Monday, September 25, 2017

Last Call For Weiners And Losers

Former Dem Congressman Anthony Weiner is going to jail, and rightfully so.

Anthony Weiner, the disgraced former congressman who pleaded guilty in May to sexting with a 15-year-old girl, was sentenced Monday to 21 months in prison. 
Weiner, 53, also faces spending the rest of his life as a registered sex offender for his lengthy and lurid social media contacts with the North Carolina teen. 
Weiner cried as he read from a written statement in Manhattan federal court, saying he was sorry and that he was “a very sick man for a very long time.” 
"The crime I committed was my rock bottom," Weiner said. "I live a different and better life today." 
Weiner, who must report to prison by Nov. 6, wept again after the sentence was announced. 
“This is a serious crime that deserves serious punishment," federal Judge Denise Cote said.

Well Carlos Danger, you're going to be serving that better life in prison for a while, where maybe you can, you know, stop being a sex offender.

Jackass.  Glad to be rid of you for a while at least.

How far he has fallen since first crossing my radar seven years ago.

Zuck Trucks Amok But He Mucked Up

Back in August I came to this conclusion about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's nascent political aspirations:

So here's the exit question folks: which is more frightening? 
One one hand there's the notion that Zuck wants to run the country like he's running Facebook, as the ultimate Silicon Valley dudebro who thinks tech can solve everything. On the other hand there's the notion that he's lost control of his social network behemoth and not even he knows how to fix the fake news spewing volcano that he's helped to unleash under the body politic. 
Neither scenario exactly fills me with confidence.

Several weeks later as the evidence piles up that the Russians gleefully used $100,000 in Facebook ads as a pro-Trump propaganda tool and that Zuckerberg has lost control of the platform he built to the algorithms that rule it, now we find out that Zuckerberg was warned 15 months ago that his big blue toy was a target and that the Facebook founder ignored the warnings.

In the days immediately after the 2016 election, Facebook C.E.O. Mark Zuckerberg seemed offended by suggestions that the social network he created might have had any influence on the outcome, beyond serving as a marketplace for the exchange of ideas. “Personally, I think the idea that fake news on Facebook, it’s a very small amount of the content, influenced the election in any way is a pretty crazy idea,” he said, on stage at the Techonomy conference in Half Moon Bay, California. While some were quick to blame Facebook for amplifying misinformation about Hillary Clinton, Zuckerberg suggested that critics were betraying a “profound lack of empathy” by not taking voters who supported Donald Trump seriously. 
Zuckerberg wasn’t wrong to be skeptical of Democrats assigning blame rather than engaging in self-reflection. But in dismissing the possibility that social media might be anything other than a force for good, Zuckerberg was also slow to recognize Facebook’s own vulnerabilities in an age of information warfare. About a week after the Techonomy conference, however, Zuckerberg received a “wake-up call” from President Barack Obama, The Washington Postreports. During a meeting of world leaders in Lima, Peru, nine days after the election, Obama tried to personally appeal to Zuckerberg, warning that unless Facebook did something, its fake-news problem would only be exacerbated in the next presidential election:

For months leading up to the vote, Obama and his top aides quietly agonized over how to respond to Russia’s brazen intervention on behalf of the Donald Trump campaign without making matters worse. Weeks after Trump’s surprise victory, some of Obama’s aides looked back with regret and wished they had done more.

Zuckerberg acknowledged the problem posed by fake news. But he told Obama that those messages weren’t widespread on Facebook and that there was no easy remedy, according to people briefed on the exchange, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share details of a private conversation. 
The account of Zuckerberg’s post-election reckoning also reveals new details about what Facebook executives knew, and when they knew it. The Post reports that Facebook notified the F.B.I. as early as June 2016 when a hacking group working in connection to the GRU, the Russian military intelligence unit, started making fake Facebook profiles to disseminate stolen e-mails and manipulate public opinion—days before Guccifer 2.0, a hacking persona now thought to be a front for Russian intelligence, took credit for hacking the Democratic National Committee. But after looking into the accounts, which were linked to the GRU’s hacking group called APT28 or Fancy Bear, which set up a Facebook profile for Guccifer 2.0 and a Facebook page called DCLeaks, the company came to believe they weren’t linked to a foreign government but were instead financially motivated.

