Global Counter Revolution Against Marxist Elites

By: Cliff Kincaid | America’s Survival

Popular Brazilian journalist Bernardo P. Küster talks to Cliff Kincaid about how the people of Brazil are struggling to save their country from corrupt Marxist politicians who have worked hand-in-glove with Liberation Theologists based in the Catholic Church. He explains the process whereby the Marxists took control of society and are now being impeached or thrown into prison. Does Brazil have any lessons for the U.S. in terms of escaping the legacy of Barack Hussein Obama?


Black Panther Movie: More Leftist Racial Polarizing

By: Lloyd Marcus

As a proud American who happens to be black, my issue with Black Panther mania is the movie’s enormous role in furthering Leftists’ lie that blacks are suffering in an eternally racist America.

Blacks are leaving movie theaters believing they must be defensively conscious of their skin-color, practically deifying African culture and moving towards segregating themselves.

If nothing else, Leftists are persistent and patience. My preacher dad said for decades his annual Methodist conference voted down ordaining homosexuals. Who could have imagined that the anti-biblical idea would eventually win enough yes votes to begin ordaining homosexuals. And yet, it did.

The anti-America Black Consciousness movement has been clamoring for decades for blacks to self-segregate — seems like I remember them demanding to be given North Carolina or some other nonsense. With movies like Black Panther filling black youths heads with America-hates-you-crap, ten years from now, will massive numbers of blacks seriously seek to separate themselves?

Independent thinking blacks with the courage not to share in the movie’s black-are-victims-of-evil-America mindset are ostracized for being traitorous to their blackness.

In the Dr Martin Luther King, Jr days of the civil rights movement, Dr King dreamed of a colorblind America in which people were judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. Dr King dreamed of black kids and white kids joining hands in brotherhood.

Decades ago, Democrats hijacked the civil rights movement; insidiously polarizing Americans along racial lines for selfish political gains. Democrats’ want every new generation of black Americans to believe evil racist white America is out to get them and blacks’ only hope is to always vote for Democrats.

Liberalism infected the honorable civil rights movement transforming it into a cult of revenge, lies and deception. Demanding the removal of historical monuments is nothing more than Leftists’ revenge, poking their fingers in the eye of southerners. Leftists claim all they want is an equal and fair playing field for minorities to compete which is overwhelmingly supported by a majority of Americans. In reality, Leftists have declared it open season on straight white males; pushing women, blacks and homosexuals to freely punish and boldly express racist hatred against straight white men.

Leftists who run the modern civil rights movement have shattered Dr King’s dream of national brotherhood and equal rights for all Americans. Leftists are seeking racial revenge against whites, deceptively marketed as “social justice”. In essence, Leftists say you whites have been in power far too long. Now it is time for you to feel what it is like to be suppressed.

The Black Panther Challenge is a GoFundMe site raising money to purchase movie tickets for black kids. The site says they are “inspiring kids of color to dream big by helping them to see the Black Panther movie in theaters.” http://bit.ly/2FOROAu

A preacher’s kids begged him to allow them to see a popular R rated movie because it only had a small amount of bad stuff. The preacher asked his kids. If I made you brownies with a tiny amount of dog poop in them, would you eat them?

While the Black Panther movie is an excellent production, it is filled with dog poop; Black Lives Matter racially divisive lies. It is evil to sell black kids who have been blessed to be born in the greatest land of opportunity on the planet, the lie that their country hates them. Therefore, their only hope for success, dignity and pride is to embrace an Afrocentric culture and racial identity politics. Unquestionably, the Black Panther movie is a voter registration tool for the Democrat party.

Leftists are acting as if a movie featuring a fictional black comic book hero is blacks’ first opportunity to feel good about themselves. These same Leftists despise real-life black superhero role models like Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, world renown retired neurosurgeon Dr Ben Carson and others.

Extraordinarily successful real-life black superheros are hated because they prove Leftists are lying about racism keeping blacks down in America. Americans are great people who honor and appreciate character and excellence regardless of skin color.

Earning over a billion dollars at the box office, the Black Panther movie is like a racially divisive nuclear bomb dropped on America, infecting black youths with anti-American radiation poisoning for decades.

Dr Martin Luther King, Jr said, “I have a dream that one day — little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.” Dr King’s vision of racial unity realized in America is extremely repulsive to Leftists.

Leftists, which include civil rights movement black betrayers, are striving to make Dr King’s dream of racial unity an impossible dream. Leftists are insidiously evil.

Black Panther 2 is sure to come. We must do everything in our power to counter Leftists’ lies, educating black youths to the truth that God gave them a great gift — being born Americans.

Lloyd Marcus, The Unhyphenated American
Help Lloyd spread the Truth: http://bit.ly/2kZqmUk


9 Iranians Charged in Hacking 176 Universities, Intellectual Property

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Nine Iranians Charged With Conducting Massive Cyber Theft Campaign On Behalf Of The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps

Mabna Institute Hackers Penetrated Systems Belonging to Hundreds of Universities, Companies, and Other Victims to Steal Research, Academic Data, Proprietary Data, and Intellectual Property

Rod J. Rosenstein, the Deputy Attorney General of the United States, Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, William F. Sweeney Jr., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, announced today the unsealing of an indictment charging GHOLAMREZA RAFATNEJAD, EHSAN MOHAMMADI, ABDOLLAH KARIMA, a/k/a “Vahid Karima,” MOSTAFA SADEGHI, SEYED ALI MIRKARIMI, MOHAMMED REZA SABAHI, ROOZBEH SABAHI, ABUZAR GOHARI MOQADAM, and SAJJAD TAHMASEBI.  The defendants were each leaders, contractors, associates, hackers-for-hire, and affiliates of the Mabna Institute, an Iran-based company that was responsible for a coordinated campaign of cyber intrusions that began in at least 2013 into computer systems belonging to 144 U.S.-based universities, 176 universities across 21 foreign countries, 47 domestic and foreign private sector companies, the United States Department of Labor, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the State of Hawaii, the State of Indiana, the United Nations, and the United Nations Children’s Fund.  Through the activities of the defendants, the Mabna Institute conducted these intrusions to steal over 30 terabytes of academic data and intellectual property from universities, and email inboxes from employees of victim private sector companies, government victims, and non-governmental organizations.  The defendants conducted many of these intrusions on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s (“Iran”) Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (“IRGC”), one of several entities within the government of Iran responsible for gathering intelligence, as well as other Iranian government clients.  In addition to these criminal charges, today the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated the Mabna Institute and the nine defendants for sanctions for the malicious cyber-enabled activity outlined in the Indictment.

Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein said:  “These nine Iranian nationals allegedly stole more than 31 terabytes of documents and data from more than 140 American universities, 30 American companies, five American government agencies, and also more than 176 universities in 21 foreign countries.  For many of these intrusions, the defendants acted at the behest of the Iranian government and, specifically, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.  The Department of Justice will aggressively investigate and prosecute hostile actors who attempt to profit from America’s ideas by infiltrating our computer systems and stealing intellectual property.  This case is important because it will disrupt the defendants’ hacking operations and deter similar crimes.”

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “Today, in one of the largest state-sponsored hacking campaigns ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice, we have unmasked criminals who normally hide behind the ones and zeros of computer code.  As alleged, this massive and brazen cyber-assault on the computer systems of hundreds of universities in 22 countries, including the United States, and dozens of private sector companies and governmental organizations was conducted on behalf of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard.  The hackers targeted innovations and intellectual property from our country’s greatest minds.  These defendants are now fugitives from American justice, no longer free to travel outside Iran without risk of arrest.  The only way they will see the outside world is through their computer screens, but stripped of their greatest asset – anonymity.”

FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said:  “The numbers alone in this case are staggering, over 300 universities and 47 private sector companies both here in the United States and abroad were targeted to gain unauthorized access to online accounts and steal data.  An estimated 30 terabytes was removed from universities’ accounts since this attack began, which is roughly equivalent of 8 billion double-sided pages of text.  It is hard to quantify the value on the research and information that was taken from victims but it is estimated to be in the billions of dollars. The nine Iranians indicted today now find themselves wanted by the FBI and our partner law enforcement agencies around the globe – and like other cyber criminals they will soon learn their ability to freely move was just limited to the virtual world only.”

According to the allegations contained in the Indictment[1] unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:

Background on the Mabna Institute

GHOLAMREZA RAFATNEJAD and EHSAN MOHAMMADI, the defendants, founded the Mabna Institute in approximately 2013 to assist Iranian universities and scientific and research organizations in stealing access to non-Iranian scientific resources.  In furtherance of its mission, the Mabna Institute employed, contracted, and affiliated itself with hackers-for-hire and other contract personnel to conduct cyber intrusions to steal academic data, intellectual property, email inboxes and other proprietary data, including ABDOLLAH KARIMA, a/k/a “Vahid Karima,” MOSTAFA SADEGHI, SEYED ALI MIRKARIMI, MOHAMMED REZA SABAHI, ROOZBEH SABAHI, ABUZAR GOHARI MOQADAM, and SAJJAD TAHMASEBI.  The Mabna Institute contracted with both Iranian governmental and private entities to conduct hacking activities on their behalf, and specifically conducted the university spearphishing campaign on behalf of the IRGC.  The Mabna Institute is located at Tehran, Sheikh Bahaii Shomali, Koucheh Dawazdeh Metri Sevom, Plak 14, Vahed 2, Code Posti 1995873351.

University Hacking Campaign

The Mabna Institute, through the activities of the defendants, targeted over 100,000 accounts of professors around the world.  They successfully compromised approximately 8,000 professor email accounts across 144 U.S.-based universities, and 176 universities located in foreign countries, including Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.  The campaign started in approximately 2013, and has continued through at least December 2017, and broadly targeted all types of academic data and intellectual property from the systems of compromised universities, including, among other things, academic journals, theses, dissertations, and electronic books.  Through the course of the conspiracy, U.S.-based universities spent over approximately $3.4 billion to procure and access such data and intellectual property.

The hacking campaign against universities was conducted across multiple stages.  First, the defendants conducted online reconnaissance of university professors, including to determine these professors’ research interests and the academic articles they had published.  Second, using the information collected during the reconnaissance phase, the defendants created and sent spearphishing emails to targeted professors, which were personalized and created so as to appear to be sent from a professor at another university.  In general, those spearphishing emails indicated that the purported sender had read an article the victim professor had recently published, and expressed an interest in several other articles, with links to those additional articles included in the spearphishing email.  If the targeted professor clicked on certain links in the email, the professor would be directed to a malicious Internet domain named to appear confusingly similar to the authentic domain of the recipient professor’s university.  The malicious domain contained a webpage designed to appear to be the login webpage for the victim professor’s university.  It was the defendants’ intent that the victim professor would be led to believe that he or she had inadvertently been logged out of his or her university’s computer system, prompting the victim professor for his or her login credentials.  If a professor then entered his or her login credentials, those credentials were then logged and captured by the hackers.

Finally, the members of the conspiracy used stolen account credentials to obtain unauthorized access to victim professor accounts, through which they then exfiltrated intellectual property, research, and other academic data and documents from the systems of compromised universities, including, among other things, academic journals, theses, dissertations, and electronic books.  The defendants targeted data across all fields of research and academic disciplines, including science and technology, engineering, social sciences, medical, and other professional fields.  At least approximately 31.5 terabytes of academic data and intellectual property from compromised universities were stolen and exfiltrated to servers under the control of members of the conspiracy located in countries outside the United States.

In addition to stealing academic data and login credentials for university professors for the benefit of the Government of Iran, the defendants also sold the stolen data through two websites, Megapaper.ir (“Megapaper”) and Gigapaper.ir (“Gigapaper”).  Megapaper was operated by Falinoos Company (“Falinoos”), a company controlled by ABDOLLAH KARIMA, a/k/a “Vahid Karima,” the defendant, and Gigapaper was affiliated with KARIMA.  Megapaper sold stolen academic resources to customers within Iran, including Iran-based public universities and institutions, and Gigapaper sold a service to customers within Iran whereby purchasing customers could use compromised university professor accounts to directly access the online library systems of particular United States-based and foreign universities.

Prior to the unsealing of the Indictment, the FBI provided foreign law enforcement partners with detailed information regarding victims within their jurisdictions, so that victims in foreign countries could be notified and so that foreign partners could assist in remediation efforts.

Private Sector Hacking Victims

In addition to targeting and compromising universities, the Mabna Institute defendants targeted and compromised employee email accounts for at least approximately 36 United States-based private companies, and at least approximately 11 private companies based in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, and exfiltrated entire email mailboxes from compromised employees’ accounts.  Among the United States-based private sector victims were three academic publishers, two media and entertainment companies, one law firm, 11 technology companies, five consulting firms, four marketing firms, two banking and/or investment firms, two online car sales companies, one healthcare company, one employee benefits company, one industrial machinery company, one biotechnology company, one food and beverage company, and one stock images company.

In order to compromise accounts of private sector victims, members of the conspiracy used a technique known as “password spraying,” whereby they first collected lists of names and email accounts associated with the intended victim company through open source Internet searches.  Then, they attempted to gain access to those accounts with commonly-used passwords, such as frequently used default passwords, in order to attempt to obtain unauthorized access to as many accounts as possible.  Once they obtained access to the victim accounts, members of the conspiracy, among other things, exfiltrated entire email mailboxes from the victims.  In addition, in many cases, the defendants established automated forwarding rules for compromised accounts that would prospectively forward new outgoing and incoming email messages from the compromised accounts to email accounts controlled by the conspiracy.

