Narrative News as (well-intentioned but dangerous) Propaganda

NOTE: This post originally appeared in The Moderate Voice on March 17, 2021. WordPress has changed to a new and useless composing system that’s taken a month to disable.

Cops: Shooting suspect says he targeted spas because of sexual addiction
Shaddi Abusaid / Atlanta Journal-Constitution

—  Cherokee sheriff says 21-year-old bought gun hours earlier  —  Cherokee County Sheriff Frank Reynolds said Wednesday the suspect in a metro Atlanta spa shooting spree that killed eight people bought the gun he used hours earlier.

Eight murders in Atlanta neatly fell into the (politically correct) narrative. Alas, it quickly appeared that a DIFFERENT narrative was in evidence, and no one seems to want to talk about that.

Worse, guest after guest on cable news has explicitly rejected the “sex addiction” narrative so as to pursue the “anti-Asian bias” narrative.

WTF people? Continue reading

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The Coming Vaccine Scandals

Contractor Who Was Awarded $34.5 Million in Government Money and Provided Zero Masks Pleads Guilty to Fraud
J. David McSwane / ProPublica

—  The VA and FEMA agreed to pay a first-time vendor in a desperate search for protective equipment.  Now Robert Stewart admits he defrauded three federal agencies and lied about being in the Marine Corps.

When billions of dollars are at stake, the crooks appear as surely as ants at a picnic.

I don’t know why humans so often fail to use their ability to project the future based on the knowledge of the past, but here we are again.

Here are some simple propositions:

  1. The Coronavirus vaccines are, currently, the most valuable liquids on Earth.
  2. Almost zero lip service (and, alas, security service) is being given to ensuring a fair and equitable rollout to ALL Americans.
  3. Plans mentioned are to ship the vaccine directly to pharmacies.
  4. The potential for bootlegging, theft and sale to those who will pay a premium is STAGGERING.

It doesn’t take a lot of thought to parse that out, but in the Kumbaya of trying to vaccinate everybody, that basic human urge to make money from tragedy is all but ignored in all reporting, and, sad to seem [sic], policy.

I will stick with my pre-election suggestion: Continue reading

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Beware the False Kumbaya

December 2021 UPDATE BELOW

Let the whining begin. Seldom have grownups been so desperately sensitive and given to bitter weeping:

 Tale of two briefings: Jen Psaki treated much differently by press than Sean Spicer
Brian Flood / Fox News

—  Biden press secretary faces mostly friendly questions from mainstream press  —  Biden WH press secretary takes mostly softball questions in first briefing  —  CNN pundit-turned-White House press secretary Jen Psaki held her first press briefing on Wednesday and the mostly friendly questions were a stark contrast to the way media members treated the Trump administration’s first event.…

I will pass over the fact that virtually every statement in the story is a lie or a blatant distortion.* Continue reading


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This is my “retired” blog.

From 2004 to 2014, I blogged (long-form, since I started out writing for magazines) nearly every day.

And was featured in Salon, Crooks and Liars, The Moderate Voice, The Democratic Daily, BlueOregon, The (Eugene, Ore.) Register Guard, The (Portland) Oregonian, the Eugene Weekly, The Omaha World Herald, on the local AirAmerica affiliate KOPT and on PBS. (See sidebar for PBS interview). Etcetera.*

[* As in there are more, but I don’t spend a lot of time cultivating my C.V.]

Since 2014, I have blogged infrequently and occasionally, but when I do, I post here.


—Hart Williams



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Where Are All Those Votes?

Now we know it was a fair and transparent election:

Bush Center

Statement by President George W. Bush  —  President Bush congratulates President-elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris  —  DALLAS, TEXAS — I just talked to the President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.  I extended my warm congratulations and thanked him for the patriotic message he delivered last night…

OK. Nothing to see here. Move along move along. Blue won. Or did they?

Let me engage in a bit of rational, logical conspiracy theory*.

As the Trumpists rail that the election was “stolen” one salient fact has been glossed over: the presumption that all pollsters in all states (and in every presidential election since 2000) “got it wrong again.”

Really? That might bear a scintilla more of interest. Let’s do a little deduction, shall we?

