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SUBSCRIPTION DRIVE 2023

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APRIL 30 - May 1,  2023

WHAT'S GOING ON HERE?  I haven't seen a story like this in years, and I'd like to know if there's a sudden urgency.  From Fox: 

Texas residents were warned by the FBI that a week-long nuclear incident training exercise will happen in Houston starting Monday.  

FBI Houston alerted the public that the exercise will last from Monday to Friday this week. 
"A large-scale, multi-agency nuclear incident TRAINING EXERCISE will take place May 1-5 in southeast Houston and Harris County. The training exercise will NOT pose risks to area residents. Please do not be alarmed by training-related activity," FBI Houston tweeted Friday. 

The training exercise will take place from in and around NRG Park/SH 288 to SH 146 to I-10 E to Hwy 225 and in and around Ellington Field. 

"Please do not be alarmed by training-related activity, including presence of military personnel/aircraft and people in protective equipment," the FBI added. 

Last May, the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration led a similar "major radiological incident exercise" in Austin, Texas. 

More than 30 local, state and federal agencies were said to have taken part in the exercise called "Cobalt Magnet 22" from May 16-22. 

The exercise took place at various locations around Austin and was m

 

eant to simulate a radiological attack, enabling response personnel to practice protecting public health and safety, providing emergency relief to affected populations, and restoring essential services.

COMMENT:  Sounds like the right thing to do, but I wonder whether something is happening to stimulate a sense of urgency.  Iran, we know, is moving closer to perfecting an atomic bomb.

If we are in the midst of a major crisis, someone might nudge the White House to level with us.

May 1, 2023       Permalink

 

A WELL-DESERVED SLAP:  The American people hold the news media largely responsible for dividing the nation.  Of course the news media will respond by declaring themselves "just the messenger."  Right.  From AP:   

WASHINGTON (AP) — When it comes to the news media and the impact it’s having on democracy and political polarization in the United States, Americans are likelier to say it’s doing more harm than good.

Nearly three-quarters of U.S. adults say the news media is increasing political polarization in this country, and just under half say they have little to no trust in the media’s ability to report the news fairly and accurately, according to a new survey from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights.

The poll, released before World Press Freedom Day on Wednesday, shows Americans have significant concerns about misinformation — and the role played by the media itself along with politicians and social media companies in spreading it — but that many are also concerned about growing threats to journalists’ safety.

“The news riles people up,” said 53-year-old Barbara Jordan, a Democrat from Hutchinson, Kansas. Jordan said she now does her own online research instead of going by what she sees on the TV news. “You’re better off Googling something and learning about it. I trust the internet more than I do the TV.”

That breakdown in trust may prompt many Americans to reject the mainstream news media, often in favor of social media and unreliable websites that spread misleading claims and that can become partisan echo chambers, leading to further polarization.

While a slim majority of Americans say they have some degree of confidence in the news media’s ability to report the news fully and fairly, only 16% say they are very confident. Forty-five percent say they have little to no confidence at all.

The survey reveals the complicated relationship many Americans have with the media: A majority rate in-depth and investigative reporting as very helpful or extremely helpful for understanding the issues they care about, but they are more likely to say they regularly scan the headlines than read an in-depth investigative article. And while overall trust in the media is low, a majority of respondents say the media is doing at least somewhat well in covering issues they care about.

Four in 10 say the press is doing more to hurt American democracy, while only about 2 in 10 say the press is doing more to protect it. An additional 4 in 10 say neither applies.

COMMENT:  Journalistic standards have declined dramatically since my days, many decades ago, at The New York Times.  The Pulitzer standard generally applied then – to report the news without fear or favor.  Now the emphasis seems to be on "making a difference."  Young journalists, often brainwashed at leftist universities, charge ahead to try to change society through their journalism.  That's fine if you work for the editorial page, not fine if you're a news reporter. 

A fundamental rule of journalism is that you cannot tell people they don't see what they actually do see.  And yet, we too often are given "news" reports that deny obvious truths, like our massive crime problem or the corruption in too many school systems. 

