Thursday, July 18, 2019

Media Intrigue: Spying on Julian Assange

ORIGINAL LINK
Global Research, July 17, 2019

History’s scope for the absurd and tragic is infinite.  

To see images of an exhausted and world-weary Julian Assange attempting to dodge the all-eye surveillance operation that he would complain about is to wade in the insensibility of it all. 

But it could hardly have surprised those who have watched WikiLeaks’ battles with the Security Establishment over the years.

Assange is not merely an exceptional figure but a figure of the exception.  Despite being granted asylum status by an Ecuadorean regime that would subsequently change heart with a change of brooms, he was never permitted to exercise all his freedoms associated with such a grant.  There was always a sense of contingency and qualification, the impending cul-de-sac in London’s Ecuadorean embassy. 

Between December 2017 and March 2018, dozens of meetings between Assange, his legal representatives, and visitors, were recorded in daily confidential reports written by an assigned security team and submitted to David Morales, formerly of special ops of the marine corps of the Spanish Navy.  The very idea of legal professional privilege, a fetish in the Anglo-American legal system, was not so much deemed non-existent as ignored altogether.

The security firm tasked with this smeared-in-the-gutter mission was Spanish outfit UC Global SL, whose task became all the more urgent once Ecuador’s Lenín Moreno came to power in May 2017.  The mood had changed from the days when Rafael Correa had been accommodating, one at the crest of what was termed the Latin American Pink Tide.  Under Moreno, Assange was no longer the wunderkind poking the eye of the US imperium with cheery backing.  He had become, instead, a tenant of immense irritation and inconvenience, a threat to the shift in politics taking place in Ecuador.  According to El País,

“The security employees at the embassy had a daily job to do: to monitor Assange’s every move, record his conversations, and take note of his moods.”

The revelations of the surveillance operation on Assange had had their natural effect on the establishment journalists who continue taking the mother’s milk of conspiracy and intrigue in libelling the publisher.  CNN’s Marshall Cohen, Kay Guerrero and Arturo Torres seemed delighted in finding their éminence grise with his fingers in the pie, making the claim, with more than a whiff of patriotic self-importance, how “surveillance reports also describe how Assange turned the embassy into a command centre and orchestrated a series of damaging disclosures that rocked the 2016 presidential campaign in the United States.”  Rather than seeing obsessive surveillance in breach of political asylum as a problem, they see the quarry obtained by UC Global in quite a different light.  The WikiLeaks publisher had supposedly been outed. 

The trio claimed to have obtained documents “exclusive” to CNN (the labours of El País, who did the lion’s share on this, are confined to the periphery) – though they have not been kind enough to share the original content with the curious.  Nor do they make much of the private security materials as such, preferring to pick from the disordered larder that is the Mueller Report.   

The CNN agenda is, however, clear enough. “The documents build on the possibility, raised by special counsel Robert Mueller in his report on Russian meddling, that couriers brought hacked files to Assange at the embassy.”  Suggestions, without the empirical follow-up, are made to beef up the insinuated message.  “While the Republican National Convention kicked off in Cleveland, an embassy security guard broke protocol by abandoning his post to receive a package outside the embassy from a man in disguise.”  The individual in question “covered his face with a mask and sunglasses and was wearing a backpack, according to surveillance images obtained by CNN.” So planned; so cheeky.

Another line in the same report also serves to highlight the less than remarkable stuff in the pudding.  “After the election, the private security company prepared an assessment of Assange’s allegiances.  That report, which included open-source information, concluded there was ‘no doubt that there is evidence’ that Assange had ties to Russian intelligence agencies.”  Not exactly one to stop the presses. 

CNN, in fact, suggests a figure demanding, unaccountable, dangerous and entirely in charge of the situation.  It is the psychological profile of a brattish historical agent keen to avoid detection.  (Here the journalists are keen to suggest that meeting guests “inside the women’s bathroom” in the Ecuadorean embassy was a shabby enterprise initiated by Assange; the obvious point that he was being subject to surveillance by UC Global’s “feverish, obsessive vigilance”, to use the words of El País, is turned on its head.)  

