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How Dictatorial Regimes Use Money To Infiltrate The Media in Democratic Countries

United States Capitol (Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC BY-SA 3.0) During the Cold War, the Soviet Union sought to undermine the United States and its allies through a variety of active measures aimed at influencing and manipulating public opinion. Although the Cold War - understood in the narrow sense of the confrontation between a capitalist and a communist economic system - has ended, the struggle between different political ideologies and ways of life has not. As the Soviet-style centrally planned economic system was abandoned by nearly every country, the ideological confrontation shifted. States like Russia and China have embraced a mixed market economy, yet they have retained an authoritarian political system.  While capitalism conquered the authoritarian states of the former communist bloc, authoritarianism appears to be creeping into the polity of the US-led "free world". The Republican Party in the United States, for instance, has turned to authoritarianism . Accord

Russian "Active Measures" Social Media Campaign - Excerpts from the Mueller Report

Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump meet at the 2017 G-20 in Hamburg, 7 July 2017 (Source http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/55006/photos , by Kremlin.ru) On April 18, a redacted version of the "Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election," commonly referred to as the " Mueller Report ," was released to the public.  The 448 pages-long document details Russia's propaganda and manipulation tactics through social media,  as well as cooperation between the Trump Campaign and Russian entities for the purpose of damaging Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.  The following excerpts from the Report describe Russia's "active measures" on social media: ---- II. Russian "Active Measures" Social Media Campaign The first form of Russian election influence came principally from the Internet Research Agency, LLC (IRA), a Russian organization funded by Yevgeniy Viktorovic

Majority Of Germans Are Afraid Of Donald Trump - Survey

Breitscheidtplatz, Berlin (by Harald Krichel via Wikimedia Commons) More than two-thirds of Germans think that Donald Trump 's foreign policy is making the world more dangerous, according to a recent  survey . The survey shows that 69 percent of respondents worry that Trump's policy is making the world more dangerous, topping this year's list.  63 percent of respondents said they are worried about asylum seekers, 63% fear "tensions due to the arrival of foreigners", 61 percent worry about politicians' inability to tackle problems. 59 percent are worried about terrorism - 12 percent less than a year ago. 58 percent are worried about the cost of the EU debt crisis to German taxpayers, while 57 percent fear political extremism. "The Fears of the Germans" (Die Ängste der Deutschen) is a survey conducted every year by R+V-Infocenter since 1992. 2,400 people above 14 years are asked about their biggest worries. This year the survey was conduct

Democrats Should Campaign On Impeaching Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh

Judge Brett Kavanaugh (by U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit via Wikimedia Commons) Republicans are once again playing dirty tricks. After they refused to confirm Barack Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court Merrick Garland , they are now rushing through the confirmation of Trump's nominee Brett Kavanaugh .  On August 31 the White House asserted executive privilege in order to hide 100,000 pages of records on Kavanaugh from the time of the Bush administration. A nominee will be confirmed without proper public scrutiny. Most importantly, Kavanaugh has expressed views that would allow Donald Trump to openly obstruct justice and rule unchecked as if he were above the law.  “I believe that the president should be excused from some of the burdens of ordinary citizenship while serving in office,” Kavanaugh wrote  in a 2009 article for the Minnesota Law Review . “We should not burden a sitting president with civil suits, criminal investigation

Republicans Spread Fake China Hacking Story To Deflect From Trump's Subservience To Russia

FBI headquarters (by Aude via Wikimedia Commons ) On August 29 Donald Trump tweeted: "Hillary Clinton’s Emails, many of which are Classified Information, got hacked by China." Hillary Clinton’s Emails, many of which are Classified Information, got hacked by China. Next move better be by the FBI & DOJ or, after all of their other missteps (Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page, Ohr, FISA, Dirty Dossier etc.), their credibility will be forever gone! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2018 The tweet came shortly after Fox News reported on a story by the right-wing media outlet  Daily Caller alleging that China had hacked Hillary Clinton's e-mail server .  "A Chinese-owned company operating in the Washington, D.C., area hacked Hillary Clinton’s private server throughout her term as secretary of state and obtained nearly all her emails," the report claimed, citing "two sources briefed on the matter." However, on Augu

