Pelosi doesn’t need to appease China

This post is about Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, visiting Taiwan this week. Here’s a NBC report, China begins live-fire military drills around Taiwan:

“On Wednesday evening, Pelosi and her delegation of House Democratic lawmakers departed Taiwan for South Korea, the fourth stop on a tour of Asia that also includes Singapore, Malaysia and Japan.”

“Pelosi, a longtime critic of China’s ruling Communist Party, was the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Taiwan in 25 years. Beijing, which claims the self-ruling democracy of 24 million people as its territory, viewed her visit as an infringement of its sovereignty.”

It’s bothered me a long time how so many Americans these days can’t leave their extreme, domestic partisanship at the door, when thinking about American foreign policy. Our foreign policy is about all of America, not just Republicans or just Democrats.

I am a huge critic of Pelosi, but the idea that her visiting Taiwan is going to “provoke” China into WWIII is so craven and weak a foreign policy position to stake out that I’m flabbergasted. China has been threatening Taiwan (and its other neighbors) for many years. China has been building up its military for decades. China has been threatening and working to undermine America for decades too.

China sensed indecision and WEAKNESS in the Biden White House, when there was no forthright statement that Pelosi can visit whatever country she chooses and does not have to consult Beijing for approval. Here’s a quote from Politico’s, How Biden bungled the Pelosi trip:

“Those arguments began when Biden cast public doubt on the wisdom of Pelosi’s Taiwan visit by suggesting that the Pentagon saw it as too risky. “The military thinks it’s not a good idea right now,” Biden said last month.”

If the top leaders at the Pentagon are so craven as to cower from China’s saber-rattling over a proposed Speaker of the House visit to Taiwan, one can only wonder what kind of weak, hand-wringing advice they’ll give the POTUS, if China does attack its neighbors? This is a pathetically weak reaction for American leaders to constantly worry about “poking the bear” (in regards to Russia) or quiver in fear about how China might react.

Pelosi (as do other officials in Congress), has every right to make foreign visits and shouldn’t have to run her itinerary past Communist Chinese officials to see if they’re okay with it.

Putin intended to try to rebuild the Soviet Eastern bloc for decades – that’s been his big dream, so his decision to invade Ukraine came after years of setting the stage for that. China has territorial expansionist dreams too and Taiwan has been a source of tensions for decades. Pelosi had nothing to do with any of that. And if China takes military action, it won’t be because of Pelosi’s visit, although assuredly a lot of Americans on the right, who hate Pelosi, and a lot of Americans on the left, who bow and scrape to China constantly, would likely blame her.

If Americans believe our elected officials need to get a green light from America’s adversaries, when deciding their foreign travel plans, to appease our adversaries, we are in a sad state. Weakness is more provocative than strength and failure to stand up to bullies anywhere, but especially on the world stage, will only encourage our adversaries toward more aggression.

What on earth happened to Americans having some spine? Reagan challenged all the naysayers with speaking out against the Soviet Union and never wavered. I wonder how so many people on the right became faint-of-heart, wilting, “oh my God, Pelosi is going to upset Communist China,” handwringers.

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Blog note

Just a short note about my “Running on empty” blog post editing and rewriting. I began my blog writing about politics and I have spent over 20 years trying to understand the Democrats’ corrupt spin information war, and find ways to expose the wholesale public corruption, in any small ways I can. I’ve written years of blog posts, comments on various news and political commentary sites (having many deleted and I was banned a couple times too for posting factual information that got in the way of a partisan narrative). These days, I really want to spend more of my time working on my own preparedness for the major economic hardships, I believe are blowing our way, but I feel a conviction to keep writing about the corrupt spin info war and truly evil word games being perpetrated against the American people.

The spin (lies) war isn’t only being waged by Democrats trying to manipulate words and lie to us, it’s many Republicans too (especially Trump and his crowd, btw, because they believe they can fight fire with fire and “win” this spin information war), by hostile foreign information operations, who have an easy time playing American factions against each other in our deeply divided country and especially by media in America, who are making a fortune off of getting Americans worked up, turning news into infotainment and a 24/7 soap opera. I am not going to argue about Trump or Trump-supporters, because I understand why millions of Americans voted for him (I voted for him in 2020, despite vowing NeverTrump since 2015, out of sheer fear of the Obama crowd being back in power). I also support many of the Trump administration policies.

Ever since the late 1990s, I have wondered where does this corrupt Dem spin information war and all the vast corruption needed to fuel it lead? So, I’ve spent years, reading, following the spin war and trying to work out a totally lawful, peaceful strategy to expose the corrupt spin information war, so that most Americans would begin to see it and understand it. This spin info war leads to complete civil disarray and possibly civil war – that’s what happens when factions in a country become too divided and hostilities flare out of control. I thought there must be some plan to try to avoid America falling apart into civil disarray (yeah, big goal there, I know).

I am a nobody homemaker and I love America, but I love my kids, grandkids and family and friends even more. Preserving our constitutional republic is vital for their safety, their ability to thrive and prosper and for their future.

I’ve wanted to just quit this blog, quit tweeting to try to disrupt corrupt spin attacks – that’s why I went on Twitter in the first place – to try to understand Twitter’s role in the corrupt spin information war. So, I followed hundreds of journalists, politicians, political pundits and then started tweeting to disrupt spin attacks.

With this latest Dem spin effort to con Americans with this Inflation Reduction Act and their big green-energy push, I’m back to spending more time reading news articles and doing more research. I decided to edit out the emergency preparedness part of my last blog post, because I’ve said all of those things many times already and I’m not really a “prepper” or a “homesteader” or an expert of any kind, I’m just a concerned American citizen. If people aren’t preparing for serious economic problems after two quarters of negative growth in America, skyrocketing inflation, and all the other hotspots blazing around the world, there’s not much I can say to sway them.

For now, I’m back to writing about politics and the vast, wholesale public corruption.

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Running on empty

I woke up this morning (8/3/2022) and decided to edit out all the preparedness portion of this post and stick to the politics.

