J.D. Hall
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Interesting op-ed piece at CNN...

http://us.cnn.com/2016/09/12/opinions/us-following-path-of-u...

As the author of the piece noted, most people still have confidence in their local governments -- I'm guessing county/parish, municipal, perhaps even state level -- but are fast losing faith with the federal government. In part, I think this is because the federal government deals with ALL issues, such as defense, economy, civil rights, environment, food/drug safety. State governments have input into these issues but are not the major player the federal government is. Other governmental entities farther down the chain are left to adhere to state and federal law, and deal with more mundane local issues (this does not include huge metro areas like New York, Chicago, LA). And at this time in history, there is a tremendous amount of flux and stress. The pay gap, the never-ending dispute over abortion, illegal immigration, the evolution of other nation-states (just think how Russia and China have changed over the past two decades) and the ongoing unrest in the Middle East.

And much of that distrust of the federal government lies with the behavior of the two major political parties, who even to me appear to have few differences besides the letter beside a Congressperson's name. They appear to be only battling for dominance, not addressing the nation's issues. Toss in a media that is heavily politicized and more concerned about the sensational and the trivial than the heavy, meaty issues of the day.

I don't think it's so bad that a civil war might break out. What I do think might happen is fewer people will vote and participate in the political process, and the process will be in essence hijacked by the extremists on both sides, leading to more gridlock, less problem-solving.
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Most first world countries have political systems where the two main sides "take turns" running the executive and legislative branches without much interference until there is an election or rarely a really major shock where its clear that the sitting government has lost it's mandate.

People get disenchanted when it seems like both sides are corrupt etc but they do have the ability to cleanse the government of a non-performing party even it it's just to put the other guys in.

The US seems unique due to its separation of powers and in that executive and legislative power effectively get shared even if the specific chairs get mixed around a bit. Polarization leads to gridlock which more often than not just seems to lock in the status quo.

What I'd really worry about as an American is the increasing disrespect for the critical institutions that support representative democracy like an independent judiciary, free responsible press etc. Weakening these weakens the whole system and increases the prospect of extremist take over.
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what do you mean following? Your americans - your leading the charge!
 
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I read it.

It really didn't say anything other than the author taking a swing at some guy who heads up something called alt-right. The guy supposedly said human races aren't equal. No attribution and I have no idea who that person is or why he matters. If you ask any of the main leaders of BLM if they feel their race isn't equal you'll probably get no as an answer - some will think their race is better.

So what? How is that a sign of trouble?

The author then cites failing confidence in the federal government. Yeah, he's right, but that has been the case since the inception of the federal government I'd imagine. It's a human thing to use power for personal gain - look at the revelations today of how John FrankenKerry somehow got his daughter's NGO quite a few million from sources he was in charge of - and she didn't have to compete with any other NGO, she just got the bucks and then an extension. That's what people hate and that's not going to change in human nature, so the federal government is expected to police and punish it when it happens.

So how to fix it? I think it's simple... put the fuckers in jail. On trial. Indict the fuck outta them and then create a citizen-based journalism pool who don't turn the cameras off when the 1% tells them to (see Sunday, Hillary's people told the news pool to stop recording and just like they learned in college, they turned off the cameras to protect their candidate). If public figures and the political class were somehow held to the same standard as you and I then you'd see confidence in the federal government soar. Even if the people being indicted were popular on one side or the other the fact that the law has meaning no matter who you are is a sign of strength.

Take Katy Couric and her documentary producer. They openly violated federal gun laws so they could create a false narrative for their agenda. They broke a serious law that if I were to do it I'd have been indicted within days. Has the producer been indicted? No. Investigated? Who knows? It's zipped lips from the feds. Do anti-gun people want Couric or her producer indicted? No, but if they were even the most strident anti-gun zealot would have confidence in the feds - confidence that if they are caught breaking laws to produce a story then they will be tried for it.

I don't think America is looking like a failed state at all. I think it's just the pendulum swinging back and forth and that eventually we will get a leadership coalition that cleans house a bit and we'll some some people get jail. Eventually. Then it will swing the other way again for a few decades. C'est la guerre.
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Isaac Citrom
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DWTripp wrote:
...

