Category Archives: Civility

A Country of Strangers…

After the past few days of Trump-crazy spin, from both sides, blaring across American media, I spent some time thinking about a sad Conrad Richter novel, A Country of Strangers, written in 1966, which I read last month.

The Richter novel was set in the American colonial period, at the time an agreement between colonials and the Ohio Tribes, consisting of several related Algonquin peoples, required the return of all white captives.  Richter’s story was written from the viewpoint of a young Lenni Lenape woman, Stone Girl (Mary Staunton), who was a white child captured by a Lenni Lenape (Delaware Indians) tribe when she was very young.  She has only a few memories of her white family and a few bits of information an older white woman captive kept repeating, reminding her of her English name and parents.  Stone Girl’s belief system and identity is completely Lenape.  To compound her alienation from her white heritage, she does not speak English.

Stone Girl married a warrior in the tribe and has a young child, so when the return of captives agreement becomes known, her husband takes her and their child further into Indian territory, hoping that will keep her safe from being forcibly returned to a white family she doesn’t even remember.  Stone Girl and her child are forcibly returned.   While Richter’s story disappointed me a bit, overall it left me feeling, not only sad for Stone Girl and her child, but sad about how so often political decisions made with the best of intentions, end up causing immense anguish for powerless individuals caught in the middle.

My father’s German ancestors settled into northeast PA, moving north of the Blue Mountain, in 1762.  That area had been an ancient Lenni Lenape (Delaware Indian) village, called Meniolagomeka.   Moravian missionaries had spent a few years in the 1750s erecting a mission in the area to attempt to convert the Lenni Lenape villagers to Christianity, before the Delaware were pushed out and white settlers moved in.  The French and Indian War, from 1754-1763, took a very heavy toll on the Lenni Lenape, from repeated forced relocations, disease and the ravages of this war.

The plight of Native Americans in the European settlement of America still haunts our American conscience, but so often we try to see these troubling situations in black and white, trying to choose a side, when in very personal terms, the larger political decisions, even well-meaning ones, sometimes inflicted enormous personal suffering on many individual people, on both sides, caught up in them.

I found an interesting 2001 article, Redeeming the Captives: Pennsylvania Captives Among the Ohio Indians, 1755-1765, by Matthew C. Ward, at JSTOR.  This article was originally published in The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography Vol. 125, No. 3 (Jul., 2001).  Ward writes that in this 10 year period in the mid-1700s, the French and Indian War had left the frontier border, especially in Pennsylvania, dangerously unprotected and exposed.

Ward explains that during that short decade, the Ohio Tribes waged an escalated campaign of taking white captives as a political and strategic effort, resulting in the capture of nearly two thousand white settlers – men, women and children.  Many of these captives fully-integrated into the Ohio tribal societies and despite the forced return of white captives at the end of the French and Indian War, many of these captives fled back to their Indian tribes or refused to leave their tribe.  In the Conrad Richter novel, Stone Girl finds out her Indian warrior husband has died in a battle and then her young son is killed, so the spoiler alert is she flees back to the Indians with a former captive, white man she has met, who, like her, had completely acculturated into Indian tribal life.

This phenomenon of white captives voluntarily returning to live with the tribe has been well-documented in early American historical accounts and was very common.  The European settlers, who considered the Native Americans uncivilized savages, were mystified by the frequency with which white captives chose to “go native” and stay with the Indian tribe.  The Delaware tribes adopted white captive children into their families and fully-integrated white captives, even adults, into their tribal social structure.

And that brings us to our modern politics and the frequent warnings of the dangers of tribalism, where sadly America, in a real sense, often truly feels like a country of strangers.

Interestingly,  Jonah Goldberg’s latest book, Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Tribalism, Populism, Nationalism, and Identity Politics Is Destroying American Democracy, Goldberg mentions this very situation in our early American experience:

“In his book Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, Sebastian Junger recounts how the English colonies in North America were vexed by a bizarre problem: Thousands of white Europeans colonists desperately wanted to be Indians, but virtually no Indians wanted to be Europeans.  “When an Indian child has been brought up among us, taught our language and habituated to our customs,” Benjamin Franklin explained in a letter to a friend in 1753, “if he goes to see his relations and make one Indian ramble with them, there is no persuading him ever to return.”  However, Franklin added, when whites were taken prisoner by the Indians, they’d go native and want to stay Indians, even after being returned to their families.  “Tho’ ransomed by their friends, and treated with all imaginable tenderness to prevail with them to stay among the English, yet in a short time they become disgusted with our manner of life… and take the first good opportunity of escaping again into the woods.”

