Trump Team Russian Connections

web russia

UPDATE Mar 3 2017.  Washington Post lists the Trump people in the Russia web.

So many of Trump’s close inner circle of advisers and appointees have close ties with Russia, have met with Russian operatives and/or ambassador, or have lucrative business deals with Russian oligarchs, real estate or Rosnift (the Russian state owned oil company) that it’s becoming complex to keep score.  Below is an informal list, with very brief descriptions of each player.  (Strike-throughs indicate that this person has already resigned or been removed from their position.)  This list is expected to get longer as more information is revealed about the Trump camp.



How GW Bush Stole the 2000 Election

Democratic elections have always been messy; democracy itself is inherently messy.  And there have probably always been shenanigans to be found in the process.  But the “election” of George W. Bush was probably one of the most egregious election scams we’d seen up until that time.  Bush lost the popular vote by 540,000 votes.  But things got really strange in Florida, where George’s brother, Jeb was Governor.

GOP Voter Suppression in Florida

Governor Jeb Bush instructed his Secretary of State Katherine Harris to purge the voting rolls of thousands of voters.

12,000 eligible voters – a number twenty-two times larger than George W. Bush’s 537 vote triumph over Al Gore – were wrongly identified as convicted felons and purged from the voting rolls in Florida, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. African Americans, who favored Gore over Bush by 86 points, accounted for 11 percent of the state’s electorate but 41 percent of those purged.. Rolling Stone

But that didn’t stop the voter suppression efforts.  The fact that voter suppression had been used to successfully “elect” a United States president was not lost on the Republican party.


Why Putin Wanted to Elect Trump

Hidden beneath all the chaos of the first three weeks of the Trump administration — the  questionably legal Executive Orders, the inept wording and rollout of the Muslim ban, the tweet ravings against actors and department stores, the insults against our intelligence community and our allies, the provocation of China, the assault on our environment,  and the laughable outright lies uttered by spokespeople — there continues the quietly rowing scandal of the Trump team’s close ties with Russia.

We can presently recognize several reasons why Putin wanted Trump as US President, but since the Director of the CIA has been replaced with a Trump loyalist, the investigation has probably officially been stopped and silenced.   However, many in the intelligence community do not trust the Trump administration because of their many ties to Russia,  and these agencies are providing the United States media information via internal leaks which may help us save democracy.  

17 different intelligence agencies have confirmed that Russia manipulated our election to place Trump in the White House.  But why?

Our first rule always applies: Follow The Money.

But let’s dig deeper…initially, there appear to be three reasons: Territory, Oil Money & Sanctions, and Influence over & Disruption of the United States.

So for now, lets start by taking a brief look at the backstory of the USSR and it’s empire.


Trump Now Needs An Attack On US Soil

Donald Trump, a man who lost the popular vote by nearly 3 MILLION voters and yet has been installed in the White House, is a very unpopular person, both in the United States and world-wide.  There are huge protests at his radical executive orders,  massive resistance to his fringe far-right ideology, and challenges to his lies and policies in the public and in the courts.  This man is desperate to “win” rather than govern.  And he needs something to help him “win”.

Donald Trump needs a distraction, a way to unite people behind him, and a way to consolidate his power.  Donald Trump and the GOP NEED a terrorist attack on the United States.


Increasingly, more people are echoing the fear that this administration will orchestrate ( or allow) some type of “terrorist attack”.  We all certainly hope one does not happen; innocent people should not pay the ultimate price in an authoritarian regime’s grab for power.   There are known steps usually taken by authoritarian and fascist regimes to maximize their control in  any “event.”  So before such an event happens, we need to communicate these to as many people as we can:

  • Be ready for the administration to call for arrest or internment of  certain people.
  • Be aware of manipulation. Don’t fall for their political theater and hyper-patriotic rhetoric.
  • Do your best to think critically and rationally. They’ll be counting on people to be frightened and angry.
  • We’re going to need to stand together in unity.  The administration will try to divide us and turn us against one another.  Don’t let them.  We’ll need to be skeptical, caring, and level headed… and #Resist the power grab that would follow such an attack.

What benefit would this administration get from an attack?


RIP Democracy – Staying in Love and Finding Our Courage

I haven’t wanted to write this, or even voice it.  The pain and shock is still too raw, and everyone I know is suffering anxiety, stomach troubles, depression, and sleepless nights from the recent “election”.

I don’t want to destroy any shreds of hope that all my friends are clinging to… “We’ll run this person in 2018.”  “We’ll run that person in 2020.”

Really?  You think so?  Really?