So how to fix it? I think it's simple... put the fuckers in jail. On trial. Indict the fuck outta them and then create a citizen-based journalism pool who don't turn the cameras off when the 1% tells them to (see Sunday, Hillary's people told the news pool to stop recording and just like they learned in college, they turned off the cameras to protect their candidate). ...


This!! I know; I couldn't believe it when I first heard it. What the hell happened the U.S. 5th estate? And, the Left has the temerity to deny that the mainstream media is not very Left biased.
.
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Meh, most of the shitbag people fucking it up for the rest of us are dying off and not getting replaced.
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isaacc wrote:
DWTripp wrote:
...

So how to fix it? I think it's simple... put the fuckers in jail. On trial. Indict the fuck outta them and then create a citizen-based journalism pool who don't turn the cameras off when the 1% tells them to (see Sunday, Hillary's people told the news pool to stop recording and just like they learned in college, they turned off the cameras to protect their candidate). ...


This!! I know; I couldn't believe it when I first heard it. What the hell happened the U.S. 5th estate? And, the Left has the temerity to deny that the mainstream media is not very Left biased.
.


There is plenty of right wing biased media.

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maxo-texas wrote:
isaacc wrote:
DWTripp wrote:
...

So how to fix it? I think it's simple... put the fuckers in jail. On trial. Indict the fuck outta them and then create a citizen-based journalism pool who don't turn the cameras off when the 1% tells them to (see Sunday, Hillary's people told the news pool to stop recording and just like they learned in college, they turned off the cameras to protect their candidate). ...


This!! I know; I couldn't believe it when I first heard it. What the hell happened the U.S. 5th estate? And, the Left has the temerity to deny that the mainstream media is not very Left biased.
.


There is plenty of right wing biased media.



There is little to no unbiased media.
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Drew1365 wrote:
maxo-texas wrote:
isaacc wrote:
DWTripp wrote:
...

So how to fix it? I think it's simple... put the fuckers in jail. On trial. Indict the fuck outta them and then create a citizen-based journalism pool who don't turn the cameras off when the 1% tells them to (see Sunday, Hillary's people told the news pool to stop recording and just like they learned in college, they turned off the cameras to protect their candidate). ...


This!! I know; I couldn't believe it when I first heard it. What the hell happened the U.S. 5th estate? And, the Left has the temerity to deny that the mainstream media is not very Left biased.
.


There is plenty of right wing biased media.



I'll note that isaac specified "mainstream." So out of curiosity, name five mainstream media outlets that are right-wing.


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Robert Stuart
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Part of the problem (actually, the main problem) is that we've reached the stage in our collective evolution when the nation-state, as the highest level of human organization, has outlived its usefulness. That is, we need a global system -- a sort of world commonwealth. Of course, all the things we hold most dear, including rule of law, democratic decision-making, guarantee of basic human rights, and so forth, would be necessary elements of such a global system. And nations, with broad authority within their respective domains, would still exist within such a global commonwealth, just like cities, states and provinces exist within the current nation-state.

Are we, as a human race, capable of evolving towards a higher political loyalty? Are we capable of creating a global system which is more humane, more stable, more just and more dynamic than our current self-interest-ridden hodge-podge? Our intelligence knows no theoretical limits. Certainly, we are capable of building it.
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Drew1365 wrote:
maxo-texas wrote:
isaacc wrote:
DWTripp wrote:
...

So how to fix it? I think it's simple... put the fuckers in jail. On trial. Indict the fuck outta them and then create a citizen-based journalism pool who don't turn the cameras off when the 1% tells them to (see Sunday, Hillary's people told the news pool to stop recording and just like they learned in college, they turned off the cameras to protect their candidate). ...


This!! I know; I couldn't believe it when I first heard it. What the hell happened the U.S. 5th estate? And, the Left has the temerity to deny that the mainstream media is not very Left biased.
.


There is plenty of right wing biased media.



I'll note that isaac specified "mainstream." So out of curiosity, name five mainstream media outlets that are right-wing.

