What is the truth?

Political discussions of any type are welcome here. All we ask is that you try to respect everyone's views, and that you use facts to back up any claims that you make.

Moderators: BarbaraSher, Tituba

What is the truth?

Postby jcjm » Sat Mar 25, 2017 9:46 am

Sidebar to the Trump thread.

This irritates me more than the actual Trump and government issues.

Media posts one side of the story and leaves out facts that don't fit their agenda. They are working as commentators who are pushing an agenda instead of journalists. Today there are very few journalists around. Most of the talking heads on TV are what Erich Severied use to call Commentary. The problem is they present it as NEWS or worse yet Breaking NEWS.

Some examples are going on with Trumpcare

1 saying less people would be covered by Trumpcare but not saying how many are not covered because they are opting out .
2 saying that the new plan would not cover maternity but not saying that people can't opt out of maternity now even if they aren't going to have kids, are sterile, celibate, or too old to have kids.
3 giving the indication that maternity care and gynecology have to be linked. A lot of people have annual gynecological exams but only a fraction of them are pregnant.
4 forcing people to pay premiums for maternity care and birth control both. Seems like this would be an either or?
5 forcing people to pay for pediatric dental, even if they don't have kids.
6 according to my insurance agent there are at least 10 requirements all new policies have to have. This is like telling people instead of having a $25,000 liability policy to own a car you have to have a $250,000 liability policy plus forcing them to buy collision, car rental, uninsured motorist, towing, etc. even if they are only driving around a $500 junker.

It goes beyond healthcare, that is just the item of the day. Some other things that don't get told the entire story are:
1 Yeah, Trump exaggerated on the whole wiretapping thing, but that doesn't mean someone didn't decide to spy on some Russians who they knew would be talking to Trump people, then "accidentally" listening to what the Trump people said.
2 There are leaks every day. Bad when they were against Clinton, OK when they are against Trump? Riiiiight!
3 Its not just Trump, Hillary got a raw deal on Bengazi. Political raking over the coals over and over, all our money spent on this crap, reporting every day and once she is defeated, it goes away.
4 How about Bill Clinton. I'm getting old, but as I remember he was impeached, nothing changed, we spent tax dollars to do it and the news covered it every day, then once he was gone, its forgotten.
5 And Bernie Sanders is in my mind the worst. The democratic committee does everything it can to run up Hillary and run him down in the polls, and when a scandal is shown, the press covers it very little. Bernie should have been the nominee if things were fair but little said about this while the Russian involvement in the election just won't let up, but only after Hillary lost.

Just a bunch of crap. Its like a bad version of the movie Anchorman, except its real. The media decides who they like then gives them free PR while dismissing anything bad about them all the while calling it Breaking NEWS.
Walter Cronkite where are you when we need you?
jcjm
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 1594
Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2002 10:01 pm

Re: What is the truth?

Postby Tituba » Sat Apr 08, 2017 8:05 am

The result will be that we will no longer trust anyone. Maybe that is the point of all the disinformation. When we get to the point where we see something with our own eyes and are told "fake news" - we have gone down the rabbit hole. When a society cannot turn to anyone for the truth, they can be controlled.
Tituba
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 9591
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2003 10:01 pm
Location: North Shore - Boston

Re: What is the truth?

Postby SquarePeg » Sat Apr 08, 2017 5:31 pm

Tituba, you paint a very bleak outlook, but I'm afraid it is true. Occasionally, pre-Trump, I'd entertain myself with the thought of becoming a "mountain man." But lately, I'm actually considering it. Were it not for my wife, I'd be scoping out a nice place to disappear into.
SquarePeg
Veteran Poster
Veteran Poster
 
Posts: 957
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:36 pm

Re: What is the truth?

Postby SquarePeg » Sat Apr 08, 2017 5:53 pm

Yes, jcjm, another negative spin on Trump care is the democrat's claim that his plan doesn't really do away with the mandate because it imposes a fine if you eventually do opt-in to the plan. Sorry, that's BS. There's a big difference between:

1. forcing people to buy insurance and making them pay a fine if they don't.
2. allowing people to forgo insurance but then imposing a fine if they choose to opt-in.

