A Neocon guard for your mind

Now that Neocon control over the Republican Party and the alternative media has slipped despite their powerful grip on the mainstream media and talk radio, the liberal imperialist world revolutionaries who used to call themselves “neocons” are imitating the SJWs in utilizing a techno-political approach to controlling the narrative by policing what you see and hear:

The product which NewsGuard markets to the general public is a browser plugin which advises online media consumers whether a news media outlet is trustworthy or untrustworthy based on a formula with a very pro-establishment bias which sees outlets like Fox News and the US propaganda outlet Voice of America getting trustworthy ratings while outlets like RT get very low ratings for trustworthiness. This plugin dominates the bulk of what comes up when you start researching NewsGuard, but circulating a plugin which individual internet users can voluntarily download to help their rulers control their minds is not one of the more nefarious agendas being pursued by this company. The full MintPress article gives a thorough breakdown of the yucky things NewsGuard has its fingers in, but here’s a summary of five of its more disturbing revelations:

1. The company has created a service called BrandGuard, billed as a “brand safety tool aimed at helping advertisers keep their brands off of unreliable news and information sites while giving them the assurance they need to support thousands of Green-rated [i.e., Newsguard-approved] news and information sites, big and small.” Popularizing the use of this service will attack the advertising revenue of unapproved alternative media outlets which run ads. NewsGuard is aggressively marketing this service to “ad tech firms, leading agencies, and major advertisers”.

2. NewsGuard’s advisory board reads like the fellowships list of a neocon think tank, and indeed one of its CEOs, Louis Gordon Crovitz, is a Council on Foreign Relations member who has worked with the American Enterprise Institute and Heritage Foundation. Members of the advisory board include George W Bush’s Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, deep intelligence community insider Michael Hayden, and the Obama administration’s Richard Stengel, who once publicly supported the need for domestic propaganda in the US. All of these men have appeared in influential think tanks geared toward putting a public smiley face on sociopathic warmongering agendas.

3. Despite one of its criteria for trustworthy sources being whether or not they are transparent about their funding, the specifics of NewsGuard’s financing is kept secret.

4. NewsGuard is also planning to get its news-ranking system integrated into social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter, pursuing a partnership which will make pro-establishment media consumption a part of your experience at those sites regardless of whether or not you download a NewsGuard app or plugin.

5. NewsGuard markets itself to state governments in order to get its plugin installed in all of that state’s public schools and libraries to keep internet users from consuming unauthorized narratives. It has already succeeded in accomplishing this in the state of Hawaii, with all of its library branches now running the NewsGuard plugin.

If they were more honest, they would have simply named the company NeoConGuard, because the entire purpose of NewsGuard is to police the internet on behalf of the Israel First lobby in the United States. That’s why it is focused on upholding the Never-Trump Russia, Russia, Russia narrative and will almost certainly be used to push the state and federal anti-BDS laws as well as war in the Middle East and Ukraine, free trade, and unlimited immigration.

NeoConGuard is just a techno-political expansion of what Bill Kristol and Jon Podhoretz were trying to do with the now-failed Weekly Standard, which by Podhoretz’s own admission was “to create a publication that would help guide and keep honest the hard-charging Republican party that had scored its stunning lopsided victory over Bill Clinton’s Democrats.”


The end of an era

We are rapidly approaching the end of the Carrier Age with regards to sea power:

They’re the pride of the US fleet: enormous 100,000 tonne, 333m long nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. But Beijing thinks they’re Washington’s achilles heel.

Rear Admiral Lou Yuan has told an audience in Shenzhen that the ongoing disputes over the ownership of the East and South China Seas could be resolved by sinking two US super carriers.

Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA) reports Admiral Lou gave a wide-ranging speech on the state of Sino-US relations. The high-profile, hawkish military commentator reportedly declared the current trade spat was “definitely not simply friction over economics and trade,” but was instead a “prime strategic issue”.

His speech, delivered on December 20 to the 2018 Military Industry List summit, declared that China’s new and highly capable anti-ship ballistic and cruise missiles were more than capable of hitting US carriers, despite them being at the centre of a ‘bubble’ of defensive escorts.

“What the United States fears the most is taking casualties,” Admiral Lou declared.

He said the loss of one super carrier would cost the US the lives of 5000 service men and women. Sinking two would double that toll.

“We’ll see how frightened America is.”

