KNOW’S NOTES – SEPTEMBER, 2017 Research for News from Neptune provided by Doctor Know (J. B. Nicholson)

 

I wrote:

Russiagate: leaked information sows doubt on Russian meddling claims.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueZOjH7BsQw — Facebook ads aren’t
backing early claims of “Russian meddling” in our election. But, as I’ve
pointed out before, the claims of meddling are vague and changing. We’re
not really sure what those claims are and precisely how these alleged
actions were illegal or unusual. So far it seems that either people are
engaging in free speech as they’ve done since time immemorial, or people
are writing particularly engaging, controversial, or somehow
click-worthy headlines/stories that garner attention. There’s no
evidence of: how the election was changed, how harm was done, or
anything that would relieve Hillary Clinton from bearing exclusive
responsibility for her 2nd failed presidential campaign.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_RcN1MRn28 has more about different allegations of “Russian trolls” purchasing ads for Facebook that are both supportive of and against Black Lives Matter, and are being blamed for the disagreement between Pres. Trump and the NFL players who kneel during the national anthem.

This one is so sprawling and comes from such an untrustworthy place it’s almost funny. CNN, one of the least reliable sources for news, cites anonymous sources for this reporting.

According to this weak tale: 3,000 Facebook ads are being purchased for over $100,000 to “stir the pot” with Americans. Facebook, meanwhile, says it’s not clear that the relevant Facebook accounts have any connection to Russia (uhoh, Red Alert: Not supporting the narrative!).

It only takes $100k to change the US election with Facebook ad buys? What a bargain! Why would anyone bother raising so many millions? Could this be another loose thread on this story that, if pulled, will unravel the rest of the story?

I was perusing DemocracyNow.org’s stories recently and the headline on Hugh Hefner’s death stood out to me but not for the reason you might think. Here’s the entire text of the headline as found on https://www.democracynow.org/2017/9/28/headlines/hugh_hefner_founder_of_playboy_magazine_dead_at_91

And Hugh Hefner, creator of Playboy magazine, died Wednesday in his
mansion at the age of 91. Hefner considered himself an advocate for free
speech and sexual freedoms. But critics say he degraded women as
objects. In a 1963 article, Gloria Steinem went undercover at a Playboy
nightclub where waitresses dressed in skimpy bunny outfits, and exposed
harsh hours, painful uniforms and crass customers. Another feminist
critic challenged Hefner to “come out here with a cottontail attached to
your rear end.”

What stood out to me:

– that Amy Goodman would choose to include this at all.

– compare the amount of text about Hefner’s work to the amount of text criticizing Hefner’s work (including passive-aggressive lines like “Hefner considered himself an advocate for free speech and sexual freedoms” which is undoubtedly to be read to that Goodman does not agree with Hefner’s assessment of himself). I’m not taking a stand about Hefner or what he did. I encourage anyone to read this as an indication of how much the headlines are really DN commentary.

– go to any of the other headlines on any other story and consider what is said, commented upon, and the views expressed therein.

Consider how DN is down with the program on Russophobic attacks, for instance. In previous headlines (such as https://www.democracynow.org/2017/9/19/headlines/cnn_former_trump_campaign_chair_paul_manafort_was_wiretapped and https://www.democracynow.org/2017/9/18/headlines/facebook_turns_over_info_on_russian_election_ads_to_special_counsel_mueller) there is no indication whatsoever that the entire “Russiagate” narrative is unbacked by evidence and many such “Russia hacked the US election” scare stories are later retracted. DN doesn’t cover the retractions either.

Who benefits from DN’s remarkably uncritical Russiagate coverage? Certainly not DN’s audience. The lack of questions, analysis, or even pointing out that the accusations are groundless are indistinguishable from support and not at all like what we heard from DN about G.W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq.

Both as a news agency that has previously shown they care about how other media outlets are treated, and as a show with a largely anti-war audience I would imagine it’s in her best interest to make it clear that she’s not down with the accuse-Russia program (if she’s not). Because Russiagate serves multiple purposes all of which benefit a Deep State/Permanent Government and Democratic Party agenda.

Related stories:

Glenn Greenwald (frequent DN guest) on the latest Russiagate failure: https://theintercept.com/2017/09/28/yet-another-major-russia-story-falls-apart-is-skepticism-permissible-yet/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X90HX4a79F0 — Interview about MSM’s obsession with evidenceless Russiagate.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpO2id-9uKA — CrossTalk show on Russiagate.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlPkZKKDZH0 — When Russiagate is settled, who goes to jail?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCuHtYDiySI — US accuses Russia of shielding Iran from atomic inspectors
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnBMmAZo7ws — Lionel’s latest on how the Russia accusations make no sense (he’s quite astute)

There’s plenty of interesting, pointed, and perhaps not-cynical-enough pieces on RT discussing the latest Russiagate fiasco. They seem to have taken their criticism and vindications with humor, which frankly reflects well on them.

https://theintercept.com/2017/09/26/brazils-latest-outbreak-of-drug-gang-violence-highlights-the-real-culprit-the-war-on-drugs/

This important article highlights how wrong the “war on drugs” is. It’s beyond a sham where people are mildly ripped off, it’s lethally wrong. Portugal’s switch away from a “war on drugs” to decriminalization + treatment program has proven to be highly successful, far less expensive than any implementation of a “war on drugs”, and a compassionate and moral rejection of the idea that drug addiction is a personal moral failing.

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote “In contrast, Portugal may be winning the war on drugs — by ending it. Today, the Health Ministry estimates that only about 25,000 Portuguese use heroin, down from 100,000 when the policy began.

“The number of Portuguese dying from overdoses plunged more than 85 percent before rising a bit in the aftermath of the European economic crisis of recent years. Even so, Portugal’s drug mortality rate is the lowest in Western Europe — one-tenth the rate of Britain or Denmark — and about one-fiftieth the latest number for the U.S.”

Whose ox is gored by this approach? Any person or organization that profits from the “war on drugs”: drug-dealing gangs, corporate imprisonment, and neoliberal politicians who get campaign finance and personal wealth from the corporations that handle private imprisonment.

US Healthcare

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWkBULvkuww — A late-night talk show host (Jimmy Kimmel) is a Democratic party shill, getting evidence against the Republican healthcare plan from Sen. Chuck Schumer. Kimmel is also very wealthy and hardly someone who depends on the ACA (“ObamaCare”). So how reliable a source is Kimmel for the public?

NYPD lawsuit

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOPUnW0nsS0 — lawsuit alleges NYPD discriminated against Black detectives.

Russiagate: leaked information sows doubt on Russian meddling claims.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueZOjH7BsQw — Facebook ads aren’t backing early claims of “Russian meddling” in our election. But, as I’ve pointed out before, the claims of meddling are vague and changing. We’re not really sure what those claims are and precisely how these alleged actions were illegal or unusual. So far it seems that either people are engaging in free speech as they’ve done since time immemorial, or people are writing particularly engaging, controversial, or somehow click-worthy headlines/stories that garner attention. There’s no evidence of: how the election was changed, how harm was done, or anything that would relieve Hillary Clinton from bearing exclusive responsibility for her 2nd failed presidential campaign.

Add David Feherty to the growing list of go-along comics who won’t challenge the establishment, and Condoleezza Rice to your list of POTUS candidates.

I just saw the opener to a show called “Feherty” which is in its 7th season. I gather each episode is some comic (named David Feherty) who plays the goof against a ‘straight man’ guest. I believe this show also airs on an NBC Golf network.

Season 7 Episode 4’s guest: Condoleezza Rice.

The episode opener starts with “High school dropout Feherty and Dr. Condoleeza Rice” which I think is supposed to be funny but instead comes off to me as the show saying it has no intention of asking her any tough questions and will never suggest she’s an unindicted war criminal.

What happened on 9/11/2001? Here’s what Rice took away from that: “To be in a position of authority on September 11th and watch 3,000 people die? It stays with you.” We need not recall the details like how many Iraqis attacked the US then because we can wistfully recall a note for her resume.

Ellen DeGeneres did the same job for former Pres. G.W. Bush on his publicity tour for his new art book. Apparently there’s plenty of opportunity for rehabilitating war criminals.

Bush & Ellen:
– jovially recall Bush’s trouble with a rain poncho during Trump’s inauguration.
– dance together a bit.
– share a smiling “selfie” posted on social media.
– reflect unaccusingly on his administration.

Rice & Feherty:
– talk about what music she likes: “I’m a huge Led Zeppelin fan!”. See folks, you can identify with her!
– Feherty introduces the interview piece with “Unlike me, Condoleezza Rice uses language to endow every encounter with warmth and grace and dignity. I just make people uncomfortable. She’s a diplomat, I’m an idiot.”.
– talk about her identity politics; mention about her ancestors who survived slavery, and how she grew up in the segregated south (and “could be President of the United States if she wanted to be”).

Perhaps with another campaign run on identity politics, she’d make a candidate the Democrats would be willing to run: she ticks more boxes than Hillary Clinton (black, woman, if she were a lesbian), has a war criminal past like HRC, she’s willing to say ridiculous things (she told Feherty she’s “glad we took Saddam Hussein out” — it’s not “we came, we saw, he died” and a cackle, but it’s enough to secure her bona fides with the Deep State) and gives the identity politics folks another bite at the apple.

