Online hacking of personal emails and social media now a weapon of the British Government

 by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium Online

How much do you trust your government to do the right thing with your privacy and your freedom of speech? British citizens are finding out now that the answer to that question should be, “not very much”! It seems that a super-secret British spy agency is publishing a menu of options they have to provide politicians to hack into the social media accounts of citizens in the name of national security.

 

I learned about this first listening to Glenn Beck and have found creditable confirmation on a number of other websites. You can see Glenn’s comments on this issue here. Glenn Greenwald has an article here with a full description of the British government’s Internet capabilities. I’ve included the list here verbatim:

• “Change outcome of online polls” (UNDERPASS)

• “Mass delivery of email messaging to support an Information Operations campaign” (BADGER) and “mass delivery of SMS messages to support an Information Operations campaign” (WARPARTH)

• “Disruption of video-based websites hosting extremist content through concerted target discovery and content removal.” (SILVERLORD)

• “Active skype capability. Provision of real time call records (SkypeOut and SkypetoSkype) and bidirectional instant messaging. Also contact lists.” (MINIATURE HERO)

• “Find private photographs of targets on Facebook” (SPRING BISHOP)

• “A tool that will permanently disable a target’s account on their computer” (ANGRY PIRATE)

• “Ability to artificially increase traffic to a website” (GATEWAY) and “ability to inflate page views on websites” (SLIPSTREAM)

• “Amplification of a given message, normally video, on popular multimedia websites (Youtube)” (GESTATOR)

• “Targeted Denial Of Service against Web Servers” (PREDATORS FACE) and “Distributed denial of service using P2P. Built by ICTR, deployed by JTRIG” (ROLLING THUNDER)

• “A suite of tools for monitoring target use of the UK auction site eBay (www.ebay.co.uk)” (ELATE)

• “Ability to spoof any email address and send email under that identity” (CHANGELING)

• “For connecting two target phone together in a call” (IMPERIAL BARGE)

Now it would be great fun if you were computer hacker employed by the British or American governments monitoring the Internet activity of groups like Al Qaeda or ISIS. After all, they love to post videos of their exploits against the West there, videos for example of them blowing up American Soldiers or lopping off the heads of Christians and Jews and plopping them on spikes! Wouldn’t it be great if instead of going to the intended video posted by the terrorists, you would instead be misdirected to a video of an old lady power walking or Afghani Muslims humping a goat before getting blown up by a JDAM laser guided missile? I think it would be hilarious, but that is not likely to happen given the current political climate.

Instead of the above scenario, imagine something a little more realistic. Say you are a conservative blogger who doesn’t like Barack Obama much. Perhaps you don’t like the way he plays golf as the world burns; he sides with Palestinian terrorists instead of a free and democratic Israel; he allows Russia to run amok in Ukraine while shooting down Malaysian airliners; he invites millions of undocumented immigrants to flood the border while selling guns and other weapons to the drug coyotes who are bringing them over; he’s destroyed the economy with Obamacare; allowed an innocent Marine to rot in a Mexican prison and allowed his IRS and Justice Departments to target people who don’t agree with him. Because you have a dream of an idealized America with freedom for all, you’ve taken it upon yourself to remark on the many arrogant missteps of your government in your $5 blog and now you’ve raised the attention of the NSA, whose boss is the very president who you’ve been criticizing all this time, and he doesn’t like it.

So now the NSA or its British equivalent if you happen to be a Brit, has a solution to shut you up. They can use government paid hackers they retain on staff to hack your computer and implant hours and hours of child porn, while the FBI or IRS fabricate a reason to get a search warrant for your house and computer. And bam, you’re sitting in front of a judge and a jury with your government provided defense attorney who is late for his golf game with the president defending yourself against a child porn rap while all the time maintaining your innocence. Scary huh? And your only defense to a skeptical jury is, “I don’t look at that crap! I have no idea how it got there!”

Nice huh! And it’s not out of the way too much to imagine is it. See, when it’s just you, who is going to believe that you don’t look at child porn, or that you’ve hatched a scheme to overthrow the government or that you are cheating on your wife or whatever. You’re just you. In the meanwhile the government has all the legal machinery available to them in the form of any number of alphabet soup type agencies with which to go after you: i.e. the IRS, the DOJ, the NSA, the FBI. You’re bad and you’re fellow citizens will see it and you’ll be thrown into jail. You’re a nut who needs to locked up. It’s a communist dictator’s dream.

