An astonishing statement by a high US official

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by John Bear, May 17, 2005.

  1. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Re: Re: Re: An astonishing statement by a high US official

    This is the "everyone else is crazy, I'm not" logical fallacy.

    By definition, if the vast majority of something are in one category, then they are the mode--the mainstream. That makes Fox and its small ilk very much outside it. The traditional media are in the middle and Fox is very much on the right.

    The opposite is true of radio, where Air America is very much on the left, with Limbaugh, Liddy, and those guys in the mainstream.

    The question is, where is America? Where it always is, all over the place.

    Rather than left or right, or even right or wrong, I prefer true or false. And I get sick of the lies being told by this administration and its toadies at Fox and on the radio. Lies. Nothing short. They excoriate Newsweek for two lines in an article that weren't accurate. (That a report would appear regarding the flushing of copies of the Koran. The report didn't contain it--but there are many other reports that it has occurred.) Fine. Newsweek got something wrong. It happens when you report the news. It is a mistake and they should own up to it. But where is the Bush Administration? Why don't they own up to the fact that they got everything WRONG about Iraq? The Iraqis would welcome us as liberators, that Iraqi oil revenues would pay for the recovery, that there were WMD's. Why hasn't the Bush Administration come out and apologize to the American people on any of that?

    Newsweek was attempting to print the truth and they got it wrong. I expect news media to get it right. (Truth.) I also expect my government to get it right. It didn't, and won't admit their mistakes. That is "FALSE" in my book. Not right-wing, not left-wing, just plain ol' FALSE.

    You can talk about bias in the media all you want. It doesn't matter. What matters is whether or not what is being presented is true. We should hold governments (Democratic and Republican) to the same standard.
  2. DTechBA

    DTechBA New Member


    Yes, there have been reports that Korans were flushed down the toilet. However, prior to now it was from people who have every reason to lie (the inmates or Islamic fundamentalist).

    Contrary to popular belief in some circles, not all of the inmates at Guantanamo are innocents caught up in a misunderstanding. It would be hopelessly naive to accuse the military or government of a cover-up due to it being in in their best interest and not recognze the opposite is true for the inmates and the extremists. Everybody in prison is innocent. I worked in two and it is hard to find a self admitted guilty man. They were all screwed by their lawyers. There are also a whole lot of jail house conversions that go bad after they are released.

    Newsweek reported that it had been substantiated by a military investigation (it had not) and that is a very big difference from previous reporting. Newsweek is hiding behind the veil of freedom of the press when they published something sure to incite people to violence with only minimal vetting. It was irresponsible at best and criminally negligent at worst.

    Fox lies no more or less than any other outlet. The news media of both stripes rely on ratings and good ratings come from sensational news coverage. If it bleeds it leads is not misleading, it is fact and it is a direct reflection of OUR culture. You know, the same one that thinks Survivor, The Apprentice and Fear Factor are good TV.....
  3. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

    Re: Re: Re: Re: An astonishing statement by a high US official

    While I agree with you that, by definition, the vast majority is the mainstream, I believe the issue is, does this accurately represent the views, the philosophy of the average American. I don't think that there's much question that the mainstream of American media is located somewhere to the left of the mainstream American voter. For evidence I need only point to the White House. Who was elected for the past two terms? A relatively conservative Republican. Like it or not, this is the result of the will of the voting public. Regardless of all that, my point is that when you're trying to decide if "the media" is left or right or centrist, you need to compare the expressed views of the media to the expressed views of the public and NOT to the other media sources. Relative to the public, the media is, without question, more to the left. Please understand, I do not consider myself to be a right wing advocate. I am simply trying to acknowledge the reality of the current political situation. Briefly stated, the mainstream media does not accurately represent the views of the general population. This is true whether I, or you, like it or not.
  4. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    Re: Re: Re: Re: An astonishing statement by a high US official

    No, that's just fact. Liberal bias in the network media is so complete and pervasive, it's laughable to argue otherwise. Read Bernard Goldberg's books, he was on the inside for years.

