Category Archives: General Interest

Clinton Damage Control Full-Steam Ahead…

Jeffrey Epstein, billionaire hedge fund investor, friend to both Republican and Democrat powerful politicians and connected people, was arrested in New York on charges of running a sex trafficking ring of underage girls.  In this latest episode of this Epstein sex crime saga, plenty of names are being tossed out as being linked to Epstein… again.

Former president, Bill Clinton, is reported to have traveled on Epstein’s private plane 26 times.  Last night, Clinton’s spokesman released a statement:

“Bill Clinton “knows nothing” about the “terrible crimes” linked to Jeffrey Epstein, the former president’s spokesman said Monday, in Clinton’s first statement after new sex-trafficking charges were lobbed against the wealthy financier.”

“In 2002 and 2003, President Clinton took a total of four trips on Jeffrey Epstein’s airplane: one to Europe, one to Asia, and two to Africa, which included stops in connection with the work of the Clinton Foundation,” the statement said. “Staff, supporters of the foundation, and his Secret Service detail traveled on every leg of every trip. He had one meeting with Epstein in his Harlem office in 2002, and around the same time made one brief visit to Epstein’s New York apartment with a staff member and his security detail. He’s not spoken to Epstein in well over a decade, and he has never been to Little St. James Island, Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico, or his residence in Florida.”

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/bill-clinton-knows-nothing-about-financier-jeffrey-epsteins-terrible-crimes-former-presidents-spokesman-says

When the Clintons feel compelled to do damage control with a statement, it’s best to be highly skeptical the statement is truthful.  This statement was meant to be the Clinton talking points for the mainstream media to begin spinning another “nothing to see here” diversion.  Plenty of the mainstream media will just run with this Clinton statement, as if it’s been investigated and verified as factual.  The Clintons have done this same smoke and mirrors spin routine to cover-up scandals, with the mainstream media serving as their loyal spin team, for decades now.  Honestly, this statement struck me as another Clinton, “I did not have sex with that woman” or “I never sent nor received any information that was marked classified.”

My prediction is that every thread of innuendo, no matter how flimsy, linking Trump to Epstein will result in massive mainstream media spin attacks trashing Trump, without any fact-checking, while any information damaging to Bill Clinton will get brushed under the carpet.

That’s how the mainstream media rolls.

As an aside to the spin efforts, there’s an interesting Tweet thread from 2018, by  Techno-Fog, which has FBI documents from 2008 about Epstein, suggesting that Epstein was an FBi informant on some financial investigation

Mueller was the FBI director in 2008.

Small world in that DC swamp, that’s for sure…

Oh, one other interesting bit of information that I wasn’t aware of is Jeffrey Epstein helped devise the Clinton Global Initiative:

“Billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was indicted Monday on child sex-trafficking charges, helped president Bill Clinton devise the Clinton Global Initiative, according to a letter his attorneys sent to federal prosecutors in 2007.

“Mr. Epstein was part of the original group that conceived the Clinton Global Initiative, which is described as a project ‘bringing together a community of global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges,” attorneys Alan Dershowitz and Gerald Lefcourt wrote in the letter, which was first reported by Fox News in 2016 and resurfaced Monday by the Daily Caller.”

https://www.nationalreview.com/news/jeffrey-epstein-lawyer-claimed-alleged-pedophile-helped-devise-clinton-global-initiative/

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Happy 4th of July

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Odds and Ends

“This is not who we are!”

My intention is to get more blog posts written soon, so we’ll see if my intentions turn into actual writing, lol.  For a long time I’ve been pondering how the internet and especially social media usage has changed my life.  One of the things I noticed over the years is a decrease in my attention span when reading in general, but particularly staying focused on reading books.  The constant click, click, click mentality of modern internet usage made me realize that I wasn’t spending enough time, sitting back, unplugged from the internet, and enjoying hours of reading.  So, once again, I’m recommitting myself to spending more time reading actual books, but also filling in the wasted online time listening to audiobooks.

