Category Archives: General Interest

A few quick takes on Pelosi’s 1/6 Sideshow

I posted a tweet thread this morning and decided to post it here as well:

Pelosi using Cheney & Kinzinger, to incite & divide Republicans though is truly Machiavellian. Many pre-Trump Repubs will defend Cheney, which will inflame a large part of the GOP. Repubs, especially Trump, always fall for these Dem divide and conquer spin efforts.

11:49 AM · Jul 27, 2021·Twitter Web App

Dems always overplay their narratives. The IG report already highlighted there were security problems with 1/6. And, just like with the FBI spin show arrests of Manafort & Stone, the handling of some of these alleged 1/6 perps (no bail/solitary confinement) raises more questions.11:49 AM · Jul 27, 2021·Twitter Web App

The Pelosi script assures the mainstream media will go full hair-pulling, teeth-gnashing spin mode running Dem talking points – like this dramatic police & violent video opening.11:49 AM · Jul 27, 2021·Twitter Web App

Timing matters, so this Pelosi-directed sideshow kicks off today, just as another round of COVID hysteria’s erupting. Dems might wear out the patience of most of the American people with another TDS spin show & another COVID meltdown farce, at the same time. If BLM jumps in –Zany face.11:49 AM · Jul 27, 2021·Twitter Web App

A calm, in charge moderate leader, who bypassed 99.9% of this spin crazy, could probably flip the script on Dems & Trump and garner a lot of support. Most Americans long for some peace and quiet… and normal11:58 AM · Jul 27, 2021·Twitter Web App

Those were my quick thoughts this morning. Sorry for the gigantic crazy emoji, but I’ve got no clue how to make it smaller. I just copied and pasted the tweet and this is how it appears. BIG crazy explains most of our American politics though and truly, another round of Dem/liberal media Trump Derangement 1/6 spin theater, coupled with the “Doomsday Delta Variant Strikes” hysteria has launched. Just imagine, if BLM decides they want to steal some of the media limelight too – that would be a gigantic crazy.

As for the opening of this Pelosi-directed 1/6 sideshow, well, it’s just begun and all these overwrought cops and weeping Congresspersons, isn’t creating the optics Dems and their liberal media spin cast think it is. They’ve already over-acted this opening scene to the point, everything else will be overkill and look ridiculous – there aren’t hundreds of dead bodies to grab attention, only a replay of the Schiff type Trump-Ukraine impeachment drama, which fizzled out, but even worse, as each of the unimpeachable star witnesses testified, like Alexander Vindman, Bill Taylor, Fiona Hill, they looked way less credible the more they were questioned.

Pelosi’s efforts to exert total control over these hearings, by hand-picking who gets to speak and banishing the Republicans Kevin McCarthy selected, creates such a one-sided optic, that I suspect it will actually help Trump more than it hurts him. It already looks like a TDS gathering rather than a serious investigation.

One last comment and then I need to get some housework done. Gauging the politics Twitter flow, the BLM/MSNBC crowd appear to want to use Pelosi’s 1/6 hearings to escalate their “white supremacists everywhere” spin and that’s why if BLM decided to use Pelosi’s 1/6 hearings as a useful narrative to stage more street protests, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least.

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Filed under 2020 Election, General Interest, Twitter Tales

Two takes on the recent Buzzfeed Wolverine Watchmen story

This past week Buzzfeed ran a story, Watching the Watchmen, about the FBI informants involved in Michigan case, where some right-wing extremists, the Wolverine Watchmen, are charged in a plot to kidnap Gov. Whitmer and claiming the FBI entrapped them.

Many in the MAGA-sphere on social media leaped to attack the FBI, as did Glen Greenwald, who made the same allegations when the FBI was trying to hunt down ISIS/Islamist-inspired terrorists. Here’s a link to Greenwald’s piece: FBI Using the Same Fear Tactic From the First War on Terror: Orchestrating its Own Terrorism Plots.

Well, my go-to expert, in whom I place a whole lot more trust, than in Buzzfeed or Greenwald, is Andrew McCarthy, due to his extensive knowledge on both how the FBI conducts investigations in domestic terrorism cases and the FBI’s use of confidential informants. McCarthy discusses this case in a NRO podcast with Rich Lowry (at 22:40): Episode 136: Slow-Motion Train Wreck. This entire podcast is worth listening to, but if you’re pressed for time McCarthy’s primer of FBI confidential informants with regards to the Wolverine Watchmen blows past the partisan spin and explains the legal process. I’ve read several of McCarthy’s books, starting with The Grand Jihad: How Islam and he Left Sabotage America and I listened to the audiobook of his take on the Trump/Russian collusion mess, Ball of Collusion: the Plot to Rig and Election and Destroy a Presidency.

There you have it two very different takes on the same information. I really find FBI director, Christopher Wray, way too much like James Comey. Under oath testifying to Congress, Wray does these lawyerly tap dances, that remind me of Comey, where talks in circles and avoids answering most questions Republican officials ask, while being much more cooperative with Democrats. My trust level in the FBI plummeted in recent years, so I hope McCarthy’s take is closer to the truth than the rogue FBI take.

