Facebook’s Friendly Fascism

 

 

“When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”  —Sinclair Lewis

Did you say wrapped in a flag or humping a flag?

 

“Fascism is when corporations take over the government.” —Bill Maher

Pat Robertson, the good “Christian” worth $100 million-crooks of a feather hang together

 

 

 

 

Because of American’s aversion to history and as a result, our general ignorance of history, I’m going to start by giving you a brief history of American business’ fondness for fascism. Note; Pence carries the Cross for Trump & that’s all they had to do to win-over the “Christian” evangelicals’ vote.

 

“Mussolini’s regime received particularly warm praise from America’s business leaders. In his 1972 work, Prof. Diggins writes (pp. 146-47): “With few exceptions, the dominant voices of business responded to Fascism with a hearty enthusiasm. Favorable editorials, could be read in publications such as Barron’s, Journal of Commerce and Commercial Bulletin, Commerce and Finance, Nation’s Business (the official organ of the US Chamber of Commerce), and the reputable Wall Street Journal. Aside from the press, the list of outspoken business admirers reads like a Wall Street ‘Who’s Who’.”

http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v15/v15n3p6_weber.html

 

 

Moreover, here is just a partial list of American corporations who not only did business in Nazi Germany but actually had the gall to sue our own government for damages done to their factories in Germany during the war & won reparations. Yeah! I shit you not:

 

  • Coca-Cola
  • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
  • Chase Manhattan Bank
  • Dow Chemical
  • Brown Brothers Harriman (Bush family)
  • Woolworth (Woolworth’s 5 & 10 cent stores)
  • Alcoa Aluminum
  • Ford Motor Company
  • General Motors
  • B.M. (International Business Machines)

 

https://www.toptenz.net/top-10-american-companies-that-aided-the-nazis.php

 

And lastly but certainly not least, here’s a bit of history for you that really shocked me when I first learned of it:

 

The Business Plot was an alleged political conspiracy in 1933 in the United States. Retired Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butlerclaimed that wealthy businessmen were plotting to create a fascist veterans’ organization with Butler as its leader and use it in a coup d’état to overthrow President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In 1934, Butler testified before the United States House of Representatives Special Committee on Un-American Activities (the “McCormackDickstein Committee”) on these claims.[1] No one was prosecuted.

 

This is from a Wikipedia entry & yeah, I know, you might choose to lump me in with the likes of Alex Jones—whom I detest & know to be a fear and hate monger like his buddy Trump—but it’s common knowledge that Congress is & has been bought & paid for by Corporate America so is it any wonder that they’d brush this attempted coup under the rug? (Note Trump’s fondness for conspiracy theories except when they’re ones he’s involved in)

And no, this isn’t peculiar to only America but as the most powerful nation on Earth, we bear the majority of the responsibility for corporate corruption around the globe & it is my duty as an American citizen to hold my government accountable first & foremost before I criticize other nations.

 

Guess whose name came up again in this “alleged” plot? Yep! Prescott Bush, the senator & the father of George H.W. Bush. (the Business Plot to overthrow F.D.R., not the Red Car conspiracy) Here’s one last tidbit for you:

 

“He mentioned that the Remington arms manufacturers would supply the army, thanks to a working relationship with the DuPonts. “We need a Fascist government in this country,” he told the reporter, “to save the nation from the communists who want to tear it down and wreck all that we have built in America. The only men who have the patriotism to do it are the soldiers and Smedley Butler is the ideal leader. He could organize a million men overnight.”

 

https://timeline.com/business-plot-overthrow-fdr-9a59a012c32a

 

I took the time to provide you with this lengthy warm-up to my essay so as to show you that the only loyalty that many, if not most of “our” largest corporations have is to the almighty dollar. They have & they continue to betray us day in, day out i.e. NAFTA.(remember it was Clinton who signed NAFTA into law) Trump is nothing more than a circus clown whose job is to distract us while the corporate cockroaches rob us. Reagan did pretty much the same thing but he clearly wasn’t anywhere as crude & vulgar as Trump.

Stephen King should make a horror movie of this guy

 

Trump’s “win” showed the world how truly stupid we are because only in America, could such a colossal moron be elected president. And my life’s mission is to chip away at our ignorance so in that vein, here we go.

 

This essay is basically my attempt to connect the dots of the fantastic documentary just released on Netflix; “The Great Hack.” I’ll try to use quotation marks consistently but if I forget from time to time, I don’t mean to plagiarize it’s merely an oversight on my part?

In brief, this film exposes how the British firm, Cambridge Analytica, bought Facebook user’s personal data to target people they knew were susceptible to fake news & propaganda ads so they’d vote for Trump.

 

Mussolini, Italy’s fascist dictator who inspired Hitler, said that fascism should more rightly be called Corporatism because it’s a marriage of the state & corporations. Zuckerberg has proven that he’s a fascist because he sold our data to any company that’d pay for it & he willingly provides our data to the government. And as a result of Zuckerberg’s greed, we have a president who is clearly only out to make as much money for himself & his family and doesn’t give a shit about us as citizens, about the environment, or anything else except what feeds his ego.

Thanks buddy!

 

Returning to the film, Brittany Kaiser is a central figure in this nightmare become reality. She was “a key employee at Cambridge Analytica but before that, she worked for the Obama campaign then the Trump campaign.”

 

The narrator of the film points out that “our behavior is being accurately predicted” (via all our personal data that we freely provide to Facebook). Enter David Carroll, associate professor at Parsons School of Design. He basically got the ball rolling for this film by suing in a British court, Cambridge Analytica to get his personal data back. He informs us that they (Cambridge Analytica) are “creating specific ads for us as individuals, through the data we have supplied on Facebook & other social media platforms.”

 

“It (Facebook) began as a dream where we could all become connected via the Internet. It became our matchmaker, personal entertainer, guardian of our memories, even our therapist, but these data trails of ourselves are being mined into a trillion dollar a year business.”

 

Yeah, “we are now the commodity.” And I assert that we are no longer the consumer except in a perverse way we are because we’re consuming ourselves, a sort of cannibalism, & we are being served up to the fascists who rule the world. Moreover, it’s our “content” i.e. our stories, pictures, etc., that is the product being sold—we lose our intellectual property rights as soon as we post something on Facebook.

 

“We were so in love with all those ‘free’ gifts (on Facebook) that no one bothered to read the terms & conditions.” I am reminded of the old adage, Beware of Greeks bearing gifts. “All our interactions, credit card swipes, web searches, locations, ‘Likes,’ etc. are being collected in ‘real time,’ and are attached to our Identity.”

 

Perhaps you think this is an exaggeration? If so, then why did they build a data storage center in Bluffdale, Utah supposedly for the NSA & our “Intelligence Community” which covers over a million square feet & collects data on the order of “exabytes” or larger?

Home sweet home for every American’s data. Thanks Big Brother!

 

The exabyte is a multiple of the unit byte for digital information. In the International System of Units (SI), the prefix exa indicates multiplication by the sixth power of 1000 (1018). Therefore, one exabyte is one quintillion bytes (short scale). The unit symbol for the exabyte is EB.

 

You’re probably in the dark like me when it comes to having the foggiest idea of how big a quintillion is, so here’s an example;

 

The entire Earth contains about 326 quintillion gallons of water.

 

We’re supposed to believe “our” government when they tell us that all this data they’re collecting is for our national security. Yeah, right! Just how many times & in how many ways do they have to screw you before you wake-up and smell the coffee? That brave soul & true patriot, Edward Snowden, gave up his freedom, his ability to ever see his home country again to spend the rest of his life in exile with the ever-present possibility of being imprisoned & tortured by our “Intelligence community,” to reveal the truth about what the NSA, CIA, FBI, etc. are really doing with all our data. And he only mentioned it briefly in the stupendous documentary by Laura Poitras; “Citizen Four.” In a word, Snowden said it’s about “Control.”

Let that word roll around in your mind for a few minutes. Facebook & most of the other “social media platforms,” our Intelligence agencies, & the corporate cockroaches all have one thing in common i.e. their desire to control not only our buying habits but our obedience to the political elite, whoever they may be at any given point in time.

 

And no, this isn’t the latest science fiction movie blockbuster, this is the cold, hard reality that is enveloping us like a menacing fog. Okay, now that I’ve probably depressed you considerably, let’s return to the documentary; “The Great Hack.” But first let me remind those of you who are old enough to remember, COINTELPRO, to bear that in mind while we reflect on the NSA’s abilities today & Facebook’s reach (two billion users). Still feel free here in the land of democracy?

The narrator goes on to inform us that our data willingly sold by Facebook to any buyer, “gives them direct access to our emotional pulse” as well. I immediately thought of our “Hearts and Minds” strategy employed by our “military intelligence” during the Vietnam debacle. Yep! Win the people’s whose country you’re invading, gratitude & cooperation by “Pacifying” them i.e. burning their villages down & imprisoning them in concentration camps.

 

Need I remind you of how well that strategy worked out in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.? Gee! I sure do regret not being a “good soldier” & participating in the humanitarian agenda in Vietnam. (this is sarcasm for those of you who may not catch on?)

 

Analogously, I view corporate America’s & the “Intelligence community’s” agenda for winning our hearts & minds is also doomed to fail because of its inherent evil.

 

The narrator continues; “Armed with this (emotional) knowledge of us, they (social media platforms) compete for our attention feeding us a steady stream of “Content” built for & seen by only me.” In other words, their algorithms are so finely-tuned that we don’t even realize that we’re being manipulated i.e. we feel that we are not alone in thinking/feeling the way we do & have magically stumbled upon like-minded individuals because just about every post that comes through our Facebook feed, confirms what I know & believe.

 

“And this is true for each and every one of us i.e. what we like, what we feel, what gets our attention, what our boundaries are, & what it takes to cross our boundaries.” Speaking of feelings, here’s an insider who revealed what your “Smart phone,” is doing to you;

Does this not horrify you? At least in the horror sci-fi genre of movies we watch, we can take comfort in knowing that these are merely Hollywood techniques meant to give us a thrill by scaring us. And perhaps naturally, we’re unwilling or unable to face the ugly reality of what is creeping up on us?

