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

On Monday, August 6, 2018, Alex Jones’s Infowars was banned by several social media outlets.

Previously, these media outlets issued partial bans, but now, some have made no secret about removing him from their platforms entirely.

Contrary to what Big Media would have you believe, Infowars is the 7th most popular app in the US. Look at what Infowars is beating in the ratings:

Jones had anticipated this for at least three years. His apprehension started in 2015. After the election in 2016, even though Trump won, he was even more concerned about social media trying to cut off his access to viewers and listeners.

He details the various reasons for the ban in this video of his, made on the day it happened. It’s a keeper. Start with the video below (courtesy of variety) and continue on the link they recommend:

For a start, Apple and Google are working separately with China to develop censored social media projects and a search engine that filters and/or bans people and sites that go against the Establishment way of thinking. He says that the EU has also brought in censorship. (I recently heard a discussion about this on French radio, explained as, ‘They’re doing away with alarmist fake news, nothing more’, but it’s the same thing: silencing the opposition.) Then, there are the Democrats (example here) and their water carriers in the media who want to stifle support for Trump and the Republicans for the November mid-terms.

Jones says that none of the media outlets banning him have given him a specific reason why, other than to say ‘hate speech’. He says that there are people voting Infowars material down or flagging it as offensive.

Jones closed his video by saying people can still watch Infowars and read the news there on his own platform.

A lot of people don’t like Alex Jones, but, as he warns in the video, anyone could be next.

One rapper on Twitter says:

I don’t support or believe [what] ALEX JONES says but I don’t want powerful tech companies dictating what society is allowed to hear or see. They are too powerful. If they can delete anyone’s voice they want from the internet Who will be next?

Before going into further reactions, let’s look at two news reports about the Infowars ban. Emphases mine.

Howard Kurtz wrote a piece for Fox News, excerpted below:

Facebook said it has taken down some Jones pages “for glorifying violence, which violates our graphic violence policy, and using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies.”

Apple said it removed the “Alex Jones Show” and other podcasts from iTunes and its podcast app. The company said it “does not tolerate hate speech, and we have clear guidelines that creators and developers must follow to ensure we provide a safe environment for all of our users.”

Google’s YouTube dropped the ax on Jones’ channel, telling The Washington Post that it terminates users who violate “our policies against hate speech and harassment or our terms prohibiting circumvention of our enforcement measures.”

And Spotify banned Jones altogether after earlier removing some podcasts, telling the Post: “We take reports of hate content seriously and review any podcast episode or song that is flagged by our community.”

Hate content is not representative of the Infowars many know, and, unlike cable news networks, at least Jones apologises when he gets it wrong. Even Kurtz had to admit that in his editorial.

CNBC had more:

Pinterest removed the official InfoWars board on Monday afternoon after multiple people alerted the company to policy violations.

“Consistent with our existing policies, we take action against accounts that repeatedly save content that could lead to harm,” a Pinterest spokesperson said. “People come to Pinterest to discover ideas for their lives, and we continue to enforce our principles to maintain a safe, useful and inspiring experience for our users.”

CNBC’s article got to the crux of the issue:

Tech giants have faced calls from both sides of the political spectrum to be more transparent about the way they approach content flagging and banning. On the left, there are critics who say these firms are not doing enough to take down harmful and offensive content, while on the right there are some who think internet firms are routinely censoring conservative posts.

As private companies, there is nothing in law to bar them from removing user-generated videos and audio as they see fit. But a number of mostly conservative commentators have framed the issue as a matter of freedom of speech.

The Conservative Treehouse made excellent observations:

The corporate thought police moved in unity today to unperson Alex Jones and his Info Wars media site from popular social media platforms.

Imagine if BP, Exxon, Chevron and Sunoco all moved, on the same day, at the same time, to charge $5.00/gal for gasoline at their service stations.  That would be illegal collusion to take advantage of a monopolistic positionThat’s essentially what happened today when Facebook, YouTube, Apple and Spotify simultaneously banned the Alex Jones broadcast from their platforms; in an effort to purge him from the internet …

Oddly enough this was entirely predicted.  Back in the Fall of 2015 Matt Drudge appeared on the Alex Jones broadcast to warn of this exact situation.  Drudge talked about the need to stay off their platforms, because he could see the political use of platform control was likely to happen in the next few years.  In hindsight Drudge was eerily prescient:

 

The political left, and all the control elements of the Marxist Silicon Valley monopoly gatekeepers are moving in unity, taking action they deem will influence the 2018 elections and beyond. In the big picture this coordinated effort is a move to attack political opposition by weaponizing and controlling social media platforms.