I don’t think it’s an accident that both Russia and China have developed carrier-killer missiles. It’s not so much that they want to get into a conventional war, it’s that for the first time since the end of World War II, they appear to possess the ability to keep the US military from exercising air superiority or even supremacy and controlling the oceans wherever it pleases.

One carrier sinking will forever change the balance of power. And even a shift in US strategy that clearly reflects an awareness of the new vulnerability of its carriers will probably be enough to alter it substantially.


Whatever happened to Trust & Safety?

Federal regulators should keep this news in mind when they’re considering the way in which the big tech platforms speech police and deplatform while they are funding criminal filth.

Google  has scrambled to remove third-party apps that led users to child porn sharing groups on WhatsApp in the wake of TechCrunch’s report about the problem last week. We contacted Google with the name of one of these apps and evidence that it and others offered links to WhatsApp groups for sharing child exploitation imagery. Following publication of our article, Google removed from the Google Play store that app and at least five like it. Several of these apps had more than 100,000 downloads, and they’re still functional on devices that already downloaded them.

WhatsApp failed to adequately police its platform, confirming to TechCrunch that it’s only moderated by its own 300 employees and not Facebook’s  20,000 dedicated security and moderation staffers. It’s clear that scalable and efficient artificial intelligence systems are not up to the task of protecting the 1.5 billion-user WhatsApp community, and companies like Facebook must invest more in unscalable human investigators.

But now, new research provided exclusively to TechCrunch by anti-harassment algorithm startup AntiToxin shows that these removed apps that hosted links to child porn sharing rings on WhatsApp were supported with ads run by Google and Facebook’s ad networks. AntiToxin found six of these apps ran Google AdMob, one ran Google Firebase, two ran Facebook Audience Network and one ran StartApp. These ad networks earned a cut of brands’ marketing spend while allowing the apps to monetize and sustain their operations by hosting ads for Amazon, Microsoft, Motorola, Sprint, Sprite, Western Union, Dyson, DJI, Gett, Yandex Music, Q Link Wireless, Tik Tok and more.

The situation reveals that tech giants aren’t just failing to spot offensive content in their own apps, but also in third-party apps that host their ads and that earn them money. While these apps like “Group Links For Whats” by Lisa Studio let people discover benign links to WhatsApp groups for sharing legal content and discussing topics like business or sports, TechCrunch found they also hosted links with titles such as “child porn only no adv” and “child porn xvideos” that led to WhatsApp groups with names like “Children ???” or “videos cp” — a known abbreviation for “child pornography.”

They “scrambled” to remove them. But only after they were caught. How is that not a crime? After all, are we not reliably informed that the big tech platforms carefully monitor and patrol their content?


Milo, Sargon banned by Patreon

They are just the latest. More will be coming soon.

Crowdfunding site Patreon this week banned the accounts of several controversial public figures, part of a wider push by tech companies to de-platform users linked to the alt-right and far right.

The accounts of British conspiracy theorist YouTuber Carl Benjamin, better known as Sargon of Akkad, and U.S. far-right political commentator James Allsup, were removed Thursday.

The fresh bans came a day after far-right activist Milo Yiannopoulos saw his account killed — just 24 hours after he set it up to fund a “magnificent 2019 comeback” tour. The former Breitbart editor was cut off because of his association with the far-right group Proud Boys, Patreon said.

On the plus side, Jordanetics has Jordan Peterson so worried about his collapsing right flank that he’s decided to summon the powerful occult forces of the Ineffectual Dork Web and hold a marketing focus group meeting to determine what would be the best received response to these latest deplatformings.

Jordan B Peterson@jordanbpeterson
I’m doing everything I can to contact people in my circle and formulate a plan and response.

I don’t know. That sounds a little too pathological to me. I understand that the best thing one can do when deplatformed is not to resist, complain, or attempt to act in concert with anyone else, but to simply focus on living a stalwart, meaningful, and high-quality individual life.

I repeat: build your own platforms. That’s what we’re doing already. More are on the way in the new year. Also, stop using and supporting converged platforms such as Patreon, Kickstarter, and IndieGoGo, where they actually make money off your business.


Happy to help

It’s mildly amusing to observe how freaked out Google’s executives and managers are about the fact that everything they do is leaked out to various bloggers and reporters, considering how involved they are in tracking everything that everyone else does. I have to give Google a modicum of credit for self-discipline, though, as I’ve been expecting “rogue employees” to start trying to publicly embarrass critics by releasing emails and search histories for years.

