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From the National Sentinal

Trump-Russia 2.0: Dossier-Tied Firm Pitching Journalists Daily on ‘Collusion’

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By Paul Sperry

Key Democratic operatives and private investigators who tried to derail Donald Trump’s campaign by claiming he was a tool of the Kremlin have rebooted their operation since his election with a multimillion-dollar stealth campaign to persuade major media outlets and lawmakers that the president should be impeached.

The effort has successfully placed a series of questionable stories alleging secret back channels and meetings between Trump associates and Russian spies while influencing related investigations and reports from Congress.

The operation’s nerve center is a Washington-based nonprofit called The Democracy Integrity Project, or TDIP. Among other activities, it pumps out daily “research” briefings to prominent Washington journalists, as well as congressional staffers, to keep the Russia “collusion” narrative alive.

TDIP is led by Daniel J. Jones (pictured above), a former FBI investigator, Clinton administration volunteer and top staffer to California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein. It employs the opposition researchers behind the salacious and unverified dossier produced by Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson and ex-British intelligence officer Christopher Steele. Its financial backers include the actor/director Rob Reiner and billionaire activist George Soros.

Glenn Simpson, Fusion GPS

The project’s work has been largely shrouded in mystery. But a months-long examination by RealClearInvestigations, drawn from documents and more than a dozen interviews, found that the organization is running an elaborate media-influence operation that includes driving and shaping daily coverage of the Russia collusion theory, as well as pushing stories about Trump in the national media that attempt to tie the president or his associates to the Kremlin.

The group also feeds information to FBI and congressional investigators and then tells reporters that authorities are investigating those leads. The tactic adds credibility to TDIP’s pitches, luring big media outlets to bite on stories. It mirrors the strategy federal authorities themselves deployed to secure FISA warrants to spy on the Trump campaign: citing published news reports of investigative details their informants had leaked to the media to bolster their wiretap requests.

Five days a week, TDIP  emails a newsletter to influential Democrats and prominent Beltway journalists under the heading “TDIP Research” – which summarizes the latest “collusion” news, and offers “points of interest” to inspire fresh stories regarding President Trump’s alleged ties to Moscow.

Recipients of the TDIP reports include staffers at the New York Times and Washington Post and investigative reporters at BuzzFeed, Pro Publica, and McClatchy, as well as news producers at CNN and MSNBC, according to a source familiar with the project’s email distribution list. Democratic aides on Capitol Hill also subscribe to the newsletter.

The briefings typically run several pages and include an “Executive Summary” and links to court documents and congressional testimony, letters, and memos, as well as new articles and videos.

The Steele dossier and impeachment are common themes in the reports, which generally spin news events against Trump, copies of the newsletter obtained by RCI show. A March 13 TDIP bulletin, for instance, highlighted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s sentencing without informing readers that Special Counsel Robert Mueller closed the case without any collusion accusation against Manafort, who was punished for personal finance crimes.

A Feb. 12 briefing led with an NBC News exclusive report on the findings of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s two-year Russia probe. But it misstated what the news — that both Democrats and Republicans agreed with the conclusion that there was “no factual evidence of collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia – claiming instead that Democrats “rejected” the conclusion.

“What’s significant about them is they’re totally one-sided,” said a veteran reporter with a major newspaper who is plugged into the national security beat in Washington and insisted on anonymity. “It’s really just another way of adding fuel to the fire of the whole Russia collusion thing.”

Jones’ project doesn’t just spin the news. Its more ambitious goal is to make news by essentially continuing the Clinton-funded investigation into alleged Trump/Russia ties that began in 2016 and then sharing findings with news outlets, congressional investigators and federal agents.

Jones has hired Fusion GPS, the same Washington firm co-founded by former journalist-turned-opposition-researcher Glenn Simpson that was paid more than $1 million by lawyers for the Hillary Clinton campaign to collect information damaging to Trump during the 2016 election.

Jones is also paying Steele, another anti-Trump partisan, to continue to dig up dirt on the president. Fusion GPS paid the former British intelligence officer $168,000 to produce a series of anonymously sourced memos for Clinton accusing the Trump campaign of hatching an espionage plot with the Kremlin to hack Clinton campaign emails and steal the election. The memos also claimed that the Kremlin held compromising material on Trump, including video of him carousing with prostitutes in Moscow. Three years of multiple federal investigations have failed to verify the accusations, which were nonetheless used by the FBI to obtain a secret court-approved wiretap on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

“Mr. Jones stated he planned to push the information he obtained from Fusion and Steele to policymakers on Capitol Hill, the press and the FBI,” Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of the Senate Judiciary Committee wrote Democratic Sen. Chris Coons in a letter last year. He suggested the anti-Trump trio has been responsible for spreading “inaccurate” information about the Russia investigation and the Trump campaign.

Simpson and Steele have a history of feeding the FBI and Congress unsubstantiated allegations and rumors, sending investigators down rabbit holes. They have also planted several anti-Trump stories in the media that have proved unverifiable, unfounded, or just plain false.

These include a McClatchy newspapers story asserting that “NRA attorney Cleta Mitchell” warned during the 2016 campaign that Russians had infiltrated the NRA and were using it to launder illegal donations to Trump. Mitchell called the article a “complete fabrication,” noting that she hadn’t worked for the NRA in a decade and had no contact with it in 2016. She claims Simpson personally shopped the bogus story to McClatchy. Her allegation was bolstered by senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, who revealed in recently released closed-door congressional testimony that Simpson fed him the same rumor after the election and asked him to pass it on to his colleagues at the FBI.

