Tag Archives: Tobacco

Choices that some make

We all have this. We make choices and that is not against anyone (or anything for that matter). So I was a bit on the fence when I saw ‘Frances Haugen takes on Facebook: the making of a modern US hero’ (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/oct/10/frances-haugen-takes-on-facebook-the-making-of-a-modern-us-hero). First off, let’s start by saying I have nothing against Frances Haugen or her point of view. I do find the setting ‘the making of a modern US hero’ debatable. I feel certain that it was not her setting to become a hero or to see heroism. It is the paint stage that the massively less than credible media is taking. If big tech was not under attack the media would most likely have been more moderate in their colours of painting brushes. 

We get told “The 37-year-old logged out of Facebook’s company network for the last time in May and last week was being publicly lauded a “21st-century American hero” on Washington’s Capitol Hill” yet where was the media these last three years? Collecting Facebook advertising money I reckon. So when we are given “I believe Facebook’s products harm children, stoke division and weaken our democracy” I do not disagree, I have no data to disagree, but the media had that, they have had a clear picture for years, but for the media flaming creates emotion, it create click bitches and it generates digital advertisement income. But Facebook was an eager tool for a long time and you do not bite the hand that feeds you and the media has shown itself very protective of ANY hand that feeds them. If there is one part I disagree with (to some extent) then it is “She repeatedly referred to the company choosing growth and profit over safety and warned that Facebook and Instagram’s algorithms – which tailor the content that a user sees – were causing harm”, it is the “which tailor the content that a user sees – were causing harm” part I cannot completely agree with. I do believe that Frances Haugen is sincere in her approach, but ‘causing harm’ requires evidence, evidence that is a lot harder to obtain. Perhaps that was given, and I did not look at all the documents, but there is a stage, optionally two. The first is “choosing growth and profit over safety”, that seems clear, the entire emotional flames might be part of that, yet there is a stage of “choosing growth and profit over increased safety”, it seems like a small step, yet the stage is proving that it was all against “profit over decreased safety” that matters. We create safety, or we stop increased safety, none of that is on Facebook, only if a clear view of “profit over decreased safety” is shown Facebook will have a larger problem. You see, no matter how we point the fingers on ‘flaming’ in the end it is the view of the less than articulate person lacking a decent education and the US is so protective of its First Amendment, that nothing goes anywhere. The Media has been using that stick to slap donkeys, horses, dogs and people for decades. In this I have some issues with Democrat Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), when we are given   “Facebook is like big tobacco, enticing young kids with that first cigarette,” said Senator Markey at the hearing. “Congress will be taking action. We will not allow your company to harm our children and our families and our democracy, any longer.” I cannot completely disagree, yet in the 70’s and 80’s there was clear evidence on Big Tobacco, but the US government and corporations had no issues taxing and grabbing marketing dollars wherever they could. (Example at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Vg_QVAEJtg) If Facebook is just as bad, you should have had years of evidence and I believe you had it but these political big wigs were unwilling to act. A model based on selling advertisements that brought in billions, what was there not to love and for the most the media loved it too. So I am not arguing with the views that Frances Haugen is bringing, it is the views of those heralding her now. And too many of them should be seriously afraid. When hackers and others start looking into data and the timeline of decisions a few people in the Senate, Congress and a few other players will sweat drops of death. 

And my view? Well CNBC did that work with ‘Facebook spent more on lobbying than any other Big Tech company in 2020’ (at https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/22/facebook-spent-more-on-lobbying-than-any-other-big-tech-company-in-2020.html) at the beginning of the year. So when someone grabs an abacus and digs on where the $19 million plus went, some politicians might not like the answers the people are given, and that is the part that is out in the open, the setting of Stakeholders and media for Facebook might optionally double or triple that amount. It is the highest of all the FAANG group and almost twice as much as Microsoft, so what do you think will happen next? 

