Enemy of the People –Antifa connections

RedState has an interesting post up about recent work by Dr. Eoin Lenihan to establish that a scattered collection of journalists have multiple ties to Antifa.

Antifa, yeah, those guys.   The violent mask-wearing thugs who roughed up Trump fans and shut down some free speech rallies.   Real terrorists.

What the good professor did was to start with a handful of known Antifa Twitter accounts.   Then he collected a long list of associated Twitter accounts and screened for Twitter accounts with multiple associations to the known Antifa accounts.   Then he searched that list for journalists, and, sure enough, found plenty.

It is good to have a little sunlight into the dark world of journalism.

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Does This Sound Familiar?

“Preaching against capitalism and a racist America”
“A socialist utopia in South America.”
“A San Francisco-based cult.”
“[It] had political clout at the time. The political power base… that looked the other way.”

Sharyl Attkisson is talking about Jim Jones and the Jonestown massacre but she might as well be describing present-day Silicon Valley plutocrats. Except that in this case the political power base are cheering it on. Plus ça change…

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BuzzFeed Strikes Again

NSFW Warning: All the links in this post contain bad words and politically incorrect statements. I can’t help it; this is an intrinsic part of the story. The easily offended should move along.

BuzzFeed has succeeded in deplatforming yet another YouTuber. Tim Pool, Styx, and Vee (undoubtedly others) have discussed this case. A BuzzFeed blogger* wrote this hit piece about a fourteen-year-old girl with almost 900k subscribers on YouTube. She has a potty mouth and says things that disturb Lefty’s universe. BuzzFeed still has a comment section, and those comments make fun reading:

This article should be retitled “This is how to beat up a 14 year old kid with left wing totalitarianism”

She is awesome…buzzfeed can only dream of this amount of views… at least you people can always learn to code

thanks for highlighting, watched video and subbed, thanks buzzfeed helping to red pill me

As night follows day, YouTube has removed her video in the wake of the BuzzFeed piece because it allegedly contains “hate speech.” Fortunately, we live in an era when nothing can be fully censored on the InterWebs. Her video lives on at BitChute.

Sure, her stuff is edgy and maybe a kid this young shouldn’t be posting such material. That’s up to her parents to regulate. It’s not as if they are likely to be unaware of her doings online. The more significant issues are

  1. How does this deplatforming work? Does the BuzzFeed blogger contact YouTube and threaten to make them look bad if they don’t rid themselves of this meddlesome child? (Vee’s conjecture)
  2. Why are the legacy media so interested in YouTubers like this? Is it ideological or is it simply a business strategy to eliminate competitors? (Vee and Styx).
  3. What is the appropriate and useful response?

The motivations of the Enemy of the People are less important than response. Many YouTubers also have BitChute channels. Serious people like Sharyl Attkisson have Gab accounts. Minds.com is an open-source Twitter/Facebook- like social media site, minus the censorship. SubscribeStar is an alternative to Patreon without the added extra deplatforming feature. DuckDuckGo is a search engine without creepy tracking; so is Startpage. ProtonMail is the alternative to Gmail minus the privacy invasion. Brave is a browser that’s less creepy than most. For even more anonymity, use Tor.

Go forth and support these alternatives by using them and maybe even throwing them a few shekels. Censorship will only get worse in the run-up to the 2020 election. Lefty’s running scared. Cornered animals bite. Be careful out there.

*The author of the BuzzFeed piece once tweeted “KILL a straight white man on your way to work tomorrow.” Talk about hate speech!

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evil Google — curator of your information flow

I put up a couple of recent posts to observe on a surge of obituaries on the news business.   But all y’all internet denizens are still reading news.   You just don’t take daily newspapers anymore, and only a very tiny share of y’all subscribe to any kind of news provider.   That is the way most of us operate any more.   But information flow, especially the flow of recent events information, aka ‘news,’ is now screened for most receivers of news by evil Google.

Yeah, I know; some Ratburghers are boycotting Google by using DuckDuckGo and a couple of other search engine alternatives.   But the problem remains.   Over half of all news articles that are accessed on the internet were landed on through an evil-Google search, which means that evil Google gets a shot at screening the news for over half of all internet news consumption.   This finding comes from a Northwestern University study that was recently presented at the “2019 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems” that was held in Glasgow.