This will be a politics blog post about gas prices. First, I apologize for making inexcusable factual errors about the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 and Build Back Better Act. Somehow, I forgot key details that Build Back Better got stalled in the Senate and that the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 didn’t pass last week – Senator Manchin, who tanked the Build Back Better legislation, last week decided to support the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. I apologize for getting my facts wrong and I will try to provide more links to the sources I use. The reality though is the Build Back Better Act was really the Great Reset in America push and the Inflation Reduction Act is a scaled back version of the Build Back Better Act.

Gas prices at the pump have been steadily dropping in America. Here’s a President Biden tweet from this morning and my quote retweet:

The link I added was to the WH fact sheet, released July 26, 2022. It’s become common practice for this administration to stealth edit documents, so anything they release to the public could get the “recession” treatment of being “redefined” or stealth edited without warning.

Here’s the second paragraph:

“The Administration is also announcing steps to repurchase oil for the SPR in future years, likely after FY2023, to help stabilize the market and encourage near-term supply. These actions will enable the Administration to continue the work of shoring up supply and bringing prices down.”

The third paragraph:

“Since the President authorized the historic release of one million barrels per day from the SPR earlier this spring, the Department of Energy has already sold more than 125 million barrels into the market, including nearly 70 million barrels that have already been delivered to purchasers and additional barrels planned to be delivered to customers in the weeks and months to come.”

The administration is releasing one million barrels per day, but the repurchase will “likely” be after 2023. This seems like a very poorly thought out and short-sighted plan.

So, the question to ask is why wouldn’t the Biden administration make resupplying the Strategic Petroleum Reserve quickly a top priority?

The White House explanation in that fact sheet explains a change of locking in a fixed price at the time of the contract of that oil as opposed to the current policy of the price paid being determined at the time of delivery being worked out.

The Biden administration is recklessly depleting the SPR at an unprecedented rate and level of over a million barrels a day and one can only wonder when they intend to stop.

While depleting the SPR with no resupply plan in place, the current WH plan is to stop the releases in October, according to this Blomberg piece, “The US Is Depleting Its Strategic Petroleum Reserve Faster Than It Looks,” from June 17, 2022 :

“If Washington sticks to its current pace, the reserve will shrink to a 40-year low of 358 million barrels by the end of October, when the releases are due to stop. A year ago, the SPR, located in four caverns in Texas and Louisiana, contained 621 million barrels. As the oil market looks today, it’s difficult to see how Washington can halt sales in October. Removing that additional supply would mean commercial inventories quickly deplete, putting upward pressure on oil prices.”

In the Bloomberg article, there’s an explanation of the two types of crude oil, medium-sour and light-sweet, and how most of the oil released so far has been medium-sour, which is what US refiners prefer, so it’s not just a matter of straight numbers of barrels in the SPR, it’s how many barrels of medium-sour crude are left, that will make it difficult for the Biden WH to continue to release oil from the SPR after October. That’s why President Biden made that trip to Saudi Arabia in July to try to work out an oil deal.

In a July 16, 2022, Reuters piece, Biden ends trip with U.S.-Saudi relations on the mend but few other wins, all the way down at paragraph 10, after going through all the media hype about the Biden fist bump with MBS, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, who is alleged to have ordered the murder of Washington Post journalist, Jamal Khashoggi:

“Biden came to Saudi Arabia hoping to convince the OPEC heavyweight to boost oil production, but the kingdom held firm on its strategy that it must operate within the framework of the OPEC+ alliance, which includes Russia, and not act unilaterally.”

The oil was the main reason for the trip, but Reuters gets to that at paragraph 10.

The news media in America, across the spectrum, like to divert attention to drama, and often the details are skipped in videos and TV news, but buried way down in print news articles. The news media know most people don’t read through news articles and as more and more print newspapers die and fewer and fewer people bother to read online news article, who knows, we may end up with news told in short videos or just some quick photos, with no deeper context.

Before I end this post, since this post is about Biden oil policy, it’s important to ask more questions about things you hear politicians say and new policies and legislation they propose. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 is a top-tier piece of legislation Democrats and the Biden administration want to ram through quickly, before the November elections. The soaring price of oil was high on the minds of most Americans, who have been feeling the pinch at the gas pump. The problem is this act has nothing to do with reducing inflation. It’s about speeding up the green-energy transition, even though the infrastructure isn’t in place to support a green-energy transition.

An August 1, 2022 Forbes article, Will The $670 Billion Inflation Reduction Act Cut Soaring Costs?:

According to the Penn Wharton Budget Model (PWBM) there’s low confidence that the legislation will have any impact on inflation. PWBM is a nonpartisan, research-based organization at the University of Pennsylvania that creates economic analysis of public policy’s fiscal impact.”

The Inflation Reduction Act has $80 billion in spending for the IRS. At paragraph 8, in this Marketwatch article selling the Dem plan, The Inflation Reduction Act would send $80 billion to the IRS, but some tax experts wonder if it’s enough to help the backlogged agency, I found this line:

“More than half of the $80 billion will fund more audits and staff for tax code enforcement aimed at the well-off at a time when audit rates have been dropping over the years thanks to shrinking staff.”

In this July 28, 2022 Bloomberg piece, Biden Poised to Get Win on IRS Funding in Reconciliation Package, here’s this:

“The bill also includes hiring flexibility for the IRS, a nod to the agency’s recruiting challenges. It would allow the IRS to using an expedited hiring process, as well as higher rates of pay for a limited number of employees. The administration estimated last year that an $80 billion IRS funding increase could allow the agency to hire about 87,000 additional employees over a decade, doubling the size of its workforce.”

So, let’s add this together and keep in mind that the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 is really about speeding up the green energy transformation (the Great Reset in America project), then add together over half of the money slotted for the IRS will fund more audits and that the IRS will be able to double its workforce over a decade, hiring about 87,000 new employees.

Despite the smokescreen of IRS woe-is-me stories, I think carbon footprint laws, where individuals and businesses are taxed on their consumption of energy, are headed our way and this large increase in funding, doubling the number of IRS personnel, funding more audits and staff for tax code enforcement, are for the green transition. They’re investing all of this effort to fund green-energy, while kicking the can down the road on replenishing the Strategic Petroleum Reserve…

Priorities?

