Category Archives: Media

Censorship Is What Happens When Powerful People Get Scared, by Michael Krieger

Powerful people have good reason to be scared. They’ve screwed up a great country and people have figured it out. From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:

“Only the weak hit the fly with a hammer.”

– Bangambiki Habyarimana

Anyone who tells you the recent escalation of censorship by U.S. tech giants is merely a reflection of private companies making independent decisions is either lying or dangerously ignorant.

In the case of Facebook, the road from pseudo-platform to willing and enthusiastic tool of establishment power players is fairly straightforward. It really got going earlier this year when issues surrounding egregious privacy violations in the case of Cambridge Analytica (stuff that had been going on for years) could finally be linked to the Trump campaign.  It was at this point that powerful and nefarious forces spotted an opportunity to leverage the company’s gigantic influence in distributing news and opinion for their own ends. Rather than hold executives to account and break up the company, the choice was made to commandeer and weaponize the platform. This is where we stand today.

Let’s not whitewash history though. These tech companies have been compliant, out of control government snitches for a long time. Thanks to Edward Snowden, we’re aware of the deep and longstanding cooperation between these lackeys and U.S. intelligence agencies in the realm of mass surveillance. As such, the most recent transformation of these companies into full fledged information gatekeepers should be seen in its proper context; merely as a dangerous continuation and expansion of an already entrenched reality.

But it’s all out in the open now. Facebook isn’t even hiding the fact that it’s outsourcing much of its “fake news” analysis to the Atlantic Council, a think tank funded by NATO, Gulf States and defense contractors. As reported by Reuters:

Facebook began looking for outside help amid criticism for failing to rein in Russian propaganda ahead of the 2016 presidential elections…

With scores of its own cybersecurity professionals and $40 billion in annual revenue in 2017, Facebook might not seem in need of outside help.

It doesn’t need outside help, it needs political cover, which is the real driver behind this.

To continue reading: Censorship Is What Happens When Powerful People Get Scared

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Close Up and Long Shot, by James Howard Kunstler

The world is whirling centrifugally apart and it can only end badly. What if they held a “climactic bloodbath” and nobody came? From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:

Be careful about what you see in the foreground of the news vis-à-vis what’s in the background. Sunday, the cable networks were on fire over the 30-or-so white nationalists marching across Washington DC — with much larger hordes of masked, black-clad Antifa street-fighters following them around, and an army of DC cops in fluorescent green riot vests following the Antifas and the white nationalist knuckleheads.

The event was a billed as an attempt to commemorate the clash that happened between the same contestants in Charlottesville, Virginia, a year ago in the uproar over Confederate statues. That fiasco ended in the death of a bystander named Heather Heyer. Not a whole lot has changed since then, except perhaps the Left has become more strident in its calls to penalize white people for their crimes of “privilege,” no doubt further inflaming the Unite-the-Right crew. (And the anti-statue campaign has dropped down the memory hole.)

There was plenty of “hate” to go around on both sides Sunday. But those who were waiting for a climactic bloodbath in Lafayette Park must have been disappointed after a long day of tension when a big blob of rain hunkered over the District at suppertime and the theatrics concluded. Both the Antifas and the Unite-the-Right marchers had to go home and get out of their wet clothes. At least they could agree on that.

The cable TV anchors had issued the usual calls for “national unity,” exhorting President Trump to emerge from his Bedminster, New Jersey, golfing bunker and “bring the country together,” a sadly fatuous proposition. There is nothing to come together within. There’s nothing left of an American common culture besides a few Disney movies and that’s not nearly enough. That’s what happens when you opt for multiculturalism as your number one political principle. It automatically negates shared values, so why even expect any agreement between groups contending for dominance?

To continue reading: Close Up and Long Shot

Fidel Narváez: “Those who think that they will break Julian Assange are mistaken”, by Monica del Pilar Uribe Marin

This article clarifies Julian Assange’s legal and political situation and dispells much of the mainstream media mythology. From Mónica del Pilar Uribe Marín at theprisma.co.uk:

Defamed, persecuted, harassed, and since March of this year cut off from the outside world, in Flat 3B, Knightsbridge, London, the founder of Wikileaks waits to learn the fate of his asylum status. It is a position that current Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno has put at risk, but Assange is built for battles of this size. The former Consul of Ecuador knows him well, and wanted to speak out.

