• Robert Reich : Hey Uber, the gig is up –

    par Robert Reich, ancien ministre du travail sous Clinton

    Uber just filed its first quarterly report as a publicly traded company. Although it lost $1bn, investors may still do well because the losses appear to be declining.

    Uber drivers, on the other hand, aren’t doing well. According to a recent study, about half of New York’s Uber drivers are supporting families with children, yet 40% depend on Medicaid and another 18% on food stamps.

    It’s similar elsewhere in the new American economy. Last week, the New York Times reported that fewer than half of Google workers are full-time employees. Most are temps and contractors receiving a fraction of the wages and benefits of full-time Googlers, with no job security.

    Across America, the fastest-growing category of new jobs is gig work – contract, part-time, temp, self-employed and freelance. And a growing number of people work for staffing firms that find them gig jobs.

    The standard economic measures – unemployment and income – look better than Americans feel

    Estimates vary but it’s safe to say almost a quarter of American workers are now gig workers. Which helps explain why the standard economic measures – unemployment and income – look better than Americans feel.

    Gig workers are about 30% cheaper because companies pay them only when they need them, and don’t have to spend on the above-mentioned labor protections.

    Increasingly, businesses need only a small pool of “talent” anchored in the enterprise – innovators and strategists responsible for the firm’s competitive strength.

    Other workers are becoming fungible, sought only for reliability and low cost. So, in effect, economic risks are shifting to them.

    Gig work is making capitalism harsher. Unless government defines legitimate gig work more narrowly and provides stronger safety nets for gig workers, gig capitalism cannot endure.

    #Travail #Ubérisation #Uber #Gig_economy

  • Le féminisme US par-delà le rien et le mâle

    Le féminisme US par-delà le rien et le mâle

    Les médias expliquent qu’on demande, qu’on exige une présidente féministe en Amérique… Ah, ces élues du congrès en blanc, comme elles les auront émus, ces médias…

    Je n’étonnerai personne en écrivant que 90% des antisystèmes sont des hommes, et que lorsqu’on trouve des femmes dans les rangs antisystèmes, c’est essentiellement par islamophobie. Ceci concédé, notre monde aux affaires repose sur les valeurs féminines : « pleurnicherie humanitaire » (Muray), hystérie belliciste, autoritarisme tortueux (Merkel, Clinton…). Sans oublier la haine du sexe et de la reproduction, qui sont devenues des valeurs féministes. Dans l’Espagne féministe-socialiste de Sanchez, le sexe doit se faire avec notaire.

    Le Deep State et l’empire nous préparent un après-Trump (je laisse de côté le (...)

  • Thomas Frank et la dérive de la gauche milliardaire

    Thomas Frank et la dérive de la gauche milliardaire

    Thomas Frank est l’auteur d’essais reconnus en Amérique sur la collusion de la subversion et des milliardaires. Dans The Conquest of cool, il exposa comment la pub et le Big Business recyclèrent la contre-culture et la contestation dans les années 60 (il parle d’un changement de paysen cinq ans). Plus récemment, Frank explique comment, en Amérique comme en France, les riches votent à gauche. Dans cet article publié par Le Monde diplomatique il montre et dénonce la collusion entre les forces milliardaires et la bourse des valeurs morales tenue par une clique d’oligarques branchés. Deux cibles : les Clinton et le duo Weinstein.

    Tout ce que dit Thomas Frank est frappé au coin du bon sens : une seule observation, à savoir que la trahison du pauvre - (...)

  • ‘This Is About Systematically Impoverishing People’ | FAIR

    JJ: We watched it in real time, a kind of bait-and-switch, in the so-called liberal press. I remember papers like the #New_York_Times starting out saying, “Well, we’ll agree, it would be OK to cut benefits, as long as there’s a guaranteed job.” And then the job went into parentheses. And then it became, “Well, a job—or else some training.” And then it just kind of disappeared, you know, and childcare….

    FK: That’s right, with incredible credulity, or something worse.

    JJ: Exactly. Childcare went the same way, so folks may not remember that it was sold as an anti-poverty program, and now it’s being celebrated as simply being anti-welfare, and the difference between those is what’s being elided.

    FK: Yes. I almost hesitate to say this, because, of course, Donald Trump is horrible, and our contemporary politics are terrifying. But it’s worth remembering also that, you know, Bill #Clinton was a pretty good liar, too . Donald Trump is a liar, but Clinton was also a liar.

    And he said all the time, and people in his administration said all the time, or suggested at least, that there was going to be childcare available for every person who was now going to be expected to be in the waged labor market, that people weren’t just going to be thrown off the welfare rolls willy nilly. But that there would be, he kept on saying, there would be opportunity, there would be education, there would be training, there would be jobs, there would be childcare, but none of that was actually in the law.

    #réformes#etats-unis #guerre_aux_pauvres #racisme #complicité #MSM

  • Pourquoi Israël (et le lobby pro-Israël aux Etats-Unis) défend MBS

    Why we should go easy on the Saudi crown prince

    For 50 years we’ve prayed for a key Arab leader who agrees to sign a significant pact with Israel. Such a leader has finally arrived

    Tzvia Greenfield
    Oct 22, 2018 1:48 AM

    Turkey, a human rights champion under Erdogan, is accusing Saudi Arabia, another human rights champion, of the abhorrent murder of a Saudi journalist who entered the lion’s den in Istanbul and, as befits horror stories typical of places like Syria China, Iran, Russia and North Korea, disappeared from sight. Now we have recordings and videotapes, allegedly from the Saudi consulate, suggesting that his body was chopped into pieces.
    The underlying reason for this gruesome act, that evokes something conjured up by the Coen brothers, is not completely clear. One shouldn’t treat any death lightly, particularly not a murder committed by an evil government. However, because of the political ramifications involved, it’s worth contemplating this episode a bit more.
    To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz
    It’s possible that just like Putin, the Saudi royal house cannot tolerate any criticism, which is why it decided to eliminate the rogue journalist in an acid bath (a no less likely possibility that has not yet been suggested by the authorities in Ankara). It’s possible that Recep Tayyip Erdogan is gnashing his teeth over Saudi Arabia’s bolstered global status, particularly vis-à-vis U.S. President Donald Trump, and over the central role played by Mohammed bin Salman in a regional coalition meant to block Iranian influence in the Middle East — which is why Erdogan is bent on deflating the Crown Prince’s image.
    Erdogan may want to humiliate the Saudis, but his main goal is foiling the plan apparently devised by Trump and Mohammed to forge a regional alliance under the aegis of the United States, an alliance that includes Israel, the Gulf States, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt (and possibly Iraq). These countries will jointly try to block Iran, which endangers all of them. Turkey, which is struggling to find an as-yet-undetermined place within the Arab Muslim world, does not strive merely to lead the Sunni world. It also wants to depict Israel as a foreign colonialist implant in the Middle East. Any legitimization afforded Israel thanks to an alliance with Arab states has negative implications for Erdogan.
    Keep updated: Sign up to our newsletter
    Email* Sign up

    >> Why are some pro-Israel voices speaking out against Jamal Khashoggi? | Explained ■ Saudi Arabia, reeling from Khashoggi scandal, battles a new front: Arab media | Analysis
    But fate obviously has a sense of humor. It has embroiled the Turkish rivalry with Saudi Arabia in the U.S. midterm elections. Since Mohammed is currently Trump’s most important international ally, mainly for economic reasons, the campaign advocating a “liberal order,” espoused by international media assailing the Saudi leader, is buzzing with excitement. Its main objective is not the brushing aside of Saudi Arabia, but the delivery of a humiliating knockout blow to Trump and his economic plans.

    According to Time magazine, the level of public support for Trump remains stable at 43 percent, similar to that of Obama, Clinton and Reagan at comparative phases in their terms. It’s no wonder that after the failed attacks on Trump, who immerged unscathed from the intimidation of migrant children, the Stormy Daniels saga and the attempt to prevent the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, the left is eager to pounce on the Saudi murder case as if it has found a treasure trove.
    However, this time it’s necessary to treat the suspect with kid gloves. Trump’s peace initiative, if it is ever put on the table, is apparently the direct result of pressure by Mohammed bin Salman, who wishes to legitimize Israel before embarking on open cooperation with it. For 50 years we’ve prayed for a key Arab leader who agrees to sign a significant pact with Israel. Such a leader has finally arrived, and calls to depose him, such as those by former U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro in an op-ed in Haaretz (October 21) are destructive and in keeping with the best Obama tradition. Anyone waiting for a world of the purely just will have to struggle all his life with the purely evil.

    Tzvia Greenfield

    • Israël est un état colonial par la décision qui l’a créé et par son racisme (dès l’origine les kibboutz, bien que laïques étaient « juifs only »). Les nationalistes sionistes étaient sans doute habités par l’idéologie raciste coloniale propre à la période.

      Cela n’aurait pas été un problème si Israël avait accepté plus tard de reconnaitre les souffrances infligées aux populations arabes autochtones et s’il avait cherché à les compenser.
      Au lieu de cela Israël n’a jamais envisagé de créer une société réellement multi-ethnique et n’a eu de cesse de s’étendre et de réprimer toujours plus massivement les arabes, crimes de guerre sur crimes de guerre ...

      Israël comme l’Arabie, bien que différents, sont deux créations de l’occident colonial, toutes deux structurées par le racisme.
      Leur rapprochement a une logique.

  • Can Mark Zuckerberg Fix Facebook Before It Breaks Democracy? | The New Yorker

    Since 2011, Zuckerberg has lived in a century-old white clapboard Craftsman in the Crescent Park neighborhood, an enclave of giant oaks and historic homes not far from Stanford University. The house, which cost seven million dollars, affords him a sense of sanctuary. It’s set back from the road, shielded by hedges, a wall, and mature trees. Guests enter through an arched wooden gate and follow a long gravel path to a front lawn with a saltwater pool in the center. The year after Zuckerberg bought the house, he and his longtime girlfriend, Priscilla Chan, held their wedding in the back yard, which encompasses gardens, a pond, and a shaded pavilion. Since then, they have had two children, and acquired a seven-hundred-acre estate in Hawaii, a ski retreat in Montana, and a four-story town house on Liberty Hill, in San Francisco. But the family’s full-time residence is here, a ten-minute drive from Facebook’s headquarters.

