corrupt system and want it changed. There is nothing wrong with that sentiment. But combine this with being ill-informed by getting all their news from fear mongering spin masters and you get Trump voters. They also must be incredibly gullible to believe that Trump will do anything to make their lives better. If he were elected they would be in for a very rude awakening. He would be just another politician working for the rich, except he would be dumber, thinner-skinned, and meaner, and even more dishonest than most politicians. Trump does not have the slightest idea what life is like for regular people, he probably doesn't even know any.

His quest for the White House is just the world's largest ego trip, and he is taking his supporters for a ride.

Anonymous said...

The thought that people should not "do their own thing” because of millennia-old exemplars" is probably the most naive thing I have heard in a while.

Anonymous said...

if Hillary is responsible for murdering thousands, just imagine what kind of murderer that makes Lincoln, who was much more responsible for a war that killed over half a million.

Ahh Brian may get it, the carnage continues but mostly on different continents

Anonymous said...


It appears that there are quite a few children that like the exercise of posting on your forum

Anonymous said...


It appears that there are quite a few adults that could be out debated by children who nevertheless like the exercise of posting on your forum

Tom McLaughlin said...

And you're all welcome as long as you keep it clean.

Peter said...

One argument I hear from Trump supporters is this notion that he is so different from the other politicians and that he will really shake up the system and it won't be politics as usual. How so? He is just like other politicians. He plays the dirty insider games and works the loopholes like the rest. Politics as usual is people saying things with all sorts of bluster and getting little done. Donald Trump just has more bluster than most politicians, and less experience than most. I couldn't conceive of a group of scientists in a lab creating a worse candidate that has as much support as he has. It will be interesting to see how much support he actually has. if there really are a secret horde of Trumpsters living in the shadows, lying to pollsters, and ready to pounce on election day. Or if this whole "movement" (why did the word 'bowel' just pop int my mind?) just has a bigger bark than bite.

Anonymous said...

I guess peter doesn't realize how crooked the entire DC Beltway is. Doesn't he read the wikileaks emails hasn't he read what snowden says about our government. I have to think peter just reads listens to the MSM and believes their "impartiality". They have come right out and said that they weren't going to be impartial.. too important.

Yes wikileaks and Snowden are all traitors and the Homeland needs to be protected at all cost.

Who declared that the continental US should be called the homeland it was GW Bush and his regime and this current regime is just an extension of his and so will hilliary's

Peter said...

I didn't say anything about the DC Beltway not being crooked. Why are people so quick to put words into the mouths of others? A huge swampy part of our government does need to be drained. I am just saying that Trump is not the person to do this. I find him to be without any moral convictions, just a blustering, bullying, out-of-touch, spoiled, pampered, unintelligent cretin.

Anonymous said...

Voting is like driving in one regard - if you want to go forward choose "D". if you want to go backwards, pick "R".

scenario said...

Congratulations to the far right.

The question now is, will the far right do what it has been telling us for years what it wants to do? Like gut the bill of rights except for the right to bear arms.

Tom McLaughlin said...

Guess you didn't hear Trump's Gettysburg Address last week. He laid out his agenda for the first 100 days here:


I'm very happy with nearly all of it. Hope he can get it done asap.

scenario said...

All potential presidents put out 100 day agendas. I haven't read it but I'm sure that there will be some parts I like and some I don't. The question is what does congress want to do? Presidents don't pass laws.

Plus, once presidents get into office they have to change their expectations. Some things that look easy on the outside are more difficult than they look. Many things that seem simple to change would involve changing or breaking multiple laws to make them happen.

I'm not concerned about him building a wall with Mexico. That was a standard transparent lie that almost everyone knew would be very unlikely to happen. People hate to admit it but it is necessary to lie to become president. The build the wall lie was silly but by itself it didn't turn me against Trump. It was fairly normal politics.

I don't like Trump and I don't trust him but my main concern is not just about Trump. My concern is that the far right now controls the congress and the presidency. With the death of one 80 year old plus liberal supreme court justice, they will be in complete control of all three branches of the government.

Our government was set up with the idea of checks and balances and that would no longer exist.

There are many far right members of congress who have openly stated that they want to do things like eliminate the separation of church and state and eliminate all environmental laws. I don't want my kids to live in a world where the smog could get so bad that visibility would be less than 3 feet at times and life expectancy would drop by 20 years as has happened in places like England in the 1950's and China now.

Most of the New Hampshire and Maine Republicans that I have talked to are more center right republicans. You don't get as many of them demanding that we repeal the clean air act or eliminate all laws to keep the food supply safe, or eliminate child labor laws like you get in more conservative parts of the country.

Tom McLaughlin said...

"There are many far right members of congress who have openly stated that they want to do things like eliminate the separation of church and state and eliminate all environmental laws. I don't want my kids to live in a world where the smog could get so bad that visibility would be less than 3 feet at times and life expectancy would drop by 20 years as has happened in places like England in the 1950's and China now."

