Sunday, May 16, 2021

Response to Ralph Nader, NPR off Course!

I've posted the e mail from Nader below my response. 


 Dear Mr. Nader,


This critique is long overdue and frankly a bit soft. NPR is not and hasn't been, radio by and for the public, for some time now. Frankly though on their behalf it is very unlikely that NPR would have survived had they not sold out to what is actually degrading the quality of life for all. NPR is guilty of daily misrepresenting themselves by claiming to be what they originally set out to be. On occasion they fill time slots with what they think people wants to hear, unfortunately as we've seen many of the people are not thinking all that clearly. The original mission of NPR was to keep the public informed, via unbiased and fair reporting, they also provided analysis to explain why it was happening and the end results. This goal assumed that the public was capable of comprehending what they were listening too, also that the listener knew that NPR was providing unbiased information. This is no longer true thus NPR is not a viable source of information requiring one to ask "why am I listening"? Had NPR been astutely observing they would have reported on the failure of our country to educate the citizens and why an ignorant public served the government interest.

Bill Rogan AKA Dung Teller

Nader's letter.

This month is the 50th anniversary of National Public Radio (NPR). Knowing about my work back then with other advocates, to persuade Congress to pass legislation creating NPR and PBS, (which was opposed by most of the commercial radio/TV industry), a friend asked what I think of NPR now.

A few observations, drawn from listening to NPR largely over the WAMC station in Albany, New York during a Covid-19 year, are in order.

1. I find the features and the collaboration with other investigative groups, such as Pro Publica, very enlightening. One piece about Amazon’s warehouses was especially memorable. Moreover, Scott Simon and David Brancaccio are so capable as to be considered under-challenged.

2. NPR’s top-of-the-hour news amounts to little more than three minutes. It is repetitious and basically a minor headline service. This mimicking of commercial network radio news is not what we envisioned 50 years ago. The prolonged 6:15 pm evening weather forecasts on WAMC are often longer than the evening news briefs at 6:00 pm.

3. There is just too much weather forecasting throughout the day. On WAMC, around mid-day, they’ll tell you about the weather in California and the mountain states before you hear the forecast for the local listening region. They even promote the weather forecasts. So obsessed are they that they repeat the forecast over the four adjoining regions they service preceded by an overall forecast. Think of the additional local news that could be reported instead.

4. The public radio/TV legislation from Congress did not envision advertisements. Public funding, audience, and foundation donations were seen as the way to reduce commercial pressure over this public institution, inspired in part by the more extensive BBC and CBC in the UK and Canada.

5. What started as a “just a little bit of commercial sponsorship,” when Congress got tight some years ago, has now gone wild. Do we really need to be reminded that “support for this station (or for NPR) comes from x, y, z contributors,” about thirty times an hour? Mind-numbing, hour after hour! NPR makes sure to identify corporate sponsorship such as Facebook or Amazon when they are doing reports affecting these companies. But top NPR management defiantly refuses to monitor the corporate character or respect for the law of these and other companies before they give them NPR’s credibility.

The Corporate Crime Reporter provided NPR management with a list of law violations, such as those by Raymond James, an NPR “sponsor” pursuant to asking about any of NPR’s Ad monitoring. NPR boss, the usually incommunicado John Lansing, essentially blew off the inquiry, saying there is no need for a filter to protect the audience.

6. A key reason for Congress creating NPR was to have its affiliates fill local news gaps, largely neglected by the commercial stations. WAMC has spent good money hiring local reporters in upstate eastern New York, western Massachusetts, and Vermont who know and stay on the beat. But national NPR has spent far too much time on entertainment subjects and interviews and not enough time on civic events, reports, and movements, aside from issues of race, gender, and police violence being covered by the mainstream media. Even NPR’s daily birthday announcement almost always features entertainment or professional sports figures. National civic, labor or educational leaders are scarcely noted.

7. More civic news suffers not for lack of time. NPR and affiliates offer plenty of hours for music. Forget about Saturday and Sunday evenings. At some NPR affiliates, 6:00 pm on weekends is sign-off time in favor of entertainment time.

8. NPR often describes the personal plight of people in poverty or suffering from other deprivations, but rarely probes the structural causes or the role of concentrated corporate power in creating the problems. Increasingly, corporate power is shaping an evermore dominant corporate state that allows mercantile values to seriously weaken the social fabric and moral norms of our society.

Not many NPR reporters use words like “corporate crime,” “corporate welfare,” or cover the corporate capturing of agencies, the vast unaudited military budget, or many other realms of American life controlled by “corporatism.” But then what can one expect when they ignore credible civic groups, who have timely evidence of such domination, and keep on interviewing one another inserting four-second sound bites to academics and consulting firms?

NPR’s practice during election periods of having the anchors interview its reporters, who are often youngish, inexperienced, and bland, instead of skilled, fact-reliable outsiders is disappointing. NPR’s election postmortems too often are superficial and lack rigor.

Just recently, an NPR report on the most recent ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline continued its repeated omission of how victims of hackers actually pay in ransom or why such payments can’t be traced. And NPR’s reporting on why our secretive government seems helpless in protecting towns, cities, hospitals, and others who have been hit by ransomware attacks is anemic.

9. Last month to the dismay of some NPR journalists, there was no national obituary on Ramsey Clark, former Attorney General and early civil rights and human rights leader. NPR did devote five minutes remembering a Rockstar.

10. NPR’s blunders are well-known to local affiliates. WAMC, a mid-size station, pays NPR a million dollars a year. But on January 6, 2021, NPR Washington was AWOL – over an hour late in feeding its affiliates reports on the insurrection, which started getting reported by CNN around 2:00 pm. WAMC reporters were furious, and I was told this wasn’t the first time NPR messed up.

There is an omnipresent air of smugness about NPR, such as their constant display of confident ignorance on Congress’ constitutional authority, and Presidential/Executive Branch lawlessness. This shortcoming was especially troubling during Trump’s impeachments. Where are you, Supreme Court reporter Nina Totenberg, to give tutorials to your younger colleagues who need to be more sensitive to these issues and to their in-house ageism over the years?

11. Then there are the daily irritations. The interlude music is often inappropriate and too long. Marketplace at night with hyper-Jumping Jack, Kai Ryssdal has music as noisy background while he is giving the brief stock market numbers.

Unlike its commercial competition, NPR and PBS’s News Hour start their news programs with ads, something commercial NBC, CBS, and ABC do not do. NPR has puzzles during prime-time evening news time, this itself is a puzzling fillip.

NPR has long had a Public Editor on staff. They almost always respond to listeners’ substantive complaints by saying these are not matters within their jurisdiction. The new Public Editor is Kelly McBride. She insisted on not being on staff but instead on contract from St. Petersburg, Florida. This is the link for the public editor: (https://help.npr.org/contact/s/contact?request=Ask-the-Public-Editor-about-ethics) to protect her independence. After a few tries, she actually returned my calls and reassured me that she is looking out for the listener’s best interest. We’ll see.

It would be good if listener feedback to NPR was made easier and more regularly structured. WAMC has lots of listener feedback on issues chosen daily by its Roundtable and other interview shows. But as one might expect some questions, as about top management salaries and bad advertisers lunching off WAMC’s credibility, seem out of bounds.

I have started a Reporter’s Alert suggesting many kinds of stories that are not covered or only nibbled at by the media. You can see them aggregate at https://reportersalert.org/ and of course, this resource is available for perusal by NPR’s editors and reporters.

There is so much more to learn about NPR. Since NPR gives plenty of time to conservative politicians, an educational bipartisan Congressional hearing and report would be a good way to celebrate the 50th anniversary. It’s just not productive to give NPR a pass simply by comparing it to the rancid competition spoiling our public airwaves for free.



Ralph Nader
Ralph Nader

Monday, May 10, 2021

The Morning Fire!

                                                               THE MORNING FIRE!


