Category Archives: General Interest

Happy Thanksgiving!

“Thus out of small beginnings greater things have been produced by His hand that made all things of nothing, and gives being to all things that are; and, as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many…”

https://reasonsforhopejesus.com/a-thanksgiving-day-meditation/

Image from: https://thegraphicsfairy.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Thanksgiving-Grace-Image-GraphicsFairy.jpg

The past couple years the world has seemed turned upside down at times. As Americans celebrate Thanksgiving Day this year, we have an opportunity to join with family and friends, share good food, old stories and take some time to express gratitude for all the blessings in our lives.

It’s very easy in the midst of all the bad news swirling all about us every day to lose sight of the many good things.

Today’s a good day to try to leave the rancorous politics and the doom and gloom economic news aside. Smile, laugh, share a bit of hope. We can all try to be a small candle for those around us.

Have a safe and very Happy Thanksgiving!

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Following more money trails.

This past week’s election in America was a stunning victory if you’re a Democrat and a total disaster if you’re Republican – thus far. We still don’t know which party will control the US House of Representatives, but Democrats will keep control of the US Senate.

A few states had election drama with vote-counting again, especially AZ, NV, and CA is very slow too, I’ve seen some right-wing commentary about “stolen election” in AZ from the Trump camp again, but here’s the thing Republicans controlled the legislature and the governorship in AZ before this election. NV, though, was controlled by Democrats, and of course, CA is a Democrat stronghold. This post is going to be about politics and specifically about Trump and the MAGA movement, with a look back to the beginning of Trump’s political career and what I expect.

Former President Trump was floating the “stolen election” spin again, which isn’t surprising since he’s conned his followers into believing in “stolen elections” as a matter of faith – without ever producing any real proof. Then right-wing media starts spinning up Trump’s spin garbage and in the blink of an eye, Trump supporters are all-in on the next Trump spin lie. Due to the endless Trump Show, where Democrats and liberals have lost their minds trying to destroy Trump and Trump supporters have embraced Trump as the only path to “Making America Great Again,” America’s been locked in this same political drama since 2015. Many of his ardent supporters trust in him completely and while there’s been some backlash on the right against Trump for attacking FL governor, Ron DeSantis, after DeSantis scored a stunning victory in FL last week, I expect not much will change in Washington and not much will change with Trump right now.

I fully expect FOX News pundits will be back to being all-in for Trump quickly, despite a few days of criticism of Trump for attacking Ron DeSantis. FOX News has tried to break up with Trump before, but since most of their audience are Trump followers, they always reverse course quickly. And during these rocky periods Trump starts attacking FOX News for its negative coverage and hunting other right-wing news media to sell his Trump Show, without any criticisms. Trump supporters always point out that Trump is unfairly attacked by the left, especially liberal media and it’s certainly true, a whole lot of liberal media sounds like Trump Derangement Syndrome and now even attacking Trump supporters as “MAGA Republicans,” but they’re not the only ones stuck in derangement. Many Trump supporters completely buy into all of this labeling everyone on the right who dares criticize Trump as a RINO or supporting the GOP establishment and Swamp in DC.

During this latest little FOX News/Trump rocky patch, Trump was busy posting statements about it and on November 10th, here’s what he posted:

“If CNN were smart, they’d open up a Conservative network, only have me on, and it would be the most successful network in History. Fox only made it because of me, Twitter only made it because of me, and even Facebook is now in the tubes, having lost almost $90 billion in value since I was taken off, which was considered one of the biggest mistakes in business over the last two years, because with Trump go tens of millions of people who believe in MAGA, who want to Make America Great Again, and Put America First!”

Trump hates CNN and they’re evil, but there’s Trump floating a CNN conservative network that would only have him on. He’s that confident MAGA Republicans are so loyal to him and that he can keep lying to them and conning them forever. Sure harkens back to Trump’s comment way back when, about his followers being so loyal he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and they’d remain loyal. I suspect many of them have bought into Trump’s con game that much and would happily even follow Trump to enriching “Fake News CNN.”

Trump’s MAGA-selected candidates have been a total electoral disaster – he picked these people only because they were willing to spout his “stolen election” bs.

Tucker Carlson had on Blake Masters Friday night and Masters, a MAGA candidate, with no political experience, lost his senate race to Democrat incumbent, Mark Kelly in the AZ senate race. Masters was spouting the latest Trump spin, blaming Mitch McConnell for his loss, The failure of these MAGA candidates, that Trump promoted, is supposedly all Mitch McConnell’s fault for not pouring money into his campaign and it’s a Trumpworld talking point to rail against McConnell for putting money into Lisa Murkowski’s race against the Trump-backed candidate. That’s the thing – to win national races it’s much more successful to get incumbents re-elected than it is to get people with no political record elected. McConnell, despite Trump attacking him constantly and Dems pouring millions into Amy McGrath, won his reelection by 20 points. He knows a bit more about elections than Trump, that’s for sure, who won 2016 by a fluke, with Hillary being so bogged down by scandals and being a particularly awful candidate, added to which Trump had benefitted mightily from that billions of dollars of free media during the GOP primary. The mythical “GOP Insurgent” Dems and liberal media created in the GOP primary came back to haunt them in the general. And McConnell knows more about how the US Senate operates than Blake Masters. The truth is McConnell-aligned PACs poured way more money into Trump-backed candidates in the general election than Trump did:

“McConnell-aligned super PACs — including SLF, American Crossroads and Faith & Power PAC — have invested a whopping $238 million so far in seven key Senate races. How much has Donald Trump spent? He has raised an eye-watering $161 million this election cycle. But his super PAC, Make America Great Again, Inc., has spent a grand total of . . . $14.8 million on Senate races. To put that in perspective, MAGA Inc.’s total spending across the country is less than McConnell-aligned PACs have spent in any individual race in which they are engaged.”

https://www.news-journal.com/opinion/mcconnells-pacs-put-money-where-trumps-mouth-is/article_f81a8e4e-5e27-11ed-8053-5740bc1e4414.html

With Murkowski -it made sense to back an incumbent rather than engage in the reckless and stupid Trump purges of the GOP, trying to rid the GOP of anyone who doesn’t march in lock-step with Trump and kiss his butt. Blake Masters is another one of those Trump-backed candidates with no political experience and in fact, he has no experience of even being a Republican – just like Trump, yet, he’s demanding that McConnell must go. Love him or hate him, McConnell, has been very effective as Senate leader, and has gotten a whole lot of conservative judges confirmed AND has put decades into the GOP – even back when Trump was a NY liberal spending his time with his golfing buddy, Bill Clinton. Since 2015, I’ve believed that Trump entering that race was a Dem dirty trick, so there’s my conspiracy theory.

