You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘history’ category.

Regular readers know that I have covered several exposés from James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas about the media and Democrat activists.

Their last one was about the Washington Post, in November 2017.

Their new one is all about Twitter.

On January 17, 2018, Twitter was among the big social media companies appearing before the United States Senate:

In practice, ‘extremist propaganda’ often refers to messages and news supporting President Donald Trump.

It also includes the president himself:

More detail follows.

James O’Keefe asks Twitter’s founder Jack Dorsey a question:

Here are a few more teasers about Twitter (language alert), handy to forward to friends and family who don’t have time to watch the longer videos:

Twitter dislikes patriots:

Okay, O’Keefe meant ‘rogue’, but note that Twitter is not questioning the video content:

Twitter users complained. In return, the company manipulated the trending hashtag results:

Twitter cannot look at everything, but, rest assured, they have a few hundred people looking at obscene images. Do they keep those images? Where do the images go next? Hmm. Sounds potentially nefarious, but, then, people should not be sending that type of stuff in the first place.

Without further ado, Project Veritas issued the first video (8:16 minutes) on January 10. It is an interview with Clay Haynes, senior network security engineer, who discusses helping the DOJ with any potential enquiries regarding Trump (written summary):

The second video (15:14 minutes), issued on January 11, features policy manager Olinda Hassan discussing censorship of ‘sh*tty people’. Pranay Singh, direct messaging engineer, explains how they do it. Mihai Florea, a software engineer, admits that half of Twitter employees want to delete Trump’s account for good; the other half want to keep it. Mo Norai, a former content review agent, says that Twitter is between 90% to 99% anti-Trump (written summary):

The third and final video (9:37 minutes) was posted on January 15. It features Pranay Singh, direct messaging engineer, discussing obscene images and messages (written summary):

One thing that has struck viewers of these videos is the number of foreigners in them, pervasive throughout Silicon Valley. They might be easier to work with where matters of censorship are concerned. Still, one cannot help but take exception to someone whose homeland is not the United States referring to Twitter users representing half the American population as ‘sh*tty people’.

By the way, O’Keefe’s new book, American Pravda, discusses the four Project Veritas media exposés. His publisher, Macmillan, has a summary which says, in part:

The book not only contests the false narratives frequently put forth by corporate media, it documents the consequences of telling the truth in a world that does not necessarily want to hear it. O’Keefe’s enemies attack with lawsuits, smear campaigns, political prosecutions, and false charges in an effort to shut down Project Veritas. For O’Keefe, every one of these attacks is a sign of success.

American Pravda puts the myths and misconceptions surrounding O’Keefe’s activities to rest and will make you rethink every word you hear and read in the so-called mainstream press.

O’Keefe recently told Alex Jones that he always needs new undercover journalists but warned that it is hard, potentially dangerous, work that most people would not be able to do:

American Pravda also has examples of social media users buoying support for President Trump during the 2016 election. He devotes a whole chapter to the contributors at The_Donald, known as ‘weaponised autists’ (link from The_Donald has a three-page excerpt). A lot of them came from 4chan, which is where the term originated.

If you haven’t read or heard much about this story, it’s not surprising. Alternatively, perhaps you heard or read something about it that is inaccurate, with omissions.

Twitter’s platform is great. Twitter’s censorship is not.

Advertisements

N.B.: Language alert and red pills below. Controversial. Not for the faint of heart.

On Wednesday, January 10, 2018, in discussing immigration, President Donald Trump allegedly made a remark about immigration from ‘sh*thole countries’, according to Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois).

The conversation, including several others, took place behind closed doors in the Oval Office.

Senator David Perdue (R-Georgia) attended the meeting and said that only Dick Durbin heard it. Perdue discussed the issue with ABC’s George Stephanopolous:

As usual, media and politicians have been harping on this ever since.

Never-Trumper Mia Love (R-Utah) issued a statement:

Allegedly, Trump asked why there couldn’t be more immigration to the United States from countries like Norway. Why did he mention that nation in particular? Because he had welcomed the Norwegian prime minister to the White House that day:

This is Trump’s explanation:

Media reports said that Haiti, in particular, was singled out:

Trump retweeted an important fact revealing Dick Durbin’s hypocrisy:

Durbin also made a false claim about a Republican during the Obama years:

On Friday, January 12, Trump honoured Martin Luther King Jr Day:

Housing and Urban Development secretary — the retired brain surgeon from the slums of Detroit — Dr Ben Carson is on the left and Isaac Newton Farris Jr, a nephew of Martin Luther King Jr, is on his right. Vice President Mike Pence is behind them. Several other people attended this event, during which:

President Donald J. Trump signed H.R. 267 into law on January 8. Named the “Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park Act,” the law redesignates a National Historic Site in Georgia—the state where King was born—as the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park.

This was Trump’s message to the nation on Monday, in which he reviewed Martin Luther King Jr’s beliefs and ideals and how important they were to the Civil Rights movement — and to Americans today:

On Saturday, Martin Luther King Jr’s niece, Alveda King, gave an interview to Fox & Friends, explaining what Trump meant by his remark just days before:

“Racism is just a word that is being bandied about and thrown… at the president unjustly,” she said. “President Trump is not a racist.”

King said that, in his reported remarks, Trump was not disparaging Africans or Haitians but instead calling attention to the fact many of their governments are inadequate and corrupt.

“Some of their own leaders have taken advantage of them,” she said.

She also criticized American Urban Radio Networks correspondent April Ryan, who repeatedly shouted “are you a racist” at the president during the King Birthplace park signing ceremony.

