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Pix or It Didn’t Happen: Facebook vs. the Truth

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 23/09/2020 - 5:54am in

Anas’s story is a seminal one for our times: a David and Goliath tale of one brave individual — an immigrant and refugee no less—standing up to the toxic alliance of right wing hate groups and Big Tech. Continue reading

The post Pix or It Didn’t Happen: Facebook vs. the Truth appeared first on BillMoyers.com.

Facebook Live Rant by Trump Coronavirus PR Guru Deepens Fears of Election Violence

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 17/09/2020 - 6:12am in

Broadcasting over Facebook Live this past Sunday, public relations specialist and Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Public Affairs, Michael Caputo, painted a dramatic picture of threats and coercion by federal officials, left-wing “hit squads” who are “being trained all over the country” to prevent another Trump presidency and the deterioration of his own mental health.

Caputo’s public meltdown comes on the heels of a broader clash going on behind the scenes between officials at HHS and the CDC over coronavirus messaging, in which Caputo, along with advisor Paul Alexander and others, seek to “align” the CDC’s weekly Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports (MMWR) with Trump’s pandemic messaging by altering or modifying the scientific data, or stopping the reports from coming out altogether.

The reports are used to determine who’s at the highest risk from week-to-week. According to Jennifer Kates of the Kaiser Family Foundation, they are the “go-to” resource for the public health community to obtain “scientifically vetted” information, but emails sent by Caputo’s team to CDC director Dr. Robert Redfieldin early August complain about how the agency’s reports “undermine President Donald Trump’s optimistic messages about the outbreak.” Attempts were subsequently made to “add caveats to the CDC’s findings” and make retroactive changes to reports dealing with risks of Covid-19, which the HHS spokesman characterized as “wrongly inflated.”

One of Caputo’s recruits at HHS, assistant professor of health research at McMaster University in Canada, Paul Alexander, called for an “immediate stop” to the publication of the CDC reports, which have played an essential role in U.S. epidemic messaging since the first report on HIV in 1981, until he had personally reviewed the entire report and be allowed to make inline edits, per Politico. Alexander questioned the definition of “pediatric population” in an upcoming report that lists 18-20 year-olds in that demographic, which the professor says is “misleading” and tantamount to hit pieces on the administration.” Alexander also called on Redfield to modify two already published reports. The “CDC tried to report as if once kids get together, there will be spread and this will impact school re-opening . . . Very misleading by CDC and shame on them. Their aim is clear,” Alexander stated.

Caputo’s most incendiary remarks on his social media rant involve the aforementioned “hit squads,” which are supposed to unleash a civil war of sorts at the forthcoming presidential inauguration. While Caputo asserts a secret militia of left-wing radicals are in the process of staging a coup in America, efforts are underway by another Trump appointee at the Department of Homeland Security, DHS, where acting director Chad Wolff has been trying to suppress a report prepared by the agency, itself, identifying right-wing, white supremacist groups as the “primary terrorist threat” to the United States, in addition to changing the focus of intelligence assessments on the threat of Russian interference in the United States to interference activities by China and Iran, according to a whistleblower complaint.

 

Murphy’s Law

“Lone offenders and small cells of individuals motivated by a diverse array of social, ideological, and personal factors will pose the primary terrorist threat to the United States. Among these groups, we assess that white supremacist extremists – who increasingly are networking with like-minded persons abroad – will pose the most persistent and lethal threat.” So reads a draft of the DHS document that Chad Wolff is accused of downplaying a whistleblower reprisal complaint submitted by the former head of Homeland Security’s intelligence division, Brian Murphy. Murphy is participating in an ongoing investigation by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence into DHS and the Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) led by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA).

In a statement following the release of the letter calling Mr. Murphy to testify before the committee, Schiff proclaimed that “senior White House and Department of Homeland Security officials improperly sought to politicize, manipulate, and censor intelligence in order to benefit President Trump politically.” Schiff was a pivotal figure in the impeachment hearings of 2018 that sought to convict Trump of collusion with Russian assets to fix the 2016 election.

