Category Archives: Civility

Trump the Uniter…

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My I love America junk journal – changed the closure to an old button and different ribbon

Before rambling on with my blog post, here are two links, on two completely different topics worth reading:

WHEN MARSHALL MET PERSHING – an excellent article at War On the Rocks, written by Benjamin Runkle.

‘Our minds can be hijacked’: the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia – a thought-provoking article by Paul Lewis at The Guardian.

Now, let me step onto my soapbox and ramble on about politics.

Since the horrific attack in Las Vegas, like millions of other Americans, I’ve been waiting to find out why Stephen Paddock carried out this attack.  So far, the small bits of information, on the attack itself and on Paddock’s bio, don’t make sense to me and there’s nothing meaningful I can write about it.

President Trump went to Las Vegas.  He stuck to a prepared statement, made visits to wounded Americans and he “acted” presidential.  That’s the thing about President Trump – he can “act” presidential, but he chooses to go the “just Trump being Trump” route most of the time, because it adds drama, creates media feeding frenzies and steals the show (which is now the 24/7 news cycle).  His actions are deliberate choices he makes and calculated to evoke a response from his “enemies”.

The Left immediately went off the rails with their gun control hysteria.  The Right attacked the Left for politicizing this tragedy.

If you want to know who President Trump is waging information war against, just listen to Sean Hannity’s opening diatribe any weeknight.  My husband only watches FOX news, so I can’t avoid hearing Hannity’s Dear Leader monologues occasionally.  I try to avoid it, by working in my sewing/craft room.

Despite Sean Hannity going on a “Hail Trump the Uniter” propaganda blitz , praising the president’s effort to unite America this past week, Hannity has coupled that message with stinging attacks on the Left, the mainstream liberal media, Robert Mueller, Republicans who don’t back Trump, the elusive Deep State and anyone else who doesn’t support “our President”.

Hannity always makes sure to cast aspersions on Americans who don’t support and respect “our President”, even though Hannity’s career was built on viciously attacking President Bill Clinton and he was just as rabid at berating President Obama for 8 years.

Respect is earned.  Supporting our president is a choice Americans are free to make; it’s not required.  I respect and support The Constitution always, but I do not respect President Trump and I will never vote for him.  I support the Office of the Presidency and hope whomever that officeholder is, he or she works diligently in the best interests of the American people and to preserve, protect and defend The Constitution.  A president consumed with his own popularity and waging a no holds barred, scorched earth information war is not working in the interests of the American people and is actually corrupting our constitutional republic.

Among conservatives, Liberal hypocrisy was considered the greatest political sin and casting stones to publicly repudiate Liberal hypocrisy built the careers of pundits like Sean Hannity and so many other conservative mouthpieces.

Hypocrisy exposes liars and frauds.  President Trump has exposed a long list of conservative frauds, who built their careers lecturing on civility and proselytizing about the moral bankruptcy of the Left.  Hannity is not alone.  Look at Bill Bennett, who now lectures conservatives, who refuse to board the Trump train, about their “virtue-signaling” and “moral-preening”.

In 1992, we returned from 5 years of living in Germany, where my husband was stationed in the Army.  During those 5 years we lived in leased government quarters and we did not have American TV.  Our kids watched movies, but mostly they played outside a lot with other kids, read a lot, talked a lot, and did crafts.

We moved to Fort Leonard Wood, MO, which around the Army is referred to as Fort Lost In The Woods, and I was happy to have American TV again.  Politics had changed a lot during those 5 years and there was an American presidential election in full-swing.  During that time, Rush Limbaugh had a TV show and his provocative presentation was new and interesting.  I listened to his radio show some during the 90s, but by the late 90s, I had gotten tired of his diatribes, his bombast and his entire schtick.

Limbaugh became an iconic figure in conservative circles, but President Trump has exposed Limbaugh’s conservatism as, to use Trump’s favorite word, “fake”.  The Trump info war shock troops are all “fake” conservatives.  Despite Hannity’s preaching about President Trump working to unite our country, the real objective of Hannity’s propaganda is to fuel distrust of all those other Americans, whom Hannity lists constantly as “enemies of our President”  Kurt Schlichter, a devoted Trump Twitter Trooper and writer at Townhall, frames all political issues in America, as being between “we normals” and “those crazies” on the Left.

That’s some unifying message President Trump and his information warriors lob at not only those on the president’s “enemies” list, but at other Americans who don’t support President Trump…

I’m trying to wean myself off of spending so much time online and I’ve been working on my needlework and crafts more.  I’ll be posting pictures of more “junk journals” soon.  I decided to make some out of altered books, even though it’s very hard for me to tear apart any book.

Years ago, when I first became interested in altered books, I bought several books about how to make altered books, but I also bought 2 hardcover books in a craft store, that were sold as “alterable books”.  Just like with scrapbooks, I never made any altered books.  So, now I started using one to try out some painting and craft techniques, but I decided to actually “alter” some hardcover books.  I used the other one for an autumn-themed journal, which is still a work in progress.  Part of my personal challenge is to make these junk journals with craft stuff I already have and not buy stuff for in them.  This autumn journal is my 8th junk journal, made with stuff I already had in my craft room.  Here are a few photos:

Since I don’t want to go buy books to “alter”, which requires removing a lot of the pages and gluing in scrapbook paper and embellishments, I started looking around at the books already in my home.  In the spare bedroom, I found some old Rush Limbaugh books and my one son used to read Ann Coulter’s books.  I took off the dust jackets to look at the books.  See I Told You So is in the process of becoming a Christmas junk journal for my daughter and Coulter’s Godless, is becoming my second autumn junk journal.

It felt good tearing pages out of those books and it will be even more fun when I glue pretty scrapbook paper over all the text in both books.

