Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Trash-Talkin' Ignoramuses

I never imagined I would be asking this question.

But here it goes anyway:
So, how do you know when the office of the President of the United States has managed to hired a whole slew of “unworthies” and hit “trash-talkin' ignoramus” bottom?

One way is to follow photos of the President’s assistants and advisors while at work. One can discover how they handle themselves while “under fire”. You know: with aplomb, sophistication and respect or as a two-year-old - an unsophisticated, disrespectful ignoramus.

Here are two such photos. The first is White House counselor Kellyanne Conway*. (Please see above.) You’ll note she is taking a photo of a group of university presidents in the oval office at the White House while presenting herself in an "unrespectful position". One could also add, unprofessional, “unlady-like, or child-like position.”

The second is of Stephen Miller**, advisor to the President of the United States as he recently appeared while on camera for CBS's Face the Nation. You’ll note he is flashing a well know white power sign while being interviewed.

My answer is: we’ve only begun our plummet down a huge, bottomless hole.

Do you really want these people representing the United States of America?

Do you feel good about having at least three white racists in the White House representing you? (Pres. Trump, Stephen Bannon and Stephan Miller)

Finally, how do you feel about having a totally self-absorbed, disrespectful, “alternative facts”, trash-talker in your White House?

Friday, February 24, 2017

When Demagogues & Incompetence Rule Innocents Die

Kent State University Massacre - 4 May 1970

Dr. Glenn Frank, Professor of Geology, Kent State University, was a hero on 4 May 1970.

Four students lay dead and nine others wounded following 13 seconds of rifle fire by Ohio National Guardsmen (ONG). Hundreds of students stood in shock and bewilderment on the KSU campus Commons and in surrounding parking lots that day.

Dr. Frank knew he had to do something to try to de-escalate the situation or the Guard would likely advance again on the defenseless, unarmed students and unleash another volley of death. So he and a few other faculty colleagues ferreted out the Kent State University administration and ONG Brig. Gen Robert Canterbury and begged for permission to talk with the students.

Then Dr. Frank pleaded with the students, saying, “…even if you've never listened to anyone in your whole lives… please listen now. Please disperse… because otherwise there will be another massacre…”

Because of Dr. Frank's efforts no one else died that day and the students left the Commons and the university safe from gunfire but unprepared to deal with the aftermath of the murders they had witnessed.

Ohio Gov. Rhodes and ONG Gen. Del Corso Fan the Flames
KSU was in chaos on 4 May 1970, because Ohio Gov. James Rhodes came to campus the day before. In a press conference he unleashed a tirade against the students, calling them “worse than the brown shirts and the communist element and also the nightriders and the vigilantes … They’re the worst type of people that we harbor in America, he continued. I think that we’re up against the strongest, well-trained, militant, revolutionary group that has ever assembled in America.”

Then he stated that he would get a court injunction banning future protests and left the impression that something like martial law had been declared. Then he departed the KSU campus.

Rhodes actually did neither. But, the Guardsmen and their officers, the university administration and the student protesters did not know that. Rhodes did accomplish inciting Guardsmen and the general public against the students and muddling the "chain of command" so that no one really knew who was in charge.

That night, Sunday, 3 May, students confronted Guardsmen demanding that the Guard leave their campus. Several students taunted the Guard and were bayoneted.

The previous Friday, 1 May, KSU students and students at other universities, such as Yale, protested President Nixon’s invasion of Cambodia and the expansion of the war in Vietnam. That night, KSU antiwar student leaders moved their protests from campus into the nearby downtown Kent bar area where students and local townspeople faced off – renewing past confrontations, albeit with a new excuse to tussle.

The confrontations got uglier than normal on 2 May. That’s when Kent mayor Leroy Satrom declared a state of emergency and called Gov. Rhodes for state assistance. Rhodes ordered the ONG to Kent.

It was also on 2 May that ONG Adjutant General Sylvester Del Corso issued a prescient foreshadowing statement that "sniper fire would be met by gunfire from his men". After the massacre, Maj. Gen. Del Corso and his subordinates repeatedly declared that sniper fire had triggered the fusillade. (1.)

