Seen Elsewhere

The Civility Dogwhistle

From Skeptophilia – Skepticism and sarcasm. Six days a week.

http://www.skeptophilia.com/2019/06/the-civility-dogwhistle.html

The civility dogwhistle

When I was young, I had it drilled into me that I was always supposed to do what my mom called “not sinking to their level.”  Bullied?  Ignore it.  “Don’t react, it’s what they want.”  Hear gossip about a friend?  Stop listening.  “Don’t pay any attention, if you argue it’ll just call attention to the gossiper.”  Witness prejudice, bigotry, general nastiness?  Walk away.  “You can’t change the minds of people like that, you’re wasting your effort even to try.”
It’s taken me over half a century to recognize that for the bullshit it is.

The way this is playing out today is usually couched in calls for “civility.”  I hear well-meaning people — often people I agree with on many points — mourning the loss of civilized discourse in our society, implying that if we could just have a nice conversation with the bigots, the intolerant, the racists, the homophobes, that would fix everything.

The ultimate conclusion of this line of thought is the claim that we have to “treat all opinions with respect.”  Which is not only wrong, it’s downright dangerous.  I am under no obligation to treat the opinions of white supremacists with respect.  My moral obligation, in fact, is to shout them down, make sure that they hear loud and clear that they cannot get away with denying someone’s rights, safety, or personhood.

The words “respect” and “civility,” in fact, have become dogwhistles.  No matter how poisonous the claim, you can’t call it out as such, because that would be “disrespectful” or “uncivil.”  It’s pulled the teeth from our capacity for confronting intolerance and prejudice unequivocally and forcefully, made us question ourselves when in fact we’re the ones on the moral high ground, we’re the ones who should be able to say, “No.  This is wrong, and I will not let it go by unchallenged.”

For example, what do you make of this?

I saw this posted on social media, along with a link about how the negative press it’s gettingis pushing the company that owns the sign — Burkett Outdoor Advertising — to take it down.  But the three times I’ve seen it, it’s always been in a positive light.  “Damn straight,” one person wrote.  “You don’t like who’s running the country, get the fuck out of America.”  Another said, “I wish we had one of these in Louisiana.”

So what you’re saying is that if I disagree with you politically, I have no right to live in the same state as you?  Or, according to the first person, no right even to live in the United States?  Forget civility.  If that’s your opinion, go to hell.  And if that response bothers you, causes you to unfriend or unfollow me, or whatever, good riddance.

Then there’s Mark Chambers, the mayor of Carbon Hill, Alabama, who posted on Facebook, “We live in a society where homosexuals lecture us on morals, transvestites lecture us on human biology, baby killers lecture us on human rights and socialists lecture us on economics!…  The only way to change it would be to kill the problem out. I know it’s bad to say but with out [sic] killing them out there’s no way to fix it.”

When he began to get backlash, he deleted the post and then lied, denying he’d written it.  (A tactic Donald Trump is finding out doesn’t work so well.)  Then he said that, okay, he wrote it, but it didn’t mean what it explicitly and obviously meant.  “Although I believe my comment was taken out of context and was not targeting the LGBTQ community,” he wrote, “I know that it was wrong to say anyone should be kill [sic].”

This mealy-mouthed non-apology is unacceptable.  Here we have an elected official who has suggested a Final Solution for the “LGBTQ problem.”  This should be loudly, forcefully, and repeatedly challenged — and Mark Chambers should resign.  Now.

 

Planks

Bruce Lindner - Portland, OR - Pony Espresso
Bruce Lindner, Portland, OR

Things I expect the 2020 Democratic nominee to support:

  • Return the U.S. to the Paris Climate Accords, fast-track climate change measures domesticallyReturn the U.S. to the JCPOA
  • ERA: It’s 4 decades overdue. Renew it, expand it to include race, religion, gender, etc., push it hard, pass it. Git ‘er done.
  • Double-down on rectifying GOP ObamaCare sabotage, promote healthcare for ALL
  • Establish fair working wage job standards
  • Declare all out war on Citizens United. Draft a Constitutional Amendment that would regulate money in politics
  • Challenge the NRA at every turn, push for a ban on military-style weapons from public ownership
  • Fire every single functionary leftover from the Trump administration: CLEAN HOUSE! Fumigate, if necessary
  • Abolish the tariffs
  • Restore our commitment to NATO. Beg Canada, Mexico, Australia, our European allies to forgive us for our arrogance and bravado… even China
  • Propose (internally) standards to deal with any future nations that attempt to interfere in our elections
  • Reinstate the Fairness Doctrine
  • Restart normalization of relations with Cuba. Offer olive branch to some other ostracized nations, even Iran, Venezuela, in exchange for specific diplomatic goals: Eliminate “my way or the highway” global U.S. attitude
  • Declare war on RACISM, white supremacism. Establish defined parameters for race-based and faith-based terrorism
  • Renew our commitment to a Two-State solution in the Middle East. Make any potential foreign aid to 👉🏼 either side 👈🏼 contingent upon it. Demand compliance with U.N. resolutions 242 and 338
  • Make nepotism on a Federal level punishable by law
  • Require all future Presidents, Supreme Court Justices, Senators, Congressmen/women to submit to a mental evaluation before they can serve
  • Require all future Presidents, Supreme Court Justices, Senators, Congressmen/women to make their tax records public before they can serve
  • Fund green programs, infrastructure, etc., restore all Obama era environmental, Interior Department, National Parks protections
  • Restore the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to previous administration’s vision. Regulate payday lenders. Unless she’s elected POTUS 46, insist that the job be given to Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

But… but Bruce! If we do all that, then NO Republicans will crossover and vote Democratic! It’s just sooo radical! 😱

That’s 👉🏼 the POINT! 👈🏼 If we do all that, we won’t NEED to woo them. We’ll win everyone else. Okay?

So what did I leave out? 🤔 Feel free to amend it. Is there anything on this list that’s so unreasonable, so radical, so batshit CRAZY that any of the Democratic candidates for President couldn’t embrace it?

Let the above (or a reasonably modified version of it) be the foundation for the official platform. Let’s build on it.

Thanks!

Police Harrass Journalist

Marshall Joseph Patterson of the Patagonia, AZ police department needs fired. NOW.

Reposted from the Orange Street News without permission.

By Hilde Kate Lysiak

The OSN was working on a story in Patagonia, Arizona when a law enforcement officer threatened the reporter with arrest unless she stopped reporting the news.

The OSN was biking down Roadrunner Lane investigating the tip at about 1:30 pm on February 18th when the reporter was stopped by Patagonia Marshal Joseph Patterson and asked for identification.

The Orange Street News identified herself as a member of the media, including name and phone number.

“I don’t want to hear about any of that freedom of the press stuff,” said Patterson.

The Marshal continued “I’m going to have you arrested and thrown in juvey. “

The Marshal didn’t have his lights on and passed several people who were on the streets without stopping them or questioning them.

“I can have you arrested, do you understand?” the Marshal answered.

Asked what he could arrested for, the officer first said it was for “disobeying his command,” then said it was for riding on the wrong side of the road. Finally, the officer said a Mountain Lion was spotted in the area despite their being other people in the area who were not kicked off the road.

“I’m worried about your safety, the area you were in we were dealing with a mountain lion,” said Patterson.”

“I gave you a lawful order and if you disobey a law enforcement officer….Lying to me and saying you were going to your friends house wasn’t acceptable.”

“If you paste my face on the internet it’s against the law so I’m not giving you permission to use my picture or my face on the internet, do you understand all that?”

The OSN answered, “I understand all that.”

The court says the First Amendment gives citizens the right to record police officers in public while they are performing their duties. But that doesn’t mean you’re allowed to record if you’re doing so secretly interfering with the officer, or otherwise breaking the law.

The Officer told the reporter he was calling her parents.

“You aren’t an adult so don’t act like,” Marshal Patterson said before driving off.


Ironic that Marshall Patterson’s final remark sums up how I feel about HIM. Officer, you’re a DISGRACE to the badge, you should be arrested and jailed for threatening a journalist with LIES! Big hero you are. Why don’t you go DO your job and stop harassing kids you sad excuse for a man. – FRL

Letter to Covington Archdiocese Covington Catholic School

I saw this posted on Facebook and wanted to put it out on the web in plain sight for all to see. It’s excellently-written and the Archdiocese needs to get about a million copies of it. They’ve hidden their physical address but here it is:

Diocese of Covington
1125 Madison Ave.
Covington, KY 41011
(859) 392-1500

From: Scott Mills – Concerned Citizen

To Whom It May Concern,

As you already know, there are many of us in society who are outraged at the behavior of your “so-called” students who disrespected the Native American Elders in Washington yesterday. Please add my name to what must be the ever-growing list of thinking Americans, who wish to call your school to task for this incident.

I wish I could be standing in front of you, the people who supposedly organized these students to attend the “March for Life” gathering. I’d like to look each of you in the eye as I tell you what I want to say…just to see if anything of it registers at all with you.

Somewhere along the way, you have lost the true teachings of the very religion you so desperately cling to. It seems you’ve either forgotten or paid little attention when the concepts of love, compassion, empathy and the brotherhood of man, were mentioned by the man standing at the altar. These are the tenants which form the foundation of your own faith…and those of so many others. Yet, these children came to our nation’s capital, representing your church…and behaved as though they had never heard of any of these. They came as entitled brats….who just couldn’t come home without making sure they had left their mark……and that being on the indigenous people of this country, you might remember…the ones living here, worshiping in their own way, protecting the earth on which they lived and loving their families….LONG before they were ever introduced to Christianity. And quite frankly, Christianity did them no big favors either.

When did you stop teaching children the important things that will get them through life on a much evener keel? When did you stop really looking at the face of a child who may be hurting or disturbed? When was it that you decided that whatever that child’s needs were…you would do nothing more than spout Bible verse? When was it that you stopped thinking about the overall good in people..and focus strictly on what you do or don’t agree with? And when was it that the church became so political, that politics and religion began to walk hand-in-hand? When did all this take place?

Haven’t we seen enough of this in our country’s short history? Haven’t we learned a thing?
And of all those who have suffered at the hands of men……the very first ones subjected to inhumane treatment were those very same Native Americans. By now I thought we would have come to honor and respect those who came before us……but apparently, that must not be taught in your “Christian” school. These students are the proof, that somewhere down the line….you and your church dropped the ball…big time.
And were there not counselors or adult members of the church school accompanying these boys? Where were they as the harassment took place? Or were they in the crowd…sporting their “MAGA” hats as well? Let me make a suggestion here. The next time you send your backwoods students to Washington, a city that has prided itself on diversity since it’s inception, I suggest you sit their lily-white asses down before they leave and tell them to lose the racist articles of clothing first. Then explain to them that they will encounter people of all races, creeds, nationalities, colors, sexual preferences and the like……and then ask them…..”What Would Jesus Do?”, after all, that seems to be quite a favorite expression of Christians today. The trouble of it is…..most don’t have a clue. They are so far away from acting like a spiritual being….it’s very hard for them to comprehend what that means. More proof that you have not done the job given to you.

You wonder why people are backing away from organized religion in droves? The behavior your students exhibited in Washington is only but one of the reasons. You’ve taken sides against your fellow man, and that’s not what Jesus would have done.

Sincerely,
Scott Mills

This is who the students were mocking.

The “Clinton Cartel” and why it is a Fairy Tale

The Clinton Cartel and why it is a Fairy Tale

Recently I found this video from some dweeb who kisses Crooked Donald’s ass so much he was willing to make up stories to discredit Hillary Clinton.  However, I personally recommend watching the video before reading my debunking thereof.  I’ll put a link down below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmwjzOj5WPY  – this was taken down, but here’s Lou Dobbs pimping the story:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8Upi08pMNQ

Have you watched the video yet?  Good.  Now let’s go ahead and get started.

“What I’m about to show you in the next 5 minutes will be extremely difficult to watch… but it will also save your life.  You’re about to hear a private briefing about the TRUTH behind the 2016 election… and Hillary Clinton’s one final, desperate act still to come.”

Truth?  Excuse me while I burst out laughing for a moment.  Truth?  Come on.  There’s no truth in this.

“It also exposes a corrupt conspiracy involving Clinton, a secret society of gangsters, and other high-ranking government officials and for the last 23 years, it’s remained a total secret.  Until today…”

Get real.  If Hillary really had done a good job of keeping it a secret for all those years, how could a single person find out about it overnight?  How am I supposed to be convinced that you didn’t make any of this up?  Also, a secret society of gangsters?  Give me a break.  That sounds totally ludicrous.  Politicians would never work with gangsters, they would throw them in jail.

“To be clear: the people involved NEVER expected the inner-workings of their plan to see the light of day.  And if it weren’t just for one tiny mistake, it would have remained buried forever.”

Oh, come on.  If the people involved in some diabolical master plan never expected it to come to fruition, they would have never worked on it in the first place.  Okay, what is this “tiny mistake” you speak of, wise guy?

“So if you’re ready for the truth, keep watching.  But if you don’t think you can handle it, close this video now before you hear what I’m about to say next.  This will be your only opportunity to hear my warning and take action to protect yourself and your family.”I find it funny how he refers to all this as “the truth” when the fact is, there isn’t a shred of truth to any of this.  And the fact that he wants us to believe that this would “protect our families” should indicate that he doesn’t want us to stop and think, “Hm… maybe this might not be true after all?”  Okay, mister, show me the lies that you plan on telling us.

“Did Hillary rig the 2016 election all the way back in 1993 and in exchange, allow a sinister act to kill 31,000 American seniors that year and MORE every year after?”

No, no, and HELL no!  If she did rig the 2016 election all the way back in 1993, she would have won the election and none of us would have had to deal with Crooked Donald’s bullshit anymore.  And there’s no need to “kill” seniors.  Being a senior is the part of life that naturally comes before death anyway, and yet this joker presents the elderly as a bunch of murder victims.  This should indicate that this guy doesn’t care about facts.  Just charge vocabulary and audience reaction.  He’s clearly using words like “sinister” and “kill” just to get his audience offended at Hillary’s completely made-up conspiracy.  

