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Blog Note

I am having a lot of problems with my blog posts lately – lots of WordPress “glitches,” as I’m trying to post them and edit them – I can’t get the Twitter posts to show up in this post right now, but the links are there. I don’t know how many “computer gremlin” problems I’m going to have throughout this scandal, but if past is prologue – probably a lot. I’ll do my best to keep sharing information.

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Applying the law evenly

This is a politics blog post. I’ve debated what to write about the information coming out about the raid on former President Trump’s home on Monday.

I detest so much about former President Trump’s behavior and relentless lying, but I also realize there were some important accomplishments in his administration, like America became energy independent for the first time in my life and the Abraham Accords, for which he gets no credit in the liberal media. I wrote scores of anti-Trump blog posts over the years, but as the Dem/liberal media efforts to destroy Trump intensified, I also became aware that a large portion of their attacks were lies, often thoroughly corrupt and always orchestrated spin efforts between Dems and liberal media.

For a long time I’ve believed the left’s anti-Trump efforts go way beyond they just hate Trump, although they obviously do hate him. Trump got in the way of the Democrat’s liberal agenda, but he posed an even larger threat, because he both exposed their corrupt spin information war and he’s quite good at defeating their spin attacks.

Although, many people on the left decry mentioning Hillary Clinton’s email scandal and how other presidents handled documents when they left the White House as just “whataboutism” to excuse Trump’s behavior, I disagree. Today, Attorney General, Merrick Garland, gave a short statement in the raid of Trump’s home on Monday. Garland stated”

“Faithful adherence to the rule of law is the bedrock principle of the Justice Department and of our democracy. Upholding the rule of law means applying the law evenly without fear or favor. Under my watch, that is precisely what the Justice Department is doing.” – https://www.cnn.com/2022/08/11/politics/garland-announcement-justice-department/index.html

That “applying the law evenly” matters for Americans to trust that we have one set of rules for everyone. However, I don’t believe we have one set of rules anymore and frankly, even when it comes to how we treat duly-elected presidents, all the norms that the media and Democrats applied when dealing with a sitting president were thrown out the window with Trump.

The effort to trash and destroy Trump extended to his family. First ladies often grace the cover of fashion magazines. Recently, Vogue ran a cover with Ukraine’s First Lady on it. Every fashion magazine shunned First Lady, Melania Trump, a beautiful former model, and did they not put her photo on a single cover in four years. Most disturbing were the constant hysterical “beginning of the end” Dem/liberal media spin attacks, revving up some new ‘breaking news” story, claiming this was the one that was going to destroy Trump. Since Monday, there’s been another round of this “beginning of the end” with the raid of Trump’s home and the claim he had documents that belong to the US government in his possession.

And that brings us squarely to the “applying the law evenly.” The Obama DOJ lowered the standard on former officials having sensitive documents in their home during the Clinton email scandal.

The short rehash is Hillary never set up a homebrew server in their home. I read through all of the FBI Notes on that investigation in 2016, as they were released. Bill Clinton had his aide, Justin Cooper set up that server for his foundation work. Just as Hillary was ready to become Secretary of State, the Clintons had their aides, Justin Cooper and Bryan Pagliano, upgrade that server. Hillary Clinton merged her State Department email onto Bill Clinton’s private foundation server in their home. That’s the truth. Oh and in 2016, the FBI was investigating the Clinton Foundation for pay-to-play, so perhaps the Clintons merging the US State Dept. with Bill Clinton’s Foundation server in their home could have been of interest in a pay-to-play investigation. Here’s a quick rundown on the FBI’s Clinton Foundation investigation in 2016, from a Real Clear Politics report:

“1. The Clinton Foundation investigation is far more expansive than anybody has reported so far and has been going on for more than a year.

2. The laptops of Clinton aides Cherryl Mills and Heather Samuelson have not been destroyed, and agents are currently combing through them. The investigation has interviewed several people twice, and plans to interview some for a third time.

3. Agents have found emails believed to have originated on Hillary Clinton’s secret server on Anthony Weiner’s laptop. They say the emails are not duplicates and could potentially be classified in nature.

4. Sources within the FBI have told Baier that an indictment is “likely” in the case of pay-for-play at the Clinton Foundation, “barring some obstruction in some way” from the Justice Department.

5. FBI sources say with 99% accuracy that Hillary Clinton’s server has been hacked by at least five foreign intelligence agencies, and that information have been taken from it”.

Here’s a CNN timeline of the email scandal: https://www.cnn.com/2016/10/28/politics/hillary-clinton-email-timeline

By the time that email scandal ended on July 5, 2016, James Comey gave his statement proclaiming Hillary’s handling of highly classified information wasn’t criminal or grossly negligent, it was only “extremely careless.”

I’ve written a lot of blog posts about that email scandal, but what I want to focus on here is what Garland said about “applying the law evenly.” Tonight Twitter is abuzz with information leaked to the Washington Post, claiming that Trump had “nuclear documents” and in light of all the Dem spin word games, I don’t trust anything the Biden DOJ is selling at this point.

The larger problem though is for our system of justice to survive requires trust and by continually applying one set of rules for Dems and another set for Trump and Republicans, the trust deficit keeps growing.

The FBI, per the Comey statement found:

“For example, seven e-mail chains concern matters that were classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level when they were sent and received. These chains involved Secretary Clinton both sending e-mails about those matters and receiving e-mails from others about the same matters. There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation.”

Those seven e-mail chains concerned some of the most highly sensitive information and it wasn’t just Hillary who emailed that highly classified information on an unsecure email system, it was also other Obama officials (the sent and received tells us that). Hillary kept that highly classified information on the unsecure Clinton family server. It gets worse though, because James Comey reopened that email investigation when the Weiner laptop the FBI had, revealed, Hillary’s aide, Huma Abedin, had thousands upon thousands of State Dept emails stashed too, but Comey quickly reclosed that investigation and told us “nothing to see here,” due to political pressure and Dem outrage that this damaging information would impact the 2016 election.

