23
   

Rising fascism in the US

 
 
hightor
 
  3  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2022 09:27 am
Politicians, big business, and consumers couldn't give Silicon Valley enough tax breaks, deals, exemptions, etc. We brought it on ourselves with the commercialization of the web, our eagerness to participate, and our unquenchable thirst for every new device big tech rolled out. We bought into the "gig economy" but it was never as if we had a choice. And now we deal with the unintended consequences.

0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  -2  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2022 09:43 am
@Frank Apisa,
So afraid of the truth about the world you live in, Frank.

Democrats wear white hats; everybody else is evil; your country is the best; nobody is monitoring your personal communication.

*You* are living in the Twilight Zone.



0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2022 10:06 am
@Frank Apisa,
Hey Frankster!

Get a load of this.

You’ve heard of China’s draconian social credit program — where citizens’ social behavior is monitored and judged and punished by the state?

The best country in the world wouldn’t do that to its citizens, would it?

https://www.forbes.com/sites/traceyfollows/2021/10/07/are-social-credit-systems-coming-to-the-west/amp/

Are Social Credit Systems Coming To The West?
Tracey Follows
Oct 7, 2021,08:38pm EDT

New social credit system in China
17 January 2018, China, Rongcheng: [+]

The social credit systems that operate in China are not unpopular with the Chinese. Well, that is the conclusion you will come to if you read the research. In one fascinating piece of in-market research, Professor Genia Kostka of the Freie Universität, Berlin, carried out a survey looking at the appeal and approval of the various commercial and local government-run social credit systems, amongst Chinese citizens.

Researching these systems of reward and punishment, she found that 80% of respondents approved the systems and only 1% explicitly disapproved. Make of that what you will but what is particularly interesting are the reasons given for such favourability towards this way of living. Most people interviewed said that they believed it to be an essential form of social management that improves the quality of life for all.

There are no doubt specific cultural norms that would mean that social credit systems in the West would operate slightly differently but the rationale sounds all too similar. And that is that there are too many of us who can’t be trusted and therefore need managing in some way: we are trustworthy but many of our countrymen are “problematic”. In fact, the survey also indicates where this leads. It shows that people had very little concern that their own personal data would be used for surveillance mainly because they felt that they trusted the authorities more than their fellow citizens.

I am reminded of that, this week, with big tech “whistleblower” Frances Haugena. She is the Facebook employee in the US, who has claimed that Facebook is “tearing our societies apart”, adding that Facebook realised they could change the algorithm to make it safer but were more interested in prioritising growth. That “felt like a betrayal of democracy” to her. She then seemingly calls for the authorities to intervene, which may feel like a betrayal of democracy to others.

Online or offline, we are never very far from the insinuation that whilst we might be upstanding examples of high moral virtue ourselves, others can’t be trusted. What we need, as the argument goes, is a system for better social cohesion. The problem is it’s difficult for western governments to suddenly exert too much oversight, too explicitly. So it is more likely that private companies, particularly technology companies, will increasingly be expected to carry out this work.

Perhaps this is why we’ve seen Google demand employees be vaccinated to return to campus, Netflix requiring vaccinations for cast members and anyone on set, and United Airlines mandating proof of vaccination for all existing employees as well as new hires. And we’ve seen the most fashionable cities in the world convert to vaccine passport citadels, closing themselves off to people without vaccine passports, over time.

The Chinese social credit system began not in government but in the commercial sector. As China transformed from a planned economy to a market economy, the lending industry required some guarantee that loans would be repaid. The idea was to create a sincerity culture that rewarded those who paid their loans or traded goods. It’s important that we remember that the origins of the system were purely administrative, aimed at providing citizens with access to services whilst finding a trustworthy way to record those exchanges.

Now in the West, here we are again. With people who mistrust each other wishing to enact some kind of sincerity system for social cohesion, in an attempt to protect themselves from their less trustworthy peers. Perhaps we should be careful what we wish for.

This topic will be debated at the forthcoming Battle of Ideas Festival 2021 in London on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th October
0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  3  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2022 10:38 am
Quote:
The Chinese social credit system began not in government but in the commercial sector.


Any prospective social credit system in the USA simply needs to feature a discount provision where the best customers earn rewards and it will be embraced. "Yeah man, I turned in my neighbor who never mows his lawn and I got a flat screen TV at 10% below the listed price!"
revelette1
 
  2  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2022 10:41 am
@Frank Apisa,
I've learned not to open any unknown text messages. I don't even open politicians text messages anymore, let alone their emails. So I don't know who it was, or was representing to be.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  3  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2022 11:03 am
@hightor,
Apart from data protection issues, Western attempts* to introduce a system similar to that in the People's Republic of China are primarily concerned with whether the state should or may control the behaviour of its citizens with monetary or other incentives on the basis of virtue standards set from above.

*Like what might happen in Bologna, Italy. As part of the "Package of Measures Climate Protection Offensive", the (German) Free State of Bavaria wants to distribute a sustainability token (aka "Ecotoken"): sustainable behaviour is to be supported and citizens are to be sensitised to the topic of sustainability and climate protection.
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  -2  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2022 12:21 pm
@hightor,
Or, she’s a Communist.
That teacher is teaching my kid CRT.
I recorded her conversation with my drone to prove that she…
He posted on Facebook that he doesn’t think vaccines are safe.
He went to a (insert unpopular name here) rally.
0 Replies
 
BillW
 
  2  
Reply Wed 4 May, 2022 02:49 pm
What is being "discussed" here primarily is the financial/economic system in the USA; and that is Capitalism. Corporations know now to and has the money to maintain the best of Capitalism and democracy for themselves and their wealthy "ownership". We each get 1 vote, corporations buy millions of votes!
Lash
 
  -3  
Reply Fri 13 May, 2022 04:06 pm
Rand Paul has been a ridiculous joke on numerous occasions. He doesn’t believe in spending on social issues like I do. I guess he’s a Libertarian. I disagree with a lot of Libertarian principles, but I will stand beside him on this.

https://youtu.be/wSOVifhZyJc
I wish Bernie would stand up beside him.
0 Replies
 
bulmabriefs144
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 14 May, 2022 07:47 am
@BillW,
I think you're in denial of what is really going on in the US. Even if I was concerned with capitalists "buying votes" (nobody can have your vote without your permission, meaning if they bought your vote, you were really selling it out to start with), there has been a rise in woke capitalism. It isn't fascism that is a threat to the US. It's rising gas prices from tampering with the supply chain to try to force the public on electric cars and 5G. It's woke policies screwing with every aspect of life. In 10 years, we probably will not even have electricity, as ruinous green policies total our systems.

The right? Hasn't been doing much, actually.
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  2  
Reply Sun 15 May, 2022 06:38 am
https://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/3488604-us-surveillance-of-americans-must-stop/

SURVEILLANCE OF AMERICANS MUST STOP

Excerpt:
When Edward Snowden revealed that the National Security Agency (NSA) had misused foreign intelligence surveillance laws to collect millions of Americans’ phone records, the resulting public outcry eventually led Congress to ban the practice. How would Americans and their lawmakers react if they learned that the government was misusing these powers to access the actual contents of millions of Americans’ communications, without a warrant or even a factual basis to suspect criminal activity?
According to a recent government report, that’s exactly what’s happening. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence recently disclosed that in 2021 the FBI conducted up to 3.4 million warrantless searches seeking Americans’ phone calls, emails, and text messages — using a law that, on paper, can only be used to spy on foreigners overseas.

The law in question, Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, was one of the many laws Congress passed after 9/11 to expand the government’s surveillance powers. It allows the NSA to target any foreigner overseas and collect all of their communications, as long as one of the agency’s goals is to acquire foreign intelligence. No warrant is required because foreigners overseas aren’t protected by the Fourth Amendment.

Of course, foreigners often communicate with Americans, and so the surveillance was bound to sweep in large amounts of what Americans think, say, and write. If the government’s purpose were to access that information, it would have to obtain a warrant. Congress therefore included two provisions in the law to help bolster its constitutionality. First, Congress required the government to certify that it did not intend to target Americans — that is, that any acquisition of Americans’ communications would be merely “incidental.” Second, Congress required the government to “minimize” the sharing, use, and retention of this incidentally acquired information.
But over the years, these requirements have done little to protect Americans from warrantless searches. Information about Section 702’s operation can be gleaned from official disclosures, court opinions, and a 2014 report by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, an independent government watchdog. These sources show that, rather than “minimize” the sharing and retention of Americans’ communications, the NSA regularly shares raw Section 702 data with the FBI, the CIA, and the National Counterterrorism Center, and these agencies keep that data for at least five years.
In addition, each agency engages in the practice of searching Section 702-aqcuired data for Americans’ communications. The FBI routinely conducts such searches in purely domestic cases having nothing to do with foreign intelligence, often at the “assessment” stage — namely, before the FBI even has a factual basis to open a criminal investigation.
In other words, having obtained the communications without a warrant by certifying that it doesn’t intend to target any Americans, the government — as a matter of policy — runs searches that explicitly target Americans.

