Jul
26
2016

“Crooked” Hillary. Pt 2 – Subtitled: The More I Research Her, The Less I Hate Her.

Share Button

Just about every time I look into an accusation or scandal about Hillary Clinton, something that is supposed to make me hate her or confirm my hate for her, I come out the other side with information that exonerates her, at least to some degree.

An old chestnut hanging around for a long time, one that i first heard on the Rush Limbaugh show years and years ago, was that Hillary Rodham was fired from the Watergate Committee because her boss, Jerry Zeifman, found her to be a “liar” and “unethical”.

I never questioned this to be true. And back then, pre-internet, it would have been hard to fact check even if I tried.

Hillary Rodham vs Jerry Zeifman… Meet the internets!

Snopes says NOPE.

“A pair of articles published during Hillary Clinton’s run for the presidency in 2008, one by Northstar Writers Group founder Dan Calabrese and one by Jerry Zeifman himself, asserted that Zeifman was Hillary’s supervisor during the Watergate investigation and that he eventually fired her from the investigation for “unethical, dishonest” conduct. However, whatever Zeifman may have thought of Hillary and her work during the investigation, he was not her supervisor, neither he nor anyone else fired her from her position on the Impeachment Inquiry staff (Zeifman in fact didn’t have the power to fire her, even had he wanted to do so), his description of her conduct as “unethical” and “dishonest” is his personal, highly subjective characterization, and the “facts” on which he based that characterization were ones that he contradicted himself about on multiple occasions.”

Continue Reading »

Jul
26
2016

“Crooked” Hillary?

Share Button

As a guy who holds a degree in radio / video / film production, the election season is always a fun time for me. There is so much propaganda out there to dissect, it’s hard to decide where to begin. But sometimes, things fall into your lap. Here’s one about “Crooked” Hillary Clinton, and her authoritarian views on the US Mexican border that a friend posted on his facebook page.

It starts out by showing an edited 31 second video of Hillary speaking at the Counsel Of Foreign Relations. Note that the original video is over an hour long.

Here is the text that accompanies this propaganda piece:

I never ask you guys (or gals) to share anything, but dammit! share the hell out of this video! Hillary Clinton says Mexico is a problem, Mexican Government policy is pushing immigration, US needs to secure border, and illegals should be deported!?#?artoftheflipflop? ?#?trumpstalkingparrot? ?#?neverhillary?
Transcript: “Mexico is such an important problem. Mexico’s policies are pushing migration North. There isn’t any sensible approach. What need to do is simultaneously, you know, secure our borders, new technology, personnel, physical barriers, if necessary, in some places, and we need to get tougher employer sanctions, and we need to incentivize Mexico to do more. If they’ve committed transgressions of whatever kind, they should be obviously deported. “

From a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations in 2006. Only edited for time. The video and sound are slightly out of synch.

LIAR!!!! It’s not “only edited for time”. It’s edited to try and paint her as having the same views on the border wall as Trump. It’s total cherry-picking. The entire speech is about using both idealistic and realistic solutions to solve problems. The topic of the border comes up at about 48:00 minutes in. After laying out the case as to why many immigrants come here, the very first thing she says in regard to American policy is that we need to pass comprehensive immigration reform…. And she points out that the legislation to support that reform is stalled because of   Funny that the person that edited this conveniently left that out. That, folks, is manipulation. Propaganda.

Continue Reading »

Jul
26
2016

Politics NOT As Usual.

Share Button

I’ve been a political junkie for a long time. As I’m fond of saying “I love the game, but hate the stench”. Over the years, I’ve watched campaign after campaign, on both side of the major party political fence, and have been more often than not somewhat bored by a lot of things that are a staple of US politics. One of those things on that list of “boring” has always been political conventions.

They’re boring.

Everyone knows what to expect. Two to three days of speakers regurgitating the same old script consisting of the following:

  • How great the party is.
  • How horrible the other party and candidate is.
  • Nonsensical solutions to nonexistent problems.
  • The same old tried and failed solutions to real problems.
  • Blah, blah, blah….

But this year… This year is DIFFERENT! And man is it ever!!!!