As Junger observes, this phenomenon seemed to run against all of the assumptions of civilizational advance.  And yet it kept happening thousands of times over?  Why?  Because there is something deeply seductive about the tribal life. The Western way takes a lot of work.”

Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Tribalism, Populism, and Identity Politics Is Destroying American Democracy, Jonah Goldberg, page 13

The Western way, indeed, does take a lot of work to keep our diverse and complex society united for any common purposes and with the rise of populist and nationalist sentiments, and the deepening factionalization (tribalism), often fueled by obscene identity politics, America seems more and more like a nation of  screeching tribes, on a 24/7, media-fueled verbal warpath, rather than a nation united by any common beliefs or bonds.

So, where does America go from here?  How do we begin to heal the divides and unite our nation under even a few common beliefs?  How do we begin to neutralize the damage inflicted on American unity, by this malignant, 24/7 scorched earth spin information war, that only works to fuel outrage and mass hysteria?  Is there hope for our rabid American partisan to find some calmer middle ground and begin to work together to unite Americans around a few common beliefs and causes?

America began as an unique experiment – a project – that requires commitment from each generation of Americans to thrive and succeed.

There’s been another Trump-incited debate in recent days about what American immigrants owe America and JK posted a link to the National Review podcast, where Charles Cooke and David French debate whether American citizens, who immigrated here, owe America more gratitude than native-born American citizens

My personal belief is it’s not so much about showing “gratitude”; it’s that our republic needs more individuals making the personal choice to commit to the American project’s most important civic belief – treating our fellow citizens, regardless of which “tribal group in our diversity soup” they identify with, with respect.

I agreed with some points on both sides of the French/Cooke debate, but for me, debating who owes more “gratitude” misses the most important point.  It’s not about picking a group who owes more to America, it’s about ALL American citizens should decide whether they want to put in their oars and row, in working toward some common goals.

I believe the first core belief America needs, to even form an American team, that can function, is demanding, not “gratitude”, but demanding we all  commit to treating each other with respect.  Focusing on judging other Americans, based on their displays of “gratitude” or how they show respect for America, which President Trump will surely hype in his 2020 campaign, as he wraps himself in the American flag and works to polarize and incite more divisions, gets us nowhere.  I say this, even though, I am struggling with negative feelings toward Omar’s anti-Semitic remarks and her comments that I perceive as anti-American.   Still, working hard to treat other people with respect, here we go from the PA girl, is our keystone belief.  It’s our American central principle, if you will.   Pennsylvania is the Keystone State, just had to throw that in.

Our political leaders spend more time fueling divides and anger, with too many orchestrating and participating in personal smear campaigns.

A few weeks ago, I listened to the audiobook  Unified: How Our Unlikely Friendship Gives Us Hope for a Divided Country, a book written by Senator Tim Scott and former Congressman, Trey Gowdy.  The book explains their friendship, but in the process, both offer many examples of how to build a relationship between two people from very different backgrounds.  They both talk about how they worked hard to build trust in their relationship and that required being willing to, not only listen to each other’s differing perspectives, it meant trying to understand them.  Their friendship took commitment, like all trusting relationships do.  On a larger scale America needs leaders committed to building trust across partisan lines and leaders who will put the national interest above their personal or partisan interests.

In his book, Them: Why We Hate Each Other — And How To Heal, Senator Ben Sasse, relates this very point:

“Over the last year, I’ve had occasion to meet with a number of senior Chinese officials, and they’ve always been quick to point out — a kind of diplomatic trash talk — how young the United States is compared to China’s forty-five centuries of history.

Fair enough.  We’re babes, historically.  But (as long as we’re trash talking) age is not always what it’s cracked up to be.  And, besides: doesn’t this discussion miss the point?  China is a nation in the classic sense. It is blood and soil.  It’s great wall, a fascinating people, an extraordinary long-lived culture.

But America is something different.  America is an idea — it is a creed.

The American idea is a commitment to the universal dignity of persons everywhere.”

Them: Why We Hate Each Other — And How To Heal, written by Ben Sasse, page 134.

I agree with Sasse about “universal dignity of persons everywhere”, but being a homemaker, I believe we should work to clean up our own house, first, starting in our daily lives and hopefully our elected leaders and those with a public platform will commit to cleaning up our own political house, instead of just talking about which side is worse.

Frankly, I am ashamed of our American scorched earth spin information war, even though I am just a homemaker, with no political power.  The elected leaders in America represent all of us… and most of them, on both sides, are committed to this appalling spin war, where vicious, orchestrated smear campaigns and petty media spin games  – to incite, belittle, disparage each other – have become their default form of politics.  President Trump, AOC & her squad, and many other elected leaders, political operatives, and the media remain completely committed to waging this spin war.