This bait-and-switch itself isn’t news. What the DNI report reveals is how often these backdoor searches happen: 3.4 million times in 2021 alone. The report notes that the figure likely overstates the number of Americans affected, in part because there could be multiple searches relating to a single individual. But even if the figure is off by an order of magnitude, that still means that every day, nearly a thousand Americans are subject to a warrantless search of their personal communications.
Small wonder that the FBI resisted producing this number for so many years. This staggering figure, even with all the government’s caveats, makes clear that there’s nothing “incidental” about Section 702’s impact on Americans. Warrantless access to Americans’ communications has become a core feature of a surveillance program that purports to be solely foreign-focused.
0 Replies
 
coluber2001
 
  3  
Reply Tue 17 May, 2022 01:33 pm
Al Franken

How close is 2022 to Orwell's 1984?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4BegA7NhZc

0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  5  
Reply Thu 19 May, 2022 07:24 am
Not the US but the UK:

During a debate about economic growth, SNP MP Mhairi Black levelled a number of criticisms against the government, pointing to its record on the economy, its prioritisation of "a manufactured culture war" and the "terrifying" scrapping of the Human Rights Act.

Quote:
"This is just little England elites drunk on the memory of a British empire that no longer exists," she said. "We have the lowest pensions in Europe and the lowest sick pay. We pretend the minimum wage is a living wage when it is not. We miss our own economic targets time and again. We are happy to break international law. We are turning into a country where words hold no value.

"Over the last 12 years, I fear we have been sleepwalking closer and closer to the F word. I know everyone is scared to say it for fear of sounding over the top or being accused of going too far, but I say this with all sincerity.

"When I say the F word, I am talking about fascism—fascism wrapped in red, white and blue. You may mock and you may disagree, but fascism does not come in with intentional evil plans or the introduction of leather jackboots. It does not happen like that. It happens subtly.

"It happens when we see Governments making decisions based on self-preservation, based on cronyism, based on anything that will keep them in power, when we see the concentration of power while avoiding any of the scrutiny or responsibility that comes with that power. It arrives under the guise of respectability and pride, which will then be refused to anyone who is deemed different. It arrives through the othering of people and the normalisation of human cruelty.

"I do not know how far down that road we are. Time will tell, but the things we do in the name of economic growth—the warning signs are there for everyone else to see, whether they admit it or not."

facebook
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  3  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2022 06:10 am
Hungarian talkshow host who has called Jews ‘stinking excrement’ and Roma ‘animals’ addresses rightwing conference
Trump shares CPAC Hungary platform with notorious racist and antisemite
Quote:
A notorious Hungarian racist who has called Jews “stinking excrement”, referred to Roma as “animals” and used racial epithets to describe Black people, was a featured speaker at a major gathering of US Republicans in Budapest.

Zsolt Bayer took the stage at the second day of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Hungary, a convention that also featured speeches from Donald Trump, Fox News host Tucker Carlson, and Trump’s former White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows.

The last featured speaker of the conference was Jack Posobiec, a far-right US blogger who has used antisemitic symbols and promoted the fabricated “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory smearing prominent Democrats as pedophiles.
[...]
When he was awarded the Hungarian order of merit in 2016 by the country’s nationalist prime minister, Viktor Orbán, the star speaker on the first day of CPAC Hungary on Thursday, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum protested, saying it “reflects the longstanding refusal of the leadership of Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party to distance itself from Bayer, in spite of Bayer’s repeated pattern of racist, xenophobic, antisemitic, and anti-Roma incitement”.

At the CPAC event on Friday, he appeared on stage with a prominent rightwing Hungarian screenwriter talking about gender issues. Bayer focused on deriding Calvin Klein for political correctness, comparing a 2009 ad featuring a white supermodel, whom Bayer called “a very hot woman”, with a 2019 ad featuring the Black rapper Chika who he described as “not so hot”, adding: “it’s clear that this ad was born under the aegis of Black Lives Matter”.

Addressing the conference by video shortly before Bayer’s appearance, Trump poured compliments on Orbán, who was recently elected for a fourth term as prime minister.

“He is a great leader, a great gentleman, and he just had a very big election result. I was very honored to endorse him,” Trump said.

