Archive for January, 2018

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Article is from Truthdig, which I’ve had some problems with over their 9/11 denialism. The 9/11 attacks led to this whole fiasco, but here you go…

Thought Police for the 21st Century

In late April and early May the World Socialist Web Site, which identifies itself as a Trotskyite group that focuses on the crimes of capitalism, the plight of the working class and imperialism, began to see a steep decline in readership. The decline persisted into June. Search traffic to the World Socialist Web Site has been reduced by 75 percent overall. And the site is not alone. AlterNet’s search traffic is down 71 percent, Consortium News is down 72 percent, Global Research and Truthdig have seen declines. And the situation appears to be growing worse.

The reductions coincided with the introduction of algorithms imposed by Google to fight “fake news.” Google said the algorithms are designed to elevate “more authoritative content” and marginalize “blatantly misleading, low quality, offensive or downright false information.” It soon became apparent, however, that in the name of combating “fake news,” Google, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are censoring left-wing, progressive and anti-war sites. The 150 most popular search terms that brought readers to the World Socialist Web Site, including “socialism,” “Russian Revolution” and “inequality,” today elicit little or no traffic.

Remember: The foundation-funded “left” also censors content, such as legitimate facts about the 9/11 attacks and the Treason at the heart of it. It’s kind of difficult to be sympathetic to Truthdig’s readership problems when they have been censoring 9/11 activists such as myself since the beginning. Further, they are too cowardly to debate their ignorant positions. That’s why this blog exists, btw.

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Politicians Who Complain About Trump’s Authoritarian Tendencies Just Gave Him 6 Years To Warrantlessly Spy On Americans

Over on the Senate side, things were even more ridiculous. Senator Jeff Flake voted for cloture, helping to end (the already non-existing) debate on such surveillance, and blocking any amendments. And then, the very next morning, went on the Senate floor to slam the President, compare him to Stalin, and warn that our democracy may not survive. Again, this was mere hours after Senator Flake voted to give more surveillance powers to the President he was about to compare to Stalin.

Or how about Dianne Feinstein? It may be no surprise that Feinstein voted to continue and expand surveillance — she has a long history of doing exactly that. But just about an hour before voting for cloture, Feinstein herself introduced an amendment that would have required a warrant to search the corpus of data collected under 702. And then she voted to block that amendment from even being voted on.

…Trump has been loudly denouncing McCaskill for months as she’s facing a tough reelection campaign. And her response was to deny any further debate or amendments and to vote to give Trump more surveillance powers.

…These are not the only ones.

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By David William Pear

Fearing that peace might break out with the two Koreas talking to each other, Washington instructed South Korean President Moon Jae-in to keep the message about anything but peace. It is not just Trump. A former top official for the Obama administration warned Moon that South Korea was not going to get anywhere with the North Koreans unless they have the “US behind them”. Humiliating, that is like saying that Moon’s “button” is not as big as Kim’s. The metaphor is exactly how the Washington elite see South Korea: as Washington’s obedient eunuch. The official went on to say, “If South Koreans are viewed as running off the leash, it will exacerbate tension within the alliance”. Running off the leash! Now more humiliation, is South Korea a US poodle? Instead President Moon Jae-in is showing that he has teeth, and that South Koreans want their country back from US humiliating domination.

During the talks it was agreed for North Korea to participate in the Winter Olympics in February. The two countries will even march together under a common flag, and future talks between the two are planned to reduce tension. Trump continues to bluster, while the two Koreas have “engaged in the most substantive direct talks in years”. Neocons such as John Bolton are outraged that North Korea has proven once again that it is willing to come to the negotiation table. Bolton says it is a dirty trick and that North Korea is “taking advantage of a weak South Korean government”, adding more insulting humiliation. To Washington, South Korea talking peace is weak, running off the leash and going it alone without its US master. The North using the peace option is seen as a provocation and propaganda that Washington will not tolerate. In retaliation the US sent more nukes to Guam, and put the state of Hawaii on a full alert that a “ballistic missile was inbound“. The nukes outbound to Guam are real; the ones inbound to Hawaii were fake, just like the ability of the billion dollar THAADS to shoot them down. Too conveniently the Hawaii false alarm comes just as the US and its vassals are readying for what the US plots to be a show of solidarity and unity on killer sanctions against North Korea. The US wants its chorus to perform the tragedy of telling North Korea to obey or watch 500,000 of their children die. As Madeleine Albright said about Iraq’s 500,000 dead children from US sanctions, “the price is worth it“. The US does not think the price of diplomacy is worth it though.