In connection with the unsealing of the Indictment, today the FBI issued a FBI Liaison Alert System (FLASH) message, providing detailed information regarding the vulnerabilities targeted and the intrusion vectors used by the Mabna Institute in their campaign against private sector companies, to provide the public with information to assist in detecting and remediating the threat.

U.S. Government and NGO Hacking Victims

In the same time period as the university and private sector hacking campaigns described above, the Mabna Institute also conducted a computer hacking campaign against various governmental and non-governmental organizations within the United States.  During the course of that campaign, employee login credentials were stolen by members of the conspiracy through password spraying.  Among the victims were the following, all based in the United States:  the United States Department of Labor, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the State of Hawaii, the State of Indiana, the State of Indiana Department of Education, the United Nations, and the United Nations Children’s Fund.  As with private sector victims, the defendants targeted for theft email inboxes of employees of these organizations.


GHOLAMREZA RAFATNEJAD, EHSAN MOHAMMADI, ABDOLLAH KARIMA, a/k/a “Vahid Karima,” MOSTAFA SADEGHI, SEYED ALI MIRKARIMI, MOHAMMED REZA SABAHI, ROOZBEH SABAHI, ABUZAR GOHARI MOQADAM, and SAJJAD TAHMASEBI, the defendants, are citizens and residents of Iran.  Each is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusions, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; two counts of unauthorized access of a computer, each of which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; two counts of wire fraud, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; and one count of aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory sentence of two years in prison.  The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencings of the defendants will be determined by the assigned judge.

Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI, the assistance of the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA), and the support of the OFAC.  The case is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Timothy T. Howard, Jonathan Cohen, and Richard Cooper are in charge of the prosecution, with assistance provided by Heather Alpino and Jason McCullough of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment, and the description of the Indictment set forth herein, constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Download U.S. v. Rafatnejad et al Indictment
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Why Did Trump Hire McMaster in the First Place?

By: Denise Simon | Founder’s Code

Much has been written about Trump’s now former National Security Counsel advisor H.R. McMaster who at one time was General Petraeus’ ‘go-to’ tank operations expert in Iraq. The 3-star general from the outset never really gelled in a cohesive policy relationship with President Trump and the chatter for months in DC was that his time at the White House was going to be short.

Question is who recommended McMaster to Trump in the first place and who did the background investigation such that Trump accepted and confirmed him to lead the National Security Council?

“After 34 years of service to our nation,” the lieutenant general said, “I am requesting retirement from the U.S. Army effective this summer, after which I will leave public service.” A White House official told VOA that the president and McMaster had mutually agreed upon McMaster’s resignation, after discussing it for some time. The official said the president asked McMaster to stay on until mid-April to ensure a smooth transition, and McMaster agreed. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, known as West Point, McMaster earned a Silver Star for leadership during the Persian Gulf War when, as a cavalry commander, he led a small contingent of U.S. tanks to destroy 80 Iraqi tanks and other vehicles. More here.

Well, the Daily Caller did some remarkable deeper work on McMaster spelling out how Trump never should have brought him on board in the first place. The other question remains on why the Pentagon did not advise McMaster on terminating his outside relationship especially with some rogue nations.

  • Outgoing National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster worked for a foreign-based think tank for 11 years before assuming his post
  • The think tank has ties to Russia, China, the Uranium One deal and Bahrain
  • Career armed forces officers spoke out against the arrangement

Outgoing National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster served for more than a decade as a consultant to the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, a foreign-based think-tank that has received funding from hostile foreign governments to include Russia and China, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation.

The career soldier ended his employment at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in February 2017 after President Donald Trump tapped him to serve as his national security adviser following the resignation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

McMaster is planning to leave the NSC in April, to be replaced by former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The outgoing NSC official said in a statement, he was “requesting retirement from the U.S. Army effective this summer after which I will leave public service. 

The general, who did not leave the Army to assume his NSC post, was one of only two White House national security chiefs who retained active duty status while working at the White House. The other general was Gen. Colin Powell.

McMaster never publicized his decade-long outside consultant work with the foreign-based think tank that often supported a globalist agenda opposed by Trump. IISS often espousedforeign and military policies that served as the centerpiece of the Obama presidency, including support for the former president’s Iran nuclear deal.

While his 11 years at the institute were never part of his official military biography, former military officers who learned of it were harshly critical of his unusual moonlighting.

Veteran military officers expressed disbelief at McMaster’s consulting work at a foreign-based think tank that receives funding from hostile governments. They called the arrangement “unethical” and “unprecedented.” 

IISS operates offices in the Bahrain, Singapore and Washington, D.C. It generally reflects a globalist “realist” Eurocentric view of foreign and military postures that’s at odds with Trump’s foreign policy. The think-tank was a major advocate of former President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.

IISS receives funding from friendly Western sources such as aerospace firms and even the British army, but is also has received funding from the Russian Federation, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as the governments of Azerbaijan, Turkey, Qatar, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, according to the IISS website.

During McMaster’s time at IISS, the think tank also received $700,000 from George Soros’s Open Society and $140,000 from Ploughshares, the pacifist organization that aggressively pushed for Obama’s Iran nuclear deal.

The organization’s council — its board of directors — also is filled with people who have ties to the Kremlin, to the Qatari emir who has been accused of supporting terrorists, to people associated with the Uranium One scandal, and with a Russian investment bank that paid former President Bill Clinton $500,000 for a single speech.

“This is bizarre,” retired Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin said in an interview with TheDCNF. “If that kind of information was available to The Trump administration before they selected him, the question is: Would they have selected him for this very job?”

The Army told TheDCNF that from 2006 when he first joined IISS as a “senior research associate” until he left in 2017, he did file annual financial disclosure forms notifying the Army of payments he received from the institute.

McMaster’s office did not respond to a DCNF request for his current financial disclosure form, which he was required to submit in 2017 as a White House employee.

Retired Rear Adm. James “Ace” Lyons, who served 35 years in the Navy, including a stint as commander of the Pacific Fleet, told TheDCNF McMaster’s consulting role at the think tank was “absurd.”

“It is really absurd that an active duty military officer, particularly one of flag rank, is a consultant to a foreign organization that is taking money and contributions from questionable countries that are known enemies of the United States,” Lyons told TheDCNF in an interview. “This to me seems to be outside the bounds of what we’re committed to. This is atrocious.”

“I’ve never seen this kind of thing before,” said Boykin, a 36-year veteran who served as under secretary for defense intelligence for President George W. Bush.

Boykin said he was convinced any commanding officer would have rejected McMaster’s proposed consulting work at IISS. “I cannot believe that the ethics people of the U.S. Army would approve of him doing that, and I can’t believe that any responsible person he worked for in the Army would have agreed to that.”

