Aquamarine vs. turquoise ( a 2015 blog post)

Here’s my so simple 2015 plan, that even a 5 year-old would understand it:

Finally, here is a post on factions, that’s so simple even a 5 year-old can understand the problem.  Adults might get stuck in their rigid ideological beliefs. All beliefs are not morally equal – some when carried to extremes have horrific consequences for millions of innocent people, while others can do remarkable good for the entire world.  That is the TRUTH.

Let’s say you believe very strongly that a color is aquamarine and I believe equally as strongly that that color is turquoise.  Being that we both believe a different thing, many avenues are there for us to choose.  We could argue and get so angry that we end up hating each other and never speak to each other again.  I could feel so strongly about my belief that I kill you.  We might even  kill each other fighting over who is right. I could even decide that it’s not enough to just kill you, but because you’ve convinced your whole town that the color is aquamarine, it’s necessary to kill all of them too.

Of course, on the less extreme side we might agree to consult an outside expert on color to settle the matter, perhaps, we could call the Crayola Company, after all they’ve been naming colors since 1885 in Easton, PA, near where I grew up.

We might argue, passionately and often, clinging to our beliefs (as President Obama accused those rural people in PA), but in the American tradition, we could agree to disagree and at some point, shake hands and say, “Let’s go have pizza!”  Presented to most 5 year-olds, the vast majority will agree that it’s stupid to kill other people just because we disagree, on the other hand most adults refuse to even listen to differing opinions.  Maya Angleou, renowned poet, expressed it exactly right:

“Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.” –
http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/26244-hate-it-has-caused-a-lot-of-problems-in-the

So, in America, being a country forged together by a people committed to INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM, we have The Declaration of Independence to ensure our God-given, unalienable rights are not infringed upon:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Sadly, in America our political partisanship swirls dangerously to extremes – where hate has swelled to such a level  that many Americans choose to receive all of their news from sources that align with their political views.  The hate and extremism goes so far that even the President of the United States works to divide Americans into hostile camps.  Distrust turns Americans into furtive enemies, partisans avoiding those who hold an opposing view, with ideological walls being girded to lock out all who dare to disagree.  Even codes are enacted in our universities to silence opposition.

We must tear down these partisan walls!  We must work to find common ground, or we can not face the threats beyond our borders.  President George Washington warned about the dangers of extreme partisanship in his Farewell Address:

“I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

So, beyond my stating it is a parental duty in a civil society to train your children to respect the rule of law.  George Washington tells you that it’s a duty to discourage extremist politics – the duties are required to be a good citizen.  I wrote a post in 2013 titled, “The duty of a wise people”. on this subject.

There was a time, not so long ago, when American school children were routinely taught about this speech and  American principles.  Sadly, today I suspect many school children don’t even know who George Washington was. And mentioning The Constitution, too often and too loudly, will get your name on a Homeland Security watch list as a right-wing extremist…

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Filed under American Character, Culture Wars, General Interest, Politics, Uncategorized

Yes, the Russian threat is serious

The day kind of got away from me, so it’s after midnight and I’m finally trying to write a blog post.  I ran to my local Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market for some groceries this afternoon, did some laundry, then made some homemade beef stew for supper.  After cleaning up the supper dishes, I intended to sit down and write, but then I got the idea that I needed to make PA Dutch Pickled Beet Eggs (you can find plenty of recipes on YouTube).  Of course, I have several types of vinegar, but I forgot to buy more plain old apple cider vinegar this afternoon, and which I used the last of about a week ago.   So that meant another trip to Wal-Mart.  I have a glass gallon jar with a lid, specifically for my pickled beet eggs, because I make them fairly often.  Since my husband doesn’t eat them, I only made a dozen eggs, which will last me a while.

I use hard-boiled eggs, 2 cans of sliced pickled beets, 1 small sliced onion (optional)  I add a couple of bay leaves, a cinnamon stick, and a few whole cloves, but many people don’t add these.

I put 1/2 c. to 2/3 c/ of sugar and 1 cup of apple cider vinegar into a medium saucepan, heat on medium.  Pour the juice from both cans of pickled beets into the pan.  Add the bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves.  Stir until the sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat and let cool.

Place the shelled hard-boiled eggs, beets and sliced onion in a clean gallon glass jar.  Onions are completely optional – I like them pickled and use them on salads, along with the beets and sliced pickled eggs.   Pour the cooled liquid into the jar.  Place the lid on tightly and gently shake the jar a bit to make sure the eggs are completely covered with the pickling liquid.  Refrigerate.  Every day gently shake the jar.  The eggs will be well pickled in a couple of days.  After a week or so, you can remove the cinnamon stick, bay leaves and cloves, if the  flavor is getting too spicy.

It’s fine to add more hard-boiled eggs to this pickling juice a couple of times before making up a fresh batch.

Now, onto politics.  I wanted to clarify something, in case anyone doubts that I take the Russian information warfare threat seriously.  I take it very seriously. What I don’t take seriously is how the Dems and mainstream media are using the “Trump/Russian collusion” and the “Russian bots everywhere” hysteria to incite fear and to create another one of their pathetic, partisan narratives for their SPIN information war.

