About rumor control

Part 1.  Some Thoughts On Rumor Control

I’m going to break this post into two parts, offering some thoughts on rumor control and a couple of links, one which deals with rumor control from a governmental effort standpoint and the other which explains rumor control from a Christian viewpoint, but can easily be useful to anyone trying to deal with gossip, rumors and spin overload in their lives.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about how there seems to be an almost complete absence or concern about the importance of rumor control by our elected leaders and among the hordes of SPIN wizards fueling our scorched earth SPIN information war, flaming across American media. I suspect most of our political leaders have no clue about how damaging whispering campaigns, smear campaigns and ramping up divisiveness can be to our national character and the morale of the American people.

Without wading into too many details, during Desert Storm, my husband, a career soldier, was assigned to a unit in Germany, that deployed from Germany to the Gulf.  The Army had thousands of families living in Germany.  One of the things I learned, first-hand, from that experience of being in a foreign country with many frightened wives and children is that rumors and panic spread like wildfire.

Rumors around the Army are a constant problem and the Army makes rumor control a command responsibility, because some rumors can cause confusion, dissension, and negatively impact morale.  Rumors can have a devastating effect on the soldiers’ trust in their leadership.  Ditto that for negative rumors about our elected leaders.   Rumors in wartime can be extremely dangerous and damaging to national unity.

As rumors spread, panic quickly blew way out of proportion among many wives during Desert Storm.  Due to the concerns about possible terrorist attacks against American family members in Germany,  extraordinary security measures were put in place by the U.S. military, working with German officials.  Once our husbands deployed to the Gulf, some of those extra security measures raised fears among many young wives.  Our husbands going off to war also elevated fears, but along with that, the endless stream of rumors was an everyday source of  fueling the wives gossip chain and fear.  The endless stream of rumors is part of life around the Army, likewise the even crazier stream of rumors among wives, unfamiliar with the Army, became off-the-chain at times during Desert Storm.

Three of our kids were in elementary school and our youngest was still at home.  I can’t remember exactly if it was one bomb threat or two that occurred at their school, but I remember there was also a bomb threat at a nearby military installation at the PX too.

Talking to the wife of my husband’s battalion commander, who was a teacher at that school, she related the chaos of trying to keep control of the children, as mothers from the nearby military housing area rushed to the school to grab their children.  We lived in leased government housing in a German village several miles away, so my kids came home on the school bus after the bomb threat.  I asked my kids what happened, because I’d already heard about it via other wives calling me.  My kids were pretty nonchalant about the bomb threat.   What happened to incite panic even more with Army wives was that many of them relied on neighbors or friends, who were operating off the latest feverish rumors.  Often around the Army, there were young wives, unfamiliar with the Army and very distrustful of the Army, in general.  They were most vulnerable to the devastating effect of rumors run amok.  Crazy stories exploded with those bomb threats, but I heard plenty of other crazy stories (rumors) from wives.

The Army also left some soldiers in Germany to manage the rear detachment operations.

The Army had set up a family support system relying mostly on leaders’  wives to organize it and run it.  Often wives called me for information, because my husband was the first sergeant, the senior NCO, in the company and his company commander was single, so I was the volunteer family support leader for the company.  An odd rumor I remember was a wife, who was German, called me and she was convinced the Army was not giving her husband water in the Gulf and she wanted to know how she could send him water.  I tried to reassure her that the Army needed her husband to be able to fight and would do everything possible to make sure he had water and food.  Many times, I noticed that I heard about a hysterical wife, worked up about a rumor, from other wives calling me and telling me about her, before the hysterical wife even called me.  Often those other wives were calling me to make sure the rumor wasn’t true.  It was a frequent occurrence to get calls that were about rumors run amok.

This past week’s insane media hysteria with our escalating scorched earth SPIN information war and the Buzzfeed story, followed by the Mueller team pushback,  made me think of that Desert Storm experience with rumors.

I also remembered a study, The Psychology of Rumor, I had heard mentioned various times in reading.  I had never read the actual study, which was conducted by two Harvard psychology professors, Gordon W. Allport and Leo Postman, after WWII.  A quick google search and I located the study available free online.  I’ve been reading through this study about rumors, in general, and then more specifically rumors in wartime.  They divided  rumors into several different categories, for instance fear rumors were common, as were wish rumors about events people were yearning for, like the end of the war.  They also identified the most damaging type of rumors as wedge drivers, which were rumors maligning certain groups in society or inciting hate.

