To My Friends and Family on Facebook; I’m closing my Facebook Accounts

An online info graphic that falsely claims American Intelligence Officials stated there was no collusion with Russia or Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Election
A meme that falsely claims American Intelligence officials said there was no Russian Collusion or interference in the 2016 U.S. Election

I’ve used the meme in the header to illustrate the use of half-truth as propaganda.

Comey, Clapper and Brennon did not say there is no Russian collusion.

What they said, to be precise is this:

“There should be no fuzz on this whatsoever; the Russians interfered in our election.” James Comey June 08, 2017

The Russians used cyber operations against both political parties, including hacking into servers used by the Democratic National Committee and releasing stolen data to WikiLeaks and other media outlets. Russia also collected on certain Republican Party- affiliated targets, but did not release any Republican-related data. The Intelligence Community Assessment concluded first that President Putin directed an influence campaign to erode the faith and confidence of the American people in our presidential election process. Second, that he did so to demean Secretary Clinton, and third, that he sought to advantage Mr. Trump. These conclusions were reached based on the richness of the information gathered and analyzed and were thoroughly vetted and then approved by the directors of the three agencies and me.  James Clapper May 08, 2017

“Well, for the last 241 years, the nation and the citizens have cherished the freedom and liberty upon which this country was founded upon. Many brave Americans have lost their lives to protect that freedom and liberty and lost their lives to protect the freedom and liberties of other peoples around the world. Our ability to choose our elected leaders, as we see fit, is, I believe, an inalienable right that we must protect with all of the resources and authority and power.

“And the fact that the Russians tried to influence resources and authority and power, and the fact that the Russians tried to influence that election so that the will of the American people was not going to be realized by that election, I find outrageous and something that we need to, with every last ounce of devotion to this country, resist and try to act to prevent further instances of that. And so, therefore, I believe, this is something that’s critically important to every American. Certainly, it’s very important for me, for my children and grandchildren to make sure that never again will a foreign country try to influence and interfere in the foundation stone of this country, which is electing our democratic leaders.” John Brennon NPR

The term ‘Russian collusion’ is a classic gaslight.

Brennon, Clapper and  Comey did not mention “Russian collusion” because
the Russians can’t collude with their own intelligence operations.

Russia committed an more serious crime and on this, they all agree:

President Putin directed an influence campaign to erode the faith and confidence of the American people in our presidential election process. Second, that he did so to demean Secretary Clinton, and third, that he sought to advantage Mr. Trump. James Clapper

Who benefits from spreading lies?

Today I learned the folks who run Facebook knew that Russia was working to subvert the 2016 U.S. election and allowed them to do it.

Facebook officials reported that they traced the ad sales, totaling $100,000, to a Russian “troll farm” with a history of pushing pro-Kremlin propaganda, these people said. The Washington Post

It’s distressing to have friends and family I dearly love on the irrational side of a political debate based on weaponized lies.

All things are not equal. All systems are not equally corrupt.

Regardless of our mistakes in the United States the hope of a liberal democracy lies in the power of the people to criticize and shape their government.

Most of the ads, according to a blog post published late Wednesday by Facebook’s chief security officer, Alex Stamos, “appeared to focus on amplifying divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum — touching on topics from LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights.” The Washington Post

In short, Vladimir Putin’s government purchased $100,000 in ads to
promote racism, sexism, anti-immigrant bashing, and homophobia.

My fellow citizens are not my enemy.

My family is not my enemy.

Old friends are not my enemy.

My enemy is a Russian dictator who uses Internet Technology to poison the political debates of democratic nations.

Facebook reported in its blog post Wednesday that about one-quarter of the ads in question were “geographically targeted,” although company officials declined to provide specifics about what areas or demographic groups were the recipients. Of those targeted ads, the company said, more ran in 2015 than 2016. The Washington Post

Putin targeted specific ‘types’ of people for specific kinds of lies in a bid to control how they think and act.

Facebook helped to deliver the U.S.  government to one of America’s most
vicious enemies.

I am therefore closing my Facebook account.

I recommend anyone who values our democracy to do the same.

Giving a forum to people who advocate killing other Americans for being different is morally deranged.

Stop enabling the insanity and those who profit from it.

If you need to contact me you can find me at www.robertmgoldstein.com.

You can also reach me at robertmgoldstein@yahoo.com.

Please be advised that I automatically delete email that doesn’t have
a clear subject line.

I also report abuse.

Thanks,

Rob Goldstein

Update: As of 09/08/2017 I’ve closed my Facebook account.

Here are more recent reports about Facebook’s profiling of its users:

Facebook targeted specific Facebook users in specific locations:

The Putin/Trump team used the Data to target specific Facebook users with specific psychological strengths and weaknesses.

Below is an ad targeted to people least likely to verify it as factual.

A Facebook at of Hillary Clinton in a Burka Claiming she is pushing Sharia Law and calling her Killary
These are the Kinds of Ads Facebook Sold

Here’s another example:

an ad sold on Facebook that claims democrats are giving away citizenship to increase their base
These are the Kinds of Ads Facebook Sold

An operation like this needed an America that was already divided by decades of the GOP’s Southern Strategy.


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Newt Gingrich and The Art of the Smear

In 1995 GOPAC was a right wing group chaired by Newt Gingrich.

Gingrich produced a handout called Language: A Key Mechanism
of Control
.

It was a list of 113 words for use in attacks on progressive ideas
and democrats.

“Words and phrases are powerful,” wrote Gingrich.

“…memorize as many as possible and remember that like any tool, these words will not help if they are not used.”

“Apply these (words) to the opponent, their record, proposals, and their party.”

The words on his list were: “traitors, betray, sick, pathetic, lie, liberal, radical, hypocrisy, corruption, permissive attitude, greed, self-serving, ideological, anti-flag, anti-family, anti-child, anti-jobs, unionized bureaucracy, impose, and coercion.”

 

Art by Rob Goldstein
from Language: A Key Mechanism of Control by Newt Gingrich

 

Republicans branded Democrats as, “sick, pathetic, incompetent, liberal traitors whose self-serving permissive attitudes promote a unionized bureaucracy and an anti-flag, anti-family, anti-child, anti-job ideology.”

Plus:

• abuse of power
• anti- (issue): flag, family, child, jobs
• betray
• bizarre
• bosses
• bureaucracy
• cheat
• coercion
• “compassion” is not enough
• collapse(ing)
• consequences
• corrupt
• corruption
• criminal rights
• crisis
• cynicism
• decay
• deeper
• destroy
• destructive
• devour
• disgrace
• endanger
• excuses
• failure (fail)
• greed
• hypocrisy
• ideological
• impose
• incompetent
• insecure
• insensitive • intolerant
• liberal
• lie
• limit(s)
• machine
• mandate(s)
• obsolete
• pathetic
• patronage
• permissive attitude
• pessimistic
• punish (poor …)
• radical
• red tape
• self-serving
• selfish
• sensationalists
• shallow
• shame
• sick
• spend(ing)
• stagnation
• status quo
• steal
• taxes
• they/them
• threaten
• traitors
• unionized
• urgent (cy)
• waste
• welfare

To be clear, Newt Gingrich and the Republican Party did not offer 113 new policies the GOP might write to win an honest political debate.

The GOP  chose to poison our politics by smearing Democrats and suppressing the vote.

Today the GOP violates Democratic norms.

Today the GOP writes cruel legislation in secret, and spreads Russian style propaganda in political ads.

Today, Newt Gingrich is a propagandist for Vladimir Putin.

In American Democracy the people are the government.

As citizens we pay taxes into a common fund which we use to promote the
public good.

The public good is public education, housing, healthcare, and nutrition for
our children.

We provide access to these essentials because a person without class
mobility is not truly free.

These are my daily affirmations, repeat after me:

Smear campaigns are not public policy

Words have meaning.

I will not be conned.

Government is instituted for the Common Good
Quote from John Addams

(c) Rob Goldstein 2015-2017

Quote from John Adams found on Twitter

 

 

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Great-Great Grandfather Knows Best: Democracy, 1945

In traditional cultures the elder functions as a source of wisdom
and folk history.

Our elders, the visionaries who wrote and passed so many of the laws and public services  that made American Democracy the most prosperous democracy in human history used film to teach their children what they had learned from the Great Depression and the horrors of fascism.

This ten-minute film includes a brief discussion of feudalism; the film analyses why Germany, one of Europe’s great democracies , succumbed to fascism.

Democracy, released in 1945 was made by Encyclopedia Britannica for high school civics classes.

Screenshot from Democracy 1945 that illustrates that two signs of a healthy democracy are shared respect between citizens and shared power
Two signs of a healthy democracy are shared respect between citizens and shared power in decisions that affect everyone, This requires the ability to compromise.
Screenshot from democracy_1945 discussing the need to verify that the news one reads and hears is credible
When you read a paper or listen to a news program look for balanced presentation, disclosure of sources, and the competence of the staff. Make sure that opinions are clearly stated as such and kept on the opinion pages.

