The War on Reputations

There’s a new Civil War in progress and nobody’s winning. This Civil War is all about destroying the reputations of political partys, politicians, news media, government institutions, and ordinary people who have found themselves in extraordinary situations.

This is a many-sided war with battles being fought over the reputations of participants. In politics, it’s about Republicans vs Democrats and who will bend the government to their will while it loots USA national treasure for its party.

Outside of national politics, it’s about the reputations of celebrities, businesses and their leaders, and the burgeoning growth of internet personalities. The destroyers attack the reputations of famous people, the reputations of historical events, and the reputations of religion, morality, and financial institutions. And they especially attack the reputations of hard work, civility, deferred gratification, and common decency.

The weaponization of social media is the suitcase bomb of the 90s. The tools of social media allow everyone to become a potential bomb maker and everyone else a potential bomb thrower. In the hands of irresponsible people, the innocent-and-imperfect are attacked with weapons in which there is no defense. There is no defense from the lies that are told or the misrepresentations of the truth. It is scorched earth warfare.

The War on Reputations is an ugly war. It is anarchy on the internet. A “hater” chooses a target and launches his/her hate bomb. Others pick up the same material and fashion it for their own purpose. When government or businesses attempt to stop the bombmakers, other haters attack those same governments and those same businesses and accuse them of denying free speech or being fascist, communist, anti-this, or a sympathizer for that.

The only way to win this war is either not to play the game (a la War Games) or become totalitarian and control the content. For humankind, it appears that controlling the content is the only viable option. Self-control is preferred but “from the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made.”

Just as newspapers and magazines controlled the content of their publications, the ISPs may be required to control the content in their e-publications.

Accusations and mudslinging will need an outside force to control them. And that is exactly what many fear.

The legislation that controls the content of the US internet will be foreboding at best; but to live with a free market of smearing, sneering, and fleering seems impossible. To give every person access to social media bomblets and permit the desecration of the innocent-and-imperfect seems too permissive. Not everyone is an adult and not everyone is equal. We should recognize that.

The War on Reputations could use a few Rules of Social Media Warfare and violations of those rules should likely become Social Media War Crimes with attendant consequences. Perhaps a new Geneva Convention is needed to craft those rules.

Any takers?

The Passing of Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh died the other day. He was excoriated by the liberal press and revered by the conservative press.

Some say he defined the modern Republican Party with his views about women (Feminazis), Gays, liberals, female sexual freedom, and the dirty, sinful, socialism of the Democrats versus the shining Republicans on the hill. You know them, the ones who live Christian lives as examples for the rest of us to follow.

Rush Limbaugh was at the crest of societal change in America and he didn’t like any part of it. He told millions of viewers every day , in mocking self-righteous tones, of the hypocrisy between what liberals and Democrats say and what they do. The disaffected and suspicious-of-change Conservatives listened to his radio program every day to hear more examples of outrageous behaviors on the part of liberals who believed in improving humanity through others but not through themselves.

He was funny and he poked the bear with outrageous quotes and comparisons.

But something changed in Rush Limbaugh in the early 2000’s. He was no longer funny. He became mean. I don’t know if he realized he was losing his war on the culture changes in America or if he started to throw himself into propaganda for ratings and money.But change he did. He became the voice of right-wing ideology, obtained a following, and fueled partisan politics in ways no one had previously had done.

Connecting the dots between conservatives who lived by self-actuating,nuclear family, individual rights and biblical memes, with a solid Republican, fiscally responsible, minimal government, and political perspective, Rush Limbaugh developed a cult. He fed the cult and the cult echo-chamber replied.

Becoming more mean, Rush began to denigrate people by name rather than by poking fun at their ideology. He created a monster that hides under YOUR bed or in the dark corners ready to take YOUR soul if you let it. He taught people to fear Hilary because she was a feminazi, fear Obama because he was angry and black, fear gays because they want you to accept their biblical perversions, and fear sexual freedom for the collapse of shameful behaviors in Society. This is who Rush Limbaugh became for the past 15 years.