William J. Sharp, a public affairs civilian attached to U.S. Army Headquarters, told TheDCNF the Army accepted McMaster’s proposed consulting work at IISS without any prior approval because they regarded the think tank as not falling under the category of a “prohibited source.”

The term “prohibited source” relates to a company that seeks a business or other formal contractual relationship from the Department of Defense. Using that limited standard, the Army concluded IISS was not a prohibited source and McMaster did not need to obtain prior approval from military superiors.

“IISS is not a prohibited source for Army personnel,” Sharp told TheDCNF in an email. “Therefore, LTG McMaster was not required to obtain approval prior to consulting for IISS.”

“I’m surprised at this,” Boykin said. “I find this in my view and in my experience of 36 years to be unprecedented, and I would love to see an authorization. And if it’s an open-ended authorization — if there’s one at all — then I would be willing to bet you it was an error on the part of whoever provided that authorization. You just can’t do this on your own,” he told TheDCNF.

Retired Special Forces Col. James Williamson told TheDCNF he considered it “very unusual” for an active duty officer to serve for a decade at any educational institution. “It’s very unusual for a general officer on active duty to have that type of affiliation over that timespan,” he said. “I’ve had friends that have gone to Harvard or the Fletcher School at Tufts, but they’re U.S.-based.” He said most terms were for a short duration — usually six months to a year.

In fact, the military approves and even encourages active duty officers to seek temporary assignments with American educational institutions and think tanks. But those assignments are very short and rarely extend for more than a year.

Williamson said active duty military officers have plenty of private sector and think tank opportunities after they leave military service. “We have other people who served in London, but they’re not on active duty. They’re retired officers and there’s no problem with that,” he said.

Williamson, a counter terrorism specialist who served with NATO and U.S. Southern Command, said he regarded McMaster’s work as posing a basic “conflict of interest” in light of funding from hostile governments. That funding “would almost make it a de facto conflict of interest in my eyes.”

Retired U.S. Air Force Col. James Waurishuk, who also worked at the NSC, agreed. “I would be concerned about the work he’s doing and how it applies in relation to a think-tank that’s taking money from perhaps adversarial foreign governments. That would be of concern to me,” he said.

Williamson also shared the same view and added that even working at a London think tank poses problems. “Even our closest allies don’t have the same agendas and priorities that we do,” he said.

During his 11 years with IISS, the group promoted McMaster’s activities. A review of previous IISS websites by TheDCNF shows he was highlighted between six and 10 times each year.

IISS praised McMaster when he joined the Trump White House. Jonathan Stevenson, an Obama NSC official who also is a senior fellow at IISS, wrote a fawning opinion piece about McMaster in The New York Times. He called him a “compelling choice: a scholar-warrior” and “both a proven cavalry officer and a formidable defense intellectual.” Stevenson wrote McMaster could save Trump, and the general’s appointment, “should augur at least a fleeting period of stability at the dysfunctional National Security Council.”

Igor Yurgen has been on the IISS Council since 2010. He is chairman of Rennaissance Capital Group, which awarded Bill Clinton $500,00 in speaking fees.

Russia Today, a pro-Kremlin news organization, once described Yurgen as “one of Russia’s most influential experts close to [former] President Dmitry Medvedev.”

“He is remarkably skilled at combining public, business and political careers,” according to RT.

Another council member is Michael Rich, an executive vice president of the RAND Corp. But significantly, he is co-chair of the board of overseers of a project called the RAND Qatar Policy Institute.

The Qatar Policy Institute is also part of the Qatar Foundation, started by Qatar’s former emir, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, and his wife, Sheikha Moza bint Nasser.

Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf states accuse Qatar of supporting Islamic terrorism. Al Thani has supported the Taliban in Afghanistan, Hamas in the Gaza Strip, militias in Libya, and the Muslim Brotherhood, The New York Times reported in 2014. The Emir personally traveled in 2012 to the Gaza Strip, where he received a hero’s welcome as he pledged to work with the terrorist group Hamas. Al Thani also founded Al Jazeera, the pro-Muslim Brotherhood television news channel.

Badr Jafar, another current council member, is the son of Hamid Jafar, who founded the biggest private equity firm in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. Badr is the CEO of Crescent Enterprises who, with his father Hamid Jafar, engineered an oil exploration partnership between their Emirates-based company, Crescent Petroleum with the Boris Kovalchuk, CEO of the Russian company of Inter Rao UES.

News agencies in the United Arab Emirates hailed the 2010 financial deal between Crescent and Moscow. “Russian state news agencies began their coverage of the recent high-level meeting in Moscow between Crescent officials, the Russian prime minister, Vladimir Putin, and the Iraqi former prime minister Dr Ayad Allawi by linking the names of Hamid Jafar and Mr Putin,” according to the National Business report.

Russian President Vladimir Putin decreed that all shares of Inter Rao UES be transferred to the Russian state-owned atomic energy agency called Rosatom. Kovalchuk is a Kremlin confidant who served as a vice president of Rosatom. Americans know about Rosatom because of its purchase of Uranium One, which was made possible by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s support for the Russian acquisition.

While McMaster was a consultant at IISS the organization was a strong, unwavering supporter of President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.

Mark Fitzpatrick, its director for non-proliferation and disarmament was the most outspoken IISS director for the nuclear deal calling it in 2015 a “a potential game changer in many ways, opening a path to better relations with Iran that has been closed for more than 35 years.” Fitzpatrick said the deal “makes it demonstrably less likely Iran will become nuclear-armed now and in the future.”

IISS also entered domestic American politics by defending the Democratic Party during the 2016 presidential campaign. It flatly stated following the release of emails from the Democratic National Committee it “revealed no evidence of significant wrongdoing within the Democratic Party.”

IISS also has been criticized for the secrecy of its activities and its routine denial of visas for reporters seeking to attend its overseas events, particularly its annual event in Bahrain where human right groups accuse the government of silencing critics and keeping journalists away.

BahrainWatch, a human rights group published an investigation in December 2016 claiming that even well known American journalists have been barred from its Bahrain conferences called the “Manama Dialogue.”

“New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof has openly called for an invitation since 2011, though his media visa was once again rejected last year. Wall Street Journal journalist Yaroslav Trofimov was also denied a visa.

Waurishuk concluded that McMaster’s relationship with IISS raises too many alarms.

“There’s too many red flags that kind of go up,” he said.

Neither IISS Washington nor IISS London returned repeated queries about McMaster.


POTUS and Omnibus, No Line Item Veto?

By: Denise Simon | Founder’s Code

2232 pages of stupid and everyone should take the time to just scan the $1.3 trillion spending bill. I got to page 184 last night and went to bed mad. There is no line item veto, but there should be. President Trump can veto the whole truckload of crap and should. In place of the line item veto, he can wield his pen and sign an Executive Order eliminating countless crazy spending things or suspend some of the acts for the rest of his term. Something like the Food for Progress Act. And we are still bailing out the healthcare insurance companies…. anyway…there is also $687 million to address Russian interference. Just what is that plan?