Let's be realistic. Healthy people aren't interested in buying health insurance. So who buys it? People with chronic health conditions, elderly folks and parents -- the very same people whose healthcare costs are the highest. So if you let people opt-out, insurance companies have to raise rates, reduce coverage, eliminate pre-existing conditions, or go out of business.
SquarePeg
Veteran Poster
Veteran Poster
 
Posts: 957
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:36 pm

Re: What is the truth?

Postby Tituba » Sat Apr 08, 2017 8:51 pm

I'm feeling bleak. This regime and the larger consequences of accepting the erosion of our rights, the environment, the less fortunate and our way of life. The only positive is the rise of activism.
Tituba
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 9591
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2003 10:01 pm
Location: North Shore - Boston

Re: What is the truth?

Postby SquarePeg » Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:29 am

I wish I could discuss taxes, but this is where Truth is really hard to come by for. I can't even be sure exactly what the new tax plan(s) might involve.

According to the media, the Republicans want to away with the estate tax. This benefits the super rich.

Perhaps, but I suspect it's another lie. My understanding is that the super rich pay for financial advice that allows them to circumvent the tax anyway. I suspect that upper middle class folks would benefit the most. The fee for this financial advice, most likely a fixed amount, is more of a burden for the middle class than for the super rich.

What do you think?
SquarePeg
Veteran Poster
Veteran Poster
 
Posts: 957
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:36 pm

Re: What is the truth?

Postby Tituba » Fri Apr 14, 2017 2:34 am

I think that with this regime setting off WWIII, taxes aren't very high on my list of concerns.
Tituba
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 9591
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2003 10:01 pm
Location: North Shore - Boston

Re: What is the truth?

Postby Scenario Thinker » Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:14 pm

I came out here to see what year all the climate change debates were going on, because I wanted to make a comment on Facebook that I can't believe I was debating/discussing this in 2008/2009 and it's still going on 8/9 years later. The evidence is becoming more and more clear, but the debate rages. We might not ever see the global catastrophes that may happen toward the turn of the next century, but it's still too bad we're racing to the end.

Meanwhile, I was heavily interested during the election this time and was consuming articles and videos on politics and economics. I started to realize that I was more interested in economics, because it's seemed a more technical field and allowed me to think heavily about concepts, which I like to do. Well, then I found out that the field used to be called Political Economics, and they dropped the political over time. No wonder they seemed to be intertwined and inseparable. But, I still like to think about economic concepts and learn the history of it, and it's surprising how much things go around in circles. Every human generation thinks they're special, and you can't blame them, because this is all the time we have, and it's a very short time period in the grand scheme of things. But, there's always economic struggles that veer from more equality and back again to less.

Since the major media is owned by 5 or 6 corporations, you're really not going to get much objective and multi-sided news coverage. They are only going to tell you what upholds their corporate standards. I still tolerate PBS somewhat, but what I've really gotten into is seeking out news and economic sources from individuals on the internet who I learn from and trust. Granted, most are left biased, but they do try and get behind the BS to tell you what's really going on. With the improvements in video streaming over the last several years, it's almost like watching custom TV. There are many articles, too, but it's much more enjoyable listening and watching to someone speak to you.

The two major threats to humanity are nuclear annihilation and global warming. The former could happen in an instant and wipe out the human race. The later is more of a slow cooking effect, until the tipping point of no return. All our other problems are pale in comparison. But, as long as we're not dead, we might as well work on them, right?

One of the most fascinating things I'm learning within economics is money. In 2008, the government could have easily bailed out the people and let some of the big banks fail (and car companies for that matter). It wouldn't have affected our savings, because the FDIC had everyone's money covered. In ancient times, they used to do what they called the jubilee and write down everyone's debts when a new ruler came into power. But, Obama and Tim Geithner decided to bail out the banks on their insistence that the country would be ruined. Well, if millions of homeowners were now able to afford their mortgages and had more money to spend, how could it have ruined the economy? And, ruined for whom? The banks and the very rich did very well, and if you have any money in the stock market (which is owned mostly by the very rich), you're doing OK (until the next burst bubble). Meanwhile millions of people went bankrupt and lost their homes. A bailout of the people wouldn't have meant that a California valley girl could keep all 5 of her homes, but at least (still employed?) people with more reasonable mortgages would have gotten a restructuring they could afford. But, instead, the banks got this windfall of money and gave each other big raises and bonuses, and very little trickled down into the economy. If this EVER happens again (which I think is only a matter of time), I hope to God the American people do an Occupy Wall Street, times a thousand. Enough is enough. But, like I said, this has happened throughout human history.

