The G-20 Hyperlink Blues

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Using his great deductive reasoning skills, Rudy Giuliani concluded that Twitter conspired with anti-Trump forces to malign his Tweet.  By failing to include a space between the end of a sentence and the next one, Giuliani errantly produced the hyperlink: G-20.in. This, of course, for most of us in the Tech World, means that Twitter thinks the word combination is a website with a domain extension of “.in” which is similar to “.gov”, “.com”, etc. (i.e. it makes the word combination “clickable”).  So, some bright individual noticed that, bought the domain name, “g-20.in” (to make a real website out of the domain name) and put up this great announcement, “Donald J. Trump is a traitor to our country” (see the hyperlink for the full webpage experience).  Twitter users could now be directed to this site as they click on Giuliana’s Tweet.

But, rather than find out what really happened, Giuliani constructs this whole elaborate conspiracy theory story that Twitter is behind some grand scheme to defame the President because Twitter allowed “someone to invade my text with a disgusting message.”  This makes something that was incredibly funny into something ridiculously funny but also, disturbingly outrageous at the same time because I think, as a former high profile prosecutor, Giuliani should know better.  I will refrain from making any kind of comment regarding what that might mean for his legal representative skills, however.

 

References:

http://g-20.in/

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/dec/05/rudy-giuliani-helps-create-anti-trump-protest-website-with-twitter-typo

Ignorance is Bliss

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What is most disturbing about Kimmel’s video (see the link reference blow) is the number of people who are OK with giving back our symbol of Liberty and Freedom.  This video highlights a sickness which has infected our country.  Some of its symptoms include, unreasonable fear, a lack of empathy for those seeking refuge and a complete misunderstanding of what truly makes America great:  its Melting Pot status that offers a symbol of hope, freedom, liberty, justice and the opportunity to be free of tyranny to all.

My Irish ancestors who came to this country in the 1840’s were discriminated against in similar ways for the same exact set of reasons.  They were looked down upon.  They were despised.  My ancestors were accused of taking jobs away.  But, they were jobs nobody else wanted.  For example, my great grandmother was a servant who was a daughter of a servant.  My ancestors were accused of being members of a strange and ancient religion that would be the downfall of our country; that would take over and corrupt the more familiar common American religions defined by the Protestant Reformation.

None of these fears were reasonable and none of the fears that our country would be weakened because of it realized.  In fact, just the opposite occurred.  My ancestors became strong believers in democracy and our republic.  They fervently believed in liberty and justice and everything lady Liberty and our American flag represents.  Here are some notable fiercely patriotic Americans of Irish decent:  Senior Captain John Barry (widely recognized as father of the American Navy), General Richard Montgomery, Andrew Jackson, James Polk, Ulysses S. Grant, Grover Cleveland, General Phillip Sheridan, General John Reynolds, Audie Murphy, Rear Admiral Richard O’ Kane, John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.  Though few of my ancestors may have been related to such notable Americans, regardless, my Irish ancestors made America stronger and better; contributing to the economy and to the defense of our nation.  My Irish ancestors and the Irish immigrants of the past, in general, help made America great.

The cure to this sickness, of course, is simple: education.  Less likely do the words, “we have nothing to Fear but Fear itself,” have any meaning nor is it a guarantee today they should assume any dire warning for the civic minded citizen who might rightly consider them, but, keeping people ignorant provides better election results for that guy who sacrificed duty because of bone spurs.

Little by little, the chicken is being plucked.  A good portion of the electorate acknowledges no shame in closing their eyes shut in denial while it happens.  But none of this matters to about half the nation because ignorance is bliss.

 

References:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUV4B6gA_Wg

https://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/presentationsandactivities/presentations/immigration/irish4.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Irish_Americans

 

The Swallowed Whistle Detective Agency

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To be Free of Despots and Tyrants

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I do not find it too surprising that an agent of a foreign government would take his next offensive strike against democracy and freedom by attacking a former intelligence officer, an officer who, for over 25 years, dedicated his career to protecting our Constitution and the liberties and freedoms it guarantees. It is just the type of action one would expect from someone who wants to thwart an investigation that might expose his illegal activities and alliances.  These are the desperate actions of a guilty man not an innocent man who seeks truth, justice and who has nothing to hide.

