The Daily Story

I have a cousin, who is a Civil War “buff” and something of an amateur genealogist. He set out to research if any of his (our) ancestors served in the Civil War. Being a Virginian and thus a Southerner, he naturally assumed such an ancestor would have fought for the Confederacy.

Knowing that our family originally came from Eastern Tennessee, he began perusing regimental muster rolls from that area and discovered a man with our surname, and, most likely, an ancestor. Further research revealed that Eastern Tennessee was a Unionist pocket within the Secessionist Southern monolith. This regiment fought for the Union.

This is what we learn from any kind of historical research. The facts don’t always match the generalizations.

Just think about that. We are told “stories” every day. That’s what the news is.

The Daily Story

Doesn’t have quite the same impact, does it? And yet, that’s what we receive, in print, through radio waves, or digitally. We choose the story we would most like to believe. We trust, we hope, sometimes desperately, that the story is factual or true.

Now ask yourself, do you really trust Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi, or Chuck Schumer to deliver the truth? Let’s leave Trump out of this. He’s an entire genre of story unto himself. (Readers in the UK, India, Australia,etc., substitute your own homegrown politico).

But that is what we have. Creative Legend Making on a commercial scale, custom-made to validate our world views . AKA, The News.

Moral of story: Cut people some slack why don’tcha?

Troll? Think. For A Change.

“If you prick us do we not bleed?

If you tickle us, do we not laugh?

If you poison us, do we not die?

If you wrong us, shall we not revenge?”

The Merchant Of Venice, Shakespeare. Act III, scene ii .

With any luck, this will be my last Troll series post. After a day of letting a hater live free in my head, after being stigmatized for daring to defend the well-intentioned Trump supporters who found the Capitol “Riot” as appalling as just about all Americans found it, after suggesting that President Trump’s side of the story, with evidence , be presented, before he is judged, I thought Shakespeare might be worth considering.

I am concerned I will lose dear friends in the blogging world for writing this. Donald Trump, even as loathsome at times as he can be and as people find him, at least is entitled to a competent defense. So there.

Like Shylock, I am a human being. Unlike Shylock, I do not consider revenge a viable solution for any grievance.

But here we are. I probably have forgotten more about Nazism, its origins, ideology, and crimes, than what all of my detractors know combined. So dragging out the Nazi analogy is particular annoying, if only for its breath taking stupidity.

Once one sees a blue-inked number, with a European “7”. tattooed on a man’s forearm, the history lesson gets very real.

If a blog is a place where persons can post their thoughts, and expect no pushback, well I guess I broke an unwritten rule.

No apologies will be forthcoming. None is needed.

Troll The Sequel

So I wrote the Troll post and I can’t let this go still. Being called horrible libelous names stings. Being accused of using some “ploy”, because I point out a logical flaw, or challenge a premise, e.g. “white privilege” or “entitlement” is a slap in the face.

I get people get angry. When angry they say or write inflammatory statements that are hurtful. When hurt, people get angry in return.

Implying I am a Nazi, because I disagree with a Leftist interpretation of an event, is hurtful and uncalled for.

None of what I just wrote makes any difference. To some people who don’t know me or read what I write with a jaundiced eye, I will always be a troll.

Oh well. I’ll try again to let go.

Would You Believe???

If you woke up in the morning, in Nazi Germany, on 2 September 1939, there would be a newspaper headline proclaiming, “Poland Attacks Germany”. More than likely, you would have believed that headline to be true. That was the lie being promulgated, and people in that particular closed society, willingly accepted it as true.

Scary. That can’t happen here. “I’m too smart to be deceived.” is what we all think. No. You’re not. We’re not.

I remember all kinds of attempts at deception by the government to present lies as truth. The CIA-directed coup against South Vietnam’s Diem regime in 1963 was depicted as some sort of uprising against an unpopular regime.

Keeping the tragedy of Vietnam in focus, the Gulf of Tonkin Incident was distorted to justify deepening involvement in Vietnam by the US.

Most of us remember the predicating condition for the Iraq War of 2003 was the possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMD’s), by the regime of Saddam Hussein. You know the WMD’s we never found, no matter how hard and how long we looked.

What scares the crap out of me is that our so-called “free press” is by no means the objective and dispassionate searcher for, and desseminator of, The Truth it claims to be. If its bias is your bias, then you (generic you) believe them. And so we find ourselves, dropped into this labyrinth, seeking to escape before the Minotaur captures us. Whom do we trust and believe?

We don’t get The Truth. We get plausible stories. Adopting a perspective of skepticism is as dangerous as a perspective of naïveté. The media relations people can merely present a lie that the skeptic will accept as true, because it feeds into the sceptic’s innate prejudices.

