During his tenure as Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction, John Huppenthal offered little in the way of public instruction. Keeping the public in the dark about his slow and steady adoption of Common Core, the superintendent went about the business of growing Arizona’s reliance on the federal government.
In fairness though, the superintendent inadvertently offered one of the most important lessons to be learned by Republicans, and most specifically conservatives on both sides of the political aisle.
While everyone was focused on his stumbling and bumbling in defense of himself through his racist messages, they missed his valuable lesson.
They missed the one that one matters the most; don’t feed the beast. The beast is the mainstream media and progressive websites.
The truth of the matter is that every time you turn on the television, tune into a radio station, click on a website, post a comment, or share their links you might be feeding the beast.
That beast wants to destroy you, and unless you are very savvy or self-destructive, you should stay away – far away.
In the case of Huppenthal, he simply didn’t understand some basic facts, and he was arrogant. Huppenthal thought, as the 21st technology guy, that he understood how the internet works. He must have believed that if he simply used a pen name no one would be able to identify him.
It is difficult to believe that anyone in this day and age is that naïve. Ignorance coupled with arrogance was his undoing.
Here is what he didn’t know:
Every time you use Gmail, Yahoo or any other communication service that processes and stores your correspondence out of your control; someone is learning about you. They are grabbing data that reveals your age, location, buying habits, and anything else someone might find of value. Value equals the manipulation of your behavior by studying your habits.
Your IP address is captured when you log onto a website. Few sites, such as the Arizona Daily Independent, do nothing with your IP. It has no value to the ADI and others like us because we don’t trade on your information. We don’t really care who you are or why you are on our site. We don’ track your movement from story to story and we are not paid by our advertisers on “click throughs.”
Unlike the ADI, the other news sites do track your movement through your IP address. That address, when linked to other information can reveal much about you. Certainly more than you hope to reveal if you’re are posting under a pen name or anonymously. Information such as where you are, what time you access the internet, what sort of issues are of importance to you, your political leanings, your age, sex, etc., can be ascertained.
In the case of Huppenthal, he visited the site of his political enemies; Blog For Arizona. The site is run by unscrupulous former ideologues that will do whatever it takes to promote the Democratic Party. They used to be ideologues until they had to sacrifice their core beliefs at the altar of the big “D.” Now, they are simply “progressives” who join their fellow fascists in the Republican Party.
They are nothing more than crony capitalists with little regard for what remain our core principles – the Bill of Rights.
So, for liberals and conservatives, the mainstream media and the internet is merely an arsenal you stock daily through your daily use – if you are not careful.
The fringe on the Left have mastered the internet, while the establishment on the Right, sloppily occupies as much space as they can with chatter to lull you into the belief that you are represented.
Glenn Beck and his ilk on the Right use the fear they stoke to line their own pockets and fill their fallout shelters, while the true believers on the Left live in a basement surrounded by empty Dorito bags, and granola. You on the other hand are working with little time to navigate the obstacle course carefully crafted by the powers-that-be at Google and other search engines as they attempt to define your view of the world.
Hell, they even craft your speech in some cases, and as we know – language is our identity, and they will strip it from you one click at a time – if you are not careful.
Okay, so now that Huppenthal’s instruction has illuminated the hazards, how do you avoid them?
The most obvious way is to avoid saying stupid things. That is fairly essential. But the truth of the matter, in the hands of your enemies almost everything you say and do can be turned against you.
So, disguise yourself and spare the links.
If you must share an article from a mainstream media outlet, do not share the link. Cut and paste title of the piece and the highlights into your email, or Facebook page and leave off the link. Every time you share a link you feed the beast.
If you must comment on a mainstream media story, hit and run. Don’t believe that you are going to convince anyone of anything. Half the people you think you are chatting with aren’t even real so you are shadow boxing for the most part. Leave a link to an article that supports your position and run. That way you feed your friendly source by dispersing links, and you don’t waste time on fake Facebook people, who are really the multiple alter-egos of some creep in a basement somewhere half-way across the country.
Mask your IP address if you have to go on mainstream media sites. There are numbers of ways to do it, but the easiest way, is to select in private browsing. According to How To Geek, “Private browsing mode doesn’t offer complete privacy, but it does prevent your browser from saving your history, searches, cookies, and other private data between browsing sessions.”
Don’t log into a mainstream media site while logged in as yourself on Facebook unless you are going in to leave a link and leave. It would be better to visit those sites as one of your alter-egos. It takes almost no time to create an alter-ego.