I have heard from our social media coordinators that Page Likes on Facebook have gone through the roof this week. This must be due to the incredibly intense political interest going on right now. A lot of it is the awesomeness of our Facebook personnel, who undoubtedly are the very best. But I think it also goes to show. Right now, things are at a fever pitch.
These days are made of pure history.
In circumstances where the president and a freshman Representative are trading blows as equals on social media, virtually nothing is unthinkable. This is molecular chaos. I have never seen anything like it. I don’t believe anyone has. There is no way of telling now where it could end. Once again, yet with eyes from which hope has faded, we look to our Republican countrymen for the help we will need to free our country from a tyrant. Because things have gotten worse every day that Donald Trump is running the United States of America. Just look at what’s happening in Syria, where once again, Trump has made a mess.
What else is new.
Recently Trump was tweeting about his “Great and Unmatched Wisdom” as if he were a Chinese emperor. Boasting like a pimp is always repugnant, no matter who is doing it; a gentleman I met last week at a bus stop informed me that “Pimps don’t get respect like that in jail”.
I found that comforting, at least.
Trump also has sent our Kurdish allies in Syria, who held firm with us in our fight against ISIS, tumbling under the wheels of the bus. One official said he caved. I’m sure it was pathetic; it always is. Why not go whole hog, if making ourselves a global joke? We should send Trump himself to the front line, and all the other evil celebrities with him. Harvey Weinstein, R. Kelly, to the front line. And Bill Cosby. And that a-hole Joseph Kony. Why not? Let’s Make An Army of One out of Subway Jared. Fight your record clean, boy.
Before when Trump withdrew us from Syria, many suspected he had cut a deal of some sort. He didn’t end up facing prosecution over what Robert Mueller found, even though Mueller flat out said he would have charged him himself if he wasn’t the President. I predicted at that time that we would see a Trump grown increasingly lawless and frightening. His alt-right leadership has long ago fallen by the wayside in favor of a young and power-hungry lot who have proven themselves willing to do anything.
There is just no knowing where it all could find a place to end.
The people just need to see that there is somebody somewhere who has a plan, and we at Millennial Democrats do, in fact, have a plan. It’s pretty simple, too. We get every sane and decent person we can find and bring them together as one. We can organize, stay calm, and bring everyone we know to the party. If that someone is us, so be it. Because shit is busting loose worse than I’ve ever seen it yet, and the talking heads on television aren’t making any sense to anyone. The people are completely bewildered, and sullen and mean in their bewilderment.
Collectively, we’re like a rattlesnake dumped out of a sack. We are all but blind and yet ready to snap. It’s dangerous. Everyone is saying that we’re living in historical times; who knows what will happen next. It’s like dumping a bag of Ping-Pong balls off a Windy City skyscraper, with a shout out to my people in Chicago, and trying to predict where they’ll all land. Everything is becoming so surreal.
The other night this Romanian guy named Alin Stefanescu tried to hack me. He hid his location by going through a TOR node, but somehow the good people at whois.com already knew him. This is him.
Interesting that I’d be able to find the actual name of the guy!
What really blew me away, though, was who he is. The guy is the head of the computer science department at the University of Bucharest. That is the best college in Romania, a nation world-renowned for the skill of its computer hackers and IT experts in general. I can’t tell you how surreal it is that a guy like that has been sicced on us by God knows who. I didn’t even know who the President was there until the other night.
This guy has an entire department of a university to run, yet still he finds the time to try and contend with me in these lengthy, endless, bruteforce attack and failed login attempts. Knock yourself out, guys, but be forewarned. WordPress is pretty good, it’s not just me you’re fighting. It is all of America, or at least most of us.
Even if someone is as big a fool as Lindsey Graham, who completely blew his hole about “Exposing the Whistleblower” and putting him in front of the Senate to testify, etc., it still proved impossible to turn a blind eye at Trump’s abandoning the principle of American security by leaving the Syrian Kurds out to dry as he has.
Tucker Carlson of Fox News made the opposite complaint. He was unwilling to defend Trump’s phone call with a foreign country’s president, Volodmyr Zelensky of Ukraine, but felt his weaseling and abandoning of allies in Syria was actually good.
Who knows where these people are coming from. Who knows where their hearts are. Hunter S. Thompson, who checked out in early 2005 rather than see what has been coming for a long time come to harvest, wrote in some of his last work,
“Who does vote for these dishonest shitheads? Who among us can be happy and proud of having all this innocent blood on our hands? Who are these swine? These flag-sucking half-wits who get fleeced and fooled by stupid little rich kids like George Bush? They are the same ones who wanted to have Muhammad Ali locked up for refusing to kill gooks. They speak for all that is cruel and stupid and vicious in the American character. They are the racists and hate mongers among us—they are the Ku Klux Klan. I piss down the throats of these Nazis. And I am too old to worry about whether they like it or not. Fuck them.”
We respect Hunter’s legacy and his choice; furthermore, who among us in the Trump era cannot sympathize? Everything sucks!
However, although we may sympathize, we are not going to wallow in despair enough to empathize. We are not at liberty to go that route. Someone has to be here for the people; there have to be voices of reason in the crowd. Stick by each other, folks, and stick by us. If you’re a Democrat, you never need to go into a fight alone.
The Spartan 300 killed twenty-six thousand worthless Persians, weak and puny slaves of a dictator. That’s 87-to-1 odds.
Why? Because they were stronger! They themselves were bound tighter than any slave to code, an iron law made of principle and fearlessness. That’s us, Democrats. If you’re like most of us and have lived for no other reason than bringing this whole nightmare to an end, fighting 16 hours a day, you know what it is to be worth eighty-seven post-truth Trump slobs, addled and made slovenly by Fox News. We will never give up, never surrender, and never relieve the pressure. Not until the end.
“Go, stranger, and at Sparta tell/ That here, by Spartan law, we fell.” -Simonides of Ceos
The third year of the Donald Trump era has seen its most dramatic moments yet, and its most dangerous ones. He shut the government down to distract from the Russiagate investigation’s special counsel Robert Mueller’s Report and its tale of justice obstructed by a president who’d taken leave of reason. He boasted of receiving foreign help after more than two years already denying it, he spent the summer rubbing it in our faces, and then he did it again. Things aren’t getting better. Hillary Clinton called him a ‘corrupt human tornado’.
No doubt, Madam President.
As I’m writing this thank-you to all the people who have helped us pull this nightmare situation back to something close to life again, I see that Donald Trump just went on Twitter and accused us of getting ready to cause a “Civil War like fracture” by impeaching him for being the most corrupt president in American (human) history.
Donald J. Trump
….If the Democrats are successful in removing the President from office (which they will never be), it will cause a Civil War like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal.” Pastor Robert Jeffress,
Trump, come on now, man. Can you really still be blaming others? You pressured the president of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son, dude. Real talk. You are not in the position you once placed the Central Park Five in, when you wished them executed for a rape they had yet to go to court for committing, just for being fire.
This is not on anybody else. We didn’t want to impeach you; I ought to know. I have been helping Nancy Pelosi beg them not to try and kill you (metaphorically, and I mean that, too. If someone were to write in and say, I’m going to kill the President, I would turn their ass into the Secret Service with alacrity) for years.
As outraged as I was at the way you got in bed with the Russians, as much of a nightmare as these last few years have been, I don’t literally want the man dead. He’s not worth it.
But I cannot be sure he feels the same way about me, nor any of us. He’s behaving more and more like the cornered animal I’ve always believed him to be, and some of his supporters are crazy. There is no doubt about that. These people have threatened my life before, and while I’m pretty sure most of them are blowing smoke, there’s been a few that have made sure I watch my step.
This is not unique to me, either, but is something most Democratic organizers live with. Facebook has become a terrifying place no less than the deep web and threatens at all times to spill out into the real world. Take care of yourselves, folks, and each other. Who knows what these people will do; it wasn’t long ago a crazed Trump supporter slaughtered nearly three dozen people in El Paso, Texas.
It’s official, folks. The whistleblower complaint regarding Donald Trump’s misuse of his power, trying to pressure the president of Ukraine into investigating Hunter Biden, the son of 2020 Democratic presidential frontrunner and former vice-president Joe Biden, has acted as a fuse, and the people of America are now making it clear that we have finally had enough. The House of Representatives has the 218 votes it will need to file impeachment proceedings and bring this thing home; the word is the actual vote will happen by Thanksgiving.