Comey never told us if the FBI checked into the other people involved in these chains and if they had that highly sensitive information stored on unsecure email systems too. This matters because the Hillary unsecure server came to light in 2013 when some emails, generated from Hillary’s server and sent to someone else, were retrieved by a Romanian hacker called “Guccifer.”, – from that CNN timeline again :

March 20, 2013 – Gawker reports that based on emails retrieved by a Romanian hacker called “Guccifer,” Clinton used the “clintonemail.com” domain name in emails to advisers and friends. Because her original address is revealed in the article, Clinton changes her email address.”

Add in all the electronic devices the FBI subpoenaed from Hillary Clinton, that were never turned over, the bleach-bit server, and Comey brushing it aside as just “extremely careless,” while Dems and the liberal media spun it as Hillary was the victim of a right-wing conspiracy. It would have to be some pretty spectacularly damaging documents Trump had for me to buy into any of this after the unchecked Clinton/Obama corruption and I haven’t even gotten to the Hunter Biden laptop yet. The Democrats’ wholesale public corruption in Washington seems almost surreal these days and Dems and the liberal media want us to get worked up because someone in the Biden administration decided to spin up “nuclear documents” in a leak to the Washington Post tonight. This Dem/liberal media spin information war has completely corrupted so many people.

“Applying the law evenly,” yeah right. I have zero confidence in the Biden DOJ and FBI and it pains me to say that.

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Redefining America

I’m not quite finished with reading COVID 19: The Great Reset, the Klaus Schwab book that’s caused a massive backlash reaction on the political right in America (and concern in many other countries too). This post is going to be about some news and some thoughts on the Schwab book. I wanted to move toward writing about happier topics and move away from politics, but I started this blog writing about politics – so, this post is about the much talked about “The Great Reset.”

The US Senate just passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.(Correction below)Democrats claim it will reduce inflation, but it’s a massive spending bill pushing the global climate change agenda. The Dem/media spin word games reached new levels of absurdity, when on the very day Dems pushed this bill through the US Senate, numbers of a 2nd quarter of negative growth were released. That used to be called a recession, but now we’re into redefining America.

There was a whole lot of redefining going on, not just at the Biden White House, but with liberal media. Some online sites and social media platforms went all-in on that too. The interesting part was that the liberal media people, who pontificate about integrity and character constantly, rushed to bolster the Biden White House redefining bs.  Facebook and Instagram rushed to flag posts as false if they didn’t conform with the Biden spin word games.

Yes, of course, beyond the ridiculousness, there’s a disturbing aspect to this level of media corruption and yes, it is corruption to go to these lengths to bolster blatant propaganda. I’ve been writing about the spin information war and the threat it poses to American liberty since 1998 and I know how far people with power can go to silence anyone, from a sitting President of the United States being banned from social media platforms and liberal-owned news media corporations working to silence him for years, to doctors and academics, who have different views on “the science” during a pandemic, to a nobody homemaker, who got in the way of a massive scorched earth Dem spin effort. It happened to me in 1998, when I was very new to the internet and wandered onto the Excite politics message boards in 1998, at the height of the Clinton impeachment scandal. The Messages of mhere story, on my home page, is my story, written with pseudonyms.

I’ve written about this many times. In 1998, my husband was still an active-duty career soldier and I was an Army wife. I started posting messages on the Excite politics message boards, countering Clinton spin word-soup arguments, explaining how I believe the Dem/media spin information war works and arguments to expose and deflate their latest spin. Some of my “counter-spin” arguments began showing up, being used by actual right-wing pundits in the cable news nightly battles – my exact phrases and that disturbed me a bit. I thought I was just engaged in some trivial politics debate online.

That story is true. I believe I was investigated and they located a retired general, who hated me and recruited him to silence me. I believe he was fed totally false information. I believe whoever orchestrated that attack on me had to be high-level or that retired general never would have gotten involved. That’s why I will continue to write this blog as long as I can. Trust me, I’m tired of fighting against the Dem/media spin information war, but what I saw in 1998, with the Dem spin information war, a whole lot of Americans have begun seeing since the pandemic and the crackdown on “disinformation.”

Many people express concern about the data-tracking going on online and the WEF green zealots talking about giving everyone a personal score on their individual “carbon footprint,” by monitoring their consumption of food and resources (yes, that idea’s in the Schwab book), but the truth is corrupt people with unchecked power have been able to track you down, investigate you, violate all your rights long before these globalist green zealots came up with these latest brainstorms.

The wholesale public corruption is the real threat, not getting hysterical about a particular new global agenda. The fight against wholesale public corruption should be something every American gets behind, but with our extreme partisan politics, most people make up excuses for the corrupt leaders on their own side, while wanting the head of the other side’s corrupt leader on a pike.

This post isn’t about Clinton corruption or Trump corruption (both are very corrupt – Trump was a crony of Bill Clinton and his golfing buddy). It’s also not about what happened to me, because assuredly after all these years the statute of limitations has long passed. The people who orchestrated that are above the law, as evidenced by the many investigations into Clinton corruption and how many times the “victim of a vast, right-wing conspiracy” spin effort has worked like a charm for the Clinton machine, with the liberal media happily selling that spin too. I wanted my husband to know the truth about what happened, but he’s gone now and truthfully it probably would have crushed him to know that a commander he respected and trusted attacked our home and me. My husband loved the Army. I do too.

