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by on February 23, 2020


by Marco M. Pardi

Propaganda, n. Their lies.

Public Information, n. Our lies.”

Edward S. Herman

Propaganda does not deceive people; it merely helps them to deceive themselves.” Eric Hoffer

All comments are welcome and will receive a response.

His attack dog sitting close by, Tonio used his folding opener to open a can of C ration ‘meat’. As usual, the upper part of the can seemed to be pure grease. ‘You want some?’ he asked his K-9 partner. Curled back lips and bright teeth appeared. ‘I’ll take that as a No.’ On assignment deep into scrub country, he also had rations for his K-9. But he had also seen enough snakes to last him for the duration. He didn’t mind snake meat at all, almost no fat and very chewy. The problem would be smoke from the cooking fire. He had decided that if it came to it, he could slip a C ration can into a sock and use it to smack an opponent. Or, he could offer it to him and subdue him while he lay on the ground wretching. Tonio did not know that, as he considered this, thousands of miles away Americans were sitting down for a dinner of a product very similar.”

The American presidential election season is rapidly heating up. In fact, as I typed this I took a robo-call from the Republican syndicate during which Donald Trump himself shouted at me about how much he cared for me and wanted my vote. Well, it was his voice, anyway. I also get what has come to be called “spam”. Mass emails.

Maybe I’m missing something, but I just don’t understand the utility of spam. The titles of most of them automatically relegate them to the spam folder on my email service and on this site. “Dearly beloved in Christ…” Anyone who knows me knows that won’t get opened. “Increase penis size by 4 inches!” Is that all you got? “Farm animals waiting to meet you”. If I could I would buy those farm animals and provide a long and happy life in a sanctuary. But that’s another story.

This site you are currently looking at receives over 300 spam emails daily. Most of these originate on a Russian server. Many are in Cyrillic and, though my Russian is dated the contents are logical. Others are in English but are so illogical it’s as if someone flipped through medical journals randomly extracting sentences and phrases and cobbling them together. In both cases the lengthy entries are sprinkled with links to various products. I’m betting a click on one of those links would result in a ransomware attack, the download of a keystroke logger, and/or the download of a bot which would convert my computer into a silent “slave” to be used in a Denial of Service attack on some U.S. government agency or major industry. That is done continually.

I find it hard to imagine how someone could actually open an obvious SPAM email, or click on a link, or download an attachment “just for you”, or send money to a Nigerian Prince. In fact, part of me snorts that they get what they deserve. But for me the downside of the daily spam load is that, when I first started this site some people tried to comment and their comments went to SPAM. Fortunately, the load was light and I routinely scanned that folder before deleting the contents. Now, it is simply impossible to scan 300+ emails to see if there is a genuine comment in there; I have to hit delete and sit back while the computer throws up.

Are the Russians interested in my site? My software enables me to see in which countries the site is read and how many times. It does not identify a specific reader. I’ve often seen hits in Russia. So, could it be that Putin’s minions have discovered a site hostile to the fascist American regime they spent so much money and time bringing to power? Dear Russians: пошел ты (Poshel ty).

But the Russians and their fake news, smears, and questionable links are not the only threat to our upcoming election. The “Useful Idiot” they installed in our White House has also asked China and Ukraine to interfere in the democratic process. And, as I was writing this, news broke that The Great Pumpkin had fired his Acting Director of National Intelligence, Joseph McGuire, and replaced him with another Acting Director, Richard Grenell. Since 9/11 every DNI has been a career Intelligence Officer and/or Military Officer with extensive Intelligence experience and expertise. Mr. Grenell has neither the Intelligence background or the military background, but he does have a long background as a Republican and lately an acolyte in the Cult of The Great Pumpkin. He also was an undisclosed consultant to Vladimir Plahotmiuc, a Moldovan oligarch who is a fugitive and is barred from entering the United States. Grenell did not register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Principal Deputy DNI Andrew Hallman is also leaving his position.

Why the sudden changes? The Congressional Intelligence Committees are required to attend and receive Intelligence briefings which present the collated findings of all the Intelligence Agencies and are provided to the Committees by officials in the Office of the DNI. The most recent such briefing provided a consensus finding that the Russians are currently involved again in meddling in the upcoming Presidential elections in order to support their favorite, Donald J. Trump, aka, Useful Idiot, The Great Pumpkin, etc. Many media pundits say Trump cannot tolerate the implication that his election is less than valid, as if it were simply an ego thing. I, on the other hand, think he is upset that his greatest assets and handlers have been exposed before congress and now the American people. In any case, more resignations in the Intelligence Community and State Department are coming. The Great Pumpkin has ordered his political appointees to ferret out any and all career employees who are “disloyal” to him.

