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  Road to the Middle Class
Friday July 25, 2014 
by Christopher Chantrill Follow chrischantrill on Twitter

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 BLOG:

Get a Clue on Reality of Politics and Journalism, Ron Fournier

FOR years I've been wondering how the Obama administration does it.  I mean how it has managed near zero pushback from the media?

I know that the media are all liberals and liberals believe that the Democrats' hearts are in the right place.  But still, somewhere, somehow there must have been a liberal joournalist whose desire to make a name for himself should have won out against tribal loyalty.  After all, you don't make a career in journalism by going along to get along.  Not any more, not while dead-tree journalism is flushing down the toilet.

There must me more to the Obama message discipline than tribal loyalty, and the "more" has been slowly dribbling out in the lame-duck years of the Obama presidency.  We've seen that Obama officials go nuclear against journalists that displease them, pushing back with appalling invective in a brazen attempt to intimidate.  And we've seen that the Obamis appeal over the heads of the journalists to the Democratic-contributor suits at the media outlets to keep the junior journos in line.

Now we see, from a frustrated Ron Fournier, that there's another method to the Obama media blitzkrieg: the media minder.  Quoting a Washington Post staffer, he writes:

"Almost every officially sanctioned exchange between reporters and the proverbial 'senior administration officials' is conducted in the presence of a press staffer, even when the interview is 'on background,' meaning the source will not be identified by name."
The purpose of the "press staffer" is not just to intimidate the reporter but also the administration official.
"If you have a minder there, it sits in [a source's] brain that they're supposed to stay on message," said Peter Baker, who covers the White House for the New York Times. "They're less likely to share something other than the talking points."
Ron Fournier's solution to this problem is to "flip the script," to refuse to play by the rules, to make the administration fear the reporter rather than the other way around.

But this is rubbish, at least for reporters in a Democratic administration.  And it violates what I call the "Jack Patera Rule." Or you can call it the "blood in the water" rule.

The story is simple.  Years ago, Jack Patera was the first head coach of the expansion Seattle Seahawks.  Every week the local sports journalists would interview him on various pre- and post-game shows, respectfully asking the usual nuts-and-bolts questions about the game.  But then the day came when Jack Patera was fired as head coach, and we found out that the journalists had never liked him. Then all the dirt came out.  No kidding!  You guys thought Jack was a loser all along?  Why didn't you tell us, you rough, tough, muckracking journos?

Of course the sports journalists didn't tell us.  Because day-to-day their jobs depended on the nuts-and-bolts PR of interviews and canned questions about the team and the game.  If they had started asking difficult questions, then they would have lost their jobs.

Because the whole point of sports journalism is to do PR for the home sports teams.

Until there is blood in the water, and the coach loses his job.  Then it's shark feeding time and the journos can circle in for the kill.

That's why Ron Fournier needs to get a clue on the journalists that cover the Obama administration.  If any journalist "flipped the script" on the Obamis it would be his last interview.  Game over. Career over.  There are lots more journalists where that one came from, hungry journalists willing to play doormat for the next interview.

Until there is blood in the water, and everyone agrees that President Obama is the worst president ever and the officials of the Obama administration are the most useless and incompetent and corrupt ever.  Then you'll see courage returning to the press corps. Then you'll see the sharks going in for the kill.

The only guys that could have "flipped the script" were the Obamis.  They could have said: Look, everyone wants to be able to control the message, but you can go too far.  Isn't the whole point of the media is to shine a light upon the government, and give it some feedback?  That way, maybe, we can avoid making a few real boner mistakes.

But that was never the way that the Obamis approached things.  They wanted to push as many left-liberal policies past the point of no-return as they could, never mind how it was done.  We can assume that they believed in the ratchet effect.  Once you start a government program it is almost impossible to stop it.

