Posts Tagged ‘government’

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The ranking is based on 60 indicators spanning five interrelated categories: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture.

United States Doesn’t Even Make Top 20 on Global Democracy Index

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It’s like an episode of Mr. Robot. 

Hacker group threatens to leak 9/11 ‘truth’ unless paid in Bitcoin
Hacker group The Dark Overlord has threatened to leak thousands of “secret” documents stolen from insurers and government agencies that they claim reveal the truth about 9/11 – unless they’re paid not to.

The Dark Overlord, a “professional adversarial threat group” known for their hacks of Netflix, plastic surgery clinics, and other sensitive targets, posted a link to a 10GB encrypted archive of documents relating to 9/11 litigation, promising to release the encryption keys if their demands were not met in a post on Pastebin on Monday.

 

Great they’re so civic-minded.

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Urgent Message From Editor-in-Chief Mnar Muhawesh on Social Media Censorship
Dear friends and supporters, I have an important announcement to make. Please read this post and SHARE with your friend as this is urgent. The future of MintPress News depends on your support. After the October 11th, 2018 Facebook and Twitter purge of over 800 activist sites and pages — many of which were partner sites with MintPress News — we believe our days as an independent journalism organization on authoritarian social media platforms are numbered.
Since 2012, MintPress News has been at the forefront of exposing the dangers of the national security state, the military-industrial complex, and the corporations that have hijacked our democracy and are destroying the planet. We have stood up strong against a media Goliath [the corporate media] that controls over 90% of what we see, hear and read in equipping the American public with pertinent information that holds the establishment accountable.
Our independent, watchdog journalism is creating a shift in consciousness among the millions of readers we’ve been able to reach in the last 6 years, and the very powers that be are taking notice. They realize the impact MintPress is making and are trying to silence us where we reach most of you and where the majority of people are getting their news from: on social media.
The very establishment the media should be holding accountable are working hand in hand with corporate media giants including The Washington Post and Buzzfeed to play thought police and “fake news” spotters that have targeted MintPress on Facebook. To make matters worse NATO funded think tanks like theAtlantic Council has also partnered up with Facebook to suppress our content, flag our posts as “inappropriate” or “spam” and in many cases censor us under the guise of fighting “fake news”.
Facebook has been flagging several of our articles and our reader’s political comments as spam. It’s only a matter of time before our page and some of our readers end up in Facebook jail, or purged completely. Facebook has also admitted to deleting user accounts at the behest of the U.S. and Israeli governments.
Hopefully we’re wrong, but it feels like our Facebook days are numbered.
And it’s not just Facebook. MintPress articles are even being blocked by Google News in search results. Not only that, but we are consistently being threatened to have our ads cut off by one of our main sources of revenue: Google Adsense, which is flagging several of our investigative pieces as “not appropriate” for advertisers. This article addressing Obama’s policies as racist is just one example
This has affected our readership and drained our advertising revenue by over 70%. They are doing everything they can to drain our bank accounts and prevent us from reaching our own readers and operate as an organization. As a result, we’ve had to cut staff and restructure our business plan time and time again to be able to function on a very small budget that is stretching us very, very thin. We can no longer rely on ads and are appealing to our readers and supporters to sustain us and help us create better, stronger content.
Our future depends on your support. We need your financial help to not only sustain MintPress’s operation costs but to help us make a comeback against the powers that be who are trying to silence us — before these social media giants wipe us off the map.
While Facebook, Google, and others ramp up their efforts to make watchdog journalism algorithmically disappear, we’re ramping up our efforts to circumvent corporate censorship and provide our readers with the kind of journalism that empowers we the people.
How you can help: Help us raise $25,000 in 60 days
We have an initial first phase fundraising goal of $25,000 to help us sustain some of MintPress News’ operating costs and other journalism projects right here on GoFundMe:
1. An investigative unit led by award winning journalist Max Blumenthal;
2. Bring back “Behind The Headline” video series, hosted by me — Mnar A. Muhawesh;
3. Series reporting in censored conflict zones like Yemen + more.
We are fighting real “fake news” that is choking up the airwaves produced by the establishment, corporate media, but we can’t win against them in educating the masses without your help.
We’re offering our donors special gifts like personalized keychains, stickers, reusable shopping bags, stainless steel water bottles (BPA free) and t-shirts with snazzy messages about peace and government accountability. (read more in the link) Check the link in the comments to learn more about what we’re doing to fight for truth.
In solidarity,
Mnar Muhawesh
Founder & Editor-in-Chief, MintPress News

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DOJ demands Facebook information from ‘anti-administration activists’

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Reailty in a corporate newpaper?

