Mixed potpourri

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A dollar of cheer – yep, a decorative box from the Dollar Store to hold junk on my desk.

There’s still more of Buddy’s 4th of July sermon I want to incorporate into another blog post, but first I need to do some more research, reading and pondering.  I spend a lot of time “pondering”.   While I ponder that, here are some thoughts from this election.  This post is a mixed potpourri of thoughts – no cohesive theme.

The media, popular blogs and news sites are even more tiresome than the candidates, for instance, Drudge is running the same agitprop game for Trump against Hillary, that he ran against the GOP candidates in the primary.  It’s amazing to behold.  In a change from Drudge’s onslaught of posting photos of Hillary looking demented or decrepit, today he had a collage of Hillary the guzzler/alcoholic-themed photos.

The mainstream media keeps running non-stop “news” stories about “Trump the Sexual Predator” and then you have conservative news sites hyping “Bill Clinton the Sexual Predator”.  The Free Washington Beacon has a story interviewing Dolly Kyle, a woman who claims to have had an affair with Bill Clinton many years ago.  The irrelevancy and sheer cattiness of Kyle’s attack is stunning and one wonders what the point is to print this sort of garbage:

“Kyle’s most memorable run in with Bill and Hillary Clinton revolved around Hillary’s poor hygiene.

“I picked Billy up at the airport and he had this dowdy-looking middle-aged woman with him … this woman was Hillary,” Kyle said. “Hillary, I thought was a Hillary impersonator. Because she looked so bad and she smelled so bad I just didn’t believe this was Hillary.”

Hillary’s bad odor and unkempt appearance were what Kyle claimed she remembered most, thinking Bill Clinton was playing some sort of “sick joke” on her.

“I couldn’t imagine why Billy would haul such a person in the plane with him in public. She was wearing a misshapen, brown, dress-like thing that must have been intended to hide her lumpy body. The garment was long, but stopped too soon to hide her fat ankles and her thick calves covered with black hair,” Kyle said.

“I noticed that the woman emitted an overpowering odor of perspiration and greasy hair. I hoped that I wouldn’t gag when she got in my car. The sandal-shod woman with lank, smelly hair stood off to the side and glared at everyone.””

http://freebeacon.com/politics/hillary-the-warden-clinton-smells-bad/

This extremely, full-bitch mode, catty attack is from the 1970s, just as Trump’s bimbo eruption is bimbos from years ago.  This Kyle woman was having an affair with a married man,  and that decades later she’s tossing this dirt out into the public square, speaks volumes about her character.  That news sites run this, as if it’s newsworthy, speaks to their lack of integrity too.  On the other side, days ago, Gloria Allred was wheeling out another woman who claims that Donald Trump treated her disrespectfully and like a sex object… that woman is a porn star…  Here we are, subjected to the geriatric Viagra generation’s sex stories.   Along with trying to go the low road of all-out scorched earth, for the media and online sites, all of this garbage is meant to garner clicks and attention.
Sex sells.

The scorched earth campaigns being waged by both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump truly  disrespect the American people and are a national embarrassment.

I am reading some of the Pamphlet Debate from 1764-1775, which I have in a 2-volume set, because so many of the stirrings among the American people today and their discontent with Washington echo popular sentiment that brewed for the years leading up to the American Revolution.

I see some historical parallels in the rise of individual bloggers online, often writing anonymously, as being very similar to the pamphlet writers leading up to the American Revolution. This pamphlet debate preceded the Debate on The Constitution, which took place years later where the people for and against The Constitution, once again waged a war for the hearts and minds of the American people via pamphlets and newspapers.

These early American writers also often used pseudonyms.  So, political blogging using pseudonyms follows a long American tradition.  I actually went with my pen name as a combination of my affection for The Federalist Papers and my affection for historical romance novels.  There’s a Julia Quinn series, set in Regency England, where an anonymous writer, Lady Whistledown,  is publishing “titillating and intriguing society gossip”, which plays into the plots.  None of Lady Whistledown’s gossip comes anywhere near to this gutter politics election.

Gordon S. Wood, Brown University’s professor of history, emeritus, edited this 2-volume set and he states that the revolution was created in the minds of American rebels long before 1775.  The discontent rippling in both the outer edges of the left and right, which led to Sanders and Trump being able to gain traction, has been brewing for years too.

Military adventures, from ancient times to the present, while offering new territory and riches or securing some vital geopolitical advantage, are always expensive and almost always lead to a country incurring large war debts. In 1765, the British enacted The Stamp Act, which was very unpopular in the American colonies, but was intended to pay off war debt from The Seven Years War and fund security needs in the British North American colonies.

