Why I don’t use Facebook unless I have too

I’ve seen some nasty stuff on Social Media, but nothing as insidious as the innocuous looking quizzes on Facebook that people take and share with
their friends.

On the surface, these quizzes look like simple fun.

screenshot of a set of Facebook quizzes
What Star Wars Character are you?

You take a quiz about the kind of super power you think you have and
the quiz tells you something flattering about  yourself.

But multiply these quizzes by hundreds with hundreds of differently
phrased questions, and researchers can a build an exact profile
of who you are, what you believe, and which arguments are most
likely to sway you.

This is the use of advanced psychological profiling for political
warfare. And Facebook did nothing to stop this.

Louise Mensch is a must follow on Twitter.

She’s done some investigative work and discovered how the data
gathered by these quizzes are used.

And this is why I only use Facebook when I have to. I will not support any
company that exposes the people I love to danger.

Screenshot of an innocent looking Facebook Quizz
What Classic Sitcom are you?









from Steven J. Harper, Esq.

The Belly of the Beast

[This article first appeared on billmoyers.com on March 10, 2017. It’s the seventh in my series. You can read the earlier installments here.]

“The present state of America is truly alarming to every man who is capable of reflection.”

— Thomas Paine, Common Sense (1776)

Paine’s line should resonate with former White House attorney Fred Fielding. As deputy and associate counsel to President Richard Nixon during Watergate, he witnessed the truly alarming spectacle of a president undermining the office’s integrity. Donald Trump must be giving Fred Fielding unpleasant flashbacks. All of Trump’s scandals – from Russia to his business conflicts – are on track to coalesce in the definitive crisis for American democracy.

About Those Conflicts

As foreign countries seek to curry Trump’s favor, his Washington, D.C. hotel gets the most attention. But it’s a symbol of larger problems. Trump’s business holdings rumble beneath every…

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What Does Putin Want?

I wanted to know how Putin uses information as a weapon of war so I ran a search and found the 2016 NATO Defense College Handbook of Russian Information Warfare and spent a few days reading it.

Now I  understand what the CIA means when it says Russia hacked the 2016 US election.

I also understand why John McCain calls it an act of war.

The most disturbing analyses in the handbook is the one that explains
why Putin chooses the media as his new battleground.

A page from the 2016 NATO Defense College Handbook of Russian Information Warfare
A page from the 2016 NATO Defense College Handbook of Russian Information Warfare

The attack is protracted and subtle and the people don’t realize they’re at war until it’s too late.

A page from the 2016 NATO Defense College Handbook of Russian Information Warfare
A page from the 2016 NATO Defense College Handbook of Russian Information Warfare

Putin thinks he can use propaganda and media to effect regime change in the United States without the messy business of bombs that destroy the real estate.

A page from the 2016 NATO Defense College Handbook of Russian Information Warfare
A page from the 2016 NATO Defense College Handbook of Russian Information Warfare

Putin thinks he can conquer the United States by convincing our people
to give themselves to him.

It’s up to #TheResistance to prove him wrong.

Below is a copy of the handbook.

Right click and choose ‘save link as’ :

Handbook of Russian Information Warfare – NATO Defense College








from MarketWatch: 10 signs that a U.S. president is a Russian agent

It sounds like the stuff of conspiracy theorists and the tinfoil brigade.

It’s even straight out of Cold War fiction.

But in the shadowy world of espionage, accusations and counter-accusations, how can the ordinary citizen tell if the next U.S. president is actually an agent of the Kremlin?

Good news: We’ve got your back.

Here are 10 “telltale signs” that a U.S. president might be a Russian spy, and how we might be able to swear in a “Comrade-in-Chief” next month.

1. U.S. intelligence concludes that the Kremlin helped put him in power.

That’s usually a pretty strong giveaway right there. The CIA has never before accused the Kremlin of interfering in a U.S. election. They’re probably not 0-for-1.

Mind you, when Russian hackers pointedly attacked and embarrassed Donald Trump’s opponent, but left him completely alone, you have to ask: Did we really need a report by the CIA?

2. The new president sides with the Kremlin against the CIA.

Trump’s dismissive response to this news includes three classic spin techniques: shooting the messenger, by attacking the CIA; misdirection, by raising doubts about the CIA’s competence, namely the claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when it didn’t; and begging the question, by implying we should now “move on.”

Neither is a serious argument. Indeed, if the CIA’s report is accurate, why on Earth would we “move on”?

Imagine Ronald Reagan or Dwight Eisenhower reacting this way to a CIA statement about Kremlin activities in the U.S.

Go on — try.

3. He receives vast sums of money from mysterious Russians.

This even includes an astonishing $95 million that Trump personally received from a Russian billionaire during the 2008 collapse.

In Vladimir Putin’s kleptostate, there is no fine line between the state and the private sector, the president and the oligarchs.

As Trump’s son Eric confessed: “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. … We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”

4. His election suddenly makes a lot of people rich … in Moscow.

You think Wall Street has done well since Trump’s election victory?

The S&P 500 stock index SPX, +0.65% of the U.S. is up about 5% since Nov. 8.

Moscow’s RTS index: 20%.

Yes, really — from 973 to 1,148. Let the vodka flow! It’s not just about the oil rally, either. The RTS’s increase is more than twice that of global energy stocks.

Putin and his pals were nursing painful losses for several years. But no longer — Moscow stocks are back to their highest levels since the Ukrainian crisis.

5. He wants to end Russia’s global isolation.

Vladimir Putin’s sinister state has been subject to global sanctions since 2014, and for good reason. He’s destabilized Ukraine and annexed Crimea. The British government concluded he had “probably” assassinated a critic in London. He helped arm the people who blew up Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, killing 298 people.

Trump’s response? He praises Putin’s leadership, wants to “get along” with Russia, and hints strongly at ending those sanctions — something he can do by executive order.

Read more on MarketWatch