That means, in case you were wondering, that the very last moments of the 2010s will be spent with one of the world’s most worthless people, Donald Trump, on everybody’s mind. He’s already won, for his own part, because all he ever wanted was to be the center of attention. And now he is.
What a way to say goodbye to a decade that started out so filled with Hope and Change. Republicans like Scott Walker in Wisconsin hadn’t technically taken office yet; there was no way to know for most how bad it was going to be. One doesn’t have to wonder very hard how Obama must feel when he reads the papers today. The man himself was black, and so is despised by many he turned his hair grey to help. On the right and far left alike, his legacy was shunned and cast aside.
If anyone should be reading this who did not vote for Hillary Clinton, if you voted for Stein or abstained for the sheer joy of screaming out ‘Bernie or Bust!’- Know that this is on you, and resolve to change your ways.
Stand on the side of decency and moderation and compromise, and pitch in to help. We’re glad to have you; God knows we cannot spare you. But know this to the core of your heart: What you did back then helped to cause this avalanche.
This country has been getting torn apart all along, but this will be beyond that altogether. Trump’s base harbors many who want a war; things may really get ugly. Know who your friends are, be organized, and be ready. “There is no joy in this,” said Nancy Pelosi, and she is right. We should never forget that. It is a sad thing, that we should have to struggle to not rejoice in the downfall of our own president. Even George W. Bush and all his administration gave citizens of this country to reconcile with a troubled conscience, never brought us to this. We are living through the Chinese curse about interesting times, but there can be no doubt at all they are historical. It’s time now to talk about what has just happened, and what might be coming next.
Remember when the Mueller Report didn’t end up putting Trump behind bars? That was the end of the beginning, I wrote. The two have taken place on the same timeline. Back then, I predicted that Trump would think himself utterly above the law, after that. I predicted he would become increasingly more reckless and brazen in his lawlessness until finally, sooner or later, he did something too big for even the Republicans to ignore, or at least big enough to unify the Democratic Party’s many wild hearts. This incident actually took place in July, so this really is like a delayed effect drug.
Pressuring another country’s president to investigate the children of his chief political rival, Joe Biden, has proven to be it, folks, because make no mistake about it, folks. Those are the facts. That is why when the good news finally came that our national leadership was ready to proceed, we said impeach.
“In the course of my official duties, I have received information from multiple U.S. Government officials that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election,” the whistleblower complaint reads. “This interference includes, among other things, pressuring a foreign country to investigate one of the President’s main domestic political rivals. The President’s personal lawyer, Mr. Rudolph Giuliani, is a central figure in this effort. Attorney General [William] Barr appears to be involved as well.”
According to the anonymous whistleblower’s complaint, the conversations that led to all this getting going were started for that reason. So their counter-investigation seems to have led them into this fix directly, which is the clearest indication we have that Mueller’s work led Trump down the road from the probably impeachable to the one hundred percent impeachable.
A few days ago-before the whistleblower’s complaint had been released- I wasn’t so sure this was impeachable, because- well because it all seems impeachable to me, I guess. He’s done so much already, why is this different? Is this really worse than having colluded with Russia in the first place? Collusion isn’t a legal term, said Mueller- which to me was a great reason to keep using it. I never understood how welcoming foreign interference and having one’s cronies help it along could be called anything else, but Mueller said no. Who am I to argue, I thought sadly.
Then Putin comes boasting onto the television about how the Mueller investigation was “A mountain giving birth to a mouse.”
Breaking news earlier tonight said that Trump has locked down conversations between two other world leaders as well. One of them was the new crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad bin Salman. The second, of course, was Vladimir Putin. They’ve been putting it all in place for a Russiagate 2.0. Now, look at them.
Vladimir Putin is finding himself the recipient of bad karma, and so is Donald Trump. You cannot spit at God forever. Sooner or later, something will happen that reveals your human nature, and you’ll be forced to remember what we all must, sooner or later. You are human, you have feet of clay, and if you persist too far in your imitation of Caligula, you’re going to end up gutted on the palace steps as he was. Hillary Clinton popped up yesterday and said look, we’re dealing with Trump- the ‘Corrupt Human Tornado‘. His day is coming.
So here’s what we know so far. The anonymous whistleblower, Deep Throat 2.0, has had his complaint released and reviewed by Congress. It states clearly that Trump abused his executive power tried to get Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 election (‘soliciting’), that he pressured Ukraine’s President Zelensky to do it for him, and that he tried to cover it up. After he saw what Trump had done, he blew the whistle. Enough is enough.
The document is seven pages long and details multiple efforts to force Zelensky to “Play Ball”. The term they’re throwing around is an old Latin phrase meaning “Something for something”, quid pro quo (Which Fox News is revoltingly trying to say is not in this context illegal, frequent molesters of the law and truth that they are).
Zelensky badly wanted Trump to have a meeting with Trump, something Trump was trying to work him on, and the latter had already instructed our vice-president, dutiful Mike Penise, to cancel a similar meeting on him back in May. Military aid may have been on the table as well, which may have something to do with the recent Ukrainian military withdrawal from Donbas, a key outpost on the front of their war with Russia. Nothing would surprise us anymore. Trump withheld their money, the Ukrainians retreated from Donbas, and four days later they got their money. Putin hits a lick.
Quid pro quo.
A hearing was held on Capitol Hill Thursday morning wherein Joseph Maguire, the acting Director of National Intelligence testified before Congress. The hearing began moments after the whistleblower complaint was released. Maguire said the case that was discussed today is “unique and unprecedented” compared to other whistleblower cases he is aware of. He also said the whistleblower acted in good faith.
No doubt he did.
The Mueller Report proved not to be so much of a mouse, in the long run. It pointed the way to Deutsche Bank’s money laundering problem with Russian oligarchs, which is going to be the foundation of our argument. Had Trump never gotten in bed with the Russians, had his campaign’s blatant collusion really been a delusion, Mueller- the nation’s top bloodhound-would have never had to write it in the first place, nor would he have discovered the true reason Trump was peddling Russian woo- the fact that he, for decades, has been laundering money for the Russians and was thus completely compromised long before the Russians decided to hack our election back then, in horrible 2016.
Trump’s plump rump is in a slump. He is not getting out of this one. He has played with the law as if it were a game his whole life. He ran an illegal charity, an illegal university, and an illegal presidential campaign. He got away with the last one, or at least, that’s how he felt post-Mueller, slouching along like a female warthog in rut and boasting. But as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, No lie can live forever. He’s still blowing his mouth for now, but that won’t last. Expect him to behave as a wounded animal does and expect the same from his followers.
The disaster caused by the illegitimate 2016 election has widened like the crack in a dam during the Donald Trump era, and people all over the world are feeling the pressure. A radical tide has swept over the whole planet, attacking like a hydra from all over the political spectrum, and the only thing holding it back is the strength of what has always been the bulwark of democracy on Earth, the United States of America.
But they’ve got their guy in charge of it, right now. We’re in trouble. Bad trouble. Readers of this blog will not need to be told.
Lack of cooperation between the various segments of the left not only lost us every branch of government in 2016, which was bad enough. It also left the door open for all kinds of infectious diseases and poisons to wander in. We have staved this off so far because we Democrats have had one big advantage. We have always had a good, solid moderate core in the center of the Party dedicated to its upkeep and maintenance, and so we have achieved strength through our unity even in the two years we had no power. That is being challenged by the beginning of factious, tangled wrangling between supporters of one or the other candidate.
This cannot be allowed.
In many ways, I consider this to be the most important article I’ve ever written. This is a call to every remote reach of the world, a shout out to any and all Democrats on Earth, and it is coming from the gut like nothing I’ve ever felt in my whole life. Every cell in my whole body agonizes for it. Please understand and come to realize.
Democrats must come together. Now.
Unity is our last best hope. Without it, we may very well lose everything. We could be flat on our backs for the rest of our lives, and subsequent generations of our children would be born into something like slavery. For the love of all creation, for the love of the whole human race, and for the love of love itself, help us to keep this 2020 presidential race a good one.
We are not enemies, it’s just the opposite. We are a family. We must become one in spirit and resolve. The requirements of the position demand it. The consequence of failure is defeat.
The 2020 presidential election has taken on an apocalyptic significance. American democracy is at risk of dying. In many ways, Trump himself has proven a bit of a softy, much more bluff than bluster, but his friends are completely vicious and he can’t stand up to them. He is the weakest president we have ever had in terms of foreign affairs.
