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Russia Did Not Hack the Election 

If I hear this one more time on the news I’m gonna shoot my TV, Elvis style:

Russia hacked the 2016 election. 

No, they did not!

Russia did not alter the voter rolls nor did they tamper with data collected from voting machines. THAT is hacking the election. 

If you believe American intelligence, Russia, with Putin’s knowledge or direction, hacked the email accounts of the DNC and John Podesta, Clinton campaign chairman. These were then turned over to Julian Assange whose organization Wikileaks leaked them to the press. 

Could the content of those emails have influenced voters? Certainly. That is not the fault of Assange or Putin. That is the fault of the ethically challenged writers of the original emails. 

President-elect Donald Trump looks foolish denying Russian involvement but his motive is understandable. The Russian “hack of our election” is a distraction from the fact that both the Clinton campaign and the media misread the American public. They can’t accept their culpability in Trumps election so they stoop to delegitimize it. 

Russia didn’t hack the election. They enabled us to look behind the curtain and see the Clinton contingent for the hot mess they really were. 

What do you think? The bar is open. 

Life in the House of Mirrors

Do you look around and think life is starting to look like the distorted images reflected in the amusement park House of Mirrors? If so, you’re not alone. Virtually none of these observations are original — hell, lots of people and pundits are talking about them — but I wanted to get them documented for the record.

Ted Cruz in Need of Remedial Reading

During his 21 hour filibuster on the floor of the Senate, Ted Cruz of Texas read “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss. I think I read somewhere that he was really reading it to his kids who he thought were watching him on C-SPAN, as a bed time story. The great irony is that in the middle of a filibuster about rejecting Obamacare before it has even taken effect, he read a story about a creature who refuses to try green eggs and ham but in the end DOES TRY THEM AND LIKES THEM. Could the moral really be that Obama is “Sam I am” and Obamacare is Green Eggs and Ham?

Russia and America Allies (Sort of)

Regardless of how much you might distrust Vladimir Putin’s motives, the bottom line is that both Russia and the United States are getting what they want by Putin poking his nose into the Syria chemical weapons thing. Now, if Putin would just deport Edward Snowden, things might really be cozy.

Detente with Iran

Regardless of how much you might distrust Hassan Rouhani, the new President of Iran, the optimist in me says it is good that he is at least talking a good game. After years of Ahmadinejad talking like a madman, Rouhani is a bit of fresh air. Quite frankly, Netenyahu’s immediate rejection of him, calling him  a wolf in sheep’s clothing, only further enforces my suspicion that Bebe is not the least bit interested in peace. Wouldn’t it take the wind right out of Benjamin’s sails if Iran finally decided that a vibrant economy was more important to it than nukes? One can only hope.

Is the Pope Catholic?

In recent weeks Pope Francis has said that the church over-obsesses about abortion and homosexuality. He has suggested that God loves homosexuals much as He loves others. He has even gone so far as to suggest that atheists who “follow their conscience” will be in God’s good graces. All this is not quite enough to make me convert but it sure makes it harder for me to be critical. This Pope serves the purpose that I believe religion should serve in every day life — as consolation to the downtrodden and spiritual nourishment to those faltering. 34 years ago my college roommate asked me “do you love?” I replied “yes”. He shot back at me “then you believe in God.” What a beautiful notion of faith — that it is overwhelmed by love of self and others. This Pope seems to be on that trip, and my hat is off to him.

Why Don’t We Care About Each Other Anymore?

A few weeks ago a woman called me on my job very upset that her dog was locked in her car. Assuming that some public agency could get help to her faster than I could, I put her on hold and called the police, the fire department and even animal control. NO ONE WOULD HELP. That’s right, not a single public agency representative gave a flying fig that this woman’s dog might die in her car from the heat. The good news is that while I searched in vain for help, she was able to get help on her own. As an aside, she assumed the worst about me and reported me as negligent despite the fact I had done everything I could to help her. The public agencies thought she was worthless and she in turn thought I was worthless.

A couple of weeks ago, a man walked into the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. and shot the place up. The top two questions that the media focused on were “how did someone with his psychological profile get security clearance to work at the Navy Yard?” and “how did someone with his profile get a gun?” While both were reasonable questions, the most important question was asked almost as an afterthought. This man told authorities he heard voices in his head. He did not receive help. Were folks just too busy? This man essentially asked for help because he knew that he was a danger to himself or others. Why didn’t anyone care enough about him to get him the help he needed? That was the fundamental question that should have been asked. Why didn’t someone intervene in this man’s life to help him?

On the flip side was the story of Antoinette Tuff, a school book-keeper who calmed down a mentally ill man who had entered her school with an AK-47. In her short encounter with the man, caught on a 911 tape, she probably showed him more respect than he had received from anyone in a long time. When he agreed to give himself up she said, “I want you to know I love you and I’m proud of you, It’s a good thing you’re just giving up. Don’t worry about it.  We all go through something in life.”

This true hero met danger head on with compassion. In that moment, she convinced that man that someone cared about him. That made a difference and I believe it makes a difference in everyone’s life. I have had the good fortune of always having someone in my corner, whether it was my parents, or a teacher, or my wife and precious daughter. I’ve always known that at least someone cared about me.

There is so much anger in this country right now. Why don’t we take a page from Miss Tuff? She is right. We all go through something in life. Why don’t we help each other get through it?

Respectfully,
Rutherford

Putin’s Gem

On the twelfth anniversary of the devastating attacks of 9/11 Russian President Vladimir Putin penned an OP-ED in the New York Times discussing the ongoing crisis in Syria. The irony of Putin writing about a peaceful world is as thick as pea soup.

Yet the part of the piece that has drawn much criticism from both right and left was his closing paragraph.

My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this. I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.

Clearly Putin did not need to go there to make his point about Syria but I am so glad he did.

Finally someone has told us in public to get some humility and stop the holier than thou crap we’ve been spewing for decades now. Our arrogance as a country knows no bounds. We have sufficient problems in this country from self inflicted economic depression to social unrest that we should not be lecturing anyone about anything. We have our own house to clean up big time.

The editorial should not have been titled “A Plea for Caution”. It should have been titled “America, Get Over Yourself”. I salute Comrade Putin for saying in public what so many countries must be saying about us in private.

Respectfully,
Rutherford