The only solution to this problem in my view is for everyone to get a gun and a blog and start writing. They can’t get us all, and when they go after one of us, they go after all of us. The IRS may have destroyed all of those emails and hard drives, and the DOJ won’t press any charges against the Lois Lerner types,  but then the confidence in government will never be the same as long as the average citizen is an enemy of the state just for exercising his freedom of speech. Eventually the American Spring will happen and the end of progressive government will come to an end. The faster, the better. Our founders gave us a great, accountable, limited form of government. Progressives continue to try to take that away. They say the Constitution is too limiting, it’s a list of negative rights, whatever that means. We’ve got to send a message to our government that we reject being spied on and monitored, or free speech rights being curtailed and if they keep it up, we the people are going to throw them out of office and into jail.

In Great Britain, new organizations like News of the World, owned by billionaire media tycoon Rupert Murdoch went down in flames when it was discovered that reporters were listening illegally to phone conversations in order to get the scoop on dirt in the lives of celebrities so they could print their stories first in their latest editions. You can find information about that scandal here. People went to jail for that and New of the World was forced to shutter their doors. If’ it’s illegal for journalists to threaten the privacy of citizens, then why is OK for the government to do it. It’s not, and western governments need to know it’s not OK.

Who do they think they are anyway?

Now comes the conspiracy theories! Imagine if the News of the World scandal was a made up scenario by the government to punish conservative media. It cost Murdoch and friends serious loss of reputation, money and people went to jail over it. How do you prove your government sabotaged your media organization? What if Sen. Weiner’s Twitter account was actually hacked in order to shut him up for who knows what reason? See, there is a slippery slope developing here.

By the way, if you suspect you will eventually be caught doing something illegal on the Internet, maybe you’re running an illegal scam, or you’re in charge of an online gambling ring, or the aforementioned child porn racket, just hire a conservative blogger to create a cover story for you. And save copies of everything. You may have a plausible alibi when you’re case comes to trial!

When the government and thieves alike have the power to hack into your accounts through the Internet or listen to your phone calls, no one is safe from people with nefarious intent.  If someone doesn’t like you, and has these tools at their disposal, they can destroy you, your reputation, your life.

I suspect the private sector will be coming with a solution for this. Phones will have anti-listening or jamming software on them so that no one can listen in, Internet capable computers will have anti-spoofing software included, and there will be online reputation protection services cropping up dedicated to defending you in case you’re computer is hacked.

The bottom line is there is a lot of awful things happening on the Internet. Lots of great things too. The fact is that in a free society, information needs to be freely transmitted, the good with the bad. That is the marketplace of free ideas. When that capability is shuttered, bad things happen. It is better to tolerate the bad, then let the good be silenced.

In a free society, when the truth is given an equal footing, the truth always wins. That is the concept of the Free Marketplace of Ideas.

 

 

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OutFoxed: Huffpo remembers with glee one film-makers attempt to unseat Fox News, a decade later.

by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium

The Huffington Post is so far left leaning I’m surprised they don’t tip over. I leave them on my Facebook feed just so I can be periodically amused at how out of touch they are. Yesterday, I was just annoyed as Huffpo remembered the documentary” Outfoxed” a decade after its premiere, a film aimed at slamming Fox News for biased reporting.

Ten years ago documentary film maker Robert Greenwald came out with a film called Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism as an attempt to unseat the media upstart and return to the heady days where the leftist progressives ran the show in news and entertainment. If you listen to Huffpo, the movie was a great success, but then reality kicks in and you realize that Fox News is still the leader in the ratings and the headache they tried to give to Fox is only in the minds of the liberals who hate them.

The Huffpo article breathlessly begins its narrative: “Outfoxed,” caused a major stir when it was released in 2004. The film leveled stinging allegations at the network, accusing it of conservative bias, politicized coverage and strategic manipulation of its viewers. Stinging? Really? Have you seen this movie? Have your friends seen this movie? I certainly don’t remember it!

