Saturday, September 24, 2016
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Monday, September 19, 2016
Last week, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump confirmed his belief that President Barack Obama was born in the United States, and noted that the original story had come from the 2008 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.
The major media outlets including the AP, Reuters, the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, ABC, NBC, and CBS quickly produced their agreed view on the issue. (The Wall Street Journal cites here the varying wordings of that agreed viewpoint by the AP, Reuters, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and CNN. I heard the reporting by ABC, NBC, and CBS myself, and read the AP account in the Albuquerque Journal.) The way the agreed media story was put in the Albuquerque Journal is this:
WASHINGTON – After five years as a promoter of a lie about Barack Obama’s birthplace, Donald Trump abruptly reversed course Friday and acknowledged the fact that the president was born in America. He then immediately peddled another false conspiracy.If memory serves, Hillary started denouncing it as false about the time she was named to be Obama's Secretary of State.
“President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period,” Trump declared, enunciating each word in a brief statement at the end of a campaign appearance. “Now we all want to get back to making America strong and great again.”
But as the GOP presidential nominee sought to put that false conspiracy theory to rest, he stoked another, claiming that the “birther movement” was begun by his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. There is no evidence that that is true.
“Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it,” Trump said.
While the question of Obama’s birthplace was pushed by some bloggers who backed Clinton’s primary campaign against him eight years ago, Clinton has long denounced it as a “racist lie.”
Note that this agreed media story on the issue appeared in the media's news stories, not just in their editorials.
This writer suspects that Trump picked up legitimate discussions of and questions about Obama's birth that were running around the country (no, not just "some bloggers") in 2008. Some questions continued for a time even after the White House finally released a copy of the original long-form birth certificate because of perceived discrepancies in it.
But, frankly, that's not of concern. What is of concern is that the media have agreed on a single viewpoint, across news and editorial departments and across organizations, that is at odds with the verifiable facts both as stated currently and as can surely be verified in news reports from 2008. Multiple members of Hillary's 2008 campaign, including her senior advisor and close confidant Sidney Blumenthal, are the ones who took this story to various reporters a story that was supported by Obama's own statement in a collegiate biography that he was born in Kenya. Indeed, Blumenthal's deep involvement in spreading this story may be the reason President Obama absolutely forbade the hiring of Blumenthal in the State Department by Secretary Clinton, and order Hillary followed in its letter but not in its intent as he was clearly still working for her at the time of the Benghazi Attack.
But I'm reasonably sure of this:
It's not a conspiracy. It's worse. It's a consensus.
Perhaps the actual issue for this presidential campaign is that Donald Trump was gullible enough to really believe what he read in the media in 2008.
Sunday, September 18, 2016
Hillary Rodham Clinton showed her true colors early in the Administration of President William Jefferson Clinton. (She had done so back in Arkansas as well, but not nearly so publicly or on the national public record.) This former First Lady, former New York Senator, and former Secretary of State engineered what would become known as Travelgate:
It was the first big case in which she showed poor judgment, a cool willingness to mislead, and a level of political aggression that gave even those around her pause. It was after this mess that her critics said she’d revealed the soul of an East German border guard.What showed up in Hillary's Travelgate actions? She took vindictive actions that were intended in part to funnel government funds to her friends and associates. Those actions included, in that case, not only the dismissal of all the members of the White House Travel Office, who had worked for a series of presidents both Democrats and Republicans, and having criminal charges lodged against them which she knew to be fabricated and false. She made a long series of false statements, attempting to hide her mendacity behind a long series of changing stories. And she misused and subverted a whole series of government files and departments.
The Clinton White House was internally a dramatic one, as George Stephanopoulos later recounted in “All Too Human,” his sharply observed, and in retrospect somewhat harrowing, memoir of his time as Mr. Clinton’s communications director and senior adviser. He reported staffers and officials yelling, crying, shouting swear words and verbally threatening each other. It was a real hothouse. There was a sense the gargoyles had taken over the cathedral. But that wouldn’t become apparent until later.
All of which could have been ripped from this year's current headlines. It just goes to show that absolutely nothing has changed.
Thursday, September 15, 2016
Bataan survivor Dwight Cable, formerly a Sergeantt in the 515th Coast Artillery (Anti-Air) of the New Mexico National Guard, died last month as previously noted. But there is a coincidence that's not noted in the Albuquerque Journal article about Dwight, or in his obituary one that makes one wonder if there are ever really any coincidences.
Dwight was born at home, in an apartment at 5622 S Ellis Avenue in Chicago IL on December 16, 1916. (Babies were normally born at home, not in hospitals, in those years.) That apartment was right across the street from the west stands of the University of Chicago's Stagg Field, home of one of the founding members of the Big Ten Conference. (The Chicago Maroons dominated that conference until the University dropped its football team after the 1939 season.) That apartment building has long since been torn down.
|The Nuclear Energy sculpture at the University of Chicago|
The Prisoner of War camp commandants in Japan had standing orders that, when the Allied invasion of the home islands began, they were to kill all the prisoners. The atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ending World War II, avoided the need for an invasion and thus saved the lives of Dwight and the other POWs being held in Japan. So the research carried out across the street from Dwight's birthplace came to be used "across the street" from his internment camp a use that saved his life.
Another coincidence. The apartments where Dwight was born were eventually torn down and replaced by a University of Chicago laboratory building, the Enrico Fermi Institute for Nuclear Studies. A laboratory in that building was used by one of Dwight's nephews. As best as that nephew could determine, the location of his laboratory was at the very location (though in the basement) of the apartment where Dwight was born. It really is a small world.
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
A memorial page is available online on the website of the Prostate Cancer Support Association of New Mexico providing a lot of information about Dr Lindberg's life. The Peanuts cartoon described in the memorial page can be seen here.
Dr Lindberg will be greatly missed.
UPDATE (Sept. 23): Dr Lindberg's obituary has been published in the Los Alamos Daily Post. It is also being printed on September 25th in the Los Alamos Monitor and can be seen (with poor formatting) on legacy.com.
UPDATE (Sept. 27): Dr Lindberg's obituary was published today in the Albuquerque Journal. We all are still greatly distressed that he is gone.
Sunday, September 11, 2016
Our own generation's "day which will live in infamy."
No, we must never forget!
And we must especially think on these things today, on the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 Attack.
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Time is like a river. You cannot touch the water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again. Enjoy every moment of life. As a bagpiper, I play many gigs. Recently I was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper's cemetery in the Nova Scotia back country. As I was not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost and, being a typical man, I didn't stop for directions.
I finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral guy had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight. There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch. I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late.
I went to the side of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place. I didn't know what else to do, so I started to play.
The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. I played like I've never played before for this homeless man. And as I played "Amazing Grace", the workers began to weep. They wept, I wept, we all wept together. When I finished, I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car. Though my head was hung low, my heart was full.
As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say, "I never seen anything like that before, and I've been putting in septic tanks for twenty years."
Apparently, I'm still lost... it's a man thing.
Monday, September 5, 2016
The tradition is that people write down their troubles and worries, which are placed in the giant (over 50 feet tall) marionette of Old Man Gloom raised each year in Fort Marcy Park in Santa Fe. Crowds (more than 50,000 people) gather there in the evening at the start of the Fiesta to watch Zozobra and all their cares & worries go up in flames. Like they did last Friday night.Albuquerque Journal on Sunday, September 4, 2016)