This scorched earth spin information war is a national disgrace.  We should all commit to end it.

Leave a comment

Filed under American Character, American History, Civility, General Interest, Information War, Politics

More proponents of a “Kill Them With Kindness” plan

I like cutesy pictures and saccharin sweet sayings, so here’s what I look at on the hutch above my PC.

An op-ed in the Washington Post a few days ago, The Dalai Lama and Arthur Brooks: All of us can break the cycle of hatred, caught my attention.  It was a short piece about the deluge of angry word flying across the internet.  The Dalai Lama and Brooks write:

“Human beings have a deep longing to live together in harmony. People only feel completely alive when experiencing loving bonds with one another. Everyone, of all faiths and no faith, knows this truth, and most profess it openly.

And yet people fight incessantly. Even though war is blessedly absent in most countries today, these are deeply polarized times. Words too often are delivered with contempt; philosophical differences are likened to warfare; those who simply disagree with another are deemed “enemies.” Often it is on the Internet — which was launched as a forum for unity — where people attack one another, under the cloak of anonymity.”

Their answer to defeating the growing “war of words”, especially online,  is very simple:

“Respond with kindness. Want to say something insulting about people who disagree with you? Take a breath and show generosity, instead.”

As I am typing this, Twitter is aflutter with another Trump-generated outrage spin cycle about Trump’s vicious attack yesterday on the late senator, John McCain, while standing in front of Army tanks and the American flag.  This spin cycle will agitate for a few days, but nothing will really change, despite a firestorm of words flying in the media, covering this latest Trump spin blitz.

Our politics very much reflects our culture and despite many anti-Trump politicians and pundits asserting, “This (meaning Trump) is not who we are,” sadly, Trump very much reflects who we are.

The truth is, in an America where good character and being truthful matters, neither of our two thoroughly corrupt 2016 presidential contenders would have been their party’s choice.  If either party had any ethical standards, they would have rejected such completely mendacious candidates, who were under so heavy a cloud of corruption, and who both have glaring character flaws.   We embrace a culture dominated by social media celebrity, Reality TV stardom and a news media entrenched in promoting political spin cycles.  Absent this media dominated culture, neither Trump nor Hillary would have risen to the top and diligent investigative reporting in the news media would have sunk both of them.

You don’t need a degree in psychology or fancy clinical terms to see that both Trump and Hillary lie outrageously and they both have the disturbing habit of doubling down on their lies, even when there’s video of them saying or doing the exact thing they are denying.  They launch media spin campaigns to bolster their lies rather than admit they lied.

In real life most people with even a bit of a moral compass, recognize thoroughly mendacious people like Trump and Hillary as people to be wary of and untrustworthy, but in American politics now, most Americans chose one of them to lead America…

That speaks to our American culture, where too many people prefer to jump on the latest popular spin train rather than standing up for any sort of moral principles.

Many conservatives and NeverTrumpers made their peace with Trump as POTUS, happily consoling themselves with “But Gorsuch” type rationalizations and trying to skim past the recurring Trump-instigated outrage spin cycles, like this bizarre spectacle of Trump’s attack on McCain yesterday.  Likewise, many Democrats chose to ignore the obvious Clinton corruption.

How many Americans will choose to start being kind and generous when facing hostile attacks?  Well, judging from a couple of decades of watching… and experiencing, social media behavior, even a few people beginning to lead this “kill them with kindness” approach, assuredly, is a welcome glimmer of hope.

The Dalai Lama and Brooks “Kill Them With Kindness” plan, naturally, resonated with me, because it’s the only way to defeat the massive SPIN information war that drives, not only American media, but also American culture.

Since 1998, I’ve wished a thousand times, and more, that I had never posted any comments online, but perhaps working toward writing less about politics and more about things that matter much more to me might be a good thing. Sometimes all it takes is a small gesture to change the tone, so I welcome the Dalai Lama and Brooks suggestion and will work to try to change the only person I can control… myself (and the tone of my blog  &  social media comments).

14 Comments

Filed under Civility, Culture Wars, Food for Thought, General Interest, Inspirations

The American “can do spirit”

In our media culture, often the worst things become the main story and the good things pass without notice.  In the past days, the life of President George HW Bush has been remembered, analyzed and as is our present crazy political climate, both his public and private life have been constantly compared to President Donald J. Trump.

After the media canonization earlier this year of  Saint John McCain, that was really more a shallow demonization of Trump media attack, which even McCain’s daughter participated in, it’s worth noting the Bush family, following the example of HW, kept to the higher ground. The entire family treaded this important state occasion of a presidential funeral with grace, dignity and with total respect for our country.

