The Whistleblower Revealed?

Hmmmmmm

I’m thinking about making Wednesday a day for humor (Hump Day Humor?). Given all that is going on, think we could all use a good laugh midweek.

That said, I’m combining both humor and some interesting food for thought with today’s post. Juliet Akinyi Ochieng, better known to us old farts as Baldilocks, posts an amusing yet interesting idea over at DaTechGuy blog.

Enjoy your Wednesday, find something to smile at if not laugh with (if you want to laugh at, Congress usually provides plenty of targets), and be safe.

Syria and the NBA

I have very mixed feelings on the decision to pull out of Syria. On the one hand, we had accomplished our stated goals and we are not the world police.

Syria was an extension of Iraq, and I remain convinced that the way we left there is why we had to go back, and that the initial withdrawal has set us back decades, if not longer, in the region. However, both Iraq and Afghanistan are endless wars because we did not go in with realistic or well-defined end-states.

Unlike WWII, with the Marshall plan, we did not have a plan in place to get our enemies back on their feet and to spread ‘Democracy! Whisky! Sexy!’ as the phrase went in the early days. Realistically, getting that region to truly embrace such is a multi-generational project and the American public did not and will not embrace such (at least at this time).

The real social structure there is clan/tribal, with an overlay of religion. There was not and is not rule-of-law in the Western tradition. There were and are efforts underway to change that, from inside those countries, but they face an uphill effort that would daunt Sisyphus.

On the radio yesterday, I heard someone talking about the talking heads, and noting that most of those bleating the loudest had the least first-hand knowledge of the situation. That they had gone to school to become talking heads, and had little-to-no experience in the real world — particularly the Middle East and with actual Kurds.

My own interactions with them are limited, but after leaving Iraq I was (and am) quite sympathetic to their desire for their own state. I felt (somewhat) safer around the Kurds I met but harbor no illusion that they are the noble good-guys. Want to know why? Search for videos of women being stoned and you will get an idea. That they are better than those around them in a number of respects (IMO) does not make them saints or good in the Western sense.

If you want a fairly decent strategic overview of what is happening and how it also ties into some high levels of geopolitics, read this and follow the links. There is a lot of good information there, and an even larger amount of food-for-thought. There is some additional economic information about Turkey that is worth finding. Meantime, I will join the person on the radio in saying you should ignore the shrieking harpies that are the majority of the talking heads.

My concern largely centers on how we went about it. Blindsiding people with something like this is almost never a good idea. Especially your allies and most especially your military leadership. The damage done to relationships is on par with what happened with our noble (sarc) withdrawal from Iraq. We have demonstrated, in the terms of the region, that we are not to be trusted as allies. Such things have a tendency to bite you in the ass down the road, and to keep biting for a long, long time.

As for the NBA, they are just the latest and most public group to fellate the Chinese leadership. Hollywood has been doing it for years, as has Silicon Valley. Collectively they cheerfully bend over and don’t even ask for lube — just keep that money coming. Freedom, liberty, justice? No thanks, we don’t care what you do so long as you leave the money on the table when you’re done. They still haven’t figured out that it never will be done, and that more and more will be required. The only bright spot is a duo who have long shown they have both a backbone and some integrity, and it made me laugh even as I admired the skewering. Even when I disagree with them, they make me laugh and think. Touche guys.

A Sad Day

©C. Blake Powers, All Rights Reserved

As soon as I heard the news that a B-17 had crashed, I suspected I knew which one. Sadly, I was correct. Even more sad was the news that there were fatalities.

I ask you to pray for those that were lost, and for their families and all those they leave behind. I ask you to keep those injured in your prayers, thoughts, or whatever it is that you do.

No Surprise

I’m just surprised that anyone in DC is surprised. The other day, I pointed out evidence that Congresscritter Schitt had seen the so-called whistleblower complaint ahead of time. Yesterday, evidence came out that he had indeed done so, nor did he deny it. My questions as to how much one or more members of the committee were involved in drafting a very unusual (as in unusually well done) complaint using the just implemented hearsay complaint form. It is clear there was a LOT of help with it, which raises quite a few questions.

Curiouser, Curiouser, And A Very Bad Idea

Back before Trump was even sworn in, Congresscritter Chuckles Schumer made a comment about the intelligence services having multiple ways to get back at Trump for saying bad things about them. Warning or threat, take your pick. Curious.

Jump forward to December of 2018 and Nancy Pelosi quietly changing the rules of the House to exclude Republicans (and others) from participating in the impeachment process. She stood tradition and accepted practices of 200 plus years on their ear. Curiouser.

In August of this year, the intelligence community suddenly revised the form used to document “Disclosure of Urgent Concern” aka the whistleblower form. Minor change? Not hardly. The form was redone to allow submission of hearsay concerns — i.e. the complainant did not have to have first hand knowledge of the alleged problem. Curiouser indeed.

Also in August of this year, it appears that Congresscritter Schitt was given the whistleblower complaint. Or, might he have had it earlier? There is strong evidence that this was not a typical complaint and that whoever filed it had a lot of help. Was that help from a member or members of the committee and/or lawyers associated with them? And yet curiouser again.

Conspiracy or not, what has happened has set a very dangerous precedent. I agree with Mr. Wright on his thoughts, and will add my own.

First, no President from any party can now trust the intelligence community on any level. There were already issues of leaks of Presidential communications, hence the move to a government secure server (as opposed to an unsecure server in a bathroom). The will have to assume from the start an adversarial relationship and consider that any one person in the community can and will act against them.

Second, they will no longer have faith in the intel or the intel analysis provided. As the intelligence community has moved into policy over the last few years, anyone with a brain will have to presume that the intel and analysis is corrupt on some level.