1, How about the Cloud Act? Foreign governments get access to our data? WHAT?

2. Okay how about Trump’s “wall funding.” It’s not a wall. It’s repairs, drones and pedestrian fencing – no construction.

3. Then we have the House Freedom Caucus with their letter to President Trump:

So…need more?  Conservative Review has these 10 items for your consideration.Here are the top 10 problems with the bill:

1) Eye-popping debt: This bill codifies the $143 billion busting of the budget caps, which Congress adopted in February, for the remainder of this fiscal year. This is on top of the factthat government spending already increased $130 billion last year over the final year of Obama’s tenure. Although the Trump administration already agreed to this deal in February, the OMB put out a memo suggesting that Congress appropriate only $10 billion of the extra $63 billion in non-defense discretionary spending. Now it’s up to Trump to follow through with a veto threat. It’s not just about 2018. This bill paves the road to permanently bust the budget caps forever, which will lead to trillions more in spending and cause interest payments on the debt to surge past the cost of the military or even Medicaid in just eight years.

Keep in mind that all the additional spending will be stuffed into just six months remaining to the fiscal year, not a 12-month period. A number of onerous bureaucracies will get cash booster shots instead of the cuts President Trump wanted.

Remember when Mick Mulvaney said the fiscal year 2017 budget betrayal was needed so that he could do great things with the fiscal year 2018 budget? Good times.

2) Bait and switch on the wall: Since this bill increases spending for everything, one would think that at least the president would get the $15 billion or so needed for the wall. No. The bill includes only $641 million for 33 miles of new border fencing but prohibits that funding for being used for concrete barriers. My understanding is that President Trump already has enough money to begin construction for roughly that much of the fence, and pursuant to the Secure Fence Act, he can construct any barrier made from any This actually weakens current law.

3) Funds sanctuary cities: When cities and states downright violate federal law and harbor illegal aliens, Congress’ silence in responding to it is deafening. Cutting off block grants to states as leverage against this dangerous crisis wasn’t even under discussion, even as many other extraneous and random liberal priorities were seriously considered.

4) Doesn’t fund interior enforcement: Along with clamping down on sanctuary cities, interior enforcement at this point is likely more important than a border wall. After Obama’s tenure left us with a criminal alien and drug crisis, there is an emergency to ramp up interior enforcement. Trump requested more ICE agents and detention facilities, but that call was ignored in this bill. Trump said that the midterms must focus on Democrats’ dangerous immigration policies. Well, this bill he is supporting ensures that they will get off scot-free.

5) Doesn’t defund court decisions: Some might suggest that this bill was a victory because at least it didn’t contain amnesty. But we have amnesty right now, declared, promulgated, and perpetuated by the lawless judiciary. For Congress to pass a budget bill and not defund DACA or defund the issuance of visas from countries on Trump’s immigration pause list in order to fight back against the courts is tantamount to Congress directly passing amnesty.

6) Funds Planned Parenthood: We have no right to a border wall or more ICE funding, but somehow funding for a private organization harvesting baby organs was never in jeopardy or even under discussion as a problem.

7) Gun control without due process: Some of you might think I’m being greedy, demanding that “extraneous policies” be placed in a strict appropriations bill. Well, gun control made its way in. They slipped in the “Fix NICS” bill, which pressures and incentivizes state and federal agencies to add more people to the system even though there is already bipartisan recognition that agencies are adding people who should not be on the list, including veterans, without any due process in a court of law. They are passing this bill without the House version of the due process protections and without the promised concealed carry reciprocity legislation. Republicans were too cowardly to have an open debate on such an important issue, so they opted to tack it onto a budget bill, which is simply unprecedented. The bill also throws more funding at “school violence” programs when they refuse to repeal the gun-free zone laws that lie at the root of the problem.

8) More “opioid crisis funding” without addressing the problem: The bill increases funding for “opioid addiction prevention and treatment” by $2.8 billion relative to last year, on top of the $7 billion they already spent in February. This is the ultimate joke of the arsonist pretending to act as the firefighter, because as we’ve chronicled in detail, these funds are being used to clamp down on legitimate prescription painkillers and create a de facto national prescription registry so that government can violate privacy and practice medicine. Meanwhile, the true culprits are illicit drugs and Medicaid expansion, exacerbated by sanctuary cities, as the president observed himself. Yet those priorities are jettisoned from the bill.

9) Student loan bailout: The bill offers $350 million in additional student loan forgiveness … but only for graduates who take “lower-paid” government jobs or work for some non-profits! This was a big priority of Sen. Elizabeth Warren.  Government created this problem of skyrocketing student debt by fueling it with subsidies and giving the higher education cartel a monopoly of accreditation, among other things. Indeed, this very same bill increases Pell grants by $2 billion. But more money is always the solution, especially when it helps future government workers.

10) Schumer’s Gateway projects earmark: Conservatives had a wish list of dozens of items, but it’s Schumer’s local bridge and tunnel project that got included. While the bill didn’t contain as much as Schumer asked for (remember the tactic of starting off high), the program would qualify for up to $541 million in new transportation funding. Also, the bill would open up $2.9 billion in grants through the Federal Transit Administration for this parochial project that should be dealt with on a state level. New York has high taxes for a reason.


Mitch McConnell Has Strong Ties To The Communist Chinese And His Corruption Runs Very Deep

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Alex Wong | Getty Images

I have written on the corruption of Mitch McConnell and his wife Elaine Chao a number of times. I was very disheartened when Chao became the Secretary of Transportation for the Trump administration. The dynamic duo are fully in bed with the communist Chinese and have been for many years. Peter Schweizer has a new book called Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends that digs into the background of the McConnells and their family wealth and where it came from. It’s not a pretty picture and it should not only tick you off, it should alarm every American out there.

To be fair, it’s not just McConnell. This is happening on both sides of the political aisle. From Denise Simon – she has several pertinent points on Kerry and Biden and their Chinese corruption to keep in mind for 2020:

1. China plants industrial espionage operatives in the U.S. that steal government contract secrets and then sells them back to China. The FBI caught at least one of them.

2. Through cyber espionage, China has stolen much of the F-35 technology, more than 50 terabytes.

3. John Kerry and Joe Biden did exactly the same thing as Hillary… sold access for money while exploiting it all as diplomatic missions under the title(s) of bi-lateral agreements.

4. Subpoena former Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and ask him about the CFIUS approvals of Chinese backed enterprises. We need to go back to former Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner… did he set the table for all this with Obama’s approval creating that ‘Asia Pivot’?

5. What does Congress know about foreign investments and when do they know it? They get reports, but who is asking questions, anyone?


The bottom line is that the Chinese are buying off our politicians. Enriching them and their families in exchange for military and economic concessions for China. Schweizer cites the family of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as a particularly troubling example.