So: President Rice, right?

It looks like this is another instance of something:

– Pres. Trump makes a claim on something with far-reaching consequences,
– the mainstream media (in full anti-Trump mode) mocks him for saying this,
– the claim later turns out to be true.

Without doing much research into when this happened before, I can recall this happening when Trump said something ugly was going down in Sweden (if I recall correctly), then Stephen Colbert and others mocked him for claiming this, and then a day or two later citizens on the scene recorded footage of the ugliness (a protest resulting in an injured policeman, and some property destruction including cars set on fire) in Rinkeby (a suburb of Stockholm). See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNdEBvQSeTY and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rj0ZXwHpLNU for footage.

It looks like another instance of this pattern is developing.

A few months ago Trump claimed his campaign was wiretapped. Naysayers said he was crazy for saying this and demanded proof (the same people who seem to be in no hurry to provide proof to back their “Russia did it” claims of “hacking” the US election, by the way). CNN cited the Justice Dept. to back their claim that Trump had nothing to back up his claim — http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/02/politics/justice-department-trump-tower-wiretap/

Recently CNN reported that Donald Trump’s former campaign chair was wiretapped by the US Government both before and after the election, according to CNN. http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/18/politics/paul-manafort-government-wiretapped-fisa-russians/ has the article.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sHBZwaZzLI has a good summary of this.

CNN seems eager to do some reinterpretation and overly narrow reads of what went on (read: backpedaling) so as to justify their earlier mocking (see http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/19/politics/trump-wiretapping-manafort/) but Snowden long ago told us there were (and are) multiple efforts to spy on all of our electronic communications including working with partners who hand them data, weaken widely-used proprietary software protocols (such as Microsoft altering Skype protocol to make it easier to spy on according to http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/11/microsoft-nsa-collaboration-user-data), and gaining access to data at switch points (such as the famous AT&T switching room). So spying on people wasn’t new to us, the Obama administration’s support for mass surveillance wasn’t new to us, and capturing data from people in Trump Tower wasn’t new to us. But somehow we were supposed to conclude that Pres. Trump’s claims were not to be taken seriously.

This is important well beyond what Pres. Trump claimed. If this spying only involved him and his campaign staff this story wouldn’t be that important. But it concerns all of us because there exists a well-functioning spying apparatus that does what Snowden’s revelations tell us. If there’s additional spying going on beyond that (such as something specifically targeting the Trump campaign staff) that’s just more reason to use encryption everywhere all the time and fight politically for respect for privacy.

We should not be so quick to believe the MSM. Nobody is wrong all the time, no matter how much the MSM wants you to believe Pres. Trump is almost always wrong (except for when he bombs people).

Tonight’s notes: Russiagate is back (“…when the shark bites, with its teeth dear, and he keeps them pearly white…”), a hero who kept us from experiencing nuclear war, class politics get a bit of talk on TV (gasp!), whether we should believe the US’ claims about Assad and whether the “alternative” media DN offers a properly critical alternative, and some news on David Petraeus’ belief that we need to be protected from reading the wrong things.

Russiagate II: Electric Boogaloo

You thought it was dead, but like the enemy in every adventure/sci-fi movie, it has clawed its way back into the scene.

MARVEL at the hamfistedness of the delivery!
GASP at the evidenceless claims!
SULK at the persistence of the war party.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMAAwykuIOA — the latest ridiculous Russophobic propaganda, this time from director/actor Rob Reiner (“All in the Family”, “This is Spinal Tap”) and Morgan Freeman (voice of God in multiple roles, “The Electric Company” in the 1970s — really, ask your kids)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gLcLAWdn14 — reaction, worth seeing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRKGzEfBarM — BBC and other British media outlets taunt Russians in passive-aggressive graphic, and other more straightforwardly mean-spirited attacks.

One step from nuclear disaster: Soviet Officer, should-be international hero Stanislav Petrov
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAGh__ccjyM — “I was just doing my job”, Stanislav Petrov, former Soviet officer who, in 1983, averted nuclear war, has recently died. Why does this matter? The American public does not understand how many times the only thing separating us from experiencing the horror of nuclear war directly was one person’s decision to make the right call at the right time. One of the great risks of nukes is that someone makes a bad judgment call about a reading (such as a radar blip), gives orders to fire nuclear weapons, and ends up launching missiles by mistake.

First the Cubs win the World Series, now class politics gets discussed on TV!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BJtcxmLf6Q — CrossTalk (around 17m) actually discusses class politics — the ruling class versus the American people — and contrary to identity politics, this discussion features 4 white men saying some sensible things. Identity politics tells me this is flatly impossible and therefore did not occur!

How trustworthy are US’ claims about Assad’s regime and can we go to “alternative media” to get the relevant objections?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tL1bGZmOPU — You’ve already got points to talk about on Pres. Trump’s UN speech. This video hits some highlights including quoting Pres. G.W. Bush’s lies, Trump’s claim of Syrian chemical weapons use.

Trump included lies about how “we do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone” fully knowing the US has conducted regime-change wars of aggression. Trump chastised Syrian attacks on women and children while we extrajudicially murder women and children in drone attacks across 3 administrations now (G.W. Bush, Obama, and Trump) notably including Anwar al-Assad’s 16-year-old son (whom Obama murdered) and his 8-year-old daughter (whom Trump murdered).

Syrian chemical weapons use/attack source is contested but the contested claims are not widely reported, even on so-called “alternative” media like DN:

MIT’s Ted Postol and others looked into this and says there’s no evidence to support the claims made by the White House of “verified evidence” of chemical attack in Idlib and questioning where a rocket was fired (3 years ago) in the Obama administration:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhJ1bW2DeUw — 1 week ago
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BAzQwOepcU — 5 months ago
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOKOwgeFcG4 — 5 months ago
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8z-Ge4B06M — 3 years ago (Obama administration)

=============================
KNOW’S NOTES – SEPTEMBER, WEEK 3
Research for News from Neptune provided
by Doctor Know (J. B. Nicholson)

Why is Democracy Now not reporting these challenged claims by naming the names (as Amy Goodman so often wants her guests to do)? Headline stories like:

https://www.democracynow.org/2017/4/5/headlines/syria_death_toll_from_suspected_assad_gas_attack_rises_to_72

https://www.democracynow.org/2017/4/14/headlines/syrian_president_claims_chemical_attack_footage_was_fabricated

https://www.democracynow.org/2017/4/4/headlines/report_dozens_of_civilians_killed_in_chemical_weapons_attack_in_syria

Don’t carry a contradictory view from someone who doesn’t have anything to gain by objecting. This makes the objections more dismissable. For example: There are 2 hits for “idlib postol” on http://democracynow.org/ — one from April 13, 2017 and one from April 25, 2017 — neither feature Amy Goodman or any other DN host bringing Postol’s objections to the audience. Both hits show up because someone else happened to mention Ted Postol’s objections (Jonathan Steele, former Moscow correspondent for The Guardian, mentions Postol in one interview, and Seymour Hersh in another). There is no discussion building on either mention giving the audience reason to take these objections seriously. Whose interests are being served by this?

Free speech still being treated as an unwanted guest

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vwg3vf2SKA0 — “Jihadist propaganda” gets more views in UK than elsewhere in Europe. And the shock: the British govt. doesn’t have a counteroffensive to respond! So, in other words, we can’t have people reading whatever they want. They’re so malleable by these messages they might object to what the UK govt. is doing (in concert with or under the approval of the US govt. of course).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyJsppB0rI0 — Related story but with claim from survey saying “almost three quarters of people surveyed supported the introduction of tougher laws to make it a criminal offense to regularly engage with material that glorifies terrorism”. David Petraeus said there was an “insufficient” response to this material but needed to “strike a balance” between “privacy and protection”. I’m not feeling ‘protected’ from bad ideas. Someone please help avert my virgin eyes from reading too much of the wrong thing. Wouldn’t this cut against accused state propaganda like RT too (remember the Obama administration issued a harsh report claiming RT was propagandistic in late 2016)?

C. G. Estabrook wrote:

AN ANTI-FA-LA-LA EDITION < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAmgWZHTOdE>

 

Thanks; I saw it and I liked the clear (and concise!) descriptions of neoliberal & neoconservative, and clarification of what’s wrong with both identity politics and intersectionality (27m26s).

In case it’s needed:

– if someone claims you can’t change your sex, Chelsea Elizabeth Manning (neé Bradley Edward Manning) changed during the time we learned about the thing for which Manning is most known: leaking classified information to WikiLeaks and confiding in Adrian Lamo (pronounced “A-dree-án Lah-mo” according to Wikipedia).

– if someone claims you can’t change your race, Nkechi Amare Diallo (commonly known as Rachel Anne Dolezal) is a white woman who posed as a black woman and won election to run the Spokane chapter of the NAACP in 2014. She held the office until she resigned in June 2015 when it was learned she was born to a white family and had chosen to pose as a black woman.

And thanks for pointing out why people voted for Trump; it’s rare to hear anyone talk about this without casting aspersions (ala the “deplorables”) or leaving out war, even after the election. Glenn Greenwald has been writing on this as well and he does his usual excellent job.

I’ll have to send you my views on the recent Thomas Frank interview with TheRealNews.com’s Paul Jay on his show “Reality Asserts Itself”. I am not that pleased with the interview but not all of the parts of the interview have been released.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hD4GWXHs0oY has a brief report on what was recently investigated — childhood experiences affect our DNA — the stress of poverty, exposure to certain bacteria, and malnutrition can alter our DNA and increase the odds someone will experience diabetes, asthma, and other chronic illnesses.

This is something Aaron Maté’s father Dr. Gabor Maté has been saying for years.

I imagine this is good news for Dr. Maté (quite vindicating) and for societies as a whole because it means we’ve now got more evidence that poverty and other bad childhood treatment ought to be considered more seriously: ethically they’re going to adversely affect the child for the rest of their lives on a purely biological level, mentally (not news here, but still quite true), and economically we have even more reason to argue we can’t afford poverty. We can’t afford to let people be poor, so we have to make sure social services, potable water and healthy food, decent living conditions, and so many other things are available to all.

This has not changed but one aspect of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MpG3XiYD1c (Aaron Maté’s interview with a couple of Medicare for All proponents on TheRealNews.com; transcript at http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=19985) makes me think of another problem both for Sen. Sanders and the anti-war movement: this interview never mentions cutting “defense” funding and reallocating it to pay for Medicare for All. Sen. Sanders didn’t criticize war during his 2016 run for the presidency.

The interview’s main discussion focuses on how to pay for Medicare for All. Any anti-war activist will immediately point out what Saikat Chakrabarti came close to talking about:

The other piece here is healthcare is in a crisis situation in our
country right now. We saw life expectancy start to tip downward last
year. In a lot of parts of the country, life expectancy has been going
downward over the past decade. If we had other crises … If North Korea
bombed us right now, and that was the crisis, we wouldn’t be debating
how are we going to pay for the fact that we’re at war. After the Wall
Street crash happened, we didn’t debate too long before giving giant
bailouts to Wall Street. So I think that’s how we need to be
prioritizing healthcare in this country. We need to create the system
that’s going to provide quality healthcare to everybody. Then yeah, we
figure out how to deal with if some costs are going to go up.

But we are at war in many other countries and we ought to question why and we ought to note that we seem to have trillions to spend for those wars. So not only is how to pay for Medicare for All a foregone conclusion — we stop warring and use budgeted money to pay for Medicare for All instead — the same answer also can be used for other national crises we already have:

– jobs — we need a national jobs program to improve, maintain, and build needed infrastructure (roads, bridges, water pipes, and establish a national fibre-to-the-door Internet system)

– high speed Internet access — we need a national program so everyone gets highspeed Internet access which is no longer optional or wise to entrust to the commercial sector.

– end homelessness — buy them homes, give them the bought homes. No Cabrini Greens, buy ordinary single person and small family homes and simply give them to the homeless.

– end “food deserts” — we should run farms that grow food we can all have at very low cost.

– and more, I’m sure there are plenty of things we could scale to a national size that address very real concerns for one or a few billion dollars. Who knows, we might end up with a world of people that like us more, trust us more, and want to work with us more.

I wrote:

US party politics

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiACyJDuRmo — “Draft Bernie” campaigner says “This is not an effort to create a third party necessarily. Our system only permits two parties. This is an effort, rather, to replace the Democratic Party with a party that represents the progressive populous left” as Nick Brana, organizer of “The People’s Convergence” says at 2m18s. This group invited Bernie Sanders, were let down because Sanders was a no-show, and somehow push for their issues. But this is confusing because the https://draftbernie.org/ website has a quote from Josh Fox, documentarian, saying “When people aren’t represented, new parties are born… We need to say to Bernie, ’It’s time to distance yourself from the Democrats and to start something new and we’re behind you to do that.” giving people the idea that draftbernie.org is about starting a new party.

The site also describes their mission:

Our Mission

The Draft Bernie for a People’s Party campaign aims to channel the
enthusiasm generated by the Sanders campaign into building a new
political party.

There’s a new chapter of this:

– https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7_0ReKPyr0 — Bernie Sanders introduced a new single-payer healthcare bill.

– https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjnI_09GK1k shows Nick Brana saying his group, draftbernie.org, wants to “Draft Bernie for a People’s Party” (50s). So contrary to what this same guy said not days ago (quoted above), he’s now back to agreeing with his website’s language.

I wrote:

I am not convinced that they know what they want or what they’re doing. This could be a Bernie Sanders-driven campaign to ultimately go with whatever the Democrats want come election time.

Given what’s in the latter video, I stand by this.

I am also highly suspicious that this is all a front to bring people into the Democratic Party while that party does nothing different because of one thing Brana pointed out in this interview: (2m30s)

We spoke earlier today on your radio show, and what I mentioned is when
Democrats get full control even, really their promises when they sign on
to ‘Medicare for All’ it’s empty, it’s hollow. Because you look at the
states, you look at the area of the country where they do have full
control of the legislature and they actually don’t support it [Medicare
for All], they don’t pass it. Kamala Harris, for example, she just
signed on in a very public way to Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All bill
but why doesn’t she support it in California? In the state, as RoseAnn
de Moro has pointed out, where it could actually pass?

Harris’ work is the next evolution of opposing ‘Medicare for All’ for Democrats. We’ve been through other stages and they’ve all run their course:

– people like Hillary Clinton flatly declaring (sans evidence) Medicare for All not viable politically (for reasons she won’t discuss)

– trying out an HMO plan with a “public option” that is no substitute for Medicare for All, and then making sure the public option vanishes (remember the healthcare delivery hearings Sen. Baucus hosted?). These plans (whether rooted in Republican or Democratic Party) are written by the HMOs so they’re always favorable to the HMOs.

– ignoring the issue. So what if the ACA/ObamaCare leaves people out and charges some of the poor more than they can afford? So what if the most vocal proponents for ObamaCare aren’t on it? We should settle for ObamaCare and leave it alone, even though like all HMO-based plans, we can’t pay enough to keep up with HMO greed. So eventually all HMO-based plans fail to work for the public that can afford to be on them.

– acknowledging that Medicare for All is best but we just can’t have it because (again, for no good reason) we must always take “an incremental approach” to healthcare delivery. Hillary Clinton likes this too as it is an effective means of pushing off what she and most of Congress really doesn’t want — Medicare for All — which threatens their campaign funding.

All the while, we’ve known for decades that Medicare for All is the right and proper approach to solve some (not all) practical medical delivery problems. We know that medical care as a right is the ethical and just way to handle this, not looking at medical care as a “market” issue or something only the wealthy should get.

Unions large and small all know that Medicare for All is the right approach; it’s always been viable politically with the people, affordable, and scales well.

The interview with Leo Gerard, International President of United Steelworkers, in this same video around 3m06s is well worth watching because Gerard explains why workers voted for Trump’s electors. This is a critical point the MSM and Democrats don’t want to admit or discuss: they can’t afford to insult Trump voters without looking like asses, and they can’t afford to lose these workers as viewers (MSM TV is dying and MSM respect is vanishing). So MSM can’t admit “Candidate Trump said the things that workers wanted to believe. He was the first person, as one person told me, I was hand-billing at a gate, [and the guy said ‘you know me well, Leo] I don’t want that [handbill], I said ‘Why?’ he said ‘I’m gonna vote for Trump.’ I said ‘You know Trump’s not telling you what he’s really gonna do.’ and he said ‘Yeah, but he’s the only one who’s been talking about it for years.'” (3m42s).

Gerard’s point here echoes what you’ve been saying about Candidate Trump’s anti-empire/war talk (and the noticeable shift to continuing Obama’s wars).

A recent Netflix promotion features Netflix stars in character threatening death for one and one’s family for illicitly sharing copies of “Narcos”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfhK1HnPIe8 has the video.

https://torrentfreak.com/narcos-cali-cartel-threatens-to-kill-illegal-downloaders-170912/ covers this unusual promotion — actors from the show in their Narcos characters addressing the camera directly to say horrible things to the viewer.

Narcos is a TV show about drug traffickers. The lead characters are thugs; drug dealers and murderers.

From https://torrentfreak.com/narcos-cali-cartel-threatens-to-kill-illegal-downloaders-170912/

“Do you think we’re like Hadopi? Do you think we’re going to send you a
nice and polite letter first? Please, sir / madam, could you please not
illegally download Narcos? We don’t do courtesy letters.”

“There is no please, no por favor, no s’il vous plait,” Pepe adds.

Finally, the big boss chimes in delivering the final threat. People who
continue to download or point others to “shitty” websites with pop-ups
that offer Narcos for free, can expect to meet the bullet.

“There’s bullets for you, your family, and all the people you send to
watch Narcos on all those shitty websites full of questionable pop-ups,”
Gilberto says.

Unlike the TorrentFreak.com article’s author, I didn’t find the Netflix piece amusing. I got the joke, but I found it somewhat more than a joke because the actors are addressing the audience directly, breaking the fourth wall makes it seem like Netflix is using the characters to talk to the public. I also recall that “The IT Crowd” did it better and without telling its audience that sharing copies of “The IT Crowd” would be met with murders.

I don’t think Netflix is actually pursuing murdering people who share copies of its copyrighted shows, but I also don’t think it is a very respectful way to motivate a would-be customer by telling them they and their family will die if they share copies of Narcos (and presumably other Netflix shows).

