It’s Monday!

Urg!

That was my usual response before I retired. I was fortunate during my last working years to be able to work from home. I told people my morning commute was thirty steps downstairs to my home office. After I retired, I continued most of those habits…writing this blog being one.

Last Friday, I wrote a post about the apparent downward spiral to war in Eastern Europe. It is arguable whether the Ukraine is European. My definition is that all of the territory west of the Ural and the ‘stans, are European, if only by religion and heritage. The major religions are the Catholic varieties—Roman, Greek and Russ ion Orthodox. Those areas mark the furthest extent of the Turkish/Islamic advance of the 16th and 17th Century.

But Eastern Europe is not the only area where war warnings exist. WesPac is a potential point of conflict as well. Finally, someone in the Pentagon and Washington is looking westward instead of eastward.

Amid Chinese Aggression, Obama Affirms U.S. Defense of Japan’s Senkaku Islands

April 24, 2014 at 3:49 pm

During his trip to Japan, President Obama publicly affirmed long-standing U.S. policy that the bilateral security treaty applies to the Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands. China claims sovereignty over the islands and, in recent years, has tried to intimidate Japan—much as Beijing has bullied the Philippines in pursuit of its extralegal territorial claims in the South China Sea.

President Obama’s statement was a welcome and proper confirmation of U.S. support for a critical Pacific ally.

During a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Obama declared, “let me reiterate that our treaty commitment to Japan’s security is absolute, and Article 5 [of the bilateral security treaty] covers all territories under Japan’s administration, including the Senkaku Islands.”

While this was the first time Obama publicly affirmed the parameters of the U.S. defense commitment to Japan, it is consistent with the long-standing policies of his predecessors. As Obama pointed out, “this isn’t a ‘red line’ that I’m drawing; it is the standard interpretation over multiple administrations of the terms of the alliance…There’s no shift in position. There’s no “red line” that’s been drawn. We’re simply applying the treaty.”

In 2004, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage stated that the U.S.-Japan Mutual Security Treaty “would require any attack on Japan, or the administrative territories under Japanese control, to be seen as an attack on the United States.”

During a 2010 flare-up of tensions between China and Japan over the Senkakus, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated, “we have made it very clear that the [Senkaku] islands are part of our mutual treaty obligations, and the obligation to defend Japan

The Obama administration’s public reassurance to Japan is meant to deter China from behaving aggressively. In recent years, Beijing has used military and economic threats, bombastic language, and enforcement through military bullying to extend its extra-legal claims of sovereignty in the East and South China Seas.

In November 2013, China declared an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the East China Sea, including the Senkaku Islands. Beijing threatened to use its military to enforce the ADIZ. Washington condemned this declaration as a provocative act that exacerbated tensions in the region and increased the risks of a military clash.

Beijing is also attempting to divert attention from its own actions by mischaracterizing Japan as a threat to regional security. China’s bellicose actions have fueled regional concern and triggered a greater Japanese willingness confront Chinese expansionism and strengthen its military. This willingness to defend its territory has been mischaracterized as a resurgence of Japan’s 1930s imperial militarism.

One of Japan’s problems isn’t with Chinese aggression. Their problem is toothless assurances from the United States when a significant portion of the US Naval Fleet…is along dockside, awaiting repairs, upgrades, or lacking the funding to return to the fleet.

According to sources, there are 430 ships believed to be in active service. That includes ships under construction and in reserve. The majority of these ships were built in the late 20th Century, some dating as far back as the 1960s. The Fleet is aging.

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), USS Enterprise (CVN 65), USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), and USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) — Norfolk Naval Yard, December 2012.

During the Bush years, we had twelve carriers afloat, each carrier being the center of a battlegroup. That number has been reduced to ten. The photo to the left, taken over the Christmas and New Years holidays in 2012. Reduced those battlegroups on the high seas, from ten to five for a short period.

