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Fake news creates real reactions? If so, we are in worse shape than ever.

Current Facebook – Cambridge Analytica scandal is utterly fabricated for political points, as nothing illegal or even unethical happened.

Seraphim Hanisch

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For the last week, the news headlines have been full of a new “scandal” regarding data mining and targeted ad campaigning based on that data. The parties involved were the Social Media giant Facebook and a group called Cambridge Analytica, a firm that built profiles of about fifty million Facebook users and used them for target political advertising. The scandal has exploded – at least as far as the MSM describes it – and reportedly has driven Mark Zuckerberg “into hiding”, as well as triggered a modest, but substantial drop (8.1%) in share price of Facebook stock, and a great deal of fodder for MSM talk shows to continue along their mission of maligning the election of Donald Trump.

We need to make our claim early in this piece and then explain ourselves.

This is ostensibly in opposition to the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency of the United States, and also in opposition to Great Britain’s exit from the European Union.  

Someone forgot to connect Cambridge Analytica to Russia, but this will probably take place this coming week if anyone out there in MSM land reads this piece.

What happened, exactly?

You know those quiz games that get passed around on Facebook from time to time, like “What famous person are you most like?” and other quizzes where you answer a set of questions and then you are likened to someone famous. Then, you are invited to share this quiz game with your friends, along with the results, and so it goes.

Initially, some 270,000 Facebook users were invited to take the quiz, referred to as “thisisyourdigitallife”, and they must have enjoyed it, for they passed it on to friends until some fifty million users had responded to the quiz. What was not known was that this personality data was harvested by Cambridge to create data points that could be used to create highly targeted and (hopefully) effective political advertisements.

Now, Facebook’s developer policies allow data to be gained in precisely the way that CA was doing. This was not a data breach in any way. Facebook does allow developers to create tools of any type to gather user data for research purposes. They even allow this data to be used to create psychological profiles. What appears to have been the crossing point was the way that CA carried the use of this data and its analysis farther still.

The co-founder of Cambridge Analytica, Christopher Wylie, was the person who identified the method of how to use the data gleaned.

I began looking at consumer and demographic data to see what united Lib Dem voters, because apart from bits of Wales and the Shetlands it’s weird, disparate regions. And what I found is there were no strong correlations. There was no signal in the data.

“And then I came across a paper about how personality traits could be a precursor to political behaviour, and it suddenly made sense. Liberalism is correlated with high openness and low conscientiousness, and when you think of Lib Dems they’re absent-minded professors and hippies. They’re the early adopters… they’re highly open to new ideas. And it just clicked all of a sudden.”

The theory further states that if you know and are able to talk to voters who are more responsive to your message, and if you know where they live, you can have significant impacts on an election; you can even prompt such people to vote and / or depress turnout for adversaries.

But, honestly, so what? This is nothing new. Probably every reader understands this strategy. The only difference is that social media became an interactive means of acquiring the data used to form the analysis. Fox News put it this way:

Facebook gathers the data we “willingly” provide, analyzes it and utilizes it for very profitable targeted advertising.  A big part of the problem is that many people don’t realize that they have agreed to have their data used for commercial purposes.

By and large, social media has privacy policies that are either hard to read, hard to find or merely inconvenient for many people who never had concerns about the privacy of their data.

But that data can be used incredibly effectively by advertisers of political campaigns. Facebook “likes” have been analyzed to come up with models used for commercial or political advertising that can be targeted to your personality to manipulate your opinion. 

It is smart, simple and very direct. And while it is a bit sneaky since the purpose of the game was probably not expressed as directly as “We are going to use your answers to form a data profile we will then use to tailor political advertisements,” it also did not compromise personal data of Facebook users such as passwords, credit card and phone numbers or any number of other points personal to Facebook profiles. It used personality data the users themselves gave. That is a different matter entirely.

So why did Facebook stock fall, why is Zuckerberg supposedly hiding and why the outrage?

This is the point of greater concern here. This is a massively successful propaganda and public manipulation campaign, and again,

this is ostensibly in opposition to the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency of the United States and also in opposition to Great Britain’s exit from the European Union.

