I am not totally back yet but I will be

It’s kinda strange to write a blog post about myself. I almost never tweet or blog about myself. But just for once I think it’s the best thing to do. I haven’t tweeted in a long time. I was in a car crash, for the second time in six years and needed a long time to recover from it. I won’t bother you with the details but it hasn’t been nice. Once I recovered a little bit, I DMed less than a handful of you to explain why I wasn’t tweeting anymore, but it was impossible to inform everybody. I have considered to put it on my timeline, but I don’t like to tweet and then to be unable to reply to what people write or to acknowledge that I’ve seen their tweets. So all I did for a long time was send DM’s to just a handful of you. Many of you have asked me where I’ve been, which I really appreciate and I’m very sorry that I wasn’t able to respond to all those tweets.

Tweeting about politics has long been a little bit too stressful. Posting a tweet is easy, but as long as I was unable to read other tweets, to reply to mentions, to read how people respond, it made no sense to me to be tweeting. I wanted to wait with that until I could at least be tweeting a few days a week.

I have been tweeting from a new account for a while, with almost no followers, which made it a lot easier to follow the news, sports, and to give my opinion. As long as only a few people were reading it, it didn’t ask too much of me. But now with all these issues going on, I start to feel like tweeting from this account again. Whether it’s our amazing President, institutionalized racism, our horrible Justice System or the just as horrible Donald Trump, I want to give my opinion and read yours.

I write this blog post to let you all know that I will be back, I will be starting to tweet from now on although there may still be days when I really don’t feel like tweeting. I may miss a few tweets and mentions. In about half a year I’ll start to work again. I know there’s a lot of criticism on big companies and corporations. The one I work for has been more than brilliant to me.

It hasn’t been easy, my family lives 8000 miles away and it’s a long trip for them to come and see me. They’ve been here a lot though. My friends live all over the Planet because I work in different countries. Many people had to wait weeks, sometimes even months before they found out why I wasn’t available or why I didn’t show up.

But I’m very lucky, I pretty much got the best care available while so many people who go through the same, hardly get any care. I’m not complaining.

Anyway, I wanted to thank all those who’ve been asking and wondering, I really appreciate it and from now on I will, at least from time to time, be using my regular account again. I’m sorry if I can’t reply to every tweet yet, but a few months from now everything will be as it used to.

Thanks!

No one will tell you the reality about Ukraine and Crimea.

For weeks the world has been talking about the Ukraine. Everybody has an opinion, almost never based on the reality.

First there were protests against a democratic elected but corrupt President. Soon it got ugly and protesters were killed. Pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych fled the Country and Ukraine got a new Government that however, only represented the Western Pro-European part of the Ukraine. Russia was afraid to lose influence in the Country that used to be part of the Soviet Union and all of a sudden Russian troops were all over the place in Crimea, an autonomous Republic in the Ukraine. It was called an invasion although not everybody agrees on that because Russian troops are legally allowed to be there

Everybody uses events in Ukraine for her or his own good.

The media loves it and is preparing everybody for a war because that is good for ratings. It’s not realistic though. The Ukrainian army has no chance whatsoever against the Russians and also appears to be divided. Several Generals already said that they would never fight against Russia. The International community will never get involved in an armed conflict with Russia. No matter how much the media loves to talk about it, this will never be a war.

Republicans use the situation to criticize President Obama. They don’t seem to know on what though. Some complain that he is too tough and others say he’s not tough enough. Their criticism appears to be part of a political game and is therefore not to be taken too seriously.

Self-proclaimed transparency fighters like Wikileaks, had some help from Russia lately and therefore now only focus on what’s wrong with the Ukrainian opposition. A minority of the Ukrainian opposition is right wing fascist but suggesting that they’re all Nazis has nothing to do with reality. Arguments that an oligarch like former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko is no better than who used to be in charge, may be valid, but suggesting that they’re all like that is just not right. The far left may have some points but they generalize too much and their silence when unarmed protesters were killed speaks volumes. They also play a political game.

Most liberals, including myself, have been criticizing circumstances in Russia for a long time. There is not enough freedom for the media and there are no equal rights. We criticize Russia for good reasons. But those issues may also have influenced the way we look at this situation and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing.

In the end we all use this to make our own point and no one really seems to care what the actual situation is.

As irrelevant as a blog post may be, I will try to give some perspective. And while doing that I will ignore my own ideas about Russia and equality issues on which I’ve heavily criticized their Government. This will only be about Ukraine and more specific, about Crimea.

