Tag: Social Media

Rob Long is in for Jim. Today, Rob and Greg serve up two good martinis, plus a bad and a crazy.  They start by getting a kick out of the Texas Dems’ PR stunt getting more bizarre, as five members test positive for COVID while they remain on the lam.  They welcome public denunciation of China’s destructive hacking efforts but wonder just how tough the world will get in confronting Beijing.  They also fire back at White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki for suggesting that a user who is banned on one social platform for “misinformation” should be banned on all of them. And they get a kick out of the government renaming animals like Asian carp and gypsy moths to avoid offending someone.

“And That’s The Way It Is” or Not……

 

I remember as a little kid, Walter Cronkite signing off his news with that sentiment, “And that’s the way it is.” My folks got their news from the evening editions on television, the morning newspaper, and radio. I was more interested in my friends, outdoor games, catching fireflies, and cookouts. Walter probably reported on maybe the Vietnam war, economic news, crime, and so forth. Life went on, we gathered together for dinner, and when the street lights came on, I knew I better get home to eat.

So we watched the “evening news” yet again tonight and it’s the same every single night.  Let’s explore the latest:

The Delta Variant, a spin-off of Covid, is the headline, with special emphasis on the states that seem to be “lagging behind” on vaccines. They cite Florida as an example. I check the COVID cases daily, as I have from last late spring, and they are at zero with no new deaths. The total deaths for our county is 89. There seems to be a spike in new cases about every seven days. We are a tourist area, so this is not surprising, especially around a holiday. What I don’t understand is, the states that showed the most cases initially, are still showing the greatest rise in this new variant – New York, California, etc. The push to vaccinate was heavy in the larger cities, so how did this happen?  The rise in Delta cases is also heavy in Israel – so several states and countries are having to impose indoor masks and travel restrictions once again. What’s going on?

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In “The Power of Social Media,” Dr. Batiste pointed out the power imbalance in what Al Gorythm chooses to make viral and what he suppresses. AND. The Idaho law enforcement officer who dared gently mock the moral midget who styles himself “King James,” a king who has loudly displayed his fealty to his true liege […]

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What is iCOP? Not What You Think

 

I almost choked on my beverage in the car when I heard an ad from cyber-security guru Kim Commando, warning that the government has enlisted the United States Post Office to spy on our social media content and report it back to certain agencies. Then the same story was being discussed on two different radio stations. From Business Insider:

According to a Yahoo News report, the law-enforcement arm of the US Postal Service is running a “covert” program that monitors Americans’ social media posts for “inflammatory” content and then passes those posts along to other government agencies.

The surveillance effort, which falls under the agency’s Postal Inspection Service, is known as the Internet Covert Operations Program, or iCop, the outlet reported. Prior to the Yahoo News Wednesday report, details of the program had not been made public.

Who Needs Frank or Parler?

 

This week brings news of Mike Lindell’s bumpy launch of a new social media platform—bearing the witty name of Frank—and Parler’s pending return to Apple’s App Store. Neither story will likely gladden the heart of social conservatives living in the noisy culture of social media.

Both Frank and Parler are misguided efforts to create alternatives to Facebook and Twitter by lowering the bar on civil speech while ostensibly cherishing free speech. The need for alternatives is real, to be sure. Anyone with a distaste for data harvesting, invasions of privacy, trash talk, inconsistent and arbitrarily enforced terms of service, and treating users as commodities would do well to avoid both platforms.

If I Were a Benign Dictator with Time on My Hands…

 

…I’d outlaw a few things:

–Those head-rattling 150-decibel buzzers that signal when your dryer load is finished. I’d specify in my law that if the signal is turned on, it will notify you with a pleasant “ding” sound. Enough to get your attention when you’re in the next room, but not so loud that it sends you springing from your chair in the middle of a good nap.

How Close Are Conservatives to Civil Disobedience?

 

How close are we to experiencing real civil disobedience? Not from the left, since we’ve always had that. Violent protests, including placing bombs in the US Capitol, have long been a feature of the left and almost ubiquitous since the Vietnam War. We saw it last summer during the George Floyd-inspired riots – over 500 violent incidents in more than 200 cities across the United States. The days of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s exhortations to “non-violence” now look quaint. But this time, from conservatives? What might disobedience from conservative Americans look like?

This is not an academic question. It may be closer to reality than you realize. And it will look nothing like the violent Antifa and BLM protests that have maimed dozens of police officers and destroyed thousands of businesses and a few federal buildings.

Censorship & “Beyond Their Reach”

 

The older I become, the more I find that I squirm with embarrassment whenever I read the Ten Commandments. It’s not that I’m embarrassed by prohibitions or injunctions but, rather, I’m embarrassed that God found it necessary to give these particular ones. We generally give instructions to others based on our perception of their weaknesses and proclivities. And I can only conclude that God’s instructions reflect His understanding of the kind of people we are.

The prohibition against “graven images” suggests that mankind has a tendency to elevate and admire the works of his own hands over the God who made those hands to begin with. Centuries later, the apostle Paul made this explicit in his letter to the Romans when he described man as having “worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator”. So mankind apparently has an unhealthy tendency to overestimate the value of its own innovations. Peachy.

Public Manipulation 101: The Heartstrings Tactic

 

Last week, NPR updated me on a no-eviction policy set forth by the Centers for Disease Control. The first time I heard about it, I was incredulous; how could the CDC make federal mandates? But NPR followed with a rationale and the caveat that renters had to “qualify,” so I calmed down a bit. The explanation is that if renters are evicted because they can’t pay their bills due to Covid, then they will move in with Grandma, Grandpa, and Great-Aunt Lucy. You’ll have more and more Americans living in packed quarters, thereby spreading the virus.