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The Green Timeline

It’s easy for people on the right in America to rant about the UN (I spent many years doing just that) or now the World Economic Forum (WEF) or turn Klaus Schwab, the founder of the WEF, into some fictional type super-villain, but here’s the hard truth – none of these big green deal plans would ever have gotten off the ground without buy-in and putting a whole lot of political power behind them.

It’s not some cabal of elites who made this possible in America – it’s elected leaders. With the Dutch farmers situation, in my earlier post I shared a quote from an article about the Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, being a green energy zealot. That’s true, but the new Dutch laws came about because of a 2019 court ruling, by the Court of Justice of the European Union, enforcing the Natura 2000 network. The EU established that network of endangered plant and animal habitats – not Klaus Schwab.

In Europe, most European leaders and the EU are firmly behind the UN 2030 Agenda and the Great Reset plans. The prime minister of the Netherlands isn’t just some lone green zealot. The entire EU is pushing this green-energy transformation too. The same holds true for Australia, New Zealand, Canada and yes, even America.

193 UN General Assembly members signed onto this in 2015. President Obama was (and is) firmly committed to this green transformation, as is the Democratic Party. Of course, there’s an outsized role for the WEF crowd and global corporations and banks… and big tech companies, who are vitally important in controlling the flow of information, but never lose sight that democratically-elected leaders in the free world are putting the power of their positions behind this green-energy transformation and without their support, none of this would be happening.

I wasn’t clear on some of the details of the UN 2030 Agenda and the Great Reset chronology when a lot of people on social media and TV pundits started talking about the “Great Reset.” So I’ve been doing a good bit of reading and googling, because I like a clear timeline of events. That helps me understand more of the moving parts, players, and events that happened, that led to where we’re at now.

The countries who aren’t going to abide by the UN 2030 Agenda are China, Russia and most of America’s adversaries – they are going big on fossil-fuel production. Russia is in the final stages of completing a big pipeline to China. Here’s a bit from a recent CNBC article, “This map shows the massive gas pipeline that Russia and China are building”:

“BEIJING — China and Russia are in the final stages of building the first pipeline that can send gas from Siberia to Shanghai.”

““Power of Siberia” — as the portion located in Russia is called — began delivering natural gas to northern China in December 2019, according to Chinese state media.”

“In China, the pipeline runs down the eastern side of the country, past the capital city of Beijing and down to Shanghai. The middle phase started operations in December 2020, and the final southern section is set to begin gas deliveries in 2025, state media said.”

“State-owned energy companies, Russia’s Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corp., have been building the pipeline for about eight years.”

So, while the leaders in the West rush to tear their countries apart chasing the fumes of big green dreams, the geopolitical realists, like Russia and China, will likely seek to take advantage, I’d expect.

I decided to write blog posts as I gather and sort out more information and share my understanding and views, as I learn more. I finished the Great Reset book and will probably write more about that, but I’m also doing some reading and thinking about other blog posts that are American history themed. I am not going to write a whole lot of “prepping ” posts, because there are dozens of people online, who have outstanding websites and YouTube channels with information on every imaginable aspect of emergency preparedness.

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A link to an article on the Dutch Farmer Protests

This is going to be a short politics post. I read this piece, Pay Attention To The Dutch Farmer Protests Because America Is Next, by John Daniel Davidson, at The Federalist. I recommend it. Davidson lays out some important points about the green energy transformation that’s being accelerated. He links all the pieces together, especially the UN 2030 Agenda, the EU being completely onboard with this green transformation and the Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, being a green zealot:

“Indeed, Rutte — a walking embodiment of the Davos Man if there ever was one — is a big proponent of the United Nations’ “Agenda 2030” and its Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to squeeze farmers and ranchers around the world in order to reduce “emissions.” The policies that flow from these goals, such as drastically reducing the use of fertilizer, contributed to the recent economic collapse of Sri Lanka, which triggered mass protests that toppled Sri Lanka’s government and ousted its president earlier this month.” 

“Last year, Rutte spoke to the World Economic Forum about “transforming food systems and land use” at Davos Agenda Week, announcing that the Netherlands would host something called the “Global Coordinating Secretariat of the World Economic Food Innovation Hubs,” whose job would be to “connect all other food innovation hubs.””

“In Davos-speak, that means agricultural production and the supply of food will be centrally controlled by intra-governmental bodies and “stakeholders” consisting mainly of the world’s largest food corporations and international NGOs. Private farms and independent farmers will be a thing of the past, supplanted by global bodies making decisions about how much and what kinds of food are produced. The private sector and the independent farmers will have no place in the future that the UN and the WEF are planning.”

The US signed onto the UN 2030 Agenda in 2015, under President Obama. Democrats are 100% committed to the 2030 Agenda. In 2020, Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, a non-government and lobbying organization, wrote a book about how to harness the economic, political, and social disorder caused by the pandemic and organize a “great reset.” That reset plan is supposed to manage the creation of a more sustainable, equitable world and accelerate the green-energy transformation. The green-energy transformation is the #1 objective.

In America, Democrats rebranded the American green-energy transformation as “Build Back Better. Last week the US Senate passed the “Inflation Reduction Act of 2022” that isn’t about fighting inflation at all. (Correction below) It’s the “Build Back Better” funding bill.

A lot of people on the right believe the government is trying to destroy the food supply and I don’t think that’s the main objective, but a totally foreseeable outcome. I think the main objective is to destroy small farmers and then push massive amounts of federal money to “green-energy compliant” big agriculture. If you thought the federal pandemic disorganization and chaos was a mess, just wait until Democrat elites are trying to micromanage farming in America… We will all starve.

Definitely, keep stocking up basics – this is going to be a total mess.

Correction: 8/1/2022: The US Senate has not passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 yet. Last week Senator Manchin, a Dem critical vote and hold-out on the bill, agreed to support it.

