Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"Colt .45s; putting bad guys underground since 1873." -- Unknown

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Let’s eat all of these people!” — Venom

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Friday, February 14, 2020

Coming to a Radio Station Near You: Russian Propaganda

The Russians are buying airtime on radio stations to beam propaganda broadcasts. They are operating on the old principle that the capitalists will sell the rope that will be used to hang them.

As expected, the owners of the radio stations only care that the checks clear.

I cannot imagine an American radio station willingly airing programs from Radio Moscow back in the day.

It goes deeper than that. Many papers publish pieces by opinion writers who take a paycheck from Putin. For example, Rachel Marsden, a conservative columnist, is one of them.


Tod Germanica said...

Money talks and patriots walk, while trumpite grifters ride the gravy train. It's the age of the philistine.

B said...

"I cannot imagine an American radio station willingly airing programs from Radio Moscow back in the day."

Yet no one seems to think that is is bad that an avowed socialist represents your party. Or that the DNC even thinks of approving said socialist and supports him. Never forget, he was educated by Moscow as well.

Comrade Misfit said...

So I’ll mark you down as being in favor of American radio stations airing Russian propaganda.

B said...

Nope, I don't like it at all.
I don't listen to it, nor do I listen to NPR for many of the same reasons. Many NPR programs are pro liberal, and are paid for by tax dollars, yet I don't hear you complaining about that.

I find Spanish Language radio stations and TV stations offensive as you find the Radio Moscow programs. Yet the Spanish is allowed and encouraged. (especially by the folks like your commentors here)

Free Market Capitalism and all that. They own the current lease and within the FCC rules can broadcast whatever they choose, or lease their airtime to whomever they wish.

Having said that, the frequencies are licensed and not owned. With enough pressure, the FCC will choose not to renew the license. Feel free to start the campaign of protest. I'll likely even support you.

I notice you failed to address my point about the socialists in the DNC.

Dark Avenger said...

You fear socialists more than Vladimir. Interesting.

J4rh34d said...

B, for the sake of proportionality, NPR gets less than 2% of its funding from tax dollars, both directly and indirectly. So, not "many" programs, but perhaps a few.

If they got more tax dollars, I wouldn't have the listen to their pledge drives when I change to one of their stations. They do have the most complete local news coverage, though.

B said...

And the funds from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which is entirely Federally funded.

But yes, less than 25% is tax dollars.

DA: I hate both with a passion. Vladimir is at least an enemy who is openly an enemy. Socialists try to undermine our country with stealth...from within.

Eck! said...

As someone that was around the industry back when it was profitable...
The problem is its not anymore. Its paid for by commercials and the
price per minute is based on ears listening. Sorta like clicks.

So if a station wants to keep the transmitter going they have to
fill air time with paid air. The electricity is not cheap.
They may pinch their noses and take the check. It is not free
speech, never was, its paid for, every little bit of it.


Tod Germanica said...

B, I somehow missed that part of the constitution establishing the economy of the United States as capitalist.
You do know the US conquered most of the US west from Mexico in 1848? They know it in California, aka Occupied Mexico.

Boy the beer sure is good down here in Baja. Wish I could drink it-BP. The people are so friendly and sane. Not a racist philistine cesspool culture at all down here.

LRod said...

For someone presumably informed, B. is woefully ignorant of what "socialist" means.

Yes, there was, for 70 some years, an empire known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

There was for a much shorter period of time, an empire run by the National Socialists.

Sadly, for B., neither had anything to do with Democratic Socialism. Except that "socialist" was in their names.

Here are a few questions for you to answer: who builds your roads? Who maintains your roads? Who guards our properties nationally? Who puts out fires. Who manages retirement annuities? Who provides healthcare for the elderly? All of those services are, by definition, socialist programs.

And then there's my favorite, the U.S. Mail. That's as socialist a program as I can imagine and it's specifically enshrined, by name, in the Constitution.

B.'s epithets of "socialist" are as lame as low information demagogues from the 1950s who labeled everyone who didn't embrace their own ideas as communists. And they were just as far off the mark in the usage of "communism" as an epithet as B. is in his usage of "socialist" as a disqualifier.

Please sow your hate and ignorance somewhere else.

ZJX, ORD, ZAU retired

Ten Bears said...