That’s because most Americans didn’t see it, to include many liberals. That’s because this film was a colossal box-office flop! When Outfoxed was released in 2004, it had only a small showing in a limited number of theaters. It grossed only $0.2 million in theater ticket sales according to the movie-critique website Rotten Tomatoes. To be fair, the movie gets good reviews there, but if you look deeper, the movie when compared to films made by more critically acclaimed and commercially successful liberal or conservative film-makers, you see a different story emerging. Let’s face it, $200,000 at the box office may seem like a lot, but when you talk about the budgets necessary to produce such films, you realize how much in debt you are when all is said and done. At best, Outfoxed has merely broken even.

Conversely, other liberal/progressive film-makers have been much more successful. Take Michael Moore for example, who is riding high on his commercial success at the box office. If Outfoxed had had a fraction of the success that any one of Moore’s movies had done, you might have something to talk about at Huffpo. Let’s talk about Moore’s latest film Capitalism: A Love Story. Not Moore’s best film and not as highly rated as Outfoxed if Rotten Tomatoes is to be believed, it still raked in $14 million at the box office. That’s what I call a success!

Moore’s top earning movie Fahrenheit 9/11, released the same year, 2004, with a box office grab of $119 million, was a huge success! Moore’s first film, still a success and the impetus to starting his film-making career brought in only $6 million at the box office.

If Michael Moore were to make a film about Fox News, it might have a wider showing and better success simply because of name recognition. But he didn’t and the job fell to little-known nobody Greenwald. If you look further into it, you find that the movie was supported by MoveOn.Org who widely promoted it. The Internet encyclopedia Wikipedia states:

The documentary enjoyed a limited theatrical release,[4] was distributed in DVD format by the Political action committee MoveOn.org, and was sold online through Internet retailers such as Amazon.com, where it was a top-seller in July 2004.[5] MoveOn.org had helped promote the DVD release by taking out a full-page advertisement in The New York Times.[5]

 You can learn two things from this passage from Wiki; first that movie was supported by Move On, a George Soros funded organization, and that the film went straight to DVD. Wiki doesn’t explain what they consider as “success” in DVD sales.

My basic analysis of this film is this, if you are a liberal who likes the main stream media and hates Fox News, you might like this film, but if you want to be entertained, this is not your best choice. A skilled propagandist like Michael Moore, who has a set track record of drawing in audiences, might be a better choice for you.

There might be plenty of material out there to criticize Rupert Murdock and his media empire, but being biased in a conservative way is not one of them, not when the comparison is the liberal dominated main stream press. Please! Before Fox News came along, there was nothing else but the liberal propagandists of the main stream media. Then Rush Limbaugh came along and changed everything. Since Rush kicked the door open the other side has taken a foothold in a continuing war of media, with the emergence of conservative talk radio personalities like Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck, and the Fox News Network. Fox and talk radio is the balance, and if there is bias, it is far more balanced than what you will find on the networks or cable.

Huffpo is a self-licking ice cream cone in this debate. They’ve done this before. In 2011 they tried to hype this movie with no success on the 7th Anniversary, with a special viewing and commentary by prominent liberal personalities, including the director Greenwald. You probably don’t remember seeing that either.

The fact is that the stranglehold on media is slipping away from progressives and they are mad as hell about it. They cheer when a Michael Moore is successful, but it doesn’t matter. Anyone who takes a swipe at conservative media with any attack big or small, successful or not, those people are instantly canonized as heroes. Periodically these martyrs of the left will be drummed out of the dark recesses and allowed to shine again in the spot light before disappearing once again.

Meanwhile, other voices are being heard, such as that of Indian born immigrant, professor turned film-maker Dinesh D’Sousa. His first Obama’s America: 2016 film was a box office success, the second most successful documentary ever raking in $33.3 million. Not bad. Not rated very well on Rotten Tomatoes, the ticket sales tells the real story of success.

D’Sousa’s new film America: Imagine a World Without Her, has grossed over $4 million in the first few weeks after its release. That must make the left really mad. I think I see heads exploding. The real story is not a 10-year old never been and his failed attack on Fox. The real story is that an immigrant from India who loves America more than Greenwald, Moore and the rest of the political left is having success preaching a traditional conservative message. Not rated high on Rotten Tomatoes, no surprise there, America continues to be successful at the box office where it counts.

