Category Archives: Culture Wars

Threads of Civic Virtue

“God grants liberty only to those who love it and are always ready to defend it.”

– Daniel Webster, 1834

I’ve been spending more time sorting through sewing and craft supplies lately, trying to organize my sewing room, than following politics and the news. However, being an inveterate news junkie is a habit that isn’t easy to break, so I’m still reading some news online daily.  Watching the endless scorched earth battles of President Donald Trump pitted against the Left, the Democratic machine, and the mainstream media disgusts me and fills me with great concern for America’s future.  I wonder, “Who are we and what really matters to us?”

This post isn’t going to be about needlework, but needlework is the thread with which I’m going to try and sew the larger issue of liberty and personal sacrifice to preserve liberty into a blog post.

Through watching needlework videos from around the world on YouTube, I came across some “community” of counted cross-stitchers called “floss tube”, who post videos about their counted cross-stitch projects.  The usual floss tube video seems to be about an hour, divided into sections of show and tell about finished projects, works-in-progress (WIPs), and “Haul” (more cross-stitch junk purchased).  Then there are a few floss tube contributors, like the expert needlewoman , Mary Rose, named after Mary, Queen of Scots, who present much shorter, highly educational and deeply thoughtful videos that deal with much larger life lessons.

The poem she is referring to is a poem, The Life That I Have, which she stitched and is combining with a floral design.  Sounds silly and pointless, until you consider the poem:

The text of the poem, by Leo Marks:[1]

The life that I have
Is all that I have
And the life that I have
Is yours.
The love that I have
Of the life that I have
Is yours and yours and yours.
A sleep I shall have
A rest I shall have
Yet death will be but a pause.
For the peace of my years
In the long green grass
Will be yours and yours and yours.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Life_That_I_Have

Mary Rose explains the history of the poem and how it became famous, in the WWII movie, Carve Her Name with Pride, which is based on the true life story of British spy heroine, Violette Szabo, who was just an ordinary young woman working in a department store in London at 19:

“Just four years before, she was Violette Bushell, a pretty, Paris-born girl selling perfume at the Bon Marché department store in South London. Then she met Etienne Szabo, a charming, 31-year-old officer with the French Foreign Legion, at a Bastille Day parade, and they married five weeks later. But Etienne soon shipped off to North Africa, where General Erwin Rommell and his Panzer divisions were on the move through the sands of Egypt. Szabo was killed in October 1942, during the Second Battle of El Alamein. He would posthumously receive the Croix de Guerre, the highest French military award for bravery in battle, but he would never see his daughter, Tania, born to Violette in London just months before he died.”

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/behind-enemy-lines-with-violette-szabo-1896571/#6ADyiWlgBSWG0i4T.99
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This young WWII widow, with a young daughter,  joined the British Special Operations Executive (SOE).  She was captured by the Nazis after being injured parachuting into France on a mission.  She was executed in 1944 in the German concentration camp, Ravensbrück.

The poem above is a poem code, which Leo Marks used as Violette Szabo’s code to send messages.  Leo Marks was a British cryptographer in World War II.

Violette Szabo, didn’t have the education or background to be a likely choice for a SOE agent, but in that day recruiters for the SOE were looking for unique people, with unique character and skill sets.  The Smithsonian Magazine article, Behind Enemy Lines with Violette Szabo, describes her:

“…she was fluent in French and, though just 5-foot-5, athletic and surprisingly strong for her size. She was already a crack shot in a family comfortable around guns and target practice; under rigorous SOE training, she became an accomplished markswoman. Reports described her as a persistent and “physically tough self-willed girl,” and “not easily rattled.””

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/behind-enemy-lines-with-violette-szabo-1896571/

Like so many of her generation, Violette Szabo, knew liberty is precious and worth fighting to preserve.  How she lived though, by courageous self-sacrifice, says more than all the focus-group tested speeches, ever delivered  by self-serving, pompous, iconic feminist windbags, like Hillary Clinton.  This 23 year-old war widow, with a tiny daughter, parachuted into France and here’s how she conducted herself:

“Two days after landing, a car transporting Szabo to a rendezvous was stopped at a German checkpoint. With weapons and ammunition in the car, Szabo and the resistance fighter accompanying her had no choice but to open fire and try to flee in the confusion. Szabo twisted her ankle, but urged her companion to go on without her while she sheltered behind a tree and provided covering fire. According to two of her biographers, Szabo held off the German pursuers until she ran out of ammunition, when she was captured and taken away for interrogation, still defiant and cursing her captors.”

http://www.theweek.co.uk/64502/violette-szabo-how-ww2-heroine-earned-her-george-cross

How important messages are sent and received matters.   Leo Marks used his original love poem as a secret code.  Violette Szabo’s selfless courage speaks of a civic virtue, desperately needed, but rarely found in our rudderless trash culture these days.

In today’s world, where checking the “right” boxes for educational background and resumé or knowing the “right” important people matters more than actual character or talents, I doubt our intelligence “experts” would even notice the talents of a heroine like Violette Szabo.  Assuredly, assessing character is a rare ability in America, where the two major parties’ 2016 presidential candidates were both pathological liars and willing to say or do anything to win.  That millions of people cheer on two such morally-bankrupt characters speaks volumes about we, the American people, and what we think matters.

My blog is just my opinions.  When I write posts, often I walk away not sure I expressed what I really intended to say.  Storytelling isn’t my strong suit.  In fact, in most things in my life, I don’t have a great deal of talent.  That’s the truth.  I love needlework, but I’m not a “natural” at it and I don’t produce any heirloom-quality pieces.  Most of what I stitch are small or medium, not highly complicated patterns and I try to keep the back of my work as neat as the front.  My writing is much the same… a great love of writing, but not nearly the skills and talent, that I wish I had.  With just about everything I have done in my life, I had to practice… a lot, to become even halfway decent at it.  So, I stitch things that I like, even small, simple things, like this, that I want to turn into a small quilted wall-hanging for in my I love America room:

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Being willing to listen, with not only an open mind, but an open heart matters.  Often, not only messages come in surprising ways (like via a needlework video), sometimes they are delivered by highly unlikely messengers, like Mary Rose, sitting in her  “stitchblisscorner” chatting about needlework.




Here’s a link to a 2015 news story about Violette Szabo’s medals:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/11755734/WWII-heroine-Violette-Szabos-George-Cross-fetches-260k.html

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Filed under Culture Wars, Food for Thought, General Interest, Inspirations, Military, Things That Matter

Having your cake and eating it too

The U.S. Marine Corps is now under fire for a sex scandal.

At the center of this scandal is a facebook group called Marines United, with 30,000 followers.  Marshall Chiles, a former Marine, spoke out about the good things the group does.  From The Daily Beast:

““Marines United is a group of males coming together who can understand each other. The purpose of the group is to create camaraderie, creating that same feeling that we had when we were all in the military,” he said.”

And:

“Marines United was created with the intention to fill a void in the wake of the multiple scandals, long wait times and claims for compensation that took years to approve by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Chiles said. Additionally, the private Facebook chat room was there to assist struggling veterans and active-duty members who were having thoughts of suicide or just simply struggling with their day-to-day lives. 

