Thursday, November 01, 2007

Bias is Bias (And Destroys Itself)

A lot of people and organizations think it is all right to be biased (unfair) -- as long as they are biased in the right way and causes, which every biased and hateful person will justify; there are no exceptions. So for the media people do proclaim that, “It’s OK for us to be biased because we’re biased liberally and Democratically,” is a self-indictment that they have no idea what fairness and credibility means, and they are as unreliable and despicable as any other individual propagating deception and manipulation as their “public service.”

The mainstream media has become almost entirely about self-promotion and self-aggrandizement in this way -- which might have worked in a previous time when there was no example of anything else, because all the other publications and sources were also that way. But once we have a few examples of people really doing things differently, that solidarity breaks down fairly quickly, and nobody wants to be the last defending the eroding status quo -- while the smarter ones have moved on.

Many people warned and pointed out the monolithic bias of the information sources of the media, schools and universities -- which tried to maintain their solidarity as long as possible -- with nobody admitting to any self-criticism and insight, that the refusal to acknowledge abuses, didn’t mean abuses were not perpetrated daily -- until most of the self-respecting, credible people had gone.

Anybody who hasn’t picked up a hardcopy edition of the local newspapers lately will be shocked to see that the traditional bedrock of those distributions are gone -- which are the classified ads, which somebody informed me, were now even free and still they are no takers.

Anybody who is familiar with financial markets, have been aware that for several years now, all the newspaper and traditional media stocks do, is go down, while new media stocks like Google and Baidu (China), fly up daily to shower great riches on their speculators. Obviously, these people know where the money (excitement) is.

That’s basically the story of money flows and interest in the world that stock markets represent. There are areas of interest, speculation and excitement -- and then there are the areas that people are abandoning, though nobody will make a loud and definitive proclamation of that fact. It’s like the buggy whip industry that once was in its heyday -- no matter how much the politicians would like to retain full employment in those dying industries. Even the workers want to move on and be liberated from their glorious jobs working the fields and mines -- as much as their unions would like to guarantee that they will have those jobs for the rest of their lives.

That is the same with every guarantee of a lifetime job. It’s really better for people to move on -- and that’s what the government machinery should enable and empower one to do, and not simply continue the old way of life for as long as one lives -- which ensures one’s deterioration into an agonizing death of irrelevancy and unresponsiveness to the new challenges of every present.


At November 01, 2007 11:00 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Every great disruption in these markets is an indication that changes are occurring -- even as much as our sources and politicians will insist that nothing has changed, and they are solidly in control -- just like in the good old days in which they will continue to do the thinking and deciding for everyone else -- because those people really don't want to think and choose for themselves -- so that is what their "elected" representatives are for.

They fail to realize that everything really has changed -- and they are the last to realize that, and maintain the impression that nothing will ever change -- as long as they are in charge.

Most real changes take place deeply rather than superficially -- and in fact, are not recorded and registered by the superficial, and those whose training is to convince us that every present moment is only like some moment in the past being repeated one more time.

Obviously, that is a very erroneous though popular view of events happening in the world -- among people of no perspective who think that what they know, is all that cn ever be known -- rather than that they have not even begun to ask the right questions while thinking they have all the answers.

And that is the biased (closed) mind -- that struts and parades itself at all these public forums and publications, wondering why people feel they have better things to do than promote the aspirations of these ambitious, egotistical few.

At November 02, 2007 9:20 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Naturally the most biased people are those who think they know everything, and so there's nothing they need to learn, because they learned everything 50 years ago -- and since then, the world (history) has just repeated itself, which is the euphemism for their smugness and belief that they are fair-minded individuals.

So more and more in life, they surround themselves with likeminded people demanding that everybody think as they do -- because it is the only right and sane thing to do.

Such people invariably have worked at one job at one place all their lives -- and think they know all about what is happening in the world.

Unfortunately, most of them are drawn to the information distribution industries where they propagate and perpetuate misinformation, ignorance and contentiousness as their job security -- as their way of "giving back."

At November 03, 2007 7:01 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

November 03, 2007
Is the Tide Turning on Media Coverage of Iraq?
Rick Moran

I suppose when the New York Times has a front page story about the turnaround in the security situation in Iraq without their usual parsing and caveats, we might be able to say that press coverage of the war has turned the corner and the reality of what is happening there will be accurately reported.

