Patrick Pizzella has been appointed to lead the Department of Labor as acting secretary. Alex Acosta announced his resignation due to criticism for his light prosecution of sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Acoasta explained the light sentences: “We now have 12 years of knowledge and hindsight and we live in a very different world,” he said. “Today’s world treats victims very, very differently.”
Patrick Pizzella fought to keep minimum wages at $3.05 and worse.
Mother Jones reported: “Patrick Pizzella 1990s to help the Northern Mariana Islands—a US commonwealth 1,500 miles from Japan—defeat a bipartisan effort to rein in a guest worker program that the Labor Department found relied on indentured workers. When Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) asked Pizzella whether he knew about reports of forced abortions and routine beatings at the time.” At the time he worked for Jack Abramoff, who later was found guilty of 21 crimes. Together they wanted to shape the Northern Mariana Islands as laboratories in which oppressors would be able to abuse people without any laws to protect the oppressed.
Wendy Doromol, a teacher turned human rights activist, reported on NPR in 2006: “The barbed wire around the factories faced inward so that the workers, mostly women, couldn’t get out. They had quotas that were impossible for these people to reach and if they didn’t reach them, they’d have to stay until they finished the quota and they wouldn’t be paid for that work. They were hot, the barracks were horrible. A lot of the females were told you work during the day in the garment factory and then at night you can go and work in a club and they’d force them into prostitution at night.”
Forced labor and forcing women into prostitution are Pizzalla’s idealized working conditions.
What Pizzella didn’t say in a 2017 Senate Hearing was that he helped lead a public relations campaign to rebrand the islands as a paragon of free-market principles. Between 1996 and 2000, emails and billing records reviewed by Mother Jones show that Pizzella and colleagues organized all-expenses-paid trips to the islands for more than 100 members of Congress, their staffers, and conservative thought leaders. When they got back, Pizzella helped them convince colleagues that the Northern Mariana Islands were, as his old boss (convicted fellon) Abramoff liked to put it, a “laboratory of liberty.”
In 2006 Daily Kos reported: “This is also about a GOP Culture of Corruption that sold their principles, honor, Party and Country for power. It is a story of Sex, forced abortions, prostitution, sweatshops and special favors for the worst Foreign Nationals on the World stage.”
Apparently Pizzella’s work paid off and he kept the $3.05 per hour minimum wage in the commonwealth, which lasted from 1997 to 2007, when President George W. Bush put an end to that. Pizzella celebrated that the minimum wage was lower than in the U.S. and some worker protections are weaker and seemingly non-existent, leading to lower production costs. That allowed garments to be labeled “Made in USA” without having to comply with all U.S. labor laws.
Pizzella’s record as a lobbyist also includes work for a Russian front group, the government of the Marshall Islands, and a trade association fighting against the minimum wage in a U.S. commonwealth.
In a statement Friday, July 12 2019 , Kristine Lucius, the group’s executive vice president for policy and government affairs, said Pizzella’s record “shows he has a clear bias against working people’s rights – which may be good for Trump’s agenda, but bad for the people the department is meant to serve.”
Pizzella was appointed to the Federal Labor Relations Board by President Barack Obama in 2013. He previously served as the assistant secretary of labor for administration and management for eight years under President George W. Bush.
Ajit Pai is tired of all the hearings. He prefers to receive complaints and concerns via suggestion box.
FCC CHAIRMAN INTRODUCES TWO NEW PROPOSALS TO MODERNIZE FCC PROCESSES
WASHINGTON, July 22, 2019—Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai today announced that he has presented his colleagues with two new proposals to modernize and streamline the agency’s processes. Under the first, the FCC would continue the agency’s move toward electronic filing and correspondence by fully transitioning the Universal Licensing System—the agency’s largest licensing system—from paper to electronic format. The second proposal would expedite the Commission’s hearing processes by expanding the use of written hearings (i.e. hearings conducted without live testimony).
“As the communications
marketplace is being transformed by the digital revolution, we must continue to
modernize our own operations.” said Chairman Pai. “That’s why I’m introducing two new proposals
to update and streamline our processes for the digital age. By transitioning more records and
communications from paper to electronic format, we can save money and increase our
efficiency. And by streamlining our
hearing rules, we can resolve disputes more quickly, which will benefit the
private sector as well as the Commission.
I hope that my colleagues will join me in supporting these
Address your concerns directly to: Will Wiquist, (202) 418-0509 or email correspondence to firstname.lastname@example.org
Media Relations: (202) 418-0500 / ASL: (844) 432-2275 / TTY: (888) 835-5322 / Twitter: @FCC / www.fcc.gov This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action.
Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC, 515 F.2d 385 (D.C. Cir. 1974).
