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US/EU democracy in action: Video of Ukraine Oligarch Kolomoisky taking over (mafia style) energy company Ukrtransnafta

Ukrainian oligarchs are fighting over the country’s oil transportation operations company Ukrtransnafta. On Thursday, the company’s supervisory board dismissed Oleksandr Lazorko from his duties as Chairman of the Board of the company. Mafia oligarch Kolomoiskyi then decided to raid the company and just take it over with his nazi battalion.

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Via the Off Guardian…

What happens when Vladimir Putin takes a media exposure break? It is the news every hour.

What happens when Igor Kolomoisky WSJ-proclaimed as Ukraine’s Secret Weapon, raids the country’s main pipeline operator? No news there.

Video of Kolomoisky’s raiders arriving at Ukrtransnafta headquarters

So it is meticulously not reported by the “free world” media. It must have been the strong language the Dnepropetrovsk’s don used, when exiting the building his men took over Thursday evening. Or in the simple fact that the state of Ukraine is increasingly a ‘fact’ which is not reportable due to its withering. Here is a transcript of the final part of the video:

I just wanted to see you. Your fucking face. There are no other opportunities to see you, Radio Liberty. You don’t ask how this raider seizure occurred in Ukrtransnafta? And about how Russian saboteurs got here, huh? Why aren’t you asking about it? Huh? Or you fucking needed to see Kolomoiskiy?

We were freeing the building of Ukrtransnafta from Russian saboteurs. Who seized it. And you with your “Liberty” sit here and fucking ambush me. As a girl spying on her unfaithful husband. What, didn’t you shut up already? Or want to ask about the passports?* Or you want to ask something else? Ask me about the Russian saboteurs, why didn’t you catch even one? Radio “Liberty”, fuck. You’re the same “Liberty”, fucking like the one that went to the parliament**. Fucking Tyahnybok prostitute.”

Document’s have disappeared. There were some murky people from some private security company. Now they are gone. This was a trivial attempt for a raider takeover of this state-owned company.

And what I was doing here, I will tell you in the Prosecutor’s Office, did you get that, “Libertarian”? Why did you shut up? Ah? Why are you silent, speak up? Do you have any more questions? Or you’ve plugged your tongue up your asshole? Speak up, you are the Radio “Liberty”, a famous thing, broke up the Soviet Union, brought down the Bolsheviks… And you are ambushing me for the passports. Or for some used condoms? Where is this fag of yours, Leshshenko? Well, are you going to show this on your tv or internet? Hello?

Everyone was away, the Prime Minister is gone to Brussels, who was supposed to take care of this? They decided to quietly raid the company and steal everything. It was after we intervened that [Economy Minister] Demchishin came over, Savhcenko, this new one, the fat one (Miroshnik, the newly appointed CEO of the company).

I asked him: Where did you work? He says in the Lugansk SBU (Ukraine’s KGB equivalent). So I ask him, did you do smuggling there, or are you liberating the Lugansk region? Why the fuck are you here at the Transnafta? We have everything under control here. So he was with the Lugansk SBU, he doesn’t want to liberate Crimea. He doesn’t want to liberate Lugansk. He appointed himself [to the position of CEO].

Q: What do you think, who’s behind all this?

K: I don’t know. They told me it was Kononenko one of the leaders of Poroshenko’s Rada faction. Now I am going to the Presidential Administration, to clarify who is behind all this.

Interestingly enough, Kolomoisky didn’t bother to speak the official Ukraininan language, but stuck to Russian.

Once the sun rose above Kiev, the local Forbes edition supplied a more cogent story, which, of course, one has difficulties finding in “more civilized” languages around the web:

Kolomoisky outlawed

Today Yuri Miroshnik, recently appointed acting CEO of “Ukrtransnafta,” will try to enter his office at the headquarters of the state-owned company that controls the transport of raw oil and oil products in Ukraine. Yesterday, he was prevented from doing this by the governor of Dnepropetrovsk region Igor Kolomoisky, who arrived together with a support group in the main office of the company in order to defend his protégé Alexander Lazorko at the helm.

Earlier in the day, the Supervisory Board of “Uktransnafta” decided to suspend Lazorko effective March 19, 2015. Thus, the duration of his contract, which expires in August 2015, was completed ahead of schedule.