The Republican National Convention started off with a bang, when anti-Trump delegates were shut down by a bizarre floor vote that left a lot of people either scratching their heads, or furious, depending on which side of the Trump you’re on. And things continues to spin outside the normal orbit of the boring. Speech plagiarism, Christie holding a mock trial (which was good theater BTW), Cruz not endorsing Trump, apparently with the approval of Trump,the continues presence of the anti-Trump fueled anger that was simmering just below the surface, causing a lack of true party unity (usually considered a failure on conventional terms – get it?) and then Trump giving a long dark speech that made ME terrified, plus all the other stuff that made this one heck of a fun convention to watch. Granted, by Cruz not getting the nomination, thanks to the unexpected presence / win of Trump, I lost a bet and now owe a friend a steak dinner. But it was worth it I think.

And now the Dems have their turn. It’s not even a day in and there is TONS more to this convention than anyone could have predicted. First there are the hacked e-mails, showing that the DNC did indeed unethically stack the deck against Bernie Sanders in favor of the Queen, Mrs. Hillary Clinton. Though it’s not really surprising, as Bernie supporters have been for good reason accusing the DNC of being in cahoots with the Clinton campaign, the stolen e-mails, revealed by Hillary nemesis Julian Assange and Wikileaks, confirms those suspicions. To make matters worse, former Clinton campaign manager Debbie Wasserman Schultz who was forced to resign over this embarrassment, has, for some reason that makes no sense at all, except to Hillary I guess, been appointed to an honorary campaign with the Clinton campaign, before the ink on her resignation was even dry.

Are you KIDDING ME????

Isn’t there anyone in Clinton’s inner circle who can stand up and say “DON’T DO THIS! IT WILL LOOK HORRIBLE!!! BAD OPTICS!!!!”.

Apparently, there isn’t.

How did all this happen???

There was a time when the party machine had more say in who would be able to run under their ticket. Oh, sure, a rogue candidate could jump into the fray under the company banner, but without real support from the party organization, that candidate wouldn’t stand a chance. He, or she would get squashed. The party wold change the rules behind closed doors or throw out various roadblocks to make it impossible for the interloper to ever succeed. Just look at how the Republican party machine treated Ron Paul, even though he had more popular support than several of the candidates who continued to enjoy favorable treatment.

Here is a message for both of the major parties. The Past Is Gone.

The past is a time when everyone would, in the end, agree to go along to get along for the sake of the party. The past is a time when you could bribe opposing politicians with platform changes or even appointments of you and favored lackeys to cabinet positions.The past is a time, before the internet, when the parties could pull of subtle things to influence election, and talk about it within the hallowed halls of party headquarters, and no one would be the wiser. They could do these things and so much more without any repercussions.

Those days are gone.

Why is this happening? Easy. It’s the internet. We are privy to information that in elections past would have never seen the light of day. We are now hyper-aware. We are an electorate that has watched politicians pretend they are “one of us” and want to “help us” but barely lift a finger to do what they promise, or worse do the opposite. We are an electorate that are finally willing to hols politician’s feet to the fire for flip-flopping. We the electorate, even if we can’t identify it specifically, can detect and smell the corruption rotting just below the surface, and we simply are not willing to stand for it anymore. We the electorate are, frankly, sick of being lied to.

The people running the political show are still playing by the old rules, dubious of the fact that everything has changed since the election of 2000. They are so out of touch with us, with the world we live in, that they never figured we’d catch on. And worse, when it became clear that we did, they were so blind to us that they didn’t even see it.

It’s all about information. That the internet was going to change the way we do political business was predictable and inevitable. I would have thought all this would have become obvious and would have already changed things before now. But… Finally… Here we are.

Jul
23
2016

Geek / Geology Alert – New Blog Link.

Share Button

Just want to give a should-out to a geology-minded blogger who, strangely, found me, via my “temblor” post. The blog is Dr. Geophisics’ Weblog.

My friend Preston Ward should get a kick out of this.

 

Jul
20
2016

Rules For Radicals… And Others.

