Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Even If.....






EVEN IF

DISCLAIMER:  I THINK.  THEREFORE, I’M NEITHER 
DEMOCRAT NOR REPUBLICAN. 




Ah, the good ‘ol days of “…And that’s the way it is.”

Despite a meme of Walter Cronkite’s image currently circulating on (un)social media that says he would report the news each night then simply sign off with no political agenda, we must understand that ALL news agencies have ALWAYS had political agendas and leanings.  Uncle Walt was no exception. He occasionally ended his broadcast with a commentary or opinion. On those occasions, he would not use his tag line “…And that’s the way it is.”  

These days, however, it’s crystal clear which networks and agencies support what political party, candidate, and ideology.  Most Americans know this, but few seem to actually bother reading or listening beyond the by-lines of news reports. Those first bold-captioned words will enflame, enrage, or embolden already held opinions and views of the reader. EVEN IF it's a lie. 

The image above of British online publication ‘The Independent’ is a perfect example of how a news agency promotes their agenda or opinion on any given subject simply through the by-line.  With Americans' attention spans shorter than a gnat, and the prevalent media bias against all things Trump, ‘The Independent’ blatantly plays this song and dance strategy to perfection.  

“Trump says ’no one more competent in the world’ than daughter Ivanka to replace Nikki Haley as UN ambassador.” 

Except that Trump didn’t say that.  With a by-line that is an outright lie, ’The Independent’  shows it’s political bias, and ensures that all those on the Democrat, Progressive, liberal, left side of the US’s political spectrum will immediately seize the by-line moment and blow millions of gaskets. 

It’s like squirting lighter fluid on smoking charcoal in a BBQ grill and creating a sudden explosive shot of flames.  I did that last summer and burned the hair off my right arm. 

‘The Independent’, as I suspect many other news agencies do, is hedging its bets that those seeing the by-line are simply scrolling with their thumbs, and won’t bother to actually read what Trump ACTUALLY said.  You see, the by-line leaves out two key words in Trump’s comment (reported in THEIR story above, no less) that totally changes the meaning and context of what he said:  “…EVEN IF…” 

I won’t be surprised to see this take on a life of its own in the next few weeks as people tell other people that Trump might appoint his daughter as UN Ambassador.  

And that’s the way it is.  EVEN IF it’s a lie.  

Rick B Baker 
Rochester New York 

October 10, 2018 

Sunday, September 9, 2018

To Tweet Or Not To Tweet





To Tweet Or Not To Tweet: 
That Is The Backchannel

DISCLAIMER:  I THINK. THEREFORE, I’M NEITHER 
DEMOCRAT NOR REPUBLICAN.


And just like that, (to mimic innumerable (Un)Social media memes these days), Omarosa with her endless supply of secret White House recordings was never heard from again.

Yep, Bob Woodward’s book needed to be promoted, and The New York Times just HAD to publish an anonymous OPINION piece allegedly from inside the Trump administration that told of utter chaos in the White House. So many deflections and diversions to avoid reporting actual, factual news.  But let’s just be crystal clear about one thing: Next week there will be some other “sound-bite bombshell” to feed the American public’s gnat-sized attention span. 

But here’s this week’s clincher.  

Today, September 9th, 2018, there was a story reporting that Bob Woodward in a broadcast of CBS Sunday Morning told of a Trump tweet that was drafted…yes DRAFTED…that talked about pulling our military dependents from South Korea.  It was never sent because a “back-channel message from the North Koreans” said that they would consider this an indication that the US was preparing a military attack, according to a report from Agency France Presse (AFP).  The by-line of AFP’s report ran, “Trump Spooked Pentagon With Almost-Sent Tweet On N.Korea: Woodward”.  

Yes, “Don’t send that tweet out, or we will be angry,” said the North Koreans never. 

Ok.  Hold the phone.  Back up the bus.  Seal the missile silos. 

This so-called story raises more questions than the facts it doesn’t report.  