With those ship’s crews on leave for the holidays, how quickly could they have responded if the Chinese chose to ignore the treaty between Japan and the US? My guess would be a month to retrieve the crews, top off consumables and sail to the trouble area.

Does Obama’s, Kerry’s and Hillery’s statements affirming that US/Japanese alliance hold water? I don’t know. The question really is, does the Chinese believe it does.

***

Clive Bundy is in the news again. He stepped in it, big time. He had an interview with a reporter from the New York Times. The NYT did it’s usual hatchet-job, taking Bundy’s words out of context, changing the order, doing their usual job putting Bundy in the worse light possible. The MSM took it an ran with it.

In the end, Bundy did say those things. However his statements does not change the facts about the BLM’s aggression and overt attempts of land grabbing.

In response to the NYT interview, this column appeared in The American Thinker.

Why It’s Okay to Hate Cliven Bundy

By J.R. Dunn, April 28, 2014

It has become clear that Cliven Bundy was transgressed by the New York Times, his words taken out of context and retailed in such a way as to mean something they were not. Bundy is no racist, and the attempt to make him look like one is another step downward in the collapse of American national media.

But conservatives still have a right — in fact, a responsibility — to be annoyed with Bundy.

To wit: Bundy did not walk, not stumble, did not swerve into the trap set by the New York Times.  He was not ambushed, he was not taken by surprise. He instead ran full tilt and threw himself into that trap, exactly like the kid at the end of Million Dollar Hotel.

Bundy sat across from a reporter for the NYT, the most vicious, calculating, untrustworthy, and dishonest nest of vipers in the entire U.S. media network, and talked straight to him about matters of import and controversy, under the impression that he would understand and transmit his thoughts the way that he actually expressed them.

Nobody, a full century into the progressive era, seventy years into the epoch of big government, and fifty years after the mass media turned anti-American as a matter of course, has any right to do this. Nobody has a right to be that stupid, to be that ill-informed, or to be that self-centered.

Granted that Bundy, a lifetime Nevada rancher, is not the epitome of sophistication. He is not the typical Times reader, even for Nevada. He may well have never held a copy of the paper in his hands, much less read it. But that’s no excuse, because the status and nature of the New York Times has become a truism of American political culture. It is the bastion of left-wing thought in the media, the source from which everyone else takes their cue. In conservative circles, it’s what amounts to a punchline.

Bundy must have heard of this, at least vaguely. And yet he went out, and kindly loaded up Adam Nagourney’s pistol for him, then turned around, took his hat off, and waited for the bullet. The living portrait of middle-American conservatism in the 21st century.

How many times does this have to happen? How many Todd Akins do we need giving bizarre lectures on female biology exactly as if he knew what he was talking about? How many O’Donnells do we need providing ammunition to Bill Maher? How many Mourdocks? Even Sarah Palin, one of smartest political figures we’ve got, fell for this her first time out. (Granted, she was given plenty of help by McCain’s staff.)

I have been interviewed by newspaper reporters several dozen times in my various careers in business, writing, and conservative politics. How many times was I quoted correctly? Not once. Not a single time. Reporters typically mangle quotes, misunderstand what you’re saying, shift contexts, or deliberately rearrange statements to make them work the way they want. (And there’s nothing you can do about this. Once you speak to a reporter, what you have said is the newspaper’s property.  That’s right. Your words no longer belong to you — according to their interpretation. Your statement is theirs, to do with as they see fit, with no input from you, the schmuck who merely spoke the words. Of course, there’s no legal backing for this whatsoever. But there’s no legal backing for airline baggage handlers destroying expensive musical instruments. Yet they still get away with it.) The first time you see this it’s annoying. The second time it’s infuriating. The third time it’s expected.