    Perhaps it doesn't bother you that about 20 people were killed as a result of riots protesting the story in Newsweek. That goes way beyond a simple mistake, to damn near criminally negligent.

    Apologize for what? Taking steps to combat terrorism? Since we took control of Iraq;

    1) A brutal dictator is no longer slaughtering innocent people.

    2) Said dictator's military no longer poses a threat to the region (I was in Kuwait City in 1991, I saw what they were capable of).

    3) Syria has pulled its troops out of Lebanon.

    4) Libya has renounced terrorism, and has opened itself to international inspections.

    Those are facts, not lies or fallacies. And, none of it would have happened if Bush had sat on his hands.

    Newsweek wasn't attempting to print the truth, they were attempting to embarrass the President. Apparently, they didn't learn anything from Dan Rather and the forged documents fiasco, because this blew up in their face also. The sad fact is, a lot of people died this time.

    Oh, and isn't it interesting that the pictures of Saddam in his underwear suddenly appear just in time to try to take the heat off Newsweek? :rolleyes:
  5. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member


    I utterly disagree with your interpretations, much less ignoring all the lying that led to this war. But arguing back and forth will change neither of our stances.

    Bias is bull. Truth is the key. Speculating on motivations is just that: speculations. But what are the facts? That's what counts.

    Just as you have your list, I have mine. With about 100K Iraqis dead, a country's infrastructure destroyed, 1,500 American troops dead, and two real threats (Iran and N. Korea) ignored, I have my list. And it doesn't even involve the lying liars of this administration. That list would occupy so much bandwidth, it would crash the internet.

    But, again, it is futile to argue about such things. You have your point of view on all of this and I have mine. Let's leave it at that. But if I get a fact wrong, feel free to correct me.

    On another point, I would much rather have Sadaam in place and be focused on Iran and N. Korea. We went after the wrong dictator for all the wrong (now utterly proven) reasons. Where are the nuclear threats? Other WMD? Certainly not in Iraq. The Bushies got that all wrong, and that is undeniable. Whether or not the results Bruce lists were worth it is a debate; what is undisputable is that the Bushies made the WMD case and they were flat wrong.

    I hope all those dead Americans, dead Iraqis, and the hundreds of billions of dollars spent will be worth it. Because that is done.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2005
  6. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    IMHO, the biggest cost to the USA for Bush's apparent personal vendette is the damage to our position in the world. We have given up any pretense to the moral high ground. We have made more reason for another generation of potential terrorists, who think they have the high ground, to hate us. We have also shattered the momentum and world support for our war on terror.
  7. DesElms

    DesElms New Member



    As for the other replies to Bruce's words to me herein -- and the posts subsequent thereto -- I'm glad I got too busy to post for a few days because others here have argued better than I could have.

    And I reiterate: Anyone who wants facts to support the notion that THE FOX NEWS CHANNEL is a shameless propaganda arm of the Republican Party and the Bush43 administration needs to spend a lousy ten bucks (plus shipping) on the Outfoxed DVD. Only after everyone here has viewed that -- or after someone like me goes and digs-up all the credible research and interview results cited therein (which I don't have the time or inclination to do) -- can we move this discussion from the mere conjecture and opinion that Bruce is using to the kinds of hard facts that Rich, et al, are citing.

    Bruce cites "Bernard Goldberg's books," pointing-out that "he was on the inside for years," as proof that the mainstream, non-FOX media is unduly liberally biased. Without getting into what's wrong with Goldberg's books (among them, that the information in them is overblown and dated, just to mention two things), the Outfoxed movie is rife with interviews from then-current and/or former FOX NEWS CHANNEL employees -- people who were on FOX's inside -- who look straight into the camera and, in effect, swear on their children's eyes that THE FOX NEWS CHANNEL is intentionally, and by design, pro-Republican and pro-Bush43, and anti-Democrat -- by direct order of FOX owner Rupert Murdock, and illustrated with copies of memos to that effect bearing Murdock's direct words and signature.

    And that's just the tip-o-the-iceberg.