For June, I finished 4 actual books and 3 audiobooks.  I’m working my way through two audiobooks and two actual books presently, hoping to stay focused on reading more books and spending less time online.  One of the books I’m reading is Ben Sasse’s, Them: Why We Hate Each Other And How To Heal,  which I bought a while ago, read a few pages, then sat it aside.  I’m halfway through it now and intend to write more about it after I finish the book and do some more research.

Sasse offers important information on the news media evolving into a massive infotainment business.  Trump’s reality TV show presidency seems like a natural evolution in this news as entertainment environment, but the real problem isn’t only “Trump is evil” and it’s not only this polarizing news media environment.  The main problem really is we, the American people.  Without a huge market for this combative news as infotainment and the American embrace of trashy reality TV, this media environment would not thrive and assuredly, Trump’s brand of petty name-calling and juvenile insults would never have acquired a large cheering section, that still fills up large stadiums with flag-waving Americans, who show up to see these Trump Rally Shows.

The corrupt way in which the media gave Trump billions of dollars in free media during the 2016 GOP primary to hype his “GOP Insurgency” still serves as the most glaring example of this toxic media environment, but there are plenty of other examples.  Trump’s opponent in 2016.  Hillary Rodham Clinton received liberal media deification in the early 90s, with the media overhyping her as the “smartest woman in the world”, America was “getting two presidents for the price of one” and on it went with the liberal media slobbering all over her, crowning her America’s #1 feminist icon.

Conservative media has done the same thing, like turning Sarah Palin into a conservative icon, but the liberal media due to its dominance seems to churn out more media-manufactured political sensations.  We now are regaled with the “rock star” Beto O’Rourke, America’s small town mayor, Pete Buttegieg, the always in our faces, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez  and last week’s Democrat debates, crowned Kamala Harris as the latest media darling for her championing school busing… of all topics to grasp to try and galvanize Americans to vote for her in 2020…

Probably the most realistic liberal take on Harris came from, of all people, liberal icon, Willie Brown:

“The first Democratic debates proved one thing: We still don’t have a candidate who can beat Donald Trump.

California Sen. Kamala Harris got all the attention for playing prosecutor in chief, but her case against former Vice President Joe Biden boiled down in some ways to a ringing call for forced school busing. It won’t be too hard for Trump to knock that one out of the park in 2020.”

https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/williesworld/article/Bad-news-for-Democrats-none-of-these-14059874.php?utm_campaign=CMS%20Sharing%20Tools%20(Premium)&utm_source=t.co&utm_medium=referral

As the 2020 Democrats veer left, President Trump, is veering back to his 2016 fear mongering about America being a victim of “unfairness” at every turn, even claiming most of our closest allies are taking advantage of us.  He’s ranting about illegal immigrants.  Mostly, though he’s wrapping himself in the American flag at every turn, playing to his blue collar white audience, proclaiming that only he is there to save them from the crazy Left.

The 2020 Democrats running to unseat him, are trying to find “issues” to run on, doubling down on the most far-left ones out there.  Most of all, what they lack remains a stage presence that can push Trump from owning this reality TV show media environment.  Americans, especially those who follow the infotainment regularly and are more galvanized to vote, really want the drama and constant controversy that Trump generates.   Even while many of Trump’s harshest critics claim to despise Trump’s reality TV show presidency and constant antics, they still tune in to watch and they spend hours upon hours tweeting and railing about Trump’s latest outrage.  He still owns the American political stage and I agree with Willie Brown’s assessment.

That’s it for today.  Have a nice day everyone.  As for me, I’ll be sitting here sipping iced tea … inside this afternoon.  It’s 97 degrees, but feels like 105.   Even my dogs don’t want to step outside this afternoon.

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Inspiration can come from afar

First a short blog note before moving onto a new blog post.  On Thursday, I think my blog was hacked.  Don’t want to go into details, but a photo was posted on my blog and I didn’t post it.