Barack Obama’s return just reminds us how he fueled the distrust that led to Donald Trump

Who cares if Obama belatedly cheers for transparency and accountability? He should admit that he made the government more dangerous at home and abroad.

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FASCISM is not in any way an exaggeration.

Murderous spooks drive journalism project to WikiLeaks

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Suppressed Study: The EPA Underestimated Dangers of Widespread Chemicals

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Sweden’s Military Madness

 

 

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Here is what we will see in the upcoming Social Security Trustees Report:

  • Social Security has a large and growing surplus―$2.9 trillion today, and a projected $2.95 trillion next year;
  • Social Security is extremely affordable with less than one penny of every dollar spent on administrative costs;
  • It can pay out ALL benefits owed for approximately the next one-and-a-half decades―until 2034―and 77% of all benefits owed after that;
  • With modest legislative increases―asking the wealthy to pay their fair share―we can afford to expand benefits for millions of Americans.

That’s the real story about Social Security that Wall Street billionaires and their local news outlets are trying to bury.

Help us counter the unlimited resources of Wall Street who want nothing more than to get their greedy hands on our retirement security. Donate to Social Security Works today to fight back and defend Social Security!

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Agree with this one, but it could have used more facts and figures to buttress its case…

The Deadly Rule of the Oligarchs

 

From flickr.com: It can't happen here by Sinclair Lewis-- first edition, 1936 {MID-225266}
It can’t happen here by Sinclair Lewis– first edition, 1936
(Image by robkall)
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by Steven Jonas

 

In the first column in this series, fascism was defined as:

“A politico-economic system in which there is: total executive branch control of both the legislative and administrative powers of government; no independent judiciary; no Constitution that embodies the Rule of Law standing above the people who control the government; no inherent personal rights or liberties; a single national ideology that first demonizes and then criminalizes all political, religious, and ideological opposition to it; the massive and regular use of hate, fear, racial and religious prejudice, the Big Lie technique, mob psychology, mob actions and ultimately individual and collective violence, to achieve political and economic ends; a capitalist/corporate economy, with the economic ruling class’ control of State power and thus, economic, fiscal, political, and regulatory policy and policies.”

It was pointed out that this definition, and similar ones used by other authorities, is based primarily on what fascism looked like in the 20thcentury, in particular in Nazi German fascist Italy, Spain and Japan. The analysis then went on to the use of the concept of functional fascism, for the 21stcentury, for the United States. That is, there are certain features of classical fascism that do not exist, at least not yet, in the U.S. The Executive Branch does not have full control of all governmental functions. There is an independent judiciary. There is still a Constitution. There are still inherent personal rights and liberties. There is still not a single national ideology that criminalizes all opposition to it.

BUT, the political party currently in power, and in particular its representative occupying the Office of the Presidency, certainly has made it clear that the reality concerning these features is in a state of flux. Trump has made it clear that he would like to have much more control of various governmental functions, particularly those of the Department of Justice, than he presently does have. He is forever issuing scathing, personal, attacks on judges and courts that make decisions that he doesn’t like, e.g., a recent one on the status of DACA. The judges that he is appointing to the Federal Courts are selected and confirmed for their long-time adherence to the right-wing ideology of the private association which plays a major role in nominating them, the Federalist Society. This practice will play a major role down the road in limiting the Federal and state functions in the economic and environmental arenas, as well as in civil liberties and in such matters as the freedom of choice in the outcome of pregnancy. This President has shown that he is very much in favor of imposing upon large areas of civil society an ideology based on Christian Fundamentalism. And this particular President clearly reveals on a regular basis his predilection for authoritarian government.