I’ll post photos of those finished journals.

 

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Filed under Civility, Culture Wars, Information War

How To Defeat Scorched Earth Information Warfare

Every American has the power to help defeat scorched earth information warfare.  It doesn’t take military might, new laws to restrict the media or trying to shut down free speech.

Stop being a participant in the scorched earth information warfare.

Don’t be a participant in engaging in scorched earth information warfare and learn to recognize it and not fall for it.

Here’s my battle plan to defeat scorched earth information warfare:

The best thing leaders can do is pull our politics back from the extremes, condemn violence by fringe kooks on the extreme ends and work to find ways to build a few bridges between the virulent partisan factions, that are our two major political parties.

The drumbeat that we are approaching a civil war or that our political system is on the verge of collapse may feed the scorched earth partisans, but it does nothing to fix anything that is wrong in America.

I think what everyone should be doing is work to bolster The Constitution and that means respecting the results at the ballot box. I think people should be working to try to get Trump to rein in the scorched earth, quit the crazy reality TV presidency show, and buckle down and do the job.

Trump’s “war against the media” isn’t happening in a vacuum. Much of the media, the Clinton political machine and many factions on the Left are working tirelessly waging a scorched earth information warfare campaign to #Resist, which is a euphemism for overturn the results of a legal election, by any means necessary.

The best thing the news media could do is take a long, hard look at their news reporting operations & strive to get back to “who, what, when, where, why and how” reporting rather than rushing to retweet the latest “hot take” or editorializing in hard news reporting.  Trust is earned and every time reporters leap into retweeting or running news stories that aren’t true, they erode the trust Americans have in their reporting.

Those entrusted with safeguarding our nation’s most sensitive information should quit with the endless leaking of intel, to try and destroy Trump.

This endless scorched earth information warfare is a serious national security threat, in my opinion.  Many of America’s foreign adversaries are working to foment chaos in this ongoing scorched earth information war, because a divided, chaotic, dysfunctional American political system and the constant visuals of America in chaos feed their political objective of taking down America.

Our elected officials in Washington should spend more time buckling down and finding bi-partisan solutions, to fix many of our nation’s problems, rather than regurgitating partisan talking points and rushing for photo-ops to get attention.

It would be very bad for our republic, if President Trump was impeached over frivolous charges and I am very dubious about that “unfit” gambit under the 25th. Trying to contain the damage he does as a loose cannon, while trying to teach him some restraint (tall order there) would be better for our constitutional order than to have a president ousted, basically by a massive media campaign and unpopular polls numbers.  Poll numbers should never substitute for the ballot box in America, especially in light of the massive information warfare used to generate manufactured public opinion (creating opinion cascades).

If Mueller finds things that warrant impeachment; he should send that information to Congress.

If there aren’t any grounds to impeach him, America will survive a bad president. We’ve survived others.

And most of all, more Americans need to read more and think more, before falling for media-generated outrage and hysteria or leaping onto the bandwagon of these media-driven hot button issues. Quit falling for these media-generated contentious topics that the media punditry and social media spread under the guise of “national conversations”.

What America really needs is more citizens talking to their neighbors and within their own communities, to find solutions for most of the problems within their own communities.  They also need to work to get to know each other.   The putrid punditry fueling anger, distrust and hate, from the partisan fringes poisons our politics.

Everyone should work to promote respect and civility in the public square.

To quote Maya Angelou, a poet, whose poetry I don’t care for at all, but who sure had some memorable quotes that speak the truth:

“Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but it has not solved one yet.”

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Filed under American Character, Civility, Corrupt Media Collusion, Culture Wars, General Interest, Politics, The Constitution, The Media

Trump launches MAGA 2.0 campaign

President Trump began his reinvigorated Make America Great Again 2.o propaganda campaign this week.  It’s sure to be more vicious than the 2016 campaign.

President Trump does have a strategy to defeat his political enemies, using mass media manipulation, but it is one that will further divide the country and lead to more violence in the streets.  He wants that violence in the street by Leftists, so he can rally for crackdowns and solidify his support for “tough” law enforcement.  Last night’s Phoenix rally, where he shamelessly lied about his Charlottesville statements, glaringly omitting his “many sides” equivocation, juxtaposed to his using the backdrop of Fort Myers and an audience of soldiers for his “acting presidential” speech, the night before, was just a prelude to his new and invigorated campaign to destroy his enemies.

He wants to bolster his support among soldiers.  He wants to rally support among the military using the generals around him, so expect to see him use more military backdrops for appearances, where he can cheer on the troops and tell them he is with them.  The US military is a captive audience to any president.  They can’t disrespect the commander-in-chief.

He wants the media and his political enemies to attack him.

Igniting racial strife over divisive racial issues, is part of his plan.  Expect to see more black pundits popping up on FOX and other Trump media fronts.  His media operation is using black pundits and black people in memes to convince people he’s not racist and to try and counter the fall-out from his Charlottesville comments. Memes with black people supporting Trump over his Charlottesville comments are already circulating on facebook – using the same equivocation Trump used.   I expect his online troll armies to return in force too.

I hope the generals in his administration stay, to work to persuade the president from his loose cannon tendencies and the last thing America needs is more Bannon/Gorka types nearby egging on this president in his “slash and burn insurgency politics”.  Sadly, many Americans don’t read much and think even less.  He will still have a large base of supporters.

President Trump loves to mention the generals around him and he borrows their honor as his own.  I believe he is a coward at heart.  If the president was not a wealthy, pampered, spoiled egotist, he would likely be one of those “stolen valor” scumbags, whom I detest.  His followers look at those generals and believe that if they are supporting him, he must be great.

