To “protect democracy” scandal-fearing Facebook teams up with “unbiased” Atlantic Council

•May 25, 2018 • 11 Comments

https://www.rt.com/usa/427046-facebook-atlantic-council-democracy/

Would you like a think tank advocating acts of terrorism, war and suppression of the media working with Facebook to protect democracy and elections worldwide? If so, great news!

Facebook is “excited to launch a new partnership with the Atlantic Council, which has a stellar reputation looking at innovative solutions to hard problems,” Katie Harbath, Facebook’s director for global politics and government outreach, announced on Thursday.

“Experts” from the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRL) will work closely with Facebook’s “security, policy and product teams” to offer “real-time insights and updates on emerging threats and disinformation campaigns from around the world,” Harbath added.

But wait, there’s more! The Atlantic Council’s Digital Research Unit Monitoring Missions will help Facebook watch out for “misinformation and foreign interference” during “elections and other highly sensitive moments” and also work to “help educate citizens as well as civil society.”

While this will likely be cheered by those who still believe that Russian agents acting on personal orders of President Vladimir Putin’s pet bear used Facebook to hack American democracy, everyone else just got a whole list of reasons to be worried about Mark Zuckerberg’s ability to suppress what he believes to be Wrongthink.

The Atlantic Council is basically the academic arm of NATO, an aggressive military alliance that equates freedom and democracy with depleted uranium and regime change in places like Yugoslavia and Libya. The think tank itself hosts lively debates between people who hate Russia and people who really hate Russia. Such is its commitment to Western liberal values, the think tank actually advocated terrorist attacks in Russia and demanded that Russian news outlets be forced to register as foreign agents – a demand that was actually put into effect shortly thereafter.

As for the haughtily named Digital Forensic Research Lab, it employs such luminaries as “couch analyst” Eliot Higgins, aka Bellingcat, and is led by Ben grammar errors make you a Russian bot Nimmo.

A recent “expert analysis” by DFRL commissioned by the British government resulted in accusations that real, live people are “Russian bots” only because they dared express opinions differing from those officially sanctioned by the mainstream media. Yet the top two examples used in the report, Ian56 and Partisangirl, both turned out to be real human beings – one a British man and the other a Syrian living in Australia.

Nimmo then tried to wiggle out of the hole he dug for himself by calling the two “trolls” rather than bots, but nonetheless guilty of pushing “Russian” narratives.

This, then, is the outfit Facebook has chosen to team up with “to protect free and fair elections across the world.”

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this was the most significant announcement of the year imo..

a think tank..a warmongering think tank..is now a censor for facebook..what world are we living in?

“The Atlantic Council is basically the academic arm of NATO, an aggressive military alliance that equates freedom and democracy with depleted uranium and regime change in places like Yugoslavia and Libya. The think tank itself hosts lively debates between people who hate Russia and people who really hate Russia. Such is its commitment to Western liberal values, the think tank actually advocated terrorist attacks in Russia and demanded that Russian news outlets be forced to register as foreign agents – a demand that was actually put into effect shortly thereafter.”

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EU Parliament grills Zuckerberg

•May 24, 2018 • 6 Comments

https://www.rt.com/news/427470-mark-zuckerberg-eu-parliament-apology/

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologized to the EU Parliament for not doing more to protect Facebook users from evil-doers – but only offered vague answers to questions about the social media giant’s privacy and data policies.

In his opening remarks before leaders of the European Parliament’s political parties, Zuckerberg said it was clear that Facebook needs to do more to protect its users from those who wish to do them harm.

“Whether it’s fake news, foreign interference in elections or developers misusing people’s information, we didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibilities. That was a mistake, and I’m sorry,” he said.

MEP Nigel Farage of the UK had questions about what he said was Facebook’s throttling of right-of-center ideas, prompting Zuckerberg to promise the service won’t discriminate on the basis of politics in much stronger terms than he did last month in the US Congress.

The biggest frustration of EU parliamentarians was the format of the questioning. The MEPs spent more than two-thirds of the 90-minute meeting grilling Zuckerberg on everything from terrorism to fake news to online bullying, allowing the Facebook CEO to get away with offering vague responses in the interest of time.

“I asked you six ‘yes and no’ questions, I got not a single answer,” said MEP Philippe Lamberts of Belgium. “You asked for this format, well, for a reason.”

As the meeting wrapped up, angry MEPs began to shout out their unanswered questions – including whether Facebook would commit to separating its data from WhatsApp, and if Zuckerberg will promise to allow users to opt out of targeted advertising.

Zuckerberg declined to answer the questions – promising instead to respond to the inquiries in writing. Antonio Tajani, president of the European Parliament, also reassured the MEPs that their questions would be properly addressed.

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“grilled”..more like a slap in the face with a wet lettuce leaf..

I asked you six ‘yes and no’ questions, I got not a single answer,” said MEP Philippe Lamberts of Belgium. “You asked for this format, well, for a reason.”

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Goldman Sachs just launched a new cryptocurrency

•May 23, 2018 • 1 Comment

https://futurism.com/goldman-sachs-launched-new-cryptocurrency/

Soon, you may be able to use cryptocurrency to pay for anything from your morning coffee to happy hour drinks (or, you know, maybe some things that aren’t a beverage). And you could do it as easily as you use your credit card or Venmo today.

Circle, a payment startup owned by Goldman Sachs, announced yesterday that it’s launching a new cryptocurrency called the Circle USD Coin. The new currency is basically a digital version of the dollar that you’ll be able to purchase by trading in, you know, real money.

The USD Coin is the first cryptocurrency released by a major financial institution. While this sort of goes against the whole point of decentralized and distributed cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, Goldman Sachs and Circle hope to bring some stability to the cryptocurrency market, which has crashed and rebounded an exhausting number of times this year alone.

Circle doesn’t want its USD Coin to be subject to the instability and inflation inherent to other unregulated cryptocurrencies, so it will tie the value of a coin to that of a US dollar, according to CNBC. Again, this pretty much goes against the whole point of cryptocurrencies, which were originally designed to present a transparent financial market free of regulation from federal government and the influence of big banks. And though it has seemed increasingly likely that regulation and corporate influence will play a bigger role in the space, some, including Silicon Valley investor Sam Altman, staunchly believe that any USD-based cryptocurrency must remain under distributed control.

While other cryptocurrencies can be mined when users lend a part of their computer’s processing power to help maintain the updated ledger of all transactions, it seems like the only way to acquire new USD Coin — which will operate on the Ethereum platform for the foreseeable future — is to purchase them. So your extensive rig won’t help you get more USD Coin — looks like you’ll just have to buy it. With USD.

Since you need to give Circle one (1) dollar every time you would like one (1) dollarcoin please, it seems like the currency will serve more as an open-source Venmo, where you can pay for things with a digital cryptocurrency instead of paying with a debit or credit card.

Given Goldman Sachs’ recent investments in the crypto realm and announcement that the firm would trade Bitcoin on behalf of investors, it makes sense that the financial giant is trying to control the market as best it can.

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there it is..the big dogs come to the yard..

“Circle, a payment startup owned by Goldman Sachs, announced yesterday that it’s launching a new cryptocurrency called the Circle USD Coin. The new currency is basically a digital version of the dollar that you’ll be able to purchase by trading in, you know, real money.”

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George Soros 2007: America and Israel must open the door to Hamas

•May 22, 2018 • 1 Comment

https://www.georgesoros.com/2007/03/19/america_and_israel_must_open_the_door_to_hamas/

The Bush administration is again committing a blunder in the Middle East by supporting the Israeli government in its refusal to recognise a Palestinian unity government that includes Hamas. This precludes any progress towards a peace settlement at a time when such progress could help avert conflagration in the greater Middle East.

The US and Israel seek to deal only with Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority president. They hope new elections would deny Hamas the majority it has in the Palestinian legislative council. This is a hopeless strategy, because Hamas would boycott early elections and, even if their outcome resulted in Hamas’s exclusion from the government, no peace agreement would hold without Hamas support.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is pursing a different path. In a February summit in Mecca between Mr Abbas and the Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, the Saudi government worked out an agreement between Hamas and Fatah, which have been clashing violently, to form a national unity government. Hamas agreed “to respect international resolutions and the agreements [with Israel] signed by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation”, including the Oslo accords. The Saudis view this accord as the prelude to the offer of a peace settlement with Israel, to be guaranteed by Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries. But no progress is possible as long as the Bush administration and Ehud Olmert’s Israeli government refuse to recognise a unity government that includes Hamas.

Many causes of the current impasse go back to the decision by Ariel Sharon, former Israeli prime minister, to withdraw from the Gaza Strip unilaterally, without negotiating with the then Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority. This contributed to Hamas’s electoral victory. Then Israel, with strong US backing, refused to recognise the democratically elected Hamas government and withheld payment of the millions in taxes collected by the Israelis on its behalf. This caused economic hardship and undermined the government’s ability to function. But it did not reduce support for Hamas among Palestinians and it reinforced the position of Islamic and other extremists who oppose negotiations with Israel. The situation deteriorated to the point where Palestine no longer had an authority with which Israel could negotiate.

This is a blunder, because Hamas is not monolithic. Its inner structure is little known to outsiders but, according to some reports, it has a military wing, largely directed from Damascus and beholden to its Syrian and Iranian sponsors, and a political wing that is more responsive to the needs of the Palestinian population that elected it. If Israel had accepted the results of the election, that might have strengthened the more moderate political wing. Unfortunately, the ideology of the “war on terror” does not permit such subtle distinctions. Nevertheless, subsequent events provided some grounds for believing that Hamas has been divided between its different tendencies.

No sooner had Hamas agreed to enter into a government of national unity than the military wing engineered the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier, which prevented such a government from being formed by provoking a heavy-handed Israeli military response. Hizbollah used the opportunity to stage an incursion from Lebanon, kidnapping more Israeli soldiers. Despite a disproportionate response by Israel, Hizbollah stood its ground, gaining the admiration of the Arab masses, whether Sunni or Shia. It was this dangerous state of affairs – including the breakdown of government in Palestine and fighting between Fatah and Hamas – that prompted the Saudi initiative.

