Why Is Google So Big?

I recently got a prompt for my GMail that stated that “something is wrong and my account cannot be accessed temporarily”….I thought Google cannot access one of their own sites? WTF?

This got me to thinking about Google.

Just when did they become the monopoly they are today?

The easy answer is ….the Obama era happen!

I know just what am I blaming Obama for this time?

A report has been released that explains how the FTC allowed Google to run rampant

A damning new Politico series based on 312 pages of internal memos reveals that federal antitrust regulators appointed by former President Barack Obama “misread the evidence in front of them and left much of the digital future in Google’s hands,” even though investigators concluded that the tech giant’s effort to dominate mobile internet searches was well-documented and illegal.

The reporting sheds light on the 19-month probe by the Federal Trade Commission that, in early 2013, amounted to what some described as a slap on the wrist. The series comes as Google faces three antitrust lawsuits from the Department of Justice and coalitions of state attorneys general—one of which was expanded Tuesday—and lawmakers’ calls to break up Big Tech.

As technology reporter Leah Nylen details:

Hundreds of pages of unreleased internal FTC memos, obtained by Politico, show for the first time that the agency’s commissioners dismissed substantial evidence to support the monopoly claim, including taking the rare step of rejecting a recommendation by staff investigators to sue.

The contracts at the center of the fight made Google the default search engine on almost all U.S. smartphones and locked in that exclusivity for years, giving the company a major advantage just as Americans were starting to flock to smartphones. In its antitrust suit against Google last October, DOJ revealed that the company pays as much as $12 billion a year to Apple alone to keep its search engine as the default on iPhones, iPads, and the Safari browser.

Antitrust experts and critics of Google’s practices responded by blasting decision-makers at the FTC and reiterating demands for an end to such exclusionary contracts.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/03/16/total-scandal-memos-expose-failure-obama-era-ftc-stop-googles-monopoly-power

There is so much darkness around the Obama years….there is so much more than “change we can believe in”.

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“lego ergo scribo”

Biden And Police Reform

Yet more shootings and deaths of black people it is a never ending story for the media.

First of all he (Biden) promised to limit the amount of military grade stuff….and yet Instead, police are on track to get more military hardware under Biden than they did under Trump…

Did you read that?

MORE military hardware than under Trump…..that promise went down the toilet.

There is an attempt to reign in the runaway police incidents…..

The George Floyd Act……HR120…the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act……

This bill addresses a wide range of policies and issues regarding policing practices and law enforcement accountability. It includes measures to increase accountability for law enforcement misconduct, to enhance transparency and data collection, and to eliminate discriminatory policing practices.

The bill facilitates federal enforcement of constitutional violations (e.g., excessive use of force) by state and local law enforcement. Among other things, it does the following:

  • lowers the criminal intent standard—from willful to knowing or reckless—to convict a law enforcement officer for misconduct in a federal prosecution,
  • limits qualified immunity as a defense to liability in a private civil action against a law enforcement officer or state correctional officer, and
  • authorizes the Department of Justice to issue subpoenas in investigations of police departments for a pattern or practice of discrimination.

The bill also creates a national registry—the National Police Misconduct Registry—to compile data on complaints and records of police misconduct.

It establishes a framework to prohibit racial profiling at the federal, state, and local levels.

The bill establishes new requirements for law enforcement officers and agencies, including to report data on use-of-force incidents, to obtain training on implicit bias and racial profiling, and to wear body cameras.

If you would like to familiarize yourself with the scope of this bill….then I can help with that….

This bill passed the House and now it has to contend with the gutless, spineless cowards in the US Senate….and we know just how that will go now don’t we?

Biden also talked about a Police Oversight Commission……establishment of a police oversight commission in his first 100 days was one of President Biden’s campaign promises, the administration now says that such a commission would be unnecessary given the amount of existing research on police practices.

  • Instead, the White House wants to focus its energy on passing police reform legislation.

