The 2018 Midterms- A Globally Critical Blue Wave.

The 2018 Midterms- A Globally Critical Blue Wave.

     The 2018 midterm elections were among the most anticipated races in history, and they did not fail to deliver dramatic results. Throughout the election cycle, word of a Democratic Blue Wave gained momentum, and a watershed voter turnout was the satisfying result. It was the highest for any election held in the United States since Watergate, which seemed suitable for such a high stakes contest. In many cases, the primary considerations of the voters seemed to counterbalance one another. These were the strong economy and the personal repugnance of Trump himself. The president has managed to snatch credit for the strength of the economy, but his low approval ratings pointed to Democratic gains (Washington Post). History has favored the minority party at the time of the president’s first midterm. This tendency, combined with American disgust for Trump himself as a man, to give Democrats control of the half of the Congress known as the House of Representatives by a wide margin.

     The achievement of the Democrats can hardly be overstated. Reporter Dan Balz of the Washington Post gave us a few statistics with which to illustrate this point. Democrats flipped about two-thirds of the competitive districts won by both Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Barack Obama in 2012 or by Clinton in 2016 and Mitt Romney in 2012. They also picked up one-third of districts won by Trump in 2016 and Obama in 2012. In districts where both Trump and Romney had won in the previous two elections, Democrats gained about a quarter of the competitive seats (Washington Post). Democrats even managed to break even in net seats in the Senate, though they had faced crushing electoral odds in that chamber. Twenty-five Democratic senators were up for reelection as opposed to only eight Republicans, and many were in states that went solidly red in 2016. Managing to hold the line places Democrats in a fantastic position to retake the Senate in 2020, when the shoe will be on the other foot. While immediate domestic concerns are likely to be given precedence, the effects of the Blue Wave in 2018 are sure to reverberate worldwide.

     This tremendous level of electoral enthusiasm was all the more remarkable in that midterm elections in general are not captivating to most voters. In a normal year, only the most ideologically driven and committed members of the electorate tend to turn out for them, and certainly overseas interest is not typically overwhelming. But in recent years, a radical polarization has gripped the global society’s political atmosphere. The specter of World War Two has risen and people are getting scared. A great acrimony and division has spread through America and the rest of the world. Some are calling it a civil cold war, and its battlefields can be found on many fronts. Trenches are being dug under national borders, in some cases, and along gerrymandered district lines in others. People in all corners of the globe had good reason to pay attention, as the struggles highlighted the dramatic and worldwide trouble the human race is having in getting along with itself.

     The quality of the candidates selected by the two parties speaks in volumes to the quality of those who did the selecting. Democrats elected eight new scientists. Republicans elected three felons and a dead pimp (Post-Tribune). Something has got to give here. Somebody is going to hold power in America, the world’s sole superpower. We have to look closely at whom. The moderate wing of the Republican Party used to have some allies in it. There were men like John McCain, who in spite of their party affiliation was sound and unselfish Americans. Some of them could be counted on for bipartisan dialogue concerning issues of paramount importance. McCain is now gone, however, and with him the moderate wing of the Republican Party. This type of candidate took serious damage in the midterm primaries. They were discarded in favor of candidates more in line with the views of Donald Trump. Many of these came from the ranks of the alt-right, though the elections also played an important role in illustrating a trend of worsening extremity taking root in the far left. Only center Democrats have reliably proven they can put themselves to the side enough to do what is best for the country.

     The 2018 election was in many ways a referendum on the 2016 election, and the events immediately surrounding it. The victory of Donald Trump combined with Brexit constituted significant blows to the American-led, liberal world order, and empowered the radical right. It also empowered Russian president Vladimir Putin, who had spent millions of dollars to defeat Hillary Clinton and get a guy in office he found more pliable. “Putin likes Trump because he supports this view of the world, that the big guys can carve it up,” explained former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov in an interview for Gentlemen’s Quarterly. After Trump won, Kasparov, who is Putin’s former opponent in a Russian presidential election, wrote some predictions down in his new book on the future of the Western world order, Winter is Coming. He believed we had eighteen months in which to turn around the sequence of events that had been started, two years at the most. If we didn’t find a way by then, he felt, it would probably be too late. I thought of those words many times on the way to the voting booths this year. They perfectly summarized the reason it was so important for the Democrats to win the midterms in 2018. Only the full force of American conviction can activate its might enough to keep the world safe for democracy.

     Today’s world, like today’s Republican Party, is busy coping with an uptick in reactionary far-right movements, movements that in many cases and nations border on fascism. Alt-right candidates were present in greater number than ever before in the 2018 midterms, and this too is part of a worldwide trend. From Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil to Norbert Hofer in Austria, adherents of racist nationalism have been growing increasingly violent and brazen. A man screams “Hail Trump!” in a movie theater; another during a performance of the Fiddler on the Roof. “Middle America is rallying to the flag of the alt-right,” said Kyle Bristow, a self-described member of the “alt-right” and the attorney of infamous white nationalist Richard Spencer. These candidates mostly lost, but their sheer proliferation is a terrible sign. It goes without saying that all of them were Republicans. The race was representative of the political atmosphere worldwide in that it was ideologically polarized. It saw its fair share of triumphs for liberals and progressives, but it also saw a rise of far-right, white nationalist candidates. Some of these were victorious. The low quality of the Republican candidates has negative consequences for every level of government.

     A Democratic retaking of the House of Representatives was a critical first step in containing and reversing this virulent problem. It is why the Resistance showed up in such numbers at the polls. For two years, liberals and progressives have been helpless to do anything but sit idle, as one travesty after another has rocked the global community. We have not had the power to protect our people, or even to get many others to listen or to understand our plight. But with the power to form committees of Congressional inquiry, we can finally start to put the bad guys under a microscope. The power of the House is, in this case, the power of defense.

