Tuesday in Whitewater will be rainy with a high of sixty-one. Sunrise is 7:03 AM and sunset 6:19 PM, for 11h 15m 46s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 71.5% of its visible disk illuminated. Today is the three hundred thirty-fifth day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.
Google has a doodle today to commemorate the 156th birthday of Fridtjof Nansen, a “a Norwegian explorer, scientist, diplomat, humanitarian, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate” who when younger was “a champion skier and ice skater. ” In his later years, “Nansen devoted himself primarily to the League of Nations, following his appointment in 1921 as the League’s High Commissioner for Refugees. In 1922 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on behalf of the displaced victims of the First World War and related conflicts. Among the initiatives he introduced was the “Nansen passport” for stateless persons, a certificate that used to be recognised by more than 50 countries. He worked on behalf of refugees until his sudden death in 1930, after which the League established the Nansen International Office for Refugees to ensure that his work continued. This office received the Nobel Peace Prize for 1938. His name is commemorated in numerous geographical features, particularly in the polar regions.”
Recommended for reading in full —
Nicholas Confessore and Daisuke Wakabayashi report How Russia Harvested American Rage to Reshape U.S. Politics:
YouTube videos of police beatings on American streets. A widely circulated internet hoax about Muslim men in Michigan collecting welfare for multiple wives. A local news story about two veterans brutally mugged on a freezing winter night.
All of these were recorded, posted or written by Americans. Yet all ended up becoming grist for a network of Facebook pages linked to a shadowy Russian company that has carried out propaganda campaigns for the Kremlin, and which is now believed to be at the center of a far-reaching Russian program to influence the 2016 presidential election.
A New York Times examination of hundreds of those posts shows that one of the most powerful weapons that Russian agents used to reshape American politics was the anger, passion and misinformation that real Americans were broadcasting across social media platforms.
The Russian pages — with names like “Being Patriotic,” “Secured Borders” and “Blacktivist” — cribbed complaints about federal agents from one conservative website, and a gauzy article about a veteran who became an entrepreneur from People magazine. They took descriptions and videos of police beatings from genuine YouTube and Facebook accounts and reposted them, sometimes lightly edited for maximum effect.
Other posts on the Russian pages used stilted language or phrases rarely found in American English. Yet their use of borrowed ideas and arguments from Americans, which were already resonating among conservatives and liberals, demonstrated a deft understanding of the political terrain. The Russians also paid Facebook to promote their posts in the feeds of American Facebook users, helping them test what content would circulate most widely, and among which audiences….
Tim Murphy writes that New York Has Voting Laws That Are Just as Bad as Many Red States:
….The reasons for New York’s voting laws are different than the racially targeted statutes and purges in places like Texas or Wisconsin, but the effect on the democratic process is nonetheless disruptive. At the time of its election last April, New York had the second-lowest turnout of any state primary in the United States last year (behind only Louisiana), and nothing seems to have changed since; in September’s Democratic municipal elections in New York City, turnout was 14 percent.
When Sanders supporters complained about New York’s voter registration law during the primary, long-time Democrats, whose patience with the candidate’s insurgency was already wearing thin, had little sympathy for voters who had forsaken their party to begin with. It is understandable that Democrats believe that Democratic candidates should be chosen by Democrats, as is the case in other states with considerably less restrictive re-registration deadlines, but that’s not what the New York system is designed to do—instead it tends to squeeze Democrats out. (Sometimes even the children of candidates miss the cut; Eric and Ivanka Trump were unable to vote for their father in last year’s primary because they had neglected to re-register as Republicans in time.)
Since last year’s primary, there have been efforts to change this. Last spring, a group of state legislators introduced legislation that would have moved up the deadline to change party registration before a primary, while still keeping the primary closed to people who didn’t agree to join the party. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a progressive who was elected four years ago with a lot of help from the pseudo-third-party Working Families Party, urged the state legislature to pass it….
(Harder to vote isn’t a principle of a free society, anywhere.)
David Frum sees The Problem With ‘Containing’ Donald Trump:
The United States is gripped by two interlocking constitutional crises: one spectacularly visible and noisy; the other unfolding more quietly. Senator Bob Corker’s Sunday remarks to The New York Times brought the quiet crisis into full public view….
Good news: The people containing the commander-in-chief have to a considerable extent succeeded. The United States has not launched a preemptive attack on North Korea, abandoned Estonia to the Russians, canceled NAFTA, or started a trade war with China—each and every one of those outcomes a seemingly live possibility if you heeded Trump’s own words.
Bad news: The national-security services are apparently coping with Donald Trump in ways that circumvent the president’s constitutional role as commander-in-chief. One example spotlights the ways Trump’s orders are shirked by his nominal subordinates. Trump tweeted in July that the “United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.” The actual policy set forth in executive orders in August will be very different: It leaves discretion to the secretary of defense to determine whether “military readiness” will be assisted or impaired by allowing transgender soldiers to continue their service….
Ben Collins, Gideon Resnick, and Spencer Ackerman report Russia Recruited YouTubers to Bash ‘Racist B*tch’ Hillary Clinton Over Rap Beats:
According to the YouTube page for “Williams and Kalvin,” the Clintons are “serial killers who are going to rape the whole nation.” Donald Trump can’t be racist because he’s a “businessman.” Hillary Clinton’s campaign was “fund[ed] by the Muslim.”
These are a sample of the videos put together by two black video bloggers calling themselves Williams and Kalvin Johnson, whose social media pages investigators say are part of the broad Russian campaign to influence American politics. Across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, they purported to offer “a word of truth” to African-American audiences.
“We, the black people, we stand in one unity. We stand in one to say that Hillary Clinton is not our candidate,” one of the men says in a November video that warned Clinton “is going to stand for the Muslim. We don’t stand for her.”
Williams and Kalvin’s content was pulled from Facebook in August after it was identified as a Russian government-backed propaganda account, The Daily Beast has confirmed with multiple sources familiar with the account and the reasons for its removal. Williams and Kalvin’s account was also suspended from Twitter in August. But the YouTube page for Williams and Kalvin remains live at press time [10.8.17]….
From a DJI Mavic Pro, it’s FRANCE SURF 2017: