Tuesday, April 11, 2017


Russia slaps Facebook with ‘Google Tax’ Facebook are anti democracy & Globalist Fascist Putin should kick them out

I would agree with that.

And Susan Faludi had a great piece awhile back, let me look it up, about FACEBOOK using the work of others.

Here it is, at THE BAFFLER:

In the postindustrial economy, feminism has been retooled as a vehicle for expression of the self, a “self” as marketable consumer object, valued by how many times it’s been bought—or, in our electronic age, how many times it’s been clicked on. “Images of a certain kind of successful woman proliferate,” British philosopher Nina Power observed of contemporary faux-feminism in her 2009 book, One-Dimensional Woman. “The city worker in heels, the flexible agency employee, the hard-working hedonist who can afford to spend her income on vibrators and wine—and would have us believe that—yes—capitalism is a girl’s best friend.”
In the 1920s, male capitalists invoked feminism to advance their brands of corporate products. Nearly a century later, female marketers are invoking capitalism to advance their corporate brand of feminism. Sandberg’s “Lean In Community” is Exhibit A. What is she selling, after all, if not the product of the company she works for? Every time a woman signs up for Lean In, she’s made another conquest for Facebook. Facebook conquers women in more than one way. Nearly 60 percent of the people who do the daily labor on Facebook—maintaining their pages, posting their images, tagging their friends, driving the traffic—are female, and, unlike the old days of industrial textile manufacturing, they don’t even have to be paid or housed. “Facebook benefits every time a woman uploads her picture,” Kate Losse, a former employee of Facebook and author of The Boy Kings, a keenly observed memoir of her time there, pointed out to me. “And what is she getting? Nothing, except a constant flow of ‘likes.’”
When Losse came to Facebook in 2005, she was only the second woman hired in a company that then had fifty employees. Her job was to answer user-support emails. Low-wage customer support work would soon become Facebook’s pink ghetto. Losse recalled the decor that adorned the company walls in those years: drawings of “stylized women with large breasts bursting from small tops.” On Mark Zuckerberg’s birthday, the women at the company were instructed to wear T-shirts displaying his photo, like groupies.
“It was like Mad Men,” she wrote of the office environment in Boy Kings, “but real and happening in the current moment, as if in repudiation of fifty years of social progress.” A few years into her tenure, Losse was promoted to oversee the translation of Facebook’s site into other languages. The promotion didn’t come with an increase in pay. When Losse, like the woman in Sandberg’s anecdote, asked for a raise, she was refused. “You’ve already doubled your salary in a year,” her manager told her, “and it wouldn’t be fair to the engineers who haven’t had that raise”—the engineers (virtually all male) who were already at the top of the pay scale, unlike her. Her final job at Facebook was to serve as Mark Zuckerberg’s personal “writer and researcher.” The job, or rather “the role,” as Zuckerberg called it, required her to write “his” blog entries on Facebook and post “his” updates to the Zuckerberg fan page.
Losse quit in 2010 to become a writer—of her own words, not her boss’s. Earlier this year, she wrote a thought-provoking piece about Lean In for Dissent, “Feminism’s Tipping Point: Who Wins from Leaning In?” The winners, she noted, are not the women in tech, who “are much more likely to be hired in support functions where they are paid a bare minimum, given tiny equity grants compared to engineers and executives, and given raises on the order of fifty cents an hour rather than thousands of dollars.” These are the fast-growth jobs for women in high technology, just as Menlo Park’s postindustrial campuses are the modern equivalent of the Lowell company town. 

Remember that the next time you're on FACEBOOK.

Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Tuesday, April 11, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, The Mosul Slog continues, Iraq is among the countries with the highest number of executions in 2016, and much more.

Brookings and the Lawfare Institute publish a piece by Paul Salem and Randa Slim which opens:

The United States has played a leading role in fighting the Islamic State, but now it must prepare for the fights that will take place at negotiating tables and reconciliation conferences. Iraqis recognize that the coming months will be difficult. In a recent visit to Iraq, our interlocutors from various political stripes emphasized the enormity of the challenges facing the country after the expected expulsion of the Islamic State from Mosul. If we are not to make the same mistake of winning the war and again losing the peace, the Trump administration should look beyond the focus on the current battle and develop a layered and sustainable strategy to help Iraq move toward stability. While this strategy will include military and aid components, it will need to have a strong political and diplomatic component. War, including civil war, is the continuation of politics by other means. If Iraq does not get its politics in order, the country’s political struggles will continue to play out in other violent ways that Iraqis have come to know too well, and the specter of more sectarian conflict, radicalization, and terrorism will persist.
First, to be sure, a defeat of the Islamic State in Mosul will not be the end of the kinetic battle against the terrorist organization in Iraq. Though 70 percent of Mosul has been liberated, there are still an estimated 400,000 people behind Islamic State lines in the city. A fair number of these are families of Islamic State fighters who came to Mosul from Diyala, Anbar, and Tikrit. While Iraqi forces have retaken major cities, Islamic State fighters are still entrenched in about 40 percent of Kirkuk province, including the districts of Hawija, Riyadh, and Rashad, which lie on the western side of the province. They also control Tal Afar, parts of Sinjar province, and in Anbar they hold the cities of Ana, Rawa, and Qaim, all close to the border with Syria. Even if defeated there, they could head for the less accessible hills and deserts of Diyala and Anbar provinces, and as long as they also have havens across the border in Syria—most prominently in Raqqa and Deir Ezzor—they can always return. Still, their defeat in Mosul will mean the end of their experiment in religious rule in Iraq and a great blow to their prestige and appeal.