My son came up with the best historical figure to compare President Trump to –  Peter III, minus the Prussian uniforms. I think there are many similarities in their personalities, except ours is not an idiot and even more concerning is ours has many wealthy backers, understands mass media propaganda and has millions of American citizens, who do not read history, do not think, and who are mindless followers, led by pop culture icons, celebrities and mass media propaganda.

Considering how much Trump can’t stand women making him look small, Peter III is a good comparison, because Peter III was outclassed and outmaneuvered in his power struggle by a woman, his wife, Catherine The Great.  Unlike Trump, she really was a “great” historical figure (one of my favorite female historical figures too).  And unlike Trump, she studied government policy, she read history and she had real leadership skills.  She paid attention to the details.   I doubt America will resurrect any statues to President Trump or call him a “great” leader, once his presidency is over.

President Trump knows exactly what he is doing, he planned that rally and he planned exactly what he was going to say. My son, who came up with the Peter III comparison, and I have had many discussions over the years about The Constitution and one of the things I have often mentioned was that sometimes I think America would be much better with the office of the President being separate from the duties of the commander-in-chief.   The very argument made for a President to be able to act swiftly in a time of crisis was my argument for why, in a nuclear age, we should have the duties of commander-in-chief vested in a person, who has the credentials, military background, resumé and calm temperament to carry out those duties. I would prefer the nuclear codes in the hands of military leaders who have demonstrated their trustworthiness, by decades of dedicated service to our country.  I would prefer an additional office, whereby Congress and the President must confer before using military force, especially a nuclear strike, and then a separate commander-in-chief has responsibility for carrying out those decisions.   Of course, I understand the opposing arguments to my position.

The Founding Fathers trusted that Americans would choose wise, moral leaders.  That trust was misplaced.

After Trump’s 70+ minute rally last night, where he fixated on relitigating his Charlottesville statements, attacked his enemies and went full scorched earth, the media reacted as usual – overreaction.  James Clapper went Pelosi about Trump’s mental stability, but that will help Trump.  Trump and all his spinners will spin Clapper as a Democrat hack, which to a large extent – he is.

Not engaging with Trump or Trump Derangement hysteria and avoiding escalation in rhetoric is probably the best course of action – ignore his efforts to incitement.  Speak to unity and calming people down. Ignoring him, dismissing him or treating him like a child throwing a tantrum is probably the best course.  I doubt the media or the Left will do that.

During the Obama administration, due to his political ideology, I did not trust President Obama’s judgment on military matters.   I don’t trust President Trump’s temperament when making decisions.  However, I do agree with President Trump’s new strategy on Afghanistan and I am glad he listened to the generals around him.  The risks to national security with pulling out and handing Afghanistan to the jihadists are far greater than staying.  Like many complex geopolitical issues, there are no easy solutions for the larger civilizational challenge of the rise of Islamic imperialism, Islamic radicalism, or whatever term you choose to use for this phenomenon, by a segment of Islamic world,  rejecting modernity and embracing terrorism and religious extremism.  We can’t decide the Islamic world’s future, but we must do what we can to protect American national security interests, at home and abroad, no matter how long it takes.

Americans, at the ballot box, decided our future was better getting behind President Trump rather than Hillary Clinton.  I left the top of my ballot blank in 2016.  I still believe both were choices I could never support.

The most important thing all Americans can do is support The Constitution.

The #Resist movement set out to overturn a legitimate election before President Trump’s inauguration.   That movement will gain many more supporters, as Trump ramps up his scorched earth campaign against the media, the Left, Republicans in Congress and anyone who crosses him.  The calls for impeachment or using the 25th Amendment mechanism to remove him from office will grow.

I don’t support impeaching him or removing him from office, unless there are solid grounds to do so.  Watching his reprehensible attacks on people, the vicious name-calling, the bold-faced lying and shameless manipulation, I wonder when he will cross the line for many of his followers?  Many religious leaders still sit idly by his side, as he engages in his petty name-calling and lying.   They still support him and praise him as a “great” leader.  Sadly, I believe that many of his followers are so trapped in binary thinking and rabid partisanship, that they would follow him, even if he did shoot someone on 5th Avenue.   I suspect many of them would rationalize that the person deserved it.

America is in for a very rocky 3.5 years.

I expect a lot more violence.

Once the smouldering ashes from President Trump’s campaign to “Make America Great Again 2.0” die out,  I hope Americans can find a way back to being the United States of America.

 

 

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Filed under Civility, Culture Wars, General Interest, Politics, The Constitution, The Media

America desperately needs moral guidance

One of the worst aspects about “civil wars” is that the political divides often get down to tearing people’s most personal relationships apart too.  Lifelong friendships and even families can be sundered when people feel compelled to choose sides in civil wars.  Few people can maintain neutrality or as my one son says, in most family disputes, “I’m Switzerland on this!”

During the 2016 campaign, many articles reported about the election causing friction and angry disputes within many American families, as the extremely contentious choice between Trump or Hillary began to be hyped as an existential election for America’s future.

Throughout history there have been many of these stories and the American Civil War is rife with stories of the painful “brother against brother” personal tragedy.  During the American Revolution, one of the most famous American founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, and his son, William, who remained loyal to the British crown, severed their relationship over their political divides during the American Revolution:

“On his way back to Philadelphia, Franklin stopped in Rhode Island to meet his sister, Jane Mecom, and take her home with him. The carriage ride through Connecticut and New Jersey was a delight for both Jane and Franklin. The good feelings were so strong that they were able to overcome any political tensions when they made a brief stop at the governor’s mansion in Perth Amboy to call on William. It would turn out to be the last time Franklin would see his son other than a final, tense encounter in England ten years later.”

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/benjamin-franklin-joins-the-revolution-87199988/#fUU7xOxf8f3vUMLQ.99
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The 2016 election divided the country between left and right, but Donald Trump divided the Republican Party and conservatives with his scorched earth “GOP Insurgency”, in ways that the ashes are still smoldering.

Trump’s divisive “GOP insurgency” tactic melded with his strong-arm rhetoric and vicious online mobs (some alleged to be Russian trolls) leading gang-up attacks on conservative sites’ comment forums left the Republican Party fractured and bleeding. Among the conservative punditry circle, many of these divides have led to the destruction of longtime friendships and have been played out in public.  Bill Kristol and Tucker Carlson are engaged in one now.

I’ve written about experiencing the troll gang-up tactics when commenting on some conservative sites, being called a slut and much worse, and I wrote about a night where I was reading the Disqus comments at National Review Online, for a Jonah Goldberg article, when the Disqus comment forum was taken over by people spewing neo-nazi and reprehensible anti-Semitic comments.  That night, the mob of neo-nazis, who were also Trump supporters, had figured out a way to hijack forum moderators’ names, so they were posting their hateful garbage using moderators’ names.  You could check the user profile and see these were new profiles with hardly any comments.  This attack went on for hours, as National Review moderators worked to delete those comments and ban that mob.

David French, a conservative pundit at National Review, and many Jewish reporters and writers experienced receiving threats, but so did some of their families.  I never considered supporting Donald Trump, because his personal behavior is antisocial, where his “he’s a fighter” ethos amounts to juvenile, vicious name-calling and insults,  but even worse he rallies, figuratively and literally, to encourage mob violence.  That is a fact.

Megyn Kelly asked him a question at a debate in August 2015.  What followed was a concerted campaign led by Donald Trump, to destroy her career and encourage his friends in the media to trash her personally.  He personally asked Roger Ailes to remove her as a debate moderator and he waged an 8 month campaign, publicly urging his followers not to watch her show.   Megyn Kelly’s family was threatened.  Donald Trump waged his 8 month campaign to destroy her, because she dared to ask him a question he thought was “unfair”.

David French, a conservative writer at National Review, wrote about what happened to his family from gung-ho Trump supporters:

“I distinctly remember the first time I saw a picture of my then-seven-year-old daughter’s face in a gas chamber. It was the evening of September 17, 2015. I had just posted a short item to the Corner calling out notorious Trump ally Ann Coulter for aping the white-nationalist language and rhetoric of the so-called alt-right. Within minutes, the tweets came flooding in. My youngest daughter is African American, adopted from Ethiopia, and in alt-right circles that’s an unforgivable sin. It’s called “race-cucking” or “raising the enemy.”

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/441319/donald-trump-alt-right-internet-abuse-never-trump-movement

Donald Trump and his mouthpieces always lie and say he never encouraged violence, but he did – many times.  During several rallies he urged his followers to punch protesters.  There is plenty of video footage of him doing it.

Why I think it’s important not to lose sight of the real issue about Donald Trump’s moral character is because his performance Tuesday and the smokescreen, about preserving history and “aren’t monuments beautiful”, isn’t the issue.

The issue is the President of the United States gave cover to vile neo-nazis and deliberately mixed a few facts to bolster that lie.

In light of Trump’s some “fine people on both sides” comment on Tuesday and his insistence that the neo-nazis were in Charlottesville to peacefully protest about monuments, it’s important to not lose sight of those “fine people” Donald Trump was talking about.  Here is John Podhoretz’s tweet with their “Unite the Right” poster for the march of “fine people”:

The speakers are a Who’s Who of white supremacists.  Here’s how Robert Tracinski, at The Federalist,  explains:

“Aside from the blatant Nazi style of the imagery, it includes a roster of headliners chosen from various white nationalist groups. So this was a Nazi march from the beginning, planned by Nazis, for Nazis. As to whether any hapless moderates strolled in there thinking this was just about the statue—well, I live in this area and used to be active in the local Tea Party group. I know people who are not white nationalists who oppose the removal of the statues based on high-minded ideas about preserving history. None of them were there, and if they had been, they would have bolted the moment they saw a bunch of guys with torches chanting “Blood and soil.”

What’s truly shocking is that Trump refers twice to “the night before,” that is, to the rally Friday night, before the deadly clash on Saturday, as evidence that some of the protesters weren’t white nationalists. But Friday night was the notorious Citronellanacht, the march with all those tiki-torch-wielding marchers yelling “Blood and soil” and “Jews will not replace us.””

http://thefederalist.com/2017/08/16/donald-trump-needs-to-not-be-president-yesterday/

Yes, there were violent anti-fascists at Charlottesville and yes, I am concerned about preserving our history, although for me, I believe in federalism, so with most of these monuments, the decisions should be left up to the cities and states. With those on federal property, a peaceful, thoughtful debate should take place and a decision rendered.  For anyone to believe these tiki-torch wielding neo-nazis parading through Charlottesville represent preserving American history and values, we hold dear, is reprehensible. President Trump gave them legitimacy and cover.

America would be better off if everyone cared more about our moral foundation and principles as a nation than about jumping on the bandwagon of hot button causes.  The idiocy and moral vacuum are stunning.  In Berkeley, Yvette Felarca, a middle school teacher no less, is facing three charges:

“The charges stem from a June 2016 fight at the state capitol.

Felarca’s group, By Any Means Necessary, was protesting against a white nationalist group.

A video shows Felarca repeatedly punching a man.

The man had both hands up, walking to a line of police officers for help.

Felarca and others dragged the man down and kicked him.”

Here’s Felarca’s defense from the same article:

“Felarca said, “Standing up against fascism and the rise of Nazism and fascism in this country is not a crime. We have the right to defend ourselves.””

 http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2017/08/10/berkeley-teacher-filmed-punching-neo-nazi-arraigned-sacramento/

There have been protests against white supremacists, breaking out around the country, with people wearing, “Punch a Nazi” shirts.  That you don’t have a right to punch other people, because you disagree with what they believe  is a simple, fundamental moral construct for civil society.   The scarier thought is this woman is a teacher and she’s got supporters protesting on her behalf.

President Trump fails the moral leadership test, but so many on the Left do too.  President Obama always couched the BLM and attacks on police officers with comments about, “we need to understand their pain”, giving the same kind of cover and legitimacy to people who engage in violent, criminal conduct.

Civil society depends on leaders, who will stand up and speak clearly to who we are as an American people.

President Obama was an expert at framing everything as “this is not who we are”, fueling racial animus by giving cover to violence committed in the name of  civil rights. President Trump is fighting out of petty spite and vanity.  He believes:

“When somebody hurts you, just go after them as viciously and as violently as you can.  Like it says in the Bible, an eye for an eye.”

Be paranoid.  I know this observation doesn’t make any of us sound very good, but let’s face the fact that it’s possible that even your best friend wants to steal your spouse and your money.”

p. 138, Trump: How To Get Rich, by Donald J. Trump

I prefer the affirmative form of leadership, leading by clear moral example and setting the standard.  Treat everyone with respect and work to develop some core values.  I was raised with Christian values.  If you don’t want religious values, here are some excellent secular ones to set you on the path to being a good citizen:

In short, the Seven Core Army Values listed below are what being a Soldier is all about.
  • Loyalty. Bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the Army, your unit and other Soldiers. …
  • Duty. Fulfill your obligations. …
  • Respect. …
  • Selfless Service. …
  • Honor. …
  • Integrity. …
  • Personal Courage.

https://www.army.mil/values/

 

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Filed under American Character, American History, Civility, Culture Wars, General Interest, Making a Difference, Politics, The Constitution

Time for a truce in the civil war of words

The political atmosphere in America continues to descend into deeper partisan divides and the media’s frenetic spinning the news keeps perpetuating confusion and keeping America’s politics in a state of constant chaos.

Believing the worst of political opponents and those who hold differing views is the new normal.  Extreme partisans feverishly work to launch vicious smear campaigns to destroy the character of political opponents, without any concern for the veracity of their scurrilous attacks in this endless scorched earth information war.  With American partisans so entrenched in this self-destructive, by-any-means necessary, war of words, the Russians don’t have to do much to “influence” or work to destroy our democratic institutions.  Our own partisans are burning them down rapidly, while Putin sits back and laughs at “America developing political schizophrenia”.

Here are two reading recommendations

David French’s piece: To Defend Trump, The GOP Is Becoming a Party Bill Clinton Would Love

The other is a book, Stopping Words That Hurt, Positive Words In a World Gone Negative, by Dr. Michael Sedler.  I read this book a couple years ago and last night I started reading it again.   I have it in kindle format, but it’s available in paperback at amazon now.  While the book is written from a Christian perspective, the lessons really are universal and just plain old common decency.  He explains why, what biblically is referred to as “evil reporting”, lying, gossiping, spreading negative stories about others, is only half of the issue.  He explains why listening to “evil reporting” is very destructive and he offers many positive personal strategies to “stopping words that hurt”.  I need to work a lot harder on this.

In a country where the media and politicians are consumed by their scorched earth war of words, to win the news cycle, I think all of us need to start demanding a truce in this “cold civil war”.

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Filed under American Character, Civility, Culture Wars, Food for Thought, General Interest, Politics

A repost of a blog post from June 4, 2013:

 

Military leadership 101: Set the standard

 

Politicizing the military chain of command continued full-throttle with today’s Senate Armed Forces Committee grilling of the Joint Chiefs of Staff over the recent spate of high-profile sexual assault cases.  (Reuters report here).  The most idiotic comment came from Senator Kristen Gillibrand, from New York, who stated, ““Not every commander can distinguish between a slap on the ass and rape.”   The political solution that Gillibrand proposes adds a layer of bureaucracy between commanders and their troops – a special third-party entity to handle sexual harassment and sexual assault issues.  This will further erode trust between soldiers and their chain of command.  This smells like one more effort to turn the military into a politicized social engineering project of the left-wing politicos.  

As a female in the Army decades ago (circa 1980), I was sent to a Pershing missile unit, as I’ve mentioned before.  My battalion had less than 100 women and around 1,ooo men.  The Army back then had a pretty bad drug problem in Europe too, so things were a little rough.  Since this in my blog, I’m going to speak the truth.  I love the Army and I learned so many important lessons that have carried me through life and truly taught me how to face challenges head-on.  The integration of women into the military rates as a mixed bag of results.  One of my sisters completed a very successful career in the Air Force and she never experienced anything remotely what I did when I arrived to my Pershing unit.  Each service grappled with how to integrate women into the ranks amidst a great deal of politicized decision-making , where actual military excellence has always taken a backseat to the feminist-driven objectives.   Many women do excel in the military and certainly our military benefits from having as many of our best and brightest young people serving in uniform, so I’m not against women in the military.  What I’m going to say, is my opinion, based on my own personal experiences and observations – not some poll or what someone else said.  I’m going to speak about the real life problems that persist by integration being about politics, not what’s best for the mission or the soldiers.  It’s the real life proverbial elephant in the middle of the room that no male soldier dare speak about

In an earlier post I sort of tongue-in-cheek referred to my experiences in a battalion with so many men and so few women as the best diversionary tactics training in the world and you know what, it really was!  The minute I arrived at my battery, men started swarming around me and I guess the most accurate description would be, they were talking a lot of shit.  Yes, men talk a lot of shit, that’s a fact.  A young man grabbed my arm and I grabbed him by his shirt and slammed him against the wall and told him, “Don’t touch me!”   The other guys started laughing and talking more shit, but not a single one of them ever touched me again and the one who did grab my arm became a friend.  A female sergeant walked me down the sidewalk, past the next battery and on to the end of the parade field (those German kasernes usually have central parade field with the barracks arranged around the perimeter) .  The men were hanging out of the windows screaming vulgar things at me and the female sergeant told me not to look up and to just keep walking.  We went and retrieved my TA50 (field gear) and then she marched me back to my battery.  I was very scared my first few weeks there.

I have always felt thankful I was assigned to a battery with a good battery commander and an outstanding first sergeant.  My first sergeant (in the Army he’s called Top) was a Special Forces Vietnam vet, who taught me how to be a soldier.  The first time I met him, I was standing in front of his desk and he asked me where I was from and he looked me up and down and said, “Young lady, you don’t belong here!”  He was at a loss with how to deal with women, but he assigned us tasks, just like the men, and one thing I learned very quickly with him was if you worked hard and did what you were supposed to, he made sure to praise your efforts.  After several months there, some commander decided they should have a female M60 gunner to impress the NATO evaluators who observed many of our field training exercises.  Top picked me to be a machine gunner.  And the morning he told me that  I was going to become a machine gunner, this cocky infantry sergeant (Mr Hotshot 82nd paratrooper) said, “Top, girls can’t be machine gunners!”  Top told him, “Sergeant, you’re going to train her!”  So, I became a machine gunner and that sergeant took me to the range and as many times as I said, “I can’t do this” and I told him, “I’m scared of guns!”  He told me, “the mind controls the body, the body does not control the mind!”  Well, I learned.  Top made sure I learned a lot of other stuff when we went to the field too and to this day, I rank him as one of a handful of men whom I respect the most.  That cocky sergeant later became my husband.

Now, what kind of stuff happens when you’ve got so few young women and so many men – lots of drama and the men would make comments about why most of these women were pregnant and the rest were lesbians, totally oblivious to their roles in events.  Here’s another thing that seems to be part of the male mindset – they divide women into categories and treat them accordingly.  I behaved like a lady and was treated respectfully.  Once a few men determined I was a “nice little country girl”,  they insured other men treated me respectfully.  Men do some sort of internal policing from what I observed.  A typical occurrence would be some man would say something vulgar to me and other men would jump in and tell him that he couldn’t talk to me like that.  I quickly had many men “protecting” me and I felt safe almost anywhere on post.   I observed that many young women arrived there and went to the club and got into bad situations quickly, because men perceived them to be sluts.  Men really do divide women into groups.   One friend of mine was a young woman, who arrived at the same time I did, and she got involved in a few abusive relationships with men and after several months, she joined what I referred to as the “lesbian alliance” – it sure seemed more like a safe sex group from my viewpoint than it seemed to be about some heartfelt “sexual orientation”.  I asked this young woman why she decided to become a lesbian and she told me about her bad experiences with men and how this was safe sex and she didn’t have to worry about being beat up.

Army experiences can vary even in the same battalion and the biggest difference is in the quality of your chain of command.  I felt very fortunate to be in a battery with good order and discipline.  The friend mentioned in the previous paragraph ended up in a battery where there seemed to be little order or discipline and we had a couple of batteries like that in our battalion – in fact, I dreaded even walking into those batteries in broad daylight and going to the orderly room for official  business.  I sure wouldn’t have walked in there after duty hours.  I had another female friend who lived in a battery where the standards weren’t like in my battery.  Top had the female soldiers on the first floor with a female CQ at our end of the hallway and there was a male CQ down by the orderly room.  I felt safe in my room.  Now, this female friend, her first sergeant stuck the women on the top floor with only an unlocked door and a female CQ sitting there.  I walked up to her room only one time by myself and after that I always had a male friend with me.  You don’t ever want to get cornered on a stairwell.   My female friend who lived there was barely 5 feet tall and I bet she didn’t even weigh 100 lbs and she had to walk up that stairwell several times a day and sleep knowing only one female soldier was guarding her from a battery of men (many who used drugs and got drunk frequently).  As an aside, most of the females I met were from blue-collar or below backgrounds.  They weren’t the Hillary Clinton “experts” on women’s issues, but their very personal safety was impacted by these feminist harpies, who continue to push their idiotic feminist agenda on the military.

We had an old school battalion commander and since my public affairs job had me in close contact with the command group, I got to know the entire command group well.  My battalion commander took me along with him for many German/American events and he treated his driver and me fantastic.  He spoke fluent German,  could explain German history as well as he could military history and I loved listening to him explain things.  I had a battalion executive officer, who was a whiz at explaining how Pershing missiles actually worked and he could explain our entire nuclear posture in simple terms, where it all made sense.  I liked talking to him too.  My battalion commander nicknamed me, Fräulein Wunderbar, and he hadn’t quite grasped the female soldier thing.  He always stood up when I walked in his office and one time he had some young officers in there and he told them, “you stand up when a lady enters the room!”.  He made one of them give me his seat.  One time I had to travel with him to a Combat Alert Site, where the firing battery had been there a long time.  He had his driver stop at a nearby village and he bought us dinner in a nice German guesthouse.  When we were ready to leave he handed me over to a German lady and he told me that I was staying in this German guesthouse for the night and he would have his driver pick me up in the morning.  I told him I would be fine at the CAS site and he said, “I wouldn’t dream of having you stay there, those men have been out there for 3 months!”  He treated me like he would treat his daughter.  However, the gap in this is each of those firing batteries had a handful or so of female soldiers, so one can only imagine how they fared.  I can say that I never saw any female soldiers who were physically strong enough to be a Pershing missile crewman, but the Army had them.