I also have been thinking about a book, Stopping Words That Hurt:Positive Words In A World Gone Negative, by Dr. Michael D. Sedler, which I read a few years ago.  This book is written from a Christian perspective, but honestly is very sound advice on how to work to stop  “evil reporting” in your life:

“Evil report: When an individual maliciously injures, damages or discredits another’s reputation or character through the use of words or attitude.

If the intent is to hurt another person’s reputation, we must examine our motives.”

Sedler, Dr. Michael D.. Stopping Words That Hurt: Positive Words in a World Gone Negative (p. 16). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition

Dr. Sedler offers many fascinating Biblical examples of “evil reporting,” but also many everyday examples, that we all encounter.  One of the things to consider in Sedler’s advice is he counsels that people work to not only stop being bearers of  “evil reporting”, but to work to stop even listening to “evil reporting”.  Pretty simple advice, but much harder to practice in our tabloid culture.

This book has been edited and republished under a different title, What To Do When Words Get Ugly.

Our SPIN information war thrives on spreading wedge driver rumors and “evil reporting”.


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Filed under General Interest, Information War, Military, Politics

Missed signals beyond the SPIN noise

America is in a totally different place with our partisan divides than even 20 years ago with the Clinton impeachment drama, which fueled an aggressive Clinton-orchestrated scorched earth SPIN effort to keep Bill Clinton from being removed from office. Thinking back to the 1998 scorched earth SPIN war, many questions, in my mind, still remain.

One of the biggest questions I have goes back a bit further than the Clinton years.  In 1991 the Soviet Union collapsed.  The Soviet Union ran massive, aggressive active measures in America, including disinformation operations for decades.  What happened to all of the Soviet Union’s active measure operations and operatives (many of them Americans) involved in operations against America after the Soviet Union collapsed?  Where did they go?

Even more importantly, during the 1990s, what happened to America’s aggressive efforts to monitor and counter Soviet active measures?  Did we put down our guard and assume the Soviet threat was defeated and stop paying close attention to Russian operatives?  Where did the Americans working on the Soviet dime or followers of communist ideology, who fueled Soviet disinformation operations in America go to find new homes in American political operations after the collapse of the Soviet Union?  They didn’t all just quit.  Did they just shift to working in American partisan political “media operations” and “opposition research” organizations or were many of them already embedded in American partisan activities? American academia and media were heavily infiltrated by Soviet disinformation operations for decades, before the collapse of the Soviet Union.   What happened to these Soviet operations after the Soviet Union collapsed?

In late December 2018, news broke of a Democrat disinformation operation called Project Birmingham, which was run against Republican senate candidate, Roy Moore, in his 2017 campaign.  This Dem disinformation operation imitated Russian disinformation operations and was funded by a big Dem donor, Reid Hoffman, who claims no knowledge that the money was going to Project Birmingham.  Many Dems, including Doug Jones, condemned the Project Birmingham operation, and are publicly distancing themselves from it.  On December 27, 2018, the Washington Post reported:

“The looming threat of new state and federal investigations adds to the scrutiny facing those involved in the campaign to undermine support for Moore and bolster Jones. Project Birmingham appeared to broadly mirror some of the same tactics adopted by Russian operatives who spread social and political unrest on Facebook and Twitter during the 2016 presidential election. In Alabama, its backers even introduced fake evidence that automated Russian accounts, called bots, were supporting Moore in the race.”


A few days ago the NY Times had a report, Democrats Faked Online Push to Outlaw Alcohol in Alabama Race, about another Dem false flag operation during the Roy Moore run, which was dubbed “Dry Alabama”.  The NY Times reports:

“The “Dry Alabama” Facebook page, illustrated with stark images of car wrecks and videos of families ruined by drink, had a blunt message: Alcohol is the devil’s work, and the state should ban it entirely.

Along with a companion Twitter feed, the Facebook page appeared to be the work of Baptist teetotalers who supported the Republican, Roy S. Moore, in the 2017 Alabama Senate race. “Pray for Roy Moore,” one tweet exhorted.

In fact, the Dry Alabama campaign, not previously reported, was the stealth creation of progressive Democrats who were out to defeat Mr. Moore — the second such secret effort to be unmasked. In a political bank shot made in the last two weeks of the campaign, they thought associating Mr. Moore with calls for a statewide alcohol ban would hurt him with moderate, business-oriented Republicans and assist the Democrat, Doug Jones, who won the special election by a hair-thin margin.”


