Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Education, Intelligence, National Security, News of the Weird, Politics, Pop Culture, The United States | Tags: Crowds on Demand, Pretend Campaign Supporters, Protesters on Demand
This is one of those posts that leaves you scratching your head and wondering if it is real — or just a giant hoax. It sounds authentic, but I’ll leave it to you to decide. It’s about crowd sourcing — as a business. It comes in The California Sunday Magazine, which I guess we will assume is real. I mean these days how can you tell?
The story is about a company called Crowds on Demand. The author signs on as a recruit, doesn’t know what he’ll be doing, really, but it pays $15 an hour. The 24-year-old CEO started the company as a 21 year-old UCLA undergrad after he had volunteered with Jerry Brown’s gubernatorial campaign and found that it could be challenging to attract large crowds to speeches. He believed that there was an opportunity for a service to turn out—well— fake crowds. Plenty of bodies to give the impression of enthusiasm. Once he got started he found there was a demand not only for crowds to support a candidate, but for crowds to protest a candidate.
I just wrote about the increasing unreality as it becomes more and more difficult to discern what is real and what is not. In the age of Photoshop, with skilled artists, it’s impossible to tell. The young CEO is getting very rich, very fast, and drives a silver Tesla.
When people inquire about a potential event, Adam guides them through the possibilities and the approximate costs: $600 for fake paparazzi at a birthday dinner; $3,000 for a flash mob dancing, chanting, and handing out fliers as a PR stunt; $10,000 for a weeklong political demonstration; $25,000 to $50,000 for a prolonged campaign of protests. According to Adam, protests have become the company’s growth sector, and just as with advertising, repeat impressions are key. “When the targets of our actions see that we’re going to be back, day after day, they get really scared,” he says. “We’re in it for the long haul, and the problem’s not going to go away on its own.”
Fascinating article, excellent illustrations, and really quite scary. We are not doing well as a nation at managing the flow from the Information Age. As the information becomes more and more unreal, or more questionable, all the checks and balances are disappearing, and we need to pay more and closer attention — but are we up for it?
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Foreign Policy, Intelligence, Military, News of the Weird, Progressivism, Syria, The United States | Tags: Knights of Righteousness, President Bashar Assad, Syrian Democratic Forces
The Syrian Civil War fighting has intensified over the past two months, fighting on the plains between Aleppo and the Turkish border, and US. intelligence officers and military planners have little control over the groups they have financed and trained in the bitter civil war that is now over 5-years-old.
Now, absurdly, CIA-armed militias are shooting at Pentagon-armed militias as they maneuver through contested territory.
In mid-February, a CIA-armed militia called Fursan al Haq, or Knights of Righteousness, was run out of the town of Marea, about 20 miles north of Aleppo, by Pentagon-backed Syrian Democratic Forces moving in from Kurdish-controlled areas to the east.
“Any faction that attacks us, regardless from where it gets its support, we will fight it,” said Maj. Fares Bayoush, a leader of Fursan al Haq.
The attacks come amid continued heavy fighting in Syria and illustrate the difficulty facing U.S. efforts to coordinate among dozens of armed groups that are trying to overthrow the government of President Bashar Assad, fight the Islamic State militant group and battle one another all at the same time.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Domestic Policy, Education, Freedom, News of the Weird, Politics, Regulation, The United States | Tags: Child Food Programs, Michelle Obama's Lunch Program, US Departent of Agriculture
I don’t know what inspired Michelle Obama to take charge of the school lunch program in America, or what her qualifications are for that position. The kids have responded by uploading pictures of the totally disgusting food on offer in their school cafeterias with the hashtag #thanksmichelleobama. “Mystery mush” is featured frequently. The lunches are a far cry from the lunches the Obama daughters get at tony Sidwell Friends School. Elizabeth Harrington reports in the Free Beacon:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service issued a proposed rule Monday to codify parts of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which was championed by Mrs. Obama.
The regulation would punish schools and state departments with fines for “egregious or persistent disregard” for the lunch rules that imposed sodium and calorie limits and banned white grains.
A West Virginia preschool teacher was threatened with fines for violating the rules by rewarding her students with candy for good behavior in June 2015. The teacher ultimately did not have to pay, but the school had to develop a “corrective action plan” with training on the policies.
The government now seeks to make fines enforceable by regulation. Section 303 of the law requires that the federal government “establish criteria for the imposition of fines” for all the Department of Agriculture’s child food programs.
More than 1,4 million students have left the lunch line since Mrs. Obama’s rules went into effect. There have been constant complaints of small portions and unappetizing fare. Pictures of the food have been circulating on the internet for several years, and from the pictures, I wouldn’t eat the stuff either. The standards have been blamed for cafeteria workers losing their jobs, and reportedly, some kids have resorted to creating black markets for salt to add some flavor to the food.
The government plans to fine schools that fail to comply with the rules, for egregious and persistent disregard for the lunch rules that imposed sodium and calorie limits, and banned white grains.Section 303 of the law requires that the federal government “establish criteria for the imposition of fines” for all the Department of Agriculture’s child food programs. The agency said the fines would amount to 1 percent of the total amount the school was reimbursed for lunches for the first fine. A second fine would be 5 percent of the total cost of the program and a third fine would be for 10 percent. Alabama received $210,937,195 in 2015. One percent would total $2.1 million and ten percent would be $21 million.
The rule will be open for public comment for 60 days once it is officially published in the Federal Register on Tuesday. The more public comment, the merrier. I presume you comment at the Department of Agriculture, according to the link given:
http://federalregister.gov/a/2016-06801, and on FDsys.gov
Filed under: Energy, Environment, Global Warming, Junk Science, Movies, National Security, News of the Weird, Politics, Progressives, Science/Technology | Tags: A Glimpse of Today, Coming Catastrophe, From Back in 2008
This video appeared on “Good Morning America” back in 2008 — warning of the coming climate catastrophe — from which Barack Obama promised to save us. And here we are and how did those prognostications turn out? Yes. we warned you that they were a bunch of loonies, and so they were. Fun to look back and see just how wrong they were.
There is a cult of — future annihilation, the world ending badly, coming catastrophe that has increasingly become more prominent. I suspect it has much to do with the movies: zombie apocalypse, alien invasion, earthquake, fatal disease. If you forbade the movie industry from doing movies about future collapse, what would they make movies about? Possibly they’d have to tell real entertaining stories instead.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Middle East, Military, National Security, News of the Weird, Politics, Progressivism, Syria, Terrorism, The United States | Tags: "Jihadi John", David Cameron, Drone strikes
It was only days ago that we had word that “Jihadi John,” the British citizen Mohammed Emwazi, who became known for beheading Western hostages for ISIS— was reported hit in Raqqa by an attack from an American drone. U.S. counter terrorism officials said he was killed with a ‘flawless’ drone missile strike the moment he stepped into a car. Pentagon officials are 99 percent sure that he was killed.
He was “evaporated” near a clock tower where ISIS staged public executions. Britain’s Daily Mail had an extensive article on the “World’s most wanted man.” The drone strike took off from Incirlik Air Force Base in Turkey, and was piloted from Creech Air Force Base in Las Vegas.
The Daily Mail piece also included an aerial photograph of the site of the drone strike. But it also contains evidence of the problem many have complained of, the White House’s tight control over targeting that is making the administration’s claims of conducting effective air control over ISIS so absurd.
So we know the exact site of ISIS main headquarters, the Islamic Court, but declined to target those because…? Obama seems happy to go after anyone with a drone attack, I suppose because he can assume that the missile that got the target didn’t get anyone who was near, or if they were near they were probably bad guys too? One would assume that targeting ISIS main headquarters might set back their terrorist activities a little.
The British Prime Minister welcomed reports of the killing which he called an ‘act of self defence’.
He stopped short of confirming that Emwazi – who he branded a ‘barbaric murderer’ – was dead but said the targeted attack was ‘the right thing to do’.
There is a high possibility British spies were operating on the ground in Raqqa to help identify Emwazi before the strike and may now be trying to collect DNA evidence to prove his death.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Emwazi’s role in ISIS propaganda videos used to radicalize people meant he was a ‘target worth going after’.
We need a public excuse?