 

Speaking of nightmares, Trump is every sentient being’s living image of the worst of humanity, I believe? It’s truly unfathomable that a more despicable person could occupy the oval office? And as the narrator points out, “We saw the fallout of our filtered reality in the 2016 election. The real world became a deeply divided refuge site.”

 

Giving proof, in my opinion, that the introduction of “reality T.V.,” is partially responsible for our social & intellectual decay. Case in point, as I recall, “Survivor” was the first of the onslaught of these ignorant & obnoxious television series. I believe that I watched one complete episode before turning to my dear wife, Jeri, and commenting; Jesus! What is this teaching our kids? It’s teaching them that lying, cheating, stealing, backstabbing i.e. anything is okay in the pursuit of victory. And here’s a bit of “reality” for those of you not afraid to be truly real; https://www.inverse.com/article/13603-psychology-tv-how-reality-programming-impacts-our-brains

 

Fast forward a decade and voila, we have the epitome of all that is worst in people as president. Who just coincidentally starred in “The Apprentice.” Yeah, it should’ve been called “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” or more accurately, “The Devil’s Apprentice.” I have often felt like a sort of modern-day Don Quixote because of some of my observations over the years i.e. how is it that we watch an artificial medium (mode of communication) to supposedly get a view of “reality?” This is like a double-negative in mathematics i.e. it cancels itself out. I think this may have all contributed to our enfeeblement?

Getting back to the narrator’s last comment, my question for you, my imaginary reader, is where are we able to find true refuge in this mad world we’ve created? And yeah, I know that many of you will offer suggestions like meditation, yoga, etc. but I’m asking about help for the average Joe who doesn’t have the time or the inclination to pursue these more esoteric paths.

 

The narrator asks, “How did the dream of a connected world tear us apart?” Well I would answer that this documentary is precisely about trying to answer that very question. Or, in brief, I’d say that human greed & stupidity is what’s tearing us apart. And don’t forget apathy, willful ignorance, & anti-intellectualism (a particular trait of Trump fans who’ve been angry for most of their lives for being put-down or ostracized for their ignorance but will never take responsibility for their lack of education or do anything about remedying the fact).

 

Moving along, the narrator asks; “Who is feeding us Fear and how?” Well duh? Trump is the most glaring example but yes, we need to look beyond the obvious reptilian from the Black Lagoon that Trump is. In a nutshell my friend, the corporate cockroaches i.e. those who see themselves as the Masters of the Universe—who just announced & not coincidentally, “U.S. Space Command will launch this month, ahead of Trump’s Space Force.” (USA Today, 8/20/19) —are as serious as a heart-attack.

Moreover, I submit for your consideration that Trump & his evangelical eunuch, Pence, aren’t the first space cadets. No, Reagan’s “Star Wars program,” was the tip-off for these dangerous loonies. After God knows how many billions of our tax dollars were flushed down the toilet under Reagan, the program was supposedly halted but I don’t believe it.

 

In 1997, the U.S. Air Force announced its goal of “Full Spectrum Dominance.” Hint: America’s true agenda isn’t freedom & democracy for the world but “our” total domination of all lands & all peoples i.e. we spend more on our military than all the other nations on Earth combined & we have over 900 military bases around the globe & God knows how many secret “black op” sites? And you wonder why we can’t afford free, high quality health care for our citizens?

 

Returning to the subject of who the fear mongers are, the next most glaring example is “Fox news.” I’ve been saying since roughly a year after Fox “news,” came into existence (roughly 20 years ago) that it is America’s version of Russia’s “Pravda” state newspaper. Sadly though, Goebbels (Hitler’s minister of propaganda) was correct when he said that the bigger the lie & the more often you repeat it, the more it becomes truth or fact—my paraphrasing. I have dubbed Fox “news,” the Fear & Hate channel & here’s another bit of history for ya; FDR declared; “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

 

You see, my imaginary reader, through time immemorial, the powers that be have sought to scare their subjects, or their citizens into submission to their authority. In other words, the old tactic of Divide & Conquer which military leaders have used probably even before recorded history? And what better & easier way to divide & conquer us than with the help of the social media platform, Facebook which has over two billion “commodities” formerly known as human beings.

 

Following this further, I didn’t notice how appropriate the name of the Trump’s campaign project to steal the election was until just now. They dubbed it “Project Alamo.” This really shouldn’t come as any great surprise given the fact that Trump, launched the “Birther movement” against Obama & his campaign to become president, was built upon his xenophobia & never-ending racist rhetoric primarily focused on Mexicans & to a slightly lesser degree, Muslims.

 

A recent guest on Ian Master’s program, “Background Briefing,” which I’ve been following off & on for over 30 years, noted that “Trump is a strategic racist” i.e. his racism isn’t just willy-nilly, no, it’s purposely planned & delivered so as to keep the public confused & divided.

 

“He uses racism by triggering two major sources of anxiety for many white people: economic insecurity and demographic change.”  https://haasinstitute.berkeley.edu/trumps-racism-isnt-just-racism-its-strategy  —Ian Haney Lopez

 

Think about it, “Project Alamo.” The perfect name for a campaign based on scapegoating Mexicans or Latinos in general. Perhaps the most vulnerable segment of our society? And the Alamo being the location of our mythical & courageous stand against the marauding Mexicans—we’re supposed to forget that it was us who invaded their country & stole:

 

The whole states of CaliforniaNevadaUtahArizonaNew Mexico and Texas, as well as parts of WyomingColorado, Oklahoma and Kansas,

 

from Mexico. And this is precisely why U.S. history as taught in our public education system is so packed with lies i.e. the powers that be realize that they must brainwash us into believing we’re always the good guy & the victims of invading hordes of criminals, rapists, drug dealers, etc. as Trump proclaims ad nauseam.

 

Furthermore, the narrator tells us that the Trump presidential campaign’s “digital arm i.e. Project Alamo at its peak was spending a million dollars a day on Facebook ads.” Naturally, Marky Mark Zuckerberg neglects to mention this whenever he tries to defend Facebook against its critics.

 

Moreover, the team from Cambridge Analytica worked in the same room with Trump’s campaign team but in their own corner of the room while working jointly on Project Alamo. And as the narrator pointed out; “Cambridge Analytica was the brain of the data center” in which both groups worked.

 

Enter “Paul Olivier Dehaye, a mathematician based in Switzerland who had been following Cambridge Analytica for over a year & became suspicious.” Dehaye & David Carroll, the narrator who brought the law suit against Cambridge Analytica, “realized that in order to send people personalized messages, you needed to be able to access their data.”

 

In their sales pitch to perspective customers, “Cambridge claimed to have 5,000 data points on every American voter.” Let me break down for you what these data points are referring to;

 

When people take surveys for statistical purposes or when the Census Bureau comes around and gets everybody’s information, information from one person is one data point for them. At the end of its research or survey, the company will have gathered many bits of information from many people. One bit of information equals one data pointhttps://study.com/academy/lesson/data-points-definition-lesson-quiz.html

 

 

In other words, from those seemingly innocent “personality tests” that Facebook suckered us into taking again & again, and other tools, Cambridge Analytica was able to accumulate over 5,000 bits of personal information on all of us who fell for the ruse. Things like what we read, our political leanings, our buying habits, hobbies, friends, drinking habits, etc. etc. etc. and this gave them the weapons they could turn around & use on us to manipulate us (some easier than others) into voting for Trump or not voting at all, etc.

 

As the narrator pointed out; “But this information was invisible & the question became, how to make the invisible visible?” Continuing on, “Dehaye’s hypothesis was that U.S. voter data was processed by Cambridge’s parent company in the U.K. & if this were true, the narrator, David Carroll, could sue using a British lawyer to force Cambridge Analytica to give him his data.”

 

Enter, Alexander Nix, CEO of Cambridge Analytica. “Nix focused on building an election business using people’s data to steer elections around the world—including Obama’s election to some extent.”

 

Let’s stop & reflect on this for a bit. Here was a company that bought our personal data from Facebook & then used our data to manipulate elections around the globe. Obviously, Zuckerberg has a lot more to answer for than the election of Trump but is he in prison? No, he got a light slap on the wrist financially speaking & continues doing business & claiming ignorance & innocence regarding these global crimes which have had serious consequences for people’s lives.[I’m adding this here after having aleady completed this essay; the fact that we are now a “post-literate” society & images and videos are the dominant mediums used to manipulate us, ponder the ramifications of this short video clip: Exhibit A: Donald Trump brought to us by “Reality T.V.” how about a nightmare brought to us by fake television?]

 

First of all, bear in mind that Facebook has two billion users around the world, obviously that’s quite a data base to draw from in terms of manipulating the hearts & minds of people. Cambridge meddled in & steered elections for their clients in Australia, India, Kenya, Malta, Mexico, U.K., and the U.S.

And Cambridge Analytica’s executives said in 2018 that the company had worked in more than 200 elections around the world, including in Trinidad and TobagoNigeria, the Czech RepublicArgentina,[57] and the Philippines (Rodrigo Duterte).[154]

 

I’m going to keep searching for a comprehensive list of all the elections that these British bastards rigged but this was all that I could find for the time being. I don’t know about you but this just staggers the mind, the fact that a single corporation could wreak such global havoc? Perhaps we’re headed for a global fascist state?

 

An important thing to keep in mind as we delve deeper into this colossal scandal is that all this data wasn’t gained by some nefarious hackers but was freely sold by Facebook to Cambridge Analytica. Zuckerberg, already one of the wealthiest men in America, a billionaire several times over, wasn’t satisfied & craved more power & more wealth. As the old adage goes, a capitalist is a guy who will sell you the rope with which to hang him. I for one, would love to see Capitalism fail and a truly Social form of economics take its place.

 

I want to emphasize here that we must never forget that it was good old Saint Obama who prosecuted more whistleblowers than all our other presidents combined. Yep! The full force of the U.S. government is brought down on whistleblowers who are the true patriots, like Edward Snowden, Thomas Drake, Edward Binney, John Kiriakou, J. Kirk Wiebe, Edward Loomis, & Chelsea Manning, but these companies like Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, or our NSA who ignored our Constitution, supposedly the bedrock of U.S. law & government, either receive a slap on the wrist or aren’t punished at all for their massive criminal acts.