Further in this NY Times piece are details of the people involved in organizing this Dry Alabama false flag operation and this bio stuck out at me, “Evan Coren, a progressive activist who works for the National Archives unit that handles classified documents.”  A person working for the National Archives, handling classified documents, moon lighted as a progressive activist, orchestrating online false flag operations in a Senate race in Alabama.  Anything amiss or unethical with his moonlighting activities here?  Any concerns about him having access to classified documents?

This SPIN agitprop has now devolved to Leftist operatives waging false flag operations to make a Republican senatorial candidate’s social media followers look like Russian bots…  We have assuredly jumped the shark in this scorched earth SPIN info war.

The reason I keep pondering about the beginnings of the America’s mass media SPIN information war is because how spin works has always smelled like classic Soviet disinformation operations to me.  It’s a mass media brainwashing operation to control “public opinion” (sold as the “will of the American people”) as determined by polls.  The media and politicians in America sell the polling and assiduously work to herd Americans to conforming their beliefs to align with this manufactured “public opinion”.  The SPIN operations rely heavily on vicious smear campaigns.

Until Trump, the Left and mainstream media (also predominantly leftists) controlled SPIN operations in America.  FOX News ran a counter SPIN operation, feeding far-right movements and fear mongering about Dems and the Left, but they never managed to meld together a SPIN operation colluding directly with top Republicans, until Trump.

American political news remains abuzz about “Russian collusion”, but the Steele dossier, a melding of Democratic operatives, a former star reporter turned “commercial research and strategic intelligence” entrepreneur, former British intelligence officer/expert on Russia and unknown Russian sources produced information purported to come from sources close to the Kremlin.  That information was fed to the FBI and top American intel officials  as an intelligence product from a former British intelligence professional and it speaks to a melding of partisan SPIN ops  deliberately used to corrupt the judgment of FBI and top American intel officials.

The circuitous routes used to feed the Steele dossier to FBI and DOJ officials speaks to a determination to create an aura of legitimacy about the information in the dossier and to deceive and manipulate them into buying into the dossier.  John McCain despised Trump.  McCain was targeted by a former British ambassador and sold on the dossier.  McCain’s friend, flew to England and personally met with Steele to get a copy of the dossier.  John McCain hand-carried that dossier directly to James Comey.

I can’t prove what happened to me, but during the Clinton impeachment in 1998 I wrote comments on the Excite message boards attacking the Clinton spin, which was worded to corrupt foundational American principles.  I also explained how SPIN works and how it seems like something more at home in Russian disinformation efforts.  My story, Messsages of mhere, at the top of my blog, although written in a rather snarky tone, is what I believe to be the truth about what happened to me in 1998.  I believe false information was deliberately fed to a retired general, who hates me.  I believe he was recruited to silence me.  I can’t prove any of that though.  Realizing the underhanded ways the Steele dossier was fed to top FBI and DOJ officials reminded me of 1998.

Why did James Comey and his top people treat the Steele dossier as legitimate intel, even though they couldn’t verify it?  Why doesn’t Comey care about who funded the dossier?  Why didn’t Peter Strzok, the FBI’s top Russian analyst, make tracking the dossier funding and information back to its original sources a priority?  This Trump SPIN hysteria not only manipulates ordinary  Americans and corrodes their judgment, the Trump SPIN hysteria appears to have corroded and corrupted the judgment of top officials in the FBI and intelligence agencies. The Trump SPIN hysteria has also clouded, in some cases, even corrupted the judgment of our elected leaders.

In the Roy Moore situation, I  dislike Moore’s politics and find his bigotry repugnant, however as that smear campaign against Moore raged on in the media, with more and more 30+ year-old allegations of Moore preying on underage teenage girls ramping up SPIN hysteria, I noted how many conservative Republicans began to speak out against Moore and they completely bought into the Dem-orchestrated  media smear campaign.  Initially, I was willing to believe the first allegation in the Roy Moore smear campaign, until Gloria Allred showed up and it bothered me that there were no allegations of Moore’s alleged preying on underage teen girls beyond those 30 + year-old allegations, which struck me as odd.  I wrote a blog post:

I believed the first woman who made allegations against Roy Moore, but once Gloria Allred showed up, the media non-stop redo of the Access Hollywood started, coupled with the Trump is delusional spin and this new “moral purity” purge on the Left began, well, let’s just say I am not sure how to even begin to decide on what is  a “credible allegation” after finding out that the WaPo descended on AL, along with #Resist dirt-diggers to turn up these allegations.  At first the media hyped there were 30 some witnesses to corroborate that Moore chased teenage girls, but I no longer have real trust in any of this reporting.  I keep wondering if he was a total perv, who chased teenagers, where are more recent victims?  Does he have a long list of affairs or anything like that?  I am open to listening to new allegations, but at this point, I see more evidence this was an orchestrated smear campaign and less that he was a child molester.  I still want to believe the first lady.  The one Allred rolled out and all that crying looked just like the Access Hollywood victim she coached.


