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My date with MSNBC

Yesterday I took the Princess of Patience out for her birthday lunch-dinner. She is 49, again, but looks young enough that a waiter asked what my daughter wanted for dinner. No lie. Clean living apparently has its just rewards.

On the other hand, I look like hell.

So while she and I were on our date together, celebrating another notch in her gunstock, in terms I can relate to, our eyes kept getting drawn to the TV playing in the sitting area. For whatever reason, it was stuck on MSNBC, a channel I have obviously heard of, but to which I have had very little exposure. Then again, I watch almost no TV, ever.

So, being of open and easily distracted mind, I ignored my wife on her big day, and instead paid increasing attention to the people on MSNBC. It was in truth a date with the TV channel, as I got sucked in so deeply that I forgot entirely to compliment, thank, and engage with the actual human next to me.

Like I said, she is the Princess of Patience. What she sees in me is a mystery. A normal guy would throw rose petals in front of her every morning. She makes me coffee. I am lucky beyond anything I deserve.

But what of my date with MSNBC?

Well, after a solid hour of really paying attention, let us never again call this a “news channel,” nor its personnel “reporters.”

MSNBC is a wholly dedicated political advocacy program. There is no news being reported. Rather, there is news being edited, commented on, subject to opinions from one perspective, one side, one view. No opposing views or analysis are offered, and the questions designed to sound like alternative perspectives are asked of political advocates with whom the interviewer agrees.

The show was totally dedicated to the Parkland High School shooting and to promoting gun control, gun confiscation, and citizen disarmament. The comments made by the guest people, ranging from high school kids to grey-haired retirees, followed a single line of thought. Most of the comments were just factually wrong, and no one challenged them.

Give credit to the two young high school kids who were interviewed, two young men, they stood in front of the camera and answered questions. But their answers were what you would expect from high school kids: Factually incorrect, emotional, without reason or logic. These kids were being used by MSNBC to promote the channel’s political viewpoints, so no one challenged them on any of their nonsense.

For example, both boys kept stating that AR15s shoot “200 bullets a second.”

That is about 199 bullets more than an AR15 actually shoots in one second.

An AR15 is a semi-automatic firearm, not an automatic firearm. Semi-auto firearms shoot a bullet with each manual pull of the trigger, and most have clips holding 20-30 rounds, not hundreds, as the one boy claimed. And very few automatic firearms of any sort, much less hand-held small arms, shoot at that very high rate of fire.

But MSNBC will not allow actual facts to guide their line of thought.

Consider the fact that the armed deputy assigned to protect the children at Parkland WAS HIDING AS THE SHOOTING OCCURRED.

Yes. When the shooting began the school’s paid deputy sheriff, today a retired deputy sheriff, immediately fled the school and went outside, where he basically curled up in a fetal position.

The man abandoned his post, was derelict in his duty, and let the killer slaughter children and teachers, unopposed.

Consider also that the police had been to the shooter’s home three dozen times for domestic disturbances, and at any time could have intervened between an obviously troubled youth and his gun.

Similarly, the FBI had been repeatedly contacted about the young man’s public threats, and they did nothing. Zero. Nada.

But none of these huge adult failures stop MSNBC from exploiting children, living and dead, from promoting their political agenda of gun confiscation.

And the hour went on like this, a parade of fake data, fake outrage, fake news. At the end of my date with MSNBC I understood why adults I know have a similar disconnect as the adults who failed Parkland’s students. Adults who watch MSNBC and believe they are getting actual news, and actual facts, are failing themselves and those around them. You cannot watch MSNBC seriously, because it is an arm of a radical political movement, at odds with American traditions of news reporting, good government, and legal gun possession.

Watching MSNBC may re-affirm your beliefs, but it will not teach you anything accurate or factual.

MSNBC’s purpose is to persuade watchers of one perspective, not to inform them of facts. MSNBC is fake in every way.

I wondered aloud how much of our other media is like MSNBC, feeding watchers inaccurate information from a political perspective?

That question was answered during the live press briefing at the White House yesterday, which was shown real-time on MSNBC, during our “date.”

During the press event, the national media personnel (they are NOT reporters) were openly hostile toward the president and current administration. They are uniformly and firmly of one political mind, and using their positions as would-be reporters to try and damage an administration they personally oppose. They are advocates, political activists, just pretending to be professional news reporters.