Continue reading “evil Google — curator of your information flow”

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The Threat of China

China has been attacking the U.S.A. ever since the days of Richard Nixon, in many ways subtle and not subtle.   But their attacks have grown more devious, more corrupting, and are preparing them for assaults on America that will be devastating when they are unleashed.

Yes, they have been spying and stealing technical secrets, violating copyrights, trademarks and the plain language of contracts for decades.   But the current state of affairs calls for a confrontation, and I am glad to see President Trump bring a confrontation that is clever and likely to succeed.

I am not prepared to debate the trade issues in the tariffs dispute.   What has me concerned at the moment is the leverage China is gaining over our internet.   It appears that evil Google is preparing to act as an agent of China to destroy America.

I think that if things keep going the way they are, China will position themselves to be able to kill American internet and cellphone communications, while disabling large portions of basic utilities such as electric power transmission and landline phone communications.

I will put links in a comment.   The first item is testimony this week by FCC Chair Ajit Pai, regarding the threat posed by Huawei if they could get embedded into our cellphone services:

“What I will say,” Pai told [Sen. James] Lankford, “is I believe that certain Chinese suppliers, such as Huawei, do indeed present a threat to the United States, either on their own or because of Chinese domestic law. For example, China’s national intelligence law explicitly requires any individual or entity subject to that law to comply with requests to intelligence services.”    He said that poses a problem for 5G networks deployed in one country that could be managed by software that is resident in another country.

The second item is a column at American Greatness by Brandon J. Weichert:

“A greater synthesis between the national security sector, the business community, academia, and the political leadership of the United States is needed if we truly and effectively want to prevent American tech firms from building the weapons of tomorrow for China to use against us today.”

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Drag Queen Story Story

I posted a few months ago with a story that was broken by LifeSiteNews.com.   That is a small Catholic pro-life news aggregator and blog based in Toronto.   They are very well-known in pro-life activist circles, and were otherwise unknown until they published the famous letter from Archbishop Viganò.  Archbishop Viganò said that the Vatican had known about Cardinal McCarrick for several years, but that Pope Francis had rehabilitated him anyhow.   The reason the letter was published by LifeSiteNews is that they are the only English-language journalists that Archbishop Viganò trusted with his letter.   I bring this up as an introduction to a new story from LifeSiteNews that you do not see in mass media journalism, this time from Houston:

Now, it turns out that a second Houston Public Library Drag Queen was convicted of multiple sexual assaults against young children, according to records uncovered by Houston MassResistance activists. The man has also written a lurid article describing his work as a transgender prostitute. And he was photographed at a Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) event carrying a rubber chicken — a symbol used by homosexuals to indicate a sexual preference for young boys.  …

It’s becoming clear that the outrages we’re exposing are not an anomaly, but more likely the norm — not only in Houston, but probably around the country.

Yes.   LifeSiteNews ran an article back in March that was investigated by Catholic activists MassResistance, in which they broke the story about a drag queen from Drag Queen Story Time who had a record of sexual abuse of minor boys.   Houston brushed it off as a one-time thing, of course; an anomaly.

So here we are with a second DQST drag queen from the Houston library program with a record of sexual abuse of minor boys.   I searched evil Google News for the name of this second drag queen.   Google News did not turn up the LifeSiteNews article at all, because evil Google is suppressing everything by them.   But it did turn up a media criticism article by my favorite media critics, whose angle is that this is yet another instance of a story that would be considered newsworthy but got suppressed by all the journalists because it goes against the Leftist narrative.

This is the sort of thing that is only known by those of us who follow Christian niche media.   It might or might not get picked up in conservative niche media.   Then, if it stirs up enough social media outragey quarrels, it might, just might, get a footnote in legacy media.   A more likely way for an item like this to make it into Big Media coverage would be if President Trump mentions it in a tweet.   Otherwise, this story will remain buried.