“Taking out the negative that is overshadowing Marines United right now, there were a lot of positives that came out of the group. You had Go Fund Me pages set up for funerals or just helping out a veteran or service member or a food drive because the VA is not accessible and some veterans have to drive over a hundred miles just to get to a VA hospital,” Chiles said.”

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/03/16/marines-united-spokesman-nude-photo-scandal-shows-why-women-shouldn-t-serve.html

On March 6, 2017, CNN reported:

“The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) has opened an investigation into the online posting of potentially hundreds of explicit photos of current and former female Marines and other service members, CNN has confirmed.

A private Facebook group called “Marines United” contained a link to a Google Drive folder, where the photos were being stored, a US defense official told CNN. Members on the site solicited others to submit photos of women without their knowledge. The cloud storage folder has been removed at the request of the military, the official said. It was not clear to the Defense Department how many current and former Marines may be involved in potential wrongdoing. A former Marine originally brought the matter to the attention of the Marine Corps last month.”
U.S. senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, who touts herself as a champion of women in the U.S. military, lashed out at Marine Corps, commandant, General Robert Neller:

“New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand called Neller’s testimony unsatisfactory and called into question actions that have been taken to hold Marines accountable for reports of cyber harassment that date back years.

“I don’t have a good answer for you,” Neller said. “I’m not going to sit here and duck around this thing. I’m not. I’m responsible. I’m the commandant. I own this. And we are going to have to, and I know you’ve heard it before, but we’re going to have to change how we see ourselves and how we do, how we treat each other

Neller addressed subculture that enabled the sexual harassment and exploitation of female Marine. “We all have to commit to getting rid of this perversion of our culture,” he said. “We will take action to remove this stain on our Marine Corps.””

Alas, the Marine Corps leadership faces political pressure by politicians, like Gillibrand, feminist activists (many of them ensconced in the Defense Department civilian positions) and many hard-core feminist service members (most of them in the officer ranks, who view everything through their own career advancement).  What always takes a back seat to feminist objectives, pushed by these feminist “equal opportunity” zealots, is making decisions based on the best war-fighting capabilities.

Modern feminism is a total con game.  It’s a belief system that belies human nature and the real world of male and female interactions.

Modern feminism requires you to set aside all the things you know from experience and pretend that males and females are interchangeable parts in every field of work.

A few weeks back I wrote a “book report”  blog post on Charles Eric Maine’s 1958 dystopian novel, World Without Men, which centered on our world, 5,000 years into the future, that evolved into only female babies being born.  He grounded this idea on birth control creating artificial sterility in women (this was written before The Pill) and over time nature started overcompensating,  by producing more and more females.   Eventually, the situation reached crisis point with so few males being born, that scientists were feverishly working to maintain calm and to figure out ways to keep babies being born.  Eventually, males stopped being produced, but scientists were able to artificially inseminate women, who kept producing all females.  He used the demographic statistic about how after major wars, where many young men die, a larger number of boys are born, to build this plot device around.

Of course, his nightmare scenario hasn’t happened, but many countries, where abortion and birth control drastically reduced family size, a different demographic crisis is taking place.  Many countries don’t have a birth rate to sustain their countries.  In Maine’ novel, a lie is perpetuated to convince women that men became obsolete.   Without men, there are no more wars and  “peace” is maintained… rigid conformity to rules, rigid indoctrination and international committees, that use computer intelligence to help make the “best” decisions to maintain stability.  In this world, women are sent to centers to have babies, when the government informs them it’s their duty to reproduce.  Family structure has been eradicated in this world and mothers do not ever see or hold their children, with government-run centers rearing all children, to be good citizens.  In this all woman world, euthanasia has become a government function too, where  the Department of Mortic Revenue controls who dies and when they die.

In that book report, I wrote:

“The feminist revolution spawned not just a battle for women to have equal access to jobs and equal pay for equal work, but an endless war against the patriarchal system (code for western civilization) and at its core a hatred and complete disdain for men and all things that are traditionally considered masculine, manly, or male attributes, beyond mere differences in genitalia.

I reject feminism, because it’s not just some benign battle for “fairness” in the workplace or expanding opportunities for women, it’s about tearing down the entire framework of western civilization.”

https://libertybellediaries.com/2017/02/27/an-extreme-feminist-utopia/

I served a short time in the U.S. Army and integration of women in the military has gone through endless cycles of programs to find ways to integrate women into more career fields in the military.  The military has also had to cope with endless problems with sex scandals, pregnancy when servicewomen are deployed, single-parent issues and other social problems with having young males and females living and working in close confines for extended periods of time.

Feminist activists, who promote women in combat, as the last barrier to “equal opportunity” in the military,  don’t place  war-fighting capability as the number one concern in all military operations.  For them, it’s always about feminism first.  Many female service members serve honorably and with great distinction, so my point is not to diminish their contributions.  My point is that policy decisions should  be set with the priority being whatever promotes the best war fighting force PERIOD.  If females aren’t as strong as men and there are grueling brute force jobs (like combat jobs), then they should remain all-male units.  There are enough studies that pinpoint where the female anatomy falls short in these skill sets, so why pretend males and females are interchangeable?

With this latest Marine Corps scandal, the news reports mention female Marines having their photos and sex videos put online by old boyfriends, something referred to as revenge porn, by male Marines (mostly former Marines), who are all part of an online social media group.  It must be stated that this entire sexting culture is repulsive and detrimental to young people, especially young women, but this too is an off-shoot of the modern feminist movement, where female liberation involved sexual liberation, and  demolishing the sanctity of marriage.

Here are some things I believe,  from being a female in the military.  I believe most men in the military believe women in the military are sluts or lesbians.   I experienced male soldiers, whom I did not even know, coming up to me and saying sexually provocative things.   I noticed that due to the extreme numerical imbalance of so many men and so few females, that you could have been the ugliest girl in America and in that environment, many men would still be hitting on you.  I noticed that many girls became more sexually promiscuous in that environment than they probably would have at home.  I noticed that male soldiers often talked very disparagingly about all the pregnant female soldiers, yet none of those female soldiers became pregnant by immaculate conception.  I told men who said inappropriate things to me that I am a lady and don’t appreciate being talked to like that.  By conducting myself like a lady, most men treated me respectfully and they even told other soldiers to watch their language around  me.  All this I observed over 30 years ago and yet the same problems persist in the military.

The sexual culture among young people today is way more promiscuous, casual, and without social stigmas and societal norms to rein in the excesses.   In this brave new world, young women making sex videos and sexting are “normal” behavior.   The language in America has coarsened a great deal in the past 50 years.  Cultural norms no longer exist as guideposts to civil discourse and behavior, in the civilian world.

So, here we are with the U.S. military in the midst of more social engineering, thanks to President Obama and the mainstream media and liberal pundits cheer.  The feminist activists cheer too.

From this amoral American culture,  young men and women volunteer to serve in uniform.  They bring all their social mores (or lack thereof) with them.  Many of our best leaders have left the military, discouraged and disillusioned with President Obama’s military transformation.  We have serious readiness problems, we have serious leadership problems.