It's cute that you think there are more than five mainstream media outlets. Who do you consider "mainstream" that isn't part of: News Corp, Viacom/CBS, Disney, Comcast, or Time Warner? Maybe WaPo/Graham? They're pretty tiny relative to the big five.
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damiangerous wrote:
Drew1365 wrote:
maxo-texas wrote:
isaacc wrote:
DWTripp wrote:
...

So how to fix it? I think it's simple... put the fuckers in jail. On trial. Indict the fuck outta them and then create a citizen-based journalism pool who don't turn the cameras off when the 1% tells them to (see Sunday, Hillary's people told the news pool to stop recording and just like they learned in college, they turned off the cameras to protect their candidate). ...


This!! I know; I couldn't believe it when I first heard it. What the hell happened the U.S. 5th estate? And, the Left has the temerity to deny that the mainstream media is not very Left biased.
.


There is plenty of right wing biased media.



I'll note that isaac specified "mainstream." So out of curiosity, name five mainstream media outlets that are right-wing.

It's cute that you think there are more than five mainstream media outlets. Who do you consider "mainstream" that isn't part of: News Corp, Viacom/CBS, Disney, Comcast, or Time Warner? Maybe WaPo/Graham? They're pretty tiny relative to the big five.


I'll believe that any of those media outlets are left-wing when I hear them call for breaking up the big banks, nationalizing the oil companies and unionizing the service industries. Until then, they're just big businesses that pander to the liberal viewers on a few social issues to make more advertising bucks.
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aiabx wrote:
damiangerous wrote:
Drew1365 wrote:
maxo-texas wrote:
isaacc wrote:
DWTripp wrote:
...

So how to fix it? I think it's simple... put the fuckers in jail. On trial. Indict the fuck outta them and then create a citizen-based journalism pool who don't turn the cameras off when the 1% tells them to (see Sunday, Hillary's people told the news pool to stop recording and just like they learned in college, they turned off the cameras to protect their candidate). ...


This!! I know; I couldn't believe it when I first heard it. What the hell happened the U.S. 5th estate? And, the Left has the temerity to deny that the mainstream media is not very Left biased.
.


There is plenty of right wing biased media.



I'll note that isaac specified "mainstream." So out of curiosity, name five mainstream media outlets that are right-wing.

It's cute that you think there are more than five mainstream media outlets. Who do you consider "mainstream" that isn't part of: News Corp, Viacom/CBS, Disney, Comcast, or Time Warner? Maybe WaPo/Graham? They're pretty tiny relative to the big five.


I'll believe that any of those media outlets are left-wing when I hear them call for breaking up the big banks, nationalizing the oil companies and unionizing the service industries. Until then, they're just big businesses that pander to the liberal viewers on a few social issues to make more advertising bucks.

I'm with Andy: I had to re-read because I thought I'd missed the switch in the request to right-wing outlets.
 
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aiabx wrote:
damiangerous wrote:
Drew1365 wrote:
maxo-texas wrote:
isaacc wrote:
DWTripp wrote:
...

So how to fix it? I think it's simple... put the fuckers in jail. On trial. Indict the fuck outta them and then create a citizen-based journalism pool who don't turn the cameras off when the 1% tells them to (see Sunday, Hillary's people told the news pool to stop recording and just like they learned in college, they turned off the cameras to protect their candidate). ...


This!! I know; I couldn't believe it when I first heard it. What the hell happened the U.S. 5th estate? And, the Left has the temerity to deny that the mainstream media is not very Left biased.
.


There is plenty of right wing biased media.



I'll note that isaac specified "mainstream." So out of curiosity, name five mainstream media outlets that are right-wing.

It's cute that you think there are more than five mainstream media outlets. Who do you consider "mainstream" that isn't part of: News Corp, Viacom/CBS, Disney, Comcast, or Time Warner? Maybe WaPo/Graham? They're pretty tiny relative to the big five.


I'll believe that any of those media outlets are left-wing when I hear them call for breaking up the big banks, nationalizing the oil companies and unionizing the service industries. Until then, they're just big businesses that pander to the liberal viewers on a few social issues to make more advertising bucks.


Going just a tad far but I agree with the sentiment.
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tommynomad wrote:
aiabx wrote:
damiangerous wrote:
Drew1365 wrote:
maxo-texas wrote:
isaacc wrote:
DWTripp wrote:
...

