Corona Bologna

Here I sit. It’s day something or other of the Corona Derangement Syndrome Democratic Party shutdown of the formerly free nation called the United States of America. I’ve not ventured away from my home since March 18 when I had an appointment at my local VA clinic. In fact, I had two appointments that week, one at the Houston VA Hospital and the other at the clinic the next day. They weren’t appointments I made because I am sick, but rather were appointments related to my diabetes that had been previously scheduled to monitor my condition. (I’m doing very well, thank you.) A few days later the Democrats who run Houston announced stay-at-home orders and the immigrant judge – he’s Indian – who runs my county followed suit. Since that time I’ve been spending most of my time in my Lazy Boy either working on a novel, checking out certain web sites for information on the virus or watching meaningless streaming movies and series on our widescreen TV. My wife has been busying herself upstairs making masks to send to friends. By the way, I did not see very many people at all wearing masks at my appointments, including the young resident neurologist I saw at the main hospital or the nurse practitioner I saw at the clinic the following day. They were screening everyone, by taking temperatures and asking questions. The clinic required patients to fill out a questionnaire while the hospital only asked questions. Since that time I have been at home while my wife has been making runs to the grocery store every few days.

With so much idle time, I’ve been following the reports on the virus daily. When I say “reports,” I mean the official reports put out by state agencies and the Center for Disease Control, not the media. At first, I checked three university web sites – Johns Hopkins, the University of Virginia and the University of Washington – until I realized they are getting their information largely from the media rather than the official sources that actually keep records, specifically the CDC. At first I followed the World Health Organization, but I came to realize that their numbers are behind actual reports and may be biased toward certain countries, specifically China. I compared the data shown on the various university sites with the information reported by certain individual state health departments and discovered that the universities, particularly Johns Hopkins, were reporting cases far in excess of the actual numbers recorded by the states. I have since learned that their models use information from the media and often count the same case multiple times. So, I quit using them and confined my interest to mostly official sources.

At first, my wife and I watched the daily Coronavirus Task Force press briefings. At the time, Sling was carrying Fox News, the only network that was carrying the briefings in their entirety. Then Sling dropped Fox and there were no other outlets carrying the entire briefing. Now, the first time I saw Dr.  Anthony Fauci, I told my wife that I don’t trust him. He was making some kind of pronouncement that the United States would have millions of cases and as many as a million deaths. He reminded me of Dr. Neal Frank, the former head of the National Hurricane Center, who spread panic in the Houston area when Hurricane Rita was coming in as a CAT 5 by talking about all the damage CAT 5 winds could do to houses some 50 miles inland without pointing out that such winds NEVER occur that far inland. A chart on the site for the organization he founded showed how winds decrease by 50 knots IMMEDIATELY upon reaching shore and continue to decrease as the storm center moves further inland. (Panic spread through Houston and people got on the roads who should have stayed home. The end result was more deaths from heat stroke than from the storm itself.) Then when word got out that the CDC was directing medical personnel to count every death of a person who showed evidence of having the virus as being caused by the virus, Fauci brushed it off, claiming that there are always conspiracists who see conspiracy in everything. Actually, the CDC DOES instruct medical personnel to count deaths of anyone who might have the virus as caused by it, even if the actual cause of death was heart attack or some other disease such as cancer or severe diabetes. Hospitals are paid additional funds for every patient admitted with COVID-19, $13,000 and $39,000 if they are put on a ventilator. Incidentally, the United States and the UK are the only countries counting “deaths in the wider community” as caused by the virus.

As it turns out, Fauci is a bureaucrat, as is Deborah Birx, his female sidekick. Fauci went into the Public Health Service in the 1960s as a means of dodging the military draft and avoiding military service in Vietnam. At the time, doctors were required to serve in the military. The Public Health Service provided another option. Fauci chose that avenue and eventually found a home with the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease, which he has headed since 1984. In short, Fauci is a bureaucrat, and an old one at that. At almost eighty years old, Fauci is an old man – he’s five years older than me and I’m an old man. He should have retired at least a decade ago. Granted, he has valuable experience from working with various epidemics but he’s also at an age where people start having memory and other mental issues. Birx is Fauci’s protégé. Although an Army officer, she was detailed to the National Institutes of Health and was under his supervision. She went back to the Army at Walter Reed Hospital where she directed the Army’s HIV program. Even though she was still in the Army, she went to work for the CDC in 2008. She retired from the Army as a full colonel but remained with the CDC in their HIV program. Barack Obama nominated her to be Ambassador at Large and US Global AIDS coordinator (which gives a hint of her political leanings.) Fauci and Birx are being hailed as “experts” on COVID-19, but in reality, they’re not. Fauci has experience with other infectious diseases, including HIV, but the virus is new and no one is really an expert. Birx’s expertise is with HIV (AIDS), which is spread by physical contact, specifically anal intercourse and the use of dirty needles by drug addicts. It originated in Africa where it was transmitted into the human population from monkeys, then was spread primarily by homosexuals. I remember an article in People magazine about a Canadian flight attendant (male) who caught the disease in Africa then spread it through more than a thousand homosexual encounters. Birx was appointed to the Coronavirus Task Force, a special organization set up in the State Department in late January. It was initially headed by Secretary of Health and Human Services Alax Asar. Fuci was also appointed to the task force, along with a number of others from the White House cabinet and staff, including the head of the CDC. The task force doesn’t seem to have done much until Vice President Mike Pence was appointed to head it. Birx was added the same day. Her role is response coordinator.

There is considerable controversy over the origin of the virus. Chinese state doctors claim it started in a fish market in Wuhan, and that it came from Horseshoe bats and jumped from them to Civets, a catlike creature found in Asia, then to humans, although how it was supposed to have spread is unclear. Some Chinese are known to eat both bats and Civets. However, earlier in the year an article appeared in a Chinese journal reporting that the disease actually originated in a lab in Wuhan, and that it jumped from there. One report is that a young female intern contracted the virus then gave it to her boyfriend. US intelligence agencies have found evidence that the virus came from a lab “by accident.” However, a former high-ranking US Army officer/biochemist who was involved in germ warfare experiments believes it could very well have originated at the US Army biological warfare lab at Ft. Detrick, Maryland and was then spread to China deliberately by US Army personnel who competed in the 2019 Military World Games, which were held in Wuhan this past October.  (This is not beyond the realm of possibility – the games were held at the end of October and the virus first appeared in Wuhan in November.) Although I’ve not seen anything about it myself, the Chinese are alleged to have claimed that the virus could not be spread by human to human contact initially. Incidentally, a number of American institutions and universities were involved with that lab, including Fauci’s organization, which contributed several million (taxpayer) dollars to the lab.

Although the term “coronavirus” has become practically universal to describe the virus, it is actually a misnomer because there are numerous coronaviruses, so termed because of the crown-like protrusions found on the cells. Coronaviruses are believed to date back into early human history although they weren’t discovered until 1960. Actually, the common cold is now believed to be caused by a coronavirus. In fact, the symptoms for COVID-19 are basically the same as a cold. Researchers claim the virus is so mild in most people they don’t even know they have it. The media focuses on the severe cases, particularly those that cause death. As of right now, the official count (not the ones shown in the media) is 1.19 million cases and 70,802 deaths in the United States. That works out to a death rate of just under 6%. However, some 8,000 Americans die EVERY DAY, which means there have been some 450,000 deaths in the US in the past two months. Only about 15% of reported deaths in the past two months are due to the virus, and that may be a misnomer due to the way deaths are counted. As case counts began rising, primarily due to the infestation in New York City, the Centers for Disease control sent out instructions for doctors and coroners to fill out death certificates. They were instructed to attribute ALL deaths where COVID-19 was suspected to the virus, regardless of the actual cause of death. Now, the vast majority of deaths are among people 65 years old and older, many of whom were suffering from some kind of illness – cancer, heart problems, diabetes in particular, as well as severe morbid obesity. Those problems all can lead to other problems. For example, a person with cancer dies often of pneumonia or organ failure due to the cancer reaching the brain. Instead of attributing those deaths to the particular illness, those deaths are being attributed to COVID-19 EVEN THOUGH THE VIRUS WAS NOT THE CAUSE OF DEATH!!! The alleged “first death” in the United States has been attributed to an infection in a woman’s heart that caused a valve to fail. The infection is believed to have been caused by the virus. As it so happens, my 29-year old nephew was deathly ill this past summer due to infection – doctors call it “vegetation” – in a heart valve. (He recovered.) Maybe the woman’s infection was caused by the virus, but then again, maybe not. I have seen reports of a case where a man who died of a drug overdose was reported as a COVID-19 death because he had tested positive for the virus.

I am not being impacted financially by the virus because my income comes from retirement and disability payments. But there are millions of Americans who are, and they are the people who can least afford the loss of a paycheck. I live in a county just outside of Houston – we’re within the Houston metro area. As of right now, we have 1,332 reported cases (meaning they tested positive on a test) and there have been 32 deaths. The population of the county is some 800,000 (probably closer to 900,000 now.) Less than TWO HUNDREDTHS of the population have been diagnosed with the illness! And only .00375% of the population have died! The numbers are even lower for Houston/Harris county although there are more cases and more deaths. And the country was shut down for this!!! The media keeps talking about working from home, which they can do, but how about the cooks, waiters and waitresses, sales clerks, laborers, factory workers, etc. and etc. who are no longer drawing a paycheck? They have no money to buy food, to pay rent, for medical care or what have you. In short, it’s a DAMN TRAVESTY! The blame for this can be laid at Fauci’s feet – he’s the one who insisted on “social distancing” and shelter in place.

