An Unpleasant Surprise

AS Memorial Day approached the US Army thought it would try something new….it ran a survey that asked veterans on Twitter a simple question…..the answers were not what the Army was hoping to get…..

……..the US Army asked veterans on twitter a simple question, “How has serving impacted you?” As Memorial Day approaches, whoever is in charge of the Army’s social media was probably hoping for some nice responses about all the benefits they think come with serving, college education, the bonds formed with fellow soldiers or the invaluable life experience. But the sad reality that our nations veterans and their families face showed itself in the thousands of heart-breaking replies to the question.

Michael J Neel replied, “26 brothers dead. Only 8 in theater. Psyche ward myself after 3 attempts. Everything we accomplished in Mosul was wasted. Every life we gave was spat on. That’s how serving impacted me.” Veteran Drew Turner said, “Let’s see. Lost the functional use of a hand, developed a rare movement disorder and cancer both likely from burn pit exposure, enjoy sleeping 3 to 4 hours most nights due to nightmares and during the day random anxiety attacks all due to PTSD, 7 herniated discs, arthritis…”

 
These veterans are begging for help….IS ANYONE LISTENING?
 
AS I wrote…not exactly what the Army intended……these are the stories the media needs to report and stop cheer leading for war and aggression and adventurism.
 
And then forgotten heroes that are with us and we choose to look away…..

Every Memorial Day, we remember the great heroes who perished, from Gettysburg to Normandy to the streets of Basra. Our country was founded, defended and defined on the backs of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our nation and our freedoms.

We think today of the lives that were cut short. Of the men and women in their twenties who never made it home. The children they never had, or the birthdays and graduations they never saw. We must pause to reflect on those lives that were shortened in the name of letting the rest of us live on. We remember their sacrifice on the battlefields in defense of our nation, as we rightfully should.

https://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/ny-oped-the-casualties-of-war-we-often-forget-20190527-nht36h46kvcjnej3lasew5bstu-story.html

Once again these are the stories that should make the news nightly…instead of what a royal baby is named or what shoes some model wore in Cannes.

None of that is life changing or will make a difference in society….so why bother?

A closing thought is mine and mine alone……

Be a hero and resist the warmongers among us.

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Closing Thought–21May19

By now we all have heard that Russia diddled around in our elections and have also done the same for other “Western” countries……and they have been condemned by most people that know of their interference.

Of course they are not the only one that has attempted to diddle….some say China, North Korea, even Iran possibly…..this is reported by our dynamite media…they want us and the world to know of these attempts…..

But there is one that is not getting any attention and as usual the MSM is protecting one country from criticism…….

Facebook said Thursday it banned an Israeli company that ran an influence campaign aimed at disrupting elections in various countries and has canceled dozens of accounts engaged in spreading disinformation.

Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, told reporters that the tech giant had purged 65 Israeli accounts, 161 pages, dozens of groups and four Instagram accounts.

Although Facebook said the individuals behind the network attempted to conceal their identities, it discovered that many were linked to the Archimedes Group, a Tel Aviv-based political consulting and lobbying firm that publicly boasts of its social media skills and ability to “change reality.”

“It’s a real communications firm making money through the dissemination of fake news,” said Graham Brookie, director of the Digital Forensic Research Lab at the Atlantic Council, a think tank collaborating with Facebook to expose and explain disinformation campaigns.

https://www.apnews.com/7d334cb8793f49889be1bbf89f47ae5c

The MSM made sure to report on the Eurovision piece of crap but have not thought it was important enough to report on their meddling……so damn typical!

At least Facebook has stepped up….but I think it is more because of the bad press they have gotten recently more than any serious concern……

Facebook In The News

Closing Thought–03May19

Everybody’s favorite site, Facebook, well almost everyone’s….I have NEVER used Facebook and will never in the future….I do not feel the need to share that much of my life……

Poor Zuck has had his bad news in the past couple of years….from investigations to calls for his baby, Facebook, to be broken up…..The Zuck has fought governmental control until recently…..with all his troubles he now wants the government to handle all of it for him…….typical BS as usual from him.

Facebook made the news by banning hate speech and hate sites from their media……

Facebook announced Thursday afternoon that it had designated some high-profile people, including Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who’s notorious for using anti-Semitic language, and right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, as “dangerous” and said it will be purging them from its platforms.Jones and his media outlet InfoWars had previously been banned from Facebook (FB) in August 2018, but had maintained a presence on Instagram, which is owned by Facebook. On Thursday, Jones and InfoWars will be barred from Instagram as well. Other people banned on Thursday included Paul Nehlen, an anti-Semite who unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2016 and 2018, and fringe right-wing media personalities Laura Loomer, Milo Yiannopoulos and Paul Joseph Watson.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/02/tech/facebook-ban-louis-farrakhan-infowars-alex-jones-milo-laura-loomer/index.html

Of course I think this is a good thing….but I also see where a 1st amendment battle may ensue…..

