The poisoned well of American politics

But the genius of Trump morphed a disaster into an opportunity. In the next article I’ll try to explain how this is possible in my estimation. Side Note to the election results. I’m not used to American television. You Americans surely put up with a shocking (and I mean, shocking, exhausting) amount of commercials! At times I thought that the entire point of election coverage was insurance plans and prescription drugs, with frequent interruptions informing us about Arby’s, pillows, windshield wipers, a crooked penis condition (!) and, yes, repetitive announcements about the upcoming interview with a politician…   Midterm: Everybody Wins? The political climate that lead to this US general…

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The birth of Fake News

Have you ever wondered how the expression originated? I mean, in a wider sense the dissemination of fabricated stories, mostly for propaganda reasons, dates back at least to Ancient Greece, and that’s just because we have limited data from earlier civilizations. But why the sudden alarm for the spread of fake news? Not all TED conferences are created equal. Some even contain inconvenient truths. Sharyl Attkisson is a tough cookie: a investigative journalist who worked in the mainstream media, a respectable voice that can’t be silenced by pretending she comes from the unwashed fringe. Although of course she left CBS when her tough stance and pointed critique of Obama’s administration…

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Why so much fake outrage? Why siding with criminals?

Time cover, Donald Trump looking down on crying child (fair use: critique)

The quest for the evil roots of the Left: our first step is observing the apologists of illegal immigration.   Scene 1, Honduras: a well off family, at least for the standards of developing countries; the husband has a good job, the wife drives a car nicer than mine. They have 4 children. Scene 2, USA-Mexico border: the woman from scene 1 decides to leave the country taking the youngest daughter with her, not even bothering to say goodbye to her husband and her 3 other children. She wants to seek her fortune in the United States, even if she’d already been deported in 2013. She gives 6000 dollars to a criminal…

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Medium sucks

Soviet propaganda stamp from 1968

Medium is a neutrality-agnostic platform. They push in one direction, even against their interests. Discussing the bazillionth propaganda-infested email I received from Medium, the most successful blogging platform of the moment. In their imagination the titles of the promoted articles would entice me to click, read and possibly become a premium member, paying for the privilege of being served tons of one-sided articles, plus (thanks God) quite a few dealing instead with matters unrelated to politics. In the email I received there were 2 articles in the Politics section. One is just the usual tripe about the dangers of Fascism today, as expressed through the point of view of a hallucinated author…

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Understanding the Muslim Travel Ban kabuki theater

In order to continue advancing their illogical arguments modern liberals have to pretend not to know things. David Mamet   Donald Trump recently issued two different executive orders banning people from a few problematic Islamic countries from entering the US; in both cases, the orders have been blocked by rulings issued by district judges, despite the fact that travel restrictions on foreigners are a prerogative of the President of the United States, meant to protect the country’s interests.   Unnecessary explanation of the legal theater (please skip it)   To get to block the orders, they needed a pretty creative interpretation of a 1965 (Hart-Celler) Act, stating that you shouldn’t…

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More crowd counting lies, less common sense

CGIL rally. Rome, Circo Massimo, 2009

Women vs.Trump, NYT vs.Trump In my last article I discussed the crowd sizes for the Presidential Inauguration Ceremonies in Washington DC, offering my rough estimates: O 2009: 500;   O 2013: 350;   T 2017: 300 (in thousands)   while according to the mainstream media you’d have to believe the following baseless reconstruction: O 2009: 1800;   O 2013: 1000;   T 2017: 250 or some unspecified number in the low 100s (of thousands)   Most news outlets chose to contrast Trump’s crowd with the Women’s March against him, where a large number of people gathered to express their anger against the newly elected President, on the Sunday following the Inauguration. My…

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On Trump, crowd counting & lies. Look what I found!

How big was the crowd at Trump’s Inauguration? Bear with me. I wasted waaay too much time on this study. But the results are significant.   This is a teachable moment. What happens when literally everybody is lying, and the matter is quite difficult to verify to begin with? Ideally, you’d expect people to notice and demand better standards from politicians and journalists, but no. The two sides just choose the narrative they like, then run with it. Eventually the public moves on. But I’m not. I waited a few days to see if someone came up with a decent article on the subject, in vain. See, the topic itself isn’t…

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The Trump Train vs. the station moving backwards

Donald vs. Francis There are 2 main “current events” subjects I want to cover in this blog: the US Presidency and the Vatican. Turns out I’m hardly writing about the Pope, and (based on the number of articles) people may think I’m fixating on Trump. The thing is, not only Trump represents a positive development, while the Catholic Church is depressingly close to its nadir point. The two realities move very differently. While “progressive” bishops are hard at work to destroy their Church from the interior, reflexively reacting in a predictable and passive manner, always manipulated or outmaneuvered by smarter players and pushing for ideas that were fashionable 50 years ago, the Trump…

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The US Media Circus & Trump, as seen from abroad

People attending Trump's Presidential Inauguration

Since I kept a close eye on the US Presidential Election, especially for an Italian, but I didn’t report of the events unfolding from the actual election itself on November 9 to yesterday’s Presidential Inauguration, many fellow foreigners may now ask: what happened during this transition? The short answer is “not much”.     The Trump team was busy putting together a cabinet that seems quite solid and trying to keep the promise of bringing a new approach to politics. Case in point, Trump nominated Scott Pruitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, and this move was widely criticized because Pruitt himself previously sued the EPA (alongside many other…

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Trump is the answer to Obama

Barack Obama looking out of the window at the White House; the shiny figure of Donald Trump emerging

Today is the last day in office for President Obama. It’s been more than 2 months since the election, and yet his supporters are still moping and complaining because Trump won.   In many ways, Donald Trump is the exact opposite of Barack Obama: a reaction if you will. In other aspects, though, he’s a natural successor: another pop icon, the type of personality that could win after Obama paved the way for this new approach to politics and popularity.   Here’s some quick points to raise about their similarities and differences.         New media and the young vote. Barack was able to prevail over a decrepit adversary like…

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Why problems are either very easy or very hard

Natural hurdles, human hurdles.   Did you notice? It’s quite uncommon to face medium difficulty problems. In your everyday life you are sometimes tasked to solve issues that seem impossible to come to grips with. There are mysteries that seem way bigger than our puny minds. We often get to comment on issues that on the contrary appear quite easy to deal with, and you are left wondering why people are still struggling with them. But you rarely seem to encounter intermediate level problems. How come?   Let’s put down some examples (I’ll alienate some readers in the process).   Producing a new vaccine requires an excellent research team and years of work, and…

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Behold: a hoax buster in total anti-Trump meltdown

How to ruin your reputation. Paolo Attivissimo is a tech journalist and a semi-celebrity; he’s by far the most prominent debunker in the Italian language web. His work to dispel myths and conspiracy theories is well known and appreciated (including by yours truly): among other things, he and his collaborators created websites dedicated to debunking  9/11 conspiracy theories, or the Moonlanding hoaxes (in Italian). Well, he just became unhinged. A few days ago, he published an embarrassing, painful-to-read article against Donald Trump. Here it is (in Italian): FAQ: perché ce l’ho con Trump presidente? Perché sono un debunker (FAQ: why am I mad at President Trump? Because I’m a debunker). Its’ just pathetic: he sounds…

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