Add this media failure to the long list of other adult failures surrounding the Parkland shooting.

I won’t be going on any more dates with MSNBC again, or with any of her silicon sister media friends, either.

 

Maple Syrup 101

Maple syrup is really neat, a big treat, and a royal pain in the butt to make.

It is expensive to buy, running from $45 to $60 a gallon.

Modern machinery and technology have combined to turn most sugarbushes (stands of large maple trees utilized by the big maple producers) into a maze of blue tubing and pumps, efficiently moving sap from tree to tank to evaporator. No hauling sloshing buckets hooked on spiles in these forests!

The thing is, today’s evaporators are increasingly using reverse osmosis. This is fantastic for efficiency and keeping energy costs low in what is always an energy-intensive process.

However, having tasted a lot of the newer maple syrup production, one thing is missing: Intense maple flavor. Oh, it is maple syrup, for sure. But it seems that the thing that makes the process so costly is also the thing that is so necessary, and that is heat.

We have been making our own maple syrup for the past five years, something I did as a kid each winter out at Penn State’s recreation area, Stone Valley. Each year we have experimented with different fuels, different evaporators, different amounts of sap. And we have finally arrived at  a simple set-up that works well for us.

We use a 28×44 stainless evaporator pan, made well by a young guy in Iowa.

Under it we have two large propane burners.

We gather about five to twenty gallons of sap a day, and when we hit 20 gallons, we start boiling. It  takes about six to eight hours to carefully boil that 20 gallons down to a one-gallon “liquor” that we spirit into the house and carefully simmer on the stove top until it reaches its finished stage.

Final quality is determined by taste-testing by all in the house, though Mom usually has the last say.

Old whisky bottles with cork stoppers are used to store the syrup, usually in a fridge or freezer.

The real lesson we have learned is that heat is one of the factors in giving that old fashioned “Grade B Dark” full flavor. And this is why we make our own maple syrup. It is nigh impossible to find the old dark Grade B syrup any longer, and the darkest now produced, that we can find, is a shadow of a maple syrup’s true glory, a result of death-by-technology.

Heat is necessary to make that rich flavor. And a lot of careful hovering to make sure that heat doesn’t burn that sap.

PA Supreme Court Magically Turns Itself into Legislature

In an anticipated 4-3 partisan decision today, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court majority rejected the original and heavily gerrymandered map submitted by the PA Senate Republicans, as well as three heavily gerrymandered maps subsequently submitted in the past week by the PA House Democrats, PA Senate Democrats, and even PA Governor Tom Wolf.

Instead of declaring none of the legislative district maps to be constitutional, because theoretically none of them have met the constitutional tests for compactness and adhering to existing political boundaries, and instead of declaring the governor’s map completely unwelcome because it is not his role to draw voting district maps, the PA Supreme Court has actually drawn its own redistricting map.

No court anywhere has the constitutionally derived role of drawing voting district maps, and no court anywhere can justify doing so. According to the US Constitution, drawing voting district maps is specifically a state legislature role.

I will say that the latest map, drawn by the PA Supreme Court majority, looks better in some ways than the other four maps recently submitted for review. This map is certainly tighter and breaks fewer county lines than the others. In that sense, it is a more reasonable map.

But that is not the question.

The first question is, should Pennsylvania just get on with voting, as we are now running out of time for the primaries, and just use the established map, deficient though it may be?

The second question is, should the US Supreme Court allow the PA Supreme Court to, in effect, turn itself into a legislature, by performing a key function that is specifically relegated only to the state legislature by the US Constitution?

Hopefully, the US Supreme Court will deny the lower court’s power grab, and direct Pennsylvania to go on with the previous voting district map, flawed though it was, the greater interest being in letting voters have a say at all, as opposed to political elites pulling strings to keep themselves in power.

As imperfect as the legislative process is, and as distasteful as the gerrymandering process is, it is what it is, meaning that this is what we’ve got. No court can magically turn itself into another branch of government. So let’s go with the existing map we had six weeks ago, and get on with elections.

 

Heartbreak: Florida school is a “gun free zone”

My heart is broken about the school shooting in Florida.

As my heart goes in one direction, my mind goes in another. Here we go again, another shocking crime, another result of liberalism’s assault on American culture, a result of another stupid liberal policy rooted in feelings and not in careful adult-level planning.