He is reported to have “demanded” a high-speed internet connection.  He sought a working phone service, because obviously that would be unreasonable for any grantee of political asylum.  He requested regular access to his professional circle and followers.  Never has such a confined person been deemed a commander, an orchestrator and master of space.  “Though confined to a few rooms inside the embassy, Assange was able to wield enormous authority over his situation.” 

The account offered by Txema Guijarro García, a former advisor to Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño and an important figure dealing with the logistics of granting Assange asylum in 2012, is decidedly different.  In general, “relations between him and the embassy staff were better than anyone could have expected.  The staff had amazing patience and, under difficult conditions, they managed to combine their diplomatic work with the task of caring for our famous guest.”

The language from the CNN report suggests the mechanics of concerted exclusion, laying the framework for an apologia that would justify Assange’s extradition to the United States to face espionage charges rather than practising journalism.  It is a salient reminder about the readiness of such outlets to accommodate, rather than buck, the state narrative on publishing national security information. 

It is also distinctly out of step with the defences being made in favour of publishing leaked diplomatic cables being expressed in the Tory leadership debate in Britain.  While it should be construed with care, the words of Boris Johnson in the aftermath of the publication of British cables authored by the now ex-UK ambassador to Washington, Sir Kim Darroch, are pertinent.  “It cannot conceivably be right that newspapers or any other media organisation publishing such material face prosecution”.  Even Johnson can take the pulse of history accurately once in a while.

*

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Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.  He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research and Asia-Pacific Research. Email: bkampmark@gmail.com

Featured image is from 21st Century Wire

The original source of this article is Global Research
Copyright © Dr. Binoy Kampmark, Global Research, 2019


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Social Media, Not Video Games, Linked To Teen Depression | Zero Hedge

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-07-16/social-media-not-video-games-linked-teen-depression

Italy seizes weapons from neo-Nazis...Western media immediately fabricates a link to Russia — RT Op-ed

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/464314-italy-neo-nazis-media-ukraine/

Manias Die Hard

Manias Die Hard 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Chelsea Manning is Now Being Fined $1,000 a Day for Grand Jury Resistance

ORIGINAL LINK

Daily fines against Chelsea Manning for resisting a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks increased to $1000 on July 16. On May 16, Judge Anthony Trenga held Manning in civil contempt and ordered her to be sent back to the William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center in Alexandria. The court also imposed a fine of $500 per day after 30 days, and then a fine of $1000 per day after 60 days.



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76 Billion Opioid Pills: Bombshell Report Unmasks Who Is Responsible For Epidemic 

76 Billion Opioid Pills: Bombshell Report Unmasks Who Is Responsible For Epidemic  

Women’s Soccer: More Iron Horse, Less Braying

ORIGINAL LINK

Recently, Americans were implored to pay attention to a sport most of us do not follow for reasons that have little to do with the dramatic nature of the competition. Turning on a computer brought regular reminders of this sport, with Google Doodles dedicated to each of the participating teams and news feeds filled with stories about the event, most focusing on the team everyone expected to win. When that team won, Americans were told that we needed to celebrate. 

I am referring, of course, to the Women’s World Cup in soccer, recently won by the American team.

That team was seen by its media cheerleaders as advancing cherished causes such as women’s equality, sexual liberation, and internationalism. Those with doubts about the team, any of those causes, or the way the team and its advocates thought those causes should be advanced, were written off as bigoted Deplorables, even though Americans have a long record of embracing female athletes of all kinds who excel in international competition.   

But unlike Peggy Fleming or Bonnie Blair or Mary Lou Retton or Katie Ledecky or Florence Griffith Joyner or any number of female Olympians widely embraced by Americans, Megan Rapinoe and her teammates and their fans didn’t even pretend that they were representing all Americans. As such, they forfeited the nationalist impulse that glues Americans to their seats every four years to cheer on athletes they had never before heard of playing sports they seldom watch.

Before the American women had won the World Cup, Megan Rapinoe declared that she wasn’t going to the “f***ing White House” for a victory celebration, thereby revealing her disdain for the half of America that supports the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and the women’s soccer teams the Americans had yet to play. 