At this year’s G20 Summit, the third one we’ve had the miserable honor of covering in the Trump era, he joked around with Vladimir Putin of Russia regarding their hacking of our election on his behalf. Putin looked absolutely proud of him, loving almost, as if he were gazing on the form of a beloved pet. “Look at him! Isn’t he a good dog? Look at all the tricks he can perform, right on command!”
Sigh. Trump may indeed be weak, but he has got some very rough customers for friends. We have the resources to fight back. But we are in danger of losing them. We will lose them for a certainty if we don’t stand together.
Here at Millennial Democrats, the choice appears extremely clear and obvious, as obvious as the big blue link above.
We’re going to stand behind them ALL. With everything we’ve got.
Democrats, we have to be ready to support the whole Big Five with equal fervor. We all have to be really careful here because if we mishandle the position in next year’s presidential election, in the four years to come after we will get wiped right off the board. We have nothing except each other, and that has always been enough, especially since we all have had the morbid pleasure of running into Trump and Bernie trolls and Russians and bots. Any of these people would be good at the job and a giant-worlds-away leap better than Trump or the Bern, Russian cutouts that we consider them to be. We’ve been saying this all along. All we have to do is keep walking in a straight line. Forward Together.
We have to embrace and get to know every one of these people, who are good people and worthy ones to the woman and man. We’re going to have our picks, that’s only natural, and that is fine. Just don’t get ugly about it and descend into bitterness and acrimony. Democratic solidarity is the final weapon we have.
Remember when we succeeded in pressuring Trump into reopening the government after the #TrumpShutdown? What a great day that was. Roger Stone got arrested, and as one organism we rejoiced. “Why are they (Democrats) always so loyal?” he bemoaned afterward, tail between legs and licking wounds. We pulled that off because we stuck together.
We have got to preserve that solidarity if we want to continue on our path to victory- and salvation.
The Democratic Party is our only hope. We are carrying the torch for the light of freedom everywhere. It will fall in a day if we give up. We have to remind ourselves of that as many times as it takes. We have got to follow this thing through to the end. In regards to the 2020 election, that means we’ve got to take the part of every one of our Big Five, these familiar dear good leaders who we all have known for years. They are all worthy and capable enough to run the country. We’ll take any of them because we’re tired of the horrible Trump era! We’ve got little kids in dog cages on our Southern Border, and there’s no one who can save them except us. This is a crisis of more than material resources. This is about the country’s soul.
It’s time for some real talk, and I hope everyone hears me. This is only partially about us. Even us millennials- who, I’d like to remind everyone, is no longer the youngest generation of voters- are going to be gone in a few decades and all that will remain of any of us will be the work that we did for the cause.
We are going to be judged by the quality of that work. Future generations will either revere or revile us. In the end, there is no fate but what we make.
Speaking as a private citizen, love for the cause is why I do this. The sheer importance of it is too big to contain with words; I’ll just say it is why I will be here to the end. The cause, per se, is to advocate for the future wellness of the world and human race, including every one of us ourselves. Those are all that matters, and we’re the only ones fighting for them. Once again. We cannot drop the torch.
The cause right now means getting rid of Donald Trump, and that goal alone is where our loyalties lie, not merely in the persons of Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Amy Klobuchar. They have shown up as our leaders, and we are grateful for all of them, but at the end of the day, it’s the good old code of American decency that governs us. We will support those who champion our values, and loyalty ranks high among them, so please do be forewarned. We will fight as hard as we can against those who refuse not to get aggressive.
If for your own reasons you really cannot stand one or all of these candidates, but you still are a good Democrat who perceives how unbelievably critical it is to bring the curtains crashing down on the Trump era next year, if you really want to support just your pick, I get it. No worries.
Just please don’t go on the attack. It’s exactly like our mothers used to tell us, cliche or not. If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.
The Big Five will remain so until well into the primaries next year, and during the interim, we need to have good things to say for every one of them, even if we’re currently competing. You don’t hate your opponent in chess. You shake hands both before and after the game because your opposition is momentary. You will be united all your life by your mutual love of the craft. We all share the same values, and we all serve the same cause. So in the name of that cause we hold sacred in our hearts, we must now commit to forging ourselves into one.
Every Democrat must stand firm with every other Democrat, and more now than ever before, for the moment of greatest peril is upon us. The reason why is as simple as it is profound.
In order to survive, we have to.
We are living in a political landscape that is currently dissolving, and as it does every day presents new questions, fundamental and human in their nature, some completely new. As they do, we need to separate, observe, and classify them. Dissolution in chemistry means the breaking down of complex compounds into their basic particles. Scientists use this technique as a way to collect feedback and data based on the contents of the issue, and that’s exactly what we have got to do. All of us, not just this or that candidate’s supporters. We have to sort out what kind of a position we are dealing with before we can chart a good strategy, and that is going to take us all.
This is why we need philosophy, as an aside, Republicans like Tomi Lahren who keep cursing it like animals on Twitter, but then again, you already know that. That’s why you’re attacking these programs now at colleges. A University System in Wisconsin recently in the town of Stevens Point became first in the country to eliminate history from the roster of viable degrees. That is a disastrous indicator for the future of our species.
Wisconsin was settled by Germans, a people that produced the philosopher Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel, who said history was of the highest importance to a people of high civilization. Like Ronald Reagan, that great man is rolling in his grave to see what his ancestors are up to. He’s at the Headbanger’s Ball down there, and all because you Republicans are inflexible morons. We can count on you for nothing, and we know it.
Republicans of the John McCain mold have gone the way of the dinosaurs; most of those who had honor in 2016 are now Democrats. They have joined our ranks and we thank heaven for them, but for all those to be counted in their number, it seems like Trump has co-opted three more. Again with the hydra analogy. Hercules, at least, ought to be pleased.
It’s on us alone, Democrats. If we forget the past again, we have lost. We cannot drop the torch. We’ll just keep saying that, over and over. We cannot give up, and we cannot drop that torch. Not if the Red Sea should close around us. We have to hold the line no matter what. We’ve got to learn to be that rock in the river. Society itself may have to use us for mooring by the end. We must be ready.
Ethical, strategical, psychological problems are already arising every single day, and they will multiply like flies as this goes forward. Some of these may be completely new, and very difficult. Sometimes we run into a problem which is all three, like a recent one about candidates and what we will or won’t post about them. These questions involve the heart and soul of the Democratic Party itself, and we have to guide it because that’s who we are. Like chess, there are levels of difficulty engaged in the solving of these puzzles, but no matter what they are we have to manage it somehow.
If we do not, we will never defeat Donald Trump.
To us, and us alone falls the unenviable task of holding the center through the biggest moral crisis this country has faced since the Civil War ended. The Trump era has been a continuous disaster, an insult and an assault on. If we don’t find a way to get rid of him next year- if we, in the center, at least- don’t learn the terrible lesson of 2016 and stand together now, we may never stand up again.
Trump will have every reason to kiss the impediment of our current liberal government system goodbye. Being a third term president would for him be the safest option. He must know this better than anyone. He talks about it all the time.
What do you suppose he had to say? One doesn’t suppose it was a paraphrase from Braveheart. I doubt anyone said a word for freedom that day. This is not a game.
We know the far-right libertarians have hated the government that can regulate them all along, guys like the Koch Brothers and Vladimir Putin, the latter of which caused a stir just this week about how “liberalism” (meaning democracy) has “outlived its purpose”.
We can’t count on Europe saving us, either, they’re in a death-struggle with the New World Order section of the global elite themselves. Marine Le Pen has been leading Macron in the polls in France, in Germany Angela Merkel- the de facto leader and torchbearer of the free world since Hillary Clinton was robbed in 2016- cannot live forever. Britain is in crisis thanks to Brexit years later with compliments to their very own alt-right chefs.
The alt-right has cooked up a hefty pile for the final third of the states on Earth to still remain (mostly) democratic. Our allies overseas will be lucky to save themselves.
Democrats, we all but stand alone, even now, against a rising tide that threatens to engulf us all in earnest. We are the only ones left who have the power to resist and hold it back. Knowing this in our hearts, as we all do, will we stand as a nation undivided? Will we fight for liberty and justice for all? Or will we close our eyes and play make-believe like children, squabbling like rabble in the moments before our heads go under?
Dictatorships using tenets of both fascism and socialism have supplanted democracy everywhere. It’s us and a few embattled others overseas who are still carrying the torch for the light of truth and freedom.
We simply cannot drop that torch.
We cannot give up now. We have got to stay the course to the end or succumb to a dark and bitter fate. We will be powerless spectators as they do whatever awful things they want. We are going to lose absolutely everything. We tried to warn the Sanders cult of this in 2016 and they did not listen.
