How distorted and unrecognizable must things become for US to realize that our grand old flag is becoming a relic, much like its confederate cousin. Red, white and blue stood for unity. Red and Blue can’t even talk to one another these days and White is now a racist point of contention– not the purity those stripes were meant to evoke. We’ve become the Divided States. #SAD but true.
“America” has strayed far from her respected role as the Land of the Free, and there is definitely NOT justice for ALL. We have a fake POTUS from a fraudulent election who only caters to those whom he thinks voted for him. Can Mr. Flag Hugger even explain what the stars and stripes, and colors, represent? (Like the “many books” he’s written 🙄, others do everything but the bragging.) Divide and conquer is an ancient strategy, and salesman Trump has certainly used it to his benefit.
For those “with ears to hear”… a Fourth of July WAKE UP call.
If you voted for Trump you were railing against the “status quo” or you just hated Hillary. You weren’t alone…
#BernieOrBust fanatics (like Susan Sarandon) who couldn’t bring themselves to support HRC in the 2016 General Election voted for Jill Stein. She received nearly 1.5 million votes. Libertarians cast 4,489,235 votes for my former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson (who I seriously considered in the General. I voted for Senator Sanders in the 2016 Primary.) Another 1,154,084 wasted their vote on write-ins. Combined that’s 8.2 million votesthat could have created an entirely different outcome in 2016 (with or without the Comey letter or “her emails.”)
Consider what’s happened since then: from the shockingly dark inaugural speech (which included the infamous “American carnage” line), to the “Muslim Ban”, rebuking of allies while cozying up to dictators, untold waste by cabinet members (especially Swamp Rat Pruitt), MILLIONS in self-dealing by the Trump family (aka kick-backs & corruption — Malaysian scale ), numerous constitutional violations (emoluments & more), not to mention Trump remains under investigation! His former Campaign Chair is in JAIL, other associates are indicted, and his personal attorney/ “fixer” Cohen could be indicted at any time (hardly a “witch hunt.”)
Is any of this what American stands for? Hell NO!
FACTS:A fascist is a follower of a political philosophy characterized by authoritarian views. Trump constantly talks about and contacts Russian autocrat (and former KGB officer) Vladimir Putin and plans to meet with him again mid July (2018.) He couldn’t wait to meet and gush over North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong-un (and wants to bring him to the White House, despite no evidence Kim is “denuclearizing.” ) Trump already hosted Egyptian General/President el-Sisi and Turkey’s strong-man “President” Erdogan at our House. ALL are extreme authoritarian rulers. Yet, Trump rebukes our own North American and Western democratic allies. WHY?
The original American patriots were those fighting off oppression… crossing an ocean to get away from kings and rulers. Today would be a good day to read up on our founding principles: Liberty, Equality and Justice for ALL!
LAW: Since 1943, our Supreme Court has held that the government can neither require a citizen to participate in a “pledge of allegiance” nor compel us to engage in patriotic acts. Yet, Trump demanded NFL players be FIRED (“fire the sons of bitches” he said) for “taking a knee” during the Anthem. Many black players were making a quiet statement about their brothers being gunned down in the streets by cops. Trump could barely remember to place his hand over his heart (or on the bible for his oath) now he’s the Anthem and Pledge police? WHY? Because he knows very little about our unalienable rights. (YES, UN, per our Declaration and Black’s legal guide . Use it.) “unalienable” as: “Incapable of being aliened, that is, sold and transferred.” At first glance the two terms seem pretty much synonymous. However, while the word “inalienable” is “not subject to alienation,” the word “unalienable” is “incapable of being aliened”.
In Trump World who really cares about facts or legal precedence? SCOTUS “short-lister” fave Amy Barrett doesn’t. Trump is “intrigued” with the idea of appointing a woman this time. Apparently he thinks that will tamp down a “pussy riot.” (It won’t.)
HISTORY: Judge Barrett is on record as willing to overturn established laws, including Roe v. Wade. ALL the Christian Heritage Foundation “approved” candidates are (that’s the “list” Trump agreed to as part of his Faustian bargain with the RNC back in 2016.) The goal? To create a judicial system and High Court fashioned by their “Christian” views, so they can strike down any “settled law” they want. We could literally have NO rights as a result of ONE high court pick. (For more evidence, read this chilling Post article on the Courts and patriotism and this great resource on our founding (“Was America founded as a “Christian” nation?” Jefferson said we have the right to believe in “twenty gods or no God.” Check it out.)
