Monday, March 30, 2015
American universities and liberals in general like to show how super-tolerant they are by tolerating the intolerance of others. Lately they’ve tolerated, and even encouraged, Jew-hatred on campus just to show how truly tolerant they are. Impressive, no?
And now, apparently, one liberal university in particular is ready to tolerate ISIS on campus — yes, the same ISIS that beheads, rapes, tortures, and enslaves as part of its everyday radical Islamist credo.
That university is Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
In the video below, James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas exposes, via an undercover agent posing as a Moroccan, Cornell’s willingness and encouragement to start an “ISIS Club” on campus and even start up a training camp right there in Ithaca.
Now that’s tolerance! Good for you, Cornell! Your alumni must be really proud that they attended your school and have contributed to your alumni funds.
Credit to http://www.washingtonweeklynews.com
People in the United States feel under threat, both from beyond our borders and within themand as Reuters reports, when asked about both U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin, it was a pretty darn close call. A new Reuters/Ipsos poll finds a third of Republicans believe President Barack Obama poses an imminent threat to the United States, outranking concerns about Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The blame, according to one sociologist, "the TV media here, and American politics, very much trade on fears."
On the bright side for the Administration, ISIS and Al Qaeda still outrank him as more imminent threats... so that's good (considering he is a Nobel Peace Prize winner).
A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll asked more than 3,000 Americans what they see as some of the biggest threats to themselves and the country. Overall it was close - 20% saw Putin as an imminent threat compared to 18% who said the same about Obama.
I think it’s safe to say that a national security expert might not agree with the public’s choices.More people fear Boko Haram, a scary but ragged Islamic radical group in Nigeria that might have trouble paying for plane tickets to the United States, than Russia, which recently invaded a major European country. And a whopping 34 percent consider Kim Jong-un, the leader of impoverished North Korea, an imminent threat. Kim may have a couple of nukes, but otherwise his nation is a basket case, so poor that it relies on international aid to feed itself. Though considering how fast Sony Pictures pulled “The Interview” from theaters, I guess the public’s not alone in being afraid of the young man with the unique hairstyle.Perhaps the most disturbing part, however, is how Americans view each other, simply because of the political party they favor. Thirteen percent of us see the Republican and Democratic parties as an imminent threat. That’s the same number who think the Chinese might be.
The Guardian also notes, a third of Republicans believe President Barack Obama poses an imminent threat to the United States, outranking concerns about Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
People who were polled were most concerned about threats related to potential terror attacks.Islamic State militants were rated an imminent threat by 58% of respondents, and al Qaeda by 43%. North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un was viewed as a threat by 34%, and Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei by 27%.
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Meanwhile, the world is certainly worried about the United States.
Meanwhile, the world is certainly worried about the United States.
Credit to Zero HedgeIn a Gallup survey of people in 65 countries, about one quarter named the United States as the greatest threat to world peace.Maybe that should not be so surprising, as only about half of Americans know which country was the only one to ever drop a nuclear bomb.
In recent months, Facebook has been quietly holding talks with at least half a dozen media companies about hosting their content inside Facebook rather than making users tap a link to go to an external site.The new proposal by Facebook carries another risk for publishers: the loss of valuable consumer data. When readers click on an article, an array of tracking tools allow the host site to collect valuable information on who they are, how often they visit and what else they have done on the web.And if Facebook pushes beyond the experimental stage and makes content hosted on the site commonplace, those who do not participate in the program could lose substantial traffic — a factor that has played into the thinking of some publishers. Their articles might load more slowly than their competitors’, and over time readers might avoid those sites.- From the New York Times article: Facebook May Host News Sites’ Content
Last week, I came across an incredibly important article from the New York Times, which described Facebook’s plan to provide direct access to other websites’ content in exchange for some sort of advertising partnership. The implications of this are so huge that at this point I have far more questions than answers.