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Saving Journalism

Fake News, you say?  Indeed, this is to discuss the turmoil in the field of journalism, which is both a cause and a consequence of the Leftist tilt of the entire field.   Journalism is in crisis, you see, and Leftist media watchers are looking for scapegoats.   President Trump figures high on their enemies list, with his “fake news!,” “Enemy of the People,” and Sarah Huckabee Sanders.   See my previous post on this topic.   In that post I reacted to a journalist who blamed the end of professionalism in journalism on President Trump.   In this post I will discuss the reasons for the collapse of journalism as we knew it.

I am happy to see the recent obituaries for Big Journalism.  But before we discuss the real problems with journalism, please consider what the crisis looks like to the journalists.   There have been a rash of articles and editorials from journalists that have expressed fear and frustration.   This is an excerpt from an article that appeared in the New Yorker back in January:

Conglomeration can be good for business, but it has generally been bad for journalism. Media companies that want to get bigger tend to swallow up other media companies, suppressing competition and taking on debt, which makes publishers cowards.  …  Craigslist went online in the Bay Area in 1996 and spread across the continent like a weed, choking off local newspapers’ most reliable source of revenue: classified ads.  …  By 2000, only three hundred and fifty of the fifteen hundred daily newspapers left in the United States were independently owned.  …  Then came the fall, when papers all over the country, shackled to mammoth corporations and a lumbering, century-old business model, found themselves unable to compete with the upstarts—online news aggregators like the Huffington Post (est. 2005) and  Breitbart News (est. 2007), which were, to readers, free. News aggregators also drew display advertisers away from print; Facebook and Google swallowed advertising accounts whole. Big papers found ways to adapt; smaller papers mainly folded.

(When researching for this post, I saw an article from 2016 that said local newspapers had shed 60 percent of their workforce over the previous 26 years.)

In January of this year they had a particularly tough day, in which 1,000 journalism jobs were chopped in one day.

Now, I have been part of several Ratburgher discussions in which we generally agreed that mass media journalism is the Enemy of the People, so I don’t expect to hear a lot of sympathy for the journalists here.   But there is a problem that I want to address.

Where does news come from?

Yes, there are some intrepid conservative organizations that do great investigative journalism.   But they are few in number and are concentrated on political matters.   When your local paper dies, how do you get local news about the ordinary life of your community?   You would have to join a dozen local blog sites to be able to continue to be aware of the shenanigans at City Hall, or the hoo-rah at the School Board, or the embezzler in the suburbs, or the police blotter, or area high school sports, or any of a number of local matters.   You might not be very much interested in any of those matters, but it used to be that you could be generally well-informed about the community you live in by just skimming the headlines in the local paper on a regular basis.

Those days are gone.   My local Memphis paper is now owned by the USA Today Network, which is part of Gannett.   The people who lay out the paper work in a rival city in another state (Louisville).   Shortly before I canceled my subscription last year they ran an article in the “Local News” section about an industrial park.   That industrial park is in my state, but it is a seven-hour drive from my city.   So much for “local news.”   It was fine in two other papers that are owned by the USA Today Network, so it was just too easy to pretend that it belonged in our paper, too.   Their “customer support” is in the Philippines, Sales is in Phoenix, and the payment processing center is in Cincinnati.

So, what now?   There are the local TV stations, but they just pretend to do news.   They only have “reporters” who are transcribers.   They look into stories after they are alerted by citizens who call, or mostly they just pass along the police blotter and the stuff that comes to them in press releases.   After they learn that something is going on, they scramble a camera guy (no longer a camera crew) to race out and act like they covered the event for hours.  Also we have a couple of local blog sites that are attempting to make a name for themselves as the go-to place for local news.   But they are the same old Leftist journalists who recently lost their jobs due to downsizing at the newspaper, and so their political coverage is the same old Leftist bilge through and through.

Killed by the Internet

Local papers were killed by the internet.   On the internet, “information wants to be free.”   Local stories get picked up by aggregator services, and it became really easy to check out Google News for local news.   Facebook tried to provide local news links for a while, but the way they promoted Leftist news and suppressed conservative news caused such a backlash that they dropped that effort.

What gets blamed a lot for killing local papers is Craigslist, which is where all the classified ads went.  But the real culprits are Google and Facebook, which now have all the ads by the big chain retailers.

But if there is no local paper, then Google cannot steal their news any more.   Nor can Facebook or any conservative alternative aggregator.

