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Mon, 22 May 2017
The World for People who Think


'Post-truth Age': Media amplifying rage at Trump's 'Muslim ban', but was silent on Obama's similar moves

A 'Muslim Ban' protest outside the White House, January 29th, 2017
Police in the US have used tear gas to disperse protesters in Ohio as demonstrations against Donald Trump's immigration ban continue across the country.

Comment: Coming on the heels of protests over Trump's election, then his inauguration, media-inspired protest looks like it's going to be a regular feature of his presidency.

Guess who popped up to join the Trump-bashing?
Barack Obama has re-entered the political fray just ten days after he handed power over to Mr Trump, stating that he supports mass protests against the "extreme vetting" orders.

"The President fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion," Mr Obama's spokesman said in a statement that was the former president's first since leaving office.

"Citizens exercising their Constitutional rights to assemble, organise and have their voices heard by their elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake."

Yes, the same Obama whose administration did no different than Trump's with respect to immigration.

Cloud Lightning

Trump is in a trap and both sides are utterly unprepared for what's coming (VIDEO)

If there's one thing that should be absolutely clear in the current political environment in America, it's that there exists a deep division between the people of this nation. Both of sides of the aisle argue vehemently about what's best going forward, sometimes to the point of physical violence. And though the election of President Donald Trump speaks volumes about the sentiment of Americans, the following video report from Storm Clouds Gathering warns that both sides are utterly unprepared for what's coming.

Comment: Hate him or love him (or somewhere in between), Trump has been elected to improve the US condition amidst a disastrous set of circumstances, dangerous enemies and a virtual 'no win situation'. But it took a narcissistic, and crass showman with some actual good intentions and a willingness to literally (and figuratively) put his a** on the line - to try and address what are surely numerous insurmountable challenges. And at the end of the day, he just might fall prey to the very forces he is now trying to fight.


Scott Adams: Trump's 'Muslim ban' is just another 'Art of the Deal' opening bid

© Toronto Star
Trump signs new vetting measures for immigrants.
President Trump has issued temporary immigration orders that ban citizens from several Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. This is a good opportunity to test the Persuasion Filter against what you might call the Hitler Filter.

For new readers of this blog, my starting point is the understanding that human brains did not evolve to show us reality. We aren't that smart. Instead, our brains create little movies in our heads, and yours can be completely different from mine. We see that situation now. Half the country thinks President Trump is well on his way to becoming a Hitler-like dictator. But many other Americans think Trump is an effective business person with good intentions. They can't both be right.

I use the word "filter" to describe an optional way of looking at the world. A good filter is one that makes you happy and does a good job of predicting what happens next. Let's use that standard to compare the Hitler Filter to what I call the Persuasion Filter.

The Hitler filter clearly isn't making people happy. The people watching that movie are protesting in the streets. Meanwhile, the people who see Trump as a good negotiator looking out for the country are quite happy with the job he has done so far. The Persuasion Filter says Trump opens with a big first offer and negotiates back to something reasonable. If you don't recognize the method, it looks crazy, random, and racist.

But what about predictions?

Comment: Adams' follow up: The Canadian Option:
My most agitated liberal friend sent me a link today about Justin Trudeau announcing Canada would take all of the Trump-banned immigrants because diversity is their strength. My friend said that was an example of real leadership.

His conclusion is debatable, but didn't Canada just solve all of Trump's problems? If humane treatment of immigrants is the goal, Canada is the right place. They have polite behavior, free healthcare, and lots of space. That's a win-win-win.

Or am I missing something?

Canada also gives us a test case to compare to America's plan. In five years we can check back and see how it turned out for them. If it worked, we can reassess. Until then we obviously need to wall-off Canada. But that's another topic.

Now that I think about it, the Middle East has a lot of space too. Remind me again why Muslim countries are banning Muslim immigrants. Is it because they are Hitler?
Trump has defended his action, emphasizing its temporary nature and the fact that it is not a "Muslim (all-inclusive) ban":
"To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting. This is not about religion - this is about terror and keeping our country safe," Trump said in a statement, adding that there are more than "40 different countries worldwide that are majority Muslim that are not affected by this order."

"We will again be issuing visas to all countries once we are sure we have reviewed and implemented the most secure policies over the next 90 days," he clarified.

Trump then explained his executive order, which bars entry of foreign citizens from Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Iran, motivated by the urge to be "protecting our own citizens and border."

He then questioned the reaction of the media, saying that former president Barack Obama actually issued a related order, adding it was during Obama's term that the seven countries picked for Trump's ban were pinned.

"My policy is similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months. The seven countries named in the Executive Order are the same countries previously identified by the Obama administration as sources of terror," Trump said.


Media Blackout: Obama administration created the list of countries covered by Trump's 'Muslim ban'

© Screenshot of visa waiver categories, US Customs and Border Protection
The Congress and Homeland Security selected these countries in 2016 and before
I was outraged by the ban on refugees from war-torn countries in the Middle East. I've covered refugees fleeing war in Iraq and Syria over the last two years, meeting families on the road in Greece, Serbia and Macedonia, speaking to poor people in Turkey and Jordan and discussing the hopes and fears of people displaced in Iraq. If you want to ban "terrorists," these are the last people to hit with a refugee ban. Instead the government should be using the best intelligence possible to find people being radicalized, some of whom have lived in the US their whole lives or who come from countries not affected by the ban, such as Saudi Arabia or Pakistan.

So I was outraged, and then I read the executive order. There are many full texts of the order online, such as at CNN, the NYT, the WSJ or Independent. According to most reports Trump was banning "nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for at least the next 90 days." This bars people from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. US Senator Elizabeth Warren said "Let's be clear: A Muslim ban by any other name is still a Muslim ban," and Senator Chris Murphy claimed "Trump has now handed ISIS a path to rebirth." Media, such as Vox and the Independent, compared the ban to banning Jews from entry during the Holocaust and bashed Trump for signing the order on Holocaust memorial day. World leaders are "condemning Trump's Muslim ban," according to headlines.

I had to see for myself, so I read the executive order. The order does seek "to protect the American people from terrorist attacks by foreign nationals admitted to the United States." It says that it seeks "Suspension of Issuance of Visas and Other Immigration Benefits to Nationals of Countries of Particular Concern." It also says "I hereby proclaim that the immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens from countries referred to in section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12), would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants and nonimmigrants, of such persons for 90 days from the date of this order." And it targets Syrians specifically. "I hereby proclaim that the entry of nationals of Syria as refugees is detrimental to the interests of the United States and thus suspend any such entry until such time as I have determined that sufficient changes have been made to the USRAP to ensure that admission of Syrian refugees is consistent with the national interest."


The Antihero President: How Trump Turned PC Postmodernism against Itself

If politics flows downwards from culture, then it was only a matter of time before a politician mastered the role. Love him or hate him, Donald Trump cracked that code.

Tony Soprano, Walter White, and Frank Underwood are just a few recent examples of the enormously popular characters who have, each in their own way, stood in for the role of the complicated bad guy who fascinates millions of Americans.

Antiheroes have long found homes in Westerns, gangster movies, and crime dramas, such as Al Pacino's portrayal of Miami drug kingpin Tony Montana in "Scarface." Tony begins an epic decline and fall in the film with a nasty fight with his wife at an exclusive Miami country club. She publically humiliates him in front of a bunch of dumbstruck, WASPy, black-tie wearing, golf-playing white hairs by loudly accusing him of being a murderer, a drug dealer, and incapable of being a decent father.

Comment: Postmodernism is a pathological, schizoidal philosophy. It's also fundamentally self-defeating, because it is fundamentally wrong and anti-human. Like it or not, the only way to win in a society as infected by it as is our Western civilization is to use its rules and weaknesses against itself. However, introducing chaos into the system creates uncertainty as to what direction the "new normal" takes.

Light Sabers

America's Putin Derangement Syndrome

© Sergei Ilnitsky / Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin
Last week as Donald Trump was preparing to take office, The New York Times — reeling from Trump's interview in which he said he didn't "really care" if the European Union holds together and described NATO as "obsolete" — declared that "the big winner" of the change in U.S. presidents was Vladimir Putin.

Why? Because Putin "has been working assiduously not just to delegitimize American democracy by interfering with the election but to destabilize Europe and weaken if not destroy NATO, which he blames for the Soviet Union's collapse." And based on what Trump has been saying about the alliance and the E.U., it appears that, as of noon on Friday, Putin has a co-thinker in the White House.


Interview with Flemish priest in Syria: "Putin and Assad saved my life"

Comment: This article has been translated by SOTT.net. Original article can be found here.

© Sjoerd Mouissie
The Western media coverage of Syria is according to Father Daniël Maes the greatest media lie of our time.
The Flemish Father Daniël Maes (78) lives in Syria in the sixth-century-old Mar Yakub monastery in the city of Qara, 90 kilometers north of the capital Damascus. Father Daniel has been a witness to the "civil war" and according to him, Western reports on the conflict in Syria are very misleading. In short: "the Americans and their allies want to completely ruin the country."

Interviewer: You are very critical of the media coverage on Syria. What is bothering you?

"The idea that a popular uprising took place against President Assad is completely false. I've been in Qara since 2010 and I have seen with my own eyes how agitators from outside Syria organized protests against the government and recruited young people. That was filmed and aired by Al Jazeera to give the impression that a rebellion was taking place. Murders were committed by foreign terrorists, against the Sunni and Christian communities, in an effort to sow religious and ethnic discord among the Syrian people. While in my experience, the Syrian people were actually very united.

Comment: Notice that Al Jazeera did the exact same thing in Libya:
Behind the Headlines: NATO Slaughter - James and Joanne Moriarty expose the truth about what happened in Libya

If you were a journalist in Libya during this time you were relatively safe; not because these animals respected journalists as neutral observers, but because the journalists were on their side. The Moriartys have evidence of embedded journalists, not least from Qatar-owned Al Jazeera, whose staff were among the terrorists from day one, personally calling in airstrikes and working side-by-side with the terrorists.

Before the war, this was a harmonious country: a secular state in which different religious communities lived side by side peacefully. There was hardly any poverty, education was free, and health care was good. It was only not possible to freely express your political views. But most people did not care about that."


US Rep. Tulsi Gabbard returns from fact-finding mission to Syria: 'The Syrian People Desperately Want Peace'

We met these children at a shelter in Aleppo, whose families fled the eastern part of the city. The only thing these kids want, the only thing everyone I came across wants, is peace. Many of these children have only known war. Their families want nothing more than to go home, and get back to the way things were before the war to overthrow the government started. This is all they want.
As much of Washington prepared for the inauguration of President Donald Trump, I spent last week on a fact-finding mission in Syria and Lebanon to see and hear directly from the Syrian people. Their lives have been consumed by a horrific war that has killed hundreds of thousands of Syrians and forced millions to flee their homeland in search of peace.

It is clear now more than ever: this regime change war does not serve America's interest, and it certainly isn't in the interest of the Syrian people.

Comment: More on Rep. Gabbard fact-finding mission in Syria:

Rep. Gabbard calls on US to stop 'supporting terrorists' after meeting Syria civilians and Assad


The Hypocrisy of Michael Moore, Corporate Feminists and Controlled Opposition of Women's March in Washington

© Shannon Stapleton / Reuters
Mainstream media NEVER would have given a 24/7 spotlight to any event that threatened the power interests. On the hypocrisy of Michael Moore, Corporate Feminists, & Partisan Hacks. Time to do the shadow work.


Trump inauguration TV ratings second biggest in 36 years - With online viewings included, biggest ever?

© Andrew Harnik/AP
Donald Trump's inauguration ratings were the second-highest in 36 years, according to Nielsen.

The swearing-in of the 45th president was seen by 30.6 million viewers across 12 networks.

The only inauguration over the last three decades that tops Trump's number in the linear ratings? Barack Obama's first inauguration back in 2009, which had a record-setting 37.8 million viewers. So Trump was down from the last new president to take office.

But before that, to get an Inauguration Day number this high, you'd have to go all the way back to Ronald Reagan in 1981, who was seen by 41.8 million viewers (Nielsen released tracking for inauguration ratings back to 1969).