Ironic, isn’t it; that a President of the United States who is supposed to be protecting our Constitution would attack it so ruthlessly by employing such a thoughtless attempt at curtailing the very freedom our Constitution guarantees with such childlike vindictiveness?  Such an action openly violates his oath of office.  Not only is revoking Brennan’s security clearance offensive to the ideals of our founding fathers, it is the real treason.  It is a high crime. It is a tactic right out of the Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin and Putin handbook.  And to tolerate it would be to imply a complacency that no American who truly believes in liberty and freedom can ever accept.

Trump’s action to wield his position as a weapon against those who disagree with his policies threatens the very foundations of our democracy and that of our republic.  It shows a blatant disrespect for our republic, our democracy and the intent our forefathers had for our country to be free of despots and tyrants. The seriousness and the far reaching implications of these latest actions by the President to revoke security clearances of his perceived “enemies” can no longer just be excused as simple ignorance, nativity nor the bumbling incompetence of a harmless buffoon, but now must be considered as a calculated effort to circumvent and undermine the very institutions and checks and balances that our forefathers sought to establish to protect our nation against would be despots and tyrants.

What No Respectable U.S. President Would Ever Do

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Unsophisticated third world country dictators and totalitarian autocrats abuse their power by squashing free speech. They make reckless accusations that, “The Press is the enemy of the people.” They threaten their critics with petty, vindictive measures, such as advocating that well-respected, career intelligence officers be stripped of their security clearances.  They might consider offering career diplomats from previous administrations to likeminded despotic regimes for questioning in retaliation for the diplomats’ efforts in championing human rights in that foreign country or they might ban targeted reporters from being allowed to report the news in a rose garden because tyrants dislike having to answer thoughtful questions that might expose their incompetence.

These unsophisticated, insecure human beings maintain their power by giving the greater electorate a minority group to hate, a migrant group, a group seeking asylum, a religious group seeking refuge from persecution.  They manipulate swooning crowds with grandiose promises, exaggerations and emotion so appealing to the crowd’s less reasonable senses that it motivates many to drink the Kool-Aid being offered to them without even thinking twice about it.  These despots encourage division, internal and otherwise, “us against them.”  They build walls…a Berlin Wall, an iron curtain, a detention center wall, a concentration camp wall, an internment wall, walls of shame and disunity.  Bridges and the infrastructure of the mind are nowhere to be found.

So full of themselves are they that they believe that an intellectual assault against them is an intellectual assault against the country itself.  They believe themselves to be the sovereign.  Less inclined are they to recognize that, in the United States, the people are the sovereign.

They rewrite history.   They lie to their fellow citizens about trivial things such as the size of their inauguration crowds; things that only their own fragile ego can appreciate or they might find themselves suffering paranoid delusions about how former office holders have wire tapped their business suites or infiltrated their campaign with spies.  The list of incidences of lying, vindictive pettiness and unending paranoid delusions are too numerous for the average person to comprehend or to even adequately keep track of but these are the actions that only unsophisticated third world country dictators and totalitarian autocrats do—despicable actions that no respectable U.S. President would ever do.  For, if any U.S. President did participate in any of these actions, a respectable U.S President would instantly grasp, as witnessed by previous historical generations, that it could easily lead to our country’s downfall, to the loss of its democracy, to the loss of its republic, to the loss of its standing in the world, declining, diminishing and, then, finally, no more.

But, only a respectable U. S. President would ever understand those things that no respectable U.S. President would ever do.

Where have all the Patriots Gone?

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In the United States, since our very inception, we detest despots.  This sentiment is clearly expressed in our Declaration of Independence:  “when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”  So, I really have some questions about the trip a small delegation of lawmakers made last week to a country whose leader exemplifies despotism.