Despite having been reported to police and FBI agents for months, this angry young man directed his violent thoughts against fellow students in Florida, using a gun to vent his feelings.

The school he targeted is yet another “gun free zone,” where not even the teachers are armed, but the bad guy is.  Criminals break the law by definition, and criminals taking advantage of “gun free zones” know they have a free hand to do what they want.

Political correctness teaches that guns are “bad,” and that feelings should dominate everything, even trumping fact and logic. Here we have another classic example of how liberalism is just plain evil and bad for America.

Liberals, this shooting is on your heads, the blood is on your hands, because liberal activist groups and teachers unions keep blocking good policies that will prevent these kinds of events from happening.

If you want to avoid this kind of school violence in the future, allow law enforcement agencies to do what they need to do with violent youths (liberal policies treat law enforcement as the bad guy and shield bad kids from being held accountable), so they can head off these problems at the pass. And let teachers and other professionals carry firearms in their places of work, so would-be bad guys know up front that there is a strong disincentive to attempt violence at schools, where they will be met head-on with fatal violence.

Anything else is a continuation of the same old failed liberal policies.

Then again, liberals have known how bad their policies are for a long time. Perhaps these children are being sacrificed in order to advance the tired old liberal gun control agenda?

 

It’s raffle season, step right up!

Raffle tickets in Pennsylvania is “a thing” as my kids say it.

Raffle tickets are a big thing, because this time of year just about every fire hall, shooting club, and non-profit organization sells them as the year’s big fund raiser.

There is the Wildlife for Everyone raffle. At $100 per ticket, it is one of the more expensive ones, but the prizes are much better, too, commensurate with the donation: ATVs, expensive guns, etc.

Pound-for-pound the Pennsylvania Trappers Association has the best drawing, with a shot at a nice new ATV costing just a couple of bucks.

The Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs raffled off a nice new AR-15 for many years, and each year the gun was prominently displayed at the PFSC booth at the big outdoor show at the Farm Show Complex (what is now the Great American Outdoor Show). Now, however, the organization is doing a 50\50 cash win, with whatever cash is collected split evenly between the group and the winner. Pay-out is pro-rata by position (first, second, third).

The Pennsylvania Forestry Association has their big raffle off at their annual banquet. Each year John Laskowski (“The Moth Man”) sells me a ticket, and each year I never hear anything more.

Duncannon Sportsmen Association has their raffle, and it is full of traditional guns-or-cash choices, my favorite. So many guys I know all over Pennsylvania have won nice guns at these raffles. These guys also have all the luck.

And I just sent in my check to the National Muzzleloading Rifle Association, along with an envelope full of ticket stubs. Each year artisans generously donate a custom longrifle, a handmade knife, 1770s style tomahawk, a possibles bag (that’s a fringed man purse by today’s European standards), etc. to the NMLRA to help the group sell tickets and raise money. Quite popular.

For every one of these organizations, raffle tickets are a big fundraiser, a big money maker that helps keep the lights on and the doors open.

And for me, every year it is just one more donation after another to good causes, although two years ago I DID win two bricks of Federal Premium HP .22 LR ammo from (I think) the Miller Run Gun Club in Perry County. That was a first for First, as I have never won anything before, though each year I have happily helped out each group with what I considered a healthy donation towards their good cause.

Seems that .22 LR ammo value probably covered a good bit of the donations I made that year to all the other groups. Hmmmm…I think I will buy a few more raffle tickets…not a bad investment…

Attack of the pussy weasels

Well, the Pennsylvania Grand Ol’ Party has done it again.

The PA GOP pussy weasels really knocked it outta the park this time, with their latest politicized voting map. As usual, this map protects PA GOP favorite candidates, spineless jellyfish all, and removes or undermines candidates threatening those favorites.

Gerrymandering seems to be the PA GOP’s best skill, their highest and best use, because Lord knows these guys can’t fight. They cannot take liberals head-on, nor can they allow conservatives to have a shot at talking to the voters. God forbid, the empty suit establishment hacks might lose!

And this is why the PA GOP is made of pussy weasels. They are pussies, wimps of the worst sort, not fighters or brawlers, and they are weasels, sneaky, devious, conniving little men. Pathetic excuses for men. Few of these guys have it in them to be men, to act like men.

Pussy weasels. Cheaters.