Let’s start with a few excerpts from the article:
With 1.4 billion users, the social media site has become a vital source of traffic for publishers looking to reach an increasingly fragmented audience glued to smartphones. In recent months, Facebook has been quietly holding talks with at least half a dozen media companies about hosting their content inside Facebook rather than making users tap a link to go to an external site.Such a plan would represent a leap of faith for news organizations accustomed to keeping their readers within their own ecosystems, as well as accumulating valuable data on them. Facebook has been trying to allay their fears, according to several of the people briefed on the talks, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were bound by nondisclosure agreements.Facebook intends to begin testing the new format in the next several months, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions. The initial partners are expected to be The New York Times, BuzzFeed and National Geographic, although others may be added since discussions are continuing. The Times and Facebook are moving closer to a firm deal, one person said.Facebook has said publicly that it wants to make the experience of consuming content online more seamless. News articles on Facebook are currently linked to the publisher’s own website, and open in a web browser, typically taking about eight seconds to load. Facebook thinks that this is too much time, especially on a mobile device, and that when it comes to catching the roving eyeballs of readers, milliseconds matter.The Huffington Post and the business and economics website Quartz were also approached. Both also declined to discuss their involvement.Facebook declined to comment on its specific discussions with publishers. But the company noted that it had provided features to help publishers get better traction on Facebook, including tools unveiled in December that let them target their articles to specific groups of Facebook users, such as young women living in New York who like to travel.The new proposal by Facebook carries another risk for publishers: the loss of valuable consumer data. When readers click on an article, an array of tracking tools allow the host site to collect valuable information on who they are, how often they visit and what else they have done on the web.And if Facebook pushes beyond the experimental stage and makes content hosted on the site commonplace, those who do not participate in the program could lose substantial traffic — a factor that has played into the thinking of some publishers. Their articles might load more slowly than their competitors’, and over time readers might avoid those sites.And just as Facebook has changed its news feed to automatically play videos hosted directly on the site, giving them an advantage compared with videos hosted on YouTube, it could change the feed to give priority to articles hosted directly on its site.
Let me try to address this the best I can from several different angles.First off, what’s the big picture plan here? As the number two ranked website in the world with 1.4 billion users, Facebook itself is already something like an alternative internet where a disturbing number of individuals spend a disproportionate amount of their time. The only thing that seems to make many of its users click away is content hosted on other people’s websites linked to from Facebook users. Other than this outside content, many FB users might never leave the site.
While this is scary to someone like me, to Facebook it is an abomination. The company doesn’t want people to leave their site ever — for any reason. Hence the aggressive push to carry outside news content, and create a better positioned alternative web centrally controlled by it. This is a huge power play move.
Second, the New York Times righty asks the question concerning what will publishers get from Facebook for allowing their content to appear on the site seamlessly. Some sort of revenue share from advertisers seems to be an obvious angle, but perhaps there’s more.
While Facebook isn’t a huge traffic driver for Liberty Blitzkrieg, it isn’t totally irrelevant either. For example, FB provided about 3% of the site’s traffic over the past 12 months. This is despite the fact that LBK doesn’t even have a Facebook page, and I’ve never shared a link through it. Even more impressive, Facebook drove more traffic to LBK over the same time period than Twitter, and I am very active on that platform. So I can only imagine how important FB is to website editors who actually use it.
This brings me to a key point about leverage. It seems to me that Facebook has all the leverage in negotiations with content providers. If you’re a news website that refuses to join in this program, over time you might see your traffic evaporate compared to your competitors whose content will load seamlessly and be promoted by the FB algorithm. If a large percentage of your traffic is being generated by Facebook, can you really afford to lose this?
One thing that FB might be willing to offer publishers in return other than advertising dollars, is increased access to their fan base. For example, when I try to figure out through Google analytics who specifically (or what page) on Facebook is sharing my work, I can’t easily do so. Clearly this information could prove very useful for networking purposes and could be quite valuable.