What they’re saying: “Based on close, respectful consultation with partners in the civil rights community, the administration made the considered judgment that a police commission, at this time, would not be the most effective way to deliver on our top priority in this area, which is to sign the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act into law,” Susan Rice, director of the Domestic Policy Council, told Politico.

  • “This matter is much too urgent for delay, and Congress is by far the more appropriate venue to consider changes in law regarding police accountability,” said Wade Henderson, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.
  • Civil rights groups had also expressed concerns that an ongoing research project by a White House commission could be used as an excuse to defer passing legislation by lawmakers reluctant to support police reform, per Politico.

Well they have decide to throw this idea down the toilet…..and focus on reform…..

Focus all you want….the Senate will prevent any and all reform from ever seeing the light of success.

So we will continue to have the police doing what they always do…..they choose the gun over rational thought…..more people will die and the cycle of deaths, protests, and more deaths will continue.

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–13Apr21

For awhile now we have been bombarded by the lame conspiracies fro that group of morons that call themselves QAnon….and then their part in the insurrection of 06 January is well documented….regardless of the many that disavow their part in the craziness of that day.

Personally, I believe that those idiots that embrace the QAnon BS are mentally challenged……much like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers….those overweight in-bred dickless idiots.

But maybe there is something to what I am feeling about QAnon……

Many who believe in QAnon, the notorious far-right conspiracy, may have mental illnesses. While QAnon followers believe in a lot of things, the central tenet of their complicated and ever-changing belief system is that national Democrats, aided by Hollywood and a group of so-called global elites, are running a ring devoted to the abduction, trafficking, torture, sexual abuse, and cannibalization of children — rituals of their Satanic faith. And former President Donald Trump is the only person willing and able to mount an attack against them.

Sophia Moskalenko, a research fellow in social psychology, Georgia State University, during research for ‘Pastels and Pedophiles: Inside the Mind of QAnon’, a forthcoming book she co-authored with security scholar Mia Bloom, noticed that QAnon followers are “different from the radicals I usually study in one key way: They are far more likely to have serious mental illnesses.”

As per court records of QAnon followers arrested in the wake of the January 6 Capitol insurrection, 68 percent reported that they had received mental health diagnoses. This was analyzed by Michael Jensen and Sheehan Kane for ‘Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States’, a research project “dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism”.

https://meaww.com/most-q-anon-followers-mentally-ill-capitol-riot-68-percent-diagnosed-study-sophia-moskalenko-radicals

That does it for me.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

A Senate Of One

Let’s talk about that institution that is about as worthless as its members……the US Senate..

With two Senators from each state, the U.S. Senate is a geographical body, not a democratic body. The two Senators from California represent more people than the 44 Senators representing the smallest 22 states. That makes the U.S. Senate neither representative nor democratic.

That boils down to one thing……Eleven percent of the population gets to veto anything the other 89 percent agree to!

Steve O’Keefe explained why the Senate is undemocratic…..

The 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution called for the direct election of Senators by the voters of their states. Prior to that, Senators were appointed by state legislatures. Something must have happened to compel two-thirds of the states — the super-majority required under the Constitution — to change how Senators were chosen. What was it?

Graft. The way Senators were appointed is they bribed influential state legislators to appoint them. Consequently, Senators tended to be the wealthiest, most repugnant people in the commonwealth who could not possibly earn the vote of a majority of their constituents. Hard to believe, but 100 years ago Senators were hated even more than Senators are hated today.

With direct election of Senators came the 11% solution. The filibuster was meant to protect the ability of minority opinions to be heard but it has had the opposite effect. At first, it did allow Senators the ability to speak their mind, with 60% of the Senate required to shut a Senator up. Crafty Senators realized the power of the filibuster was not stalling popular legislation, but eliminating the ability of the Senate to conduct any other business around the filibusters.