I learned to handle a machine gun, but was I strong enough, if I had to pick up that machine gun and move quickly with it – hell, no!.  Yet, I could max the female PT test.  Therein lies the main rub with all this integration hoopla – the feminist harpies in political circles want women in every job in the military, yet they possess not a lick of understanding about these jobs or about unit cohesion, or about how we fight or how to win wars.  All they care about is their lame feminist agenda and waxing on about smashing glass ceilings.  There are females in the military like this too – totally centered on being the “first female” this or that – with no regard for the big picture – how their feminist agenda affects the whole team.  No one ever speaks honestly about the problems of women serving in positions where there are two different sets of physical standards for the same job, yet everyone has to pretend there aren’t.  No male commander can mention how pregnancy in actual deployments creates a gap in mission performance, nor can he impose any sensible policies for fear of the feminist harpies who monitor women in the military issues.  (ABC news story of one such attempt)

When we went on field training exercises, I spent many hours being a perimeter guard and I slept in a two-man tent with my machine gun partner, who luckily for me was a young man whom I could trust and who never said a single inappropriate comment to me.   So, when he was sleeping, I was on guard duty and the thing these feminist harpies fail to realize is their idiotic decisions could cause someone’s death in real war.  When we went to the field they used the few infantry soldiers we had to play the opposing force.  One young infantry sergeant would toss a stone near my guard position at night and whisper my name (he always approached from in front of my position).  He would come sit a few minutes and talk, then he’d head back to be the opposing force.  Now, that cocky 82nd sergeant, he’d approach my guard position from behind me, which meant he already had breached our perimeter.  He would often whisper my name in the dark too and then he would come over and he always checked that machine gun first to make sure I had it set up properly, then he asked me if I remembered this and that and after that he would sit a few minutes and talk.  He would then say, “Okay, back to fighting the war.” and he’d head back into the dark.    I always heard the young infantry sergeant long before he tossed a stone, but that 82nd sergeant, well most of the time I didn’t hear him until he whispered my name and by then he was close enough to take me out.  I would sit there in the dark after he left, telling myself, “I jeopardized our mission again!”  And I would try harder, but I thought about if we were at war against the Soviets – any Soviet infantryman could have killed me in a  heartbeat if it came to one on one fighting and I would think about my partner sleeping a few feet away and his life would have been at risk too.  I always knew that no matter how much I trained, the physical advantage was on the man’s side.  Smart armies should want the strongest men to be infantry soldiers – they best fit the mission.

The answer to the sexual assault and rape problems isn’t to get Congress involved or to have more sensitivity training.  The solution is to train better leaders in the ranks – we need to get back to basics and away from all this politicized claptrap and turning the military into a political correctness experiment.  Back to good order and discipline, back to treating soldiers fairly and consistently, back to focusing on setting high standards.  And most of all we need to decide all missions based on what best fits the mission ( in some cases that will mean men perform those missions) !

And here’s the truth about women and men, we need to get back to teaching them to be ladies and gentlemen, especially in the officer ranks.  Teaching respect at every level in the military will set the standard, so that every soldier will have confidence in the chain of command again.

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Filed under Civility, General Interest, Military, Politics

Nasty Women on the march…

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Thursday evening, February 9, 2017, the 9th Circuit Court upheld the stay on President Trump’s immigration executive order.  Hillary Clinton (or her aides) jumped on Twitter and tweeted  “3-0”.   Kellyanne Conway retweeted Hillary tweet with the comment: “PA, WI, MI.”

Conway won that round in the catty career women, “thems some bitches”, battle. If you scratch beneath the surface, both Hillary and Conway are feminists, who not only live and breathe politics, but both use similar deflections to “stand by their man”, even when that involves shredding every sense of self-respect and dignity.

During impeachment, Hillary and feminists, whose lifeblood was fighting against the evil patriarchy, demeaned themselves propping up President Bill Clinton’s sleazy conduct.  Gloria Steinem’s linguistic contortions, basically giving Bill Clinton a pass, because he groped and stopped when told his advances weren’t welcome, became the political lipstick on a pig, dubbed the “one free grope rule”.

With Donald Trump’s “grabbing them by the pu**y” behavior, Conway and many  other Republicans, even professed Evangelical Christians,  have opted to pretend none of that matters, using the same political reasoning as Gloria Steinem, that amounts to : “the other side excuses even worse and my candidate is doing all these great things”.  The excusing inexcusable personal conduct based on political calculations is not only short-sighted politically, it’s poisoning our national character.

I ordered a book, World Without Men, from amazon a couple weeks ago, which I wanted to read before diving into the feminism issue, but I’m still waiting on the book to include in blog posts on feminism.  The amazon book blurb for World Without Men states:
“2012 Reprint of 1958 Edition. Exact facsimile of the original edition, not reproduced with Optical Recognition Software. The blurb on the thirty-five cent Ace paperback likens Charles Eric Maine’s 1958 novel “World Without Men” to George Orwell’s “1984” and Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World.” Ordinarily one would regard such a comparison skeptically. Nevertheless, while not rising to the artistic level of the Orwell and Huxley masterpieces, “World Without Men” merits being rescued from the large catalogue of 1950s paperback throwaways. Maine’s bases his vision of an ideological dystopia not on criticism of socialism or communism per se, nor of technocracy per se, but rather of feminism. Maine saw in the nascent feminism of his day (the immediate postwar period) a dehumanizing and destructive force, tending towards totalitarianism, which had the potential to deform society in radical, unnatural ways. Maine believed that feminism, as he understood it, derived its fundamental premises from hatred of, not respect for, the natural order. He also believed that feminism entailed a rebellion against sexual dimorphism.”