No one in the mainstream media, American politics, even our national security officials even view the “SPIN war” as a real domestic information war, dedicated to fueling partisan divides and spewing 24/7 agitation propaganda at the American people.  THAT is the larger problem with trying to deal with hostile foreign information warfare directed at America.  Our domestic SPIN war creates a wide-open media space for hostile foreign info war operators to flourish.  Heck, they just need to “amplify” domestic SPIN war messaging at respective domestic partisans and they blend right in here.

I think our national security people fully grasp the cyber/technology aspects of hostile foreign information warfare activities and work very hard to try to counter those threats.  Things like protecting networks, protecting our electrical grid, preventing cyber attacks, cyber theft, the endless hacking assuredly are easier to grasp than information operations geared toward manipulating the American people (mass media agitprop efforts, psychological operations, etc.).

After decades of the Left’s very real culture war in America and the advances of political correctness, replete with morally bankrupt terms and ideology, America no longer has a coherent sense of American values and principles and finding any firm common ground, for Americans to rally around anything presents a real challenge.  Americans unifying around anything usually lasts less than 24 hours before the partisan rancor shatters the calm.

For a few years now,  thought pieces occur fairly regularly at online political commentary sites, asserting American is already in a state of  “civil war” and I’m willing to concede the extreme partisan divides in America have deepened and definitely corrode hopes of national unity on almost anything, but I remain optimistic.  The challenge with dealing with aggressive hostile information warfare geared toward deepening partisan divides among partisans, who are likewise working to deepen partisan divides, is, well, obviously we are making it easy for our enemies to “divide and conquer” us.  This point, I’ve stated many times already – we are our own worst enemy and unless and until our rabid partisans stop our domestic SPIN information warfare, there’s no hope of countering hostile foreign messaging operations.

The best defense against hostile foreign information messaging operations is an informed citizenry, who are united by some common values and principles, so working toward that seems more important than all sorts of hysterical, knee-jerk censorship efforts.  Just trying to get Americans, who have different political views, to embrace my “let’s go have pizza” solution, which I wrote about back in 2015, might be a good start.   I’ll repost it.

 

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Filed under Culture Wars, General Interest, Information War, Politics

Russian bots everywhere…

Lately, if you listen to mainstream media news, pundits and Democrats, we all are seeing Russia from our browser window…  here a Russian bot, there a Russian bot.  All roads lead to the Kremlin in this new Dem Red Scare environment.

JK posted a comment the other day, mentioning two links, one to a 2016 article at The Root , about Hillary Clinton’s use of the superpredator term as being racist, the other, a February 13, 2019 article, BLACK CRITICS OF KAMALA HARRIS AND CORY BOOKER PUSH BACK AGAINST CLAIMS THAT THEY’RE RUSSIAN “BOTS”, at The Intercept, which deals with the hashtag, #ADOS (American Descendants of Slaves) falling under a cloud of suspicion as being a Russian bot operation.  This recent article also alleges that the 2016 attacks against Hillary/superpredator issue were also a foreign bot generated operation.  A CNN commentator made the charge:

“Angela Rye, a CNN political commentator and board member of the Congressional Black Caucus PAC, has said she believes that some ADOS arguments are not organic, but were “paid for by Russia.” She added that she’s “not saying everyone who uses the hashtag is a Russian bot,” but she does believe “it originated from Russian bots.” Rye went on to argue that the same is true of critiques relating to “some of the stuff around the crime bill” circa 2016 — presumably referring to critics of Hillary Clinton who questioned her support of the bill now widely understood to have caused overwhelming harm to black Americans.”

https://theintercept.com/2019/02/13/ados-kamala-harris-cory-booker-russian-bots/

Rye is a lawyer and Seattle native, liberal activist, not an intelligence analyst.

The actual creator of the #ADOS hashtag, Antonio Moore, takes issue with the Russian bot allegation:

“THE CREATORS OF the hashtag — Antonio Moore, an attorney in California, and Yvette Carnell, a political commentator — are neither Russian nor bots and are demanding an apology.

Carnell told The Intercept that she thinks calling out ADOS is an effort to delegitimize the grassroots movement they’ve worked to cultivate and to “undermine a real debate that we have about Kamala Harris within the black community.” For years, Moore and Carnell have been doing regular YouTube and radio shows together where they discuss issues like reparations and the racial wealth divide under the lens of “native descendants of American slaves.””

https://theintercept.com/2019/02/13/ados-kamala-harris-cory-booker-russian-bots/

Alleging “Russian influence operations” has become part of the Left’s SPIN messaging now, so I expect a lot more of this and also more of the corrupt Dem false flag operation, like the one they pulled in 2017 during the Moore campaign … fielding fake Russian bots.  In this corrupt political media environment, it’s impossible to know which are real Russian bots and which might be fake Russian bots, or even some other hostile country’s bots (there’s a subject for another blog post – foreign threats besides only Russia).  Russia isn’t the only foreign country waging online influence operations in American media, but it’s the only one the Dems and mainstream media want to talk about.