Update: Just clicked on National Review and Andrew McCarthy has written a piece on this Wolverine Watchmen story: Whitmer-Kidnap Case Enters ‘Entrapment’ Phase.

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Another round of COVID hysteria strikes

Just when it seemed America might get back to some semblance of normal, within a few days time our American liberal media, pundit class and Dems catapulted us back to the Spring of 2020 – full-blown COVID hysteria, again.

It’s time to prepare for more draconian rules and dire, “We’re all going to die… UNLESS,” warnings. Unless we embrace all the mitigation ideas floated, unless we meekly obey the experts, unless we stop being selfish and give up our rights, as directed by government bureaucrats. Unless, we, not only get vaccinated, but now it’s get vaccinated and wear masks.

In May, the CDC finally agreed to lift the face mask recommendation and the political momentum shifted to the side of life returning to normal. Now, COVID virtue-signaling has ramped up and “The Unvaccinated” has become the new label for rural white Americans and/or Trump-supporters… those dastardly Deplorables, again.

I did get vaccinated, first shot in March and second shot in April. I did and still do follow the COVID restrictions in public, because by nature I’m a rule-follower. However, truthfully I’m sick to death of the politicized media COVID melodramas, especially the virtue-signaling, which always comes with massive amounts of othering Trump-supporters, rural white Americans, and even some academics, who disagree with our thoroughly politicized health officials in Washington and media “expert” class.

Yet here we are and rather than let the latest media’s FEAR, Inc. effort get me upset, I’ve been thinking about what good things I learned throughout this experience. The first thing I relearned is to never let my guard down and trust politicians selling infringing on our basic freedoms, as being altruistic and part of being a good citizen – under any circumstances. “15 days to slow the spread is what we were told, as we should all remember. I was very open to mitigation efforts (too open and trusting), in the beginning, because I trusted the government’s medical experts and I trusted political leaders, due to the seriousness of a pandemic, would act for the good of the American people, not to grab as much power as possible. Watching the ever-changing rules, recommendations, conflicting guidance, dubious data and flat-out politicization of COVID by many of the government’s medical “experts,” and the politicians’ shameless power plays, let’s just say I have very little trust in their information and absolutely no trust in any politicians selling lockdown or more mitigation restrictions now.

A more important lesson from the past year is don’t ever let fear win. No matter how loud the media noise becomes, each of us can control how much or how little we pay attention to the news media hysteria, which our politicians and all these government “experts” exploit. We can control how much we let the news media fear-mongering impact our daily decision-making. The American news media and the entire spin war ecosystem peddle in fear and if you buy into it, you lose control of your decision-making, while handing power to those selling fear.

Now that I’ve vented about the politics of COVID and my displeasure with the state of our American news media, I’m going to meander onto another thing that’s been on my mind more in the past few years than at any point in my life – being prepared.

There’s a huge difference between most of the trendy prepper movement and actually learning to be prepared. The former is filled with a whole lot of people selling fear, just as much as the politicians and the media. The latter is a mind-set and way of living your life to be able to, not just survive in emergencies, but to become more self-sufficient and better able to cope with life’s ups and downs. It’s not about rushing to the store every time there’s alarming news and stockpiling guns and ammo or ordering expensive freeze-dried survival food, that will blow your budget for the next six months.

I’m not saying buying guns and ammo or high-priced survival food is a bad idea; I’m saying these are purchases you shouldn’t make reacting to our Fear, Inc. news media, politicians peddling fear or listening to some online prepper or survivalist. If you blow your budget on stockpiling an arsenal of weapons or that very expensive survival food, you just might end up literally living on rice and beans for a long time. There’s loads of good advice within the online prepper community, but there’s way more fear-driven advice and loads of people who make their living, just like the news media – selling fear.

As I began writing this post yesterday, I read a blog post, recommended by JK, Perspective..or…its more than just guns, which covered the pervasive “guns and ammo” mind-set, in the prepper and survival community. Here’s what Commander Zero there had to say:

“You know what I’ve discovered to be The Most Valuable skill for a ‘survivalist’ or ‘prepper’? Not having amazingly fast split times at the range….not being able to consistently ring the gongs at 200 yards…useful, but not as important as: being able to think logically, critically, and objectively. Your mileage may vary but I would say the most important skill I’ve picked up as a survivalist is… accounting. Once I figured out how to allocate, budget, and monitor my financial adventures it put me in a position to have all the other thngs that make surviving a crisis easier. But thats just me… it won’t be the same for you.”

http://www.commanderzero.com/?p=8771

Accounting, which I took to mean learning to budget your money wisely is a very valuable skill, but while Commander Zero wrote he’s 50, speaking from my 60 years of life, I think learning to think for yourself and not let fear guide your decision-making, is the most important. A calm, cheerful can-do mind-set is a bit higher on my survival skill set list, but he’s right, getting a grip on your personal finances matters way more than stockpiling a massive arsenal of weapons (or a warehouse of high-priced survival food).

Being prepared does require thinking and planning ahead, but letting the pervasive Armageddon-type fear-mongering on the right or the “we’re all going to die” fear-mongering from the left get you worrying should be the trigger to make you go find something constructive to do around your own home or with your family and friends.