But Lazorko’s lobbyists did not like this: under his management Kolomoisky’s “Privat” group was able to successfully negotiate with all governments to maintain their protege at the head of “Ukrtransnafta” since 2009 and, thus, for more than five years to control the work of oil transportation routes. In the central office on the 17/8 Kutuzov St, force was used. Representatives of the “Privat” group barricaded the entrances to the building with chairs and draped the windows with posters.

Events actively developed until late at night. Officers of “Naftogaz of Ukraine” arrived, (“Ukrtransnafta” is part of “Naftogaz”’s holding structure), as well as the Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Vladimir Demchishin, deputies and law enforcement officers and the businessman Gennady Korban, a close associate of Kolomoiskiy.

Demchishin stayed inside the building about half an hour. On his way out he said he had talked there with Kolomoisky, their conversation took place peacefully and without threats. “We talked, drank water, laughed – it was a long talk”, – said the head of the Ministry of Energy. According to him, Kolomoysky wants to explore the legitimacy of the decision to dismiss Lazorko with lawyers. When asked what representatives of the “Privat” group were going to do throughout the night at the office of “Ukrtransnafta”, the minister, smiling, replied: “Burn financial documents.”

Claims to the management efficiency of “Ukrtransnafta” have been brewing for a long time. In 2010, its decisions in fact, blocked the best routes for the transportation of oil by pipeline to the Odessa refinery, which ensured the profitability of production. Last year, with the help of co-owner of the “Continuum” group, people’s deputy Igor Eremeev, the related fact surfaced, that Lazorko approved pumping out 675 tons of technological oil from the pipelines for processing at the Kremenchug refinery “Ukrtatnafta”, controlled by the “Privat”. Among the private owners of the company is also the Kharkov businessman Alexander Yaroslavsky. “Naftogaz of Ukraine” owns 43% of the shares, but in the management of the refinery it is involved only formally. Raw materials were transferred to the plant at a price lower than the market, the state suffered losses.

Igor Kolomoisky subsequently confirmed the existence of control over the state-owned “Ukrtransnafta” and talked about his participation in the decision-making process by pumping oil from pipelines. According to him, it helped save the oil from the separatists in the Donbas, although the pipeline sectors from which the raw materials were pumped out, were outside the fighting areas. The emptying was overseen by Deputy Energy Minister Igor Didenko, who still retains his position. Prime Minister Yatsenyuk demanded that law enforcement agencies open a criminal case and prosecute those responsible for the illegal pumping of oil, but this did not yield any results.

Last week it became clear Demchishin was going to dismiss Lazorko. The Minister could not come to terms with the fact that the head of “Ukrtransnafta” agreed to a two-fold increase in the tariff for public storage of oil, pumped out by his decision from the pipelines in the spring of 2014, at the facilities of the Kremenchug refinery, whose financial flows are managed by “Privat”. The amount of the deal is 300 million hryvnia. Therefore, the Ministry of Energy initiated a meeting of the Supervisory Board of “Ukrtransnafta”, following which a decision was taken, which “Privat” did not like.

Despite his dismissal, Lazorko said yesterday that he intends to continue to work at “Ukrtransnafta”. The hired manager denies embezzlement of public funds in favor of “Privat” structures. According to him, storage of oil for a fee – “This is a forced measure” because resources are “nowhere else” to be stored. However Lazorko acknowledged that the majority shareholder has the right to suspend him from duty, but he was waiting for explanations from “Naftogaz” and Vladimir Demchishin.

The Energy Minister assured the legitimacy of personnel decisions regarding Lazorko: it was taken in consultation with the Cabinet and in accordance with the statute of “Ukrtransnafta”.

“With Lazorko as head of the company it will be difficult to conduct a comprehensive and objective review of its financial and economic activity … I met Lazorko, explained the decision of the Supervisory Board. I believe that the decision is lawful. There are definitely no reasons not to trust it, definitely not, “- said Demchishin.

The Minister hoped that the cadre conflict at “Ukrtransnafta” would be peacefully settled, and today Yuri Miroshnik will take up his duties as head of the state-owned company.

“This is a man who built a team that will perform specific tasks. This man is the best to lead the “Ukrtransnafta”. This is a man with extensive experience in law enforcement. As it turned out, it proved crucial in the present day “- this is how the Energy Minister explained his bet on Miroshnik candidacy.