The US thinktank Freedom House has downgraded its assessment of Hungary to being a “partly free” society under Orbán and the Fidesz party, noting “constitutional and legal changes that have allowed it to consolidate control over the country’s independent institutions, including the judiciary”.

It also criticised the government for anti-immigrant, anti-LGBT+ policies and curbs on the independent media universities and NGOs.

Orbán, like many American Republicans, has embraced the “great replacement” conspiracy theory, which involves promoting the belief that the white population is being deliberately reduced by leftist policies and diluted by immigration.

CPAC, which is organised by the American Conservative Union, did not respond to a request for comment on Bayer’s participation. Matt Schlapp, the CPAC chairman, complained on its website that: “Leftist media launched a coordinated smear campaign” on the event.

“Our mission is to increase freedom and opportunity across the globe, including for those living under socialist and Communist regimes,” Schlapp said.

“To hear the condescending whines from socialist boosters in the media like the Guardian, however, you would be led to believe that CPAC stood for something very different,” he added. “In the woke, warped logic of government-financed NPR [National Public Radio], somehow calls for liberty and national sovereignty are akin to racism and authoritarianism.”
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  -3  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2022 10:57 am
Finally, proof of collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign by one of the candidates for president.

It was Hillary Clinton. And, btw, I KNEW IT.🤣

Just going to put a few articles here before she and her cronies have the internet wiped and Robby Mook dies from suicide.

https://www.wsj.com/amp/articles/hillary-clinton-did-it-robby-mook-michael-sussmann-donald-trump-russia-collusion-alfa-bank-11653084709

Excerpt:

Hillary Clinton Did It
Her 2016 campaign manager says she approved a plan to plant a false Russia claim with a reporter

The Russia-Trump collusion narrative of 2016 and beyond was a dirty trick for the ages, and now we know it came from the top—candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton. That was the testimony Friday by 2016 Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook in federal court, and while this news is hardly a surprise, it’s still bracing to find her fingerprints on the political weapon.

Mr. Mook testified as a witness in special counsel John Durham’s trial of Michael Sussmann, the lawyer accused of lying to the FBI. In September 2016, Mr. Sussmann took...
Lash
 
  -3  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2022 11:01 am
https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2022/05/20/politics/hillary-clinton-robby-mook-fbi/index.html

Hillary Clinton personally approved plan to share Trump-Russia allegation with the press in 2016, campaign manager says
By Marshall Cohen, CNN

CNN) Hillary Clinton personally approved her campaign's plans in fall 2016 to share information with a reporter about an uncorroborated alleged server backchannel between Donald Trump and a top Russian bank, her former campaign manager testified Friday in federal court.

Robby Mook said he attended a meeting with other senior campaign officials where they learned about strange cyberactivity that suggested a relationship between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank, which is based in Moscow. The group decided to share the information with a reporter, and Mook subsequently ran that decision by Clinton herself.

"We discussed it with Hillary," Mook said, later adding that "she agreed with the decision."

A campaign staffer later passed the information to a reporter from Slate magazine, which the campaign hoped the reporter would "vet it out, and write what they believe is true," Mook said.

Slate published a story on October 31, 2016, raising questions about the odd Trump-Alfa cyber links. After that story came out, Clinton tweeted about it, and posted a news release that said, "This secret hotline may be the key to unlocking the mystery of Trump's ties to Russia."

The testimony came in the criminal trial of Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann, who is being prosecuted by the Trump-era special counsel John Durham. Durham is investigating potential misconduct tied to the FBI's Trump-Russia probe. The trial has shed light on the dark arts of political opposition research -- and how campaigns dig up dirt and plant stories in the press.

Federal investigators ultimately concluded there weren't any improper Trump-Alfa cyber links.

Clinton officials say they didn't authorize FBI meeting

Sussmann passed along the same information about Trump and Alfa Bank to an FBI official in September 2016. Prosecutors charged him with lying to the FBI and allege that he falsely told the FBI official that he wasn't there for a client, even though he was there on Clinton's behalf.

He has pleaded not guilty and maintains that he went "to help the FBI" as a concerned citizen, and that the Clinton campaign wouldn't have wanted him to meet with the FBI in the first place.

Mook and another top Clinton campaign official, general counsel Marc Elias, reinforced that assertion this week on the witness stand. They both testified they didn't authorize or direct Sussmann to go to the FBI with the explosive Trump tip. Mook said Friday that he didn't even know who Sussmann was during the 2016 campaign, and would've opposed an FBI meeting.