Smile and laugh more, worry less, because geesh, we’re in for another round of massive COVID hysteria.

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Filed under General Interest, Politics, Preparedness

A Twitter thread offering some new perspective on the 2020 election

Yesterday a long Twitter thread began being retweeted by a lot of blue checkmark (the people Twitter has deemed influential enough to be verified and given a blue checkmark.) I don’t know anything about the person who posted this thread, but many of the points raised are worth pondering, even if you disagree with them. There are 31 threads in this tweet thread and later an additional one was added pertaining to Dominion, the voting machine company.. Here’s the first tweet, so just click on this link if you ware interested in reading the entire thread https://twitter.com/martyrmade/status/1413165168956088321:

Update 7/11/2021: The American Mind wrote up this tweet thread as an article and provided links to some of the points raised: https://americanmind.org/salvo/the-disillusionment-of-the-deplorables/

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Filed under 2020 Election, General Interest, Politics

Plenty of worries

The 4th of July while usually the day for “Hooray, America!” cheering, this year found me feeling worried about many cultural and political trends. From LGBTQ gender war extremism that seems to be targeting even young children now, to much of corporate America throwing themselves all-in on embracing and enforcing the left’s gender, racial and political edicts, to our partisan political wasteland, where the news media have become more political operatives than objective reporters and our politicians, across the board, seem to be mostly corrupt, self-serving buffoons and brazen liars. Trends don’t look too promising.

Then there’s the constantly shifting PC word games, where words that are perfectly acceptable and benign today, next week might be on an ever-increasing list of words the left’s word police deem racist, sexist, ethnically-insensitive, or denoting some other socially unacceptable connotation. If the left’s PC word games aren’t exhausting enough, the left’s media hysterics scan photos and videos looking for hand signs they deem racist signals and even facial expressions they insist denote some social evil (see the Covington kid’s smirk). To compound the semantical mayhem, many partisans on the right, following former President Trump’s lead, jumped into the spin word games too.

The culture war craziness afflicts the right too, with populist frenzies over hot button issues taking hold often and totally wacko conspiracy theories spreading faster than CA wildfire. The right’s turned mindless “owning the libs’ antics into the highest virtue, while too many elected Republicans float rushed legislation, that is often in reaction to some Twitter “breaking news” uproar than about carefully thought out or researched issues, all to appease and curry favor with the Trump=supporting faction of the Republican party.

Even face masks in the midst of a pandemic became a political symbol, with wearing a mask denoting virtue to many liberals and not wearing a mask a symbol of freedom to many Trump supporters.

It seems the politicians and media pundits, whose life now revolves around being social media influencers, lead the American media outrage theater parade, while the rest of America has not a clue what the heck is really going on, but plenty of Americans sense something is going radically wrong .

There’s a lot to unpack with the policing and enforcement of speech in the American public square, which increasingly is done in online social media venues. An easy early take when Alex Jones, a kooky conspiracy theorist got banned from social media, was that social media companies are privately-owned businesses and can set their own rules for conduct on their site. That issue of social media banning now seems way more complicated than that private company vs. public space argument. The issue took a decided turn when many mainstream (liberal) media companies tried hard to limit their coverage of Trump live speeches and not covering Trump White House press briefings, under the rationale of trying to stop the spread of lies. However, now social media has targeted Brett Weinstein, a liberal evolutionary biologist, who early in the pandemic spoke out on his YouTube channel (Dark Horse) about the possibility that COVID 19 might have originated from a lab leak in Wuhan China. Weinstein also has raised concerns about the safety of COVID vaccines and about use of ivermectin in COVID treatment and as a prophylactic drug. Weinstein has now had his YouTube channel demonetized, and several of his videos were banned from YouTube. In regards to the Weinstein case, Matt Taibbi raises an important question in piece published a couple days ago, If Private Platforms Use Government Guidelines to Police Content, is that State Censorship?. Taibbi states:

“There are several factors that make the DarkHorse incident different from other major Silicon Valley moderation decisions, including the fact that the content in question doesn’t involve electoral politics, foreign intervention, or incitement. The main issue is the possible blurring of lines between public and private censorship.

When I contacted YouTube about Weinstein two weeks ago, I was told, “In general, we rely on guidance from local and global health authorities (FDA, CDC, WHO, NHS, etc) in developing our COVID-19 misinformation policies.”

The question is, how active is that “guidance”? Is YouTube acting in consultation with those bodies in developing those moderation policies? As Weinstein notes, an answer in the affirmative would likely make theirs a true First Amendment problem, with an agency like the CDC not only setting public health policy but also effectively setting guidelines for private discussion about those policies. “If it is in consultation with the government,” he says, “it’s an entirely different issue.”

Asked specifically after Weinstein’s demonetization if the “guidance” included consultation with authorities, YouTube essentially said yes, pointing to previous announcements that they consult other authorities, and adding, “When we develop our policies we consult outside experts and YouTube creators. In the case of our COVID-19 misinformation policies, it would be guidance from local and global health authorities.””

While many Republicans rail about social media targeting Republicans and conservatives on social media for bans and having separate standards and rules on their platforms for liberals and voices on the right, it must be said that the typical Republicans in Congress response seems to be to draft ill-conceived legislation, that they know is never going to pass. It’s all a media effort, not a serious approach to dealing with the “war on words,” that’s escalating. The same Republican ill-conceived approach is sweeping through Republican-run states with legislation banning the teaching of Critical Race Theory (a controversial liberal approach to teaching through a racial lens). Many on the right see CRT as Marxist drivel that’s teaching American kids to hate America and look at everything through the liberal racial politics that’s been raging across America since the death of George Floyd last year. Poorly drafted bans on CRT and overly restrictive rules on what can be taught in public schools seems to me like the cure may be way worse than the disease.

On Saturday, the day before the 4th of July the NYT ran a piece, A Fourth of July Symbol of Unity That May No Longer Unite. Yes, now the American flag is up for demonization by this NYT piece written by Sarah Maslin Nir:

“Supporters of former President Donald J. Trump have embraced the flag so fervently — at his rallies, across conservative media and even during the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol — that many liberals like Mr. Treiber worry that the left has all but ceded the national emblem to the right.

What was once a unifying symbol — there is a star on it for each state, after all — is now alienating to some, its stripes now fault lines between people who kneel while “The Star-Spangled Banner” plays and those for whom not pledging allegiance is an affront.

And it has made the celebration of the Fourth of July, of patriotic bunting and cakes with blueberries and strawberries arranged into Old Glory, into another cleft in a country that seems no longer quite so indivisible, under a flag threatening to fray.”

Where better to get a gauge for the opposite reaction to this NYT piece than country music, with two new songs released :

Yes, the spin information war, that drives the left’s culture war, still worries me a great deal and what concerns me is what happens when millions of Americans, who refuse to buy into the left’s BLM racial politics, get tired of being told they’re racist and having every aspect of their lives attacked? Or what happens, God-forbid, Dems pass some new gun-control laws or there’s some other high-octane situation like the BLM protests that turned violent last year or some far right-wing violence erupts or Trump or some other right-wing flamethrower ignites something worse than Jan. 6th? Where does America turn for some calm, news reporting or some calm, political leadership, who most of America will even listen to? The Dems spent months last year attacking the police, and now some Trumpers on the right are attacking the FBI and America’s top generals. I worry about the small crowd of blue-checkmark partisan flame-throwers on Twitter driving and controlling the news media coverage in America and their ability to escalate even the most trivial thing into a major outrage spin cycle, that can quickly mobilize tens of thousands of Americans into a raging mob.

I still remain hopeful about America, but this corrupt spin war, that’s now directed from a small crowd of media and political elites on Twitter really worries me.

Before closing this post, I wanted to give an update on my duck saga. Towards evening on the day the second duck showed up in my front yard, the ducks were waddling around my front yard. A pick-up with two older men stopped in front of my house and one of the men jumped out and rushed up to the ducks, happily talking to them. He told me the ducks live in his backyard, but they are wild ducks. He told me when the one duck disappeared the remaining duck kept leaving several times a day wandering around the neighborhood looking for the other duck (which was laying behind the a bush in my flower bed). I told the man that this duck showed up in my front yard and seemed injured. Long story short, this man has a pond in his backyard, lives on a nearby street, and as he talked to the ducks they followed him back to his house. As joyful as that man was to find both ducks, I can assure you, I was even more joyful to not have two Muscovy ducks living in my front yard.

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Filed under BLM movement, Culture Wars, General Interest, Politics, Twitter Tales

I’m cursed

Looked out at my front yard this morning and what to my wondering eyes should appear. The duck now has a friend visiting.

Here’s another photo:

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Proper Respect

Here’s a tweet by Vice President Harris that ignited another crazy partisan tweet firestorm on Saturday, two days before Memorial Day. These partisan outrage tweet firestorms have become just part of the social media ecosystem that flare up quickly and then leap to ignite “national conversations” on news media, (especially cable news networks). Most of these partisan Twitter battles are ridiculous, totally disingenuous and just shallow political theater.

I am not a fan of Harris, find most of her comments vapid and her giggling at odd moments when speaking annoys the heck out of me, but I did not take this tweet to be some sign of disrespect for our fallen war heroes. It was the most innocuous platitude imaginable and something just about everyone has said at the beginning of a long holiday weekend, but many from right-wing blue-checkmark Twitter (especially Trump-supporters) went berserk tweeting angry diatribes about her tweet, accusing her of disrespecting fallen soldiers, dishonoring our country and even asserting this tweet made her unfit to serve. And somehow over four years of Trump’s disrespectful, petty, spiteful and plain wacky tweeting was forgotten and this Kamala tweet became the worst public display of disrespect imaginable.

The whole predictable Twitter firestorm left me feeling, not only weary of the endless, petty spin war, but also deeply saddened that blue-checkmark, politically-connected partisans have so much influence over American news and American politics. On both sides of the political divide in America, this small Twitter crowd wields enormous influence over our political landscape and within minutes can ignite national outrage, spread malicious lies, and even pressure elected officials into making rash decisions.

Yesterday morning, the Kamala Twitter kerfuffle was still permeating before I headed to the veterans cemetery, where my husband is buried. I’ve been visiting this cemetery almost every weekend since March and usually there are one or two other visitors there. I expected more this weekend and there were a few more visitors, like three men on motorcycles who came to pay a visit to a military buddy. There were a few family groups. There was a man with his son, who looked to be around 7 or 8 years old, walking through the row next to where my husband is buried. His son was straightening flags that were leaning sideways from the wind and I heard him ask his dad what “Purple Heart” means and small moments like that give me hope for America.

On a couple other visits I’ve seen a younger lady sitting on a grave and it hurts my heart to see her grieving. Grief’s a very personal thing and as with just about every part of life, assuredly there’s a slew of self-help books to “teach you” how to cope with grief, there are grief support groups, and I’ve even come across some YouTube channels for grieving widows, but I’m very slowly feeling my way through this.

What makes my heart catch on trips to this veterans cemetery are two words on markers: Iraq and Afghanistan, because then I look at the birth date. There have been so many brave men and women who sacrificed so much to keep America free and here we are, a country where the political and media elites spend hours upon hours trying to drive and control public opinion via a corrupt, cynical spin information war that’s designed to fuel partisan divides every minute of every day, all while lecturing and preening about “proper respect” and “honor.”

Words come cheap, especially in a spin war, but how we choose to live our lives and treat others is what really matters. It’s way past time for Americans, especially those with the power “to influence” public opinion and our politics, to extend just a fraction of goodwill and exert a few moments of restraint, before leaping into these phony self-righteous patriotic outrage media sideshows.

The best way to honor the sacrifices of those who died defending our freedom isn’t about saying the “right words” on Memorial Day; it’s about working every day to be a good citizen.

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Is AEMO another Army boondoggle?

For several days I’ve been thinking about the US Army’s latest ad campaign, “The Calling,” which rolled out featuring an animated video about a real life soldier, Cpl. Emma Malonelord, who is a Air Defense Enhanced Early Warning System Operator (14H). As an aside there’s an $18K signing bonus for eligible recruits. This ad campaign will feature the stories of five soldiers, selected because of their diverse backgrounds, so naturally white males from traditional two-parent families aren’t represented. The five soldiers selected for this ad campaign should not be the targets of any backlash, because they responded to an Army-wide search for soldiers with personal stories to fit this ad campaign.

“”Research tells us that young people today see the Army as a ‘distant star’ – a place requiring a nearly superhuman level of discipline with little relevance to their daily lives,” said Maj. Gen. Alex Fink, Chief of Army Enterprise Marketing. “Similarly, youth don’t necessarily connect with those who serve or see common ground in terms of interests, abilities, and goals. ‘The Calling’ shatters these misperceptions by showing that Soldiers are all of us: real people with hopes, dreams, fears, aspirations, families, friends, and obstacles to overcome.”

The Army conducted a worldwide search across the forces for Soldier stories to support the campaign, receiving nearly one hundred inspiring entries. After settling on a shortlist of potential candidates, stories were tested to assess their resonance with today’s youth. The final “cast” provides a rich tapestry of stories that represent the diverse upbringings and life experiences that make up today’s Army. Featured Soldiers include”

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/us-army-reveals-the-people-behind-the-uniform-in-new-animated-film-series-301282737.html

So, there’s the answer to how this new Army ad campaign began. Here’s the first video:

Watching this video, the focus was heavily on this soldier’s lesbian mothers and participating in left-wing activism. The ad pushed left-wing, feminist political messaging, along with too much “I” messaging for my taste and no team messaging, although to be fair this ad is not even close to as awful as the “Army of One” ad campaign disaster. The interesting thing was in the article explaining how this new ad campaign was developed, there’s a quote about what message they intended to promote, which left me wondering how on earth they completely missed the mark with the narrative in this animated ad:

“‘The Calling’ showcases how five Soldiers answered their call to selfless service,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Charles K. Masters II, sergeant major of Army Enterprise Marketing. “Soldiers across the Army stepped up to share their personal stories with America to breakdown the stereotypes associated with those who serve. Their inspiring stories highlight the diversity in the Army as we continue to be a Team made up of great people. One common thread you will see throughout this campaign is our Soldiers all believe in something bigger than themselves and strive to make a difference in the world.””

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/us-army-reveals-the-people-behind-the-uniform-in-new-animated-film-series-301282737.html

There is absolutely no messaging in that animated ad that speaks to selfless service or being part of a great team. The Army jumped into the fray about this ad, which followed the CIA rolling out woke recruitment ads too, and defended Cpl. Malonelord. Again, the important thing is this soldier responded to an Army request for submissions for an ad campaign and she was selected. She does not deserve any criticism or attacks. She didn’t script the messaging for this animated ad. In fact, she’s photogenic, bright, bubbly and presents a very positive image when she speaks. So, here’s a video US Army Fort Benning put out after the animated ad backlash:

The Army could have saved millions of dollars and just had this soldier speak for herself, because she’s got a winning personality. The messaging in this video effort was much better, as Malonelord spoke about the Army as a melting pot, with people from all over the world and all types of backgrounds and that’s one of the things I love most about the Army community.

Of course, the Twitter political class got invested in fighting over this Army ad and it’s now a partisan spin battle with feminist, Army vet, Senator Tammy Duckworth attacking conservative Senator Ted Cruz for his criticizing that animated Army ad and retweeting a tweet, that compares a Russian army ad compared to this US Army cartoon ad:

And in usual Twitter spin battle fashion, Senator Duckworth accused Cruz of spreading Russian propaganda, but by today her spin attack was asserting the tweet isn’t Russian propaganda, but white nationalist propaganda. I have no idea who tweeted this comparison initially, nor do I even care. The point is this US Army animated ad rollout disaster should have been anticipated, just by paying attention to the negative reactions to the recent CIA woke recruitment ads.

I was more curious about who put this ad campaign together and how much it cost. At the end of the article describing The Calling ad campaign article was this bit of information:

About the Army Enterprise Marketing Office (AEMO): AEMO is the U.S. Army’s national marketing, marketing research and analysis and accessions analysis organization. AEMO develops innovative and effective ways to: connect with the American public to make the Army more accessible and understood; increase awareness of both the benefits and value of Army service; and motivate the most qualified candidates to choose the Army as their service of first choice.”

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/us-army-reveals-the-people-behind-the-uniform-in-new-animated-film-series-301282737.html

Here’s a 2019 article:

“When it comes to marketing itself to the American public, the Army believes it’s in the midst of something of an identity crisis. Its research on the subject says nearly half of the young adults that make up its recruiting base have little or no knowledge of what military service is.

So for the first time in two decades, the Army is overhauling its more than $300 million advertising and marketing program. Effective Aug. 1, officials abolished the Army Marketing and Research Group (AMRG) and replaced it with a new organization called Army Enterprise Marketing. Instead of a Pentagon headquarters, the new group will be based in the same city as DDB Chicago — the firm that won a $4 billion, ten-year contract last November to handle the Army’s advertising.

“Chicago was at the top of the list because it’s a center of learning for marketing and it’s a center of industry for marketing,” Dr. Casey Wardynski, the assistant secretary of the Army for manpower and reserve affairs told reporters Thursday.  “The [private sector] talent is already there. We don’t have to bring talent in.””

Army stands up Chicago-based marketing operation to help bolster recruitment

Seems like a lot of wasted money if this cartoon, which came about after an Army-wide search for compelling soldier stories and all sorts of market and data research, is supposed to energize Gen Z young people to… be all they can be… in the Army…

Update 5/24/2021: I linked the wrong video as the first story in The Calling ad campaign. Here’s Emma story:

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Dem COVID-19 Spin Games Hitting More Bumps

I don’t know anything about the person who tweeted the above tweet and I have no idea where or when this video was taken, but this little girl’s actions sum up my feelings on all of the COVID-19 rules, hype, politicization, and endless hysteria.

The little girl’s actions especially sum up my feelings about anything both the mainstream media and Dr. Fauci say about COVID-19, at this point. In the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, I trusted they were providing science-based information, yet the more Dr. Fauci has spoken and the more hysteria the media ramped up in the past year, the more it sounds like they’re pushing the Democrat political agenda rather than unbiased medical information.

This doesn’t mean I refuse to believe in science or that I am a COVID denier or against COVID vaccines or that I refuse to wear a mask.

I strongly suspect my husband had COVID in January 2020, an idea which was considered a heresy by the experts for a long time, because the earliest verified cases of COVID in the U.S. did not go as far back as mid- January 2020 and it was not politically tenable to suggest China lied about when their COVID-19 outbreak started. The CDC collected archived blood serum samples from the American Red Cross and studied them for COVID-antibodies and found COVID-19 antibodies in some of those 2019 samples, yet the Fauci/Dem/liberal media spin narrative quickly moved past that information. They still repeat the Chinese government and WHO COVID-19 timeline (propaganda).

The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the U.S. was January 15, 2020, with a man in Washington state, who had just returned from Wuhan, China. My husband got very sick around that same time, in GA and my husband hadn’t traveled anywhere, but our son had been sick about week before with the same symptoms. Although my personal situation has no science to back it, it’s not much less suspect than many of the public health pronouncements on COVID-19, which have been tainted with both domestic and foreign political considerations and US public health officials in Washington, who seem too willing to trust Chinese government and WHO information, even as the Chinese government’s lies about the virus have been exposed.

I followed all of the COVID-19 rules and I spent 2020 at home taking care of my husband. I didn’t take any vacations or attend any social gatherings (large or small), I wore a mask in public, I followed the social distancing rules and at first, I trusted Dr. Fauci and the DC public health officials made science-based recommendations. I don’t have any trust in Dr. Fauci or the CDC at this point, but I went ahead and got my first COVID vaccine last month and will get my second shot soon. I still wear a mask in public places and I still follow social distancing rules in those places, even though I strongly suspect that when exploiting COVID-19 fear and inciting hysteria for political advantage reaches the point of diminishing returns for Democrat politicians, we’ll likely learn from the “experts” that there’s no evidence to support that any of these “mitigation” efforts were effective at slowing the spread of COVID-19 and that most of these efforts came with huge health and societal costs.