However, the likelihood of confrontation with Igor Kolomoisky for his appointment instead Lazorko also remains high. Because “Ukrtransnafta” is an integral part of the vertically integrated structure of the oil business “Privat”. This allows them to control the oil supply to the refinery of Kremechug and manage pipelines to their advantage.

Thanks to Parliament yesterday “Privat” was another powerful blow to its oil business. The Verkhovna Rada approved the changes to the law “On Joint Stock Companies”, which call for reducing the quorum for meetings of shareholders of joint stock companies do 50 percent + 1 share already in this year. The adoption of these amendments allows the state to regain control of “Ukrnafta” Shareholders’ Meeting that is blocked by minority shareholders – the “Privat” group of Igor Kolomoisky.

Features of corporate law have long allowed the Dnepropetrovsk group to control the financial flows of “Ukrnafta” and block the payment of dividends to the State – the debt on these reached 1.89 billion hryvnia. “Ukrnafta” accounts for more than 86% oil and 16% gas in the total production of energy in Ukraine. “Privat” has been repeatedly accused of use at a low cost of raw materials from “Ukrnafta” for processing at the Kremenchug refinery, controlled by the group.

*”The passports.” Ukrainian and Russian media often suggest that Kolomoisky holds at least three citizenships – Ukraininan, Israely and of Cyprus. When challenged over it (Ukrainian law forbids people having double citizenship from occupying high-ranking government offices), Kolomoisky replied this doesn’t apply to him, since he’s got not double, but triple citizenship.

**The reference is about the pro-Nazi “Svoboda” (“Freedom”) party, which, among others, voted for the bill which ultimately caused Kolomoisky’s action.

Who is Ihor Kolomoiskyi?

He is one of the richest oligarchs in Ukraine and reportedly has accumulated an estimated wealth of around $6 billion using very questionable (some would say extremely violent) tactics in the fields of finance, oil, mass media and metal industries, such as hostile takeovers of his competitors.

He was illegally appointed Dnipropetrovsk Regional Governor after last year’s US/EU backed coup in Ukraine by then-acting president Oleksandr Turchynov, who is currently the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council’s secretary.

Kolomoiskyi funds a number of Ukrainian volunteer battalions that have committed human rights violations in the southeast of the country, where they have been fighting against the Novorussian anti-coup federalist army.

On March 13, the leaders of the eastern Ukrainian self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) asked the leaders of France and Germany to deny travel for senior Kiev officials, including Kolomoiskyi, to the European Union, over their mass violations of human rights.

The EU of course has not acted, because to put it bluntly, Kolomoiskyi is their type of guy.

References:

http://offguardian.org/2015/03/20/ukraines-secret-weapon-fires-at-will-his-own/

http://sputniknews.com/europe/20150321/1019806548.html

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“This is America” reveals a shocking vision of the United States

The Grammy Award winning Song and Record of the Year feature the very darkest vision of what America has become.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The Grammy Awards are the second of the three most significant musical achievement awards in the United States. Two of the anticipated awards that many fans of this event look forward to learning are the Song of the Year and the Record of the Year.

The Song of the Year is awarded to the songwriters of a given song, where the Record of the Year goes to the artists, producers and engineers involved in crafting the recording (the “record”) of a song. Both categories are huge and both usually go to an artist or organization responsible for a pop song.

It also happens to be that usually the song that is picked is beautiful and in most cases, reflects the character of beauty (whether in music or lyrics or both) for that year.

This year was quite different. Both awards went to Donald Glover, a.k.a. “Childish Gambino” for his song This is America.

This song features a radically different tone than previous winners going back for many years. Though rap remixes are usually less musical, the Grammy winners among these mixes have nevertheless retained some relatively positive, or at least attractive, aspect.

This is America is very different, especially when watched with its video.

Musically, it is genius, though the genius appears to have gone mad. Glover paints a picture of some very positive segments in American life, but then destroys it with his audible form and message that says absolutely nothing positive, but even more so – it doesn’t make sense unless one knows the context.

That context is revealed in the video with frightening images: someone getting their brains blown out (we see the blood fly), a gospel choir shot up with an automatic rifle while they were singing, and cannabis, front and center, being smoked by the artist himself.

This is America?

