A good Saturday morning to everyone – caramba! ‘Caramba’, once for the fact that Mr. Coffee is perking merrily. Then secondly, and this not as the catchphrase of Bart Simpson of the Simpsons cartoon, but for the fact that after a summer of lockdowns it’s now already Halloween and Election Day weekend.

In other words, it’s already day 242 of the 15-day lockdown. Congratulations, you made it.

One of the very few happenings this week was the CEOs of the large Social Media giants sitting in front of a Senate committee. At one point Senator Cruz thundered loudly at the head of Twitter:

“Mr. Dorsey, who the hell elected you and put you in charge of what the media are allowed to report, and what the American people are allowed to hear? Why do you persist in behaving like a Democratic super PAC, silencing the views to the contrary of your political views?” ~ Senator Ted Cruz

But the net result was, as in the past, ‘crickets’.

One of the few comments came from across the pond, the UK Brexit strategy’s lead, Nigel Farage, who was quoted in The National Pulse; “Mainstream media and their friends in Silicon Valley have covered up and actively suppressed the Hunter Biden corruption story in order to stop Donald Trump winning the election.

However, behind the scenes it does appear there is movement. On October 23rd (former) Naval Lieutenant Tony Bobulinski [former CEO and partner of Hunter Biden’s company – Sinohawk Holdings] was questioned for five hours by six FBI agents and counsel present as a “material witness” in an ongoing Hunter Biden investigation. The wheels turn slowly.

Gerrymandering – is a term we’re all familiar with, all political parties have manipulated voting districts – i.e. ‘gerrymandered’, and it works.

This picture shows how simple it is to move the ‘lines’ to create a ‘winning’ solution. Gerrymandering we understand and easily spot; its so old school.

Nearly a lifetime ago I dabbled a bit in the study of psychology (one half of my undergraduate major). All that remains is that I am still fascinated whenever I run across something encompassing the world of that subject.

Enter Dr. Robert Epstein, Senior Research Psychologist from the American Institute for Behavioral Research & Technology (and former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today). His team is researching the whole area of internet manipulation and its results. Through manipulation by the simple placement of data on search engine pages – i.e. what appears on a front page and what is pushed back. And, since we’re all so connected and dependent on the internet that the role played by entities such as Google, Twitter, Instagram, and the like, that it’s impossible to escape their manipulation – and they’re busily doing just that. His study to date suggests that possibly as many as 15,000,000 votes have been so swayed in this coming election. Vigilance and continuous questioning are your primary defense.

The picture below is a simple display how it can be done. The display is a search for Australia’s candidates, Abbot and Gillard, and how search placement (rankings) can affect a search outcome. That placement can be further manipulated when adjusted for party affiliation – i.e. it would be presented differently according to your viewpoint:

The manipulation is so difficult to trace and can be ‘adjusted’ so quickly that creating new laws would be impossible. Epstein’s methods have 600 field workers watch ‘over-the-shoulders’ of volunteer users much akin to the old Nielsen tracking for TV. It’s a new world and it’s scary.

Walking – offers much more than just simple exercise. This week I switched around a bit in order that I’d be able to cut through a ‘difficult’ urban area part of town. The sad piece was seeing several vacant houses just sitting and quickly deteriorating. Beautiful structures that at one time were probably filled with laughter and kids running back and forth. Now, its hard work just to keep the addicts out.

On the brighter side, I came across a welcoming BBQ joint; Ike’s Best Barbeque. This is now on our list to try out.

Not Purple – Our Governor, ‘Whiney’ DeWine, declared our county was close, but didn’t quite make it into the dreaded Purple on the Covid-19 color chart. Marcia and I took that to mean an evening for celebration and so last evening we headed out to Gordo’s Pub & Grill. Gordo’s was the destination primarily so that Marcia could get her favorite; Pear and Blue Cheese Salad.

The place was warm and inviting as usual. We had barely sat down when I realized that their music selection started up with the Rolling Stones’, You Can’t Always Get What You Want:

I saw her today at the reception
A glass of wine in her hand……

Since that piece of music is ‘part and parcel’ of the start of a Trump Rally, I only thought it proper to jump up and shout; “USA, USA”.

No I didn’t really. Marcia made me stay put! But I did utter something, to which she made me shush.

Fini – Today in 1517 Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-five Theses to the doors of the All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, questioning Catholic Church traditions; especially the corruption he saw in the use of Indulgences. If you don’t know what indulgences are, today’s equivalent would be something akin to Al Gore building a basketball court in his home, then stating he was going to fund the planting of some trees in the Amazon forest to offset the ‘carbon footprint’ he’d created.

The latest extension of my (now favorite) walkway — Wasson Trail is complete. It was a chilly morning and utterly peaceful. Wonderful!

This week we lost a major personality from the Country-Folk scene, Jerry Jeff Walker (1942 – 2020). Best remembered for a song most everyone of us has sung at some time or other from behind the wheel of our cars; Mr. Bojangles. Here, I’ll get you started;

I knew a man, Bojangles and he’d dance for you
In worn out shoes.
With silver hair and ragged shirt and baggy pants,
He did the old soft shoe.
He jumped so high, ………..

Also, on one of my walks I passed our local Harley Davidson dealership. It was Sunday, and I do believe the place was being used to hold the wake of a biker who had passed. Many bikes on the lot, a BBQ food truck, and in front of the entrance was a Hearse – it just had to be.

   

Since the US – Canadian border stayed closed we never made it up to Northern Comfort this season. So, thanks Kim for sharing this drone photograph of the one little spot of civilization near to our place; the town of Thessalon.

Make it great week, keep the peace, stay safe, and be healthy!

Your Vote counts.

Dirk

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