Today the only thing I have to to offer is that by remaining rooted in compassion, and refusing to conform to the new regime of cruelty and ignorance, we each can be a force for good.  We may be called upon to help our neighbor being accosted by racists, we may have to help families flee their homes.  We may have to stand up to militarized police, as some of us are doing right now at Standing Rock.  And like our brothers and sisters and Standing Rock, many of us will be injured, arrested, and it’s quite likely that some of us will be killed in the process. Corporate control has already been bad, as we’ve seen police attack meditators during the Occupy protests and praying Water Protectors at Standing Rock.  It’s been bad, but with at least a few voices in government standing for common decency and compassion.

I hope I’m wrong.  I hope there’s something I’ve missed.  But as a student of human nature and a student of history, what I’m seeing is like a slow-motion car wreck.  Because it appears that the last impediment to complete corporate control in the USA will be removed on  Jan 21.

And by reminding ourselves that we can remain a voice for the voiceless, and reminding ourselves that only 25% of eligible voters actually voted for this regime, we can recall that most people in the US are decent, good people.  There may be comfort in knowing that others in repressive regimes have made a difference for the downtrodden.  We can do the same. 

Raising our voices for justice will be required.  Remaining rooted in compassion will be essential.

Essential… because things are going to get intense.

Because I do believe that the dream of a United States is one an equal and just society, where every person has value – that dream is over.

I wish I didn’t believe this.  Today I see no solution that can be accomplished by rules, procedure, or voting in its present gerrymandered, suppressed, form.   And being someone who always looks for solutions and a way to stay positive, this is especially painful for me; I’m profoundly sorry.  And my heart is broken.

For the courageous amongst us, please read on.


Fact-Checking BS Emails

It’s that time again!  The presidential election brings the crazies out of their basements and think-tanks to compete in the “BS Email & Social Media Follies”.

Lots of people have asked me how to go about fact-checking, so let’s discuss it here.

First, let’s take a look at fact-checking, and a few tips on how to spot a BS email or post.

How To Spot a BS Email or Post

  • A BS Email claims to be factual, rather than opinion.  And it is full of fake “facts”, quotes, and lots of hyperbole.  A false message often contains a tiny grain of truth.  This is done to give “cover” or deniability to the liar, and it also gives lazy readers a false sense that the entire message must be true.  Let’s not be lazy readers, my friends!  If something is just too “on the nose”, or fits a political narrative a bit too exactly, don’t forward or re-post it until you’ve checked it out.
  • If a quote seems out of character for the person to whom it was attributed, check it.
  • Always suspect emails with giant font, a lot of exclamation points and ALL CAPS!!!!!!!!!  (If you can imagine someone hysterically yelling the message, definitely check it.)
  • If the post or email quotes a known propagandist or propaganda organization, be suspicious.  (There are some individuals who have made a very good living twisting words, telling outright lies, and especially, selling hate and fear of “the other”.  They often refer to themselves as “real Americans” and other people as outsiders.  Always fact-check anything these people say.)

There are several types of people who contribute to a “successful” BS email or social media meme:

  1. The despicable people who knowingly create these emails and posts, and who don’t care that remembernews82_nthey’re terrifying our elderly and uneducated, since their goal is to gain votes through deceitful manipulation.
  2. The above mentioned elderly, who came from a time when creating a fake TV “news” station or building a website based on false “information” would be considered shameful. Yes, there was a time when a reporter strove for honesty and tried to be impartial. After all, the airwaves belong to the U.S. citizens, and a person using these airwaves had an ethical obligation to help educate and enlighten citizens, not outright manipulate them.   Sorry, that time is long gone. (You cannot blindly believe what you see on television or read in an email or see on a website.)
  3. The uneducated, who do believe what they read or see without fact-checking.
  4. All of the above people, who forward BS emails to vast numbers of people, continuing the cycle of dumbing-down the country.

A great example: Today an email came forwarded to me printed in GIANT BOLD COLORED FONT and of course, lots of exclamation points!!!!!!: the better to scare you with, my dear. More

Chelsea Manning, Whistleblower. What would YOU do?

Here’s a question:  If you saw and heard what Chelsea Manning did, what would YOU do?

Let’s say that as a naive young person, you actually believed the BS about the military fighting to “preserve our freedoms” and “keep us safe”.  And let’s say that you also believed that the military would, in exchange for your service, provide you with education that would insure your future career opportunities.  Let’s further imagine that you believed that the military was actually about stopping “bad guys” rather than indiscriminately killing innocent civilians.  Yes, that’s a lot of false memes to believe, but just for a moment, lets pretend that you believed these things, and so you enlisted. More

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