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Cyber-Defense For Democrats! Security Measures For Midterms.

#CyberDefenseForDemocrats

Hello, world!

We have received numerous requests for a focus piece regarding cyber-defense for Democrats, especially right now as we are going into the midterms. In it is an introduction to a number of the techniques we can use to defend ourselves going forward. Knowledge is power. Pass it on.

Regular readers of Millennial Democrats will not require a lot of explanation as to how and why the threat of Russian hacking is real. We have been up against it for years. The time has come to soberly and objectively assess Russia’s cyberwarfare capabilities, and examine how we plan to fight back.

In 2016, America was caught off guard and we got a bloody nose. Guys like Roger Stone’s buddy Guccifer 2.0, or the guys in Fancy Bear pulled a fast one, to be sure.

But it’s important not to overstate the case. It is not accurate to attribute cybernetic omniscience to the Russians and their zany bots and fake news.

They had the element of surprise back then. Most people had no idea what they were doing(and rolled their eyes at those who were trying to warn them, but that’s another subject). These days things are very different.

Regardless of the lies of the great orange malignance, America knows the Russians are out to get us. Trump is sticking his head in the sand on this and will do nothing to help us, so we’re going to have to learn to help ourselves, and each other.

It’s too bad we’ve got no national leadership on this, but it is what it is. We’ll get by on our own.

In starting out, the most important thing to keep in mind is this: Hackers rely on our mistakes, and mistakes are most often made when we don’t know we are making them. They need to catch us off guard, and their job is to find creative ways to use their tools to get us to slip up.

The first place a smart hacker will look is outside the box, so to speak. They’re always looking for ways to burrow in that you wouldn’t think to look for.

Employing a given system, be it a human being or a PC, for a purpose it wasn’t designed for is what hacking means. However, if you’re careful, neither you nor your computer will end up thus employed. It’s all about being careful.

Hackers are clever, be they Russian or from elsewhere, but they are far from invincible. We’ve already stopped a number of Russian cyber-assaults directed at Democrats this year, such as the ones aimed at our Claire McCaskill.

Without the element of surprise, hackers have many limitations. It’s not that easy to brute-force open a website. Just ask these guys:

This is the IP address of a hacker, purportedly from Beijing, who is always doing his best to get in here. Have at it, pal.
This is the IP address of a hacker, purportedly from Beijing, who is always doing his best to get in here. Have at it, pal.

Basic cyber-hygiene techniques would cut down on more than 80 percent of cyber attacks and cyber thefts, according to Herbert Lin, senior research scholar for cyber policy and security at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. It will benefit us to learn a few.

There is a great deal of white-hat(ethical hacking) work that can be done to defend America in this realm, and most of it has to do with how careful we are.

We repeat- It’s all about being careful. This cannot be repeated too often.

Every technique that hackers use, be they DNS attacks against home routers, phishing emails, malware, botnets, or what have you, is ultimately something we can avoid.

In this piece, we’re going to talk about a few common mistakes made by end-users(that means us, the consumer) and how they are exploited by criminals. We’re also going to talk about some of these cyber-hygiene measures and assign them three rules of thumb.

  1. Don’t open strange emails.
  2. Don’t click on strange links.
  3. Don’t accept chat messages from people you don’t know, particularly on Facebook.

Before we get started, think for a second about all your other social media accounts. Are they just as secure as your Facebook or Twitter? Make sure they are! That’s the first place a hacker will go to collect more data about you. You’re particularly vulnerable to having your account on the ones you don’t often use pried open.

As an aside, this is also why you don’t want to use the same passwords for everything. Passwords are obviously critical, as somebody who’s got them has got all your information at his fingertips. Be careful!!

A great deal of a hacker’s job revolves around getting the passwords of their victims. Their most popular tools are all various ways to apply “spear-phishing” hacks, designed to steal passwords and personal data. The unlucky “phish” who opens one has become a victim and is now open to all kinds of trouble.

There are all kinds of ways to go spear-phishing. A brand new one showed up not long ago when U.S. government agencies recently received letters via snail mail.

They came with CDs inside, and they contained malware, according to cybersecurity researcher Krebs on Security. The infected discs were accompanied by a Chinese-postmarked envelope and a “confusingly-worded” letter.

That is just like what they do on Facebook. Hackers make links that look like YouTube videos and various other innocuous things, and they write you some goofy little messages. They look like some cute little harmless thing. Actually, they’re viruses. And you’re hit.

One example that all readers of this blog will vividly recall took place on March 10, 2016, when the first volley of malicious e-mail messages hit the inboxes of thirty people who were closely associated with the Hillary Clinton campaign. Inside them were links that were actually viruses, like worms on a hook.

Nearly all of them were failures. All but one, actually. But one was enough.

Within nine days, a horrendous amount of critical data had been stolen and passed along to Wikileaks, to be strategically released in a way they figured would hurt us. It did.

Those leaked e-mails, in which Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was seen to be fussing over Bernie’s lack of ability to fill out campaign finance forms correctly, were spun up into a narrative that Bernie(who lost by four million popular votes) had been cheated.

Bernie or Bust bought it, there were riots in the streets of Philadelphia, and a rift was torn in the Democratic Party that still has yet to heal.

All of that was made possible, with just a few phished passwords.

To combat phishing is to make sure everyone knows how common and damaging these attacks can be. Everyone should keep their guard up when checking emails, and they should report any email they find suspicious.

It’s necessary to point out here that Facebook phishing in particular is horrendously easy. They can hack you right through your chat box. We recommend in the strongest possible terms that you put as little of your personal information as possible on Facebook.

They save everything. They’re like a gigantic data collection firm, and they’ll sell your personal information to companies like Cambridge Analytica who will use it to hurt us all.

Why risk it?

Facebook presents about a million added vulnerabilities to all of us that use it. When Edward Snowden was asked what to do to keep your data safe on that platform, his response was, “Delete your account.”

We can’t recommend that, as Facebook gives us access to 2 billion people, but we can recommend this much. If people you don’t know send you strange messages on Facebook, don’t accept them.

Facebook was made to brief congressional aides just last week Tuesday about the newest outbreak of anti-Democratic disinformation, which is already said to be evolving into something more sophisticated. Excerpts from that briefing are shown below.

“We are looking at just some of the malicious material that already may be circulating or will be released before the midterms. It also bears repeating that we know the campaign of Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) was targeted.”

Cyber-intelligence experts see this as being major, and with clear reason.

Moving on, it isn’t only Facebook and social media you’ve got to be careful with. Websites too are vulnerable.

Anecdotally, the webmaster of this site has seen hackers from all over the world try to take us down, from Beijing, China to Lviv, Ukraine, from Adelaide, Australia to Beauharnois, Quebec. They use all kinds of tricks, but they’ve never gotten in and they never will.

This is not because I’m a cyber-genius who speaks binary code, but because WordPress is awesome. Sucuri, the plugin that keeps safe all of us Millennial Democrats, is likewise excellent. They care about their clients and they hold the same liberal values sacred that we do.

WordPress users should strongly consider using Sucuri, not least for the reverse IP trace it automatically performs. This has the benefit of letting you know a lot more about who’s trying to hack you. Sometimes it will tell you everything.

Once a flower store owner from Adelaide, Australia tried to hack us. By using a reverse IP trace, Sucuri let us know who she was as soon as she had done so. Then we went to a site called WhatismyIPaddress.com, put it in, and voila.