Looking for some additional insight and words of wisdom, I asked the smartest tech/internet person I know for his opinion. It was more optimistic than I thought:
This could be a huge shaper of news on the internet. or it could turn out to be nothing.Other than saying that I don’t really know how to predict what might or might not happen, and I sort of don’t care much because it is in the realm (for now at least) of stuff that I don’t read (mainstream news), on a site that I never see (Facebook). However, the one thing I wonder in terms of the viability of this is whether in the end it may drive people away from FB.Back in the day, probably when you weren’t so aware of the nascent net, there were two giant “services” on the Internet called Compuserve and America Online. They were each what you are thinking that Facebook is heading toward; exclusive, centralized portals to the whole net. They were also giant and successful at the time. Then people outside of them started doing things that were so much more creative and interesting. At the same time, in order to make everything fit inside their proprietary boxes and categories, they were making everything ever more standardized and boring. Then they just abruptly died.
Given the enormity of what Facebook is trying to achieve, I have some obvious concerns. First, since all of the leverage seems to reside with Facebook, I fear they are likely to get the better part of any deal by wide margin. Second, if they succeed in this push, this single company’s ability to control access to news and what is trending and deemed important by a huge section of humanity will be extraordinary.
Credit to Zero hedge
Up until now, the world's descent into the NIRPy twilight of fiat currency was a function of failing monetary policy around the globe as central bank after desperate central bank implemented negative and even more negative (in the case of Denmark some four times rapid succession) rates, hoping to make saving so prohibitive consumers would have no choice but to spend the fruits of their labor, or better yet, take out massive loans which they would never be able to repay. However, nobody said it was only central banks who could be the executioners of the world's saver class: governments are perfectly capable too. Such as Australia's.
According to Australia's ABC News, the "Federal Government looks set to introduce a tax on bank deposits in the May budget."
Ironically, the idea of a bank deposit tax was raised by Labor in 2013 and was criticized by Tony Abbott at the time. Much has changed in two years, and as ABC reports, assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has indicated an announcement on the new tax could be made before the budget.
Mr Frydenberg is a member of the Government's Expenditure Review Committee but has refused to provide any details."Any announcements or decisions around this proposed policy which we discussed at the last election will be made in the lead up or on budget night," he said.Speaking at the Victorian Liberal State Council meeting Mr Abbott has repeated his budget message, focusing on families and small businesses."There will be tough decisions in this year's budget as there must be, but there will also be good news."
For the banks and creditors, yes. For anyone who is still naive enough to save money in the hopes of deferring purchases for the future, not so much.
The banking industry has raised concerns about a deposit tax, saying it will have to pass the cost back onto customers.Steven Munchenberg from the Australian Bankers' Association said it would be a damaging move for the Government."It's going to make it harder for banks to raise deposits which are an important way of funding banks. And therefore for us to fund the economy," he said. "And we also oppose it because particularly at this point in time with low interest rates a lot of people who are relying on their savings for their incomes are already seeing very low returns and this will actually mean they get even less money."
Don't worry Steven, neither central banks nor government care about "a lot of people" - they just care about a select few. As for the banks, once China, and immediately thereafter Australia, launches QE as the entire world descends into a monetary supernova, and Australia's banks are flooded with trillions in excess reserves like those in the US, all shall be forgiven. As a reminder, banks such as JPM are so flush with zero-cost cash from other sources, well one other source, they are now actively turning away depositors.
As for Australia, while central banks are untouchable and unaccountable to anyone (except their commercial bank directors and anyone else they secretly meet during those bimonthly sessions in the BIS tower in Basel), the government can be voted in and voted out. Especially a government that is about to break one of its main election promises:
The Federal Opposition has accused the Government of breaking an election promise by planning to introduce a tax on bank deposits.The former Labor Government put forward the policy in 2013 to raise revenue for a fund to protect customers in the event of a banking collapse.Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh said Treasurer Joe Hockey criticised the proposal at the time. "When we put it on the table Joe Hockey said that it was a smash and grab on Australian households just aimed at repairing the budget," he said.
It is almost surprising, but not really, how when it comes down to money, the thin white line between "us" and "them" always disappears when the money runs out.
As for Australia's savers, welcome to the NIRP world where savers in increasingly more countries are now on the endangered species list.
Credits to Zero Hedge