Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Tommy Robinson Upstages "Radical Far Left" BBC Hit Piece; Gets Immediate Facebook Ban


Days after UK conservative activist Tommy Robinson upstaged an upcoming BBC "hit piece" on him with his own documentary, Facebook banned him from their platform - including Instagram, after a BBC contributor contacted them

Robinson's hour-long Exposé, Panodrama, features undercover footage of BBC journalist John Sweeney making racist and classist statements, and reveals how the BBC collaborated with a "radical far left" organization, HOPE not Hate (funded in part by George Soros) to take Robinson down.

The BBC is also accused in Panodrama of bribery, blackmail and intimidation tactics agains former Robinson employees to "invent stories" against the former English Defence League leader.

"This is massive. This is Britain’s leading investigative journalist documentary by the BBC, that we pay for, creating, editing news, in order to destroy my life," said Robinson. 

"Panodrama is out!" announced Robinson in a YouTube video. "Go on my Facebook page, it's pinned to the top."

Unfortunately for Robinson, Facebook - which is currently under tremendous pressure by UK lawmakers for violating privacy laws, may have gotten a tap on the shoulder after BBC contributor Mohammed Shafiq took action.

Tommy Robinson being banned by Facebook and Instagram was timed deliberately so he couldn’t defend himself against the BBC hit piece about to come out.

This is how they operate.

But conservatives keep preaching “muh free market” until we are silenced into oblivion.

— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) February 26, 2019

BBC contributor Mohammed Shafiq acknowledged contacting Faebook to discuss Robinson's pages "and their impact in brainwashing his supporters to become terrorist and use violence against Muslims." 

As journalist Nick Monroe points out, Shafiq has been outed as a "religious extremist" who supports blasphemy laws (Monroe has been documenting the entire Robinson takedown, click on tweets below and scroll up for more).

"Why would Mo Shafiq promote the event of a man that advocates and celebrates murder in the service of ‘blasphemy’? And if that is Mo Shafiq in the image, why would he attend such an event?"

"It has now been confirmed that the man in the above images is in fact Mo Shafiq." pic.twitter.com/x2BP8m0xS3

— Nick Monroe (@nickmon1112) February 26, 2019

In Panodrama, Robinson can be seen confronting Sweeney about a misleadingly edited segment in the BBC documentary concerning a past dispute with an employee. 

"You find it fun to tell someone that an innocent comment is sexualised — do you know what that would do to my family? Do you know what that would do to my children? Do you know what you are doing to my family? You’ve no idea what you’re doing to my family," Robinson yelled at Sweeney. 

"They’re scripting the documentary. They’re also creating and inventing news — ‘sexual thing’ against Tommy Robinson… What else was going to be said? What are lies and manufactured evidence would there have been on this documentary?"

"We’ve seen the BBC, who pride themselves on being impartial and reporting the truth, you’ve witnessed the main man from Panorama telling someone what to say, brokering a deal on what they have to say about me," Robinson concludes. 

Sweeney can also be heard calling working-class men "cannibals from Amazonia" along with other offensive remarks, which the BBC admitted: "some of the footage which has been released was recorded without our knowledge during this investigation and John Sweeney made some offensive and inappropriate remarks, for which he apologises." 

Responding to the ban, Robinson told Breitbart London: "…the reasons they’ve given are just complete lies. They’re saying I incited violence and that I openly called for violence against Muslims, that’s just a lie. If that was the case then they could show evidence of messages where I’d said that but I never have."

"This is continued censorship which we all knew was coming but its been done instantly because of my documentary which exposed the establishment working with Hope not Hate, working with the BBC in order to destroy my name to the nation. When I exposed what they were doing they’ve put down the pressure to completely delete me from the internet. This has to show people the levels they’re gonna go to silence any opposition to mass migration and the Islamisation of this nation."

Robinson’s removal from the platform is only the latest in a series of bans targeting the campaigner in recent years. He was de-platformed by Twitter in May 2018, banned from receiving payments by Paypal in November of that year, and had Youtube videos blockedfrom earning revenue in January 2019.

Mr Robinson told Breitbart London that he would be working on his own mobile app for live streaming after his removal from several social media sites. -Breitbart London

My friend #TommyRobinson banned from Facebook and Instagram for speaking the truth.

But the truth cannot be censored! pic.twitter.com/DfmYUj3DBz

— Geert Wilders (@geertwilderspvv) February 26, 2019

Facebook claimed in a nebulous statement that their decision to ban Robinson because his Facebook page "has repeatedly broken these standards, posting material that uses dehumanizing language and calls for violence targeted at Muslims. He has also behaved in ways that violate our policies around organized hate. As a result, in accordance with our policies, we have removed Tommy Robinson’s official Facebook Page and Instagram profile."


— Nick Monroe (@nickmon1112) February 26, 2019

Meanwhile, thousands of people attended a Sunday rally against the BBC in support of Robinson, where Panodrama was unveiled to the public for the first time. 

More bannings

Also of note, British political activist and former editor-in-chief of Breitbart News London Raheem Kasaam, as well as Inforwars host Owen Shroyer have had their Facebook pages taken down as well. 

Raheem Kassam @RaheemKassam has his Facebook page ALSO REMOVED at the same time as Tommy Robinson https://t.co/94xPKIZ88g pic.twitter.com/bgT8v4EbNQ

— Nick Monroe (@nickmon1112) February 26, 2019

J Owen Shroyer (@allidoisowen) also down https://t.co/TNCa77eAGr pic.twitter.com/heNe4YlgTv

— Nick Monroe (@nickmon1112) February 26, 2019

After intervention from Donald Trump Jr., however, Facebook reinstated Kassam's account. 


Following this intervention from @DonaldJTrumpJr and others, Facebook has now reinstated my account.

Thank you to Don Jr. and all the others who got so involved and ahead on this story. I've no doubt you frightened Facebook into acting.

Raheem https://t.co/mbtBV9Sz4O

— Raheem Kassam (@RaheemKassam) February 26, 2019

If by “as soon as we were able to investigate” they mean “as soon as Don Jr called us out publicly,” then I believe them. https://t.co/jmgVvQfBMH

— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) February 26, 2019


Ex-CNN Reporter Amber Lyon Explains How They Fake The News



by Tim Brown, Freedom OutPost: You may recall the name of journalist Amber Lyon.  She is the one that left the most worthless name in news, CNN, after her reporting was censored.  She went on to out the state-controlled propaganda machine at the time.  However, in a short interview with Abby Martin on Sky News, Lyon explains […]

The post Ex-CNN Reporter Amber Lyon Explains How They Fake The News appeared first on SGT Report.


Monday, February 25, 2019

When The Veneer Of Civilization Slipped Away


Authored by Jeffrey Tucker via The American Institute for Economic Research,

They Shall Not Grow Old is an extremely painful film to watch. I’ve seen most of the major war films but I can’t recall one that is more powerful overall – powerful in the sense that it shakes you to your spiritual core.

This film puts you right there as a middle-class Briton in the midst of the Great War, step-by-step from regular civilian to the killing fields of the Western front, from the onset of patriotism at the beginning to the shattered hopes and lives of the end.

You are left with a deeply unsettling number of questions to which there are no obvious answers, questions such as where does war come from and why can’t it be stopped and why, after this experience, did humankind ever allow it to happen again? The whole thing seems too unbelievable to be true. And yet somehow this movie makes it too true to ignore, try as one might.

Audiences are wild for the film (99% on Rotten Tomatoes). It exudes integrity in every frame.

The headline pitch for the film is the technology that made it possible. The producers took old black-and-white spotty footage and colorized it, added sound, and removed the rough edges, seemingly bringing the dead back to life. It’s jaw-dropping for sure, and enough reason to keep watching. If you have had any moments of regret concerning the effect of CGI on modern filmography, this movie might change your mind.

But this is far from all that the film offers. The narrative is genius storytelling, somehow taking this ghastly, complex, ignored series of events with strange beginnings and turning it into a deeply engaging human drama about the mystically evil event we call war which baptizes mass murder and death in the cleansing waters of patriotic fervor.

Why do people choose to give up their normal, happy lives to risk debilitating injury and death in steamy swamps of the warzone, a life of sleeping while standing up in terrifying trenches while suffering gangrene and dysentery with the only hope of escaping resting with the obliteration of people just like yourself but for accident of geography who are living the same way just over the hill?

True, Britain had a draft. It was instituted in January of 1916. From the telling we receive here, however, it’s not obvious that it was necessary. The nation was calling and that was enough. Propaganda posters were everywhere. The pressure must have been unbearable. You surely do not doubt the superiority of your nation or distrust the claims of its leadership. Your friends and colleagues were going. Were you just going to let them risk their lives for the great cause of...something...while you languished at home as a cowardly shopkeeper?

I wondered what I would have done, but it seems rather obvious given the times. I too would have signed up. I’m sure every viewer was thinking the same. From that moment of mental decision making, you feel deep empathy with all the subsequent events: the disease, the terror, the heartache, the sense of betrayal after the war.

The world had never seen total war before, but these were also times of the advent of the total state that knew no limits to its power. The age of laissez-faire was said to be over, and scientific planning would take its place. We had the intelligence. We had modern technology. We had central banks to generate the necessary funds out of thin air.

Why stop with domestic policy? The total beckoned to be tested on the battlefield. From the Middle Ages through the Napoleonic and Colonial wars, the conflicts between nations were between states and those who worked for them. But with the Great War, it was different. Whole nations were now at war, not just governments. Not one was excluded from the massive mobilization.

As Ludwig von Mises wrote, “The first step which led from the soldiers’ war back to total war was the introduction of compulsory military service. It gradually did away with the difference between soldiers and citizens. The war was no longer to be only a matter of mercenaries; it was to include everyone who had the necessary physical ability.”

And so it began, almost as if by accident. The noble and heroic legend of wars past was summoned up in support of a new kind of war in which, as people soon discovered, individual bravery mattered hardly at all. The difference between those who came home in one piece and the many millions who were slaughtered was purely accidental. How can you fight bravely from a trench? Your main goal was survival and there was very little you can do to make it more or less likely.

Every viewer will be affected differently but here are the parts that stood out to me. I had read about mustard gas but had not seen or fully realized the implications. I had known that the soldiers in the war were young but as young as 15 years old? Remarkable. I hadn’t fully realized what a remarkable invention the tank was for war. I’ve heard stories of the tragedy afflicting returning soldiers from Vietnam but hadn’t known that it affected those returning from the Great War too.

There is a moment near the end in which a soldier is telling the story of successfully pushing through the German line and pouring into a trench occupied by German soldiers. Enemy combatants came out with their hands up. The aging soldier continued with the story: “at that moment, we had to decide what to do, so of course we….” – and if the audio had stopped there I had no way to predict what he would have said. He continued: “we captured them and led them back to camp.” Whew: four fewer murders that day than one might have expected.

You read every manner of speculation concerning the mysterious appearance of moral nihilism in the 20th century. Rarely is the Great War named as a culprit, but this film leaves no doubt. Hundreds, even thousands, of years of struggle to develop and cultivate a sense of decorum, decency, peace, human understanding, and, poof, in a seeming instant it is all gone.

The veneer of civilization slipped away, to quote one memoir. You either kill or be killed, on a scale not seen since the Black Death wiped out half of Europe’s population. It’s one thing to be killed by disease; another to manufacture with industrial equipment the means to inflict mass death on a population by design.

It’s no wonder that following this war, humankind’s hold on the idea of fixed moral categories became tenuous at best. The claims made by the ruling class that this war was conducted for righteous reasons, complete with mandatory church attendance during training, came to be revealed very obviously as a tissue of lies.

“Each chief of the murderers causes his colors to be blessed,” wrote Voltaire, “and solemnly invokes God before he goes to exterminate his neighbors. If a chief has only the fortune to kill two or three thousand men, he does not thank God for it; but when he has exterminated about ten thousand by fire and sword, and, to complete the work, some town has been leveled with the ground, they then sing a long song in four parts, composed in a language unknown to all who have fought, and moreover replete with barbarism. The same song serves for marriages and births, as well as for murders.”

Every idealist hopes that humankind can learn from history. There is plenty of evidence that we do not. Voltaire failed to stop war, despite valiant efforts. Still, we must face history, even its most brutal chapters, if there is to be any hope of finding our way back to peace and civilization. They Shall Not Grow Old makes a mighty contribution to that goal.


Sunday, February 24, 2019

The Middle East Bought Our Think Thanks Long Ago


The 2016 elections awakened Americans to a startling reality: the country’s political system is ripe for foreign interference. The Russians took full advantage of social media with bot armies and through unregistered foreign agents. While their influence garnered considerable attention and has led to increased enforcement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), one area has remained largely off the congressional and media radar screens.  Yet it remains a vital part of the way other governments try to influence policy in this country: the foreign funding of think tanks.

Most Americans undoubtedly have little idea what a think tank actually does.  Having worked at two of them myself, it’s fair to say that even those of us who have labored inside these basic building blocks for policymaking in Washington are often still trying to figure out just what many of them do.  Still, whether you know it or not, you’ve certainly seen think-tank employees on cable news, heard them on the radio, or read their op-ed pieces.

After all, think tanks are homes for so many of the “experts” who are the go-to sources for media coverage of foreign and domestic policy topics on just about any day — and are often key go-to sources for those making policy in Washington, too). You know, the former Department of Defense official you caught on NBC News discussing Iran or the Middle Eastern expert you saw quoted in Newsweek critiquing the Trump administration’s policies there. Outside the public eye, members of Congress and executive branch officials rely heavily on think tanks for expertise on a wide range of issues, for key congressional testimony, and even for quite literally helping craft public policy.

Those who run Washington generally trust the inhabitants of think tanks of their political bent to provide the intellectual foundations upon which much of public policy is built. At least in some cases, however, that trust couldn’t be more deeply misplaced, since cornerstones of the ever-expanding think-tank universe turn out to be for sale.

