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Home country: USA
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Member since: Mon Apr 28, 2014, 07:28 PM
Number of posts: 12,561

About Me

Counselor, economist and public servant.

Journal Archives

HP:Bernie Sanders Campaign Faced A Fake News Tsunami. Where Did It Come From? The trolls set out to

distract and divide the invigorated left.


There were in fact a lot of anti-Clinton types of posts on sites I went to as a Bernie supporter. Some, sadly, were even parroted on here.

But here's the bottom line: most of these 'trolls' were from Eastern Europe. At first, they were anti-Clinton in an effort to stop some Sanders supporters from voting Clinton in the general, then they were anti-Clinton, presumably to encourage people to vote Trump in the general.

How much of this happened courtesy of Vladimir Putin? How extensive was Russian involvement in elevating the clown Trump to our highest office?

And, MOST importantly, how much did Trump, Pence, Bannon and the rest know?

Because if they knew ANYTHING, and did nothing, they they are guilty of treason.

The fact that a foreign power influenced one of our elections is NOT OK. We need to focus on this issue with single-minded intensity until we have the answers and have fixed the situation so it never happens again.

We are in the midst of an information war battlefield and most Americans don't

even know it.

This Columbia Journalism Review quotes a Harvard study that shows that right wingers are more isolated, that is less likely to bridge from their usual news sources to more mainstream media as liberal leaning people do. The study calls this tendency 'bridge nodes,' and points that this is what's been wrong with right wingers from the end of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987 (thanks Saint Ronnie!) - they have small bridge nodes.

Seriously, though, and this is a serious article, here's an excerpt:

We have a less exotic, but perhaps more disconcerting explanation: Our own study of over 1.25 million stories published online between April 1, 2015 and Election Day shows that a right-wing media network anchored around Breitbart developed as a distinct and insulated media system, using social media as a backbone to transmit a hyper-partisan perspective to the world. This pro-Trump media sphere appears to have not only successfully set the agenda for the conservative media sphere, but also strongly influenced the broader media agenda, in particular coverage of Hillary Clinton.

While concerns about political and media polarization online are longstanding, our study suggests that polarization was asymmetric. Pro-Clinton audiences were highly attentive to traditional media outlets, which continued to be the most prominent outlets across the public sphere, alongside more left-oriented online sites. But pro-Trump audiences paid the majority of their attention to polarized outlets that have developed recently, many of them only since the 2008 election season.


Someone asked how the 'anti-Trump liberals' would react if Trump actually turned

this nation around and improved it substantially. Here's my reply:

I just don’t think that’s going to happen. That said, allow me to say something else. I’ll be as honest as I can be, but you must realize this is my opinion. It is, however, an educated one. Here’s the thing: Americans live in bubbles. The far left lives in the ‘far left bubble’ where they get their news from certain sources and no other. The far right lives in the ‘far right bubble.’ This bubble is larger, some say much larger, and it consists primarily of Fox News and AM talk radio. The rest of America tends to live in the ‘entertainment, sports and popular culture bubble’ and doesn’t really even think about elections until the week before.

Let us look at the history of the far right bubble. How did this come to be? The old and venerable newscasters, people like Edward R. Murrow and even Walter Kronkite, Chet Huntley and David Brinkley, would spin in their graves if they watched the O’Reilley Factor or Fox and Friends. Why? Because they had to abide by the Fairness Doctrine, which required both sides of an issue be reported.

Unfortunately, after Vietnam, Watergate, and the Civil Rights and anti-war movements that changed our society, intellectuals on the right felt they needed to find a way to get the corporate or business ‘truth’ out to Americans because they were afraid we were moving too far left.

Accordingly, future-Supreme-Court-Justice Lewis Powell wrote a confidential memorandum to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In it, he laid out the case for the Chamber to become more activist in challenging what he genuinely felt were ‘leftist’ positions.

Powell laid out a plan for the Chamber to challenge the ‘leftists’ on college campuses, speakers bureaus, and business schools. He advocated the creation and assistance of groups on the right who would challenge the ‘liberal’ system through local political involvement, textbook editing, and the courts.

Later, in 1987, Ronald Reagan vetoed a new Fairness Doctrine bill sent to him by the Democrat-controlled U.S. Congress of the time.

During the 1990s and on to today, we have seen the growth of AM talk radio and Fox News. The message of these outlets has become rather insulated. In fact, there are whole groups of Americans who deeply believe the ‘news’ broadcast by these groups, and who don’t get their news from anyplace else.

In effect, this was an absolutely brilliant insurgency by the right using some of the same brainwashing techniques our CIA learned about during the Korean War, and perfected in the 1960s and 1970s.

This is why, when someone like Kellyanne Conway talks about ‘alternative facts,’ and Donald Trump tweets out wild accusations, they are believed by a substantial number of Americans.

