January 5, 2018
MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey
The Bannon Statements, the Media Hysteria, and A Word about Nikki Haley
This is one of those days I had planned to take a brief respite—a day off, a break. Indeed, a recurrence of painful shingles (yes, they DO come back after the first attack as something called “post-herpetic neuralgia”), plus my elderly 14-year old cocker spaniel experiencing nocturnal bouts of what I would call canine dementia (wandering around making weird noises at 3 a.m.), and the young 2-year old spaniel, having gobbled up a portion of a wash cloth, getting sick on my bed (again around 3 a.m.)—with all this, plus an appointment today at 11:30, temperatures hovering around 10 degrees F and a snow pack, well, all I wanted to do this morning was return, shivering, to my covers!
But after a chilly dog walk, a cup of strong coffee and a bowl of nourishing oatmeal, there is already too much in the news to remain silent….
First, a few brief words about the apparent conflict between President Trump and Steve Bannon. I think most of us were shocked by the news that in a new “tell-all” book by Michael Wolf [Fire and Fury], Bannon offers some criticisms, mostly of Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner, but also of the president (mostly about his financial dealings). As with all “tell-all” books, much of what is conveyed is certainly “massaged,” based on rumor and not fact-based. That shouldn’t be surprising, indeed, with this author who is widely known as what we would call a “hack journalist.”
But what about Bannon? Why his broadsides? Did author Wolf quote him correctly? Is he just expressing his disappointment that the “Trump Revolution” hasn’t gone far enough to please him? Is it sour grapes, or…what?
At this point, no clear explanation seems to answer all those questions. Nevertheless, as commentaries continue, one thing is evident: Bannon’s strategy here was badly focused and way off target.
To quote Napoleon’s wily Minister of Police, Joseph Fouche’ (although attributed also to Talleyrand), about the horribly-contrived assassination (1804) of the Bourbon Prince de Conde (on foreign soil and thus setting off war), Bannon’s ill-contrived strategy “is worse than a crime; it is a political blunder.” For whatever gain, personal or otherwise, that might accrue, his loose comments do nothing to enhance his position or supposed cause, while providing additional kernels of grist for the president’s legion of enemies….
Nevertheless, the various revelations have incited, anew, a whole slew of Mainstream Media speculation that “the president is unbalanced and unfit” for office. This isn’t the first time that media such as CNN and MSNBC have raised such a specter, nor is it the first time that media celebrities (e.g., Joe Scarborough and his honey, Mika Brzezinski, on MSNBC) have made that suggestion. Which only goes to prove that, with their Establishment along-the-Potomac “swamp mind set,” they do not comprehend the “Trump template” that came marching into Washington last winter. As bona fide cardholding members of the Deep State they look upon any politician—indeed, anyone—who does not see like they see or act like they act, as “mentally unfit.” And they would simply love to use this argument to set in motion the process of the 25th amendment allowing the removal of an incapacitated president. But, on the contrary, in this they resemble much more the political pseudo-psychiatrists in the old Soviet Union who condemned dissenting (read=non-Communist) Russians to “thought/mental re-habilitation centers” to be “re-educated” in the glories and benefits of the Soviet system and workers’ paradise.
Rather, it is they, the denizens of the Mainstream Media newsrooms in Manhattan and Washington DC, the Democrat (and some Republican) politicians clustered along “K Street,” the academics and Hollywood literati, that are the ones who are certifiably insane and “unfit,” who have inverted the natural order of things and created a cocooned “counter-reality” that exists only in their unhinged and exploding brains, a sure sign of their raging lunacy.
Professor Robert Weissberg, emeritus professor at the University of Illinois, has written a scathingly witty—at times profoundly critical—on the mark description of these “establishmentarians,” in particular, of the overpaid and puffed-up elites who run today’s “conservative movement,” which he calls “conservative inc.” It is too good to pass up, and I urge you to read it. [“The Wimps of Conservative Inc. and the Donald,” https://www.unz.com/article/the-wimps-of-conservative-inc-versus-the-donald/ ] In 1,300 words he sums up what some of us have been saying, what we have noticed to be true about the doddering “conservative movement,” now “possessed” by the Young Turks of Neoconservatism, who have denatured it, prostituted it, and hitched it to the egalitarian racial and sexual wagon of cultural Marxism—even if most of its luminaries would haughtily reject that genealogy.
And then there is a piece of news that for some reason hasn’t made it to this side of the Atlantic, at least not into any “reputable” media outlet, and certainly not onto Fox News. Apparently—I have seen no contradiction of it as of yet—two Russian hackers managed to contact UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, pretending to be Polish government leaders. There followed a twenty-two minute conversation, which was recorded, in which Haley appears to have been, as they say down in Johnston County, “hornswoggled”—tricked—into talking about the new nation of “Binomo” in the South China Sea…the only problem is that there is no nation of “Binomo,” it was made up!
The whole story seems hard to accept as real—is this just more “fake news”? Yet it has been reported by one of the world’s major newspapers as fact, The Independent of London (UK) [http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/nikki-haley-russia-binomo-prank-us-ambassador-election-hacking-interfere-putin-a8133041.html] and an audio recording has been made available.
Arguably Nikki Haley has been the worst appointment made by President Trump; every time she speaks it is as if a deer was caught in the headlights of a semi, with her speechwriters wondering, on edge, if she would get the capital of Germany right or the prime minister of Australia’s name correct. Some theorize that her appointment to the UN post was made to placate and neutralize the opposition of Senator Lindsey Graham to the president, as she is Graham’s protégé. But for whatever reason, for her to be seated in the position once held by Adlai Stevenson (and even Jeane Kirkpatrick) is an incredible insult to genuine and thoughtful diplomacy. Not to mention her disastrous political career as South Carolina’s governor (and, yes, her utterly loathsome cowardice in removing the Confederate Battle Flag from the state capitol and her mouthing of the worst of politically correct blabbering in her own defense).
But this incident, if true, certainly takes the cake:
Two Russian comedians apparently managed to get our UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, on the phone after the UN vote on the Jerusalem issue. Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov connected with her by impersonating the Prime Minister of Poland. Sure, we already knew she was an imbecile. However, the audio from this 22-minute conversation reveals the dark depths of her stupidity. At 11:22 into the call, the pranksters decided to sink the knife in. They brought up the issue of a fictional locale of “Binomo” in the South China Sea, which had just taken a vote for independence. The comedian implied that Russian “intervention” was to blame, and Haley assured him, “Yes, of course they did. Absolutely,” because the US has been “watching very closely”…. [followed with an audio recording of the conversation] [“The U.S. Ambassador to the UN claimed the Kremlin influenced a vote in a fictional country, as the Russia narrative continues to collapse,” by Tom Shakleford, December 29, 2017, at http://fashthenation.com/2017/12/nikki-haley-gets-hacked-by-russia/]
And more details have surfaced:
“…A Russian comedy duo has apparently pranked US envoy to the UN Nikki Haley, who assured them the US is closely following the situation on the fictional island of Binomo and will “continue to remind” Russia “what their place is.”
“Famous Russian pranksters Vovan and Lexus (Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexey Stolyarov) released the recording of yet another one of their prank calls, in which they allegedly tricked Nikki Haley into believing she was speaking with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
“During the 22-minute conversation with their interlocutor, whose voice and tone strikingly resembled that of the UN envoy, the pranksters raised concerns over Russian interference in the political affairs of an imaginary South China Sea island – Binomo – which does not exist on the world map. Haley, however, seemed to be on top of things, claiming the US is watching the situation there very carefully.
“Do you know Binomo?” the impersonator asked. “They have declared independence. They had elections, and we suppose Russians had its intervention.”
“Yes, of course they did, absolutely,” Haley confidently replied.
“And now this Binomo land makes the situation in the South China Sea even more tense,” the pranksters said, posing as the Polish PM.
“And we’re aware of that. We've been watching that very closely. And I think we will continue to watch as we deal with the issues that keep coming up about the South China Sea,” Haley replied.
Continuing with the issue of alleged Russian interference in the world’s political affairs, the Polish PM-imposter asked Haley whether or not “Putin [will] be aggressive regarding Europe next year?”
“It is hard to know what Russia is doing right now. I think what we have seen in the Security Council and otherwise is they are trying to be relevant in every region and they are trying to have some sort of say in every region,” she replied. “In some cases, it has worked for them and in some cases, it hasn’t. So they don't have the influence that I think they would like to have but they are certainly trying to get that.”
“I think that many of the other countries, whether it is the Security Council or otherwise, are watching it very cautiously and carefully to make sure that they don't get too much of a foothold where they can cause chaos,” she continued.
“They are aggressive and they can be difficult to work in the Council... And they do try to cause some disruption, but we manage them and we continue to remind them what their place is,” Haley told the ‘Polish PM,’ just days before Poland begins a two-year term as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC). [https://www.rt.com/news/414086-prank-nikki-haley-russia-place/]
As the saying goes, you can’t make this sort of thing up.
Dr. Boyd D. Cathey