Saturday, March 24, 2018

The March for Our Lives in Washington DC. By Geniusofdespair

A do nothing Washington has given its answer. So, march on, children, march on. - Colbert King, the Washington Post

Yesterday signs were posted around Pennsylvania Ave. prohibiting pistols 

Last night Pennsylvania Ave. was closed for “March for Our Lives” and parking was suspended nearby.

Friday, March 23, 2018

In Washington DC for Student Gun March. By Geniusofdespair

A lot of kids are on board my plane headed for the march tomorrow.

10:11 - Friggin’ freezing here. No gloves. Have to find a dollar store.

7pm - Pennsylvania Avenue is now closed. There is limited parking all over. A lot of young people around. Inspiring.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas would be proud of these kids

NOTE: I've been a board member of Friends of the Everglades for over a decade. The organization was founded in 1969 by Marjory to oppose the jetport in the Everglades and grew to encompass advocacy in many of the same fights we are waging today: suburban sprawl in wetlands, the outsized influence of Big Sugar on state politics, the failure to clean up serious, widespread water pollution across the state of Florida. Most Floridians will be on the kids' side, tomorrow, in the March For Life. The question: will most voters in November be ready to get to the polls and VOTE?

Column: Marjory Stoneman Douglas would be proud of these kids
By Jack E. Davis, special to the Tampa Bay Times
Published: February 22, 2018 Updated: February 22, 2018 at 05:19 PM

Moments after the AR-15 assault at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School hit the news, emails and social media alerts pinged in my in-box. I wrote a biography of the school’s namesake several years ago, and people were messaging to express their horror over what had happened. A secondary concern of some was that the good name of Douglas, one of our late, great citizens of Florida, would become, like Columbine and Sandy Hook, synonymous with gun violence tragedy.

I have come to see the issue differently. Too many names on too many public buildings either belong to an unsavory or obscure figure of the past. The unsavory ones — a Confederate slaveholder or Indian fighter — stir up controversy. The obscure ones hang as meaningless labels without social context or value. But Douglas, who lived to be 108, had an enduring public life, one that resonates in a positive way with what happened at the school named for her. For one, she never shied from brutal truths.

What shifted my perspective of Douglas’ relationship to events was the cage-rattling "BS" speech Emma Gonzalez gave three days after the shooting. The students had risen up. If Douglas were around today, she would find their response to gun-control complacency inspiring. In turn, whether the students know it or not, their initiative is in keeping with Douglas’ legacy.

Most people remember Douglas as the pearl-necklaced icon of Florida environmentalism, the wicked-smart, take-no-prisoners spokesperson of the original movement to protect the Everglades. But the green matriarch was only one side to her long and complex life, and not the side to which she identified most closely. All her adult life, she was first and foremost a defender of social justice.

The last public speech she gave, in 1989 at age 99, was on women’s rights. For decades, she denounced Big Ag’s practice of subjecting immigrant and migrant labor to concentration-camp-like living and working conditions. When others complained about the Cuban "invasion" of Miami, and fled, she celebrated its Latin transformation. After a communist witch hunt in the city in the 1950s turned anti-Semitic and anti-black, she became a founding board member of the first ACLU chapter organized in the South. She composed a poem in the 1920s that helped bring an end to convict leasing in Florida, and wrote a play performed on the national stage exposing the death penalty as a sham. She penned countless columns deploring the hypocrisy of political leaders. Too many of them, she once wrote, run for office who were "obviously built to walk."

She also knew what it was like to be snubbed by state lawmakers, as were Douglas High students recently when state House representatives voted resoundingly against considering a ban on assault weapons. In 1917, after Douglas and sister suffragists returned from a fruitless lobbying trip to the state Capitol, she remarked: "We could have been talking to a bunch of dead mackerel, for all the response we got."

But Douglas was invigorated rather than dispirited. She returned to Tallahassee many more times to berate lawmakers for their inaction (they did not officially endorse a woman’s right to vote until 1969). She never avoided a showdown with anyone. She could "take the heat," as she said when insults, slurs and lies were cast against her, because she believed deeply in her cause.

The Douglas High students have shown their own resolve. Gun advocates, conspiracy theorists and run-of-the-mill thugs have assaulted and harassed them online. But they are likely to endure. As one tweeted, "You can’t stop us, you never will and you never can, we have the strength and grit to last far longer than these politicians." The student groundswell has lifted beyond a fly-by-night protest to the level of a cause, one showing the potential of expanding into a historic movement for citizens’ rights against gun violence.

When Douglas was sensing her end, she said, the "most important thing is to prepare competent people to follow you." She trusted young people to carry on.

She had inspired many, and believed in their potential. Those at Douglas High are living up to theirs. It was born from tragedy and out of their hearts. Their competence is sure, and their cause just. It is the animating force of their extraordinary initiative. Their inspiration comes from within, but if ever they need a morale lift or guidance from the past, they need only to look at the person behind their school’s name.