And, of course, there is the little matter of power.  Men like power, and will seize it if they can.  What's the point of political power if you don't use it?  The place to learn the game of power when you are merely a bush-league politician is in bullying young bush-league journalists around, because they need you more than you need them.  By the time you have graduated to big-league politics you are practiced enough to bully big-league journalists around!

Which way is best for an administration?  Is it best to use the utmost ferocity in your messaging and make the journos fear you?  Or is it best to ease up a bit and let them criticize you?

Stay tuned for the final two years of the Obama administration to find out.


perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 07/25/14 11:06 am ET


Fighting the Left-wing Culture

HERE'S a touching story from Taki on-line magazine.  It's about Roy Griffis, who's been writing for years, but could never break through the liberal gatekeepers in the entertainment and publishing industries. But now, as Amy Sterzinger writes, Griffis is finally getting published, because of the growth of indie publishing efforts like Liberty Island. You can see why he's had a problem. ...

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perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 07/24/14 12:37 pm ET


Obamas' Problem, Chris Cilizza, Is That Liberalism is Unjust

WE conservatives have been waiting for this: the moment when liberal pundits would view the failed Obama presidency and sigh that the job was just too big for one man.  Déjà vu Jimmy Carter all over again. So here comes liberal worthy Chris Cillizza telling us that "It's virtually impossible to be a successful modern president." No! For you young 'uns, a bit of history.  Back in the 1970s when...

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perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 07/23/14 11:36 am ET


It's Not the Economy, Stupid!

A big hinge-point in my adult life from 1968 to now is the Turn of 1998.  That's when nice kindly women voters decided that since the federal budget was in surplus it was time for government to "do" stuff again. No! No! No!  That's what I wanted to bellow to the soccer moms back then.  Everything government does is a mess; everything it does is a waste, from the Pentagon down to midnight ...

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perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 07/22/14 11:11 am ET


Who Deals with the Freeloaders and Predators?

THE two Big Problems of human society, in my view, are Freeloaders and Freebooters.  I have a whole chapter about it in "Freebooters and Freeloaders." Who are they?

The Freebooters are the common criminals that prey on the poor.  That's what we have police forces for.  That's just the domestic freebooters.  The foreign freebooters are the neighboring state, the expansionist empire, the marauders and the pirates.  That's what we have armies for.

But what about the freeloaders?  They are the people looking for free stuff.  And it's a curious thing that the government that defends us from freebooters, common criminals and dreaded foreign powers, is the agency that tends and feeds the freeloaders.  Why does it do that?  Because that is how all governments maintain their power.  They originate as rebel or conquering armies that distribute baronies to the captains in their armies.  They continue by buying the loyalty of their supporters with government spending and privileges.

So we could say that governments exist to protect the people from the predators.  But they do it at the cost of encouraging the freeloaders.  Two steps forward and one step backward.

What do we do about the freeloader problem?  That's what we have religion for, and specifically the post-Axial Age religions that advance an individual relationship with God.  Put it this way.  The only way you can deal with a common criminal is by arresting him and locking him up.  But freeloaders are different.  They are people that don't actively break the law.  They are just sneaking around looking for handouts.  It's obviously a universal human trait or we wouldn't have supermarket specials and coupons and airline frequent flier programs.

The way you deal with freeloaders is you make them ashamed of their idleness. You shame them into getting a job.  That's what religion does.

Back when Jane Austen was writing novels it was nothing for the rich to be idle.  And the worst of the worst were the young heirs that wasted their youths on gambling and dissipation.  I am thinking in particular of young Tom Bertram in Mansfield Park.

Not any more.  The liberal trustafarians of our own time all present themselves as busy as bees running their family foundations and funding social justice projects.  High class women don't sit around embroidering and making calls. They all have college educations and have careers.  Rich people don't have social cachet these days unless they are doing something.

So much for the rich.  But at the other end of the spectrum the modern welfare state actually encourages the poor in their idleness.  It makes a virtue out of freeloading!  And this is coded into the very design of the authoritarian welfare state and its over-under governing coalition.  The "over" part gets the jobs, the money, the power and the love of beautiful women.  The "under" part gets to freeload with a share of the loot, a payoff for voting the "overs" into power.