Caputo, himself is considered a “minor figure” in the Russiagate scandal as the individual who referred a Russian who claimed to have dirt on Hillary Clinton to Roger Stone, whose 40-year sentence for obstruction of justice and other charges was commuted in July. Stone was one of Caputo’s 5,000+ Facebook Friends watching on Sunday.

 

There will be blood

Caputo told viewers that “they’re going to have to kill [him],” adding that he and his family have been “continually threatened” ever since joining the Administration. Nevertheless, he assured that he’s not “going anywhere,” announcing that Trump had put him in charge of a $250 million public service advertising campaign to attract more minority volunteers for clinical trials of potential Covid-19 vaccines.”

Calls for the resignation of the author of “The Ukraine Hoax” were made almost immediately by the ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Patty Murray (D-WA). The question will, no doubt, be posed today at an open hearing to review the Department of Health and Human Services’ coronavirus response efforts by the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, which has called Dr. Robert Redfield of the CDC, ASPR Robert Kadlec and Admiral Brett Giroir of the HHS to testify Wednesday morning.

Michael A. Caputo, who Senator Murray called “a yes-man for President Trump with no scientific expertise,” claimed on his Facebook Live broadcast that “there are scientists who work for this government who do not want America to get well, not until after Joe Biden is president.” He proceeded to deactivate both his Facebook and Twitter accounts soon after that. But, not before leaving his 850 viewers with a portentous warning that “the shooting will begin” when Donald Trump refuses to step down after November.

Feature photo | Michael Caputo, left, joined by his attorney Dennis C. Vacco, leaves after being interviewed by Senate Intelligence Committee staff investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, on Capitol Hill in Washington. J. Scott Applewhite | AP

Raul Diego is a MintPress News Staff Writer, independent photojournalist, researcher, writer and documentary filmmaker.

The post Facebook Live Rant by Trump Coronavirus PR Guru Deepens Fears of Election Violence appeared first on MintPress News.

Paranoid Trump Blames Black Lives Matter Protests on Secret Conspiracy

Here’s more evidence that Trump has Fascistic tendencies. A piece by Amanda Seitz in yesterday’s I for 3rd September 2020, ‘Trump uses conspiracy theory about race protests’ reported that Trump was blaming the various Black Lives Matter protests and riots on shadowy plotters. The article ran

President Donald Trump is promoting a baseless conspiracy theory to claim that recent race protests have been orchestrated by powerful people in “dark shadows” intent on undermining his re-election prospects.

The claim first took root on Facebook and Twitter earlier this year after racial justice protests swelled across the country following the deaths of Black Americans in police custody. Thousands of social media users shared posts suggesting a covert network was coordinating the protests and rioters were descending on communities across the country.

Mr Trump appeared to amplify those unfounded conspiracy theories in an interview with Fox News host Laura Ingraham that aired Monday night, suggesting that protests in Washington during the Republican National Convention were orchestrated by unspecified forces.

“We had somebody get on a plane from a certain city this weekend. And in the plane, it was almost completely loaded with thugs wearing these dark uniforms, black uniforms with gear and this and that,” said Mr Trump, adding that the matter is under investigation.

Given the increase in paranoia and the proliferation of belief in spurious theories about secret conspiracies since the ’90s, it was almost inevitable that somebody would also claim that the mass protests against Trump are due to THEM. When riots have broken out here in Britain, some people have tried to explain them as having been planned and carried out by organised radical groups from outside the area. The groups blamed were either anarchists, some other group from the far left, if not simply described as ‘the far left’, or else just nameless malcontents intent on stirring up trouble.

Trump hasn’t identified who he thinks is behind this conspiracy, but the unvoiced fear here is that he’s talking about the Jews. He’s been accused of anti-Semitism, and although his daughter’s husband is Jewish and she is a convert to Judaism, his aids have included a number with links to the Alt-Right, like Steve Bannon and his supporters have included real anti-Semites, racists and White supremacists. Remember when the Alt-Right’s leader Richard Spencer greeted Trump’s election with ‘Hail Trump! Hail our race!’ One of the conspiracy theories about the Jews is that they are deliberately encouraging non-White immigration and racial mixing to destroy the White race as part of their programme for world domination. I don’t know if Trump believes this poisonous nonsense, but the danger is that a section of the American public does and could act on it. The shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue a few years ago was committed by a gunman, who believed it and chose the synagogue and its congregation because they were active helping immigrants and asylum seekers find refuge in America.

It’ll be very interesting to see what the Anti-Defamation League have to say about this. They’re the chief Jewish organisation in America fighting anti-Semitism. They’ve criticised Trump before for his racism, as when he tried to stop immigration from Muslim countries. But the ADL is also staunchly Zionist, and Trump is a solid supporter of Israel and its aggressive campaign to annex even more Palestinian land. Tony Greenstein has pointed out on his blog that time and again Zionists will betray Jews to real anti-Semites, if they believe it will benefit Israel. One example is a notorious quote from David Ben Gurion that he would rather a small number escape the Nazi Holocaust to settle in Israel and the rest die, rather for all of them escape to Britain. Then there’s the recent example of Stephen Pollard, the gentile editor of the Jewish Chronicle, defending a Polish politico from the Law and Justice Party. This is another extreme right-wing nationalist party, which passed legislation banning blaming the Nazi persecution of the Jews in Poland on Polish collaborators. Pollard declared that the politician couldn’t be anti-Semitic, as he was a good friend of Israel. Liberal Israelis have also criticised the way their country’s leaders have welcomed real Fascist dictators and butchers. These have tried to present a veneer of respectability through visiting the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial.

And Tony’s also pointed out that the Zionist organisations in America dislike Black Lives Matter. BLM are pro-Palestinian, seeing the position of Black Americans as comparable to that of Israel’s indigenous Arab people. He’s also shown that the American Zionist organisations have attempted to win over Black support through offering theirs for Black anti-racism and civil rights campaigns. But BLM won’t compromise on this issue, and so have won the animosity of many Zionist groups and organisations.

It’ll therefore remain to be seen what the Zionist Jewish groups will say, if anything, about Trump’s comments. Will they condemn them, and so criticise someone they regard as an ally? Or will they remain silent because Trump’s America is Israel’s strongest supporter and they too hate Black Lives Matter?

Trump has a Terrible Kodak Moment

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 07/08/2020 - 3:16am in

Trump dominated the news today, which is usually a sign of negative news stories and his need to create distractions from them. Continue reading

The post Trump has a Terrible Kodak Moment appeared first on BillMoyers.com.

Channel 7’s Sunrise Launches #NotAllKarens Campaign

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 15/07/2020 - 7:44am in

Karen

In an attempt to stem the unjust and sweeping anti-white racist rhetoric of ‘Ok Karen,’ the racially and economically diverse panel on Channel 7’s Sunrise show have launched the “#NotAllKarens” campaign this week.

“The campaign is to tackle the slew of racism and prejudice leveled at affluent white women,” stated Prue MacSween who was made available for comment sporting a “Coon Cheese” branded t-shirt. “There is no doubt that we are the most marginalised group on social media.”

On behalf of the panel, Samantha Armytage reached out to Facebook and Twitter, requesting they help moderate the ‘Karen’ slurs.

When Mark Zuckerberg and his Twitter counterpart, Jack Dorsey refused Armytage demanded to speak to their managers.

GK Kidd

@GKTweetsHard

You can follow The (un)Australian on twitter @TheUnOz or like us on https://www.facebook.com/theunoz.

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CNN Asked. Bill Answered.

