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Wed, 20 Nov 2019
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How fake news happens: Inside Trump-Pokemon non-troversy & the media's desperate bid for attention

© The Pokémon Company
As purveyors of modern news can attest, it's common for the media to forcefully nurture stories into being in a desperate bid for clicks. This is exactly what happened with an anti-Pokemon petition.

Hot on the tails of controversy surrounding the newest Pokemon title due to its lack of content, a petition popped up on the White House's We the People website asking President Trump to halt sales of the recently released game. From all appearances it looks to have been made by a disgruntled fan, or a vitriolic internet troll. Really, it's hard to tell these days.

Either way, it gained no traction on its own, but that hasn't stopped the gaming press from reporting on what is essentially a non-story. Even by his own admission, a writer over at GameRant wrote about the petition while it had just a single signature. How he even knew to find it is beyond me, but after the piece appeared, the media fell in line and gave attention to something that really should've been given none.

Comment: While gamer journalism is a rather niche market, the above is illustrative of the lows to which the state of modern journalism has sunk. One can see how journalism has lowered itself to reporting on trifles in their desperate attempt to get 'clicks'. Welcome to the world of internet journalism.

See also:


Psychologists vow to promote climate change "corrective behaviors"

APA American Psychological Association
Psychologists meeting at the International Summit on Psychology and Global Health event in Lisbon have decided to do everything possible to promote behaviours which help address the climate crisis.

"We, representatives of national and international psychological organizations in attendance at the Lisbon Inaugural International Summit on Psychology's Contributions to Global Health, are committed to ongoing collaboration in the application of psychological science to jointly advance progress on critical global issues, including the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Our commitment of professional, scientific, educational, cultural, and applied resources will be directed to advancing those issues and Goals for which psychology offers the greatest contribution.

Our initial efforts will be focused on Sustainable Development Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

Our mutual work on applications of psychological science to climate change will also provide a framework and model for future collaboration focused on proposals to address critical global issues".

Comment: More disturbing still is the idea that "climate denial" could end up as a new featured psychological disorder in the DSM-VI. Psychologists have already flirted with the inclusion of viewpoints outside the consensus ideological view as mental disorders (like 'Oppositional Defiant Disorder' or Orthorexia, to name but two examples). If you pair this with the Pope proposing to Catholics that 'acts against the environment' (as defined by the CO2 enthusiasts, of course) be considered a sin, you can see the outline of the enforced climate agenda taking form. To deny the false climate ideology is on track to have you labelled as crazy and/or a sinner bound for eternal hellfire. An ingenious, if diabolical, strategy for getting people to get in line with consensus reality.


Norway: Anti-Islam rally turns violent over Koran burning

koran burning
© Twitter / @AndreassenLena
The leader of a group against the "Islamization" of Norway was attacked by several men after setting fire to a copy of the Koran during a demonstration. Footage shows police intervening to stop the skirmish.

A demonstration held by Stop Islamization of Norway (SIAN) in the city of Kristiansand turned violent after the group's leader, Lars Thorsen, defied a police order against burning the holy Muslim book. The rally had been approved by local authorities, but police had warned SIAN against desecrating the Koran, after the group said it planned to do so.

Two copies of the religious text were thrown in a trash can during the rally, while Thorsen set fire to another one. The unsanctioned actions infuriated counter-protesters, who vaulted over a fence and attacked SIAN's leader.


Analyst: Fed fears next financial crash will be fatal

federal reserve
Financial writer and book author John Rubino says he can see the end of the economic expansion fueled by massive debt creation. Rubino explains, "Every sector of the U.S. economy is so over indebted I don't see how we go on much longer. The Fed is desperately trying to prolong this thing. We are running trillion dollar deficits now, and what that is for is to keep the system from falling apart.

We are 11 years into an expansion, a record. This is the longest bull market in history, and this is the longest economic expansion in history. . . . These guys don't know exactly what's going to happen in the next recession, but they are afraid that the system is so highly leveraged that even a garden variety three quarters of a percent of negative growth and a garden variety of 20 % drop in stock prices might be fatal. The system might not be able to handle that because it would cause so much damage and there are so many different places that can blow up that the system would spin out of control. We would get 2008-2009 again but on steroids because the numbers are so much bigger this time around. So, they want to avoid that at all costs."

Eye 1

'Jane Doe 15' alleges Jeffery Epstein raped her as a teen, referenced 'good friend' Bill Clinton

© Rick Friedman/Corbis/Getty
Jeffrey Epstein
A woman who says she was raped by Jeffrey Epstein when she was 15 told reporters Monday the billionaire financier called former President Bill Clinton a "good friend".

The woman, identified only as Jane Doe 15, made the comment Monday during a Los Angeles news conference to announce a lawsuit filed in New York federal court by a woman who said Epstein raped her when she was 15. She is now 31.

The woman said Epstein flew her to his ranch in New Mexico and sexually assaulted her. She said she was later invited to Epstein's private island where she was told Prince Andrew would be among the guests. The woman says she declined the invite out of fear.

Comment: The New York Post describes the accuser also describes being assaulted from one of Esptein's female assistants:

Jeffrey Epstein accuser alleges sick sex assault by woman before rape by him
The woman said one of Epstein's assistants did contact her at one point to ask her to fly to his property in the Virgin Islands — "where I was told Andrew, among others, would be a guest" — but that she declined "out of fear" after the financier and a female assistant had separately sexually assaulted her.

The woman also joined the growing chorus of public figures Monday urging Prince Andrew to talk to the FBI under oath about what he knew about Epstein. Andrew has denied being involved in any crime or having any knowledge of one committed by Epstein.
She also stated:
"Jeffrey Epstein was only a small part of an insidious system of privilege that exploits children as sexual commodities and robs them of their youth,'' the woman said, accompanied by her lawyer, celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, in California.

"It was clear from the time I spent with Epstein that something was very wrong with his lifestyle, and it didn't take a victim to see that. We were not hidden," the woman said. "It is upsetting to me that anyone who is closely associated with Jeffrey Epstein didn't suspect that he might be sexually abusing children."

Arrow Down

'Electronic corporatism': Google's blacklists and manipulated alorithms

© Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters
The WSJ published a comprehensive investigation Friday, How Google Interferes With Its Search Algorithms and Changes Your Results, that provides fodder for ongoing or new antitrust investigations of the company, both in the US, and worldwide:
THE JOURNAL'S FINDINGS undercut one of Google's core defenses against global regulators worried about how it wields its immense power — that the company doesn't exert editorial control over what it shows users. Regulators' areas of concern include anticompetitive practices, political bias and online misinformation.
Permit to me quote from the WSJ's takedown at length - although I encourage readers, if possible, to read the entire (paywalled) version, for it contains a wealth of information, as well as lots of cool graphics:

Comment: See also:


Soliciting sex from minors 'is not the same as paedophilia', says UK socialite in defense of Prince Andrew

Good Morning Britain
© Ken McKay/ITV/Rex
The socialite, 70, made the comments on Good Morning Britain (pictured) while discussing Prince Andrew and his friendship with the paedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.
Lady Colin Campbell has caused outrage after claiming soliciting sex from minors 'is not the same as paedophilia'.

The socialite, 70, made the comments on Good Morning Britain while discussing Prince Andrew and his friendship with the paedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.

She faced a backlash from presenter Piers Morgan after she said there was a difference between hiring sex from a minor and paedophilia.

The former TV personality defended the Duke of York - who is recovering from a 'car crash' interview aired on Saturday night - and his friendship with the late financier Epstein, a 66-year-old convicted sex offender who died in custody in New York in August.


NBC's Richard Engel, chief foreign correspondent, just realized US foreign policy is not always great

Richard Engel
© Ans-Wer.com
Journalist and reporter, Richard Engel
Hearing that the Americans "have become the bad guys" on the world stage was a "gut punch" to NBC News reporter Richard Engel, but Twitter quickly set the astonished journalist straight with some history and facts.

Engel, NBC's chief foreign correspondent, was informed of this shocking news via various "sources" who complained to him about the Trump administration's recent betrayal of the Kurds in northern Syria and the alleged "misogynistic" firing of the US ambassador to Ukraine.

Such politically motivated actions "makes people think, we, Americans, have become the bad guys," a stunned Engel wrote on Twitter, lamenting the good old days before Donald Trump, when American foreign policy decisions were apparently always carried out with noble intentions and without ulterior motives (Iraq, anyone?).

While Engel's personal enlightenment may have been a lightbulb moment for him, Twitter wasn't exactly stunned to discover that American foreign policy can be bad and even (*gasp!*) executed with selfish intentions.

"Apparently knowing basic history of US foreign policy is not a prerequisite for the job" of chief foreign correspondent at NBC news, one person mused.

Comment: Baffled by an inconvenient glimpse of reality that challenges the American mirage, Engel is just one of the many programmed MSM reporters who has lost the capacity to observe and think for himself.


More than 1K cops caught illegally accessing police database to stalk citizens

cop database
© thefreethoughtproject.com
In what police accountability activists are claiming is not an isolated incident, more than 1,000 law enforcement officers accessed the California background check database for personal reasons. The Sacramento Bee (Sacbee) reported the criminal background searches have absolutely nothing to do with the work the police officers do. Instead, the searches are indicative of police officers committing crimes in some cases for friends and family.

As an example, the SacBee uncovered the criminal case against San Francisco police Sgt. John Haggett. Haggett pleaded guilty to misusing the Department of Motor Vehicle's database and was convicted of a misdemeanor, forced to pay $150 in restitution fees, and allowed to resign with his full pension after serving 30 years as a lawman.

However, what he was alleged to have done was used his login and password to have run criminal background checks on three individuals through the department's database, the FBI's database, and the DMV, all for his girlfriend because she wanted background checks on her tenants. The individuals who Haggett searched were, indeed, her tenants. It's unclear how long Haggett had been using his position in law enforcement for his own personal gain.

Haggett is just the tip of the iceberg, however.


The Great Ideological Lie of Diversity

diversity is our strength
If you are a Canadian faculty member, there is a reasonable chance that you recently received an email or letter from Statistics Canada. The Survey of Postsecondary Faculty and Researchers was designed to assess what has come to be known as "diversity" among the groups targeted, in consequence of a commitment made by the three Canadian research granting councils, under guidance from the federal Liberal government, to increase "diversity" among those receiving funding. It has long been the case that research funding was dependent, as much as possible, on two factors, both intensely meritocratic: the research record of the applicant and the quality of the proposed research. That appears about to change.

The fact of this occurrence motivated me to try my hand at writing a critique of the concept of diversity, which is a very slippery term. What it truly means is "let's aim for fewer white men in positions of authority," which would be a fine idea if race and sex were reasonable criteria by which to judge applicants, and if it wasn't motivated by a broad set of "progressive" beliefs, which include the idea that we live in an oppressive patriarchy and that men who work now should be required to step back so that a litany of hypothetical, definable and prejudicial historical wrongs might be righted (this even though those who do the righting weren't those who committed the prejudicial crimes, so to speak, and those who benefit not those who were the victims). There was even a recent article in Nature, a magazine that was once, with Science, one of the two unquestionably most influential scientific journals, suggesting male scientist should voluntarily delay their career advancement so that their underprivileged colleagues (underprivileged despite their status as university professors) could catch up and justice properly served.