If we make that same mistake, we drop the torch.
If the Democratic Party descends into squabbling now, there is no way to prevent this unthinkable horror. Our solidarity is our only hope because superior numbers are the only resource that we have. If we descend into fractiousness and squabbling, we might as well throw that torch in the toilet.
We’ll be lost worse every day. We will not have anything to fight back with. A thug class like the ones the Nazis had will grow strong enough to suppress all of us, and they will do so under the aegis of legality. History has shown us before that the right will stop at nothing to maintain a position such as this once they have got it. There is no way to overstate the case as to how bad it could be.
We really need to think about the Holocaust.
Our numbers are stretched already, thin and sparse, like a Russian grocery store. Every time one of us throws their hands up in frustration and surrenders, the problem gets worse, as do our chances of coming out of this with a country we can all be proud to live in. Make no mistake, either. If democracy falls here, it will fall elsewhere, and within a span of time that is likely to shock us, all that we hold sacred will be gone. It will melt into the night, like the state of East Germany.
Remember when we pressured Trump into reopening the government after the #TrumpShutdown? That was necessary big time and only made possible by those who remained true blue. All of us suffered great stress and anxiety, and many suffered worse. For the sake of an angry whim, and for the longest period in American history we lost five billion dollars.
Coincidentally, five billion was the exact sum we wouldn’t give him to build his moronic wall with.
His pettiness knows no bounds, he’s got the most dangerous friends there are, and he talks like he’s in early-onset dementia. Who knows what he might do given four more years unrestrained? We’ll be giving him a free hand if we all go to war with one another.
Conversely, and objectively speaking, look at all we’ve accomplished in the last two and a half years when we’ve stuck together! Democratic dedication in the age of Trump has accomplished miracles. It’s no small list, especially considering the Republicans were left in control of all three branches of government for four-fifths of that time.
We hit them hard last year with a massive Blue Wave, retaking the House and staving off a net loss in the Senate, even though we had twenty-five mostly red state Senators up for election and they had only eight.
As always, we stood with ourselves alone, arrayed in ragged armor for the battle of speaking truth to power.
We raised awareness about former Alabaman judge Roy Moore‘s awful past as an alleged serial rapist, and kept him out of the Senate, and replaced him with worthy Democrat Doug Jones, the first time any Democrat had held a seat there in several decades- although that raises yet another example. Time passes fast, and Moore is running again and doing just as well as he did before- just like Marine Le Pen, rising in the polls against Macron in France.
We’ll have to hold the line again on all this stuff very soon.
We can’t do that if we don’t observe one critically fundamental rule- Democrats do not attack Democrats. If the partisan fighting over who’s going to be the one in 2020 is allowed to keep intensifying, far too many of us will lose sight of that. We can’t afford it. We have to put out these fires wherever we see them if we want to save the forest.
As an aside, and for the sake of clarification, now seems a good time to remind ourselves that Bernie Sanders has not ever for a minute of his life been a Democrat, which utterly excludes him from this statement. We consider him an adjunct of Putin and Trump; see the link above if you need to know why. Tulsi Gabbard’s a deal-breaker too, for reasons of foreign corruption and cult membership, but we’ll have to cover that another time. Anyone else we will fight for as hard as we can.
It is along these lines that our new strategy was conceived. From this day forward, our mission is simple. To stamp out the fires of bitter faction wherever it rears its ugly head, and not by yelling and blustering, but with reason and kindness and understanding. The sword of truth is forged in debate and whetted by discourse, and dissent is the highest form of patriotism, which means we need to be having these discussions.
They will help us improve the final quality of our platform, a full half of how we’re going win the people back from the ogre Trump. But they’ve got to be debates and not Royal Rumbles. Unlike Fox News, our goal is not to compete with other cable stations, but to find new ways to do good for the people of the world. That always has been and always will be the sole purpose of this organization. It’s right out there on our Home page. Check it out.
If any of you Democrats, our readers out there, should happen to disagree, I encourage and even implore you to write in so that we can begin to talk it out. If you feel like there is something so critical that it’s worth breaking our fellowship over, then hadn’t we better talk it through? In order to begin to find some kind of solution, I need to hear what you guys think the crux of the problem is, and what you think we ought to do about it.
We have to find common ground before it is too late.
We need each other desperately, and that means we need to inspire and uplift each other, regardless of what candidate you’d like to see win the chance to compete in the biggest election in the primary. These candidates and us, their supporters, have got to keep their eye on that 2020 ball to the point where we become an indivisible mass again.
Again, remember the Blue Wave, less than a year ago, when all of us were united and resolved on standing behind whoever won? It was the only light there has been since this thing started, and together we preserved it. Alone we are nothing, but together, we are invincible, and we need to be.
Who else but we Democrats are so determined to carry the torch for health and truth, in the face of these looming new Dark Ages? Who else will lift a hand in staving off the fall of our world order? The others are taking sledgehammers to it, and Russia’s laughing all the way to the Iron Throne.
We would all of us be going into the dark. Together at last.
I’ve been thinking a lot about St. Augustine, the bishop of North Africa’s final Christian community, the Roman town of Hippo. He gave his life in defense of his city, an impossible task that he attempted anyway. His sacrifice has echoed through all generations to come.
Imagine how it must have been in those blasphemous horrid days. The year 400 A.D., Rome falling, disarray descending like an endless blanket of the chaotic, starless night everywhere that any eye can see. In the midst of it all, besieged and cut off on all sides, the small town of Hippo held the last torch that burned on the planet for truth in the hands of St. Augustine, the town bishop, no trained warrior at all. Determination and powerful faith gave his great heart an unshakeable resolution.
In the name of the same cause we all are fighting for, knowing there is no future but what we make, he determined to resist the coming hordes to his last breath, which he did.
Hippo stood before it fell, but fall it did, and in the final fracas Bishop Augustine was killed, murdered in the gutter by that era’s Bernie Bots and MAGA ravishers. But in the end, his victory reigned supreme. He was immortalized by his courage and was christened a saint. His example will stand as an inspiration to the final generations of mankind, and those who stood by him will be remembered and honored for their courage. When the stuff came down they held the line.
For the people of Hippo, the fight was unwinnable from the start, and after the city fell the final torch went out. It was not to be relit in Europe until the eleventh century, and the Dark Ages in between endured for three times the current lifespan of America. But it burned so brightly before the end that God himself must have seen it, and been proud. The story endures as a different kind of fire.
Augustine is a personal hero of mine and I refuse to shame his memory. I will carry that same torch through any storm I have to because that is what is needed. Our situation is far from as dire as unfortunate Hippo’s. At this time we can still win, and we must.
Refusing to give in to vicious cults, made up of sick members of global elites, is engraved in Democratic DNA by this point. We have guarded our gate now for a hundred years, fighting daily for progress and the people. The most vigorous political action has been needed to sustain us on our journey. It will always be needed. An active, informed citizenry must be present if freedom is to survive.
I remember how crushed I was the night of the election when it was read out to all of that HRC had officially been robbed. Distraught and furious, I felt like a wounded animal and lashing out in anger was all I wanted to do But my mentors rescued me from my own worst tendencies. They so fiercely demonstrated to me, in the beginning, their willingness to grimly fight on that my fury had been soon replaced by hope.
They taught me what it means to be a Democrat. Decency, loyalty, and love. Not cruelty and viciousness. Those are the arts of the enemy.
Where I had been floundering in despair, they had been keeping cool, waiting with the patience of hunters for their moment to strike back. Plan B was formed in an instant, and soon I realized there were about sixty-five billion more plans after that, to be rock-souped on a dime when the situation called for it, cooked up by all the Pattons I’d been given as my teachers. They took a lot of time with me.
What heroes. You folks know who you are.
I’m the young guy who’s always hung out with all the older guys (kind of weird, to see myself becoming the older guy myself! Time to grow up!) so baby boomers have always been among my best friends. They come kick it with people of all ages. We all get on well for the most part and we get a lot of work done, together. They’re all old tigers, like General Alfred Joffre of France, who spared his country a defeat in WWI with his cool head and his counterattack. The Miracle of the Marne was brought about by men who are in the same position as us people of every gender.
I thank God for the dear good baby boomer generation, our parents who saved us from the draft, and who showed me the way to the only truth I know: No good Democrat could ever quit at a critical juncture such as this. When we’re needed to answer the call to such a dramatic extent, we show up, just like our parents did before us. They made the Greatest Generation proud. Now it’s our turn to do the same for them.