But while waiting for hell to freeze over, perhaps we should begin to recognize the fact that major media outlets from the Washington Post to the Los Angeles Times as well as the cable news nets are beginning to notice that there has been a significant and definite drop in the violence in Iraq and that some semblance of normalcy is returning to the war torn country:

Indeed, on every relevant measure, the shape of the Petraeus curve is profoundly encouraging. It is not only the number of coalition deaths and injuries that has fallen sharply (October was the best month for 18 months and the second-best in almost four years), but the number of fatalities among Iraqi civilians has also tumbled similarly. This process started outside Baghdad but now even the capital itself has a sense of being much less violent and more viable. As we report today, something akin to a normal nightlife is beginning to re-emerge in the city. As the pace of reconstruction quickens, the prospects for economic recovery will be enhanced yet further. With oil at record high prices, Iraq should be an extremely prosperous nation and in a position to start planning for its future with confidence.

It should be noted that the situation is precarious. The tens of thousands of Sunnis who have signed on to help coalition forces in Iraq by joining the army and police force are being given a hard time by the Shia dominated government. And political reconciliation - from the top down anyway - still appears to be a will 'o the wisp pipedream with Iraqi Shia legislators dragging their heels on most of the major initiatives that would unite the country. Unless there is real progress over the next few months, the possibility exists that the Sunnis would give up trying to cooperate with the government and return to their old insurgent ways.

But there is no doubt that at the moment, the surge has accomplished exactly what it set out to do; give the Iraqi government the opportunity to make peace by sitting down with the Sunnis and hammering out power sharing arrangements in a federal-type system of government. And this opportunity has literally given the vapors to those who have a vested interest - political or otherwise - in the defeat of the United States in Iraq:

The current achievements, and they are achievements, are being treated as almost an embarrassment in certain quarters. The entire context of the contest for the Democratic nomination for president has been based on the conclusion that Iraq is an absolute disaster and the first task of the next president is to extricate the United States at maximum speed. Democrats who voted for the war have either repudiated their past support completely (John Edwards) or engaged in a convoluted partial retraction (Hillary Clinton). Congressional Democrats have spent most of this year trying (and failing) to impose a timetable for an outright exit. In Britain, in a somewhat more subtle fashion admittedly, Gordon Brown assumed on becoming the Prime Minister that he should send signals to the voters that Iraq had been “Blair's War”, not one to which he or Britain were totally committed. All of these attitudes have become outdated.

There are many valid complaints about the manner in which the Bush Administration and Donald Rumsfeld, in particular, managed Iraq after the 2003 military victory. But not to recognise that matters have improved vastly in the year since Mr Rumsfeld's resignation from the Pentagon was announced and General Petraeus was liberated would be ridiculous. Politicians on both sides of the Atlantic have to appreciate that Iraq is no longer, as they thought, an exercise in damage limitation but one of making the most of an opportunity. The instinct of too many people is that if Iraq is going badly we should get out because it is going badly and if it is getting better we should get out because it is getting better. This is a catastrophic miscalculation. Iraq is getting better. That is good, not bad, news.

That opportunity won't last very long. But with what appears to be the beginning of a change in the attitude of the press, it could be that the time gained by Genearl Petreaus for Iraqi politicians may lead to a success that was only imagined just a few short months ago.

At November 03, 2007 7:13 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

In the journalism ranks, what is rewarded most these days is the aspirant's ability to "spin" the news, to any point of view they want, and particularly, to the point of view any special interest might desire.

So not surprisingly, when individuals become particuarly good at doing so, they are hired away as the "PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER" of some organization in a critical phase of their funding applications -- and what is especially valued, are those who can lie with impunity and total absence of compunction.

Thus such reporters particularly relish writing about how rough and tumble times are -- justifying doing anything, including out their community, so they can get ahead and win their Pulitzer Prize and whatever their threshold is for selling out, which in Hawaii, could be an "extra scoop of rice for life" or extra plate lunch -- thinking nobody will ever be able to tell.

At November 05, 2007 9:44 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Bias is thinking that everything one knows, is all that can be known -- rather than that it was just what their instructor taught them, and then what they are expected to perpetuate.

In that thinking, there is no suspicion that there is bias in what they think -- but it is obviously the only right way of thinking, and even the "political correctness."

people majoring in the "liberal studies" are particularly prone to these fashionable opinions -- as the facts of the day, that most are not aware, can change on the whim of the proper self-appointed authorities.

