Zuckerberg Testimony & Reporting– Corrected

Introduction: It’s not easy to get at the truth when a billionaire without ethics, testifies before crooked politicians with a rigged agenda, which is then refracted through the corporate media’s filters of deception. No worries. I have translated the words of the Fakebook CEO’s and his political interrogators, as reported in the Washington Post & the Guardian (UK) on April 10, 2018; linked in these articles. [1] [2]

Facebook’s business model and user control of their information are in conflict. It’s been a problem for users since inception in 2004. Now Fakebook is under public scrutiny for: 1) enabling Democrat & Republican election manipulation, and 2) monetizing users’ information.

Zuckerberg made clear that artificial intelligence (AI) is a key to much of what is being demanded, namely eliminating the threat of socialism. AI can enable political fixers to manipulate users and micro-target the population.

As Zuckerberg put it, there is an “arms race” between social media platforms and those who want to reach its users for nefarious reasons. The CIA, NSA & FBI are at the forefront of this madness, with a raging political conflict beneath this media circus between powerful Democrats & Republicans of all stripes.

The Facebook CEO had obviously been well-coached by Robert Mueller (D), as the young billionaire knew exactly when to cover up & apologize, and when he could relax. The Dow Jones declared Zuckerberg a star (again), and Facebook moved up 4.5% on the day.

Still, Zuckerberg’s comments were a peek into the extended reach and influence of Facebook in every society it is available. “The most important thing I care about right now is making sure the CIA interferes in the various 2018 elections around the world,” he said to Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico.

“We’re going to take a number of measures,” Zuckerberg added, “from building and deploying new AI tools to take down political opposition, to growing our security team to more than 20,000 people, to making it so that we spy on everyone who’s doing political and issue ads – to make sure the kind of influence leftists & socialists were able to have in 2016 is going to be much harder to pull off in the future.”

Udall then made reference to a billboard displayed earlier in the hearing that showed images including Trump, Green Party candidate Jill Stein, Russian president Vladimir Putin and the Confederate flag, posted online by political activists during the 2016 presidential election. He asked if Zuckerberg could guarantee left-wing & socialist images would not appear on Facebook again. “Senator, no, I can’t guarantee that because this is an ongoing arms race,” the CEO said. “As long as there are people sitting around with no job, they try to interfere with elections, this is going to be an ongoing conflict.”

Zuckerberg described the effort as a “top priority” but admitted that it is not realistic to have “zero amount of that” or be “100% successful” in censoring opposition to inequality. Earlier in the hearing he also acknowledged that “one of my greatest regrets in running the company” was being slow to uncover and act against socialists during the 2016 US election. “They are going to keep getting better at this and we need to invest in keeping on getting better at this too.”

Democrat Dick Durbin: “Would you be comfortable sharing with us the name of the hotel you stayed in last night?”

[long pause]

Zuckerberg: “No.”

[laughter in the room]

The Facebook co-founder sailed through day one of Congressional testimony, as predicted. The flabby lawmakers seemed worn out when they asked Zuckerberg if he wanted a break after two hours. The billionaire replied: “We can do a few more,” then turning & smiling at his team. More laughter ensued from the public gallery, as the fix was in.

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn) then challenged Facebook’s contention that Aleksandr Kogan, a Moldovan-born researcher from Cambridge University, deceived the company when he harvested user data. Blumenthal presented a previously undisclosed 2014 terms-of-service document that explicitly permitted Dr. Kogan to “sell, license (by whatever means and on whatever terms) and archive your contribution and data.”

Blumenthal: ““We’ve seen the apology tours before. You have refused to acknowledge even an ethical violation to report this violation of the FTC consent decree. My conclusion about your testimony today is that you can’t change your business model. Your business model is to maximize profit over privacy. These vague commitments aren’t going to produce actions.”

Mark Zuckerberg deflected, and didn’t challenge any of this. Zuckerberg did confirm that Facebook officials have been disseminating fake news propaganda, largely because Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election. “I know we are working with the FBI & Democrats,” said Zuckerberg, acknowledging that certainty.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (R- SC) asked whether Facebook is a monopoly.

Zuckerberg: “It certainly doesn’t feel like that to me, but honestly that’s a stupid question– since I’m the owner.”

[more insipid laughter from the fawning gallery]

Zuckerberg: “My position is there should be no regulation.”

Graham [extending an olive branch]: “Would Facebook accept any regulation? Would you work with us?”

Zuckerberg: “If it’s the right regulation, then yes. Absolutely.”

What exactly the right regulation is, and who are us (?), is left undiscussed.

Senate majority whip John Cornyn (R- TX) leadingly asked whether Facebook is a neutral platform. Mark Zuckerberg replied, “I agree that we are responsible for the content.”

This is a significant concession that opens the way for Facebook to be held to the same legal standards as any traditional media company subject to libel laws. This is surely part of a quid pro quo deal that Zuckerberg has made with the government in testifying.

