Advocacy/Activism 101: Stop Making Noise and Start Making Sustainable Progress: Part One
First order of business: IF ALL YOU WANT TO DO IS BELLYACHE, SEND ANGRY TWEETS, POST HUMOROUS OR ANGRY MEMES, OR TELL JOKES ABOUT TRUMP AND HOW BAD HIS PRESIDENCY IS, THIS ISN’T FOR YOU. YOU’RE NOT AN ADVOCATE OR ACTIVIST, YOU’RE A DELUDED PERSON WHO THINKS THAT LIFE IS LIKE TEAM SPORTS AND THAT YOU CAN HELP YOUR TEAM “WIN” BY MAKING NOISE FROM THE BLEACHERS. THAT’S DELUSIONAL THINKING. EVEN IN SPORTS, TEAMS WIN WHEN THEIR PLAYERS PLAY WELL. NOISE IS EXCITING, BUT IT DOESN’T TRULY IMPACT THE OUTCOME. YOU’RE BETTER OFF SITTING DOWN AND WATCHING OTHERS DO WHAT YOU CAN’T DO FOR YOURSELF.
“Lead me, follow me, or get the hell out of my way” — George S. Patton, Jr.
Goal Number One: Educate Yourself on the Current Situation. It won’t take hours each day of studying the news and background information if you learn a few basic ideas first. Here’s an overview of what’s important to know about Donald Trump and his regime.
There is a delusional and corrupt moron who has been installed by a confluence of corrupt Americans and hostile foreign powers as the president of the United States of America. For those who haven’t figured this out yet, his presidency isn’t a simply a partisan issue, nor is it an issue of “lost patriotism.” It isn’t solely an issue of “saving our great nation” either. What is at stake is the future of the world. Donald John Trump’s presidency is not only an existential threat to the survival of the United States of America as a sovereign nation, he is a dangerous maniac who represents a threat to the entire population of the world, and the planet that we all live on.
This situation is unprecedented in world history. In case it isn’t yet clear, the United States appears to have a president who is being directly influenced by the leader of a nation who is hostile to the people and interests of the United States: Vladimir Putin. What you likely haven’t considered is that the loss of control of the financial and military assets of the United States is more than just a “bad day” for the people of America. The United States has amassed one of the most influential economies and the most powerful collection of military forces on Earth. We have money and military forces capable of destroying all life on Earth. That isn’t a side note to the threat that Donald Trump presents here — IT IS THE MAIN THREAT.
For all of you lost in the soap opera dramatics of “losing our American way of life,” and all the other idealistic notions that many are panicking about or crying themselves to sleep over, you need to check your priorities. If this madman is allowed to keep increasing his control over the U.S. institutions of power, those ideals will be of little consequence to any of us. An errant and out-of-control U.S. government could literally threaten not only its own people with annihilation, but could pair up with Russia and threaten the rest of the world. At that point, the “American way of life” starts to pale by comparison.
Of course the only way to actually remove the threat that Donald Trump represents in a sustainable manner is through our political system. This means VOTING, and exercising due diligence in choosing a candidate to vote for. At this point, I would strongly urge all people who want to “#Resist” Donald Trump and his regime to avoid voting for Republican candidates. And, though many will disagree, because the danger presented by Donald Trump is so significant, don’t vote for third party candidates that have no chance of winning at the state or national level. The Republican party is now the party of Donald Trump, and the only way to eliminate the threat it represents is to functionally eliminate the Republican party. That being said, let’s move beyond the partisan concepts to understand how we can stave off as much damage as possible RIGHT NOW.
These are important points to keep in mind as you begin to assess how and what you are willing to contribute to the “#Resistance” against Donald Trump and his current regime. For all the ideological volleys going back and forth, what is not being emphasized nearly enough is just how short a future we will have if Trump’s people manage to become so entrenched in our system that they can’t ever be fully expunged. Donald Trump’s presidency represents an unusual and difficult to recognize form of insurgency. While insurgencies are often violent, it’s important to recognize that Trump’s people are cooperating with people hostile to the United States, and we have no idea what they’ve done outside of the view media reports, or if any specific instances of related violence may be involved.
The way that insurgencies generally begin is by destroying or cutting off access to the most influential and rational minds in a system. This is usually visible as overt hostility towards free-thinking leaders from politics, science, the arts, business and education, and culminates in what’s often referred to as a “brain drain.” The most alert and aware people in the nation being assailed see serious danger on the horizon, and realizing the imminent threat to themselves and their loved ones, along with their powerlessness to mitigate it, they leave for safety. Many will come back later, but these people are often seeing this danger far in advance of most other less aware citizens. That’s not a criticism of those who don’t see the danger quickly, it’s simply stating a fact.
