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Redundancy Warning, lol: This blog post is thoughts that I’ve already posted on Twitter this morning and it’s the same message, I’ve repeated many times, even though I doubt the combatants on both sides of America’s SPIN information war will ever admit they are part of the problem
Both sides, Trump & FOX News vs. the entire Left & mainstream media remain deeply entrenched in a take no prisoners scorched earth SPIN information war, but each side pretends only the other side is engaged in vicious character assassinations and orchestrated spin attacks.7:57 AM – 23 May 2019
The reality check on this constant back and forth about who is the victim feeds the respective spin on each side. The Clintons have been using this “poor, pitiful me” spin tactic (victim of a Witch Hunt) since the 90s and Trump borrowed that spin tactic from Hillary, just like everything else about his spin effort.
The Clintons were under investigation throughout Bill Clinton’s presidency, some of it was justified, some was excessive and yes, the Clintons were extremely corrupt.
Trump has been under investigation even during the 2016 campaign, which in itself is under investigation presently. He remains under investigation by Dems and some is excessive, and yes, Trump is extremely corrupt too.
The Clintons lied constantly. Trump lies constantly. Lying constantly makes you a corrupt person, no matter how much parsing of words and spin you try to gloss over this character question. Of course, being corrupt is not necessarily “criminal”, which seems to be the theme both Clinton and Trump apologists use, but being corrupt should be a flashing warning light to sensible people that this person is not trustworthy or someone you should follow.
Corrupt leaders invariably corrupt their followers. This is just common sense. Character matters and it especially matters in leaders, who are people of great “influence”. The President holds the highest elected office in the land and with that office comes not only the presidential duties and powers laid out in the The Constitution, but also the role of “influencer-in-chief”. The President of the United States can also use the office to set the tone for our country simply by how he/she acts.
A lot of Trump supporters see the Clinton and Dem corruption in their scorched earth spin efforts to destroy Trump, like the Trump-Russia spin/investigation spin hysteria and the orchestrated character assassination spin effort waged against Judge Brett Kavanaugh and they refuse to see anything wrong in Trump’s “fighting back”. Trump sinks into the gutter like the Dems in “fighting back” against Dem smear efforts, but Senate Republicans and Kavanaugh took a high road approach to countering the Dem smear onslaught and managed to win over, even moderate, Susan Collins. Eureka! Perhaps, Trump should consider some other ways to counter the Dems spin attacks (he won’t).
- libertybelle @october601 3h3 hours agoMoreTrump broke through the Left & mainstream media control of spin war in America by mimicking the Clinton spin model. He has far less media, but he relies on his own stage presence and hijacking the Left’s spin. In military terms, he owns the OODA loops:1 reply0 retweets0 likesReply 1 Retweet Like View Tweet activity
Trump broke through the Left & mainstream media control of spin war in America by mimicking the Clinton spin model. He has far less media, but he relies on his own stage presence and hijacking the Left’s spin. In military terms, he owns the OODA loops:8:50 AM – 23 May 2019
Neither side will win this scorched earth SPIN information war. The only outcome will be an America that is totally factionalized & ungovernable. SPIN information war corrupts everyone who engages in it – it’s orchestrated propaganda warfare to control public opinion in America 8:50 AM – 23 May 2019
I’ve said all of this before. There are no winners in scorched earth information warfare, just escalating corruption of our government processes, the media and most of all our culture. There’s absolutely no threads of common ground left to sew together to unite our country at the end of the road – only rabid factions, who distrust and despise each other.
Trump was not just being “reactive” to the media, he was reacting to Nancy Pelosi launching another Dem spin attack, with her “Trump cover-up” hit, before heading to the White House yesterday. Haberman and the mainstream media sell the Dem spin constantly. The mainstream media loyally ran with the Schumer/Pelosi version of the White House meeting and Trump’s behavior and they repeated Pelosi’s spin “Trump covered-up” over and over and over last night. The “mainstream media” is really the Dem’s spin chorus. They attack Fox News as Trump’s “state TV”, but they don’t see that they do the same thing with running the Dems spin talking points. Just like FOX News peeps see only the mainstream media “bias” against Trump. Both sides are engaged in waging spin attacks.