It took 20 years for big tobacco to get into real trouble, as such if there is a parallel there is every chance that something is done by 2040, as such Facebook has plenty of time. But in all this, there is a part missing, which is not on anyone (and not on CNBC either). The stage where the people get to know the names the lobbyists and how these politicians voted on Facebook and other first amendment issues. That is the part no one gets to see and I very much doubt that this will change any day soon.

And my point of view is seen with Christopher Wylie when we get “Wylie said he had relived his own experience as a whistleblower by watching Haugen. But he also found the flashbacks frustrating – because nothing has changed.” The Cambridge Analytica is out there and even as the New York Times gives us 2 days ago “We’re Smarter About Facebook Now”, I personally am considering that they are full of it. They needed to be smarter about it close to 2 years ago, so weren’t they? Isn’t that equally a decent question to ask? So as Wylie gives us “The fact that we are still having a conversation about what is happening, not what are we going to do about it, I find slightly exasperating,” shows us clearly the inaction of politics, of policies and the lack of actions by the law, global law no less. Fir we look at the US, but the laws and the actions by the EU and the Commonwealth is equally lacking, so why is that? It is due to the choices some make and the consequences we all have to face and in a stage where every coffer is empty and every nation has a credit card that has a maximised debt, acting against a company bringing in millions in taxable dollars is often not considered.

We all make choices, that is not a sin, but after the Catholics, a second deal where the choosing parties are giving sanctum to those endangering kids is debatable on several levels, that being said, those opposing Facebook will need to prove it and that is not an easy matter to do, because as I state, it is not about “choosing growth and profit over safety”, it will be about “profit versus decreased safety” and that is a very different data stage and the evidence will not be easy to obtain, mainly because the users are often the problem too. Facebook gives us “Facebook’s policy is to delete accounts if there is proof that the account holder is under 13 – they won’t be able to take action if they can’t be sure of the child’s age.” And they try to adhere to that, yet there have been plenty of indications that some were younger, but the stage of “if there is proof that the account holder is under 13”, as such the account stays in place. And when we see several sources give us (unverified for honesty) “A friend has a 9-year-old son and they have allowed him to create his own Facebook account” how can Facebook be blamed and that setting will taint the evidence as well, as such it will take a long time for actual action to start, it is not a setting that Frances Haugen might have seen coming, but in a land of laws, evidence is key (unless political issues take precedence). 

There is a lot more on the Facebook front and it will take months for it all to surface and when it does there is more than likely several months of contemplation and inaction, all because those who could act would not. Who is to blame there? I will let you work that one out.

Have a great day!

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Bang Bang Common Sense

Jason Wilson brought to light an article (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/03/us-senate-hopeful-washington-joey-gibson) that made me think. You see, I am pragmatic and pro guns, I never hid that. Yet in equal measure I have an issue with people bringing their guns to a night club, especially when they are not members of organised crime. So, when you do a dancing backflip and accidently shoot a person as you pick up your gun, FBI agent or not, it raises questions.

This is not me having a go at that officer, there might be a very valid reason for him to have had his piece on him, but making backflips (impressive as it may be) was not the brightest thought to be having. Yet that was not what this will be about. You see, Joey Gibson, the far right Republican Senate candidate is advocating what I call a scenario too dangerous for words. With: “That’s why we’re doing it, there’s people dying. Gun-free zones disgust me because we’re not protecting the kids on the campus. People look at it backwards“, the dangerous precedent is set. Those who do not know, or have proper skill to counter an armed attack end up being dead and handing additional weapons and ammunition to the attackers. I think we all realise that the setting of having an armed response team in any University might not be the worst idea. In that we need to realise that there are trained professionals from the Army, Marines, Navy and police that are now retired that might be more than willing to be there, making a few dollars and being there when there is real trouble. In the first hour it could lower or even prevent fatalities. Making the University a no gun-free zone, letting anyone have a go is not just stupid; it is very dangerous, that approach will increase casualties by a lot. The moment these extreme thinking or mental health cases realise that the university have additional guns and ammunition up for grabs, they might just take the leap with one gun and one clip, which is a realistic and serious danger. Until you have shot a person, or are in the second to shoot someone, that is when you realise that you have what it takes, or not and that second group will be arming the attackers. The second consideration is weapon skill. You might have shot at these nice targets on the range, or puppets standing still, but once they are moving, being accurate is something that would become too unpredictable. So here I am, as a virtual supporter of the NRA stating that this setting is way too dangerous to consider. I never had any kids, but I realise the need to protect the next generation and letting everyone armed on the university makes the danger worse, not safer.