The Washington Post has a cynical slogan, "Democracy dies in darkness."  It's accurate, especially when the darkness is provided by the press itself.

May 1, 2023       Permalink

 

AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR 2024, DELIVERED BLUNTLY BY THE REPUBLICAN CHAIR:  THE GOP STRUCK OUT AMONG INDEPENDENTS IN THE RECENT ELECTION.  FROM THE HILL:

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said Sunday a recent report on the party’s disappointing performance in last year’s midterms showed that the GOP was unable to lock down the support of independents, citing abortion messaging as a key reason why.

“The biggest takeaway we’re taking is independents did not break our way, which has to happen if we’re gonna win in 2024,” McDaniel said on “Fox News Sunday,” adding that the support of independents usually contributes to a “red wave.”

McDaniel commented on a Washington Post article last week that detailed the party’s study on the midterms, with the newspaper saying a draft of the report did not mention the role or leadership of former President Trump, who was heavily criticized for the candidates he chose to support and his continuing message that the 2020 election was stolen from him.

“The Washington Post does not have a final draft, because there is not a final draft,” McDaniel said on Sunday. “Many of the committees have not completed that, so that’s inaccurate reporting.”

Republicans were expected to have a relatively strong performance in last year’s elections, with the party that is not in the White House historically picking up seats in the House and Senate in midterm races. But the GOP secured only a slim majority in the House and was not able to win a Senate majority. Republicans also lost a number of high-profile governor races.

Trump threw his support behind a number of candidates that ultimately lost, including Senate candidates Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania and Herschel Walker in Georgia. But McDaniel during the Fox News interview pivoted from talking about Trump, instead saying other issues were more important.

McDaniel pointed to abortion as one of the reasons that Republicans were unable to secure enough support from independents last year, saying GOP candidates needed to do a better job of articulating their own stance on the issue as well as calling out Democrats.

COMMENT:  Republicans also must learn to run as if they're 20 points behind, and to hit back hard at Democratic distortions.  Republicans still do not understand the implications of a left-wing press and leftist colleges.  And too many of them sound as if they went to finishing school.

Also, they must get hip about the new forms of voting – early voting in  particular.  We may not like some of the gimmicks, but they exist.  Unless we master them, we're cooked.

April 30, 2023       Permalink

 

 

 

APRIL 28-29,  2023

THE KAMALA QUESTION:  Let's face it.  Nobody wants to talk about it, but everyone is.  It's the Kamala question, and both race and gender underlie the Dems' dilemma.  She has been a disaster as vice president, someone who never seems to learn or even want to.  I have yet to meet anyone who thinks she's qualified to be commander-in-chief.  And besides, she's well known in Washington for abusing her staff.  Other than all that, she's stateswoman of the year.

Problem for the Dems is, they can't take her off next year's ticket.  It's that race and gender thing.  Mention those two words and the party goes into high battle mode.  But she can easily drag down the ticket.  In fact, she can sink it.  There are rumors that Robert Ballard is already looking for her at the bottom of the Atlantic.  From RedState: 

Yes, Kamala Harris is arguably the most unqualified person in history to serve as vice president. Even worse, given the reality of 80-year-old Joe Biden’s mental decline, her ill-advised selection in 2020 puts the Democrat Party in a precarious position with respect to the 2024 presidential election.

As conservative columnist Kristin Tate told Fox News Digital, “Kamala Harris is one of the most unlikable and uninspiring public figures in modern political history.” The approval rating of the Cackling Queen of Word Salads™ hasn’t surpassed 40 percent since her first year in office, as noted by Fox. Whether Harris’ incompetence is due to a lack of intelligence necessary for her position, let alone the presidency, medication, or a misfiring brain is irrelevant: it is what it is and she is who she is.