Who Set Fire to the Old ROTC Building?
As the Guardsmen arrived on the evening of 2 May they found the old, boarded up Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) building on the Kent State University in flames. It is unclear who set the building on fire. It may have been anti-war protesters, but it also could have been someone seeking to have the protesters blamed. “Fortunately” Kent State officials had already emptied the old wooden building and were planning to raze it.

Protesters were celebrating the building's destruction as firefighters arrived. The protesters, who included both students and non-students, jeered the firefighters and even sliced the hoses that the firefighters were using to extinguish the flames. The Guard reestablished order using tear gas and bayonets.

From eyewitness accounts, the burning of the ROTC building at Kent State was completed by undercover law enforcement determined to make sure it could become the symbol needed to support the Kent State war on student protest.

FBI Undercover Informant and Provocateur
Unlike the 60s and 70s, we now know through several Freedom of Information Act disclosures that FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover ordered infiltration of and outright compromising of a multitude of organizations and groups which he deemed “subversive”. Among them were: antiwar organizations and student organizations, such as Students for a Democratic Society, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the Black Panthers, American Civil Liberties Union, Southern Christian Leadership Conference labor unions, civil rights organizations, and many, many others.

In fact, from photos and film evidence and even FBI pay records, we know for certain that FBI undercover informant / provocateur Terry Norman was on the payroll and active at KSU during the antiwar protests using the cover of a photographer.

“According to Dr. Elaine Wellin, an eyewitness to the many events at Kent State leading up to and including May 4th, there were uniformed and plainclothes officers potentially involved in managing the burning of the ROTC building. Wellin was in close proximity to the building just prior to the burning and saw a person with a walkie-talkie about three feet from her telling someone on the other end of the communication that they should not send down the fire truck as the ROTC building was not on fire yet.” (2.)

Blunder After Blunder
What followed is now known as one of the biggest series of blunders ever committed by the United States military: egregious failures of preparation, communication, leadership, equipment and tactics.

The next day, Monday, 4 May 1970, student antiwar protesters went ahead with a planned 12 noon antiwar rally on the campus Commons. The protest had been planned the previous Friday. KSU administrators said that they told the protest leaders to cancel the rally but word didn’t get out to the student population. Also, classes were not cancelled and KSU administrators told students to go to class, just like any other day, even though the Guard remained on campus.

Seeing the scheduled peace rally about to begin, the highest ranking Guard officer on campus, Brig. Gen Canterbury, ordered the students to immediately leave the area. When they did not respond, Gen. Canterbury ordered tear gas fired toward the students. Then while a multitude of "non-rally-participating" students were going to classes or just enjoying the warm spring day on the Commons, Gen. Canterbury ordered his troops to “lock and load” their M1 rifles (with live ammunition) and advance to disperse the students, most of whom were more than 300 feet away.

The Guardsmen Were Ordered to Fire
To this day no one knows who ordered the Guard to fire on the students. For years the Guardsmen, ONG officers and the State of Ohio maintained that no one ordered the troops to fire. Then in May 2010, a tape recording surfaced proving that the order to fire was given.

"John Mangels, science writer at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, commissioned forensic evidence expert Stuart Allen to professionally analyze a tape recording made from a Kent State student’s dormitory window ledge on May 4, 1970, forever capturing the crowd and battle sounds from before, during, and after the fusillade."(See video below.)

 "The cassette tape—provided to Mangels by the Yale University Library, Kent State Collection, and housed all these years in a box of evidence admitted into lawsuits led by attorney Joseph Kelner in his representation of the Kent State victims—was called the 'Strubbe tape' after Terry Strubbe, the student who made the recording by placing a microphone attached to a personal recorder on his dormitory window ledge. This tape surfaced when Alan Canfora, a student protester wounded at Kent State, and researcher Bob Johnson dug through Yale library’s collection and found a CD copy of the tape recording from the day of the shootings. Paying ten dollars for a duplicate, Canfora then listened to it and immediately knew he probably held the only recording that might provide proof of an order to shoot. Three years after the tape was found, the Cleveland Plain Dealer commendably hired two qualified forensic audio scientists to examine the tape."