Simpson also appears to have been the source behind another discredited McClatchystory about Trump attorney Michael Cohen traveling to Prague during the campaign to hatch a plot with Kremlin officials to hack Clinton campaign emails.

This account first appeared in the Steele dossier. But after Cohen offered his passport to disprove it, a new twist emerged: allegations that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had evidence that Cohen’s phone pinged a cell tower near Prague at the time. After McClatchy bit on the sketchy tip — which was the lead item in TDIP’s Jan. 2, 2019 newsletter to the Washington press corps – Mueller’s office took the highly unusual step of issuing a statement warning other reporters off the story, an important detail TDIP ignored.

Although the Cohen-in-Prague story appears to be fiction, TDIP keeps pushing it through its bulletins. Neither Simpson nor the two McClatchy reporters who wrote about it responded to requests seeking comment.

Jones has a long history himself of promoting conspiracy theories. He has personally placed anti-Trump news stories with media outlets after feeding related tips to the FBI.

For instance, he was a key source behind the now widely disputed story that Trump and the Russians were secretly communicating through a “back channel” system they allegedly set up between a Trump Tower server and Alfa-Bank, one of Russia’s largest banks, which operates branches in New York, according to published reports. The foundation for the rumor was first laid by the Steele dossier, which claimed the bank, which it misspelled “Alpha,” had “illicit” ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Shortly thereafter, in the heat of the 2016 campaign, an attorney for the Clinton campaign law firm that commissioned the dossier research, Perkins Coie, passed the rumor about the server to the FBI, as well as to several media outlets.

“Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank,” Hillary Clinton tweeted at the time.

The allegation received wide coverage in the press — until, that is, The New York Times reported that the FBI had checked it out and found it to be false. Alfa-Bank executives are now suing Simpson, who hired Steele, for libel.

Undaunted, Jones hired a larger team of computer scientists after the election to analyze web traffic between the Alfa-Bank and Trump Organization servers. And in a March 2017 meeting, he shared his expert team’s findings with his former colleagues at the FBI. That same month, agents visited the offices of the Pennsylvania company that housed the Trump server. But their second investigation proved to be another dead end. It turned out that the sinister communications Jones claimed were flowing between the Trump server and Alfa-Bank were innocuous marketing emails. In other words, spam.

 

Jones has also communicated with investigators for Sen. Mark Warner, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, hoping to spread more Trump-Russia conspiracy theories.

In a series of recently leaked March 2017 texts to a lawyer communicating with Warner, Jones boasted that he had planted several anti-Trump news articles, including a Reuters story about Russians allegedly investing more than $100 million in Trump properties in Florida. He took credit for another article published by McClatchy alleging that the FBI was investigating whether Russians had used social media bots to spread stories by Breitbart News and other conservative outlets.

“Our team helped with this,” Jones wrote in one text that linked to the Reuterspiece. He also texted a link to the McClatchy article. Other text messages revealed that Jones was in close contact with Sen. Warner himself and acted as the point of contact for Steele with Warner and his staff.

“Jones has been chumming out his own share of garbage stories,” a senior Republican legislative assistant said.

A former Trump campaign adviser blames Jones’ “smear campaign” for his being targeted for investigation by congressional committees and racking up some $125,000 in lawyer’s bills.

“Dan has been raising and spending millions to confirm the unconfirmable — and of course, to keep all his old intel colleagues up-to-speed on what Fusion GPS and British and Russian spies have found,” former Trump aide Michael Caputo said. “Got to keep that Russia story in the news.”

Jones did not return phone calls or messages sent to his company’s email address seeking comment. But supporters, including U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and the late John McCain, said they have known him to be thoughtful, careful and detail-oriented. Those views appear to be based on his less political work. His defenders often describe him as a human-rights advocate because of his years-long investigation into claims of post-9/11 CIA “torture” of terrorist detainees, and the 6,700-page report he wrote of his findings (still classified) as a staff analyst for the Senate Intelligence Committee. The report is said to fault both the Bush and Obama administrations for aiding the CIA in covering up human-rights abuses.

Even as it pushes the collusion theories, TDIP partnered with a cybersecurity firm, New Knowledge, funded by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, which used social media strategies employed by Russians to influence the 2016 campaign to defeat GOP candidates for Congress during last year’s midterm elections.

New Knowledge publicly stated it was tracking Russian social-media disinformation networks during the 2018 campaign. In fact, it was secretly involved in its own disinformation campaign to influence the outcome of the 2017 Alabama Senate special election. New Knowledge operatives created thousands of fake Russian Twitter accounts programmed to follow GOP candidate Roy Moore to make it appear he was backed by Moscow.

The scheme worked: a number of media stories reported Moore was being supported by Russians. Only, it was a high-tech frame-up. Most elections experts have concluded this fake Russian disinformation campaign did not affect the outcome of the race, which Moore lost largely because of allegations of sexual misconduct.

Hoffman maintains he didn’t know what his money was being used for. In 2016, the Silicon Valley billionaire gave the Hillary Victory Fund more than $500,000, FEC records show.

