Here’s my fave bit of confirmation bias this new year:
I’ve been saying all along that the gaming of the 2016 election by Vladimir Putin’s geeks and spooks was irrelevant. If we were stupid enough to fall prey to the Russkies’ social media disinformation campaign and their almost-clever manipulation of our corporate media, then we absolutely deserved what came of the 2016 race.
The important thing — the obvious thing — was that Li’l Duce was in bed with a gang of Russian billionaire oligarchs long before Putin & Co. decided to sully the election. The Russian oligarchs and the future-President Gag set themselves up as their respective countries’ capos in a transnational crime syndicate. They’re a cabal of global archvillains whose sole goal is to enrich themselves at the cost of whatever shreds of democracy we had left in this 21st Century, the worldwide economy, the planet’s environment, and — quite possibly — the fate of us all.
The Russian and P. Gag mob-up comes straight out of a mind meld between Ian Fleming and William S. Burroughs. The game they’ve been playing for years is the true scandal, not some pissant Facebook posts that sullied the rep of Hillary Clinton who, BTW, was strong enough and tough enough to have withstood the niggling broadsides against her. We, the American electorate, though, were so malleable and suggestible that we elected a buffoon at the behest of the crooked Cyrillic despot.
The real criminals in this Russian investigation are…, well, us.
Rolling The Dice
Interesting feature on an experimental crime prevention program in Chicago last night on 60 Minutes. It seems the Chicago Police Department is partnering with social workers, ministers, and concerned citizens in an effort to reach out to the likeliest people in town to either be murdered or commit murder.
The CPD is using an advanced software that purportedly predicts who has the best odds of dying or killing on the city’s mean streets.
Here’s the feature:
Called “predictive policing,” the implementation of the software has been hailed by the likes of Time magazine as one of the 50 best inventions of the year 2011. Former New York, Boston, and Los Angeles police chief William Bratton began working with computer geeks and policy analysts to create the computer program in 2008.
Chicago’s cops — not usually known for strategies that don’t include firing multiple rounds into unarmed citizens or beating confessions out of suspects — has set up a cooperative venture using data from the software and employing neighborhood elders to reach out to those named on the “likeliest” lists.
It’s a double-eged sword in my book. Life on the toughest streets in the city screams out for any and every possible intervention if we hope to save lives and redeem potential perps. OTOH, the very notion that one can be painted so easily with a broad brush stroke as a killer or victim seems potentially — very potentially — Orwellian.
There are no easy answers here.