     The elections were not completely without problems for the Democrats. It showed us that ideological faultline is still existent not only in the Republican Party but in the Democratic as well. The rift between the supporters of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton has healed to an extent, and there have been improvements made in this area. Our shared victory in the midterms demonstrated that the progressive wing of the party is beginning to learn from the tremendous mistakes they made in 2016, where undercurrents of far left hard feelings allowed the Russians an easy way to turn the 2016 Democratic primaries into a zoo. The radical left’s extreme love for the Bern reached the levels of a cult by the end of the primary. From the day the Bernie or Bust petition began circulating, it was obvious we were in for trouble. If they couldn’t have Bernie, they said, they would rather have Trump. This attitude was allowed to get highly pervasive, and it killed us in the end.

     This time around, Democrats did a far better job of managing conflicts between the two wings of the party. They simmered at a low boil all the way through the midterm primaries but managed to keep from becoming a fight instead of a contest and ruining the Blue Wave. This is a positive sign, suggesting the far left might have learned from 2016, which is good. Most mainstream Democrats have been pushed to the left as far as we will go, and are starting to get ready to push back. Centrist groups like Third Way have been pushing candidates to read up on history and polling. “The party is not going to go in the direction of Sanders-style socialism, because it’s not winning on the issues and it doesn’t win politically except in a very, very limited number of places,” Third Way president Jonathan Cowan tells TIME. “It’s going to go in the direction that won it two presidencies” (Elliott). The last two two-term Democratic Presidents were mainstream Democrats. [That’s] what’s going to get the House back.” It’s important to emphasize here that mainstream Democrats do not seek reorientation of the party. We’ve been doing an excellent job under the worst possible conditions.

     Progressive Democrats from the Sanders wing were not without a few reasons to cheer in November’s elections. The upset primary victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over twenty year veteran Joe Crowley for New York’s 14th District stood out on a number of levels. Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest Representative ever elected, and her zealot’s love for socialism has given the Sanders wing a new face and voice to cheer for. My thoughts are that this is not the worst thing in the world, because we need them, and it appears that some healing has taken place. Clinton supporters and Sanders supporters used to very nearly hate each other, and that no longer feels as acutely so. It appears that the left has achieved a degree of unity for now, but it remains to be seen whether this newly placid status quo can survive another presidential primary.

     The immediate battles to be faced come January in the House of Representatives are only one part of a much larger problem. Democracy is under attack worldwide. It is being replaced one plank at a time like the proverbial Ship of Theseus. At what point in all this replacing does it become a different ship? Only one thing is certain, at least in the gut level instinct of this writer. Since Trump got elected, this country does not feel the same at all. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, America has been rated as being less than a full democracy for the last two years. The EIU produces an annual review ranking countries on their adherence to 60 distinct democratic values, including electoral processes and press freedom (“America Has Been Classified as a Flawed Democracy”). According to their standards, we’re not a free country anymore. America is now more like Viktor Orban’s Hungary, or Vladimir Putin’s Russia. The rich want to get into power and stay there, and quote the ideals of freedom as the reason they ought to be able to use any means to do so. The only way we can hope to turn this all around is to get the Democrats back into power and keep them there.

     The biggest net effect of the midterms is the Democratic retaking of the House because it gives the sane center of the country back the power of defense. Democrats can now protect our country from anymore disastrous Trump ideas. This also sets back Putin’s plan of attaching more of his tendrils and creepers to the grand old castle walls that hold up our country. Proactive measures are more limited. Democrats can form investigative committees, and hold hearings for the purposes of questioning and gathering information. Resources are certain to focus on raising awareness about the Russiagate scandal and other serious challenges facing our democracy. The conduct of Trump and his allies can be highlighted and brought to the forefront of public consciousness everywhere. It should be understood that even with a legislative chamber in blue hands, Republicans still hold the White House and the Senate, and the cooperation of all three is needed to pass a law. Nothing in recent history suggests hope for bipartisan cooperation on any issue, regardless of the issue’s importance. People will see once again how obstructionist and unfair the opposition is, and afterward, it will be easier to help people understand the truth- everything we hold sacred is in danger. If things keep on as they are, the days of American supremacy will be numbered.

     A close look at the playing field this election has left us with will prove useful as we step into the future. Blue Wave 2018 hit home for the midterms, and it gave us a great start. But the world remains beneath the dark shadow of a large-scale hatefulness and mayhem. The potential for danger and disorder is so great that it seems almost redundant to say so. As someone who has lived through all this, and read not just eight articles about it but hundreds, I feel that this narrative is being neglected and understated. This is due to responsible journalists not wanting to sound alarmist, in some cases, and it’s comforting to tell ourselves we’re in less trouble than we are. But the country’s divisions have been highlighted and exacerbated by hostile foreign powers such as Russia, who also targeted the 2018 midterms. This has added urgency to the issue and made them even more difficult to ignore. Going forward, it will be incumbent on the Democratic leadership, under the new Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, to use their regained power dexterously. To show the people of the country that there is a reasonable alternative to the bedlam created by the current administration, resources must be channeled wisely and well. Good thing we’ve got a professional headed for the Speaker’s Chair. We’re really going to need her.

     In studying the political history of America, the scholar will note along with Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., who wrote in his Age of Roosevelt that foreign radicalism has never taken deep root here. From the visceral horror felt by the Founding Fathers toward the bloodbath going on in France to the resolute pursuance of seeing an end to the Nazis, America has always managed to resist being taken in by extremism from left or right. The source of our strength as a nation’s people has always lain in our ability to value compromise and moderation, which are necessary if we wish in times of crisis to be able to pull together with the full force of American conviction behind us, like when we fought World War Two. When these values are abandoned, democratic nations start to fall. If we lose our ability to communicate, we clearly can’t coordinate strategy. Only the full force of America’s people can activate its might enough to keep the world safe for democracy.  Our ability to hold the center is why we have become and remained so strong. 