After media reports exposed the false-flag operation several weeks later, a website set up by TDIP and New Knowledge during the 2018 campaign was taken down. Screenshots of the site – www.Disinfo2018.com – clearly show their relationship, however. The top of the “About Us” page stated, “Midterms Disinformation Dashboard: New Knowledge & TDIP.” About halfway down, the page elaborated: “New Knowledge and The Democracy Integrity Project have created a dashboard containing up-to-the-hour summary statistics from these [supposedly Russian Facebook and Twitter] accounts so that citizens can be aware of the foreign propaganda efforts aimed at American voters as we approach our midterm elections in November.”

Around the same time, a TDIP daily e-bulletin sang the praises of its partner New Knowledge, noting it had prior experience studying Russian influence operations and linking to a flattering piece about one of its founders.

Jones had personally promoted New Knowledge on his Twitter account. He also worked with the outfit’s director of research, Renee DiResta — an active Democrat who gave the maximum individual donation amount to Clinton’s 2016 campaign and whose bio says she advised the Obama administration on “hate speech” and “right-wing extremism” and that she has served as a “technical adviser” to Warner, who helped the Senate’s investigation into the 2016 election. (In spite of her bias, DiResta actively polices social media content and “flags” accounts, as well as followers and messages, she suspects are tied to fake Russian “bots” for Facebook and Twitter, which in turn opt to ban the accounts based on her information, according to testimony she gave last year to Warner’s committee.)

Jones previously enlisted DiResta, who did not respond to interview requests, along with other cyber experts to examine the Alfa-Bank/Trump Tower data, a project that was coordinated with Democrats on the Senate intelligence panel. Jones used to work for the Democratic side of the committee.

DiResta and New Knowledge also collaborated with Jones on a report on Russian disinformation that was released by the committee in December. The report claimed that a Russian social-media plot allegedly to help elect Trump in 2016 was worse than thought, and it warned that the political trolling never stopped — and may have even influenced Senate voting on the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

The report even posited that “Russian influence networks” have conspired with “domestic right-wing disinformation networks,” allegedly including Fox News, Breitbart News, The Hill, and The Daily Caller, to suppress Democrat voter turnout to help Trump and the GOP candidates he endorses.

In addition to Soros, who has donated at least $1 million, liberal Hollywood activist Reiner also backs the project, according to the former Simpson colleague with direct knowledge of discussions with Reiner. In 2017, Reiner started the Committee to Investigate Russia with James Clapper and several other former Obama officials. Reiner has called for Trump’s impeachment, arguing repeatedly that the president has committed “treason against the United States.”

Reiner’s office declined a request to discuss the extent of his financial contributions to the project. “Sorry, Rob is not available,” his executive assistant, Tricia Owen, told RCI.

A New York-based nonprofit linked to the family of billionaire Democratic activist Tom Steyer has donated $2.1 million to TDIP, according to the Daily Caller. Steyer, who has hired Fusion GPS to conduct investigations in the past, has also demanded Trump’s ouster over Russia.

Soros and the Steyer-tied benefactor accounted for roughly a third of TDIP’s total 2017 revenues.

And social media titans including the founders of Facebook, Twitter and Google are indirectly funding the project through donations funneled through a Silicon Valley foundation, the Daily Caller also reported. Advance Democracy Inc., a sister organization founded by Jones sharing the same Northern Virginia address as TDIP, received at least $500,000 from the foundation last year.

In tax filings, Jones lists a McLean, Va., address for TDIP, but a visit to the location reveals the office is occupied by a small independent accounting firm that says it merely handles TDIP’s books. Jones also keeps an office near FBI headquarters in Washington.

The 43-year-old Jones is an enigmatic figure who shies away from TV appearances and plays a largely behind-the-scenes role shaping investigations and influencing Washington politics.

After teaching and recruiting for Clinton’s AmeriCorps program from 1998 to 2001, he worked for the FBI for four years as an analyst providing “strategic guidance and tactical support to complex international investigations,” according to a December 2015 email sent to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta by former Democratic Sen. Tom Daschle.

 

In 2007, Jones joined the Democratic staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee, where he served as a senior analyst and “led many of the committee’s investigations,” he boasted in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed he wrote with former Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller.

While on the Senate intelligence panel, Jones worked directly for Sen. Feinstein, who chaired the committee at the time and is still a member. Jones and Feinstein apparently developed a close bond over the nine years he worked there. In a rare honor, Feinstein took to the Senate floor to praise her aide the day before he stepped down from the committee in December 2015, citing his “indefatigable work.”

Now the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Feinstein last year unilaterally released a 300-page transcript of the closed-door testimony of Jones’ partner, Simpson of Fusion GPS, over the objections of then-chairman Grassley, who accused Feinstein of violating committee precedent and trying to undermine the panel’s investigation of the dossier. Thanks to Feinstein’s leak, which is something Simpson requested, the testimony offered by future witnesses such as Steele may be forever tainted, Republican staffers say.

TDIP sent out a briefing at the time that was quick to note that in his testimony, “Simpson defended the dossier as sound research.”

Feinstein did not notify Grassley before giving the transcript to the media; the chairman was blindsided. In an indication that she coordinated the leak with Simpson, Feinstein redacted the names of all Fusion GPS employees mentioned in the transcript, even though such information is not classified and can be found online. She also did not disclose to her Republican counterparts on the committee that a former top staffer of hers — Jones — was working with Simpson at the time.

Though Jones is reported to have begun his opposition research project after Trump took office, Senate Judiciary Committee investigators suspect he may also have been involved in the Clinton campaign’s 2016 efforts to create the dossier and push its allegations to the FBI and media. The FBI used the unverified political document as a basis for securing secret wiretaps on Trump campaign figures.