The orchestrated Brett Kavanaugh smear campaign rolled out the same way.  And going back to the 2016 campaign, the Dump on Trump smear campaign rolled out the same way too, with the Access Hollywood tape and the Gloria Allred victim line-up.  Trump, a womanizer, does have real dirt mixed in with the pure Dem spin fabrications, like the Alicia Machado, “fat-shaming” allegation, that Hillary Clinton launched at the end of a presidential debate.  She was totally in on that orchestrated SPIN hit.

These smear campaigns aren’t the result of some peon political operatives run amok; they are run by powerful people in the Dem machine.  The level to which the Dems will go to demonize Trump’s record with women, knows no bounds and while I find the man’s behavior totally unacceptable, so much of the SPIN about Trump and women is deliberately manufactured to incite women against him.

In Dec. 2017, with the Trump/Russian collusion spin and the Trump the Authoritarian spin ramping up, a short-lived spin attack on Trump launched about him “trying to kiss former FOX News employee, Juliet Huddy in an elevator around 2005-2006, painting this as Trump sexually assaulting Huddy.  Huddy quickly backtracked and said she hadn’t felt threatened, but liberal media and even top Dems, like Donna Brazile, retweeted and hyped this story.  The reality check is Huddy was on a date with a rich businessman/celebrity and he leaned over to kiss her after the date, but the media was running wild painting this as Trump tried to sexually assault Huddy.

The Dems at the top are well aware of these smear campaigns and they are the ones, who do nothing to put the brakes on them.  Yet, when some embarrassing details of their corrupt SPIN ops leak out, everyone involved claims they knew nothing.  That Steele dossier had the fingerprints of top Clinton sleaze operatives involved, so I believe the Clintons were the ones in charge.

The entire Clinton SPIN operations from its beginning, in the 90s, which evolved to be embraced by the entire Democratic Party, needs some serious investigation for both corruption and for hostile foreign infiltration.  Ditto that for Trump’s SPIN operations, oh nevermind, Mueller has spent two years investigating that, while the Dems, media, Comey, Clapper and Brennan keep throwing up a massive smokescreen about the Steele dossier.  They pretend that some conservative news organization was behind the GPS Fusion effort and the mainstream media assiduously avoids investigating the Steele dossier.  Instead they give Clapper, Brennan and Dem mouthpieces endless airtime to ramp up Trump/Russian collusion and to insinuate the dossier is a legit intelligence report.

There are strong warning signs that there’s plenty of hostile foreign infiltration of the American news media, especially our political news media.   SPIN disinformation speaks to a melding of Cold War era Soviet-type disinformation operations into the very fabric of American political operations and news reporting.  Figuring out how much is homegrown corruption and how much is hostile foreign info operations remains a pressing national security concern, that no one seems to notice.

In the 90s the domestic partisan SPIN war in America erupted with constant Clinton scandals (some real and some right-wing operative hyped).  The Clintons ran their own SPIN “war room” and vast networks of political operatives, on both sides,  emerged as America’s top spin warriors.  Interestingly, many of those original operatives, on both sides, are key players in this endless 2016 scorched earth SPIN info war, but one can only wonder what the extent of hostile foreign infiltration of our partisan SPIN fronts in America really is?

Looking back to the collapse of the Soviet Union, followed by the eruption of our domestic SPIN war in the 90s, my worry is, that perhaps we missed a whole bunch of signals, because of the constant SPIN noise.

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Filed under Corrupt Media Collusion, General Interest, Information War, Messages of mhere, Politics


Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forest fires that, with proper Forest Management, would never happen. Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money. It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!

I’ve tweeted some about Trump’s chaos lately, but every time I sit down to write a blog post, there’s an internal debate whether to let Trump dominate my blog or write about some other topics.  Truth be told though, worries about Trump’s erratic behavior, his administration in constant personnel turmoil and the Left’s relentless Trump hysteria can’t be avoided.  This endless scorched earth SPIN war is the defining political/media event in America.

America’s problem isn’t just Trump’s chaos. The endless scorched earth SPIN information war between Trump/Fox vs. Dems/mainstream media looms as a very grave national security crisis, that no one seems to see.

