BREAKING: We live in North Korea now!

FRIDAY, MARCH 27, 2020

At this site, you were warned:
How would our world be different if we actually were, as long advertised, really "the rational animal?"

Consider the way Commander Trump, and the media suits, have brought us our own North Korea.

If we were the rational animal, everyone would have realized, long ago, that something seems to be badly wrong with Commander Trump. Everyone would have taken the unfortunate measure of such statements as this:
“You have 15 people, and the 15, within a couple of days, is going to be close to zero.”
The commander said that on February 26. Yesterday, one month later, the actual number was at least 82,000. It was likely much greater than that.

In a rational world, it would have clear, a long time ago, that something was and is wrong with our bold commander.

There may be an issue of mental health. There may be an issue of cognitive impairment. There may be illness and impairment. But this would have been clear long ago.

In a rational world, rational people would have discussed these obvious possibilities. In our world, press corps elites declared that we mustn't conduct such discussions.

We can finally taste the fruits of such conduct. We've ended up, all this week, watching North Korean TV.

What happens in North Korean TV? In our version of the system, useless elites find the craziest person in the society and put him on prime-time TV. They do it day after day after day. Yesterday, he was quickly saying this:
TRUMP (3/26/20): After the meeting with the world leaders, I spoke with the governors of our 50 states and territories. Our team has been in constant communication with the governors, and we had a terrific meeting.

Somebody in the Fake News said that one of the governors said, “Oh, we need Tom Brady.” I said, “Yeah.” He meant that in a positive way. He said, “We need Tom Brady. We’re going to do great.” And he meant it very positively, but they took it differently. “They think Tom Brady should be leading the effort.” That’s only fake news.

And I like Tom Brady. Spoke to him the other day. He’s a great guy. But I wish the news could be—could be real. I wish it could be honest. I wish it weren’t corrupt, but so much of it is. It’s so sad to see. Just so sad to see.

We had a great meeting. I tell you what: I’m sure you have tapes of the meeting. I’m sure that you were able to get tapes very easily. So you had 50 governors-plus. And if you had tapes, you’d see it was really—I mean, there was no contention. I would say virtually none. I would say maybe one person that was a little tiny bit of a raising of a voice, a little wise guy, a little bit. But he’s usually a big wise guy. Not so much anymore. We saw to it that he wouldn’t be so much anymore.
Everyone knows that the comment about Tom Brady was not "meant in a positive way." Everyone knows that the comment was meant as a criticism of the commander's perceived or actual failure to act in the face of this global pandemic.

Everyone knows that this presentation by the commander was utterly bogus. Everyone knows that he'll make an array of such ludicrous statements on a daily basis.

Everyone knows that this will happen, and everyone knows that something is wrong. But yesterday, the commander was speaking in the Baltimore market on the following outlets:

CNN, MSNBC, Fox News Channel, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, Fox Business Network.

There may have been one or two more. But make no mistake—this is North Korean TV. The craziest person in the society is broadcast into our homes every night, just as prime time is starting.

When this craziest person gets started, it's propaganda all the way down. Each presentation is propaganda. Surely, everyone knows that.

Yesterday, everything was great, incredible, amazing and beautiful in this state propaganda realm. Once the commander got going, he of course made such remarks as these:
TRUMP: As of today, FEMA has shipped over 9 million N95 masks, 20 million face masks, 3.1 million face shields, nearly 6,000 ventilators, 2.6 million gowns, 14.6 million gloves. And we’re sending more every day, and we’ve got tremendous amounts of equipment coming in.

A lot of great companies are making equipment right now. The ventilators, obviously they take a little longer to make, but we have a lot of companies making them. And we’re going to be in great shape.

We took over an empty shelf. We took over a very depleted place, in a lot of ways. As you know, the testing is going very, very well. And that was obsolete and broken, and we fixed it and it’s been going really good.

