Category Archives: Politics

More lockdown insanity

It seems like we’ve been living in this crazy pandemic era much longer than since March of 2020. Yesterday marked an ominous change in pandemic responses among Western countries, with Austria being the first to impose a COVID lockdown for unvaccinated people aged 12 and older. The new rule will force unvaccinated people to stay in their homes and only be able to leave for a few specified reasons and was to go into effect once ICU use reached 30% in the country. That this type of government coercion and power will expand to other countries and be parlayed to control people for other “crises,” like climate change, etc. seems pretty much certain. Whether some liberal governors in America attempt legislation like this seems highly likely too.

At this point it’s obvious Dr. Fauci and other top US health officials misrepresented and at times outright lied to the American people in pushing their preferred public policies on dealing with COVID-19 and we were inundated with “data” and assurances that we must “trust the science,” all while the “science” became more and more a power-grabbing tool in the hands of politicians. The lies range from Dr. Fauci lying back in the beginning urging people not to wear masks in public, to then switching to pushing not just mass masking, but once the vaccines rolled out, which was supposed to be the way out of the pandemic, he began pushing double-masking. All these twists and turns in our public health officials’ social mitigation approaches came with absolutely no new scientific research to back them. However, their social mitigation approaches almost all came with assurances that these approaches were being used in other countries and working well.

Austalia and New Zealand implemented some of the most stringent lockdown measures, under a highly controversial and failed Covid Zero policy, which both countries have since abandoned. However, the lingering negative social chaos can’t be erased with new legislation and the swipe of a pen.

It’s easy to say, “What’s the big deal, it’s only a mask?” or “Don’t you care about other people?” to minimize these rules, but the more disturbing aspect of these “it’s no big deal” rules is how those imposing the rules and the powerful elites selectively follow their own rules and have worked to divide Americans, even within families by stoking fear and selling “othering,” dividing the “good” people from the “bad” people.

It’s not just about masks; it’s about using fear to scare people into allowing government to grab more and more power. Then we come to the vaccines and as soon as another COVID wave started this past spring, Dr. Fauci led the messaging pitting the Vaccinated vs. the Unvaccinated, which resulted in a massive Democrat/mainstream media messaging effort to turn The Unvaccinated into the new Trump “Deplorables.” It was 100% about politics and 0% about public health.

It seems unlikely America will easily or quickly return to pre-Covid norms, especially with so many big business elites being eager to impose and implement even the most extreme COVID measures, but it doesn’t stop there. So many of them are also rushing to acquiesce to BLM/social justice demands too. Media-manufactured climate change hysteria will assuredly be propelled to advance more pushed government rules and mandates.

The new Austrian COVID lockdown measures matter here in America, when you consider that from the beginning of this pandemic Dr. Fauci, US health officials and many elected officials borrowed all of their “social mitigation” efforts from foreign countries. At the end of October, Dr. Fauci was cheering Australia’s controversial lockdown measures:

“America’s top infectious diseases expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, has praised Melbourne’s response to the coronavirus, saying he “wished” the US could adopt the same mentality.

In an interview hosted by the University of Melbourne and the Melbourne-based Doherty Institute, Fauci said Australia was “one of the countries that has done actually quite well” in handling the virus.

“I really wish that we could transplant that kind of mentality here,” he said. “Because masks in the United States have almost become a political statement.”

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/oct/29/dr-fauci-praises-australias-coronavirus-response-and-melbournes-face-mask-rules

The amazing thing about Dr. Fauci’s lamentations about how everything pertaining to COVID has become so politicized is his stunning lack of self-awareness of his own starring role in politicizing COVID with his non-stop media COVID show, where he stars as The Expert. The problem isn’t only Dr. Fauci, it’s with all of us, because we live in a society ruled by “experts” and media-driven waves of fear hitting us from all directions. Back in the 1990s, I was disgusted with the Oprahization of America, where Oprah would hype some heretofore trivial issue as a pressing issue in America or she’d trot out another of her band of “experts” and America would all turn to said expert, like Dr. Phil, for instance, as the most trusted expert in that field. We’ve been swamped by so many experts being sold by politicians, celebrities, news media, and social media, that the Oprah influence seems rather quaint now.