It reminds me of the over-the-top intro shown in cinemas where the narrator says things like “You wouldn’t steal a car. You wouldn’t steal a handbag. You wouldn’t steal a television. You wouldn’t steal a DVD. Downloading pirated films is stealing.” (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNaPAmceFOo). Not only is copyright infringement not theft, but they’re also showing this to the wrong audience: people who have paid to see the movie!

A British sitcom called “The I.T. Crowd” parodied this MPAA promo (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALZZx1xmAzg) years ago and had an increasingly unlikely and mean series of actions showing things “You wouldn’t” do and ended with an FBI agent shooting a young person dead as they were downloading something on their computer (presumably illicitly downloading a copy of a movie). The victim’s blood filled their keyboard, and the live audience clearly understood this to be a joke because it was so beyond the pale. I don’t think anyone genuinely believed any copyright holder would use a threat of death to push an anti-sharing message.

The artists get there first, right?

I’ll have something for you on Thomas Frank’s multi-part interview with TheRealNews.com’s Paul Jay. But for now…

War: weapons deals

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWShuIxpU0I — Turkey buys Russian S-400 missile system

War: DPRK

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K52R0QjsAjU — Seoul celebrates new DPRK sanctions
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47bkRVvg-5Y — DPRK sanctions said to be “unprecedented” in scope. Each new revision of sanctions seem to be more severe than the last. China & Russia, meanwhile, offer the ‘double freeze’ initiative the US’ Nikki Haley rejected out of hand.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUbPp1CO-18 — DPRK responds to sanctions saying they “will cause pain and suffering”. I think they’re right, on both sides, but DPRK has shown they can get around the sanctions. See “The Propaganda Game” (2015) for evidence of HP computer workstations in a DPRK computer lab, for instance, and see how Alejandro Cao de Benos, the sole foreigner who works for the DPRK Government, laughs at the sanctions present then. Pres. Putin has also warned against people believing “military hysteria” about DPRK. Putin also called the US sanctions “useless and ineffective”.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbPZ3hZ5mLI — US wants regime change and using nukes as excuse — John Pilger
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahYcff_tvb8 — DPRK is not as nuclear capable as we’ve been led to believe by MSM.

Russophobia: NYT & Venezuela

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zsS5NKu784 — NYT runs anti-Trump ad for $200k, nobody complains about it. Meanwhile, there’s a kerfuffle about Facebook accepting money for running Russian ads.

Civil liberties

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U22xPujjMI0 — Watch your civil liberties disappear as Pres. Trump pushes for Congress to reauthorize surveillance law ostensibly to track foreign spies but useful for monitoring citizens domestically as well.

French labor strike

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XV9AusSlOZE — Unions planning to strike against Macron’s labor law reforms
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTDXRF7Vd80 — Rally against Macron’s planned labor reforms
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wM-7yL6gcK4 — Clashes break out at rally against Macron’s planned labor law reforms
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSjgI_qEH9w — Paris anti-labor reform protest

KNOW’S NOTES – SEPTEMBER, WEEK 2
=============================
Research for News from Neptune provided
by Doctor Know (J. B. Nicholson)

I know you’re away but I thought you’d want to skim some notes on how they’re covering some issues in the press. Keep in mind that these topic headings are somewhat arbitrary (DN’s coverage of DACA failing to include HRC’s history is public relations (PR) with the Democratic Party and its donors to DN; rewriting history benefits the rewriters).

War: More nukes in South Korea

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2mYploYFQU — not new for S. Korea,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6gQCMj5qkM — and this is a “big mistake” — author

War: Syria

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhJ1bW2DeUw — War: “No compelling evidence” that Assad used chemical weapons in Syria

DACA/immigration

https://www.democracynow.org/2017/9/6/meet_cesar_espinosa_after_surviving_harvey
https://www.democracynow.org/2017/9/7/trumps_hurricane_of_hate
https://www.democracynow.org/2017/9/6/headlines/trump_admin_rescinds_daca_program_sparking_widespread_protests

There’s plenty of pro-DACA coverage on DN these days, but no coverage that 2014 Hillary Clinton said the immigrants had to go (as is covered in the last of the above links). I’ll expand on the claims made in that RT “The Resident” piece below:

HRC 2014 (circa her previous book ‘Hard Choices’): “They should be sent back as soon as it can be determined who responsible adults and their families are because there are concerns about whether all of them can be sent back but I think all of them who can be should be reunited with their families…We have to send a clear message: just because your child gets across the border that doesn’t mean the child gets to stay. We don’t want to send a message that is contrary to our laws or will encourage more children to make that dangerous journey.” in a CNN interview with Christiane Amanpour — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KH8wp_Igx68 (1m11s)

HRC 2017 (selling her new book ‘What Happened’): “No time to waste – we’ve got to fight with everything we’ve got to #DefendDACA.” — https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton/status/904549571602341888

Who benefits from not telling the public about HRC’s flip-flop? And whose interests are DN working for by not covering this?

I find no article on democracynow.org that has the words “clinton” near “daca” from the year 2017. There are 3 hits on “clinton daca” in 2017 as I write this but none have to do with talking about Hillary Clinton’s reversal, calling her a racist (like today’s anti-Trumpers are calling Trump a racist), or anything critical about her with regard to disallowing the children who were brought here illegally by their parents (the so-called “dreamers”).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8ZZhkK7KfQ — Canada backtracks on promise to allow immigrants.

US party politics

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiACyJDuRmo — “Draft Bernie” campaigner says “This is not an effort to create a third party necessarily. Our system only permits two parties. This is an effort, rather, to replace the Democratic Party with a party that represents the progressive populous left” as Nick Brana, organizer of “The People’s Convergence” says at 2m18s. This group invited Bernie Sanders, were let down because Sanders was a no-show, and somehow push for their issues. But this is confusing because the https://draftbernie.org/ website has a quote from Josh Fox, documentarian, saying “When people aren’t represented, new parties are born… We need to say to Bernie, ’It’s time to distance yourself from the Democrats and to start something new and we’re behind you to do that.” giving people the idea that draftbernie.org is about starting a new party.

The site also describes their mission:

Our Mission

The Draft Bernie for a People’s Party campaign aims to channel the
enthusiasm generated by the Sanders campaign into building a new
political party.

I am not convinced that they know what they want or what they’re doing. This could be a Bernie Sanders-driven campaign to ultimately go with whatever the Democrats want come election time.

PR

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfBTHQ3VMzA — is the MSM prepping us for war? Yes. MSM has no time for Korean War explanation because that gets in the way of pitching Kim Jong-un as a ‘madman’. Double-freeze acceptable to other major parties (Russia, China, DPRK) but not US.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ki6r08tQu7g — Is Hollywood prepping us for war? Yes. Another factor not mentioned in this report is covered in the documentary “This Film Not Yet Rated” where we learn of the biases in the rating system which make violence more accessible to younger viewers than sex or nudity. Why? To help train the youth that fighting wars is normal and young people should want to go out and kill for America.

Jesse Ventura (former pro wrestler, former mayor, former governor) has a TV show again — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoIC4iOwnyk is the first episode of the new show called “The World According to Jesse”. It’s worth watching.

He’s working with Brigida Santos (who is quickly pulling herself out of doing tech promo spots by doing more serious talk on shows and pieces of her own, which is refreshing).

Ventura is explicitly pitching peace with Russia (gasp!), pointing out the hypocrisy in the US trying to shame Russia for interfering with elections, naming names (Ed Schultz, for example, is a guest on show #1 and has rightly named CNN as a problem when it comes to using unnamed sources), telling people that healthcare and jobs are big issues not Russia’s alleged (and unproven) “hacking” of the US election, and telling people that there are 6 sources of news because of media consolidation.

Russophobia & war

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xQSZtHMERQ — In what might be her best commentary to date, “The Resident” remarks on why she voted for Obama’s electors and how she was let down when she saw Obama escalate wars and placate the compliant pro-war MSM.

Now there’s a Kickstarter to fund “Burying Joe: The Animated Series” featuring cartoon versions of Obama & Biden. Who is the audience for this? Anyone who wants “an animated adult sci-fi sitcom” that riffs on ‘Quantum Leap’ and other 1980s shows “for people who intensely miss the duo [of Biden and Obama]”.

I’m not sure whether to file this under “war” or “Russophobia” because I think there’s good arguments to place it under either heading (and, really, the Russophobic attacks pose a long-term threat of fomenting war with Russia).

War: it’s important to remind people, as she did, of what hell awaits them should they be on the receiving end of US foreign policy.

Russophobia: You know just from reading the summary/pitch that this is another MSM anti-Trumpsterism, taunting him into being as at least as compliant with the Permanent Government’s war agenda as Obama was. That’s the only TV MSM makes these days. I guess nobody bothered to remind them how bad the reruns will look after the Trump administration is in the rearview mirror and people are warmly looking back on it as Ellen DeGeneres did when she invited unprosecuted war criminal G.W. Bush on her show (dancing with him, sharing a joke about mishandling a poncho during Trump’s inauguration, taking a selfie with a jovial caption, pimping his art book, and all with absolutely no word of criticism about the killings he oversaw and ordered). That Ellen, what a rib tickler, eh?