Yet Congressional Republicans and evangelical voters were willing to ignore our nation’s moral imperative and tolerate a corrupt con man IF he would appoint conservative judges to uphold their “pro-life” stance. 1) We’re going to need a new Webster to define “conservative” in the era of the #TrumpCult. 2) News Alert: to truly be pro-life you must care for that life AFTER it emerges from the womb. How crazy to give up your Christian values for a fetus but ‘fuhgeddaboudit once it’s born. 🙄 A pox on thee! (a double pox for constantly degrading animals and other living beings as garbage or your sport to kill for pleasure.) No killing, means NO killing.
CIVILITY: Trump used crude, disgusting name-calling throughout his campaign and it’s even worse since taking office. He inflames hate groups, uses bigoted language, and calls other countries “shitholes.” #TrumpCult may like it, but civil nations do not engage in brutality and torture (the type Trump wants to reinstate) OR…
refuse desperate refugees and Asylum Seekers (especially in a nation of immigrants!)
put Children in cages, internment camps and violate #HumanRights for those seeking lawful asylum (or minority citizens)
encourage ICE cops to behave like Nazi stormtroopers using increasingly authoritarian tactics
have the highest Prison population rate in the world!
allow Community cops to gun down people in our city streets
corrupt democracy with a self-dealing regime of family, protectors, and a “mob boss.” Trump’s family profited by $500 MILLION during 2017 yet “donated” back only $150 thousand (after promising he was “so rich” he would pay for everything and would not take a salary. NOTE: even that 150K has not yet been verified. Could be nothing.
Impose such extreme “regulation reduction” that the USA is no longer an environmental ally, protector of public lands or trusted to provide SAFE food & water!
Bottom line: Zero Tolerance policies are doomed to fail — whether for people, places, fetuses, or self-dealing autocrats. Once your mind is completely closed, you are on a dead end path. Things are simply not black and white… there are always exceptions, circumstances, and nuance. That’s why our founders included so many checks and balances to make sure a tyrant, king or madman could not corrupt or control our government.
Say what you want about our European forefathers, they were enlightened thinkers– what the Alt-Right might call Elites. 😎
1) Our U.S. democracy is under siege. We cannot normalize Trump and act as if we actually have a Constitutional presidency– we don’t! Our “faithless” Electors let us down at the most critical time.
2) Christians and evangelicals might read up on Matthew, especially 24:43 warning: “Understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.” You might also refresh yourself on the Snake Poem, read by Trump during the campaign.
3) An “enlightened” or informed perspective comes from studying issues and researching facts. Yes, there are such things. We can verify crowd size, use evidence, and track financial matters. Thankfully our Special Counsel (and former FBI Director) Robert Mueller is a professional fact-finder. Here’s to #MullerTime and please #RememberNovember!
A Cultural Cold War (aka YOUR online data “weaponized”)
Regardless of whether you are a flag-waving, Trump supporting #MAGA maniac or a #BlueWave #Impeach #Resistance activist (or anywhere in between), we all must accept that some of the most extreme political #DirtyTricks were deployed during the US 2016 Presidential Election. Even worse, it continues and involves YOUR information.
50 million FaceBook accounts were exploited, most without any knowledge or permission from account holders, according to a whistle-blower. These facts are partially confirmed now by Facebook, which has suspended the accounts of Cambridge Analytica, it’s employee whistle-blower Chris Wylie and “researcher” Aleksandr Kogan, a Russian-American academic.
Facebook claims that Kogan lied and “violated” its policies in 2015 by “passing data” to a third party, including Cambridge Analytica. Kogan first claimed he had no links to Russia, however he was born in the old Soviet Union and received funding from a Russian university. No collusion? Essential fact, Cambridge Analytica was created by Stephen K. “Steve” Bannon with $15 million of Mercer money. Got your attention?
To totally unravel this mess you would need a giant wall chart, like something from A Beautiful Mind – if you’re too young for that reference, then think of the current Car Gurus ad (called “The Detective”.) To piece together this data mining mystery, I’ve compiled info from several sources including CBS, CNN, Mother Jones magazine, the New York Times and UK’s TheGuardian. Those links follow my attempt to explain all this.