What insurgent movements generally do next is to assail education, transportation, and communication, limiting their effectiveness in increasingly dramatic fashion. In less developed countries, this usually means physical attacks on schools, roads, public infrastructure, and communication/data centers. In more developed nations, more subtle gestures are usually made over a longer period of time. Trying to explain how that translates into a more modern and more advanced industrial nation would require far more time and space than is reasonable to use here, so for convenience sake we’ll skip over the details and jump to what can be done to respond to the threat.
It’s extremely important to remember that what we are seeing in the Trump presidency is the result of Russian efforts to infiltrate and distort the American political process. Don’t accept limited notions of Democrat vs. Republican as a primary way of understanding the situation. We know that the Republican party appears to have been, either as a whole or in large part, compromised by Russian subversion efforts. They are not trustworthy, and need to be dealt with either by law enforcement or by the election process. However, focusing on the only on the partisan political struggle will lead to ineffective actions on our part. Don’t get distracted by the political rhetoric. The important task at hand is to nullify the power of the people working to further the agenda that Russia is advancing through Donald Trump. If you are distracted by partisan noise you’ll miss important opportunities to stop the ongoing destructive influence of those working with the Russian hostiles.
First of all, stop paying so much attention to political pundits and start paying more attention to the “counterintelligence” experts in media. Before I mention any specific names of people or organizations to watch, it’s important to understand that none of these people or organizations even know I exist, and I DO NOT meaning to imply any relationship between myself and them on any level. I mention them because, as someone who has some direct experience in the Intelligence community, I know that these people are clearly among the best experts that are readily available and visible currently in our public sphere:
John Brennan: Twitter (Former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.)
James Comey: Twitter (Former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Even if you’re a Democrat who’s upset with him and think he cost Hillary Clinton the election, listen to his observations and advice and take him at face value. You could not have done any better. If you could have, you would have. He’s human, and he made mistakes, by his own reckoning.)
Center for New American Security: (Bipartisan Nonprofit Organization focused on American Security related issues and advocacy.)
Project on Government Oversight: (Nonpartisan Independent Watchdog organization focused on Government Oversight.)
Look for these people in the news and pay close attention to what they are saying. Also, pay very close attention to what current and past employees from the Pentagon and Intelligence agencies are saying. While there is a clear need to remove as many Republican party members from office as possible, it’s important to weaken the influence they have right now. The only way to do that is to pay attention to what these experts on counterintelligence are suggesting.
While there are many people who call themselves “#Resisters” who also self-identify as “Political Junkies,” I would strongly urge such people to resist the impulse to believe much of what you see on major news outlets such as CNN, or even MSNBC, or others is truly “authoritative” unless the people offering that information are well-versed in “counterintelligence.” People who haven’t worked in those fields are honestly only guessing about situations based on what they’ve heard from actual experts in the field. It’s far more productive to gather information directly from those whose expertise is first-hand.
For opinions on legal issues related to Donald Trump pay closest attention to former or current employees of the Justice Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or legal scholars from well-known academic institutions, or legal oversight organizations. Media legal experts who have spent their careers in media ARE NOT good sources for useful information on the nuts and bolts of the law. They are entertaining, but they don’t have the direct experience in the relevant specialized legal career fields sufficient to offer anything other than outsider and incomplete opinions.
I realize that I just lost a number of people who are addicted to the gossipy nonsense that is most of what MSNBC offers, but they are NOT a reliable outlet for actual news. If you enjoy watching them, watch them for enjoyment and the sense of reassurance, but don’t assume what they are telling you is any more reliable than much of what other corporate media outlets offer. If they are featuring people who have qualifications in “counterintelligence” or law enforcement, pay attention to those qualified experts and ignore most of what the popular hosting pundits offer. It isn’t fact, it’s opinion. The opinions of paid pundits is generally not worth the air they pushed about to utter them. If they entertain you, accept them as entertainment only.
While news outlets like the Washington Post and the New York Times have quite a number of very good and deeply dedicated reporters, they can’t be relied upon to deliver pure “news” that isn’t laden with biases that arise from their relationships with advertisers and other special interests. Outlets that are involved in a 24 hour news cycle are under pressure to fill up each and every hour of the day with information that attracts readers or viewers. As such, they have a tendency to sensationalize their “reporting,” and offer far more “fluff” and opinion than actual news. Needless to say, entities like Fox News and CNN are extreme examples this idea.
It isn’t my intention to tell you not to watch your favorite pundits, nor to completely avoid popular corporate news outlets. I’m simply suggesting that you take the information they offer with a large caveat: It isn’t necessarily accurate nor complete. For the most complete information, you will literally need to parse multiple news outlets. Foreign news outlets are a good place to start, because they tend to offer a slightly different perspective on our news that isn’t as directly influenced by American special interests as are those based here in the United States. Coverage of U.S. issues is obviously what you’ll look for when parsing foreign news outlets. Here’s a list of news outlets you’ll want to check to get the most fair and balanced (unlike Fox News) picture of what’s actually happening:
BBC News: The World News Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation.
The Guardian: International Edition: UK-based Media Outlet.
France 24: France-based English Language World News.
Deutsche Welle: Germany-based English Language World News.
Aljazeera: Qatar-based English Language World News.
CBC World News: World News from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Euronews: Paris-based English Language World News.
Moscow Times: Moscow-based English Language News. (They offer the most critical reporting on the regime of Vladimir Putin, but do not trust them to not be influenced by Putin and his regime. They offer a more direct view of how Putin is viewed in Russia than outlets like RT or Tass.This outlet does contain a lot of propaganda, so parse it with that understanding.)
South China Morning Post: A media outlet run by the Chinese government. (It features nothing but propaganda, but there are facts contained in their stories. As well, you get a better understanding of how China sees the world by occasionally referring to their official reports.)
The Standard: Hong-Kong-based English Language World News.
North Korea Times: An English Language News Outlet run by the Regime of Kim Jong-un. (It is complete and total propaganda. However, it reflects their perspectives on world events far better than American outlets which offer very poor translations of their views.)
El Universal: Mexico-based English Language World News.
Today Venezuela: A collection of stories from numerous publications focused on Venezuela.
The Rio Times: Brazil-based English Language World News.
Hindustan Times World News: India-based English Language World News.
Truthdig: Alternative “Progressive” Media Outlet.
Alternet: Alternative “Progressive” Media Outlet.
National Review: Conservative Magazine. (This is a Conservative publication that most closely represents the ideas and beliefs of the legacy wing of the Republican party, and many “Never Trump” Neo-Conservatives. It has distinct biases, but it’s good to know how all parties view Donald Trump and his actions. This outlet is far more sane than Fox News.)
There are many other newspapers that I parse from around the world and in the U.S., but these are likely the most important to people who want to “#Resist” Donald Trump and his regime. There is no need to parse all these outlets every single day, but when you see a story about one of these regions in American media, take a look at the appropriate regional outlet to see how their version of news aligns with the local version. You’ll likely be surprised how often they don’t match.
PLEASE recognize that everything that happens across the world impacts activities in the United States. If you focus solely on American news media you will always be multiple steps behind what’s actually happening. As well, you should automatically assume that things are being excluded or hidden from you in accordance with any media outlet’s or information source’s editorial or other biases. If you like mysteries or playing games that are centered on solving mysteries, you have an advantage.
Any Intelligence professional worth their salaries knows that NOTHING is ever fully understood based solely on one type of information. They use a principle called “Essential Elements of Information” (EEI) to decide what’s important, and what’s not important. A person can train themselves to be better consumers of information simply by incorporating those concepts into their everyday lives. The link to Britannica (above) on the subject is a safe and publicly sourced overview, but there is more complete publicly sourced information available online. If there is a demand for that information, I will present it down the line.
This is only the first part of a series of articles that will instruct people who want to “#Resist” more effectively how they can master the necessary skills to make a sustainable difference in the course of America’s struggles to forestall further damage by Donald Trump’s regime. In future articles I will speak more to specifics of how to use the information you garner from using EEI to be more effective. As well, I will address who to contact, what to say, and how to organize your collective “#Resistance” efforts more effectively. Please visit my website, which is listed in my profile, for more information on future articles and other efforts.
There is one very important piece of advice that I sincerely hope you’ll follow without fail” DON’T PANIC ABOUT WHAT YOU’RE SEEING AROUND YOU. Know that there are skilled people in and out of government who are aware of the dangers that Donald Trump represents to the United States and the world, and that they’re working to address them. What you can do as “#Resisters” is to help their efforts by focusing your efforts on empowering those who best represent your interests to combat the destructive activities of the Trump regime. By remaining calm and focusing on actions that can yield concrete results, you’ll not only see measurable progress, but you’ll feel more empowered in the process. Peace out.
(Please be aware that though I am a former Intelligence Specialist from the National Security Agency — from decades ago — I WILL NOT BE OFFERING ANY INFORMATION THAT IS CLASSIFIED OR OTHERWISE SENSITIVE IN NATURE. I mention this for those that might be tempted to ask. THE ANSWER WILL ALWAYS BE “NO” TO SUCH REQUESTS.)