Often, I feel like I am a lone voice in the wilderness tweeting and blogging warnings about spin.  Since 1998, I’ve been trying to examine ways this SPIN war could evolve in America and what the final stages of this self-destructive SPIN war would look like.  I never in a million years would have dreamed up a Trump’s “GOP Insurgency”, the complete dismantling of the GOP,  or the alliance of Trump and FOX News to create a spin front to combat the Dems/mainstream media lock on controlling the news media in America.

The culmination of the vast corruption by both the Clintons and Trump in 2016, the corruption within the highest levels of the Obama administration, the corruption of the media portends things won’t end well for America without a dramatic sea change in our politics and in the media.  That said, here’s the latest on our national embarrassment – Trump, the Dems and media’s  SPIN war.

America endured another Trump, Chuck and Nancy Show last night, in this ongoing government shutdown showdown/The Wall stand-off.   All three of them looked and sounded stiff and ridiculous.  These speeches were just one more spin battle to fight for owning another spin cycle and the media obliged with high-pitched lamentations about whether the networks should grant Trump prime time to make his wall showdown speech, followed by demands for Democrats to be granted equal time to offer a response to Trump’s speech.  Of course, then the feverish media doom-casting about “What if Trump declares a state of emergency?” erupted.  Trump, of course gloried in the media spotlight and many of his loyal FOX pundits, as usual, helped sell the Trump “CRISIS!” hysteria, to manipulate Trump’s base.

At the same time, many Congressional Democrats and Republicans were urging Trump not to declare a state of emergency, as were some Trump advisers.

Trump opted not to pull that state of emergency trigger (yet).  Schumer and Pelosi offered the same “no money for the wall” red line.  Each side, as usual, declared victory in this staged spin battle and American endured another political spectacle that only fueled more media hysterics, more extreme partisanship and eroded our American political culture a bit more.

By this morning, Trump, lashed out on Twitter with the above tweet.

Reporters immediately contacted FEMA for comment and FEMA had no comment.  And therein lies the seeds of Trump’s self-destruction, if anyone cares to cut through the spin and partisan hysteria.  Once again, Trump, likely from watching something on TV this morning, impulsively decided to lash out at Democrats in CA.  He tweeted this without any consultation with this advisers or talking to FEMA.  He’s going to pressure CA pols to reform their forest management programs by cutting funds, to aid helpless victims of forest fires.

This impulsive lashing out, one-man-show tweeting, leaving his own top advisers in the dark, assures Trump will never settle into the presidency or build any sort of unified team.  It’s always going to be endless chaos, emanating from the top.

Many Trump mouthpieces and supporters in the punditry class, ignore or downplay Trump’s tweeting as just, “Trump letting off steam” or  pretend the tweets aren’t really presidential announcements.   Other Trump supporters, play dumb, dismissing his tweets, by airily waving them aside, claiming they don’t follow his tweets or pay attention to social media.

This morning’s impulsive presidential order will fade from memory quickly and in the scheme of  Trump impulsively executing his presidential duties via tweets, this one ranks as small fries compared to his Syria announcement after a phone call with Erdogan.

With that tweet Trump announced a military withdrawal without informing or consulting anyone on his national security team or America’s allies.  They all found out via his tweet.

The Syria tweet proved the last straw for Sec. of Defense, General Mattis, but that wasn’t the first military decision via tweet, that Trump announced without informing the Pentagon.

Trump’s toxic leadership assures constant chaos in the highest office in America, but even more ominously it assures confusion and distrust at the highest levels of the Pentagon.

In this stand-off with Schumer and Pelosi over funding for his wall, it would not surprise me in the least if some TV news coverage of the stand-off incites him and he furiously lashes out via tweet, declaring a state of emergency… because he can and because he knows it will propel him to be the star of the SPIN universe, outshining every other news story in the world.

Even if America inches along, without a real constitutional crisis due to Trump’s melding the Office of the Presidency into a third-rate reality TV show with constant social media interactions with his fans and the media, the prestige and the dignity of the presidency have been forever cheapened.

The larger scorched earth spin war, could spiral into a real national crisis in many different ways, including hostile info war operations inciting mass panic, faking news stories of civil disruptions, and looming dangers from “fake news” coming not from Trump or the mainstream media, but from America’s enemies.  A few days ago Trump floated a “military version of eminent domain”, asserting he could send the military to seize private property along the border for his wall.  That Trump threat made me think of the Obama era conspiracy hysteria in the Southwest over Jade Helm, a 2015 US military training exercise.  In 2018 former NSA director Michael Hayden stated:

“AUSTIN — Former CIA director Michael Hayden said Thursday during a television interview that the 2015 Jade Helm controversy in Texas was an early example of Russian efforts to spread misinformation in the United States.