This post is about the spin information war, writ large, not about Dems vs. Republicans, and I wish more Americans would quit thinking in terms of one leader to get behind, who is going to save America. That ain’t happening. To save America will require enough people to agree that preserving our constitutional order and upholding the rule of law, not selective rules for different groups, based on their political party affiliation or views, is the keystone worth bolstering above all others. Without our constitution and the rule of law, we will descend into anarchy and total mayhem or end up being ruled by despots.

The Great Reset presents a lot of ideas about how to transform the post-pandemic world, but it also delves into numerous studies, history, economics, climate change, social engineering ideas, and an array of other topics. It’s broken down into an introduction, then chapters on macro reset, micro reset, individual reset and conclusions. Rather than get worked up about disturbing short videos circulating of WEF globalists talking about the Great Reset, I wanted to understand what the book is and isn’t. Schwab and his co-author present historical information from other pandemics and post-pandemic periods, along with observations from the COVID pandemic.

Regardless whether you’re 100% against the green agenda or 100% support it, the reality is the post-pandemic world was going to be dramatically changed and that’s where the conservative mind-set often leads people on the right to get stuck in rapidly changing times Too often conservative thinkers harken back to some halcyon time in the past and want to revert back to that, rather than adapt to the current, rapidly changing world. I struggle with this too, because I miss a lot of things about the pre-internet world. There was no way that level of world-wide economic upheaval could be, to use the popular pandemic term, mitigated, quickly or without dramatic changes.

Schwab wrote about social changes. People around the globe haven’t been able to just turn off the pandemic mind-set and revert back to pre-pandemic life, with the deep social fissures caused by new pandemic rules, inequities many people feel, large numbers of deaths, widespread fear, and a whole host of other social divides that festered during the pandemic. I think the thought leaders among the elite progressives in the green movement, in America, like the Bill Gates and John Kerry types, totally misunderstand how fed-up millions of middle class and below Americans are at being treated like drone worker bees, who should just do what they’re told by their betters.

Where Schwab and his co-author were right was in understanding the massive economic damage the lockdowns and COVID-related problems would cause. Where they’re very wrong, I think, is in believing that their global-planning for a “Great Reset,” centered on the UN 2030 Agenda’s green energy goals can be harnessed and managed. They believe their group of self-selected policy experts at the WEF, world leaders, who are gung-ho about the green transformation (or coerced to play along), and big corporations can control this post-pandemic economic transformation, without there being widespread global chaos, to include widespread shortages, famine and violent, populist uprisings. It seemed to me they accept a whole lot of collateral damage in their plan, as being worth it to achieve their world transformation, while expecting their own elite lifestyles to continue unchanged. They know some countries will collapse and there will likely be more shortages and famine, but it seems the green advocate prevailing belief is that without their actions things will be much worse.

This seems like a recipe for global disorder & mayhem. China, Russia, and countries that ally with them will likely band together to weather the “Great Reset” chaos, while western countries will be engulfed in populist uprisings and political instability. That’s what I don’t think the Great Reset crowd understand (or underestimate until the chaos reaches the gates of their elite communities).

Russia and China pay lip service to the green agenda, but they aren’t going to abide by or implement any of these western big green ideas. And these powerful green deal true-believers will do exactly what the Biden administration has done with cracking down on the fossil fuel industry in America – gone begging for oil deals from America’s adversaries. Germany is doing the same thing now. They will cut deals with Russia, China and other countries, who will use energy and other resources to bribe, blackmail and coerce the West to bow to their wishes. That’s my prediction on the big picture.

With the little picture I expect the social media purges and “fighting disinformation” efforts to intensify, as anyone who gets in the way of the great reset (Build Back Better, as it’s been repackaged by the Biden administration and Dems) moves into high-gear. The “Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 is a massive spending bill to accelerate the great reset push in America.

I also expect social media platforms to intensify their efforts to punish/purge users who refuse to bow to the latest spin word indoctrination effort or express a differing view, especially the monetized content creators. I expect content creators, who have monetized their social media, to be pressured to comply, as more and more words and topics become hotbeds of controversy. With Trump, the Dem spin word effort was all about “Russian disinformation.” With the pandemic, Dems, liberal news media and tech companies were ostensibly working to fight “Covid disinformation.” Now we’re on to the Redefining America project.

Words matter. Clear, commonly understood definitions allow for people to communicate openly and freely. Muddling the language leads to a people who can’t think or communicate clearly. It leads to people being fearful of speaking out too. Public-shaming and punishing people for dissenting views works – just look at all the totalitarian regimes who do that. People certainly can’t organize effectively, if there’s no way to use clear terms and that’s the big goal of mass indoctrination efforts like this – to instill fear, create mass confusion and immobilize people from free thinking.

The gender activism has led to muddled terms and thinking on that front of the culture war in America. With the climate change agenda now moving to the forefront, I expect the culture war to shift in the direction of redefining American capitalism and our economy. The effort to transform our constitutional republic will likely move into high-gear too, under the guise of “we’re in a crisis” and actually if populist backlash grows, well, we just might be at a very bad point.

Sorry this post is so gloomy, but in my own daily life, I’m still stocking up basics, working on my fall garden plans, planning some craft and needlework projects and committing to decluttering and reorganizing in my home, which is desperately needed. Focus on controlling the things you can really change. The better you can manage your everyday life, the better situated you’ll be for whatever crises head your way. Being able to preserve calm and order in your home, no matter what chaos is going on in the world, can help you weather many financial storms. I’ve worked to simplify my finances and lifestyle over the past few years and will continue to stock up food and basic supplies, as long as that’s possible. I’m also working to improve my organization and rotation of food in my pantry.

07/31/2022 – Note: I’ve made a bunch of edits of typos, edited out and added a few words here and there for better clarity, I hope.