Records show Jones founded a private investigative firm, Penn Quarter Group, in April 2016 – the same month the Clinton campaign hired Fusion. Throughout the 2016 campaign, Jones worked for Democratic lobbyist Daschle, who endorsed Clinton and was close to Podesta. The Senate Judiciary Committee has asked Jones for all communications he and his organizations have had with federal officials at the FBI and the departments of Justice and State from March 2016 to January 2017. Jones was also being eyed as a witness by House investigators before Democrats recently took control of the House.

 

In early 2017, as he launched TDIP to continue investigating Trump, Jones recruited a former Senate Intelligence Committee colleague, Dafna H. Rand, to serve on his board, according to incorporation papers. A Democrat, Rand had also worked as a top aide to former Secretary Clinton at the State Department. Before that, she served in the White House as a national security adviser to President Obama.

Rand is now vice president of Mercy Corps, a humanitarian relief organization that assists Syrian, Yemeni and other Muslim refugees, and lobbies against Trump’s recent restrictions on immigration from those countries. Rand did not respond to requests for an interview.

Another TDIP board member, Adam Kaufmann, is a former New York prosecutor who has worked with Fusion GPS. Also a Democrat, Kaufmann was recently quoted in the New York Times alleging that Trump’s financial dealings were criminal.

While Kaufmann did not respond to requests for comment, RealClearInvestigations has learned that he worked on the same FIFA corruption case as dossier author Steele, who in 2010 provided information to the FBI that led to the indictment of officials for the world soccer governing body.

FBI veterans say it is strange for an ex-FBI employee such as Jones to privately run a parallel counterintelligence investigation on any subject, least of all on the president.

“It’s not common that a former FBI analyst and congressional investigator would be doing a private, parallel investigation, but he’s apparently an enterprising guy,” said former FBI agent and lawyer Mark Wauck, who suspects Jones is motivated by partisanship.

Longtime observers of the Washington political scene are curious how Jones has for years been able to escape serious scrutiny while running a political influence operation that works closely with national media, federal law enforcement, and congressional investigators. With access to a multimillion-dollar war chest, they say he could continue to push the anti-Trump Russia collusion narrative long past the Mueller report or even the 2020 presidential election.

Caputo, the former Trump aide, wants an investigation of Jones: “I want to know who Dan Jones is talking to across the investigations – from the FBI to the Southern District of New York to the [Special Counsel’s Office] to the Department of Justice, to Congress.”

Follow Paul Sperry on Twitter @paulsperry_

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The largest crowd to attend a Portage County TEA Party event in years, was captivated by Dr. Robert Epstein's presentation at Maplewood Career Center in Ravenna, OH last night (3/8/19).  Dr. Epstein shared the research he has conducted over the past seven years to understand the degree to which Google is able to influence the views and opinions of those who use its search engine not just in the United States but all over the world.



After which, everyone in attendance clearly understood that this type of psychological manipulation cannot be allowed to continue if we are to continue to have free elections. The threat to Democracy itself is evident, regardless of your political persuasion or ideology. Dr. Epstein proposed a system of independent, objective, monitoring of Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chat and future social media technologies as the only way to stop this practice of manipulation that is currently invisible to the end user. The video of his presentation will be posted on the Portage County TEA Party website as soon as it is ready to upload. Dr. Epstein closed his presentation with tips to help citizens protect their own personal privacy, which are in large part explained in the article below.






Seven Simple Steps Toward Online Privacy

I haven’t received a targeted ad on my computer or mobile phone for more than two years now. If you care about your privacy — or even if you’re just sick of being bombarded by ads for diet pills seconds after you send an email to a friend complaining that your pants are too tight — here are seven simple steps you can take to make your online presence more private:

1) Junk Gmail. All Gmail emails, both incoming and outgoing — even the angry draft emails you decided not to send — are analyzed and stored permanently by Google, Inc., with every snippet of information the company can extract from your emails added to the massive profile it has compiled about you. I recommend using http://ProtonMail.com instead of Gmail. It’s based in Switzerland and subject to strict Swiss privacy laws. It takes only a few seconds to sign up, because the company doesn’t ask anything about you (imagine that!). The basic service is free, and the paid version is cheap. ProtonMail is incredibly easy to use, and it also uses end-to-end encryption for maximum privacy. Unfortunately, you might be using Gmail and not even know it. To save money, thousands of businesses and universities use Gmail under their own brands — even news services such as The Guardian, U.S. News & World ReportSalon, and The Hill. To find out whether you have been unknowingly corresponding with someone through Google servers, open that person’s email and then find and click on the “view full header” option in your email software. If you find “google.com” anywhere in the expanded header, Google has been monitoring all of your communications with that sender. Even if you switch to ProtonMail, you will still have no privacy when corresponding with someone using Gmail or hidden Google servers. I tell such people that if they want to communicate with me, they will need to use a different email service, and they usually do.

2) Switch Search Engines. Google’s search engine is the best because it indexes far more web pages than anyone else — at least 45 billion. But Google (the search engine) is also the most aggressive spying tool ever invented — funded from the outset by the NSA and the CIA to identify people who are a threat to national security. Google records every search you conduct, and your Google profile contains a complete history of every search you ever conducted — even those sketchy ones! Worse still, my research has shown in recent years that Google’s search engine is also the most powerful mind control device ever devised; it shifts the opinions of millions of people around the world every day without them knowing it. Instead of using Google.com, use http://StartPage.com. If you use the Firebox browser, you can even make StartPage your default search engine. Why StartPage? Because it doesn’t track you, and because it gives you full access to Google’s amazing index. In other words, it gives you great search results while also preserving your privacy. StartPage also doesn’t give you any search suggestions, which Google uses systematically to direct your searches as they please.

