Saturday round-up – 4th November 2017

I was going to start with a For Fishs’ Sake section, but the world is far too target-rich an environment at present. The general level of blathering stupidity on display at present makes me think that the demise of the social media world will occur because enough people realize that it is full of morons and simply go back to the more rewarding approach of actually, you know, meeting people face to face. The whole issue of media and social media platform credibility eroding may be a consequence, rather than a cause. UseNet Deterioration Syndrome is with us big-time.

1. The scandal of sports subsidies for football is not in the NFL

Gregg Easterbrook points out that, contrary to Donald Trump’s huffing and puffing, the bigger scandal in sports tax breaks is the fact that donations to college football programs are tax-deductible. Well that, plus the reality that graduation rates at some college football programs are scandalously low. (You mean Donald didn’t know what he was talking about? I’m shocked, I tell you! Shocked!)

2. The Colin Kaepernick grievance
Some quick notes:
– Anybody who thinks that the NFL is not worried about discovery for this case has not been paying attention. The NFL’s new generation owners like Jerry Jones, Daniel Snyder and Bob McNair are buccaneers, and buccaneers tend to regard the law as something inconvenient, to be skirted if at all possible. Given that the NFL is not a single corporation, but 32 ships supposedly sailing in close formation (but not via a process of collusion, no sir), with no Admiral in any chain of command, there is a good chance that one or more owners has indeed said or done something that will, at the least, look bad, and possibly it will be something not connected to the Colin Kaepernick mess. I remain convinced that the owners are more worried about evidence of collusion on other matters surfacing, which would then open them to anti-trust violation charges. It doesn’t matter how you look at the collusion grievance, there is no upside in it whatsoever for the NFL. By collectively denying Kaepernick employment (and whether that is collusion still has to be argued or proved), the NFL has kept the whole issue in foreground instead of it fading into background. That was not smart.
– Saying that Colin Kaepernick and the other NFL players should stand for the anthem because people in other countries have to stand is not an argument worth the air or bytes on which it is carried. The countries that people are quoting as enforcing that rule are all totalitarian dictatorships or banana republics. That’s not really what you want here, is it? (At this point i fear hearing that answer from some of the keyboard warriors)

3. Who Rigged Brexit on social media?
This question has been argued over for months, and the current consensus is that Russia was the main culprit.
Beware.
Remember the Dan Rather document scandal in 2001? Rather incorrectly passed off forged documents as the real thing, which essentially cost him his job and became part of the 15+ years’ duration series of mis-steps that has eroded large media credibility in the USA to a dangerously low level.
If Russia was not the main player behind the Brexit social media scams, then a lot of media commentators and outlets will find themselves in the same bad place as Dan Rather.
Mike Hind, who has been studying the social media misinformation machines for a while, believes that most of the money and support came not from Russia but from the USA. He believes that the efforts were funded by plutocrats and businessmen from various parts of the world (but the money and support was channeled through the USA) who are seeking to impose government by plutocrats for plutocrats, and corner more wealth for themselves.
A failed media focus on Russia will simply further erode media credibility, which will allow plutocrat-funded media channels to continue to fill the gap with their own propaganda.

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