As I thought about President George HW Bush’s presidency, I remembered that we were living in Germany, where my husband was stationed in the Army, during all but the last months of his presidency.  His steady leadership reached us and kept our spirits high through Desert Storm, which affected our family directly.  My husband deployed with 3rd Armored Division to Desert Storm.

We had complete confidence in his presidential leadership and his ability to lead as CINC.  That mattered, not only to the troops and military families; it mattered to all of America.  Despite our family being in a foreign country, far from home, I never felt unsure about his steadfast leadership and commitment to the American military.

Amidst the media’s HW feeding frenzy, much of it phony and little more than flimsy cover for attacks on Trump, I think it’s important to look higher.

Political lip service is cheap and plentiful, but the real deal of deep faith, honesty  loyalty and dedication to serve to others is rare.  HW lived this every day of his life.  Many of his own family work to follow his example of public service, but I think all of us can work to embrace his example too.

As this American president goes to his final resting place today, perhaps his life should be remembered most for how he treated other people.

All of us, no matter how rich or poor, no matter our political beliefs, no matter our sex or race or religion, can strive to follow HW’s exemplary example of treating others with respect, putting serving others ahead of ourselves, and most of all facing each day, with a look to the skies, a determined smile resolutely on our face, as we step, confidently ahead with good cheer.

We should all remember that  20 year-old, WWII fighter pilot, bravely going off to fight in the Pacific.  He was a part of an American generation confident in American values.

He flew high in his personal accomplishments, but through it all he remained happily grounded by his true faith and allegiance to his family and country.

My prayers are with his family for their loss; my gratitude is that he and his generation left a flicker of American “can do spirit” burning. We should honor and strive to keep it burning brightly in our hearts .

 

5 Comments

Filed under American Character, Civility, General Interest, Politics

A face worth respect and admiration

This year has been very difficult for me to get blog posts written, despite good intentions. My dearth of writing is a combination of my husband’s daily care takes up more of my time, leaving me emotionally drained many days.  Also, the constant media/Trump hysteria disgust me to the point of total burnout on following the news.  Added to all that, often lately my old problem of sitting down to write, then getting stuck on what to write about strikes, resulting in more time spent talking myself into defeat about my desire to write than I do actually writing.  I keep wondering if anything I write makes even a drop of difference in the vast raging seas of political punditry and commentary.

The question that swirls in my mind lately is does what I write just throw more fuel on our extreme partisanship or does it offer anything informative, positive, or hopeful?  It’s a challenge for me not to write Trump, Dem and media bashing invective

Ordinarily, I’d be totally on board  writing about serious and currently popular cultural topics like civility and rebuilding some common ground, but often I think my cynical son probably has it right when he insists we have the society we deserve and he sees 2016, with two thoroughly corrupt candidates, as the fitting candidates for our “almost too stupid to exist” culture.  Despite being a very Pollyanna-type person, lately I wonder if perhaps he’s right, then I dig in on my Libertybelle American cheerleader beliefs and refuse to surrender to the spreading cultural and political corruption, the disturbing escalating partisan hatred and the chaos resulting from leadership vacuums everywhere I turn.

Negativity aside, I’ve seen some good pieces written on civility and positive advice for our ailing spirit.  Here are the links to a four-part series Carly Fiorina recently wrote.  I had mentioned the first part in a previous blog post and all four are very positive and worth a read:

Carly Fiorina: Between Trump and the media, ‘Who’s Zoomin’ Who?’

Carly Fiorina: It’s never as easy as the politicians think it is

Carly Fiorina: Stop waiting on Washington to fix our problems

Carly Fiorina: Who I’ll vote for this November

The thing I liked about Carly Fiorina as a presidential candidate, was something I consider a very important trait of a good leader – she invested a lot of time and energy into reading up on issues and policies.  She showed up to debates very prepared to debate real issues and policies.  When she gave interviews, she could speak articulately about serious matters and she had a lot of positive ideas.  I will always prefer leaders who display the good character trait of investing a lot of time into studying and preparing when tackling complex issues or taking seriously their duty to any office or position they hold.  During the GOP primary Trump attacked “that face”, but in my book, Carly Fiorina is a face worth respect and admiration.

2 Comments

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

America’s black vomit

Whenever you think our American political freak show can’t become more bizarre, just wait a day or two.  Since 2015, when Donald J. Trump, tacky, brash, longtime Democrat funder, reality TV star, entered the 2016 presidential race, our national political news became The Trump Show.

President Trump, a leader who prefers a loudmouthed, ill-informed carnival barker approach to setting the moral tone of his presidency, remains more a symptom of our dysfunctional American polity than the disease.  Trump is like black vomit, which although startling and jarring to see, remains but an outward sign of bleeding in your digestive tract.  If you start puking up black vomit, it’s a sign of some serious underlying problem.   Trust me, from my experience,  when I tell you, black vomit is an alarming sight.

