Epstein again

There were a few interesting developments in the Jeffrey Epstein case yesterday.

Here’s a link to a story, Real Hedge-Fund Managers Have Some Thoughts on What Epstein Was Actually Doing, written by Michelle Celarier, which offers some theories on how Epstein made his fortune. In this story there’s a link to a tweet thread that’s that a must read too.

Federal prosecutors also  tacked on witness tampering allegations to Epstein’s charges:

“The United States attorney’s office in Manhattan said Epstein wired $350,000 to two possible co-conspirators within five days of the Miami Herald’s November 28 expose on former Labor Secretary Alex Acosta’s sweetheart deal with Epstein in 2007.”

https://dailycaller.com/2019/07/12/federal-prosecutors-accuse-epstein-witness-tampering/

This Epstein case is hot news now, but my prediction is it will go much like the Harvey Weinstein and Ralph Northam media feeding frenzies, if Epstein’s connections implicate too many big Democrats.

So far, the mainstream media isn’t pouncing on digging through Bill Clinton’s statement and investigating, in fact, it’s been dead silence there.  You won’t see the Washington Post sending dozens of reporters to uncover how much of Bill Clinton’s statement is true, but every hint that Trump made some comment about Epstein is being spun for all it’s worth, especially on MSNBC.

The mainstream media is just as corrupt at running interference and damage control for the Clintons, as FOX News is at running damage control for Trump.  The reality is that it would not be surprising if old golfing buddies, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump both had some unsavory connections to Epstein.  Bill Clinton and Donald Trump both have plenty of allegations of sexually predatory behavior and unsavory proven history of trying to cover-up that behavior.  It is fact that Bill Clinton lied about his affair with Monica Lewinsky and his minions were waging an all-out smear campaign against her.  It is fact that Trump had his attorney pay hush money to two women, who claimed to have had affairs with him,  during the 2016 campaign.

Sadly, the media is now more dedicated to aiding partisan causes than objectively reporting news.  And our justice system seems to operate the same way.  There’s plenty of media and Dem outrage about Epstein now, but that was because they wanted Alex Acosta to be taken down.  If there’s no evidence to damage Trump and more evidence implicating Bill Clinton or other big Dems, well, Epstein’s case will go the way of Weinstein – it will fizzle out.  The mainstream media will work to make the story go away.

Update:  Andrew McCarthy at National Review offers his analysis of the Epstein plea agreement and double jeopardy issue: Acosta’s Sweetheart Deal Likely to Foreclose Epstein’s SDNY Prosecution

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More on Jeffrey Epstein

Here’s an interesting link on the Jeffrey Epstein case, which raises some interesting questions:

It Sure Looks Like Jeffrey Epstein Was a Spy—But Whose?

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America is about individuals

I am not a feminist.

I am a woman, yet I have never once in my life believed I am entitled to special rules due to this.

This week’s feminist hissy fit centers on the U.S. women’s soccer team.  The media Furies rail that the U.S. women’s soccer team deserves pay equal to the U.S. men’s soccer team.  The truth is the U.S. women’s soccer team, while the best women’s soccer team can’t hold a candle to men’s soccer teams.  This is the reality in most sports.

The glaring truth is men and women are physically different and have different physical capabilities.  Pretending otherwise, to appease feminists or advance political agendas, hurts everyone who is willingly brainwashed into buying into policies based on false premises and slippery, deceptive language, or coerced through political and social media pressure to buy into these feminist false arguments and their always-evolving demands.

I do not believe in dogmatic modern feminism, which appears to me to be  a thinly veiled, radical leftist, socialist political movement, with a mission of “destroying the patriarchy” (code word for Western civilization).  Modern feminists state they want to stamp out sexism and remake, not just our political structure, but our culture and even our daily lifestyle choices to fit their ever-evolving notions of what a feminist utopia should be.

Most of all it’s alarming how many women (and many men too) just jump on board each new media-fueled feminist demand or outrage antic.

