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Daily Archives: October 23rd, 2016


Running Wild in the streets with wild abandon are the Trump supporters who have the likes of Former Mayor Giuliani , Gov. Christie and the unflapped Benny Carson as point men. Aside from the obvious lies this campaign has all of the makings of a bad reality show. The establishment has spawned a genii from the bottle and can not put him back in. Now in the graceless form that they have used so many times before, they have disavowed him. The reality is that he does not care and the Dupes will get the worst of it. Voters are angry and now they should focus on the real problems their long time elected officials whose lies they believed for so long. Da Turnip has given them a voice through him and they love it. It is of no importance that they are being duped but he just speaks gutter to them with no substance to back it up and they love it. These are not conservatives, liberals or any of the other “mainstream labels” , they are just angry voters who fail to (it appears) to get a full grip on the workings of government and the effects of those workings on everyday life. The things they want are expensive and  no one wants to pay for them. There is no free ride anywhere on anything. Everything has a cost of some sort. The cost of a Trump Presidency is possibly war with the world, anarchy in some states and a breakdown of the political process. Reality is not a political platform but it is the theme of a number of TV shows. It is unfortunate  that too many of us fail to remember  the lessons of previous wars since they were not fought here (exception: the War between the States). This election has shown the worst of us and the best of us yet we have a task to handle and that is to vote. The choice is simple: vote or  don’t vote, the best choice is to vote no matter what. There are 3 parties: Scamocrats, Dupublican and Independent (Green)- Vote for one. Lastly the 2 party system  many of us have known (forever it seems) is not working anymore, our focus should be independence from party rhetoric and remember the real party  tenets (whatever they happen to at the present time). The primary goal of all voters is to elect someone they like and trust however we have not seen those two attributes  together in a long time. What we have had is a Black President who a lot of these same Trump supporters did not vote for and hate because he’s Black. It’s remarkable that this manifestation of hatred has surfaced with such vehemence and it is spread over the Congress, the military and in some foreign countries. Folks fail to realize that the tone of the country sends a message to other countries that Americans and their government are in disarray. Mr. Trump doesn’t care at all about perception unless it is about him. It is time all Americans become woke as to the real issues facing all of us collectively. If you are tired of being lied to during and after elections then you need to read more about what is really going on in this country and the Governments-local, state and federal. Consider this, because a “Plotician ” (new word) looks like you does not mean that he is going to be honest  and truthful with you. It has been said that a “con artist will slap you on the back with one hand and pick your pocket with the other”. So with that statement , wouldn’t it be smart to pay attention or better read up on the folks who are seeking office for yourself and not rely on news reports which could be erroneous or incomplete. Think about this, would you trust this candidate with your wallet? Remember there is no one (1) single issue in any election and if you allow yourself to be stuck on one issue you will miss the issues that will cause us the most harm sooner rather than later.

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Why Netanyahu Suddenly Wants a Deal on U.S. Aid
GERSHOM GORENBERG JULY 28, 2016
The prime minister, in an attack of good sense, realizes that a GOP
victory may not be good news for Israel.

Here’s one more twist to the Year of Bizarre Politics: Benjamin
Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel and Republican-in-all-but-name, has
recognized that the best deal on American aid he can get is from Barack
Obama.

The timing of this decision, just after the GOP formally nominated a
certain oft-bankrupt businessman and racist agitator for president, may
be a coincidence. People running out of a house just as smoke starts
coming out the windows, I suppose, could also be due to some
coincidence. The more logical explanation is that like many of his
conservative ideologue friends, Netanyahu has concluded that a
Republican victory in November will not bring salvation.

Here’s the plot line up to now: The current 10-year U.S.-Israel
memorandum of understanding on military aid will expire in 2018. It
provides for $3.1 billion per year in American aid for Israel. Congress
has allocated additional funds each year for missile defense, which
creates an opening for ongoing Israeli lobbying.

Negotiations on a new 10-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) began
back in 2013, broke off, and resumed late last year. The administration
has offered a more generous package than the last one, even though the
negotiations are taking place after the Iran accord was signed—and
therefore after Netanyahu threw away the bargaining chip of acquiescing
in the agreement.

But Netanyahu has pressed for better terms. Key points of contention:
Israel originally sought a steep increase to $5 billion per year, in
part to compensate for Iran having more money for conventional weapons
after the agreement ending its nuclear program. According to reports
here in Israel, the administration offer runs between $3.7 billion and
$4 billion annually—including funds for missile defense, and with the
proviso that there will be no additional allocations from Congress and
no lobbying. The administration wants to phase out the provision that
allows Israel to spend over a quarter of the aid in Israel and another
eighth on fuel. In line with the terms of American aid to other
countries, the money would have to be spent in the United States.
Netanyahu opposed the change.

The talks stalled. Back in February, Netanyahu told his cabinet that if
Israel’s needs weren’t met, “perhaps we will … need to come to an
agreement with the next administration.” It was a comment meant to be
leaked, meant to be a threat. This was fairly extraordinary. The leader
of the client state getting the aid portrayed himself as being in the
stronger negotiating position. And he essentially adopted the GOP
position that there’s no need to deal with this president. Real business
could wait till next year, when a Republican might be in the White House.

Let’s note that in February, when Netanyahu said this, the conventional
wisdom was that a reality TV star couldn’t win the Republican
nomination. Netanyahu is all too closely tied in with the Republican
establishment, and I’m sure this is what his friends told him. The
interloper would fade, and one of the mainstream GOP conservatives would
become the nominee.

Oh well, so much for that.