Here again, America’s black vomit doesn’t only spew from President Trump’s lips.  It  spews from both left and right, from prominent American politicians and  “thought leaders” down to rabid, brain-dead citizens taking to both literal streets and the internet by-ways.

America endures political incitement efforts 24/7.  President Trump and Maxine Waters level incitement may be direct assaults on our civil order, but they are not alone.  The relentless media scorched earth SPIN information war being waged via all avenues of information – on TV, on social media and online forums and even in our entertainment, bombard us non-stop with extreme politicization.

Along with the Trump/Waters nuclear option verbal attacks, many other partisan verbal battles continue across the American media landscape.  Weaponized words bombard us daily, blowing up not only every vestige of civility in our culture, but also reducing our language to a minefield of hidden meanings and subterfuge of cynical political distortions and fabrications.  We are now living in an America where it really does seem to be a relativistic hell depending on what the meaning of  “is” is.

A Trump mouthpiece, David Bossie,  uttered the phrase “cotton pickin” to a black pundit on Fox News and America erupted into a racial debate, even though around the South, the phrase “cotton pickin”, being uttered by both blacks and whites,  is as ubiquitous as sweet tea or pecan pie.

Jim Webb, former U.S. senator, wrote a gut-check op-ed about our extreme politicization of our language and crushing political correctness.  Webb writes:

So, let’s sum this up. The host did not know what Mr. Bossie meant by using the phrase “cotton picking” and indicated that he and Fox News do not agree with it. In its opening sentence on the controversy, Yahoo characterized “cotton picking” as a “racist phrase.” And now I guess the rest of us are supposed to put down “cotton picking” as a cultural no-no that cannot be uttered in public because it violates the ever-growing lexicon of political correctness.

Really? Let me offer a few thoughts.

First, “Cotton picker” has long been a common phrase in much of the South, with no racial connotations. Throughout my life it has been slung around with about the same level of camaraderie as, “hey, dude.” When I was a kid there was even a country song, mostly instrumental, called “Cotton Picker.” Another popular song, sung mostly on the white folks bandwidth, laments “Them old cotton fields back home.” The phrase “cotton picking” has been a part of normal usage for generations from white to white, as in, “you don’t know a cotton picking thing about what you’re talking about.”

Second, I don’t know Mr. Payne but if he has Southern heritage he should not feel unique, personally or as an African-American, to have “some relatives who picked cotton.”

Memo to Mr. Payne: I’m proud of my mother’s journey, Joel. Very few people in this country of any ethnic origin had it harder than my mother, and nobody complained less. And along the way, my mother picked a LOT of cotton. She also picked a lot of strawberries. And harder still for the energy it took, she chopped a lot of cotton – not many people even remember what that meant.

http://www.jameswebb.com/news/my-cotton-pickin-mama

President Trump and Maxine Waters are two peas in a putrid demagogic pod.  They may point at each other and howl about the awfulness of the other, but the truth is they both behave as vile, ignorant, boorish cretins.  That is the truth.  Sadly, both of them place their partisan flame-throwing and incitement efforts above setting decent examples of civil behavior.  They have plenty of company among the media at fueling these word game controversies.  In the wee hours, the other night I retweeted this one:

libertybelle Retweeted Kyle Griffin

Leftists see ominous things in words that aren’t there. Around the military, they pitch tents and set up “camps” as shelter – even for American soldiers, we set up CAMPS…

libertybelle added,

The Left’s outrage machine, which imposes political correctness on America, feeds off  of word controversy, much of it generated via spin attacks they wage on social media.  The right moved into playing this faux outrage game when  Trump parlayed his personal Twitter feed into a potent front against the Left and mainstream media’s lock on controlling the “national conversation” in America.  Many pro-Trump pundits laud him as being a “disruptor” and equate his fact-free, high-octane tweets and vicious name-calling as  “winning” against the Left’s spin, but each battle tears a bit more of the soul of our country apart.

Looking back, when Barack Obama became president a longtime political barrier was demolished.  A black man holding the highest elected office in America rightly garnered a great deal of media attention.  However, the deep partisan divides, even in 2008, created constant partisan flashpoints and fissures of unrest.

Our present bizarre political climate didn’t form in a vacuum.  It follows decades of polarizing Leftist SPIN information warfare waged against the Right and the American people by the Left and mainstream media.  The Clinton media gurus introduced the SPIN type info war into American politics and from there it blossomed into an all-out culture war against the Right and conservatives.  President Obama used the Oval Office to foment racial discord and aid and abet the Black Lives Matter street activism against the police.  Anger and feelings of political alienation fed the Right, which led to the Tea Party movement.