 

Admittedly, I voted for Obama in his first bid to become president but a few weeks after he took office & he appointed Summers, Geithner, & Bernanke to just name a few, I knew that I had been duped & I thought I was pretty politically sophisticated with my 30 years of studying politics. Yeah, it became abundantly obvious that Obama was in the pockets of Wall St.

 

Do you remember Obama’s mantra “Change” that was literally on the lecterns he stood at in nearly every political speech he made during his first campaign for the presidency? And how he swore that his presidency would be the most transparent presidency ever? Well as the cynical point out, they are all liars. And I have to agree. Obama was & clearly still is in the pockets of the military/industrial/congressional complex and his crimes against humanity i.e. his drone war, his deportation of millions of immigrants, etc. will soon, if they haven’t already, disappear down the memory hole of the American public. Here’s a fragment on the “crimes” of a few of the whistleblowers he persecuted & prosecuted;

 

The story goes back to 2002, when three of the whistleblowers—Loomis, Wiebe and Binney—asked the Pentagon to investigate the NSA for wasting “millions and millions of dollars” on Trailblazer, which had been chosen as the agency’s flagship system for analyzing intercepted communications over a smaller and cheaper in-house program known as Thin Thread.  https://www.thenation.com/article/obamas-crackdown-whistleblowers/

 

 

Continuing with the Cambridge Analytica crime spree, after helping Obama in his election campaign, “they were then contracted to work for the Republican party & Ted Cruz went from last place to first place before Trump got the nomination.”

 

The film then shows a presentation by Nix called “The Power of Big Data and Psychographics.” To reiterate, the crucial data that Cambridge Analytica relied on to create their data base for manipulating people politically came from mostly those personality tests—several of which I took myself. Here’s a bit of insight into how the data gathered from those tests was used;

 

Psychometrics, sometimes also called psychographics, focuses on measuring psychological traits, such as personality. In the 1980s, two teams of psychologists developed a model that sought to assess human beings based on five personality traits, known as the “Big Five.” These are: openness (how open you are to new experiences?), conscientiousness (how much of a perfectionist are you?), extroversion (how sociable are you?), agreeableness (how considerate and cooperative you are?) and neuroticism (are you easily upset?). Based on these dimensions—they are also known as OCEAN, an acronym for openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, neuroticism—we can make a relatively accurate assessment of the kind of person in front of us. This includes their needs and fears, and how they are likely to behave. The “Big Five” has become the standard technique of psychometrics. But for a long time, the problem with this approach was data collection, because it involved filling out a complicated, highly personal questionnaire. Then came the Internet. And Facebook. And Kosinski.  https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/mg9vvn/how-our-likes-helped-trump-win

 

I don’t know about you but this kind of makes me feel like a lab rat? And I hate to sound so pessimistic but with all that this film has revealed & the knowledge that gerrymandering, tampering with election machines, etc. etc. etc. I am tempted to just give up and run away to some deserted island. But that’s soon not even going to be an option with the rising seas thanks to global warming & Trump’s sabotaging of every govt. agency whose mission is to protect the environment.

 

However, I still have some fight in me & will continue to fight the good fight even though I feel like I’m often spitting in the wind especially in post-literate America.

 

The narrator then shares with the audience that Cambridge targeted those “who were persuadable.” (I’d simply say, those who were/are weak-minded and/or ignorant) Consequently, “personality drives behavior and behavior influences how you vote.” Logically, “they then started to target people with highly targeted video content” i.e. fake news & videos claiming Hillary Clinton ran a child sex ring out of a pizza parlor & they drank children’s blood, etc. —the sort of stuff right up Alex jones (Trump’s confidante) alley. Or as I refer to these ridiculously gullible people, The Duck Dynasty Klan (Trump’s base).

 

Of course, after their success in putting Trump in office, “Cambridge felt they were on their way to becoming a billion-dollar company.”

 

Enter Carole Cadwalladr, “investigative journalist for The Guardian, she’d been investigating Cambridge and its ties to the Brexit campaign.” And enter, Nigel Farage “with the Brexit campaign who is a friend of Steve Bannon’s.” And for those of you who may not follow politics very closely, Steve Bannon was like George W. Bush’s Darth Vader, Karl Rove. Except Bannon was kicked to the curb early in Trump’s triumphant reign of terror in the White House, well at least publicly—he may still be operating behind the curtain?

 

Bannon had to leave because of his comments to a reporter about Trump & my guess is that it may have also had something to do with the exposure of Breitbart News as an extremist “conservative” media outlet. Yeah, they’re about as “conservative” as the John Birch Society. Bannon is a fear & hate monger par excel lance. And since his departure from Team Trump, he’s been sowing the seeds of hate & racism in Europe. One last note regarding Breitbart of which Bannon was the executive chairman, uh, correction, this deserves a bit more than one last note. Robert Mercer is a hedge fund billionaire who has played a significant role also in the rise of the Trump Terror Tyranny (my phrase).

 

Robert Mercer is the money behind Donald Trump. But then, I will come to learn, Robert Mercer is the money behind an awful lot of things. He was Trump’s single biggest donor. Mercer started backing Ted Cruz, but when he fell out of the presidential race he threw his money – $13.5m of it – behind the Trump campaign….

The billionaire funding Breitbart that inspires mass murderers like the guy in El Paso who wanted to kill as many Mexicans as possible

 

One of its funds, Medallion, which manages only its employees’ money, is the most successful in the world – generating $55bn so far. And since 2010, Mercer has donated $45m to different political campaigns – all Republican – and another $50m to non-profits – all rightwing, ultra-conservative. This is a billionaire who is, as billionaires are wont, trying to reshape the world according to his personal beliefs….

 

so to gauge his beliefs you have to look at where he channels his money: a series of yachts, all called Sea Owl; a $2.9m model train set; climate change denial (he funds a climate change denial thinktank, the Heartland Institute); and what is maybe the ultimate rich man’s plaything – the disruption of the mainstream media. In this he is helped by his close associate Steve Bannon, Trump’s campaign manager and now chief strategist. The money he gives to the Media Research Center, with its mission of correcting “liberal bias” is just one of his media plays. There are other bigger, and even more deliberate strategies, and shining brightly, the star at the centre of the Mercer media galaxy, is Breitbart.

 

It was $10m of Mercer’s money that enabled Bannon to fund Breitbart – a rightwing news site, set up with the express intention of being a Huffington Post for the right. It has launched the careers of Milo Yiannopoulos and his like, regularly hosts antisemitic and Islamophobic views, and is currently being boycotted by more than 1,000 brands after an activist campaign. It has been phenomenally successful: the 29th most popular site in America with 2bn page views a year. It’s bigger than its inspiration, the Huffington Post, bigger, even, than PornHub. It’s the biggest political site on Facebook. The biggest on Twitter….

 

But there was another reason why I recognized Robert Mercer’s name: because of his connection to Cambridge Analytica, a small data analytics company. He is reported to have a $10m stake in the company, which was spun out of a bigger British company called SCL Group. It specializes in “election management strategies” and “messaging and information operations”, refined over 25 years in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan. In military circles this is known as “psyops” – psychological operations. (Mass propaganda that works by acting on people’s emotions.)

 

…. We’re not quite in the alternative reality where the actual news has become “FAKE news!!!” But we’re almost there. Out on Twitter, the new transnational battleground for the future, someone I follow tweets a quote by Marshall McLuhan, the great information theorist of the 60s. “World War III will be a guerrilla information war,” it says. “With no divisions between military and civilian participation.”

By that definition we’re already there.

 

Guess what? These six paragraphs that I copied and pasted here are from an article by none other than Carole Cadwalladr https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/feb/26/robert-mercer-breitbart-war-on-media-steve-bannon-donald-trump-nigel-farage

 

 

Are you beginning to see the big picture i.e. it’s the super-wealthy, the 1%, who again & again we witness, are/have already de facto bought governments around the world & will never cease in their agenda of enslaving us all? An exaggeration? Consider the fate of unions in America. “Fifty years ago, nearly a third of U.S. workers belonged to a union. Today, it’s one in 10.” https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2015/02/23/385843576/50-years-of-shrinking-u

 

 

I’m going to assume that you’ve at least heard of how Walmart crushes any employee who dares to mention the word “union?” The G.O.P. (Greedy Old Pigs) declared publicly as soon as FDR established the New Deal to help alleviate the destruction done to American workers & families because of the Great Depression that was brought on by the greed of the Wall St. wolves, that they’ll fight tooth & nail to destroy every single aspect of the New Deal. And they’ve been true to their word. Also note the G.O.P.’s declaration after Obama was elected that they’d do everything they could to block every single piece of legislation he introduced & they did and he kept saying; “Can’t we just get along?”

 

I’d like to remind you of a few nuggets of wisdom; It’s better die standing than to live on your knees. And, if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. This reminds me of why I’m so opposed to Nancy Pelosi i.e. she keeps blocking the DNC from impeaching Trump with her rationale that they couldn’t succeed because the Senate is controlled by the G.O.P. Well my response is that this is total bullshit! You don’t only take on fights that you know you can win, it’s a matter of principles & values. All Americans should see all the evidence of Trump’s reign of error & terror and decide for themselves as to his guilt or innocence. I believe what would obviously become a long & detailed investigation would persuade many of Trump’s supporters to abandon him. So, it doesn’t matter really if the Dems were successful in impeaching him, what matters is that his phenomenal incompetence, greed, & destruction would be out there and more comprehensible. I am simply befuddled as to how they could impeach Clinton for a blow-job yet Trump has committed thousands of illegal & immoral (sexually molested dozens of women) acts but Nancy says No, we shouldn’t take on this fight? We’ve witnessed the DNC’s brilliance in terms of their political strategies, time & time again and that’s why we’re in this unholy place!

 

Please excuse the long-winded diatribe but this shit gets my blood boiling. Okay, back to the drawing board. Ms. Cadwalladr (Carole) goes on to say that “she tracked down all the ex-Cambridge employees & found Chris Wyley who said he’d talk to her & that he had helped set up Cambridge Analytica.”

 

Enter Chris Wyley, data engineer; “Cambridge is a full-service propaganda machine.” The narrator then informs us that Steve Bannon was the editor of Breitbart & said; “If you want to fundamentally change society, you first have to break it.” This should send chills down all our spines, well those of us who aren’t mere globs of protoplasm with no hearts, souls, or any resemblance of a human being.

 

Bannon’s statement isn’t just another asinine comment by a right-wing nut, No, this is precisely what Trump & what those who pushed for Brexit are all about i.e. the utter destruction of their societies. Need I remind you of Trump’s first actions as president? He appointed as the head of every one of our most critical agencies, not only the least qualified people he could find but also those whose sole mission was to sabotage the very dept. or agency they headed.

 

Ben Carson, Betsy DeVos, Rick Perry, Mike Pompeo (Christian Fascist), Steve Mnuchin (who got rich illegally foreclosing on thousands of California homeowners), Wilbur Ross, Rex Tillerson. Supreme Court—Kavanaugh (sexual predator), Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders-Propaganda Minister along with Kelly Anne Conway, Attorney Generals, Sessions (spineless racist), & Barr (mafia lawyer for Trump). The list goes on & on & on. You’ll have to do your own homework from here if you give a damn? Oh yeah, we definitely mustn’t forget Vice President Pence, the Christian soldier like Eric Prince (Betsy DeVos’ brother & mercenary for despots around the world who love murdering in the name of God).

 

Before winning (stealing) the election, Trump campaigned on “Draining the Swamp.” His quaint euphemism for cleaning up Washington D.C. Yeah, right. This tantrum throwing tyrant has been doing just what Bannon told him he should do i.e. break the whole system so the Alex Jones racists & corporate cockroaches could have a free hand in creating a Fascist New World Order.

 

You might be thinking just about now that I’m off in Alex Jones’ Conspiracy Carnival but if you’ll take five minutes to look up what’s called PNAC (Project for the New American Century), and realize that the fascists among us have been plotting & steadily working towards their ideal state for decades—sometimes they go below the radar for a while when their agendas are a bit too public. Here’s a partial list of their alumni & believers;

 

Newt Gingrich, Dick Cheney, Elliot Abrams, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, William Bennett (Secretary of Education under two presidents), Jeb Bush, Steve Forbes (Forbes Business magazine), John Bolton (currently strongest cheerleader for war with Iran), & Richard Perle to just name a few of the most recognizable names in this Hall of Shame. {Need I remind/inform you of the role these fascists played in starting the wars in Afghanistan & Iraq?}

 

Obviously, Trump didn’t really want to drain the swamp but rather, re-stock it with the slimiest creatures from the Black Lagoon in which he has resided his whole life. Besides, if he actually did drain that proverbial “swamp,” where would his Duck Dynasty “Deliverance” homeboys find their dates for the Deviant’s Ball? Yep! Trump’s cabinet picks are like placing his buddy, Jeffrey Epstein, in charge of security at a girls’ summer camp. Doesn’t that just warm your heart?

recall the video of Trump bragging he could grab women by their pussy? Here he is giving Jeffrey Epstein some tips

 

Admittedly, I veer off-course perhaps a bit here & there but that’s because I know how ill-informed most of my fellow citizens are & I hope to help them connect the dots. Not that I have the corner on the truth but I have spent over 30 years in serious pursuit of that elusive truth & therefore feel that I have earned the right to speak with some degree of authority. Hell, look who we have as president. It’s a pretty safe bet that he’s never read a single book of substance from cover to cover.

 

Returning to our film, Chris Wylie who filled us in on Steve Bannon, goes on to quote Bannon; “It’s only when you break it (our govt.) that you can then remold it into your vision of a great society.” I want to interject here that sure, our government & our business culture is corrupt as Hell but to dismantle our govt in the name of saving it is like burning your house down because a forest fire was close by & thinking you’d save it from a worse fire. This is utter absurdity & madness and only misanthropic & mercenary minds could think this the right path to a healthy society.

 

Wylie continues; “This was the weapon Bannon wanted to use to wage his Culture War.” Note how frequently the so-called “Conservatives” whine of the culture war being waged against them. “Wylie went to professors at Cambridge University (how appropriate) to ask for their ideas on how to pursue their mission & they showed him the ‘one click personality test.’

 

They got special permission to use apps on Facebook to harvest the info & also go into their entire friend network & pull out all their friends’ data as well. They didn’t just target you as a voter but also as a personality. Their app only needed to tap into a couple hundred thousand people to build a psychological profile of every voter in America. People had no idea their data was being taken in this way. This was a grossly unethical experiment, the psychology of an entire country without their awareness or consent.”

 

But hey, I’m just exaggerating things, right? And it’s unfair of me to label Facebook as fascist for this simple & innocent oversight on their part, right? Remember, fascism is the combination/marriage if you like, of big business & government with the common goal/agenda of controlling the public or the people. And if this form of control & spying on us doesn’t bother you, you’d be right at home in Putin’s Russia & are probably understanding of Trump’s consistent kissing of Putin’s ass. How patriotic of you? I bet your ancestors are rolling over in their graves in disgust with your betrayal of what America used to stand for.

 

Continuing on, “They were playing with the psychology of an entire nation within the context of a democratic process.” I take umbrage with the use of the word ‘playing’ and ‘within the context of a democratic process.’ First of all, this wasn’t mere playing unless you’re referring to a diabolical game played by would-be Masters of the Universe. And secondly, unless the author of the phrase “within the context of a democratic process” means that this was a legitimate act in a democratic system of government, I am lost, confused, & couldn’t disagree more!

 

How in the Hell does democracy come into play within a corporation? Corporations are private tyrannies & the moment an employee walks through their employer’s door, their rights go out the window i.e. your employer can listen in on your phone calls, search your locker, forbid you from talking about forming a union, etc. etc. etc. And note that bars/pubs are private corporations & that’s why they can stop us from talking about politics in their bars. Food for thought?

 

Yeah, many, if not most people have no idea of just how little power or rights we have in our workplaces. Of course, Walmart is perhaps the most blatantly anti-union corporation & many of us realize that. Gee, I wonder why Walmart is the most profitable corporation in America & the Walmart family are among the richest in the U.S.?

 

Here’s a claim made by Alexander Nix, remember him? He was the CEO of Cambridge Analytica; “We don’t have Facebook data & we don’t use Facebook data, but we do use Facebook as a platform to advertise on.” Can you believe such audacity? In Cambridge’s sales videos, etc. they bragged about having 5,000 data points on every American voter but I guess all that data just somehow magically appeared in Cambridge’s lap?

 

I wonder why the Trump campaign was paying Cambridge a million dollars a day? Could it be that their advertising was that costly but didn’t have any of our personal data? Wylie commented; “When people see the extent of the surveillance, I think they’re going to be shocked.”

Maybe? But like everything else in this mad world, the public gets upset for a minute or two & soon goes back to their smart phones & checking the latest number of “likes” they got.

 

Well I’m definitely not one of the Walking Dead like my fellow Americans & like a bulldog, I keep on keeping on in my fight against the corporate cockroaches & their fascist assault on us all.

 

David Carroll, who brought the lawsuit against Cambridge; “It’s crazy that I have to mount a risky, year-long court battle to get my Voter Profile.”

 

A bit of good news though; “Facebook stock falls by 6% or $120 billion because of Carroll’s lawsuit finally getting some attention. Facebook knew of this data collection by Cambridge over two years ago but didn’t go public about it until Carroll’s lawsuit caused Cambridge’s headquarters in London was raided.”

 

Isn’t it interesting to note how CEO’s memories often seem to lapse, just like many politicians, after they’ve been exposed for wrongdoing? I remember when Reagan was finally made to testify behind closed doors re: the Iran/Contra Scandal & out of something like 280 questions put to him, roughly 265 times his response was; I can’t remember, I don’t recall, etc. If you or I tried that in court, our asses would be behind bars in short order.

 

Yep! “Facebook claimed to not notice that 50 million people’s data had been breeched but every time it’s my sister’s dog’s birthday, I get a notification.” (some comedian’s witty observation)

 

However, what’s not funny is expressed by Carroll; “People don’t want to admit that propaganda works because to admit it means confronting our own susceptibilities, our horrific lack of privacy, & our hopeless dependencies on tech platforms that are ruining our democracies on various attack surfaces.”

 

Yes indeed! If you’re around my age (66) you grew up hearing about communist propaganda but there was never any mention of American or capitalist propaganda. In fact, in the early days of Advertising & the Public Relations industry, it was more honestly referred to as propaganda. And as Chomsky points out, these are powerful institutions in America. May I suggest that you look up Noam Chomsky on You Tube re: this subject, it’ll definitely be worth your time.

 

Moreover, I can definitely attest to the fact that people don’t want to acknowledge the power that advertising has over us. I’ve been trying to clue people in for decades but I’m usually dismissed as some good-natured nut case.

 

Wylie continues to discuss the U.K.’s enquiry into ‘fake news.’ “When you’re busted for doping in the Olympics, you lose your medal, but we allow cheating in our democratic process. What about next time? What about the time after that? You shouldn’t be allowed to win by cheating.” But of course, Trump did and the spineless DNC won’t even impeach him! In this new age, morality & ethics are a joke, its dog eat dog & we have the most immoral president in U.S. history flouting the U.S. legal system daily & grinning his ass off in arrogant defiance.

 

“We have met the enemy and he is us.” —Pogo

 

I included this famous quip from a comic strip to point out that we are now witnessing the steady dismantling of our democracy albeit it has been on shaky ground for quite some time preceding Trump. Our general apathy & our intellectual laziness coupled with the harmful aspects of this new technology i.e. Smart phones, social media platforms & apps., etc. has all but rendered us as helpless as a turtle on its back. And the rapacious Republican party has no conscience & clearly craves power so much it’d rather watch America descend into chaos & anarchy than stand up to Trump & call him out for the vile, most despicable individual imaginable. Here is a guy who laid out the toxicity of social media clearer than anything I’ve come across;

Without a doubt, apathy in combination with innocent ignorance & willful ignorance will be on America’s tombstone as future generations look back on this stage in history, perhaps the final stage at the rate we’re destroying our environment. And this in conjunction with a dope in the oval office who knows even less about world history than the average third grade student, presents a truly frightening scenario.