“Impossible?  Trust me.  Your liberal friends and family won’t be able to deny a thing once you show them the information I’ve been able to uncover.”

Oh, I beg to differ.  And by “uncover,” you obviously mean “fabricate,” right?

“It’s a secret plan cooked up by Crooked Hillary herself that I’ve identified as ‘Executive Plan 5.’”

Okay, first of all, the fact that this dweeb called Mrs. Clinton “Crooked Hillary” much like Donald Trump does should give you some indication as to what he’s trying to do.  He doesn’t care about facts, he cares about how to manipulate people into parroting and eating up everything he says.  And the whole thing with “Executive Plan 5” makes him sound like nothing more than some conspiracy nut.  You can accuse me of blindly believing the whole “Trump colluding with Russia” thing, but at least there is evidence to back it up that has been piling up, even with his son outright admitting it on Twitter and handing evidence to the opposition on a silver platter.  Crooked Donald’s own followers are willing to give him a free pass for any conspiracy he may be involved in, yet are willing to jump at Hillary whenever they catch a rumor of anything dubious involving her?  Hypocrites.

“And it’s a scheme so elaborate and far-reaching, it can only be defined as high treason.”

Oh, yes, never mind Crooked Donald’s constant praising of Vladimir Putin and constant belittling of America’s ally nations, not to mention his unconstitutional banning of Muslim immigrants.  Why they don’t qualify as high treason at all, do they?

“Here was the plan: On January 20th, 2017, Hillary was supposed to place her hand on the Bible and take the Presidential oath of office.  Not as the victor of an honest and fair election, but as a liar, a traitor, and the conspiracy mastermind of a rigged election.”

You’re only a quarter right.  Yes, on January 20th, 2017, she was supposed to place her hand on the Bible and take the Presidential oath of office, but definitely, definitely as the victor of an honest and fair election.  And yes, let’s completely ignore the lies, betrayals, and conspiracies of the President that we ended up with: Crooked Donald.  After all, who’s to say that he didn’t rig the election in his favor, collaborating with the Russians and all.

“Fortunately, you and I both know how her story ended… she failed to become President.  And thank God for that.”

Thank God for that?  Don’t make me laugh.  Have you been paying any attention to what Crooked Donald has been doing during his presidency?  Or have you been purposely hiding your head in the sand since his inauguration?  Maybe you have been, since Crooked Donald has been lying to you about the news being “fake” in a desperate attempt to make himself seem credible.  Because if you were to pay attention to the news, you’d realize that we would be better off with Hillary Clinton as our President after all.

“While President-elect Trump was watching his electoral votes flood in, Hillary went into hiding… practically disappearing off the face of the earth.  Why?  Because she knows this isn’t a simple case of ‘He Won; She Lost.’”

No, there were a few times where she really did publicly show up on camera and say a few things.  She even did that long after Cooked Donald’s inauguration.  And she treated it like a simple case of “He Won; She Lost.”

“No, there’s so much more to the story than that.  And the reason goes deeper than you or I could ever imagine.  So while most Americans are breathing a sigh of relief that Trump will serve as our next President…”

No, they had the exact opposite reaction.  Most Americans protested out in the streets, demanding the government to hand the Presidency over to Hillary Clinton and take it away from Cooked Donald.  They know that prejudice, racism, islamophobia, and bigotry have no place in the White House, and I completely agree.  Hell, there was even a guy who got beaten up in the streets specifically because he voted for Donald Trump!  Do you even watch the news?

“…what 99.98% of them won’t know is the uncomfortable truth.”

And by “uncomfortable truth” you mean “downright blatant lie,” right?

“The outcome of this election – arguably the most important one of our lifetime – was actually planned 23 years ago behind closed doors in a top-secret location.  And even though Hillary has all but disappeared now – her entire sinister plot is still unfolding and putting millions of American lives in jeopardy every single day.”

Oh, gimme a break.  If Hillary really had been planning the outcome of this election, she probably would have won it.  And do you have any idea what her goal is and how much supposed damage it would do?  Not to mention, let’s completely ignore the concerns that people have of how many people would lose their health care coverage if Trumpcare comes into effect.  We’re much more concerned about people losing their lives under the Trump presidency, and if they do, it’ll be the fault of Crooked Donald and his Republican cronies.

“Worse yet, Trump, Pence, or ANY of the high-powered politicos in DC are absolutely powerless to stop her.”

As if they give a rat’s ass what she does.  If Hillary’s so-called plans do happen, they’re just gonna turn a blind eye.  And if she does cause the amount of damage you say she’ll do, they’ll just think, “Hey!  We wanted to do that!”

“How do I know for sure?”

Simple.  You made it up.  Entirely.

“I’ll explain everything but let me start by introducing myself.  My name is Dr. Allan Spreen, and I work for an organization just outside Washington DC, a patriotic group that monitors our government for exactly this type of thing.”

If that were the case, then maybe, just maybe, you should monitor any potential shady business that the Republicans have been doing.  And now that Crooked Donald has become our President, why don’t you monitor his behavior and actions as well as that of his coworkers, and expose any of their corruption to the public?  This means that either A: you guys suck at your jobs, B: you guys are overly biased, or C: you guys are hypocrites!

“I can’t reveal my sources, but a network of insiders gives me special access to this kind of information.”

The fact that Allan said that he can’t reveal his sources should arouse suspicion from anyone watching this video.  If this guy wants us to believe him, the burden of proof lies with him.  And if he were to reveal his sources, his arguments and “discoveries” would have some actual credibility.  And saying that he can’t reveal his sources seems to serve two purposes here.  One: to worm his way out of said burden and further insist that you need to simply take his word for it.  And two: to paint Hillary Clinton as having a network of spies keeping watch over anything that could potentially leak out her dirty secrets, and even being willing to kill anyone that may potentially leak them out, playing even further into purpose number one.  But come on, who would really be that gullible?  If someone says they have essential information for you, and makes up excuses for not showing you proof that what they’re saying is true, you should be very suspicious of them.  Or completely disbelieve them.

“We’ve uncovered a lot of dirt over the last 19 years, but NOTHING this huge.”

In that case, you should definitely give us proof that what you’re saying is true.  Otherwise, we might just push the idea that you’re actually lying, sort of like what I’m doing right now.

“I might even be putting myself at risk to publish this report today – but it’s my duty, buth as a journalist and a proud American who loves his country.”

If you really did love your country, you would have gladly done investigating and exposing of any of Donald Trump’s dubious activity.  And stop thinking that he’s better for this country, Mr. Spreen.  I’m sorry, he’s just not.

“I’ve actually been tracking this story for years… following paper trails, checking fact, and gathering a mountain of evidence along the way…”

Evidence that you’re not even bothering to actually show your audience, Mr. Spreen?  Because if you don’t, we’ll be even more convinced that you made all of this up.

“But even I didn’t want to believe that this kind of thing could actually happen in America until I saw Hillary’s speech when she accepted the Democratic nomination.”

And if you don’t show us any of the so-called “evidence” that you supposedly ‘gathered,” (and by “gathered” I mean “fabricated”) we’ll keep not believing it.  An on a side-note, I have no idea how a person’s speech is meant to unveil a deep conspiracy theory.

“It was her smug smile and the way she waved like a queen at the crowd through the sleeves of her $12,000 pantsuit jacket… she knew she’d already won.”

Well, then, aren’t you going to show us a video clip of that speech?  Aren’t you going to show us the video where she does show off that smug smile and that regal wave?  There was a video at the very introduction of this video, why wasn’t there one here when you truly need it?  I think this guy is grasping at straws.

“I decided right then and there that I wasn’t going to let her get away with it… and I know you won’t either.”

Oh, yes, I will.  As for Crooked Donald, well, I hope you reconsider letting him get away with anything bad he had done.

“Truthfully, even the craziest of left-wing ‘libnuts’ won’t be able to deny the proof at 6:18 of this video that Hillary Clinton has co-signed the most devastating American scandal this country has ever known.”

Ha!  Oh, please.  Couldn’t be any more devastating than Crooked Donald collaborating with the Russians.  Also, you just contradicted what you said earlier about being unable to show us any proof for fear for your life.  And I bet that proof is not really proof, now is it?

“That’s right, co-signed.  Because even though I truly believe Hillary is a force of evil against our great nation, she isn’t in this alone.”

Okay, you called her a “force of evil against our great nation,” which A: No, Donald Trump is, and B: calling her things like that clearly indicate that you’re only using charged vocabulary in order to get your audience’s attention instead of relying on actual evidence.

“In fact, during my investigation, I uncovered proof of a shadowy organization operating strategically behind the scenes and manipulating Hillary’s career… with her FULL blessing.  My colleagues and I call that secret organization the Clinton Cartel.  And they’re every bit as power-hungry and despicable as Hillary herself.”

If there’s anyone power-hungry and despicable in this day of politics, it’s Crooked Donald and his cartel.  And by “cartel” I mean cabinet members and fellow Senate Republicans.  And once again, this guy claims to have proof without even bothering to show his audience any of it.  Once again, I have reason to believe that that he only pretends to have proof while making excuses to show none of it.

“Since all the way back in 1993, the Clinton Cartel has been Hillary’s ally on every rung of the political ladder, moving all the right chess pieces to buy her elections, knowing that starting in 2017 – with Queen Hillary running the show – she’d be returning the favor.  That’s right, in exchange for delivering her Presidency on a silver platter, she’d look the other way while giving the Cartel full access to run our government’s biggest agencies… for limitless profits.  Here was the plan: When Hillary’s scheme when into effect in 2017, the Cartel would have unprecedented access to our government… and a direct path to your health and money.

Do you honestly expect us to believe a story this ridiculous, Allen?  I mean, Hillary Clinton collaborating with a shadowy gang since 1993?  Promised with direct access to people’s health and money?  Oh, come on.  That’s way to ludicrous for any sensible person to believe.  But you don’t want us to be sensible do you?  You just want us to act on instinct, don’t you.  Well my instinct tells me that you’re lying through your teeth.  And besides, it’s not like the President that we actually ended up with, Crooked Donald, isn’t a threat to our good health care, now is it?  Sorry, but your attempts to protect our health have fallen flat on their face.  More importantly, though, do you have any videos of Hillary talking to members of this imaginary Cartel?  Any audio tapes?  Any transcripts?  No?  Then I’m not gonna take your word for it.  I have no reason to believe that this Cartel thing is actually true, and I think that it’s just another completely made-up story to try to convince us that she would have been a worse President than Crooked Donald, and I’m also convinced that you’re yet another one of Crooked Donald’s toadies trying to further the smear campaign against Hillary Clinton.

With their plan set in motion, she was guaranteed to win.  GUARANTEED.  Only they didn’t pull it off.  And now, the Cartel – hungrier than ever – still wants to be paid back.  Even if it’s at the expense of American lives.

If that were the case, then maybe this made-up Cartel would have joined Crooked Donald’s cabinet and tried to help him repeal Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act.  If they were to do that, they’d get their money back while also massacring so many American lives in the process, and considering that Trump and the Cartel have that common goal, I’m surprised they’re not teaming up to accomplish that.  But they’re not.  So the Cartel doesn’t exist.

“I’ll explain exactly what I mean, but here’s the part that will really blow your mind: Clinton swore up and down the campaign trail that the Cartel are actually her ENEMIES.  She’s absolutely shameless.  She publicly denounced them and said they’re out to take advantage of middle-class Americans (and they are!) but behind closed doors, she’s been greedily accepting their money AND their help for decades.”

Oh, I’m quite convinced that Clinton said nothing about a Cartel during her election campaign.  Also, You didn’t show us any indication that she has been accepting money from this fantasy Cartel.  No photos, no audio, no video clips, nothing!  So yeah.  There is no Cartel.  And besides, what about Crooked Donald?  The Russians have been helping his campaign, so why are you doing nothing to address that?  At least loads of other people have, but not you?  Hypocrite.

“Friend, what you’re about to see next proves EXACTLY why she was always unfit to be President, and why we could never allow her into the White House.”

Funny, Crooked Donald was always unfit to be President, and yet you had no problem with letting him into the White House!  Again, hypocrisy.  And I’m still convinced, she would have made a much better President than Crooked Donald here.

“Here are the facts: When Bill first assigned Hillary to lead his Task Force on National Health Care Reform in 1993, she immediately put 33 corporate power players on her team.  Now, these were some real heavy hitters across several industries that she knew had the muscle to get things done in DC and weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty in the process.  It was a real deal with the devil, to be sure.  But this group stood to make a killing because with the approval of the new healthcare bill, they were promised a payout to the tune of $10 BILLION in new revenues.  (Yup, that’s BILLION with a B.)”

Do you have any records on who these 33 corporate power players even are?  Aren’t you going to show us screenshots of these documents in a photograph or something?  Any documents of their track records?  Any e-mails or letters talking about this deal?  Any photos or videos of a meeting?  Something?  Anything?

“Fortunately, you and I both know how that ended.  Thankfully, the bill was destroyed before it ever got off the ground, and Hillary’s ‘teammates’ never go to cash their checks.  But failure has never stopped Hillary.  She’s had plenty of it… but her lust for power is never-ending.  And she knew that in our country, money can still buy power.  But you need LOTS of it.  So she decided to form a secret alliance with this group of corporate fat cats and with nothing more than a secret meeting and brief handshake to seal their pact, the Clinton Cartel was born.”

Again, no photos, no videos, nothing indicating the existence of this meeting.  So yeah.  I must admit, Allan, you have made the most elaborate story meant for vilifying Hillary Clinton ever created. Too bad I’m going to remain convinced that it’s complete bullshit.

“They vowed to never speak of their arrangement again.  But I was watching.”

Gee, if only you had brought a camera with you during this meeting and had taken photographs or recorded the meeting… oh wait!  You didn’t!  You were supposedly watching this meeting and you have nothing to show for it?  Actually, come to think of it, if you were watching their meeting twenty-four years ago between Hillary and this Cartell, then why didn’t you tell this to the media immediately after it was done?  Why wait until now!?  Were you too scared?  Did you think that nobody would believe you?  Or are you just trying even harder to make this fake Cartel story sound even more believable!?  Yep, the Clinton Cartel is just one big lie.

