Category Archives: Politics

More spin garbage to wade through

This blog post is politics and jumps around a bit. It’s a little of this and a little of that, but the spin information war ties it all together. Yesterday, John Durham’s final report on his Trump-Russia investigation was finally released. I haven’t even looked at it and I’m not going to waste my time pouring over it, as I used to do with government reports. All of the Clinton and Dem efforts to invent, ignite and then fan the flames of “Trump-Russia Collusion” was to create and operate a years-long mass media spin information war effort to destroy Donald Trump.

Andrew C. McCarthy wrote a book, Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency in 2019, which I listened to the audiobook version on Hoopla a few years ago and that covered much of the corruption I’ve seen reported with the Durham report. And since I’ve yammered on about the Dem’s corrupt spin information war for decades now, there’s really no point in going through the Durham report with a fine-tooth comb and fuming about the mountains of lies and how the Clinton machine, along with the Obama administration spread via their vast army of foot soldiers in news media and on social media platforms. They all worked tirelessly to amplify and keep these Trump-Russia narratives burning.

The Durham report won’t change a thing.

If House Republicans run headlong into ramping up investigations into the Durham report and rehashing 2016 corruption, with the 2024 presidential election right around the corner, they’ll basically be making a contribution in kind to the Biden campaign. The House Republicans can investigate and make criminal referrals to the DOJ, until the cows come home, and there is no way the Biden DOJ is ever going to prosecute top Democrats or former FBI and intelligence officials, who diligently carried water for them, especially not over Trump-Russia Collusion. You also aren’t going to find many Dems or liberal news media folks who will admit they were wrong about Trump-Russia Collusion. As evidence of this Jake Tapper, tried to admit to getting some facts wrong, in light of the Durham report, and he has been lambasted by Dem pundits relentlessly. He’ll likely be back to propping up the Dem spin narratives, even if they relaunch the Trump-Russia Collusion spin effort (which is likely). Add to that as we move toward a presidential election year, what most Americans will care about is more current issues, not rehashing the 2016 election. Many Trump supporters want to see top Democrat villains in this scandal perp walked and in jail, but that’s never going to happen with the Biden DOJ… or even a DOJ in a Republican administration.

The main thing I wish Republicans had learned from this Trump-Russia Collusion political dirty trick is that the Dem’s brand of spin information war is poison to America’s political system and poison to American culture. The entire Trump-Russia spin narrative was intended to be hyped over liberal news media, and other liberal-controlled media, to include social media. Instead of realizing that the spin war is a surefire way to divide and tear America apart, the lesson a lot of Trump-supporters learned was they just wanted a spin-warrior, who could beat the Democrats at their own spin game. They found their spin warrior in Donald Trump, a former Clinton friend, a man who hired a series of grifters and unqualified nincompoops, who invariably quit or were fired and then showed up on liberal news media to trash him 24/7. How Trump managed to pick so many disloyal and duplicitous people still amazes me, but beyond all that Trump entered politics to advance himself and he turned his WH into a daily Trump vs. the liberal media spin show, which his fans loved.

The truth is the spin war, whether it’s the Democrat version or the Trump version is poison and can only deepen divides in America. Here’s the reality check, politics can’t fix what’s broken, because the American people feed on this partisan political spin theater and we pick a dog in these spin battles.

So, with the Durham report being released yesterday, an IRS whistleblower reported to Congress that he and his entire team, who are investigating Hunter Biden corruption, have been removed from the case:

WASHINGTON – A whistleblower at the Internal Revenue Service, which is investigating Hunter Biden for potential tax violations, told lawmakers Monday his entire team was removed from the probe, according to a letter from his lawyers obtained by USA TODAY.

The letter said the IRS criminal supervisory special agent “was informed that he and his entire investigative team are being removed from the ongoing and sensitive investigation of the high-profile, controversial subject about which our client sought to make whistleblower disclosures to Congress.” The Justice Department informed the whistleblower about the change.

That’s how concerned Democrats are about the Durham report. Hillary, top FBI officials, top Obama officials, like John Brennan and James Clapper, who became liberal media “Trump-Russia Collusion” experts, to give credence to all of the Steele dossier bs, aren’t ever going to be prosecuted and in fact, the liberal media will still give them airtime to keep propping up the Steele dossier lies and trash Durham’s report.

With another presidential election cycle about to kick into high-gear, it’s sure to become even crazier. I’ve found the Clinton machine corruption appalling since the 90s, but they, along with a lot of powerful political players in Washington, are above the law. That’s just the plain truth. The reality is conspiracies are very hard to prosecute and that’s why so many organized crime syndicates get away with it. The FBI and DOJ were implicated in this Trump-Russia Collusion scandal, so they aren’t going to hold themselves accountable. Andrew McCabe, the #2 FBI official under Comey, was already on CNN today spewing lies dismissing Durham’s report. CNN will continue to give McCabe airtime. A 2017 DOJ IG investigation found McCabe lacked candor (lied) repeatedly to investigators and he was fired. CNN still hired him and present him as a former top FBI official – someone with credibility…

The Durham report reaction reminded me of all the other swirling partisan spin dramas. The Biden/House Republican stand-off over the debt ceiling is more pressing, with the deadline and dire consequences for all of us, if the US government defaults. There’s also the Dem green agenda is still being rammed through – from killing fossil fuel to pushing insects onto American dinner plates. A couple weeks ago, NY state became the first state to ban gas stoves in new homes, beginning in 2026. In just the past few days, I’ve seen a few opinion pieces in liberal mainstream media advocating for eating insects. So, the “Great Reset” agenda is real and despite all the “don’t be ridiculous” or “that’s just a right-wing conspiracy theory,” the Great Reset is an effort to expedite the UN’s 2030 agenda, which was approved in 2015. As the radical changes escalate, don’t be surprised. When some Biden official first mentioned the ban on gas stoves, Sen. Chuck Schumer, from NY, tweeted numerous times that no one is banning gas stoves. Then lo’ and behold, NY became the first state a couple weeks ago to pass a gas stove ban. When the media starts pushing some new idea, like eating bugs to save the planet, it’s part of their spin war operations – mass media psychological operations with the goal of mainstreaming that idea. They want Americans to drop their aversion to eating bugs by wrapping it up in being a virtuous, environmentally-responsible citizen. The bad people will be the dreaded meat-eaters.

I wish there was some easy way to plan for how to weather these radical changes, especially the economic turmoil, but there’s not. I’ve been trying to simplify my lifestyle and learn more basic skills. I am continuing to stock up on food, water and supplies too. Working on personal preparedness has become a key focus for me. It should be a key focus of everyone, but unfortunately, I suspect, the vast majority of Americans will wait until the government tells them it’s time to prepare or that the government’s going to fix the problems, but by then it will be way too late. The government that has created all of these major problems, certainly isn’t who I’m trusting to fix anything. Here’s the truth – with the national debt, both parties spend like drunken sailors and politicians on both sides get rich and gain power by fueling divides.

It felt liberating to feel no reason to waste hours pouring over the Durham report and writing about all the disturbing findings. I decided to focus on things in my own life. A skill I never learned was how to properly sharpen knives. I used to have an electric knife sharpener that worked okay, but sharpening knives is a basic skill I never learned. One of my sons was visiting on Sunday and he was preparing a Mother’s Day lunch for us. He asked me if I have any sharp knives in my kitchen and I don’t. I did some googling about knife sharpening and I went ahead and ordered a whetstone set – so, instead of wasting time on Trump-Russia Collusion, I’m going to be practicing how to sharpen knives and working on other projects.

