ESG ain’t going away

This is going to be a post about politics – specifically ESG and I want to connect a few dots. ESG has been talked about a lot and among the right it’s sort of become like a shorthand term for “evil corporations,” but that completely misses the point. Corporations didn’t just decide to adopt ESG, which stands for environmental, social, and corporate governance out of thin air.

ESG came about out of UN initiatives. In 2004 the UN formed the UN Global Compact, so this goes back to when George W. Bush was president and the US and major US banks, investment corporations and large corporations have been on board with all of this since the beginning. None of this ESG agenda would be happening in America without the full support and prodding of the US government. This is true around the world – the UN agenda from this 2004 UN Global Compact, where the term ESG was first used, to the 2015 UN Agenda 2030, which lays out an ambitious 2030 timeline to transform the world into an environmentally, sustainable utopia, where equitable governance is universal was signed onto by almost every country in the world.

In 2004 this Global Compact report came out: Who Cares Wins: Connecting Financial Markets to a Changing World. On the title page here’s the blurb at the bottom:

“Endorsed by:
ABN Amro • Aviva • AXA Group • Banco do Brasil • Bank Sarasin • BNP Paribas • Calvert Group • CNP Assurances
Credit Suisse Group • Deutsche Bank • Goldman Sachs • Henderson Global Investors • HSBC • IFC • Innovest
The Global
Compact
ISIS Asset Management • KLP Insurance • Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance • Morgan Stanley • RCM • UBS • Westpac • World Bank Group”

This ESG effort isn’t just about “woke companies” promoting American leftist policies; it’s a global effort, endorsed by almost every country in the world – including the United States. That’s why all these silly right-wing reactionary antics about “ESG” and “woke companies” is rather pointless, in my opinion. Every major US corporation has had to get on-board with the ESG agenda, because all of the big investment firms and banks have adopted this ESG agenda – since the early 2000s.

So, let’s fast forward a few years to 2015, the year the UN adopted Agenda 2030 – here’s the link to that: https://sdgs.un.org/2030agenda.

I don’t want to ramble on a lot about my personal feelings or thoughts about ESG or Agenda 2030 or the WEF & Klaus Schwab, because my intention with this post is to draw awareness to how ESG and “woke companies” aren’t acting alone – they embarked on this, because most governments around the world are 100% behind this effort, including the United States of America, and the ones that aren’t 100% are being pressured to pay lip service to it, or face having investment and development aid being cut off.

I came across this June 2020 Forbes article, Demystifying ESG: Its History & Current Status, which provides a lot of details on why we started hearing so much about ESG since 2020 – and that’s about the acceleration effort proposed by the World Economic Forum crowd, to use the global pandemic economic turmoil as an opportunity to speed up the global transformation goals in Agenda 2030. This is what Klaus Schwab, the founder of the WEF termed – The Great Reset.

Right-wing pundit media types started blabbing about The Great Reset and ESG a lot in the past two years, but they’re so far behind at really grasping that governments around the world, including the US, the UN and major financial and investment corporations, have been laying the groundwork and implementing these policies since the early 2000s and by the time the UN adopted Agenda 2030 – in 2015 – major corporations and banks around the world were already on board completely.

People on the right getting on their high horse saying they’re going to boycott this or that company, because of ESG or “woke policies” really completely shows a lack of reality – almost everyone lives within these systems and relies on goods and services from major corporations and/or the government, which are fully invested in advancing the ESG goals. There isn’t any easy opt-out option for any of us – that’s the bottom-line.

Anyone who thinks that getting angry about something and coming up with a quick reaction – like “I’m done shopping there or there or there!” is going to deter or stop a major global effort that’s been underway for almost 20 years and backed by almost every country and major corporation in the world is delusional. Everyone will have to decide for themselves how much they’re willing to go along to get along in this situation, just like during the pandemic. I resented some of those policies too, but I also need to see my doctor and have tests done sometimes that required me to comply with rules, I didn’t agree with. I’m not judging other people for the choices they make or what they believe about the pandemic, the environmental issues or any of the so-called “woke” agenda, because frankly, there’s so much bad information in the news and social media environment that it’s a total wasteland.

I have my own thoughts on how, if things spiral out of control with the Great Reset in too many places in the world, that could propel many rapid changes to occur, but like everyone else, I don’t have a crystal ball. ESG ain’t going away – that’s the reality.

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Small beginnings are within reach

I started a blog post the day after Thanksgiving and despite editing and rewriting parts of it, I decided not to publish it, because it wasn’t quite expressing what I wanted to say. I became interested in becoming better prepared in 2020, mainly out of fear when my husband was placed on home hospice care and within weeks of that the pandemic craziness hit.

I’d always stocked up extra supplies and food, but I felt assuredly there were “experts” who know a lot more than I do. That’s when I started viewing YouTube prepper videos. I’d been watching homesteading videos for a long time too and that goes with my interest in learning about how people grow food and manage living off of small farms or village life around the world. When my husband and I were first married I told him my dream was to live on a small farm out in the country. We never tried farming and I likely won’t ever live on a small farm in the country, but I enjoy watching other people who have embarked on that adventure.

I’ve been watching an Azerbaijani lady cook food over open fire outside for years and even before I found that channel, I watched a grandma cook in her village in Sri Lanka. A few African village life channels popped up in my feed recently and I’ve watched a few of those too. The biggest takeaway is people do manage with a lot less, they take pride in talking about their lives and sharing native dishes. I’ve learned a lot watching these videos and there’s absolutely no drama, the people seem warm, friendly and excited to share their culture. Unlike so much of the sky-is-falling drama that permeates many of the American prepper and homesteading channels, these people living with so much less, seem more emotionally stable, calm and happy.