 

Though I could be way off base because the generations after mine have been raised in a game & movie world of zombies & vampires—some of which are portrayed as having some redeeming human qualities such as sensitivity. Moreover, it seems the majority of Hollywood’s top hits are doomsday & apocalyptic visions of our not too distant future so maybe a large portion of Americans aren’t as worried as I am about the way we’re headed?

 

For example, early in this film, Carroll, the protagonist is talking about what these “social media” platforms are doing to us & a young, female student in his class says that the ads don’t really bother her perhaps because she grew up in this world. She goes on to ask him; “So, at what point do things become sour (I assume she means bad?)

Ah! Here we arrive at perhaps a vital turning point? I argue that we have already passed the critical juncture because for young people like this student to admit they’re not troubled by the gross manipulation we’re already experiencing is a telltale sign that we’re half-way lost already.

And for-the-record, Snowden again gave us fair warning about how Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Pal Talk, AOL, Skype, You Tube, & Apple to only name the most prominent amongst these corporate betrayers, willingly assists the status quo in their on-going agenda of enslaving us.

 

Does this worry the younger generations? Apparently not. They gleefully & blindly carry on using these platforms & tools of enslavement. I know, I’m sounding a bit Alex Jones? Sorry, but for an old fart like me who grew up in a very different America in which we didn’t even have voice machines to record our missed calls, I am perhaps much more aware of these intrusions into our privacy & it sure as Hell does bother & anger me. By-the-way, perhaps this will cause your heart rate to at least go up a few points, these same corporate giants who are making billions exploiting us via our data, pay next to nothing in taxes. Do you give a shit about that?

 

Getting back to the documentary, Wylie speaking before a U.K. enquiry commission re: fake news; “Someone else you should be speaking to is Brittany Kaiser.” Now the plot really begins to thicken because Ms. Kaiser is the other central character in this drama, & she played a very significant part in this coup overthrowing democracies around the globe. And I must confess that I had my suspicions while watching this film for the first time.

Cute & pixie-like as a teenager to this; the price of selling your soul?

 

But watching it again a few days ago, I have become a lot more distrustful of whatever she says in her defense. For now, I’m just going to toss out there a few observations & my reactions in case I forget them later on. First of all, the film starts out at a “Burning Man” festival in Nevada & shows Brittany, dressed like a typical tribal person at this annual event, write with a marker on this wooden structure where participants inscribe something profound, I assume? She writes on it; “’Cambridge Analytica.”

Like I said, I glossed over this seemingly insignificant act in my first viewing of this film but now, I wonder if this could be a sort of Freudian Slip? In other words, could it be that her work for Cambridge Analytica is what she’s actually the proudest of?

 

You see, once the full extent of Cambridge Analytica’s crimes begins to be revealed, Kaiser starts pretending that she’s a whistleblower who helped bring them down. But she knew what they were doing for at least two years prior to the fall & took great pride in helping Trump “win” the U.S. election. She was as critical to their success as Chris Wylie was. His talent was in data engineering & her’s was in developing their business model & their PR face if-you-will.

 

Kaiser’s ego was glowing in the limelight of the attention she received in photo ops with Trump, the fact that she had her own set of keys to Steve Bannon’s townhouse in Washington D.C.,  etc. And we see her throughout the film staying at very expensive & posh hotels around the world, sipping a cocktail in one of those “Infinity” pools at some luxury resort in Thailand, etc.

 

Yet, once again, after Cambridge is on public trial so-to-speak, Kaiser tells us that her family lost their home after the 2008 economic crash & her father’s brain cancer and she had to make money to help her family out. Yeah, that’s suppose to excuse her Faustian deal with the devil i.e. the Republican party & Trump in particular.

 

Moreover, at another point in the film it is revealed that she admits to carrying two sets of business cards. They don’t specify as to what these two sets are but it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to guess. I’m confident that one set is for playing the concerned environmentalist & worker for human rights when she was young and the other set is for her rich patrons in the corporate/political world.

 

Admittedly, what I’m about to say could be seen as chauvinistic or misogynist or something but what the fuck, here goes; earlier glimpses of Ms. Kaiser when she was young & working on human rights campaigns, etc., she looked physically cute, cheerful, & positive but after her entry into the nefarious world of the corporate cockroaches & their political lapdogs, I believe you can see her physical being manifest her moral decay? And for-the-record, in the film we witness a scene in which she is being questioned by some sort of judge or attorney, I presume? And she is asked something like, “Have you ever provided data to an intelligence agency?” Her eyes say it all i.e. she stops dead in her tracks verbally-speaking, her eyebrows raise up & her eyes nervously twitch back & forth for a while before she answers in the negative after a pregnant pause.

 

Okay, back to the script from the documentary; “She (Kaiser) was the go-getter, the initiator of the Cambridge contract with Trump (my phrasing). “She spoke at the CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) with Kelly Anne Conway in 2016.” Hopefully I don’t have to explain to you who Kelly Anne Conway is? Just in case I do? Kelly Anne is Trump’s number one apologist & she can rationalize whatever horrible thing he says or does i.e. she’s his greatest ass-kisser or brown-noser!

I wish she’d go back to her alternative planet

 

Continuing; “She (Kaiser) was at the lavish party on election night for Trump along with Rebecca Mercer” (Robert Mercer’s daughter, owner of Breitbart) and proudly posing for pics with Donald the Dastardly (my phrasing). To reiterate my opinion, Kaiser tried to save her ass by informing on Cambridge once their records, documents, etc. were seized by the British police.

 

Kaiser, “The reason why Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc. are so powerful is because last year, ‘Data’ surpassed Oil as the world’s most valuable ‘commodity.’” Remember friends, we are that commodity, in other words, all the data we supply these so-called “social platforms” with is our ‘value’ in this Brave New World (Aldous Huxley).

Enter Paul Hilder, writer & self-described, Political Technologist. In my opinion, he was basically an apologist & spinmeister for Kaiser during & after her fall from the jet-set insiders’cabal of wealth & politics. And here’s a fun fact for you, “When Kaiser met with Trump’s campaign manager in 2015, she wondered why it looked familiar & then realized they were on the set of ‘The Apprentice.’ Trump’s campaign headquarters was a ‘Reality T.V. set.’”

 

I’m sure this bit of trivia doesn’t bother or strike those of you who grew-up watching ‘Reality T.V.,’ as out of the norm. Let me be clear, this is “reality” turned on its head & again reveals just how far down the rabbit hole we have fallen. “Reality T.V.” is for ignorant & intellectually lazy people who are accustomed to spectacle, superficiality, & not straining their brains. Yep! I said it loud & proud. And I don’t give a fuck if you dismiss me as just another example of those “East Coast elite who look down their noses on everyone who isn’t a member of their club.” Again, I grew up in a single parent, working class family & my mom worked two or three jobs at a time trying to make ends meet so go fuck yourselves if you think/believe me an elitist!

 

Furthermore, I’d better say it again for those of you who may not grasp the simple facts of life i.e. T.V. is an artificial medium (it’s not reality). Reality is going to work every day, paying your bills, raising your kids, worrying about losing your job, whether your pension will be there when you retire, your loved ones’ health, etc. etc. etc. This crap posing as reality is pure bullshit i.e. staged drama to suck in the gullible. Therefore, watching & believing an artificial medium (mode of communicating) and on top of that, believing the circus acts they claim are true/honest portrayals of life, is akin to believing everything a used car salesman or a politician says. Comprende? (Spanish for Comprehend?)

 

By-the-way, I bet many of you haven’t caught on yet that Trump’s continual dismissal of “fake news,” is or would be very amusing if it weren’t so devastating to us all because like his fake “reality” show that made him so familiar to millions of Americans who watched it, everything about Trump is fake i.e. his wealth, his celebrity, his business success, etc. etc. etc. This is why he’s on a constant pep rally to his base (lacking or indicating the lack of higher qualities of mind or spirit)

“base.” I don’t think there’s ever been a political leader since Hitler, that felt the need to keep on holding public rallies after having won the presidency?

 

To me this just reveals how great his sense of insecurity is & that he must keep on feeding his ego or he’ll deflate like the hot air balloon that he in fact is & he will fly away into obscurity & infamy. And speaking of “infamy”

Very bad reputation; notoriety.

The condition of being infamous; disgrace.

An evil or criminal act that is publicly known.

 

I’m not normally a betting man but I’m absolutely positive that Trump will go down in history as the most infamous, notorious, noxious president throughout the history of the United States & I bet that the majority of all those who voted for him & cheered him in his Nazi rallies will hang their heads in disgrace for the rest of their lives. How I wish I could be there & smirk as I said to each of them; Yeah, you were abysmally (Resembling an abyss in depth; unfathomable)

stupid to have fallen for such a grotesque (Characterized by ludicrous, repulsive, or incongruous distortion, as of appearance or manner. synonymugly.)

human being’s con job!

 

Some may ask why I’m so harsh in my comments here? Duh! Consider all those poor immigrant children who were separated from their parents & the psychological devastation on their lives. I could go on ad infinitum about the harm physically, mentally, emotionally, & spiritually caused by this denizen (An inhabitant; a resident.) of the deepest, darkest parts of the human psyche who only cares about enriching himself at the expense of all of humanity! So yeah, I have no qualms (
An uneasy feeling about the propriety or rightness of a course of action.) whatsoever about insulting those who helped empower this human monster.

 

In simple terms, in the mid to late 1980s, I was an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher in L.A. both during the day at the secondary level & at night as an Adult Education teacher. Many of my students were from El Salvador, Nicaragua, & Mexico and they had seen things I hope to never witness!

 

One student in particular, Maria, who was from Nicaragua told me a story that chilled me to the bone. The Contras captured her sister who was nine months pregnant, and slit open her belly, pulled out her baby & slit its throat in front of her as she was dying. Reagan championed the Contras throughout his presidency & likened them to our Founding Fathers claiming they were defenders of freedom & democracy. I could go on & on but if you give a shit, you’ll do further research on your own.

