Monday, June 25, 2018

Propaganda, Disinformation, Voter Suppression, Foreign Interference

Some thoughts on Foreign Interference in the US: The attack on Democracy is via the creation of chaos and division, which eventually leads to destabilization. Passions will run higher now as the midterm election approaches. We need to stay calm and cool and take the high road. We should remain focused and that is to protect our Democracy. We want to avoid division among us, because "divided we fall" as a nation. 

The constructive things to do are: to volunteer, to work against voter suppression, to register voters, to educate others about this mind-game attack on all Americans, which has the goal of creating chaos and division. We ourselves have to check our media sources to make sure we're reading verified news, not propaganda.

We need to focus on the big issues, and not allow our emotions be toyed with. Remember, chaos, distraction, confusion, anger, hatred, are encouraged to weaken the US as a Nation. 

Here are some links about Russian Interference and Propaganda. We need to pay attention to this, as it continues to date.  We had been warned even in 2015 but we did not listen.  We need to take this seriously, or else we could lose our precious Democracy. 

Authoritarian Media and the Era of Disinformation:  Here's a good interview dated July 2015. it's an excellent study on authoritarian means of media manipulation as a weapon to attack democracies. Specifically it cites Russian and Chinese methods of propaganda to cause.division and destabilization. The site is connected to the National Endowment for Democracy.

Times of Israel: Critics say Trump's Talk of Immigrants "infesting" US recalls Nazi Propaganda

CNN: Trump is on a tear about Immigration. What's really behind it.

Vanity Fair: Is Trump's Chaos Tornado a Move from the Kremlin's Playbook?

CNN: Cambridge Analytica ran voter suppression campaigns

Bloomberg: US Lawmakers Release Thousands of Russia Today Twitter Ads

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: Russian Election Interference: Europe's Counter to Fake News and Cyber Attacks

NPR: Former Diplomat Warns China is Emulating Russian Political Interference

Editorial Cartoon grabbed from the Net

Friday, June 22, 2018

The New Yorker Cover of Immigrant Children and Lady Liberty

July 2, 2018 Cover of The New Yorker

Immigrant Children cowering beside Lady Liberty

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, 
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, 
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" 

~ Sonnet "The New Collosus" by Emma Lazarus mounted on The Statue of Liberty

Tags: immigration, immigrant children, politics, Trump's Family Separation Immigration Policy

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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Trump Cover of Time Magazine with Girl Crying

Trump is on the cover of Time. "The image, taken by photographer John Moore, showing a girl crying as her mother is searched has instantly become the touchstone of the family separation crisis. That scared little girl juxtaposed against the towering Trump --- looming over her in a black suit -- is a startling image."

Tags: Trumps Family Separation Immigration Policy, Trump, politics, immigration

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Sunday, June 10, 2018

Excerpt from Germany's Der Spiegel Editorial re Donald Trump



Following is an excerpt from Germany's Der Spiegel:

A DER SPIEGEL Editorial by Klaus Brinkbäumer

May 19, 2017 06:18 PM

Donald Trump is not fit to be president of the United States. He does not possess the requisite intellect and does not understand the significance of the office he holds nor the tasks associated with it. He doesn't read. He doesn't bother to peruse important files and intelligence reports and knows little about the issues that he has identified as his priorities. His decisions are capricious and they are delivered in the form of tyrannical decrees.

He is a man free of morals. As has been demonstrated hundreds of times, he is a liar, a racist and a cheat. I feel ashamed to use these words, as sharp and loud as they are. But if they apply to anyone, they apply to Trump. And one of the media's tasks is to continue telling things as they are: Trump has to be removed from the White House. Quickly. He is a danger to the world.

Trump is a miserable politician. He fired the FBI director simply because he could. James Comey had gotten under his skin with his investigation into Trump's confidants. Comey had also refused to swear loyalty and fealty to Trump and to abandon the investigation. He had to go.

Witnessing an American Tragedy

Trump is also a miserable boss. His people invent excuses for him and lie on his behalf because they have to, but then Trump wakes up and posts tweets that contradict what they have said. He doesn't care that his spokesman, his secretary of state and his national security adviser had just denied that the president had handed Russia (of all countries) sensitive intelligence gleaned from Israel (of all countries). Trump tweeted: Yes, yes, I did, because I can. I'm president after all.

Tags: politics, news, editorial, US, international #DerSpiegel 

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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Flash Fiction: The Che Guevara Night by Cecilia Brainard

I'm sharing this short short or flash fiction of mine to honor a friend who recently passed away - Evelyn Ramirez Bosch.  Evelyn, or Ram, as friends called her, was my classmate in high school and college.  One night, she and I and another friend went to Cafe Havana in the Ermita district and had such rollicking fun that I wrote about it.  

Here is the story.   

(Ram, thanks for the laughter and good times. Rest in peace! Love, BabyM)


by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard
Part of Brainard's collection Vigan and Other Stories (published by Anvil, Kindle by PALH)
Copyright 2011 by Cecilia M. Brainard, all rights reserved

It was the night I call the “Che Guevara Night”—my last night in Manila, so a couple of girl friends and I went out to Malate, now a hot spot in Manila, to the Café Havana de Manila to be exact, Friday night it was, when streets were blocked off and the rotunda teemed with people, not just the baklas of long ago, although I understand Remedios Street still has gay bars—I am always amazed at how crowded places can get in Manila: malls, streets, packed with people night and day— and so at 8:30 we were seated in a corner of the Café, the Remedios side, looking out at the very same street my mother and I used to walk on every Sunday on our way to Malate Church—and oh, the bitter sweet memories of that time of my life when I was sixteen and living in Malate with my mother—but that night the three of us sat in that café which is not really a café but a high-priced restaurant packed with Che- memorabilia: framed pictures of the charming delicious Che smiling, smoking a cigar, and staring down at us, and waiters and waitresses looking cool with their red Che-berets, as we had our paella and lengua and two pitchers of Margarita, and because I’d be leaving the next day, we didn’t have enough time to tell the stories, by women past their prime, two still looking for Mr. Right, and talking about the Mr. Wrongs of their lives, now told with humor, although 15 years ago the same stories were told with tears, three women huddled together, laughing, with Che listening to every word and smiling, smiling, smiling.


Monday, June 4, 2018

Natural Treatments for Hair Growth

Natural Treatments for Hair Growth

GUGO or GOGO:   I have always known about Gugo Bark for hair growth and wrote about this a while back - "Cecilia's Recipe: How to Make Gugo or Gogo Shampoo."  The liquid from the Gugo bark soaked in water has been used for centuries in the Philippines as hair shampoo or rinse and is famously known for hair growth.

 Even as a girl, we used this in Cebu where I grew up in.  Now, there are shampoos and conditioners made with Gugo, but nothing beats the unprocessed liquid from the Gugo bark -- if you can find the bark at all, as this is now difficult to find.

I am fairly certain that Gugo is good for hair growth because it's a DHT blocker.

DHT or dihydrotestosterone is a derivative of the male hormone testorone which causes hair follicles to shrink and eventually die. Since men and women have testosterone and estrogen (in varying levels), women can also have DHT that harms their hair follicles.