A deal was cut to allow the ordinary business of the Senate to proceed in exchange for requiring 60 votes on any legislation where any one Senator indicated an intention to filibuster. A marvel of Democracy the Senate is not! One Senator can force any law to require a supermajority, Senators representing as few as 11% of the people can block a super-majority, and it takes a super-duper-majority of 34 states to change the rules. Who came up with this system? Oh yeah, white wealthy land “owners.” Hey, that sort of describes the Senate we have now.

The Senate GOP is broken….and the Dems are trying to repair the damage but they will fail…..why?

Joe Manchin (D-WV).

Here is what Manchin thinks of the voting rights legislation he will be considering….

Joe Manchin, who thinks of himself as the new Kingpin of the Senate, says he’ll oppose any voting rights legislation that doesn’t have the backing of Trump supporters:

The only thing I would caution anybody and everybody about is that we had an insurrection on January 6, because of voting, right? … We should not, at all, attempt to do anything that would create more distrust and division.

Seriously?

This wholly owned by the wealthy bucks all efforts to move forward….he is against $15 an hour, he opposes the end of the filibuster, he is against tax increases on the wealthy (to be fair he opposes 29% tax and supports 25% increase)….and he is a Democrat.

Manchin is relishing the idea that he is in control of the Senate……”Joe Manchin represents a state that is 1/22 the population of California and 92% white yet he can singlehandedly block policies supported by 70-80% of Americans,” noted Ari Berman of Mother Jones. “This is why the U.S. Senate is so broken.”

One person is in control and progress will come to a screeching halt…..

Partial list of Biden agenda items that are toast in the Senate if the filibuster remains: • $15 minimum wage • Universal gun background checks • Dream Act • “For The People” Act • John Lewis voting rights act • ACA public option • Equality Act • George Floyd police bill

This should not be happening…..time to cease this type of control from ever happening again.

Do you want one person capable of bringing this democracy to its knees?

If the filibuster is removed then this person would lose all his power and the country can enact programs that move the progress forward.

NO one man deserves this much power in this republic.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

A Cold War Reboot?

I admit it I am old…..I lived through the original Cold War for most of my life and even witnessed the death of the old Soviet Union….when the USSR died it was hailed as a new beginning of a world that would be at peace and prosperous.

Well the world got more prosperous thanks in part to the advent of globalization….the peace part has yet to be achieved.

While we await the promise of peace the US is stirring the pot for a reboot of the policies of the Cold War.

This time the new ‘enemy’ is China…..

There has been lots of rhetoric around the ‘China Problem’…..and now the Senate has made it official that we are rebooting the Cold War….

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee announced a new piece of bipartisan legislation to confront China through prioritized military spending and more arms sales in the Indo-Pacific, sanctions, money for “democracy promotion” in Hong Kong, and other areas where the US seeks to counter Beijing.

The legislation still needs to go through the Committee before being introduced in the Senate, but a draft of the bill, titled the Strategic Competition Act of 2021, was released by Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), the Committee chairman. Menendez negotiated the bill with Committee Ranking Member Jim Risch (R-ID).

In a release on the Committee’s website, the 281-page bill was described as the “first major proposal to bring Democrats and Republicans together in laying out a strategic approach towards Beijing — and assuring that the United States is positioned to compete with China across all dimensions of national and international power for decades to come.” Menendez is convening a Committee meeting on April 14th for a vote on the legislation.

The bill calls for the US to strengthen military ties in the Indo-Pacific through arms sales. The bill reads: “The United States should design for export to Indo-Pacific allies and partners capabilities critical to maintaining a favorable military balance in the region, including long-range precision fires, air and missile defense systems, anti-ship cruise missiles, land attack cruise missiles, conventional hypersonic systems, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities, and command and control systems.”

Senate Unveils Sweeping Legislation to Confront China

The Cold War will be rebranded  as well as the reboot…..