Found on the Internet Archives
All material in the Public Domain

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Broken

This post was first written and posted in November of 2014.

I was battling with the Kaiser Mental Health System and
struggling to understand what I needed to heal.

I got what I needed. Many people don’t.

 

1.
I’m in a strange frame of mind over this struggle with my health care provider.
It frightens me and the fear spills out everywhere.
I know that I have to file a grievance but the conflict over it is painful.
I look for someone or something else to blame; something not caused by a corrupt health care system that forces its patients to file grievances to get the treatment they need.
I keep thinking that I have survived this far because the part of my brain that isn’t damaged functions very well.
I have a mental health background that includes an understanding of psychodynamic psychotherapy.
I wonder how someone without this background and insight would manage an illness as confusing and destructive as Dissociative identity Disorder under the same circumstances.
The most insidious aspect of corruption is the way it insinuates itself into every day life.
It’s like a malignant spirit.
We feel sickness but we normalize it; especially, if the negative consequences seem incidental, petty or better, don’t seem to apply to us.
What happens to the mind of a man who sees the pain caused by our political and social corruption everywhere he looks?
Do other people see it too?
Does it make them feel crazy too?
And the corruption is arrogant.
It presumes weakness.
It presumes apathy.
It knows that people prefer to do nothing;
especially over things that seem small.
Like making us sign a form and mail it back to opt out of corporate data sharing.
Corruption corrupts everything, one small thing at a time.
It is insidious as it breaks our spirits and poisons our bodies.
But who am I?
I’m one of God’s nobodies.
I don’t do much of anything really,
I read, I write, I like to take pictures.
My passion in life is social justice and to that end I am still a bit of an activist.
I love the field of psychiatry though I don’t have a degree.
I have worked in that field as a paraprofessional and my greatest joy was to see people discover their humanity: the emotional insight of being worthy.
That feeling is important to people.
It is the food of the soul.
2.
When we speak of the spirit of the times, we speak of the passions of the people.
Like this picture that I found at the internet archives:


Freedom of Worship

As I understand the history of World War Two, the average person in the United States believed that he or she was fighting to preserve a way of life based on respect for independent thought and speech,  religious differences, basic economic security, and freedom from war.
In his January 1941 State of the Union Address President Franklin D. Roosevelt enumerated four essential freedoms for which we as a Nation stand and for which we will fight.
“The first is freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world.
The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way–everywhere in the world.
The third is freedom from want—which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings, which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants—everywhere in the world.
The fourth is freedom from fear—which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor—anywhere in the world.”
The inescapable fact is that in 1941 the nation went to war with human evil as it was expressed in Germany by the Nazis.
Two very different versions of civilization had emerged after World War 1 and they had to clash.
U.S propaganda focused on human rights:

Before The Idea of Government was Demonized

German  propaganda focused on fear:

Antisemitic propaganda

The first poster presents freedom from want and a degree of economic security as a measure of freedom.
The second poster focuses on freedom from reason.
It is the freedom to blame, scapegoat, steal, and murder.
It is a world without negative consequences for the “right” people.
It is a world in which the state can legalize murder and use assembly line technology as the weapon of choice.
It is a world of people who believe that what they pretend they don’t know makes them innocent.
3.
What is faith?
I ask myself this as I contemplate the grievance I have to file to get the treatment I need to make this pain go away.
Why don’t my treatment providers care that I’m in pain.
Why haven’t they studied this disorder and acted on its seriousness?
Why don’t they care that I must live in fear of myself as I use every skill I have to survive the increased fragmentation that is essential to getting well but is dangerous because of  the resistance and anger by some of my alternates?
Why do I have to do something as negative as file a grievance?
What am I “grieving”?
Maybe I’m grieving the time that I’m losing to my illness as I contemplate filing a grievance.
In the cynical version of history Roosevelt lied; cynics look at that generation of people and point to the racism, the homophobia, and they are right.
The people who followed a president into a war based on the premise of  the preservation of essential human rights were flawed.
But they tried.
Hope is what gave birth to the Civil Rights Movement.
The idea that we as a Nation of people will talk to each other and listen, and the idea we will use our economic system and government to realize a vision in which each of us benefits from the creative wonder of the human mind.
Good and evil is always right where we stand.
We cannot defeat evil but we can regulate it and be alert to its seductive power.
I suppose that what I cannot understand is why I feel as if I’m living in a world that refuses to even try.

(c) Rob Goldstein 2014 All Rights Reserved

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