And I think, very importantly, the stockpile—we’re really filling it up, and we fill it up rapidly, but we get it out.
Again, we North Koreans were offered the feel-good "gong show of large numbers." Again, there was no attempt to compare these reported numbers to the apparent size of the nation's actual need.

Meanwhile, we were told that "the testing is going very, very well." On March 6, the commander said this:
"Anybody that wants a test can get a test."
Yesterday, twenty days later, the testing was "going very, very well!" Until you turned on cable news and saw people standing in line, for hours, all day long, in close quarters, trying to get tested at a hospital in Queens.

This being a province of North Korea, no journalist raised these embarrassing points when yesterday's "questioning" started. In this, the most rational of all possible worlds, our journalists—rational animals all—simply don't do such things.

Simply put, such things aren't done. No matter how much attendance is limited in these daily "briefings," the questioning remains scattershot. No follow-ups to the commander's weird statements allowed!

Over the past few days, we've followed a bit of propaganda which emerged at Tuesday's briefing. Yesterday, before taking any questions, the commander of course recited that script again:
TRUMP: As we continue to gather more information and accelerate the testing—where we’re doing record numbers of tests now, far more than any other country has done. I told you yesterday: Eight days here—because you heard so much about South Korea. The media kept talking, “South Korea, South Korea.” We have a great relationship with President Moon in South Korea. But when I hear so much about South Korea—

So, in eight days—in eight days, we do more testing than they did in eight weeks.
And it’s a very highly sophisticated test, too.
"In eight days, we do more testing than [South Korea] did in eight weeks." That talking-point emerged from a jumbled, confusing presentation by Field Marshal Birx on Tuesday.

In basic ways, this presentation seems to be wrong. In other ways, it's clownishly misleading.

But no matter how many times the commander recites this fuzzy point, no one will challenge him on what he says. And, this being North Korea, the executives put him all over TV at 6 PM Eastern so he can repeat this claim.

This is now a regular part of our nation's daily experience. Make no mistake about what this is:

This is North Korean TV.

The craziest person in the society is given the airwaves to spout every night. The children before him quiver and shake. Their "questions" may take this form:
TRUMP: I can now announce something that I think is incredible, what they’ve done in the Navy, because the incredible naval hospital ship the USNS Comfort—which is incredible, actually, when you see it inside—will be underway to New York City on Saturday.

So it’s going to be leaving on Saturday, rather than three weeks from now. They did the maintenance quickly, and it was going to be there for quite a while longer—another three or four weeks. And it should be arriving—I told the governor 20 minutes ago, Governor Cuomo, that the ship will be arriving in New York Harbor on Monday.

I think I’m going to go out and I’ll kiss it goodbye. I’ll go—I’ll go to—it’s in Virginia, as you know. And I will go and we’ll be waving together because I suspect the media will be following.

John, are you going to be following? Maybe. You never know.

QUESTION: I always follow the Comfort, sir. It’s a very important vessel.

TRUMP: It’s a great ship. It’s a great vessel, is right. So, if you want to go, I’ll see you there. And if you don’t, that’s okay.
If we might borrow from Wittgenstein, out of context:

"It is in this and in similar ways that [the North Korean press corps] operates with words."

In closing, let's return to Field Marshal Birx. On Tuesday, she made a peculiar, jumbled presentation which went straight to state propaganda.

We've seen no one ask her to explain or clarify her statement. Yesterday, though, the Washington Post did analyze the field marshal's ongoing performance.

In a rational world, the Washington Post might have critiqued what the field marshal said. In our world, the Post threw to fashion analyst Robin Givhan. Hard-copy headline included, she proceeded as shown:
GIVHAN (3/26/20): The reassuring style of Deborah Birx

Her tone is gentle but firm. From her background as a diplomat, she is skilled in soft force
— the art of getting people to do what you want them to do but having them think it was their brilliant idea all along. She stands out on what was a distressingly crowded stage until it recently thinned out: Women are in the minority during these public expositions. But she’s also distinctive because of her attire.