Regardless of anyone’s opinion of Alex Jones, all should take this action seriously and think through the long-term ramifications….

Meanwhile, many social media platforms allow questionable content, including what were once deviant, criminal practices — and still are, to many of us. Yet, when Alex Jones tries to expose the ugly, painful truth behind them, perverts want him censored:

Then, there are the foul television shows, but they’re okay, because that’s free speech:

And let’s not forget newspapers like the New York Times which recently appointed a woman with a history of racist tweets to its editorial board:

Yes, it’s odd that Twitter never called Ms Jeong out.

And what about the death threats against President Trump that are allowed to stay on social media?

And isn’t incitement to war an example of ‘hate speech’? Alex Jones is not guilty of that, but what about Big Media?

One woman called the Jones ban what it is — censorship:

Alex Jones would agree:

I said above that Jones will issue lengthy apologies and explanations when he gets things wrong. Others in media are not so inclined, like CNN’s Brian Stelter, host of Reliable Sources (!?):

Media analyst Mark Dice compared the Jones ban to book burning:

An independent journalist said:

Infowars’ English editor-at-large Paul Joseph Watson had this to say about Facebook:

And censorship in general:

Another Englishman agrees:

So, is it time to break the social media monopoly?

In the meantime, this will not go down without a fight. Here’s investigative journalist James O’Keefe’s request (more at the Gateway Pundit):

He and his Project Veritas team want to know more about things like this:

Also, other platforms are making it clear they will continue to broadcast Infowars. Here’s one of them:

This situation is a slippery slope and extends beyond banning an independent media outlet. Lying is now considered ‘protected speech’. You could not make this up:

Good heavens! Whatever next?

Stay strong and frosty in the search for the truth.

Advertisements

In further coverage of what used to be called Operation — or Project — Mockingbird, the diffusion of certain headlines via the media is still alive and well.

On Thursday and Friday, August 2 and 3, 2018, the subject was QAnon, who must have hit a huge nerve among the powers that be.

Here’s the flurry of American headlines from last Thursday:

The following day, a contributor to 8chan’s Q Research board posted the following international stories, all of which are about QAnon fostering Trumpian conspiracy theories:

Anonymous  e71061 (4) No.2430466>>2430476 >>2430709

Qanon MSM news exposure went global past 24 hours

Example for several countries

France

https://http://www.20minutes.fr/monde/2316919-20180803-qanon-groupe-pro-trump-adepte-theories-complot

Germany

https://http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/donald-trump-und-die-verschwoerungstheorie-qanon-trumps-trolle-kriechen-hervor-a-1221463.html

Netherlands

https://http://www.ad.nl/buitenland/qanon-rukt-op-in-amerika-complotgekkies-of-wakkere-patriotten~aa24a2ab/

Norwegian

https://http://www.dagbladet.no/nyheter/konspirerer-om-at-trump-star-bak-en-kommende-storm/70069810

Spanish

https://http://www.bbc.com/mundo/noticias-internacional-45053116

Austria

https://derstandard.at/2000084612925/Paedophiler-Tom-Hanks-QAnon-nutzt-uralte-Diffamierungstaktik

Poland

https://http://www.wprost.pl/swiat/10143667/qanon-glownym-tematem-w-usa-media-odkryly-nowa-teorie-spiskowa-fanow-trumpa.html

Italy

https://notizie.tiscali.it/esteri/articoli/usa-mistero-qanon-complottisti-che-adorano-trump-00001/

Hungary

https://http://www.express.hr/top-news/poremecena-sekta-za-trumpa-izmisljaju-teorije-zavjera-16966

Czech Republic

https://http://www.info.cz/svet/trumpovi-stoupenci-se-zamilovali-do-bizarni-konspiracni-sekty-prostor-dostava-i-v-cesku-35063.html

China

https://paper.wenweipo.com/2018/08/03/YO1808030018.htm

Russia

https://echo.msk.ru/blog/karina_orlova/2252088-echo/

Korean

https://news.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2018/08/03/2018080300118.html

I read only the French article and the comments. The latter were particularly interesting, as the readers were divided. Someone wrote a characteristically critical remark about President Trump and his supporters, to which someone replied, ‘Inform yourself a bit before commenting. Trump’s doing a great job, especially with the economy’.