Julian Assange – Free Photo: Wikipedia Flickr bit.ly/2MG1hJW

Mónica del Pilar Uribe Marín

Since assuming power, Moreno has made no secret of the inconvenience caused by the ‘problem he inherited’ from his predecessor, and now seems to have made up his mind to expel Assange from the embassy. It is even said that the true purpose of his recent visit to the UK was to meet with British functionaries, agree terms for the end of the asylum, and hand Assange over to British authorities.

This comes as no surprise considering that Moreno regards Assange as, among other things, a ‘hacker’ who ‘made a mistake’ that ‘could cost him his life’, and while he has stated that Assange must be protected, Moreno is undeniably sensitive to US pressures.

He recently sanctioned Assange for ‘political interference’, denying him access to the internet or telephones, and prohibiting all visits except those from his lawyers.

Today Julian Assange – who has never left the building in Knightsbridge – finds himself in total confinement, faced with the possibility that his asylum may be withdrawn at any time. He is also suffering from various physical ailments and, as of a few days ago, dealing with the US Senate Intelligence Committee’s request that he privately testify in relation to Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

In other words, conditions in the Latin American country’s embassy in Knightsbridge are now very different to those that Assange experienced during the six years beginning  19 June  2012, when he arrived seeking political asylum. Ecuador’s government at the time, and its president Rafael Correa, openly accepted his request, believing Assange’s life to be in danger and admiring his fight to defend freedom of information and expression.

At that time the Consul of Ecuador in the UK was Fidel Narváez, who was tasked with accompanying Assange from the day he first set foot in the embassy.

To continue reading: Fidel Narváez: “Those who think that they will break Julian Assange are mistaken”

The Game is Rigged, by Ben Garrison

The object of the game is getting clearer all the time: silence voices discordant from the mainstream narrative. From Ben Garrison at grrrgraphics.com:

In early America many cities had ‘town squares’ in which citizens could stand on soapboxes and shout out various messages. Our First Amendment protects such speech.

The Internet is today’s town square. The soapboxes are social media.

The Deep State and the left are intertwined with Silicon Valley. The CIA helped Google and Facebook get started. Why? To make it easier to spy on people. Over time, millions gravitated toward Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Conservative and Libertarian voices became very strong and that alarmed the Deep State. So they began demonetizing conservatives. Then they shadow-banned them. Now they are deleting them outright.

For many years, Alex Jones reached millions with his journalism and rants. His tirades helped wake people up. He yelled at us about the Deep State, including the corrupt security agencies, the Bohemian Grove, the CFR, the Bilderbergs, fluoride in our water, the lies about 9-11, and yes, even Sandy Hook. The latter had many anomalies that should be questioned. Alex brought all of this up and more before anyone else had a inkling about what was really going on with such matters. He was routinely dismissed as a ‘conspiracy theorist’ by the establishment. However, much of what he has been saying over the years is now acknowledged as self-evident. The legacy media, the Deep State, and Silicon Valley could not stomach the fact that he was informing and influencing minds and elections. They all got together and confiscated his soapbox. Their lame excuse? They claimed he was a purveyor of ‘hate speech.’

To continue reading: The Game is Rigged

The Real Victim of Social Media Censorship is Personal Responsibility, by Brittany Hunter

Banning certain views from social media sites prevents people from either thinking for themselves about those views or debunking them. From Brittany Hunter at fee.org:

Between Trump’s tirades against alleged “fake news” outlets and the recent banning of Alex Jones from Facebook, Apple, and YouTube, our society appears to be obsessed with trying to silence the opposition by controlling the flow of information. And while the recent Jones prohibition has sparked a national debate over who the First Amendment applies to, there is more to this story than just the issue of state-protected free speech.

To be sure, the Bill of Rights is vital to individual liberty and was written explicitly to restrain the government from infringing upon the rights of the people. And while Facebook may sometimes be more accommodating to the government than many of us would like, the fact remains that it is a private company and it has the right to ban whomever it chooses. The same goes for YouTube and Apple.

And while we are each free to disagree with the decision to censor certain users, debating the constitutionality of Facebook and Apple’s decision ignores the real heart of the matter: Facebook, CNN, Apple, YouTube, and Fox News are not responsible for the spread of misinformation, no matter how much believing so may reinforce our own narratives. When all is said and done, the only person responsible for distinguishing fact from fiction is the individual.

When I was a child and used to accompany my mother to the grocery store, I would always stare in wonder at the sensational tabloid magazines that sat near the registers. “Saddam Hussein is Really a Woman,” one headline read. Another claimed to have an exclusive interview with a man with four heads while another had the scoop on the exorcism of a demonic cat. Even as a child, I understood these headlines were false, but I was still confused.

