Russian Collusion Investigation or Deep State Disinformation Campaign

With chants of Rudy! Rudy! as Giuliani joins the Trump defense team vowing to end this thing in a week or two and along with indications Mueller’s probe is unraveling at the seams as key players were referred for criminal investigation, I’d suggest everyone take a deep breath. Now let it out slowly and remember, according to Yogi Berra, “it ain’t over ‘til it’s over.” Communists never go quietly or easily. If they did, Havana would be bustling tourist hot spot and the sports cars on the streets wouldn’t be 55 Chevys. As Coach used to warn, keep your eye on the ball don’t be fooled by the head fake.

In March 2017, after reading about it in Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion, and Promoting Terrorism Soviet defector and former spy chief Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa I wrote about Russian disinformation operations. Watching the Russian collusion tale unfold through the media and investigation leaks, I concluded maybe that’s what is happening with the Trump Russian collusion investigation.

“Simplistically and in a nutshell, according to the General, dezinformatsiya built a false history (a past) then leaked information to spur the media into a feeding frenzy in order characterize a perception of the target. Boy, does that not seem too familiar? Then just at the appropriate time the “real” bombshell proof finally emerges verifying what most people have been conditioned to believe. It is more complex than that involving many real players and dupes, but that is the general picture. We are seeing something very similar every day, from our media, “Intelligence Sources”, and politicians.” – Communists, Russians and Collusion – March 2017

Let’s see how well the collusion saga fits the pattern.

Build a false history:

It is well established through multiple sources the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) through the law firm Perkins Coie paid Fusion GPS to conduct opposition research on presidential candidate Trump. Fusion GPS in turn hired former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele. Steele had established ties with the FBI and the U.S. Intelligence community.

The now infamous and yet unverified Steele Dossier was supposedly prepared using information provided by Russian sources from inside the Kremlin.

“Specifically, the idea is to fabricate a new past for enemy targets in order to change how the world perceives them.” Disinformation

Although Fusion GPS at the behest of the Clinton campaign and the DNC contracted Steele for opposition research on candidate Trump, the dossier found its way into the hands of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director John Brennan, Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper, National Security Agency (NSA) Director Admiral Mike Rogers, Senator John McCain and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey. Who knows how many others got it.

It’s actually crafty, yet very basic. President Trump’s well-known persona is that of a brash billionaire international real estate mogul and playboy. Building on this perceived personality – a kernel of truth- the salacious and unverified false history was crafted.

Spur the media into a feeding frenzy:

“The truth is, The Western media are quite easily manipulated, for they often craft their stories from press releases and tend, on the whole, to be indiscriminate about the nature and reliability of their sources.” Disinformation

According to information in the recently released Comey Memos, the classified briefing given to Trump in 2017 provided the news hook CNN and others needed to begin reporting the story.

“The classified briefings last week were presented by four of the senior-most US intelligence chiefs — Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan, and NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers.” CNN January 12, 2017

“According to a House Intelligence Committee report, Clapper leaked that Trump had been briefed by senior officials on the contents of the dossier and in effect, the briefing, “gave the dossier legs and news agencies began to publish its contents because it had now become official news” Sarah A. Carter

For more than a year later the story has dominated the liberal legacy news media. For some media outlets, it consumes their programming. As the adage proclaims, a lie can travel half way around the world before the truth can get its pants on. This lie has actually lapped the world a few times and the truth that may someday set us free is buried beneath Washington and legacy media noise. When we need him, where is Detective Joe Friday?

Follow the path to the real bombshell evidence:

Before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, fired FBI Director Comey admitted:

“I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter,” Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday. “I didn’t do it myself for a variety of reasons but I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel.” The Hill

Joe knows the deal:

“We could’ve piled up a hundred years of great policemen and great detectives: men with honor and brains and guts. You tore down every best part of them. The people who read it in the papers, they’re gonna overlook the fact that WE got you; that we washed our own laundry and we cleared this thing up. They’re gonna overlook all the good. They’ll overlook every last good cop in the country. But they’ll remember YOU. Because you’re a bad cop.” – Joe Friday

Special Counsel Robert Mueller was appointed within a couple of days of the leaked Comey memo. It seems, at least to my cynical view, that it was just another piece of a well laid disinformation operation. Mueller and his politically biased team fed by the politically biased inside the FBI, our intelligence agencies, and the Department of Justice embarked on an investigation in search of a crime. All though there are indictments, there is nothing related to the Trump campaign or to the President himself. There is certainly no evidence of Russian collusion.

Enter Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen. Cohen has worked years for Trump including his business dealings with Russia. So, the Mueller inspired FBI raid on Cohen’s home and offices, vacuumed up everything including records and computers much of it most likely protected by attorney-client privilege. Contained in those records or on those computers and cell phones are undoubtedly business dealings in Russia with Cohen representing Trump’s interests.

I’m just a country boy. Generally, I do not delve too deeply into conspiracy theories. However, when I see a clearly defined pattern and follow it to a logical end I am prone to try and figure out what that end might be. This is especially so when logically following the pattern leads me to a specific but not otherwise explainable point.

Ever since the DNC servers were hacked, we’ve been hearing how it was the Russians and how devious the Russians are. That is just underpinning for the larger operation. The FBI was not allowed to examine the DNC’s servers (or maybe they were, who knows), so we have to take the word of the DNC – the people who launched the whole shebang with the Steele dossier – that the Russians did it. How much of a challenge would it be for these so-called superstar Russian hackers to bury that last piece of “bombshell” evidence onto one of Cohen’s computers. To accept that, we must accept the premise the Russians were ever involved in the first place. I do not. At least not to the extent claimed.

A more likely scenario has our own intelligence agency deep staters, who are working tirelessly to take down a President, planting the bombshell and waiting for the right time to steer someone toward it. If there exists such evidence, it’s been sitting there for a while. A disinformation campaign starts with the end in mind. The evidence will verify what Americans have been conditioned to believe by the media’s yearlong misinformation campaign– that Trump colluded with the Russians. If there, it will be an ah ha discovery but not by the Special Counsel. As they scour Cohen’s records, it will be stumbled upon by the Southern District of New York Attorney General providing cover for the deep state. Over at CNN they may be hyperventilating.

Very clean is it not? I know that sounds too conspiratorial for most to accept, but one must accept that it all follows the pattern of a disinformation operation right up to Mr. Cohen’s doorstep. The Russians did not corner the market on disinformation. We’re pretty good at it too. The fat lady ain’t singing yet and until she does let’s not feel too good about it.

© 2018 J. D. Pendry

It certainly appears that briefing the unverified dossier to the President and then leaking it to the media was part of a plan to undermine an incoming President. It was a “news hook” that led to more than a years worth of stories that accused the President of alleged collusion with Russia and aided the Kremlin in what appears to be one of the greatest disinformation campaigns to sow chaos in the United States, according to numerous former and current U.S. intelligence officials.   Sara A. Carter This is CNN: Hiring of Suspected Leaker Clapper Raises Ethical Questions

Our Orwellian Hole

In the internet era, the amount of information we offer up about ourselves is staggering. No one has to dig around for what we freely give. We do it without much thought and seem concerned only when there is a breach revealing our credit card numbers and even then there is a thriving industry to cure that ailment. Practically every app we download to our phones asks us for access to virtually every piece of information we carry around or receive. Then, we appear shocked when our information is used for purposes we did not intend – like unwittingly helping out political campaigns. Now we are excited to spit on a Q-tip and give up our DNA as if every other piece of personal data about ourselves, our relationships and what we buy at the grocery store is not enough. With the advance of artificial intelligence, how long before even a hint of privacy becomes a fantasy. We have no one to blame but ourselves and our addictions to gadgets and social media. After all, it is exciting when Alexa’s soothing voice, always peering out at you through her camera and always listening through her microphone, gives you the weather, your appointments and plays your favorite music. The persistent questions are how far have we willingly gone down the Orwellian hole? And can we ever climb out of it? There will always be some willing to take a potential good thing and use it for bad purpose.