I first learned how data “micro-targeting” was tied to the #FakeNews scam from a CBS 60 Minutes report by Lesley Stahl that aired last fall. If you’re totally lost, perhaps watch the video from Sunday, Oct 8, 2017, when we were introduced to Brad Parscale.* This is important because Parscale was recently named Trump’s 2020 Campaign Manager and is still using these tactics. He claims he had no ties to Russian #FakeNews, yet he worked with Bannon. The Kansas “boy” was just using Facebook tools, he says. Read on.
Some of you think the 2016 dirty tricks began with the DNC (democrats) paying for the so-called dirty dossier, but even that effort was first funded by a Republican donor. What erupted into this current tidal wave of social media manipulation traces directly to Republican Ted Cruz, the original candidate benefactor of Mercer money in the 2016 election, and to Russian link(s). There’s a lot to unpack and that’s why this story is just now breaking into mainstream media.
#FakeNews, meaning links to bogus information on misleading websites, began with Ukraine or Russian hackers several years ago. It got the attention of American intelligence and political operatives when US-sanctioned LukOil (one of Russia’s largest oil companies) helped fund a 2014 voter suppression effort in Nigeria. You can bet someone like Roger Stone was an early admirer of these methods, perhaps “academic/PhD” Carter Page and other names we’ve come to know.
At that time (2014) there was no Cambridge Analytica or Mercer funding… yet. There was something called Global Science Research, supposedly an academic research group tied to Cambridge University in the UK. Along the way, another group known as the Strategic Communications Lab (SCL)** further perfected and expanded the “micro-targeting” by layering in psychological profiling and user enticements, often called “click bait.” By 2015, Cambridge Analytica was in full swing and interfered in the 2016 UK “Brexit” vote. SCL was a UK government funded military intelligence operation. According to the Guardian, SCL “presented under the heading ‘Election: Inoculation’, a military term used in “psychological and disinformation campaigns.” (Link to full Guardian article*** below.)
To cut to the chase, these tactics were the basis of sites like Breitbart where the #FakeNews was then further spread by “useful idiots” on podcasts like InfoWars and even FOX news. Remember, Bannon is behind both Breitbart and Cambridge Analytica. Wylie, the employee / whistle-blower—who says he helped Bannon create the company—calls it “a full service propaganda machine.” He also says it evolved into a “grossly unethical” endeavor.
Clearly we need a congressional investigation to get to the bottom of who hired whom for what in this complicated scenario. For instance, while the NY Times reports:
Robert Mercer, a wealthy Republican donor, approached Stephen K. Bannon, with the promise of tools that could identify the personalities of American voters and influence their behavior. But it did not have the data to make its new products work.
That is not what CA “co-founder” Wylie says. He insists Bannon concocted the concept of Cambridge after seeing the Russian results. Wylie says Bannon approached the Mercers for funding:
Was it Bannon, then, who convinced Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner to hire him, pollster Kellyanne Conway, and website developer Brad Parscale who knew how to exploit Facebook’s “targeted ads”? Whomever hired who, “the firm harvested private information from the Facebook profiles of more than 50 million users without their permission,” a direct quote from Times article.
Back to Aleksandr Kogan,**** the actual Cambridge University Russian-American “academic” who physically harvested the Facebook data. Just today (Monday, 3.19) Kogan said he will gladly testify to US Congress. Great! There’s plenty for both Congress and Mueller to investigate, and I’m sure Mueller already has.
To wrap this up, Kogan can explain exactly how he got the millions of Facebook records. He used one of those crazy “apps” we used to see so frequently on the social media site; specifically, a personality test. Even if you didn’t take the quiz yourself, if any of your FB friends participated, YOUR data is part of this sordid mess.
That link about Professor Carroll and the above video of Chris Wylie really tell “the rest of the story.”
Finally, Carl Bernstein, Washington Post reporter of Watergate fame, refers to this continuing nightmare as our “cultural cold war.” I agree, thus the title. At least we may finally get to the bottom of what truly is #FakeNews.
Mother Jones has even more (including the Carroll court documents): https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/12/a-groundbreaking-case-may-force-controversial-data-firm-cambridge-analytica-to-reveal-trump-secrets/
17 people– a dozen of them kids– are dead in another school shooting.
No one has called it a Valentine’s Day Massacre yet, but it is.
Since the Columbine shooting (in 1999), 150,000 students have experienced a shooting at their school (according to @jaketapper @CNN.)
WE LET THAT HAPPEN BY ALLOWING @NRA TO HIJACK OUR DEMOCRACY AND BUY-OFF LAWMAKERS.
tweets Igor Volsky of @GunsDownAmerica and Thinking Cap Podcast.