Share Button

“Saul Alinsky was a brilliant man. Evil, but brilliant. Unfortunately, whether we like it or not, everyone on the Left from the President on down is playing by his rules in the political arena.” (Townhall)

 

Republicans are fond of vilifying both President Obama and Hillary Clinton because of their supposed brainwashed allegiance and fealty to this evil guy by the name of Saul Alinsky. Saul Alinsky was a community organizer (guilty) in Chicago in the 1940’s. Before Barrack Obama started his path toward the Presidency, you never ever heard about this guy Alinsky. But MAN, if you want to bring some Conservatives to high alert, just mention the guy, as Ben Carson did last night. Conservapedia says this explicitly:

Saul David Alinsky (January 30, 1909 – June 12, 1972) was a liberal community organizer in Chicago who developed a method of local organizing that was widely copied by Democrats, and influenced Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Alinsky wrote a book, Rules For Radicals, which Politifact describes as offering “advice to activists seeking to influence public policy, covering topics such as class differences and tactics such as disrupting meetings and winning media attention”. The book was written in 1971 and draws on his long experiences of seeing what works best to influence people and organization, and make the most impact to achieve the stated goal.

Here is the list as is typically presented:

  • RULE 1: “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.” Power is derived from 2 main sources – money and people. “Have-Nots” must build power from flesh and blood. (These are two things of which there is a plentiful supply. Government and corporations always have a difficult time appealing to people, and usually do so almost exclusively with economic arguments.)
  • RULE 2: “Never go outside the expertise of your people.” It results in confusion, fear and retreat. Feeling secure adds to the backbone of anyone. (Organizations under attack wonder why radicals don’t address the “real” issues. This is why. They avoid things with which they have no knowledge.)
  • RULE 3: “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.” Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty. (This happens all the time. Watch how many organizations under attack are blind-sided by seemingly irrelevant arguments that they are then forced to address.)
  • RULE 4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules. (This is a serious rule. The besieged entity’s very credibility and reputation is at stake, because if activists catch it lying or not living up to its commitments, they can continue to chip away at the damage.)
  • RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions. (Pretty crude, rude and mean, huh? They want to create anger and fear.)
  • RULE 6: “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.” They’ll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They’re doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones. (Radical activists, in this sense, are no different that any other human being. We all avoid “un-fun” activities, and but we revel at and enjoy the ones that work and bring results.)
  • RULE 7: “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.” Don’t become old news. (Even radical activists get bored. So to keep them excited and involved, organizers are constantly coming up with new tactics.)
  • RULE 8: “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new. (Attack, attack, attack from all sides, never giving the reeling organization a chance to rest, regroup, recover and re-strategize.)
  • RULE 9: “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.” Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist. (Perception is reality. Large organizations always prepare a worst-case scenario, something that may be furthest from the activists’ minds. The upshot is that the organization will expend enormous time and energy, creating in its own collective mind the direst of conclusions. The possibilities can easily poison the mind and result in demoralization.)
  • RULE 10: “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.” Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog. (Unions used this tactic. Peaceful [albeit loud] demonstrations during the heyday of unions in the early to mid-20th Century incurred management’s wrath, often in the form of violence that eventually brought public sympathy to their side.)
  • RULE 11: “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.” Never let the enemy score points because you’re caught without a solution to the problem. (Old saw: If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Activist organizations have an agenda, and their strategy is to hold a place at the table, to be given a forum to wield their power. So, they have to have a compromise solution.)
  • RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)

If you’ve read “The Art Of War”, or “The Prince”, some of these strategies will look familiar, so it’s not as if the rules Alinsky came up with are really original or dangerous. They are time honored and used by all sorts of people and organizations… And political parties…

HEY! WE’RE HAVING A PARTY RIGHT NOW!!!!

Why yes, we are!!!

Lets see if the Republicans might be using some of the “evil ideas” presented by Alinsky.

RULE 1: “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.” Power is derived from 2 main sources – money and people.

Money?

SUPERPACS. Check

People?

Plenty of white fearful voters. Check.

RULE 2: “Never go outside the expertise of your people.” It results in confusion, fear and retreat. Feeling secure adds to the backbone of anyone.