When I came across the William Bradford quote for Thanksgiving, the “out of small beginnings greater things have been produced” phrase stuck in my head. Bradford was a Puritan, who sailed to America on the Mayflower and became the governor of the Plymouth Colony, when the first governor, John Carver, died during the early months establishing the colony. Out of the 103 Mayflower passengers and around 30 crew on the ship, about half of them died during that 1620 voyage and first winter in America.

The Mayflower voyage went off course and the Pilgrims ended up reaching land much further north than planned, in November of 1620. They were running low on supplies and totally unprepared for the cold, hard winter there.

The first Thanksgiving was a 3-day harvest celebration in 1621. Although, those first settlers survived their first year in America, daily life was grueling, devoid of luxuries, and uncertain. Life in some parts of the world is still that way. I doubt any of the early American settlers could ever have imagined that out of their small beginnings, our United States of America would grow into a great and prosperous nation.

While we are facing some shortages now, Americans were facing all kinds of shortages, including food shortages, from the first settlers and there were years of failing crops, wheat shortages, and other shortages many times in American history, yet people couldn’t run to Costco or Walmart and try to stock up. They learned to make-do during wheat shortages with what they had and used substitutions, like barley, oats, corn to make bread.

Interestingly, while it’s easy to presume early settlers were all made of sterner stuff than people today and had some sort of unique survival skills, the truth is they were just people too. Their daily lives involved a great deal more hard labor and lack of physical comforts, so from an early age daily life required self-discipline, following a daily routine, and a sense of commitment. The Puritans had already moved from England to the Netherlands to avoid religious persecution, before embarking on the Mayflower voyage. Daily life in England and the Netherlands in the 1600s, was a far cry from arriving in America, where they were facing an uncertain situation with the Native Americans and an inhospitable land.

We all are products of the times we live in and as times change people adapt and change too, but even back in early America, some people didn’t cope well and they had all the same human emotions we have today.

William Bradford’s wife, Dorothy, died while Bradford was on his third scouting trip on land, as the other passengers stayed on the Mayflower, awaiting their return. She fell overboard and drowned while the Mayflower was moored in the harbor. Some historians question whether she committed suicide. There were passengers dying all around her and they had left their three-year old son behind in Amsterdam, with Dorothy’s parents.

Nathaniel Philbrick, in his book, Mayflower, wrote: “We think of the Pilgrims as resilient adventurers upheld by unwavering religious faith, but they were also human beings in the middle of what was, and continues to be, one of the most difficult emotional challenges a person can face: immigration and exile. Less than a year later, another group of English settlers arrived in Provincetown Harbor and were so overwhelmed by this “naked and barren place” that they convinced themselves that the Pilgrims must all be dead. In fear of being forsaken by the ship’s captain, the panicked settlers began to strip the sails from the yards “lest the ship should get away and leave them.” (pages 76-77)

Most of us adjust and learn as we face challenges, just as the Pilgrims did. Some people, even back then, fared better than others, but none of the first settlers in America, nor the Native Americans, already here, lived an easy life filled with comfort items and luxuries that we take for granted. However, we can all, little by little, choose to learn new skills and face new challenges with a positive spirit and small beginnings that produce greater things are still attainable, no matter what the latest shortage being hyped or online drama.

I watched a video the other day where the couple grew a dry corn variety this year and they ground some up and made cornbread. I found that very interesting. I bought a cookbook, Country Beans, earlier this year (used for under $6 on amazon), which explains a multitude of ways to use dry beans, peas and lentils, including making flour out of them. Each little bit of information I acquire and each little experiment learning new techniques and ways to use food, or even my small gardening effort, feels like time better spent than getting worked up about world crises or the latest hot topic flitting across social media.

We can all assuredly embark on a few small beginnings, just looking through our homes and pantries and trying to find new ways to use the things we already have. Unlike the early settlers we have access to information almost instantly. There are even apps available that can identify wild plants and trees with the snap of a photo on your phone. There is more information on ways to use almost any food than any of us can ever possibly use. Truly, we still live in a land of abundance here in America and I am thankful for that every day.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

“Thus out of small beginnings greater things have been produced by His hand that made all things of nothing, and gives being to all things that are; and, as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many…”

https://reasonsforhopejesus.com/a-thanksgiving-day-meditation/

Image from: https://thegraphicsfairy.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Thanksgiving-Grace-Image-GraphicsFairy.jpg

The past couple years the world has seemed turned upside down at times. As Americans celebrate Thanksgiving Day this year, we have an opportunity to join with family and friends, share good food, old stories and take some time to express gratitude for all the blessings in our lives.

It’s very easy in the midst of all the bad news swirling all about us every day to lose sight of the many good things.

Today’s a good day to try to leave the rancorous politics and the doom and gloom economic news aside. Smile, laugh, share a bit of hope. We can all try to be a small candle for those around us.

Have a safe and very Happy Thanksgiving!

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Don’t discount the weeds

Since I’ve been rambling on about politics too much again, it’s time to get away from that. I stopped watching TV almost completely several years ago and I’ve never gotten into the streaming services. Instead, I began watching more YouTube videos. It’s very odd that I made this transition. I thought reality TV was total garbage from its inception and YouTube is filled with videos made by content-creators, mostly with no professional experience at media, but I’ve found that I enjoy the amateurish quality (reality) with all sorts of videos, including many crafting, needlework, frugal-living, and homesteading channels.