So long as the United States are united, surrender is out for Democrats- and make no mistake, having no discipline and attacking each other like beasts are the same as surrender or worse. Our souls recoil from the very idea, abomination as it is. We are not going to give over to the same darkness that brought us sadly here.
The 2020 Democratic candidates must become one.
I am counting on you all out there to help me help our leadership to Make America Sane Again. Resisting internecine rivalry is no longer an option, but a survival-based imperative. We have got to start talking to each other, especially those who have already decided on a 2020 pick.
Again, our Big Five at this time are Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Amy Klobuchar. We have good things to say about every last one. We have got to get together and form a plan, and that means starting a discourse. Please feel free to invite us as mediators. We love all of you. God, I could not mean that more. This is our country and we are all countrymen (forgive the gender reference; countrypersons doesn’t quite have the same ring.)
A discourse works best when there are people involved who are deeply committed to the results. The requirements of the position mean we all have to be both passionate and flexible in regards to their own position. We need every single one of you, and losing you is a tragedy every time. So please, Democrats. Hold the course. We know what the risks in losing are but look at our reward for winning too. Democracy itself might survive because of our efforts. Our torch will keep on burning through this whole mess, because of you personally.
Stand behind all Democrats. If you do exactly this, we’re sure to win. But if they manage to divide us, they will conquer. We’re not about to let that happen.
For country, Party, God by all his great Names and St. Augustine, I am going to be there, and when I go I am going to kick the hell out of the wicked insane opposition and have some fun while doing it. You’ll be with me, and I’ll be with you, and we’ll be two fish of many in an ocean of deep blue.
I believe in my heart that at the finish line, almost all of you will be there with me. We are going to help each other stay calm and to keep all of our heads clear, and together we will hammer out the best way to go with this. In the end, we will have the best available. Trust due process.
During the interim, let’s stick close and tight with everyone. Get in touch with anyone you know who are participating directly in the campaigns of the Big Five. No Bern, who has always been Russian infested, no Gillibrand who stabbed Al Franken in the back, and no Tulsi Gabbard because she’s Tulsi Gabbard. The others are likely to remain obscure. It’s time to start thinning out the herd.
Today’s political reality says to me that it’s time to get behind them all. We need to tell them that they have to become a team. In a perfect world, there would be weekly strategy meetings held with strategists every day until the last day, because all involved would realize that this is only partly about them.
It’s about the cause. What were we saying again, about a torch and maybe not dropping it? That’s likely to be a good decision.
The decision as to who to support in the home stretch would be the same as our own model, to be made by consensus based on pragmatism and data, and all candidates involved would be deeply committed to keeping this match above the belt. They would be doing everything they could to help their supporters realize that any and all of them would be really good. Every single one is worth fighting for, with a full heart and spirit, and helping everyone to keep that goal foremost in mind is what we’re on.
For our part, we’re going to pledge right here and now to fight for all of them, with equal fervor in our hearts. If you will all pledge with us, next year’s victory will be assured, and we can begin the long labor of cleaning up the mess made by the radicals. Going forward, Democrats, please help us spread the word. We want to see a #BlueTeam2020, made up of these five Democrats and everyone else who realizes how needed they are. We are ALL going to take down Donald Trump.
The entity known as the far-right conservative entertainment show Fox News Network has become a big problem for America. Under the reign of Donald Trump, which never would have been possible without them, a new Dark Ages era of falsehood and deception has begun. Their talking heads have become a sort of private-sector State TV, and by the day they become more brazen.
Something has to stop them eventually, and the American people still can if they decide to rise up righteous. We’ve got to raise awareness about Fox “News”. They are not a real news station legally as well as in fact. They are not subject to airwave regulation by the FCC because they are just a cable show.
They can lie whenever they want without any penalty. And they do!
Judging from current events, it’s hard to pick a winner as to which recent event inspired us to write this story now; any other day would have done as well. The now-infamous Pelosi hit video on “Lou Dobbs Tonight” seems a reasonable place to begin.
Facebook, which has resolved on being dishonest and Russian infested itself, refused to take it down, which got a lot of justified heat slung at them, but they weren’t the real culprits this time. Liar Fox hosts were, but that didn’t raise many eyebrows. The whole world has known for years they’re just right-wing talking heads. Most of us have long since gotten used to being lied to by Fox, and we know on whose behalf.
The Republican Party, and the monopoly capitalists worldwide who are footing the bill for them.
The Republican Party, or more accurately its extremist wing known as the Tea Party and Fox “News” have a lot in common. They have the same ostensible values, but more importantly, they share the same financiers. The New York Times did a piece in 2010 titled “The Billionaires Bankrolling the Tea Party.”
Libertarian Rupert Murdoch, the creator of Fox “News”, is a billionaire and was numbered in stone among their ranks before he retired. His fellow libertarians and allies Charles and David Koch of Koch Industries were the other chief culprits, unsurprisingly. Koch-supported lobbyists, foundations and political operatives are at the center of climate-science denial — a cause that forestalls threats to Koch Industries’ vast fossil fuel business.
Which “news network” has been pushing that line the loudest? We don’t even have to tell you.
As we have discussed many times on this blog, “libertarian” is the new word for monopoly capitalist, or fascist. Whenever you think of Charles and David Koch of Koch Industries, that’s who we’re talking about. A total media monopoly has been a Koch agenda item for years. Hawaiian representative Tulsi Gabbard, of all people, plays a strange role in their world. The arch-villains of Occupy Wall St, a dark money private political empire designed to promote far-right causes.
The Murdoch family is one of the biggest players. The amount of money they have formally given to the Republican Party is vast. Who knows what they’ve been up to since Citizens United? One can only speculate, and look at what we know for sure in the meantime.
Kathleen Ronayne at OpenSecrets.org put together the following statistics, leaving no doubt who Fox and the Republicans are getting their bread buttered by.
Since the 1990 election cycle, Murdoch has contributed about $750,000 to federal candidates and political committees, according to research by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Of that sum, 80 percent — or $600,200 — has benefited Republican candidates and committees, including a $250,000 contribution to the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the 1990s, when the committee could still accept unlimited “soft money” donations.
These days it’s the son of Rupert, Lachlan Murdoch, who has run the place since 2017, and he is no better than his father.
When he took over, he promptly sold nearly every anti-Trump asset they had to Disney, including the Simpsons, their one contribution to humanity. King of the Hill too, I suppose, but on the other hand, we lost Beavis and Butthead out of the deal.
Speaking as a private citizen, I don’t think it was worth it. Every day, like boll weevils, they eat away at the strands of what Americans believe is going on.
Earlier today, when Robert Mueller made his first public statement regarding the report that bears his name regarding the Russian interference in our election, they swung into action right away. Headlines bearing such trivial names as “Laura Ingraham says Mueller ‘attempting to resuscitate the corpse’ of his report'” and “Mueller statement made for ‘bad day’ for Pelosi, 2020 Dems, Trump campaign manager says” proliferated all over the Internet within an afternoon.
The people claiming that the contents of the Mueller Report are anything but a disaster of the highest scale for America are part of the problem, and as usual, Fox hosts are leading the charge. The wrigglings of Sean Hannity were as loathsome as those of Glenn Greenwald (almost; at least the former will admit what team he’s on). We’re not going to get into that in this article, however. We’re going to stick with Fox and hope that Mr. Mueller won’t mind too much our lack of focus in his work today.
Fox “News”, for never again will we write the very words without using quotation marks, a practice I am hoping will catch on, is not really a news station at all. It’s part of 21st Century Fox, a cable entertainment network, and this is of the utmost importance because it explains why they can lie to us this way so systematically.
MediaBiasFactCheck provides the background.
Founded in 1996 by Rupert Murdoch, Fox News Channel, also known as Fox News, (FNC) is an American basic cable and satellite news television channel that is owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox.
Catch that? Entertainment! This will set the standard for our entire evaluation of this clumsy version of State TV we derisively call “Faux News”. Cable networks are not real news networks, at least not in the sense that the Big Three stations (NBC, ABC, CBS) are, because they do not go out over the airwaves. They are therefore not subject to Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, airwave regulation.
The FCC controls the airwaves. That’s their task. It’s their job. Their only job! And who among us has not asked before, with all the constant misinformation, the innumerable floods of lawsuits over wrong stories, the countless times they have been sued, why doesn’t the FCC do something?
Well, actually, for the same reason Robert Mueller didn’t charge Trump with a crime! They don’t have the legal right! The FCC has no jurisdiction over cable. Neither does CNN, of course, but they adhere to journalistic standards more than three-fourths of the time. Fox can’t even make halfway.
