Sunday, October 22, 2017

Keep an eye out for over-hyped news stories.

As you are probably aware there is a new kind of problem we have all been experiencing lately. Though we are all aware of fake news, I think there is a new issue rising. I'm talking about the over-hyped news story. Instead of a totally false story like fake news, these are stories that are built up to be earth shattering expose that will totally change everything forever! And then the story is released. Most of the time something really happens but it's not nearly as big as it is hyped to be.

It's very obvious why this kind of thing happens. Journalists want to build up hype so people actually read the story when it comes out. They also tend to believe their own exaggerations and greatly overestimate how much impact any kind of story that they have.

We need to keep any eye out for these stories and realize that oftentimes when people promise the moon they don't have much. Sometimes those stories are actually very important but when people are expecting earth-shattering they get disappointed with just a huge story.

I think some of this is just people expecting too much. For example there was the recent Uranium One story. It's a major news story that accuses Hillary Clinton of serious wrong doing and also implicates other members of the Obama administration of wrongdoing. But people are disappointed with that? Why? I guess they wanted something so powerful that no one would ever want to be a Democrat again. What that could be I don't know since I think people would still support Clinton even if she was caught on camera sacrificing babies to Moloch, but the point remains. If you want the one thing that ends Democrats forever (or Republicans for that matter), you are probably going to be disappointed.

So what are some signs of an over-hyped news story? People saying things like "tick tock" tends to be a huge red flag. People saying that their story is a "gamechanger" or that it will change everything is also a very bad sign. Generally, you shouldn't trust anything that is telling you what you want to hear.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Video: Japanese pilots flee from burning airplane.

A pilot escapes from the burning F-4EJ. 

In dramatic video footage, two Japanese pilots escaped from a burning F-4EJ Phantom II before takeoff. Daily Mail. The accident occurred at Hyakuri Air Base in Ibaraki prefecture. The two pilots escaped without injury. It is thought that the fire was caused by a malfunctioning landing gear. Japan has grounded their F-4EJ Phantoms to make sure the problem doesn't occur again. The F-4EJ Phantom II's are old jets first introduced in the 1960's and are due to be replaced by F-35's. 

My Comment:
Scary moment for the Japanese pilots. They were very close to being burned alive, which is horrifying. They were very lucky that nobody was hurt. You can see the video in the link above or on Youtube below in case you don't want to support the Daily Mail (or Youtube for that matter).

What is most surprising to me is that the Japanese still use F-4 Phantoms. These planes are almost five decades old now. America retired our last combat jets in 1996, though we kept them on for non-combat roles. Japan is one of only a few countries, including South Korea, Turkey and Iran. Yep, the F-4's are so old that the pre-date the Islamic Revolution in Iran. 

Japan still has three combat squadrons but they aren't in a front line role and are due to be replaced. The reason they haven't been is because the delays with the F-35 program. Those new F-35's, with as many problems as they have, are now desperately needed for Japan. Right now their F-4 Phantoms are no longer reliable. 

Given how high tensions are that is a very bad thing. If a war were to break out between North Korea and everyone else the Japanese might not be ready now. I don't think these F-4's would have a large amount of effect, but it would reduce Japan's strike capability. Very bad timing for these F-4's. 

President Trump's statement on the liberation of Raqqa from ISIS.

President Trump released a statement about Raqqa today and I thought I should post it here. I don't have much to say about it other than what I have said in Tuesdays post but I thought it might be good to post what the President had to say.

President Trump indicates that he is likely to release the last JFK assassination files.

Marker outside of the birthplace of John F. Kennedy. Reuters. 

President Trump indicates that he is likely to release the last files concerning the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Reuters. The long classified files are scheduled to be released next week but many news outlets said that Trump was not going to authorize their release. The JFK assassination remains mired in conspiracy theories despite the official story being that Lee Harvey Oswald committed the crime and acted alone. Intelligence agencies have argued for withholding these files with the justification that they may endanger intelligence operations and practices. The files are not expected to have any bombshells but may shed light on Oswald's travels in Cuba and Russia. 

