Evil-Echo Empire Update….
The real media has enough intellectual curiosity to seek out knowledgeable sources in getting to the bottom of the truth on the Russian case. Fox fake news & the echo have no such allegiance to uncovering facts, only adhering to contrived talking points that fit their slanted preconceived agenda, whether they invent their distorted spin themselves or are directed by the White House. The difference between the media & the echo is like comparing day & night, accurate & self-serving, truth & lies, logical & crazy. So on one side we have professional journalists reporting the news, & on the other propagandists peddling in conspiracy theories. The more these peddlers of falsehoods drown out actual truths, the more America itself becomes imperiled.
A strong indication of a ruler & his entourage trying to set up authoritarian command, is in their willingness to smear & discredit the underpinnings of a free democratic society like the courts, media & the intelligence/security agencies, stopping at nothing to achieve their nefarious ends. That’s what we’re now seeing with our current president, enablers in Congress, echo-messaging & millions of Trumpeters giving this potentially fascist movement its potency. They create a world of false realities to usurp power & attack opponents, with our democracy being threatened as their slick messaging convinces more naive followers to live inside their alternate-reality bubble. It’s incumbent upon us to poke holes in that hermetically-sealed bubble, shining the light of truth inside so we can rescue many from the dark side. Passing along The Voracs can be one source in the arsenal you can use to help inform the uninformed. I was for decades always supportive of the conservative Republican cause, back when they were still sane.
See the related articles below which are important & worthy of commenting on. In the disturbing article democracy-is-decaying-worldwid
In just one year in office, Trump has already done damage. Besides denigrating critical media outlets and lauding friendly ones, he has threatened to strengthen libel laws, strip network licenses and tax the owner of a particular newspaper. His administration has blocked the merger of a news organization he considers biased, while facilitating the merger of an organization with more favorable coverage. “An institution,” Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “is the lengthened shadow of one man.” Institutions are collections of rules and norms agreed upon by human beings. If leaders attack, denigrate and abuse them, they will be weakened, and this, in turn, will weaken the character and quality of democracy. The American system is stronger than most, but it is not immune to these forces of democratic decay.
This excerpt is the start to the article fake-news, where we’ve become aware extremist political movements & foreign adversaries are very adept/cunning at spreading erroneous realities to further their sinister agendas:
The crisis of truth in information that first raised its ugly head in the Brexit vote and the 2016 U.S. presidential election has gone global. The scourge of fake news, alternative facts, hate speech and echo chambers has so corrupted the public discourse nearly everywhere that many no longer know what to believe. And now, we also know that foreign entities have weaponized social media as a means to rattle rivals. Even as American authorities last week indicted 13 Russian citizens for their efforts to sow Trump-tilted discord in the American body politic during the 2016 election, Russian troll farms sprang into action again this week to stoke divisive emotions in the wake of the Florida school shooting.
From the article study-conservatives-amplified-
Conservatives were much more likely than liberals to retweet Russian trolls in the 2016 election, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Southern California released this month. It traced Russian efforts to influence America’s 2016 presidential campaign via Twitter using 45 million election-related tweets generated by 5.7 million users in a one-month period ahead of the election; researchers delved into what information was spread by trolls, who spread it, and how many times those tweets were shared. The study focused on content from the 2,752 now-deactivated Russian troll accounts identified by Congress in November. The USC researchers found that conservatives retweeted Russian trolls about 31 times more often than liberals and produced 36 times more tweets.
The fake news problem in the United States shows little signs of subsiding. The shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida and students speaking out after it gave birth to multiple conspiracy theories online, Vox’s Matt Yglesias noted, many of which took root on the right. (Something similar happened after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.) Right-wing celebrity and former Sheriff David Clarke on Twitter alleged student organizers were being backed by George Soros; Donald Trump Jr. liked a tweet suggesting the student movement was part of some larger anti-Trump plot at the FBI. And as the New York Times notes, hours after the shooting, Russian bot accounts on Twitter released hundreds of posts to fuel the gun debate.
There are some interesting articles about the recent CPAC convention, which in years past had attracted patriotic Americans supporting constructive conservative ideals. But as I talked about in the part 2 message from Friday, radicalized propaganda has infested mainstream conservative thinking, even to the point I sense they’ve now been given over to a satanic spirit. Strong words to be sure, but please hear me out on this along with checking out the links. I don’t know how else to describe the evil mood enveloping that crowd, accepting in unison all the false dialogue, extremist ideologies & a hate-filled rage directed towards anyone not accepting of their strict tribal codes. This next paragraph has many links to click on which back my criticisms.
CPAC featured anger directed at a respected statesman stricken with cancer (meghan-mccain-discovers-donal
In other words, there were really bad people with really bad vibes coming from that gathering (trumps-cpac-speech-in-tweetst
It is time to read last rites over the American conservative movement. After years of drifting steadily toward extreme positions, conservatism is dead, replaced by a far right that has the Republican Party under its thumb. Conservatism is a complex creed, some of it less than appealing and some of it noble. The less-attractive kind involves an ideology whose main purpose is to defend existing distributions of power and wealth, and to resist reforms that might redress the grievances of those facing discrimination and marginalization. Yet for two decades, the tweedy sort of conservatism has been giving ground to the extremists who want not simply to defeat their adversaries but to crush them; who traffic in conspiracy theories rather than in respect for facts and history; and who are willing to destroy the very institutions they claim to be trying to save. This has happened before (as when the white South’s displaced leadership backed the Ku Klux Klan to end Reconstruction after the Civil War), and we are seeing it anew in the age of President Trump. The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in recent days was a clear demonstration of the far right’s success in displacing anything that deserves to be called conservative. The movement toward extremism has been gradual, so it has not been sufficiently acknowledged. But if those who still believe in moderation don’t face up to it now, they will be complicit in the far right’s ascendancy.