Commanders always get beat up about why they haven’t fixed all these recurring male/female problems in the military or why men would treat fellow female service members like this.  Well, because everyone has to pretend that all the young men and women in the military are “professionals” and interchangeable parts.  Everyone has to pretend that men and women don’t consider some female behaviors (like making porn videos) sluttish or that some male conduct is that of a cad ( like posting nude photos and videos of an old girlfriend online without her knowledge or consent).  Those beliefs about sexual conduct and decorum were supposed to be vanquished by the sexual revolution… but they weren’t.

Commanders can’t speak honestly about the integration problems that crop up, because to call bullshit to the feminist crap is career suicide..

The real joke is that what the feminist harpies, like Gillibrand, demand is they want males in the military to behave like gentlemen and uphold chivalrous conduct… which modern feminism killed…

They want to have their cake and eat it too and the cherry on top for a snide feminist, “champion of women in the military”, like Gillibrand, is to grand-stand, berating a Marine Corps general, who has no choice but to sit there and take it like a, ummm, gentleman

Stay tuned… more to come on “modern feminism” in future posts

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Filed under Culture Wars, General Interest, Military, Politics

An extreme feminist Utopia

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A 1973 card I bought in my early teens, when I first began collecting quotes.

The Thoreau quote above struck a chord with me when I was around 13 years old.   Most people go with the flow, but I’ve always been a contrarian.   Sometimes, well, make that most of the time, life is probably easier if you don’t march to a different drummer.  The thing about refusing to buy into things, just because “that’s the way it’s always been” or “experts say it is so” or “what makes you think you know more than all the brilliant people, who have come before you” is perhaps they never challenged the “accepted wisdom” or thought about it in the way I am thinking about it.  I refuse to go along to get along if something doesn’t make sense to me.   Of course,  I keep trying to understand the “accepted wisdom”, but if I believe that is not right, then I will not say I accept it.  I might be completely misguided in my views, but until I believe something makes sense, I’m not going to say I believe it.

One thing I tell my kids repeatedly is: “Don’t ever buy into other people’s bullshit.”

I believe America needs a whole lot more people to adopt a more contrarian viewpoint.

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A few posts back I wrote about Charles Eric Maine’s 1958 dystopian sci-fi novel , World Without Men, which amazon.com’s blurb describes as:

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.”

https://www.amazon.com/World-Without-Charles-Eric-Maine/dp/1614272271/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1488252667&sr=8-1&keywords=world+without+men

Not being a fan of science fiction or novels about dystopian societies, I felt relief when I finally received my copy of World Without Men.  The novel is only 190 pages and a quick read.  However, many themes in the plot evoke deeper questions about women, women in groups, men, and men’s influence on women’s behavior that left me pondering modern feminism.  I’m already rereading several sections.

Before I begin the book report on an imaginary society in a 1950s sci-fi novel, consider that talking about males and females shouldn’t be complicated, yet many things in our culture today require a concentrated effort at suspending rational thinking to believe in the bizarre “gender issues”, because frankly, they’re made-up and have no basis in the world as we know it, scientific facts, or historical evidence.  The feminist revolution spawned not just a battle for women to have equal access to jobs and equal pay for equal work, but an endless war against the patriarchal system (code for western civilization) and at its core a hatred and complete disdain for men and all things that are traditionally considered masculine, manly, or male attributes, beyond mere differences in genitalia.

I reject feminism, because it’s not just some benign battle for “fairness” in the workplace or expanding opportunities for women, it’s about tearing down the entire framework of western civilization.  Maine’s novel, set 5,000 years into the future, describes a world literally without men.  Although sounding totally implausible at first glance, Maine offers snapshot-like short chapters into the past, that lay out frightening events along the way to how this “world without men” came to be.  While novels like this aren’t to be taken literally or as prescience for what is to come, like 1984, Maine touched on some issues that are worth thinking about.

Parthenogenesis, asexual reproduction where an embryo develops from an unfertilized egg cell, becomes the means of reproduction in this futuristic, totalitarian, lesbian world Maine created.  The society, 5,000 years int0 the future, begins the story of a world of only women, who are controlled by government committees and artificial intelligence from computers, to believe in the Parthenogenetic Adaptation Syndrome (P.A.S.), that teaches women that nature has evolved to allow women to have babies without men.  The official history teaches that men, over time, died out and offers some glimpses into a world with war, expensive space exploration and conflict in those ancient times.  The P.A.S. requires rigid, cradle to grave conformity to all rules decreed by the government departments, like the Department of the Written Word and the Department of Social Stability.

All women are told when it is their duty to produce babies, which they never see and which are raised in government institutions.  The women are told that these babies are born naturally through parthenogenesis.  Relationships in this world are superficial and geared toward physical pleasure, not deep emotional bonds.  Along with government committees tightly controlling reproduction, the governmental Department of Mortic Revenue controls who dies and when they die, to maintain a stable population.  Even in this peaceful world, where no one is allowed to make waves or disrupt the social stability, rabble-rousers and contrarians keep emerging.

The official P.A.S. history teaches:

“There never could have been a Utopia while man survived and controlled human affairs, for his innate aggressiveness and insatiable curiosity forced him restlessly to pursue the ever-widening boundary of knowledge without giving a thought to the application of his newly found powers in the service of humanity.  In abolishing man, nature had opened the way to the permanent establishment of peace and plenty.  Several women scientists had pointed out that man had been necessary to nature’s purpose; he had tackled, with considerable energy and ingenuity, the problem of adapting his environment to himself, and had succeeded in wresting from the blind forces of the cosmos all the power he needed to secure the supremacy and ultimate survival of the human race as an entity.  And at that point man became redundant. Worse he became an obstacle to the wise and peaceful exploitation of natural power for the benefit of his species.  So man ceased to exist, and woman became mistress of her planet, and nature provided parthenogenesis to replace the outmoded reproduction mechanism that had vanished with the male sex.”

p. 35, World Without Men, Maine, Charles Eric

While the official belief is in P.A.S., secretly the government has scientists working tirelessly on trying to produce living male babies, because human parthenogenesis is a lie.

Maine has chapters that provide historical glimpses into how this all female world developed, beginning with a contraceptive drug called Sterilin, which creates temporary sterility in women, to allow women sexual freedom.  Keep in mind this novel was written before the Pill was introduced.  Another chapter moves further ahead where a reporter wants to break a big story to expose that the governments of the world are hiding an alarming decline in male births, attributed to nature overcompensating for artificially sterile females, by overproducing females.  The imbalance at this point in the story is reaching critical mass, but to avoid widespread panic, governments are suppressing the demographic statistics.  The reporter is assassinated before he can break the story.

Further along in the progression to a world without men is a short chapter on an old man, kept locked living in isolation, with caretakers.  This man has been told he is the last living man on earth and his memories of younger days, being kept locked up with other men to provide, basically stud service and genetic material, sounds like how scientists today work to preserve endangered species.  The male embryos keep dying off.  Many aspects of this story fit perfectly with how scientists react to existential challenges, how most people adapt and conform easily to whatever rules they are indoctrinated into believing.  And at each historical point in this story, there are people who rebel and believe in exposing the lies.