As the Federal judiciary changes in nature, going evermore rightward in its politics (and oh yes, the judiciary is always a political animal), it will less and less function as it currently does, as a limit on the fascist aggrandizement of power by this President and the party he leads. The other major limiting factor on the progression towards outright fascism is the free press. One need look no further than this fact to understand the constant attacks on the “fake media” and “fake news” by the President, his allies in the Congress, Fox”News” (otherwise known as “Trump TV” or the Republican Propaganda Channel), right-wing talk radio, and right-wing on-line/social media (like Breitbart and The Daily Stormer). If the Republican/Trumpites are able to destroy or severely limit the activities of the anti-Trumpite media, the road to absolute power for them, that is the classical fascist state, will be much easier for them.

As to the use of the Big Lie technique, the Trumpites don’t use it so much as they do what might be called the “Little Lie Technique.” There are not just a few Big, totally not-connected-to-reality lies that they tell over and over again, like the Nazis’ “the Jews are the cause of all of Germany’s problems” that appear in major speeches by the leadership. There are rather the little lies, told over-and-over again on a daily basis, constantly rolling off the lips of Kelly Ann Conway, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin and so on and so forth about everything from what is really in the tax “reform” legislation to what the “Russia” investigation is really about. As for the President, as is well known, he is the kingof the liars, Big and little.

From flickr.com: Believe me!  (Larry O'Donnell: that's the clue he's lying.) NO collusion (times ten). {MID-225273}
Believe me! (Larry O’Donnell: that’s the clue he’s lying.) .NO collusion. (times ten).
(Image by IoSonoUnaFotoCamera)
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As to the features of fascism that already exist, this president regularly uses the appeals that got him to the White House in the first place: those to hate, fear, racial and religious prejudice, xenophobia, and misogyny. But most importantly for this fascism-in-process/functional-fascism is that with the Congressional Republican Party, Trump is absolutely serving the interests of the economically dominant sector of the U.S. ruling class (manufacturing; fossil fuels; agriculture/food; pharma/health services; retail; communications/entertainment; transportation; banking/investment/financial services) in the realms of economic, fiscal, political, and regulatory policy and policies.”

Thus, the Elements of Republican/Trumpite 21st century Functional Fascism in the United States, either already achieved or set forth as goals to be achieved are:

1. The use of the law to promote racism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, and misogyny.

2. The criminalization of certain religious/non-religious beliefs, as in, for example, LGBT rights and the freedom of choice in the outcome of pregnancy. This is facilitated by the use of “God’s Word” to justify oppression, hatred, and, ultimately, Dominionism. Indeed, for the United States, Dominionism is the hand-maiden of fascism, as were Catholicism in Spain and Italy and Shintoism in Japan.

3. The repression, then criminalization, of dissent.

4. The tolerance for, and in certain quarters the promotion of the Doctrine of White Supremacy.

5. The gradual suppression of the free vote, especially among minorities, the young, and the poor, by the use of gerrymandering, voter-suppression, vote/hacking.

6. The assault on and the distortion of the use of data, of all kinds.

7. The evermore widespread use of the Roy Cohn/Lee Atwater doctrine: “Always attack; never defend.” A variant of it is the old maxim for defense lawyers: “If you don’t have the law, argue the facts; if you don’t have the facts, argue the law; if you have neither the facts nor the law, argue ad hominem. (Of course, you don’t have to be a lawyer to use this one. The Right-Wing propagandists from Hannity and Conway on down (or up, depending upon your point of view) use it all the time.8. The solidification of the control of the State apparatus.

This Doctrine of Functional Fascism finds a very happy home in the modern the Republican Party. It is of course the outcome to date of the Republican Rightward Imperative which has controlled the direction of the Party since the time of Goldwater.

In the next and final Part of this series (3), some thoughts on the very difficult question of how to combat, indeed Resist, the Republican/fascist onslaught shall be presented.

 


Steven Jonas, MD, MPH, MS is a Professor Emeritus of Preventive Medicine at StonyBrookMedicine (NY) and author/co-author/editor/co-editor of over 35 books.

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“She said Facebook had granted 95 percent of the requests.”

Facebook Says It Is Deleting Accounts at the Direction of the U.S. and Israeli Governments