Michael Moore: Why I'm Launching a Site for Trump Whistleblowers
I need one of you to help me. It might get dangerous. It may get us in trouble. But we're running out of time. We must act. It's our patriotic duty.
From the time you opened this letter to the time you get to the bottom of it, there's a decent chance that our president will have violated the constitution, obstructed justice, lied to the American people, encouraged or supported acts of violence or committed some horrible mistake that would've ended any other politician's career (or sent you or I to jail). And just like all the times he's done so in the past, he will get away with it.
Donald Trump thinks he's above the law. He acts like he's the above the law. He's STATED that he's above the law. And by firing Sally Yates, Preet Bharara and James Comey (3 federal officials with SOME authority to hold him accountable) he's taken the first few steps to make it official.
And yet, we keep hearing the same reaction to President Trump that we heard with candidate Trump after every new revelation or screw up: "He's toast!" "He can't survive this!" "He's finished!"
Make no mistake—Donald J. Trump has NO intention of leaving the White House until January 20, 2025. How old will you be in 2025? That's how long he plans to be your president. How much damage will have been done to the country and the world by then?
And that is why we must act.
As I've said since the election, we need a four-front strategy to end this carnage:
1. Mass Citizen Action
2. Take Him To Court Nonstop
3. YOU Run for Office
4. An Army of Satire
I'm doing everything that I can, publicly and privately, to aid this effort and I know that you are, too. And while quietly working on my new movie, I came across an old video that inspired me to write you today to ask for help.
In this video, a former congressman is passionately testifying about the importance of whistleblowers and need to protect the First Amendment. He stated:
"Enshrined in the First Amendment of the Constitution, we all know, are these words: Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. The freedom of speech and the press form the bedrock of our democracy by ensuring the free flow of information to the public. Although Thomas Jefferson warned that, 'Our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that limited without danger of losing it,' today this freedom is under attack."
The young congressman went on to decry the harassment, legal threats and even jailing of American journalists. He continued:
"Compelling reporters to testify, and in particular, compelling reporters to reveal the identity of confidential sources, intrudes on the newsgathering process and hurts the public. Without the assurance of confidentiality, many whistleblowers will simply refuse to come forward, and reporters will be unable to provide the American public with the information they need to make decisions as an informed electorate. But with all this focus on newsgathering, it is important that we state clearly: Protecting a journalist's right to keep a news source confidential is not about protecting reporters; it is about protecting the public's right to know."
Indeed, the power and the importance of whistleblowing is part of the American tradition and as old as the republic itself. On July 30, 1778, the Continental Congress voted unanimously for the first whistleblower legislation in the U.S.:
"Resolved, That it is the duty of all persons in the service of the United States, as well as all other the inhabitants thereof, to give the earliest information to Congress or other proper authority of any misconduct, frauds or misdemeanors committed by any officers or persons in the service of these states, which may come to their knowledge."
This legislation came in response to the first known act of whistleblowing in our country's history, when in 1777, 10 revolutionary sailors decided to blow the whistle on a powerful naval officer who participated in the torture of captured British soldiers. The sailors paid a price. They were sued and jailed for their courageous actions. But in the end, our Founding Fathers agreed that the sailors were doing their patriotic duty by reporting this crime. They made sure their legal fees were covered, protected them from retaliation and unanimously passed the 1778 whistleblower protection law.
Since then, courageous American men and women have put their careers, their freedom and even their lives on the line to report government and corporate wrongdoing. From Karen Silkwood (nuclear safety), Sherron Watkins (Enron) and Jeffrey Wigand (tobacco) in corporate America to Daniel Ellsberg, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden revealing government lies, the American whistleblowing tradition remains strong, despite constant attempts to intimidate and stifle these truth tellers.
And this is where I need one of you to help me.
Today, I'm launching TrumpiLeaks, a site that will enable courageous whistleblowers to privately communicate with me and my team. Patriotic Americans in government, law enforcement or the private sector with knowledge of crimes, breaches of public trust and misconduct committed by Donald J. Trump and his associates are needed to blow the whistle in the name of protecting the United States of America from tyranny.
We've put together several tools you can use to securely send information and documents as well as photographs, video and/or audio recordings. While no form of digital communication is 100 percent secure, the tools we're using at TrumpiLeaks provide the most secure technology possible to protect your anonymity (and if you don't require anonymity, you can just email me here).
I know this is risky. I knew we may get in trouble. But too much is at stake to play it safe. And along with the Founding Fathers, I've got your back.
As for the former congressman quoted above, he's moved on to bigger and better things. His name is Michael Richard Pence, the vice president of the United States. Who knows, he might even back you up on this, too ...
The ghoulishly named ogre-faced spider can "hear" with its legs and use that ability to catch insects flying behind it, the study published in Current Biology Thursday concluded.
"Spiders are sensitive to airborne sound," Cornell professor emeritus Dr. Charles Walcott, who was not involved with the study, told the Cornell Chronicle. "That's the big message really."
The net-casting, ogre-faced spider (Deinopis spinosa) has a unique hunting strategy, as study coauthor Cornell University postdoctoral researcher Jay Stafstrom explained in a video.
They hunt only at night using a special kind of web: an A-shaped frame made from non-sticky silk that supports a fuzzy rectangle that they hold with their front forelegs and use to trap prey.
They do this in two ways. In a maneuver called a "forward strike," they pounce down on prey moving beneath them on the ground. This is enabled by their large eyes — the biggest of any spider. These eyes give them 2,000 times the night vision that we have, Science explained.
But the spiders can also perform a move called the "backward strike," Stafstrom explained, in which they reach their legs behind them and catch insects flying through the air.
"So here comes a flying bug and somehow the spider gets information on the sound direction and its distance. The spiders time the 200-millisecond leap if the fly is within its capture zone – much like an over-the-shoulder catch. The spider gets its prey. They're accurate," coauthor Ronald Hoy, the D & D Joslovitz Merksamer Professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior in the College of Arts and Sciences, told the Cornell Chronicle.
What the researchers wanted to understand was how the spiders could tell what was moving behind them when they have no ears.
It isn't a question of peripheral vision. In a 2016 study, the same team blindfolded the spiders and sent them out to hunt, Science explained. This prevented the spiders from making their forward strikes, but they were still able to catch prey using the backwards strike. The researchers thought the spiders were "hearing" their prey with the sensors on the tips of their legs. All spiders have these sensors, but scientists had previously thought they were only able to detect vibrations through surfaces, not sounds in the air.
To test how well the ogre-faced spiders could actually hear, the researchers conducted a two-part experiment.
First, they inserted electrodes into removed spider legs and into the brains of intact spiders. They put the spiders and the legs into a vibration-proof booth and played sounds from two meters (approximately 6.5 feet) away. The spiders and the legs responded to sounds from 100 hertz to 10,000 hertz.
Next, they played the five sounds that had triggered the biggest response to 25 spiders in the wild and 51 spiders in the lab. More than half the spiders did the "backward strike" move when they heard sounds that have a lower frequency similar to insect wing beats. When the higher frequency sounds were played, the spiders did not move. This suggests the higher frequencies may mimic the sounds of predators like birds.
University of Cincinnati spider behavioral ecologist George Uetz told Science that the results were a "surprise" that indicated science has much to learn about spiders as a whole. Because all spiders have these receptors on their legs, it is possible that all spiders can hear. This theory was first put forward by Walcott 60 years ago, but was dismissed at the time, according to the Cornell Chronicle. But studies of other spiders have turned up further evidence since. A 2016 study found that a kind of jumping spider can pick up sonic vibrations in the air.
"We don't know diddly about spiders," Uetz told Science. "They are much more complex than people ever thought they were."
Learning more provides scientists with an opportunity to study their sensory abilities in order to improve technology like bio-sensors, directional microphones and visual processing algorithms, Stafstrom told CNN.
"The point is any understudied, underappreciated group has fascinating lives, even a yucky spider, and we can learn something from it," he told CNN.
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