    One of the former FOX employees interviewed in the Outfoxed movie is a guy I met in Modesto when I was interviewed (live on one of THE FOX NEWS CHANNEL's Sunday morning shows) from the sidewalk in front of the Modesto Police Department regarding the Laci Peterson case -- back when he was still employed by FOX, obviously. He and I talked alot about that network at that time and later, and I got information from him that was even more interesting than what one sees in the Outfoxed movie. Plus, I haven't even talked here about things I experienced firsthand back when I was being hounded by THE FOX NEWS CHANNEL for interviews all the time that certainly proved to me that FOX was inordinately biased -- and that was long before I saw the Outfoxed movie.

    And here's another one that has happened since the Outfoxed movie was made, but most certainly would have made into said movie had it happened before...

    Right-wing media pundits -- including THE FOX NEWS CHANNEL's Brit Hume -- had a field day with CBS's Dan Rather because one of his people stupidly fabricated a letter that everyone knows positively existed at one point; and its contents, as portrayed in said fabrication were confirmed as accurate by the very woman who typed said letter so many years ago. It was a classic form-over-content complaint that cost alot of good people -- including Dan Rather himself -- their jobs. It didn't matter that the content of the admittedly fabricated letter in question was, nevertheless, accurate. Oh, no... dare we not debate substance rather than form. But, no matter. It's done. The Right got its liberal newsman; and Brit Hume, et al, basked in the glory.

    Fast forward a few months to the Social Security debate. FOX NEWS CHANNEL anchor Brit Hume and several other conservative commentators -- including nationally syndicated radio host and former Reagan administration official William J. Bennett, and Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund -- as well as several Republican senators and congressmen and other members of that godforsaken party, were saying that President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) himself -- father of the Social Security system -- would agree, today, that it's right to now privatize it; and they cited, as proof, excerpts from a January 17, 1935 letter from FDR to Congress. From Brit Hume's Friday, February 4, 2005 edition of his "Political Grapevine" we read:
    • "It turns out that FDR himself planned to include private investment accounts in the Social Security program when he proposed it. In a written statement to Congress in 1935, Roosevelt said that any Social Security plan should include, 'Voluntary contributory annuities, by which individual initiative can increase the annual amounts received in old age,' adding that government funding, 'ought to ultimately be supplanted by self-supporting annuity plans.'"
    But, in fact, that was a gross misrepresentation of what FDR wrote; and was, in fact, an intentionally-misleading cherry-picking and rearranging of the 1935 FDR letter's words that Hume, et al, hoped the slackjawed millions who blindly accept anything and everything the FOX NEWS CHANNEL spews out would not notice.

    Violating every journalistic ethic taught at even this nation's worst journalism schools, Hume looked America in the eye and intentionally misled them regarding the actual message of FDR's 1935 letter so that they would support the Bush43 administration's misguided attempts to privatize and, through it, destroy, Social Security. And the proof of that, aside from what any reasonable person can clearly see with his/her own eyes if s/he simply bothered to read said 1935 letter, is that FDR's grandson, James Roosevelt, Jr. -- himself a former Associate Commissioner of the U.S. Social Security Administration (and, now, senior vice president of Tufts Health Plan) -- said, a day or so later, that "he (Hume) rearranged those sentences in an outrageous distortion, one that really calls for a retraction, an apology, maybe even a resignation."

    Roosevelt, Jr., continued:
    • "'s really quite an amazing distortion. What they did was that they took a very simple statement that my grandfather made, which said that Social Security, when it was enacted almost 70 years ago, ought to first of all have a part that took care of people who didn't have time to build up a Social Security account. And the government should fund that out of general revenues.

      "Secondly, Social Security should have a self-sustaining portion that was funded by contributions from both employers and employees. That's what we know and have known for 70 successful years as Social Security.

      "And thirdly, those who wanted and who needed to, as many -- almost everybody -- did, to have a higher income and retirement, should have accounts where they could pay in voluntarily, in addition to the guaranteed Social Security benefit.

