government is lies

James Comey Firing Overview

So you’re confused about this whole James Comey thing but also care about America so want to be less confused? Come with me!

James Comey was (until today) the Director of the FBI. A Republican appointed by Barack Obama in 2013. He made a lot of enemies in the Democratic Party when, 11 days before the 2016 election, he re-opened investigation into Hillary’s emails.

Turned out nothing interesting was in those new emails, and also that this probably did result in Hillary losing the election. Kinda uncool. Also turns out, he did not announce that the FBI was looking into links between Trump’s campaign and the Russian Government.

It is clear (though some still argue) that Russia actively worked to influence the outcome of the US Presidential election. They did this by hacking and releasing information on Hillary Clinton, and by creating and promoting incendiary and false news stories online.

The Obama Administration knew about this and got real mad at Russia, basically kicking all of their diplomats out of the country and creating new sanctions.

There are two main concerns that the FBI (and other agencies, including congress) have been looking into.

1. Whether the Trump campaign was in communication with the Russians before or after the election to say that the Obama sanctions wouldn’t last.

(This would be bad. Basically actively working against the existing government of the United States, which is illegal.)

2. Whether the Trump campaign actively worked with the Russians to time the release of negative information on Hillary Clinton.

(This would be even worse. Both could be considered treason.)

A number of people in Trump’s campaign and also his current team had conversations with Russian diplomats and lied about it. This includes Mike Flynn, who definitely violated the law and who was fired for lying to VP Pence about it. It also includes Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who agreed that he would not be involved in the Russia investigations because he lied under oath about it.

The FBI has had an on-going investigation into this stuff the whole time, and James Comey has been leading that investigation.

Quick note, a Grand Jury is a citizen panel that decides whether there’s enough evidence to try a case. These are usually secret, in order to protect the people who might not be even brought to trial, much less found guilty. But sometimes they need to gather information, like documents or testimony. And they do this with court summonses called subpoenas.

Well, yesterday, CNN reported that a Federal Grand Jury investigating Mike Flynn and the Trump Campaigns ties to Russia exists. That Grand Jury has issued subpoenas for more information, indicating to experts a high level of seriousness to the investigation.

It’s pretty clear that Trump campaign knows about this, and as it’s a Federal case, it was likely overseen by the FBI director, James Comey.

Suddenly, just before that story came out, the Trump team decided that Comey’s treatment of Hillary’s emails was bad, and fired him. The recommendation to fire Comey came from AG Sessions, who, again, recused himself from the Russia investigation after lying under oath. To be clear, both Sessions and Trump have previously praised Comey at length for his treatment of that investigation.

The response from Dems and also many Reps has been shock. It is very concerning for a President to fire someone who is investigating him. This seems to have happened very quickly. Comey found out he was fired the same time as everyone else, the letter Trump wrote to him was delivered to DC, but Comey was in Los Angeles at the time. Of course, the Deputy Director of the FBI is now in charge, but Trump has the job of appointing a new director, and has not made any sign that he has a list of candidates.

This seems the sort of thing that most congressional lawmakers, who have a mandate to check the power of the President, should be very worried about. Many are calling for a Special Prosecutor, who would be free to work without congressional approval, to be appointed.

Others want broad, unanimous support for Comey’s replacement, which would ensure someone who is not under Trump’s thumb.

The power to grant these things lies with congress. A congress that is controlled by the President’s party, but not by the President.

And that is where we are. It is pretty convoluted, thank you for taking the time to read.

The controversial points in this are:
1 Whether the Russian government hacked Hillary’s emails (many Republicans say there is no proof while every intelligence agency in the US said that it was orchestrated by the Russian government.

2. Whether Jeff Sessions lied under oath or if he just misspoke or forgot that he had met with Russian officials. In any case, he agreed to remove himself from the congressional investigation.

3. Whether the Trump Campaign investigation was the cause of Comey’s firing. The stated reason is that Comey “lost credibility” and damaged the reputation of the FBI by mis-handling the Clinton email investigation.

That’s as good as I can do, it feels like it’s a good deal more comprehensive and concise than most of what I’ve been reading. If it helped you, please show it around.

Listen, Peaches, trickery is what humans are all about,” said the voice of Maurice. “Theyre so keen on tricking one another all the time that they elect governments to do it for them.
—  Terry Pratchett - The Amazing Maurice And His Educated Rodents
latimes.com
LA Times: California Fights Back
Where does California go from here to protect its values under a Trump presidency?

Here is “California Fights Back”, the sixth (and final) part of this week’s editorial series from the Los Angeles Times about President Trump.

Each of the installments of the editorial series are must-read pieces. I urge you to read all six parts. In the event that you’ve missed any of the previous articles in the series from the Los Angeles Times, here are links to each part:

Part I: Our Dishonest President
Part II: Why Trump Lies
Part III: Trump’s Authoritarian Vision
Part IV: Trump’s War on Journalism
Part V: Conspiracy Theorist in Chief
Part VI: California Fights Back

If I’m being honest, Pidge is the hardest to sort in a Harry Potter au because like… she’s got two driving forces.

I usually sort Pidge into Ravenclaw because, assuming she went to Hogwarts as an 11yo Katie Holt, there is no doubt in my mind that she valued the pursuit of knowledge above all else back then. Like, she’s always been a prodigy hacker. And she’s the Green Paladin for the reason- she’s inquisitive, she has this burning inch to learn and touch and understand. Katie doesn’t want to just touch the stars; she wants to download them, in any way she can.

But Pidge Gunderson is a Slytherin. Pidge lies her way into government agencies, lies to her friends until she knows she can trust them, creates plans and backup plans and backup backup plans for everything because everything can go wrong. Everything has gone wrong for her. She’s cunning, and infiltrates, and is above all loyal. Her commitment to her family almost outstripped her duty to Voltron. But as a Slytherin, she was able to see her role in the larger picture… and that same dedication kept her on the team.

When I think about Pidge, I call her Pidge Holt in my mind. Because she’s no longer Katie… but her family name is Holt, not Gunderson. You can’t have one part without the other. They’re intertwined, you know? Ultimately, I decided that Pidge was a Ravenclaw just to spread out all five Paladins across the four houses, lmao.

vox.com
The Bullshitter-in-Chief
Donald Trump’s disregard for the truth is something more sinister than ordinary lying.
By Matthew Yglesias

As the Princeton University philosophy professor Harry Frankfurt put it in a famous essay, to lie presumes a kind of awareness of and interest in the truth — and the goal is to convince the audience that the false thing you are saying is in fact true. Trump, more often than not, isn’t interested in convincing anyone of anything. He’s a bullshitter who simply doesn’t care.

SNK Chapter 90 In A Nutshell
  • Soldier: So obviously we shouldn't tell the public about, you know. *Gestures at the basement*
  • Pixis: If we keep secret from the public doesn't that make us as bad as the guys we just overthrew?
  • Historia: Baldy's right. We're going public.
  • -----------------------
  • Newspaper guy: So basically we're the descendants of a minority race who can turn into titans and outside of the walls is a giant military that wants us all dead.
  • Levi: Hit the nail on the head. So how are people taking it?
  • Newspaper guy: Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
  • Citizen 1: Well hey this is pretty interesting. It explains a lot.
  • Citizen 2: HA! You expect me to believe this?
  • Citizen 3: The government is spreading lies about an upcoming war so they can put us all in labor camps and fuck our wives while we're away.
  • Newspaper guy: Mixed reception.
  • ------------------
  • Hitch: Sup bitches, heard Marlow died a hero's death.
  • Flock: Yeah he ruled. When Erwin went down, he led the charge that let us take down the beast titan.
  • Flock: But in his dying moments, I'm pretty sure all he felt was regret.
  • Jean: Dude what the fuck.
  • Flock: Hey man I'm just spitting facts.
  • Flock: OH AND ANOTHER THING.
  • Flock: I still think the commander should've survived, not Armin. You know who else thinks that?
  • Flock: Literally everyone but Eren, Mikasa, and Levi. You know, the fucking assholes who put their emotions above common sense?
  • Eren: I will fight yo-
  • Flock: Oh shut the fuck up, Eren. I get that you're the main character and shit, but more matters than just what YOU feel. You should've given up and sopped pestering Levi, like Mikasa did.
  • Mikasa: *Shame*
  • Jean: We get it Flock, you have a small penis. Just let it go, alright?
  • Flock: OH, AND ANOTHER THING.
  • Flock: Jean, Connie, Sasha, none of you stopped Levi or Eren and Mikasa from fucking us all up the ass. You just stood there like a bunch of people with smaller penises than me.
  • Flock: Come on, I signed up to save humanity. If that's not what you're about, let people know before they join this organization.
  • Armin: ...Yeah, Flock's right. Commander Erwin should've lived.
  • Eren: You don't know that, Armin! Come on, we still know nothing about the world out there! You still haven't seen the ocean, right? There's so much to learn about the world, you can't give up! If we just go beyond the walls-
  • Eren: *Flashback to what happened to Faye when she went beyond the walls*
  • Eren: Fu-
  • ----------------------------
  • *Ceremony where Historia gives out rewards commences*
  • Eren, in his thoughts: I know that our situation is bleak, and if I can change I'd be willing to sacrifice my life. And yet, I can't bring myself to sacrifice Historia.
  • Note: This is a reference to how Eren know that, when he activated the coordinate, he was touching a titanized royal (Dina), so they might be able to activate it by titanizing Historia. But he didn't tell anyone.
  • Eren: *Kisses Historia's hand*
  • --------Memory is awakened in Eren----------
  • *Back when Grisha was confronting Freida, before he ended up killing them all*
  • Grisha: Come on guys just use your powers to kill everyone trying to kill the people I love so the people I love don't have to die.
  • Freida: *Glares at Grisha*
  • ---------------------
  • Narration: Anyways so the guillotines pretty much got rid of all the titans and they retook wall Maria. And there's almost no titans left on the island.
  • Narration: So I guess all the titans are killed. One thing off Eren's bucket list.
  • Narration: SO a lot of months passed and they set off to find the ocean.
  • Survey Corps: *Reaches Ocean*
  • Narrator: Another one off the bucket list. Productive day.
  • Everyone: *FLIPS THE FUCK OUT*
  • Eren: *Somewhat sullen, contemplative*
  • Eren: So... on the other side of that ocean, there's people who are going to try to kill us.
  • Eren: We aren't free yet. Is killing the people who oppose us what it takes to finally be free?
  • Fandom: Dude chill.
  • Fandom: Also who does your hair it's fabulous
  • ------------------
  • Sorry this wasn't as funny. hopefully it's easy to understand, at least.
A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth. Authoritarian institutions and marketers have always known this fact.
—  Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow

anonymous asked:

how was atla political? I never felt like it was pushing any sort of political agenda.

The entire show was about overthrowing an oppressive government that used war, colonization, racism, and genocide to get what they wanted. Also, the show was about showing WHY they were oppressive and how to combat them. 

The show targeted sexism and gave us episodes and characters blatantly supporting feminism. 

There were multiple episodes about the destruction of the environment and pollution, and how we, humans living in these places are to blame and we need to get our act together and clean up ,a la, Hei Bi and the Painted Lady. 

Zuko literally gets his face burned off for standing up to his father putting war and victory before the safety of their people. Appa’s lost adventures are about animal abuse and literally won a Genesis Award from the human society.

I wish I could say sexism and racism and animal abuse are not political, but as a good look at any government, the one sitting in the white house atm for that matter will show, they are.

Literally half the story plots echo that of actual historic battles/governments. (The Dai Li themselves were named after a real General, for a start)

No, Avatar never directed stated “this is political” but it’s sort of hard to ignore the messages at the core. Avatar does indeed have an agenda, as all shows do (whether writers realize it at the time or not). All fantasy works have metaphors to real life and it is our job as readers/watchers to find these. (Harry Potters Muggle Borns vs Pure Blood struggle meant to be representative of racism and bigotry) We could probably use Avatar in schools to assist with history teaching and, in fact, my friends said she DID have a kid bring it up in class. 

Avatar takes place in a fictional universe, but it has very much real-life inspirations and metaphors tied into it everywhere, as all fantasies do. What I was getting at is, based on how the characters and the plot itself moved and resolved, no one should be too surprised by Bryke’s current stance on real-life matters. 

Okay so I kind of want the next big character arc for Stranger Things season 3 to be for Mrs. Wheeler.

I really want to see her get the guts to stand up to her trash husband and take what she wants from life. Maybe she tries to get satisfaction from Billy but ultimately realizes he is a Human Pile of Feces. But before she leaves him (and let me reassure you, she does) she hears him making these off-hand comments about his sister, something about a fight, nails and bats and all the kids and Steve Harrington at the Byers’ place last year? And after using her gossiping skills to figure out What The Hell Is Going On™  she ends up getting initiated into the Demogorgon Hunters / Mindflayer Resistance.

Like, just imagine with me for a moment a season 3 Karen Wheeler at the end of her rope, having nothing left to lose, and realizing that some monster hunted her daughter, almost killed both of her kids (aka the only good that has come out of her horrible marriage)actually did kill Nancy’s best friend, and that for two years she had no damn clue? 

And that’s to say nothing of when she finds out the “Russian spy” is actually this crazy telekinetic superchild who saved her city, her children, and is basically dating her son? Like Eleven is weird and all but she is a hero, and Mike adores her, and her existence means that the Department of Energy, the government, that Ted lied to her even more than she had previously thought.

And after learning all of this, after absorbing all the ways she’s been lied to, all the times she almost lost her children, all the reasons she should be furious, then the Mindflayer comes back to take revenge on this little adorable weirdo who wants to kiss her son, and something just snaps.

Hold my chardonnay, Michael, mommy’s got to kick some demogorgon ass.