    Occasionally, Zuckerberg records a Facebook video from the back yard or the dinner table, as is expected of a man who built his fortune exhorting employees to keep “pushing the world in the direction of making it a more open and transparent place.” But his appetite for personal openness is limited. Although Zuckerberg is the most famous entrepreneur of his generation, he remains elusive to everyone but a small circle of family and friends, and his efforts to protect his privacy inevitably attract attention. The local press has chronicled his feud with a developer who announced plans to build a mansion that would look into Zuckerberg’s master bedroom. After a legal fight, the developer gave up, and Zuckerberg spent forty-four million dollars to buy the houses surrounding his. Over the years, he has come to believe that he will always be the subject of criticism. “We’re not—pick your noncontroversial business—selling dog food, although I think that people who do that probably say there is controversy in that, too, but this is an inherently cultural thing,” he told me, of his business. “It’s at the intersection of technology and psychology, and it’s very personal.”

    At the same time, former Facebook executives, echoing a growing body of research, began to voice misgivings about the company’s role in exacerbating isolation, outrage, and addictive behaviors. One of the largest studies, published last year in the American Journal of Epidemiology, followed the Facebook use of more than five thousand people over three years and found that higher use correlated with self-reported declines in physical health, mental health, and life satisfaction. At an event in November, 2017, Sean Parker, Facebook’s first president, called himself a “conscientious objector” to social media, saying, “God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.” A few days later, Chamath Palihapitiya, the former vice-president of user growth, told an audience at Stanford, “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works—no civil discourse, no coöperation, misinformation, mistruth.” Palihapitiya, a prominent Silicon Valley figure who worked at Facebook from 2007 to 2011, said, “I feel tremendous guilt. I think we all knew in the back of our minds.” Of his children, he added, “They’re not allowed to use this shit.” (Facebook replied to the remarks in a statement, noting that Palihapitiya had left six years earlier, and adding, “Facebook was a very different company back then.”)

    In March, Facebook was confronted with an even larger scandal: the Times and the British newspaper the Observer reported that a researcher had gained access to the personal information of Facebook users and sold it to Cambridge Analytica, a consultancy hired by Trump and other Republicans which advertised using “psychographic” techniques to manipulate voter behavior. In all, the personal data of eighty-seven million people had been harvested. Moreover, Facebook had known of the problem since December of 2015 but had said nothing to users or regulators. The company acknowledged the breach only after the press discovered it.

    We spoke at his home, at his office, and by phone. I also interviewed four dozen people inside and outside the company about its culture, his performance, and his decision-making. I found Zuckerberg straining, not always coherently, to grasp problems for which he was plainly unprepared. These are not technical puzzles to be cracked in the middle of the night but some of the subtlest aspects of human affairs, including the meaning of truth, the limits of free speech, and the origins of violence.

    Zuckerberg is now at the center of a full-fledged debate about the moral character of Silicon Valley and the conscience of its leaders. Leslie Berlin, a historian of technology at Stanford, told me, “For a long time, Silicon Valley enjoyed an unencumbered embrace in America. And now everyone says, Is this a trick? And the question Mark Zuckerberg is dealing with is: Should my company be the arbiter of truth and decency for two billion people? Nobody in the history of technology has dealt with that.”

    In 2002, Zuckerberg went to Harvard, where he embraced the hacker mystique, which celebrates brilliance in pursuit of disruption. “The ‘fuck you’ to those in power was very strong,” the longtime friend said. In 2004, as a sophomore, he embarked on the project whose origin story is now well known: the founding of with four fellow-students (“the” was dropped the following year); the legal battles over ownership, including a suit filed by twin brothers, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, accusing Zuckerberg of stealing their idea; the disclosure of embarrassing messages in which Zuckerberg mocked users for giving him so much data (“they ‘trust me.’ dumb fucks,” he wrote); his regrets about those remarks, and his efforts, in the years afterward, to convince the world that he has left that mind-set behind.

    New hires learned that a crucial measure of the company’s performance was how many people had logged in to Facebook on six of the previous seven days, a measurement known as L6/7. “You could say it’s how many people love this service so much they use it six out of seven days,” Parakilas, who left the company in 2012, said. “But, if your job is to get that number up, at some point you run out of good, purely positive ways. You start thinking about ‘Well, what are the dark patterns that I can use to get people to log back in?’ ”

    Facebook engineers became a new breed of behaviorists, tweaking levers of vanity and passion and susceptibility. The real-world effects were striking. In 2012, when Chan was in medical school, she and Zuckerberg discussed a critical shortage of organs for transplant, inspiring Zuckerberg to add a small, powerful nudge on Facebook: if people indicated that they were organ donors, it triggered a notification to friends, and, in turn, a cascade of social pressure. Researchers later found that, on the first day the feature appeared, it increased official organ-donor enrollment more than twentyfold nationwide.

    Sean Parker later described the company’s expertise as “exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology.” The goal: “How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?” Facebook engineers discovered that people find it nearly impossible not to log in after receiving an e-mail saying that someone has uploaded a picture of them. Facebook also discovered its power to affect people’s political behavior. Researchers found that, during the 2010 midterm elections, Facebook was able to prod users to vote simply by feeding them pictures of friends who had already voted, and by giving them the option to click on an “I Voted” button. The technique boosted turnout by three hundred and forty thousand people—more than four times the number of votes separating Trump and Clinton in key states in the 2016 race. It became a running joke among employees that Facebook could tilt an election just by choosing where to deploy its “I Voted” button.

    These powers of social engineering could be put to dubious purposes. In 2012, Facebook data scientists used nearly seven hundred thousand people as guinea pigs, feeding them happy or sad posts to test whether emotion is contagious on social media. (They concluded that it is.) When the findings were published, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they caused an uproar among users, many of whom were horrified that their emotions may have been surreptitiously manipulated. In an apology, one of the scientists wrote, “In hindsight, the research benefits of the paper may not have justified all of this anxiety.”

    Facebook was, in the words of Tristan Harris, a former design ethicist at Google, becoming a pioneer in “ persuasive technology.

    Facebook had adopted a buccaneering motto, “Move fast and break things,” which celebrated the idea that it was better to be flawed and first than careful and perfect. Andrew Bosworth, a former Harvard teaching assistant who is now one of Zuckerberg’s longest-serving lieutenants and a member of his inner circle, explained, “A failure can be a form of success. It’s not the form you want, but it can be a useful thing to how you learn.” In Zuckerberg’s view, skeptics were often just fogies and scolds. “There’s always someone who wants to slow you down,” he said in a commencement address at Harvard last year. “In our society, we often don’t do big things because we’re so afraid of making mistakes that we ignore all the things wrong today if we do nothing. The reality is, anything we do will have issues in the future. But that can’t keep us from starting.”

    In contrast to a traditional foundation, an L.L.C. can lobby and give money to politicians, without as strict a legal requirement to disclose activities. In other words, rather than trying to win over politicians and citizens in places like Newark, Zuckerberg and Chan could help elect politicians who agree with them, and rally the public directly by running ads and supporting advocacy groups. (A spokesperson for C.Z.I. said that it has given no money to candidates; it has supported ballot initiatives through a 501(c)(4) social-welfare organization.) “The whole point of the L.L.C. structure is to allow a coördinated attack,” Rob Reich, a co-director of Stanford’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, told me. The structure has gained popularity in Silicon Valley but has been criticized for allowing wealthy individuals to orchestrate large-scale social agendas behind closed doors. Reich said, “There should be much greater transparency, so that it’s not dark. That’s not a criticism of Mark Zuckerberg. It’s a criticism of the law.”

    La question des langues est fondamentale quand il s’agit de réseaux sociaux

    Beginning in 2013, a series of experts on Myanmar met with Facebook officials to warn them that it was fuelling attacks on the Rohingya. David Madden, an entrepreneur based in Myanmar, delivered a presentation to officials at the Menlo Park headquarters, pointing out that the company was playing a role akin to that of the radio broadcasts that spread hatred during the Rwandan genocide. In 2016, C4ADS, a Washington-based nonprofit, published a detailed analysis of Facebook usage in Myanmar, and described a “campaign of hate speech that actively dehumanizes Muslims.” Facebook officials said that they were hiring more Burmese-language reviewers to take down dangerous content, but the company repeatedly declined to say how many had actually been hired. By last March, the situation had become dire: almost a million Rohingya had fled the country, and more than a hundred thousand were confined to internal camps. The United Nations investigator in charge of examining the crisis, which the U.N. has deemed a genocide, said, “I’m afraid that Facebook has now turned into a beast, and not what it was originally intended.” Afterward, when pressed, Zuckerberg repeated the claim that Facebook was “hiring dozens” of additional Burmese-language content reviewers.

    More than three months later, I asked Jes Kaliebe Petersen, the C.E.O. of Phandeeyar, a tech hub in Myanmar, if there had been any progress. “We haven’t seen any tangible change from Facebook,” he told me. “We don’t know how much content is being reported. We don’t know how many people at Facebook speak Burmese. The situation is getting worse and worse here.”

    I saw Zuckerberg the following morning, and asked him what was taking so long. He replied, “I think, fundamentally, we’ve been slow at the same thing in a number of areas, because it’s actually the same problem. But, yeah, I think the situation in Myanmar is terrible.” It was a frustrating and evasive reply. I asked him to specify the problem. He said, “Across the board, the solution to this is we need to move from what is fundamentally a reactive model to a model where we are using technical systems to flag things to a much larger number of people who speak all the native languages around the world and who can just capture much more of the content.”

    Lecture des journaux ou des aggrégateurs ?

    once asked Zuckerberg what he reads to get the news. “I probably mostly read aggregators,” he said. “I definitely follow Techmeme”—a roundup of headlines about his industry—“and the media and political equivalents of that, just for awareness.” He went on, “There’s really no newspaper that I pick up and read front to back. Well, that might be true of most people these days—most people don’t read the physical paper—but there aren’t many news Web sites where I go to browse.”

    A couple of days later, he called me and asked to revisit the subject. “I felt like my answers were kind of vague, because I didn’t necessarily feel like it was appropriate for me to get into which specific organizations or reporters I read and follow,” he said. “I guess what I tried to convey, although I’m not sure if this came across clearly, is that the job of uncovering new facts and doing it in a trusted way is just an absolutely critical function for society.”

    Zuckerberg and Sandberg have attributed their mistakes to excessive optimism, a blindness to the darker applications of their service. But that explanation ignores their fixation on growth, and their unwillingness to heed warnings. Zuckerberg resisted calls to reorganize the company around a new understanding of privacy, or to reconsider the depth of data it collects for advertisers.