I keep paying attention to prices at the grocery store and nothing in the economy looks optimistic, I can tell you that working on my own preparedness is way more important than getting worked up about corruption in Washington, which I can’t change.

It’s still important to take note of the political corruption and be aware of some news, but I’ve changed my priorities. Before you know it, people you know might start buying into the eating bugs and embracing that, all due to the mass media psychological conditioning that’s being crammed down our throats. Everyday, I find more things I want to learn how to do to become more self-reliant and that’s a much better use of my time than getting worked up about the level of Dem corruption and media corruption. It still amazes me how dramatically the feminist movement took a turn to gay rights and then that veered into the trans movement. It’s been amazing to see drivers of the trans movement are literally destroying prominent liberal feminists, who dare challenge the trans agenda and that tells you who has the power in the feminist movement – it’s the biological men in the trans movement. Anyway, I refuse to participate in these leftist movements or buy into of any of this stuff, but then again, I have always identified myself as an independent, free-thinking American citizen, not as a feminist.

Oh, and before I end this post, everywhere we turn, I expect to be bombarded with more hysterical news about “white supremacy” and dangerous “MAGA Republicans.” Over the weekend President Biden gave an incendiary speech announcing his war against “white supremacy.” Then some weird group, Patriot Front, that is ostensibly a far-right wing hate group showed up to march on the US Capitol. The timing was perfect for liberal news media to spin up Biden’s war against “white supremacy.” I googled this group and on Wikipedia, it says this group is part of a group that split from another alt-right group after the Charlottesville protests. This Patriot Front group comes wearing “uniforms” of khaki pants and blue jackets, and masks. To me it looks like a Democrat false flag operation and that Charlottesville tie was a red flag to me. There were reports of busloads of paid protestors showing up in Charlottesville. Even back in 2016, all sorts of paid political actors and operators showed up at political events to create drama and wreak havoc. This went from plants in audiences to start a commotion, which happened at numerous Trump events or to ask embarrassing questions at both Dem and Republican events, but then there were the reports of busloads of paid protestors that showed up. And yes, the issue of paid protestors is a thing:

For years with all these viral video dramas that fuel a lot of the political spin drama. I’ve told my adult kids that it’s best to ask more questions rather than reacting. I want to know what happened before the events in the video, what happened afterwards, who made the media, where was it shot, when was it shot, and was it edited. We are so used to “reacting” and social media has conditioned us to reacting rather than thinking. They’ve got buttons to click to express your emotions and they encourage controversy.

Think more and react less, is my best advice. Oh, and if you’re smart, you’ll start preparing for hard times, with at least the basics – food, water, supplies. Here again, most people I know rely on the news media and await the government experts to tell them they should be prepared for all sorts of emergencies and hard times. If you’ve been watching the lingering shortage problems, inflation climbing, political instability around the world and all the political and economic turmoil here in America and you haven’t thought, “Geesh, I should probably be prepared, in case things get worse,” then nothing I say can make an impact.

As this push for mainstreaming the idea of eating bugs escalates, pay close attention to people you know – friends, family, acquaintances and see how quickly some people start buying into this. I betcha will be surprised at how quickly this mass media psychological conditioning takes hold – experts galore selling it, celebrities jumping on board selling it and mass media giving it loads of hot air for it to rise. I won’t be surprised if some celebrity food personalities go buggy too.

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Filed under Culture Wars, Emergency Preparedness, General Interest, Information War, Politics

Biden’s 2024 sermon sounds just like his 2020 COVID preaching

This post is going to be a bit of politics and a few thoughts about a common idea I’ve seen expressed within the online prepper community. First, let’s hit the politics – President Biden announced his reelection campaign last week and here’s the ad:

Instead of the 2020, Biden the COVID Preacher, we’re now going to have Biden the MAGA Extremist Slayer. Various political punditry on the right describe “Wokeism” (an umbrella term for the far-left culture war agenda) as the secular religion of the political left in America, and the Biden campaign in 2020 positioned Biden as a preacher of COVID, masking alarming power grabs as moral choices to “protect our democracy.” This 2024 Biden messaging campaign is now going to be a massive effort to sell censorship and banishing opposing political viewpoints from the public square, all under the guise of “saving the soul of our democracy” and “protecting freedom.” Whatever, it’s all a bunch of malarkey.

Democrats and the liberal media are desperate to keep former President Trump in the news and do everything possible to assure he is the GOP 2024 candidate. They need Trump as the face of “MAGA extremism.” And assuredly Trump will oblige Democrats and give them plenty of craziness and outrageous antics and statements. Unfortunately, it sure looks to me like both sides in America, despite polls indicating Americans hate the divides, actually feed on the constant political spin theater and buy into it.

The amount of crazy takes I see float by on the news and social media sure look to me like moderates are a very small faction of the American electorate and that zealous liberals and zealous conservatives make up the vast majority of Americans, who pay attention to the news and are most likely to vote in elections. That’s good news for Democrats, who can sensationalize the gun violence news stories, the most extreme anti-abortion positions on the right, and then just highlight the Trump circus clowns acts, like Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene. The GOP is so far from the Ronald Reagan “Morning in America” vision that I no longer recognize this far-right craziness that energizes the Trump faction of the GOP. The mainstream, liberal media has become very adept at squashing news stories that reflect negatively on the liberal culture war agenda and especially on Democrat politicians. If a heinous crime is committed by a liberal wacko, the mainstream media quickly moves past that story and deflects attention to some other right-wing crazy story. This has been going on for years, long before the Trump era or Hunter Biden’s laptop story. It’s pretty common for the liberal media and Democrats to blame Trump for everything bad that happens, even when it’s crimes committed by far-left crazies or problems resulting directly from the BLM “defund the police” efforts they rammed through in 2020.

I’d imagine the Biden team will try to keep him tucked away in Delaware or the WH and away from microphones, as much as possible. The same charade as the 2020 in the basement campaign model. Basically, same old, same old with the spin information war in America still blowing hot.

Now, on to another issue that’s been bugging me and that’s the idea about building all your own systems and getting off of the systems we all rely on, that’s touted by many in the prepper community. This idea is expressed many different ways among the online prepper/homestead community and it takes various forms. Some forms, like growing more of your own food and having alternative basic systems, in case of short-term emergencies, makes sense to me. Who doesn’t appreciate a flashlight when the power goes out? Is it really practical or realistic to build all your own long-term systems for water, power, food production, etc. to survive a catastrophic SHTF event? How many people even have the technical know-how to construct such a system, let alone the means to afford that?

While becoming more sustainable is a laudable goal and I believe growing more of your own food and livestock, if you can, are very worthwhile endeavors. However, trying to build my own long-term power system is beyond my technical know-how and resources.

I’m trying to simplify my life, not embark on more and more complicated projects, based on reacting to online hysteria, that’s reaching new levels of absurdity all the time. It’s more important that we work to become good stewards of the resources we already have, rather than constantly focus on buying more and more and more stuff, in the belief that all that stuff will increase our survivability odds in a major catastrophe. With that in mind, I’m trying to shift focus to using more of the things I already have rather than this constant buy this, buy that mentality that dominates most Americans’ thinking, including the online prepper/homesteading communities.

While I can see the sense in being prepared for short-term emergencies, when it comes to moving completely away from all the systems we rely on in modern life, as a preparedness goal, well, that isn’t in my budget. Even more than that, I do not possess the technical or mechanical skills to even attempt that and I doubt most people do. What I’ve mostly seen online with preppers going this route is piecemeal efforts, that I doubt would work long-term.

When there are so many other practical things that most people can do to be better prepared, considering the vast majority of Americans aren’t prepared for even short-term emergencies, it just seems more sensible, to me, to focus on basics first and work on skill sets that increase self-sufficiency.

Trying to tackle too many large projects to build a “doomsday fortress,” overlooks the reality that in an actual major SHTF, no matter where you are, you might have to relocate. That’s why I’m focusing on increasing my everyday preparedness and trying to be more resilient. I realize that I am set in my ways and often resistant to new ideas. Along with that, as the news becomes more and more negative and over-the-top pessimistic, along with paying less attention to the news, working on remaining hopeful and optimistic is a daily focus. We’re all going to need to look for the good and some hope with the 2024 presidential campaign gearing up now.

Keeping a gratitude journal is part of my daily preparedness focus these days. It’s very easy to let a scarcity mind-set take over when you start on the emergency preparedness path, which can make you see the world in a zero-sum game way, where you believe opportunities no longer exist. Everything becomes us vs. them or I need to buy more and more and more, thinking too much about possible doom and gloom possibilities, while losing sight of all the opportunities that still exist. I don’t have the energy to react to hot take news items all day long, let alone the energy to actually do some research on all these things.

America is still a nation of vast resources. Unfortunately, along with having so much, we are also the most wasteful people on earth. I’ve found that even small changes to be less wasteful in my daily life reaps big benefits over time. Repurposing items is also something I’ve been working on always – I even save twist ties from bread wrappers and the little plastic plastic square bag clips. Yep, I keep a small metal can with those plastic bag clips:

I found this YouTube video with uses for these plastic clips, but there are dozens upon dozens of other uses – including reusing them as bag clips:


Filed under Emergency Preparedness, General Interest, Politics

The Chinese spy balloon drifted into the news again

The Chinese spy balloon that floated across the United States for a week in February disappeared from headlines quickly after the US shot down two other “objects” that turned out not to be spy balloons. Back when the Chinese spy balloon floated over the US, it hovered over sensitive US military sites. The Biden White House and the Pentagon insisted there was nothing to worry about. I recall hearing the Pentagon kept saying the balloon posed “no kinetic threat.” They also blabbed about how they took action and blocked that Chinese spy balloon from transmitting information, along with defending the decision not to shoot it down until it was off the east coast.

As a reminder, this is the same Pentagon that defended the decision to turn over Bagram Air Base to the Afghan military in early July of 2021, which tied the hands of the US military during the withdrawal from Afghanistan in August of 2021. The US military was forced to rely on the Kabul airport for the withdrawal and the Taliban for security outside the airport. Almost every single detail the Biden White House and Pentagon told us during that chaotic withdrawal was flat out wrong or a deliberate lie. They admit the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan happened much faster than they anticipated, but mostly they glossed over the chaos and lied.

It’s taken until now for a report to come out about that 2021 withdrawal and as expected: Biden Afghanistan report mostly blames Trump for chaotic US withdrawal. The report offers up zero accountability and the Pentagon was even trying to take a victory lap for this being such a massive evacuation of refugees, whom the Biden WH insisted were being completely vetted at the Kabul airport. In reality many weren’t vetted, we later found out. Here’s a news report from September 2022: Inspector general: Feds didn’t properly vet all Afghans who entered U.S. Never fear though – the real threat to national security, according to the Biden administration, is “MAGA Republicans.”

I bring this up, because the Chinese spy balloon incident from February of this year has been back in the news recently with reports that, contrary to Pentagon assertions at the time, that Chinese spy balloon was able to transmit information back to China as it hovered over sensitive US military sites. Here’s a quote from an April 4, 2023 Reuters report that cites a NBC report:

“NBC News on Monday reported that the Chinese balloon was able to transmit data back to Beijing in real time despite the U.S. government’s efforts to prevent it from doing so – a disclosure that could deepen Republican criticism of Biden for waiting for the balloon to reach a safe location before shooting it down.”

It bothers me a great deal that I no longer trust anything coming from the Austin Pentagon – nothing. The bigger concern though is we still don’t know what information China gathered or what their objectives were for that mission. Somehow, I feel sure that the Biden administration will just try to shift blame to the Trump administration for this Chinese spy balloon fiasco, but here’s the truth – the US military could have shot down that balloon before it ever hovered over any sensitive US military sites, but President Biden chose not to act.

I hate to go with my gut instincts, without any vetted and sourced information to back this up, but I felt that there was more to this Chinese spy balloon mission than just some routine information-gathering and I still feel that way. There’s a metaphor about signals and noise, where what you’re trying to hear are the signals, but the noise, that’s just random sounds filling up the space, can make it harder to hear the signals. With our crowded information ecosystems between 24/7 news media as entertainment and social media, where everyone on the planet can jump in with hot takes, I feel like we’re probably missing a lot of signals, as we race down rabbit holes after noise disguised as carrots (signals). I hope I’m wrong, but I expect this Chinese spy balloon incident will likely turn out to be a signal we should have paid more attention to.

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Filed under General Interest, Military, Politics

A shortened rant

I apologize for posting such a long rant the other day, that ran off in a hundred different directions. I should have sat on that post and spent a few days rewriting it, honing it down to the essence of what I wanted to say, which is “we the people” elect these corrupt politicians and we also buy into the corrupt media spin war garbage too. Whether we trust left-wing media or right-wing media or some random social media influencers, who rush to get their hot takes and blare their clickbait headlines about every “breaking news” or “Outrage of the Day,” the people who pay attention to the spin war are why the spin war works. There’s also a niche of political punditry that uses “data” and endless charts and diagrams to take you on a ride down the Loco River, where you end up connecting the dots of dozens of disparate bits of information and coming up with “the truth.” Glenn Beck popularized that sideshow gimmick, but there are plenty of others online, of various political persuasions using that tactic too. The price of admission for those rides is the abandonment of rational thinking and the willingness to believe anything that feeds your partisan ideology.

I put myself into this category of paying too much attention to spin garbage too, because I’ve spent decades trying to understand the spin information war in America, but I’ve also fallen prey to buying into a lot of spin garbage. Learning to not rush to react to the spin garbage has taken me a long time. I still fail often. Some partisan agendas, both left and right, set me off – like the Democrat spin war corruption for decades, but now the right-wing has become just as committed to spin war corruption.

What got me riled the other day was I saw the crazy “national divorce” idea permeating online again among some of the right-wing pundits and social media crowd. That idea first started with an article at American Greatness, who also began that entire Flight ’93” (that Trump was the last hope for America or we were doomed) hoopla to sell Trump in 2016. That Americans, who claim to love America, so easily have bought into this “national divorce’ idea, not only disgusts me, it leaves me wondering about how easily these spin word games manipulate people. A “national divorce” isn’t like you go to court and sign some papers – it would be the end of the United States of America – no more hope of Make America Great Again, that’s for sure.

If you believe America isn’t worth saving, then, what’s with all the Make America Great Again claptrap? The thing is I know lots of Trump supporters, many are family and friends, and they’re good and decent people. I also understand their fears and abhorrence of the liberal agendas being force-fed to us daily. What I don’t understand is how so many look to right-wing media and react like trained seals to whatever hot take topic is being hyped each day.