Then there is the media piling on Donald Trump. A week or so ago, the head of the science and technology department at the Department of Homeland Security gave a briefing on the findings of tests that showed that temperature, humidity and sunlight kill the virus. (These tests proved findings made previously.) They also showed the effect of bleach and Isopropyl alcohol on the virus – they destroy it. These were important revelations, but the media focused on a couple of offhand comments, questions actually, that Trump made at the conclusion of the briefing. One pertained to the possibility of directing UV light into the lungs and the other to the injection of bleach or other disinfectants into the bloodstream to treat the virus. Now, it so happens that a publically-held company had just announced that they were working with Cedars of Sinai hospital in Los Angeles to develop a means of directing UV light to the lungs. Then, You Tube pulled the company’s video (apparently because it confirmed what President Trump had said.) The president implied in his comment that there is ongoing research on the possibility of injecting compounds to kill the virus. There was all kind of hue and cry about how anyone could inject poisons into a person. Apparently, those who were spouting off don’t know what chemo or many vaccines are. The fact is that poisonous substances are used to treat diseases and parasites in humans as well as animals. Earlier this year, we had to have one of our dogs treated for heartworms. The treatment? How about three injections of CYANIDE! The media – and Speaker of the House Pelosi – claimed that Trump had suggested INGESTING disinfectants. The issue was amplified when the makers of Lysol put out a disclaimer advising people not to ingest their products. That, folks, is FAKE NEWS! Before that, there was the media controversy over the use of Chloroquine the derivative Hydroxychloroquine to treat patients with the virus and perhaps prevent it. Now. Chloroquine is not a new drug. It actually dates back to the 1930s when it was developed as an alternative to Atabrine, the common malaria preventive. I took both of them when I served in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War with no ill effects. To hear the media tell it, the drug is dangerous and should not be used when it is actually a common drug used for numerous things, including treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. The media went wild when President Trump advocated it’s use to treat COVID-19 patients (and some medical personnel spoke out against the method while others praised it.)[1]  Granted, the president’s briefings were often tedious and boring. I got so damn tired of hearing the word “respirator”! As it turns out, the use of respirators on COVID-19 patients is practically an act of futility. Most patients who are placed on ventilators – which are actually life support machines – are already too far gone for the ventilator to do much good. I have seen articles stating that nine out of ten of patients on ventilators die.

Soon after I started paying attention to the data, I noticed something. The areas where the most cases were being recorded were in the same general climate. They were nearly all north of the 30th Parallel and south of the 50th Parallel. Northern Italy, where the virus first went wild, is at 45N. New York City, the one area of the world with the most cases and a large chunk of the more than 75,000 deaths recorded in the United States is at 41N. In fact, roughly half of the deaths in the United States are in the area in and around New York City and those that aren’t are mostly between 40N and 45N. Wuhan, China where the virus allegedly began, is at 31N – and much of China as well as India and Southeast Asia is south of 30N. Lower parallel numbers mean closer to the equator, which means warmer temperatures and warmer temperatures kills the virus and reduce spread. That’s why China has less than 90,000 cases and less than 5,000 deaths while the United States has over a million cases and over 75,000 deaths, most of which are well north of 30N. It’s why Vietnam has only 271 confirmed cases and 0 deaths and Thailand has 2,988 cases and 54 deaths while Cambodia has 122 cases and 0 deaths and Laos has 19 cases and 0 deaths. In the United States, some 50,000 of the 71,000 deaths have occurred in eight states generally along the 40N parallel. Much of California is along this line – San Francisco is at 38N. Almost 800,000 of the some 1.2 million reported cases in the US are also in those eight states. Those numbers should tell us something. The state with the highest number of deaths outside of those eight states is Louisiana, which had a high number of cases and deaths soon after the Mardi Gras celebration, but which has since settled into a much lower rate of increase.

The media is hailing New York Governor Mario Cuomo as a hero because of his “handling of the crisis” but the facts are that New York alone has more cases than ANY country and almost as many deaths! How is that “handling the crisis?” If you look at a map of the cases in the United States, you’ll see a massive blob centered on New York City with smaller pinpoints elsewhere in the country with circles around large population centers like Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas (metro area) and Houston. More than half of all cases are in and around New York City along with most of the deaths, yet Cuomo is supposed to be some kind of hero?!! The man mishandled everything, along with his fellow Democrat, NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio. Granted, New York City has a unique situation in that JFK Airport is one of the major aerial ports for international travel. The area also has a large population of immigrants from around the world, including large numbers of Chinese, many of whom returned to China for the annual Chinese New Year Celebration then came back to the United States. Although the first reported case of the virus was a Jewish health worker who had been to Italy, the virus quickly spread among the Chinese population in Queens, which is perhaps the hardest hit area in the United States. The city itself is an incubator for communicable disease. People live in multistory buildings, the brownstones so often shown in movies, and use community elevators and stairways, places where germs and viruses are prevalent. Cuomo did literally NOTHING to prevent the spread of the disease until the WHO came out with the social distancing recommendation. He complained when neighboring states became alarmed about infected New Yorkers fleeing into their states and spreading the disease when he should have restricted travel within the infected area and, particularly, out of the city. He is on television every day and spends most of his time whining about Federal aid. He was the one who kept whining about the lack of ventilators, a lack that never materialized. Those who praise Cuomo are misguided.

Then there are the mayors and county judges, many of whom are Democrats. Back in late February, Mayor Sylvester Turner, the mayor of Houston, and his stooge, Harris County judge Lina Hidalgo, put out an order shutting down the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, which had already started. There were already thirteen reported cases of the virus in the Houston area, eight in Fort Bend County and five in Houston. They were all passengers on a Nile River cruise somehow connected to Rice University that turned out to be a source of infection. Turner and Hidalgo, who is a Colombian immigrant by the way, decided to shut down the show and ordered the participants and vendors to disperse. Theirs were the first such actions in the nation. Soon professional sports organizations were canceling games and others were taking drastic actions. Turner and Hidalgo claimed they were taking the action they did because a case had emerged in Montgomery County, the county just north of Harris, and the patient had no history of international travel or KNOWN contact with anyone who had. The patient had visited the livestock show and rodeo barbecue cookoff a few days before. Since that time, Hidalgo, in particular, has taken one drastic action after another, including putting out an order requiring that anyone who ventures out of their home must wear a face mask.

Now, the issue of masks has been confusing. Thanks to the media, people have the idea that wearing a mask will protect them. Actually, it won’t. Medical professionals know, or should, that the reason for masks and medical gowns in operating rooms is TO PROTECT THE PATIENT! They are to protect against particles dropping into open wounds and/or mouths and causing infection. The CDC’s recommendation for wearing cloth masks is that they might possibly prevent the spread of the molecules that cause the virus by people who have it and don’t know it, which raises another question. Just what is the basis for the claim that perhaps millions of people have or have had the virus and not known it? Diseases are diagnosed based on symptoms and tests. If a person hasn’t seen a doctor, there’s no way to know if they might have had a disease. As for tests, only a small fraction of the American public will EVER be tested for COVID-19 barring the establishment of totalitarian government. Masks DO NOT prevent the spread of viruses, by the way. The molecules that cause COVID-19 are 1/1000ths the width of a human hair. Get that? A thousand of the molecules can sit next to each other across the top of a single hair. There is no cloth (or paper) known to man that can prevent those molecules from penetrating it in the event of a sneeze or even a cough or speech. Any substance capable of preventing penetration by COVID-19 molecules would also prevent breathing. Making masks – as my wife does – may be good therapy but the masks are not going to protect those who wear them from the virus and it’s doubtful they’ll protect others.

Ever since word of the Chinese virus reached the United States, the media and politicians have been hyping it. “WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!” was the cry. Politicians, including in the White House, were predicting millions of deaths. In reality, the proportion of deaths to the population is small, only .338 per 1,000 population. All deaths per 1,000 in the US average 8.8. Reported COVID-19 deaths are therefore only a tiny fraction of the number of deaths from all causes, and this doesn’t take into consideration that many, perhaps most, of the deaths attributed to the virus were actually due to other causes. Yet even though the number of deaths attributed to the virus is tiny in relation to all deaths that can be expected in the United States, the media acts like every death is a new story, and that it means the virus is somehow “winning,” although how an inanimate molecule can win anything is beyond me. The fact is that COVID-19 is merely another respiratory system disease, a virus, that is mild in most people but can be severe and even deadly in some instances. It is NOT another Yellow Fever or Cholera or even SARS, which killed almost 10% of those affected. By comparison, COVID-19 has only killed some 6.8% of those affected worldwide. Some 5.92% of those reported with the virus in the US have died. (The actual death rate is unknown because only certain categories of people have been diagnosed or tested in large numbers.)

Most Americans get their information from the media, which claims to be the great purveyors of truth. Members of the media like to proclaim that they are the main subjects of the First Amendment to the Constitution which actually addressed the rights of the individual. In reality, where the term “the press” is used in the First Amendment, it refers to the printing press, not to newspapers per se. The First Amendment guarantees free speech, or at least it’s suppose too. Speech is actually an expression of thought, as is the written word. “The press” is a means of distributing the written word whether in a pamphlet, a book, a letter or a sign on a post or wall. The media is actually commercialization of the press. The main goal of the media is to make money, lots of it. They make money both by subscriptions and sales and through advertising revenue. The media also is a means of spreading propaganda. The first newspapers were actually pamphlets and were political. Various political organizations throughout history have had their own pamphleteers. Some passed as newspapers. The broadcast media followed suit. Today what we get from newspapers as well as radio and television – and the internet – is propaganda with a particular political agenda. Since November 8, 2016, that agenda has been to get Donald Trump out of office. The New York Times has gone so far as to state that their goal is to spread adverse information about Trump. CNN has also been open about their intent to embarrass the president at every turn. Consequently, print and broadcast commercial media has been hyping the COVID-19 pandemic with the intention of somehow attributing it to Trump. Never mind that it is Andrew Cuomo and Bill De Blasio who allowed things to get out of hand in New York, where all of the broadcast stations and the New York Times are based. They are out of touch with the rest of the nation, and function under the belief that everything that applies to New York City, specifically Manhattan, applies to the rest of the nation as well. They can’t seem to grasp that COVID-19 is only prevalent in New York, specially in New York City and Northern New Jersey. The rest of the country has cases concentrated here and there. Their stories are written for a New York audience. Each day they talk about how the virus is increasing in other states, particularly in rural areas, somehow implying that such increases – which are actually the result of increased testing – somehow take the pressure off of them. They push social distancing and wearing of masks on the entire country without recognizing that it’s not needed in much of the country.