The harder lesson-learned for me has been when the media or high-profile people, many whom I used to respect, came out and touted some revered federal government “public servant,” who turned out to be just another partisan political hack. It’s been very disillusioning, from hearing about the dedicated career professionals at the FBI, only to realize they were people like Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok, to our revered intel officials and it turned out to be people like John Brennan, James Clapper or Alexander Vindman, I’m just automatically on guard now when I hear about any unassailable, apolitical public servants.

Even if COVID disappeared from being a major issue tomorrow, the corruption and expansion of government power-grabs it wrought will be eagerly used and abused with new crises (real and manufactured), so it’s best to keep an eyes wide open attitude to new efforts to infringe on our personal liberties and mass media demonization of those who dare to defend their rights every step of the way.

America’s only hope lies in ordinary Americans working hard in the nooks and crannies of America to try to strengthen their own families and rebuild some sense of community, not in trusting Washington to fix anything. It’s so easy to watch the news on TV or get online and in every direction news and social media is dominated by media-driven, spun up hot topics and drama trying to push us into fear or anger. The single best thing, I think each of us can do is take some time every day to step outside, look around and take some deep, calming breaths. Take some time to chat with family, friends and neighbors about ordinary life, not just what’s in the news. It’s challenging sometimes to be hopeful, but if we lose faith in our power to control our own hearts and minds, we’ve already ceded control to others. The media-driven fear-mongering can only influence you, if you let it.

There was something to be said for my childhood days of three major TV networks, news in only short spurts throughout the day and our own lives taking up more of our time, energy and thought than what we were looking at on our cell phones or electronic devices. I doubt most of us are ever going to revert back to that type of no-tech life, but I started taking more breaks from social media and the news. I still write my backwoods blog here, but have made an effort to spend less time on social media. I’ve gone back to some of my pre-internet interests and it’s been a nice change.

Update: The news article on Dr. Fauci cheering Australian lockdown measures was from 2020, not 2021, but Dr. Fauci continued to praise Australia’s lockdowns in 2021 too: Dr Fauci praises Australia’s Covid lockdowns: ‘Viruses don’t mutate unless they replicate’, from March 2021.

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Filed under General Interest, Politics

The search for “like-minded” people

In a few recent posts I took a dim view of this pretty prevalent mind-set in the online prepper community about weeding out the “undesirables” among friends, family, acquaintances and figuring out who are the people you are going to help and trust in a crisis or SHTF emergency. I like Sensible Prepper’s channel and even he had some suggestions about putting together a group of like-minded people – like interview carefully if you’re putting together a group that’s going to form up when SHTF. This weeding out undesirables and finding “like-minded” people was like a warning light going off in my head.

This very same idea has been circulating among the right-wing echo-chamber for years and it’s one of the worst ideas for Americans to embrace. I remembered writing about an effort that some grifter was selling on Glenn Beck’s show back in 2013. That man was selling his oasis of liberty as some community they were setting up in Idaho that was ostensibly based on finding people united by their belief in patriotism, liberty, pride in American exceptionalism and preparedness. Beck gave this con man a platform on his show, despite knowing this man had a criminal record for extortion and this oasis in Idaho existed only on a website – the planners didn’t even have property in Idaho. They were carefully selecting residents for their new community, The Citadel, on Skype interviews and then collecting an application fee, plus $50 a month to raise money to buy property. The most perfect con was this guy was playing conservatives dangling that this new vetted community was going to set up a firearms factory as a means for the community to generate jobs and income.

George Washington is my favorite founding father. Beck, like most of these right-wing media talking heads, has gotten rich playing to our conservative values, patriotism, and even more to right-wing Americans’ fears of the left’s culture war for decades and yes, I have been alarmed about the left’s culture war my entire adult life too. After that show I stopped subscribing to Beck’s online show and I began to be much more questioning about what exactly these big right-wing personalities are selling, but since I hate to part with books, I still have my copy of Beck’s “Being George Washington.”