Speaking on MSNBC’s Morning Joe as part of a book tour, Hayden, a retired Air Force four-star general who also ran the National Security Agency, said Russians fueled the distrust over the military training exercise in an attempt to influence the American public.

“There was an exercise in Texas called Jade Helm 15 that Russian bots and the American alt-right media convinced most — many — Texans was an Obama plan to round up political dissidents,” Hayden said.”


America faces plenty of SPIN information war worries, well beyond just Trump, but Americans seem too busy fighting each other to notice the real threats from a nation torn apart by constant, aggressive domestic and foreign disinformation operations targeting the American people.  And sadly, President Trump seems the most ill-equipped leader, who might be called upon to avert complete civil disorder, if this SPIN war spirals totally out of control.

Ending on a positive note, the TRUTH is the strongest weapon against SPIN (lies), so each of us has the power to defeat SPIN in our own lives.  No American is helpless or unarmed to combat SPIN – that’s the TRUTH.  Just pull yourself from the partisan extremes,  learn to recognize spin messaging attacks against the American people and don’t allow media and politicians’ repetitive messaging agitation propaganda make you afraid or angry.  When all else fails, turn off the news media in your home for a bit and spend time with your family, do things with friends, or take up a hobby.

Trust me, that’s what I’ve been doing.  Yep, more crafting pictures coming soon:-)


Filed under General Interest, Information War, Politics

Trump’s boring re-run

President Trump cabinet meeting/Reality Presidency Show season premiere today garnered huge media coverage.   Numerous comments the president made raised eyebrows and evoked critical media commentary, but the thing that struck me about this Trump show is it was a boring rerun of every other Trump show, when he’s trying to talk his way past some deepening controversy.

Trump really is a one-trick pony repeating the same media gimmicks over and over.

Today was a boring rerun of Trump’s staged attacks against his enemies.  It’s just like his May 31, 2016 press conference he staged to silence the controversy over the funds from his January 2016 debate temper tantrum, where he staged a vet fundraiser rally.  By the Spring of 2016, media questions started swirling about which veterans groups received funds from that January fundraiser and exactly how much money was raised:

Today, Trump repeated this same press conference, except he used his cabinet as stage props instead of some veterans, who support him.

Incoming Senator Mitt Romney penned a scathing op-ed about President Trump leadership and character for the Washington Post last night.  Romney stated:

“The Trump presidency made a deep descent in December. The departures of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, the appointment of senior persons of lesser experience, the abandonment of allies who fight beside us, and the president’s thoughtless claim that America has long been a “sucker” in world affairs all defined his presidency down.

It is well known that Donald Trump was not my choice for the Republican presidential nomination. After he became the nominee, I hoped his campaign would refrain from resentment and name-calling. It did not. When he won the election, I hoped he would rise to the occasion. His early appointments of Rex Tillerson, Jeff Sessions, Nikki Haley, Gary Cohn, H.R. McMaster, Kelly and Mattis were encouraging. But, on balance, his conduct over the past two years, particularly his actions last month, is evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office.”

This op-ed added to the growing criticisms of Trump’s handling of announcing a Syria pull-out via a tweet, without even informing our allies or his own national security team about the decision first.  The bad press escalated with General Mattis’ resignation as Secretary of Defense, followed by Trump’s spiteful announcement he was moving up Mattis’ departure.

As criticism over both Trump’s Syria decision and how he went about it escalated, the president began ramping up his mean tweeting in recent days.  He retaliated over the weekend when General McChrystal answered a reporter’s question about whether he would ever serve in the Trump presidency and whether he believes the president is immoral.  McChrystal, I believe, answered the questions honestly.  In typical Trump fashion, Trump decided to wage the only strategy he knows – a vicious divide and conquer attack.

We now have a POTUS committed to playing American generals against each other and even more disturbing, publicly undercutting top retired generals to curry favor with the troops.  He is undercutting confidence in the US military and its top leaders, all to win spin cycles…

The truth is these retired generals should tread very cautiously criticizing the President and avoid it.  Engaging in public spin attacks back and forth with Trump will only damage military morale and could easily begin to damage confidence in America’s top military leadership. If these retired generals or former Trump administration officials feel strongly about Trump’s competency, conduct in office and handling of  national security matters, the proper way to air that would be to testify to Congress, under oath.

