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Twitter Engineers To “Ban a Way of Talking” Through “Shadow Banning”

This is a case where a private company is free to do whatever they wish when it comes to content.

However, the morally and ethically correct thing to do is to tell people that you are banning or preventing their content from reaching people.

That’s not what Twitter is doing. In this undercover video, Twitter engineers say they are actively “shadow banning” content from people which allows the tweet to appear in their stream that they can see, but no one else can see it.

Frankly, this is rather despicable.

In the latest undercover Project Veritas video investigation, eight current and former Twitter employees are on camera explaining steps the social media giant is taking to censor political content that they don’t like.

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Boom.

One of the premises of a tax cut is that it allows the taxed person or company to spend more money, which in turn helps the economy grow.

As proof, here’s what has happened with some businesses since the passage of the Republican / Trump tax plan:

Gee, that was fast. Just one day after the tax bill was finally passed, companies were already scrambling to do things with their money. It’s an impressive list and, no doubt, not comprehensive:

AT&T’s CEO said the company will hand out bonuses of $1,000 to more than 200,000 of its workers in the U.S., thanks to tax reform.
Comcast NBCUniversal, not to be outdone, also handed out a special bonus of $1,000 to more than 1,000 employees, thanks to “passage of tax reform and the FCC’s action on broadband.”
Boeing’s CEO Dennis Muilenburg said his company will spend $300 million, with $100 million going to charity, $100 million for workforce development (including training and education for Boeing workers), and $100 million for “workplace of the future” infrastructure.
Fifth Third Bankcorp said it will give 13,500 employees a bonus and lift the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Wells Fargo also raised its minimum wage to $15 an hour, and said it would donate $400 million to community and nonprofit groups in 2018.
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Ellis, Loans, County Commission And Blue Origin.

Yesterday, the County Commission took up an interesting topic of whether it could borrow $8 million dollars to give to Blue Origin as an incentive to establish a facility here in Brevard County.

Via Wikipedia:

Blue Origin is an American privately funded aerospace manufacturer and spaceflight services company set up by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos with its headquarters in Kent, Washington. The company is developing technologies to enable private human access to space with the goal to dramatically lower costs and increase reliability. Blue Origin is employing an incremental approach from suborbital to orbital flight, with each developmental step building on its prior work. The company motto is “Gradatim Ferociter”, Latin for “Step by Step, Ferociously”. Blue Origin is developing a variety of technologies, with a focus on rocket-powered Vertical Takeoff and Vertical Landing (VTVL) vehicles for access to suborbital and orbital space. The company’s name refers to the blue planet, Earth, as the point of origin.

(Bezos himself is the richest man or second richest man on the face of the earth (depending on the value of stock he holds). In December, his net worth passed the $100 billion mark but has since dropped to just below the $100 billion level.)

When Blue Origin was looking for places to establish a facility, the North Brevard Economic Development Zone (NBEDZ) hopped up and said “pick us.” To make the move, Blue Origin wanted $8 million dollars.

There were several problems. First, the NBEDZ didn’t have $8 million laying around. They would have had to borrow the money to pay Blue Origin. Problem 1A was that no financial institution would loan the NBEDZ the money. The NBEDZ came to the County Commission and basically said “Got $8 million to pay to Blue Origin?”
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Most Transparent Administration Evah Was More Corrupt Than People Could Imagine.

Politico has broken a story as to how the Obama administration blocked investigations into Hezbollah in order to make a deal with Iran – a deal that the Obama administration heralded as being great for peace in the world, but that Iran never intended to follow and has not followed.

The Politico story is long, but a must read for anyone who truly cares about the US and the depravity of Obama and those in his administration who supported him.

A global threat emerges
How Hezbollah turned to trafficking cocaine and laundering money through used cars to finance its expansion.

In its determination to secure a nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration derailed an ambitious law enforcement campaign targeting drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, even as it was funneling cocaine into the United States, according to a POLITICO investigation.

The campaign, dubbed Project Cassandra, was launched in 2008 after the Drug Enforcement Administration amassed evidence that Hezbollah had transformed itself from a Middle East-focused military and political organization into an international crime syndicate that some investigators believed was collecting $1 billion a year from drug and weapons trafficking, money laundering and other criminal activities.

Over the next eight years, agents working out of a top-secret DEA facility in Chantilly, Virginia, used wiretaps, undercover operations and informants to map Hezbollah’s illicit networks, with the help of 30 U.S. and foreign security agencies.

They followed cocaine shipments, some from Latin America to West Africa and on to Europe and the Middle East, and others through Venezuela and Mexico to the United States. They tracked the river of dirty cash as it was laundered by, among other tactics, buying American used cars and shipping them to Africa. And with the help of some key cooperating witnesses, the agents traced the conspiracy, they believed, to the innermost circle of Hezbollah and its state sponsors in Iran.
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Commissioner’s Smith Request For Advertising Of “Censure Ordinance” Pulled From Agenda.

This past Saturday, we wrote a post on Commissioner Curt Smith’s request for funding for the advertising of a public hearing concerning his proposed “Censure Ordinance.”

The request popped up on the agenda that was revised at 9:39 AM on December 1, 2017.

This is a screen shot of that version of the agenda.

Yesterday, we got a notice from one of our ninjas that the item had been pulled from the agenda. Initially we could not find that to be true by going through the Brevard County Meeting Portal site, but the Clerk of the Courts site had an updated version of the agenda that was changed at 10:52 AM on December 4, 2017. A screen shot of the updated agenda is below.
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Another Tool Against Scammers.

Well, this looks like fun….

Introducing Re:scam – an artificially intelligent email bot made to reply to scam emails. Re:scam wastes scammers time with a never-ending series of questions and anecdotes so that scammers have less time to pursue real people.

If you think you’ve received a scam email, forward it to me@rescam.org and we’ll take it from there. We’ll even send you a transcript of the conversations Re:scam has had with the scammer – sometimes they can be quite funny! Please note, this can take a while as the bot is designed to reply to the scammer at varying times to appear natural – it may take anywhere from a few seconds to a few days to reply to the scammer each time.


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PragerU Sues Google / YouTube.

We have included videos from PragerU here on Raised on Hoecakes for several years now. We do so because there are days when we are tired of typing or real life doesn’t leave us the desire or energy to type a long post. We also do it for the reason that PregerU videos often present a conservative point of view with which we agree, but most of all, we find their videos to be educational and a great starting point for discussions.

Over the last year, Google / YouTube has decided that some of the PragerU videos are not worthy of being on PragerU’s YouTube channel and has banned, restricted or demonitized the videos.

In the filing, PragerU notes:

In so doing, YouTube holds itself out as the largest public forum for video based speech in California, the United States, and the world. YouTube plays a role of a public forum where, based on the number of views, likes, and subscriptions, new celebrities emerge and new ideas are popularized. Indeed, on its own “Official Blog,” YouTube has itself stated that its “mission” is to “give people a voice” in a “place to express yourself” and in a “community where everyone’s voice can be heard.” In totality, YouTube claims to be “one of the largest and most diverse collections of self-expression in history,” giving “people opportunities to share their voice and talent no matter where they are from or what their age or point of view.” See, e.g., https://youtube.googleblog.com/ (YouTube Official Blog: Broadcast Yourself).

While a full list of the videos that were or are restricted can be found here, some of the videos Google / YouTube has blocked and or restricted include these:

We don’t see anything on the lists that are “inappropriate” or as Google / YouTube claimed, “not suitable for young people.”
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Chicago Set To Repeal Soda Tax.

Last November, the Cook County Board of Commissioners passed a bill that taxed “sweetened beverages” at the rate of $0.01 (one cent) per ounce. The tax was implemented in July of 2017.

For those who are interested in what drinks the tax covered, the bill defines “sweetened beverage” as:

Sweetened beverage means any non-alcoholic beverage, carbonated or non-carbonated, which is intended for human consumption and contains any caloric sweetener or non-caloric sweetener, and is available for sale in a bottle or produced for sale from using through the use of syrup and/or powder. Sweetened beverage does not include (1) beverages consisting of 100% natural fruit or vegetable juice; (2) beverages in which milk, or soy, rice, or similar milk substitute, makes up more than 50% of the beverage or is the first listed ingredient on the label of the beverage; (3) beverages to which a purchaser can add, or can request that a retailer add, caloric sweetener or non-caloric sweetener; (4) infant formula; (5) beverages for medical use; (6) any liquid sold as a therapeutic nutritional meal replacement or for use for weight reduction as a meal replacement; or (7) any syrup or powder that the purchaser himself or herself combines with other ingredients to create a beverage.

Clear as mud, right?

The tax set off an advertising war between retailers, soda manufacturers, and tax opponents against outside interests such as Michael Bloomberg of New York.

Proponents of the tax said it would aid in the fight against obesity in adults and children. In fact, if one reads the bill, that is all the bill talks about – the effects of sweetened drinks on health. Opponents talked about how the tax was regressive in impacting the poor more than the rich, penalizing people for making choices, the increase of the nanny state, outside influences, and just the fact that the tax is another tax in a area where residents are highly taxed on everything.

According to Reuters, the tax is set to be repealed:
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