Syria

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhJ1bW2DeUw — Ted Postol minces no words: “There simply is no compelling evidence [Assad used chemical weapons]. There are some indications that some people may have been poisoned by sarin or sarin-like substances, which of course is a nerve agent, but that doesn’t mean this was part of a chemical attack by the Assad government. We know that the rebels have had these chemicals…”.

Healthcare

Regarding https://theintercept.com/2017/09/07/elizabeth-warren-jumps-on-board-bernie-sanders-medicare-for-all-bill/ :

Sanders said in March that he would follow through on his long-held
support for single-payer insurance by introducing a bill extending
Medicare-like coverage to achieve universal health care. The bill, which
is still being crafted, is due to be unveiled Wednesday

I’ve been one to point out how Sens. Sanders, Warren, Franken, and others who one might believe support Medicare for All (HR676, tell your friends) have yet to introduce a senate version (say, SR676). There’s plenty of talk but no action on rallying any Congressmember (even fellow Democrats) and certainly no vote.

I’ve used the lack of urgency on this issue as a measuring stick to see how much they actually walk the talk. And so far I’ve been neither surprised nor interested in supporting these allegedly ‘good’ senators or the Democratic Party as a whole. The Republican Party is no good on this either, locally or nationally.

I’m not changing my position on this until I read whatever bill comes out and have time to think it over. But I note that if Pres. Trump decides to run for re-election, he could probably greatly increase his odds of winning if he were to push Republicans and Democrats to bring him the current Medicare for All bill ready to sign into law, and then sign it into law.

This isn’t as far-fetched as the MSM anti-Trumpers might have you believe: his candidacy featured the only supportive mention of a single-payer healthcare delivery system (just as his candidacy was unusual in being the last one in decades to challenge US war policy). Hillary Clinton’s mention was dismissive basically congratulating Canada for their single-payer system and reaffirming (sans evidence, as is the way with her) that we in the US can’t have nice things like that. In her upcoming book “What Happened” she also declares other things Bernie Sanders mentions as being simply politically impossible.

Sens. Warren, Sanders, and Franken should not inspire hope on this: they are fine with more war (including helping Israel kill and divide Palestinians). Death and misery don’t push these Senators toward better policy choices.

I await the Senate bill.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHNogXdUcaw — Yemen: The Neglected War — Anya Parampil’s segment makes it clear that US is culpable: US equipment, US-supplied information, and “US taxpayer dollars are the greatest enabler of the crisis” (8m54s). If you’re looking for something to run after AOTA, consider this roughly 30m piece.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSiOdpi6gjY — Yemen’s humanitarian crisis is ‘worst in the world’: 17M people are food insecure. Water expected to run out by 2025. 3M internally displaced (including 1M returnees).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJEoC_Cpzs0 — Drone footage of Raqqa.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tk7hPWP5UTg — DPRK & US posturing and preparing for war.

Democrats can’t get enough censorship…so long as they’re the censor

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSxlVf4yHtU — New HRC-backed social media site — verrit.com — (seemingly only for those who support HRC) suffers DDOS attack on launch. Why does this site exist? Because the Dems apparently don’t currently have enough power over Twitter or Facebook to effectively censor them. This new service is rife with the usual hypocrisy you’ve come to expect from HRC. verrit.com will fail because it’s obviously a half-assed corporate attempt to control what others are seen to be talking about, and because the Dems will never put as much money into this effort as other sites with more features have (such as Facebook & Twitter). verrit.com is too little, too blatant, and too late.

Fittingly, verrit.com is cached by CloudFlare, the organization whose CEO initially championed freedom of speech and CloudFlare neutrality among its customers (“we’re just the plumbers…”) and then when faced with a real case where they were challenged to react recently said he had “woken up in a bad mood” and “kicked [the Daily Stormer] off the internet”. Perhaps CloudFlare traded in a small customer that was unlikely to generate a lot of profit (Daily Stormer) for a larger customer CloudFlare could bill more heavily (Verrit) while CloudFlare simultaneously demonstrated their bona fides to the Democrats?

I was watching https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03sVndrjyGo and around 12m43s Larry Summers says that his group (Bernie Sanders’ org) “Our Revolution” moved “several” of the Democrats likely to vote for TPP and that “Obama let it go and Trump put icing on the cake” to get US support for TPP killed. He pointed out that “it wasn’t Trump who killed the TPP it was a mass movement…” that killed TPP.

I get that new groups want to show they’re effective and a force to be reckoned with, hence you get Summers saying “Our Revolution” was a significant reason TPP died. But what is to be gained by denying credit to Trump for playing any role in killing TPP?

I recall great opposition to the TPP amongst those who knew anything about it, regardless of what they thought about the 2016 election. I don’t recall a lot of people supporting Clinton believing that she was likely to sign the TPP. Trump made campaign pledges saying he would not support TPP.

Could it be that one practical way for those opposed to TPP to express such opposition was to vote for the one candidate opposed to TPP who also had the best chance to win the election — Trump?

http://g-2.space/thenation/

The article doesn’t challenge the main thrust of the critique of what the Dems say was a “hack” (external break-in). What happened with the DNC emails continues to look a lot more like a leak (inside job) than a “hack”.

Despite months of waiting, the Dems never put together a plausible story with enough detail to be believed when they claimed up to 1,000 foreign adversaries working from Russia, under the direct coordination of Vladimir Putin, had done anything the Dems alleged. We’d need network logs showing when something was done, we’d need to know the names of individuals involved in the conspiracy besides Putin, and we have none of this information. The Dems put out enough fear, uncertainty, and doubt to let people suspect Russia was up to no good and these oh-so-crafty Russians did something technical to spirit away a copy of emails to WikiLeaks.

Instead, the McGovern group (Ray McGovern has been the chief spokesperson on RT for this) says that copy speeds alleged to be used are far greater than what would have been available to the DNC at the time — about 184Mb/s (megabits per second) — which exceeds what networking was available to the DNC at the time. The Freitas independent review commissioned by The Nation for no fee concurs with McGovern’s group and a pseudonymous researcher named “The Forensicator”.

Also, we don’t have any data backing up the DNC’s initial story: no data showing a network connection was involved (“there is no metadata showing they were downloaded from any specific server, on any specific network, or in any specific geographic location” as another party commissioned by The Nation for no fee said). This helps explain why nobody (particularly the Dems who have the responsibility to back their own case) can come up with logs showing evidence of a network connection between the DNC server and someplace in Russia.

Now that the Dems have moved on to another story (Trump’s business dealings with Russia are suspect) I suspect the Dems are silently coming to grips with being found out. They’re not changing their politics — they’re just as war-loving and corporate-power-favoring as ever — but they see that there’s not much life left in the old Russiagate so they had better try to steer Russiagate into a new story to distract the country further and buy them some more time.

More details on specific points:

I understand that Katrina vanden Heuvel (editor & publisher of The
Nation) and her husband have both come under pressure from elements
within the Democratic party and mainstream media with some political
attack dogs already snarling their names and trying to make things
personal – so I’m not surprised to see how things have turned out.

I’ve seen far more outlets never acknowledge anything that contradicts the official original narrative of “Up to 1,000 coordinated Russians ‘hacked’ the US election under the direct guidance of Vladimir Putin.” as was stated by HRC, Mark Warner, James Clapper, and others backing the Dems case in the media (MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow most notably because she got mainstream media notice for her ratings boost).

None of them seem to know what a botnet is, by the way. A botnet is a set of network-connected computers doing something under coordination via a surreptitiously-installed program. Typically this involves taking advantage of a security flaw to covertly install a program on a computer (rendering that computer compromised) and then using that computer to send messages somewhere to achieve some end. This has some relation what sysadmins call “endpoint management” except (like the difference between ‘compound’ and ‘estate’ in media descriptions of someone’s home) the difference aims to lend the impression of Bad Things are Happening (in the case of a “botnet”) versus Good Things are Happening (“endpoint management”).

The g-2.space article goes into a review of RSIDs without first explaining what they are[1] to the uninitiated (the author of the article says “I’ve emailed Katrina vanden Heuvel and have asked for this mistake to be corrected” but I doubt Katrina vanden Heuvel knows what RSIDs are because they never come up in common computer usage and I don’t know vanden Heuvel to be a technical user). But the problem with the feedback is that RSIDs aren’t a terribly important part of the underlying counter-argument from Binney, Folden, Loomis, McGovern, and Wiebe nor the Freitas independent review group The Nation asked to look into this and report (without fee). We all understand that the CIA can manipulate metadata to throw off investigators (one of WikiLeaks’ “Vault 7” releases — https://wikileaks.org/vault7/#Marble%20Framework — was about just this topic).

The relevant factors include copying speeds, network speed on the relevant network at the time, who had access to what data, commonly-available hardware (namely a USB thumb drive), and fleshing out a story that makes more sense than what was given are the important parts of their objection.

[1] The term “RSID” I’m familiar with are “Reed-Solomon identification codes”: codes used to help identify bad data in some set of data and (ideally) correct the errant data. Even if the data in the file is slightly corrupted, an RSID can help identify which data is bad and possibly help correct it. DVDs, Blu-ray discs, and some file formats use them for error checking and correcting purposes.

