BuzzFeed is Heroic while CNN is Fake News

A lot has been said about the kerfluffle between Trump and CNN/BuzzFeed about the scandal involving potentially fake documents about information the KGB has on Donald Trump. Here is the original CNN story. Here is the BuzzFeed story.

Most people have been either hailing or shunning CNN/Buzzfeed as a unit. That is, either you think that they should have published the news, and therefore are doing their patriotic duty to keep power in check, or they shouldn’t have published the news, and are both guilty of FakeNews.

CNN has said that since they did not publish the documents, but only the contents of the meetings, that they are NotGuilty of FakeNewsery, and that BuzzFeeds should be the only ones to hang. However, I think they have it completely backwards.

First of all, CNN reported first. The reported that there are reports that Russia has compromising information on him. The was published around the blogosphere, and re-published, and many of my own friends were saying, “ohmygosh, Trump is being controlled by the Russians”. That was the result of the CNN story. After the story came out, BuzzFeed published the actual documents upon which these stories were based. As soon as the BuzzFeed documents came out, the scandal quickly turned, and everybody could see that this was a bunch of B.S..

Here’s the deal, had BuzzFeed not produced the documents, then CNN would have been able to say with impunity that the CIA was continually providing intelligence reports to Trump that show that the KGB has information on him. There would be nothing to stop them. Despite the fact that the documents were obvious fabrications, since CNN did not distribute the documents, it is just a bunch of “he said she said” with the only factual information known is that the CIA was talking to Trump about it.

However, BuzzFeed’s reports effectively ended the CNN story. Once people were shown the ridiculousness of the document that the story was based on, it was easy to see that it was all a fake sideshow. Even my friends who were pushing the CNN story, once the BuzzFeed story came out, started to shy away and say, “well, maybe not”.

Now, had BuzzFeed published their document before CNN said anything, I would say that BuzzFeed was publishing Fake News. However, because CNN published first, BuzzFeed was actually exposing CNN’s Fake News operation – showing it for the sham that it was. BuzzFeed didn’t even have to come out and call CNN out. They just showed the base information that CNN was reporting on (and CNN confirmed this by later adding in a link to the BuzzFeed documents into their story!).

What CNN did – report to the public bogus claims about Russian intelligence operations as if they were truth.

What BuzzFeed did – show the actual documents that the CNN report was based on, and exposing it for the sham that it was.

So, I have to say that, at least in this instance, CNN was the purveyor of Fake News, and BuzzFeed did the whole country a favor by giving us all access to the real documents that CNN was working from.

Best Gluten Free Flour Recipe (and how to use it)

My wife is celiac and therefore cannot eat gluten. Gluten-free flour is either (a) really expensive, or (b) made with ingredients you don’t really want to each, or (c) made with corn flour (she also has a corn allergy!).

Therefore, we grind our own flour. Anyway, this is a derivative of a recipe (mixture #1) found in this book, but made for ease of memorization, and tailored to both what we normally buy for grains, and what we like to make with it.

Simple Gluten-Free Flour Recipe

The recipe is very simple. It is equal parts (by weight) of:

  • Brown rice flour
  • Sweet brown rice flour
  • Sorgham flour
  • A start (potato starch, tapioca starch, whatever you want – we usually use tapioca)

We just add equal parts of these into a container, and then shake vigorously, and viola, out comes a great gluten-free flour.

However, what is just as important as the flour is what you use it for. It is perfect for pancakes and waffles. I wouldn’t make actual bread with it. It works for pretty much any non-loaf usage.

Simple Fast Pancakes with Gluten-Free Flour

I also have a very simple pancake/waffle recipe (works perfect for either) that uses this flour. It is based on the basic pancake recipe from, if I remember correctly, The Joy of Cooking. Here is what I do. I have two bowls, a large bowl for dry ingredients, and a smaller bowl for wet ingredients.

Dry Ingredients:

  • GF Flour (4 cups)
  • Sugar (6 tablespoons)
  • GF Baking Powder (2-3 tablespoons)
  • Salt (a pinch or three)

Wet Ingredients

  • Eggs (6)
  • Milk (4 cups)
  • Butter (optional – can use any amount of melted butter or none at all – I think I use about half a stick)
  • Vanilla (optional – a splash or two)

So, I stir together the dry and the wet seperately, and then pour the wet into the dry and mix them all together vigorously. Then I pour out each pancake into the griddles that are set to medium/medium-high (a pancake is about a half a ladle, and the waffles are a little more). You need to use butter for the first pancake, but after that it usually isn’t necessary, at least for me (I’m using iron skillets). When they start to firm up on the bottom, give them a flip.