Within weeks of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack, President George W. Bush signed into law the Patriot Act.

There was some debate, but with urgency an overwhelming Congressional majority passed it. There were concerns about electronic surveillance of Americans inside the United States in violation of their rights to freedom of association and freedom of speech. We trusted politicians and political appointees to do the right thing. Following the Ben Franklin axiom, we forfeited some liberty for promised safety.

On the subject, I was one of many fence sitters. I wanted our agencies enabled to collect intelligence and foil terrorist plots. I did not think it likely they would intentionally collect data on average Americans. My naivete also steered me to believe the Government of a free United States of America would never abuse this power to spy on Americans for reasons other than anti-terrorism and especially not political opposition during a Presidential campaign.

Back in 2005, when the political conversations heated up around the subject, I favored the Patriot Act because I chose political sides. If certain people came out against anything rigid thinking automatically compelled to be for it. My thinking has matured some since. Even though I made and received frequent international calls as the NSA was making bulk collection of phone records I expressed concern then that I feared Google more than the remote possibility the National Security Agency would capture my data illegally or otherwise.

Surveilling the landscape today I sort of feel like a prophet – at least as it relates to Google. I also believe that our government intel collection methods capture everything to sort out later if needed. How long before the Russians or Chinese hack them servers?

If you have a Google account, an Android cell phone in your pocket, and use the Chrome web browser you can probably hear the old 80’s The Police tune Every Breath You Take playing in the background.

Every breath you take and every move you make
Every bond you break, every step you take, I’ll be watching you
Every single day and every word you say
Every game you play, every night you stay, I’ll be watching you

Google not only captures but stores enormous amounts of data on each of us. Data we offered up freely. The potential for abuse of this data by criminals, unknown intelligence agencies (foreign and domestic), and political parties should concern every American. Especially in light of current events.

Over recent months, we learned unscrupulous people are willing to abuse the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to spy on Americans under the guise of monitoring possible foreign agents. It just so happens the foreigners being monitored were having conversations with members of an opposing political party during a Presidential campaign. We’ve also learned FISA court judges appear, with a 99.97% approval rate for warrants, rubber stamps. Google may actually do a better job protecting our data than the government. With our proven abilities to gather and store vast amounts of data, whose to say our government doesn’t already have its arms wrapped around Google and others. What’s the downside? Abuse of this power likely leads to legislation and regulation that hinders our ability to protect ourselves and restricts our ability to freely use the Internet. Or we become Mr. Orwell’s totalitarian state. For public consumption, what we write may end up being nailed to a tree.

As our founders reminded, our system of government is designed for law abiding people. With no exceptions, people proven to have illegally abused FISA and illegally spied on Americans must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The saddest fact? Most people consume only legacy news media and nowadays social media so are literally blind to this abuse.

And then there’s Facebook. Facebook also collects data offered up freely by people who decide the need for a Facebook presence – myself among them. It seems we want to be noticed so we readily give up many details about our lives and readily “friend” people we know nothing about giving them access to our personal information. It is something most of us would never do in a face to face conversation with a stranger.

By what you read, what you share, what you like, what products you search for, who you follow, who follows you Facebook can make a relatively accurate assessment of you and your social network. Facebook analyzes and uses this information for lucrative targeted advertising. When you are the world’s largest social media network, it’s an absolute gold mine.

In terms I can understand, a social graph is a chart that shows relationships between all the people in a community. In the internet era, it’s sort of like the universe. It’s massive and endless.