Besides my daily housework/ caregiver chores and my blogging and tweeting today, I want to work on stitching another Christmas pattern. Sometime soon I need to start working on turning some of these stitched pieces into actual Christmas ornaments… Following the spin war or needlework… Needlework is the winner in my book, lol.
Have a nice day!
Blog note: I apologize for the twitter repeats, but WordPress has a new editing program called “blocks” and I am just learning how to use it.
There’s currently a deluge of reports and other information pertaining to the endless Trump-Russia mess, the Steele dossier mess, and assorted other matters in Washington. It’s hard to even keep track of all of these reports and the information, let alone find time to read through all of it.
There are various audio versions of the Mueller report available to purchase and this week Congressional Dems are doing a public reading of the Mueller report. However, I located a free version of the Mueller report on Stitcher, that’s broken down into chapters and you can pick and choose what parts you want to listen to or slowly work your way through the entire report. Here’s the link: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/mueller-report-audio. I’ll listen to some of some of this, but after reading a bit of it, the part that interests me the most is Volume I – the Russian activities and national security aspect of this. The Volume II obstruction part will end up being both a #Resist political and spin hyped melodrama and I’m sick to death of the 2016 spin reruns.
A couple days ago, Congressman Doug Collins released 9 more transcripts of House Oversight interviews of Obama officials, including interview of Loretta Lynch, Andrew McCabe and James Rybicki. Here’s the link to those transcripts: https://dougcollins.house.gov/transparency?utm_source=Collins+Judiciary+Press+List&utm_campaign=7040e314eb-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_17_03_29&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_ff92df788e-7040e314eb-169041553
I am wondering if the FBI’s Clinton email investigation was stage-managed by Clinton lawyers from the start?
The news that Attorney General, William Barr, appointed a U.S. prosecutor, John Durham, to investigate the origins of the Russia investigation has set off a media and spin firestorm. The general media consensus about Durham’s reputation seems to be that he is an apolitical, by-the-book, hard-nosed prosecutor with extensive experience investigating organized crime and high-level government corruption. We can be sure that no matter what he finds or doesn’t find America’s rabid partisans will continue to foam and froth at the mouth and our endless spin war over 2016 will grind on.
With so much spin to sift through, my most trusted source of information and analysis on this ongoing 2016 mess, remains Andrew C. McCarthy. Here’s a link to a Byron York podcast from last week, where his guest is Andrew McCarthy, that covers the latest happenings.
In various comments on my blog last week, JK and I tossed a lot of theories, suspicions and links back and forth, so I’ll include some of them here:
May 17, 2019 – The McCarthy Report podcast hosted by Rich Lowry, where Andrew McCarthy covers the latest. After minute 28:30, JK thought this information was rather a bombshell: https://www.nationalreview.com/podcasts/the-mccarthy-report/episode-46-the-dossier-durham-and-disagreements/
May 18, 2019: The John Batchelor Show, with Thaddeus McCotter and Andrew McCarthy as guests, is a podcast offering insights and works to connect the dots into the origins of the Steele dossier and investigation of the Trump campaign: https://audioboom.com/posts/7264660-the-unconnected-dots-of-steele-trubnikov-surkov-halper-page-pappadopolos-andrewcmccarthy
May 18, 2019: In a comment, JK posted this link to a McCarthy NR piece, The Steele Dossier and the ‘VERIFIED APPLICATION’ That Wasn’t.
May 18, 2019: JK posted this link to another John Batchelor Show podcast, titled, Why did Christopher Steele name Russian names to the State Department October 11, 2016? @ChuckRoss, where Batchelor interviews Chuck Ross, a reporter at The Daily Caller, a right-leaning news site, that, unlike the mainstream media, actually covered the Awan Brothers scandal (see the many investigative reports by Luke Rosiak – if you go to this link, scroll down and there’s a long list of other Rosiak reporting on the Awans).