Conservative films in general are making the news with their surprising success this year. God’s Not Dead, starring Kevin Sorbo, which was released to a  limited showing, still made over $60 million! Rotten Tomatoes hated this film. But they love a film like Outfoxed because it is in keeping with their liberal worldview. Similarly, Heaven is For Real also released this year made $90 million. Rotten Tomatoes also hated this one, but audiences loved it, which is why it was such a commercial success.

Bottom line is this, Outfoxed makes a flat, ridiculous assertion that there is media bias, from the right! Meanwhile the conservative message is getting out in film and in the mass media, and the headache is in the minds of the progressive left alone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Science of the Sea Has a New Toy

by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium

The Sea Orbiter as conceived in its final form.

The Sea Orbiter as conceived in its final form.

It looks like a giant fish hook floating upright in the ocean, but if this dream reaches fruition, the Sea Orbiter will become a vessel and mobile aquatic lab that will give scientists and researchers new unrestricted access to the wonders of the sea.

Like something out of Jules Vern, the Sea Orbiter is the brain child of French architect Jacques Rougerie. An info graphic and story about the orbiter appears in June’s edition of Popular Science in an article by Ajai Raj. If fully constructed, the orbiter will act as a mobile lab that gives researchers 24/7 access to the ocean. Part of the vessel will be submerged so that sailors, under pressurized conditions called saturation, won’t have to resurface every time they are done with a mission, so they can stay under water and continue their work for longer periods.

So far the $44 million project is little more than an idea, but the Raj article says that funding has started through crowdsourcing web activity and construction on the above the water line portion of the vessel, known as “The Eye”, has begun.

The lab will have a crew who operate the vessel, above water researchers and below the water divers who will work in concert to gather data about our oceans. They will also have media personnel who will parse the data and create educational content that can be transmitted through multi-media, presumably to classrooms around the world. This is to raise awareness of the issues revolving around the preservation of the natural researchers of the sea.

Scientists know more about the surface of the moon and Mars than they do about our own seafloor. -Ajai Raj, Popular Science

I love the idea of the vessel and its mission. If used appropriately, it can vastly improve our knowledge of the oceans that is sorely lacking. Raj writes: Scientists know more about the surface of the moon and Mars than they do about our own seafloor. With projects like this one, things are about to change. Unlike the surface of the moon and Mars, the sea may hold the answer to new medicine and technology, and perhaps even energy exploration.

It would however, be floating the open seas in a world that is less than ideal. With terrorism and piracy increasing in our world’s oceans, I would think that the investors in this project would have to insist on armed escort vessels that would support this observational platform with armed security aimed at protecting the crew, ship and the investors’ capitol.

Take a look at the website for more information on the Sea Orbiter here, or pick up a copy of Popular Science.

The Sea Orbiter diagram

The Sea Orbiter diagram

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AK VS AR: Jeremy’s Tuesday Patriot Gun Blog

by Jeremy Griffith
American Millennium Online

Final shot group with my S&W M&P 15. Not bad. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

Final shot group with my S&W M&P 15. Not bad. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

So today I got out to the range to test the age old rivals living in my gun safe, my Romanian AK-47 Vs my Smith and Wesson MP15 (AR-15), the result of which is my first ever Tuesday Patriot Gun blog, because I shot guns and this is Tuesday!

 

As you can see from the photos, the S&W Military and Police rifle chambered in 5.56 mm, shooting .223 caliber bullets wins on accuracy. Using the EO Tech holographic sight that came with the package, it was fun to shoot and easy to make adjustments. I suppose I should say that I fired both weapons at 50 yards at the South Minnesota Gun Club here in Rochester, which is an excellent and safe outdoor shooting range. I had a lot of fun.

 

The EO Tech made making sight adjustments so easy and fast, I could have been zeroed a lot early had I remembered to have a quarter on me to make the corrections. As it was I used my car keys and it worked just fine. I shot two magazines of 30 each and I really didn’t need to, I was just burning ammo. I could have been zeroed in nine, easy. The M&P is a fun and super-accurate platform. It is easily my favorite gun. It’s not terribly loud and my girlfriend isn’t intimidated to shoot it. She’s pretty good at it actually.

 

Final shot group with my Romanian AK-47 series rifle. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

Final shot group with my Romanian AK-47 series rifle. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

The AK was fun to shoot too, not quite as accurate, but still pretty easy. It’s louder than the M&P probably because it’s not made as well, stamped instead of milled, and it has a higher caliber. AKs are not known for being super accurate, but as you can see, I still did pretty well. It was easy enough to change the elevation with the leaf rear sight, but the left/right adjustment on the front sight post is a little harder and required a tool. I should have had a pliers to twist the thing, but as it was I was able to make the adjustments with just my hand strength. There is no clicking like on the M&P. I had to guess and as expected, I over-corrected and had to move the sights back. Not bad though.

 

They always say the AKs are better than the ARs in that you don’t have to clean them as much and they don’t ever jam. You wouldn’t know it from my shooting outing. I had two malfunctions on the AK, zero with the AR. I think I used the same bullet both times and it still did not fire, so the problem might have been the ammo. I was using some cheap Russian ammo, which I probably won’t buy again. Both times I had the same malfunction where the bolt didn’t seat all the way forward. Neither time did the bolt seat properly and all I heard was the click of the hammer falling. The second time it happened, I couldn’t do immediate action as the bolt would move neither forward or back. Has anyone else had this happen to them with their AK?

 

At any rate, I took the top cover off the upper receiver and I was able to get the bolt assembly out that way. I didn’t see where the bullet went and I must have lost it under the table. I was just relieved that I was able to get the weapon apart without it exploding on me or having to take it to a gunsmith. I would have liked to have looked at the bullet though. That was pretty scary.

I test fired the AK dry a couple of times afterward and it seemed to be working fine. I had run out of ammo with that last bullet, so I don’t know. I will have to go shooting again some other time.

 

Over all I favor the M&P over my AK. The trigger breaks so much more nicely on the AR and the AK trigger isn’t so nice. Still, the AK has a larger round and is able to penetrate more, so I wouldn’t totally discount it. It’s better than having nothing. Or a musket.

 

At any rate, I had a man-date to go shooting with a friend and he bailed, so it was just me and my two guns. Overall I had a pretty successful firing. Let me know your thoughts, AK or AR in the comments below. Have a great Patriot Tuesday!

Jeremy Griffith, the creator of The American Millennium Online is a blogger who holds a bachelors in Mass Communications from St. Cloud State University and a masters in New Media Journalism from Full Sail University in Winter Park Fl. His opinions are his own.

Jeremy Griffith, the creator of The American Millennium Online is a blogger who holds a bachelors in Mass Communications from St. Cloud State University and a masters in New Media Journalism from Full Sail University in Winter Park Fl. His opinions are his own.

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The American Journalist should be a Libertarian!

by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium Online

The American Journalist should be a libertarian. He or she mustn’t necessarily be in the Libertarian party, but they must love America while at the same time be dedicated to the principles of small government, government accountability and liberty and opportunity for all people.

Sadly though in this writer’s opinion, the American journalist does not love America, is more aligned with European Socialists and Communists and carry the water for progressive politicians here at home. They say they’re fair and independent, but clearly they are not. I would cite examples, but all you have to do is flip on your TV. You’ll find it there.

To find a libertarian journalist is far more difficult, because you must find the exception to the rule. Libertarians in journalism are as rare as Bigfoot it seems. You might see them on TV or in print or on the web, but you’re not really sure of what you saw.

John Stossel comes to mind as such an example. You might know of others. For years nobody really knew his political affiliation. He probably didn’t know himself. But Stossel loves America and he loves telling stories about America. The government and big corporations probably dislike him quite a lot because he rips them apart on every show. That’s how the mainstream media used to be, not necessarily anti-government, but more of a watchdog of government. President Thomas Jefferson, our third president of the United States complained about the press, while at the same time he praised the necessity of having a free and independent press. Every administration since has had a love/hate relationship with the press.

Here’s a classic quote or two from Jefferson, for and against the national media, which at the time, was newspapers.