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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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Waking up in the bottom of the ninth

When a man ain’t got no ideas of his own, he’d ought to be kind of o’ careful who he borrows ’em from.” 

– one of my favorite quotes from The Virginian by Owen Wister

This post is going to be about American partisan politics and is a follow-on to yesterday’s blog post.

So, I’m going to start with yesterday’s post, which was about the “big picture” of the left’s culture war, of which climate change activism is now front and center. That culture war stormed into American headlines in the 1960s, with protests, from civil rights to women’s rights, to environmental concerns, and especially to anti-Vietnam activism.

A few years ago, I was reading a book, The Long March: How the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s Changed America, by Roger Kimball, which explains a cultural movement in the 1950s, called the Beat movement, as setting the stage for the 1960s radicalism. Kimball writes:

“The Beats were tremendously significant, but chiefly in the way that they provided a preview in the 1950s of the cultural, intellectual, and moral disasters that would fully flower in the late 1960s. The ideas of the Beats, their sensibility, contained in ovo all the characteristics we think of as defining the cultural revolution of the Sixties and Seventies.”

Kimball, Roger; Kimball, Roger. The Long March: How the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s Changed America (p. 46). Encounter Books. Kindle Edition.

Just to explain, why I often state what I see as “the big picture” or “the little picture,” it’s because that’s a common way of thinking I learned in the Army when I was young. Many businesses routinely talk about “big picture” strategy now, just as there are umpteen books and guides on using the ancient Chinese military strategy treatise, The Art of War, by Sun Tzu, as a strategy guide for business. I find Sun Tzu fascinating, so I even read a “Sun Tzu for Women” book, that applied Sun Tzu war strategy into a women’s guide to “win” in business (I thought it was stupid, btw).

Beyond the strategy stuff, I think in history it’s important to try to understand events that led to the current events, rather than just reacting in outrage to every blaring headline or breaking news blip, which is the way too many people understand the world these days – based on their feelings and very superficial reactions. Trust me, I’ve got umpteen blog posts fuming about Trump’s awful behavior or Hillary’s vast corruption, etc., etc. In fact, too often I’ve written blog posts based on my being outraged by some current event rather than taking a few days to do more research, think about the matter more, and most of all step back and try to look at the “big picture,” so I’m guilty of this too.

When right-wing pundits and social media started breathlessly warning about “The Great Reset,” as if this was a brand-new nefarious plot, I started doing a bit of research, because it sounded just like what it is – more of the same far-left “never let a crisis go to waste” brainstorms from the Davos elite. The most interesting aspect of the Great Reset is that while the right-wing thought leaders in America were only reacting to some Democrats’ pandemic overreach and raising alarms about the impact from lockdowns and other pandemic mitigation efforts, the left-wing super-elites were plotting out a post-pandemic global plan to ram through their climate agenda, which had already been pushed through the UN in 2015, with their Agenda 2030 This is why I said the right usually wakes up in the bottom of the ninth, because it’s true.

We have the left hoping to incite enough fear about climate change/global warming to get people to go along with their big plans, “being woke,” and on the right now, they started bragging about “being awake.” The difference can’t be more startling, because the left has global networks pushing through their agenda, from the UN, countries around the world, wealthy elites, international corporations and that mega pit of murky money – all those NGOs funded by mega-wealthy elites, big corporations, governments and charitable organizations. The right has an assortment of hysteria-prone reactionaries and Trump sycophants, heavily invested in the constant news media/ Twitter politics Outrage Theater happenings.

Very few Americans even view Twitter politics, but almost all of the news media people, pundits, elected leaders, and political activists on both sides of the aisle invest an outsized amount of time daily, battling for control of the political spin cycles – on Twitter. I will say, Trump understood the importance of the Twitter spin battlefield and he was very good at what I think of as guerilla spin warfare – he could jump on Twitter, tweet out one, often poorly written tweet, and demolish a Dem spin narrative that major news journos, pundits and Dem operatives had spent a lot of time orchestrating, launching and then rapidly amplifying via retweets and spreading it to other social media platforms and TV news venues. Sometimes his antics were appalling, but I admit, sometimes they were hilarious.

And yes, I have been a staunch conservative my entire adult life and I jumped on more than my fair share of the right’s bandwagon of hysterical takes too. More of the thought leaders on the right should have been awake since the 1960s onward and certainly by the 1990s when the climate activism, gender activism and “fundamental transformation” activism moved into high-gear. And they’ve been completely oblivious to the orchestrated Dem/liberal media spin information war until the Trump era. If you weren’t alive in the 60s or 90s, well, rather than get invested in the latest primetime FOX episodes of Outrage Theater (yes, primetime cable news is all Outrage Theater, just different flavors), it might be better to calm down and read some history.

Roger Kimball’s book is a good explainer of the left’s culture war in America. A short and very condensed and probably oversimplified history of how that happened was many of the big activist thought leaders in America capitalized on their 60s and 70s protest success of forcing American colleges and universities to cave to their demands, then in the 80s many of the most radical activists became ensconced in American academia, politics, sitting on corporate boards, got influential media positions and thus the long march through the institutions was seeded, took root, and grew.

People on the right smugly talking about “being awake” now, 40-50 years after the left’s culture war movement has worked its way through every major institution, leaves me more than a tad concerned. All of the right’s reactionary ideas I’ve seen are short-sighted, lack any clear strategy and even more importantly they lack any clear objective. Lately, it’s all playing defense and running around getting worked up about the “Great Reset.”

Ten years ago, a lot of the right was all into the Tea Party (I was supportive), back to the Founding Fathers (always been there too) and invested in Glenn Beck’s schtick and big rallies (ever wonder where Trump got the big rally ideas…). I was a big Rush Limbaugh fan in the 90s too. It was all about getting people on the right worked up, feeding them a steady diet of wild, convoluted global & Obama conspiracy theories, hawking patriotism and waving American flags. Yet, nothing changed in Washington, even with a slew of Tea Party candidates being elected.

