Hmm, so it was hard to decide which thing I wanted to talk about today, so I’ll talk about all of them, because in weird way they’re all connected.
This morning I read in the local paper that our podunk little school district had it’s website hacked by ISIS. Yep, they had a few schools websites taken down and replaced with ISIS propaganda. (It’s up to you if you think other hackers were pretending to be ISIS, or it was actually ISIS.)
And the school district’s response to this? Going to tech support and fixing the page. They didn’t report it to the police as a crime, which it was. They didn’t report it to the NSA, even though it was a terrorist act. And they didn’t do anything to protect all the student’s data. WTF?!
Parents of these students have no idea how much information was lifted, and the school district doesn’t seem to think there’s any problem. But you cannot access and change a website unless you can get into a server. And if you can get into a server you can get what’s on it and often what that server is connected to, like other government servers. Duh.
When people like this act like that, it makes me despair for democracy. Which brings me to my second topic. The speech the “president” gave in Poland. For starters, it was written by Steve Miller, for those of you that don’t know, he wrote the Muslim Ban 1.0, He’s an avowed white power, alt-right, neo-nazi. He’s Steve Bannon’s right hand guy.
If you read the text of the entire speech the POTUS gave, you’ll notice there’s a lot of neo-Nazi stuff going on, but what really sticks out, head and shoulders above the rest is that not once does the “president of the US” use the word democracy. Not once.
This has been going on a for awhile, in the GOP, they don’t use the word democracy. They don’t believe in it. But I just want to point out, a president of the USA that can’t support democracy, that’s so afraid of it he can’t even say the word, should not be president.
And that brings me to the mock video of POTUS beating up CNN.
The loser in the ring is democracy when a president — who swore to uphold the Constitution of the US — is shown violently beating up the press, because they’re exercising their Constitutional freedom. George Washington is rolling over in his grave.
And speaking of rolling over … the Tour de France had a tough day on the 4th. Mark Cavendish went down hard, and got rolled over by two other bikers. He was out of the race with a broken shoulder. Peter Sagan was then disqualified for endangering riders.
A number of commentators said it was not right to disqualify Sagan. I looked at the video, the judges were right. Stop it at 2:17. You can see Sagan left his line and veered into Cavendish’s and is shoving Cavendish off his bike to get him out of the way.
As the commentators said themselves just the day before, “Sagan is the best bike handler in the world.” Given that, Sagan should have known that riding someone into the barricades was wrong. Not only that, there was no reason for it. Sagan had space to his left, he didn’t need to run Cavendish over.
So the decision of the judges was fair. Anyone else, it would have been a mistake or unavoidable. For Sagan, there’s no excuse. He could have avoided the situation.
Since Mark was out of the Tour with injuries, the only way to give Peter a just punishment was to remove him off the Tour as well. I don’t think Sagan was being malicious, I think being the best bike handler in the world, so he decided in that moment to take an extreme risk that didn’t pay off for him — but did injure 3 other riders, taking 1, and over time possibly more, out of the Tour.
For that, Sagan deserves to sit out the Tour. And he knows this. Sadly his supporters don’t. They’ve been pouring hate on Cavendish. But that’s just ignorance caused by partisanship, much like the Trump supporters who went off on NPR for inciting rebellion by posting a radical document on the 4th of July.
That document? The Declaration of Independence.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised in a country where, according to an “NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll,” only 77% of residents correctly cited Great Britain as the country from which the United States declared its independence, but nearly one in four, 23%, either mentioned another country, 8%, or were unsure, 15%.
Thirteen other countries were cited as the country from which the United States gained its independence including: France, Mexico, Germany, Afghanistan, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, Italy, Japan, Panama, or Russia. For the record, Panama (1821), Brazil (1822), Mexico (1821), Columbia (1810), and Canada (1867), weren’t even actual independent countries when America became one.
Three in ten Americans, 30%, also did not know the year in which the United States declared its independence. Included here are 11% of residents who mention a year other than 1776 and 19% who are unsure.
Education made the biggest difference. Nearly nine in ten Americans with a college education were able to identify Great Britain as the country from which the United States won its liberty. Clearly, Americans need a better education at the basic level, though actual education is not a GOP priority.
One shouldn’t need a college degree to understand the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776 and sent to Great Britain to declare our nation separate from it. Really, one shouldn’t have graduated primary school without having read the Declaration of Independence.
In fact, here read it.
IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.