In 2016, both parties sold their souls to two very corrupt, extreme narcissists, who were willing to do or say anything to win.  The fall-out from 2016 still litters our political landscape and the ruthless scorched earth information war continues, unabated.

America loses when morally bankrupt politicians and media promote and perpetuate this extremely corrupt spin information warfare against the American people.  Spin cycles churn at such a fast rate now that perceptions and reactions far outpace the rate at which facts begin to catch up.  Each side works to capitalize on that fact-void window of opportunity to lob verbal assaults, all to try to galvanize public opinion among our increasingly gullible and easily led public, which prefers to react rather than think or carefully study issues.  It’s a shameless media shell game to dupe the American people, who have been brainwashed on Oprahesque emoting for decades.  Neither side will ever win this spin mass media information war.

Only when some principled leaders on both sides renounce this scorched earth spin information war and begin the difficult process of reconstructing some common ground in our political landscape will we be able to begin rebuilding and uniting America around some shared American values again.

Digging out from under this suffocating pile of spin rubbish won’t be easy, but each small effort at rejecting reactionary spin sets us on a better path.  I’m trying to take time to sift through these endless spin bombardments.  My goal is to cultivate a habit of rejecting joining in any spin-driven outrage…  from either side.

It’s way past time for Americans to calm down for a change.  Let’s all stop being mindless reactionaries and work at learning how to be good citizens, who protect and respect The Constitution of the United States.  Even more than that let’s treat all people with respect.

Leave a comment

Filed under American Character, Civility, General Interest, Information War, Politics

The Plan

“A republic may, likewise, be brought to its original form, without recourse to ordinances for enforcing justice, by the mere virtues of a single citizen, by reason that these virtues are of such influence and authority that good men love to imitate them, and bad men are ashamed to depart from them.”

—-Discourses on Livy, Book III, Chapter 1, For a sect or Commonwealth to last long it must often be brought back to its Beginnings

Many years ago, in my messages of mhere adventure, I wondered how on earth to bring this story to a conclusion.  I had already written about the SPIN brand of information warfare on the Excite messages boards, during the scorched earth impeachment mess.  I had realized it relied on a mass media domination strategy akin to swarming.  All the ideas that floated through my head were centered on how to, not only, break through the message wall, but how to DEFEAT SPIN information warfare in America.

The usual military strategic thinker, myself included, would keep focusing on ways to overwhelm it or shut it down.  That is how the military strategic mind assesses “defeating the enemy”.  Every avenue my mind could imagine focused on overwhelming SPIN.  I pondered and pondered, thinking, like a guy, – the overwhelming force approach and all those options were scary, especially for someone like me who abhors violence and is scared of guns.  So, then I thought, about Sun Tzu, and the answer hit me.  Just speak the truth, day in, day out, calmly, politely and with me, there’s gonna be some snark, because that’s just ME, lol.  A whole lot of other people will need to speak the truth too.

“For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill.  To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.”

— Sun Tzu, Offensive Strategy

In 2016, Donald Trump, through a series of events, first the corrupt Bill Clinton triangulation (GOP insurgency) effort, giving Trump BILLIONS of dollars in free media, then Trump’s gift for showmanship, acquiring some 24/7 media avenues (FOX, major pundits, newspapers) and most of all his personal Twitter account, managed to break through the Left’s lock on the 24/7 news SPIN cycle, which had been maintained since the 90s.

Trump managed to break through the Left’s SPIN lock, by outrunning their OODA loops, he could “steal the show”, often several times a day, with an outrageous tweet or comment, which resulted in faster SPIN cycles and that left his SPIN “Fake News” agitprop operators (most of the mainstream media) recycling through old Trump SPIN messaging. They were back on the “Trump the fascist messaging – with the orchestrated military parade controversy again). The Trump taxes, Trump women, Trump the racist are all orchestrated SPIN agitprop messaging salvos.

While Trump did break through their messaging wall, both sides are locked down in this scorched earth, yet neither can suppress nor defeat the other, so on it drags.

The Left’s SPIN apparatus is headed by the Clintons, it includes a large network of operatives and people, such as Terry Lenzner, who provide the Clintons with their own private, global intelligence apparatus. The Cody Shearer memo, speaks to the Lenzner connection again. Also closely aligned with the Clintons is Sid Blumenthal, who runs the Clintons SPIN agitprop operations, which probably explains why I was hunted down and attacked.  I suspect there was hostile infiltration in the Clinton’s SPIN operations effort then & now.   The Clintons also have several friendly retired generals, to bolster whatever SPIN, they are peddling.  One of those Clinton-friendly generals was recruited in 1998. How many others were involved remains an open question.  Sid Blumenthal’s operations need to be investigated.