Still, this kind of control sets a terrible precedent, in my mind, of government agencies stepping out of their lanes to dictate to Americans what they must do with their property. I also think the no-eviction policy, in the guise of admirable compassion, may actually be a back door means to further control the American economy, cast property owners as villains, and increase Americans’ dependence on government to set things right. And I can’t help but point out who it was that promoted closing our economy long-term so that many of us were laid off and uncertain about how we would pay our bills. These are manipulative games on a grand scale, the economy shut down by the government, but landlords shoulder the burden if renters can’t pay their bills.

The 2020 Election – Time Mag Story and the Quest for Power

 

Like many, I read the Time Magazine story, ” The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election.” by Molly Ball, and was astonished.  The story unfolds a couple of years before the 2020 election.   A key person in the orchestration of the “shadow campaign”, Mike Podhorzer, known as “the wizard”, began to essentially “war game” the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.  Mr. Podhorzer is the Political Director of the AFL-CIO, the largest federation of unions in the United States, nominated and installed by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumpka.

Here are some of the highlights of the story:

Kmele Foster is a partner at Free Think, a media company that tells stories about the people and ideas that are changing the world, he’s also a co-host of The Fifth Column podcast. He and Bridget discuss the weirdness of signs like “Black People Welcome Here,” and how they give him a Get Out sort of feeling, what he would teach kids about media literacy right now, why he prefers lukewarm takes over hot takes, and the worrying trend that violence has become a clear attribute of our politics recently, that it isn’t going away, and isn’t only coming from one side. They cover using ridicule as an effective weapon, how easy it is to become what you hate, encouraging people to be brave, and wonder happens in a society when people don’t trust each other and are being trained to hate each other. Check out The Fifth Column podcast here.

Member Post

 

This SF novel from 1954 has uncomfortable relevance to our present era. It is set in the then-future year of 1990.  The United States is still nominally a democracy, but the real power lies with the social engineers…sophisticated advertising & PR men…who use psychological methods to persuade people that they really want what they are supposed […]

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Member Post

 

I just signed up for my very first “social media”.  Ray and I were listening to a video podcast by Diamond and Silk, and they mentioned their own site, call Chatdit.com.  I love those ladies!  So I signed up there, under the same name as here.  Anyone else? Preview Open

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Join Jim and Greg as they welcome the CDC loosening rules on who can get the coronavirus vaccines. They also wade into the big tech crackdown on President Trump, Parler, and others, and discuss what free speech is and is not. And they roll their eyes as the media are now on day three of Kamala Harris being upset with the photo used of her on the cover of Vogue.

Joe Selvaggi talks with Martin Gurri, former CIA analyst and author of Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium, about the wave of populism sparked by the disruptive force of the internet from Occupy to riots on Capitol Hill. Mr. Gurri shares his views on the connection between massive, broad information consumption and the new view toward elites.

Guest:

Are There Real Alternatives to Twitter and Facebook?

 

I turned on my laptop this morning to find this on bonginoreport.com, a favorite news aggregator.

When news broke yesterday, following the horrific events at the US Capitol on January 6th, that President Trump was being permanently banned from Twitter and Facebook, I was not surprised. I was surprised it didn’t happen sooner. It was done so for the flimsiest of reasons: that the President violated their “standards” by promoting violence. Of course, they provided no real evidence of that. They simply joined the mob and repeated the notion that Trump fomented – incited – an insurrection at the Capitol.

Building our own Tsunami

 

We know the country is in trouble. Our tendency is to point to movements, campaigns and organizations for our present circumstances. And yet, sadly, we must look at human nature, our lives in the 21st century, to realize how we’ve arrived at this moment. Most of us could not have imagined the advancement of accusations of racism, the teaching of socialism, the totalitarian lockdowns and the corruption of culture. On reflection, however, I think I can see how we arrived here.

As human beings, we are mostly averse to change; others have said that it’s not the change that disturbs us, but the potential outcomes. But first, we must acknowledge that change is even occurring. And for the last several years, we either didn’t notice the changes, discounted their importance or simply tried to ignore them. We saw the impending changes as happening outside our own lives, happening to others, and we chose not to pay attention to them. Or we flicked them away like annoying flies, disturbing our peace of mind or the predictable course of our lives. We didn’t realize that those flies that we were trying to ignore were actually tsunamis-in-waiting.

An Actual Life

 

Twelve or thirteen years ago, my wife and I had the opportunity to tag along as chaperones on a trip with some high school choir students who were competing in a competition of sorts in New York City. One of the evenings, while in the city, all of us went to see Wicked on Broadway. After the play, the students hung around and several of the actors came out, sat on the edge of the stage, and took questions for 20-30 minutes.

One of the actors was Miriam Margolyes who is, perhaps, more famously known as “Professor Sprout” in the Harry Potter movies. She said something that night that has stayed with me and is related to something I’ve been pondering on a bit lately. Ms. Margolyes gave some sage advice to the students about pursuing a career in the arts. She said that they would have to decide if their goal was to be famous or to develop and hone their craft. She talked about how a lot of people are drawn to the arts as a pathway to becoming famous, and she talked to the students about how unlikely it was to actually achieve that goal. But she also talked about the worthiness of pursuing excellence in the arts for its own sake, without regard to fame.