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Why Is Everyone Calling Out Facebook and Twitter?
openweb currentevents politics WWW
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I'm not so sure I agree with making social media networks the problem when it comes to such shannanigans as apparently played by the Russians. It's more of a manipulation of advertising services than "Facebook" when it comes to the Russians buying ads. It's more of a manipulation of the population than it is of Twitter's "user base".

Screen capture of a tweet by CBS News incriminating social media

Hey CBS, how many times were you played by companies manipulating people to spend money on cars and toilet paper?

Before the Internet people bought ads on TV and radio. And before Facebook and Twitter people bought display ads on the raw WWW, if they did not outright build websites themselves (for younger visitors, a "website" is similar to a "Facebook Page").

I am not sure why the drum beat is to corner Twitter and Facebook into "doing something" to somehow screen the communication of digital humanity taking place in their 'hoods unless it is purposeful pressure to apply yet a little more control and containment of free interaction in general.

The mainstream media, I've theorized for some time, is poised to begin taking pot shots at social media giants whenever it can with the hopes of bogging down their economics and reputation. Making them the focal point in the Russian propaganda campaign strikes me as just one example.

Avoiding the Truth About Russia's Tactics
politics trump passingthought
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Okay I totally get that there was "no collusion" announced between Russia and the Trump administration when the FBI indicted 13 of them for influencing the election. Maybe they'll announce some finding of direct collusion later as the result of a different investigative thread but for now, nothing about the FBI's work presented today bears any such thing. Fine.

But running and clinging to a point nobody was making in the first place is in my opinion a way to avoid the real questions about what was discovered. Simply put the question really is and remains what did and does Russia see in Donald Trump to make him worth funding a million dollar effort to buzz into office any way they might-could?

I believe analysts within each of our own intelligence agencies figure the tactics to undermine our country are part and parcel of a more dire enemy perspective. My bet is they understand something else about them and are too embarrassed (for the country and perhaps for counter-strategic reasons) to fess up. They may even be too afraid.

Afraid because I suspect that what they and the Russians, and any foreign adversary/competitor can objectively explore and in turn seek to exploit, is a decline in both an educated American populace if not merely a less intellectual one, and a common platform of ideology and principle that is beginning to buckle under America's "only me" or "only the 'right' people" mentality. Trump is just a convenient caricature for both.

He is a strong blustery man, but in the broader sense, the one that counts in the game of competing civilizations, he is a weak one. Or more precisely, a naive one. Yet probably an inconsequential one to the aim of undermining the United States. Russia doesn't want him so much as they want his followers. It is his followers that they want to reproduce ideologically. With Trump as a sitting president he is a great growth agent for the thinking style the Russians would love to strangle us with.

Our intelligence agencies most certainly assess this or something darn close along these lines. But what can they do? Their insights and suspicions cannot insult the very people they serve; the very country they protect. I would guess that they tailor a response in kind in as little a directly documented process as possible, whatever such a response could be. For now, they seem to be resorting to warning against falling for the discourse rather than openly examining how people might have gotten so susceptible to it in the first place.

Trump and the rest of the country can bury the deeper questions by satisfying everyone that no polls were directly manipulated (though, make no mistake, the psy-op nonetheless most certainly affected tens of thousands of free-will executions at them) or that the Russians also fostered discord against Trump after the election, either loosely by interpretation or in my suspicion, as a way to obfuscate the actual and more potent goal of Trump-ifying America, as some kind of an insurance action. They did not fail to account for the possibility they would be "caught".

After all they don't think our CIA or FBI are stupid, they just count on the idea that we are.

The UN is Just About Money?
politics trump
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Make no mistake, I appreciate Haley's remarks to the UN and her style of delivery of them. Sharp and competent, this one (and I am not being sarcastic). It's incredible she takes the career hit risk that she does having anything to do with Trump.

But her statement makes it sound like the important thing is the perceived persecution of the United States, not the question of security. What does what the US does or doesn't do for the UN have to do with whether or not it is more or less secure for Trump to acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel's capital?

It sounds like by Haley's own remarks that the US only regards the UN as a vector to financially influence the world. If that's what the UN is all about to us, that's a huge revelation.

I am not even judging the merit of Trump's decision. It might or might not be a good idea, time will tell. I'm more in angst over the bothersome idea that the UN can't debate a point and express an opinion contrary to US policy without us crying how persecuted we are and then more or less threatening to hit back with money.

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