 On those mornings when it is chilly or damp in the house, I often start a morning fire in our wood stove. If the day should warm, the fire unfed goes out. On cold winter days with the right wood, the fire will last all through the night. Today after near sixties yesterday I woke to an outside temperature of thirty-five degrees. Now, as I sit and watch the fire through the stoves glass door I am reminded of past fires. Not just my own, rather the fires that for centuries, warmed peoples hearths and brought that cozy home feeling, that only a wood fire can bring. I picture people with out stretched hands letting the heat from the fire soak into their bodies, in many instances there would be the smell of food, making the association of the fire, even more alluring. Through out most of my adult life, I heated my house with wood, on several occasions I have lived in houses with fireplaces. There is something about the fireplace that kindles in me feelings of home and family, sparking (intentional pun)  an overall sense of deeply soothing, well being. I suppose the memories from my childhood play a big part in all this imagery. The fireplace especially around Christmas time was central too many traditions, like the hanging of stockings. Now for me, it is the wood stove that anchors me to the stream of life. In front of the hearth, is exactly where countless numbers of our species have found contentment and warmth while sitting comfortably watching the flickering flames do their timeless dance. 

I remember a time when I was having lunch at an old New England Inn, a day of Autumn splendor, leaves were ablaze with color, change and chill filled the air, people were already thinking of the upcoming ski season. Walking into the the Inns sitting room, there was a fire softly burning, the fireplace had a flush hearth my favorite, there was no screen holding back the warm glow, comfortable chairs were strategically placed for receiving the fires radiant warmth. I noticed a serving basket of freshly picked apples no doubt recently gathered from a nearby orchard. This scene so completely took me in, I desperately wanted to capture it, this wonderful moment with loved ones. Not wanting it to slip away, kindled that melancholy feeling arising from knowing, "you can never capture these moments". I do realize of course, that this is partly why, they are so precious. This truth has never alleviated the sweet melancholy that I am able to conjure up almost at will, by simply recalling wonderful days like this. In truth I do not want to let go of this melancholy, it has that alluring bitter, sweet flavor.   

As of late I have come to realize that it is the lens through which I am looking that is in control of the brush marks my mind is painting. The totality of everything that has ever appeared before me, made impressions that cause me to look and react to things, in my own particular and unique way. There was absolutely no conscious choice made by me, as to how my mind would interpret what came into its field of awareness. Today the lens is smudged by a feeling that the mind is having a hard time trying to decipher. I have cancer and I may die from it. It is now clear to me that my reaction to this possible ending  has been ingrained in me over the years. My unsolicited conditioning is in charge with various emotions and feelings, arising and falling in my consciousness, fear, acceptance, regret, how fortunate I am for being loved, and a total rebellion of anger for being placed into a situation that I do not have the capacity to deal with nor to understand, this is not only about death it is also about living. Then there is this, no reaction at all. Something natural is going to happen therefore I should simply let it be, let the natural process play out. With what knowledge can I challenge the natural world? I have none. In not accepting what is natural we separate ourself from what is, "natural" in fact this is how we seem to live our lives. It also appears that if we cannot remove the influence of our reactions both conditioned and seemingly innate then we can never actually be free. I have cleaned the glass door on the wood stood which allows for optimal viewing of the fire. Ending the deterrent to seeing life and death clearly begins with awareness. In order to see life and death clearly we must keep the lens through which we are looking clear. The simple fact of not knowing if we can clear the lens and how to do it is the beginning of understanding. I have proceeded as far as my intellect will take me. Therefore any further understanding can only be reached through being aware, that may be the natural thing to do! 

DT, AKA Bill Rogan 

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Self! My Comment "Closer to Truth!

Thinking seems to have a role in producing the self. Here I have an image of me talking/thinking about myself which I take for me. Envision thinking I am John Doe and for 25 years that is the center of who I think I am. Then, I discover that I am adopted, I am not who I thought I was. Now do I think I am someone else? Thinking is an image and the mind produces the image and another part of the mind takes the image as me. It is all the just thinking! Perhaps there are no selves there are only life forms that are thinking. The self is software not the hard drive!