Years ago, minorities viewed Trump as their ally:

Here’s the irony about the mention of Haiti:

Donald Trump may or may not have called Haiti a “s***hole” – everyone freaks out. UN peacekeepers actively ran a child sex ring in Haiti – nobody bats an eye.

If we’re going to talk about Haiti, who exploited it more than Billary Clinton via their (in)famous foundation?

Yet, Hillary got pious when reacting to Trump …

… which elicited many critical reactions, including this one …

… and this one:

If we’re going to talk about other countries of this nature, look at what ended up in 2016’s Podesta WikiLeaks. This is from Gabe Podesta, John’s son:

The media went nuts and said ‘sh*thole’ more times than you can shake a stick. CNN even wrote the word on a whiteboard.

On a Trump-supporting news site, Gateway Pundit, lead writer Jim Hoft applauded (bold in the original):

That’s our president.

And THAT’S why we love him!

President Trump responded today to the “Gang of Six” immigration plan.
Could not have said it better myself.

Dilbert’s Scott Adams translated the words into normal American parlance:

Poor countries with bad schools that have favored immigration status.

Adams also posited that leakers of sh*thole comments are the real race baiters:

Although, not surprisingly, many Americans were shocked by this fake news, others started to point out the fallacy in Democrats’ — including media’s — thinking. One Twitter user calls it The Sh*thole Conundrum:

Those countries aren’t sh*tholes.

Illegal aliens can’t go home because their country is a sh*thole.

Regardless of language used, The_Donald‘s readers agreed with Trump, including this person:

people trying to act like this is offensive, but its honestly the truth and I don’t even like trump that much

That same thread had the following comment:

MASH : Make America a Sh*t Hole, the Dem 2018 campaign slogan. Not to be confused with get-out-the-vote arm, SHARD, Sh*t Holes Are Reliably Democrat.

It seems that person was not the only one thinking that, because the online world started filling up with examples of Democrat-run cities:

I was amazed to find the photo on the right shows Houston.

A US Navy veteran from St Louis, Missouri, rightly took issue with the state of Durbin’s nearby Illinois constituency, which he has been serving since 1983, first as congressman and now senator. Watch:

Here are four more incredible films about Dick Durbin’s East St Louis. For those unaware, the empty lots in the residential parts of town are where houses were razed. Watch:

Dick Durbin should be ashamed of himself. But, that’s impossible. He’s a Democrat.

Twitter really lit up this past weekend.

A new hashtag — #FusionCollusion — started as a place for people to post on Fusion GPS’s phony Russian dossier and has now gone beyond it to discuss spying by the Obama administration for political purposes and the Clintons’ scandals. A few representative tweets follow:

Other accounts not tweeting on #FusionCollusion were also active.

President Donald Trump retweeted a reminder of a news story from 2016:

No, of course, Hillary’s emails aren’t missing:

WikiLeaks brought up an old Clinton Foundation story related to Haiti:

Patriotic actor James Woods had a go at Bill Clinton — so much so that Gateway Pundit actually has an article about it. You’ll have to read this tweet yourselves, but here are more:

On Friday, January 12, 2018, the DOJ announced has taken action on someone involved in shady business with Russia:

Former President of Maryland-Based Transportation Company Indicted on 11 Counts Related to Foreign Bribery, Fraud and Money Laundering Scheme

Executive Allegedly Paid Bribes to a Russian Official So His Company Could Win Highly Sensitive Nuclear Fuel Transportation Contracts

An indictment against a former co-president of a Maryland-based transportation company that provides services for the transportation of nuclear materials to customers in the United States and abroad, was unsealed today for his alleged role in a scheme that involved the bribery of an official at a subsidiary of Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation …

Mark Lambert, 54, of Mount Airy, Maryland, was charged in an 11-count indictment with one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and to commit wire fraud, seven counts of violating the FCPA, two counts of wire fraud and one count of international promotion money laundering.  The charges stem from an alleged scheme to bribe Vadim Mikerin, a Russian official at JSC Techsnabexport (TENEX), a subsidiary of Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation and the sole supplier and exporter of Russian Federation uranium and uranium enrichment services to nuclear power companies worldwide, in order to secure contracts with TENEX. 

The case against Lambert is assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Theodore D. Chuang of the District of Maryland. 

According to the indictment, beginning at least as early as 2009 and continuing until October 2014, Lambert conspired with others at “Transportation Corporation A” to make corrupt and fraudulent bribery and kickback payments to offshore bank accounts associated with shell companies, at the direction of, and for the benefit of, a Russian official, Vadim Mikerin, in order to secure improper business advantages and obtain and retain business with TENEX.   In order to effectuate and conceal the corrupt and fraudulent bribe payments, Lambert and others allegedly caused fake invoices to be prepared, purportedly from TENEX to Transportation Corporation A, that described services that were never provided, and then Lambert and others caused Transportation Corporation A to wire the corrupt payments for those purported services to shell companies in Latvia, Cyprus and Switzerland.  Lambert and others also allegedly used code words like “lucky figures,” “LF,” “lucky numbers,” and “cake” to describe the payments in emails to the Russian official at his personal email account.  The indictment also alleges that Lambert and others caused Transportation Corporation A to overbill TENEX by building the cost of the corrupt payments into their invoices, and TENEX thus overpaid for Transportation Corporation A’s services. 

In October 2017, The Hill reported on this company — unnamed:

Before the Obama administration approved a controversial deal in 2010 giving Moscow control of a large swath of American uranium, the FBI had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States, according to government documents and interviews.

Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show.

This is how the media reported on it last year:

Incidentally, the reasons for Paul Manafort’s arrest pre-date the Trump campaign and are entirely unrelated to it.

But as much as the media made out of Manafort’s arrest, this uranium business is a real scandal, potentially threatening national security:

I predict public awareness of these issues to grow over the coming weeks.

I hope The Storm is soon to be upon us. I will keep you posted.

As we can see below, CNN has their priorities right:

Anyone wanting real news has to go hunting for it:

Then there was the false alarm in Hawaii on Saturday, January 13, 2018, warning of a ballistic missile threat — ‘this is not a drill’:

There’s something deeper behind this incident (language alert):

Here is a better image of the boxed text (from 4chan or 8chan), which is from an Air Force Fusion Analyst at Hickham in Hawaii. Particularly concerning are these sentences:

The false alert was not a mistake. We were informed it was to be a drill, but then all information was put out that the threat was real.

I overheard them [Governor’s office] state that this ‘Demonstrated weakness in the Trump admin and a refusal to protect his people.’

We don’t really know what to do or what’s going on. Which is really bothersome because it’s literally my job to process all information going in and out of this place for reports. I don’t know what to do or what’s going to happen to me.

If this was designed to upset people, it worked:

Breitbart’s Nick Nolte responded:

As did Fox News’s Greg Gutfeld:

Something is definitely wrong:

Correct:

The head of the FCC says his agency will investigate:

They should also revisit the siren incident in 2017, when Obama was still in the White House. Note the time and date:

In the meantime, CNN can resume normal service and criticise the Trumps for not owning a dog.

——————————————————————————————

UPDATE: ‘Worker who sent out Hawaii missile alert is reassigned’ (New York Post, January 14, 2018)

The Hawaii public employee who plunged the state into chaos by accidentally sending out an incoming-missile emergency alert Saturday has been reassigned, according to reports.

The unnamed emergency department worker will not be fired because he made an honest mistake, Hawaii Emergency Management Agency spokesman Richard Rapoza told the Washington Post

The agency has already put in place new safeguards to prevent such a misfire — including a “cancel” button that will immediately send out corrective alerts if an erroneous warning is issued, officials said Sunday.

Further reading:

‘Hawaii releases timeline of what transpired after false ballistic missile warning’

Last year, I wrote an extensive post on Plough Monday, which is the first Monday after Epiphany:

The English tradition of Plough Monday

I thought I had covered the waterfront with regard to this ancient festival but found more history about the day that signalled a return to full time agricultural work on the Tuesday.

Ploughing matches

When Plough Monday was widely celebrated, some farmers would have had their ploughs blessed at church on Sunday. Other villages had a communal plough at the church which was blessed annually.

In some areas, ploughing matches took place, which gathered crowds of onlookers. The Cottage at the End of a Lane has an old colour photo of one such contest, likely to have been in Suffolk.

The author points out:

The men who walked 10 miles a day in all weathers back in the day would have smiled to see people nowadays doing it for fun or to keep the memory alive. Most of them welcomed the arrival of tractors.

I bet they did.

Traditional poems

The Cottage at the End of a Lane also has a traditional poem:

Plough deep while sluggards sleep:
and you shall have corn to sell and keep.

Turn out for Plough Monday
Up, fellows now
Buckle the horses 
And Follow the plough. 

Plough Monday started with chores before everyone moved on to festivities. This was to show willingness to work hard in the year ahead. As I mentioned in last year’s post, a kitchen maid was given a cockerel for Shrovetide before Lent. A contest between the maids in the kitchen and the men in the fields took place to see if the maids could keep their cockerels. If one of the men was able to get some of his farming implements by the fireside before the kitchen maid got her kettle on, then she forfeited her cockerel — ‘cocke’ in the poem which follows.

In the 1500s, a gentleman farmer by the name of Thomas Tusser penned these lines, featured on Legendary Dartmoor:

Good huswives, whom God hath enriched ynough,

forget not the feasts that belong to the plough:

The meaning is only to joy and to be glad,

for comfort with labour is fit to be had…

Plough Monday, nest after that twelftide is past,

bids out with the plough, the worst husband is last:

If plowman get hatchet, or whip to the skreene,

maids loseth their cocke, if no water be seen.

Thomas Tusser (1524-1580) was born in Essex, the county to the east of London. He was part of the choir at St Paul’s Cathedral before studying at Eton and going up to King’s College, then to Trinity Hall, Cambridge, for his university education.

He spent ten years serving as a musician for William Paget, 1st Baron Paget of Beaudesart, before marrying and farming in Cattawade, Suffolk, near the River Stour. His first wife was sickly, and he abandoned farming so they could move to Ipswich. After her death, he remarried and resumed farming, with interruptions for illness or escaping the plague of 1572-1573. When he died in London in 1580, he owned a small estate at at Chesterton, Cambridgeshire. According to contemporary accounts, he not only farmed arable land but also raised livestock. He did not make much money and lived frugally.

Tusser wrote many agricultural poems which laid out the best traditional methods of farming and raising livestock, most famously in A Hundreth Good Pointes of Husbandrie, first published in 1557. In 1573, he expanded his original work and published Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry.

Tusser most likely saw his fair share of Plough Mondays.

Devon customs

Legendary Dartmoor‘s post, ‘Plough Monday’, reveals a local custom that invokes ‘The Spirit of the Harvest’:

In order to add some extra clout to the devotions to the ‘Spirit of the Harvest’ it was also imperative to plough the ‘neck‘ or ‘corn dolly‘ which was taken from the previous harvest into the first furrow ploughed either on or just after Plough Monday. To do this would ensure a good harvest but to fail to observe this tradition was to invite ‘tare and rook’ to decimate the growing crop.

Another is more modern:

I don’t know if it was just a family thing but I can remember uncle always sprinkled a, “drap o’ firejuice,” on the plough shares before the first furrow was cut. It must have been a pretty serious belief because it was unheard of for any relation of old ‘John Barleycorn’ to go anywhere but down his throat.