The idea of a “national divorce” masks what it really is – a dissolution of the United States of America (and that sort of thing doesn’t usually happen amicably). Anyone who buys into that, while at the same time wrapping themselves in the American flag or running around blabbing “America First,” is either an idiot or being intentionally dishonest. If you get riled about people who don’t respect the flag or fight about saying the Pledge of Allegiance, but then buy into this “national divorce” idea, well, those two positions run directly counter to each other. Just because some slick pundits wrap these cockamamie ideas up by fueling outrage about the Woke culture and politics, that doesn’t mean there’s anything remotely like an amicable road to a “national divorce.” And the worst thing to do in a country where divides are growing is to keep trying to escalate tensions and deepen divides.

The lucky thing is I suspect most Americans don’t pay much, if any, attention to the partisan political garbage, and just go about their lives. I bet most haven’t even heard about this “national divorce” idea that keeps cropping up in right-wing pundit circles and on social media. Unfortunately, there are even some loud elected leaders in Congress, who have bought into this “national divorce” idea, like Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has rushed to NYC to throw flames on the Trump indictment situation, but mostly to grandstand and get attention – as usual.

The same goes for Ukraine and supporting our NATO allies, with the Russian threat on their doorstep. At this point, while I disagree completely with waging this war against fossil fuel and pushing the Great Reset agenda, at the same time as aiding Ukraine, I don’t see any benefit to America abandoning our European allies and NATO. By the way, besides launching a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, it’s been Putin who has been saber-rattling about using nukes – not Europeans and not the US. Yet, somehow among a lot of right-wing pundits, they blame the US and NATO for “poking the bear.” Good God, President Reagan would not recognize the right-wing in America today. I served in a Pershing missile battalion in Germany in 1980 – Reagan wasn’t backing down from the Soviet Union – he was offering to hold nuclear weapons talks, but he also left no doubt that the US was firmly behind aiding Europe’s defense against Soviet aggression.

Russia and China are rushing to build alliances to counter the US-led alliances, so for the US to walk away from NATO and our European allies, would leave us pretty much alone in the world and every ally we have around the world would quickly reassess their relationship with us. Abandoning Ukraine would also be abandoning NATO and our European allies. It’s also the fastest way to aid Russia and China’s aspirations to take down the US, as the leader of the free world. Yes, the climate agenda and Great Reset craziness is another major threat to American stability too – but compounding that economic insanity with walking away from Ukraine is like having a death wish for America.

Here’s a home truth about America – we would not exist without aid from foreign countries during the Revolutionary War.

Bottom line is “we the people” allow the corruption in our government and it’s now become the norm to engage in binary thinking about everything (selling the lesser of two evils) and one set of rules for your side and a different set of rules for your political enemies (double standards). It’s kind of hard to have a moral compass with those two belief systems guiding you. The spin war is constant slick word games to manipulate and confuse people and it’s the means used by corrupt, powerful people to keep Americans in two hostile camps and buying into crazy ideas.

I still hold out hope we can turn things around in America and I’m not ready to throw in the towel – that’s what I should have said the other day.

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Filed under General Interest, Politics

Guess, we need to ponder who we are

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

-Daniel Webster, 1834

This is going to be a long geopolitical and domestic politics blog post (venting). I get weary of the right-wing news media and social media echo-chamber, where every bit of anti-American propaganda, not only gets repeated without critical evaluation, it’s wholeheartedly believed. There are a whole lot of people who trust zero hedge and various pundits without any reservations. What bothers me the most is how so few people who rush to blabber on about the hot topics and frame it to feed their own belief system, actually read anything that challenges that hot take or dig deeper into the history. Often this propaganda, and I use the term propaganda, not information or news, comes framed intentionally to incite and inflame and fuel deeper divides within America. It also invariably comes framed to advance the foreign policy objectives of America’s adversaries. The goal is to turn Americans against, not only the opposing partisan side, but to turn them against foreign policy objectives that really are in America’s national interests.

The American left has a long history of embracing regimes and political ideologies that run counter to our American foundational principles, but now the right-wing, drunk on gulping down too much Trump-era populist swill, enthusiastically wave the American flag, while at the same time embracing isolationist foreign policies and the Trump doublespeak position of making excuses for some of the world’s worst dictators and despots. This isn’t going to be an anti-Trump blog post, it’s going to be a plea for Americans to actually step back and take a long hard look, at not only the “fake news media,: but the entire right-wing media echo-chamber too. Some of the most popular right-wing punditry are total frauds and as much “fake news” as CNN, the NYT, MSNBC, etc.

My blog is filled with anti-Democratic Party foreign policy and domestic policy positions, so this isn’t that I am a liberal. I really do find Trump a phony, shallow con-man and I never lose sight that he was also Bill Clinton’s former golfing buddy. He was a liberal celebrity who liked to hang out with Howard Stern and Joe and Mika. However, I don’t think Trump is the biggest “threat to democracy.” I just put him into the same category as liberal Democrat frauds like his former friends, because under all his ridiculous rabble-rousing red meat populism he throws to his adoring fans at rallies, Trump’s moral center is not conservative, not Christian, not pro-life, not pro-2nd Amendment – it’s 100% Pro-Trump. That is it. He was a liberal NY celebrity, who hobnobbed with the rich and famous. His cheap slogans that he feeds his fans, who repeat them and emblazon hats with, are not actual policies – they’re just sound bites in an endless spin information war. Trump understood the Democrat’s spin war, especially the power and influence of social media to drive public opinion, and that’s why he became such a potent threat to them. Trump was very effective at Twitter spin battles and both deflating Dem spin narratives and hijacking many of them.

So, what is the biggest “threat to our democracy.” in my view, well, here’s my answer – I think that phrase is a silly spin diversion, because our American democratic traditions depend on confidence in the United States Constitution (our constitutional republic) and our founding principles – not on one person or political party. The biggest threat is if “we the people” no longer have faith in our system. Americans losing trust in the American system is the biggest threat to America.

Trust is the keystone that keeps America strong. and without that – we will fall. That is what I believe.

So, now to the current geopolitical mess – the Biden administration is following the Obama team playbook. The Obama playbook which was a total disaster for America and led to endless foreign policy debacles abroad, divisive racial politics, abuses of power using executive branch power to target political enemies, but most of all the Obama playbook operated off of a “rules for thee, but not for me” principle. And this is where America’s foreign adversaries took full advantage of that Obama team hubris. It was interesting reading the Forstchen novels about an EMP attack, with partisan political overtones and he included a scenario where lax security with handling classified information, like the Hillary email server, followed into how the White House, operating from a secure bunker after an EMP attack, behaved.

It wasn’t only Hillary Clinton who was reckless and disregarded the rules on handling sensitive and classified information – it permeated through the entire Obama administration and it included President Obama himself. When the FBI released the Hillary email investigation notes in the fall of 2016, I read through all of them, trying to answer questions I had and things I didn’t understand, despite mountains of reporting and media coverage of that scandal. For instance, I didn’t really have an answer as to why she set up that private email server. The FBI’s chronology of the private email server, made clear to me that former president, Bill Clinton, set up that private email server in their home for his Clinton Foundation work. When Hillary was selected to be Obama’s Secretary of State, the Clintons upgraded that private server and Bill’s aide, Justin Cooper and Hillary’s campaign IT guy, Bryan Pagliano, under the direction of Huma Abedin did that upgrade.