While voters historically vote for the top of the presidential ticket with the veep slot an afterthought at best, the reality of Biden’s declining stamina and mental health — not to mention he’s already beyond his life expectancy — the likelihood of the president dying in office or being ultimately removed if he’s re-elected is probable, which would make the unthinkable a reality.

Former Hawaii Democrat Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, now an independent, went bottom-line with Fox on Wednesday: “Kamala Harris is clearly unqualified to be the Commander-in-Chief.”

This should be a major issue for voters, but the mainstream media will continue to try to cover for her because they don’t want the American people to know the truth. The Biden Administration has already brought our country to the brink of nuclear war with Russia and the new cold war with China is heating up quickly. The consequences of President Kamala Harris at the helm would be dangerous and catastrophic for the American people and our nation.

As regular followers have known for years, I’m far from a fan of hyperbole and catastrophizing. Tulsi Gabbard’s above observations were neither; she was dead on target:

Kamala Harris in the Oval Office would be a clear and present danger to the United States — handlers or not. Unlike addled Joe Biden, who “governs” by teleprompter and cue cards, Harris would likely at least attempt to assert her new-found authority.

Think about that for a minute.

COMMENT:  In fact, think about it for much more.   We will suffer a national loss of confidence of historic proportions if Kamala Harris sits in the Oval Office.  And we will be the laughing stock of the world.  Who will trust us?  Who will follow our lead? 

And, of course, it is even possible for Harris to be president before the next election, given Biden's obvious decline.

At moments like this I almost wish we had a system similar to that of many other nations, where the national leader could be shown the door following a vote of "no confidence" by the national legislature.   Poof.  There goes Kalama.  In our dreams.

April 29, 2023       Permalink     

 

JUSTICE FOR SLIMEBALLS.  IT'S ABOUT TIME:   From Fox: 

House Democrats are pushing a new bill that would make it illegal for prosecutors to use violent lyrics by rap artists against them in court if they commit crimes, citing First Amendment protections.

On Thursday, Reps. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., and Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., announced they would reintroduce the Restoring Artistic Protection Act, or RAP Act. The bill would protect artists from the use of their lyrics against them in criminal and civil proceedings, a practice that's more common in cases involving hip-hop artists.

The pair introduced the bill last Congress, but it failed to gain any traction. The measure, they say, would add a presumption to the Federal Rules of Evidence that would limit the admissibility of evidence of an artist's creative or artistic expression against that artist in court.

The underpinning of such a law, they say, is the freedom of expression granted by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

"This legislation is long overdue," Johnson said Thursday in a statement. "For too long, artists — particularly young Black artists — have been unfairly targeted by prosecutors who use their lyrics as evidence of guilt, even though there is no evidence that the lyrics are anything more than creative expression. When you allow music and creativity to be silenced, you're opening the door for other realms of free speech to be curtailed as well.

"The government should not be able to silence artists simply because they write, draw, sing or rap about controversial or taboo subjects."

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., backed the measure in a press conference Friday.
 
"I don't think that art and creativity should be weaponized in the criminal justice system, and hopefully we'll be able to have some bipartisan support to move that legislation forward," Jeffries said.

COMMENT:  Okay, they may have a valid Constitutional point, but have any of these legislators tried to convince the music industry to show some concern about the impact of lyrics on young people?  We did quite well for decades with the lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter and Ira Gershwin.  Not a four-letter word in sight.  Many classic songs were written. 

We can ask that "artists" making millions on their "songs" demonstrate a commitment to a more decent society.  I doubt that it will happen. 

When I went to elementary and junior high school, we had required music courses.  Students were introduced to the best of our musical tradition.  Apparently, this is not considered important today.  But, with parental pressure, it could be brought back.

April 29,  2023     Permalink  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 "What you see is news.  What you know is background.  What you feel is opinion."
    - Lester Markel, late Sunday editor
      of The New York Times.


"Political correctness does not legislate tolerance; it only organizes hatred. "
     - Jacques Barzun

"Against stupidity the gods themselves struggle in vain."
     - Schiller

 

 

 

 



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