But now, Rush is dead. So,too, is the old society that Rush tried to salvage from the forge that was creating a new American mettle. The new American mettle? Women became competitors to men, even among truckdrivers, construction workers, bank CEOs, Wall Street financiers, scientists, plumbers, elcetricians, politicians, and engineers. Gays are competitors to straight men and are accepted in society without being considered biblically perverted. American blacks of both sexes are now competitors to white men and have broken more ceilings and become a larger part of society than ever in American history. And sexual freedom is found everywhere. Even among the gun-toting, single white female moms living in the Bible Belt working in sex chat rooms.

Rush Limbaugh found, identified, and held up for our inspection, the societal changes that were occurring around us. No longer isolated by two oceans, America was becoming part of the global community whether Rush Limbaugh wanted it or not. And now, America has changed and it knows it has changed. It cannot return to the paternalistic People of The Book Christian ideology that it once exemplified.

The death of Rush Limbaugh, the expulsion of Donald Trump, and the new American mettle, each heralds a greater American future.

I mourn the loss of my enemy. I mourn the passing of my past. The King is dead. Long live the king.

“It’s all about the Base…”

Here are my early take-a-ways on impeachment proceedings:

I watched a little of the trial at lunch and the Republicans are following the same strategies they always do:

1) Can we show that Democrats are hypocrites? Say one thing and do another? If so, then people in glass houses should not throw stones and no one should listen to the Democrats.

2) Can we show that Democrats do the same as us? Then our Republican Strategy is “What about-ism?”  “Why didn’t Democrats do this to their people? If they didn’t, then this is just political theater.”

3) “We will just deny, deny, deny that Republicans did this and that Democrats cheated and made this up.”

Those are the three approaches the Republicans use and they are very good at it.  It gins up their base and undermines any argument that Democrats believe in equality for Republicans.

The Democrats’ strategy is:

1) The Appalled Offense: make it sound worse than it really was and express a sense of how appalled everyone is.

2) Craft a long litany of Republican behaviors to show this has been going on a long time and nobody held Republicans accountable until now.

3) Craft a story of approaching doom if nothing is done to curb the Republican problem in front of everyone’s nose.

The Dems are just as good by getting their base to shake their heads and cluck their tongue about Republican behavior that will never, ever be held accountable.

Did you see anything that I missed?

Breathless and incredulous down home indignation…

I don’t know if there is hope for the Republican Party anymore. I’d like to see the old Republican Party back but these Trumpians are getting all the attention in the *cough* Conservative news media. I prefer the traditional Republicans.

The Trumpians can tell more lies and half-truths in a shorter time than anyone can rebut. And they tell these lies with such breathless incredulity that you think there might actually be something offensive about the topic.

Here’s a good example of Trumpian propaganda expressed with disdain and incredulity:

So let me unpack some of the lies and untruths expressed by Senator Backburn. Caution: It will take you longer to read what I wrote than to watch the video.

Of the 42 Executive Orders (which is a lot!) signed by Biden, 13 of those reversed Executive Orders issued by former President Trump. You can see the list here if you like: https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2021/politics/biden-executive-orders/index.html

By category, there were 14 Executive Orders about the COVID virus and only one of them reversed a Trump Exec Order. (You know the one. The one in which President Trump quit the WHO organization.) The other 13 were actions related to developing and managing a cogent COVID plan for the country. If former President Trump has done this those 14 orders, Biden COVID actions would not have been necessary. And an additional two Exec orders were about opening healthcare enrollment for another month for people who might need it.

Five Exec Orders were about the COVID Economy and Stimulus and Housing actions.

Five were about the Environment to put America back on a scientific footing again.