Of course, Democrats will chant, “but her emails,” and plug their ears whenever that scandal is mentioned, but the scandal while coming to light over classified information on that private UNSECURED server, skipped the more important question. Why did Hillary use a private email server in her home? The answer to that goes to former President Bill Clinton, who actually set-up that private server in their home for his Clinton Foundation work. Then when Hillary was ready to become Secretary of State, the Clintons upgraded that private server, under the supervision of Hillary’s aide, Huma Abedin. This isn’t my theory – it’s in the FBI Notes on the email server investigation, which were released in the fall of 2016. Why would the Clintons merge the Sec. of State emails onto their private Clinton Foundation email server in their home? That question was never asked by the liberal media and the right-wing media ranted about “Lock her Up” and about classified emails. The thing is classified emails on an unsecure server were only how the corruption came to light. The deeper core corruption was the Clintons set up a system merging the US State Dept. business with their foundation business on a private server in their home. They used US government information and a high political office (Sec. of State) to advance their private Clinton Foundation. Hillary wasn’t acting in the interests of the American people or even the administration she served in – she was out for their family business of raking in money from the rich and famous, at home and abroad.

Reading those FBI Notes, it became clear to me that several other Obama officials had been sending sensitive and classified information via private email accounts too, including President Obama. And that’s why nothing happened to anyone who mishandled classified information in that email scandal – it would have implicated the highest level of the Obama administration – President Obama, himself. Now this rehash isn’t about sour grapes that there was no accountability – it’s because in the world of geopolitics – it’s not about Democrats or Republicans in the eyes of the rest of the world. It’s about the United States of America.

Most Americans seem to have no concept that in the rest of the world they see America as either an ally, adversary, or a global superpower that can’t be ignored, well, couldn’t be ignored as long as America remained a superpower. The rest of the world pays close attention to American news and while American media and Americans live hunkered down in hostile partisan camps, foreign governments and entities saw opportunities to exploit those American divides and those glaring security weaknesses. It’s a given that several foreign intelligence entities knew about the Clintons unsecured private server and had accessed it, especially when that private server came to light in 2013, when a Romanian hacker, Guccifer, hacked into Clinton advisor and friend, Sidney Blumenthal’s email. The actual Clinton email server scandal didn’t become big news until the spring of 2015, when the 2016 presidential campaign began. During that two years between the Guccifer hack being reported and the spring of 2015 when the email server scandal erupted, it’s guaranteed that foreign intel agencies expended a lot of effort to exploit that unsecured private email server, where all of the State Dept. business was sitting unprotected. It’s also obvious to me that the story we were fed about Huma Abedin storing State Dept. emails on the Weiner family laptop was just an unintentional accident is not true. That’s the story Clinton operatives floated and it’s the story, former FBI director, James Comey, sold the American people. Huma Abedin oversaw the Clinton private server upgrade, right before Hillary became Sec. of State upgraded and Bill Clinton aide, Justin Cooper, testified in Congress that Abedin also managed the SCIFs in both Clinton residences – Chappaqua and their DC home. Abedin told the FBI she knew nothing about the private email server until 2015, when the story broke in the news. That is also a lie – she orchestrated the private server upgrade right before Hillary became Sec. of State in January of 2009. Be that as it may, this post isn’t about the Obama corruption, the Clinton corruption, the media corruption, of even the Trump corruption – it’s about our own corruption – “we the people.” “We the people” elect corrupt people – over and over and over again.

I’ve been a right-wing American my entire adult life, but I feel both a great deal of unease with how corrupt the right-wing news media and punditry crowd is, despite trusting so many of these sources over the years. I could easily see how dishonest the liberal, mainstream media was for decades with all their spin word games and selling Democrat narratives constantly, but I was blind that the right-wing media was just as dishonest and corrupt. That was a very uncomfortable revelation for me – to admit right-wing media/pundits I trusted were as dishonest as the liberal ones. And likewise, this goes for the political class too – the Republicans in Washington are as corrupt as the Democrats. All that binary choice stuff, of settling for the lesser of two evils, in politics just sinks us further. Trump is not a savior on a white horse, he’s a liberal New Yorker, playacting at being conservative. There is no man on a white horse coming to save America – it will take a whole lot of Americans to work together to do that.

Americans, especially right-wing Americans rant about loving what America used to stand for, but for many years, I wonder what they think America stood for, what they want it to stand for and how they think retreating from the world stage will return America to the “greatness” they desire.

The reality of all those indulgent “rules for thee, but not for me” antics within the Obama administration allowed America’s adversaries to easily acquire sensitive and classified information constantly – yes, it’s guaranteed that the Clintons private server was accessed by several foreign entities, but the national security nightmare went way beyond the Clintons private server – it was throughout the entire Obama administration, where officials, including Obama, did not follow sound security protocols to safeguard American intelligence and information. Back in the 1990s, a common criticism leveled against the Clinton administration was that many of the WH officials would never have passed a traditional security background investigation, including President Clinton. GWB had more old-school type people in his administration and following the security rules. However, there was the lying though, especially about Iraqi intel and WMD there too and that’s why I don’t want to make this about which party is worse. With Obama, Trump, now Biden, being the Obama JV team, it’s more of the same lax handling of information.

President Trump spent more time on promoting himself and fixated on fighting with the media than he ever spent worrying about America’s problems at home or abroad. In fact, even with that J-6 disgrace, all the people who did get arrested were left on their own. He continually fundraised off of that, proclaiming he’s a victim, but he never spent one cent to aid any of those J-6 defendants with legal counsel – not one cent. With the latest crazed Dem effort to indict him, Trump was back out there trying to incite his followers to get out and protest. I did see a former, strident Trump-supporter pundit tweet that no Repubs should listen to Trump and go protest in a blue city, because Trump wasn’t going to spend even a penny to help them, if they got arrested. I believe Trump is about Trump, but there were policies promoted during his presidency that I supported. There again Trump usually went out and threw his own people under the bus or created unnecessary obstacles to get those policies implemented.

This veered off from the geopolitics, so let me try to get back on track in this rant. America, being a world superpower, has allowed Americans to prosper and build a standard of living that can not be sustained, if America retreats or is relegated to “just another country” status. A lot of Americans want it both ways – they want all of the perks of being a superpower (all those nice things we have in our homes, a standard of living unheard of in world history, a veritable land of plenty), but they now don’t want to burden any of the responsibilities that come along with being a world superpower.

Ukraine has become an area where America’s adversaries successfully feed anti-American propaganda into the right-wing media ecosystem by masking it as anti-Biden, anti-NATO, and painting Russia as a victim. Putin launched a full-scale invasion into Ukraine. Russia and China haven’t been “pushed” closer because of America and Europe aiding Ukraine – Russia and China were plotting to wage an economic war against America and the West for years – yes, YEARS. The signs were there with the ever increasing fossil fuel and economic deals they were ironing out and implementing. Here’s a Foreign Policy article:

“Just weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Putin and Xi famously declared their “no limits” partnership in a 5,000-word statement that rattled Western countries. As they drew closer politically, so too did their economies. Trade between Beijing and Moscow skyrocketed by more than 30 percent to nearly $190 billion in 2022, particularly as China bought up Russian crude oil at heavily discounted volumes. That year, Moscow was also Beijing’s second-biggest supplier of crude oil, coal, and pipeline gas, according to Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy.”

