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Member since: Thu Dec 30, 2004, 02:05 PM
Number of posts: 14,545

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US military studied how to influence Twitter users in Darpa-funded research


The activities of users of Twitter and other social media services were recorded and analysed as part of a major project funded by the US military, in a program that covers ground similar to Facebook’s controversial experiment into how to control emotions by manipulating news feeds.

Research funded directly or indirectly by the US Department of Defense’s military research department, known as Darpa, has involved users of some of the internet’s largest destinations, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Kickstarter, for studies of social connections and how messages spread.


The project list includes a study of how activists with the Occupy movement used Twitter as well as a range of research on tracking internet memes and some about understanding how influence behaviour (liking, following, retweeting) happens on a range of popular social media platforms like Pinterest, Twitter, Kickstarter, Digg and Reddit.


However, papers leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden indicate that US and British intelligence agencies have been deeply engaged in planning ways to covertly use social media for purposes of propaganda and deception. Documents prepared by NSA and Britain's GCHQ (and previously published by the Intercept as well as NBC News) revealed aspects of some of these programs. They included a unit engaged in “discrediting” the agency’s enemies with false information spread online.

It can't happen here, oops.
Posted by grahamhgreen | Tue Jul 8, 2014, 01:09 PM (0 replies)

Iraqi premier Maliki removes key army chiefs, appoints own son


"BAGHDAD,— Iraq's embattled Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has pushed his military chiefs into early retirement and placed his own son in charge of the army.

The news was leaked to various Iraqi media outlets on Saturday.

"On the order of the prime minister, the supreme commander of the ground forces, Ali Ghedan, has retired from office," a source with the Iraqi defense ministry said.

The source added that the retirement was "a direct consequence of the fall of Mosul," into the hands of the jihadist militants. "
Posted by grahamhgreen | Mon Jul 7, 2014, 04:32 AM (7 replies)

2014 Job Creation Faster in States that Raised the Minimum Wage


As CEPR noted in March and April posts, economists at Goldman Sachs conducted a simple evaluation of the impact of these state minimum-wage increases. GS compared the employment change between December and January in the 13 states where the minimum wage increased with the changes in the remainder of the states. The GS analysis found that the states where the minimum wage went up had faster employment growth than the states where the minimum wage remained at its 2013 level.

When we updated the GS analysis using additional employment data from the BLS, we saw the same pattern: employment growth was higher in states where the minimum wage went up. While this kind of simple exercise can't establish causality, it does provide evidence against theoretical negative employment effects of minimum-wage increases.

In this post, we can now bring these figures up to date with the data from April and May.

The chart below shows the percentage change in employment for each state. The baseline is the average of the employment figures for the last five months of 2013 (August to December), which is measured against the average of the employment levels for the first five months of 2014 (January to May). As was the case with the earlier analyses by GS and CEPR, employment growth is still faster in states where the minimum wage went up.

U.S. troops in Baghdad to fly Apache helicopters, drones

The nearly 500 American troops sent to Baghdad to bolster security for the US embassy are equipped with Apache attack helicopters and small unarmed surveillance drones, Pentagon officials said Tuesday.

President Barack Obama on Monday ordered 200 additional troops to the Iraqi capital to ensure the safety of American diplomats and other personnel working in the city, as Baghdad government forces face a challenge from advancing Sunni extremists.

The reinforcements will include troops to fly and maintain Apache attack helicopters and unarmed surveillance drones, Pentagon press secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby told a news conference.

The drones were not Reapers or Predators but smaller Shadow robotic aircraft that are launched from a catapult, a senior defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP.

The Shadow aircraft, which have been heavily used by US forces previously in Iraq and in Afghanistan, are about 14 feet (4 meters) long and can fly at an altitude of 8,000 feet (2,400 meters).


Why Obama would do the neo-cons bidding while they sue him is beyond me. I predict his continued escalation in Iraq will result in Dems losing the Senate, and then his own impeachment... But what do I know?
Posted by grahamhgreen | Wed Jul 2, 2014, 12:02 PM (2 replies)

If you give in before you fight, you always lose. We can beat this Congress. Stop giving in to them

by arguing that "we can't get it past this Congress".

It's a loser mentality that I see all over this board.

You want to win? Pick a popular position and fight for it. Get your message out to the American people. Let them know what bills you are pushing.

Solution to Hobby Lobby Decision: Medicare for All. Let's get it done. nt

Bernie: You already owe $35,000 for the last Iraq war!


The Bush administration’s war in Iraq will end up costing the United States some $3 trillion — all with deficit spending. Meanwhile, serious efforts to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and create millions of desperately-needed jobs keep running into Republican roadblocks. “In other words, for most Republicans in Congress it is okay to spend unlimited sums on a war we should never have gotten into but it’s wrong to rebuild our bridges, roads, rail and water systems, wastewater plants, dams, culverts and airports — and make our country more productive,” Bernie said.

White House requests $500 million to aid Syrian rebels


EDIT: Why?

Question: is there any evidence that the Iraqi army did not 'evaporate', but instead joined forces

with the Sunni insurgents?

"Me against my brothers,...

me and my brothers against my cousins, me and my brother and my cousins against the world"

انا على أخوي وأنا وأخوي على ابن عمي وأنا وابن عمي على الغريب""

Got it?

This is why its a FOOL'S ERRAND to involve ourselves further in Iraq.

Be it one troop, bomb, or drone.

Unless, of course, your goal is to sell arms at great cost to the distressed American public, and to steal other countries oil.

At least, that's how I see it!

EDIT: Fixed Title!
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