“And what you’re about to hear next is a matter of public record – the undeniable proof of the Cartel’s work.  Fast forward to Hillary’s 2000 Senate bid.  The Cartel funded $86,875 in cash into her campaign, ensuring her victory.  During her re-election in 2006, they upped the ante and pumped $157,015 into her campaign… and again, she won.  Then came the 2008 presidential election when the Cartel gave her $174,000 in cash.  The Cartel didn’t even care if Hillary lost in the primaries… they had their sights on 2016 the entire time.”

Don’t you think a story like that should sound suspicious to anyone?  If the Cartel had an opportunity to get Hillary into the White House before 2016, then why didn’t they use that to their advantage!?  Did nobody on that Cartel say, “Hey!  We could get Hillary into the White before 2016!  Why don’t we give it a try?”  Don’t you find it funny that they wouldn’t be eager to hasten their goal?

“Fast forward to 2015 when Hillary announced that she was running for President.  And now the Cartel went all-in… to the tune of $7,054,871.  But they didn’t stop there either.  Trying not to draw much attention to their partnership, they privately made additional contributions to the Clinton Foundation ranging from $1 million to $5 million each.”

If that were true, they’d run out of money eventually, right?  Right?  RIGHT?

“In total, it’s estimated that Hillary has accepted $10.8 million in Cartel dirty money since 2000, and that’s only including what’s publicly shown on her books.”

If she recieved any dirty money at all, it would never be publicly shown on her books.  She’d want to keep it top secret for the rest of time.  Publicly showing it on her books would defeat that purpose to a staggering degree and hurt her reputation, and thwart her ambitions.  So, you’ve shot yourself in the foot, Mr. Spreen.

“With that kind of money buying all the votes she needed, the scheme was practically fool-proof.  Until her carefully-laid plan was OUTED in the final hours before the election.”

Um… how?  How was it outed?  And I’m sure that so many people who heard that story knew that it was a complete lie just like I do.  Any sensible person would consider a story like that to be to ridiculous to be believed and write it off as the pathetic smear campaign that it was.

“Hillary rightfully lost, and the Cartel was once again left with their pocket turned inside out.  But that just made them even angrier.  So who exactly is this ‘faceless’ Cartel?  And why should we still be afraid of them – even after Donald Trump becomes president?”

Who is this “faceless” cartel you ask?  Simple.  They’re characters in a fanfiction you wrote in an attempt to discredit Hillary.  And why should we be afraid of them?  They’re no scarier than the stereotypical campfire ghost story.

“And most importantly, how can you protect yourself and your loved ones?”

Oh, come on.  It’s Crooked Donald and his cabinet that we need protection from.

“From my experience, I’ve found Clinton’s Cartel to be an extremely cunning and dangerous team.  They work in secret and consist of highly influential figures, lobbyists, and even corporate executives.  Now, that might not sound intimidating at first blush, but in partnership with Hillary, they’ve already launched Executive Plan 5 with one simple goal: Manipulate American politics – and the American people – for BILLIONS in pharmaceutical drug profits.  And no one would EVER catch on.  What’s even more terrifying is that this group is NOT made up of politicians.  Look, Trump has promised to ‘drain the swamp’ in DC… but these folks are too powerful to be touched.  So, even without Hillary on their side, they can still have unprecedented power to influence our government’s healthcare laws and policies.  Take for example the FDA: The Cartel has been funding that group for years.  They practically OWN it already.  How?  In just 2015 alone, the FDA received $97,605,000 in ‘standard fees’ from the Cartel.  All to allow more prescription drugs to flood the market, making BILLIONS for the Cartel.  And it’s only going to increase.  A LOT.  In fact, it should rocket to well over $100 million a year in money paid to the FDA, allowing the Cartel to continue to push their poison bills for BILLIONS in profit.”

Well, Allan, that’s pretty elaborate for a lie, I’ll give you that much.  Shame you made up an excuse to not show your sources, otherwise, you’d be more convincing.  Also, do you have anything to indicate that the FDA is on this fantasy Cartel’s leash?  The fact that you said that you can’t show your sources should be considered to be suspicious at best.  If you really want to convince us that any of this is even remotely true, then you absolutely, positively, should show us your sources, and the fact that you’re absolutely refusing to should be considered to be highly suspicious.

“And the worst part is, they’re selling us prescription drugs that are completely unnecessary.  And many of them are deadly.  Did you know the FDA receives more than 2 million consumer complaints about prescription drugs every single year!?  It gets worse.  It’s estimated that over 350 Americans are dropping dead every single day from taking their own prescribed medications.  That means in the short time you’ve been watching this presentation, 2 more Americans have died from the Cartel’s work… and seniors are at the most risk!”

Do you have any track records as to what these prescription drugs actually are, what they do, and who is selling them?  Or how about a record of the complaints that the FDA gets from their consumers for that matter?  And the people that have been getting killed by their own medications?  You definetly, definetly should be showing something to indicate that.  But because you made an excuse to not show your sources, your story remains way to ludicrous to be believable.  Again, if you attempt to worm your way out of showing your sources, damage will be done to your credibility.

“But maybe you’re sitting here and saying, ‘That will never be me.’  Then let me ask you.  Are you over the age of 55 and taking a prescription drug?  Does your spouse take any medications?  More than 31,000 seniors will die this year from legally prescribed medications.”

What I am saying isn’t “That will never be me,” it’s, “Oh, come on.  That’s ridiculous.  How can I be sure that you’re not making any of this up?”  And no, I’m actually in my mid-twenties and I don’t take prescription drugs.  I am not married.  And being a senior is the stage of life that takes place before death anyway, so that makes it even harder to believe that their own medications are actually killing them.

“But what can you do?  Your well-meaning doctor prescribes them for high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, whatever it is.  And you need them, right?  Well, that’s what the Clinton Cartel wants you to believe.  But today, we’re exposing their most dangerous LIE.”

Sorry pal, but I have my own ideas on who the liar is.

“You see, the organization I work for is called the Health Sciences Institute. (or HSI)  We’re an independent think tank of patriotic American doctors, scientists, and researchers and we are fighting back against Hillary and her slimy Cartel by exposing their biggest lie ever, starting with five words they NEVER wanted you to hear: YOU DON’T NEED PRESCRIPTION DRUGS.  Not when there are already very real cures and treatments for the diseases that plague us.  Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, MS, heart disease, even cancer.  Cures they’ve actively covered up for the last 23 years.  And today, we’re exposing everything and revealing every disease-curing secret so they lose… and you win.  Like a cancer cure that beats chemotherapy and starts killing cancer cells in just hours… covered up by our own government!?  You won’t believe this outrageous scandal.”

Excuse me while I burst out laughing here, but honestly, if these amazing cures for all of these dangerous and complicated diseases really did exist, then why didn’t you do everything within your power to make their existence public knowledge so that people could get treated, you idiots!?

“The easy secret to reversing Alzheimer’s and dementia with the power to roll your brain’s “clock” back 12 years.  How did this one get buried?  The truth comes out today…  The only solution that erases arthritis pain and REBUILDS arthritic joints.  Pain vanishes in as little as seven days.  Are you ready for a brand new outlook on life and ZERO pain?  Want deep, restful, healing sleep night after night?  Without the danger of deadly sleeping pills?  You’ll be amazed by this new sleep wonder and just how dangerous the pharma stuff secretly is.  There’s a deadly symptom of heart failure that your doctor doesn’t know!  This is MUST-READ information to save you from a fatal heart attack: Plus, there’s a simple solution for protecting your heart now, if you know where to look.  ”

Well the truth should have come out a long time ago!  Why did you wait until now!?  That way, if the Clinton Cartel really did exist, (and there’s a reason I say “if”) Hillary would have been completely exposed, the Cartel would have fallen apart, her ambitions would have collapsed, Bernie Sanders would have won the election, and maybe, just maybe, we would have had a much better President right now!  Why didn’t you make any of this public knowledge a long time ago?  Because if you did, this would have been so much more believable.

“You see, there are TRUE cures from all over the world that work as well (or better!) than prescriptions… but with no lousy side-effects.”

You know the old saying “too good to be true?”  Well that’s what all of this sounds like to me, and that should definitely, definitely raise suspicion.

“In fact, in many countries around the world… these therapies are PRESCRIBED by doctors.  And results are flowing in that they’re curing grateful patients from cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and more.”

Then why don’t you provide an actual example, then?

“But why not here?  In the Greatest country in the world?”

Greatest country in the world?  I seriously beg to differ.

“Well, it interferes with the Cartel’s money machine.  You see, these are all NATURAL disease treatments… discovered by top scientists right here on God’s green earth.  But you can’t patent a plant extract or an herbal disease treatment.  And if you can’t patent something, you can’t sell it for big profits.”  

Well, there’s an old saying that goes: You’ll never know until you try.  In my opinion, you can patent these natural treatments.  It may not be easy but it is possible, and if growing, patenting, and making profits off of fruits and vegetables – naturally produced food! – is possible, why not with plant extracts or herbal disease treatments?  Don’t you think that something like that would be highly suspicious?  At best?  Grocery stores and make profits off of fruits and vegetables so pharmaceutical companies have no excuse for not trying any of this.  But maybe if they were to start giving it a try, then this story would have come up at all.Not only that, though, but you said that the planet’s top scientists found these natural cures, so why don’t you give us their names and credentials?  Aren’t you going to give us stories on how they managed to find these supposed natural cures?  Again, more “evidence” that you’re withdrawing from us.

“So why would the Cartel even waste their time?”

Same reason grocery stores sell fruits and vegetables.  Now if they were to start taking that into consideration and give it a try, they would make money faster and more honestly.

“It makes WAY more sense for them to try to replicate the cure with something artificial that will become their next cash cow.”

No, it doesn’t.  If customers realize that there’s been a real cure and they’ve been purchasing a fake one this entire time, they’ll not want to buy their product anymore, and the Cartel’s finances would plunge down the toilet in a landslide.  

“So the Cartel bullies the FDA into making sure these natural cures STAY a secret.  While also making sure you and your doctor only hear about their ‘wonder drugs’… and keeping those deadly side-effects sealed away from the public eye.  And that keeps Americans coming back to deadly and ineffective pharma drugs over and over.”

Yet another instance where providing us with a video showing us this would be tremendously helpful.

“But, finally, that ends TODAY.  For the first time ever, I’m unmasking and counting down the Top 5 Covered-Up Cures that Hillary’s Cartel and their partners at the FDA have openly tried to discredit.  I’ll show you proof of what these cures can do for you and your family… (And yes, I do mean CURES for the deadliest diseases known to mankind.)”

I have two problems with him saying this.  One: He doesn’t actually show us the actual proof of what these cures can do or even what they look like, no photos, no interviews with the people who have gotten treated, nothing of the sort.  Two: I don’t think it’s enough to raise awareness of these supposed cures to us.  The knowledge of the existence of these cures won’t do us any good if we can’t easily obtain them.  Allan and his buddies should make the existence of these cures more wide-spread and more importantly, mass-produce them so that they can easily give them to whomever might need them most.

“You’ll also hear from ‘hopeless’ people who had their lives changed forever…  You’ll see the results from rock-solid scientific studies…”

That you won’t even bother showing us, Mr. Spreen?  

“And most importantly… I’ll show you how you can legally get your hands on all of them.  Free.”

Cue a commercial for one of his books.  I’ll skip this segment and fast-forward to the segment where it talks about the whole cure-for-cancer thing.

“For the first time ever, cancer is now a completely curable disease.  Colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, skin cancer, lung cancer, leukemia, even inoperable brain tumors and more… are NO match for this natural discovery.  It’s all thanks to this breakthrough that comes from one of the strangest places on earth… a rare type of sour honey!?”

Oh, I’m sorry, a special sour honey can cure cancer?  My scouter says that your ridiculousness levels have gone… well… how do I explain this?

No, no, and HELL no!  If she did rig the 2016 election all the way back in 1993, she would have won the election and none of us would have had to deal with Crooked Donald’s bullshit anymore.  And there’s no need to “kill” seniors.  Being a senior is the part of life that naturally comes before death anyway, and yet this joker presents the elderly as a bunch of murder victims.  This should indicate that this guy doesn’t care about facts.  Just charge vocabulary and audience reaction.  He’s clearly using words like “sinister” and “kill” just to get his audience offended at Hillary’s completely made-up conspiracy.  

“Impossible?  Trust me.  Your liberal friends and family won’t be able to deny a thing once you show them the information I’ve been able to uncover.”

Oh, I beg to differ.  And by “uncover,” you obviously mean “fabricate,” right?

“It’s a secret plan cooked up by Crooked Hillary herself that I’ve identified as ‘Executive Plan 5.’”

Okay, first of all, the fact that this dweeb called Mrs. Clinton “Crooked Hillary” much like Donald Trump does should give you some indication as to what he’s trying to do.  He doesn’t care about facts, he cares about how to manipulate people into parroting and eating up everything he says.  And the whole thing with “Executive Plan 5” makes him sound like nothing more than some conspiracy nut.  You can accuse me of blindly believing the whole “Trump colluding with Russia” thing, but at least there is evidence to back it up that has been piling up, even with his son outright admitting it on Twitter and handing evidence to the opposition on a silver platter.  Crooked Donald’s own followers are willing to give him a free pass for any conspiracy he may be involved in, yet are willing to jump at Hillary whenever they catch a rumor of anything dubious involving her?  Hypocrites.

“And it’s a scheme so elaborate and far-reaching, it can only be defined as high treason.”

Oh, yes, never mind Crooked Donald’s constant praising of Vladimir Putin and constant belittling of America’s ally nations, not to mention his unconstitutional banning of Muslim immigrants.  Why they don’t qualify as high treason at all, do they?

“Here was the plan: On January 20th, 2017, Hillary was supposed to place her hand on the Bible and take the Presidential oath of office.  Not as the victor of an honest and fair election, but as a liar, a traitor, and the conspiracy mastermind of a rigged election.”