Why should a guy who lost his Senate race be the person demanding Mitch McConnell be replaced? I’m not even a McConnell fan, but I’m sick to death of the Trump’s lies and endless Trump war against the GOP. Trump has torn the GOP apart and besides his fluke win in 2016, he’s led the GOP to nothing but losses and constant battles against RINOs and the GOPe. Living in GA, I’m sick to death of Trump’s efforts to tear the GOP apart here and I am glad Brian Kemp won a huge victory over Stacy Abrams – DESPITE Trump trying to destroy Kemp. Where’s the anger among MAGA over Trump trying to tear down popular Republicans running for re-election, only because they wouldn’t kiss Trump’s butt? Nope, they’re being led to blame Mitch McConnell for the losses.

Trump’s already fundraising using the Hershel Walker run-off in GA:

Trump automatically gets 90% of those donations he’s raising for Hershel Walker, unless the donor clicks to change that – another Trump grift.

I fully expect Trump and his right-wing media echo-chamber to keep attacking Mitch McConnell, keep lying, and claim the defeat of Trump’s MAGA candidates, even with the terrible economy, was McConnell’s fault and at the same time con his supporters into believing the election wasn’t really that bad and many of them will keep sending Trump money.

I’m a “follow the money person,” because things become clearer when you take a close look at money trails.

A close family member pointed out to me that the Dems poured millions into promoting these extreme MAGA candidates in the primaries, trying to absolve Trump of blame and I reminded her that these candidates wouldn’t have even gotten any traction without Trump endorsing them in the first place. Trump put them in play. The ironic thing is this is exactly what the Democrats did in 2015 too – Bill Clinton ‘Encouraged’ Trump to Run. I still believe that the “GOP Insurgent” was a Democrat-concocted dirty trick that went awry. Trump wasn’t expected to win – just disrupt the 2016 GOP primary.

In 2019, Howard Stern, another Trump crony, who hung out at Trump’s home in FL: Howard Stern: Trump’s candidacy for president was a ‘publicity stunt’ I bring this up, because Dems pouring money on the worst possible candidates in this election is exactly what happened in 2015 too.

Here’s a Nov. 2016 piece: Donald Trump Rode $5 Billion in Free Media to the White House. A large chunk of that money was from liberal media – like CNN and MSNBC, where Trump friends, Joe and Mika had Trump calling in interviews on their show, while demanding other Republican primary candidates had to show up in the studio. CNN and MSNBC were also airing Trump rallies, in their entirety – live. They were conning right-wing America into buying into Trump – “the fighter,” “the great businessman,” “the GOP Insurgent,” while sitting on mountains of dirt about Trump – which they unleashed by late 2015, when Trump became a real threat to Hillary. It was all a Dem dirty trick in the beginning, I believe.

So many Trump-supporters believe in Trump as much as Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s supporters believed in them. Those Bakker supporters sent them millions of dollars too. Until enough Trump supporters realize this has all been a huge grift, Trump will remain a powerful force in the GOP and American politics.

I expect Trump to announce his 2024 run this coming week, FOX News will be back to selling Trump as the only GOP hope in 2024, and I expect most of his followers will buy into blaming McConnell and RINOs and GOPe, rather then realize Trump and Democrats pushing these loser MAGA candidates in the GOP primaries is how the GOP got saddled with so many bad candidates and why they lost.

If you’re wondering why Biden and Schumer were hyping J-6 and the threat of MAGA Republicans for months, while downplaying the economic problems, well, wonder no more – it was part of this promote the worst MAGA candidates in the GOP primaries, then pivot and only talk about what a threat they are in the general election (same strategy they used in 2016). I think they probably felt confident that very few of these MAGA candidates could make it across the finish line and with Trump it was guaranteed the GOP would remain in turmoil constantly. He wants the GOP purged of every Republican who isn’t 100% loyal to him.

Trump still has great appeal among his base and so many of them will believe everything he says, plus, unlike these losing MAGA candidates this past week – Trump actually beat the Democrats at their own corrupt spin game once and because of that he remains a potent threat to Democrats and their liberal media mouthpieces – as long as he has some big media selling him.

More to come for sure. Btw, Jim and TammyFaye had little old ladies living on fixed incomes sending them money for years, until they were exposed as frauds and I expect that until people realize that Trump has conned them and is really the guy who loved hanging out with people like Howard Stern and golfing with Bill Clinton, not hanging around working class MAGA people, the era of Trump will continue.

I am totally done with Donald J. Trump.

Update: Well, I decided to add a bit more, because here’s the truth – Trump brought the Dem/liberal media brand of spin information war to the GOP and turned the GOP into an entrenched civil war zone of Trump vs The RINOs/GOPe and has made the party largely dysfunctional. However, while the Dems and liberal media are gloating and celebrating, the other part is they are totally committed to this destructive spin information war and this election will energize them to further escalate the balkanization of America and expand their culture war. Americans will become further radicalized in the process – on both sides. As a conservative, I had hoped for wins on the right in this election, but it’s way more than the outcome of this election that concerns me – it’s the lying and constant manipulation of Americans by this 24/7 media spin war.

While Dems and liberal media politicized how they define “disinformation” and used it as a bludgeon against Trump and Republicans – disinformation is a real problem. First I’m going to mention the problem with clueless media analysts given high profiles.

A lot of right-wing media attention focused on the US Senate race in PA, where Democrats fielded John Fetterman, a man seriously impaired from a stroke. Even questioning his fitness for office led to liberal media and Dem attacks about being “ableist” and discriminating against disabled people, when competency for public office is a completely valid concern. The left-wing media is filled with as many nincompoops as analysts as the right-wing media, truthfully. Katy Tur, a MSNBC host was so ecstatic about Fetterman winning that Senate race, that she suggested he could run for President… And, in the current Democratic Party, where Joe Biden is being managed by his wife, that’s entirely possible. It was the complete lack of awareness of how serious it is to have people holding high office, who are mentally unfit for the office, that surprised me and I can see millions of Democrats getting all in on supporting Fetterman, after watching how they pretend Joe Biden doesn’t have any cognitive problems. While many people on the right were stunned about Democrats being willing to push Fetterman, despite knowing he’s unfit for office, is nothing new though – it’s goes back in the Democratic Party all the way to Woodrow Wilson, who had a stroke as president and his wife took over the presidency basically, while the American people were left in the dark and the media covered it up.