Speaking of “social distancing,” there’s no concrete proof that it’s had any effect on the spread of the virus. When it was first implemented, there were very few cases in the Houston area where I live. Now there are some 10,000, give or take a few. (Fortunately, the number of deaths is very low, about 3%.) Social distancing was declared by the World Health Organization on March 11 and the media and politicians immediately embraced it. At the time, there had been nine cases reported in the county where I live, eight of them passengers on the Nile cruise that was responsible for the first thirteen cases in the Houston area as well in certain other states. By March 19, the numbers had risen to 24, then it dropped to 19 before rising to 24 again. By March 29, the day before the county began testing, there were 119 cases (testing had begun in adjacent Harris County a week or so before, and residents of other counties were allowed to test.) Since that time, the number of reported cases has continued to climb until there are 1332 reported cases in the county, with 204 in my zip code – Harris County has over 7,000 reported cases although only some 4,000 are reported as active (Fort Bend County doesn’t show active cases.) Obviously, social distancing and shelter-in-place have had only limited effect, if any, on the spread of the disease. Proponents of the measures would say that there would have been more without it but that is merely speculation. No one knows or can know. As many know, the country of Sweden has not implemented social distancing and shelter in place and their rate of cases per million population is no greater than in countries that have, and much lower than many, including the United States.

   While the media has been most prolific in throwing out bullshit, Donald Trump has done more than his share as well. He kept claiming that if he hadn’t taken drastic action, “millions” of Americans would die. He said repeatedly that he had been advised to “do nothing” but he’d taken drastic action instead and saved countless lives. (My personal opinion is that doing no more than restricting travel into the United States was the best course of action.) He based that claim on what he had been told by Fauci and Birx, who got their information from modeling that was based on faulty information. Bear in mind that models are only as accurate as the numbers fed into them. If one number is off, the entire model is off. He also kept claiming the virus is the worst since 1918. It’s not – the Asian Flu epidemic in 1957-58 affected millions worldwide and killed at least a million people and possibly as many as four million. An estimated 70,000-100,000 died in the United States. I got so tired of hearing it that I Emailed the White House and told them to tell him it was not true and to shut up about it. I didn’t hear him mention it again after that. Dr. Tony Fauci has also made some outlandish proclamations.

This mess has taught me one thing. I am a fundamentalist Christian and I believe the prophesy made by the Apostle John while he was in exile on the Isle of Patmos. John prophesied, based on the vision he saw, that a man would arise who would dominate the world then be revealed as the antichrist, and that he’d be assisted by “the false prophet,” the leader of a false church sitting on seven hills, which obviously refers to Rome since the only other city on seven hills is Lynchburg, Virginia and Jerry Falwell has been dead for several years. I wondered what kind of event would cause the people of the world to become subservient to such a ruler. Now I know.


[1] The inanity of it all became apparent after a Michigan legislator, a black female Democrat, went public with her account of how the drug had helped her. She had been taking the drug for arthritis and when she heard President Trump advocate it’s use on TV, she told her doctor she’d like to try it. It worked and she recovered within a short period of time. After she met with the president, her local Democratic party took steps to throw her out of the party.

Witch Hunt! (Part 3 – Conflict of Interest)

UPDATE! According to a just published article by Real Clear Politics investigative reporter Paul Sperry, it appears that there was possible conflict of interest on the Mueller team with Andrew Weissman, who had been in contact with individuals who are named in the report. Weissman was in the Obama Justice Department and not only was a Clinton supporter, he was at her election night watch party.

In Volume II of the Mueller Report, several pages are devoted to White House Counsel Don McGahn’s interactions with President Trump. According to McGahn, shortly after Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as Special Counsel, the president expressed his concerns that Mueller had a conflict of interest and wanted him to tell Rosenstein that he “wanted him gone.” The president had several concerns about Mueller. For one thing, he had interviewed him for the possible position of Director of the FBI the VERY DAY BEFORE Rosenstein named him as special counsel. There was also a conflict involving Mueller’s past membership in a golf club owned by the Trump organization. The president was also concerned about Mueller’s position as a director in a law firm that represented people connected to the president. Mueller claims that people associated with the president thought the claims were “silly”, but does not justify such a conclusion. .

The Mueller Report doesn’t mention it, but there was also another conflict, a major one – Mueller’s close association with recently fired FBI Director James Comey and with Andrew McCabe, the former assistant Director who had replaced Comey after he was fired. Although Mueller doesn’t acknowledge it, this is a serious issue because, even though the purpose of appointing him as Special Counsel doesn’t include obstruction of justice, that appears to have become the focal point of the investigation almost from the onset of the investigation. In fact, it was after the media revealed that the president was being investigated for obstruction that he blew his top and began pressing to have the Special Counsel terminated. Now, bear in mind that the president knew there was no crime related to Russian interference and he also knew that he was within his Constitutional rights as Chief Executive to fire Comey. This is a serious conflict that was completely ignored by the DOJ and which the White House seems to have failed to express.

The most serious conflict of interest has emerged into plain sight since the Mueller Report was released. Democrats in the House, specifically Cummings, Nadler and Schiff, along with others, as well as Democrats in the Senate, have revealed that they are partisan and are only concerned with somehow getting Trump, hopefully by removing him from office but, if unable to do that (which they can’t), by disrupting government so much that he becomes ineffective. That is the most serious conflict of interest of all. Democrats know that now the Russia issue has been put to bed, the DOJ has free rein to conduct investigations into the corruption of the Obama Administration and the Clinton Campaign and their use of national intelligence and law enforcement to further their political goals.

Witch Hunt! (Part Two)

I’ve finally finished the entire Mueller Report (WITCH HUNT!) While Volume I is semi-informing, Volume II seems to be Mueller and his team of nearly all Democrats attempting to come up with something so they could charge President Donald Trump with obstruction of justice. As it turns out, they were unable to make a case but instead of simply saying so, they add a statement that they are “unable to exonerate” him either. Now, since when do prosecuting attorneys  “exonerate” anyone? Their role is to find evidence to prosecute and if they’re unable to do it, they simply don’t take the case to a grand jury or, if they do, the jury is unable to come up with enough to indict. It’s pretty obvious that the Mueller team’s goal is to keep the pot stirred in hopes the Democrats in Congress will impeach the president.

Although they come up with some ten items, none of them are actions actually taken by President Trump. The most serious allegation – which occurred soon after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (without informing anyone he was going to do it) announced that he was appointing New York lawyer and former Director of the FBI Robert Mueller to be Special Counsel to investigate allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election – it that the president instructed White House counsel Don McGrahn to have Muller removed. President Trump, through his personal counsel, alleged that Mueller had conflicts of interest. McGrahn informed the president that it wasn’t within his jurisdiction. McGrahn would later tell the Special Counsel about the incident and his account was leaked to the media. President Trump tried to get McGrahn to put out a statement but the lawyer said the story was partly true. Another insinuation was that when President Trump instructed his assistant, Hope Hicks, not to release emails between Donald Trump Jr and British publicist Rob Goldstone to the press after she became concerned that they might be damaging to him, his instruction was somehow illegal. Now, bear in mind that concealing something from the media DOES NOT constitute obstruction of justice!

Mueller – or whoever drafted the report – spends several pages trying to make a case that a president can obstruct justice through official actions if they are “corrupt,” then spends several more pages trying to make a case for “corruption” (ultimately, without success as the Special Counsel failed to come up with evidence to recommend prosecution.) It seems to be a case of “if I can’t dazzle with my brilliance, I’ll baffle with my bullshit.”  At the beginning of Volume II, the report attempts to brush over the fact that no crime had been committed with the assertion that there doesn’t have to be a crime in order for obstruction of occur. In the case of Richard Nixon, who wasn’t impeached but rather resigned, there was an actual crime. Bill Clinton lied to a grand jury after having intimidated witnesses and otherwise obstructed justice in a sexual harassment case.

Now, bear in mind that nowhere in the Constitution are special counsels or even investigations authorized. In fact, the Constitution’s only authorization for anything resembling an investigation is the authority to the House of Representatives to impeach presidents and other government officials. (Bear in mind that “Congress” does not refer to a political party, which is the case with the present House of Representatives.)

After reading the entire report – it took me several days – I am convinced the Mueller investigation was a waste of time and the taxpayer’s money. The only crimes exist within the heads of Democrats who aren’t able to accept Donald Trump’s election.

SHE’s Out of Her Cotton-Picking Mind!

Yesterday I wrote about the stupid controversy over the comment made by a FOX News contributor to a black “Democratic strategist” whose knowledge of cotton-picking is so limited that he has no clue that EVERYBODY did it. Today I’m writing about a New York transplant in Lexington, Virginia who has apparently departed from common sense. I just found out that Stephanie Wilkinson, the Lexington, Virginia woman who told White House Press Secretary Sara Huckabee Sanders that she wasn’t wanted in her Red Hen restaurant in downtown Lexington is executive director of a local organization called Main Street Lexington whose role is to promote the city’s downtown businesses. By her actions, the far-left Resistance member has brought attention to Lexington that no one in the town wanted.