The “Great Reset” is just another push in the left’s much larger, ongoing culture war, which truly is at the bottom of the ninth. Their long march through the institutions is almost complete. Sounds pretty alarming and gloomy, but here again, the game’s not over yet.

Small, localized systems can adapt more quickly than cumbersome global systems. The same holds true for people dealing with shortages and other randomized problems. So, if there are problems in one state or area of a state, people closest to the problems may be able to find workable solutions to avoid chaos and create some streamlined, simple social safety nets and yes, working together and helping each other is the only way for America to unite and weather major crises.

Americans rely heavily on the complex big chain stores and big systems for our daily lives and to survive and thrive. We might have to start coming up with more flexible solutions to deal with shortages and other problems, if large systems flounder or fail. Being calm, being proactive, being problem-solvers, being resourceful and being more like our ancestors who built this great country, doesn’t take relying on Washington politicians, it will take all of us working within our own families, circle of friends and communities to pull together, as the daily partisan spin information war tries to feed division and pull us apart.

I’m reading a book, The Reshaping of Everyday Life: 1790-1840 (Everyday Life in America), by Jack Larkin, which is part of a 6-book series on Everyday Life in America in different time periods. Larkin explained the 1790-1840 span covered dramatic changes with the creation of a new national government, distinct political parties, and a culture of democratic politics, plus the population quadrupled. However, everyday life was mostly agricultural, physically grueling, very hard, very dark at night, as homes outside cities were spread out. An immense amount of labor went into “making land,” the arduous process of clearing forests to create farmland. Beyond the sparse living conditions, information was sparse too and traveled very slowly.

People stayed focused and committed to their daily struggles, their families, and most clung to their faith. Larkin wrote, “Successive waves of religious enthusiasm, the “Second Great Awakening,” washed over communities in every region and created a powerful evangelical Protestant piety.” Here’s a link on the Second Great Awakening. That religious change led to cultural change and a great deal of American social activism, from emancipation of women movements, more abolition efforts, temperance movements, etc.

The only answers anyone in Washington comes up with lately are either throw more money at problems or they turn to the US military, heck “call in the National Guard,” is a go-to solution and now using the Defense Authorization Act, seems to be the go-to presidential solution.

Perhaps, the answers won’t be found in Washington or in partisan politics.

Perhaps, we need to start finding more answers within ourselves.

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Filed under American History, General Interest, Information War

More Dem word games in the news

This is a politics blog post. I started trying to give readers a heads up in the beginning of my blog posts, so they can decide whether it’s a topic they want to read about or skip it. Even more than politics, this post is going to be about the destructive, partisan spin information war raging across American news and mass media. Sorry, I got very long-winded in this post, but here goes:

Yesterday, some Biden administration flaks began prepping the spin battlefield (the news venues in America and especially politics Twitter, which is the main spin war battlefield). They began redefining the word “recession” in preparation for the release of the second-quarter GDP data expected on Thursday. This ridiculous redefining, like this “recession” change, goes on constantly and the liberal media often will go along with and even push the left’s redefining efforts, but it’s more insidious than that. Merriam-Webster online in recent years has become a player in the left’s redefining efforts too. This leftist redefining words effort has happened with Wikipedia entries, where I watched a bio being altered in real-time, to fit left-wing political aims. I suspect Google plays along too with altering algorithms to filter search engine results. Twitter and facebook have resorted to just banning certain words and content, while liberal-run fact-checker sites carry water for the Dem spin version of events and terms.

These days people frequently make mention of George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984, about life in a totalitarian superstate, Oceania. Yes, many of the word game tactics employed in the American spin information war eerily seem like Newspeak, a fictional language, in that Orwell novel. It’s important to look beyond the spin word games and not lose sight of what the main objectives are in the spin information war – destroy the American capitalist system and destroy our constitutional republic – “fundamentally transform America.” Here’s the truth, the things the far-left wants to “fundamentally” transform are essential beliefs, values, and components of our constitutional republic and economic system. Yes, the word games being pushed by political hacks and liberal media do have the 1984, Ministry of Truth vibe. And it’s beyond disturbing. I reread Orwell’s novel, 1984, last year and disliked it as much as I did when I read it as a teenager. I abhor totalitarianism.

Here’s the link to a blog post I wrote in 2016 about the spin word games: The Pieces of the Media Messaging Puzzle.

This spin war is not just benign political messaging or partisan PR efforts, as we’ve been lulled into believing for decades. It’s an actual information war aimed at trying to control mass media in America and use that media dominance to manipulate and control American public opinion. When all of the liberal media venues – news, daytime talk shows and even the scripts in TV shows begin pushing a particular current left-wing hot topic in their culture war, that’s how the political left in America try to drown out opposition and more importantly manipulate Americans into believing the views flooding media are the “mainstream” views.

Anyone who disagrees is a fringe hater, bigot, racist or… deplorable person, who should not be allowed into polite society. Add in that public polling has gained an outsized influence in the spin info war and is used as a tool to con Americans into accepting manufactured polling data, that results from massive efforts to flood mass media with the new accepted views, often replete with new terms and words, that almost overnight replace old words and terms. The most obvious current effort has been with the alphabet gender politics and normalization of transgenderism. All sorts of new made-up gender designations began permeating media many years ago. Back in 2014, facebook added over 50 new gender designations pushing this far-left political agenda to normalize gender fluidity. These same tactics were used to normalize gay marriage and once that succeeded, the bar moved further left.

The ultimate goals with the left’s culture war have remained consistent since at least the 1960s – to destroy the America free market system and destroy our constitutional republic, which is euphemistically termed “destroying the patriarchy.”