08-01-2022 – Correction – the US Senate did not pass the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 yet. What happened last week was Senator Joe Manchin reached an agreement with Senate Majority Leader, Senator, Chuck Schumer and will support this bill.

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A garden update and some thoughts

This is a sort of garden update post.

I started working in my little container garden before 6:30 am. Even small gardens take some time each day and with the horrible summer heat and high humidity here in southeast GA every summer, I try to do outside chores early in the morning or in the evening.

I’ve been enjoying this gardening effort and although it certainly hasn’t produced massive amounts, I did get a whole lot of cherry tomatoes – I had enough to freeze 4 quart size bags, make a pint of sun-dried tomatoes and I filled up a gallon glass container and fermented those, plus I had plenty to eat. I pulled out the last of those determinate cherry tomato plants this morning.

I haven’t had to buy any bell peppers or green onions so far this summer. I dehydrated kale four times and have a gallon container full of kale flakes. I dehydrated lemon basil, sweet basil and oregano. Cucumbers have done okay. I planted two pots of straight eight cucumbers and 6 pots of small pickling cucumbers. I made 6 pints of bread and butter pickles and I have enough small cucumbers picked to make several pints of dill pickles. I froze 4 quarts of green beans, plus cooked some several times. I’ve had plenty of lettuce, squash and green onions.

I have two dragon pepper plants (some sort of cayenne pepper) that are loaded with peppers, which are starting to ripen. I have a jalapeno with a lot of peppers on it too. I picked two very small heads of cabbage (have three left) and once I cleaned them, it came to about the amount of cabbage on a small head of cabbage from the store. It was plenty for a meal of kielbasa and cabbage.

My radishes, carrots, okra haven’t done well. My first strawberries bit the dust, as did my zucchini. I replanted and have four zucchinis growing. I replanted okra three times and I’ve got one okra plant that survived. I replanted radishes. I left the carrots in the container and they’re slowly growing and haven’t flowered yet, so I’m leaving them alone. My last yellow squash bit the dust, but I’m still getting a lot of pattypan squash and today I’m making squash casserole with some of the pattypan, because I have 7 of them sitting on my kitchen counter at the moment.

I planted plenty of flower seeds. I’ve always been more enthusiastic about growing flowers than vegetables.

Mostly, I’ve had fun planting seeds, watching things grow and tending to this little garden every day. I went into this container gardening effort, expecting to plant only a few containers for my patio, but I’m glad I expanded that. I’ve been buying a lot of seeds. I’ve saved two types of bell pepper seeds so far. And now I’m getting ready to start some seeds in July for a fall vegetable garden.

What I learned with using grow bags is the plants dry out quickly in the heat here and I’ll be using mostly plastic containers and larger plastic tote containers for my fall garden. I’ll still use grow bags for herbs and flowers, but I’ll be transitioning toward getting more large plastic containers. I learned that I could manage to take care of more plants, even in the heat, than I thought I could. I plan to put some raised beds together when the weather cools down in the fall and get them ready for next spring.

The violas are still blooming despite the temps being over 100 degrees several days. The five pieces of succulents Me-Su gave me are growing too.

There are three tiny watermelons forming on two plants I started in May, I think. I don’t expect them to amount to anything, but they’re cute.

This is one lantana that I planted years ago in front of my house. It comes back every year and grows out of control. I have vincas in front of my house that reseed on their own too. Not having plants that reseed themselves is a real downside to container gardening.

Beyond providing some food, this gardening effort has brought me a lot of pleasant hours working in the backyard and some coming to terms with major loss in my life.

While I think it’s unrealistic to begin vegetable gardening expecting to grow all your own vegetables or to plant an enormous garden without first having some experience gardening, jumping in does matter. It’s easy to get discouraged or to talk yourself out of attempting to learn new things. Every new kitchen and gardening skill can give you more self-confidence to tackle more.

The lines I’ve hated since I was a kid are when people say they don’t have a “green thumb” or that they’re such a bad cook they can burn water. I had my mother and great-grandmother telling me that I have a green thumb and my mother believed everyone can learn to cook, so she had us measuring, stirring and cooking things from a very early age. I remember plenty of plant failures and the first time I made pancakes by myself, they were burnt on the outside and runny on the inside. I got alarmed and my mother casually told me that I might want to turn the heat down for the next batch.

If growing vegetables or cooking aren’t your jumping off point to being more self-reliant, perhaps learn a new skill like something mechanical or some basic carpentry skills. Knife skills are useful in many dozens of ways, as is learning how to care for knives. Learning more knife skills is on my to-do list. A self-defense course or even starting an exercise program can help with being more self-reliant. There are thousands upon thousands of useful skills to acquire, so it doesn’t have to be gardening or raising animals for food.

My parents gave my youngest brother my mother’s old car that needed the engine rebuilt for his first car. He rebuilt that engine on his own with a little assistance from my Dad and some technical advice from an uncle who was a master mechanic. He was the kid who was always taking everything apart and often he couldn’t get them back together properly, but he did master putting together a V-8 engine kit that he got as a gift for Christmas one year. Everyone can learn new things – at any age.

Many people have been talking about the Great Depression, especially Great Depression cooking, since our economy is headed down the tank. An interesting fact about popular culture during that era was romance novels became very popular, board games were popular, and many people turned to listening to radio programs. Soap operas, comedies and music were popular, not politics. Popular movies weren’t about politics or serious topics – they were escapism with lots of musicals, comedies and romances, with characters living posh lifestyles.

I remain hopeful for America and for the future. Each day can be the start of something good. We don’t have to live in crisis mode everyday to be prepared for emergencies or bad times. I’m following the news, not burying my head in the sand, but finding some balance and looking for some good news matter too.

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Slow down, are you on the way to a fire?

