Why did Google suppress auto-complete for “Clinton Body Count”?

Why did Google suppress the search suggestion for “Clinton Body Count”?

Notice that Google omits every single prediction. Why is this? According to Google, all the Google search predictions are built off of user search data.

According to Google’s public statements, if there isn’t a search prediction then it’s because there is no one searching for that term. This would be fine and dandy if it weren’t for Google’s other service: trends.google.com which shows the real search traffic.

Continued: Why did Google suppress auto-complete for “Clinton Body Count”?

‘Red flag laws’ strip gun owners of their constitutional rights

“Red flag laws let police confiscate guns without due process. Suspending the Constitution in a secret hearing is a Rubicon from which there is no return.”

A silhouette of a hunter in a field aiming their gun.
(Photo: Getty Images)

Six states have enacted these laws. At their core, they allow the police to convene a Kafkaesque secret proceeding, in which an American can be stripped of his or her gun rights and Fourth Amendment rights, even though gun owners are barred from participating in the hearings or arguing their side of the dispute.

The first thing gun owners learn is when police knock on the door — ready to ransack their house and, if they resist, to arrest or even shoot them and their family…

Far from being a “consensus proposal”, the suspension of the Constitution in a secret hearing is a constitutional Rubicon from which there is no return.

Continue reading: ‘Red flag laws’ strip gun owners of their constitutional rights (USA Today)

How Monsanto’s “intelligence center” Targeted Journalists and Activists

Internal documents show how the company worked to discredit critics and investigated singer Neil Young

 Monsanto adopted a multi-pronged strategy to target Carey Gillam, a Reuters journalist who investigated the company’s weedkiller. Photograph: Carey Gillam
Monsanto adopted a multi-pronged strategy to target Carey Gillam, a Reuters journalist who investigated the company’s weedkiller. Photograph: Carey Gillam

Monsanto operated a “fusion center” to monitor and discredit journalists and activists, and targeted a reporter who wrote a critical book on the company, documents reveal. The agrochemical corporation also investigated the singer Neil Young and wrote an internal memo on his social media activity and music.

The records reviewed by the Guardian show Monsanto adopted a multi-pronged strategy to target Carey Gillam, a Reuters journalist who investigated the company’s weedkiller and its links to cancer. Monsanto, now owned by the German pharmaceutical corporation Bayer, also monitored a not-for-profit food research organization through its “intelligence fusion center”, a term that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies use for operations focused on surveillance and terrorism.

The documents, mostly from 2015 to 2017, were disclosed as part of an ongoing court battle on the health hazards of the company’s Roundup weedkiller…

Continued: Revealed: how Monsanto’s ‘intelligence center’ targeted journalists and activists

21,460 Attend Drag Queen & Queering Elementary Schools Library Conference Workshops

“At the American Library Association’s annual conference, the nation’s librarians learned how to circumvent community objections to events like Drag Queen Story Hour and other taxpayer-purchased materials.”

Library Police Tape

The world’s largest library association’s annual conference this year featured more than 100 workshops with an “equity, diversity, and inclusion” theme, according to the American Library Association’s conference catalog. That included workshops with these titles (some shortened): “Creating Queer-Inclusive Elementary School Library Programming,” “Developing an Online Face for a Lesbian Pulp Fiction Collection,” and “Telling Stories, Expanding Boundaries: Drag Queen Storytimes in Libraries…”

Continued: Major Librarian Conference Features Workshops On Drag Queens (The Federalist)

Today’s Schools Are Yesterday’s Streetcars: How Technology Will Transform Education

“Like the streetcar and horse-and-buggy, institutional schooling will become a cultural relic, a quaint reminder of yesteryear. We will realize that non-coercive, technology-enabled, self-directed education in collaboration with others results in better, more meaningful, more enduring learning than its institutional predecessors can offer. We will realize that we can be educated without being schooled. Indeed, the future is here.”

‘In his award-winning TED Talk, Newcastle University professor Sugata Mitra explained how children teach themselves without institutional schooling.

Mitra calls this approach “minimally invasive education” and concludes in his talk:

If you allow the educational process to self-organize, then learning emerges. It’s not about making learning happen. It’s about letting it happen.

Thanks to technology, we adults now see this learning emerge all the time in our own lives. It can be the same for our children…’

Continued: Today’s Schools Are Yesterday’s Streetcars: How Technology Will Transform Education

The Supreme Court Just Made It Easier for Police to Arrest You for Filming Them

“On Tuesday, the Supreme Court invented a rule that will often allow police officers to arrest people in retaliation for disfavored speech without liability.”
Justice Stephen Breyer and Chief Justice John Roberts. Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.
Justice Stephen Breyer and Chief Justice John Roberts. Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.
“There is no evidence that Congress wanted the statute to be interpreted like this.”

“By enabling police officers to target viewpoints they dislike with near impunity, the decision could be catastrophic for protesters and the press. The justices, meanwhile, didn’t even try to ground their decision in the text or history of the statute they were interpreting. Instead, the court was surprisingly frank about its rationale: The justices simply don’t want police officers to have to defend themselves in court against these types of allegations.”

Continued: Supreme Court makes it easier for police to arrest you for filming them (Slate)

For related stories, see: http://police.truists.org/

 

Higher minimum wage means restaurants raise prices and fewer employee hours, survey finds

For restaurants, minimum wage hikes usually mean higher menu prices and fewer employee hours, according to a survey released Wednesday.

Fight For $15
Fast-food workers and supporters organized by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) protest in front of a McDonald’s billboard in Los Angeles, in 2013.

The restaurant industry employs a large portion of minimum wage workers. It’s no surprise that 83% of survey respondents affected by minimum wage hikes reported that their labor costs rose at least 3%.

Twenty-three percent responded to minimum wage hikes by not making any changes to their business.

But the majority did. The most popular response — from 71% of operators — was to raise menu prices. Nearly half reworked their food and beverage options to reduce costs.

Some operators responded to the minimum wage increases by cutting costs, with 64% saying they reduced employee hours, and 43 percent saying they eliminated jobs.

Outside the restaurant industry, companies like Bank of America and Target have been hiking internal minimum wages to attract and retain employees in a tight labor market. Similarly, 87% of survey respondents affected by minimum wage hikes said that they increased wages for workers who made more than the minimum wage.

Continued: Higher minimum wage means restaurants raise prices and fewer employee hours, survey finds

Jeff Bezos Protests the Invasion of His Privacy, as Amazon Builds a Sprawling Surveillance State for Everyone Else

One of the world’s greatest privacy invaders just had his privacy invaded

Amazon, the company that has made Bezos the planet’s richest human being, is a critical partner for the U.S. Government in building an ever-more invasive, militarized and sprawling surveillance state. Indeed, one of the largest components of Amazon’s business, and thus one of the most important sources of Bezos’ vast wealth and power, is working with the Pentagon and the NSA to empower the U.S. Government with more potent and more sophisticated weapons, including surveillance weapons.

In December, 2017, Amazon boasted that it had perfected new face-recognition software for crowds, which it called Rekognition. It explained that the product is intended, in large part, for use by governments and police forces around the world. The ACLU quickly warned that the product is “dangerous” and that Amazon “is actively helping governments deploy it.”

“Powered by artificial intelligence,” wrote the ACLU, “Rekognition can identify, track, and analyze people in real time and recognize up to 100 people in a single image. It can quickly scan information it collects against databases featuring tens of millions of faces.” The group warned: “Amazon’s Rekognition raises profound civil liberties and civil rights concerns.” In a separate advisory, the ACLU said of this face-recognition software that Amazon’s “marketing materials read like a user manual for the type of authoritarian surveillance you can currently see in China…”

Continue reading: Jeff Bezos Protests the Invasion of His Privacy, as Amazon Builds a Sprawling Surveillance State for Everyone Else

As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants

‘For years, Facebook gave some of the world’s largest technology companies more intrusive access to users’ personal data than it has disclosed, effectively exempting those business partners from its usual privacy rules, according to internal records and interviews…

Mark Zuckerberg At Hearings
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, at a Senate hearing in April. Internal Facebook records describe data-sharing deals that benefited more than 150 companies.

Facebook “allowed Microsoft’s Bing search engine to see the names of virtually all Facebook users’ friends without consent, the records show, and gave Netflix and Spotify the ability to read Facebook users’ private messages…”

Continued: As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants

Fake News and Bots May Be Worrisome, but Their Political Power Is Overblown

“It’s very hard to change people’s minds, especially when so many are already committed partisans.”

A book about “Fake News” was displayed last November by a supporter of Roy Moore, who unsuccessfully ran for Senate in Alabama.

“How easy is it to change people’s votes in an election?

The answer, a growing number of studies conclude, is that most forms of political persuasion seem to have little effect at all…

…Those who want to combat online misinformation should take steps based on evidence and data, not hype or speculation.”

Continued: Fake News and Bots May Be Worrisome, but Their Political Power Is Overblown

Study: California’s Background-Check Law Had No Impact on Gun Deaths

Gun Control

The findings—which run counter to the conventional wisdom that gun control saves lives—have received almost no media attention.

“A joint study conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of California at Davis Violence Prevention Research Program found that California’s much-touted mandated background checks had no impact on gun deaths, and researchers are puzzled as to why.

Despite the dismal record of gun control, expect the media and “experts” to use a repertoire of self-justifications rather than modify their beliefs—regardless of what the evidence shows…”

Ranked-choice voting worked in Maine. Now we should use it in presidential races.

Lawrence Lessig: “When voters rank their first, second and third-choice candidates, the winner is broadly acceptable.”

Voters were lined up outside of the Vigo County Annex in Terre Haute, Ind.,. on Nov. 5, 2018, to take advantage of the final day of early voting.
(Photo: Austen Leake, Tribune-Star via AP)

“Maine is not the only jurisdiction in America to use ranked-choice voting. It is just the first where it has mattered in a federal election. We should follow its example. There is plenty of time to carry its idea to the 2020 election and give all of us a system less prone to the vicious attacks, and more guaranteed to select candidates supported by at least a majority in every state…”

Source: Ranked-choice voting worked in Maine. Now we should use it in presidential races.