Breaking Up Facebook Won’t Be Very Hard to Do

Robber Barons

Everybody’s mad at Facebook. It’s in the news everyday, lately with regard to Russians using it to meddle in our political processes.

We had come to rely on it as a trusted friend, a way to connect with old friends, to keep with children and grandchildren, to get the real skinny on the news. Instead it turned out to be a monstrous thief, stealing everything from our social contacts and our spending habits to our psyches (On the web, privacy in peril).

So, what exactly is this monster. Well, it was an easy to use means of putting interesting information on the web. about yourself, current affairs or just items of interest. In addition, you couldreach out to other people, some already connected to you and some you’d never met,   on the site.

I became reconnected to several old friends via Facebook.

Because of Facebook’s ease of use and social usefulness it grew exponentially, according to the company over a billion people use it.

As if its natural growth were not enough, Facebook acquired two other major social media sites, Instagram (100,000,000 users every month) and WhatsApp with 1,000,000,000 users, as well.

Does it sound as if Facebook may have significant impact on the dissemination of information? Could Facebook influence elections? Could it build or destroy reputations? Cause murders or suicides?

It has been “credited” with all those things.

Is Facebook out of control? If you sought a similar competitive social media site where would you look?

Nowhere! Facebook owns them all. It does what it wants to. There is no independent alternative!

Facebook is a true monopoly, one with ability to change the course of world affairs should be inclined to do so. Or anything else that strikes its principal’s fancy.

Meanwhile, it’s raking in cash at an astounding rate by selling advertising, overt and covert, liminal and subliminal.

This is an an entity – it’s hard to call it a business, there’s never been anything like it – that should bed broken up. At the very least, it should be compelled to divest itself of the competitors that it had gobbled up.

This should be done now. It will do the shareholders no harm. On the contrary it will be profitable for them. And it will relieve society of a manipulative stranglehold  that makes dictatorships look benign in comparison.

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Trump Trumps Kim Jong Un



President Trump faces down a dreadful, violent, unpredictable dictator with delusional aspirations of world domination and it goes unnoticed by a hysterical, malicious press in the face of an artificial crisis created by a mindless mob fighting over a symbol of a war lost long ago.

So, what are the actual headlines? Trump Fails to Condemn Nazis and KKK by Name. The president, through tough talk, diplomacy and a show of force, has forestalled a possible nuclear conflagration and the best the press can dredge up is the suggestion (or outright accusation) that he supports Nazis and “white supremacists.”

By the way, when I last checked, the white supremacists weren’t too crazy about Jared and Ivanka, which, I suppose, according to the press, leaves President Trump in a bit of a bind. It should be clear to even the most wet-behind-the ears tyro journalist, even of the “advocacy” persuasion, that President Trump in no way sympathizes with any form of bigotry.

I’m going leave the hair-splitting of the relative merits, or demerits, of the feces throwing antifas and the head bashing white supremacists to finer minds than mine. It is abundantly clear that the president sees through the fog of youth and ignorance that envelops both groups. The utter mindlessness of the demonstrators allows for a certain amount of immoral equivalency.

The essential issue is that President Trump has accomplished something that the Obama/Clinton administrations hadn’t the fortitude, will or ability to accomplish. He has made it clear to a belligerent, murderous regime that any antagonistic overtures will be met with firm diplomacy and he has left no doubt the United States will act decisively when circumstances demand it.

A more balanced and intelligent press would recognize this and empower the president rather than place obstacles in his path. There is plenty of room for criticism. The president certainly can work on being more thoughtful and deliberate in his statements as he said he was before calling out the Nazis and the KKK by name. Remember, it was President Obama who rushed to judgment in every potentially racially motivated incident leading to more lawlessness and violence.

President Trump has done a hell of a job considering the ruthless forces arrayed against him including the Clinton/Obama/Soros “resistance” and the WaPo/NYT/CNN axis of vitriol. Let’s be grateful that we have a president who understands the difference between right and wrong and conducts himself in the way that has engendered respect for the United States throughout our history.

Just to keep my personal record straight: I’m a survivor of the ‘60s. I was a friend of Abbie Hoffman (Google him,. I deplore and grieve over the deaths of innocents, from Heather Heyer to the millions of others who, throughout history died at the hands of and through the offices of maniacs and lunatics. I am neither a liberal or a conservative. I am an American doing my best to find the truth as I sort through the debris of events.

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Kenya: Iranians workers charged with planning terror attack on Israeli embassy — Behind The News

Two Iranian nationals were indicted on terrorism charges Thursday after they were arrested filming the Israeli embassy in Nairobi, Kenya with the alleged intention of attacking it. Sayed Nasrollah Ebrahimi, Abdolhosein Ghola Safafe, both employed at the Iranian embassy in Nairobi, and their Kenyan driver Moses Keyah Mmboga “were found taking video clips of the Israeli embassy […]

via Kenya: Iranians workers charged with planning terror attack on Israeli embassy — Behind The News

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He Walks with a Giant

Dink&BarryAbout 25 years ago David Dinkins may or may not have uttered the immortal words,Let them vent their rage. Whether he actually said this to his acting police commissioner or not, the effects of his inaction were the same: three dead, hundreds injured and millions of dollars in property damage.

The occasion was the infamous Crown Heights riot of 1991 when thousands of young (and not so young) African Americans rampaged through the Chasidic neighborhood unhindered by the local cops, who, much to their chagrin, were ordered to stand down.

I was in Crown Heights and saw this incredible piece of Americana unfolding. It is well documented (Wikipedia’s a good place to start). The mayor’s inaction is described in detail in the New York State-commissioned  Girgenti report that was produced some time after the riot.

Thus the giant.

Now, I know that Barack Obama has heard of David Dinkins and as a vaunted community organizer he surely has knowledge of the Crown Heights riot, which starred other notable community organizers like Al Sharpton, Sonny Carson and many more.

So, without minimizing the evidently unacceptably lethal policing of the past few days,  it was with disbelief that I heard the president say, while visiting Spain, after the sniper-slaughter of five American cops, “I don’t think that you can hold well-meaning activists who are doing the right thing and peacefully protesting responsible for everything that is uttered at a protest site,” he continued. “This week people felt hurt and angry and so some of this is just venting, but I think that the overwhelming majority of people who are involved in the Black Lives Matter movement – what they really want to see is a better relationship between the police and the community so they can feel that it’s serving them.”

What about the vast majority of well-meaning police who are trying to keep the peace despite assaults by snipers (more than one!), molotov cocktails, thrown rocks and just plain massive incivility on the part of “peaceful demonstrators (I encountered plenty of those in Crown Heights in 1991)?”

The president, himself, has been doing plenty of venting during the build-up to the present conflagration. His now predictable sprints to judgement have borne plenty of poisonous fruit and produced the divisiveness that grips the country.

When he speaks of venting he’s only drawing on a lesson of history in the skewed-left way that is the hallmark of his administration.

And if the country goes crazy-right in the next election, I guess he will blame Dave Dinkins.

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Hoppy, Come Home


It is well known that we, my wife and I, are crazy cat people (“what ‘we,’ kemosabe?” is murmured over my shoulder). 

Sticky details aside, the missus and I have assumed responsibility for the care and feeding of Hoppy, Emily, Willy, Dolly, Tiny, Cotton, Big Fluffy, Mr. Gimp, Chester, Blacky, Jumbo, a nameless wonder, Emily’s kittens and an itinerant raccoon. I have tried to include everybody and I trust that any cat that was omitted and is reading this will not feel slighted but will attribute the oversight to my faulty eyesight and failing memory. These impairments are, of course the natural result of consorting and trying to compete with creatures who can see a mouse at 500 feet in total darkness, but lack fully developed frontal lobes.

In fact, had early 20th century psychiatric practitioners paid any attention to the cats around  them, they would have known that the lobotomy is no cure for often aberrant, antisocial and immature behavior. Cats are already lobotomized and often act completely nuts

By the way, as you examine the names of the animals it becomes clear that the community is a kind of mafia and it’s easier to get in if your name ends in a “y.”

This cat community in constant flux – births, deaths, temper tantrums, resignations from the club and demands for fair treatment. The only constant is the open hostility of the neighbors. One complains of nightmares and another has just erected a 12 foot high “security fence.” The fence was erected with such speed and alacrity as would be the envy of the State of Israel or Texas and New Mexico.

If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a versatile support group to deal with a feline fellowship such as ours. You have your Walmarts to provide economical nutrition (we buy so much cat food the clerks suspect us of running an old age home), your regular, overpriced vets, and your 24 hour emergency, even more overpriced vets. Then you have your no-kill, non-profit pet adoption shelters (you know they are non-profit because of their massive fund-raising efforts) that absorb excess kittens for a nominal, voluntary donation in an amount not to exceed a month’s supply of cat food from Walmart. And you had better have what we used to describe as a Rolodex-full of no-kill, non-profit pet adoption shelters because they are always full and have eighteen month waiting lists.

All this is background for the good news: Hoppy, our most senior cat has returned after having been given up for… I can’t say it. His manner is subdued, as if he has seen more than he cares to relate. And his eyes, his eyes betray the coldness of one who has had to do unspeakable things in order to survive. The sight of this battle-scarred old veteran with his serrated ears after a four or five day disappearance brought tears to our eyes (yeah, “our” kemosabe). The deep emotion we felt as our house was filled again with the sound of his vaporous allergic sneezes was overwhelming. We stopped crying, however, when we found no fresh wounds that might require at trip to your 24 hour emergency, even more overpriced vet. Good old Hoppy, takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’.

And now the commercial: You, too, can be a crazy cat person! But, you must act fast! We have a limited number of Emily’s kittens that will be available for adoption very soon! The genders range from male to female and the colors from understated black to unobtrusive gray. Get on the waiting list NOW! Tomorrow you’ll have to wait for Dolly’s kittens.


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A Little Drivel about Drivel

Image Many years ago a guy I knew who wrote about garbage for a trade magazine devoted to that subject introduced me to an expression that described garbage offered up in the guise of writing – “written with the wrist.” That was in the late ’50s or early ’60s, about the same time that Truman Capote characterized Jack Kerouac’s work as “…not writing. That’s typing.”

Well, what would Truman say today? Most current novels are unreadable, the bulk of nonfiction is unresearched and more often than not concocted at the behest of somebody with an agenda. You want me to name names? Just pop over to Amazon and check out the boring “bests.”

But the book guys are not my target today, I’m really excited about the topical writers in the the big, national publications, both paper and digital. Give ’em a keyboard and they’re off and running. They hand their drivel to headline writers (the real stars of the periodical world) and they whip up something titillating about Chris Christy, Syria, Kim Jong-un, Flappy Birds, bit coins or any of hundreds of other same olds.

Today we have Peggy Noonan virtually regurgitating the Blair papers in the Wall Street Journal. A week ago Tom Friedman in the Times sang the same old anti-Israel song that he always sings, but with a new pro-Kerry refrain and bass line that went bds-bds-BDS-bds. As I write Bloomberg has posted a Jeffrey Goldberg piece on, gasp, “No Chance of Success with Iran. Here’s a sample Krauthammer headline in the Washington Post: “Obamacare’s War on Jobs.” And today the great David Brooks in the Times takes first prize blathering on about te prodigal son, trying to prove who knows what.

But, hey, you know what? I think we have the answer to last week’s burning question: “what do the traveling salesmen do for a living now?”

They write newspaper columns and blogs!

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Excuse the cheap shot – couldn’t resist

Excuse the cheap shot – couldn't resist

De Blasio being arrested  at protest against a hospital closing last year.

De Blasio Called Police Over Arrest Of Transition Team Member
Published on: February 11th, 2014 at 06:17 PM

New York – A member of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s inaugural committee and transition team was able skip a night in jail Monday evening after being arrested in a traffic stop when the mayor called a top official with the police.

As reported by The Wall Street Journal ( de Blasio endorser Bishop Orlando Findlayter helped attain de Blasio’s support in the African American community and was part of the mayor’s inaugural committee and transition team.

Bishop Findlayter was pulled over by two NYPD officers at 11:21 p.m. on the corner of Clarkson Avenue and East 92nd Street in Brooklyn Monday night. The officers stated the bishop did not use his turn signal when making a left turn. When the officer’s ran the bishop’s driver’s license two warrants appeared from missed court dates in January stemming from an arrest at an immigration reform protest in October.

The pastor of New Hope Christian Church in Queens was charged Monday night with aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle in the third degree and making an illegal left turn.

Typically, if a warrant is found during an arrest, suspects are held until being taken to court.

Emails from the mayor’s office were sent to the NYPD Tuesday morning. De Blasio also called Deputy Chief Royster to ask about the arrest. Chief Royster said he did not ask for the bishop’s release.

De Blasio spokesman Phil Walzak stated that the call was to get “clarification” that there had been an arrest.

NYPD spokesman Stephen Davis said the commanding officer of 67th precinct where the bishop was taken, Deputy Inspector Kenneth Lehr, personally reviewed the arrest. As court was closing at 1 a.m., Tuesday morning, Deputy Inspector Lehr decided to let the bishop go home for the night with the stipulation that the bishop would return to court the next day.

Bishop Findlayter did not appear in court on Tuesday according to court officials.

You can view this article online at
Copyright © 1999 – 2014 – All rights reserved.

FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL in an article about this case today:

John Jay College professor Eugene O’Donnell, a former NYPD officer and prosecutor, said he wasn’t “aware of any patrol guide provision that would allow” Deputy Inspector Lehr to release anyone wanted on a bench warrant. “Every day people get dragged through the system for technical reasons and spend time in jail, but that’s the system we live in,” he said.



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