    In barely two years, the mood in Washington had shifted. Internet companies and entrepreneurs, formerly valorized as the vanguard of American ingenuity and the astronauts of our time, were being compared to Standard Oil and other monopolists of the Gilded Age. This spring, the Wall Street Journal published an article that began, “Imagine a not-too-distant future in which trustbusters force Facebook to sell off Instagram and WhatsApp.” It was accompanied by a sepia-toned illustration in which portraits of Zuckerberg, Tim Cook, and other tech C.E.O.s had been grafted onto overstuffed torsos meant to evoke the robber barons. In 1915, Louis Brandeis, the reformer and future Supreme Court Justice, testified before a congressional committee about the dangers of corporations large enough that they could achieve a level of near-sovereignty “so powerful that the ordinary social and industrial forces existing are insufficient to cope with it.” He called this the “curse of bigness.” Tim Wu, a Columbia law-school professor and the author of a forthcoming book inspired by Brandeis’s phrase, told me, “Today, no sector exemplifies more clearly the threat of bigness to democracy than Big Tech.” He added, “When a concentrated private power has such control over what we see and hear, it has a power that rivals or exceeds that of elected government.”

    When I asked Zuckerberg whether policymakers might try to break up Facebook, he replied, adamantly, that such a move would be a mistake. The field is “extremely competitive,” he told me. “I think sometimes people get into this mode of ‘Well, there’s not, like, an exact replacement for Facebook.’ Well, actually, that makes it more competitive, because what we really are is a system of different things: we compete with Twitter as a broadcast medium; we compete with Snapchat as a broadcast medium; we do messaging, and iMessage is default-installed on every iPhone.” He acknowledged the deeper concern. “There’s this other question, which is just, laws aside, how do we feel about these tech companies being big?” he said. But he argued that efforts to “curtail” the growth of Facebook or other Silicon Valley heavyweights would cede the field to China. “I think that anything that we’re doing to constrain them will, first, have an impact on how successful we can be in other places,” he said. “I wouldn’t worry in the near term about Chinese companies or anyone else winning in the U.S., for the most part. But there are all these places where there are day-to-day more competitive situations—in Southeast Asia, across Europe, Latin America, lots of different places.”

    The rough consensus in Washington is that regulators are unlikely to try to break up Facebook. The F.T.C. will almost certainly fine the company for violations, and may consider blocking it from buying big potential competitors, but, as a former F.T.C. commissioner told me, “in the United States you’re allowed to have a monopoly position, as long as you achieve it and maintain it without doing illegal things.”

    Facebook is encountering tougher treatment in Europe, where antitrust laws are stronger and the history of fascism makes people especially wary of intrusions on privacy. One of the most formidable critics of Silicon Valley is the European Union’s top antitrust regulator, Margrethe Vestager.

    In Vestager’s view, a healthy market should produce competitors to Facebook that position themselves as ethical alternatives, collecting less data and seeking a smaller share of user attention. “We need social media that will allow us to have a nonaddictive, advertising-free space,” she said. “You’re more than welcome to be successful and to dramatically outgrow your competitors if customers like your product. But, if you grow to be dominant, you have a special responsibility not to misuse your dominant position to make it very difficult for others to compete against you and to attract potential customers. Of course, we keep an eye on it. If we get worried, we will start looking.”


    As hard as it is to curb election propaganda, Zuckerberg’s most intractable problem may lie elsewhere—in the struggle over which opinions can appear on Facebook, which cannot, and who gets to decide. As an engineer, Zuckerberg never wanted to wade into the realm of content. Initially, Facebook tried blocking certain kinds of material, such as posts featuring nudity, but it was forced to create long lists of exceptions, including images of breast-feeding, “acts of protest,” and works of art. Once Facebook became a venue for political debate, the problem exploded. In April, in a call with investment analysts, Zuckerberg said glumly that it was proving “easier to build an A.I. system to detect a nipple than what is hate speech.”

    The cult of growth leads to the curse of bigness: every day, a billion things were being posted to Facebook. At any given moment, a Facebook “content moderator” was deciding whether a post in, say, Sri Lanka met the standard of hate speech or whether a dispute over Korean politics had crossed the line into bullying. Zuckerberg sought to avoid banning users, preferring to be a “platform for all ideas.” But he needed to prevent Facebook from becoming a swamp of hoaxes and abuse. His solution was to ban “hate speech” and impose lesser punishments for “misinformation,” a broad category that ranged from crude deceptions to simple mistakes. Facebook tried to develop rules about how the punishments would be applied, but each idiosyncratic scenario prompted more rules, and over time they became byzantine. According to Facebook training slides published by the Guardian last year, moderators were told that it was permissible to say “You are such a Jew” but not permissible to say “Irish are the best, but really French sucks,” because the latter was defining another people as “inferiors.” Users could not write “Migrants are scum,” because it is dehumanizing, but they could write “Keep the horny migrant teen-agers away from our daughters.” The distinctions were explained to trainees in arcane formulas such as “Not Protected + Quasi protected = not protected.”

    It will hardly be the last quandary of this sort. Facebook’s free-speech dilemmas have no simple answers—you don’t have to be a fan of Alex Jones to be unnerved by the company’s extraordinary power to silence a voice when it chooses, or, for that matter, to amplify others, to pull the levers of what we see, hear, and experience. Zuckerberg is hoping to erect a scalable system, an orderly decision tree that accounts for every eventuality and exception, but the boundaries of speech are a bedevilling problem that defies mechanistic fixes. The Supreme Court, defining obscenity, landed on “I know it when I see it.” For now, Facebook is making do with a Rube Goldberg machine of policies and improvisations, and opportunists are relishing it. Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, seized on the ban of Jones as a fascist assault on conservatives. In a moment that was rich even by Cruz’s standards, he quoted Martin Niemöller’s famous lines about the Holocaust, saying, “As the poem goes, you know, ‘First they came for Alex Jones.’ ”

    #Facebook #Histoire_numérique

  • Ce n’était pas un héros – John McCain était un criminel de guerre – Salimsellami’s Blog

    Le décorum et la décence humaine exigent que nous nous abstenions de parler mal d’un malade aux portes de la mort. Cette règle est nulle et non avenue lorsque la personne qu’on est censé pleurer est responsable de la mort et du massacre continu d’innombrables humains à travers le monde. Pardonnez-moi si je refuse de faire l’éloge de ce sénateur de l’Arizona, un belliciste. Même un rendez-vous imminent avec son créateur ne peut modérer la désinvolture de McCain. Comme un barbare montrant ses stéroïdes, Johnny Boy insiste pour pousser à déclencher une guerre impie après l’autre.

    McCain a utilisé le fait d’être un ancien du Vietnam pour se catapulter au sommet de la classe politique, même s’il a peu fait pour aider les anciens combattants qui subissent les ravages des guerres qu’il ne cesse de pousser à faire. Je ne cache pas mon admiration pour les anciens combattants. Après avoir été confronté à deux ans de difficultés et avoir appelé des vétérans sans abri, mes voisins et mes amis, je peux témoigner de la valeur et de la gentillesse de ceux qui ont servi dans notre armée. Ce qui fait des anciens combattants des héros, ce n’est pas le nombre de fois où ils ont déclenché des guerres et leur valeur n’est pas quantifiée par le nombre de tués à leur actif. C’est leur générosité et leur esprit de don qui en font de véritables guerriers dignes d’éloges et d’honneur.

    Les vrais héros sont ceux qui se battent dans les guerres et qui rentrent chez eux pour servir même s’ils combattent leurs propres démons. J’ai écrit sur mes expériences avec des anciens combattants à de nombreuses occasions. Cela me brise le cœur tous les jours en voyant des vétérans aux prises avec le PTSD (syndrome de stress post-traumatique) et aux immenses difficultés à se réadapter à la vie après avoir vu l’enfer déchaîné contre leurs semblables. Mon propre père était un vétéran et mes deux grands-pères étaient des héros de guerre qui ont combattu l’armée de Mussolini pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Par conséquent, je suis un homme qui a toujours vénéré les gens qui portent l’uniforme pour servir leur pays. Cette révérence a été amplifiée par la magnitude lorsque je me suis fait des amis au cours des deux dernières années parmi une litanie de vétérans de Caroline du Sud, de Géorgie, du Tennessee et de l’Iowa jusqu’au Colorado. La gentillesse des vétérans qui m’ont maintenu dans la bonne humeur pendant ma période d’adversité est une dette que je ne pourrai jamais rembourser. Beaucoup étaient confrontés à des difficultés d’indigence et de détresse, tout en continuant à aider les autres – c’est la quintessence d’être un héros.

    Je connais des héros de guerre ; J’ai rencontré des héros de guerre. John McCain n’est pas un héros de guerre. Les réalisations passées ne compensent pas la malveillance actuelle. À l’origine de la souffrance humaine de ce monde, il y a un complexe militaro-financier hors de contrôle qui n’existe que pour voler la richesse des autres nations et tuer des millions de personnes à travers le monde. Cette même machine de mort est à l’origine des luttes que traversent les anciens combattants. Nos politiciens immoraux – des présidents aux sénateurs et aux membres du Congrès – continuent de déclarer les guerres illégales en utilisant des prétextes mensongers comme la « protection de la démocratie » pour commettre des crimes en violation directe des Conventions de Genève. S’il y avait une justice dans ce monde, Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump et chaque marchand de guerre néo-conservateur et néo-libéral seraient envoyés au Tribunal International de La Haye et jugés pour crimes contre l’humanité. Si Clinton, Bush, Obama et Trump auraient été des as dans le jeu de cartes des criminels de guerre, John McCain serait le roi de cœur. Cet homme n’avait jamais assez de guerres. C’est un mélange de Dr. Folamour et de major frappant les tambours de guerre. Pendant près de quatre décennies, il a défilé devant le Sénat et a encouragé un flux continu de guerres. Liban, Grenade, Panama, Irak 1, Somalie, Bosnie, Kosovo, Irak 2, Afghanistan, Libye et Syrie ne sont là que quelques-unes des guerres que notre gouvernement en état de guerre continue a faites pour des profits et des massacres. Et si l’on commence à compter les guerres secrètes causées par notre gouvernement, la liste des pays frappés avec des balles et des bombes par nous dépasse la liste des pays que nous n’avons pas encore agressés. Mon pays natal L’Ethiopie est victime de cette atroce machine de guerre. Ce qui se fait sous nos noms est en train d’arriver à nos côtes alors que les mondialistes dépravés détruisent maintenant l’Amérique de l’intérieur (lire en anglais « When a Conscience Begets a Colonial Bullet ».)

    McCain a approuvé chacune de ces guerres. Il n’y a pas eu une guerre contre laquelle il s’est opposé pendant sa carrière à Washington DC. Après avoir vu les horreurs de la guerre, la plupart des gens reviennent avec le but d’y mettre fin. Pas McCain ! Ce qu’il a connu à Hanoi Hilton est bien inférieur aux ravages qu’il a commis dans le monde, car il a été l’un des principaux défenseurs de la guerre et le plus grand partisan de la politique guerrière au Congrès. S’il ne consacrait qu’une partie de l’effort qu’il déploie pour pousser à faire des guerres à aider les anciens combattants, je pourrais lui donner au moins un petit peu de crédit comme être humain. Au lieu de cela, il a voté à plusieurs reprises contre les droits des Anciens Combattants et hier, il s’est envolé pour Washington DC pour voter contre les soins de santé.

    Je n’écris pas cela comme un parti pris comme la plupart des experts des médias de l’établissement. Je reste très claire au sujet de l’Obamacare. L’Affordable Care Act a été une arnaque et un cafouillage qui a profité au secteur des assurances, car il nous a tous jetés dans un système de soins de santé cassé qui va rapidement imploser (lire en anglais « Obamacare, Obama’s Scam »). Cependant, McCain ne s’est pas rendu à Washington DC pour défendre les petites gens ou pour promouvoir un système d’assurance maladie plus équitable. Il a pris le micro pour défendre les intérêts des entreprises et à nouveau pour colporter l’idéologie brisée de l’économie par ruissellement. McCain ne voit rien de mal à dépenser des billions de dollars sur le complexe militaro-financier, mais il refuse de soutenir des politiques de santé qui garantiraient aux anciens combattants et au reste des Américains le même type de couverture dont lui et ses collègues législateurs bénéficient. Nous sommes une nation dirigés par des hommes sans loi et des criminels de guerre. Trop souvent, nous appelons héros des canailles non pas parce qu’ils le méritaient, mais parce qu’ils ont réussi à gagner la gloire et le statut. Avoir combattu dans une guerre ne fait pas de lui un héros car si tel était le cas, Hitler en serait un lui-aussi parce qu’il a également combattu dans une guerre (la Première Guerre mondiale) et a été victime d’armes chimiques. Nous avons raison de qualifier Adolf de monstre parce que nous le jugeons en fonction de ce qu’il a fait après avoir quitté l’uniforme. Dans le même esprit, je juge McCain non pas pour son service au Vietnam, mais pour ce qu’il a fait une fois devenu sénateur. Les mains de McCain sont couvertes par le sang de millions de personnes qui ont péri au cours des 40 dernières années de guerres interminables qu’il a endossé et poussé à faire. Ce n’est pas un héros, c’est un criminel de guerre.

    Pour conclure, une phrase de Kennedy :

    « L’humanité doit mettre fin à la guerre avant que la guerre ne mette fin à l’humanité. » ~ John F. Kennedy

    Teodrose Fikre

    Article original :

    Traduit de l’anglais par La Gazette du Citoyen

    Paru le 26 juillet 2017 sous le titre No Hero : John McCain is a War Criminal                                                                                                                                   

    • John McCain : salut pourriture ! Gabriel PROULX - 3 septembre 2018 - Le Grand Soir
      . . . . .
      Alors qu’il était jeune pilote dans l’aviation de guerre des États-Unis, John McCain, fils d’un amiral 4 étoiles, forge son mythe héroïque dans le ciel du nord du Vietnam. Là-bas, il bombarde une usine de fabrication d’ampoules électriques et quelques champs de riz, avant que ceux qu’il bombardait n’osent répliquer en abattant avec précision son avion de guerre. Il aurait pu être lynché sur place par une foule en colère, mais il a plutôt été sauvé par ceux qu’il bombardait. Ayant eu droit à un logement adéquat pour son statut de fils d’amiral, les histoires sur les tortures qu’il aurait subi, appartiennent plus à la catégorie des rumeurs qu’à celle des faits historiques, en l’absence de preuves. C’est ici que s’arrête le mythe sur son héroïsme militaire supposé.

      Quoi qu’il en soit, John McCain a toujours gardé une haine raciste pleinement assumée en public contre le peuple vietnamien qu’il a bombardé, mais qui ne l’a pas tué en retour. Alors qu’il participait en 2000 à la course pour l’investiture républicaine à la présidence des États-Unis, John McCain lançait encore des insultes racistes contre le peuple vietnamien.

      Dans les années 70, après son retour du Vietnam, John McCain a milité aux États-Unis pour le maintien de la politique de bombardements massifs contre le Cambodge, sous prétexte que les Vietnamiens avaient des lignes logistiques dans la jungle de ce pays. Les bombardements aveugles des États-Unis contre des villages cambodgiens, qui ont causé des dizaines de milliers de morts parmi la population rurale du Cambodge, sont la cause directe de la montée au pouvoir de Pol Pot et de ses Khmers Rouges, principalement un mouvement de fermiers enragés par les morts dans leurs familles sous les bombes des États-Unis.

      John McCain, qui était pilote de guerre dans cette région quelques années plus tôt, devait être au courant de l’ampleur des destructions dans la campagne du Cambodge, mais il est évident que tout ce qui lui importait à ce moment était de tuer des Vietnamiens, qu’ils soient militaires ou civils.

      John McCain a ensuite soutenu, avec un fanatisme peu commun, chaque guerre d’agression des États-Unis, ainsi que chaque action militaire, ouverte ou par procuration, contre des socialistes, partout dans le monde. Durant sa croisade anti-communiste, il n’a pas hésité un seul instant à collaborer avec des nazis, des terroristes et même les fondateurs du groupe terroriste Al-Qaïda.

      Après l’implosion et la chute de l’URSS, John McCain a soutenu la destruction de la Yougoslavie par l’OTAN, avant de soutenir avec zèle le bombardement massif des infrastructures civiles de la Serbie.

      Devenu sénateur républicain de l’Arizona, où les gens voteraient pour tout candidat investi par le parti républicain, John McCain a voté en faveur de l’invasion de l’Afghanistan, au nom de la guerre contre ses anciens amis anti-communistes d’Al-Qaïda.

      Il a ensuite soutenu la guerre d’agression illégale des États-Unis contre l’Irak, basée sur une montagne de mensonges peu convaincants. McCain a défendu l’invasion de l’Irak par son pays pendant des années, malgré l’absence d’un début d’argumentaire crédible pour défendre sa position. Peu de temps avant sa mort, il aurait laissé entendre que la guerre qui a complètement détruit l’Irak et a causé la mort de plus d’un million de citoyens de ce pays, aurait été « peut-être une erreur ». Dans le merveilleux monde de l’impérialisme occidental, détruire un pays au complet sur la base de purs mensonges inventés pour faire rouler le complexe militaro-industriel et voler du pétrole, ce n’est pas un crime, mais une malheureuse erreur...

      Soutien indéfectible de l’apartheid sioniste israélien, John McCain n’a jamais exprimé assez bruyamment son adoration pour chaque crime de guerre commis par l’armée israélienne contre le peuple palestinien sous son occupation militaire coloniale. Quand il se rendait en Israël, à de multiples reprises, avec son ami et collègue sénateur de Caroline du Sud, Lindsay Graham, John McCain n’était plus le « grand patriote » des EU, mais un valet d’Israël, un pays étranger qui a long savoir-faire dans le domaine de l’ingérence dans les affaires internes occidentales par corruption de politiciens.

      Le même John McCain a dénoncé en 2008 la réaction défensive de la Russie devant une attaque de l’armée géorgienne contre la force de maintien de la paix russe en Ossétie du Sud. La deuxième guerre d’Ossétie du Sud a duré 4 jours. Dans son attaque suicidaire basée sur les mauvais calculs géopolitiques du gouvernement géorgien du fasciste Mikhail Saakachvili (qui milite aujourd’hui en Ukraine du côté des nazis les plus fanatiques), l’armée géorgienne a essuyé la perte de 171 morts et de 1 147 blessés. 224 civils géorgiens ont trouvé la mort durant ces 4 jours de combats, alors qu’environ 300 civils sud-ossètes ont été tués durant l’attaque initiale de leur capitale, Tskhinvali, par l’armée géorgienne.

      Sur la base de ces données, John McCain, qui était en campagne électorale en tant que candidat officiel du parti républicain à la présidence des États-Unis, a déclaré que s’il était élu président, il allait bombarder la Russie, une puissance nucléaire, pour sa « guerre d’agression sauvage » contre la Géorgie. Rien de moins, de la part d’un homme qui retirait une grande fierté des guerres de son pays contre des nations pauvres, causant au passage des millions de victimes civiles, allant des centaines de milliers de morts au nombre incalculable de blessés et de réfugiés.

      McCain a ensuite apporté un support bien sélectif aux révoltes du mal nommé « printemps arabe » à partir de 2011. Après avoir complètement ignoré les événements de Tunisie, McCain a soutenu la campagne de destruction de la Libye par l’aviation de l’OTAN et ses mercenaires islamistes sur le sol libyen, dont Al-Qaïda. John McCain et ses collègues Lindsay Graham et Marco Rubio (sénateur républicain de Floride) se sont rendus en Libye occupée pour apporter de vive voix leur soutien à des miliciens islamistes qui commettaient à ce moment même des exactions contre les libyens noirs, qu’ils accusaient de tous leurs problèmes.

      Il faut savoir que la Libye était au début de 2011 le pays le plus prospère du continent africain, avec un indice de développement humain et un niveau de vie comparable à celui des pays européens de la Méditerranée. Aujourd’hui, la Libye « démocratisée » à la sauce libérale occidentale est un enfer terrestre, avec l’un des pires niveaux de vie du monde, une infrastructure en ruines, jamais reconstruite après les bombardements de l’OTAN, une guerre civile qui s’éternise, des ressources pétrolières en cours de pillage par des compagnies occidentales et pour couronner cette grande réussite d’exportation de la démocratie libérale par une « intervention humanitaire » de l’OTAN : des marchés d’esclaves à ciel ouvert.

      Dans le cadre du printemps arabe, John McCain n’avait rien à faire des répressions violentes subies par le peuple du Bahreïn. Après tout, le monarque absolu du Bahreïn est un allié des États-Unis et de l’Arabie saoudite, dont le régime totalitaire fut un autre parrain de la carrière politique de McCain.