It turns out that Wilkinson is a New Yorker who went to the University of Virginia after graduating from Dartmouth and ended up in Lexington, a small college town at the upper end of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley after her husband took a position at the Virginia Military Institute. I lived across the Blue Ridge Mountains from Lexington for five years and passed by it on I-81/I-64 but have never set foot in the town. Lexington is that kind of town. It’s only there because of two schools, Washington & Lee University and VMI. The population is only a little over 7,000. In the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton received just over 1,500 votes of some 2,200 votes cast, but surrounding Rockbridge County gave Donald Trump some 6,600 votes while Clinton got 3,500. Like other college towns, Lexington is an island of left-wingers in a sea of conservative voters but it’s nothing like Charlottesville, where Wilkinson lived before moving to Lexington with her husband. She has a long history of left-wing activism, including publishing a literary magazine for mothers “dedicated to social change” called “Brain, Child, the Magazine for Thinking Mothers” – over-educated women like Wilkinson. Her husband, Duncan Richter, who is British, is a professor at Virginia Military Institute where he teaches courses in ethics and philosophy. (His wife apparently has never taken any of his courses because she has no ethics.) He has authored several books, all focusing on ethics and philosophy. Wilkinson and her husband and at least one of her children were in Washington for the Women’s March and apparently consider themselves to be members of “the resistance.” Considering her actions this past week, it’s obvious that Stephanie Wilkinson is a leftwing fanatic.

With time on her hands after her children were older, Wilkinson did what any other over-educated leftwing elitist would do, she started a restaurant in downtown Lexington and advertised it as “farm to table.” Her menu states that the place, called the Red Hen, sells vegetables raised on a local farm owned by Mexican immigrants. Of course, there’s no mention of the fact that vegetables are seasonal and the Shenandoah Valley has winter. The restaurant is very small, with only twenty-four seats, which works out to six four-place tables.

Just why Sanders was in Lexington has not been revealed, but she was with relatives, including her brother-in-law, who claims to be a “liberal” and is not a Trump supporter. After the party was seated, one of the staff called Wilkinson at home and told her Sanders was in the restaurant. Wilkinson jumped in her car and headed for the little red building on Washington Street. She claims that when she got there, she talked to her staff and asked them what they thought she should do. She claims her staff, which must be made up of leftists like herself, told her she should ask them to leave, which she did. Reportedly, a waiter had already served the party and they were eating when Wilkinson went over and called Sanders outside where she told her she didn’t want her in her restaurant because she works for the White House. Although  Wilkinson claims the incident wasn’t disorderly, Mike Huckabee, Sanders’ father, says that Wilkinson followed them to the nearby restaurant they went to and attempted to organize a demonstration. Finally, Sanders’ brother-in-law went outside and told them they were making a huge mistake and should disperse.

Now, Wilkinson’s actions are an act of bigotry – the simple definition of the word is “intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself – but it is also an act of stupidity. Not only did Wilkinson attract negative attention to her restaurant, she also attracted unwanted attention to the city where Confederate General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson was a professor and where General Robert E. Lee served as president of the university that bears his name, the city from whence the VMI cadets who made the charge at New Market departed for their famous action; she also attracted unwanted attention to another restaurant with the same name in Washington, D.C. (whose manager said his staff would serve anyone.) In short, the woman is out of her cotton-picking mind, but then so are most of those in the media and the Democratic Party who do stupid things in opposition to Donald Trump.

They’re Out of Their Cotton-Picking Minds!

Now, I don’t watch FOX News. In fact, I don’t even have cable – I got rid of it several years ago and went to a leaf antenna and streaming. However, I must say that the reaction to a comment by FOX contributor David Bossie to “Democratic strategist” Joel Payne that he was “out of his cotton-picking mind” is way out of proportion. Payne, who is of African ancestry, took offense at the comment because “my relatives picked cotton.” My response to that is – so fucking what? I picked my cotton, my daddy did, my mother did, my brother did and my sisters did and so did my grandmother, aunts and uncles, not to mention my neighbors. In fact, if you lived in the rural South prior to the 1960s when the use of mechanical cotton pickers became widespread and were able to get to the fields, you picked cotton. Picking cotton was so much a part of the culture that rural schools had split “vacations,” with school starting back in July for six weeks, then getting out for “cotton picking” in the fall.

Payne’s reaction is that of a northern black person with little real knowledge of the South and of the practices before his time. (He’s also a “Democratic strategist,” which says a lot.) Black northerners have been attributing racial prejudice to sayings common in the South for decades. For example, when I was in the Air Force, I had a roommate who was a mulatto from Harlem – his father was “Irish” and his mother was black. The first thing he said to me when we met was that I had better not ever call him nigger – as if I ever had any attention of doing so. (“Nigger” was known to be considered by blacks as synonymous with a “sorry” white person. Incidentally, the term “white trash” originated with slaves who used it to refer to poor whites with no land or slaves of their own.) That, however, is not my point. He went on a trip as a student with a sergeant instructor from Georgia who, like most Southerners, had a habit of calling everyone “boy.” My roommate took umbrage, but the sergeant, who lived across the hall from us, sat him down and explained that everyone in the South called each other “boy” and “girl” regardless of whether they were white or black. Although we never became friends, at least he seemed to understand that everyone wasn’t looking down on him after that.

It seems that blacks in the North have concocted a number of mistaken ideas. An example is the term “soul food” which came about in the 1960s when blacks from the South opened restaurants in New York and other northern cities and called their fare “soul food” at a time when blacks had started referring to certain forms of music and black culture as “soul.” In truth, what is now commonly called soul food is actually nothing but rural Southern cooking. Rural people in the South, white and black, made full use of the animals they slaughtered and grew crops foreign to northerners such as collard and turnip greens. Hog intestines were cleaned and called chitlins, which is short for chitterlings. White families ate them, as did blacks. Personally, I love chitlins the way my mother fixed them. She breaded and fried them and we ate them with her biscuits. Catfish were practically a delicacy at our house (blacks were famous for eating “rough fish” such as carp and buffalo.)

Payne seems to have taken exception to Bossie’s comment because his grandparents were sharecroppers. Again, so what? Share cropping was a means by which people who owned no land of their own could make a crop and living, and large numbers of sharecroppers were white. Sharecropping was a means of allowing a landowner to get full use of their land. Before farming became mechanized, a single family could farm some forty acres. Although it’s commonly believed – apparently especially by blacks – that sharecropping came along after the Civil War, the practice actually dates back for centuries and was and still is common in many parts of the world. (There is a difference between a sharecropper and a tenant farmer. Sharecroppers are laborers who provide the labor to raise a crop for a share while a tenant farmer rents the land from the landowner and provides everything necessary to raise a crop. Tenant farming is common today – my own land is rented to local farmers to raise a crop each year.) Sharecroppers were provided everything they needed by the landowner, including a house and plot of land where they could grow their own food and raise hogs and maintain a cow or two for milk.

There is a common misconception that picking cotton is hard work. Actually, while cotton-picking by hand is tedious, it’s not particularly hard and its definitely not backbreaking. Personally, I’d much rather pick cotton out in the open fall air then work in a foundry or factory. Cotton-picking is not a constant, year-long task. Cotton becomes ripe for picking in late summer or early fall, depending on the length of the growing season and when the crop is planted, and is picked over a 6-8 week period. The image of slaves or sharecroppers laboring in the fields from dusk to dawn 365 days a year is false; the actual days spent in the field for cotton-picking is more like 65 days, if that.

As for the use of the term “cotton-picking” as an adjective, the origin is unsure. So, for that matter, is the meaning except that it is used to add emphasis to a statement – for example, “She’s a cotton-picking liar!” Another common use is “Just a cotton-picking minute!” “You’re out of your cotton-picking mind” is another. However, in no way is the use of the term “cotton-picking” derogatory to blacks, as the media often claims. The only connection to blacks is that blacks picked cotton, but so did whites.

Political Whoredom

The Saga of Judge Roy Moore

As anyone who’s been paying the slightest attention to the media lately know, Judge Roy S, Moore, the controversial, devout Christian (Baptist) Alabama judge running as the Republican nominee for the Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been “accused” of “sexual misconduct” (whatever that is) by a number of women in their 50s and 60s. They claim that when they were teenagers and in their early twenties, Judge Moore, who was not a judge back then, did something sexual to them. In most of the claims, all the judge did was take them out on dates or ask them out, with the impropriety being that Moore was considerably older than they, by as much as eighteen years in one alleged case. Now, with one possible exception, the difference in ages was not illegal and, in fact, by historical standards, wasn’t even unusual. Since the “allegations” came out in an article published in the Washington Post a few days after the D.C. paper came out condemning Judge Moore as “unfit for office” (they said the same thing about Donald Trump) numerous commentators have referred to Moore as a “much older” man, when, in fact, at the time of the allegations, he was actually a young man in his very early thirties and the women were in their teens and twenties. The original “accusations,” which really aren’t accusations of anything, were that three women went out on dates with Moore while another said that he had asked her out but she declined because her mother wouldn’t let her go. The first woman claimed that she went with Moore to “his house” twice and that the second time they engaged in what can only be classified as “petting,” and that at the time, she was possibly underage. (I say possibly because she alleges that she was fourteen at the time and the age of consent in Alabama today is 16. No one seems to know what it was in 1977, when she claims she went with Moore.) A fifth accuser went to notorious Democratic Party activist Gloria Allred to claim that Moore assaulted her in his car. Another jumped on the bandwagon and made no allegation other than that she claims Moore pestered her for dates and that she “got him banned from the mall” where she worked – she was in her twenties. Since then, another woman, one of Roy Moore’s clients, claims he “grabbed my butt.”

