Whither Scragged?

Why we haven't published much lately.

Time marches faster as you get older, it's all too easy to suddenly realize how much time has passed - and your humble correspondent is ashamed to admit just how very long indeed it has been since any new articles appeared in the virtual pages of Scragged.  At one point we had at least one full-length article per day, sometimes more; over the years our publishing schedule slipped to a few times a week, then weekly, then every week or two, and then, as now, vanished entirely.

Our loyal followers deserve an explanation, and an answer to the occasional emails we've received - indeed, to be honest, we think even our submittal form isn't working as reliably as it once did, so feel free to write us at editors@scragged.com .

Are the authors of Scragged deceased, unwell, retired, imprisoned, or subject to some political epiphany resulting in an abrupt change of sides?  No, none of those; we have, unlike America, not been "fundamentally transformed," and are as yet healthy and free.

What has changed, though, is the environment in which Scragged was intended to operate.

The Truth Is Out There - But Where Exactly?

We've used a slogan to encapsulate our approach to political punditry: "They Report - We Decide."  What this meant was, the writers of Scragged are not "reporters" or journalists in the traditional sense, who investigate happenings, write their own observations, and serve as direct witness to whatever's going on.

Quite the contrary: our beat has always been the intertubes, reading and digesting the works of others.  From consuming the widest possible variety of inputs, filtered through our accumulated knowledge and study of history, we let you know what's really going on in the world.

These type of meta-analysis seems straightforward and commonsensical, but it has a serious weakness: it is entirely dependent on our inputs - that is, the other articles we read out there on the Web - having some discernible relationship to reality.

Does that mean we believe everything we read?  Of course not.  However, through the first two decades of the 21st century it was still generally possible to apply an adjustment factor - an intellectual shim, if you will - to make up for well-known biases of various sources.

For instance, The Economist was long one of our favorite reads because of its dedication to detailed global analysis and interest in the non-obvious.  Once upon a time, this high-minded periodical devoutly believed in capitalism and economic freedom, so its articles from that perspective could be generally trusted.  As a European publication, its views on social matters were less congenial, but even there, they attempted to honestly understand conservative points of view and evaluate them on their own basis, as well as accepting and presenting facts that ran contrary to their own existing biases.

In a way, we even modeled much of Scragged's editorial voice after that of The Economist - yes, we most definitely have a point of view, but we demand of ourselves to be able to present facts in support of it, and to entertain other perspectives at least up to a point so long as they argued from a factual basis.

Other respected news media which we quoted occupied various other points on the political spectrum - The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Review, Forbes, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, and far too many others to name.  None could be trusted entirely, but facts stated in them were highly likely to be accurate as far as they went, and their known bias was sufficiently clear to be adjusted for.

Alas, those days ended some years back - we can't say when exactly, but the blatant nonsense surrounding Covid-19 made it unavoidably clear that traditional fact-oriented journalism had died.

Yes, there was much unknown when the Wuhan flu first presented itself to the world, but within an astonishingly short time, we could see that there was an established narrative that was directly counterfactual, demonstrably untrue in comparison with facts easily available to us with the merest trifle of research.

The mainstream media wasn't merely spinning the news, controlling the narrative by what they did and did not deem worthy of discussion, as they've done for decades.  They weren't even expressing their bias clearly with personal attacks, as on President Trump, while still presenting the underlying facts in a somewhat truthful fashion.  With the coming of Covid, the media developed the toxic habit of bold-faced, brazenly lying, trumpeting untruths that even a child could discern.

Declaring as fact that Covid came from animals, "most likely" from a Chinese wet market, and not from a lab mishap?  That was defininitionally impossible to know at the time, and even to this day - so the entirety of the media presenting that highly tendentious position as proven fact was an air-raid-siren of alarm.  We now that our State Department knew that the virus had probably come from the infamous lab, which means that the media also knew, and actively chose to tell us the exact opposite for years on end.

Lie followed lie in short succession.  Ivermectin is a horse dewormer unfit for human consumption, rather than a Nobel-prize-winning human medicine?   Masks and six-foot distancing will provide protection from an air-distributed virus?  Paying everyone to stay home will save the economy, rather than lay it waste?

Had everyone in journalism gone insane?  Is it no longer acceptable to truthfully accept and describe uncertainty?  We have no idea if ivermectin cures Covid, or even helps - but we can confidently assert, on the basis of countless millions of patients who've taken it over decades, that it doesn't kill you as the media and corrupt bureaucracy would have had you believe.

Of course, there are many more sources of news than the internationally-known mainstream media; we've long had a range of sources throughout the blogosphere, not merely conservative ones like the Townhall group of sites, but far-left perspectives like Truthout and Reader Supported News, to say nothing of the countless crosslinks and references found by following rabbit-holes in the hope that an actual fact lies at the bottom.

Unfortunately, even with this broad-based approach to information gathering, we seem to have disproved the famous saying by Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D,  NY): "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts."

These days, the facts simply do not matter.  What sort of an "insurrection" comes prepared with less than a dozen firearms, and not a single official being shot?  How can it be a crime for a President to do whatever he pleases with classified information, including ordering it to be packed up and carted off to his (Secret Service guarded) home for his post-Presidency?  Why are commands to effectively end manufacturing of internal combustion vehicles not met with gales of derisory laughter and calls for the men in white coats, when simple math tells us that the necessary mining sources of copper, lithium, and other materials do not and will not exist to electrify everything on anything remotely close to the demanded timescale?