Join us to celebrate Year 100 of the ACLU at Jack London Square this Saturday, March 30, 2019, at 3:30pm with a concert by Jonah Melvon featuring Adesha
March 29, 2019, Jack London Square, Oakland, CA, at 3:30 pm Jonah Melvon featuring Adesha will perform to celebrate the ACLU 100 Years celebration, which will go on the entire weekend. See entire line up here.
This weekend’s Bay Area Celebration is part of a national tour. https://www.aclu100.org/aclu-100-experience/ which was started at SXSW. With celebrations in Phoenix, and Los Angeles. The key focus this year is to encourage everyone to join the effort to remind US citizens and voters that “Voting is a Right, not Privilege.” The Gerry Mandering and Voter Suppression have affected the countries leadership in a way that the majority of the voters are not heard:
Voting rights have come under attack across the country. States have passed laws that have made it harder for people of color, the elderly, students, and people with disabilities to cast a ballot. Experience an interactive exhibit about the many barriers erected throughout American history to prevent people from voting.
Learn how you can help ensure that everyone has the ability to exercise their right to vote.
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Networks with Bay Area and California Non-Profits
We are honored to collaborate with these non profits that make positive changes happen:
Ella Baker Center for HumanRights
Heyday Books Initiate
Justice League of Women Voters
BOSS: helping the homeless, poor, and disabled people achieve health and self-sufficiency
ACILEP network for immigrant rights
Oakland Public Library
ARC: The Anti Recidivism Coalition
TGI Justice Project for transgender freedom and survival
ACCESS Women’s Health Justice
It takes a village to raise a child and a community to shape and strengthen a city. The Oakland, CA is known to have a population of which 38% hold secondary degrees. This is largely due to the effective education successes, strong family support, and a community that believes that everyone is created equally and should be treated as such under the law. Naturally, we need to reinforce these values on a daily basis to continue our history of civil rights successes.
The ACLU-NC was alone in standing with Fred Korematsu and against the forced detention of Japanese-Americans during WWII, in a case that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. We dared to oppose obscenity laws in the prim 1950s, defending Lawrence Ferlinghetti for selling Howl, the groundbreaking book of poetry, in his San Francisco City Lights bookstore. In the years after 9/11, the ACLU pushed back on a wave of bigotry and fear mongering to protect the civil rights of Muslims and people of Middle Eastern and South Asian decent. In recent years, as discrimination has shifted to target Latinos and others perceived as “foreign,” the ACLU has stamped out anti-immigrant laws around the country and challenged unlawful policing in immigrant communities in California. We may be best known for litigation, but through our history the ACLU-NC has been powered by the passion of our activists. The organization was forged through the courage of trade workers and labor organizers in the 1930s. We aided the growing civil rights movements of the 1960s, providing legal protection to campaigns by African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans, as well as anti-war protestors and LGBT activists. Over the decades, battles have been fought and won by ACLU activists in fifteen chapters across Northern California and student groups on California’s university campuses, from the activists who launched the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley in 1964 to the UC Davis students who endured pepper spray while exercising their free speech rights in 2011.
The ACLU of Northern California is one of the largest ACLU affiliates in the nation with nearly 170,000 members. We have a critical role to play. We must use our decades of experience in impact litigation, legislative advocacy, and fearless organizing to fight these un-American policies and protect our most cherished rights and freedoms. We are the resistance. Join us.
Did you know that prisoners get paid only $1.45 per day to put their life on the one fighting fires? Maybe they are in jail because they could not afford their bail, like wealthy citizens. Equity for all!
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Children who are pregnant because they were molested and raped; young teenage mothers who are not equipped to raise a child – since clearly they are too young to take responsibility for themselves; impoverished mothers who have a hard time raising the kids they already have; they all no longer have a right to fact-based information.
The conservative leaning Supreme Court ruled that withholding information about options available to people who really may benefit from an array of information will now be misled, misinformed – legally. There are a lot of women who are not equipped to be a parent they need options with help, not judgment and misinformation. www.kidscount.org
The youngest person on record giving birth after being raped was Linda Medina who gave birth at six years and five months. It is not unusual for 11 to 12 year old girls to ovulate. If they are raped or their sexual explorations end up in pregnancy they are faced with a very challenging life.
Now in 2018 the Supreme Court decided that religious extremists have the right to mislead and misinform and lie to women who really need information more than anyone else. If they were informed they would not be in the plight they find themselves in. They would not seek help from religious extremists who want to impose their apocalyptic views onto any miserable person that falls into their clutches.
Already without this debacle 1 in 4 women will go on a welfare benefit program within 3 years of their child being born. Who will care for unwanted children who are a result of misinformation? It is clear the Supreme Court doesn’t care nor is that in their job description. Religious extremists want to abolish insurance, privatize welfare and they want to mislead people who are ill equipped to be parents to have children. 60% of unwed mothers live in poverty.
14 Million children in the US go hungry every night. There is no care for that clearly. The religious extremists voted for a philandering president who had sex with porn stars. Michael Cohen handled his behavioral issues of the president and those of his friends. Mistresses were paid hush money and to have abortions.
The religious extremists clearly don’t have any consistent value system. They want to control and impose their will on the victims who need help more than anyone. No one is more vulnerable than a pregnant girl or women recovering from rape or sexual molestation, or even just a mistake.
The president is friends, with Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted child molester who was convicted for soliciting underage girls for prostitution. Religious extremists voted in a friend of a convicted child molester and human trafficker. They mislead people just as their chosen leader enjoys to do. Important information about options are withheld. The centers lie to and mislead victims. It’s official:
The use of the freedom of speech laws is now used to protect liars. This is yet another low for the US. This is a country of laws, and now:
National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, No. 16-1140 has been decided. The conservative Supreme Court voted for misinformation and is against California’s State Rights to handle their own affairs.
Facebook in their media relations page claimed this:
“Over the past few months, we have taken action against fake accounts in France, Germany, and other countries, and we recently stated that we will no longer allow Pages that repeatedly share false news to advertise on Facebook.”
I rejoice since I think at last the manipulations of nefarious activities manipulating the public, whether it is Russians getting conservatives hyped up into a mob mentality against the LGBT community, or having an unqualified real estate maven, who seemed surprised that he was chosen to be president, or providing a platform for hate speech for German Nazi’s, which happened to be against the law.
I followed the development of the extreme right groups who are often sponsored and supported by Russia – take hold in Western Europe and I was surprised since it used to be against the law to even whisper the word “Nazi” in Germany. The punishment in the 1980s was severe – over $1000 in fines or 2 weeks in prison.
How the world has changed since the Reagan era when we become “one world.” Germans seem to have forgotten their history and now Neo Nazis are running around demonstrating and promoting their hate freely in public, protected by the free speech laws. Erdogan’s dictator supporting Turkish soldiers are running around Germany turning in ex-soldiers, if they practice German free speech, and Erdogan tried to shut up a, perhaps a bit tasteless, German comedian. He launched lawsuits in Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerlands. Only in Germany he received an audience by politicians who pushed for silencing their own citizens in support of the dictator.
Facebook and Twitter helped these trends, there is no doubt about it. No matter how much they wanted to deny it or ignore it initially. They forbade pictures of classic Greek statues and paintings from the Renaissance if they offended some religious desire – but hate speech, even illegal hate speech was entirely ok to them. We now know that it was because they made good money with it. The bot factories paid precious advertising dollars. Art lovers who shared a beautiful Botticelli painting could not compete with the foreign dictators’ budgets. People who portrayed rape scenes were okay, women’s nipples were not. When questioned in Germany, they arrogantly proclaimed that the Facebook police were run out of India, thus not subject to German law. Only when Merkel got so frustrated by the public furor that she promised to shut the site down altogether, was she able to get Zuckerberg’s attention.
Now in Germany they are working on a “Facebook-Gesetz” – a law that is targeting social media companies. the law is meant to stop social media companies from spreading illegal hate speech. The German press is concerned that while there is an attempt to create such a law, it is far from certain that there will be such a law. Political infighting points that in Germany freedom of speech and the fight against hate speech vs. mob rule attitudes are literally at odds.
While politicians are discussing the pros and cons of the formulation it is up to Facebook to keep order “voluntarily.” In German fashion, they don’t seem to care if they tacitly allow hate speech free reign while they fight about the way the law is worded.
Thankfully, there definitely have been some improvements as the top management of Facebook finally is starting to become aware that they may be destroying Western Civilization by allowing “free speech” to extremists, while being responsive to complaints by extremists whose goal is quite literally to abolish the Freedoms of Western Culture as we know it.
Facebook informs us: “We are also experimenting with changes to help us more efficiently detect and stop inauthentic accounts at the time they are being created.”
Hopefully this is a priority and completed before the next elections. Trump fans are right that Western Civilization is under attack, mostly by ourselves. Business leaders will ultimately decide whether democracy will survive. Business leaders are pro democracy and those who are against democracy will decide our future as they deploy artificial intelligence who write programs which determine how we will be able perceive our world now and in the future.
The Battle between Wealth and Human Rights is nearly 250 years old.
Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay promoted the ratification of the United States Constitution with articles and essays that were collected and are still available at The Federalist Papers.*
Within these articles and essays these founders outlined their thinking about creating a federal union. They urged people to allow wise and experienced men who have the public good in mind to counter balance the needs, wishes, and desires of individual states. They believed that a federal union would better safeguard national borders, treaties with foreign nations. National Government would enforce the laws for all people better, instead of having individual states or individuals fall prey to undue influence for personal gain, personal wealth creation, or a desire of personal power, or by foreign powers.
The Federal Papers were used to educate American voters about the benefits of balancing individuals and individual states’ freedoms with the public good and freedom as well as safety and overall wealth for all.
It is amazing how topical these papers are still today when we are engaged in the same exact battle once again. It is obvious that the current administration and the Congress is not occupied by educated, experienced and wise men who strive for what is best for everyone. The Constitution which was written with the public good in mind is now under constant attack.
Freedom of the Press is under attack by a President who has falsified Time Magazine covers decorating his golf courses. He recently stated that the Constitution is “old-fashioned.”
The health care bill that is currently proposed by the House and the Senate leans strongly toward wealth creation for the few, instead of the public good and freedom for all. The desire for individual wealth and power trumps the desire to protect freedom and safety for all.
The current administration who won due to manipulating the voting regions by gerrymandering, does not have full public support. Trump undoubtedly won over a lot of the working white class voters by promising to improve the health care system. Now instead his party wants to eliminate coverage for millions, lower coverage for those who are sick, and increase the premiums for when the policies are used when needed. This translates to the fact that millions more will either not be able to afford healthcare as soon as they get ill or they will go bankrupt trying to pay for medical expenses. In Alaska for instance Premiums for a 60 years old man will go up to $34,000 per year a high price to pay even in a state that offers above average median wages ranging from from $84,000 to $37,284 per median family incomes.
Clean water is under attack by the chosen head of the EPA. Millions of acres of public lands are leased to oil and gas companies with a history of causing oil spills ruining the environment. The Secretary of State, Tillerson has a known history of ignoring, if not supporting human rights offenses, by working with government known to steal from their inhabitants and in some cases killing entire villages to be able to provide Oil companies, like Exxon, with drilling rights.
In an op-ed piece in “The Hill” David Abramowitz, points out that looking for short term wealth for the few often hurts human rights for the many in the long run.
Right now the US is run by people with a history of siding with Human Rights offenders. Trump is publicly friends with human trafficker and known child molester Jeffrey Epstein, who ended up with very little jail time due to the Trump’s family intervention; Tillerson who was nearly sued by Indonesia for human rights offenses but “let go by W. Bush;” Joe Sessions lost his bid for the Supreme Court for his racist comments and attitudes; Steve Bannon, known for garnering support of the KKK, Neo-Nazis; Mike Pence, known for his ties with the tobacco industry and support of ultra conservative Christians oppressive and dangerous to LGBT persons; Sebastian Gorka known for his help to Russia overthrow Democracy in Hungary; and of course Manafort, Flynn and Trump’s own son in law; Guiliani who consulted helped prop up dictators like Duterte, Erdogan and created havoc in Venezuela. The list is too long for this article.
It may be a good idea to reread the Atlantic Monthly Time Capsules as we watch Democracy, Human Rights, Ecology, Education, and everything that has made this country great in the past under attack.
Will the battle for democracy and freedom for all people, regardless of sex, race, religion and national heritage as outlined in the US Constitution be won – AGAIN?
* Kindle Edition free from Amazon and the Gutenberg Press.
Since this nation was started it strongly associated with certain principles. During a time when a very large part of Americans brought in a man who seems to hold no respect the principle of freedom in his heart, we do well to remind ourselves what Freedom actually means and why the US wanted to be free from arbitrary rules of George III of England, who did not respect Americans as enjoying these inalienable rights. Somehow nearly half of Americans seem to have forgotten and are now promoting Trump and his compadre Putin’s style of government which does not promote Freedom.
IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declarationof the thirteen unitedStates of America
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But 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. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
“The sanctions are targeted, not sectoral, and will have a very limited impact,” said Thomas Wright, a fellow and director of the Project on International Order and Strategy at the Brookings Institute. “This will not deter Putin from interfering in French or German elections in 2017.”
Thomas Wright also suggests that: “Trump is opposed to America’s alliance arrangements, he is opposed to the open global economy, and he is pro-authoritarian and pro-Russian. That it is pretty clear this is the most important election anywhere in the world since the two German elections of 1932,” he wrote, in reference to the parliamentary elections that ultimately resulted in Adolf Hitler coming to power. “No other election has had the capacity to completely overturn the international order—the global economy, geopolitics, etc.”