Then there is more bad news for Facebook….it appears that their platform has been used for the sell of illegally obtain artifacts from Iraq and Syria……….

Facebook is being used by networks of traffickers to buy and sell looted antiquities, the BBC has learned.

Private groups also discuss how to illegally excavate ancient tombs, according to research by academics.

Facebook says it has removed 49 groups following the BBC’s investigation.

The BBC has also seen evidence that antiquities are still being smuggled from Iraq and Syria into Turkey, despite a police clampdown and the retreat of the Islamic State group.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-47628369

Read that!

Facebook closed down 49 sites after the BBC investigation. They do not act until someone else does the heavy lifting for them.

Sorry…time for Facebook to be broken up into manageable sites for they are not so today. What do they do for the money they make?

The time for me to step back and get my stuff ready for the weekend…..

Smells Like Disinformation

We live in an age of disinformation…..we can re-cover the dialog for the last 24 months…but why? If you believe bullshit nothing I say will change that. But I do want to talk about this disinformation thing.

I have written about it before on several occasions…..https://lobotero.com/2019/02/26/a-disinformation-nightmare/

But we know that there are many people that will willful show their ignorance because someone has said something they want to believe….whether accurate or not……so let us look into this thing called “disinformation”……

Disinformation is the deliberate and purposeful distribution of false information. The term is generally used to describe an organized campaign to deceptively distribute untrue material intended to influence public opinion.

In recent years, the term has become especially associated with the spread of “fake news” on social media as a strategy of negative political campaigning.

A key component of the definition of disinformation is the intention of the person or entity creating the message. Disinformation is distributed with the specific purpose of misleading the public. The false information is meant to impact society by swaying the opinions of the members of the audience.

https://www.thoughtco.com/disinformation-definition-4587093

One might scratch one’s head and ask….how can this be?

A new survey from the Pew Research Center has found that many Americans cannot recognise the hypothesis part of the scientific method when confronted with a problem in everyday life.

“In an era of easy access to a wide array of information, along with sometimes-intense debate over what information is true and false, this survey takes stock of the degree to which the public shares a common understanding of science facts and processes,” says Cary Funk, director of science and society research at Pew Research Center.

It wasn’t all bad news – Americans’ knowledge of specific scientific facts seemed pretty good. But their understanding of the scientific method was more worrisome.

With more than 4,000 respondents, only 52 percent could correctly identify a scientific hypothesis about a computer slowing down.

https://www.sciencealert.com/a-surprising-number-of-americans-can-t-identify-a-hypothesis

We have an absolute expert at bullshit in the White House……he passes on crap and his lackeys will do everything possible to spread the same bullshit to make him appear as if he is telling the truth…..or to give the impression that he, Trump, is knowledgeable……

Disinformation is a pure form of propaganda and we live in world where few know what is truth or fantasy.

Closing Thought–27Feb19

First there are a couple of “Biggies” that occurred on this day in history…..

1827–the first Mardi Gras was celebrated.

1933–the Reichstag is burned down…giving Hitler all the power he had always wanted.

1991–Troops liberate Kuwait after months of occupation by Iraqi forces.

Now for my mini rant to end the day……

We all get ads on our smartphones……me included…..but I got one that made me sit and laugh for about 10 minutes (I would show it but I refuse to give the group any further exposure)….it was an ad for a group called “Friends of The Israeli Defense Force”…..seriously?

These toads get mega bucks from the US and now they want me to become their “friend”?

Hey IDF!

F*ck you!

All I can say is wish in one hand and crap in the other and tell me which fills first.

My thought is first after 60 years they need to stand on their own feet or vanish.

Oh wait!

Does this make me antisemitic?

According to them it will……but then they are looking for anything to call someone out other than the truth….the truth left Israel the day it was formed.

I care nothing about their religion….I do care that their military is racist and criminal.

So the IDF can kiss my ass……NO I do NOT want to be “friends”.

PERIOD!

Who Said That?

Breaking News:  Sorry to break with IST tradition and posting on the news of the day on weekends…but this is kinda important….

Before I begin I feel I must update my readers on the Christmas gift that Federal employees got yesterday…..

……a high-profile meeting was raising hopes that a government shutdown could be averted, reports Politico. Mike Pence, Jared Kushner, and acting Trump chief of staff Mick Mulvaney met with Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer at the Capitol to try to forge a compromise on the president’s demand for $5 billion to build a border wall. “I’m feeling better now than I did an hour ago because that meeting is occurring,” said GOP Sen. John Cornyn of Texas. “The fact that that’s happening represents progress.”

The meeting comes after Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected the idea of changing the Senate’s filibuster rules to push through a bill containing the border money with a simple majority, reports the Washington Post. President Trump had urged him to do so earlier in the day. A week ago, Trump said he would be “proud” to have a shutdown over the wall impasse, but on Friday he made a reversal of sorts, reports the Hill. “The Democrats now own the shutdown!” he tweeted. Late in the afternoon, the president also tweeted an image of what the barrier might look like: “A design of our Steel Slat Barrier which is totally effective while at the same time beautiful!”

Now the blame game begins but that will be little comfort to the many fed employees that were laid off just days before Christmas…..sadness given as a gift is pure pathetic theatrics.

Who will blink first?

Sorry for the interruption……..

Saturday and some things I read just make me laugh and then worry…..the way that we seem to give technology more and more power over our lives worries me.

As Christmas approaches there is always the dash for that perfect gift to slip under the tree for the whole family…..

Look under the tree……what is that little box with no name on it?

Echo, Google or Alexa?

The trend these days is to have your home wired so that the refrigerator gives you the time, your TV can start your car for you on cold days, and it goes on and on…..

Personally, I refuse to give my toilet the power to lock and unlock doors (humor not real)…..technology can be a wonderful thing….within limits….but beyond my dislike what could go wrong with speaking a command and your coffee maker turns on?

After a man in Germany contacted Amazon to request any a copy of any data the company had collected on him—his right under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, Gizmodo notes—he was surprised to receive 1,700 audio files in response. Why? Because he doesn’t use Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant that is used with its smart devices and that is known for listening in on people that use it. According to an article in Germany’s c’t magazine, the audio files (which were sent to the customer along with the data he likely expected—files relating to his Amazon searches) turned out to be recordings of a complete stranger, who used Alexa via his Amazon Echo, Fire box, smartphone, and smart appliances. The man also received a PDF transcript of the stranger’s recorded voice commands.

The customer says when he contacted Amazon about receiving data from someone else, no one responded, but the link to the data was disabled. He had already downloaded a copy of it, and got in touch with c’t. From the recordings, the magazine was able to locate the person whose data the man had received, and even identify the other man’s girlfriend. The man was “shocked” to find out his data had been sent to a stranger, and noted that Amazon had not alerted him to the breach. Amazon finally got in touch with both men only after being contacted by c’t. As the incident started making headlines, an Amazon spokesperson told Reuters, “This unfortunate case was the result of a human error and an isolated single case. We resolved the issue with the two customers involved and took measures to further optimize our processes. As a precautionary measure we contacted the relevant authorities.” The incident is one of multiple reasons Gizmodo recently published a post entitled, “You Should Return the Amazon Echo You Bought and Get a Better Gift.” (Alexa may play a role in a murder case.)

If I want the “Jones'” to know what goes on inside my house then I will invite them over for a chat.

I am sure some of my younger readers will be in favor of this technology and if they would like to defend please do so…I am open to the experience.

If you are going to be traveling on this holiday please drive safely and take care of yourself the flu is out there looking for a body to invade.

Have a Day!

Be well, be safe!

A Flash from the past……

Peace Out!

Closing Thought–27Nov18

How many of my readers were on the internet in 1999?

Well I was and I participated in an experiment into democracy……

Democracy on the internet…….

in 1999 I felt that the internet was the future of democracy and voting…….now a look back into those days……

In 1999, the organization responsible for the backbone of the public internet, ICANN, tried to build a democracy.

In theory it was utopian: Internet users from around the world would register as at-large members of ICANN, elect delegates to represent their continent, and these delegates would sit on the ICANN board of directors. The structure of internet would be governed by its users.

ICANN was in a position to do this because it’s in the business of determining how people are found on the World Wide Web. It governs the directory that every computer uses for directions to the right web page on the right server. If you register a web page, it gets registered by an ICANN-approved registrar. This proposal wasn’t just about who could register a .edu domain versus a .org, but instead who would be allowed to have a place on the web at all.

https://qz.com/1422925/the-public-internet-was-almost-a-democracy/

I still think that the internet could be used for good but that would require a free internet and there are too many working to make sure that is NEVER the case.

Any thoughts?