When it comes to future conflicts or present-day war games, they have all the advantages and we have none! Or as Eric Edelman, a former undersecretary of defense for policy, told CNN recently, “Russia and China are playing a home game, we are playing an away game.” And mind you, we’re talking about a home game that could stretch from the Baltic Sea and the Arctic regions of Eurasia to the South China Sea. Those two “near-peer rivals” (as the U.S. military has taken to calling them) seem to have all the luck. I mean, count on one thing: imagined future flare points for conflict – “a fictional global crisis erupting on multiple fronts” in those war games – won’t be in the Caribbean, off New York City, or near the Baja Peninsula. As a result, the US will have to be fully prepared, at staggering expense, to deploy and support forces thousands of miles away for the future conflicts the Pentagon is now imagining.

Fortunately, that military is, it seems, planning ahead for just such a future. As CNN’s Barbara Starr recently reported, this summer it’s going to engage in highly classified computer war games with two near-peer enemies with fictional names. No one, however, should doubt for a second that they will be China and Russia. This will happen just as the next Pentagon budget is being set in place and, in a recent exercise gaming out a future conflict against such adversaries, an anonymous Defense Department official confirmed to Starr that “we found the Blue Team, the US and allies, kept losing.”

The Cold War, Rebooted and Rebranded

We are returning to the ‘good old days’ of the Cold War…..that will mean more and more taxpayer cash will flow into the Pentagon and the rest of the nation will suffer.

Time to invest in some form of diplomacy….and leave the weapons and threats aside……but sadly talk does not equate into profit for the defense industry….and we all know it is more about that than the good of the nation.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–12Apr21

We are living in the age of TMI…..like these days we have minute by minute updates on Covid and a trial and now the death of a prince……we do NOT need this much information.

As the world says good-bye to Prince Phillip…..I have read many thoughts on his life……I am sure that he lived a good life considering he was part of the pampered royals.

I am sorry that he has passed on….but I still do not see why this is a major news story here in the US. Yes he was a force on the world stage only because he was married to the queen.

Even in the UK and the coverage of his death has gotten a bunch of complaints…..

The UK’s national broadcaster switched instantly into mourning mode when Prince Philip’s death was announced Friday. The BBC canceled its regular programming and aired special coverage hosted by black-clad news anchors throughout the day. Popular prime-time shows such as the cooking contest MasterChef were supplanted. Some Britons saw the BBC’s actions as a fitting mark of respect. For others, it was a bit much. The broadcaster received so many complaints alleging its reporting was excessive that it set up a special website page for viewers to register objections if they felt there was “too much TV coverage of the death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.” The AP reports it didn’t disclose how many people had complained by Saturday.

The publicly funded BBC often finds itself under fire from all sides for its treatment of major national events. When the Queen Mother Elizabeth died in 2002, the broadcaster received criticism because the announcer who delivered the news did not wear a black tie. Britain’s other TV stations also gave extensive coverage to Philip’s death, but the BBC is under unique pressure because it is taxpayer-funded. Scrutiny and questions about its role have grown in recent years as commercial rivals and streaming services give audiences more choice. BBC Director-General Tim Davie has acknowledged the organization must evolve with changing times, but says it remains essential to British society. “We have a different purpose” than broadcasters such as Netflix, Davie told UK lawmakers last month. “I’m not running a business for profit. I’m running … an organization for purpose.”

I am sorry that the queen has lost her mate of 73 years…..but here in the US it should not be the major suction on the news cycle….it will be endless.

I apologize if this offends but our country is going to Hell and yet we are ‘treated’ to hour after hour of the mundane .

Turn The Page!

“lego ergo scribo”

Jim Crow 2.0?

These days a common theme in most political talks shows is the use of the term “Jim Crow”.

Personally I do not like the term “Jim Crow 2.0” for I do not think that it tells the whole story.

Too many have NO idea what is meant about Jim Crow laws….call it what it is…..

Many of our states are in the process of suppressing voters rights…..and the debate centers around an old law from days past…..the Jim Crow laws….

But what the Hell are these laws?

About time for some clarity.