Next, there was the problem with liberals embracing Twitter banning right-wing people willy-nilly and basically using that power as a partisan political tool – big tech giants colluding with a partisan faction to silence the other side, all in the name of “fighting disinformation.” A lot of people on the right expected Elon Musk to become the savior of free speech in America. Well, Musk bought Twitter and he initiated some verification process for people to get blue-checkmarks that was not really verifying accounts. Twitter has been flooded with accounts impersonating other people, companies, government officials and many were fake Elon Musk accounts. While it might seem humorous, this, in my view, could quickly turn into a national security problem. Yesterday, I saw a news report about a fake Twitter account for Eli Lilly, a pharmaceutical company, whose stock plunged after a fake Twitter account tweeted: Fake Eli Lilly Twitter Account Claims Insulin Is Free, Stock Falls 4.37%. That supposed verified accounts aren’t actually verified in any way could cause a lot of havoc, so Twitter halted their new verification program. That a fake account could crash major US companies or cause mass panic is not funny.

There isn’t going to be a one step solution to either the spin information war problem or the very real dangers with large social media platforms – both with how much power they have to control information or how risky it is to have no verification or security checks on official social media accounts for officials, companies, organizations, etc.

Corruption problems in politics and with the media are as old as politics and media, actually. What has alarmed me for decades now about this spin information war is how completely this merging of partisan politics and big media has been able to drive and control public opinion in America. However, the more concerning problem is how many people will share, retweet, and believe in information without doing an iota of research, trying to verify the information, or even being skeptical at all.

I’ve been concerned about this expanding spin information war and the divides it fuels for decades now. I opened Twitter this morning and some liberal lady was spewing invective at MAGA voters – not Trump or Republican candidates – she was spewing at Americans who exercised their right to vote however they wanted. That’s the problem – this spin war has radicalized not just our politics, it’s turned a whole lot of Americans into buying into this Us vs. Them way of thinking too. I bitch about how a lot of the Republican base, since Trump, has become addled conspiracy theorists, who buy into even the most wild conspiracy theories now, but this problem is also within the Democrat base too, where many buy into that “MAGA Republicans” are evil people and must be banished from the public square, monitored by the government, etc. – all for having different political views.

As a conservative, I get more riled up about what’s going on in the right-side of politics, but the same radicalization has happened among the left-side. None of it is good for America and as long as this scorched earth spin information war continues to be lucrative for politicians and media – they’re going to keep running with it and that’s the way bigger threat to America than who won or lost in this election. It’s like we’re on a dangerous road with no guardrails. And I’ll end with that.

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A few Veterans Day reflections

Today is Veterans Day, so every American owes a debt of gratitude to all those who have served and continue to defend our great nation. I had planned to visit the Veterans cemetery today but due to the rain with this tropical storm, I’ll take flowers another day, when the weather clears up.

I ended up tweeting some about politics this morning, but I want to limit how much time I spend on politics Twitter, since I haven’t completely broken the habit. I have gone days without looking at Twitter at all and that’s progress. Another goal is to limit how much politics news I ingest. Trump declared all-out war on Ron DeSantis, apparently, while DeSantis is doing his job as governor and FL deals with another storm. Then apparently, Trump was posting crap on Truth Social, his new social media home, trashing the governor of VA, Glenn Youngkin, saying his name sounds Chinese and spelling it Young-Kin. Yes, that’s how threatened Donald Trump feels, that he wants to destroy any potential 2024 upstarts in the GOP. I say, apparently, because I didn’t verify this information and don’t have an account at Truth Social and don’t want to join anymore social media formats.

That’s it on the politics in this post, because with it being Veterans Day, one of the things I was thinking about was how the US military is now an all-volunteer force, where patriots from all walks of life, decide to serve. The glue that holds our military together are shared values and a dedication to a mission larger than yourself.

While everyone certainly is entitled to their own personal beliefs and views, we can all benefit from regularly taking a step back and looking beyond ourselves and listening to other people’s ideas, views, and beliefs. When my kids were growing up I used to tell them not to judge people based on what they look like, where they live or work, what kind of clothes they wear, etc. I told them if you take the time to get to know people a bit, not what you think you know about them (which is often gossip), that you’re likely to be surprised often when you start getting to know a bit about people and listen more. It’s not uncommon to find that even a guy working at a gas station might have developed an interest in reading Shakespeare or painting, at some point in his life or that some lady working in a store, who came to America from a much poorer country, went to college or developed great skill at some other type of work or craft. Many years ago, when I worked at Walmart, our store had Bulgarian immigrants as the overnight crew that cleaned the store. As I got to know them, I learned that one of the men had been a Bulgarian army officer and another one had been a hospital administrator.

When I joined the Army in 1979, one of the things I loved the most was meeting people from all over America and the world. It was wonderful to be exposed to so many different people, who although coming from completely different places and backgrounds, worked together as one team.

We are all fortunate to have people, who are willing to put aside their differences and commit to a common goal – defending America. We can all spend less time investing in being partisans and more in being Americans. Today is a good day to give a moment’s thought to that.

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America survived another election

This is a going to be a politics post about last’s night election results. Democrats had a very good night. There was no “red wave” and although I fully expect Trump and his supporters to blame other people for the loss of so many Trump-approved candidates (that Trump foisted on the GOP,) the truth is most of the Trump candidates were a circus of clowns, with no political experience and the only thing that got them Trump’s endorsement was that they were Trump sycophants and loudly sucked up to Trump. All the right-wing media hype about how spectacular these Trump candidates are was a lie. And days before the election at a campaign rally, Trump attacked the only shining star GOP candidate, Ron DeSantis, who pulled out a stunning victory in Florida.

Kari Lake, one of the Trumper candidates who got a lot of right-wing media praise for taking the fight to the media and being a rising star, decided in a tight race, where it was crucial to attract every Republican and undecided vote possible, that it was smart politics in AZ, to attack John McCain supporters at one of her last campaign rallies and she told them to go home…

I fully expect Trump and his supporters will come up with some conspiracy theories about stolen elections, blame Mitch McConnell or RINOs, and point the finger all around, but Trump will take none of the blame for this Republican disaster he created.

I grew up in PA and frankly trying to foist some Dr. Oz, a TV celebrity who lives in a mansion in NJ, on the PA GOP, was like the masterstroke of stupidity. The only thing a whole lot of people in PA dislike more than people from NJ is New Yorkers, although somehow the right-wing media noise about Trump being a “fighter” and “winner” sold many blue collar people in PA to buy into that Trump really wasn’t the NY liberal, whose golfing buddy was Bill Clinton and who had people like Joe and Mika and Howard Stern hanging out at his home in FL, but instead was one of them.