      John McCain s’est ensuite rendu en Syrie, pour apporter son soutien aux fameux « rebelles modérés » qui venaient d’un peu partout dans le monde dans le but parfaitement altruiste de créer un régime « démocratique » en coupant les têtes des infidèles et en pratiquant l’esclavage sexuel des femmes et des petites filles qui appartenaient à la mauvaise religion. Sur les photos de sa réunion avec les bons rebelles, on retrouve un McCain souriant, entouré de membres d’Al-Qaïda et flanqué d’un certain Abou Bakr al-Baghdadi, avant que ce terroriste irakien ne soit mieux connu comme le chef du mouvement terroriste État Islamique (Daech).

      John McCain retournera ensuite à ses racines anti-communiste et russophobe, lorsqu’il se rendra à Kiev pour se mêler directement des affaires politiques internes de l’Ukraine. Il monte sur un podium pour livrer un discours « pro-démocratie » profondément anti-russe, flanqué d’un certain Oleh Tyahnybok, chef d’un parti politique ukrainien ouvertement nazi qui appelle assez régulièrement à exterminer les russes et la « juiverie bolchévique ». Un autre nazi ukrainien bien connu, Andriy Parubiy, sera plus tard reçu par McCain dans son bureau de sénateur aux États-Unis. Il est important de noter que les alliés sionistes et israéliens de McCain n’ont jamais vu le moindre problème dans ses relations avec des nazis ukrainiens.

      Enfin affaibli par la maladie, John McCain, qui était considéré par la base Démocrate comme la risée de la politique étasunienne pour sa campagne présidentielle de 2008 assez désastreuse, sera élevé au rang de héros de la « résistance » contre le président Donald Trump en 2017 pour avoir accusé ce dernier d’être un agent russe. John McCain s’est ensuite mis à voir des espions et des ingérences russes partout.

      Jusqu’à son dernier souffle, John McCain aura défendu bec et ongles la guerre génocidaire infligée par le régime saoudien au peuple yéménite. Il a voté contre toutes les propositions visant à mettre un terme aux livraisons d’armes au régime saoudien dans le cadre de sa guerre d’agression contre le Yémen, tout comme il a voté contre toutes les propositions pour améliorer l’accès de ses compatriotes moins fortunés à des soins de santé abordables. Lui avait droit aux meilleurs soins pour sa maladie, mais pas les pauvres et les exploités du système.

      Pour un homme qui nous est présenté comme ayant été « héroïque » dans sa vie, qui voulait déclencher la Troisième Guerre mondiale pour répondre à 4 jours de guerre entre la Russie et la Géorgie, il est assez révélateur qu’il n’avait strictement rien à faire du sort du peuple yéménite. Sur les bombardements aveugles de l’Arabie saoudite contre des marchés, des fermes et des écoles au Yémen, qui ont causé un grand nombre de morts et de blessés chez les enfants yéménites, John McCain s’acharnait à dire que les saoudiens étaient « justifiés » dans leurs actions, que les victimes de cette guerre étaient toutes à blâmer sur les Houtis, qui ne font pourtant que défendre leur territoire. Sans le soutien des États-Unis et des Britanniques, les Saoudiens seraient incapables de continuer leur campagne de bombardements aveugles contre les infrastructures civiles du Yémen. Si cela devait arriver, quelques fabricants d’armes aux États-Unis feraient un peu moins de bénéfices et c’est le droit de ces marchands de morts de profiter d’un génocide que McCain a défendu jusque sur son lit de mort.

      Conclusion sur une vie trop longue :
      John McCain était visiblement un homme de peu de jugement, qui n’avait rien à faire des victimes des bombes fabriquées aux EU. Après tout, qu’est-ce qu’un enfant mort ou mutilé sous les bombes de son pays ou d’un de ses alliés, dans un pays pauvre situé de l’autre côté du monde, quand les grands fabricants d’armes sont aussi généreux pour les coffres-forts de votre carrière politique ? John McCain avait bien compris cela. Ce n’est pas pour rien que les milieux réellement progressistes aux États-Unis considèrent McCain comme le politicien le plus militariste de mémoire d’homme dans leur pays.

      Criminel de guerre, terroriste, sioniste, grand ami des nazis, des monarques absolus et autres ennemis des peuples, la disparition de John McCain est une bonne nouvelle pour la paix dans le monde. Il aura au moins vécu assez longtemps pour voir cette Russie qu’il détestait tant, faire échouer ses sinistres plans pour l’Ukraine et la Syrie.

      Les grands médias se lamenteront de l’hostilité entre Trump et McCain. Le manque de respect de Trump pour McCain sera dénoncé sur toutes les tribunes. Pourtant, les seuls qui devraient pouvoir s’exprimer aux funérailles de McCain, se sont les familles de ses innombrables victimes.

      Voici donc l’expression de tout mon respect pour John McCain et l’ensemble de son œuvre :

      John McCain : Salut pourriture !

      Gabriel Proulx 
Coporte-parole du PCQ

  • Yulia #Skripal and the Salisbury WUT - Craig Murray
    (article du 24 mai sur une affaire dont on n’entend plus beaucoup parler…)

    The government slapped a D(SMA) notice on the identity of Pablo Miller, Skripal’s former MI6 handler who lives close by in Salisbury and who worked for Christopher Steele’s Orbis Intelligence at the time that Orbis produced the extremely unreliable dossier on Trump/Russia. The fact that Skripal had not retired but was still briefing on Russia, to me raises to a near certainty the likelihood that Skripal worked with Miller on the Trump dossier.
    The Russian ex-intelligence officer who we know was in extremely close contact with Orbis at the time the report was written, was Sergei Skripal.

    The Orbis report is mince. Skripal knew it was mince and how it was written. Skripal has a history of selling secrets to the highest bidder. The Trump camp has a lot of money. My opinion is that as the Mueller investigation stutters towards ignominious failure, Skripal became a loose end that Orbis/MI6/CIA/Clinton (take your pick) wanted tied off. That seems to me at least as likely as a Russian state assassination. To say Russia is the only possible suspect is nonsense.

    via l’affaire Philip Cross levée par le même Craig Murray

  • America’s ‘Liberalism’ and Other Inhumane Styles of Governance At Home and Internationally | Global #Justice in the 21st Century

    In American political discourse the word ‘#liberal’ denotes someone who is [..,] rabidly anti-Trump, but considered Sanders either an unrealistic or undesirable alternative to Clinton, and currently hopes for that the 2020 presidential contender will be chosen from familiar, seasoned sources, which means Joe Biden, or if not, then Sherrod Brown or Corey Booker (Senators from Ohio and New Jersey). This kind of ‘liberal’ thinking scoffs at the idea of Oprah or Michelle Obama as credible candidates supposedly because they lack political experience, but actually because they do not project an identity associated with the Democratic Party organizational nexus. Such liberals support Israel, despite some misgivings about the expansion of settlements and Netanyahu’s style of leadership, and continue to believe that America occupies the high moral ground in international relations due to its support of ‘human rights’ (as understood as limited to social and political rights) and its constitutionalism and relatively open society at home.


  • Did Trump go easy on the Las Vegas shooter by not calling him a terrorist? - LA Times

    President Trump is being criticized on the internet — and elsewhere — for not calling the massacre in Las Vegas an act of terrorism. A typical comment on Twitter was: “Trump said the Las Vegas shooter was a sick demented man[;] why not call him what he is a TERRORIST because that what he did he caused Terror.”

    Mouarf. Vivement le même débat chez nous. Mais chez nous #cépapareil.

    • Ça donne l’impression d’être dans le salon de Clinton, qui en robe de chambre et en chaussons marmonne devant la télé « tse, j’aurais été à sa place, j’aurais utilisé le mot terroriste ». Ou il y a quelques jours « tse, j’aurais été à sa place, j’aurais utilisé le mot nazi ».
      « tse, j’aurais tellement été mieux que lui ».

  • #Obama Goes From White House to #Wall_Street in Less Than One Year - Bloomberg

    Obama is coming to Wall Street less than a year after leaving the White House, following a path that’s well trod and well paid. While he can’t run for president, he continues to be an influential voice in a party torn between celebrating and vilifying corporate power. His new work with banks might suggest which side of the debate he’ll be on and disappoint anyone expecting him to avoid a trap that snared Clinton. Or, as some of his executive friends see it, he’s just a private citizen giving a few paid speeches to other successful people while writing his next book.


  • Hacking the Vote: Who Helped Whom?

    In recent months, we have learned much about how successful the Trump campaign was in micro-targeting voters in crucial swing states. In the waning days of the 2016 campaign, especially, Trump’s data team knew exactly which voters in which states they needed to persuade on Facebook and Twitter and precisely what messages to use. The question is: How did the Russians know this, too?

    Last week, it was reported that both Congressional investigators and the FBI are now exploring whether Russian operatives were guided in their efforts by Trump’s digital team, and the House Intelligence Committee has invited Trump’s digital director, Brad Parscale, to testify. Largely ignored in this discussion, however, is another possibility: that the Russians themselves, through their hacking of Democratic Party records, were supplying crucial information to the digital team.

    According to its own account, Trump’s digital team, which was run by Parscale and overseen by Jared Kushner, used standard marketing tools, especially Facebook’s, to target voters in the rust belt states that decided the election. The team’s algorithms and models, which were developed by the data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, were essential to this effort. Using data culled from its database of 5,000 bits of personal information—such as religious affiliation, gun ownership, and buying habits—on 220 million Americans, Cambridge Analytica was able to determine where Trump had the best chances to motivate people who typically didn’t vote, where Clinton’s support among legacy Democrats was weak, and where the candidate himself should show up, especially in the last days of the campaign.

  • Clinton lost because PA, WI, and MI have high casualty rates and saw her as pro-war, study says

    Now an important new study has come out showing that Clinton paid for this arrogance: professors argue that Clinton lost the battleground states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan in last year’s presidential election because they had some of the highest casualty rates during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and voters there saw Clinton as the pro-war candidate.

    By contrast, her pro-war positions did not hurt her in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and California, the study says; because those states were relatively unscathed by the Middle East wars.