Facebook thought it was about money, not politics.  Then they took the money anyway. Which just goes to show you that the part of technology most vulnerable to manipulation remains the humans who think they control it.

No wonder then that Steve Bannon sought to put a mole among Facebook's staff.

Steve Bannon plotted to plant a mole inside Facebook, according to emails sent days before the Breitbart boss took over Donald Trump’s campaign and obtained by BuzzFeed News.

The email exchange with a conservative Washington operative reveals the importance that the giant tech platform — now reeling from its role in the 2016 election — held for one of the campaign’s central figures. And it also shows the lengths to which the brawling new American right is willing to go to keep tabs on and gain leverage over the Silicon Valley giants they used to help elect Trump — but whose executives they also see as part of the globalist enemy. 
The idea to infiltrate Facebook came to Bannon from Chris Gacek, a former congressional staffer who is now an official at the Family Research Council, which lobbies against abortion and many LGBT rights. 
“There is one for a DC-based ‘Public Policy Manager’ at Facebook’s What’s APP [sic] division,” Gacek, the Senior Fellow for Regulatory Affairs at the group, wrote on August 1, 2016. “LinkedIn sent me a notice about some job openings.” 
“This seems perfect for Breitbart to flood the zone with candidates of all stripe who will report back to you / Milo with INTEL about the job application process over at FB," he continued.

Whether or not anything came of it, we don't know.  But the Trump regime certainly knew how important Facebook was to their plans. And in the end, Doctor Zuckenstein here doesn't want to believe that his creation is a dangerous monster that can be used for nefarious purposes.

We're all in trouble as long as this goes on.

The Island Of Misfit Americans

While Trump is doing everything he can to distract from his problems, more than 3 million Americans on Puerto Rico now face a second week without power, and the damage from Hurricanes Irma and Maria were so awful that the island's infrastructure may take months or even years to recover and the immediate humanitarian crisis is far from over.

It’s been less than a week since Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico, bisecting the entire island, bringing 150 mph winds and torrential rains to some of its most populated areas. 
But the crisis in Puerto Rico, a US territory whose residents are citizens of the United States, is just beginning, and will likely last months or years. 
Puerto Rico’s entire power grid was knocked offline during the storm. The New York Times reports it could be four to six months before power is restored on the island. That’s half a year relying on generators, half a year without air conditioning in the tropical climate, half a year where even the most basic tasks of modern life are made difficult. And remember: 3.4 million people live there. 
Making life even harder: Cell service is out on almost the entire island, and communications are generally strained. Thousands of people living in the mainland United States with relatives in Puerto Rico have yet to make contact. At least six people died during the storm, but this number could rise due to the fact that news is moving slowly on the communications-choked island. 
Meanwhile, new crises keep forming in the wake of the storm. On Friday, the National Weather Service issued a dire warning about the Guajataca Dam in the northwestern corner of Puerto Rico, which is reported to be near the point of breaking, threatening downstream areas with deadly floods. Seventy thousand people — enough to fill a small city — have been asked to evacuate areas that could be flooded by the nearly 11 billion gallons of water the dam holds back. 
Puerto Rican officials believe the dam’s failure is imminent. “It could be tonight, it could be tomorrow, it could be in the next few days, but it’s very likely [the dam will break] soon,” Christina Villalba, a spokesperson with Puerto Rico’s emergency management agency, told Reuters.

Evacuations of residents in the path of the dam's flood plain are already underway but the island's inhabitants are facing dire circumstances, and this administration and the Congress that doles out the money don't seem concerned in the least to do a single goddamn thing about it.

Sure, the Texas and Florida coasts are still reeling from billions in damage and there are still hundreds of thousands of people dealing with flooded and destroyed homes and no power in the lingering early fall heat.  But that goes for all of Puerto Rico right now and the Trump regime does not give a damn.

We're on our own, guys.  This is life under Trump.


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