Back to the 8chan comment. Q responded (message 1806), emphases mine:

Q !CbboFOtcZs  d51ef9 (1) No.2430708

Full attack mode.

Washington Post leading?

[Sample Past 5hrs]

https://http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2018/08/03/this-is-the-moment-how-a-wave-of-media-coverage-gave-qanon-conspiracy-theorists-their-best-week-ever/?utm_term=.cf4f4e0f506c

https://http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2018/08/03/theres-a-virus-in-trumpland/?utm_term=.73cb6867bf8c

https://http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/08/03/qanon-meet-a-real-life-believer-in-the-online-pro-trump-conspiracy-theory-thats-bursting-into-view/?utm_term=.1c12101c8280

Who owns the Washington Post?

Amazon?

What ABC agency is heavily tied to Amazon?

https://http://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-web-services-launches-secret-region-2017-11

https://http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-20/cia-tech-official-calls-amazon-cloud-project-transformational

Q

Why would the rest of the world need — or even want — to know about QAnon and Q-related boards, including Reddit’s greatawakening?

By design, this Nightingale’s song serves only to thoroughly discredit Trump’s followers. What if a false flag were to take place with a fake Q follower? These articles could set the stage. The world would say, ‘Oh, the QAnon story was in the papers. Yeah, crazy people’.

Therefore, this is important:

Interestingly, the Washington Post featured an editorial after the Trump-Putin Helsinki meeting: ‘God bless the “deep state”‘, an image of which is here. It begins with this:

Before this harebrained and reckless administration is history, the nation will have cause to celebrate the public servants derided by Trumpists as the supposed “deep state” …

God bless them. With a supine Congress unwilling to play the role it is assigned by the Constitution, the deep state stands between us and the abyss.

If you appreciate President Trump, please continue to pray for his safety and that of his family and administration.

The Left — Democrats — continue their long, hot summer of vandalism and violence.

At the weekend, Republican activist Scott Presler of Virginia went to Philadelphia to rally in support of the city’s police. This is what happened to his car:

He was able to get new tires and had a message for the Dems:

He graciously declined personal donations:

He gave this update:

True enough.

Brad Parscale, President Trump’s campaign manager for 2020, had this reaction:

Sign of weakness from the left. When people are desperate they resort to cowardly acts. Will Dem leaders stand up against this and stop the unnecessary damage it is causing?

Agree about the weakness and cowardice, but, on the other side of the country in Portland, Oregon, one good American not only had his flag snatched but was also beaten with what looks like an oar covered in black fabric. When his assailant hit him on the head, he collapsed immediately. No one immediately came to his aid:

Anyone who thinks voting Democrat is still a good idea should really think again.

I’m not sure if the following event took place last week in either Ohio or Pennsylvania where President Trump held rallies, but the following video shows his motorcade making an unexpected stop so that he could greet local firefighters.

This is absolutely brilliant — and, no doubt, difficult for the Secret Service:

What other US president has ever done that?

Look at the difference between Trump and Obama:

The camera doesn’t lie.

Below is a graphic of four servers.

Each one has an important story behind it that could have an impact on national security.

Is anyone investigating these? (Image courtesy of a Trump supporter somewhere)

Click on the image to enlarge. It will open in a separate tab.

The DNC server was publicised before the Democratic National Convention in July 2016 and caused Deborah Wasserman Schultz (DWS in the graphic) to resign as head of the Democratic National Committee. Emails that planned to bring down Bernie Sanders’s candidacy emerged.

The House Democratic Caucus server was run by Imran Awan, a Pakistani-American citizen who worked in Washington DC for DWS and other Democrat legislators between 2004 and 2017. He was cleared in July 2018 of any wrongdoing involving data.

The Clinton Private Email server needs no explanation.

The Gmail server in North Korea must have an interesting story behind it.

Has anyone really looked at these forensically, regardless of past investigations? Is there more to the story than we already know?

The following news items from the past few days caught my eye.

First, Judge Brett Kavanaugh is currently undergoing vetting for the Supreme Court of the United States. Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) pledged his vote on this condition:

Ahh, for the days of pipe smoking and the oh-so-fragrant tobacco aroma that went with it.