This is encouraging:

It appears that the tradition of Plough Monday died out on the moor around the late 1900’s but the church blessing has been revived by some Young Farmer’s clubs.

Regional celebrations

In 2018, Plough Monday was January 8.

Durham

Durham held their festivities on Sunday, January 7 (photo at the link):

Come and join us in our drawing of the Plough from Durham Market Place to the Palace Green to be received by the Dean of Durham Cathedral.

There we’ll welcome in the traditional start of the agricultural year with Morris and Sword Dancing, Music and Ceremony!

Celebrations for Plough Sunday, a traditional English festival, are being revived in Durham this weekend. Drawing a plough into the Cathedral, they will be invited inside by the Dean, who will give them a commemorative four pence in a re-enactment of Plough Sunday celebrations that took place in 1413.

The afternoon will continue with a music session and bar at the John Duck, Claypath.

All welcome!

That sounds very traditional.

Balsham

In Cambridgeshire, the village of Balsham revived Plough Monday festivities in 1972.

The Balsham Ploughmen site has their whole modern-day story. Incredibly, Plough Monday has been celebrated there every year since to raise money for charity.

In 1972, the original organisers studied the village plough, built between 1680-1720, and constructed a new one based on the design of the old one using 100-year-old wood.

The organisers and a team of volunteers go to houses and pubs to collect money and sell raffle tickets:

Money is collected at each stop and along the streets, from one end of the village to the other and there is a raffle at the finishing pub. However, the chief means of fundraising, which justifies such activity in what is usually one of the coldest nights of the winter, is the traditional “horseplay”. There is a great deal of banter among the Ploughmen, Cambridge Morris Men and the followers.

The cries of “pity the poor ole ploughboy” together with the rattle of collecting tins and the jingle of the Morris Men’s bells signals that Plough Monday is with us again.

Then:

The day following Plough Monday has evolved into “Harrowing Tuesday” when Ploughmen, members of the team and their families traditionally meet for lunch of bangers and mash and discuss the events of the previous evening – the name does tend to reflect the fragile state of the team rather than an agricultural reference.

The Balsham Ploughmen have been highly successful:

Plough Monday 2017 has broken all fundraising records!

We were once again out and about on 9th January 2017 with the Cambridge Morris Men fundraising for Balsham 2nd Brownies, Buttercups Community Pre-School and a village defibrillator …

This year’s total was a massive £3,219.50!

I hope they had another great success this year.

It is marvellous that people in England still care about Plough Monday, an ancient tradition that deserves to keep going for generations to come.

This week I learned of another old English tradition, St Distaff’s Day — the day after Epiphany.

While there is no St Distaff — a facetious name — January 7 was the day when women returned to spinning wool, flax or other fibres after the twelve days of Christmas.

A distaff is a ‘roc’ or ‘rock’ — a rod or dowel — used in spinning. It was used before spinning wheels were invented. It holds the unspun fibres and keeps them untangled. Wikipedia has an excellent entry with ancient illustrations of distaffs.

January 7 is also known as Distaff Day or Roc Day.

As spinning was a female occupation, the English language has two words emanating from it: spinster (never-married woman) and distaff (referring to the matrilineal branch of a family, e.g. ‘distaff half’ for ‘wife’). A distaff race means that all the horses running are female.

Breathing in books has a poem by Robert Herrick (1591-1674), which he wrote for January 7. It involves a custom of:

high jinks in which men and women engage in a battle of the sexes with the men trying to steal away and burn the women’s flax while the women respond by trying to throw water over the men (not much fun in January in my opinion!). However, [Steve] Roud [author of The English Year] points out that other, later, sources all seem very similar and vague and it seems likely that they all used Herrick’s poem as their sole source on the tradition.

This is Herrick’s poem:

St. Distaff’s Day or the Morrow After Twelfth Day

Partly work and partly play,
Ye must on S. Distaff’s day
From the plough soon free your team;
Then come home and fother them.
If the maids a spinning go,
Burn the flax, and fire the tow:
Scorch their plackets, but beware,
That ye singe no maiden-hair.
Bring in pails of water then,
Let the maids bewash the men.
Give S. Distaff all the right,
Then bid Christmas sport good night;
And next morrow, every one
To his own vocation.

In closing, the Monday after Epiphany is Plough Monday, which sometimes coincides with St Distaff’s Day, depending on the calendar year.

Tomorrow: More Plough Monday traditions

On Saturday, January 6, 2018, Newsbusters posted an article about a BBC interview with Michael Wolff, author of Fire and Fury, which is about President Donald Trump.

Incidentally, the book is currently available for free online. As such availability likely violates copyright law, I have not posted the link.

Nicholas Fondacaro’s article, ‘Wolff Touts Book “Will Finally Bring Down…This Presidency”’ recaps a BBC interview Wolff gave to the BBC’s Nick Robinson last Saturday. Excerpts follow (emphases in the original):

In an interview with BBC Radio on Saturday, Michael Wolff, the author of the dubiously sourced gossip book targeting President Trump, boasted to host Nick Robinson that “the story” that he told, “will finally end…this presidency” once and for all …

Now, all of this is fascinating, it’s an insight, it’s gossip some of it, it may not be enough to stop him from being president. Whereas, the allegations about Russia may be,” Robinson prefaced. “Do you believe that anything in the book will actually change the chances of the allegations of collusion with Russia being found to be true and therefore leading to the impeachment of the President?

Wolff said:

You know, I think one of the interesting effects of the book so far is a very clear emperor-has-no-clothes effect. That, the story that I have told seems to present this presidency in such a way that it says he can’t do his job. The emperor has no clothes. Suddenly everywhere people are going: ‘Oh my God, it’s true, he has no clothes.’ That’s the background to the perception and the understanding that will finally end this – that will end this presidency.