The US continues to block efforts at diplomacy, and express its contempt for South Korea’s elected President Moon Jae-in. He was elected on a peace platform by the South Korean people. Moon’s predecessor Park Geun-hye sang from the US hymnbook until she got caught with her hand in the cookie jar. In 2017 the South Korean people went to the street and demanded the granddaughter of former dictator Park Chung Hee be impeached, and now she is in prison. Peace is not anything that Washington’s plutocrats want to hear, although the South Korean people like the sound of it, and elected Moon their president by a wide margin. The self-interests in Washington preferred the corrupt warmonger Park. She carried the US’s tune with perfect pitch, even (allegedly) conspired to assassinate the North’s Kim Jong-Un. The message of the humiliation from US apparatchiks is that if Moon does not change his tune the US will try to undermine South Korea’s democracy with a regime change project might be in his future. The US habitually meddles in other’s elections, and wants to keep tensions high on the Korean peninsula, keep the South Koreans in line, make North Korea a boogeyman, frighten the American people, station 30,000 US troops in South Korea with wartime operational control, buy more multi-billion dollar THAADS from Lockheed Martin, and divide the Korean people. Even at the risks of a nuclear war, which the US proposes making easier.

The establishment nearly went to war with North Korea in 1994 until Bill Clinton negotiated peace. The neocons in Washington and the mainstream media keep saying that North Korea refused to come to the negotiating table. Clinton’s decision to use diplomacy instead of threats proved the warmongers wrong again. It was the US all along that refused to talk, preferring belligerence and threats just as it does now. Once Clinton showed a willingness to bargain, then a nuclear deal was struck. The deal was called the Agreed Framework. What North Korea wanted then for it to suspend its nuclear program was for the US to halt the massive military exercises on North Korea’s border, a non-aggression guarantee, compensation for abandoning its needed electric producing nuclear reactors, and relations with the US. Now the situation with North Korea is back to where it was in 1994. George W. Bush reversed the path of peace when he came into the White House. In 2001 he tore up the Agreed Framework, put North Korea on the Axis of Evil list in 2002, invaded Iraq in 2003, and hanged Saddam Hussein in 2006. Very predictably North Korea resumed its nuclear program for self-defense against a paranoid and unpredictable USA that sees enemies to attack under every bed.

(more…)

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Better Watch Out – My Review

Posted: January 18, 2018 in Joe Giambrone

J. Giambrone

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It’s been a while without a review, but this one has complications. The non-spoiled version is: this is a fucked-up movie.

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A twist near the beginning sort of renders the film unable to be discussed. Who’s the bad guy? Well, I’ll save that for a little further down the page.

The movie is well-shot technically, and it plays on the nostalgia of upper-middle-class white America. It’s a Christmas movie, but when these kids are left Home Alone some twisted shit transpires.

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Fresh faces from Australia, all the main characters are Aussies, with the newcomer Olivia DeJonge (obviously) standing out as a breathtaking stunner. Levi Miller has also got potential, and for his age delivers some bone-chilling psychopathy.

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The film has plausibility going for it. It ditches the veneer for hard core violent realism. That is enough to give it a watch, but there’s more. It may be…

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Margaret Atwood faces feminist backlash on social media over #MeToo

She raised the possibility that the answer could leave women divided. “In times of extremes, extremists win. Their ideology becomes a religion, anyone who doesn’t puppet their views is seen as an apostate, a heretic or a traitor, and moderates in the middle are annihilated.”

…She likened the affair to the Salem witch trials, in that guilt was assumed of those who were accused. This idea of guilt by accusation had at times been used to usher in a better world or justify new forms of oppression, she wrote. “But understandable and temporary vigilante justice can morph into a culturally solidified lynch-mob habit, in which the available mode of justice is thrown out the window, and extralegal power structures are put into place and maintained.”