Birx doesn’t dress like a lady politician in jewel-tone suits and statement jewelry.
She doesn’t wear power dresses, those sleek sheaths that are a critical part of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s professional wardrobe. She doesn’t turn up in a white coat as if she’s there to take the nation’s collective temperature. Birx’s style can be called classically feminine when she wears her shirtwaist dresses and knots silk scarves around her shoulders. She exudes academic wonkiness with her earth tones and tunics and mufflers double-wrapped around her neck. She never looks bland or nondescript. She doesn’t look like an automaton or someone who has lost herself in the data and computer models. And in doing so, she offers a subtle but important reminder to people that while this crisis is serious and meeting it is hard, we are still human. Do not lose yourself. Be kind to yourself.
Finally! A public figure has been praised for wearing earth tones! Meanwhile, "we're still human."

From there, the piece went on and on; then it went on and on some more. In hard copy, it appeared on the first page of Style. The Post has been publishing work of this type dating at least to the 2000 Florida recount.

Givhan didn't examine what Birx said this week. She examined the reassuring clothing she wore as she said it.

An important fact can be learned from this. It's an anthropological fact. The rumination goes like this:

For the past several years, we've been urging you to adopt a new paradigm, a new framework of understanding. We've suggested that you stop seeing our self-impressed species as "the rational animal."

We've suggested that you see us as what we've always been—as the highly tribal, reflexively script-reading, wildly distractible animal. Nothing will change if you adopt this paradigm shift, but you'll be seeing the world more clearly.

We live in North Korea now. At this site, you were warned!

54 comments:

  1. "There may be an issue of mental health. There may be an issue of cognitive impairment. There may be illness and impairment."

    There may be an issue of Republican policy and beliefs. There may be a misplaced faith in the market economy. There may be an issue of dishonesty at the top, of greed, of plundering by corporate interests. There may be cronyism.

    Notice how Somerby's formulation permits Trump and Republicans to evade responsibility for their wrongdoing?

    Plenty of mentally ill people function well in the world. They don't lie, cheat or steal. They don't engage in nepotism. They don't take emoluments. They are good people who take meds for a medical problem. Trump isn't like that at all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
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    2. Nice job, Corby.
      The GOP is a criminal enterprise, fronting as a political party.

      Delete
    3. Democrats are guilty of the same false beliefs and wrongdoing. What Democrat stood up against the atrocious corporate giveaway this week? Not your girl Warren. She stood by and watched as we handed over our tax dollars to the rich.

      Delete
    4. It’s an emergency bill, and it was markedly improved through Democratic efforts.

      And despite earlier objections, Bernie Sanders, I-VT, voted for the bill as well.

      Delete
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    6. 2:03,
      For the sake of your beliefs, please don't notice Democrats took a corporate bailout bill, and added over a trillion dollars in benefits for people and small businesses.

      Delete

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      Delete
  2. "We've ended up, all this week, watching North Korean TV."

    I think this might be a symptom of mental illness.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "From there, the piece went on and on; then it went on and on some more. In hard copy, it appeared on the first page of Style. The Post has been publishing work of this type dating at least to the 2000 Florida recount.

    Givhan didn't examine what Birx said this week. She examined the reassuring clothing she wore as she said it."

    She was writing an article in the STYLE section. The style section is about fashion and the elements that contribute to personal STYLE. It is not about current events.

    Somerby may have little interest in style, but he should understand that you get game scores in the sports section and Dow numbers in the business section, and fashion reporting in the STYLE section.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Greetings to every one that is reading this testimony. I had been rejected by my husband after five(5) years of marriage just because another woman had cast a spell on him and he left me with 2 kids to suffer. One day when i was reading through the web, i saw a post on how he help a woman to get back her husband and i gave him a chance he told me that my husband is under spell, he said that he will help me and after 7 days that i will have my husband back. i believed he and today i am glad to let you all know that this spell caster has the power to bring lovers back now my husband is back with after 7 days . he also gave me a financial magic ring to boost my business and removed bad luck. i am now happy with my husband. Thanks you Dr. love please contact him at (lovespelldoctor0@gmail. com)

    ReplyDelete
  5. You really need to calm down, dear Bob, take some valerian root.

