More old paper crafts

Ta da, my first “junk journal” made with all “junk” I had in my sewing room and around the house.  The book, approx. 6″ X 6″.  is constructed with a cereal box, covered with brown paper.  I used the 5-hole pamphlet stitch to stitch in the signature (pages).

I’ve been doing some simple altered composition books for the granddaughters using old calendar pictures and clearance washi tape (a decorative Japanese-type masking tape) I bought at Walmart years ago.  Minnie was my sewing room 2015 calendar.  Throughout these, I’m gluing some small pictures and interesting facts from a couple Goodwill, 39 cent children’s books – an almanac and a Rosie O’Donnell kids’ joke book.  I made a pocket inside the front covers, where I’m putting several pages of word find, crossword and sudoku puzzles too.

Old greeting cards turned into little notepads, using the 3-hole pamphlet stitch and kitchen twine.  They are filled with odds and ends of old scrapbook and notebook paper.  Some, I added a pocket in either the front or back to hold small pieces of paper or notes.  I made about 20 of these a week or so ago, but gave most of them away already.  I’ve got more old cards sitting here to make more of these, but I am altering the construction to reinforce them along the fold.  I’ve had the top left one in my purse for over a week and had to tape along the fold, because it wasn’t holding up.  I might run tape along the fold or glue cardstock to the inside of the cards.  Another idea is to mod podge the cards to make them more durable covers.

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An odd addendum

I decided not to post anything about the Don Jr. meeting with the Russian lawyer, because frankly I have no idea what to believe at the moment.

Now, the Chicago Tribune is reporting on the death of  Peter W. Smith, the deceased Republican operative, who was trying to locate Hillary’s missing emails by offering to buy them from Russian hackers:

“Republican donor and operative from Chicago’s North Shore who said he had tried to obtain Hillary Clinton‘s missing emails from Russian hackers killed himself in a Minnesota hotel room days after talking to The Wall Street Journal about his efforts, public records show.

In mid-May, in a room at a Rochester hotel used almost exclusively by Mayo Clinicpatients and relatives, Peter W. Smith, 81, left a carefully prepared file of documents, including a statement police called a suicide note in which he said he was in ill health and a life insurance policy was expiring.”

Further in the story it states:

“Smith’s death occurred at the Aspen Suites in Rochester, records show. They list the cause of death as “asphyxiation due to displacement of oxygen in confined space with helium.”

Rochester police Chief Roger Peterson on Wednesday called Smith’s manner of death “unusual,” but a funeral home worker said he’d seen it before.

An employee with Rochester Cremation Services, the funeral home that responded to the hotel, said he helped remove Smith’s body from his room and recalled seeing a tank.

The employee, who spoke on condition he not be identified because of the sensitive nature of Smith’s death, described the tank as being similar in size to a propane tank on a gas grill. He did not recall seeing a bag that Smith would have placed over his head. He said the coroner and police were there and that he “didn’t do a lot of looking around.”

“When I got there and saw the tank, I thought, ‘I’ve seen this before,’ and was able to put two and two together,” the employee said.”

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-peter-smith-death-met-0713-20170713-story.html

Smith died 10 days after his interview with a Wall Street Journal reporter.

I wonder why the WSJ didn’t mention that Smith committed suicide in a hotel room?

Curious, for sure…

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The real Trump

“But it is the unscripted Mr Trump that is real.”

The above line from Australian ABC political editor, Chris Uhlmann, should be the response every time Trump apologists once again mention that Trump can “act presidential”, as they cling to scripted speeches he delivers and speeches which he has no real input into their creation.  Other presidents relied on speechwriters too, but those presidents had political ideological core beliefs and principles.  Even for people like me, who vehemently disagreed with President Obama on almost every issue, I do not doubt for a minute his sincerity and conviction on issues.   This editorial is a must see report.  It is the grim truth:

“He is a character drawn from America’s wild west, a travelling medicine showman selling moonshine remedies that will kill the patient.