Sadly, this brilliant insurgency move by corporate interests has rendered our country so divided that some perceive a danger of civil war. Do we want to get rid of the gridlock and reinstitute sane public dialog? Then I believe we need to do three things:

1. Overturn Citizens United and get corporate money out of politics.
2. Impose a new Fairness Doctrine, which includes net neutrality.
3. Limit political campaigns to a month or two in duration, and finance them equally using public, not private, monies.

Ah, you’re laughing, I see. And calling me a ‘unicorn.’ Indeed. There’s lots of money out there; billions of dollars in fact, that will line up against these reforms. I’m 58 years old now, though, and I will say this: If you want this country to be what it could and should be, then we need to find a way, somehow, to make these reforms.

The American people deserve more objective facts and less ‘spun’ propaganda.

Kansas shooting victim's wife asks the question in every immigrant's mind

A poignant article from CNN.


On the dreadful night of Wednesday February 22nd 2017, I lost my husband — my soul mate — my friend and my confidante. He was a source of inspiration, a support system not just to me but to any and all he got to know. He always had a smile for every one, respected all especially his elders. His passion was to constantly innovate in the the aviation industry. Here in America, he commenced is his career at Rockwell Collins, and he worked On Flight Control System especially on Primary Flight Control Computer that would change the way flights work with improved performances. He dedicated his life to this development. There were days he used to come home to have only dinner and leave for work again - only return around 2 or 3 in the morning. He was very happy at Rockwell and liked living in a small town like Cedar Rapids, Iowa. But we decided to move from there to a bigger city so that I could get a job and be able to pursue my dreams, as he was able to do for himself. Kansas was our instant choice, and we moved here with a lot of dreams. We built our dream home, which he painted, and installed the garage door. Doing any kind of work on his home gave him immense joy. This was the home that he had built to – for us and any kids we would have- was our first step to starting our family. It’s so unfortunate that this dream of ours is now shattered. All of this, because of one person, who did not think of the impact his deed would have on the victim’s family.

I will now ask same question — On what basis we decide a person is good or bad, and of course, it’s not based on the color of your skin. So what decides that? Many times, these issues are talked about for a few weeks and people tend to forget about them afterward, but the fight must go on towards eradicating hatred from the minds of people. So what is the government going to do to stop hate crime? Lastly, to answer the question that is in every immigrant’s mind, DO WE BELONG HERE? Is this the same country we dreamed of and is it still secure to raise our families and children here?
-Sunayana Dumala

Our hearts go out to Sunayana, and ourselves, because this new wave of hatred that has engulfed us from Trump and his inbred, quasi-literate supporters who want to 'make Amurika grate' again is shameful, odious and immoral. It boggles the mind how so many people could vote this man and his neo-nazi, white supremacist assholes into office. THIS IS NOT THE AMERICA I WANT.

In terms of sheer value as a human being, Dumala's murdered husband leaves the cracker who shot him in the dust. This is the problem with these ignorant assholes. Here's a guy who was producing great things, an aviation engineer, an educated man who wanted to build a life here, but due to some white nationalist piece of illiterate shit who probably doesn't even work, his dream was destroyed.


Something fun and upbeat!

What could be better than celebrating the spring equinox (or Easter) with a nice chocolate EASTER BILBY!


Isn't he just the cutest little guy you ever saw?

Here's the link to the article, and environmentally conscious people will be happy to note that part of the proceeds are going to support endangered species.


I just made a very depressing post on a thread started by Nance Greggs. So I thought...

I'd make up for that by a more positive post, this a share from an email my cousin Cynthia sent.

Trump is (inadvertently) making America Great (again).

> 1. Unprecedented levels of ongoing civic engagement.

> 2. Millions of Americans now know who their state and federal representatives are without having to google.

> 3. Millions of Americans are exercising more. They're holding signs and marching every week.

> 4. Alec Baldwin is great again. Everyone's forgotten he's kind of a jerk.

> 5. The Postal Service is enjoying the influx cash due to stamps purchased by millions of people for letter and postcard campaigns.

> 6. Likewise, the pharmaceutical industry is enjoying record growth in sales of anti-depressants.

> 7. Millions of Americans now know how to call their elected officials and know exactly what to say to be effective.

> 8. Footage of town hall meetings is now entertaining.

> 9. Tens of millions of people are now correctly spelling words like emoluments, narcissist, fascist, misogynist, holocaust and cognitive dissonance.

> 10. Everyone knows more about the rise of Hitler than they did last year.

> 11. Everyone knows more about legislation, branches of power and how checks and balances work.

> 12. Marginalized groups are experiencing a surge in white allies.

> 13. White people in record numbers have just learned that racism is not dead. (See #6)

> 14. White people in record numbers also finally understand that Obamacare IS the Affordable Care Act.

> 15. Stephen Colbert's "Late Night" finally gained the elusive #1 spot in late night talk shows.

> 16. "Mike Pence" has donated millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood since Nov. 9th.

> 17. Melissa FREAKING McCarthy.