Every year foreign governments pour tens of millions of dollars into those very institutions and, though many think tanks are tax-exempt non-profits, such donations often turn out to be anything but charitable gifts. Foreign contributions generally come with critically important strings attached — usually a favorable stance toward that country in whatever influential work the think tanks are doing. In other words, those experts you regularly read or see on screen, whose scholarship and advice Washington’s politicians and other officials often use, are in some cases being paid, directly or indirectly, by the very countries on which they are offering advice and analysis. And here’s the catch: they can do so without ever having to tell you about it.

The Money Trail From Foreign Governments to Think Tanks

“I’ve never had to worry in my years at CAP about an analyst or me saying X, Y, and Z and worry about a funding source. Never thought about it. Never,” explained Brian Katulis of the Center for American Progress (CAP).  He was speaking at a Middle East Institute (MEI) event in January entitled “The Role of Think Tanks in Shaping Middle East Policy.” MEI President Paul Salem echoed this sentiment, noting that funding, particularly foreign government funding, shouldn’t ever shape a think tank’s work.  “Independence,” he proclaimed, “is sacred.”

Such comments, like the events themselves, are just the norm in Washington think-tank life — unless, that is, you follow the money, in which case they seem both striking and supremely ironic. On any given day, Washington is, in fact, awash in foreign-policy events at think tanks. There, experts convene to publicly discuss just about every topic you’d want to hear about — except one, of course: their funding. And that is what made the Katulis-Salem exchange particularly interesting. What they and their follow panelists never mentioned at an event extolling the importance of think tanks in helping craft political Washington’s Middle East policies was this: both CAP and MEI have received millions of dollars from authoritarian governments in the Middle East.

MEI has publicly reported receiving millions from Saudi Arabia and lesser amounts from the Persian Gulf states of Oman and Qatar. By far its largest donor, however, seems to have been the United Arab Emirates (UAE), reportedly making a “secret” $20 million contribution to that think tank, earmarked to “hire experts in order to counter the more egregious misperceptions about the region” and “to inform U.S. government policymakers.” In other words, in the spirit of that MEI panel title, the UAE’s funding was explicitly designed to shape that think tank’s — and so U.S. — policy considerations.

While hardly in that $20 million range, CAP has also publicly reportedreceiving at least $1.5 million from the UAE.

And keep in mind that those two think tanks are hardly the only ones receiving donations from countries in the Middle East. The Center for a New American Security, for instance, received $250,000 from the United Arab Emirates to produce a study on the need for the U.S. to export military-grade drones to countries like… the UAE. That think tank’s subsequent report on the topic notes that the U.S. doesn’t export drones to the UAE and other countries, but should because “this reluctance to transfer U.S. drones harms U.S. interests in tangible ways.” Never mind that a third of those killed in drone strikes in the devastating war in Yemen are civilians.

The Brookings Institution received a $14.8 million donation from Qatar. In fact, according to a New York Times analysis, nearly all of the most prominent foreign-policy think tanks in Washington have accepted money from authoritarian regimes in the Middle East or elsewhere. And that, in turn, is just the tip of the iceberg, since think tanks are not legally required to publicly disclose their funding.

Charity or Influence Buying?

If think tanks are to be believed, the money they receive from such funders changes little. Recent events at a number of think tanks, including the Center for American Progress and the Middle East Institute, should, however, give pause to anyone who assumes that such institutions are by their nature insulated from the influence of foreign funders.

Recently, serious questions have been raised about whether CAP’s ties to the UAE, itself a close ally of the Saudi royals, contributed to its awkward response to the brutal murder of Washington Post journalist and Saudi citizen Jamal Khashoggi in that Kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.  Following that killing, CAP released a response condemning the Saudis for their involvement in Khashoggi’s murder, but not calling for specific consequences to punish the Kingdom.

According to reporting by the Intercept’s Ryan Grim, such consequences were stripped from the statement by a CAP staffer who just happened to be Brian Katulis. Then, in December, CAP largely sat on the sidelines as the Senate passed a historic resolution to end U.S. involvement in the devastating Saudi-UAE war in Yemen. At the MEI event in January, Katulis dismissed those giving “energy and dynamism” to “the Yemen debate” for ignoring “the full complexity of the challenges.” Jamal Khashoggi’s name wasn’t even mentioned.

Despite MEI head Salem’s claim that “independence is sacred,” there’s reason to question how independent scholars can be when their work is, at least in part, dependent on foreign funding. In at least one case, for instance, Salem’s institute published the work of Fahad Nazer, who was directly on the Saudi payroll. While earning $7,000 a month as a foreign agent for Saudi Arabia, Nazer wrote several pro-Saudi articles for both think tanks and mainstream media outlets, including one for MEI that made no mention of his financial ties to the Saudis. That March 2018 article did, however, encourage yet more U.S. support for the country’s ruling crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, who, Nazer wrote, would “be good for Saudi Arabia, the United States, and the world.”

Just seven months later, bin Salman would reportedly authorize the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi and, in January 2019, Nazer himself would become the official spokesperson for the Saudi Embassy in Washington.

Blurred Lines and Lack of Transparency

Nazer’s case also illustrates a growing pattern of interactions between think tanks that receive foreign funding and the registered foreign agents of those countries. In fact, Emirati foreign agents last year reported contacting think tanks at least 85 times, according to an analysis of Foreign Agents Registration Act filings for a forthcoming report on the Emirati lobby in the U.S. by the Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative at the Center for International Policy, which I direct.

Perhaps not surprisingly, CAP’s Katulis and MEI were among the top think-tank contacts for UAE’s foreign agents. According to 2018 filings, Katulis was contacted at least 12 times by the Harbour Group, which the UAE paid more than $5 million in 2018 to “influence U.S. policy,” according to the firm’s FARA filings. Katulis was a particular focus for them because he was helping to organize a “study tour” in which think-tank experts would take a luxurious trip to both the UAE and Saudi Arabia. That group also contacted MEI at least 14 times on behalf of the UAE, directing most of its efforts towards a “speaking engagement at MEI” for the Emirati ambassador to the U.S., the same man who had directed that “secret” $20 million contribution to the institute.

Under current law, it is perfectly legal for think tanks that receive funding from foreign governments to also work with foreign agents registered to represent those very governments. FARA includes an exemption for those engaged in “bona fide… scholastic, academic, or scientific pursuits.” Like many parts of the FARA statute, it’s not at all clear what “bona fide” means, but think tanks are presumably exempt from registration if they meet this threshold.

While the work done by both think tanks and registered foreign agents can sometimes overlap, the two are worlds apart on one critical score: transparency. Under FARA, registered foreign agents are required to disclose a considerable amount of what they do, including whom they’re working for, how much they’re being paid, and whom they’re contacting, as well as when and where they do it, on behalf of foreign principals like the United Arab Emirates. And most of that information is available online. Anything they distribute on behalf of a foreign backer must also include a “conspicuous statement” to let anyone know that what they’re reading is being distributed on behalf of a foreign principal.

Think tanks receiving funding from foreign sources are, however, not required to do any of the above.

As is appropriate during tax season, most of this should, in the end, be blamed on the Internal Revenue Service. Think tanks usually operate as tax-exempt organizations and, according to the IRS, “a tax-exempt organization is generally not required to disclose publicly the names or addresses of its contributors set forth on its annual return.”