Follow the Money

There was about 129 billion dollars in digital advertising in America last year.   Google slurped up about half.  Facebook took in about 25%.  Youtube, Instagram, Microsoft, Verizon and Amazon combined for about 22%.   All newspapers combined brought in about one percent.   All magazines combined brought in about one percent.   Craigslist brought in about one percent.

Facebook and Google to the rescue?

So I was sort of amused to see that both Facebook and Google have new initiatives to muscle in on the local news business.   Now that they have killed off the newspapers, they want to take over.   The trend going forward looks like our people becoming even more dependent on Google and Facebook.   This is not good.

Slow News

There have been several recent articles advocating “slow news.”   They come from journalists who are observing that the field of journalism has been overtaken by a rush to clickbait.   The Editor of NewYorker.com quoted Pablo Boczkowski, a professor of communications at Northwestern University:

“If you’re an average site, you have five to seven seconds to tell your story.”

The solution preferred by journalism ‘leading lights’ is the digital subscription model.   Only a handful of outlets are likely to survive via that model.   Journalists are hungry for readers who will read a full slate of news articles at one site, the way we used to read the morning newspaper over breakfast.   But, as Professor Boczkowski observed, contemporary consumers of news learn the news one click at a time from dozens of sources, mostly those that are shared on social media by their circle of Facebook friends or the people they follow on Twitter.

News Desert

A “news desert” is a place that does not have any source for local news.   Lots of America is heading into news desert status.

As happy as I am to see the obituaries for Big Journalism, we still need news.   How do we get real information about our community and our state?   Conservative and Christian niche media seem to me to do somewhat well on the national scene.   But I really hate the thought of being dependent on evil Google for information from my state capitol.

No Solutions

I don’t have any answers.   I suppose we will have to hope for a cadre of citizen journalists to blog the news of the day.   The problem is finding them amidst all the competing noise on the internet.   And, if they also blog with conservative opinions, then their posts will be suppressed when you try to search for them.

Perhaps all you Ratburghers could start posting local news here.   Ratburger.org could become a rival for Google and Facebook, right up until Google or Facebook noticed us and took us out.

Anybody out there have any bright ideas?

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Gun owners are guilty until proven innocent!

Colorado enacts ‘red flag’ law to seize guns from those deemed dangerous, prompting backlash

This sucks! As I understand it, nearly anyone can attest to a made up fact that a gun owner is dangerous and his guns will be taken away in violation of the second amendment. The gun owner will have to prove to the state he is not dangerous.

Damn them, I have my compound and re-curve bows and I can still use them effectively.

I’m fairly sure that criminals will turn in other criminals with this law in place. Yea right, keep dreaming.

Read the report, It will disgust you.

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propaganda

Google categorized the new movie “Unplanned” as a “Drama/ Propaganda” film.   They have not categorized other films as propaganda, even films that are famous as examples of propaganda.

After the Christian blogosphere circulated this on Thursday, it got noticed in conservative niche media yesterday.   Today Google quietly changed the category of “Unplanned” back to “Drama.”   Shame on Google.

I expect that all y’all know that “Unplanned” is an anti-abortion film that tells the story of Abby Johnson, who famously flipped from being a successful abortion clinic manager for Planned Parenthood to becoming an anti-abortion activist.   Perhaps you also know that the MPAA slapped it with an R rating, even though it is devoid of sex, violence or bad language.   Maybe you also know that Facebook and Google have refused the publicist’s ads.   And that Google has been downgrading search results related to the movie.

This is just another day in the culture war.   Another state passed yet another anti-abortion law today, adding fuel to the fire that will ensure that Roe v Wade gets a return engagement at the Supreme Court.

Maybe someday America can stop murdering helpless babies.

LORD,  have mercy.

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is this for real?

The group “I Hate drlorenz” doesn’t need a place on Ratburger. Just it’s existence speaks volumes of intolerance to a casual visitor to this site and should be eliminated. The founder of such a hate group should also be punished with at least a thirty, (30), day banishment.

I’ve been silent long enough. DrLorenz seems to be a member here. This group fabrication may be in jest, but the humor is lost on me and undoubtedly on visitors or new members.