A senior former Google employee who quit over its controversial plans to launch a search engine in China painted a picture of a company whose upper echelons are obsessed with stopping leaks, to the exclusion of almost anything else.

Jack Poulson, a former researcher at the company, said that senior managers consider the prevention of leaks to be their “number one priority.”

In comments reported on Saturday by The Times of London, Poulson cited as an example of the anti-leak culture an an unnamed senior engineer taking the microphone at an all-hands meeting to yell “F— you leakers” at his colleagues.

He said that the campaign against leaking had become a way for Google to avoid tackling the reasons staff were leaking in the first place, including concerns over the Chinese search project, code-named Dragonfly, or work for the US military.

Poulson left Google in September over Dragonfly, and said he believed four other employees had done the same. Google declined to comment on his departure at the time.

He said, according to The Times: “The narrative is that leaking is bad and that the number one priority is to prevent any leaks.”

Allow me to give you a little advice, Googlers. You will NEVER stop the leakers because a not-insignificant percentage of your colleagues are the very kind of people you have targeted for your ongoing anti-right hate campaign. They knew to keep their mouths shut, or in some cases, to present a convincing SJW front, so you think they are in accordance with your insane social justice program.

But they’re not. And they’re very, very motivated to make sure that the outside world knows exactly what you are up to. Because they think you are insane.

What we’re seeing here with Google and with Facebook is the beginning of the great Big Tech crackup that has been inevitable since they decided to publicly cast in their lots with the Left and try to thought police the Internet. That doomed them, because it sent a very clear signal to the rest of the world that they not only could not be trusted, they could not even be tolerated.


Apple goes full SJW

It’s hardly a surprise, but Apple has declared itself to be a Christianity-free zone:

Apple CEO Tim Cook on Monday said he believes it is “right” and “moral” for technology companies to block hate speech and violent conspiracy theories from their platforms.

“At Apple, we believe that technology needs to have a clear point of view on this challenge,” Cook said at an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) conference on Monday afternoon. At the conference, Cook accepted the ADL’s first “Courage Against Hate” award, geared towards private sector leaders “dedicated” to fighting bigotry. He was also the conference’s keynote speaker.

“That’s why we only have one message for those who seek to push hate, division and violence: You have no place on our platforms,” Cook said during his keynote address. “You have no home here.”

It’s long past time to start enforcing the West’s long-dormant blasphemy laws, and doing so with a vengeance. As I have repeatedly pointed out  to everyone, the whole “free speech” movement was never anything but an anti-Christian Fabian campaign. Now that the forces of evil feel they have sufficient power, they have rejected the intellectual tools they utilized to dislodge Christian morals and ethics from their dominant societal position in the West.

This is not just a cultural war, it is a war for the soul of the West. And it is not being fought between Right and Left, it is not even truly between Nationalist and Globalist. At its core, it is between Good and Evil, between the Truth and the Lie.

The West needs to send a very clear message for those who seek to corrupt and control it. You have no place in our civilization. I was once a big fan of the Apple II, but I will never buy another Apple product of any kind, for any reason.


Unreliable search

Google gets caught debating the manipulation of search results on ideological grounds:

Google employees debated whether to bury conservative media outlets in the company’s search function as a response to President Donald Trump’s election in 2016, internal Google communications obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation reveal.

The Daily Caller and Breitbart were specifically singled out as outlets to potentially bury, the communications reveal.

Trump’s election in 2016 shocked many Google employees, who had been counting on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to win.

Communications obtained by TheDCNF show that internal Google discussions went beyond expressing remorse over Clinton’s loss to actually discussing ways Google could prevent Trump from winning again.

“This was an election of false equivalencies, and Google, sadly, had a hand in it,” Google engineer Scott Byer wrote in a Nov. 9, 2016, post reviewed by TheDCNF.

Byer falsely labeled The Daily Caller and Breitbart as “opinion blogs” and urged his coworkers to reduce their visibility in search results.

“How many times did you see the Election now card with items from opinion blogs (Breitbart, Daily Caller) elevated next to legitimate news organizations? That’s something that can and should be fixed,” Byer wrote.“I think we have a responsibility to expose the quality and truthfulness of sources – because not doing so hides real information under loud noises,” he continued….

The discussion about whether to bury conservative media outlets isn’t the first evidence that some Google employees have sought to manipulate search results for political ends. After Trump announced his initial travel ban in January 2017, Google employees discussed ways to manipulate search results in order to push back against the president’s order.

A group of employees brainstormed ways to counter “islamophobic, algorithmically biased results from search terms ‘Islam’, ‘Muslim’, ‘Iran’, etc,” as well as “prejudiced, algorithmically biased search results from search terms ‘Mexico’, ‘Hispanic’, ‘Latino’, etc.”

Well, at least they’re not threatening to physically attack any crypto-Trump supporters discovered in their midst again. Merely undermining the core purpose of the company’s existence is pretty mild in comparison. The astonishing thing is that Google continues to employ these lunatics despite knowing perfectly well that they are actively conspiring against the company’s best interests.

But that’s good news, because it means that Google is converged to the point that it is increasingly unable to perform its primary functions and will eventually be replaced. I already find Duck Duck Go entirely suitable for all my search needs and Protonmail is getting pretty close to being able to replace Gmail.


Post-meritocracy

The Cancer that is Coraline is truly the Black Plague of technology. Now xit has authored a manifesto of post-meritocracy, complete with the core values and principles of xit’s philosophy of mediocrity:

  • We do not believe that our value as human beings is intrinsically tied to our value as knowledge workers. Our professions do not define us; we are more than the work we do.
  • We believe that interpersonal skills are at least as important as technical skills.
  • We can add the most value as professionals by drawing on the diversity of our identities, backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. Homogeneity is an antipattern.
  • We can be successful while leading rich, full lives. Our success and value is not dependent on exerting all of our energy on contributing to software.
  • We have the obligation to use our positions of privilege, however tenuous, to improve the lives of others.
  • We must make room for people who are not like us to enter our field and succeed there. This means not only inviting them in, but making sure that they are supported and empowered.
  • We have an ethical responsibility to refuse to work on software that will negatively impact the well-being of other people.
  • We acknowledge the value of non-technical contributors as equal to the value of technical contributors.
  • We understand that working in our field is a privilege, not a right. The negative impact of toxic people in the workplace or the larger community is not offset by their technical contributions.
  • We are devoted to practicing compassion and not contempt. We refuse to belittle other people because of their choices of tools, techniques, or languages.
  • The field of software development embraces technical change, and is made better by also accepting social change.
  • We strive to reflect our values in everything that we do. We recognize that values that are espoused but not practiced are not values at all.

It would be amusing if technical people began imposing this manifesto of mediocrity in non-technical areas. If interpersonal skills are as important as technical skills in the tech industry, are not technical skills as important as interpersonal skills in the service industry?

And given what we now know about social media causing depression, how can any ethical person work for either Facebook or Twitter?


Go, thou, and do likewise

Instapundit deactivated his Twitter account to protest SJW censorship there:

TWITTER’S GONE CRAZY BANNING PEOPLE ON THE RIGHT, so I’ve deactivated my Twitter account.

UPDATE: People seem to want more, and although there’s nothing duller than posting a screed on why you’re quitting a platform, here’s the gist: I’ve never liked Twitter even though I’ve used it. I was a late adopter, and with good reason. It’s the crystal meth of social media — addictive and destructive, yet simultaneously unsatisfying. When I’m off it I’m happier than when I’m on it. That it’s also being run by crappy SJW types who break their promises, to users, shareholders, and the government, of free speech is just the final reason. Why should I provide free content to people I don’t like, who hate me? I’m currently working on a book on social media, and I keep coming back to the point that Twitter is far and away the most socially destructive of the various platforms. So I decided to suspend them, as they are suspending others. At least I’m giving my reasons, which is more than they’ve done usually.

I left Facebook for much the same reason, whereas I was permanently suspended by Twitter. There really isn’t any good reason for anyone to the ideological right of Jeb Bush to be on these sites anymore.


Darkstream: Decision time for Donald Trump

From the transcript of the Darkstream:

Not stick not stay that bag STATCOM and Amy’s to shake the happy a finish big medics begin my humanity is biggest angle. He started haven’t been I didn’t birthday last couple days I’ve been a little busy trying to get away it has a book on pre-order heels it for a while. Maybe I do? Big Mike Patton okay hang on and it she yeah let me see that I can give you okay hmm seems to be going in and out okay are we doing any better yeah it looks like oh it’s fixed okay, all right.

Seriously, that’s the actual transcript. I appear to have had a mic issue there at the start. But doesn’t it remind you of Jordan Peterson’s lectures, at least just a little? Perhaps I should do them all that way. Anyhow, it’s been disappointing to be reminded that not everyone is capable of grasping the basic idea that seeds planted in the spring face different prospects than those planted in the fall or winter.