The Science of Journalism

If I Had My Way
One Man's Opinion -- for what it's worth.


To: Glenn Greenwald - glenn.greenwald@theintercept.com

From: Doug Skoglund - skoglund@pdmsb.com

Date: 07 Apr 2015 07:00 am CDT

Subject: 2015013 - Thanks, Glenn...

Another wonderful (and useless) attempt to define the problem -- or a portion thereof. You wrote: (emphasis mine)

These are obviously significant facts which receive far too little discussion, analysis and attention. One reason is that they serve as a rather stinging indictment on the political system which media and political insiders love to glorify: a huge chunk of the population, probably the majority, have simply turned away entirely from politics, presumably out of a belief that it makes no difference in their lives. It's difficult to maintain mythologies about the glories of American democracy if most of the population believes it has so little value that it merits literally none of their time and mental attention.

Then there's the role that U.S. media itself plays in this dynamic. I've often cited as the most revealing fact of the post-9/11 era this Washington Post poll from September, 2003 - six months after the invasion of Iraq - which found that "nearly seven in 10 Americans believe it is likely that ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the Sept. 11 attacks" and that a "majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents believe it's likely Saddam was involved."

Propagandizing 70% of the population is not easy to do, and obviously requires active  deceit or pervasive acquiescence by the country's news media. As part of his discussion last night, Oliver showed my favorite MSNBC clip in order to illustrate the lack of substantive surveillance discussion in the media:

As if to prove his point, click-hungry gossip websites (such as one named "TIME") ignored most of Oliver's substantive discussion of the Patriot Act and surveillance and instead seized on the Times Square aspect to mock Snowden for his cultural irrelevance. To the extent that's true, what they're actually (unintentionally) mocking is the political process they typically glorify and, most of all, their role within it.

Wonderful because I agree -- useless because we don't need further definitions -- we need solutions. 

Unfortunately, the people know, down deep, that all those significant facts are irrelevant garbage and the entire system us one great big sham. It doesn't take a genius to recognize that we no longer live in a democracy.

The people thought that they were electing the right man when they voted for Barack Obama -- and every body knows how that worked out. I didn't vote for him because of his treatment of his minister which convinced me that he couldn't be trusted. At the time I wrote that I didn't think the power structure would elect him because of that shortcoming. I was wrong -- the power structure elected him BECAUSE of that shortcoming. Obama is no dummy -- he can't be trusted by outsiders like myself because he is one of the insiders -- he knows where the money is.

The fact of the matter is that the definition of THE problem has been pretty well covered -- see, "Who Rules America - Power in America" by G. William Domhoff. The power structure rules America -- and I must add that the power structure rules the world. 

We need some leaders that are not part of the power structure. If you chose not to be a leader yourself, you should devote your efforts to finding some good ones and then promoting their campaigns. The last true leader we had was MLK -- he was famous because he created and led a movement that got results.

Obviously, this is a test -- and, as a matter of fact, I need make no more tests, now that I understand the process. If the Democrats nominate Hillary Clinton, we are committed to, at least, another four years of the same crap -- and possible eight years.

My future is quite secure as I approach my 86th birthday next week. Social Security covers my immediate needs with a margin. I have modified my personal purpose and goals -- and I have found my God -- her name is Mother Nature and Science is my religion. What more could any man ask for??

I know where I am -- too soon old and too late smart, as the saying goes.

So, here is my final question -- are you a solution, or part of the problem. And I get my answer no matter what you do. 

To be continued (of course)

Doug Skoglund skoglund@pdmsb.com

I don't provide for comments since that is a system designed to control the communication process -- I do provide an e-mail address!! (Please put a [MYWAY] in your title to get my attention).

BTW, I am working on a replacement system -- and I sure could use some help.

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