Got that – “weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine.” What, I believe Putin expected when he invaded Ukraine, was a Western response like the Afghanistan Withdrawal debacle and western disunity. That the West actually banded together to help Ukraine came as a shock to the Russians and Chinese. Never fear though, the American right-wing media has been filled with non-stop pro-Russia propaganda, especially Tucker Carlson and that retired COL. he brings on to spew against aiding Ukraine, talk about how spectacular Russia’s military is doing and predict Ukraine failure. They also absolve Putin of blame for launching a full-scale invasion into Ukraine.

While Trump’s former friends were people like the Clintons, Tucker Carlson, was friends with Hunter Biden. I always look to where people came from and Trump was a pampered rich kid, who sought out rich and famous liberal friends. Tucker Carlson isn’t from a working class background – he’s part of the elite. His step-mother is a Swanson Enterprises heir. One of the emails on the Hunter Biden laptop was Tucker seeking Hunter’s help to get his son into Georgetown, where Hunter is a graduate. That email was from 2014, when Joe Biden was vice president. I don’t trust anything Tucker Carlson says and the text messages recently released in the Dominion lawsuit against Fox News, just highlight how dishonest some of the big name Fox pundits are – they want to keep their right-wing followers angry about the Democrats and “fake news,” and will sell any story to keep them watching. Sure, the liberal media and Democrats are hyping these FOX text messages for their own partisan objectives, but the bottom line is these text messages are legit and show just how dishonest and disingenuous those big name Fox primetime pundits really are. A Tucker Carlson is no different than a Chris Cuomo, in my estimation.

Now to the big picture, I believe aiding Ukraine is important for America and important for our European allies, if the US hopes to remain a world leader. How the Biden administration has handled the Ukraine situation and their insane belief they can wage a two-front war – aiding Ukraine to fight Russia and at same time waging a war against American fossil fuel production is where I disagree.

I’m perplexed by flag-waving Americans, who rail against any American aid and want isolationist policies, yet they rant about America First and returning America to past glory. They expect America to be a powerful country like in the past, while not caring that Russia and China have been aggressively working to build an alliance to knock America into backwater status for years, I have heard no answers. All they rant about is senile Biden, dastardly Democrats, and buying into every crazy conspiracy theory, that centers on fueling anti- US government paranoia. The right-wing news media ecosystem is as corrupt as the liberal media and as infested with hostile foreign information operations and propaganda. The left-wing news devolved into insane propaganda since 2016, when #Resist replaced any sort of journalistic standards, so they filled their news media space with every former Trump crony, who turned on him or assorted crooks, swindlers, frauds and angry women, who they could find to trash Trump and try to destroy him, by any means necessary. And yeah, the left-wing media is still hard at work on their #Resist project, evidenced by the recent Trump indictment.

Bottom-line for me is I recognized the Global War on Terror was a disaster as the insurgency in Iraq was growing and training the Afghan security forces had turned into a bottomless pit of graft and corruption, with the US pouring in arms and aid that disappeared into thin air. So, I was slower than many people, who advised against invading Iraq, but I did eventually catch on that our endless wars, with all their stupid slogans masquerading as strategy, were not being won. I understand why so many Americans don’t want US troops engaged in faraway wars that they don’t think are our fight, but when it comes to Russia and China – well, Ukraine isn’t only about Ukraine – it’s about that Russia-China alliance that’s growing and is committed to replacing the US as the leader on the world stage.

If America abandons Ukraine, America will be pushed into backwater status quickly and trust in America will evaporate. If that happens the American standard of living will drop and we will be facing an ever-increasing array of threats, at home and abroad, with fewer and fewer allies. That’s the reality of walking away from your strongest allies and a treaty, NATO, which has served as the centerpiece of American foreign policy post WWII to keep America and our closest allies safe. Winston Churchill coined the phrase “iron curtain,” to describe the Soviet Union’s aggressive takeover of eastern Europe at the end of WWII and it seems sad to me that so many right-leaning Americans, who proclaim how much they love vets and those who served, can so easily mouth excuses for Putin’s full scale invasion of Ukraine and ignore history. So many European countries, even the wacky liberal ones, quickly saw the threat from that Russian aggression and there’s been a rush for them wanting into NATO. That isn’t because they want a world war – they fear Russian aggression escalating. Putin isn’t the good guy here and Russia isn’t the victim.

Remaining trapped in the scorched earth partisan spin war way of thinking and ranting about “the other side” keeps America locked into reacting constantly to the latest media Outrage of the Day or racing down propaganda-filled rabbit holes, that keep Americans isolated, disunited and fighting among ourselves. We aren’t responding based on any sort of principles or calm reflection – we are just spin addicts getting the next hit. It’s way past time to start ignoring most of the incendiary political and cultural “national conversations” and piles of flaming garbage that pass for hot takes and “news.” The only way to rebuild any semblance of a united country is to begin talking to other Americans and listening to opposing viewpoints and ideas. If all you do is get fired up and angry about every alarming headline, you have ceded control to your emotions.

When we look beyond our water’s edge, we are neither Democrat or Republican, we are Americans. Many Americans don’t seem to realize that is how the world views us. How do we view ourselves as Americans? I suppose most people muddle about for some political concepts in the founding documents or for others it’s all about social justice or diversity. I think America is still struggling for a national identity since the collapse of the Soviet Union and our rise to being the world’s superpower. Samuel P, Huntington wrote an interesting book, Who Are We? The Challenges To American National Identity in the early 2000s. I think he was right that we are still in a sorting out period about our national identity, since the collapse of the Soviet Union, where the Cold War played a major part of our national identity, but a nation is made of people and the character of those people will define the national identity.

We, as Americans, probably need to take a long hard look in the mirror and first figure out who we are as individuals and ask, “What do I really believe?” If you can’t see beyond media-driven partisan anger and outrage, you certainly can’t Make America Great Again or unite our country. I come from an old school, where if you give your word, you keep it, especially with making a solemn vow or taking an oath. I swore an oath to defend the constitution. For me, it’s deeply disturbing to hear talk among some people on the American right about a “national divorce,” and I’m shocked at how easily so many Americans have rushed to embrace this idea, which would only aid America’s adversaries and make it easier for them to extinguish America’s light of liberty.

I’m not ready to throw in the towel on America. I look to all those Americans who came before me and all of their sacrifices that made the cushy lifestyle we enjoy even possible. I pray that their tears, toils and struggles weren’t all for naught.

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The right-wing media has jumped the tracks

My last few blog posts have been about the Chinese spy balloon situation and the Biden WH’s dishonest spin effort with that, so now it’s time for a right-wing media dishonest spin effort about the train derailment in East Palestine, OH. So, let’s start at the beginning:

Feb. 4, 2023:

“A train derailment and resulting large fire prompted an evacuation order in an Ohio village near the Pennsylvania state line on Friday night, covering the area in billows of smoke lit orange by the flames below.

About 50 cars derailed in East Palestine as a train was carrying a variety of freight from Madison, Illinois, to Conway, Pennsylvania, rail operator Norfolk Southern said in a statement Saturday. There was no immediate information about what caused the derailment. No injuries were reported.”

The right-wing media ecosystem is as nuts and dishonest as the liberal media ecosystem these days, but interestingly, it seems like no one reads the print articles from news media anymore, they just run with Twitter, video clips, TV, and social media hysteria.

