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Facebook targets Free Brazil Movement

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Facebook targets Free Brazil Movement

Perhaps you’ve seen PragerU’s video on Brazil’s experience with socialism. The key points of the course are how Brazil’s socialist policies indebted the country, undermined the economy, and enriched the elite class of politicians and their cronies. In response, many Brazilians, particularly younger Brazilians, created a movement called Movimento Brazil Livre or MBL. In English, it translates as the Free Brazil Movement.

The movement is not without scrutiny and a familiar line of attacks that those on the American right are used to. They are accused of spreading fake news, being promoted by a foreign entity, and being a threat to democracy. Evidently this behavior is par for the course in any country dealing with an outbreak of socialism. Facebook, an American company has long been accused, and found guilty, of showing favoritism towards leftwing organizations and politicians. In their efforts to combat fake news, they targeted the Babylon Bee, a Christian satire website. This was the result of Facebook consulting leftist factcheckers including Snopes, the specific one the led to the downgrading of the Babylon Bee‘s content. Facebook, in essence has created a system where factcheckers have unchecked power. As Kalev Leetaru of Real Clear Politics explains:

In its fight against “fake news,” Facebook has elevated nearly three dozen of the world’s fact-checking websites to be the ultimate arbitrators of what constitutes “truth” online. In the past, when fact checkers made mistakes, there was little consequence to their errors – one could choose to simply ignore those fact checkers that strayed too far from evidence-based verification. In the Facebook era, however, those fact checkers now have the ability to banish any statement or evidence they believe to be false and even to effectively blacklist outlets they disagree with.

Facebook has applied the same arbitrary system in Brazil and the same type of right-wing anti-mainstream media movement was disproportionately targeted. The Free Brazil Movement fell prey when nearly 200 pages and 87 accounts were deactivated for their role in “fake news.” The Free Brazil Movement confirmed with Reuters that several of its organizers were affected. The political organization has a long ways to go to reach political power. However MBL is well organized. The group was largely responsible for demonstrations that brought down President Dilma Rousseff. Libertarian outlet, Reason released a documentary on the the success of the Free Brazil Movement in 2016 at the start of the summer Olympics. The groups success in bringing down the controversial Dilma Rousseff has put the libertarian movement under greater public scrutiny. It’s worth noting that leading up to and after the vote, Dilma Rousseff called her impeachment sexist, a narrative leftist outlets supported.

Following the ousting of Rousseff, the Free Brazil Movement has a long uphill battle in changing the political landscape in Brazil. The organization has a savvy social media presence which Facebook delivered a blow to. The organization has taken to twitter to raise awareness and generate a public outcry aimed at Facebook and the bias media. Still the ability for the organization to spread information is undoubtedly undermined for its future ambitions. But the prospects, long term, are brighter as the country’s youth are more receptive to capitalism than their predecessors.

 

Foreign Affairs

Pulling out of the INF treaty isn’t just about Russia

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Pulling out of the INF treaty has very little to do with Russia

Russia has broken the treaty already, according to this administration as well as its predecessor. That’s enough to prompt President Trump to put out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, famously signed by President Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev in 1987.

President Trump to pull US from Russia missile treaty

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-45930206The US will withdraw from a landmark nuclear weapons treaty with Russia, President Donald Trump has confirmed.

Speaking to reporters, Mr Trump said Russia had “violated” the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.

The deal banned ground-launched medium-range missiles, with a range of between 500 and 5,500km (310-3,400 miles).

My Take

This isn’t about Russia. Their actions are the excuse for pulling out, but the reason for doing so is because China has no such restrictions. They’re advancements in weaponry have prompted the United States and our allies to explore means of warfare that have been prohibited.

Until now.

This is a counter to China’s continued aggressive actions. Russia will keep doing what Presidents Obama and Trump already acknowledged. No we can step up our missile program as well.

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Jim Renacci pulls from leftist playbook, releases anonymous accusation against Sherrod Brown

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Jim Renacci pulls from leftist playbook releases anonymous accusation against Sherrod Brown

Dear Republicans: Don’t do this. Don’t do what leftists do. We cannot call them out for pushing uncorroborated sexual misconduct allegations when we’re pushing uncorroborated sexual misconduct allegations.

The bad news is, that’s what’s happening with Jim Renacci as he fights an uphill battle against Sherrod Brown:

Jim Renacci issues statement from lawyer describing unsubstantiated allegations from unnamed woman against Sherrod Brown

https://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2018/10/jim_renacci_issues_anonymous_s.htmlThe release includes a lengthy statement from Laura Mills, a Canton attorney and former Renacci business partner and political donor. In the statement, Mills says the woman told her friend about the encounter as the MeToo movement unfolded. It occurred while the woman was alone with Brown, who was divorced at the time, through her work, Mills said. The friend then contacted the Renacci campaign, which referred the woman to Mills, the statement says.

The statement does not provide a date, a location, supporting evidence or identify the woman, but describes her as “a very credible source and a professional woman.” It comes a day after Renacci told reporters and editors with the Cincinnati Enquirer that he’d heard from “multiple women” with abuse allegations against Brown, while providing no additional details or supporting evidence.

The worse news is that many on the political right are cheering him on. Here’s one from Conservative Review:

Sexual assault claims against Dem Sen. Sherrod Brown put his post-Kavanaugh hypocrisy on display

https://www.conservativereview.com/news/sexual-assault-claims-against-dem-sen-sherrod-brown-put-his-post-kavanaugh-hypocrisy-on-display/It’s amazing how putting a shoe on the other foot can change a man.

Let’s take Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, as an example. He’s running for re-election in a state President Trump won in 2016. The campaign of his GOP opponent, Jim Renacci, claims that he’s recently been accused of sexual misconduct by an unnamed woman.

Now let’s take a look at how this has changed Brown’s reactions to uncorroborated allegations of sexual misconduct.

Here’s another from HotAir:

Uh oh: Woman claims “unwanted” sexual advance by Senate Dem in “late 1980s”

https://hotair.com/archives/2018/10/19/uh-oh-woman-claims-unwanted-sexual-advance-senate-dem-late-1980s/Quite frankly, I prefer the old rules. They not only did a better job of getting to the truth, they discouraged last-minute smear attacks rather than incentivizing them. I’m happy to apply the old rules to Sherrod Brown in this case as well — and to argue that Brown has disqualified himself for office by abandoning due process and fair play.

I suspect that Brown won’t be the last Democrat to get torched by the fire they set to those values in attempting to intimidate Kavanaugh into withdrawing. But I will welcome the strange new respect we get for due process out of it and the end to the neo-McCarthyism that they have immeasurably boosted. We warned them about the Kavanaughnsequences.

To be fair, both Ed Morrissey and Nate Madden posted their stories to highlight the hypocrisy of this new sensibility towards sexual misconduct accusation. If it weren’t for the treatment Brett Kavanaugh received, neither respected conservative writer would have touched this story. They did so more to speak out against the mess the left has created and not to add credibility to the accusation.

Nevertheless, we’re stuck in a societal state that feels obligated to go after the opposing side regardless of how credible an allegation is. It’s a partisan, divided world we live in now and the sexual misconduct game has made the situation even worse.

Sherrod Brown is an awful Senator. He deserves to lose, but chances of that are slim. If he were to lose because of these anonymous allegations, then our arguments for confirming Kavanaugh are moot.

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Foreign Affairs

First charge filed against Russian for interfering with elections

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First charge filed against Russian for interfering with elections

Elena Alekseevna Khusyaynova is allegedly part of Project Lakhta, a Russian operation intended to sow political division ahead of the midterm elections as well as other elections around the world. She has been charged by the Justice Department for interfering with the United States political system.

Here is the press release from the DOJ:

Russian National Charged with Interfering in U.S. Political System

https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/pr/russian-national-charged-interfering-us-political-system“The strategic goal of this alleged conspiracy, which continues to this day, is to sow discord in the U.S. political system and to undermine faith in our democratic institutions,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “This case demonstrates that federal law enforcement authorities will work aggressively to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of unlawful foreign influence activities whenever feasible, and that we will not stand by idly while foreign actors obstruct the lawful functions of our government. I want to thank the agents and prosecutors for their determined work on this case.”

According to allegations in the criminal complaint, Elena Alekseevna Khusyaynova, 44, of St. Petersburg, Russia, served as the chief accountant of “Project Lakhta,” a Russian umbrella effort funded by Russian oligarch Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin and two companies he controls, Concord Management and Consulting LLC, and Concord Catering. Project Lakhta includes multiple components, some involving domestic audiences within the Russian Federation and others targeting foreign audiences in the United States, members of the European Union, and Ukraine, among others.

My Take

This story will be spun from its surface assertion of Russian interference helping President Trump and other Republicans win in 2016. That assertion is inaccurate as the DOJ release indicates, but it won’t stop mainstream and leftist media from calling this the smoking gun against Trump’s presidency.

What this project allegedly did was push forth divisive messaging that was intended to affect people on both sides of the political aisle. This is important to understand because it wasn’t intended to drive one candidate or another. It was designed to take whatever political position any given person has and amplify their anger towards the opposing side.

Russia knows if they push the far right further to the right and the far left further to the left, our own anger will fuel the division. They are taken advantage of our freedom.

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