"But it is really the two pieces of groundbreaking evidence Allen uncovered that illuminate and provide a completely new perspective into the Kent State massacre."

"First, Allen heard and verified the Kent State command-to-fire spoken at noon on 4 May 1970. The command-to-fire has been a point of contention, with authorities stating under oath and to media for more than forty years that 'no order to fire was given at Kent State,' that 'the Guard felt under attack from the students,' and that 'the Guard reacted to sniper fire.' Yet Allen’s verified forensic evidence of the Kent State command-to-fire directly conflicts with guardsmen testimony that they acted in self-defense."

"The government claim—that guardsmen were under attack at the time of the ONG barrage of bullets—has long been suspect, as there is nothing in photographic or video records to support the 'under attack' excuse. Rather, from more than a football field away, the Kent State student protesters swore, raised their middle fingers, and threw pebbles and stones and empty tear gas canisters, mostly as a response to their campus being turned into a battlefield with over 2,000 troops and military equipment strewn across the Kent State University campus."

"The other major piece of Kent State evidence identified in Allen’s analysis was the 'sound of sniper fire' recorded on the tape. These sounds point to Terry Norman, FBI informant and provocateur, who was believed to have fired his low-caliber pistol four times, just seventy seconds before the command-to-fire." (3.)

"Mangels wrote in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, 'Norman was photographing protesters that day for the FBI and carried a loaded .38-caliber Smith & Wesson Model . . . five-shot revolver in a holster under his coat for protection. Though he denied discharging his pistol, he previously has been accused of triggering the Guard shootings by firing to warn away angry demonstrators, which the soldiers mistook for sniper fire."

"Video footage and still photography have recorded the minutes following the 'sound of sniper fire,' showing Terry Norman sprinting across the Kent State commons, meeting up with Kent Police and the ONG. In this visual evidence, Norman immediately yet casually hands off his pistol to authorities and the recipients of the pistol show no surprise as Norman hands them his gun."

Nixon Promulgates Alleged Student Protester Sniper Fire “Alternative Fact” 
"Yet the Kent State 'sound of sniper fire' remains key, according to White House Chief of Staff Bob Haldeman, who noted President Richard Nixon’s reaction to Kent State in the Oval Office on May 4, 1970:

'Chief of Staff Bob Haldeman told him [of the killings] late in the afternoon. But at two o’clock Haldeman jotted on his ever-present legal pad 'keep P. filled in on Kent State.' In his daily journal Haldeman expanded on the President’s reaction: 'He very disturbed. Afraid his decision set it off . . . then kept after me all day for more facts. Hoping rioters had provoked the shootings—but no real evidence that they did.' Even after he had left for the day, Nixon called Haldeman back and among others issued one ringing command: 'need to get out story of sniper.'" (4.)

It has taken 46 years to arrive at this understanding of what happened on 4 May 1970 at Kent State University. We still do not know who ordered the Guardsmen to fire their weapons that day. 

This We Do Know
1. After promising that he would end the Vietnam War, President Nixon expanded it and invaded Cambodia. When protests erupted on college and high school campuses across the nation, he branded student protesters as “bums” and accused students of “blowing up campuses”. His Vice President, Spiro T. Agnew, chimed in calling universities “circus tents or psychiatric centers for over-privileged, and under-disciplined, irresponsible children of the well-to-do blasé permissivists.” Then without proof – he claimed a student sniper shot at the Guardsmen and continued laying full blame on student protesters for creating violence at KSU. He then further obfuscated the facts and used KSU as a rallying point in support of his political agenda.
2. J. Edgar Hoover orchestrated and carried out a vicious, relentless campaign against Americans of all flavors whom he deemed undesirable, including the KSU student protesters.
3. Ohio Gov. Rhodes ordered the Ohio National Guard to the City of Kent and Kent State University, incited them against the students, left the KSU campus in a leadership muddled, did not obtain an injunction stopping further campus protests / closing the campus, nor declare martial law as he said he would do.
4. ONG Maj. Gen. Sylvester Del Corso, sent his ill-equipped troops to Kent (the Guard did not have nor were they trained with nonlethal weapons - only M1 rifles and bayonets), incited his troops to fire and bayonet the students, and personally “baited” student protesters and returned thrown rocks at them.
5. ONG Brig. Gen Canterbury ordered his troops to load their weapons with live ammunition, move on the students, even though the overwhelming majority were not participating in the 4 May noon peace rally, forced the students back into the fenced in practice football field thus trapping his own troops with no clear escape path, then ordering them back up the nearby hill where they were ordered to “turn, point and fire” at the students, murdering four and wounding nine others.
6. As recently as April 2012, in spite of the new evidence - the tape, photos and film - the federal government still refuses to reopen the cold case murders of Jeffrey Glenn Miller, Allison B. Krause, William Knox Schroeder, and Sandra Lee Scheuer.