       After looking at all this, a simple question remains. Has America ever faced a midterm election like 2018? In considering its potential impact of it on the country and its global standing, many would argue that the answer lies in the negative. The Trump administration has been a disaster of colossal proportion. Every day that America is represented in its highest office by a man who many would argue is both corrupt and deeply incompetent is a day in which we are vulnerable in the eyes of the world. Resisting his demented policies has taken everything we have, but we managed it even though we held so little power. After two years of that, holding the House of Representatives feels like a tremendous luxury of strength. We can assure the Trump presidency will be a lame duck from this point on. We can’t start setting things to rights just yet, but we can stop the current Oval Office occupant when he tries to do further damage. We can block his cruel new policies, and removing his ability to hamstring our future with corrupt appointees like the Supreme Court’s Brett Kavanaugh. This is why it was so crucial for the Democratic “Blue Wave” to sweep America.

Works Cited

Agerholm, Harriet, 2018. “America falls short of being a full democracy for second year running, report finds.”

/www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/america-democracy-rated-donald- trump-not-fully-democratic-us- president-report-the-economist- a8195121.html

Balz, Dan, and Scherer, Michael, 2018. Washington Post, Washington Post. “For Democrats, A Midterm Election That Keeps On Giving.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/for-democrats-a-midterm-election-that-keeps-on- giving/2018/11/09/b4075ef2-e456-11e8-ab2c-b31dcd53ca6b_story.html? utm_term=.754bc43973ad

Beauchamp, Zack, 2018. “The midterm elections revealed that America is in a cold civil war.”

https://www.vox.com/midterm-elections/2018/11/7/18068486/midterm-election- 2018-results-race-surburb Campbell, Alaistair, 2018. “Garry Kasparov on Putin, Trump, and their deal to carve up Europe.” https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/article/garry-kasparov-alastair-campbell-interview

Elliott, Philip. Time, Time, 2018. “The Middle Road.”

time.com/5428157/democrats-centrist-midterms/.

Frier, Nancy, 2018. Time, Time, 2018. Facebook Discovers an Ongoing Effort to Influence the 2018 Midterm Elections.

Grand Magazine, 2018. “Urgent: The United States Has Been Classed As A Flawed Democracy.”

www.grandmagazine.com/2018/09/urgent-the-united-states-has-been-classed-as-a-flawed-democracy/.




	

Cold War 2.0- Sonic Attacks Spread from Cuba to China, Russia Suspected.

American diplomats in China have been getting brain injuries from mysterious sonic-based “health attacks“. They appear to be the same devices used to give brain injuries to our diplomats in Cuba. The chief suspect is Russia because that’s who’s got the most to lose from America and her old Cold War era enemies making peace.

It reads like something out of the history books from fifty years ago, doesn’t it? Communist bullies and thugs all over the world stage, and the United States upholding its values in spite of them. We all stood together, and we supported all the world.

Now look at us.

The Russians are treating us like a monkey does when it sees visitors at the zoo peering in at them, and slings its feces at their faces in impotent rage. They laugh and don’t bother even to move. The monkey can’t hit us, because the glass is there.

But what if the zookeeper came along and busted out the window? Would they still be safe from the monkey poop?

Stepping out of analogy land just in time, we’re pretty sure the answer is no.

Worse, the Trump administration is minimizing it and trying to cover it up. In Cuba, they’re telling us we’re all hypochondriacs, and in Russia, they are openly boasting.

Meanwhile, Putin says he’s preparing for war against us since Trump yanked us out of the nuclear treaty without warning-not that America has any choice but to defend herself since Putin’s been developing blatantly for years. Our missiles were getting old. What are we supposed to do? Some believe this also is about China.

It is the gut feeling of this Millennial Democrats contributor that the whole entire bromance between Putin and Trump can be viewed as the Russo-German Non-Aggression Pact 2.0.

Stalin and Hitler never meant to play nice forever. It was a marriage of expedience. They wanted to spook the liberal powers of the West into backing off and leaving Poland to her miserable fate, which they did. But soon, they got into a pissing contest, and nearly finished off the human race in the process of resolving it.

That’s what Trump and Putin are doing now, except instead of just Poland, it’s the whole entire world.

The webmaster of this site has seen it attacked by the most diverse locations. Hackers from everywhere on earth that people live have tried to take our website down or smear or smash it. They have come from Lviv, Ukraine, they have come from Shanghai, China.

They have come from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which just had its own far-right lunatic candidate Jair Bolsonaro take power in one of the most violent election cycles in that country’s whole entire history. The guy got stabbed in the stomach last month by the Brazilian equivalent of a Bernie Bro, but that’s a whole different article.

The point to consider right this second is the map they’ve tried to hack us from. It’s like a grid of the entire right-wing worldwide network. You can see how they work together. In early 2017, it was always Russians and Eastern Europeans who were trying to hack us. But these days it’s all the Chinese.

The Chinese have tried to hack into Millennial Democrats more than a hundred times; our Sucuri plugin keeps automatic records.

One time these Chinese guys tried to hack us from a strange IP address that appears as a link. I took an old computer and clicked on it from there, and it took me to a strange website where nothing existed save a blank page with the obscure phrase, “Silence is the Gold” written on it.

It’s a saying from Taiwan meant to reproach regular people who speak out on world events, as they believe it’s only those of “noble” birth, e.g. rich kids, who have the right to their opinions.

Silence is the Gold. It was clear they’d put it up there just so we would find it. It was just for us. How eerie. If you’re such a rich big shot, why is the silence of us “little” people required? What is so threatening, if we’re all so itty bitty? All we want is a decent world to live in, to heal up from Hiroshima and Dresden and the Holocaust.

Why don’t you guys want that too?

I’ve been thinking about that phrase ever since that incident happened, and I’d like to thank the man who sent me there to find it. Having read it, I finally understand what it is they are working together for. It really is the Non-Aggression Pact a second time.

All of the monsters everywhere are getting together and making common cause, just long enough to restore the status quo of a hundred years ago.