You don’t have to look far to find Dems and Leftists seeing Russian collusion and influence operations everywhere in American political SPIN messaging activities these days.  The political pressure on social media giants to be more aggressive at dealing with Russian influence operations ramped up and just today CNN  reported:

“Three online video channels designed to appeal to millennials have collected tens of millions of views on Facebook since September. But the pages pushing the videos do not disclose that they are backed by the Russian government.

The pages are run by Maffick Media, a company whose majority stakeholder is Ruptly, a subsidiary of RT, which is funded by the Russian government. Although Maffick Media has hired contractors and freelancers in Los Angeles in recent months, the company is not registered in the US, it is registered in Germany.
Facebook suspended the pages on Friday, saying it would reach out to the people running them to ask that they disclose where the pages are run from and their affiliation with their parent company in order to get back on the platform.
The move was an unusual one for Facebook. The company does not require users to provide information about parent companies, but it is rolling out ways to try to increase transparency about who runs popular Facebook pages, and it has been taking aggressive steps to tackle covert government-backed information operations on its service. In 2016, a Kremlin-linked troll group ran a network of pages designed to look like they were operated by real American activists.”
Here’s a CNN Business report from today, How the Russians did it, by Donnie Sullivan, who is the same CNN reporter, who reported on the Covington/Phillips video and the anonymous @2020fight, cited as the main Twitter account that amplified that video.  Sullivan writes:
“A federal indictment against 13 Russian nationals made public on Friday provides new insight into how the Internet Research Agency, a Kremlin-linked Russian troll group, set up a vast network of fake American activist groups and used the stolen identities of real Americans in an attempt to wreak havoc on the U.S. political system.
According to the indictment, the group, which is based in St. Petersburg, Russia, began monitoring the social media pages of real American activist organizations in 2014, before setting up fake pages and personas that became, the indictment says, “leaders of public opinion.”

The pages were designed to look like they were run by real Americans. They focused on a number of divisive issues in American life, including race relations, religion, immigration, and the 2016 presidential election.On Facebook alone, an estimated 126 million Americans may have been exposed to material the group produced, the social media company told Congress last fall. The indictment provides a fuller picture of how the Internet Research Agency worked. It details a sophisticated operation that allowed the group to achieve such wide reach. The agency had a budget of over $1.25 million by September 2016 — big enough to include money for bonuses.

“To measure the impact of their online social media operations, Defendants and their co-conspirators tracked the performance of content they posted over social media,” it says. “They tracked the size of the online U.S. audiences reached through posts, different types of engagement with the posts … changes in audience size, and other metrics. Defendants and their co-conspirators received and maintained metrics reports on certain group pages and individualized posts.”

The group worked hard to make its work look like it came from real Americans. Apart from the occasional typo — or a phrase that, in hindsight, was clearly written by a non-native English speaker — the group’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Tumblr pages were convincing. They looked like many other politically-themed pages on social media: Designed to take advantage of Americans’ divisions, to get engagement by stoking outrage.”

https://money.cnn.com/2018/02/16/media/internet-research-agency-mueller-indictment/index.html

This CNN Business report chronicles Russians hiring unsuspecting Americans and even one incident of the Russians using a stolen identity, including the social security number, of an American citizen.  This report also mentions the alarming 2016 incident where Russian influence operations orchestrated two opposing events, on the same day, at the same location in Houston, to try to incite an actual real world confrontation:

“The Internet Research Agency also worked hard to ensure that its influence would stretch beyond social media and into the physical world, the indictment says. It successfully organized real demonstrations.

In one case, as CNN has previously reported, the troll group organized and promoted two opposing events on the same day at the same location in Houston, Texas.”

Yes, it’s obvious the Russians upped their influence operations in America in recent years, however the mainstream media/Dem/Left new Red Scare SPIN messaging effort serves only their shallow, single focus, partisan political agenda of trying to delegitimize Trump, by any means necessary.  The absurdity of their new Red Scare messaging coupled with the destructive calls to censor social media and online speech bode poorly for American free speech rights.

There’s even a “bipartisan”, absurd online McCarthyite listing of alleged Russian bot accounts – Hamilton 68, which is the work of the Alliance for Securing Democracy. Hamilton 68 is rolling out a 2.0 effort soon, geared toward:

“Starting in 2019, we will transition to a new interface that will communicate Kremlin information operations in a manner less vulnerable to misinterpretations, with a particular focus on the outputs of overt, Russian state-sponsored social media accounts and websites – reflecting what we believe is an increased role of such accounts in driving narratives (the list of monitored accounts will be available to the public). The new site will incrementally incorporate new functions and visualizations as they come online; always improving, updating, and adapting to the outputs of Putin’s propagandists operating across the entire mainstream and social media ecosystem.”

https://securingdemocracy.gmfus.org/hamilton-68/

What’s the point of publishing lists of suspected Russian bots, thereby letting the Russians know which of their bots, are compromised?  Honestly, how many Americans are going to scan lists of alleged Russian bots while using social media?   If they do come into contact with a Russian bot, so what.   On social media you have complete control on who you choose to communicate with.  On Twitter, you can mute or block accounts, that you don’t wish to see.  Instead, of all this public fear mongering about Russian influence operations, the real intelligence operators should be quietly upping their game.