In the present, we have gone through more than a decade of endless war, with no real gain for America in any way – certainly no gain in national security. We have endured 8 years of increasing government programs with the exorbitantly expensive Affordable Healthcare Act, but that was preceded by an economic downturn, trillions in debt through the bail-outs and prior to that GWB doing his prescription drug program, in the midst of very expensive military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The looming debt crisis coupled with a stagnant economy and the fractured polity in Washington is fomenting widespread discontent, but even worse, distrust in our government’s ability to govern.

For the past year, the common refrain to justify the anger that feeds the Trump movement, BLM, Sanders supporters, and other Americans feeling mistreated disgusts me.   Each person railing should be asked what they have actually done to make their own life, their families’ lives and their community a better place.  People throughout the ages always look to some mystical leader to create, to borrow President Obama’s, parting the waters promise, “Change you can believe in.”

No one person or leader can “make America great again” or  turn an angry person, who feels his/her life  a train wreck into a success.  Only you can change your own life and establish order in it and only people in their own communities can establish the social structure and actions to restore broken communities.

Russelk Kirk explains social order in terms everyone can understand:

“Like many other concepts, perhaps the word “order” is best apprehended by looking at its opposite, “disorder.” A disordered existence is a confused and miserable existence. If a society falls into general disorder, many of its members will cease to exist at all. And if the members of a society are disordered in spirit, the outward order of the commonwealth cannot endure.

We couple the words “law and order”; and indeed they are related, yet they are not identical. Laws arise out of a social order; they are the general rules which make possible the tolerable functioning of an order. Nevertheless an order is bigger than its laws, and many aspects of any social order are determined by beliefs and customs, rather than being governed by positive laws.

This word “order” means a systematic and harmonious arrangement—whether in one’s own character or in the commonwealth. Also “order” signifies the performance of certain duties and the enjoyment of certain rights in a community: thus we use the phrase “the civil social order.””

Kirk, Russell. The Roots of American Order (Kindle Locations 389-397). Intercollegiate Studies Institute. Kindle Edition.

November 8th won’t resolve anything.

Washington can’t fix what’s broken in America, only millions of Americans across America, committing to change their own lives, families, and communities can do that.  However, some honorable leaders assuredly could help inspire and guide Americans in this process.  Money and more “programs” can’t fix social problems – only people can do that.

It’s highly unlikely, that either Trump or Hillary will be able to move the country toward any sense of unity or common purpose – both are clueless, corrupt, lack any historical vision, and beyond that both have narcissistic personalities, that repel people from being able to trust in their integrity. Either one bodes poorly for America’s future. Hillary will be consumed by fall-out from her emails (especially foreign blackmail) and Republicans determined to expose her corruption. Trump will be easily manipulated by America’s adversaries, continues to prefer waging war against Republicans, meaning he will never be able to unify even his own party, let alone Democrats or the country. His hubris, coupled with his disdain for actually studying policy and penchant for rash, incendiary statements, dooms him as a leader.

Two toxic leaders, who are both neck deep into wholesale public corruption,  are the choices.  American discontent and virulent factions  assuredly will continue to percolate, but I hope they don’t boil over.  Trying to keep a positive attitude is a challenge where the media and these two vile candidates have turned watching the news so cringe-worthy, you feel like you need a shower afterwards.

I kind of like looking at my Dollar Store box, with the metallic gold lettering and cheerful yellow bird.  I keep it here on my desk to cheer me up every day… and remind me to: “Be grateful for every day!”

America needs voices of hope and inspiration… but absent that we can always laugh:

There’s a whole bunch of these “epic rap battle” videos on YouTube, like Joan of Arc vs. Miley Cyrus or Dr. Seuss vs. Shakespeare, etc., etc.

4 Comments

Filed under American Character, American History, Culture Wars, General Interest, Politics, Public Corruption

4 responses to “Mixed potpourri

  1. JK

    Hmmm …

    Hillary isn’t the, Millennials’ “Twerking’s Personifcation”?

    The Miley Cyrus of The United[?] States of America (heck about all that, “Mister Smith is no Longer Eligible to Get Elected to DC”) … sent to All Of Us Anyway?

    Hillary Guaranteeing To Us [Low Income] Mortals:

    ““I will not support putting American forces into Iraq as a force. I don’t think that is in our interest and I don’t think it would be smart to do. Chris, I think that would be a big red flag waving for ISIS to reconstitute itself. The goal here is to take back Mosul. It’s going to be a hard fight. I’ve got no illusions about that. And then continue to press into Syria to begin to take back and move on Raqqah ..”