I’ve had an interest in toxic waste sites since I was a kid. I grew up in northeast PA about 10 miles from the New Jersey Zinc Company in Palmerton, PA and I was already an adult in 1983 when it became an EPA Superfund site that has taken decades to clean up (still ongoing):

“The Palmerton Zinc Pile Superfund site is located in the Borough of Palmerton, Pennsylvania. Former primary zinc smelting operations from two plants in Palmerton (east and west plants) resulted in area-wide contamination. The several-thousand-acre site includes Blue Mountain, a large smelting residue pile called the Cinder Bank, and much of the surrounding valley north of Blue Mountain. For nearly 80 years, the New Jersey Zinc Company disposed of 33 million tons of smelting waste at the site. Former smelting operations released heavy metals into the valley, causing the wide-spread loss of trees on about 4,000 acres of Blue Mountain. This barren area allowed for surface water contamination from erosion of contaminated soils into Aquashicola Creek and the Lehigh River. Heavy metals contaminated dust, soil, shallow groundwater and surface water. The presence of lead in children’s blood samples triggered public health and environmental investigations. EPA placed the site on the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL) in 1983.”

There’s been this right-wing media/social media hysteria about this train derailment in Ohio, trying to turn it into a Chernobyl situation, and also blaming President Biden and the Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, of ignoring the crisis, since the past two weeks the country and media has been fixated on the Chinese spy balloon story. Certainly, there are legitimate questions about why train safety hasn’t been addressed with the massive infrastructure bill that Congress passed in 2021. There are certainly legitimate questions to be raised about the decision-making when temperature changes inside one of the cars raised concerns about a potential catastrophic tanker failure and Governor Dewine said the experts recommended the lesser of two bad options, an explosion that could spew the chemicals and shrapnel for up to a mile vs. doing a slow release burn of chemicals in that rail car. Governor Dewine said he talked to Governor Shapiro of PA and decided to go with the slow release burn option.

So, who all was in the loop from the beginning, well Governor Dewine said he talked to President Biden, who offered full support and he talked to Governor Shapiro, since East Palestine, OH sits on the state line of OH and PA. From the first day:

“First responders from nearly 70 emergency agencies from Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania quickly mobilized.”

The FOX News primetime coverage last night made it sound like no one was doing anything, when there have been teams from all sorts of agencies – state and federal – on the ground, plus train officials and experts. I have zero expertise to second guess how to handle a “catastrophic tanker failure” situation, but apparently every FOX News primetime host does. Here’s what I do know, there will likely be ongoing clean-up efforts needed and there is a very real potential for people to get sick too.

Governor Dewine held a press conference yesterday and I watched some of this. He had officials from various agencies on hand to explain what’s been going on. There have been teams on the ground testing air, testing soil, testing water, monitoring fish and wildlife impacts, monitoring other health concerns. They are urging the residents in East Palestine to drink bottled water as testing continues and they are urging residents who have private wells to call and schedule free testing of their wells. Bottled water is being provided free too. The wildlife lady at that briefing described over 3,000 dead fish estimated so far and there are efforts to contain the water contamination, but it’s a serious concern.

The entire situation is serious, but it’s not Chernobyl and this right-wing spin effort has left me as disgusted by this right-wing media ecosystem as I am by the left-wing media ecosystem. It’s a total disservice to the people impacted. We’ve got the left spin war and activism teaching Americans to hate America and the right-wing spin war is teaching them to believe the American government and every politician or person, whom the right-wing media decides is bad, is evil and is trying to destroy them or America. This coverage has been appallingly bad and the amazing thing is the FOX News take that no one in the media has been talking about the train derailment – well, they were all-in on the Chinese spy balloon story the past two weeks too, but now they need a new story to incite the right.

There’s another hot take that there’s been a media blackout of this story. There was a journalist arrested at a briefing in East Palestine and I don’t have all the details, but saw a video clip of the incident. That incident has been blown-up into assertions that there’s been a total media blackout, even though when I heard that the first time, I googled train derailment in OH and came up with pages upon pages of news stories on this train derailment from all sorts of news outlets – local and even liberal big media. It wasn’t much of a media blackout, since I only had to do one quick google search to find out information from the beginning of this crisis to the present.

Of course, naturally, the same people who believe the government is trying to destroy the food supply with the food processing plant fires are now ranting about the rash of train derailments and acting like it’s some conspiracy. I checked the train accident stats from the Federal Railroad Administration and there are a lot of railroad accidents (1573 for 2022), to include derailments, in America every year:

I turn FOX News on occasionally, since I can’t deal with the far-left crazy on MSNBC and CNN went so far into Trump derangement that I couldn’t deal with Stormy and Avenatti, etc. I am about done with FOX News too. Last night really disgusted me – by the time Laura Ingraham came on and started her dishonest conflating topics – from selling the Biden blew up Nord Stream allegation to making this train derailment into Chernobyl, I didn’t even make it through her monologue. Here’s the thing Seymour Hersh has spread stories that were not true many times in the past – he has a very spotty track record and I take everything he reports with a few shakers of salt. I find it almost impossible to believe that President Biden, who dragged his feet responding to the Afghanistan withdrawal debacle, has dragged his feet on aid to Ukraine, ( fast to promise, slow to deliver) was still trying to talk to Putin & was still importing Russian oil at the time of the Nord Stream pipeline explosions, who took a week to decide to shoot down an unmanned Chines spy balloon flying over America and our most sensitive military sites ordered the Nord Stream pipelines to be blown up. And for what purpose? The Germans and other Europeans were still trying to get Putin to reopen the pipeline.

There’s definitely room to question why so many train accidents and what’s going on with funding more train safety measures, since Congress passed that massive infrastructure bill in 2021. However, this deliberate right-wing media effort to create mass hysteria and use this crisis to score political points against the Biden administration and Pete Buttigieg, at the expense of trying to get calm, clear information to the residents of East Palestine and surrounding areas is just as bad as the vast, corrupt Dem/liberal media spin war.

A pox on both your houses.

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Figuring out where we are

This post is going to be about how people view situations and where they get their information. In my blog post yesterday, which was about an American national security issue, I mentioned that I just recently moved from cable to streaming TV. My sister, who convinced me to try streaming, told me I would find news and other things to watch streaming that I don’t with my cable. I was thoroughly sick of the American news media and that includes liberal news media and FOX and right-wing news media. Along with the various big streaming services, she mentioned some free apps with news and other programming.

Last night I watched a Euro News broadcast. I found the coverage of the earthquake aftermath in Turkey and Syria very informative. I also watched an interview with the prime minister of Moldova, who explained the Russian efforts to destabilize her country. I hear a lot of Americans, who hold right-wing views, say things that sound like Russian propaganda and that worries me. I’ve heard this line about how “we shouldn’t poke the bear,” so many times that I automatically grit my teeth every time someone says that. While it’s true the West has expanded NATO and alliances close to Russia, at the same time Russia has been aggressively targeting its neighbors for years now, while America and our European allies paid mostly lip service to that aggression. Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year.

While I don’t have a crystal ball, I feel we’re already on a path to a wider war, even though I still hope leaders can find ways to avoid that. I have believed for a few years now that China and Russia intend to challenge America’s global economic position and try to bump us to third place. I also, due to years of news reports on China and Russia, believe Russia wants to regain some of its territory from the Soviet era and that China is preparing for war. The news has reported on China’s activities in the South China Sea and toward Taiwan for years. What I wonder is how many Americans will just keep ranting about “don’t poke the bear” or “don’t mess with the dragon” and blame America for our adversaries aggression?

In WWII there were plenty of Americans who held this same attitude – until America was directly attacked. One thing I will say about aggression is appeasement and shows of weakness are actions. Every school yard bully knows how to read displays of weakness too and it does not deter a bully. In fact, usually it emboldens them.

