Sunday, March 18, 2018

Cambridge Analytica - the TEXTIFIRE files 5/18/2017 - important background

The trump firehose is too much to keep up with.  Once again all my fine plans for the morning were swept away when I got sidetracked by the multifaceted news regarding Cambridge Analytica (and here, and here, to mention but the most recent), because it turns out when I looked for supporting information I found years worth.  Since it’s been such a time consuming effort and since this really is important knowledge to possess, I been putting together a post to share the many sources I’ve gone through this morning and now this afternoon.

Then I came upon “A Special Relationship & the Birth of Cambridge Analytica" TEXTIFIRE that is so information packed that it took me nearly an hour and I’d be lying if I said I read every word, a close scanning says plenty enough, and I know the various links I looked into supported claims made.  I’m overwhelmed by all the information, I’ve decided this article deserves a stand alone post.  

I’ve copied from the article’s introduction and the first paragraph of its many sections.  This is simply the tip of the iceberg.  I encourage you to link to the complete article, this one seems like required background reading if you want to confront the alt-right fraud this election season.

A Special Relationship & the Birth of Cambridge Analytica

Bridging the Atlantic to bring radical nativists of Trump & Brexit together via military tech & ad money, one donation or dataset at a time.

TEXTIFIRE  |  May 18, 2017  (they estimate 45 min read for full the article)
Steve Bannon-owned Cambridge Analytica LLC, a US subsidiary of UK defense contractor SCL Group, has been increasingly faulted for its dual role in both Donald Trump and Brexit’s victories. Its elevated & expensive role in the Trump digital marketing team’s self-proclaimed voter suppression rollout was the culmination of several years of preparation by military and anti-government interests on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as nationless finance & technology kingmakers seeking to enhance their own profit power. 
As a direct result of the reporting led by the Observer’s Carole Cadwalladr, Cambridge Analytica is already under active investigation for violating United Kingdom data protection laws, as related to their involvement with Leave.EU.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Greenman, Rahmstorf - "Red Team" folly - But wait, what about the alternative?

From a scientist's perspective Dr. Rahmstorf is correct and I completely agree with him.  What everyone seems to be overlooking is what a fantastic public education opportunity a Red Team Blue Team showdown could be.

Blue team, not of scientists, but a team of savvy climate science communicators with thorough understanding of GOP contrarian arguments and tactics along with their scientific understanding.  Why not set it up to provide the public with a close-up examination of the evidence and arguments on both sides?  My thoughts on the opportunity it would provide after Dr. Rahmstorf explains the scientist's perspective.

greenmanbucket  -  Published on Mar 12, 2018
Interview with Stefan Rahmstorf 
There will be no "red team" debate about the settled science of climate change. 
Even supporters of the fossil fuel agenda were too embarrassed to participate.

John Kelly killed Pruitt’s climate science debate
By Timothy Cama  - 03/09/18 

2:15 exactly "it's just a public show" - that's the point.  

Think about this a little - could be golden opportunity - but rather than climate scientists, make the Blue Team savvy climate science communicators - and then turn the tables on the contrarians!

Demand evidence and facts - when they produce their tainted manipulated evidence and juvenile arguments - call them on it!  Bring it back to the basics - "Just the facts Ma'am."
Intellectual Confrontation, expose and describe the game they're playing as they play it.  Of course, it would require very sharp, well spoken individuals with cojones to go with their smarts.  Individuals ready and wanting to dissect and expose the details of how the contrarians' dishonesty and siren song unfolds.

Tear apart their juvenile arguments one after the other, it would be a golden opportunity, the smarter folks at the WH realize it better than we, so it's not happening.   What a lost opportunity, I myself believe taking their bluff in this election season could be a shrewd move.  

Why not put together our own R-B team - either with actual contrarians, or with videos of their words, since they never seem ready to debate on an even playing field.  Put contrarian arguments, and their reason on trial.

It might also offer a great platform to proclaim that, a sane society requires that we honestly represent our opponents' positions - yes, also to listen to corrects - life is a learning process.  Mistakes are learning opportunities and should not get frozen into bludgeons.  

Repeatedly and willfully ignoring corrections (object facts and data) to one’s own mistakes is a whole other story that needs to be exposed when it happens.

We have a duty to honestly represent known physical facts and evidence.

Repeating factual lies, should be called out, and dogged, dogged, dogged until the errors get acknowledged.  Not attacking people, attacking the idiotic lies!  That would be so much better and more productive than the silent acquiesce that extends a free pass for malicious lies to flourish.  

Seriously, think about what's happening in public media and the news, we've allowed the Alt-right to own and dominate the narrative so completely that in politics lying about the most important of facts and using malicious dirty tricks have become standard operating procedure, enjoyed with a ghoulish joy.   