They all want to return to the days of graft, corruption, and big bosses, in which if you are little people, you’ll only get any Gold if you employ your right to be Silent; that’s what the blacklist was for. Just shut up and go to work and let the professionals handle it, they seem to be saying, all the while greedily eyeing one another’s possessions.

Last time we tried leaving it all to them, they nearly killed us all in World War Two. The next World War will employ nuclear weapons. People won’t survive that very long.

As the old saying goes, war is too important to be left to the generals, and politics are too important to be left to politicians. It follows naturally that all of human life is too important to be left to them as well. Regardless of our bank accounts, we have got to take personal responsibility and do all we can to fend this off. Together, we are strong.

Interestingly enough, as these words were being written, our webmaster received an alert which was then sent to me, that hackers operating out of China, from an IP address in the Hangzhou Alibaba Advertising Co.,Ltd. system tried to bruteforce attack our site.

If they ever make a computer virus that can use that sonic device on us, I’ll be one of the ones it’s aimed at.

What a thought.

The vast, worldwide right wing conspiracy Hillary Clinton spoke of takes a swing and a miss at Millennial Democrats.
The vast, worldwide right wing conspiracy Hillary Clinton spoke of takes a swing and a miss at Millennial Democrats.
A look at his location.
A look at his location.

 

Seeing Truth through Smoke- Disinformation Is Hazardous to Our Heads!

Thank You For Not Lying!

Dr. Alina Polyakova, the David M. Rubenstein Fellow for Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution, is one of the world’s foremost experts on fake news and Russian disinformation. She had a brilliant idea the other day.

In the Western world, we’ve been playing catchup with the Russians for years, trying to find a way to counter the pesky disinformation tactics they’ve become famous for.

She came up with something just as simple as it is profound- to look for an analogous solution, based on the American anti-smoking campaign that started in 1964. These two completely unrelated subjects have some amazing similarities.

In the case of whether or not it’s a good idea to let the Russians loose like attic-bound raccoons in our cyber-grid, spreading disinformation and malware around like scat, the why-nots are obvious, just like with smoking. A rational person has no cause to misunderstand why this would be bad.

What we want to examine are the actual techniques used by the Surgeon General and others to paint cigarettes in the light they deserve- as filthy, smelly, cancerous sticks of death you’ve got to pay for.

That’s the way to go here.

First off, disinformation is dangerous. It leads to a gross devaluation of truth and a breakdown in the entire moral order. Though zany Russian hacker disinformation combos of race-baiting and coordinated cyber-lying may seem silly and random one at a time, they add up.

Ladislav Bittman, the former Communist Czechoslovak deputy chief of the disinformation department, compared the effects of disinformation to a slow acting poison, saying “One drop may not be a problem, but together a dose could be fatal.”

The same is true of nicotine, of course. And eventually, America caught on. But for years, the tobacco companies managed to convince Americans that the opposite was true. They did it with a carefully calculated and billion-dollar effort, based on pseudoscience, lies, and big advertising. It was exactly like what the Russians are doing now.

This is a significant concept for a few reasons. First, it’s always elegant when you can fit an old key in a new lock. She went rifling through the old Public Threat or Menace manual, found a campaign in the past that gave her precedent, and voila.

This is conduct to be emulated as much as possible, especially as that particular connection isn’t easy to see. Well done, Doctor!

Returning to our topic, people have been thinking this whole time that these Russian cybercrimes are all really stylish, powerful, interesting things to do. They think Russian hackers, and they picture this:

Thank You For Not Lying!
Thank You For Not Lying!

What they should be picturing, is this:

Mucky! Gives you cancer!
Disinformation gives you brain cancer!

Think back. When your mother first told you not to smoke cigarettes, did she give you any pamphlets on the subject? Did she cite scholarly sources to you? Or did she just do like mine did, and shout “No! Mucky! Gives you cancer!”

I got the point. Looked it up later.

This thing with the Russian disinformation is exactly the same. It is so obviously bad for America that the case cannot be overstated, and yet they are not listening. The whole thing has had to be completely infanticized, and it’s us who’s changing the diapers.

Inside those disinformation diapers are the images we need to show people.

Disinformation is gross. It’s like being smelly. Telling lots of lies is for the kid nobody wants to sit next to. That’s probably why he became a hacker, the poor schmoe- Glad I’m not that guy!

Disinformation is smoggy. It makes it hard to see, hard to breathe.

The people under its influence get bewildered and don’t know what is what anymore. They just know that they are angry and they want to hit out at something, like Trump is provoking his followers into doing to CNN reporters.

That’s why watching Fox News these days make people behave like they’ve been doing bathtub crank. There’s no bathtub-crank chic. Nobody is remaking Trainspotting, over bathtub crank.

Smoggy. Wasteful. Smelly. Stupid. Gross. These are the reasons people quit smoking. Once smokers realized that nobody was looking at them and seeing the Marlboro Man, they got red in the face and cut it out, en masse.

This will be the case with fake news trolls eventually also.

Sitting around inside all day plunking on a keyboard and trolling is not what healthy adults, ones with actual influence in life, tend to want to do. Many studies have shown this to be the case.

Recently researchers at Australia’s Federation University used an online questionnaire to look closely at the psychology of those who engage in online trolling.

Unsurprisingly, the researchers found that trolls tend to show higher levels of trait psychopathy and sadism.

Trolls also tend to be poor, unfit, unkempt, unhappy. This is not what you want to do. You’re acting out all this harm on yourself for a cheap thrill.

You might as well start smoking.

The modern-day, right-wing Cold Warrior.
The modern-day, right-wing Cold Warrior.

Going forward, the message we have got to get across is a very simple one.

Spreading disinformation and sowing dissent around in the form of fake news is a lousy, negative activity.

It isn’t writing, or programming, or art.

It destroys and does not create.

It does everyone in the world a huge disservice by destabilizing their nations and economies.

It’s gross, it’s stupid and it’s unhealthy. There’s nothing good about it. Cut it out.

The Failure of Socialism- Bernie’s Legacy.

The Failure of Socialism- Bernie's Legacy.

Contrary to the ongoing narrative regarding the politics of our millennial generation in the media, not all millennials are in for socialism, or Bernie Sanders. Most of us are not. That narrative might have had some truth to it, once upon a time, but not anymore. Millennials have learned.

Hard and painful experience has taught us not to invest in a gambler, or his roulette table.

Since the upset victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over New York Democrat Joe Crowley last month, there has been a lot of talk about this, and most of it has revolved around the question of socialism. The concept has come to be notoriously misunderstood, and most of the reason why is thanks to Bernie Sanders.

The prime minister of Denmark said it best when he pointed out that Bernie did not understand socialism in the context of Denmark; he could have added any other context and been equally right. Bernie didn’t understand socialism at all.

The Nordic countries have excellent social services, which to be fair were adapted from socialist theory. Governmental regulation and social work are both taken seriously there. But their economies are free-market, which means that they are capitalist. Completely capitalist.

The only countries that can legitimately lay claim to being socialist are those countries that have fully planned, one-size-fits-all, Big-Brother-is-watching style economies. Like Venezuela.

The mixup comes from a confusion over two terms, Social Democracy and Democratic Socialism. They sound a lot alike, but that is where the similarity dies.

Tempering the harshness of laissez-faire capitalism has been a good thing for the world, and is known as Social Democracy. Every civilized country, including the United States and Sweden, uses a type of social democracy to govern its people.

Bernie switched around the order of the words and called it Democratic Socialism. No one knows why Sanders insists on using that term, but in our opinion, it’s because he enjoys getting the attention that comes with being contrary and starting arguments all the time.

People have been going around repeating it ever since he first began, but in fact, the phrase doesn’t even have a precise meaning. Thirty seconds worth of using Google is enough to tell you that.

Socialism has been floating around for 188 years, since 1830, and not once in that time has it led to a successful society. Aspects of it have been implemented in normal societies and its influence in putting the social welfare of workers on the agenda is important.

As an overall idea, though, it has been a disaster, as nearly every country to have tried it has ended up with the goose-step and the concentration camp.

Back when it was just an archaic, discredited system, I thought it was kind of neat. I used to think about it while jogging. It was kind of like a Sudoku puzzle for me.

Once people started to take it seriously again, though, I stopped musing and started figuring out how to explain the inescapable truth- that socialism is a disaster, completely incompatible with human freedom and dignity.

Why can’t we learn from all the times it failed? All the horrible revolutions that produced even worse regimes? The thousands who had to die because of someone who wanted to apply ideas from a political theory to the real world?

Mark Perry, the creator of the popular economics blog Carpe Diem, referred to socialism in 1995 as “The Big Lie of the 20th century”. He reported in 2016 that he was shocked at its resurgence, such a short time after the fall of the Soviet Union, the so-called “Worker’s Paradise”.

“I perhaps assumed the failures of socialism were so apparent and obvious it would be forever considered only as a discredited system of the past, and never as a viable option going forward into the future!”

“Given the recent resurgence of socialism, especially as it is now being embraced by young Americans, I thought it might be a good time to review why socialism: a) failed in the 20th century, b) is failing in the 21st century (e.g. Venezuela, see photo above), and c) will always fail. And that’s because it’s a flawed system based on completely faulty principles that aren’t consistent with human behavior and can’t nurture the human spirit.”

This has always been the case. People are people. And while the socialists do join us in believing society can do better in many areas than it is doing now, the transcendental human change required as a prerequisite for socialism shows no sign of taking place next week.

Socialism does not mean Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders. It only begins there. It ends with Hitler and Stalin. Going forward, we’ve got to raise awareness about this until people understand. Socialism is a universal failure.

Thebalance.com did a piece called “Socialism and its Characteristics”, telling us that there are eight types of socialism, but really, the distinctions are semantical. There is only one type of socialism. The evil kind.

Tad Devine Of Sanders Campaign Spotted In Photo With Key Manafort Aide.

Top consultant to the Bernie Sanders 2016 presidential campaign Tad Devine, hanging out with Paul Manafort and Konstatin Kilimnik.

Tad Devine, a former senior advisor to the Bernie Sanders 2016 campaign, was in the news recently for the first time in a while. He was spotted in an old 2006 photograph enjoying himself with his then-coworker Konstantin Kilimnik.

In the picture, Kilimnik, a Ukrainian native, is pictured in an office setting with Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and other key players in Manafort’s consulting firm at the time. One of those players was Tad Devine.

Kilimnik is known informally as “Manafort’s Manafort“, and has been a figure of interest in the Russia investigation from the start. He is believed to be back in Russia now, and he is considered to have strong ties to Russian intelligence.

Tad Devine is a figure of great interest in the Russiagate investigation, in our opinion. We’ve been expecting the special counsel assigned by the Justice Department to look into Russian meddling in our 2016 election cycle, Robert Mueller, to get around to him sooner or later.

If Manafort is the key to understanding exactly what the Russians were doing for Trump, Kilimnik is the key to understanding what Manafort did for the Russians. Devine is the key to what the Russians were doing for Bernie. He is by far the most likely connection between the Russians and the Sanders campaign.

Although it has been very hard for Sanders followers to face this, it is our opinion that Devine too was working with the Russians and that Sanders most likely knew he was getting help from Russians to defeat Hillary Clinton. That help came in some very strange ways.

By the time the Fourth of July rolled around in 2016, the Federal Election Commission repeatedly contacted the Sanders campaign with warnings that hundreds of his donors exceeded the $2,700 contribution limit, and that hundreds more may have been foreign nationals illegally giving Sanders money.

One of the letters they wrote him flagged more than 1,500 questionable donors. Soon after, Tad Devine was paid almost a million dollars in one month by the Bernie Sanders campaign.