Before we get into this, bear in mind that these claims came out a month before the Alabama special election in which Judge Moore is the Republican candidate. That alone makes the claims extremely suspicious. The judge has held office in Alabama for 40 years and has made untold numbers of political enemies, not only in Alabama, but throughout the nation and in the media, because of his strong stands on legal issues. His national notoriety dates back to when he was sued by the ACLU for displaying a wooden placard of the Ten Commandments in his courtroom, but his local notoriety in Etowah County, Alabama where he grew up started soon after he began practicing law when he spoke out against the way local attorneys and judges were handling the courts. Animosity toward him increased when he ran for circuit judge and made accusations against the attorneys and the judges. Claims were made against him to the state bar association. His name became well known in the county and there was stiff opposition to him. It is also during this period that the claims made by the women are supposed to have occurred. Furthermore, the claims all date back to the late 1970s and very early 1980s, with one exception, the one made by his later client, which dates to the 1990s.

The earliest – in terms of when the incident is supposed to have occurred – was made by one Beverly Young Nelson, who claims that Moore offered her a ride home from the restaurant where she worked, sometime after December 1977, then assaulted her in his car. Nelson’s claim is suspect because she was not one of the women interviewed by the Washington Post reporters; instead, she engaged notorious lawyer and Democratic Party activist Gloria Allred to represent her and made her claim in a dramatic press conference in New York City, obviously for political purposes. Now, Nelson and Moore are residents of Alabama, the allegations are set in Alabama, and any court action would have to be filed there, which raises the question of whether Allred is even licensed to practice law there. (In fact, complaints against Allred have been made in California and she is under investigation by the California Bar.) There are holes in Nelson’s story. For one thing, she claims Moore locked the car doors so she couldn’t get out. Unless his vehicle had electric locks, which is doubtful in early 1978, he would have had to reach across in front of her or she would have had to raise up so he could reach behind her to lock the door. (Nelson says his car was a 2-door. She also says she thinks it was “older” which makes it unlikely to have had electric locks.) Furthermore, the purpose of door locks is to lock the doors so they can’t be opened FROM THE OUTSIDE! Most car doors are unlocked from the inside simply by pulling the handle. There is also the question of why she let Moore drive her home. She says she was waiting for her boyfriend to come and pick her up, but he was running late. Why didn’t she want to wait a few minutes? She says he showed up a few minutes after the alleged assault. She claims she had bruises and her clothes would have undoubtedly been disheveled but her boyfriend seems not to have noticed. Members of her own family have said the story is made up. Her stepson says she is not an honest woman and is out for money. A former boyfriend who knew her then has told the media he doesn’t believe her. A woman who worked at the barbecue joint Nelson claims she worked at says that she worked there three years from 1977-80 and never saw Roy Moore in the place – Nelson claimed he was a regular who ate there every night and always sat in the same chair. (Now, bear in mind that Moore lived in the country some 25 miles or so by road from Gadsden. It’s extremely unlikely he would have been in the restaurant at the time Nelson claims the assault occurred.) Nelson claims that Moore pulled her head toward his crotch. She also says he was trying to get her shirt off while he was trying to get her to his crotch, but then says he let her go. Now, bear in mind that none of the other “accusers” mention any kind of assault or threats. In fact, except for Leigh Corfman, none of the women interviewed by the Washington Post mention any kind of sexual contact other than kissing at all. Nelson claims she never told anyone because she was afraid Moore would do something to hurt her or her family. She says she didn’t tell her boyfriend because he had a violent temper and she was afraid he would do something. Regardless, there is no way Nelson’s allegations can ever be proven. They are alleged to have occurred 39 years ago and the statute of limitations have long since expired.

Leigh Corfman alleges that she went out with Roy Moore twice when she was fourteen years of age. She claims that she met Moore in 1979 in the Gadsden County courthouse when she went there with her mother, who had filed suit to give up custody because the girl had behavior problems (although Corfman doesn’t mention that in her account.) She claims that she and her mother were waiting to go into the courtroom when Moore came over and offered to stay with her outside the courtroom. Now, this doesn’t make sense (although her mother has corroborated the story.) Corfman was fourteen years old, an adolescent, not a child. Why would a 14-year old need someone to wait with them in the foyer of a courthouse? She claims that she gave Moore her telephone number and asked him to call her. She claims that she’d slip out of the house and meet him on a street corner near her house. She says that she went out with Moore at least twice, and that he took her to “his house” on both occasions. Now, at that time – and for years afterward – Moore was living in a mobile home, a trailer, he had purchased while he was in the Army on 16 acres of land in the Gallant community west of Gadsden, where Corfman was living with her mother. In 1979, he was in the process of adding-on to the trailer to make it into a house but it wasn’t until 1982 that it resembled a house. In fact, when he and his wife first married in 1985 she had to cook in an electric skillet in the washroom because he hadn’t built a kitchen (and didn’t for at least a year after their marriage.) Corfman remembers that the “house” was up a gravel road but makes no mention of him living in a trailer.

Bear in mind that Moore’s trailer was at least 25 miles from Gadsden where Corfman lived, one way. He would have had to drive around 50 miles, at least, to take her to his house then take her home. It would have taken them at least half an hour to get from her house to his and another half hour to get back, but she makes no mention of this in her accounts. For her to have gone to Moore’s trailer, she would have had to have been gone from home a minimum of an hour, not counting the time she spent there. Where the hell was her mother? Her mother had just gone to court to give custody to her father because she couldn’t handle her. Wouldn’t she have been curious, at least, to know where her daughter had been? If she wasn’t home, why did Corfman go somewhere else to meet Moore? She claims that the first time they went there, they did some kissing but then says that the second time, he put his hand on her breast – over her bra. She also says he went in the bedroom and took off his clothes then came out in his underwear. This doesn’t make sense. Why would a man leave a hot girl on the floor of his living room to go to his bedroom to take off his clothes? No, he would have either taken his pants and shirt (that’s all he took off) there in the living room where they were making out or would have taken her into the bedroom. In fact, a man would have removed the girl’s clothes first. Now, this sounds more like something a high school boy would do, not a 32-year old man! Or, from a Harlequin Romance.

There is a strong possibility that Corfman may have concocted a fantasy about Roy Moore after he talked to her and her mother at the courthouse. She said in her appearance on the Today Show that she read a lot of romance novels. Now, I’ve read a few over the years, although not recently. One of the topics of romance novels is of a young woman meeting an exciting older man and being swept off her feet while her bodice heaves. Corfman was a disturbed young teenager whose parents had been divorced for five years. She admits she lived in a fantasy world and that when she was going out with Roy Moore, she was experiencing a fantasy of being in the adult world. Now she says she was a child but she evidently considered herself an adult at the time. There is a very thin wall between fantasy and reality and our memories often concoct fantasies we later remember as real. For example, for years I believed a certain experience had happened to me while I was in the Air Force. I believed it and even wrote about it but then it occurred to me that what I was “remembering” was actually the image that came in my mind at the time one of my friends was telling about something had happened to him. I also sometimes have dreams about relationships I had with young women before my first marriage and between my marriages. I eventually realized that these women only exist in my dreams. They are not real. Leigh Corfman’s recollections of her relationship with Roy Moore may only exist in her imagination.

There is something important in the Corfman account – if her allegations are true, their actions were consensual. She says that on both occasions, when she became uncomfortable and told him to stop and take her home, he did. The only illegality was her age. She was younger than the age of consent as expressed in the Alabama Code of 1975 (the code still in force in Alabama.) However, she makes no insinuation that she had intercourse with Moore. Neither do any of the other women who have made the news. However, since Corfman was under the age of 16 and Moore was older than 19, he would have been guilty of sexual abuse in the second degree.

Corfman has some credibility issues for a number of reasons. First, she was a child of divorce, which causes problems for many children. (I know all about this – I had four children at the time of my divorce and it was very hard on them.) Corfman has admitted both to being involved with drugs – which affect the brain – and promiscuity. She was involved in a number of questionable activities as a teenager and as an adult and claims to have attempted suicide at age 16. Since her mother gave up custody to her father due to the girl’s disobedience, she was obviously already having problems before she met Moore. She is alleged to have made allegations against other prominent men – particularly pastors – and she may have actually been as old as seventeen at the time she claims to have been involved with Moore. She says she told people about the incident but her mother has said she didn’t tell her until ten years later, after Moore had become a circuit court judge. One of her friends claims Corfman told her she was going out with an older man and the woman says she warned her it wasn’t a good idea. Regardless of who she told, the fact remains that there is no case against Judge Moore – Corfman has allegations but that’s all, and the only place those allegations will be heard is in the media.

There are also problems with the time frame of Corfman’s claim. According to court records, her mother was in court to give up custody to her father because she had discipline problems. The court proceedings were on February 21, 1979, a Wednesday. The order stated that she was to be placed in the custody of her father, who lived in Ohatchee, a community some 15 miles south of Gadsden, on March 4, a Sunday. Corfman claimed that Moore called her at her mother’s and that she slipped out of the house and went to meet him on a street corner – which may have been more than a mile a from the house and on the other side of a major thoroughfare. She claims he took her to his house twice. There is only a 12-day window for Corfman’s proceedings with Moore to have occurred (actually 10, since she was at the courthouse on the first day and moved to her father’s house on the twelfth.) She did not mention that she left her mother’s home and moved in with her father. She say that when Moore called, she made excuses but never mentioned that she had moved, which would have been a logical reason for the relationship to have ended.

The third accuser is a woman named Tina Johnson who was 28 years old at the time of her allegation, which is supposed to have occurred sometime in the 1990s. She and her mother had hired Moore to represent them in her effort to relinquish custody of her 12-year old son (which means she was 16 when she had him) to her mother because she lacked the means to support him. She claims that as she and her mother were leaving his office, Moore grabbed one of her cheeks. Yet, she never told her mother and continued to use Moore in the case. I suspect that she just wanted to get on the #MeToo bandwagon.

None of the other “accusations” are actually accusations at all. Two are women who admit to going out on dates with Moore. All were in their teens but over the age of consent. One claims she met Moore when she was fourteen and that he asked her out two years later but she didn’t go because her mother wouldn’t let her. One, who was eighteen at the time, says that Moore took her to a pizza parlor and ordered a bottle of Matuese Rose, a popular Portuguese wine, even though she was under twenty-one. (She doesn’t seem to say that she drank any.) Then there is another, one Becky Gray, who apparently just wanted to get on the bandwagon. She was in her twenties when she claims she knew Moore, and working in a store in the Gadsden Mall. She claims that Moore asked her out several times and she complained to the store manager that he was bothering her. However, she makes no claim of sexual impropriety. She claims she “got Roy Moore banned from the mall” but the fact is, according to the mall manager, he was never banned from the mall at all. That he was banned from the mall is apparently a rumor started by mall workers who had seen him there then when he quit appearing – because he had left the area – they thought he had been banned. Bear in mind that this was during the time when Roy Moore was engaged in a bitter dispute with local attorneys and a campaign for county judge, which he ended up losing, and there was a lot of animosity against him. There can be no doubt that a lot of stories were being spread about him by his opponents (just as there are now.) Some Gadsden residents claim that Moore had a reputation for trying to pick up teenage girls at the mall, but no woman has come forward claiming he tried to pick her up except the one woman who worked in a store, and she was in her twenties. A former police officer, a woman, told a TV commentator that while there were rumors about Moore, no one ever made a complaint. She said it “was all rumor.” There is also the question of whether Moore was even going to the mall at all because at the time residents claim he was, he was engaged in building his house when he wasn’t at work as a prosecuting attorney. (This raises another issue – the kids no doubt knew that if they got in trouble, Moore would prosecute them.) Moore was living in a mobile home on sixteen acres of land he had purchased in Gallant, a small rural community some 15 miles west of Gadsden. Gallant is one of those places “you can’t get to from here,” By road, the distance appears to have been at least 25 miles just to Gadsden and the Gadsden Mall is south of town and even further from Moore’s home. Considering that he was busy building his house, it’s doubtful he’d have had time to spend at the mall.

There are some things about the current controversy that really upset me. Certain segments of the media and some politicians are branding Judge Moore as a “pedophile” and “child molester.” In fact, even if the stories about him were true, Moore would not be a pedophile. Pedophilia is sexual attraction to prepubescent children. None of the women who have made claims regarding Judge Moore were prepubescent. Even Leigh Corfman, the youngest, was older than fourteen and even if she was below the age of consent (to engage in sexual intercourse, which neither she or any of the other women have claimed occurred), she was still an adolescent and no longer a child. Pundits also refer to Moore as a “sexual predator” when, in fact, no sex is alleged to have occurred. Nelson claims Moore forced her head to his crotch but then says he “gave up” and let her go – and her account isn’t even believed by some of her own family members and friends. Critics also insinuate that the fact that Moore went out on dates with women still in their teens is somehow sordid. In fact, romantic relationships between older men and teenage women has been common throughout history. Texas Governor Sam Houston married Margaret Lea when she was 21 and he was 47; they had been romantically involved for 2 years before their marriage. Abraham Lincoln was nine years older than his wife Mary Todd. Mark Twain was ten years older than his wife Olivia. When my parents married in January 1943, my mother had just turned 19 and my father was a few weeks short of his thirtieth birthday. I have a photograph of my great-grandfather, a Methodist preacher, taken with his daughter on her wedding day – she was thirteen and entering a marriage that would last for more than half a century. I myself am almost twenty years older than my current wife – we’ve been married for seventeen years – and I was six years older than my first wife, to whom I was married for eighteen years. No, relationships between women and men many years older than they are is not at all uncommon. In fact, many girls are married in their early to mid teens, usually to men several years older than themselves.

Something also needs to be understood about the time frame of the allegations. The 1970s and 1980s were a turbulent and confusing time for young people. The so-called “Sexual Revolution” had started in the 1960s (or before) and was in full swing through the 1970s and into the 1980s. It was a permissive time, with sex as the focal point. Movies included sex scenes that wouldn’t have been thought of a generation before. Abortion became legal in 1973 and birth control was becoming common. Drug use had become rampant, with young people whose parents had thought beer was exciting smoking pot and taking other, more powerful, illicit drugs to get high. Leigh Corfman has admitted to having been a drug user – and promiscuous – as a teenager.

Roy Moore, on the other hand, had become a devout Christian at a young age then after graduating from high school had gone off to the US Military Academy at West Point, New York where he spent four years in a generally isolated, heavily disciplined environment. After graduation, he went to Germany for two years then straight to Vietnam, where the US was in the process of disengaging from a war that had become unpopular and where the remaining troops had become an undisciplined rabble. Although he had been an infantry officer, in Vietnam the young Captain Moore was put in command of a company of military police whose duties were to guard the stockade at Da Nang. Even though they were supposed to be in charge of disciplining miscreant soldiers, the men of Moore’s company were ill disciplined and resentful of him because he sought to restore the discipline he found lacking. His men resented him and he was fearful of being “fragged,” a practice that had become all too common in Vietnam. “Fragging” meant tossing a fragmentation grenade into the hooch of a hated officer or sergeant. One of Moore’s men fragged the company top sergeant but, fortunately, the man lived and recovered from his wounds. The culprit had announced that he was going to frag Moore, leading the captain to sleep outside of his hooch. There are rumors being spread about Judge Moore’s conduct as an Army officer. One claim is that he made his men salute, and thus violated a military precept about saluting when in the presence of the enemy. Well, Moore’s company wasn’t in the presence of the enemy. He was commander of a rear area MP company in charge of the stockade. Saluting is a military courtesy and, yes, soldiers, sailors and airmen saluted officers in rear areas such as Da Nang. How do I know this? Because I spent over four years of my life of which a good portion was in South Vietnam. After returning to an assignment at Fort Riley, Kansas, the young officer served out his military commitment then resigned his commission and returned to Alabama where he enrolled at the University of Alabama School of Law. Fresh out of the Army and a Vietnam veteran, Moore found himself among a crowd that had protested the war and hated the military, and the veterans who had served. His professors and some of his classmates ridiculed him. Nevertheless, he graduated and passed the bar, apparently on the first try, then returned to his home in Etowah County to practice law.

Just what Roy Moore’s relationships with women had been during his years at West Point and in the Army are unknown. He doesn’t discuss relationships with any women prior to his wife in his memoir. He did have female friends when he was in law school but whether or not he was close to any of them is unknown. He came back to the Gadsden area after having been away for twelve years. His female high school friends had most likely married or moved away, as is common in small towns and rural areas. He was thirty years old and it’s doubtful there were any single women around town his age so, naturally, his attention would have been directed towards younger women, some of whom were in their teens. Another Gadsden attorney believes he was behind in social development. However, it is a long stretch to say that he “preyed” on teenagers even though he apparently did go out on dates with at least two women in their late teens. However, there is nothing illegal about this as the age of consent in Alabama was sixteen. Moore says that he never went out with a young woman without her parent’s approval. Moore has been criticized for going to high school basketball games but it’s important to remember that he had four younger brothers and sisters as well as other younger relatives. Furthermore, except for Corfman and Nelson, neither of whom mention the mall, no women have accused Moore of sexual impropriety. If he was hanging out at the mall to prey on teenagers, there would have been accusations.

The rumor that Moore was “banned from the mall” is likely due to him leaving the Gadsden area after his loss in the Democratic Primary for the circuit judge position. In those days, primaries were usually held in August. He says he entered the race in June 1982. He had resigned from his position as deputy district attorney and the campaign had caused most of the local attorneys and judges to turn against him. He decided to take a break. While at West Point, Moore had taken up boxing and had lettered in the sport. He organized a boxing tournament in his company in Vietnam and took on all-comers, and won most of the bouts. He was interested in the Oriental sport, karate and decided to take his remaining funds and travel to Galveston, Texas to study the sport under Ishmael Robles, a champion competitor and instructor. He found work on construction crews to support himself while he spent nine months studying the sport. (He entered competitions after he returned to Alabama and seems to have won many of them.) After working his way through the various belts, he decided to leave Galveston and the country and travel to Australia. He had planned to go there on R&R from Vietnam but because his unit was transferred back to the States as part of President Richard Nixon’s de-escalation of the war, R&R trips to Australia were discontinued. Moore spent a year in Australia traveling around and working, including several months on a “small” 52,000-acre station (ranch) in the Australian Outback. The rancher’s daughter, who was sixteen when Moore lived with the family, says she was “very close” to him nd that he never disrespected her. Local kids who hung out at the mall didn’t see Moore, not because he had been banned, but because he had left the area. In 1985, Moore returned to Alabama and opened his own office with another attorney and friend. Soon after his return, he met his future wife and was married within a year. He was 38, his new wife Kala was 24.

One thing that has disgusted me is how certain “establishment” Republicans jumped all over Judge Moore without even considering that the accusations against him are politically motivated. I used to live in Kentucky and met Mitch McConnell a few times. I used to hold him in high regard, as I did John McCain, but they’re both disappointments, as is Lindsay Graham. McConnell and Graham are both Baptists, as is Judge Moore, but they seem to be Sunday morning Christians rather than true believers. Ted Cruz, who is a hypocrite if there ever was one, also came out against Moore. My other Senator, John Cornyn, withdrew his endorsement of Judge Moore. Personally, I am very upset with these men, all of whom seem to be more concerned with keeping Moore out of the Senate than with giving him the benefit of the doubt in what is obviously a politically motivated action against him. They were eager to throw him to the wolves, but as he’s been doing all his life, Judge Moore is not going down. The most recent poll, of more than 11,000 people, shows him with a 6-point lead over his opponent in spite of the allegations.