Though the GOP is supposed to be the “hawks,” with these kinds of weazly weaklings running things, it is no wonder America is in so much trouble.

For those who don’t know, gerrymandering is setting up voting districts to favor a particular political party for candidate. It is how you protect your hold on political power without having to actually compete for it, or allow your opponents (within and without the party) to challenge you in a meaningful way.

Granted, the Democrats will do the same thing, given the same opportunity. But what is especially frustrating about the PA GOP is how aggressively and openly they target independent-minded conservatives for elimination from consideration.

Look at this redistricting map. This is the voting district map the Pennsylvania legislature (Republican dominated) sent to the governor last Friday, as a result of the last one being thrown out by the PA Supreme Court.

 By the US Constitution, all US voting maps are supposed to be compact. That means counties are supposed to be held together as much as possible, communities are held together, and regional cultures are supposed to be held together. Political districts are supposed to be as compact as possible, not spread all over the landscape.

Here we can see several political districts that are obviously all over the landscape. Zig-zagging their way from the Poconos to Central PA. Or gutting certain counties. Or  targeting specific candidates in ongoing political races right now.

Note the three red circles.

See what is in them, the little municipalities? These are cut-outs, not where counties have been gutted, but where specific candidates live and have been targeted for removal from current ongoing races. Not a whole lot of them on this map, and believe me, these three are significant.

These three red circles are classic targeting by the PA GOP establishment of conservatives who the pussy weasels believe are a threat to their spineless, principle-free, money-oriented, power-based political club.

The red circle on the upper right is where candidate Joe Peters lives. Peters is an awesome candidate for the US Congress, and he was going to cost GOP establishment hack Dan Meuser the race, because Meuser lives just over the line from where Peters lives. Peters was going to pull votes from the same community, the same region, the same culture, which would make it oh, so hard for Little Danny Meuser to just win the danged seat.

Well, the new map has Meuser in, and Peters out.

And two other active candidates for the same seat are now also out in this map, Steve Bloom in Cumberland County and Andrew Shektor in Columbia County.

Race for US Congress now looking much better for Meuser, and he didn’t even have to go make a speech or go to a debate!

Now let’s go to the middle red circle. Guess who lives there? Another candidate in the same congressional race Meuser is in!

His name is Andrew Lewis, another awesome candidate for the same congressional seat as Meuser and Peters. Lewis is popular in this vote-heavy Dauphin County, and also in the adjoining ultra-conservative Perry County, which is now suddenly and totally out of the newly redrawn district.

This is where gutting the county also comes into play. As one might expect of the county seat of political power in Pennsylvania, Dauphin County holds a lot of political activists, including yours truly. By halving Dauphin County, the county becomes much less of a political base for the enterprising would-be candidate, as primary voters everywhere vote first and foremost for candidates from their same county.

So the PA GOP pussy weasels killed two birds with one stone here. They took away Lewis’s voter base, and also undermined the potential future opportunities of anyone else from Dauphin County.

So Meuser gets to stay in the redrawn district, his one toughest opponent (Peters) has now been completely removed, two others were removed, and the other tough opponent (Lewis) completely undermined. Odds are looking good!

Pretty nice work for a pussy weasel, right?

See, a real man would be embarrassed to have other people do all of this for him, to pretty much guarantee him a seat in Congress. A real man would want to get out and compete, be challenged, and stand up for his beliefs. Like a man.

But not here. Here we have pussy weasels, like Meuser.

And that last red circle, up on the left. See that? Guess why that remote little outpost of super rural Pennsylvania is mysteriously cut out from the enormous political district surrounding it?

If you guessed that it is because a political activist lives there, you would be CORRECT.

We are talking about an area there in northwest Lycoming County that has more bears than people, and yet, the PA GOP pussy weasels can’t stand the thought that the guy up there might actually run for office, and have a chance to spread his charismatic message of conservativism. Why then, the pussy weasels would not know what to do. Their power might be threatened!

God forbid.

One hopes that Governor Wolf, no big winner himself, refuses to sign this monstrosity, and that it then goes to the PA Supreme Court.

We deserve a government Of the People, By the People, and For the People.

Not a government of, by, and for pussy weasels.