  • Selon le Financial Times, le raison de la colère des séoudiens, c’est une rançon de 500 millions à 1 milliard de dollars payée par le Qatar à des gens à qui il ne faudrait pas donner d’argent, ce qui revenait ainsi à les « financer » : The $1bn hostage deal that enraged Qatar’s Gulf rivals :

    Qatar paid up to $1bn to release members of its royal family who were kidnapped in Iraq while on a hunting trip, according to people involved in the hostage deal — one of the triggers behind Arab states’ dramatic decision to cut ties with the government in Doha. 

    Commanders of militant groups and government officials in the region told the Financial Times that Doha spent the money in a transaction that secured the release of 26 members of a Qatari falconry party in southern Iraq and about 50 militants captured by jihadis in Syria. 

    By their telling, Qatar paid off two of the most frequently blacklisted forces of the Middle East in one fell swoop: an al-Qaeda affiliate fighting in Syria and Iranian security officials. The deal, which was concluded in April, heightened concerns among Qatar’s neighbours about the small gas-rich state’s role in a region plagued by conflict and bitter rivalries.

    Ça fait tout de même des années que les Syriens accusent le Qatar de subventionner leurs clients jihadistes sous le couvert de ces réglements de « rançons ». Se demander (ou pas) pourquoi cette fois-ci ce serait insupportable pour les séoudiens.

    Intéressant : par contrecoup (et sans doute de manière bien involontaire), l’accusation séoudienne du moment valide rétrospectivement tout un pan des critiques des pratiques du Qatar en Syrie.

  • Fake news is a red herring | World | DW.COM | 25.01.2017

    Fake news, propaganda and “disinformatzya” are changing the media landscape - in the US, Russia and Turkey and across the world. The question is how to combat them.

    Par Ethan Zuckerman (une véritable analyse des diverses composantes du monde post-truth)

    Different types of fake news

    It’s tempting to say that Trump is using “fake news” to mean “news I don’t like”, but the reality is more complicated. “Fake news,” in this usage, means “real issues that don’t deserve as much attention as they’re receiving.” This form of fake news was likely an important factor in the 2016 campaign. There’s a compelling argument that the release of Clinton and Podesta’s emails by Russian hackers - and the media firestorm that ensued - were key to the outcome of the US election. While media outlets overfocused on the non-scandal of the emails, this wasn’t “fake news” so much as it was “false balance,” with newspapers playing up a Clinton “scandal” to counterbalance an endless sequence of Trump scandals.

    There’s another type of “fake news” that surfaces during virtually every political campaign: propaganda. Propaganda is weaponized speech that mixes truthful, deceptive and false speech, and is designed explicitly to strengthen one side and weaken the other. Propaganda has been around for a long time, preceding the era of mass media.

    A third category of “fake news,” relatively new to the scene in most countries, is disinformatzya. This is news that’s not trying to persuade you that Trump is good and Hillary bad (or vice versa). Instead, it’s trying to pollute the news ecosystem, to make it difficult or impossible to trust anything. This is a fairly common tactic in Russian politics and it’s been raised to an art form in Turkey by President Tayyip Erdogan, who uses it to discredit the internet, and Twitter in particular. Disinformatyza helps reduce trust in institutions of all sorts, leading people either to disengage with politics as a whole or to put their trust in strong leaders who promise to rise above the sound and fury. The embrace of “fake news” by the right wing in America as a way of discrediting the “mainstream media” can be understood as disinformatzya designed to reduce credibility of these institutions - with all the errors news organizations have made, why believe anything they say?

    One of the best known forms of disinformatya is “shitposting,” the technique of flooding online fora with abusive content, not to persuade readers, but to frustrate anyone trying to have a reasonable discussion of politics on the internet.

    Solving the problem of sensationalistic, click-driven journalism likely requires a new business model for news that focuses on its civic importance above profitability. In many European nations, public broadcasters provide at least a partial solution to this problem - in the US, a strong cultural suspicion of government involvement with news complicates this solution. A more promising path may be to address issues of filtering and curation. Getting Facebook to acknowledge that it’s a publisher, not a neutral platform for sharing content, and that its algorithmic decisions have an impact would be a first step towards letting users choose how ideologically isolated or exposed they want to be. Building public interest news aggregators that show us multiple points of view is a promising direction as well. Unbalanced news is a problem that’s always been with us, dealt with historically by shaping and adhering to journalistic standards - it’s now an open question whether social media platforms will take on that responsibility.

    Surprisingly, our best bets for fighting propaganda may come from a return to the past. Stanford historian Fred Turner wrote a brilliant book, “The Democratic Surround,” on how US intellectuals had tried to fight fascist propaganda in the 1940s through reinforcing democratic and pluralistic values. Rather than emphasizing critical reading or debate, the thinkers Turner documents designed massive museum installations intended to force Americans to wrestle with the plurality and diversity of their nation and the world. While exhibits such as “The Family of Man” might be an impossibly dated way to combat fake news, the idea of forcing people to confront a wider world than the one they’re used to wrestling with goes precisely to the root of the problems that enable fake news.

    #fake_news #post-truth #passionnant

  • The Problems With the FBI’s Email Investigation Went Well Beyond Comey

    "On Tuesday, when Donald Trump abruptly dismissed the F.B.I. director, James Comey, his Administration insisted that he was merely following the recommendation of his Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General, the two most senior officials in the Justice Department.

    In a three-page memorandum attached to Comey’s termination letter, the Deputy Attorney General, Rod J. Rosenstein, cited concern for the F.B.I.’s “reputation and credibility.” He said that the director had defied Justice Department policies and traditions and overstepped his authority in the way he handled the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation.

    This was a puzzling assertion from the Trump Administration, not least because Trump is widely acknowledged to have reaped the benefits of Comey’s actions on Election Day. After the F.B.I. director sent his letter to Congress, on October 28th, about the discovery of new Clinton e-mails and the Bureau’s plans to assess them, Trump praised Comey for his “guts” and called the news “bigger than Watergate.”

  •  » Seymour Hersh critique les médias pour avoir mis en avant l’histoire de hacking russe sans regard critique, par Jeremy Scahill
    Source : The Intercept, le 25/01/2017 Jeremy Scahill | Traduit par les lecteurs du site

    Jeremy Scahill de The Intercept discute avec Seymour Hersh à son domicile, à Washington D.C., deux jours après l’intronisation de Donal Trump.

    Hersh a dénoncé les médias comme étant un “monde de fous” pour leur promotion sans critique des propos du directeur du renseignement national et de la CIA, étant donné leurs antécédents de mensonge et de désinformation du public.

    “La façon dont ils se sont comportés sur le dossier russe est outrageante,” a dit Hersh quand je l’ai rencontré à son domicile à Washington D.C., deux jours après l’intronisation de Trump. “Ils étaient tellement prêts à croire cela. Et quand les têtes du renseignement leur ont donné ce résumé d’allégations, au lieu d’attaquer la CIA pour cette manœuvre, ce que j’aurais fait, dit-il, ils l’ont publié comme un fait. Hersh affirme que la plupart des médias ont raté un important élément de cette affaire : “La façon dont la Maison-Blanche a permis à l’agence de diffuser au public ces affirmations.”

    Hersh assure que les médias ont failli en ne contextualisant pas les rapports de renseignement rendus publics lors des derniers jours de l’administration Obama et qui devaient mettre un terme aux doutes concernant l’ordre donné par le président russe Vladimir Poutine de pirater la convention démocrate et les e-mails du responsable de campagne de Mme Clinton, John Podesta.(...)

  • Trump administration announces new military operation in Somalia - World Socialist Web Site

    On pensait Clinton comme une guerrière, c’est finalement Trump qui est sur tous les fronts...

    Trump administration announces new military operation in Somalia
    By Eddie Haywood
    18 April 2017

    The Pentagon announced the deployment of dozens of US troops to Somalia last week, the first deployment of regular infantry since 1994, to assist the Somali military in the fight against Al Shabaab militants. Coincident with the announcement of the US deployment, a combat contingent from Uganda arrived in Somalia’s capital city Mogadishu on the weekend.

    The Ugandan military contingent, which is one part of a multi-country cooperative offensive, replaces a group of Ugandan forces after that group’s one-year tour of duty ended. The Ugandan troops are to augment the US-backed African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) against the Islamist militants.

  • “Metal Music Studies” is the journal of the International Society for Metal Music Studies.

    The aims of the journal are:
    • To provide an intellectual hub for the International Society of Metal Music Studies and a vehicle to promote the development of metal music studies;
    • To be the focus for research and theory in metal music studies – a multidisciplinary (and interdisciplinary) subject field that engages with a range of parent disciplines, including (but not limited to) sociology, musicology, humanities, cultural studies, geography, philosophy, psychology, history, natural sciences;
    • To publish high-quality, world-class research, theory and shorter articles that cross over from the industry and the scene;
    • To be a world leader in interdisciplinary studies and be a unique resource for metal music studies.

    Volume 2, Number 3, 1 September 2016


    Free Content Metal and Cultural Impact
    pp. 259-262(4)
    Authors: Bardine, Bryan; Clinton, Esther


    ‘Power has a penis’: Cost reduction, social exchange and sexism in metal – reviewing the work of Sonia Vasan
    pp. 263-271(9)
    Author: Hill, Rosemary Lucy

    Methodological strategies and challenges in research with small heavy metal scenes: A reflection on entrance, evolution and permanence
    pp. 273-290(18)
    Authors: Varas-Díaz, Nelson; Mendoza, Sigrid; Rivera-Segarra, Eliut; González-Sepúlveda, Osvaldo

    ‘Record store guy’s head explodes and the critic is speechless!’ Questions of genre in drone metal
    pp. 291-309(19)
    Author: Coggins, Owen

    Swahili-tongued devils: Kenya’s heavy metal at the crossroads of identity
    pp. 311-324(14)
    Author: Banchs, Edward

    Five djentlemen and a girl walk into a metal bar: Thoughts on a ‘metal after metal’ metal studies
    pp. 325-339(15)
    Author: Fellezs, Kevin

    Community at the extremes: The death metal underground as being-in-common
    pp. 341-356(16)
    Authors: Snaza, Nathan; Netherton, Jason

    Metal militia behind the Iron Curtain: Scene formation in 1980s East Germany
    pp. 357-376(20)
    Author: Zaddach, Wolf-Georg

    Let there be rock: ‘Western’ heavy metal in Soviet press and public opinion during the Soviet Union’s final decade
    pp. 377-393(17)
    Author: Von Faust, Boris

    (Mis)representation of Burmese metal music in the western media
    pp. 395-404(10)
    Author: Maclachlan, Heather

    Authenticity, artifice, ideology: Heavy metal video and MTV’s ‘Second Launch’, 1983–1985
    pp. 405-411(7)
    Author: Mccombe, John

    #recherche #musique #métal (il semble qu’il faut utiliser les url DOI pour récupérer les articles sur sci-hub)

    • #david_foster_wallace dans le tour bus de #McCain, il y a des siècles...