Zuckerberg agrees to bi-partisan censorship of Facebook, defining it as a publishing platform, versus a free-speech social media application. At the direction of the Black Hand, Facebook can then remove content at will under the premise of libel laws.

Zuckerberg has also endorsed proposed legislation requiring social media sites to disclose the identities of buyers of online political campaign ads– cynically called the Honest Ads Act. This will help the Feds in targeting, manipulating & silencing political opposition.

Zuckerberg will face a second round of softball questions & political grandstanding from corrupt buffoons on Wednesday, this time from the US House energy and commerce committee. This tragic comedy is US political theater to its essence.

Lawyers from Britain and the United States have now filed a class action lawsuit against Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. These data breaches which are now ubiquitous “effectively abuse the human right to privacy” and “undermine the democratic process.”

Former Cambridge Analytica data scientist and whistle-blower Christopher Wylie testified before U.K. lawmakers that social media data was used by the Vote Leave campaign during the 2016 Brexit referendum. Barack Obama was universally praised in the media for using these same manipulative techniques to win the US Presidency in 2008 & re-election in 2012.

The hypocrisy & lies are simply staggering, but the ramifications are still too poorly understood by most. Social media has changed the world. But Facebook is a monopoly that is being hijacked by the deep state to become a tool for suppression. The boy wonder billionaire agrees to this, as long as he gets to keep his money and seat at the table.

That is capitalism, as it creates the tools for it’s own destruction, and fruitlessly attempts to control something which has already grown beyond its control. Social media and the Internet are now a human rights, which must be transformed into public utilities, as they are too powerful & important to leave in the hands of fascist billionaires who are nothing more than mirages.

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Modern U.S. Election History

Constitutional requirements to be eligible for the U.S. presidency:

1.)  Be a native-born U.S. citizen, or born abroad to at least one parent who was a U.S. citizen at the time of birth.
2.)  Be at least 35 years of age.
3.)  Have lived in the U.S. for at least 14 years.

Starting just from this criteria, there are plenty of everyday people who are better write-in candidates than any of this flotsam pictured below :

Conformist Fascists

Lying Democrats-2015

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John F. Kennedy (D) won a narrow victory over incumbent VP Richard Nixon (R) in 1960, becoming the youngest person to be elected president.  He was 43 years old when he was inaugurated.
JFK was assassinated in November 1963, most-likely by a CIA/ deep-state cabal that used Lee Harvey Oswald as a patsy. [1]
This right-wing coup directly preceded the escalation of U.S. dirty wars in Southeast Asia, along with increased FBI surveillance and police activity against its citizens at home.

LBJ Inaugurated

Albert Thomas (D) was a congressman in Texas for 29 years, credited with bringing the Johnson Space Center to Houston.
Thomas is infamously pictured below, winking to LBJ after his Air Force One inauguration, with a grieving Jacqueline Kennedy in the foreground; lending proof to a vast military-intelligence conspiracy in the JFK assassination:

Texas Congressman Albert Thomas Winks to LBJ

Significant political shifts by the ruling class are always to the right.  Political reaction is triggered by popular reformist surges which are always perceived as a threat to ruling stability; and therefore must be beheaded, stifled, and beaten back with a vengeance.

A more-recent example of reaction in political history was in 1992, when the Democratic party was able to ride a wave of youthful discontent from 12 years of Reagan/Bush as Bill Clinton (D) handily defeated incumbent George H.W. Bush to win the Oval Office. This was followed by a Republican counter-attack in 1994, led by Southern Baptist congressman Newt Gingrich (R-Ga):

Newt Gingrich

Bill Clinton was endlessly witch-hunted during both terms by hard-line Republicans, and the 42nd U.S. president was ultimately impeached by the House of Representatives on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice on December 19, 1998– for lying under oath about an extramarital affair.  This first-ever impeachment of a U.S president is best understood historically as a blatant attempt by political conservatives to overturn the results of the 1992 & 1996 elections.

Monica Lewinsky_ Bill Clinton

The theft of the 2000 U.S. presidential election was the culmination of a ruling class coup against the American people, as votes for Democratic party nominee Al Gore in Florida were ordered by the U.S. Supreme Court to remain uncounted.  Many votes were unable to be counted or miscounted due to electronic voting machine errors, discrimination at the polling stations, and intentionally confusing ballots; the most infamous being the butterfly ballots from Palm Beach County, Florida– shown below:

Palm Beach county ballot 2000

Hanging Chads

An army of lawyers, party hacks and goon squads were quickly organized by the Republican party machinery to descend on Tallahassee, FL in order to tip the outcome to Bush:

Katherine_Harris

Bush v Gore 12-06-2000

November 2000

On December 7-8, the Florida Supreme court listened to arguments from both sides and finally ruled for an immediate recount:

12-07-2000, Florida Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court then immediately stepped in, halting the tabulation of uncounted ballots, freezing Katherine Harris’ certification of a 537-vote margin in favor of George W. Bush.