Why the Kent State Massacre Matters Today
In the Trumpian era of “alternative facts” and demagoguery we are ever slipping and sliding deeper and deeper into our own Fascist-American quicksand where our leaders mislead, confuse issues and make up “facts” to feed their narcissistic addiction and never-sated power and wealth appetite.

Kent State offers one more jarring lesson for us here, as well, built on a foundation of innocent blood. It is one which the KSU administration displayed for all to see and hear, if only we had eyes to see and ears to hear (a wish I fervently make for Dan Adamini, disgraced former Marquette County Republican Party secretary and "conservative" radio commentator). That is their decision not to accept sculptor George Segal’s, In Memory of May 4, 1970: Kent State - Abraham and Isaac.

Segal’s sculpture is a contemporary version of Abraham and Isaac “in an allegory for the May 4, 1970, tragedy at Kent State University. A poignant visualization of humankind's struggle between ideology and paternal love, it mirrors the conflict that led to the death of four students at the hands of the Ohio National Guard.”

In other words Segal is mirroring our willingness to sacrifice our own children to our gods, whoever or whatever they are. I fear many will continue the practice, cheerfully following the whims of our current president.

After commissioning it in 1977, Kent State refused the sculpture in 1979, saying that it “depicted violence”.

It is now on display outside of the Princeton University Chapel as part of the John B. Putnam Jr. Memorial Collection, funded by a partial gift of the Mildred Andrews Fund.

Please go here for Paul Keane’s* illuminating and thought provoking words about Segal’s Abraham and Isaac.

*Paul D. Keane, Teacher, M.A. (1972, Kent State University), M.Div. (Divinity School, Yale University) and M.Ed. recently passed. He taught English at Whitcomb High School and Hartford High School, Connecticut.

The Day the 60s Died

KSU Rare Audio Recording from May 4th 1970 - 12:24pm

1. "Inexcusable": Investigating Kent State, Kainah, Daily Kos, 5 June 2006, See: 
AkronBeacon Journal newspaper investigative report, May 24, 1970.
2.The Project Censored Show on The Morning Mix, “May 4th and the Kent State Shootings in the 42nd Year,” Pacifica Radio, KPFA, 94.1FM, May 4, 2012 live at 8:00 a.m., archived online at VmP. For Wellin on ROTC, see recording at 28:45.
3. Kent State tape indicates altercation and pistol fire preceded National Guard shootings, John Mangels, 8 Oct 2010, The Plain Dealer.
4.Uncovering the Kent State Cover-Up, Laurel Krause and Mickey Huff, counterpunch.org, 27 Sept 2012.
5. Akron Beacon Journal Pulitzer Prize reporting, Kent State University, 4 May 1970.
6. Kent and Jackson State, Susie Erenrich

Sunday, February 19, 2017

KSU Students Didn’t Shoot First & Didn’t Shoot Back

KSU students try to help wounded student, 4 May 1970.

 A few days ago Dan Adamini, Marquette County (Michigan) Republican Party secretary, Tweeted:

"Violent protesters who shut down free speech? Time for another Kent State perhaps. One bullet stops a lot of thuggery." (sic)

In a separate Facebook post, he said, "I'm thinking that another Kent State might be the only solution...They do it because they know there are no consequences yet."

The comments were in response to protests at the University of California Berkeley regarding a scheduled speech by Milo Yiannopoulos, the senior editor of the right wing website Breitbart.

