Vigilance In the Daily Avalanche – Commentary by Steve Scroggins, 5/19/11
Winston Churchill is credited with saying that, "A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on."
Keep in mind that Churchill lived in an age when telegraph and telephone were the express modes of communication
and the print media and radio were the only mass communications.
The art of propaganda was still in its infancy. Print propaganda had existed for
centuries but persuasion is generally less effective and always slower in cold hard print. Broadcast radio became common between 1915 and 1920 where electricity was
generally available. Axis Sally and Tokyo Rose were new phenomena during WWII although FDR's fireside
chats illustrated the propaganda use of radio to sell New Deal expansions of government prior to WWII.
Today, with satellite and Internet technology, a lie can get around the world multiple times before the truth can open its eyes or get out of bed.
The speed of the current "news" cycle and the cheap availability of alternatives have put most forms of print media into severe decline.
Technology makes so much information available readily and inexpensively, that the "problem" becomes managing information overload and filtering
the "daily avalanche" to gleen what's truly important or at least most significant.
As objective or intelligent filters, the so-called "mainstream media" (MSM) lost all credibility with astute observers long ago. My purpose here
is not to educate our astute GHC readers but rather to vent some accumulated grievances with recent "news" coverage and media editorial priorities
in general and to remind all of our duty for vigilance and critical thinking.
Astute observers often opine that the MSM and our daily "entertainment" distractions (I realize these are redundant terms) serve as the "circus and
bread" to distract us Romans from noticing the truly important events occurring outside our sphere of notice (for example, the coming implosion of
As of this writing, the current MSM obsession is over the sexual habits of various celebrities and politicians. Arnold Swarzenegger and Maria
Shriver are getting the 'media rectal exam' as the media camps out on the lawn of the woman who is allegedly the mother of the Governator's love
child and they beg Shriver's recently retained divorce attorney to dish some dirt. No stone ---kidney, gallstone, or otherwise---is being left
unturned. Likewise, they're covering in detail the meltdown of Newt Gingrich's infant presidential bid, and gleefully reviewing his track record
of marital indiscretions, while pointing out that Mitt Romney tried a state-level version of Obamacare ---while conservatives point out that the
insurance purchase mandate violates the basic precepts of liberty (not to mention that inconvenient Constitution).
Meanwhile, the media digs for dirt on the victim of an international sexual predator, the French slimeball who headed the IMF. As
Pat Buchanan has pointed out, the sexual predators and financial
pirates hired by the IMF are looting and raping US taxpayers, staying in $3000-a-night hotels and attacking hotel maids between extravagant dinner
meetings and first-class flights. Yet most taxpayers have no clue what the IMF (International Monetary Fund) is or does.
It's amusing that commentators (former Clinton mouthpieces) like George Stephanopoulos and James Carville are so interested in Swarzenegger's sleazy story
while conveniently forgetting Juanita Broaddrick, Gennifer Flowers, Sally Perdue, Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky and other "bimbo eruptions" of the
Clinton era. After all, the last impeachment trial in the U.S. was about perjury in the Lewinsky coverup. Personal sexual conduct deemed "private"
and "irrelevant" back then is suddenly a valid subject of inquiry and speculation. I suppose it depends on what the meaning of "is" is.
On the national/international level, I've heard nothing else of substance on the "news" in recent days other than Mississippi and Ohio River flood
waters are heading south. Flood waters on rooftops always makes good "visuals" for TV news... and offer an opportunity for news heads to bash Bush
and FEMA for its 2005 failures once again....though they never get around to noticing that local and volunteer disaster relief efforts are always better
than centralized and bureaucratic efforts controlled by D.C. buffoons.
Aside from the casual mention and speculation about another imminent "Katrina-like" event, there is no mention in the US press of the virtually
unknown atrocities that allegedly occurred around New Orleans following Katrina. Seema Jilani writing for The Guardian in the UK asks the
question, Are the Blackshirts
Returning to Louisiana? Though the story smacks of sensationalism... how many of you heard that foreign mercenaries working for "private
security firms" were employed to restore order in and around New Orleans after Katrina? We all remember hearing that New Orleans police were mostly MIA... and
that the National Guard and Coast Guard were called in. How many have heard of Camp Greyhound or Zeitoun? The media's focus was on Nagin and FEMA
playing the finger-pointing game while people sat on their arses in New Orleans and squealed for government help.
