Age in 1776: Just a bunch of kids, right? What do they know?
- Marquis de Lafayette, 18
- James Monroe, 18
- Henry Lee III, 20
- Aaron Burr, 20
- Nathan Hale, 21
- Alexander Hamilton, 21
'While U.S. citizens could once claim to be part of the 9% of people in the world governed by a “full democracy,” they’re now part of the nearly 45% who live in a “flawed democracy.” That downgrade is based on an analysis by the Economist Intelligence Unit.
4/20/18 Inside the Competitive, Corrupt World of Russian Intelligence
Bottom Line: The Kremlin employs various often overlapping and competitive security and intelligence services to create multiple sources of intelligence, encourage risk-taking and keep a wary eye on each other.
Background: The Soviet Union primarily relied on two intelligence services. The Committee for State Security (KGB) was tasked with foreign political and economic espionage, covert action – known as active measures – and domestic security, while the Main Intelligence Director (GRU) under the General Staff was responsible for military intelligence.
RUSSIA THE ENEMY OF THE UNITED STATES
Russia will continue to meddle in U.S. elections in 2018. "There should be no doubt that (Putin) views the past effort as successful," said the Director of National Intelligence. "The Russia story is a total hoax," said the president.
2/13/18 Sen. Jack Reed just got FBI Director Wray and other intel chiefs to admit that the president has never asked them to focus on or disrupt Russian election meddling.
We should all remember the story of how an internet friendship between an American Reality TV star and a Russian dictator led to America's democracy coming under attack. Friendship is a great thing as long as Kompromat isn't involved!
FBI Dir. Christopher Wray tells the Senate Intel Cmte that the FBI “followed established protocols” in their background check of Rob Porter, & they provided information to the WH on several occasions, meaning the WH knew what the FBI knew, yet still covered for Porter.
NYT: People familiar w/ the security clearance process in Trump’s WH said it was widely acknowledged among sr. aides that raising questions about unresolved vetting issues in a staff member’s background would implicitly reflect on Kushner’s status, as well
Jared Kushner has a broad foreign policy portfolio that requires access to some of the intelligence community’s most closely guarded secrets, but he still does not have a permanent security clearance.
Donald Trump's Budget summarized: - Cuts Medicaid by $300 billion - Cuts Disability programs by $70+ billion - Cuts SNAP by $213 billion - Cuts spending to the EPA - Inflates the National Debt - Still no Russian Sanctions!!
Americans are vulnerable to despotism.
2018 Betsy Devos met with the Michigan State University president days before her department rolled back Title IX regulations and her family have donated to MSU in the past. We’re requesting documents clarifying her relationship to the school.
Dewey tells us unequivocally in School and Society, that the reliance on listening “tells the story of the traditional education”. He repeats this indictment in Democracy and Education:
“Almost everything” about the traditional education, he states there, “testifies to the great premium put upon listening (and) reading . . . It is hardly possible to overstate the contrast between such conditions and the situations of active contact with things and persons in the home, on the playground . . .” ; the fundamental distinction between traditional and progressive education lies may be said to lie in the latter's attempt to recreate the communicative conditions of homes, playgrounds and workplaces.
As one-way, straight-line communications leaves no room for response, listeners habituated to them remain passive and lax, irresponsible, thoughtless, fickle, emotionally susceptible, shortsighted, amusement-seeking, and shiftless, imbued neither with courage or energy to speak nor intellectual power to say anything worth listening to.
2016 $100 billion for K–12 education.
The new money was to be spent over a two-year period, with some of it devoted to compensatory education or special education, the rest to district priorities. Federal aid to K–12 and preschool education jumped from $39 billion in 2008 to a high of $73 billion in fiscal year 2010 (0.49 percent of GDP). The following year, $66 billion in federal funding continued to flow. Much of the aid targeted urban districts with heavy concentrations of low-income and special-education populations. For two years, local school districts enjoyed a generous flow of federal cash.
The Role that Folklore Plays Against Fascism
American Mythologies: Creating, Recreating, and Resisting National Narratives.
Myths and narratives are constructed, reconstructed, and resisted not only through written texts but in every form of media and within every kind of community. America has been and still is consistently defined and constituted through national myths and narratives.
The erosion of gravitas matters for the erosion of the office of president around the world.