I had been listening to Rush Limbaugh from the early 90s. I had agreed with many of the ideas the Tea Party was promoting and as right-wing media started elevating a growing crowd of “celebrities” I listened to them and too uncritically bought into a lot of the ideas they were selling, because we’ve been trained to buy into the red vs. blue politics in America and if you’re conservative, so much of the liberal agenda is an affront to all the values you hold dear. Here’s the hard truth – much of the right-wing media echo-chamber is just a huge grift – selling merchandise, books, the big shows, like O’Reilly and Beck used to do and now Trump has turned his “rallies” into his trademark. For the record, I voted for Trump in 2020, out of complete dread of Democrats controlling Congress and the White House, even though I believe he’s a total con man and was just running the largest reality TV show from the White House, at least his administration was pushing many policies I agreed with… and even more that, at least he wasn’t Joe Biden.

It was easy for me to see the left-wing media culture war craziness. I mean being told I must now accept that men dressing like women are really women or being told we’re supposed to refer to pregnant women as “birthing persons,” had me telling my family that I don’t want to hear anything about this insane alphabet gender politics on the left and um, sorry, I can tell you where to shove your “pronouns.” And of course, watching new radical racial politics where white people, even little kids, are commanded to denounce their “white privilege,” left me wondering if America was now embracing Maoist struggle sessions, which were a form of public-shaming and torture that Mao used to enforce conformity. It took a lot longer for me to recognize the right-wing culture war craziness.

In another blog post I’ll try to step away from the partisan politics and talk about this idea of picking the people who you will help in an emergency and why I don’t believe finding “like-minded” people who are prepping like you are and to the level you think makes them worthy and weeding out the undesirable non-prepping people would really work well in an actual real world crisis. It might lead to you excluding people at a time when pulling as many people together as possible really will help your chances of survival. I believe in working to include as many people as possible, even ones who don’t meet my preparedness standards – especially in a crisis.

Here’s the link to my 2013 blog post, Sweet land of liberty….. (or land of the gullible?)

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Filed under General Interest, Politics, Preparedness

Social media creates another instant political hero

Back during the Obama years, I was thoroughly disgusted in 2014, when the Obama administration tried to con Americans into believing Bowe Bergdahl was a war hero, when in reality he deserted his post in Afghanistan. Susan Rice, Obama’s national security advisor, went so far as to say Bergdahl “served with honor and distinction.” That statement was a total lie.

So here we are in 2021 and I am disgusted by the right-wing efforts to turn Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller, a Marine battalion commander who spoke out demanding accountability from top military leaders for the Afghanistan withdrawal debacle, into a right-wing POLITICAL hero. Assuredly, Scheller’s military record is filled with awards and decorations that speak to heroism on the battlefield. He earned a bronze star, among numerous other awards.

I understand why many people cheered Scheller risking his military career to speak out demanding accountability by top military leaders, especially, when so many top military leaders spew weaselly words and duck for cover rather than speaking the truth or taking any responsibility for anything. Among political leaders of either party, there is zero accountability for anything too. However, here I come to the “BUTs.”

Task and Purpose has a military bio of Scheller and a clear break down of the sequence of events, status of the military investigation, and social media video posts. There are lots of useful links in their reporting.

Now to the “but,” rules matter, especially in the military and for good order and discipline to be maintained, requires trust within the chain of command. Top Pentagon leadership’s failure to take any responsibility and willingness to sell the Biden administration political talking points with the Afghanistan withdrawal debacle and to sell the Biden Woke agenda, has eroded trust in the chain of command.

Scheller’s first video spoke to lack of accountability and his viewpoint resonated with many active duty military and vets around the country. BUT, Scheller’s actions and his call to action attacks the other pillar required for our military to function – good order and discipline. The US military can not function when subordinates publicly attack superior officers and encourage Americans “to bring the whole f-ing system down.”

Schellar swore an oath to support and defend, not to bring the f-ing system down”:

And now to the biggest BUT, that’s getting buried, while right-wing punditry and some FOX News primetime power players keep spinning that Scheller is being punished for demanding accountability. One of the first things I learned in the Army is that if I had a problem, I was supposed to solve it at the lowest level possible and go through my chain of command. He skipped his chain of command and decided to use his social media to become a political activist. The military doesn’t need political activists in the ranks, especially not battalion commanders entrusted to lead troops into battle. He bypassed his chain of command and he deliberately disobeyed a lawful direct order. Scheller posted videos to his social media, some in uniform, attacking superiors.

