Tag Archives: Facebook

It’s The Russians, Stupid

While CNN and MSNBC continue hammering away with their Covid/Cuomo obsession to the exclusion of almost all else, I had to go to the BBC, to find out that the Russians have (again) been targeting us with disinformation about Covid-19 vaccines on Facebook.

“Facebook Removes Anti-Vax Influencer Campaign,” the headline reads on the BBC. Their reporting explains further, that Facebook, “…has removed hundreds of accounts which it says were involved in anti-vax disinformation campaigns operated from Russia.” The campaigns, according to the article, targeted “India, Latin America and the U.S.” with the express purpose of undermining pubic confidence in Covid vaccines.

Why is Vladimir Putin trying to sew chaos around the world? Could it be because he wants us diverted from his big picture efforts aimed at destroying democracies and extending the power of oligarchs? American broadcast journalists have taken their eye off the ball, because they don’t know what the ball even is. At their urging, the American public spend their time debating the insidiousness of a politician making women “feel uncomfortable” and the value of wearing a mask as the Delta Variant storms across the United States.

Not that none of that matters, but at the same time, the unforgivable “Citizens United” decision is all but forgotten with a river of dark money influencing our public officials and oversight of the media all but non-existent, the Fairness Doctrine now long-forgotten and ratings-driven profits being all that really matters to tv and cable execs in front offices and boardrooms across the country.

Welcome to the U.S.A. The best government money can buy while the media watchdog takes a snooze in the corner. Isn’t this what we should be most worried about? The loss of our freedom of choice? Our liberty?

For their part, the Democrats, are trumpeting their great accomplishment with their infrastructure bill, an issue that will have faded from view as the Republicans, assisted by the Russians, pump so much smoke into the air that millions of us won’t be able to find our way to the polls, much less know who we should vote for, the Republicans, the new whiter than white party of the right, or the Democrats, who have seemingly been overtaken by a new inclusive diversity frenzy of the far-left that appears to view straight white men as the enemy as their numerous alphabetized categories of sexual definition grow ever longer, with “his” and “hers” all but eliminated in favor of “theirs.” No men, no women, just unisexual democrats. Whatever you do, don’t tell a woman she looks good or pat anybody on the back. Just don’t touch anybody. Ever. Even if you’re culturally predisposed to do so and the people you come from have been for thousands of years.

The Republicans increase their influence through fear-based KGB-like disinformation tactics and race-baiting, while the Dems, once again prove to be their own worst enemy, as they tear themselves to shreds from the inside-out, with their far-left attacking their more moderate base, leaving millions out in the cold, wondering if the Democratic Party’s really for them, or if its left-leaning faction has strayed too far to the left to suit their moderate sensibilities.

It occurred to me the other day, that what we need is another Ross Perot. For a time, it looked like he might provide an answer, the dawn of a new political day for America with his “Reform Party.” He appeared to be a true moderate. But it wasn’t to be. In 1992, he pulled in 18.9% of the popular vote, but got not even one electoral vote. Such is our system, with the winners taking it all and the losers being invited to “get lost.”

Then, at least, there were limits on funding campaigns. Now there are no limits as to how much money anybody, even a foreign power, can pump into the process to influence a campaign or an issue and we the people have to rely upon the BBC to tell us what’s really going on?

But who listens to the BBC? Exactly.

You can be sure Mr. Putin, finds all of this most amusing while others among us, fear for the worst.

Somewhere, Putin Is Smiling

The uprising in Catalan may have a nexus with Russia.  Or, it may not.  Shouldn’t somebody be trying to figure it out?   The Spanish Government maybe?  Or the CIA?

Looking back on the way the Russian Government usurped the government of Ukraine,  followed by its criminal taking of Crimea through the use of military force,  one must conclude that Putin’s Russia has a well-laid plan for interfering in other countries businesses, territories and general well-being.   Well, of course they do.    They’ve been in the expansion through espionage business big-time since Nikita Khrushchev threatened to bury us while banging his size ten Soviet-made wingtip on the Russian ambassador’s desk at the UN.

