I often contemplate, particularly now, where our country would be without the influences of Rupert Murdoch and the state media he has created in the U.S. He began his residency in 1974 and became a U.S. citizen in 1985 after relinquishing his Australian citizenship, the legal requirement for US television network ownership. He established the FOX News Channel in 1996, the same year former president Bill Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act, overhauling 60 years of regulation. Murdoch thrived. And he is destroying us.
Astute and true:
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said her country doesn’t have to deal with the “rage of older white men” because “we’ve never allowed Rupert Murdoch to set up a media outlet here.”
The veracity of the quote is being questioned. Regardless, he shouldn’t have been able to start his media empire here, and Clinton shouldn’t have sold us out. Cue Roger Ailes and Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh. And here we are.
Our existential soup. Could we please hold off on adding any more ingredients? Maybe let this batch simmer for awhile.
Gen. Mark A. Milley on the Russian invasion of Ukraine: “We are witness to the greatest threat to peace and security in Europe – and perhaps the world – in my 42 years of service in uniform.”
Anne Baring, The Dream of the Cosmos-A Quest for the Soul:
“Evil has its origin in this deeply unconscious predator-prey pattern of behavior. I think that, in relation to the harm we are capable of inflicting on the human beings, evil may be defined as the act of inflicting terror, suffering, humiliation, torture or yeah on an individual or group of individuals ranging in kind from the murder of a child to the atrocities currently taking place in Syria (2012) to the viciously cruel attacks on others on Facebook and Twitter. One of the most difficult things to recognize is that each one of us in capable of acting in a hateful cruel or evil way, or of being complicit in these ways of behaving, whether as an individual or as the member of a government, institution, corporate body or nation. […] The fact that an International Court of Justice now exists to try those who commit such crimes against human unity is evidence of collective progress in moral awareness. But this progress requires perpetual vigilance lest we slip back into old unconscious habits. 
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke to the United Nations Security Council today. Here is the link to watch his speech and listen to the statements by various countries after he spoke. There were technical issues with the video he wanted to share with the council, at about 1:15:00 into their remarks, the video was shown. We want to look away, we can not. Ever.
From The Hill:
‘If Russia is not removed from the council, Zelenskyy said the body should just be dissolved.
“If there is no alternative and no option, then the next option would be dissolve yourself altogether,” he said.
The Ukrainian president proposed a global conference to convene in Kyiv to discuss reforms to the United Nations.
“It is now clear that the goals set in San Francisco in 1945 for the creation of a global security international organization have not been achieved, and it is impossible to achieve them without reforms,” he said.’
“I don’t know where we fall in the legacy of life.”
We crave leadership, and authenticity.
Matthew Fox, a spiritual theologian.
“Rabbi Heschel teaches that a prophet’s primary task is to interfere. Julian of Norwich, by calling us to interfere with patriarchy and heal the wounds that it has wracked upon human history and the human soul and the earth, beckons u from folly to wisdom. Are we listening?”
Fr Richard Rohr:
“Stage One people: At this level tend to be preoccupied with the pleasure, security, safety, and defense of their material state. And that extends to their morality: If it makes me feel secure, it is moral. Life is largely about protecting myself. This is seen in the endless need for war and guns, but little need for education culture, the arts, and spirituality. Stage One people are mostly dualistic, either/or thinkers, and frankly represent a rather sizable minority of humans. Their morality largely has to do with maintaining their group, and regarding their group as superior.”
Trump’s Defenders Have Adopted a Doctrine of Infallibility
As with so many words and ideas, “cult of personality” in the modern sense probably begins with Karl Marx, who used “personality cult” in a letter to a friend in 1877. Nikita Khrushchev cited that passage (and several later ones by Marx) in his famous 1956 “secret speech,” formally titled “On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences.
‘A cult of personality that replies “Trump’s right” or “his enemies are worse” before the question is even asked is the only place to hide. A doctrine of infallibility is the only defense of this deeply fallible man.’
“If the impeachment provision in the Constitution of the United States will not reach the offenses charged here, then perhaps that 18th-century Constitution should be abandoned to a 20th-century paper shredder!” —Rep. Barbara Jordan, 1974
Courtesy Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs editor Gideon Rose writes in the September/October issue that the leaders of Russia, China, Turkey, the Philippines and Hungary all “fought their way from obscurity to the throne and then took a hard authoritarian turn”:
Historical eras tend to have characteristic leadership types: the fledgling democrats of the 1920s, the dictators of the 1930s and 1940s, the nationalist anticolonialists of the 1950s and 1960s, the gerontocrats of the 1970s, the fledgling democrats (again) of the 1980s and 1990s. Now we’re back to dictators.
The leading figures on the world stage today practice a brutal, smash- mouth politics, a personalized authoritarianism. Old-school strongmen, they do whatever is needed to grasp and hold on to power.
Stanford World Class
Former Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos (now at Stanford) discusses Russia’s election interference and the use of pure propaganda techniques. Much of the spotlight on Big Tech is warranted. However, Stamos also argues that our government, the media, and we as citizens all have a role to play in the security of our elections.” #MSM
“To block Russian propaganda during 2016 really Facebook would have had to block the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post.”
Tech companies have failed in a lot of ways, but there was a lot of misplaced raged by main stream media against tech companies because they have not dealt with their own failings in 2016. […] They’re not writing stories about their editorial decisions, but those decisions were critical.”