“Jim Crow” has long been a derogatory slang term for a black man, making it a fitting name for the laws that were in force in the South and some border states from 1877 through the mid-1960s. These laws were in place to maintain racial segregation after the Civil War ended. Initially, Jim Crow laws required the separation of white people and people of color on all forms of public transportation and in schools. Eventually, the segregation expanded to include interaction and commingling in schools, cemeteries, parks, theaters, and restaurants. Often, anyone who was suspected of having a black ancestor, even just one in the very distant past, was considered to be a person of color and therefore subject to the Jim Crow laws. The overarching purpose of Jim Crow laws was to prevent contact between black people and white people as equals, establishing white people as above black people.

Jim Crow laws began in 1877 when the Supreme Court ruled that states couldn’t prohibit segregation on common modes of transportation such as trains, streetcars, and riverboats. Later, in 1883, the Supreme Court overturned specific parts of the Civil Rights Act of 1875, confirming the “separate but equal” concept. During the ensuing years, states passed laws instituting requirements for separate and equal accommodations for blacks on public modes of transportation. Black people also had separate schools, hospitals, churches, cemeteries, restrooms, and prisons, and these facilities were usually inferior to facilities for white people, although the laws called for the separate facilities to be of equal quality. Jim Crow laws also influenced social interactions between blacks and whites. Failure to enforce these laws resulted in fines or imprisonment.

To learn more on this attempt to suppress……https://www.history.com/topics/early-20th-century-us/jim-crow-laws

Now that you have a working knowledge of the historic context we can move on….

Following the election of Barack Obama, the party immediately passed hundreds of new voter restrictions that were facially neutral but carefully aimed at disenfranchising Black voters. As a federal judge ruled in 2016, voter restrictions like those in North Carolina “target African-Americans with almost surgical precision.” Now in the wake of the 2020 election, that targeting has resumed with renewed vigor.

And the in 2020 that other guy that was running for re-election to the presidency lost….and the rush was on to make sure that the tidal wave of voters could not impact the control of state legislative and governing would remain in the hands of the old white guy network….thus new laws to suppress black/brown voters…..plus the tool of gerrymandering will also be used to decide where voters will live (voter districts).

Call it what you like…..if it reads like Jim Crow……acts like Jim Crow….then the good chance it is Jim Crow 2.0.

More on voter suppression…..https://lobotero.com/2021/03/30/voter-rights-and-suppression/

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Which Are You?

First I would like to thank the few readers that also follow GSFP…..your participation is much appreciated.

I re-blog this pot for those that have not yet found my opinion blog……chuq

Gulf South Free Press

We have another Constitutional crisis…..233 year in the making.

These days there is lots of debate on the Constitution…..and in the beginning there were two sides…the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists…….

But what does that mean?

Federalism was born in 1787, when Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison wrote 85 essays collectively known as the Federalist papers. These eloquent political documents encouraged Americans to adopt the newly-written Constitution and its stronger central government.

Largely influenced by the ideas of Alexander Hamilton, the Federalists succeeded in convincing the Washington administration to assume national and state debts, pass tax laws, and create a central bank. These moves undoubtedly saved the fledgling democracy from poverty and even destruction. In foreign policy, Federalists generally favored England over France.

And their opponents in the Constitution fight…..the Anti-Federalists……but who were these men?

Not all Americans liked the new U.S. Constitution offered to them in 1787. Some…

View original post 1,129 more words

An Invocation To War?

Events seem to be spiraling in Ukraine in the mash-up with Russia…..something I tried to bring to the readers of IST and try to make people understand that this situation could get serious very quickly…..https://lobotero.com/2021/04/05/ukraine-vs-russia/

After I attempted to raise the alarm to conflict in the wings…..Ukraine has invoked the agreement with NATO……

Colonel-General Ruslan Khomchak, the commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, is quoted today as boasting that his nation’s military is capable of responding to what he deemed the “aggravation of the situation” in the Donbass, in his words the temporarily occupied territory of Donetsk and Lugansk, and “along the entire Ukrainian-Russian border.”