KNOW’S NOTES – SEPTEMBER, WEEK 1
=============================
Research for News from Neptune provided
by Doctor Know (J. B. Nicholson)

It’s the story that WILL NOT DIE. Roughly in order of occurrence:

Hillary Clinton spectacularly loses the 2016 US presidential election to someone her supporters had long branded a horrible buffoon, his supporters “deplorables”. Her campaign team apparently thought so little of Trump’s candidacy that the Clinton camp wanted to go up against (Trump was on a short list of preferred candidates).

On Dec. 30, 2016 the Obama administration expelled 35 Russian diplomats over alleged “election meddling”. In response, on the same day, Pres. Putin invited US diplomats’ children in Russia to a New Years party in the Kremlin.

Months of that “Russia ‘hacked’ the US election” narrative persisted despite any evidence showing the story to be true. US talking heads on TV made a lot of money pushing those lies, but no proof has materialized to back up any of the claims:

– Russians “hacked” the US election
– Russians worked under the direct orders of Vladimir Putin himself
– Alleged “hacking” constituted conversing with others on social media networks (whether truthfully or untruthfully)
– Alleged “hacking” constituted breaking into the DNC’s computers remotely over the Internet and copying emails, then getting copies of said emails to WikiLeaks.

– The 1,000 points of light? Or paid Internet trolls?

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia): “What really concerns me [are reports] there were upwards of 1,000 paid internet trolls working out of a facility in Russia, in effect taking over a series of computers which are then called botnets that can generate news down to specific areas” — from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/russian-trolls-fake-news_us_58dde6bae4b08194e3b8d5c4

James Clapper, Dir. National Intelligence: “This was a multifaceted campaign. So the hacking was only one part of it, and it also entailed classical propaganda, disinformation, fake news.” — in http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2017/01/05/russia_used_fake_news_to_influence_the_election_james_clapper_says.html You remember James Clapper, the guy who told us the NSA wasn’t spying on us.

Hillary Clinton at the “Code Conference” on May 31, 2015: “If you look at Facebook, the vast majority of the news items posted were fake. They were connected to — as we now know — the 1,000 Russian agents who were involved in delivering those messages. They were connected to the bots that are just out of control.” — in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgdJlzuaJ6k

Meanwhile one election appears to have been fraudulently handled: the 2016 US Democratic Party primary, leading to the victory of Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders. Sanders himself knew this was going on and told people on TV (but he received very little media coverage no matter what he did). Sanders supporters revolted at Clinton’s DNC rally and apparently some of them didn’t vote for her the general election. Sanders supporters tried to sue and recently had their case thrown out. But one useful statement came out of this lawsuit: we all learned that the DNC has no obligation to hold a fair primary. As their lawyer Bruce Spiva clearly indicated to the court (in http://jampac.us/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/042517cw2.pdf pages 36-37), they could choose their standard bearer (a corporate officer, since the DNC is a corporation) amongst DNC elites by going “into back rooms like they used to and smoke cigars and pick the candidate that way. That’s not the way it was done. But they could have. And that would have also been their right”.

Circa August 2017: The Plot Changes!

Old plot: Using hazily described methods, Russia (under the direct command of Putin himself) ordered upwards of 1,000 “hackers” to steer the US election to Donald Trump.

Evidence of old plot: none yet, but there is counter-evidence that the DNC emails were leaked to WikiLeaks from actors INSIDE the DNC using some local means such as a USB port and a USB thumb drive to copy the data, not, as was alleged by those backing the old plot, copied by Russians over the Internet. This raises interest in the murder of Seth Rich, a technically astute DNC worker who had access to relevant servers and was mysteriously murdered in what was said to be a robbery. The problem with that story: nothing was stolen from his body.

New plot: Pres. Trump’s businesses are a means for Russian mobsters to launder money.

Evidence of new plot: none yet, stay tuned!

This weekend:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqMZB6nefqs — mysterious smoke rising from Russian consulate in San Francisco. RT says San Francisco fire dept. says this is a “false alarm”.

Russian consulate in DC forcibly emptied (apparently illegally in violation of intl. law) and being searched starting at 2PM DC time.

More reports/reaction on this:


State Dept. conducts search of DC Russian trade mission. SF Russian consulate (including diplomats’ flats) will also be searched.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KApwpwxnYGY — Annie Machon, former MI5 member, clarifies that Trump administration is under pressure to be mean to Russians, Trump admin. under greater pressure to get Julian Assange to the US. This could have ugly consequences for Edward Snowden too as Maria Zakharova (Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson) says “We reserve the right for retaliatory actions. However, this is not our choice. It has been forced upon us.”.

There is acknowledgement that Pres. Trump likely doing this under pressure from those who want aggression against Russia (so-called ‘Deep State’).

All of this happens while Pres. Trump says in speeches that he wants better relations with Russia, and Russians heads of state concur saying the same about the US. But there’s this illegal and highly provocative pair of expulsions to deal with, the apparently ongoing Russia-baiting of what has come to be called “Russiagate” and it’s utter lack of evidence plus changing storyline, and absolutely no apologies given for abandoning the previous storyline when counter-evidence is published.

So, why is the Permanent Government investing further in Russiagate?

– to sow fear of Russia for future exploitation ostensibly justifying war with Russia.

– if they give up on it, they’ll look really bad and that could come back to haunt the entirety of the Democratic Party at any election nationwide, particularly in light of the counter-evidence described above debunking their first story.

– to get Assange into the US so he can be tortured and imprisoned without charge for the rest of his life. This would hardly be the first pack of lies used to get at Assange: remember the allegations of sexual misconduct that never rose to being charges (even after the women alleged to be the victims didn’t back the story that they were abused or raped)?

– to push Snowden into running where he is more easily captured by US-friendly forces, and then tortured and imprisoned for the rest of his life.

– and because repeating the first lies (“Russia ‘hacked’ the US elections”) have paid some (albeit minor) dividends:

– So many (pardon the language) “leftist” news reporters are buying it. Even Democracy Now is on record having uncritically published stuff that comes from this — such as https://www.democracynow.org/2017/8/2/explosive_lawsuit_white_house_fox_peddled — a discussion of Seth Rich’s murder which is said to be a “peddled conspiracy” even though the story that Rich used his insider access to help get those emails to WikiLeaks is far more plausible than anything DN has ever said. DN never bothers explaining why think Rich’s murder has nothing to do with getting DNC emails to WikiLeaks. Remember when Allan Nairn said in a DN interview with Assange, “Trump and the intelligence and the deep state is a spat, not a struggle” when Nairn was trying to minimize the perceived fight between the President and the “Deep State”‘s push for regime change wars in https://www.democracynow.org/2017/4/10/julian_assange_vs_allan_nairn_did ? If that were a “spat” wouldn’t it likely be over by now because nobody involved wanted to push it further? I think it was a fight and remains a fight because the “deep state” keeps pushing for more in this struggle and Pres. Trump is too weak to usefully object.

– Rachel Maddow is getting the highest ratings of her career “seeing a ‘Russia Connection’ lurking around every corner” according to https://theintercept.com/2017/04/12/msnbcs-rachel-maddow-sees-a-russia-connection-lurking-around-every-corner/ and despite that her alleged “scoop” about a fake NSA document was nothing (see https://theintercept.com/2017/07/07/rachel-maddows-exclusive-scoop-about-a-fake-nsa-document-raises-several-key-questions/). A “nothing burger” as Van Jones of CNN said when he didn’t know he was being recorded.

I wrote:

Regarding https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgOPIUIhhCs (the first few Q&A segments of it, anyhow):

Looks like I’m not the only one to notice that corporate comedy doesn’t identify what’s wrong.

Enjoy some “Free Speech Friday” pointers before you head off to China:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYLaACqOakw — on how South Park’s animators won’t join the corporate “left” in making anti-Trump jokes. The host doesn’t identify much more than what she finds objectionable and supportable in South Park, but she does mention Colbert by name. I take this to be a follow-up to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQwe4xD5wxU which is the same host talking about how Jimmy Fallon was scolded by his media bosses for not joining what she calls ‘the hive mind’ on anti-Trumpism. I too loathe Fallon — I find him unwatchable — and I find the other late-night shows to be unwatchable as well. But I also find “The Resistance” to be bullshit aimed at getting us to put corporate values in charge.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ojf4sIG9dSI — Lionel on how the US never wanted a free press.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzFe9IxoHZw — Spanish journalists deported from Ukraine, accused of ‘fake news’.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zD5VW_z6pG0 — Journalist fired for exposing how the CIA ran weapons to ‘terrorists’.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4Q5XVk3te4 — Google scandal exposes DC pay-for-play. There’s plenty to dislike in this exchange: Google is a spying organization that rolls out services to better spy on its users; government connections in this work are critical. Years ago we were told that Google gives (gratis) collected data to the US Govt. to help grease the skids of good relations with the US. It’s no surprise that the head of the “New America Foundation” is tight with the Clintons.

Another related problem: Google’s ranking is politically built, not a fair representation of keyword presence or keyword order (a search order/ranking which would help users). Lynn asserts in https://gizmodo.com/yes-google-uses-its-power-to-quash-ideas-it-doesn-t-li-1798646437 that Google manipulates its search engine rankings by the presence of a Google “+1″ button (akin to a thumbs-up Facebook button) to promote some sites over others that would otherwise have higher ranking:

The Google salespeople were encouraging Forbes to add Plus’s “+1” social
buttons to articles on the site, alongside the Facebook Like button and
the Reddit share button. They said it was important to do because the
Plus recommendations would be a factor in search results—a crucial
source of traffic to publishers.