“As of 2010, Facebook’s social graph is the largest social network dataset in the world, and it contains the largest number of defined relationships between the largest number of people among all websites because it is the most widely used social networking service in the world.” – Wikipedia

Facebook has some problems however. They’ve decided to protect us by deciding what we should post and what we should read. It’s that algorithm thing we keep hearing about – the process that decides what’s hate speech, what’s unsafe, what’s fake, and what’s real. They want to know all about us and then guide us toward their idea of what’s good for us. It is a utopian mindset. It’s as if they would prefer to rid the planet of critical thinking. Their other problem is the data they collect with which to target us is also available to or accessible to anyone or organization savvy enough to mine it. They played fast and loose with our data until a company that did not share their worldview used some of it.

Cambridge Analytica is a data analytics company that mines and uses data about what we like, what we share, who we friend, etc. to target political advertising. Their problem, it seems, is they provided data to some conservative campaigns and supposedly to the Trump campaign. These assertions alone led to Congressional hearings. It was unacceptable that a company helping conservative campaigns may have used information readily available to anyone including President Obama’s campaigns. It was so offensive that Facebook banned them.

Congresswoman Maxine “Impeach Trump” Waters let the cat out of the bag some time ago, but it never broke through the liberal media firewall other than to compliment the genius of Obama’s social data mining.

“The president [Obama] has put in place an organization that contains the kind of database that no one has ever seen before in life. That’s going to be very, very powerful. That database will have information about everything on every individual in ways that it’s never been done before.” Maxine Waters

While Facebook and assorted liberals are throwing a conniption fit about the activity of Cambridge Analytics, they are ignoring the fact that they either provided or allowed access to data on millions of users to Obama’s reelection campaign. This could be a violation of federal election law, but don’t hold your breath for the investigation to begin.

Carol Davidsen was the Director, Integration and Media Analytics for Obama for America.

In 2011, Carol Davidsen, director of data integration and media analytics for Obama for America, built a database of every American voter using the same Facebook developer tool used by Cambridge, known as the social graph API. Any time people used Facebook’s log-in button to sign on to the campaign’s website, the Obama data scientists were able to access their profile as well as their friends’ information. That allowed them to chart the closeness of people’s relationships and make estimates about which people would be most likely to influence other people in their network to vote.

“We ingested the entire U.S. social graph,” Davidsen said in an interview. “We would ask permission to basically scrape your profile, and also scrape your friends, basically anything that was available to scrape. We scraped it all.” – The Washington Post

We ingested the entire U.S. social graph.” In other words, millions of “friends” had their data sucked up without their knowledge or consent. According to Davidsen, Facebook was really broken up by this revelation. She recently Tweeted:

“They came to office in the days following election recruiting & were very candid that they allowed us to do things they wouldn’t have allowed someone else to do because they were on our side,” – Carol Davidsen – The Daily Caller

Whether it is information swept up by NSA surveillance or what we freely give to Facebook, Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, et al we have made ourselves vulnerable to manipulation and misinformation campaigns. We have allowed others, using psychological graphs and other tools, to guide us. They want to guide our thinking, steer us toward the news and information some “algorithm” has determined is safe for us. Being human, we like the easy route so we are likely to go where the search engine leads. We prefer to follow rather than lead and our youth are the most susceptible. It’s brainwashing on a sophisticated global scale. Survival requires us to start searching for the way out of the Orwellian hole we’ve dug for ourselves.

© 2018 J. D. Pendry


White Christian Privilege?

On April 5, 2016, there was an Excellence in Leadership Seminar at George Washington University:

Christian Privilege: But our Founding Fathers Were All Christian, Right?!

How do Christians in the USA experience life in an easier way than non-Christians? Even with the separation of Church and State, are there places where Christians have built-in advantages over non-Christians? How do we celebrate Christian identities and acknowledge that Christians receive unmerited perks from institutions and systems all across our country? Let’s reflect upon ways we can live up to our personal and national values that make room for all religious and secular identities on an equal playing field. All are welcome!