Now I maintain that the secular liberal political movement is actually a secular religion.  It is not just a governing party but a way of life.  So here we have a religion that actually promotes freeloading!

If you ask me, something's gotta give.

Here's my idea for a better America.  Keep the government focused on fighting the freebooters and the predators.  Government is force, and the only thing it can do is wage war on someone.

But we need a new religion to shame the freeloaders.  Religion is all about the meaning of life and what it takes to live a good life.  And the way that religion works on people is by shaming and shunning the backsliders: "social control" as our liberal friends put it.

But first we've got to chase the present liberal priesthood out of the temple, because their religion is a false religion.  If a religion does not shame its believers away from freeloading then it is worth nothing at all.


perm | comment(0) | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 06/20/14 10:22 am ET


How to Teach Rapists Not to Rape

THERE'S a big flap going on in SF quarters right now about rape.  Conservative SF writer Larry Correia in his blog affirmed the advice of Miss Nevada that women should take self-defense classes to protect themselves from rapists. Apparently this is all wrong.  The current liberal narrative is that there is a "rape culture" in the US and that instead of teaching women to defend themselves we ...

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perm | comment(0) | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 06/19/14 10:33 am ET


It's not the Corporations, It's the Government

YESTERDAY talk-show host Rush Limbaugh riffed off a piece in Redstate.com about crony capitalism.  Big business, you see, doesn't like Dave Brat and his populist anti-corporatism.  They are afraid that Tea Party populism could upset their relationship with their "strongest champions on Capitol Hill." Look, I understand how business feels about this.  It's all very well for a Tea Party candidate...

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perm | comment(1) | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 06/18/14 10:51 am ET


Matt Ridley's "Rational Optimist:" It Takes a Collective Brain

WHAT makes humans different?  In our modern era our opinion leaders have been moving closer and closer to the Folger's TV commercial insistence that there's "no difference."  People can't tell the difference between Folger's mass-market coffee and the other kind -- at least not after a satisfying restaurant meal.  Nor is there any difference between humans and the rest of the animal kingdom.  We...

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perm | comment(0) | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 06/17/14 2:30 pm ET


|  July blogs  |  June blogs  |

 DOWNLOAD

Download latest e-book draft here.

 MANIFESTO

A New Manifesto
A spectre is haunting the liberal elite—the spectre of conservatism.

 DRAFT CHAPTERS

The Crisis of the Administrative State
It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

Government and the Technology of Power
If you scratch a social reformer, you will likely discover a plan for more government.

Business, Slavery, and Trust
Business is all about trust and relationship.

Humanity's Big Problem: Freebooters and Freeloaders
The modern welfare state encourages freeloaders.

The Bonds of Faith
No society known to anthropology or history lacked religion.

A Critique of Social Mechanics
The problem with human society reduced to system.

The Paradox of Individualism
Is individualism the gospel of selfishness or something else?

From Multitude to Civil Society
The larger the government, the smaller the society.

The Answer is Civil Society
In between the separated powers.

The Greater Separation of Powers
If you want to limit power then you must limit power.

Conservatism Three by Three
Conservatism, political, economics, and cultural.

The Culture of Involvement
Imagining lives without the welfare state

The Poor Without the Welfare State
Can the poor thrive without the welfare state?

The Middle Class Without The Welfare State
How would the middle class live without all those middle-class entitlements?

From Freeloaders to Free Givers
The path to the future lies through moral movements.