Jack E. Davis is a professor of history at the University of Florida. His latest book, "The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea," is the winner of the 2017 Kirkus Prize for nonfiction and is a finalist for the 2018 National Book Critics Circle award for nonfiction.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Facebook does not exist for your pleasure: Remember that. By Geniusofdespair

 I decided to boost our brand "Eye on Miami" on Facebook  for some unknown reason. I do crazy stuff sometimes. I guess I am trying to get people to join the Eye on Miami Group on Facebook. Don't know what that is about? Neither do I, but look on the Right Side of this page there is a giant Facebook link to the Group. Hit it. Join it.

Well, back to the story, I am paying $2 a day for 3 days to boost the post on the left to see what happens. As you can see the $2 got me an extra 359 people in one day. The problem is, many, many of those people are trolls. I am now getting all this crazy troll stuff on Eye on Miami. And, I am getting Trump crazed gun people. Luckily it hasn't tainted the Group page only the Eye on Miami Facebook page. I didn't  do any boosting on the group page and I have to approve all the people that join.

 It is like when Castro emptied his prisons and mental hospitals during the Mariel Boat lift. Facebook has afforded me all their crazy people in getting me more hits. They must have a looney bin set aside for boosting posts.

So what am I getting at?

Facebook is not here for your pleasure. It is here to make money. It is all about the money, not your Kid's Birthday Party.

And, there are trolls all over Facebook. Get your privacy settings set up. I can see too many people's data. Get your whole date of birth off of facebook. Too much HONEST shit on your page. Make up some stuff.  And, damn it, don't sign in to anything with Facebook. They take your whole FRIENDS list when you do. It might be easy for you but you are selling me out and all your friends.

Good luck with Facebook. You need it. I am glad I sold my stock.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

MORE, on the Facebook debacle ... a five-alarm fire in American democracy ... by gimleteye

Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg are huddled away, trying to figure out their next steps now that the role of Facebook data in promoting the election of Donald Trump and the Alt-R is coming clear. Their shameful disgrace is spreading across Western democracies because elected representatives allowed Moscow Center an open door to exploit the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of human nature; proliferating the scum of nativist fears and anxieties (in parallel, too, with Rupert Murdoch's Fox News empire).

Here are a couple of recent postings worth reading in their entirely. The first, an OPED by Lizzie O'Shea in the UK Guardian (which has bravely lead the disclosures about Cambridge Analytica's exploitation of Facebook data) makes a case for re-working the internet to protect personal data and privacy, as a generalist point of view:

Facebook’s reckless vanity has made the headlines again, with the revelation that data it held on about 50 million users was exploited commercially without their consent, and that when Facebook found out about this, it did pathetically little. We only know this thanks to the bravery of a whistleblower. This is yet another scandal in a troubled period for the company, with a growing sense that it is all profit, no responsibility. But the current malaise goes wider than Facebook. On the internet more widely, the advertising-supported model has demanded its payout, and as a result our experience of the web is getting worse. Like rats scrambling to get back on a sinking ship, senior former-Facebookers are lining up to express regrets. It all feels too little, too late.

The second is by a mathematician whose feed I recently began to follow: Paul-Olivier Dehaye. This post on Medium, in Sept. 2017, is even more astringent today, following the whistleblowers emerging from the Bannon/Trump/Mercer/Cambridge Analytica connections.

Dear Facebook, For the past two years, I have been trying to contribute to the public debate around Facebook’s influence in elections. For instance, I have been credited for research on two influential articles: The Data That Turned the World Upside Down (Das Magazin, Zurich, then translated worldwide) and Robert Mercer: The big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media (The Guardian/The Observer). As part of this wider effort, I have tried for a long time to use my data protection rights to get access to more information about the ad targeting that takes place on your platform. These requests have so far been met with one limited, but encouraging, success.

I’m just a curious FB adopter who blogs from time to time on Facebook, a five-alarm fire in American democracy. I was horrified by FB content that passed on my screen in 2016 (before deleting all the Trump and RUS supporting groups that swamped my FB feed.)

Dehaye has an outline of what Facebook is not telling us about its algorithms. We’ve allowed FB to abuse western democracies and election processes ... long past time for governments to intervene although that runs counter to the Republican narrative; a significant reason for Congress to be returned to Democratic control in Nov. 2018.

The GOP has been as silent on Cambridge Analytica and Trump as it has been on Facebook. It doesn't want to confront the truth that its jihad against government regulation -- of everything from public health to to gun safety -- is criminal negligence. The swamp isn't being drained. America is not being made great again.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Unattributed Quote Of The Day ... by gimleteye

"Many people don't understand that we are the sink at the end of the rest of the world's brain drain. Other countries send us their best and their brightest and most want to stay. Over 50% of PhDs in math and engineering awarded in the US in recent years have gone to foreign nationals. 80% of these students want to remain in the US post-graduation. In 2016 all five of the American recipients of Nobel Prizes were born elsewhere. At Harvard, close to 40 percent of faculty were born outside the US. In a knowledge based economy, why would we turn our backs on this rich mother lode of human capital? It makes absolutely no sense."

