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Google Election Meddling Concerns Raised by Virginia Voters

Are we comfortable with information being hoarded by companies who are too big to care about impartiality?  

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Google

The war over our right to information is fully upon us, with internet goliath Google demonstrating why they cannot be trusted to play fair.

Google is, legally, a private company who can do whatever they would like.  This is a cold, hard fact that will likely be examined in the near future by our nation’s top adjudicators in a free speech case, but for the time being, we’re stuck with it.

The worry is, of course, that a vast majority of internet traffic is directed by Google.  Heck, your car is even directed by Google anytime you pull up your GPS.  If Google wanted to write a piece of code that sent everyone to a Starbucks or a Whole Foods, they could do that…and likely with impunity.

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So, if Google wants to write a code that misrepresents the search results for a certain political candidate, that would also not be off limits to them as a private company.  And, in Virginia’s 5th congressional district, that appears to be exactly what is happening.

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Here are the first website results for republican Denver Riggleman as provided by Google:

Denver Riggleman

Notice anything peculiar in there?  Right in between his official website and his official Facebook link there is a Vox article that aims to paint Riggleman as an oddball and pervert.  Reading the excerpt below the article also adds in a dash of racism – a popular accusation used by democrats to belittle their opponents and cast fear among the electorate.

Now let’s search for his opponent, Leslie Cockburn:

Denver Riggleman

The first four results are from Cockburn’s official outlets, followed by an article praising the candidate from over a month ago.

Even more peculiar is the fact that this Cockburn article wasn’t all that well received, according to statistics from NewsWhip:

Virginia

[Author’s Note: Given the age of the Vox article, these same statistics were not available.  A request made to Vox for this data was not immediately returned.]

So, what is Google’s real role in our electoral process, and are we comfortable with information being hoarded by companies who are too big to care about impartiality?

That is a question that we will need to have answered, and soon, if we are to save our nation from the coming storm.

Opinion

New Pork Rules Could Outlaw Bacon in California

This would be an unforgivable overreach by the state government.

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There are plenty of times in which Americans engage in a bit of exaggeration at the expense of our federal government.  It’s a defense mechanism, really, in which we are trained to extrapolate the worst possible outcome of any interaction with our elected officials, to guard against abuse at the hands of the tyrannical among us. Very rarely do these sorts of predictions come true.  Truly, this is just part of the American DNA, and it has deep roots in the caffeinated waters of Boston Harbor back in 1773. And if you thought that a new tax on tea was a flimsy enough excuse to rail against the oppressors, what happens when a state government outlaws bacon? At the beginning of next year, California will begin enforcing an animal welfare proposition approved overwhelmingly by voters in 2018 that requires more space for breeding pigs, egg-laying chickens and veal calves. National veal and egg producers are optimistic they can meet the new standards, but only 4% of hog operations now comply with the new rules. Unless the courts intervene or the state temporarily allows non-compliant meat to be sold in the state, California will lose almost all of its pork supply, much of which comes from Iowa, and pork producers will face higher costs to regain a key market. The threat is no hogwash, either. California’s restaurants and groceries use about 255 million pounds of pork a month, but its farms produce only 45 million pounds, according to Rabobank, a global food and agriculture financial services company. The National Pork Producers Council has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture for federal aid to help pay for retrofitting hog facilities around the nation to fill the gap. Hog farmers said they haven’t complied because of the cost and because California hasn’t yet issued…

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Politics

Pro-Trump PACs Rake in The Dough, Setting Former POTUS Up with Massive War Chest

The sheer value of Trump’s coffers is nigh unprecedented.

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Despite his arbitrary removal from both Twitter and Facebook, former President Donald Trump continues to exude a great deal of sway over the American political ecosystem…and he’s only going to get more influential from here. Trump and his surrogates are still months away from officially announcing anything as far as 2024 goes, but, with the 2022 midterms just around the corner, the MAGA machine is already beginning to get tuned up. And let’s just say that there is plenty of fuel in the tank, too. Former President Donald Trump’s political committees brought in $82 million during the first half of 2021 and have $102 million in the bank, according to federal filings made public Saturday evening. The figures, shared first with POLITICO, underscore the profound reach of Trump’s fundraising power. While the former president is out of office and has been deplatformed on social media sites, he maintains a massive online donor network that he could lean on should he wage a 2024 comeback bid. The numbers are extraordinary, historically speaking. The scenario is virtually unprecedented: Never in history has a former president banked nine figures’ worth of donations to power a political operation. Over the first six months of the year, Trump’s political groups whipped up supporters with baseless claims of election fraud to pull in cash on a scale similar to the GOP’s official political arms, the Republican National Committee and the party’s House and Senate campaign committees. The numbers are undoubtedly troubling for liberals listening in from the left side of the aisle, as worries continue to grow about whether or not the Democrats have any shot at holding onto a majority in the House in 15 months’ time.

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