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A teachable moment

Over the weekend I saw a short news clip of a reporter interviewing attendees at a “Tax March” in CA.  They were asked what they were protesting.  Several gave various incantations of Trump is not their president, but one woman apparently had read the full march organizers’ talking points, judging by her list of invective against Trump and demands that he release all his tax returns.  This woman claimed President Trump is breaking the law by not releasing his tax returns.

She is wrong, of course, as there is no legal requirement that presidential candidates release their tax returns, although there is a tradition.

In typical leftist fashion, the Tax March came with its own symbolic gesture – the Trump chicken:

“Tax March, it turns out, also has an unofficial mascot: a giant inflatable rooster known colloquially as “Trump chicken.”

A Seattle-based illustrator completed a design in November for a company that wanted a statue for the Chinese New Year to commemorate the Year of the Rooster. The original 23-foot fiberglass statue was installed outside a shopping mall in northern China at a time when relations between China and the United States were especially strained.

An activist in San Francisco later came up with the idea of buying replica inflatable chickens for use in the Tax March, Ms. Taub said. She said the chickens were a “good symbol” for the march, both because she said Mr. Trump was too scared to release his tax returns, and because the chickens are more fun and entertaining than tax policy.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/15/us/politics/tax-day-march.html?_r=0

Most Americans live in a reality-based world, so they’re not paying any attention to the Left’s Trumper tantrums anymore.  These marches aren’t galvanizing millions of mainstream Americans to take to the streets.

Most Americans have accepted that Donald Trump is the President of the United States and even within the Left’s ranks there’s discord and growing disagreement about how to counter Trump and his agenda.

Far beyond the rancor of partisan politics in America, the very fact that most Americans still believe in following The Constitution and haven’t been swayed by the Left’s relentless efforts to overturn the 2016 election, through massive mass media propaganda efforts, sparks hope for America’s future.

Despite all the dumbing down in America’s schools and despite the wasteland of American culture, that most Americans still believe in playing by the rules makes me optimistic for America’s future.

Perhaps, the 2016 Presidential Election will turn out to be both, a pivotal and a positive, to borrow the Left’s catchphrase… teachable moment.

I am hoping for many more.

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Info War… Russian-style

Blogging about the current  American political information war, just like the endless spin cycle, replete with scorched earth character assassinations, is repetitive, predictable and disheartening.  While the mainstream media and Dems hurl accusations against President Trump’s wild tweets, that allege President Obama abused his powers and wiretapped Trump Tower, the Russians launched a nuclear information war strike yesterday.

Do the mainstream media and entrenched partisans realize the scope of the Russian comprehensive strategy to destroy America’s credibility as a world leader?  I doubt it.  The media would rather fixate on Trump and aiding the Left in delegitimizing his presidency.  Trump assists them in their efforts with his own self-absorbed, Reality TV presidency, replete with endless dramatic Twitter attacks on the media.

Several blogs, which appear to be Russian front operations, allege the CIA has used vast hacking tools to orchestrate hack attacks that look like they’re from other countries.  Wikileaks released more documents on this:

“A vast portion of the CIA’s computer hacking arsenal appeared to have been exposed Tuesday by the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks, which posted thousands of files revealing secret cyber-tools used by the agency to convert cellphones, televisions and other ordinary devices into implements of espionage.

The trove appeared to lay bare the design and capabilities of some of the U.S. intelligence community’s most closely guarded cyberweapons, a breach that is likely to cause immediate damage to the CIA’s efforts to gather intelligence overseas and place new strain on the U.S. government’s relationship with Silicon Valley giants including Apple and Google.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/wikileaks-says-it-has-obtained-trove-of-cia-hacking-tools/2017/03/07/c8c50c5c-0345-11e7-b1e9-a05d3c21f7cf_story.html?utm_term=.80ae1cd53198

The Russians wasted no time parlaying Trump’s latest unproven Twitter attack against the FBI and US intel agencies, as being corrupt tools used in cheap partisan political dirty tricks by President Obama, into potent disinformation dumps meant to fuel Americans’ distrust of their own government.  The Russian disinformation effort also niftily used Trump’s reckless charges as the basis for their huge stink bomb, meant to steer foreign governments away from trusting the United States.  This attack also follows a long Russian disinformation theme of casting US intelligence agencies as immoral and international pariahs in the world.  Of course, it also deflects attention away from the Russians ruthless disinformation and intelligence operations.

