10 – Education “Let’s Go Fishing”

 

The 2016 Electoral College results, for ages 18-25, would have been over 500 votes to under 25 vote in favor of Hillary Clinton. I do not know the exact connection between that statistic and this blog but it is what fueled these thoughts. How can 95% of this demographic results be so overwhelming? Especially when the choice was two flawed candidates.

 Education – “Going Fishing” – Its Local

Is ignorance a bad thing?  If one has never been exposed to information, then how can they be expected to know.  A doctor would prescribe a dose of education to cure ignorance. The process may seem simple but it is not. What the good doctor prescribes for both sickness and ignorance has to be approved by a governmental agency. The Food and Drug Administration certifies the medical prescription just as the Department of Education certifies conscription into public education.

The word educate comes from the Latin word educare, which means “to draw out that which lies within.” The educational system should be an active process involving a series of stimuli and a response. In education we distinguish between the two. The stimulus is most often provided by the teacher and the response is drawn out of the student.

The responsibility of the teacher is to present information and the responsibility of the student is to respond to it. In its simplest form, the educational process allows for the teachers to use a variety of tools to draws out raw and honest responses from the students. However, the education process begins after the initial response is drawn out.

It is the dialog, a conversation, created between the two parties that is invaluable. Adversarial positions should be encouraged in order to express all opinions from all sides of the discussion. The exchanging of ideas promotes diversity of thought. Diversity is required in order to explore the topics in depth.

I would be naïve not to think that this process would be free of prejudice. Pre judgment is part of the drawing out and in many cases the information going in. Pre judgment abounds. Pre judgments are generated by geographical, cultural, religious, racial, sexual, economical, basically all environmental and social exposures.

The environmental and social situations we experience are unique to all individuals. Any one or combination of the above pre judgments are the bases of our diversity. It is our differences that impact the processing of information. Pre judgments lead to different conclusion from processing the same information.  After all diversity means different.

Diversity has to be considered in the educational process. Let’s “go fishing”. On the island of Martha’s Vineyard if I am asked by a friend, “do you want to go fishing? “My logical conclusion is that we would be going salt water fishing in the ocean. If this same situation occurred in the North Country of New Hampshire, less that 200 miles away, the conclusion would be different. The going fishing would indicate fresh water fishing in a stream, a river or a lake.

The conclusions are different because they are based upon pre judgments. However, both assumptions are more than likely correct. Why? Because the conclusions were arrived at by two independent, geographical diverse fishermen.

Let’s stay with the fishing venue. Change the question to “what would you need to go fishing?” The most obvious responses by both fishermen would be a fishing pole and some sort of bait. However, if the same question is asked of a commercial fisherman in New Bedford, less than 30 miles from Martha’s Vineyard, the response may be a boat, fuel and nets.

These questions produce diverse responses, yet all of the “answers” are correct. This may cause havoc with the validity of an assessment. To judge the level of correctness of these responses is difficult and can be arbitrary. So who then should be empowered to assess the quality of the response?

Consider this, would the assessment of the fishing responses differ between a Midwestern educator than that of an Atlantic Coast educator? Again, so who should assess the quality of the response? I say the most local educator, the one I know, the one I can call, text, e-mail or even meet face to face. Why opt for a disconnected evaluator?

When a distant assessor is put in charge we lose the local pre judgments and local interpretations. The US Department of Education clearly believes that education from the top down is preferential. This exhibits the arrogance of a governmental agency “we know what is best for you.” theory. The local communities are the patches that make up the quilt of society. Bottom up must be promoted to save the community school.

The true injustice of this system is amplified by the weight that we have assigned to the results of standardized testing. They have become the fare required to take you to the next grade level, a diploma and even the college of your choice. Is this process fair? I say no. It is discriminatory and unjust. We have created a faceless distant bureaucracy to be the gatekeeper in charge of “entry into the club.”

The local teacher, the local administration and the local school board must be independent in order to select the needs and direction of the community. When assessment and curriculum development are controlled locally real diversity of thought is allowed to flourish. Local control is personal and nurtures students not statistics.

Standardized testing selects national or global essential understandings. Whether it is Washington DC or the state, standardized testing is turning local control over to an intervening agency. The priorities of the two do not necessarily reflect the needs of the local community and its neighborhoods. The locally elected school board is beholden to their citizens while state and national boards are beholden a political boss that may change every four years

Think local because, in reality, the community is our only jurisdiction. Teachers of previous generations were valued based upon their ability to define challenging essential understanding. Their evaluations were connected to their ability to draw thoughtful and independent response from their students. An invested teacher is a better teacher.

Standardization is coercive and regressive. Teachers are not only expected “to lead the horse to a designated watering hole” but to enforce their consumption and regulate how to drink. When a central authority is allowed to uses: extortion for funding; compulsory taxes: evaluations; certifications; licenses and accreditations; to “collaborate” with local districts it is clear that our schools have become servants.

Standardization of “truths” and thought become a byproduct of this system. If there is a reward for standard response, then standard processing of thought is controlled. Social justice warriors, conservatives and progressives need to understand its impact. Standardizations lead to a clean and pristine society in lock step with a distant cadence. Whether standardization occurs in education or in politically correct speech it is stifling.  The result is a society void of non conformity. The patchwork quilt becomes a one flavor utilitarian blanket.

A standardized society is destructive. A standardized society is a selective society. Historically, standardized evaluations have been used to justify atrocities. They were misused in the 1920’s by the Eugenics movement. That movement targeted thousands of individuals for sterilization. Nazi Germany took standardized achievement results to the limit, extermination.

95% to 5% is a loud statement. Hell 95% of the population cannot even agree upon the color of a dress. When one’s future is predicated upon appeasing a master the compliant are rewarded while those of independent and critical thoughts are nullified. The safest choice may be conformity but is also the most dangerous.

009 – The Lesser of Two Evils

The Lesser of Two Evils

“There are men of principle in both parties in America, but there is no party of principle.”(Alexis de Tocqueville) This quote is from his book “Democracy in America” written in 1835. It is as current today as it was in the 1800’s. In 2016, our two party democratic system produced two unprincipled candidates.

My response to de Tocqueville’s observation is that we need to empower responsible people to find those “men(women) of principle”. Our founding fathers actually set up a process in the Constitution that accomplished that, it is called the Electoral College. Unfortunately, we have strayed so far from the original intent of the Constitution those “men of principles” are not being identified as our national leaders.

The constitution set up a government that was a representative republic not a democracy. The founding fathers were not fans of the democratic process. They understood that majority rule could be volatile, fickle and dangerous. To defend liberty, they limited the democratic process in favor of a representative republican process. The citizens would entrust elected official to make decisions for them.

Thomas Jefferson declared: “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.”  Even the top Federal of the day Alexander Hamilton asserted that “We are now forming a Republican form of government. Real liberty is not found in the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments. If we incline too much to democracy we shall soon shoot into a monarchy, or some other form of a dictatorship.”

The sirens of democracy are seductive. Their songs have lured many a nation onto the rocks of destruction with empty promises. The thought that “we the people” could rule by popular vote is attractive and empowering. However, the majority will choose security over freedom, self interest over the principle and nationalism over sovereignty. Consider this, who wins in a popular vote when two wolves and one chicken vote to chose “what is for dinner?”

Fisher Ames (1758-1808) a Founding Father and framer of the First Amendment warned that “the known propensity of a democracy is to licentiousness which the ambitious call, and ignorant believe to be liberty.” The liberties that the founding father valued so dearly were to be protected by the republican form of government they outlined in the Constitution.

After the Constitutional Convention was concluded, in 1787, a bystander inquired of Ben Franklin: “Well, Doctor, what have we got a Republic or a Monarchy?” Franklin replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”  What did Franklin mean by this statement? Have we reached the destiny that he feared?  Franklin’s warning makes it perfectly clear that our fore fathers knew that it would be hard work to maintain liberty.

The Constitution’s version of a republic was to empower the “people of the … States”. Democracy turns the power of governing over to an individual, the President, to rule over individuals and states. This I believe is the mind set of many. We elect a President to change the country for better or not.

Our leaders promote democracy as something great and wonderful that should be spread across the world. Public education endorses this concept and it is emphasized in our core curriculum. In reality this misconception keeps us ignorant of the fact that a more democratic process brings us closer to tyranny.  Ill informed protesters beg for a democratic popular vote to elect a shepherd to protect the flock against the evils of terrorism, racism, sexism, and all the other “…isms” out there.

I find it disheartening that most protesters are calling for a further destruction of our republican process in favor of more “democracy”. To eliminate the Electoral College and replace it with a popular vote iniative would be a huge mistake. It would be a one giant step closer to a democratically elected Monarch.

It is encouraging that the protesters are calling for a “refusal” to comply and serve a President. But I am concerned that their motives are out of fear. The fear, that is being generated by the media and by the losing party. The fear of a new president is over blown.

The anger of those protesting is misdirected. The calm for the anger is not the other candidate, especially a candidate that in her political career has never opposed a war. The solution is not to change the Electoral College process to a majority rule. The solution is to educate ourselves on the workings of government according to the Constitution.

The role of the President defined by the Constitution resembles an ambassador as much as it does a powerful national leader. There are only a few responsibilities that the President holds omnipotent control over. In the oath he accepts the responsility to: “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution”. This makes him the chief executor to enforce the laws of the United States and the power to commission all the Officers of the United States to ensure this.

Presidential powers includes being the “Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and the State Militias, “when called into the actual Service of the United States.” This means only in time of war.

He is granted the power, on extraordinary occasions, to convene and to adjourn both Houses in Congress and the power to temporary fill vacancies when the of the Senate is in recess. He is also to be our nations number one “host” to receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers.

The Constitution describes the duties of the President that are to be approved and vested by Congress. These shared powers include the ability to make Treaties provided two thirds of the Senators present concur. To “appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment.

However, the powers of the President have grown with every administration.  The number of Executive Orders, issued by the past two presidents, is outrageous.  The fact that they go unchallenged is proof that we have become numb to the usurpation of power by the Executive Branch. The increasing number of rules, regulations, restrictions, quotas, fees, fines and licenses passed by the Executive Branch’s regulatory agencies are painful and further strip us of both personal and economic freedom.

How would a popular elected President change this? It wouldn’t. The opposite would occur. A popular elected President would increase the powers of the Executive Branch. It would eliminate another safeguard to the distribution of power. The balance of power is delicate, we can not continually grant more power to the President and the Executive Branch.

The energy of those protesting should be directed to the political process that they have the most control, local politics. Think locally, the local level includes the electing of city, town, county, state legislators and Congressmen that emphasis liberty and put principle over party politics.

Solution – The Changes Required

Change #1 – The House of Representative, is the catalyst for change.  A good start would be to make the representation ratio in the House of Representatives meaningful. The Constitution called for one congressman to represent not more than 30,000 people.  From 1789 until 1833, the House of Representatives grew from having 65 members to having 240. The result was that over that entire period, the average congressman never represented more than 60,000 people. In 1913, the House of Representatives was fixed by law (but not the Constitution) at 435 members. The result is that: today there are more than 730,000 U.S. residents per member of Congress. 730,000 to 1 is not a meaningful representation. It must be changed.

Change #2 – The US Senator would be next. In the Constitution the Senators were selected by the States’ legislators. This process ensured that our states would have a say in foreign affairs. On April 8, 1913, the 17th Amendment, was ratified. The 17th Amendment made the two US Senators from each state elected by popular vote.

The result of the 17th Amendment allowed eliminated most, if not all, of the States’ influence in Washington. The more “democratic process” moved the balance of power away from the states and toward Washington DC. President Wilson was the first to explore Washington’s newly granted powers, the Federal Reserve Act, World War 1, Revenue Act (Federal income tax) and the list goes on.

In order to regain influence in Washington the 17th Amendment must be repealed. I believe this change would open up more discourse into our role an Imperialist nation. It would help to harness the “security and intelligence” agencies that have metastasized and put a halt to our interventionist foreign policy

Change # 3 – The Electoral College is the saving grace of the Constitution. It is the last safeguard to prevent us from becoming a Nation State ruled by an elected Monarch. The Electoral College is state based. The members are selected by the States’ legislators and it is those members that “theoretically” select the President.

This would act to preserve the states sovereignty and be another barrier to protect the balance of power between the three branches. This process described in the Constitution is not being followed. It has to return to the function that our founders envisioned. The electoral members should not be appointed by political parties. The selection of its members must be based upon principle. They need to be independent, non partisan citizens, committed to liberty and state issues.

Final Thoughts

Getting our government under control begins locally. Let us re-empowering the citizens and the states. Congress needs to become more responsive to a lesser number of constituents. The repealing of the 17th Amendment will re-empower the states in domestic, national and international policies. This would disrupt the power of Washington’s perpetual bureaucrats, neocons and cronies embedded in the “deep state”.

A return the Electoral College described in the Constitution is vital to preserve our Constitution Republic. Allow an independent group of respected citizens, appointed by the state representatives, beholden to their constituents, to select the President.  This process would eliminate many of the pollutants that make the Presidential waters undrinkable; the two party systems, the presidential primaries, self promoting narcissists, national party conventions, the buying and selling of candidates, media pandering, empty promises and lies.

Well respected, independent, Electoral Members, from all 50 states, must be trusted to select our leader. I believe that when we return to this process, principled men and women will emerge. Our current system has failed to produce good choices. How long we will continue to be forced to choose the lesser of two evils? This is the result of a “democratic process” that our founding fathers went to great lengths to avoid.

008 United States’ #1 Priority – Part 2

The U.S.’s #1 Priority is to Mend Russian Relations   Part 2 – Syria

A brief summary of Syria’s recent history leading up to the Arab Spring. The Ba’ath movement took over leadership in Syria after a coup in 1963. This event marked its independence. Since then Syria’s standard of living has risen.  The country’s life expectancy increased by 17 years, infant mortality improved from 132 deaths per 1,000 live births to 17.9, primary school enrollment improved to almost 100 percent of males and 85 percent of females and the adult population literacy rate increased dramatically.

Syria was an independent country with a centrally planned economy. They did not rely on Western economic assistance. Syria was able to improve it’s living conditions and economy largely from aid by the Soviet Union, Iraq and China. Strike one.

In 1979, Syria’s was added to the State Department’s Sponsors of Terrorism list. Primarily due to its support to Lebanese Hezbollah and continued relationship with Iran. It also aided the Palestinian people and their resistance in Israel and maintained close economic relations with Russia. Strike two!

The Soviet Union provided Syria with millions of dollars in loans to build its infrastructure including the Tabqa dam. The dam also enabled irrigation throughout the Syrian countryside and electricity to many parts of the country. Soviet technicians have worked on several infrastructure project. China has invested millions of dollars in Syria to modernize the country’s oil and gas infrastructure. Strike three!

In 2011 Syria became part of “Arab Spring” uprisings. Protests in Syria began after two dictators, in Tunisia and Egypt, had stepped down in a response to the pro-democracy demonstrations in their countries. Syrian protesters peacefully opposed the arrest and mistreatment of a group of young people accused of writing anti-Assad graffiti.

An International Crisis Group reported that Assad first response to protests was to release some of the political prisoners and instructed his officials “to pay greater attention to citizen complaints,” His attempts to pacify the protests were not effective. They were followed by a show of force and an increased usage of censorship.  By the end of April, the situation grew out of his control. The Syrian government deployed troops into the streets to battle with the Syrian civilians. Civilians were killed and battle lines were cast. However, due to foreign interventions and the influx of multiple factions with various motives, the battle lines became unclear.

The Western media represented the Syrian civil war as a “battle for democracy”. The truth is somewhat different. It is a complex situation and has become a battleground for many causes. Including: a war for Syria to remain a sovereign nation: a Sunni caliphate involving several different versions of Wahhabism: a battle for Sunni Islamic dominance between ISIS and various Al-Qaida terrorist organization such as Nusra Front, the “Islamic Front,” the “Islamic Liberation Front,” and the “Ahfad al-Rasoul Brigades: a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia: a Kurdish war for existence against Isis, Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq: and just maybe a Turkish attempt to gain back influence that it once held during the Ottoman Empire days.

One could argue that Syrian Civil War has grown into one of the worst humanitarian crisis since the World War 2. Over a quarter million killed, roughly the same number wounded or missing, and half of Syria’s 22 million population displaced from their homes. Syria has become the largest battlefield of Sunni-Shia sectarianism clashes the world has ever seen. The results of this war will probably have implications for the future boundaries of the Middle East.

Russia has intervened on behalf of the Syrian loyalists (Assad) and the United States has intervened on behalf of the “moderate” rebels. The U.S. has “tried” to help only certain rebels, providing arms and training to “vetted” moderate rebel groups. The term “Moderate rebels” is an oxymoron.

This contradiction of U.S. goals has confused the media and the US citizens. America wants Assad to go but we are also fighting ISIS, one of the strongest anti-Assad forces in Syria. The U.S. position defies the adage “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” or does it? How was ISIS formed and how did it grow from a handful of radicals to 100,000 international members? Maybe that question needs to be directed to our allies Saudi Arabia, Qatar and then Secretary of State Clinton. The same money sources that funded ISIS “donated” funds to the Clinton Foundation.

Russia’s approach is less sensitive to the differences among rebel groups. Russia has made it clear that it opposes all of them. In September 2015, at the U.N. General Assembly Vladimir Putin made an offer to the United States. He proposed for U.S.-Russian to fly joint airstrikes against the Islamic State and associated jihadists. Putin described his plan to be “similar to the anti-Hitler coalition, it could unite a broad range of parties willing to stand firm against those who, just like the Nazis, sow evil and hatred of humankind.” However, the demonization of Vladimir Putin was well underway and his offer was spurned by Western leaders.

Russia began its military intervention in late September 2015 without the United States. Putin and motives were clear, destroy the rebels, all of them. The Russia’s intervention seriously reversed the jihadists’ advances in Syria.

The US understood why Russia intervened. Secretary of State Kerry said “The reason Russia came in is because ISIL [another acronym for Islamic State] was getting stronger, Daesh was threatening the possibility of going to Damascus, and that’s why Russia came in because they didn’t want a Daesh government and they supported Assad,” he said in the leaked discussion. Kerry’s comment suggests that the U.S. was willing to risk Islamic State and its jihadist allies gaining power in order to oust Assad.

However, the US. Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S., rather than seriously fight Islamic State in Syria, was ready to use the growing strength of the jihadists to pressure Assad to resign, just as outlined in the Defense Intelligence Agency document. “We thought however we could probably manage that Assad might then negotiate, but instead of negotiating he got Putin to support him.”

The West has been further infuriated by Putin’s rhetoric. Putin on French TV stated: “Remember what Libya or Iraq looked like before these countries and their organizations were destroyed as states by our Western partners’ forces? … These states showed no signs of terrorism. They were not a threat for Paris, for the Cote d’Azur, for Belgium, for Russia, or for the United States. Now, they are the source of terrorist threats. Our goal is to prevent the same from happening in Syria.”

Now it is Hillary Clinton and the neocons plan to continued to push for a military intervention in Syria in order to promote regime change in Syria.  In the most recent presidential debate Clinton declared, “I’m going to continue to push for a no-fly zone and safe havens within Syria … not only to help protect the Syrians and prevent the constant outflow of refugees, but to gain some leverage on both the Syrian government and the Russians”.

I am baffled that her statement was not challenged. I get angry at how the Clintons hide their motives under the disguise of humanitarian acts. From Kosovo, to Haiti the Clinton and their foundation, 6% of the money raised going to actual humanitarian efforts, continually deceive the public for personal gain. A “no-fly zone and safe havens sound like good humanitarian acts but they are Acts of War. Both of these strategies require “boots on the ground” to invade, capture and the military control of land in a sovereign country.

For what reason do we need to “gain leverage over Syria and the Russians”? The “democratically” elected Assad, whether you agree with his regime or not, is trying to preserve the sovereignty of his country. Russia is in Syria at the invitation of Assad. If Assad fall who will fill the void of power? Moderate rebels, how did that work out in Libya? ISIS and the Wahhabism caliphate or some other group that makes ISIS and the “moderates” look tame?

The winds of war are blowing, especially in Ukraine and in Syria. Is it due to “Russian aggression” or the military posturing of NATO and the U.S.? WW3 may be closer than expected. The two leading candidates for presidents  are not non-interventionist. Hillary is a “war hawk” and Trump’s position is unclear. Where have you gone Ron Paul?

 

 

007 – United States’ # 1 Priority – Part 1

Our #1 Priority is to Mend Russian Relations  Part 1 – Ukraine  

Has NATO over stepped its boundaries or is Vladimir Putin and Russia determined to dominate its neighbors and menace Europe. NATO and the United States claims that it is Russia that is attempting to expand its influence in Eastern Europe and beyond.

NATO has accused Russia of causing unrest in Ukraine and “land grabbing” of Crimea. Leaders in Moscow, however, tell a different story. For them, it is Russia that is attempting to protect ethnic Russians and is being pushed into a corner.

Russia has also claimed that the United States has failed to uphold a promise, made in the 1990’s, that NATO would not expand into Eastern Europe. If one examines the history and facts it appears Russia has a valid point.

Most people with an awareness of post WW2 history know that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was founded in response to the threat posed by the Soviet Union. NATO countries were clearly defined as the other side in the “Cold War” against the Soviet Union. In recent years NATO has emphasized that its role includes “a broader effort to serve three purposes: deterring Soviet expansionism, forbidding the revival of nationalist militarism in Europe through a strong North American presence on the continent, and encouraging European political integration.”

This expanded purpose may be NATO’s only justification of existence. If NATO was formed in response to the threat of the Soviet Union, then when the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991 NATO should have also dissolved. In reality, since the 1990’s, NATO has expanded immensely.

The disbanding of the Soviet Union created a void in the old Warsaw Pact (Iron Curtain) countries. The void was ripe for NATO to expand its shield of influence. In the past 25 years NATO’s borders have expanded from the old West Germany border to the Ukraine and into the Balkins.

When the Berlin Wall fell, the question was whether the reunified Germany would be aligned with the United States and NATO or the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. The George H.W. Bush administration advocated for the reconstituted German republic to be include in NATO.

On February 9th 1990 U.S. leaders met in Moscow with the Soviets and a verbal agreement was struck. According to transcripts of the meetings then Secretary of State James Baker suggested that in exchange for cooperation on Germany, the U.S. could make “iron-clad guarantees” that NATO would not expand “one inch eastward.” Less than a week later the Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to begin the reunification of Germany talks.

Although no formal deal was struck, the evidence indicates that a quid pro quo was initiated. Gorbachev would agreed to Germany’s western alignment and the U.S. would limit NATO’s expansion. In June of 1990 Bush was telling Soviet leaders that the United States sought “a new, inclusive Europe.”

In 1999 Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic joined NATO. In 2002 at the Prague Congress center Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia were invited to join NATO. In 2004 at the Istanbul summit, Albania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia were welcomed in NATO as members. NATO leaders also made substantial progress towards receiving Ukraine into membership.  In 2011, NATO officially recognized four more members: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Macedonia, and Montenegro.

Russian leaders Yeltsin, Medvedev and Gorbachev have all protested that U.S. and NATO have violated the non-expansion arrangement of 1990’s. Putin has become the loudest Russian leader to protest against NATO’s advance into Eastern Europe. Putin’s rhetoric over NATO’s expansion has been termed by most politicians (including Clinton) and the compliant US press as “aggression and saber-rattling.”

NATO used a US backed regime change in Ukraine to cast an even darker shadow on Putin.  But the situation was distorted by the US, NATO and mainstream media. In February of 2014, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland “masterminded” the “regime change” in Ukraine, that overthrew the democratically elected government of President Viktor Yanukovych. The State Department convinced the ever-gullible U.S. mainstream media that the coup wasn’t really a coup but a victory for “democracy.”

The U.S. organized a propaganda campaign to promote the coup-makers as heroes, not the brown shirts that they actually were. The New York Times and The Washington Post and most all of the West’s mainstream media twisted their reporting into all kinds of contortions to avoid telling their readers that the new regime in Kiev was permeated by and dependent on neo-Nazi fighters and Ukrainian ultra-nationalists who wanted a pure-blood Ukraine, without ethnic Russians.

In Crimea, the ethnic Russians, who had been Yanukovych’s political base, resisted what they viewed as the illegitimate overthrow of their elected president. Crimea held a referenda seeking separation from Ukraine. On March 16, the referendum was organized by the elected legislative assembly of Crimea. Some 95.5% of voters in Crimea supported joining Russia. Vladimir Putin accepted the results of the Crimean people’s and Crimea joined Russia, after all Crimea has been under Russia on and off since 1783.

Meanwhile this past summer NATO conducted Anaconda-2016 a 10-day military exercise, involving 31,000 troops and thousands of vehicles from 24 countries. It represented the biggest movement of foreign allied troops in Poland in peace time. The exercise, launched in Poland, was promoted as a test of cooperation between allied commands and troops in responding to military, chemical and cyber threats. The question should be asked “From where are these threats coming?”

The only non-NATO country in that part of the world that is capable of being a Military threat is Russia. The DNC and Hillary can tell us exactly who the leading suspect of Cyber terrorism is. Hillary in the presidential debates concluded “We have 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyber attacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin, and they are designed to influence our election.” When in trouble blame the Russians.

George Washington advised against “permanent alliances,” and Jefferson, in his inaugural address on 4 March 1801, declared his devotion to “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.” World War 1 was the enactment of  a series of those alliances that went into affect after the assasination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, in Sarajevo. Leaving NATO may just be a preventative move to avoid WW3. Where have you gone Ron Paul?