Scheller decided to risk his career, which many people are cheering, except even in his video, where he’s in shorts ( that’s a 10 minute video, so watch the whole thing) and ranting about taking down the system, in one breath he was saying he doesn’t want a cent and in the next he was listing ways to donate money to his wife. This morning I think the fundraising efforts on his behalf are over 2 million dollars and his cause seems to be energizing more people to donate to him than efforts to raise money for the 13 servicemembers killed and dozens injured in the suicide bomber attack at the Kabul airport.

Many Americans have bought into the right-wing spin effort selling Scheller as being punished for speaking out. Scheller broke long-time military rules. He ended up in the brig, not for speaking out demanding accountability, BUT because he deliberately violated a lawful direct order to stop posting on his social media or through third parties, while his case is being investigated. Gag orders, even in the civilian legal system, are perfectly legal and common. Pretrial confinement also seems perfectly reasonable, in light of Scheller posting another video on his social media, in violation of that lawful order.

Scheller did way more than speak out demanding accountability. He was ranting about leading an effort to take down the system. This issue of military members speaking out isn’t new and neither are the repercussions. Here’s a link from 1993, when a general spoke out about President Clinton and was ousted. I also remember the Pentagon issuing warnings to the whole military to refrain from making derogatory remarks about President Clinton publicly. I remember this, because my husband loathed President Clinton and turned the channel whenever Clinton was on TV. The Clintons corruption fascinated me and I liked to watch President Clinton speaking to analyze his deceptive use of language, but my husband didn’t even want to see President Clinton on TV, let alone pay attention to anything he said.

The lack of accountability at the highest levels of our government and military bode poorly for America. Disgusted Americans rushing to get behind Scheller and elevating him to being a new right-wing political hero, based on his social media videos and a whole lot of powerful right-wing media oxygen (especially Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity selling him) speaks to how easily right-wing Americans are duped and conned by the powerful right-wing media. And yes, left-wing Americans have powerful liberal media duping and conning them and selling them false heroes too (see Avenatti, for instance).

While I don’t think Scheller is a sleaze like Avenatti, my impression, after watching his videos is Scheller seems emotionally volatile, possesses a massive ego, going on and on about how brilliant he is and how he’s the person to lead this effort to “bring down the whole f-ing system.” I didn’t see an emotionally stable person or a calm leader watching his videos. I suspected some PTSD issues and a lot of narcissism.

Due to how many Americans are rushing to champion him and send money, I expect Scheller to be gracing the stage of Trump rallies or joining the Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene political circus in the near future. Heck, it wouldn’t surprise me if Scheller parlays his new fame into a political career, BUT his actions won’t do a thing to deliver accountability or bolster the US military as an institution. So, for all his professed demand for accountability, Scheller wants it both ways – he demands accountability of top military leaders, but he’s decided to defy a lawful direct order and his parents and right-wing media are trying to pressure the Marine Corps for there to be zero accountability for Scheller’s pretty blatant act of insubordination and disobeying a direct order. You can’t demand accountability and claim you revere the military institution, then turn around and in uniform willfully break basic rules that underpin and bolster that very institution. Not a single thing he’s done will help strengthen the US military. He’s just adding to the erosion of military standards.

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Filed under General Interest, Military, Politics

Life in a liberal-controlled rabbit hole

This past week the liberal media and Democrats finally decided to focus on the illegal immigration crisis at the US southern border, which has been growing since President Biden rolled back the Trump era border control policies earlier this year. Back in March, President Biden tapped Vice President Harris to deal with the escalating border problem:

“WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that he has appointed Vice President Kamala Harris to lead efforts to stem migration across the U.S.-Mexico border, as the administration faces growing political pressure to address a surge in undocumented migrant children unaccompanied by parents.”

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/biden-taps-harris-lead-coordination-efforts-southern-border-n1261952

This latest border crisis involved mostly illegal immigrants from Central American countries, but in recent weeks it’s now, reportedly, Haitian illegal immigrants flooding the US southern border with Mexico. It’s not politically correct to question how on earth these tens of thousands of poor Haitian illegal immigrants are getting from the Caribbean island of Haiti to Mexico or to inquire if there are any political or NGO groups funding this mass illegal immigration movement.

For reference, I recall reading a sympathetic refugee Washington Post report years ago on the Syrian refugee crisis, which deluged European countries with refugees, not just from war-torn Syria, but from many other countries. I wrote a blog post, Adding it up, back in 2015, and in 2018 I wrote, The smell of a manufactured crisis, about how these refugee crises seem manufactured and well-funded.