Start with a simply factual review of our global heat and moisture distribution engine and the atmospheric insulation that makes our Earth habitable.  A quick review of our complex biosphere (of a sense of its folds within folds of cumulative harmonic complexity) and how all within it is a product of the available energy and the resulting climatic regime.  

How changing the mean temperature of the Earth impacts this biosphere and its inhabitants.  It can be done in a fairly short period of time.  Perhaps touch on uncertainty vs. certainty issues; map vs. territory problem; "How exact does our data need to be to know enough?"; and such.

Then turn the discussion over to the competing arguments, logic and evidence.  

Turn the klieg lights on the GOP's dishonest maliciously fraudulent debate tactics. 

2018 is a frightening election season with more at stake than in any time in America's history (suggest a rival if you can) my nightmare is that too many people still don't appreciate what's at stake, or even the game being played  - what we don't know, will hurt us.

If we don't all start engaging, and networking, and learning, and informing, and engaging more friends, and doing it now, things could get very dark indeed.  Check out this info kiosk

Dr. Schneider 2008 - Do we know enough to warrant action?

Stanford  |  Published on Sep 15, 2008  |  Stephen Schneider
July 24, 2008 presentation by Stephen Schneider for the Stanford University Office of Science Outreach's Summer Science Lecture Series.  
Professor Schneider discusses the local, regional, and international actions that are already beginning to address global warming and describe other actions that could be taken, if there were political will to substantially reduce the magnitude of the risks. 
The Stanford Summer Science Lecture Series is a set of informal lectures about cutting edge research from four of Stanford's most esteemed professors.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Science red flags - Science Or Not

Hat tip to Collin Maessen, this is exactly the sort of ideas and awareness more people should be sharing, particularly as we get closer to this crucial election in the USA.  I've shared screen shoots of their list to encourage people to link through to their site and study this important information.

Science red flags

These red flags are indicators of either bad science or unscientific nonsense. The more of them you can identify in a claim, the less reliable it will be. They should be compared to the Hallmarks of science, which indicate science that’s conducted properly.
You think seeing is believing, that your thoughts are always based on reasonable intuitions and rational analysis, and that though you may falter and err from time to time, for the most part you stand as a focused, intelligent operator of the most complicated nervous system on earth. You believe that your abilities are sound, your memories perfect, your thoughts rational and wholly conscious …  
The truth is that your brain lies to you. Inside your skull is a vast and far-reaching personal conspiracy to keep you from uncovering the facts about who you actually are, how capable you tend to be, and how confident you deserve to feel. That undeserved confidence alters your behaviour and creates a giant, easily opened back door through which waltz con artists, magicians, public relations employees, advertising executives, pseudoscientists, peddlers of magical charms, and others.
David McRaney, You Are Now Less Dumb, 2013

Use these links to find out more about each of the science red flags. 
(This list will grow as new red flags are posted on the blog.)

These are only screen shots,
click on images for clearer viewing.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

White House quietly issues OMB report vindicating Obama regulations

More facts to help expose the lie behind Libertarians Deregulation Siren’s Song.  Here's another example of Enlightened Self-Interest showing itself to be the more rational constructive way to approach our problems.  I’ll leave the rest of this story to someone who can explain it better than I can.  
These are the facts we need to learn about and share with others. 

Contradicting Trump, OMB report highlights rule benefits
Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporter
Published: February 26, 2018 

The White House Office of Management and Budget on Friday evening released its annual report on the costs and benefits of federal regulations, showing that the benefits of major Obama-era rules far exceeded the costs.

E&E News broke the story, but it’s only available to subscribers so I’ll relate David Roberts report from

Trump White House quietly issues report vindicating Obama regulations
It was easy to miss, but OMB demolishes the GOP’s deregulatory claims.
By David Roberts  |  |  Mar 6, 2018, 9:30am EST

For a copy of the Report itself, this has been posted by E&E
2017 Draft Report to Congress on the Benefits and Costs of Federal Regulations and Agency Compliance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

President Donald Trump’s administration has been on a deregulatory bender, particularly when it comes to environmental regulations. As of January, the New York Times counted 67 environmental rules on the chopping block under Trump.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

“O the irony!” says "Save"LaPlata's front man, Peters. The irony indeed.

After a short intro with a big digression, here's the follow up to my previous post, which looked at the text of a Recall Petition being circulated by the so-called "LaPlata Liberty Coalition" and the equally melodramatic sounding "Save LaPlata County" with big brother Americans for Koch, opps, "Americas for Prosperity" in the background egging them on.  Here I share information about the connections between "SaveLaPlata" and the Koch octopus.

I appreciate this concerns but one obscure county, still change the names and the contrived local "issue" - and this is playing out throughout the USA in the run up to the Nov. election.  
By Jonathan Easley - 01/27/18 - The

Why am I sharing this?  Guess, I still dream of a genuine grassroots uprising, and yes perhaps even networking with some people of passion, ethics and being part of it. (citizenschallenge at gmail.)