My Comment:
Once again the mainstream media got the story wrong. Politico had written an article saying that Trump was not going to release the documents less than a day before Trump tweeted that he was indeed going to release them, subject to review. One wonders if Politico was just making things up or if they were led on a wild goose chase but either way they got this story wrong. It now seems very likely that Trump will release these documents, barring a major change of course.

What is going to be in them? Good question. The Reuters report speculates that these documents have information about Oswald's travels to Russia and Cuba. Oswald was a defector to both countries but returned. He was also a dedicated communist and certainly had contacts with both governments. That information is publicly known but there could still be some details we are missing.

Is it possible that there is some kind of bombshell here? I think there is. I have always considered it a possibility that Oswald was in fact an agent of the Russians or Cubans. That doesn't mean they ordered the attack, but if it had been revealed in the 1960's that Oswald was a spy it could have resulted in a world war. It's very possible that a deal was reached with the foreign governments after our government determined that he wasn't acting on orders. There is also a slim possibility that he was acting on orders and if that is true that will rewrite history. 

I don't know how much I buy the intelligence agencies argument that sources and techniques could be compromises. Most of the people involved in the intelligence game from the 1960's are either dead or long retired and our intel gathering has grown enough that many of our old techniques are out of date. My guess is that there is probably some embarrassment for these agencies in these files. That and the obvious inertia there is for intel agencies to release anything if they don't have to.

Still, I don't think there will be much here. I am convinced that if there was something earthshaking left to learn about the JFK assassination we would have learned it by now. Someone would have leaked something and it would have happened decades ago. I think people would be wise to seriously temper their expectations about what these documents will reveal. It's not likely that there is going to be a smoking gun.

I have never been convinced with the traditional JFK assassination theories. I think most of them are stupid and even the more thought out ones are fairly far fetched. Indeed, the only one I give any credence at all to is the "Oswald was a Russian and/or Cuban spy" theory that I mentioned above. And that is one of the more unpopular ones.

It's my sincere belief that Oswald acted alone and he did so because he was a devoted communist that wanted to kill that anti-communist John F Kennedy. I doubt he had any help and I doubt he did so under orders. There was no second shooter and there was no further conspiracy. Barring some absolutely unprecedented info released in these documents I don't see my views changing anytime soon.

I also don't think that anyone else's minds will be changed either. People believe what they want to believe about the JFK assassination. New evidence, even if it supports a conspiracy angle, will not convince them that their pet theory is wrong no matter how strong it is. Everyone who lived through it made up their minds long ago and the new generations were born into the conspiracy theories.

Of course this whole post could be moot. Trump still has time to backpedal. He may well decide that he doesn't want to release these documents after all or could release them with so many redaction that they are completely useless. Doing so would probably be a political mistake because I think people will be really excited about this, but I think it is possible. I won't speculate on why he would tweet this out and change his mind as it would seem to be very out of character for him. My only guess is that it could be used as leverage against his enemies, but even that seems a bit "tinfoil hat" for me.

My guess is that these documents will come out and nothing much will come of them. The might shed some new light on things but they will do nothing to stop the conspiracy theories. In the end I think people will never give up on the "Who killed JFK?" question...

Friday, October 20, 2017

Another Gold Star family member releases audio showing Donald Trump offering condolences.

The above video is from the Washington Post and shows the conversation President Donald Trump had with Natasha De Alencar who is a Gold Star wife. Her husband, staff sergeant Mark De Alencar was killed in Afghanistan by ISIS militants last April. He left behind his wife and 5 children. 

Just watch the video and then tell me that Congresswoman Frederica Wilson is telling the truth about Trump disrespecting a Gold Star family. I saw nothing but respect in that video and it seemed like Trump was really trying to connect with De Alencar. 

The media has, of course, tried to make this thing about race. But obviously in this case this was a mixed race Hispanic/Black family and Trump acted with nothing but respect. Indeed, that's what De Alencar said herself and she was very impressed that Trump took the time to call her and learn a little about her family before he called. 

I have to say that I am fairly disgusted by this whole scandal. It's clear to me that Trump did nothing wrong here and he should be commended for taking the time to call the family of these people. That a ghoul like Fredercia Wilson would use this as an opportunity to attack the president is just disgusting to me...