The Clinton Era ushered in the popular term “spin doctors”, public relations hacks in service to the regime who presented the Clinton Administration’s side of the story. Nothing new, really, but it was a cynical admission that the media relations office was there to concoct a merely plausible explanation.

The spin doctors were like Don Adams’ character Maxwell Smart, from the. 60’s sitcom Get Smart, whose joke set-up line was “Would you believe?” , delivered before the predictably preposterous explanation.

Welcome to Journalism in the Twenty-first Century.

Troll

Somebody called me a troll because I disagreed with a post they made. I pushed back, a little too hard, I must admit.

We all have opinions. Comes with the territory of being human. Being told to “F#!@ off”, is not very conciliatory or inclusive.

So I need to let this go. But being told I am some sort of subhuman because I disagree and get my feelings hurt like everybody else on this planet is a little difficult.

That is all. Rant over. For now.

After Action Assessment

It’s over. The Trump faction of the Republican Party was beaten by the Sen McConnell and the rest of the Never-Trump faction. On the opposite side of the aisle, the Democratic Party is savoring their victory and eager to bring their domestic agenda into being.

Meanwhile, another power is gloating, having considerably weakened the world’s economic super power with a novel virus, that “escaped” from a virus research laboratory. Whether the escape was intentional or accidental is beside the point now. The Chinese “accident”has considerably weakened the United States.

Right now, we still think our adversaries lurk across some fanciful divide called the “aisle”. Please. If you are that stupid to want to continue this domestic “cold” war, then God help you. And God help us.

We have been weakened economically by the virus. Our real adversary has been, over past couple of decades, the Peoples’ Republic of China. Since they like to make money as much as we do, we have failed to assess the military risk. How do I know this? We have spent more time and energy weakening our domestic adversaries than preparing to deal with China. I don’t expect a love feast between (or among) the parties and factions, but a little good judgment and common sense go a long way. We NEED a diverse domestic industrial base.

We need to produce our own generic pharmaceuticals, tires, textiles, etc. We need to protect our dual use technology, (both military and civilian applications), from foreign (Chinese) acquisition. This is deadly serious business.

Believe me, we don’t want the Chinese to attain military and economic hegemony over any more of Asia or Africa, or Latin America. They are brutal totalitarians. Ask the people of Hong Kong, faithful Chinese Catholics, the Muslim Uighurs, the Tibetans, the practioners of Falun Gong.

So now Joe Biden is the President. And there is an international cold war that should take precedence over whatever resentment and grudges we may hold toward our domestic political adversaries.

COVID-19 has been a Pearl Harbour in slow motion. Trust me. President Biden is not our adversary, nor is former President Trump, nor are Senators McConnell and Romney.

We can let the Chinese gloat over this pending impeachment blood purge of dubious value. We can position our respective parties for optimal advantage in the next election. But that carries the assumption tbere is going to be a next election. Don’t be so certain of that event.

.

A First

There has been a news blackout pertaining to the Roswell Space Alien in recent years. It’s just another example of Trump”s xenophobic domestic policy.

I call on President Biden to appoint the Roswell Space Alien to a cabinet level position. The Space Alien will be the First Extra Terrestrial appointed to the cabinet. This is the first among all firsts. It gives America the vast insights to the workings of the Universe only an Extra Terrestrial can offer.

How about it, Mr President?

Waiting For The Magic.

No, not the Biden Inauguration. Something else.

This is about the feeling we all have, I suspect, that the time isn’t quite right to do something. The something could as momentous an act as starting a family, or coming out, or as trivial as taking out the trash, or changing the sheets.

Procrastination.

That’s what they call it in the educated class.

Stalling works just as well among the blue collar set.

The result is the same.

So I guess I will start the chili for dinner in the slow cooker.

NOW.

Observations On Lee’s Birthday.

Yes. That Lee. Robert E. How do you react when you hear that name? Does your opinion of me change, simply because I mentioned him?

I’m tired of the arguments surrounding the Confederate generals and the whole damn Civil War, for that matter.

If you were conceived because your parents both got drunk one night and did it, “unprotected”, does that make your life any less worthy of being, of existing? Maybe this whole country is an existential accident, like the unplanned pregnancy I mentioned. Does that make America any less worthy of existing? Countries are like people. They die. Imperial China died. Imperial Russia died. The Soviet Union died. Slaveholding America died.

But we can’t change how we came into being. Here we are. Ignorance of the past won’t make it go away. Self-hatred and shame won’t change the facts of history, or make the lives of the dead any different.

Anyway. Robert E. Lee was born 214 years ago. Happy Birthday, General.