While MEI and CAP do both disclose their funding sources on their websites — for which they should be commended — many think tanks do not. And few, even among those that do, mention any potential conflicts of interest that might be reflected in their published reports or the speeches and media appearances of their members. Even more worrisome, a Project On Government Oversight investigation by Lydia Dennett found numerous examples of think-tank experts not reporting or mentioning financial ties to foreign governments when testifying before Congress. Hiding such potential conflicts of interest is likely to leave the public and policymakers with the impression that they’re hearing truly objective experts, when they may, in fact, be taking testimony from someone who is functionally or literally on the payroll of a country with a deep stake in what they’re telling Congress.

If think tanks are to remain credible sources of foreign-policy expertise, such ties must, at the very least, be laid bare.

A first step would simply be to require think tanks to publicly disclose any foreign funding they receive, something easily done by amending the IRS code. In addition, just as registered foreign agents are required to include a “conspicuous statement” letting readers know they’re working on behalf of a foreign power, think tanks should have to fully disclose their funding sources and any potential conflicts of interest in all their written products, as well as at speaking engagements, especially testimony before Congress. It should also be incumbent upon the media to do a better job of vetting sources. Sure, journalists are extraordinarily busy, but if a simple Google search can reveal that the Middle East “expert” you’re quoting is being paid by a country in the Middle East, it behooves you to tell your readers that.

Finally, transparency is essential, but it’s well past time for think tanks themselves to focus on the track records of the countries they’re getting money from. The Brookings Institution did just that by cutting ties with the Saudis shortly after the murder of Khashoggi and, soon after, MEI, too, announced that it would decline any further funding from the Saudi government. More recently, and following the questions raised about CAP’s involvement with the United Arab Emirates, that think tank announced that it would no longer accept UAE money. As a CAP spokesperson said, “It’s just the right thing to do.”

CAP, MEI, and Brookings are, however, the exceptions.  Most think tanks haven’t done “the right thing” and dropped funding from autocratic regimes. Nor are they likely to voluntarily increase transparency about that funding. The burden then falls on Congress to enact reforms ensuring that senators and representatives will know when the expert they’re hearing discuss a specific country or the region it’s in is being paid by that very same country. Failure to act could leave Americans asking a simple and uncomfortable question: Which country is buying U.S. foreign policy today?

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Abandoning science in favor of coercion, FDA pharma mob bosses demand U.S. states eliminate vaccine exemptions... or else

Vaccine2.jpg (Natural News) One of the most astonishing truths of our modern information age is that the vaccine truth movement is winning the information war, despite the incessant, coordinated censorship of nearly all online content that questions the supposed “safety” of vaccines. The “vaccine deep state,” as I have called it, now finds itself in an...


Saturday, February 23, 2019

Human Rights Watch Appears to Be a Propaganda Organization


Human Rights Watch Appears to Be a Propaganda Organization

Big Lies by Human Rights Watch on Venezuela

by Stephen Lendman stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman

In cahoots with its corporate donors and Washington, HRW is part of the anti-Bolivarian propaganda campaign, supporting regime change – based on a litany of bald-faced Big Lies.

HRW: Last “May, President Nicolas Maduro won presidential elections against an opposition badly weakened by years of government repression, and amid widespread allegations that the polls had not met international standards of freedom and fairness.”

Fact: Alleged Venezuelan repression is a cooked up media supported US Big Lie. Whenever Venezuelan elections are held, around 25 in the Bolivarian Republic, international observers always call them open, free and fair – polar opposite the US money-controlled process. HRW lied claiming otherwise.

HRW: “No independent government institutions remain today in Venezuela to act as a check on executive power.”

“A series of measures by the Maduro and Chavez governments stacked the courts with judges who make no pretense of independence.”

“The government has been repressing dissent through often-violent crackdowns on street protests, jailing opponents, and prosecuting civilians in military courts. It has also stripped power from the opposition-led legislature.”

Fact: Venezuela is the hemisphere’s leading democracy, polar opposite growing US-led Western tyranny – at war on humanity at home and abroad, including by police state toughness.

Fact: The above claims turned truth on its head, reading like lines scripted in Washington. Reality is polar opposite HRW’s Big Lies.

Venezuela’s judicial system shares equal importance to the law of the land, supporting international, constitutional, and the country’s statute laws, operating independently of other branches of government under the nation’s Supreme Court.

The Bolivarian spirit is stated straightaway in the Constitution’s Preamble, saying:

The law of the land “establish(ed) a democratic, participatory and self-reliant, multiethnic and multicultural society in a just, federal and decentralized State that embodies the values of freedom, independence, peace, solidarity, the common good, the nation’s territorial integrity, comity and the rule of law for this and future generations.”

It “guarantees the right to life, work, learning, education, social justice and equality, without discrimination or subordination of any kind; promotes peaceful cooperation among nations and further strengthens Latin American integration in accordance with the principle of nonintervention and national self-determination of the people, the universal and indivisible guarantee of human rights, the democratization of imitational society, nuclear disarmament, ecological balance and environmental resources as the common and inalienable heritage of humanity…”

The above language is unimaginable in the US Constitution or statute laws – a self-serving government largely of men, not laws, a democracy in name only. Venezuelans have the real thing.

HRW: “Severe shortages of medicines, medical supplies, and food leave many Venezuelans unable to feed their families adequately or access essential healthcare.”

“The massive exodus of Venezuelans fleeing repression and shortages represents the largest migration crisis of its kind in recent Latin American history.”

Fact: No mass exodus of millions occurred, no repression. Numbers cited grossly distorted reality. Many who left returned home because of intolerable conditions in Colombia, Brazil and elsewhere.

HRW: “Other persistent concerns include poor prison conditions, impunity for human rights violations, and harassment by government officials of human rights defenders and independent media outlets” – more bald-faced Big Lies.

Like Western establishment media, HRW ignored the ongoing attempt by Trump regime hardliners to crush Bolivarian social democracy – waging war by other means, harming the country economically and financially, bearing most responsibility for hardships affecting millions of Venezuelans, exacerbated by low oil prices.

What’s most important to explain, HRW suppressed, operating as an imperial agent, supporting what demands denunciation – the US attempt to illegally topple a sitting government.

No “persecution of political opponents” exists. HRW lied claiming otherwise, no political prisoners, no arbitrary arrests and crackdowns, no “extrajudicial killings.”

There are no “serious abuses against detainees that in some cases amount to torture, including severe beatings, electric shocks, asphyxiation, and sexual abuse” — what goes on in US torture prisons worldwide, not in Venezuela.

A separate article discussed humanitarian conditions in the country, far short of what international law considers a humanitarian disaster – what’s going on in all US war theaters, HRW failed to explain.

Maduro’s government and the courts strictly abide by international and Venezuelan laws. HRW lied claiming otherwise – including no suppression of speech, media and academic freedoms, no civil and human rights abuses.

Actions are taken against lawbreakers, elements involved in violence, chaos, and vandalism – in cahoots with US efforts to replace democratically elected Maduro with puppet rule controlled by Washington and corporate predators.

HRW is an imperial tool, opposing principles it falsely claims to support.