Rapinoe’s disdain for Trump was soon echoed by teammate Ali Krieger, who told the media, “I refuse to respect a man that warrants no respect.”

When the American women won the championship match, numerous media outlets reported that their fans were chanting “f*** Trump.”

It is also widely speculated that Christian athlete Jaelene Hinkle didn’t make the women’s team, despite her undoubted soccer prowess, because she had voiced skepticism of gay marriage. And the supporters of the women’s team think this is entirely appropriate, since “inclusion” apparently requires the exclusion of anyone holding different views. As BuzzFeed reporter Molly Hemsley-Clancy tweeted, “Let’s take a second to think how Jaelene Hinkle might have missed out on a winning Word Cup [because] she is homophobic.” 

The American women did not make up for their profanity and political grandstanding by graciousness elsewhere. They ran up the score on the hapless Thai women 13-0 and loudly celebrated even late goals.  (As that score suggests, American women dominate women’s soccer for the same reason both American and Canadian women dominate women’s ice hockey: much of the rest of the world doesn’t care very much about their sport.)

When the American women won the championship game, some of them carelessly dropped the American flag on the ground and walked over it before casually picking it up. And when they went to New York City for their victory parade, several of them spewed profanity in public, including one team member who quoted a rapper and exulted, “Hide your kids!  Hide your wives!  And lock your f***ing doors. Because we’ve got the key to the mother****ing city and I’m coming for ya’al b****es!” Rapinoe ended her speech by proclaiming New York City “the mother****ing best.” 

As commentator Matt Walsh noted, Rapinoe also lifted the World Cup trophy and a bottle of champagne while declaring “I deserve this. I deserve everything.” (Those who knew that the American women had lost five to two to a team of 14-year-old boys in Dallas in 2017 could be forgiven for wondering if the scale of Rapinoe’s accomplishment justified the extent of her self-satisfaction).

Rapinoe (@mPinoe): "I deserve this!" pic.twitter.com/gbd0M0zjF1

— Molly Prince (@mollyfprince) July 10, 2019

As the media kept insisting that I celebrate what Rapinoe and her teammates had achieved, I found myself thinking instead about an athlete one can never imagine saying “I deserve everything,” baseball’s “Iron Horse,” Lou Gehrig. By coincidence, the 80th anniversary of Gehrig’s farewell to baseball on July 4, 1939 occurred when today’s sports writers were busy toasting Rapinoe.  A few Gehrig items popped up in my Facebook feed around July 4 and I was soon reading more than I ever had about the self-effacing New Yorker who used his great athletic skill and even greater character to win with dignity and even to inspire, not to draw attention to himself, whine, strike political poses, or unleash profane diatribes. 

Gehrig attended Columbia on a football scholarship, but his even greater skill on the baseball diamond drew the attention of the New York Yankees. Gehrig accepted the Yankees’ $1500 signing bonus because, as he later told The New York Times, “a fellow has to eat. At the end of my sophomore year my father was taken ill and we had to have money. … So when there was no money coming in there was nothing for me to do but sign up.”

The Yankees certainly got their money’s worth. Gehrig compiled a lifetime batting average of .340, batting .361 in seven World Series and hitting 493 home runs (including 23 grand slams) and driving in 1,995 runs. Teammate Joe DiMaggio later remembered Gehrig as the finest hitter he ever saw.

Despite his prodigious talent, Gehrig did not chafe at all the attention lavished on his older teammate, Babe Ruth: “I’m not a headline guy. I know that as long as I am following Ruth to the plate I could have stood on my head and no one would have known the difference.”

Gehrig also famously played in 2,130 consecutive ball games, a streak made possible by Gehrig’s playing through 17 fractures in his hands, several concussions, and serious back pain.

That streak came to an end after Gehrig contracted the degenerative disease that robbed him first of his athletic ability, then of his mobility, and then of his life, all in a little over two years. In his final season, DiMaggio recalled, “He’d lean into me trying to get up. The man had an iron will and, yes, the heart of a lion. He dressed so slowly. He’d get up and go out and try.”