 

Bottom-line, Reagan was the precursor to what morphed into the Trump phenomenon i.e. Reagan marked a turning point in American history, a clear betrayal of the working class & the middle class by scapegoating immigrants & all the victims of the rapacious rich. Another historical flashback for ya; One of Reagan’s first acts as president was to fire the air traffic controllers who were on strike due to unsafe skies, for life! And this sent a clear message to corporate America i.e. it’s open season on unions.

At times, yeah, I can somewhat relate to those who prefer to be blind & ignorant to this tsunami of terribly depressing information & knowledge but to turn a blind-eye to these crimes against humanity is the coward’s way out!

 

Why is it that we never tire of all the Hollywood blockbusters that glorify our soldiers in their physical acts of valor but rarely acknowledge let alone, glorify the intellectual & ethical heroes who stood up against our warmongers or the corporate cockroaches who like termites, have weakened our house to the point of collapse?

 

Returning to the film, Hilder points out “The reality is that a large-scale data-mining company identified the triggers that are going to ‘move’ people.” Translation: Cambridge Analytica simply refined the age-old “hot button topics” guaranteed to fire-up the rubes (An unsophisticated country person.)  formerly summarized as “God, Guns, & Gays.”

 

You know, the unholy trinity by people like our president of vice, Mike Pence, who doesn’t even trust himself to have lunch with a woman without his wife present. So much for that “Christian” faith in the power of belief in God & Jesus i.e. says more about the moral/ethical weakness of the Jesus-Jumpers than it ever does about the so-called sinners.

 

I apologize again, it’s so hard not to elaborate on these seemingly unrelated details but believe me, they aren’t unrelated, they’re all connecting dots in the general unraveling of our government, our society, & our culture. And like Bannon & Trump’s goal of destroying every last vestige of what we used to call America, the Mike Pence Walking Dead “Christians,” also pray for our complete disintegration in their fervent hope of turning us into an American version of the Taliban where women who dare to speak-up can be stoned to death.

I can only presume & hope that any who may be reading these words must care about our fellow human beings otherwise, they wouldn’t be reading such religious or political blasphemy?

 

Hilder then asks a very profound question; “What does this say about individual freedom, autonomy, and democracy? To my mind, this is the crux (The basic, central, or critical point or feature) of the film. In other words, have we ceased to be autonomous, free agents with free will as the “Christians” claim we are, or have we morphed into automatons easily manipulated into following our master’s agenda?

 

In ancient times i.e. the 1950s & 60s as I was growing up, the powers that be had at least a modicum of respect for our intellectual abilities hence the appeals to our rational faculties. Yet with the so-called “technological advances,” we have gradually become enslaved by our lower functioning, primal or reptilian brains. As a consequence, it’s become far easier to manipulate us today than it was when I was growing up. And the prima facie evidence is none other than Trump, the lowest common denominator on the human scale.

 

And Trump’s handmaiden of evil, Brittany Kaiser, attempts to rationalize her dastardly deeds with; “We’re educating people about other options and if they’re on the fence, they can be persuaded to go another way. This is their own choice.”

 

I almost gagged when I heard this! Yeah “we’re educating people about other options,” as if it were some innocuous (not harmful or injurious; harmless) agenda on the part of Cambridge Analytica in their neutral, good-natured campaign paid for by Robert Mercer under the direction of Steve Bannon to help their buddy, Donald Trump in his honest campaign for the presidency of the most powerful nation on Earth.

 

In my not so humble opinion, this campaign by Cambridge Analytica was waged against every American voter & citizen and was about as “harmless” as the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Indeed, this obscenity Kaiser submitted was akin also to Mao’s “Re-education Camps.”

 

Throughout history, intellectuals have been frequent targets of tyrannical regimes to suppress political dissent. But Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong himself boasted about taking it a step further.

After the Chinese Communist Party took power in 1949, Mao had instilled a climate of fear and terror.  In the late 1940s to early 1950s, he mobilized Chinese peasants to kill off the landlord class, resulting in a death toll that various estimates place from the hundreds of thousands, to up to several million. In some areas, public trials became the norm, and Mao’s politicized peasants became judge, jury, and executioner of the landlord class in China. Amid the repressive climate, intellectuals seemingly lacked a voice to say anything about the communist party.

 

https://www.theepochtimes.com/the-biggest-anti-intellectual-movement-in-history_2234683.html

 

You see, my imaginary friend, there has been a major & consistent thread amongst all authoritarian regimes or dictatorships throughout history & that is anti-intellectualism. What is that you may wonder? [don’t forget that this was/is Communist China whom we fought the Vietnam war against supposedly but soon thereafter became our trading partner & Communist Russia now under the control of the Russian mafia i.e. Putin, is Trump’s dearest friend along with North Korea’s perverted dictator]

 

Well, it’s been a significant part of our culture since the beginning of our nation although it’s a sort of oxymoron to combine “culture” and “anti-intellectualism” in the same sentence. In brief, look at Trump’s repeated attacks on the “East Coast elites.” This is code or dog-whistle politics for blaming intellectuals for just about everything that is wrong with America. {Did you notice the mention of Mao’s use of fear & terror? Sound familiar? Trump’s never-ending rally.}

 

Of course, Trump is counting on his base not knowing much about Trump’s own history & his massive inferiority complex because of his rejection by the New York elite. And Trump capitalized on the general sense of frustration & anger by so many of our citizens who’ve been fucked-over by the elite of Wall St. But what really blew my mind was that so many who had been screwed by the 1%, the corporate cockroach elite, could actually believe that Trump who is clearly a member of their class at least financially & in terms of not giving a fuck about employees or the environment or the law etc. etc. etc., was one of them & qualified to speak for them? Here’s a look into Trump’s family business that clearly shows his claim to fame of being a self-made billionaire has all been a grand scam. I suggest you watch it before any of the other videos because it may very well be pulled soon by either Trump lawyers or Showtime?

Do you recall that quote from the comic strip “Pogo,” that I printed above? Get it? We are our own worst enemies because we internalize the “social propaganda” fed to us by the corporate owned media. And it’s gotten so absurd that those who believe in Trump, actually think he’s going to help them. Yeah, one of the greediest bastards to ever walk upright & never ceases in his bragging about his mythological talents, intelligence, accomplishments, etc. is their Knight in Shining Armor.

 

I know that it’s highly unlikely but if you’d care to invest a few minutes in your well-being, you should research the history of how Trump has screwed the vast majority of people who’ve worked for him as both short-term contract workers or full-time employees. Then tell me again what a wonderful guy he is.

 

Speaking of “wonderful,” it’s time to return to Cambridge Analytica’s most admirable Ms. Kaiser; “Working for Human Rights wasn’t satisfying because I couldn’t see the results of my work but when I worked for the U.S. Republican party, I could.”

Translation: She made very little money working for noble causes such as human rights but when she moved to the dark side, she was amply rewarded & clearly enjoying the lifestyle as evident in the film.

 

Pursuing Ms. Kaiser’s personal degradation, she was approached by Alexander Nix, the CEO of Cambridge Analytica who unabashedly (
Not disconcerted or embarrassed; poised.) said, “Let me get you drunk and steal your secrets.” Apparently, that’s all it took to turn Ms. Kaiser from the former fighter for human rights to a lackey for the rich & famous. So much for her personal “integrity.” Funny that Mr. Nix was so up-front about his agenda because this is just what the “social media” has done to us i.e. it’s gotten us drunk on the intoxicating illusion of meeting new people & making thousands of friends around the globe while it steals our secrets & sells them to corporate cockroaches & gives them to the government surveillance agencies who have been overthrowing other governments for decades with propaganda, murder, etc.

“She turned ‘Conservative’ and started dressing posh & speaking more ‘refined.’ She became an NRA member & said, I think the main problem in U.S. politics is that people are so polarized (neglecting to mention her role in polarizing the American public) and therefore can’t work together & can’t get anything done (again neglecting the fact that the G.O.P. stated from the beginning of Obama’s presidency that they had one goal i.e. to block every single piece of legislation that he attempted to pass).

 

Evidently, Ms. Kaiser was so “wired-in” that right on camera in this documentary, she showed that she was able to pose a question to Zuckerberg that would be asked by one of the U.S. senators the next day in the hearing before Congress that Zuckerberg was forced to appear before.

 

Her question? “How much of Facebook’s revenue comes directly from Facebook’s monetization of people’s personal data?” Yes, a damn good question but clearly an attempt to distract from Cambridge Analytica’s responsibility in this high crime against democracy & free elections.

 

A “devil’s advocate” might’ve asked in return; And how much did your company profit from this illegal & immoral contract with the G.O.P. and Trump’s campaign & your companies use of the Facebook data you used to manipulate the U.S. election in Trump’s favor?

 

Moreover, Kaiser goes on to say; “We always spent the vast majority of our money for ads or political campaigns on Facebook because it gets the best results.”

 

Stop for a minute! In one breath she is criticizing/attacking Facebook for the money it took from the Trump campaign & in her next breath, she’s admitting that Cambridge Analytical used Facebook because “it gets the best results.” Does “speaking out of both sides of her mouth,” seem an appropriate accusation here?

 

Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way defending Facebook or Zuckerberg’s amoral business model & behavior. No, personally I’d love to see Marky Mark along with many others, handcuffed and led away to prison for at least 30 years & not to some plush, federal prison but to prisons like Pelican Bay. And I include Ms. Kaiser, Mr. Nix, etc. in that chain-gang of rotten criminals.

 

Moreover & above all else it’s imperative that when Ms. Kaiser mentioned above that they spent the majority of their money for ads on Facebook because it got the best results, it sounds like they were just paying for innocuous (1. Having no adverse effect; harmless. 2. Not likely to offend or provoke to strong emotion; insipid.)  political ads.

 

Talk about an understatement, this was a whopper! The “ads” that Cambridge Analytica ran on Facebook rarely had a scintilla of truth or factual accuracy in them. Over the course of my lifetime, political ads have gradually sunk to lower & lower standards. Political campaign managers used to advise their candidates to not stoop to “negative ads,” until they became an absolute necessity. Well clearly not so these days. And I believe that if an award was given out to which party aired the vilest political ads, the Republicans would win hands down. Why? Because they are clearly the least ethical of the two parties we’re unfortunately saddled with.