With the hysteria on the American right about the “Great Reset,” well, obviously a lot of people on the right have latched onto this latest “big idea” among the world’s elites, who fly to Davos via private jets every year, but the reality of what’s been happening for decades among the far-left is explained in a quote by 1960s Marxist activist, Rudi Dutschke, here’s Wikipedia:

Herbert Marcuse corresponded with Dutschke in 1971 to agree with this strategy, “Let me tell you this: that I regard your notion of the ‘long march through the institutions’ as the only effective way…”[4] In his 1972 book, Counterrevolution and Revolt, Marcuse wrote:[5]

“To extend the base of the student movement, Rudi Dutschke has proposed the strategy of the long march through the institutions: working against the established institutions while working within them, but not simply by ‘boring from within’, rather by ‘doing the job’, learning (how to program and read computers, how to teach at all levels of education, how to use the mass media, how to organize production, how to recognize and eschew planned obsolescence, how to design, et cetera), and at the same time preserving one’s own consciousness in working with others.
The long march includes the concerted effort to build up counterinstitutions. They have long been an aim of the movement, but the lack of funds was greatly responsible for their weakness and their inferior quality. They must be made competitive. This is especially important for the development of radical, “free” media. The fact that the radical Left has no equal access to the great chains of information and indoctrination is largely responsible for its isolation.”

Much of the hysteria on the American right is akin to the same hysteria back in the 1990s about the UN/one-world government fears and the Clinton push for socialized health care & more federal controls to blunt state powers. Of course, during the Clinton years, there was a rise in right-wing extremism, a rise in federal overreach, a rise in corruption in the Clinton WH, and some military adventures that turned into debacles (Somalia, where a UN-led humanitarian mission creeped into hunting down Somali warlords, and Haiti.) Unfortunately, on the right in America, most people only pay attention to the latest hot buzzwords right-wing pundits start blabbing about, when in reality this is all an ongoing “struggle” by the left. The American right always seems late to the game and wakes up to the left’s actions in the bottom of the ninth.

The World Economic Forum and Davos crowd get mentioned in right-wing media a lot lately, but here’s the thing, their policy ideas take root and grow faster than kudzu vine in the American South at the United Nations. The UN is where countries get pressured to sign onto the Davos crowd brainstorms and the Great Reset is just another gambit to advance the UN’s, Agenda 2030: Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development., which was signed in 2015.

The Great Reset is a plan to use the economic upheaval and repurpose the social mitigation policies deployed in dealing with the pandemic, to propel the climate change agenda, which is in the UN’s 2030 Agenda. Heck, every major company in America has been yammering about “sustainability” for years now, so if all of a sudden you heard about the “Great Reset” recently and got worked up, the reality is the global climate change movement morphed out of the environmental movement, which began in the 1960s. The Great Reset is just the latest big push in the climate change movement and here’s where people really need to pay attention – the climate change agenda is only one tentacle of that much larger leftist culture war (the woke agenda) – that was far-left in the 1960s, but has now taken over the Democratic Party completely, drives mass media content and exerts enormous pressure and influence in corporate America. Moderate Democrats went the way of the dinosaurs. Most disturbingly, the woke agenda flourished on American college campuses, worked its way into American K-12 schools and is now being flooded into the US military via gender politics and a witch hunt looking to label white males as “white nationalists” and “extremists.” Also, the US military has bought into the far-left climate change agenda too. Here’s Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, III, from 2021:

“Today, no nation can find lasting security without addressing the climate crisis. We face all kinds of threats in our line of work, but few of them truly deserve to be called existential. The climate crisis does,” he said, adding that “climate change is making the world more unsafe and we need to act.”

All of these far left-wing political agendas continued through the years and gradually moved to occupy more space in mainstream left-wing politics – the far-left gradually took over the Democratic Party, as college activists grew-up and moved into positions of power, from politics, to tenured professors, to sitting on corporate boards.

Here’s an important point to remember, on the American political right, for decades most of the GOP establishment seemed oblivious to the left’s spin information war and kept trying to make concessions to the left’s culture war movement. They invariably caved and/or apologized for being “insensitive” and often agreed to work harder to be “more inclusive.” Even worse, they automatically adopted whatever new words or terms the liberal media pushed and ceded the left the upper-hand in defining all the terms. The Republican party leadership became further and further alienated from their base, where right-wing American punditry seeded discontent daily and grassroots movements took hold. The Tea Party movement was one of those reactionary movements on the right, where more traditionalist, conservative Americans felt their beliefs and values were under attack (because they were.)

Along came Donald J. Trump, who capitalized on that festering right-wing alienation and feeling unrepresented in Washington. Trump, love him or hate him, learned to use the left’s same corrupt spin information war tactics and he left Democrats and the liberal media panic-stricken. No matter how intensively they flooded liberal media with scorched earth smear campaigns against Trump, he hit back with as low and offensive smear campaigns against Dems and liberal media. It’s a been a race to the bottom.

My personal view all along has been that ending this spin information war is paramount to the survival of our constitutional republic and there will be no winners in the American spin information war – except for the enemies of America, domestic and foreign, who want America destroyed. The spin war can only divide Americans and that path leads only to widespread civil strife and the destruction of our constitutional republic.

For me it’s not about R vs. D or Trump vs. Biden, it’s about finding ways to pull Americans together. The cult of personality politics, trying to get behind one person who’ll save our country, won’t save America. Only when enough Americans decide to work together, start rebuilding community, demand one set of rules again, demand accountability and an end to the wholesale public corruption in Washington, will our politics begin to change. Somehow, I just don’t see politicians, political pundits or mass media in America ever working to that end, because their success depends on fueling controversy and divides for clicks and/or political advantage.

It’s taken America decades to arrive at this point, where political corruption has infested all of our major institutions. The effort to clean house, clean up the mess, and rebuild our institutions can’t be done with catchy political slogans or sound bites – we’re all going to have to roll up our sleeves and get busy. The first thing I think will help is when more and more people quit participating in the orchestrated partisan spin war’s Outrage Theater, that both parties, the media and the pundit class stage every day.

We all probably need to start thinking more about our own true north and working to improve ourselves and bolstering our family, friends and community more than about getting outraged about the latest media-fueled partisan political hot take. Ranting about “The Great Reset” isn’t going to change a thing, but doing things that improve your own life, help your own family, your friends and community will. Only strong resilient American families and communities can withstand the political and cultural turmoil, as this culture war/political war rages on. Being outraged clouds judgment and leaves people immobilized by fear and panic. We should all strive to maintain a bit of calm and conviction in our lives, no matter what spin hysteria media is blabbing about.