We cannot have that nowadays. I wonder how fragrant this vapour is by comparison:

Let’s not forget that tobacco helped fuel many great Christian sermons and books from days of yore:

Tobacco and 20th century Christian greats

Secondly, Dilbert’s Scott Adams went to the White House to meet with President Trump:

Thirdly, here’s Republican activist Scott Presler’s take on President Trump. I couldn’t agree more:

On that topic, LifeZette‘s Mark Tapscott has an excellent analysis from political blogger Bill Hobbs of what pundits and politicians don’t understand about President Trump: he knows how to go for an opponent’s jugular vein and hit it every time. Quotes below are from Bill Hobbs’s Facebook post (emphases mine below):

For all his boorishness and other faults, Donald Trump has a singular talent and it may explain a whole lot of his governing style, and his success. Donald Trump instinctively knows almost immediately where his opponent’s jugular vein is, and that is where he attacks, and that is where he exerts the most pressure and the most leverage to get the best deal.

For example, in the primary, Jeb Bush was the odds-on favorite to win. He had the money, the Establishment, the résumé, and the name. All of the other candidates tried to attack him on his record and his ties to the Establishment, and all of them failed. Except Trump.

Trump didn’t attack him on any of that. He simply noticed that voters wanted action, and that Jeb Bush was a very slow, deliberate, plodding sort, and labeled him ‘Low Energy Jeb,’ and it was over. Bush’s jugular vein was crushed.

Fast-forward to last week, when Trump is negotiating with the head of the European Union. Having threatened the EU with high tariffs, to get better leverage in trade negotiations, Trump sat down with the head of the EU and hammered out a decent first-step deal.

The most important part of that deal? It got little notice by the press. It was the EU’s commitment to a large increase in purchases of liquid natural gas from the U.S. This has nothing to do with the EU’s ‘jugular vein,’ by the way.

This was all about Russia. Russia is, basically, a well-armed gas station. Without high profits from the sale of oil and natural gas, Russia’s economy is nothing. And so, with his trade deal with the head of the EU, Trump went right for Russia’s jugular. He said overly nice things to Putin in Helsinki, then went back to Washington and, through his EU deal, stomped on Russia’s throat.

Now we’re on the verge of what may be huge tariffs on Chinese imports … 

But China’s economic jugular vein is their reliance on exports, with the U.S. being their largest customer. Meanwhile, the U.S. exports very little, comparatively, to China. Simply put, they can’t win a trade war with the U.S. We slap big tariffs on all their exports, they respond in kind, and it’s their economy that crashes, not ours.

And they know that. And Trump knows that. He knows what their jugular vein is, and he’s about to stomp on it. Trade wars are bad. People on both sides get hurt. But in the end, it will be China that loses, and it will be China that opens its doors to more U.S. exports, and it will be the U.S. that wins.

Mark Tapscott explains that Trump is going for the jugular on those who oppose his domestic policies, too:

Trump recognizes that Democrats’ jugular on the immigration issue is illustrated every time an illegal immigrant commits a horrendous crime like that of Alejandro Alvarez Villegas, who allegedly tried to kill his wife in front of their three children in San Diego. Villegas is what ICE calls a “serial immigration violator” who has been deported at least 11 times …

Trump thus is the guy trying to protect Americans, while his opponents in both parties refuse to make the hard decisions required to keep people safe. According to the conventional wisdom, that’s an untenably risky tactical gamble on Trump’s part.

In fact, it’s his opponents’ tactical jugular. Trump’s not the conventional president. What if the shutdown happens and Trump lets it go on long enough for voters to see Social Security checks still go out, essential services remain in place and maybe those hundreds of thousands of furloughed bureaucrats aren’t needed after all?

Trump’s opponents know he just might push a shutdown that far. And if he did, it would be catastrophic for them. The president is targeting their strategic jugular.

And, finally, artist John McNaughton, who has painted thought-provoking canvasses of the Founding Fathers, President Trump and 21st century Americans received bad news from Facebook about his latest work:

SAD!

The lengths social media go to stifle American values is PATHETIC.

Yesterday’s post was about American soldiers’ remains from the Korean War.

On Wednesday, August 1, in Hawaii, Vice President Mike Pence presided over the latest return of 55 remains from that war, which never officially ended. For a number of American families, the past six decades have been troubling, as they cannot be sure whether their loved ones’ remains will ever be recovered.

The Singapore Summit between President Trump and Chairman Kim produced this latest return of remains:

This video has the full Honorable Carry Ceremony:

The Vice President was honoured to preside over the ceremony:

The following tweets summarise his tribute:

President Trump tweeted his appreciation:

The vice president and Mrs Pence had special guests accompany them:

Fox News has more:

The vice president said that when Sanfilippo was 4 years old she lost her father in the Korean War during a recon mission, and that when Downes was just 3 years old he lost his father operating radar on a B-26 bomber …

Fox News’ Pete Hegseth, who was traveling with Pence in Air Force Two, recalled the touching stories of the heroes’ now-grown children.