    You’ll recall LB, Trump (as I recall) declaring late in the game? Thirty years after?

    ***

    [FPRI-In-Progress prior to the *Trump Phenom* and “We Are Here”

    “After coming tantalizingly close to securing the Democratic nomination in 2008, the former Secretary of State, New York Senator, and First Lady has been the clear favorite of a wide coalition of Democrats, progressives, and liberals. For many, Hillary Clinton’s nomination is a foregone conclusion, but especially in the foreign policy arena, several candidates have risen to challenge her on her hawkish record. During her time in the Senate, Clinton voted in favor of such measures as the Patriot Act and the Iraq War, and as Secretary of State she was an outspoken advocate for intervening in Libya and arming rebels throughout many of the Arab Spring uprisings. After three decades in politics, four years of which spent as America’s chief diplomat, Hillary sees foreign policy as her strong suit, promising, “I believe the future holds far more opportunities than threats if we exercise creative and confident leadership that enables us to shape global events rather than be shaped by them.”[98]

    “Hillary lays out her vision for international American strength with four pillars in what she calls the “framework for American leadership.” First, a strong foundation: “America’s ability to protect our interests abroad is rooted in our strength and vitality at home. Our economy provides the foundation for our leadership and military might. We succeed when we invest in our people, our infrastructure, and our technological edge.”[99] Second, a secure and resilient homeland: “We can meet every threat to our country and people—from terrorist groups to aggressive states to cyber attacks—by confronting challenges head-on and standing up for our most fundamental values.”[100] Third, a military on the cutting edge: “With innovation, adaptation, and smart investment, we will ensure the United States maintains the best-trained, best-equipped, and strongest military the world has ever known.”[101] And fourth, a vision centered on ideals: “America is defined by our diversity and our openness, our devotion to human rights and democracy, and our belief that we can always do more to perfect our ideals. So we will place a deliberate emphasis on gender equality, defend the rights of LGBTQ individuals around the globe, and stand up for an open internet to ensure that all people have equal access to information and ideas.”[102]

    “In 2002, then-Senator Hillary Clinton voted to authorize military force in Iraq and defended her support of it in the 2008 Democratic Primaries in contrast to fellow candidate Barack Obama. As the only Democratic candidate who previously supported the war, she now wants to ensure voters that she sees it as a mistake, which she writes for the first time in her 2014 memoir Hard Choices: “Many Senators came to wish they had voted against the resolution. I was one of them…I thought I had acted in good faith and made the best decision I could with the information I had. And I wasn’t alone in getting it wrong. But I still got it wrong. Plain and simple.”[103] On the preeminent issue in Iraq right now, Clinton says ISIL and its recruits “pose a serious threat to America and our allies.” She wants to “empower” America’s allies in the region to “confront and defeat” ISIL without “miring our troops in another misguided ground war.”[104] Clinton made the open-ended statement that she would “do whatever it takes” to protect Americans, but has renounced sending American ground troops to defeat ISIL: “This has to be fought by and won by Iraqis. There is no role whatsoever for American soldiers on the ground to go back, other than in the capacity as trainers and advisers.”[105] She praises the current administration’s general policies of providing resources like air support to those willing to fight ISIL. She diverges with the current administration, however, with respect to its unwillingness to aid Syrian rebels at the outset of the Syrian civil war. “I know that the failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protests against Assad—there were Islamists, there were secularists, there was everything in the middle,” she maintains, “The failure to do that left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled.”[106] In her memoir, Clinton writes that she was a vocal advocate for military aid to the rebels, and subsequent events—such as the rise of ISIL—vindicate her stance.”

    “Another intervention which Hillary strongly supported as Secretary of State was the Libyan civil war. Along with the United Nations, the United States enforced a no-fly zone over Libyan airspace to hinder Muammar Qaddafi’s forces against civilians. The United States expanded its role by conducting airstrikes against regime targets and providing arms to rebel forces. Clinton designed many of these initiatives, and when the Qaddafi was removed from power and killed, Clinton quipped, “We came, we saw, he died.”[107] She hailed the effort as a great success and the administration dubbed it an example for future interventions. Then, terror struck with the storming of America’s embassy in Benghazi and the murder of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Controversy ensued when the State Department maintained that the attack was the result of a spontaneous protest against an inflammatory anti-Muslim video, an assertion that proved false. She defended the Department against allegations of negligence and dishonesty when it came to the causes and preventable nature of the attack.[108] In response to a line of questioning regarding Clinton’s inaction on reports of an imminent attack and requests for added security, Clinton notoriously remarked, “The fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided that they’d they go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make?”[109] Congress, four years later, still searches for answers with the establishment of the Benghazi committee, issuing of subpoenas, and continued investigations of Clinton’s email correspondence.”

