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Member since: Sat Dec 9, 2017, 05:11 PM
Number of posts: 1,174

About Me

Millennial Minority Naturalized Citizens Pro Choice Democrat Everything the Right hates

Journal Archives

Qanons all over social media are reciting the U.S. Armed Forces oath of enlistment


This feels like it's a form of stolen valor

LinkedIn Staffers Go All-Lives-Matter During 'Dumpster Fire' Meeting on Racism

The highly professional social network’s internal Wednesday town hall on racial injustice looked more like what you'd see in a Facebook comments section.

By Maxwell Tani
Jun. 04, 2020 7:25PM ET / Updated Jun. 05, 2020 3:54AM ET

LinkedIn prides itself on being the highly professional, troll-free antithesis to all other social-media platforms. But on Wednesday, the company’s own internal meetings looked more like a “dumpster fire” Facebook comments section than anything on the company’s famously civil website.

Earlier this week, the career networking website announced that it would hold a virtual global town hall to address the nationwide social unrest sparked by the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd. The meeting was billed as an event to discuss racial inequality by “reflecting on our own biases, practicing allyship, and intentionally driving equitable actions.”

“We’ll spend most of our time together in open discussion, so please consider bringing questions or experiences you’d like to share,” read the invitation email to staff.

LinkedIn employees followed those instructions precisely. The results were a disaster.

Throughout the meeting, which was conducted by videochat and featured a sidebar where employees could leave comments, several anonymous staffers shared opinions echoing the detractors and skeptics of the Black Lives Matter movement. Several of these commenters criticized LinkedIn’s position on diversity hiring, equating such practices with racism against white people.

More at the link

So many evil people in the police force


I'm just cleaning my hand

Nevadans gather for 'Reopen Nevada' rally at state office building

by Kate Houston
Apr 18, 2020 01:24 PM PDT

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — On Saturday, hundreds of people gathered to protest Governor Sisolak’s response to COVID-19 and the shutdown of our state. A group called “Operation Nevada” organized protests in Carson City and Las Vegas.

The group is calling for an end to the stay-at-home order and is demanding a recall of Governor Sisolak. Most of the protestors at the Grant Sawyer Building were not wearing masks, nor standing six feet apart.

Some of the protestors 8 News Now spoke to say the way Governor Sisolak has responded to the virus is an overreaction.

“This virus is not that bad, it’s not worse than viruses we’ve had for years and we’re treating it like it’s the plague,” said Linda Cannon, Vice Chair of the Clark County Republican Party. “The real thing is that it’s an assault on our economy and our rights, and he has overstepped his boundaries.”

Many protesters want the governor to reopen the state and let people go back to work. This week, Governor Sisolak said setting a reopening date will depend on widespread testing, social distancing and health risk assessments.

“I think he’s making the wrong decisions, and I think that we should start taking back our country,” said protester Ralph Townsend. “We’ve closed down the economy, are we nuts?”

8 News Now reached out to Governor Sisolak’s office for a statement on the protests. We have not yet heard back.


The Reopen idiots have come to Nevada

Seems like not everycrustacean's vacation was ruined by the virus


America's New Normal


This is depressing

The Far-Right Helped Create The World's Most Powerful Facial Recognition Technology

Clearview AI, which has alarmed privacy experts, hired several far-right employees, a HuffPost investigation found.

By Luke O’Brien
04/07/2020 04:28 pm ET

Advanced facial recognition technology poses a mortal threat to privacy. It could grant the government, corporations and even average citizens the ability to capture a photo of anybody and, with a few keystrokes, uncover all kinds of personal details. So when The New York Times published an exposé about a shadowy facial recognition firm called Clearview AI in January, it seemed like the worst nightmare of privacy advocates had arrived.

Clearview is the most powerful form of facial recognition technology ever created, according to the Times. With more than 3 billion photos scraped surreptitiously from social media profiles and websites, its image database is almost seven times the size of the FBI’s. Its mobile app can match names to faces with a tap of a touchscreen. The technology is already being integrated into augmented reality glasses so people can identify almost anyone they look at.

Clearview has contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, BuzzFeed reported earlier this year, and FBI agents, members of Customs and Border Protection, and hundreds of police officers at departments nationwide are among its users.

With the coronavirus pandemic increasingly throwing the country into chaos and President Donald Trump moving to expand domestic surveillance powers ― in theory, to better map disease spread ― Clearview has sought deeper inroads into government infrastructure and is now in discussions with state agencies to use its technology to track infected people, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Even if you’ve never heard of Clearview, you likely have an online presence — maybe a friend or a relative has posted a photo of you to Facebook — which means you’re probably in its database. Clearview’s CEO and co-founder, Cam-Hoan Ton-That, and his associates chose to mass-violate social media policies against scraping accounts to build an image warehouse of unprecedented size, as several outlets have noted recently.

What hasn’t been reported, however, is even scarier: Exclusive documents obtained by HuffPost reveal that Ton-That, as well as several people who have done work for the company, have deep, longstanding ties to far-right extremists. Some members of this alt-right cabal went on to work for Ton-That.

Clearview stated that it had immediately parted ways with some of these people when HuffPost reached out for comment for this story, but the pervasive links between the company and the alt-right can’t be simply dismissed as a few bad apples.

Big Brother, it turned out, was wearing a MAGA cap.

A Mysterious Hacker
Little is known about Ton-That, a 31-year-old Australian hacker who moved to San Francisco in 2007. He made a name for himself two years later by unleashing a computer worm that phished the login credentials of Gmail users. Ton-That showed no remorse after journalists traced the worm to him— he simply set up another phishing site.

By 2015, he had joined forces with far-right subversives working to install Trump as president. They included Mike Cernovich, a Trump-affiliated propagandist who spearheaded the near-deadly Pizzagate disinformation campaign; Andrew “weev” Auernheimer, a neo-Nazi hacker and the webmaster for The Daily Stormer; and Pax Dickinson, the racist former chief technology officer of Business Insider who went on to march with neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia.

In this far-right clique, two of Ton-That’s associates loomed larger than most thanks to their close connection to billionaire Peter Thiel, a Facebook board member and Trump adviser: Jeff Giesea, a Thiel protégé and secret funder of alt-right causes, and Charles “Chuck” Johnson, a former Breitbart writer and far-right extremist who reportedly coordinated lawfare against media organizations with Thiel. And according to new documents obtained by HuffPost, Johnson appears to have received funding from Thiel for a startup that the Southern Poverty Law Center would label a “white nationalist hate group.” (Johnson has filed suit against HuffPost in Texas over a January 2019 article about his visits to members of Congress to discuss “DNA sequencing.”)

People involved with Clearview appear to have gone to great lengths to conceal their links to the company and each other. Johnson, for instance, does not appear on any of the incorporation documents and has left little public trace of his association with Ton-That beyond a Facebook post. But multiple far-right sources who know Johnson told HuffPost that he and Ton-That were in close contact at least as early as 2016, and that Johnson told them he was working with Ton-That on facial recognition.

Johnson told one source late that year that he viewed the technology as a way to potentially “identify every illegal alien in the country.” In early 2017, Johnson introduced Ton-That to another source, saying he was a gifted coder he’d hired to build the facial recognition tool. Around the same time, Johnson stated on Facebook that he was “building algorithms to ID all the illegal immigrants for the deportation squads.”

Video and private messages obtained by HuffPost confirm that Johnson and Ton-That were collaborating on far-right schemes in 2016; by early 2017 at the latest, they were in contact about scraping social media platforms for the facial recognition business. At least two people who worked for Johnson took jobs with and worked for Clearview until late March, when the company claims to have severed ties with them after HuffPost reached out with questions.

Thiel himself has an obvious interest in mass surveillance: Palantir, his data-mining behemoth, aggregates enormous amounts of personal information about immigrants and undocumented workers, and it provides the analytical tools for ICE raids. In 2017, Thiel became one of Clearview’s earliest investors. He did not respond to questions sent to him and his spokesperson.

Like other tech products scaled in dodgy ways, Clearview may have grown too big to rein in. Every time police use Clearview, they upload images of people they’re trying to identify ― even child sex abuse victims ― to Ton-That’s unregulated and ever-expanding database, where they are stored indefinitely.

No federal laws exist to govern the use of facial recognition. “The weaponization possibilities of this are endless,” Eric Goldman, co-director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University, told the Times.

Clearview also appears to spy on law enforcement searches. After a Times reporter had police officers run her photo through the app, the officers received calls from Clearview representatives asking if they were speaking to a journalist. The potential for abuse is vast.