They only tell the truth on the air 42% of the time.
They’ve been using it as State TV, like in Russia, you know; the dictator’s mouthpiece, his most accessible way to lie directly to the people. But actually, it’s just like him, sham to the core and nowhere near the inner circle. We should be telling people this every time it comes up. Fox is NOT a news network because it doesn’t get to use the airwaves. It’s got to crawl through the ground like slithering worms in cables.
Cable television is far less regulated and held to standards far less rigorous than a real television station. They alone are the supreme arbiters of what they can say or not say during their slots of television, and cannot get in trouble for lying, which they do constantly. They are in no way the same as a Big Three airwave station.
To get our neighbors to see how worthless Fox really is, we need one simple equation and to raise awareness about it.
News is “fake news” if it has no journalistic standards, be they chosen or enforced by airwave laws and the FCC.
Those standards are defined by the journalistic tradition, and by national airwave laws.
Fox does not go out over airwaves, nor do they value journalistic standards.
Therefore, Fox = fake news.
Fox will lose all its power to mislead our people with lies if we raise enough awareness about this fact, which is, of course, the goal of this article. Fox But we’ll get back to that. In the meantime, let’s look at how much faith 21st Century Fox, of which Fox “News” Network is just a part, has in the truthfulness of the talking heads it’s hired.
Company makes no representation or warranty whatsoever regarding the completeness, accuracy, currency or adequacy of any information, facts, views, opinions, statements or recommendations contained on the Company Services and/or the Content.
A little background about the channel itself seems in order. Fox “News” was created by Australian-born American media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who launched it on October 7, 1996 to 17 million cable subscribers. It has gained in power and reach since that time tremendously, and its brazenness has grown beside it twice as fast, a mutated golem made of mis- and dis- information.
The word “disinformation” comes from the Russian “dezinformatsiya”, meaning ” false information given to deliberately deceive”, and so we mostly think of it as something Russian. Certainly, to say the least, disinformation strategies of the type Russia used to interfere in our 2016 presidential election cycle have become a problem in today’s world. But the Russians are hardly the true masters.
Here in the United States of America, we also know a thing or two about getting lied to by our president. We know too that his primary way of doing it has become his own personal, privatized version of State TV- Fox “News”.
What Fox has done over the years, or even just during the election, dwarfs what the Russians did to the point of demonstrating their accomplishment as puny. The Kremlin got a few ads through to people on Facebook and held a few rallies; definitely creepy, but absolutely nothing compared to what domestic mouthpieces are capable of. Russia was able to goad an enormous bull, not become one.
Compared to what Fox is capable of, they’re nothing. Small-time pikers, and no mistake. You don’t have to take our word for it, either. Consider rather the words of Ralph Peters, a former Fox News strategic analyst and a retired lieutenant colonel in the United States Army who left the network last year in March, disgusted with its sycophantic coverage of Trump and the vicious rhetoric of its talking prime time heads.
Peters said specifically that he could not “in good conscience” remain with an organization that, he argued, “is now wittingly harming our system of government for profit.”
He went on letting them have it, too.
“In my view, Fox has degenerated from providing a legitimate and much-needed outlet for conservative voices to a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration,” Colonel Peters wrote in his message, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times.
As a people, we’ve gotten so used to being lied to by Fox that even the most acutely aware of the problem tends to have to shrug their shoulders at this point. But 99% of the slander thrown at Hillary Clinton in 2016 came from that direction. Varying aspects of what we know as the conservative media machine cooked it up over a quarter of a century, which illustrates and highlights the crux of the problem. Here in the land of the free, one of the most double-edged swords there is free speech.
Free speech is why I can write these words without having to fear death or the concentration camp. But it is also why we must tolerate Fox “News”, the Republican mouthpiece, lacking in all credulity- and yet, something I would still fight for their right to do just as hard as I would my own. In a democratic society such as ours, we have no choice but to grin and bear it. . Nothing true or useful comes to the people by way of it. It’s actually the polar opposite of news, which is daily information given by professionals, intending to inform the people about current events. Fox’s intent is to waylay and confuse.
What we, as a nation, have gotten used to accepting as a valid source is really one of the most wicked and egregious disinformation campaigns to take place in all of human history! It has not been by any foreign power that this disinformation has been unleashed on our people, but on our very own television sets, playing twenty-four hours a day nationwide. People are used to it, so they accept it as credible.
Nothing could be more inaccurate.
When world leaders, be they figure of states or high-profile figures from civil society, deliberately employ untruth against their own people, they are without a doubt using a method of repression, and a very costly one at that. In the Donald Trump era, weaponized lying has become easier and more common than ever before. Fox News has become his primary mouthpiece.
This is a disaster for America because such a state of affairs cannot help the inflicting of large-scale corrosion of democracy, regardless of the state it’s taking place in. If a country values its democratic system, its citizens will have to find ways to ward off this threat from time to time.
Otherwise, it will not survive.
I can hear someone asking, off in a parallel universe perhaps, what’s the harm in it? Let them have their pleasant delusions if it helps to keep them at work. Is this really something we have to fear will badly wound America?
That is why James Madison wrote the Federalist Paper 10th.
A stupid and incompetent citizenry is something no nation will long survive, so you better believe it will badly wound America. It already has. Fox News disinformation ends breaking up families, making people permanently angry, and seeing to it they’re uneducated on as many subjects as possible.
Rolling Stone Magazine provides the following sad anecdote to illustrate the tendency’s nature.
Jen Senko believes that her father was brainwashed. As Senko, a New York filmmaker, tells it, her father was a “nonpolitical Democrat.” But then he transferred to a new job that required a long commute and began listening to conservative radio host Bob Grant during the drive. Eventually, he was holing himself up for three hours every day in the family kitchen, mainlining Rush Limbaugh and, during commercials, Fox News.
“It reminded me of the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” Senko says. “He used to love talking to different people to try to learn their language, but then he became angry about illegal immigrants coming to the country, that they were taking jobs from Americans, and that English was becoming the secondary language.”
Studies have proven an actual physical effect of this by studying the brains of Fox News viewers. Author Daniel Goleman has coined the term “amygdala hijacking” to describe what inflammatory rhetoric and imagery are designed to do: trigger the emotional brain before the logical brain has a chance to stop it. The anger centers of their brains are literally more physically developed than those of healthy people. It’s like benchpresses for a bad temper.
In the year 2000, hosts like Hannity and the now-disgraced and silent Bill O’ Reilly made themselves the champions of the second Bush regime. This made them some friends. They learned a big lesson from it, too, one they’ve been revving up the engine off of ever since.
Misleading your viewers and using base anger to fight with is a quick and easy way to gain support from embittered people-whose numbers grow larger with every war and crisis. Divide and conquer is the oldest trick in the book used by the rich by preying on their fellows, in or out of America.
After 9/11 took place, while all the world was mourning and gearing up for war, Fox was making bigger and bigger bank as a result of their conservative alliance. They experienced a 440% increase in viewers, blowing the doors off comparable news organizations like CNN who don’t use wild speculations and click-bait headlines.
They got so big so fast, in fact, that when now-disgraced former CEO Roger Ailes came right out and said they are not a news organization in 2007, nobody much really heard him. They were too busy listening to Bill O’ Reilly and Sean Hannity instead. Hannity is a particular problem these days, as Trump’s good buddy, people give a lot of undue credibility to the lies told by him- a cable network entertainer, not a journalist.
Why are Big Three news networks like CBS or NBC or CNN so constrained by the truth while Fox is not? Surely the mighty Federal Communications Commission should be able to call Fox News to command, so why doesn’t it?
Actually, though, the FCC has no power over Fox or CNN, because both are cable shows and ultimately designed for entertainment! This is key. The difference between Fox and CNN is ideological. One chooses willingly to use journalistic standards. The other does not. Neither one is forced to! Fox is not legally obliged to tell the truth on the air.
Fox isn’t subject to FCC airwave regulation because it isn’t on the airwaves! Clever, right? Now they can spout all the hideousness they want and still dare to label it the truth. CNN is truthful by choice, but people think it’s because they have to be. That is not true, and it is almost certainly why the FCC doesn’t chop Hannity’s head off.
They nearly destroyed Howard Stern just for being annoying.
Make sure to catch that last part. Fox, the so-called “News” Network is in no way legally obligated to tell the truth about anything! They are a feature offered by the entertainment company 21st Century Fox. Entertainment is allowed to lie! It’s all just part of the show.