American credibility took another hit, thanks to Trump’s myopic focus on himself and his image.  Trump lashed out at the media and scored some cheap partisan points.  The Dems and media feigned outrage, but they’re backpedaling away from their assertions of FBI wiretaps on Trump associates and transcripts of phone calls between Trump associates and the Russians, as fast as they can.   While Trump, the Dems and the media wage Twitter attacks and counter-attacks on the legitimacy of Trump’s presidency and Russian influence, the Russians have used this latest partisan scorched earth media circus diversion, as cover for  a global disinformation nuclear strike.

American intelligence officials were supposedly caught totally unaware by this Wikileaks hit

Americans needs an investigation into the entire corrupt 2016 election scorched earth debacle to restore confidence in the American electoral system, but who do Americans trust at this point?  Kevin D. Williamson wrote about that: The Problem with Investigating Trump.

The Obama administration escaped serious mainstream media scrutiny on their corruption of executive branch institutions.  Every Obama administration scandal ended up portrayed as Faux News or a partisan, racist witch hunt, so don’t expect any mainstream media honesty in reporting.  The media which reports every tantalizing bit of  Trump dirt they come across… without serious fact-checking…. is running away from Trump’s wiretapping charge.  Andrew McCarthy at National Review and Law Newz have covered that angle:

Yes, There Could Be Serious Legal Problems if Obama Admin Involved in Illegal Surveillance

While You Weren’t Looking, the Democrat–Media Election-Hacking Narrative Just Collapsed

Take note that Trump has not responded forcefully to continued Russian and Iranian interference with US ships and planes in international territory.   He can rage and bluster on Twitter about unfair reports in the media, but he hasn’t done anything to allow American forces to respond forcefully to Russian and Iranian provocations.

Sure, investigate Trump campaign connections to Russia, investigate Clinton pay-to-play and Congressional Dems Pakistani IT people, expose the details of Weiner’s laptop with over 600,000 emails, BUT never lose sight of the fact that while America play checkers, the Russian are still at their long-game, big picture chess game to destroy  Americans’ trust in American civic institutions and government AND to usurp America’s leadership role on the world.

The Russians aren’t trying “to help” Trump, no matter how much Hillary and her minions say that.

The Russians want to DESTROY America… FIRST.

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Filed under Corrupt Media Collusion, Foreign Policy, General Interest, Military, Politics, Public Corruption, Uncategorized

A woodpecker in my willow tree

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My husband, who is disabled,  spends a lot of time sitting in what I call the “sun room”, which was our screened in back porch.  We had windows installed and heat/AC several years ago, converting it into another room.  He’s a chain-smoker and I can’t deal with cigarette smoke in the house, despite being a former smoker (the worst kind of smoke nazis) myself, so this sun room is the compromise.  He has a TV, coffee-maker, small refrigerator out there and I added a large electric air purifier.  He uses the house phone intercom a lot to call me when he needs something.

Last week he called me and told me I needed to come out there, because he wanted to show me something.  When I went out there he pointed to my willow tree and told me to look at the woodpecker near the top.  I didn’t spot him at first.

My husband said, “How can you miss him, he’s the size of a B-52?”

I stepped out on the patio and then I saw him, because he had moved around the trunk of the tree.  I wish I had had my cell phone in my hand to snap a photo of him.  He was the largest woodpecker that I’ve ever seen – the size of a crow actually.

Later, my youngest daughter in Texas messaged me about some bald eagles in Florida hatching, which she thought I’d be interested in, because I had gotten engrossed with some other bald eagles hatching a few years back.   I told her about our woodpecker sighting.  After explaining what this woodpecker looked like with his red crest on his head and large size, she started sending info on a pileated woodpecker.  That sure looks like the woodpecker in my willow tree.  He hasn’t returned, but if he does I want to try and take a photo.

This woodpecker sighting spurred me to think back over the years to the many times I worked in my yard and heard a woodpecker pecking away in the woods behind my house. Often I thought that these Southern woodpeckers in the woods sure make a lot of noise for such small birds, because the sounds were more like a jack hammer, than a bird pecking. There were many times I heard branches falling after long pecking jags.  When I mentioned this woodpecker and my thoughts about the loud sounds of woodpeckers in the woods for years to my sons, they said they had heard the very loud woodpeckers many times too.