Yet the issue is larger, you see Joey Gibson is not some right extremist. As a Japanese American (or is that American Japanese?) we see that he denounces white supremacists, advocates peaceful actions and is outspokenly anti-antifa (anti-fascist movement). Most of this was seen last year (at https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/sep/3/patriot-prayer-free-speech-group-urges-supporters-/).  It was Valerie Richardson that gave the goods in the Washington Times. The issue becomes more murky when we see “So many people were so disgusted about how they treated us. The liberals were literally standing around with peace signs and love signs while antifa is just yelling and cussing and beating the crap out of us and pepper-spraying us“, which gets us to the question why would anyone pepper spray a person advocating peace? Even as the article gives us a lot, I think we are missing out, a better in depth article by a writer (Valerie or someone else) who would actually to an in depth view of Joey Gibson, especially if that person is running for the senate. It seems that the one person giving a decent and perhaps the most valid view was Daveed Walzer Panadero who gave us “urging antifa to stop trying to silence Mr. Gibson and “get that man a podium and a mike.”“, that makes sense, because if we do not know what he stands for, you cannot make up your registered voting mind.

Yet as we go back to the article, where exactly is he plotting? So far he seems to be out in the open. Yet I also acknowledge the setting we see with: “Speakers with handguns or rifles addressed a small crowd in McGraw Square, at the heart of a busy shopping district. At the other side of the square, around 10 members of an armed leftist group, the Puget Sound John Brown Gun Club, stood watching for what their spokesman called a “known white supremacist element”. They carried AR-15s and side arms“, it is a dangerous setting! You see, it only takes one person to lose his/her cool and we end up in a setting where 20 rifles will be used and there is actually zero chance of innocent bystanders not getting hurt. As a pro gun person, I recognise that danger and I see levels or irresponsibility that is way too high, because the trial that follows will all be about ‘the blame game’ and there will be no one around being able to tell who was the first one shooting, in all likelihood that person would be deceased including optionally dozens of others.

The two sided knife is that gun banning will not work, not ever (those who say it will in America are plain nuts). The open gun policy is equally dangerous and until we recognise the fact that guns do not kill people, people kill people this situation will not get better. As I wrote before, until the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) gets a real incentive of resources and funds, this situation will never ever improve. In that regard, Joey Gibson can preach and pray all he likes, yet the setting of no gun-free zones are just too dangerous, that alone might defeat his bid for the Senate or Congress. You see, as I discussed last February with ‘United they grow‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/02/22/united-they-grow/), as well as ‘In continuation of views‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/02/23/in-continuation-of-views/), we see that the issue was not the NRA, in a much larger setting the issue is with the ATF and the media, as well as the woolly people proclaiming that the NRA is killing their children is the massive issue that the ATF cannot get anything done due to a lack of funds and resources. The largest setting that can do something is not allowed to do anything and the people remain ignorant, deaf and blind to that part of the equation, which implies that not only are things not changing for the better, the view that Joey Gibson is giving us is that no actual progress will be possible adding to the no gun-free zones debacle, it is just too dangerous. Recognising that one element solves a lot of issues and could make changes for the better, yet the ATF is just bound by a budget that is 10 years old, resources closer to 15 years outdated and an absence of clear leadership that goes back from before the Obama administration, so why would progress ever be made?

So by the time we get to the explosives directive of the ATF, we might wonder how many buildings in New York and Los Angeles are still standing at present. Is it not interesting that we are kept in the dark on that setting?