Why do they do this? Not necessarily out of maliciousness or stupidity. (Though  that’s true often enough.) It’s the culture. The idea that newspapers are there to print “facts,” Who-what-where -when-and-why, is mythology gone with Jimmy Olsen and His Gal Friday. Today, reporters work with certain formats, to which they are expected to fit any related story.  One such concept is “every conservative is a hate-filled, fanatic Neanderthal.”  A corollary of this is “All Nevada ranchers are demented racists.”

Papers higher on the food chain, along with magazines and broadcast and cable networks, have agendas which these stereotypical patterns are used to support. I doubt I need to detail the nature of these agendas.

From these realities certain rules can be derived.

1) These people are not on your side.

2) Anything you say can and will be used against you.

3) Nothing you say will ever be used to support your position (or any conservative position at all.)

So what can we do in this situation? A friend of mine long experienced in public relations puts it very simply: you tell them exactly what you want them to say in the exact words that you want them to say it with. No ambiguity, no complications, no diversions. Then you stop. You don’t say any more. You add nothing. You don’t answer their questions. Their questions are not intended to shed light on your ideas or to develop detail. They are meant to trip you up and that is all. Anybody who acts as if they are truly interested in what you think about them there Negroes or legitimate rape is speaking as the enemy. You don’t feed them. You don’t hand them the weapon to strike you down with. You say “good afternoon” and turn on your heel.

The article continues at the website. It is a lesson to be learned. The media are not our friends, regardless of the medium and the reputation of the reporter. You are always on record and the media, like rapacious piranha, are waiting to feed upon you.

Politicians and candidates take note. Be careful what you say. If you are a conservative, the bottom-feeders are waiting for you to make a mistake or to misspeak.

Take that!

If there are two politicians that I have less use for than John McCain and Ron Paul, I can’t think of them at the moment.  Well, OK, Lindsey Graham is close. John McCain and Ron Paul finally said something that I can “like.”

John McCain was speaking to some reporters about the Benghazi investigation when a reporter attempted to divert the conversation to Patreaus’ resignation. McCain, as he has before on occasion, let his temper flare.

John McCain To Reporter: ‘That’s One Of The Dumbest Questions I’ve Ever Heard’ (VIDEO)

Posted: 11/14/2012 1:21 pm EST Updated: 11/15/2012 1:55 am EST

Wednesday seems to be a testy day for press conferences.

John McCain smacked down a reporter following his remarks on the Benghazi investigation.

In response to a question about whether classified documents found leaked in the Gen. Petraeus scandal posed a greater national security threat than the Benghazi attack, McCain quickly responded, “Well I say with great respect, that’s one of the dumbest questions I’ve ever heard.”

He continued, “There’s 4 dead Americans. There’s 4 dead Americans. Not a socialite.” The reporter attempted to interrupt but McCain quickly stopped him. “I’m answering your question. Ok, do you want me to answer your question or do you want to interrupt? Which do you want?”

After a short pause he continued, “There’s 4 dead Americans. The lives of other Americans were put in jeopardy. This is a matter of 4 dead Americans. I think that the other issue raised is very serious and I think it deserves a thorough and complete investigation. But it does not rise to the level of an attack on an American consulate that took four American lives.”

 The reporter failed in his attempt to divert attention to Obama’s failures and mismanagement of the Benghazi attack. McCain rightly slapped him down.

The second occurance was during Ron Paul’s farewell speech to the US House…a speech long overdue. Be that as it may, Ron Paul finally said something that agrees with my views—the coming extinction of the MSM.

Ron Paul: Internet is the alternative to ‘government media complex’ that controls the news

November 14, 2012 | 3:33 pm

During part one of his farewell speech to Congress, Rep. Ron Paul insisted that the internet remain free, as it is an important alternative to the “government media complex.”

“The internet will provide the alternative to the government media complex that controls the news and most political propaganda,” Paul stated. “This is why it’s essential that the Internet remains free of government regulation.”