How to enjoy an auction, and which common mistake to avoid

Auctions are everywhere today. They are online, in person at local venues, and in person or by absentee bid at the big places, like Rock Island Auctions.

eBay and GunBroker, local farm equipment at Farmer Joe’s barn, on-site home and property auctions, regional outfits like Cordier, and the big ones like Christies, Sotheby’s, etc. Many auctions to choose from, all following some auction format, each with some minor but important differences (warranty, returns, defects, descriptions etc).

Pretty much anything you might need, or as is more common, want, is available at an auction.

Auctions offer an opportunity to get things unobtainable in any other venue, except perhaps through specialized and usually expensive dealers. For truly rare and expensive items, an auction may be the only place to bid on them, before they are whisked away to the next private collection. Auctions are fun and potentially lucrative for the buyer, almost never for the seller, and are definitely lucrative for the auctioneer, who charges both seller and buyer.

Auctions used to involve travel, getting a bidder number (no small feat way back when), and sitting through often tedious hours of boring junk while waiting for your own magic piece of paraphernalia to come up.

Auctions today are mostly different, though you can always travel to that upcounty farm liquidation sale, if you want that local flavor.

The Information Age and modern hand-held technology have entered into most auctions. Almost every auction today has an online bidding option, even the local ones, through either their own website or through ProxiBid, a real-time PayPal-like intermediary between seller and bidder. Many auctions allow bidders to place absentee bids through faxes or emails.

Never before have auction bidders had so much convenience and flexibility.

And online bidding really is unbelievably convenient. No more standing out in the cold, or waiting hours for your particular lot to come up. You find what you want online, put in your highest dollar number in their software, and go about your life, waiting patiently to see the result. If you really want it, really gotta have it, then you can probably find one with the Buy It Now option.

With auction sites like eBay, you have the choice to put in your highest bid, and wait to see if it wins, or you can also participate in that last 45 seconds of the auction, when there is a flurry of bidding by people trying to snipe one another and put in the winning bid, without disclosing that amount ahead of time.

And this is key.

The purpose to this last-second-snipe approach is, by not filing your highest bid up front, you do not disclose your final willingness to pay, your maximum bid.

That keeps other bidders guessing about their competition up until the last second. You may end up with a good deal at low risk, but it is definitely a hands-on approach.

It highlights a critical rule about auctions: The worst mistake a buyer can make in any auction is to disclose (to anyone) what his willingness to pay is; that is, his highest or maximum bid, the highest bid he is willing to make on any given item.

Once someone has that number, they can and will use it against you, even though they might justify it as helping their client, the seller.

Even though this is an obvious mistake, it is nonetheless very common, because online bidding has changed the culture of bidding at all auctions, including live ones with an actual auctioneer calling out bids.

With online auctions, filing your highest bid ahead of time is a common practice, because it is so convenient. You plop in your highest number to the auction software, and walk away. If you win, you win, if you don’t, you don’t. You put your best foot forward and if you don’t succeed, that is OK, because you did not exceed your self-imposed limit.

Although this process is not transparent, for the most part it works for buyers. Probably because the stakes are usually too low to warrant the high risk to the seller or auctioneer manipulating the bidding outcome.

Modern online auction bidding is nothing like what auctions used to be, but this newfound ease and convenience also comes with a potential cost when it comes to live auctions. That cost is bidders will absolutely face fake bids placed by the auctioneer. As a result, bidders will see the price of their object artificially boosted well beyond the actual market demand, much more than would happen at a traditional live auction, and with even less accountability.

It is easy enough for live auctioneers to plant “shill” bidders and bids in their audience. In the blended world of live-and-also-online auctions, some auctioneers video record some, but not all, of the proceedings. Sadly, these recordings are laughably useless, but they give the veneer of propriety and accountability.

Bidders at live auctions today are dropping their guard, because the absentee bidding process in online auctions is now routine. Bidders assume there is no risk in this, no matter how high priced the item, because everything else they bid on goes smoothly in the online auctions. Yes, eBay has had some problems over the years, with obvious meddling by sellers in their own auctions, but those seem to be few and far between these days. And in any event, the prices and values were relatively low.

But what happens when you have a high-value item up for bid at live auction? Let’s say, a collectible gun, or an authenticated Persian rug, or a bona fide piece of rare art. These are items worth thousands or tens of thousands of dollars. With these numbers, there is a real incentive for the auctioneer or seller to manipulate the bidding process, to make the price go higher. They can take that absentee bid, your maximum, which should be held like a state secret, and they can create fake bids to get you up to your limit.