Whenever COVID-19 numbers in red states don’t conform to bolster the Dem’s COVID spin narrative, that Dem governors’ COVID mitigation restrictions are working magnificently and red state governors, who ended lockdown and mask mandates, are creating a serious public health threat, Dr. Fauci doesn’t ever have any explanation for information and data that runs counter to his belief in imposing more restrictions on people’s lives. He just pivots back to hyping more restrictions, from double-masking to insisting that even fully vaccinated people must still live a very restricted life, controlled by media-induced fear and government-imposed COVID-19 rules.

When this Democrat COVID-19 con game reaches critical mass, sadly our political class, both Dems and their media cohorts, who often seem more like comrades, will still be on Twitter generating the spin attacks that evil red state governors jeopardized public health by lifting COVID-19 restrictions too soon and they’ll still be doubling down, defending their corrupt and destructive COVID-19 “Trust the Science” spin crap show.

Another gloomy forecast is Republicans and Trump-friendly media will still likely be countering the Dem spin crap show with their adopted Trumpian counter-spin crap show, because they’ve bought into that “at least Trump fights the left spin,” as being a viable strategy to defeat the massive Dem/media spin control of mass media in America.

Control of the mass media spin messaging propels the left’s culture war, which relies on mass media spin information war to mold and control public opinion in America

The Trump spin approach remains doomed to fail and will never actually defeat the Dems’ massive spin apparatus, that includes, not only most of the media in America, but also the big tech social media giants, who jumped onboard with becoming the online censors of Republicans and conservatives speech, working to silence Trump-friendly conservative and Republican voices, who gain too much traction or pose any threat to the preferred liberal spin narratives. And now corporate CEOs have jumped into the Dem spin war too.

Trump’s dishonest, bombastic, reactionary spin show provides the Dems endless spin ammunition, while at the same time assures that Republicans and conservatives will stay locked down by Trump’s circular firing squad leadership style, wasting more time on in-fighting than uniting for any common purpose to counter the Dem/mainstream media spin war.

The main reason Trump supporters cite for supporting Trump is “he’s a fighter!” Unfortunately, Trump’s undisciplined and short-sighted outbursts aren’t a winning strategy to defeat a massive, sophisticated, well-organized and funded spin information war, that is only part of a multi-faceted leftist culture war. The left’s culture war ideologues are deeply burrowed into the American education system, they control the Democratic Party agenda, they have powerful support among America’s big tech giants and corporate America, and they control most of mass media political messaging in America.

The COVID-19 spin scare is beginning to lose its effectiveness at keeping the American people fearful and thus compliant to Dem COVID spin power grabs, so the leftist spin message operations have already begun priming the media spin battlefield for pivoting to their next spin “CRISIS” messaging, moving away from COVID-19 onto CLIMATE EMERGENCY… Seriously, the Dems and their liberal media friends are already prepping their media spin battlefield for this pivot:

The Biden administration wisely began muzzling President Biden as their COVID preacher, after inauguration, and instead allowed the media gadfly, Dr. Fauci, to assume the role of unofficial COVID czar, so that once he’s no longer useful to their spin messaging, the media will stop their Fauci lovefest coverage and the Democrats can just pivot to ramping up CLIMATE EMERGENCY hysteria.

More bizarre American spin war ahead, for sure.

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Filed under COVID-19, General Interest, Information War

A few thoughts about the TX blizzard

When the pandemic mess moved into high gear last spring with the “slow the spread” mitigation efforts, many previously happy-go-lucky Americans became interested in emergency preparedness, especially acquiring a supply of toilet paper and emergency food.

Before talking about this past week’s blizzard that left TX in a huge mess, it’s easy to point the finger and try to attach blame in every crisis, especially in America, where everything now turns into a partisan political controversy.

Politicians and the media seem to delight in hyping hysterical people in emergencies, using these personal tales of woe to frame partisan political spin attacks. So, in this TX crisis, a reporter interviewed a couple who burned pieces of furniture in their fireplace and had a stack of small branches gathered from their yard.

Another media story was about a lady burning some of her art canvases to stay warm. People burning furniture, treated wood and random household objects in their fireplace isn’t a great survival story, it’s dangerous. Treated and finished wood can give off toxic fumes, as can many household items.

While it may sound mean to say anything negative about actions people take in a crisis, it’s irresponsible for media to elevate people, doing unsafe things, as heroes. The lady who got in her car, inside her garage with her child, and ran the car to try to stay warm wasn’t a hero, she was a panicked mother making a tragic decision. She and her child died from the carbon monoxide. There were also reports in TX of people bringing their gas and charcoal grills inside and lighting them to try to stay warm.

Despite media and politicians amplifying stories like this to heighten the drama and hysteria in a crisis atmosphere, the more disturbing thing is portraying these people’s actions as heroic tales of survival, when the sad truth is, they’re more object lessons of people reacting in panic, because they weren’t adequately prepared for a cold weather emergency. Many people make no emergency preparations before bad weather events, even when the coming storms are reported several days in advance. These are the people who will likely fare worst and make panicked decisions, because they never gave any prior thought to: “What would I do if this happened?”

Since the pandemic hit last year, emergency preparedness has become something I’ve tried to learn more about. Those lockdowns and shortages of items in grocery stores served as a wake-up call for me to start assessing my emergency preparedness, because honestly, I considered most of the “prepper movement” as Domesday kooks, anti-government radicals, bunker in the backyard alarmists, and a lots of gung-ho gun & ammo preppers,

It seems a very dramatic change from the emergency preparedness my parents and most people where I grew up practiced when I was a kid (they had stopped the nuclear attack drills in schools by that time, lol). Their preparedness efforts were geared mostly to weather and natural disasters, plus the everyday emergencies, like the car breaks down and emergency first-aid skills. Now “doomsday” preppers and “survivalists” turn into media sensations and there’s a huge prepper industry selling high-priced gadgets, gears and guns, that often come attached with a lot of anti-government and far right-wing political overtones. The same thing goes for this blizzard in TX last week. I didn’t want to hear about political garbage from the green energy left or the fossil fuel right. Political leaders should have been providing useful information and focused completely on assisting efforts to help the people impacted.

In my family, I have always been the first person to get out a flashlight and have it right beside me when I hear a storm starting (or reported heading our way) and I go pull out any supplies I think we might need. Often I preemptively lit a candle or two, just in case, so we weren’t left in the dark feeling around for a flashlight, if the power goes out. LED camping lanterns have now replaced candles in our house (although I still have a lot of candles on hand, just in case).

My husband and kids used to make fun of my storm rituals, which I calmly went through, no matter what they said. I didn’t care how much that they made fun of me; I did what I thought was sensible to BE PREPARED. My family, by the way, always used the candles and flashlights I got out. However, I never considered myself a “prepper” and have had a rather negative view of the “prepper movement” that has developed in recent decades. Although, I am very conservative, I just don’t want emergency preparedness to be a political issue at all.

Since last year, my attitude about emergency preparedness changed. I don’t care if anyone calls me a kooky prepper, a hoarder, ridiculous, or stupid. I hope people all across America have this change of attitude too and start learning to be more prepared for emergencies. Being unprepared, especially with basic food, water, and supplies leaves you trying to play catch-up in a crisis environment, where people are rushing to stores and panic-buying or stores are closed due to the emergency situation.

Way back in 2012 when I started this blog, a friend, Gladius Maximus, wrote a piece, Gimme A Knife, which I’ve quoted several times since then:

I understand that folks growing up in the cities don’t have some of the outdoor opportunities that some of us have, but I am convinced that there are opportunities to develop individuality, independence, self-confidence and other survival skills without having to spend a year in the Rockies on some kind of sabbatical. Survival is more a mind-set than a setting. Attitude is everything.

Being innovative and imaginative is essential whether you’re in downtown Houston or central Nebraska. Skills of observation and patience are not natural talents, but acquired skills; both are essential and both can be acquired through discipline. The ability to reason and employ a rational, decision making process is needed in order to survive and thrive. Again, that is an acquired skill. Determination, grit if you will, is a trait to be cherished, not erased.

Gladius was right. Survival is more a mind-set, but part of that mind-set has got to be learning to stay calm in emergencies. Being prepared isn’t just about running out and buying food, water and supplies; it’s about building up some emergency preparedness knowledge and acquiring skill sets. People can survive in very formidable cold conditions, even with very few supplies:

As an outside observer to this cold weather emergency last week, sitting cozy warm in GA, I learned a lot of emergency preparedness lessons. My youngest daughter, son-in-law and 4 month old grandson live in TX and their power went out and stayed out shortly after the storm rolled in. They went to a friend, who had gas heat working, Monday afternoon, when the temperature in their house got down in the low 50s. Early Tuesday morning their power came back on, which they knew because the baby monitor over the crib came back online. It was 35 degrees in the nursery. They went back home once their house had warmed up some. My daughter told me that my grandson didn’t like being in a blanket tent in a cold house and he didn’t like sleepovers very much either. My oldest daughter and grandkids live in Indiana and they didn’t experience any problems with this storm.

Sure, it’s easy to think the people who burned furniture or lit their gas and charcoal grills in their homes, to stay warm, were idiots, but that’s not what I took away from these stories. Where I live in southeast GA, we rarely get freezing temperatures. We hardly ever use our fireplace, but we have a couple days worth of fire logs (going to buy more) in the garage. We aren’t well-prepared for a cold weather emergency either. I did a lot of googling cold weather survival information this past week. What’s become a go-to prepper source for me is The Provident Prepper YouTube channel. They have several cold weather and power outage videos. They also have a website and a book with a vast amount of emergency preparedness information :

A closing thought on the TX cold weather emergency is that surely there will be investigations into what all went wrong with their power grid in this crisis and lots to learn there. Knowing what went wrong there is important, so changes can be made to assure it doesn’t happen again. The military does after-action reviews and uses this process where leaders share information and use this information to figure out what went right and what went wrong and use those lessons learned to improve performance. Taking a little bit of time to talk to your family (if they are on board with prepping) or if you are the lone prepper in the family taking a little time to calmly assess things you did that worked, things that didn’t and unforeseen problems will help you learn and be better prepared next time. The worst thing to do is not learn anything from this weather emergency and just brush it out of mind.

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Filed under Emergency Preparedness, General Interest