Categorized as Equity, there were six Exec Orders to ensure equitable treatment by the US government for ethnicity and gender. None of them were about blacks in America. Not preferential treatment for anyone but equitable treatment towards everyone. Republicans only recognize male and female sexual organs as gender and they do not recognize the role of the brain in determining gender identity. But then, they don’t feel good about science when it conflicts with their established beliefs. This is why they are Conservatives by nature. It’s in their DNA to be Conservative (though they don’t know it) plus they think liberals are perverted when in reality liberals just have liberal genes. This is why they are liberals. It’s in their DNA.

Five Exec Orders were about immigration and three of them reversed former President Trumps Executive Orders.

One Exec Order dealt with the Census. Trump didn’t want to count illegals in the census. When you know that federal dollars and support are allocated for human needs like food, shelter, and clothing, you can see that by NOT counting illegal aliens, federal support would not have supported the demand for human services. If you don’t care about human beings who are not Americans, then you are just fine with human misery other than your own.

And one Exec Order dealt with recognizing the independence of the Department of Justice.

Knowing this, is 42 an excessive amount? Yes. Was it justified? I think so. The ship of state was headed for a reef and only a sharp LEFT rudder could avoid the damage that Trump was doing.

So let’s see what Senator Washburn alleges:

  1. “Giving favors to China by restricting our freedoms”- What freedoms were restricted by these Exec Orders? None. No evidence that OUR freedoms (yours and mine) have been restricted and NONE of these dealt with China at all. Even the pipeline project is about delivering CANADIAN OIL to US refineries. Has nothing to do with China at all. I am also sure that CHINA does not benefit from America’s freedom from COVID or the Stimulus plan for American businesses and citizens.
  2. “Joe the job killer”- As I said on my FB page, NONE of the existing permits have been cancelled. Future jobs in building the pipeline are at risk by President’s actions. The pipeline is already built from the American border to Steele City, Nebraska where the oil will be transferred to more existing oil pipelines. What you need to know is that there is already a Keystone Pipeline in place that avoids the Ogallala aquifer. (https://ohiostate.pressbooks.pub/app/uploads/sites/12/2016/07/Figure-3-1_es-2012-03238z_0002.jpg) The XL Keystone pipeline is Phase 4 creates a short cut to go over/through the aquifer. The first three phases ALREADY deliver Canadian oil to US refineries all the way down to Texas. Yes, there are environmental concerns about fouling the Ogallala aquifer. Of course,this isn’t the first oil pipeline in the US. You are welcome to read the list of gas and of oil pipeline accidents and analyze it for risks to the environment. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pipeline_accidents) Until I wrote this paragraph, I never knew there was an existing pipeline in place AND that this was merely a short cut to pump more oil into the US than they already do. It appears there is no need for a second pipeline. So now I am opposed to the XL pipeline that I once supported. And it appears that Senator Blackburn should be aware that the refineries in Texas have plenty of Canadian oil to crack already. So it appears to me that if MORE capacity is needed, that a second parallel pipeline to the first is the appropriate thing to do. A renewal of permits should be easier to obtain, yes?
  3. Climate change and the Paris Accords- It is likely you understand that turning raw materials into finished product pumps toxic fumes and debris into the air. Most of the legislation to date has involved adding scrubbers to smoke stacks and using cleaner fuels in the production process. The Paris accords simply has countries agree to a reduction of toxins emitted into the air. Every country can set their own targets. Every country reports their efforts. Whether you support the Paris accords depends upon how much you like fresh air and hate acid rain. It really is that simple. If you don’t care about fresh air for the planet, then you are against it. If you think no one should do anything about it, then you are against it. If you think we are stewards of the earth, you support it. If you leave no trace when you camp, then you likely support the Paris Accords. If you leave your campsite a mess for someone else to clean up, you are likely opposed to the Paris Accords.
  4. “Raising the minimum wage to $15/hr”- This is complicated but who among you has ever turned down a wage increase? Not me. And yet, a direct result of wage increase is a) an increase in consumer prices or b) a reduction of employees. This is a terrible thing to do and yet Democrats can’t see the nose on their face. Raising wages will reduce both the number of jobs and the workers. Giving people a bigger piece of an ever-shrinking labor pie is no help at all. You can kiss retail jobs goodbye. Automated checkout and employee-less shopping is the future. This is a terrible Democrat idea.
  5. “affected 1 million jobs”- I have no clue how she came up with that number. She pulled it from someplace. I’d like to think someone did an analysis but she doesn’t say.
  6. “Opening the borders to drug cartels, to Labor gangs, to human traffickers, to sex traffickers, …you’ve got that crude up in Canada that is headed for China and sold back to the US…” WOW! That’s some serious allegations! Does anyone believe that BB (Before Biden) the borders were closed and drug cartels, etc, were stymied in how to get drugs into the US? I am not sure what a Labor gang is and I think there are plenty of trffickers already in the US. BUT it appears the Exec Orders about Muslims, immigration enforcement, children, and stopping a border wall NOT approved by Congress has something to do with criminal behavior that none of us know anything about. Besides, that is a fence and it is NOT a wall.
  7. And Driver Licenses issued by states to ensure people know how to drive a car are somehow a problem. Do you get in a huff when you hear that foreign nationals can get a regular valid US License? No state requires, let me re-state this, NO COUNTRY in the world requires that holders of a driver license must be a citizen. “Under current American law, all you need in order to drive in the U.S. is a valid driving license issued by your country if you will be in the U.S. for a maximum of 3 months. A foreign license to drive in the United States will be considered valid in 49 states, except for Georgia, which requires a US driver’s license for foreigners, known as an International Driving Permit (IDP). In every other state, your foreign driver’s license, together with your biometric passport for the U.S., are sufficient documentation for you to rent a car or in case you are stopped by the police.” So that means that as long as Mexicans, Guatemalans, Costa Ricans, Nicaraugans, Belizians, El Slavadorans, Hondurans, and Panamians have a valid Driver License from their country, they can drive legally in the US in 49 states. If they are staying longer than three months they must obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) and keep their country driver license active. So to summarize, only illegal aliens with invalid driver licenses in their home country are impacted by this driver license issue AND only the honest working illegal immigrants are punished if they can’t get one. Every one else will simply drive without a license. This includes the drug cartels, the Labor gangs, the human and sex traffickers mentioned earlier. Just like criminals don’t get gun permits, criminals don’t get licenses either.