In the Atlantic Monthly article Thomas Wright further explains: “Trump’s isolationist ideology has three components, according to Wright: 1) opposition to U.S. alliances; 2) opposition to free trade; and 3) support for authoritarianism. In Wright’s view, these three beliefs, if translated into policy in a Trump administration, could do away with the liberal international order that the United States helped design after World War II and has led ever since. Full Article
Thomas Wright explains in a report for the Lowy Institute for International Policy: “To understand Donald Trump’s foreign policy, we must distinguish between his three core beliefs that he has held for many decades and rarely if ever wavered from, the central themes of his campaign, and other issues. His core beliefs are opposition to America’s alliance arrangements, opposition to free trade, and support for authoritarianism, particularly in Russia. If he is elected president and governs in a manner consistent with these beliefs, the United States will be transformed from the leader of a liberal international order into a rogue superpower that withdraws from its international commitments, undermines the open global economy, and partners with Putin’s Russia.” Full Report
How the GOP responds to the Trump and Putin alliance forged to transform the US into a rogue country that works solely for a few chosen corporation – just like Russia is now – will determine our future and the future of the free world.
Source: Thomas Wright quotes from a variety of sources. For more information feel free to contact him directly at The Brookings Institute
The US Government released a report and recommends that all citizens and companies take pre-cautions.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recommends that network administrators review the IP addresses, file hashes, and Yara signature provided and add the IPs to their watchlist to determine whether malicious activity has been observed within their organizations. The review of network perimeter net flow or firewall logs will assist in determining whether your network has experienced suspicious activity. When reviewing network perimeter logs for the IP addresses, organizations may find numerous instances of these IPs attempting to connect to their systems. Upon reviewing the traffic from these IPs, some traffic may correspond to malicious activity, and some may correspond to legitimate activity. Some traffic that may appear legitimate is actually malicious, such as vulnerability scanning or browsing of legitimate public facing services (e.g., HTTP, HTTPS, FTP). Connections from these IPs may be performing vulnerability scans attempting to identify websites that are vulnerable to cross-site scripting (XSS) or Structured Query Language (SQL) injection attacks. If scanning identified vulnerable sites, attempts to exploit the vulnerabilities may be experienced.
Commit to Cybersecurity Best Practices
A commitment to good cybersecurity and best practices is critical to protecting networks and systems.
Here are some questions you may want to ask your organization to help prevent and mitigate against attacks.
1. Backups: Do we backup all critical information? Are the backups stored offline? Have we tested our ability to revert to backups during an incident?
2. Risk Analysis: Have we conducted a cybersecurity risk analysis of the organization?
3. Staff Training: Have we trained staff on cybersecurity best practices? 4. Vulnerability Scanning & Patching: Have we implemented regular scans of our network and systems and appropriate patching of known system vulnerabilities?
5. Application Whitelisting: Do we allow only approved programs to run on our networks? 6. Incident Response: Do we have an incident response plan and have we practiced it?
7. Business Continuity: Are we able to sustain business operations without access to certain systems? For how long? Have we tested this?
8. Penetration Testing: Have we attempted to hack into our own systems to test the security of our systems and our ability to defend against attacks?
For the full document with more valuable advice: Click
Huffington Post under Verizon Board’s management now targets media toward Fox News Audiences
Today the Huffington Post had a live Facebook interview with Linda McMahon of Worldwide Wrestling Fame. It seems confusing to people who used to think that the Huffington Post was a “liberal” media that reported on culture and politics. It greatly delighted the new audiences of “Winners who are making America Great Again” through their vote for the Trump administration. This pivot toward the middle class and investors and the Democratic Party mistakenly calls the working class is understandable when you read AOL’s mission. Code the company is all about code – measuring audiences, gaining audiences, redirecting audiences and undoubtedly listening in to audiences every move. The CEO of Verizon was in charge of NSA’s largest listening program. Naturally, the number of people must expand, and the editorial has to be low brow indeed.
But why is that confusing? If you keep up with the news, AOL purchased the Huffington Post years ago for $350,000,000 dollars. Currently AOL serves 500,000,000 people globally. AOL’s mission, according to their website, is:
"We live in a time when culture defines code and code defines culture. Code is about the evolution of technology, the natural force of human ingenuity that moves culture forward. Culture is about the content experiences that make technology meaningful, enhancing our lives both online and off. Culture + Code is our North Star — the philosophy that guides the way we organize, run and grow our business."
AOL has always been part of the world in which ethics don’t necessarily mean as much as earnings. AOL started as a services provider that overcharged people. They still owe me close to $700 that were deducted from my Bank Account automatically. I only could stop the monthly theft them by closing the Bank Account, back in 1996.
