Russian Agents and Cyber Warfare

Anyone who even occasionally visits Twitter, is now seeing an avalanche of political posts coming from over seas. Trolls. I’m sure Twitter has enough in-house talent to prevent this but they better get on it.

We, here at JustSayWhy have seen an explosion of comment posts and attacks coming from Russian IP addresses and even more coming from VPN services. This is a real shame since we need to encourage the use of VPN to ensure Internet privacy.

Like Twitter, the VPN companies probably have the talent to stop nefarious activity from their customers, however, this might be a step too far for many who want total freedom to do anything they want and hide their real addresses.

To reduce the criminal behavior from the Russians polluting our discourse with Trump propaganda, JustSayWhy is now blocking all VPN traffic. It’s a shame to discourage a service as valuable as VPN, but we will not play this game.

What this means to you? Probably nothing unless you use a VPN company to hide your real IP address. More than that, though, is you now must be wary of any post and comments on any website you visit as the Russians are coming.

A Major Threat to Democracy

Leaders vs Representatives

I’m pleased to have the opportunity to be part of the JustSayWhy community. I’ve spent time reading through the earlier posts on this blog and have greatly enjoyed the well thought out and imaginative topics.  One theme I find here is the dangerous role Authoritarianism plays in our government.

I recommend all Americans to spend a few moments googling and reading about Authoritarianism. It doesn’t fit neatly into a few sentence description, but here are the aspects affecting governments:

  • Authoritarianism includes both leaders and followers
  • Authoritarianism has a strong leader, such as a father figure, church, politician, or gang leader to mention just a few
  • In Authoritarianism the strong leader rules with complete control and does not allow for dissent, even when they’re wrong or immoral.

But don’t take my word for it. Spend a few minutes reading about it.

So, let’s begin with Democracy. Authoritarian leadership at its pinnacle is a dictatorship. If the power is shared it’s a plutocracy or an aristocracy. None of the known types of authoritarian leaderships give up power without bloodshed. The founding of our country is proof of that.

In fact, America’s founding fathers were stringently non authoritarian. It’s sad that many who use the Bible as an excuse to do awful things have  never read or understood the Bible just like many who profess to love America have forgotten what the constitution says or what it means.

Nowhere in our constitution did our founding fathers use the word leader. Why do you suppose that is? It’s quite obvious in this context. They didn’t want a leader, they wanted representatives of the people. They had their fill of strong leaders (both church and state) and believed that the government should represent the people, not lead it.

Those who are now electing “strong leaders” tarnish the ideals of our founding fathers.

Authoritarian dictatorial regimes have always been brutal. There’s just no other way to say it. Once a “leader” thinks that he is beyond reproach, he becomes corrupted. The strong leader knows he can do no wrong, because that’s exactly what Authoritarian means. If I can do no wrong, I can do anything. Remember, even Hitler couldn’t have come to power without considerable bloodshed. “The Fuhrer can do no wrong.”

“He is right and can do no wrong.” You must admit, that sounds like today’s Trump supporters. This is not what a Democracy looks like.

Authoritarian families made sense in the cave man days. In prehistoric times the world was brutal and failing to respond quickly enough to your father could spell the end for any child. It made sense then, when we were but animals.  But, today is not the same. We can throw off the cave man Authoritarian. Children can and should grow up to question authority and Americans should do so as a civic duty. Authority has to come from the people.

Now that’s we’re civilized, we don’t need to allow our family, churches, or country to be ruled by an abusive authoritarian father. Remember, power corrupts.

Authoritarianism requires followers. Oppressive governments instill in their people that they must follow orders, unconditionally. People in those countries, like children in Authoritarian families seek the safety of the Authoritarian, even if it means pain and suffering. Authoritarian leaders would be nothing if not for the blind followers. Being a blind follower of a strong father figure does harm to both you and to the leader.