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.


My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”


The post Human Rights Watch Appears to Be a Propaganda Organization appeared first on PaulCraigRoberts.org.


The State Expands Its Responsibilities In Order To Expand Its Power


Authored by Aayush Priyank via The Mises Institute,

Many moviegoers might recognize the following quotation: “with great power comes great responsibility.”

Reality, however, is the exact opposite of what the quote describes.

In reality, it is responsibility that precedes power.

In a corporation, for instance, when you’re hired you are told your responsibilities and the powers granted to you are those that are necessary for you to accomplish your responsibility.

In John’s family, John’s father demands that everyone stay out of the kitchen while he cooks, lest they distract him. It is not because John’s father has the power to keep everyone out of the kitchen that he has accepted the responsibility of cooking; it is because he is responsible for cooking that he has the power to keep everyone out of the kitchen.

A vast number of self-help books focus on self-responsibility. This is no coincidence. It is only by accepting responsibility for our lives that we can acquire power over our lives. On the other hand, by blaming others for our conditions, we forfeit our responsibility, and consequently, our power.

Responsibility is important not just because it provides power but also because, as psychologist Jordan Peterson has often remarked, most people find the meaning of their lives through responsibility.

Examining American history, it is evident that the expansion of government powers has been a direct result of the government’s theft of the responsibilities of the individual.

There is a rather straightforward argument that is consistently presented by the government in order to justify its theft of responsibilities that rightfully belong to others.

The argument begins by pointing out a problem that exists. Then the argument says that our lives would be better if the problem didn’t exist. The conclusion the government reaches is that since it would be better for the problem not to exist, the government should be responsible for removing it.

Take any governmental expansion as an example.

For example, the Federal Reserve justifies itself in part by noting economic crises are bad and shouldn’t happen. It is then claimed that governments, through their central banks, must be responsible for ensuring that these crises don’t happen. Vast powers are then granted to central banks who attempt to carry out their “responsibilities.”

Similarly, Social Security resulted from the government accepting responsibility of economic security for retirees and other specific groups of people. By doing so, it appropriated to itself the responsibility that belongs to individuals, families, churches, and other private organizations.

Medicare, unemployment benefits, food stamps, and the recent attempts at universal health care, aim to do the same.

Such theft of responsibility is disguised, and often even accepted, as virtuous. After all, providing solutions to problems is something that corporations do as well, don’t they? Yet the difference lies in the conditions set forth.

On the other hand, when dealing with a corporation, one can acquire the solution to a problem (food to solve hunger, insurance to solve risk of medical issues, and so forth) at a certain specific price. Moreover, rights, responsibilities — and the powers that come with them — are specifically listed and explained.

Governments, however, take on a variety of responsibilities as a justification for greatly expanding powers - claiming these powers are necessary to fulfill these new responsibilities. These powers, however, usually become unlimited, bloated, and expensive. There is no true legal contract between the government and the individuals for whom the government is “responsible” for. Thus, there is no way of holding the government accountable should it fail to keep up its end of the bargain.

Ultimately, the list of “responsibilities” continually grows, but the list of powers grows even faster.

The unconditional manner in which the government offers ‘help’ and seizes an individual’s responsibility serves only to steal the individual’s power over his own life and erode away that which provides him meaning.


Fed Tightening And Crumbling Fundamentals Expose The Recovery Lie


Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.com,

It is hard to say exactly when it startedin 2008 in the midst of the credit crisis, in the early 2000's when the Federal Reserve initiated artificially low interest rates which helped to create the vast US mortgage bubble, or maybe the root goes all the way back to 1913 when the Federal Reserve was founded, but somewhere along the line America entered severe economic decay. One certainty is that signals in the fundamentals become visible every time the Fed inflates a financial bubble to stall a crash and then tightens policy without waiting for the economy to show true alignment.

This pattern is, in my view, not about the Fed “bumbling in the dark”. In fact, I see most Fed activities as quite deliberate, including the creation and deflation of large credit and equities bubbles. Sometimes these crashing bubbles are used as an excuse by the Fed to launch an even more invasive program of stimulus, and sometimes the bubbles are allowed to collapse, allowing international banks to vacuum up hard assets for pennies on the dollar. During the most widespread collapse events, the banking elites use the chaos and distraction to not only centralize assets, but shift entire geopolitical and fiscal dynamics in order to centralize power.

There is much debate in alternative economic analysis on which type of event we are facing today. There is not much debate, though, on the fact that the fundamentals are screaming bloody murder. The cycle has started over again.

I would point out that since the 2008 credit crash a true recovery has never materialized. We have heard about in endlessly in the mainstream financial media, and to this day we hear Fed officials declare the US economy "on course" and “strong”, but the evidence has always been to the contrary. The Fed itself presents two primary factors as proof of recovery: GDP and Employment.

GDP is of course a fallacy, with a large portion of US “production” attributed to government spending, or government programs that tax the public in order to generate revenue. This is not true production as the government is not a producer. Rather, the government tends to misallocate and erase wealth instead of creating it.

Employment is another fraudulent statistic. The numbers released to the public are a gross misrepresentation of the economic picture, as they ignore the 95 million working age people no longer counted by the Bureau of Labor as unemployed because they have been removed from the rolls. The numbers also do not take into account the quality of jobs being created versus the quality of jobs that have been lost. Part time and low wage service sector jobs do not boost the economy, nor do they allow people to adequately support a family, but these are the kinds of jobs (U-6 Measurements) that make up the majority of the so-called economic recovery.

Other fundamentals have remained in poor condition for years but are rarely discussed in the mainstream media. The system has been kept barely afloat by one factor and one factor alone – Federal Reserve stimulus and low interest rate measures. It is important to note that multiple fundamentals began blaring recessionary alarms the moment the Fed began raising interest rates and cutting assets from its balance sheet. Without endless Fed stimulus, the illusion of recovery melts away.

For the past several months the housing market has been in steep decline, with sales cratering in December by 10.3%. Housing prices are falling in many areas of the country, but lag (as they tend to do) far behind the more immediate indicator of sales. The Fed's increasing interest rates have translated to higher mortgage rates across the board. Without low interest rates corporate buyers are leaving the market, resting the fate of housing on normal consumers who clearly do not have the capital or credit.

Auto sales have been comparatively dismal, posting declines through the end of 2018 into early 2019, with 2019 expected to be the worst year overall. Once again, with rising interest rates, major purchases have become less appealing to the average consumer.

Retail sales have now posted the worst December numbers since 2009. Retail sales are often presented by the mainstream media as the end all argument for economic recovery. Yet they fail to mention the problem of consumer credit, which has ballooned over the past several years to record highs. In our unstable economic environment, low interest rates fuel debt, debt fuels credit and credit (instead of savings) fuels consumer purchases. Without low interest rates, the entire house of cards comes tumbling down.

I also find it interesting that while retail sales are crumbling, consumer debt continues to rise. If consumers are taking on more debt, where is that money going if not into purchases? My suspicion is that new debt is being taken on in order to pay off old debts. If this terrible cycle is the underlying source of expanding personal credit, then retail sales indicate that we are close to the end of the game.

