Closing Thought–14Apr22

We all have our favorite sources for ‘reliable’ news….and none of them are all that reliable.

Is the most ‘reliable’ news source FOX or MSNBC or CNN or…….just which one?

The answer may truly surprise even you.

When it comes to the weather, most of us are on the same side of things—or, at least we’re all watching and believing the same reports. That’s according to YouGov, a UK market research firm whose latest poll on the media found that the most trusted news source among Americans is one that’s somewhat surprising: the Weather Channel. In the survey of 1,500 US adults taken March 26 to March 29, the network was found to be trustworthy by 52% of respondents, and it’s also the channel that found the most agreement between Republicans and Democrats: Half of the former trust it, while 62% of the latter do. Behind the Weather Channel are PBS (trusted by 41% of all Americans), the BBC (39%), and the Wall Street Journal (38%).

What YouGov calls the “most politically polarizing” media group is CNN, which sees 65% of Democrats rate it trustworthy, while only 11% of GOPers do—a more than 50-point abyss between the two. The New York Times doesn’t fare much better in terms of a partisan gap, with 63% of Democrats trusting it, compared to the Republicans’ 14%. Anderson Cooper of CNN, meanwhile, is the most trusted news personality among all US adults (of those who say they’re familiar with who he is), followed by ABC News’ David Muir (40%) and Fox News’ Bret Baier (39%).

“Truth is the first casualty” is Elon Musk’s somber assessment of the poll. Others are bothered by the still-significant discrepancy between Democrats and Republicans, even on their shared most trusted network. “The Republican skepticism regarding the Weather Channel is hard to stomach for a data guy like me,” one demographer notes. Which leads to the question: Is the Weather Channel’s trustworthiness a matter of perception or actual factual accuracy? WRAL doesn’t answer that exact inquiry, but in an analysis from April 2021, the station dove into how accurate meteorological reports are, coming to the conclusion that “while the forecast may not always be perfect, forecast accuracy is a lot higher than many people are willing to admit.” More here on that.

Is your weather that reliable?

Mine is not.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Education–What’s It Good For?

It use to be that in our schools we were taught civics…..learning how the government was formed and works was how one became a solid member of our great society….well those days are gone…..these days it is more important teach revisionism and pure horse manure than the workings of a good government.

I am proud that most of my historic schooling was taught all aspects of our history, (not completely but better than the crap they pass off as history these days) our students should be taught all aspects of our history, the good, the bad and the ugly.

We have two opposing thoughts on our great society…..

The fight today is not about what we want to achieve but, rather, how best to achieve it. Both sides claim to want a society in which people can live fulfilling lives. Both claim to adhere to the vision outlined in the Declaration of Independence and supported by our Constitution. Yet neither side has any sense of common ground on which to move forward.

Put generally, one side envisions improving our society through a highly involved federal government that provides greater support and greater regulation meant to benefit everyone. The other side believes that traditional American ideals of individual freedom, limited government, and free markets will lead to a better life for all.

Those who want to restrict government power and reach are depicted as greedy and without compassion for the disenfranchised and less fortunate. Those who desire larger government aid and controls are seen as ignorant of history and human nature. One side is judged heartless; the other, brainless. These polarizing caricatures quash any desire for a real understanding of how we as one nation can move forward.

I think that Howard Zinn’s book should be taught in our schools, The People’s History of the United States….

Then there is the historian Maj. Danny Sjursen (Ret)…..his great series….”American History for Truthdiggers” is also a great look at our history….

This is his series…..

Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4; Part 5; Part 6; Part 7; Part 8; Part 9; Part 10; Part 11; Part 12; Part 13; Part 14; Part 15; Part 16; Part 17; Part 18; Part 19; Part 20; Part 21; Part 22; Part 23; Part 24; Part 25; Part 26; Part 27; Part 28; Part 29; Part 30; Part 31; Part 32; Part 33; Part 34; Part 35; Part 36; Part 37.

This is the final part of the series…..

Below is the 38th and last installment of the “American History for Truthdiggers” series, a pull-no-punches appraisal of our shared, if flawed, past. The author of the series, Danny Sjursen, who retired recently as a major in the U.S. Army, served military tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and taught the nation’s checkered, often inspiring past when he was an assistant professor of history at West Point. 

American History for Truthdiggers: A Once, Always and Future Empire

There should be a standard for teaching history….instead we have 1000s of school districts that try and control the history our students learn.

