Watch the F-Word: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIF5HBuZ49Y
Excited by the last elections? Relieved to see Democrats clean up? A year after the election of Donald Trump and the Republican sweep, progressives won from Maine to Minnesota. Election night was a cheery occasion for people on the progressive flank of the ever fractious Democratic Party. Cheery - except for one terrifying moment.
Just before Virginia’s governor-elect Ralph Northam took the stage, a man took the microphone who is uniquely qualified to seize from the jaws of victory yet more defeat for Democrats. Terry McAuliffe: the former Democratic Governor and party consigliere, has spent his career shoving the Democratic Party to the Right, creating exactly the party profile that’s turned off at least a generation of voters. At the Democratic Leadership Council he never saw a lobbyist whose dollars were too blood soaked to accept: Chevron Enron, Philip Morris, Monsanto, McAuliffe found them all a place. When Donna Brazile’s wrote that the Democratic National Committee was run as a slush fund for the most powerful politicians, she was hardly breaking news. The DNC’s run that way for decades, and McAuliffe’s been a central part of that.Read more
Slashing social safety nets, cutting people’s programs, shrinking life chances and everyone’s chance of enjoying clean water… My incoming emails have begun to read like a horror movie script, with non stop terror and round the clock slashing.
The reason: Democrats and their pals are up alarmed about the administration’s budget. Sure enough it’s scary. The GOP White House wants to strip $54 billion from spending on all things human and ecological while they increase already massive military spending.
The president’s plan would boost spending on so-called defense to well over 60 cents of every discretionary dollar. It’s largest budget share in decades. That’s even as Donald Trump himself admits that years of multi trillion dollar spending have left the Middle East "far worse than it was 16, 17 years ago” and none of us any safer.
Let’s not forget, that when it comes right down to it, the US already spends more than the next eight countries combined. That’s China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, France, the UK, India, Germany and Japan - combined. The US military is in 150 countries. Just how many countries are there?
Trump has been critiqued, among other things, as the troll-in-chief. His presidential win can be credited to the rise of alt-right internet 'trolls,' complex bots, and the online harassment of his opponents. Our guest this week, Thenmozhi Soundararajan, a Dalit organizer, filmmaker, and activist, says the spread of online attacks comes with vast offline risks for communities in danger. When Steve Bannon, an avowed white nationalist, serves on the National Security Council, with access to the largest police and surveillance apparatus in world history, there's a problem we haven't even gauged yet, says Soundararajan.
Laura speaks with Thenmozhi about the history of surveillance as a tool for state control and violence. And why, to build an effective resistance against the threat represented by Breitbart and the NSA, resources need to go to counter measures. Although the language of cybersecurity can seem overwhelming, simple tools and training can reduce an average person's risk by 80%, says our guest. For undocumented immigrants, women, and people of color, these practices can make the difference between life and prison. She and her colleagues know first-hand, from their own experience of a hack attack sourced to the extremist Modi government in India.
Thenmozhi Soundararajan is the executive director of human rights and security startup Equality Labs, director of the film Dalit Women Fight!, and the first Dalit woman on Facebook. She is a transmedia storyteller, technologist, and journalist who has won countless awards for her versatile work. Find Equality Labs digital security one-sheets at https://www.equalitylabs.org/