The ongoing kinetic threats justify maintaining a medium-term U.S. military presence around current troop levels of 5,000-6,000 personnel to maintain support, training, and cooperation with the Iraqi armed forces. This is what the Iraqi government has requested, and the United States should provide this assistance. Indeed, President Trump has himself said “we shouldn’t have gone in; but certainly we shouldn’t have left.

So they finally get around to discussing the need for diplomacy and it's used to argue for troops to remain in Iraq?

War Hags, one and all.

Iraq does need a diplomatic surge and it's needed one for some time.

And we've made that argument repeatedly for years now.

Welcome to the room, Sara
Welcome to the choir, sir
"Welcome to the Room, Sara," written by Stevie Nicks, first appears on Fleetwood Mac's TANGO IN THE NIGHT

Welcome to the room, War Hags.

But those of us who've been standing here already for some time are fully aware that you only mention diplomacy now because you're attempting to justify keeping US troops in Iraq.

A diplomatic surge should have taken place in 2014 when the bombings did.

The failure to do so goes a long, long way towards explaining the never-ending mess.

In fact, Barack Obama was insisting, June 19, 2014, that the only answer for Iraq's myriad of crises was a political solution.

But no time was spent on that.

Now, as the operation against Mosul is said to be winding down, now, as they lose their justification for boots on the ground, War Hags emerge to suddenly call for a diplomatic surge -- but, understand, one tied to boots on the ground.

Those of us calling for a diplomatic surge have long noted that reconciliation could have been tied to F-16s or any other weapons that the US has been supplying to Iraq for years now.

Reconciliation, after all, was a White House defined benchmark for success in 2007 that Iraq agreed to.

But it never met that benchmark.

Ten years after agreeing, it still hasn't met it.

The Mosul Slog hits day 175.

Lots of happy talk from Iraqi officials to the press, but still no end in sight.

This operation was supposed to last mere weeks, remember?

Or when CNN's Elise Labott embarrassed herself in a State Dept press briefing by yelling "NO!" when a reporter suggested it was a slog?

But still it continues.

AP reports:

Drone footage taken by the AP in the Dawasa neighborhood of western Mosul on April 5 shows entire streets reduced to rubble, with deep craters dug up by airstrikes. By comparison, eastern Mosul was generally preserved, with damage mainly concentrated on individual buildings and road junctions.
[. . .]
Much of the destruction is wrought by Iraqi and coalition air power. An analysis of bombing in western Mosul between March 8 and 25, conducted by Human Rights Watch and using satellite imagery, identified 780 impact sites that may have been caused by large, air-delivered munitions, resulting in the destruction of hundreds of buildings. The analysis called the destruction comparable in intensity to the Russian-Syrian air attacks on Aleppo in September and October last year.

The brutal fight for Iraq's western Mosul is taking a heavy toll on civilians:

battle continues unabated as Iraqi forces fight in narrow streets, April 11, . (REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares)

And the militias -- now part of the Iraqi forces, don't forget -- always have time to terrorize civilians.

Shia militia 'launches grenade attack on Iraqi communists'

Turning to the issue of the death penalty, Amnesty International has a new report covering known 2016 executions:

China remained the world’s top executioner – but the true extent of the use of the death penalty in China is unknown as this data is considered a state secret; the global figure of at least 1,032 excludes the thousands of executions believed to have been carried out in China.
Excluding China, 87% of all executions took place in just four countries – Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Pakistan.

For the first time since 2006, the USA was not one of the five biggest executioners, falling to seventh behind Egypt. The 20 executions in the USA was the lowest in the country since 1991.

In Iraq last year, 145 people were given death sentences and 88 people were executed.

New content at THIRD:

The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley, BLACK AGENDA REPORT, THE GUARDIAN, THE PACIFICA EVENING NEWS and Tavis Smiley -- updated:

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