Against:

1) “I deplore… the putrid state into which our newspapers have passed and the malignity, the vulgarity, and mendacious spirit of those who write for them… These ordures are rapidly depraving the public taste and lessening its relish for sound food. As vehicles of information and a curb on our funtionaries, they have rendered themselves useless by forfeiting all title to belief… This has, in a great degree, been produced by the violence and malignity of party spirit.” –Thomas Jefferson to Walter Jones, 1814. ME 14:46

2)“Our printers raven on the agonies of their victims, as wolves do on the blood of the lamb.” –Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, 1811. ME 13:59

3)“As for what is not true, you will always find abundance in the newspapers.” –Thomas Jefferson to Barnabas Bidwell, 1806. ME 11:118

In Favor:

4) “The only security of all is in a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. It is necessary, to keep the waters pure.” –Thomas Jefferson to Lafayette, 1823. ME 15:491

5) “The functionaries of every government have propensities to command at will the liberty and property of their constituents. There is no safe deposit for these but with the people themselves, nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free, and every man able to read, all is safe.” –Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816. ME 14:384

6) “Our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that be limited without danger of losing it.” –Thomas Jefferson to John Jay, 1786.

Here’s a quote from Jefferson, neither for nor against, that could very well have been directed at the modern mainstream media today.

“The most effectual engines for [pacifying a nation] are the public papers… [A despotic] government always [keeps] a kind of standing army of newswriters who, without any regard to truth or to what should be like truth, [invent] and put into the papers whatever might serve the ministers. This suffices with the mass of the people who have no means of distinguishing the false from the true paragraphs of a newspaper.” –Thomas Jefferson to G. K. van Hogendorp, Oct. 13, 1785. (*) ME 5:181, Papers 8:632

It seems then as now, the mass media of a free republic must be independent, but is often corrupted by powerful forces within the government. There is no substitute for a free press if your aim is to limit government and keep it accountable unless your goal is to prop up a government regardless of what it does.

In order to keep free and open debate going about our public policies in government, we have to maintain a free press. How do we do that, when major corporations who are the beneficiaries of government acts control the medium which is used to report the news. The free market is one way, don’t buy the products, newpapers, magazines or TV who don’t stay sufficiently independent. But what if the media is funded through government, i.e. public radio and TV? Demand that those entities be defunded by the government. Those entities can chose to survive must do so on their own merit. Normal broadcast TV radio and other media are supported through advertisements. When consumers turn them off, revenue for the businesses buying ad space dries up and the media business either folds or they change their marketing strategy to fit the customer. Not so with public access. They get billions of dollars a year from the taxpayer and are not accountable to them at all.

If you are really serious about the independence of the media, then the blogosphere is an acceptable alternative. It will be evident to the reader the political bent of the blogger over the trained journalist, but you will be able to discern that bias up front as most bloggers have not yet learned how to distinguish from straight news and opinion. You will get information, and some opinion, wholly unfiltered by a biased media editor or producer who is more skilled at shading their opinion from view.

Better yet, get your own blog and write about the stories that matter to you. The good thing about a blog is that nobody controls it but you, until of course you piss off the government enough that they breathlessly call for censorship in the form of a “fairness doctrine”. When they do that, you can shamelessly slam your politician for abridging your first amendment rights. That’s always fun.

It’s too bad that the J-schools have abandoned their principles for partisanship. It can be seen mainly from the progressive left, but sometimes from the right as well. The question you have to ask yourself is, who do I trust and how do I validate the information I’m receiving in the national media? I would recommend looking for alternate sources of information to see what truth shakes out and what falls to the wayside. This can be a tedious process for those of us who do not work in this field. But as a media consumer and as an American, we all have the responsibility to vet the information coming to us so that we can make good sound decisions about our government and its policies.

A major tenant I learned from my J-school at St. Cloud State is this: the truth, when given a fair shake, always wins. I would say that the truth always wins regardless of whether it is given an even field or not. If it is heard, when compared to falsehood, it can be validated and the falsehood will eventually be discarded, being of no use whatsoever. But first, the truth must be heard.

Are you getting the truth from the news sources who favor? How can you tell? Have you validated anything they say? Think about it.