Maine wrote this dystopian novel in 1958, before Betty Friedan’s, The Female Mystique, feminist manifesto was published in 1963.  Assuredly, modern feminism, in whatever “wave”, is not only a rebellion demanding “equality”, but is in fact, a rebellion against sexual dimorphism.  In less than half a century of modern feminism, American society is littered with the carnage, not only of collapsing traditional families, but against human nature itself, as strident totalitarians on the political Left demand acceptance of  their ever-increasing demands that we reject reality and live in their alternative reality, where males and females are not distinct sexes, but an ever fluid mix of “gender identities”.

Sadly, most American women, even “conservative” women buy into much of the feminist social dogma, as more and more women define themselves in terms of their  careers and homemakers as useless, lazy, ignorant, living in bondage to men, clueless idiots.  Growing up in the midst of the sexual revolution/women’s movement,  I read my fair share of feminist literature when I was young.  I rejected most of it before I left my teens.  While I have written several blog posts in the past about feminism, in light of the #Women’s March and this new movement, more will be forthcoming.

The media and liberal pundits are churning out “BIG SCARE” pieces on 1984 in the past few weeks, as flashing warnings about the dangers of President Trump and his “strong-man” tendencies, while the Left is engaging in big street theater efforts and scare pieces in the media, like the 1984 scare.  1984 was about socialism run amok resulting in a frightening totalitarian state, where independent thought is not tolerated.  It was not about a Hitler seizing control.

Trump’s lack of respect or rather, lack of interest might be more accurate, in The Constitution and his infatuation with “tough” talk and being “strong” are worrisome.  However, the Left’s surrender to the far-left extremes in their party, taking to the streets to demand #Resist, a movement to overthrow a duly elected president, by any means possible, worries me more.  These people have no respect for The Constitution, only on using any means necessary to oust Trump.  Rosie O’Donnell and some other celebrities even tweeted about the imposition of marital law to prevent Trump from being sworn in as President and they worked to damage his image and strong-arm any celebrities from participating in his inauguration.  The news media, while touting their journalistic ethics, have far too many top names retweeting news stories and Trump dirt that is false.

Since this new movement, #Resist, has a large female face to it, many women are being sucked into this on feminist terms that Trump is a misogynistic pig and must be stopped.

I was all for impeaching President Clinton for lying under oath and I do believe the other charges in the impeachment, like intimidating witnesses and obstruction of justice, although the House only voted in favor of two out of the 12 charges.  I will support impeachment of Donald Trump if the FBI or some other investigative body produces evidence and/or grounds for impeachment are presented, following the formal legal process

What I don’t believe in is trying to scream loud enough to force actions outside The Constitution.

Too many on the Left, and even many policy “experts”, who should know better, get caught up in the media-generated hysteria machine and abandon constitutional principles reacting to media generated fear-mongering.

All that said, trying to make sense of the foaming at the mouth feminists, who led the #Women’s March reinforced my belief that feminism is an abhorrent ideology and under the guise of  “equal rights for women”, which sounds fair and just, lies dangerous extremists, just as dedicated to destroying western civilization as full-throated communists, marxists, islamists or fascists.  In fact, in the #Women’s March it looks like all of these rabid ideologies merged, where strident American feminists, communists like Angela Davis, and islamofascists like Linda Sarsour, who champions sharia law in America, melded with Hollywood celeb kooks, like Madonna, “thinking about blowing up the White House” or Ashley Judd’s bizarre poetry reading:

All of which brings me to pink pussy hats and the “lady parts” costumes, that were not only “nasty”, vulgar, and tasteless,  but serve as a perfect example of the shallowness of modern feminism.

I am not a feminist.  I am an American citizen and I am a lady.  That’s how I choose to live my life and I think America would be much better, all around, if more women defined themselves by dedicating themselves to civility, treating all people with respect, dedication to their families and communities and most all placing caring for children, the elderly, the disabled and the weakest among us as the highest priority in our lives.

Civil society depends on civil behavior.

Caring for our families, our neighbors, our communities determines if the American dream is even attainable for all Americans.  Screaming, “I am a nasty woman” and marching around in vagina costumes or pink, pussy hats was just more hollow screeching, tasteless, pointless exhibitionism, from brainless bimbos, who are intent on destroying the “evil male patriarchy”, which is code for destroying western civilization.  What they intend to replace it with, I’m not sure, but I do know it’s not The Constitution.  Their every action is dedicated to using street protests and hyping “crowd size” to force politicians to abandon The Constitution and submit to their demands.

Really, there are several youtube videos on how to knit a pussy hat…  I am also a needlewoman and the first thought that struck me seeing the vagina costumes and pink, pussy hats, was how so much energy went into something so pointless.  I thought about how much real, tangible good could have been accomplished if these women put that pink yarn to knitting hats and scarves for needy girls in poor neighborhoods or baby caps.  I thought about what if women who could sew vagina costumes put that effort toward making quilts or stuffed animals for kids with cancer in hospitals or for police to give to children in traumatic situations.

And, here’s a message to screeching feminist harpies everywhere: wearing a vagina costume turns you into a pathetic joke, not a serious person with a serious statement.  Try for some dignity, try for forming some coherent arguments rather than protest signs with ridiculous slogans and most of all try acting like adults.

I will never be a “nasty woman”… my mother taught me manners and I am sorry so many other American mothers are falling down on the job or too busy crafting “vagina costumes”…

Grow up – every neighborhood in America has children and families in crisis.

Do something constructive that matters.

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Filed under American Character, Civility, Corrupt Media Collusion, General Interest, Nasty Women, The Constitution