Fetterman, a far-left radical candidate, severely impaired from a stroke, won against Dr. Oz, by largely running on he’s a PA native and lives in PA – not NJ. For all the Trump crowd, who think the American people are stupid for voting for Dem candidates, who are far-left or a candidate like Fetterman, here’s the thing, many people, even Republicans, weren’t sold on most of these Trump-selected candidates. In PA, if Dr. Oz wasn’t bad enough, Trump endorsed Doug Mastriano, a far-right kook, for governor.

Then there’s the money situation in the GOP races and here again, I expect the Trump pundit circle to try to blame Mitch McConnell, even though Trump put very little of the money he raised into these candidates he endorsed – he’s sitting on that money, while McConnell’s PAC spent almost a quarter of a billion dollars to bail out Trump-backed candidates:

In his latest Washington Post column, Marc Thiessen presents some interesting facts on the efforts of super PACS affiliated with Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell to shore up candidates endorsed by Donald Trump:

Through his super PAC, the Senate Leadership Fund (SLF), and other affiliated groups, [Senator Mitch McConnell] has led an extraordinary, quarter-of-a-billion-dollar effort to rescue struggling Trump-backed Senate candidates — while the former president sits on a $92 million war chest and spends almost none of it.

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/mcconnells-pacs-spend-millions-to-bail-out-trumps-candidates/

While Trump was spending his time thinking up some derogatory nickname to smear Ron DeSantis, days before this election, DeSantis was showing up around the country trying to support other GOP candidates, including Trump-backed ones. He’s still running a state and managing one of the most impressive major hurricane recovery efforts in American history. And he hasn’t bad-mouthed Trump or clapped back at Trump labeling him Ron Desanctimonious. Yesterday, on the day of the election, probably expecting a massive red wave, Trump was sending veiled warnings to DeSantis:

CNN — 

On the day of the 2022 general election, Donald Trump sent a very clear 2024 message to Ron DeSantis: Stay out of the race or else.

“I would tell you things about him that won’t be very flattering – I know more about him than anybody – other than, perhaps, his wife,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News Digital.

https://www.cnn.com/2022/11/08/politics/trump-desantis-2024-warning-shot/index.html

I voted straight R down my ticket here in GA, even though I had to hold my nose to vote for Hershel Walker, who isn’t conservative and I think is not really US senator material. I doubt he’s ever read the US Constitution or has a clue what a US Senator’s job entails (that’s pretty common in both parties these days, btw.) I hate these binary choices, where I feel both candidates don’t support any of the things I think are important and/or lack character in glaring ways. I was more concerned about the GA governor’s race and thankfully, Brian Kemp, another Republican, whom Trump has trashed repeatedly and tried to unseat in the GA primary, won. Brian Kemp demonstrated he’s willing to defy Washington overreach during the pandemic, while the guy Trump was supporting, David Perdue, just flipped positions on issues to try to stay in Trump’s good graces.

The big takeaway from this election, I think, is that the GOP has some serious soul-searching to do if it wants to win in 2024 and the Democratic Party will likely get overconfident since this election went much better than they expected.

Life still goes on. The sky didn’t fall. American democracy and our constitutional republic still stand and I’m thinking about a tropical storm brewing in the Caribbean and heading toward the southern US. I’m also thinking about a blog post I want to get written about something other than politics.

Have a nice day!

One last thought: Today, after a stunning victory in FL, DeSantis isn’t wasting time thinking up stupid derogatory nicknames or ways to attack other Republicans or even basking in his win. He’s doing his job as governor:

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What our future depends on: civic virtue

Today is Election Day in America, so I debated on whether to write a politics post or not. This is just a short post. My state has early voting, so I went and voted last week. There’s a straight, solid line connecting people who invest a lot of time in news and social media political drama every day and people on the left, who believe that either American democracy will end if their side loses control of Congress, and people on the right, who believe that if their side doesn’t win control of Congress our American republic is over. These same people seem very open to buying into wild conspiracy theories that cast “the other side” as evil, dangerous radicals, people who hate America, etc.

I realized that neither side of the media-driven political theater in America operates in good faith and took a step back from this, because the hysterical talking points may vary a bit between the two partisan camps and the media drama may tar “the other side” with different derogatory terms, but it’s all designed to get Americans angry and divide them. I’m determined not to hate anyone in my life and spending so much time worked up and angry isn’t good for anyone. Each day, I try to find things to be grateful for and find some rays of hope. You can find these inspirations almost anywhere. I came across one in a few seconds of a video I watched yesterday and am working on a blog post about that.

Yes, voting in one party that changes control of Congress or a state governor’s race may bring about very different policies and that’s why voting matters. In Washington, one party controlling both Congress and the White House can leave Americans who support different policies without any way to check one party rule. However, if you believe your party not controlling Congress or the White House spells the end of America, you’ve sure handed over America’s destiny to politicians and with over 330,000,000 Americans, that’s sure ignoring a whole lot of potential and American ingenuity. I prefer to have more faith in the American people than partisan politics.

A larger part of good citizenship in American than voting is civic virtue and that isn’t taught much anymore. We can all practice civic virtue by respecting other Americans views, being courteous to fellow citizens and teaching our children to respect other people’s right to have different views than our own. Unlike who wins elections today, our future really does depend on a culture where civic virtue is taught, expected, and practiced. I encourage everyone to vote, but please try not to get too caught up in the partisan drama and be respectful of everyone, regardless of their politics.

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A story worth sharing

I came across this video and want to share it:

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Filed under American Character, General Interest

No stress with my holiday meals this year

Last Fall I was concerned about reports of a turkey shortage, that was being hyped online. I was in my local Kroger grocery store and there was an employee by a meat bunker stocking their store brand turkeys on one side. On the other side of that bunker was one large turkey of a brand I bought many times in the past. That turkey was over 18 lbs. (it was me and my two sons here for Thanksgiving dinner), but as I stood there debating whether to buy it, a manager approached the employee and I overheard bits of their conversation. The manager was telling the employee not to try to order more turkeys, but I only heard bits of the rest of their conversation. I made a rash decision to buy that large turkey. I still have one bag of turkey meat in my freezer left from that turkey. I don’t care much for turkey, but my sons love having homemade stuffing at Thanksgiving and turkey goes great with that. I also like to use drippings from my turkey in the stuffing.