I don’t want to give away the ending completely, but like so many other epic stories throughout history a male child is born and his birth rocks the entire system. The committees and artificial intelligence, reach the verdict that the male baby must be destroyed. He will disrupt the stability.  A revolt begins.  Maine writes:

“It is strange how a small thing can unbalance a perfectly planned society.  Perhaps stability is geared in some way to purpose and direction, and perhaps the stabilizing was research into the synthetic creation of a male human.  Without that focal point of endeavor, like the nucleus of a cell, it may be that society tends to lose its purpose, to disintegrate.  The psychology of a social perversion-neurosis in very complex.”

p. 189, World Without Men, Maine, Charles Eric

Although, this story is science fiction, modern feminism does tend toward totalitarianism, where whatever “gender theories” and  pseudo-science, manufactured among feminist academics,  get crammed down our throats through “experts” lecturing us in the media and through the K-12 public school system.  Any who disagree are shouted down and ostracized.  While no catastrophic decline in male births has occurred due to widespread use of contraceptives since the advent of The Pill in 1960,  in Russia and several Western European countries that embraced both contraception, small families and abortion, demographics have reached  a critical stage.  These countries are not reproducing enough children to sustain their ethnic groups.

As bizarre as the P.A.S. belief in this story sounds, truthfully it’s no more bizarre than the current transgender myths and endless “gender variations” being sold by “experts” and LGBT activists.  A very small fraction of the population was homosexual before the massive efforts to mainstream gay marriage and gay rights, but along with the mainstreaming is a full-court effort in Hollywood to produce movies and TV shows with gay characters to normalize homosexuality.  As homosexuality is mainstreamed and promoted, more young people will engage in homosexual behavior.

The activists have carefully packaged all of their radical gender agenda as “civil rights”, casting any who don’t buy into their beliefs as “haters”.  With the rapid successes with gay activism, the current transgender activism is intended to mainstream transgender behavior and teach children that despite being born male or female, they should feel free to choose their “gender”.  The push to “treat” children before adolescence with hormones to stop puberty is already happening and some doctors also have begun administering hormones to cross-sex, beginning the sex change process in children as young as 12.

Maines’s fictional all-female society was thousands of years in the making, but looking at the LGBT transformation in society in the past 20 years shows how quickly people can be brainwashed, manipulated and led by relentless mass media saturation and social engineering  to “normalize” just about any behavior.

As for me, I’ll remain a contrarian and insist that boys and girls should be allowed to be just boys and girls again, without all this gender-bending, destructive,  pseudo-science robbing so many children of the innocence to just be kids.  And we shouldn’t feel like we are being insensitive to politely say , “I don’t believe in 50+ genders.” or “I believe transgenderism is a mental disorder.”

The powers that be, in any human system, try to silence and squash disrupters, who challenge the system.  Maine got that part completely right.

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#NoMoreScorchedEarth

The video above highlights some of Donald Trump’s ways of manipulating people.  He is a very talented con man.  If he were religious, he could give Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker a run for their money.  While the video lays out Trump’s personal talents as a con man, the special sauce for Trump is how he took those talents and applied them to controlling the 24/7 news cycle and manufacturing opinion cascades, using a mass media saturation strategy (information warfare) that the Left originated and controlled for decades.  Trump fixates on perpetuating this image that he’s massively popular (crowd size), so expect him to stage more big rally events to bolster his “popular” image.  He is running the Reality TV Presidency and it’s as phony as he is.

Every time President Trump launches one of his over the top attacks against the “dishonest media”, I’m torn between cheering that he’s taking on the relentless liberal spin cycle and disgust at his destroying the dignity of the Office of the President.

The mainstream media acts as a propaganda front of the Left and Democratic Party.  The mainstream media really did work to legitimize Trump during the GOP primary, to aid in what John Podesta’s leaked email referred to as their Pied Piper strategy.  By late February, early March of 2016, the mainstream media flipped to running the Clinton Scorched Earth 2.0 to take down Trump and help Hillary.  To see how spin works, Twitter is a good place to see American journalists and news organizations in action.  All it takes is a handful of journalists or news organizations colluding with the Dems & Left to create a 24/7 spin cycle, by repeating the same story.  Two of the biggest aggregators of  “fake news” (or at least numerous stories with many factual errors) are the New York Times and the Washington Post.  However, laziness, poor journalistic standards, and liberal hive mentality (groupthink) all play into the 24/7 spin cycle that has allowed the Left’s political messaging to dominate in mainstream media since the early 90s.

The disgusting part of the media collusion with the Left is that the Hollywood crowd jumps in to reinforce the news media spin.  Being no fan of Kellyanne Conway and acknowledging that she has played as big a role in her credibility problems as the mainstream media’s hostile treatment of her, here’s what infuriates about how the media sets out to destroy Trump and his inner-circle.  Conway misspoke about what happened at Bowling Green, KY.  She mentioned a “massacre”.  The media pounced to ridicule Conway with relentless repetition of “no massacre at Bowling Green”.

Conway botched the single best case for thorough vetting.  What really happened is two Al Qaeda bombmakers from Iraq came to the US as refugees and settled in Bowling Green, KY:

In that case, the two Iraqi nationals were indicted on federal terrorism charges accusing them, in part, of providing material support to Al Qaeda in Iraq.

The Iraqi nationals were Waad Ramadan Alwan, who was 30 at the time of his indictment in 2011, and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, who was then 23.

The FBI launched its investigation into Alwan in 2009, the year he entered the US. He bragged to an FBI source in 2010 about how he’d “f—ked up” US Hummers in Iraq with improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and expressed an interest in providing support to terrorists in Iraq. He eventually recruited his friend Hammadi into his scheme to ship money and weapons (including machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, Stinger missiles, and C4 plastic explosives) to terrorists in Iraq.

The operation was a sting operation — the FBI’s source convinced Alwan and Hammadi that the money and weapons were actually going to terrorists abroad, but they were not.

Alwan and Hammadi entered the US as refugees. They lied about their terrorism ties.”

And the story continues:

“Alwan was sentenced to 40 years in prison and Hammadi was sentenced to life. Both pleaded guilty to the charges against them.”

http://www.businessinsider.com/bowling-green-massacre-2017-2

This story buries the details starting on the fifth paragraph, devoting the first four to Conway stating a terror attack that never happened.  Even after stating the facts, this story emphasizes that these two Al Qaeda bombmakers weren’t planning attacks in the US, but were plotting to ship weapons and money to Al Qaeda in Iraq, as if to say they were no threat to America.  Hello, their support of Al Qaeda would put US troops in Iraq at risk, but you see what I mean about spinning stories to prop up the Left’s talking points.

Being sick to death of Trump’s theatrics and the media’s total dishonesty and collusion with the Dems & Left, most days I just wonder how far Trump vs. the media will push this never ending scorched earth information warfare, where both sides use any means necessary to discredit the other and where the American people are held captive to this corrupt, demoralizing, destructive Alinkskyite battle.  Of course, Trump and his followers embrace using scorched earth against, not only against the Left, but against any Republicans or conservatives who object to “any means necessary” scorched earth information war.  Ostensibly, once they annihilate the enemy (Leftists and any who dare object to their behavior), America will be made safe for “normal” Americans…  Judging by their tossing out all the rules on public decorum, manners, and leading by example, where Trump lies outrageously and engages in embarrassing name-calling tantrums, it is hard to see how at the end of this “war”,  America will have any reputation or values left to defend, but that isn’t stopping those engaged in scorched earth information war.