Trumpism And The Ku Klux Klan Nativist Tradition - The 1924 KKK Statement On Immigration Vis-a-Vis Republican Anti-Immigration Rhetoric

Donald Trump 2016 RNC speech (By Voice of America via Wikimedia Commons ) Immigration has always been a thorny issue in American society. Demographic changes have oftentimes resulted in the emergence of nativist movements opposed to the arrival of new people who were deemed dangerous and "unassimilable". In 1840 the US population was a little over 17 million. The largest city, New York, had but 312,000 people. In that decade, however, a new wave of immigration, mainly from Ireland and Germany, led to a rapid increase in the US population, which by 1860 had reached 31.4 million. Those immigrants, despite being white and Christian, were often met with suspicion and hostility. An anti-immigrant movement arose among native-born English-speaking protestants, who viewed the newcomers as a threat to the identity and the political system of the country. Associations spreading xenophobic ideas were formed, the most influential of which was the Know-Nothing Party .

Michael Avenatti Fails To Answer Simple Questions in Interview

Michael Avenatti, the California lawyer representing porn star Stormy Daniels, is considering running for president on the Democratic ticket in 2020. “I believe that the Democratic Party must be a party that fights fire with fire,” he told Iowa Democrats at a fundraising dinner on August 10. “When they go low, I say we hit harder."  But does he have what it takes to defeat Trump and become the next Commander-in-Chief? In an interview on "This Week" Sunday with ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl, Avenatti was unable to answer simple questions regarding economic and foreign policy.  "Would you repeal all of the Trump tax cuts?" Karl asked Avenatti. "I haven't decided yet. I'm still analyzing the issue," he said.  Embed from Getty Images Karl then asked Avenatti what the biggest national security threat facing the United States right now is.  "I think it would be the situation in the Middle Ea

Remember When Republicans Slammed Obama For Being Too Weak On Russia?

Obama-Putin meeting in Mexico, 2012 (official White House photo by Pete Souza) On August 5 conservative Fox News host Laura Ingraham criticized people who are obsessed with Russia. "As we obsess about Russia," she wrote in a Tweet, "China rising: Our greatest rival and a growing threat." As we obsess abt Russia—> China Rising: Our greatest rival and a growing threat https://t.co/ZLeoDlbuS9 — Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) August 5, 2018 Though Ingraham is right about the growing China threat , both economically and militarily, her criticism of those who want to protect the United States and the West from Russian election interference sounds hypocritical. Only a few years ago, Laura Ingraham and Fox and Friends hosts criticized Obama's foreign policy for being too weak on Russia. And they slammed former Secretary of State John Kerry, who in a televised interview  had stated: "I think that candidate Romney has been breathtak

Why Neil Gorsuch Should Be Impeached - Political Judges, The Supreme Court And Democracy

United States Supreme Court (by Jeff Kubina, via Wikimedia Commons) In August 1971, shortly before accepting Richard Nixon's nomination to the Supreme Court,  Lewis Powell  wrote a confidential  memorandum  to the US Chamber of Commerce. In the document, Powell argued that the American system of free enterprise was under attack by leftist groups, and he envisioned a strategy to fight back against those forces that were, in his view, anti-business. "[B]usinessmen have not been trained or equipped to conduct guerrilla warfare with those who propagandize against the system, seeking insidiously and constantly to sabotage it," Powell wrote. He praised business executives for having performed "very well indeed" the role "to manage, to produce, to sell, to create jobs, to make profits, to improve the standard of living, to be community leaders, to serve on charitable and educational boards, and generally to be good citizens." However, he argued th