    “Another partial legacy of Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State is the negotiations with Iran to abandon its nuclear program. She touts that she “led the global effort to sanction Iran,”[110] to which many have credited Iran’s willingness to negotiate in the first place, and writes in her memoir about sending her advisors to Oman to meet with Iranians to initiate talks.[111] During the 2008 campaign, Clinton criticized President Obama for saying he would negotiate with Iran without preconditions, saying he was “irresponsible and frankly naïve,”[112] but she has since been supportive of the P5+1 talks, saying of the final deal, “I support the agreement because it can help us prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.”[113] She adds that verification and enforcement are vital measures of the deal: “Signing is just the beginning. As president I would use every tool in our arsenal to compel rigorous Iranian compliance.”[114] She says this deal is good for America’s Arab allies in the Middle East as well as Israel. Towing the line between supporting the administration’s deal and assuaging the concerns of critics, she pledges this as her message to Iran as President: “The message to Iran should be loud and clear: we will never allow you to acquire a nuclear weapon; not just during the term of this agreement – never.”[115]

    “Touting more State Department Experience, she says, “I have reinforced allies like Israel.”[116] She recently penned a letter to Jewish leaders condemning the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction movement, a show of support and solidarity for Israel. Clinton writes that the BDS movement represents “attempts to isolate and delegitimize Israel,” adding, “Israel is a vibrant democracy in a region dominated by autocracy, and it faced existential threats to survival. Particularly at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise across the world, we need to repudiate forceful efforts to malign and undermine Israel and the Jewish people.”[117] During her time as Secretary of State, Clinton said she had a good relationship with Benjamin Netanyahu, but that she was the “designated yeller” of the Obama administration: “Something would happen, a new settlement announcement would come and I would call him up, what are you doing? You’ve got to stop this. And we understood each other because I know how hard it is to be the leader of a relatively small country that is under constant pressure and does face a lot of legitimate threats to its existence from those around it.”[118] Clinton supports a two-state solution, calling it the “best outcome”[119] for both the Israelis and Palestinians and noting, “I was the first person associated with any administration to say that out loud.”[120]

    “Where Hillary becomes more hawkish than most is in her stand against Vladimir Putin and Russian aggression. Before Putin returned as Russia’s President and advanced into Crimea, Clinton led the United States in its “reset” of relations with Russia, famously manifesting itself in a photo op of Clinton with her counterpart Sergey Lavrov pressing a red button in a mislabeled yellow box.[121] Though the subject of much criticism, Clinton stands by the effort, maintaining, “The reset worked…It was an effort to try to obtain Russian cooperation on some key objectives while Medvedev was president.”[122]After Putin annexed Crimea, however, Clinton’s tone took a hostile turn. “Now if this sounds familiar,” Clinton remarked, “It’s what Hitler did back in the ’30s.”[123] She lambasted European countries for being “too wimpy” with how they deal with Putin, according to London Mayor Boris Johnson.[124] She is concerned that Putin will continue to seize land and oppress people to the extent of the borders of the former USSR. She describes her presidential platform as “Standing up to Putin,” explaining, “We will support our European friends in their effort to decrease dependence on Russian oil, and we will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our NATO allies. With Europe, we will make clear that the choice to turn Russia around is in Vladimir Putin’s hands.”[125] It is worth noting that current allegations of wrongdoing exist as Clinton, while Secretary of State, authorized deals that gave Russia control of Asian and U.S. uranium mines after the Clinton Foundation received a $2.35 million undisclosed donation from a Russian businessman and Bill Clinton gave a $500,000 speech in Moscow.[126] The White House and Clinton Campaign disavow any notion of misconduct.”[127]