We were able to get the name of her business by looking at the name of her domain. We then used that to look her up, and jackpot. We found the store’s address, website, and owner. We also found far-right garbage smeared all over her life.

I could put her on blast right here with a screenshot like this one:

My (possibly) Chinese friend, saying hello to me again. Hi, buddy. Change your ways!
My (possibly) Chinese friend, saying hello to me again. Hi, buddy. Change your ways!

Then the hunter would rapidly become the hunted.

Luckily for her, I’m not that mean. But the next guy might be. It’s a dangerous game for newbies (noobs- learn your hacker-ese) to play. It’s easy to run into trouble.

Change your life, would-be hacker flower store owner! Mend your wicked ways, before it’s too late.

Speaking of WordPress, using the two-factor authentication feature they offer as part of their platform is another good idea. This is a highly effective security measure and is available for Facebook, Gmail, WordPress, and many other major platforms.

Using this feature means a second device’s input will be required to access email accounts or websites on new computers, usually by prompting you and sending an SMS code to your phone or whatever. This can prevent scammers from accessing compromised accounts.

In addition to good cyber-hygiene, which amounts to common sense, caution, and our three rules of thumb, there are some tools we can use to make our online experience safer still. You may find this necessary, from time to time.

A VPN, or virtual proxy network service, will allow you to register as being somewhere that you’re nowhere physically near. It allows you to safeguard your IP address. You do not want hackers to have your IP address, as it can be used to hurt you in a bewildering multitude of ways. This is probably the biggest reason to use a VPN.

Guccifer 2.0 recently made a mistake and forgot to turn his VPN on, and we connected him to an IP address connected to Russian intelligence. Now his whole identity is blown because he didn’t use his VPN.

We strongly recommend getting one of these, specifically IVPN. They take protecting their customers super seriously and they are located on the Rock of Gibraltar. That fortress strikes me as a good place to keep anything valuable.

HotspotShield is another good one, and also NordVPN. There’s a lot of them; shop around and find one that’s right for you. We feel it’s worth repeating that they are a very good investment.

Additional tools include TOR(The Onion Router), which offers a former naval encryption system that we can now all use. Tor takes all your internet traffic and routes it through its own network, providing total anonymity.

The DuckDuckGo browser, which Tor employs, is good to know about also. It has a number of different features that keep you safe, including a “Flame” feature that burns up all your cookies in a second. Pretty cool.

We suggest you learn Linux, because it is more secure, and 99% of viruses are designed to attack Microsoft products. 

Russian hackers have been targeting home routers of individual people en masse, using what is called a DNS attack. We suggest you check your home router often, using the website Secure Router.

Secure Router is a great free feature that allows you to check if your router has been compromised with the click of a button. Doing this regularly cannot hurt and takes less than a second.

In closing, it’s important to emphasize that this is an introductory piece, and not meant to be totally comprehensive. These techniques will do a lot to keep you safe, but nothing is a substitute for doing your own research.

So far, this has not been the kind of cyber war imagined in the past, with nations taking out each other’s power grids before a mass invasion, although Russian malware continues to turn up in our power stations.

It’s more like a new type of proxy war. Like it or not, against our will, we have begun a new phase of the Cold War, on digital battlefields where you meet the enemy directly, but behind a screen.

Now, just as then, there is a need for deterrence, to defend the nation and hopefully prevent a further escalation of tensions. There is more at stake than we can even put into words. We need to be ready.

There are bigger dangers here than the usual America vs. Russia, liberal world order vs the new world order that the extremist crazies keep screaming that they want kind of thing. This is different completely.

One superpower actively destroying the democratic process of another is new and very dangerous, especially since Russian destability tactics rely heavily on disinformation and a systematic devaluing of the truth.

If nothing is true, everything is permissible. And then our entire species starts down the road to guns and roving mobs.

Disinformation and a post-truth reality are unacceptable, and so is Russian interference into our election, regardless of how many Fox News devotees will slobberingly say otherwise.

We have only got one party ready to defend our democracy from the foreign agitators’ who are trying to destroy it, and that is the Democratic Party. Accept no substitutes.

Due diligence is the key. Hackers will look for things you might be neglecting. Get in some good habits and keep yourself alert, because it all comes down to one thing.

If you are politically active as a Democrat, you are not paranoid. You are a target. Defend yourself.

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The Constitutional Convention Concept Is A Republican Con Job.

The GOP's Con Con.

American democracy is headed for peril. A quiet campaign to legally overwrite the Constitution of the United States of America, with the ostensible purpose of proposing a balanced-budget amendment, has been silently building steam.

The process is known as a Constitutional Convention, a legal apparatus by which the contents of our Constitution can be altered.

Prominent extremist Republicans like Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee have supported it, and the Koch brothers‘ libertarian network has long placed its financial power behind their push.

Article V of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the power to amend the Constitution by a two-thirds vote. It gives the states the power to call for a convention to amend the Constitution if two-thirds of the states can muster support for the measure.

Having the radical right wing rewrite our Constitution would be an unparalleled disaster for the American people, not to mention the rest of the world.  The Center on Budget and Priority Policies understates the case beautifully by telling us that it’s got “serious risks”. That’s a soothing way of telling us our entire global economy will be wrenched.

David Super of the Los Angeles Times wrote that “It would also drastically reduce America’s standing in world affairs,. far more than handing the presidency to an incoherent, shop-worn reality TV star.”

Conservatives have been after what is best called the “Con Con” for years. The Constitution is a nuisance to them because it stops them from completely disenfranchising everyone who’s not in the good ol’ boys club.

Although the same people who brought you “Medicare for All” and the Free College plan are able somehow to convince themselves otherwise, it is virtually certain that conservatives would dominate a convention held today.

They have control of the White House, Congress, and 32 state legislatures. They’ve also got all the money. They would clearly have marked influence over every provision in the project.

The right has also retained control of the Supreme Court, thanks to Republican refusal to vote in the confirmation of President Barack Obama’s candidate Merrick Garland. This too would obviously give conservatives the upper hand in any litigation arising out of the convention.
Whether the delegates run for election in heavily gerrymandered districts or are appointed by state leaders, the result would be the same. A convention with a heavily right-wing bent.
If the Tea Party or the alt-right of Richard Spencer and Sebastian Gorka, were to write us a new Constitution, it hardly requires speculation to imagine a lack of improvement.

The things on their agenda read like a grocery list of bad ideas, but then again, that’s the Republican way.

They will make English the official language of the US.

They intend to “define life at conception“, which is a polite euphemism for criminalizing abortion and perhaps even contraception.

They will also include corporations as people with every constitutional right, clarifying the matter legally in favor and confirmation of the horrendous Citizens’ United ruling.

They will reverse gay marriage, as former Alabama judge and alleged molester Roy Moore proposed by way of a Con Con in 2014.

They will codify in the 1st Amendment their right to impose Christian faith and values on everybody in the whole country.

They will change the 2nd Amendment to forbid regulation. All hope of reasonable gun control would thus disappear.

The big thing they’re emphasizing now, the balanced budget amendment, might even involve the doing away of the income tax and the Federal Reserve altogether. This would leave the American poor to scrabble for a living like beggars in the sewers of Calcutta- in the richest country in the world.