Suddenly, hours before the Republican convention began last week,
Netanyahu said in the Knesset that he hoped to reach an agreement with
the United States “within a few weeks.” A week later, after the last
Republican revolt was suppressed and the reality TV star accepted his
party’s nomination with a dark rant, a statement from Netanyahu dropped
into the inboxes of Israeli journalists. It said that his negotiator,
acting National Security Council head Jacob Nagel, would fly to
Washington this coming Sunday, “for meetings with his White House
counterparts, for the purpose of signing a new MOU between the two
countries as soon as possible.” Meanwhile, reports attributed in ways
that usually mean, “someone senior in the Prime Minister’s Office,” said
that Netanyahu had decided to fold on “most” of the remaining issues and
accept the administration’s conditions. There are still details to work
out, including how many years it will take to phase out Israeli use of
the aid outside the United States. But Netanyahu definitely wants a deal
in a hurry.

Now it’s true that some of Netanyahu’s senior coalition partners thought
he was daft to delay the agreement, and said so publicly. But the timing
suggests that Netanyahu’s shift has a lot more to do with American
politics than Israeli politics.

The Republican nominee is running on the isolationist,
anti-Semitism-stained slogan, “America First.”
The Republican nominee is running on the isolationist,
anti-Semitism-stained slogan, “America First.” He has said that Japan
and South Korea should build their own nukes rather than depending on
America to spend money on helping them. He didn’t mention the Middle
East, but the same pro-proliferation logic could apply to Egypt or other
countries in the region. Vladimir Putin’s favorite American politician
has questioned whether the United States should take action to protect
Estonia, a NATO member. This has to make one wonder what the nominee
thinks of keeping commitments to other allies.

At a press conference in March, He Who I Will Not Name said that Israel
was among the “countries that can pay and they can pay big league” for
American defense. The same day, of course, he reversed himself. He does
that. But it’s not hard to figure out that he’s not a guy you should
count on for an aid package.

Netanyahu’s sudden switch suggests that he can, indeed, work this out.
It seems he has also figured out that Hillary Clinton is likely to be
his negotiating partner if he waits till next year, and that she has no
reason to reward him for blowing off Obama.

Actually, Netanyahu and the Republican nominee have been keeping their
distance. At this time four years ago, Mitt Romney was about to touch
down in Israel, to be so warmly received by Netanyahu that it was
virtually an endorsement. An Israeli official (I hate vague
attributions, but that’s what the source asked for) told me this week
that he was “not aware of any upcoming trips of [American] candidates to
Israel.”

Does this mean that Netanyahu is on the outs with his billionaire
American backer, Sheldon Adelson? In May, Adelson was reported to have
promised up to $100 million to the campaign of his less-successful
fellow casino mogul. More recently, though, it’s been reported that
Adelson has “put his plans on hold.” For now, it’s unclear where he stands.

I won’t make any predictions on how fast Netanyahu and Obama will reach
a deal on aid, or whether the prime minister’s current attack of good
sense will last. Right now, though, it seems that even Benjamin
Netanyahu, who has spent the last seven and a half years publicly
tangling with the president, has realized that he, too, will miss Obama.
Truly, this is a year of unfathomable events.

#######
Prospect Senior Editor Eliza Newlin Carney contributed information to
this story.

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All of you who spend a lot of time on Facebook, be warned that this site will create information about you that could be hacked and put more junk in your inbox.  You must remember the world is not as safe as pre internet days, so be careful what you out there since it is instantly everywhere.MA

 

September 28, 2016

We live in an era of increasing automation. Machines help us not only with manual labor but also with intellectual tasks, such as curating the news we read and calculating the best driving directions. But as machines make more decisions for us, it is increasingly important to understand the algorithms that produce their judgments.

We’ve spent the year investigating algorithms, from how they’ve been used to predict future criminals to Amazon’s use of them to advantage itself over competitors.

All too often, these algorithms are a black box: It’s impossible for outsiders to know what’s going inside them. Today we’re launching a series of experiments to help give you the power to see inside.

Our first stop: Facebook and your personal data.

Facebook has a particularly comprehensive set of dossiers on its more than 2 billion members. Every time a Facebook member likes a post, tags a photo, updates their favorite movies in their profile, posts a comment about a politician, or changes their relationship status, Facebook logs it. When they browse the Web, Facebook collects information about pages they visit that contain Facebook sharing buttons. When they use Instagram or WhatsApp on their phone, which are both owned by Facebook, they contribute more data to Facebook’s dossier.

And in case that wasn’t enough, Facebook also buys data about its users’ mortgages, car ownership and shopping habits from some of the biggest commercial data brokers.

Facebook uses all this data to offer marketers a chance to target ads to increasingly specific groups of people. Indeed, we found Facebook offers advertisers more than 1,300 categories for ad targeting — everything from people whose property size is less than .26 acres to households with exactly seven credit cards.

We built a tool that works with the Chrome Web browser that lets you see what Facebook says it knows about you — you can rate the data for accuracy and you can send it to us, if you like. We will, of course, protect your privacy. We won’t collect any identifying details about you. And we won’t share your personal data with anyone

This is the same information that Facebook itself offers users — buried deep in its site. (It’s in a section of its settings called “Ad Preferences.”) It’s not clear if this data represents all that Facebook knows about a person. For instance, we haven’t yet seen anyone with credit card or property ownership listed. Which is why we’re particularly interested in hearing what you found out.

You can help us examine whether what Facebook says it knows matches up with the categories it sells.

Also, as part of a collaboration with WNYC’s Note to Self podcast, we’re asking people to tell us how they feel about what Facebook knows about them. To join that experiment, sign up and we’ll email you with the results of our very-unscientific audit of Facebook’s personal dossiers. Thanks for your help!

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