Devine has known Manafort and Kilimnik for many years. He was Manafort’s right-hand man in Ukraine right alongside Kilimnik, at a time when all three were the property of Viktor Yanukovych, the former President of Ukraine, whom in turn was the property of Putin. They were over there fixing elections for him.

More than a decade before Russia was accused of surreptitiously trying to tilt the presidential election toward Trump, the records show that Manafort, Devine, and Kilimnik were all encouraging Russia to hone its efforts to influence global politics. They were busy developing techniques they might use to help that process along.

They used these techniques to fix the 2004 Ukranian elections on behalf of Yanukovych, but they were so blatant in their corruption that the Orange Revolution began and overturned the crooked and invalid vote. Yanukovych was defeated in the second vote.

None of this mattered to Tad Devine, however, who kept right along working for Yanukovych.

Even after his rival, Viktor Yushchenko, barely survived a poisoning attempt, obliging him to “campaign with his face half paralyzed and a catheter inserted into his back to inject painkillers into his spine”, Devine’s conscience did not serve him well as a guide. He decided to hang around.

We know that the Russians had been plotting to interfere for more than a year before the election took place. The Steele Dossier said the Russians have been cultivating Trump for at least five.

It is a very convenient coincidence that three of the top strategists who ran against Hillary Clinton has been doing Putin’s bidding in this capacity for longer than a decade.

Last Thursday afternoon there was a meeting of the Senate Intelligence Committee on the subject of Russian meddling into our 2016 election cycle.

During it, Retired Gen. Keith Alexander, former director of the National Security Agency, said that Russian operatives targeted both liberal and conservative voters in its disinformation campaigns during the 2016 election.

Democratic committee co-chair Sen. Mark Warner (VA) asked the panel if they had any doubt that Russia had attempted to interfere in some aspects of the 2016 election. Alexander said not only did he have no doubt, he could get very specific.

“Senator, I think what they were trying to do was drive a wedge within the Democratic Party between the Clinton group and the Sanders group,” said Alexander.

The supporters of Bernie Sanders were ruthlessly taken advantage of by the Russians, who used their genuine zeal and idealism as a hammer for smashing Democratic unity to bits. They were duped by false information that came from within the Kremlin itself, and thus unwittingly became Putin’s other puppets.

The man who was in the best position to act as a conduit between the headquarters of the Sanders campaign and the Kremlin was Tad Devine.

This picture provides a vivid reminder of what Democratic activists on Facebook and Twitter have been warning everyone about in the direst of terms since 2015, namely, that the Bernie Sanders campaign was just as lousy with Russian entanglements as the Trump campaign was.

Tad Devine may well hold the final piece of the puzzle as to how the whole rotten Russian conspiracy was put together. As Robert Mueller continues his journey to this discovery, our prayers will be with him.

Supreme Court Upholds Travel Ban, Ruptures American Dream.

And Justice For All.

The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that Donald Trump acted lawfully when he called for the US to begin a policy of banning anyone, most notably persons of Islamic faith, who live in a certain seven countries last year and has upheld his right to continue doing so.

It’s a dark day for democracy worldwide. So the Republicans are actively celebrating.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) marked the Supreme Court ruling upholding President Trump’s travel ban by sharing a photo of himself with Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.

McConnell’s campaign shared the image just minutes after the Supreme Court handed down its 5-4 ruling finding that the ban was constitutional. Gorsuch sided with the majority of justices upholding the ban.

Gorsuch is the guy Trump picked out to replace former Chief Justice Antonin Scalia after he died. He was brought in to rubber-stamp Trump’s decisions, and the whole Supreme Court has been corrupted because of it.

Scalia was a miserable excuse for a man who was against everything except the death penalty. Little kids in cages? Banning entire populations of countries from so much as visiting here? He’d have loved this.

This is why the Republicans were so desperate to block President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland.

This is not the first time the Supreme Court has been wrong. The Dred Scott case comes to mind. That very same court once ruled that it was acceptable to treat humans as cattle and that Africans were only 3/5 human.

The first Muslim elected to Congress, Keith Ellison, predicted on Tuesday that the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold President Donald Trump’s travel ban will end up in “the dustbin of history”, and this is almost certainly true.

During the interim, however, this is undoubtedly a tremendous win for both Trump and future holders of the executive branch of our government, and such a win could not have come at a worse time. It is certain to embolden both a man and a party who already have no respect whatsoever for the spirit of the law.

Fox anchor Abby Huntsman recently referred to Trump as a dictator, live and on the air, as he strolled around with his good buddy Kim Jong Un of North Korea, another guy who has no respect for human rights.

“I called both President Trump and Kim Jon Un a dictator”, Huntsman explained.

It’s Jong Un, ma’am, but we’re not going to quibble.

At the time, we had this to say about the aforementioned exchange:

The incompetence of the enemy is no longer funny, and in our opinion, it’s probably being done on purpose. The lady tried walking the statement back with an apology but the seed has been planted just the same. They’re sending subtle, almost subliminal cues, and if we listen carefully, we too can catch their meaning.

If Trump is a dictator, and Fox reports on it as being normal, then all of their viewers necessarily believe that they are now subjects and that democracy has fallen and they’re fine with it.

Several weeks ago, the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren, was asked by news host Rachel Maddow if she thinks America is still a country who respects the rule of law. Her response?

“I hope so.”

These words ring true with even greater solidity now that Trump’s anti-Muslim travel ban, which violates everything about the spirit of American law, has been confirmed by the Supreme Court.

Going forward, our focus will be the raising of awareness that Trump really is walking down an autocratic road, and that Trump and the Republicans have decided to make themselves into active enemies of the American dream.

In order to get people to realize it, we’ve got to make the case. We’ve got to gather and arrange the evidence and lay it on the American people’s doorstep. Republicans have dropped the ball by every conceivable metric. They have failed us at every turn. Let’s make sure they are properly credited.

Israel and the Iran Deal Pullout- 45th Upends Middle Eastern Balance.