Authoritarian followers are easily exploited. Someone who seeks out the safety and dominance of the Authoritarian believes that no matter what, the leader must be right. When going to church, the Authoritarian follower can be told to believe or disbelieve anything, no matter how well proven or dis-proven. Being lied to is a normal occurrence and is not something that evokes the disgust reflex it does in non followers. This is the fundamental ingredient in most abusive relationships and families. “I promise, I’ll stop hitting you or the kids, I’ll quit drinking, I’ll quit cheating.” But they don’t stop, and you, deep inside, knew they were all lies.

Your church or leader/president might tell you that all “fill in the blank” people are evil, murderers, rapists… If you know in your heart that it can’t be so, you force yourself to believe it anyway because, hey, that’s the leader. This in-group against the out-group is what causes hatred, wars, racism, bigotry, and many of the problems this world is seeing today. This is also the tool many Authoritarians use to keep his flock of followers, hatred and fear of the “other.” The sad part is that two equally authoritarian religions opposing each other are completely unable to see how they suffer the same ailment, Authoritarianism.

As stated already, Authoritarian followers are easily manipulated. Bringing up your children to be follower means your children become followers who are easy to manipulate. That’s good for the strong leader, but bad for your children. America’s founding fathers challenged authority and built that right into our constitution. Teach your children to question authority.

Getting back to religion, churches that can go unchecked become evil. If you don’t believe that, just read history books. Unrestrained power always becomes corrupt, churches become evil. Islam is an example. Many Muslims are shedding the Authoritarian version of Islam but those who do not, are the fertilizer from which radicalism is nurtured. Don’t think that this is only a Muslim problem. The same has happened to Christianity many times in the past and we are seeing that in some Christian churches in America, today.

In conclusion, Authoritarianism creates and encourages bullies like abusive fathers, schoolyard bullies, and even presidents. It elevates people to unchecked positions of power, and power corrupts. Worst of all, it makes victims of the followers and the world they live in.

 

Does Trump Love America?

In my entire life I have never seen a politician or even a candidate for any office smearing America like Trump and his followers do.

How did we get to the point where the party that is in control of our government hate it so? Trump fills his cabinet posts with people who are against the purpose of the position.  This isn’t all that new. Reagan was good at filling positions like the Labor positions who were anti-labor and people to the education department who were against public education.

But never  has it been this bad, never in my lifetime. Trump bashes just about everything America from the media to the Democrats (you know, the majority of Americans) to the liberals to the justice department, to the FBI.

How could anyone vote for a party that hates America so much?

Did they really believe that there was going to be any draining of the swamp? I don’t believe so. Many people knew what kind of man Trump was before the election. His rants of “Fake News” and “Grab ’em by the p****” were  obvious clues.

So, the voters who supported Trump (including those who didn’t vote Trump or Hillary) all knew what they were getting but they voted for him anyway, all for the sake of getting entrenched political ideology out of the swamp.

The sad part of all this is many of those Republican voters would do it all over again.

So, you tell me, does the GOP really hate America like it appears or are they just capitalizing on the frustration voters have, not with the country, but with our government?

Recognizing the Tax Cut Shell Game

Pay attention to the tax cut shell game.

This tax plan that the GOP is putting forward contains cuts for almost everyone, according to them. However,  in reality this isn’t quite so. In fact, millions of Americans will see their taxes go up.

But, even for those who will see their taxes go down, this is not really a tax cut. You will have to pay all that money back with interest. How so?

These tax cuts are being paid by increasing our country’s debt. And, who pays the debt? The tax payers. With interest.

So, the GOP is giving you $100 with this hand while taking $110 with the other. This is not a tax cut for you and me.  In the long run, it’s a tax increase just like the increase for the millions I mentioned above.

The worst part of this is the damage that these tax cuts have on the economy. Think back to the previous three major tax cuts.

Bush’s tax cuts ended up causing the crash of 2008. This was the worst crash since Reagan. Before that, Reagan started the trickle down fairy tale  of the 80s and that created the biggest crash since the Great Depression.

