MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Social media’

The Trump Ban: The Only Free Speech Zone for American Conservatives Is Russia — Strategic Culture

Posted by M. C. on January 19, 2021

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2021/01/18/trump-ban-only-free-speech-zone-for-american-conservatives-russia/

Tim Kirby

This is the moment Russia has been waiting for but it is unknown if those in the halls of the Kremlin even know that it is happening.

The only side that is going to really benefit from Big Tech’s war on free speech will be the Russians. In fact, it is really the Western elite’s deep hubris that has given Russia so many opportunities to become “russurgeant” after being crushed in the Cold War. Decades of questionable wars of “convenience” along with unending threats of destruction for anyone who dares question Washington have created a diverse group of scorned nations all willing to shake hands with Moscow. Making international agreements is a lot easier when no ideological strings are attached and no submission demanded. Thanks to incremental anti-Russian sanctions imposed because the pro-Washington Maidan didn’t take 100% of the territory of Ukraine, 1990s import addict Russia is now living a sober West-free lifestyle actually producing the things it needs to survive under Capitalism. And now, the blanket ban of Right Wing/Conservative figures over Social Media including the President of the United States himself is opening the door for Russian Social Media to explode onto the English-language online space. Without pettiness from within the American elite itself Russia could have never create this #migration of non-Russian speaking users to their sphere of electronic influence. But the big question is will the Russians actually understand this and jump on this truly unique opportunity?

Image: A now iconic screenshot about the state of the 1st Amendment.

It seems impossible to believe but the present “leader of the free world” Donald Trump has been completely banned from the big Social Media giants for his role in the recent storming of Capitol Hill by the MAGAmen. It is important to note that Trump has never admitted to organizing the aggressive protest nor has he been convicted of inciting a riot in a court of law. Twitter, Facebook and others believe he did this and that is good enough evidence for them. For the morally self-righteous accusation is now as good as guilt. Furthermore, this ban extends to “allies of Trump” which could be anyone of the ~80 million who voted for him and foreign people who like his memes. Noted Conservative speaker Ron Paul was temporarily and inexplicably blocked for “violating community standards” which has become coded language for “we don’t like what you have to say on our platform”. Long story short, anyone for any reason at all, real or fake, can be completely and totally banned from the largest public spaces on the internet and the key victims of these purgings will be those with morals that conflict with Big Tech and the Beltway.

Image: Flagrant hypocrisy is the new normal.

The obvious quick fix for Trump, who feels he is battling to save Democracy from a rigged 2020 electoral “loss”, would be to jump to alternative Social Media platforms across the “free market”. No one is stopping famous rich individuals like him from creating competitors to the big dogs right? Sadly for him, growing FB alternative Parler has been removed from the App Store because some people have used it to incite violence or something. The obvious irony of this is that on every platform there are people who say horrible things and call for the deaths of their enemies. But if a platform is big enough, and they agree with the given fatwa then it’s A-okay.

This complete lack of opportunity on America’s diverse free market has given the Russians the chance of a lifetime to pull every English-speaking conservative into their Social Media space. In fact within just 72 hours of this ban madness starting, Russian Social Media/Messenger Platform “Telegram” gained 25 million new users. This is unlikely to be a fluke or coincidence. Furthermore, this new member surge brings the total user base to healthy 500 million. It is important to note that there are only some 250 million+ Russian speakers on the planet and not all of them like to follow intellectual feeds and memes on Telegram. This means that the majority of Telegram’s audience are now not connected to Russia in any way. The platform has reached the critical mass needed to become a mainstay of daily life across the globe.

Image: Telegram needs to add “freedom from woke political repression” as their 4th selling point.

The Telegram product combines the ability to make feeds of content like a Facebook group, make big statements like Twitter and message easily like on Whatsapp. It is a program that stands on its own merits, but it’s promise of complete privacy and offer of freedom of speech to 21st century dissidents on the wrong side of the Berlin Wall Museum is what made it explode. It is the absurd hypocritical policies and witch hunts of Western elites that are handing Russia the hearts and minds of the EU/USA on a platter. If you want privacy, and the right to share the opinions of the American President online, as of today you can only go through Russia.

This is similar to the rise of RT. Most people want to hear their own news from within their own culture, but when the Mainstream Media preaches utter madness that even children find mental in it is not surprising that Russian news media became such a hit. People want high quality, professional, reasonable news media and you are 100 times more likely to see that on a given day on RT than CNN, the BBC or the other big boys. Those media giants had the ball in their hands, and they somehow managed to drop it right into their own end zone for the Russians to just fall on.

Image: Ron Paul shutdown: accident or warning?

During the Cold War, thanks to the dismal state of Soviet media, the youth of the USSR was listening to Radio Freedom and doing anything that it could to jump into the Western media sphere of influence. It was simply the better alternative that gave them breathing room to think about life without a framed Lenin picture in the background. Now it looks like Pat Buchanan, Ron Paul, and Donald Trump will be forced onto an expanding Russian side of a social media geopolitical space. This will act like the same type of media “beachhead” that America had in the Soviet Union during the Reagan years.

Telegram is a massive messenger that can replace WhatsApp and Twitter for many users. The Russian equivalent of Facebook, VK.com has been more reluctant to accept its destiny. I have approached their management personally bringing to their attention the fact that a massive Western Convservative audience is being repressed and will jump to a new platform for freedom of speech given the knowledge that such a platform exists. Especially when that platform can and does do everything that Facebook is capable of. My words were met with the usual hopeless pessimism that defines the Russian nation. In America we say “if you build it they will come” in Russia the logic is “if it has not been built, it can’t be and we shouldn’t think about it”. Perhaps with this new development they will reconsider my offer. I could use a percentage of a massive advertising campaign to attract the hordes of Conservative shows and blogs that have been deplatformed. VK, now is your time, they are giving you millions of English-speaking subscribers, just fall on the damn ball.

In terms of YouTube Russia does have an equivalent called RuTube (and some Netflix-like services) but it is not even that popular inside of the country itself. This would really be a good time for gents in the Kremlin to invest in a free speech video platform to win hearts and minds in the countries that threaten to kill them most often. As someone who has been deplatformed I would much appreciate the opportunity to make some fair and square ad revenue without the fear of using YouTube no-no words like “Depression”, “Brazil” and “Idaho”.