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Mystery of Trump & his Supporters. Don't be mad! Think on it!

 In September of 2020 Bob Woodward of the Washington, Post recorded then president Trump, where in Trump admitted that he told the public one thing (the virus would simply disappear) while fully admitting on the tape that he was well aware of the dangers of this virus, because it could be transmitted through the air. This means that Trump was willing to endanger and even sacrifice many of his supporters in order to hold on to power. This also means that from the supporters perspective they would rather risk death than have Trump lose, his hold power. We haven't even touched on Trumps complete failure to lead, as president, his job was to serve and protect the people. Considering the Trump supporters total disregard for human life including their own, one is compelled to ask: What are the logical reasons, that would provide us with a way to understand this self destructive behavior? Actually there are none. Trump repeatedly lied about the dangers of Covid 19 while watching the death toll climb, which of course is criminal neglect, while at the same time his supporters needed to increase their capacity to be deceived. This is a clear demonstration of willful ignorance. How did people get so far out of touch with reality? (Answer in third paragraph).

Luckily all this is self explanatory, the unwavering support for Trump by his followers is simply because  they are completely incoherent. This also explains why they cannot be reasoned with, they have no intellectual ability that would allow them to formulate a cohesive and coherent thought alignment. "I'm for Trump, he's willing to kill lots of us" This is a frightening state of affairs for a country to find itself in, a corrupt evil leader being bolstered up by followers that demonstrate they have no capacity for clear thought. We may not survive this stampede of stupidity, where in people are willing to die for someone that doesn't care if they do. The unrealistic view of the Trump supporter sticks out like a sore thumb, they look at him like he's infallible, Trump himself exhibits the same delusional view of himself, he would never admit to a mistake and he thinks he's the "chosen one". We as a country have seventy five million citizen functioning at the fairy tale level. 

Trump had it within his power to mobilize the countries resources and he choose not too, he even got rid of the teams that would have spear headed our efforts and saved countless thousands of lives. Trumps actions are of course criminal yet understandable however the overwhelming ignorance on display here by his supporters is not. The supporters ineptness  has come about through the countries inability or unwillingness to educate it citizens and this too is explainable, understandable and pitiful. The government leaders saw that keeping the public dumb would be a benefit to themselves, only the stupid would support people that are destroying, their democracy and endangering their lives. It's gotten so bad that the electorate now cheers on the people that are enslaving them.

Still not convinced, to give up the madness, then go to the families that had a family member captured and beheaded by the Japanese (yes beheaded) and tell them you support Trump and we (me & Trump) don't care that your loved one gave everything so that I could stand here today and tell " you/them" along with Trump "we don't like you"! (This behavior should turn stomach). Given the Trumpian's total lack of personal dignity and respect for life along with their incoherence, clearly demonstrates that they do not deserve citizenship in our country. 

These are just 2 of the many reason Trump does not deserve support and because of his Covid response he  belongs in Jail. His followers either need to abandon him or leave this country that they and Trump have betrayed and put in danger of societal collapse. They don't seem to grasp that what they are trying to bring about is not in any way good for them or anyone else except Don "the con" Trump. Trump has pulled off the greatest con job the human race has ever seen, simply because many US citizens have reached an unprecedented level of stupidity! We all have acted stupidly at one time or another in our lives it is part of being human, however continuing to be stupid after it is pointed out then stupid turns to gross ignorance.


Dung Teller AKA Bill Rogan

Monday, April 19, 2021

Biden not Ending War in Afghanistan!


 Biden’s claim that he is ending the forever war is misleading. As The New York Times reported, the United States would remain after the formal departure of U.S. troops with a “shadowy combination of clandestine Special Operations Forces, Pentagon contractors and covert intelligence operatives.” Their mission will be too “find and attack the most dangerous Qaeda or Islamic state threats, current and former American officials said.”

There are also numerous US airbases with-in striking distance!


This of course adds to the mountain of factual evidence that Washington DC is the most corrupt city on Earth!