Oh, and yes, the Great Depression. That crash was caused by tax cuts for the corporations and the wealthy, creating the temporary bubble called the roaring 20s.

So, in a nut shell, the GOP is pretending to give us tax cuts while giving the super wealthy the real tax cut, the whole while risking our economy.

Most of us have been here long enough that these trickle down fantasies never work and cause more harm than good. But, there are still a lot of people who believe the propaganda. We call those people, Republican voters.

In order to prevent the Republican voters from destroying our economy and creating an increase in our taxes, we must get active. Only 20% of the country is still believing the conservative propaganda but they are a very active 20%. It will take every one of the rest of us to get mobilized and call our representatives and put a halt to the big give-away to the super wealthy.

 

Letting Kids Die to Stop Abortions

It has been a month now that the Republicans have refused to renew the CHIPS program providing medical care for kids.

If you voted Republican because of the Abortion Issue, you’re a monster who is letting real live kids die while trying to protect a zygote that might not even make it to viability.

The Republican party is not the “values party” or the “pro-life party”. They are the party of death and tax breaks for the billionaires.

Did you make this happen? You have a heck of a mess to clean up. Where are your morals?

Worthless Investigations

These results of the Mueller’s investigation are worthless unless something is actually done about these findings. Sure, a couple lowly lackeys will get their hands slapped. But so what?

Trump walks free even though everything points to him.  And he will continue to walk free as long as our criminal GOP continues to protect him and THEMSELVES.

Even the indictments are worthless as long as Trump can pardon the criminals. After all, that’s what he does.

So all this is worthless unless we can force the Republicans in Congress to do their jobs, which they are scared to death to actually do and probably are ill equipped to do even if they wanted.

America’s Democracy is broken. Can we fix it while the Republicans are still in charge?

Why our Government Can No Longer Protect Us

And What We Can Do About It

I loved reading Cyl’s post,  America is Under Attack. She is spot on in many ways. Let me drill down into this just a little bit further.

As many have noticed, my editorial style has changed over the years and I try not to come across as partisan but to keep as objective as possible.  When possible, I try to show that fixing America isn’t a Republican or Democratic issue, but is something we all have to come together on. We can’t afford to let them divide us any longer.

So, try to turn off your political biases for a moment and let’s see what got us in this mess and what we can do to fix it.

I believe that the primary cause of our current mess is money in politics. We all agree that corporations aren’t people and money isn’t speech, but our corrupted Supreme Court says it is. I’ll leave it up to my readers to look to see which judges passed this  and which presidents appointed them.

Let’s take an example. Getting back to Cyl’s article regarding the gun attacks,  the NRA, and a government intent on protecting them against the American people, one must question, why would representatives of the people side against the people.  Is it simply that the NRA pays them more than the individual doners? I don’t think it’s that simple. The NRA is much more than just a payday for the politicians, they’re a source of tried and useful talking points and a supporting source of propaganda.

These talking points and propaganda are not without cost to the NRA. It costs a lot of money to create and spread propaganda. And, don’t fool yourself, propaganda, a form of marketing, works. That’s why marketing is a multi-billion dollar industry.

If you add up the bribes to the politicians, the marketing to remove anti-NRA politicians, the propaganda, and the marketing, the NRA spends more than most industries on corrupting our government. And it has worked.

Now, this isn’t an anti-NRA rant. This is about how America got into this mess. The NRA and other monied interests are spending tons of money to corrupt our representatives and it’s working.

What’s more, this is not a Democratic or Republican issue. Both parties feel the influence of money in politics.

You can probably guess how we fix this. Get money out of politics. But, how can we do that when the Supreme Court is owned by big business?  Any bill Congress passes will be found to be unacceptable by big businesses’ Supreme Court judges.

The solution is for Congress to write into the bill wording that forbids the Supreme Court from reviewing the bill. This will, as many people say, cause a “constitutional crisis.” The constitution says in plain verbiage that the Supreme Court is not above the Congress: “the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.” [Article III Section 2]

In conclusion, getting money out of politics will fix the things that are making our representative government ineffective. Getting money out means getting the big business control of the Supreme Court out of the way of the solution. After all, if you’re not part of the solution…

Please Welcome Cyl

Please welcome our new author, Cyl.