    ...with that said, I certainly do agree that your liberal zombie media is virtually indistinguishable from the North Korean media. And that they, unfortunately, make your brain decompose, dear Bob.

    As for people standing in line in Queens: I'm pretty sure any non-zombie can understand that there is zero contradiction between testing going real well and people standing in line in one place of another, in a 300+ million country. Mostly in places where the local (usually liberal zombie) authorities fail to organize things.

    Think about it, dear Bob. Take valerian, calm down, control yourself -- and think...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The media love Trump. That's why they're calling it "COVID-19", instead of the "Trump Virus".

      Delete
  6. “Each presentation is propaganda.”

    “The craziest person in the society is given the airwaves to spout every night.”

    There’s a bit of a contradiction here.

    Surely a truly crazy person would be unable to execute propaganda. It’s clear that Trump’s presentation is deliberate and follows a discernible strategy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What makes you think that mentally ill people are automatically incompetent at communication?

      Delete
  7. “We live in North Korea now. At this site, you were warned!”

    Except at this site, the most North Korean of news outlets, Fox, has hardly ever been mentioned. The only truly tough questions at those press conferences come from the mainstream news media. And Somerby’s knowledge about virus tests and so on comes from the mainstream news outlets, despite his constant bashing of them.

    And the question about the Comfort: it’s important to find out who asked it. After all, the President gets to pick which reporter gets to ask a question, and he isn’t too mentally ill to know which reporters at those briefings are sympathetic to him.

    ReplyDelete
  8. My brother sent me this link for keeping up with Covid-19 info. I think it’s really good.

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much for that link, Cecelia.

      I like that site, too, and I’d never seen it before.

      Delete
    2. Oh, I’m glad. You’re welcome..It’s the best info site that I’ve seen so far.

      Delete
  9. A lot of workplaces have a dress code, or they used to. For men, it’s suits and ties or business casual, for women, it’s a range of clothing considered business professional. Perhaps the federal government has such a dress code, which partly imposes certain choices on Birx. At any rate, most women who work in administrative positions in the federal government dress rather conservatively.

    I do find Givhan’s column a bit silly, and a waste of time, but it is in the style section, and is hardly a stand-in for all the reporting going on about the Coronavirus epidemic. I also don’t much care about sports, so I don’t read columns in the sports section and get angry about them and assume that the entire news media is encapsulated in those columns.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Trump has been stellar throughout these events. No one is going to hold one early remark against him. Intelligent people know that no one knew anything but that Democrats would still have all borders open with catastrophic outcomes.

    This is Trump's moment and the people see him leading the country while Democrats and the media hope for death.

    The anger Americans will feel when they see Democrats try to hold Trump responsible for their own ineptness is going to be for 2020 what "racism" was in 2016. The greatest motivator, along with getting the economy moving again, for Trump voters and independent voters.

    I'll be working harder and donating more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The anger Americans will feel when they see Democrats try to hold Trump responsible for their own ineptness is going to be called "economic anxiety" by the media?
      Sure. Why not. It's al fantasy anyway.

      Delete
  12. It used to be that if someone compared their office situation to Auschwitz, someone else would tell them it was an insensitive comparison because so many innocent people died in Auschwitz, whereas the office was just being poorly run.

    Now Somerby wants to compare country, beginning with the mainstream media, to North Korea. This is another example of an insensitive, inappropriate comparison with the same lack of consideration of the suffering of innocent people at heart. North Korea is run by a brutal dictator with no concern for his people's suffering, who imposes an arbitrary will upon them. His total control of the media is incidental to this greater atrocity. As bad as Trump is, and as great as the influence of corporations on our media, it is in no way like North Korea. If you broaden the mainstream media beyond cable news, there is a great deal of uncontrolled diversity of information and opinion floating around in our society.