In my opinion, instead of media efforts hyping the new Red Scare, the time and effort would be better spent trying to educate Americans about American constitutional principles, good citizenship and treating other Americans with respect.

On Twitter, I’ve been accused several times of being a bot.  I have very few followers, dropped a few recently –  52.  I could not care less really.  Being “popular” has never been a goal of mine, nor has “amplifying”  my message to large numbers of people.  I hope a few select people might listen to my message.  For 20 years, I’ve been trying to expose “SPIN” as a vicious information warfare operation targeting the American people and it’s been run by the Dems/Left colluding with the mainstream media to “amplify” the Dem SPIN messaging and control the “spin cycles”.  Controlling the SPIN effectively controls public opinion in America.

For the umteenth time, hostile foreign influence operations have easy pickings fomenting distrust and divides in America.  Along with escalated Russian influence operations in recent years, the Dems/Left ramped up their SPIN info war and Trump broke through the Left’s lock on controlling SPIN messaging in America.  In my opinion, while all the hostile foreign influence operations are a serious threat, the much larger threat to America’s political institutions comes from within.  We have both political parties and our media totally invested in a very corrupt, divisive scorched earth homegrown SPIN information war, which provides our enemies with non-stop messaging ammunition to foment more anger and division.

Along with being “unpopular”, often I feel like a lone voice in the wilderness warning about our domestic, scorched earth SPIN information war, as the civil carnage and wholesale public corruption leave American culture a virtual wasteland.

The Dems and the media hyping Russian influence operations creates only fear, hysteria and a sense of helplessness among Americans. 

Teaching Americans that each and every one of them has the power to defeat Russian influence operations (or anyone else’s influence operations) in their own lives would do more to empower Americans.  How about teaching Americans to fearlessly think for themselves?  How about teaching them to not let media and political figures scare them?

Online influence operations are ONLY words and videos promoting a message, which every American can CHOOSE not to buy into.  Don’t let other people scare you about communicating with people on social media and expressing your opinions online.

 

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Filed under Corrupt Media Collusion, General Interest, Information War, Politics

Color me a skeptic

Last week in a comment, I mentioned the ProPublica report, FIGHT THE SHIP: Death and valor on a warship doomed by its own Navy, written by T. Christian Miller, Megan Rose and Robert Faturechi.  This report contains a detailed narrative about the USS Fitzgerald collision with a cargo ship on June 17, 2017.  This report has generated a lot of online commentary.

Here are two takes from War on the Rocks: THE FITZGERALD COLLISION: IN SEARCH OF THE ONUS, by Bryan McGrath and (MORAL) HAZARDS TO NAVIGATION AT SEA, by Doyle Hodges.

ProPublica has a 2nd installment to the USS Fitzgerald report: YEARS OF WARNINGS, THEN DEATH AND DISASTER: How the Navy failed its sailors, written by Robert Faturechi, Megan Rose, and T. Christian Miller.

I don’t know anything about naval operations, so the War on the Rocks articles provided added context for me on how to begin to assess what happened.  Despite all of the larger Navy problems, on that shift, it seemed to me like just basic navigational procedures weren’t followed.  It also struck me that beyond any mechanical/technical issues, that with adequate communication by the officer in charge with her subordinates, this collision likely could have been avoided.  She didn’t communicate with her subordinates at all.  All of that shift’s failures likely speak to larger issues of how the Navy trains, mans, and operates, but in my mind, the question is did the officer in charge know what the basic safety protocols were and why on earth didn’t she communicate with her shift?

Large system failures often become obvious as more smaller system failures happen repeatedly.  The debate over accountability in my mind runs to holding those directly in charge on the ship accountable for that smaller system failure that cost the lives of 7 sailors.  However, the Navy, in light of these other serious mishaps, needs to tackle a serious institutionalize accountability and more importantly, a dedicated effort to fix the larger institutional problems.

Too often the high-ranking decision makers, whose poor leadership and planning caused the training and manning problems, end up being left in place to police themselves, leading to a cyclical bad PR incidents, then endless reports, followed by endless rounds of demands for “accountability”.   A few scalps down the chain of command will be offered up to appease the “accountability” gods, but often the top brass, who created most of the large system problems, remain in power and unscathed.

Yep, color me a skeptic when it comes to “accountability” at the highest levels on the U.S. military… or  anywhere else at the top levels of the federal government.

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A different take on the Tulsi Gabbard/Russia media report

I don’t have trust in much that the media reports anymore and I do think the mainstream media  displays a penchant to push certain media narratives that feed Democrat political spin messaging, but I decided it’s only fair to point out the other side to the Tulsi Gabbard/Russian media darling take.

Ben Popken, author of the NBC story on Tulsi Gabbard being promoted by Russian media, mentioned in my previous blog post, pushes back on criticism that his story relied on New Knowledge data for his report.  He has a tweet thread laying out how he went about his research:

NBC News doesn’t mention New Knowledge until the…let’s see…33rd paragraph, and then only as part of a group of experts weighing in. Hm, is that how you place a source that you’re basing your entire story on?

On January 2, 2019, the CEO of New Knowledge, Jonathon Martin, posted a detailed piece, Social Media and the Alabama Special Election, where he explains:
“There has since been a document described in the media from AET — the full version of which I have not been allowed to see — that does not mention me or my firm, but seems to conflate my research project with some broad, grandiose political claims that are unrelated to anything I worked on. I acknowledge working with AET, but I don’t recognize the claims they’re making now.

We did not write the leaked report and we could not have because it didn’t reflect our research. The leaked version of the report made a number of claims that did not originate with us.

  • We do not recognize the mention of an effort to move 50,000 votes by suppressing unpersuadable Republicans. We didn’t suppress votes — we provided links to news stories that might be relevant to voters.
  • We do not recognize the report’s mention of an effort to “manufacture approximately 45k Twitter followers, 350k Retweets, 370k Tweet Favorites, 6k Facebook Comments, 10k Facebook reactions, 300k Imgur upvotes and 10k Reddit upvotes.” Any effort to connect us to such activities is a lie. New Knowledge did not engage in the use of Twitter at all in the Alabama election — and we did not “manufacture” followers against Roy Moore.

What I’ve read or been told of the AET report sounds like marketing material written for political donors. It does not describe the intent or outcomes of our research project. So let me set the record straight about my research in Alabama:

  • We created a Facebook news source, “Alabama Conservative Politics,” that linked to credible news organizations like The Washington Post and Fox News.
  • We used our real names as page administrators.
  • Typical posts only attracted dozens to hundreds of “reactions” (typically “likes”).
  • When we made a small purchase of Facebook’s built-in advertising tools, we received reactions in the low thousands (again, typically “likes”).
  • Less than 2% of users clicked through to read any of the articles we posted.
  • In total we spent approximately $30,000 on Facebook advertising (for context, a reported $51 million was spent during the Alabama special election).

During the race, many researchers, myself included, noticed that the Roy Moore campaign had attracted bot followers on Twitter, whose account usernames were nonsense words in the Cyrillic alphabet. I assumed at the time that this was the work of internet trolls — because genuine state sponsors of disinformation are adept at appearing to be domestic commentators.

At no time did New Knowledge get involved in any use of Twitter bots (or bots on any other platform) in the Alabama election. To this day, we have no knowledge of who did this or why.

Again, we only conducted a small, limited research project on Facebook.”

https://medium.com/@jonathonmorgan/social-media-and-the-alabama-special-election-c83350324529

AET referenced in Martin’s statement is American Engagement Technologies, run by Mickey Dickerson, a former Obama official, who was charged with creating and leading the U.S. Digital Service.

 

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Another Dem. Red Scare spin effort underway

Almost two weeks  have passed since the last mainstream media report on the mysterious Twitter account, @2020fight, identified as the main amplifier of the Covington/Phillips video.

Twitter and the mainstream media have obviously moved on from this story, but I still have plenty of unanswered questions about what Twitter investigators found out about that account holder(s).  I still want to know more about Molly McKew’s statement in the CNN Business report:  “she later realized that a network of anonymous accounts were working to amplify the video.”… after she retweeted to help amplify it

Was there a network of anonymous accounts working to amplify the video and how did McKew know this?  What is her source for this information?

McKew, besides claiming to be an information warfare expert and a narrative architect, launched  a social media intelligence firm, New Media Frontier.  McKew is also on the board of Stand Up Ideas, a non-profit started by Evan McMullin, failed independent 2016 presidential contender.   Stand Up Ideas mission is:

“At its core, Stand Up Ideas is a leadership and education organization. SUI engages people across the political spectrum who all share a commitment to the principles of individual rights, Constitutional checks and balances, rule of law, informed dialogue and demand honest and wise leadership.

Stand Up Ideas was founded in 2017 by Evan McMullin and Mindy Finn to address the growing acceptance of autocratic rule in America.”

https://standupideas.com/about-us

No answers on whether it was one lone account or a network of anonymous accounts,  as McKew, was quoted as saying in the CNN Business report,  but unsurprisingly more questions keep popping up about the Dem/media Red Scare spin narrative, that’s now being rolled out again.  That Dem. Red Scare narrative was used against Trump since 2016, it was used against Roy Moore in his senatorial campaign in 2017, and lo’ and behold it’s now being rolled out against Dem. presidential candidate, Tulsi Gabbard.