There has been a new development in this situation. Since I began this missive, Moore’s Democratic opponent has been running an online ad calling Moore an “abuser” and listing the names of the nine women who have made claims about him. Since the women would have had to approve the use of their names, this ad proves that their claims are political. They have shown themselves as political whores.

 

The Travesty of Obamagate

A second prominent Democrat, one Mary Anne(a) Marsh, a consultant and activist, has admitted on national television that the Trump Administration spied on Donald Trump.  Marsh appeared on Judge Janine’s program on Fox recently and stated that not only did the Obama Administration began spying on Donald Trump “in the spring of 2015,” it is a well-known fact. Now, just who is supposed to have known this fact is NOT known, but it obviously means it was known within not only the Trump Administration, but also within the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Party and the Hillary Clinton campaign. Marsh’s comments confirm what former DOD under secretary Evelyn Farkas admitted a month ago, and which Farkas has been trying to say she didn’t say. (Farkas apparently realizes she was confirming an illegal act but Marsh apparently doesn’t realize it.

There are a number of issues in play. For one thing, surveillance of US citizens without authorization by a court is illegal and even if such surveillance is conducted, the information is classified. That means that if it is “well known” as Marsh claims, someone was disclosing classified information to people who had no “need to know.” That in itself is felony. It also indicates that the information was used for political purposes; both Farkas and Marsh were involved with the Clinton campaign. It also means that a lot of Democratic politicians, including Congressman Adam Schiff and Senator Mark Warner, know the surveillance took place – AND THAT IT WAS ILLEGAL! It also implicates a lot of people high up in the Obama Administration, INCLUDING OBAMA HIMSELF! It has already been revealed that the individual who unmasked members of the Trump team, and now it appears, Trump himself, was very high up in “the intelligence community,” and that it was not Director Comey of the FBI. That leaves former Director of Intelligence General James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan – and former President Barack Obama himself.

The admission of spying on Donald Trump raises a lot of questions. For example, who else was spied on? President Trump didn’t declare his presidency until June, and Marsh indicated that the spying took place “in the spring.” (Granted, June is partly in the spring.) It’s likely that Obama and the Democrats were so confident that Hillary Clinton was going to win that they’d never be found out, which seems to be what Evelyn Farkas indicated in her fear that the Trump Administration would learn “what we knew and how we knew it.”

Regardless, #Obamagate is just beginning!

 

 

Evelyn Farkas Farked Up

Almost a month ago on March 2, former Deputy Secretary of Defense Evelyn Farkas appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program and discussed the intelligence gathering of the Obama White House with host Mika Brzezinski, a well-known journalist and member of the Democratic Party. In the clip, which can be seen in its entirety, Ms. Farkas basically indicted both herself and the Obama Administration for conducting surveillance of President Donald Trump, apparently both when he was a candidate and during the interim between his election and inauguration. Ms. Farkas, who is well-known for her outspoken criticism of Donald Trump and who has written a number of negative articles about him and criticized him on MSNBC, allowed herself to use the pronoun “we” when discussing intelligence on Mr. Trump and how she “encouraged” the Obama Administration to move this intelligence to “the Hill” prior to the inauguration.

The clip remained unnoticed for almost a month, probably because it appeared on MSNBC where it was only seen by people who are largely critical of the president. It finally came to light a few days ago thanks to members of the conservative media who first made it known on the web site Conservative Treehouse on March 28. The unedited clip has since become widely circulated. Of course, Democrats defend Farkas, who claims her comments were “taken out of context.” In fact, her comments are very straight forward and can only be taken as she uttered them. Incidentally, her comments were made TWO DAYS BEFORE President Trump’s widely criticized tweet in which he asserted that President Obama had the Trump Tower “wiretapped.” (The word is in italics in his tweet.)

It turns out that Farkas, who carries the title “doctor,” is a “Russia expert” with a decidedly anti-Russia bent. During her tenure, she argued that the United States should equip the Ukrainian military with “heavy weapons.” She resigned her post in 2015 and then is alleged to have become an advisor to the Hillary Clinton campaign. The daughter of a Hungarian immigrant – which may explain her anti-Russia bias – Farkas wrote a paper condemning presidential candidate George W. Bush and the Republican Party’s policies for a buildup of the military after Bill Clinton had practically destroyed it. Farkas was a Clinton Administration representative on an international organization team in Bosnia in 1996 then served as an election observer in 1997. She is a member of the Center for National Policy, a left-wing organization based in DC that represents itself as a “non-partisan” think tank “dedicated to advancing the economic and national security of the United States. (Secretary of Defense General James Mattis is a representative of their Edmund S. Muskie Distinguished Service Award, as is Senator John McCain.) During the Bush Administration, she was a staff member on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

In her appearance, the basically outlines how the Obama Administration (and evidently the Clinton Campaign) worked feverishly to gather intelligence on candidate, then President-elect Trump, and make it known on “the Hill,” meaning to Democratic members of Congress. By using the pronoun “we,” she implies that she was personally involved in the spreading of classified intelligence information among members of Congress, some of whom may not have been (and most likely weren’t) cleared for classified information. She now claims that her comments were taken out of context and that she didn’t have access to classified information but her comments imply that she did, which means that someone in the Obama Administration was feeding classified intelligence documents to her and the Clinton Administration.

Where will this go? If Democrats have their way, not far. However, Republicans are in charge and they’re not going to let this die. As I’ve been saying, #Obamagate is just beginning.

UPDATE – The transcript of Farkas interview by the House Intelligence Committee – https://intelligence.house.gov/uploadedfiles/ef15.pdf – reveals that Farkas was shooting her mouth off and had no knowledge of anything related to “Russian interference” or of Trump campaign “collusion” with Russia. She further revealed that she is heavily biased because her parents fled Hungary and gave her a deep-set hatred of anything Russian.

The Russian “Intelligence” Farce

Our country is in crisis. For the first time in American history, the losing political party in the presidential election is making every possible effort to delegitimize the new president. The effort centers around the two most prominent, at least in their own minds, newspapers in the United States, the New York Times and the Washington Post. Both papers came out vigorously against Donald Trump before the election and now that he’s president, they’re doing everything they can to oppose him. It’s no accident – both papers, particularly the New York Times, have long been propaganda outlets for the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Party. Neither paper – or any other media outlet – has an inside track on government and the White House but they try to give the impression that they do. They publish “breaking news” based on “information” provided by “sources” who go largely unidentified. Neither paper can be believed but they serve as the basis for most of the national political news published in the United States.

Having a dishonest media is a major part of the problem but there’s also another. Thanks to books and movies, many Americans have a misperception of the abilities of the various “intelligence” agencies of the Federal government. Thanks to James Bond and other such fictional heroes, they think that intelligence agents – spies – know everything about other governments. In fact, “intelligence” is actually speculation. How do I know this? For two reasons – first, I spent twelve years in the military and was briefed by intelligence officers and, second, I have more than a passing interest in history, particularly military history, and know more than a little about the role played by military intelligence over the past century and a half. I know that “intelligence” is actually supposition based on information that has been obtained by a variety of sources and which may or may not be valid.

“Intelligence,” which is actually a misnomer, has been a function of military forces and governments for many centuries, but it has become more refined since the 1930s due to the development of new methods of obtaining the information that constitutes what the military, and now government, refers to by that term. In the United States, Army and Marine Corps general staffs, at levels ranging from their general headquarters down to the battalion level, the Intelligence function is referred to as G-2. The Air Force and Navy refer to the same functions as simply “intelligence.” Their function is to obtain information to provide to commanders to allow them to make command decisions, information that can be anything from enemy troop strengths and positions to secrets.  In addition to military information, intelligence includes economic, agricultural and civilian education and morale information, among many things. This information may be collected by simply reading newspapers, but can also include interrogation of prisoners of wars or defectors as well as interception of enemy dispatches. It might also be derived by agents working undercover, or from paid sources inside enemy camps or countries. Since the 1930s, intelligence has also been derived by intercepting communications, including telegraphs, telephones and radio. With the advent of the internet, it also includes digital information obtained by breaking into servers used by the target government or military force. In recent years, there has been much talk of “cyberwar,” which is nothing more than interfering with internet communications in some way. However, there is a difference between electronic eavesdropping and hacking into a server in order to disrupt communications. Eavesdropping is passive while hacking is aggressive.

Prior to 1947, intelligence in the United States was primarily a military function. It still is to a large extent, with the various intelligence “agencies” depending to a large extent on the military for it’s intelligence-gathering functions. For example, the National Security Agency (which was often referred to as “No Such Agency” in the 50s and 60s), depends heavily on the Air Force, Army and Navy for its intelligence collection. All three services have special units whose role is monitoring of communications of foreign governments and military forces by recording transmissions. All told, there are now sixteen or seventeen intelligence-gathering agencies in the United States government and all but four are either part of or directly involved with the military, and with good reason because it is the military – and the military’s commander-in-chief, the president – who are in most need of intelligence. It is important to understand that every single one of the sixteen or seventeen intelligence agencies are all part of the Executive Branch of government and, as such, are ultimately responsible to the President of the United States.

