Category Archives: Profiteering

Germany: AfD Accuses Google of Sabotaging Campaign – SPIEGEL ONLINE _ Google says no to hate ads, so on to Facebook and Twitter to target hate and racist political messages!

As part of its digital campaign strategy, AfD has even brought on American consultants with the Harris Media advertising agency. The Texas consulting firm specializes in customers with “controversial” messages who range from Donald Trump and the gun lobby to France’s far-right Front National. Their task is to adapt Kunkel’s print campaign for the digital world. Two Harris employees have also embedded themselves in the digital “war room” inside the AfD’s national headquarters in Berlin.But it appears that the American pros are running into hurdles — with one of the most important advertising platforms around. Officials with AfD have complained that Google is blocking large parts of its advertising campaign. “We aren’t having difficulties with any other platform,” said campaign manager Kunkel. He said that Facebook and Twitter are treating AfD like a normal customer. “But Google is sabotaging us, creating a disadvantage for us relative to our political competition.”Dividing the Pie Between Google, Facebook and TwitterThe dispute shines a spotlight on the role the U.S. Internet giants are playing in the current German election. For the first time, the criteria used by major American internet platforms to decide on what paid political content can be disseminated to their users — and what cannot — is playing a central role in a German election.

Source: Germany: AfD Accuses Google of Sabotaging Campaign – SPIEGEL ONLINE

Same-sex marriage survey: Facebook accounts targeted with homophobic slurs – Facebook selling targeted hate ads in Australia now.

Soros has been the target of several right-wing, anti-semitic conspiracy theories, but it is not clear exactly how same-sex marriage in Australia relates to this.At least two other anti same-sex marriage pages have linked the vote to another right-wing conspiracy theory, cultural Marxism.Australian Christian Lobby not worried about marriage campaign vilification law Read moreMany readers took issue with a Facebook post from the Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher, which listed five reasons not to vote for same-sex marriage, saying the vote would affect freedom of speech, religion, education, association and employment.The post attracted many comments, with several pointing out the vote would not affect any of these things: “Come on Archbishop, you know that the vote is not about any of these things. As a trained lawyer you must understand that changing the definition of marriage in the Marriage Act does not affect any of these freedoms. Please don’t be dishonest with the public.”We only received one submission involving a pro same-sex marriage Facebook post, which was from an individual’s account rather than an organisation or page.

Source: Same-sex marriage survey: Facebook accounts targeted with homophobic slurs | Australia news | The Guardian

Dicamba drift? This is on you, Monsanto. | Pesticide Action Network

For decades, Monsanto has enjoyed unrivaled dominance in the pesticide and biotech seed marketplace. However, in recent years, the company’s monopoly control of agricultural seeds and pesticides — built largely on the marketing of its genetically engineered Roundup Ready seeds designed to maintain sale of its flagship herbicide Roundup — has begun to crack. Farmers have been struggling with the emergence and spread of RoundUp-resistant “superweeds” now infesting over 90 million acres of farmland. RoundUp has been found in nearly all stream and air samples tested in the Midwest. And the World Health Organization has concluded that glyphosate — the active ingredient in Roundup — is a probable carcinogen.Rather than clean up its act, Monsanto has redoubled its efforts to follow the same recipe for disaster, racing against rivals like Dow AgroScience to introduce new lines of transgenic seeds engineered to resist even more chemical herbicides.

Source: Dicamba drift? This is on you, Monsanto. | Pesticide Action Network

Hookworm, a disease of extreme poverty, is thriving in the US south. Why? | US news | The Guardian

“We now need to find how widespread hookworm is across the US,” said Dr Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine, who along with Rojelio Mejia led the research team. Hotez, who has estimated that as many as 12 million Americans could be suffering from neglected tropical diseases in poor parts of the south and midwest, told the Guardian the results were a wake-up call for the nation.“This is the inconvenient truth that nobody in America wants to talk about,” he said. “These people live in the southern United States, and nobody seems to care; they are poor, and nobody seems to care; and more often than not they are people of color, and nobody seems to care.”

Source: Hookworm, a disease of extreme poverty, is thriving in the US south. Why? | US news | The Guardian

Are smartphones really making our children sad? | Technology | The Guardian – AKA how to write another ho-hum best seller claiming technology is ruining kids.

In 19teens – dime novels are ruining our children. 1920s – Talkies and radio are ruining our kids. 1940s – juke boxes, photobooth selfies, swing are ruining our kids. 400 BC This modern “writing” on paper is ruining our kids.

