How Russia Hacked America—And Why It Will Happen Again

via The Atlantic:

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Russian hackers attacked the U.S. on two fronts: the psychological and the technical. Hackers used classic propaganda techniques to influence American voters, bought thousands of social media ads to propagate fake news, and broke into Democratic party email servers to steal information.

And it won’t be the last time. Russian-backed psychological cyber warfare will only get better, and its methods more sophisticated.

Republicans Are Copying Sam Brownback’s Disastrous Tax Experiment

Millennial writer Allison Walter writes:

Faced with the prospect that we might imminently see on the national scale the fiscal devastation we saw in Kansas, it seems useful to recap a couple lessons learned from the colossal Kansas tax disaster that began five years ago:

Brownback and the Kansas Republican-majority legislature decided to put into practice the perfidious trickle-down economic theory that suggests if we cut taxes for the wealthy (i.e. businesses and corporations) somehow we’ll all come out better off. Theoretically, those who receive a tax cut will reinvest that money in the economy, and it will trickle down to those lower on the economic ladder.

Kansas waited five years for this magic to materialize, and all we saw was a budget shortfall of $700 million and public schools being forced to close early….

Too long after it became apparent that the tax experiment had been a massive failure, the legislature voted to restore some of the taxes that had been gutted. The governor vetoed, and his own Republican legislature overrode that veto.

You can read the full article here.

Syria: These Names, Written in Blood, Must Not Be Forgotten

via United States Holocaust Memorial Museum:

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime is starving, torturing, and killing its people. The Syrian government has “disappeared” more than 100,000 civilians into a secret network of prisons. One of the disappeared was Mansour Omari.

Mansour and other detainees mixed rust with their own blood to create ink, and used a chicken bone to write the names of 82 fellow prisoners on five scraps of cloth.

With these cloths, Mansour tells the world about the horrors in Syria, and his quest for justice for the detainees.

Pope Francis’ Prayer Intentions for December 2017: For the Elderly

A people that does not take care of grandparents, that does not treat them well has no future! The elderly have wisdom. They are entrusted with a great responsibility: to transmit their life experience, their family history, the history of a community, of a people. Let us keep in mind our elders, so that sustained by families and institutions, may with their wisdom and experience collaborate in the education of new generations.