British Conservatives stab Theresa May in the back


The Daily Mail on Theresa May, 18 January 2017

That was the front page of the British Conservative Daily Mail, worshiping Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May as ‘the new Iron Lady‘. Faced with the wobbly reality of Ms May’s post-general election minority government, dependent on Irish homophobes with links to terrorism, fewer and fewer Conservatives want to be reminded of that recent kind of propaganda.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

The next Iron Lady vanishes (from her own website)

Thursday 13th July 2017

THERESA MAY was airbrushed from the Conservative website yesterday in what Labour has claimed is an attempt by the party to distance itself from the Prime Minister, writes Lucas Davies-Herbst.

The Conservative leader’s picture was stripped from the homepage of official party website http://www.conservatives.com.

Labour MP Toby Perkins quipped at Prime Minister’s Questions that Ms May has gone “from ‘the next Iron Lady’ to ‘the lady vanishes’.”

He added: “Politicians are said to be here today and gone tomorrow, but whatever tomorrow may bring, the Prime Minister isn’t even here today to mark the end of her first year in power.”

Mr Perkins suggested that the “vanishing act” is yet another sign that the Conservative Party are readying to remove the increasingly unpopular PM from her place as party leader.

Brexit crisis tearing apart UK’s Conservative Party: here.

Fifteen Tory MPs ‘to sign Theresa May no confidence letter’. 48 signatures are required to trigger a leadership contest: here.

Real Neat Blog Award, congratulations to my twelve nominees!


Real Neat Blog Award

Late in 2014, I made this new award: the Real Neat Blog Award. There are so many bloggers whose blogs deserve more attention. So, I will try to do something about that 🙂

It is the first award that I ever made. I did some computer graphics years ago, before I started blogging; but my computer drawing had become rusty 🙂

The ‘rules’ of the Real Neat Blog Award are: (feel free not to act upon them if you don’t have time; or don’t accept awards; etc.):

1. Put the award logo on your blog.

2. Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.

3. Thank the people who nominated you, linking to their blogs.

4. Nominate any number of bloggers you like, linking to their blogs.

5. Let them know you nominated them (by commenting on their blog etc.)

My seven questions are:

1. Where do most visits to your blog come from?

2. What is your favourite sport?

3. What has been a special moment for you so far in 2017?

4. What is your favourite quote?

5. What was your favourite class when still at school?

6. Anything you had wished to have learned earlier?

7. What musical instrument have you tried to play?

My nominees are:

1. Excerpts from Evolution

2. Myths of the Mirror

3. Mommy Cook For Me

4. My Instruction Manual

5. Her Mid-Soul Crisis

6. A girl’s verdict on books

7. Emotional queen

8. Life – Rose-tinted!

9. The Robin’s Nest

10. Erdling mit Fernweh

11. Theo Herbots Steunt Amnesty International

12. Collecting Stamps from States of Mind

Google helps Islamophobia


This video from the USA says about itself:

$40 Million Spent To Spread Islamophobia

29 August 2011

The Center For American Progress investigated how much money has been spent on spreading fear of Islam and Muslims in the United States. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian of The Young Turks discuss.

Source: here.

From Huffington Post in the USA today:

Google asks its employees to “Do the right thing.” At least, that’s what its revised 2015 motto states in an upgrade from the original company maxim, “Don’t be evil.” But when a user searches Google for information on Islam, the results often link to propaganda, anti-Muslim hate and outright lies. So begins Rowaida Abdelaziz’s story on how the world’s largest search engine spreads misinformation about Islam like a disease. Abdelaziz answered questions for Must Reads about how she came to write this important story.

What was the seed of this story?

The story really came about when I was Googling information on Islam and quickly realized how appalling the results were. The autofill suggestions in addition to the actual results were links filled with hate.

Then, it hit me. I was just one person who knew better, but what about the millions of other users, who when they see something about Muslims in the news and then try to search for more information themselves?

The amount of propaganda and misinformation lines up with the amount of “small” acts of hate that occur on a daily basis in the U.S. and has become so terrifyingly normal. When you think of the people who shout “go back to your country” or harass Muslim women in hijab, this is where they are getting their information from. It’s terrifying.

Over the course of your reporting what did you learn that most surprised you?