As retired courtroom lawyer Lionel says, such talk is potentially dangerous:

Incredibly, Wolff told Robinson that Trump hardly has any staff and that he will do little as president. Despite stellar economic results in 2017, Wolff said:

The economy is booming possibly because you’ll have someone who’s not capable of actually implementing any policies or regulation.

In a way, that makes no sense.

In another, such a statement implies that the economy does better with less government interference.

Trump’s insistence on rolling back Obama era regulations has helped the economy improve. Trump was also busy last year negotiating various trade initiatives, such as coal.

In June, the New York Post published an article on coal by Salena Zito, who does an excellent job of covering small town life in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

‘Don’t be so quick to dismiss Trump’s coal mining initiative’ is an eye-opener. For the first time in a decade, a new coal mine opened in Acosta, Pennsylvania. Trump sent his congratulations via video shown to local residents (emphases mine below):

The Acosta Deep Mine in Somerset County marks a dramatic upturn for the area. And while President Trump cannot claim that he brought the industry back here personally (this new mine was already being developed before the election), he is an effective cheerleader for folks who’ve been discounted by the political elite.

“We will begin by employing 70 to 100 miners and we hope to open a total of three new mines in the next 18 months — and that will mean additional hiring,” said George Dethlefsen, CEO of Corsa Coal, which owns the mine.

More than 400 people applied for the first wave of jobs that will pay from $50,000 to $100,000, Dethlefsen said.

In a region where the median household income is $29,050, and nearly 12 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, the economic injection is huge.

It also creates a ripple effect: For every new job generated by the mine, even more jobs like waitresses, hotel workers, barbers or grocery workers are needed to support the community.

Absolutely.

Furthermore, the coal mined in Acosta is being used for steel production:

The coal from this mine is not going to be used for energy — instead, it will be used for the production of steel for the next 15 years. (According to the World Steel Association, coal is used to make 70 percent of the steel today.)

Every single one of us relies on steel in our daily lives. It’s found in our cars, bikes and public transportation. Those wind turbines so loved by environmentalists? Made of steel. The utensils we use to eat? Steel. Medical devices used to save lives? Steel.

Roads, bridges, appliances and even iPhones and computers all contain steel.

Exactly.

This is a great move.

And there is more good news on the coal front. In July, The Conservative Treehouse reported on the increase in American coal exports. This came as news to me:

U.S. EIA data shows a gain of 60.3% so far this year in exports of both steam coal (used to generate electricity) and coking coal (metallurgical coal used for steel manufacturing) as a direct consequence of President Trump’s common sense energy policy.

Interestingly, the largest destinations for the growth in American coal export are the U.K. (+175%) and a doubling of tonnage to both France (+100%), and Asia (+100%). High transport costs to ship coal to the EU are being offset by U.S. coal manufacturing efficiencies and improvements in mining productivity.

Reuters has more:

“Simply to know that coal no longer has to fight the government – that has to have some effect on investment decisions and in the outlook by companies, producers and utilities that use coal,” said Luke Popovich, a spokesman for the National Mining Association.

Shaylyn Hynes, a spokeswoman at the U.S. Energy Department, said: “These numbers clearly show that the Trump Administration’s policies are helping to revive an industry that was the target of costly and job killing overregulation from Washington for far too long.”

Coal could also be a major economic weapon used against North Korea, one of China’s principal coal suppliers.

Recall that China’s president Xi Jinping met with Trump at Mar a Lago on April 6 and 7, 2017. On April 11, Reuters reported:

Following repeated missile tests that drew international criticism, China banned all imports of North Korean coal on Feb. 26, cutting off the country’s most important export product.

To curb coal traffic between the two countries, China’s customs department issued an official order on April 7 telling trading companies to return their North Korean coal cargoes, said three trading sources with direct knowledge of the order …

The Trump administration has been pressuring China to do more to rein in North Korea, which sends the vast majority of its exports to its giant neighbor across the Yellow Sea …

North Korea is a significant supplier of coal to China, especially of the type used for steel making, known as coking coal.

To make up for the shortfall from North Korea, China has ramped up imports from the United States in an unexpected boon for U.S. President Donald Trump, who has declared he wants to revive his country’s struggling coal sector.

Eikon data shows no U.S. coking coal was exported to China between late 2014 and 2016, but shipments soared to over 400,000 tonnes by late February.

This trend was exacerbated after cyclone Debbie knocked out supplies from the world’s top coking coal region in Australia’s state of Queensland, forcing Chinese steel makers to buy even more U.S. cargoes.

I digressed from Wolff. However, he and his fellow ilk in the media deserve to have their collars felt by the authorities. What Wolff is doing with his book and what the media have been doing with fake news could be construed as advocating the overthrow of government, or, as Lionel tweeted, sedition.

On December 31, 2017, Fox News had an excellent guest editorial by financial columnist Liz Peek.

A summary and excerpts from ‘Liz Peek: What Trump DIDN’T Do in 2017’ follow.

Casting our minds back to 2016, after President Donald Trump’s victory, an ‘expert’ made the following predictions:

Paul Krugman predicted the stock market, which initially sold off on the unexpected outcome, would “never” recover from the blow.

… a despondent Krugman said Trump would plunge the country into a terrible recession.

In fact, on November 9, 2016, the day after Trump won:

the Dow soared 257 points, and has barely paused for breath ever since.

After ‘Trump can’t win’, we had ‘Trump won’t last’:

Columnist David Brooks, who fancies himself a moderate, said Trump would “probably resign or be impeached within a year.”