Once a constitutional convention is called, all bets are off. “Regardless of why a convention is called, there is nothing to stop it from becoming a runaway convention that could ultimately overhaul the U.S. Constitution completely,” said Scott Swenson, the vice president of communications for Common Cause, to Salon Magazine.

The Constitution and the foresight of the Founding Fathers in making it so hard to alter are all that has saved us from Donald Trump and the other Republicans, who have been trying to get around it for years. Overhauling it would be an atrocity.

The only thing that has prevented it from happening already is the Democratic Party, which is now doing its best to stave off completely unnecessary threats from the far, radical left. Unbelievably, they are for this too.

Organizations such as Justice Democrats founder Cenk Uygur’s Wolf-PAC have been fighting for this as hard as the Tea Party has.

“It’s got to be an amendment,” said Wolf-PAC’s Texas state director, Todd Jagger.

That someone on the left could actually believe this defies the limits of human understanding.

Concluding, the big takeaway from this article, is that an Article V convention call is a terrible danger to American democracy.

If the Republicans manage to pull this off, we will all be rendered helpless. They could do anything they wanted. The states would lose all control.

We’ll be flat on our backs for the rest of our lives.

We have to get the word out about this, and we’ve got to do it now, or we may very well see the very foundations of the United States – the rights we hold so dearly as Americans – shake or disappear.

The best way to stop them is by electing Democrats to state legislatures, and everywhere else. Our professionals are tough. They will shut this thing down across the board. The Blue Wave is the first step. We must all make sure we vote.

Too Far Right- Why It’s Best When The GOP Nominates Their Worst.

Millennial Democrats

For the last several decades, Republican politicians have moved steadily further right, and never has this been so true as now. Candidates of heightening extremity dominate the GOP playing field. They are nominating the wrong candidates all over the country, such as ex-convict Don Blankenship in West Virginia.

After the election of our 45th President, the strategy of many Republican politicians has depended a great deal on how deeply they can demonstrate their adherence to his destructive policies. This has backfired badly. 

The strategy of embracing Trump has torn a rift among Republicans. Radical candidates selected from the far-right have not endeared themselves to moderates, who are largely either voting Democratic or staying home on election day.
A historic example of the effect that this is having was illustrated recently in Alabama, where Doug Jones became the first Democratic candidate to hold that office in decades.  Nominating alleged sexual predator Roy Moore cost the GOP that Senate seat.

In Tennessee, Bob Corker is retiring, and current GOP frontrunner Rep. Marsha Blackburn has made it a point to emphasize her far-right extremism.  “I’m politically incorrect and proud of it,” she says in her announcement video. That is why former Gov. Phil Bredesen has a 10-point lead in the polls.

And in Arizona, the notorious anti-immigrant former Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Kelli Ward may well defeat the mainstream Republican candidate, Martha McSally. This will give better odds to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema in the general election, to be held November 6th.

In West Virginia, local Republicans are well down the road to hamstringing their own chances. They have only to vote for Don Blankenship as the Republican candidate for Senate in the 2018 Republican primary– and he’s polling stronger all the time.

The aforementioned race is a terrible tangle, in which three leading figures-all of whom hate each other- are engaged in an ugly and intensifying contest, to see who will be the one to challenge the Democratic incumbent, our guy Joe Manchin.
The three of them are 3rd District Congressman Evan Jenkins, state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, and former Massey Energy CEO, Don Blankenship.

Jenkins and Morrisey are a couple of highly typical Republican candidates who have characterized their running of the race by attacking each other’s records and competing to see who is the most in line with Trump.

Because the area they’re in swings so far to the right, both will be likely to give Manchin a hard race.

But Blankenship should be different. He has very little chance to win a general election due to the particulars of his situation, i.e. he is the only candidate to have recently been in a federal prison.

He served a year on charges stemming from the 2010 explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine that killed 29 men in Southern West Virginia. It was the deadliest U.S. mine disaster in four decades.

The point to hammer home is this- Nominating Blankenship will hamstring the GOP’s chances to control that seat.

These are all examples of a Republican race to the bottom, where the candidates are engaged in a contest, to see who can be the most extreme in emulating the Republican President.

Blankenship, having been out of prison less than a year, is particularly a no-brainer, but these sorts of candidates and scandals are popping up everywhere. They make the Republicans look awful and cripple their chances.

The clearest evidence for this is the Blue Wave sweeping the country. Politifact says that as of February 39 seats have been recaptured by the Democrats.

All of this can only help the Democratic Party, as we fight to win back control of the Congress in the 2018 midterm elections.

Theresa May, Show Us the Way! TOUGHER RUSSIAN SANCTIONS.

Great Britain expelled 23 Russian diplomats on Wednesday over the poisoning of former Russian spy Nikolai Glushkov on British soil, raising tensions between the two countries to a level not seen since the heights of the Cold War. In a speech, Prime Minister Theresa May vowed to crack down on Russian spies, corrupt elites and ill-gotten wealth in Britain.

GOOD.

We have been wondering all year: When are we going to get sick of this? We’ve been getting walked all over by Putin, for years now. The stories fill many volumes of books. Now they come into Britain and they kill a man given exile by the British. Not for the first time, either. We all remember the Alexander Litvinenko case. Turns out those men were directly tied; Glushkov was a witness in the Litvinenko trial.

This is not the first time history has seen the Russians do something this ugly. Far from it. This is exactly what Stalin did to Trotsky. He sent a task force, under a general, onto foreign soil and in blatant contravention of the Monroe Doctrine, to murder a private citizen under the legal protection of a sovereign power. That general sent a man named Ramon Mercader to bury a claw hammer in the back of Trotsky’s brain.

That was bad enough in 1940. It’s 2018. When are we going to get fed up?

Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov, who is also an exile living in Britain, has been trying to tell the world for years what it’s like to live in fear of being assassinated by Putin. Putin is a dictator and if he isn’t stopped he will get worse. He used to be a local problem. Now he’s everywhere.

Today it is only other Russians he orders dead for speaking out against him. If we don’t speak up and fight for them, tomorrow it will be foreign critics too.

The writer of this article will admit to feeling fear, just for writing this. Russian hackers are probing this blog all day long, trying to get in and hack it and do God knows what. To our work, and to us. Our entire email inbox is filled with notifications our Sucuri plugin gives us of these people trying to hack us.

Creepy.
Lviv is a very famous place, world renowned for the quality of its IT experts. 
Bored, uncreative loser who tried to hack me
An example of one stinky turd who tried to hack us.

Nor is it just Russians. It’s also the entire, vast, right-wing network of thugs that have linked hands all across the world. It’s actually quite interesting to note where the hacking attempts come from. It shows you exactly where their enclaves and strongholds are. It illuminates who is making this thing with Donald Trump their fight.

Had it not been for the fact that they tried to hack our site, we would probably not have discovered, for example, that there is a rabid Chinese support for Donald Trump in many circles. They’ve even got their own version of the word “libtard”. They call us the “White Left”.

Adelaide, Australia. Beauharnois, Quebec. Here’s one from London itself, speaking of which; this could have been Glushkov or Litvinenko or Sergei Skripal’s poisoner, for all we know. A fresh one from Ukraine, that’s really nice there. Provo, Utah, a whole bunch from Chicago.

All for what? For telling the truth, and for raising awareness.

The struggle that is taking form here is a very old one. The West, vs. the East. It’s Greece attacked by Xerxes again. It’s Rome being sacked by the Huns. We have been here before.