The House Democrats have introduced and passed several Bills which would help safeguard our next elections. But the Senate leader, “Moscow Mitch” McConnell, who proudly calls himself The Grim Reaper when it comes to considering anything from Democrats, has blocked every single one. So, we can expect to see Russian, Chinese, and Iranian disinformation planted throughout social media as “news” stories and throughout mass emails we should consider SPAM. This has proven to be more than a simple nuisance, such as me having to wait while my computer scrubs the crap off this site. It has already resulted in violent armed assault. Remember the story that Hillary Clinton was running a child sexual exploitation ring in the basement of a pizza shop? There was no basement in that shop, much less an exploitation ring, but that didn’t stop an irate social media fool from charging into the shop with an AR-15.

In the coming weeks and months we will be subjected to an avalanche of fake news, spam, and misdirection. Of course, we have experienced this for years, especially with the advent of FOX NEWS, an outlet of the Ministry of Truth which should go ahead and admit its true name is Правда (Pravda, or Truth). As I’ve stated several times before, I have grave doubts about the ability of the average American to sort fact from fiction. I remember a survey done in the early 1970’s in which randomly selected Americans were asked to read and comment upon the Bill of Rights. A majority said, some quite forcefully, it was a communist manifesto. I very much doubt there has been much improvement since.

Do you believe the Great Pumpkin will rise out of the pumpkin patch (Washington, D.C.) and fly through the air bringing bringing peace, prosperity, affordable medical care, clean and cheap energy, safe water to drink and clean air to breathe, better schools and affordable higher education, and stronger and more durable safeguards for the less well off? If so you are welcome to join Linus in his yearly Fall vigil. In all your Halloweens, the trick is on you.

Others of us will be busy. Carl Sandburg once said, “Rest is not a word for free peoples – Rest is a monarchial word.”

Some of you who have made it this far may have concluded this column is spam. I will never dispute your right to be mistaken; I will dispute the basis for your mistakes.

  1. Mike Stamm permalink

    I happen to think rather highly of the Great Pumpkin–the real one, that is, not the “Great” Drumpfkin, a 93rd-rate poseur (no matter what he’s trying to be). But your point is well taken. My e-mail server has a dandy firewall, so I rarely get spam of any kind; we’ll see what happens now that I’ve officially changed my voter registration to Democrat so we can vote in the primary election. (Since my state is 3rd from last in the whole country, I figure this is a Pyrrhic move at best–the decision will have been made long before then–but maybe it’ll stop those furshlugginer letters from Melania.)


    • Thank you, Mike. I share your regard for the real Great Pumpkin, and felt rather guilty about appropriating his persona for this piece.

      Your comment suggests a certain amount of resignation is felt by voters in Oregon, and that’s really unfortunate. We could dispense with some of the more inane national holidays and replace them with National Primary Day and National Election Day.


  2. Dana permalink

    Marco, one of my best decisions was to shut down my very short-lived Facebook profile. I’ve long been viewed as something of an anomaly because I’ve used it a grand total of six months or so since its advent. People say it’s a great way to stay in touch with family and friends. I have email and my phone for that.

    There is simply too much fake news circulating.
    It’s too political but not at all trustworthy. There are too many “quotes” posted that include no source. Anyone can download a photo of a politician, scientist, etc, and attach an inspirational or sensational quote that never originated with the individual in the photo. It seems the angrier or more inspirational, the more easily believed. No thanks.

    I hope you continue to write about Tonio. I live for those stories and would love to see more. This one provided a laugh – imagining Tonio’s opponent wrenching from the nasty product in the can.

    By the way, I always found SPAM revolting as a child. There’s a Canadian version called Klik, and my mother would sometimes fry it and put it on toast with yellow mustard. I was only fascinated with the way the can was opened with the key and thought that was really cool.

    Your sense of humor shines in this post despite the serious content. I’m looking forward the next and hope it arrives soon.


    • Thank you, Dana. I agree with your decision to delete Facebook. That site, and other “social media” show too much interest in revenue, despite the sources. They put themselves first, and for many that’s “the American Way”.

      I tried SPAM once. It had the same effect on me as German cooking; rapid onset diarrhea. I guess my body was purging its spam folder.


  3. William Boyd permalink

    I’m sympathize with your regarding the huge spam burden you deal with. I pity many of those whose sole purpose in life is to inflict spam on others.