There were also widespread predictions that Trump would start World War III. Europeans, in particular, lost their collective mind.

Remember, too, that Trump was going to mess with monetary policy and start a trade war.

Earlier in 2017, ‘experts’ predicted Trump would:

fire Special Counsel Mueller or Attorney General Sessions.

None of the ‘expert’ predictions came true.

In reality:

President Trump accomplished a great deal in his first year of office: helping to pass a massive tax overhaul, putting Neil Gorsuch on the court, snuffing out President Obama’s regulatory excesses, signaling a more robust foreign policy and damping illegal immigration, for starters …

Moreover, the president surprised many by following through on his threat to withdraw from the TPP trade deal (a promise also made by Hillary Clinton), his disavowal of the Paris climate accord and, most recently, by declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel.  There is nothing incoherent or reckless in these decisions however; they are compatible with Trump’s focus on jobs, and applauded by his supporters. While 66 percent of Democrats worry about climate change “a great deal”, for example, only 18 percent of Republicans are so concerned. Trump voters, like the president, see the Paris deal as bad for our economy.

A realistic assessment of Trump’s first year would note a transition to a smoother and more disciplined White House, better coordination with Congressional allies and a more integrated messaging on foreign policy.

Yet, people are still freaking out about Donald Trump.

Peek concludes by saying that the media and other Democrats will continue to push the same talking points in 2018, particularly impeachment. That said:

If the economy continues its steady climb, wages move higher (as is almost certain), and the stock market follows suit, they will need new talking points. Judging from surveys of consumer and business sentiment, Americans do not think the world is coming to an end.

I will post a list of Trump’s 2017 accomplishments soon.

Pew Research Center did not say directly that their December 26, 2017 study finds that Americans are increasingly polarised, but, sadly, the results certainly indicate it.

Excerpts from ’17 striking findings for 2017′ follow. Pew illustrate their findings with detailed graphs, which are worth checking out. The second excerpt below is from Pew’s Global Attitudes Survey.

Emphases in the original:

Partisan divides dwarf demographic differences on key political values. The average gap between the views of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents and Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents across 10 political values has increased from 15 percentage points in 1994 to 36 points today. Two decades ago, the average partisan differences on these items were only slightly wider than differences by religious attendance or educational attainment, and about as wide as differences across racial lines. Today, the partisan gaps far exceed differences across other key demographics.

2  Donald Trump’s presidency has had a major impact on how the world sees the United States. A global median of just 22% have confidence in Trump to do the right thing when it comes to international affairs, according to a survey conducted last spring. The image of the U.S. abroad also suffered a decline: Just 49% have a favorable view, down from 64% at the end of Barack Obama’s presidency.

4 Democrats and Republicans disagree now more than ever on the news media’s “watchdog” role. Roughly nine-in-ten Democrats say news media criticism keeps political leaders from doing things that shouldn’t be done, compared with 42% of Republicans ­who say this – the widest gap in Pew Research Center surveys conducted since 1985. This stands in stark contrast to early 2016, when similar shares of Democrats (74%) and Republicans (77%) supported the media’s watchdog role.

7 Americans see fundamental differences between men and women, but men and women have different views on the cause of these differences. Majorities of women who see gender differences in the way people express their feelings, excel at work and approach parenting say differences between men and women are mostly based on societal expectations. Men who see differences in these areas tend to believe biology is the root.

9 The share of Republicans who hold negative views of the effect of colleges and universities on the country has grown significantly since 2015. Nearly six-in-ten Republicans and Republican leaners (58%) now say colleges have a negative effect. Two years ago, by contrast, 54% of Republicans said colleges were having a positive effect. Democrats and Democratic leaners have consistently held positive views of the effect of colleges on the U.S.; 72% of Democrats and Democratic leaners say this today.

This next one is particularly disappointing (purple highlight mine):

12 In the past 10 years, the share of U.S. adults living without a spouse or partner has increased. This rise in “unpartnered” Americans, from 39% in 2007 to 42% today, has been most pronounced among young adults: Roughly six-in-ten adults younger than 35 are now living without a spouse or partner. The share of “unpartnered” adults also has risen more sharply among those who are not employed.

That is because they can marry the government instead. The government fulfils the material role of husband for too many women — and not just in the United States.

I could see this starting in the 1960s when I was growing up and attending Catholic school. When I was in primary school, only two students came from a ‘broken home’, common parlance then, now taboo.

Few of my Catholic high school friends came from single-parent homes; it was far from commonplace.

Among my adult neighbours during those years, only one woman I knew got a divorce. She said she was ‘bored’ and, anyway, she could find a job and work full time. I do wonder what happened to her and her two children. I felt very sorry for her husband, who was shell-shocked by the situation. He really loved her.

Catholic university was pretty much the same, with very few coming from single-parent households.

It wasn’t until I was earning a living on my own that I started meeting colleagues whose parents were divorced. It seemed such a strange concept to me. The last time I uttered the words ‘broken home’ in public was sometime during the 1980s. Someone I didn’t know that well barked at me, ‘Don’t tell me my home was ‘broken’! My mom did a great job!’ I explained the reference, but to no avail.

Anyway, in closing, the Republican-Democrat divide is equally troubling as we enter a new year.

There appears to be no end in sight for the foreseeable future. The same probably holds true in many Western nations.

I pray that our respective nations come together. I have never lived through a more divisive time, especially in such an era of ‘tolerance’.

Earlier this week, I posted about an anti-Christmas message from 2014 that the Washington Post recycled this year.

There is more news about WaPo to tell.

A WaPo reader is upset

Jean-Marie Simon, who has read WaPo for 20 years, gave the paper information about her Christmas flight on United. Simon had bought a first-class ticket — seat 1A — only to find that she had been bumped by congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas).

