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October 03 2017

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September 28 2017

“So what happens is, this guy falls off right on his face, hits his head, and I thought he died. And you know what I did? I said, ‘Oh my god, that’s disgusting,’ and I turned away,” said Trump. “I couldn’t, you know, he was right in front of me and I turned away. I didn’t want to touch him… he’s bleeding all over the place, I felt terrible. You know, beautiful marble floor, didn’t look like it. It changed color. Became very red. And you have this poor guy, eighty years old, laying on the floor unconscious, and all the rich people are turning away. ‘Oh my god! This is terrible! This is disgusting!’ and you know, they’re turning away. Nobody wants to help the guy. His wife is screaming—she’s sitting right next to him, and she’s screaming.”
Thank god for the Marines. “What happens is, these ten Marines from the back of the room… they come running forward, they grab him, they put the blood all over the place—it’s all over their uniforms—they’re taking it, they’re swiping [it], they ran him out, they created a stretcher. They call it a human stretcher, where they put their arms out with, like, five guys on each side,” shared Trump.

“I was saying, ‘Get that blood cleaned up! It’s disgusting!’ 

The next day, I forgot to call [the man] to say he’s ok,” said Trump, adding of the blood, “It’s just not my thing.”

The Time Donald Trump Turned Away in Disgust While a Man Was Bleeding to Death in Front of Him
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September 27 2017

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Trump warned: send help or risk making Puerto Rico crisis 'your Katrina'

…for many Puerto Ricans the reality five days after the hurricane struck was that the US president had not been with them. About 700 Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) staff were on the island in a total of 10,000 federal workers, carrying out search and rescue missions and supplying basic food and water. But Trump spent those five days mired in his self-made battle with African American sports stars, seemingly oblivious to the plight of millions of Hispanic Americans in peril in a natural disaster zone.

“At the same time that he was doing all of that, we had American citizens in Puerto Rico who are in a desperate condition,” said Hillary Clinton, Trump’s defeated opponent in the 2016 election, in a radio interview which aired before Trump’s late-night tweets on Monday. “He has not said one word about them, about other American citizens in the US Virgin Islands. I’m not sure he knows that Puerto Ricans are American citizens.” 

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September 25 2017

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September 20 2017

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September 18 2017

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September 14 2017

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September 11 2017

The great British Brexit robbery: how our democracy was hijacked

 My entry point into this story began, as so many things do, with a late-night Google. Last December, I took an unsettling tumble into a wormhole of Google autocomplete suggestions that ended with “did the holocaust happen”. And an entire page of results that claimed it didn’t.

Google’s algorithm had been gamed by extremist sites and it was Jonathan Albright, a professor of communications at Elon University, North Carolina, who helped me get to grips with what I was seeing. He was the first person to map and uncover an entire “alt-right” news and information ecosystem and he was the one who first introduced me to Cambridge Analytica.

He called the company a central point in the right’s “propaganda machine”, a line I quoted in reference to its work for the Trump election campaign and the referendum Leave campaign. That led to the second article featuring Cambridge Analytica – as a central node in the alternative news and information network that I believed Robert Mercer and Steve Bannon, the key Trump aide who is now his chief strategist, were creating. I found evidence suggesting they were on a strategic mission to smash the mainstream media and replace it with one comprising alternative facts, fake history and rightwing propaganda. 

 This is not just a story about social psychology and data analytics. It has to be understood in terms of a military contractor using military strategies on a civilian population. Us. David Miller, a professor of sociology at Bath University and an authority in psyops and propaganda, says it is “an extraordinary scandal that this should be anywhere near a democracy. It should be clear to voters where information is coming from, and if it’s not transparent or open where it’s coming from, it raises the question of whether we are actually living in a democracy or not.” 

 Tamsin Shaw, an associate professor of philosophy at New York University, helps me understand the context. She has researched the US military’s funding and use of psychological research for use in torture. “The capacity for this science to be used to manipulate emotions is very well established. This is military-funded technology that has been harnessed by a global plutocracy and is being used to sway elections in ways that people can’t even see, don’t even realise is happening to them,” she says. “It’s about exploiting existing phenomenon like nationalism and then using it to manipulate people at the margins. To have so much data in the hands of a bunch of international plutocrats to do with it what they will is absolutely chilling. 

“We are in an information war and billionaires are buying up these companies, which are then employed to go to work in the heart of government. That’s a very worrying situation.”

My IRL pal Keef hipped me

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September 08 2017

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September 04 2017

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