Kushner: We struck deal with Sinclair
With a combined total audience of over 2.1 million prime time viewers, Fox News has had an incredible impact on the country’s political discourse. They’ve presented misinformation and glorified propaganda to households across the country, which in turn has affected how people behave when they vote. Fox News has gaslit the American people for over two decades, with disastrous results.
'Classic Propaganda': Sinclair Broadcasting
Pushes Aside Fox News to Become 'Trump TV' “It’s unheard of to have one company pushing one specific agenda reaching so many people and doing it in a way designed to evade local input” by Common Dreams staff.
David D. Smith built Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. into the largest owner of television stations in the U.S. after taking over his father's television company (with his brothers) in the late 1980's. With David as president and CEO, the Sinclair Broadcast Group blossomed to 59 stations in less than a decade. By 2014, that number had nearly tripled to 162.
Fox News’ European outlet was coordinating with Putin’s propaganda machine to push pro-Russia content. They just ended their agreement after this news broke. Fox News’ ties to the Kremlin keep getting deeper.
APRIL 20 2018 Fox News Finally Realizes It's Not Cool to Follow Russian Propaganda Guidelines
The international edition of Fox News airing in Latvia was translated according to Russian censorship guidelines, Latvia's public broadcaster reported Wednesday. Fox issued a statement on Friday that it will discontinue the practice. As it turned out, Fox News content was indeed "softened" in accordance with Russian government censorship. Commentary critical of the Russia's administration or military, as well as any overt conversation about homosexuality, had to be expurgated. The cleaned-up version also went soft on prurient topics like drugs, sex, death, and political extremism.
Fox News Actual research shows their viewers to be the most misinformed and least knowledgeable group of television viewers.
NORTH CAROLINA IS NO LONGER CLASSIFIED AS A DEMOCRACY
12.31.17 By ANDREW REYNOLDS
In 2005, in the midst of a career of traveling around the world to help set up elections in some of the most challenging places on earth – Afghanistan, Burma, Egypt, Lebanon, South Africa, Sudan and Yemen, among others – my Danish colleague, Jorgen Elklit, and I designed the first comprehensive method for evaluating the quality of elections around the world. Our system measured 50 moving parts of an election process and covered everything from the legal framework to the polling day and counting of ballots.
In 2012 Elklit and I worked with Pippa Norris of Harvard University, who used the system as the cornerstone of the Electoral Integrity Project. Since then the EIP has measured 213 elections in 153 countries and is widely agreed to be the most accurate method for evaluating how free and fair and democratic elections are across time and place.
When we evolved the project I could never imagine that as we enter 2017, my state, North Carolina, would perform so badly on this, and other, measures that we are no longer considered to be a fully functioning democracy.
In the just released EIP report, North Carolina’s overall electoral integrity score of 58/100 for the 2016 election places us alongside authoritarian states and pseudo-democracies like Cuba, Indonesia and Sierra Leone. If it were a nation state, North Carolina would rank right in the middle of the global league table – a deeply flawed, partly free democracy that is only slightly ahead of the failed democracies that constitute much of the developing world.
Indeed, North Carolina does so poorly on the measures of legal framework and voter registration, that on those indicators we rank alongside Iran and Venezuela. When it comes to the integrity of the voting district boundaries no country has ever received as low a score as the 7/100 North Carolina received. North Carolina is not only the worst state in the USA for unfair districting but the worst entity in the world ever analyzed by the Electoral Integrity Project.
That North Carolina can no longer call its elections democratic is shocking enough, but our democratic decline goes beyond what happens at election time. The most respected measures of democracy — Freedom House, POLITY and the Varieties of Democracy project — all assess the degree to which the exercise of power depends on the will of the people: That is, governance is not arbitrary, it follows established rules and is based on popular legitimacy.
The extent to which North Carolina now breaches these principles means our state government can no longer be classified as a full democracy.
First, legislative power does not depend on the votes of the people. One party wins just half the votes but 100 percent of the power. The GOP has a huge legislative majority giving it absolute veto-proof control with that tiny advantage in the popular vote. The other party wins just a handful of votes less and 0 percent of the legislative power. This is above and beyond the way in which state legislators are detached from democratic accountability as a result of the rigged district boundaries. They are beholden to their party bosses, not the voters. Seventy-six of the 170 (45 percent) incumbent state legislators were not even opposed by the other party in the general election.