The Daily Mail has the full story with photos and Simon’s relevant Facebook posts. It is not surprising that WaPo did not want to cover it. What is surprising is that Simon, a schoolteacher, thought they would do so (Facebook post courtesy of Reddit):

Here’s another — albeit facetious — view of the situation. Courtesy of 8chan:

One wonders if Simon will continue to read WaPo after this.

Perhaps this incident red-pilled her.

The Post

In other WaPo news, a movie — The Post — made its debut before Christmas. The New York Post gave it three out of four stars.

This film documents how WaPo increased its national prominence as a newspaper.

The story is about the Pentagon Papers, which was a huge exposé in 1971 about how Lyndon Johnson’s administration lied about the Vietnam War. Daniel Ellsberg was the Edward Snowden of his day. He had worked on the papers, a study officially called United States – Vietnam Relations, 1945–1967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense.

Ellsberg and a friend, Anthony Russo, photocopied the pages in 1969 and approached a few political luminaries to see if they would be interested in disclosing it. Henry Kissinger, who was Richard Nixon’s national security adviser at the time, declined. So did two Democrat legislators.

In 1971, Ellsberg approached a reporter at the New York Times, giving him 43 volumes the following month. These were not published until June 13 that year. The excerpts were dubbed The Pentagon Papers.

The Nixon administration quickly tried — but failed — to stop the NYT from publishing another excerpt on June 14. Although one would have thought Nixon — a Republican — would have relished this as Johnson was a Democrat, Henry Kissinger told him that allowing the excerpts to continue would be dangerous, as nothing would prevent newspapers from publishing dirty laundry from his administration.

Oh, the irony — think Watergate, which WaPo broke with daily coverage from Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.

Furthermore, the Nixon administration argued that Ellsberg and his friend Russo were guilty of a felony because they were circulating classified documents.

Attorney General John Mitchell and Nixon obtained a federal injunction forcing the NYT to stop publication after three articles. The NYT appealed and the case New York Times Co. v. United States (403 U.S. 713) quickly ended up in the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, Ellsberg had given other portions of the study to WaPo reporter Ben Bagdikian, who took them to the paper’s legendary editor, Ben Bradlee. WaPo began publishing the excerpts on June 18.

Assistant Attorney General William Rehnquist asked WaPo to stop publishing, but WaPo refused. Rehnquist tried — but failed — to get an injunction issued in US district court.

Ultimately, the NYT won the case in the Supreme Court on June 30, 1971. Fifteen other newspapers began publishing parts of the Pentagon Papers. In 1973, all charges against Ellsberg and Russo were dismissed — because of theft and bribery by the Nixon administration with regard to the case.

The Post shows how WaPo decided to publish the Pentagon Papers with all the drama involved.

The film also shows the male-dominated world of Katharine Graham, the only female publisher of a notable newspaper at the time. She was WaPo‘s publisher from 1969 to 1979. She then became chairman of the board and CEO before relinquishing the latter position in 1993. She continued to serve as chairman of the board until her death in 2001 at the age of 84.

Graham wisely put investigative reporting front and centre in a successful effort to ensure the NYT would not grab all the big Washington stories, such as the Pentagon Papers and Watergate.

The New York Post‘s review says that, when this film was made, a female occupant of the White House was envisioned for 2017.

So much for that.

The present occupant makes much out of fake news, predominant in today’s WaPo and the NYT.

Philip Graham

Katharine Meyer Graham rose to the top at WaPo because she succeeded her husband Philip. Also of note is that her father, Eugene Meyer, bought the paper in a bankruptcy auction in 1933. Philip Graham succeeded his father-in-law as publisher in 1946.

Philip Graham (1915-1963) was an interesting character with a lot of Deep State connections. Spartacus Educational has a well-researched entry on him. Do read it all, including the footnotes. A summary with excerpts follows.

He was born in a small town in South Dakota. His parents relocated to Florida during his childhood. Graham ended up attending Harvard Law School and edited the Harvard Law Review.

He married Katharine Meyer in 1940, during which time he was a law clerk for the famous Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter. Graham joined the Army Air Corps in 1942. He worked for the head of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), William Donovan. In 1944:

Graham was recruited into the “Special Branch, a super-secret part of Intelligence, run by Colonel Al McCormick”. He later worked under General George Kenney, commander of the Allied Air Forces in the Southwest Pacific. Graham was sent to China where he worked with John K. Singlaub, Ray S. Cline, Richard Helms, E. Howard Hunt, Mitchell WerBell, Jake Esterline, Paul Helliwell, Robert Emmett Johnson and Lucien Conein. Others working in China at that time included Tommy Corcoran, Whiting Willauer and William Pawley.

From this, we can see that he was incredibly well-connected to power.

After the war, as the publisher for WaPo, he expanded his network further with a group of men known as the Georgetown Set. They included:

Frank Wisner, George Kennan, Dean Acheson, Richard Bissell, Desmond FitzGerald, Joseph Alsop, Stewart Alsop, Tracy Barnes, Thomas Braden, David Bruce, Clark Clifford, Walt Rostow, Eugene Rostow, Chip Bohlen, Cord Meyer, James Angleton, William Averill Harriman, John McCloy, Felix Frankfurter, John Sherman Cooper, James Reston, Allen W. Dulles and Paul Nitze.

Whilst this is showing my age, I grew up hearing and reading a lot of those names.

It is likely that Graham already knew some of those men from the war. Allen Dulles, to name but one, ran the New York OSS office.