“In the case of Mitch McConnell, there’s just simply no question that the economic fortunes of his family rest upon the good graces of the Chinese government,” he said. “The vast bulk of the family wealth is tied up in a shipping company called Foremost Group. Really beginning back in 1993 — I talk about it in the book — he and the family worked to cultivate that relationship with the Chinese government, and the Chinese government set up a series of things that have made the family wealthy.”

“The ships for the family business are basically built by the Chinese government,” he noted. “The Chinese government finances the construction of those ships. They provide the crews to man those ships. They provide a lot of the clients, the contracts that they service. They ship a lot of goods around for Chinese state-owned companies.”

“And Mitch McConnell’s in-laws — his father-in-law and his sister-in-law — have served on the board of let’s just say very sensitive military-related contractors in China,” he added. “The Chinese government is not going to do that to somebody that it does not have a level of political trust to.”

Money from this convenient arrangement for the McConnells has “flowed directly to Mitch McConnell himself,” including at least one gift in the $5 million to $25 million range from his in-laws, with the added expectation of a sizable inheritance when his father-in-law passes away.

It wasn’t always this way though. When McConnell first came to Congress, he was a very strong China hawk. He was also was one of the most outspoken voices criticizing China’s massacre of dissidents at Tiananmen Square. But that was decades ago and since then, the Chinese have made him an offer he can’t refuse. “Then he married Elaine Chao. Then in 1993, he took a trip with his father-in-law as a guest of the China State Shipbuilding Corporation, which is the largest military contractor in China. After that, when these economic ties were forged, his views let’s say began to ‘evolve,’” Schweizer said. And so did the inherent corruption and complicity.

McConnell has muted his criticism of the Chinese. He is also far more open to trade with the communist regime and he is much less critical of its monetary policies, going as far as threatening to use the legislative “nuclear option” to shut down consideration of a bill in 2010-2011 that would have taken action against China as a currency manipulator. The bill ended up passing 65-35, with McConnell one of the few Republicans voting against it. McConnell infrequently tries to sound tough on China, but no one with any sense is buying it. Judge McConnell by what he does, not by what he says.

“If the Chinese government became angry at Mitch McConnell, they could severely damage the family business. They could essentially shut it down. If they said, ‘We’re giving you no more contracts, we’re pulling away your crews, we’re not going to build you any more ships,’ the Foremost Group — which is the shipping company that the McConnell family has — it would essentially almost go out of business, if not completely go out of business,” Schweizer cautioned. In national security, you call that being ‘compromised’.

“There is an unprecedented situation where you have a powerful family, the McConnells and the Chaos, and you have family members in that family serving on very, very sensitive corporate boards,” Schweizer added, referring back to the China State Shipbuilding Corporation and the appointment of McConnell’s sister-in-law Angela Chao to a board seat at the state-run Bank of China. “The Bank of China corporate board is made up of Chinese executives that have served in government. It is an arm of the Chinese government, used to advance the diplomacy of the government of China. To have family members on the boards of such sensitive entities, and to try to argue that that’s not going to have any influence on you is just laughable. There’s no other word for it. It’s laughable,” he said. And he’s right.

Not only that, but Schweizer points out that McConnell’s father-in-law James Chao, “has been close friends with Communist leaders in China.” China is our enemy… I would call that a conflict of interest to put it mildly. “He went to school with some of them. Jiang Zemin, who for the longest time was the Chinese premier, was a classmate of his. And when Jiang Zemin would travel to the United States, he would have private meetings on a regular basis not just with James Chao, but with Mitch McConnell and Elaine Chao,” he said.

Schweizer depicted Elaine Chao as “very muted on criticizing China at all” during her time serving in the administrations of both George W. Bush and Donald Trump. In fact, he described some of her interviews with Chinese-language publications as “shocking in her statements that Republicans are trying to gin up the China threat because they need an enemy.”

I want you to ponder a moment and just think what we would learn if everything was revealed about our politicians as it should be. They have written disclosure laws and regulations that hide their dealings with enemy states and in unsavory ventures. Schweizer pointed out that China’s system of influencing American politicians through their families is simply a mirror image of how business is done in China, where foreign business leaders understand that hiring the children of senior officials is the best way to gain access to the Chinese government.

“We have got to correct the ability for this to happen in an undisclosed way, or we are screwed when it comes to dealing with the Chinese because they will more than likely have plenty of opportunities to successfully buy off and forge these commercial relationships with American political elites. The amounts of money are just so eye-popping. The temptation is just so great. You’re going to have very few people that are going to be willing to resist it,” he warned. Schweizer added that from the Chinese perspective, it’s a “great investment” to “toss a few billion dollars at American political elites and get a softened position from them.”

LevinTV host Mark Levin just called for Senator Mitch McConnell to step down as Senate majority leader and be investigated for corruption. Levin cited a New York Post article detailing new corruption allegations made against McConnell and his wife, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao via Schweizer’s new book. Levin called the allegations “stunning” and “absolutely shocking and disgusting.” “Mitch McConnell should be removed for all the reasons I’ve said before, but especially now, as majority leader,” Levin said. “And there ought to be an ethics investigation looking into his background. And I am damn serious about it.” I could not possibly agree more.


Homeschooling: The Best Hope for America’s Future

By: Lloyd Marcus

A 7 year old in 2nd grade came home and said, “Mom, Dad, guess what. Our teacher read us the funniest book. It was so silly. It was about a prince who was getting married, but he didn’t marry a princess. He married a prince! Isn’t that so silly Mom?” The book read to the confused child to introduce 7 year olds to same sex marriage is “King and King” by Linda de Haan.

Without parental knowledge or consent, 5 year old Jacob entering kindergarten came home with a “diversity book-bag.” Inside was a book introducing kindergartners to same sex households, celebrating Clifford and her dad’s “partner”, Henry — selling homosexuality to 5 year olds disguised as diversity. The book is “Who’s in a Family” by Robert Skutch. http://bit.ly/2FPJQDh

Folks, if my public school arrogantly usurped such authority when I was a kid, my stocky little-over-5 -foot black mom would have been outraged. She’d march to my school and angrily confront the principal, “Who do you people think you are? How dare you take such liberty with my 9 months!”

Please correct me if I am wrong. But all I see is parents passively allowing Leftists to mold and shape students into their image. God commanded parents. “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 Where is the outrage over government usurping authority to dictate the morals, principles and values instilled in your child, overruling God-ordained parental authority?

With Leftists pushing over 70 genders and growing onto the mainstream http://bit.ly/2iytyY7, Leftists are banning teachers from addressing students as “boys and girl”, calling the term mean-spirited and non-inclusive. http://fxn.ws/2aSCFyy

Notice this tactic routinely used by Leftists. While Americans are minding their own business, Leftists attack, pushing their outrageous ideas on us, while portraying themselves as victims of our intolerance, hate and aggression.

Whitney Houston was correct when she sang, “I believe the children are our future.” This is where the true battle for America’s future is being fought; in the hearts and minds of our kids. A haven of rest, healing and safety for parents and their children is homeschooling.

This is why Leftists are attacking, using government to politically bomb these safe havens, hellbent on making homeschooling illegal. http://bit.ly/2HFakHT

Homeschooling is far superior to government indoctrination camps, obsessed with teaching social justice, white guilt, gun control, homosexuality, abortion and conspiring against and disobedience to parents.

Eighty-two percent of public schools are failing. http://bit.ly/2IvVlBB Despite spending $1.4 billion annually, around $16,000 per student, reading proficiency rates for Baltimore high school grads is around 11%, with 12% in math proficiency. And yet, the Baltimore school system graduates around 70% of its students every year. In other words, a large number of Baltimore’s graduates can barely read their diplomas. http://bit.ly/2FPjrFw

Years ago, circumstances forced my brother and his wife to remove their 10-year-old son from a private Christian school. Making the adjustment into public school was stressful for their son. He was hated for raising his hand too often, knowing the correct answers. He was even bullied because of his posture, taught to sit correctly in his chair. To survive, my nephew purposely dumbed-down.

My black buddy was a Baltimore cop who headed city sponsored mentoring programs, youth choirs and more. Ten years ago, he retired and moved to Montana. He moved back to Baltimore three years ago and was asked to resume working with youths. My buddy said seeing youths throwing rocks at police cars, hating cops, rioting, and no officials willing to support real discipline, my buddy said he wants nothing to do with Baltimore’s youth crisis. My former Baltimore cop buddy said he is also soured by city officials’ insane hatred for guns.

Leftists tend to share a bigotry of lowered expectations regarding minorities. I argued with a Miami white middle school teacher who, despite parent’s objections, she thought Hispanic students should not be forced to learn English. I’ve read numerous biographies of immigrant celebs who said learning English was crucial to their success in America.

In California, public schools pushed to allow black students to speak Ebonics rather than being pressured to learn correct English. http://slate.me/1rzRfwH

Popular among home-schoolers is the VARK model theory which outlines 4 kinds of learners. http://bit.ly/2piEZE5 Some kids are visual learners. There are auditory learners, reading/writing learners and kinesthetic learners. By understanding how your child processes information, you can design a teaching program that is right for them. This ain’t happenin’ in government school-halls of mass mediocrity.

Meeting countless families with children in my 10 years of traveling as a political activist, I learned to immediately recognize home-schooled children. They were happy, calm, polite, articulate, filled with information and confident; always looking me in the eye when speaking to me.

Until parents get their act together and begin taking back public education; running for school boards, putting their feet down, and more, homeschooling is the way to go — the best hope for America’s future.

Lloyd Marcus, The Unhyphenated American
Help Lloyd spread the Truth: http://bit.ly/2kZqmUk


FB’s Zuckerberg Apologizes, Privacy Protection Not Solved

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Just how literate are you about social media platforms and the use of your keystrokes/interaction on Facebook?

Zuckerberg hopes you are not too literate regarding your data on Facebook and he says he is sorry, won’t happen again….really? Media even uses the trending hashtags for their headlines and lead news items applying their own political twist. How about those apps you keep installing? Danger zone? Yup…

Everything you do on Facebook is sold elsewhere and other platforms such as Twitter or Instagram are databases and are being analyzed. The revenue for these social media companies comes from selling you and you cannot opt out unless you divorce yourself from the relationship and go back to old fashioned communications. Well sorta…

Paul Ford penned an interesting solution below that should begin an interesting debate…

Silicon Valley Has Failed to Protect Our Data. Here’s How to Fix It

It’s time for a digital protection agency. It’s clear ethics don’t scale, and it’s not just Facebook’s problem.

Illustration: Sally Thurer for Bloomberg Businessweek

Over and over in the last 20 years we’ve watched low-cost or free internet communications platforms spring from the good intentions or social curiosity of tech folk. We’ve watched as these platforms expanded in power and significance, selling their influence to advertisers. TwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle—they grew so fast. One day they’re a lovable new way to see kid pix, next thing you know they’re reconfiguring democracy, governance, and business.Facebook’s recent debacle is illustrative. It turns out that the company let a researcher spider through its social network to gather information on 50 million people. Then the Steve Bannon-affiliated, Robert Mercer-backed U.K. data analysis firm Cambridge Analytica used that data to target likely Trump voters. Facebook responded that, no, this was not a “breach.”

OK, sure, let’s not call it a breach. It’s how things were designed to work. That’s the problem.

For years we’ve been talking and thinking about social networks as interesting tools to model and understand human dynamics. But it’s no longer academic—Facebook has reached a scale where it’s not a model of society as much as an engine of culture. A researcher gained legitimate access to the platform and then just … kept going, and Cambridge Analytica ended up with those 50 million profiles. The “hack” was a true judo move that used the very nature of the platform against itself—like if you gave MacGyver a phone book and he somehow made it into a bomb.

What’s been unfolding for a while now is a rolling catastrophe so obvious we forget it’s happening. Private data are spilling out of bankscredit-rating providersemail providers, and social networks and ending up everywhere.

So this is an era of breaches and violations and stolen identities. Big companies can react nimbly when they fear regulation is actually on the horizon—for example, Google, Facebook, and Twitter have agreed to share data with researchers who are tracking disinformation, the result of a European Union commission on fake news. But for the most part we’re dealing with global entities that own the means whereby politicians garner votes, have vast access to capital to fund lobbying efforts, and are constitutionally certain of their own moral cause. That their platforms are used for awful ends is just a side effect on the way to global transparency, and shame on us for not seeing that.

So are we doomed to let them take our data or that of our loved ones and then to watch as that same data is used against us or shared by hackers? Yes, frankly. We’re doomed. Equifax Inc. sure won’t save us. Do we trust Congress to bring change? Do we trust Congress to plug in a phone charger? I’ll be overjoyed to find out I’m wrong. In the meantime, turn on two-factor authentication everywhere (ideally using a hardware dongle like a YubiKey), invest in a password manager, and hold on tight.

The word “leak” is right. Our sense of control over our own destinies is being challenged by these leaks. Giant internet platforms are poisoning the commons. They’ve automated it. Take a non-Facebook case: YouTube. It has users who love conspiracy videos, and YouTube takes that love as a sign that more and more people would love those videos, too. Love all around! In February an ex-employee tweeted: “The algorithm I worked on at Google recommended [InfoWars personality and lunatic conspiracy-theory purveyor] Alex Jones’ videos more than 15,000,000,000 times, to some of the most vulnerable people in the nation.”