It largely depends on what "theses" sell best -- until another best-seller supplants it. Almost no legitimate research is reported in the popular publications anymore -- because the editors lack the ability to deterrmine the authentic and credible, from that which is promoted most vigorously.

When most of the reporters and editors want to do the least, they depend exclusively of pres releases and public information officers to tell them what i true -- rather than investing any time in understanding the basics -- or most important concept.

Instead, they are offered dozens of ideas to complicate the issue -- and make it more complex and unintelligible so that one must rely on the expert -- instead of their own basic processing capabilities.

The most appealing stories therefore, are those that have no relationship to anything else going on -- but is pure speculation and opinion of what is going on, as though that knowledge was sufficient for any purpose.

It's quite startling to encounter and talk to people who believe that things are simply what they think they are, or want them to be -- with no connection to any verifiable reality.

In that universe, the truth is anything they say it is.

At November 06, 2007 8:49 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

If the newspapers go out of business, they go out of business.

But they should stop demagoguing the endless arguments and divisions in order to justify their continued existence -- in a time when we need to save the planet by not cutting down a forest each day so people can toss more rubbish into our overcrowded landfills.

So if the newspapers really want to save the environment (planet), they as the biggest polluters and destroyers of them all, should move entirely to electronic publications right now!

All this yammering about the impacts of a ferry on the vast oceans are insignificant compared to the real destruction of the world wrought by the newspapers and their demagogues -- many who have nothing else to do with their lives but provoke and prolong every argument, as their form of entertainment.

So if you people really want to save the planet, prevent global warming, and save the habitant for countless other species, do the right thing instead of shuffling the blame to everybody else!

Don't be the liberal hypocrites with nothing better to do than tell everybody else what they ought to do and live their lives -- as though it is others who are the problem.

At November 06, 2007 9:20 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

The preceding got removed from the comments to the Honolulu Advertisers "discussion" on the Superferry -- not because they were obscene and offensive but simply they are true -- and they don't want to hear it, but want everyone to believe the are singularly the most self-righteous and innocent people on the face of this planet -- qualified to sit in judgment of everybody else, without the fear of any retribution because they control the press.

That is the beauty of these times -- that probably cannot be realized with the old publication mechanism which is built upon control -- and not freedom of information as they like to claim they are. Their o"freedom" is ONLY for themselves -- and not the whole truth, the big picture of the matter, which is clarity.

And that is why there is always that kind of confusion, deception and manipulation in everything they write -- that can not be compared to the greater truths appearing in many other forms, like these, that they cannot control or suppress.

That is the reason they will write tomorrow's sanctimonious paean to themselves -- as the bestest people in the world!

At November 06, 2007 9:22 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Meanwhile, they're scarfing at the Democratic caucus's lavish buffet, wondering if the people of Hawaii will ever catch on.

At November 06, 2007 9:40 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

That's the beginning of the end -- when they start going into hyper damage control mode and start suppressing everything that is the least bit critical -- because that destroys all critical thinking, in their paranoia. They'd be better off showing that the truth does not hurt them -- so much so that they now have to suppress every truth. That leaves hem with only lie and spin -- and that is the end, as we've known it.

It's a good thing -- because soemthing good and better can then arise from the ashes of the dead, but not being allowed to run its natural course, the dying is dragged out unmercifully for what seems like an eternity, dragging everybody associated down with them down the bottomless abyss of guilt.

The only salvation is to die to that life and be born anew. That is the great lesson of life we know as Easter, as well as Christmas. But unmistakably, the old must die for the new to come into being -- which is life, and not just the continuation of a sure death.

That's the greatest change Hawaii has needed for the past 50-100 years -- the evolution of a new consciousness rather than the old information hierarchies of the media, schools, universities, quasi-government institutions. It's already happening because the prototypes already exist -- and replication is no longer a problem.

So rather than just changing the names of the political leaders, there is fundamental change in the structure and dynamics of society and culture that enables the community to make the quantum leap forward into the 21st century -- where all the guardians and defenders of the status quo of the 20th century, fear to go.

But that is where the real paradise exists -- and not just their shoddy illusions of it.