Trump ruins all he touches.

Donald Trump has dealt a severe blow to the global order with his decision to pull the United States out of the Iranian nuclear agreement, causing a major rift with European allies and raising tensions in the Middle East.

Concerns are growing daily that the recent decisions made by Donald Trump will do much to destabilize a region that has long been unstable anyway.

Israel and Iran, both of whom seemed emboldened in the face of the new situation, fired missiles at each other Wednesday across the Syrian border. They followed up with bristling threats in a steep escalation of tensions.

In days, we’re set to make the Israeli embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, something other US presidents have held off on, due to their reasonable belief that it would not help us keep the peace down there.

The merits and flaws of the embassy move itself are not our points of focus here. It’s a separate issue.

We’d like to give our best wishes to the people of Israel and Iran, and all other people, for that matter. If everybody there is cool with the embassy being in Jerusalem, then we’re happy for them. But that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Our issue is the haphazard and ill-thought out manner in which the current executive administration made this decision. There is no sign at all that Trump fully understands just how serious his decisions have become. He’s not a reality TV star anymore.

We have also seen this recently in North Korea, as Trump boasts of his ability to “bring the North Koreans to the table”. The North Koreans bring themselves to the table, every time they need a few bucks. But Trump doesn’t get it. He seems to really think that Kim is giving up his nukes.

Kim is never giving up his nukes, of course, and neither will anybody else who manages to get them, now that they’ve seen how Trump reneged on the nuclear arrangement we had with Iran. What a mess. It’s been quite a while since Iranians were burning American flags in the streets, and screaming “Death to America!” But they sure are doing it now.

Former Mideast negotiator Dennis Ross, speaking on NPR, said Trump’s decision to abrogate the terms of the nuclear deal is likely spurring Iran to show the US that it will pay a price, which most likely led to the missile launches Wednesday.

Dr. Alina Polyakova of the Atlantic Council gave a talk on the world order last year, in which she illustrated its fracture points, meaning geographical locations that constitute stressors upon it. Ukraine was one, Syria was another. We can now add Iran and Israel to that list.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Europe could no longer depend on the United States, comments that were echoed by French President Emmanuel Macron. Both leaders had made eleventh-hour trips to Washington to try and talk Trump out of the leaving the Iran pact.

“It’s another blow to the trans-Atlantic alliance,” said Sen. Bob Menendez(D-N.J.), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “The Europeans don’t know what to make anymore about how strong and how deep our alliance is with them. And we need them. We critically need them to achieve many of our goals, both as it relates to Iran and other things.”

Everyone in the world seems to get this, except for our 45th president.

Perhaps the situation was summed up worst by the National Security Council’s senior director for strategic assessment, Victoria Coates.

“I think it shows you that the President is absolutely doing the right thing here,” Coates said to reporters during a press conference held Friday. “It is not upsetting any regional balance; in fact, his leadership is what’s bringing the region together.”

Good thing Iran doesn’t have any nukes. In a few years, though, hold on to your hats.

U.S. And Allies Strike Syria- The Importance Of Law.

Respect the rule of law

Great Britain and France joined the United States in launching strikes against targets at three sites in Syria in the early hours of Saturday morning, the latest chapter in a years-long civil war that has drawn in half a dozen countries.

“I ordered the United States armed forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapon capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad,” Trump said late Friday at the White House.
The strikes were launched at 9 p.m. ET. It was nighttime. Photos showed missiles streaking over the night sky in Syria, and witnesses told CNN they heard explosions in Damascus, as Trump was making his address.
The key thing to remember here is that in this case, it doesn’t matter who the President is. No U.S. President would have done anything else. Those strikes were earned, by the conduct of Assad. It’s important to realize we’ve got to stand by our nation, even if the current President isn’t competent.
From a military and strategic perspective, the strikes were actually not a bad idea. The situation demanded an unequivocal response. They sent a message that chemical attacks on human beings will not be tolerated in our world.
However, the rule of law dictates that the president take heed of the fact that Congress needed to authorize the strikes. The president does not have the power to do this on his own.
This whole thing is about the importance of law. Respecting it, obeying it, maintaining the spirit of it. That is why chemical weapons are not allowed in the first place.
That is why, when Assad gassed his own people the first time, in 2013, President Obama asked for a Congressional Resolution before hitting Syria.
Obama canceled his planned airstrikes in 2013 because congressional leaders refused to call a vote on it- all the while ripping him to shreds for not acting.
A few Republicans and more Democrats demanded Trump seek authority for future missile strikes from Congress, which under the Constitution and the 1973 War Powers Resolution is required to approve military action.
Unbelievably, Susan Sarandon tweeted an article about Hillary calling to bomb Syrian airfields. As if to say, “see? Hillary and Trump are the same!

A quick word as to the difference; HRC called for the air strike to prevent Assad from dropping sarin gas. Trump just randomly lashed out.

The lack of attention to law paid by our President cast a disturbing light on the incident; also disturbing is that Trump tweeted out that he was going to do it.

He, in essence, warned the Russians. France and the UK did not telegraph their intentions, for reasons of unsound military strategy.

A number of tweets popped up, saying Russian troops moved out before the strikes happened.
Why is a US president working with France and Britain, yet signaling to Russia our every move? One wonders what England has to say about that.

Putin clearly has something on Trump, and it’s hard to think that this can all go on right alongside everything else without the two incidents crossing paths.

 Mike Pompeo was boasting last week that in February, U.S. troops “killed a couple hundred Russians“, after a company of them crossed over the Euphrates, but it’s troubling they felt strong enough to try. Putin knows his economy is roughly that of Italy’s; it makes you wonder, what he thinks his leverage is worth.

Regarding Russia, the Pentagon’s fear, all along, has not been of their actual strength, but rather that Putin is getting old and sloppy and might be emboldened into making a fatal misstep.

And when he started threatening to attack our bases, if we did fire any missiles, it started reminding me of the Cuban Missile Crisis in the 60’s.