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Filed under Culture Wars, General Interest, Information War, Politics

Breaking news! Breaking news!

Guess what, I don’t have any news to share in this blog post, breaking or otherwise. Yesterday I read this piece, Reading the news is the new smoking: I quit. I feel great. You can too, by Adam Mastroianni, courtesy of a link JK provided and this is something I’ve been thinking about for a long, long time. This article felt like a breath of fresh air, dispelling all sorts of beliefs about how important following the news is to “being informed.” Mastroianni tackles all the common arguments I’ve made to justify wasting so much time following all the ins and outs of the spin information war blazing across American media every single day and he refutes them quite thoughtfully. This piece might prod you to rethink your news consumption habits, if you’re spending a lot of time trying to keep up with all the latest news flashing across your screen every day.

I’ve scaled back my news consumption for weeks at a time, but then I start drifting back to wasting too much time following the news. And yes, most of that time is wasted and does not lead to improving my life in any way or really informing me about much of anything. Before delving into the benefits this writer reports from quitting his news consumption, I’m going to explain my news habit.

I grew up with the news being just something that took up a very small part of most people’s daily lives. Radio news was a few minutes, while TV news was short broadcasts, spaced throughout the day. I read our local newspaper daily, starting in my early teens. I was married and my oldest daughter was a baby when we first saw CNN in 1981, after returning to the States from Germany. I was quickly hooked on 24/7 news.

I was in my late 30s when we bought our first PC in 1997. We were late to that trend, because I kept telling my husband a PC would just be a more expensive gaming system for our sons and I couldn’t understand why anyone would need a computer in their home. I thought of computers as tools for scientists, engineers, etc., not as a tool useful to ordinary people in their homes. My husband finally went and bought a PC and brought it home. Once the kids started using it and showing me how to use it, I quickly was hooked on cruising through search engines and clicking on links and more links. I began to spend a lot of time online reading – especially news.

Of course, cell phones came along and once most people were using their phones to access the internet and social media rather than as a phone, cell phone usage exploded too. I think most people actually read less news articles through now than in the old days and I suspect the vast majority of people who are posting content on social media about news-related information base their hot takes on headlines, what some pundit said in a short video or what other content creators posted. Few people, even professional journalists seem to really do deep dive researching events and background for stories they write or broadcast. Too many of them seem to be more invested in promulgating partisan political agenda and ideological viewpoints… and sharing their outrage, largely via virtue-signaling, rather than getting the facts right.

Even more problematic, I think, is that most of the news industry drives on fear-mongering and sensationalism, not on presenting balanced reporting. In other words, inciting people keeps them coming back for more outrage theater.

So, now on to this article about quitting news consumption and it being a positive choice. Most of the people I see on social media who get outraged or worked up daily about the hot take news events insist they’re not fearmongering and they speak like they believe how they view the events reported in the news are unbiased, fact-based, are that their reactions are perfectly rational. A whole lot of it is often fear-based reactions to news, often biased, it’s not fact-based and their reactions aren’t perfectly rational. Trust me, I’ve done this myself too, only later realizing that I overreacted or that some news I reacted to wasn’t even true. The news is designed to sensationalize events, create drama and focus on negative news, so we’re all being played by the news media – it’s all infotainment.

The author explains how he used to react to the news and while he was consuming liberal news media and you might be consuming right-leaning news media – it’s all the same animal. The news industry wants to grab your attention, stir your emotions, and create plenty of drama to keep you tuned in. They aren’t going to get many viewers if they say everything is going smoothly and all’s peaceful.

Here are the first few paragraphs of the article, https://experimentalhistory.substack.com/p/reading-the-news-is-the-new-smoking:

“One of my major pastimes used to be reading the news and being mad. I’d wake up, grab my phone, and get a quick primer on all the day’s outrages. “They raised tariffs on soybeans!” I would cry, unsure if the tariffs were bad, or if it was bad that they had waited so long to tariff them, but very sure that something about soybeans and tariffs was definitely outrageous.” 

“During the Trump administration, I would devour news of the president’s latest impropriety and imagine myself throttling one of his supporters. “WHY DID YOU DO THIS??” I would shout, squeezing the life out of them.”

“I started to feel like maybe this was a bad thing.”

“So in the summer of 2020, I stopped. I swore to only read the news on Saturday mornings. Since then, I’ve given it up almost entirely.” 

“And I feel better. Way, way better. It feels like a war that used to be fought in my backyard is now being fought on Neptune instead. I feel relieved of my duty to keep track of the whole world, and I now realize I never had that duty in the first place. My brain got quieter and I started hearing myself think instead of hearing myself worry. And I stopped imagining myself choking people to death, which was a big improvement.”

The article goes on to explain research the author has done into news consumption and includes a lot of links, which, me being me, clicked on. He raises the important point that being informed, which is why most of us say we follow the news, largely does not happen when you consume news all the time. Mostly, what we get, I believe is sound bites, partisan messaging, that’s repeated non-stop, and a whole lot of negativity.

This writer isn’t alone in writing about quitting the news habit and reporting what a positive change it made in their lives. I started googling and looking around on the internet and found several videos and articles by other people who quit the news too and reported feeling much better and talking about how much time it freed up to pursue other interests.

Reading the news is not the same thing as being informed, because to understand many things being reported in the news today, you need to understand a lot of things that led to today’s news. And that requires reading more than tweets, headlines or repeating sound bites.

Mastroianni has a section in his piece, titled, “How to garden a mind,” which struck a chord with me. He describes gardening as being about keeping bad things, like pests, out and good things, like water, fertilizer and sunlight in. He uses that analogy to explain, “Cultivating a human mind works the same way. You have to keep some stuff out (lies, noise, fear) and some stuff in (knowledge, experience, love). You can’t grow your mind directly; you don’t get smarter by yanking on your frontal lobe. All you can do is create the right environment and hope your brain-folds get deeper.”