The radicals leading the modern feminist movement often contradict each other and advocate conflicting policies, but they agree on their demand for political change, all encapsulated under the banner of “Equality and Fairness”, which the mainstream media invariably champions, without question.  The feminist movement’s major mouthpieces issue their demands, which dictate how everyone, especially men, must act and think about… women’s rights and women’s roles in the workplace, “gender roles”, male and female personal interactions, what words must be used when speaking about women and “gender” issues, and what everyone must think about an ever-growing list of issues and grievances their movement decides are “unfair”.  Most of all feminists want to tell men what they can and can not do, even down to their private sexual behavior.

The modern feminist movement is all about controlling men.

It’s exhausting listening to so many grown women living their lives in a perpetual state of raging that men need to change, all to conform to their latest charge of inequality or about how “unfair” some issue is to women.  Oddly, many liberal men have completely bought into modern feminism and are willing to embrace every new angry charge radical feminists level at men and the “patriarchy” writ large.

America is about individuals pursuing their dreams. It’s not about political parties, mass political action or social media mob actions.

Here’s a home truth about people – you can’t dictate what other people must believe.  Freedom of belief is a right in America and should not be dictated or constrained by government, political or social pressure.  Every American should feel free to disagree with or embrace religious, political or even personal beliefs without fear of social, political or even economic retaliation from modern social media or media-generated mob smear campaigns.  We shouldn’t accept dictates on what words we must use to talk about any political or social issues.  Differing viewpoints deserve a hearing.

I believe there are amazingly competent women and there are amazingly incompetent women, smart women and dumber-than-a-rock women, women who work hard and women who are lazier than my old dog, Lucy, whose major daily effort is dragging herself to the food dish each day.  The same is true for men.  I’m all for job opportunities for everyone, based on clear standards, across the board.

My only exception is I do not believe in allowing women in a few grueling combat positions, because I believe the military mission and what best leads to mission success outweigh feminist politics, always.  I base this view based on my view that military mission success often asks soldiers to take on dangerous mission, even sacrificing their lives for some of them.  And due to the gravity of some of these combat missions, I don’t think feminist agendas outweigh, careful, deliberative military assessments, as to what physical requirements are needed to accomplish these missions successfully and feminist agendas certainly do not outweigh the risk to other team members, who might be put at risk by lowering standards or allowing women, who are not as competent as their male team members.  It’s not fair to put other team members at risk due to feminist political pressure.   Some of these tasks require a great deal of upper-body strength and endurance, which the overwhelming body of research shows women do not possess.  Biology is what it is, so in military mission decisions, I opt for what best leads to mission success.  PERIOD.

This latest U.S women’s soccer team win has become an anti-Trump rally and members of this women’s soccer team are just as much to blame for this political sideshow as Trump.  In fact, the team captain is wallowing in media deification for her “trash-Trump”, anti-American political antics.  As an added “feminist issue”, the feminist mantra is all about how these female soccer players dont’ get paid as much as the men’s team.  The truth is the men’s soccer team brings in a whole lot more revenue and although the U.S. women’s soccer team are amazing athletes, no women’s soccer team can compete with the counterpart top male soccer teams.

Male and female biology is what it is – that’s the truth.

What on earth is wrong with cheering on women’s sports and working to expand opportunities for girls sports too, without turning it into a feminist political cause?  Why do radical leftist politics turn everything into a major political and cultural war?

A good starting point for changing America for the better, way beyond political action, begins with treating people as individuals worthy of respect and entitled to their own beliefs, thoughts and opinions.

It seems like America’s 24/7 media spin drama feeds mass hysteria, mass outrage, mass demonization… mass GROUPTHINK.

My modest proposal is that we start listening to each other more and spending more time trying to get to know people as individuals first, rather than as part of some nefarious “other group”.

Just that one change of focus can broaden your view immensely and it can lead you to some amazing conversations with people, whom you thought you had nothing in common with or believed were bad people… based on hot button political issues, the political candidate they support, or group they belong to.  Each person deserves to be treated as more than a one-dimensional object to hate.

How hard is it to work on respecting people as individuals?

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Clinton Damage Control Full-Steam Ahead…

Jeffrey Epstein, billionaire hedge fund investor, friend to both Republican and Democrat powerful politicians and connected people, was arrested in New York on charges of running a sex trafficking ring of underage girls.  In this latest episode of this Epstein sex crime saga, plenty of names are being tossed out as being linked to Epstein… again.

Former president, Bill Clinton, is reported to have traveled on Epstein’s private plane 26 times.  Last night, Clinton’s spokesman released a statement:

“Bill Clinton “knows nothing” about the “terrible crimes” linked to Jeffrey Epstein, the former president’s spokesman said Monday, in Clinton’s first statement after new sex-trafficking charges were lobbed against the wealthy financier.”

“In 2002 and 2003, President Clinton took a total of four trips on Jeffrey Epstein’s airplane: one to Europe, one to Asia, and two to Africa, which included stops in connection with the work of the Clinton Foundation,” the statement said. “Staff, supporters of the foundation, and his Secret Service detail traveled on every leg of every trip. He had one meeting with Epstein in his Harlem office in 2002, and around the same time made one brief visit to Epstein’s New York apartment with a staff member and his security detail. He’s not spoken to Epstein in well over a decade, and he has never been to Little St. James Island, Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico, or his residence in Florida.”

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/bill-clinton-knows-nothing-about-financier-jeffrey-epsteins-terrible-crimes-former-presidents-spokesman-says

When the Clintons feel compelled to do damage control with a statement, it’s best to be highly skeptical the statement is truthful.  This statement was meant to be the Clinton talking points for the mainstream media to begin spinning another “nothing to see here” diversion.  Plenty of the mainstream media will just run with this Clinton statement, as if it’s been investigated and verified as factual.  The Clintons have done this same smoke and mirrors spin routine to cover-up scandals, with the mainstream media serving as their loyal spin team, for decades now.  Honestly, this statement struck me as another Clinton, “I did not have sex with that woman” or “I never sent nor received any information that was marked classified.”

My prediction is that every thread of innuendo, no matter how flimsy, linking Trump to Epstein will result in massive mainstream media spin attacks trashing Trump, without any fact-checking, while any information damaging to Bill Clinton will get brushed under the carpet.

That’s how the mainstream media rolls.

As an aside to the spin efforts, there’s an interesting Tweet thread from 2018, by  Techno-Fog, which has FBI documents from 2008 about Epstein, suggesting that Epstein was an FBi informant on some financial investigation

Mueller was the FBI director in 2008.

Small world in that DC swamp, that’s for sure…

Oh, one other interesting bit of information that I wasn’t aware of is Jeffrey Epstein helped devise the Clinton Global Initiative:

“Billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was indicted Monday on child sex-trafficking charges, helped president Bill Clinton devise the Clinton Global Initiative, according to a letter his attorneys sent to federal prosecutors in 2007.

“Mr. Epstein was part of the original group that conceived the Clinton Global Initiative, which is described as a project ‘bringing together a community of global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges,” attorneys Alan Dershowitz and Gerald Lefcourt wrote in the letter, which was first reported by Fox News in 2016 and resurfaced Monday by the Daily Caller.”

https://www.nationalreview.com/news/jeffrey-epstein-lawyer-claimed-alleged-pedophile-helped-devise-clinton-global-initiative/

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Happy 4th of July

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Odds and Ends

“This is not who we are!”

My intention is to get more blog posts written soon, so we’ll see if my intentions turn into actual writing, lol.  For a long time I’ve been pondering how the internet and especially social media usage has changed my life.  One of the things I noticed over the years is a decrease in my attention span when reading in general, but particularly staying focused on reading books.  The constant click, click, click mentality of modern internet usage made me realize that I wasn’t spending enough time, sitting back, unplugged from the internet, and enjoying hours of reading.  So, once again, I’m recommitting myself to spending more time reading actual books, but also filling in the wasted online time listening to audiobooks.

For June, I finished 4 actual books and 3 audiobooks.  I’m working my way through two audiobooks and two actual books presently, hoping to stay focused on reading more books and spending less time online.  One of the books I’m reading is Ben Sasse’s, Them: Why We Hate Each Other And How To Heal,  which I bought a while ago, read a few pages, then sat it aside.  I’m halfway through it now and intend to write more about it after I finish the book and do some more research.