All of sudden I wondered if large woodpeckers had been living here all along.

That got me thinking about how many times things might have been right in front of my nose (or ears), but I was too blind too see (or hear) them.

Trying to be open to new information seems like an endeavor worth pursuing. So, with 2017 fresh, I’ll strive not only to open my eyes and ears, but most of all my heart and mind to new information, ideas and ways of looking at the world.

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Book collector (hoarder) humor

Created byjenn_smithson

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Past behavior is prologue

According to news reports President-elect Trump is considering 4 candidates for Secretary of State, with no announcement being expected this week.  From various reporting, Rudy Giuliani, a Trump loyalist supreme,  has business interests around the world that are red flags to conflict of interest problems, if he were to become Secretary of State.  On November 15, 2016,  the New York Times reported:

“But Mr. Giuliani’s business ties are a major red flag. He built a lucrative consulting and speechmaking career after leaving City Hall. His firm, Giuliani Partners, has had contracts with the government of Qatar and the Canadian company that is building the Keystone XL oil pipeline, and Mr. Giuliani has given paid speeches to a shadowy Iranian opposition group that until 2012 was on the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations.

In one year — 2006 — Mr. Giuliani reported in a financial disclosure report that he had made 124 speeches, for as much as $200,000 each, and had earned a total of $11.4 million. He often made extravagant demands in return for agreeing to make a speech, including that the private plane that flew him to the engagement be a certain size.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/16/us/politics/donald-trump-cabinet-rudy-giuliani.html

Mitt Romney faces an avalanche of vitriol from Trump loyalists, who view Romney’s public comments during the campaign, about Trump being a fraud, as disqualifying.  Senator Bob Corker has been mentioned as a contender and had more than one meeting with Trump.

Then there’s retired General David Petraeus, who has made public noises that he would like to be considered and Trump, being easily dazzled by military stars, can’t get enough of hobnobbing with these retired generals and feeding off of their aura of being “strong leaders”.  How on earth David Petraeus is even being considered remains a mystery to me, but then again, he is part of this cult of personality among the Washington elite, where past transgressions disappear or get whitewashed from the public bio and voilá, the person emerges with a new PR blitz, replete with the transgressions scrubbed and a happy face bio repeated constantly.   There were reports that retired General Jack Keane had been a Trump favorite for Secretary of Defense, but turned it down and that General Keane recommended General Petraeus to Trump… go figure.

So it is with the “great” General David Petraeus, a man who LIED to the FBI and tried to shut down the investigation into his mishandling highly classified information. The media often tiptoes around top brass military leaders, often unwilling to probe or challenge them or their conduct and too many Americans, to include Donald Trump, stand in awe of generals and confer an almost untouchable status to them.  There are good generals and bad generals, but sadly the American people and too many reporters remain dazzled by those stars.

General David Petraeus has demonstrated he is unfit to ever hold a high position of trust in the United States government!  Facts matter to me, but apparently many other people are willing to use flimsy legalistic arguments to ignore the “facts” about Petraeus’ behavior.  So, once again, here’s a review of the “great” David Petraeus’ conduct during the FBI investigation into his mishandling classified information:

Let me repeat this from a LB post from November 8, 2016:

To me he grossly mishandled highly sensitive information, that could have jeopardized American lives in the field – end of conversation.  He lied to try and cover up.  For me, when people do this, I no longer trust them and I believe they are a security risk to the United States of America.

I don’t really care that he had Clinton lawyer, David Kendall, work out a plea agreement, so he got off on way lesser charges. The actual FACTS, which aren’t disputed, are he handed over his black books and other classified information to his mistress/biographer, to aid her in writing his biography. Petraeus supporters hype that his mistress, a US Army trained intelligence officer, had a security clearance, as a point to exonerate General Petraeus.

Here are the FACTS on her having a security clearance. A security clearance is a privilege given to people, entrusting them to handle our nation’s sensitive national security information. The clearance allows access to sensitive information to carry our your official duties. The clearance is not for personal, partisan-political, random curiosity or any other purposes.  It is NOT for writing a book.  She was a trained intelligence officer, who had classified information, that was not secured in her home, but she also had hundreds of classified documents on her home computer unsecured.  So, her having a security clearance and being a trained intelligence officeractually makes her actions worse, in my opinion, for the same reason General Petraues’ actions make me have no interest in listening to anything he has to say, they should have known better.  General Petraeus and his mistress  put personal interest above the safety of soldiers in the field, by such “extremely careless” handling of highly sensitive information. Here are some of the FACTS  reported from the FBI affidavit:

“FBI agents found hundreds of classified documents on Paula Broadwell’s home computers in Charlotte during their investigation into her relationship with then-CIA Director David Petraeus, according to newly unsealed FBI documents obtained by the Observer.

More than 300 of those documents were classified as secret,according to a 2013 FBI affidavit accompanying the agency’s request to search Petraeus’ Arlington, Va., home.”

And this: “The affidavit is signed by a Charlotte-based FBI agent. Its allegations include:

“The documents show that when confronted by the FBI, both Broadwell and Petraeus appeared to mislead investigators about their extensive exchange of classified material, most of it involving military and diplomatic operations during Petraeus’ years as commander of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan”

And this: “The FBI gathered recordings Petraeus made as military commander in the Middle East in which he discussed informationclassified as “Top Secret” with reporters.

In an audio file taken from Broadwell’s home in November 2012, Petraeus can be heard discussing “sensitive military campaigns and operations” with reporters from the Washington Post. His only demand was to be referred to in the subsequent stories “as a senior military officer,” the affidavit says.”

And this: “Petraeus tried to stop the FBI investigation as soon as he heard about it. According to the affidavit, the FBI began its probe in Tampa, Fla., after a person identified as “Witness 1,” who is clearly Tampa socialite and Petraeus confidante Jill Kelly, complained of receiving threatening emails from someone who had access to the CIA director’s schedule – a potential breach of security.”

And this: Broadwell, a married mother of two, and Petraeus, also married, took steps to hide their correspondences. The affidavit says the two used pre-paid cellphones and email accounts “using non-attributable names.”

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article82469027.html#storylink=cpy

An interesting thing about people who break rules for their own convenience is they usually have a pattern of this behavior, not just a single moment of bad judgment (they become CORRUPT).  Oh my, how dare I use the word “corrupt” when referring to the sainted General David Petraeus, well, because that is the correct word to describe the behavior chronicled in the FBI affidavit.

Most Americans don’t pour over FBI notes, Hillary emails  or Wikileaks leaked emails.  Instead, they let “reporters” do the digging and accept the reporters’ reports on what they found.  It’s easy to get buried in mountains of information, with tens of thousands of Hillary emails, or the 650,000 emails reported to be on the Weiner/Abedin laptop or a Wikileaks dump, like the other day:

“WikiLeaks releases more than half a million US diplomatic cables from the momentous year of 1979”

By Julian Assange

“Today, 28 November 2016, marking the six-year anniversary of “Cablegate”, WikiLeaks expands its Public Library of US Diplomacy (PLUSD) with more than half a million (531,525) diplomatic cables from 1979.”

https://wikileaks.org/plusd/pressrelease/?c3

So, Assange dumped a half million diplomatic cables, starting from 1979,  a couple days ago, which assuredly will take months to review, even by professional researchers.  Herein comes my issue with the Weiner/Abedin email search of 0ver 650,000 emails, done in days.  Sure, all sorts of computer programs can sort, sift through and analyze a lot of data, but it takes a human analyst to tie loose threads of previous information in a case with new bits of information to weave together a fact pattern.

With General Petraeus, on October 22, 2016, FOX News’ Catherine Herridge reported:

“Roughly 1,000 emails between Hillary Clinton and Gen. David Petraeus were thought to be missing from the 30,000 emails provided by Clinton’s team to the State Department in December 2014, according to the newly released FBI investigative files.

In a heavily redacted FBI interview summary from Aug. 17, 2015, a State Department employee from the Office of Information and Programs and Services (IPS), which handles Freedom of Information Act requests, discussed how Petraeus’ records apparently were not among the work-related emails provided by the former secretary’s team.”CENTCOM records shows approximately 1,000 work-related emails between Clinton’s personal email and General David PETRAEUS, former Commander of CENTCOM and former Director of the CIA,” said the employee, whose name is redacted, according to the summary. “Most of those 1,000 emails were not believed to be included in the 30,000 emails that IPS was reviewing. Out of the 30,000 emails, IPS only had a few emails from or related to PETRAEUS as well as a few related to Leon PANETTA, former Secretary of Defense.””