And this week he underlined he has neither the desire nor the capacity to lead the world.”

And:

“There is a tendency among some hopeful souls to confuse the speeches written for Mr Trump with the thoughts of the man himself.

He did make some interesting, scripted, observations in Poland about defending the values of the West.

And Mr Trump is in a unique position — he is the one man who has the power to do something about it.

But it is the unscripted Mr Trump that is real. A man who barks out bile in 140 characters, who wastes his precious days as President at war with the West’s institutions — like the judiciary, independent government agencies and the free press.”

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-09/did-trumps-g20-performance-indicate-us-decline-as-world-power/8691538?sf96473247=1

Here’s what I wrote August 29, 2015 about what we should demand of a president and I think I was right:

“America needs to hold all of its presidential candidates’ feet to the fire.  Expecting intelligent, well-reasoned arguments and explanations for their policies and ideas, should be the standard we demand. We need leaders who read extensively, who will study issues carefully and at the heart, being President is the highest political office in the land, so demanding a president who has mastered government policy issues is a must.  Expecting that all of our elected officials, both in Congress and the President possess an in-depth understanding of The Constitution, a breadth of knowledge on US history and a strong foundation on foreign policy issues should be our minimum expectation.”

https://libertybellediaries.com/2015/08/29/he-never-means-anything-serious-till-he-talks-about-justice-and-right/

Trump’s competent cabinet members aren’t advancing Trump’s policies, they are doing damage control, assuring America’s counterparts around the world that America led by President Trump can still be relied upon and I suspect some like McMaster, Kelly,  and Mattis are there, not out of loyalty to Trump, but out of a sense of duty to try their best to keep America safe, .  However, the constant discordant messages between what these cabinet members say vs. whatever capricious nonsense Trump spouts are being noted around the world by not only our friends, but especially among America’s adversaries.

 

 

 

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Slime & a non Newtonian liquid

There’s only so much “winning” Trump-style and rants about women bleeding that I can take, so I’ll be working more on my needlework and craft stuff.  And hey, I spent Monday afternoon making slime with two of my granddaughters, which was a nice change from listening to a slimebag…

Our pretty bags of slime were made with Elmer’s glue, a little baking soda, contact lens solution and food coloring.  My granddaughters and I could not have cared less about how the recipe works. We were only concerned about the pretty colors we wanted to make, with one asking for pink and the other one wanting purple.

My son, who has a physics degree, showed up as we were making our pretty slime and of course he had to try to turn our fun into a science lesson, so he asked if I had corn starch.  He mixed up cornstarch and water, so he could teach us about a non-Newtonian liquid.   My granddaughters left the kitchen when his science lesson started.   The slime is pretty cool to play with… way cooler than the silly putty we had when I was a kid.  Learning about a non-Newtonian liquid was surprisingly interesting too, even for a science and math-challenged person like me.

And in a strange way, perhaps a non-Newtonian liquid might be the perfect metaphor for Trump, hyped as strong and solid, but really just a bunch of oozing goo if you scratch the surface.

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More on the WSJ story

This is an amazing story, replete with another Brit, albeit not as salacious as the Steele dossier.   I am sure Robert Mueller’s team will unravel:

The Time I Got Recruited to Collude with the Russians

The author of this piece tells his account of how he was contacted by Peter Smith, the GOP operative, mentioned in the WSJ story.  Here’s this British guy’s bio:

Matt Tait is the CEO and founder of Capital Alpha Security, a UK based security consultancy which focuses on research into software vulnerabilities, exploit mitigations and applied cryptography. Prior to founding Capital Alpha Security, Tait worked for Google Project Zero, was a principal security consultant for iSEC Partners, and NGS Secure, and worked as an information security specialist for GCHQ.

