Just the Facts Please

(From deep out of the Bunker Archive – understanding fake news 2004)

Don’t believe anything you hear and only about half of what you actually see. – My Dad (and other wise people)

Wise man, my Dad.

I’ve been doing some more research.  I know.  Stop yawning.  I intended to provide you with an extensive list of examples to support my argument but I won’t.  Instead, I’ll equip you with what’s needed to do your own brain exercise.  Besides, those of you inclined to agree with me will do so without references.  Those of you who aren’t so inclined have probably already switched the channel.  But, wait…  You may want to stick around for a few minutes.  If you do, I promise to give you something useful that’ll help you to dissect before digesting that which you hear and see each day.

I hauled out my dictionary.  I needed us to understand the actual definitions for propaganda and journalism.  Since we are busy rewriting definitions these days, I thought this was important for the discussion.

Propagandaideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause.  Journalism –writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation.

In our world of 24/7, instant worldwide news coverage, we have a problem separating propaganda from journalism. Is propaganda too harsh a word for you?  Hey, I didn’t write the definition for it, but if it makes it a little more palatable for you, we’ll discuss it as the difference between an opinion commentary and a newscast presentation of events or facts without interpretation.  Just remember what Willie Shakespeare said, “You can call manure a rose if you want to, but it’ll still stink…” or something like that.

I read and listen to quite a bit of news and listen to many of the popular radio and television commentators.  If I want the liberal slant to the actual news, I watch CNN, listen to NPR (your tax dollars at work) or one of the networks – ABC, NBC or CBS.  If I want the conservative perspective, I’ll tune in to Fox.  Although considered by most as conservative, the actual Fox newscasts (not the Fox talk shows) provide, in my opinion, more facts without interpretation than do the others.  But, that’s a judgment you can make for yourself once armed with my rules for news dissection.  When it comes to listening to commentators, I prefer the conservative perspective.  I listen to the liberal commentators too.  I like to hear both sides of the debate, but I do not like the extreme position on either the left or the right.  Considering both helps round out my perspective.  However, I’d as soon gouge my eye out with a stick as to listen to some of them.  James Carvel and Pat Buchanan come to mind.

Last year in April, I was out of the country for a while.  The only English speaking newscasts that I could get were CNN International and the BBC.  Al Jazeera has nothing over these guys.  Listening to what passed for actual news was interesting, but frightening.  The BBC for example, could always produce one American opposed to the war and present them as the representative voice for all Americans.  There wasn’t one single success to report according to their spin and America was clearly the bad guy bully.  Their opposition to America was obvious in how they presented (slanted) the news for world consumption.  Following two weeks of that, I too was concerned about how we were doing.   When I returned home, I was much more observant of what was presented to me as news by alleged newscasters.  What I discovered is that we have our own little BBCs and CNN Internationals filling America’s airwaves.  To get at the real news, I started mining the facts for myself.  In doing so, I developed three simple rules that have helped me see the world and the news, a little more clearly.  Here are my rules.  Feel free to use them, they’re free and they work.

  • Peel away the commentary.  Focus on the facts.

Example: “Job growth was a major disappointment this month with only 21,000 new jobs created.

The commentary: “Job growth was a major disappointment this month with only…

The fact:  …21,000 new jobs created.

Focus on the facts and form your own opinion about what’s good or bad.

  • Apply JD’s bovine scatology detection formula to all statements made by alleged newscasters.  If the number of descriptive terms in a statement from a newscaster equals or exceeds the number of facts in the statement, then it’s commentary and not a presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation.

Our Example Again:  “Job growth was a major disappointment this month with only 21,000 new jobs created.

This statement activates the BS-ometer.  The opening statement, Job growth…disappointment is descriptive.  The words with only appearing just before the one fact, is the second descriptor.  Both have a purpose of telling us our opinion (or how we should think).  Two descriptive phrases used to present one fact.  Does this more closely fit the definition of propaganda or journalism?  Time to flip channels.

  • There is something positive that comes out of every story.

If you listen to a newscast and you never hear a positive point reported about (or as in our example positive facts consistently reported in a negative vein), for example, the economy, the government, the war… your BS-ometer should go off as well.  This also works in reverse, everything isn’t always rosy either.

Our quandary is this.  Too many of us focus on the commentary while skimming past the facts.  We do that, because our most prominent and trusted newscasters are actually commentators and because we are a bit lazy at times.  Our “newscasters” subtly infuse their opinions into the news giving us ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause more often than they give us direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation.

There are only a couple of conclusions I can draw from this.

  • They believe that I (and you) am too stupid to consider facts and decide for myself their significance or:
  • They have a motive.  The only motive I can think of is to cause me (and you) to think a certain way – their way.

If the first is true, it tells me much about many of the people who claim to present the news.  If the second is true, that’s simply propaganda.

A truth that’s told with bad intent Beats all the lies you can invent. – William Blake, 1803

Copyright© JD Pendry, 2004

Life inside a bubble

We are hear a lot these days from people who live inside of bubbles wholly shielded from the everyday challenges of the forgotten men and women who are the overwhelming majority of Americans.  I refuse to refer to these groups of people as elite.  From my background and upbringing, referring to someone or a group as elite was reserved for the best of us.  These people certainly do not make the cut.  Privileged they certainly are, but they fall well short of being the best of America – or the best of people for that matter.  At the end of their road is self-preservation and maintenance of their perceived exalted stature.