I’m not here to politicize today’s event, as some Twits are already claiming online. This is a bipartisan issue, and needs a bipartisan solution. Shootings affect everyone. #AllShootingsMatter maybe that’s our tag.
We must get money out of politics. Stop making excuses and stop being so damn greedy! Corruption is rampant in Congress and Washington. Before Bernie (Senator Sanders) preached this, Dylan Ratigan was leading this charge on CNBC. He’s still preaching the gospel of decentralizing money (his current video and new endeavors.) The time is now. Not for more talking or praying, we need action. As honored, multiple-medal recipient former CIA agent Phil Mudd cried out on CNN this afternoon, “A child of God is dead. Can we acknowledge in this country that we cannot accept this?”
It’s so easy to call something we don’t like or understand “stupid.”
I find myself constantly calling our factually-challenged POTUS “stupid”, but it’s labeling and name-calling and gets us nowhere. Here’s why:
Like art, stupidity is in the eye of the beholder. I call sports stupid. To me the concussions and other injuries, make it “stupid” plus I find it a waste of time and money. Half the country (or more) would completely disagree and call me “stupid” for saying such a thing. It’s easy to see these divergent views in subjective matters, like art, sports, and games, but what about objective issues like facts? Are there any absolutes… in anything?
Before I completely dive off into the quantum realm, let me mention what prompted this estoteric analysis. Someone on twitter called the February 6 SpaceX launch of the #FalconHeavy cargo “stupid.” I’m not sure if the “twit” thought the overall concept of space exploration is “stupid” or just the idea of shooting a $100-thousand dollar Tesla Roadster into deep space (with a MILLION $ worth of mods 😉 ) It’s easy to argue that both are wasteful, when we have so many problems here on Earth. BUT, if this planet is indeed dying—as many claim—then we should thank our “stars”, pioneers like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Sir Richard Branson who are trying to find solutions, even if it means eventual relocation (to another planet.)
It may sound crazy (or stupid) at first, the idea that to survive humans may have to relocate, however as coastal areas continue to flood and Earth grows warmer (for whatever reason), people will move. At first, more people will move to “fly over” country. That is going to create some incredible tension. Rural gun-toters and “preppers” have been getting ready for this show down.
If the ocean truly has less than 30 years left—and scientists say when all the coral reefs die, other ocean life will quickly die, too—then humans are doomed. Those same experts say when the ocean is gone, human life cannot survive. Many, like my pal Al Gore, have understood all this for years.
Now here comes the finale: so who is stupid? The people who ignore climate facts, or the people trying to find solutions? Some deniers appear stupid, refusing to consider any of this. Many of them claim “End Times” are inevitable, predicted in the Bible (and other holy books), so why fight it? Just get ready.
Maybe that’s the only thing we can agree on– getting ready. Is that with a gun so you can “go out” killing everything and everyone who poses a threat? Billionaires are buying secret hide-aways where they can “hole up” if it comes to that. Buddhists and other pacifists are preparing mentally, with mind-training, and point out nothing is actually “solid” anyway. There are only molecules, planets and #space.
It is incomprehensible that so-called POTUS Trump thinks with a few meaningless words he can call for unity? We’ve been watching this movie for a year now– “Liar, Liar: Groundhog Day Version.” The only words he could utter that would be worth hearing is an honest apology. Awareness, acknowledgement and acceptance <<< the true Triple A >>> is the only path to unity. What we really want is #justice.
Right now, we are NOT the “united” states and we have no equality. We’re the most divided I’ve seen since the days of draft dodging and war protesting under Nixon. Our Russian-puppet POTUS has done NOTHING in the past year to heal the gaping divide of people and politics. He panders to the states where he “won” (conned them) and punishes the states who dared to vote against him. Where are the “States Rights” Republicans now? TrumpWorld wants to deport and detain everyone who isn’t part of their agenda. Reminder: that’s only one-third of US voters. Trump and Comp. see the #BlueWave2018 coming. So this State of the Union Miller-written piece of propaganda isn’t worth the wear and tear on my ears and definitely not my eyes. Yech Mr. Piggy! (he once called a beauty contestant in one of his pageants “Miss Piggy.” Just typical “presidential” name-calling.)
Update: Here’s one of the opposition responses from Senator Bernie Sanders. My #LastWord: Why not a female Senator this year? (for the Official Response?) #SotU2Male NOW it’s time for #NOW and we say it’s about time!