US psychologist Jean Twenge, who has claimed that social media is having a malign affect on the young, answers critics who accuse her of crying wolf

Source: Are smartphones really making our children sad? | Technology | The Guardian

The WikiLeaks-Russia connection started way before the 2016 election – Vox

In April 2012, the relationship between Assange and Russia became direct for the first time. Specifically, Assange became a star on Russia Today (RT), Russia’s state-funded English-language propaganda outlet.“With WikiLeaks’ funding drying up — under American pressure, Visa and MasterCard had stopped accepting donations — Russia Today began broadcasting a show called ‘The World Tomorrow’ with Mr. Assange as the host,” the New York Times reported in a 2016 piece on Assange’s Russian ties.The exact nature of the arrangement between RT and Assange has never been very clear. Assange and WikiLeaks insist that Assange was never employed by RT, and that RT was only one of many broadcasters that bought rights to air Assange’s show. Either way, though, Assange was paid by the Kremlin. According to the Times, the amount of money he received has never been disclosed.The World Tomorrow had a decidedly anti-American bent, in keeping with much of RT’s programming and Assange’s own writing. Its first episode was a polite interview with Hassan Nasrallah, the head of the Iranian-backed Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah. In the interview, Assange refers to Nasrallah as a “freedom fighter,” telling him “you have fought against a hegemony of the United States.”That this was serving an ideological purpose could have been lost on Assange. RT is designed to be the voice of the Russian state in the English-speaking world, particularly America. It’s part of a broad-based Russian propaganda effort aimed at whitewashing Putin’s government, using attacks on alleged US misdeeds as a key strategy.It’s an old tactic used by Soviet apologists, called “whataboutism.” Whenever an American criticized the Soviet Union, the Soviet apologist would say, “What about the bad things America does?” This wasn’t a genuine moral criticism of the United States, which was often quite deserved, so much as a debating tactic aimed at deflecting a moral critique of Soviet policy.Assange eagerly participated in an extended campaign of whataboutism. Not just that, in fact: He was paid by an authoritarian government, one that kills and arrests dissenters, for doing so. His principles as a transparency activist seem not to have gotten in the way.

Source: The WikiLeaks-Russia connection started way before the 2016 election – Vox

New Report Reveals McConnell And Ryan Took Millions From Russian Oligarch Tied To Putin

During the 2015-2016 election season, Ukrainian-born billionaire Leonid “Len” Blavatnik contributed $6.35 million to leading Republican candidates and incumbent senators. Mitch McConnell was the top recipient of Blavatnik’s donations, collecting $2.5 million for his GOP Senate Leadership Fund under the names of two of Blavatnik’s holding companies, Access Industries and AI Altep Holdings, according to Federal Election Commission documents and OpenSecrets.org.

Source: New Report Reveals McConnell And Ryan Took Millions From Russian Oligarch Tied To Putin

With genetic morph, a weird type of anthrax has emerged—and it’s on a rampage | Ars Technica – (nature developed a new potential pandemic source to deal with “over-population” of animals in areas affected by deforestation and growth of human development.)

Classic anthrax is caused by Bacillus anthracis, which tends to strike ungulates (hoofed mammals) in seasonal outbreaks in arid locales, such as the African savannahs. The bacteria can cause infection in skin, lungs, or intestines. In humans, B. anthracis causes ghastly skin lesions and severe respiratory and intestinal infections—which have mortality rates as high as 85 to 60 percent, respectively.The alternative anthrax bacteria appear to cause an identical anthrax disease in animal models. But, those bacteria aren’t B. anthracis; they’re cousins, B. cereus, commonly found in soil and food. Usually, these are relatively harmless, with some strains known to cause a minor fraction of food poisoning cases. But the ones causing alternative anthrax are different. They just so happen to have gotten their grips on B. anthracis’ virulence plasmids—circular, shareable bits of DNA that contain the genetic code for their disease-causing gene products.

Source: With genetic morph, a weird type of anthrax has emerged—and it’s on a rampage | Ars Technica

Hamilton 68: Tracking Putin’s Propaganda Push… To America

Digging deeper, the 54 stories related to partisan politics include 30 hostile to the Democratic Party, 14 supportive of President Trump, 2 hostile to the Republic Party establishment, and 2 targeting the U.S. Intelligence Community. Of 18 stories related to Syria, 14 attacked US actions, while 4 lauded the actions of Russia and their allies. The 9 articles targeting Robert Mueller and his investigation were uniformly hostile.

Source: Hamilton 68: Tracking Putin’s Propaganda Push… To America