After purchasing that large turkey, my local grocery stores had lots of turkeys in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving and I felt stupid for first acting on bits of an overheard conversation and second, allowing online fearmongering and doomsday yammering to influence my decision-making. And yes, the more “dire” news and chatter you listen to, the more you’re opening the door to letting fear take up space in your thinking.

This past weekend, I saw Butterball turkeys in my local Walmart neighborhood market and there were lots of smaller size ones, which works better for me. I had been thinking about whether to get turkey or make some other type of meat for Thanksgiving for a few weeks and I had decided that I would buy a turkey, if I found one that wasn’t outrageously expensive and was smaller or I would roast a whole chicken for Thanksgiving. So, I had calmly thought about my meal-planning ahead of time. The Butterball turkeys were $1.18 a lb. and I fully expect some grocery stores might have turkey on sale before Thanksgiving, like other years, but I have the space in my freezer for a small turkey, so I bought it. I have all of the other things for my Thanksgiving meal, except if I decide to buy some fresh vegetables. I’ve got frozen, canned and dehydrated vegetables in my food pantry, so Thanksgiving is covered regardless.

It felt much calmer and sane to buy a turkey, where I had thought out my meal plan and options ahead of time and I wasn’t letting online hysteria about a turkey shortage influence my decision. And, yes, I have seen online hysteria about a turkey shortage again, recently. Sure, perhaps there will be a turkey shortage this holiday season, but by calmly thinking through my meal-planning and having a second option, I didn’t feel any anxiety or worry. That’s how I’m trying to work through both the real economic turmoil brewing and the accompanying news and social media fearmongering and drama now. I have enough food that I could bake Christmas cookies and put together a nice Christmas dinner too, so I’m not stressing about that either. A turkey shortage would not negatively impact my life in any way – it’s something I buy once a year and I’ve got plenty of other options already in my freezer and even pressure-canned meats.

Everything with the economic, energy and other big crises that are unfolding here and around the world are beyond my control. I’m not going to get myself worked up everyday or try to get other people worked up about things that are beyond their control too. I do have concerns about how so many people don’t do anything to become prepared, especially with basics, like food, water, and items to cope with weather emergencies that happen frequently in their area. However, I’ve had this concern for probably 40 years, when as I moved around the Army, I met people from all over the world and with all sorts of lifestyles. Many weren’t like the country folks I grew up around and in my own family, who were prepared for just about anything. I’ve seen many people over the years who got paid and blew their paycheck on stereo equipment, computer stuff, etc. and then complained they didn’t have food to feed their family until the next payday. These kind of people usually bog down government and private charity services, repeatedly, or leech off of family and friends. Here again, I learned over the years that I have zero control over what other people do. The only person I can control is myself.

I bring this up, because a lot of people are selling fear constantly – from the news media to many online formats. It obviously is working for them with clicks, but I’m trying to skip most of that and just work more on other stuff.

In other blog posts I’ve mentioned an elderly friend, whom I visit often. We worked together years ago, when she decided to return to work in her 70s, after she had retired from a job she had for decades. She is almost 86 now and on home hospice care, but she still lives in her home alone. Her son passed away a little over a year ago, so she has no family nearby. I do live nearby. At her son’s funeral service, I listened to the pastor talk about how my friend would need people to do more than just show up that day. He was right. I enjoy talking to her and help her out with errands and some small tasks. I also run into her hospice nurses sometimes when I stop by and most of them I know from my husband’s time on home hospice care and it feels reassuring to know they are looking after her. I enjoy sitting and talking to her, even though we are completely different personalities and have very different views on many things.

In recent months her memory is getting worse and on Saturday when I stopped in to drop off some spaghetti and salad I had made, she was excited about a “big” lottery jackpot. She’s told me many times that she always loved playing bingo, playing slot machines, and playing the lottery. Not that long ago, I ran and picked up MegaMillion tickets for her, because of some big jackpot, so when she was telling me about a big lottery jackpot, I assumed it was MegaMillions and I googled it, but that wasn’t a huge jackpot. She wanted $20 in tickets. I thought she had misunderstood something she heard on the news. Then yesterday morning I saw a news article about the Powerball jackpot is around 1 billion dollars, so I realized she wasn’t confused. I called her and told her it was the Powerball and I went and bought her tickets. I don’t generally play the lottery, or play bingo or gamble, not because of some moral stance, but because I’m not big on risk-taking,

I decided to spend $10 on tickets for myself, knowing full well, I just threw $10 away. She is excited about her lottery tickets, while I’m still feeling nothing except I threw $10 away, but I’m not beating myself up over that – even if the economy crashes tomorrow and everything goes to hell in a handbasket. I spent that $10 and can’t change that, anymore than I can change whether an epic catastrophe happens.

Honestly, my friend’s happiness with her lottery tickets was probably worth the $10 I threw away in the process. She regaled me with hilarious stories of some of her big “wins” at bingo and playing the slot machines. She had me laughing out loud and she was happy remembering the fun she had.

My friend asked me what I would do if I won that much money and I told her I’d probably have a panic attack. I have no idea how to manage a large amount of money like that, even in good economic times, and in this current uncertain economic time, I have no clue. She told me she’s been thinking about some cabbage and sausage, so I told her I will cook that this week and bring her some. She can’t see well enough to cook anymore. I even have a head of cabbage in my fridge and sausage in the freezer, so it’s a no-stress meal.

Instead of worrying about world crises or winning the lottery, today I planted some blueberry bushes in the ground that I had growing in pots, I mixed up some homemade vanilla extract, which I’d been meaning to try for a long time (it only took a few minutes), I saved some more flower seeds and finally some of my sweet basil, that I let go to seed, had some seeds ready to gather. I already saved a lot of lemon basil seeds. And I’ve worked on a few other projects. I also learned something new on YouTube. I glued together some jigsaw puzzles in the past and it was a bit messy. I saw a YouTube video on using glue sheets to just peel and stick on the back of the puzzle, which is mess-free and only takes a few minutes. It’s probably something that’s been around awhile, but it was new to me. I have a puzzle, that I completed over a year ago, that’s been sitting on a piece of foam core board waiting to be glued together, so there’s another easy project.

I’m also reading a book called, Landrace Gardening: Food Security through Biodiversity and Promiscuous Pollination, that a YouTube homesteader mentioned recently. I saw it in amazon and it was a bit pricey, so I checked Hoopla, which is a free ebook/audiobook service available through many libraries. My public library offers Hoopla and this gardening book was available, so I borrowed it. I don’t understand enough about plant pollination/cross-pollination or the scientific stuff referred to in this book to feel confident I’m grasping all of the ideas presented, but it’s interesting.