In my search for a way to defeat SPIN, those many years ago, I kept asking myself:  What is SPIN?  By focusing on the information warfare aspect of it, I was missing the simple, obvious answer.  What defeats SPIN (LIES) is the TRUTH.  My objective is to peacefully and politely, find a national platform to speak the TRUTH.   My other imperatives are that no violence be used in this effort and that no laws be broken.  I believe in playing by the rules and in America that is The Constitution.

Gaining that foothold on the national stage has not been achieved, yet, but that is my goal. I am not alone, otherwise I would have already been silenced (been there, done that many times over the years, with computer “issues”. How many people are helping me, I have no earthly idea. That is the truth – I don’t know.  My plan is very simple really – WHEN I get a foothold on the national stage, I intend to stand there, day in, day out and speak the truth, peacefully and politely.   Let’s call it “Sue’s Storytime Hour”,  since Trump’s already got the road rallies aced and the Clintons own the 24/7 mainstream media airwaves.   I’d like just a few minutes a day to give reporters my side of the story, to be entered into the national SPIN info war mix too;-)  Anything wrong with that?  I always try to be nice to people, so I intend to just be ME. I wrote my ideas on this in my Penzu journals, so if the 2 state judges, who have my password, are reading that – there it is out in the open – the only thing that can defeat a SPIN tsunami, where they will turn my friends and family against me, put them up there to present me as some “threat” or deranged person is to come forward and speak.  Hopefully, I’ll have a few other good guys helping me speak the truth.  America is long overdue for some heaping doses of high-octane brand THE TRUTH!

I was rather alarmed yesterday, when my one son sent me a private facebook message joking about some horrible computer game he was playing “Plague” or something like that.  My immediate thought, was “Oh shit, what if they lie to these generals that this is a bioweapon” emergency”… In 1998, they lied to a retired general, to recruit him to attack me in my home, all over comments, which I had posted about SPIN … and…  comments such as “no one is above the law”.  I refused to be silenced and kept arguing against their SPIN messaging,  pointing out how it was LIES.  They couldn’t silence me.

So, think about that – what happened in 2016 with the online trolls, in comment sections, was considered such a new threat, but it happened to me in 1998 on the Excite message boards…

That indicates, to me at least, that they have been operating with our national security people, unaware, until the last few years.  With the attack on me, the one thing I can guarantee is the general who was played to attack an enlisted family – was lied to – he was deliberately fed false intelligence.  He would not ever have attacked my home otherwise. This isn’t about me – it’s about they turned American soldiers against each other – for partisan political purposes. That can not stand in America – it must be exposed.

When this is over all I really want to know is why people, many in my own family, believed all these lies and why do they hate me this much?  That’s the answer I want.  I try to be nice to everyone, I like to help people and I don’t even have a speeding ticket.  I like to cook and sew and make gifts for my family and friends.  I like to do volunteer work.

I just wanted to write this – anyone reading this not aware of the whole long messages of mhere story, I am sorry you’ll have some catching up to do, to even begin to understand this post.

I wanted to add this bit of personal explanation:  Why I have continued to work every day since I escaped from being sent to a state mental hospital, where they were trying commit me to a state mental hospital permanently, is because I swore an oath to defend The Constitution against all enemies, both foreign and domestic.

Words matter.

Keeping your word, is a sacred TRUST.

The other reason, I continue on, is, it is my DUTY under the Code of Conduct – I must make every effort to escape.  I never could have imagined being attacked like this, on American soil, by a retired general who was fed lies, but no matter what, I will continue to work to expose those events.

#TheDeluxeRadioFreeAmericaCampaign

Leave a comment

Filed under Civility, Corrupt Media Collusion, General Interest, Information War, Messages of mhere, Politics, Public Corruption

“A few leaves of grass” for remembrance

20171125_132102-1.jpg

We had a very quiet Thanksgiving and only one of our kids could come home.  I cooked the complete turkey meal and baked a couple of pumpkin pies that morning too.  By early evening our son had gone home.  All of the dishes were cleaned up and the leftovers put away.  I spent a few hours working in my sewing/craft room, then picked up a book that I like to read bits and pieces from often.