A Google search on “Is Zuckerberg really hiding” taken March 25th at 12:16 UTC (13:16 daylight time in Great Britain) reveals ten big hits with these titles (we also provide the links for further reading)

This is just one piece of the bloodbath. The Tabloidy Talk Show Circuit is also full of this “scandal”, but sometimes someone blows it wide open. But look what happens when this happens. Watch carefully as token conservative Meghann McCain clearly and specifically points out how the Obama campaign used Facebook and other social media for exactly the same purpose and was praised by the major newsmedia for the brilliance of such media marketing to help Obama win his two terms of the Presidency:

This is a HUGE liberal konklave, folks. And even the skeptical Meghann McCain (Senator John McCain’s daughter), as the token conservative on this program is hardly as hard-line conservative on this issue as some of us might be.

But she still provides factual information only to have it shot down by a woman who has an opinion.

This says that opinions matter more than facts. And to listen to the opinionated woman (Sunny Hostin, I believe) go on to try to explain herself, she literally says a whole lot of nothing:

I think it’s different though, because, in MY opinion I think it’s different in the sense that if you’re talking about a political campaign, yes, trying to reach out to voters with your own messaging; what’s happening according to Cambridge Analytica, this scandal, is that people are using um, user’s profiles and feeding them misinformation about our country…

“… So when you’re feeding them misinformation, there’s a misinformation campaign, and when you have news organizations like FOX News, pushing this narrative of a Deep State, pushing the same narrative that Russian bots are pushing on social media, I think that’s very different than a political candidate pushing his own message…”

Hopefully, in listening to McCain’s response we see easily that her response is far more data driven and factual. Mrs. Hostin accomplishes some rather interesting time travel in her jumbled response, which is about as intellectually large as many liberal women ever get anymore, for the Russian bot piece (which is also nothing) came into view within the last few months of 2018, Fox and Rush Limbaugh began discussing the Deep State as such not long after the 2016 election, but Cambridge Analytica was working with data prior to the election of 2016 before either of these other two topics were even being discussed.

Back then the only topic the MSM kept beating was what a reprobate Trump and anyone who liked him was, except for Fox News, and not even that entire network was on board – just a few.

But the millions of American women who watch the View don’t know this, and the soft tyranny of liberalism with coffee mugs and pretty faces (and a token conservative to beat up on) brainwashes our people.

This whole non-story’s story is really a call to personal, fact-driven, critical thought.

Mr. Zuckerberg is feeling the burn, not from any legal or ethical sources, but from the libs who he “betrayed” by letting a group that the Trump campaign employed use his network to help gather campaign targeting data.

That is probably the only reason. The market drop will vanish within days or weeks. That is no problem. Facebook is here to stay and nothing bigger than some yelling and screaming will ensue over the next week or so and then the next in the parade of manufactured scandals against President Trump will be ready for rollout.

But the perceived gullibility of the American people to be pawns of a media that wishes to have control – globalist, culturally Marxist, elitism and political conformity – this is the prospect that concerns some of us. When we stop thinking for ourselves and trust some opinion drivers to do our thinking FOR us – this is never good. Our Republic was founded in this knowledge, and the need for an historically knowledgeable population, and the ability for discursive and critical thought about all things, especially policy, and, more important than anything else, an allegiance and true acknowledgement of the United States as being one nation under God (and not government) is vital.

This will not end by any means, so the fight must continue.

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Maria Butina, her crime: A love of the NRA and being Russian (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 61.

Alex Christoforou

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has communicated to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Russian national Maria Butina must be set free and allowed to return to Russia, after she was arrested by US officials on dubious spy charges.

Lavrov said that the US should immediately release the Russian gun activist, who is being held in the US on espionage charges, after a phone conversation with his US counterpart.

Lavrov called the charges levied against Butina “fabricated.”

In his conversation with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday, “Lavrov stressed that the actions of the US authorities that arrested Russian citizen Butina on fabricated charges are unacceptable.”

In an official statement the Russian Foreign Ministry called for her “immediate release.”

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris examine the oddly timed, out of the blue arrest of Maria Butina, who is being held by US authorities for what they claim to be a violation of the FARA act.

In reality Maria Butina’s crime is much more troubling than simply failing to register as a foreign agent.

Maria made the double mistake of being in the United States of America as a Russian citizens who loves guns, at a time when racism and bigotry against Russians and NRA supporters is surpassing McCarthyite levels.

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Via RT

The Foreign minister raised the issue during phone conversations that were made at the request of the US and aimed at “further normalization of the US-Russian relations” following the summit between the US President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. Lavrov and Pompeo also discussed the process of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, as well as the situation in Syria.

The 29-year-old Russian student and a gun activist was arrested in the US about a week ago and charged with acting as a foreign agent without registering her activities with the authorities. Butina has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

On July 16, a DC Federal Court rejected Butina’s bail plea and ordered her to be placed in custody pending trial over fears that she could flee or contact Russian intelligence officials. Her lawyer says the trial is being politicized and Russian embassy staff were only allowed to visit her in jail on Thursday.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has called Butina’s arrest politically motivated, adding that it could have been aimed at disrupting the Helsinki summit between Putin and Trump. On Thursday, the ministry also launched a campaign hashtagged #FreeMariaButina on Twitter to raise awareness of her case.

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Ugly breakup at FBI: Lisa Page throws ex-lover, Peter Strzok, under the bus (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 60.

Alex Christoforou

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While Peter Strzok’s testimony put a face on the deceptive and secretive Deep State, GOP lawmakers who were present at Lisa Page’s closed-door deposition said they learned a lot of new information from the ex-FBI lawyer, and ex-lover of Peter Strzok.

Lisa Page confirmed to GOP lawmakers that the text messages sent between her and her lover Strzok “meant exactly what they said,” contrary to Strzok’s testimony.

According to The Gateway Pundit, one damning text message in particular sent from Strzok on May 19th, 2017, just two days after Robert Mueller was appointed Special Counsel, intrigued investigators and the public alike.

“There’s no big there there,” Strzok texted.

According to investigative reporter, John Solomon, Lisa Page confirmed that text from Peter Strzok did indeed refer to the Trump-Russia case.

Strzok knew it was a nothing-burger yet he forged ahead.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou, RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle, and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss how Peter Strzok’s testimony has undoubtedly contradicted Lisa Page’s cooperative deposition, as the ex-FBI lawyer is preparing to save herself, while throwing her ex-lover under the bus.

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Via The Epoch Times

Representatives John Ratcliffe and Louie Gohmert of Texas recently shared their observations of the closed-door testimony of former high-ranking FBI lawyer Lisa Page, which concluded on July 16.

One of the major questions regarding the testimony was whether it would match the one given by FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok.

But while Ratcliffe said he found a mismatch, Gohmert wouldn’t go so far.

Page and Strzok played major roles in the investigations on both 2016 presidential candidates: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia. During the same period, Page and Strzok had an affair and exchanged thousands of text messages expressing a strong bias against Trump and in favor of Clinton.

“When I questioned Lisa Page on Friday about the anti-Trump text messages that were sent between herself and Peter Strzok, there were significant differences in her testimony and Strzok’s as it relates to what she thought some of these text messages meant,” Ratcliffe said in a July 16 tweet, shortly before the second round of questioning.

“Page gave us new information that Strzok either wouldn’t or couldn’t, confirming some of the concerns we had about these investigations and the people involved in running them,” he wrote.

On July 17, Ratcliffe expanded on his further statements about Page’s testimony. Radcliffe told Fox News…

“There are differences in their testimony.”

“In many cases, she admits that the text messages mean exactly what they say, as opposed to agent Strzok, who thinks that we’ve all misinterpreted his own words on any text message that might be negative.”

Via The Epoch Times

In one of the texts, Strzok vowed to “stop” Trump from becoming president. In another, the two discussed having an “insurance policy” in the “unlikely” event that Trump would win the election.

Strzok, who gave a closed-door testimony on June 27 and a public one on July 12, said the first message meant he and the American people would stop Trump. The second, he said previously, meant he wanted to pursue the Russia investigation aggressively, in case Trump won.

GOP lawmakers were furious with Strzok’s attitude and unwillingness to answer questions. In a scathing monologue, Gohmert even linked Strzok’s credibility to the fact that he was unfaithful to his wife.

President Donald Trump repeatedly called Strzok’s testimony a “disgrace.”

The lawmakers said Page was comparatively more cooperative.

“There were times the FBI lawyers would be reaching to the button to mute her comment, and she would answer before they could mute her comment,” Gohmert told Fox News.

He said Page didn’t contradict Strzok “so much,” but “has given us insights into who was involved in what.”

“I think she’ll be a good witness,” he said.

Page ditched her first testimony appointment on July 11, prompting GOP lawmakers to threaten her with contempt of Congress. She then agreed to appear on July 13, which gave her the opportunity to review Strzok’s public testimony before giving hers.

The lawmakers are probing the FBI’s and Justice Department’s decisions before the election, suspecting they were influenced by political considerations.

Texts between Strzok and Page suggest that the FBI initiated an offensive counterintelligence operation against the Trump campaign as early as December 2015.

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Russia makes MASSIVE progress on its ‘super-weapons’

Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle moves into serial production, nuclear-engine powered cruise missile tests continue, and more as Russia continues to outdo all Western military tech

Seraphim Hanisch

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On July 19th and 20th, The Russian Defense Ministry announced several milestones of progress in its advanced weapons systems programs. These programs were revealed to the world in March of this year, when Russian President Vladimir Putin gave the State of the Russian Federation speech.

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While at first the Western onlookers did not believe the amazing announcements of hypersonic weapons and nuclear-powered cruise missiles with unlimited range, subsequent releases and concurrent observation by the American military experts has shown these developments to be as real as Mr. Putin claimed they are.

TASS, the Russian News Agency, released information on these weapons systems in separate reports:

Kinzhal

The Kinzhal hypersonic missile:

Squadrons of MiG-31 fighter jets armed with Kinzhal hypersonic missiles should enter combat duty in the Black Sea region and at other Russian fleets and flotillas, said Russian military expert Viktor Murakhovsky, the editor-in-chief of the Arsenal Otechestva magazine.

Besides, a squadron (between 12 and 16 aircraft) of MiG-31 fighter jets armed with Kinzhal hypersonic missiles entered combat duty in the Caspian Sea region in April.

“I think at least one squadron of those complexes should be deployed at any fleet, in other words – at all regions where we have fleets and flotillas. We need to deploy them in the regions of the Black Sea, the Baltic Sea, the Northern Fleet. The Pacific region also should not be forgotten,” Murakhovsky said.

He said that such systems can become a “good instrument” against not only vessels equipped with high-precision weapons, but also for countering carrier attack groups.

“We know how expensive a carrier attack group can be. By employing this asymmetric method, which is unbelievably cheap in comparison with building a carrier attack group, we can neutralize this threat almost completely,” the expert said.

Burevestnik nuclear-powered cruise missile trials:

The Burevestnik is an entirely new cruise missile, powered by a nuclear engine. This gives the missile unlimited range. In theory, such a missile could be launched at a target and spend days or weeks in hidden flight using advanced guidance systems, and then close on its target at the optimal time to assure destruction of that target with maximum surprise. The TASS piece goes on to say:

The Russian Defense Ministry announced that Russia was preparing to test upgraded test prototypes of the nuclear-powered Burevestnik cruise missile with an unlimited range.

According to the expert, it is highly likely that the prototype of the missile “has already made a flight.”

“Clearly, it was something like the pop-up trials of Sarmat – a launch without the nuclear-powered engine, in other words, with an ordinary missile booster, conducted in order to assess the possibility of a launch, aerodynamics and the operability of the entire system in general,” [Murakhovsky] said.

Further reporting from TASS had this to add about the Burevestnik program:

Russia is getting ready for flight tests of the Burevestnik nuclear powered cruise missile, an official at the Defense Ministry told reporters on Thursday.

“The missile’s component makeup is being improved based on clarified requirements, while ground tests continue and preparations are being made for experimental flight tests of the improved missile,” the official said.

According to the Defense Ministry, “work on an unlimited-range missile is going according to plan.”

“In the meantime, launching systems are also being designed, while technological processes to manufacture, assemble and test the missile are being improved. This range of work will make it possible to start designing a totally new sort of weapon – a strategic nuclear complex armed with a nuclear powered missile,” the ministry official noted.

[The head] of the 12th Central Research Institute at Russia’s Defense Ministry Sergey Pertsev, in turn, said that the tests of the new cruise missile equipped with a small nuclear power unit had confirmed the accuracy of the technical decisions that Russian researchers, engineers and designers had made. In addition, the tests enabled the researchers “to receive valuable experimental data necessary for specifying a number of requirements.”

“A low-flying and low-observable cruise missile carrying a nuclear warhead, with an almost unlimited range, an unpredictable trajectory and capability to bypass interception lines is invincible to all the existing and advanced air and missile defense systems,” the Russian Defense Ministry stressed.

