A section of wall mural in the Mission depicting the scales of justice equally being kept in balance by the work of the people

A Prayer for Sutherland Springs

As of this writing, the tragedy in Sutherland Springs is not yet three hours old and it’s already in use by Russian trolls on social media to tear people apart.

Screenshot of twitter troll account accusing liberals of politicizing the Sutherland Springs tragedy
Putin’s propaganda of division and hate will not stop until we make it stop.

The best way to honor the dead is to do what we can to stop their use in a vicious enemy’s cynical game.

My prayers for Sutherland Springs are not to God, but to my fellow citizens: I pray that we Americans will unite as a community and work together to exercise our rights with wisdom and common sense.

I pray that we once again value our common heritage and vision
as Americans.

Not as liberals.

Not as Conservatives.

As Americans.

Below is a video from the New York Times about the problem of Russian propaganda and how it affects the quality of our lives.

How Russian Bots and Trolls Invade Our Lives

 

Update: 8:10PM PST

From Adam Schiff:

Update: 8:46PM PST

From Adam Schiff

Update: 11/06/17 10:56AM

There is no evidence 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley was affiliated with the so-called ‘left wing’ or connected to the so-called ‘antifa movement.’

From the New York Times:

According to The San Antonio Express-News, Kelley served in the Air Force but was court-martialed in 2012 and guilty of domestic violence. He’d assaulted his wife and young child, the court-martial found, and sentenced him to 12 months of confinement and gave him a “bad discharge” from the Air Force. In 2014, Kelley appealed the ruling but lost, The New York Times reported. “He assaulted his stepson severely enough that he fractured his skull, and he also assaulted his wife,” retired colonel Don Christensen, who was the chief prosecutor for the Air Force, told the Times. “He pled to intentionally doing it.”

Yet, this morning, Russian State Media, Russia Today, is playing gaslight with Facebook readers with lies about the shooting in Sutherland Springs:

According to every credible news outlet the gunman was violent toward his wife and child and sent a threatening text to his mother-in-law before the shooting.

Facebook is still letting Russian State Media use its platform to spread frightening and divisive lies.

Why?

Update: 11/06/17 2:54PM

Russia Today retracts its story that the Sutherland Springs shooter had leftist ‘antifa’ connections:

Screenshhot of a Russia Today retraction of a claim that the Sutherland Springs Shooter was a leftist
Screenshot of Russia Today story retraction.

“We got it wrong and will do our best to provide you verified information in dynamic breaking news circumstances.”
Russia Today

 

Is this more recent story about Twitter based on ‘verified information’?

A Lie posted by Russia Today to its Facebook feed that reads Twitter admitted to censuring the Podesta and DNCLeaks hashtags during the 2016 election cycle.
A Lie posted by Russia Today to its Facebook Timeline

Despite Igor Koske’s fervent gratitude to Russia Today for providing a Russian citizen with an alternative to America’s Cable Network News, this RT Twitter fiction doesn’t exist beyond Russia’s fog of fake right-wing news outlets.

A screenshot of Google's top results for a search for 'Twitter admits suppressing Podesta and DNCLeaks hashtags with Brietbart and Infowars in the top four.
Russia’s Fog of Fake Right Wing News Outlets

 

Rob Goldstein 2017

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29 thoughts on “A Prayer for Sutherland Springs

  1. I don’t believe it to be a lack of courage that may hinder a number of citizens in the U.S. The unknown, the lack of reliable and trusted information creates hesitation, doubt and more questions as it should. The startling difference between the present vs. the 1960s & the 1970s is the lack of elected government officials fighting for the people within the government.
    To walk your talk, to stand up and speak out against one’s fellows in the government can be a possible or probable death sentence, but it seems to be/it is the necessary ingredient to peacefully lead, direct and sustain the power of all our voices together.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The paradox of an open democracy is that we can’t shut down an obvious propaganda network like Fox News because we have the right to free speech. The solution in the 50’s and 60’s was the equal time rule. When a news station took an opinion on policy it had to give equal time to the opposing opinin. That rule was tossed in the 80’s after the election of Ronald Reagan. So much of what plagues the U.S. has its roots in the Reagan Administration.

        An informed public is the best safeguard.

        People who know what to look for can tune out inflammatory rhetoric and divisive lies.

        In my opinion anyone who frames a public policy debate as a Left vs. Right dichotomy is playing gaslight.

        We’re not as divided in the United States as Putin and Trump wants us to think we are.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I see that it’s very hard, and of course some people are easily led, and some want to believe the worst. It’s a pity they don’t have that equal time rule anymore.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. We either choose democracy and make the kind of personal sacrifices made by previous generations of Americans who worked preserve our freedoms; or we lose them.

        The survival of our species may depend on whether average Americans have the courage to wake up and put a stop to Putin and Trump.

        Like

      1. Were it not for your blog, I would have known nothing about this latest mass shooting, so I thank you. Since moving from USA, I have stayed away from most USA news…..but I am glad I saw your post. This makes my heart break and tears flow with no control from me able to slow them.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I agree with you. But to ignore them we need to learn to recognize them. People still mistake them for Americans and they assume that they’re open to reason. I’ve already seen a dozen topics derailed by these sons of bitches. I tag and block them. I think it’s important to push back in a way that shuts them down and exposes them.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’ve read that some of the people in the Ukraine organized online bot fighters to shut down Putin’s trolls. Unfortunately I can’t find the source. But that’s what gave me the idea. You can’t be lied to by someone you know is lying. Branding the account as a troll account neutralizes it. Yes, they have to open new ones but the idea is to push back in a way that asserts reality.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. They’re everywhere. There are a surprising number of troll accounts on WordPress, and Zuckerberg has no problem selling ads to Russian operatives inviting his users to click ‘like’ to help ‘Jesus’ win the election.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I think most of them are doing it because they get paid. A hired propagandist is like any other professional
      with a job. They aren’t emotionally invested in our political debates. Trolls don’t believe what they write
      and bots don’t know what they write.

      America’s problem is learning to recognize these guys so we can stopped letting them control our national discourse.

      Liked by 1 person

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