We refer to the media elite, the Washington elite, the Hollywood elite and elitists in general based on personal wealth and its accompanying influence.  It is these collectives who work every day to drive the conversational narrative attempting to steer the minds of the forgotten population in the direction of their ideologies and political aims.  They divide people into groups of victims blaming their lot on a straw man enemy.  The people – elitists – and their groups of useful idiots are an insignificant percentage of our population.  Those who try each day to set the tone or drive the narrative attempt to make them appear the majority.  It is a mirage, a potentially volatile and deadly one, but a mirage all the same.

They are failing.  They have failed over the past decade and have experienced a steady decline in political power and influence.  The forgotten of our country that largely exist paycheck to paycheck finally said enough.  This is not their America.  The social justice leveling of the playing field is a fallacy that serves to move middle class farther out of their reach.  No longer are they influenced by these self-titled groups of elites who are losing their influence over the Middle America psyche daily and in great chunks.

The more our vaunted elitists fail the more extreme they become and will become.  They refer to anyone who does not agree with them as fascists.  It shows a level of ignorance amongst these people and their indoctrinated “protestors” that is nothing short of breathtaking.  Fascism wants to silence opposing voices.  It wants to control who has the ability to do business and sale their wares in the public market place.  This is what we see every day.  It is the narrative driven by the “elites” who refer to those disagreeing with them as brownshirts.  Just for the uneducated Hollywood actors and faux journalists making these accusations, understand that it was the Nazis who sent their brownshirts to shut down opposing voices and destroy businesses and property.  This is exactly what the paid for rent-a-thugs are doing almost daily.  The day will come when a business owner or someone wearing the wrong kind of hat will declare enough.  On that sad day for America you may just get the fight you think you want.

Peaceful dissent and protest is a hallmark of American freedom.  Rioting, destroying business, and attacking people who disagree with you are hallmarks of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Communist China, North Korea… .  If you are either too stupid to understand that or you actually embrace this approach, then you are not American.  Not even close.

There is another group.  These are the subversives inside our government agencies.  These are not Presidential appointees, but career federal employees who are selected and promoted into sensitive positions because of their political connections and leanings.  These are the people who willingly commit felonies by releasing transcripts of telephone conversations captured on classified signal intelligence networks.  These are the people inside Congressional offices, NSA, DOJ, FBI, CIA, Homeland… who want to bring down our democratically elected government.  These, not the useful idiots in the streets, are the people most dangerous to our country.  These are the people who must be found and fully prosecuted under Title 18 US Code Chapter 115 Treason, Sedition and Subversive Activities.

But it is all connected.  The elitists drive the media narrative and put the punks in the streets.  The subversives inside the government give meat to the false narrative that “the Russians did it” then it just becomes a loop.  A snowball rolling down the mountain until something pops.  At least that is their hope and aim. Fortunately the indications are that they are losing this fight and will continue to lose as long as our President stands firm and takes the fight to them.

© J. D. Pendry 2017

JD’s Bunker

JD’s Bunker is the ancestor of JDPendry.com.  The Bunker began in late 1997 on a free web hosting platform named Geocities.  It remained there until Geocities faded away into cyber space.  At that point the transition in my aged cranial hard drive is a little fuzzy, but Command Sergeant Major (Retired) Dan Elder offered to host the Bunker on one of his activities named Virtual Battalion Headquarters (vbnhq.com).  JD’s Bunker continued there and additionally Dan provided me a forum for JD’s Bunker on his popular NCO Website.  Circa 2005, Dan chopped his websites (minus the often politically incorrect Bunker)and much accumulated knowledge and expertise to the Army (I believe that is a correct characterization of it) as they were forming Army Knowledge Base communities which were in their infancy. Fortunately for the Army, Dan had a significant head start was an important part of that.  Dan is a pioneer in that arena.

Following all of that, I started JDPendry.com and continued JD’s Bunker.  That was going full speed with a reasonable amount of subscribers and traffic until December 23, 2008 when I was involved in a serious automobile accident.  From then through 2009, there was no activity at JDPendry.com.  Subscriber base, web traffic, etc all dwindled to nothing.  While I was about to give up on the pursuit altogether, Dan again offered to host JDPendry.com on his webhosting service at Topsarge.com now MILMEDIA.  We began anew in 2010.  Since then JDPendry.com has existed as a place for me to write some when time, my demanding day job, and life in general permitted.  Goes without saying that it was sporadic. There has never been an attempt to commercialize the site, but the times they are a changin’.  On June 30, 2016, I retired from my second career and now hope to embark on a third in the written media and maybe into other platforms as well.  Who knows? Doc tells me I have to keep the cranial hard drive busy otherwise they’ll be fitting me with a drool bib or for a coffin.

As you might imagine from 1998 to 2008 there was a large volume of material posted in JD’s Bunker addressing Army issues, social issues, politics, and Americana.  From this page, I hope to reconstruct and open a door to the old Bunker with the original archived material (except for what might have resided on some long lost floppy disc).  It provides quite a commentary on the times and offers some decent leadership lessons for those interested.

You may find the html coding amateurish and shockingly simple by today’s standards, but in the days these pages were created you were mostly self-taught and hand jammed every page.

As I complete reconstruction of each of the old Bunker Pages, I will put links here. Maybe you will find something you like. Keep an eye out, more to come. Bunker Chapel | Bunker Poetry | NCO Duties and Responsibilities