The hostile world power that is Russia has crafted a meticulous plan to realign the European order as subordinate to the interests of the Kremlin. Their big obstacle was America. So they hatched a plot to remove us from the playing board. Our nation has been victimized. So has that of the British. So also France, whose new president, Emmanuel Macron, was to have been assassinated on the same day they held a parade in Donald Trump’s honor.

Since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014, we have been marched down the road to war piece by piece, and it’s so much like Hitler and the Nazis that it’s really uncanny. Russia and England fought a war once before, over the Crimea.

As this article was being written, Putin went to visit the Crimea, on his way to the elections. It looks like the Cold War goalposts have been dragged out of the closet, so this guy can rattle his saber.

Everyone thought that everyone was happy about the end of the Cold War. It used to be not so hot, living under the constant threat of nuclear annihilation. Putin, however, values Russian control and power over world peace and stability.

Putin has expressed the unkind and ungrateful view that the West “would like Russia to be down at the heels”. He said, “I sometimes get the impression that they love it when they need to send us humanitarian aid. These so-called ruling circles, elites — political and economic — of those countries, they love it when we are impoverished, poor and when we come hat in hand. As soon as we start declaring some interests of our own, they feel that there is some element of geopolitical rivalry.” This is mostly unfair, considering that much of the over $22.6 billion dollars raised by the International Monetary Fund created to aid the Russians in their post-Soviet reconstruction was raised by the United States, who never got any of it back.

Mighty Russia, for all its cyber-terror and nuclear weaponry, still has only around the economic strength of little Italy. Every thought Putin has, every strategy that motivates him is how he can continue to assert strategic control over all those resources.

We are constantly being told that Putin is popular in Russia, and we’ve been hearing it a great deal lately.

Perhaps George W. Bush, for once in his life, summed it up best. “People say, ‘He’s the most popular guy in Russia.’ I say, ‘Yeah, I’d be popular too if I owned NBC,’” not to mention all the other networks.

The main opposition leader, Boris Nemtsov, is not available to run. He got murdered within sight of the Kremlin three years ago. Today’s main opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, is not available to run either. He’s not dead yet. He has suffered various physical attacks, but he’s still above ground. He is simply barred from running. He’s also usually in prison.

Putin’s actual opponent is known as the Paris Hilton of Russia. I’d take Perez Hilton, over Putin.

Putin’s ultimate goal is to reassert Russian international power with himself at the helm. To Make Russia Great Again. He wants it to resume what he considers its rightful place as a respected world power- which it already is- although he will settle for being merely feared.

To secure this world power, he must first shore up and be in firm control of Russia’s domestic power. An understanding of all of this is where U.S. policy must begin, as British policy has. Millennial Democrats would like to thank and support the people of Great Britain for drawing a line in the sand. We stand with you.

Typical Trump Voters- What We’re Up Against.

Deplorables up to their gig

 

It’s election time again in 200 days. This is the year that #TheBlueWave washes across this country once and for all. And that means engagement with the public.

We have to reach out to the people all we can. We have to fight our hearts out for every last vote.

We’ve got to beat back hundreds of primary challenges nationwide from the so-called Justice Democrats. Without doing that we won’t make it to the real fight with a party that’s still blue. We’ve got to avoid pukey pea soup Libertarian green. And there’s only one way to do that.

We have to overwhelm the opposition with the strength and the logic of our argument.

The means by which we win this battle will be those which allow us to influence the information process the populace uses to make up their minds.

No one gets hurt or killed, and nothing is destroyed. The goal is to maintain our democracy without civil war.

We have to remain nonviolent, but prepared. The other side is crazy.

For example, one particularly pleasant fellow came onto the Millennial Democrats Facebook Page (Check us out! Join the debate) and threatened us with mass murder.

“Understand this Democrats”, he said, without using a comma, “If Trump gives the order I will kill as many of you as I can.”

When you looked at the guy, you saw a deeply unattractive and angry little guy. To say such a thing, to be focused on your own rage and desire for mayhem to that sick of an extent, you’ve got to be a very unhappy person.

One at a time, such people are pretty pitiful. But when they collect into large groups, with a wicked leader to guide them, they fill up death camps. That sort of viciousness cannot and will not be given a platform here in America.

At Millennial Democrats, we welcome dissent, and we welcome the chance to engage in a dialogue with people with every worldview, as long as they’re willing to be respectful and have an open mind.

Murdering savages will be excluded.

The foreign radicalism of the type that produced those events never took deep root here, and it’s our job to make sure it never does. Our eyes are open now.

We were defeated in the last election because nobody knew we’d be up against a foreign power.

Our message was sound, hopeful, and practical. We have only to alter a few techniques. We will adapt and strengthen ourselves so that we can do precisely that kind of thing to our enemy in the next war. If we understand them better than they understand us, we will always have the advantage.

For this reason, we’ve put some hours in, taking a look at the thinking process of the typical Trump voter.

There’s a number of serious personality dysfunctions keeping these poor people from living happy lives. 

One common trait is called authoritarian personality syndrome, a well-studied and globally-prevalent condition among radical extremists. It refers to a worldview characterized by belief in total and complete obedience to the hierarchy of social order and one’s personal authority. It is rampant like a plague throughout Trump’s base.

Fearmongering demagogues create and exploit fear in those with the syndrome. In this way, they are able to depersonalize minority groups in the eyes of their constituents.

This is how Nazis are created. This is how the bedlam at Charlottesville got started off last summer. This is why Heather Heyer is dead.

A distinct but related dysfunction is called social dominance orientation, or SDO. This refers to people who have a preference for the social hierarchy of groups, specifically with a structure in which the high-status groups have dominance over the low-status ones.

Here’s an observation- People who spend a lot of time worrying about whether or not others are inferior to them are pathetic.

Don’t worry about your place in the social hierarchy, it isn’t important. Treat others well and do your best at every task you find in front of you. That is what matters.

At any rate, a new study has shown that support for Trump is correlated with a standard scale of modern racism.

A higher level of contact with diverse groups of people has been shown to reduce prejudice.

2016 study found that “the racial and ethnic isolation of white people at the zip-code level is one of the strongest predictors of Trump support.” As such, it’s important to note that Trump’s white supporters have experienced significantly less contact with minorities than other Americans. 

This makes it much easier to fear and hate the people they consider outsiders.

Another reason to resent members outside the majority group is called relative deprivation. This refers to the discontent felt when one compares their position in life to others who they feel are equal or inferior but have unfairly had more success than them.

The old-fashioned word for it was jealousy. These days, we call it being a hater.

 

 

 

 

It’s become clear to everyone on both sides of the fence that the lines have been drawn. The age-old struggle between dictatorship and democracy is going to be fought yet again in this generation, and we have gotten good at it.

There are entire playbooks written on how to resist a tyrannical government like Trump’s is becoming. How to tell the difference between when to fight and get mad, and when to smile and hand a rose to the soldiers or police.

 

A new type of World War seems to be looming on the horizon, a sort of mass, worldwide Civil War, with populists from the right and left squaring off in numerous countries and across borders around the world.

This could be a conflict in which trenches are dug through backyards and in between houses. Nationalism has been and will be an excuse, but the struggle will transcend all ideological boundaries and sides will have to be taken.

Our nation will turn 242 on the Fourth of July. 

Reasonable people sat in Philadelphia and declared their unwillingness to remain contentedly subject to an authoritarian command. Like us, they were driven to extremity by the hideous conduct of a mentally fragile and bipolar monarch.