The other thing about money is how it's created and how propped up this country (and others) are on credit. The reason why housing prices keep going up is because of the bidding of mortgage loans by the banks that keep upping the prices. A bank creates a loan for $200,000, puts a credit in their ledger, gives you a check for $200,000. You own a house, but as an average person are in debt for life. This pumps huge amounts of money into the economy. If everyone could pay off their loans, the economic money supply would almost disappear. People are trapped and have a lot less freedom. Americans spend much more on debt, tolls and taxes as a percentage than they used to decades ago. This means less disposable income to buy goods and services and maybe some luxuries.

As Trump is able to put more of his policies in place, you will start to see infrastructure projects, but financed by the rich, and then they'll install a toll for the public to use it. This will decrease disposable income even more. If you avoid the tolls, they'll just put in laws that don't allow any new infrastructure projects without tolls.

Taxes - let's face it, the very rich pay very little in taxes. Almost all of their income is from capital gains, which is taxed at a much lower rate than income taxes. The multinational companies set up branches in places like Ireland, where they pay the low Irish taxes by selling everything from there, instead of the USA. If tariffs and taxes are raised in other countries, they'll do the same to us, and companies will just move to where the taxes are still low.

The main inequality problem we have is that technology and science has made us a very rich country over the last many decades, and instead of sharing the wealth that all of us helped to create, it has been siphoned off to make the super wealthy even more wealthy. The productivity gains COULD have been used to make life easier for all of us, shorten the work week, etc., but with profit as the motive, that won't happen.

I could go on and on, but I've already wrote more than I intended. I always think to myself, it's not about giving everyone a handout, but it's also not about the super wealthy raping their country people. It's two extremes. What is the best balance to society overall?
S.Thinker
....o
^/v
/>
User avatar
Scenario Thinker
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 7332
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2004 11:01 pm
Location: near Chicago

Re: What is the truth?

Postby jcjm » Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:57 pm

I try not to watch the major networks anymore.

I especially have stayed away from ABC since the election. The people I use to like, all of a sudden became exactly what the were against. The view is just that ONE view. Stephanoplis all of a sudden thinks he's Mike Wallace playing Got Ya with people he interviews and it seems like if a story can't make the President out to be a fool or if it isn't about a minority group, it doesn't get aired. They also do a lot of weather, every day theirs a storm, heat, cold. I'm starting to think they do this to push the climate change agenda. Disney and ABC just aren't what they use to be.

NBC and its cable version MSNBC is no better. Chris Mathews asks a question, then interrupts the person to answer it himself and what's up with Rachael Maddow? I use to love her, but now she just seems like a characature or herself. Luckily they did pluck Greta Van Sustern from the sinking ship that calls itself FOX.

FOX has lost all the heavyweights it had in the election. It seems like everybody there was either harassing or being harassed?

I can't say anything bad about the people on CBS because it is so boring that I never watch it.

It all goes back to what I said in the first post. They are all commentators, not news people. Its about putting on a show. You can tell that by when FOX dumped O'Riley. Only when he lost the advertisers. Its about putting on a show that brings in bucks, and piching it to the extremes on the Right or Left who want validation for what they already think.
jcjm
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 1594
Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2002 10:01 pm

Re: What is the truth?

Postby Scenario Thinker » Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:54 am

It's the corporate-owned media, all about profits and ratings and not reporting anything that goes against their standards (like anything anti-war, for example). Plus, the big commentators are part of the 1% anyhow, what do they really care about the middle and lower classes?

From my sources, I had heard that the media hasn't covered climate change enough. I didn't think reporting the extreme weather was an ulterior motive for doing that, but maybe.
The science is real, and it's getting worse (measurements). I don't know if the extreme weather that happens now is much do do with climate change yet. Maybe a little, but I haven't heard that it is. The world could all together make a huge effort and convert to alternative energy sources, but the corporate interests in oil & gas just won't let that happen. There are too many billions of dollars to be made by the top people to let it go. What's sad is the right wingers totally blow it off. I mean, it's OK to question it, and everyone should, but then let's bring out the evidence and show it on the news and let people come to their own conclusions and vote, protest, etc., accordingly.