Millennials, this is how our parents must have felt, back in the day.

Going forward, we’ll be keeping a close eye on this and reporting on how it develops. For all those who live in dark times such as these, the task is given to spread light around all we can, and to bear witness for future generations. This is the news, after all, and will soon be part of history. These are our times, and this is our battle. We will raise awareness, and stay alert.

Blue Wave, Red Trough- World Comes Down on Trump and GOP.

#NeverTrump

Donald Trump and the Republican Party are both in full meltdown. Over the course of this chaotic week, we have seen just about everything go wrong for these people.

It was not even five full days ago that the FBI raided the office, home and hotel room of Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney.

Since then, CNN Editor-at-Large Chris Cillizza has pointed out that there has been the staggering figure of twenty-six major headlines dealing with the Trump administration. With thanks to his assistance in compiling the list, we thought it was best left in the raw.

Monday:
Tuesday:
Wednesday:
Thursday:
Friday:

What a week.

For the purposes of posterity, every one of these things should be kept an eye on, so that we might raise awareness about them. But in the here and now, it’s only necessary to look at the general trend. You don’t have time to examine each drop of water in a flood, nor is that necessary, in order to understand that it’s time to seek high ground.

Nor have things been better for the other Republicans, which is good. Not in the history of America, have we seen a weaker and more morally bankrupt set of criminals stinking up the halls of our great government.

But at least one of them will soon be gone! Paul Ryan, the highest-ranking member of the House of Representatives is the latest to join a flood of Republicans to decide against seeking re-election. He wasn’t even the only one to do so that day.

GOP Representative Dennis Ross of Florida told his hometown paper that his fourth term in the House will be his last.

This is all very ominous, for the GOP. A Blue Wave, and a Red undertow.

In this world, there are few things certain, but one thing we can count on is being presented with bills to pay.

For Donald Trump and the GOP, the check has bounced.

As this was going to publishing, a determined Western coalition including the United States, Great Britain, and France launched strikes against targets at three sites in Syria in the early hours of Saturday morning, following a week of threats of retaliation for an alleged chemical weapons attack on civilians in the Damascus enclave of Douma.

The world is teetering on the brink of war, this morning, and the worst people in the country are in charge of running it.

Sleep well, America!

Syrian War Heats Up- Thanks, GOP, For Obstructing President Obama.

New chemical attacks cause new hostilities.

The Syrian Civil War has recently flared back up. A chemical attack in the suburb of Douma over the weekend killed at least 49 people. This has worsened relations between the United States and Russia, which are far from good already.

Assad’s government is a sham. It only exists because Putin has forces there propping it up. Even still, the Kremlin has rejected the conclusion that Syria’s military was behind the chemical attack, asserting that it was staged by militants to falsely blame the government and justify an American strike against the Assad regime.

Several weeks ago, on March 13th, top military officers who answer to Putin threatened to attack the U.S. military in Syria, if Trump orders our troops to defend the region.

Russian Army General Valery Gerasimov warned on Tuesday that the U.S. was preparing to launch raids against Moscow’s ally, the Syrian government, as it attempted to clear out pockets of insurgents- some of which were once backed by the West- in the suburbs of the capital city of Damascus.

Gerasimov, who acted as chief of Russia’s general staff and deputy defense minister, claimed that the U.S. would strike under the “false pretense” of a chemical weapon attack, and vowed to do us damage if we did.

Syrian use of chemical weapons, of course, is what led to President Barack Obama drawing a “Red Line in the Sand” in the first place, back in 2013, but the Russians won’t even admit that Assad is using them.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters in Moscow that they believe the United States is seeking to entrench itself in the country. “The U.S. is taking steps not to leave as President Trump said, and leave Syria for others, but to establish a foothold there for a very long time,” Mr. Lavrov said.

Lavrov repeated the Russian claim that our very presence in Syria is illegal, and demanded American forces leave the country immediately.

The scale of Russian lying, about this and every other matter, will be difficult for future generations to even conceive of.

Regardless of whatever else is going on, and no matter who is in the White House, America is not going anywhere at the beck and call of Russia or any other power. That’s out.

In America, the office of President is not absolute, which is why whatever Putin has on Trump did not prove to be enough to scare the rest of our great nation away. It is starting to look like we’re finally going to do something about Syria. 

The thing about it is that all this should have been done years ago, in 2013, when Assad used chemical weapons the first time.

President Obama had an excellent plan to deal with it. He declared it a red line and asked Congress for an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) He was refused by the Republicans.

It was argued about for years, but ultimately the GOP-held Congress never took a full vote on an ISIS war authorization.

There were various excuses given, but it is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that the Republicans didn’t want Obama to have a chance to take care of the problem.

They wanted to be able to point backward and say well, Obama wouldn’t get tough on Syria, and look where we are.

The concern going forward is that the Republicans will be able to set this narrative down as history. It’s important for us to raise awareness of the fact that the Republicans made this mess.

They want to monopolize the concept of “war president”. It was the only good thing anyone ever had to say about George W. Bush, after all, and they like to think of themselves as hawkish and tough.

Except that in holding up the resolution and halfheartedly approaching the situation, they gave Russia the opportunity of a lifetime.

In the last analysis, allowing the Russians into Syria worked out very well for both them and the Republicans. The status quo of obstructing Obama had always included a policy of doing nothing. It must have been nice, lounging around the Congress all these years, goldbricking willfully on the taxpayer’s dollar.

The real question now is whether or not that comfortable state of affairs will reassert itself. If Putin backs off, it might, but that’s seeming less and less likely. The Russian tyrant has been emboldened greatly by Trump’s weakness.

There is no doubt that this has now become an extremely complex problem, but it’s got a simple solution. All we have to do is vote out the people who allowed it all. Vote the Republican party out of existence. Bring Democrats back in, and the best minds in the nation will solve the problem.

Vote Democratic. This year, and every other year, until the end of time.