Jeremy Griffith, the creator of The American Millennium Online is a blogger who holds a bachelors in Mass Communications from St. Cloud State University and a masters in New Media Journalism from Full Sail University in Winter Park Fl. His opinions are his own.

Jeremy Griffith, the creator of The American Millennium Online is a blogger who holds a bachelors in Mass Communications from St. Cloud State University and a masters in New Media Journalism from Full Sail University in Winter Park Fl. His opinions are his own.

 

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History From Below: A Critique of Dinesh D’Sousa’s New Move America

By Jeremy Griffith
Creator of The American Millennium

I watched Dinesh D’Sousa’s new movie this week, what I would consider the second installment of the previous movie 2016. For the viewer who loves America, the country and idea, this will be a great enjoyable film! If you think that America is a criminal colonial power, you won’t enjoy this film at all and you should go find some Marxist movie made by Michael Moore or someone else on the left.

 

I liked this movie so much, I’m diving into the book that it was based on. D’Sousa’s film isn’t a rah rah, America is great despite all that is wrong, love it or leave it, type of movie. Instead he addresses four major criticisms of the progressive left of why America is bad and should be reduced in its power and influence in the world. D’Sousa addresses these criticisms fairly and knocks them all down one by one.

 

In his interviews, he doesn’t banter with someone of an opposing view, like a Sean Hannity or Anne Coulter would do. Instead he listens and allows his guests to make their point. I think he gives the guest interviewee enough rope and stands back to see if they will hang themselves.

 

D’Sousa doesn’t gloss over the wrong that has happened here in America. He doesn’t say, “Oh, that’s no big deal!” He faces it head on, and I like that. So I can’t really accept what other critics are saying that this is a strictly partisan movie. Other film makers don’t give the issues this type of balance, far from it!

 

Here are some of the criticisms of the left that are addressed: America is a imperial colonialist power that stole the land and resources from the Native Americans, committing genocide in the process, they stole land from Mexico in the Mexican-American War and refuse to let Mexicans work as laborers on land that they once owned, they’ve been using their military muscle to steal resources like oil and gas all over the world, we built the nation on the illegal use of forced labor by enslaving Africans on plantations.

 

The strongest arguments to be made in this series is that of the robbery and genocide committed upon the Indians (Native Americans), and the trade of black people into slavery.

 

Like I said before, D’Sousa points out these painful periods in our history and he doesn’t gloss over them. He does shed the light of history upon it to give the issues frame of reference. Before the white man comes, he explained, Native Americans were engaged in wars for territory throughout their history, and they took slaves from other tribes. So, technically speaking, if one was to give back land in the Midwest to Native American tribes, they would then have to return it to tribes that they stole it from in the first place.

 

No one has ever criticized the Native American tribes for their wars and they’re adoption of slavery. Only white people get that sort of criticism, which is an unfair characterization of history.

 

What is different about America, D’Sousa says, is not how it is alike to other nations in the world with the wrong that we do, it is what we have done to correct what is wrong that makes us different. There is no slavery in the US. You can’t say that about much of the world.

 

D’Sousa points out that the United States Government has conceded that they broke a treaty with the Natives in stealing their land and have offered the tribes compensation in the billions of dollars. The tribes to this point have refused. They want the land. I think they should get the land back on the stipulation  that an agreement is made for the US government to rent the mineral rights from the Indians. That way, the Natives would be compensated justly for what happened to them and would be an integral part of making the US fuel and energy independent. I’d rather pay the Indians for oil than sheiks in the Middle East.

 

On the issue of slavery, D’Sousa makes an elegant point. Slavery is wrong, and is common throughout the world, a global atrocity. But it isn’t confined to white people. Some of the very worst slave holders were black, did you know?! In fact there were many, not just a few, black men who owned slaves. Africans took slaves in their wars and often sold them to Dutch traders, so you see, the African is just as much to blame for slavery as the white man. Indeed, whites were captured abroad and forced into slavery called indentured servitude for a period of years and often there were more of them than the African slaves.

 

D’Sousa’s most eloquent point about slavery and the treatment of the Indians is this, slavery and conquest isn’t unique in North America, it’s prevalent everywhere. What makes America different is our efforts to end such practices. Slavery has been ended in America over 100 years ago. You can’t say that for much of the world. And the Native Americans who survive in tribes, many of them engage in commerce in the form of Casinos and are doing quite well. They have their own autonomous governments and can do what they will with their own land. It’s not perfect but it’s much better to be an American than live anywhere else in the world.

