The Sort of People We’re Dealing With

I just read an incredibly disturbing article called “How the Trump Campaign Built an Identity Database and Used Facebook Ads to Win the Election.”

Hang on a minute. Before you click the link, know that this is a rabbit hole likely to wreck your sleep tonight, and possibly for the foreseeable future.

If you’re OK with that, or you’ve been sleeping like crap anyway, here’s the lede:

There may be some fake news on Facebook, but the power of the Facebook advertising platform to influence voters is very real. This is the story of how the Trump campaign used data to target African Americans and young women with $150 million dollars of Facebook and Instagram advertisements in the final weeks of the election, quietly launching the most successful digital voter suppression operation in American history.

Still with me? Here’s the money shot:

Trump’s presidential election victory is the most successful digital voter suppression operation in American history. The secret weapons in Trump’s digital arsenal were Project Alamo, his database of 220 million people in the United States, and the Facebook Advertising Platform. By leveraging Facebook’s sophisticated advertising tools, including Facebook Dark Posts, Facebook Audience-Targeting, and Facebook Custom Audiences from Customer Lists, the Trump campaign was able to secretly target Hillary Clinton’s supporters and covertly discourage them from going to the polls to vote.

Read the article for yourself. Then come back here, and do something.

P.S. Substantiation from credible research-based sources here (Bloomberg), here (Salon), here (Esquire), and here (Business Insider).

Active Listening: A Liberal Playlist

One of the few positives to come out of the election — because hard times have forever demanded and resulted in strong music — is that we’re surely on the cusp of some fantastic songs and albums aimed at shaking establishment foundations. The creative output from the combined effects of Trump + Brexit should equal that of the epic Reagan + Thatcher horror (which produced a tremendous musical canon). Until those songs appear, get up offa that thing with some classics of the past.

We Begin

November 9, 2016:

Having a very difficult time working today. I will get out and run shortly, but I really just wish we had a heavy bag in the gym here, so I could hit it until it hurts to lift my arms.

September 11, 2001 was the saddest day of my life. Today, is the most disappointing.

September 11th was plotted and carried out by haters outside the U.S. Last night’s idiocy was carried out by haters within the U.S.

This morning, all three kids and I cried. They are scared, and quite honestly, so am I.

I explained that though our state and our city voted the way we had hoped (which means we live in a good place for us), there are a lot of people in other places the U.S. who are scared of folks who don’t look like them, or act like them, or who pray to a different god than them, or who wear pantsuits and believe in things like science.

We talked about how we will not move away, and we will not let intolerance win. We will be sad for a while, and we should, and that’s OK. But then we will come out of our sadness and start working again. And we will have to work harder than before. For kindness. For tolerance. For education. For facts. For the things that we think are important and will always think are important.

It was not exactly Henry V rallying the troops at Agincourt. But it was what I could muster through tears. And I hope it was some of what they needed to hear.

When I dropped the girls off at school, I told them to be kind, and to hug their friends, and that I love them.

Free hugs today, and as long as you need them, friends.

—BK