Today I saw a tweet about another food facility fire, at a Perdue Farms facility in VA: Chesapeake Fire responds to industrial fire at Perdue Farms facility. The last line in this report is important, but it’s doubtful that part will play any part in how this story feeds alarm among the people invested in the belief there’s some grand conspiracy behind these fires. Here’s the last line in that news report:

“According to a plant manager, the damage from the fire will have minimum impact on their operations.”

This post is going to elaborate on something I wrote in a blog post last week and it’s about latching onto conclusions about events that fit what we already believe, without any real facts to support the conclusions. Here’s what I wrote:

“With all the economic bad news and worries, a lot of people rush into believing any conspiracy theory that gets passed around online, with no real evidence that events are even connected. For instance, last week the headquarters of Azure Standard, a popular distributor of organic and health food, used and promoted by many YouTube homesteading and prepper channels, burned down. Within hours there were people on YouTube and other social media running wild with a conspiracy theory linking the Azure Standard fire to other food company fires. It was all innuendo about “a lot of fires with food places happening” and rumors run amok.

It seems there are lots of people who want to buy into grand conspiracy theories without any evidence or waiting for an investigation.”

Yes, it’s possible that Azure Standard fire was connected to other fires at food supply facilities and yes it could be part of some nefarious effort to harm the American food supply, but there are some things it’s worth considering before leaping to those two conclusions and in the second case assigning blame to either hostile foreign actors or domestic entities you distrust.

First, it’s worth waiting to allow some time for an investigation into the cause of the fire and then determine whether it was an accidental cause, a result of some mechanical problem, a human error mistake that created the conditions for the fire or a criminal act. And if it was a criminal act, well, then that requires more investigation.

Just a news report of a fire does not give anyone enough information to determine the cause and it’s certainly not enough information to state it’s part of a larger conspiracy.

I refer to this way of leaping to conclusions as the Glenn Beck circles of conspiracy theory-building. I was fascinated by Beck’s FOX show chalkboard diagrams, adding more and more pieces to an ever growing conspiracy theory that was built on making specious and often absurd connections between his “pieces” on his conspiracy puzzle. In the center of most Beck conspiracy theories was Barack Obama, who was the face of American subversion to many on the American right for 8 years.

Before continuing, I absolutely disapproved of most Obama policies and I do believe many of the people, including Obama hold views and support policies that are antithetical to American constitutional principles and disastrous for American personal liberty and prosperity. I also believe plenty of people in the Obama circle do embrace a far-left ideology that pushed using crisis (real or manufactured crises) to propel their policies forward. However, the Beck diagrams drew endless tenuous connections between people and events that were often absurd and ridiculous, while pushing a conclusion that none of these connections actually supported or proved.

A whole lot of people on the right bought into the Beck chalkboard antics and here’s the thing, some of Beck’s conclusions fit my political views and beliefs, so I didn’t say, “Whoa, that’s stupid or that doesn’t make any sense,” until long after Beck left Fox and started his online show, which I subscribed to for a while. It took until 2013, when Beck had a total con artist, with a criminal record for fraud, on his show, selling setting up a community of like-minded people in Idaho called The Citadel, that did not even exist yet – the con artist was recruiting people via a Skype interview process, where prospective residents were interviewed to see if they were a good fit and then these people would be required to start sending monthly payments to raise money to purchase the land for this oasis of “freedom.” That Beck gave this con artist a platform on his show and legitimacy was the end of my Beck subscription or listening to anything Beck says.

With the Azure Standard fire and other recent food production-related fires, I’ve seen a US map presented by some people online, with locations of recent fires of food facilities dotted out and their conclusion is a mass conspiracy attacking our food supply. The problem with a map like this is I don’t know how many fires at food facilities usually happen in that timeframe. I don’t know what the fire investigation reports of each of those fires concludes. I don’t know if there’s any evidence of connections between the fires, let alone blaming some bad group – hostile foreign entities or domestic entities.

I saw this report on the Azure Standard fire this morning:

“The Oregon Office of the State Fire Marshal has determined the cause of the Azure Standard headquarters building fire to be an accident, rather than an act of arson. According to a press release from Azure Standard, the fire was related to a tote of rolled corn being temporarily stored in a cooler due to oversupply at the company’s warehouse.

According to the fire marshal, the fire could’ve started one of two ways: The corn could’ve started smoldering on its own due to moisture content, causing it to combust, or the tote or dust from the corn could’ve come into contact with an electrical outlet, causing it to short and igniting the corn.”

https://www.columbiagorgenews.com/news/azure-headquarters-fire-ruled-an-accident-caused-by-tote-of-corn/article_0943e3de-c5ab-11ec-83c5-4f58cbbaafa6.html

I seriously doubt many of the people online selling the “lots of fires” conspiracy theory have done some searching into the aftermath of investigations into the causes of these fires, because they’re already sure it’s a big conspiracy attacking our food supply. I just prefer to gather more information, before deciding, because that’s my contrarian nature. I’m like this about a lot things, especially when “experts” conclude things, I tend to go digging around and reading reports and stuff, to see if the evidence really backs their certainties. And yes, the possibility of a big conspiracy to attack our food supply is possible, especially in light of the economic warfare playing out around the world. The massive sanctions against Russia by the West and Russian and China stockpiling grain and trying to wage economic war against the West could lead to attacks on our food supply, but I still prefer evidence that’s behind this spate of food facility fires

Conspiracy theories flourish with people believing in some omnipotent evil powers that be. And sure, there are plenty of powerful people and groups, who do things or promote things or push public policy that I think are bad, but that doesn’t automatically make a case that these fires are the work of any of these people or groups.

If you leap to sweeping conclusions devoid of any real evidence or even much in the way of specific information and then run around in fear and panic, even making rash personal decisions based on these conclusions, you lose your most precious freedom too. You’ve allowed fear to rob you of control over your mind.