This recipe makes a *LOT* of pancakes. I usually pour out a mason jar’s worth and keep it in the fridge for later in the week, and then feed my family of 5. The ingredients will separate in the mason jar, but you just have to re-stir them.

Grinding Grain and Food Secession

The nice thing about grinding grain from a MicroSecession standpoint is that the unground grain will last longer than the flour ever would. However, grinding requires electricity, unless you have a hand-grinder (I’ve never used one, so I don’t know how well they work). But nonetheless, even if you didn’t have one, the grains can be used even if they can’t be ground into flour (soaking them, boiling them, sprouting, them, etc.).

Fact-Checking is an Important Task – I Only Wish that Journalists Would Actually Do It

I believe in objective facts. I believe that there are questions of fact which are known. And, when someone says something, I think it is a 100% legitimate role of the news media to check the facts. I don’t believe that the media should necessarily present candidates with a totally even tone if they are, in fact, not equal. However, if only the media did that. The media believes itself to be doing that. But, unfortunately, they are totally unfamiliar with reason and facts, and can’t actually be trusted to them.

There is a role for opinion journalism, but it needs to be marked as such. Opinion journalism masquerading as an impartial fact-checking maligns the whole industry and profession, especially when done by a major network. The reason I generally prefer blogs to news outlets is because blogs don’t hide who they are or where they are coming from. They don’t pretend to be unbiased reporters and verifiers of fact. And, because they know *you* will be checking them, they actually oftentimes take *more* time to verify their claims.
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The Hypocritical Case Against Donald Trump

My social media feed is full of Trump criticisms by Obama supporters that criticize Trump for the things Obama does. Melania Trump copies Michelle speech. Okay, Obama, on numerous occasions, plagiarized sections of other people’s speeches. Others criticize Trump for being narcissistic and continually referring to himself. Has anyone ever actually listened to an Obama speech? Others are complaining about the benediction for Trump and the GOP convention being theologically incorrect. Did everyone miss the DNC’s savior-of-the-world theme going into the 2008 election?

These are all good points to make against Trump. I agree with each one. My point is simply if you have been an Obama supporter this whole time, and now you are making these complaints against Trump, you are self-deluded. The reason why the GOP is better than the DNC, is that when a narcissistic, self-important, pseudo-intellectual, religious demagogue gets nominated as the GOP candidate, you get the #NeverTrump movement from the GOP themselves. For the DNC, it is just the same as any other candidate they ever run.

The only real difference is that the DNC is usually subtler than the GOP. Personally, if someone is going to do wrong, I prefer that they do it loudly and openly than having to tease apart their statements – it makes life easier. If you wish for the subtlety of the DNC candidates, you only wish for the opportunity to deceive yourself by long words, and can’t stand to hear the lies you tell yourself spoken forthrightly.

Again, I’m not defending Trump, I am just completely amazed at the number of people who obviously don’t know how to look into a mirror.

Why Trump will Win in November

Here’s my prediction – Trump will be our next president. Possibly by a long shot. I don’t say this because I’m happy about it. Frankly, I’m not happy with any possible result at this point. But I think the cultural shifts in our country are going to get Donald Trump elected. Here’s why:

The People of America are Narcissists

Everyone wants to feel good about what they are doing without actually having to do good. Everyone wants to be “on the right side of history” (whatever that means) but this rarely actually means caring for their neighbor. Actually caring for your neighbor involves both helping them when they need help, and confronting them when they are being self-destructive. Simple slogans and using other people’s money to help people out is not caring for others, it is caring for your own self-image. Let’s look at the list of things which people do to pretend that they are better than others which don’t require them to actually do anything:

  1. Global warming. There’s literally nothing you can do. So, if you are part of the global warming bandwagon, you get to feel good about helping the environment while doing jack squat.
  2. Obamacare. If you support Obamacare you don’t actually have to care for the sick. Someone else takes care of that now.
  3. Gay Marriage. Nope, that didn’t require anything from you, either. You just had to put an equal sign on your Facebook page and it was just like you were in the Martin Luther King marches.
  4. Evolution. You don’t actually have to know anything about science. You don’t have to know any biochemistry, physics, cosmology. But if you use the e-word and are against the creationists and call ID’ers “Creationists in a cheap tuxedo”, then congratulations, you are on the side of science with a scientific worldview, battling the eeevil ignoramuses. You’ve never cracked open a science textbook, but you are sure that every scientist who is a creationist must be stupid.
  5. Feminism and BLM. Really, this one just involves either (a) getting mad if you are an oppressed group, or (b) “checking your privilege” otherwise. No actual thought or work required.