      "And then my grandfather said that eventually, the self-sustaining portion of the guaranteed insurance would phase out the government-paid portion. That's because we would have a fully functioning Social Security system as we do today.

      "What Brit Hume and others have done is take portions of that paragraph and rearrange it so that it says something entirely different from what he intended."

    In fact, what FDR actually wrote in 1935 was:
    • "In the important field of security for our old people, it seems necessary to adopt three principles: First, noncontributory old-age pensions for those who are now to old build up their own insurance. It is, of course, clear that for perhaps 30 years to come fund will have to be provided by the states and the federal government to meet these pensions.

      "Second, compulsory contributory annuities which in time will establish a self-supporting system for those now young and for future generations.

      "Third, voluntary contributory annuities by which individual initiative can increase the annual amounts received in old age. It is proposed that the federal government assume one-half of the cost of the old pension plan, which ought ultimately to be supplanted by self-supporting annuity plans."
    So, where FDR raised the prospect of self-supporting annuity plans, it was not to replace Social Security but, rather, it was to replace the money the government was contributing to Social Security for the people who were of Social Security benefits recipient age on the day the program was signed into law and, therefore, had no working lifetime's worth of FICA contributions against which to draw.

    Dan Rather's unintentional blunder pales by comparison with Brit Humes's intentional act. And it shows, once again, just how far FOX is willing to go to mislead us. What's "laughable" is that so many Americans can't see just how fundamentally dangerous is the media disinformation machine called THE FOX NEWS CHANNEL!

    View the Outfoxed movie. The day after its release, FOX challenged several of its points... but it ended-up retracting its complaints. There's not a lie in the movie. Buy it. Watch it. Then you decide.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2005
  8. Charles

    Charles New Member

    Oh, is this one of those rants that only can be understood by lawyers?

    There you go again. Typical.

    You have the audacity to pontificate about journalistic ethics while you make the argument for manufacturing evidence.

    Is that something they teach in law school? Is it really alright to lie and create false documents so long as they are based on "correct content"?

    Did it hurt when you fell down the slippery slope?
  9. DesElms

    DesElms New Member

    You know, Ronald Reagan, may he rot in hell, used the "there he goes again" or "there you go again" one-liner all the time. And it was always part of his unconscionable attempts to distract the listener/reader from the matter at hand. You're doing the same thing now... and badly.

    Only someone who sees the world through the kind of extreme Right wing glasses that you, by your history of posts here, have demonstrated that you wear could (or would) possibly see it as simply as that.

    No. Of course not. Nor was I making that point -- although I'm not surprised that you're trying to characterize it that way. It was a wrong thing to do. It was right that there were consequences. Rather's people went too far. They could just as easily have exposed Bush43's godawful military record by getting the author of the letter to say that she wrote it without manufacturing a fake. But, unlike you, I don't live in a world of absolutes; and I, like the law, allow for aggravation and mitigation. The Right clearly doesn't, hence the mandatory jail sentences that now hamstring our judges, and the resulting overcrowded prisons. But I digress.

    The manufacture of the document was flat-out wrong. But it was converted into a form-over-substance matter by the Right's refusal to accept that the content of the document was, nevertheless, accurate. And, just as you are refusing to debate or even comment upon the Britt Hume atrosity and are, instead, narrowing-in on a part of my argument that I only mentioned as a point of comparison, the Right refused to discuss, debate or defend the content of the fabricated letter... the part of it that was nevertheless true.

    My argument is that all things considered, the transgression of Rather, et al, pales by comparison with the intentional misleading of the American public by Hume, et al. The former mislead as to form, but not content. The latter mislead as to content... and with malice aforethought, to boot.

    Which is worse?