 

For example; they ran an ad claiming that Hillary Clinton ran a child sex ring out of a pizza parlor & that they drank children’s blood. Yeah, I shit you not! This is the sort of trash that is worthy of “The National Enquirer,” and Alex Jones’ conspiracy “news” program; “Info Wars.” Two of Trump’s trusted news sources as contrasted with the “fake news” outlets like The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, etc. And Kaiser’s again seemingly innocent statement; “…because they get the best results,” is bullshit as well.

 

Cambridge went with Facebook because they knew damn well that Facebook had over two billion members world-wide & that if they just targeted a hundred thousand or so of strategic (gullible, less educated) Facebook members, their vile ads would spread like a deadly virus & corrupt or at least throw into chaos & doubt, Clinton’s campaign for the presidency & make Trump look like the voice of reason.

 

Yeah, pretty mindboggling that someone like Trump could be made to look like the voice of reason but this is the power of the so-called “social media,” in this day & age.

 

Kaiser is clearly no dummy & that’s why she was paid a phenomenal salary—by outward appearance of her lavish lifestyle. (she’s worth a million & a half dollars) So, she acknowledged; “Regarding those personality tests, the truth is that we didn’t target all Americans equally, we spent more money targeting those whose minds we thought we could change.”

 

No shit Sherlock! In other words, they targeted the least educated, which wasn’t hard to do when you had everybody’s personal histories & on your page where they ask you to list your favorite books, movies, t.v. shows, etc. and a person can’t remember the title of a single book & lists the latest Hollywood action blockbuster for a movie & “The Walking Dead,” for their favorite television show.

 

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that this person would be a “persuadable” voter they could steer towards the Trump campaign of racism & hatred for everybody not a Duck Dynasty fan. Remember that Kaiser first worked for the Obama campaign & headed the “social media” arms of his campaign for the presidency. And she worked for “human rights” organizations but got tired of not seeing the results of her work (translation; not making any or making very little money). It’s evident in the film that she enjoyed the jet-set lifestyle that working for the corporate cockroaches like the G.O.P. and the Trump campaign gave her a taste of.

 

Kaiser continues; “they’re (the persuadables) are everywhere in the U.S. —Duh? …but the ones that mattered were in the Swing states like; Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, & Florida. They broke the states down into precincts and if you targeted enough of the “persuadable,” the state turned from Blue to Red in key precincts.”

 

Are you beginning to understand the undeniable power & influence that Facebook had in bringing the most despicable human being imaginable to occupy the oval office? And note how Zuckerberg to this day still claims that Facebook is still following its original agenda of “connecting people.” Yeah, Facebook is about as good at connecting people as Trump is on his never-ending Fear & Hate Tour.

 

More specifically, do you see why I titled this essay, “Facebook’s Friendly Fascism?” I purposely used the word “friendly” as a pun & play on Facebook’s charade of helping people make “friends.” By-the-way, the reality behind Facebook is that it helps you to make enemies because its structure/design encourages the negativity in people to be expressed because the negativity or anger, hatred, etc. draws more people in than the positive emotions like love & peace. And the negativity spreads like wildfire, just the sort of atmosphere that Trump thrives in.

 

Consequently, Facebook was the perfect vehicle to spread all the racism & division of the Trump message; immigrants, people of color, liberals, democrats, etc. are the cause of your troubles, they take your jobs, they’re draining our economy because they’re taking advantage of our too generous & too liberal programs like food stamps, welfare, etc. By-the-way, Breitbart, I just learned, is the biggest political advertiser on Facebook.

 

Naturally, what the Trumps of this country will never admit to is that they, the 1%, who own everything, are the true cause of our poverty, poor educational system, pitiful health care, loss of our jobs, etc. etc. etc. And it absolutely blew my mind that the poorest amongst us could actually fall for Trump’s posing as their hero. I won’t go off on a tangent here but that charade was breathtaking & very depressing to say the least.

 

Returning to the reptilian Ms. Kaiser, she goes on to state; “Our creative team developed/designed personalized content to target these voters.” “Creative team?” This phrase almost made me gag because this is somewhat akin to saying that Hitler had a creative team that developed/designed solutions to the Jewish problem.

 

And again, my imaginary reader, I am equating Facebook with Fascism because it exemplifies just how destructive a force it is in not only the major role it played in bringing a wannabe dictator like Trump to the most powerful position in the world, it also exposes the fascist nature of megalithic corporate conglomerates.

In a nutshell, every natural resource in the world & every human being that is not part of the 1% has only one purpose for living i.e. to serve their masters & keep on increasing their masters’ wealth. These corporate cockroaches sincerely believe they deserve half a billion-dollar yachts & the rest of us should be grateful for a Big Mac if we know our place, keep our mouths shut, & work till we drop!

 

Furthermore, Kaiser provides more details in her obvious attempts to curry favor & hopefully escape prosecution for her crimes; “We bombarded them with blogs, articles, websites, ads, etc. until they saw the world the way we wanted them to.”

 

Bear in mind the fact that Cambridge Analytica’s parent company was in the business of developing psychological warfare operations/programs for governments for decades. I’m not sure if they’re still doing so? But in the context of this essay, Cambridge was waging a de facto psychological warfare advertising (propaganda) campaign against the American voting public. Yet this doesn’t seem to bother many Americans or perhaps they just haven’t connected the dots yet?

 

Moreover, my intellectual hero, Noam Chomsky, clued us in a long time ago regarding the Advertising industry as well as the Public Relations industry and informed us that in the early days of Advertising & Public Relations, they were more honest & referred to them as propaganda; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfIwUlY44CM

 

Mull this over for a bit because it’s a critically important point for us all to reflect on. I feel that sometimes I may come across as lecturing or preaching but at the risk of sounding like one of those hated, intellectual elite, I see daily the deterioration of our intellectual standards & critical/analytical thinking skills.

 

In magazines, newspapers, books, radio, television, & movies, editing/proofreading seems to be vanishing and few seem to care? And this intellectual apathy regarding standards of quality or accuracy is clearly reflected in terms of what is available for us to watch on television.

 

It seems the dumber, the more crude, vulgar, backstabbing, etc. you are in television series, the more popular your program becomes & therefore the more money your show brings in. And it’s a race to the bottom, just look at who’s occupying the oval office. Perhaps I should remind people here that I grew up in a poor, single parent home, and am definitely not from some elitist background. I have worked my ass off for my whole life in terms of trying to educate myself to the best of my abilities. So, if you try to dismiss me as just another elitist snob, you’re only showing your ignorance & prejudice against anyone who can read beyond a sixth-grade level.

 

Another way of looking at Cambridge’s “ad campaign,” for Trump’s presidential campaign is the casual manner & tone of Kaiser’s last statement; “…until they saw the world the way we wanted them to.” This is uttered in an almost blasé (unconcerned) tone & attitude. Of course, Mao Zedong’s “Cultural Revolution” in China from 1966 to 1976 killed anywhere from 500,000 to over 2,000,000 Chinese citizens in their “re-education” program, but it occurred to me, what if China’s leaders or any world leaders referred to that horror as casually with; “until they saw the world the way we wanted them to?”

 

America is supposed to stand for freedom, democracy, liberation but we seem to have become so complacent (unbothered) regarding the horrors being committed around the world by bloody tyrants & dictators that a propaganda campaign employed by the Republican party & executed by a company like Cambridge, receives little attention by the media & little concern by our citizens?

It appears to me that we—American citizens—have become numb not only mentally but also ethically/morally. Yet we still love to strut around proclaiming to the world how wonderful & powerful we are as a nation? And the only time we get passionate is when the politicians & their handmaidens, the media, manipulate us into a frenzy regarding an American or small number of Americans has been captured or killed.

 

And when the latest “crisis” is over, we slip right back into our somnambulant (sleepwalking) stupor (a condition of greatly dulled or completely suspended sense or sensibility). America’s hypocrisy regarding our professed principles & values and the reality of the millions of innocents killed around the globe by our bombing and our support of so many bloody dictators i.e. Trump’s heroes & idols, has made a mockery of our hollow rhetoric.

 

Above all, as some historian has pointed out, the way a nation treats the people of other nations, eventually comes home i.e. think of how our soldiers have treated Iraqi civilians, and the people of Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, etc. etc. etc. And think of the way American mercenaries like Blackwater, assaulted the people of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina or the militarization of our police forces around the country. Before I move on from this topic, think about this warning from Pastor Niemoller in Nazi Germany as the brown shirts (Trump’s idea of fine people; see his speech re: the violent protest in Charlottesville):

 

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist

Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist

Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist

Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew

Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

 

Finally, I ask you, where are all those “good Christians,” who believe in Christ? Again, just more flagrant hypocrites who choose when to observe & when to ignore Christ’s “Sermon on the Mount.” I stopped calling myself a Christian, decades ago and am probably a borderline atheist or agnostic but I know in my heart that I am far more of a Christian than the majority of those who do consider themselves Christians.

 

Admittedly, I may have veered slightly off topic a bit but not really. One of our gravest problems as citizens of the United States is our moral laxity (careless or negligent). And please don’t lump me together with those phony or faux “Christians,” when I point out these glaring contradictions.

 

Okay, let’s get back to Cambridge Analytica but first I just want to insert; I bet Cambridge University wishes that this company hadn’t used its name because Cambridge University is one of the oldest & most revered universities in the world.

 

Moreover, speaking of this ancient hollowed university, I am sadly reminded that in the overall analysis of higher education today, there is very little pretense anymore of pursuing a university education because it is the mark of a well-rounded or cultured person. No, it’s pretty blatant now that young people pursue a college degree with one aim in mind i.e. a high-paying career.

And I can anticipate your response, yeah, culture & all those lofty ideals are all fine & dandy but money is more important than all that stuff. Well perhaps I can show you the utility of pursuing the humanities & yeah, I know that public education today especially at the secondary level (middle & high school) has been forced to teach only the material that will be on the standardized tests.