Learning Objectives:
• Participants will be able to describe what is meant by privilege overall and white privilege specifically.
• Participants will be able to describe the role of denial when it comes to white privilege.
• Participants will be able to differentiate between equality and equity.
• Participants will be able to list at least three examples of Christian privilege.
• Participants will be able to list at least three ways to be an ally with a non-Christian person.

Presented by Timothy Kane, Multicultural Student Services Center (MSSC)

First, how about some context. Who is Timothy Kane? According to his LinkedIn profile, he is The Associate Director, Inclusion Initiatives at The George Washington University, [I] Direct the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Resource Center and oversee Religious Life since April 2011. He has Graduate Certificates from GWU for Islamic Studies, International Education, and HIV-AIDS Studies; A Masters of Theology, Justice and Peace Studies from the Maryknoll School of Theology; Master of Divinity, Justice and Peace Studies from Harvard University; Bachelor of Arts, Religion/Religious Studies from Hamilton College.

He is also the President and Co-Founder of Niche2Norm Consulting which deals in “LGBT, Interfaith & Civic Engagement.” Also, on his LinkedIn page, he displays videos of presentations made to a couple of US Embassies on the topic of LGBTQIA – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Queer, Intersex, Asexual. I suppose topics of interest to the State Department.

According to The College Fix:

“Kane also hosts the “heterosexual privilege,” “cisgender privilege,” “abled-body privilege,” and “socioeconomic privilege” workshops. White privilege is a specific focus in each of these training sessions, according to the multicultural center’s website.”

The College Fix also points out that his online Bio states he is a “proud gay member of the LGBT community.” I’ll have to take their word for it because the link to his online GWU Bio currently brings up page not found. Isn’t that typical?

What are peace and justice studies. According to Creighton University’s description of their program:

The Justice and Peace Studies Program uses theology and the social sciences to explore the systems, structures, and policies that can advance justice and peace in the world, and helps students discern how to live their vocation as men and women for and with others.

According to Harvard Divinity:

The walls of HDS are porous. The worlds within them flow from and to the worlds beyond them. Throughout every academic year, the desire to redress systemic injustice and to ease its myriad sufferings lives vibrantly in the projects and concerns of our student body. While religious conviction fuels this desire for some of us, our common human hope for a world of integrity and peace often provides enough common ground for us to make common cause with one another. Peace and Justice Studies Harvard Divinity School

That almost made me swoon.

I tried to find the Maryknoll description for peace and justice studies. All I could find was they canned their program in 1994.

Peace and justice studies sounds a heck of lot like Liberation theology to me:

Liberation theology, religious movement arising in late 20th-century Roman Catholicism and centered in Latin America. It sought to apply religious faith by aiding the poor and oppressed through involvement in political and civic affairs. It stressed both heightened awareness of the “sinful” socioeconomic structures that caused social inequities and active participation in changing those structures. …

… Because of their insistence that ministry should include involvement in the political struggle of the poor against wealthy elites, liberation theologians were often criticized—both formally, from within the Roman Catholic Church, and informally—as naive purveyors of Marxism and advocates of leftist social activism. By the 1990s the Vatican, under Pope John Paul II, had begun to curb the movement’s influence through the appointment of conservative prelates in Brazil and elsewhere in Latin America. Encyclopedia Britannica

We looked at all of that to surmise that Mr. Kane is a subsidized social justice warrior at an institution where the undergraduate 2018-2019 tuition and fees is estimated at $57,533. Shoo Lawdy! As they say over here in the hills.

Once upon a time, I asked a trusted member of the clergy about Liberation Theology and other variations one encounters, like peace and justice, in the new age. His response was clear and concise. To paraphrase him, Theos is God. A good way to remember it he said is The One. Logos is the study of God. Theology is the study of the one God as learned from Biblical scripture. Adding to or taking away from that is false theology. Simple enough for me.