It’s easy to get swept up in emotion with so many serious political and economic problems swirling about. It’s hard to calmly sift through the information overload and constant chorus of people shouting, “Fire!” in an already overcrowded theater filled with flame-throwing partisans on social media and on the news. I’m still working on not overreacting to the constant inferno of bad news, innuendo or buying into conspiratorial-thinking scorching the media landscape daily (phew, a flaming pile of bad puns in this paragraph, sorry, I got carried away).

Asking more questions helps me sort things out. I also stopped relying on “so and so” said to sway me, because “so and so” lives in the same information wasteland I do and I know I’ve bought into news stories that turned out to be bs and it can happen to anyone.

After the 4 years of non-stop media hysteria about President Trump/Russia Collusion insanity and the almost daily breaking news that turned out to be false stories by the mainstream media, I try now to wait at least 24 hours to see what other information shakes out. It wasn’t only Trump news though. ABC ran a video of a firing range in KY with a story they were reporting on about fighting in Syria. How that mistake happened, they never said. The most upsetting false reporting to me was Dem and liberal media hacks on Twitter blaming the US military for Iran shooting down a civilian Ukrainian airliner in January of 2020. I was on Twitter that night and wrote a blog post about what happened. Iran had lobbed missiles into Iraq that night, targeting US soldiers and then Dem mouthpieces started blaming the US military (and Trump) for creating a “fog of war” and some were tweeting about the “crossfire” caused the Iranians to mistakenly target that civilian airliner. The thing was US soldiers were attacked in Iraq and the US fired no missile at Iran that night, ZERO. There was no “crossfire” or “fog of war.” Those Dem spin hacks chose to spread spin blaming the US and making excuses for Iran – that disturbs me to this day.

The deterioration of our news reliability and the constant deluge of online information can distort reality more than clarify anything. I’ve found taking some screen breaks helps. It’s hard to break free of that, especially with so many serious events unfolding around the world right now, but it’s worth the effort to keep working to free our minds of the daily information overload.

My parents used to admonish me for rushing around in the house, “Slow down, are you on the way to a fire?” They were right about slowing down. With the always online world we live in, it’s our minds that do all that racing around now, not our legs. I had a bad habit of trying to rush up and down the stairs and tripping myself up. I either banged my shins rushing up or tripped and fell down some steps. I never gained a single thing for all that rushing.

Slow down a bit.

Note: Had some glitches using the editing program, so I’ve been making changes, sorry about that.

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War reporting in the internet age

I came across Ukraine/Russia analysis on a YouTube channel by an Estonian soldier, that is highly entertaining and interesting. I’ve got no idea how accurate his information is and he is definitely cheering for the Ukrainians, but that said, I found his videos offering a lot of information that is days ahead of what the US Defense Dept. is reporting.

For instance, today a WaPo reporter tweeted out information from a Defense Dept. briefing and this was one bit of information:

This Estonian soldier reported that frostbite was likely in a March 10th video:

Here’s another video from a few days ago:

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Free speech, eh?

I intended to write about another topic today, but here’s what I’ve gleaned from some things I’ve seen circulating in the news media in the past few days.

  1. I don’t know what information to believe about what’s happening in Ukraine, what the Russians are doing or whether they intend to invade.
  2. After the Afghanistan withdrawal debacle last year, I have ZERO trust in anything the Biden White House or Austin-run Pentagon say and this lack of trust in the Pentagon leadership leaves me feeling very concerned about America’s national security.
  3. I also have ZERO confidence in President Biden or this Pentagon leadership ability to wage any military action – ANYWHERE. I do not trust them or their competency. Period.
  4. While I truly was repelled by many of Trump’s spin antics and petty smear campaigns, I know many Trump supporters. I voted for Trump last year out of total fear, after watching the woke crowd that was running the Biden campaign and how they kept Biden out of view, rolled him out with Potemkin-type staging and had him read prepared statements on mostly COVID preaching. His appearances had the aura of hostage videos – he was just a stage prop for an Obama-led spin con game, I thought.
  5. The overwhelming majority of Trump supporters are decent, hard-working, patriotic Americans, yet the liberal media and Dems have spent years stereotyping them as knuckle-dragging, racist, stupid deplorables, who should be exiled from polite society.

Ukraine and the Freedom Convoy in Canada seem like the two top tier news stories to me today. I saw news yesterday, that a truckers protest will be starting in the US, next week.

The Ukraine situation has some foreign policy implications for the US and NATO, but I don’t see any need for the WWIII kind of alarmism some in the news media drum up. Where I am more concerned, as I wrote yesterday, is with the domestic turmoil here at home and the deepening partisan divides.

That brings me to what the Canadian Justice Minister said yesterday:

I looked for a mainstream media link, but didn’t see any. Perhaps the mainstream (liberal) media didn’t cover it much, so here’s Breitbart covering it. The way liberal media and conservative media decide what news to cover is a whole other can of worms, but suffice it say, although liberal media wasn’t covering Trudeau’s “emergency powers,” I feel completely confident in saying sleazy, corrupt Democrat lawyers, the Biden White House and the Obama crowd certainly are following every single detail, taking notes, and looking for loopholes in American law to attempt something just like that here in America.

I didn’t know how to explain why what’s going on in Canada should concern Americans when I wrote my blog post, Time to expose the wholesale public corruption, yesterday. What’s happening with the Freedom Convoy and the massive effort by American leftists and the liberal news media to smear those Canadian truckers as terrorists, Nazis, white supremacists, etc. is exactly how the American left, from Democrat politicians, to the liberal media, to big tech platforms, to the Biden WH, to the Austin-run Pentagon have worked to smear Trump supporters as dangerous subversives. Heck, even the Canadian Justice Minister is labeling Trump supporters in Canada as a “threat” and looking to freeze their bank accounts.