Credit and lending where it counts is now faltering. Small business loans have plunged the past few months, with a 9.7% drop in December. While consumer credit is inflating, lending on a broader scale to support the business sector is falling as interest rates rise.

US PMI manufacturing stats have been falling for most of the past year as well, recently posting the biggest drop in 17 months.  The decline in manufacturing globally has translated to a sharp decline in the amount of freight shipped each month across the country as well as shipped overseas.  It's beginning to look a lot like 2008 once again.

According to traditional thinking in essentially every concrete aspect of the US economy we are entering recession territory. I would amend this thinking and say that we were ALWAYS in a recession or depression; it was only the Fed's low interest rates and stimulus that allowed this fact to be hidden from the public. Now that the Fed has tightened policy, the lie of recovery has become obvious.

The question is what the Fed plan calls for next. Will they use the current downturn to reintroduce even more stimulus? This seems to be what the majority of analysts believe will happen, but I disagree. The 'Everything Bubble' was created by the Fed for a reason; it was not an accident. Such a bubble is a perfect weapon for triggering sweeping economic and political changes not just in the US but around the globe. Why would the Fed create such a weapon and then refuse to use it?

The mainstream narrative has been building for over two years now – a “populist uprising” has begun in the Western world, and it will cause great turmoil as it undermines the “stability” of globalism. With an acceptable scapegoat in place to take the blame for a crash, the Fed has pulled the plug on life support for the ailing economy. In order to cover their bases, they have now changed the vocabulary of their statements, using words like “accommodation”.

What amazes me, though, is how quickly the alternative media have bought into this rhetoric. The Fed changes a few words within their statements, and suddenly this means they have “capitulated” on interest rates and asset cuts? The Fed uses a few choice words and suddenly we are all talking about QE4? This is absurd.

The Fed has not stopped policy tightening so far.  With a week left in the month of February, the central bank has already cut approximately $58 billion from its balance sheet.  This is one of the largest asset dumps so far.  Some economists have argued that the Fed would never actually dump the announced $50 billion, and would stay below $34 billion per month.  Obviously they were wrong.

Fed dot plots still remain unchanged, with at least two more rate hikes planned for this year.

What I see is more smoke and mirrors and magical thinking, more hints at promises that were never actually promised, and a host of dangerous assumptions permeating the economic world. It is certainly possible that the damage of Fed tightening has already been done. Perhaps there is no longer any need for them to tighten further to cause the crash they obviously desire. However, asset cuts have not stopped yet, and Fed dot plots still call for at least two more rate hikes in 2019.

I wonder what will happen if, in March, the Fed does not capitulate as the majority expect? Would it come as a shock if the Fed continues dumping its balance sheet? It will certainly send markets into a spiral if it hikes interest rates yet again (or indicates future interest rate hikes), given that almost everyone is factoring in rate cuts for 2019 rather than rate hikes.

Until we see an actual reversal of asset cuts and rate hikes, I'm not buying the rhetoric from the Fed.

And what will the Fed say if this shock occurs? Well, I expect they would continue to say that the US economy is “strong”, ignoring the fundamentals as they always have. I also expect that they would say that they never promised a reversal of tightening policy (which is true), though they will probably continue to add "dovish" words into their public statements as a psychological steam valve for the crash. In fact, the markets have made an array of assumptions that were not at all in line with Fed comments on the "strong" US economy. The blame will fall on over-zealous investors, the blame will fall on the media in part for encouraging false optimism, and the establishment will blame the "populist menace" and the trade war for any negative consequences.

This is why it is important to expose the direct relationship between Fed bubbles, Fed tightening and the collapse of the fundamentals. The central bank is deliberately creating economic crisis conditions.  When chaos strikes, the Fed will attempt to obscure their dominant role in economic decline. It is our job to grab hold of their neck like pitbulls and never let them free.

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10 Common-Sense Amendments To The U.S. Constitution


Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

These are my suggested loophole-closing amendments.

Unfortunately, my recent essay Let's Face It: The U.S. Constitution Has Failed deeply offended readers whom I had no intent to offend. One reader even decided to stop reading my work, which is extreme in the polite and cordial little world of Of Two Minds, where differences of opinion are expected and welcomed as long as they add to our shared understanding of the great issues of our era.

The key point of offense is my suggestion that the Constitution itself is wanting, when it is obvious to all that it's those who have been entrusted to administer the Constitution who are wanting. My error was in not stipulating this self-evident truth at the outset.

But I also think many readers misunderstood my point, which is that the Constitution was devised as a living document that could be amended as needed. It was not intended as a text that could not be updated as conditions change. This is why the method of amendment is spelled out very precisely.

The founders feared exactly what has come to pass: a government that no longer represents the interests of the citizenry. They did their best in a fractious debate to stipulate safeguards, but it's clear that many of the Founders understood that no document could completely safeguard the Republic against a leadership that sought to undermine the Republic at every turn for personal gain.

It is also constructive to recall Jefferson's observations on the need for dissent to maintain liberty:

When Jefferson said, “God forbid we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion,” he was expressing the idea that “liberties are ensured by the spirit of resistance” and that all great nations had rebellions (again justifying that liberty shouldn’t be sacrificed by conservative worry). (source)

It seems to me that adding strict limits to the government's powers and closing the loopholes that now threaten the Republic are forms of dissent that deserve an open airing. I offer these proposed amendments as a start. I consider them common-sense ways to limit the abuses of power and rank corruption that are undermining the Republic. The penalties have to be severe enough to thwart all who seek to exploit the government's many powers for their private enrichment and gain.

1. No branch of the government may create an agency or entity, public or private, that is not expressly authorized and defined by the Constitution.

No more Federal Reserve, CIA, etc. unless the authorization is added to the Constitution.

2. No agency or entity, public or private, may issue United States currency, or substitute forms of currency, other than the Treasury.

No more Federal Reserve or Federal Reserve notes.

3. The Treasury is authorized to issue loans of one year or less duration to public and private entities in response to financial crisis.

Resolving liquidity crises is the sole justifiable function of central banks. This amendment gives those powers to the Treasury, so there's no need for a central bank.

4. No government may restrict the citizens' enjoyment of the civil liberties defined in the Bill of Rights on all public and private land, with the sole exception being activities that restrict or disrupt the normal flow of commerce.

No more "free speech zones" situated 5 miles from the political hack giving a hackneyed speech.

5. No personnel, paid or unpaid, of the government, government contractors or entities receiving direct or indirect funding from the government may set foot on any foreign soil for the purposes of hostilities or actions preparing for hostilities except as authorized by a Declaration of War by Congress.

No more "wars of choice" or Imperial meddling / over-reach. You want military or mercenary operations in 20 countries? Then get 20 Declarations of War from Congress.

6. No person or entity, living, robotic or digital, may contribute more than one day's pay of the average American laborer to any person seeking elected office in any one election cycle, in currency, goods, services or labor, paid or unpaid. Any person seeking elected office who accepts more than this sum in any form, and anyone who seeks to circumvent this statuary limit on campaign contributions, shall be barred from holding office for their lifetime and will serve a minimum prison sentence of 5 years.

This is about $100 in today's money.