Making them tell the truth would spoil the effect, and our system doesn’t force them to. Not any more than USA’s client the World Wrestling Entertainment has to come right out and say pro wrestling is fake. People know it in their hearts, but they want to believe in the wrestlers, so they do. They like a good show. It’s exactly the same with Fox.
Although it should have been, it is not true that Fox has been made to start using a disclaimer saying “For Entertainment Purposes Only”. That was an April Fool’s joke in 2017 circulated by reporters, designed to make readers laugh- and to make them think. But it’s definitely true that entertainment is how they think of themselves. Ailes told The Hollywood Reporter in 2015 that he does not consider the other basic cable news channels — CNN and MSNBC — to be Fox’s competitors.
“We’re competing with TNT and USA and ESPN,” he said.
Discussion about American political issues today-meaning every single facet of life in southern North America- means a debate, unless you’re in a room where everyone agrees with you. Those debates will see a Fox-trained cadre putting forth the opinions of trolls like Hannity as a valid counterpoint to anything, even proven scientific facts. People take him seriously and believe the things he says.
Recently he said the immigration deal we nearly came to with Trump a “Garbage Compromise”. But actually, Hannity himself is an absolute, complete, and total trash can. He didn’t even go to school for this, he was working as a housing contractor when he randomly volunteered for radio and offered himself out as a mouthpiece for rightist nonsense.
If you’re willing to lie without repentance, there’s always some monopoly capitalist hoping to bring down America with your help.
Hannity has paid off for them with some real whoppers over the years. The anti-Obama movement of birtherism, 2016 voter fraud, “deep state opposition” of a “Shadow Government” – a network of government officials that are working to hinder the Trump administration. Conspiracy theories about the Seth Rich murder, and so on, leading up to the biggest lie of all- that Debauched Donald was fit to run this country.
It’s all a big show, not truthful news, but then again it was not meant to be. As the Fox “News” Network’s own CEO Roger Ailes said, they’re really competing with football and pro wrestling. It’s all for ratings and money- money that comes from billionaire libertarians like the Koch Brothers and their founder Rupert Murdoch.
Hannity will say whatever the Murdochs want him to.
That’s a big problem when most of it is not true; a third at most of Hannity’s public statements were rated fully true by Politifact. A recent Fairleigh Dickinson PublicMind Poll revealed that most Americans get their political knowledge from Sunday morning political shows on television. These “do the most to help people learn about current events.” That would seem to confirm their opinion.
However, listen to the rest of the story.
“[S]ome outlets, especially Fox News, lead people to be even less informed than those who don’t watch any news at all.”
Again, this is because Fox is not a news channel. It’s entertainment packaged as news to mislead and stultify the American people. Great misunderstanding and bitterness come from believing things that just aren’t true. Real consequences arise from surrendering our objectivity.
Fox viewers have been getting angrier and angrier for decades, their bitterness manufactured and exploited. And who do their Friends at Fox lead them into feeling bitter towards? Liberals, progressives, anyone who wants to help the people. Anyone who isn’t just like them.
A full 60% of Fox News viewers describe themselves as conservative according to a 2012 survey by the Pew Research Center. According to John Ray at Data for Progress, “Across a variety of political and cultural attitudes, Republicans who report getting their news from Fox are significantly to the right of Republicans who don’t.”
Studies galore have been done to measure these tendencies, which should be well-documented and understood. Every one of the organizations reaching these conclusions is similar to MediaFactChect, a neutral nonprofit organization that exists to classify and track partisan bias levels among political media entities. They do this according to a rated standard political spectrum, going as always from extreme-left to extreme-right.
A related group, PunditFact, measures their commentators’ honesty. These standards are both logical and apolitical, and can reasonably trusted as far as anything else in the written world can.
Fox News is given by MediaFactCheck a Bias Rating very near the extreme end of the pole as Strongly Right, for reasons that are really rather damning. We’ve included them in blockquote below.
These media sources are moderately to strongly biased toward conservative causes through story selection and/or political affiliation. They may utilize strong loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes), publish misleading reports and omit reporting of information that may damage conservative causes. Some sources in this category may be untrustworthy. See all Right Bias sources.
Overall, we rate Fox News strongly Right-Biased due to wording and story selection that favors the right and Mixed factually based on poor sourcing and the spreading of conspiracy theories that later must be retracted after being widely shared.
They also score badly by the standards of PunditFact, a second and related organization’s tool for measuring the percentage of truthful reporting done by political analysts on the stories they discuss and the terms they use to describe them. We decided to include the numerical figures below, as a stark quality comparison between the center and far-right journalists is to be found there.
Currently, at Fox and Fox News Channel, 58 percent of fact claims made by pundits and on-air personalities have been rated Mostly False, False or Pants on Fire. NBC and MSNBC were not great either, but their work still represents a significant improvement versus Fox at 45%.
CNN scored best with only 22 percent of their fact claims not making it through the filters and most of those coming from guests rather than commentators, which is interesting because CNN also is a cable network. They chose to use journalistic standards of their own volition, not because they were forced to by any mean laws or regulations.
Conversely, Don Irvine over at Accuracy in Media showed what Fox thinks of truth as a value.
Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes told The Hollywood Reporter that Fox News has become so big, the network is really competing with cable sports and entertainment networks like TNT, USA and ESPN, not the ratings-challenged CNN and MSNBC.
They laugh because it doesn’t get the ratings that come from anger and savage lying. It also doesn’t get big bucks from the likes of Charles and David Koch.
We have to keep hitting this point until it sinks in. Fox cannot be trusted, and we should immediately go on the attack whenever someone cites them as a source rather than arguing on the merits or flaws of their absurd claims. Fox is not a news network at all. It’s just an entertainment cable network, like TNT or USA. They do not have a record of journalistic integrity, and they do not have to have one. We must attack Fox credibility on these grounds.
On a cable network, or elsewhere, journalistic standards are a choice. Citizens have to know there is a big difference between the quality of the work of those who adhere to them and those who do not. Fox has made its choice long ago, and so we must make ours. We have to start hammering this home immediately. As fast as we can. Fox is LITERALLY-and legally- fake news. They have systematically and for decades mangled truth in the pursuit of power and money.
We are done listening.
All the filth and lies the Bernie supporters were slinging around in 2016 came through their pipeline. They laid the groundwork in the minds of the American people that made them accept the Russian disinformation that convinced Bernie supporters to riot in the Philadelphia streets.
Most of all, they convinced the American people that Donald Trump, a known con man, racist, and bully, was worth entrusting the greatest responsibility in the world. They have put our entire American system at risk. The last pillar in the world holding democracy up
The nonsense the Russians were using was the same old anti-Clinton stuff Rush Limbaugh and his pals have been spouting. The record is clear and the facts are too.
In Trump’s words during the first 2016 presidential debates, somebody better call Sean Hannity.
When the news broke last week about Joe Biden being set on by far-left wolves over a hug, I’d have given my kingdom for a good strategy. Something like this is impossible to manage pleasantly. On the one hand, we’ve just seen the last of 2018, the Year of the Democratic Woman. The #MeToo movement won the Person of the Year award. On the other hand, Biden didn’t really do anything!
We have got to show the world we can perceive the difference between a legitimate sexual assault and-
Well, whatever this is.
For the record, at Millennial Democrats, we understand that it is very important that women be believed when they come forward with their stories.
For anyone who doesn’t understand the history behind that, it goes back to many decades, if not centuries, worth of female oppression. Symbolic of the situation were the countless rape trials in which the victim was put on trial far more than the man was, and that’s what we can never go back to. How many sexual partners has she had, how short was her skirt, et cetera. It was a sickening state of affairs, and no mistake.
Seeing rape culture wiped like the stain it is from human society is our goal, and we will fight for it with all we’ve got. #MeToo is significant, and it deserves our support.
That is why it has been all the more dismaying to see it weaponized, by the same callous right-wingers who built and have perpetuated American rape culture in the first place.
For make no mistake, this is just a hit job on the man most likely to be the next President of the United States of America- Joe Biden.
Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. has been here for us for a long time. He served as the 47th vice president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. Like us, he is a member of the Democratic Party. He represented Delaware in the U.S. Senate from 1973 to 2009. He has made presidential runs before but ultimately ended up as Barack Obama’s right hand man instead, in 2008 and again in 2012.
Biden is a good man who has given his life in the service of the United States of America, and well worth supporting if he should end up being the candidate. As an aside, this article does not imply an endorsement at this time. It’s too early. But if, in the end, it is Biden, I’ll be very proud to stand behind his decades of expertise and experience.