Since I veered into the Awan “scandal”, which the mainstream media blew past in another “nothing to see here” Dem spin cover-up effort, JK mentioned this Awan scandal, so here’s our exchange, which gets to the real problem for America with this endless scorched earth SPIN information war – AMERICA’S NATIONAL SECURITY TAKES A BACKSEAT TO PARTISAN POLITICS:
Today I watched Attorney General, Bill Barr, testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee while I was working on another cross-stitch Christmas ornament:
This is a greeting card kit, that I bought on clearance at Walmart years ago. I worked there for close to 15 years, holding various positions, including the department manager of the fabrics and crafts department. My co-workers in that department were always urging me to buy clearance stuff that was sitting there and not selling. They would tell me how crafty I was and how I would use it. It has never taken much encouragement to get me to buy craft and needlework stuff, so the blame is mine, not theirs, lol. I am stitching this using an old mat from a photo frame, because I learned this helpful hint, for stitching on small pieces of fabric, online at a cross-stitch blog. It’s easy to use masking tape to tape the fabric to the mat, stitch up the piece, then pull off the masking take and it avoids embroidery hoop marks like this:
I stitched this one a week ago and used my 4″ inch hoop. It still has masking tape on it, which I use on the edges of my Aida to prevent fraying while I stitch, because it’s quick and easy.
Now, to the hearing.
The Dems and some anti-Trump members of the Mueller team appear to have coordinated their efforts to smear Barr in this hearing.
That was my main takeaway.
There was a leak to the NY Times yesterday quoting information that had to come from members of Mueller’s team:
This hearing was intended to be just another spin stage for Dem Senators to work hard to enact their spin message soliloquies and grandstanding theatrics, in hopes of capturing news media oxygen and help Dems win the spin cycle.
There were cringe-worthy moments on both sides of the aisle, but the scale definitely tipped on the Dem side, with the disgraceful, prepared smear delivered by Senator Hirono taking the prize for most vile political hack attack of the day.
Alas, the Dems are in panic mode, because finally the investigative lens will be turning to the Clinton/Obama peeps corrupt antics in 2016. It’s amazing that, finally, the Steele dossier and the 2016 Clinton/Obama administration corruption are now grabbing headlines in mainstream media. because it feels like I’ve been saying this a long, long time: 2016 Russian Collusion Count.
Sadly, America has been living with a corrupt “mainstream” (liberal) media that has been the willing “amplifier” and “enforcer” of Dem spin messaging since the 90s. Trump disrupted and broke through the Dems’ and the “mainstream” media’s control of spin messaging. Since 2016, the American media serves as the battlefield for this scorched earth spin information war, littered with everything from nuclear level media smear campaigns to annihilate Trump, to bizarre frenzied guerilla Twitter spin attacks by Trump, to now the Dems, with Hillary leading the charge, are engaged in a spin carpet bombing mission in the media.
Hillary and the Dems are working to regroup after the Mueller report fizzled as a spin weapon to take down Trump. Their new spin message carpet bombing effort includes smear attacks on Barr, to destroy his credibility and rally their media minions to following along. Top Obama peeps and the Clintons know the forthcoming IG report will open many top Obama officials to some serious public scrutiny of their corrupt efforts to weaponize the Obama DOJ, FBI and intelligence to target Trump in 2016. They need Barr, and hence the forthcoming IG report preemptively discredited, and most of all they need the mainstream media convinced they are the victims, Trump is still evil and this IG report, due to Barr, is merely… another witch hunt against the Clintons.
Hillary was on Rachel Maddow’s show Wednesday night, playing the “I was robbed” victim again, as she rallied rabid Dems against Bill Barr (and Trump).
I’m sick to death of partisans, on both sides.