If you think I exaggerate the scorched earth information war, here’s a piece by Kurt Schlichter, former Army colonel, Trump Twitter commando and senior editor at Townhall.com;

“The Left is getting massively out-Alinskyed, and the hilarious thing is that this band of withered hippies, unemployable millennial safe-space cases, and unlovable + unshaven libfeminists don’t even know it. Oh, their masters sure know it. Soros is bitterly having to ramp up his infusions of blood money to keep his community-organized “grassroots” movements afloat. The less dumb ones among the lying dinosaur media are panicking as their influence fades, and Chuck Schumer is enduring such a non-stop parade of serial humiliations that if the Senate were a penitentiary, he’d be McConnell’s prison Mitch.

The Leftist mafia godmaleidentifyingparents pulling the strings of the Marxist Muppets know the score – they are losing. And it’s awesome. Because, finally, the Right has taken Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and shoved it up where #TheResistance don’t shine.”

Schlichter continues:

“Alinsky’s Rules are relatively simple, and they make sense when you are fighting a conventional opponent with an interest in maintaining the status quo. The Rules are terrific for dealing with an old-school conservative guy who drives a Buick, enjoys gardening, and doesn’t want any trouble. They aren’t so effective against conservative brawlers who like to punch, and who aren’t too fussy about whether it’s with tweets or with fists.

The Rules are not some magic incantation; they are simply some tactical principles that work in certain kinds of fights against certain kinds of opponents – particularly ones willing to unilaterally disarm in the face of an unprincipled enemy. But once the secret is out, it’s relatively easy to turn them around on an enemy that is so stupid it thinks it’s going to gain widespread acceptance among normal Americans by dressing up as genitalia. That’s why the thirteen classic Alinsky Rules are playing out right now in a way the Left did not expect.”

https://townhall.com/columnists/kurtschlichter/2017/02/13/shoving-alinskys-rules-for-radicals-right-back-in-the-lefts-ugly-face-n2284892

Schlichter then lays out the Alinsky rules for radicals.  One can easily see how people who believe in  “by any means necessary” could fall sway to following a venal, self-absorbed, petty, vindictive, lying bully like Donald Trump, but the cost of falling in with Scorched Earth and Alinsky rules is your conscience and what gets burned to the ground in the process is American values and America’s reputation around the world.

We don’t need to burn America to the ground to save it.

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

Repeating my message… again

President Trump’s fans consider him a genius at “counter-punching” and many “experts” and  journalists have written about this.  Saleno Zito ran a very good piece, How Trump made small town America matter again,  at the New York Post on January 22, 2017.  She wrote:

“All he needed was that connection that he had with the people and that simple but brilliant tangible benefit he was offering to take them toward, the cry of “Make America great again.”

All he needed were the rallies.

It was the secret sauce that reporters, pollsters, academics and critics almost all missed.

Trump’s plan was a genius gamble; use the press to get his message out, which he did, doing sometimes 10 to 12 media hits a day across the cable and network news shows. They were sometimes long-winded, rambling streams of consciousness, they were oftentimes controversial — and they never failed to get everyone’s attention.”

http://nypost.com/2017/01/22/how-trump-made-small-town-america-matter-again/

It wasn’t a genius gamble.  Someone taught Trump how to SPIN and repeat talking points and memes.  What Zito refers to as “sometimes long-winded, rambling streams of consciousness”, were actually gibberish interspersed with keyword messaging (talking points), that were carefully designed to resonate with flyover Americans.  Trump didn’t think up all those memes and keyword messaging – he was fed it.  It’s the same type of keyword messaging the Clintons, Obama and the Left have used since 1992.

The news media spent days on end repeating Trump’s keyword messaging and his “winning in the all the polls” polling data.   The media’s relentless cornering Republicans and rehashing their vote and stand on invading Iraq, as some sort of required penance, was replaced with media cornering Republicans in the primary and hounding them with, “Trump is winning in all the polls, don’t you need to support the winner?”  This was designed to create the perception that Trump was the legitimate GOP candidate and any Republican who didn’t get in line was trying to steal the nomination from him.

These types of media mind games, to create the perception that popularity equates to the “will of the people”, are a consistent theme in the mass media saturation information warfare.  The overriding goal is to convince people that polls are a legitimate representation of the will of the people, when really polls are the opinions of small groups of people, extrapolated as representing millions of people.  Convincing people polls are “scientific” was part of the long-term scam.

Zito wrote, “All he needed were the rallies.”

Well, yes the visual of large rallies broadcast live and in their entirety on all three cable networks during the GOP primary is the same mass media saturation con game as the Women’s March photo blitz of “crowd size” that played out this past weekend.  It is the same exact propaganda tactic.  The same way Trump repeating “great, great, great” was the same as James Carville repeating “sex, sex, sex”.

For Trump’s genius to work required active and knowing participation of the mass media in America, because they gave him BILLIONS of dollars in free media. It was massive media collusion that gave Trump the edge when he waged, what the media referred to as a “GOP Insurgency” (wonder who dreamed up that phrase, because I am sure it wasn’t Trump the “genius”).  Interestingly, in the general election Wikileaks started leaking DNC and Podesta emails which showed the corrupt media collusion to help Hillary.  There was massive media collusion to sell Trump as the “GOP Insurgent” in the primary too.  Who was the puppet-master behind the GOP Insurgency is a question that needs to be answered.  Who in the Trump campaign was selling Trump on SPIN should be exposed too. Finding out who orchestrated and funded Trump’s messaging, rallies and media blitz is equally as important as exposing the Clinton spin, the Obama narrative, Russian influence in the election and who organized and funded the Women’s March…”global movement”.

I’m a homemaker who likes reading about military history, strategy, and intelligence operations.  As an Army wife, as we moved from post to post, I spent many years signing out books at Army post libraries on these topics and buying books too.  I had a fascination for learning about propaganda and information warfare.  When I first started observing the Clinton “war room”, and the relentless repetition of talking points, I realized this was something different in American politics.

I’ve been dissecting Clinton SPIN  since it first entered American presidential politics in the 1992 presidential campaign.  I started wondering what it was, where it came from and what the goals of it were, both short-term and long-term.  By 1998, when the Clinton impeachment scandal hit, I had dissected it and  I keep repeating it, so that any new readers  understand what I’m talking about.  I call it mass media saturation strategy, because I have never seen anyone else write about SPIN in terms of it being information warfare.  Writing about it on the Excite message boards in 1998 evoked a massive reaction, so I believe I hit the nail on the head.  Here it is again:

Mass media saturation is the military strategy of swarming juxtaposed to a mass media battlefield

Scorched earth is the military strategy of scorched earth (a war crime under the Geneva Conventions btw) juxtaposed to a mass media battlefield, Scorched earth information warfare is a take no prisoners blitz of vicious character assassinations AND mass media saturation on steroids.