Second, democracies do not limit their citizens’ rights on the basis of their born identities. However, this is exactly what the North Carolina legislature did through House Bill 2 (there are an estimated 38,000 transgender Tar Heels), targeted attempts to reduce African-American and Latino access to the vote and pernicious laws to constrain the ability of women to act as autonomous citizens. [snip]
Nazi's in Charlotte VA 2017 Learn to Spot the Secret Signals of Far-Right Fashion
Skinhead style has fragmented into a set of subtle subcultures."I think it’s a way of blending in, of evading notice, of not being as obvious.”
A new sociology book explores how the style of right-wing youth subcultures has evolved in Europe and what's come to replace the racist skinhead.
Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you'll remember. By Amy Siskind Jan 13 2018
Innumerable shocking and important developments, including:
• 9/19/17 Facebook Won’t Reveal if Russia Targeted You During the Election
• 10/23/17 A Suspected Network Of 13,000 Twitter Bots Pumped Out Pro-Brexit Messages In The Run-Up To The EU Vote
• 10/23/17 Twitter investigation initiated by Former Louisiana Attorney General: Kahn Swick & Foti, LLC Investigates the Officers and Directors of Twitter, Inc. 11/29/17
• 11/29/17 @mattblaze will be testifying before House Government Reform https://oversight.house.gov/hearing/cybersecurity-voting-machines/ on "Cybersecurity of Voting Machines"
• 12/21/2017 Unauthorized Review of Private, Privileged Materials by the Special Counsel’s Office
• 1/7/2018 Roughly 10 Percent of Amazon's Ohio Workforce on Food Stamps
• A new tax law passed that will enrich the 1% and put the US in more debt. Paul Ryan Collected $500,000 In Koch Contributions Days After House Passed Tax Law which is peanuts compared with what the Koch brothers will save. Americans have faced “aggressive rent hikes, fee gouging & high rates of eviction” as Wall St has been buying up rental housing.
• 1/20/18 Congress shut down the federal government!
• Palm Beach Post - Donald Trump’s multi-decade tax scam to intentionally hide material information about the Mar-a-Lago Club from the IRS in an illegal multi-million dollar tax shelter scheme.
• The US Department of Justice recommends that every company create a vulnerability disclosure policy
• Trump’s longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, negotiated a secret $130,000 payment to payoff an adult-film star Stormy Daniel whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. for her silence days before the 2016 presidential election.
• Senator Dianne Feinstein released 300 pages of Fusion GPS testimony on the Steele dossier, days after her Republican colleagues had unilaterally issued the committee’s first criminal referral to the FBI, implicating Steele.
• Proposed changes to Medicaid, exempting Florida from offshore drilling, and waiving fines for five megabanks, including Deutsche Bank — all of which, in a week of sheer bedlam, got little or no attention. Deutsche Bank flagged “suspicious transactions” concerning Jared Kushner’s family accounts. The bank said it’s willing to turn information over to Mueller.
• Trump’s “sXXXhole” countries statement prompted worldwide condemnation and questions of whether he is eroding US moral authority — while concerns about his fitness for office continued to swirl.
• WAPO reported that Trump has made more than 2,000 false or misleading claims in his first 355 days in office — on average, 5.6 claims per day.
• The Twitter account for the House Committee on Natural Resources attacked outdoor apparel company Patagonia in a tweet with a graphic referring to the company as “lying” and “hiding.”
• Contradicting Trump regime talking points, Sebastian Gorka said he was told to cooperate with Fire and Fury author Michael Wolff, but said after meeting him in Reince Priebus’s office he got a bad feeling and did not. Steve Bannon was set to meet with Wolff after him.
• Bannon apologized for his role in Wolff’s book in a statement given to Axios — expressing “regret” to Trump, praising Donald Jr., and adding, “There was no collusion and the investigation is a witch hunt.”
• Axios reported according to a copy of his real schedule, Trump’s time in the Oval Office has shrunk to 11am to 6pm, then he’s back to the residence. During the day he also has blocks of “Executive Time.”
• Axios reported Executive Time means TV and Twitter time alone in the residence. Trump schedule also lists 8 am to 11 am as Executive Time in the Oval Office, but most is spent at the residence.
• CNN reported in early 2016, before Bannon and Trump became allies, a watchdog group led by Bannon tried to shop anti-Trump research alleging ties between Trump companies and organized crime.
What you need to know about influencer fraud