When Gehrig concluded that he was no longer helping his team, he ended the streak by benching himself, and the opposing fans witnessing this in Detroit gave a standing ovation to the man whose grit and perseverance had won the admiration of baseball fans everywhere.

That admiration only grew when Gehrig said goodbye to the game he loved. Keith Olbermann tells that remarkable story as well as anyone.

As Olbermann notes, Gehrig did not want a Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day. Nor did he want to speak. But Gehrig was the consummate team player, and after his manager, Joe McCarthy, had a brief private word with him, Gehrig advanced to the microphones and gave “a muted, heartbreaking speech” about “gratitude” and “the blessings of life.”

Gehrig’s eloquent expression of gratitude in the face of an inexorable decline and death has lost none of its power. Indeed, it seems almost unbelievable in 2019, standing as it does at the opposite pole from the egotism, avarice, crudeness, and sense of entitlement and victimhood exhibited all too often by contemporary athletes, including some members of the U.S. women’s soccer team, who seem so resentful despite earning sums that Gehrig and his contemporaries could not even have imagined.

To be sure, Gehrig stood out even in 1939, which is why his number was the first ever to be retired and why he was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in a special election the same year he retired.

But Gehrig’s fellow athletes also knew that, whatever their own inclinations may have been, they could not publicly act in the way Megan Rapinoe and her teammates have done. Not only do today’s athletes know that they can swear and boast and dishonor the flag and belittle large swaths of the public at will, they know that they will be praised for what they have done, as long as the people they belittle are suitably “deplorable.”

In his speech, Gehrig gave many cogent reasons for considering himself to be “the luckiest man on the face of the earth.” I’ll add another: Gehrig lived at a time when the culture believed sports should transcend politics and also demanded that athletes act with a modicum of dignity in public. 

We need more Iron Horse and less braying donkey. 

--

[Image Credit: Public Domain, Twitter]



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Monday, July 15, 2019

New CNN Assange Smear Piece Is Amazingly Dishonest, Even For CNN

ORIGINAL LINK

CNN has authored an unbelievably brazen and dishonest smear piece on Julian Assange, easily the most egregious article of its kind since the notoriously bogus Assange-Manafort report by The Guardian last year. It contains none of the “exclusive” documents which it claims substantiate its smears, relying solely on vague unsubstantiated assertions and easily debunked lies to paint the WikiLeaks founder in a negative light.

And let’s be clear right off the bat, it is most certainly a smear piece. The article, titled “Exclusive: Security reports reveal how Assange turned an embassy into a command post for election meddling”, admits that it exists for the sole purpose of tarnishing Assange’s reputation when it reports, with no evidence whatsoever, that while at the Ecuadorian embassy Assange once “smeared feces on the walls out of anger.” Not “reportedly”. Not “the Ecuadorian government claims.” CNN reported it as a fact, as an event that is known to have happened. This is journalistic malpractice, and it isn’t an accident.

Whenever you see any “news” report citing this claim, you are witnessing a standard smear tactic of the plutocratic media. Whenever you see them citing this claim as a concrete, verified fact, you are witnessing an especially aggressive and deliberate psyop. The Ecuadorian embassy was easily the most-surveilled building in the world during Assange’s stay there, and the Ecuadorian government has leaked photos of Assange’s living quarters to the media in an attempt to paint him as a messy houseguest in need of eviction, so if the “feces on the walls” event had ever transpired you would have seen photos of it, whether you wanted to or not. It never happened.

SCOOP: New documents obtained exclusively by CNN reveal that Assange received in-person deliveries, potentially of hacked materials related to the 2016 election, during a series of suspicious meetings at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. w/ @kguerrerocnn https://t.co/OqC9GBsIKl

 — @MarshallCohen

“New documents obtained exclusively by CNN reveal that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange received in-person deliveries, potentially of hacked materials related to the 2016 US election, during a series of suspicious meetings at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London,” the article begins.

In its very first sentence the article invalidates all the claims which follow it, because its use of the word “potentially” means that none of the documents CNN purports to have contain any actual evidence. It’s worth noting at this time that there is to this day not one shred of publicly available evidence that any of the Democratic Party emails published by WikiLeaks in 2016 were in fact “hacked” at all, and could very well have been the result of a leak as asserted by former British ambassador Craig Murray, who claims to have inside knowledge on the matter.