Due to the outrageousness of his comments Adamini was forced to offer a public apology. A day or so later, he was also forced to resign his R party position and surrender his right-wing local radio gig.

For most people, I guess, that settled the incident and it’s been retired from the public domain.

However, the Kent State Massacre can not be retired to obscurity because it remains one of the many unsolved cold crimes of the J Edgar Hoover era.

For bringing media attention, however brief, to the Massacre, we owe Mr. Adamini an ironic “thank you”.

I will post more about the Kent State Massacre tomorrow.

As for now, nearly 47 years after the murder of four students and wounding of nine others, the proof has been uncovered and those responsible for murder need to be held accountable.

The Ohio National Guard soldiers were ordered to fire on the students.

The students had no weapons. They did not torch the ROTC building. They did not fire first nor did they return the Guard’s fire. They just died, were paralyzed and wounded that spring day. 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Two Fringe Zealots & One Hair -Trigger Temper

In another time we believed that a shared fear of “mutual destruction” would keep us all safe. The idea touted to us, the common people, was that our enemy, the USSR, and us, the Western World, understood that both had enough nuclear bombs, etc. to destroy the other several time over. Therefore, our leaders concluded, that all was fine and balanced.

Unless, of course, somebody, accidentally tripped a switch somewhere and sent a missile flying toward the other. In that case we all knew, from our grade school “Duck and Cover” practice drills, we would, posthaste, become lumps of cinder.

Our world has survived cinderization for more than 60 years. No doubt we’ve often come close to nuclear insanity on a number of occasions. But, to my knowledge, our White House leadership has never seriously considered unleashing our destructive inventory.

Times change, eh?

Consider that one of Mr. Trump’s closest advisors, Steve Bannon, a member of the National Security Council, believes that “war in the South China Seas” is unavoidable.

“In Bannon’s view, we are in the midst of an existential war, and everything is a part of that conflict. Treaties must be torn up, enemies named, culture changed. Global conflagration, should it occur, would only prove the theory correct. For Bannon, the Fourth Turning has arrived. The Grey Champion, a messianic strongman figure, may have already emerged. The apocalypse is now.”

“'There’s clearly a fifth column here in the United States,' Bannon warned in July 2016. 'There’s rot at the center of the Judeo-Christian West,' he said in November 2015. 'Secularism has sapped the strength of the Judeo-Christian West to defend its ideals'’ he argued at the Vatican conference. The 'aristocratic Washington class' and the media, he has claimed, are in league with the entire religion of Islam and an expansionist China to undermine Judeo-Christian America.” (1.)

Consider that, Michael Anton, a senior national security official in the Trump administration, zealously believes his own distorted, fringe perspective of U.S. history. In March, 2016, he wrote:

“[One] source of Trump’s appeal is his willingness — eagerness — gleefulness! — to mock the ridiculous lies we’ve been incessantly force-fed for the past 15 years (at least) and tell the truth. “Diversity” is not “our strength”; it’s a source of weakness, tension and disunion. America is not a “nation of immigrants”; we are originally a nation of settlers, who later chose to admit immigrants, and later still not to, and who may justly open or close our doors solely at our own discretion, without deference to forced pieties. Immigration today is not “good for the economy”; it undercuts American wages, costs Americans jobs, and reduces Americans’ standard of living. …” (2.)

As you read this post our world is only seconds away from oblivion. Our fate is in he hands of one famously known for exhibiting his hair-trigger temper at the slightest provocation. See: Donald Trump Attacks Nordstrom For Dropping Ivanka Trump’s Clothing Line, for Mr. Trump’s latest Twitter hissy fit and obvious abuse of the office of the President of the United States.

It’s just a matter of time. We will be using our grade school “Duck and Cover” skills for real.

Still, I recommend not despairing. From what I remember, we put those nasty thoughts in a bottle and went about having fun. You should, too. So, Live, Love, Laugh, and Be Happy… live like it's the '50s when America was Great, the first time(?).