Sasse offers important information on the news media evolving into a massive infotainment business.  Trump’s reality TV show presidency seems like a natural evolution in this news as entertainment environment, but the real problem isn’t only “Trump is evil” and it’s not only this polarizing news media environment.  The main problem really is we, the American people.  Without a huge market for this combative news as infotainment and the American embrace of trashy reality TV, this media environment would not thrive and assuredly, Trump’s brand of petty name-calling and juvenile insults would never have acquired a large cheering section, that still fills up large stadiums with flag-waving Americans, who show up to see these Trump Rally Shows.

The corrupt way in which the media gave Trump billions of dollars in free media during the 2016 GOP primary to hype his “GOP Insurgency” still serves as the most glaring example of this toxic media environment, but there are plenty of other examples.  Trump’s opponent in 2016.  Hillary Rodham Clinton received liberal media deification in the early 90s, with the media overhyping her as the “smartest woman in the world”, America was “getting two presidents for the price of one” and on it went with the liberal media slobbering all over her, crowning her America’s #1 feminist icon.

Conservative media has done the same thing, like turning Sarah Palin into a conservative icon, but the liberal media due to its dominance seems to churn out more media-manufactured political sensations.  We now are regaled with the “rock star” Beto O’Rourke, America’s small town mayor, Pete Buttegieg, the always in our faces, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez  and last week’s Democrat debates, crowned Kamala Harris as the latest media darling for her championing school busing… of all topics to grasp to try and galvanize Americans to vote for her in 2020…

Probably the most realistic liberal take on Harris came from, of all people, liberal icon, Willie Brown:

“The first Democratic debates proved one thing: We still don’t have a candidate who can beat Donald Trump.

California Sen. Kamala Harris got all the attention for playing prosecutor in chief, but her case against former Vice President Joe Biden boiled down in some ways to a ringing call for forced school busing. It won’t be too hard for Trump to knock that one out of the park in 2020.”

https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/williesworld/article/Bad-news-for-Democrats-none-of-these-14059874.php?utm_campaign=CMS%20Sharing%20Tools%20(Premium)&utm_source=t.co&utm_medium=referral

As the 2020 Democrats veer left, President Trump, is veering back to his 2016 fear mongering about America being a victim of “unfairness” at every turn, even claiming most of our closest allies are taking advantage of us.  He’s ranting about illegal immigrants.  Mostly, though he’s wrapping himself in the American flag at every turn, playing to his blue collar white audience, proclaiming that only he is there to save them from the crazy Left.

The 2020 Democrats running to unseat him, are trying to find “issues” to run on, doubling down on the most far-left ones out there.  Most of all, what they lack remains a stage presence that can push Trump from owning this reality TV show media environment.  Americans, especially those who follow the infotainment regularly and are more galvanized to vote, really want the drama and constant controversy that Trump generates.   Even while many of Trump’s harshest critics claim to despise Trump’s reality TV show presidency and constant antics, they still tune in to watch and they spend hours upon hours tweeting and railing about Trump’s latest outrage.  He still owns the American political stage and I agree with Willie Brown’s assessment.

That’s it for today.  Have a nice day everyone.  As for me, I’ll be sitting here sipping iced tea … inside this afternoon.  It’s 97 degrees, but feels like 105.   Even my dogs don’t want to step outside this afternoon.

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Inspiration can come from afar

First a short blog note before moving onto a new blog post.  On Thursday, I think my blog was hacked.  Don’t want to go into details, but a photo was posted on my blog and I didn’t post it.

Now onto the blog post, which is going to be about books and writing… sort of.  The technology revolution in the past few decades often leaves me a bit bewildered and unsure of how to navigate using new devices, new software programs, and new digital ways of communicating.  The technology revolution happened without me ever wanting to jump onboard.  In retrospect, it’s easy to admit to my insular attitude to new technology, but at the same time many of the my concerns about the disturbing aspects to digital technology  in our daily lives turned out to be well-founded.

We had two sons, who were constantly wanting new computer gaming systems in the 90s.  I didn’t understand why every time a new gaming system came out, their perfectly good gaming system was treated like old junk.  Coming from a generation where we went outside to play, not glued to computer games, I neither understood nor liked how much time they spent playing computer games,

We didn’t buy our first PC until 1997, strictly because I was adamantly against it.  My husband kept telling me how great a PC would be for the kids, but in my mind a PC sounded like  just another expensive toy.  I had this same resistance to getting cell phones too, but my husband went and bought cell phones and cell phone service, then handed me my cell phone.