The real big picture threat is America’s adversaries are watching the Trump Reality Presidency Show and they understand that Trump’s shallow narcissism makes him so easy to manipulate.  Since Erdogan talked Trump into pulling out of Syria, both Kim Jong Un and Putin made public overtures to Trump about more meetings.  They obviously feel confident they can easily play Trump again.   All it takes is stroking Trump’s ego, by praising him as a strong leader.  How much Trump will sell America down the river remains to be seen, but for a reality check, Trump doesn’t bother with facts or details.

The media latched onto a Trump comment in his presser that speaks to Trump’s colossal ignorance about American foreign policy and history.  Trump touted the Soviet view on their invasion of Afghanistan, not the Reagan foreign policy view.  It was a surreal comment coming from a sitting American president:

Trump: “The reason Russia was in Afghanistan was because terrorists were going into Russia.” This is simply not true. The Soviet Union ventured into Afghanistan as part of its effort to prop up communism abroad, not because terrorists were striking the Soviet homeland.

I also commented on a tweet by a top Trump Spin Commando this afternoon and added a few comments beyond that:


Filed under Foreign Policy, General Interest, Politics, Twitter Tales

Happy New Year

4338588582 c001d77703 Vintage Post Card x


Many thanks for stopping by and reading my blog.

A new year has arrived, meaning it’s time for a bit of looking back over the past.

Kind words matter.

Some kind words and a bit of a nudge from a friend inspired the creation of this blog in December of 2012.  For decades, I had longed to write, but fear held me back from even trying – fear of lacking the writing skills, fear of lacking the creativity, fear of failure.  With extreme trepidation and totally clueless on even what exactly a blog is, I began typing away.

It’s hard to believe that I’ve written 1,438 blog posts since then.  This blog remains just a small, sort of backwoods of the internet type blog, one that reflects my views and values.  I am a homemaker and full-time caregiver, not a professional writer.  Sticking to writing what I believe is honest and truthful motivates me to keep this blog going, not any desire for popularity or monetizing this endeavor.

For several years, I’ve begun the new year announcing a resolution to attempt to move my blog away from so much politics and move more toward commentary on cultural topics.  Glancing back through some of last year’s posts, it’s obvious that my resolution to write less about politics, like most New Year’s resolutions, was not kept.

Last year was a very hard year for me in my real life, with my husband’s medical problems and changes in the amount of assistance he needs with daily tasks.  Blogging often fell to the wayside, so for 2019, my goal (not a resolution) is simply to get some blog posts written on a regular basis.

Suggestions,  comments and criticisms are always welcome, as long as it isn’t a heap of name-calling.

Wishing everyone a safe and Happy New Year!






Filed under General Interest

Reporting from the SPIN trenches…

President Trump visited U.S. troops in Iraq yesterday and just like everything he does, controversy erupted and a full-blown Dem/mainstream media spin offensive launched.

By late yesterday a Trump spin counteroffensive was lighting up the Twitter night sky.

Predictably, the Dem/mainstream media major spin attacks usually begin with a NY Times or Washington Post breaking story of some alleged big Trump scandal.  Most of these big Trump stories start unraveling quickly, where large chunks of the purported facts end up being uncorroborated, leading to corrections and/or major walk-backs.

The problem is the rest of the mainstream media has already run wild repeating that initial NY Times or Washington Post reporting, meaning that initial uncorroborated story has already sprouted wings and flown far beyond the reach of the truth.   The  spin (lies) has already worked its damage.  It is believed, despite the corrections and walk-backs, largely because most of the news organizations and people who retweeted the original spin don’t bother to retract or correct the story.

The big NY Times blockbuster news story yesterday dealt with allegations about Trump’s bone spur diagnosis in 1968, to avoid the draft during the Vietnam War.  I don’t subscribe to the NY Times, so here’s CNN reporting:

“Dr. Larry Braunstein, a podiatrist who died in 2007, often told the story of providing Donald Trump with the diagnosis of bone spurs in his heels so he could be exempt from military service, his two daughters — Dr. Elysa Braunstein and Sharon Kessel — told the New York Times.
“It was family lore,” Elysa Braunstein told the Times, adding that the story was “something we would always discuss” among family and friends.”

The doctor reportedly rented his office space from Fred Trump.  This doctor is dead,  his two daughters are self-professed Democrats and they dislike Trump.   The NY Times admitted that they had no corroborating evidence to back this story.

They ran it anyway.

President Trump and the First Lady’s trip led to numerous mainstream media spin attacks, some of which the President’s own words deserved criticism.