The above regions are only two of five Ukrainian (or former Ukrainian) oblasts bordering Russia. The total land border between Ukraine and Russia as Ukraine computes it is some 1,225 miles; Russia’s border with Donetsk and Lugansk is 255 miles.

The Ukrainian military chief has extended the line of conflict by almost five times. In language evocative of the worst days of the Cold War, Khomchak also intoned: “Ukraine is supported by the entire civilized world. We are not alone in the face of the enemy.”

As a concrete example of what he was alluding to, and in arguably the most inflammatory language used to date in regard to the conflict in the Donbass, the country’s top military commander mentioned NATO’s collective military defense clause:

“We have intensified the military dialogue with NATO at the strategic level and deepened cooperation in the Black Sea region. The Armed Forces of Ukraine are taking part in collective training events for troops [forces], including in NATO exercises on the subject of Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.”

At the same time Interfax-Ukraine reported that an American delegation led by the U.S. defense attaché to Ukraine, Colonel Brittany Stewart, paid a working visit to the Joint Forces Operation headquarters. From 2014-2018 known as the Anti-Terrorist Operation, Joint Forces Operation is the name for Ukraine’s war in the Donbass.

The American delegation met with troops assigned to “the contact line with the enemy, talked with Ukrainian defenders and once again made sure [were apprised?] of the presence of Russian mercenaries in Donbas.” It also visited a memorial to Ukrainian soldiers killed in the seven-year war in the Donbass.

Colonel Stewart said at a briefing, “The U.S. government is deeply concerned over the situation that is developing near the borders of Ukraine and in every possible way supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

The U.S. and NATO in every possible way support Kiev’s war near the Russian border.

(antiwar.com)

Once again the drums of war are beating and the clock is ticking…..time to let real diplomacy take the lead….not the ‘gunboat diplomacy’ of our past.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Anyone Out There?

Since the 1960s we have been searching for life ‘out there’…..we have sent probes telling about the earth and its people and its location…..we have sent radio messages into the dark unknown hoping for an answer……

MY thought is ‘has any of these guys ever seen the movie “Independence Day”?

It is a cautionary tale of can happen with all this rush to find who is out there.

Physicist Michio Kaku has a thought on our search……

Once we find signs of alien life (well, if) we will have to grapple with a new question, presuming that they haven’t made the first move: should we make contact?

Renowned physicist Michio Kaku has made himself clear on the topic over the years, stating that he believes we will find alien life, and if we do we should be wary of making contact. In a new interview with The Guardian, he has gone further, calling it a “terrible idea”.

“Soon we’ll have the Webb telescope up in orbit and we’ll have thousands of planets to look at, and that’s why I think the chances are quite high that we may make contact with an alien civilisation,” he told the publication.

“There are some colleagues of mine that believe we should reach out to them. I think that’s a terrible idea. We all know what happened to Montezuma when he met Cortés in Mexico so many hundreds of years ago.”

For those that don’t know, the Spanish forces – led by Cortés – slaughtered the unarmed Aztecs until “the blood of the warriors flowed like water”, which doesn’t sound like an ideal outcome of the first contact with alien life. Kaku has expanded on the idea in the past, explaining that though he believes that alien life will mostly be peaceful – given that the signatures we are likely to find will be of civilizations thousands or perhaps millions of years in advance of us – that doesn’t mean that we should risk announcing ourselves to the universe.

“We cannot take the chance,” he said in 2018. “We should not try to advertise our existence to alien life in outer space because of the fact that we don’t know their intentions.”

The danger, he believes, is not that aliens will be “evil” per se, but more that they might not care about us at all. He compared our position in the universe to that of a deer in the forest. While hunters in the forest pose a threat to deer, the real danger comes from developers who might pave over the forest and destroy their environment.

“In fact, if you read the novel War of the Worlds the Martians in HG Wells seminal novel were not evil in the sense they wanted to torture us and they wanted to do all sorts of barbaric things to humanity,” he added. “No, we were just in the way.”

(IFLScience)

Be careful what you ask for….you just may well regret the answer.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”