In the dueling memos group, the Dem memo released over the weekend proves the FISA warrant surveilling Carter Page was warranted, & the Nunes memo was little more than a barrage of lies. It’s apparent the dossier is not what launched the Russian probe dem-memo-trump-russia-dossier-
Past the Fox fake newsgroup, we also see political updates exposing various other supporters of demagoguery spreading their coordinated lies & conspiracies. Perhaps AI will soon allow us to identify & sanitize this destructive outbreak of fake news: New-use-of-artificial-intellig
Moving onto the group of articles about Billy Graham & evangelicals, our faith had better recognize important lessons that need learned. My evangelical brethren would be wise to heed these warnings in this excerpt below from billy-graham-evangelical-
But almost two decades ago, Graham handed over the keys of the empire to his son, Franklin. And if you want to chart the troubled recent course of American evangelicalism—its powerful rise after World War II and its surprisingly quick demise in recent years—you need look no further than this father-and-son duo of Billy and Franklin Graham. The father was a powerful evangelist who turned evangelicalism into the dominant spiritual impulse in modern America. His son is—not to put too fine a point on it—a political hack, one who is rapidly rebranding evangelicalism as a belief system marked not by faith, hope, and love but by fear. Billy Graham had a humility almost entirely lost among the public preachers of our day, his eldest son included. The qualities of temper and judgment that made Billy Graham so singularly successful are almost entirely lacking in his son, who now imperils his father’s legacy. Thanks to Franklin Graham and his cronies on the Religious Right, American evangelicalism has now become first and foremost a political rather than a spiritual enterprise. The life of Billy Graham helped build it up. And his death may well have ensured its demise.
As we honor Billy Graham during his funeral & in his Capitol Building repose, I don’t know the stats which Catholic Pope spoke live to the most people during their lifetimes, but I would think Graham spoke in person to more people than anyone else in world history. Inside the link did-billy-graham-bring-ab
When Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and other conservative evangelicals mobilized the Christian Right in the late twentieth century, Graham not only refused to participate but even issued a mild rebuke. But if Graham’s attempt to mobilize an evangelical voting bloc to preserve the Christian identity of the nation was a precursor of the Christian Right of the next generation, there was also one major difference: Graham’s support for the Republican Party of Eisenhower and Nixon was based not on a set of issue positions but on a perception that the GOP’s leadership was Christian and moral. The Christian Right emerged at the beginning of the Reagan presidency and Graham cautioned his fellow evangelicals about their newfound alliance with political conservatism. “The hard right has no interest in religion except to manipulate it,” he declared in 1981. For the Christian Right, the alliance with the GOP rested on a narrow agenda of shared policy stances, but for Graham, the goal was always larger.
His ultimate aim was always national spiritual revival – not merely legislative victories on a particular set of moral issues, such as abortion or sexual mores – which is why he favored consensus candidates who could lead a broad coalition of Americans back to a moral foundation through their personal example. Graham learned, to his chagrin, that this might have been too much to expect from a politician, and he warned evangelicals after his experience with Nixon about the dangers of putting too much faith in politics. But even at his worst, Graham was not a cynic; he never consciously supported an immoral candidate for the sake of the person’s policy positions. In that regard, Graham represented a bygone era in American evangelicalism – an era when politicians’ perceived leadership abilities and Christian identity mattered more to evangelicals than their particular stances on the issues, and when many centrist-minded evangelicals were wary of identifying the gospel with right-wing politics. Though Graham’s political activity opened the door for the evangelical alliance with the most conservative wing of the Republican Party, it was a door that he himself refused to walk through.
As I hear Christians claim Trump has been “converted,” as a close observer I see absolutely no personal traits of him being a sincere Christian, let alone a morally-ethical person with even an ounce of human compassion. The only fruits of the spirit readily apparent are rotten fruit. Just one glaring example is the prez continues to demonstrate he’s a pathological liar. The article from the-faith-of-donald-trump-is-f
And the reason their effort to sell Trump as a man of faith falls short is because he shows us daily by his deeds who he truly is. Rev. Billy Graham once quipped that “self-centered indulgence, pride and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle.” As I listen to the current debate on guns, race, immigration and the like, I think he was right. Perhaps that is the answer we all seek as to why Donald Trump can be at once revered as the “second coming” by evangelicals and why those outside of the faith are so appalled by him. It is our culture and Trump is the mirror none of us wants to look into. Trump gets away with it because Trump is the standard of who we as Americans have become: greedy, rude, immoral, self-indulgent, demanding of our rights over those of others, short-tempered, sexist, bigoted, and entitled. That is not just who Trump is, that is who we are; including, regrettably many of us in the broad Christian faith. In the final analysis, if we are to use the life of Billy Graham as a reflection point on faith, we know that truly being a follower of Christ leads us to transform. To be different. To be better. To be kinder, and more caring toward our fellow man.