"Going to the FBI does not seem like an effective way to get information out to the public," Mook said. "You do that through the media, which is why the information was shared with the media."

Marc Elias, Hillary Clinton campaign's top lawyer, turns tables on Durham to air Democratic grievances about 2016 election
Marc Elias, Hillary Clinton campaign's top lawyer, turns tables on Durham to air Democratic grievances about 2016 election
Earlier in the week, Elias told the jury that he didn't authorize Sussmann's meeting with the FBI, which occurred on September 19, 2016. Elias said he hadn't learned about the fateful meeting between Sussmann and then-FBI General Counsel James Baker until Sussmann was indicted.

In addition to going to the FBI, Sussmann provided the technical internet data to a reporter from The New York Times, who was working on a story that the FBI spiked after learning about it from Sussmann. A staffer from Fusion GPS, an opposition research firm hired by the Clinton campaign, testified that she met with a Slate reporter to discuss the Trump-Alfa allegations.

Testimony from witnesses suggested the media outreach wasn't closely coordinated, though the situation isn't fully clear. Mook said he didn't know about Perkins Coie, the law firm where Sussmann and Elias worked, "playing a role with us sharing the information with the media."

Old Clinton tweet spurs online reaction

Inside the courtroom, prosecutors showed the jury Clinton's tweet about the Trump-Alfa article from Slate, and Mook read aloud portions of the campaign's news release about the story. The release was from Jake Sullivan, who is currently President Joe Biden's national security adviser.

"We can only assume that federal authorities will now explore this direct connection between Trump and Russia as part of their existing probe into Russia's meddling in our elections," Sullivan said in the release on October 31, 2016, one week before Election Day.

The special counsel team has previously said that the Clinton campaign's media blitz around the Slate story "is the very culmination of Mr. Sussmann's work and strategy," to allegedly gin up news coverage about the Trump-Alfa allegations and then get the FBI to start an investigation.

During the hearing, Twitter users recirculated Clinton's old post. It caught the eye of billionaire Elon Musk, who has become increasingly vocal about political matters while he tries to buy Twitter, and recently announced his support for the Republican Party. He called the Trump-Alfa allegation "a Clinton campaign hoax" and claimed that Sussmann "created an elaborate hoax."

Sussmann's lawyers declined to comment to CNN about Musk's tweets.

There is no evidence to support Musk's claim that Sussmann or the Clinton campaign peddled information they knew was untrue. Multiple witnesses testified that respected cyber experts harbored genuine national security concerns about the data. Sussmann's lawyers repeatedly said he had no reason to doubt the accuracy of the material when he provided it to the FBI.

This story has been updated with additional details Friday.
0 Replies
 
glitterbag
 
  5  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2022 11:06 am
@Lash,
You just really WANT to believe it's true. It's kind of endearing, and frightfully fascist.
Lash
 
  -3  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2022 11:08 am
Hillary Clinton Approved Trump-Russia Leak to Media, Her Campaign Manager Says

Alleged link between Trump servers and Russian was discredited
Campaign manager testifies he had low confidence in the theory

ByErik Larson
May 20, 2022, 3:47 PM EDT
Updated onMay 20, 2022, 7:30 PM EDT

Excerpt:

Hillary Clinton personally signed off on a plan in 2016 to quietly pitch to the media the now-discredited theory that computer servers at Donald Trump’s company had a secret communications link with a Russian bank, her former campaign manager told a jury.

Robby Mook, a witness in the trial of a former Clinton campaign lawyer charged with lying to the FBI, on Friday testified that he and others at the campaign “weren’t totally confident” in the veracity of the server data, but they sent it to reporters anyway a few months before the election.

All I remember is that she agreed with it,” Mook said of Clinton. “She thought we made the right decision.”

The purported server link between the Trump Organization and Russia-based Alfa Bank was ultimately debunked by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Former campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann is now on trial for allegedly lying to the FBI when he said he wasn’t representing any client when he brought that claim to the agency’s attention in September 2016.

Bloomberg
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  -3  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2022 11:11 am
Thank god we’ve found the culprit of two full years of a half a billion dollar FBI treasonous grab for the presidency, right?? Aren’t you all glad that Justice has finally prevailed??

I’m sure you are.
Lash
 
  -2  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2022 11:15 am
Anyone seen Robby Mook today?
 

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