Mort Mather Author Writer Organic Farmer Philosopher Thinker Restauranteur

How to improve your life and save the world.

Monday, November 19, 2012

FOX again

            People who think FOX is “Fair and balanced” should not watch it because they will buy the distortions, inaccuracies and lies; but for those who know that this is entertainment, not news, it can be fun.
Lou Dobbs has his own show on FOX which I haven’t watched but he is frequently brought in to other shows for his political insight. A persistent theme on FOX is ridiculing Obama supporters for blaming Bush for all the problems of the past four years, especially the economy. It gave me a good laugh when he said last Friday that the economy is coming back because of the Bush tax cuts which President Obama wants to do away with. My initial bubble of mirth came from the hypocrisy that Bush should not be blamed for anything bad but he should be credited with anything good. Here is Lou blaming Obama for wanting to raise taxes on the wealthiest because their low taxes are the reason the economy is rebounding.
            That’s also funny because the tax cuts came in 2001 yet they somehow did nothing to avert the recession that began in December 2007 and by the time Obama took office unemployment was up to 7.8%. It had gone up steadily from 5% to 7.8% in Bush’s last year in office. Now, in November 2012 Lou, credits The Bush tax cuts with turning the recession around. I mean, come on, that’s funny.
            I recognize that saying the economy is “rebounding” is an overstatement since unemployment is really just back to where it was when Obama took office  but in the ensuing 4 years it got as high as the scary 10% figure.
            Since I do try to be fair I’ll tell you that unemployment in 2006 and 2007 was below 5%; so we could point to the tax cuts made 5 years before as being responsible for those two years. But then, again, unemployment when Bush was elected was 3.9%  (4.2% when he took office but I couldn’t resist mentioning that it was below 4% for the 4 months prior to his taking office and went above 5% for the four years after the tax cuts.
            I can hear Lou now, “Don’t confuse me with facts; my mind’s already made up.” That should be the FOX theme rather than fair and balanced.

Legalize drugs

            I want to go on the record, along with ultra conservative William F. Buckley Jr., that drugs should be legalized.
            The article I’ve linked to was written in 2004 but Mr. Buckley first wrote about legalization of drugs in 1996. You might enjoy this youtube interview.
Reasons for legalizing drugs:
1. Eliminate this source of money for criminals
2. Tax it
3. Regulate it through licensed outlets that would have an investment and a license to protect which would deter them from selling to minors.
4. Millions of dollars saved in law enforcement
5. Better use of law enforcement.
6 Millions saved that is now spent on incarceration.

Marijuana is at the forefront of discussion these days. The primary argument against legalization of marijuana is that it leads to more dangerous drugs. I have not been able to find any research that supports that claim, however, intuitively I can see how it well might—that is, as long as it is illegal. Some who sell marijuana might well be tempted to expand their product line and sell more dangerous drugs thus someone buying marijuana illegally is likely to be introduced to a salesperson offering crack, coke, heroin… whatever.
The following links give two views on pot vs booze.
            Anyone who looks at pot vs booze and still thinks liquor should be legal, as it currently is, and that marijuana should be illegal, as it currently is, is getting their information from a very suspect source. We tried making booze illegal and made Al Capon very rich so going that direction would not be smart. Legalize marijuana at least and think seriously about putting all drugs under federal regulation.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Attention FOX "News" aficionados

Attention FOX “News” aficionados, I assume you are Republicans as I once was. If you care about your party, if you hold the view that smaller government is best, that government that does less is best, that government should be fiscally responsible; you need to stop getting what FOX puts forward as news and try some other sources. FOX was and remains so wrong about the last election from their pundits being 100% wrong in pre election predictions to their analysis of why Governor Romney and so many other Republicans lost the election.
What I’m hearing on FOX now is that it was demographics; they need to get the Latino vote by bringing in Republican Latino stars like Senator Rubio. There is no discussion about how Romney had to turn himself into a pretzel to get support from the Tea Party and social issue folks and then try to untwist himself to appeal to the rest of us. There are some good Republicans out there. John Huntsman would make a fine president in my view and Cristy would probably do a good job; certainly his straight from the shoulder persona is appealing. If O’Riley and Hannity could get their heads around the concept, they might be able to bring enough focus to make it possible for the Republican Party to become a positive force in our government but I see no interest at FOX for bringing us together and they are enough of a force to make divisiveness work. Clearly some Republican politicians in Congress get all their news views from FOX. Perhaps all the conservative media (Murdoch Media) and their Congressional followers want is to keep government from working. I see some of them nodding their heads. Unfortunately, they really don’t have a concept of what that would mean…to them personally.

FOX folks are found of saying that they are the most watched news. I will listen more carefully the next time I hear the claim to make sure they are saying “on cable” which is true; they have more viewers than MSNBC or CNN however MSNBC and CNN combined have more viewers which is significant when you consider that FOX stands alone for biased conservative television. If that is what turns you on, you have only one source. All other sources--CNN, MSNBC ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS--by FOX’s definition are “liberal media”. FOX does have more viewers than MSNBC which is liberal biased television, not many more viewers but that, at least, is a reasonably fair comparison.
FOX’s liberal media might better be called corporate media as they all, even PBS, rely heavily on corporate sponsors/advertisers. There is even evidence that mainstream media has been influenced by the federal government (I’m thinking of the lead-up to our preemptive attack of Iraq which cost over 4,000 American lives.)It may be impossible to get unbiased news but The News Hour on PBS and National Public Radio are pretty close and checking in on the biased folks can be helpful as long as you balance them yourself.