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 01/07/2020 - 9:35am in

Bill Moyers talks Facebook, Donald Trump and the war on journalism. Continue reading

The post CNN Asked. Bill Answered. appeared first on BillMoyers.com.

In Other News: The Arctic is Melting — Enough Said

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 29/06/2020 - 9:57pm in

In Other News: Trump’s Biggest Conflict of Interest To Date? Reporting you might have missed. Continue reading

The post In Other News: The Arctic is Melting — Enough Said appeared first on BillMoyers.com.

Bill Moyers on CNN’s Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 29/06/2020 - 9:37am in

Bill Moyers talks Facebook, journalism and the Trump media machine. Continue reading

The post Bill Moyers on CNN’s Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter appeared first on BillMoyers.com.

Another Prehistoric Monument Discovered Near Stonehenge

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 26/06/2020 - 3:37am in

Here’s a bit of interesting archaeological news. According to Monday’s edition of the I newspaper, for 22nd June 2020, a set of prehistoric pits have been discovered around the Durrington Walls henge near Stonehenge.

The article by Douglas Barrie, ‘New prehistoric monument discovered near Stonehenge’, runs

A major prehistoric monument has been discovered just a short distance from Stonehenge. Fieldwork and analysis revealed evidence of 20 or more massive shafts more than 10m (33ft) wide and 5m deep. they form a circle more than two kilometres in diameter around the Durrington Walls henge – the site of a large Neolithic settlement.

Analysis suggests that the features were excavated more than 4,500 years ago at around the time Durrington Walls was built. It is thought the shafts served as a boundary to sacred area or precinct.

Dr Richard Bates, of the University of St Andrews, said the shafts reveal “an even more complex society than we could ever imagine”.

He added: “Clearly sophisticated practices demonstrate that the people were so in tune with natural events to an extent that we can barely conceive in the modern world we live in today.”

Meanwhile, more than 3.6 million people tuned in to a livestream from Stonehenge for a virtual celebration of the summer solstice.

With the usual celebrations cancelled because of coronavirus, English Heritage broadcast footage from the Wiltshire landmark on its Facebook page instead.

It was only a few years ago that the Durrington Walls henge was discovered. This included evidence that the site had been used for feasting and would have supported a large population. I can’t remember much about it now, but it has been argued that Durrington Walls and Stonehenge formed a huge ritual landscape for the ritual journey of the dead to the afterlife. Or something like that.

Having Sucked America Dry, Tech Giants Seek New Markets Beyond Reach of US Antitrust Laws

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 23/06/2020 - 6:20am in

Tags 

News, Facebook, Google

The American consumer market for big tech gadgets appears to have reached the point of saturation as the novelty of mobile devices and laptops plateau and the persistent lockdown sees savings dwindle and discretionary spending disappear. Apple, which has enjoyed reigning over the smartphone market for more than a decade, has been forced to drop its prices over the last year as a result of a market at full capacity.

Nevertheless, one of the world’s most liquid companies, along with other tech giants like Facebook and Google – whose parent company, Alphabet, Inc. recently overtook Apple as the most cash-rich company in the world – are taking full advantage of their position to gobble up startups in emerging sectors in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) space like Natural Language Processing (NLP), Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning (DL), in order to solidify their place in other, mostly untapped markets in developing nations. 

Big tech’s insatiable appetite, as manifested in this current sprint to further consolidate their assets, is bound to give them even more control over their already substantial access to our data and other digital activities of the population at large.  Earlier this year, then Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren led the call to “Break Them Up,” in reference to the big tech companies, declaring that they had “bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field against everyone else. And in the process, they have hurt small businesses and stifled innovation.” Her plan to “level the playing field,” however, seems to have gone away with her fleeting candidacy.

Nonetheless, they are all gearing up to face an election-year challenge to their growing power as a year-long House Judiciary subcommittee investigation is set to conclude and will more than likely provide plenty of fodder for the antitrust battles looming on the horizon. Some analysts have speculated that the U.S. government could impose fines on companies like Google in the tens of billions for past violations. But, whether or not this Congress implements measures with any real teeth remains to be seen.

 

Captive market shares

American tech giants are turning their focus to south-east Asia as their original markets in the U.S. can no longer support most of their quarterly profit projections. Apple’s recent acquisition of Seattle-based Xnor.ai, which specializes in “low-power, edge-based artificial intelligence tools” that will help them develop low-cost hardware for things like security cameras using artificial visual intelligence.

The Xnor.ai acquisition is just one of several made by Apple this year. Others include an Irish AI platform called Voysis that enables voice interactions with digital retailers; NextVR, a virtual reality headset company that holds over 40 patents in that space and will help Apple carve out a niche in the burgeoning world of streaming music and sporting events.

Google, which already has a virtual monopoly over Internet search capabilities and related tools, is aggressively pursuing startups in the cloud computing space, healthcare, and advertising market. A salient example is the ongoing $2.1 Billion-dollar acquisition of Fitbit, which has reportedly entered its final stages but has raised calls in some quarters for U.S. antitrust regulators to take a closer look.

 

The bank of Zuckerberg

Meanwhile, Facebook is continuing its incursion into the virtual entertainment arena with the purchase of Sanzaru Games in February as the social media giant solidifies its VR stake by taking over both hardware and software sides of that emerging market. Zuckerberg has also added to his social media empire with plans to acquire animated gif search engine Giphy for $400 Million, extending his consolidation over two of the most popular social media and communication platforms in its portfolio: Instagram and WhatsApp.


A man walks past a Jio sign in front of a closed shop in Hyderabad, April 22, 2020. Facebook plans to invest $5.7 billion in the telecom giant. Mahesh Kumar | AP

Facebook’s recent $5.7 Billion-dollar investment in India’s Jio Platforms also reveals how the tech giant is betting on Asia for its future growth. Facebook claims that Jio has “brought more than 388 million people online” and is poised to leverage its ubiquitous presence in the country through WhatsApp, boasting that the chat/call app has become a “commonly used verb across many Indian languages and dialects.” 

The Indian telecom, led by that nation’s richest man, also includes a recently launched e-commerce site called JioMart, that further opens the door for Facebook’s digital payments platform and has the very real potential to put the social media company in a new class as a payment processing giant, shaking up the status quo in a space largely controlled by the banking sector.

 

Breaking out of the virtual gold cage

Having sucked the American market dry, these colossal corporations continue their unfettered growth and are increasingly beyond the reach of national anti-monopoly laws. Their aggressive push to consolidate across sectors in the technology space, coupled with the world’s ever-increasing dependence on digital platforms and tools is quickly leading us into a crisis of sovereignty. 

If three companies own or have a stake in virtually all of the apps, gadgets and software that are ultimately responsible for collecting out data, performing our transactions and providing the content we consume, we will effectively become prisoners of these same corporations.

Even if Google were to re-instate the infamous “don’t be evil” motto in its code of conduct, such a state of affairs would render that promise moot. The slew of acquisitions by the world’s top tech companies in the midst of an economic depression for the rest of us does not bode well for a future of greater self-determination as the wealth and knowledge gaps grow larger. 

Efforts to bridge these gaps are being undertaken by people like Dion Devow in Australia, an entrepreneur who is on a mission to close the gap between Indigenous Australians and IT. But, how effective can such efforts really be in the long run if the technological infrastructure continues to accumulate in the hands of so very few?

Feature photo | Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, right, hugs Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi at Facebook in Menlo Park, Calif. Jeff Chiu | AP

Raul Diego is a MintPress News Staff Writer, independent photojournalist, researcher, writer and documentary filmmaker.

The post Having Sucked America Dry, Tech Giants Seek New Markets Beyond Reach of US Antitrust Laws appeared first on MintPress News.

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