This is the moment Russia has been waiting for but it is unknown if those in the halls of the Kremlin even know that it is happening. The powers that be are not exactly filled with people from the media. Hopefully some of them will read this and realize just what a glorious opportunity Big Tech and the Democrats have given them. And since everything I write is banned anyways I’d be more than happy to run any attempts to absorb Western dissidents. It is not like these words are allowed to be posted on FB anyways.

© 2010 – 2021 | Strategic Culture Foundation | Republishing is welcomed with reference to Strategic Culture online journal www.strategic-culture.org.

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

MSM calls for “new definition of free speech” – OffGuardian

Posted by M. C. on January 18, 2021

Ives clearly thinks he’s enlightened and liberal and educated, after all he drops references to Kant AND Mills (that’s right TWO famous philosophers), but he’s really not. He’s just an elitist arguing working class people are too dumb to be allowed to speak, or even hear ideas that might get them all riled-up and distract them from their menial labour.

https://off-guardian.org/2021/01/16/a-new-definition-of-free-speech/

Kit Knightly

Part of the main duty of OffGuardian is to troll through the masses of media output and try and pick up patterns. Sometimes the patterns are subtle, a gentle urging behind the paragraphs. Sometimes they’re more like a sledgehammer to the face.

This has been face-hammer week. In fact, it’s been a face-hammer year.

From “flatten the curve” to “the new normal” to “the great reset”, it’s not been hard to spot the messaging going on since the start of the “pandemic”. And that distinct lack of disguise has carried over into other topics, too.

We pointed out, a few days ago, the sudden over-use of the phrase “domestic terrorism” preparing us for what is, almost certainly, going to be a truly horrendous piece of new legislation once Biden is in office.

Well, the buzz-phrase doing the rounds in the wake of Donald Trump being banned from the internet is “the new definition of free speech”…and variations on that theme.

Firstly, and papers on both sides of the Atlantic want to be very clear about this, Donald Trump being banned simultaneously from every major social network is not in any way inhibiting his free speech.

Indeed none of the tens of thousands of people banned from twitter et al. have had their free speech infringed either. Neither have any of the proprietors – or users – of the Parler app which the tech giants bullied out of existence.

Free Speech is totally intact no matter how many people are banned or deplatformed, the media all agree on that (even the allegedly pro-free speech think tanks).

They also agree that maybe…it shouldn’t be. Maybe “free speech” is too dangerous in our modern era, and needs a “new definition”.

That’s what Ian Dunt writing in Politics.co.uk thinks, anyway, arguing it’s time to have a “grown-up debate” about free speech.

The Financial Times agrees, asking about the “limits of free-speech in the internet era”.

Thomas Edsall, in the New York Times, wonders aloud if Trump’s “lies” have made free speech a “threat to democracy”.

The Conversation, a UK-based journal often at the cutting edge of the truly terrifying ideas, has three different articles about redefining or limiting free speech, all published within 4 days of each other.

There’s Free speech is not guaranteed if it harms others, a drab piece of dishonest apologia which argues Trump wasn’t silenced, because he could make a speech which the media would cover…without also mentioning that the media has, en masse, literally refused to broadcast several of Trump’s speeches in the last couple of months.

The conclusion could have been written by an algorithm analysing The Guardian’s twitter feed:

the suggestion Trump has been censored is simply wrong. It misleads the public into believing all “free speech” claims have equal merit. They do not. We must work to ensure harmful speech is regulated in order to ensure broad participation in the public discourse that is essential to our lives — and to our democracy.

Then there’s Free speech in America: is the US approach fit for purpose in the age of social media?, a virtual carbon copy of the first, which states:

The attack on the Capitol exposed, in stark terms, the dangers of disinformation in the digital age. It provides an opportunity to reflect on the extent to which certain elements of America’s free speech tradition may no longer be fit for purpose.

And finally, my personal favourite, Why ‘free speech’ needs a new definition in the age of the internet and Trump tweets in which author Peter Ives warns of the “weaponising of free speech” and concludes:

Trump’s angry mob was not just incited by his single speech on Jan. 6, but had been fomenting for a long time online. The faith in reason held by Mill and Kant was premised on the printing press; free speech should be re-examined in the context of the internet and social media.

Ives clearly thinks he’s enlightened and liberal and educated, after all he drops references to Kant AND Mills (that’s right TWO famous philosophers), but he’s really not. He’s just an elitist arguing working class people are too dumb to be allowed to speak, or even hear ideas that might get them all riled-up and distract them from their menial labour.

To season these stale ideas with a sprinkling of fear-porn, NBC News is reporting that the FBI didn’t report their “concerns” over possible violence at the Capitol, because they were worried about free speech. (See, if the FBI hadn’t been protecting people’s free speech, that riot may not have happened!)

And on top of all of that, there’s the emotional manipulation angle, where authors pretend to be sad or exasperated or any of the emotions they used to have.

In the Irish Independent, Emma Kelly says that “free speech” doesn’t include “hate speech” (she’s never exactly clear what part of “go home in peace love” was hate speech though).

In The Hill, Joe Ferullo is almost in tears that the first amendment has been ruined by the right-wing press continuously “shouting fire in a crowded theatre”, citing the famous Oliver Wendell Holmes quote, which so many use to “qualify” the idea of free speech, without realising it hands over power to destroy it completely.

Up until you can show me the hard-and-fast legal definitions of “shout”, “fire”, “crowded” and “theatre”, this open-ended qualification is nothing but a blank canvas, free to be interpreted as loosely – or stringently – as any lawmaker or judiciary feels is necessary.

As an example:

Twitter is certainly bigger and more populated than a theatre, and spreading anti-vaccination/anti-war/pro-Russia/”Covid denial” news [delete as appropriate] is certainly going to cause more panic than one single building being on fire. Isn’t it?

It’s this potential abuse of incredibly loose terminologies which will be used to “redefine” free speech.

“Offensive”, “misinformation”, “hate speech” and others will be repeated. A lot.