Here’s the February 2nd headline NBC blared:

“Russia’s propaganda machine discovers 2020 Democratic candidate Tulsi Gabbard”

Not surprisingly, the “experts”, NBC quotes are, you guessed it, New Knowledge, again:

“Experts who track inauthentic social media accounts, however, have already found some extolling Gabbard’s positions since she declared.

Within a few days of Gabbard announcing her presidential bid, DisInfo 2018, part of the cybersecurity firm New Knowledge, found that three of the top 15 URLs shared by the 800 social media accounts affiliated with known and suspected Russian propaganda operationsdirected at U.S. citizens were about Gabbard.

Analysts at New Knowledge, the company the Senate Intelligence Committee used to track Russian activities in the 2016 election, told NBC News they’ve spotted “chatter” related to Gabbard in anonymous online message boards, including those known for fomenting right-wing troll campaigns. The chatter discussed Gabbard’s usefulness.

“A few of our analysts saw some chatter on 8chan saying she was a good ‘divider’ candidate to amplify,” said Renee DiResta, director of research at New Knowledge.”

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/russia-s-propaganda-machine-discovers-2020-democratic-candidate-tulsi-gabbard-n964261

The company, whose chief executive was implicated in the 2017 Dem. digital smear effort used against Roy Moore, with the Dem. fake Russian bot, false flag operation, it’s amazing how NBC touts New Knowledge as the company the Senate Intelligence Committee used to track Russian activities in the 2016 election…  Has anyone on the Senate Intelligence Committee read the news about the Dems’  false flag op in AL and wondered if New Knowledge should be the “experts” they’re entrusting to report accurately on “Russian social media influence activities”?

The links between these Dem. cyber hijinks seem to completely fly by the mainstream media.  Since that December 2018 NY Times report about the Dems cyber dirty trick in the Moore campaign, the mainstream media hasn’t reported anything new there and it’s assuredly going to be another one of those Dem. “nothing to see here” efforts, where the mainstream media buries that in the “old news” file.

There’s also an Evan McMullin- big Dem. money connection to the Moore campaign in 2017 too – December 8, 2017 Washington Post article:

“MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Stand Up Republic, a 501(c)4 group co-founded by former independent anti-Trump presidential candidate Evan McMullin, is spending $500,000 on digital and TV ads that ask Alabama conservatives to reject Republican nominee Roy Moore’s Senate bid.”

https://www.mercurynews.com/2017/12/08/anti-trump-conservatives-fund-ads-against-moore/

A few days later, The Daily Caller, reported:

“McMullin’s recently founded non-profit organization, Stand Up Republic, jumped into the Alabama Senate race this week with a $500,000 ad buy against Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore. One of the ads features a man saying Roy Moore “makes Republicans and us Christians look bad.”

The massive ad buy “may end up being one of the largest third-party interventions in the state,” according to the Washington Post.”

The story continues:

“Groups like Stand Up Republic are allowed to spend money in elections — which they are doing in Alabama — as long as their “primary” purpose isn’t overtly political. This generally requires spending less than half of the organization’s resources on political activities, although that rule can be difficult to enforce.

McMullin revealed in a tweet last August that his group had “about 4,000 donors across the country from both sides of the political spectrum and larger donors from Silicon Valley.”

One of McMullin’s large Silicon Valley donors is billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, who funded an anti-Trump super PAC during the presidential campaign.

Omidyar announced a $250,000 donation to Stand Up Republic in May through his organization, Democracy Fund. (Democracy Fund publicizes all its grants in the interest of transparency.)

Democracy Fund said the donation to Stand Up Republic was to support the group in “confronting and engaging in important work to protect the norms of our democracy and to push back against dangerous demagoguery in our politics.”

The identities of McMullin’s other “larger donors from Silicon Valley” remain a secret and he intends to keep it that way.”

https://dailycaller.com/2017/12/10/evan-mcmullins-secret-silicon-valley-donors/

Lest you worry Evan McMullin just announced a new media effort… Defusing Dininfo.  He wants to protect democracy from dangerous disinformation… just don’t ask him who is funding his efforts.

In light of the emerging financial trails with these big money Silicon Valley progressive connections, to being both the gatekeepers of technical expertise on Russian digital influence operations and participants in funding and orchestrating some very underhanded Dem. digital operations, like the Moore fake Russian bot false flag operation,  it seems like the mainstream media should be chasing down the big money Silicon Valley money trails… but don’t hold your breath on it.

No matter how much high-tech lingo and fancy titles these big Dem. political operatives and their media spinners invent to throw up smokescreens to mask the truth about their shady SPIN info war operations, the surest route to the truth is to follow their big money trails…

 

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Filed under General Interest, Information War, Politics, Public Corruption, The Media

No Intelligent Life Left Here

This post is just some random thoughts on the SPIN info war mess.

Lots of people dismiss social media as trivial, but Twitter is where the American journalists and pundits hang-out and where most of the Dem SPIN attacks and Trump’s counter-attacks launch. It’s the current epicenter of the scorched earth SPIN information war.