    Have you stopped beating your wife yet?
  10. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    Gregg, please don't hold back on my account. Go ahead and let your feelings be known about some of our ex-presidents. :D
  11. DesElms

    DesElms New Member

    What I wrote about Ronnie is tame compared with what I'd write about our current president and his party. What's in this thread is just the tip-o-the-iceberg in that regard. I have never -- not even during the Nixon administration -- been so angry... and even frightened. I have a friend who has a number tatooed on her forearm who may have difficulty getting around these days, but her mind is still as sharp as a tack. She remembers, vividly, the months and years before Hitler came to power in Germany; and she's seeing uncanny parallels here, now. Others in her age group whom I know share her concern. Any fair-minded and careful student of political history can see it, too... only, obviously, not in the same way, or with the same kind of first-handed perspective, as my aged friends are seeing it.

    So trust me when I tell you that you can only imagine the kind of hell in which I'd like to see Bush43, et al, rot. But let's not get too far off track, here. We've already hijacked Dr. Bear's thread by venturing into the forbidden FOX NEWS CHANNEL realm to start with. Let's not take it down yet another avenue!

  12. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    As one about to turn 60, and from a predominantly Jewish section of NYC, I find this most interesting. If you will, I'd like to know your friend's age and what parallels she sees between 1920s - 1930s Germany and the current US.

  13. Charles

    Charles New Member

    You said the document was manufactured and it was wrong to do so. I find it troubling that you expect anyone to mount a defense against, discuss or even acknowledge a piece of evidence that you describe as flat-out wrong.

    There you go again. Typical.
  14. Jake_A

    Jake_A New Member

    Back to Dr. Bear's original post ....

    The pressure on this fake-degreed public official (and all others like him) must not subside!

    The vast majority of unaccredited degrees are relatively fairly easy to get. The lure of the easy degree, obtainable with cash/good credit card, and comparatively little or no sweat, is what drives this profitable (and often deceitful) global unaccredited/diploma mill industry.

    Is this a simple case of supply existing to feed the voracious demand for easy degrees?

    Clearly there is a market for fake degrees and the shams, shills, and deceit-erpreneurs are cashing in on it.


    With respect to preventing/exposing/challenging/prosecuting illegal diploma mill degree suppliers or holders ........ are you a supply-stifler or demand-wrecker?

    Will enhanced efforts to curtail the demand for fakes (that is, by targeting customers of the unaccredited, easy, and fake degrees) work better?

    Consumer protection laws, legislation, governmental action, employer scrutiny, citizen vigilanteism, etc. are aimed at obstructing the supply chain. These need to continue even as we may, at times, question their overall effectiveness.

    But is it time to boldly go after and expose the customers (e.g. the Charles Abells of this world), the co-conspirators?

  15. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    Both should be addressed, IMHO. The recent trend is to squelch demand. More states are making the use of unaccredited degrees illegal. The civil service has policy against unaccredited degrees but still appears to be the largest employer that doesn't consistently verify degrees. These policies need to be enforced and these people claiming bogus degrees fired. If that happened the news stories and word of mouth would go a long way in squelching demand.
  16. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    Thank God!

    Well, degrees are like titles of nobility. They are letters that you can attach before or after your name, that communicate that you deserve more respect than other people. That's inevitably going to be attractive, particularly to people with self-esteem issues.

    With regards to the original post (!), I have no idea what kind of degree this guy is supposed to have. But assuming that it's an obviously phony degree and not a defensible non-accredited degree, I'm troubled.

    I'm troubled that an Undersecretary of Defense might have self-esteem (to say nothing of ethical) issues. I'm even more troubled that he clearly doesn't understand the concept not only of accreditation, but of the basic meaning of educational qualifications in general. That's simply damning when it's the Pentagon's top HR official. The man appears incompetent.

    (One wonders whether security clearances are in his "skillset"...)

    I don't like the way that you worded that.

    I'm not sure what an "illegal diploma mill" is, or what laws you are talking about.

    And I'm inclined to leave people with questionable degrees alone if they are doing no harm. Of course I am free to express my opinions. I'm talking about more aggressive intervention into other people's lives.

    But if the potential for harm is obvious, practicing medicine with a fake M.D. perhaps, or serving as Undersecretary of Defense for HR while having no concept at all of what educational qualifications mean (or no ethics regarding lying about them), then I think that taking more aggressive action is justified. That might include going to the press or to the law (if laws have been broken).