Last week, while watching a homesteading video, the husband narrated most of the video, but for a few minutes the wife discussed her homeschooling ideas and she mentioned a nature journaling project she’s planned and that her daughter was excited about. She held up the book pictured above. Her few minutes uplifted me and made me feel a flash of hopefulness for the future. Here was a young mother, homeschooling her daughter and putting together a nature journaling adventure. I found she had been captivated by Edith Holden’s nature journal for a long time, just like me. I found another video by this young mother from 5 years ago, where she talked about starting a nature journal. She showed a flower press her husband made for her. It’s reassuring to see young people, who just set out and try to learn new skills and make things, using simple supplies or things they have around the house.

About 5 years ago, I bought that very same Edith Holden book, when I was learning how to make junk journals. I saw numerous videos where pages of this Edith Holden book were used in junk journals, so I bought this book on amazon – used, in very good condition, for $3. Junk journaling is a free-spirited move away from the commercialized scrapbooking of a few decades ago, where you can make your own books and journals using all sorts of materials, including, old books, junk papers, pages from books, old greeting cards, scrapbook paper, and even envelopes. I discovered junk journaling on YouTube and it opened the door to another crafting adventure for me. I’ve made numerous junk journals, but haven’t had the heart to tear any pages out of my copy. I prefer to draw inspiration from and cherish the entire book.

Edith Holden was an English artist and art teacher at a girl’s school, who also worked as an illustrator for some nature publications and children’s books, according to her Wikipedia bio. This book contains absolutely beautiful sketches and watercolors of plants and animals, along with nature notes, poetry and quotes. In 1906, she created this diary as a model for her students. She died in 1920, but this diary, left to family, wasn’t’ published until 1977.

While many people associate nature-journaling and watercolor painting as some hobby of British upper-class ladies, drawing and sketching were actually very important skills before photography existed. People couldn’t just pull out a cell-phone and snap a photo or google things for information.

The British military also taught military officers watercolor painting, as part of keeping ship’s records of where they travelled. The entire idea of drawing pictures of nature was very important in early America too, as colonists set out to learn about this new land.

From 1804-1806, Lewis and Clark were sent by President Thomas Jefferson to explore the new land America acquired after the Louisiana Purchase. They did not have an artist on their expedition, so between the two men, they filled 18 small notebooks with details, maps they created, and illustrations they drew. Neither was a trained artist. Here’s a link where you can read their journals and look at their maps and illustrations. The Lewis and Clark Expedition is one of the most fascinating adventure stories in American history. President Jefferson commissioned the Corps of Discovery in 1803 and he picked Captain Meriwether Lewis to lead the expedition and William Clark, another officer, was the second in command. Lewis was an Army officer, but he had no formal education until he was 13 years old according to his Wikipedia bio. President Jefferson set about making preparations for this expedition, which included extensive training for Lewis:

“In 1803, Jefferson sent Lewis to Philadelphia to study medicinal cures under Benjamin Rush, a physician and humanitarian. He also arranged for Lewis to be further educated by Andrew Ellicott, an astronomer who instructed him in the use of the sextant and other navigational instruments.[28][29] From Benjamin Smith Barton, Lewis learned how to describe and preserve plant and animal specimens, from Robert Patterson refinements in computing latitude and longitude, while Caspar Wistar covered fossils, and the search for possible living remnants.[30][31] Lewis, however, was not ignorant of science and had demonstrated a marked capacity to learn, especially with Jefferson as his teacher. At Monticello, Jefferson possessed an enormous library on the subject of the geography of the North American continent, and Lewis had full access to it. He spent time consulting maps and books and conferring with Jefferson.[32]

Several years ago there was a hobby that took off called “geocaching,” but the real-deal caching was a matter of life and death, not fun and games like geocaching. During the Lewis and Clark expedition “caching pits” were dug and used to store supplies and it required skilled trackers to relocate those caches in the uncharted wilderness. Truly, the Lewis and Clark journals are something every prepper should take a look at, because it’s amazing the things you can learn from their grueling journey.

Ulysses S. Grant, the famous Civil War general and US president, was also an artist. He began watercolor painting as a young man and studied art while a cadet at West Point. Grant was known for being a rough and tough general, but he was also an accomplished watercolor artist

My road to actually making junk journals started as a child, when I created scrapbooks and journals, often cutting pictures out of old magazines, pressing flowers, and using found items around my home. Back then, I didn’t think about needing certain supplies or having to follow certain rules. Like most kids, I just set off and explored new things. Some worked, some didn’t, but I felt a sense of joy and enthusiasm that can fade as you grow older and start thinking you need to use certain supplies when doing things. Scrapbooking became a popular craft a few decades ago, with mountains of “must-have” supplies being touted and sold. I have a lot of those supplies still, but I didn’t enjoy that structured way of scrapbooking

While battling cancer in 2003-2004, I purchased several books on making handmade books and it made me feel hopeful, but I didn’t feel confident enough to start making my own handmade books. That inspiration came after coming across a junk journaling video on YouTube, then realizing there was an entire junk journaling community there. As I watched more channels, I realized some were skilled artists, others brand new crafters, but what I loved was absorbing all these ideas and beginning to feel, “Well, I could do that too!” That’s what inspiration is – when you move from letting doubts hold you back, to actually taking those first steps setting out on a new path. Inspiration can come in many forms, from faith, from the beauty of nature, from poetry, books, art, but it can also come from ordinary people cheerfully showing how they’re doing something that you’ve thought about, but weren’t sure how to go about it.

The junk journal on the right remains one of my favorite junk journals, even though neither is some stunning journal or remotely art. I made these from old books, using old calendar pages as the pictures on the covers. Inside each book I added all sorts of junk, from old cards and post cards, to even labels from packages:

Amidst all the media noise our modern life is filled with, we can choose to work at unplugging a bit and really looking at the world around us.