So how to fix it? I think it's simple... put the fuckers in jail. On trial. Indict the fuck outta them and then create a citizen-based journalism pool who don't turn the cameras off when the 1% tells them to (see Sunday, Hillary's people told the news pool to stop recording and just like they learned in college, they turned off the cameras to protect their candidate). ...


This!! I know; I couldn't believe it when I first heard it. What the hell happened the U.S. 5th estate? And, the Left has the temerity to deny that the mainstream media is not very Left biased.
.


There is plenty of right wing biased media.



I'll note that isaac specified "mainstream." So out of curiosity, name five mainstream media outlets that are right-wing.

It's cute that you think there are more than five mainstream media outlets. Who do you consider "mainstream" that isn't part of: News Corp, Viacom/CBS, Disney, Comcast, or Time Warner? Maybe WaPo/Graham? They're pretty tiny relative to the big five.


I'll believe that any of those media outlets are left-wing when I hear them call for breaking up the big banks, nationalizing the oil companies and unionizing the service industries. Until then, they're just big businesses that pander to the liberal viewers on a few social issues to make more advertising bucks.

I'm with Andy: I had to re-read because I thought I'd missed the switch in the request to right-wing outlets.

I didn't offer any opinion on the ideology of any particular outlet. I was pointing out the absurdity of a request for five outlets to demonstrate something when there basically are only five outlets total.
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damiangerous wrote:
tommynomad wrote:
aiabx wrote:
damiangerous wrote:
Drew1365 wrote:
maxo-texas wrote:
isaacc wrote:
DWTripp wrote:
...

So how to fix it? I think it's simple... put the fuckers in jail. On trial. Indict the fuck outta them and then create a citizen-based journalism pool who don't turn the cameras off when the 1% tells them to (see Sunday, Hillary's people told the news pool to stop recording and just like they learned in college, they turned off the cameras to protect their candidate). ...


This!! I know; I couldn't believe it when I first heard it. What the hell happened the U.S. 5th estate? And, the Left has the temerity to deny that the mainstream media is not very Left biased.
.


There is plenty of right wing biased media.



I'll note that isaac specified "mainstream." So out of curiosity, name five mainstream media outlets that are right-wing.

It's cute that you think there are more than five mainstream media outlets. Who do you consider "mainstream" that isn't part of: News Corp, Viacom/CBS, Disney, Comcast, or Time Warner? Maybe WaPo/Graham? They're pretty tiny relative to the big five.


I'll believe that any of those media outlets are left-wing when I hear them call for breaking up the big banks, nationalizing the oil companies and unionizing the service industries. Until then, they're just big businesses that pander to the liberal viewers on a few social issues to make more advertising bucks.

I'm with Andy: I had to re-read because I thought I'd missed the switch in the request to right-wing outlets.

I didn't offer any opinion on the ideology of any particular outlet. I was pointing out the absurdity of a request for five outlets to demonstrate something when there basically are only five outlets total.


I can't believe you had to explain that.
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I suspect part of the problem is the same reason I do actually go back and forth between wondering if, indeed, more limited federal government and more focus on state's rights would be better: the US is very large and, even if the government weren't as messy as it was right now, would be hard pressed to properly serve the population on the whole due to diversity of region, income, etc, etc, etc.

When disagreements about policy are tight, it can feel like you are getting cheated because SO many people agree with you, but you aren't getting what you want.
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J.D. Hall
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isaacc wrote:
This!! I know; I couldn't believe it when I first heard it. What the hell happened the U.S. 5th Fourth estate? And, the Left has the temerity to deny that the mainstream media is not very Left biased.
.

Used to be a Fourth Estater.
 
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DWTripp wrote:
I read it.

It really didn't say anything other than the author taking a swing at some guy who heads up something called alt-right. The guy supposedly said human races aren't equal. No attribution and I have no idea who that person is or why he matters. If you ask any of the main leaders of BLM if they feel their race isn't equal you'll probably get no as an answer - some will think their race is better.

So what? How is that a sign of trouble?