“The fear is that the kind of authoritarian control this [tool] will grant will wind up in the hands of the wrong people,” said Liz O’Sullivan, the technology director at the nonprofit Surveillance Technology Oversight Project.

Like, for instance, a Clearview contractor who is fond of disseminating Third Reich propaganda about Jews. The same extremist, with whom Ton-That now claims to have parted ways, was instrumental in helping sow disinformation from Kremlin operatives in 2016 to assist the Trump campaign. A Clearview “investigator” who appeared to work for the company until late March is part of a D.C.-based white nationalist crew that gathers in secret.

Yet another Clearview employee who left the company after an inquiry from HuffPost is a Croatian-born extremist who wrote in 2015 that he “wholeheartedly endorse[s] racism, racialism, ethnocentrism, Islamophobia, Eurocentrism and anti-Semitism.” Writing under a pseudonym on various blogs, he had embraced the possibility of balkanizing America, which could allow authoritarian states such as Russia or China to fill the power vacuum.

“For a stable and sustainable global order to exist,” he wrote, “the United States Government as we know it must be destroyed.”

A White National Convention
In July 2016, far-right extremists descended on Cleveland for the Republican National Convention. The alt-right’s intellectual figurehead, Richard Spencer, was there, as was Cernovich. So was Johnson, who at the time was running GotNews, a site that employed white nationalists to crank out race-baiting content for Trump supporters. Peter Brimelow, the publisher of the white nationalist VDARE, showed up. British political saboteur Milo Yiannopolous attended a “twinks for Trump” party that featured anti-Muslim speakers such as Pamela Geller and Geert Wilders.

One night, Spencer attended a dinner with Johnson and other members of the far-right at an upscale Italian restaurant. He found himself sitting at a table with Ton-That, a striking figure with long black hair. The hacker arrived at the dinner with Johnson after they’d caused a minor fracas. They’d harassed Michelle Fields, a former Breitbart reporter who’d had her arm roughly grabbed at a Trump rally a few months earlier by the candidate’s then-campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski. At the RNC, Johnson chased after Fields in the street until her fiancé shoved him away. The incident was captured in a video uploaded to Johnson’s GotNews YouTube channel. In the background, you can see Ton-That with Johnson, laughing as Fields scrambles away. (Fields worked for HuffPost at the time.) Over dinner that night, the hacker was more subdued.

“He was smart,” Spencer told HuffPost of Ton-That. “He was into this esoteric reactionary sphere stuff. I remember he was talking about celibacy and the priestly order being celibate and thinking for the group and not having mundane concerns. He was into quasi-Catholic neo-trad[itional] reactionary type stuff.”

The neoreactionary movement, also known as “NRx” or “Dark Enlightenment,” is a geeky subset of the racist, misogynistic far-right that has festered in Silicon Valley’s libertarian circles for over a decade, especially within the cryptocurrency community. Its members revere Thiel, microdose LSD and gussy up totalitarian ideas with a pseudo-intellectualism that creates a moral pretext for them to undermine ― “engineer,” they might say ― democracy. With tech skills and access to vast wealth, they have an influence that has eluded the bookish young men in Spencer’s orbit. Ton-That had been affiliated with this neoreactionary confederacy since before the 2016 RNC.

The movement’s high priest, Curtis Yarvin, is a programmer who goes by “Mencius Moldbug” and has a cryptocurrency startup funded by Thiel. Yarvin, who seemingly endorses slavery and has written approvingly of apartheid, has argued the U.S. would be better off if ruled by a CEO-king. To make this happen, he advocates for a soft coup. Among neoreactionaries, Trump is often referred to as the “God-Emperor” who will restore order to an immigrant-flooded nation under the thumb of a progressive media-academic complex ― “global Jewry,” in neo-Nazi-speak.

Giesea, whose ties to Thiel go back decades, organized the dinner in Cleveland. As a student, he edited Thiel’s libertarian newspaper, The Stanford Review. He later worked for Thiel’s first hedge fund, and then for Koch Industries’ public affairs office. Thiel put up seed money when Giesea started his own company.

Ahead of the 2016 election, Giesea worked closely with Cernovich to help organize a social media insurgency that could direct the far-right’s energy toward a singular purpose: getting Trump elected. Their network amplified extremists, besmirched opponents and disseminated Kremlin-boosted disinformation.