Some years ago, I read David Limbaugh’s book Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christians. It is a thoroughly sourced account providing example upon example of how In America Christian exercise of religious liberty, especially any public exercise, is routinely challenged. If you want to have a view from the other side of Christian Privilege, or more definitively “White” Christian Privilege and in some articles that nearly made my eyes bleed further defined down as “White Male Christian Privilege”, this may be a good place to begin. If you prefer to remain close-minded on the topic, just type Christian privilege into your favorite search engine. There you’ll find a plethora of one-sided Christian privilege offerings. In the days of liberally controlled Internet search engines it is not surprising that a critical look or opposing view cannot be found on the first five pages of search results. It’s an effective way to suppress conflicting views as most look no further than the first or second page. Want to be the next billionaire? Figure out how to get around Google, Facebook, and Twitter and provide a tool and space to people who want to hear everyone’s view – equally. As I read the various takes on the topic, there remains burning questions. Are non-white Christians also privileged? My non-white Christian wife demands an answer.

Can we just remove the façade? This is not about Christian privilege or any of the other “privileged” groups Mr. Kane speaks about. It is just another war front in the decades old attacks on our national culture and heritage. It is also further attempt to eradicate the Moral authority that directly opposes everything Mr. Kane supports. Mr. Kane and others who share his views are given platforms at our nation’s most prestigious universities. They prepare students who with their impressive academic credentials will move far up the socioeconomic chain including politics and government. If a prominent opposing voice attempted to speak at one of these institutions there would be riots.

According to Mr. Kane, everyone is privileged except the groups he defends. For him and others like him, what is boils down to is in the United States of America you are disadvantaged unless you are a white male heterosexual Christian. Interesting to me how a white homosexual working at a prestigious university is disadvantaged. The Supreme Court says he can get married and if the Christian baker or Christian photographer refuses to promote his homosexual wedding he can successfully sue them into oblivion. Are there any white heterosexual Christians at George Washington University given the platform to provide reasoned opposing views?

Is this stuff dangerous? It is interesting to read that the Jews of the day discounted Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kemph and particularly his views toward the Jews.

Letter to Adolf Gemlich, September 16, 1919:

Anti-Semitism as a political movement should not and cannot be determined by factors of sentiment, but only by the recognition of the facts. These are the facts:

To begin with, Jewry is unqualifiedly a racial association and not a religious association. . . . Its influence will bring about the racial tuberculosis of the people.

Hence it follows: Anti-Semitism on purely emotional grounds will find its ultimate expression in the form of pogroms. Rational anti-Semitism, however, must lead to a systematic legal opposition and elimination of the special privileges which Jews hold, in contrast to the other aliens living among us (aliens’ legislation). Its final objective must unswervingly be the removal of the Jews altogether. Only a government of national vitality is capable of doing both, and never a government of national impotence.

Source: Jewish Virtual Library

I do not mean to imply that Mr. Kane is a NAZI or Adolf Hitler. But according to his views, a large part of American society is privileged and this case white and Christian. What then is his ultimate objective? What is his solution to the white Christian privilege problem? Is it “legal opposition and elimination of the special privileges… in contrast to the other(s)… living among us” or is it the removal of the [white Christians] altogether?

I’m betting he favors gun confiscation too.

© 2018 J. D. Pendry

Over at the schoolhouse

Teachers are like any other professional service group. You can expect about 10 percent to be exceptional in competence and achievement. You can expect about 10 percent to be literally worthless to their profession. Of the remaining 80 percent some will work hard and get the job done competently. Others will make it through their days by doing only what’s is necessary to get by. Their product is typically representative of the makeup of the group.