The glaring plot holes in the Mueller report’s assertions about Russia being the source of the 2016 WikiLeaks drops have already been ripped wide open by journalist Aaron Maté’s meticulous analysis of the report’s timeline in an article accurately titled “CrowdStrikeOut: Mueller’s Own Report Undercuts Its Core Russia-Meddling Claims”. The CNN smear piece, which claims to “add a new dimension to the Mueller report”, is entirely relying on this porous timeline for its reporting. Plot holes include the fact that Mueller claims (and CNN repeats) that the Russians transferred the emails to WikiLeaks on or around July 14, which Maté notes is “a full month after Assange publicly announced that he had them.”

CNN kicks off its smear piece with the inflammatory claim that “Assange met with Russians and world-class hackers at critical moments”, mentioning both “Russians” and “hackers” in the same breath in an attempt to give the impression that the two are related. It’s not until paragraph 43 and 46, long after most people have stopped reading, that the articles authors bother to inform their readers that the “hackers” in question are German and have no established connection to the Russian government whatsoever. The “Russians” counted among Assange’s scores of visitors consist of RT staff, who have always consistently reported on WikiLeaks, and a “Russian national” about whom almost nothing is known.

@GeorgeSzamuely @CNN @RT @wikileaks That is a LIE that's been debunked over and over. We published ONE article about the emails that were RELEASED already, just not TWEETED about yet, because WikiLeaks had been releasing them like clockwork and we paid attention. It's called journalism, they should try it sometime.

 — @NebojsaMalic

CNN also repeats the long-debunked lie that RT “published articles detailing the new batches of emails before WikiLeaks officially released them” during the 2016 election, citing no evidence because this never happened. RT reported on a WikiLeaks release in October 2016 after it had been published by WikiLeaks but before the WikiLeaks Twitter account had tweeted about it, and western propagandists willfully conflated WikiLeaks publications with tweets from the WikiLeaks Twitter account in order to make it look like RT had insider knowledge about the publications.

In reality, RT was simply watching the WikiLeaks site closely for new releases in order to get an early scoop before other outlets, because Podesta email leaks had been dropping regularly.

“That is a LIE that’s been debunked over and over,” tweeted RT America editor Nebojša Malić‏ in response to the smear. “We published ONE article about the emails that were RELEASED already, just not TWEETED about yet, because WikiLeaks had been releasing them like clockwork and we paid attention. It’s called journalism, they should try it sometime.”

“Yes that is fake news,” tweeted RT’s Ivor Crotty. “I was the editor on the team that monitored wikileaks and by Podesta 6 we knew they tweeted at 9am EST each day (1pm Dublin) — so we checked the database by reverse searching and discovered a new dump, tweeted about it, and the conspiracy theorists jumped.”

“RT already addressed this in 2016, convincingly if you read the sequence of events they lay out: the Podesta emails appeared on the WikiLeaks website before WikiLeaks sent a tweet about it,” Maté tweeted at CNN’s Marshall Cohen. “Ignoring that allows for the conspiracy theory you propose. It’s ridiculous to suggest that RT-Wikileaks ‘were coordinating behind the scenes’ based on the fact that RT tweeted about the Podesta emails AFTER they appeared on WL’s site, but BEFORE WL tweeted about them. You’re implicating RT in a conspiracy… for doing journalism.”

It’s not possible to research the “RT had advance knowledge of WikiLeaks drops” conspiracy theory without running across articles which debunked it at the time, so the article’s authors were likely either knowingly lying or taking dictation from someone who was.

“Spanish newspaper El Pais on July 9: ‘Spanish security company spied on Julian Assange’s meetings with lawyers’. Add little security state propaganda and 6 days later you get from CNN: ‘How Julian Assange turned an embassy into command post for election meddling’,” noted Shadowproof managing editor Kevin Gosztola in response to the CNN smear, a reminder of how a little narrative tweaking can turn a story on its head in support of the powerful.

This would be the same CNN who told its viewers that it’s against the law to read WikiLeaks, with Democratic Party prince Chris Cuomo lying “Remember, it’s illegal to possess these stolen documents; it’s different for the media, so everything you learn about this you’re learning from us.” The same CNN which falsely reported that Assange is a pedophile not once, but twice. The same CNN which has been caught blatantly lying in its Russiagate coverage, which has had to fire journalists for misreporting Russiagate in a media environment where that almost never happens with Russia stories, which has deleted evidence of its journalistic malpractice regarding Russiagate from the internet without retraction or apology.

So this latest attempt to tarnish Julian Assange’s reputation from CNN is not surprising. Nor is it surprising that the article contains exactly zero of the “exclusive documents” which it says validate its claims and insinuations. Nor is it surprising that CNN is using invisible evidence which almost certainly came into its hands through a government intelligence agency to give weight to its smear. But the sheer volume of disinformation and deceit they were able to pack into one single article this time around was just jaw-dropping. Even for CNN.

_____________________

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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Lawsuit outs Ellen Ratner as source of Seth Rich information - Personal Liberty®

https://personalliberty.com/lawsuit-outs-ellen-ratner-as-source-of-seth-rich-information/

50 Years Ago, Sugar Industry Quietly Paid Scientists To Point Blame At Fat : The Two-Way : NPR

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/09/13/493739074/50-years-ago-sugar-industry-quietly-paid-scientists-to-point-blame-at-fat

Chemo and radiation can make cancer more malignant - Nexus Newsfeed

https://nexusnewsfeed.com/article/health-healing/chemo-and-radiation-can-make-cancer-more-malignant/

Government Health Agencies Take Huge Profits from Vaccine Royalties – Gardasil the Top One

http://vaccineimpact.com/2019/government-health-agencies-take-huge-profits-from-vaccine-royalties-gardasil-the-top-one/

The CBP Data Breach Was Inevitable - The Atlantic

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/06/travelers-images-stolen-attack-cbp/591403/

New Evidence Proves Israel Attacked USS Liberty

https://theantimedia.com/new-evidence-proves-israel-attacked-uss-liberty-orders-sink-ship-kill-294-americans/

Mom says test results from forgery suspect’s lab impacted custody battle

https://www.wsfa.com/2019/05/28/mom-says-test-results-forgery-suspects-lab-impacted-custody-battle/

ABC raid: AFP leave Ultimo building with files after hours-long raid over Afghan Files stories - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-06-05/abc-raided-by-australian-federal-police-afghan-files-stories/11181162?fbclid=IwAR05nIEbbsXv2tKoDrjMnMm889Ov3Y8dHtX63K_000mmqm6wTHFbsPfT0vE&pfmredir=sm

Ron Paul asks: Is the US and UK trying to kill jailed Julian Assange? | Daily Mail Online

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7090985/Ron-Paul-asks-UK-trying-kill-jailed-Julian-Assange.html

Sunday, July 14, 2019

The Green Old Socialism | Power Line

Chakrabarti had an unexpected disclosure. “The interesting thing about the Green New Deal,” he said, “is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all.” Ricketts greeted this startling notion with an attentive poker face. “Do you guys think of it as a climate thing?” Chakrabarti continued. “Because we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.”

https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/07/the-green-old-socialism.php

Sexual Predators Within America’s Power Elite: What You're Not Being Told

ORIGINAL LINK

Politics, religion, sports, government, entertainment, business, armed forces: it doesn’t matter what arena you’re talking about, they are all riddled with the kind of seedy, sleazy, decadent, dodgy, depraved, immoral, corrupt behavior that somehow gets a free pass when it involves the wealthy and powerful elite in America.



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Friday, July 12, 2019

Open Letter to Editor of Huffington Post on removal of vaccine related content - Nexus Newsfeed

https://nexusnewsfeed.com/article/health-healing/open-letter-to-editor-of-huffington-post-on-removal-of-vaccine-related-content/

Top Assange Defense Account Deleted By Twitter

ORIGINAL LINK

One of the biggest Twitter accounts dedicated to circulating information and advocacy for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, @Unity4J, has been completely removed from the site. The operators of the account report that they have been given no reason for its removal by Twitter staff, and have received no response to their appeals.