“We picked up probably the two most important passengers on that plane: a man and woman who were 4 and 3 years old — little girl and little boy in the 1950s  — when they sent their fathers, then young men, both pilots, both first lieutenants, both went to fight in the Korean War,” he said on “Fox & Friends.”

“They dedicated their lives for the last 60 years finding out what happened to their fathers, what happened though those patriots, warriors who went to fight for us, for every generation of Americans,” Hegseth continued.

I hope they find peace and closure.

The remains now need to be analysed in order to identify them — a painstaking process that will take weeks, if not months.

Many more remains are still in North Korea, yet to be discovered. I pray that they are discovered soon. This long and painful chapter of history must come to a close — as does the Korean War.

One of the outcomes of the Singapore Summit on June 12, 2018, was North Korea’s release on July 27 of 55 remains of US soldiers.

On July 31, the New Yorker reported that this is not the first time North Korea has released soldiers’ remains from the Korean War. Also note that the US has funded these recovery operations (emphases mine):

The United States has paid North Korea twenty-two million dollars to fund recovery operations. Between 1990 and 1994, Pyongyang handed over two hundred and eight boxes of remains. Between 1996 and 2005, another two hundred and twenty sets of remains were recovered. It’s a tiny fraction of the missing.

The latest remains will be analysed, a painstaking task:

On July 27th, North Korea turned over fifty-five remains of U.S. soldiers. There were no pallbearers; there were no caskets. There was no need. The remains—mostly fragments of bones—were in medium-sized boxes draped in blue-and-white U.N. flags. On August 1st, they are scheduled to be flown to a military lab in Hawaii that specializes in identifying remains. It’s a process that can take years, even decades. Vice-President Mike Pence, the son of a Korean War veteran, is scheduled to attend the repatriation.

The New Yorker‘s reporter, Robin Wright, interviewed 85-year-old Noreen Loper, the sister of Air Force airman James O’Meara, who wrote his family that he had one more air mission to complete before returning home early in 1953. However, no one ever saw him again after that mission.

Robin Wright also interviewed an Air Force trainee, Jerry Abrahamson, 85, who was on O’Meara’s flight. The crew of 14 had completed their mission in a B-29 and were half an hour from base when their plane was attacked by enemy fire on January 29, 1953:

O’Meara jumped right before Abrahamson. “That was the last time I saw him,” Abrahamson told me. “We were still at twenty thousand feet. It took a long time for us to come down. We got scattered.” Abrahamson and three other Americans were captured, separately, by the North Koreans. At each transfer site, often after gruelling marches, Abrahamson asked other prisoners of war about O’Meara. No one had seen him. Abrahamson ended up in a harsh Chinese-run P.O.W. camp near the Yalu River. Of those four men, one died in captivity and another was repatriated to the United States three months later, during Operation Little Switch. Abrahamson and one other were freed during Operation Big Switch, after the Korean War armistice, seven months later. Abrahamson, now eighty-five, is the last crew member still alive.

At one point, 149 American POWs were released by China to the United States in 1953. They were ill and/or seriously injured. This short news reel shows the relief the parents and friends of New Yorker George Hart felt when he, being one of these men, rang home to say he would be with his family soon:

The O’Meara family was less fortunate, and the New Yorker interview explains their anxiety. Not having heard any news about James, they finally decided to assume that he was dead. A special memorial ceremony for those who had died during the war took place at Arlington Cemetery in 2006, at which point the O’Mearas decided to place a gravestone for him there:

“The boys said we should have something official while a few of us were still living,” his eighty-five-year-old sister, Noreen Loper, told me. They arranged for a simple white cross with O’Meara’s name on it. They had no body to bury in 2006, however. They still don’t.

Even today, Noreen Loper yearns for certainty:

“It’s been a long, long time now,” Loper told me. “For most people, Korea is the forgotten war. For me, there’s never been any closure. These days, I keep thinking, Am I going to find out in my lifetime? I’ve got to know what happened to him, even if it’s only some bones.”

She said that she could not understand why any country would want to hold on to POWs’ remains. I cannot help but agree with her. What purpose does it serve?

I hope that her brother’s remains are among the 55.

The Daily Mail has more information on the return of these remains.

