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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Finding fake news -- Breitbart (part 2)

When people look to back up their preconceived ideas of society, the internet has made it easy to find a website source stating any viewpoint as fact. How do we discern who is actually trustworthy?

Yesterday, Lyle sent me a flurry of news meant to prove that 3 million illegal immigrants voted for Hillary Clinton, as put forth by Infowars and our President-elect.

I went over his first link yesterday. You can find that story here.

Let's move on to his second piece of evidence:

This is a link to a Breitbart story, entitled Illegal foreign voting in Virginia covered up by Soros-backed Democratic Officials, says report. It's dateline is October 2, 2016.

We're not going to tackle that yet. That's in the days to come. First, we're going to look at Breitbart itself.

And what is Breitbart? Liberals immediately dismiss Breitbart as an alt-right (white supremacist, according to the Associated Press) publication which promotes propaganda and fake news. Is that true?

Side note: You might not like that the AP has labeled alt-right white supremacist. But they're not doing it because they don't like the alt-right. This label is primary sourced. Ben Shapiro, formerly of Fox News (and someone who interviewed me mercilessly over one of my liberal pieces for time) calls the alt-right "not good people," and a whole lot more.

We can start at Breitbart itself. In this piece by Milo Yiannopoulos and Allum Bokhari, Milo's deputy, he combats the idea that the alt-right is synonymous with white supremacists, stating, "one thing stands out above all else: intelligence. Skinheads, by and large, are low-information, low-IQ thugs driven by the thrill of violence and tribal hatred. The alternative right are a much smarter group of people — which perhaps suggests why the Left hates them so much. They’re dangerously bright."

He used this image in the piece:

Milo is a Breitbart writer permanently suspended from Twitter over racist remarks and threats (I'll provide two different takes on that story for you. Breitbart's and The New York Times). Now, you can believe that Milo should still be on Twitter; you can think his "abusive comments" (NYT) were not abusive comments. But the facts show that Twitter executives found enough betrayal of their terms of service to suspend him permanently. That's fact. If you don't like it, that's perfectly reasonable. You can say anything you like about Twitter or discount their decision, but the decision still stands. The decision and the reasoning behind that decision is fact.

Back to the alt-right and white supremacism: Milo cites the alt-right's intellectual beginnings at Richard Spencer and his website, At that site, we find Radix, a multi-media endeavor, which lists its mission as being "dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of European people in the United States, and around the world."

White supremacy, by definition is: "the belief, theory, or doctrine that white people are inherently superior to people from all other racial groups, especially black people, and are therefore rightfully the dominant group in any society."
Spencer's mission is fairly close to that definition, but not, I think, close enough that we should objectively close the gap. So, let's move forward.

Richard Spencer is the President and Director of the National Policy Institute. It's tagline is "For our people, our culture, our future" and it self-describes on its site as "an independent organization dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of  people of European descent in the United States, and around the world."

Okay, same goal there. He got a BA in Virginia, an MA in Chicago, and was going for a doctorate at Duke before becoming, as he calls it, a journalist. The posts on the NPI site fall off in 2015, and the last time the Twitter account was used was last month.

On November 19, Spencer spoke at his institute's "Become who we are" event, and led the crowd shouting, "Hail Trump, hail our people, hail our victory." This is public video. Now, you can believe he was talking about the presidential election, the Trump voters, and the election victory. And you can believe that the hand-raising salute reminiscent of Hitler's regime is a coincidence. But that doesn't mean he didn't say those words in that way and use that gesture in that way in clear view of the public. And as he is a renowned alt-right intellectual, by his own account and others, it would perhaps be insulting to him to assume he didn't know what he was recalling in his words and actions. This is a thing that happened. It is primary sourced. It is fact.