When The Red, Red Robin Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin' Along - Doris Day, 1954

1. Steve Bannon Believes The Apocalypse Is Coming And War Is Inevitable, Paul Blumenthal, Huffington Post, 8 Feb 2017.

2. Trump Aide Derided Islam, Immigration And Diversity, Embraced An Anti-Semitic Past, Jessica Schulberg, Huffington Post, 8 Feb 2017.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Reason Enough?

In a recent interview* Howard Stern, “The reformed ‘shock jock’” explained why his friend Mr. Trump may have decided to run for President of the United States.

Stern explained, “…he believes Trump ran for president in a bid to secure a better ‘Apprentice’ deal with NBC.”

Stern continued:
"I was shocked when he decided to run for president, and even more shocked that sort of, people took it seriously," Stern said. "He just wanted a couple more bucks out of NBC, and that is why Donald is calling for voter fraud investigations. He's pissed he won. He still wants Hillary Clinton to win. He's so f***ing pissed, he's hoping that he can find some voter fraud and hand it over to Hillary."

Now we know.

Will somebody please make an offer to NBC to take Mr. Trump back and pay him whatever he wants? Today! Please!

You're so Vain - Carly Simon - first release 1972

Monday, February 6, 2017

Unlocking Healing Secrets

Life altering research is conducted day-in-day-out by universities around the world. Here are four examples

Skin Cancer
 “In a small lab at Michigan State University, researchers have discovered a potential drug that could stop the spread of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, by 90 percent.” Please go here for the story from the Detroit News.

Brain Cancer
“In a rapid-fire series of breakthroughs in just under a year, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have made another stunning advance in the development of an effective treatment for glioblastoma, a common and aggressive brain cancer.” Here's the rest of the story.

Heart Cells
Researchers use stem cells to regenerate the external layer of a human heart. This story is from Pennsylvania State University.

Multiple Sclerosis
“First blood biomarker discovered for the prognosis of Multiple Sclerosis: quick, accurate and soon to be available.” This article is from Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.

Transplant Cells, not Organs TED Talk

Pioneering surgeon Susan Lim performed the first liver transplant in Asia. But a moral concern with transplants (where do donor livers come from ...) led her to look further, and to ask: Could we be transplanting cells, not whole organs? At the INK Conference, she talks through her new research, discovering healing cells in some surprising places.
A surgical pioneer in Singapore, Susan Lim is a researcher and entrepreneur.

Dr Susan Lim is the current Co-chair of the Global Advisory Council of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR). She performed the first successful cadaveric liver transplant for Singapore in 1990, the second woman in the world to have done so at the time.

Her academic recognitions include election as Fellow, Trinity College (2005), University of Melbourne, the Monash University Distinguished Alumnus Award (2006), and an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Medicine by The University of Newcastle, Australia (2007). In 2007, the American Academy of Continuing Medical Education (AACME) 28th award, was named the “Dr Susan Lim Award” for the advancement in Laparoscopic & Minimally Invasive Surgery. Her more recent public lectures include “Robotic Surgery - Engineering from a surgeon’s perspective”, as visiting scholar to UC Berkeley, and a 2016 TEDx Berkeley talk “The Dawn of a New Ecosystem in Organ Replacement.”

For her humanitarian work, she was recognized in the Australian House of Parliament (House of Representatives Official Hansard no. 17, 2005) for treating Australian victims of the second Bali bomb blast. In giving back to society, the family have established the Dr. Susan Lim Endowment for Education and Research, which supports medical and research scholarships at Trinity College, University of Melbourne, the University of Newcastle, Australia, and the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR).

Update: Susan Stem cell science: from bench to bedside. On the 7th and 8th of January, Susan Lim co-chaired the 2nd Nucleus Forum of the International Society for Stem Cell Research. The forum, attended by scientists and business and investor leaders in biotech and healthcare, was a discussion on ways to help bring breakthrough stem cell science from the bench to the bedside. The forum also discussed the new 21st Century Cures Act, signed into law by President Obama on December 13, and brought together the stem cell and gene editing communities, with Lim’s fellow TED speaker and CRISPR pioneer Jennifer Doudna also in attendance. (Watch Susan’s TED Talk and watch Jennifer’s TED Talk)

Friday, February 3, 2017

About that Big Data Stuff

Today is: Did You Know ?? Friday! (Because I didn't know.)