Recently, a Bernie Sanders supporter named Lucy Flores accused Joe Biden of having given her- wait for it-
I’ll respectfully pause here so that you can finish your horrified gasp.
Flores has not actually gone so far as to label this hug a “sexual assault” this week, claiming the hug was given on the campaign trail when she was running for Vermont lieutenant governor back in 2014.
That’s good, because even as it is, the amount of anti-Biden hatred being shouted around by Bernie’s crazy supporters is a disgrace. Making this appear to be a sexual assault, and acting outraged as though it were, is an insult to the legitimate struggles of everyone who has ever been sexually assaulted for real, from the beginning of time until now.
Tezlyn Figaro, who worked with Flores at Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) organization Our Revolution, has similarly felt compelled to speak out on Flores. From what it sounds like, she didn’t leave the best impression on her. She explained on “Fox & Friends” why she filed an EEOC complaint against her and why Biden should know his accuser is a “fraud” and a “racist”.
“You know, Vice President Joe Biden, if you are listening, you should know that Lucy Flores is a fraud,” Figaro said.
@morningmika U were right when you said shouldn’t we question #LucyFlores political motives? Today I exposed the EEOC claim that I filed LAST year about Lucy’s retaliation efforts. After Lucy’s long history of schemes I am t/ONLY one that took legal action to fight back! @JoeNBC
#LucyFlores EXPOSED! This am on #FoxNews I EXPOSED the truth (backed up with the EEOC claim that I filed in August 2018) about #LucyFlores previous retaliation schemes. If everyone believes women then believe me when I say #LucyBLying#JoeShouldKnow#FraudAlert@JoeBiden@BillR
A lying Bernie Bot going for a Republican-style ratf*ck- Is this really still a shock to anyone?
We know Joe Biden! He is a good man, he has been a dedicated public servant. He has given his whole life in the service of this country. Are we really going to pretend like it’s okay to wipe that out over a hug? Never!
This is getting to the point of being a complete disgrace, just like it was when Roger Stone got Leeann Tweeden-a Fox News radio show host, no less- to try and call #MeToo on then-Minnesota senator Al Franken over an old picture taken on a comedy tour back in 2003 when the Iraq War was going on.
Franken resigned, too, and in my view, that was a big mistake. We needed him, we needed his voice, we needed his loyalty. They’ve been aiming to fell with snipers all the good Democrats they can, because they know we’re always going to be the ones in the way of their evil, wicked plans. At least we got Amy Klobuchar out of the deal, but still.
Do not buy in, America! We’ve got a guy on one hand who has treated women in a kind, gentle, and affectionate manner, and another guy who openly boasts of sexually molesting them, of using their private parts as something he can grab (to say nothing of Rape Fantasy Bernie)! Let’s make it clear to the world we can see the distinction.
On the cusp of the twentieth day of what has now become immortalized as the #TrumpShutdown, Trump himself headed to the border to disgracefully lie to America and did so. Other than that, there is not a whole lot going on. How could there be? Everything is closed down, and as one walks around as an observer, there is a very real sense of being in the eye of the tornado.
Even West Virginian senator Lindsey Graham, a guy who has become progressively worthless as the Trump circus atmosphere corrupts him, came up with a plan to try and end the shutdown. Trump shot holes in it. He told Senate Republicans that he believes he is winning the fight”, leaving Graham shaking his head in despair, saying he has “Never been more depressed“.
On that point, at least, we are agreed.
On Friday millions of people will not get paychecks; things like food stamp benefits are only guaranteed through February. One man was on CNN the other night sobbing because he was so afraid he’s going to lose his house. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) asked the illegitimate president frankly why he doesn’t stop hurting people. His answer was right out of the spoiled child brat Trump playbook.
There’s no need really to point out how disgusted a sane human is bound to be at the sound of that, it speaks for itself loud and clear. Trump is calling it a humanitarian crisis, which it is. But the only one causing it is he himself, and he will not stop. That is something in between blackmail and terrorism.
Moving on the subject of terrorism, the Pentagon- who, earlier in the week, was actually reduced to having to go to Fox News and beg for their help in getting the moron in the Oval Office to listen to them regarding Afghanistan- has warned that it is concerned about the risk of a terrorist attack striking home in these conditions.
However, our guess is that they’re not going to feel like they need to do much at all. The worst thing they could do to hurt America right now is to simply leave us alone.
Another 9/11 would unify us. The way things are going we may collapse under our own weight, which is not completely a jab at Trump’s obesity. The most effective punch is the one you don’t have to throw, at the end of the day, but to an extent, this is wishful, hopeful thinking. We are exposed, of course. We have not been opened up like this to an attack since 9/11 happened.
It’s unreal how quickly we forget. Not even twenty years ago, terrorists smuggled boxcutters through airport security and took down the Twin Towers. Osama bin Laden believed that would be the end. Not all at once, of course, not that day. His belief was that once we had been hit that hard, we would not be able to take it. Our policies and justice would become undemocratic, and the idea of America freedom we espoused and intended to bring to the rest of the planet would be soiled irrevocably, a discarded relic like Soviet socialism.
I think a lot of people are waking up to what a bad situation we are in. And when you end up in a bad enough situation, one that makes you scared enough to forget about your pride or wants or ideas, you start to look around at how you got there.
At the end of the day, a day in which no one went to work and time to reflect has been forced upon us, one question keeps ringing in American minds- How did it come to this?
Why is that big orange disgrace stumbling around on our border, looking dumb and talking dumber? How did he get the power?
There are three simple words that say it all.
#BernieOrBust! We pray with all our hearts they have managed to learn from their mistakes, and we think there’s a good chance of it. They might have been watching the news.
From the eye of a tornado, you can see the sky, but you can’t see what’s going on around you. There’s no way of knowing how severe the devastation is, and the reality of the situation is that there’s not much use in worrying about it. You batten down the hatches, you keep yourself in the cellar, and you hope and pray for the best with all your heart.
Along with the neverending task of raising awareness, that is what we must do now.
When America saw that Paul Manafort was found guilty yesterday, many of us shouted for literal joy. One lone holdout juror refused to vote to find him guilty on all eighteen counts, so ten of them ended up being a mistrial. He’ll have to go to court again on those.
On eight counts, however, he was guilty then and there. It’s enough to make sure he goes to prison.
“I won’t be this happy on Christmas, unless they find some other, even bigger, Trump crony to throw in the can,” said one of our senior contributors on the subject.
Manafort is said to have held out and went to trial believing he would get a pardon from Trump, who refused to deny he was considering it, even though bipartisan condemnation would surely follow.
There can be no doubt. After two years of brazen lies, insults, and claims that all we say is fake news, finally. The slobs who watch Fox News can willfully deny no longer, and neither can their Republican masters.
They can gripe, they can whine, they can get ready to start obstructing again after we take back all power from the Republicans and never give any of it back to them. They had better adjust to that reality quick, for their own sakes.
Because Robert Mueller- whose public approval rating has jumped 11 points in the last 24 hours- absolutely blasted Trump yesterday.
Big as a deal as the Manafort conviction was- on any other day, I can’t even imagine another topic taking precedence- it was actually overshadowed by the court appearance and subsequent plea deal taken by Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney.
Cohen’s admission that he paid hush money to Stormy Daniels at Trump’s behest makes Trump the uncharged conspirator in a major felony case.
To understate the case all but absurdly, it’s a big deal. For the first time since he got elected, talk of his impending impeachment may not be far from reality-although if it is, the Republicans should be the ones to do it. We don’t want to split the country like they did with Bill Clinton. They can clean up their own mess, while we raise awareness about their incapacity to do it.
At any rate, Trump has been caught with his pants down, both with Stormy and with former Playboy centerfold Karen MacDougal. He paid her off too.
The question now on everybody’s mind is what comes next.
Justice Department policy regarding the indictment of a sitting president in the past suggests Mueller won’t charge him directly. But there’s never been a president this crooked before either, so we really don’t know. It is our opinion that at this point, the possibility should not be ruled out.
Indictment or no, the damage this will do to our unpleasant 45th president is almost impossible to overstate.
Between Cohen and Manafort, it’s been the hardest day for Trump since the day of him boasting about other sex offenses he committed on the “Grab ’em” tape recorded by Access Hollywood. It was a one-two punch of epic proportions. Trump is reeling.
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.
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.”
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:
What they should be picturing, is this:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Don’t open strange emails.
Don’t click on strange links.
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.
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.
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.
“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:
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.
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.
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.