Spencer's Twitter account has also been suspended and Twitter released this statement, excerpted here: 

". . . our rules prohibit inciting or engaging in the targeted abuse or harassment of others . . . we’ve seen an uptick in the number of accounts violating these policies and have taken enforcement actions against these accounts, ranging from warnings that also require the deletion of Tweets violating our policies to permanent suspension. 
"We know many people believe we have not done enough to curb this type of behavior on Twitter. We agree. We are continuing to invest heavily in improving our tools and enforcement systems to better allow us to identify and take faster action on abuse as it’s happening and prevent repeat offenders..."
The headmaster at Spencer's high school alma mater, St. Mark's School of Texas, released a statement denouncing Spencer: ". . .video footage emerged of this alumnus leading a white nationalist meeting in Washington, D.C., bringing even greater attention to these hateful, divisive, racist, and anti-Semitic views. This has been deeply troubling and terribly upsetting to our whole school community. At St. Mark’s, we reject racism and bigotry in all its forms and expressions."

So, our facts on Spencer, the man Milo held up as a rational intellect of the alt-right, include that he has made white nationalist, white supremacist remarks (as primary sourced), that he runs two white nationalist organizations/websites, and that Twitter kicked his personal and his Radix accounts off their platform for abusive comments.

Quick side-note on Twitter bans versus the First Amendment and censorship issues:

The First Amendment states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

It applies to our government, not to private companies who have a duty to the safety of their users. Twitter's Terms of Service states: "you may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease. We also do not allow accounts whose primary purpose is inciting harm towards others on the basis of these categories."

When you sign up voluntarily for an account on their platform, you agree to their terms and are bound by that contract. Twitter has determined that Milo and Spencer were in violation of their hateful conduct and harassment clauses. Fact.

So, while you might believe that Milo and Spencer have been censored, the fact remains that they agreed to a contract that they then violated. It's fact.

Let's get back to Milo's defense of the alt-right/white supremacist movement (according, again, to the Associated Press).

The next group Milo writes about are the Neoreactionaries. Klint Finley, a reporter for Wired, wrote about it for TechCrunch, and thankfully, we don't need to go just on his word. At the end of his piece, he links tomes of information on the neoreactionaries.

Neoreaction started with Curtis Yarvin, who started as an internet commenter on sites like 2blowhard. The movement continues to be fanned on debate sites like Less Wrong.

Enter Michael Anissimov, a leader in the neoreaction movement, and studier of artificial intelligence.

Anissimov's LinkedIn points us to him being the owner of Zenit Books. This company cannot be found on the internet. It appears to be a shell publisher for Anissimov to publish his works. He calls it his independent publishing and consulting company. Linkedin also says he previously was the Media Director of the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, a nonprofit focused on artificial intelligence. It studies the mathematic underpinnings of intelligent behavior.

In this video, he says that it is a fundamental premise that people are not equal.

"We almost viscerally react away as if it's not fair or evil that there could be beings that are a lot stronger or smarter, and that makes us unprepared. . .We can't upgrade everyone on the planet slowly or at the same time. So we're going to be looking at a world in the next 50 years with huge power and intellectual disparities. . . 
"We're finding out that there are racial differences and that race is something that truly exists. I think that we will learn to fear diversity. . .Liberalism wants to think that we're all equivalent. It's considered unacceptable to study of human genetic variation, particularly in the area of IQ, which is very important."

Now I picked those quotes, because those are the quotes relevant to connecting Anissmov's work in AI with neoreaction. The entire video was linked above and you can listen to the whole 30 minutes yourself. That said, this is primary sourced. He said this.

Importantly, Neoreactionaries are against Democracy. This can be primary sourced to Assiminov as well.

He wrote on a now defunct website that "Demotist systems, that is, systems ruled by the ‘People,’ such as Democracy and Communism, are predictably less financially stable than aristocratic systems. On average, they undergo more recessions and hold more debt. They are more susceptible to market crashes. They waste more resources. Each dollar goes further towards improving standard of living for the average person in an aristocratic system than in a Democratic one."

Neoreactionaries promote monarchies. Remember Yarvin, from above? He proposes turning nation states into corporations. Again, not skewed news media. His ideas, written down, directly.

If Neoreactionaries aren't enough for you, here is Weev, tearing Anissimov apart because violently threatened and harassed libertarian vlogger, Julie Borowski. Not because of the threats, of course, but because this human reaction undercut "the revolutionary ideas" of the movement. Weev then makes a direct offer to neoreactionaries:

"To those proponents of the dying neoreactionary movement that want to reshape society to make it more friendly to high-IQ individuals, and those that have abandoned neoreaction because of those like Anissimov, I want to assure you that you have a home in white nationalism. We have the courage and brutality that neoreaction lacks. We have the kinds of resources you would never have in NRx, because whites of all aptitudes and attitudes are welcome. We have jackboots on the ground who are capable of taking care of any man-children who decide to try to represent the movement. We assure all engineers a very special place in the new order, and we are making heavy investments into new technologies that I think you'd be very happy to participate in.

Get in touch with me if you want to switch pro-white movements. We've got a slack setup. We're building things. It's an exciting time to be pro-white."

Weev, by the way, is a renowned hacker. Here's a Vice piece about his work with the AshleyMadison site a while back. You can google him and find any number of his conquests and exploits. Here's a Wired piece about his conviction which was overturned when he grabbed personal information from 100,000 people via AT&T's unsecured site. Weev is a thing.

So, through Weev, we now have a direct connection between Breitbart and white nationalism, and the alt-right and white nationalism.

And I'm stopping here for the time being, though we are only a quarter of the way through Breitbart.

Trump has said he is distancing himself from these groups, but let us all remember that he appointed Breitbart's Steve Bannon to Chief Strategist, and that his National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, stands in praise of Milo. We'll get into all that later, but for now...

That is fact.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Finding fake news -- 3 million fraudulent Hillary voters (part 1)

Media are a wreck. In this day of opinion everything and cherry-picked facts, people are searching for ways to find their own information. We need to know how to source our own news, as most outlets aren't doing a good enough job for the nation. This will be a series.

I'm starting with the 3 million fraudulent votes claim, as brought to me by a random twitter user.
I asked Lyle for citation, and he provided me with several links. We'll take them one by one.

This is a link from the Sgt. Report, which proclaims itself "The Corporate Propaganda Antidote." The piece is titled: "ANALYSIS: MORE THAN 3 MILLION ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS VOTED IN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION… AND HILLARY STILL LOST"

Most liberals stop right here. Because we immediately see made-up news and don't want to waste any time on it. But I want to go all the way through this, from top to bottom, so bear with me.

The piece cites a Tweet from @jumpvote, Gregg Phillips, the founder of the app VoteStand.

Completed analysis of database of 180 million voter registrations.
Number of non-citizen votes exceeds 3 million.
Consulting legal team.
— Gregg Phillips (@JumpVote) November 11, 2016

It refers to VoteStand as a non-partisan group monitoring voter registrations. It continues by stating that illegal immigrants tend to vote Democrat (uncited). Then it refers vaguely to an interview given by Obama, just before the election, where he apparently told illegal immigrants that there would be no legal repercussions for voting, by saying "when you vote, you are a citizen yourself."

It then asks readers to get more information from The Daily Sheeple.

Let's start with VoteStand.

According to its own website, VoteStand is not a non-partisan group monitoring voter registrations. It is actually an app that allows users to report perceived voter fraud. As per the site: "The process is as easy as taking a picture and filling out specific identifying information about the incident."

It allows citizens using the app to report, via their own observations, voter registration fraud, dead people voting, felon vote fraud, absentee ballot vote fraud, voter intimidation/suppression, electronic voting fraud, voter impersonation, ballot stuffing (multiple voting), electioneering and misinformation.

It states that it "uses a high-level encryption inside the app, allowing information to get to the right people and make reporting voter fraud easier."

Nowhere on the site does it say who those people are, and what they do with the information, or how they investigate the claims.

That said, there is a group behind the app. True the Vote. It was founded in 2009.

It describes itself like this on its site: "As the nation’s largest nonpartisan, voters’ rights and election integrity organization, True the Vote exists to inspire and equip volunteers for involvement at every stage of America’s electoral process. We provide training, technology, and support to fellow citizens so that they can ensure election integrity in their own communities."

True the Vote founder, Catherine Engelbrecht, told ABC Nightline in an interview that the group was non-partisan, but admitted to heading a Tea Party group in Houston and to making a $5,000 donation to a Republican organization.

This is not "the skewed news media." If you watch the video on the link I provided, you will hear Engelbrecht say these things herself. That is a primary source.

So, the nonpartisan organization's founder is partisan. While the organization may perhaps be partisan (which could be proven through staff and volunteer listings which currently do not exist), there is a conflict of interest at the very top.

All of this leads us back to the question of how a small grassroots organization made of citizen volunteers, and an app to help them photograph people they assume are fraudulently voting, allow Gregg Phillips to state that they'd analyzed 180 million voter registrations and found 3 million fraudulent ones.

Let's start with Gregg Phillips. His @jumpvote Twitter account has this pinned at the top:

So, he's not non-partisan.

He didn't answer my request to clarify how he got his numbers, but did answer another user who asked him to show his evidence by saying this:

"I have been consistent from the outset. I will publish all methods, data and analysis to the public and the DOJ."

The thing is, he hasn't. And when you go with news before you present your findings in a publicly accessible or verifiable way, that is fake news. Others may say they trust him, but in that case, they are using a system of belief over a reliance on facts.

So, there is no verification from Gregg Phillips about that 3 million voter fraud number. Only a vague promise of some later, followed immediately by several professions of him being "just a regular guy."

Randi Kaye, an anchor for CNN's 360, asked Phillips for an interview to review his numbers and make his case to the public, presenting his proof. His reply was that she had already decided, and so he wouldn't go on the air.

So, he's not going to show his proof for these numbers. Now, he says it's because CNN has already decided. Fair enough. And yet, no one has any proof of this claim. Again, people can choose to believe him. But that's a belief without facts backing it up.

But who is Gregg Phillips?

In his Twitter profile, he says he's "Founder: @VoteStand, The Cause, Time for a Hero, Voters Trust & Winning Our Future PAC. Board Member."

The Cause seems to be a curated list of voting related news, everything from The Washington Post to Breitbart. From where I sit, it's not slanted, providing stories of all kinds about voting news from all types of publications.

It also has only one issue (August, 2016) and the forward to that issue is written by a John David Phillips.

Voters Trust is said to be a nonprofit organization, but no trace of it exists other than citations from Gregg and Engelbrecht in conservative news sites like The Blaze. This linked piece describes Phillips' role in the organization that cannot be found, but its intent is to highlight a bounty reward that True the Vote was hosting for someone who could find IRS or Obamacare fraud. That bounty went untaken.

A link to another interview with Phillips was provided and it led to The 405; The Talk Alternative, a talk radio show website, which states it is a "independent and growing talk outlet covering the broadest spectrum of politics as well as pop culture and sports, including written and visual media," but also appears to be linked to the Common Sense Conversations podcasts and radio, which is based out of California according to its mailing address. A phone number and email is listed for the creator, but no last name. She goes by Beth Ann. The show with Phillips in it is two hours long, called Sacks Radio. I listened to it for you.

Within that written piece on the 405 site, there was a link to Phillips' Voters Trust PAC, which is also listed on his Twitter profile, if you recall. The link led to a defunct website.

Infowars' Alex Jones linked Phillips to Vote Fraud, a website that stems from 1996 and looks like it. That page, however, is linked to an up-to-date site, Election Night Gatekeepers. There is no information about who runs this site, although it is a pro-Trump site, which quotes Stalin right up top. There is a call-in option for Thursday, for those inclined: "Dial-in Number: (712) 775-7035, Participant Access Code: 938190#." You can contact them at, Phone: 513-741-2095. Again, there is no transparency here. Who are we talking to and what are their qualifications?

Election Night Gatekeepers talks  in-depth about Watch the Vote. The first thing on Watch the Vote USA is a paragraph about how they forced the Iowa GOP to change the winner of that caucus in 2012 from Romney to Santorum. We have now reached the first part of this entire post that can be verified. I don't know if Watch the Vote USA had anything to do with it; but Santorum beat Romney by 34 votes two weeks after the state had been called for Romney by eight votes only. The New York Times has this cached.

There is no link that leads from Phillips to Election Night Gatekeepers aka Vote Watch.

Phillips also lists Winning our Future PAC in his Twitter. This is a super-PAC that supported Newt Gingrich in 2012. It's not been updated since, but the Public Integrity Project (Pulitzer Prize winner) shows top donors gave up to $7.5 million in funds; it had a Full Disclosure rating. That's a good thing. It means we can see all donations. It was created by former Gingrich aide, Becky Burkett.

None of this tells us anything about Gregg Phillips other than he's a staunch, active Tea Party Republican.

If you check his LinkedIn, you see he's the founder of AutoGov, and that years ago, in 1995, he was the Executive Director of Mississippi's Republican Party. In 1989, he was the Finance Director for the Alabama Republican Party. So he's not non-partisan. AutoGov is a company that analyzes data, and its star invention is CaseVue, a program that filters multiple patient data to determine whether that patient is eligible for Medicaid, ranking them as if they were getting a credit check.

CaseVue uses "applicant case information together with hundreds of additional bits of publicly and privately sourced data, then uses predictive analytics to assess the presence of risk, quickly defines the likelihood of eligibility – and delivers answers to desktops of caseworkers – all in real time."

It doesn't mention what the privately sourced data are nor how they are found.

AutoGov's other main innovation is GovBox. It looks to be the same program, tweaked for large government program eligibility--mainly social services. It was said to be used in Mississippi after the State extended Medicaid under the ACA to help hospitals there combat the expense of that program (ignoring that the state got a credit for that).

I said said to be because the press release does not name any hospitals in particular, nor does it state any start date for the programs they say are falling into place there. It's published on a site called Presumptive Eligibility, which is run by AutoGov, as another way to sell CaseVue. It was written by a Taylor Phillips.

Now, if you look carefully at GovBox, you will see that Gregg Phillips is looking for information on residents in states that might use it (I couldn't find any currently using it), specifically: Identity (Social Security Numbers), proof of residency, proof of citizenship, income, and assets.

So, it turns out Gregg Phillips is at least working on collecting data about residents of the U.S. for his day-job.

Since CaseVue is said to be in practice in at least four states already, the information on those patients has, at the very least, passed through Phillips' hands. I say said to be because I can find no news from any health related site or organization actually talking about CaseVue other than AutoGov itself.

Autogov has a Dallas, TX address on the site, and a Birmingham, AL address there. News briefs about the company refer to it as an Austin-based company.

Googling him brings up Give Time to a Hero, a failed crowdfunding attempt to buy a watch for every special op in America. This is touching and kind. He only raised $490 out of his $10,000 goal. He's found, much like everyone else, America gives money to conspiracy theories a lot more easily than they give to other people who do good service for our country.

So, that's Gregg Phillips. A guy collecting massive amounts of data through his private company, an outspoken advocate for the far right, and the self-appointed gatekeeper of voter fraud.

Nowhere do we see how he could have gotten the 180 million voter registration information he claims he has. Nowhere do we see how his app and watch groups found 3 million fraudulent voters.

Because it's not real. If you choose to believe it is real, you are believing, not relaying facts. I could not find any facts that backed up his claim, and I went about as deep as one could go.

Okay, let's just QUICKLY look at the rest of the piece he linked me.

"Illegals tend to vote Democrat" it said.

That would be true, as the Pew Research Center found that 31 percent of undocumented immigrants aligned with the Democratic party where as only 4 percent aligned with the Republican party.

So why isn't it true? Because undocumented immigrants don't vote. They're not allowed to by law, and as we just exhaustively went over, there is no evidence suggesting that undocumented immigrants vote.

How about when Obama told Gina Rodriguez illegal immigrants should vote?

I can see how this is being put across. Check out the interview.

Rodriguez wrongly referred to undocumented immigrants as citizens, then she framed the question around herself, a true citizen (in the conservative sense of the word.)

She asks: "If I vote, will immigration know where I live, will they come for my family and deport us?"

Obama is answering her personally. When he said, "when you vote, you are a citizen yourself, and there is not a situation where the voting rolls are transferred over and people start investigating," he is using the you are a citizen yourself as the disclaimer, as the clarification that he is talking about citizens who may have undocumented family members that they are afraid for.

I can absolutely see, however, how it could be taken as an if/then cause/effect statement when only part of the question and answer is given.

When a person hears, "when you vote, you are a citizen yourself" as the article quoted, that has an entirely different meaning than the full quote. However, I would also posture that those who do not like Obama would also hear the second meaning given the entire interview. But that's not what he said.


I spent hours looking for the proof of voter fraud given to me by this link by a random Twitter user. And it wasn't there.

As of right now, no proven voter fraud.

I'll be back with the rest of the links tomorrow or something.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

How to Help Your Teen Pass Their Driving Test - S post

Passing your driving test can be a pretty momentous thing when you're 17, and most people who learned to drive as soon as they were old enough remember the experience with pride. If you have a teenage son or daughter who is about to start learning to drive, you probably want to support and help them as much as you can, so that they can get this big achievement for themselves without too much stress or frustration.

Here are some ways you can assist your child in the process of learning to drive, studying for their theory test, and ultimately getting their driver's license:

Make Sure Your Own Theory Knowledge and Driving Skills are on Point

Before you start giving your child advice or tips, or helping them to study their theory or practice driving, make sure that you yourself are fully knowledgeable about things like the Highway Code, and that you aren't exhibiting any bad driving habits that have developed over the years. The theory test may well have changed since you did your own, and there may have been changes to the laws of the road, so test your own knowledge at Toptests. Most people pick up some bad driving habits over time, and while these may not be a big deal in everyday driving, ask yourself if you could pass the driving test with the way you drive now. If you aren't sure that you could, revise your own skills and knowledge so you don't give your child the wrong advice or teach them things their instructor or examiner won't like!

Help Them Study Theory

While online resources are great and can give your teen all the practice they need ahead of their theory test, it can also be good to help them study by posing the questions from mock theory tests yourself. This way, you can explain any wrong answers and answer their questions, leaving them feeling more confident that they understand the topic and will get it right next time.

Practice Driving

Perhaps the scariest part of having a teen who is learning to drive is when they want to practice with you in your car, but this is also one of the best ways for them to practice and prepare (and can also save you money on lessons). Do, however, wait until they are far enough along with their proper lessons to be comfortable and safe driving in a car that doesn't have the security of dual controls.

This will also help your own nerves about being in a car driven by a learner!

These are just a few things to think about if you are looking to help your teenager pick up good driving skills, feel happy behind the wheel, and pass their theory and practical tests first time!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Hillary Clinton helps give life to cancer patient

Cold. Calculating. Ambitious. Dishonest. Self-serving. Hawkish. If a situation has no way to serve her purposes, she turns her back and walks away. She doesn’t love America or its people. She doesn’t care about their struggles. She cares about Hillary Clinton. The presidential candidate is known for putting herself above everyone and everything else, and people hate her for it.

But is it actually actually true?

Her friends and family and campaign continue to show instances of Hillary caring for others on a personal level, but those can’t be trusted. She could be doing it for the positive press. After all, every caring gesture she makes is covered relentlessly, so clearly she has ulterior motives. Hillary Clinton does only exactly what she must do to look good to the public.

Or does she?

Meet Janelle Turner, a mother in Winter Park, Iowa, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in May of 2015. You probably haven’t heard of her before. She is a private person, not given to much political speak, and certainly without time or money to campaign for or support any political causes. She’s just an average citizen, facing crippling medical costs while fighting the sickness that comes with her treatment, and trying to be there for her nine-year-old daughter, Nora. Every day, she battles fear on top of the aggressive cancer.

“I’d like to tell you that dying is not something I ever think about, but when you have a daughter who needs you, you can’t help but worry about the future,” said Turner. “I was nine when my dad died, and it was hard on my family, and I don’t want my daughter to have the childhood I had.”

You may not know Janelle Turner. But Hillary Clinton does.

Back in October of last year, Turner decided to take Nora to a rally for Hillary Clinton. The girl was excited, and hand-made a sign for her mom that said, “Thirteenth chemo yesterday, three more, hear me roar!” The family had to bring lawn chairs to the event because Turner can’t stand for very long without feeling ill, and so they ended up near the area where the speakers walked to and from the stage.

Bill Clinton spoke, and on his way back, he noticed the sign, and stopped to talk with Turner and her daughter.

“He was so incredibly kind,” she said. “He thanked us for coming, and we took pictures, and it was really nice. I just thought it was the greatest thing ever. But I thought that would be it.”

She was wrong.

Soon after, a police officer found the family and invited them backstage where they met Hillary Clinton and Katy Perry. Hillary had just finished giving 11 hours of testimony about Benghazi the day before.

“I told her keep fighting, and she said, ‘me? What about you?’” Turner recalled. “We decided we’d both keep fighting, and would celebrate at her inauguration. But I was mostly kidding; I didn’t expect to keep in touch.”

The incident touched Turner so deeply that she sent an email to Matt Paul, Clinton’s former Iowa State Director, thanking the campaign for its kindness in the face of her struggles.

“I wanted to take a minute to let you know how grateful we were to have the opportunity to meet Hillary at her rally with Katy Perry and Bill,” she wrote. “We were so overwhelmed by the entire experience. The past several months have been difficult on my family. For thirty minutes on October 24th, it was amazing be to me! It was the best day ever for me and my family. I know you are busy, and it seems strange to ask, but please pass on our sincere thanks to each of them. I can't tell you what that did for our spirits.”

From that moment on, Turner became part of the Clinton family.

She was sent tickets to the debate, and then to the rallies before the Iowa caucus. At every single event, Hillary Clinton sent for her and her daughter, talked to them about their journey, and gave them encouragement. She introduced Turner to her good friend, and fellow cancer survivor, Betsy Ebeling, with whom Turner also keeps in touch. Every couple of months, Turner receives word from Clinton, checking in on her, making sure she is okay.

“The last time I saw her was just days before the caucuses,” Turner wrote in a Facebook post during the Democratic National Convention. It was the first time she’d gone public with the attention the campaign had paid her. “I had just been told that my cancer had spread, metastasized. We were in shock. I needed a diversion, so I went to her rally. I told Hillary of the news. She hugged me. She asked what she could do, how could she help? She offered to help me get a second opinion. I thanked her, telling her ‘I’m a political nobody, you have been so kind.’ She told me, ‘we all matter.’ She made sure that I had a way to contact her and follow up with her. Much to my surprise, she still checks in on me every few weeks. She made a difference. She cared.”

Soon after, Turner’s biopsies showed that the metastasized cancer prognosis was wrong. She still has cancer in her lungs, but says her pet scans are starting to clear up. The road to recovery is long and hard. She now suffers from arthritis as well, at only 47. She can’t take long trips, stand or walk for too long, or do anything that requires much physical effort. She is struggling, but she has hope. Hope that Clinton has helped foster.

“I’m not saying someone should vote for her. I’m just remembering the day after my 13th chemo session that Hillary Clinton took the time to talk with us. And followed up, and followed up, and followed up some more. It’s not political. It’s personal.”


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