There are others. but as you can see, we have exchanged actual thought and action for simple signals that tell other people that we are on the “right” side without actually having to do the work. Each of these positions which is gaining by leaps and bounds culturally allows a person to feel better about themselves without actually doing anything.

The one with the most uniform social impact, gay marriage, is a special case in point. Never do the proponents of gay marriage stop even for a second to ask themselves what marriage is about, or why it might historically have been between a man and a woman. That would be asking too much. To actually have a conversation would be beyond the pale. No, if you are not already in agreement with them, then you are a bigot, and an actual conversation about the issue would just be too much. The actual work of building a society pales in comparison to whether or not we all celebrate someone’s personal fetish.

This brings me to point number 2.

Hillary is an Ideologue and Trump is a Narcissist

I’m not against ideologues per se, but Hillary happens to be an ideologue for a bad ideology. Trump, however, is a narcissist. The country doesn’t care about ideologies, it cares about feeling good and not getting its own feelings hurt. The country is narcissistic, not really leftist ideologues. The current platform of the left caters to narcissists, but there is a difference between those who really believe (i.e., Hillary), and those that are just along for whatever makes them look better to themselves (i.e., Trump).

This brings us to our conclusion:

Trump will Win because He’s a Narcissist Like the Country

Yep, that’s about it.

But, as usual, there is something you can do about it. It’s simple.

Rise above it. Create value that cannot be taken away – value in relationships, in people, in knowledge, etc. Store away wealth in ways that cannot be taxed or inflated away. Do business with the people around you and build up the economy right where you live. Restructure your life so that you can give all of them the finger and just keep on going. If we all do that, then their power will evaporate on its own. We will have no need of them.

But, as far as who will win the election. I’m fairly certain of my conclusions. It is just basic human nature. I’m just not going to let it get to me.

MicroSecession as a Way to not Care About the Election

One of the goals of MicroSecession is to remove the political angst that has overtaken our country. I feel that there are a lot of people like me – they feel that the country needs better, but are tired of fighting the fights for no progress. In fact, fighting the fights might be actually fueling our decline.

Therefore, in MicroSecession, the goal is not to gain power by force or even by election, but to change our own habits and our own lifestyle so that our lives are less affected by whatever stupidity happens to be residing in D.C. at the moment.

MicroSecession is about identifying the locations where the government exercises its power and removing it from the equation by choosing to participate elsewhere. It is about choosing to do for yourselves what the government wants to do for you, so that you aren’t beholden to their awful ideas. It is about freeing yourself, not hoping that some future election will free you.

If you are tired of politics, elections, and everybody worrying about who is going to win, you should give MicroSecession a try.

The Trump Phenomena and the Left

I find the left’s outrage with Trump quite interesting. I see in Trump exactly what I saw in Obama – a candidate whose primary virtue was stirring up distrust of the existing system for their own gain. The fervor over Trump reminds me a lot of the fervor over Obama in his first campaign. And both candidates played on those emotions to make their win.

I also find it interesting that those who complain most about Republicans not working with those across the aisle complain most bitterly about the candidates who do. The president who did the most to build bridges in governance in my lifetime was W. He was hated for it, and his worst acts of legislation were the bipartisan ones. Likewise, Trump is the most left-leaning of the candidates. He *is* the candidate that is most like the left.

Anyway, I don’t mind so much that Trump is winning, simply because we have endured 8 years of Obama, 4 more of essentially the same attitude won’t kill us any worse.

Also interesting is the fact that the people who complain most bitterly about the Republicans being theocrats hate Trump the most, who is the least Christian candidate.

All this leads to one conclusion – the hatred of Trump from the right is because the right doesn’t like Trump’s principles. The hatred of Trump from the left is because they don’t like the fact that their nice, contained political hegemony may soon be shifted into the arms of someone else promising them the moon.