NOTE: MAGA is a fraud, exploited by opportunists and toasted by the Kremlin.

Monday, March 19, 2018

BREAKING: Channel 4 releases undercover investigation of Cambridge Analytica, the firm that helped elect Trump by manipulating (stealing) Facebook users' data ... Bombshell! ... by gimleteye

Do not. Do not miss this!

Picture of the Day: Lenny Bruce. By Geniusofdespair

1960 Album Cover - Lenny Bruce's Standup Comedy Act

This is a 1960 Lenny Bruce Album Cover. Lenny is the comedian that was always getting arrested for indecent humor. He pushed all the boundaries. Note the album cover and you might understand his humor and how radical he actually was. Remember it is 1960.
Even more racism then we have now. Alabama’s Governor George Wallace was leading the South’s fight against federally ordered racial integration in the 60s. This cover is funny and radical in so many ways, note the Lincoln statue in the center.
Lenny Bruce was a man before his time.
Note the arms and hands of all the people in the white KKK robes
Here is the first side of the album if you want to hear him do his act:

 The last 4 minutes of side one: "My Trip to Miami" at 24:20 on the counter.

Need More: Side 2.  
Last segment of Side 2: "My Governor" Earl Long 22:50 on the counter. Sounds a lot like Trump.

Trump Russia Collusion ... by gimleteye

It is turgid reading but useful to understand that Trump’s context is a Russia mafia woven into his businesses for many years. Donald Jr. publicly acknowledged the outsized influence and participation by Russians in real estate businesses bearing the Trump brand. He didn't say "mafia" or that the Russian mob always ties back to Putin. In one way or another, each Russian oligarch is a tentacle of the Putin octopus. The one that held Trump hit the jackpot by intelligent design.

At first Trump was a bit player and inattentive to fraud (laws are meant for OTHER people) as the Russian mob rooted itself in Brighton Beach in the 1980s. (I used to go to Tatiana’s back when the biggest Russia mob scam was fraudulent gasoline tax receipts and kickbacks.) It is 100 % that Putin has this same narrative in a Manila folder in his desk -- including sexcapades -- , told from Moscow Center’s point of view. That is the narrative, btw, that Mueller is recreating carefully and slowly according to US law. #MAGA

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Bridge Collapse and No State Attorney Investigation Considered? By Geniusofdespair

Before the bodies were even removed from the rubble Katherine Fernandez Rundle announced there would be no investigation on criminal charges  by her office of the FIU bridge collapse. WHAT????

On March 16th reporter Jim Defede posted on Facebook:
In an absurd development, the Miami-Dade State Attorney @KathyFndzRundle has already ruled out criminal charges in the @FIU bridge collapse that killed six people saying “charges are probably the most improbable at this point.” @CBSMiami
According to a Washington Post story on March 17th, the lead Engineer called the State of Florida  two days before the bridge went down to report some cracking but said he didn't believe it was a safety issue. So how did Rundle know on March 16th there would be no criminal changes? They were tightening cables on a bridge with cracks when it came down. Even I can figure out that sounds pretty stupid.

CBS reported on March 16th:
As for NTSB investigators getting full access, that will be once the search and recovery efforts are done. Sumwalt predicts that once investigators get full access, they will be there about 5 to 7 days.

There are also investigators with OSHA and the FBI’s Evidence Response Team at the site.
Wouldn't you think Rundle would have waited for the results of ALL these investigations BEFORE her announcement.

They only determined the fatalities were 6 on March 18th. So when did the bridge collapse March 15th?  What a quick response timeline for Katherine Rundle - one day - who drags her feet on every other issue. Wonder what her campaign contributions look like? Might have to look at a PAC or ECO to really know. The Munilla's, principals of one of two firms responsible for the bridge, are big contributors to most County Commissioners and I would think just about everyone else in the County.

Stormy Daniels is fit to end the sonnet ... by gimleteye

UK Guardian Carole Caddwalldr just broke open the story of the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower. Click here, to read the story. This morning, Facebook banned the whistleblower.

Rupert Murdoch set the stage, long ago, with a profit model to extract billions by ginning up base emotions. Under Reagan, the Fairness Doctrine disappeared. Mark Zuckerburg weaponized Murdoch's model and helped put a mobbed-up grifter in the WH. Putin saw the opportunity most clearly, driving straight through social media to infiltrate the US elections. While federales were building TSA check points at airports to prevent another 9/11, Moscow Center copied a few data files, put a few 20 yr old computer nerds to work, and shattered liberal democracy. Stormy Daniels is fit to end the sonnet.