Attacks on Free Speech: How the Gov’t Uses FB Against You, and How Hyatt Hotels Bent Over for Liberals
Welcome back once again everybody after a nice weekend rest. Well, to be honest, I’m not feeling so rested, but I hope it was good for all of you out there. I’m Jesse Dominick for USA Really and this is our daily podcast for October 8, where we go through and have a little chat about all the latest news and opinion pieces to hit the web at USAReally.com! Our specialty is bringing you the news that the major media outlets aren’t always so keen on covering, and thought-provoking articles and reflections from real Americans on real American issues.
Before we jump headlong into the news from over the weekend and today, I want to remind you all again about our Global Democracy Award, which is USA Really’s first foray into the wild world of contests. We’re looking for talented and inspired/inspiring authors, poets, filmmakers, and even meme artists who are ready to tackle the thorny matter of the U.S. government’s interference in other countries. We’re offering some serious cash prizes (I’m talking in the thousands!) so definitely check out the contest page for more details, and get us your original work by December 1! And stick around till the end of the podcast and I’ll have another little piece of news for you about the contest.
Alright, with that, let’s get right on with the articles. First up is the opinion piece by Pradeep Banerjee that we published on Saturday: “Government Is Trying to Suppress Citizens’ Voice, and It's Using Facebook.” Sounds pretty ominous already — Americans are known for their great love of freedom of speech (well, at least for those whom they agree with), and we’re already wary of some of Zuckerberg’s less than user-friendly practices. Social media, and especially Facebook has forged a new world in terms of news. Millions tune into their feed to get their news, and it gives a real voice to lots of outlets that wouldn’t otherwise have a voice. “But,” Banerjee writes, “letting us mere mortals have such freedom was not something that our political masters desired. They would rather prefer ruling a country full of zombies than a country of thinking and independent people. They had to do something. They wanted that we hear only what they want us to hear and think only what they want us to think. They decided that Facebook had to be reined in. And they are succeeding.” This piece takes you through how this is happening, what companies, sometimes shady, Facebook is teaming up with, and a whole lot more.
Then we have today’s opinion piece, “Cultural Capacities of the Iranian State and NGOs” by Alexander Azadgan. He starts off with a statement that might seem to strange to many, or at least present something we might not often think about: “The theoretical [or practical] potential of the Iranian system of governance [with all its checks-and-balances and intricacies] as well as for the Iranian people to culturally cooperate with the American people is so vast, pervasive, and ever-expanding that it would be a disservice to oversimplify these factors in a mere essay.” He continues: “How the American people can learn and benefit from the cultural dimensions of Iran’s Islamic Revolution of 1979 as well as the cultural aspect of Iranians as a distinct sovereign nation with a civilization of 7000 years is of special importance these days as United States is currently underway in a massive populist movement that has unfortunately been polarized, plagiarized, and high-jacked by Donald Trump,” and further, “Mr. Trump’s ‘sincere ignorance and consciousness stupidity’ has now become a matter of national security to the point that the 25th Amendment is being seriously talked about in various circles in Washington. The 25th Amendment of our constitution specifically addresses mental incapacity to perform the duties of the office.” Alright, I think that should be sufficient to catch your eye and ear, so be sure to check out this piece today!
First up for news is a piece coming at you from Saturday. “Hyatt Hotels Will No Longer Host ACT for America's National Conferences” — Okay, unless you live under a rock, you know what Hyatt Hotels is, but you might not know what ACT for America is, and why Hyatt would decide to pull the plug on them. Well, you see, ACT for America has committed today’s cardinal sin — they’re conservatives! Of course, that means you’re going to be branded as a hate group no matter what, and that’s exactly what groups like Muslim Advocates, MoveOn.org, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and the discredited Southern Poverty Law Center have done, and Hyatt Hotels folded under pressure, declaring they would no longer hold national conferences for ACT for America, a grassroots national security organization founded by a Lebanese-American. Of course, ACT has fired back, saying, “By taking this stance, the Hyatt Hotels Corporation has become complicit with the radical left's attack on freedom of expression.” Of course, we’ve got a whole lot more for you in the article, so be sure to give it a read.
There’s a this day in history piece for the over the weekend. Something a lot of us will remember is the 2003 California gubernatorial recall election that saw Arnold Schwarzenegger ascending to the office, and we’ve got several other historical events for you there.
Then we’ve got “Prison Guards Filmed as Neglected Army Veteran Died in Jail Cell.” I hope that title made you shudder and say “WTF?” No matter what our political affiliation, one thing that unites most Americans is that we believe our troops should be taken care of — only the fringiest of the fringe freaks hate our troops. Well here we’ve got 31-year-old Bryan Perry, an Iraq vet who received a Purple Heart, who was arrested along with his girlfriend for drugs. Okay, it’s a crime, but we can still have some sympathy — he likely got pretty messed up from the war. Anyways, it seems once in a jail cell, Perry’s condition only got worse, but three guards stood around filming him on their phones and mocking him as he writhed in agony. He later died in the hospital. The family has a wrongful death case going, and I hope they can get some justice and peace.