Cyl has a keen eye on events of the day and can put things into perspective.

Remember, we have a place for new and upcoming authors. If you’re interested in joining our production, please leave a note on our CONTACT page.

America is Under Attack

Don’t fool yourself, the USA is under attack. Just look at the news any day of the week. Here are just a few topics from today’s news:

These are just a few of the awful and downright scary threats to America. The scariest part is that our government is failing to protect us. In fact, it’s making things worse.

Some politicians are dead set on protecting the NRA from any harm from the lack of gun control, rather than protecting the public.

The GOP is dead set on hiding any corruption in our elections. Not only that, they’re trying relentlessly to undermine our elections with gerrymandering and voter suppression.

The GOP is endlessly attacking our health care system. It took the USA over a century to finally create a health care act to protect the people but the GOP is attacking it from every angle. People are dying and even more people will die as we loose this law. The GOP can’t protect us.

But, stop and sit back and ask yourself. Was the GOP in charge when Saudi Arabia terrorists brought down the World Trade Center? And what did they do? Did they reduce terrorists in Saudi Arabia? No, they attacked the wrong country, Iraq.

Let’s face it. The GOP cannot protect you. In fact, America needs protection from the Republicans.

This is Not Normal

We must work to ensure this does not become the norm.

America has endured an endless stream of unbelievable and unacceptable embarrassments from the Trump administration. We are becoming numb to the horrors. Worst of all, the Republican representatives who are responsible for censoring Trump are all too happy to circle the wagons rather than actually having investigations into the wrong doings.

This is not normal. Even Nixon had Republicans around him who were prepared to see that the crimes were investigated. Today’s GOP just wants to brush it under the rug.

This is not normal.

When a political party holds the needs of their party over the needs of America it can only be bad for America. It is not normal for an American political party to downplay the fact that a foreign country has meddled with our elections. Regardless of whether or not you believe it influenced the outcome, it is an attack from a foreign country and needs to be brought to light. Yet, the GOP hides and downplays it.

Is that normal?

A president fires government official who are responsible for investigating this which seems to be an obvious obstruction of justice. Maybe it was just a stupid mistake. Maybe. But if Obama had been involved in it during his presidency, there would have been endless investigations and allegations. Yet, we hear nothing from the party now that it’s one of their own.

This is not normal. We cannot allow this to stand. We must take back our democracy and get out the party that will hide attacks from a foreign country to protect their president.

This is not a Democratic or Republican issue, it’s an American issue. No party is more important than the needs of our great country and anyone who is trying to downplay this is hurting our nation.

This is not normal.

How Did We Get Trump?

I see lots of speculation about why the Democrats lost this election and most of them miss the mark. To begin with, you hear the GOP saying they have a mandate since the Democrats lost all three branches of government. This is hogwash. The election was very close with the Democrats winning the majority of votes. This is by no means a mandate to trample America’s principles.

But, on to the question of how this happened. Looking at both parties, there was a groundswell of establishment opposition. That is obvious with the fact that a Socialist Democrat like Bernie (an obvious outsider) could get so close to winning the Democratic primary and Trump (also an obvious outsider) actually took the GOP primary.

So with the anti-establishment feeling running so deep, Hillary started running on more Progressive issues and backed away from the positions of the establishment, such as free trade and further cuts to the social safety net. She was even talking about increasing the minimum wage and Social Security, both of which have taken a big hit from GOP cuts and neglect.

But what happened? Why did she quit with the Progressive issues? Why did she start talking like another beltway insider at the end of the campaign?

Well, part of the problem is she was put on the defensive with the FBI election rigging (yes, someone should go to jail for that) and didn’t say anymore about the establishment. She started attacking Trumps character (which is easy to do) and quit actually sounding like an outsider.