Any Assange supporter active on Twitter will be familiar with the Unity4J account, which originated to help boost the wildly successful Unity4J online vigils in which well-known Assange defenders would appear to speak out against his persecution. As of this writing, the account has been gone for a day and a half.

“About 8:45am CST on Thursday July 11, one of our Unity4J Twitter team members went to retweet on the account and noticed that the account was no longer accessible,” reports pro-Assange activist Christy Dopf, one of the operators of the account. “When each of us also attempted to access the account we all received the same message ‘Account Suspended’. Twitter did not send us a reason or violation for the suspension. So an appeal was submitted. We did receive correspondence that Twitter got our request and the case is currently open. Unfortunately we do not have a timeline on how long this could take.”

I'm back on Twitter after the outage but @unity4J is still suspended - we did not receive an email or a reason for the suspension. Appeal process started. #FreeAssange #Unity4J

 — @ChristyMKD84

Speaking for myself as a vocal Assange supporter on Twitter, I can say that I’ve been following the @Unity4J account closely since its earliest days and I’ve never once seen it post anything other than highly professional-looking advocacy for Julian Assange. I’ve certainly never seen it post anything that could be construed as abusive, misleading, or otherwise in violation of any of Twitter’s posted rules.

This account’s deletion is just the latest in a long string of apparently biased actions against WikiLeaks and Assange by the immensely influential social media platform. That bias was made abundantly clear with Twitter’s ridiculous refusal to verify Assange while he was posting from his own account despite his undeniably being a significant public figure, and despite the fact that Twitter was well aware that the account was authentic. The platform has been receiving consistent complaints among Assange supporters of using shadow bans to marginalize their voices, as well as unfair posting locks and restrictions.

“It seems that Assange supporters have been targeted for suspension over the last few days and weeks, including the suspension of individuals (Yon Solitary, Monique Jolie) as well as accounts like Unity4J,” Unity4J co-founder Elizabeth Lea Vos told me today. “All of these suspensions are unacceptable, but I find the Unity4J suspension especially egregious because it was an amplifier of events across the board, not only actions run by Unity4J. It never broke the twitter rules and it was an activist account supporting a journalist who’s been silenced or ‘disappeared,’ so this suspension is an extension of that suppression. Assange asked us to become his voice, and platforms like Twitter appear to be actively working against the possibility of that effort.”

The main Twitter account defending Julian Assange, and therefore press freedom & freedom of speech, has been suspended. @Unity4J - suspended for defending a hero. #Unity4J

 — @LeeCamp

Pro-Assange activists have been speaking out on Twitter against @Unity4J’s removal.

“The main Twitter account defending Julian Assange, and therefore press freedom and freedom of speech, has been suspended,” tweeted comedian and Redacted Tonight host Lee Camp. “@Unity4J — suspended for defending a hero.”

“HELP!! Twitter suspended @Unity4J The global #FreeAssange supporters account!” tweeted Assange’s mother Christine Assange. “Its a central point for updates, interviews and actions re my son politically persecuted journalist JULIAN ASSANGE! Please demand @TwitterSupport and @Jack re-instate it. Many thanks #Unity4J”

“I have no doubt that @Unity4J’s twitter account was suspended because it was a hub of useful information on solidarity events and actions in support of Assange, WikiLeaks, Chelsea Manning and more. Horrendous censorship to suspend the account, @TwitterSupport,” tweeted Elizabeth Lea Vos.

“If @Unity4J is not restored, it is proof that Twitter would have sided against the Free Mandela movement, and every other mass liberation movement of a ‘terrorist’ turned Nobel nominee,” tweeted Unity4J co-founder Suzie Dawson.

Many other Assange supporters have been flagging the attention of the Twitter Support account and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey objecting to the unjust silencing of a perfectly legitimate activist account, to no avail thus far.