Honestly, Trump’s ill-conceived “Stop the Steal Election” rally, which turned into a disgraceful mob attack on the Capitol handed Democrats and the liberal media ammunition with which to paint all Trump supporters and conservatives. So, there is that one event, which has provided cover for all sorts of Dem efforts to use a broad-brush approach to identifying right-wing extremists.

There are also lots of loud, flamethrowers within the Trump pundit crowd, who are constantly reacting with rage, talk of civil war and other over-the-top rhetoric. People can say what they want, I’m just stating how I see the present situation in America.

And assuredly, the Russians have plenty to gain by throwing gasoline on the American internal divides and fueling this growing domestic divisiveness. A lot of foreign countries actively engage in a variety of info war efforts in America, to fuel divides in America.

Heck, for decades, the Soviet dream was to incite a race war in America, but now we have the homegrown BLM aspiring toward that goal… And, yes, I believe the founders (self-proclaimed Marxists) are subversives and I do not support the BLM movement. I didn’t support protests that turned into rioting to the tune of billions of dollars in property damage, several deaths, burning down a police station in Minneapolis, wanton destruction of public property and tearing down statues. I didn’t consider these actions as “mostly peaceful” nor will I ever support or make excuses for violent protests. I also don’t try to make excuses for the people who damaged property and attacked the Capitol police on Jan. 6th.

All of these things taken together make me concerned with where the continuing left vs. right divides will lead our country.

The most extreme social mitigation efforts Democrat officials and federal health officials embraced came from foreign countries, who had enacted them first. Masks and lockdowns – China, releasing prisoners – Iran when they lost control of some prisons, digitally tracking individuals’ movements – South Korea and on it goes.

There is no way Democrats or the Biden White House, which has championed Trudeau’s crackdown and joined in smearing the Freedom Convoy protesters, would pass up an opportunity to crush Trump supporters. These are the same people who had no qualms with labeling Americans who chose not to get the COVID vaccine as a threat to the public and tried to use every power possible to ruin their lives.

Trudeau’s invoking their emergency act and his government’s bare-knuckle tactics to crush the Freedom Convoy, leave me wondering how quickly the Biden crowd and other Democrats will have their liberal media friends spin up overblown narratives about the American truckers protest being planned and Americans, who support them. And all it takes is one ill-conceived or violent incident by right-wing group to provide the Biden administration cover to try some draconian measure of freezing people’s bank accounts and assets, like Trudeau has done.

Lots of people think, these sorts of tyrannical government moves can’t happen here, but the power of the liberal media spin machine to create false narratives, generate massive smokescreens and tirelessly do slash and burn smear campaigns is equaled only by their willful blindness to Democrat corruption. On the right, the conservative media runs wild with a whole lot of reactionary, overwrought, Trump-centric drivel and incitement. I don’t see much in the way of even-handed news reporting these days and the little that there is is drowned out by cable news networks’ prime time pundit line-ups and the vast amount of minute-by-minute social media melodrama – especially Twitter, where the American journalists and pundits hang out.

All I know is our right to free speech sure seems like it’s going to be put to the test very soon.

Truly, I was hoping to write a more cheerful and hopeful post today, but I must say what’s happening in Canada kind of surprised me. Trudeau decided to try to crush the Freedom Convoy protesters with every bit of power he could muster – no half-measures. Americans who are aligned with the political right and/or conservative should be sitting up and taking notice.

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A Friends Across America Plan

Long ago, in 2013, on my blog I mentioned that in 7th or 8th grade I began a new hobby that helped form some important beliefs I still hold dear to this day. In our current rancorous culture, here goes with a trip back to the 1970s.

I grew up in the Pocono Mountains in northeastern PA. Most of the local people in my area were descendants of early German settlers. I can trace my direct ancestors back to the mid 1750s, when they arrived from Germany. By the 70s, the Poconos being a resort area had begun attracting year-round residents from Philadelphia, New Jersey and NYC. With the locals, by my generation, very few younger people spoke PA Dutch, an Americanized German dialect. My father and many of his relatives often spoke PA Dutch when together. My mother understood PA Dutch, but did not speak it, so we spoke English at home. My brothers and sisters and I didn’t really pay much attention to PA Dutch, because most people spoke English in public and at home. Where the PA Dutch culture lived on mainly was with cooking.

We lived out in the country in a big, old house across the road from the parsonage, where our elderly pastor and his wife lived. He was of PA German ancestry too, although from another area of PA. He spoke PA Dutch and fit in well with the locals. His wife was a lovely lady, Jewish and originally from NYC. It’s always amazing to me how in America people from completely different backgrounds so often marry and set out to bridge all those divides and build a family.

Our pastor’s wife was a teacher, educated at Columbia, and she took me under her wing and tried very hard to expand my horizons, by exposing me to books from their pretty extensive home library, by trying to teach me how to play the piano and she had albums of classical music and operas, which she played often. She would tell me about the composers and the stories that operas told. I certainly was a musical disappointment, but I did read the books and various things she guided me toward.

Our pastor was a talented woodworker and always had many projects going, they gardened and were always experimenting with new things. My parents always had many projects going too and were always experimenting with new things too, so this seemed normal to me. I was constantly acquiring new hobbies and to this day, I still am always looking for new things to try and new things to learn.

I sat and read the World Book Encyclopedia set my parents bought for us and that spurred this burning desire to want to meet people from all over the world. While it was interesting to read about all the fascinating people and customs, I longed to actually be able to meet people from these faraway places and learn about their lives.