The problem here is that when you, the bidder, filed an absentee bid anywhere close to real money (thousands, tens of thousands of dollars), you violated the number one rule of bidding at auction: You disclosed the maximum amount you were willing to pay, ahead of time.

And now that the auction house or auctioneer has your highest bid in front of them, they can find “shill” bidders to post fake bids against you to artificially drive up the price. For you to prove they did this, even when it is obvious, you must file a legal complaint and pay an attorney to go through the discovery process. It is as easy as an auctioneer asking a well-known old dealer chum to throw in a few bids on an item, just to “help out.”

So our take-away is this: Do not file absentee bids for high-cost items.

Either participate in the auction in person, by phone, or through a buyer who is present in the room when the auction is being held.

To that point, I recently watched a video of an auctioneer and his assistant. This video was supposed to demonstrate the honest way in which the auction was held. Lots of gesticulating and interacting by the auctioneer and assistant. They were both dramatically acting on bids as if the room was packed and the bids were flying in.

Someone who was there told me the room actually held very few buyers, and all of them were hardened dealers. Overall there were very few bids, basically only one or two per item, for the entire auction. Few of the bids came from within the room, and most were absentee bids and phone bids relayed to the auctioneer by the auction house’s own employees.

But from the showman’s antics on the video, you would think a couple hundred buyers were seated there, every one of whom was waving their number.

How many absentee bids were artificially jacked by the showman on that day? How many buyers were shilled?

Auction buyer beware; file no absentee bids for real money (everyone has their limit, but mine would be anything above $1,000).

Participate in high-stakes auctions directly, or have someone else participate for you. But do not ever disclose your maximum bid to anyone, especially to the auction house. Because no matter what, it will be used against you, regardless of the empty promises made about how “safe” your bid is with them. Auction houses are in business to make money, and they will do that any way they can, and it is always at the buyer’s expense.

What is behind a “journalism” degree, anyhow?

In our Information Age, a great deal of life is shaped by outlets dealing in information.

The best of this information is called news, and is supposed to be accurate information about what is new. What is new can be of most use. In military terms, the newest information is called intelligence, because the information it carries allows one to make the most intelligent decisions.

The guardians of news and the supposed arbiters of its accuracy and value are called journalists. This is because their writings are a sort of journal, a documentary of history, the history of a civilization, whether it is on clay tablets, papyrus, sheepskins, calf skins, or in 1s and 0s in the ether.

That these guardians today have abandoned their namesake is obvious. Their writings are no documentary any longer.

Accuracy, usefulness, meaning are now all discarded in the pursuit of shaping a narrative, delivering a political agenda by shaping what readers of news think, based on what they are told. And blocking or suppressing information that disrupts their agenda.

People complain about Breitbart, Rush Limbaugh, and Fox News. They forget that none of these people or outlets would be needed, if the journalists would just do their job and deliver accurate information.

These renegade news sources are greatly outnumbered by the establishment media, which gets new recruits from college every year. Young people steeped in “journalism” for four years, purposefully devoid of the skill or even interest in rooting out news when they exit.

Which makes one wonder, What does it take to get a journalism degree in college? What is it really made of?

After all, actual journalism just involves having a phone and a pen, and asking questions, to get at the truth. Would actual training in journalism be a single course? Maybe several courses, at the longest, so at the most a single semester, right?

How is it, then, that people are spending four whole years of their lives to get a degree in “journalism”? What is it they are truly learning during that entire time? How much time does it really take to teach someone how to use a phone and pen, to ask questions, to write it down, and report the news?

The truth is, college students of ‘journalism’ are being indoctrinated for four years, and journalism, the sacred role of writing the journal of civilization, enshrined in our First Amendment to the US Constitution, has been bastardized and hijacked by people bent on control at any cost.

God be with us.

 

Pentagon Papers II receive a cold reception

What is the modern equivalent of the Pentagon Papers is receiving an unusually cold reception from the establishment media, from people who have not even seen or read it yet, and yet who already have talking points and criticisms of it, without actually knowing what is in it.

Back in the early 1970s, what became known as the Pentagon Papers were leaked from secret government files to the Washington Post, a news-paper that used to operate in Washington DC.

Those Pentagon Papers helped build a public case against the politicization of official government duties, and they formed the basis for investigatory reporting by something called news reporters, an extinct animal that has not been seen since.