So now you see the problem with lies and half-truths told by right-wing spokespeople. They are megaphones of propaganda to restrict/inhibit everyone, anyone, who is not like them. They spew their viewpoints and twist things up so you are offended by their target. In this case, the target is President Biden. And you are offended not by the truth of things, but you empathize with her “feelings” about being offended. You feel compassion for the injustice that she experiences because you also have had to face injustice that you could not overcome. That is the message presented to you and that is the message you absorbed.

By the way, only 15 states issue driver licenses specifically to illegal immigrants: “Fifteen states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws to allow unauthorized immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses. These states—California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Utah, Vermont and Washington—issue a license if an applicant provides certain documentation, such as a foreign birth certificate, foreign passport, or consular card and evidence of current residency in the state.”

You can read about it HERE.

The Changing United States

We can simply forget the United States of the 40s and 50s , as well as , the US from the 80s and 90s. Those days and those ways are long gone. Unfortunately, we (and that includes me) don’t always acknowledge it.

The Nuclear Family with a “Father Knows Best Dad”, a “Claire Huxtable” mom and “Brady Bunch” kids , is pretty much behind us now. The values of a family have not changed because these are traditional values. However, they are now applied to single parent families, to mixed race families, and to extended and multi-generational families. It’s a different America at home and in the work place. Color and gender ceilings are broken almost daily.

What remains now is the blending of American and Rest of World cultures. Asian, Indian, Muslim, and other cultures are not melting into the American pot anymore but are becoming their own flavors of a new American dish. And we don’t recognize this is happening as well as we might. Yes, we have always had enclaves of different cultures but this is different.