Then later they fancied themselves a “Unicorn” and “bought Time Inc.” during a time when every other media company paid millions for small tech companies, like AOL. AOL purchased Time Inc. for $162 Billion, but allowed them to keep their name and their board of directors, and most of their managers. Only one of my very good techie media friends and I thought it was funny when they fell for that brilliant Time Inc. move. Most people were very impressed. Needless to say, my funny friend and I, thought it was equally funny when AOL was spun out again from the company they had “bought.”
Their first success was more a matter of being at the right place at the right time and squeezing money out of their customers with vastly overpriced product offerings and illegally taking money that was not theirs. I still want my close to $700 dollars back, that AOL deducted from my bank account for several months after I cancelled their overpriced service.
After they were spun out from Time Inc. they went through a lot of reiterations and finally were led by a very good CEO, Tim Armstrong. Before joining the “Cable Business and Telecom” Industry he used to be a formidable media / new media guy. Tim spent almost a decade at Google, where he served as President of Google’s Americas Operations and Senior Vice President of Google Inc. as well as serving on the company’s global operating committee. Tim started in his career by co-founding a newspaper in Boston, MA before moving into the Internet industry, where he has worked as a team member, investor or co-founder at many companies, including Starwave (sold to Disney / ESPN / ABC Internet Ventures), Snowball (IPO), Associated Content (sold to Yahoo), and Patch (sold to AOL). Tim has also been an active investor in the start-up community, both on and offline.
Tim Armstrong is smart, hard-working and has vision. Living in the world where he is undoubtedly in a bit of a creative straight jacket, reporting to military, telecom and “healthcare” executives must be hard sometimes. He is channeling his “good man” energies by supporting an amazing amount of causes. He works with a Charter school, the United States Olympic & Paralympic Foundation, IAB Education Foundation, and more. Tim was honored by the Ad Council with their 60th Annual Public Service Award in 2013. The past few years must have challenged him, despite the amazing financial success he brought to his investors. Buy-outs are always challenging.
He reported to a board that consisted a few old media execs and large corporate advertisers (Knight Ridder and PepsiCo, etc.) and of Eve Burton, a lawyer who grew her chops at Hearst Corporations and perhaps more importantly at a legal firm called Weil, which has extensive experience working with international media and entertainment companies and investors in transactions as diverse as mergers and acquisitions and related financings, cross-border transactions, spin-offs, IPOs, intellectual property licensing and counseling, royalty, debt and equity offerings, and restructurings. Their experience encompasses all areas of global media, publishing and telecommunications in matters of industry-wide significance. Their media and entertainment transactional practice involves particularly close collaboration among our M&A and Private Equity, Capital Markets and Technology & IP Transactions practices.
Essentially Weil attorneys are a team of globally connected mercenaries who wrote the book on Restructuring, Chapter 11, Buy Outs, with an army 1100 lawyers strong and an alumni group that stretches into 150 government agencies, financial sector, etc. Weil is an amazingly knowledgeable firm that helps private equity investors make the most of their money and assists families keep their money while dancing knowledgeably around the laws, often having their Alumni’s create the laws. Ms. Burton surely had a lot to do with the sale to Verizon since Weil advised Verizon on the $4.4 billion dollar buy-out. What ana amazing return of investment. Under Tim Armstrong’s leadership AOL grew quite a bit. Weil also has a prominent white-collar defense unit.
In 2012 the rest of the board of AOL consisted of actual media executives and officers in large corporations who were typically very large advertisers. Now he reports to a telecom based intelligence firm.
Verizon is run by an ex Naval Officer, Lowell C. McAdam, who most likely oversaw the creation of one of the most in-depth surveillance program for the NSA, initially at Pacific Telesis under the Bush Administration, and eventually via AirTouch, under the Obama Administration. Other members of the board include:
Karl-Ludwig Kley, a German Industrialist, who held leading positions at Merck, E-On, Deutsche Bank, Bertelsmann, and now Lufthansa. Martha Francis Keeth, an attorney who was previously employed as Independent Director by Peabody Energy Corp., Executive Vice President-Chemicals by Royal Dutch Shell Plc, President & Chief Executive Officer by Shell Chemicals Ltd., President & Chief Executive Officer by Shell Chemicals LP, and Chief Accounting Officer & Controller by Mobil Corp.
Shelley Archambeau is Chief Executive Officer of MetricStream, Inc., a leading provider of governance, risk, compliance and quality management solutions to corporations across diverse industries. Prior to joining MetricStream in 2002, Ms. Archambeau served as Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President of Sales for Loudcloud, Inc., Blockbuster, and IBM. Interestingly Loudcloud is told to have been the server provider for the initial NSA surveillance program.