When the Pentagon Papers reporting was done, a sitting president was impeached and forced from office, because the public was disgusted by his obvious mis-use of public power.

Fast forward to February 1, 2018, and we have a similar situation unfolding in Washington, DC. Reams of text messages, emails, and document analysis have recently uncovered a clear conspiracy among FBI agents and DOJ officials to unfairly exonerate Hillary Clinton of obvious crimes, and to unfairly target for illegal spying and criminal prosecution a presidential candidate and then president-elect, Donald Trump.

None of this behavior by the FBI and DOJ staffs is legal. None of it is OK. None of it is acceptable. It is the very essence of corruption and misuse of government power.

The Mueller “investigation” is exposed as an open-ended political witch hunt and fishing expedition based on a fake “dossier” bought by Hillary Clinton’s campaign, illegally used to obtain a search warrant used to illegally spy on a political campaign and then the president-elect, all for political purposes.

Despite knowing this first-hand himself, Mueller continues with the only thing he has, fake “process crimes,” like alleged obstruction of justice. Evidence is clear that FBI agent Peter Strzok (and many others) used his official position for partisan political purposes, and Mueller removed him from his witch hunt because of it. But Mueller himself does not have the integrity to call off the entire farce, most of which is based on Agent Strzok’s previous activity.

Now there is a concise memo about this illegal government activity, by an obscure Congressman Nunes from California. This memo lists the data sources and how they were analyzed to uncover this criminal conspiracy, and it is being provided to the sitting president. This is standard protocol. This is how representative government works.

Instead of retrospection and respect for the rule of law, however, the opposition party and their communication arm AKA the media are in full out assault against the memo and its author.

Instead of taking the memo and reading it, sharing it with the American public, and shedding light on government abuse so the American people can make informed political choices and hold political officials accountable, the media are doing the opposite. They are doing everything they can to protect the prior administration, the Hillary Clinton campaign, and the current opposition party, despite knowing full well what illegal things they did. They take attacks by members of that opposition party and report them verbatim as fact. They ignore or denigrate the information in the memo.

Which makes one wonder about the whole Pentagon Papers thingy way back when.

Was that really news reporting in the public interest, or was it the first successful take-down of a sitting president by a partisan media?

After all, President John F. Kennedy had plenty of naughty, unethical, immoral and illegal behavior going on in his administration (as did his successor, LBJ), and yet the media treated Americans to nothing but close-ups of fake smiles by JFK’s long suffering wife and of his fakey white smile.

For the enterprising media watchdog, the JFK administration had lots to chew on, if the desire was but there. Obviously it was not. Lying, cheating JFK was promoted as a hero, and his misdeeds were swept under the rug for decades.

“Camelot” the charade was called. Oh golly, the shivers!

The press’s treatment of the Kennedy Administration became a model for how the media would subsequently treat the administrations of JFK’s political party: The president is always brilliant, kind, heroic. Never mind that he is selling our uranium stocks to our biggest enemy, and lots of private money is changing in public hands. On the other hand, the Republican presidents are always portrayed as evil, stupid, a foolish dullard, a tool of outside interests.

Looking back, it is now evident the Pentagon Papers served as the press’s first big political hit, a model which the media have tried to employ about every four years ever since. They never fail to have an “October surprise” for Republican candidates, and hardly vet or investigate Democrat candidates at all, always protecting them from public scrutiny.

A new movie about the Pentagon Papers is out starring serial sexual harassment enabler Meryl Streep and my once-favorite actor, Tom Hanks. This movie glorifies news reporting as a sacred duty and core function of a free republic, which it is. But it also puts the partisan news reporters of the Pentagon Papers on an unassailable pedestal. Judging by today’s openly politicized, partisan media, no such credibility or accolades are currently warranted, and now we realize they probably were not warranted back in the 1970s, either.

The subjects of this new movie, former Washington Post employees Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, remain openly and unrepentant political partisans to this day, their purportedly fair-minded views relied upon as though handed down by Moses on Mount Sinai by a fawning younger generation of partisan media communicators.

And this is how the entertainment-media industrial complex creates fake news, fake heroes, fake election results, and protects a government rotting from within, starting with the very people sworn to uphold the law.

Release the Nunes memo, Mister President, and let the accountability begin. This, not the hoarding of power, is the role of government.