Judging from the past two nights, and the GOP platform, they are definitely not treading new ground. From hate Hillary to the continuation of the stated desire to keep the LGBT community as second class citizens… And don’t forget GOD!!! According to the benediction delivered, He has chosen Trump to win the Presidency.  Check on 2.

RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating.

Donald Trump’s entire campaign strategy has very effectively relied on this.

RULE 6: “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.” They’ll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They’re doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones.

See Rule number 5. And for some reason, Conservatives really really enjoy ruminating over the exploits and picadillos of Hillary’s husband, even though he’s not running.

RULE 8: “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new. (Attack, attack, attack from all sides, never giving the reeling organization a chance to rest, regroup, recover and re-strategize.)

From Whitewater to Benghazi and e-mails. And when the FBI and Department of Justice decided not to prosecute Hillary for the e-mail debacle??? This. It really does never end.

RULE 9: “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.” Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist.

“Hillary is a monster that will destroy the country!!!!”. Or something like that.

RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)

Two words – Hillary Clinton.

I’m sure there are more that can be listed. But do understand that the Alinsky rules are used quite often, by all sides. He didn’t invent them, he just wrote them down.

Jul
19
2016

To Follow The Trump Missteps… As Written By A Guy Named Fallows…

Share Button

Follow… Fallows… Get it???

Here.

Jul
12
2016

Bernie Sanders… Sell Out!!!!

Share Button

Many Bernie Sanders supporters are pissed as hell in the aftermath of his endorsement of Democrat rival Hillary “evil liar” Clinton.(“evil liar” is the description I keep coming across in the emotional facebook / twitter posts)  What I don’t think many of these same people realize is that… Bernie Sanders was ALREADY a Sell-Out. He started his political career registered as a member of the long defunked Liberty Union party. Then he was an “independent”, and remained so during  his long career up to this point. He often sparred with Democrat leadership on various policies and bills as they moved through Congress, as a Representative, then as a Senator. His early relationship with the Democrat party was contentious, but did improve over time. But, he was NEVER a Democrat.

Given that history, there is one glaring observation to be had… Bernie Sanders “sold out” as soon as he joined the Democrat party to run for President.

The reason why he chose to become a Democrat is clear. Being a member of one of the two major political parties gives you access to the people and resources that make that process of running a campaign much easier than if you were running as an independent. Being a Democrat gives you built-in votes, as, like in the Republican party, there are people who will only vote for that party. And then there’s money, etc. And now, by “selling out” and supporting Hillary Clinton, Sanders is giving approval to his supporters to go ahead and lend your vote to Hillary in order to defeat her opposite party rival, Donald Trump.

But reasons don’t matter if you’re “selling out”, do they?

Jul
9
2016

Racial Profiling – In Full View. UPDATE.

Share Button

Of all the senseless violence that has happened lately in the last few years that has revolved around race, the Philando Castile case is a shining example of what black men have to face. Here is a man who was doing nothing wrong, got pulled over by the police, and now is dead, even though he did nothing wrong. By all accounts, he was an upstanding citizen. Yet, this morning, just a few days after his death – do we call it murder? – there are those who are trying to justify that death by denigrating him and trying to paint him, and his girlfriend, as liars, as if that justifies his death. A post from a blog called “The Last Refuge” is going viral in Conservative circles. It starts like this:

“The Falcon Heights, Minnesota police shooting of Philando Castile is based around an entirely false narrative.  Castile and Ms. Diamond Reynolds (Facebook video uploader) were pulled over by police because Castile matched a BOLO [Be On Look Out] Alert for an armed robbery suspect from four days prior.

Saint Anthony, MN, Police Officers Jeronimo Yanez and Joseph Kauser pulled over Mr. Castile and Ms. Reynolds because the driver, Philando Castile, matched the suspect profile in an armed robbery which occurred on July 2nd, at a convenience store, only a few blocks from where their car was pulled over.”

Continue Reading »

Jul
1
2016

Geek Alert! Going It On My Own! (again)

Share Button
Geek Talk… My Pi 3 should be delivered today.
 