    Maybe this nomination for QOD will ease your burden somewhat:

    “I enjoy talking to you. Your mind appeals to me. It resembles my own mind except that you happen to be insane.”
    ― George Orwell, 1984


  4. Thanks so much, Bill. I really appreciate that quote and will make a list of those to whom I can repeat it.


  5. From a retired Federal Officer:

    Cognitive dissonance plagues us. We were brought up to be obedient.

    I watch in dismay and horror the meltdown of our government and institutions. I tell myself that despair is not an option but at times I still feel helpless with nowhere to run and hide.

    The trite expression “now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country “ comes to mind.

    Courage and taking personal responsibility to not fall into the darkness that afflicts our country is my refuge. I know our current situation will pass. I’m just not certain as to what it will pass to.


  6. Thank you. Obviously I share in your dismay. And, I must constantly watch to ensure the growing darkness does not become a source of security and comfort. That would truly be what the regime wants.


  7. From Ray:

    Delightful and fun… but deadly serious too.


  8. Thanks, Ray. I sometimes think of the saying, “Dance ’til you die”. We are living through world changing events, and I see the frogs around me enjoying the warmth as the water in the pot advances to the boiling point.


  9. jkent33 permalink

    The current growth constantly cheat me by repopulating my media screens with useless tripe. Furthermore, the early users who earned money for using our sites for their commercial use must now compete for space sharing it with SPAM. I’ve tried blockers but those apps also block those that are earning money while providing requested info for all of us. My level of frustration is manageable but still a time thief who also holds the threat that could corrupt my entire file system while holding it for ransome. Now with one if the most important votes in my lifetime the level of SPAM makes it dreadful to use my beloved expensive internet connections useless by always holding me hostage if I fail to respond without caution. Now the threat from my own Gov’t censuring me and if you watch the news Russian Bots are all around me. I feel stifled every second I’m logged in and must maintain a library of passwords to protect me. Sadly, short of cutting back my butt is always poised for an attack. Thank you for all of your views and opinions on this dreadful cancer growth threatening to impact us all.


    • You’re welcome, Jerry. Of course, the biggest threat to all of us the danger that people will simply opt out. That may well be what the regime wants: complete control of the field. They would control the message, and they could control the phony testimonials favoring their system.

      Maddening as it is, engagement is still the answer.


  10. I truly hate election season. As in 2016, Herr Drumpf is making use of every opportunity to put his pasty face in the news without cost to his election committee. When is the American public going to realize that these ridiculous photo opportunities serve no real purpose, and come at the expense of all of us. His latest, a trip to India, is a case in point; it seems unlikely that the “trade agreement” of which he spoke will come of fruition unless he thinks it will be of some value to himself or his cronies. Like a tutu on a pig, it’s just a game of dress-up, a show for anyone foolish enough to watch. Unfortunately, I wonder if what they want us to do is turn away, allowing them to do their damage unsupervised. Thinking men (and women) cannot afford to let that happen.

    “Keep an ear on the bar, Mister Pugh.” -Yellowbeard


    • Thank you, Rose. Indeed, the media are largely at fault for Trump being elected in the first place. Thinking he was a joke, and using him for entertainment value and revenue gained thereby, they gave him millions of dollars of free coverage. And now we live with the results.

      His trip to India was interesting inasmuch as India built a wall to hide abysmal poverty he would pass by, and they continued their murderous purge of Muslims – of which Trump was certainly aware but said nothing.

      There are no morals in this regime; only an ongoing quest to enrich themselves.


  11. John C Redmond permalink

    Great piece Marco – and dead on. I would go further than my email – I have trouble searching Google these days, for the marketing/advertising take-over seems complete and digging for any “real” information from the search box seems moot. And that’s not Russians, thats us.



    • Thank you, John. I completely agree that our presumably independent information sources have now become vehicles for marketing. Even this site is peppered with ads, and the only way I can limit or prevent that is by paying a very high fee on top of what I already pay to be here. Okay, I can pay it, but on principle I refuse to pay extortion payments.

      We are quickly moving into a social milieu wherein one’s first question upon meeting someone is, “What’s your angle?”


  12. Elizabeth Martinez permalink

    I also agree that Rights are a human construct. I don’t know when we humans divorced and separated ourselves from everything else in the world, but it’s been downhill ever since. “I think therefore I am”….really? Seeing ourselves as a separate entity has its place in life but forgetting that we are everything and everything is us is literally killing us in every sense of the word. Our species as a whole lacks reverence for all creation. This country’s god is money and it’s mantra is “greed is good “. We are so lost. It’s so sad. Not enough people have “woken up” to really turn the whole mess around.


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