Yesterday’s Blue-Plate Special of Caucasian America is changing and those cooks who have been making it for centuries are not adjusting their recipes. Call them what you will, but Caucasian primacy in America is devolving ever faster in both politics and the work place. Old timers like me can’t adjust fast enough. The attributes that guided us in the past six decades are eroding and being replaced with something new and it is a work-in-process activity.

President Trump, much to his dismay, is the second-to-last white male who will govern this country as though it were a single Caucasian constituency. Joe Biden will be the last one.

The model going forward will be multi-ethnic mixed-race candidates. We will be ahead of the European countries thanks to our history. The ruling Houses of Europe will be the last to adapt to the world.

Yeah, I know you other old timers don’t see it yet. Put your glasses on the next time you read the tea leaves. You will see what I see. A new America with a new vibrancy and a new kind of world leadership. We will not only embrace the ethnicity and culture within the US but we will embrace the Rest of the World, too.

Our manifest destiny is not over, we are extending it across both oceans until our fingers touch from around both sides of the earth. We will seek to blend in and not to stand out. It will become our new way.

Capitalism at your expense will give way to blended socialism. Much of that road has already been paved. We just don’t see it yet.

One image, many interpretations

The President sees the looting and mob actions.

The Media see the abuse of the innocent by the Authorities.

The Democrats see the outcome of rich versus poor politics.

The Republicans see the outcome of poor choices made by individuals.

The Communists see an opportunity to de-stabilize Americans from their government.

The Fascists see an opportunity to demonstrate the Force of Law.

The Antifa see an opportunity to rebel against Authority.

Law Enforcement sees civil disobedience.

The emotionally sensitive see the pain of others.

The emotionally insensitive see the weakness of others.

And what about you? What do you see?

COVID-19 Made in Wuhan?

https://listverse.com/2020/03/20/top-10-reasons-to-believe-the-wuhan-virology-lab-caused-2019-ncov/

Hmmmm… is the bat out of the bag?

It appears there is un-vetted information on the internet that the COVID-19 virus came from a research lab in Wuhan, China.

But IDK anymore. There is so much false information out there that who can believe any thing reported anywhere?

Let’s face it:

a) The President lies; not just this one, all of them

b) The new media doesn’t vette their stories

c) The CIA plants phony stories in servers around the world, aka disinformation

d) The Chinese government controls their media

e) Partisan politics have gotten absurd about everything

Our problem is not that we have too little news, we have too much of it and cannot sort out the truth of it anymore.

 

 

 

 

 

President Trump Removes Many IGs

From the New York Times:

Mr. Trump also nominated a senior Customs and Border Protection policy official, Jason Abend, to be the Defense Department inspector general. That position is vacant and is held on an acting basis by Glenn A. Fine, the deputy inspector general at the Pentagon and a longtime Justice Department inspector general with a reputation for independence.

This week, a group of fellow inspectors general named Mr. Fine to be the chairman of the new Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, with control of an $80 million budget to police how the government carries out the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill. If Mr. Abend is confirmed, Mr. Fine would lose his acting role and could no longer lead the committee.

Mr. Trump also nominated three current and former Justice Department officials to be the new inspectors general at the C.I.A., the Education Department and the Tennessee Valley Authority.

The president has been focused for weeks on rooting out administration officials perceived as disloyal.

In February, after the Republican-controlled Senate acquitted Mr. Trump of charges that he abused his power and obstructed Congress, the president ousted other administration officials who cooperated in the impeachment inquiry by providing testimony, including Gordon D. Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, and Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, a National Security Council aide.

The White House marched Colonel Vindman out with security guards, along with Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, an Army officer who also worked on the National Security Council staff but had played no role in the impeachment inquiry, but he happens to be Colonel Vindman’s brother.

Before his role in bringing to light Mr. Trump’s actions toward Ukraine that led to his impeachment, Mr. Atkinson had been nominated to the position by Mr. Trump and confirmed unanimously by the Senate.

The two top Democrats on the intelligence oversight panels expressed vehement objections on Friday, portraying Mr. Trump’s move as political and retribution.

Who thinks for the President?

Who is the President’s brain?  Is it Jared Kushner? Senior advisor to the President?

It is prima facie this President is no genius. So then who is the architect that is making these maneuvers to align EVERY POSSIBLE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OFFICIAL as a Trump loyalist?

Does this President fear all independent thinkers?

Is this all Jared Kushner? Will he overthrow the President at the right time this year and take over the United States government in a previously-unthinkable coup?

So all of a sudden with less than 7 months to an election, the President tosses out all inspector generals to put his own minions into place.

Is the President merely the circus barker who gets everyone’s attention while the carny operators prepare to fleece the public at large?

Atkinson’s firing is part of a larger shakeup in the intelligence community. Maguire, the former acting Director of National Intelligence, was also removed by Trump and replaced by a Trump loyalist, Richard Grenell.

The intelligence community, which Trump has always viewed with skepticism, has been in turmoil amid the constant turnover. Atkinson is at least the seventh intelligence official to be fired, ousted or moved aside since last summer.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which was created to improve coordination of the nation’s 17 intelligence agencies after 9/11, has been in upheaval since former director Dan Coats, who had a fraught relationship with Trump, announced in July 2019 that he was stepping down.

Trump nominated Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, to replace Coats, but his selection drew sharp criticism from Democrats and a lukewarm response from some Republicans because of his lack of experience.

Trump withdrew Ratcliffe’s name from consideration shortly after he was nominated, but then re-nominated him again in February. The Senate has yet to move on the nomination.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump-fires-intelligence-watchdog-who-had-key-role-in-ukraine-complaint/ar-BB129a2a?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=mailsignout

And Jared Kushner said this recently:

Kushner on Thursday evening offered a novel argument about the national stockpile. He said some states still had stockpiles that they hadn’t been employing for the coronavirus outbreak and that localities should go to them first. And then he suggested that the national stockpile wasn’t even meant for them.

“And the notion of the federal stockpile was it’s supposed to be our stockpile,” Kushner said. “It’s not supposed to be the states’ stockpiles that they then use.”

When the federal government says the stockpile is THEIR’s and not OUR’s. They have broken the bond with the State’s and the People they represent.

 

 

 

Terrible “News”

They just don’t get it, do they? The news anchors, I mean. “It is better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

Let’s say this straight out:

If you are a news person and you are “The Story”, you aren’t doing your damn job right!

YOU… Mr./Mrs./Ms….you so-called journalist…YOU are not supposed to have encounters with the President, challenge the President, or pontificate on a series of facts before asking the President leading questions. Or anyone else for that matter.

YOU are not the news. When YOU are the news, it is because you have too much ego and not enough intelligence. YOU want us to see YOUR “courage” (cough) to speak truth to power. YOU are NOT the story.

YOU are supposed to give us YOUR opinion AFTER THE DAMN INTERVIEW!

Have you forgotten your elders? George Will, Charles Krauthammer, Seymour Hersch, Howard Fineman, Wolf Blitzer, George Stephanopoulos. Sheesh!

Lyndon B. Johnson once said, “If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read PRESIDENT CAN’T SWIM.”

This illustrates my point. The story was about the President. It’s not about the journalist who was standing on the shore shouting out some absurd comment like: “How do you think people are going to feel about you walking on water now, Mr. President? Some might say that you are covering up the fact that the water is polluted since you removed all pollution controls by executive order?”

That’s not journalism. That’s crap.

Save your pontificating in front of the Washington press corps for drinks at the “newsy” hotel bars.

Or get a blog like mine. With a blog, you are free to open your mouth and remove all doubt about the kind of fool you are. I do it every day.