You might be asking – or not- “Mike… What is a ‘Pi’, and why did you get it?’.
 
Here’s the low-down, in reverse order.
 
I have a blog and have been writing my thoughts on it for the past 11 years. Though I don’t write on it much anymore, it’s still a great platform when I want to air my thoughts beyond my facebook community. It’s also a wonderful archive of my life, and it’s fun to look back and see how some of my positions on things have changed, or not, over time.
 
In order to have a blog, you have to have a web hosting site of some kind that puts your blog on the web so people can see it. My web hosting service was pretty affordable when I transferred my blog over to it some 5 or so years ago. But the price has steadily increased to the point where it’s almost $90 every 6 months.So, I’ve decided to build my own server and host my blogs from home.
 
Now, about this thing called a Pi. A Pi is a mini computer, about the size of a guitar pedal, that is low powered but pretty powerful, all things considered. I’ll be using the Pi 3 to store and host my blog from home. A long time ago, Greg and I used to have a web site called Fatbird.Net. this was in the pre-blog / MySpace / Facebook days. Because of the limits of our budget, and because this was kind of new and things weren’t automated much, hosting our content was a pain to do back then. But that was 15 years ago, and things have gotten so much easier now.
 
It will take a bit of work to set everything up, but this will be a fun project.
Jun
21
2016

Republican Senate 2016 – National Security Is Job One.

Share Button

In light of the failure of the Senate… No, in light of the REFUSAL of the Senate to pass a single piece of meaningful gun legislation yesterday, I thought it would be interesting to note what they have accomplished, to see what sort of critical national problems they’ve tried to solve. Here is a list of some of the important things that became law this year:

 

H.R.4605 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)

To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 615 6th Avenue SE in Cedar Rapids, Iowa as the “Sgt. 1st Class Terryl L. Pasker Post Office Building”.

H.R.4046 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)

To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 220 East Oak Street, Glenwood City, Wisconsin, as the Second Lt. Ellen Ainsworth Memorial Post Office.

 

H.R.3866 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)

To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 1265 Hurffville Road in Deptford Township, New Jersey, as the “First Lieutenant Salvatore S. Corma II Post Office Building”.

 

H.R.3735 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)

To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 200 Town Run Lane in Winston Salem, North Carolina, as the “Maya Angelou Memorial Post Office”.

H.R.2814 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)

To name the Department of Veterans Affairs community-based outpatient clinic in Sevierville, Tennessee, the Dannie A. Carr Veterans Outpatient Clinic.

S.184 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)

Native American Children’s Safety Act

H.R.4957 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)

To designate the Federal building located at 99 New York Avenue, N.E., in the District of Columbia as the “Ariel Rios Federal Building”.

H.R.4923 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)

American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016

H.R.4336 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)

An act to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for the inurnment in Arlington National Cemetery of the cremated remains of certain persons whose service has been determined to be active…

S.2143 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)

A bill to provide for the authority for the successors and assigns of the Starr-Camargo Bridge Company to maintain and operate a toll bridge across the Rio Grande near Rio Grande City, Texas, and for…

S.2755 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)

Fallen Heroes Flag Act of 2016

S.1890 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)

Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016

H.R.2908 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)

National Bison Legacy Act

H.R.2722 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)

Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Act

S.1638 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)

Department of Homeland Security Headquarters Consolidation Accountability Act of 2015

S.719 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)

A bill to rename the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Great Falls, Montana, the Captain John E. Moran and Captain William Wylie Galt Armed Forces Reserve Center.

S.1826 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)

A bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 99 West 2nd Street in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, as the Lieutenant Colonel James “Maggie” Megellas Post Office.

S.1596 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)

A bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 2082 Stringtown Road in Grove City, Ohio, as the “Specialist Joseph W. Riley Post Office Building”.

H.R.3262 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)

To provide for the conveyance of land of the Illiana Health Care System of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Danville, Illinois.

OK… So they may have totally sucked at stopping terrorists from getting semi-automatic weapons…. But DANG IT!  They sure can rename something when that kind of national emergency is foisted upon us!