I have lived in Russia. Eight years ago I started my first project abroad for which my company sent me to Moscow. I’ve lived there for three years and while there I‘ve been to Crimea several times. Crimea is not only important for the Russian army, it’s also a fantastic holiday paradise, where many Russians spend their vacation.

Even though recent events came as a surprise to me, they shouldn’t have. I have been warned. I vividly remember people in Crimea predicting this would happen one day. Something about Crimea just didn’t seem to be right. It was Ukraine yet it felt like it was Russia.

Crimea has been Russian for centuries, the majority of the people are Russians and Crimea officially belonged to Russia for a very long time. The only reason why Crimea became a part of Ukraine is that Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev, who was Ukrainian, on a night in 1954 when he was reportedly drunk, decided that Crimea would from then on belong to the Ukraine.

A strange decision that didn’t make any sense, but it also didn’t really matter. It was still unthinkable that the Soviet Union would ever fall apart so the only thing that changed was the name of the part of the Soviet Union that Crimea belonged to. But you can call an apple a banana, it’s still an apple. The majority of the Crimean people have always felt they belonged to Russia and Russia has always seen it as theirs.

This became a real problem when the Soviet Union fell apart in the early 90’s and Ukraine became a sovereign State. Russia argued that just because one man once decided that Crimea was Ukrainian, it shouldn’t mean that they would have to say farewell now. It had always been Russian and the majority of the people wanted it to be Russia. A vague deal was made. Crimea would be a part of Ukraine although Russia could pretty much use it for whatever it wanted. It has been like that ever since. Russian troops can legally be in Crimea so technically we can’t even call this an invasion. The number of Russian troops however, suggests otherwise.

To solve a problem it’s important to understand it first. That is something that the world should realize and especially the EU failed to do so. After months of protests in Kiev a compromise was made three weeks ago. They would have elections and till then there would be an interim Government that represented all parts of Ukraine. This was meant to unite Pro-European Ukrainians in the West, The Russians in the East and a huge part where both groups are mixed and live together with other minorities. If this compromise would have happened, the world would have never heard of Crimea.

But EU politicians, totally ignorant of the historical reality, urged the protesters to not take the deal. This resulted in a new Government that only represented the Pro-European Ukrainians. The other half was not represented by anyone.

In my opinion this may be the dumbest thing the EU has ever done. I disapprove of how Russia responded but the EU almost asked for it. If we think democracy is the way to go, we can’t just ignore half of the people, just because they are not Pro-European Ukrainians but Russians who are Pro-Russia. If we don’t acknowledge them as part of Ukraine, they may as well secede.

It’s also almost unfair to expect that Russia will just say farewell to what they still consider to be a part of their own Country. We can’t expect Russia to just give up the only naval base they can use during winter. By ignoring the historical reality, the importance it has to Russia and half of those who live in Ukraine, the EU created this mess. The only thing that could have kept Ukraine together was a Government that represented all the people. Instead they helped establish a Government that only represents those who prefer the EU over Russia.

Every amateur could have known that Russia wouldn’t accept to lose all is interests in what it sees as its own Country. The irresponsible actions of the EU backfired. Russian troops had always been on the naval base in Crimea, but now walk on the streets of the Crimean cities. The Pro-Russian parliament of Crimea all of a sudden decided it wants to be part of Russia. The citizens will do the same in a referendum.

Russia welcomes this and the West calls it unconstitutional. Both are at least a bit hypocritical.

When Slovenia decided in the 90’s that it didn’t want to be a part of Yugoslavia any longer because it had never felt it belonged there, it was also unconstitutional. Back then Russia was against it and the West cheered it and called it democracy. The situation in Crimea is really not that different, except the choice of the people is now not Pro-West but Pro-Russia.

In the end this is all about power and the West, especially the EU, overplayed its hand. Everyone could have known that Russia would have never just accepted their loss. Crimea could have been part of Ukraine with some Russian influence. But the EU wanted it all and now they have nothing. The same EU politicians that promised the Pro-Western part of the Ukraine to have their backs three weeks ago, are now nowhere to be found. Serious sanctions against Russia will hurt the EU and especially Ukraine, just as much as they will hurt Russia. It’s a lost battle. Crimea will be Russian.

What have we learned?

First of all we can’t just ignore historical reality just because we don’t like it. If something has been yours for centuries and is a crucial part of your military, you’re not just going to give that up. We could have known that.

Another important thing is that you can’t promise people to have their backs and then walk away when it gets difficult. Something the EU has done more than once.

But most important is that we need to be consequent about democracy. It’s either always ok if the vast majority of the people decide about their independency or it’s never ok. We can’t agree with the majority if they choose for us and then disagree if they choose for Russia. Democracy gives people the choice. It doesn’t say which choice they should make.

I will continue to criticize Russia on several issues. But if it’s about this issue, the West should get at least as much blame as Russia. Without Western arrogance, fake promises and ignorance of historical reality, Crimea would have continued to be part of the Ukraine. And now it will, probably forever, be part of Russia.

Questions for Snowden, Manning and Greenwald supporters

At the moment there are two groups attacking our President because of the NSA issue. On one side we have Conservatives who started worrying about no matter what from the moment we had a black President on. They are not sincere, I don’t care what they think.

On the other side there is a mostly left leaning group of people that is so focused on transparency that they, as far as I’m concerned, forget to check how transparent their so called whistleblowers themselves are. I believe a lot of people in this group are sincere, that’s why, like others, I ask them a lot of questions, which so far remain unanswered. Often the answer is a returned question or an answer to a question I didn’t ask. It also happens a lot that people just act as if you never asked anything. Also, and this is an update, they start yelling that you don’t get it, but still they can’t answer anything.

Because sincere people should at least try to get it right, maybe there will be someone who can answer them here. They’re about Bradley Manning, Edward. Snowden and Glenn Greenwald. Here I go.

1: Bradley Manning leaked a video in which unarmed people were shot. I understand that he did that because that was just wrong. The problem is he also leaked 100.000’s documents that he never even read himself. How exactly are you a whistleblower if you don’t even know what you’re warning people for?

2: The first document he leaked was about a bank deal between Iceland and the UK. Why was it so urgent and crucial to let the American people know about that deal? Just like in many other documents, America wasn’t even involved.

3: How responsible is it exactly to leak secret documents if you don’t even know what’s in them? Even if he didn’t put lives at risk he could have. He didn’t know what he was leaking.

4: Edward Snowden did know what he was leaking, although not much of it was actually new. The NSA checks a lot of things, it’s actually their job. Knowing that he could get in trouble he fled and back then meant to ask for asylum in Ecuador. Which travel agency told Snowden that the fastest way to go from North to South America was via China and Russia?

5: There are more than 200 countries in the world, why did Snowden have to pick our No. 1 and No. 2 cyber enemies to flee to if there were no anti-American ideas involved?

6: How is it patriotic to warn countries that are far worse than America is, for your own country?

7: How on earth can you claim to fight for civil rights and ask a former spy who is President of a country without any civil rights for help?

8: Anyone noticed how Glenn Greenwald’s career got an enormous boost while Snowden is screwed for life?

9: Since when is investigative journalism the same as publishing stolen documents?

10: Do you know what kind of people can’t stop coming up with conspiracies to attack President Obama? Conservative Tea Party members. As I write this several countries close their embassies in the Middle East because of terrorist threats. Greenwald calls the threats a false flag by Obama to make us feel that terrorism is real and we need the NSA to protect us. Do you believe Obama is lying?

11: If you don’t believe Obama is lying, then Greenwald is trying to scare you off by warning you for the evil Government. Isn’t that exactly what the Tea Party does?

12: Greenwald criticizes America and ignores what happens in Russia and China. Do you agree with him that if you look at the world the way it is, it’s appropriate to attack Obama 24/7 and praise Russia’s Putin as the protector of civil rights?

If transparency is what you want and if truth is what you’re looking for then it must not be too hard to give the answers.

This is why most George Zimmerman supporters are bigots.

A white kid walks on the street. A black man sees him and for some reason seems to think that it’s strange that a white kid walks on the street. The black man calls 911 and is ordered to stop following him. The black man continues to follow him anyway, ends up in a fight and kills the white kid.

What are the chances that a mostly white conservative group of people would start fundraising to help the black man? What are the odds that white conservatives will start digging in the murdered white kids past and use all the imagination possible to focus on other things than his death?

The answer is zero. There is no chance that that would happen and conservatives can yell all they want, but if they’re honest they’ll admit it.

It’s almost two years ago that Troy Davis was executed. A black man, convicted for killing a white cop. Several members of the jury later stated they had been misled during the trial, witnesses confessed that they were forced to say things they actually never saw. Davis was likely innocent, but executed anyway. The same conservatives who now use all their imagination to come up with excuses to defend Zimmerman, didn’t even want to discuss the case back then. All they yelled was: ‘fry the cop killer.’