This really give only one reason for the results, America voted for an outsider. The Democratic party better wake up to that or they’ll be out in the cold for many elections to come.

Voting for Authoritarian Politicians

As it often happens, voters are given a choice between an authoritarian leader or a non-authoritarian representative. This difference is fundamental to the very fabric of America’s principles.

The US constitution doesn’t say we should elect leaders. That seems like a pretty shocking revelation to many people.  But, this country was not founded on authoritarianism, but on rebellion against such authoritarians.  The very nature of the US is to question and restrain authority.

When it comes time to vote, keep that in mind. If you want to change America’s core to be followers of strong leaders, then vote for the authoritarian, but know what you’re doing when you do so.

On the other hand, if you are interested in keeping America free from the tyranny of the oppressive authoritarian leaders,  vote accordingly.

Whichever way you vote, be sure you know the consequences of your actions. We were not founded on following strong leaders, but rather overthrowing them.

Breaking News – Billionaires Caught Corrupting Nevada Election

A   billionaire, Koch brothers funded, front group was caught flooding millions of dollars into Nevada elections to circumvent the will of the people.  With the Senate seat up for grabs, the billionaires are busy trying to influence Nevada elections.

Their thinking seems to be along the lines of, “the stupid hicks of Nevada will vote for whoever they see on the TV the most.” Obviously they underestimate the Nevada voters.

This isn’t a choice between Republican or Democrat, but between electing a senator who represent the people or one who only represents the billionaires.

Let’s make sure they get the message.  We wont elect a billionaire stooge like Joe Heck. What the Heck do they think we are.

Vote the billionaires out of our government.  Anyone but Heck.

THE HECK WITH HECK.

Galaxy Theaters and Reefer Madness

reefer

I went to a movie at the Galaxy Theaters the other day and was infuriated by the larger than life ad spewing lies about legalized cannabis.  The ad smacked of the same lies we were told back in the reefer madness era. Lies about one thing after another.

Many of us can see the lies as the propaganda they are but there are many people out there who will actually believe these ads. And the sad part is that these same fools (being made fools by the ads they watch) go out there and vote based on those lies.

Shame on you Galaxy Theaters for allowing these blatant lies on your screen.  If you’re going to allow these obviously lies on your screen, you should at least preface them with a disclaimer to the effect that “the following propaganda ad may contain lies, deception, and falsehoods, so be sure to verify what you see on these ads before believing in them.”

Anything less than that, and you are responsible for people being made fools of all for your profit. Have some morals. It’s not just about profit. There is a responsibility you carry that you don’t deceive or otherwise harm your customers.

Here are some facts to clear up the lies:

  • Legal cannabis does not look like the Hershey’s candy you see in a grocery store. You don’t accidentally pick up the wrong kind of candy. I know, it sounds stupid, but that’s exactly what the ad infers and some people believe it.
  • Way more than one in six people viewing the ad will be made fools by the lies. However, exactly zero kids in six will get addicted to cannabis.

Take the poll:

Should the US legalize marijuanna (cannabis) nationally?

View Results

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Hillary Clinton’s Email Scandal

OMG, the sky is falling. Did you hear that Clinton’s being investigated for something? For the past 20 years, Hillary has always been investigated for one thing after another.

What most people don’t realize is that she has been found innocent of all of them. Did you get that? She is innocent of ALL OF THEM!

The Republican party has been accusing her of one manufactured scandal after another. Here is a short list of just the most notable. Ever heard fo the email scandal? How about Benghazi? How about Travelgate? How about Whitwater? What about the IRS scandal? How about filegate?

So if she’s been accused of so many things and never found guilty, why do people still believe the liars who are manufacturing the scandals? In other words, only a mentally handicapped person would continue to believe someone who repeatedly lied to them.

However, the Republican voter is that handicapped person. They will continue to believe the lies and the manufactured scandals and will refuse to believe it when she is found innocent. They will swallow up one lie after another without end. Why?