Are we to believe that Trump’s tweets are drafted, proof-read, vetted, and approved by White House or Pentagon staffers? If so, and even if not, how did the North Koreans know of Trump’s drafted tweet?  Is someone in the administration feeding inside information, i.e. Trump’s Twitter ‘drafts’ to the North Koreans?  Are the North Koreans spying and listening in on the White House? Have they hacked into Trump’s phone and know exactly what he’s going to tweet about before he tweets it?  

I mean, come on, America.  I’ve come to NOT believe about 90% of what I hear, read, and see in media these days, and I strongly doubt the other 10%. The story simply makes NO sense as written.

But this report just reeks of media fecal material. 

I personally think Trump is functioning (or not) on some other level NO ONE is familiar with, but Woodward is stretching credibility to the limit, in my opinion. 

Woodward’s glory days of Watergate and Deep Throat are decades past.  The movie isn’t even on anyone’s radar any longer.  And now he, like Omarosa, has a book to get promoted and up to the top of the NY Times Best Seller list.  

As for all this “anonymous” hooey, ENOUGH!  If all these media hacks are so intent on discrediting Trump, then out with it!  Give us your sources, say who said what to whom and when, and stop being self-promoting con-artists. Perhaps then you could actually facilitate a change in our elected leadership that so many voters are noisily clamoring for. Otherwise, put a sock in it.  

Here’s MY question:  Since this latest Woodward claptrap suggests that Trump DRAFTS his tweets, and since the story suggests others were worried about his proposed tweet, WHO IS TRUMP’S TWEET EDITOR? 

That might just explain a year and a half of this Trump Twitter Shit Show!  I see (smell) a new reality series in the making.  You listening, Omarosa?? 

September 9, 2018
©Rick Burnett Baker 
Photo ©Rick Burnett Baker 


Friday, February 10, 2017

Honor/Dignity


                                                           Click image to enlarge: 


Photo/Text © Rick Burnett Baker
All Rights Reserved

Saturday, July 2, 2016

15th Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival



Today, July 2, 2016 is the last day of nine for this year's Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival.  I took time over the past week to look for a few festival shots that were not the usual photos of the crowds and the bands.  Here is a compilation of several photos I took over the past nine days.

I only took in two shows this year, the first being a concert by Makoto Ozone and Tommy Smith, and the second a performance by Lizz Wright.  Both were wonderful performances.  Maybe next year I'll just get a Club Pass, take the week off, and enjoy as much music as I can fit into a day!
































Photos © 2016 Rick B Baker 
All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Trump Is The Savior: The OR Factor



Graphic ©Senad





Trump Is The Savior


Donald Trump is a god-send to the Democrats.  He may also be the savior of the Republican party.  

Trump has zero chance of being elected president, his touted "honest" rhetoric and so-called double digit polling notwithstanding.  Just as likely, Bernie Sanders has zero chance of being elected president, his honest self-description as a "democratic socialist" notwithstanding.  But that's a story for another time. 

In a campaign field of some 16 of the most polarizing and self-defeating Republican candidates ever collected in one race, Trump outshines them all with his penchant for letting his mouth overload his ass. 

Donald Trump, in my opinion, isn't crazier than an outhouse rat the way I believe most of the other GOP candidates to be, but he runs a close race.  Despite being savvy enough to become a billionaire, he isn't a savvy communicator by any stretch of the imagination.  That provides two services to the thinking electorate:  One, it exposes the least intelligent portion of the electorate to public scrutiny, and provides the rest of us with a measure of the outhouse rat, or "OR" Factor as I call it. This OR Factor is my unscientific measure to describe candidates' craziness and/or stupidity,  as well as that of their supporting electorate.  It reduces the need to try and discern the intelligence and reasonableness of either. 

Second, it exposes completely, the utter lack of reason and/or measure of insanity and stupidity exhibited by the GOP candidates.  The OR Factor also exposes to voters in both parties who still have their intelligence and reason intact,  the number of outhouse rats who may actually vote for, and influence the election of other outhouse rats charged with representing and drafting potential legislation.  God help us all.     

Now before you left-leaning, liberal friends say that the second point isn't possible -  you know, having intelligent and reasonable Republicans within the ranks of the GOP, I implore you to draw upon your own mythological ideology of being the party of reason, tolerance, diversity, and inclusiveness.  I use the term 'mythological' to describe this fantasy of Democratic party members and liberals, because during a perfectly civil political discussion thread on Facebook a few years ago, I was  told by a rabid liberal Democrat to *@*#-off and die!"  She apparently couldn't fathom any form of civil, centric views.  So much for reason and tolerance.

The point is, those in the GOP who have survived the OR Factor will possibly be able to, in the coming years,  sweep away the ruins of madness, insanity, and stupidity within their ranks, at both national and local levels, and begin to rebuild a political party on a foundation of reason and intelligence.   

But let's be clear:  Those of you in the GOP who are survivors of the OR Factor are sure to be left in the shadows of election defeat and disappointment yet again in the coming election.  Pay attention now, and begin to plan for your reconstruction. 

As for you Democrats, Trump may very well assure your party of at least four more years in the Oval Office, despite fielding candidates with less than stellar records of political acumen and moral character.  His sound-bite stupidity may be the saving grace for whichever Democratic candidate, moral character aside, becomes the party's  candidate for president. 

So thank your lucky stars, Democrats and Republicans.  The OR Factor will be the saving grace for both your parties!

It will, however, be the short-term bane of intelligent voters across the land, wherever they may be hiding, and whatever their political affiliation may be. 


Rick B. Baker
July 22, 2015


© 2015 Rick Burnett Baker 
All Rights Reserved




Monday, July 13, 2015

The Texans Are Watching





Jade Helm 15: The Takeover Of Texan Minds



Should I be embarrassed to be a Native Texan?
When, and how did Texans become mad as hatters? I mean, really folks, you need to grab the edge and hang on tight!
And to think, these are the same people who will post "Support Our Troops" memes on social media, and snap your head off if you even remotely suggest that a military career is less than noble.
Here's the drill, my fellow Texans: CUT THE CRAP. You're all making "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" look like a Miss Manners' blueprint for sanity.
And the kicker? You wingnuts are being led by a former New Yorker. Go figure.
Oh, and one more thing. Keep your politicians AWAY from presidential politics. Washington has enough inbred mental degenerates as it is!




© 2015 Rick Burnett Baker 
Photo © 2015 Rick Burnett Baker 



Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bad Words, Butter, and Bullcrap



...And apparently, never too much bullcrap...



Bad Words, Butter, and Bullcrap

My opinion is, Matt Lauer is a pinhead and a prick.  (The latter not associated with the former.  Read the article here).

And anyone else who continues this crucifixion of sorts, of Paula Dean is a pinhead as well.  That's being gracious. 

Honestly, I've never watched Paula Dean's show and have no interest in watching it.  She's simply another made-for-TV celebrity who's 15 minutes have been extended to an hour.  From what little I've read about this non-issue, a former employee has seen an opportunity to bilk Dean's company out of a chunk of change, and so Dean's use of a racial slur in the past is in the open 'under oath.'  

Prosecuted for using derogatory language. 

Why, hell, that would put about 99.9% of the population behind bars!

As for this hoopla about her using the 'N' word, it's yet another example of media pandering to the utter stupidity of the American public, and serves as the latest diversion that keeps people from asking questions about real issues in the spotlight today.   You know, questions about the IRS, NSA, personal privacy and constitutional freedoms…you know, all THAT boring stuff. 

For all you namby-pambys who feel sanctified over this finger-pointing nonsense , I offer a challenge:  Make some noise about hip-hoppers and rappers  (I'd call them artists, but I'd be joking) glorifying and singing praises with the 'N' word in every sentence.  Make some noise about African-American stand-up comics saying, throughout their routines,  "….N****r  this, n****r  that…"   while the audience laughs.  Oh, the insensitivity of it all!

Otherwise, shut the you know what up! 

As for Pinhead Lauer, he might be a real big shot if he had the president face to face, and asked some questions about the above-mentioned issues surrounding the IRS, NSA personal privacy and constitutional freedoms...you know, all THAT boring stuff. 

If that happened, I'd bet the word 'ratings' would no longer be a bad word for NBC! 


Rick B. Baker 
June 26, 2013

© 2013 Rick Burnett Baker