Rather than focusing on all the bad things happening, even small things, like enjoying a beautiful sunset or spending a few minutes watching birds, or even admiring some small wildflowers growing in the crack of a sidewalk, might give you a moment’s peace or hope. You might not have any interest in nature journaling, but we can all benefit from the gifts of nature, that don’t cost a cent.

A.A. Milne, the English author of the Winnie-the-Poo books said, “Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.” Beauty can be found almost anywhere, if you open your eyes and look for it.

Have a nice day!

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Who’s the real fighter – Trump or Dems?

Here are two articles worth reading about this past election inner-workings. One is from the Daily Kos, New report reveals how Democrats conned Trump into picking terrible midterm candidates and the other from the Washington Post, How Trump, infighting and flawed candidates limited Republican gains

“Democrats saw exploiting individual Republican candidates as their best shot at victory — knowing the political environment was a difficult one.

“Our theory of the case from the beginning was we assumed that this was going to be a very tough election for us,” said Christie Roberts, executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. “We had to utterly discredit and disqualify our opponents.”

A former opposition researcher, Roberts had plotted the attack from early 2021, when she directed her committee to get involved, often in secretive ways, with Republican primaries across the country. In many cases, her work targeted an audience of one, Trump, who had the power to get a candidate through the primary with a simple endorsement.

The Democrats planted early stories about past criticism of Trump by former North Carolina governor Pat McCrory (R), aiming to push Trump to endorse someone less electable in the state’s Senate primary. (The successful nominee, Ted Budd, went on to win Tuesday.) They built up the idea in the press that Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) might run for Senate, prompting Trump to lash out and make clear his opposition; Ducey passed on running.

They handed out other hit pieces against Ohio GOP chairwoman Jane Timken and Pennsylvania Senate contender Dave McCormick, mining their old public comments for any criticism that might raise Trump’s ire. The committee even subscribed to a service that allowed for constant monitoring of right-wing radio, so divisions could be picked up early and amplified.

It was opposition research as psychological warfare, directed at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club and Bedminster, N.J., golf resort. During internal meetings at the DSCC in 2021, senior strategists spoke about creating a “summer of chaos” and a “fall of fighting” in the Republican Party.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/10/republicans-midterm-elections-trump/

The Washington Post piece also details the Republican internal battles, inside Trump’s crowd at Mar-a-logo and Congress. When I mentioned Dems efforts to label Republicans as “MAGA extremists” as part of the Dem election strategy, that was before I read this article, but anyway, here it is is from the Washington Post:

“They described how Democratic efforts — to label Republicans “MAGA extremists,” elevate concerns of a tectonic abortion ruling by the Supreme Court and highlight threats to the democratic process embraced by GOP candidates — helped blunt overwhelming frustration with inflation and growing fears about crime. Exit polls conducted by AP VoteCast found 27 percent of voters cited abortion as the most important issue for their vote, compared to 31 percent who said inflation. Eleven percent of voters said crime was the most important, exactly the same share as said gun violence.”

And btw, Dem strategists and operatives had been working on this from early 2021. None of their spin operations are new, they’ve been perfecting turning their campaign operations into high-tech information warfare for decades. I didn’t just pull my assertions about the Dem spin information warfare stuff out of thin air – I’ve been following the Dem media spin operations closely since the 90s, as I’ve said many times on my blog. It may sound extreme to most Americans, but with Democrats it’s sophisticated, high-tech information warfare that’s all about trying to manipulate and dominating the mass media (battlefield), to drive and control public opinion in America. Dems really do want to control both politics and the media in America.

I encourage you to read both articles.

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Following more money trails.

This past week’s election in America was a stunning victory if you’re a Democrat and a total disaster if you’re Republican – thus far. We still don’t know which party will control the US House of Representatives, but Democrats will keep control of the US Senate.

A few states had election drama with vote-counting again, especially AZ, NV, and CA is very slow too, I’ve seen some right-wing commentary about “stolen election” in AZ from the Trump camp again, but here’s the thing Republicans controlled the legislature and the governorship in AZ before this election. NV, though, was controlled by Democrats, and of course, CA is a Democrat stronghold. This post is going to be about politics and specifically about Trump and the MAGA movement, with a look back to the beginning of Trump’s political career and what I expect.

Former President Trump was floating the “stolen election” spin again, which isn’t surprising since he’s conned his followers into believing in “stolen elections” as a matter of faith – without ever producing any real proof. Then right-wing media starts spinning up Trump’s spin garbage and in the blink of an eye, Trump supporters are all-in on the next Trump spin lie. Due to the endless Trump Show, where Democrats and liberals have lost their minds trying to destroy Trump and Trump supporters have embraced Trump as the only path to “Making America Great Again,” America’s been locked in this same political drama since 2015. Many of his ardent supporters trust in him completely and while there’s been some backlash on the right against Trump for attacking FL governor, Ron DeSantis, after DeSantis scored a stunning victory in FL last week, I expect not much will change in Washington and not much will change with Trump right now.

I fully expect FOX News pundits will be back to being all-in for Trump quickly, despite a few days of criticism of Trump for attacking Ron DeSantis. FOX News has tried to break up with Trump before, but since most of their audience are Trump followers, they always reverse course quickly. And during these rocky periods Trump starts attacking FOX News for its negative coverage and hunting other right-wing news media to sell his Trump Show, without any criticisms. Trump supporters always point out that Trump is unfairly attacked by the left, especially liberal media and it’s certainly true, a whole lot of liberal media sounds like Trump Derangement Syndrome and now even attacking Trump supporters as “MAGA Republicans,” but they’re not the only ones stuck in derangement. Many Trump supporters completely buy into all of this labeling everyone on the right who dares criticize Trump as a RINO or supporting the GOP establishment and Swamp in DC.