You’re only a quarter right.  Yes, on January 20th, 2017, she was supposed to place her hand on the Bible and take the Presidential oath of office, but definitely, definitely as the victor of an honest and fair election.  And yes, let’s completely ignore the lies, betrayals, and conspiracies of the President that we ended up with: Crooked Donald.  After all, who’s to say that he didn’t rig the election in his favor, collaborating with the Russians and all.

“Fortunately, you and I both know how her story ended… she failed to become President.  And thank God for that.”

Thank God for that?  Don’t make me laugh.  Have you been paying any attention to what Crooked Donald has been doing during his presidency?  Or have you been purposely hiding your head in the sand since his inauguration?  Maybe you have been, since Crooked Donald has been lying to you about the news being “fake” in a desperate attempt to make himself seem credible.  Because if you were to pay attention to the news, you’d realize that we would be better off with Hillary Clinton as our President after all.

“While President-elect Trump was watching his electoral votes flood in, Hillary went into hiding… practically disappearing off the face of the earth.  Why?  Because she knows this isn’t a simple case of ‘He Won; She Lost.’”

No, there were a few times where she really did publicly show up on camera and say a few things.  She even did that long after Cooked Donald’s inauguration.  And she treated it like a simple case of “He Won; She Lost.”

“No, there’s so much more to the story than that.  And the reason goes deeper than you or I could ever imagine.  So while most Americans are breathing a sigh of relief that Trump will serve as our next President…”

No, they had the exact opposite reaction.  Most Americans protested out in the streets, demanding the government to hand the Presidency over to Hillary Clinton and take it away from Cooked Donald.  They know that prejudice, racism, islamophobia, and bigotry have no place in the White House, and I completely agree.  Hell, there was even a guy who got beaten up in the streets specifically because he voted for Donald Trump!  Do you even watch the news?

“…what 99.98% of them won’t know is the uncomfortable truth.”

And by “uncomfortable truth” you mean “downright blatant lie,” right?

“The outcome of this election – arguably the most important one of our lifetime – was actually planned 23 years ago behind closed doors in a top-secret location.  And even though Hillary has all but disappeared now – her entire sinister plot is still unfolding and putting millions of American lives in jeopardy every single day.”

Oh, gimme a break.  If Hillary really had been planning the outcome of this election, she probably would have won it.  And do you have any idea what her goal is and how much supposed damage it would do?  Not to mention, let’s completely ignore the concerns that people have of how many people would lose their health care coverage if Trumpcare comes into effect.  We’re much more concerned about people losing their lives under the Trump presidency, and if they do, it’ll be the fault of Crooked Donald and his Republican cronies.

“Worse yet, Trump, Pence, or ANY of the high-powered politicos in DC are absolutely powerless to stop her.”

As if they give a rat’s ass what she does.  If Hillary’s so-called plans do happen, they’re just gonna turn a blind eye.  And if she does cause the amount of damage you say she’ll do, they’ll just think, “Hey!  We wanted to do that!”

“How do I know for sure?”

Simple.  You made it up.  Entirely.

“I’ll explain everything but let me start by introducing myself.  My name is Dr. Allan Spreen, and I work for an organization just outside Washington DC, a patriotic group that monitors our government for exactly this type of thing.”

If that were the case, then maybe, just maybe, you should monitor any potential shady business that the Republicans have been doing.  And now that Cooked Donald has become our President, why don’t you monitor his behavior and actions as well as that of his coworkers, and expose any of their corruption to the public?  This means that either A: you guys suck at your jobs, B: you guys are overly biased, or C: you guys are hypocrites!

“I can’t reveal my sources, but a network of insiders gives me special access to this kind of information.”

The fact that Allan said that he can’t reveal his sources should arouse suspicion from anyone watching this video.  If this guy wants us to believe him, the burden of proof lies with him.  And if he were to reveal his sources, his arguments and “discoveries” would have some actual credibility.  And saying that he can’t reveal his sources seems to serve two purposes here.  One: to worm his way out of said burden and further insist that you need to simply take his word for it.  And two: to paint Hillary Clinton as having a network of spies keeping watch over anything that could potentially leak out her dirty secrets, and even being willing to kill anyone that may potentially leak them out, playing even further into purpose number one.  But come on, who would really be that gullible?  If someone says they have essential information for you, and makes up excuses for not showing you proof that what they’re saying is true, you should be very suspicious of them.  Or completely disbelieve them.

In that case, you should definitely give us proof that what you’re saying is true.  Otherwise, we might just push the idea that you’re actually lying, sort of like what I’m doing right now.

“I might even be putting myself at risk to publish this report today – but it’s my duty, buth as a journalist and a proud American who loves his country.”

If you really did love your country, you would have gladly done investigating and exposing of any of Donald Trump’s dubious activity.  And stop thinking that he’s better for this country, Mr. Spreen.  I’m sorry, he’s just not.

“I’ve actually been tracking this story for years… following paper trails, checking fact, and gathering a mountain of evidence along the way…”

Evidence that you’re not even bothering to actually show your audience, Mr. Spreen?  Because if you don’t, we’ll be even more convinced that you made all of this up.

“But even I didn’t want to believe that this kind of thing could actually happen in America until I saw Hillary’s speech when she accepted the Democratic nomination.”

And if you don’t show us any of the so-called “evidence” that you supposedly ‘gathered,” (and by “gathered” I mean “fabricated”) we’ll keep not believing it.  An on a side-note, I have no idea how a person’s speech is meant to unveil a deep conspiracy theory.

“It was her smug smile and the way she waved like a queen at the crowd through the sleeves of her $12,000 pantsuit jacket… she knew she’d already won.”

Well, then, aren’t you going to show us a video clip of that speech?  Aren’t you going to show us the video where she does show off that smug smile and that regal wave?  There was a video at the very introduction of this video, why wasn’t there one here when you truly need it?  I think this guy is grasping at straws.

“I decided right then and there that I wasn’t going to let her get away with it… and I know you won’t either.”

Oh, yes, I will.  As for Crooked Donald, well, I hope you reconsider letting him get away with anything bad he had done.

“Truthfully, even the craziest of left-wing ‘libnuts’ won’t be able to deny the proof at 6:18 of this video that Hillary Clinton has co-signed the most devastating American scandal this country has ever known.”

Ha!  Oh, please.  Couldn’t be any more devastating than Crooked Donald collaborating with the Russians.  Also, you just contradicted what you said earlier about being unable to show us any proof for fear for your life.  And I bet that proof is not really proof, now is it?

“That’s right, co-signed.  Because even though I truly believe Hillary is a force of evil against our great nation, she isn’t in this alone.”

Okay, you called her a “force of evil against our great nation,” which A: No, Donald Trump is, and B: calling her things like that clearly indicate that you’re only using charge vocabulary in order to get your audience’s attention instead of relying on actual evidence.

“In fact, during my investigation, I uncovered proof of a shadowy organization operating strategically behind the scenes and manipulating Hillary’s career… with her FULL blessing.  My colleagues and I call that secret organization the Clinton Cartel.  And they’re every bit as power-hungry and despicable as Hillary herself.”

If there’s anyone power-hungry and despicable in this day of politics, it’s Crooked Donald and his cartel.  And by “cartel” I mean cabinet members and fellow Senate Republicans.  And once again, this guy claims to have proof without even bothering to show his audience any of it.  Once again, I have reason to believe that that he only pretends to have proof while making excuses to show none of it.

“Since all the way back in 1993, the Clinton Cartel has been Hillary’s ally on every rung of the political ladder, moving all the right chess pieces to buy her elections, knowing that starting in 2017 – with Queen Hillary running the show – she’d be returning the favor.  That’s right, in exchange for delivering her Presidency on a silver platter, she’d look the other way while giving the Cartel full access to run our government’s biggest agencies… for limitless profits.  Here was the plan: When Hillary’s scheme when into effect in 2017, the Cartel would have unprecedented access to our government… and a direct path to your health and money.

Do you honestly expect us to believe a story this ridiculous, Allen?  I mean, Hillary Clinton collaborating with a shadowy gang since 1993?  Promised with direct access to people’s health and money?  Oh, come on.  That’s way to ludicrous for any sensible person to believe.  But you don’t want us to be sensible do you?  You just want us to act on instinct, don’t you.  Well my instinct tells me that you’re lying through your teeth.  And besides, it’s not like the President that we actually ended up with, Crooked Donald, isn’t a threat to our good health care, now is it?  Sorry, but your attempts to protect our health have fallen flat on their face.  More importantly, though, do you have any videos of Hillary talking to members of this imaginary Cartel?  Any audio tapes?  Any transcripts?  No?  Then I’m not gonna take your word for it.  I have no reason to believe that this Cartel thing is actually true, and I think that it’s just another completely made-up story to try to convince us that she would have been a worse President than Crooked Donald, and I’m also convinced that you’re yet another one of Crooked Donald’s toadies trying to further the smear campaign against Hillary Clinton.

With their plan set in motion, she was guaranteed to win.  GUARANTEED.  Only they didn’t pull it off.  And now, the Cartel – hungrier than ever – still wants to be paid back.  Even if it’s at the expense of American lives.

If that were the case, then maybe this made-up Cartel would have joined Crooked Donald’s cabinet and tried to help him repeal Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act.  If they were to do that, they’d get their money back while also massacring so many American lives in the process, and considering that Trump and the Cartel have that common goal, I’m surprised they’re not teaming up to accomplish that.  But they’re not.  So the Cartel doesn’t exist.

“I’ll explain exactly what I mean, but here’s the part that will really blow your mind: Clinton swore up and down the campaign trail that the Cartel are actually her ENEMIES.  She’s absolutely shameless.  She publicly denounced them and said they’re out to take advantage of middle-class Americans (and they are!) but behind closed doors, she’s been greedily accepting their money AND their help for decades.”

Oh, I’m quite convinced that Clinton said nothing about a Cartel during her election campaign.  Also, You didn’t show us any indication that she has been accepting money from this fantasy Cartel.  No photos, no audio, no video clips, nothing!  So yeah.  There is no Cartel.  And besides, what about Crooked Donald?  The Russians have been helping his campaign, so why are you doing nothing to address that?  At least loads of other people have, but not you?  Hypocrite.

“Friend, what you’re about to see next proves EXACTLY why she was always unfit to be President, and why we could never allow her into the White House.”

Funny, Crooked Donald was always unfit to be President, and yet you had no problem with letting him into the White House!  Again, hypocrisy.  And I’m still convinced, she would have made a much better President than Crooked Donald here.

“Here are the facts: When Bill first assigned Hillary to lead his Task Force on National Health Care Reform in 1993, she immediately put 33 corporate power players on her team.  Now, these were some real heavy hitters across several industries that she knew had the muscle to get things done in DC and weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty in the process.  It was a real deal with the devil, to be sure.  But this group stood to make a killing because with the approval of the new healthcare bill, they were promised a payout to the tune of $10 BILLION in new revenues.  (Yup, that’s BILLION with a B.)”

Do you have any records on who these 33 corporate power players even are?  Aren’t you going to show us screenshots of these documents in a photograph or something?  Any documents of their track records?  Any e-mails or letters talking about this deal?  Any photos or videos of a meeting?  Something?  Anything?

“Fortunately, you and I both know how that ended.  Thankfully, the bill was destroyed before it ever got off the ground, and Hillary’s ‘teammates’ never go to cash their checks.  But failure has never stopped Hillary.  She’s had plenty of it… but her lust for power is never-ending.  And she knew that in our country, money can still buy power.  But you need LOTS of it.  So she decided to form a secret alliance with this group of corporate fat cats and with nothing more than a secret meeting and brief handshake to seal their pact, the Clinton Cartel was born.”

Again, no photos, no videos, nothing indicating the existence of this meeting.  So yeah.  I must admit, Allan, you have made the most elaborate story meant for vilifying Hillary Clinton ever created. Too bad I’m going to remain convinced that it’s complete bullshit.

“They vowed to never speak of their arrangement again.  But I was watching.”

Gee, if only you had brought a camera with you during this meeting and had taken photographs or recorded the meeting… oh wait!  You didn’t!  You were supposedly watching this meeting and you have nothing to show for it?  Actually, come to think of it, if you were watching their meeting twenty-four years ago between Hillary and this Cartell, then why didn’t you tell this to the media immediately after it was done?  Why wait until now!?  Were you too scared?  Did you think that nobody would believe you?  Or are you just trying even harder to make this fake Cartel story sound even more believable!?  Yep, the Clinton Cartel is just one big lie.

“And what you’re about to hear next is a matter of public record – the undeniable proof of the Cartel’s work.  Fast forward to Hillary’s 2000 Senate bid.  The Cartel funded $86,875 in cash into her campaign, ensuring her victory.  During her re-election in 2006, they upped the ante and pumped $157,015 into her campaign… and again, she won.  Then came the 2008 presidential election when the Cartel gave her $174,000 in cash.  The Cartel didn’t even care if Hillary lost in the primaries… they had their sights on 2016 the entire time.”

Don’t you think a story like that should sound suspicious to anyone?  If the Cartel had an opportunity to get Hillary into the White House before 2016, then why didn’t they use that to their advantage!?  Did nobody on that Cartel say, “Hey!  We could get Hillary into the White before 2016!  Why don’t we give it a try?”  Don’t you find it funny that they wouldn’t be eager to hasten their goal?

“Fast forward to 2015 when Hillary announced that she was running for President.  And now the Cartel went all-in… to the tune of $7,054,871.  But they didn’t stop there either.  Trying not to draw much attention to their partnership, they privately made additional contributions to the Clinton Foundation ranging from $1 million to $5 million each.”

If that were true, they’d run out of money eventually, right?  Right?  RIGHT?

“In total, it’s estimated that Hillary has accepted $10.8 million in Cartel dirty money since 2000, and that’s only including what’s publicly shown on her books.”

If she received any dirty money at all, it would never be publicly shown on her books.  She’d want to keep it top secret for the rest of time.  Publicly showing it on her books would defeat that purpose to a staggering degree and hurt her reputation, and thwart her ambitions.  So, you’ve shot yourself in the foot, Mr. Spreen.

“With that kind of money buying all the votes she needed, the scheme was practically fool-proof.  Until her carefully-laid plan was OUTED in the final hours before the election.”