“Raw intelligence” is meaningless because it can be interpreted in various ways, and may or may not be valid. Therefore, intelligence has to be analyzed and interpreted and turned into a report, which is then passed to the commander who needs it. A failure to properly interpret intelligence can change the course of history, and can lose battles and wars, as happened in the European Theater of Operations in World War II when General Dwight Eisenhower’s vast intelligence staff failed to detect the massive buildup of German troops in the Ardennes in preparation for their attack on inexperienced American divisions that became the famous Battle of the Bulge. Fortunately, the German attack stalled when their vehicles ran out of fuel and the surrounded 101st Airborne Division was kept in the fight by aerial resupply. Even more important, General George Patton’s own G-2 had correctly predicted the attack and his Third Army was able to break away and rush to the aide of the beleaguered paratroopers.

The claim that “the Russians” were behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee Emails was made immediately after WikiLeaks released the Emails by Robby Smook of the Hillary Clinton Campaign, which is a good indication that the claim was a fabrication designed to lessen the effect of the revelations. The allegation is based on claims by a computer security firm called CROWDSTRIKE the DNC had contracted to monitor it’s network. However, when the FBI looked into the claim, it was not allowed to look at the DNC’s computers but instead relied solely on information provided by CROWDSTRIKE, a company founded by a Russian émigré named Dmitri Alperovitch who came to the United States as a teenager when his father took a job with the Tennessee Valley Authority, after emigrating to Canada on a visa.  Alperovitch has a connection to Hillary Clinton dating back to when she was Secretary of State.

In January, the Obama Administration released an “intelligence assessment” of Russian hacking efforts. However, the “report” really doesn’t say anything and offers nothing other than supposition. The report was made public largely thanks to the outgoing director of the CIA, James Brennan, who has strong leftist beliefs and admittedly once voted for the Communist Party, USA candidate for president because he “didn’t agree” with the other two parties. Although Director Comey of the FBI strongly agreed with the analysis, Admiral Mike Rogers of the NSA was less in agreement and only expressed moderate agreement. In fact, all that has been heard about the claim are allegations, with one of the most recent coming from a former NSA director who retired before Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president.

A new twist came about back on March 2 when former Deputy Secretary of Defense Evelyn Farkas made a startling admission that she had encouraged the Obama Administration to leak classified information to “the Hill.” Farkas made her statement on March 2, two days before President Trump tweeted that Barack Obama had Trump Tower “wiretapped” but the media failed to pick up on it. Her comments came to light thanks to conservative bloggers who had seen the segment. Farkas, who served as an advisor to the Hillary Clinton campaign, is now downplaying the significance of her comments, claiming that she did not have access to classified information even though her words plainly indicate that she did. Farkas, who is alleged to be an “expert” on Russia, was not in intelligence and only had access to reports, not to the actual intelligence on which they were based. In fact, Farkas shot her mouth off about Donald Trump’s alleged “ties” to Russia all through the campaign and is often quoted by leftist journalists in articles on the subject. She was a member of the Obama administration and has no credibility as an impartial observer (nor does Brennan.) It is no wonder that many conservative journalists such as Tucker Carlson and Britt Hume believe that Democrats invented the story because they still can’t understand how Trump won the election.

Last week the House Intelligence Committee had a “hearing” with FBI Director Comey and NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers and this week the Senate Intelligence Committee got in the act. I watched the House hearing in its entirety but have no intention of watching the Senate hearing after seeing Virginia Senator Mark Warner claim that Russian intelligence “paid 1,000 hackers” to put out “fake news” against Hillary Clinton just before the election. Now, where did the 1,000 number come from? In fact, it was the Clinton campaign that was using paid trolls to post anti-Trump and pro-Clinton screeds in comment sections on news sites. Warner, whose entire adult life has been spent in Democratic Party politics, is coming out to be just as much of a snake oil salesman as Congressman Adam Schiff. The reality is that there is plenty of information available about the Clintons, so much that there’s no need for “fake news” about them.

There is one thing that needs to be addressed, and that is that even if there is “intelligence” that members of the Trump campaign and even the administration have “ties” to Russia, this is not reason for concern. The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and since then Americans have been doing business in Russia. Paul Manafort, for example, is a political consultant who did work, not in Russia, but in Ukraine. Former EXXON CEO Rex Tillerson was head of a large corporation that has been engaged in oil exploration in Russia since the 1990s. Donald Trump held the 2013 Miss Universe Contest in Moscow. Those are all legitimate business interests and they are but three of literally tens of thousands of Americans who have done business with or in Russia over the past three decades. Some, in fact, were associated with the Clinton campaign. For that matter, former President Bill Clinton gave a speech in Moscow. He also accepted a $500,000 payment from a Russian bank and his wife approved the sale of an American uranium company to Russia.

It’s all a farce and the American people are once again getting the shaft by the Democratic Party.

The Russians (and Donald Trump) Did It!

http://intelligence.house.gov/

I just finished watching yesterday’s House Intelligence Committee hearing with FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers. I came away from it with the opinion that the Democrats on the committee are only interested in advancing a political agenda, as evidenced by the many, many statements they made rather than actually asking questions of the two subjects. Those statements were all based on information taken from the media, which is ironic because Director Comey made clear that media accounts regarding classified information are almost without exception inaccurate. (He gave them an accuracy of maybe ten percent.)  He also said that the “sources” used by the media are often some distance removed from the actual information and that the information they provide members of the media is usually inaccurate. Yet, even after he made this statement, the Democrats on the committee continued to read their obviously pre-written statements that were largely based on media accounts. Such a travesty!

The purpose of the hearings was, at least ostensibly, to hear from the two agency directors regarding the ongoing investigation into Russian “meddling” in the 2016 presidential election. The Director of the CIA, Mike Pompeo, was not there, probably because he just took over the agency. At the time of the alleged “meddling,” the CIA director was John Brennan, an Obama appointee who left office on January 20. Congressman Trey Gowdy, a former Federal prosecutor, insinuated that Brennan may have been responsible for some of the highly illegal leaks of information that have appeared in the media since President Trump’s election, leaks that Director Comey made clear are criminal and that the leakers should be found and prosecuted. The most serious is the leaking of information pertaining to Lt. General Mike Flynn, the short-lived Director of Intelligence in the Trump Administration. (Gowdy may have even been insinuating that Obama himself is the leaker. Someone in his administration authorized the “unmasking” of the general after his voice was found on recordings of the Russian ambassador.)

As the hearings proceeded, it became obvious that the object of Democrats was to attempt to influence Director Comey to investigate/prosecute various members of the Trump circle, particularly General Flynn. Congresswoman Terri Sewell, a black woman from Alabama, was the attack dog. She kept harping on General Flynn, insinuating that he is a criminal, in spite of Director Comey’s continual refusal to answer her questions. Comey had made it clear at the beginning of the hearing that he was not going to answer any questions related to individuals or information that had appeared in the media. (It has recently come to light that General Flynn’s company was paid $500,000 for consulting work for a Dutch company that is suspected of “having ties” to Turkey.) Sewell was obviously trying to get Comey to have Flynn charged for not registering as a foreign agent (which he did on March 8.) GOP Congressman Trey Gowdy, insinuated that the Obama White House leaked information about General Flynn that had been obtained illegally by the NSA. Remember that General Flynn is alleged to have engaged in a number of conversations with the Russian ambassador, information that could have only been obtained by surveillance, which is illegal since General Flynn is an American citizen and surveillance requires a court order.

When it comes to the actual Russian “interference” in the election, very little was actually said about it. At the beginning of the hearing, Congressman Nunes solicited statements from both directors that there is no evidence that the Russians changed the vote in any of the states that President Trump won by a narrow margin. Both Director Comey and Admiral Rogers stated that there is no evidence of any Russian interference in the actual election in those states. The two directors referred to the findings of the three intelligence agencies – CIA, FBI and NSA – that the Russians meddled in the election primarily by spreading “propaganda” on the Russian government-owned television station RT and it’s associated web site designed to hurt Mrs. Clinton. (There was no mention of the American propaganda stations – ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and MSNBC. However, as stated previously, Director Comey stated that their stories are highly inaccurate.) In reality, the information I’ve seen on RT was no different than accounts I have seen on other outlets dating back to the 1990s. Both Director Comey and Admiral Rogers referred to Russia as an “adversary” of the United States, but neither actually stated why they considered the two countries to be adversaries. (Adversary is not the same as an enemy – adversary is actually synonymous with opponent, as in a contest.)

Are Russia and the United States actually in competition with one another? If so, just how? Back when the Soviet Union was still in power, there was the matter of ideology as the Soviet Union was the leading advocate of the spread of communism. Those days are over, however. The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and since then Russia and the United States have had a different kind of relationship. Russia is not trying to manipulate ideology in the West; in fact, Russia is now capitalist even if the country is run, at least allegedly, by an oligarchy (another word that is often thrown about without consideration – some allege that the United States is an oligarchy, or was before Donald Trump became president. Since then, it’s often called fascist – by people who are actually Marxist themselves.) The truth is that the United States has nothing Russia wants. Yes, Russia now owns a company that owns a uranium mine in the US but it also has large uranium reserves of its own, more than twice as much as the United States. It’s the same with oil – Russian oil reserves are more than double those of the United States. The fear and hatred of Russia characteristic of so many Americans, particularly those in government, is actually a holdover from the Cold War combined with animosity over Russia’s occupation of Crimea and influence in Ukraine, both of which have strong connections to Russia dating back for centuries. It’s actually Europe that fears Russia, and that fear has spread into elements in the United States.

Director Comey stated something that has been made public in the past, that the FBI never had access to the Democratic National Committee’s computer servers. The claim that they were hacked by “the Russians” (the hackers were actually not from the Russian government, but are alleged to have been working for it) is based on information provided by a third party internet security company contracted by the DNC. He alleged that this is not abnormal, but that the FBI often depends on information from third party internet security companies when investigating cyber crimes.

Personally, I doubt that the hearings and the House (and FBI) investigations will accomplish anything. One writer has referred to the hearing as a “nothing burger.” I tend to agree.