    But the basic principle for action should always be to minimize harm. If action is taken that might harm somebody's career, then doing nothing would have to be even more harmful. That's an individual decision I guess, but it can't be taken lightly and it has to be justified.

    In this Pentagon case, I think that it probably can be justified.

    I prefer to address the demand-side with public education.

    I think that the government and/or private organizations could start a publicity campaign warning the public about the explosion of degree mills that's accompanied the advent of the internet. It should advise people that if they consider educational qualifications important when making a purchasing or employment choice, then they need to check the accreditation status of whatever degrees are claimed. If the degrees aren't accredited, then consumers and employers should be advised to ask hard and pointed questions.
  17. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Citizen vigilanteism?

    Oh, so that's what it is when people put on fake names, call up people's clients, email those clients ceaslessly (while throwing in emails to the press, et cetera), and post messages on Usenet, claiming to be innocent students who are taking their business elsewhere if Joe Blow teaches at university XYZ.

    Ciitizen vigilanteism.

    The taking of the law into one's own hands, regardless of (and with total disregard for) the very real consequences. How very noble. Aiming to obstruct the supply chain.

    Is due process of law in your skillset, Jake (and those who espouse the call for citizens taking the law into their own hands)?

    Read carefully what Bill Dayson has to say in response to your post. Very carefully. It's a call for level-headed avoidance of harm. There are processes in place to deal with these issues, and these processes are there to keep vigilante lynch mobs at bay and deal with the real issues as they arise, in a cool, level-headed manner.

    Not in the "let's grab us up one of them there ropes and git ta hangin'" backwater kind of way of the glorious old west.

    Justice should never give way to the rule of the mobus vulgaris. When it does, the consequences are always shameful, and always set justice back a few decades -- decades at the best of times, centuries at the worst of times. The mob gets temporary personal satisifaction, but justice is not about ephemeral personal satisfaction.
  18. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    Jake is innocent of the bad actions Mr Jackson mentions in his first paragraph.
  19. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Yes -- I should make it clear that I was not saying that Jake did those particular things. I was simply pointing out that action posing as "citizen vigilanteism" in the past has led to those particular things, by other, as yet unidentified parties.
  20. Jake_A

    Jake_A New Member

    Ho, boy ......... I must have struck quite a nerve there!

    Nowhere in my post above did I condone taking the law into one's hands. I was simply stating a fact, and attempting to describe the current anti-diploma mill landscape. I referred to "citizen vigilanteism," not "Jake's vigilanteism."

    You do not have to worry about me. ;)

    I am not, and never have been, a vigilante. I am a law-abiding citizen who also endeavors to attain the apex of high morality and ethical behavior.

    My apologies to all if I was unecessarily ambiguous and unclear in my post. Maybe citizen vigilance - not citizen vigilanteism - would have been a less incendiary term. (I also note that I misspelled the word - the proper spelling is vigilantism).

    Going back to discussion at hand - the case of the high-level Department of Defense official with a fake degree ......

    US Senator, Susan Collins, says here, and I agree, that:

    "No applicant for a job -- whether it's in the private sector or federal government -- should lose out to a candidate because that candidate holds a bogus degree," she said. "Moreover, our tax dollars should not be spent on helping federal workers obtain substandard degrees."

    Also, the problem of fake degrees in sensitive positions of trust in government and industry appears to be far more widespread and insidious than Mr. Charles Abell's stupefying response to the reporter's question.

    One CBS News report states:

    "They are safety engineers at nuclear power plants and biological weapons experts. They work at NATO headquarters, at the Pentagon and at nearly every other federal agency."

    I also agree with much that
    The Carpetbagger Report has to say on this issue of fake degrees among officials in the public's trust:

    "For anyone who’s ever wondered why it seems administration employees are inept, there appears to be a perfectly logical explanation: too many of these officials were never educated in their respective fields. Instead of getting degrees in their alleged areas of expertise, they were buying them from diploma mills."

    Has Charles Abell been placed on administrative leave pending a full investigation (and due process), yet?



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