This past week a new story, which I’m not sure whether to believe emerged. This new storyline claims most Haitian illegal immigrants trying to enter the US have been living in Brazil, Chile, Mexico and other Latin American countries for years and not coming directly from Haiti:

“Nearly all Haitians reach the U.S. border on a well-worn route: Fly to Brazil, Chile or elsewhere in South America. If jobs dry up, slowly move through Central America and Mexico by bus and on foot to wait — perhaps years — in northern border cities like Tijuana for the right time to enter the United States and claim asylum.”

https://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/haitian-journey-texas-border-starts-south-america-80139590

The liberal (mainstream) media and the Biden administration downplayed the flood of Haitian illegal immigrants, as the situation at Del Rio, TX escalated into a serious crisis with an estimated 15,000 illegal immigrants massed in a makeshift camp. As the numbers of illegal immigrants swelled FOX News continued its coverage of the border crisis and was using drone footage, which they’d been doing for months. Rather than address the crisis the FAA issued a temporary ban on Fox News drones around Del Rio, which seemed very similar to the liberal efforts to silence Trump’s social media presence and bury the Hunter Biden laptop story, except with the FAA, the Biden administration was overtly abusing government power rather than relying on liberal media and big tech cronies to corruptly silence stories Dems wanted buried. The FAA lifted the suspension, but that the Biden administration was willing to abuse power like this, to try to impede FOX News’ coverage, speaks volumes. Interestingly, during the temporary FAA ban FOX News was able to continue their coverage via being invited to fly on a law enforcement helicopter to film the illegal immigration chaos at the Del Rio bridge.

The Biden administration studiously avoided talking about or dealing with this border crisis for months, but finally a totally fabricated, hot news story this past week galvanized the Biden administration to launch an all-hands-on-deck spin effort response to the crisis. Instead of the illegal immigration being their concern, the Biden administration embraced and amplified a false news story, alleging horse-mounted US border control agents used whips to attack Haitians trying to enter the US.

Quickly, the “horrific” scene turned out to be not “whips,” but just border control agents on horseback holding their reins. Border agents did not whip illegal immigrants, only twirled their reins, as they’re trained to do. They were doing a thankless job trying to stop illegal immigrants from entering the US, while Dems, from the White House on down, ratcheted up their spin hysteria with WH press secretary, Jen Psaki, leaping on this incorrect reporting:

It’s been several days since the initial reporting about “whips” broke and despite the liberal media and many Dems (including the Biden WH) knowing the initial reporting was incorrect, this false narrative of border control agents “whipping” Haitian refugees fits too perfectly with popular anti-law enforcement politics among the left, so many liberal journalists and Dem politicians continue to play dishonest semantical spin games.

Watching the spin word games with this fabricated “whip” story highlighted again that the liberal (mainstream) news media main purpose is to advance the liberal political agenda and preferred narratives, not to accurately report the news. The preferred liberal political narrative will prevail here, no matter how many Republicans or right-wing pundits debunk the false narrative.

Even more disturbing is the Biden White House has double-downed on this false spin narrative too. The border control agents in the photos and video that ignited this liberal spin narrative have been suspended, the Biden WH announced border control agents will no longer be allowed to use horses, and an investigation of the border control agents has been launched.

President Biden, who couldn’t be bothered with the border crisis for months, has now become energized about the situation at the border – by selling a false narrative, attacking his own border control agents:

It’s easy to warn about threats to America, like hostile foreign adversaries or radicalized domestic groups, but this corrupt alliance of partisan political operatives and large swaths of news media and social media giants in America poses a serious threat to American free speech and to our democratic institutions too.

Many Democrats and liberal news media organizations spend hours daily warning about the dangers of FOX News spreading Trump lies. It’s true, some of the Trump/Fox spin games are corrupt and spread many lies, but their reach is very small compared to the vast Dem/liberal media/social media corrupt spin information war operations. Neither Trump nor right-wing media possess the reach of the Dem and liberal media spin information war operations, yet.