America is not just a country. It is an idea. The first Americans fought a war, over what Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, called inalienable rights. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Of them all, the most important is freedom from tyranny. Not just from tyranny abroad, but also from any homegrown autocrat who might be lacking loyalty to all those who have fought and died to preserve this noble experiment. Going forward, we will have to redouble our efforts.

A Constitutional Crisis- Mueller Under Attack.

American Hero

In the irony of a lifetime, it is us Democrats who must now defend Robert Mueller, a Republican, from the slings and arrows of his own party.

According to Democrat Jackie Speier, rumour has it on Capitol Hill Trump is planning to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller as early as later this week. This is not something that could happen in an instant, but the threat is real and the thought is grotesque. It was probably kicked up because of the panic caused by the very idea. As a distraction from the tax plan, this was undoubtedly a big help to Trump.

It’s almost an application of Henry Kissinger’s old “madman” policy, e.g. You’d better make a deal with us because the guy with the keys is crazy. God only knows what he might do. In this case, the implication is, “You’d better back off, and let us have our tax plan victory, or we’re going to destroy your democracy”.

The alt-right propaganda pipeline has been preparing the groundwork for an attack on the Special Counsel Robert Mueller for the last month or so now. It’s really quite despicable. This man held the country together during 9/11, with less than a year’s experience.

What did Trump do during 9/11? He spent the day giving interviews boasting that one of his towers might well be the tallest in the city. At the cost of the World Trade Center. And thousands of lives.

Trump is hardly even going through the motions anymore of bothering to hide that Vladimir Putin is his boss. So he spreads this rumour, and he sends lawyers Mueller’s way next week. He wants to try and bully them into giving the assurance that Trump himself is no longer under fire- ironically, the same assurance James Comey gave freely, before he was randomly fired.

The truth of the matter, though, is that Trump is very much still under fire. In fact, the fire is spreading. The trials haven’t even started yet. Those will be a disaster for Trump.

Once Michael Flynn brings down Jared Kushner, it is very hard to believe he will stay loyal to elderly Donald at the cost of his own future. He won’t be able to take jail, in there wondering what Ivanka is up to. He’ll snitch his way out of everything he can, just like George Papadoupolis.

But long before any of this takes place, they’re going to try every dirty trick in the book.

The possibility that they’re laying the groundwork to get rid of Mueller cannot be discounted. We have passed the point of paranoia. Trump lies whenever he gets the chance. We will have to keep a close eye on how he handles this and be ready to meet up with national resistance efforts coordinated to take to the streets en masse.

Look for a scenario in which he fires the attorney general Jeff Sessions or the current head of the Department of Justice Rod Rosenstein. If either of them should suddenly depart the stage, watch out.

Those are the guys who would have to sign off on the termination of the Special Counsel. As Sessions recused himself and Rosenstein has stated he’d refuse to fire Mueller without cause, it’s unlikely it will happen with the two of them in charge. If they were to be replaced by some alt-right peons wielding rubber stamps, however, it would be possible.

Going forward, it’s important to keep our spirits up and our focus razor sharp. The Republicans have just passed their own demise in the form of this tax bill. We have to focus on winning elections. Every seat is crucial.

 

Earlier this evening, a Republican lobbyist called for President Donald Trump to fire special counsel Robert Mueller. This pronouncement was made in Arlington, Virginia, to the sparse attendees of random guy Jack Burkman’s fundraiser, held to help cover the legal defenses of Rick Gates, a former Trump campaign aide facing several felony charges.

“I don’t like what Bob Mueller’s doing. I think Mr. Gates and Mr. Manafort and Mr. Flynn have been unfairly targeted, and I see Mueller as a desperate guy, an increasingly desperate prosecutor,” said the unhappy Mr. Burkman, sentiments that are echoed by a growing number of alt-right lunatics. These people have respect for nothing.

It has to be understood that if Trump wins this battle, our democracy will probably not recover.

This is not the same Congress that eviscerated Nixon for firing Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox. The crisis we see on the horizon is simply this: If they strong-arm this investigation closed, it will cause a rift of trust between us and our leaders that never heals. It will take hundreds of years to undo the damage.

Putin will work his tendrils in, one millimetre at a time, until they become like strong ropes, tying down a giant for thousands of miles. It is happening all around us, even now. Robert Mueller is the most powerful defence we have against it. When we fight for him, we fight for the country.

A Defense Against Fake News- Reinstate the Fairness Doctrine.

#StopLying

The news on TV this week has all been very good for Donald Trump, although his job performance has been every bit as lousy as ever. The pattern is clear. Whenever he’s got somebody else to point the finger at, his ratings go up.

The cost of Robert Mueller’s investigation has been thrown up in our faces, as if it were an unnecessary expense, or a service performed just for Democrats. Several of the members of Mueller’s team have been attacked as well, and their motives called into question.

For the record, Robert Mueller left a $3.4 million partner job to serve as the special counsel overseeing the law enforcement investigation into whether the Kremlin and the Trump campaign coordinated to impact the 2016 election, according to documents released on Monday at a request from the Washington Post.

Trump has also been receiving undue credit for the economic bounce that Obama worked eight years to assure us. His moronic provocation of a travel ban finally went through, and so on.

All of this is being slowly made possible by a “post-truth” reality defined by the random slanders of an increasingly demented Trump.

The eminent opinion of Kellyanne Conway notwithstanding, there are no such things as alternative facts. They’re just good old fashioned lies.

But here are a couple of real facts. The new administration has declared war on accurate information. And because of that, every last thing with a shred of decency in American society is either under attack or being twisted to evil ends.

Basically, the truth does not suit Donald Trump’s agenda. So he has resolved upon making a new truth. He’s good at this. It has gotten him through a lifetime.

Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels said that the key to getting people to believe a lie was in repetition, and that the bigger lies were easier to tell then the little ones.

This viewpoint, which denies objectivity and assumes the worst of everyone, is the cornerstone of fascist philosophy. And under Trump, a number of new ideas are being employed as vehicles to carry and spread the new ideas about.

One of these is a project designed to target social media specifically, a mock-TV news report touting the imaginary successes of President Trump. It is being dubbed “Trump TV” on his official campaign Facebook page.

If the Russians have sent in advisers here, they are certainly doing their job.

Earlier this year upon launching the project, the talking head of Kayleigh McEnany made its mouth speak many a falsehood on the August 6 episode of the new administration’s Trump TV project. It looked like a Trump-Pence lawn sign.

“Overall, since the president took office, President Trump has created more than one million new jobs, the unemployment rate is at a 16-year low, and consumer confidence is at a 16-year high”, and so on.

Every bit of it is an exaggeration, a theft of credit from President Obama, or an outright utter lie.

Next to her face, a small screen showed various images of a happy, senile Trump speaking to stadiums packed with adoring fans; underneath the images blared the word “Jobs.”

It all read straight out of 1984.

For now, Trump TV is a small operation, cheaply produced and disseminated through Facebook, but it’s clear it will soon be getting bigger. It’s the spearhead of an effort by media giant Sinclair Broadcasting. It’s troubling in the utmost to watch the new administration both sanction and invent new media mouthpieces through which to spread outright lies. This is not a healthy sign.

Since the end of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, which mandated that equal airtime and coverage be given to the points of view of both major political parties, we have seen partisan organizations like Sinclair worming their way into buying up the whole apparatus. Now a number of them are no longer even American. This state of affairs is a travesty.

Bill Clinton, the most notable target of syndicated conservative talk shows cited the unbalanced nature of conservative talk radio, where “big money” is fueling “right wing talk shows.” This is why we need to bring back the Fairness Doctrine.

It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that the very first segment of the alt-right’s information pipeline that we have got to sever is the part of it stretching here from Russia.

Former White House correspondent Andrew Feinberg is one of the strongest advocates for this point of view, and he ought to know. He used to work for Sputnik. But these days, he openly admits the site’s content being “foreign propaganda, not news.”

His claim is that organizations like RT and Sputnik hold a pervasive influence on right-wing, pro-Trump, news websites. “Many of the most popular articles about things like WikiLeaks and pizzagate and other conspiracy theories were prominently featured on the Sputnik website,” said Feinberg.

In a recent Politico article Feinberg described parting ways with Sputnik earlier this year. He felt he was being bullied and pressured to pursue fake stories, including the Seth Rich conspiracy theory. He knew that he was being “fed” questions.

A news site which is funded by a hostile foreign government with the express purpose of reporting fake news and brazenly lying to the people of America is an outrage. There’s no other word for it. Any person who doesn’t understand that is one already lost to the opposition.

A journalist sacked by the Kremlin-funded Sputnik news network claimed that right-wing U.S. outlets like Infowars, Breitbart and Gateway Pundit are joined by RT and Sputnik as functioning parts of this right-wing media ecosystem.

The crux of the problem is that we’re not all being given the same information.

Harvard’s Berkman-Klein Center recently produced an analysis of the subject which they entitled Partisanship, Propaganda, and Disinformation: Online Media and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. In it, they made the following observation.

“We find that the structure and composition of media on the right and left are quite different. The leading media on the right and left are rooted in different traditions and journalistic practices. On the conservative side, more attention was paid to pro-Trump, highly partisan media outlets. On the liberal side, by contrast, the center of gravity was made up largely of long-standing media organizations steeped in the traditions and practices of objective journalism.”

Democrats remain interested in things like truth and reason. The opposition has discarded those virtues as impractical, if not actively detrimental, to their various causes.

Although Fox itself does still usually take the time to bother putting a veneer of professional journalism on their stuff, they still know who a large part of their audience is, and they cater to it.

If you watch Fox News these days, you won’t just find the usual conservative twist anymore. Much of their old content has become too truthful for many of their viewers. It’s not hardcore enough anymore. These people want uglier mud to sling at their liberal foes. A website called Liberty Headlines will tell you all about it.

This is why Fox has partnered with a more extreme conservative media. One resolved on developing the concept to its evolutionary apex: sheer, pure propaganda.

It seems painfully obvious in hindsight that twenty years of media consolidation has been bad for our democracy.

The exaggerations and falsehoods emanating from right-wing media outlets such as Breitbart News have infected mainstream discourse.

Though the Berkman- Klein report we mentioned earlier does an excellent job of laying out the challenge posed by Breitbart and its ilk, it is less than clear on how to counter it. One very interesting solution has been employed by our neighbors to the North, in Canada, with a surprisingly effective result.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, or CRTC, is a regulatory media commission like the FCC. It is not large and it does not often have a need to make the news. But back in 2011, a rather small decision by a relatively small government agency in Ottawa made a pretty big splash.

In April, a major player in the Canadian media scene, Quebecoir Media, planned a launch of what they called Sun News, or Sun TV. It was billed as a Canadian analogue to FOX News, by which they meant a broadcast news outlet with a skewed and partisan conservative perspective.

But Sun News hit a major snag, in the form of a CRTC rule on “prohibited programming content” that includes “broadcasting false or misleading news.”

That rule means that in Canada they can ban lying in the media.

If the human race is going to avoid a significant degradation of its own condition, then we have to maintain our objectivity. We can’t be lulled to sleep by Trump-brand fairy tales.

It’s time we stopped letting wingnut billionaires clutter up our airwaves with their nonsense just because they’ve got the money to throw their weight around. Legislation must be passed immediately to make perfidy in the American news an official crime.

Donald Trump says he wants to make America great again, but America never stopped being great. If we wish to keep that intact, the removal of state-sanctioned falsehoods would be a very good start. Bring back the Fairness Doctrine, and make it illegal to call poisonous deceit the news. It’s really pretty simple. Just vote a straight blue ticket next year, and get everyone you know to do the same. It is time we started doing laundry.

#HoldTheCenter- Far Left Attacks Franken, Distracts Us From Russiagate.

ABC News reported on Sunday that within the past month, special counsel Robert Mueller requested that the Justice Department turn over a wide array of documents as part of its ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

His team is said to be particularly interested in materials that relate to Trump’s notorious firing of former FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the Russia probe earlier this year, a source who was told about the request informed ABC News.

This is a major step. The Justice Department is getting pretty close to the Oval Office. This will be Mueller’s first records request to the very agency that is overseeing the probe.

Also, Rob Goldstone, the British publicist who helped set up the infamous meeting between members of the Trump campaign Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower in June 2016 is ready to meet with Mueller’s office, according to several people familiar with the matter.

Since the indictment of Paul Manafort and the others, the news from Mueller’s office has been coming hot and heavy.

Its onrush has caused great panic and consternation among the Republicans. Most of those with consciences, like Jeff Flake from Arizona, are retiring next year. Flake was caught on a hot mic recently, speaking frankly about the Republican Party and its future. “If we become the party of Trump and Moore, we’re toast”. Well said.

It’s a promising sign that they’re throwing all their bones to us Democrats right away. Donna Brazile, Uranium One, Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All, etc. They have been really been desperate lately. Ordinarily, they would hold these things in reserve in a vain hope that we’ll avert our gaze long enough to pull something nasty. They’ve had some awful successes that way.

Lack of public expectation was how Scott Walker was able to ravage public schools. He broke the backs of the public worker unions in Wisconsin, using vaguely worded provisions on the infamous backdoor bill known as Act 10. People just were not ready for someone to be that vicious, that fast. It’s the way things are these days, though. Koch Industries has changed the game. We cannot let that happen again.

There’s no end to the challenges we’re up against, and the way it breaks down is very simple. If we keep our focus on the big things, like Russiagate and their evil tax plan, we’re going to take the #BlueWave we’ve been building and knock them flat with it. If we let their distractions take our eyes from the prize, though, it’ll be a different story, a really nasty one.

Right now, the world needs our power combined more than ever before. The stakes could not be higher, and most people know it. It is therefore both inexplicable and unfortunate that the so-called progressive wing of the left decided recently to release a report ripping Democrats up on every level, in a manner that once again reinstates the well-known complaints of Bernie Sanders and his followers from back in 2016.

We do not agree with the Free Press Online report in a number of key regards. We consider their interpretations of these key events to be monstrously distorted. In any case, their report, which they called an Autopsy, came complete with a dead donkey, legs up, on its cover. Not even a Republican could have done as nasty or insulting a job.

Why are Sanders followers so eager to hurt Democrats? They attack us with far more passion and frequency than they do the Republicans, even though we are people who agree with them in terms of the policies they say they hold so dear. It’s reminiscent of Ralph Nader. Perhaps the worst thing is that they’ve been completely silent on Russia. Bernie wouldn’t even vote to sanction Russia.

Excesses of radical leftist rage are what the alt-right is hoping to induce, every time they hack some emails and strategically release them. The Russians are said to have been speechless with joy when Debbie Wassermann-Schultz resigned her position as DNC chairman. To finance, encourage, and incite the radical portions of both sides of the political spectrum is the M.O. of Russian destabilization tactics all through the world.

A radicalized environment is a volatile, polarized environment. You can’t get anything done in it, and that is what the Russians need. They have very little money to work with. Materially they are far weaker. But, if they can tie us all up with inaction, using traitorous Trojan Horses to infect our body politic, they can hope to realign that. All Putin wants, is to make Russia great again. At our expense.

The hostile world power that is Russia has crafted a meticulous plan to realign the European order as subordinate to the interests of the Kremlin. Their biggest obstacle was America. So they hatched a plot to remove us from the playing board. Our nation has been victimized, it’s still going on, and the latest victim of it is Al Franken.

It’s a sad thing, to watch people jump on a bandwagon.

Two prominent progressive groups, Credo Action and Indivisible, called for Franken’s resignation Monday in the wake of the sexual misconduct allegations against him. This is so idiotic, so destructive to the Resistance, that it’s frankly hard to believe it’s unintentional.

If Democrats were to actually resign their offices every time they were slandered by Republicans, we’d have packed our bags and went home a hundred years ago.

Needless to say, these homegrown attacks are coming from organizations who show every sign of extreme bitterness about the primary defeat of Bernie Sanders in 2016, the election that seemingly never ends.

This type of cheap scandal stinks of Ken Starr and Monica Lewinsky. It’s unreal that it’s coming from our own backyard. For such attacks to be coming from people who share our values would once have been unthinkable.

Everyone remembered the Bush and Reagan years. The opposition had the country completely locked down. Bill Clinton was able to take it back by the slimmest of margins. In order to break that stranglehold, the utmost cooperation among the left was necessary. It still is.

When one section of the left starts making up imaginary purity tests to administer to the other, it is all too clear that many have forgotten the importance of the coalition concept. That is why we lost in 2016.

It’s put up or shut up time. The midterm elections are now less than a year away. It has become necessary to take a side. The only options are to stand with the Democrats or stand with Trump, and only one of those has any sanity or decency in it. Taking half measures will mean leaving the status quo intact.

The most important thing for any democracy is that its lines of communication remain healthy and open. When those break down, all that remains is tyranny. We have seen its face. It is eating dinner at the White House. We understand the necessity of cooperation and coalition, and we are willing to open a respectful dialogue with anyone who realizes that we’ve got to find a way out of this mess. We have got to find a way to move forward together. #WeWillEmbraceYou. All we are saying, is give peace a chance.

 

 

 

MD DissectFake- Mexican Mob and NorCal Wildfires Rumor Debunked

A strange rumor caught the attention of one of our contributors recently.

An idea has been making the rounds that the apocalyptic wildfires in Northern California were started by the Mexican Mafia, in an iron-fisted attempt to eliminate competition from the marijuana industry.

He thought little of it at first. But it just kept coming up, and now it’s turning into an accepted part of the narrative in the area.

Rumors are common, of course. But in this day and age, when even the most innocuous aspects of American culture, e.g. Pokemon Go and the #DontShootUs hashtag have been poisoned and used against us by the Russians, nothing can be taken for granted.

So when you hear a widespread rumor, especially regarding anything that might be employed to raise racial tensions and turn neighbor against neighbor, it’s a good idea to look at where it came from.

The problem started when right-wing blog Got News claimed an exclusive bombshell in the ongoing wildfire story. They did not cite any of their alleged law enforcement sources. No quotes of any kind appear in the story. It fails to present any evidence beyond the fact that the fires damaged marijuana crops.

Breitbart News got ahold of it shortly thereafter.

Now, here’s where things get interesting. GotNews is run by a guy named Charles C. Johnson, the white nationalist infamously known as “Trump’s Troll”. He reportedly acted as an adviser to the Trump administration’s transition team. Johnson has recently been implicated in the Russia investigation, according to a recent piece by Ben Schreckinger in Politico.

Johnson also arranged and attended a meeting between Assange and Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican who has consistently argued for closer ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government.

In other words, Charles C. Johnson is probably on Putin’s payroll. And he’s definitely on his side.

Although the likes of the slovenly Charles C. Johnson seem like random wingnuts, these stories are not random at all. They are part of a carefully coordinated and worldwide disinformation campaign, financed by Russia and inspired by fascist ideology.

The utmost attention must be brought to the way that this is done. Believe it or not, propaganda specialists are telling the truth 9 of 10 times. That’s the whole point. If all of it was nonsense, it would be written off right away. So most of it isn’t. Lying blatantly isn’t what they do. What they do do, is actually very clever. They will take that one lie, break it up into chunks, and then feed it back to people in a way they often don’t notice.

The method employed in this article was an associative trick. They take two things that could plausibly be related and simply discuss them, side by side. The lie comes in so smooth, you barely notice it. Watch carefully the Breitbart article’s opening paragraphs for a good working example. It’s down there in italics and it includes the link.

“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director Tom Homan confirmed on Thursday that a man arrested in connection with setting a fire in Sonoma County Wine Country is an illegal alien from Mexico who has been twice returned to his “home country.”

Three claims are being made here. First, that a man has been arrested by ICE. Second, that the man is an illegal alien from Mexico. Third, that his arrest was made IN CONNECTION with setting fires. The first two are true; the third is patently false. It is a complete and total lie.

Many Americans, however, will swear on the lives of their families that the opposite is true. This is because they have been brainwashed so totally by conservative media that they truly believe what Breitbart writes is the gospel truth. Studies on the subject indicate this type of person will defend a story like this to the end.

In direct contravention of this statement, Sonoma County Sheriff Robert Giordano directly addressed the false claim at a press conference held at the time.

The Breitbart article was flat out called “false and misleading.”

There is no indication he is related to these fires at all,” Sheriff Giordano said. “Cal Fire is doing an investigation to see how these fires started. We don’t even know if it’s arson.”

The simple fact is, it’s wildfire season.

Long fire seasons are normal for California. Rain is usually absent for half the year. Thirteen of the 20 most devastating fires in California history, as measured by the number of buildings destroyed, have started on Oct. 1 or later, according to Cal Fire records.

The wildfires this year were the worst in state history, an unparalleled tragedy. The callousness needed to use an event like this for political purposes can only belong to Putin.

This is the face of fascism.  Manufactured incidents, news used as a tool to mislead and obfuscate. Propaganda, dishonesty, and confusion become the new and accepted norm. This is the face of their new authoritarian ideology. That ideology will be gradually dripped into the heads of the people by the likes of Sebastian Gorka, who was recently hired by Fox News.

This concept is not abstract, or something that only happens elsewhere. Companies like the Sinclair Broadcasting Company, which is said to be in talks with conservative TV show host Bill O’Reilly, will soon be threading pro- Trump messaging into every aspect of television. Their virulent brand of right-wing commentary and so-called “classic propaganda” may soon reach three-quarters of US households.

Going forward, the Mexican Mafia wildfire slander serves as an excellent case study for the examining and reverse-engineering of Republican propaganda. There will be more of this to come than we can imagine; Russian ads alone reached over 120 million on Facebook this year.

By thinking critically and staying alert, however, we can spot the fake news virus as it spreads. We can dismantle them, dissect them, and lay bare their innards to the light.  In this manner, we will come to see how they work.

Our job is to expose lies and bear witness. So please, when you see a story that looks like it could be suspect, let us know. Send it in so we can get to the bottom of it, and send it packing once and for all. Those who seek to educate will always stand as defenders of the truth. And that is the purpose of the Millennial Democrats DissectFake project.

Beneath, we are gratefully borrowing a crucial production of the International Federation of Library Associations(IFLA), which describes itself as the global voice of the library and information profession.

IFLA has made this infographic with eight simple steps (based on FactCheck.org’s 2016 article How to Spot Fake News)  to discover the verifiability of a given news-piece in front of you. Download, print, translate, and share – at home, at your library, in your local community, and on social media networks. The more we crowdsource our wisdom, the wiser the world becomes.

How to Spot Fake News

 

Sex Offenses and the Senate Don’t Mix- Say No to Roy Moore.

Alabama’s perverse and disgusting Senate candidate, Roy Moore, is still refusing to step out of the race. He remains unapologetic and has repeatedly lashed back on Twitter at Republican detractors like Mitch McConnell, who he feels has let down conservatives. All the while, the scandals just keep rolling in.

Chomo, by the way, is slang for child molester.

Earlier today, a fifth accuser, Beverly Nelson, stepped forth to tell the story of how she was defiled at the hands of this awful human being. McConnell, for his part, says he believes the women. His presence in the halls of our government is beyond intolerable. Roy Moore’s filth can never be allowed to touch the Senate.

A sex offender can’t get a job in this country driving a bus. How is it he can be a Senator?

Unfortunately, a great many Trump voters do not seem to mind. A definite connection between sex offenders and alt-right conspiracy theorists can be verified.

Take our president, for example. He openly boasted to Billy Bush about grabbing women by their genitals in the ugliest possible way. His supporters didn’t care a lick, and that’s exactly how much Trump cares about what type of man Roy Moore is and whether or not he ought to be in our Senate. His silence on the subject has spoken in volumes and given even more of a green light to his devotees.

Basically, if it’s okay for the President to treat random women like a catcher’s mitt, they seem to reason, it must be okay, period. Too bad we Democrats have been spoiling their good time all these years.

Remember when Senate candidate Todd Akin used the phrase “legitimate rape” during his 2012 campaign?

Milo Yiannoupoulis provides a more recent example. In February, Milo Yiannopoulos resigned from Breitbart News, the alt-right website he’d been a top editor for, after video surfaced in which Milo states clearly that he is absolutely fine with sexual ongoing between men and underage boys as young as 13.

It was enough to make you sick unless you’re cut from the same cloth. This is what led to billionaire Robert Mercer cutting ties with him recently and pulling his interests out of Breitbart in general.

The Republicans love nothing more than to slander their opponents with crimes they themselves are frequently guilty of. Hence Donald Trump, constantly misapplying the term fake news.

It’s interesting, how the people who have spoken out the most about sexual abuse over the years have so frequently been guilty of it themselves. Sigmund Freud called this tendency projection. It was his psychological theory describing the process by which humans avoid dealing with their own issues by attributing them to others.

Earlier this year, the infamous far-right troll Mike Cernovich spoke at Columbia University in New York City about the rise of alternative media. While he was there, some “protestors” showed up with a rather unexpected sign.

The sign in the picture said “no white supremacy, no pedo bashing, no Mike Cernovich” and displayed logos of “antifa” and NAMBLA, which supposedly stands for the North American Man/Boy Love Association.

There are aspects of the conduct of the “Antifa” organization we do not support, but it has to be granted they have nothing to do with NAMBLA.

Gothamist reporter Jake Offenhartz, who actually took the picture that Cernovich tweeted, mentioned in his original tweet that the sign was an “alt-right” plant. This type of manufactured incident often helps the right wing shift the national dialogue to deflect attention off their own perversions. They would like nothing better than to paint Democrats as the party of wingnuts and sexual deviancy.

Republican sex scandals, however, occur at least as often as do their Democratic counterparts. It’s always a riot when one of these breaks loose. The GOP prides itself on its firm commitment to pro-family and conservative values. Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority comes to mind. All of it, however, has been used to conceal some very ugly truths, and this is the crux of the matter. Sex offenders, fascists, and other horrible criminals have infested the government, through the Republican Party.

When did it become cool, to become a sex offender? Who can stand a rapist? Or a child molester? How is it that we’re even considering letting these old leches hold the keys of power for us? And what does it say, about the men who are turning a blind eye? It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that there’s a long game here. They want to make it okay for men to do as they like with women again, and for a very specific reason.

In the 1990’s, ethnobotanist Terence McKenna used the term “The Archaic Revival” to describe his vision as to which direction society needs to be heading in, in order to secure a prosperous and healthy future for all humans, instead of just a few. The essence of it was interconnectedness between intelligence. Building bridges, strengthening ties, creating new bonds of cohesion for society.

Perhaps the most fundamental value of the Archaic Revival was its emphasis on valuing feminine energy as being crucial for the forging of those bonds.

All throughout the 90’s, that concept and many others like it emerged, gained potency, and coalesced into a strong movement. We have carried the torch. Millennials have overwhelmingly chosen to embrace the values of diversity that our parents, the baby boomer generation, fought so hard to secure for us before we were born.

We liked going to school with kids of other backgrounds. It made things interesting and fun. We got to know each other. We learned to work together, and that’s what we’ll be doing going into the future. That’s what Millennial Democrats is all about.

These things were largely made possible by the strengthening and unchaining of the power of womankind. Gone are the days when an educated woman was restricted to being either a teacher or a nurse. Reversing that state of affairs is what a great deal of this is about for the alt-right.

Disenfranchising women has been a goal of patriarchal elements of society since before we were writing things down. Believers in a system of hierarchy necessarily need people to lord it over. The well-being of the commonwealth has to fall by the wayside. The few must grow rich off the labor of the many. If everyone’s equal, the pyramid stays flat.

Not long ago, Donald Trump said that things have changed, and now they’re changing back. It must be realized that this is their goal. Televangelism and media combined with a well-polished party line, all designed to bring back the good old days of graft, corruption, and big bosses.

Breaking the back of cooperative, which is to say feminine, societal efforts to bring about a better way of life is therefore of fundamental importance to the new order they’re trying to bring about. This manifests itself in anti-union activities, for one working example.

Hillary Clinton recently discussed the culture of sexual assault, following media coverage of a plethora of new lurid complaints against Hollywood film producer and longtime Democratic donor, Harvey Weinstein.

In an interview with the U.K.’s Channel 4 News shortly after the story broke, Clinton said:

“Look, we just elected someone who admitted sexual assault to the presidency. So there’s a lot of other issues that are swirling around these kinds of behaviors that need to be addressed,” Clinton said on the subject of the Weinstein scandal.”.

“I think it’s important that we stay focused, and shine a bright spotlight, and try to get people to understand how damaging this is,” she continued.

Going forward, we’re going to be doing just that. And the very first step is to help make sure that the only federal building Roy Moore steps into is a penitentiary. If you’re in Alabama, vote for Doug Jones. If you’re elsewhere, then send support every way you can. This fight is about us all, and we are going to win it, together.  Just like we did in New Jersey and Virginia. This #BlueWave is just getting started. Let’s use it to wash this crap right out of American life.

 

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