President Trump expressed his gratitude to Kim Jong Un for fulfilling his promise:

Donald Trump thanked North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un on Friday for ‘fulfilling a promise’ to return the remains of American servicemen who died during the Korean War.

‘At this moment a plane is carrying the remains of some great fallen heroes from America back,’ he said following a press announcement about the domestic economy, calling the matter one ‘of profound importance.’

‘I want to thank Chairman Kim for keeping his word. We have many others coming, but I want to thank Chairman Kim in front of the media for fulfilling a promise that he made to me,’ Trump declared.

‘And I’m sure that he will continue to fulfill that promise as they search and search and search.’

A US Air Force C-17 aircraft brought the remains back after a memorial ceremony at the Osan Air Base in South Korea:

The ceremony saw U.S. servicemen and a military honor guard line up on the tarmac of the air base to receive the remains, which were carried in boxes covered in blue United Nations flags.

A total of 36,000 American soldiers were killed in the devastating Korean War from 1950 to 1953, and 7,700 bodies are listed missing in the war. A total of 5,300 are believed to still be in North Korea

As July 27 was the date the armistice — not an official treaty — was signed in 1953, North Korea held commemorative ceremonies of their own. Kim Jong Un visited the graves of Chinese People’s Volunteers who died in the war.

All being well, the Korean War will finally come to an end in the foreseeable future.

Until then, it is essential to remember that China still pulls North Korea’s strings.

On Sunday, July 29, 2018, Geraint Thomas made history as the first Welshman to win the Tour de France.

Once again, Team Sky triumphed. They have now won six out of the past seven Tours de France!

Meanwhile, no Frenchman has won since 1985: the legendary Bernard Hinault.

The love-hate attitude towards Team Sky and Chris Froome

The French have been angry with Team Sky ever since Chris Froome began winning.

Odd that they fawned all over Team Sky’s Bradley Wiggins — without the ‘Sir’ — when he won in 2012. Back then, I wrote (emphases mine below):

The Telegraph had a roundup of media reactions, beginning with a front-page splash on France’s L’Equipe, which also devoted pages 2 to 11 to Wiggins.  Christian Prudhomme, race director, told the sports daily that cycling has truly taken root in English-speaking countries, which are taking their place alongside Continental countries as victors of the world’s great races.

L’Equipe was not alone. Le Monde also had multiple photo spreads and articles on Wiggins’s sartorial style and tastes in music: ‘so British!’

When Froome raced to victory the following year — he had been Wiggins’s domestique (helper) in 2012 — no one in French media liked him.

Chris Froome did all the right things: readily granted interviews, was polite to the media, represented Team Sky well and showed grace under pressure on and off the road. This year, people actually booed him. Why?

Similarly, the French saw Team Sky as a phenomenon in 2012. Now they hate the team. Even Thomas was booed on the penultimate time trial stage this year, when it was clear he would win the Tour. It was an anti-Sky gesture.

Team Sky has done everything correctly. They train throughout the year, not just part of it. They have a phalanx of trainers and nutritionists who fine tune each rider to deliver the best for the team in a low-key, professional way. There was one stage in the 2018 Tour where one of the ITV4 commentators said that the team’s nutritionist and trainer were regulating Froome’s food and water intake every two hours so that he would deliver his best performance. No doubt, they did the same thing with Geraint Thomas, who performed brilliantly.

In any event …

Chris Froome is the Donald Trump of cycling.

Team Sky is the Donald Trump of cycling.

On RMC’s Les Grandes Gueules, the mid-morning political talk show, Team Sky came in for a lot of criticism. In the last half of the Tour, the panellists moaned about Team Sky winning a sixth Tour, calling it a mockery of cycling. Today, the day after Thomas won, the panel complained that Sky has a budget of €40m, substantially more than any other Tour de France team. What they forget is that money can be frittered away. Sky, led by Sir Dave Brailsford, knows how to use that big budget to produce big results.

The Independent gave an insight from a French newspaper along the same lines:

An article in Le Parisien this weekend compared the Tour de France to an episode of Columbo, “where the killer was known from the first minutes. In this edition, the killer was English,” the paper wrote, perhaps not aware that Thomas is Welsh. It has been a theme throughout the Tour: that Sky are suffocating the peloton, and that no one wants to watch its slow death.

The writer suggested a list of measures to tackle the problem. Cap wages, because Team Sky are like Paris Saint-Germain; unplug earpieces, because they undermine the advantage of instinctive riders like Philippe Gilbert and favour meticulous planners like Sky; invent new routes, because the team time trial played into Sky’s hands. They are desperate measures for what is becoming a desperate cause.