Part of my resistance to this wave of technology stemmed from my being totally technology-challenged, which created a fear of high-tech gadgets and part of it was my natural reticence about spending a lot of money on “shiny new objects”, which we did not need and were in no way necessary.  In 1990. while we were living in Germany, my husband had gone to the PX and bought a home word processor, which used floppy disks to store information on.  Although, he bought it wanting to store information related to his work and he thought it would be great for the kids to use with their schoolwork,  I quickly became the main user of  that word processor, despite being the one who lectured him about wasting money on a gadget we didn’t need.

The PC purchase went the same way.  I quickly became hooked on using the internet, while my husband never did become much of an internet user.   With cell phones, neither my husband nor I ever became glued to our cell phones and both of us have always preferred our traditional landline phones.  Seriously, once landline phones moved to having cordless handsets, that was about as perfect a phone as we ever needed.

I use my PC for everything from paying bills to learning new craft and needlework by watching YouTube tutorials.  I have dozens of books in my kindle library, but I’ve also found plenty of free classics at other online sites too.  Somehow though, I never bought audiobooks, mainly because they’re pricey and I wasn’t sure I would like listening to them.  Our oldest daughter loved listening to books on cassette tape, that she could read along with the book, as a preschooler in the early 1980s.  We would go to the public library and she would select the books with tapes and then she would sit for hours playing the tapes on her own radio/cassette player.  It amazed me how many new words she learned quickly, reading along.

In May, I wrote a blog post about trying audiobooks for the first time and somehow that brings me to the topic of a recent Matt Lewis interview of George Will in a 38:10 minute podcast interview.  This interview covers a wide range of topics, one of them being George Will talking about his love of writing and his enjoyment of fiction, not just the lofty ideological, political, cultural topics I assumed occupied his thoughts.  Of course, Will is also an avid baseball fan, which he has talked and written about many times, but I had no idea that he loves fiction (at 2:32 in this podcast).  Will said he has about 40 Audible books on his phone at any given time.  Will also said  that after a day of being immersed in facts and politics , it’s really refreshing to the soul to have stories told to him.

George Will became an inspiration to me in my early teens… back in the early 1970s.

My rural school district in NE PA had a Jr.-Sr. high school for grades 7-12.  As long as I can remember libraries have been magical places to me.  I remember starting school, 1st grade, because it wasn’t until several years later that our school district added kindergarten, and that small school library became my favorite place in the entire school.

Trying to decide which books to sign out seemed like a  monumental problem and I recall the school librarian kindly explaining to me that books with the big Newberry Medal Winner emblem on them were always good choices.  That helped me a bit in selecting books, but for me the best help has  always been word-of-mouth recommendations from friends, who have similar taste in books as mine.  Here again, the internet expanded on that “word-of-mouth” aspect to selecting books with customer reviews, blogs and websites galore with genre specific book reviews.  These days, I even add books to my book list, that I come across on cross-stitch blogs, because many cross-stitch bloggers also seem to be avid readers.

When we were learning about American government(7th grade, I think), my history teacher told us to try to read national newspapers and news magazines in our school library, as often as possible.  My father was a devoted reader of our local newspaper, The Pocono Record, so I had already adopted my father’s newspaper reading habit.  My high school library is where I first came across George Will’s columns and his columns inspired me to explore, not only new ideas, but to learn new words.  Whenever I read his columns, it became a habit of mine to jot down ideas or words I was unfamiliar with or wasn’t sure of their meaning.  Later, I would look up the words in the dictionary and try to remember them or I’d check the encyclopedia for explanations of ideas Will had written about. Sometimes, I even had to use the card catalog to find books with more information about something Will had written about.

George Will has been not only an inspiration to me; he’s been a valued teacher.

As I got older and developed my own political views, there have been times when I disagreed with George Will’s take on an issue, but I have never doubted his integrity, his honesty in putting forth his heartfelt convictions, but most of all his dedication to striving for excellence in his writing and analyzing politics.

George Will’s latest book is titled, The Conservative Sensibility, and yes, it’s on my reading list.

 

 

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