Progressives: What Are You Afraid Of?

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Could our progressive friends possibly fear the face of evil, as epitomized by Bill Ayres. Bill Ayres, who was one of the founders of Weather Underground, a communist terrorist group? I guess not, as he and/or his cronies were only responsible for the bombing of government buildings, a New York judge’s home, a San Francisco police station, and a military dance hall, etc. All perfectly legitimate protests in the eyes of the left, I suppose, as I certainly never see any of you condemning what Ayres et al., did, but instead – especially over the past year – taking the country more in his direction and supporting those who have little to no respect for the law.


Yet, you constantly prattle on about how worried you are concerning Donald Trump, when Ayres holds the title of Distinguished Professor and is a tenured ‘scholar’ at the University of Illinois at Chicago, teaching our kids!!! But I guess that doesn’t concern you at all, either? I know, too, I may sound a bit flippant, but I really am trying to understand your thinking as opposed to just accepting Dr. Michael Savage’s conclusion that liberalism is a mental disorder.

So let me ask you. What would you seriously have to say if someone of Bill Ayres’ ilk, who was also a leader of the KKK, and burned crosses and engaged in terrorism, etc., had actually held a fundraiser at his home for the purposes of kicking off Donald Trump’s political career? Would that concern you? And if Mr. Trump had close ties to that type of individual, wouldn’t that surely be a deal breaker related to his fitness for the presidency? I definitely think it should and would be.

But how could something of such notorious revelation NOT CONCERN YOU, when Mr. Ayres did precisely what is alluded to, above, for President Obama? Your hypocrisy, and inability to truly look at the facts and critically think for yourselves, is astounding!!!

I know, I know. I should have said ‘so-called’ progressives, in the title, as mobs running the streets both burning cities and robbing stores hardly constitutes being forward – looking or innovative and instead is rather more regressive behavior reminiscent of the middle – ages is it not? Thus, I would have added ‘so-called’, prior to the word progressive, but I simply didn’t have room in the title. It is curious, however – how those who have led us so far back like to play linguistic games so as to cover the truth of their movement.

This is another reason I very much hate political labels given that they are so fraught with misunderstanding. Because not too long ago, as you will recall, progressives were nothing more than your everyday garden variety liberal. So why the change? Several reasons, but the main one is Ronald Reagan winning the Cold War and sending the U.S.S.R to the ash heap of history, along with liberalism through this historic victory, by showing that their ideas had been so wrong, for so long. Thus the reason for the new marketing effort and the re-branding of ‘liberalism’ as ‘progressivism’ so as to give people the idea that democrats were somehow moving the country forward and getting something done. Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth.

Though intellectual honesty, something quite anathema to the left, compels me to say that on very rare occasion, indeed, progressives may have an idea that makes some semblance of sense, but that is clearly the exception and not the rule. Especially when, given that providing a first-rate education for mostly minorities, trapped in so many failing schools should be one of the great civil rights issues of the 21st century, the so-called progressives through opposition to school choice, hardly show themselves as open-minded, up – to – date reformers seeking to improve and move society forward, but more so radical obstructionists. When on the other hand, conservatives have tried, doggedly for years, to give the aforementioned young men and women the kind of education they deserve and would undoubtedly benefit our country as a whole, for decades to come.

Also, for lack of better parlance and consistency – and though we know the progressive movement is hardly that (progressive) – I am nonetheless going to use the word ‘progressive’ to largely define the left and democrats, and the word ‘conservative’ to define the right and republicans.

With my wanting to ask the question of progressives, especially as to Donald Trump, what in the world is it that you fear given all we’ve seen over these past 8 years? Are you afraid that Trump might somehow, in his political ascendancy, associate and hob knob with, or perhaps even spend time at a terrorist’s home, for the purposes of raising money and accruing power as President Obama did with Bill Ayres? Because what I wrote above is the truth and so is this.