Combined, they have been ruthlessly used to divide America into hostile, warring factions

Here’s the way it works:

The messaging wall required for mass media saturation to succeed requires the active collusion of the mass media NEWS outlets to facilitate it, by actively and relentlessly repeating the messages of the political candidate or activists using this “buzz word, catchphrase spin (talking points messaging). Mass media saturation INFORMATION WARFARE requires mass media collusion to succeed.  This strategy can NOT succeed without mass media messaging dominance to CONTROL (“win”) the 24/7 news cycle (or as the Clinton team dubbed it – the spin cycle).

It is a form of mass media brainwashing and antithetical to American free speech principles!  To succeed this strategy requires MEDIA COLLUSION.

It can NOT work without that media collusion.

Here are the components:

  • Talking points and buzz word messaging, which are relentlessly repeated by both political operatives and the media.

  • Mass media domination of the messaging, to control the 24/7 NEWS cycle, which requires mass media collusion.

  • Relentless repetition of polling data by both the political operatives and media, to facilitate the manufacture of opinion cascades (winning in all the polls)

    https://libertybellediaries.com/2016/07/30/the-pieces-of-the-media-messaging-puzzle/

The media is the lynchpin in Clinton spin & Obama narratives. Without that mass media saturation, the Left has to play on a level playing field & compete in the arena of ideas, where they lose. No signs of it letting up, when the media ran the Clinton scorched earth in the general & are still hard at it.  The media attacks on Trump are more overt and extreme than the attacks they waged against GWB..

Keeping Trump and the Left at war is more about destabilizing America than it is about Republicans or Democrats winning.

This past weekend a massive propaganda effort was staged and waged globally.  The whole effort centered on a photo blitz launched by mass media of showing large crowd size at the Women’s March locations around the world.  Very little information about these marches accompanied the photos, but there was a propaganda ploy to pit Trump against the media, presenting the Women’s March crowd as larger than his inauguration crowd.  By afternoon on Saturday, the media started a meme accompanying photos of the march in Chicago – “too big to march”.  Not long after that, the media started saying the march in  WashingtonDC  was also “too big to march”.

These memes and talking points sound very similar and the same tactics to pit Left vs. Right have been used repeatedly.  From the beginning, interjecting military terms into their jargon is popular too.  And when it all comes out eventually, I expect a large hand in fueling “The Tea Party” movement had the larger purpose of splitting the GOP and when that fizzled, along came the “GOP Insurgency”.  It all started in America with a “war room” in an American presidential campaign in 1992.  By 1998, the “throw anything and hope it sticks” mass media saturation war was waged – the scorched earth campaign to save Bill Clinton’s presidency.

The US Armed Forces, the FBI, and our national security agencies are America’s last bastion, where Americans have confidence in their government.  The GOP was the political party that was adamant about The Constitution AND our founding principles.  Destroying American faith in these institutions  has been at the center of this vicious information warfare.

This massive SPIN effort was intended to, not only delegitimize President Trump, but to show American democracy in chaos, a theme of continuing the imagery of two disgusting presidential scorched earth campaigns, reducing American democracy to a crude, vulgar, Reality TV show with two totally corrupt candidates.  Those Wikileaks leaks were not so much to help Trump, but to expose the corrupt media collusion, sow distrust of the media and cast doubt on our political system.  Rabid Dems and Trump played along, attacking our FBI and intelligence agencies, attacking the legitimacy of our ballot boxes ( recount fiasco), our constitution (Electoral College), and both Dems and Trump have attacked the FBI, and Trump expanded that to US intelligence agencies.

The “fake news” hype fueled hysteria on the right about the Left censoring news, but it also exposed the lazy, sloppy journalism of journalists sitting on Twitter and retweeting each other’s stories with no real fact-checking.  As this lack of journalistic standards became more obvious in recent weeks, Trump has latched onto hyping the “dishonest media” to deflect from his own blatant lies.   Many journalists have hunkered down like college-campus snowflakes, debating whether they should cover White House press conferences, akin to college kids needing their safe spaces to avoid being triggered.  The media is still spinning and Trump is now lying through his teeth to “counter-punch”.   Oh, and the Russians are still using Wikileaks to agitate both sides.  Over the weekend, Wikileaks started tweeting that Trump needs to release his tax returns.

This mass media saturation information warfare is not just about Republicans vs. Democrats.

Here’s a big picture analysis I wrote on October 20, 2016:

For the record, I could not care less when people attack me personally or call me a crazy conspiracy nut, but I sure hope that the people entrusted with our national security get their heads out of their butts SOON, because the Russians ARE on the move and they have a COMPREHENSIVE MILITARY STRATEGY and they have been incrementally waging it for DECADES against America and the West. There should be a few Cold Warriors, who remember how this game is played.

Hillary or Trump are both surefire losers for America – one is too stupid to realize Putin is fluffing him and the other has so much dirt that the Russians are holding and ready to blackmail her, that she’s compromised six ways to Sunday.

This isn’t just about presidential “politics” or some benign media messaging strategy, because the Clinton mass media messaging is just part of this. The Russians are escalating their cyber warfare actions, their geopolitical actions AND military actions.

This is the culmination of a DECADES’ long comprehensive military strategy to neuter the United States and the West and the main effort has been to fuel virulent partisan factions in America and destroy Americans’ confidence in the media, in their economic system (Wall Street attacks ring a bell), the police (hey BLM, ring a bell), and the entire American governmental system. It has been a comprehensive military strategy all along.

Putin will be the only winner come November 8th.

https://libertybellediaries.com/2016/10/20/repetitive-messaging/

There are larger forces at play in this beyond American Left vs. Right partisan politics. Russian influence operations were very real, Soros money is very real.  Rupert Murdoch coming in to personally run the largest right-wing propaganda outlet in America is very real. Rupert Murdoch fired Roger Ailes on the very day Trump secured the Republican nomination.

There’s an information war being played out on an international scale battling over the international system.

I believe Russian, Soros & Murdoch are on the same team – trying to dismantle the international system. Putin wants to be the leader of a new international order, but if push comes to shove, the big money will topple him too.

In America they’re fomenting left vs right battles and black distrust with their endless propaganda.

FOX just brought in Nigel Farage to agitate the American right and ditched constitutional conservative, George Will.

The three most stable democracies are in internal chaos – Britain was conned into Brexit playing patriotic & economic themes, but leaving the country battling the EU and with massive internal divides. Germany was duped into the humanitarian route, welcoming in a radical Jihadist army, that will ruthlessly try to destroy the cultural fiber and foment ethnic battles. America has just endured two virulent scorched earth presidential campaigns with two very corrupt candidates – those scorched earth campaigns had huge money pouring in and information warfare help from the Russians, Soros, Murdoch – spewing endless propaganda designed to play Americans against each other.

Where it ends is anybody’s guess.

President Trump has no clue that he’s a dupe in the larger game, but hopefully some of his advisers can keep him fighting for American national interests. General Mattis just reassured NATO that we are committed – good move.  Let’s hope for many more good moves to bolster the international order, that America led the way building.