> 18. Travel ban protesters put $24 million into ACLU coffers in just 48 hours, enabling them to hire 200 more attorneys. Lawyers are now heroes.

> 19. As people seek veracity in their news sources, respected news outlets are happily reporting a substantial increase in subscriptions, a boon to a struggling industry vital to our democracy.

> 20. Live streaming court cases and congressional sessions are now as popular as the Kardashians.

> 21. Massive cleanup of facebook friend lists.

> 22. People are reading classic literature again. Sales of George Orwell's "1984" increased by 10,000% after the inauguration. (Yes, that is true. 10,000%. 9th grade Lit teachers all over the country are now rock stars.)

> 23. More than ever before, Americans are aware that education is important. Like, super important.

> 24. Now, more than anytime in history, everyone believes that anyone can be President.

When people begin fleeing OUR country so they can be free, there's something really

wrong and really unAmerican going on. When I saw this picture of Canadian Mounties rescuing people who were fleeing from ICE, I felt really bad inside.

Here's the article:

Here's the picture:


Trump Administration May Mobilize National Guard Troops To Round Up Unauthorized Immigrants - HP

This is absolutely chilling. Shit.

The roundups are about to begin.

Here's the link to the article, excerpt below: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-national-guard-immigrants_us_58a71356e4b037d17d271bcb?

President Donald Trump’s administration is considering mobilizing as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants, according to a draft copy of an order obtained by The Associated Press on Friday. Though the AP reported that the memo was written by U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, the White House quickly denied that the report was true. The AP reports an 11-page draft memo shows the Trump administration is considering an unprecedented militarization of immigration enforcement as far north as Portland, Oregon, and as far east as New Orleans.

Governors in the affected states would have final approval on whether troops under their control participate, according to the AP. Millions of the people who would be affected live nowhere near the U.S.-Mexico border. During the 2016 campaign, Trump talked at various times about implementing a “deportation force” to conduct raids on undocumented immigrants. In August, during a high-profile speech in Arizona, he pledged to “triple the number of [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] deportation officers” and “create a new special deportation task force focused on identifying and quickly removing the most dangerous criminal illegal immigrants in America who have evaded justice.”

Letter I just sent to US Representative Ken Buck

I thought you'd like to see, and I urge you all to write your own representatives about voting the Resolution of Inquiry presently making its way through committee.

Dear Rep. Buck,
I am deeply concerned that we may have elected a madman to serve as our president. His behavior and the behavior of his senior staff since he took office has been far outside the pale of normal. Yes, I can understand differences in politics, in ideology, but this man Trump seems to have little intelligence, poor decision making skills and very few boundaries. Take the recent Mar-a-Lago incident where he had an impromptu foreign policy strategy session in a restaurant in front of people who had no security clearance, and lit his documents with someone's cell phone flashlight. How many of those sensitive documents, we must wonder, were photographed?

In addition, it appears Trump is making money off several of his executive orders, particularly the oil pipeline one in ND. He has tweeted support for his daughter's clothing line - an act bordering on illegal, and his spokesperson Kelly Ann Conway openly marketed his wife's clothing line on national television. How is this even acceptable?

Now, we find that the entire administration, from Trump on down, seems to have been in contact with Russia throughout his campaign. His National Security Advisor was forced to resign due to this illegal contact, and now it appears that both Trump and Pence knew all along. What kind of a circus is this?

Again, Representative Buck, you and I haven't always seen eye to eye on policy, but I respect you and your office. Now I'm asking, no IMPLORING you to do something about this horror. Rep. Jerrold Nadler of NY has introduced a Resolution of Inquiry.

When this Resolution of Inquiry comes up for a House vote in a few days, I formally ask that you, Representative Buck, vote for inquiry. It is clear to me that our president is unfit for office. Let's take care of this now, as the Constitution allows, before this administration lurches into some disaster we cannot so easily clean up.

Sincerely, etc.

Letter urging my Senators not to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

I thought I'd share this with you all. It was one of those Daily Kos petitions. Here's what I wrote:

Dear Senators Gardner and Bennet,

I urge both of you, on behalf of the people of Colorado and the Constitution you've both sworn to protect, NOT to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the US Supreme Court.

Here's the problem. President Obama, as was his duty under the US Constitution, forwarded a nominee, Merrick Garland, to the Senate for confirmation to the Supreme Court.

Unfortunately, you in the Senate did NOT do your duty under the Constitution and confirm Garland.

This is my problem with Gorsuch. He is not Garland. It was Obama's duty; Obama's turn to nominate and you should have confirmed his choice Merrick Garland.

Do not compound this miserable failure of the US Senate in fulfilling its BASIC JOB by confirming Gorsuch. Bring back Garland and confirm him instead.

Sincerely, and respectfully,

PS. I posted another set of letters to these US Senators on the same topic and as yet neither have answered. I urge all of you to write your US Senators about this. Because, hey, as long is the Supreme Court nominee is NOT Merrick Garland, then s/he should NOT be confirmed.
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