      SUCK IT UP

      Another paradox: It is all but impossible to talk about the really important stuff in politics without using terms that have become such awful clichés they make your eyes glaze over and are difficult to even hear. One such term is “leader,” which all the big candidates use all the time—as in “providing leadership,” “a proven leader,” “a new leader for a new century,” etc.—and have reduced to such a platitude that it’s hard to try to think about what “leader” really means and whether indeed what today’s Young Voters want is a leader. The weird thing is that the word “leader” itself is cliché and boring, but when you come across somebody who actually is a real leader, that person isn’t boring at all; in fact he’s the opposite of boring.

      Obviously, a real leader isn’t just somebody who has ideas you agree with, nor is it just somebody you happen to believe is a good guy. A real leader is somebody who, because of his own particular power and charisma and example, is able to inspire people, with “inspire” being used here in a serious and noncliché way. A real leader can somehow get us to do certain things that deep down we think are good and want to be able to do but usually can’t get ourselves to do on our own. It’s a mysterious quality, hard to define, but we always know it when we see it, even as kids. You can probably remember seeing it in certain really great coaches, or teachers, or some extremely cool older kid you “looked up to” (interesting phrase) and wanted to be like. Some of us remember seeing the quality as kids in a minister or rabbi, or a scoutmaster, or a parent, or a friend’s parent, or a boss in some summer job. And yes, all these are “authority figures,” but it’s a special kind of authority. If you’ve ever spent time in the military, you know how incredibly easy it is to tell which of your superiors are real leaders and which aren’t, and how little rank has to do with it. A leader’s true authority is a power you voluntarily give him, and you grant him this authority not in a resigned or resentful way but happily; it feels right. Deep down, you almost always like how a real leader makes you feel, how you find yourself working harder and pushing yourself and thinking in ways you wouldn’t be able to if there weren’t this person you respected and believed in and wanted to please.

      In other words, a real leader is somebody who can help us overcome the limitations of our own individual laziness and selfishness and weakness and fear and get us to do better, harder things than we can get ourselves to do on our own. Lincoln was, by all available evidence, a real leader, and Churchill, and Gandhi, and King. Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt, and probably de Gaulle, and certainly Marshall, and maybe Eisenhower. (Although of course Hitler was a real leader too, a very potent one, so you have to watch out; all it is is a weird kind of personal power.)

      Probably the last real leader we had as US president was JFK, 40 years ago. It’s not that Kennedy was a better human being than the seven presidents we’ve had since: we know he lied about his WWII record, and had spooky Mob ties, and screwed around more in the White House than poor old Clinton could ever dream of. But JFK had that special leader-type magic, and when he said things like “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country,” nobody rolled their eyes or saw it as just a clever line. Instead, a lot of them felt inspired. And the decade that followed, however fucked up it was in other ways, saw millions of Young Voters devote themselves to social and political causes that had nothing to do with getting a plum job or owning expensive stuff or finding the best parties; and the 60s were, by most accounts, a generally cleaner and happier time than now.

      It is worth considering why. It’s worth thinking hard about why, when John McCain says he wants to be president in order to inspire a generation of young Americans to devote themselves to causes greater than their own self-interest (which means he’s saying he wants to be a real leader), a great many of those young Americans will yawn or roll their eyes or make some ironic joke instead of feeling inspired the way they did with Kennedy. True, JFK’s audience was in some ways more innocent than we are: Vietnam hadn’t happened yet, or Watergate, or the S&L scandals, etc. But there’s also something else. The science of sales and marketing was still in its drooling infancy in 1961 when Kennedy was saying “Ask not …” The young people he inspired had not been skillfully marketed to all their lives. They knew nothing of spin. They were not totally, terribly familiar with salesmen.

      Now you have to pay close attention to something that’s going to seem obvious at first. There is a difference between a great leader and a great salesman. There are also similarities, of course. A great salesman is usually charismatic and likable, and he can often get us to do things (buy things, agree to things) that we might not go for on our own, and to feel good about it. Plus a lot of salesmen are basically decent people with plenty about them to admire. But even a truly great salesman isn’t a leader. This is because a salesman’s ultimate, overriding motivation is self-interest—if you buy what he’s selling, the salesman profits. So even though the salesman may have a very powerful, charismatic, admirable personality, and might even persuade you that buying is in yourinterests (and it really might be)—still, a little part of you always knows that what the salesman’s ultimately after is something for himself. And this awareness is painful … although admittedly it’s a tiny pain, more like a twinge, and often unconscious. But if you’re subjected to great salesmen and sales pitches and marketing concepts for long enough—like from your earliest Saturday-morning cartoons, let’s say—it is only a matter of time before you start believing deep down that everything is sales and marketing, and that whenever somebody seems like they care about you or about some noble idea or cause, that person is a salesman and really ultimately doesn’t give a shit about you or some cause but really just wants something for himself.

      Some people believe that President Ronald W. Reagan (1981-89) was our last real leader. But not many of them are Young Voters. Even in the 80s, most younger Americans, who could smell a marketer a mile away, knew that what Reagan really was was a great salesman. What he was selling was the idea of himself as a leader. And if you’re under, say, 35, this is what pretty much every US president you’ve grown up with has been: a very talented salesman, surrounded by smart, expensive political strategists and media consultants and spinmasters who manage his “campaign” (as in also “advertising campaign”) and help him sell us on the idea that it’s in our interests to vote for him. But the real interests that drove these guys were their own. They wanted, above all, To Be President, wanted the mind-bending power and prominence, the historical immortality—you could smell it on them. (Young Voters tend to have an especially good sense of smell for this sort of thing.) And this is why these guys weren’t real leaders: because it was obvious that their deepest, most elemental motives were selfish, there was no chance of them ever inspiring us to transcend our own selfishness. Instead, they usually helped reinforce our market-conditioned belief that everybody’s ultimately out for himself and that life is about selling and profit and that words and phrases like “service” and “justice” and “community” and “patriotism” and “duty” and “Give government back to the people” and “I feel your pain” and “Compassionate Conservatism” are just the politics industry’s proven sales pitches, exactly the same way “Anti-Tartar” and “Fresher Breath” are the toothpaste industry’s pitches. We may vote for them, the same way we may go buy toothpaste. But we’re not inspired. They’re not the real thing.

      It’s not just a matter of lying or not lying, either. Everyone knows that the best marketing uses the truth—i.e., sometimes a brand of toothpaste really is better. That’s not the point. The point, leader-wise, is the difference between merely believing somebody and believing in him.

      Granted, this is a bit simplistic. All politicians sell, always have. FDR and JFK and MLK and Gandhi were great salesmen. But that’s not all they were. People could smell it. That weird little extra something. It had to do with “character” (which, yes, is also a cliché—suck it up).

      All of this is why watching John McCain hold press conferences and -Avails and Town Hall Meetings (we’re all at the North Charleston THM right now, 0820h on Wednesday, 9 Feb., in the horrible lobby of something called the Carolina Ice Palace) and be all conspicuously honest and open and informal and idealistic and no-bullshit and say “I run for president not to Be Somebody, but to Do Something” and “We’re on a national crusade to give government back to the people” in front of these cheering crowds just seems so much more goddamn complicated than watching old b/w clips of John Kennedy’s speeches. It feels impossible, in February 2000, to tell whether John McCain is a real leader or merely a very talented political salesman, an entrepreneur who’s seen a new market-niche and devised a way to fill it.

      Because here’s yet another paradox. Spring 2000—midmorning in America’s hangover from the whole Lewinsky-and-impeachment thing—represents a moment of almost unprecedented cynicism and disgust with national politics, a moment when blunt, I-don’t-give-a-shit-if-you-elect-me honesty becomes an incredibly attractive and salable and electable quality. A moment when an anticandidate can be a real candidate. But of course if he becomes a real candidate, is he still an anticandidate? Can you sell someone’s refusal to be for sale?

      There are many elements of the McCain2000 campaign—naming the bus “Straight Talk,” the timely publication of Faith of My Fathers, the much-hyped “openness” and “spontaneity” of the Express’s media salon, the message-disciplined way McCain thumps “Always. Tell you. The truth”—that indicate that some very shrewd, clever marketers are trying to market this candidate’s rejection of shrewd, clever marketing. Is this bad? Or just confusing? Suppose, let’s say, you’ve got a candidate who says polls are bullshit and totally refuses to tailor his campaign style to polls, and suppose then that new polls start showing that people really like this candidate’s polls-are-bullshit stance and are thinking about voting for him because of it, and suppose the candidate reads these polls (who wouldn’t?) and then starts saying even more loudly and often that polls are bullshit and that he won’t use them to decide what to say, maybe turning “Polls are bullshit” into a campaign line and repeating it in every speech and even painting Polls Are Bullshit on the side of his bus… . Is he a hypocrite? Is it hypocritical that one of McCain’s ads’ lines in South Carolina is “Telling the truth even when it hurts him politically,” which of course since it’s an ad means that McCain is trying to get political benefit out of his indifference to political benefit? What’s the difference between hypocrisy and paradox?

      Unsimplistic enough for you now? The fact of the matter is that if you’re a true-blue, market-savvy Young Voter, the only thing you’re certain to feel about John McCain’s campaign is a very modern and American type of ambivalence, a sort of interior war between your deep need to believe and your deep belief that the need to believe is bullshit, that there’s nothing left anywhere but sales and salesmen. At the times your cynicism’s winning, you’ll find that it’s possible to see even McCain’s most attractive qualities as just marketing angles. His famous habit of bringing up his own closet’s skeletons, for example—bad grades, messy divorce, indictment as one of the Keating Five—this could be real honesty and openness, or it could be McCain’s shrewd way of preempting criticism by criticizing himself before anyone else can do it. The modesty with which he talks about his heroism as a POW—“It doesn’t take much talent to get shot down”; “I wasn’t a hero, but I was fortunate enough to serve my time in the company of heroes”—this could be real humility, or it could be a clever way to make himself seem both heroic and humble.