The Real Meaning of Society
Broadening the horizon of cooperation in the “last best hope of man on earth.”

conservative manifesto

Opeds


 AAM BOOKS


AAM Book of the Day

Gould, Philip, The Unfinished Revolution


AAM Books on Education

Andrew Coulson, Market Education
How universal literacy was achieved before government education

Carl Kaestle, Pillars of the Republic
How we got our education system

James Tooley, Reclaiming Education
How only a market in education will provide opportunity for the poor

James Tooley, The Miseducation of Women
How the feminists wrecked education for boys and for girls

E.G. West, Education and the State
How education was doing fine before the government muscled in


AAM Books on Law

Hernando De Soto, The Mystery of Capital
How ordinary people in the United States wrote the law during the 19th century

F. A. Hayek, Law Legislation and Liberty, Vol 1
How to build a society based upon law

Henry Maine, Ancient Law
How the movement of progressive peoples is from status to contract

John Zane, The Story of Law
How law developed from early times down to the present


AAM Books on Mutual Aid

James Bartholomew, The Welfare State We're In
How the welfare state makes crime, education, families, and health care worse.

David Beito, From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State
How ordinary people built a sturdy social safety net in the 19th century

David Green, Before Beveridge: Welfare Before the Welfare State
How ordinary people built themselves a sturdy safety net before the welfare state

Theda Skocpol, Diminished Democracy
How the US used to thrive under membership associations and could do again

David Stevenson, The Origins of Freemasonry
How modern freemasonry got started in Scotland


AAM Books on Religion

David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing
How Christianity is booming in China

Finke & Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990
How the United States grew into a religious nation

Robert William Fogel, The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism
How progressives must act fast if they want to save the welfare state

David Martin, Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish
How Pentecostalism is spreading across the world


 READINGS

A Recovery Stymied by Redistribution
economist explains how help for unemployed discouraged people from taking jobs in the late great recovery.

Why Voters Grew Tired of Cantor
GOP voters don't like government of the cronies, for the cronies, by the cronies.

California's Absurd Intervention Over Dorm Room Sex
Back in 1949 Beauvoir celebrated the "independent woman." What happened to her?

The Moocher Hall of Fame
Dan Mitchell's list of shameless welfare recipients.

Does Technology Have to Replace Low Income Jobs?
how employers respond to $15 minimum wage: they slash benefits.

> archive

 CCWUD PROJECT

cruel . corrupt . wasteful
unjust . deluded


 


 THE BOOK

After a year of President Obama most Americans understand that the nation is on the wrong track. But how do we find the right track? Americans knew thirty years ago that liberalism was a busted flush. Yet Reaganism and Bushism seemed to be less than the best answer.

But where can we turn? Where are the thinkers and activists of the old days? Where do we find the best ideas? And how do we persuade our present ruling class to loosen its grip on power so that we can move the locomotive of state back onto the right track?

With all of our problems it seems like the worst of times.

In fact, this is the best of times. Under the radar a generation of great thinkers have been figuring out what went wrong and conjuring up visions of a better future. This book, "An American Manifesto: Life After Liberalism" is an introduction to their ideas, and to the great future that awaits an America willing to respond to their call.

Although this book is addressed to all Americans, conservative, moderate, and liberal, and looks to a nation that transcends our present partisan divide, I must tell you that liberals will have the most difficulty with the book. The reason is simple. I am asking liberals to give up a lot of the power they have amassed in the last century. But we are all Americans, and we must all give up something for the sake of the greater good.

 THE BLOG

I am Christopher Chantrill and I am writing this book in full view. I'll be blogging on the process and the ideas, and I'll be asking you, dear readers, to help. Read the blog. Read the articles as they come out on American Thinker and ponder over the draft chapters here on this site.

Then send me your reactions, your thoughts, and your comments. You will help more than you know.

 TAGS


Chappies

“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison


Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust


Hugo on Genius

“Tear down theory, poetic systems... No more rules, no more models... Genius conjures up rather than learns... ” —Victor Hugo
César Graña, Bohemian versus Bourgeois


Education

“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State


Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990


Conversion

“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


Postmodernism

A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ’merely relative’, is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.
Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy


 

©2014 Christopher Chantrill

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