3) Kill Chrome. Google developed the Chrome browser because the massive amount of information they were collecting about you from their search engine wasn’t enough for them. With Chrome, they can see which web pages you visit — and what you do on those pages — even if you go to those pages directly rather than going through their search engine. If you value your privacy, never use Chrome, even in the bogus “incognito” mode. Instead, use http://Firefox.com, which is maintained by a nonprofit organization. As I reveal in “The New Censorship,” Google can still get information about you when you’re using Firefox or Safari, but nowhere near as much as they get when you’re using Chrome.

4) Axe Android. As I explain in “Google’s Gotcha,” even Chrome didn’t give Google enough information about you, so the company developed Android, an operating system for phones and other mobile devices — the equivalent of the Windows operating system that’s on most desktop computers. Chrome gives Google information about you only when you’re online, but because Android controls all your phone’s functions, it can track you — the phone numbers you dial or the music files you access , for example—even when you’re offline. If you value your privacy, donate your Android phone to a charity (such as http://CellPhonesForSoldiers.com), and buy a phone from a company that doesn’t use Google’s deceptive business model. Companies like Apple, Microsoft and Blackberry make most of their money by selling products, whereas Google makes almost all of its money by suckering you with free services it uses to track you and then charging businesses a fee to send you targeted ads. If that doesn’t creep you out, maybe it should.

5) Heave Home. If Google has mind-fucked you into installing their new “Home” devices all over your apartment or house — and, yes, the company is currently urging people to install one in every room — send those cute little cylinders straight to hell. The Home device records everything you and your children say, and even when you think it’s inactive, it is still sending a signal back to headquarters.

6) Clear Cache and Cookies. Companies and hackers of all sorts are constantly installing invasive computer code on your computers and mobile devices, mainly to keep an eye on you but sometimes for more nefarious purposes. On a mobile device, you can clear out most of this garbage by going to the settings menu of your browser, selecting the “privacy and security” option and then clicking on the icon that clears your cache and cookies. With most laptop and desktop browsers, holding down three keys simultaneously — CTRL, SHIFT and DEL — takes you directly to the relevant menu; I use this technique multiple times a day without even thinking about it.

7) Pick a Proxy or VPN. For even more privacy, sign up for either a proxy or a VPN — a service that creates a buffer between you and the internet, fooling many of the tracking routines into thinking you’re not really you. VPNs provide more protection than proxies. My favorite VPN at the moment is http://PrivateInternetAccess.com. For under $40 a year, you can install the PIA app on up to five devices. It’s lightning fast, and you don’t need to be a computer geek to install or use it.

Before or after taking one or more of these steps, you can check to see how secure your computer or mobile device is by running tests at websites such as http://DNSLeakTest.com or http://BrowserLeaks.com.

In Dave Egger’s 2013 book, The Circle — due out in April 2017 as a movie starring Emma Watson — the only way one of the main characters can find to “go off-grid” is to kill himself by driving his vehicle off a bridge. If you follow the seven guidelines I’ve outlined above, you won’t need to resort to such extremes to regain some privacy in your life — at least for the time being.

_____________

Robert Epstein (@DrREpstein) is Senior Research Psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology in Vista, California and the former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today magazine. He is the author of 15 books and more than 250 scholarly and popular articles on creativity, artificial intelligence, internet manipulation and other topics. He is the co-discoverer of the Search Engine Manipulation Effect (SEME) and, more recently, the discoverer of the Search Suggestion Effect (SSE).

ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, the Tonight Show, Facebook "friends", Twitter "users", Al Sharpton, Nancy Pelosi, nearly ALL the Democratic Presidential Candidates, and other "news" sources lied to America and YOU again with the false narrativethat white male Trump supporters are racists. Remember what just happened with the Covington Catholic Students? Why do they keep doing this? Is this honest, fair or right? Why would you believe them in the future? Do they not want to admit that the United States is the most racially tolerant nation on earth? Know the truth and stop believing their lies that 62 million of your fellow citizens are racist. They are not!



Bearing False Witness: The Case against Jussie Smollett

Four below zero — that’s how cold it was at 2 a.m. in Chicago on Jan. 29, when actor Jussie Smollett claims he was the victim of a racist, homophobic hate crime perpetrated by two white Trump supporters. There were many reasons to be skeptical of Smollett’s story, but the fact that Chicago was experiencing a “polar vortex” of arctic cold was high on the list of doubts. Even if you could believe that two right-wingers would be stalking a not-very-famous actor in downtown Chicago, waiting for a chance to attack him on his way back from a wee-hours trip to a sandwich shop, why would they be doing this in -4°F weather?

Smollett’s story never made sense, and it came completely unraveled last week after Chicago police apprehended two of the Empire actor’s friends when they flew into O’Hare Airport, returning from a trip to Nigeria. According to reports by Chicago’s WBBM-TV and other outlets, brothers Abimbola “Abel” Osundairo and Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo were paid $3,500 by Smollett to stage the fake hate crime. Police have not yet filed any charges or given an official explanation of exactly what happened, and Smollett’s attorneys issued a statement Saturday asserting his innocence, but there is now every reason to believe that the whole thing was a complete hoax. If this proves to be the case, will any of the liberals who rushed to exploit Smollett’s tale face any consequences for smearing Trump supporters?