The news media that aids and abets both the Dem/liberal and Trump spin efforts can regurgitate line for line every deceptive and dishonest spin messaging effort the other side spewed, but pretends their side’s news reporting is dedicated to reporting facts and giving Americans the news straight. Unfortunately, our entire news media environment has little to do with reporting news and everything to do with partisan politics and aggressive spin information warfare operations – which equals clicks online and ratings on TV. The corruption is obvious when you see liberal media just stop reporting on the Afghanistan withdrawal or do everything possible to bury the Hunter Biden laptop story weeks before the 2020 election or watch Fox’s entire primetime line-up pay lip service to Trump’s stolen election lies.

Last weekend the estimated number of illegal immigrants at Del Rio reached 15,000 and still the Biden administration and the liberal media tried to ignore the story, until this border agent “whip” video emerged this past week. This false “whip” narrative became the major news story on liberal media, feeding all the preferred BLM race narratives and it was a narrative liberals want to be true. This “whip” story will fade away, but the false narrative’s already served its purpose by being believed by most people who trust those liberal news organizations and by many liberals, who are fully-invested in the BLM racial politics.

Today Fox News Sunday interviewed DHS secretary Mayorkas, who in response to questioning on the what happened to the 15.000+ illegal immigrants by the bridge at Del Rio, admitted 12,000+ of them had been released inside the US:

The Haitian illegal immigration crisis at the border was solved by the Biden administration releasing most of the 15,000+ illegals into the US and the topper is that despite the Biden administration’s Covid hysteria and mandates, none of these illegal immigrants were tested for Covid or subject to any vaccination requirements – they are exempt from the restrictions placed on law-abiding American citizens.

This is the surreal state of the Dem/liberal media spin information war – a false story that perfectly fit the Dem racial politics has been repeated, all the way up to the POTUS. The liberal media fact-checkers have been silent and the liberal media hasn’t gone full-blown hysterical like they do about Trump lies. Instead, the liberal media has aided and abetted bolstering the false “whips” story.

We’re all now Alice in Wonderland, stuck living in a liberal-controlled rabbit hole. Liberal media and social media owned and operated by liberals vastly outnumber conservative media venues. Corporate America also seems anxious to promote the liberal culture war and to embrace the establishment of the liberal Covid regulatory state

The border control agents on horseback, who were doing a thankless job, have been suspended and the POTUS is threatening that he will make them pay… just let that sink in.

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Filed under Corrupt Media Collusion, General Interest, Information War, Politics, The Media

Biden Afghanistan crisis team same as Obama Benghazi team

I’ve been following the American (and NATO) withdrawal from Afghanistan and while it’s certainly a Biden administration created debacle, President Biden keeps insisting there was no way to withdraw that wouldn’t have been this chaotic. There have been all sorts of foreign policy and military experts critiquing and doing Monday morning quarterback takes on the situation, but I’m more interested in the timeline of events rather than fancy debates over the “Biden strategy.” Nothing Biden or his top advisers have said thus far sounds like the chaos unfolding is a strategic failure. To be a strategic failure would require there to be a coherent plan and what happened is the Biden team wasn’t concerned with a planned withdrawal, but was “planning” a media event for the 20 year anniversary of the US invasion of Afghanistan – just another spin sideshow to sell their narrative.

Timelines matter so, while all the important details of what happened with the Biden team “withdrawal plan” aren’t known yet, many have begun to emerge and I’m going to focus on that.

As the Taliban sped across Afghanistan taking control of province after province with their offensive, the Biden White House kept urging the Taliban to stop their military offensive and work for a negotiated settlement, even as the Taliban moved to surrounding Kabul. The week before Kabul fell to the Taliban, Biden went on vacation. As the weekend of August 14th to15th approached, it was obvious the Taliban was moving to surround Kabul and that Kabul would fall, but still the Biden White House kept insisting they didn’t think that would happen.

The US embassy in Kabul was rushing to destroy sensitive documents and even as the US embassy in Kabul was evacuated by helicopter to the airport, the Biden spokespeople were insisting everything was running smoothly and they had the situation well in hand. On Sunday, August 15th, the White House released a picture from Camp David of the president seated a long table doing a teleconference with top advisers, insisting they had everything under control.

By Monday, August 16th, the president returned to the White House in the afternoon, delivered a speech, took no questions from the press, then resumed his vacation back at Camp David.