I know that Zimmerman isn’t a hundred percent white, but that doesn’t change the fact that Trayvon Martin was black. I’m not going to discuss the case itself, it’s pretty clear as far as I’m concerned but we have the worst Justice System in the civilized world. We can only wait to see if they’ll get it right this time.

What is disturbing is the -never seen before- outrage on social media. Conservatives who never ever before cared for even one second about any case, are defending Zimmerman as if they’re all his best friend. There are so many Death Row inmates who have been found guilty in very disturbing cases with almost no evidence. They never got any help or any support. And if you stand up for them, conservatives will refuse to even look at the case, to even check for actual guilt. All they’ll do is yell that you support criminals and that they should be executed.

Never before did they care about anything but guess when –all of a sudden- they started caring?

When a black kid, armed with Skittles was killed by an adult who was armed with a loaded gun. Of all the cases in history, they picked this one to start caring. Not a case when jurors in a trial stated they had been misled and claimed Troy Davis was likely innocent.  Not one of many other cases where there is serious doubt. No, of all cases they picked this one.

This is not about standing your ground or anything else. This is only about race.

As I write this, Nelson Mandela is fighting for his life. And when he dies the same ones who started defending a suspect once they found out his victim was black, will yell RIP Nelson Mandela.

I wish they knew who Mandela actually was.

Hank Skinner, 18 years on Texas Death Row and most likely innocent!

English: Allan B. Polunsky Unit Español: Unida...

English: Allan B. Polunsky Unit Español: Unidad Allan B. Polunsky (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is more than a year and a half year ago that Troy Davis was executed. He was sentenced to death for the murder of a police officer. It was one of those executions that caused a lot of outrage. Witnesses in the trial later claimed they were forced to testify things they actually never saw, members of the jury later said they would have never found him guilty if they would have known back then, what they knew now. Davis was executed anyway because he was found guilty. Not actual guilt was the reason, but the fact that he was found guilty was the reason. Troy Davis is dead now. And my question is if we are going to let something like that happen again?

A justice system is meant to do justice. They should get it right. Unfortunately it is not always the case that doing the right thing and trying to find out what really happened has the highest priority. Often it seems to be more important to get it over with and close a case, even if many questions remain unanswered.

This is for obvious reasons especially wrong in death penalty cases. You have to be guilty beyond reasonable doubt before execution can even be considered. In many death penalty cases we know beyond any doubt that the one who is convicted is guilty. This post is not meant to claim that the best human beings on the planet are all living on Death Row. It is meant to discuss one case in which it is not a fact that someone is guilty, but a theory. A theory that became more and more unlikely.

This post is about the Hank Skinner case. A man convicted for triple murder almost two decades ago. He has been on Texas Death Row ever since. There is a lot of information about this case online, feel free to read as much as you want. What I will write here are facts, what I want to create is awareness. Any innocent person on Death Row could be you or me. Any person who’s guilt is not proven beyond reasonable doubt, is innocent.

Hank Skinner was at home New Years Eve 1993, as his live-in girlfriend Twila Busby and her two sons were murdered in his house. Blood spatters from two of the victims were found on Skinner’s clothes. His DNA was found on a lot of objects in the house and instead of calling the police once he found out what happened, he fled the scene and went to his neighbor, Andrea Joyce Reed. He then supposedly threatened to kill her if she would call the police. Reed would later be a key witness in the trial. A pretty clear case, one would think. But we are not done yet.

Things are not always what they seem to be. A couple of issues that will follow have been discussed during Skinner’s trial, but many haven’t. Some information was ignored by his representation back then, other information was not yet available. There is a lot of crucial information the jury had not seen as they found him guilty.

Skinner claims, and blood tests confirm, that he was in a comatose condition from a near lethal dose of codeine and alcohol when the murders took place. He was lying passed out on the sofa. A friend of both Skinner and the victims came to visit them on the night of the murders and confirmed that, as he arrived, Hank Skinner was sleeping on the sofa and there was absolutely no way to wake him up. He was in a coma. That friend therefore, took one of the victims, Twila Busby, to a party, where several witnesses saw that she was stalked by her uncle, Robert Donnell. Remember that name.

Donnell had a hot temper and had used violence before. On the night of the murder he was seen harassing Twila Busby which scared her off so much that she left the party not long after she arrived there. She went home and was slaughtered to death shortly after that.

As the police arrived on the scene they decided within minutes that everything pointed to Hank Skinner as the murderer. They didn’t feel the need to test a lot of evidence they found. A jacket with blood on it, a knife, the murder weapon, none of it was tested. Skinner did it anyway. They arrested him a couple of hours later in the house he fled to.

As officers wanted to take his photograph they had to hold him upright, because he was still not able to stand on his own feet. Toxicologists would testify that with the level of alcohol and codeine found in Skinner’s blood, it was physically impossible that he could have committed the murders. Three adult victims were slaughtered to death, while Skinner could barely stand on his feet.

This statement was at the trial undermined by a key witness, neighbor Joyce Reed, who claimed Skinner had developed resistance to alcohol and codeine. Her opinion was not based on science and not backed up by experts. But the jury believed it. Reed was the neighbor who had also said that Skinner had threatened to kill her if she called the police, a statement that had to prove that he had something to hide. Skinner was found guilty and sentenced to death.

But after the trial the key witness recanted her testimony and claimed that the police had threatened to charge her as an accomplice in the murder unless she would testify things that were not completely correct. A tactic that is unfortunately used a lot. We have seen the same in the Troy Davis case.

Without her testimony, the toxicologist’s statement that Skinner could never have committed the murders still stands. Without her testimony Skinner did not threaten to kill her if she would call the police. Without her testimony key evidence is not evidence anymore. Time for a new trial you would think, but there is more.

From the moment the investigation started Hank Skinner has been the only suspect. It was his house, he left the scene so he did it. Therefore the only things that have been tested were objects that would incriminate him. Objects that could point to other suspects were not investigated, not tested and totally ignored.

It is a fact that Skinner’s DNA was found on several objects in the house, but then again, he lived there. Blood spatters of two victims were also found on Skinner’s clothes. But if you are in the middle of a crime scene, and one of the victims who at that point was still alive, tries to wake you up to ask for help, of course you will have his blood on your clothes. And yes, if you are innocent and you flee from a crime scene and stumble to the neighbor, it does not look good. But is it unimaginable that someone who almost had a lethal dose of codeine and alcohol, does not have the clear mind to do what makes most sense?

The most disturbing things are yet to come.

Skinner has always claimed he is innocent. His defense team has asked for additional DNA testing for ten years. Texas has always refused to do further testing and claimed that Skinner was just trying to delay his execution. An argument that would make sense if someone starts asking for additional testing a day before his execution, but not if someone has been asking for it for ten years. The claim that Skinner did not ask for testing during his trial and thereby lost that right also makes no sense. Just because you had bad representation during a trial, does not mean you should pay for that with your life. Furthermore, if there are so many objects not tested yet and a key witness recants her testimony, it is kind of the job of the Justice System to make absolutely sure they got it right, before they want to kill someone.

In 2010, half an hour before his execution, the Supreme Court granted Skinner a stay. A year later Supreme Court ordered that inmates have the right to post-trial DNA testing in case important things remain unclear. This ruling was a victory for Skinner who had always claimed there had to be another person’s DNA on several objects. And now Texas was forced to give the opportunity to test those objects. With no options left to execute Skinner straight away, Texas made a deal to do some additional testing. And this is where this case gets really disturbing.

A couple of months ago Texas released the first results. On a knife used in the murders they found Skinner’s DNA, which was clear from the start because Skinner always used it in his kitchen. The defense knew that but wanted to test it to see if there was also DNA on it that belonged to someone else. And guess what? The prosecution had to admit they also found DNA from one of the victims and from an unidentified third person on the murder weapon. Something the Skinner defense had been fighting for all those years. Now there was scientific evidence that there was another person involved. They finally had it. But instead of investigating that an unknown person’s DNA is found on a murder weapon, the prosecution ignored it and stated that Skinner’s DNA was also found on his own kitchen knife. Not really breaking news if your DNA is on your knife, but the prosecution claims that it proves his guilt and ignores the other DNA that was found on it.

And it gets worse.

The most important thing the Skinner defense team wanted to test all those years is a jacket with a lot of blood spatters on it. The jacket was also found at the crime scene and has never been tested. Skinner has always claimed it was not his jacket, it also does not fit him. This is where I go back to Robert Donnell, the uncle of the victim who has been seen stalking her, the night of the murder.

Several witnesses claim that the jacket found at the crime scene was a jacket that belonged to the uncle of the victim. Many people have seen him wear it. After a ten year battle in which the prosecution refused to test it, Skinner finally was given the right to test it. And exactly at that moment the prosecution claimed to have ‘lost’ the jacket. It can’t be tested. Exactly at the moment they were finally forced to test it, all of a sudden it disappeared.

And to make this case even more disturbing, once they started to find DNA from an unknown person on objects from the crime scene, the prosecution immediately decided to stop additional DNA testing.

The uncle, Robert Donnell, who stalked the victim on the night of the murder and who had a jacket that was found on the crime scene, died a couple of years after the murders. The Skinner defense had always pointed at him as a suspect but the prosecution never wanted to investigate it. And now there is no way they can ever ask him anything. He’s dead.

The prosecution once used a key witness who later recanted her testimony. The prosecution initially only tested things that would very likely have Skinner’s DNA on it anyway. For ten long years the prosecution refused to test objects they found on the crime scene that could point to another suspect. Once forced to, the results of DNA testing actually did point to another person. The prosecution ‘lost’ the single most important object the defense wanted to test, which happened to be a jacket full of blood, that according to witnesses belonged to the uncle of the victim, who by coincidence has been seen stalking her on the night of the murder. The prosecution ignores scientists who claim Skinner could never have committed these murders in the condition he was in.

And as I write this Hank Skinner is on Death Row in Texas. The prosecution still wants to execute him.

This is not a discussion about the death penalty. People will always disagree on that. But let’s at least agree that before we execute someone, we first have to be sure that he or she is actually guilty. I have tried to give as much information as I can. There is more information online, feel free to check it out.

The prosecution stopped additional testing once they started to find DNA from a different person. That says a lot because it proves that their focus is not on doing justice, but on winning this case, no matter if they are right or not.

The defense wants to do more testing. The more DNA from that unknown person will be found, the more likely it is that a judge won’t allow an execution to take place. DNA testing is expensive and now that Texas refuses to do it, because it undermines their case, the defense has to pay for it. If they can’t, there will be no more testing. For those who can afford it and who are convinced that this case has nothing to do with justice, you can go to http://www.hankskinner.org/hs/hs.php?en,help to see how you can help, by creating awareness, inform your network or donate.

Although I am convinced that Skinner is innocent, that is not even the question. The question is if he is guilty beyond reasonable doubt. The question is if, looking at all the evidence, there is no possible doubt about his guilt. Decide for yourself if that is the case and if you don’t think so and you’re in the situation to help in whatever way you can. I hope you will.

You can literally help save the life of someone who is probably just as innocent as you are.

Michele Bachmann and her Tea Party friends are extremely dumb but dangerous nonetheless

We first heard from them a couple of years ago. Most Americans were sick and tired of the Bush administration and elected our first black President. All of a sudden there was hope. We had a President who cared about us all, not just about the elite. Unacceptable for Conservative Republicans who answered by founding the Tea Party.

Bachmann "CRAZE"

Bachmann “CRAZE” (Photo credit: Mr_CRO)

The first Tea Party member who grabbed the microphone to talk about her morals and values was Michele Bachmann, who started a whole new tradition of making stuff up and promoting the idea that Obama was an anti-American. From that moment on politicians, especially Conservative Christian Tea Party members, yell anything they want, without backing it up.

And that is pretty much what they have been doing ever since. Rick Santorum made up a story about how the elderly in liberal countries were afraid to be euthanized by their doctor and therefore refused to go to the hospital. He said that this was how America would end up if we reelected Obama. Not true of course. Conservative Christian organizations in the countries he mentioned had to admit never to have heard such a story. Santorum backed his claim up with no examples, but he was talking to older people, who were crying anyway because their President tried to kill them. A couple in the audience even cancelled a trip to Europe out of fear of what could happen there.

It’s hard to believe that people are dumb and uninformed enough to believe everything they hear, but unfortunately it’s true. Many Tea Party supporters only watch Fox, where telling the truth and fact checking can have severe consequences. Many Conservative Christians are so naive that they believe that people like Bachmann and Santorum are sincere Christians who therefore will always tell the truth.

No one who has ever been in Congress has been caught lying more often than Michele Bachmann, famous for thinking that Libya is in Europe and therefore a problem that should be dealt with by European countries. Michele Bachmann is so uninformed, it’s a disgrace for any country to have a politician like her. But that does not mean that she is not dangerous.

I used to think that uninformed people couldn’t be very dangerous but I was wrong. The danger is not that anyone who had a little bit of education will listen to her. No matter Democrats, independents, moderate Republicans or libertarians, they all laugh at her. The problem is that those who listen to her are not informed at all. They never read a newspaper and if they watch the news, they watch Fox and remain uninformed.

Spreading fear, and nothing else, is what energizes the Tea Party base. At CPAC last week the biggest lies got the loudest applause. Michele Bachmann made up a story that Obama hired a dog walker because he was too lazy to do it himself, thereby proving that spending was the problem. And yesterday, Michele Bachmann said that ObamaCare kills people.

We all know Obama didn’t hire a dog walker. Bachmann was lying again. But the CPAC people are still angry because of it. ObamaCare doesn’t kill people but Bachmann has uninformed people worrying about it anyway. And these are innocent examples. But what about telling people that Obama killed four Americans in Benghazi? They actually believe it. What about comparing Obama to Hitler? What about calling our President anti-American? What about calling a completely decent and innocent girl from Arabian descent, a spy for a moslem terrorist organization? All lies, none of it is true, but the uninformed Tea audience believes it. They are convinced that this President and his administration work for the enemy and no one tells them that it’s a lie.

And that is a dangerous situation. It is meant to create hate and it does. In Politics, in social media, you see it everywhere. All of it is based on lies and almost all those lies are told by Conservative Christian Tea Party members. It is dangerous. Because what if a Bachmann fan actually believes Obama works for the enemy and in an ultimate attempt to ‘save’ his country, tries to hurt our President? What if other people who are called enemies, will be attacked?

The support for the Tea Party is shrinking. The more extreme they get, the more decent Republicans will leave. But even if there are not many left, you only need one idiot who is naive enough to believe all those lies, to potentially cause a huge drama.

We as a country are going in the right direction, but racism, bigotry and the endless lies of Tea Party Politicians are very dangerous. Not because they will ever get a majority, but because dumb people believe them. By now our society is filled with hate and it’s time to stop that. That is why I think our focus as human beings, but also the focus of the Democrats as a party, should be to get rid of fear spreading Tea people like Michele Bachmann.

The Tea Party may be good for Democrats, because as long as they are around, there will never be a Republican President again. But it is too easy to call it a Republican problem. The constant lying and fear mongering is poison to our society. It’s also our problem. To end their hate, all we have to do is unseat them. Once that happens their sponsors will leave and instead of hearing them every day, Tea Politicians will disappear from the scene.

Bachmann almost lost the elections to Jim Graves, even though she had a much bigger budget. I am convinced that with more help from the Democrats, people like Bachmann can actually be unseated. There are more sane than insane people and I am convinced that with enough budget and good candidates, Democrats can unseat the biggest haters. No way that Bachmann will ever win an election again if we make sure the majority of the voters are informed about who she actually is.

Call me optimistic but our biggest worry should not be who will be President in 2016. Demographics and a heavily divided GOP will make sure it will be a Democrat anyway. Our focus should be on districts where Democrats are running against Tea Party candidates. Many of us don’t seem to realize that in most cases, beating a Tea Party candidate is easier than beating a moderate Republican.

If we focus on the right things this can be a win-win situation. We can win seats, take back the House, exterminate the Tea Party and end their hate. And for the sake of dignity, I suggest that we start with unseating the dumbest Politician our Nation has ever had: National disgrace Michele Bachmann.

Thoughts on Unite Blue and the theories about it.

Dear everybody who is not active in the Progressive world on Twitter, you are very welcome to read this, although it’s probably not that important to you.

Dear Progressives on Twitter:

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

I have tried to be silent about the whole pro- and anti-Unite Blue circus on Twitter for a long time. I have always and will forever be independent, I don’t want a label and I thought it was not up to me to say something about it, because I am not a member and I also don’t belong to any anti-Unite Blue group.

For me this was very simple, either you join or you don’t. In both cases I’m more than happy to talk to you. But it’s getting ugly lately. Tweets appear on timelines in which people warn each other that they will unfollow those with a Unite Blue Twibbon. There are even threats to unfollow those who dare to retweet those who have a Unite Blue Twibbon. And that is where they started involving me who, like others, never wanted to be a part of this whole circus.

It’s not that I will lose a minute of sleep because of threats like that, it’s the ‘either you are with me for a 100% or you’re my enemy’ attitude that is disturbing. This was once introduced by George W Bush and we know how that worked out. It is also the opposite of what progressives should be doing. It’s manipulative, it’s blackmail and it’s wrong. It is making a decision for all the others and warning them that it will have consequences if they have their own opinion. It’s everything progressives should be fighting against and those who use tactics like this can of course not seriously mean that others are the ones who are dividing.

It’s sad because on both sides there are several people with interesting tweets, who I enjoy talking to.

I will take the risk that members of both sides may find things in this post they don’t like, the risk that with the recent conspiracy culture, both sides may say I’m actually pro the other side. I will take that risk. I’ve decided to write a blog about it for the simple reason that there are too many theories about this situation that just don’t make any sense. There are timelines that used to be very interesting, but now all you see is conspiracy theories. I will also give my opinion based on professional marketing experience on what certain personal information may or may not be worth.

First though I will explain why I’m not a Unite Blue member.

First of all, I refuse to call myself left. I’ve never been left, I’ve always been right there in the middle until the Tea Party changed the map. One of my favorite Presidents is George H. Bush, Bush 41, who so far is the only President ever who united the whole world against one country when it was needed. And although right now it’s highly unlikely that I will ever vote GOP, I like to keep my options open. I want to think for myself, make my own decisions, I don’t need anyone to do that for me or give me the idea that for example, I am supposed to think that a big problem we face is knives on planes, an issue about which Unite Blue launched a Twitter Bomb a couple of days ago.

The reason why I’m not a member is simple. I am and will be independent, even though I agree with the left on almost all the issues.

But does this make me anti-Unite Blue? The answer is no. From the day Unite Blue started, I’ve seen many people connect. People who used to have fifty followers, now have a thousand,. People who used to tweet once a week now tweet all day long. I can’t think of a reason why that would be a bad thing.

One of the reasons why Unite Blue is criticized is that the founder, Zach Green, may have worked for the Tea Party and the GOP. And certain information online suggests that it may be true. If that is the case, he should say it. But I wouldn’t have a problem with it. If it’s true i’s better if it’s in the open, but the idea itself doesn’t bother me. If someone sold a hamburger to the Tea Party last week and this week he gives them away for free to Democrats, then I don’t see the problem. You don’t want to live in an economy where Democrats can only do business with other Democrats. Without knowing it, every single person who reads this does business with Republicans, every single day. Unite Blue is a free service. As long as that is the case, the worst scenario is that they are doing stuff for free for you, while they charge the GOP for the same.

Another rumor is the idea that that the personal information members give to Unite Blue can be sold to whoever would want to have it. Rumors for example that they may be sold to the GOP or other Conservative organizations. My first question would be why the GOP would want to ‘buy’ an email address from a Progressive? To invite you to CPAC or to try to sell Palin’s Christmas book? Don’t think so. An organization will only buy information from people who may be willing to join them, or to buy things from them, not from people who will mark the very first email you send them as spam.

You don’t need to be a scientist to figure out that you can’t sell a list that is public to 7 billion people. No one will buy a Twitter list if you can get it for free on Twitter, so if there could be a problem it would only be for those who became a member and gave their email address.

I don’t know what information people have to give when they join Unite Blue but, working in marketing for what some would call an evil corporation, I do know in which cases an email address is worth something and in which cases it isn’t. Just an email address without any additional information is worth nothing. A million of them without any additional information are still worth nothing.

For companies and organizations an email address is only interesting if you also know what person it is from, what income that person has, if he or she is married, has kids, what that person likes to do etc. If you have all that information, an email address can be worth something, but only if you have a whole lot of them. For example a couple of thousand of them would not be enough to make it interesting.

By giving my opinion about these issues I am not choosing a side but trying to do what I can to stop the everlasting discussions. Maybe some will still be concerned and I respect that. But to those I can only say that I hope their timeline will one day be as interesting as it used to be, and about real issues. I am not a Unite Blue member and I have my reasons for that. But creating panic to try to get others to leave Unite Blue is not progressive. We are all old enough to make our own decisions.

I will end this post with a comment on a related issue.

Certain people on both sides blame the other side of working for the right wing. Both are wrong. Rumors about hacked accounts and strange things happening on Twitter are true. Twitter confirms this. People unfollow or block each other without knowing it. It has been like this for one and a half year now and it is getting worse. But that has nothing to do with one of the two sides in this sad battle, it’s a problem that Twitter confirms to have and they are working on it. It may help to not blame each other for it, or create more conspiracies about it, Twitter already took responsibility for it.

I will end this post in the hope that those who read this will not come up with yet another conspiracy about why I wrote this and which side I’m on. I wrote this because recently we had the GOP screwing us over with a sequester, we had CPAC spreading their hate and while that happened, a bunch of progressives who agree on all the issues except a blue twibbon, were talking about each other. That is why I wrote this and I hope that it will stop and that everybody will be mature enough to respect each other, no matter blue Twibbon or no Twibbon.