My question is….what are these revisionists afraid of our students learning?

Like the 16 GOPers that voted against teaching a sad part of our history…..

More than a dozen House Republicans on Wednesday voted against legislation to promote public education about the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

The bipartisan bill was authored by Republican Rep. Jay Obernolte (R-Calif.) and passed handily by a vote of 406-16. All of the no votes came from Republicans, including several members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.

The Republicans who registered their opposition were Reps. Lauren Boebert (Colo.), Mo Brooks (Ala.), Michael Cloud (Texas), Louie Gohmert (Texas), Bob Good (Va.), Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.), Andy Harris (Md.), Clay Higgins (La.), Trey Hollingsworth (Ind.), Doug LaMalfa (Calif.), Thomas Massie (Ky.), Mary Miller (Ill.), Ralph Norman (S.C.), Matt Rosendale (Mont.), Chip Roy (Texas) and Van Taylor (Texas).


What are these spineless freaks afraid of in education?

Now I read that FOX News has declared war on teachers……

From Tucker Carlson to Laura Ingraham to Mark Levin, Fox News propagandists have declared war on public school teachers. The dangerous attacks follow the right’s misleading claims – fueled by Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” legislation – about children inappropriately being taught about sex, homosexuality, bisexuality, sexual orientation, and gender identity starting as early as kindergarten.

Last month, just days after Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis’ spokesperson Christina Pushaw charged that anyone who opposed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill was “probably” a “groomer” – essentially, a pedophile, pedophile enabler, or pedophile supporter, Fox News propagandist Laura Ingraham jumped into action.

“When did our public schools, any schools, become what are essentially grooming centers for gender identity radicals?” Ingraham asked, as Media Matters reported. The chyron was less ambiguous: “Liberals are sexually grooming elementary students.”

Any thoughts?

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Was There A Provocation?

To begin with I would to say right off that I am in NO way trying to justify the actions by a paranoid Schizophrenic like Putin by sending forces into Ukraine….all this is trying to show the events that lead to the event… the death and destruction.

I recently read a piece that stated that the US was planning even more troops to the border with Russia….

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is in the middle of a “fundamental transformation” and planning a massive military buildup along Russian borders.

Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said NATO will undergo a major “reset” and plans to put enough troops in states that border Russia to repel an invasion. The alliance currently has 40,000 troops in eastern member states.

NATO considers its forces in Eastern Europe a deterrent against Russia but insufficient to actually stop incoming forces. The “tripwire” policy believes Moscow would be unwilling to kill American soldiers and provoke a larger war. Stoltenberg did not say how many troops would be needed in states like Latvia and Estonia to fight off a Russian invasion.

The alliance recently announced the creation of four new battlegroups of about 1,500 troops each to be deployed to Eastern European states. NATO will have a battlegroup that  stretches from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea.

Stoltenberg said the change in policy is a response to the invasion of Ukraine and will claim the buildup is defensive. Moscow is unlikely to share that interpretation. Russia demanded a withdrawal of NATO forces from Eastern Europe in the December security proposal.

Since the 1990s, NATO has expanded and moved forces into former Soviet states. Moscow has consistently said the alliance’s eastward expansion is a threat and is part of the reason President Vladimir Putin elected to launch a “special military operation” in Ukraine.


Now think about if you were the leader of a country and foreign troops were pouring into the regions around your borders…..what would you think?

Keep in mind the NATO has been expanding its troops presence in the border regions for decades…..what would you think?

A report details how the CIA helped Ukraine prepare for a war…..

CIA paramilitaries had been training Ukrainian forces on the frontlines of the Donbas war against Russian-backed separatists since 2014 and were only pulled out by the Biden administration last month, Yahoo News reported on Wednesday, citing former US officials.

The CIA first sent a small number of paramilitaries to eastern Ukraine when the war started in 2014, which was sparked by a US-backed coup in Kyiv and the Donbas separatists declaring independence from the post-coup government.

As part of the training, CIA paramilitaries taught Ukrainian forces sniper techniques, how to operate US-provided Javelin anti-tank missiles, and how to avoid being tracked on the battlefield by using covert communications and other means. The former officials said at first the CIA was surprised at the capability of Russia and the separatists compared with US adversaries in the Middle East.