The media is not our friend. At best it is a some-what useful tool to be understood and used when appropriate. Unfortunately, the MSM does have a captured audience who are oblivious of alternate news and information outlets. If we are to be able to present our views and arguments over the MSM propaganda outlet, we must find a means to infiltrate into those areas of the internet where that “captured” MSM audience can be found…Facebook, YouTube, twitter and other social sites. The trick is to find a method when you cannot force your audience to join you or read your posts. We need a means to attract that audience to us.

Frankly, I don’t know how to do that. But if we are to reclaim our government, end the runaway spending and taxation, we’ll have to find a means to attract more of the nation’s population to us and to join us. Waiting for the collapse of the economy and government is NOT a viable plan.

Polls, Lies and more Polls.

On the Drudge Report today are headlines about the other poll, Real Clear Politics indicates the average of the current polls is 11 points in Obama’s favor.

How can this be? One theory, known as the Bradley Effect, is an explanation for observed discrepancies between voter opinion polls and election outcomes in some political campaigns when a white candidate and a non-white candidate run against each other. Named for Tom Bradley, an African-American who lost the 1982 California governor’s race despite being ahead in some voter polls, the Bradley effect refers to an alleged tendency on the part of some voters to tell pollsters that they are undecided or likely to vote for a black candidate, and yet, on election day, vote for his/her white opponent.

Another theory is that the polling groups are slanting the polled base. An examination of the recent IBD/TIPP poll shows more people were chosen in the Northeast, than any other area and more urban than suburban or rural by a 60% to 30% margin (I can at least understand this since there are more voters in urban areas than others.)

The bias here is the selection of sampling is from the predominately Blue/Liberal areas of the country. This item from the Rasmussen Report indicates more Democrats were selected than Republicans. Fifty-two percent (52%) of persuadables are unaffiliated with either major political party. Thirty percent (30%) are Democrats and 18% Republican.” Assuming that the “unaffiliated” respondents were equitably chosen, the distribution would still tilt towards more Democrats than Republicans.

In summary, Michael Barone, in an editorial for the Wall Street Journal titled, “Are the Polls Accurate?” provides a number of opinions why the current polling may be inaccurate. My opinion, however, is that most Republicans and Conservatives refuse to respond to polls leaving the polling agencies with a tainted pool with the resulting slanted report.

Be that as it may, we’ll all learn the truth of the polls the evening of November 4, 2008.

Polls, Lies and more Polls.

On the Drudge Report today are headlines about the other poll, Real Clear Politics indicates the average of the current polls is 11 points in Obama’s favor.

How can this be? One theory, known as the Bradley Effect, is an explanation for observed discrepancies between voter opinion polls and election outcomes in some political campaigns when a white candidate and a non-white candidate run against each other. Named for Tom Bradley, an African-American who lost the 1982 California governor’s race despite being ahead in some voter polls, the Bradley effect refers to an alleged tendency on the part of some voters to tell pollsters that they are undecided or likely to vote for a black candidate, and yet, on election day, vote for his/her white opponent.

Another theory is that the polling groups are slanting the polled base. An examination of the recent IBD/TIPP poll shows more people were chosen in the Northeast, than any other area and more urban than suburban or rural by a 60% to 30% margin (I can at least understand this since there are more voters in urban areas than others.)

The bias here is the selection of sampling is from the predominately Blue/Liberal areas of the country. This item from the Rasmussen Report indicates more Democrats were selected than Republicans. Fifty-two percent (52%) of persuadables are unaffiliated with either major political party. Thirty percent (30%) are Democrats and 18% Republican.” Assuming that the “unaffiliated” respondents were equitably chosen, the distribution would still tilt towards more Democrats than Republicans.

In summary, Michael Barone, in an editorial for the Wall Street Journal titled, “Are the Polls Accurate?” provides a number of opinions why the current polling may be inaccurate. My opinion, however, is that most Republicans and Conservatives refuse to respond to polls leaving the polling agencies with a tainted pool with the resulting slanted report.

Be that as it may, we’ll all learn the truth of the polls the evening of November 4, 2008.