Is America Suffering from Compassion Fatigue?

by Tony Wyman With the news of the world always at our fingertips, it shouldn’t be surprising that Americans are growing fatigued by a constant stream of bad news, mass shooting, destructive storms and rampaging wildfires.  With almost no way to escape the endless flow of information, more and more people are saying “Enough! Give me a break!” In fact, according to a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center early this year, 68% said they are overwhelmed by the volume of information coming at them day and night.  And,…

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Nationalism isn’t Patriotism, It Is Another Form of Collectivism

by Tony Wyman “You know, they have a word. It sort of became old-fashioned. It’s called a nationalist. And I say, ‘Really, we’re not supposed to use that word?’ You know what I am? I’m a nationalist. … Use that word.” – Pres. Donald Trump When Mr. Trump used that word in front of an adoring crowd of supporters in Houston, Texas in late-October, he kicked off a controversy two weeks before the midterm elections that had fans praising his patriotism, critics warning that his dictatorial nature was showing, and…

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The Death of Madelyn Linsenmeir Shouldn’t Matter More Than the Deaths of Other Drug Victims

by Tony Wyman On October 7, 2018, in the idyllic community of Burlington, Vermont, a 30-year-old mother in police custody laid in a hospital bed where, later that evening, she would take her last breath, succumbing to the ravages of opioid addiction. Madelyn Ellen Linsenmeir left behind a 3-year-old son, a life full of promise and unrealized talent, as well as a family that penned her obituary so full of heartbroken melancholy that it touched the world.  Publications like People Magazine, The Washington Post and USA Today in the United…

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How To Detoxify The Way We Debate And Respectfully Disagree

graphic with hand and marker writing the word "debate"

by Paul Hamlin Today’s political environment is corrosive and toxic.  There can be no question of that.  We are often motivated by fear and anger when we approach anyone that has a different opinion than we do.  We have allowed this anger and fear to create severe division and allowed the political parties to capitalize on those emotions and drive us further and further apart.  We have become so attached to our fear and anger that we have stoppered our ears to the arguments of others and worse, we have…

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How Russian, American And European Information Warfare Persuades With Emotions

image pastiche of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin flanked by Peter the Great and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin

by Kseniya Kirillova As Russian propaganda and disinformation spread around the world, more and more initiatives  are being created to expose the lies and distortions emanating from the Kremlin: projects to expose fake news, analytical centres that review and monitor disinformation campaigns, and many private initiatives to observe Russian media. However, experts increasingly acknowledge that despite all these efforts, Kremlin propaganda remains a very effective tool of information warfare – much more effective than its Soviet predecessor. In many respects, this difference is explained by the fact that, unlike Communist propaganda, today’s Kremlin’s ‘information operations’ do not need…

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Tropical Storm Florence: Rescue Me (Part 1)

Rescue Boat

By Lynda Bryant Work “In times of disaster, basic connectivity is a form of aid that connects people to the resources critical for survival and enables humanitarian organizations to quickly deliver life-saving information.” -Tae Yoo Hurricane Katrina began a movement of civilian rescuers and relief work largely because the government is proving to be mostly ineffective in a disaster. Talking to those Katrina victims, who had no one to rescue them, it is apparent why citizens turned to one another for help – and why many rescue groups have sprung…

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Mollie Tibbetts’ Death Was About Violence Against Women – Not Immigration

photo of murder victim Molly Tibbetts at her graduation. Tibbetts death is controversial due to the immigration status of her assailant.

by Tony Wyman Few would have blamed the family of 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts if they had joined the president in condemning a race of people the day police were led to her body by the Hispanic immigrant accused of brutally murdering her. After all, they had just suffered through 34 days of unimaginable fear and pain, desperately praying for a miracle, only to be crushed by the news they would never again see Mollie’s beaming smile light up a room again. Emotions will lead us to public statements that we…

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The Mechanics Of Donald Trump And Vladimir Putin’s Disinformation Operations

photo of well known graffiti of Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump kissing on wall of business in Vilnius, Lithuania

by Kseniya Kirillova While analyzing all that is happening today in the United States, I’ve often noticed the striking similarity between the behavior and propaganda of President Trump with his entourage and President Putin’s Russia. The similarities are so obvious that sometimes it seems that Trump and his team’s methodologies were written in Moscow. Renown Russian opposition politician and former world chess champion Garry Kasparov recently last year the typical game plan that an autocratic leader follows when he gets caught “red-handed.” This is what it looks like: Deny, lie, slander. Claim that it was a misunderstanding.…

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Fascism Is On The Rise In America: Is It A Real Threat This Time?

by Tony Wyman There’s never been a time in human history where fascism took hold in a nation unless there existed in the population a strong sense of injustice, social or ethnic tension, or anxiety over a declining or stagnant economy. Never has fascism found purchase in a nation experiencing times when the economy was sound, when plentiful jobs were providing workers with growing paychecks, when the people were united by shared values and a belief that the nation’s governing system worked equally for all, regardless of class, politics, race…

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Aretha Franklin – How She Influenced This White Kid In 1967 Los Angeles

photo of the wax figure of R&B legend Aretha Franklin on display at the famous Madame Tussauds' museum in London, England.

by Richard Cameron Aretha Franklin  March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018 I decided not to recap the commonly reported information regarding the broad musical and personal history of Aretha Franklin, who passed yesterday of complications related to Pancreatic cancer. Those details are easily accessible via various news reports and Wikipedia – although some will be touched upon here. Instead, my essay here, has to do with my own recollections of Ms. Franklin, how she emerged on the scene as a breakthrough entertainer in pop music and the context of…

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