By the way, it's been a long-time rock in my shoe to point out that Hurricane Katrina didn't do any damage to New Orleans. It was flood waters
that damaged New Orleans because levies failed...levies that we knew were faulty disasters-in-waiting for decades. Hundreds of evacuation busses sat in flooded parking
lots and state and local officials sat on their thumbs waiting for federal cavalry to save the day. It was a farce and a tragedy. And as the somewhat
paranoid Louis Farrakhan pointed out, those
Bush "frogmen" with underwater bombs just brought the faulty levies to our attention all at once.
The real victims of hurricane Katrina were on the Mississippi coast and they went quietly to work with chain saws, tractors and shovels to repair their
damages with little to no support from the federal government... and no whining and virtually no media coverage. There was a real and obvious
difference in the attitudes and behavior of the people in coastal Mississippi compared to those "helpless" masses in New Orleans.
Has anyone noticed that the media is NOT talking about Japan, the aftermath of the quake and tsunamis, and the
Fukushima nuclear meltdown? That's 'old news'... they covered it
incessantly for seven to ten days, then nothing. Story over? Get real.
What struck me a few weeks back as a total Wag The Dog story was the release of Obama's alleged birth certificate. Does anyone really
believe that the rantings of Donald Trump brought Obama to surrender on this issue? Sure, Trump took credit for it...but then abruptly declined
any interest in verifying its authencity or lack thereof. The media yawned expressing their belief that that story was over years ago. Various
analysis online gives some credible doubt to the authenticity of the released PDF document. But the larger question remains: WHY was that
document released AT THAT MOMENT IN TIME? (April 27th) Was it to knock
the unemployment numbers, gas prices and other economic news off the front
page (or "top" news story)?
And then shortly after that, the Bin Laden story dominated the news. Meanwhile, Obama gets a total 'news' pass on the impact of high gasoline
prices on various economies, macro and micro. When it rarely is mentioned (financial-oriented media), Obama blames the "monopoly man" or "oil
speculators" or lack of energy and automobile regulation as the
culprit. How convenient that nuclear energy takes a PR hit (safety) with Fukushima and off-shore oil drilling takes a safety hit with the gulf
oil spill. Enviro-extremists win, Big Oil wins; common sense, energy independence and the American economy loses.
Again, all that was knocked out of the "news" by the Bin Laden story. And the right question was asked only by Jonah Goldberg:
WHY the rush? WHY was Obama in such a
rush to run to the microphones after the alleged death of Bin Laden? Sure, the story was going to leak out in a week or two no matter what. But
if we had in our possession the most valuable intel on the planet---the Al-Qaeda address book, why not exploit it a few days or a week before announcing
the capture of various information by the death of Bin Laden? Did we tell the Japs we had broken their code in WWII? If Obama showed legendary
"patience" in waiting from August 2010 to late April 2011 to pull the trigger on the operation, why couldn't he
wait a week to gloat about it? Obviously, we could have smoked out a few Pakistani "allies" as rumors of the invasion and assassination moved
around Pakistan. Obviously, we could have got a better handle on Al-Qaeda communications and operators if we hadn't rushed to tell the world of
It has been well documented that Obama and his PR team bungled the Bin Laden story from the first moments and for days following the event--- so
badly as to cast a major cloud of doubt on
every "fact" they reported. Deception and spin was so thick we could all cut it with the proverbial knife. It's difficult to get an accurate count on the
number of times the story changed before the White House abruptly announced they were tired of discussing that story. Besides, we all know that it
was Donald Trump who got Bin Laden anyway. :)
To punctuate the feeling of manipulation in light of constant bold faced lies in the daily avalanche, the
Sheeple Quiz reminds us that we all have a duty to search for the
truth... and to know that it's always difficult to find nuggets of said truth in the daily avalanche of misinformation and propaganda. The Founders knew
that knowledge and information are power.... and they are an essential requirement for self government.
"If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter." --George Washington
"A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both." --James Madison
"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."
"A nation of well informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the region
of ignorance that tyranny begins." --Benjamin Franklin
"Education is a weapon, whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed." --Josef Stalin
"The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion." --Edmund Burke
"If a nation expects to be ignorant -- and free -- in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." --Thomas Jefferson
Madison, Framer without peer - Steve Scroggins
The Perils of Democracy Part 2 - J.A. Davis & Steve Scroggins
The Perils of Democracy Part 1 - J.A. Davis & Steve Scroggins
Madison vs. Government Secrecy - Steve Scroggins
Constitutional Futility - Thomas J. DiLorenzo
America's Worst Scandal: the 14th Amendment - J.A. Davis
Confusing 'Republican' and 'conservative' - J.A. Davis
The Mirage of 'National Unity' - Thomas J. DiLorenzo
Steve Scroggins lives in Macon and contributes most of GHC's parody
and political cartoons and graphics.