Dulles headed the CIA during Dwight Eisenhower’s presidency. Richard Bissell worked with him. Cord Meyer was in the CIA. Meyer was involved with Project, or Operation, Mockingbird, which used big media outlets to drive a government narrative:

According to Katherine Graham, her husband worked overtime at the Post during the Bay of Pigs operation to protect the reputations of his friends who had organized the ill-fated venture.

By the time of the 1960 presidential campaign, Graham did what he could to get Lyndon Johnson in the vice presidential slot for John Kennedy:

Graham met Lyndon B. Johnson in 1953. Graham believed that one day Johnson would make a good president. Graham told Johnson that his main problem was that he was perceived in Washington as someone under the control of the Texas oil and gas industry. Graham added that his attitude towards civil rights was also hurting him with liberals in the North. He was advised to go a “bit beyond (Richard) Russell and yet far short of (Hubert) Humphrey”.

Graham was a supporter of the Democratic Party and did what he could to get Johnson the nomination in 1960. When John F. Kennedy defeated Johnson he sent Clark Clifford to ask Stuart Symington to be his running-mate. Symington accepted the post but said: “I bet you a hundred dollars that no matter what he says, Jack will not make me his running mate. He will have to pick Lyndon”.

In the background Graham and Joseph Alsop were attempting to persuade John F. Kennedy to appoint Lyndon B. Johnson instead. Despite the objection of Robert Kennedy and other leading advisers, Kennedy decided to replace Symington with Johnson.

Once Kennedy was in the White House, Graham succeeded in persuading him to appoint his (Graham’s) buddies to administration positions: Douglas Dillon as Secretary of the Treasury, Arthur Schlesinger (former OSS) as a presidential adviser and David Bruce as ambassador to London.

Graham was able to expand the Washington Post Company by purchasing a radio and a television station as well as Newsweek and two prominent art magazines:

The main person involved in arranging Graham’s takeover of other media companies was Fritz Beebe. He ran the law firm Cravath, Swaine, & Moore. This was the company owned by Al McCormick, who Graham met during the war. Averell Harriman was another one involved in these negotiations.

Behind the scenes, things were less rosy, Even before Eugene Meyer died in 1959, a rift was growing between Philip and Katharine — Kay, to her friends. Graham’s mental state was not very good, either. Meyer wondered whether he should turn the company over to his son-in-law:

The Post publisher took a mistress, Robin Webb, whom he set up in a large house in Washington and a farm outside of the city. A heavy drinker who reportedly had manic-depressive tendencies, Graham, in some respects, was his own worst enemy, stridently abusive to his wife, both privately and publicly.

Katharine Graham’s biographer, Deborah Davis, posited that Graham was beginning to bother the CIA. After his second nervous breakdown he talked openly about how troubling he found Operation Mockingbird in terms of manipulating journalists:

He said it to the CIA… He turned against the newsmen and politicians whose code was mutual trust and, strangely, silence. The word was that Phil Graham could not be trusted. Graham was actually under surveillance by somebody. Davis has noted that one of Graham’s assistants “recorded his mutterings on scraps of paper.”

Others suggest that Graham had been damaged from undergoing CIA and other psychiatric treatments involving mind-altering drugs.

Graham told one of his close friends, WaPo attorney Edward Bennett Williams, that he wanted a divorce and planned on rewriting his will to leave everything — including the Washington Post Company — to his mistress instead of to Kay.

Williams was able to delay a divorce, but Graham rewrote his will three times in the spring of 1963. The last version omitted Kay altogether.

Then, Graham addressed a newspaper publishers convention in Arizona in a tirade about the CIA and Washington:

even to the point of exposing his friend John Kennedy’s affair with Mary Meyer, the wife of a top CIA official, Cord Meyer (no relation to Katharine Graham).

Katharine heard about it and flew to Phoenix:

and snatched up her husband who was captured after a struggle, put in a straitjacket and sedated. He was then flown to an exclusive mental clinic in the Washington suburb of Rockville, Md.

On the morning of Aug. 3, 1963, Katharine Graham reportedly told friends that Philip was “better” and coming home.

Suicides

That day in 1963, Philip Graham killed himself at home while Katharine was napping upstairs. The New York Post gives us this detail that other media outlets often suppress. He:

committed suicide at age 48 by shooting himself with a 28-gauge shotgun in 1963, days after being released from a psychiatric hospital following six weeks of treatment.

As he was not of sound mind when he died, his will was declared invalid. As he died intestate, Katharine assumed control of the Washington Post Company.

On December 20, 2017, one of the Grahams’ sons, William, 69, also committed suicide. He did not work at WaPo. He was a lawyer and law professor at UCLA. In later life, he turned to philanthropy. He died at his home in Los Angeles.

WaPo reported:

The cause was a self-inflicted gunshot wound, said his brother Donald E. Graham, a former Post publisher and chief executive.

Like Philip, William also left behind a wife and grown children. I hope they find comfort in the months ahead.

William did not live to see the national release of The Post.

© Churchmouse and Churchmouse Campanologist, 2009-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Churchmouse and Churchmouse Campanologist with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? If you wish to borrow, 1) please use the link from the post, 2) give credit to Churchmouse and Churchmouse Campanologist, 3) copy only selected paragraphs from the post -- not all of it.
PLAGIARISERS will be named and shamed.
First case: June 2-3, 2011 -- resolved

Creative Commons License
Churchmouse Campanologist by Churchmouse is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://churchmousec.wordpress.com/.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,073 other followers

Archive

Calendar of posts

January 2018
S M T W T F S
« Dec    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

http://martinscriblerus.com/

Bloglisting.net - The internets fastest growing blog directory
Powered by WebRing.
This site is a member of WebRing.
To browse visit Here.

Blog Stats

  • 1,217,354 hits