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Tuesday, May 24th

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Editorial

High Noon

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The US stock market fell hard at the opening bell and the corporate pundits were out immediately blaming it on the lower number of jobs created last month. With “only” 200,000 new jobs created they implied that the Obama economic recovery is falling flat. The first problem with this “news” was that the real numbers don’t come out until Friday, this was just an estimate from a private payroll service company that has become notorious for being wrong.

The real reason the US markets were down, and they were following the world markets from overnight (US time), is that the fall was based on the Minutes from the last Federal Reserve meeting. A large majority of the board has decided that there will be no more quantitative easing purchases of paper assets, or what is effectively the wholesale printing of money for rich people and their big banks.

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Swimming Lessons for Dog Paddlers

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Good thing we evolved a sense of humor.  It's one of the few abilities we have to keep our heads from fusing into a solid mass, helping abort a sort of core-meltdown from ingesting too much stress and anguish, from having too-heavy a heavy-metal pedal on our national vanities and insanities.

Best advice, aside from music, when that scary alarm goes off in your head, threatening a core breach, find something to smile about, fast:  scare up some toothsome, mental-health treats, pack your hot circuit breakers in dry ice, spring for some cool ones with and for your endorphins.

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The Desire to Remain Sane

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As in the David Sipress cartoon, we walk the razor's edge barefoot every day, a very delicate and daring sequence of dance steps, as described in pen and ink here:  A man and a woman clad in business wear are walking down a town street, with the woman saying to the goggle-eyed and startled-attention man beside her, "My desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to remain sane."

Perhaps you can relate.  This same thought keeps popping up here, in growing thought-balloons hovering overhead.  I bump into these constantly, getting up to go get more coffee.  It's like brushing up against a bank of ice-fog: chilling ice-crystals suspended in mid-air.

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May the Loudest Bullhorn Win!

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Unlike mega-rich civilian consumers, political winners are not declared by virtue of having the most toys at the end of the game. The winners of political contests are the ones who have won and scraped up the most mountains of money, enabling them to buy the loudest-possible doomsday-bullhorns that money can buy.  The winners are those who can blow out the most voter-eardrums, banging away at the message they choose to endless flay and beat out on their campaign war drums.

So, yes, strictly speaking:  We manage to get the best politicians money can buy, via candidates who can bide their time long enough, then make the most media purchases and advertising air-time buys.  Money poisons anything and everyone it touches throughout politics, and it's amazing anyone lives long enough to actually serve in office, to live through the poisonous process of simply getting the job.

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Bites, Biting, Being Bitten - Part 2

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From sound bites biting back, with biting or back-biting remarks, and on through to being bitten by forbidden love -- as in bacon -- the American experience provides plenty of toothsome food for thought.

Of course, there's nothing like a big bacon-cheeseburger after knocking off early for the day -- although, to insert a medically-approved phrase, there may be nothing like a fat bacon-cheeseburger to end one's days early.

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Bites, Biting, Being Bitten - Part 1

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Food for thought:  There can be no more biting a remark than a world-class microphone gaff -- a sound bite, biting back -- made while on the road, enough to really burn your bacon.

The sizzling little remark was made by President Obama, with microphones around -- always content doing what they are supposed to do, to go scoop and soak up some sound.

It's just the sort of thing to make anyone's hair prematurely gray, just as presidential hairs all do after just a year or so in office.  That's one heck of a pressure-cooker up top, where nothing is black-and-white, where any issue, to move that far up the chain, must be Gordian-knotted into tight, tangled, terrifically-compacted shades of gray.  That far up -- or, that far out on a limb -- saving one's own bacon becomes increasingly problematic, given all the chefs in the kitchen.

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He's Batman.

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Batman really is a superhero, as it turns out.

It began very oddly, as police in Montgomery, Maryland, pulled over a fully-costumed, caped crusader -- spike-earred, face-covering cowl and all -- driving along in a Batmobile, a black Lamborghini sporting Bat-plates.

And so it was, about those plates, that Batman was pulled over, the cops wondering about those plates, that car, that Bat-driver.

The real license plates were inside the car.  The plates that had been mobile, mounted on the Lamborghini, displayed the Bat-symbol.

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