Are they mentally handicapped?

Maybe Fox and the other GOP propaganda outlets are actually making their viewers and listeners mentally handicapped. Maybe it’s working.

Just the fact that they don’t find a more reliable source indicates a serious sickness.

And all this gets back to what we can do about it. There is only one thing. We need to get EVERYONE out to vote. No more accepting the excuse that, oh, it’s so hard, or there’s no difference between the parties, or any of the other feeble excuses. Get everyone you know registered and out to vote. Only then can we wake up the Republican cult members.

Debbie Wasserman Shultz to Resign DNC Post

So after circumventing democracy and tipping the scales in Hillary’s favor, Debbie Wasserman Shultz decides to step down. Say what? You’ve done your damage and now you can just quietly slip away?

Oh, I hope not. She should be run out of DC on a rail. She needs to get the Hell out of politics. Because of her, we are now stuck with a candidate that, according to Michael Moore, can’t even beat Donald the Dump Trump. Bernie would have won the race hands down, but thanks to Debbie, we’re looking at the possibility of a serious disaster in the presidency, a disaster that this country might not be able to recover from.

If we hope to stop the train wreck of Trump it will require a whole not more of us getting out there and getting registered and voting. If we don’t, then we’ll get exactly what we deserve for our laziness and it is frightening.

 

Cannabis Candies Available to Children

I read the article today about how the candy form of THC is getting in the hands of children.  Do you realize what this means?

Nothing!

Absolutely nothing! Pot has been around for more than a year or two and it has always been something that kids might get their hands on.  Users of drugs sometimes accidentally leave their vices unguarded. The same is true for something far worse, alcohol and even worse than that, cigarettes. So why tell us about this now?

Here’s why it’s an issue today. There is a multi-million dollar propaganda campaign trying to kill legal cannabis.  They can’t beat it with the facts or with the truth so they have to bring up silly stories and try to scare everyone.

I read another article about how THC was found in the water supply in a Colorado town. Of course, it wasn’t enough to have any effect on anyone, but it was enough to scare the people. “Oh, my GOD! We’re all going to become REEFER MADNESS!”

The sad part is that this propaganda will actually work on some weak minded people and those people might vote. The only thing we can do about that is to make sure everyone who isn’t weak minded gets out there and votes, too.

Are We Getting Fed Up Yet?

What’s with all the senseless killings in our news? Is this how we will define our lives and how our children and grandchildren remember us?

Cops kill unarmed civilians, especially people of color. Grand juries find the cops not guilty.

The backlash against the cops is getting out of hand, but are we surprised, are we listening, yet?

What’s the thought process, today? “There’ll be more civilian killings until morale improves!”

Cops who kill civilians need to be tried in a court system that is separate from the system used to try civilians. There’s no way a court designed to believe the cop’s testimony above all else can possibly fairly try a cop, or a civilian for that matter. No wonder they’re usually acquitted for the murders they do.

Killing cops in retribution isn’t the answer but it’s obviously the symptom of a judicial system that is ceasing to function.

Fix the system now. Convict the killing cops and the problem will go away. Continue to neglect the problem like we’re doing now, and it will get worse, much worse.

Orlando Murders Demonstrates Our Media’s Continuing Failure

Most news outlets are calling the Orlando murders “Mass Shooting” and some even admit that it’s terrorism.  Unfortunately,  everyone seems to be afraid to call it whatit really is – religious extremism.  This is the same kind of extremism we witness regularly by our religious right murdering doctors and clinic employees and patients.

You see the media being so very careful to state ISIS when referring to radical extremism, so careful not to offend the American terrorists.

Just like other mental problems,  America can only begin to recover from our extremism when we are willing to admit that we have a problem with our own conservative extremism, religious and political.

The media is the only mechanism we have for facing the facts but we can’t when they hide the facts from us.

America needs an overhaul of our failed media.

Don't Say No, Just Say Why. You name it, politics, religion, opinion, news, you'll find it here.