The US military held similar training programs for Ukrainian forces in western Ukraine that have been publicly acknowledged. In January, Yahoo News revealed that the CIA had also been holding a US-based training program for Ukrainian forces. A former CIA official said the US-based program was training “an insurgency” and taught Ukrainians how to “kill Russians.”


The beginning?

Then there are those that are looking for a long war…..

Washington Post reports that some NATO states prefer Ukrainians continue “fighting and dying” over “a peace that comes too early,” rejecting any outcome that could be sold as a “victory” for Moscow.

Even the joint chiefs are on board with the long war thing….

Chairman of the Joints Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley on Tuesday said he believes the conflict in Ukraine is “very protracted” and will last for years.

Milley, the highest ranking military official in the United States, testified before the House Armed Services Committee, his first appearance since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in late February. He shared that he expects “NATO, the United States, Ukraine, and all of the allies and partners supporting Ukraine will be involved in this for quite some time.” It might not be a decade, he said, but the conflict will be “measured in years.”

Would you see a provocation?

Is this wishful thinking or a plan?

It looks like this could turn into a long war which would mean much more suffering for the Ukrainian people.

Zelensky’s interview over the weekend points to my concern…..

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has not let up on his criticism of NATO and told 60 Minutes in an interview that aired Sunday that he is “no longer interested” in the military alliance’s diplomacy.

“When you’re working in diplomacy, there are no results. All of this is very bureaucratic,” Zelensky said when asked about recent harsh comments about NATO. “That’s why the way I am talking to them is absolutely justified. I don’t have any more lives to give. I don’t have any more emotions. I’m no longer interested in their diplomacy that leads to the destruction of my country.”


That to me signals a long protracted war with all the death and destruction that comes with it.

The thing that also worries me is that the US, as far as we can know, is not actively trying to find a peaceful solution to end the hostilities.

I find both of these war strategies dysfunctional and dangerous. For Russia to impose its will on Ukraine by military force is unlikely to succeed while inflicting great harm on Ukraine and Ukrainians, as well as on themselves as a result of the sanctions and diplomatic isolation. One symbolic result has been the activation of the International Criminal Court in pursuit of an indictment of Putin. Some critics are urging. the UN to establish the type of tribunal used to prosecute surviving Nazi leaders at Nuremberg after World War II. Although these gestures towards accountability for international crimes are plausibly associated with the Russian leader’s behavior, their wider credibility is gravely compromised by moral, legal, and political hypocrisy given past U.S. comparable behavior that was carefully spared similar scrutiny.

Looked at differently, for the U.S. to pursue a militarist strategy toward Russia in this manner is to choose a path leading toward frustration and danger, drawn out humanitarian suffering, disastrous economic spillover effects already leading to food insecurity throughout the Middle East and North Africa by way of spikes in prices and shortages, renewed pressures to turn to nuclear power and fossil fuels in the vain search for energy independence, and the likelihood of inducing a severe global recession coupled with an escalation of geopolitical tensions of the West with Russia and possibly China. In other words, these antagonists on the geopolitical level of conflict are on a treacherous collision course, with only China so far acting prudently throughout the crisis, remaining on the sidelines, unwilling to give either Russia assistance or to endorse its massive military encroachments on Ukrainian sovereignty while opposing sanctions and punitive action directed at Russia.

Make Peace, Not War, in Ukraine

Think back to 2014 (I know that seems like the dark ages)….

In 2014, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was faced with the choice of economic alliance with the European Union or with Russia. In a country that was nearly evenly split, the choice of either partner was divisive and dangerous. But there was a way out of the dilemma: compromise was possible. Ukraine doesn’t have to choose, Putin offered. Both Russia and the EU could work economically with Ukraine.

There didn’t need to be a dangerous dilemma. But Washington and the EU rejected Putin’s peace offering. The late Stephen Cohen, Professor Emeritus of Politics and director of Russian Studies at Princeton, reminded in a 2014 interview that “it was the European Union, backed by Washington, that said in November to the democratically elected president of a profoundly divided country, Ukraine, ‘You must choose between Europe and Russia.’” There was a diplomatic solution to the catalyst of today’s crisis. The U.S. rejected it.

Is the US hindering much-needed diplomatic efforts?

Without diplomacy there is NO peace.

All this could be seen as provocations for a long war.

Wars start for reasons….right or wrong…..

Any thoughts?

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”