July 23, 2017 in 1,350 words

What the Russians were really up to by Paul Danish

So did the Russians hack the election, and if so, why, and did Trump collude with them?

Here’s what I think will come out of the Russia story when we finally get to the bottom of it.

Did the Russians hack the election? It depends on what the meaning of “hack” is.

They didn’t break into voting systems and change votes. They didn’t break into voter registration files and add or delete voters.

They did break into voter registration files and download them, and then used the information in them, together with other personal and demographic information obtained legally and illegally, to target voters with fake news and dezinformatsiya or disinformation or fabricated information.

The principal instrument for disseminating the dezinformatsiya was the internet and social media.

The Russians hacked the computers of the Democratic National Committee and downloaded thousands of e-mails, which they released through Wikileaks and scores of websites and social media accounts, some of which they created themselves. Some of the e-mails contained real information, which was used to compromise the Clinton campaign and sully the Democratic Party’s brand. The Russian term for such material is kompromat or compromising material. Some of these e-mails were fake and formed the basis for fake news. Mixing fake e-mails with real e-mails gave the fakes credibility.

A Column Most People Will Hate: We Are The REAL REASON Politics is Screwed Up in America

What most people call a “truth teller” in politics is someone who repeats their dearest held beliefs and prejudices back to them. This is easy to do because SOMETIMES, those things are true. That being said, the vast majority of people seldom want to hear anything that challenges their beliefs. So they don’t read it; they don’t like it and they don’t share it with their friends. When media becomes a highly competitive business, which it is on both the Left and the Right, these stories become unprofitable and few people write them. Instead, they focus on stories that make money. In other words, if conservatives believed there were men on Mars, most of the hosts on Fox would be talking Martians all week while the hosts on MSNBC would be doing specials on Mole Men at the center of the earth if that’s what liberals believed in.

Don’t get me wrong; there are people with integrity in the media and politics, but the truth is that integrity isn’t what sells any more. Neither is human decency. Instead, the public loves controversy, disaster and outrage. So why not tell a shiny lie? Why not say something terrible? It’s like I told my friend Matt Lewis on Twitter, “If 1000 people think you’re scum, but you get 100 new twitter followers who want to see a train wreck, it’s a win to a lot of people.”

This is how a lot of people on both sides of the aisle have built careers. The more horrible things they say, they more they’re attacked by people on the other side which makes them more popular with their own side. In fact, that had more than a little bit to do with how Donald Trump became president.

Video Goodnesses
and not-so-goodnesses

In the first half of the 20th century, the GOP wasn’t considered “conservative.” It included liberal Republicans who supported social security, infrastructure spending, and civil rights. But in 1964, Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater became the Republican candidate running on an unabashedly conservative platform and shocking the establishment. Goldwater’s conservative movement ended up dominating Republican politics for 50 years. Trump’s takeover of the Republican party looks a lot like Goldwater’s, so could an ideological movement resembling Trumpism dominate the next 50 years?

Trump supporters in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, cast much of the blame for his stumbles on the media, and remain steadfast in their belief that a Clinton administration would have been worse.

Domestic violence kills 12,000 women a year in Russia — that’s one woman every 40 minutes. Despite this, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill in February to decriminalize certain acts of domestic violence. First time offenders who inflict non life-threatening beatings are now released from jail after just 15 days, or receive a fine of around 500 USD.

Since these amendments to the criminal code, reports of domestic abuse incidents in Russia have spiked. VICE News went to meet those behind the changes, as well as the people most affected.

THANKS to HBO and VICE News for making this program available on YouTube.

The President is moving forward with his Voter Fraud Commission based on the hard evidence of widespread voter fraud that doesn’t exist.

THANKS to CBS and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert for making this program available on YouTube.

Some news this week: Is President Donald Trump actually good? Is Kid Rock actually running for senate or is it an obvious publicity stunt? Doesn’t matter because people are unfortunately taking it seriously regardless. Also, there’s some more stuff about Trump and Mark Zuckerberg.

As the United States embraces a world of alternative facts under President Trump, it must also embrace alternative spelling. Those hardest hit by these changes are the children who compete in the world of high stakes Spelling Bee competitions.

PLEASE READ – This is what happens when you let your cats reproduce, get overwhelmed and then abandon them. A friend of mine who’s been working in animal rescue for many years was notified of this situation last week… I don’t want to go into too much detail right now, just know that we are working together with other cat rescuers to get these cats out of this house ASAP!

We have already raised what we think is enough money for vet care and supplies via a GoFundMe page, what we really need immediately is to locate a space where we can temporarily house these cats, while we get their fleas under control and can get them the vet attention they so desperately need.

The house doesn’t always win…

THANKS to Comedy Network and The Beaveton for making this program available on YouTube.

Max has always loved rolls of tape. Sadly that was one of the few toys his prior owner always gave him. Max found this roll in the house and claimed it as his. I would never let him have it alone due to the fact of the tape clinging to him. I also wouldn’t suggest it as a toy. But since I was with him I let him destroy it supervised.


Will Colorado Communities Adapt to Climate-Driven Wildfire?

The Rudstrom’s house survived the 2016 Cold Springs Fire, but sustained a quarter of a million dollars worth of damage to the exterior.

“It never crossed my mind,” says Nederland resident Rick Rudstrom when asked if he had ever considered the possibility of his home burning in a wildfire.

But all that changed on July 9, 2016, when the Cold Springs Fire ignited and spread from a campfire left burning in the nearby forest on that hot, dry, windy day.

Rudstrom was in downtown Nederland when he saw a huge plume of smoke roiling up from the woods northeast of town. Immediately, he called his wife, Pat, at home and told her to prepare to get out. He drove the four miles home and, as they gathered up some clothes and important documents, they got the reverse 911 call to evacuate. By the time they hurried out the front door, it was already “snowing” ash and embers.

Not long after they made it safely to the shelter at Nederland High School, Rudstrom says the fire emerged from the forest behind their property, “shifted, and came roaring through … [and] just engulfed our house.”

“It broke all the windows,” he says. “The stucco, that got scorched. But all the eaves and the wood around the windows, that all ignited. So it was actually on fire.”

The gutters melted. Flames licked around the propane tank, but somehow didn’t consume it. “If it had blown, the whole house would’ve gone,” he says.

Ed. I’ve been working crazy hours the last two weeks. So… More tomorrow? Maybe. Possibly. Maybe. Not?