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An effective way to oppose Bilderberg in less than five minutes - 05/29/14

There are plenty of hard and/or ineffective ways to oppose the Bilderberg conference. Instead, I'll describe something you can do in less than five minutes that - if enough people joined in - would have a measurable impact.

The goal of this approach is to make Bilderberg toxic to some degree. That is, leaders wouldn't want to be caught attending one of their meetings. Wouldn't that go a long way towards reducing Bilderberg influence?

Center for American Progress corporate funders and immigration - 12/14/13

The leftwing Center for American Progress has released a list of their corporate funders for 2013 [1]. Several of the funders have a financial interest in higher immigration and in comprehensive immigration reform.

Google News isn't credible; see how they mislead on immigration - 07/08/13

At least on immigration, Google News suffers from an intentional case of GIGO: Garbage In, Garbage Out.

When you go to Google News and search for immigration stories, the search results tend to be full of misleading stories designed to promote comprehensive immigration reform ("amnesty"), illegal immigration, or massive immigration. Google is not taking steps to improve those search results.

Obama asked about H-1B, made to look foolish (plus: GOP's disingenuous response) - 01/31/12

At yesterday's "Google+" web chat with Barack Obama, the wife of an unemployed semiconductor engineer embarrassed him over H1B visas for foreign workers. To a certain small extent, this is a vindication of the Question Authority plan I've been promoting for over five years.

AskObama: did Steve Grove choose an unpopular immigration question because of Voto Latino? - 01/28/11

Yesterday, Steve Grove of Youtube interviewed Barack Obama with a series of questions that users had submitted through the "Ask Obama" event. The Youtube interview was a scam; see that link for the details and the backstory.

To further drive home just how much of a scam it was, Grove appears to have undercut the implied rules of the competition by choosing an unpopular video as the only question about immigration. However, that video just happens to have been uploaded by an organization that's partnered with Youtube.

According to the implied rules of the competition, Youtube visitors would vote on the most popular questions, and then Youtube would select from those top-voted questions the ones they were going to ask.

Yet, the video they selected only has 17 up votes and 10 down votes, and not only is it very difficult to find, but its popularity is swamped by dozens of other questions [1]. One wonders how Grove picked that particular video out of such a crowded field.

Perhaps a clue comes from the fact that the uploader [2] was Voto Latino, a Washington DC-based organization started by the actress Rosario Dawson. On their Youtube home page (youtube.com/user/votolatino) they include this:

Volunteers called thousands of voters and documented their experiences at the polls through our YouTube partnership Video Your Vote.

And, Grove today references this odd coincidence, retweeting this from VotoLatino:

RT @votolatino We helped get this video up & the President watched it. Thx Mario Lopez & Steve Li: http://fb.me/T7i8fqtj & @grove!
twitter dot com/grove/status/30945241347391488

The link in that tweet leads to this Facebook page containing a screengrab of the video as shown during the AskObama event and a repeat of their claim.

A screengrab of the video in a search for "ice" is attached, as is the video in question. See the first post for the full video.

Please contact @Grove and ask him to explain this odd coincidental discovery of his.

-------------
[1] For instance, I clicked "Next" countless times trying to find it at youtube.com/worldview after choosing "Video questions" and "Sorted by popularity". I gave up, and then searched for phrases I thought would be in the description. The only way I found it was through a search for "ice" (as in Immigrations and Customs Enforcement), and even then I had to click several times. In fact, it's only the 35th video shown for a search for "ice". There are 929 questions in a search for "dream act", and it's not in the first 100. And, there are dozens upon dozens of more popular questions - a few with videos - in the immigration category. The top five questions in the immigration category have between 1723 and 1899 up votes.

[2] Currently, the video is in the "SteveProd" account, but in Google Moderator (see the screengrab), the video is clearly marked as coming from "votolatino, Washington, D.C." and the small icon with the check mark is votolatino's logo. The "SteveProd" account just has that one video; it probably had other videos since the channel has lists total upload views of 44,574 and the only video in the account just has 386 views.