6A. No person or entity which has received funding, favors or contracts from the government, directly or indirectly, within the previous 5 years is allowed to contribute to any elective office campaign, under the penalties described in Amendment 6. Additionally, any entity that seeks to bypass this restriction shall be fined 5 years of annual revenues, payable upon conviction.

6B. Every contribution, direct or indirect, in currency, goods, services or labor, paid or unpaid, made to a person seeking elected office, must be published publicly within 48 hours of receipt. Every entity's contribution must carry the name of the person or persons responsible for the entity's management. Any entity that seeks to bypass this restriction shall be fined 5 years of annual revenues, payable upon conviction.

A corporation with annual revenues of $1 billion would pay a $5 billion fine, or be liquidated. Its shareholders and bondholders would be wiped out.

6C. No individual may spend more than one month of the average laborer's monthly pay on their own campaign for elective office. Anyone who seeks to circumvent this statuary limit on campaign contributions shall be barred from holding office for their lifetime and will serve a minimum prison sentence of 5 years.

This is about $4,500 in today's money.

7. The civil rights of citizens cannot be extended to legal entities, and are reserved solely for living individual citizens.

8. No government employee may accept a position in any private entity that has accepted funding, favors or contracts from the government in the previous 5 years for a period of 10 years after leaving government office.

No more revolving doors, no more corporate capture, no more campaign contributions beyond trivial sums. Campaigns of volunteers will face off against each other.

9. Every agency and office of the government, and every entity or person that has received funding, favors or contracts, directly or indirectly, from the government, shall be independently audited every 4 years, and the results of these forensic audits are to be made public on the day of their issuance. Any entity that seeks to bypass or evade this requirement shall be fined 5 years of revenues, payable upon conviction. Any person who seeks to bypass or evade this requirement shall serve a minimum prison sentence of 5 years.

No more unaudited agencies and government contractors.

10. The government is restricted solely to the powers explicitly stipulated in the Constitution. No additional powers may be assumed unless authorized by an amendment to the Constitution.

This won't stop all mischief, but it at least provides a constitutional barrier and a bulwark of dissent to governmental over-reach.

These are my suggested loophole-closing amendments. You undoubtedly have others and / or improved versions of these. Let's put them on the table for debate and discussion.

*  *  *

Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($6.95 ebook, $12 print, $13.08 audiobook): Read the first section for free in PDF format. My new mystery The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake is a ridiculously affordable $1.29 (Kindle) or $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF). My book Money and Work Unchained is now $6.95 for the Kindle ebook and $15 for the print edition. Read the first section for free in PDF format. If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.


Judge Rules Plea Deal For "Orgy Island Billionaire" Broke Federal Law


In an opinion that was 11 years in the making, a federal judge has ruled in a lawsuit brought by victims of disgraced billionaire Jeffrey Epstein - who infamously served 13 months in prison on state prostitution charges after scoring a plea deal with prosecutors led by now-Labor Secretary Alex Acosta - that Acosta and other attorneys with whom he worked at the US attorneys office of South Florida violated federal law when they sealed Epstein's plea deal, preventing any of his victims from challenging the deal, the Miami Herald reported.



The lawsuit was originally brought in 2008 after Epstein started serving his term. He was released in 2009. But is only now being resolved following renewed interest in the case following a series of reports in the Herald about how the wealthy and well-connected Epstein - who allegedly ferried Bill Clinton and actor Kevin Spacey to his "Orgy Island" aboard his plane, which has been termed "the Lolita Express" - received such a lenient sentence for offenses that some said should have elicited federal sex trafficking charges.

Marra agreed, saying that while prosecutors had the right to resolve the case in any way they saw fit, they violated the law by hiding the agreement from Epstein’s victims. Marra’s decision capped 11 years of litigation — which included the release of a trove of emails showing how Acosta and other prosecutors worked with Epstein’s high profile lawyers to conceal the deal — and the scope of Epstein’s crimes — from both his victims and the public.

"Particularly problematic was the Government’s decision to conceal the existence of the [agreement] and mislead the victims to believe that federal prosecution was still a possibility," Marra wrote. "When the Government gives information to victims, it cannot be misleading. While the Government spent untold hours negotiating the terms and implications of the [agreement] with Epstein’s attorneys, scant information was shared with victims.’"

Given that the determination was made in a civil court opinion, Acosta won't be facing any charges. But the ruling is certainly a black eye for his legacy as US attorney. But White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the administration would be "looking into" Acosta's role in the plea deal.

In the opinion, the judge determined that Epstein helped recruit underage girls "for his own sexual gratification, but also for the sexual gratification of others".

The lawyer who brought the civil suit said he was relieved to read the opinion, and blasted the government attorneys for appearing to side with Epstein over his victims.

Brad Edwards, the Fort Lauderdale attorney who brought the case, said he was elated at the judge’s ruling, but admitted he is bitter that the case took 11 years to litigate, blaming federal prosecutors for needlessly dragging out the case when they could have remedied their error when it was brought to their attention in 2008.

"The Government aligned themselves with Epstein, working against his victims, for 11 years," Edwards said. "Yes, this is a huge victory, but to make his victims suffer for 11 years, this should not have happened. Instead of admitting what they did, and doing the right thing, they spent 11 years fighting these girls."

Still, Epstein will likely live out his life as a free man (unless new offenses are committed, or if other victims of his sex trafficking in different jurisdictions come forward. There's no statute of limitations on sex trafficking). The ruling comes after Senators on the Judiciary Committee asked that the DOJ open an investigation into the deal, which was offered at a time when Robert Mueller was running the FBI.


Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Dr. Brian Hooker's bombshell testimony before Congress reveals how MMR vaccines INCREASE deaths from measles



Via Children's Health Defense , headed by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who is perhaps the only prominent Democrat in America that's actually fighting to protect children from toxic vaccines, 5G electromagnetic radiation and dangerous fluoride chemicals in the water supply: (Testimony from Dr. Brian S. Hooker) There is a problem with measles in Washington State, but it's not low vaccination rates, it's actually high vaccination rates with a vaccine product unable to provide lifetime immunity or vigorous passive maternal protection to infants during the first year of life. When the measles vaccine was first introduced, most people over the age of 15 who had wild measles had lifetime immunity. In developed nations, like other communicable infections, measles was no longer dangerous except in rare circumstances because of inadequate nutrition, poor sanitation, and / or lack of healthcare. Because having the measles was a routine part of childhood, teens, adults, parents, and grandparents...


China Bans Millions From Flights, Trains In Social-Credit Crackdown



China has banned millions of people from any number of activities for being labeled as 'untrustworthy' on the country's Orwellian social credit system. Banned from things such as air and train travel, blacklisted individuals are being punished in a broad effort to boost "trustworthiness" among the 1.4 billion Chinese citizens tracked by the massive system - which assigns both positive and negative scores to various metrics, reports SCMP.  


Chase Bank De-Platforms Conservative Performance Artist Martina Markota


Two weeks after Chase Bank announced that it would no longer do business with Proud Boys Chairman Enrique Tarrio, Conservative performance artist and Rebel Media personality Martina Markota has become the latest conservative media figure to be targeted by the bank which has made no secret of its support for liberal causes (see its decision to cut ties with the gun industry).


