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Posted May 8, 2018:
A new "Unsilent Truth" column by Ronn Neff.


Posted May 13, 2018.

David T. Wright: We predict you'll probably be offended. According to Sidney Fussell in Gizmodo, "The LAPD Uses Palantir Tech to Predict and Surveil 'Probable Offenders'" (May 8, 2018). Fussell writes:

Analysts with the Los Angeles Police Department are reportedly using Palantir software to direct officers to surveil "probable offenders" throughout the city, many of whom are not criminal suspects but have been spotlighted by the company's predictive technology, according to LAPD documents.
Palantir is a company that builds personal dossiers on people by vacuuming up every possible bit of information available on the Net. That's scary enough, but here's the kicker:
As the report notes, a feedback loop emerges: the LAPD targets those with high scores for increased surveillance, but each stop by police further increases their score. Troublingly, analysts are directed to create a minimum of 12 Chronic Offender Bulletins, with five to 10 "back ups" to be switched in as people are arrested. To be removed from the list, an individual has to go two years without contact — a near impossibility if officers are being compelled to make constant contact with them. The LAPD tracks the number of high scoring "offenders" arrested, and officers are expected to report on COB arrests at weekly meetings, In Justice Today found.
That's a little like our credit rating systems, under which your rating takes a hit every time it's queried by a lender. And that reminds me of the "social credit rating" system being used in China. Under that system, minor social infractions, such as saying the wrong thing or dressing improperly, can affect your rating. If you get sideways, it can become a feedback loop, also, as your lower rating affects your ability to get employment and otherwise function in society.

LAPD methods often spread to the rest of the "law enforcement community." It was they who pioneered many of the methods modern cops use to "protect themselves" from us, including shooting first and asking questions later. So it's very possible that this surveillance system is coming to your neighborhood, too. And is it such a leap to imagine it mutating into surveillance not just of conventional criminal types, but of thought criminals as well? Ω

Posted May 8, 2018.

David T. Wright: Well, this is an interesting gambit. Pity poor Robert Mueller. The dutiful hatchet man charged by his fellow ruling-class elites with bringing down the usurper Trump is finding it rough going. After a year and a half, Mueller and his team of vicious anti-Trump lawyers have been unable to come up with any actual evidence of collusion between the hated false Emperor and the evil Designated Hitler, Vladimir Putin. And that was supposedly the whole purpose of his seemingly ill-fated enterprise.

For instance, the story was that the Russians hacked into the Democratic Party's computer servers and publicized embarrassing information regarding the Party's unethical suppression of Bernie Sander's nomination bid. But new evidence now indicates that it was an insider who downloaded the documents onto a thumb drive.

So, to muddy the waters and make it look as if his investigation were going somewhere, he indicted 13 members of a Russian click-bait farm that posted some fake messages and ads on social media sites such as Facebook. In the indictment he charged that the hired internet trolls were actively interfering in the 2016 election and working to defeat Hillary Clinton's campaign for Emperor.

Apparently, however, the indictment is pretty thin gruel legally, and would face problems if challenged in court. For example, the trolls didn't just post anti-Hillary messages. They also went after Trump, as well as posting messages that didn't address the campaign at all, but stirred the pot with issues such as race and religion. And in fact, much of their activity occurred after the election. A friend of mine with knowledge about such things tells me that she thinks the whole effort was an attempt to make money by provoking people to click on pages with advertisements. In any case, the entire effort cost only a few hundred thousand dollars, if that, and may have reached a few thousand people at most. In a campaign in which billions were spent, that's a pretty tiny drop in the bucket.

But Mueller had two things going for him.

1) He could depend on the hysterical support of Democrat (and some Republican) politicians and the Ministry of Truth. For instance, Congresshumanoid Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) proclaimed that the indictment was "absolute proof" that the Russians "attacked" the United State, and that it was the "equivalent" to Pearl Harbor.

2) Mueller brought the indictment calculating that the Russians named therein would stay safely in Russia. After all, there's no way they could be extradited, and what would they have to gain by trying to defend themselves anyway? So the indictment would be moot in any material sense and prevent any necessity of defending it. It could just remain in legal limbo, giving off a stench and adding to the bad publicity being piled on Trump.

Except that now a couple of lawyers have popped up claiming to represent the indicted trolls, who, according to the lawyers, want to defend themselves against the indictment! The only reasonable explanation is that the Russians know that the case is fatally weak. They are demanding discovery, which could make the whole case blow up in Mueller's face when they expose that weakness.

The one thing that Mueller apparently left out of his calculations was the fact that Russians are really big on the game of chess. That game teaches one to carefully consider all available options and their possible consequences, to think ahead, and to fight carefully, but boldly. We've seen one manifestation of this in Russia's outmaneuvering of the U.S. in Syria, though Russia has far fewer resources than the United State. Another is the way that the Russian military has developed an array of weapons that allow a country with a GDP a tenth the size of that of the United State to credibly deter U.S. aggression.

Meanwhile, the U.S. style of confrontation is to roar, bluster, and imitate a bull in a china shop.

This may be very entertaining, indeed. Ω

What do you think?
"Stop and think" archive.

TLD is a forum of opinion, edited by hard-core market anarchists, that does not flinch from any of the most pressing issues of our time. We are especially interested in questions of culture and ethnicity, our Polite Totalitarian ruling class, and the homicidal humanitarianism of the U.S. Empire.

Our writers include anarcho-pessimists, Old Believers in the West, unreconstructed Confederates, neo-Objectivists, and other enemies of the permanent regime. We are conscientiously indifferent to considerations of thoughtcrime. Thus, from individualist and Euro-American perspectives, we confront the end of civilization — and do our level best to name its destroyers. (More about who we are.)

— Nicholas Strakon, editor-in-chief
Ronald N. Neff, senior editor

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"If this government cared about ideas, it would crack down on The Last Ditch. It could be called The Joy of Thinking."

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Permanently recommended readings

"What Is Austrian Economics?" (Mises Institute)
"I, Pencil," by Leonard E. Read (Liberty Fund;
scroll down for text)
"The Epistemological Basis of Anarchism,"
by Roy A. Childs, Jr. (TLD)
"Polite totalitarianism," by Ronald N. Neff (TLD)

Published in 2018 by WTM Enterprises, P.O. Box 224, Roanoke, IN 46783-0224.

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