Expressions which have no solid definition under law, and are already being shown to mean nothing to the media talking heads who repeat them ad nauseum.

If “go home in peace and love”, can become “inciting violence”, absolutely everything can be made to mean absolutely anything.

The more they “redefine” words, the further we move into an Orwellian world where all meaning is entirely lost.

And what would our newly defined “free speech” really mean in such a world?

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The New Media Has Become like the Old Media—And That Means the Usual Bias | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on October 16, 2020

https://mises.org/wire/new-media-has-become-old-media-and-means-usual-bias?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=0094d8d93a-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_9_21_2018_9_59_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-0094d8d93a-228343965

Ryan McMaken

A sizable majority of American adults say—when polled—that social media organizations “censor” political viewpoints:

A Pew Research Center survey conducted in June finds that roughly three-quarters of U.S. adults say it is very (37%) or somewhat (36%) likely that social media sites intentionally censor political viewpoints that they find objectionable. Just 25% believe this is not likely the case.

At this point, of course, it’s hard to see how this is even debatable. While “censor” is perhaps not the most accurate term to use here—given the word’s connotations of state intervention—it is apparent that social media firms, at the very leastlimit discussion and the reach of certain political viewpoints by banning certain users. These firms also openly admit to biasing readers against certain content through the use of “fact checkers.” Anecdotal evidence also strongly suggests that these social media firms also engage in tactics like “shadow banning,” which hides certain posts and content from certain users.

This is no haphazard or “neutral” bias, either. It is clear that the user bans and “fact checking” warnings against certain posts are designed to fall most often on groups that could be described as “conservative,” or “libertarian,” or which advocate in favor of Donald Trump and his allies.

As far as media companies go, this is just par for the course. What is perhaps so unusual in this case is that so many self-identified conservatives and libertarians seem surprised that things turned out this way.

This may be due to the fact that many continue to believe the false notion that social media companies are a sort of “public utility.” The social media companies themselves promote this myth and like to give the impression that they are open forums facilitating open communication. In reality, the firms are essentially just media companies like CNN, NBC, or the New York Times. Like ordinary media companies they modify and promote content to reflect the firm’s preferences. This is clear every time a social media company intervenes to modify “trending topics” lists, or remove content altogether.  Consequently, the only meaningful difference between standard media companies and social media companies is that social media firms don’t produce their own content like ABC News or the Washington Post do. Rather, social media companies have convinced their users to produce all the content. The social media companies then reap the rewards in terms of selling personal information to advertisers and curating user-produced content to suit the companies’ own vision and needs.

Ultimately, the lesson to be learned here is that anyone who holds opinions outside a center-left or far left narrative should expect about as much “fairness” from social media firms as one might expect from CNN or NBC News. In other words, we should expect social media firms to ignore and marginalize the very same opinions and groups that have been ignored and marginalized by established media companies for decades.

This also means that organizations, writers, and publishers of these verboten opinions must do what they’ve always done: create their own publications and find effective methods of disseminating their content outside the control of establishment gatekeepers.

A Brief History of Media Bias

More seasoned observers of media behavior, of course, aren’t surprised or shocked when they hear that social media companies have taken steps to constrain the parameters of acceptable debate or silence certain voices.

The establishment media, its reporters, and its editors have viewed this kind of “censorship” as both necessary and laudable since at least the early twentieth century. It was at that time that American progressives began to make headway with the idea that journalists should act as gatekeepers of truth and that “the press” should determine for itself what it was that people ought to be allowed to read and know.

As I noted last year, this idea was promoted especially forcefully in Walter Lippmann’s 1922 book Public Opinion. Lippmann contended that ordinary people are incapable of reading about events from diverse sources and making up their own minds. Rather, it was necessary for experts to provide only “controlled reporting and objective analysis.”

But how is this “objective analysis” to be achieved? The answer, according to Lippman, lies in making journalism more scientific, and in making facts “fixed, objectified, measured, [and] named.”

Thus was born the idea of the “objective” journalist who was above bias and who communicated to the public the only truth. Naturally, this implies that all “untrue” narratives must therefore be silenced.

[RELATED: “‘Objective Journalism’ Has Always Been a Myth” by Ryan McMaken]

In reality, of course, the journalists and editors themselves, like all human beings, brought with them their own biases and partisan sympathies. As the twentieth century progressed, journalism schools at colleges and universities cemented certain biases among those who went to work for major media companies. By midcentury, changes in the technological and media landscape narrowed the number of media outlets and the public became increasingly dependent on fewer and fewer editors and journalists at a shrinking number of companies. As Bruce Thornton has explained at the Hoover Institution:

The second development that increased the malign partisan influence of the media in the postwar period was the rise of television and the decline in the number of newspapers. With that, there were fewer and fewer information sources from which readers could chose, giving the three television networks and the big metropolitan papers, especially the New York Times, inordinate unchallenged power over public information. At the same time, those seeking alternative points of view had fewer and fewer daily papers, while the ones that remained were dependent on a few news services such as the Associated Press, which represents one point of view. To speak in Madisonian terms, one media faction had now expanded to the point that it crowded out and marginalized alternative points of view.

Creating Alternatives to the Establishment Media

This transformation did not go unnoticed. By the 1940s, it was increasingly clear that a distinction had arisen between the “establishment” media and what would come to be known as “alternative media.” As Moira Weigel noted in her review of Claire Potter’s book on alternative media, Political Junkies:

Potter does not define precisely what she means by “alternative media.” But the term really only makes sense in opposition to the “mainstream” or mass media that emerged in the first half of the twentieth century, in the form of national newspapers and magazines, Hollywood film studios, and radio and television stations. These outlets grew up with new standards for objective reporting and new federal agencies and laws that forbade broadcasters from engaging in open partisanship. In 1927, Congress passed the Radio Act, requiring broadcasters to give political candidates equal opportunities to present their views. In 1949, the expanded Federal Communications Commission (created partly in response to the popularity of the antisemitic radio star Father Coughlin) established the “Fairness Doctrine,” requiring broadcasters of all kinds to provide multiple points of view on controversial issues. As more Americans tuned in, a carefully regulated Cold War media pushed them toward what historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. famously named “the vital center.”