The author then cites failing confidence in the federal government. Yeah, he's right, but that has been the case since the inception of the federal government I'd imagine. It's a human thing to use power for personal gain - look at the revelations today of how John FrankenKerry somehow got his daughter's NGO quite a few million from sources he was in charge of - and she didn't have to compete with any other NGO, she just got the bucks and then an extension. That's what people hate and that's not going to change in human nature, so the federal government is expected to police and punish it when it happens.

So how to fix it? I think it's simple... put the fuckers in jail. On trial. Indict the fuck outta them and then create a citizen-based journalism pool who don't turn the cameras off when the 1% tells them to (see Sunday, Hillary's people told the news pool to stop recording and just like they learned in college, they turned off the cameras to protect their candidate). If public figures and the political class were somehow held to the same standard as you and I then you'd see confidence in the federal government soar. Even if the people being indicted were popular on one side or the other the fact that the law has meaning no matter who you are is a sign of strength.

Take Katy Couric and her documentary producer. They openly violated federal gun laws so they could create a false narrative for their agenda. They broke a serious law that if I were to do it I'd have been indicted within days. Has the producer been indicted? No. Investigated? Who knows? It's zipped lips from the feds. Do anti-gun people want Couric or her producer indicted? No, but if they were even the most strident anti-gun zealot would have confidence in the feds - confidence that if they are caught breaking laws to produce a story then they will be tried for it.

I don't think America is looking like a failed state at all. I think it's just the pendulum swinging back and forth and that eventually we will get a leadership coalition that cleans house a bit and we'll some some people get jail. Eventually. Then it will swing the other way again for a few decades. C'est la guerre.


And through a brief break in the clouds a rare substantive opinion from Tripp. Right on.

isaacc wrote:


This!! I know; I couldn't believe it when I first heard it. What the hell happened the U.S. 5th estate? And, the Left has the temerity to deny that the mainstream media is not very Left biased.
.


Oh blah, blah, blah. The US Fifth estate has been eroded by a cascade of technological and business evolutions. Corporate ownership and then direction of newsrooms has turned them into ratings whores and profiteering centers. The 24 hours news cycle has only made that worse as the rise of infotainment has sublimated news content into tabloid style hyping and sound bite hunting. TV news was already second to print journalism and now newspapers are dying left and right to internet driven modes of print pushing absent journalistic integrity and discipline.

Are there a lot of "left" leaning journalists out there? Sure. However, there are also plenty of clearly right leaning media sources to be found as newspapers, radio stations, TV networks and blogs. Anyone who eats up MSNBC or Fox as there primary source of news is going to get an unbalanced diet.

Tripp's quite right to say this country is nowhere near a failed state, though there are plenty of shrill voices selling the notion. He's also right that we are seeing a pendulum in motion. The forces of left and right are redefining themselves in search of a moral high ground and without much regard to the limiting definitions of the last several decades.
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Rulesjd wrote:

Are there a lot of "left" leaning journalists out there? Sure. However, there are also plenty of clearly right leaning media sources to be found as newspapers, radio stations, TV networks and blogs. Anyone who eats up MSNBC or Fox as there primary source of news is going to get an unbalanced diet.

Tripp's quite right to say this country is nowhere near a failed state, though there are plenty of shrill voices selling the notion. He's also right that we are seeing a pendulum in motion. The forces of left and right are redefining themselves in search of a moral high ground and without much regard to the limiting definitions of the last several decades.


Now there are a few conservative leaning news organizations. but really only two that have any impact: Fox News on cable and the Drudge web site. That's about it, everyone else is small time with very marginal followings and even then they have typically only existed for a couple of years, maybe 5 to 10 max. Liberal leaning news sources have dominated the landscape since the 70's. That's over 45 years. Major newspapers, all three networks, then CNN followed by MSNBC and the whole public radio network of television, cable and radio.

The rise of conservative talk radio in the mid to late 90's is a good example of a huge market looking for a product they were unable to find until players like Limbaugh and Beck came along. And even then the democrats in congress, the democratic controlled FCC and the WH have floated more than one serious attempt to throttle conservative radio because it only presents a conservative perspective.