This sounded like a news story to me. Google’s dominance in search and
news give it tremendous power over publishers. By tying search results
to the use of Plus, Google was using that muscle to force people to
promote its social network.

I asked the Google people if I understood correctly: If a publisher
didn’t put a +1 button on the page, its search results would suffer? The
answer was yes.

After the meeting, I approached Google’s public relations team as a
reporter, told them I’d been in the meeting, and asked if I understood
correctly. The press office confirmed it, though they preferred to say
the Plus button “influences the ranking.” They didn’t deny what their
sales people told me: If you don’t feature the +1 button, your stories
will be harder to find with Google.

I believe they not only do this but also alter rankings based on which sites spread messages Google doesn’t like (BlackAgendaReport.com pages, for instance, get lowered ranking). One can either choose another search engine (I suggest StartPage.com) and/or narrow the search terms by telling the search engine which site’s results you want to see with the keyword “site:” as in “site:NewsFromNeptune.com Chomsky” will return pages on NewsFromNeptune.com that contain the word “Chomsky”.

Lynn wrote something reasonable for the Washington Post in https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2017/08/31/i-criticized-google-it-got-me-fired-thats-how-corporate-power-works/ which also restates something Chomsky has said before and makes a good wrap-up for this collection of notes.

Lynn wrote:

We should all be worried about big business interfering with our speech,
our thinking and our expression. By design, the private business
corporation is geared to pursue its own interests. It’s our job as
citizens to structure a political economy that keeps corporations small
enough to ensure that their actions never threaten the people’s
sovereignty over our nation. The first and most vital step to this end
is to protect the media we use to communicate with one another from
being captured by a few giants.

I agree with the idea that “it’s our job to make power frightened of us” as Chris Hedges pointed out to a New School crowd before last year’s election in a discussion with Cornel West. Businesses are tyrannies (including the little University down the street) inside and they don’t miss any opportunity to let the workers know that.

So according to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_fdBqISODQ (one of the few places one could get news about the DNC lawsuit), the case has been dismissed. “The Court must now decide whether Plaintiffs have suffered a concrete injury particularized to them, or one certainly impending, that is traceable to the DNC and its former chair’s conduct–the keys to entering federal court. The Court holds that they have not, which means the truth of their claims cannot be tested in this Court.”.

http://jampac.us/dnclawsuit/ has the relevant documents.

http://jampac.us/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/62-D.E.-62-Ord-of-Dismissal-8-25-17.pdf is the order of dismissal.

Look up “Jam PAC” on YouTube for videos.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxq7sQfX7dj4ipVUAR1m7Fg has attorney Beck’s videos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3FMgZruOXE about the lawsuit progress.

You’ll recall what DNC attorney Bruce Spiva told us in http://jampac.us/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/042517cw2.pdf pages 36-37 — the quote we can cite to point out what a fraud Democratic Party primaries are and how other primaries need not be any more democratic:

[I]f you had a charity where somebody said, Hey, I’m gonna take this
money and use it for a specific purpose, X, and they pocketed it and
stole the money, of course that’s different. But here, where you have a
party that’s saying, We’re gonna, you know, choose our standard bearer,
and we’re gonna follow these general rules of the road, which we are
voluntarily deciding, we could have — and we could have voluntarily
decided that, Look, we’re gonna go into back rooms like they used to and
smoke cigars and pick the candidate that way. That’s not the way it was
done. But they could have. And that would have also been their right,
and it would drag the Court well into party politics, internal party
politics to answer those questions.

This lawsuit dismissal sends the message that the DNC can indeed rig its primary so-called “elections” as it wishes, and indeed the DNC lawyer’s words were true. So long as political parties don’t represent themselves as being fair in the implementation of primaries, they may choose whomever they wish to be their representative in the manner they select.

In a completely separate case, DNC campaign staff allege that the DNC won’t pay them overtime they argue they’re due. http://swartz-legal.com/flsa-fairlaborstandarsact/democratic-national-committee-flsa-overtime-lawsuit/ has some info on this from those bringing that lawsuit.

Democracy Now! hasn’t reported on either case. Whose interests are served in that silence?

###

MEMO TO PRAIRIEGREENS: LOCAL DEMOCRAT LEGISLATORS

CHAMPAIGN-URBANA, ILLINOIS
JULY 13, 2015

PART 1 – RACISM

[1.1] Carol Ammons, state representative for this district, has asked to speak to a meeting of the Prairie Greens. Carol refused to vote against SB1761, a shameful measure supporting apartheid by US client Israel. She would not have voted in favor of South African apartheid.

[1.2] The Salaita affair at UIUC shows that Israeli apartheid has a more effective lobby in Illinois than South African apartheid did a generation ago, although both racist regimes were supported by the US government for its own foreign policy purposes.

[1.3] Both our local legislators, Democrat state senator Scott Bennett and Democratic state representative Carol Ammons, refused to vote against Senate Bill 1761. Both were recorded as “NV” – not voting on the measure. It should be clear that they refused to vote against racism.

[1.4] The bill, actively promoted by the government of Israel, directed that state monies (like university pension funds) be removed from companies that observed the boycott of business conducted in the territories illegally occupied by Israel.

[1.5] SB1761 is part of the attack by the government of Israel, repeated across the US, on the BDS (boycott/divestment/sanctions) movement. While the BDS movement is not above criticism, it should lead to a discussion of Israeli apartheid – and its support by our government – and that is what the government of Israel wants to avoid, by the circuitous route of passing laws like SB1761 through US state legislatures. (Compare the resolution – HR35 – passed by the California state legislature, which condemns racism and anti-Semitism at schools in the State of California: it conflates anti-Semitism and protected speech critical of Israel; the University of Illinois is hardly unfamiliar with that stratagem <http://mondoweiss.net/…/california-state-assembly-passes-re…>.)

[1.6] “Within Israel, discrimination against non-Jews is severe; the land laws are just the most extreme example. But it is not South African–style apartheid. In the occupied territories, the situation is far worse than it was in South Africa, where the white nationalists needed the black population: it was the country’s workforce, and as grotesque as the bantustans were, the nationalist government devoted resources to sustaining and seeking international recognition for them. In sharp contrast, Israel wants to rid itself of the Palestinian burden. The road ahead is not toward South Africa, as commonly alleged, but toward something much worse.” [Noam Chomsky]

[1.7] “The Israeli state has never been more violent, the blood toll of Palestinian civilians never so high. In 2014, the Israeli military and security forces killed more than 2,300 Palestinians and wounded another 17,000. That’s the worst carnage since 1967, when the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza intensified in the wake of the Six Day War. During the height of the last Israeli rampage in Gaza last summer, more than 500,000 Palestinians were displaced from their homes. And, according to a recent UN Report titled Fractured Lives, more than 100,000 of them remain homeless. Detentions of Palestinians inside Israeli prisons are also on the rise. As of the end of February of this year, more than 6,600 Palestinians were being held in Israeli prisons and IDF detention centers, the most in five years. So the gears of the killing machine grind on with impunity, each slaughter only serving to embolden more killing.” [J. St. Clair]

 

PART  2 – TAXES

[2.1] After 40 years of accelerating increase in inequality in the US – and the craven surrender of the Democratic party (see Walter Benn Michaels, “The Trouble with Diversity: How We Learned to Love Identity and Ignore Inequality,” 2007) – the solution is nevertheless clear enough: tax the possessors of wealth – “high net worth individuals” (HINWIS). In Illinois, the Democrats tried to do that in the last session, with their (limited) “millionaires tax,” but there’s some question how serious they were. But it is the right approach: we should simply distinguish for tax purposes the income people need to live and the income used to play the stock market – “investable assets.”

[2.2] We should resist any proposal to expand property taxes or the sales tax – or to start taxing retirement income. That confuses the two types of income. Illinois is fifth in the list of states with number of people with a net worth of $30 million or more – UHINWIs, “ultra-high net worth individuals” (after CA, NY, TX, and FL). These are the Illinoisans who should be taxed, not those with investable assets less than $1 million.

[2.3] Democratic state senator Scott Bennett and Democratic state representative Carol Ammons held a ‘Joint Town Hall’ rally last Thursday (7/9). They blamed the wretched Governor Rauner for the state’s budget impasse. In fact, it’s entirely in the Democrats’ hands. As Paul Mueth pointed out at the meeting, the Democrats have veto-proof majorities in both houses. They could pass a budget and the taxes – primarily a financial-transactions tax (HB 106) – necessary to fund it. Ammons replied that not all those Democrat votes can be counted on. Thus the Democrats can have it both ways – they can say that they’re in favor of the spending and the taxes, but then allow enough no votes so that they won’t pass. The same thing happened with Speaker Madigan’s ‘millionaires’ tax.’ In both cases the Democrats can tell the public they’re interested in solving the problem – and then quietly show their 1% donors that they won’t do it.