Although the new regulatory regime was allegedly devoted to “fairness,” more adroit observers understood that fairness was really just whatever the major media companies defined as “mainstream” while everything else came to be defined as beyond the pale of civilized discussion.

Naturally, many conservative groups opposed to the “center”—which in the mid-twentieth century really meant a center-left bent reflecting the views of midcentury university professors and other “experts” like Schlesinger himself—understood that the new fairness excluded their ideas.

By the 1940s, “conservative” groups—i.e., pretty much anyone opposed to the New Deal and its legacy—realized they needed to found their own organizations. As noted by Nicole Hemmer at The Atlantic:

The idea of “fair and balanced” partisan media has its roots in the 1940s and 1950s. Human Events, the right-wing newsweekly founded in 1944, was dedicated to publishing the “facts” other outlets overlooked.

This “alternative media” included other publications, many of which came out of the “Old Right,” such as the inimitable Frank Chodorov’s publication analysis, founded in 1944. Chodorov described it as “an individualistic publication—the only one of its kind in America,” and he would go on to edit another new alternative magazine called The Freeman, founded in 1954.

Rightist organizations like these, however, were not the only ones in the alternative media landscape. Weigel notes that independent journalists on the left were also objecting to the mainstream view being promoted by major outlets like the New York Times. Specifically, the work of left-wing journalist Izzy Stone became influential through his acolyte Seymour Hersh:

Hersh first encountered Stone’s work in 1964. At the time, Hersh was working at the Associated Press; by 1966, he and Stone had become friends. Hersh would later recall that Stone helped him recognize how the mainstream media marginalized journalists who dared to embarrass the government, and strengthened his conviction that the public had a right to information that both the media and government were trying to keep from them.

These organizations became all the more solidified in this belief when it became apparent that the federal government was willing to explicitly use the “fairness doctrine” to silent dissenters. Paul Matzko recounts how, “Conservative radio broadcasting surged in the early 1960s as a result of the rise of non-network, independent radio stations that were cash-strapped and willing to air people whose politics were too radical for network radio.”

These independent radio broadcasters criticized the Kennedy administration on a wide variety of topics from trade to foreign policy.

The administration took notice, and

The administration’s plan for dealing with these conservative irritants involved, among other measures, using the regulatory power granted to the executive branch to intimidate their donors and hosts. First, a special campaign of targeted Internal Revenue Service audits challenging their tax-exempt status stemmed the flow of donations to the offending broadcasters. Then, the selective application of the Federal Communication Commission’s Fairness Doctrine pressured station owners into dropping conservative programming altogether. All of this was coordinated from the Oval Office and the Attorney General’s office, part of it even caught on tape.

By the late 1960s, it was clear who was in charge of media: a small number of major media outlets backed up by the federal government. It was these players who would decide what was “fair,” what was “the center,” and what was acceptable political debate.

Naturally, this wasn’t done through any explicit announcements. Rather, the media used tactics such as what political scientists call “agenda setting,” “framing” and “priming” to set the terms of acceptable debate. These tactics involve the media emphasizing certain events over others, creating standards by which events ought to be judged, and simplifying issues by presenting only a small number of opposing viewpoints. This naturally has the effect of limiting which viewpoints end up being perceived by the public as “normal.” Viewpoints outside those presented as mainstream then strike the viewer or reader as “extreme.” Moreover, as the media picks and chooses which events to cover, some events and persons gain prominence in the national discussion while others fade into the background. This is an easy way to manipulate how the public views which facts are relevant and which are not.

The effect of all this is that many ideologies, persons, and facts are “censored” simply as a result of being ignored or excluded by media stories in broadcasts and printed texts.

The Rise of the Internet

In spite of all this, many independent media organizations continued to make inroads into the establishment media domain through radio broadcasts. This was especially true of conservative and right-wing broadcasts, which became immensely popular during the 1990s and early 2000s and influenced the media landscape considerably. The most successful of these was likely The Rush Limbaugh Show, although there were many imitators such as Michael Medved, Sean Hannity, and Michael Savage.

So lucrative had this conservative “alternative” become that Fox News, which began broadcasts in 1996, attempted to capitalize on the notion of presenting “unbiased” news that would depart from the bias of organizations like CNN and NBC News. “We Report, You Decide” became the tagline, and many followers of conservative talk radio tuned in to hear the allegedly unbiased version of broadcast television news.

The landscape changed again as internet websites became increasingly influential. The Drudge Report, which began as an email newsletter in 1995 and went online in 1997, attracted an enormous readership after it became a source for information on the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, which the establishment media had initially refused to carry.

By 1999, numerous editors, webmasters, and organizations—ones generally ignored by the establishment media—were founding their own websites and producing their own content. Sites like LewRockwell.com, Antiwar.com, and mises.org—among countless others—were gaining access to a far larger audience than had ever been available in the days of mailed newsletters. Meanwhile, more established publications like National Review moved much of their content online, capturing a much larger audience than had ever been possible in the days of magazines sent only to paid subscribers.

The Rise of Social Media

During this period, it is understandable that many followers of alternative media began to believe that it would finally become possible to compete with the old establishment media on its own terms.

see the rest here

Author:

Contact Ryan McMaken

Ryan McMaken (@ryanmcmaken) is a senior editor at the Mises Institute. Send him your article submissions for the Mises Wire and The Austrian, but read article guidelines first. Ryan has degrees in economics and political science from the University of Colorado and was a housing economist for the State of Colorado. He is the author of Commie Cowboys: The Bourgeoisie and the Nation-State in the Western Genre.

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Melinda Gates Slams Social Media for Spreading ‘Disinfo’ – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on October 2, 2020

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/10/joseph-mercola/melinda-gates-slams-social-media-for-spreading-disinfo/

By Joseph Mercola

Mercola.com

In a September 2020 interview with Axios on HBO, Melinda Gates said “It may be time for a reckoning” with social media’s role in spreading disinformation. According to Axios:1

“Bill and Melinda Gates … [have] seen firsthand the impact of disinformation, as they’ve become targets of conspiracy theories amplified and spread via social media … [Melinda] Gates … said society may need to start holding social media companies to account for their role in helping such disinformation spread.”