I consider that ominous and would consider it ominous if conservatives had ruled for nigh on 50 years and were constantly attempting to stop liberal news or talk from being heard.

I do agree that both major camps are seeking to prove their morality is more moral than the other guy's morality. And I appreciate the nice words. I do think conservative thought is inherently more moral than liberal thought but then you'd expect that. Realize though that almost my entire adult life I have rarely (until the late 90s) seen any widely broadcast news outlet that was openly conservative. Since this is America and a free country I can only compare living here and being a conservative throughout the 60's through to about 2000 was probably similar to what life under a communist regime would be like where all media and all news is controlled and the morality is always defined by the state. Only in America I suffered this while driving a Porsche, dressing nice, eating rich foods and not worrying if I'd be sent to the gulag for reading American Spectator.

But you get the point. The pendulum has swung all I think its going to towards the left and my gut and wisdom tells me the return to a more conservative non-PC and booming economy is going to begin over the next few years.

Unless that fucking guy in NK nukes China or some dumb shit like that. If that happens all bets are off and Canada wins.
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Tripp almost had it there except we aren't going back to the bad old days UNLESS there is some sort of global catastrophe ala nukes or a new Civil War.
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DWTripp wrote:
Now there are a few conservative leaning news organizations. but really only two that have any impact: Fox News on cable and the Drudge web site. That's about it, everyone else is small time with very marginal followings and even then they have typically only existed for a couple of years, maybe 5 to 10 max.

Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity still have around 13 million listeners on the radio, completely dwarfing anything Fox News gets. Hell Glenn Beck pulls in 7 million. All of the Cable news stations combined only manage a bit under 4 million.

It is just a measure of who listens to that garbage, which is mostly just angry old men. So yeah, the news cycle is still completely dominated by conservative news sources. Most people don't give a shit about the news as they are too busy watching the big bang theory and the walking dead.
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J.D. Hall
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Hmmm...

An OP that posits the possible decline and fall of America, and you guys concentrate on the media?

Yep, we're fucked.
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sfox wrote:
DWTripp wrote:
Now there are a few conservative leaning news organizations. but really only two that have any impact: Fox News on cable and the Drudge web site. That's about it, everyone else is small time with very marginal followings and even then they have typically only existed for a couple of years, maybe 5 to 10 max.

Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity still have around 13 million listeners on the radio, completely dwarfing anything Fox News gets. Hell Glenn Beck pulls in 7 million. All of the Cable news stations combined only manage a bit under 4 million.

It is just a measure of who listens to that garbage, which is mostly just angry old men. So yeah, the news cycle is still completely dominated by conservative news sources. Most people don't give a shit about the news as they are too busy watching the big bang theory and the walking dead.


Well, since the majority of the listeners to those sites are bitter liberals I doubt your demographics are accurate. The news cycle (whatever that really is) doesn't feature radio so much.

Quote:
A complete news cycle consists of the media reporting on some event, followed by the media reporting on public and other reactions to the earlier reports. The advent of 24-hour cable and satellite television news channels and, in more recent times, of news sources on the World Wide Web (including blogs), considerably shortened this process.


Still, I think you're being facetious when you say most people don;t watch news because of the Big Bang Theory. That's 30 minutes a week, for less than half the year. I think they must also be watching other things too. Or, as you suggest, listening to conservative talk radio.
 
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bob_santafe wrote:
Part of the problem (actually, the main problem) is that we've reached the stage in our collective evolution when the nation-state, as the highest level of human organization, has outlived its usefulness. That is, we need a global system -- a sort of world commonwealth. Of course, all the things we hold most dear, including rule of law, democratic decision-making, guarantee of basic human rights, and so forth, would be necessary elements of such a global system. And nations, with broad authority within their respective domains, would still exist within such a global commonwealth, just like cities, states and provinces exist within the current nation-state.

Are we, as a human race, capable of evolving towards a higher political loyalty? Are we capable of creating a global system which is more humane, more stable, more just and more dynamic than our current self-interest-ridden hodge-podge? Our intelligence knows no theoretical limits. Certainly, we are capable of building it.


So the further a government exists from the people it serves, the less trust it garners from the people. And your solution is to move from a national government to a global government?
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