The KKK, really a non-entity in the United States, who does close to nothing, and is composed of nothing but potbellied, beer drinking losers, endorsed both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. But neither of those individuals had any control over who endorsed them, while the both of them detest racism. President Obama, on the other hand, for the precise same thing you FALSELY accuse Donald Trump of doing, not only associated with but made friends with unrepentant terrorists for the purposes of gaining political power.

Or perhaps you’re afraid that the rich will get richer and the economy may not be as robust as the Obama economy in the future? Well, on that score, again, I think there is hardly need for worry. As President Obama’s economy not only grew slower than George W. Bush’s, but 30% more of the gains in wealth under President Obama, also went to the wealthy.

So as the above illustrates, we know the rich have already gotten richer, but are you afraid the poor will get poorer? Once more, I really don’t think there’s any need for worry, as in so many areas during the Obama years, we had people depending upon the welfare system, more so than ever, and the poverty level is not in any way meaningfully going down.

The events of September 11, 2001 were certainly scary too. Therefore, perhaps you have concerns about more terrorist attacks on American soil? Yet, there’s no need in my mind to be concerned again inasmuch as, did you know that following 9/11, there wasn’t even one instance of domestic terrorism until such time as President Obama took over the reins? Consequently, given that President Trump would surely govern more in the way of treating terrorism as an act of war, rather than as some silly law enforcement nuisance, I doubt that he can undo what President Obama has unleashed overnight, but I’m also rather sure that he will do a much, much better job of containing it.

Or maybe, just maybe, you’re concerned about the social fabric of America, race relations regressing and there being a large number of individuals who have a total lack of respect for law and order? Well, guess what? That’s already happened, too, as President Obama gave false credence to the absurd idea that our police were out hunting black men for sport and needlessly helped set the country back in race relations, for how long, no one really knows. While at the same time he gave tacit approval to our police being murdered and assassinated by having the group, Black Lives Matter to the White House, which gave the terrorist organization legitimacy in the minds of many.

But, oh, dear gracious, Donald Trump is now going to be president. What a scary, scary thought indeed. Quite honestly, if all this carrying on by the left wasn’t so sad – I would laugh – as things, over the past 8 years, really couldn’t have been much worse! Because I can only guess, too, is it that you are somehow afraid America is now going to return to a law and order society where everyone is treated the same. Or is that somehow, in your book, wrong too?

Kate Steinle, of course, was murdered because of the progressive City of San Francisco refusing to return an illegal alien killer over to ICE. Is that what you fear? Criminal illegal aliens being turned over to law enforcement so that beautiful, young bright American citizens can go on to live their lives in peace and be conscientious contributing members of American society? Or perhaps you fear illegal aliens being permitted citizenship prior to all those hard working individuals from other nations who followed the law, and earned their citizenship the right way? Well, again, the left is already fighting quite, quite hard for that to happen, whereas president-elect Trump has thrown a wrench into their plans, so what precisely is your worry?

Because in now making it known that America is a sovereign nation of laws, it will also help to protect so many of the beautiful young men and women of Central America who were sent on a death journey to cross into America illegally, but so often couldn’t withstand the physical toll of the trip or were raped and/or murdered by the coyotes entrusted to bring them here. That, to a large extent is going to end, so is it to that which you object, because I really am trying to understand you?

In terms of fiscal matters, I could hardly imagine you’re concerned about a burgeoning national debt, too, but is that it? Since, here again, no need to worry, as I hardly think the soon to be President Trump is going to manage to outspend all of his presidential predecessors, combined, as did the outgoing president.

For my Jewish friends, too, you couldn’t possibly be concerned about the U.S. – Israeli relationship under soon to be President Trump could you? Given the fact that it’s rather well known that the Obama Administration has certainly been most hostile to Israel, and allowing the latest nonsensical resolution to go forward against Israel, and right before Hanukkah – nonetheless – certainly told our Jewish friends how the outgoing president T-R-U-L-Y feels.