During this latest little FOX News/Trump rocky patch, Trump was busy posting statements about it and on November 10th, here’s what he posted:

“If CNN were smart, they’d open up a Conservative network, only have me on, and it would be the most successful network in History. Fox only made it because of me, Twitter only made it because of me, and even Facebook is now in the tubes, having lost almost $90 billion in value since I was taken off, which was considered one of the biggest mistakes in business over the last two years, because with Trump go tens of millions of people who believe in MAGA, who want to Make America Great Again, and Put America First!”

Trump hates CNN and they’re evil, but there’s Trump floating a CNN conservative network that would only have him on. He’s that confident MAGA Republicans are so loyal to him and that he can keep lying to them and conning them forever. Sure harkens back to Trump’s comment way back when, about his followers being so loyal he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and they’d remain loyal. I suspect many of them have bought into Trump’s con game that much and would happily even follow Trump to enriching “Fake News CNN.”

Trump’s MAGA-selected candidates have been a total electoral disaster – he picked these people only because they were willing to spout his “stolen election” bs.

Tucker Carlson had on Blake Masters Friday night and Masters, a MAGA candidate, with no political experience, lost his senate race to Democrat incumbent, Mark Kelly in the AZ senate race. Masters was spouting the latest Trump spin, blaming Mitch McConnell for his loss, The failure of these MAGA candidates, that Trump promoted, is supposedly all Mitch McConnell’s fault for not pouring money into his campaign and it’s a Trumpworld talking point to rail against McConnell for putting money into Lisa Murkowski’s race against the Trump-backed candidate. That’s the thing – to win national races it’s much more successful to get incumbents re-elected than it is to get people with no political record elected. McConnell, despite Trump attacking him constantly and Dems pouring millions into Amy McGrath, won his reelection by 20 points. He knows a bit more about elections than Trump, that’s for sure, who won 2016 by a fluke, with Hillary being so bogged down by scandals and being a particularly awful candidate, added to which Trump had benefitted mightily from that billions of dollars of free media during the GOP primary. The mythical “GOP Insurgent” Dems and liberal media created in the GOP primary came back to haunt them in the general. And McConnell knows more about how the US Senate operates than Blake Masters. The truth is McConnell-aligned PACs poured way more money into Trump-backed candidates in the general election than Trump did:

“McConnell-aligned super PACs — including SLF, American Crossroads and Faith & Power PAC — have invested a whopping $238 million so far in seven key Senate races. How much has Donald Trump spent? He has raised an eye-watering $161 million this election cycle. But his super PAC, Make America Great Again, Inc., has spent a grand total of . . . $14.8 million on Senate races. To put that in perspective, MAGA Inc.’s total spending across the country is less than McConnell-aligned PACs have spent in any individual race in which they are engaged.”

https://www.news-journal.com/opinion/mcconnells-pacs-put-money-where-trumps-mouth-is/article_f81a8e4e-5e27-11ed-8053-5740bc1e4414.html

With Murkowski -it made sense to back an incumbent rather than engage in the reckless and stupid Trump purges of the GOP, trying to rid the GOP of anyone who doesn’t march in lock-step with Trump and kiss his butt. Blake Masters is another one of those Trump-backed candidates with no political experience and in fact, he has no experience of even being a Republican – just like Trump, yet, he’s demanding that McConnell must go. Love him or hate him, McConnell, has been very effective as Senate leader, and has gotten a whole lot of conservative judges confirmed AND has put decades into the GOP – even back when Trump was a NY liberal spending his time with his golfing buddy, Bill Clinton. Since 2015, I’ve believed that Trump entering that race was a Dem dirty trick, so there’s my conspiracy theory.

Why should a guy who lost his Senate race be the person demanding Mitch McConnell be replaced? I’m not even a McConnell fan, but I’m sick to death of the Trump’s lies and endless Trump war against the GOP. Trump has torn the GOP apart and besides his fluke win in 2016, he’s led the GOP to nothing but losses and constant battles against RINOs and the GOPe. Living in GA, I’m sick to death of Trump’s efforts to tear the GOP apart here and I am glad Brian Kemp won a huge victory over Stacy Abrams – DESPITE Trump trying to destroy Kemp. Where’s the anger among MAGA over Trump trying to tear down popular Republicans running for re-election, only because they wouldn’t kiss Trump’s butt? Nope, they’re being led to blame Mitch McConnell for the losses.

Trump’s already fundraising using the Hershel Walker run-off in GA:

Trump automatically gets 90% of those donations he’s raising for Hershel Walker, unless the donor clicks to change that – another Trump grift.

I fully expect Trump and his right-wing media echo-chamber to keep attacking Mitch McConnell, keep lying, and claim the defeat of Trump’s MAGA candidates, even with the terrible economy, was McConnell’s fault and at the same time con his supporters into believing the election wasn’t really that bad and many of them will keep sending Trump money.

I’m a “follow the money person,” because things become clearer when you take a close look at money trails.

A close family member pointed out to me that the Dems poured millions into promoting these extreme MAGA candidates in the primaries, trying to absolve Trump of blame and I reminded her that these candidates wouldn’t have even gotten any traction without Trump endorsing them in the first place. Trump put them in play. The ironic thing is this is exactly what the Democrats did in 2015 too – Bill Clinton ‘Encouraged’ Trump to Run. I still believe that the “GOP Insurgent” was a Democrat-concocted dirty trick that went awry. Trump wasn’t expected to win – just disrupt the 2016 GOP primary.