[2.4] “It is absolutely bizarre to live in Illinois and watch the hand wringing and the pitiful cries of the workers and the endless articles on the budget crisis and to NEVER hear a word about HB 106, the solution to the problem. A one dollar tax on each trade on the Chicago Board of Trade, which works out to about one thousandth of one percent tax. Meanwhile, average Illinoisans are paying 8.75% sales tax! But our legislators, our pundits, our union leaders, our media just can’t imagine bringing up HB 106, because rich people are immune to taxes. Screw you, teachers! Screw you, nurses! Screw you, social workers! The rich must be coddled. The Tax That Must Not Be Named – HB 106: Revenue – Financial Transactions” [Paula Densnow].

[2.5] “The Illinois Green Party has long proposed far better answers to our state’s fiscal problems … [They include a financial transactions tax], a sales tax on speculative trading at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Board Options Exchange and other trading houses – a measure that could dramatically raise billions of dollars in new revenue, simply by taxing the sale of options, futures and derivatives at an infinitesimally small rate. Proposals for creation of a public bank, and for implementation of a sales tax on speculation have been introduced by State Representative Mary Flowers, in H.B. 107 and H.B. 106, respectively. The Illinois Green Party urges support for these bills.”
PART 3 – ELECTIONS

[3.1] As the Obama administration drags on to its murderous conclusion, it’s clear that it’s even more neocon (secret war around the world) and more neolib (secret TPP, TTIP, etc.) than its predecessor was. (To be clear, neoliberalism means using the government to secure the profits of the 1%; neoconservatism means using the military to secure the profits of the 1%. Both major parties are of course neoliberal and neoconservative.)

[3.2] The state Democratic party is a continuation of the national party by local means: it is
~ pro-war (not opposing SB 1761 – support for Israeli apartheid = the way the Obama admin. supports its stationary aircraft carrier), and
~ pro-Wall St. (not approving HB 106 – the financial transaction tax = the way to end the state’s fiscal problems).
It’s time to reject pro-war/pro-Wall St. parties and their candidates. We’ve killed a lot of people at home and abroad by not doing so.

[3.3] SB1761 – like a similar measure in Congress – is a law with some teeth. The legislation requires pension funds to stop investing money in foreign companies that have boycotted Israel or businesses that operate in ‘territories under the control of Israel’ [i.e., the territories illegally occupied by Israel]. Illinois should not be shielding Israel from boycotts protesting human rights abuses and settlements that are illegal under international law. (See more at: “Congress and state legislatures are on the warpath against BDS” <http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/congress-legislatures-against>.)

[3.4] A boycott is a tactic (not a principle) and so must be efficaciously in the interest of the victims, in this case the victims of Israeli apartheid. But the effectiveness of this particular tactic is indicated by the lengths to which the Israeli government (and its US sympathizers) are willing to go to stop it. Even the South African government a generation ago didn’t go so far as to pressure US state legislators to stop boycotts of South African apartheid. Scott Bennett, Carol Ammons, and other Illinois legislators have timidly given in to bullying, aided Israeli oppression, and should be ashamed.

[3.5] Some of our colleagues and comrades in the PrairieGreens think the party should not run candidates in the local legislative elections in 2016, because Bennett [52nd district] and Ammons [103rd district] are liberals. SB 1761 – and the behavior of the Democrats in the legislature in regard to the budget and taxes – argue that not to do so would be a mistake. The Illinois state democrats are Syriza – the latter as tragedy, the former as farce…

[3.6] “The Green Party of the United States (GPUS) is a green political party in the United States founded in 1984 as a federation of state green parties. With its founding, the Green Party of the United States became the primary national Green organization in that country, eclipsing the Greens/Green Party USA, which emphasized non-electoral movement building … The party promotes environmentalism and social justice with policy principles in nonviolence, grassroots democracy and participatory democracy, etc…”

–C. G. ESTABROOK

AWARE ON THE AIR week 22, 2015

 

COMMENCEMENT DAY AT THE ETHICALLY-CHALLENGED UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS, URBANA-CHAMPAIGN

May 16, 2015

A financial writer, Bill Bonner, addresses graduates:

“If you’ve studied the sciences or engineering – especially petroleum engineering, according to a study done by Georgetown University – maybe you’ll be able to earn enough money to pay your student debt. But most of you have wasted your money, with degrees in subjects that won’t help you understand the real world we live in or earn an extra dime in it. Many of you have actually spent the best years of your lives, and borrowed a fortune, to learn things that aren’t true. History, economics, government, politics – for every useful and truthful insight you may have learned, there are probably 100 more that were buried under claptrap.”

The university as we know it predates capitalism. It was invented a thousand years ago in Europe as a means of intellectual control – a system for licensing scholars by the church and the state. In that millennium, many of the greatest European spirits – from Erasmus to Marx – were driven out of the university. Erasmus, in one of his brief stops at a university – Cambridge, in England – writes, “There is a great absence here, everyone being away for fear of the plague. Of course, when everyone is here, there’s a great absence here as well.”

For largely accidental reasons, I’ve been privileged to attend and teach in some of the most prestigious eductional institutions in the US for more than half a century. What have I learnt? The truth of American philosopher John Dewey’s observation from a century ago, which my TV colleague Ron Szoke often quotes:

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”

If I could advise my youthful self at my college commencement, I would begin with, “Stop thinking about tomorrow. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof” – an editorial comment on the Sermon on the Mount from the gospel according to Matthew. (“The same words, in Hebrew, are used to express the same thought in the Rabbinic Jewish saying dyya l’tzara b’shaata (דיה לצרה בשעתה), ‘the suffering of the present hour is enough for it.’ It is also similar to the Epicurean advice of writers such as Anacreon and Horace — quid sit futurum cras, fuge quaerere [avoid asking what the future will bring].”)

I wish I could have taken seriously the revolutionary advice Matthew is commenting on:

‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear?” For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.’

###

US policy in the Mideast

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n10/seymour-m-hersh/the-killing-of-osama-bin-laden

After several thousand words detailing Obama’s duplicity and war criminality (and incidentally exposing Obama’s lie that torture ceased in his administration), Hersh astonishingly writes, “His principled stand on behalf of the proposed nuclear agreement with Iran says much…”

It certainly does: it says it’s not “principled” at all but just an attempt to restore the pre-1979 US control of Gulf oil flows, which rested upon a tripod of Saudi Arabia-Israel-Iran – united as US clients.

Since WWII the US has demanded control of (not just access to) Mideast energy resources – which “gives it indirect but politically critical leverage on the European and Asian economies that are also dependent on energy exports from the region” (Brzezinski). That’s what the re-incorporation of Iran (with SA & Israel however grudgingly on board) promises.

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Obama’s lies about the assassination of Osama bin Laden

Seymour Hersh: Obama’s Entire Account Of bin Laden’s Death Is One Big Lie; This Is What Really Happened

The last time famed US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh made news in the global media was with his massive, 5000-word expose from December of 2013 “Whose sarin?” revealing the true motives behind the Syrian near-war of 2013 including what we had said from the very beginning: the very professionally created YouTube clips showing the consequences of what was said to have been an Assad poison gas attack, were nothing but a fake (subsequent reports identified the propaganda source as Rami Abdul Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, whose entire operation has been funded by an unidentified European country.)

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Catholic bishop: Pro-life groups ‘not really pro-life but merely anti-abortion’

By Eric W. Dolan

Many self-described “pro-life” groups are not really pro-life, one Catholic bishop wrote

The blog post by Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg, Florida mainly dealt with accusations raised by the Population Research Institute. The pro-life group has attacked Catholic charities operating in Africa for allegedly providing contraceptives and working alongside family planning groups.

But Lynch also complained about pro-life groups in general.

“I am convinced that many so called Pro-Life groups are not really pro-life but merely anti-abortion,” he wrote.

The bishop observed that pro-life groups were silent about the execution of a severely mentally ill man in Florida. John Ferguson, a 65-year-old paranoid schizophrenic, was executed by the state of Florida via lethal injection last Monday.

“Many priests grow weary of continual calls to action for legislative support for abortion and contraception related issues but nothing for immigration reform, food aid, and capital punishment,” Lynch added.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has stated that ending abortion and euthanasia are primary goals in building a “culture of life” in the country. However, the USCCB has also repeatedly included prohibitions on firearms, abolishment of the death penalty, and strengthening of welfare programs as part of the “culture of life.”

This article, Catholic bishop: Pro-life groups ‘not really pro-life but merely anti-abortion’, is syndicated from Raw Story and is posted here with permission.

OXFORD IN AMERICA: THE ‘AUTHORSHIP QUESTION’ AND CLASS IN THE UNITED STATES

Arguments about the authorship of the Shakespearean corpus have increased in frequency and ferocity in the last decade, particularly between “Oxfordians” (those who hold that Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford, was the true author of the poems and plays) and “Stratfordians” (those who hold with the man from Stratford). A rise in polemical temperature has resulted, it is argued, in part because new evidence has appeared, notably Roger Stritmatter’s analysis of Oxford’s Geneva Bible — and in part because considerable scholars are reconsidering old evidence, as in Diana Price’s marvelous Shakespeare’s Unorthodox Biography, which appeared last year. The questions are in fact interesting, not to be compared to the work of the perhaps apocryphal 19th century German philologist who spent his life proving that the Iliad was not composed by Homer, but by another blind Greek — of the same name…

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“Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it’s from Neptune.” –Noam Chomsky