I assume most Americans have no idea where Moldova is, but I won’t be surprised if Moldova is in the news more in the near future. Here’s a quote from that EuroNews interview with the prime minister of Moldova (the video is at the link):

“Russia is trying to destabilise Moldova by sponsoring protests and conducting cyber attacks, the country’s prime minister told Euronews on Tuesday.

“We are seeing elements of hybrid war. We are seeing, for example, pro-Russian forces trying to destabilise the country politically through paid protests which quickly subsided when the oligarchs that fled Moldova were put on the sanctions lists and their money flows were restricted,” Natalia Gavrilița said.

“We are seeing cyber attacks. We’ve had the biggest cyber attacks in 2022 in the history of our country, and we are seeing bomb threats.”

Somewhere down the road, in years, I expect historians might look back at this time and instead of wondering about “poking the bear” or “messing with the dragon,” they might be wondering how devastatingly weak the US looked with that Afghanistan withdrawal debacle and an incident like failing to take down an unmanned Chinese spy balloon, as it floated over the American heartland and our most sensitive military sites for a week. They might ponder again, how provocative weakness really is to countries with territorial aspirations on their minds

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Pie in the sky thoughts

I started a blog post on the Chinese spy balloon situation, delving into some other issues that might be involved with that Chinese provocation, but I got bogged down in reading old news articles today and want to take a bit more time to think about this. I like putting information into a timeline format and then trying to see if there’s a bigger picture the timeline reveals. When we’re bombarded with so much information and glaring headlines to grab our attention, it’s easy to get lost in the tides of media sensationalism and all the attendant social media drama that now flows from the daily media spin circus in America.

Like with the “Great Reset,” I realized that I didn’t really understand the timeline and what it was all about. The right-wing media ecosystem, where I used to turn for information when I lost trust in the liberal media, just churned up mass hysteria, so I ordered Klaus Schwab’s two books and read them. Then I started researching the timeline for when all this ESG and Agenda 2030 started. From that I learned that although I do follow the news, I had missed a whole lot of details over the years with the green agenda and the various tentacles of other issues that are attached to that.

I’m finding the same thing with just doing a small bit of research into articles from over the past few years about Huawei and Chinese espionage. I’m done with writing about the partisan angles related to the Biden spin effort with this Chinese spy balloon situation and want to do more information-gathering about the big picture – American national security.

I like maps too and I found an article with a map of the Chinese spy balloon flight path across the US, then I found a map of the military sites that balloon flew over/or near to. What’s missing for me is I want to find a map of all the American rural cell phone carriers still using Huawei equipment on their cell phone towers.

It might be nothing or it might be something and I’m probably the most technology-challenged person to even ponder any of this stuff, but hey, that’s what I’ve been thinking about. Truly, I just recently switched to streaming TV, after one of my sisters talked me through the process of getting either a Roku or fire stick for my older TV and she explained how these streaming services work. I finally ditched cable, but I am still clinging to my landline phone. I asked one of my sons to hook up this stick thing and set it up for me – that’s how clueless I truly am about technology.

That said, I do like gathering information, looking at maps and trying to understand systems. People always establish patterns in everything they do – it’s human nature – so timelines help me understand events and see patterns better.

One thing I did find out was that in 2019 Trump banned Huawei, but the FCC still has no timeframe for enforcing that ban and for rural cell-phone carriers to ditch their Huawei equipment. That kind of caught my attention in my reading old news articles (from July 2022):

“In 2020, Congress approved $1.9 billion to remove Chinese-made Huawei and ZTE cellular technology across wide swaths of rural America.       

But two years later, none of that equipment has been removed and rural telecom companies are still waiting for federal reimbursement money. The FCC received applications to remove some 24,000 pieces of Chinese-made communications equipment—but according to a July 15 update from the commission, it is more than $3 billion short of the money it needs to reimburse all eligible companies.

Absent more money from Congress, the FCC says it plans to begin reimbursing approved companies for about 40 percent of the costs of removing Huawei equipment. The FCC did not specify a timeframe on when the money will be disbursed.”

CNN Exclusive: FBI investigation determined Chinese-made Huawei equipment could disrupt US nuclear arsenal communications

I’ll write more, as I sort out more information.

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Biden WH spin balloon deflates

This post is going to be some news that shows a Biden spin narrative has gone down faster than the Chinese spy balloon:

Here’s another one:

Here are the responses from the head of NORAD:

And so it goes.

My belief is this effort to blame Trump for not responding to previous spy balloon incidents and deflect from Biden’s dithering response was totally fabricated.

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Winners and losers

On Saturday, a US fighter plane shot down the Chinese spy balloon, after the balloon had been allowed to traverse the continental US for a week. The liberal media and Dems are in full narrative rewrite mode and polluting common sense thinking about national security. I’ve heard statements from Dems and liberal media that this was strategic brilliance to let that Chinese balloon float across the US for a week and statements about how much intel the US gathered by doing that. I also saw assertions that the US military had blocked the Chinese balloon from being able to transmit information. The narrative emerged that Biden had approved the shootdown last Wednesday, the day before this story became widely reported due to concerned citizens in Montana reporting it and taking photos of the balloon.

All of these revised narratives are likely complete fabrications to cover-up the glaring fact that the Biden administration failed to defend American airspace from an unmanned Chinese spy balloon for a week – that’s the truth.

Of course, the Dems and liberal media are spinning up a story that these sort of incursions are nothing new and that there were 3 incidents of Chinese balloon incursions during the Trump years. All of those stories thus far are attributed to unnamed defense officials. Using Trump as the piñata, incited the liberal media and Dems, plus it deflects attention away from Biden’s failure to act swiftly to defend American airspace. Trump officials say there was no event like what happened in the past week during their tenure. Here’s an example of the Dem narrative rewrite effort:

Somehow “briefly transited” does not sound like the 8 day Chinese spy balloon spectacle last week. The fall-out comes when clueless and incompetent government officials buy into their own false narratives rather than face mistakes and learn from them. It was not strategically sound to let a hostile country fly a spy balloon over the entire continental US and especially over some of our most sensitive military sites. It’s also dangerous to buy into the belief that eliminating all risk is required before acting. The Biden excuse about it was too risky to shoot the balloon down due to concerns about the debris field in sparsely populated Montana makes no sense at all. What would this administration do if it was a hostile manned aircraft entering US airspace over a populated metropolitan area? Would the president decide not to act?
This entire new backstory narrative the Biden WH has created sounds like complete fabrication and a face-saving effort to me.

The important takeaway isn’t whose narrative will win in the American spin information war waged in American media, it’s that the Chinese and America’s other enemies don’t care one iota about Democrat or Republican spin wins – they care about humiliating and defeating America. They witnessed an American administration stating the risk to take down an unmanned spy balloon was too great and a new fabricated backstory where President Biden said he ordered the balloon to be shot down “as soon as possible” on Wednesday and it took until Saturday for our military to accomplish that…

Beyond the optics and the obvious display of weakness by this WH and our Pentagon leaders, there’s a whole host of other serious concerns that come with even high-altitude balloons. Balloons can serve as a platform for other unconventional nefarious activities. That’s why swift actions should have been taken to take down this enemy spy balloon before it floated across the entire continental US.

I’ve said for years the only winners in our domestic spin information war are America’s enemies – they scored another win this past week, regardless how much hot air politicians and the media put into narratives. It wasn’t just the Biden WH and the Pentagon who looked weak – it was America.

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Filed under General Interest, Information War, Military, Politics