And there's still the unavoidable question of - which facts can we depend upon, and on whose authority?  Hardly a day goes by when a longstanding conspiracy isn't revealed to have been something perilously close to the truth all along.  In a world where Harvard Public Health is providing support to perhaps the oldest modern conspiracy theory, "Fluoridated water is bad for you!," can we even be sure of anything anymore?  Of course, Harvard Public Health also supported the useless masks, so we remain empty-handed in our search for provable, demonstrable truth.

If we had the resources of a Joseph Pulizer or William Randolph Hearst, we could send out actual old-school investigative gumshoe journalists to gather and bring home the facts.  If we controlled a Congressional committee with subpoena power and a willingness to directly order the House Sergeant-at-Arms to imprison those who defy those subpoenas or commit perjury, we might also drag some truths kicking and screaming out into the light.

Or maybe not: Dr. Fauci has now admitted the truth, under the glare of the lights, that most of what he said during the Covid era was basically made up.  Does it matter?  Will anything change, or any price be paid for the destruction he wrought?  Most likely not.

In our view, anyone speaking from a position of authority has a moral responsibility to not only tell the truth to the best of their ability, but to refrain from making apparently authoritative statements without a good basis for doing so.  That doesn't mean that you can't make mistakes - we all do - but it is precisely because of this discipline that recognized authorities earn and maintain credibility.

It's no accident that, as poll after poll have found, all established American institutions have lost basically all credibility.  The American people know they're being lied to, gaslit, manipulated, defrauded, cheated, and hoodwinked in every way imaginable and doubtless many that aren't.

To the extend that Scragged possesses authority and credibility, we show our respect to our audience by telling them the truth as we see it based on the accumulated evidence gathered by our research.  The problem is, at the moment we have no confidence that we're seeing any truth at all... so what is there to say beyond "May God have mercy on us"?

The Historical Long View

Well, while we may not have much to confidently say at the moment, there are those far wiser than we who do.

Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing.after they have exhausted all other possibilities.

 - attributed, perhaps apocryphally, to Sir Winston Churchill

There's something amazing about America's democracy, it's got a gyroscope and just when you think it's going to go off the cliff, it rights itself.

 - Albert Einstein

There is a special providence for drunkards, fools, and the United States of America.

 - Otto von Bismarck

The Americans are a very lucky people. They're bordered to the north and south by weak neighbors, and to the east and west by fish.

- Otto von Bismarck

And let's be honest - there are those far braver and bolder too, within just-barely living memory. Today we celebrate the 80th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, almost certainly the last such major anniversary with active participants still available to testify to their greatness.

We rightly honor the brave men who risked their lives to free Europe from Nazi tyranny.  Many of them never came back, or only returned half a man.  Few regretted the sacrifice, because all of history was made better because of what they did.

Nobody is asking us to sacrifice our lives, at least not in the physical sense, not yet - though anyone with an eye to see or an ear to hear can perceive that not so very far off, now that we as a nation have decided that political prosecutions are OK.

Yes, we don't believe our polls or our elections are free, fair, or true - but they aren't wholly made up either.  It's still theoretically possible to win beyond the margin of cheating, as Trump himself did in 2016.

Yes, there's a powerful Deep State that opposes every sort of conservative reform, but they aren't all-powerful.  They've pulled out all their stops to keep Donald Trump away from power, but not only have they not succeeded, they've done so at great cost to their credibility and greatly limited the scope of possible future actions they can get away with.

The end has not yet been decided.  The way forward is unclear, and it's still anyone's game.  The fall of America will indeed come - everything human dies eventually - but whether that's near or far still remains within the power of the American people to decide.

And when we at Scragged, with our limited, finite human imaginations, come up with a way to contribute that seems like it might be of merit, we will.  And we'll let you know.

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other Scragged.com articles by Petrarch or other articles on Society.
Reader Comments

Glad to hear from you and thank you for the status update.
The link to Scragged on my iPad homepage remains in the lineup of conservative sites I open daily to see what has transpired since the previous day. Over the last couple of months, I've clicked on Scragged less, but always check for any new posting a few times per week. So it was great to see this posting today!
And I agree re: "we have no confidence that we're seeing any truth at all". We're not!
"If their lips are moving, they're lying" applies to damn near every person disseminating information, regardless of the subject.
Thanks again Petrarch

June 7, 2024 1:09 AM

Great to hear from you Petrarch. Scragged remains in my daily lineup of sites I click on to see what's happening.
Kind regards,
Rico B

June 7, 2024 1:12 AM

Missed you. Don't give up. Good always lives over evil and this country needs your reasoned writing.5

June 7, 2024 3:17 AM

Missed you. Don't give up. Good always lives over evil and this country needs your reasoned writing.5

June 7, 2024 3:17 AM

Here are some of my favorites. I think I get fairly accurate and reasonably unbiased news from them:
Lara Logan
Julio Rosas
Jeffrey A. Tucker
Michael Shellenberger
Matt Taibbi
Glen Greenwald
Mark Steyn
Sharyl Attkisson
Carol Roth
John Stossel
Alex Berenson

June 8, 2024 1:42 AM

Regular, you've got some good not-on-our-side ones on there - e.g. Matt Taibbi and Glen Greenwald don't come from anything close to our perspective, but, they do try to be honest and seek out truth, so are well worth paying attention to.

And of course the inimitable Mark Steyn is the best for a laugh that we still have with us.

June 10, 2024 6:30 PM
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