I know I mentioned this repeatedly, on my blog, during the 2015-2016 GOP Insurgency primary phase, that I encountered gang-up attacks on Disqus comment sections, at several right-wing sites, when I posted comments explaining why I thought Trump was a faux Republican and unfit to be president. I kept saying these gang-up attacks were eerily reminiscent of what happened in 1998 on the Excite message boards, where groups of new commenters descended on the Clinton impeachment boards at Excite, to bully and try to harass the Republican and conservative posters into silence.

About the time this happened on Disqus, the hoopla started about Russian bot trolling activities on social media. I spent a good bit of time trying to, in my amateurish way, sift through follower and following lists of the groups that showed up attacking any person who posted an anti-Trump post. I know I mentioned a lot of details .

As the election moved on, the hoopla started in the media about the dangerous “alt-right” and then it was “Russian collusion”. This alt-right hysteria propelled by the Left and mainstream media seemed to me, again, eerily reminiscent of the 90s, with the Clinton/Dem/media hysteria about “right-wing militias” after Ruby Ridge in ’92, Waco in ’93 and then OKC in ’95.

On those Excite message boards, there were some posters, who expressed some opinions that sounded like the stuff spouted by some militia groups I’d seen in news reports on TV and read about in the news.  I engaged in conversation a few times with a few of the less radical ones, expressing that everyone needs to follow the law.  I tried to engage in friendly debate with far-left peeps too on those Excite message boards. There was never anything remotely like friendly political debate in online political forums, that I saw.  Even on those Excite message boards, I suspect many of the commenters were professional political pundits, activists and people involved in the news media – similar to the current Twitter crowd of flamethrowers and spinners.

In December 2018, the NY Times ran a story exposing an internal report they obtained, about Dem operatives created fake Russian bots during the Moore campaign.

Well, the Dems SPIN ops in the 90s were imitating Russian tactics too.  SPIN info war operates in a way that strikes me as antithetical to American free speech principles – repetitive messaging to control the news media messaging.  The SPIN effort includes  hyping (spinning) polling which is manufactured information cascades, which result from the flooding of repetitive political messaging attacks.  The spinning of polling is intended to marginalize dissenting views and casting them as being “out of the mainstream”.  And of course there are the aggressive orchestrated high-tech media lynch mobs, engaged in vicious character assassinations.

About this Dem op in the Moore campaign:

“The secret project, which had a budget of just $100,000 and was carried out on Facebook and Twitter, was revealed after the New York Times obtained an internal report detailing the efforts.

“We orchestrated an elaborate ‘false flag’ operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet,” the internal report said. It also took credit for “radicalizing Democrats with a Russian bot scandal” after experimenting “with many of the tactics now understood to have influenced the 2016 elections.””

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/democratic-operatives-created-fake-russian-bots-in-alabama-race-designed-to-link-kremlin-to-republican-roy-moore

Here’s the most amazing part of this report, it states Dem political operatives were launching bots that looked like Russian bots, so they could spin it (amplify to use McKew’s fav phrase) that Russians were helping the Moore campaign:

“One participant in the project reportedly was Jonathon Morgan, the chief executive of New Knowledge, a firm that wrote a report – released by the Senate Intelligence Committee earlier this week – about Russia’s social media operations in the 2016 election and its efforts to hurt Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/democratic-operatives-created-fake-russian-bots-in-alabama-race-designed-to-link-kremlin-to-republican-roy-moore

And this:

“The Alabama project was funded by liberal billionaire and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman who gave $100,000 to the cause, according to the Times. Hoffman is one of Silicon Valley’s top donors to the Democrats, donating $7 million to various groups and campaigns in the last election cycle.

The money trickled down through American Engagement Technologies, a firm run by Mikey Dickerson who was appointed by former President Barack Obama to lead the newly-created United States Digital Service.”

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/democratic-operatives-created-fake-russian-bots-in-alabama-race-designed-to-link-kremlin-to-republican-roy-moore

Sorry for relying on this FOX report, but I do not have a NY Times subscription and have read my free articles for the month.

Here’s more:

“Billionaire Reid Hoffman apologized Wednesday for funding a group linked to a “highly disturbing” effort that spread disinformation during last year’s Alabama special election for U.S. Senate, but he said he was not aware that his money was being used for this purpose.”

“Hoffman’s statement is his first acknowledgement of his ties to a campaign that adopted tactics similar to those deployed by Russian operatives during the 2016 presidential election. In Alabama, the Hoffman-funded group allegedly used Facebook and Twitter to undermine support for Republican Roy Moore and boost Democrat Doug Jones, who narrowly won the race. Hoffman, an early Facebook investor and the co-founder of LinkedIn, expressed support for a federal investigation into what happened, echoing Jones’ position from last week.”

and

But the statement left key facts unaddressed, including a full accounting of everyone who crafted and executed the campaign. The effort was the subject of a presentation in September to a group of progressive technology experts who met in downtown Washington to discuss electoral tactics, according to documents from that meeting obtained by The Washington Post and one of the attendees.”

https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/12/26/billionaire-apologizes-for-funding-disinformation-in-alamaba/

Bold-face highlights are mine

Seems like some of the  “experts” the Dems and mainstream news media put forth to report on SPIN information warfare (computational propaganda is the term the experts use) have a lot of disturbing connections to Dem operatives engaged in, umm, aggressive, Dem computational propaganda efforts …

Computational propaganda is the same SPIN info war the Dems have been waging in the media since the 1990s. PERIOD.  The Republicans, until 2016, were light years behind the Dem political SPIN operations.  Silicon Valley is liberal Dem territory in America, so the tech “experts” in that industry, whom our government and media rely on for expertise on the problem,  are um, liberal Dems with a lot of connections to big Dem political operatives.