Defenders of the current policy argue that Israel cannot afford to negotiate from a position of weakness. But Israel’s position is unlikely to improve as long as it pursues its current course. Military escalation – not just an eye for an eye but roughly 10 Palestinian lives for every Israeli one – has reached its limit. After the Israeli Defence Force’s retaliation against Lebanon’s road system, airport and other infrastructure one must wonder what could be the next step. Iran poses a more potent danger to Israel than either Hamas or Hizbollah, which are Iran’s clients. There is growing danger of a regional conflagration in which Israel and the US could be on the losing side. With Hizbollah’s ability to withstand the Israeli onslaught and the rise of Iran as a prospective nuclear power, Israel’s existence is more seriously endangered than at any time since its birth.

Both Israel and the US seem frozen in their unwillingness to negotiate with a Palestinian Authority that includes Hamas. The sticking-point is Hamas’s unwillingness to recognise the existence of Israel, but that could be made a condition for an eventual settlement rather than a precondition for negotiations. Demonstrating military superiority is not sufficient as a policy for dealing with the Palestinian problem. There is now the chance of a political solution with Hamas brought on board by Saudi Arabia. It would be tragic to miss out on that prospect because the Bush administration is mired in the ideology of the war on terror.

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thanks to isabel for the link..

georgie boy..

embrace hamas..

from 2007..its interesting to look back..

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China agrees to import more from US averting trade war

•May 22, 2018 • 1 Comment

https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/china-agrees-to-import-more-from-us-averting-trade-war-20180520-p4zgf5.html

China will “significantly increase purchases” of US goods, the White House said as Beijing’s special envoy at talks in Washington declared a trade war has been averted between the world’s two largest economies.

A joint statement released by the White House following the talks didn’t place a dollar figure on the increased purchases by China, or address a comment by President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser suggesting Beijing had agreed to slash its annual trade surplus with the US by $200 billion.

Vice Premier Liu He, a special envoy of China’s President Xi Jinping, told reporters in Washington that talks with US officials, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, ended with a pledge not to engage in a trade war, according to a Xinhua news agency report.

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so no trade war..did it even start?

china buckles..

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Gina Haspel confirmed as CIA’s first female director

•May 21, 2018 • 3 Comments

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-44159593

The US Senate has approved the CIA’s first female director, despite her role in the spy agency’s post-9/11 interrogation programme.

Gina Haspel’s confirmation in a 54-45 vote follows a partisan fight among senators about the CIA’s Bush-era use of techniques such as waterboarding.

Ms Haspel, a CIA veteran, once oversaw a so-called black site in Thailand after the 11 September 2001 attacks.

The former CIA chief, Mike Pompeo, left to become US Secretary of State.

Republican Senator John McCain – who was tortured during his more than five years in a Vietnamese prison – had earlier announced his opposition to US President Donald Trump’s nominee.

On Thursday, six Democrats crossed party lines to vote in her favour.

One of them, Virginia Senator Mark Warner, said Ms Haspel had told him the agency should never have resorted to so-called enhanced interrogation techniques.

He said she had pledged never to use such methods even if the president demanded it.

“I believe she is someone who can and will stand up to the president, who will speak truth to power if this president orders her to do something illegal or immoral, like a return to torture,” he said in a speech before the vote.

Two Republicans – Jeff Flake and Rand Paul – voted against Ms Haspel, meaning she would not have been confirmed without support from Democrats.

A 33-year-veteran of the agency, Ms Haspel, 61, spent most of her career as an undercover operative.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gina_Haspel

Between October and December 2002, Haspel was assigned to oversee a secret CIA prison in Thailand, code-named Cat’s Eye, that housed persons suspected of involvement in Al-Qaeda. The prison was part of the US government’s extraordinary rendition program after the September 11 attacks, and used enhanced interrogation techniques such as waterboarding that are considered by many to be torture although those methods were deemed legal at the time by agency lawyers. According to a former senior CIA official, Haspel arrived as station chief after the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah but was chief during the waterboarding of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.

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the fox is officially in charge of the hen house..

“A 33-year-veteran of the agency, Ms Haspel, 61, spent most of her career as an undercover operative.”

aka..an international agent provocateur..

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Images 20/5/18

•May 21, 2018 • 25 Comments

moron..

invisible death..

pure coincidence..

a school mural in California..

so it was palestine..

yeah it was..

pandora..enough said..

NXIVM..the rabbit hole runs deep..

*yawn

shawn mendes..

beyonce coat of arms form coachella..whats at the top?

yes its real..the use of a camel as a billboard is uniquely middle eastern..

“new world”..”new dawn”..all on the checkerboard floor..i must say i looked through all the royals up front and didnt see any other gingers from the male side of the family..but yeah..hes a windsor not a hewitt..

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