It’s actually not the first time for that, as Reagan came into office having doubts about the analysis (if not the intel) of the Soviet Union from various parts of the intelligence community. In my own biased opinion, he was quite right to do so. His solution was an extensive “kitchen cabinet” that provided input on everything from the Soviet Union to science. Trust but verify was not just for the Soviets.

Finally, no matter what else comes out of this, it will be seen by the public as one more institution that is corrupt. The loss of faith in institutions harms society and the Republic. Given current rhetoric and violence, the loss of faith in the rule of law may well be a crippling blow — particularly when it comes on top of the loss of faith in the FBI and the DOJ.

All we can do now is hang on. If it turns out that this was indeed orchestrated, the results will be to no one’s liking. Even if not as orchestrated as it appears at first glance, the damage to the credibility of the government and the electoral process will still be profound.

There is no way for Pelosi et al to back down now. Well, they could, but they will not. They are throwing the dice on a longshot, and no matter what, it is the Citizens of the United States and the Republic itself that will pay the price.

Twice As Hard Is Not Enough

This is not the type of post I would normally write and post on a Sunday. Sunday is supposed to be my day of rest, a day to think, contemplate, and enjoy.

However, some things can’t wait and for me this is one of them. If you’ve been under a rock, a young man in Iowa made a joke by asking for money to buy beer. He got it.

Being an amazing young man, an example of good (which progressives seem to loathe on sight) that is refreshing and amazing to see, he decided to give the money to a local children’s hospital. Upon making that decision, he got serious about fundraising and got companies, including the beer company named in his joke, involved. Currently, more than one million dollars has been raised for that local children’s hospital.

Of course, this meant he needed to be cancelled and the Des Moines Register was up for the hatchet job. The reporter assigned to the hit dug down to find some posts, put up when the young man was sixteen, quoting a comedian (Tosh something) in not nice ways. Yeah, they were bad but we are talking about a teenage boy (girls aren’t much better), humor, and judgement.

Anheuser-Busch dropped him and his effort like a hot potato. Doing good for kids with cancer? Fuck them seems to be the attitude of the Des Moines Regiser, AB, and others. It’s past time that the cowardice, envy, and general destructiveness of the cancel culture be dealt with. You don’t destroy a cancer like that by punching back twice as hard.

You do it by bringing the pain and making it rain. Until those doing this experience the pain and suffering themselves, it is not going to stop. So, let it rain.

People need to go through the social media history of every employee at the Des Moines Register (and any other organization that doxxes and cancels) and shine a light on them. That is especially true for every reporter, editor, and even the publisher, but do it to all. Make them live up to their rules.

Others need to step up and cancel any advertising they do with the paper. Everyone else needs to encourage those businesses they frequent to stop advertising there. Look into the business dealings of the publisher and others: after all, if due diligence is the excuse being given for the dig, it should apply to their own efforts, no?

No, it’s not nice, it’s not polite, and it’s not a cultured response. It is, however, an effective response. Appeasement has been tried many times in history and it never works. If libertarians, conservatives, and others continue to cede this ground to progressives, it will never stop.

The reporter who did the story has been tossed under the bus (and is already whining about being the “real” victim in all of this). The leadership of the paper has posted a couple of arrogant non-apologies. It’s not enough.

If you want it to stop, it is not even a good start. Bring the pain, let it rain, and let it soak every person that works there.

There are none of us alive who have not said or done stupid or even bad things in our lives. We have all made bad jokes, held flawed positions, and said or done things that our current selves would not do. It’s called growing up. I’m very glad social media was not around when I was growing up.

This needs to end. You can’t make it end by being nice, turning the other cheek, or even by giving them lube as you bend over. Punching back twice as hard, as Obama said to, is for wimps. You punch back as hard as you can, as often as you can, until the other party gets the message. Only then will the cancel culture end.

To Cook Or Not To Cook This Weekend

There is much to say about the Congresscritter Shitt show and more. The relentless focus on Orange Man Bad is ignoring a lot of important news, especially from overseas. That said, I’m not getting into it today. I want to get through the day and relax a bit. Not sure if I will cook this weekend or not, but until then, enjoy a shot from a few years ago when I made up some truly amazing pesto using basil (and possibly even the parsley) out of my garden.

So Much Going On

There is so much going on in the world, from the shit show that is media coverage of American politics to the various bits of tawdry sadness that is “news” via celebrities. I pity that hapless teen from Sweden, and fully agree with those who hold her parents and other handlers in complete and fundamental contempt. Against that background, it is easy to let gloom and despair fill our view. It is easy to believe that we are doomed on one or more levels.

It isn’t. The media bubble does not reflect reality. Reality is much more upbeat and happy. When you are out of the bubble, you see people coming together and doing good things. You see stories like this one, or the very definition of sang froid that is Texas Man. Reality is full of stories like this.

Yes, we are in a fight as to the direction of the Republic. It is important. It is also important to realize that outside the media bubble, people still are willing to listen, to help each other, and do those things that have made — and can continue to make — the Republic a success. Discourse is still possible, outside the bubble.

I’m not going to post today about health or anything else. Instead, a quick challenge: go commit a senseless act of beauty. Pay it forward, complement someone, take a photo and share it — just do something positive. As you do so, get outside the bubble for a bit. You will be amazed at how much better you feel and how energizing it is.

Not Surprised

Unfortunately, with two things.

First, the death of Jeffrey Epstein. Conspiracy and murder, or just more proof of the incompetence and abrogation of duties of our governmental institutions? I wanted him alive, as the man had a lot more information on more than the sexual foibles of a lot of people. It would also have been very nice to see his victims get some satisfaction.

Second, I can’t even say I’m disappointed in Beto. He did the right thing, for at least an hour or two, before joining every other democratic candidate and leader in politicizing the shooting(s). Screw the lot of them.