If you knew what you were talking about, b, I would afford you a measure of credibility.

You do not and I will not.

Comrade Misfit said...

LRod, if you want to see an example of the use of the term "communist" by a low-wattage demagogue, you need only look to Trump. He trotted out that label for a road test.

B said...

Ah, yes, the "Roads are socialist" argument.
Y'all fall back on that when your argument fails...every time.

Of your list, only the Social Security Administration is socialist...and it is failing as all social programs do. Going broke, as every socialist program does.

So what, exactly changes from one brand of socialism to another? Take from those that are productive, make better choices and don't fritter their wealth away but rather build some additional wealth and GIVE it to others who make poorer choices (often over and over again) are often unproductive and who squander what they do have.

How is "Democratic" Socialism better? Every brand of socialism has failed the people it purported to help, every time. Please, feel free to tell me how this time will have a different result? Show me where the leaders didn't get rich (see also: Bernie, who never worked a day in his life but is fairly wealthy by any standard) and the people they claim to help don't get poorer every time.

I await your explanation as to how the current brand of "socialism" is better and not more of the same.

Dark Avenger said...

Socialism is carried interest. As for Social Security, it’s been going broke for the last 30+ years, B. If you opened up the caps on W-2 income, it would be secure. The reason the RW want to abolish it or allow privatization, as GWB tried to do,that Wall Street would make out like a bandit will all that money they could “earn” in fees.

I’ll close by describing the true horror, according to H. P. Lovecraft:

As for the Republicans -- how can one regard seriously a frightened, greedy, nostalgic huddle of tradesmen and lucky idlers who shut their eyes to history and science, steel their emotions against decent human sympathy, cling to sordid and provincial ideals exalting sheer acquisitiveness and condoning artificial hardship for the non-materially-shrewd, dwell smugly and sentimentally in a distorted dream-cosmos of outmoded phrases and principles and attitudes based on the bygone agricultural-handicraft world, and revel in (consciously or unconsciously) mendacious assumptions (such as the notion that real liberty is synonymous with the single detail of unrestricted economic license or that a rational planning of resource-distribution would contravene some vague and mystical 'American heritage'...) utterly contrary to fact and without the slightest foundation in human experience? Intellectually, the Republican idea deserves the tolerance and respect one gives to the dead.

CenterPuke88 said...

B., “Take from those that are productive”, just as a matter of interest, list the productive corporations and their tax bills.

Dark Avenger said...

CP88, it’s well-known that the only way to make poor people productive is to make them work harder, and don’t give them handouts.

OTOH, the way to make rich people productive is to give them tax cuts, which they’ll surely invest in their business, and letting the wealth trickle down to the lowest employee.

seafury said...

There's your proof Dark Avenger, trickle down has been working since the 80's. As far as Russian propaganda, there's no way my presnident would allow them Russians to infect our way of life. He's playin' 3 dimensional checkers with that Putin fella. Got him right where he wants him. Now them Ukrainians, them you gotta watch. He saw right through them fellers.

dinthebeast said...

From Carl Newman's Twitter feed:

Sergio Siano
So, you hate socialism, ya say?

If you make $50,000/year, $36 of your taxes goes to food stamps. $4,000 goes to corporate subsidies.

If the $36 upsets you more than the $4,000, then you just hate poor people - not socialism.

-Doug in Oakland

B said...

DA: Ah, yes, if we simply charged more taxes to pay while we give more money to others it will work THIS TIME. Forget that it has been going broke for 30 years and not one person was willing to do anything about it. "Eventually, we will run out of Other People's Money". More Taxes will, of course, kick the can down the road, but it won't fix the problem. Tax people who, again, are productive and make better decisions to pay those who aren't. Tell me again how Socialism works well.
In 1937 the first Social Security cards were issued....83 years to get it right. And it has failed. Tell me again how if we just Do it More this time it will succeed? Yes, I know, if only those greedy successful people that already generate money and capital for the economy would just Give More your sacred system would succeed.

And Lovecraft? Seriously? Do you know anything about what he espoused?

CP: Those corporations generate more wealth than you or others like you ever will.
I don't see where you can claim to be living at or below the poverty level to help others. No socialist ever does. They want Other People to pay the bills of Socialism, destroying their source of wealth and capital in the process.