In 2019, Howard Stern, another Trump crony, who hung out at Trump’s home in FL: Howard Stern: Trump’s candidacy for president was a ‘publicity stunt’ I bring this up, because Dems pouring money on the worst possible candidates in this election is exactly what happened in 2015 too.

Here’s a Nov. 2016 piece: Donald Trump Rode $5 Billion in Free Media to the White House. A large chunk of that money was from liberal media – like CNN and MSNBC, where Trump friends, Joe and Mika had Trump calling in interviews on their show, while demanding other Republican primary candidates had to show up in the studio. CNN and MSNBC were also airing Trump rallies, in their entirety – live. They were conning right-wing America into buying into Trump – “the fighter,” “the great businessman,” “the GOP Insurgent,” while sitting on mountains of dirt about Trump – which they unleashed by late 2015, when Trump became a real threat to Hillary. It was all a Dem dirty trick in the beginning, I believe.

So many Trump-supporters believe in Trump as much as Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s supporters believed in them. Those Bakker supporters sent them millions of dollars too. Until enough Trump supporters realize this has all been a huge grift, Trump will remain a powerful force in the GOP and American politics.

I expect Trump to announce his 2024 run this coming week, FOX News will be back to selling Trump as the only GOP hope in 2024, and I expect most of his followers will buy into blaming McConnell and RINOs and GOPe, rather then realize Trump and Democrats pushing these loser MAGA candidates in the GOP primaries is how the GOP got saddled with so many bad candidates and why they lost.

If you’re wondering why Biden and Schumer were hyping J-6 and the threat of MAGA Republicans for months, while downplaying the economic problems, well, wonder no more – it was part of this promote the worst MAGA candidates in the GOP primaries, then pivot and only talk about what a threat they are in the general election (same strategy they used in 2016). I think they probably felt confident that very few of these MAGA candidates could make it across the finish line and with Trump it was guaranteed the GOP would remain in turmoil constantly. He wants the GOP purged of every Republican who isn’t 100% loyal to him.

Trump still has great appeal among his base and so many of them will believe everything he says, plus, unlike these losing MAGA candidates this past week – Trump actually beat the Democrats at their own corrupt spin game once and because of that he remains a potent threat to Democrats and their liberal media mouthpieces – as long as he has some big media selling him.

More to come for sure. Btw, Jim and TammyFaye had little old ladies living on fixed incomes sending them money for years, until they were exposed as frauds and I expect that until people realize that Trump has conned them and is really the guy who loved hanging out with people like Howard Stern and golfing with Bill Clinton, not hanging around working class MAGA people, the era of Trump will continue.

I am totally done with Donald J. Trump.

Update: Well, I decided to add a bit more, because here’s the truth – Trump brought the Dem/liberal media brand of spin information war to the GOP and turned the GOP into an entrenched civil war zone of Trump vs The RINOs/GOPe and has made the party largely dysfunctional. However, while the Dems and liberal media are gloating and celebrating, the other part is they are totally committed to this destructive spin information war and this election will energize them to further escalate the balkanization of America and expand their culture war. Americans will become further radicalized in the process – on both sides. As a conservative, I had hoped for wins on the right in this election, but it’s way more than the outcome of this election that concerns me – it’s the lying and constant manipulation of Americans by this 24/7 media spin war.

While Dems and liberal media politicized how they define “disinformation” and used it as a bludgeon against Trump and Republicans – disinformation is a real problem. First I’m going to mention the problem with clueless media analysts given high profiles.

A lot of right-wing media attention focused on the US Senate race in PA, where Democrats fielded John Fetterman, a man seriously impaired from a stroke. Even questioning his fitness for office led to liberal media and Dem attacks about being “ableist” and discriminating against disabled people, when competency for public office is a completely valid concern. The left-wing media is filled with as many nincompoops as analysts as the right-wing media, truthfully. Katy Tur, a MSNBC host was so ecstatic about Fetterman winning that Senate race, that she suggested he could run for President… And, in the current Democratic Party, where Joe Biden is being managed by his wife, that’s entirely possible. It was the complete lack of awareness of how serious it is to have people holding high office, who are mentally unfit for the office, that surprised me and I can see millions of Democrats getting all in on supporting Fetterman, after watching how they pretend Joe Biden doesn’t have any cognitive problems. While many people on the right were stunned about Democrats being willing to push Fetterman, despite knowing he’s unfit for office, is nothing new though – it’s goes back in the Democratic Party all the way to Woodrow Wilson, who had a stroke as president and his wife took over the presidency basically, while the American people were left in the dark and the media covered it up.

Next, there was the problem with liberals embracing Twitter banning right-wing people willy-nilly and basically using that power as a partisan political tool – big tech giants colluding with a partisan faction to silence the other side, all in the name of “fighting disinformation.” A lot of people on the right expected Elon Musk to become the savior of free speech in America. Well, Musk bought Twitter and he initiated some verification process for people to get blue-checkmarks that was not really verifying accounts. Twitter has been flooded with accounts impersonating other people, companies, government officials and many were fake Elon Musk accounts. While it might seem humorous, this, in my view, could quickly turn into a national security problem. Yesterday, I saw a news report about a fake Twitter account for Eli Lilly, a pharmaceutical company, whose stock plunged after a fake Twitter account tweeted: Fake Eli Lilly Twitter Account Claims Insulin Is Free, Stock Falls 4.37%. That supposed verified accounts aren’t actually verified in any way could cause a lot of havoc, so Twitter halted their new verification program. That a fake account could crash major US companies or cause mass panic is not funny.