Consider, for example, what Stephen Colbert did on The Late Show. Two days after Smollett claimed he was attacked, Colbert invited lesbian actress Ellen Page onto the CBS program to blame the Trump administration, and particularly Vice President Mike Pence, for “what happened the other day to Jussie.” After describing Pence’s conservative policies as having “hurt LGBTQ people so badly,” Page said: “Connect the dots. This is what happens if you are in a position of power and you hate people and you want to cause suffering to them — you go through the trouble, you spend your career trying to cause suffering, what do you think is going to happen?” This was either deliberate slander, or evidence of insuperable stupidity, but neither Colbert nor Page have acknowledged any error, because they don’t have to. Presumably, the advertisers and executives at CBS have no problem paying Colbert to falsely blame Republicans for a “hate crime” that turns out to be a hoax, and Page knows that every liberal in Hollywood will applaud her “courage” for insulting the vice president.

Anyone with common sense could see that Jussie Smollett’s story didn’t add up, but evidently none of the Democrats running for president in 2020 has any common sense. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and California Sen. Kamala Harris used almost identical language in proclaiming Smollett the victim of “an attempted modern-day lynching.” Former Vice President Joe Biden declared: “We must stand up and demand that we no longer give this hate safe harbor; that homophobia and racism have no place on our streets or in our hearts.” Smollett was the victim of “the latest of too many hate crimes against LGBTQ people and people of color,” said New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, adding: “We are all responsible for condemning this behavior and every person who enables or normalizes it.” Other leading Democrats joined this chorus of condemnation. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the “racist, homophobic attack… an affront to our humanity,” while New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez asserted that the attack on Smollett was indicative of “the rise of hate crimes.” No Democrat more explicitly pointed the finger of blame than California Rep. Maxine Waters who said “this is happening for a reason.… It’s coming from the President of the United States. He’s dog-whistling every day.”

If the incident which provoked all these denunciations proves to be a hoax, however, will any of these Democrats apologize? Will they suffer any actual consequences for being so disastrously wrong about what happened to Jussie Smollett? No, don’t be silly. Liberal journalists won’t ask Booker, Harris, Biden, or other Democrats to explain why they were so easily deceived. Indeed, the media are already trying to spin the story to rescue Democrats. CNN’s Brian Stelter claimed Saturday that the real problem is that “random websites” had “weaponized” the story, whatever that means. Stelter went on to say of the Smollett hoax that “the motive here is still a mystery at the heart of the story.” Except it’s not really mysterious: Smollett has repeatedly declared his hatred of President Trump, and what better way to damage the president than to frame Republicans for a fake hate crime? And liberal journalists were eager to act as Smollett’s accomplices, as Daily Wire’s Ashe Schow remarked Sunday: “This is absolutely about the media and their constant desire to prove Orange Man Bad no matter how implausible the story.”

Meanwhile, in Chicago, WBBM-TV’s Charlie De Mar continues diligently reporting the story, with the latest development being that Smollett himself paid for the rope with which he claimed to be “lynched” by the Osundairo brothers. Sources told WBBM-TV that the rope — a clothesline, actually — was purchased at the Crafty Beaver Hardware Store the weekend before the Jan. 29 incident: “The brothers told detectives the three men rehearsed the attack days prior to it happening.” If Smollett is found to have filed a false police report, he could reportedly face up to three years in prison under Illinois law. Because of the hate-crime implications of the case, however, the FBI has also been involved in the investigation, and lying to the FBI could land Smollett in federal prison. But that’s mere speculation at this point, as law-enforcement authorities are not saying much officially, most of the reporting is on a “sources said” basis, and Smollett’s lawyers continue to maintain his innocence.

“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor,” as the Ninth Commandment declares, and it would be a breach of that divine law to declare Smollett guilty of a hoax without certain proof. If we can believe what has been reported so far, however, it would appear Smollett himself had no qualms about bearing false witness against others — namely the 62.9 million Americans who voted for President Trump. Liberals are always willing to believe the very worst about Republican voters, and the apparent hate-crime hoax in Chicago looks like an effort to manufacture evidence to encourage that belief.

Common-sense skepticism is our best defense against the myths created by what Trump likes to call the “fake news” media. Maybe next time, they’ll get away with it, but this latest debacle, coming on the heels of the Left’s debunked smear of the Covington Catholic boys, has only further eroded the credibility of the president’s enemies. It’s gonna be four below zero in Hell before we trust them again.

Talking with people in DC last night to try and understand what really is in the budget bill, and not in the budget bill, and what that means to our agenda to close the border, and how it relates to the declaration of a National Emergency this is what I can share with you:

• Make no mistake that everything you are upset with concerning this bill is the fault of the REPUBLICANS not the Democrats. Trump was put in the horrible position of signing this bill because Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell made sure that the wall was not funded when "Republicans" held the House and Senate the past two years.

• The Top Line for the President is that Nancy Pelosi said Trump would get $1 for the Border Wall and he got $1.3 Billion. That money keeps the wall building going while they fight for the rest of the spending in the courts.

• The restrictions in the Budget Bill on the type of wall and location of Wall ONLY applies to the $1.3 Billion - NOT funds from other departments available under the National Emergency.
 