What kind of site would actively allow a group to be named like this, I hate a fellow member?

Granted we throw jabs, good-naturedly, at one another in posts, but to name a group with this hate message….

It just ain’t right.

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Google “responsible development”

I am not suggesting that you perform a Google search for “responsible development.”   I just want to call attention to the demise of the “Responsible Development of AI Advisory Council” at Google.   It was just last week that Google announced the formation of the Advisory Council, intended to debate potential policy related to Artificial Intelligence.   They started announcing persons who were going to serve on the Advisory Council.   One of the persons named was Kay Coles James.

The histrionics from Google staffers were immediate and intense.   Tantrums were thrown and a clamor of angry rhetoric consumed much energy and attention for a couple of days.   Google promptly caved, and today they announced the dissolution of the Advisory Council.   Evidently placating the SJW staffers at Google was much more important than any effort to get ahead of the plethora of ethical pitfalls that beset the development of artificial intelligence.

What prompted the outrage?   Well, Ms. Kay Coles James is an African-American grandmother who held a variety of jobs in government and education.   She is currently on the Advisory Council for NASA.   And, by the way, she is also the current President of Heritage Foundation.

petition with more than 2,000 signatories from within the company was published on Medium on Monday, with the title “Googlers Against Transphobia and Hate.”

…Meredith Whittaker, who leads Google’s Open Research Group, posted on a private Google listserv that, “I would disagree that their views are important to consider, when those views include erasing trans people, targeting immigrants, and denying climate change.”

Other ringleader employees at Google vociferously trashed Heritage Foundation on a variety of charges, such as “anti-LGBTQ,” “anti-immigrant” and climate denial, etc.   When some employees said that the hoo-rah sounded intolerant, they were attacked with messages saying that there is no need to listen to such haters.

Both Daily Caller and Breitbart have the story.   Links are in the comments.

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Tele-Monsters revisited.

Tele-Monsters, or those dammed scam/spam/nuisance/marketing calls.

I’m sure a few Ratburgers remember my posts about them and my successes and failures to turn the tide of them.
Yep “NoMoRoBo” is still the premier answer. But with drawbacks. The drawbacks are when every tele-monster calls and NoMoRoBo intercepts the call, we get one ring. Sort of like on “The Hunt for Red October“, but ring instead of ping.

Continue reading “Tele-Monsters revisited.”

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Big Tech censorship

Donald Trump Jr. has an editorial at  The Hill,  about censorship on the internet.   He runs through a bill of particulars, which concern matters that we have talked about at Ratburger.org.   The following is the middle third of his editorial, which amounts to good old-fashioned journalism about something he saw while at CPAC.

 

Silicon Valley lobbyists have splashed millions of dollars all over the Washington swamp to play on conservatives’ innate faith in the free-market system and respect for private property. Even as Big Tech companies work to exclude us from the town square of the 21st century, they’ve been able to rely on misguided conservatives to carry water for them with irrelevant pedantry about whether the First Amendment applies in cases of social media censorship.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) has been making a name for himself as a Republican prepared to stand up to Big Tech malfeasance since his time as Missouri’s attorney general. He delivered a tour de force interview with The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel in front of the CPAC crowd, one that provided a clear-eyed assessment of the ongoing affront to the freedoms of conservative speech and expression.

Hawley demolished the absurd notion that “conservative principles” preclude taking action to ensure free debate online simply because Big Tech firms — the most powerful corporations in the world — are private companies.

Hawley pointed out that Big Tech companies already enjoy “sweetheart deals” under current regulations that make their malfeasance a matter of public concern. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, for instance, allows them to avoid liability for the content that users post to their platforms. To address this problem, Hawley proposed adding a viewpoint neutrality requirement for platforms that benefit from Section 230’s protections, which were originally enacted to protect the internet as “a forum for a true diversity of political discourse.”

“Google and Facebook should not be a law unto themselves,” Hawley declared. “They should not be able to discriminate against conservatives. They should not be able to tell us we need to sit down and shut up!”

It’s high time other conservative politicians started heeding Hawley’s warnings….

I looked at Senator Hawley’s website, but did not see anything there on this topic.   I hope he will bring forward some good initiative.

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