It’s ironic, to say the least, considering the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funds and influences mainstream media companies, which in turn write whatever the Gates desire, be it truthful or not, without disclosing their conflict of interest.

Through its grants to the Leo Burnett Company, an ad agency owned by Publicis, the Gates Foundation is also financially linked to NewsGuard and HealthGuard, as both of these “fact-checking” sites are funded by Publicis. As such, Gates already has the power to pull strings and censor content they don’t like.

Gates Foundation Funds Scientific Disinformation

See the rest here

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Donald Trump is completely right about mail-in ballots – OffGuardian

Posted by M. C. on May 30, 2020

https://off-guardian.org/2020/05/29/donald-trump-is-completely-right-about-mail-in-ballots/

Kit Knightly

It’s an artefact of the peculiar world in which we live that we are sometimes forced to agree with, fight alongside or even defend people with whom we would never wish to be associated.

Donald Trump is right at the top of that list. And his “feud” with twitter over tweets concerning postal votes is a perfect example.

To be clear, whatever the MAGA crowd and QAnons may wish to believe, Trump is NOT some kind of anti-establishment rebel.

Whatever small threat he posed to the status quo was stamped out shortly after the Deep State switched sides from Hillary to Trump sometime in October 2016.

From Syria to Russia to Wikileaks, most of the good parts of Trump’s “America first” or “isolationist” approach have fallen completely by the wayside. Either opposed by the Deep State to the point of total paralysis or shown to be nothing but talk in the first place.

Ever since he was elected, despite his rhetoric, Trump has been little more than a boorish Bush. Most of the time.

But sometimes, in small ways, he strikes a raw nerve with the establishment.

Like two days ago, when he tweeted out criticisms of the proposal to rely on postal votes for forthcoming elections:

Whether this was put into Trump’s mouth by his handlers to create the controversy, or whether it’s his genuine opinion, it is obviously something people are not supposed to agree with. Because twitter then took the unprecedented step of adding “fact-checking links” to his tweets.

Donald Trump is a crass, narcissistic bullshit merchant, but twitter has never done that to him before.

So why now? Why is twitter “fact-checking” Trump’s claim that postal ballots are easier to rig?

Well, it’s certainly not because he’s wrong. Because he’s actually right.

Postal ballots ARE much easier to rig than in-person voting. This is not just logically obvious, it is historically shown to be true through dozens of examples.

In 2002, a Labour councillor was convicted of voter fraud after acquiring 200 blank postal ballots, filling them in and adding them to the uncounted votes.

In 2005, when on-demand postal voting was first spreading around Britain, many councils expressed concerns that the system was vulnerable to fraud. These fears were repeated in 2010, when there was a surge in those using the system.

In 2014 the electoral commission warned that “ghost voters” could be created using mail-in ballots.

Also in 2014 Richard Mawrey QC, a UK deputy High Court judge in charge of hearing electoral fraud cases, warned that on-demand postal ballots were open to “systematic and widespread” voter fraud.

This was echoing thoughts he first expressed in 2005, after finding 6 Labour councillors guilty of postal ballot-related fraud schemes.

Mawrey repeated those concerns again in 2015, after former Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman was convicted of election fraud using postal votes.

In Decmeber 2019 Steve Baker MP wrote that:

There is widespread abuse of postal votes, this simply cannot go on

That same month, the BBC’s political editor accidentally revealed a serious potential corruption on the postal ballot front.

Now, all of these examples are from the UK but the same frailties exist in the United States.

In fact, just two years ago, a Republican candidate was found to have committed electoral fraud in North Carolina…using absentee postal ballots.

In 2007 Teresa James and Michael Slater of Project Vote authored a report titled “Vote By Mail Doesn’t Deliver” in which they found there was evidence that:

Vote by mail is more susceptible to corruption than voting at polling places.

And:

Vote by mail is amenable to manipulation by election officials.

They cite multiple examples, including the Miami mayoral election of 1997 being overturned by the courts after a candidate was found to have committed widespread absentee ballot fraud.

As recently as March of this year, when Joe Biden repeatedly won primaries he was predicted to lose, there were reported irregularities in postal ballots in several states, including Wisconsin, New Jersey and Ohio.

So, if there are so many recent examples of fraud – and so many obvious potential vulnerabilities to the system – why is Twitter suddenly (incorrectly) fact-checking “The Donald”?

And not just Twitter, but all of the mainstream media as well. For example, CNN, the Washington Post and The New York times all have very long, very similar refutations of Trump’s anti-postal votes diatribe.

It’s interesting to note that the Wikipedia page for “Postal Voting” has already been edited to insert the same quote twice, from a New York Times article which came out today.

Their defences of the system are, frankly, sad.

The New York Times argues that, yes, postal vote rigging does happen (and even cites some of the examples I mentioned) but says doing it on a scale large enough to swing an election would be really hard, and someone would probably notice.

CNN’s is even worse. Collapsing from incompetence to unintentional hilarity, by using a report commissioned by George W. Bush in 2002 which found there was “virtually no evidence of any organized effort to skew federal elections.” (Eagled-eyed readers will note it says “virtually no evidence”, and not “no evidence”.)

Students of history will no doubt realise that this report from the Bush-era Justice Department was commissioned in direct response to allegations that the 2000 Presidential election was rigged (which it fairly obviously was).

So, apart from twitter fact-checking the POTUS for criticising postal votes, we also have all the mainstream media doing pretzel-like feats of mental and verbal gymnastics to try and refute him. Why?

Well, because postal ballots are a large part of the establishment’s agenda at the moment. They are one of the key ideas being pushed in the wake the Covid19 “crisis”.

Just three weeks ago, the New York Times had an article headlined:

We Should Never Have to Vote in Person Again

And that’s just the latest and most brazen example of the propaganda surge on this issue.

In February, well before he could use Covid19 as an excuse, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan was campaigning for more postal votes.

In March Poland’s lower house approved a bill to conduct this year’s Presidential election by post (which was later rejected by the upper house). Australia likewise “urged” postal votes in their local elections this year.

The Independent reports that “two thirds of Americans favor postal votes”, and Joe Biden called opposing mail-in ballots “un-American”

There are many other examples of pro-postal voting stories, all over the local and national media: see here, here, here, here and here.

Oh, and here and here.

You could even see this whole “controversy” as part of the propaganda itself. Trump has such a lousy reputation that any thought he expresses is instantly discredited by association.

From now on anybody that doubts the postal ballot system can be said to be “agreeing with Trump”, whilst the hordes of potential voters whose only understanding of politics is “Orange Man Bad” will throw their weight behind postal ballots as if it were some kind of moral crusade. (Expect a hashtag like #ImGoingPostal in the next couple of days).

Here, in the UK, our elections are currently totally suspended. When they “lift the lockdown”, postal ballots will be pushed as a way of “saving democracy”. But that will be far from the truth.

Trump expressed it brashly, coarsely and with his trademark lack of nuance, but anybody paying attention should definitely be very wary of widespread postal voting. And worried by the large-scale media campaign to promote it.

Be seeing you

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Donald Trump is completely right about mail-in ballots – OffGuardian

Youth Is Wasted on the Dumb – Taki’s Magazine – Taki’s Magazine

Posted by M. C. on January 29, 2020

We’re in the same situation now, except Trump is no Nixon. He’s listening to lying Saudis and Likudists and picking a fight with Iran, which should be our closest ally in the region. He’s on the right path where immigration is concerned, and when and if that is finally restricted, we can start rebuilding harmony among our communities, particularly in the inner cities. But I’m not holding my breath.

https://www.takimag.com/article/youth-is-wasted-on-the-dumb/

Taki

I write this from the once-upon-a-time small alpine village of Gstaad, Switzerland, now a mecca of the nouveaux riches and vulgar, snow and manners having gone with the wind. Global warming is still a maybe, as far as I’m concerned, but the visual evidence right here in the Alps is undeniable. The glacier I used to ski on almost year-round has disappeared, and man-made snow is pumped out daily in its place. The reason I’m reluctant to believe the climate Cassandras is because their prophetic gifts have been very wrong in the past—Prince Charles predicted the end of the world some time ago, but he’s still flying private around the globe twenty years on—and that Swedish teenager who accuses us of killing her future is a publicity freak of Meghan Markle proportions.

In my own little way I do what I can against global warming: I drive a tiny mini, use a sailboat rather than those polluting stinkers favored by Arabs, and occasionally charter only propeller planes when flying around Europe. Never mind. More depressing than the disappearing white stuff are the manners of the people who warn us nonstop about global warming. Never have I met a ruder kind: young, usually bearded where both sexes are concerned, and, like all annoying types, holier-than-thou.

Mind you, some of us oldies think that the hot air emanating from the climate warriors, the LGBTQ crowd, and their allies who encourage them to protest at the drop of a hat is the real cause of the snow’s disappearance. My son, who as a teenager used to lean left, has finally seen the light and annoys the ritzy-glitzy youngsters he runs into these days by asking them what pronoun they go under. What’s undeniable is that we have produced a generation of young people who pride themselves on being eternal pessimists. Life will deliver less, is their message. A wry smile is my reaction when I hear this stuff. I grew up during the last world war—something these darlings see on TV and in the movies, and it traumatizes them at times.

“Had I lived my life in the grip of social media, I’d probably be an inmate in an insane asylum by now.”

Like many others of my age group, memory serves where the almost daily bombing during the war is concerned. My family’s house north of Athens was near a small airport used by the Greek royal family that the occupying Germans had taken over to park their fighters. Although my German nanny and my parents had forbidden it, our favorite game was running out during an air raid in order to catch the silver foil Allied bombardiers would dump in order to confuse the primitive radars of German antiaircraft guns. It sounds more dangerous than it was. Three years of bombings and not a single casualty. Today’s youth have no such luck. They’re being bombed daily with exaggeration, intolerance, untruths, and outright falsehoods by Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp, with millions of casualties.

No wonder they’re all so angry. Had I lived my life in the grip of social media, I’d probably be an inmate in an insane asylum by now, or convicted of having raped that pachyderm Lena Dunham. Abused, trolled, bullied, incapable of having a relationship, today’s youth have rap stars as heroes, and that includes the ghastly Kardashians and Hiltons. Social media is now the echo chamber where one hears nothing but one’s own prejudices fed back to them. Their inner voice tells them that it’s all the fault of the oldies, people like myself who don’t care about the future. Bad, bad Taki.

Yet when communism collapsed thirty years ago, the world rejoiced for the values communism had denied the people under it: free speech, respect, and tolerance. The irony is that three decades later, newspapers like The New York Times and The Washington Post, TV networks, and movements like #MeToo want to revert to the kind of control practiced by communist dictators. The Donald promised to drain the swamp, but the swamp seems to be winning with help from the above-mentioned unmentionables, and from the zombielike people attached to their machines who shout at others on the internet. You know the type: those with a not-my-president, hands-over-the-ears reaction to democratically elected officials.

Back in 1969, President Richard Nixon went over the heads of the so-called elite and the Eastern establishment and told the American people that America would not be humiliated by North Vietnam. He called on the silent majority of Americans to back him, and they sure did. The polls went through the roof. One of my most pleasant memories was watching New York construction hard hats attack and beat the crap out of effete Harvard types for burning the American flag on Fifth Avenue. Irish cops looked on with smiles on their faces. Well, we all know how that ended. The swamp brought down a great president who had won 49 states.

We’re in the same situation now, except Trump is no Nixon. He’s listening to lying Saudis and Likudists and picking a fight with Iran, which should be our closest ally in the region. He’s on the right path where immigration is concerned, and when and if that is finally restricted, we can start rebuilding harmony among our communities, particularly in the inner cities. But I’m not holding my breath.

Be seeing you

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Social Media and Social Control: How Silicon Valley Serves the US State Department

Posted by M. C. on December 26, 2019

…he presents the media as a bottleneck through which information about the world beyond the perception of our senses must pass.

https://www.mintpressnews.com/social-media-control-how-silicon-valley-serves-us-state-department/263267/

By Morgan Artyukhina

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is in the spotlight for “dining with far-right figures,” and their influence over the information that appears in your feed is apparent. However, Facebook isn’t the only Silicon Valley firm that’s masquerading as nonpartisan as it curates the “facts” you see in ads, posts, or searches: Google, Twitter, Microsoft, and others are deeply wedded to the U.S. security state and the billionaires it upholds.

Walter Lippmann’s groundbreaking 1922 study of the news media, “Public Opinion,” begins with a chapter titled, “The World Outside and the Pictures in our Heads,” in which he presents the media as a bottleneck through which information about the world beyond the perception of our senses must pass. Aside from the question of which stories get passed through that bottleneck, which information about an event that survives the crucible of condensation into an article, news bulletin or wire is determined by the biases of the writer and editor. In turn, control over that information bottleneck gives the controller incredible power to shape the consciousness of readers about “the world outside” – the “manufacturing of consent,” as Lippmann originally described it.

The depth of information about the world made available by the internet seems to remove the bottleneck about which Lippmann fretted — indeed, a generation of techie evangelists tried to present it in just such a manner — but the truth is that it only further obscured both the bottlenecks and the crucibles that distill information for our consumption.

The media giants that control our access to information, from search engines like Google to social media like Facebook, have turned themselves into portals to the world and present themselves as impartial in that role. However, behind a facade of separateness, strong connecting links bind the tech giants to the oligarchy and security state on which they rely, giving the interests of the elite determinative influence over which information we access.

This article will expose and discuss some of the many ways this shady web of influence and oversight operates.

The revolving door between these tech companies and intelligence agencies, think tanks, defense contractors and security companies is constantly revolving, especially at the higher echelons of important departments, like cybersecurity. Notably, many of these companies cater along partisan lines depending on the political proclivities of their owners, in a bid to tip the scales toward their point of view.

They have embraced this role as an information portal, offering special “news” sections on their platforms. They are rolling out new apps to judge the trustworthiness of news sources. Facebook and Google, in particular, have also become two of the largest funders of journalism around the world, helping to further entrench State Department-approved models of truth in key hotspots of geopolitical interest.

This cyberpunk dystopia isn’t a new perversion of a previously free internet, though – in fact, it is the internet’s raison d’être in the first place.

It’s astory so old, it goes back to the very origins of computing, as a tool for census counting in pursuit of racist immigration policies, and the internet, born of the Pentagon’s attempt to model whole societies for the purposes of improving counterinsurgency warfare in Southeast Asia.

 

Right hook

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Secret Service wants schools to report more weirdos

Posted by M. C. on December 12, 2019

And–big shocker–another common element the Secret Service identified in school violence was an addiction to prescription drugs meant to control behavior.

And yet officials from school employees all the way to the Secret Service still think controlling teens even more is the solution, when it is actually so clearly the problem.

Would private schools be more apt to care, identify and act on problems without “help” from the Secret Service of all places?

I belive this is the key.

He goes on to discuss how pre-industrial societies that integrate children and adolescents into adult life at a younger age–along with the rights and responsibilities– experience little mental illness.

https://www.thedailybell.com/all-articles/news-analysis/secret-service-wants-schools-to-report-more-weirdos/

By Joe Jarvis

The Secret Service released a report last month analyzing school shootings and violence and recommending how to prevent such attacks.

According to the Secret Service, it all boils down to more intrusive surveillance in school and online. Treat everyone who is depressed or anxious like they are going to shoot up the school.

The report says that schools should monitor any students in distress, including their social media profiles. Schools should randomly search desks and lockers, and encourage students to report any of their peers for practically any reason whatsoever.

Students, school personnel, and family members should be encouraged to report troubling or concerning behaviors to ensure that those in positions of authority can intervene.

According to the report defiance, misconduct, ADD, being bullied, or a recent breakup could be predictors of future violence. “The threshold for intervention should be low,” it says.

All of the 35 attackers (100%) in this study experienced at least one social stressor. Social stressors identified in this analysis included stress related to the attackers’ relationships with peers (e.g., bullying or other peer conflicts) and romantic partners.

The main takeaway is that anyone could be a school shooter, so all students should be eyed with suspicion, closely watched, and encouraged to inform on fellow students’ slightest transgressions.

If you’re not a pissed-off loner already, this is sure to do the trick.

Because an obvious route cause of school violence, student depression, and student suicide, is restriction they feel in their daily lives.

According to Bruce Levin, PhD, in his article, Societies With Little Coercion Have Little Mental Illness:

Coercion—the use of physical, legal, chemical, psychological, financial, and other forces to gain compliance—is intrinsic to our society’s employment, schooling, and parenting. However, coercion results in fear and resentment, which are fuels for miserable marriages, unhappy families, and what we today call mental illness…

He goes on to discuss how pre-industrial societies that integrate children and adolescents into adult life at a younger age–along with the rights and responsibilities– experience little mental illness.

Dr. Robert Epstein also pinpoints a lack of autonomy and too much restriction as the main cause of teen suicide and mental illness in his book Teen 2.0: Saving Our Children and Families From the Torment of Adolescence.

[T]he National Bureau of Economic Research concluded: “Suicide rates among youths aged 15-24 have tripled in the past half-century… [O]ne of the main factors contributing to this trend is a lack of “direct economic” or “familial power.” Suicide [and attempted suicide] is a way that young people try to “resolve conflicts” or “signal distress.”

But where there are crises, there are also opportunities, in this case for the drug companies. … [R]ather than addressing the causes of the problem, parents, physicians, and policy makers went for the quick fix. Between 1995 and 2001 the rate at which psychotropic drugs were prescribed for teens increased by 250 percent.

And–big shocker–another common element the Secret Service identified in school violence was an addiction to prescription drugs meant to control behavior.

And yet officials from school employees all the way to the Secret Service still think controlling teens even more is the solution, when it is actually so clearly the problem.

Be seeing you

?u=http4.bp.blogspot.com-qt9rRFpDGV0USflTvp5t4IAAAAAAAAQO4VveUWyawMSws1600600full-rosemarys-baby-screenshot.jpg&f=1&nofb=1

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

FBI Wants Tech to Track Social Media for Criminals and Terrorists Before They Act

Posted by M. C. on August 2, 2019

The FIB raking in the whole haystack to find that needle.

Say the wrong word and you may be on a list…if you aren’t already.

8 Ways We Regularly Commit Felonies Without Realizing It

https://www.nextgov.com/emerging-tech/2019/07/fbi-wants-tech-track-social-media-criminals-and-terrorists-they-act/158843/

By Brandi Vincent,

The Federal Bureau of Investigations aims to acquire access to a “social media early alerting tool” that will help insiders proactively and reactively monitor how terrorist groups, foreign intelligence services, criminal organizations and other domestic threats use networking platforms to further their illegal efforts, according to a request for proposal amended this week.

“With increased use of social media platforms by subjects of current FBI investigations and individuals that pose a threat to the United States, it is critical to obtain a service which will allow the FBI to identify relevant information from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other Social media platforms in a timely fashion,” the agency said in the RFP. “Consequently, the FBI needs near real-time access to a full range of social media exchanges in order to obtain the most current information available in furtherance of its law enforcement and intelligence missions.”

Though the request was initially released on July 8, the FBI amended it this week to extend the relevant dates: The agency’s answers to vendors moved from July 25 to Aug. 7, and the proposal due date shifted from Aug. 8 to Aug. 27. Though the original proposal listed the anticipated award date as Aug. 30, it could be pushed back due to these changes…

Be seeing you

Prism Cartoons and Comics - funny pictures from CartoonStock

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

The Great Awokening Conspiracy Theory – Taki’s Magazine – Taki’s Magazine

Posted by M. C. on June 14, 2019

https://www.takimag.com/article/the-great-awokening-conspiracy-theory/print

by Steve Sailer

What accounts for The Great Awokening that began in roughly 2013? Why did vast numbers of white Democrats suddenly subscribe to theories that only Grievance Studies majors took seriously before?

Over the past few weeks, two academics working separately, Zach Goldberg and David Rozado, have documented how extremist The New York Times, once known as The Gray Lady for its decorum, became during Obama’s second term…

Goldberg and Rozado are more or less extending to a much larger scale the methodology I invented for my 2018 Taki’s Magazine column “The Emmett Till Effect.” I pointed out that you could graph The New York Times’ use of politically tendentious terms to measure how hard the propaganda machine was pushing particular themes.

For example, Emmett Till was a black teenager murdered in the South in 1955 by whites, who were acquitted due to their white privilege. In 1980, the Times didn’t see any reason to mention Till, his having been dead for 25 years, whereas in 1990 his name came up twice, and in 2000 four times. But by 2017, a full 62 years after his tragic death, the name “Emmett Till” was referenced 72 times.

This winter, for example, the Times responded to the embarrassing Jussie Smollett hate hoax by cranking up the Emmett Till hubbub once again.

I’ve long argued that the chief problem of media bias is not “fake news,” but instead how The Establishment prioritizes what is news and what isn’t, what is emphasized in The Narrative and what is skimmed over. There’s an endless abundance of events in this world, so what makes the headlines versus what is relegated to the police blotter are politically important decisions.

To people who succumb to The New York Times’ worldview, Emmett Till is always late-breaking news.

Why? Because of course you hear about Emmett Till all the time! That’s because white privilege is the great issue of the current year.

And why is white privilege our central mania? Because of Emmett Till! Haven’t you ever heard of him?

It’s a seamless web of circular logic…

For example, according to Rozado’s new Media Analytics website, which graphs how often a word appeared in the Times from 1970 to 2017, the word “trump” only began to increase in 2015, before shooting up to insane levels by 2017.

In contrast, the recent low point for usage of the word “racism” was that innocent year of 2011. But then, according to Rozado, the NYT began to use “racism” about 20 percent more often in each year from 2012 through 2014, followed by huge jumps in 2015 and 2016. By 2015, “racism” as a percentage of the total words printed in The New York Times was appearing three times as often as in 2011.

Was racism really three times as bad in 2015 as in 2011? Of course not. The New York Times had merely decided to honk the racism horn three times as loudly.

Why?

That’s a big question. I can think of quite a few possible answers, but I don’t know which one was most important…

In his new Tablet article, “America’s White Saviors,” Goldberg points the finger at the rise of social media:

Thus, by all indications, the first half of this decade appears to have been a watershed for white liberal racial consciousness. The picture that emerges from the various points of data is one in which white liberals and social media created a kind of outrage feedback loop. White liberals started spending ever increasing shares of their time in a medium—social media and internet news sites—at the same moment that, for multiple reasons, that medium produced a higher volume of race-related moral outrage stories relative to other forms of journalism.

But was lowly social media the driving force? Or was it that the old prestige media, such as The New York Times, was using its Megaphone to promote the dumbest ideas on social media? For example, the Trayvon and Ferguson fiascos were due to The Establishment taking Black Twitter seriously.

Now, you know and I know that you can’t trust Black Twitter to get a story straight. But has The New York Times learned that lesson yet? If you were an NYT editor, would you dare point out that excited black people on Twitter have an unfortunate record of getting stories disastrously wrong? Or is that just laying your neck on the chopping block for your ambitious underlings?

Another possibility that has been mooted is that the birth of wokeness, which I recall as beginning in early 2012 with Obama declaring Trayvon to look like the son he never had (although in reality the triracial George Zimmerman looked far more like the son Obama might have had with his half-white/half-Asian girlfriend Sheila Miyoshi Jager) was a devious response to Occupy Wall Street in late 2011…

For anybody interested in researching trending fads among Woke Capital, Davos generates vast numbers of web pages annually. But just don’t ask me to read through them. One look at Davos’ annual themes, such as 2013’s “resilient dynamism” (or perhaps “dynamic resilience,” I forget), and my eyes glaze over.

So I shall leave that inquiry to scholars more resilient and/or dynamic than me.

Be seeing you

'Welcome to 'All Sides of the Issues.' Here's our panel of commentators -- a communist, a socialist, a liberal, and a progressive....'

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »