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Archive for the ‘terrorism’ Category

This from Daily Beast is interesting.


It was just last week when congressional investigators said they favored more transparency to the general public about exactly which Facebook posts a Kremlin-backed troll farm used to target Americans with anti-immigrant rhetoric—and even rallies on U.S. soil.

The lawmakers who lead the Capitol Hill committees charged with investigating Russia’s election meddling spoke out after Facebook declined to commit to sharing with Congress information about Russian government-backed posts, groups, and paid advertisements—including ones first reported by The Daily Beast.

On Thursday, Facebook announced that it plans to turn over more than 3,000 Russian-linked ads that appeared on the site to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, and Congress is keeping information about the process close to the vest—at least for now.

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Is location a privacy issue? Should it be? We know now that location on social platforms is an issue. Individual users can hide their locations on Facebook.

We can argue two sides to the privacy question as a function of public safety:

I, personally, am safer hiding my location. V. The population is safer when we can identify a user’s location.

We can also argue that what goes for terrorists should not necessarily apply to trolls and bots. Is one more of a threat to public safety than the other?

At the far end of that argument is interference is elections, not only in the United States, and not only presidential elections. Potentially any election anywhere. Is the danger of that less than the dangers posed by terrorists?

Terrorist groups like ISIS operate recruiting efforts via a network of users dispersed over a variety of locations.

Although current evidence indicates that Russian trolls on Facebook operate out of brick-and-mortar “troll farms” like the one we saw on Homeland last season, we also know that the Macedonian trolls operated via a virtual troll farm in our last election. So we know that trolling need not operate from a hard-wired consolidated location in order to succeed.

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So is location a privacy issue? Should Fake Americans have a right to hide their locations from Facebook followers on the basis of the argument that doing so ensures their safety? Should trolls have different rules from those that govern terrorists? Just asking.

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In the wake of the diabolical attack on tweens and teens attending last night’s Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, we are likely to see an outpouring of sympathy from all sides. Here is what Donald Trump said.

Many Republicans will probably echo his message.

Before they go superimposing the Union Jack on their avatars and offering their “thoughts and prayers,” Republicans should make an examination of conscience. Those who voted for Trump and this GOP Congress also voted for the budget that plans to make $616 billion (with a “b”) cuts to children’s healthcare and Medicaid, according to The New York Times.

Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program: $616 billion

Changes to Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program would save the federal government money, but would reduce the number of people with insurance. Medicaid savings are estimated at $610 billion over 10 years. The administration would shift some costs to the states, by setting annual limits on federal payments to each state, starting in 2020.

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Chemical attacks in Syria, where children are among a plurality of the victims, and terrorist attacks like the one in Manchester are, of course, outrageous. Children should be protected and safe.

But Republicans are waging a war of life or death here at home against children and low income families. Nothing can be more hypocritical than Donald Trump’s remarks about the children of Syria and Manchester when the health of American children is at risk.

Donald Trump campaigned on an “America First” platform. Crocodile tears for children who are attacked en masse and visibly are meaningless when our own children are put in peril by heartless legislation.

Hillary Clinton, as First Lady, fought hard to get health care insurance for children (Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). From Politifact.

The late-Sen. Kennedy received much of the credit for CHIP because the Massachusetts Democrat shepherded the legislation through a Republican-controlled Congress. Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch was the lead Republican co-sponsor.

Yet, in 2007, Kennedy told the Associated Press that Hillary Clinton played a critical role.

“The children’s health program wouldn’t be in existence today if we didn’t have Hillary pushing for it from the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue,” Kennedy said.

Nick Littlefield, a senior health adviser to Kennedy at the time, agreed.

“She wasn’t a legislator, she didn’t write the law, and she wasn’t the president, so she didn’t make the decisions,” Littlefield told the Associated Press. “But we relied on her, worked with her and she was pivotal in encouraging the White House to do it.”

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During the 2016 campaign Hillary said, “When it’s your kid it’s a big deal. It should be a big deal for your president, too.”

Apparently it is a big deal for Trump and for the GOP – a big deal budget cut!  This budget is a form of terrorism. When you leave families and kids in fear and destitution in the face of disease and disability, you are a terrorist.

So until these cuts to CHIP, Medicaid, and other social programs (e.g. SNAP and disability) are removed from this budget, let’s reject the hypocritical sentiments and hand-wringing from Republicans of every stripe – including our friends on social media who voted for this bunch. No teary emoticons 😥 . No Union Jack avatars. No candles. No b**s**t!

Protect our own kids before you go crying about others. What happened to America First?

Resist, insist, persist, enlist.  Call your Reps! Call your Senators.

 

 

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Last night, this story was trending on Twitter under the titles “Garden City” and “Kansas Plot.”  So far, last night and this afternoon,  I have yet to see even a mention of it on cable news.  Here is a report from a local news source.

Alleged Garden City bombing plot revealed

By Jonathan Shorman The Topeka Capital-Journal

WICHITA — Three men planned to bomb a Garden City apartment complex housing Muslims in a post-election attack, the U.S. Attorney’s office said Friday as it unveiled the results of a months-long investigation.

Federal prosecutors said the men were part of a small militia group called the Crusaders and had discussed using four vehicles filled with explosives that would detonate at the four corners of an apartment complex, located at 312 W. Mary St., home to Somali Muslims and containing an apartment used as a mosque.

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‘It will be a bloodbath’: Inside the Kansas militia plot to ignite a religious war

The Washington Post

The “Crusaders” knew they wanted to kill Muslims — and with luck, use the “bloodbath” to ignite a religious war — but for months they couldn’t settle on a plan.

The easiest way would be to grab guns, go to the predominantly Somali-Muslim apartment complex they’d been surveilling and start kicking in doors, court documents said. They would spare no one, not even babies.

In the end, they decided to set off bombs similar to the one Timothy McVeigh used in 1995 to kill 168 people in Oklahoma City. They planned to strike after the Nov. 8 election, investigators said.

Curtis Allen, Gavin Wright and Patrick Eugene Stein face federal charges of conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction to blow up an apartment complex, a mosque and Muslim immigrants from Somalia, the Department of Justice announced Friday.

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Hillary released this statement on Saturday.

Hillary Clinton Statement on Alleged Plot Against Somali Community

Following news that the FBI had charged three Kansas men for plotting to use a weapon of mass destruction against an apartment complex in Garden City, Kansas, that is home to many Somali immigrants, Hillary Clinton issues the following statement:

“I applaud law enforcement for detecting and disrupting a highly disturbing terror plot in Kansas, in which men were allegedly planning an elaborate attack directed at Muslim Americans, including directing four car bombs at an apartment complex housing more than 100 men, women, and children. This plot is an affront to all Americans. We all must stand firm in fighting terror and rejecting hateful and divisive rhetoric–and we must do it together. According to the FBI, their eight-month investigation uncovered ‘a hidden culture of hatred and violence.’ We should all be grateful to law enforcement for preventing this plot from being carried out, and as President, I will work with law enforcement at all levels and with our communities to make sure we have the tools we need to prevent both domestic and international terrorist threats.”

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Hillary Clinton convened a bipartisan panel of experts on national security at the New York Historical Society today.  The group included those who have made policy and those who have implemented policies for a broad-based discussion of threats and how we deal with them.

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After the meeting, Hillary held a press briefing.

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I made sure to include a few pics of Hillary smiling for Reince Priebus.  She was talking about deadly serious issues, but she is personable with the press.

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The issue of the North Korean nuclear test arose in the press briefing after the meeting.

Statement From Hillary Clinton On North Korea’s Nuclear Test

Hillary Clinton released the following statement Friday on North Korea’s nuclear test:

“North Korea’s decision to conduct another nuclear test is outrageous and unacceptable.  I strongly condemn this reckless action, which – coupled with its recent series of missile launches – makes clear Pyongyang’s determination to develop a deliverable nuclear weapon.  This constitutes a direct threat to the United States, and we cannot and will never accept this.

I support President Obama’s call to both strengthen the sanctions passed earlier this year with the United Nations and to impose additional sanctions.  At the same time, we must strengthen defense cooperation with our allies in the region; South Korea and Japan are critical to our missile defense system, which will protect us against a North Korean missile.  China plays a critical role, too, and must meaningfully increase pressure on North Korea – and we must make sure they do.

This is another reminder that America must elect a President who can confront the threats we face with steadiness and strength.  We need a Commander-in-Chief committed to a bipartisan foreign policy, who can bring together top experts with deep experience to solve the toughest challenges.  And we need a President committed to reducing – not increasing – the number of nuclear weapons and nuclear states in the world.  More countries with nuclear weapons in Northeast Asia would increase the chances of the unthinkable happening.  We cannot take that risk.”

STAND

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“Every American stands in strong solidarity with the people of France” —Hillary on the attack in Nice

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