That long ago blog post I titled, Multiculturism My Way, and it explained how I started acquiring foreign pen pals, when my German teacher at school handed us a brochure on how to write and request pen pals from various countries. I don’t even remember how many pen pals I had, but it was quite a few. I used my babysitting money to pay for international postage.

My parents always encouraged my brothers, sisters and me to pursue hobbies and in our house there were always an assortment of hobbies, pets, and projects going on.

However, the person I rushed to tell about what this pen pal effort meant to me was our pastor’s wife. I remember she was sitting at the desk by the built-in wall of bookcases in their living room and I was so excited as I told her about my very first pen pal, a girl in India. I told her about my “Friends Around the World Plan” and how I intended to get more pen pals from other countries and how I wanted to make friends all over the world. She didn’t laugh at my plan, but she smiled at me and told me she thought that was a wonderful plan.

Once you start talking to people and trying to find some common ground, the differences start fading into the background. Everyone can find some common ground with other people, because we all have family, friends, and all the emotions of the human heart that are universal.

One thing I repeatedly told my kids as they were growing up was that they needed to focus on getting to know people, rather than about people. What we know about people whom we don’t really know is almost invariably secondhand information, often gossip and even more often swept along by malignant hot air. Getting to know people takes some personal investment of time, a willingness to listen and an open heart.

It seems insane to me that so many people in America keep beating the drum about “civil war” and how there’s no hope left for America, before even putting any real effort into turning things around. Sure, the political and cultural divides have deepened, but so much of that is driven by mass media flamethrowers, who get rich and famous by lobbing non-stop agitation propaganda and by politicians, who gain power from the polarization. Each American has a choice whether to listen to and buy into all this raging culture war or we can choose to start ignoring the flamethrowers and begin charting a different course for our country. The malignant hot air blowing in America’s political and cultural spin war threatens to burn hope and goodwill to the ground, if we let it.

Watching the growing rancor in our politics and so often in our online culture, rather than a “Friends Around the World Plan,” we sure could use a “Friends Across America Plan,” where we commit to try to listen more or at the very least to stop rushing to form sweeping judgments about people we know nothing about other than they hold differing views or some single comment or video they made sparks outrage or even worse a viral pile-on attack.

I bet it wouldn’t take very long to “fundamentally transform” America if even a small fraction of the country decided to ditch the left vs. right culture war and began to embrace a “Friends Across America Plan.” For those who say it’s impossible, well, I’ll quote Napoleon Bonaparte – “Impossible is a word only to be found in the dictionary of fools.”

Have a good night!

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Thank-you for your time, if you’ve stopped by here at any time to read my blog posts.

As we begin a new year, first I’ve got to admit 2021 has been the hardest year of my life. I’ve been debating about what to write, hoping to avoid the weepy sentiments about loss, so here goes. When my husband died in March, many people told me, “He’s better off; now he’s longer suffering,” which seems a rather common thing people think and say after someone dies after a lengthy illness, but it did nothing to console me or help me face the emptiness I felt each and every day. We married in 1980 and were together over 40 years, which when you say it sounds like a long time, but once it’s over seems to have flashed by in the blink of an eye. And I longed for more time to say and do all the things, that now filled my mind. There were many days filled with, “I wish we had done this” or “Why hadn’t I told him that.”

When the hospice care began in 2020, they gave me booklets and a stack of information to read, like a booklet explaining the dying process. and information on grieving. None of that helped me feel less devastated or at peace, but gradually life moves on whether you’re at terms with it or not.

What I’ve been thinking a lot about now is finding ways to move forward, even if all I can manage some days is a few baby steps. I’ve begun revisiting old hobbies and interests that fell to the wayside as my husband needed more and more care over the last several years, but some are much older interests that got pushed to the wayside as we raised our family and were busy with everyday life.

My husband was a gruff, definitely rough around the edges, paratrooper when I met him. He was a hardcore soldier, completely dedicated to the mission and that was one of the things I admired most about him and I keep reminding myself that he would expect me to, using the military phrase he said many, many times, “You’ve got to suck it up and drive on!’ I’m working on that each day, but I’ve also realized as we’re entering another wave of Covid with another variant, that a whole lot of people in America have not developed any ability to deal with adversity or tackle obstacles life throws their way.

As we begin 2022, I am hoping a whole lot of Americans move past the “crisis” mind-set and focus more on living as normal a life as possible and try hard to block out as much of the pandemic drama on the left and the everything is falling apart drama on the right. I firmly believe the best thing each of us can do is to preserve as much of our normal everyday life as possible. Take some time each day to enjoy the small things in life – a pretty sky, sunshine, a kind word that comes your way.

That doesn’t mean pretend this Covid wave isn’t happening, nor does it mean many of the concerns among the political right aren’t happening too; it means preserving your equilibrium, calm, ability to enjoy each day without being consumed with dread and media-driven panic. Maintaining control over how you react will help you cope and adapt to adversity and the constant media fueled dramas that bombard you when you turn on the TV news or consume social media news and politics.

I hope more people feel the same way I do and work hard in this new year to be of good cheer and remain hopeful.

Here in southeast GA we started off the new year with a beautiful sunny day in the 80s. Pretty wonderful! Although it’s traditional in this part of the country to have black-eyed peas, collard greens and cornbread for New Year’s Day, I’m cooking a Korean beef dish with spinach, mushrooms and glass noodles. I couldn’t find the recipe I’ve used for decades, but I found this recipe online, which is pretty close. Yep, after my Thanksgiving turkey misgivings, I’m now making whatever I feel like for holidays. I have one son here for dinner and he loves this Korean beef dish, so he doesn’t mind a bit that I’m skipping my PA-German traditional New Year’s meal – pork roast, mashed potatoes and sauerkraut.

Wishing all the best to all y’all (now that’s a really Southern phrase).

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Turkey Ride

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November 25, 2021 · 6:38 am