Now onto the blog post, which is going to be about books and writing… sort of.  The technology revolution in the past few decades often leaves me a bit bewildered and unsure of how to navigate using new devices, new software programs, and new digital ways of communicating.  The technology revolution happened without me ever wanting to jump onboard.  In retrospect, it’s easy to admit to my insular attitude to new technology, but at the same time many of the my concerns about the disturbing aspects to digital technology  in our daily lives turned out to be well-founded.

We had two sons, who were constantly wanting new computer gaming systems in the 90s.  I didn’t understand why every time a new gaming system came out, their perfectly good gaming system was treated like old junk.  Coming from a generation where we went outside to play, not glued to computer games, I neither understood nor liked how much time they spent playing computer games,

We didn’t buy our first PC until 1997, strictly because I was adamantly against it.  My husband kept telling me how great a PC would be for the kids, but in my mind a PC sounded like  just another expensive toy.  I had this same resistance to getting cell phones too, but my husband went and bought cell phones and cell phone service, then handed me my cell phone.

Part of my resistance to this wave of technology stemmed from my being totally technology-challenged, which created a fear of high-tech gadgets and part of it was my natural reticence about spending a lot of money on “shiny new objects”, which we did not need and were in no way necessary.  In 1990. while we were living in Germany, my husband had gone to the PX and bought a home word processor, which used floppy disks to store information on.  Although, he bought it wanting to store information related to his work and he thought it would be great for the kids to use with their schoolwork,  I quickly became the main user of  that word processor, despite being the one who lectured him about wasting money on a gadget we didn’t need.

The PC purchase went the same way.  I quickly became hooked on using the internet, while my husband never did become much of an internet user.   With cell phones, neither my husband nor I ever became glued to our cell phones and both of us have always preferred our traditional landline phones.  Seriously, once landline phones moved to having cordless handsets, that was about as perfect a phone as we ever needed.

I use my PC for everything from paying bills to learning new craft and needlework by watching YouTube tutorials.  I have dozens of books in my kindle library, but I’ve also found plenty of free classics at other online sites too.  Somehow though, I never bought audiobooks, mainly because they’re pricey and I wasn’t sure I would like listening to them.  Our oldest daughter loved listening to books on cassette tape, that she could read along with the book, as a preschooler in the early 1980s.  We would go to the public library and she would select the books with tapes and then she would sit for hours playing the tapes on her own radio/cassette player.  It amazed me how many new words she learned quickly, reading along.

In May, I wrote a blog post about trying audiobooks for the first time and somehow that brings me to the topic of a recent Matt Lewis interview of George Will in a 38:10 minute podcast interview.  This interview covers a wide range of topics, one of them being George Will talking about his love of writing and his enjoyment of fiction, not just the lofty ideological, political, cultural topics I assumed occupied his thoughts.  Of course, Will is also an avid baseball fan, which he has talked and written about many times, but I had no idea that he loves fiction (at 2:32 in this podcast).  Will said he has about 40 Audible books on his phone at any given time.  Will also said  that after a day of being immersed in facts and politics , it’s really refreshing to the soul to have stories told to him.

George Will became an inspiration to me in my early teens… back in the early 1970s.

My rural school district in NE PA had a Jr.-Sr. high school for grades 7-12.  As long as I can remember libraries have been magical places to me.  I remember starting school, 1st grade, because it wasn’t until several years later that our school district added kindergarten, and that small school library became my favorite place in the entire school.

Trying to decide which books to sign out seemed like a  monumental problem and I recall the school librarian kindly explaining to me that books with the big Newberry Medal Winner emblem on them were always good choices.  That helped me a bit in selecting books, but for me the best help has  always been word-of-mouth recommendations from friends, who have similar taste in books as mine.  Here again, the internet expanded on that “word-of-mouth” aspect to selecting books with customer reviews, blogs and websites galore with genre specific book reviews.  These days, I even add books to my book list, that I come across on cross-stitch blogs, because many cross-stitch bloggers also seem to be avid readers.