Continue reading


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Of Republicans and a Manichean SCOTUS

Today it’s arguing about court packing, with the horses gone and the barn door still open …

‘The View’s’ Sunny Hostin Schools Bari Weiss on ‘Court Packing’
Matt Wilstein / The Daily Beast

—  Former “New York Times” columnist Bari Weiss filled the void left by Meghan McCain on Tuesday’s episode of “The View.”  —  Bari Weiss has been relatively quiet since she canceled herself from The New York Times earlier this year…

Last night, we watched the obscene and unthinkable spectacle of a Supreme Court Justice being sworn in on White House grounds, and in a super-spreader event paralleling the nomination announcement of Amy Coathanger Bryant.*

[* After the horror of back-alley abortions, and of the second-Runner-up in the Miss America pageant of 1959, who became the face of homophobia in the 1970s and who turns out to still be alive at 80. Oh, and if “Sleepy Joe” et al. are OK, then MY nickname is OK, too.]

But, in its almost Manichean way, it was apt.

First, let me tell you a story, though:

I remember when Justice Thurgood Marshall retired. I had just written a feature piece about the infamous Rust v. Sullivan “gag order” abortion case [decided May 23, 1991] for the Santa Fe Sun, and noted Justice Marshall’s concluding statement in dissent: “A chill wind blows.” Continue reading

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Mitch McConnell is an Existential Threat to our Republic

We’re back at the age-old game of “chicken” in place of “democracy.”

Pelosi sets 48-hour deadline for White House on stimulus talks
Fadel Allassan / Axios

… Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he would not put a potential $1.8 trillion+ deal struck by Democrats and the Trump administration on the Senate floor. Instead, the Senate will vote next week on a Paycheck Protection Program extension and a targeted $500 billion relief package*.

* Unspoken: A cosmetic bill doomed to fail but needed so that Republican senators can go back home for the elections and lie to constituents that THEY tried to do a stimulus bill, they TRIED to keep you from being evicted, going bankrupt, being foreclosed on, eating food, etc. but evil DEMMYCRATS refused to help!

And, given their past track record on this sort of thing, they will probably be successful at the lie. Which is why Mitch McConnell was caught at his debate with challenger Amy McGrath giggling and laughing at ridiculous notions of people living and dying. Well America,

The fault is not in our stars, but in our Mitch. Continue reading


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The Rats in the Walls

Coordinated push of conspiracy theories target Biden hours before debate
Ben Collins / NBC News

A conspiracy theory that Joe Biden would wear an electronic device in his ear during the first presidential debate went wildly viral Tuesday in the hours before the debate, and the theory was later amplified …

Ah, it’s fall, and you can hear them in the walls ….

Ratfucking is an American slang term for political sabotage or dirty tricks, particularly pertaining to elections. It was brought to public attention by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in the book which chronicled their investigative reporting of the Watergate affair,  All the President’s Men (1974).


And if you wait for the silence, and listen carefully, you can hear them doing it in the walls, everywhere around you. Squeak! Squeak! Squeal!

Rats love to video themselves in the act. It turns them on.

Continue reading

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Cheating for Justice

The Battle Over Ginsburg’s Seat Is Set to Be All About Raw Power.  But There’s Still a Way to Show Principles Matter
David French / TIME

The Republican argument for immediately nominating and confirming a replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsburg is now stripped of all pretext. It’s about raw power. In fact, it can be boiled down to three words – “Elections have consequences.” The Republicans won the presidency in 2016, they held the Senate in 2018, and there is nothing unconstitutional or illegal about wielding that power now, even when Americans are already voting in a presidential election that will end in less than seven weeks. The argument has a certain Machiavellian simplicity about it ….

Cheating for justice is like f**king for chastity: an oxymoron perpetrated BY oxymorons. As in “decent Republican” and “patriotic GOP.”**

I would like to direct your attention to the preamble of the Constitution, not much regarded by jurists, but the words OUGHT to carry the same weight as the other words: the mission statement, the statement of purpose.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Cheating is not justice. Cheating is not just. But cheating seems OK with the liars of the GOP if they can get their way … on judges?

What IS cheating? you might ask.

Continue reading

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