HELP!! @Twitter suspended @Unity4J The global #FreeAssange supporters account! Its a central point for updates, interviews & actions re my son politically persecuted journalist JULIAN ASSANGE! Please demand @TwitterSupport & @Jack re-instate it. Many thanks #Unity4J

 — @AssangeMrs

The censorship of political speech on online media platforms is a large and growing problem. Twitter has been better about this than the far more sycophantic Facebook and Google, but the discrimination against anti-establishment political speech is undeniable at this point. I myself was removed from the platform last year just for saying the world would be better off without warmongering US Senator John McCain in it, and was only restored after protests from high-profile Twitter users.

In a corporatist system of government, in which there is no meaningful separation of corporate power and state power, corporate censorship is state censorship. With giant Silicon Valley corporations aligning themselves with shady state-funded propagandistic think tanks like the Atlantic Council, being admonished on the Senate floor that they must help quash political rebellion, and being targeted for narrative control influence by the US military, there’s vanishingly little difference between what’s happening more and more to political speech with these tech giants and what happens in overtly totalitarian governments. The only difference is the stories people choose to tell themselves about it.

The time to speak up about this silencing is now. Your voice is next.

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The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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NEA Embraces the Woke Agenda — But Votes down “Student Learning”

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Last week, thousands of teachers gathered in Houston for the National Education Association’s (NEA) annual convention. During the convention, any group of 50 delegates could bring to the floor a new business item, which is a one-year, non-binding resolution directing the union to take a certain action.

Over 160 new business items were proposed, including New Business Item 2, a motion pledging the NEA would “re-dedicate itself to the pursuit of increased student learning in every public school in America.” The resolution also proposed that the “NEA will make student learning the priority of the Association” and that every NEA program should be evaluated by asking, “How does the proposed action promote the development of students as lifelong reflective learners?”

When put to a vote of 6,000 NEA delegates, the motion failed. 

It’s unclear why the NEA would vote against re-dedicating itself to “increased student learning,” since the vote happened in a closed door session. But with no obvious poison pills in the item, “supporting student learning” should be the easiest vote that these teachers take.

One would think that this motion’s defeat would be a public relations nightmare, because it could fuel the perception — a perception long denied by unions — that teachers unions look out primarily for teachers rather than students. But so far, that public relations nightmare hasn’t happened: Coverage of the convention in both mainstream media outlets and the education trade press have said almost nothing about the resolution’s failure.

Yet for anyone looking closely, delegates’ decision to vote down the “student learning” resolution comes into sharper relief when compared to resolutions that did pass. When it came to numerous left-leaning ideas — many with seemingly little relation to teaching kids — delegates eagerly voiced their approval. Over the course of the convention, the delegates endorsed “the fundamental right to abortion under Roe v. Wade,” enthused over reparations for slave descendants, and called on the US government to “accept responsibility for the destabilization” of Central American countries and that this destabilization is “a root cause of the recent increase of asylum seekers in the United States.”

And that’s not all. They also voted in favor of helping with the 2020 Census, supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, and teaching the concept of “White Fragility” (which they explain is produced by “white supremacy culture”) in NEA professional development.

Put together, the voting record from this year’s convention makes it pretty clear where NEA delegates’ priorities lie.

A similar focus was evident in the NEA conference agenda. During the convention, there were breakout sessions on topics like “Racial and Social Justice,” “Ethnic and Minority Affairs,” and “Women’s Issues.” Along with those discussions, delegates heard from a smorgasbord of progressive left warriors like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Bill de Blasio. Meanwhile, per the convention agenda, there wasn’t a single session devoted to curriculum and instruction, nor raising student test scores.

How can this be? The NEA represents 3 million members, mostly public school teachers of all walks of life, from all political persuasions — 60% of whom have identified as Republicans or independents. The vast majority of these members undoubtedly care deeply about helping kids learn. While we see many things differently than the NEA, we also know many members, and they’re reasonable people whom we highly respect. That’s why it’s so bizarre to watch the majority of NEA delegates eagerly dive into politically-fraught abortion and race debates, while voting down a clear commitment to prioritize student learning. So please, NEA: Can you explain?

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This article was republished with permission from the American Enterprise Institute.

[Image credit: Pixabay via Pixabay License



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