These are the names belonging to the delegation that went to Russia on July 4th, 2018: Sen. Richard Shelby (Ala.), Steve Daines (Mont.), John Thune (S.D.), John Kennedy (La.), Jerry Moran (Kan.), John Hoeven (N.D.) and Rep. Kay Granger (Texas).  Instead of celebrating our country’s independence from a despot these seven government representatives decided it was better to patronize one in Russia.  In general, it doesn’t really matter to me if the intent of this trip was to discuss the proof they had regarding Russia’s interference in our election nor does it matter much if they had any earnest warnings for Russia against trying the same thing in our 2018 elections.  That could be done in other ways without having to go to Moscow.  By engaging in a trip to Moscow now, there seems to me to be a high probability that it creates the perception that we (the United States) are just accepting Russia’s recent violations of international law.

Such a perception would amount to appeasement.  We all know the result of the last time leaders of the Free World tried appeasement (reference Neville Chamberlain).  Hint:  it didn’t work out so well.

So, I think some real soul searching on the part of this delegation needs to be done but does this delegation also need to be reminded about who their host is?  The leader of Russia is someone who is suspected of human rights violations, suspected of murder, attempted murder, has squashed expressions of freedom and, of course, attacked our own country by interfering in our elections. Putin is a leader who has invaded two other independent countries that led to portions of those sovereign states being removed from their sovereign control.  In 2008, Russia invaded Georgia then sponsored what amounts to puppet governments in the former Georgian provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.  In 2014, Ukraine was invaded by Russia where Russia simply annexed Crimea outright.

The worst part about the trip this delegation of US representatives made is that it occurred on the 4th of July, our Independence Day.  This is a day where we should be shouting to the world in no uncertain terms that we will be free of despots, all despots.  Therefore, if this delegation’s intention were not to make a complete mockery of our most patriotic holiday of the year where freedom rings loudest, it may have come close to doing just that despite what its intention truly may have been.

References:

http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/395719-gop-senators-visited-moscow-on-july-4

https://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=626664156

https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/21/politics/senators-russia-congressional-delegation/index.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Declaration_of_Independence

https://pixabay.com/en/revolutionary-war-historical-102237

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupied_territories_of_Georgia

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-paul/russia-georgia-war-in-200_b_4891391.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_recognition_of_Abkhazia_and_South_Ossetia

 

Heading Towards Third World Oblivion

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Our country is quickly being taken down a path towards Third World oblivion by a shameful and unapologetic partisan congress who has allowed itself to defame its own republican investigative institutions, run interference for a primary suspect of a critical investigation of upmost national security and berate investigators who are doing their patriotic duty in following their legal mandate to get at the full truth.

I don’t ever remember any congress members of Obama’s party doing anything remotely similar while the Benghazi investigation was ongoing?  I don’t remember Obama whining constantly, bellyaching about there being a “Witch Hunt?”  I don’t remember Obama being anything other than a respectful monitor of the rule of law and allowing it to run its course unimpeded.

The wheels of justice may move slowly sometimes but not without purpose.  And in fact, these latest wheels seem to be moving much faster than many other comparative investigations. For example, Whitewater, the Iran-Contra Affair, etc. were slower.  All the while the number of indictments in this Russian Investigation continues to grow regardless of the inexcusable efforts by the majority of partisan congressmen doing everything in their abusive power to obstruct justice.

The Republican Congress’s treatment of the Justice Department, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein and the FBI is nothing short of despicable.  It is repulsive.  It is un-American.  And lastly, it is an indication that we are in decline as a country dedicated to the rule of law and the notion that nobody in any position of power is above that rule of law.  By us taking no action at all against this type of unacceptable behavior by members of congress, we are enabling a “Mob Boss” mentality to slowly, and corruptively seep into American politics.

Congress needs to change course.  It needs to change its attitude.  It needs to promote more civility and respect for individuals (no matter who they are but especially when they are respected public servants doing their job) and, lastly, they need to refrain from these awful displays of rudeness that only highlight to the nation their unwarranted contempt for the rule of law.  Should they not do this then they, in fact, will be responsible for taking us down a road that no country dedicated to liberty and freedom should ever go down.