    “Clinton similarly bases her China policy on “holding China accountable.”[128] She has spoken against cyberattacks and hacking on the part of the Chinese, accusing them of “trying to hack into everything that doesn’t move in America.”[129] As president, she would “promote China’s adherence to cyber norms,” as well as raise issues of environmental degradation, humanitarian concerns, and regional antagonism.[130] Though she sees accountability as a major element of US-China relations, she does not view China, as many others do, as an adversary: “Some in the region and some here at home see China’s growth as a threat that will lead either to Cold War-style conflict or American decline. And some in China worry that the United States is bent on containing China’s rise and constraining China’s growth, a view that is stoking a new streak of assertive Chinese nationalism. We reject those views.”[131] In a 2011 piece, Clinton outlined the administration’s new “pivot to Asia,” whose thesis is essentially that the future of American politics and foreign policy is not in interminable wars in the Middle East, but in the burgeoning countries of the Asia-Pacific. She posits, “At a time when the region is building a more mature security and economic architecture to promote stability and prosperity, U.S. commitment there is essential.”[132] On the economic front, Clinton criticizes both the Chinese for not living up to trade partnerships and American leaders for not holding them accountable. After remaining silent on the issue for some time, saying she would rather read the deal before taking a position (the deal is currently secret), Clinton spoke out against fast-track authority for President Obama to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership. “I believe that one of the ways the president could get fast-track authority is to deal with the legitimate concerns of those Democrats who are potential ‘yes’ voters to see if what’s in the negotiation, or even what’s in the existing framework agreement that is being drafted, could be modified or changed,” she offered.[133] China and the greater Asia-Pacific will present a unique but delicate opportunity for Clinton as she was the architect for America’s refocus of relations, but also must guard against Chinese hacking and economic malfeasance.”

    “Clinton adds several other elements to her extensive foreign policy proposals. “Meeting today’s global challenges requires every element of American power. It requires skillful diplomacy, economic influence, and knowing how to build partnerships around the world with people, not just governments,” she says.[134] This diplomacy, influence, and partnership includes “nations [that] are fighting to build democratic and economically free societies” and “resolv[ing] familiar conflicts and nurture[ing] new democracies to empower moderates and marginalize extremists, and to open markets and champion human rights.”[135] In this spirit, she supports the administration’s normalization of relations with Cuba, and celebrated the opening of a Cuban embassy by tweeting, “New US Embassy in Havana helps us engage Cuban people & build on efforts to support positive change. Good step for US & Cuban people.”[136] She reveals herself as a longtime supporter of normalization, writing in her memoir, “Near the end of my tenure I recommended to President Obama that he take another look at our embargo. It wasn’t achieving its goals and it was holding back our broader agenda across Latin America. After twenty years of observing and dealing with the U.S.-Cuba relationship, I thought we should shift the onus onto the Castros to explain why they remained undemocratic and abusive.”[137]

    “As Secretary of State, Clinton did not have to handle domestic surveillance programs, but as a Senator following the attacks of September 11th, Clinton voted in favor of the Patriot Act, which has since been used in the massive collection of major telecommunications companies’ metadata. Though less vocally than several other candidates—both Republican and Democrat—Clinton called for the end of the Patriot Act as the Senate considered its reauthorization and expressed support for the bipartisan reforms in the Freedom Act. “Congress should move ahead now with the USA Freedom Act—a good step forward in ongoing efforts to protect our security & civil liberties,” she tweeted.[138] When asked about Edward Snowden, Clinton opined, “I think turning over a lot of that material—intentionally or unintentionally—drained, gave all kinds of information, not only to big countries, but to networks and terrorist groups and the like.”[139] She feels his actions harmed national security and questioned why a liberty and privacy advocate would take refuge in such countries as China and Russia.”

    “Hillary undoubtedly has unparalleled firsthand experience in foreign policy, as any former Secretary of State would. Incorporating more elements into her platform, she ties the necessity to address climate change to national security, prioritizes improving global and public health to prevent disastrous outbreaks like Ebola, and advocates engaging the private sector’s science and technology fields to offer insights and skills to improve America’s understanding of both cyberspace and outer space. She also sees a need to foster a prosperous economy and raise the incomes of Americans in order to project American strength and values abroad. “The United States can, must and will lead in this new century,” she proclaims, “This is a moment that must be seized through hard work and bold decisions, to lay the foundations for lasting American leadership for decades to come.”[140]

    http://www.fpri.org/article/2015/08/a-quick-guide-to-the-foreign-policy-views-of-the-democratic-presidential-candidates/

    ***

    This isn’t looking like its gonna be turning out so very happily is JK’s general opinion.

    • And now another twist in this election with Comey reopening the investigation. I have a hunch this is way more than just more “classified” emails were found. Guess, we need to just keep the popcorn handy.

  2. lolly52

    I love decorative storage boxes. I did not know they had them at the dollar store! That is some good news. I am ready for good news.
    Every time I think about the election & our country’s future, I get sick. But, I can think about the boxes. Thank you for the tip.

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