Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Yes, We Need Freedom of the Press

with 68 comments

Folks, today is a day for action. As a writer, I feel it’s important to let you know that hundreds of newspapers have written and published editorials about the importance of the freedom of the press, due to constant verbal battering by President Donald J. Trump calling any news he dislikes “fake news.” (If you want to know more about it, take a look at the New York Times editorial from today, and then click on a few of the associated publications that are listed. And those aren’t all of them; those are just the ones the Times knows about, as far as I can tell.)

See, the 45th President of the United States complains that all news is fake. Or at least all news that he doesn’t like must be fake. And he constantly proclaims this from the highest mountaintop, letting everyone know he hates the press, he hates everything they say (unless they fawn over him, of course, as they often do on Fox News’ morning programs), and that supposedly the press is “the enemy of the people.”

Um, no, Mr. President. They aren’t.

As a writer, I want you to know where I stand on this.

We need the First Amendment to hold, and as such, we absolutely must have freedom of the press to operate as they will, to find out what they can, and to hold the powerful accountable. (Is that emphatic enough? Do I need to add emojis? GIFs? Frowny faces? Or will this do?)

(Moving on…)

I’ve written for a few newspapers in the past. (Two college papers, and freelance articles in a few other places, to be exact.) We took what we did seriously. We researched. We wrote. We edited. We checked our facts. And then we wrote and edited some more…yes, sometimes errors were still made, but we did our best to correct them. (Something President Trump doesn’t seem too worried about doing, if you ask me. But I digress.)

As today’s Kenosha News‘ editorial put it (this being the closest paper to me that’s taking part in the nationwide effort; my hometown paper, the Racine Journal-Times, did not, which shames me):

Presenting news that you disagree with is not “fake news.” We work hard to inform, serving as watchdogs of government and institutions, while also celebrating the good in the community. This has been going on for decades.

Absolutely correct. And without watchdogs, what would we learn except spin, spin, and more spin?

Here’s why we need the free press: They find stuff out everyone needs to know when the bigwigs in state, local, or federal government (or, perhaps, the very, very wealthy corporations) don’t want anyone to find out.

How would we have learned about big problems that led to the meltdown of Three Mile Island’s nuclear reactor without the press? (Wouldn’t the government have just spun everything, and said everything was fine?) How would we have learned about the Flint water crisis, and all the problems with the pipes, without the press? (Especially as the Governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder, did his best to obfuscate and “happy talk” the problems away until they got so big, they had to be dealt with publicly? Not that they’re over by any stretch, but at least we know about them now.) How would we have known at all about the problems of Senator Joseph McCarthy (who was from Wisconsin), if not for the press? (Wouldn’t Senator McCarthy have continued his reign of terror, accusing people of being Communists willy-nilly, and ruining even more people’s lives, reputations, and livelihoods thereby?)

And those are just three examples. There are many more. (For my conservative friends, think about how Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky would’ve been covered up if there were no journalists. Linda Tripp could’ve spoken until she was blue in the face, but if there was no one to publish what she had to say, other than the folks in her limited circle, who else would’ve known?)

This is why I urge you to please remember that the press is not the “enemy of the people,” no matter who says it, no matter how many times that person says it.

And start thinking about why someone who holds the highest office in the US of A keeps nattering on about “enemies of the people,” hm? Because shouldn’t he have bigger fish to fry, like North Korea? Or better yet, trying to make sure hackers don’t shut down our power grid in the middle of winter?

———–

P.S. And yes, dammit, the Russia investigation needs to be fully investigated, if for no other reason than to find out once and for all what happened. We need to know.

And if nothing happened, well, we need to know that, too. (I wait for facts. But the way this President has behaved, including his atrocious behavior in Helsinki alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin, makes me wonder just what he’s trying to hide. Surely I can’t be the only one?)

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68 Responses

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  1. Once upon a time, a Lefty pushed the term “Fake News” concerning any news/commentary web-site that the Lefty “disagreed with”. One of those sites was Fox News. Before that Obama labeled Fox News as “not real News”.

    None of the “News Media” cried “Freedom Of The Press” then.

    “Freedom Of The Press” doesn’t include “Freedom From Criticism”.

    Obama, Trump and any one of us has “Freedom Of Speech” which includes the Right to Criticize the “Holy News Media”.

    Obama didn’t try to shut down Fox News and Trump has not tried to shut down the “news” organizations that criticize him.

    Now Trump has AS IS HIS RIGHT refused to answer questions from certain reporters.

    On the other hand, the News Media has shown to be biased against “other points of views” as well as being openly hostile toward Trump and yes IMO many “news” organizations have shown a willingness to publish lies (or at least not doing their job in ensuring that their news is accurate) concerning Conservatives and Trump.

    In addition, we have things like the New York Times accepting on their staff (in a high positions) people who show bigotry toward men and whites.

    “Fake News”? Plenty of the News Media have earned that term.

    Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    August 16, 2018 at 8:11 am

    • I agree with a lot of what you have to say, Paul.

      I still think if you put the local papers in with the big outlets, you are asking for trouble. The local papers are what tend to find out the relevant stuff, for the most part. And when all press is labeled “the enemy of the people,” it’s the local papers who suffer the most.

      I don’t understand why the NYT does anything. I like some of their columnists and I love their sports section. I know that doesn’t help much.

      A lot of what’s going on with this whole “fake news” story — as opposed to “the enemy of the people,” which is what I’m worried about and what the local papers are also worried about — does indeed have to do with confirmation bias. Someone who doesn’t check his/her opinion and just blindly assumes it is going to confirm that opinion by watching the news outlet of choice, whether it’s CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, what have you. It’s when you try to watch other ones (which I do, and which most of my family does also) that you can usually figure things out better.

      Mind, I still think the best hard news guy on TV is Shep Smith of Fox News. I’ve said that for a long time now. He and his staff are on the money and there is almost no slant there. You can’t ask for more than that.

      I also think Chris Wallace does a very good job. I do my best to watch him weekly as well. He thinks about things. You can tell. He doesn’t just pop off.

      Anyway, yes, plenty of the MSM have abrogated a lot of their responsibilities. But plenty more have done good work reporting and putting together factual things, or even opinion-based things that are based factually.

      As far as Trump goes, though — the news wasn’t kind to Bill Clinton, was it? (I surely don’t remember it being so. Not while he was POTUS. After, yes. We usually are far gentler on ex-Presidents than the ones currently serving, and for good reasons.)

      And see what I said about how that scandal with Monica Lewinsky wouldn’t have come out without journalists paying attention.

      Finally, Paul, yes a press sec. or a POTUS can ignore questions and questioners. (Even at press conferences.) I would prefer there wasn’t so much grandstanding right now about a wide variety of things, but I think some of that is because Trump is very charismatic on the one hand and very volatile on the other. I don’t think the media knows how to handle him or what I like to call his “politics of misdirection.” But I can’t be sure.

      Barb Caffrey

      August 16, 2018 at 3:32 pm

      • First of all, most of us who talk about “News Media” are talking about the National News Media not local newspapers/TV/Radio news. Of course, with the “news chains” your local newspaper may be owned by one of the Big Chains. While the local news may be good, they are still getting National News from the Big Chains which are often infected with the Leftish Virus.

        As for Bill Clinton, I think the National News was harder on him early on but once Bill Clinton was “up against” a Republican Congress, they became “Bill Is Great, Congress Is Evil”. Of course, once Ken Starr started turning up Bill’s sexual garbage, the National News got really hard against Ken Starr not the “Holy Bill Clinton”.

        Of course, IMO since Bill Clinton’s time in office, the National Media has become less obviously Neutral and more obviously Pro-Democrat/Anti-Republican. So IMO it’s not reasonable to look at how the National News treated him as compared to how they treat Republican Presidents.

        As for President Obama, well the Onion had a piece on how the National News would treat Obama if Obama started going around shooting people. In brief, the National News was shown more “why is he doing that” instead of “that’s terrible”.

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        August 16, 2018 at 3:57 pm

      • I’m glad you understand that the local news is not in the same category as the big cable news outlets. (Though as I said, I think many of those get an unfair rap, too; you just have to use your head for more than a hatrack, and figure out which person is hosting an opinion program and which one is hosting a hard-news program.)

        Yes, the MSM fell all over the former President. (Except for Fox News, of course. Though even some of them were charmed by him.) I agree with you about how he was treated, to a large degree. (Kid gloves, mostly, it seemed to me.)

        Yes, there has been more of a shift even in the press to “tribalism” or “tribalistic coverage,” as I call it. (I don’t know if that’s an actual word or not — tribalistic — but if not, I just made it up.)

        I don’t think Bill Clinton had it easy when he was in there. (Now, yes. He’s an ex-President. We tend to be much nicer to those, and not just regular folks; the media are, too.) And I know George W. Bush didn’t have it easy, either. (Again, he’s having a far better time as an ex-President with regards to media coverage.)

        Barb Caffrey

        August 17, 2018 at 5:55 am

  2. Additional Thoughts.

    It is Fake News to claim that Trump is removing children from their Immigrate Parents.

    Fake because what is happening involves Illegal Immigrates.

    Fake because this policy started during the Clinton administration because Illegals were bringing children who were not related to them for the sex trade and/or their own personal sexual usage. Some of these children were victims of kidnapping.

    The Policy was in place so that our government could determine the real relationship between those minors and the people who brought them into the US illegally.

    The News Media is guilty of ignoring the facts about this policy including when it started and why it started.

    Of course, in some cases the reporters may be stupid enough to not do the research.

    Finally, remember “Rathergate”?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killian_documents_controversy

    Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    August 16, 2018 at 10:40 am

    • There were some cases of that under Clinton and Obama, yes. There are many many more under Trump. There may be problems with the cabinet secretaries under Trump and there also may be problems with whatever is being told to those on the ground under Trump.

      I can’t be entirely sure of that, Paul.

      What I can be sure of is that at least five times, people who’ve legally come into the country seeking asylum (from Africa, say) have had their kids taken away, one of ’em sent to one state (say, Texas) and another sent to a far different one (say, Illinois). This traumatizes the person seeking asylum, it traumatizes their innocent child, and it frustrates the legal system.

      I also want you to consider that when a parent brings a three-year-old over the border fleeing mayhem and misery and seeking asylum here, that three-year-old doesn’t know much. And yet, if you take the kids away from the parents, and make the kids somehow try to “represent themselves” as to why they want asylum to a judge, what do you expect to happen?

      This in particular did not happen to this degree under any other President. We also didn’t have these “comfort centers” (which is a type of Orwellian doublespeak I could do without) for the separated kids.

      That is why judges are frustrated, the legal system is frustrated, and why the media can’t believe it’s happening.

      I know Rachel Maddow has been very clear about when this policy started and when it started happening to folks who obviously were legal immigrant/asylum seekers as well as those who were in the cases you’re talking about. So has Anderson Cooper. So not all of the MSM is just blindly saying “he’s wrong” or “he’s an idiot” or “he’s the worst thing EVAH” without coming up with some reasons as to why they’re saying it.

      No President is without flaw, Paul, and that’s what bothers me and other people like me who are more or less centrists. Saying Trump is “ordained by God” (which I’ve actually seen spouted by some folks that I believe Sean Hannity spoke with) is ridiculous. He is a politician. He practices the politics of misdirection like a master. And his onetime campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, appears to have been as dirty as sin and deeply tied to Russian money and Russian money laundering.

      That is why the whole Russia probe is going on, not that you asked. And that is why so many people wonder whether Trump is well-suited to the Presidency, because he does not behave like a grownup most of the time. (I’ve seen bratty teens that act better than him.)

      Barb Caffrey

      August 16, 2018 at 3:40 pm

  3. I have to agree with Drak. Our media has been increasingly biased (on both sides) over the last couple of decades. Criticizing the media is not the same as shutting it down (a la Nazi Germany, USSR or People’s Republic of China). Many of media organizations being criticized have been caught already either reporting things that didn’t happen or misconstruing things that did happen.

    Some of these big main stream news outlets have already damaged their reputations enough that I don’t believe what they are reporting any more than I believe The Onion or Babylon Bee. Not that the NYT has held any credibility with me since I learned about Walter Duranty.

    kamas716

    August 16, 2018 at 10:49 am

    • Kamas, I agree with a lot of what you say, too. I think the problem is with the credulous, to be blunt; those who went after MSNBC’s Katy Tur, for example, during the 2016 primaries (to the point she needed Secret Service protection from the crazy folks). And those are the ones who are the most likely to take “the enemy of the people” speeches against the media literally.

      I am far less worried about the “fake news” thing even though I obviously dislike it. I think most people can think and decide what they believe and why they believe it.

      One of these days I need to write a piece about how we need conservatives and small-c conservatism, just as we need classical liberalism. We can’t just have one “side” as that’s autocracy.

      Barb Caffrey

      August 16, 2018 at 3:42 pm

      • I think most (small c) conservatives embrace classical liberalism as their core beliefs. At least my friends who call themselves conservatives do.

        kamas716

        August 17, 2018 at 10:03 am

      • I agree with you, Kamas. I know I respect small-c conservatism and believe without it, our country would be much worse off.

        There’s room for people to debate, to work on our ideas, and to try to figure out what will benefit people the best without hurting others.

        Anyway, I think the reason these newspapers followed the Boston Globe’s lead (as it was the Globe who came up with the idea) — and the reason I did, too, for that matter — is because the media is not a monolith. A paper, say, in Colorado Springs, CO (where I’ve lived; it’s a deeply conservative area), is not the same as the San Francisco Chronicle (a deeply liberal area).

        When a sitting President calls every media person and every journalist (and, by extension, anyone who criticizes him for any reason, even the most mild) “the enemy of the people,” that is a concern.

        Yes, it’s hyperbolic. Yes, it’s done to deflect from things the POTUS does not want to deal with or talk about.

        But it also does great harm, long-term, as more people on the right disbelieve those on the left — while the same, exact thing happens to those on the left, disbelieving their friends on the right.

        And I do hope we can be friends, because really, we have far more in common than not.

        Barb Caffrey

        August 17, 2018 at 10:02 pm

  4. The press hasn’t been ‘free’ for a lonnnng time. The main stream press and the lefty outlets are and have been nothing more than mouth pieces for the democrat party for well over a decade. They are simply proving it with this move. tripping over their tongues and shooting themselves in the crotch and handing a victory of “see? I told you!” to Donald Trump. Not that he needs it for anyone with eyes to see. Many of them have been caught lying time and time again. Whether that be outright lies or lies of omission. Equally heinous. As far as Kamas’ comment.
    LOLOL…I’d trust the Babylon Bee or the Onion over the msm. Hell sometimes they actually prove quite accurate on something they print, which is just frickin scary since they’re satire sites

    Sean

    August 16, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    • The thing is, Sean, would you link your local paper with the MSM? I agree that many, if not most, of the MSM outlets have a big-time bias one way or the other. But if you throw the baby out with the bathwater (and put the local papers in with the really big ones, for example), what good does that do?

      Barb Caffrey

      August 16, 2018 at 3:23 pm

      • Can’t speak for Sean but nobody *yet* is talking about destroying the News Media because of their idiocy.

        Personally, the Best And Only Good Means of improving the News Media is for people to support the ones that only report the News as accurately as possible and let the assholes like the New York Times die because nobody watches/reads them.

        Sadly and I repeat Sadly, we may see idiots who would support a governmental “Department Of Information” that oversees the News Media but the News Media itself is creating such idiots by their stupid “fake news”.

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        August 16, 2018 at 3:32 pm

      • The NYT does a lot of good with local and state reporting, and their sports section is fantastic. They also have a few very good opinion columnists. I’d not throw them out completely even though some of what they do makes me want to scratch my head multiple times a day.

        Paul, I can only remind you of one, hard fact that no one disputes: MSNBC’s Katy Tur was protected by the Secret Service during the 2016 election due to overly credulous people believing exactly what Trump said at that time. (They saw it as literal fact and caused a great deal of trouble for her.)

        We don’t need a “Department of Information.” What we need are cold, hard facts. And the journalists who report on them need to be left alone and not be called “the enemies of the people.” (Yes, call out what they say if it’s wrong. Ask for facts, please. I love facts. But don’t use this term, as it’s riling up people too much and innocent folks are going to get hurt.)

        Barb Caffrey

        August 16, 2018 at 3:48 pm

      • People will get hurt?

        Yes. The National News and the Left are most at fault in pushing things to the point of violence. When the President’s Press Secretary needs Secret Service protection because Antifa types are harassing her, then it is not the fault of people who use the term “Fake News”.

        In Portland, there was a peaceful demonstration being held by a “Right-Wing” (I’m not sure how right-wing they actually were) that was meet by a “counter-demonstration” of the Antifa who were masked, carrying weapons and carrying shields.

        In short, when I saw the pictures of both the “right-wingers” and the Antifa, it was obvious to me that the Antifa wanted a fight not the so-called “right-wingers”.

        Fortunately, the Portland Police acted to prevent a riot by arresting the Antifa. Of course, it was (according to Antifa) the Police that were Dangerous Fascists.

        Final note, thanks to the Shit-Heads of the National News, when I hear “white-supremacists” in the news, I really doubt that the people are actually “white-supremacists”

        Oh, the above is the final note as my blood pressure is getting too high.

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        August 16, 2018 at 4:12 pm

      • Don’t let your blood pressure get too high, Paul.

        I did hear about the counter-protest in Portland, and that it was peaceful. I am not surprised that Antifa was attempting to stir up the water there. I am glad that the police were careful and that the rule of law prevailed.

        As far as white supremacists go, there are some that are not as obvious as others. (David Duke is blindingly obvious. Some others, not so much.) But those who marched last year (not this year) in Charlottesville chanting “blood and soil” (a Nazi slogan) certainly knew what they were about, and it wasn’t pleasant.

        Barb Caffrey

        August 17, 2018 at 5:51 am

      • As far as white supremacists go, I’ll be blunt.

        I’ve heard too much “That’s Racist” shit from your side concerning Conservatives to believe that white supremacists are anything but an extreme minority.

        On the other hand, your side has been pushing “Whites Are All Racists And Must Admit It”.

        As far as I’m concerned with the past & present practices of the Left, I don’t believe that white supremacists are anything but a nutty extreme minority in the US.

        On top of that, the garbage of the Left is working to make some whites think “Hey those people hate us just because we’re white so what’s so terrible about those so-called white supremacists”.

        What really annoys me are the nice Liberals like you who ignore AND DON’T SPEAK OUT against the shit-heads on your side.

        Antfa has gone out of its way to commit violence and where masks just like the KKK did.

        And people like you apparently think that’s OK but you whine about white supremacists.

        But I guess that in the Liberal World, if you don’t scream against white supremacists, then you are one yourself.

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        August 17, 2018 at 6:10 am

      • Paul, I do not think all conservatives are white supremacists. And the lunatic fringe on the left that says “white privilege” all the time annoys me, too…

        I do speak out against those who are idiots on all sides. I don’t always write blogs about it, but then again, there are other blogs I’ve not written because a) I’ve been pressed for time or b) I’ve had family issues that have consumed my time, energy, and nearly my entire life.

        My goodness, I don’t think it’s OK that Antifa does anything like that with masks or causing a ruckus or looking to incite violence. I am not into that.

        I certainly don’t think we’re all white supremacists. But I don’t really know how to get that across to you, Paul. It seems to me you are upset over things that don’t have much to do with this post. 😦

        Barb Caffrey

        August 17, 2018 at 9:55 pm

      • Because you brought up the idea that the use of “Fake News” will get people hurt. People are being hurt by Lefties.

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        August 17, 2018 at 10:41 pm

      • And people on the far, lunatic fringe right, too, Paul.

        Just remember, both sides have their lunatic fringes. (I wish we didn’t. But all we can do is call out the folks who go too far when we see it.)

        Barb Caffrey

        August 18, 2018 at 1:03 pm

      • Quite frankly, I don’t see that many “Lunatics Of The Right” but I see plenty of “Lunatics Of The Left”.

        Of course, I always hear screams for people like me to condemn the “Lunatics Of The Right” but I don’t hear screams from Liberals about the “Lunatics Of The Left”.

        What I most often hear are Liberals talk about things like civility but also say that they don’t have to be civil toward conservatives/Republicans because “Those People Deserve The Shit We Throw At Them” or “We Are Just Speaking The Truth”.

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        August 18, 2018 at 8:46 pm

      • Lunatics of the Right:

        Pizzagate.
        Infowars and Alex Jones (he believes firmly that Sandy Hook was some sort of government conspiracy)
        Whoever in the NRA took Russian money, and believed in whatever shadow operation Putin put up saying the Russians wanted to own their own guns (that isn’t allowed in Russia, and there are a multitude of reasons why)
        Those who believe without any basis or justification that Trump was “ordained by God to become POTUS”

        And when have I ever been uncivil to anyone? (Even someone who believes that nonsense about Trump supposedly being “ordained by God” can believe whatever he or she wants, providing you don’t think he’s a messianic figure and start following him like Joseph Smith or something.)

        That’s what I am talking about when I say “right-wing fringe elements.” But if they leave others alone, and don’t chant “blood and soil” in the streets, and don’t try to make others believe the way they do that supposedly Hillary Clinton is running a child-sex operation in a pizza parlor, I really don’t care that much about them.

        Paul, you need to understand that while you are a good person, there are some on your side who aren’t. I realize that on mine…you need to realize that on yours.

        Otherwise, what is the point of this conversation? (We can’t build bridges at all if we both think they’re so burned, they can’t be crossed.)

        Barb Caffrey

        August 19, 2018 at 12:26 am

      • I can’t speak for Sean, but yes I lump my local paper in with the MSM and the associated bias problems. They do at least publish voices from both sides. What they don’t do well is report on the facts without editorial bias also creeping in.

        Then there was the whole issue they had with whether or not one of their off duty reporters would fight a subpoena to testify when he witnessed a fight in front of a bar that resulted in a man’s death because of some sort of 1st Amendment interpretation they were running with. There shouldn’t have been any question. He was a witness to a criminal act. It’s not like he went to report on a riot. He was walking down the sidewalk and saw an assault take place. What’s to question?

        kamas716

        August 17, 2018 at 10:20 am

      • Oh, goodness. If a reporter witnessed a fight in front of a bar, he should testify to what he saw. I don’t see where the First Amendment applies there.

        There definitely should be a difference between hard news and opinion-based stuff. There are fewer and fewer writers for papers as they’ve downsized (some of that is corporate overreach, cutting too many for the sake of profits rather than truth), so maybe that’s part of the problem. Fewer editors to check them, too, is probably accurate…though those who are there still do the best they can.

        Kamas, I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with this issue there with the reporter seeing a murder and not being willing to testify. That just seems very off-putting. I don’t blame you for being upset about it, either.

        Barb Caffrey

        August 17, 2018 at 10:04 pm

  5. ‘The Press ‘ is not a uniform body and by its very nature each facet will show bias in which ever direction its tends to go politically, culturally etc. Those within the governing process always have and always will be prickly towards criticism; it goes with the job to receive it and get annoyed when they get it, particular if the said official(s) feel the criticism if (a) Inaccurate (b) Personally or (c) A bit too near what they rather not have discussed and this applies to governments of all shapes, sizes, stripes etc. Angels do not get to govern.
    It follows those who support or oppose either side will react with approval or hostility depending on their position. For example (I’m as guilty as the rest) most people of Left Wing views in the UK will be hostile to the Daily Mail which is a Right-Leaning paper, even to extent of ‘profiling’ anyone they see reading the said journal. This is also nothing new.
    Where the situation begins to ratchet up a dangerous notch or three is when, in the case of the USA, POTUS begins to use public inflammatory language doubting the veracity of critical journals. The use of such language in private or between both sides again is nothing new. LBJ was infamous for it; and Nixon was of course the loser in this battle, those were different times. In this day we have The Net and its child Social Media when anyone can be their own journal and editor which raises the debate’s temperature to the extent that no one on one side will believe anything the other side say or be willing to be convinced. In this situation unless someone endeavours to lower the heat of the debate the critical point will be reached when the society structure fractures into two very hostile groups and if anyone needs to ask what happens next, then they have not read much history have they?
    It is one duty of a President to accept criticism and fend to it off in a statesman like fashion. It is also the solemn duty of a President to unite the nation and not just preach to their own following. 36,000,000 out of 126,000,000 adults is not a majority by stretch, nor is 40% approval in opinion polls. Undermining a section of the Fourth Estate by trying to mobilising hostility does not help. A President doesn’t get that right.

    Woebegone but Hopeful

    August 17, 2018 at 8:08 am

    • Yawn

      Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      August 17, 2018 at 8:16 am

      • Well that was mature.
        I bet Mark Twain would find you fascinating company.

        Woebegone but Hopeful

        August 17, 2018 at 12:09 pm

      • I suspect that he would have more interesting and intelligent things to say.

        You show your ignorance of American National News and Americans.

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        August 17, 2018 at 12:12 pm

      • Really?
        Or might that be a question of a perception of one person’s views.
        Tell me, out of interest just where I showed this ignorance?
        I am always willing to learn.

        Woebegone but Hopeful

        August 17, 2018 at 12:20 pm

      • You didn’t. You are as well-versed as anyone I’ve been around, Roger.

        Paul just disagrees. And there is a reason for it that I’m aware of, because he lives in a state where the Democrats are in power and have a very well-known and high-profile “machine” that has done whatever it can to stifle small-c conservatives. Historically, the area he lives in is just that way. And he is disgruntled — with good cause — over it.

        What he doesn’t seem to realize, though, is this: I’ve lived in many different places in the US. I’ve lived in a few deeply conservative places (Lincoln, NE, and Colorado Springs, CO), one very liberal place (San Francisco, CA), and a number of moderate places, including my home of Racine, WI.

        Moderate does not mean people all get along, but it does mean we are aware of more sides than most. And there has been enough compromise here that the roads mostly get plowed in the winter, get patched in the summer, and the government is not entirely paralyzed by inaction and deceit.

        I don’t know if Paul’s lived anywhere else. Maybe he’s only lived in highly liberal places that are quite activist, and are of the”fluffy bunny” variety (those who, like he said in an earlier post, would excuse Antifa for anything, even when Antifa causes more trouble or goes to places simply to cause trouble, as seems to be the case far more often than not).

        If so, that would explain his anger and bitterness. And maybe just being willing to express himself here, when he knows full well I disagree with him (politely), is a step forward for him. (I’d like to think so.)

        Barb Caffrey

        August 17, 2018 at 10:09 pm

      • When Liberals throw out terms like “Racist”, “Fascists”, “Nazi”, “Sexist”, etc. toward people who disagree with them and the “Good” Liberals are silent, then yes I get extremely Pissed Off at Liberals.

        Talk all you want about “can’t we get along” but until people like you are willing to openly & strongly disagree with the shitheads on your side, then “we won’t get alone” unless “getting along means surrendering” to the shitheads.

        They are Bullies and while I don’t like violence, Bullies always deserve violence toward themselves.

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        August 17, 2018 at 10:50 pm

      • I agree with you about bullies, Paul. But when have I said anything like that?

        I can’t call out everyone every single time some idiot on TV or some idiot on YouTube or some idiot otherwise does or says something wrong. That’s like me asking you to disavow the right-wing fringe on your side all the time…why do it?

        Why can’t we both agree there’s a fringe element out there that — to my mind, anyway — Russia worked hard to keep active? (As those who are already predisposed to chaos are more likely to be chaotic?) This is why there’s a real problem with the fringe elements today, and it’s why we have so much discord rather than any consensus…even on the big stuff. 😦

        I can only tell you what I have seen myself, as regards to the current POTUS, why people might call him some of those things. (“Nazi” is flat-out wrong. Worrying about autocracy with someone who has admired dictators like Kim Jong Un, though, is perfectly appropriate.)

        For example, Trump bragged to a media member (Billy whatever his name is, at Access Hollywood) that he could grab women by the private parts any time he wanted. That is uncouth. Very vulgar. And along with a number of his other statements during the political campaign (including a few against Carly Fiorina, another candidate), that is almost certainly why people call Trump (and his former advisor, Steve Bannon) sexist.

        As far as the term racist goes? I heard a lot of that in the early days of the Obama Presidency too…if you didn’t agree with Obama, you were called a racist. I didn’t approve of that then and I believe I did say so.

        In Donald Trump’s case, his father — and he, himself, to a lesser degree as it’s uncertain how much power/control Trump had in 1973 — were sued over apartments they owned not wanting to rent to African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans. (Yes, I don’t like those labels either, but they’re easier to use than some, and less pejorative.)

        So, if you are paying attention to Trump, and even if you like him, you have to realize there are factual bases for why people call him a sexist and/or a racist. He may be neither of those things in his eyes, and he may have improved a lot so he no longer has the same viewpoints as he once did, for all I know. But he did say those horrible things on the Access Hollywood tape back in 2005, which isn’t all that long ago, when he was a full adult…that’s why the label is accurate, at least as far as that goes. (I am also aware that Trump had several women unrelated to him in positions of power in his companies, so his overall view of women appears to be mixed.)

        On a different point, though…

        Do I like it that the words we speak today can be taken out of context tomorrow, though? (As I think you’re getting at?) No, I don’t.

        And I don’t hold any truck with the whole idea of privilege, either, because I think class has as much to do with lack of opportunity as race, and while they sometimes go together, sometimes they don’t. And I’d rather think about what we have in common, and try to build on that, rather than what divides us.

        Anyway, I don’t blame you for the hyperbole of Donald Trump or some of his followers. I don’t blame you for those who call Trump “ordained by God,” which I find ridiculous in the extreme. (I also found it ridiculous when people said this about Barack Obama, mind. There is an overly credulous segment of the population who gets really weird about Presidents, it seems. But it’s not always the same folks.)

        So don’t tar everyone with the same brush. Instead, try to figure out why it is that I said the press should not be considered “the enemy of the people.”

        Your history of the press in this country in one of your other posts was quite good, BTW, and I enjoyed it a lot. I had intended to say more, but yesterday I attended a funeral, and time was limited.

        Barb Caffrey

        August 18, 2018 at 1:15 pm

      • Bull Shit on that thing about Trump!

        What Trump actually said is that “If I troll money around those type of women, they’d allow me to grab them by their pussies”.

        Vulgar, definitely. But he was talking about certain woman and their reaction to Rich Men. Can you honestly tell me that some women don’t react that way when they see a Wealthy Man?

        As for your comment about the Lunatic Fringe, I’m sick and tired of excuses. Those Assholes have existed for years and “Good” Liberals have been silent. When Liberals want me to “hate” those that they consider Asshole Conservatives but are silent when Asshole Liberals talk, then IT APPEARS THAT ALL LIBERALS ARE EITHER ASSHOLES OR ARE AFRAID OF THE LIBERAL ASSHOLES.

        In short, why should I care about “Good” Liberals when it is obvious that they aren’t concerned about people like me who get shit from YOUR ASSHOLES.

        Oh, yes I’m shouting but it appears that “Good” Liberals like you don’t understand what it is like when your shitheads have been given by you the Freedom to be Shitheads against me and mine.

        If you want more civility between the different sides, then you have to be seen acting against the incivility of your side.

        I’m through with this conversation until you show that you actually understand me. As it is, I hear “nice words” but a lack of understanding.

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        August 18, 2018 at 9:00 pm

      • I heard the Access Hollywood tape. He may have been talking about actresses. But it surely came off as incredibly vulgar, insensitive, and rude, and also misogynistic in the extreme.

        And see what I just said about bridges being burned, rather than being crossed. We can’t figure out what we still have in common if we can’t even hear each other. 😦

        And again, I don’t expect you to condemn Pizzagate, or Alex Jones, or those idiots who marched in Charlottesville chanting “blood and soil” and scaring the holy crap out of the residents there. You had nothing to do with any of that.

        Why do you expect me to apologize for things I have obviously had nothing to do with either? (That doesn’t make a lot of sense.)

        Barb Caffrey

        August 19, 2018 at 12:29 am

      • One more attempt. If the Lunatics on the Left attempt to kill everybody to the right of them, which side will you be on?

        Will you support good people on the right or will you just convince the the Lunatics that you are one of them.

        Most of the conservatives that I know would defend you from Lunatics from the Right.

        How do I know that people like you would defend others from Lunatics from the Left?

        Sorry Barb, but over forty years I’ve watched Lefties become more insane and since Hillary lost, I’ve seen Lefties become worse. I no longer trust the Left to not turn to violence. Where would you stand?

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        August 19, 2018 at 12:58 am

      • I don’t believe in violence, Paul. I believe in peaceful protests and believe in trying to communicate. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be here.

        You may not remember this, but I do: We had TEA party rallies in Racine, and one of my doctors — a migraine specialist — was a keynote speaker. She had done part of her residency in Ireland, I believe, and said the NHS there was just terrible. She didn’t want things like that to be implemented here as it was too hard on doctors.

        The reason I bring this up is, I know I talked about this at the time. (Whether I wrote blogs about it, I don’t know; don’t think so, but it might’ve been a bit earlier than I started my blog that this happened. I think the rally was in 2009 or very early 2010 and I started my blog here in July of ’10.)

        What I would like to know on your end is, what are you willing to do to call out the crazies on your end? Alex Jones is an agent provacateur, and seems to be getting his comeuppance now to a large degree (with Facebook and Twitter and the like suspending him due to past — recent past? — posts). But stuff like Pizzagate, if it happens again — will you call that out? It was only sheer luck that the person who was well-meaning but credulous did not kill anyone at the quite innocent pizza parlor, that was _not_ trafficking in underage girls or underage anything, and had no truck whatsoever with the child-sex trade (much less had anything to do with Hillary Clinton).

        Because I think that’s what frustrates those on the left and also those in the center. (The seemingly disappearing center.) That we are held to account for our fringe elements, but the ones that are obviously wrong (such as Alex Jones and his Sandy Hook “conspiracy” and “deep state” thing saying those kids didn’t die and it’s all a coverup, or as I have been railing about with good reason today, Pizzagate) do not get called out by conservatives overmuch.)

        Mind, you are not the credulous fool who went in to shoot up the pizza parlor to “liberate” the people he was told were there from depravity.

        And if you think me, a lifelong iconoclast, will ever sit down and shut up to “go along to get along,” you don’t understand me very well. (I am very bad at that. And am glad to be very bad at that.)

        Barb Caffrey

        August 19, 2018 at 12:46 pm

      • “You don’t believe in Violence but Violence believes in you”.

        When your side includes people who commit violence, then you must speak out against them or be treated as fellow-travelers of the violent ones.

        “Go ahead and punch a Nazi” is from your side and I know of nothing similar from my side.

        Good Bye

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        August 19, 2018 at 12:54 pm

      • Trump himself told supporters at his rallies to go ahead and hit people. “I just want to punch him in the face,” he said of one protestor. And at least one of his fans in the crowd did that, too…

        I don’t blame you for that, Paul. Why should I?

        I do not think anyone should be committing violence. We need to rise above that. We need also to figure out how we’re going to coexist on this planet and how we’re going to go forward and get the roads plowed in the winter and patched in the summer, have police protection from the worst depredations of society, and make sure there are reasonable laws and taxes to get these things taken care of and spelled out.

        That’s where most of us live. That’s what we need to do to make good lives for ourselves.

        The rest of this is hot air and vitriol and we need to somehow do better. But all I can do, Paul, is call out what I see and what I’ve experienced. I am not responsible for those who don’t listen to me or who don’t know me from Eve…and I’m not even responsible for those who do. I’m only responsible for me. Just as you’re only responsible for you.

        What I’d rather you did is go to at least one specific example, to see if it was during a time, say, I was taking care of my Mom’s broken leg. Then I can tell you quite honestly I didn’t know anything about it…and that my life had narrowed to the hospital, her apartment, the rehab hospital, her apartment, and then finally getting her settled back in her apartment with a wheelchair and I could go home after several weeks and try to get some rest.

        I, at least, showed you a specific example of a Congolese woman who came with her daughter by plane, and they were separated for some unknown reason by ICE. So I do know at least a little of what I’m talking about, and am not just going off half-cocked…what about you?

        Sorry, I have little patience right now for people who blame me for stuff beyond my control. I’ve had to endure a funeral of a deeply loved uncle and now I get to deal with yet another funeral, this time of a young second cousin.

        Perhaps it’s good you said goodbye to this conversation, as I’m obviously not going to change your mind. But I do wish you to at least admit where your biases are, so maybe you can try to make common cause at the local level with people who have different stated politics, but actually live much the same lives as yourself.

        Barb Caffrey

        August 19, 2018 at 6:33 pm

      • I don’t “blame you personally” for anything, but I will blame the overall Liberal community when AntiFa begin wide-spread acts of violence against anybody who they think are “right-wing”.

        AntiFa reminds me of the organized Left-Wing Goon Squads that plagued several European Countries prior to WW2.

        “Modern” history remembers the Fascist/Nazi Goon Squads but has conveniently forgotten about about the Left-Wing Counterparts.

        Oh, those Left-Wing Goon Squads weren’t in favor of anything both of us would consider freedom and I don’t see AntiFa in favor of anything both of us would consider freedom.

        If the overall Liberal Community keeps on ignoring AntiFa then you’ll see more violence than you can stomach. If the Government won’t handle AntiFa, then we will see organized violence from everyday conservatives.

        I’m afraid of that organized violence because once organized violence starts, innocents will die and nobody can predict what will be the final result.

        Ever read the book “It Can’t Happen Here”? It’s about the danger of Fascism in the US but I for one could see it happening from the Left.

        What can you do? I don’t really know but perhaps you should start thinking about what you and other good Liberals could do.

        I see AntiFa as a greater danger to American Freedom than your bogeyman of “White Supremacists” or “Insane Trump Supporters”.

        Good Night.

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        August 19, 2018 at 9:44 pm

      • Yes, I have read Sinclair Lewis’s book. I know what you’re talking about. People should be wary and use their heads for more than hatracks.

        Barb Caffrey

        August 20, 2018 at 4:37 pm

      • This is where it goes wrong Barb. Folk start to ‘circle’ the wagons in response to others and will not listen to anything critical.
        We have similar issues in the UK with the Labour Party who have Jeremy Corbyn as leader as if supposed to be on the hard-left. You criticise him and his followers will descend upon you with a venom Trump supporters would be proud of. A disgrace to democracy.
        I quit as a Labour Party supporter
        I admire your restraint and civilised response, sometimes I try to do likewise. Currently I am in one of my more combative; be they Right or Left I go onto the attack ( must be my age?)

        Woebegone but Hopeful

        August 18, 2018 at 2:49 am

      • I have my combative moments, too. (And I’m sorry about the Corbyn supporters. That sounds dreadful.)

        Barb Caffrey

        August 18, 2018 at 12:56 pm

      • They are. They set up a hateful petition to try and stifle a BBC reporter Laura Kunsberg for ‘unfair reporting’; it was removed by the petition site because of the vile remarks.
        The thought of Labour winning an election and that crew on the loose….
        I have moved my vote out of Labour, they are not fit to govern, neither are the current government. The UK is not in a happy place.

        Woebegone but Hopeful

        August 19, 2018 at 2:59 am

      • I’m sorry to hear that, Roger. You are a fine country with a rich history, and don’t deserve what you’re enduring in this moment.

        I am glad that the BBC reporter was not stifled. But that they set up a petition and got all those vile and hateful remarks…ugh.

        Barb Caffrey

        August 19, 2018 at 12:47 pm

      • It is an unhappy position Barb. Thank you for your concerns.
        I take some comfort from the lessons of history; these wretched times can be turned around.

        Woebegone but Hopeful

        August 19, 2018 at 1:00 pm

      • Yes, and I wish I didn’t have to give you sympathy in this. But I’d be deeply remiss if I didn’t.

        Yes, these wretched times can be turned around, but it’ll take hard work. And we need people to start admitting to their damned biases, and figuring out how to make common cause again — compromise is not a dirty word, honest! — rather than just yelling and bloviating and being angry, as that does nothing whatsoever.

        Barb Caffrey

        August 19, 2018 at 6:34 pm

      • Quite right Barb.
        Yeats wrote this in the 1920s when all the lessons painfully learned were being forgotten and had to be re-learned in the 1940s.
        And here we are again:

        The Second Coming

        Turning and turning in the widening gyre
        The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
        Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
        Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
        The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
        The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
        The best lack all conviction, while the worst
        Are full of passionate intensity.

        Surely some revelation is at hand;
        Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
        The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
        When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
        Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
        A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
        A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
        Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
        Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
        The darkness drops again; but now I know
        That twenty centuries of stony sleep
        Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
        And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
        Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

        Woebegone but Hopeful

        August 20, 2018 at 2:23 am

      • We do seem to need to relearn the same lessons, over and over and over, don’t we? (Sad sigh.)

        Barb Caffrey

        August 20, 2018 at 4:38 pm

      • Indeed. The Human Tragedy

        Woebegone but Hopeful

        August 21, 2018 at 2:44 am

      • How is he being ignorant? He’s right that people aren’t talking to one another as well as we used to. There’s no question at all this is the case. And we see that mirrored in the current do-nothing Congress, that can’t compromise to save their lives.

        Barb Caffrey

        August 17, 2018 at 10:04 pm

      • Paul, you yourself said you do not have any problem with local papers. That is what Roger is saying. It’s not a uniform body by any means.

        So, why yawn over it? (He’s actually agreeing with you, in this instance. And with me.)

        Barb Caffrey

        August 17, 2018 at 9:57 pm

      • There is No Single National Media in England like there is in the US.

        What exists are several Newspapers/News Services that are openly for one of the Political Points Of View in England.

        Sort of like how Newspapers worked years ago in the US. There would be at least two Newspapers in a good sized city. One Newspaper was openly the Democratic Party Newspaper and a second Newspaper would be the Republican Party Newspaper. It was very easy (if you wanted) to get both sides of the News.

        Now, as you admit, the National Media in the US (with the exception of Fox News) is strongly the Democratic Party News Media.

        By the way, there’s an additional aspect to “Freedom Of The Press” that many people have forgotten.

        Prior to the writing of the Constitution, there were few true Newspapers as we would call them. However, printing presses were very common and the printers would print articles/pamphlets/etc for anybody who was willing to spend the money.

        Now, in England and other European countries to run a printing press a person needed a license from the government. Many government added a sting to this license. IE If the printer printed any pamphlets that contained ideas/thoughts/info that the local government didn’t like, the printer’s license would be revoked.

        Now the idea of Independence from England was spread in the American colonies via articles/pamphlets that the “Rebels” had gotten printed and distributed.

        It wasn’t that “professional” News Media openly supported Independence, it was the use of Printing Presses to spread the idea of Independence.

        IMO the Founders didn’t want to Federal Government to license printing presses and didn’t want the Federal Government to have the power to shut down printing presses that spread “bad information”.

        Of course, plenty of Liberals whine about people who aren’t “Legitimate News Organizations” spreading “evil” Conservative Idea and many of those Liberals imply that those people aren’t protected by “Freedom Of The Press” because they aren’t “Legitimate News Organizations”. IE The true source of the “Fake News” idea.

        Note, the idiot Lefty News Organizations are protected from being shut down by the government because of “Freedom Of The Press”.

        But as plenty of us have said “Freedom Of The Press” does not outlaw criticism of the National News Media.

        Also, plenty of Liberals talk about “limiting Freedom Of Speech” because “people might be harmed” so IMO complaints that the term “Fake News” shouldn’t be used because “people are getting hurt” is a dangerous idea.

        The only speech not covered by “Freedom Of Speech” is libel/slander and “incitement to riot”. Of course, the Supreme Court has ruled (correctly) that the government can’t silence people because the government claims that their speech cause violence.

        The Supreme Court has stated that charges of “incitement to riot” can only be made “after the fact” and even then the government has to prove that the violence was a direct response of the speech.

        When you talk about not using the term “Fake News” because people “might be hurt” you are ignoring that Conservatives have strongly dislike the National News Media long before Liberals coined the term “Fake News”.

        For that matter, Liberals have called Fox News by the name “Faux News”. When did you speak out against “Faux News” because Fox Reporters might be harmed?

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        August 17, 2018 at 10:39 pm

      • I saw people calling it that as satirical, Paul. And saw it sometimes as a reference to two people rather than the entirety of Fox News, those two people being Sean Hannity (who is a blowhard and a bloviator of the first water) and Bill O’Reilly (who at least is a lot smarter than Hannity, and could occasionally be a balanced commentator).

        Again, calling something “fake news” is less important to me than calling all media — including local papers that do a lot of good — “the enemy of the people.” That is where I draw the line. And it’s why I commented now, rather than months or even years ago, as Trump has been using the “fake news” line since at least the end of 2015 (when he was still a candidate, before any primaries or caucuses).

        Barb Caffrey

        August 18, 2018 at 1:01 pm

      • And the News Media has been working to prove that they are the “Enemy Of The People if the People Are conservative”.

        That’s the Stupid Thing about this “We Aren’t The Enemy Of The People” garbage.

        The News Media fails to understand why this “Fake News” stuff is popular among people who voted against Hillary.

        Most of them have seen the News Media “prove” that they hate Conservatives and Republicans.

        IMO the News Media is refusing to see that the problem isn’t that Trump apparently see them as the enemy of the People.

        The Problem is that the News Media has lost the respect of plenty of Americans who happen to be conservative (regardless of the party they vote for).

        Hillary Clinton called us Deplorable and the News Media by their words/deeds appear to be proving that they agree that we’re Deplorable.

        Nope, like the Democrats who screamed “Don’t say that I’m not patriotic” but made people wonder just how patriotic they actually were”, the News Media’s screams about “We’re Not The Enemy Of The People” make people who have been the target of Liberal/News Media hatred wonder if the News Media is the Enemy Of The People when the People don’t support the Politics/Politicians that the News Media loves.

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        August 18, 2018 at 8:40 pm

      • I don’t know why Hillary said what she did. Only she does.

        What I do know, as I’ve said, is that you can’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. But I think we’re reaching the point of diminishing returns.

        Barb Caffrey

        August 19, 2018 at 12:22 am

    • Very well-said, Roger.

      And I wanted to point out that in the time the amendments were written, the newspapers were much more scurrilous than any MSM outlet of today. And yet, the pols of that day still felt freedom of the press was the only way to go. (Who am I to disagree?)

      Barb Caffrey

      August 17, 2018 at 9:57 pm

      • Fourth Estate Barb, Fourth Estate
        President Harry S Truman said ‘If you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen’
        Trump can’t run the USA like he runs one of his nebulous corporations where his word is law

        Woebegone but Hopeful

        August 18, 2018 at 2:40 am

      • Agreed.

        BTW, I strongly recommend the TRUMAN bio — the huge book that was a bestseller fifteen years ago, by David someone or other? — as it shows what a good, solid politician looks like.

        Barb Caffrey

        August 18, 2018 at 12:57 pm

      • Yes I’ve always admired Truman.
        A man who was not considered of any worth, who was put on the spot and rose to the occasion in a very demanding time.

        Woebegone but Hopeful

        August 19, 2018 at 3:01 am

      • Exactly. Truman showed what worth a middle-class American with a good education actually has.

        Barb Caffrey

        August 19, 2018 at 12:48 pm

      • Very true.
        Despite errors, short-comings and in some cases demons (thinking LBJ & Nixon) the presidents from Truman to Obama were preferable to who sits in the Whitehouse now. At least they all tried to unite the country, even if in some cases they failed.

        Woebegone but Hopeful

        August 19, 2018 at 1:03 pm

      • Yep. Even George W. Bush, who I didn’t like at all at the time, was Presidential and knew what the office meant. He didn’t go out of his way to cause disturbances, and he didn’t insist on “alternative facts” or that the press was “the enemy of the people” or any of that other crapola we’ve seen from this bunch.

        George W. Bush tried hard to unite the country after 9/11 and that is his lasting legacy, as much as the Iraq War or anything else…ultimately he won’t be among the top ten POTUS we’ve ever had, but he may not be among the bottom ten, either.

        Whereas it’s very hard to believe Trump won’t be at the absolute bottom, right down there with Andrew Johnson and Rutherford B. Hayes and Warren G. Harding.

        Ah, well.

        All we can do is keep a positive thought and call out ignorance when we see it, right?

        Barb Caffrey

        August 19, 2018 at 6:37 pm

      • Well said Barb.
        (Add Millard Fillmore)
        All I can add is…
        Right! 👏

        Woebegone but Hopeful

        August 20, 2018 at 2:26 am

      • Yep, Millard Fillmore is right down there, too. John Q. Adams wasn’t an effective POTUS either, but to his credit he went back into the House of Reps (only POTUS in history to do that), where he _was_ effective.

        Barb Caffrey

        August 20, 2018 at 4:39 pm

      • At least he had the honesty, character and maturity to realise his limitations, something sadly lacking these days.

        Woebegone but Hopeful

        August 21, 2018 at 2:48 am

      • Exactly.

        Barb Caffrey

        August 21, 2018 at 10:36 pm


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