    If I were to just say that I find Somerby's comparison offensive, someone would tell me to "get over it." So I'll say instead that Somerby is fortunate to be so ignorant of what life is like in North Korea, to have made such an inappropriate and specious comparison. This kind of thing is an example of why I dislike him so much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, so you hate hyperbolic rhetoric, huh?

      Corby, have you forgotten you’re Corby?

      Delete
    2. And here you illustrate the problem with nyms. Take notice, deadrat.

      Delete
    3. The problem being that you’re accountable for what you write from one day to the next?

      Delete
    4. And what a big problem that can be, especially for the likes of Corby.

      Delete
    5. Except that it isn't a problem for me, just those who expect consistency with realizing that this is a different context and that different circumstances evoke different responses.

      Delete
    6. You saw a heightened response to a situation that has more magnitude than Biden beating out Elizabeth Warren

      How’s that for context?

      Delete
    7. Corby, please explain the problem with nyms. How differently would you have been affected had Cecelia addressed you as Anonymous exactly as she has here? Of course, she would have to guess which Anonymous you were by your writing style. Would that have given you some comfort that your nym doesn't afford? Isn't that your problem? Try answering as a professor of psychology.

      Delete
  13. Everyone knows governors failed. Everyone knows Trump is stepping in where they failed. Everyone knows Trump's travel bans were the single most important decision made that saved the most lives.

    Everyone knows COVID19 is going to be like a bad flu season with fewer deaths because of mitigation, that a snuffed out economy will kill more people, Everyone knows Democrats and the media hate Trump and hope to see failure in the form of people gasping for breath in ER's. Everyone knows how bad and how insane Democrats are and that's why Trump's approval ratings are soaring.

    Watch what happens with the Democrat push to spend billions on illegals and open borders policy when our economy suffers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "the media hate Trump and hope to see failure"

      Of course, the corporate-owned media hate Trump and want to see him fail, NOW.
      They got their value from Trump in the form of the HUGE tax cut that doesn't expire for them. Now, they're tossing him out the door, and into the dumpster.
      It's called "capitalism".
      You have a problem with that, Stalin?

      Delete
  14. Trump cancelled the press briefings a couple of years ago, because he and his parade of press secretaries didn’t like the adversarial questions from a non-sycophantic press. That would seem to show that the msm is not like North Korean state media.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They were sycophantic, just to Democrats. Now Trump is back with no stand in press secretary and kicking their asses every day.

      Delete
    2. @Anon: What are you babbling about?

      Delete
    3. Ilya,
      He's taking about Trump's need for safe spaces.

      Delete
  15. One of the legitimate reasons for carrying the entire press conference is to hear from Birx or Fauci, or even Pence. What the government is doing and what the administration is saying is important in a serious health crisis. Some important information may still come out of those briefings, Trump notwithstanding.

    ReplyDelete
  16. "We live in North Korea now!"

    Somerby has moved his campus to another country, an ambitious undertaking given the times! We should all wish him well in his new home.

    ReplyDelete
  17. BREAKING
    Fauci says it's a bad flu. Flu is bad every year and kills thousands. The silver lining of a second influenza like illness on top of flu season is practicing distancing every flu season and saving lives.

    https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMe2002387

    ReplyDelete
  18. When it comes to fanny gas...

    When in doubt, let it out!

    At times, certain butt winds can do a world of good for the perpetrator as well as those around him or her.

    So... When in doubt, let it out!!

    Fanny

    ReplyDelete
  19. Does Bob really not know about the Korean war? He's leaving out a small detail that these countries in the global south are run like that to fend off invaders, not to make good television.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Our commander has the attention span of a goldfish and the compassion of a shark. We're pretty much screwed.

    Also yeah North Koreans and Americans deserve better than this elitist crap but maybe be careful not getting too white nationalist with the the Yellow Peril stuff.

    ReplyDelete
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