I keep War Letters:  Extraordinary Correspondence from American Wars, edited by Andrew Carroll, on a small table by my recliner.  A few years ago, I mentioned General Pershing’s famous WWI letter to his young son, Warren, which I came across in this book.   General Pershing’s letter to his son was a father explaining the important values Americans fights to protect and preserve.  It’s probably my favorite letter in the book, but a close second is a letter written in 1918,  by Maude B. Fisher, an American Red Cross nurse.  She penned one of the most touching letters to Mrs. Hogan, the mother of a young soldier, Richard Hogan, who died of influenza in their hospital.  This wonderful nurse took the time to pen a very personal letter, so that a grieving mother would know how her son died.  The letter includes details of how brave and cheerful the dying soldier was, the care he received, and even more than that this nurse wrote the details of the soldier’s burial:

“He was laid to rest in the little cemetery of Commercy, and sleeps under a simple wooden cross among his comrades who, like him, have died for their country.  His grave number is 22, plot 1.  His aluminum identification tag is on the cross , and a similar one around his neck, both bearing his serial number, 2793346.

The plot of the grave in the cemetery where your son is buried was given to the Army for our boys and the people of Commercy will always tend it with loving hands and keep it fresh and clean.  I enclose here a few leaves of grass that grows near in a pretty meadow.

A big hill overshadows that place and the sun was setting behind it just as the Chaplain said the last prayer over your boy.”

page 171, War Letters: Extraordinary Correspondence from American Wars, edited by Andrew Carroll

No one required this nurse to write to this grieving mother, because the Army notified fallen soldiers’ families, but she cared enough to want this mother to have more details.  The book offers a few details about each letter.  Mrs. Hogan lost two of her other children back home in Woburn, Massachusetts, during the 1918 influenza epidemic.  It must have been a great comfort for her to know her son far away was dutifully cared for as he lay dying and that he was given a proper burial.  And imagine her relief knowing exactly where her son was buried.

Thoughtful good deeds, like Maude Fisher’s, used to be very common when most people were reared to put other people before themselves and when quietly doing the right thing was drilled into children and served as the cultural norm.

Almost every good deed now is posted on social media, hyped as some fake gimmicky publicity stunt for attention, or used to sell oneself as more caring than someone else.

Maude Fisher reminds me of the same kind of nurse my mother was.  My mother sent me a little book of Psalms and prayers in 1980, when I was far away from home and going through a hard time in my life.  My mother explained how she came to have this little book:

“… died in 1964 and this booklet was unclaimed by her relatives.  She was a lovely old lady and it was a rewarding experience caring for her.  I am giving this to you Susie, as over the years I found pleasure in reading psalms and prayers.

As you know I’m not a person to force religion on anyone.  I do have faith in God and you will find comfort in reading psalms in times when you’re distressed and unhappy.”

In 1980, I was young and considered myself more agnostic than faithful, but my mother was right.  Over the years, I have picked up this little book or my Bible and turned to the Psalms when I feel  “distressed and unhappy”.

In 2001, my mother was hospitalized for several weeks and I began to worry a great deal, even though she and my sisters assured me that she was improving.  My mother kept telling me there was no need to come to PA, because she would be out of the hospital soon.  Still, I worried and I mailed this booklet to PA and asked my sister to take it to my mother in the hospital.  My mother was happy to see it again and to read it.

My mother died suddenly and unexpectedly on the day she was supposed to be discharged to a local rehabilitation facility for some follow-on care.

My mother quietly helped as many people as she could.  She never talked about it, she just did it, because it was the right thing to do.  People like Maude Fisher and my mother used to be the rule, not the exception.

I don’t have the religious education to argue Christian theology and truthfully if something doesn’t make sense to me, like so much in most religions, I refuse to say, “I believe.”   However, I think having rules or guidelines to serve as guard rails in life, to keep you on track, and sign posts to keep from getting lost, are very helpful.  I reread the Sermon on the Mount often.  I can understand that.  Matthew 6:1-4 has served as the guide for how I try to live my life and it assuredly was how my mother and Maude Fisher lived theirs:

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%205-7

Watching America’s endless game of partisan one upmanship has caused me to reevaluate my own strident partisan views.   Truly, so much of the extreme emotional investment in these “political hills to die on” won’t matter at all if the country is filled with raging partisans, who hate each other.  The hate bodes poorly, with many Americans who refuse to even talk to anyone with opposing political views, some want those with opposing views silenced, and there are even some wishing those with opposing partisan views were dead.

We could all take a page from Maude Fisher’s and my mother’s book.  Caring about other people is about more than clicking “like” on social media feeds or posting about every shallow thought that pops into your head.   I wonder how many people attending a funeral today would take the time away from their smartphone to even notice that the sun was setting when a young soldier was buried or the pretty meadow.   Assuredly, I doubt hardly anyone would take the time to pick “a few leaves of grass” for remembrance and pen a letter like this to a grieving mother.

2 Comments

Filed under American Character, Civility, Food for Thought, General Interest, Uncategorized