Well, in response to those suggested measures: a) every team has had earpieces for the past few years and b) there were new — punishing — routes this year.

Sky wins because Sky is meticulous.

Why aren’t other teams analysing how Sky does it and emulate them?

This is Team Sky today. From The Independent:

It is now six wins in seven Tours for Team Sky, four grand tour victories in a row, and there is a growing fear that they might never lose a three-week race again, slowly disbanding the idea of competition in favour of 21 days sipping champagne on an elaborate vineyard tour. They are the richest team with the strongest riders and the shrewdest management, the giant at the front of the peloton, and one that is still evolving.

How Thomas won

Another article from The Independent explains Geraint Thomas’s victory:

Geraint Thomas – who now joins the fabled list of Tour de France winners – did it with unabating pressure. He snatched every available second, each a small but significant psychological blow, never taking his foot off the throttle. He took time from his closest rival Tom Dumoulin on seven separate stages, and that gradual accumulation of wealth also helped him to seamlessly usurp Chris Froome as Team Sky’s de facto leader, not by bloody coup but instead by a gentle undermining of power.

The end result was so effective that you wondered whether a team as meticulous as Sky might have planned it all along. Was Froome the Trojan Horse from which the unassuming Thomas sprang? Perhaps that’s reading a little too deeply into what can be such a chaotic and unpredictable sport, but there is no doubt Dave Brailsford and his management team thought the Welsh rider could win this Tour from the beginning.

His victory will go down as a surprise to many, but there were plenty of signs. He showed pedigree in recent Tours, challenging in the top 10 and wearing yellow during last year’s race, and in June he won the Dauphiné, always a strong indicator of who will challenge in July.

Tom Dumoulin, who finished in second place, said it wasn’t about Sky’s vast coffers of money as much as it was Thomas’s riding skill:

Asked to reflect on whether he had been beaten by Team Sky’s riches, Dumoulin was clear. “Of course having more money to spend makes life easier, but in this tour it didn’t really make a difference. We couldn’t control the race like Sky, but they had the strongest guy in the bunch. It’s too easy to say that Geraint Thomas had a big advantage with his team. He was the absolute strongest rider over the last three weeks.”

Thomas won the stage at Alpe d’Huez:

The Independent described how gruelling the stage was for him:

“Alpe d’Huez was probably the most I suffered,” Thomas said. “To win there in the yellow jersey was just insane. I didn’t expect it. That day was just about following the guys in front. That will always stay with me, it was incredible.”

The win on the Alpe was stylish, capped by the image of Thomas throwing his head back and roaring into the sky, the photo he’ll probably have framed at the top of the stairs.

Then there was the Col de Portet, when it became clear a Froome victory this year was no longer a possibility:

… his third-place on the Portet was even grittier and more definitive, the moment any lingering notion of Thomas as a rider who cannot stand three hard weeks on the front line of a grand tour was extinguished.

There, on one of the hardest climbs you could possibly dream up, Froome cracked and suddenly Thomas was exposed, both in the sense that he was now without question the team’s leader and that he was out on the mountain without his Sky brigade. He coped brilliantly, shaking off furious attacks of Dumoulin and Roglic before escaping at the finish to extend his lead.

Thomas has had his share of upsets in cycling, but his time has come:

Thomas’s nod to his own run of bad luck was qualified by an insistence that he has worked “super hard” for this triumph, meticulously preparing his season to peak in the Alps and the Pyrénées, where this Tour was ultimately won. “I’m glad it’s finally paid off,” he said with a sense of palpable relief. It really has, culminating in his relentless pursuit of the yellow jersey, and on the ride to the Champs-Élysées he finally took his foot off the throttle.

Thomas’s demeanour is similar to that of Sir Bradley Wiggins: self-effacing. He speaks like Wiggins, like ‘a regular bloke’, some might say. The Independent covered his victory speech on the Champs Elysées in Paris:

I’ve not got a good track record with speeches so I’ll keep it short,” Thomas said on the podium. “I just want to say thanks to the team, they’ve just been incredible for the whole three weeks. Big respect to Froomey, obviously it could have got awkward, there could have been tension, but you’ve been a great champion and I’ll always have respect for you.

