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 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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Democracies Don’t Disappear With A Bang, They Go Out With A Whimper

cartoon style image in which professor asks student "What's Democracy" and student answers, "Democracy is the freedom to elect your own dictators"

by Tony Wyman To learn all we need to know about the death of a democracy, all we need to do is look at what dictator Daniel Ortega did to Nicaraguan democracy after his election as president in 2006 with just 37.99% of the vote. His party, the Sandanista National Liberation Front (FSLN), failed to gain a majority in the legislature, but allied with the Liberal Constitutionalist Party (PLC) to form a coalition that held more than two-thirds of the seats in the National Assembly.  With allies in the legislature, Mr.…

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Superhero Or Supervillian: Is There Really A Difference?

Save the Rat White House meme featuring Superman with a banner reading "Save The Rat"

by Lynda Bryant-Work “It’s the superhero problem. Superpowers make everything personal. Batman versus Joker. Fantastic Four versus Galactus. The Big G might be the Devourer of Worlds, but in the end he’s just a dude. Beat him and the problem goes away. But the real problems aren’t like that. You can’t solve them by hitting them. The real supervillains were people in suits who met in rooms and decided things. Destroy one and another would take their place.”  Ian McDonald It is called “Superhero Politics.” Convince a fan base that someone is…

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Journalists: Free Press in Danger of Extinction

photo of protest in Turkey against the persecution, arrest and murder of journalists.

By Lynda Bryant-Work   Freedom of the press is on the verge of collapse and with it goes liberty. Around the world in 2017, a total of 65 media workers and journalists were killed, 326 imprisoned and 54 held hostage. The deadliest countries for journalists are Syria, Mexico, Afghanistan, Iraq and the Philippines. Countries holding journalists hostage include Syria, Yemen, Iraq and the Ukraine. Countries detaining the most journalists include China, Turkey, Syria, Iran and Vietnam.   We’ve recently detailed how that Russian journalists who run afoul of the regime of…

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Reality Winner’s Case May Determine Who Is A Journalist In The Social Media Age

demonstrators protesting against the prosecution of Reality Winner, government whistleblower that revealed Russian tampering with American election equipment in November 2016 presidential election.

by Tony Wyman By the time Reality Winner, a former intelligence specialist in the United States Air Force, goes to trial, she will have been imprisoned for nearly 18 months – more than twice as long as the sentence served by Dinesh D’Souza, who was recently pardoned by President Trump after being convicted of a felony associated with illegal campaign contributions he made in 2014. Of course, the crime Ms. Winner has been charged with by the U.S. Justice Department is arguably more serious than the one Mr. D’Souza admitted…

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It’s Not Trump, But It’s Some Who Will Defend Anything To Stay Orange

By Janice Barlow   WHEN YOU TWIST UPON A STAR ONCE UPON A TIME, there was a television show. It was a show about a dysfunctional family. The mother figure was crass and vulgar, and supposedly represented much of Blue Collar America with her behavior. The father figure was more stable, but he enabled his wife because he loved her. The kids were always in some kind of mess. There were fights and laughs and “I can’t believe that!” moments; a typical comedy for the time period. Decades went by,…

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Konstantin Rykov – The Pimp Who Taught Vladimir Putin How To Troll The Internet

photo of Konstantin Rykov loitering on a Moscow street with a group of associates

by Tony Wyman “Trump will smash America as we know it, we’ve got nothing to lose.”   How did the Russian government of President Vladimir Putin grow so talented at trolling Americans on social media?  They learned it from a Russian internet pioneer named Konstantin Rykov. Who is Mr. Rykov?  He is the founder of a number of lurid websites like Idiot.ru, where he made a fortune posting pictures of scantily-clad women, telling dirty jokes and posting clickbait stories designed to titillate easily impressionable readers.  In other words, a trashy…

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Propaganda Machines: Dictator 101

Nazi Book burning graphic

By Lynda Bryant-Work “Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms, those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny…” Thomas Jefferson Propaganda machines are dangerous to freedom. Nearly every dictatorship or failing democracy in the world has one and generates what is conducive to attaining blind loyalty and obedience. Consider Nazi Germany Once Adolf Hitler and the Nazis succeeded in ending democracy and turning Germany into a one-party dictatorship, they organized a massive propaganda campaign to win the loyalty and cooperation of Germans…

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