It’s awful for most of America that our small tribes of the Washington and media “inside” crowd, long to be America’s political rainmakers. These political movers and shakers live in their own partisan glass houses and hobnob exclusively within their own elite villages, listening to only their own circle of rabid partisans. Most of America is the real victim of boths sides of partisans and foreign info war efforts, subjecting the rest of America to 24/7 agitation propaganda, all to “win” news media spin cycles (control media information in America) and hopefully win the larger culture war. The end game is to maintain political control of America, by totally marginalizing dissenting political opinions, by using massive media “influence operations” (sophisticated information warfare). The ultimate target is manipulating the hearts and minds of the American people.
Today, the NY Times also ran another spin effort, this one from James Comey, who will assuredly be going through a lot more public scrutiny before the 2016 corruption – on both sides – is ever put to rest. Comey, who views himself as Mr. Integrity, decided to try a preemptive spin move to attack Barr’s integrity, because Comey knows the investigations and spin winds are now shifting to the Obama administration actions in 2016, in which he was a key player. Comey may be a brilliant man, but his political instincts and timing are clunky at best. He has a tin ear to how his words sound and resonate.
This Comey op-ed effort to impugn Barr’s actions and character comes across as pure deflection. Comey appears to be sharing spin notes with top Clinton/Obama peeps, who are trying to destroy Barr’s reputation with a full-frontal preemptive spin attack… before the IG investigation into their 2016 actions start being made public.
Comey is another Washington insider who lives in a fragile glass house.
I’ve been busy with my everyday stuff caring for my husband and my home. I am online less and working on things like my counted cross-stitch more. The rest of this post is crafting junk.
Here’s a box of cross-stitch and some needlepoint kits I pulled out of a large plastic container in the garage, as projects I want to work on stitching. Some I’ve had since the mid-90s:
These are photos from the past few weeks:
This cute bunny Walmart clearance kit is from 2000. I know this, because I have two more of these bunny kits with different bunnies and one has the year stitched on the picture.
I stitched the kitten in the stocking pattern above and this teddy bear pattern from a Leisure Arts leaflet from 1997:
This leaflet has very cute Christmas patterns.
I bought two 5X7 inch cross-stitch kits at Joann’s last year, when my husband was in the hospital. Here’s one that I stitched up recently:
Plus, I have a few other larger cross-stitch pieces that I’m working on too, but working on stitching some small Christmas projects and making them into ornaments is my focus at the moment. My cross-stitch is way more interesting than this endless, destructive, vile scorched earth spin information war.
May 2, 2019, 10:57 am – I apologize for all the editing and rewrites on this post. I rushed writing it last night and between terrible writing and a lot of afterthoughts, I keep reworking this post.
Image compliments of: https://thegraphicsfairy.com/free-vintage-clip-art-darling-birds-in-nest/
Here’s my so simple 2015 plan, that even a 5 year-old would understand it:
Finally, here is a post on factions, that’s so simple even a 5 year-old can understand the problem. Adults might get stuck in their rigid ideological beliefs. All beliefs are not morally equal – some when carried to extremes have horrific consequences for millions of innocent people, while others can do remarkable good for the entire world. That is the TRUTH.
Let’s say you believe very strongly that a color is aquamarine and I believe equally as strongly that that color is turquoise. Being that we both believe a different thing, many avenues are there for us to choose. We could argue and get so angry that we end up hating each other and never speak to each other again. I could feel so strongly about my belief that I kill you. We might even kill each other fighting over who is right. I could even decide that it’s not enough to just kill you, but because you’ve convinced your whole town that the color is aquamarine, it’s necessary to kill all of them too.
Of course, on the less extreme side we might agree to consult an outside expert on color to settle the matter, perhaps, we could call the Crayola Company, after all they’ve been naming colors since 1885 in Easton, PA, near where I grew up.