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Filed under Corrupt Media Collusion, Culture Wars, Foreign Policy, General Interest, Messages of mhere, Military, Politics, Public Corruption

Russian mob story & Trump inauguration snapshots

With all the talk about Russian influence and Donald Trump and/or people near him being connected to the Russian mob, above is an hilarious Russian mob story.

Now, on to politics:

Donald J. Trump was sworn in as America’s 45th President yesterday.

Here are some things I noticed:

Most of the mainstream media still reports as if they’re Democratic Party operatives and the campaign is still going on. There were many media reports about the smaller crowd size compared to President Obama’s inauguration in 2008. They were reporting trying to use “crowd size” as indicative of “popularity” and conflate that to “legitimacy”.   It was a pretty sad journalistic spectacle all day long.

Several normal administration changeover procedures were hyped to paint President Trump as Hitler.  Chris Matthews, the liberal pundit, even referred to Trump’s inaugural address as “Hitlerian”.  The speech sounded like campaign red meat and divisive at parts, is fair to say, and I had hoped for a speech with loftier rhetoric, but “Hitlerian”…. c’mon.

There were reports Trump removed the bust of MLK from the Oval Office, but later that one was debunked.   There were reports about the White House website being removed, where the normal procedure seems to be to take down the website and archive the info, then restart with each new administration.  It wasn’t the Trump administration trying to erase the Obama website history.   Each time the media spins (they retweet and reprint) these stories to trash Trump that turn out false, the media loses more credibility.

No one could find anything bad to say about Melania Trump.  She acted dignified and might be the most elegantly dressed First Lady in American history.  The family behaved with dignity.  And Trump was Trump, but at least he wasn’t the most obnoxious Trump yesterday.  So, late in the day, a SNL writer tweeted that Barron Trump will be the first homeschool school shooter and some other liberal tweeted that he probably has killed hundreds of small animals.  Why they would think it’s funny to pick on a little kid, I don’t know.

The so-called peaceful protests descended into rioting in Washington DC and that imagery disgusts most people in America and it reflects on the Democratic Party, who is fomenting the efforts to delegitimize President Trump – they own the protests.  Today is the women’s march and that will also turn off many more Americans than it will attract to their cause.  Howling, screeching, angry women shouts hysterical women, not strength.

There were media reports painting Trump’s inauguration team as warmongers and dangerous:

Donald Trump’s inauguration team wanted to show off the U.S. military during inauguration weekend and even suggested including tanks and missile launchers in his inaugural parade, The Huffington Post reportedThursday.

“They were legit thinking Red Square/North Korea-style parade,” an inauguration team source told The Huffington Post, referring to massive military parades in Moscow and Pyongyang that are often interpreted as displays of aggression.”

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/315184-trump-team-wanted-tanks-missile-launchers-in-parade-report

This report and all others I saw stemmed from a Huffington Post story, which was based on one unnamed source, yet it was retweeted and repeated in the media without any fact-checking or additional sourcing – this is how the mainstream media has operated for years, because in 1992 they began “spinning” and by 2008 they were repeating Obama “narratives” and behave as de facto political operatives advancing Leftist political agendas and talking points without vetting information.

Here’s Snopes on this tanks and missile launchers story:

“The claim that Trump wanted a “full Soviet-style inaugural parade, with tanks, missiles and missile launchers” was widely aggregated by other online outlets, but we’ve so far been unable to locate any corroboration of it other than the unnamed “source involved in inaugural planning” reference by the Huffington Post.” (my highlight)

http://www.snopes.com/trump-military-inaugural-parade/

Hollywood joined the Democratic Party machine in trying to wreak havoc with Trump’s inauguration too, by pressuring celebrities not to perform at any inauguration events.  This too backfired, because the inauguration was heavy in military participation and that was highlighted.  I think it’s fair to say that even Americans who fear a President Trump, were relieved yesterday when General Mattis was sworn in as Secretary of Defense and General Kelly was sworn in as director of Homeland Security.  All this leads me to believe that the celebrity boycott backfired and actually bolstered Trump’s image yesterday.  The elites on the Left don’t understand that most Americans love and respect the US military, because their sons, daughters, friends, neighbors serve and have served in the US military.  The media spinning this seems very disconnected from the rest of America outside their elite bubble.

While reports linger about FBI and intelligence investigations into Trump connections to Russia, the problem unfolding with a media at war with Trump, Trump at war with the media and Democrats and any Republicans who don’t bow to him, America will continue to be deeply divided on what to believe is the truth.  We are in a very dangerous information situation where Americans are frequently bombarded with highly politicized, poorly vetted, and often fabricated “news” by prominent mainstream news media.

The reputation of the FBI and intelligence agencies suffers from many self-inflicted credibility problems, where the Obama administration highly politicized intelligence and assuredly James Comey’s July 5th announcement on Hillary’s email server reads as one of the most illogical statements ever put forth.  He read off very serious charges and then dismissed them as “not criminal” and dismissed criminal behavior as just “extremely careless” that flew in the face of the first half of his statement laying out the “facts”.  The Loretta Lynch meeting with Bill Clinton on the tarmac the week before in Phoenix solidified the image that the fix was in on the FBI investigation into Hillary’s private email server.  Since then Comey reopened that investigation right before the election, then closed it again, while top Democrats howled that the FBI is nothing more than old, white Trump fanboys.

Fast forward to this recent leak by Buzzfeed of the Trump dossier that seems to be false.  Trump lambasted the FBI and  intelligence agencies, Obama, Clapper and Brennan lectured how Trump was undermining the credibility of the FBI and intelligence agencies and the media ran wild with trashing Trump.  Trump is undercutting the FBI and intelligence agencies, but the intelligence community leadership undercut their own credibility by behaving like politicians advancing the Obama narrative.  Democrats are now howling that Trump is dangerously undermining the FBI and intelligence agencies’ credibility, but they were doing the same thing when James Comey reopened the criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton.

Not sure where America goes from here, but the divides in America seem deeper and nothing President Trump said or did yesterday reassured me that we’re on a path to heal our troubled nation.  However, if you have a few minutes, please watch the video at the top  and laugh a little:-)

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Filed under Culture Wars, General Interest, Humor, Military, Politics, The Media

Hand-me-downs

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A hand-me-down book from my childhood

Fair warning, this is going to be another backwoods PA story from my childhood.  Escape while you can:-)

I was born in 1960 and grew-up in a small village in the Pocono Mountains.  Our end of the county was and still is called the West End (which is synonymous with hicks).  Most of our neighbors were of PA German ancestry, although even in the 1960s, the urban exodus to the Poconos had begun.   The Poconos had been a vacation spot for city dwellers since the Civil War era, but during my childhood many of these urban visitors began building homes in the Poconos and staying year-round.  Many of the locals hold the urban dwellers moving into their peaceful country neighborhood as loud, boorish, pushy, stupid and very rude.

Back in the 90s, a phone conversation with my mother railing about some “stupid New Yorker” about sums up the sentiment and the disconnect.  My mother was complaining about some woman from New York who wanted the township to pay for street lights in her little residential area in the Poconos.  The woman also apparently had thought sidewalks would be a good idea.  My mother, like most locals, ended her complaints with a statement that went pretty much like, “I wish these damned city people would go back to the city and leave us alone!”