There isn’t going to be a one step solution to either the spin information war problem or the very real dangers with large social media platforms – both with how much power they have to control information or how risky it is to have no verification or security checks on official social media accounts for officials, companies, organizations, etc.

Corruption problems in politics and with the media are as old as politics and media, actually. What has alarmed me for decades now about this spin information war is how completely this merging of partisan politics and big media has been able to drive and control public opinion in America. However, the more concerning problem is how many people will share, retweet, and believe in information without doing an iota of research, trying to verify the information, or even being skeptical at all.

I’ve been concerned about this expanding spin information war and the divides it fuels for decades now. I opened Twitter this morning and some liberal lady was spewing invective at MAGA voters – not Trump or Republican candidates – she was spewing at Americans who exercised their right to vote however they wanted. That’s the problem – this spin war has radicalized not just our politics, it’s turned a whole lot of Americans into buying into this Us vs. Them way of thinking too. I bitch about how a lot of the Republican base, since Trump, has become addled conspiracy theorists, who buy into even the most wild conspiracy theories now, but this problem is also within the Democrat base too, where many buy into that “MAGA Republicans” are evil people and must be banished from the public square, monitored by the government, etc. – all for having different political views.

As a conservative, I get more riled up about what’s going on in the right-side of politics, but the same radicalization has happened among the left-side. None of it is good for America and as long as this scorched earth spin information war continues to be lucrative for politicians and media – they’re going to keep running with it and that’s the way bigger threat to America than who won or lost in this election. It’s like we’re on a dangerous road with no guardrails. And I’ll end with that.

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A few Veterans Day reflections

Today is Veterans Day, so every American owes a debt of gratitude to all those who have served and continue to defend our great nation. I had planned to visit the Veterans cemetery today but due to the rain with this tropical storm, I’ll take flowers another day, when the weather clears up.

I ended up tweeting some about politics this morning, but I want to limit how much time I spend on politics Twitter, since I haven’t completely broken the habit. I have gone days without looking at Twitter at all and that’s progress. Another goal is to limit how much politics news I ingest. Trump declared all-out war on Ron DeSantis, apparently, while DeSantis is doing his job as governor and FL deals with another storm. Then apparently, Trump was posting crap on Truth Social, his new social media home, trashing the governor of VA, Glenn Youngkin, saying his name sounds Chinese and spelling it Young-Kin. Yes, that’s how threatened Donald Trump feels, that he wants to destroy any potential 2024 upstarts in the GOP. I say, apparently, because I didn’t verify this information and don’t have an account at Truth Social and don’t want to join anymore social media formats.

That’s it on the politics in this post, because with it being Veterans Day, one of the things I was thinking about was how the US military is now an all-volunteer force, where patriots from all walks of life, decide to serve. The glue that holds our military together are shared values and a dedication to a mission larger than yourself.

While everyone certainly is entitled to their own personal beliefs and views, we can all benefit from regularly taking a step back and looking beyond ourselves and listening to other people’s ideas, views, and beliefs. When my kids were growing up I used to tell them not to judge people based on what they look like, where they live or work, what kind of clothes they wear, etc. I told them if you take the time to get to know people a bit, not what you think you know about them (which is often gossip), that you’re likely to be surprised often when you start getting to know a bit about people and listen more. It’s not uncommon to find that even a guy working at a gas station might have developed an interest in reading Shakespeare or painting, at some point in his life or that some lady working in a store, who came to America from a much poorer country, went to college or developed great skill at some other type of work or craft. Many years ago, when I worked at Walmart, our store had Bulgarian immigrants as the overnight crew that cleaned the store. As I got to know them, I learned that one of the men had been a Bulgarian army officer and another one had been a hospital administrator.

When I joined the Army in 1979, one of the things I loved the most was meeting people from all over America and the world. It was wonderful to be exposed to so many different people, who although coming from completely different places and backgrounds, worked together as one team.

We are all fortunate to have people, who are willing to put aside their differences and commit to a common goal – defending America. We can all spend less time investing in being partisans and more in being Americans. Today is a good day to give a moment’s thought to that.

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America survived another election

This is a going to be a politics post about last’s night election results. Democrats had a very good night. There was no “red wave” and although I fully expect Trump and his supporters to blame other people for the loss of so many Trump-approved candidates (that Trump foisted on the GOP,) the truth is most of the Trump candidates were a circus of clowns, with no political experience and the only thing that got them Trump’s endorsement was that they were Trump sycophants and loudly sucked up to Trump. All the right-wing media hype about how spectacular these Trump candidates are was a lie. And days before the election at a campaign rally, Trump attacked the only shining star GOP candidate, Ron DeSantis, who pulled out a stunning victory in Florida.

Kari Lake, one of the Trumper candidates who got a lot of right-wing media praise for taking the fight to the media and being a rising star, decided in a tight race, where it was crucial to attract every Republican and undecided vote possible, that it was smart politics in AZ, to attack John McCain supporters at one of her last campaign rallies and she told them to go home…

I fully expect Trump and his supporters will come up with some conspiracy theories about stolen elections, blame Mitch McConnell or RINOs, and point the finger all around, but Trump will take none of the blame for this Republican disaster he created.

I grew up in PA and frankly trying to foist some Dr. Oz, a TV celebrity who lives in a mansion in NJ, on the PA GOP, was like the masterstroke of stupidity. The only thing a whole lot of people in PA dislike more than people from NJ is New Yorkers, although somehow the right-wing media noise about Trump being a “fighter” and “winner” sold many blue collar people in PA to buy into that Trump really wasn’t the NY liberal, whose golfing buddy was Bill Clinton and who had people like Joe and Mika and Howard Stern hanging out at his home in FL, but instead was one of them.