• The attempt to use children to allow illegal “relatives” to claim unaccompanied minors at the border and thus preventing them from being deported themselves will be “interpreted” by DHS in a very strict manner that will NOT result in a rush on the border or significant increase in illegal immigration.
 
• The limitation on funding for beds and border guards can be overcome by other actions - for instance using military on the border.
 
 
• Not ALL of the National Emergency funds are able to be challenged in Court.
 
• They believe that they can get the legal challenges expedited to the Supreme Court so the Wall Building will not be delayed for years
 
Many really bad things were NOT in the Budget Bill, that Dems tried to get into it. For instance a terrible violence against Women's Act was considered, the pay raise for Federal Workers was reduced, and the plan to reimburse government contractors for losses from the shutdown did not get in. I am trying to get a list of those that I can pass on to you later.

These are the things I have been told, and believe to be true, but no one really knows because no one actually has had time to look at ALL of the detail. Which is another thing you need to be angry about. This was no accident that a 1,100 page bill was dropped on the Congress and the President with 24 hours notice. They wanted to make sure that YOU and I had ZERO opportunity to weigh-in on this piece of garbage. The President needs to learn to not let them put him in this box. He should have declared on Monday or Tuesday, either you have the full bill on my desk for review on Wednesday or it is an automatic veto. He didn't and they used the oldest political trick in the book to screw us all - again.

Let me be clear, this Budget Bill is a disgrace and does not represent any interests of the American people. It represents the interests of K-Street and the Koch Brothers and Big Tech and ruling class and the need for voters for the Democrat/Socialist Party. This bill is DESIGNED to HAMPER the ability of the President, and the Border Patrol and ICE to stop illegal immigration into our nation. The people in Congress don't give a damn about you and your family or your community. These illegal will not be coming to their communities, they will not be flooding their schools, they will not be using their hospitals, and they will not be taking jobs from their sons and daughters. They don't care that these illegals suppress your wages, raise your taxes, and assaults the very fabric of American society where people living here want to be Americans and are not just here to take your money.

Now, let's deal with the reality of our situation. The President had no option but to sign this Budget Bill, many did not notice that the head of the TSA or Air Traffic Controllers Union said on Tuesday, they would shut down air travel that day if their was another government shutdown. Meaning, Democrats have no problem purposely hurting the American people to get their way.  They do it every day and unfortunately we keep letting them do it. As the map below will show there is a lot of border wall already built and this Budget Bill will add to it and the Declaration of a National Emergency will do even more in the long term. The war goes on, this was not a victory nor was it a defeat, it was another bloody battle in a long war - unfortunately an ever escalating civil war that may have no winners.

No one should believe for a second that if we are forced to vote for "Republican" House Members in 2020 to take back the US House that a "Republican" controlled Congress will do anything to help this President. Understand "Our" Government is NOT "OUR" Government. It is separate from We the People. Watch carefully this interview between Tucker Carlson and J.D. Vance where Vance explains that the establishment of the Republican party HATE YOU as much or more as they hate Trump! Unless Trump finally wakes up and understands that he must stop supporting the "Republicans" who are destroying him and our nation, we will lose our nation. It was "Republican" John McCain who pushed the illegitimate "Steele Dossier", it was "Republican" Jeff Sessions who allowed the ILLEGAL Mueller Investigation to begin with NO CRIME, it was "Republicans" who allowed the "Special Counsel" to go on and on threatening the President with Impeachment if he fired Sessions or did anything to defend himself, and it was Paul Ryan who would not allow Congress to issue subpoenas to force the criminals in the DOJ and FBI to turn over the documents. Got it? The Democrats are not the problem, the "Republicans" are the problem because of their corrupt party system, corrupt primaries, and corrupt relationship with monied special interests.

Let me conclude by saying that our nation is at a critical tipping point. The three most important issues of our time are to be decided in the weeks and month and years ahead. Are we a sovereign nation that allows immigration into our nation only for those who will assimilate and become Americans or not?  Are we a nation that is ruled by laws, not men, in that we are all entitled to equal justice and equal protection under the laws in our Constitution or not?  Are we a nation that will allow the murder of children and the elderly for the convenience of the state and other individuals or do we believe in the Right to Life from conception to death as is the very basis for our founding principles? You and I, for the most part, are going to decide these issues in our life times. It will take much more than standing back and watching President Trump stand alone against all the forces of evil in this world. He will not decide what because or our nation, your and my efforts will decide, and may God have mercy on our souls if we fail to do our duty to our forefathers and future generations by squandering the most precious gift available to our species - FREEDOM!

For Liberty,
 
Tom Zawistowski
President
 

Where Border Wall has Already been Built:


Ohio AG Dave Yost Steps Up to Protect Christian and Conservatives


Below you will see a letter from Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost to the FBI office in Kentucky that is handling the investigation into the threats made against the Covington Catholic student, parents and community members. AG Yost is offering to look into any threats against Ohio residents and any threats made by Ohio residents. On August 15, 2016, Ohio's telecommunications harassment statute was amended to criminalize "knowingly post[ing] a text or audio statement or an image [online] for the purpose of abusing, threatening, or harassing another person." Ohio Rev. Code § 2917.21 (b) (2).  This law was amended specifically to stop the kind of threats and bulling of which the Covington Catholic students have been subjected.