And you know what? Apparently Vitamin D supplements don’t improve bone health, according to a major new study. See, this is why I just can’t get into the whole exercise and diet and vitamins game—everyone has their pet theory about what works, and they’re all proven wrong if you just wait long enough. Anyways, this piece has the stats from the study for you, and maybe the findings will surprise you.
And today’s this day in history article brings you the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 that killed no less than 300 hundred Chicagoans, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed 17,500 building throughout the city, and cost the city budget an enormous amount of money — $222 million. Of course, there’re some other events for you to read about there too.
And for all you NASCAR fans out there, we’ve got a piece on Chase Elliott’s big win at the Dover International Speedway yesterday, giving you the play-by-play, including all the crashes and flying lug nuts!
And if you live in Florida, watch out! There’s a new tropical storm — Michael — headed your way. The storm has winds of up to 40 mph and could strengthen into a category 1 or 2 hurricane by Tuesday night or Wednesday, with a dangerous storm surge, damaging winds, and heavy rainfall. This piece tells you what you need to know.
And another new study reveals that weed is more deleterious for teenagers than alcohol. The lead study author was sure it would reveal that alcohol is worse, but instead it found that young people are more likely to make mistakes in cognitive tests after using marijuana. I mean, this doesn’t really surprise me…
Apparently there’s a flea borne typhus outbreak in L.A. County lately, with at least a dozen cases reported as of Sunday. Authorities warn that the disease occurs when feces from an infected insect comes into contact with a cut or open wound or gets rubbed into somebody’s eye. These fleas often live on feral cats and rats who are attracted to areas with trash on the streets. So if you happen to find yourself in L.A., or anywhere really, stay away from stray animals and trash and keep your hands clean!
There’s a massive volcano in Yellowstone. Scientists are trying to figure out when it will blow next, but it remains a mystery. But in the meantime, NASA has an idea. The hotter it gets in the volcano, the more gases it produces. The magma continues to melt and the area above the magma chamber rises, and when the heat exceeds a certain threshold, an explosion is inevitable. So the logical solution would be to cool the supervolcano. Basically, that requires pumping a whole lot of water into the volcano. Gotta be honest — it sounds absurd to me, and apparently it’s similar to the film Armageddon. But hey, I’m not a scientist — if it works, it works. Oh, and it will cost $3.4 billion.
If you’ve gotten gas lately, you may have noticed that prices are going up. But they usually dip a bit at this time of year. So what the heck is going on? “Why Are Rising Gas Prices Bucking the Annual Trend?” has the numbers and an analysis for you.
And apparently the cool thing to do in the Hamptons these days is to get your house pimped out as protection against the gang MS-13. Millionaires are building armored castles, while the regular folk continue to live in fear. Their beefed-up security features include bulletproof windows, security cameras, security guards, tracking sensors, and panic rooms. I guess you can’t be too careful when it comes to your life and the life of your loved ones. Oh, but then again, these are rich Hamptonites — you can be certain some of this security bling is just about showing off to their friends. But who’s going to protect the little guy?
If you’re on Facebook, chances are good you’ve gotten a message about your account being hacked and cloned. Long story short — it’s a hoax, so calm down, y’all!
And another health story — apparently last year’s flu vaccine was only 36% effective. 179 children died and thousands were hospitalized. Moreover, some of the people who have used the anti-viral med Tamiflu “have had rare side effects of sudden confusion, delirium, hallucinations, unusual behavior, or self-injury. Adding to the ominous nature of these side-effects is the fact that these symptoms have occurred most often in children.” So are you going to get your kid vaccinated? That’s the question lots of parents are asking this year.
That brings us to the end of the articles we have for you today, but don’t forget — I promised to have something more for you about our Global Democracy Award contest. Well, we’re already receiving some great entries, and tomorrow we’ll have our first essay to share with you, and we’re looking for a lot more! Tomorrow’s piece is “America’s Currency War Against Turkey: Comparative Resistance and Solutions” by Ian Pye. Turkey’s economy is now uniformly described as in dire straits by the collective London-New York banking juggernaut and its media tentacles. Despite the West’s reasoning for why the nation’s currency – the lira – is plummeting, Turkey is enduring this imposed situation due to seasoned, disciplined internal defensive economic measures, plus its insistent relations with China, Russia and Iran. From his conclusion: “Turkey is clearly not new to coups, currency attacks and other externally sourced interference into its internal affairs and sovereignty. That said, this proud, resilient nation has managed to consolidate past experiences into balancing both modern defensive and offensive arrangements, economically and politically speaking. The recent fiscal attacks by transatlantic banking powers will be used as a global case study in how to deflect economic threats while providing catalysts for further Eurasian developmental integration and growth.” That’s a bit of a mouthful — it’s probably better for you to read our podcast text and definitely check out Ian’s piece tomorrow.
And don’t forget to check out the contest page and get us your inspired contest entries!
For USA Really, I’m Jesse Dominick saying thanks for listening, thanks for reading, and keep your eyes here for all the news and opinions you need to get through the day.