In an interview with Big League Politics, Markota explained that the account that was shuttered had been linked to an Indiegogo campaign that Markota had used to raise more than $34,000 for a graphic novel that she had been working on, which made the decision to shut down the account more of a financial burden for her.

Markota was mailed a letter form the bank, which she shared on twitter.


When she contacted the bank to try and figure out why the account had been shut down, Markota said they refused to give her a reason. She believes that the decision was politically motivated due to her support for President Trump.

Upon getting notice of her account shutdown, Markota contacted Chase Bank by phone to ask why her account was shut down.

"They refused to tell me why," Markota stated. "They said they have the right to end our relationship and not tell me why."

She began to believe that her bank account shutdown was was politically motivated after reading Big League Politics‘ story on Tarrio. This suspicion is well warranted considering the fact that her outspoken support for President Trump has exposed her to a torrent of harassment in recent years.

Markota added that she has been the victim of harassment from former coworkers when she was a burlesque dancer.

Markota’s former co-workers from her burlesque days have been on a crusade to make her life miserable ever since she came out as a Trump supporter.

Their harassment got so bad that Markota is pursuing legal action against the most vicious tormentor.

If political motivations were in fact behind her de-platforming, that would make Markota the latest in a string of conservatives including Alex Jones, Laura Loomer and Jordan Peterson who have been financially targeted for their political views by what are still perceived as unbiased, apolitical organizations, when in reality financial isolation and boycotts is precisely how outspoken, ideologically opposing voices get silenced.


Conspiracy Researcher David Icke Banned From Speaking In Australia


Today the Australian government banned conspiracy researcher David Icke from entering the country for his multi-city speaking tour. Although he has spoken in Australia several times in the past decade, the government cited Icke’s skeptical views of vaccinations and global warming as the reason for the ban. Icke learned about the ban mere hours before his flight. Apparently Australians are no longer free to hear opposing points of view.


#Nest was purchased by #Google (#GSA) for $3.2B in 2014 because Nest's thermostats are advanced HOME #SURVEILLANCE DEVICES. Today's revelation that Google added a MICROPHONE to Nest's other sensors - WITHOUT TELLING ANYONE - should surprise no one. businessinsider.fr/us/nest-microp…

Vm5IB7Vn_normal.jpg Dr. Robert Epstein
#Nest was purchased by #Google (#GSA) for $3.2B in 2014 because Nest's thermostats are advanced HOME #SURVEILLANCE DEVICES. Today's revelation that Google added a MICROPHONE to Nest's other sensors - WITHOUT TELLING ANYONE - should surprise no one. businessinsider.fr/us/nest-microp…


Let's Face It: The U.S. Constitution Has Failed


Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

Elections provide the bread-and-circuses staged-drama that is passed off as democracy.

Despite the anything-goes quality of American culture, one thing remains verboten to say publicly: the U.S. Constitution has failed. The reason why this painfully obvious fact cannot be discussed publicly is that it gives the lie to the legitimacy of the entire status quo.

The Constitution was intended to limit 1) the power of government over the citizenry 2) the power of each branch of government and 3) the power of political/financial elites over the government and the citizenry, as the Founders recognized the intrinsic risks of an all-powerful state, an all-powerful state dominated by one branch of government and the risks of a financial elite corrupting the state to serve their interests above those of the citizenry.

The Constitution has failed to place limits on the power of government, on the emergence of unaccountable states-within-a-state agencies and on the political power of financial elites.

How has the Constitution failed? It has failed in three ways:

1. Corporations and the super-wealthy elite control the machinery of governance. The public interest is not represented except as interpreted / filtered through corporate/elite interests.

2. The nation's central bank, the Federal Reserve, has the power to debauch the nation's currency and reward the wealthy via issuing new currency and buying Treasury bonds in whatever sums it deems necessary at the moment. The Fed is only nominally under the control of the elected government. It is in effect an independent state-within-a-state that dominates the financial well-being of the entire nation.

3. The National Security State--the alphabet agencies of the FBI, CIA, NSA et al.--are an independent state-within-a-state, answerable only to themselves, not to the public or their representatives. Congressional oversight is little more than feeble rubber-stamping of the Imperial Project and whatever the unelected National Security leadership deems worthy of pursuit.

The Constitution's core regulatory element--the balancing of executive, legislative and judicial power--has broken down. The judiciary's independence is as nominal as the legislative branch's control of the central bank and National Security state: the gradual encroachment of corporate and state power is rubber-stamped and declared constitutional.

The secret power of the National Security agencies was declared constitutional early in the Cold war, when unleashing unaccountable and secret agencies was deemed necessary.

The bizarre public-private Federal Reserve was deemed constitutional at its founding in 1913, and the Supreme Court famously declared that corporations have the same rights to free speech (including loudspeakers that cost millions of dollars) as living citizens.

The powers of the Imperial Presidency also continue expanding, regardless of which party is in office or the supposed ideological tropisms of Supreme Court justices.

Every step of this erosion of public representation and the elected government's power is declared fully constitutional, in classic boiled-frog fashion. The frog detects the rising temperature of the water but isn't alarmed as the heat is increased so gradually.

Since the rise of unaccountable states-within-a-state are constitutional, as is the dominance of corporate / private-wealth elites, on what grounds can citizens protest their loss of representation?

Elections provide the bread-and-circuses staged drama that is passed off as democracy. The key goal of the corporate/state media coverage, of course, is to foster the illusion that elections really, really, really matter, when the reality is they don't. The National Security State grinds on, the Federal Reserve grinds on and the dominance of corporate-wealth elites grinds on regardless of who's in office.

Every emergency is met by the ceding of more power to unelected elites in positions to serve their own interests. The Cold War, financial panics, Cold War Redux--every crisis is an excuse to expand the powers of the unaccountable, opaque states-within-a-state.

The media is already gearing up with 24/7 coverage of the 2020 elections. The constant churn of drama-trauma serves to mask the impotence and powerlessness of the citizenry and the unaccountability of the states-within-a-state that rule the nation.

*  *  *

Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($6.95 ebook, $12 print, $13.08 audiobook): Read the first section for free in PDF format. My new mystery The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake is a ridiculously affordable $1.29 (Kindle) or $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF).  My book Money and Work Unchained is now $6.95 for the Kindle ebook and $15 for the print edition. Read the first section for free in PDF format. If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.


Same Old, Same Old: Business Cycle Aging, Credit Standards Falling, Default Crisis Dead Ahead


The ultra-low interest rates which central banks have facilitated since 2008 have lowered borrowing costs and lending standards, allowing companies to pursue risky and long-term projects by taking on more debt than they otherwise would have found possible, while at the same time making creditors more eager to lend to high-risk companies in pursuit of their accompanying slightly higher returns. When the threat of inflation finally forces central banks to raise interest rates again, as they are already beginning to do, many of these borrowers will be forced to default on their increasingly expensive debts, and the crash will have begun. The greater the extent to which global financial institutions have exposed themselves to these junk debt CDOs by that point, the more quickly will the crisis spread throughout the financial system.