Yet, when we get back to Joey Gibson, there is one side that most were not aware of and it is awesome that Jason Wilson gives us that view. With “Washington is seen as a Democratic state, but that impression conceals a deep divide between urban and rural, west and east, characteristic of west coast states. Money, power and population are centred on Seattle, which is often resented by rural conservatives in the state’s eastern half. Gibson’s rhetoric has always been stridently critical of the liberal cities. In Seattle, he said the city “despises patriots” and “will spit in your face for loving the constitution”“, which most (including me would not have been aware of), so when we consider King and Pierce county to represent 1/3 of the entire state, we see another picture entirely, oh and by the way these two are overwhelmingly Democratic. Even as we might accept Sightline on ‘follow the money‘ (at http://www.sightline.org/2016/10/11/following-the-money-in-washington-state-elections-part-1/), as it shows us issues on campaign funding, it does not give us the influence that the wealthy have in some districts in the east, the results say that this is not the case, yet there is an issue when we look at the map (at https://www.nytimes.com/elections/results/washington). The speculated issue is that rural Washington State is left to fend for itself. We can understand that the logic requires the funds to be set on the coastal area where the cities are, but when we see the Yakima herald (at http://www.yakimaherald.com/news/local/with-percent-in-program-food-stamp-cuts-could-hit-yakima/article_c3fe8d18-429e-11e7-9396-67c7dd7bbd33.html), we see that the cuts are rougher and still in place. That sets the stage for people like Joey Gibson to take the stage and his view does not imply that he is extreme in his thinking, yet the setting of inequality is a much larger issue and it does set the stage that tends to lean to extreme right thinking. Anti-government thinking in a stage where places like Seattle, Vancouver and Bellingham are taken care of, whilst the rest is largely ignored is not a healthy way to move forward. The slightline view on corporate sponsoring merely increases the issue on a view of inequality. That is where (as I personally see it) the right wing foundation comes from and even as it implies that Joey Gibson has no real chance. He is up against Maria Cantwell, who has shown to be pro-business, a successful job creator and stopped Artic drilling which makes her the additional sweetheart of the green parties. As a resident of the Snohomish county and being pro-business she has funding from King, Thurston and Clark County on her side which is almost a third of her state. The pro-business part should also give her Bellingham and if done correctly with the right agreements should deliver Spokane to her and at that point it is pretty much game over for Joey Gibson. So even as we see ‘Joey Gibson and plots’, the setting in Washington State is not ideal for him, apart from the mere common sense that his idea is not one that will work, there will be decreased safety from his gunpoint of view and that will cost him votes as well, especially when one piece of evidence is shown that children would be endangered from his viewpoint, an issue that will come up, with a certainty of close to 100%.

I like the approach he took. Not from the pro-gun point, but from the mere common sense that the installation of no gun-free zones is more than likely to be the start of more casualties. You see, the firearms death rate is low in Washington State and in the lowest tier that is 3.4-9 per 100,000. Washington State is exactly on the 9 border with 686 casualties. It only takes one event to put them in the 9.1-11.0 per 100,000 which takes the entire state to a higher tier, so one event and it is game over for Joey Gibson (source: CDC). In addition the Washington State health services also give us that 2008-2010 data gives 585 firearms casualties, whilst only 119 were homicide, 9 were unintentional and the largest group was suicide with 455. In that regard gun banning would not have any significant change, because when there is no gun, there will still be the opportunity for razors, sleeping tablets, a bathtub and the three in combination with nice soothing filled bathtub. So that will still happen one way or the other, considering that it is on par with motor vehicle crashes (both 8.6 per 100,000) gives additional rise to gun banning not making a difference in the state. Yet the Joey Gibson change is very likely to impact that in a very negative way, where he ends up defeating himself. The direct solution is also seen here, if the ATF had done their job (with proper resources and funding available) there is every chance that the suicide rate would have been positively influences and as that side is 77% of the fire arms fatalities, a chunk of it prevented as assistance to overcome mental hardship was given. Is that not an interesting overlooked fact? And it is not the only one, there are plenty more where that came from, fatalities all preventable by giving the ATF the right tools, resources and staff members.

 

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