Another Youtube/Obama scam: ask State of the Union questions - 01/26/11

[UPDATE: Make sure and see this too]

Youtube and Barack Obama are conducting yet another scam, soliciting questions for Obama based on the State of the Union that he'll answer on Thursday, January 27. Other users vote up or down submitted questions, and then Obama will answer the top vote-getters.

The questions that get the most votes will invariably not be the best questions, the ones that Obama should be pressed on. In fact, they're likely to be some of the weakest questions of all. Obama and all other politicians should be "cross-examined" over their policies, and this latest scam will not even come close.

How systems like this are scams has already been discussed over and over with several examples involving Obama, Youtube, and others on the popular voting systems and Youtube corporate pages. If you don't agree that such systems are scams, see those pages and the past examples.

I submitted the following three questions to their immigration category; I'm not even going to bother suggesting voting them up because I know they'll never get enough of a vote differential between up and down.

For instance, at post time, six people like the DREAM Act question but five don't. The question is perfectly valid, very important, and needs to be asked. Yet, five people don't want it to be asked despite how valid it is. Under my plan (see the popular voting systems page), that wouldn't happen: known quantities who participated would be voting on how tough a question is, and if they unjustifiably voted a very tough question down they could be held publicly accountable.

Here are the questions; you might be able to find them through a search or here:

The Fed is profiting from money that illegal aliens send home to Mexico through their Directo a Mexico program ( http://24ahead.com/n/5978 ). Do you agree that a federal entity seeking to profit from illegally-earned money is a sign of corruption?

Do you agree that both college slots and college funding are finite? Do you agree that any college slots/funding given to illegal aliens under the DREAM Act will deprive some U.S. citizens of college? (attached video: youtube.com/watch?v=WZkvEmSy1vk)

Due to massive legal & illegal immigration, do you admit that the Mexican gov't has political power inside the U.S.? Do you agree that foreign countries shouldn't have political power inside the U.S.? What do you intend to do about it?

1/27/11 UPDATE 1: As yet another example of how Google Moderator (the software used in this case) and popular voting systems in general don't work, with voting closed the top 80 or so questions are all about pot. Those voting up the questions didn't abuse the system, they followed the rules of the system. And, the system revealed its flaws.

As for my questions, they have up/down votes of 9/6, 6/5, and 4/4 respectively. Meanwhile, this has 3152/282:

Mr. President, what is your stance on Net Neutrality? What do you intend to do to keep the internet free from censorship?

Obama's stance on Net Neutrality has been known for years and years and the FCC has taken steps in that area. A question that was going to do a public service would ask Obama a specific question about what his FCC has done in that specific area, based on a full knowledge of what they've said and done. Instead, questions like that just allow politicians to give stock speeches they've given many times before.

And, MoveOn voted up a similarly weak question about Net Neutrality in 2007 in a similar sham.

1/27/11 UPDATE 2: The event went exactly as expected: it was a complete sham. Steve Grove asked a series of weak questions, including some that were even weaker than "boxers or briefs?" And, Youtube managed to get in various plugs for their service, occasionally using the president of the U.S. as little more than a prop to promote a commercial company.

Video is attached, and at 33:00 you'll see Obama answer the only immigration question, about the anti-American DREAM Act. Instead of calling Obama on the downsides of that bill, Grove simply introduced a video of an apparent illegal alien and asked Obama when the bill might pass. (And, didn't call Obama on his use of nation of immigrants).

Personal anecdotes about the DREAM Act are not at all difficult to find (see dozens on the PIIPP page), but a debate about the downsides is very difficult to find. There are two or more sides to every story, yet all Youtube could do is present one side without acknowledging the viewpoint of another side.

1/28/11 UPDATE: I fixed the bad year (10) in the updates above. More importantly, the DREAM Act question that Grove chose is unpopular, but just happens to be from an organization that's partnered with Youtube in the past. See the link for the details.

Google Moderator finds its level: choosing questions for a puppet - 09/25/10

One of the main goals of this site is to hold politicians accountable. Google Moderator and similar systems go in the opposite direction: they've let a long series of politicians off the hook and in most cases they've even made it easier for politicians to mislead.

How to use Google Moderator at Youtube: very carefully - 05/28/10

Youtube now lets video uploaders create Google Moderator polls attached to their videos; Moderator lets users submit questions (or comments) and other users can vote up or down those user-submitted questions. In the past, Google Moderator and similar systems have been used by politicians to avoid being asked tough questions, and those who take advantage of this new capability need to make sure to only use it for situations where it's appropriate.

CNN, Google global warming propaganda show how untrustworthy they are (COP15 video contest) - 12/14/09

Google is going all out to present a one-sided view of global warming, not even acknowledging that some might disagree. On www.google.com at post time there's a prominent link called "Explore impact of climate change on Google Earth"; clicking the link brings you to google.com/landing/cop15:

Explore the potential impacts of climate change on our planet Earth and learn about solutions for adaptation and mitigation, in the context of the United Nation's Climate Conference (COP15) in Copenhagen. With Google Earth you can view climate change scenarios, interact with narrated tours, investigate deforestation, and even dive into the depths of the oceans.

On the left side of the page is a sidebar linking to 14 videos; the first features Al Gore and all the others are along the same lines, including the ones featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ted Danson (apparently he's now a climatologist). Below the video section they promote projections of the IPCC, link to an editorial from the Guardian UK that appeared in 50 newspapers, promote their google.org (which is "helping to build a clean energy future"), and ask their visitors to "Show your vote for a fair and effective deal in Copenhagen".

This is propaganda in its rawest form, and about the only contrary voices to be found are some in the associated Youtube video contest with user-generated questions. Those take the form of both text and video, and will be used in a CNN "debate". For those sources' commitment to an open debate, see this, this, this, and this among many others.

Google Sidewiki: mostly worthless for showing how political sites are lying or misleading - 09/23/09

Google has launched a new service called "Sidewiki" (link) that's a bit of a universal commenting system. If you have their toolbar installed, you'll see comments that others have left about the current webpage; see screengrabs at the link.

And, because the comments are ranked from "best" to "worst", this will simply reinforce the status quo at most sites in most cases. In other words, it won't help those like me who try to point out how MSM articles are lying or misleading. For instance, most visitors to the DailyKos will agree with their point of view. They'll vote down comments that point out how a specific post is misleading, and vote up comments that reinforce the article. Likewise with visitors to RedState or other partisan sites. The same goes to a lesser degree for MSM sites.

Only in specific cases - such as with a very popular article that's the focus of one group - will contrary information rise to the top. And, of course, since most people who are online and who are willing to engage in online activism are on the "liberal" side, they'll stand a better chance of getting their comments to the top.

But, wait, it's going to get even worse. Here's what Google says about their ranking system:

Using multiple signals based on the quality of the entry, what we know about the author, and user-contributed signals such as voting and flagging, we work hard to ensure that only the highest quality, most relevant entries appear in the sidebar. Most of the engineering work for Sidewiki was dedicated to this ranking algorithm.

What that means is that those who post contrary information - no matter how accurate and useful - will - after all their comments are voted down by partisan hacks - get a low overall ranking and will probably end up at the bottom of every list if they even show up at all. That's not exactly smart, unless that's how it was designed to work.

See popular voting systems for previous examples, including those involving Google and Youtube.

Matt Richtel /NYT helps Google, Silicon Valley promote H-1B visas - 04/11/09

Matt Richtel of the New York Times offers "A Google Whiz Searches for His Place on Earth" (link), part of that paper's "Remade in America: A series about the newest immigrants and their impact on American institutions". It's a true multimedia edutainment spectacular including audio, a slideshow, and even interactive features.

And, as it happens, our ticky-tack laws and ticky-tack native-borns are getting in the way of what the NYT, Google, and Silicon Valley want. The article's poster immigrant works for Google out of their Toronto office because, while he can get a work visa, his wife cannot. Ricktel uses the trick of allowing him to say what the NYT would like to say:

"Every American I’ve talked to says: ‘Dude, it’s ridiculous that we’re not doing everything we can to keep you in the country. We need people like you!’ ...The people of America get it... And in a matter of time, I think current lawmakers are going to realize how dumb they’re being."

Most of the rest of the four screens are like that, with about seven paragraphs on the final screen given over to the American side of things presented by a representative of the Programmer's Guild and a brief discussion of congressional opposition to increased numbers of visas.

The rest is an ad, including this hilarious/sad bit:

But back in late 2006, maps produced by the service were taking too long to download and appear on phones... Enter Mr. Mavinkurve, who floated an alternative: cut the number of colors in each map section to 20 or 40 from around 256. The user would not see the difference, but the load times would be reduced 20 percent... Mr. Mavinkurve used a rare combination of creativity, analysis, engineering and an understanding of graphics to find a solution that had eluded the rest of the team, said Mark Crady, a manager in the maps group.

Assuming it's described correctly, that is in no way a breakthrough but simply one optimization technique that would occur as a possibility to virtually any experienced programmer. If that and similar are all there is, someone's not exactly being honest.

Obama "Director of Citizen Participation" is from Google (Katie Jacobs Stanton) - 01/29/09

Per this, Barack Obama has named former Google product manager Katie Jacobs Stanton to be his "Director of Citizen Participation".

Youtube/Pulitzer makes worthless illegal immigration supporting video finalist - 11/19/08

For the backstory, see Shock: Youtube/Pulitzer contest has pro-illegal immigration puff piece as finalist. That same worthless, illegal immigration-supporting video (link) is now one of the five finalists in the Pulitzer competition and is #20 on Youtube's Featured list. Either because of that or because of creative counting, its views have jumped from around 700 a couple days ago to over 60,000 currently.

Obama, McCain, Clinton at LULAC convention (illegal immigration supporters; reconquista quote) - 07/07/08

Barack Obama, John McCain, and even Hillary Clinton will all be speaking at this year's convention of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), an illegal immigration-supporting group that was once patriotic but has since been radicalized. As shown by the attendees discussed below, the convention will be a nexus of those who do not support what's in the best interests of the U.S. For example, here's a 2007 quote from their national treasurer Jaime Martinez, who'll also be appearing at one of their workshops:

Steve Grove/Youtube still promoting 9500 Liberty's pro-illegal immigration propaganda - 04/25/08

Filmmakers Eric Byler, Annabel Park, and Jeff Man run "9500Liberty", a pro-illegal immigration online documentary project discussing issues in northern Virginia (youtube.com/user/9500Liberty). In the past they've resorted to re-re-re-repurposing supposedly controversial comments from an older white gentleman in an attempt to racially demagogue the issue, but now they're back with a new video called "IMMIGRATION Crackdown HURTS Our Economy" (link) featuring the thoughts of supposed professor of Public Policy at George Mason University, Stephen Fuller.

Like their other efforts, the video is being promoted by Youtube for an unknown reason. I'm going to assume that they haven't paid Youtube for the promotion and the latter company is doing it for free for one reason or other, possibly even related to their corporate goals of increasing skilled immigration (Laszlo Bock; link). And, I'm going to assume that their hack political editor, Steve Grove, is at least partly responsible for the promotion. I don't think that's an unfair assumption, considering Grove posts like this:

One of the most poignant examples we've seen of the immigration debate on YouTube has come from 9500Liberty, a channel started by Eric Byler to highlight the immigration battle taking place in Prince William County, Virginia. 9500 Liberty is the address of an intersection where immigration protests became heated after local policy makers debated an ordinance denying certain rights to local immigrants.

Those "immigrants" are actually illegal aliens, and the ordinance involved trying not to give them rights to which they aren't entitled. The quote above follows Grove using the intentionally misleading euphemism "undocumented workers".

Related:
We're all going to regret giving Youtube so many links (note that I put nofollow tags on the Youtube links above)

Google: jabs at Lou Dobbs; testifies for more H-1B - 06/06/07

A few days ago, Google's entertainment channel (?) at current.tv had an episode with a lightweight mocking (in both senses) of Lou Dobbs: current.tv/pods/google/GC03275 . This was contemporaneous with the David Leonhardt smear.