Again, show me where any Socialist system has ever succeeded. Show me where it has not destroyed a country,an economy, or has benefited a people long term.

Dark Avenger said...

DA: Ah, yes, if we simply charged more taxes to pay while we give more money to others it will work THIS TIME

Actually, raising the limit would only apply to those in the low six figures and above. Not to mention hedge fund managers, who pay not one red cent into SS right now.


In 2020, the Social Security cap, or the amount of annual earnings on which Social Security payments are calculated, will increase from $132,900 to $137,700.
The trust funds from which Social Security payments are made held nearly $3 trillion at the beginning of 2019 but are projected to run out of money in 2035.
Solving the long-term funding problem will probably require higher Social Security taxes, lower benefits, and indexing the retirement age to life expectancy.

SS has worked to lower poverty in the elderly.

And Lovecraft? Seriously? Do you know anything about what he espoused?

ad ho·mi·nem
/ˌad ˈhämənəm/
(of an argument or reaction) directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.
"vicious ad hominem attacks"
in a way that is directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.
"these points come from some of our best information sources, who realize they'll be attacked ad hominem"

That’s funny, coming from a supporter of President “There were good people on both sides” in Charlottesville, along with insisting certain ethnic groups are more inclined to crime, something with which Lovecraft would prolly agree with.
And, yes, it’s possible to be a racist and still have something meaningful things to say about other issues.

dinthebeast said...

"Again, show me where any Socialist system has ever succeeded."

Here are the rankings of the countries with the highest quality of life:

Canada. #1 in Quality of Life Rankings. ...
Denmark. #2 in Quality of Life Rankings. ...
Sweden. #3 in Quality of Life Rankings. ...
Norway. #4 in Quality of Life Rankings. ...
Australia. #5 in Quality of Life Rankings. ...
Netherlands. #6 in Quality of Life Rankings. ...
Switzerland. #7 in Quality of Life Rankings. ...

Every damn one of them has a government that by your standards is socialist in some respects.
The reality is that all successful societies incorporate some policies that you would call socialist in order to function. What doesn't work about actual socialism is when the government goes too far with it and gratuitously nationalizes things that it can't properly operate, like general manufacturing. The same can be said of capitalism when it goes too far and privatizes things that the private sector can't properly operate, like healthcare.
The cold war made communism the great enemy and political fortunes were made demonizing anything to the left of Attila the Hun, but socialism always becomes necessary when the great capitalists fail and require bailing out with, as you put it, other people's money.

Reality, as it turns out, is more complicated than propaganda, and lacks an agenda to sell.

-Doug in Oakland

CenterPuke88 said...

B., you said “Take from those that are productive”

I asked you to show me the tax bills for those oh so productive companies.

You responded, “Those corporations generate more wealth than you or others like you ever will.”

I say, so obviously they must pay the most, right?

Well, spin away...

B said...

DA: You REALLY need to do some research on Lovecraft.

Seriously. Learn a bit about what he really wanted in a governmental system and a society.

DintheBeast: Yep, all partially socialist (as you would have the US to be).

All slowly failing and having to import others cultures to prop them up. And you are, really, comparing apples to oranges when you define "quality of life", etc. Those folks are not terribly individualistic, and they tend to follow rules...unlike those you would gift the wealth of others here in the United States. I'm not sure where you got your stats, nor how they were derived, so I can't go any farther. But remember, by most standards, even the very poor in the US would be well off by european standards.... square footage of domicile, income, number of possessions, methods of transportation, etc. I'm not saying you are incorrect, just that you provide no link to the stat or the methodology that you used in your measurements (funny, when I do it, it is just anecdotal evidence and y'all demand "proof" and such, but then double standards are your methodology, aren't they).

CP: Please, not gonna bother with your argument. You know you are wrong, and you know why I am right. Yer NOT that stupid. Nor am I.

Dark Avenger said...

You REALLY need to do some research on Lovecraft.

Seriously. Learn a bit about what he really wanted in a governmental system and a society.

I hate to break it to you, but The Call of Cthulhu was a work of fiction, One might as well conclude that based on his admiration of Classical Greek society, he would’ve been down with homosexuality.

B said...

And yet, you cite his work as an authority, but then denounce him a day later? Really? Which is it?
He was an elitist, and wanted an elitist governing body. The worst kind of socialism one can find.