For Glover, this song and others on his album do seem to reflect that point of view.  Feels like Summer, one of Glover’s other recent songs, also reflects this sense of hopelessness, though it is far more musically consistent. The video gives the most clear contextual information that one could ask for, and while the video is not violent, it features degradation in society, even though the people depicted appear to be trying to make the best of their life situations.

The image Mr. Glover paints of America is a far cry from that which was known to most Americans only twenty years ago, and in fact, in many parts of the country where cannabis is still illegal there is a corresponding sense of positivity in life that is absent in Childish Gambino’s California-esque view of life.

There is a massive change that is taking place in American society. Our music and art reflects this change, and it sometimes even helps drive that change.

The United States of today is at a crossroads.

How many times have we read or heard THAT statement before?  But does it not seem so now? The attempt of identity politics to separate our nation into groups that must somehow fight for their own relevance against other groups is not the vision of the United States only twenty years ago.

Further, the normalization of themes such as drug-use and racism, the perpetuation of one in reality and the other as a mythological representation of how life “really is” in the US is radically bizarre.

In discussions with people who do not live in the United States, we found that sometimes they believed that white-on-black racism really was happening in America, because the media in the US pumps this information out in a constant stream, often with people like Donald Trump as the scapegoat.

But it is not true. Anyone in America’s new “accused class” of white, Christian, European-descent males (and some women who are not feminists), will note that they are not racist, and in fact, they feel persecuted for their existence under the new mantra of “white privilege.”

But it does not matter what they say. The media pumps the message it wants to, and with such coverage it is easy to get to halfway believing it: I know I am not this way, but I guess things are getting pretty bad elsewhere because all of those people seem to be getting this way…

This is the narrative the press promulgates, but upon conversations with people in “those places” we find that it is not true for them, either, and that they may in fact be thinking this is true about us.

Made in America is a visionary song and video. However, the vision is not a dream; it is nothing that anyone in the country would sincerely hope for. Even in Donald Glover’s case – as one of Hollywood’s hottest actors, and as a big success in music, he is far from being one of the “boys in the ‘hood.” In fact, Time Magazine in 2017 named him one of the world’s 100 most influential people.

Certainly his musical work creates a powerful influence, but it also must raise questions, with the main ones being:

  • Are we really like this?
  • Is this what we really want to be as a country?
  • Is this the kind of image we want our children in the US to adopt?

In fact, if Mr. Glover’s work was viewed with care (rather than just as something that is “cool” because the media says it is), it might help us steer away from the cliff that many Americans are in fact heading towards.

We have elected not to link to the video because it is too disturbing for children. It is even too disturbing for many adults. For that reason we are not making it one-click-easy to get to.

Parents reading this opinion piece would do well to screen the video by themselves without the kids around first, before deciding what they want to do. Even though the video is probably something that they have already seen, the parents still stand as the guides and guardians for their children through all the perils of growing up.

These times call for great guardians indeed.

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Horrifying New York abortion law marks big Democrat push in US

New Mexico, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont and Washington also wish to expand abortion access to truly barbaric proportions.

Seraphim Hanisch

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To some nations in the world, the United States may appear to be overly “conservative” or “backwards” regarding its general position on abortion. Russia, China, Canada, and Australia all allow this practice in generally unrestricted terms. Europeans are generally allowing of first trimester abortions. Social attitudes about the practice vary, with Sweden being the most permissive in terms of attitude, but Russia being the place where a woman is most likely to have had an abortion.

While the legal position in the United States on abortion is generally legal under all conditions as determined by the outcome of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision in the US Supreme Court, the social context of the practice is highly debated and generally disapproved of, even by those Americans who believe that the procedure should still be kept legal. One of the most emotionally satisfying statements in the US that actually summarized the attitudes of many “pro-choice” Americans was that of Hillary Clinton and her husband Bill Clinton’s statement that abortions should be “safe, legal and rare.”

In other words, the legality of the procedure is one thing, and the promotion of the procedure is quite another. It was summarized in this thought: We think that to be in the position of determining whether or not to abort a child is a horrifying and extremely serious matter. However, we believe it to be safer if this procedure is kept legal, lest it actually become dangerous because of inferior resources if it were banned, and done clandestinely.

This point of view was generally accepted as a secular compromise to a horrifying situation. Far from the ultraliberal attitudes of progressive Europe, the United States remained a relatively conservative country, socially guided by Christian attitudes concerning the sanctity of life, even that life which is yet unborn.