We might argue, passionately and often, clinging to our beliefs (as President Obama accused those rural people in PA), but in the American tradition, we could agree to disagree and at some point, shake hands and say, “Let’s go have pizza!” Presented to most 5 year-olds, the vast majority will agree that it’s stupid to kill other people just because we disagree, on the other hand most adults refuse to even listen to differing opinions. Maya Angleou, renowned poet, expressed it exactly right:
“Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.” –
So, in America, being a country forged together by a people committed to INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM, we have The Declaration of Independence to ensure our God-given, unalienable rights are not infringed upon:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Sadly, in America our political partisanship swirls dangerously to extremes – where hate has swelled to such a level that many Americans choose to receive all of their news from sources that align with their political views. The hate and extremism goes so far that even the President of the United States works to divide Americans into hostile camps. Distrust turns Americans into furtive enemies, partisans avoiding those who hold an opposing view, with ideological walls being girded to lock out all who dare to disagree. Even codes are enacted in our universities to silence opposition.
We must tear down these partisan walls! We must work to find common ground, or we can not face the threats beyond our borders. President George Washington warned about the dangers of extreme partisanship in his Farewell Address:
“I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.
This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.
The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.
Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.
So, beyond my stating it is a parental duty in a civil society to train your children to respect the rule of law. George Washington tells you that it’s a duty to discourage extremist politics – the duties are required to be a good citizen. I wrote a post in 2013 titled, “The duty of a wise people”. on this subject.
There was a time, not so long ago, when American school children were routinely taught about this speech and American principles. Sadly, today I suspect many school children don’t even know who George Washington was. And mentioning The Constitution, too often and too loudly, will get your name on a Homeland Security watch list as a right-wing extremist…
Busy tweeting this morning, with so much to comment about. NBC reported on the email account linked to propelling the Covington boys and the Native American man incident to go viral. Buried down at paragraph 11, there’s this bit of information:
“On Wednesday afternoon, @2020fight deleted her Twitter account, seemingly after Twitter lifted her suspension. (Suspended accounts cannot be deleted.)”
Why on earth would Twitter lift the suspension on this account at the center of the controversy? If the account was actually an account in the San Francisco bay area, was it connected with some partisan political operation? Shouldn’t the intent be to preserve an account with so many questions about it and even Democratic Senator Warner asking Twitter for more information about that account yesterday?. Check out paragraph 2, which exonerates the account holder of any malign intentions:
“But it appears that the account, @2020fight, was run not by a foreign operative trying to fan America’s political divisions but rather by a woman who described herself as a San Francisco Bay Area teacher and advocated liberal causes — and, to all appearances, did not expect to find herself at the center of a media firestorm.”
If the video wasn’t the result of foreign info operators, was it the result of domestic partisan info operators? Starting to smell like the Dems corrupt Moore Alabama type operations might be a widespread Dem social media operation.
So, many questions…
Added Comment: January 25, 2019, 11:44 am, The vague weasel words the media uses always cause my spin antennae to twitch. In the 2nd paragraph, it begins, “but it appears” and ends with “and, to all appearances”. No one states whether those conducting the investigation into the account had any conversation or communication with the account holder(s).
The account triggered suspicions, because of the profile stating it was a CA school teacher, but the profile picture was a Brazilian blogger. The CNN article quoted Rob McDonagh, an assistant editor at Storyful:
“McDonagh said he found the account suspicious due to its “high follower count, highly polarized and yet inconsistent political messaging, the unusually high rate of tweets, and the use of someone else’s image in the profile photo.””
What exactly does “highly polarized and yet inconsistent political messaging,” mean? Was it political messaging playing to (targeting) different political factions? So, we don’t know what the messaging in the deleted account, with a very high rate of tweets, which was crucial to propelling the Covington student/Nathan Phillips video to go viral, actually contained. We need more information about what McDonagh meant by “inconsistent political messaging”.
Part 2 . The Buzzfeed Story Portends Widening Spin Information Voids
“President Donald Trump directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter.
Trump also supported a plan, set up by Cohen, to visit Russia during the presidential campaign, in order to personally meet President Vladimir Putin and jump-start the tower negotiations. “Make it happen,” the sources said Trump told Cohen.
And even as Trump told the public he had no business deals with Russia, the sources said Trump and his children Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. received regular, detailed updates about the real estate development from Cohen, whom they put in charge of the project.”
The Buzzfeed story dumped late Thursday night. American news media reporting on cable TV and especially American news media sitting on Twitter lit up the night sky with blazing flares of, “If true,” while simultaneously breathlessly speculating, as if the story was true. The way the media tacked on that cover-their-butt, “if true ” disclaimer ran completely counter to all of the media’s oft touted standards of journalistic ethics, so many of them preach and preen about. They say that they independently corroborate stories before running them.
None of them independently corroborated the Buzzfeed story, before reporting on it. What they did was devote enormous air time and breathless tweet time to propelling an uncorroborated story into the spin stratosphere and incite an impeachment drumbeat. It amounted to just spreading an extremely damaging rumor that, if not true, amounted to a media smear effort and the target of that smear effort has no way to undo the damage.
What also happened and speaks to something deeper than just crappy and careless journalism, is as soon as the Buzzfeed story dropped, top Dems, many of them in Congress, who have pushed for Trump’s impeachment lit up Twitter with calls to open Congressional hearings into impeachment immediately. Here are a few that I retweeted with my comment added:
“If” and if two federal law enforcement officials are the sources, they are damaging the case by leaking it to the media, all to feed Dem spin hysteria.
“may have” Shouldn’t Dems be trying to encourage people involved in the investigation to quit leaking, which will help promote public confidence in the investigation’s findings? All this leaking is damaging the credibility of the investigation.
“If” What if it’s not true? As responsible elected officials, shouldn’t you verify IT IS TRUE, before ginning up another Dem SPIN tsunami? This is a coordinated Dem SPIN character assassination tactic and unfair to any American, even ones you hate.
“if accurate” This orchestrated Dem/media spin attack is intended to set the pretext for just that happening.
Another orchestrated Dem SPIN attack here. This leaks is the media cover for House Dems to open impeachment investigation rather than wait for Mueller’s report. A leak with unnamed sources & no independent corroboration. Dem SPIN machine is a corrupt mob operation.
“BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate,” spokesman Peter Carr told INSIDER in an email on Friday.”
That almost full day of an uncorroborated story (rumor) creating an information void portends a dangerous problem. The potential for false stories to be dumped in the media to create chaos, civil unrest or distrust in our government, must be responded to promptly.
Frankly, I believe our entire national security system relies too heavily on civilian mass media for news on domestic happenings, with no plan for an independent quick response avenue to verify facts on the ground or deal with an aggressive disinformation attack. We all turn on civilian cable news networks or go online to some civilian news site. Our emergency broadcast system works for natural disasters, but it’s not designed to respond to an orchestrated disinformation attack.
Our government needs to develop some independent approaches to be able to rapidly assess facts in a disinformation attack crisis, that are not dependent on the civilian news media. It’s a potentially serious gap in our national security in this new information age.
Trump, love him or hate him, should not be the target of orchestrated spin smear campaigns and likewise he should not engage in smear campaigns against other American citizens or businesses. The same standards of conduct should apply to Democrats and Republicans. The media should pause and take a long, hard look at their journalistic ethics, because they are totally corrupting reporting by engaging in spin information warfare. Quit with the Trump obsession and just report factually accurate news.
In my previous post, I mentioned how rumors can have serious national security implications. In our era of rabid partisan politics, it sounds almost quaint and nostalgic to speak about our federal government being committed to promoting national unity. However, in both world wars, there was a unified effort by both sides of the aisle in Congress and the president to promote national unity and to devote effort to quelling demoralizing rumors and propaganda efforts. By the 1960s, the American Left had moved to tearing down the system and fueling divides and that progressed to the embrace of SPIN information warfare by the 1990s. Since Trump mastered the Left’s SPIN info war, both parties are consumed by spin.
