Saturday, August 18, 2018

Bruce Ohr Was NOT a Lone Wolf...,


WSJ  | What Was Bruce Ohr Doing?

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department have continued to insist they did nothing wrong in their Trump-Russia investigation. This week should finally bring an end to that claim, given the clear evidence of malfeasance via the use of Bruce Ohr.

Mr. Ohr was until last year associate deputy attorney general.
He began feeding information to the FBI from dossier author Christopher Steele in late 2016 - after the FBI had terminated Mr. Steele as a confidential informant for violating the bureau’s rules. He also collected dirt from Glenn Simpson, cofounder of Fusion GPS, the opposition-research firm that worked for Hillary Clinton’s campaign and employed Mr. Steele. Altogether, the FBI pumped Mr. Ohr for information at least a dozen times, debriefs that remain in classified 302 forms.

All the while, Mr. Ohr failed to disclose on financial forms that his wife, Nellie, worked alongside Mr. Steele in 2016, getting paid by Mr. Simpson for anti-Trump research. The Justice Department has now turned over Ohr documents to Congress that show how deeply tied up he was with the Clinton crew - with dozens of emails, calls, meetings and notes that describe his interactions and what he collected.

Mr. Ohr’s conduct is itself deeply troubling. He was acting as a witness (via FBI interviews) in a case being overseen by a Justice Department in which he held a very senior position. He appears to have concealed this role from at least some superiors, since Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testified that he’d been unaware of Mr. Ohr’s intermediary status.

Lawyers meanwhile note that it is a crime for a federal official to participate in any government matter in which he has a financial interest. Fusion’s bank records presumably show Nellie Ohr, and by extension her husband, benefiting from the Trump opposition research that Mr. Ohr continued to pass to the FBI. The Justice Department declined to comment.

But for all Mr. Ohr’s misdeeds, the worse misconduct is by the FBI and Justice Department.
It’s bad enough that the bureau relied on a dossier crafted by a man in the employ of the rival presidential campaign. Bad enough that it never informed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of that dossier’s provenance. And bad enough that the FBI didn’t fire Mr. Steele as a confidential human source in September 2016 when it should have been obvious he was leaking FBI details to the press to harm Donald Trump’s electoral chances. It terminated him only when it was absolutely forced to, after Mr. Steele gave an on-the-record interview on Oct. 31, 2016.

But now we discover the FBI continued to go to this discredited informant in its investigation after the firing—by funneling his information via a Justice Department cutout. The FBI has an entire manual governing the use of confidential sources, with elaborate rules on validations, standards and documentation. Mr. Steele failed these standards. The FBI then evaded its own program to get at his info anyway.

Friday, August 17, 2018

The Fix Brennan Finds Himself In


consortiumnews |  After eight years of enjoying President Barack Obama’s solid support and defense to do pretty much anything he chose—including hacking into the computers of the Senate Intelligence Committee—Brennan now lacks what, here in Washington, we refer to as a “Rabbi” with strong incentive to advance and protect you.  He expected Hillary Clinton to play that role (were it ever to be needed), and that seemed to be solidly in the cards. But, oops, she lost.

What needs to be borne in mind in all this is, as former FBI Director James Comey himself has admitted: “I was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next president.” Comey, Brennan, and co-conspirators, who decided—in that “environment”—to play fast and loose with the Constitution and the law, were supremely confident they would not only keep their jobs, but also receive plaudits, not indictments.

Unless one understands and remembers this, it is understandably difficult to believe that the very top U.S. law enforcement and intelligence officials did what documentary evidence has now demonstrated they did.

So, unlike his predecessors, most of whom also left under a dark cloud, Brennan is bereft of anyone to protect him. He lacks even a PR person to help him avoid holding himself up to ridicule—and now retaliation—for unprecedentedly hostile tweets and other gaffes. Brennan’s mentor, ex-CIA Director George Tenet, for example, had powerful Rabbis in President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, as well as a bizarrely empathetic establishment media, when Tenet quit in disgrace 2004.

The main question now is whether the chairs of the House oversight committees will chose to face down the Deep State. They almost never do, and the smart money says that, if they do, they will lose—largely because of the virtually total support of the establishment media for the Deep State. This often takes bizarre forms. The title of a recent column by Washington Post “liberal” commentator Eugene Robinson speaks volumes: “God Bless the Deep State.”

None Dare Call It An Organized Criminal Conspiracy...,


bbc  |  The 18-month investigation graphically detailed numerous instances of Catholic clergy members raping and molesting children in several Pennsylvania dioceses, which in total represent about 1.7 million Catholics.

"Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all," the 1,300-page report found.

The horrific allegations include:
  • One priest forced a nine-year-old boy to rinse out his mouth with holy water after abusing him.
  • A boy was made to confess his sins to the priest who had abused him.
  • A priest who was accused of abuse by three boys was later hired by Disney World after receiving a positive job reference from the church.
  • A priest raped a seven-year-girl when he visited her in hospital after she had her tonsils out.
  • One child was made to pose naked, like Christ on the crucifix, as priests photographed him. Priests gave that boy a gold chain with a cross so that other predator priests would know he had been abused.
  • Repeated abuse by a priest left one boy with lasting back injuries. He became addicted to painkillers and died of an overdose.