All this has changed.

Starting with the signing of New York State’s “Reproductive Health Act”, many states are now moving towards ensuring that abortion is legal under all conditions, to the full term of pregnancy, even to the point where perfectly viable, birthed babies may be killed after delivery if the mother so desires.

This report from New York was immediately followed up by this news item from Virginia’s own Legislature, in its attempt to pass a similar law, made even more clearly brutal by Governor Northam’s defense and explanation of the procedure post delivery in which a living baby would be subject to being deliberately killed at the wish of the mother. 

This law, like the New York constitutional amendment allows the unborn, or just-born (and alive even though “aborted”), no human rights.

There is really no way this action cannot be seen for what it is: infanticide, a very particularly cruel form of murder of the innocent, on no further grounds than that the baby exists and that the mother does not want it.

We covered in another news piece how this ability appears to be the prize “right” of feminist women, who were represented in Congress by the infamous Women in White, who sat stone-faced as President Donald Trump appealed for Congress to make and pass a law banning late-term abortions.

However, the President’s request was well-met by conservatives in the House chamber, and indeed, even some pro-choices were set off their guard by the New York and Virginia legislative moves. Virginia’s attempt failed.

Abortion is legal in the US, and it is legal at any point in the pregnancy in many states. This is not often reported, probably because abortion is not palatable to public discourse when a fully-formed, living baby is to be the subject of this procedure. The national discourse has for years been “safely” diverted to what appears to be more metaphysical debate about the unseen processes in pregnancy, such as “when does life really begin”, and even “when does the embryo receive a soul?”

This is probably by design to avoid the much harsher realities that were exposed in New York, Virginia and Massachusetts, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Washington and Vermont. All these states have either passed or are trying to pass laws that protect abortion rights, sometimes to similar extremes as New York’s law contains. However, many other states, such as Colorado, already allow full and late-term abortion procedures.

However, not every state in the US is trying to magnify abortion rights. Some are trying to limit this procedure, or even outlaw it entirely, should Roe v. Wade be overturned by the Supreme Court, a possibility that seems enhanced now with five “conservative” Justices on the US Supreme Court. States like Tennessee, South Carolina, Arkansas, and even the aforementioned Rhode Island are seeking passage of laws to sharply limit or completely outlaw the procedure in this event.

CDC graph showing abortion rates per 1,000 US women from 1969 to 2014. Courtesy: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Guttmacher Institute.

Interestingly, both the abortion rate and the actual number of abortions performed in the US has fallen drastically in the time period between 1980 and 2014. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention record that there were almost 1.3 million babies aborted in 1980, peaking at 1.43 million in 1990, before dropping again to 2015’s rate of 638,000. Numbers and counts vary by statistical poll, however, with 2017’s numbers showing 882,240 in this study. The common feature of declining numbers and rates is still evident.

Statistical sources on this issue were not able to explain the reason for the drop in both rate and number of abortions, but a speculation might be that some exposure to the reality of what abortion actually is has served to deter both unwanted pregnancy from even happening, and also to try to find a way to take care of human beings guilty of nothing more than their existence. Perhaps this is too generous an assessment, but it is one possibility.

President Trump was loud and clear on several occasions about his stance on the issue of abortion. His State of the Union speech featured his saying, “all children, born and unborn are made in the Holy image of God.” This was followed up by further comments at the National Prayer Breakfast, in which he continued to show a strong pro-life position.

Naturally, some pols dismiss this as nothing more than the President’s attempts to energize his base for the 2020 elections. To credit such opinions, it may indeed do this. But President Trump has really put his money where his mouth is in terms of governing as a conservative, or at least, common-sense oriented President.

The combination of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s legislation, the Virginian attempt and the March for Life, featuring its highly slurred story about Roman Catholic teenaged boys who were at the event, plus the President’s speech have made for a truly polarizing moment. To be sure, political winds in the US are so unruly now that longstanding position issues are now pushed aside in mere days, or even hours. However the mainstream media is hard-pressed to refute what happened here. The American Left tipped its hand, perhaps a little too much for even some who are ideologically liberal, and some of the harshest, most sinister aspects of their worldview were brought into focus.

This reaction extends even to both real-life and Internet commentary on such news pieces. Tucker Carlson took on uber-feminist Monica Klein on his program on January 30th, and their exchange, most notably Monica’s sheer fury, was a sign that the Left is energized on this subject, so much so that any sense of nicety has been discarded:

For Ms. Klein, this issue is a source of pure anger, as is clearly evident on her face. This was not a woman who was playing the ideological talking head for the news media hit; far from it. She really believes what she says, and has taken that fury to the point of irrationality.

Some comments on this issue appear in many publications that also reveal extremely fiery emotion on both sides. The rhetoric swings from “baby-killers” to “woman-haters” quite freely on this topic, and this is honestly a shame. Such emotional incendiary bombs are avoidances on both sides. While people call each other names, no one pays attention to the topic itself. This is, of course, by design.

When the real issue is looked at, as was shown so clearly in New York and Virginia, the topic of the value of human life shows its profound reality to everyone. If that happened often enough or long enough, it might change the substance of the conversation.

The result might then be a real change.

 

 

 

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Facebook: The Government’s Propaganda Arm?

The social media giant has a disturbing number of former Obama officials in key positions of authority over content.

The Duran

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Authored by Jeff Charles via Liberty Nation:


Imagine for a moment what it would look like if the federal government launched its own social media network. Every day, Americans could freely use the platform to express their views on everything from economic theory to the best tips for baking peanut butter cookies. They could even discuss their political views and debate the important issues of the day.

But what if the government were empowered to determine which political views are appropriate and which are too obscene for the American public? Well, it looks like this is already happening. Of course, the state has not created a social media network; they didn’t have to. It appears the government is using Facebook – the world’s largest social media company – to sway public opinion.

The Government’s Fingers In Facebook

The Free Thought Project recently published a report revealing that Facebook has some troubling ties to the federal government and that this connection could be enabling former state officials to influence the content displayed. The social media provider has partnered with various think tanks which receive state funding, while hiring an alarming number of individuals who have held prominent positions in the federal government.

Facebook recently announced their partnership with the Atlantic Council – which is partly funded by tax dollars – to ensure that users are presented with quality news stories. And by “quality,” it seems that they mean “progressive.” The council is well known for promoting far-left news sources, including the Xinhua News Agency, which was founded by the Communist Party of China. Well, that’s reassuring. What red-blooded American capitalist doesn’t want to get the news from a communist regime?

But there one aspect of this story is even more troubling: the government-to-Facebook pipeline. The company has employed a significant number of former officials in positions that grant them influence over what content is allowed on the platform.

Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s Head of Cybersecurity Policy, prosecuted cybercrimes at the Department of Justice under President Obama. Now, he is responsible for determining who gets banned or suspended from the network. But that’s not the worst of it. He also spearheaded the company’s initiative to scrub anti-war content and “protest” movements. In a blog post, Gleicher wrote: “Some of the Pages frequently posted about topics like anti-NATO sentiment, protest movements, and anti-corruption.” He continued, “We are constantly working to detect and stop this type of activity because we don’t want our services to be used to manipulate people.”

The company has also hired others who served in key positions in the Obama administration. Some of these include:

  • Aneesh Raman: Former speechwriter
  • Joel Benenson: Top adviser
  • Meredith Carden: Office of the First Lady

To make things more interesting, Facebook has also hired neocons to help them determine the type of content that is being published. So if you happen to be a conservative that isn’t too crazy about interventionism, your views are not as welcome on the network as others. After all, how many times have you heard of people being banned for posting pro-war or socialist propaganda?

Are Private Companies Truly Private?

The notion that government officials could be using positions of power in the private industry to advance a statist agenda is disturbing, but the fact that most Americans are unaware of this is far worse. It would be inaccurate to argue that the government is controlling Facebook’s content, but the level of the state’s involvement in the world’s biggest social media company is a disturbing development.

This is not the only case of state officials becoming involved with certain industries. This trend is rampant in the certain industries in which individuals move back and forth between private organizations and the FDA. For example, Monsanto, an agricultural and agrochemical company, has been under scrutiny for its ties to the federal government.

It is not clear if there is anything that can be done to counteract inappropriate relations between the government and certain companies – especially organizations with the level of influence enjoyed by the likes of Facebook. But it essential that the public is made aware of these relations, otherwise the state will continue to exert influence over society – with Americans none the wiser.

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