Um… how?  How was it outed?  And I’m sure that so many people who heard that story knew that it was a complete lie just like I do.  Any sensible person would consider a story like that to be to ridiculous to be believed and write it off as the pathetic smear campaign that it was.

“Hillary rightfully lost, and the Cartel was once again left with their pocket turned inside out.  But that just made them even angrier.  So who exactly is this ‘faceless’ Cartel?  And why should we still be afraid of them – even after Donald Trump becomes president?”

Who is this “faceless” cartel you ask?  Simple.  They’re characters in a fanfiction you wrote in an attempt to discredit Hillary.  And why should we be afraid of them?  They’re no scarier than the stereotypical campfire ghost story.

“And most importantly, how can you protect yourself and your loved ones?”

Oh, come on.  It’s Crooked Donald and his cabinet that we need protection from.

“From my experience, I’ve found Clinton’s Cartel to be an extremely cunning and dangerous team.  They work in secret and consist of highly influential figures, lobbyists, and even corporate executives.  Now, that might not sound intimidating at first blush, but in partnership with Hillary, they’ve already launched Executive Plan 5 with one simple goal: Manipulate American politics – and the American people – for BILLIONS in pharmaceutical drug profits.  And no one would EVER catch on.  What’s even more terrifying is that this group is NOT made up of politicians.  Look, Trump has promised to ‘drain the swamp’ in DC… but these folks are too powerful to be touched.  So, even without Hillary on their side, they can still have unprecedented power to influence our government’s healthcare laws and policies.  Take for example the FDA: The Cartel has been funding that group for years.  They practically OWN it already.  How?  In just 2015 alone, the FDA received $97,605,000 in ‘standard fees’ from the Cartel.  All to allow more prescription drugs to flood the market, making BILLIONS for the Cartel.  And it’s only going to increase.  A LOT.  In fact, it should rocket to well over $100 million a year in money paid to the FDA, allowing the Cartel to continue to push their poison bills for BILLIONS in profit.”  

Well, Allan, that’s pretty elaborate for a lie, I’ll give you that much.  Shame you made up an excuse to not show your sources, otherwise, you’d be more convincing.  Also, do you have anything to indicate that the FDA is on this fantasy Cartel’s leash?  The fact that you said that you can’t show your sources should be considered to be suspicious at best.  If you really want to convince us that any of this is even remotely true, then you absolutely, positively, should show us your sources, and the fact that you’re absolutely refusing to should be considered to be highly suspicious.

“And the worst part is, they’re selling us prescription drugs that are completely unnecessary.  And many of them are deadly.  Did you know the FDA receives more than 2 million consumer complaints about prescription drugs every single year!?  It gets worse.  It’s estimated that over 350 Americans are dropping dead every single day from taking their own prescribed medications.  That means in the short time you’ve been watching this presentation, 2 more Americans have died from the Cartel’s work… and seniors are at the most risk!”

Do you have any track records as to what these prescription drugs actually are, what they do, and who is selling them?  Or how about a record of the complaints that the FDA gets from their consumers for that matter?  And the people that have been getting killed by their own medications?  You definetly, definetly should be showing something to indicate that.  But because you made an excuse to not show your sources, your story remains way to ludicrous to be believable.  Again, if you attempt to worm your way out of showing your sources, damage will be done to your credibility.

“But maybe you’re sitting here and saying, ‘That will never be me.’  Then let me ask you.  Are you over the age of 55 and taking a prescription drug?  Does your spouse take any medications?  More than 31,000 seniors will die this year from legally prescribed medications.”

What I am saying isn’t “That will never be me,” it’s, “Oh, come on.  That’s ridiculous.  How can I be sure that you’re not making any of this up?”  And no, I’m actually in my mid-twenties and I don’t take prescription drugs.  I am not married.  And being a senior is the stage of life that takes place before death anyway, so that makes it even harder to believe that their own medications are actually killing them.

“But what can you do?  Your well-meaning doctor prescribes them for high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, whatever it is.  And you need them, right?  Well, that’s what the Clinton Cartel wants you to believe.  But today, we’re exposing their most dangerous LIE.”

Sorry pal, but I have my own ideas on who the liar is.

“You see, the organization I work for is called the Health Sciences Institute. (or HSI)  We’re an independent think tank of patriotic American doctors, scientists, and researchers and we are fighting back against Hillary and her slimy Cartel by exposing their biggest lie ever, starting with five words they NEVER wanted you to hear: YOU DON’T NEED PRESCRIPTION DRUGS.  Not when there are already very real cures and treatments for the diseases that plague us.  Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, MS, heart disease, even cancer.  Cures they’ve actively covered up for the last 23 years.  And today, we’re exposing everything and revealing every disease-curing secret so they lose… and you win.  Like a cancer cure that beats chemotherapy and starts killing cancer cells in just hours… covered up by our own government!?  You won’t believe this outrageous scandal.”

Excuse me while I burst out laughing here, but honestly, if these amazing cures for all of these dangerous and complicated diseases really did exist, then why didn’t you do everything within your power to make their existence public knowledge so that people could get treated, you idiots!?

“The easy secret to reversing Alzheimer’s and dementia with the power to roll your brain’s “clock” back 12 years.  How did this one get buried?  The truth comes out today…  The only solution that erases arthritis pain and REBUILDS arthritic joints.  Pain vanishes in as little as seven days.  Are you ready for a brand new outlook on life and ZERO pain?  Want deep, restful, healing sleep night after night?  Without the danger of deadly sleeping pills?  You’ll be amazed by this new sleep wonder and just how dangerous the pharma stuff secretly is.  There’s a deadly symptom of heart failure that your doctor doesn’t know!  This is MUST-READ information to save you from a fatal heart attack: Plus, there’s a simple solution for protecting your heart now, if you know where to look.  ”

Well the truth should have come out a long time ago!  Why did you wait until now!?  That way, if the Clinton Cartel really did exist, (and there’s a reason I say “if”) Hillary would have been completely exposed, the Cartel would have fallen apart, her ambitions would have collapsed, Bernie Sanders would have won the election, and maybe, just maybe, we would have had a much better President right now!  Why didn’t you make any of this public knowledge a long time ago?  Because if you did, this would have been so much more believable.

“You see, there are TRUE cures from all over the world that work as well (or better!) than prescriptions… but with no lousy side-effects.”

You know the old saying “too good to be true?”  Well that’s what all of this sounds like to me, and that should definitely, definitely raise suspicion.

“In fact, in many countries around the world… these therapies are PRESCRIBED by doctors.  And results are flowing in that they’re curing grateful patients from cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and more.”

Then why don’t you provide an actual example, then?

“But why not here?  In the Greatest country in the world?”

Greatest country in the world?  I seriously beg to differ.

“Well, it interferes with the Cartel’s money machine.  You see, these are all NATURAL disease treatments… discovered by top scientists right here on God’s green earth.  But you can’t patent a plant extract or an herbal disease treatment.  And if you can’t patent something, you can’t sell it for big profits.”  

Well, there’s an old saying that goes: You’ll never know until you try.  In my opinion, you can patent these natural treatments.  It may not be easy but it is possible, and if growing, patenting, and making profits off of fruits and vegetables – naturally produced food! – is possible, why not with plant extracts or herbal disease treatments?  Don’t you think that something like that would be highly suspicious?  At best?  Grocery stores and make profits off of fruits and vegetables so pharmaceutical companies have no excuse for not trying any of this.  But maybe if they were to start giving it a try, then this story would have come up at all.Not only that, though, but you said that the planet’s top scientists found these natural cures, so why don’t you give us their names and credentials?  Aren’t you going to give us stories on how they managed to find these supposed natural cures?  Again, more “evidence” that you’re withdrawing from us.

“So why would the Cartel even waste their time?”

Same reason grocery stores sell fruits and vegetables.  Now if they were to start taking that into consideration and give it a try, they would make money faster and more honestly.

“It makes WAY more sense for them to try to replicate the cure with something artificial that will become their next cash cow.”

No, it doesn’t.  If customers realize that there’s been a real cure and they’ve been purchasing a fake one this entire time, they’ll not want to buy their product anymore, and the Cartel’s finances would plunge down the toilet in a landslide.  

“So the Cartel bullies the FDA into making sure these natural cures STAY a secret.  While also making sure you and your doctor only hear about their ‘wonder drugs’… and keeping those deadly side-effects sealed away from the public eye.  And that keeps Americans coming back to deadly and ineffective pharma drugs over and over.”

Yet another instance where providing us with a video showing us this would be tremendously helpful.

“But, finally, that ends TODAY.  For the first time ever, I’m unmasking and counting down the Top 5 Covered-Up Cures that Hillary’s Cartel and their partners at the FDA have openly tried to discredit.  I’ll show you proof of what these cures can do for you and your family… (And yes, I do mean CURES for the deadliest diseases known to mankind.)”

I have two problems with him saying this.  One: He doesn’t actually show us the actual proof of what these cures can do or even what they look like, no photos, no interviews with the people who have gotten treated, nothing of the sort.  Two: I don’t think it’s enough to raise awareness of these supposed cures to us.  The knowledge of the existence of these cures won’t do us any good if we can’t easily obtain them.  Allan and his buddies should make the existence of these cures more wide-spread and more importantly, mass-produce them so that they can easily give them to whomever might need them most.

“You’ll also hear from ‘hopeless’ people who had their lives changed forever…  You’ll see the results from rock-solid scientific studies…”

That you won’t even bother showing us, Mr. Spreen?  

“And most importantly… I’ll show you how you can legally get your hands on all of them.  Free.”

Cue a commercial for one of his books.  I’ll skip this segment and fast-forward to the segment where it talks about the whole cure-for-cancer thing.

“For the first time ever, cancer is now a completely curable disease.  Colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, skin cancer, lung cancer, leukemia, even inoperable brain tumors and more… are NO match for this natural discovery.  It’s all thanks to this breakthrough that comes from one of the strangest places on earth… a rare type of sour honey!?”

Oh, I’m sorry, a special sour honey can cure cancer?  My scouter says that your ridiculousness levels have gone… well… how do I explain this?

“We’ve uncovered a lot of dirt over the last 19 years, but NOTHING this huge.”

Yep.  What he said.  Aren’t you going to provide us with a photograph of said honey?  Or present us with an example of how it was able to cure cancer?  A scientific diagram?  A video of a cancer patient eating some of said honey and then being magically cured of said cancer?  Do you have anything to indicate how this sour honey is able to cure cancer of any kind shape and form?  Because that is scientifically ludicrous.  And unless you have any proof of this, it will remain ludicrous.  

“Keep watching and I’ll explain.  Cancer.  Just the word alone would make anyone’s heart drop in fear.  Maybe you have a loved one going through treatment right now and you know exactly how devastating the disease can be.  Maybe you’ve even worried about it yourself… wondering how a diagnosis would impact your own life… your family, friends, even pets.  It’s a completely rational fear, considering the fact it’s estimated there are 14 MILLION Americans living with some form of cancer right now and 1.6 million new cases expected to be added by the end of this year alone.  And it’s not even the fear of living through the disease and decline that’s the worst part.  It’s the fear of dying the horrible death that comes with it.  Chemotherapy, radiation, disfiguring surgery… and then death.  More than half a million Americans a year… dead from cancer.  Imagine how angry their families would be if they could see the emails I discovered…”

Gee.  Are you even bothering to actually show them to us!?  Do you have any credibility on this matter?

“A private email exchange sent between government researchers where they ADMITTED that a natural cure was the BEST cancer treatment available.  I managed to get my hands on the message itself and am publishing the smoking gun for you to see yourself… here’s the direct quote from their email: ‘[Sour Honey] is the only effective therapeutic available on the market so far.’”

Then why don’t you directly show it to us then?  Did you screenshot the e-mail?  If you did, why didn’t you show it to us?  That “direct quote” might as well be your own words.

“Think of all the needless deaths that could have been prevented had the FDA issued a public statement about the truth behind this bona-fide natural cancer cure.  But instead, they chose to keep their email chain private and unpublished.  They didn’t want anyone to see the truth or make their Cartel ‘investors’ angry.  And this admission was dated all the way back in 2013!  Imagine if the 1.7 million people who have died since then would have known about this natural cure’s power.  But instead, they were told the same lie that the Cartel spoon-feeds the American public (so THEY can pay cash for their custom Porsches): ‘Chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery are the only way.’  And they sure don’t want you to know about a potent natural cancer-defeater that’s as easy (and save!) as adding a spoonful of honey to a cup of hot tea.”

I’m sorry, but I think you should start showing us proof that this sour honey exists, let alone that it’s able to cure cancer in an instant.  Do you have even a scrap of evidence to back this up?  Again, more claims that you’re not even bothering to show us.  Have you studied and taken notes on the chemical composition of said honey and do you plan on showing it to us?  Oh, wait, you just sent us a commercial for one of your books.  And you expect us to find the proof there.  I’m sorry, but if you were to give us some proof now, we’d have more incentive to buy your book in the first place.

“But I don’t drive a pricey luxury car… or make a single red cent off ANY cure.  So I can’t wait to share this exciting news with you today.  In the heart of the Brazilian jungle, a tiny, remote area exists where special bees create one of the rarest substances on earth.  It’s a type of ‘sour honey’ that has remained untouched for thousands of years.  Until it was recently tested in a lab and delivered these near-miraculous results: Within 24 hours, Sour Honey was shown in vitro to demolish breast cancer cells on the spot – killing 13% of the cancer in just the first day alone!  And in a separate study, looking at human-like tumors on mice, tumor growth was halted a full 50% with Sour Honey.  And on two different aggressive types of prostate cancer cells, Sour Honey was shown in vitro to boost the speed in killing the cancer destroying up to 75% of the cancer cells in the study!”

This is where a photograph of said honey and said bees would really come in handy.  On top of that, why don’t you make special farms where you breed these special bees and mass-produce said sour honey?  And aren’t you going to show us any proof at all that this “sour honey” can cure cancer as miraculously as you claim?  You’re not going to show us videos or photographs of these tests?  You’re not gonna show us photos or videos featuring the mice?  No documents of that study?  How am I supposed to be convinced that this story about this sour honey is real, let alone that it can actually cure cancer as effectively as you claim?