We often try to find some nefarious master planner conspiracy theory to blame or explain how complicated events happened, but often human systems, especially complex ones, end up on the brink of collapse through innumerable small and large events, decisions, interactions and failures. It’s easy to try to pin America’s problems on Trump or the Russians or the Left or the Right, but in reality there’s probably way more factors involved than even our best systems analysts will ever understand. Suffice it say, plenty of our top national security experts are alarmed at the deepening partisan divides in America and they are alarmed at the increasing level of public incidents of partisan rage and hatred being reported. And that is why I keep writing about stopping the scorched earth SPIN information war.
We may never know exactly how SPIN info war evolved or who all was involved in developing the techniques. We may never know if hostile foreign intelligence was involved at its inception, but we assuredly know, with the escalated Russian cyber attacks and online troll activities, that they are definitely involved now.
SPIN relies on ramping up repetitive messaging (mostly disinformation efforts) and it operates heavily on orchestrated smear campaigns. Every American, especially our political leaders, have the ability to reject mass media scorched earth SPIN information warfare and work to promote respect and civility in our public discourse. Our media, which is a necessary component for SPIN info war to even work, has the power to stop engaging in being a conduit and an enabler of spin messaging and smear campaigns. If the media actually followed their own journalistic ethical standards, that would put a huge dent into the SPIN war operations.
I believe that the current hyping that social media needs to do more to stop Russian information operations and hate groups or sites set up to report on suspected Russian fronts potentially will create more unintended problems curtailing free speech than they will solve. It’s one thing for national security professionals to track suspected Russian fronts and hate groups, but it’s another to publicly list those or badger social media companies to root out hostile foreign information operators.
People are smart enough to make up their own minds and decide what they want to believe. Creating a Red Scare atmosphere is counter-productive. I know I have listed a few sites that I suspect are hostile front operations or have some connection to an orchestrated SPIN messaging operation. However, I’ve thought about this more and watched how many on the Left are painting in very broad strokes the “alt-right” and “hate speech” labels or turned every incident of someone in the Trump camp of even being in the same room as a Russian, as evidence of something nefarious (see poor Jeff Sessions being accused of Russian collusion), the potential to create a McCarthyite mob mentality, especially cyber mobs, it seems better to promote good citizenship and civil discourse than to try to publicly identify hostile foreign influence agents. Leave that to the professional national security people to quietly figure out.
I prefer a “Kill Them With Kindness” strategy to defeat SPIN information warfare in the public square… and a whole bunch of political leaders stepping up to the plate to lead by example.
President Trump visited U.S. troops in Iraq yesterday and just like everything he does, controversy erupted and a full-blown Dem/mainstream media spin offensive launched.
By late yesterday a Trump spin counteroffensive was lighting up the Twitter night sky.
Predictably, the Dem/mainstream media major spin attacks usually begin with a NY Times or Washington Post breaking story of some alleged big Trump scandal. Most of these big Trump stories start unraveling quickly, where large chunks of the purported facts end up being uncorroborated, leading to corrections and/or major walk-backs.
The problem is the rest of the mainstream media has already run wild repeating that initial NY Times or Washington Post reporting, meaning that initial uncorroborated story has already sprouted wings and flown far beyond the reach of the truth. The spin (lies) has already worked its damage. It is believed, despite the corrections and walk-backs, largely because most of the news organizations and people who retweeted the original spin don’t bother to retract or correct the story.
The big NY Times blockbuster news story yesterday dealt with allegations about Trump’s bone spur diagnosis in 1968, to avoid the draft during the Vietnam War. I don’t subscribe to the NY Times, so here’s CNN reporting:
“Dr. Larry Braunstein, a podiatrist who died in 2007, often told the story of providing Donald Trump with the diagnosis of bone spurs in his heels so he could be exempt from military service, his two daughters — Dr. Elysa Braunstein and Sharon Kessel — told the New York Times.“It was family lore,” Elysa Braunstein told the Times, adding that the story was “something we would always discuss” among family and friends.”