DT

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Avoiding Big Mistakes in Defending the Bible, On line discussion, My Comment

 


https://youtu.be/EPXY2PF7eB0 Dr. Peter Gurry & Sean Mc Dowell 

Thank you, you both seem to be thoughtful and care about what is true. However, by searching for answers you freely admit to not knowing, not knowing in this case references "what is the original Bible". At some point you must decide which is the master copy and on what basis are you going to decide, and with what knowledge are you trying to justify your searching, and whatever conclusions you reach regarding that search? You admit to believing and yet you admit that much of what you believe is questionable. What originally has captured your minds attention has been debunked so now you broaden your search. Being totally honest always takes you to," not knowing". Enter faith. In fact not knowing is what started all religions and belief systems in the first place. Humans looked at life and did not understand so rather than accept their situation "not knowing" humans invented solutions. Many different gods means that all humans had the same questions however different cultures invented different answers "different versions of god". This scenario is still true today, humans do not understand their existence. Consider this, humans as stated invented belief because of not knowing and since you admit to not knowing you cannot then say "honestly" that what you choose to believe is true, because the reason you are doing" belief" is because you don't know. You are going around in circles, this is the behavioral pattern indicating "one is lost". Now consider something entirely new: Suppose someone suggested that there are no separations no divisions there is no god and humans. The universe and all that it contains (including us) is God, life is one movement. This fact has been missed because of the divisive nature of the thought process. This is the perfect answer because we do not have to do anything." Be still and know that I am God". Right, pretty simple no need for all this senseless dialogue that will produce more questions rather than answers. Arrogance is saying "I know" Understanding and knowing are two different things.When you understand you never say I know! It just doesn't make sense. If God wrote the Bible he also knew that it would set in motion countless debates and even wars where many, many people died. God knew it wasn't clear. How can we actually think that an omnipotent being could not make him/herself clear, so that there would be no confusion about the meaning of gods words? How can an apologist argue that God is perfection and all powerful yet could not make himself clear. In any other field this would be recognized as an argument that is based on incoherence. This on going debate perpetuates itself through a momentum, this momentum has been initiated by people refusing to accept the truth, the truth of not knowing. Once you ignore the basic truth of your existence it then opens the door to more and more abuses of logistical thinking thus giving birth to incoherence. E,g. God is perfect yet I must tell you what he really meant to say. If you had money to invest and your investment broker acted like this you would fire him or find yourself penniless.


DT

Sunday, March 21, 2021

THE CHRISTIAN GODS BIBLICAL MURDER SPREE! Rewritten for corrections in spelling etc. on 3/23/21

 The other day I watched someone go through the bible and count the number of murders committed by god. In this so called Christian tome, the final count was nearly twenty five million people. Admittedly the number is an estimate because town populations and army numbers had to be estimated. One can consider the largest number of murders arose from the biblical story of (the great flood) where god killed everyone on Earth except Noah and his family. Earth could have had twenty million inhabitants at the time. Everyone of those people were guilty of sin according to god, but what of the babies, the innocent children and worst of all, the thousands of babies in the womb. Let us not forget all of the animals, surely they should not suffer for human transgressions, god killed them all. All these murders convey a very disturbing and sinister tale about a so called loving but "just" god. This isn't the worst aspect of this diabolical tale, what is even more disturbing is that people actually think all this happened and worship the fiendish and despicable monster that committed these heinous acts. Still worse the believer lacks the common sense to recognize nonsense in choosing to ignore the following. There is no record of this flood, of course if everyone drowned (in distant lands) there would be no one to record the event. However records do show that other civilizations thrived at the time and did not record any deluge from heaven. Also consider that in just 3 generations after the flood the bible states that there were large cities populated by thousands of people. These large numbers of inhabitants is a mathematical and demographical impossibility.  