“So how does it work so fast and so effectively?”Um, it doesn’t?“Well, unlike chemo drugs that work through ‘mass extinction’… attacking every cell in your body and destroying the good with the bad, this rare Sour Honey works on a whole other level: First it teams up with your body’s own natural chemistry to selectively target “grow” signals that cancer cells put out as they multiply and spread.  Next, it marks all of those nasty little cells (kind of like a label maker) – letting the body know that they are bad news.  Then it swoops into action on the ‘marked cells,’ destroying masses of cancer cells and only cancer cells.  So your normal, healthy cells stay untouched and continue to thrive.  But that’s not all.  The thing that makes Sour Honey so one-of-a-kind, is that it has a dual-mechanism for killing cancer cells.  Meaning, in addition to eliminating cancer directly, it’s even been proven in studies to drive cancer cells to kill THEMSELVES.  I’ll save you the boring science lecture and tell you everything you need to know next.  ”

Well, the least you could have done is wrote and sold a book that actually gives us proof about this sour honey and what it can do.  What he does from here on is insist that there have been studies shown that show that sour honey cures cancer, but he doesn’t even bother to show us anything from said studies and doesn’t even bother showing us any examples thereof.  After that, it’s just a long-winded commercial for other stuff.  But if I dive into the rest of this video, we’d be here forever, so I’m gonna save myself and all of you so much time and energy and just end this here and now.
Bottom line: Not a single thing Dr. Allan Spreen said was backed up with proper evidence like photos or videos, and it seemed like he just relied on shock value to supposedly get his point across, or more accurately, to kiss Crooked Donald’s ass.  While I do think that this “Clinton Cartel” story does sound interesting, I also think that it is a load of rubbish.  What makes this assumption even more convincing is that the only other people talking about this “Clinton Cartel” are the people on Fox News, who are notorious for biased conservative viewpoints, the real “fake news.”  I do admit, though, this “Clinton Cartel” story does sound pretty interesting, but I am convinced that he made it up, and will remain that way unless he provides actual proof.  But because he didn’t provide his audience with any proof of the whole “Clinton Cartel” thing, I have more reason to believe that the Clinton Cartel is a complete lie.  A lie that I nearly fell for hook, line, and sinker and I’m here to make sure that you don’t.  I hope the maker of this video actually reads this blog and watches in horror as I completely expose what a liar he is, and destroy his credibility.  I should expose the notion to the public that there is no Clinton Cartel!  Crooked Donald’s lies haven’t fooled the sensible, intelligent people of America.  What chance does this loser have?  And I’m quite certain that this clown is doing the very thing that he’s accusing Hillary’s so-called “cartel” of doing.

Good god, this was such an exhausting blog to create.

Thanks to Dr. Cragmire at The Dashing Spinner.

Portrait of a Traitor

by James Dunlap

Donald John Trump – Soon to be tried for treason

Ok, so I’ve actually sat down and read the entire 29 page Mueller indictment against the 12 Russian intelligence officers, and it is totally insane. I literally can’t believe the scope of this thing. I’m making this status public (i.e., shareable), because people need to know about this shit. There is no way you can read the actual indictment and not conclude that 1) there WAS a RUSSIAN conspiracy, 2) that the scope of that conspiracy was GARGANTUAN, 3) that it was organized BY THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT [i.e., there’s no way Putin didn’t know about this], 4) That people connected to the Trump campaign [and, shockingly, other U.S. Gov’t officials] WERE INVOLVED, and 5) this is just the beginning. If Mueller has already uncovered this amount of information with such specificity regarding the goings-on in far-away Russia, there’s NO WAY some serious shit isn’t going to hit the fan going forward right here in the U.S.

So, without further ado, here are the highlights:

Article 1 of the indictment states that the Russian government actively set up multiple intelligence units (known as the GRU) with the sole aim of interfering with the 2016 election. Two of these units, 26165, and 74455, were specifically tasked with acquiring and releasing stolen documents via hacking.

Article 2 specifically calls this a “conspiracy” and states that the 12 indicted Russians had contacts with “persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury.”

Article 3: The aforementioned Russian intelligence units deliberately targeted the Clinton campaign.

Article 4: They deliberately targeted the DNC as a whole.

Article 6: In June of 2016, they released TENS OF THOUSANDS of hacked documents using fictitious online personas.

Article 10: One of the intelligence officers, Boris Antonov, oversaw a department within 26165 tasked with hacking the U.S. military, governmental (i.e., political) and non-governmental organizations. [i.e., they were spying on every level of our gov’t].

Articles 12-18: The Russian hackers often used various online aliases, both male and female, such as (but not limited to) “Kate Milton,” “James McMorgans,” and “Karen Millen.” Sergey Morgachev, another Russian hacker, was a Lt. Colonel in the Russian military. He created the hacking malware used by dept. 26165, known as “X-Agent.” Another hacker named in the indictment, Nikolay Kozachek, was a Lt. Captain in the Russian military. Artem Malyshev (also named in the indictment) was a Second Lieutenant in the Russian military. Aleksandr Osadchuk (also named in the indictment) is a Colonel in the Russian Military. He oversaw the creation and dissemination of anti-Clinton material online.

Article 19: Russian Military Officer Aleksey Potemkin, assigned to 74455, supervised the creation of fake social media accounts used (among other things) in the release of DNC documents.

Article 21: Over 300 individuals affiliated with the DNC were SUCCESSFULLY targeted. (Article 21 is lengthy, and includes a detailed, play-by-play account of how 26165 and 74455 achieved their aims. Spoiler alert: It’s crazy).

Article 24, subsection B: The Russian’s hacking of the DNC was so advanced that they were able to monitor individual computers in real time. Subsection C states that their malware sent actual screenshots of DNC computer activity to a server in Arizona that the Russians had access to. They were also able to capture keystrokes entered by DCCC employees.

Article 24, subsection D: They monitored individual DNC / DCCC employees for hours on end, and obtained information about DNC fundraising plans and even banking information (as well as other personal information).

Article 26 subsection A: By June 2016 the Russians had complete access to 33 DNC computers, totally and completely.

Article 27: The GRU gained access to information regarding DNC opposition research, field operation plans, and the Benghazi operation.

Article 28, subsection B: Aside from the server in Arizona, the GRU also stored data to a server in Illinois, to which they filtered large gigabytes of stolen information via a program they developed known as “X-Tunnel.”

Article 32: The DNC became aware of Russian attempts to hack their servers and hired a security firm to identify the extent of the intrusions. The security firm (identified in the indictment only as “company 1”) also put in place measures to halt GRU access to DNC computers, but, despite this, the GRU was so efficient that they continued to maintain access via “X-Agent” well through October of 2016.

Article 33: The GRU immediately became aware of “company 1’s” (referring here to the security firm that the DNC hired) efforts, and took countermeasures in response. This included investigating / hacking “company 1” itself, and later, apparently as a retaliatory measure against the DNC, setting up a wesbsite that redirected from a DNC online political donations website, to another website set up by the GRU (in other words, the GRU took funds from DNC donors, using the pretext of a false DNC donations website).

Articles 35-36: The GRU set up another website, the sole purpose of which was to release stolen DNC documents. They created fake social media accounts that falsely attributed this website’s creation to a group of “American hacktivists.” It received over 1 million hits.

Article 37: The GRU has also released stolen documents dating back to 2015 (i.e., they’ve been up to this for quite a while).

Article 40: The notion of a “lone Romanian hacker” being responsible for the DNC leaks was a fiction deliberately created by the GRU and disseminated via fake social media accounts.

Article 42: Using a popular blogging site, the GRU set up a blog that used the most “searched for” keywords by conspiracy theorists, (e.g., “Illuminati,” “Worldwide,” “Conspiracy,” et. al.), -and used this website to further disseminate the “lone Romanian hacker” conspiracy theory. (Article 46 of the indictment further states that later entries on this blog site posted articles positing that the released, stolen documents had “nothing to do with Russia.”)

Article 43, Subsection A: An individual the indictment identifies only as “a known member of congress” contacted an online GRU dummy persona, (“Guccifer 2.0”) and requested stolen documents related to their political opponent, and the GRU / “Guccifer” responded by giving said member of congress access to the stolen data they were requesting.

Article 43, Subsection B: The GRU released stolen documents to what the indictment identifies as “a lobbyist and online source of political news.”

Subsection C: “Guccifer” / The GRU sent stolen documents pertaining to the “Black Lives Matter” movement to a reporter (unidentified in the indictment), to which the reporter not only responded, but offered to write an article using said information.

Article 44: The GRU, posing as “Guccifer 2.0” wrote to a person who was in regular contact with SENIOR MEMBERS OF THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN. (The indictment includes direct quotes of their online conversation, and this is CLEARLY referring to Roger Stone).

Article 45, subsection B: The GRU, using an alias, contacted a U.S. reporter (unnamed in the indictment) and ultimately gave them access to stolen DNC data.

Articles 47-49: Here the indictment refers to an organization, identified only as “Organization 1,” [I’m thinking, Wikileaks] -which actually reached out to the GRU aliases seeking the stolen emails / data. “Organization 1” is directly quoted by the indictment as having communicated to “Guccifer,” that they should “send [Organization 1] any new material [i.e., stolen data] here for us to review and it will have a much higher impact than what you are doing.” Organization 1 was given, and later released, said data, approximately 3 days before the Democratic National Convention. In total, between October and November of 2016, over 50,000 stolen documents were released.

Articles 50-79 : Lists the counts against the 11 Russian Military Personnel, which include charges of 1) Conspiracy to Commit Offenses Against The United States, 2) Aggravated Identity Theft, 3) Conspiracy to Launder Money [according to the indictment, over 95,000 USD$ was laundered], i.e. using cryptocurrency, that was then use to register domain names, set up websites, create server infrastructure, et. al.,3) The Use of Transferred Money To Commit Crimes Against The United States, 4) General Unlawful Conspiracy [It should be noted that many of these counts have sub-crimes attached to them, such as unlawful hacking, etc.].

So, there it is folks. This WAS A RUSSIAN CONSPIRACY, massive in scope, directly linked to the Trump campaign, the sole aim of which was to subvert Democracy. There is no way around it.

Here’s Mueller’s evidence against Paul Manafort.

Racism against Native Americans persists

Note: the opinions expressed in this column are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of High Country News, its board or staff. If you’d like to share an opinion piece of your own, please write Betsy Marston at betsym@hcn.org.

Evelyn Red LodgeEvelyn Red Lodge is a contributor to Writers on the Range, the opinion service of High Country News. A writer in Rapid City, South Dakota, she is a correspondent for Native Sun News Today and member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.

During my 13 years in Rapid City, South Dakota, I’ve learned that racism and ignorance almost always go hand-in-hand. The West was “won,” many people learn in school, but what did westward expansion mean for the Native people who were already living on the land?

The lure of gold brought explorers, miners and then homesteaders to South Dakota during the 19th and early 20th centuries. I imagine that most of those “invaders” — from my point of view — didn’t think twice about booting the local people out of the way. But that was then. The question today is why racism persists when America prides itself on tolerance and respecting diversity.

Here are examples from my life that reveal the kind of blatant racism I’ve experienced, as well as some of the unconscious racism that is sometimes almost comical.

I go to a Rapid City council meeting where a white local suggests placing statues of Native Americans in Founders Park, rather than in the proposed First Nations Sculpture Gallery in Halley Park. As Native author Elizabeth Cook-Lynn put it, the suggestion was made “without a hint of irony.” After all, who were the original founders if not Native people?

I go to the veterans’ parade where the 7th United States Cavalry, formed in 1866 to protect homesteaders and raid Native villages, is still honored. These days, of course, more Natives serve in the military per capita than any other ethnic group, according to the director of the National Museum of the American Indian. But few Natives march with the veterans in the parade.

I find a Black Hills trail guide listing the 7th Cavalry Trail as if it’s fun for people to follow the trail of mass murderers who killed anywhere from 75 to 125 babies, children and women at Wounded Knee in 1890.

Members of the 7th Cavalry Drum and Bugle Corps perform in a parade in downtown Rapid City, S.D., Nov. 11, 2007. Rapid City hosted the parade to honor those who have served and are currently serving in the U.S. military. The 7th Cavalry Corps is a volunteer marching band that dresses in authentic 19th century costume during parades in the area. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael B. Keller) (Released)

I buy a Happy Meal for my daughter only to find a 7th Cavalry Custer doll inside. She gets upset when I try to explain why I think it belongs in the trash.

In a jewelry shop along Mount Rushmore Road, I look at the gold for which my grandparents’ territory was invaded and spot a wine-bottle holder depicting a Native chief chugging a bottle of wine. Old stereotypes die hard. According to a recent study in the journal Drug and Alcohol Drug Dependence, alcohol consumption by Natives is shown to be generally less than that of Caucasians in the United States.

Just walking downtown in Rapid City, the so-called City of Presidents, I spot the stores along the way that used to sport signs saying “No Indians or Dogs Allowed.” I go to He Sapa — the Black Mountains — where I look upon the faces of past U.S. presidents who helped wipe out so many Indigenous peoples. I remember that Natives were only declared to be citizens by the United States Congress less than 100 years ago.

In 2015, I feared to go to any sporting event after a drunk beer salesman poured beer on Native students at a hockey game and shouted, “Go back to the reservation!” Within days, dumping beer on Natives had become a common occurrence at other venues.

I picked up the local newspaper four days after the drunk hockey fan did his business, and the question was raised on the front page: Had the Native students who were attacked stood for the national anthem? (Not that it should make any difference, but it was reported that the students did stand.)

I feared to walk on the north side of Rapid City in 2009 and 2010, after at least two Native families with children were egged while racial slurs were hurled at them. “Go back to where you came from!” is a laughable favorite. One Native woman, who was disabled, was run off the road while driving her car. Urine in bottles was thrown on other Natives. Some Natives were shot with pellet guns.

At the same time — and I am glad to report this — many of the attackers were held accountable after much public outcry:

The jewelry store owner removed the wine holder featuring a drunken Native from her window after local media asked why she’d given it prominence.