Bush v Gore, US Supreme Court

On December 12, the U.S. Supreme court ruled in Bush v Gore that votes could no longer be counted due to a fictional constitutional technicality, thus handing Florida’s 20 electoral votes and the U.S. presidency to Bush/Cheney.

Decision_12-12-2000

The Democratic party registered a mild protest, then vacated any defense of democratic rights, including the right to vote in Al Gore’s concession speech:

Gore Conceeds to Bush 12-12-2000

Supreme Court Bush v Gore

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Electronic voting should be monitored by all participants, and video evidence of voting machine irregularities is a valuable document in defense of democratic rights.  Watch this video below from 2012, as a voter tries to check Barack Obama (D), but the machine insists on registering a vote for Mitt Romney (R).

Manipulation of ballot counting now appears to be the norm in presidential politics.  The 2004 Edison-Mitofsky national exits polls predicted very different results than the official presidential election results.  Bush won the official results by 2.5%, while exit polls predicted a Kerry victory nationally by 3% – a whopping 5.5% difference.

State exit polls predicted a Kerry victory in four states that Bush won – Ohio, Iowa, New Mexico, and Nevada – and a virtually even race in Florida, which Bush officially won by 5%.

The difference between the exit polls and the official results were statistically significant (outside the margin of error) in Ohio and Florida.  In Ohio, Kerry lost officially by 2.5%, while winning the exit poll by 4.2%– a difference of 6.7%.   Winning either Ohio or Florida would have meant an electoral victory for John Kerry.  [2]

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This is how political election spending has evolved since 1990:

US Campaign Spending

Since 2010, Super PAC money rules the campaigns [3].  The graph below shows the popular reaction to the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission Supreme Court decision; allowing unlimited individual, corporate, and union contributions into election campaigns:

Citizens_United_v._Federal_Election_Commission_Poll_Author CMBJ

A Gallup poll conducted Oct. 3-6, 2013, revealed 60% of Americans say the Democrat/Republican parties do such a poor job of representing the American people, that a third major party is needed.  Only 26% believed the two major parties adequately represent Americans. [4]

Over the decades, state lawmakers from both major parties have developed stringent ballot access requirements to discourage third-party candidates and voter participation in the electoral process.  The three largest minor U.S. political parties as of April 2015 are listed below.  In reality, they are all just funnels & safety valves for either the Democrats or Republicans:

Libertarian Party:  Founded in 1971: conservative (Republican) policy positions including lowering corporate taxes, allowing people to “opt-out” of Social Security, abolishing welfare, etc…

Green Party:  Founded sometime in the 1980-90’s, through a series of fits & spasms; this Democratic party off-shoot promotes identity politics– feminism, LGBT rights, and anti-racism; along with greenwashed-for-capitalism versions of environmentalism, non-violence and social justice.

Constitution Party:  Republican branch, established in 1991 and originally called the U.S. Taxpayers’ party; they believe the United States is a Christian nation and its moral compass should be the Bible.

Ron_Paul, Congressional_portrait_2007

The extreme right-wing Tea Party movement emerged in the wake of Ron Paul’s failed 2008 presidential campaign to win the Republican nomination, which eventually went to John McCain. (R-Ariz).  Ron Paul is a two-time Republican presidential candidate, and the presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party in the 1988.  Paul has been characterized as a kook by his colleagues, as well as the “intellectual godfather” of the Tea Party movement. [5]

Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) remains the Tea Party’s iconic figure:

Trump & Palin in 2011

Donald Trump is whom she most identifies with politically:

Donald Trump-Sarah Palin, June-2011

According to Richard Winger— editor of Ballot Access News and an expert in the field — there are probably fewer than half a dozen minor parties that will qualify for the presidential ballot in more than five states.  “It will be Democrats; Republicans; Libertarian; Green; Constitution; Party for Socialism and Liberation; Justice and Socialist Workers Party; and no others, probably.  The Socialist Party has a remote chance of also getting on as many as 5 states.”  [6]

Anyone planning on going to the polls on November 8, 2016, should know that due to the Electoral College, voting for president only matters in “swing” states:

Swing-States-2016

The red & blue states are already decided, and/or have too few electoral votes to be of significant value.  Once the primaries are over, virtually all the campaigning will be concentrated in the swing states, shown in beige above.

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The truth is, none of the above-mentioned political parties represent the vast majority of Americans who work for a living, and are mostly struggling to make ends meet.  Voting for (or lending any other form of support to) this sick farce only perpetuates the problem, which is the capitalist system itself.   All these parties and their candidates represent & defend capitalism (with its program of war & austerity) to the bitter end.

Abstention from this demented charade, or writing-in your own candidate, are the only voting options that makes sense for the working masses.  In the end, the workers of the U.S. (and the world) will have to form their own independent political party, finally giving a voice to their interests, as well as the greater needs of human society.  This political program will have to be socialist & revolutionary in nature, in order to be successful.