When we were learning about American government(7th grade, I think), my history teacher told us to try to read national newspapers and news magazines in our school library, as often as possible.  My father was a devoted reader of our local newspaper, The Pocono Record, so I had already adopted my father’s newspaper reading habit.  My high school library is where I first came across George Will’s columns and his columns inspired me to explore, not only new ideas, but to learn new words.  Whenever I read his columns, it became a habit of mine to jot down ideas or words I was unfamiliar with or wasn’t sure of their meaning.  Later, I would look up the words in the dictionary and try to remember them or I’d check the encyclopedia for explanations of ideas Will had written about. Sometimes, I even had to use the card catalog to find books with more information about something Will had written about.

George Will has been not only an inspiration to me; he’s been a valued teacher.

As I got older and developed my own political views, there have been times when I disagreed with George Will’s take on an issue, but I have never doubted his integrity, his honesty in putting forth his heartfelt convictions, but most of all his dedication to striving for excellence in his writing and analyzing politics.

George Will’s latest book is titled, The Conservative Sensibility, and yes, it’s on my reading list.

 

 

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Happy Flag Day!

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A glance back at 2015

With Attorney General, William Barr, going back to the beginning of how the Trump-Russia investigation began, I’ve spent time thinking about the beginning of the 2016 race, back in 2015.  Last week, Howard Stern began doing interviews to promote his new book and discussing his relationship with Donald Trump over the years.  Stern made a comment stating he believed Trump’s 2016 run for president began as a publicity stunt.   I wrote a lot of  blog posts along the way, so I’m rereading some of those old 2015  blog posts and also old news articles.

Howard Stern, who has  interviewed Trump many times over the years, recently stated that he believes Trump doesn’t enjoy being President and that Trump entered the race as a publicity stunt for his Reality TV career and business.  I happen to agree with Stern on this point.  Even the Michael Cohen revelation that Trump was still pursuing a Trump-Moscow deal while campaigning for president lends weight, not that Trump was colluding with Russia to steal the election, but that Trump was planning for his personal business after the election.  He expected Hillary to win.  Another glaring red flag that Trump didn’t expect to win the election was he had made no real plans for staffing and the transition.  The oddest aspect of Trump’s win in 2016 were the initial videos of Trump on election night.  He did not look happy; he looked pensive and uneasy.

Here are two excerpts from recent Stern interviews:

“Radio shock jock Howard Stern believes President Donald Trump’s candidacy for president started out as a “publicity stunt” in order to get a raise from NBC for hosting “The Apprentice.”

Stern, who has hosted Trump on his radio show for years, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper in an interview set to air in full on Friday that he has “no doubt” it was a publicity stunt. Stern told Cooper that he has “inside information” that Trump started out using rumors that he would run for president as a public relations tactic when he was promoting his 1987 book, “The Art of the Deal.””
“Stern also backed up his statement that Trump did not actually want to be president by noting he was hanging around Mar-a-Lago with Trump and his team when the run was being plotted.

“I know people who orchestrated some of these things,” Stern said. “I was at Mar-a-Lago around when it was announced that Donald was going to run for president, and like everyone else, I thought, Ha-ha-ha. So, knowing Donald, I can tell you with some assurance that I don’t believe that he thought anyone would buy in. Lo and behold, people did. But I’m pretty sure that there was no intention of actually being president.””

https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/howard-stern-donald-trump-president-interview-833343/

Donald Trump began an exploratory committee March 18, 2015 and he announced his candidacy on June 16, 2015.  Between those two dates, Donald Trump and Bill Clinton were reported to have had a phone conversation.  Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy April 12, 2015.  So, there were Bill Clinton and Donald Trump having a phone conversation in late May 2015, after Hillary Clinton had announced her candidacy in April.  Another interesting date in this 2015 timeline is Jeb Bush announced his candidacy on June 15, 2015 – the day before Trump entered the race.