Here’s the State Department message to the Taliban on August 16th:

The White House has continued talking about the Taliban as seeking to become a “legitimate” government continuously and “Taliban legitimacy” has been a key point the Biden team keeps selling, while assuring America everything is going fine with their evacuation efforts in Kabul, because the Taliban is cooperating fully with the efforts.

Across the pond, as Kabul was poised to fall to the Taliban, British prime minister, Boris Johnson, on Saturday August 14th was trying to go on vacation too:

“Johnson, who attempted to head for a holiday on Saturday only to return as the Taliban closed in on the Afghan capital, was accused of “careless leadership” by opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer.”

https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/pm-johnson-says-britain-will-do-all-it-can-prevent-afghan-crisis-2021-08-18/

It’s been reported since that Boris Johnson tried to speak to Biden for over 36 hours and could not get through to him.

Those 36+ hours hold the key to what really happened inside the Biden White House. It’s been reported that at the G-7 earlier this summer Biden promised our European allies that the US would secure Kabul for evacuations when they pulled out. Obviously, Biden failed to live up to that promise and while Kabul was falling, the Biden White House kept the president out of the loop with talking to our closest allies.

The smoke and mirrors spin routine by the Biden team in the past week has so many echoes of the Obama team’s Benghazi spin disaster, which eclipsed the disaster of the US facility falling under attack and the loss of lives there. None of this should be surprising, because the Biden team is pretty much the same Obama team. Following the spin word games closely will lead you to the truth, as they keep trying to deflect, deny, and most of all deceive the American people at every turn.

While the Biden team was avoiding talking to our NATO allies, who had stuck with America in Afghanistan for almost 20 years, the Biden team was in constant contact with the Taliban working out a deal.

I believe the Biden team panicked once Kabul fell and the disturbing images of the US embassy in Kabul evacuating by helicopter and the chaos started appearing in the media. I believe that during those 36+ hours the Biden team cut a deal with the Taliban and offered them “legitimacy” (unfreezing Afghan financial assets/ recognition) in exchange for cooperating with the US evacuation from Kabul.

Those missing hours, where Biden was tucked away at Camp David on vacation, his team was working out a deal with the Taliban and it’s imperative to find out who in the Biden WH made those decisions. What the exact details of that deal have not been disclosed, but gauging by how often Biden and his State Department talk about the Taliban seeking “legitimacy,” I think it’s a safe guess “legitimacy” was the biggest carrot the Biden team dangled. It’s obvious that Biden only reads the scripts these people hand him and is not pouring over details.

It looks like the Biden plan is more a spin effort to keep talking about the Taliban as a trustworthy and responsible partner in our evacuation effort and a “legitimate” government. We’re being massively duped by another Obama team media narrative, while Biden is rolled out only to read prepared scripts and do ice cream run photo-ops.

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08/24/2021: I wanted to add a few more thoughts. It’s not only timelines that matter in figuring out what happened here, but the weekend Kabul fell, with Biden at Camp David on vacation and his administration working out some deal with the Taliban, while not taking calls from British prime minister, Boris Johnson OR calling and coordinating with our NATO allies does speak volumes.

I often feel like I’ve been studying the Dem/liberal media spin information war more closely and longer than anyone I can think of, because it affected me personally and since 1998, I have been worried about corruption at the highest level of our government and the willingness to corrupt the US military chain of command for partisan political reasons. That said, the ways in which top Dems manage and bury major crises are very predictable and often repeating the same spin playbook. This Biden WH deal with the Taliban is a repeat of John Kerry’s 2016 Iran playbook. My gut feeling is this Biden team debacle in Afghanistan is going to me 100X more humiliating for America than the US sailor incident in 2016 and may lead to so much domestic and foreign fall-out that no amount of crappy spin (lies) will be able to contain it. We might be very close to a tipping point in American history.

In 2016, Iran captured US sailors. John Kerry negotiated the release of the sailors and just as John Kerry was taking a victory lap waxing on about the new era of diplomacy with Iran this release represented, Iran released embarrassing hostage video of US sailors on their knees and sailors crying. Every American adversary knows exactly who this Biden team is, because it’s the same corrupt, weak, fools who made up the Obama team:

“There is no truth in reporting that Secretary Kerry apologized to the Iranians,” Kerry spokesman John Kirby told reporters, later tweeting that the claim had “zero” validity. “As the Secretary said in his statement this morning, he expressed gratitude to Iranian authorities for their cooperation in swiftly resolving this matter, and noted that the peaceful and efficient resolution of this issue is a testament to the critical role diplomacy plays in keeping our country safe, secure, and strong.”

The White House said that its approach was vindicated with the rapid return of the sailors.

But several Republicans criticized President Barack Obama for not addressing the incident during his State of the Union on Tuesday night, which came shortly after the sailors and their two ships were taken.

“At the White House we reached the conclusion that further elevating the situation by including it in the State of the Union address would not be the most effective way for us to ensure the safe return of our sailors,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said. “And I think the outcome, which is the release of the sailors just hours after the President completed his address, is a pretty powerful endorsement of that strategy.”

Another video of the captured sailors showed them on their knees with their hands on their heads.

The video was aired just as Kerry credited diplomatic strength and newly developed ties with Iran in helping secure the quick and safe release of the sailors.”

https://www.cnn.com/2016/01/13/politics/iran-us-sailors/index.html

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Another round of COVID hysteria strikes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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A Twitter thread offering some new perspective on the 2020 election

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

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

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Plenty of worries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Proper Respect

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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“Aggressive niceness” might be good for what ails America

A few weeks into the Biden presidency and despite the Biden administration hype of “America United,” it’s obvious the partisan rancor remains. This week the US Senate commenced the second impeachment trial of former President Trump, so the media coverage leans heavily into rehashing the January 6th attack on the US Capitol. The political winds blow in favor of Democrats falling short on votes to convict and Trump being acquitted again.

A lot of ink has been spilled painting the millions of Trump supporters as QAnon, anti-science, violence-loving kooks, but there’s been much less attention given to the dedicated #Resist liberals bigotry and zealotry, especially within the media. The mainstream media paints the picture of Trump supporters as ignorant, second-class citizens, who aren’t fit for polite society or any respect.

Since January 6th, many Democrat and liberal media mouthpieces have become the moral arbiters of “The Truth” and they’ve been aggressively preaching a new spin word game, to frame the events of January 6th. They dubbed the attack “an armed insurrection,” bandied about the terms “white supremacy” and “domestic terrorism” frequently. Trump’s insistence that he won the presidential election has become termed “The Big Lie.”

The latest Dem spin war game targets, not only Trump-aligned pols and right-wing media mouthpieces, but also every Trump supporter in America for shunning and demands that they denounce Trump and “The Big Lie.”

Last week an op-ed, Column: What can you do about the Trumpites next door?, by Virginia Heffernan, a Harvard-educated LA Times political columnist, generated a good bit of response on social media. Heffernan took a rather simple neighborly good deed and turned it into a massive political and personal moral dilemma:

Oh, heck no. The Trumpites next door to our pandemic getaway, who seem as devoted to the ex-president as you can get without being Q fans, just plowed our driveway without being asked and did a great job.

How am I going to resist demands for unity in the face of this act of aggressive niceness?

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2021-02-05/trumpite-neighbor-unity-capitol-attack

Breaking this down, an urban liberal, fled the city due to COVID-19 and finds herself living next door to some self-sufficient rural neighbors, who support President Trump. The rural neighbors plowed this ungrateful, uppity urbanite’s driveway and rather than be grateful, the urbanite wrote an angry op-ed in a large newspaper, turning an uncomplicated neighborly good deed into a partisan political issue.

Heffernan’s piece goes on to make the argument that her neighbors’ support of Trump is akin to people in Lebanon supporting Hezbollah or French people collaborating with the Nazis during WWII.

Heffernan sounded angry and resentful about her rural neighbors plowing her driveway and it came across as she didn’t want to have to express gratitude to her neighbors for plowing her driveway and that speaks volumes about her own moral character. For all the effort she went to trying to pull historical analogies to broad brush all Trump supporters as evil people and anguishing over what phony gestures of gratitude she will offer, the one thing missing from her piece was any recognition of her neighbors as individuals with lives beyond partisan politics.

The important lesson from this op-ed isn’t the one the author intended. For the good of America, across all partisan political divides, we should embrace the “aggressive niceness” habit of her Trumpite neighbors whenever we can and it just might be good for what ails America. Only by working hard to take politics out of our daily lives, as much as possible, can we work to build some stronger bonds within our communities.

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