 

But here’s how we can beat them at their own game! First of all, I can show you a simple mnemonic strategy/technique that will blow your mind because it makes memorizing data, facts, information so much easier & that will take a great weight off your mind when taking those pointless standardized tests.

 

Consequently, your mind & your spirit will be freed-up to pursue the truly valuable knowledge that will help you in the big picture of what our lives can be. It dawned on me somewhere in my twenties that what we should study is what the rich study. Simplistic? No, not if you reflect on it for a bit.

 

Let’s start at the top because if you’re going to be the best at whatever profession you wish to excel in, you must set your sights on what skills the best in your field possess. And in academia, the most prestigious scholarship you can win is a Rhodes Scholarship. I actually visited Oxford University on one of my trips to Europe because I had long been curious as to exactly what Rhodes Scholars studied & the simplicity of their course of study was refreshing.

 

First of all, you must’ve already earned a B.A. and must have excelled in not only your academic subject but also in athletics & as a leader. And the core of your studies as a Rhodes Scholar boils down to your meeting with a professor—they call them dons—once a week, I believe? They give you reading assignments in the classics & a writing project on what you read then you meet & the don quizzes you to gauge the depth of your understanding of the material you read & guides your efforts.

 

For over 40 years, I’ve been trying to get this simple but powerful point through to family & friends but I’m usually dismissed as being out there in left field or something. So, answer me this; If studying the classics in literature, history, philosophy, political science, etc. is such a waste of time, why do the elite, the 1%, study these subjects?

 

I’ll tell you why, it’s because pursuing academic excellence develops an excellence of mind i.e. superior critical & analytical thinking skills. I can personally attest to the truth of this. When I first started taking courses at a local community college, I had to take the English Placement Test. Well, I scored so low that they told me that I’d have to take remedial English which consisted of setting at a desk with a cassette player & headphones on as I listened to; “See Dick & Jane, see Spot,” etc. I put up with that bullshit for about a week and dropped-out.

 

I then started taking business courses not because I was interested in becoming a businessman but because I thought they might be useful at some point in my future. I dropped-out of many courses over the next several years, sometimes half-way or even three-quarters of the way through. I was bored to tears & I worked at a wide variety of what I called Mickey Mouse jobs i.e. pumping gas, flipping burgers, etc.

 

I was a young man in search of adventure so I started going to Europe, sometimes on a one-way ticket with a couple hundred bucks in my pocket. And I met some very intelligent people on my travels & picking their brains for good authors to read, I fell in love with some of the greatest writers i.e. Hemmingway, Dostoyevsky, Hesse, Steinbeck, etc.

It had been five years since I’d taken that first English Placement Test but I decided to give it another shot because I wanted to take some courses in writing & literature but was told again that I must take this damn test. And to my utter surprise, this time I scored in the top 10% on the test so now I could take any courses in the English dept. that I wanted to. And lo & behold, I ended-up earning a B.A. in English lit. How’s that for going from bone-head English (that remedial class with the cassette player) to graduating in English.

 

I realized some time later that the only logical explanation for this phenomenon had to be the fact that by reading great writers, your vocabulary, comprehension, & writing abilities can’t help but improve significantly.

 

I’ve tried many times over the years to explain or defend this course of study & here’s an analogy I’ve often used; let’s say that you’re going to be in a foot-race against the fastest runner in your school. Clearly, you’re going to have to give every last ounce of energy, effort, spirit or whatever you want to call it, if you truly want a shot at winning that race.

 

The same goes for intellectual excellence i.e. you must pit your brain against the best minds that have ever lived. Of course, it’s very unlikely that you’ll surpass them but by engaging with that level of thinking, you’re going to push your mind to the greatest level it is capable of attaining & this will set you head & shoulders above most of your competition in the modern marketplace of work.

 

Furthermore, here are some other arguments for striving to develop your intellect that I copied from watching a short, You Tube video I stumbled across a few weeks ago; “Why You Should Read Books; 15 Benefits:”

 

Acquire knowledge

Improve memory

Strengthen critical & analytical skills

Advance your career

Improve writing skills

Reduce stress & anxiety

Improve focus & concentration

Boost inspiration & motivation

Learn at your own pace

Stimulate imagination

Improve conversation skills

Become more empathetic

Sleep better

Source of companionship

Increase your lifespan

 

Okay, you’re probably wondering what this side-trip of mine has to do with the whole Cambridge Analytica scandal and Facebook? In a nutshell, if we had stronger critical & analytical thinking skills, we wouldn’t be so easily suckered by the bogus types of posts, ads, propaganda that inundates us on “social media” platforms like Facebook. By-the-way, here’s a valuable tip for those of you who are serious about developing that other 90% or more of your brain that is lying dormant, buy a copy of “Problem Solving & Comprehension” by Whimbey & Lochhead, $11 on Amazon.

 

By-the-way, a Jesuit scholar (some of the best scholars in the world) suggested this book to me when I went to the remedial learning lab in the library at Cal State University at Long Beach after doing horribly on a test in a history course. Find a friend or relative or two who’d like to stretch their minds as well & work the problems in this book together. I’m sure you’ll be amazed & very pleased at what you will accomplish.

Bottom-line, our public-school system has been neglected & undermined for decades so we must take our education into our own hands. And if you care about not only your own welfare but the well-being & the future of your loved ones, you now know some concrete steps that you can take to empower yourself.

 

“Social media,” is weakening us mentally & helping the powers that be to enslave us. The clock of history is gradually being turned back to the days of feudalism. Bullshit? Look at what they’re doing to the hard-won progress of the Women’s Movement. Those “Christian” fundamentalists are salivating at the growing prospect of overturning Roe vs. Wade so women will have to go back to back-alley butchers for abortions. Ignore what’s going on around us at your own peril.

 

Perhaps you don’t remember or maybe you’ve simply never learned about the Dark Ages & what feudal life was like? In short, the nobility i.e. lords, kings, priests, etc. got the best of the crops that their serfs & the peasants who worked the fields produced and peasants’ families usually went hungry & begged for scraps from the lords’ tables gorging themselves at their banquets. Look around at the wealth of Jeff Bezos & the Walmart family whose wealth equals half of the American public.

 

American workers’ wages have basically been stagnant for the past 40 years & most of us are forced to work two or three jobs desperately trying to keep our heads above water. So, if none of this bothers you, just keep on amusing yourself to death by watching the crap served up on T.V. and keep attending those Trump rallies where he makes you feel good by scapegoating those even worse off than you i.e. the Mexicans & other Latinos from Central America fleeing the drug lords, drought, & the in your face corruption of their governments—who followed our own government’s model.

 

My intention when I started this essay was to thoroughly go through the entire documentary & break it down step-by-step but I know that only perhaps one out of a thousand or maybe even ten thousand who might stumble across this essay, would take the time to read. We’ve become a people with the attention span of a gold fish & we’re obsessed with pictures i.e. selfies & video and I’m growing very weary of expending so much energy in trying to communicate with the intellectually lazy. And Trump is merely a symptom of this sad state of our society. I can’t and I choose not to waste my spirit & my intellect on those who don’t give a shit. So, more power to you but I feel no sympathy for those who have the ability to improve their lot in life but prefer to sit on the couch & watch “The Walking Dead.”

 

Addendum

 

I was in a bar on my birthday back in 2018 and got into a lively discussion with a few guys around me, we got to the subject of Facebook. This guy tried to tell me that he loved it because it was free. I told him, oh yeah, then why does Zuckerberg make billions from it?

I didn’t feel it was worth trying to explain to this guy who was obviously one of the unthinking masses how Facebook sells our data to corporations who then target us with their ads. In a nutshell, we are being stalked by corporate America & the federal government. We are their prey and we are a helluva lot less free than we imagine. And what people can’t see, they basically don’t care about i.e. I used to work in industrial x-ray & welders would walk through the areas we were x-raying in—and which we had roped-off with warning signs—and when we’d confront them they’d say, I don’t care, I’ve already had my children. What we don’t see is Zuckerberg’s ego. Facebook just had to pay a $5 billion dollar fine but it was less than 1% of Facebook’s worth & the next day, their stock went up by $6 billion. And Marky-Mark feels so smug that he refused requests from both Canada & the U.K. to appear before their committees scrutinizing disinformation & online election influence campaigns.

I’d say that Zuckerberg, like the countless other corporate cockroaches, clearly feel that they are above the law because they are never held accountable for their countless criminal acts & this basically makes them fascists. And the most important thing to bear in mind is that these oligarchs like Zuckerberg, strut the world stage like they’re the untouchables just as Al Capone thought he was. Note that Trump’s best buddy, Putin and his circle of comrades are often referred to as oligarchs as well but that’s just a polite cover for what they really are, the Russian mafia!

 

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/facebook-uk-canada-parliaments-invite-mark-zuckerberg-to-first-ever-com 

 

I’ll boil-down a key lesson I have learned from the 40 years or better that I have been studying politics in America. Whenever you hear someone make the claim that our government is the problem, the enemy, etc. Bear in mind that this is the result of the “con”-servatives propaganda campaign that they began as soon as FDR enacted the New Deal. And what they really want is for us to get rid of all regulations that prevent them from making even greater profits i.e. environmental regulations, IRS regulations, labor regulations, etc. etc. etc. But they definitely don’t want to get rid of all the government subsidies they get. The oil industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the high tech industries, etc. all depend on & receive billions of dollars in subsidies from us the taxpayers. Take the Internet for example. We subsidized its invention mostly through tax dollars given to the Pentagon but as soon as an invention proves successful, the government gives it to private corporations who receive all the profits but we don’t get a share of those profits or even a discount on the invention or product. Listen to what the beloved FDR had to say about our rights as Americans, as human beings & tell me again how corporate America is so wonderful & Trump is your hero.

The Early Warning Signs of Fascism

 

  • Powerful and continuing nationalism
  • Disdain for human rights
  • Identification of enemies as a unifying cause
  • Supremacy of the military
  • Rampant sexism
  • Controlled mass media
  • Obsession with national security
  • Religion and government intertwined
  • Corporate power protected
  • Labor [sic] power suppressed
  • Disdain for intellectuals & the arts
  • Obsession with crime & punishment
  • Rampant cronyism & corruption
  • Fraudulent elections