The newspaper removed its victim-blaming story from its Internet site.

Two 21-year-old women were arrested in the incident involving the disabled woman, becoming the first in the state to be charged with its new hate-crime law, “malicious intimidation or harassment.”

As for failures in the quest for justice, the drunk hockey fan was eventually acquitted of his one and only charge of disorderly conduct. And I am unaware of any charges brought against anyone for the attacks involving egg and urine throwing and pellet guns.

Racism persists, I am sorry to report. I still feel it every day.

Full disclosure: I am a Facebook friend to Evelyn Red Lodge – FRL – Thanks to High Country News!

The GOP and the Tall Tree

From Shareblue Media:

Missouri state Rep. Warren Love said on Facebook that he hoped Confederate statue vandals are lynched.

Missouri state Rep. Warren Love

Ever since the deadly neo-Nazi riot in Charlottesville, which centered on a condemned statue of Robert E. Lee, efforts to remove Confederate monuments have intensified.

But the statues, many of which were erected by white supremacist groups explicitly to protest Black civil rights, still have defenders.

Several Republicans, including Donald Trump and Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie, insist the statues are necessary to honor Southern history, even as they hypocritically allow Black heroes of the Civil War era to go unhonored and forgotten.

On Thursday, Missouri state Rep. Warren Love took his defense of Confederate statues to a violent extreme.

After a Confederate monument in Springfield National Cemetery was vandalized, Love took to Facebook to write, “This is totally against the law. I hope they are found & hung from a tall tree with a long rope.”

The idea of an elected lawmaker calling for people who defaced a statue to be lynched is horrifying. Love is explicitly invoking a terrorist act historically used by the KKK and white supremacist mobs.

During the 19th and 20th centuries, Black men were lynched for everything from trying to register to vote, to looking the wrong way at a white woman. Whites who were too outspoken in sympathy for Black rights were also targeted. People seen as a threat to the white social order were randomly made examples of, to terrify the rest into compliance.

Love’s post was met with immediate outrage. State House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty thundered that Love “invoked a form of political violence used throughout the South to keep African-Americans subjugated for generations following the fall of the Confederacy.” Missouri Democratic Party chair Stephen Webber demanded his resignation. Sen. Claire McCaskill agreed, calling his comments “unacceptable.”

Amazingly, Love is not even the first Republican lawmaker this week to threaten racial violence.

On Tuesday, Georgia state Rep. Jason Spencer warned former Black Democratic lawmaker LaDawn Jones that if she keeps criticizing Confederate statues, “I can guarantee you won’t be met with torches but something a lot more definitive. People in South Georgia are people of action, not drama.” He added that people who do not watch what they say “will go missing in the Okefenokee. Too many necks they are red around here.”

Republicans insist their support of Confederate statues has nothing to do with white supremacy. But their impulse to echo the threat of white terror betrays their motives.


Author

Freelance Political Writer

Matthew Chapman

Video game designer and science fiction author from Texas. Can be found on Twitter @fawfulfan.

Longmont Council Needs Prodding to Adopt Drop Zone Fees

When will the next one land on Airport Road?

For several months, the Longmont city council has been considering a signficant increase drop zone fees, which would be based on the drop zone square footage of 338,000 sf (recommended by the USPA.) The fees would go from the current $7,800 to $70,000 per year.

Longmont airport advisory board Aug agenda and June minutes – search for keyword $70,000

For many years, Mile-Hi Skydiving has been getting a free ride, while the airport enterprise fund can barely meet operating expenses. They were paying zero dollars for the 40-acre drop zone area until we made council aware of the oversight. Then they began paying the annual permit fee of $7,500 codified in the city ordinance – still a paltry sum compared to the damage they are causing. Worse yet, in 2016 Longmont tax dollars – to the tune of $40,000 – were siphoned from the General Fund to pay for airport expenses. Your tax dollars were misdirected and taken away from other worthwhile public projects and amenities.

The drop zone fee proposal has languished since the AAB began reviewing it, and has not moved forward for at least 3 months now.

At least one council member has suggested that it would be very helpful for Longmont residents to speak at their meeting (PITBH) and urge them to proceed with the fees, without further input from the AAB. Your opportunity is tonight, Tuesday 8/22 at the Longmont city council meeting, 7 pm – I hope you will be there and also send an email to council. We must have Longmont residents driving this issue – I cannot do it for you but will provide full support.

Longmont city council email address

June 20, 2017 email: Kimberly: Attached is the information you requested regarding the airport. The answer to question 4 below is as follows: In 2016 the General Fund funded $40,000 for “Development Funds for Airport Utilities and Drainage Master Plan”.

Valeria Skitt
City Clerk

Many thanks,
Kimberly Gibbs
Founder, Citizens For Quiet Skies, Boulder County, Colorado

Stop by our table at the Longmont Farmers Market – Sept 2nd and Oct 7th

Trump’s Minions

This is the narrative that Trump’s minions have adopted. Whenever you bring up Trump/Russia collusion, they always refer to this: “Your side lost. Russia is just an excuse for your butthurt.”

My retort to the Trump faithful: If it was really just about Dems looking for an excuse for their loss, then…

  • Why did the Director of the FBI, Jim Comey, a REPUBLICAN up until a few months ago, confirm it?
  • Why did the Director of the CIA last year, John Brennan, an Independent, NOT A DEMOCRAT, confirm it?
  • Why did your own CIA Director, Mike Pompeo, a REPUBLICAN, confirm it?
  • Why did your own Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coates, a REPUBLICAN, confirm it?
  • Why did the Director of the NSA, Mike Rogers, an Independent, NOT A DEMOCRAT, confirm it?
  • Why did several of the above Directors either imply or confirm that Trump asked them to scuttle the investigation?
  • Why did Trump fire Director Comey after Comey declined to drop the investigation?
  • Why did Trump admit that the Russia investigation was what motivated him to fire Comey?
  • Why did none of the remaining fourteen intelligence agencies dispute the CIA, FBI, NSA analysis?
  • Why did Trump threaten to fire his own Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, a STAUNCH REPUBLICAN, for recusing himself from the investigation?
  • Why did the REPUBLICAN controlled U.S. House of Representatives vote 419 to 3 to sanction Russia for hacking our election?
  • Why did the REPUBLICAN controlled U.S. Senate vote 98 to 2 to sanction Russia for hacking our election?

That’s some “Democratic excuse” they pulled off!

Merciful God

Saw this on Facebook from Joel Tooley, Lead Pastor at Melbourne First Church of the Nazarene.

What I am about to write and what you are about to read may make some people very uncomfortable, if not angry.

That is not my intention nor is it okay with me to cause anyone to stumble. That being said, what I experienced tonight was so dramatic that I cannot help but reflect on it and share what I experienced.

A few days ago, people across the United States heard the news that our newly elected President would be visiting Melbourne, Florida – our hometown. It is no surprise to many that I do not support many of the objectives and “campaignisms” of Donald Trump. I know many people who voted for him – friends, family, church people who all voted for their own reasons. The point of this experience is not to relay all of the reasons why I think he should not be the president. Those points are moot – he IS our President.

Now, I am enough of a sentimentalist that when I found out THEEEE President was coming to town, I got online quickly and reserved two tickets.

The tickets were being given away by the Trump-Pence campaign; I found it odd that the tickets indicated that this was not a government/White House event & that this was a campaign event. I have, of course, posted a joking post about that earlier. What I discovered was that by hosting this as a campaign event, Mr. Trump could determine who was and was not allowed in the venue. If he came on an official visit, they could not prohibit anyone from entering and he couldn’t sell his campaign merchandise.

So, in essence, he was only allowing his supporters in the room. Well, with a few exceptions…

I talked my 11-year-old daughter into coming with me. After all, how many times do you get to see the President of the United States in person – let alone in your hometown? I was eager for her to have this experience. It has to be a pretty cool thing, as a kid to see Air Force One, the President and the First Lady.

The event started at 5 PM; we got in line at the venue shortly after 2 PM and the line was already pretty long. There are several mini stories to be told about that experience but don’t need to be told for this post. Suffice it to say, it is always an intriguing sociological experience to be surrounded by people in line for something for which they are fanatics – whether it is for a movie premier, a live concert, the release of the latest beanie baby or Cabbage Patch kid. Fanatic people are fascinating to me.

While I am not a fan of Trump, I certainly did not want to come across as a vigilante protester while standing amongst some of his most adoring fans. I truly wanted to see if what I was going to witness in person was any different than what I had observed on TV.

The entry into the event was very impressive. I have always admired the professional posturing of the Secret Service, including those from our own local law-enforcement who were on duty serving in this capacity. These are women and men who should be highly commended for placing their lives on the line.

We entered the venue at 3 PM, two hours before the event started. As we entered, everyone was being handed pom-poms and Trump campaign signs. The hosts made sure everyone had a sign in their hand. Someone shoved one into my hand and gave pom-poms to my daughter.

I felt like a sheep in wolves clothing.

Music was playing loudly throughout the venue as it filled up with hundreds of people. I would guess there were eventually at least 3000 people in the room. It was nowhere near full, but there certainly were a lot of people there. From my view, the crowd was 99.9% white folk. I did see a row of about 10-12 supporters who were black, wearing T-shirts that said, “Trump and Republicans are not racist” – they were positioned in the seating area directly behind the podium.

We were about three rows of people from the very front and had a very good position to view the President and the platform. As people were coming in, there was a lot of excitement and a strong sense of patriotism. Approximately every 15 minutes, the music would be a little more enthusiastic and party-like. I posted my play-by-play feedback of “God bless the USA!” in an earlier post…it was almost church-like. People sang along, raising their hands and were emotionally moved by this anthem. It was intriguing to watch.

People were being ushered into a deeply religious experience…and it made me completely uncomfortable.

I love my country; I honor those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom and I respect our history and what we stand for, but what I experienced in that moment sent shivers down my spine. I felt like people were here to worship an ideology along with the man who was leading it. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t the song per se – it was this inexplicable movement that was happening in the room. It was a religious zeal.

You might liken it to the experience fans would have after their favorite team won the Super Bowl – faces painted, banners flying, confetti in the air and celebrating.

But this – this was deeper.

A couple of local politicians got up to bring greetings followed by state representative, followed by one of our Congress representatives. A soloist sang, “God bless America” and there was a strong sense of patriotism in the room. A pastor got up to pray and repeatedly prayed throughout his prayer, “Thank you for making this the greatest nation on earth…in Jesus’ name.”

Uh-uh. No. No way, josé.

Pastor, this is not the greatest nation on earth. The greatest nation on earth does not exist. Are we a great nation? Definitely. But there are many other great nations as well. Pastor, you have your eyes on a different kind of “greatness” and certainly a different kind of kingdom. Shame on you for praying those words in Jesus’ name!

Suddenly, the music changed from the pep rally theme to something that seemed more Star Wars themed. The crowd went crazy and turned towards the opening of the airplane hangar that was the venue, just as Air Force One pulled up.

What a magnificent sight! That enormous airliner is absolutely breathtaking. The crowd was going wild; signs waving in the air, people cheering, and every cell phone was positioned to take photos and video. As the First Lady and the President emerged at the top of the stairs, the air was electric! It really is a magnificent image to see in person!

As they entered the venue and walked to the platform, there was terrific celebration. I have been in the room when other Presidents were in a similar mode – it is always such a meaningful experience to be that close to them, regardless of whether or not you view them with adoration. Theeeee President of the USA!

The First Lady approached the platform and in her rich accent, began to recite the Lord’s prayer.

I can’t explain it, but I felt sick. This wasn’t a prayer beseeching the presence of Almighty God, it felt theatrical and manipulative.

People across the room were reciting it as if it were a pep squad cheer. At the close of the prayer, the room erupted in cheering. It was so uncomfortable. I observed that Mr. Trump did not recite the prayer until the very last line, “be the glory forever and ever, amen!” As he raised his hands in the air, evoking a cheer from the crowd, “USA! USA! USA!”

Just as the President begin to speak, a short grandmotherly lady in front of us asked me if I would help hold her walker – the kind that has a seat built into it. She said, “I need to climb up on it and hold something up.” Such an odd request at such an odd place at such an odd time. So, I helped her.

She held a pillowcase that had something written on the front of it, words I could not see. She climbed up onto the seat, wobbly-legged and held the sign up above her head. People in front of her turned around and started jeering and yelling at her. After holding her sign up for about 10 seconds, she climbed back down and thanked me. I asked her what her sign said – it read, “You had your chance, now resign!”

The very first words out of the President’s mouth were the words of a bully. That is not simply one person’s perspective, it is factual. He immediately began badgering and criticizing the media; like a bully inciting a crowd.

Now, do I think the media needs to be held to a high standard and be able to be held accountable? Absolutely! The media as a whole has become sadly non-journalistic and more entertainment, in my opinion.

Call it what you will, but I was completely dumbfounded as the most powerful leader in the world began his speech by badgering the media. The crowd began screaming angrily at the entire press corps that was present.

He could have said something inspiring and worthy of a Tweet or Facebook post, instead he emerged as an overly powerful bully. Literally, everything that he began speaking about evoked this angry response from the crowd. Immediately following the words of prayer that Jesus taught his followers…

It was then that I heard two ladies off to my left chanting, not yelling or screaming but chanting, “T-R….U-M-P; that’s how you spell – bigotry!” They repeated the rhyme over and over.

Two ladies in front of them began seething and screaming in their face while shaking their Trump signs at them. Another couple standing behind them started screaming at them as well. One of the chanting ladies had her eight-year-old daughter on her back; the other had a severely disabled child in a wheelchair in front of her. As they continued chanting, the people around them became violently enraged. One angry man grabbed the lady’s arm – that’s when I went into action. I barged through the crowd and yelled at them to back off. My heart wasn’t racing; I just instinctively became a protector.

I didn’t actually want a Trump sign, but one of the volunteers had shoved it into my hands as I walked through the door earlier; “Make America Great Again!” That sign probably saved someone from getting hurt. I held the sign close to my chest as I positioned myself between the chanting protesters and the angry mob. My 11-year-old daughter was clinging to my arm, sobbing in fear.