“I’m pretty tired. The whole team was incredible, the staff as well. I got into cycling because of this race. I remember running home from school to watch it. The dream was always just to be a part of it. Now I’m here in the yellow jersey it’s just insane. I just want to say a final thanks to the crowd, you’ve just been amazing. Oh, and my wife.

Kids, just dream big. If people tell you it can’t be done, keep going and believe in yourself. With hard work, everything pays off in the end. Thank you very much and vive le Tour.”

Here are a few tweets from Team Sky:

And from the Tour de France:

Next year’s Tour will begin in Brussels:

Thanks to ITV4 and ITV1

In closing, many Tour de France fans in the UK will have appreciated the even longer coverage ITV4 was able to broadcast — entire stages, start to finish. That was a welcome televisual first!

Also, this was the first time that the ITV1 showed final, iconic stage, from 3 to 7 p.m.

Long may both broadcasts continue. Many thanks, ITV!

Although President Trump has been roundly criticised for meeting with President Putin, this meeting is important for world peace.

Remember that those criticising it are afraid of the intel Putin told — and gave — to Trump.

The Gateway Pundit has more on outrage from frightened Democrats (emphasis in the original):

Mueller, Rosenstein, Obama, the Clintons and many more have questionable actions in the past related to Russia. These people do not want Trump to obtain evidence of their sordid actions with Russia. They are trying to prevent Trump from meeting Putin and finding out.

Uranium One is but one example:

No doubt Putin and Trump discussed the ‘Russian hack’ — more like an inside leak — of the Democratic National Committee’s emails. On that subject:

At least one anti-Trump Republican chimed in, too:

As did Bush II’s CIA director, Michael Hayden:

Putin has been observing all the reaction, as he explained in a talk about the summit on July 19. The following video is subtitled. ‘Going off script’, he says that the ‘forces’ are Americans with ‘political ambitions’. Enough said:

The meeting, as all between the US and Russia have been in the past, was one of global importance:

Before Helsinki 2018 on Monday, July 16:

Despite a small protest going on outside, inside Finland’s Presidential Palace, things went to plan, including Trump’s characteristic handshake:

It is bound to produce positive long-term results:

Affirmation for President Trump came from Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky):

And from best-selling author and film producer Larry Schweikart:

And from Dilbert’s Scott Adams:

And actor James Woods:

Rep. Diane Black (R-Tennessee) took exception to media reports of Trump’s ‘weakness’:

Trump also received support from the Australian prime minister:

Independent journalist Michael Tracey observed that diplomacy involves a certain amount of flattery. In 2009, it came from Obama, but no one objected:

And what about this from 2012, when Obama said he ‘would have more flexibility after the election’?

PJ Media’s Roger Simon contrasted Trump with Obama (emphases mine below):

The bad cop part is what Trump actually does concretely — and, as Putin certainly knows, this is far more important than photo ops and press conferences with all the attendant words.  Trump’s actions vis-a-vis Russia have been considerably more stringent than his predecessor’s — opening the energy spigots, increasing sanctions, arming the Ukrainians, ejecting 60 Russian agents, etc.  As Walter Russell Mead pointed out, if Trump is in Putin’s pocket, he’s doing a terrible job of it.

Barack Obama — although the New York Times would burn down its own building rather than admit it — did an abysmal job with Putin and was indeed the one who was truly “owned” by the Russian.  And it wasn’t just the silly reset button and the embarrassing video of Barack whispering into Medvedev’s ear to tell Vlad he — Barack — would be more flexible on missiles after the election.  (What a toady!)  Even worse, in his Chamberlainesque ardor to make a deal with Iran’s mullahs, Obama let Putin play him in Syria, agreeing not to honor his redline against Assad’s use of chemical weapons in order not to endanger the  deal.  Trump never did anything nearly that pathetic.  Actually, he stands up strong.

Furthermore, other previous presidents had a jolly time with Putin — and no one cared:

Check out Buzzfeed‘s The 25 Biggest Bromance Moments Between George W Bush and Vladimir Putin. Remember this one? Emphasis in the original:

12. When Bush invited Putin to his home in Maine for a ‘lobster summit.’

And Kennebunkport welcomed him with open arms.

In fact, until Trump, the only president in recent years to be criticised for meeting with a Russian leader was Ronald Reagan:

In closing:

Good things will come from this meeting — better than from any previous president.

© Churchmouse and Churchmouse Campanologist, 2009-2018. 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 1,169 other followers

Archive

Calendar of posts

August 2018
S M T W T F S
« Jul    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  

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

  • 1,342,194 hits
Advertisements