Peter Thiel sucks

Donald Trump's Old Ebola Tweets Reveal His Incompetence on Coronavirus

Donald Trump's Old Ebola Tweets Reveal His Incompetence on Coronavirus
By Michael Harriot
Mar 18th, 2020, 10:30am

Trump’s old tweets prove he’s a hypocritical idiot.

That’s it. That’s the lede.


OK. After writing this article comparing Trump’s handling of the coronavirus crisis with his previous statements, The Root’s Managing Editor Genetta Adams just informed me this lede is not enough. All I can think of is an old joke about a young black airplane pilot flying his first commercial flight out of Mississippi. (Or maybe it was Alabama. Or America.)

As he greeted the passengers on the flight, he could hear the whispers from the passengers worried because they had never seen a black pilot. To calm their racist fears, he got on the intercom and assured them that he had flown thousands of flights after graduating first in his class from the best flight school in the world. Still, the uneasy passengers never relaxed. Then, halfway through the trip, the plane encountered a storm.

“Oh Lord, save us from this nigger pilot!” the passengers scream.

The black pilot gets back on the intercom and tells the people not to worry, he’s smart and capable. Just as he finishes his calming speech, the plane encounters more turbulence.

“Oh Lord, save us from this nigger pilot!” they cry out again, in unison.

Even though he is insulted, the pilot lands the plane safely and without a hitch, much to the relief of the passengers and the embarrassment of the all-white crew. The passengers explain that their outbursts were due to anxiety and had nothing to do with the color of the pilot’s skin. Even the all-white crew tries to insist that the passengers aren’t racist.

Before the next flight out of Mississippi, the pilot is informed that there’s going to be another storm, so he gets an idea.

He gives one of his white male flight attendants his uniform. The flight attendant, dressed as a pilot, greets each passenger as they board the plane while the pilot is in the cockpit ready to take off. Of course, they encounter the storm again. As the pilot guides the plane through the turbulence, the passengers panic again. As the inclement weather jostled the travelers through the air, the crew members ran to the cockpit to gloat.

“See?” they said smugly. “The passengers would have panicked regardless of your skin color. Why do you have to make everything about race.”

“I can’t really hear anything,” the pilot replied, barely able to hold on to the steering wheel. (Plane’s have steering wheels, right?) “I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’m kinda busy here trying not to crash this motherfucker.”

To prove their point, the all-white crew decided to turn on the two-way intercom so the pilot could hear the passengers. Just before he exited the turbulence, the cockpit’s speakers blasted the frantic prayers of the entire plane. The black pilot was the only one who noticed the passengers’ prayers were slightly different.

“Oh Lord,” they screamed in unison. “Save us from this storm!”

Anyway, here’s what Trump has previously said about Barack Obama, leadership, science, medicine and shouldering responsibility during a crisis.

On Vacations

Since the first COVID-19 death was reported on Jan. 11, 2020, Trump has held nine rallies, visited Mar-a-Lago five times and played at least seven rounds of golf. Let’s see what he has previously said about that kind of behavior.




Mishandling It From the Start
One of the sparks that caused the spread of the coronavirus was the Trump administration disregarding the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and allowing infected patients to travel on commercial flights, the Washington Post reports. He further overruled the CDC’s advice warning seniors not to fly.

I’m sure he has never said anything about that.





Politicizing a Crisis
After more than two months of inaction, Trump held his first press conference on Feb. 29, 2020. He immediately criticized Democrats and the press for politicizing a national crisis. Surely, Trump wouldn’t even think of criticizing out great nation’s leadership during a catastrophe. It would be downright un-American.

Oh wait...look what I found.



Let’s look at what he said in 2014, as the Obama administration faced the Ebola crisis:




Trusting the Science
Trump claims to have a “natural instinct for science.” Well, let’s look at what he previously regarded science and research, including what he said during global outbreaks.





Hiring the ‘Best People’
Way back in 2017, officials warned that the U.S. was ill-prepared for a global pandemic after reducing funding to the CDC and dismissing the National Security Council’s infectious disease experts.

He put noted not-scientist Mike Pence in charge of the coronavirus crisis after criticizing the Obama administration for having the CDC and its Ebola experts consult with national security experts.




Taking Responsibility
Trump famously said the coronavirus crisis was not his “responsibility at all” because it was an unavoidable situation that no one could have expected.

I’m sure he didn’t blame Obama for the same kind of problems.




See how easy it is to criticize the pilot when you’re sitting in the back seat?

O, Lord, save us from this idiot president...

And this storm.

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