Just how easy and little it takes to feed a user so much wrong information. When I learned that 80 percent of users don’t make it past the first page on Google, let alone the first three links, it proved to me the dire need for factual information. We live in confusing times of fake news and this just makes it worst. Who knew the truth was so hard to make accessible?

What was the most challenging part of reporting, writing, or editing this piece?

The most challenging part is getting people to feel the same outrage as I do. This isn’t an issue with just Muslims, but it represents an overall problem with factual information on minorities as a whole.  It’s also challenging to work with large corporations like Google to take these issues seriously and work towards substantial change.

Did you learn anything that could help other writers or reporters?

Don’t diminish your emotions. As journalists, we’re usually taught to set aside our emotions. But this time, it was my frustration with the the lack of proper resources on Google search that led me to this report.

Is there anything else you want to add — anything you worry readers might have missed?

Often times we diminish the consequences of misinformation, not thinking about how dangerous it truly is. Despite what we hear, becoming radicalized over the internet is not just limited to ISIS sympathizers. It means people of all races, including white people, can consume propaganda and conspiracy theories that will push them to violence and even murder, like we have seen in Portland. If not that, then we are teaching children to hate other children who don’t look like them, and it all started over an online homework assignment. We are breeding a culture of normalized hate and violence.

Want to find out more about how Google spreads misinformation?

READ THE STORY

Love,

Nick and Sam

Facebook, British Conservatives and nazis


This video from Britain says about itself:

Theresa May caught off guard as Jeremy Corbyn sends a question in to her Facebook Live Q&A

15 May 2017

Theresa May was caught off guard during a Facebook Q&A session when ‘Jeremy from Islington’ sent in a question.

Of course, it was Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who wrote in to challenge the chicken Tory leader to debate him head to head.

Mrs May was answering questions from the public during an online session – after she refused to take part in ITV’s leaders debate to be held on Thursday.

Mr Corbyn wrote: “Hi Theresa May, as Prime Minister you have served your elite friends by giving them tax cuts while wages have stagnated, house-building is at its lowest since the 1920s, there are 20,000 fewer police on our streets since 2010 and the NHS is in crisis.

“Do you not think the British people deserve to see us debate, live and on TV?

But Mrs May dismissed the idea of politicians going head to head.

By Peter Frost from Britain:

Whose side is Facebook on? Not yours or mine!

Friday 30th June 2017

The platform was paid a fortune to get Theresa May a Tory victory but failed miserably and it seems like it won’t save her as Prime Minister for much longer, believes PETER FROST

Facebook made 250 million dollars in the US presidential election. It also made a huge amount in the run-up to Britain’s general election but it is keeping secret exactly how much and who it was working for.

I thought it would be worth taking a look at this huge worldwide “big brother” of an organisation and how it tries to influence the way you and I vote. It is a murky pit in which to try to find the information you need. Not really what you would expect from something that says its business is easy communication.

Just before our election an investigation by the BBC programme Panorama revealed the Machiavellian use that Theresa May and her Tory gang were making of Facebook and other parts of what I have taken to calling the anti-social media.

Clearly May didn’t get value for money.

Do you use Facebook? I do. I find it an amusing and convenient way of sharing messages, news, jokes and lots more with relatives, friends, comrades, other writers from the Morning Star and fellow fans of the people’s paper.

I find Facebook adverts and the way they are so obviously targeted to my interests and statistics sometimes amusing, sometimes annoying and even sometimes rather embarrassing.

If you are an old man like me — they know my age — and look at a lot of Russian websites, which you might very well if you are interested in the 100th anniversary year of the Russian Revolution, the algorithms of Silicon Valley might decide what you are really looking for are Russian prostitutes or mail-order Moscow brides. Well that’s my story, your honour, and I’m sticking to it.

Once I had managed to get rid of ads for Olga and her mates they changed to rather a lot of patent medicines, herbal viagra and rather too many funeral plans and undertaker’s special offers. Frankly I’d have been happier with Olga.

Just as amusing and annoying as this mis-targeted advertising is the curious lack of responses that Facebook allows to messages. If a Facebook friend sends me a bit of news it only offers only four ways I can deal with it.

I can ignore it, like it, comment on it, or share it. The easiest is always just to tick the like box. This can lead to some rather strange happenings.