I can't stand watching Maddow. Some of the stuff she worries about I think, WHY is she reporting this? Who cares? (which could be said about a lot of the media coverage in general). She was practically gushing Clinton during the election, most of the media was pro-Clinton, and looking for Trump atrocities. Fox was for Trump. (most of these clips I saw on Youtube or other videos, not actually watching the networks). What was the most sad, while Sanders was giving a landmark speech with thousands of people in the crowd, MSNBC was showing the empty podium of Trump, waiting for him to appear to speak. Sanders was the greatest progressive phenomenon we've had in decades, whether you like him or not, and he was almost completely ignored. Well, that's because neither party is progressive any more, they both have a corporate agenda. Both parties are on the right side, now, Democrats to the left still.
S.Thinker
....o
^/v
/>
User avatar
Scenario Thinker
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 7332
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2004 11:01 pm
Location: near Chicago

Re: What is the truth?

Postby SquarePeg » Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:45 pm

ST wrote, "People are trapped and have a lot less freedom." Yes. I've said it many times already that easy credit is modern slavery.

Lenders foresaw the Great Recession and as a result, Congress, back in 2005, passed Revised Bankruptcy legislation, which made it harder for ordinary people to get out of debt. This was when Alan Greenspan would often say, "Irrational Exuberance" -- one of the few things most people could understand from all his commentary.

So essentially, lenders would make increasingly risky loans and get the government to enforce repayment. I see it happening all over again.
SquarePeg
Veteran Poster
Veteran Poster
 
Posts: 957
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:36 pm

Re: What is the truth?

Postby SquarePeg » Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:58 pm

I get my news from NPR, plus Hartford Courant and Wall Street Journal. With the "follow the money" philosophy, a consumer can learn a lot from WSJ.
SquarePeg
Veteran Poster
Veteran Poster
 
Posts: 957
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:36 pm

Re: What is the truth?

Postby jcjm » Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:52 am

If you listen to CNN or MSNBC you get one story if you listen to FOX you get another.

That's why I view them all but listen to the actual clips an not just the sound bites. Most news channels play a sound bite that hits their demographic so they can get viewers and advertisers. This is not a system that promotes truth, just money making.

A lot of newscasters are saying Trump hasn't done anything in the first 100 days because he hasn't got legislation passed.
Duh, isn't legislation up to the House and Senate? Seems to me he has signed a lot of executive orders and reversed a lot of Obama's executive orders.

You may or may not like what he is doing, but he is doing. Although people think he may be on the wrong side of the issues, lets not confuse that with doing. He is doing, maybe just not what they think he should be doing.

Most of the news coverage on both sides disgusts me. I just keep tuning in to see what's going on with Korea and if WW111 has started.
jcjm
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 1594
Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2002 10:01 pm

Re: What is the truth?

Postby SquarePeg » Sat Apr 29, 2017 5:47 pm

Ahhh... OK in reverse order...

North Korea is exactly why I've been avoiding the news lately! :) But different strokes...

Yes, Congress passes legislation. And what's amazing is how ineffective they've been, both with Republican majorities in the House and Senate. He did nominate Neil Gorsuch who went on to be confirmed. He did attempt to alter immigration policy. So agree that he is doing.

Another criticism about Trump that I hear lately is that he changed his mind on so many issues so quickly. One example is NATO. In November, it had outlived its usefulness. Now, NATO is important. Frankly I like him more because of this, not less. Now that he has more facts and understanding, he's willing to adapt and change, which is sound and rational, and it gives me some hope. Only a complete idiot or deranged person would stand by a bad position statement.

Sounds like a good strategy to get news from sources that target opposing demographics. I think I'd get confused doing that, and it sounds like it would take twice as long. Not sure if I suggested this before, but I think getting US news from abroad is very interesting. It tends to be more concise and less "showy."
SquarePeg
Veteran Poster
Veteran Poster
 
Posts: 957
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:36 pm

Re: What is the truth?

Postby jcjm » Tue May 02, 2017 10:07 am

Trump likes to negotiate which is something politicians and the media are clueless about.

Negotiation 101 says you ask for something ridiculous so you can give something away and still get what you wanted in the first place.

Case in point the wall. Without a wall, illegal border crossings are down.

The media and politicians just don't get this, but even Bernie Sanders does. When he was running he said he was shooting for things that most likely wouldn't be a go, but he had to ask for twice as much so he could come down to a reasonable number.
jcjm
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 1594
Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2002 10:01 pm

Next

Return to Politics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest