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Thread: Donald Trump and the Coronavirus

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    God, family, chicken! Bill the Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    I have no idea what happened within the military or why. I can only speak to what was done publicly. Up until March 16th, Trump was publicly saying "no problem - we have it under control - it will go away." On March 8th he was playing golf.

    On March 16th, for the first time, Trump acknowledged publicly that there was a problem and began pushing for public steps to be taken. Not a word about social distancing and stay at home was made publicly before that date by his administration, AFAICT. And even after that date, many things that could/should have been done were not done.
    Exactly. I can speak to what was happening in the government. Active steps were being taken to prohibit government travel as early as late Feb.

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    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill the Cat View Post
    Exactly. I can speak to what was happening in the government. Active steps were being taken to prohibit government travel as early as late Feb.
    So it appears Trump had one set of runs for the government and military - and another for the general public. I'm afraid protecting the military did nothing to protect the up to 54,000 lives that apparently could have been saved had Trump started doing publicly what he was apparently doing privately.

    On 11/3 - he should have to pay for those lives.

    Also happy to report that Trump's Job approval rating is now at a worse level than before the pandemic began, and it appears poised to slip even further. Maybe people are finally wising up to the narcissistic con man they put in the Oval Office.
    Last edited by carpedm9587; 05-21-2020 at 05:03 PM.
    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King

    I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

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    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    And more "excellent leadership" from the Spoiled-Child-In-Chief

    He just doesn't care. He needs to be taken out of that office on 11/3.
    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King

    I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

  4. Amen oxmixmudd amen'd this post.
  5. #824
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    So it appears Trump had one set of runs for the government and military - and another for the general public. I'm afraid protecting the military did nothing to protect the up to 54,000 lives that apparently could have been saved had Trump started doing publicly what he was apparently doing privately.

    On 11/3 - he should have to pay for those lives.

    Also happy to report that Trump's Job approval rating is now at a worse level than before the pandemic began, and it appears poised to slip even further. Maybe people are finally wising up to the narcissistic con man they put in the Oval Office.
    You would hope so, and yet tt is amazing how during the latter part of Feb and well into March there was plenty of push back against Trumps refusal to wake up and respond - yet here we keep getting the line that Trump's response we the best that could have been expected. Maybe it's because they all were only watching fox or only reading breitbart. They still clearly think this 'really isn't so bad'. The rest of us know exactly how irresponsible Trump was during February and March. Basically, there is still a large part of the country that only sees what the president wants them to see because his 'Fake news' mantra has insulated them from the truth. Not sure how long it will take to overcome that.
    He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me."

    "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets"

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    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    I have been saying, for quite a while, that Trump can be forgiven for not taking all of the actions that would have protected the U.S. in the very earliest days of the pandemic. There was a lot of confusion in that time frame with different leaders making different claims. But from the moment there was a confirmed "communal transmission" case, his failure to act in the following three weeks - his failure to even acknowledge there was a serious problem until March 16th, is unforgivable and cost U.S. lives. Now we have a study that quantifies at least part of that.

    This report is about a study that shows that implementing social distancing even a single week earlier (never mind three weeks) would have reduced the current death toll by upwards of 36,000 deaths. If you back it up by 2 weeks, the number becomes 54,000 avoided deaths.

    THIS is what I think we, the voters, have to hold Trump accountable for on November 3rd: More than 54,000 families grieving the loss of a loved one they need not have lost.
    And I note that some posters are seemingly more concerned with the fact that such models actually are models than they are with the human lives lost. We are talking such a human tragedy and they still focus on doing everything they can to take our eyes away from the death caused in part by an incompetent liar. Unfortunately it is no surprise at all.

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    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oxmixmudd View Post
    You would hope so, and yet tt is amazing how during the latter part of Feb and well into March there was plenty of push back against Trumps refusal to wake up and respond - yet here we keep getting the line that Trump's response we the best that could have been expected. Maybe it's because they all were only watching fox or only reading breitbart. They still clearly think this 'really isn't so bad'. The rest of us know exactly how irresponsible Trump was during February and March. Basically, there is still a large part of the country that only sees what the president wants them to see because his 'Fake news' mantra has insulated them from the truth. Not sure how long it will take to overcome that.
    Personally, I think it will take generations. The indoctrination of Fox and Brietbart and their ilk has sunk it's roots deeply. And the feedback loop that existed between Trump and Fox is absolutely sign that it has become a propaganda outlet for the Trump administration. Trump himself confirmed this when he went on a tweet storm against Fox (specifically Cavuto) because Cavuto dared to challenge his position on Hydroxycholoquine. In his rant against the entire network and how it was slipping and how he misses Ailes was this interesting line: "Looking for a new outlet.". I do not recall ANY president, in my lifetime, aligning themselves with a particular news source and considering them "their outlet." But Fox, and most notably Hannity, have served exactly that role for Trump, with each one amplifying the other and spewing propaganda into the ears of their listeners.

    Getting Trump out of that office on 11/3 will help - but it will not solve the problem. People have to reject Fox and their mantra of divisiveness outright, and that will take generations - if it can happen at all. Or it will take someone with big bucks buying Fox and changing their focus. That would require someone with deep pockets willing to lose a lot of money, at least at first.

    And the right is not alone in this. There are far-left outlets with the same problem. But the dynamic on the left is different. Studies clearly show that people on the left are far more likely to be willing to range widely and get information from sources across the political spectrum - but people on the right are more likely to be entrenched and seldom move outside their bubble.
    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King

    I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

  8. #827
    tWebber Starlight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    Personally, I think it will take generations. The indoctrination of Fox and Brietbart and their ilk has sunk it's roots deeply.
    Propaganda through media seems to be a massive problem in democracies. Solutions are clearly needed, but it's not totally clear to me what those solutions are, or whether they would ever be viewed as acceptable (esp in the US with 1st Amendment etc). The two countries most impacted by Rupert Murdoch's lying media empire, the US and the UK, are currently paying the death toll. And I'm increasingly seeing propaganda outlets influence election outcomes around the world.

    Three possible suggestions at solutions I've seen:

    1. More government-funded instructed-to-be-neutral-and-factual media. Government-funded outlets such as BBC, C-Span etc, that are under clear legal requirement to operate in way that is neutral, impartial and factual, are some of the most-trusted and most-reliable media outlets in the world. Obviously governments can do propaganda, and can choose to run their state news network in a propagandistic way (e.g. China, Russia etc) but in cases where the media entity (1) is separate from the government and merely funded by it, and (2) under a clear legal framework requiring impartiality and not able to be made to do propaganda by the governing party, such as entities like the BBC and C-Span, they provide some of the world's best media outlets. They can then be very effective in competing for market share, due to their neutrality and fact-based approaches.

    2. The Fairness Doctrine. Many countries legally require their media outlets to be fair, or give equal time and weight to both sides. The US implemented this from 1949-1987 as the FCC Fairness Doctrine. It "required the holders of broadcast licenses to both present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was—in the FCC's view—honest, equitable, and balanced." This puts the onus on private media companies to be truthful and balanced and puts enforcement of that in place. Of course, today, Trump would just sabotage the FCC by filling it with cronies and bootlickers, so even if this rule still existed it would be circumvented through corruption. And though SCOTUS upheld this rule during that earlier era, the SCOTUS of today might reject it on first amendment grounds, as the interpretation of the first amendment was massively broadened over the latter half of the 20th century.

    3. Require truthfulness. Most countries have legal requirements that commercial advertisements be truthful, and have existing law enforcement agencies who will provide some form of enforcement if companies lie about their products to consumers through false advertising. This principle could be extended to news broadcasting. In a sense this would be a weaker version of #2, with the only enforced part of the Fairness Doctrine being the "honest" part. One way to implement this would be to have broadcasters pay a small tax which funded an independent agency to which people would complain if a broadcaster aired a factually false claim and the agency would fact check it with 24 hours and the broadcaster would have to issue an public correction the next day and pay a small fine (perhaps escalating with repeated offences, or leading to a suspension of the broadcasting licence after too many offences). Again, it's possible today's SCOTUS would strike it down on 1st amendment grounds, proclaiming a right to lie... (although it's hard to see how they could justify keeping existing laws against businesses lying to customers in adverts.)

  9. #828
    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starlight View Post
    Propaganda through media seems to be a massive problem in democracies. Solutions are clearly needed, but it's not totally clear to me what those solutions are, or whether they would ever be viewed as acceptable (esp in the US with 1st Amendment etc). The two countries most impacted by Rupert Murdoch's lying media empire, the US and the UK, are currently paying the death toll. And I'm increasingly seeing propaganda outlets influence election outcomes around the world.

    Three possible suggestions at solutions I've seen:

    1. More government-funded instructed-to-be-neutral-and-factual media. Government-funded outlets such as BBC, C-Span etc, that are under clear legal requirement to operate in way that is neutral, impartial and factual, are some of the most-trusted and most-reliable media outlets in the world. Obviously governments can do propaganda, and can choose to run their state news network in a propagandistic way (e.g. China, Russia etc) but in cases where the media entity (1) is separate from the government and merely funded by it, and (2) under a clear legal framework requiring impartiality and not able to be made to do propaganda by the governing party, such as entities like the BBC and C-Span, they provide some of the world's best media outlets. They can then be very effective in competing for market share, due to their neutrality and fact-based approaches.

    2. The Fairness Doctrine. Many countries legally require their media outlets to be fair, or give equal time and weight to both sides. The US implemented this from 1949-1987 as the FCC Fairness Doctrine. It "required the holders of broadcast licenses to both present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was—in the FCC's view—honest, equitable, and balanced." This puts the onus on private media companies to be truthful and balanced and puts enforcement of that in place. Of course, today, Trump would just sabotage the FCC by filling it with cronies and bootlickers, so even if this rule still existed it would be circumvented through corruption. And though SCOTUS upheld this rule during that earlier era, the SCOTUS of today might reject it on first amendment grounds, as the interpretation of the first amendment was massively broadened over the latter half of the 20th century.

    3. Require truthfulness. Most countries have legal requirements that commercial advertisements be truthful, and have existing law enforcement agencies who will provide some form of enforcement if companies lie about their products to consumers through false advertising. This principle could be extended to news broadcasting. In a sense this would be a weaker version of #2, with the only enforced part of the Fairness Doctrine being the "honest" part. One way to implement this would be to have broadcasters pay a small tax which funded an independent agency to which people would complain if a broadcaster aired a factually false claim and the agency would fact check it with 24 hours and the broadcaster would have to issue an public correction the next day and pay a small fine (perhaps escalating with repeated offences, or leading to a suspension of the broadcasting licence after too many offences). Again, it's possible today's SCOTUS would strike it down on 1st amendment grounds, proclaiming a right to lie... (although it's hard to see how they could justify keeping existing laws against businesses lying to customers in adverts.)
    Of these, #1 seems the most feasible - but I frankly think none of them is likely to occur or have any impact. There are three reasons for this opinion.

    First: the skew that arises from polarization. While the BBC and C-SPAN are "some of the most-trusted and most-reliable media outlets in the world," they are largely dismissed as "left-wing" by many on the right. The reason? IMO, it is because if you are far enough to the right, the center looks "left." And if you are far enough to the left, the center looks "right." It is basically the reason why the right has long talked about our "left-leaning" supreme court when we actually had four liberals, four conservatives, and one moderate, which I considered a pretty well-balanced court. I would prefer 3-3-3, of course, but that will never happen. And now that the moderate was replaced with a conservative, the court leans right and will lean even further right if Trump wins a second term. The bottom line is, with the absence of a middle, neutral outlets have little traction and a diminishing audience (though I have to admit I say that last thing without actually knowing what the audience profiles for these outlets actually is, so I may have a wrong perception).

    Second: Money and the power of divisiveness. Most media outlets are now funded by advertising and backed by powerful corporations. These corporations have learned the power of "picking a side" and fostering division. I think it began with Ailes and Fox, but it has spread far and wide from there. That dynamic creates a feedback loop with the audience. We now have such a massively polarized electorate, I don't think it will ever be possible for it to depolarize. It's one of the reasons I expect to leave this country this fall. I'm hungry for a place that shows less polarization and great cohesiveness. Differences of opinion are more than acceptable. Turning those who disagree into "the enemy" and waging continuous war is just exhausting. I want something different.

    Third: The decreasing importance of truth. We now live in a society where the value of truth has been erased. Indeed, "facts" have become "any claim I can make that supports my position," without regard for whether it is actually true. If the facts don't support the position, just make up "alternative facts." We even had a spokesperson for the current administration use that exact phrase publicly, and never walk it back that I am aware of. And there are massive groups, not to mention governments, intentionally swamping the media-scape with falsehoods - which the main stream media then magnifies by giving them airtime in order to "debunk" them. The flood is sometimes done for money, and sometimes done to achieve a social/political end. But it doesn't change the fact that we are awash in misinformation.

    Personally, I think we are looking at the end of the democratic experiment. We are in the early days of the end of our countries as we know them. I hope the coming generations prove me wrong and rescue this democratic experiment from the trash heap, but I am doubtful. I think we have gone too far down this path to turn back.
    Last edited by carpedm9587; 05-24-2020 at 05:56 AM.
    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King

    I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

  10. #829
    tWebber EvoUK's Avatar
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    I don't know, the BBC news hasn't exactly covered itself in glory, especially since the 2016 referendum.

    Firstly, theres the issue that their funding is entirely down to the government- not parliament.

    But the problem the BBC have is this editorial interpretation and strive for 'balance'. In an attempt to present opposing (and broad spectrum of) views they actually lose the impartiality they seek and skew the truth; failing to properly challenge unsupported/unqualified views. It often is shown as a 'he said, she said' version of reporting, which miserably fails to challenge any misinformation put forth by any politician.

    It used to be that the BBC interviewers interviewed people by asking them hard questions, and they made documentaries that showed the facts and analysed them, we've now descended to the lowest common denominator of "debate".

    I forget who to attribute, but remember the quote 'just keep repeating the facts. Stop giving equal time to lies'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EvoUK View Post
    I don't know, the BBC news hasn't exactly covered itself in glory, especially since the 2016 referendum.

    Firstly, theres the issue that their funding is entirely down to the government- not parliament.

    But the problem the BBC have is this editorial interpretation and strive for 'balance'. In an attempt to present opposing (and broad spectrum of) views they actually lose the impartiality they seek and skew the truth; failing to properly challenge unsupported/unqualified views. It often is shown as a 'he said, she said' version of reporting, which miserably fails to challenge any misinformation put forth by any politician.

    It used to be that the BBC interviewers interviewed people by asking them hard questions, and they made documentaries that showed the facts and analysed them, we've now descended to the lowest common denominator of "debate".

    I forget who to attribute, but remember the quote 'just keep repeating the facts. Stop giving equal time to lies'.
    Trump has the opposite apprach, he just keeps repeating the lies until people begin to believe them.

    Trumps message concerning the media comes right out of George Orwells 1984 which reads:

    "The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears".

    Trump: "Just remember what you are seeing and reading is not what's happening."

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