The introduction of our current information age and the  technological highway of the Internet make it all the easier for Putin and his “bot farms” to interfere, be it turning Brits to favor the “Brexit” through disinformation or American voters to favor Donald Trump because of a whole lot of fabricated nonsense many of them were led to believe was true.

It’s important to remember the role played by Paul Manafort in Ukraine and then in the U.S. election.   In 2005, Manafort acted as an adviser to Ukranian billionaire, Rinat Akhmetov, an ally of Vladimir Putin.   Manafort, who is said to be a protege of Russian billionaire Oleg Deripraska,  eventually became a principle adviser to Ukraine’s former President,  Russian-backed Viktor Yanukovych (another ally of Vladimir Putin), who escaped to (guess where?) Russia, following the Orange Revolution.    With Manafort, there appears to be another Russian billionaire with ties to the Kremlin around every corner.

So when Donald Trump needed someone to run his presidential campaign, who appeared like magic from out of nowhere?  Paul Manafort, who slipped effortlessly into the role of Trump’s campaign manager, even while many were scratching their heads wondering who the hell he was.

Even now, Donald Trump steadfastly refuses to say anything negative about Putin or the Russians and is currently stalling on levying sanctions against the Russians for interfering with American elections.  Really?  And there are those among us who still haven’t been able to connect the dots?

When fake news is real, and real news is fake, who ya gonna believe?  Very clever, these Russians.

There’s an interesting piece in today’s Guardian, entitled, “Our pain for their gain’:  The American activists manipulated by Russian trolls.”   The piece points out that what Russia has been up to goes far beyond simply placing phony ads on Facebook or creating fake news.    According to the newspaper, “This week, a Moscow-based news outlet called RBC uncovered the work of a troll factory that infiltrated US social networks, with Russians posing as Americans and making payments to legitimate activists in the US, directly funding protest movements. The revelations suggest that the Russian operation went beyond spamming online comment sections and spreading false news – and that a sophisticated interference campaign manipulated, controlled and created real-world events.”

So we’re up to that.   Putin and his people are now using disinformation, misinformation and cash funding to create “real-world events.”  And the victims don’t even know they are being victimized.   Possibly like what happened to the Brits with their Brexit and maybe even the uprising in Catalonia?   Oh sure, the Catalans have had a beef with Spain for decades, but why such a big blowout right now, with Brexit, Korea, Venezuela, Iraq and Iran all in the international mix?  Might not Russia be a least partially responsible?

The United States would normally be taking the lead in trying to ferret out precisely what the Russians are up to.  To what degree they influenced our last election and are now attempting to throw the world’s democracies into chaos, but that doesn’t seem to be happening.  Not to the degree to which it should.

Alarm bells should be going off all over Capitol Hill, and in the White House.  And they would be, were it not for our Putin-loving president who looks more and more Manchurian as the days and months roll agonizingly by and much of America remains in denial about it all, either because they have been mesmerized by Donald Trump and an endless stream of Russian propaganda or they simply can’t begin to grasp what’s happening because it is just too complicated.

Somewhere within the bowels of the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin is undoubtedly smiling that snarky little smile of his, as he contemplates the international chaos he has created.

Shouldn’t somebody be trying to figure it out?   How much of the current chaos is Russian based?   To what degree are we all being played for suckers by Vladimir Putin?    How far will Trump go to cover this charade?   Will he take the nation to war?   Who will stop him?

Robert Muller and his investigation could be the only thing standing between the United States and a Russian threat some don’t want to believe is real.   We can only hope there are those who can still feel the fire of patriotism.  Those with the strength of what America truly is, to force the Muller investigation forward to a legitimate conclusion.   If not, our great American experiment could be finished.  A thought too terrible for many to even consider, making it all the more important for all of us to get our heads up out of the sand and demand the truth.