Timelines, in my mind, suggest that the Dems and #Resist faction within the mainstream media got wind of Trump’s trip, because there were pool reporters on the trip.  Presidential trips are morale boosters for the troops and positive media message for any White House.  Trump has been under attack in the media for not visiting the troops overseas during his almost two years in office.  This trip was an opportunity for President Trump to dig out from under a mounting pile of negative news stories,  from his handling of the Syria pull-out announcement by tweet and General Mattis’ resignation.

The Dems/mainstream media ran with this NY Times story based on hearsay about something a dead man supposedly said…  The thin vapors of credibility used to bolster this story is “family lore” as told by two women, who despise Trump so much that they were willing to publicly accuse their father of medical malpractice and fraud.

Of course, Trump blathered on in Iraq making numerous flat-out untrue statements, like the 10% pay raise he told troops he got for them.  These Trump exaggerations where he just makes up his own “facts” are par for the course in any Trump word salad ramble.  For Trump facts are optional.

The more insidious and damaging things Trump said were comments like:

In Iraq, Trump digs in on Syria withdrawal, telling pool of “the generals”: “They said again, recently, can we have more time? I said, ‘Nope.’ You can’t have any more time. You’ve had enough time. We’ve knocked them out. We’ve knocked them silly.”


What , commander in chief, said visiting troops in Iraq. Military families will also hear his views. “We are spread out all over the world. We are in countries most people haven’t even heard about. Frankly, it’s ridiculous.”

The media went whole hog looking for negative Trump stories during this trip, with CNN fueling a controversy reporting on some troops in Iraq asking Trump to autograph their MAGA hats and a Trump flag.   CNN had Jim Acosta, a reporter with a long-running feud with Trump, and retired Rear Adm. John Kirby, “A CNN analyst” on camera to analyze this situation.  John Kirby served in the Defense Department and as the spokesman for the State Department in the Obama administration.  CNN reported:
“It is in fact a campaign slogan, that is a campaign item, and it is completely inappropriate for the troops to do this,” Kirby said.
Kirby assigned some blame to Trump himself for political activity around the military: “Every time he’s around military audiences, he tends to politicize it, and he brings in complaints and grievances from outside the realm of military policy.”
And that’s when the Trump Spin Commandos went berserk waging a Twitter counteroffensive attacking Jim Acosta, Kirby, and CNN.  Some big Trump Spin Commandos went on twitter attacks, throwing out their own “military cred” as a shield against criticism, while they insisted the reporting about Trump signing MAGA hats was a CNN attack against the troops with the hats.  The real issue, was the command should discourage  overt partisan actions, just like there was a disturbing sign of this in early 2017, with a vehicle in a U.S. Navy convoy on a KY interstate with a vehicle flying a Trump campaign flag. At the time I wrote:

“The Navy vehicle with a Trump flag disturbed me, by jarring me into thinking about how politicized even our national security services have become.  Retired generals signing letters to support political candidates, rally at national party conventions, become vocal spokespeople on campaigns, all feeds to politicize the military.  President Trump does have support from many service-members, he even has generals on board.  He is the man who said he would order U.S troops to murder ISIS family members to scare ISIS terrorists into submission, yet he was not roundly condemned by Republicans and his big name mouthpieces did damage control glossing over his lawless and immoral strategy, plus constantly pointing out how Hillary was worse.

As with everything about President Trump, his closest supporters will say just about anything to deflect, so with the Left fueling more hysteria and street violence, I worry about Trump’s “strong-man” impulses and overreaction.  I worry about people around him and their motivations to foment chaos.  I worry about what happens when the military and intelligence agencies lose their moral compass as apolitical professionals dedicated to keeping all Americans safe and defending The Constitution.

Are we at the crisis point where we need to worry about 1984?  I hope not.  The past two weeks of constant drama, hysterics and extreme partisan fighting do worry me and the Trump flag on a U.S military vehicle was definitely on the wrong road.  Let’s hope some principled leaders emerge to guide us back to safer middle ground, eschewing the partisan extremes.”


Here we are almost two years later and “constant drama, hysterics, and extreme partisan fighting” has become like a static trench war, where neither sides can see a way to make any real advances, so they hunker down in their spin trenches and just lob ineffective smear attacks, resorting frequently to fact-free noxious gas attacks now, in hopes of immobilizing the other’s sides spin attacks.  There is no larger strategy to this endless scorched earth spin war.

The combatants, on both sides, are just grinding away their own credibility… and the credibility of America, writ large.

This vicious scorched earth SPIN war should not be what defines America.

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