Recently a Facebook friend reported that she had tripped outside her house and fallen badly grazing her knees and elbows.

Before you could say Mark Zuckerberg there were 30 plus of her friends reporting they liked the fact she was sprawled on the pavement covered in dirt and blood. Funny use of that word “like,” I think.

In the days running up to our election I found a remarkable number of posts singing the praises of one Theresa May and others warning me about the dastardly behaviour of Jeremy Corbyn.

Ukip, Liberal Democrats and a few others also came uninvited into my pages.

One thing I never found the slightest bit amusing about Facebook was the regular sprinkling of racist, homophobic, xenophobic and just generally reactionary comments and so-called jokes that arrive and have to be deleted every day.

One of the worst offenders was the racist gang that calls itself Britain First. They told Panorama (BBC) that they paid FB to repeatedly promote their videos. Britain First now claims 1,616,519 Facebook supporters. In fact its real membership would fit comfortably in a G4S prison bus.

Britain First fooled many people into liking them. Messages showed starving dogs, appeals to support British soldiers abroad and even Lee Rigby, the army drummer murdered by terrorists in Woolwich. Rigby’s family demanded they stop using his name and image wanting nothing to do with them.

One person who did seem to be either a genuine member or supporter of Britain First of course was Thomas Mair who murdered Labour MP Jo Cox.

Panorama discovered that rabid racists like Britain First were not the only ones buying political influence via Facebook. So are mainstream sophisticated political campaigns, parties and even individuals seeking high office.

They pay Facebook to use our data and the contents of our FB pages to target us for support, funds and votes.

In the EU referendum Panorama revealed that both sides used Facebook. The targeting was amazingly precise. For example Cornish fishermen were messaged telling them if they voted to leave, they would be able to change fishing industry regulations.

May’s advisers knew this only too well and were putting some of their millionaires’ donations to use buying targeted Facebook space. We will never know just how much they spent.

Meanwhile thousands of Labour and Corbyn supporters were using Facebook and other social media for free.

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign relied on Facebook massively. Neither Trump nor Facebook are saying how much was spent but independent experts put the cost at many millions of dollars.

It wasn’t just Trump. Facebook admits taking cash from both Republicans and Democrats, its employees helped out in both party headquarters steering the social media arm of the campaigns.

Facebook, no doubt, played a pivotal role in our general election, yet it is almost totally unregulated and unaccountable. Sometimes, it seems, almost invisible.

In the US all kinds of totally unfounded accusations were made about Hillary Clinton including of criminal acts right up to murder.

Corbyn has had almost exactly the same attacks, in his case mostly linking him to various terrorist actions. Diane Abbott suffered even more rabid and virulent attacks but she is a woman and black.

Facebook was consistently tardy in taking down these fake news stories indeed, some of them still pop up on it today. FB offers the excuse that it doesn’t want to censor the internet.

Yet a post I put up telling people my local Tory MP was both a landlord and had voted against a law requiring landlords to make their properties suitable for human habitation disappeared from my FB page within minutes.

Facebook were paid a fortune to get a Tory victory on May 8 but it didn’t work and it seems like it won’t save her as Prime Minister for much longer and for that we can all be grateful.

Facebook establishes new censorship centre in Germany: here.

Real Neat Blog Award, congratulations to 18 nominees!


Real Neat Blog Award

Late in 2014, I made this new award: the Real Neat Blog Award. There are so many bloggers whose blogs deserve more attention. So, I will try to do something about that 🙂

It is the first award that I ever made. I did some computer graphics years ago, before I started blogging; but my computer drawing had become rusty 🙂

The ‘rules’ of the Real Neat Blog Award are: (feel free not to act upon them if you don’t have time; or don’t accept awards; etc.):

1. Put the award logo on your blog.

2. Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.

3. Thank the people who nominated you, linking to their blogs.

4. Nominate any number of bloggers you like, linking to their blogs.

5. Let them know you nominated them (by commenting on their blog etc.)

My seven questions are:

1. Where do most visits to your blog come from?

2. What is your favourite sport?

3. What has been a special moment for you so far in 2017?

4. What is your favourite quote?

5. What was your favourite class when still at school?

6. Anything you had wished to have learned earlier?

7. What musical instrument have you tried to play?

My nominees are:

1. Rhythm

2. theguywhosaidalwaysno

3. Interstellar

4. theglocaljournal

5. Hidden glitter

6. On the Trail of the Red Herring

7. The World according to Dina

8. The ALK3R Post

9. A Blog or Two

10. Homeless Global Spectator

11. Wazzart

12. The Beauty of Words

13. Travelling Through Words

14. purpleorangesite

15. Annie Likes Words

16. Roaming Travelers

17. Face Reality

18. Method to my Melody

United States NSA-derived malware damaging Internet again


This video says about itself:

28 June 2017

The latest cyberattack has spread rapidly across the world, affecting banks, retailers and major energy firms. Experts say ransomware known as Petya appears to be behind the computer meltdown. And whistleblower Edward Snowden says the US government [the NSA] developed the sophisticated hacking tools that are being used in this attack. Sara Firth reports.

By Kevin Reed:

Petya ransomware attack shuts down computers in 65 countries

29 June 2017

In the second massive cyberattack in 44 days, both originating from malicious software developed by the US National Security Agency, personal computers in at least 65 countries were shut down Tuesday by an epidemic of ransomware known as Petya.

The attack had its greatest impact and first manifestation in Ukraine, where an estimated 12,500 computer systems were infected. Initial reports of the malware came when Ukrainian computer users attempted to update their copies of the tax and accounting software MeDoc. From there, the ransomware spread quickly all over the world, with major outages reported in Belgium, Brazil, Germany, Russia and the United States.

Among the corporations hit by the attack were the American pharmaceutical giant Merck, the British advertising agency WPP, the French multinational Saint-Gobain, the Russian steel and mining company Evraz and the Australian factory of the chocolate company Cadbury. In Ukraine, government ministries, ATMs and transit and airports systems were paralyzed and workers at the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site were forced to monitor radiation levels manually because their computers became inoperable.

In the US, Heritage Valley Health Systems, a Pennsylvania health care provider, was forced to cancel operations at its hospitals in Beaver and Sewickley due to the computer outage caused by Petya. According to some security experts, the latest ransomware attack represents a more sophisticated and lethal application of the malware than previously encountered.

The Petya ransomware causes computers to stop functioning and brings up a red screen with white letters that says the hard disks on the system have been encrypted with “military grade encryption.” The files on the system will be restored, the message explains, only in exchange for a payment of $300 in bitcoin electronic currency to a specified email address. It is not clear if making the ransom payment leads to the restoration of file access.

Once cybersecurity experts identified the email account, it was shut down.

The virus attacks Windows-based computers by taking advantage of the EternalBlue vulnerability. EternalBlue is known as an “exploit” or “bug” in the Windows operating system that can be used to cause unexpected behavior. Although Microsoft had released security updates to address the EternalBlue issue when they became aware of the problem last March, the latest attack is a “new variant” of Petya that can circumvent previous software patches.

Once a single system has been infected, the ransomware has the ability to move from computer to computer on a network without users doing anything. The Petya virus also has the ability to utilize unprotected machines to access networking features and infect machines that have been previously protected. Because of these innovations, some security experts are referring to the new ransomware as GoldenEye.

It is well known that the EternalBlue exploit was developed by the NSA as part of its arsenal of cyberwarfare weaponry for use against the rivals of US imperialism. Due to a combination of recklessness and stupidity, however, the NSA’s arsenal servers were hacked earlier this year and the tools were stolen by as-of-yet unidentified hackers.

In April, an Internet group known as Shadow Brokers published information about the NSA arsenal, including details about exploits that take advantage of vulnerabilities in enterprise firewalls, anti-virus products and Microsoft software.

The Petya attack comes less than two months after the outbreak in early May of the WannaCry ransomware, which spread around the world in a similar manner. In that instance, the malware shut down hundreds of thousands of computers in more than 150 countries.

So far, the NSA has not acknowledged any responsibility for the malware code that has now disrupted the economy in countless countries and endangered the lives of millions of people on two separate occasions. Computer security experts are coming forward in increasing numbers to demand that the NSA work with specialists to help defend computer systems from the destructive mayhem that the agency has unleashed upon society.

Mexican government uses malware to spy on journalists and political opponents: here.