Fetterman, a far-left radical candidate, severely impaired from a stroke, won against Dr. Oz, by largely running on he’s a PA native and lives in PA – not NJ. For all the Trump crowd, who think the American people are stupid for voting for Dem candidates, who are far-left or a candidate like Fetterman, here’s the thing, many people, even Republicans, weren’t sold on most of these Trump-selected candidates. In PA, if Dr. Oz wasn’t bad enough, Trump endorsed Doug Mastriano, a far-right kook, for governor.

Then there’s the money situation in the GOP races and here again, I expect the Trump pundit circle to try to blame Mitch McConnell, even though Trump put very little of the money he raised into these candidates he endorsed – he’s sitting on that money, while McConnell’s PAC spent almost a quarter of a billion dollars to bail out Trump-backed candidates:

In his latest Washington Post column, Marc Thiessen presents some interesting facts on the efforts of super PACS affiliated with Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell to shore up candidates endorsed by Donald Trump:

Through his super PAC, the Senate Leadership Fund (SLF), and other affiliated groups, [Senator Mitch McConnell] has led an extraordinary, quarter-of-a-billion-dollar effort to rescue struggling Trump-backed Senate candidates — while the former president sits on a $92 million war chest and spends almost none of it.

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/mcconnells-pacs-spend-millions-to-bail-out-trumps-candidates/

While Trump was spending his time thinking up some derogatory nickname to smear Ron DeSantis, days before this election, DeSantis was showing up around the country trying to support other GOP candidates, including Trump-backed ones. He’s still running a state and managing one of the most impressive major hurricane recovery efforts in American history. And he hasn’t bad-mouthed Trump or clapped back at Trump labeling him Ron Desanctimonious. Yesterday, on the day of the election, probably expecting a massive red wave, Trump was sending veiled warnings to DeSantis:

CNN — 

On the day of the 2022 general election, Donald Trump sent a very clear 2024 message to Ron DeSantis: Stay out of the race or else.

“I would tell you things about him that won’t be very flattering – I know more about him than anybody – other than, perhaps, his wife,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News Digital.

https://www.cnn.com/2022/11/08/politics/trump-desantis-2024-warning-shot/index.html

I voted straight R down my ticket here in GA, even though I had to hold my nose to vote for Hershel Walker, who isn’t conservative and I think is not really US senator material. I doubt he’s ever read the US Constitution or has a clue what a US Senator’s job entails (that’s pretty common in both parties these days, btw.) I hate these binary choices, where I feel both candidates don’t support any of the things I think are important and/or lack character in glaring ways. I was more concerned about the GA governor’s race and thankfully, Brian Kemp, another Republican, whom Trump has trashed repeatedly and tried to unseat in the GA primary, won. Brian Kemp demonstrated he’s willing to defy Washington overreach during the pandemic, while the guy Trump was supporting, David Perdue, just flipped positions on issues to try to stay in Trump’s good graces.

The big takeaway from this election, I think, is that the GOP has some serious soul-searching to do if it wants to win in 2024 and the Democratic Party will likely get overconfident since this election went much better than they expected.

Life still goes on. The sky didn’t fall. American democracy and our constitutional republic still stand and I’m thinking about a tropical storm brewing in the Caribbean and heading toward the southern US. I’m also thinking about a blog post I want to get written about something other than politics.

Have a nice day!

One last thought: Today, after a stunning victory in FL, DeSantis isn’t wasting time thinking up stupid derogatory nicknames or ways to attack other Republicans or even basking in his win. He’s doing his job as governor:

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What our future depends on: civic virtue

Today is Election Day in America, so I debated on whether to write a politics post or not. This is just a short post. My state has early voting, so I went and voted last week. There’s a straight, solid line connecting people who invest a lot of time in news and social media political drama every day and people on the left, who believe that either American democracy will end if their side loses control of Congress, and people on the right, who believe that if their side doesn’t win control of Congress our American republic is over. These same people seem very open to buying into wild conspiracy theories that cast “the other side” as evil, dangerous radicals, people who hate America, etc.

I realized that neither side of the media-driven political theater in America operates in good faith and took a step back from this, because the hysterical talking points may vary a bit between the two partisan camps and the media drama may tar “the other side” with different derogatory terms, but it’s all designed to get Americans angry and divide them. I’m determined not to hate anyone in my life and spending so much time worked up and angry isn’t good for anyone. Each day, I try to find things to be grateful for and find some rays of hope. You can find these inspirations almost anywhere. I came across one in a few seconds of a video I watched yesterday and am working on a blog post about that.

Yes, voting in one party that changes control of Congress or a state governor’s race may bring about very different policies and that’s why voting matters. In Washington, one party controlling both Congress and the White House can leave Americans who support different policies without any way to check one party rule. However, if you believe your party not controlling Congress or the White House spells the end of America, you’ve sure handed over America’s destiny to politicians and with over 330,000,000 Americans, that’s sure ignoring a whole lot of potential and American ingenuity. I prefer to have more faith in the American people than partisan politics.

A larger part of good citizenship in American than voting is civic virtue and that isn’t taught much anymore. We can all practice civic virtue by respecting other Americans views, being courteous to fellow citizens and teaching our children to respect other people’s right to have different views than our own. Unlike who wins elections today, our future really does depend on a culture where civic virtue is taught, expected, and practiced. I encourage everyone to vote, but please try not to get too caught up in the partisan drama and be respectful of everyone, regardless of their politics.

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A story worth sharing

I came across this video and want to share it:

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