Mr. Mark Bertolini is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Aetna Inc., a Fortune 100 diversified healthcare benefits company. Prior to assuming the role of Aetna’s CEO in 2010 and Chairman in 2011, Mr. Bertolini served as President from 2007, responsible for all of Aetna’s businesses and operations across the company’s range of healthcare products and related services, and as Executive Vice President and head of Aetna’s regional businesses before that. He joined Aetna in 2003 as head of Aetna’s Specialty Products after holding executive positions at Cigna, NYLCare Health Plans and SelectCare, Inc.
Mr. Carrión has served for over 20 years as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Popular, Inc., a diversified bank holding company. He also served as a director of NYNEX Corporation, one of Verizon’s predecessor companies, from 1995 to 1997. Mr. Carrión provides our Board with financial, operational and strategic expertise developed during his long tenure as Chairman and CEO of Popular, Inc. This experience, combined with his board service at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York from 2008 to 2016, also provides our Board with deep risk management expertise.
Verizon’s Executives are teaming with members of GSMA an organization that specializes in “intelligence” gathered about Mobile Customers around the globe. Data Driven content will play a relatively minor part of the new Bot, AI, and machine learning world. From now on AOL will be all about the Code that holds, influences and tracks a global audience – legally.
So good-bye Huffington Post,and hello “Brave New World” Aldous Huxley Style.
Why do rural blue color workers and rural college educated people love Trump?
The Guardian’s Thomas Frank, pointed out on March 7, 2016: “..what motivates the supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump? I call it a “mystery” because the working-class white people who make up the bulk of Trump’s fan base show up in amazing numbers for the candidate, filling stadiums and airport hangars, but their views, by and large, do not appear in our prestige newspapers. On their opinion pages, these publications take care to represent demographic categories of nearly every kind, but “blue-collar” is one they persistently overlook.” Full Article
The Atlantic Monthly received letters from a range of people who support Trump for president in August 2015. The reasons they quote are similar:
A self proclaimed Liberal who voted for Obama wrote: “Rather, I genuinely believe that Trump feels the need to fight for the country he loves. There once was a time when people could actually feel proud to be Americans, and Trump comes from a generation that experienced that feeling. Now, many are embarrassed to be associated with this country. Jobs are being outsourced with reckless abandon and this country is literally being hollowed out. Economic statistics do no justice to this reality, and the average American knows this to be true.”
An undecided voter writes: “..the preeminence of political correctness among the culture class indicates a momentous shift away from formerly prominent middle-class cultural values and towards something entirely different. Even if Donald Trump were to accomplish little in his presidency, I think there is a hope that were he president, he could in some way alter that prevailing Washington/media culture and set a new cultural tone. Many would probably question why, of all people, a decadent, rude, and pompous billionaire should be trusted to meddle with American culture? I think it comes down to a perception that America has already drowned in a post-modernist nightmare of moral relativism, from which extreme political correctness and protest culture stem. Trump, on the other hand, is all absolutes.” Full Article
Kathy Kramer shared with Kevin Drum in an interview for Mother Jones, November 8, 2016, that her political science study showed this:
“What I was hearing was this general sense of being on the short end of the stick. Rural people felt like they not getting their fair share. That feeling is primarily composed of three things. First, people felt that they were not getting their fair share of decision-making power….Second, people would complain that they weren’t getting their fair share of stuff….And third, people felt that they weren’t getting respect….So it’s all three of these things — the power, the money, the respect. People are feeling like they’re not getting their fair share of any of that.” Full Article
So let’s take a close look and let’s see if what they feel is true.
The Brookings Institute states that Republican States have more entrenched poverty than Democratic States. Republican districts have more poor residents overall: 25.1 million poor people lived in red districts in 2010-14 compared with 22.7 million in blue districts.
Between 2000 and 2010-14, the poor population grew faster in red districts than blue. The number of people living below the poverty line (e.g., $24,230 for a family of four in 2014) in Republican districts climbed by 49 percent between 2000 and 2010-14 compared with a 33 percent increase in Democratic districts. As a result, Republican districts accounted for 60 percent of the increase in the nation’s poor population during that time. At the same time, poverty rates rose by similar margins in both red and blue districts (3.3 and 3.2 percentage points, respectively).
Table 1. Congressional Districts with the Fastest Growth in Poor Population, 2000 to 2010-14
Percentage Change in Poor Population
Share of Poor in Suburbs
Heck, Joseph J.
Source: Brookings Institution analysis of decennial census and American Community Survey data
Hunger in Rural Communities is higher than Urban
According to the United States Department of Agriculture report, Household Food Security in the United States in 2014, 14% of U.S. households were food insecure at least some time during the year. The prevalence of food insecurity was higher in rural areas than metropolitan areas.
The Digital Divide created by lack of Internet Access
55 percent of people living in rural areas have access to the speeds that currently qualify as broadband, while 94 percent of the urban population does. As of 2015, 74 percent of households in urban areas of the U.S. had residential broadband connections, compared with only 64 percent of rural households. This gap has persisted over time. Research reveals that broadband adoption can help improve the economy in these rural areas (including increasing income, lowering unemployment rates and creating jobs). In addition, we know that roughly 40 percent of the rural-urban adoption gap is because rural areas don't have the same level of broadband access. This is because large providers are not interested in serving these communities and in some instances have refused Federal Subsidies to get rural communities connected.
Suicides in Rural Areas are double of those than in Cities
A study by the JAMA states that Suicide is a serious public health problem. For youths between the ages of 10 and 24 years, suicide was the third leading cause of death in 2010 behind only unintentional injuries and homicide.1 Males are at higher risk, accounting for 81% of suicide deaths in the 10- to 24-year age group. Suicide risk increases with age, with 6% occurring in individuals younger than 15 years, 34% in those between 15 and 19 years, and 60% in young adults aged 20 to 24 years.1
Rates of suicide also vary by rural-urban residence, with higher rates in rural compared with urban areas. Suicide rates among rural men were higher than those of urban men, with rural-urban differences widening over time. Higher rates of suicide attempts have also been reported8 among rural compared with urban adolescents. The studies conclusion stated Although low population density per se may be operative, efforts to improve access to mental health services and offer social support at the local level could narrow the gap in risk for youths in rural as opposed to urban settings. Additional study is warranted and of potentially great public health significance. Full Article
Rural communities as our research shows are genuinely struggling with problems that are not adequately addressed by neither the major political parties nor the major media outlets. It seems that one of Trump’s appeal is that at least give this audience the feeling they are seen and heard. While this does not qualify him to do anything about the issues he has succeeded in mobilizing millions of Americans to vote for him to “stick it to the elite.” Rural people are angry for having been ignored as their lives have grown ever more depressing. Trump has pulled them out of this feeling of helplessness and he has unleashed their anger.
Next we will investigate why a supposedly educated people would vote for Trump.
Throughout history there have always been ill mannered, dishonest men and women. It is up to us if we let them tear us apart, or whether we use them as an inspiration to improve the fabric of our society.
For the past 40 years, we have allowed our wages to dwindle, our integrity as people and as states, and a country to dwindle. We have stood by as investors have sucked ever more money out of the economy, and as the entertainment industry allowed philanderers, sexual predators and adulterers become pop idols. We have allowed men and women into politics who abused their power for personal gain, and who have used blackmail to gain ever more power.
We all agree that this is not a wonderful situation. Young women are raped at colleges, young men are raped in the army, unarmed people are shot in the streets and in parks, and management no longer is urged to build strong companies but instead they are representing themselves and the investors, who view themselves more and more as the “ruling class.” Workers’ rights have diminished through lack of organization, and because many Union leaders are not reasonable and often corrupt.
We can be overwhelmed and start the “blaming” game, or we can pull together and hold ideals that we cherish up high for all to see. We can stand together to give “the people” a voice once more. This is not a matter of right wing or left wing. This is not a matter of North or South, coastal states or inland states.
This is a matter of getting a back bone and uniting to stand up for what we know is right. It is time that we stop the excesses of all the people who take advantage of those weaker than themselves. It is time to unite to keep freedom of the press alive and to stop all people who think that dishonesty in whatever shape or form it takes, from holding positions in public office. Let’s evaluate one person at a time. We know that when we are called to turn a blind eye to people who support those who have no regard for truth, justice and honor we are complicit. This has nothing to do with politics. It is a matter of personal responsibility and decency. If we don’t stand up for this free country, we will lose our freedoms.
Violence, dishonesty, adultery, sexual assault, oppression, slavery, should be pointed out in every corner of this country. When we shine the light on the truth and on what is really going on, we can make room for leaders who actually care and who are smart and honorable.
Right now one thing should be clear to everyone who is upset about what is going on, is that we all have a lot of work to do to clean up the mess we allowed this beautiful country to become. As Patrick Henry said: United we stand and divided we fall. He also said: “Give me liberty or give me death.”
The idea that we have to be silent about abuse, disgusting behavior, and oppression, greed, public theft, excesses, and sexual assault, assault on our water, earth, and air, about anything that is just plainly wrong, has been shaped by those who want to silence us so they can take advantage of us and take our rights away.
The US is the first free country and we should shout that from the mountain tops and across the sea. United we stand and divided we fall. By urging us to pick sides they want to distract from what is wrong on each sides. Let’s pick truth, honor, justice and liberty for all. We the people have a right to pursue happiness and right now we are not happy at all.