I'm still waiting , BTW, for LRod to tell me how his version of "Socialism" will be different.

Dark Avenger said...


It seems like only yesterday that AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson was promising on live TV that if Trump followed through on his tax cuts, the company would dramatically boost investment, in the process creating thousands of new jobs. Not "entry-level jobs," mind you, but at least "7,000 jobs of people putting fiber in the ground, hard-hat jobs that make $70,000 to $80,000 per year." Each $1 billion in new investment, AT&T insisted, would result in 7,000 such jobs. "Lower taxes drives more investment, drives more hiring, drives greater wages," Stephenson said.
We've pointed out several times how these promises meant absolutely nothing, but AT&T itself keeps driving the point home.
AT&T's earnings released last week showed that the company has eliminated 37,818 jobs since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) (which dropped AT&T's overall tax rate to 21% providing the company an estimated $46 billion in savings) was cheerily passed by Congress just three or so years ago:
"The Communications Workers of America, the telecom sector’s biggest union, says AT&T’s promised jobs never arrived either. Union officials today complained that AT&T earnings show the company has laid off 37,818 employees worldwide since the tax cut was passed in 2018, with 4,040 pink slips sent out to employees worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2019 alone."
Again that promised network investment never occurred either. AT&T's fourth quarter CAPEX was the lowest in a decade, and this year AT&T's expected to trim its overall investment somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 billion. The money? It went into executive pockets, investor pockets, and the company's massive debt load created by mindless merger mania.

Hey, those producers lie sometimes. Whattya gonna do?

Donas said...

DA: If you open up the SS cap on W-2 income are you going to open up the cap on disbursement? I didn't think so.
Since carried interest is actually a performance fee, we have really been getting screwed. If you don't think so run what you have paid and/or will pay for SS through a savings calculator for 40 years and see what nice little sum you get. Don't forget that the employer matches. Compare that to what you will get from SS. Also, don't fuck up and die too soon because your estate gets nothing.

CP: If B won't bite I will. Corporations have never paid taxes.

LROD: The argument is not just whether or not gov services are socialistic. It's also - given that the Feds do such a poor job administering social services- whether or not we want more. BTW, how ever in the hell does a "democratic" socialist differ from a socialist?.

Dark Avenger said...

DA: If you open up the SS cap on W-2 income are you going to open up the cap on disbursement? I didn't think so.

Sure, why not? SS is taxable unless it’s your only source of income, in most cases.

I was being sarcastic about carried interest.

B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
B said...


I find it funny how when I give an example like yours above, that you stamp your feet and cry "anecotal!!!".

Your anecdote is no doubt correct, but it is one example. Most US firms HAVE invested more, and many HAVE grown their payrolls by hiring more people....Skilled people are in short supply nearly everywhere and wages are up across the board in the US. In fact, pretty much anyone who wants a job and can pass a drug test can get a decent job nowadays. You can look it up. Try Google.

Your arguments grow weaker.
Sad, really.

I too am (still) waiting for an explanation as to how Socialism branded as "Democratic" socialism is different than normal, everyday socialism that screws the people and the economy in the long run.

Dark Avenger said...

I find it funny how when I give an example like yours above, that you stamp your feet and cry "anecotal!!!".

Looking over the thread, you haven’t made a single assertion with a single link to back it up. I find it funnier that you want to scream victory without even landing a single blow.

Comrade Misfit said...

Play nice or I’ll close this thread.

Dark Avenger said...

To quote Robin Williams: “Reality—what a concept.”

dinthebeast said...

Number of people who go bankrupt every year because of medical bills:

UK - 0
France - 0
Spain - 0
Portugal- 0
Denmark - 0
Australia - 0
Iceland - 0
Italy - 0
Finland - 0
Ireland - 0
Germany - 0
Netherlands - 0
Sweden - 0
Japan - 0
Chile - 0
Canada - 0

United States - 643,000

-Doug in Oakland

B said...

DA: I am simply holding you to the standards you ask (demand when you know you are losing the argument) of me.

So far, you haven't met them. Feel free to meet your own requirements (or not) as you choose.
I merely pointed out that you have anecdote, not data.

Comrade Misfit said...

This is getting old.