      You can run the same kind of either/or analysis on almost everything about this candidate. Even the incredible daily stamina he shows on the Trail—this could be a function of McCain’s natural energy and enjoyment of people, or it could be gross ambition, a hunger for election so great that it drives him past sane human limits. The operative word here is “sane”: the Shrub stays at luxury hotels like the Charleston Inn and travels with his own personal pillow and likes to sleep till nine, whereas McCain crashes at hellish chain places and drinks pop out of cans and moves like only methedrine can make a normal person move. Last night the Straight Talk caravan didn’t get back to the Embassy Suites until 2340, and McCain was reportedly up with Murphy and Weaver planning ways to respond to Bush2’s response to the Negative ad McCain’s running in response to Bush2’s new Negative ad for three hours after that, and you know getting up and showering and shaving and putting on a nice suit has to take some time if you’re a guy who can’t raise his arms past his shoulders, plus he had to eat breakfast, and the ST Express hauled out this morning at 0738h, and now here McCain is at 0822 almost running back and forth on the raised stage in a Carolina Ice Palace lobby so off-the-charts hideous that the press all pass up the free crullers. (The lobby’s lined with red and blue rubber—yes, rubber—and 20 feet up a green iron spiral staircase is an open mezzanine with fencing of mustard-colored pipe from which hang long purple banners for the Lowcountry Youth Hockey Association, and you can hear the rink’s organ someplace inside and a symphony of twitters and boings from an enormous video arcade just down the bright-orange hall, and on either side of the THM stage are giant monitors composed of nine identical screens arrayed 3 ¥ 3, and the monitor on the left has nine identical McCain faces talking while the one on the right has just one big McCain face cut into nine separate squares, and every square foot of the nauseous lobby is occupied by wildly supportive South Carolinians, and it’s at least 95 degrees, and the whole thing is so sensuously assaultive that all the media except Jim C. and the techs turn around and listen facing away, most drinking more than one cup of coffee at once.) And even on four hours’ sleep at the very outside now McCain on the stage is undergoing the same metamorphosis that happens whenever the crowd is responsive and laughs at his jokes and puts down coffee and kids to applaud when he says he’ll beat Al Gore like a drum. In person, McCain is not a sleek gorgeous telegenic presence like Rep. Mark Sanford or the Shrub. McCain is short and slight and stiff in a bit of a twisted way. He tends to look a little sunken in his suit. His voice is a thin tenor and not hypnotic or stirring per se. But onstage, taking questions and pacing like something caged, his body seems to dilate and his voice takes on a resonance, and unlike the Shrub he is bodyguardless and the stage wide open and the questions unscreened and he answers them well, and the best Town Meetings’ crowds’ eyes brighten, and unlike Gore’s dead bird’s eyes or the Shrub’s smug glare McCain’s own eyes are wide and candid and full of a very attractive inspiring light that’s either devotion to causes beyond him or a demagogue’s love of the crowd’s love or an insatiable hunger to become the most powerful white male on earth. Or all three.

      The point, to put it as simply as possible, is that there’s a tension between what John McCain’s appeal is and the way that appeal must be structured and packaged in order to get him elected. To get you to buy. And the media—which is, after all, the box in which John McCain is brought to you, and is for the most part your only access to him, and is itself composed of individual people, voters, some of them Young Voters—the media see this tension, feel it, especially the buses’ McCain2000 corps. Don’t think they don’t. And don’t forget they’re human, or that the way they’re going to resolve this tension and decide how to see McCain (and thus how to let you see McCain) will depend way less on political ideology than on each reporter’s own little interior battles between cynicism and idealism and marketing and leadership. The far-Right National Review, for example, calls McCain “a crook and a showboat,” while the old-Left New York Review of Books feels that “McCain isn’t the anti-Clinton … McCain is more like the unClinton, in the way 7Up was the unCola: different flavor, same sugar content,” and the politically indifferent Vanity Fair quotes Washington insiders of unknown affiliation saying “People should never underestimate [McCain’s] shrewdness. His positions, in many instances, are very calculated in terms of media appeal.”

      Well no shit. Here in SC, the single most depressing and cynical episode of the whole week involves shrewd, calculated appeal. (At least in certain moods it looks like it does [maybe].) Please recall 10 February’s Chris Duren Incident in Spartanburg and McCain’s enormous distress and his promise to phone and apologize personally to the disillusioned kid. So the next afternoon, at a pre-F&F Press-Avail back in North Charleston, the new, unilaterally non-Negative McCain informs the press corps that he’s going up to his hotel room right now to call Chris Duren. The phone call is to be “a private one between this young man and me,” McCain says. Then Todd the Press Liaison steps in looking very stern and announces that only network techs will be allowed in the room, and that while they can film the whole call, only the first ten seconds of audio will be permitted. “Ten seconds, then we kill the sound,” Todd says, looking hard at Frank C. and the other audio guys. “This is a private call, not a media event.” Let’s think about this. If it’s a “private call,” why let TV cameras film McCain making it? And why only ten seconds of sound? Why not either full sound or no sound at all?

      The answer is modern and American and pretty much right out of Marketing 101. The campaign wants to publicize McCain’s keeping his promise and calling a traumatized kid, but also wants to publicize the fact that McCain is calling him “privately” and not just exploiting Chris Duren for crass political purposes. There’s no other possible reason for the ten-second audio cutoff, which cutoff will require networks that run the film to explain why there’s no sound after the initial Hello, which explanation will then of course make McCain look doubly good, both caring and nonpolitical. Does the shrewd calculation of media appeal here mean that McCain doesn’t really care about Chris Duren, doesn’t really want to buck him up and restore the kid’s faith in the political process? Not necessarily. But what it does mean is that McCain2000 wants to have it both ways, rather like big corporations that give to charity and then try to reap PR benefits by hyping their altruism in their ads. Does stuff like this mean that the gifts and phone call aren’t “good”? The answer depends on how gray-area-tolerant you are about sincerity vs. marketing, or sincerity plus marketing, or leadership plus the packaging and selling of same.

      But if you, like poor old Rolling Stone, have come to a point on the Trail where you’ve started fearing your own cynicism almost as much as you fear your own credulity and the salesmen who feed on it, you may find your thoughts returning again and again to a certain dark and box-sized cell in a certain Hilton half a world and three careers away, to the torture and fear and offer of release and a certain Young Voter named McCain’s refusal to violate a Code. There were no techs’ cameras in that box, no aides or consultants, no paradoxes or gray areas; nothing to sell. There was just one guy and whatever in his character sustained him. This is a huge deal. In your mind, that Hoa Lo box becomes sort of a special dressing room with a star on the door, the private place behind the stage where one imagines “the real John McCain” still lives. And but now the paradox here is that this box that makes McCain “real” is, by definition, locked. Impenetrable. Nobody gets in or out. This is huge, too; you should keep it in mind. It is why, however many behind-the-scenes pencils get put on the case, a “profile” of John McCain is going to be just that: one side, exterior, split and diffracted by so many lenses there’s way more than one man to see. Salesman or leader or neither or both, the final paradox—the really tiny central one, way down deep inside all the other campaign puzzles’ spinning boxes and squares that layer McCain—is that whether he’s truly “for real” now depends less on what is in his heart than on what might be in yours. Try to stay awake.

  • Du coup d’essai au coup d’État ?
    Analyse du régime Trump en 24h chrono

    Par Yonatan Zunger. (Traduction : Daniel G., Antoine B., Noam A.)

    Depuis son investiture à la Maison Blanche le 20 janvier, Donald Trump a déjà battu un record : celui du nombre de décrets. En moins de deux semaines, il a signé pas moins de vingt documents bouleversant l’ordre politique aux États-Unis, et portant sur des sujets aussi variés qu’essentiels : sécurité nationale, immigration, santé, industrie, énergie ou économie. Pas facile de tenir les comptes pour les é, et encore moins pour celles et ceux qui suivent cette course folle depuis la France. Jef Klak a décidé de traduire un billet de Yonatan Zunger paru le 30 janvier sur le site d’informations collaboratif Medium. Ce haut cadre de Google y analyse les dernières actions du président, pour une durée de 24 heures (ou presque), incluant les dispositions anti-immigration (Mur sur la frontière mexicaine et “Muslim Ban”) signées par la Maison Blanche. Il nous permet surtout de comprendre comment les dispositifs d’équilibre des pouvoirs (bureaucratie fédérale, Congrès, cours de justice) sont en passe d’être réduits à peau de chagrin, le pouvoir se resserrant dans les mains de la garde rapprochée de Trump – grippesous ultraconservateurs tendance extrême-droite.

  • Liberals On the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown

    Sur le #conspirationnisme effréné des « #liberals » généré par (les actions de) Trump.

    In the end, Kremlinology said a lot more about the people practicing it than it ever did about the Soviet Union. Like all fantasies, it expressed a desire. A universe that could make sense, if only you were smart enough to understand it. A politics that could be reduced to the competing ambitions of a few graying and liver-spotted men. Above all, a global order that—like the dull machinations of MI6 or the CIA—is always powered by conspiracy. So it’s significant that Kremlinology is back. Except this time, the mysterious closed system to be analyzed is no longer far away on the chilly edge of Europe. America has turned its suspicions inward, on the strange and spooky world of Donald Trump.

    • faux problèmes Trump tente vainement de lutter contre l’état profond représenté par l’ancienne équipe qui a pris le pouvoir lors du 11 septembre 2001 et on le fait passer pour un fou. Ces ennemis les plus sérieux les services secrets, la COG la NSA Mac Cain, les Clinton, Bush family etLes néocons en général.

  • Social Media and Fake News in the 2016 Election

    In summary, our data suggest that social media were not the most important source of election news, and even the most widely circulated fake news stories were seen by only a small fraction of Americans. For fake news to have changed the outcome of the election, a single fake news story would need to have convinced about 0.7 percent of Clinton voters and non-voters who saw it to shift their votes to Trump, a persuasion rate equivalent to seeing 36 television campaign ads.

    • A new study kills the notion that fake news swung the US election to Trump

      Though millions of fake news stories were shared on Facebook, people still get most of their news from TV and conventional news websites. “If you follow the public discussion, you might get the impression that a majority of Americans were getting most or a very large share of their news from social media.” Matthew Gentzkow, one of the authors of the study, told Vox. “[O]ur results showed something pretty different.”

      (Note : avec un titre « définitif », « moraliste » et « qui buzze » – “kills it”, “nails it” –, qui pour moi relève justement de la notion de fake news. Il faudrait vraiment réfléchir à cette épidémie des titres définitifs à buzz, et avec une prétention moralisante, et à leur rapport avec la notion de « fake news ».)