It’s a very special day, indeed.

You’ve no doubt heard the term, Big Data. But, did you know that you were likely a “microtarget” of a Big Data operation during this past election?

Here’s a short course in Big Data and how the election people use it to get their candidate into power.**

The Power of Big Data and Psychographics

Can't See Video? Please go here: https://youtu.be/n8Dd5aVXLCc

Published on Sep 27, 2016
In a 10 minute presentation at the 2016 Concordia Summit, Mr. Alexander Nix discusses the power of big data in global elections. Cambridge Analytica’s revolutionary approach to audience targeting, data modeling, and psychographic profiling has made them a leader in behavioral microtargeting for election processes around the world.
Mr. Alexander Nix
CEO, Cambridge Analytica

For more detail please take a gander at this article:
The Data That Turned the World Upside Down, Hannes Grassegger and Mikael Krogerus, Motherboard, 28 Jan 2017.

It seems there is a question about just how much certain players were in charge of Mr. Trump's Big Data, "The campaign never used CA’s psychographic methodology, as a CA staffer who worked on the campaign later publicly acknowledged at a Google panel."
The Blow-It-All-Up Billionaires, Vicky Ward, 17 Mar 2017, The Huffington Post

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Alternative Facts, Threats & Intimidation - Not for Reuters

Reuters has single handedly restored my faith in mainstream media and given me a beacon to follow during the dark days ahead.

Yesterday, the venerable news agency announced that their reporters have been ordered to cover the Trump administration like authoritarian regimes, such as Egypt, Yemen and China, and to expect physical threats.

In an article from Raw Story*, Reuters Editor-in-Chief Steve Adler said, “It’s not every day that a U.S. president calls journalists ‘among the most dishonest human beings on earth’ or that his chief strategist dubs the media ‘the opposition party’.”

“He cited the organization’s work in ‘Turkey, the Philippines, Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Thailand, China, Zimbabwe, and Russia’ as an example of how to report on the Trump administration,” the article explained.

Further, Adler said:

“Among other advice, the news agency pointed out that reporters should ‘[g]ive up on hand-outs and worry less about official access.’”

“’They were never all that valuable anyway. Our coverage of Iran has been outstanding, and we have virtually no official access. What we have are sources,’ the memo said. ‘Get out into the country and learn more about how people live, what they think, what helps and hurts them, and how the government and its actions appear to them, not to us.’”

“The letter encouraged reporters to ‘never be intimidated’ by the administration.”

I hope all other media follow Reuters' lead reporting fact-based information about the Trump administration and do not capitulate to bullying and intimidation.

In the future I’ll be looking FOR a Reuters’ tagline before I accept any story about the Trump administration as FACT-based. How about you?

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Progressive Hidden in Trump Attire

Mr. Trump is really a closet Progressive.

Yes, really.

Please give the idea a moment of thought.

By doing everything possible to make life miserable for the 99.9% he will become the catalyst for change for the better right now. In the past, natural rights, human rights required centuries to become woven into our Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Now, within only a few days Mr. Trump has turned the spotlight on those rights we all have taken for granted and then crushed them under foot.

Even his supporters will at some point develop “eyes that see and ears that hear”.

Meaning, even his most ardent Caucasian-American supports will soon be able to comprehend the terrible Trump fact that Mr. Trump is not really their man.*

For instance, even Mr.-Mrs.-Ms.-Make-America-Great-Again will at some point require Social Security, Medicare and affordable medigap insurance to buy food and cover bankrupting medical costs.**

Therefore at some point in Mr. Trump’s time in office, Mr.-Mrs.-Ms.-Make-America-Great-Again will develop the brain altering affliction: Eyes that See and Ears that Hear.

That is the moment when we will revisit the America of our parents and grandparents and then improve and enhance our nation for ourselves and our grandchildren.

* Assuming we are not first incinerated in a nuclear holocaust brought on by a Trump miscalculation or temperamental hissy fit.
** Trump Vows to Make Paul Ryan's Nightmarish Budget Vision a Reality, Deirdre Fulton, CommonDreams, 26 Jan 2017.