At November 07, 2007 5:53 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

All we are asking is for a little honesty and integrity:

MSNBC Misquotes Evangelical Leader on Global Warming
Photo of Warner Todd Huston.
By Warner Todd Huston | November 7, 2007 - 22:20 ET

Here is a perfect example of why no one can trust the MSM. They can't even get a quote in context without spinning it to their own desired ends by leaving out parts of the quote, materially changing its meaning. MSNBC took a few choice words out of an Internet post written by Randy Thomas, vice president of Exodus International, a Christian based organization that promotes "freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ." In MSNBC's "More evangelicals concluding God is green," they quote Mr. Thomas as to why he is supporting Mike Huckabee. But, the way they quote Thomas it seems that he endorses the "God is green" concept, when he doesn't at all in reality.

Here is how they quoted Thomas:

Randy Thomas, vice president of Exodus International, an evangelical ministry, wrote last month that “I have decided to vote for Huckabee. Yes, it is because he is unabashedly Christian, but it is also that he does care for the environment.”

Wow, it sure seems as if Mr. Thomas is all about the green, doesn't it?

Problem is, they took a few words out of Mr. Thomas' original post and those few words materially alters Mr. Thomas' meaning. Here is Thomas' full quote as he originally posted it on his blog:

Speaking on behalf of me….and me alone … not any organization and (especially not Exodus because Exodus as an organization does not support or condemn any particular candidate) *I* have decided to vote for Huckabee.

Yes, it is because he is unabashedly Christian, but it is also that he does care for the environment (in a balanced way … not the “new religion” kind of way.) I like that he has a lot of good experience as well. Of all the candidates, I like him. I like Fred too, but Huck is just as likeable in my opinion.

Notice how Mr. Thomas said in his actual quote that Huckabee is green but, "in a balanced way … not the “new religion” kind of way." In other words, Thomas feels that Huckabee is sensible in his green ideas, not wild eyed in his greeness. Why did MSNBC take that part out of the endorsement? Obviously they did so to make Mr Thomas seem all excited over Huckabee solely because of the green issue. It also tends to make Thomas seem to be supportive the current crop of extreme greenies out there because the tempering language was removed from his quote. At least, without those tempering words, it could be construed that Thomas could support the greennuts.

MSNBC also did another thing with their story that is a bit misleading. They quote Mr. Thomas as the "vice president of Exodus International" without observing his careful disclaimer in his original quote that his endorsement of Huckabee is as a private citizen and not in his capacity as VP of Exodus. Should you read the MSNBC story, you would not realize at all that Thomas was specific in distancing his role as VP of Exodus from his endorsement of Huckabee.

On his blog, Mr. Thomas found himself flummoxed that MSNBC misused his words without ever once contacting him to clarify anything or even inform him that they intended to use his words.

MSNBC did not contact me or cite my blog. I find that intriguing and think it would have been common courtesy to do so. I found out that I was quoted by J. Thanks J. I don’t like the appearance that I was quoted to make the case that there is a schism within evangelicals over the environment.

Further, Thomas even disputes the "God is green" claim that MSNBC wanted to assign to him.

I don’t think God is “Green” but I do think He cares for His entire creation in which He charged mankind to take dominion of (Genesis 1).

In any case, this all goes to show that MSNBC took Mr. Thomas' words and sentiments out of context to better fit in with their "God is Green" premise.

With yet another example of the untrustworthiness of the MSM one wonders how often people are misquoted in the press?

At November 07, 2007 6:16 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Abuse and misuse of power comes in many different ways.

What we are most used to hearing about is the arrogance of politicians, but it happens in every arena of society -- and no more, more so, than in the communication of basic information and communications -- which have been taught as a weapon against the rest of society, by the "professionals" in it.

That is the consequence of a culture and mentality of trade-unionism, in which each group of practitioners and associates, literally wage war on every other -- as their fair game, ultimately to determine who alone stands at the top of the exploitation pyramid.

Many think it is the lawyers -- whether "politicians" or not, as they disproportionately dominate that arena, because most people don't like to constantly argue. That's true in every profession, that certain personality types are attracted to.

Those who like to tell other people what to do and claim to be the smartest person in the world (or at least the class), become teachers and academics. The most overtly demagogic types, have always been attracted to the media -- for obvious reasons; they need it to do whatever it is they want to do.

The greatest literary examples of this predilection is Ayn Rand's "Ellsworth M. Toohey," in Atlas Shu=rugged and Shakespeare's "Iago" in Othello, whose chief delight in life is the pure exercise of power over other people as their expression of personal power achieved through deception, manipulation and fabrication of every "fact."

It's a mental illness -- and probably the great mental illness of these times.


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