Of course if I thought for one moment that any of this was true I would certainly be looking over my shoulder, this Christian god is a raving lunatic. Not to worry though, because none of it is true. If it was true, spending an eternity in hell would be a small price to pay to avoid spending one minute with this sickening piece of fecal matter, let alone forever in its presence. The world we see around us is in turmoil and always lurking in the back of our minds is the notion that at any moment the humans will annihilate themselves.  This potential culmination of the human species is in no way linked to Christian Eschatology. Rather a violent or environmental end to the human species is a perfectly understandable outcome when you realize the nonsense that billions of people have accepted as truth and thus live their lives accordingly. The people that understand that these gods and their religions are a danger to our survival have stood by long enough. It is time to bring about change and it will not be easy. One of the first things that should be done is to make believers understand that they have no right to pass on their belief to their children or anyone else. If you brainwash a child from an early age you have taken away the child's right to decide what they want to believe provided they want to believe at all. Then there is this, it is a sin to harm a child and, by brainwashing the child you've taken away their right to be judged. God is supposedly going to judge everyone and if you don't let a child decide for themselves then god cannot judge them on their own merits. The fact that religious people continue on with this atrocity demonstrates their complete inability to think clearly. They will hear this and continue with the abuse of their children and their defiance of the god they purport to love and obey. 

DT

Note: If people find this critique of the Christian Bible offensive and not the murder 25 million people then we are lost. A species with such twisted ideas of what love means and is also capable of self annihilation, is in fact, not a viable species.  

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Today's Comment, Atom, energy, light & space.

  From discussion "Is this the Best of all Possible Worlds. YouTube


hello, I heard this analogy; If the nucleus of an atom was the size of a bowling ball the orbital electrons would be 90 miles distant. Atoms are virtually empty space. Yet as we've learned space is not empty, space arises through a process of particles. I do not pretend to understand any of this. The darkness can be just the absence of light or the darkness of a mind that doesn't let the light in. How does one let the light in? There is no how, there is only the silence which is an aspect of the energy. We are of this, perhaps if we stop thinking we know then the light 'might"* come in. We certainly cannot do anything other than be aware. And awareness cannot be a dualistic process, meaning " a me that says I am aware" Again I don't know if any of this is true, it just sounds plausible to my mind the mind that said it.

* might, because there are no guarantees

DT

Monday, March 15, 2021

THE US a FAILED STATE

 A COMMENT I POSTED MEHDI HASAN SHOW YOUTUBE!


How the Republicans have become so twisted will be debated for some time. What is even more troubling is the fact that our nation has become so divided. The source of this divide is manipulation for the purpose of holding power and earning money. The politicians want to hold power to keep their jobs by doing the bidding of the wealthy. Certain news outlets manipulate their audiences for advertising dollars and to gain favor from the politicians and the wealthy. Much of the countries people have simply lost the ability to think clearly. This has come about for many reasons though the main reason is that the country has not kept pace with education. What is even more disconcerting is that neither the manipulators or the manipulated do not understand the ramifications of their own behavior, even when it is staring them right in the face. The quality of life in the US is way behind the rest of the developed world while the US is losing its place as a world power. I suppose the 1% can just up and leave once they've destroyed the country, however history has demonstrated that retribution can be swift and deadly. On a personal level I have friends and family actual people who claim they are religious filled with such hate that they cannot think clearly. I don't like pessimism however it is difficult to see a good way out of all this. The people destroying the country for wealth and money will eventually have no place to wield and spend their spoils, unless they move abroad, what a wonderful plan. How did we get this sick?

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Comment, To Joe Scarborough with Bill Maher.

 Picture if you will, Abraham Lincoln saying, acting and self praising himself like Don Trump does as a matter of course. Trump has ushered in a new dark ages for our planet. The fact that he has so many supporters is in no way a tribute to him, no, no, no - this support for Trump is the result of a systemic lack of dignity brought on by years of corruption by both major parties of our government. People supporting the democrats are also a naive electorate. Just look at what happened under the last 2 democratic leaders. US workers lost rights and their incomes did not keep pace with economic growth. The banking system was allowed to gouge consumers and commit outright fraud and extortion in broad daylight. Trump was different in that he was a criminal through and through. He was also so wrapped up in himself that he will die in his own arms.


DT