Here in wild and wonderful West Virginia, our public school teachers were on strike for 9 days for a pay increase. In our state, the average teacher salary for 2016 was $45, 662. The median household income for our state from 2012 to 2016 was $42, 664. Median means that half the state makes more than that, half makes less. On the average, school teachers earn more than half of West Virginians. The per capita income here is $24,002. You get that when you divide the state’s total income by its population. The federal poverty level for a family of four is $24,600 per year. Not only is our per capita income below the federal poverty level, nearly 18 percent of our state (17.9 for 2016) actually lives below the poverty level.

National Education Association Rankings and Estimates Report
United States Census Bureau Quick Facts

The bottom line is teaching jobs in West Virginia, compared to the remainder of the population are good jobs. Yet, they went on strike for 9 days and were rewarded with a 5 percent pay raise. I may have missed it, but I did not hear of teachers demanding increased school safety. Now on strike for better pay are teachers in nearby Kentucky and out in Oklahoma. Maybe West Virginia finally leads in something.

I know the state ranks near the bottom in teacher salary, but comparatively in practically every major economic category including income, so does the rest of the state. Our taxes pay school teacher salaries. That leaves the question doesn’t it. Unless we’re robbing Peter to pay Paul, if there was not enough revenue to give them a 5 percent pay raise then, how can there be enough now?

Before you start chucking spears at me, understand my belief that our public school teachers are the backbone of our society. They are the teachers of our children, more so than many parents. Some are overburdened with home spun discipline issues and the neglected. I was fortunate to spend my first year out of the Army at a high school. In 2000, I wrote I watched your kids today noting a rather typical day. Everything in the article actually happened. I don’t believe my classroom was an anomaly, but more than one teacher assured me, “We are glad to have the JROTC program. If we didn’t, those kids wouldn’t have a place to fit in.” I had some excellent students who’ve done well in life, but I had others who were funneled into JROTC by counselors, “because they didn’t fit in.”

I believe most teachers follow the curriculum, I am just concerned about within those parameters what they’re teaching. Recently, we’ve seen kids that do not know American history, do not know how our government works and who are admittedly taught that socialism is a better form of government than our representative republic without being taught about the failings of socialism. And most of them can’t explain what a representative republic is. It is not democracy, while most think and are clearly taught that is exactly what it is.

We’ve also heard example after example of teachers in the classroom degrading the military, raving against the President, and ranting about social justice issues. I do not think this is the norm for every school or every teacher, but the evidence we see on our television screens and in our streets should make all of us question the product coming out of our public school systems.

I never thought teachers were paid sufficiently for what we ask of them and it’s a solid maybe that we get what we pay for. Maybe it’s time to look at how education is delivered. Maybe we need to develop a business model for schools. One with a merit based promotion and pay system tied to measurable effectiveness of the product and the demonstrated competence of the teacher. We need a model with firm, unannounced performance evaluations for all teachers conducted by people not directly affiliated with public school systems. We need to separate competent teachers from political activists and the incompetent. We need to teach American exceptionalism, the evils of Communism and Socialism, the value of free enterprise capitalism, American history, American government and reading, writing and arithmetic. For students, we need technical and academic tracks. Students in technical tracks could spend some of their educational time in apprenticeship programs.

Fire teachers who cannot meet established competency standards. Do no promote kids through school or into life who cannot function. The other option is the speed train to third world status with a ruling majority who can’t even spell constitution much less know what’s in it.  They will, however, be able to deliver a fiery speech as long as they can find someone to write it for them.

© J. D. Pendry 2018


Welcome to my identity crisis

Every day, because of what I believe, other people seem hell bent to label me. They want to attach to me a strawman identity. They need a boogie man, so they create one they can degrade and beat on at will. I suppose spewing anger makes them feel better. At least better about themselves. After all, they’re slaying monsters.

If I do not agree with the viewpoint of a person of color, some call me a racist. If I do not agree with a woman, I’m called sexist. If I do not agree with homosexuals, I am a homophobe and a bigot. If I do not agree with Islam, I’m called Islamophobic, a racist and a bigot and probably a right wing fundamentalist proselytizing Christian that should never again be heard from. If I do not support abortion, I am against women’s rights. If I do not support illegal immigration, it’s because I’m a racist bigot. If I support the right to keep and bear arms, I have blood on my hands and the responsibility for every gun related death ever recorded. If I think using kids to push gun control, or any political action for that matter, is not the right thing, I am accused of lashing out at grieving children. With my southern heritage and twang, I must be a supporter of the KKK, a redneck, a white supremacist, racist, sexist, homophobe, bigot.

Those who know me personally may believe I’m some or none of that. These days, I cannot be too sure about who believes what. I am secure in who I am. But, those who proclaim loudly that diversity and inclusiveness are important (not to imply they aren’t) are many of the same people who work hard everyday to divide us by categories or identities that combine to make up Americana – our national identity. They do not give a rat’s rear end about your race, ethnicity, gender, sexual persuasion, religion or anything else about you. All they care about you is how you think and if you do not buy their ideological groupthink, they’ll come after you. Their playbook insists that dissenters be labeled. After all, who wants to hear the opinion of a racist bigot. This excludes of course the members of Congress who hang out with Louis Farrakhan. They not only want to silence opposing viewpoints they want to control commerce by attacking sponsors of the purveyors of those viewpoints. It’s also known as fascism. Unfortunately, it is being embraced by many who would willingly surrender their Constitutional freedoms.

I was born and raised in West Virginia’s coal mining communities. I spent some of my teenage years on the mean streets of Chicago. At age 16, I left the social experiment called Chicago public High School and became a minimum wage factory laborer. At age 18, I became a Soldier for the following 28 years. On nights and weekends, time permitting, I earned a college degree because I was conditioned through life to believe it necessary. In the Army, I succeeded. After the Army, I succeeded. In retirement, I am relativity comfortable. Some want you to think any success gained was not due to work ethic and personal drive, instead it was due to my white male privilege.

Some who know me may accept that privilege got me to the middle rung of middle class retirement. Honestly, I am not sure what anyone believes these days. I do know some “friends” abandoned my friend ship in recent years while other “friends” came aboard. It’s getting harder to know who my friends are. I may be simplifying some haughty doctoral theory, but I am an unpretentious man. I can only interpret the plain language message I receive. The message that says everything was given to me, nothing was earned. I never received any participation trophies. You can bet your hind end on that.

I’ve been quite physical most of my life. From heavy work in a factory to my years in the Army and life after. Although nowadays it consists of milder visits to the gym and mowing the yard. I just read the news report where the Army deems it necessary to toughen up basic training. Seems new Soldiers are not disciplined or physically tough. That caused me to look at the sweat stained campaign hat hanging on the bunker wall and wonder what happened. When I went through basic training, it was tough. It was tough because the Drill Sergeants were tough and unbending when it came to standards, discipline and fitness. In those days, they ran us in combat boots with full load bearing equipment and weapons sometimes until we lay in a puddle of our own puke. When running, company formations made U-turns to pick up stragglers. That could turn a short run into a long one and intensify peer pressure to suck it up. That is the mindset I and others carried with us when we became Drill Sergeants. I suppose they purged “toxic masculinity” from basic combat training. Apparently, toxic masculinity is holding some people back. I must admit, I think masculinity is a good thing just as is femininity. Strong men, strong women conditioned to be warriors at heart. In my day, that’s how the Army went rolling along.

What is our American identity these days. Into what category must one try to fit. Can’t I just be a God-fearing American? One who may disagree with you, but who will stand shoulder to shoulder with you to defend our great land. On top of that, I most want to be Grandpa to my raving beauty Granddaughters. I refuse to be categorized or labeled. Unless we remove all of that garbage from our daily discourse, we will continue eroding the glue holding our country together until we become something wholly unrecognizable. That, my friends, is the goal of the people who work to divide us. If we continue to follow their rulebook, we’ll cease to be….

© 2018 J. D. Pendry