“Why are these magazines allowed to tell lies? Shouldn’t this be illegal?” I asked my mother. “What if someone believes them?”

“Some people do believe them,” she said as she told me about her friend from school who never missed an issue of World Daily News. She continued, “But each person is responsible for making that decision for themselves.”

To continue reading: The Real Victim of Social Media Censorship is Personal Responsibility

Alex Jones Purge: US Tech Giants Meddle into 2018 Midterm Elections, by Peter Korzun

Banning conservatives from popular social media platforms meddles with the 2018 elections much more than anything the Russians are likely to do. From Peter Korzun at strategic-culture.org:

An all-out battle is raging against alternative views in the country that has positioned itself as the champion of the freedom of speech despite the fact that 90% of its media are controlled by just 6 companies. For comparison, in 1983, 90% of US media were controlled by 50 companies. Naturally, the trend negatively affects press freedom. According to the 2018 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders or RSF, the US dropped two positions compared to 2017, sliding to No. 45 overall. The role of competition has diminished while bias has become a norm. According to the 2017 Gallup/Knight Foundation Survey on Trust, Media and Democracy report, only 44 percent Americans say they can identify a news source that they believe reports the news objectively.

There have been many examples of freedom of speech trampled on in the United States. True, the First Amendment bars Congress from “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…” but it says nothing about big high-tech companies or social networks banning political commentators out of favor with the “establishment”. And that’s what they did.

Major tech giants – Facebook, Apple, Google, YouTube, Pinterest, iTunes, LinkedIn, Podcast add, MailChimp, YouPorn, and Spotify – have banned Alex Jones, a well-known journalist, and his website InfoWars – from their services for spreading around “wrong stories”, which the platforms’ owners found “hateful”. The move is unprecedented, it’s a real bombshell. It should be noted that it was President Donald Trump who praised Mr. Jones for his “amazing” reputation.

The privately owned companies with their own rules and regulations teamed up against Mr. Jones and did it simultaneously to leave no doubt the ban is nothing else but collusion. The giants are engaged in political censorship, using their market dominance to target dissenters. Alex Jones is the same investigative journalist he has been for many years. What makes them crack down on him now? Probably, they had their fill as he had irritated them disproportionately.

To continue reading: Alex Jones Purge: US Tech Giants Meddle into 2018 Midterm Elections

The Saudi-Canada Clash: A Values War, by Patrick Buchanan

The Saudi Arabian government does not much value being told by Canada how to run their country. From Patrick Buchanan at buchanan.org:

Is it any of Canada’s business whether Saudi women have the right to drive?

Well, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland just made it her business.

Repeatedly denouncing Riyadh’s arrest of women’s rights advocate Samar Badawi, Freeland has driven the two countries close to a break in diplomatic relations.

“Reprehensible” said Riyadh of Freeland’s tweeted attack. Canada is “engaged in blatant interference in the Kingdom’s domestic affairs.”

The Saudis responded by expelling Canada’s ambassador and ordering 15,000 Saudi students to end their studies in Canada and barred imports of Canadian wheat. A $15 billion contract to provide armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia may be in jeopardy.

Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who has been backsliding on his promises to modernize the kingdom, appears to have had enough of Western lectures on democratic values and morality.

A week after Pope Francis denounced the death penalty as always “impermissible,” Riyadh went ahead and crucified a convicted murderer in Mecca. In Saudi Arabia, homosexuality can get you a death sentence.

Neither President Donald Trump nor the State Department has taken sides, but The Washington Post has weighed in with an editorial: “Human Rights Are Everyone’s Business.”

“What Ms. Freeland and Canada correctly understand is that human rights … are universal values, not the property of kings and dictators to arbitrarily grant and remove on a whim. Saudi Arabia’s long-standing practice of denying basic rights to citizens, especially women — and its particularly cruel treatment of some dissidents — such as the public lashes meted out to (Ms. Badawi’s brother) — are matters of legitimate concern to all democracies and free societies.

“It is the traditional role of the United States to defend universal values everywhere they are trampled upon and to show bullying autocrats they cannot get away with hiding their dirty work behind closed doors.”

The Post called on the foreign ministers of all Group of Seven nations to retweet Freeland’s post saying, “Basic rights are everybody’s business.”

To continue reading: The Saudi-Canada Clash: A Values War