However, that unknown woman from New York got a very different reaction than my mother dealing with our pastor’s wife, who was not only New York City born and bred, but also Jewish.  The parsonage was right across the road from our home, so our pastor’s wife was also our neighbor.  My mother adored our pastor’s wife, my mother adored her elderly mother too, who would come and visit for several weeks at a time when I was a child.

It’s often interesting how many people will prejudge an entire group of people, but when they are in a situation where they are dealing with an individual from that group and getting to know him or her, all of sudden common ground can be found and friendships blossom.

Spending my adult life around Army communities, I’ve always been very grateful for the experience of being able to meet so many people from so many different countries, backgrounds, and experiences.  The thing that binds Army communities is soldiers with a common mission.  Their wives, no matter if they are foreign-born or American invariably become friends, share recipes, share in the worries when their spouses deploy, and share in a sense of community.

Finding that common ground in America is an existential crisis, not media hysteria about “fake news” or “Russian influence”.

The partisan political divides, listening to political pundits, reading news from various political stripes and observing comments on Twitter, facebook, etc., make me feel like these groups live on different planets, not in the same country.

So, back to my childhood, in a family with six kids, with widely different opinions.  For instance, conservative me, has a far-left brother, who was really into zero population growth as a cause.  When he lectured me when I was pregnant with my third child, asking if my husband and I thought our genes were so good that we had to spread them around with so many children, well, I didn’t get angry.  I smiled at him and replied, “Well, now that you mention it, yes, we do.”  I also told him I wanted 5 or 7 kids, because I like odd numbers (although we stopped “spreading our genes around”, overpopulating the world, at 4 kids).

No matter how angry we were at each other or how vehemently we disagreed, when it was dinner time, we all had to sit at the table and behave civilly.  My parents didn’t want to hear how mad we were or how much we disagreed or whether we had been fighting all day about something – we had to sit at the table and eat our dinner.  There was no taking your plate to another room or screaming at each other at the table allowed.

Especially with the advent of the internet, the splintering of America has escalated, where there’s really very little discussion in online political discussion forums, only hyper-charged partisan attacks.  Each side generates talking points, which the political combatants hurl back and forth non-stop.  Poll numbers get tossed in to validate positions, although really polls are meaningless – they’re the opinions of a few people extrapolated to represent the opinions of very large groups of people.

I’ve met many wonderful people from New York City and other urban areas.  I’ve also met some total assholes right where I grew up, who were locals.  And it shouldn’t even have to be said in America, but we’ve got to start talking to each other and move beyond our own little cocoon of people who think just like we do or hold the same political views.

We need to start embracing getting to know people as individuals.

The same goes for considering political viewpoints and here again, my mother taught me that you can’t make anyone believe anything.  My oldest sister is 8 years older than me and she had friends in high school, who like her, read a lot.  Along with wearing hand-me-down clothes, I became a proud collector of hand-me-down books.  Anything my sister or her friends were ready to discard, I was ready to add it to my “collection” of books.  I read the entire Warren Commission Report in paperback, I got a copy of To Kill A Mockingbird.  I still have the Watchwords of Liberty, filled with great American quotes.  I also ended up with paperback histories like:

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Then somehow I ended up with:

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So, while you might expect my conservative, staunch Republican mother to want this book out of her house, you’d be wrong.  She told me she didn’t believe in Marxism, but to decide for myself.  She gave me a copy of a little booklet (which I gave to someone), called, Good Citizen and she told me this booklet had a lot of interesting information on America.  So, I read Marx’s Concept of Man and then I read her Good Citizen booklet and many other books too.

In 1976, the American Bicentennial fueled a bunch of books on the American Revolution and my American love affair with The Constitution and our republic bloomed like cherry blossoms in Washington springtime.  I was hooked on American ideals.  I had started adding to my hand-me-down book “collection” with books I bought with babysitting money – books like:

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I also got enthralled by The Kent Family Chronicles, that John Jakes series commemorating the 200 year anniversary of America.  By that point, I was sold on The Constitution, sold on American ideals and Marx sounded like depressing whining about “unfairness”, where there’s never any hope for individuals to aspire to anything… just endless reliance on imposition of command economy enforcers to decide on what’s fair and relentless fueling class warfare. The American Bicentennial fueled a life-long love of reading American history.  My short time in the Army expanded that to loving to read military history too.

In life, we all have some really dumb ideas and beliefs.   That’s the truth!  No one gets through life being perfect and all-knowing.  For instance, I abhor violence and had this idea that all behavior is learned, so when I had kids, I didn’t want my kids to be violent.  I didn’t want my sons to have any toy guns, because I believed that would encourage violence.  I believed this despite the fact that I got into plenty of fistfights as a kid fighting bullies.

My mother and sisters laughed at me and told me I was stupid.  My husband just rolled his eyes.  My toddler sons, well, they turned everything into a weapon, to include their older sister’s Barbie dolls.  They were very destructive and liked to clobber each other, while there I was telling them in this prissy voice, “you’ve got to be nice!”  My daughter didn’t take to them wrecking her stuff and she smacked them when they touched her stuff.  So much for my toy guns make boys violent belief.

When I told my mother about my sons throwing everything and turning everything into a weapon, which my daughter had never done, my mother said, “welcome to the world of boys.”

Here’s another story on “boys” from a few years later.  We were living in Germany and I was throwing a birthday party for one of my sons.  My next-door neighbor had a lot of very colorful finches in a cage and she decided to let them fly loose that day.  They were getting ready to PCS back to the states.  My daughter came running in the house to tell me that all these little boys had sticks and were trying to kill these little finches that were sitting in the bushes around the house.  So, I walked outside and there was this group of little boys, bloodlust in their eyes, gleefully trying to kill these tiny birds with big sticks.   They were barbarians!  In that moment I realized that there is something about males and violence that is probably hard-wired.  And I realized that my “be nice” idea had been idiotic all along.

What people believe can’t be forced, so it’s best to try to find that common ground, I keep blabbing on about.  Here again, I think my mother had the right idea there too – get people to sit at the same table and share a meal, insisting that everyone be polite.

Simple as it may be, perhaps just getting people to share a meal and talk might work miracles, where all the social programs have failed.  Here’s an old LB blog post from 2014:

“I’m always amazed at how when people sit down to share a meal, the petty squabbles subside, conversations almost invariably turn to family and home.  A friendly dinner table is the world’s most under-tapped peacemaking tool.  The simple act of breaking bread together at a table of brotherhood doesn’t seem all that hard and once people can come together and peacefully share a meal and conversation, then all the other politicized barriers fall to the wayside.  Community potlucks could rebuild communities and not cost taxpayers a dime.  Believe it, because it’s true and with so much animosity and hatred in America, at the very least neighbors might make new friends, so there’s no downside to the endeavor.”

https://libertybellediaries.com/2014/11/29/another-home-truth/

I also quoted my mother’s least favorite poet, Maya Angelou in that post.  I’m not a fan of Angelou’s poetry either, but she sure nailed a home truth with this quote:

“Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.”
http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/26244-hate-it-has-caused-a-lot-of-problems-in-the

Again, finding ways to heal the divides in America is an existential necessity.

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