 

 

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More “Russian collusion” innuendo

After Trump’s “mean girl” tweet dominating the news all day, the Wall Street Journal ran a murky “Russian collusion” piece:

GOP Operative Sought Clinton Emails From Hackers, Implied a Connection to Flynn

Supposedly the reporter interviewed the source, Peter W. Smith,  81, identified  as a GOP operative, who allegedly assembled a team to find Russian hackers, who might have possessed Hillary’s emails from her server.

The story states Smith, 81 died on May 14th, 10 days after the WSJ reporter interviewed Smith (that’s just a few days before Robert Mueller was hired as the special prosecutor to investigate the Russia mess).

So, the WSJ has an 81 year-old man, near death as their source for this story, a story they’ve had since the middle of May and sat on, but decided to release it today… to create a Russian collusion headline.  The story also states that Smith offered to make introductions to retired general Mike Flynn, as an inducement to recruit experts to help him in finding Hillary’s missing emails, that might be in the hands of Russian hackers.   Smith stated that he had a line of communication to Flynn.

The story has plenty of innuendo, little in the way of facts nailed down and the source was an 81 year old, who is now deceased.

Make what you will of this latest story, but as for me, I expected better from the Wall Street Journal.

Added note: I should have been clearer, Smith was the only named source… and he’s dead now.

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Easily manipulated or 12-dimensional chess?

Beyond the reality TV aura to Trump vs. The Media and Trump’s “mean girl” tweets is the larger issue:  AMERICA.  Every intelligence agency worth its salt has analyzed Trump’s personality and knows he’s a shallow, venal, sociopath (yes, his every action screams that).  They know how he reacts and will find ways to goad or feed his ego to advance their own interests.

I’ve stated many times that I believe the Russians didn’t just all of a sudden ramp up their information war in the 2016 election, but have been escalating them for decades and never really stopped when the Soviet Union collapsed.  I suspect a large, continuous Russian disinformation effort in our media, fueling the hyper-partisan divide.  Without rehashing all that again, you can read some of my old posts,  this,  this,  this, if you’re interested.

Twitter is a how American news is generated.  It is how the spin cycles churn up controversies to dominate the 24/7 news cycle.  Since the 90s, the Left, which includes the liberal, mainstream media, controlled the 24/7 news cycle.  Trump used Twitter to promote his brand (himself) long before 2016. It apparently is a social media format he is comfortable with and one where he feels he can fight the media without any gatekeepers.   Trump learned how to break through, by not only Twitter, but also  with having Drudge, FOX News and some big agents of influence on the Right spew Trump’s talking points, even the petty personal attacks.

Again, Trump and Hillary both used scorched earth/mass media saturation form information warfare, that the Clinton’s spinmeisters introduced into American politics with their “War Room” in the 90s:

Carville/Begala scorched earth is the military strategy of scorched earth juxtaposed to a mass media battlefield.  In information warfare, scorched earth is no holds barred character assassinations and relentless generation of memes.

Mass media saturation (spin) is the military strategy of swarming juxtaposed to a mass media battlefield

Combined, they have been ruthlessly used to divide America into hostile, warring factions.

This latest Trump tweet attack started with the escalating, ongoing information war,  on Twitter, between Trump vs. the media, Comey & friends and the Clinton/Obama/Dem hacks.

I keep a personal journal and  jot down my thoughts on everything from crafting ideas to serious geopolitical strategy.  Here are my musings in my journal on Tuesday:

The Russians or Trump forces (might be some overlap there in efforts – like Drudge), have the long knives out for McCabe at the FBI – another negative Circa story about him being under investigation for campaigning with his wife.  Trump went on a major media offensive after that WaPo story last Friday.  He didn’t wait to see what the TICK TICK Wittes tweeted about was – Trump just went full speed ahead.

They have to keep trying to come up with more and more outrageous allegations, and they’re now discrediting themselves with their outrageous lies spread by their friends in the media.   Trump has learned not to blink – no matter what they throw at him.  They’re back to recycling petty dirt tonight – Farenthold is tweeting about some fake Time cover with Trump on it that Trump has hanging in some of his clubs.  They are desperate to try to discredit Trump, but in light of this major CNN fake news & retraction, plus the big WaPo story hurt Obama way more than Trump, because it’s obvious Obama didn’t act quickly when he was informed about the Russian hacking last summer.

These recycled attacks on Trump – the penny ante crap about his foundation, the personal attacks about his lying and vanity, the same old crap about his taxes – none of those smears even resonate with anyone except those who hate Trump – the rest of America has tuned that shit out.  They overplayed the Russian collusion to the point Trump made it a joke – just like he turned that “fake news” back on them.  What is starting to be exposed is the Clinton/Obama corruption to try to get Hillary elected.  I hope all of it gets exposed – Trump’s corruption, Hillary’s corruption, Obama’s corruption and the Russian operations in America.  Tall order there on my hopes.

Notice more books on Drudge from the endless book mill – Bolling and Mark Levin.  I wonder who is really behind Drudge, Breitbart, Daily Caller, Circa, Glenn Beck and several others.  This information war is escalating and it’s even more cutthroat than the 2016 election.  Comey leaking his memos to prod for a special prosecutor was Comey retaliation and an effort to cast himself in the limelight as a “patriot”.  There’s no honor in how he covered up for the Clinton corruption and went along with Lynch’s burying that criminal investigation.  The use of arms of the US government as personal tools to attack people is extremely corrupt and alarming.

The Republicans and conservatives never were able to defeat the spin cycle and Trump didn’t do this on his own.  To start, the Clinton collusion with the media to promote Trump’s “GOP Insurgency” coupled with Trump’s Reality TV stardom and celebrity status all aided his rise.  Bill Clinton’s perfect triangulation backfired, but there were so many other factors that played into Trump’s victory – Hillary being an awful candidate, her being under criminal investigation, basic last weeks campaign blunders on where to campaign, her awful Deplorable comment, her trying to hide her illness on 9/11 and along with that the massive coordinated Russian info ops to aid and abet Trump, which includes Wikileaks, but also I suspect includes front media operations like Drudge and several others.  Rupert Murdoch runs a huge propaganda front.  Sadly, the other major news organizations are really just mouthpieces for the Left.

Figuring all this out for sure is a national security imperative and then figuring out how to counter entrenched foreign information ops in America is a dilemma too.  I think that unless Americans can be inspired to put being American above rabid partisanship we are on a dangerous road.

Trump might go too far with his attacks and fuel a backlash, but I’m not sure what the tipping point is.  The Left went way too far with no evidence on the “Russian collusion” talking points attacks on Trump and everyone around him.  They didn’t offer up any facts that stuck and there were so many overhyped stories that disintegrated within 24 hours and that damaged their “Russian collusion” gambit.  Schindler looks like he’s as bad as Louise Mensch with his overblown allegations and all he backs it with is all the nameless connections he has in the IC…

Has Trump gone too far with his attack on Mika Brzezinski?

Nope!

For Trump followers, no, they will still follow him.  No one will resign in protest.  Trump was right, he could probably shoot someone on 5th Avenue and his Loyalists would still follow.  They rationalize everything with, at least Trump fights back, at least he’s winning, the Left does worse.

Twitter is where the action takes place in generating the spin cycle and that is why Trump fights there.  He effortlessly disrupts and steals the show on their spin cycles.  This Mika Brzezinski attack will resonate for days and that means that all things “Russia” won’t.

The thing America’s adversaries are taking note of is that journalists retweeting that fake Time magazine cover, that WaPo’s Farenthold’s latest “Trump is a fraud” story and Mika Brzezinski mentioning that today, goaded Trump into this latest angry, personal attack.   He lashed out at Megyn Kelly in August of 2015 over her questions about how he treats women.  He and his minions in the media launched a scorched earth attack to cast her as a conniving slut.  Trump whined about her unfair question for 8 months.

The President of the United States is that easily manipulated.

And he has an issue with women who stand up to him.

 

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