The head of YouTube, Susan Wojcicki, recently told a crowd at SXSW that YouTube would start posting Wikipedia’s explanatory text next to conspiracy videos (like those calling a teen who survived the Parkland, Fla., shooting a “crisis actor”). Google apparently didn’t tell Wikipedia about this plan.

The activist and internet entrepreneur Maciej Ceglowski once described big data as “a bunch of radioactive, toxic sludge that we don’t know how to handle.” Maybe we should think about Google and Facebook as the new polluters. Their imperative is to grow! They create jobs! They pay taxes, sort of! In the meantime, they’re dumping trillions of units of toxic brain poison into our public-thinking reservoir. Then they mop it up with Wikipedia or send out a message that reads, “We take your privacy seriously.”

Given that the federal government is currently one angry man with nuclear weapons and a Twitter account, and that it’s futile to expect reform or self-regulation from internet giants, I’d like to propose something that will seem impossible but I would argue isn’t: Let’s make a digital Environmental Protection Agency. Call it the Digital Protection Agency. Its job would be to clean up toxic data spills, educate the public, and calibrate and levy fines.

How might a digital EPA function? Well, it could do some of the work that individuals do today. For example, the website of Australian security expert Troy Hunt, haveibeenpwned.com(“pwned” is how elite, or “l33t,” hackers, or “hax0rs,” spell “owned”), keeps track of nearly 5 billion hacked accounts. You give it your email, and it tells you if you’ve been found in a data breach. A federal agency could and should do that work, not just one very smart Australian—and it could do even better, because it would have a framework for legally exploring, copying, and dealing with illegally obtained information. Yes, we’d probably have to pay Booz Allen or Accenture or whatever about $120 million to get the same work done that Troy Hunt does on his own, but that’s the nature of government contracting, and we can only change one thing at a time.

When it comes to toxic data spills, it’s hard to know just how exposed you are. Literally all of us have been hacked—hard and a lot and mostly behind our backs. At least we could start to understand how bad it is. We could teach high school students to check the DPA site, to manage their own breaches. You’d go to the website to get good information about recovering from identity theft or a new social security number (we should also get rid of social security numbers as identification, but that’s another subject). It would have the forms you need to restore your identity, assert that you’d been hacked, and protect yourself. A nice thing for a government to do.

Let’s keep going! Imagine ranking banks and services by the number of data breaches they’ve experienced. Or a national standard for disclosure of how our private information is shared. (These ideas have been floated before in lots of different forms; the point is, how nice would it be if there was one government agency insisting on it in the same way that we have nutrition labels and calorie counts on our packaged foods?) The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was headed in this direction—if it can survive the current maelstrom, maybe its mandate could be expanded.

So: Lots of helpful information, plenty of infographics, a way to track just how badly you’ve been screwed, and, ideally, some teeth—the DPA needs to be able to impose fines. I’m sure there’d be some fuss and opposition, but, come on. The giants have so much money it would hardly matter. And consider this from their perspective: How much better will it be to have your lawyers negotiate with the DPA’s lawyers instead of being hauled before Congress every time someone blows a whistle on your breaches?

The EPA’s budget is more than $8 billion, a little on the high side for the digital version. You could pull this off with $15 million or $20 million for tech infrastructure and to support a team—four engineers to build the platform, some designers, and then a few dozen graphic artists to make the charts and tables. Add on $2 billion for management and lawyers, and you’ve got yourself a federal agency.

I know that when you think of a Superfund site, you think of bad things, like piles of dead wildlife or stretches of fenced-off, chemical-infused land or hospital wings filled with poisoned families. No one thinks about all the great chemicals that get produced, or the amazing consumer products we all enjoy. Nobody sets out to destroy the environment; they just want to make synthetic fibers or produce industrial chemicals. The same goes for our giant tech platforms. Facebook never expected to be an engine that destroys America. Lots of nice people work there. Twitter didn’t expect to become the megaphone of despots and white nationalists. But the simple principles of “more communication is better” and “let’s build community” and “we take your privacy seriously” didn’t stand a chance under the pressure of hypergrowth and unbelievable wealth creation.

Unfortunately, ethics don’t scale as well as systems. We’ve poisoned ourselves, and more than a little. Given the money and power at stake, it’s going to be hard to get everyone to admit we’re sick. But we owe ourselves—and, cliché though it may be, we owe our children—to be more pragmatic about treating the symptoms.


Assassinations of Russians, a Trend or Long Game?

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

A registry of foreign agents to Russia, compiled by the Justice Department, includes many of Washington’s most powerful legal, communications and lobbying firms, including Sidley Austin, Venable, APCO and White & Case. A review of those records, by the Center for Responsive Politics, found 279 registrations of Russian agents in the United States. More here.


“Putin’s inner circle is already subject to personal U.S. sanctions, imposed over Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s’ Crimea region,” the Reuters news agency points out. … “But the so-called ‘oligarchs’ list’ that was released on Tuesday … covers many
people beyond Putin’s circle and reaches deep into Russia’s business elite.”

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is among the 114 senior political figures in Russia’s government who made the list, along with 42 of Putin’s aides, Cabinet ministers such as Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and top officials in Russia’s leading spy agencies, the FSB and GRU. The CEOs of major state-owned companies, including energy giant Rosneft and Sberbank, are also on the list.

So are 96 wealthy Russians deemed “oligarchs” by the Treasury Department, which said each is believed to have assets totaling $1 billion or more. Some are the most famous of wealthy Russians, among them tycoons Roman Abramovich and Mikhail Prokhorov, who challenged Putin in the 2012 election. Aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, a figure in the Russia investigation over his ties to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, is included.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich dismissed the list as simply a “who’s who” of Russian politics. He told Russian news agencies Tuesday he wasn’t surprised to find his name on the list, too, saying that it “looks like a ‘who’s who’ book.” Dvorkovich stopped short of saying how Russia would react to it, saying the Kremlin would “monitor the situation.” More here.

*** So when there are murder cases of Russian asylees in Britain, what are the agencies in the United States thinking?

Well there was Mikhail Lesin, a former friend of Putin found dead in his hotel in Dupont Circle, Washington DC. Then there was Operation Ghost Stories, the massive spy swap.

Imagine what the context and case reference is for the FBI when it comes to Russian operations in the United States and in allied countries.Or how many planes have been shot out of the sky where clues and evidence point to Russia? More explained in video below.

Beyond the attempted assassination of Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury two weeks ago, there was yet another confirmed death.

Whoever is behind the murder of a prominent Russian exile, who believed he was on a Kremlin hit list, managed to get inside his home without breaking in, police believe.

Nikolai Glushkov, 68, was found dead at home last week at his home in southwest London, and officers are now hunting for the culprits. His official cause of death is “compression to the neck.”

Before his death, Glushkov warned that a close friend of his had been murdered, and that he would be next.

In a Monday morning update on the investigation, the Metropolitan Police said they examined Glushkov’s house and found no signs of forced entry.

*** How bad is this trend?