A further use of the nuclear engine technology is also expected in the Poseidon underwater drone, Mr. Murakhovsky stated that separate systems for the craft have been successfully tested. He further noted that the next task is to design the entire layout, build a test model and begin testing the whole platform.

The Avangard Hypersonic Missile

While the Kinzhal is a Mach-10 capable hypersonic system that can be launched from a fighter, the Avangard is a Mach-20 capable system that has intercontinental reach. There is almost no footage of this system released to the public, but the concept videos show how the system works. TASS reports this status:

Russia’s Strategic Missile Force is preparing a position area for accepting the Avangard hypersonic missile system for service as part of the efforts to strengthen the country’s military security, the Defense Ministry announced on Thursday.

“The Russian defense industry has completed developing the Avangard missile system with the principally new armament – the gliding cruise warhead. Industrial enterprises have switched to its serial production,” the Defense Ministry said.

“A set of organizational and technical measures is underway in the position area of the Dombarovsky large unit of the Strategic Missile Force to accept the Avangard missile system for operation,” it added.

The development of new strategic weapon systems “is aimed at increasing Russia’s defense capability and preventing any aggression against our country and its allies,” the Defense Ministry stressed.

The infrastructural facilities of the large unit’s position area have already been prepared for the missile system’s operation, the ministry said.

“The position area has been prepared in geodesic and engineering terms to accommodate the missile system. Work is underway to build new and reconstruct old facilities to provide for the operation and the combat use of the system. Technical and utility supply lines are being modernized and electric power, communications and command and control cables are being laid. Work has been arranged to train personnel and prepare armament, military and special hardware,” Russia’s Defense Ministry said.

Deputy Commander of Russia’s Strategic Missile Force for Armament Sergei Poroskun has said that the Avangard hypersonic missile system features combat capabilities that “make it possible to reliably breach any anti-missile defenses.”

The Okhotnik attack drone

The Okhotnik (“Hunter”) attack drone is now being viewed as a prototype for Russia’s “sixth-generation” fighter plane. TASS describes this in more detail:

According to [a defense industry] official, although the sixth generation fighter jet project “has not yet taken full shape, its main features are already known.”

“First of all, it should be unmanned and capable of performing any combat task in an autonomous regime. In this sense, Okhotnik will become the prototype of the sixth generation fighter jet,’ the source said, adding that the drone will be able to “take off, fulfill its objectives and return to the airfield.”

“However, it will not receive the function of decision-making regarding the use of weapons – this will be decided by a human,” he said.

TASS was unable to officially confirm the information at the time of the publication.

Another defense industry source earlier told TASS that the prototype of Okhotnik (Hunter) was ready and would start test flights this year.

The Russian Defense Ministry and the Sukhoi Company signed a contract for developing the 20-ton Okhotnik (Hunter) heavy unmanned strike aircraft in 2011. The drone’s mock-up model was made in 2014. According to unconfirmed reports, composite materials and anti-radar coating were used to create the Okhotnik. The drone is equipped with a reaction-jet propulsion and is supposed to develop a speed of 1000 kilometers per hour.

Peresvet laser weapons systems

TASS reported that the Russian military forces are now training for the use of the Peresvet combat laser system:

Russian Aerospace Force has accepted for service the laser complexes Peresvet and the military are now taking drills that involve the novel combat technologies, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Thursday.

“The Peresvet laser complexes have been placed at sites of permanent deployment,” the report said. “Active efforts to make them fully operational are underway.”

“To ensure their proper functioning, the necessary infrastructures and specialized facilities for housing the complexes and duty crews have been built,” the ministry said.

The crews assigned to the Peresvets have taken upgrader courses at the Alexander Mozhaisky Military-Space Academy in St Petersburg.

The Russian military strategy of “asymmetric response.”

The overall defense strategy is termed an “asymmetric response”, and Mr. Murakhovsky explained the principle in this way:

“This is an asymmetric response, in which new classes of weapons are created, instead of new types within the framework of the existing systems. Other states are not expected to have anything of this kind [in the near future],” he said.

The expert described this response as “quite an efficient one, all the more so because it requires no additional investment – all the works are being carried out within the framework of the state procurement program.”

He added that unlike the Soviet Union, Russia avoids being dragged into a direct arms race and searches for cutting-edge solutions instead of simply increasing the number of weapons.

“The development of counter-weapons to those arms [may be possible] in distant future, but it does not mean that they can be created at all,” Murakhovsky added.

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