The doctor reportedly rented his office space from Fred Trump. This doctor is dead, his two daughters are self-professed Democrats and they dislike Trump. The NY Times admitted that they had no corroborating evidence to back this story.
They ran it anyway.
President Trump and the First Lady’s trip led to numerous mainstream media spin attacks, some of which the President’s own words deserved criticism.
Timelines, in my mind, suggest that the Dems and #Resist faction within the mainstream media got wind of Trump’s trip, because there were pool reporters on the trip. Presidential trips are morale boosters for the troops and positive media message for any White House. Trump has been under attack in the media for not visiting the troops overseas during his almost two years in office. This trip was an opportunity for President Trump to dig out from under a mounting pile of negative news stories, from his handling of the Syria pull-out announcement by tweet and General Mattis’ resignation.
The Dems/mainstream media ran with this NY Times story based on hearsay about something a dead man supposedly said… The thin vapors of credibility used to bolster this story is “family lore” as told by two women, who despise Trump so much that they were willing to publicly accuse their father of medical malpractice and fraud.
Of course, Trump blathered on in Iraq making numerous flat-out untrue statements, like the 10% pay raise he told troops he got for them. These Trump exaggerations where he just makes up his own “facts” are par for the course in any Trump word salad ramble. For Trump facts are optional.
The more insidious and damaging things Trump said were comments like:
In Iraq, Trump digs in on Syria withdrawal, telling pool of “the generals”: “They said again, recently, can we have more time? I said, ‘Nope.’ You can’t have any more time. You’ve had enough time. We’ve knocked them out. We’ve knocked them silly.”
@realDonaldTrump, commander in chief, said visiting troops in Iraq. Military families will also hear his views. “We are spread out all over the world. We are in countries most people haven’t even heard about. Frankly, it’s ridiculous.”
“It is in fact a campaign slogan, that is a campaign item, and it is completely inappropriate for the troops to do this,” Kirby said.Kirby assigned some blame to Trump himself for political activity around the military: “Every time he’s around military audiences, he tends to politicize it, and he brings in complaints and grievances from outside the realm of military policy.”
“The Navy vehicle with a Trump flag disturbed me, by jarring me into thinking about how politicized even our national security services have become. Retired generals signing letters to support political candidates, rally at national party conventions, become vocal spokespeople on campaigns, all feeds to politicize the military. President Trump does have support from many service-members, he even has generals on board. He is the man who said he would order U.S troops to murder ISIS family members to scare ISIS terrorists into submission, yet he was not roundly condemned by Republicans and his big name mouthpieces did damage control glossing over his lawless and immoral strategy, plus constantly pointing out how Hillary was worse.
As with everything about President Trump, his closest supporters will say just about anything to deflect, so with the Left fueling more hysteria and street violence, I worry about Trump’s “strong-man” impulses and overreaction. I worry about people around him and their motivations to foment chaos. I worry about what happens when the military and intelligence agencies lose their moral compass as apolitical professionals dedicated to keeping all Americans safe and defending The Constitution.
Are we at the crisis point where we need to worry about 1984? I hope not. The past two weeks of constant drama, hysterics and extreme partisan fighting do worry me and the Trump flag on a U.S military vehicle was definitely on the wrong road. Let’s hope some principled leaders emerge to guide us back to safer middle ground, eschewing the partisan extremes.”
Here we are almost two years later and “constant drama, hysterics, and extreme partisan fighting” has become like a static trench war, where neither sides can see a way to make any real advances, so they hunker down in their spin trenches and just lob ineffective smear attacks, resorting frequently to fact-free noxious gas attacks now, in hopes of immobilizing the other’s sides spin attacks. There is no larger strategy to this endless scorched earth spin war.
The combatants, on both sides, are just grinding away their own credibility… and the credibility of America, writ large.
This vicious scorched earth SPIN war should not be what defines America.