Lots of Copies Make Stuff Safe: Saving Trump's Bigly Dumb Words


Little Donny is busy. On Tuesday, he fired the FBI's James Comey - a brazen move already being dubbed "a purge," "a coup," "a full-fledged Constitutional crisis," a "step into dark new territory," and "the most NIXON WATERGATE DEMOCRACY DIES IN DARKNESS thing since whatever Trump did yesterday." Despite the Administration's laughably earnest claims about leadership, crown jewels and poor old Hillary, pretty much everyone except them figures little Donny is some scared of the Russian connection crashing down on his slimy head and, much like Nixon erasing the famous 18 minutes of Watergate-related tape, hopes to cover his inept tracks - evidently if unimaginably not understanding that Comey, like Sally Yates, can still testify on who did what/when/how, that the explosive act of firing the guy who's investigating you is yugely suspicious, and that most of us aren't as moronic as he is.

Days before the Comey drama, it turns out, Trump was already busy trying to cover said tracks - in this case, the ones revealing the Muslim travel ban as a Muslim travel ban in his infamous December 7, 2015 press release declaring, in his usual third-grade syntax, "Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on." On Monday, journalists discovered that Trump minions had erased from donaldjtrump.com not just that statement but every press release before Jan. 1, 2017, on the long-shot chance he said anything stupid. But unlike Nixon's erasable tapes, notes Gizmodo, "the Internet never forgets." Who nu?

It remembers, in part, thanks to The Internet Archive, a US-based nonprofit - mantra: The Web Needs A Memory - that  for 20 years has been assembling a massive database, archiving 300 million new web pages each week. Using their Wayback Machine, they have backed up every Trump/Pence 2016 press release, available to any curious soul on their website and on Memory Hole. A looming Trump regime that threatened to curb free speech and tighten libel laws, the Archive explained, was "a firm reminder that institutions like ours, built for the long-term, need to design for change.” Their goal had to be "keeping our cultural materials safe, private and perpetually accessible....(and) preparing for a Web that may face greater restrictions” - including setting up a new ultra-backup "Internet Archive of Canada."


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Viewing itself as a digital library, the Archive likes to point out that, "The history of libraries is one of loss," whether from natural disaster, regime change or violations of privacy. One way to minimize that loss, they argue: "Lots of copies make stuff safe." The Comey earthquake is one reminder of that need; there are too many others. In a speech last year ostensibly about ISIS recruitment online, Trump bristled and bumbled that "we should see Bill Gates and a lot of different people that really understand what’s happening about closing that Internet up in some way.” “Somebody will say, ‘Oh freedom of speech, freedom of speech,’” he brilliantly went on. “These are foolish people.”


Another crooked, paranoid, free-speech skeptic. Portable Network Graphics.


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