 

Leftists criticize the US for attempting to dominate the world and steal resources. This is by far the weakest argument. If the US wanted to steal the oil from Iraq, we would still be there. Instead we crushed and evil regime, allowed the Iraqis to seek justice against their own former dictator, we supported them with infrastructure and a means to produce their own oil to support their own economy and then we got out. What is happening in Iraq is not the US’s fault. If Iraqis want to keep the freedom that American Soldiers bled and died for, then they are going to have to fight for it themselves.

 

Remember the left criticized the US for Vietnam?! That’s because the people we were fighting were their heroes, and we were kicking their asses! When the left finally convinced the US to leave Vietnam, they left the communists in charge. The communists ran rampant through that area, killing their enemies wholesale. People were murdered for having glasses for Pete’s Sake! Remember The Killing Fields of the Khmer Rouge? The left blames the US for that too! The left blames everyone but themselves.

 

D’Sousa in his movie outlines the real reason for the attacks on America. The left is trying to get America to be diminished in the world through shame and guilt. They want to guilt us all into committing political suicide. D’Sousa quotes, in his book, philosopher Albert Camus, who felt that suicide was a valid moral argument. Camus reasoned that since the renaissance, man has discovered that there is no God and has stopped relying on the supernatural being for hope. So without God, man can only rely on himself for meaning in his life. So the question becomes, do you allow yourself to survive in this painful, ridiculous tragedy called life, or do you remove yourself from the rat race through suicide? Not a very pleasant philosophy!

 

The left is attacking our narrative that is America and causing us to despair unto suicide.   They show us all of the bad, without the filter of what is good about America in an attempt to rob us of our hope. Two of the most prominent leaders of this movement were Howard Zinn, a historian, and Saul Alinski, a community organizer.

 

Zinn’s role was to rewrite the history from the viewpoint of the little guy, the oppressed Indians and Africans, the Mexicans and others whom America allegedly wronged. He eloquently paints the picture of America’s wrong without balancing it with the good. This is on purpose, because Zinn hates America and what it represents and wants to remake it from the ground up. His form of history is called History from Below. It’s very effective, in fact it is taught in most high schools and colleges in the US.

 

The second figure D’Sousa is Saul Alinsky, author of the book Rules for Radicals. Alinsky is famous for organizing the left to take hold of the American governmental tools and aiming them back on themselves. Indeed, Alinsky was the mentor of many on the left, including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. D’Sousa points out that Obama isn’t really the creator of this movement, but is a product of it because of people like Howard Zinn and Saul Alinsky.

 

There are several examples of “the little guy” who made good in America mentioned in this movie, despite the left’s assurance that “the little guy” is constantly being held down by American Capitalism and greed. I found those stories to be inspiring and I think you will too.

 

I took my girlfriend to this movie and she liked it as well. A legal immigrant from the Philippines, we’ve been trying to get her educated on American history in preparation for her citizenship test. We learned a lot of things about America that I did not previously know. This movie is great for your friends who come here from other places. I recommend you take your immigrant friends to see this movie as a basis to start a discussion on what it’s like to live in other countries. If America is so bad, why are so many attempting to come here, legally and illegally?

 

I would also recommend this movie to your friends just coming out of high school and college who are confused about the role of America for good in the world. I recommend the movie and the book, and in fact, I’m going to give this book to my nephew when I’m done with it.

 

If you love America, and you are willing to take the good with the bad, with the challenge to change what is bad, then you will like this movie very much.

 

D’Sousa ends the movie with a quote from Ronald Reagan, former conservative president, who said, “The National Anthem is the only piece of music representing a sovereign nation that ends with a question. (Oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave. . . or the land of the free and the home of the brave?) We should fight for our country as if the effort depended upon us alone.” And that is the challenge of this movie. Are we satisfied with the left ending the good that is America by removing us through political suicide, or do we love this nation enough to preserve it for a thousand years and more!?

 

Go see, America. I think you will like it.

 

 

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