Or are you afraid that Donald Trump, as president, will sign a deal, garnering us nothing, at the expense of Israel and which will start a nuclear arms race in the Middle East? Sorry, again, but it has already happened.

Maybe you’re afraid that the incoming President Trump will undo a long-standing policy not to negotiate for or pay for hostages? Yep, surprise, surprise, President Obama has already done that too!

Wait, maybe with all that crying and hand wringing I saw, perhaps you’re afraid President Trump would use the IRS to target political groups with whom he disagrees? Oh, wait again, the IRS already did that in targeting conservatives under this outgoing president, too.

Though, then again, if you support the State of California and the democrats’ latest move there to make prostitution legal for underage teens, then maybe Dr. Savage really is right; liberalism is a mental disorder; and there’s nothing more to conclude. But this column is about far more than me giving my opinion, as I want to hear yours, given that we’ll never get anywhere if we never sit down to honestly talk.

Therefore, to be perfectly honest, I think you’re afraid of the Trump Administration actually making real progress. As Trump’s success, combined with democrats and/or progressives doing so little, for so long, has clearly hurt the ‘progressive brand’ rather quickly. And what democrat progressives have done for so long, has been such an unmitigated disaster, that the only way they know how to market their brand is to denigrate others. Hence, I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t see another name change in the near future, as there’s nothing remotely progressive about trying to weaken the strongest and most benevolent country in world history, but there’s also been very little that’s successful associated with the democrat/progressive brand.

I know, too, that I really do have a rather large readership on the left and I seriously want you to answer my proposed question. Because, objectively – in looking at all that has happened over this past 8 years – it seems almost impossible to me that things could get worse. So as to this issue, my progressive friends, I’m actually going to give you a penny for your thoughts and please prove Dr. Savage wrong by giving me something more back than change.

Until we meet again,

~ Christopher Tyler –

Aside from his educational background (B.S. in political science, MPA and studies at the Leadership Institute and Florida Coastal College of Law), Chris has worked both in and outside the federal government, for several years at the National Archives, and at the Departments of Justice and Housing & Urban Development, as well. Additionally, he has spent the majority of his career working as a political consultant. This gives him a unique perspective from which to comment on national and foreign affairs as he has also previously written for the Examiner, the Florida Times-Union, Opinion Magazine and several other news publications.


Are We on the Brink of the First Cyber World War?

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By Shelly Palmer on LinkedIn: Published on October 16, 2016

Yahoo recently reported the largest hack in historyWikiLeaks is releasing hacked DNC emails at an alarming rate, and according to NBC News “the Obama administration is contemplating an unprecedented cyber covert action against Russia in retaliation for alleged Russian interference in the American presidential election.” Are we on the brink of the First Cyber World War? Even if the current rhetoric just exacerbates unofficial nation-state-backed cyberterrorism, there is still a significant danger. Are you prepared to function offline? If not, it’s time for some serious business continuity planning, a few muster drills and, most importantly, a tactical approach to disaster recovery.

My Company Does All That for Me

Most well-run businesses have some version of a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP). The concept has been around forever. But what is your personal DRP? What if you were locked out of your main email account? What if you did not have access to online banking? What if you could not get online? What if the location-based services on your smartphone would not function? No maps, no Waze, no Uber, no Lyft, etc.? Do you even own a paper map?

It’s Time

Not for nothing, I don’t think strong passwords are going to cut it anymore. It’s time to back up your computer and your smartphone and to do your best to safeguard your important files, pictures, recordings and videos (especially original material that cannot be replaced).

Quite a bit has been written about how to back up your data. I won’t rehash it here. The general theory is to have your data replicated in a couple of places. Services such as Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, iCloud, and the like all offer various versions of instantaneous syncing between your local storage and the cloud. But most smart people also backup locally to an external drive with tools such as Time Machine (Mac) or File History and Windows Backup and Restore (Windows 10). A backup on a local, physical hard drive that is not connected to the public Internet is a very good idea.