While googling other articles on quitting the news, I came across this one, Why I Stopped Reading The News, by Ryan Kane, which offers some different arguments, including one I’ve made often – focus on what you can control, not on things you have no control over.

I’ve been working on moving back to reading more books and following less news for quite a while, but I haven’t had the willpower to quit cold turkey yet. Oddly enough, I smoked when I was younger, quit cold turkey in 1993 and stuck with it. I’ve never regretted quitting smoking and I suspect if I make the leap and quit the news, I’ll feel much better for it.

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Filed under General Interest, The Media

Beware of narrative brainworms

This blog post is going to be about some Ukraine-related happenings.

To say there’s been a great deal of propaganda involved with reporting on what’s happening with the actual war in Ukraine would be an understatement. The Russians and Ukrainians have waged massive propaganda campaigns, that make it hard to even really understand what’s happening in this conflict. I’ve relied a good bit on the UK Defense Ministry assessments, but even there I’m wary. After the Afghanistan withdrawal debacle and the bold-faced lies coming from the US Pentagon, it pains me to say I don’t trust the Biden-run Pentagon to be truthful. Along with the reporting on the conflict, there’s been a massive propaganda effort to paint Zelensky as the most noble, heroic leader ever, but here’s a reality check. Zelensky deserves credit for mobilizing and uniting his country to fend off a full-scale invasion by Russia, but he’s also engaged in a massive propaganda effort, creating a staged production that he’s used to influence the world.

In this process, propaganda has masked a whole lot of truths about Ukraine, how the Russian-Ukraine situation has evolved, the US and European roles in setting the stage for this confrontation and the reality that Ukraine has been a massively corrupt country for many years and a lot of money laundering went on there… heck, just look at Hunter Biden and his Burisma deal. Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Russia naturally fed stories in western media hyping the Ukraine corruption and no less than Poltifact, that “fact-checker” site run by liberals, who carry water for Democrats decreed: No, Ukraine isn’t the money laundering or child sex trafficking capital of the world. Case closed… well, not really.

Fast forward to July 20, 2022 and this story at liberal NPR caught my attention: Corruption concerns involving Ukraine are revived as the war with Russia drags on.

So, in April if you mentioned Ukraine’s history of corruption, you were subject to being labeled as carrying water for Putin or being a Russian bot, but now in July, NPR is running a story on Ukraine corruption. Here are the first two paragraphs from that NPR article:

“WASHINGTON (AP) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s dismissal of senior officials is casting an inconvenient light on an issue that the Biden administration has largely ignored since the outbreak of war with Russia: Ukraine’s history of rampant corruption and shaky governance.”

“As it presses ahead with providing tens of billions of dollars in military, economic and direct financial support aid to Ukraine and encourages its allies to do the same, the Biden administration is now once again grappling with longstanding worries about Ukraine’s suitability as a recipient of massive infusions of American aid.”

This sort of dramatic narrative shift bugs me, because, pardon the bad puns, but the liberal mass media narratives become brainworms, that once the media yammer on about 24/7, quickly destroy all functioning brain cells and people just jump on-board the next narrative train and all memory of the previous narrative is wiped clean from their memory.

Here’s my hunch about what’s happening. The Russians slowed down gas flowing to Germany through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline (some turbines needed repair). The Germans were in a panic, worrying that Russia would shut down the flow of gas permanently, so the Germans pressured the Canadians, who had the turbines in Canada where Siemens Canada was repairing them. Some Canadian lawmakers are upset that Canada returned the turbines to Russia. Here’s a paragraph from Harretz (an Israeli news organization) article, Russia Resumes Gas Supply at Nord Stream 1, but a Full Cut-off Hangs Over Europe’s Head, dated July 21, 2022:

“German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said in an interview with RND that “The Canadians said, ‘We have a lot of questions,’ so we said, ‘We understand that, but if we do not get the gas turbine, we will not get more gas, and then we will not be able to give Ukraine any support at all, because we will be busy dealing with a popular uprising.'” However, she later clarified that her statement was “perhaps too exaggerated”, but is a possible scenario.”

I think the Germans and French want Ukraine to make a deal of some sort with Russia, as this conflict looks like it’s going to become a long, border war and Ukraine is bleeding NATO countries, the EU and the US dry, with needing a constant, massive flow of military and humanitarian aid. Many European countries also have taken in large numbers of Ukrainian refugees and added to the last round of Europeans being invaded by a largely NGO-orchestrated (imo) refugee crisis from the Syrian conflict, well, let’s just say countries can only absorb so many refugees and when push comes to shove most people become more ethnocentric and take an attitude of “we need to take care of our own people first.” Add in that several European countries rely heavily on Russian gas and oil and they have no feasible plan to deal with what to do if Russia turns off the spigots.

So what to make of all this, well, I think with NPR now speaking what was deemed “Russian disinformation” only a few months ago, that the Biden administration, Germans and French want an off-ramp out of the Ukraine-Russia conflict. The UK is an unknown at the moment with their prime minister choice undecided: How Liz Truss, Russia’s Nemesis, Could Change Ukraine War if She Becomes PM. In America, we’ll likely know which way the Biden administration is headed when the liberal media/pundit crowd and blue checkmark Dem crowd on Twitter remove the Ukrainian flags next to their names and replace them with some new climate change flag or symbol. If they bug out on Ukraine virtue-signaling, that will be akin to the Vatican smoke signals... heralding a new narrative has been selected.

Yes, I believe the Ukraine conflict is about to be relegated to old news and go the way of the Afghanistan withdrawal debacle, never to be a lead news story by liberal media again, unless something unforeseen happens and things escalate. I believe climate hysteria will be igniting the news… and lots of stories pushing eating bugs. Here’s a BBC piece from July 20, 2022: For most people in Europe and the US, the idea of eating crickets and grasshoppers can seem revolting, but they are a popular snack in parts of Africa and Asia. Not only are they packed with nutrients but they are less harmful to the climate too.

Now, you now why I posted the YouTube video at the beginning…

Have a nice day.

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Filed under Foreign Policy, General Interest, Politics, Ukraine