The two angry, screaming ladies looked at me, both of them raised their middle finger at me in my face and repeatedly yelled, “F*#% YOU!” Repeatedly.

I calmly responded, “No thank you, I’m happily married.” Their faces and their voices were filled with demonic anger.

I have been in places and experiences before where demonic activity was palpable. The power of the Holy Spirit of God was protecting me in those moments and was once again protecting me and my daughter in this moment.

I raised my voice and calmly said, “These ladies have the right to do what they are doing and they are harming no one; this is America and they a right to express themselves in this way. They are harming no one.” A couple of other people around me stepped in and supported me in protecting them as a barrier, as well.

My daughter was shaking in fear as she clung to me. The one man behind the protesters shoved himself forward, grabbed the lady by the arm and screamed with multiple expletives, “I’m going to take you out! This is my president and nobody has the right to disrespect him and nobody has the right to keep me from hearing him!”

I wish I could have captured the expressions of that man on camera. I will never forget him.

The little girl on her mother’s back was crying, completely frightened. I leaned forward and reassured her in her ear, “Your mommy is being brave and we will not let these people hurt you. You are afraid because these are angry, awful people. We will not let them hurt you or your mommy. You are being so brave and your mommy is doing something very brave.”

That’s when another lady screamed in my face that what I was doing was un-American. I just chuckled and responded, “What I am doing is completely American – I’m standing up for people who are being bullied – it doesn’t matter if I agree with them or not. You came here to see the President, now ignore these ladies, turn around and enjoy the show.” Without explanation, they calm down and turned around to hear what Trump had to say.

The two protesters then moved towards the back and left the building. I got a couple of high-fives and “thanks for stepping up for them” from bystanders . I wanted to say, “Thanks. Where were you when the the demons were screaming and fists were getting ready to start swinging?”

Once again, the environment reminded me of some church experiences I’ve had. Bystanders.

I have no clue what Trump was saying at that point – draining the swamp, vetting refugees, and other things. Oh yeah, I heard people chanting, “Build that wall, build that wall!”

I realized then that we were not listening to someone presidential, we were listening to someone terribly powerful.

My kid was shaken – she had just seen some of the worst of humanity. We edged ourselves away from the front of the room to the opening of the hangar so we could get a clearer picture of Air Force One. I wanted to give her at least one positive presidential memory.

The crowd was much thinner at the back of the room, people were leaving by the hundreds. Outside, there were two jumbotrons set up for a potential overflow – there really wasn’t a need for them. There were maybe a couple of hundred people outside watching on the big screens.

Not too far behind that group was a large group of protesters.

Inside, Trump had rallied the group by giving a little bit of attention to the “paid protesters outside.” Now, I can’t speak for all of them, but I asked a few where they were from and why they were there – every single one of them were from different cities in Florida and could quickly articulate why they were there. They were not paid protesters – not the ones I spoke with.

I’m trying to separate how I actually feel about this man and his campaignisms. I know why people voted for him; I know why people voted against his opponent. But, at the end of the day, what I felt from his leadership in this experience was actually horrifying. There was palpable fear in the room. There was thick anger and vengeance. He was counting on it. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that it would not have taken very much for him to have called this group of people into some kind of riotous reaction.

Now, not everyone in the room was a part of the angry mob mentality – I looked around the room and saw many people who could quite easily be folks from my neighborhood, folks from my church, folks who were planning to go grab a bite to eat at Cracker Barrel afterwards. Folks who truly wanted to see America “great.” The people who support the Republican Party want to see some needed changes in the government – the people that were there for that reason, are by and large good folks. But those are not the people the President was inciting – they are not the people he was leading. He was rallying the angry, vigilant ones.

As we began to leave, I knew my daughter could not possibly care less about Air Force One or the fact that she saw the President of the United States and his wife, in the flesh. I truly had hoped that she could have had that sentimental experience.

What she WILL remember is the angry, violent man screaming demonic vitriol at a child and her mother. She will remember the two ladies screaming at her Dad, her pastor – flipping the middle finger and using the F word repeatedly.

Now, I know there are people who are convinced that I am jaded and cannot fairly give this man a fair chance. Perhaps that’s true. But please remember, especially those of you who know me well, I am a student of culture and human behavior. I am not a stubborn, close minded individual who likes to stick to the status quo. I know there are people who long for me to see the good things about this President and to talk about THOSE things. I know there are people who want me to realize that not everything he is doing is bad and that every President has their strengths and weaknesses and…

I know there are people who, when they see these words and hear my thoughts will feel badly because perhaps they can’t like me as much as they once did because they don’t agree with me. They want me to like the President that they like – they want me to see him the way they see him.

I’m sorry. I cannot. You see, the angry, F-word-spewing man is what has been depended on throughout this campaign and is the one who is still being counted on to sustain the message. I tried.

As we left the room, these words were echoing in my mind, “Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done…”

At the end of the day, I’m a citizen of a nation – I have a leader who God is very aware and who has tremendous responsibilities. I MUST and will pray for him. I’m a citizen of this world and I must continue to see beyond my own limited world view to seek ways to obediently serve Christ. But greater still, I am a citizen of a different kind of Kingdom – the Kingdom that strives for peace, mercy, kindness and a love-relationship with the King of kings.

May God have mercy on me.

Unity in the Community 2017

From the Longmont Area Chamber of Commerce:

Unity in the Community is a Chamber premier event that welcomes business, non-profit and political leaders from the region and the state. Unity is open to the public at no charge and provides a unique opportunity to network with a vast number of representatives from the business, political and non-profit sectors.

Date and Time: Feb, 23 2017   5:00 pm – 7:30 pm
RSVP Deadline: Feb, 22 2017 at 05:00 pm (Please call 303-776-5295 if past deadline)
Location: Plaza Convention Center, 1850 Industrial Circle, Longmont, CO 80501 (Map)
Cost: Chamber Member:  $ 0
Non-Member:  $ 0
Seats: Limited Seats Remaining


Cory Gardner – photo by MDWray

I’ve been informed that Cory Gardner might very well be there.

If you’ve been trying to see him or ask him a question, this might be just the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.

Please be sure to attend and take LOTS of photos and videos – FRL is happy to publish your best. Always fun to see Cory’s face when he’s being asked a hard question.

Enjoy!

Littwin: Gigantic, enormous, colossal, unpresidented women’s march drives Trump mad

From the Colorado Independent:

These are, as they say, early days. And as the nascent Trump era progresses — if that’s the right word — we will continue to see things we’ve never seen or heard before.

For starters, we’ve never heard an inaugural speech like Trump’s American carnage address.

We’ve never seen a counter-inaugural demonstration drawing an astonishing 3 million across the country, many of the protesters wearing pussy hats and many carrying signs about a president keeping his tiny hands off the First Amendment. If you think you were stunned by the turnout — the 100,ooo-marchers-strong aerial shot of Civic Center is a remarkable testament to those Coloradans trying to take their country back — imagine how Trump felt.

We’ve never seen a press secretary, on his first day, ordered by the president to read out a pack of lies about, of all things, crowd size and insist they were true – period. Or see a presidential counselor say the lies were actually “alternative facts.” Or see Orwell cited quite so accurately quite so early in a president’s tenure.

We have seen Trump embarrass himself many times, but never quite as he did, as president, at the CIA, standing in front of the wall honoring the CIA dead, using the occasion to accuse the press of willfully deflating his inauguration numbers and of falsely creating a rift between him and the intelligence agencies that he had compared to Nazis.

We’ve never seen a president, in his first days, hold a meet-and-greet with congressional leaders and tell them the already clearly debunked lie that he had lost the popular vote only because 3 to 5 million illegal immigrants voted for Clinton, who apparently was not smart enough, as several observers have pointed out, to wield these voters in, say, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

He can’t let go — of anything. He can’t move on — from anything. Getting elected isn’t enough. It has to be the greatest election. The most colossal crowds. A global movement. And still that won’t satisfy. We can only imagine what the GOP congressional leaders were thinking – that they have to pretend for four years that this is remotely normal. Remarkably, in the face of Trump’s allegation of massive voter fraud, no one called for an investigation. A better response, of course, would be to call for an intervention.

Read the rest at the Colorado Indpependent.

Comparing the Choices

Bruce Lindner, Portland, OR

Bruce Lindner, Portland, OR

So I’m reading this morning that the GOP has adopted two more policies to be included in the official convention platform next week: To build Trump’s wall along the border with Mexico and to recognize pornography as a public health crisis. Let me see if I have this right.

  • The proposed wall, which even the party’s hitherto favorite son, Jeb Bush, said yesterday was a stupid idea, would achieve nothing.
  • Pornography, which as far as I know isn’t lethal, is a “public health crisis,” but 300 million guns on our streets and in our schools, churches, night clubs and movie theaters, which take the lives of 30,000 Americans per year … isn’t.
  • The presumptive nominee, a man with precisely ZERO political experience, has accused the current President—the first African-American President in our history—of being to blame for any racial divisions in our society today. Yet he himself just DECLINED an invitation to speak before the NAACP, the nation’s premier and possibly most respected civil rights advocacy group. Cat got your tongue Donald? That’s a first.
  • The GOP platform also calls for “continued conservative fiscal principles.” Right. The last time they held the White House, they ratcheted up federal spending by 85%, cut revenue by 25%, passed two tax cuts largely benefiting the top 1%, launched two catastrophic wars, none of which was budgeted for, and plunged the nation into the deepest recession in 80 years. This in contrast to the current administration who pulled us out of the recession and increased federal spending by a whopping 6% (or 11% over the level he inherited).
  • The CEO of the party’s official media organ, Roger Ailes, suddenly finds himself in competition with Bill Cosby for most allegations of sexual harassment and lewd behavior. Is he innocent until proven guilty? Sure. But based on statistics alone, it’s hard for any rational person to believe all of the women who’ve come forward thus far with similar allegations are lying. Yet he still controls what Republicans hear, and perhaps more importantly, what they DON’T hear. What say you Rupert? Isn’t it time for Sexy Roger to go on a sabbatical for a little R & R?
  • And no GOP convention platform can be complete without mentioning their continued pledge to abolish and outlaw a woman’s Constitutional RIGHT to make her own reproductive decisions. Rather than respecting a 43 year old Supreme Court decision, they defer to pressure from the religious community and violent groups who firebomb Planned Parenthood clinics and murder physicians who perform abortions. Because their mission is to “defend the sanctity of life,” don’tchya know.

So let’s see… Vote for the sexist, racist, fascist, xenophobic, pathological liar who’s backed by the overwhelming support of Republicans (and their secretive brethren under the hoods and sheets), many of whom want to take America back to the good ol’ days of Jim Crow, Bible lessons in public schools, submissive women, puritanical “morality,” crushing economic policies, a nation where guns are defended over human lives and the cries of inequality from Black Lives Matter are called “threats from a terrorist group” by their most-admired television personality, Bill O’Reilly.

Or I can vote with the Democrats, who, imperfections aside, have overseen 7-1/2 years of economic growth, a party that’s inclusive of ALL races, religions, sexual preferences, and hold a position that the Constitutional RIGHT to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness *must* override the GOP’s warped reinterpretation of the 2nd Amendment fetish for guns in our bleeding society.

Thanks Reince. But I’m with her.

Exxon’s inconvenient truth

This Guest Opinion first appeared in the Times-Call (FRL)

Back in the day when Exxon was just a gigantic oil company, before its merger with Mobil, Exxon had its own inconvenient truth. Based on investigation by Inside Climate News (ICN) as well as research by the Los Angeles Times in conjunction with a project at Columbia University, in the late 1970s and early 1980s Exxon scientists conducted pioneering research on climate change.

The ICN article is the basis for the following. In July 1977, James Black, one of Exxon’s senior scientists, gave a sobering report. From a written version he recorded later, Black said: “In the first place, there is general scientific agreement that the most likely manner in which mankind is influencing the global climate is through carbon dioxide release from the burning of fossil fuels.”

In 1978, Black gave an updated report to a larger audience of Exxon scientists and managers. According to a written summary of his talk, Black warned: “Present thinking holds that man has a time window of five to ten years before the need for hard decisions regarding changes in energy strategies might become critical.” Among other things, Black also predicted that rainfall might get heavier in some regions, and other places might turn to desert. In the written summary of his 1978 talk Black said: “Some countries would benefit but others would have their agricultural output reduced or destroyed.”

In 1982, Exxon developed a primer on climate change and carbon dioxide. Again, from ICN: Marked “not to be distributed externally,” it contained information that “has been given wide circulation to Exxon management.” In it, the company recognized, despite the many lingering unknowns, that heading off global warming “would require major reductions in fossil fuel combustion.” The ICN article continued: Unless that happened, “there are some potentially catastrophic events that must be considered,” the primer said, citing independent experts. “Once the effects are measurable, they might not be reversible.”

Exxon continued with its climate change research, an issue that posed an existential threat to its oil business, until the late 1980s. Exxon scientists even were permitted to publish at least three peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals on their ground breaking research.

Unfortunately, in the late 1980s Exxon shifted tactics to stressing the uncertainty of research into the greenhouse effect. This change apparently was due to financial considerations and was not based on any research challenging its previous findings. Since then, Exxon and climate-change deniers have been successful in preventing effective action on this issue. We have lost 20 to 25 years when steps could have been taken, and now the window for alleviating the worse effects is much smaller. Every year we delay taking effective action means that future actions will have to be much more draconian or the effects of climate change will be far worse.

It appears as if nothing very constructive will be achieved during the current talks in Paris. The fossil fuel industry still has sufficient clout to stop effective action. Distressingly, the U.S. is pushing voluntary national reductions. There would be no requirements since each nation does what it wants when it wants. On top of that, there would be no enforcement mechanism to hold a nation to its commitment.

Talk about perversion— the worse climate change impacts will initially be experienced by those nations that had little to do with causing climate change. The U.S., a key contributor to the increase in greenhouse gases, will generally initially suffer lesser impacts. Coming generations, including the young children and grandchildren of today, who have had no role in causing climate change, will face the greatest suffering. Those generations aren’t going to think kindly towards us and our lack of action.

Ron Forthofer is a retired professor of biostatistics who lives in Longmont.