While an independent investigation this week cleared the Covington Students of any wrong doing in this incident, and private law suits are going to be filed - that is not enough. We as a society must reject the actions and methods used by the Left against these innocent student, and all of us, to silence Christians, Conservatives and Trump supporters by seeing the perpetrators prosecuted for their crimes. We DEMAND, and are entitled to under the U.S. and our State Constitutions, "equal protection under the law" and "equal justice under the law" and right now we are not getting either of them. That must change NOW. Any person residing in Ohio who attacked these students should be charged under this Ohio law and we expect Attorney General Yost to do that.

We look forward to having these criminals publicly identified and prosecuted in the week and month ahead. I personally thank all of you who called the Attorney General's office and the FBI and DOJ to demand that we get the justice we deserve!

For Liberty,

Tom Zawistowski
President

Bishop: CovCath students did not instigate D.C. incident and student behavior was commendable

 

The Diocese of Covington's investigation involving Covington Catholic students in Washington D.C. that went viral is over and found that the students did not "instigate the incident."

On Wednesday, Bishop Rev. Roger Foys said his hopes had been realized in that the students were exonerated and that they "can move forward with their lives."

The investigation was done by Greater Cincinnati Investigation Inc. in Taylor Mill. 

More: Nick Sandmann of CovCath may face challenges in proving defamation, experts say

More: Analysis: What the video from the incident at the Indigenous Peoples March tell us about what happened

Multiple videos of Covington Catholic students interacting with a Native American elder and a group of Black Hebrew Israelites went viral in January after the national March for Life in Washington D.C. Jan. 18 The investigation breaks down the videos and highlights interviews with parents and students who were present at the incident.  

"The immediate world-wide reaction to the initial video led almost everyone to believe that our students had initiated the incident and the perception of those few minutes of video became reality," Foys said in the letter to parents. "In truth, taking everything into account, our students were placed in a situation that was at once bizarre and even threatening."

Foys said the reaction of the students was expected and "one might even say laudatory."

More than 40 students were interviewed, as well as some of the 16 chaperones who went to D.C. Nick Sandmann, a Covington Catholic student featured in the video, and Nathan Phillips, the Native American man who approaches the crowd of students, were not interviewed in the investigation. 

"We have nothing more to add," a statement to local media said. 

Here's what the investigation found: 

  • No evidence was found that students performed a "Build the Wall" chant or made racist remarks to the Black Hebrew Israelites or Phillips
  • Most of the students felt like (Phillips) was coming into their group to join in with the students' cheers, investigators said. None of the students said they felt threatened by Phillips and many stated they were "confused."
  • Video shows that some students performed a "tomahawk chop" to the beat of Phillips' drumming and some joined in with his chant.
  • Nine chaperones reported being present at the Lincoln Memorial when the main interactions took place. Investigators said video confirms at least five chaperones were present.
  • Chaperones said they didn't feel that students were in danger or threatened.
  • In regards to the "It's not rape if you enjoy it" video, investigators said the man in the video was not a Covington Catholic student.
  • In regards to the 7-second video of two students making comments to two women, investigators said they could not determine if the students were from Covington Catholic.




Talking Points on "Medicare for All":

When your hear someone say they support "Medicare for All" or ObamaCare or any kind of Government controlled Healthcare, tell them that the only thing in the History of Mankind that has consistently produced better products and services, at a lower cost, is Free Market Capitalism. What we are FOR, and ALL Americans should want, is low cost, high quality healthcare, that EVERY American can afford provided by private companies - not government. So called "Medicare for All" is Government run overpriced, inefficient, inferior heath care that no one can afford and no one should want!

Most importantly remind them that we are AGAINST any form of Government controlled health care system because it is a LIBERTY ISSUE!  Once the private health care industry is gone, as Socialists "Democrats" Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris are proposing, Government can control YOU! If the Government controls your health care, they can control EVERYTHING you do or cannot do and you are no longer free. That is why the Communists and Dictators always provide provide "free healthcare" to every citizen. That is how they control the population. If you don't agree with a government that controls every single part of your health care they can kill you, or worse yet your children or spouse, simply by denying you access the the treatment you need. Americans want government OUT of health care not controlling it!

"Medicare for All" is fools game, it is a trick designed to mislead the ignorant - and it works only if YOU don't expose the lie that it is to the people you know. Here is the proof. Recent polls say that 71% of American's support a national health plan that would "guarantee health insurance as a RIGHT for all Americans".  (Take note, by the way, of how the left intentionally interchanges health insurance with health care which are NOT the same things!) When those same people in the poll are then told that "Medicare for All" would require that people pay more taxes their support falls to just 37%. Then when told that some medical tests and treatments could be delayed or denied in a government run health care system, like what happens in Britain and Canada, support drops to 26%!  How many people would support government health care at ALL if they understood that it is a means for Government to control your behavior and deny your freedom??? It is up to YOU to make that truth be known to everyone you know and to help us defeat this threat to our way of life and to our individual liberty and freedom!

For Liberty,

Tom Zawistowski
Executive Director
Portage County TEA Party

Click Here for Highlights of President Trump's State of the Union Speech


Click Here to watch the ENTIRE State of the Union Speech



A full house of concerned citizens filled the cafeteria at Maplewood Career Center on Monday night, February 4, 2019 to hear our guest speaker Brian Massie talk about out of control property taxes. You can download Brian's Powerpoint by Clicking Here. You can follow his work on taxes at this website: https://lobbyistsforcitizens.com