Here’s the thing, even if something epic, like an economic collapse happens or WWIII starts or some other major calamity happens, each day everyday life still goes on. We’ll have to figure out meals, figure out how to carry on our daily tasks, take care of our families and probably a lot of us will try to help our friends and neighbors too. I’ve found planning and decision-making, no matter the situation, is easier if I work on decluttering my mind from a lot of noise and fearmongering.

I felt stupid last year for letting social media yammering about a turkey shortage lead me to feel anxiety about whether I’d be able to get a turkey for Thanksgiving, then overreact based on bits of an overheard conversation that seemed to reinforce that yammering. We would have been fine and had a nice meal, even without a turkey, because I had a chest freezer full of meat last year too. I was only seeing the glass almost empty, when in reality my glass was full of options already in my own pantry. It wasn’t a crisis in my life in any way, shape or form, even if there had been an actual turkey shortage.

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Filed under Emergency Preparedness, General Interest

A blog note

This is going to be a personal blog post and for anyone who has followed my blog, yes, I’ve written about all of this before. The reason I’m delving into this again is because I’m done following Twitter. I left my account active, but I don’t want to write more about the next big spin war battle, as the political right rushes to get behind Elon Musk and the political left regroups for another epic scorched earth spin effort to destroy Musk..

When your rights have been violated and a situation impacts you directly, I think it’s normal to feel compelled to do something about it. I’ve written about the events that happened to me in 1998 during the height of the Clinton impeachment (the Messages of mhere story, is a true story about the events that happened to me, although I can’t prove it). I’m one of those people who doesn’t believe in quitting, but I realized years ago that I am powerless to prove any of these things happened and even if I had proof, some powerful people in America are above the law and even more importantly, no one would even care about something that happened decades ago.

In 1998 I jumped into posting political comments on the Excite message boards and that’s where the Dem/liberal media spin crowd were hanging out online back then. All of the repetitive spin messaging operations happened on the Excite message boards, just like they do now on Twitter, even though the formats are different. There was no blue checkmark crowd on Excite, but it was pretty obvious, even with people posting anonymously there, which posters were likely professional journos and Dem operatives and which were just ordinary people. On Excite there were people who used multiple user names, but often, by the way they wrote and interacted, they often stuck out. There were also people who changed to a new user name and often those people exposed themselves too, because most people use certain word and phrases often and respond in certain ways.

I began writing about the corrupt Dem spin war word games and countering Dem spin attacks on Excite. New boards under various topics would emerge rapidly on those Excite message boards and during the Clinton impeachment there were a lot of new dedicated Dem spin operatives who showed up on those message boards and they tried to dominate every new Clinton impeachment topic. It seemed like an orchestrated effort to silence right-wing posters, many who had been posting on the Excite politics boards before the impeachment scandal. The writing by many of the new Dem posters seemed more professional and the messaging seemed orchestrated to me. I don’t like bullies and these new Dem posters seemed like bullies to me, so I began aggressively countering their spin messaging. Then I noticed that many of my exact “counter-spin” arguments began being used by actual right-wing pundits.

Without getting into all the events that transpired again, after that impeachment mess was over, I made a vow to myself to expose the corrupt Dem spin information war and defeat it – no matter how hard that would be or how long it would take. I’ve spent way more time reading crap about strategy, especially military strategy, because military strategy is the supreme form of strategy in my view, I’ve read more books on political crap and other topics related to understanding this spin war than I even care to think about. I’ve read more political news than I even want to think about and I’ve spent untold hours following stupid social media spin battles and trying to understand how the spin war works.

At first I was driven by a quest for justice, because the abuse of power with what happened to me was so egregious – I believe, false information about me was deliberately relayed to a retired general, who hated my guts. My husband was still on active duty, so this was a retired general recruited to silence an Army wife. They corrupted the military chain of command with false information for partisan political purposes. My outrage went way beyond what happened to me, because I believe this false information was used to convince other people to participate in this effort. I also still believe that the attack on me emanated from the highest levels of our government, otherwise I don’t believe that retired general would have believed it. So, all this hoopla now about branding right-wing people as white nationalists, domestic terrorists, etc. is old school Dem spin sleaze operations – they’ve been doing this for decades and that’s why I expect the same Dem spin crap with Elon Musk buying Twitter.

Along this journey, I’ve also faced many personal challenges and worries, like spending years worrying about how to keep my late husband and family safe, then how to defeat this crap spin information war and I realized years ago that no one person can defeat the spin information war. While many people on the right cheered Trump “fighting back,” what they missed was he was adopting the same corrupt spin war ways as Dems and the liberal media. Sure, the liberal news media exposed themselves as little more than Dem operatives, but the downside was a sizable chunk of the right in America became true-believers in behaving as badly as the left and saying and doing anything, as long as it “owned the libs.”

I don’t care if you’re a Trump-supporter nor do I want to change your beliefs. I have friends and family, whom I love dearly, who are big Trump-supporters and I realized it’s best to just agree to disagree with them. The harder hurdle is how so many younger people live in Meme Land online and don’t care if something is true or not. As long as it’s a clever or funny meme, they pass it on. That’s the world we live in – very little fact-checking, lots of vitriol and rage, and very little tolerance for dissenting opinions.

The bigger lesson about Trump entering the arena to battle the corrupt Dem-spin machine is that although he hasn’t been in office since January 2021 he’s still relentlessly under attack, with non-stop efforts by Dems wielding government power and their liberal media cohorts still lobbing endless spin attacks against him. They are determined to completely destroy him. They don’t quit – ever. Trump managed to effectively counter some of their spin war operations and for that they’re going to use any means necessary to try to permanently muzzle him. and neutralize him as a political threat. It’s pretty obvious they’ll work to destroy Elon Musk too.

I’m going to be moving away from writing politics blog posts for a bit and definitely away from posts about spin war, because what I write doesn’t matter at all and won’t change a thing. It would take a sea change in American culture to defeat the spin information war and that would require millions of Americans to demand it. With the politically-engaged on both sides totally invested in and believing in this spin war crap, plus avid consumers of it, that doesn’t seem likely to happen. I’m trying to work on some things around my home and in my own life.

I’ve written more than enough about politics and spin information war.

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Filed under Blog Notes, General Interest

The right embraces another man on a white horse “savior”

Well, here goes with my contrarian view about Elon Musk walking into Twitter Headquarters yesterday, as he nears closing the deal on buying Twitter. A lot of conservatives and people on the right have jumped into action becoming Elon Musk cheerleaders and buying into a belief that Musk is going to “save” free speech in America. It reminded me of all the people on the right who bought into Trump was going to “save” America and although Trump was a NY liberal/Hollywood gadfly, who hung out with the likes of Howard Stern and Bill Clinton, no worries, Trump was now a conservative and his “GOP Insurgency” was the ticket to Make America Great Again.

Trump was a mixed bag and while I give him huge credit for making America energy independent and not reliant on foreign oil, for the first time in my lifetime, he also brought a lot of bad things too. He sold right-wing America on moral relativism and “the end justify the means,” belief systems. We were lectured by his mouthpieces to ignore the so-called “mean tweets,” and just look at how Trump was owning the libs and hitting back at the liberal media. We were told it was a good thing that Trump doesn’t play by the rules, because that throws his enemies off-balance and that making America great again requires tossing out the old playbook. We were told embracing this new political world, where anything goes, as long as it scores points in the endless media spin war is “winning.”

The automatic response from people on the right who embraced Trump is to get defensive and start ranting about how awful Democrats are and how the country is on the fast-track to economic collapse and ruin with Biden’s policies. It’s true, the Biden presidency has been an unmitigated disaster and I feared the Obama crowd running a Biden WH, while keeping Biden “in the basement” as much as possible (like the campaign,) that I caved on my Never Trump position and voted for Trump in 2020.

However awful this Biden presidency is doesn’t negate all the very bad things Trump’s brand of politics brought into the GOP – like a complete abandonment of any principles or even a party platform, in lieu of waging non-stop spin war attacks on Dems and the liberal media. So many people on the right believe that destroying the liberal media is critical to defeating Dems and the left’s culture war. They’re as invested in winning the spin information war as Democrats have been for decades.

All the way back to the Clinton impeachment, where the Dem spin war went scorched earth on Ken Starr and using any means necessary to keep Bill Clinton in office, I’ve believed this spin war would grow into a malignant force in American politics by corrupting American culture and turning America into seething factions.

Trump learning how to become adept at using the same corrupt spin war tactics, always on the hunt for Trump-friendly media on the right, who would carry his spin crap without question, led to the American right now embracing any crazy conspiracy theories, from any right-wing sites, that get floated, as long as they’re floated by Trump-friendly sources. Trump can say just about anything, no matter how outrageous or crude and most of his supporters will believe it and not care how crude or dishonest the attack.

Here’s the thing – my point isn’t even about Trump, it’s a larger point about the spin information war, which evolved in the early 1990s. The spin information war was a shift in the larger left-wing culture war in America, which blossomed in the 1960s and 1970s. We’ve been on a road to cultural decline and erosion of our American system of government for decades now.

Trump was just a loud inflection point in the spin war, despite how desperately Democrats and the liberal media want to cast Trump as being the greatest threat to America. He’s not the greatest threat. Americans continuing to buy into this media-driven spin information war and buying into the Us vs. Them mind-set, this spin war feeds constantly is the greatest threat. A country, where the people split into raging factions is an ungovernable country and no republic can function or survive in that state. The other major threat to our country is the complete collapse of principles, rules or standards, that has permeated almost every institution in America, as more and more Americans embrace moral relativism. Trump sold the American right on moral relativism, even as he spouted fractured Bible verses and blabbed about Christians, in between petty name-calling…

Our Declaration of Independence and constitutional framework are based on concrete principles. If both sides of partisans in America abandon those concrete principles, where they buy into two separate sets of rules – one for their side and one for their political enemies, well, we will no longer have a constitutional republic.

We’re pretty much there, as the insane spin war drives partisans to redefine reality to feed their own side’s narratives.

So, what does any of this have to do with Elon Musk, you’re probably wondering. Elon Musk isn’t a conservative in any way, shape or form. He’s a very wealthy man, who had a falling out with his liberal friends and he now hangs out on Twitter. Sound familiar? He’s being cheered and praised by the Trump right. As soon as he started tweeting about free speech and floating the idea of buying Twitter, he became the new “savior” of the right-wing. Everywhere you turn, right-wing people are cheering Elon Musk and believing he’s singlehandedly going to save free speech in America by buying Twitter.

As someone who has written a lot about how Twitter is the main battlefield in the spin information war and where the spin cycle battles are fought, despite most Americans not even following Twitter politics, you’re probably wondering how I can think Musk buying Twitter isn’t a big win for free speech in America. After all, Twitter is where the politicos, pundits and journalists in America hang-out and engage in spin war 24/7 and the narratives that win there then get amplified across media in America.

It’s very likely that liberal media and pols, along with their powerful tech friends are already plotting to pick up their spin game and move it to another social media platform. I’ve watched the Dem online spin game move several times since the late 1990s. Trump has tried to do this very thing too, by creating a new social media platform to compete with Twitter and he’s failed so far. If Dems and liberal media, working with their liberal tech friends make a move like that, well, they still dominate most of the media in America and still wield a lot of power to influence American culture and politics. Elon Musk could own Twitter, but if the liberal spin war machine moves to another platform, the right-wing political crowd would end up just talking among themselves, Twitter would lose influence (and money) and here’s the thing that happens in online forums if there’s little or no moderation – the porn ads and other scammers, radicals fringe nuts, and crazies quickly dominate the space.

I just don’t see the powerful leftist crowd sitting idly by and allowing an Elon Musk-owned Twitter to succeed. And if the Dem spin war moves, does the right-wing political crowd stay on Twitter, where they’re unable to engage in their daily Twitter battles with their “enemies” and get their dopamine hits from owning the libs or do they go to where the liberal media spin action is? Dems and liberal media would be running their spin war machine with little direct challenge from the right – like the old days and the right would be sitting there fuming amongst themselves.

The Dems and liberal media have been at this spin information war operation for decades, while the right just caught on to how it really operates during the Trump years. Elon Musk isn’t going to save free speech in America. Americans completely rejecting spin information war is the only hope, but unfortunately Americans who consume news the most are also completely hooked on the daily spin war drama too. They ‘re invested completely in their side’s narratives and buy into participating in this corrupt spin war as the path to “saving” America.

There are no quick fixes or a man on a white horse coming to save America – it’s going to be a long, hard road to turn our country around and it will require millions of Americans to have a change of heart, not just some quirky, wealthy guy taking control of a powerful social media platform.

Only a people who care enough to learn about our constitutional republic and embrace those principles can save free speech… and all of our other liberties. That would take a dramatic change to sweep across America and for millions of Americans to care enough to put in the time and effort to start truly believing in some common American principles again. We’re a far way from the American people De Tocqueville wrote about in his 1835, Democracy in America.

Update: I made a lot of edits in this post this afternoon, mostly fixing typos and grammatical nightmares. While Trump supporters will likely assume this blog post is an attack on the right, it was intended to be a step back to look at the bigger spin war strategic picture.

The Dems and liberal media have been at this form of spin information war since the 1990s and even long before that, going back decades, they’ve been selling America on left-wing culture and politics. To believe the political left is just going to sit there and do nothing if Elon Musk takes ownership of Twitter and makes dramatic changes, seems rather near-sighted, I think. Besides picking up their toys and moving to another social media platform, the Dem/liberal media Twitter crowd could also wage a stealth effort to sabotage a Musk-owned Twitter, by various nefarious means – from flooding it with bots, creating hordes of fake accounts, creating fake right-wing extremist accounts to cause havoc and the list goes on and on. The havoc they create could then be used to demand action be taken by government to impose new rules to stop the “dangerous extremists” (this is a favorite Dem approach).

Dem/liberal media spin warriors aren’t going to just sit there and do nothing and they’re not going to quit their corrupt spin info war.

They’ll employ any means necessary to disrupt and destroy a Musk-owned Twitter. Of course, they’ll also whine about the “dangerous” right-wing extremists, even if they create fake ones, because dirty tricks and false flag operations are now par for the course with Dem spin war operations. These are people who have been using an any means necessary political operational approach for decades, while most of the the right only began catching onto all of this Dem/liberal media spin war corruption since Trump came onto the political scene. Whatever Musk does or doesn’t do with Twitter, is an unknown, but the Dem/liberal media playbook is pretty established. They will do whatever it takes to destroy Twitter, if liberals lose control of it.

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Filed under General Interest, Information War

Tipping points can happen suddenly

In my blog post yesterday I pondered how long Democrats and the leftist elites will stick to their accelerated green- energy transformation plan (the “Great Reset”.) While there’s likely no easy turning back course of action after a certain point in their transformation efforts, the thing is once there’s a massive public opinion shift, often major political shifts follow more rapidly than may have seemed possible even months before. I used the examples of growing public backlash against COVID mitigation efforts and the public backlash against the escalation in crime following Dems embracing the BLM “defund the police” policies.

There has been a growing right-wing populist movement in some countries in Europe and the US too, which bodes poorly for America’s future as a pluralistic society.

And yes, America has always been composed of people of diverse ethnic, racial and religious groups, but we’ve always managed to pull our country together by embracing some common values. Presently, it seems the more extreme views on both sides of our political spectrum scream the loudest and dominate the public spaces, where cultural and political battles keep erupting daily. Moderate voices don’t stand a chance in a spin war. Outrage theater dominates public “discourse.”

I also expect public backlash to accelerate against the transgender movement, against the media-run spin information war, and against social media word police antics that promote the leftist political agenda.

In democratic countries, where people are accustomed to and expect to be able to speak and interact freely, it seems highly unlikely that the left’s embrace of using media as a tool to herd people toward leftist ideological beliefs and coral them from other views will succeed for the long term. People accustomed to speaking freely aren’t likely to passively accept being prodded into submission by massive public-shaming/virtue-signaling political messaging efforts for long. Having social media honchos become de facto Democrat/liberal word police is already facing growing backlash, which will likely escalate.

The economic turmoil and green-energy transformation policies already in motion can’t be easily fixed, but a major derailment of this green dream plan seems very likely to me.

Tipping points often seem to happen much more rapidly than people think possible or expect. In the beginning of this year, I suspect, most Democrats believed they could still continue with their COVID hysteria and push more COVID mitigation policies (power grabs.) They were unprepared for the swift and dramatic shift (the tipping point) in public opinion on COVID policy, to the point that you aren’t hearing Dem political candidates running on COVID policy.

79% of people in an October 2022 Pew Research report said the economy is the top issue. I think most of the culture war that generates so much left vs. right drama in America are really boutique political issues, that while they generate a lot of buzz and fad followers, when push comes to shove and economic hard times hit, no one can afford to buy into these issues. Keeping food on the kitchen table, bills paid and gas in the car become the priority. As the economic situation worsens, fewer and fewer people will want to be lectured about transgender issues or hear about green-energy/climate change. That’s why I believe a tipping point is likely long before this green-energy transformation gets very far. It’s being run on hot air, without even having the necessary infrastructure in existence.

Things may get very messy. Famine, wars, some countries collapsing, civil unrest/civil wars and other awful events are possible around the world or even here, but I remain a believer that principled leadership can make the difference between getting people in a crisis to work together and total mayhem breaking loose. There are still people in America, who will put the political/cultural war drama aside and work together in a crisis.

Unfortunately, those kind of people are extremely rare in either political party these days, where spin kings and queens, people like AOC and Marjorie Taylor Greene, who can lob social media attacks and create non-stop political outrage theater drama daily are the type of people who seem to be getting the most media attention. They’re also attracting large followings, who cheer them on. On the left, if you don’t march in lock-step to the latest culture war cause, you’re toast and on the right, if you don’t foam and froth at the Left, you’re labeled a “RINO” and put out to pasture. That’s why I’m so ambivalent about this upcoming election. I don’t believe politics is going to “save our country” or even get us on a better path.

Interestingly, this same phenomenon happens on social media, where the most sensational headlines and flame-throwing personalities generate massive followings.

However, in a crisis, all these flame-throwers and “spin warriors” are completely useless, because a crisis requires real leadership, not just angry words and catchy sound bites. I’ve met loads of outstanding leaders around the military and even in everyday life. So, I don’t despair. History has shown that sometimes when we least expect it, the most unlikely people step up to the plate and lead.

This is especially true in America. There are all sorts of civic-minded people, who see a problem in America and start a fund-raiser or form a group to work on that problem or just set out and work to fix it themselves. America was built on a spirit of volunteerism.

With that I’m going to end with encouraging you to consider donating time, money or food this holiday season, to help feed people in need.

Feeding America is always looking for help to feed Americans in need. If you don’t want to donate to large organizations, just look around your own community and you can surely find churches, civic organizations, schools, local officials, who can point you toward ways to volunteer to help others.

If you’re worried about the state of America, just try to spread a little hope and encouragement or lend a helping hand to someone else.

Even the smallest flicker of light can defeat the darkness.

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Filed under American Character, Culture Wars, General Interest