If you’ve opted in to paperless billing, you should also consider printing out bank statements and any other financial or medical documents that you are likely to need if you are cut off from your cloud storage or if your files are maliciously erased.

I Can Always Access the Cloud

While it’s true that there are multiple ways to access your cloud services (Wired or wireless Internet at home or work, public WiFi, a friend’s Wired or WiFi connection, the 3G or 4G wireless networks, etc.), it is possible for a cyber-attack to damage or destroy both wired and wireless connectivity at the same time.

A natural disaster caused it to happen in New York City on Monday, October 29, 2012, during Hurricane Sandy. By midnight, power was knocked out below 39th Street – it did not return for a week. VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone lines stopped working as their battery backups drained. Even the old copper wire telephone network was down where the cables were submerged. Cell service was gone by late Tuesday evening and spotty (if you could charge your phone) until the end of the week. All VoIP phone communication was down by Wednesday. There was no Internet, no power, no water pressure, no traffic lights, no street lights, no basic social services – and Manhattan got off easy. The effects were much, much worse in the greater New York Metro and in New Jersey.

All in, it is estimated that Superstorm Sandy caused $65 billion in damages in the US alone. A cyber-attack wouldn’t destroy buildings or roadways, so you might think it would not be as costly. But that would depend on the extent of the damage and the duration of the event.

Data Doomsday Scenarios

I wrote an article in February last year entitled Data Doomsday Preppers, which was my reaction to the thesis of NatGeo’s “Doomsday Preppers” TV show. In homage to all of the cyber-tough-talk this week, let’s re-examine some of the data doomsday scenarios from my previous post.

Tomorrow morning:

  • 20 million Americans wake up to find their bank account balances at zero.
  • 20 million other Americans wake up to find random balances that exceed their wildest expectations. For example: a $25,000 balance where the day before it was $3,800 (the Federal Reserve, US Census Bureau and Internal Revenue Service’s 2014 estimate for the average American family savings account balance).
  • 30 million other Americans wake up to find out their hard drives have been erased and their data is gone.
  • Retailers or financial institutions tell 30 million other Americans that their credit cards are canceled because of a data breach, and they will not be replaced for weeks because of the sheer volume of cards that need to be reissued.
  • The top 500 websites are all hit with massive, unrelenting DDOS attacks.
  • The top 10 health insurance providers lose 30 percent of their patient records due to the release of a super cyber weapon.
  • 25 percent of federal prison records are erased or altered.
  • $300 billion in cash goes missing from the US financial system.
  • And, just for fun, hackers cause an algo-trading flash crash that takes 50 percent off the DJIA by 11am (as if any of the above would not be enough to cause a regular stock market crash).

None of this may ever happen. In fact, it probably won’t. What will happen is something no one has thought of (or prepared for). That’s the nature of a successful attack.

So back up your data. Practice a day offline. And make sure you know whom to contact, how to contact them and what to do when (not if) something unfortunate happens in our data-dependent, online world.

About Shelly Palmer

Named one of LinkedIn’s Top 10 Voices in TechnologyShelly Palmer is CEO of The Palmer Group, a strategic advisory, technology solutions and business development practice focused at the nexus of media and marketing with a special emphasis on augmented intelligence and data-driven decision-making. He is Fox 5 New York’s on-air tech and digital media expert and a regular commentator on CNBC and CNN. Follow @shellypalmer or visit or subscribe to our daily email

Cyber attacks and the quandary of evolving technology:

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“As our society grows more and more interconnected — utilizing innovative new technologies that make life more convenient — we continue to expose ourselves to greater risks of cyber attack.” By: Javier Ortiz – Falcon Cyber Investments.   

With the digitization of practically all aspects of our day-to-day lives, from banking to healthcare to government, we must be steadfast in the protection of our personal information to prevent cyber hacks and identity theft.

The number of cyber attacks has drastically increased over the past few years. Consider last week’s news that (in the 3/2014 OPM hack) at least 4 million (revised to 20+ million) current and former federal employees have had their personal data (including Security Clearance applications) breached, probably (now confirmed) by China.

Or consider that recently the Internal Revenue Service, one of the United States’ most archetypal institutions, was breached by what the U.S. government now believes were Russian criminals, exposing the personal information (including Social Security numbers) and tax returns of more than 100,000 Americans. With the simplicity of filing your taxes online now comes the threat of foreign actors and criminals stealing and selling your information as well as your identity. This is a very dangerous and serious problem.

Today’s “Internet of Things,” a concept describing how we live in a maze of interconnected data networks fed by billions of smart devices, exposes us to great risk. People no longer think twice about engaging in personal banking on their iPhones or sending sensitive documents over email. The growth of these new technologies has outpaced our ability to secure our information. We need our security systems and processes to catch up.

Once reserved for machine-to-machine communication, technology now allows us to make “things” intelligent — from phones to watches to healthcare devices — all gathering data and storing it in a “cloud.” Your phone, too, knows where you are, all of the time, and could let someone else know — without your knowledge or consent. For a society so ingrained in privacy and freedoms, we don’t seem to mind technology serving as “Big Brother.”

Every device, including our vehicles, is susceptible to attack. With the rise of in-car navigation systems and even smarter in-car technology, like GM’s “Connected Car Services,” we are opening up even more vessels of assault. Soon you’ll be seeing your car perform a Vehicle Health Monitor, communicating diagnostics to your dealership and even booking your appointment, all through apps built directly into the dashboard.

Even with just the “basics” in today’s new cars — automatic braking, parking and lane assist, keyless entry, Bluetooth and a cellular connection — hackers might be able to transform digital commands into an out-of-control weapon. The automotive industry is working to add more security features to protect against the wireless “hackability” of cars, but in many ways and with many of these innovations, we’ve put the proverbial cart before the horse.

In a perfect world, the solution would be to reduce our “attack surface” — a fancy term that for many means having fewer devices connected to the Internet. But as we have become over-reliant on technology to complete everyday tasks, we remain vulnerable to the system. Instead of limiting entry points, we’re expanding them.

Even the most private of our information, our medical history and data, is being hacked and exploited by nefarious actors. With the rise of wearable and other health technology devices linked to the Internet, now able to transmit data directly to your doctor, millions of individuals’ health and financial information is at risk. We no longer live in just an “Internet of Things,” but now also in an “Internet of People.”

In fact, of all the data valuable to cyber criminals, your health records are their most prized, as medical records and information are more usable and last longer than information swiped from your credit card. In underground criminal marketplaces, individual credit card information is worth $1, while a medical record goes for as much as $50.

Insecure technology poses significant costs on our society, and cyber attacks are most certainly not a victimless crime. A study last year by the McAfee, a security firm that part of Intel Security, estimates that cybercrime and economic espionage costs the world economy more than $445 billion annually, not including the toll identity theft takes individually.

For us consumers, the first thing we must recognize is that the Internet is not going away, that it will continue to grow and that each of us is responsible for how we use our Internet-connected devices.

Secondly, we need to learn about how to best use our Internet devices — be they computers, phones, even cars or refrigerators — so that we can protect ourselves from hackers.

Finally, we must demand that our banks, insurance companies, healthcare providers and everyone who asks for our personal information tell us how they will secure it. The more that consumers demand better cyber security the less prone they will be to hackers.

We live in a brave new world — industry and consumers should be working together to benefit from technological advances, while also protecting our privacy.

Javier Ortiz is a Republican strategist, a principal at Falcon Cyber Investments, and an adviser on public policy and regulations for a Washington, D.C. based global law firm.