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/10/22/1000-clinton-petraeus-emails-missing-from-records-sent-to-state-fbi-files-show.html

The actual FBI Notes information, Herridge referred to can be found on page 44 – HERE.

General Petraeus did not turn over approximately 1,000 work-related emails between him and Hillary Clinton, yet he turned over his black books and hundreds of classified government records to his mistress, that he was hoarding, unsecured, in his home…  Petraeus and Hillary retain the legal counsel of  David Kendall, the Houdini of making Clinton scandals disappear. Heck, the FBI Notes suggest that Kendall’s office did not turn over 2 bank boxes of documents – page 40 of FBI Notes, so one can only wonder what more we will eventually find out, but I feel confident to say there’s way more incriminating information being hidden.  David Petraeus should explain what happened to his approximately 1,000 missing emails between him and Hillary Clinton, that CENTCOM says existed.

Why would anyone trust David Petraeus with highly sensitive information???  He has already proven that he is untrustworthy – that’s a FACT.  And beyond that, since there’s still a lot of unknowns in his missing emails with Hillary, that makes him a prime target for blackmail, by the hostile foreign intelligence services that have ALL of Hillary’s private server emails.

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Filed under Foreign Policy, General Interest, Hillary's Email Scandal, Politics, Uncategorized

Happy Thanksgiving!

Strange things still brewing with this 2016 election – left working to upend the Trump win, first with the rants about doing away with the Electoral College and now with murmurings of demanding a recount in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, but for today I’m cooking, going to enjoy time with family and think about the many things I am thankful for.

I am thankful that God has blessed me with more things to be thankful for than my heart and mind can even grasp.

I am thankful for my family – beyond words.

I am thankful to be alive and count each day as a blessing.

I am thankful to be living in America, where we are free to dream, free to think, free to speak, free to live our lives as we choose.

I am thankful for being inspired and guided by so many wonderful people in my life.

Wishing y’all a very Happy Thanksgiving:-)

 

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Good fortune…

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Just some more bookmarks from scraps of paper that I made today.

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One of my sons brought Chinese food last night for supper and I eat those dry, horrible fortune cookies.  Made a bookmark out of these three fortunes – very lucky ones, lol.

  1. A cheerful letter or message is on its way to you.
  2. You will be recognized and honored as a community leader.
  3. You will always be surrounded by true friends.

Pretty amazing, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed too:-)

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And to top it all off my son gave me a free 2017 baby Buddha calendar that says Peace & Happy… it doesn’t get any better than that:-)  He told me that he thought I would like this one better than the Emperors one.  He was right, I’m not much into ruling over other people…

Had to look up the hand gestures on my baby Buddha calendar, because just like words really do have meanings (no matter the Left’s penchant for muddying the waters on that), those hand gestures symbolize much bigger things.

The baby Buddha’s hand gestures are called Vitarka Mudra – Teaching:

VITARKA MUDRA – TEACHING

The Buddha’s hand, held close to his heart with thumb and forefinger tips touching symbolizes the transmission of the knowledge he has gained after attaining enlightenment. Another name for this gesture is Vyakhyana Mudra or the “mudra of instruction”. The circle formed by the fingers touching each other signifies perfection, with no beginning or end, like the law of Dharma itself.

There are many variations. The Buddha may be seated or standing while gesturing thus. In other poses, both his hands may display the Vitarka Mudra.

https://www.buddhagroove.com/vitarka-mudra-teaching/

The baby Buddha is sitting inside a lotus flower, so might as well add what the lotus flower symbolizes:

“The lotus flower represents one symbol of fortune in Buddhism. It grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower’s first and most literal meaning: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment.

The second meaning, which is related to the first is purification. It resembles the purifying of the spirit which is born into murkiness. The third meaning refers to faithfulness. Those who are working to rise above the muddy waters will need to be faithful followers.”

https://buddhists.org/buddhist-symbols/the-meaning-of-the-lotus-flower-in-buddhism/

There are more details on additional symbolism with lotus flowers at the link above, like what the different color flowers mean, etc.

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