Let’s throw in another 2015 date:

“A March 2, 2015 New York Times article broke the story that the Benghazi panel had discovered that Clinton exclusively used her own private email server rather than a government-issued one throughout her time as Secretary of State, and that her aides took no action to preserve emails sent or received from her personal accounts as required by law.[40][41][42]

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

So, in early 2015 the Clintons were dealing with the email “controversy”, is how Wikipedia frames it ( not a “scandal”), guess that’s about like Loretta Lynch insisting Comey refer to it as a “matter”, not a criminal investigation…

Hillary entered the 2016 race April 12, 2015, Trump and Bill Clinton had a phone call in late May 2015 and Trump entered the race the day after Jeb Bush entered on June 16, 2015. Jeb was perceived as the biggest threat to Hillary Clinton and he became Trump’s #1 target, from the beginning. Even Trump’s sideshow entry into the race was designed to steal Jeb’s thunder.

By August 2015, plenty of questions began to swirl about Trump’s campaign,  especially about the vast amount of free media afforded to Trump over other GOP candidates in the crowded GOP field.  So, what was going on with the media? FOX, CNN, MSNBC, the three major cable networks, turned into The Trump Show channels, 24/7 during the beginning months of the GOP primary in 2015.  The Trump free media blitz in those beginning months extended to print media too. Here’s a Washington Post article from August 5, 2015:

“Former president Bill Clinton had a private telephone conversation in late spring with Donald Trump at the same time that the billionaire investor and reality-television star was nearing a decision to run for the White House, according to associates of both men.”

The WaPo piece has Clinton spokespeople and Trump spokespeople offering differing details about how the call originated and the subject of the call:

“Four Trump allies and one Clinton associate familiar with the exchange said that Clinton encouraged Trump’s efforts to play a larger role in the Republican Party and offered his own views of the political landscape.

Clinton’s personal office in New York confirmed that the call occurred in late May, but an aide to Clinton said the 2016 race was never specifically discussed and that it was only a casual chat.”

Both camps even offer differing accounts about how the call came about:

““Mr. Trump reached out to President Clinton a few times. President Clinton returned his call in late May,” a Clinton employee said. “While we don’t make it a practice to discuss the president’s private conversations, we can tell you that the presidential race was not discussed.”

One Trump adviser said Clinton called Trump, but the adviser did not provide specifics about how the call came about.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/bill-clinton-called-donald-trump-ahead-of-republicans-2016-launch/2015/08/05/e2b30bb8-3ae3-11e5-b3ac-8a79bc44e5e2_story.html?utm_term=.8b5c03858a43

Trump began his campaign by hurling ad hominem attacks  at his opponents, to steal the stage and neutralize his opponents.  He had no real policies, just hollow slogans. Trump showed up for the primary debates loaded with petty smears prepared, but did no policy prep to be prepared to actually debate any issues.  Everything about his performance looked like a publicity stunt.  However, it’s these other machinations of the corrupt media, which ran the 24/7 Trump Show giving Trump, estimated to be billions of dollars worth of free media that speaks to vast corruption with the American media colluding to run partisan political spin efforts.  These coordinated spin efforts work in tandem with public opinion polling, to manufacture public opinion in America.  When the media hypes (spins) stories, those stories in turn result in manufactured public opinion, which reflects the spin hype.

The rise of Donald Trump in 2015 was the result of not only a populist mood, discontent within the Republican base with Washington politics as usual, it had the massive boost of billions of dollars of free liberal and conservative media selling Trump.

Billions of dollars of free media promotion of Trump’s GOP insurgency speaks to massive media corruption.

Back in October 2015, I wrote a blog post: A triangulation theory?:

“Do you ever let your mind wander and think about “what ifs”?  Well, as Donald Trump continues to keep the GOP race in disarray and feeds the worst bigots, xenophobes and racists at the base, well, I wonder, would the Clinton political machine be able to orchestrate a more perfect triangulation than to have far-left kook, Bernie Sanders on the left and Donald Trump on the right.  Trump’s single-handedly throwing the election to Hillary with his “deport them all”, which threw the Hispanic vote in the toilet for the GOP, if he is the candidate, then it was the attacks on women, or how about his “closing mosques” comment yesterday?  That would leave the Queen sitting snugly in the “middle” – calm, grandmotherly and looking “moderate”…”

https://libertybellediaries.com/2015/10/21/a-triangulation-theory/

Stern stating he was hanging around Mar-a-lago when Trump announced he was running and Stern knows people involved in orchestrating this, as Stern describes it “a publicity stunt” reminded me of a National Review piece from March 3, 2016:

“Last August, Moonves even foreshadowed the oncoming media-induced Trump when, in a CBS quarterly-earnings conference call, he declared, reportedly to applause: “The coming election cycle will clearly ‘Trump’ anything we’ve ever seen before.”