Oh please... Talk about hyperbole. Can you name any of those "many far right members"? They don't exist. Where did you read that? Salon? Slate?

scenario said...

You are right that I exaggerated when I said that Republicans want to eliminate all environmental regulations. Mea Culpa.

But they do want to eliminate many of them. I don't think I need to discuss the Republicans disbelief of the fact of human caused climate change. It's too widespread for you not to have heard about it.

Another one is the Endangered Species act. Google it.

Google the terms Republican eliminate EPA. Many Republicans are in support of eliminating the EPA. Donald Trump said it during the Republican Debates. What would happen to environmental laws if there was no government agency charged with enforcing them? Would you like to live in a town that had laws on the book against murder and theft but the local government eliminated the police department to save money?

You can't effectively enforce environmental laws at the state level because many environmental problems cross state lines. Build a factory at a state border. Dump waste in river. The state that the factory in it has no problem. It could cost the state downstream millions.

The problem with environmental laws is that they can be expensive.

Ok you live in Maine. Let's assume you live near a river and you get your drinking water from there. A new factory moves in and starts dumping its waste product into the river. Now the water is not safe to drink even with treatment and you cannot fish there anymore.

There are three possible ways to pay the cost of pollution.

1) Have the people that make the pollution, pay to clean it up.
2) Have the government pay for the cleanup.
3) Do nothing. Let the people pay for their own drinking water. Let some of them be forced to abandon their homes that cannot be sold because it doesn't have running water. (This type of thing has happened in real life many times. My aunt lost her house because a local business put so much pollution in the ground around it that all of the houses around it had to be condemned. Without environmental regulations she would have had to sue a multimillion dollar company with little chance of winning or just abandon her home.)

Many Republicans prefer choice number three and let the burden and cost of pollution fall on the local residents.

I look at pollution as an accountant would, cost allocation. To me, a business that generates pollution that costs the economy directly and indirectly is responsible for its cleanup. To me, a company not being responsible for cleaning up its mess is exactly the same as a company hiring two more employees and then handing the city the bill to pay for them.

I've heard people complain about scientific journals as too liberal. I've heard overheard people talking and complaining that math shouldn't be taught in school because its too liberal. Everything today seems to be either liberal or conservative.

It would be nice to find a few news sources that anyone on this cite can quote from without the others saying you can't trust it. For example, I cannot trust Fox news. I have seen way too many flat out lies. Too many times where someone says something and then says the exact opposite thing sometimes minutes later. I'm sure you'd say the same about MSNBC. In my view they don't flat out lie as much but they do place a spin so I can understand why people don't trust them.

One question and this is not a trick question, what news sources to you consider to be neutral?

scenario said...

It doesn't matter if the news source is a newspaper, TV channels, Web Sites, etc. I believe there are three basic types.

Type one:

First the news source presents facts, for example,

The Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City NJ Closed its doors at 5:59 AM on October 10, 2016.
(Google the key words Trump, Taj Mahal, closed for multiple sources.)

Then they may express an opinion on those facts:
It may be not much, like I feel sorry for all the people who lost their jobs or it may be more political.

1) Trump is a bad businessman because he allowed his casino to go out of business.
2) Trump is a good businessman. He would have succeeded if liberals hadn't stopped him.

The two sources have vastly different opinions but their facts match.

Examples of these type sources: NY Times, Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal with the first two leaning liberal and the third leaning conservative.

Type two:

All opinion. No attempt to present any facts at all.

Examples of this would be the opinion section of any major news source.

Type Three:

First it presents facts but the facts it presents are totally made up.

Example: A spaceship landed on the White House Lawn today to congratulate Donald Trump.

Then they base their opinion on these made up facts.

Example: The National Enquirer, or The Onion

I consider type one sources quite valid even if they do have some opinion mixed in.

Type two sources are valid when they are labeled as opinion but can cause problems when presented as fact.

Type three sources are useful only as entertainment.

Many news sources today are a mixture of type one and type two. In many cases they do not make a distinction between news and opinion. I put CNN and MSNBC firmly in type one and type two. MSNBC tends to have a higher percentage of type two mislabeled as type one.

But when I have looked at Fox News and WND I see a mixture of Type one, Type two and Type three. I cannot trust a news source that openly makes up its own facts. Having off the wall opinions based on real facts is annoying but legitimate but just making up its own facts is wrong.

For example, I have seen people on Fox News say that most gay people are also child molesters on multiple occasions. This is a flat out lie.

The pattern I see on MSNBS is
Opinion that distorts the facts.

I see the same pattern on Fox News but I also see a pattern of
Opinion that enhances and relies on the original lie.

When I look at left wing sources, I tend to see a mixture of Type one and Type two (sometimes disguised as one) but I only see Type three on smaller pretty far left sources.

Unfortunately on right wing sites, especially religious right wing sites, I see a lot of Type three news reporting.

New sources are not all the same.