January 1st 2021 ushers in a new year and along with it, continued geopolitical threats. With a new President heading to the Oval Office in the United States and a global pandemic likely to still be raging, there will be plenty to contemplate come the […]
“Many groups are concerned about the 2020 Presidential election and potential fraud or interference,” Jim Feldkamp says. “So far, we haven’t uncovered evidence of widespread voter fraud. Of course, future investigations may uncover issues. Obviously, in the long run, fair elections are a necessary for […]
“History doesn’t repeat itself but it often rhymes”
Now, more than ever, Mark Twain’s observation is becoming prescient.
Strains on the American spirit due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the summer riots, and a contested election in 2020 have spilled over into 2021. The events of January 6th., just one week ago, have sent a chill throughout America.
After President Trump’s rally, during the ratification of the electoral college votes for President-elect Biden, protestors stormed the United States Capitol to ransack and destroy. Let’s be clear, individuals who riot, especially those who attack symbols of our democracy, should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
In the riot’s wake, and in this hyper-partisan atmosphere, there are now those on the left who are quick to point out historical similarities between the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nazis), and what individuals on the right-end of the American political spectrum possess. They espouse examples that focuses on the Munich Beer Hall Putsch of 1923, where Adolph Hitler attempted a coup to overthrow the democratic Weimar republic of Germany. Or Kristallnacht in 1938, where SA Brownshirts began the Pogroms of Jews in Germany. They are wrong. These events miss the mark on what we are now witnessing here in America.
The event that best encapsulates what we are experiencing is the Reichstag fire of 1933. This event paved the way for Hitler to become dictator of Germany.
On January 30, 1933, Hitler, having been democratically elected, was sworn in as Chancellor to head a coalition government (but not a majority). With Paul von Hindenburg as President, and the real power in Germany, the belief was that Hitler could be managed. However, the Reichstag fire changed the dynamics of politics in Germany, and the arc of history.
On the night of February 27, 1933, one month after Hitler’s election, a fire broke out and destroyed the Reichstag (German Parliament). The Nazi party used this fire as a pretext to claim the communists were plotting against the new German government. This provided Hitler the excuse to push through parliament the Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of People and State (aka Reichstag Fire Decree).
The Reichstag Fire Decree suspended civil liberties in Germany, including habeas corpus, freedom of expression, freedom of the press, the right of free association and public assembly, and the secrecy of the post and telephone, and banned publications not considered “friendly” to the Nazi cause.
These restrictions allowed the Nazis to gain a majority coalition in the following election (March 5th). Parliament then passed the Enabling Act, the partner piece of legislation to the Reichstag Fire Decree. This act assigned all legislative power to Hitler and his ministers. After the death of President Hindenburg in 1934, a new law was passed that combined the offices of president and chancellor, and gave Hitler dictatorial powers. The rest, as they say, “is history.”
Today, after the assault on the US Capitol, we see eerie similarities between the past and the present happening in our own country. Twitter has banned President Trump, and over 70,000 additional accounts – stating that they (Twitter) need to identify “potential harmful tweets.” Google and Apple have suspended the “App” sale for Parler (a conservative internet platform). While Amazon has suspended Parler from its web-server. Destroying the company’s business model by denying access to customers.
Although Twitter, Amazon, and Facebook are private companies, they have taken advantage of 47 U.S. Code § 230, which provides immunity for website publishers. Protection against lawsuits means that these providers shall not edit, or act as publisher, for content crossing their platforms by another information content provider. Yet, these companies are now circumnavigating the law. They are editing, publishing and prohibiting speech they deem “not popular.”
This is a slippery slope, and the wrong tact to take. The first amendment does not identify free speech as popular speech. It protects unpopular speech as well. Yet, these companies are now deciding who is right, and who is wrong, in the cyber-town square.
What’s next? The polarization of the body politic, already white-hot, is gaining momentum. Today, with the riot as pretext, there is a “hue and cry” for retribution. With a second impeachment against President Trump occurring in congress, the demand for senators, and representatives to resign, and the shaming of people on the right to shut up and be silent, the threat to our democracy is real. The acts of Apple, Google, YouTube, and Twitter to edit, or censor content, should give one pause to the direction American politics is heading.
There is a story, often told, that upon exiting the Constitutional Convention Benjamin Franklin was approached by a group of citizens asking what sort of government the delegates had created. His answer was: “A republic, if you can keep it.”
With the current state of affairs that now exist prior to President-elect Joseph R. Biden’s inauguration, let us hope our republic, and our citizens, understand that history need not rhyme any more than it already has.
James Feldkamp, Lead consultant for CTP on intelligence and counter-terrorism, is a retired Naval Office, and former FBI special agent focusing on international terrorism. Feldkamp has instructed as an adjunct professor at multiple universities where he teaches courses in domestic and international terrorism. He has authored/edited a university textbook through Cognella Academic Publishing on the “Theory and Politics of Terrorism.”
The Israel–Sudan normalization agreement is only a few months old, with Israel and Sudan having signed the agreement on October 23, 2020. While the agreement is still new, several important developments have already occurred. Now, James Feldkamp, a global security and geopolitical expert, is going […]
Jim Feldkamp Discusses the Recent Congressional Stimulus Bill President Donald Trump signed the most recent stimulus bill and budget into law. While the bill left a lot of people unhappy, it keeps the government open and fully functional for now. Jim Feldkamp, who specializes in […]
What You Need To Know About U.S. Cybersecurity, According To James Feldkamp
Americans are concerned about their safety online, and rightfully so. James Feldkamp, USN Ret., is here to explain what you need to know about the latest cybersecurity developments to keep you, your information, and our country safe.
According to James Feldkamp, one of the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)‘s top priorities right now is ensuring that outside forces are not interfering with the upcoming election. Some of the strategies that CISA is using to combat efforts by other countries to interfere with the election include email authentication, encouraging service providers to use extra protection for cloud based services, and encouraging businesses to go through an extra user authentication process for high-value, high-security services.
James Feldkamp also states that combating COVID-19 misinformation is a main priority of CISA at this time. One of the main issues is rapid spread of misinformation regarding a suggested connection between 5G cellular networks and the coronavirus. This false information has spread rapidly on social media, and CISA is working to teach social media users how to decide what information is reliable and what is propaganda. There has also been a spread of misinformation from authoritarian governments that free societies are struggling more with the virus than other countries, according to James Feldkamp.
Misinformation regarding economic and supply chain issues due to the novel coronavirus are also a main concern of CISA at this time, according to James Feldkamp. CISA is working to provide support for businesses on how to talk about their supply chain, providing their customers and others with correct information.
CISA is also working to help businesses and organizations that use chemicals of interest, or chemicals that could be used in a nefarious way against U.S. citizens. According to James Feldkamp, CISA is suggesting that businesses and organizations that use these chemicals step up their security measures. There have been some offensive cyber operations that have taken place regarding chemicals of interest, and these actions have been attributed to the Iranian government. According to James Feldkamp, it’s more important than ever that companies especially vulnerable to potential cyber attacks take the necessary precautions to keep both their company and the American people safe.
For all organizations, James Feldkamp recommends increasing vigilance, increasing security measures, and encouraging employees and customers to report anything that doesn’t seem quite right. When it comes to cybersecurity, James Feldkamp maintains that when something seems off, it probably is, and it’s always better to err on the side of caution and report.
South America is full of many beautiful natural wonders. Below, experienced traveler James Feldkamp shares his favorite travel destinations in the area. Argentine PatagoniaSome say that Argentine Patagonia is the most gorgeous place on the planet — and for good reason. From sparkling-blue glaciers to […]
James Feldkamp has been fortunate enough to travel to many different countries. Below, he shares some tips for traveling internationally. If you’re traveling overseas, it’s a whole lot different compared to traveling anywhere around the United States. As James Feldkamp used to be in the Navy, he […]
Wine connoisseur James Feldkamp offers a closer look at this year’s top producers courtesy of the 2020 World’s Best Vineyards list.
A lifelong lover of wine, James Feldkamp developed a passion for the industry and the fruits of its labor as a naval officer more than 30 years ago, traveling to and from some of the world’s most celebrated wine-producing nations. Turning to the famous World’s Best Vineyards list for 2020, Feldkamp reveals this year’s top five wineries.
“South America dominates this year’s World’s Best Vineyards list,” says James Feldkamp, speaking from his home in Northern Virginia, close to the Potomac River’s southwestern bank, “responsible for three of the top five highest-rated wineries on the planet.”
The famous World’s Best Vineyards list, produced by William Reed Business Media, honors the very best in wine tourism each year. The 2020 list, according to James Feldkamp, covers five continents and 18 countries. “This year’s World’s Best Vineyards list also sees the addition of 17 all-new entrants,” adds the Virginia-based wine connoisseur. “In first place this year is Zuccardi Valle de Uco in Argentina,” James Feldkamp reveals, “also proudly, by default, the best vineyard in South America, which, of course, would be an incredible accolade just in itself.”
In the second place, meanwhile, is a top-rated vineyard from Uruguay. “This year, Uruguay’s Bodega Garzón takes second place, just losing out to Zuccardi Valle de Uco,” adds James Feldkamp. Less well known for its award-winning wines, one might argue, Austria then takes the third-place spot. “Domäne Wachau, celebrated for its white wine varieties, takes third place thanks to its uncompromising aspiration for quality and outstanding winemaking expertise,” Feldkamp points out.
The fourth place consists of another South American entrant, with Chilean vineyard Montes just beating fifth-place contender Robert Mondavi Winery, which is located in California. “Rounding off the top five, Robert Mondavi Winery this year also earns the prestigious accolade of best vineyard in North America,” notes Feldkamp.
Wine connoisseur James Feldkamp is a retired naval officer and widely respected cybersecurity expert from Arlington County, Virginia. The protection of hardware, software, and data from cyber threats, cybersecurity measures are now routinely employed by government organizations, medical facilities, global corporations, private enterprises, high-net-worth individuals, and more alike, across the U.S. and worldwide.
A subject matter expert at Washington, D.C.’s famous Georgetown University, a private research university in the U.S. capital’s charming and upmarket Georgetown neighborhood, former adjunct professor James Feldkamp has more than 30 years of experience in the field and has taught undergraduate courses in both domestic and international terrorism during his career.
In addition to his cybersecurity work, wine connoisseur James Feldkamp is also a professional book editor and has authored and edited a celebrated university textbook on the theory and politics of terrorism. In his free time, Feldkamp enjoys sailing and travel, with travel, in particular, allowing the retired naval officer to embrace his love of wine at some of the finest vineyards and wineries from across the globe.
From abboccato, meaning full-bodied and medium-sweet, to zymology, the science of fermentation, wine terminology is as colorful as it is intriguing. A retired naval officer and wine connoisseur, author James Feldkamp takes a closer look at several of his favorite expressions from the world of wine tasting. […]