There needs to be a thorough investigation into the entire “computational propaganda” business run by both Dems and Republicans, but I am pretty sure investigating the Dems vast, high-tech smear operations and decades old lock on SPIN information war in America, would require a massive crawl through the corrupt big money peeps in the Democratic upper-echelon and high-level Dem political figures – a vast RICO type investigation, for sure.

We have Dem foxes guarding our digital chicken coop and then when anyone catches them devouring a chicken, the Dem foxes are entrusted to “investigate” and provide the “experts” to explain it in the news media… “nothing to see here”…”dangerous,  right-wing extremists”… “Russian bots everywhere”…”ack.. Trump the Authoritarian”…

Beam me up Scottie, there’s no intelligent life left here…

Added Thought, January 28, 2019:

The crawl through the “computational propaganda” business, especially with Dems, would have to encompass delving into illegal leaking of classified information to the media, especially by former Obama administration officials… paging John Brennan, Comey, and Clapper, anyone…

Adam Schiff, where are you???

Added Thought, January 28, 2019: Googled this New Knowledge company quoted above: : Jonathon Morgan, the chief executive of New Knowledge, a firm that wrote a report – released by the Senate Intelligence Committee earlier this week – about Russia’s social media operations in the 2016 election and its efforts to hurt Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump.

New Knowledge claims to be an “information integrity company”… I quote from their site:

“Founded In 2015
Headquartered in Austin, TX. We were the first organization outside the U.S. intelligence community to identify Russia’s campaign to influence the 2016 presidential election. Our leadership has testified before Congress, advised the State Department and the NSA, and worked in counter-terrorism. As the information war escalates, we believe more than ever that our responsibility is to provide an advanced, reliable disinformation solution to national security agencies, responsible leaders, and trusted brands.”

https://www.newknowledge.com/about-us/

What the heck, the chief executive of the company the Senate Intelligence Committee entrusted to write a report on Russian social media operations in 2016, is involved in a domestic disinformation social media operation, launching fake Russian bots promoting Moore and then a media campaign claiming Russian bots are trying to help Moore’s campaign… That’s the truth, folks.

Added Thought, January 29, 2019:

Since 1999, I have been trying to unravel the Dem political operative SPIN networks (computational propaganda).  I’ve gotten pretty good at identifying their spin messaging and when new spin messaging or one of their new smear campaigns is launching, but I have never had any means to unravel the networks back to the top – who are the political operatives behind it – the politicians, big money Dems and operatives running  the show.

What happened to me in 1998, had to come from the highest levels of the Clinton administration, because there is no way on earth that retired general, who hates me, would have been involved in an attack like that, unless he believed he was receiving legitimate intelligence that I had done something wrong.  I don’t have so much as a speeding ticket and I was (and still am) a law-abiding homemaker, Army wife.  I never belonged to any political organizations, have never owned a firearm and my group affiliations have been things like being a Red Cross volunteer and belonging to my local quilt guild.  There’s likely never going to be a way to prove what happened to me in 1998.

Trust me, I can empathize with Brett Kavanaugh finding himself in the middle of an orchestrated smear campaign and helpless to defend against the Dem’s media spinners, who aid and abet the Dem’s computational propaganda efforts constantly.  The media won’t even admit they display “bias”, so unless these networks are exposed, they assuredly would deny corrupt media collusion participating in vicious smear campaigns.

There was reporting during the Moore smear campaign, meant to bolster the smear campaign’s credibility, that the Washington Post sent over 30 reporters to Alabama to search for “victims” and to trash Moore as a chasing after young teen girls perv.  Those reporters were digging for anyone who would trash Moore, to add to their SPIN smear ammo.  Gloria Allred, longtime Dem. insider and feminist activist lawyer, descended on Alabama too… to represent “victims”  (this was the same scenario used after the Access Hollywood leak orchestrated Dem/media smear campaign).  #Resist is an orchestrated smear campaign to take down Trump, by any means necessary – that’s the truth.

The Moore/Dem fakeRussian bots case and especially this Covington/Phillips case are recent and unraveling  the Dem’s computational propaganda (SPIN) networks involved in these two cases could be a way to start dismantling the wholesale public corruption within the Dem’s SPIN info war network – their vast computational propaganda operation, that has been operating since the 1990s.

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Filed under Corrupt Media Collusion, General Interest, Information War, Politics, The Media