Perhaps this would be a good place to mention that Les Moonves is also a self-declared Clinton friend. In 2001, CBS quoted Moonves as acknowledging, “I’ve had numerous chats with President Clinton over the past few years. . . . He is a friend of mine.”

Trump supporters who believe their candidate is the anti-establishment destroyer of media are being conned, and the con is being perpetrated by the people they hate the most: the Clintonistas of network media.

Moonves is signaling very clearly that his intention is to saturate the market with Trump, which translates to Web traffic and eventually to votes. He’s not interested in what conservative candidates have to say policy-wise or politically. The casual Kardashian voter isn’t attuned to an endorsement by Jeff Sessions or a hashtag on Twitter. They are paying attention to outlets such as ET!, TMZ, Inside Edition, the CBS evening news, CNN, and MSNBC, where Trump’s quotes about shooting voters on Fifth Avenue are played ad nauseam.

Trump supporters who believe their candidate is the anti-establishment destroyer of media are being conned, and the con is being perpetrated by the people they hate the most — the Clintonistas of network media. Not only are these people generally hostile to conservatism. They also are not content to simply sit on the sidelines and objectively report what candidates say and do.”

https://www.nationalreview.com/2016/03/donald-trump-media-they-use-him-make-money-help-hillary/

Along the 2016 trail Trump  built a loyal fan base and his poll numbers grew (along with his ego), but the mainstream media, all of those people Trump believed were his friends, pivoted in late 2015/early 2016 to unleash the Clinton-orchestrated massive smear campaign to bury Trump (their general election strategy).  It would be interesting to know which Clinton-aligned mainstream media bigwigs were hanging around Mar-a-lago or involved in that 2015 “orchestration” Stern recently mentioned.

Trump’s constant attacks on the mainstream media, especially calling CNN and MSNBC  “fake news” don’t seem to me like Trump the authoritarian trying to silence the media.  From the beginning, it has sounded to me like Trump lashing out at his former friends in the media, who encouraged him to run, gave him fawning coverage in the beginning months of his campaign in 2015, then turned on him.  Those former friends were, like Trump, old Clinton friends…  How much Trump knew about Bill Clinton’s Pied Piper strategy (his classic triangulation strategy), I can’t say.  However, I can say the media corruption of running partisan spin efforts continues unabated with the mainstream media and FOX head honchos running this endless scorched earth American media spin information war.

It would be interesting to know which media bigwigs Trump was consulting in 2015 about a presidential run and who these people are Stern says were involved in orchestrating, what he refers to as – a publicity stunt.  However, like all the rest of the Clinton, Trump and media corruption in 2016, none of them will ever tell the truth.  It would also be interesting to know the truth about the Bill Clinton-Donald Trump phone call in May 2015, but here again, that is as likely as Loretta Lynch ever telling the truth about what was discussed in her tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton in June 2016.

These media bigwigs, most of them overtly aligned with the big partisan political factions, control all of the information highways in America…

Aren’t we so lucky in America to have a “free” press…

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A bit of English history

I have about zero interest in makeup, so I almost skipped past this video.  Glad I decided to watch it.   If you are interested in the cultural changes brought about by the industrial revolution, this video will fascinate you.  Most fascinating bit of odd trivia was learning that tuberculosis was rampant and the TB symptoms of pale skin, flushed cheekbones, brightened eyes were considered beautiful  and became a fashion trend to imitate.  Another of those, “nothing new under the sun” moments, considering the heroin chic trend in the 1990s.

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