Saturday, February 24, 2018

American Dupes*

Kathleen Parker, Washington Post, on the hypnotic trance via social media on American voters:

Unfortunately, the minds of social media users are likely becoming more, not less, malleable. Demographically, the largest increase in news consumers on social media has been among older, nonwhite, less-educated people, according to Pew. Except for the nonwhite part, this would seem a boon to the GOP, whose constituents, though whiter than the Democratic National Committee’s, tend to be older and slightly less educated than those of Democrats.

Charles Blow, New York Times on the lower voter turnout of black Americans in the election:

…this attack appeared to be particularly focused on young black activist-minded voters passionate about social justice: The “Woke” Vote.

Referencing actual voter suppression, [the indictment of 13 Russians] says that “in or around the latter half of 2016, Defendants and their co-conspirators, through their personas, began to encourage U.S. minority groups not to vote in the 2016 U.S. presidential election or to vote for a third-party U.S. presidential candidate.”

Now, it can surely be argued that the numbers for women and other minorities might have been even higher had it not been for the suppressive efforts, but at least their turnout numbers didn’t decline. For black people, they did.

What happened in this election wasn’t just a political crime, it was specifically a racialized crime, and the black vote was a central target.

Heart of Texas and Blacktivist were phony groups, part of a sweeping Russian disinformation campaign that was funded with millions of dollars and carried out by 80 people operating out of St. Petersburg, Russia.

In mid-October, Woke Blacks, an Instagram account run by the Internet Research Agency, carried the message “hatred for Trump is misleading the people and forcing Blacks to vote Killary. We cannot resort to the lesser of two devils. Then we’d surely be better off without voting AT ALL.”

Then, just days before Americans went to the polls, another Instagram account controlled by the Russians — called Blacktivist — urged its followers to “choose peace” and vote for Ms. Stein, who was expected to siphon support from Mrs. Clinton’s campaign.

Months before Election Day, Russian trolls “began to encourage U.S. minority groups not to vote in the 2016 US. presidential election or to vote for a third-party US. presidential candidate.”

At the heart of the Russian fraud is an essential, embarrassing insight into American life: large numbers of Americans are ill-equipped to assess the credibility of the things they read.


I can agree with much of this, albeit for different reasons.  Once the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the New Yorker meet their just fate as fish-wrap, maybe Americans can finally hold an honest conversation.

Apparently it was primarily blacks that were duped.  Look, I didn’t say it, they did.  Is this turning into a (so-called) civil rights matter?

* Thanks to Stephen F. Cohen at the John Batchelor Show for the sources.


  1. Russian troll farm vs American troll farm

    The Internet Research Agency, based in Olgino, a part of St. Petersburg, Russia, had about 200 to 300 people working

    The National Security Agency headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland
    Employees‎: ‎Classified (30,000–40,000 estimat.)

    it is interesting to google images of the building and size of the complex for both agencies.


  2. American Dupes*... with a 5th grade reading levels and 4th grade math skillzzzzz? Short answer: yes.

    From NBC News...

    "In an exclusive interview with NBC News, Jeanette Manfra, the head of cybersecurity at the Department of Homeland Security, said she couldn't talk about classified information publicly, but in 2016, "We saw a targeting of 21 states and an exceptionally small number of them were actually successfully penetrated.""

    "Jeh Johnson, who was DHS secretary during the Russian intrusions, said, "2016 was a wake-up call and now it's incumbent upon states and the Feds to do something about it before our democracy is attacked again.""

    Here is the kind of money that influences elections - labor unions contributed more than $132 million. Super PACS - $35 million. The dollar amount from uber wealthy Democrats that fund Super Pacs dwarfs everything. So, where is the real meddling in the election coming from? The $100K in Russian facebook ads? I think not.

    All under the nose of every security agency in the country.

    So, you have to ask yourself who's been fired from the DOJ, NSA, FBI, CIA? Who's been indicted from the DOJ, NSA, FBI, CIA? James Clapper anybody? James Comey anybody?

    Short answer: Nobody.

    Since 2005 the NSA has used its huge server farms to Hoover® every phone call, text message, email, web search, photo posted, etc. If it is electronic in nature it gets captured and stored. If you really want to find out about the election just go to the server farm in Utah. They have everything.

    This is from Wired...

    "The Russian efforts described in the indictment focused on establishing deep, authenticated, long-term identities for individuals and groups within specific communities. This was underlaid by the establishment of servers and VPNs based in the US to mask the location of the individuals involved. US-based email accounts linked to fake or stolen US identity documents (driver licenses, social security numbers, and more) were used to back the online identities. These identities were also used to launder payments through PayPal and cryptocurrency accounts. All of this deception was designed to make it appear that these activities were being carried out by Americans."

    I'm going to throw the bovine fecal matter card... a troll farm really? That's it? That's the best the deep state can do? Millions of dollars spent and access to all the information in Utah along with the other Five Eyes countries... and that's it? To find out why this article is BS - check out its writer - Molly K. McKew.

    The Minsitry of PoopyGanda loves her work.

    I live by this saying: assume everything is a scam. It usually turns into YAS - yet another scam.

  3. You can accuse the Russians of wielding undue influence on American social media and remain in the good graces of polite company. Just don't try this with The Only Democracy in the Middle East. The double standards surrounding the "special relationship" aren't limited to the immigration controversy.

  4. BM:
    I am always curious if the writers of the quotes you provide are aware that they are making entire swaths of the populace out to be idiots and easy prey for the most simple of cons? Is their amount of shame and self esteem so low that can't see their making negative claims on their own friends? It must be that their believe (And are probably correct) that their desire to wallow in their status as victims will prohibit others from criticizing them.

    This is like the Bush-Gore election fiasco in Florida where seemingly intelligent and articulate older Democrats claimed that they were duped (By the Democrats on the election board of their county) when the Democrat Candidate was not first on the ballot. Of course the reporter didn't dare ask the folks if he could read as that would force an admission of illiteracy or worse, laziness.

    How about a better reason is that their candidate called large portions of the USA populace deplorable?

    1. I still believe that the "deplorables" comment and the stumbling into the vehicle incident are probably what ultimately did her in.

      For those on the fence (those who could hold their noses regarding the corruption), either one of these two likely sealed the deal.

  5. My take on all this is that free speech is a bad thing because some people may believe propaganda that is contrary to the "approved" propaganda.