Intelligence Community and Its Captive Media Oligopoly ARE the Enemy of the People


Globe |  A central pillar of President Trump’s politics is a sustained assault on the free press. Journalists are not classified as fellow Americans, but rather “the enemy of the people.” This relentless assault on the free press has dangerous consequences. We asked editorial boards from around the country – liberal and conservative, large and small – to join us today to address this fundamental threat in their own words. 

There was once broad, bipartisan, intergenerational agreement in the United States that the press played this important role. Yet that view is no longer shared by many Americans. “The news media is the enemy of the American people,” is a sentiment endorsed by 48 percent of Republicans surveyed this month by Ipsos polling firm. That poll is not an outlier. One published this week found 51 percent of Republicans considered the press “the enemy of the people rather than an important part of democracy.”  

“The press was to serve the governed, not the governors,” Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black wrote in 1971. Would that it were still the case. Lies are antithetical to an informed citizenry, responsible for self-governance. The greatness of America is dependent on the role of a free press to speak the truth to the powerful. To label the press “the enemy of the people” is as un-American as it is dangerous to the civic compact we have shared for more than two centuries.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Firing This Lousy POS Requires No Further Explanation - Many More To Go!


newyorker |  On Monday, in an account of the F.B.I.’s firing of Peter Strzok—the senior agent who led the Bureau’s 2016 investigations of Hillary Clinton e-mails and Trump-Russia connections—the Times reported that the move “was not unexpected.” Given the inflamed political climate in Washington, that is an accurate statement.

The special counsel, Robert Mueller, removed Strzok from the Russia investigation last year, after it was discovered that he had sharply criticized Donald Trump, who was then running for President, in private text messages with Lisa Page, another F.B.I. employee, with whom Strzok was having an affair. Earlier this summer, a report from the Justice Department’s inspector general, Michael Horowitz, said that Strzok’s text messages to Page “potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations.” Since then, President Trump has been attacking Strzok regularly on Twitter. Last month, Strzok testified at a public hearing on Capitol Hill, where congressional Republicans tore into him. At one point, Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer, called for Strzok to be jailed.

But, despite all the noise and fury, there is now a basic question that needs an answer: Why was Strzok fired? Before the Clinton and Trump investigations, Strzok had racked up twenty years of distinguished service in the Bureau, rising to the position of deputy assistant director of the Counterintelligence Division.

Since his communications with Page have become public, Strzok has insisted that his personal views about Trump didn’t affect his actions while overseeing the Clinton and Russia investigations. During his testimony on Capitol Hill, he insisted that when, in the course of discussing Trump’s Presidential bid with Page, he wrote to her that “we will stop it” he was referring to the American public at large.

Omarosa's Toast, and Gets No Ghetto Pass....,


AP |  For years, Omarosa Manigault Newman stood at Donald Trump’s side, making her deeply unpopular with African-Americans who see her as a sellout for aligning herself with a president who has hurled one insult after another at black people.

Her falling out with Trump and her decision to call him a racist as she sells her new book — and in turn, his calling her a “dog” — have not been enough for many African-Americans to invite her back to the family picnic.

Too little, too late, many said.

“Her tell-all mea culpa won’t win her any brownie points with most blacks,” said Earl Ofari Hutchinson, author of the book “Why Black Lives Do Matter.” ″Their loathing of Omarosa is virtually frozen in stone. She’s still roundly lambasted as a two-bit opportunist, a racial sellout and an ego driven hustler.”

Few in the black community immediately rushed to defend Manigault Newman after she wrote a book titled “Unhinged” about her time in the White House. It paints a damning picture of Trump, claiming without evidence that tapes exist of him using the N-word as he filmed “The Apprentice” reality series, on which she co-starred.

She has since stepped up her attacks on Trump as she promotes her book, telling The Associated Press on Tuesday that the president is “a racist, a misogynist, a bigot.”

“I want to see this nation united as opposed to divided,” she said. “I don’t want to see a race war, as Donald Trump does.”

The deep hostility that African-Americans harbor for Manigault Newman stems largely from her defense of the president or her public silence as he repeatedly attacked the American citizenship of former President Barack Obama; insulted various minority groups and described some African nations as “shithole” countries. He has also insulted prominent blacks like U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters and NBA superstar LeBron James, said that “many sides” are to blame for the violence at last year’s white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and ripped African-American athletes for protesting racial injustice.


Long Overdue, .45 Finally Puts His Foot In Brennan's Flabby, Pasty Ass...,


realclearpolitics |  I do believe that, uh, Mr. Trump decided to take this action, as he has done with others. He has tried to intimidate and suppress any criticism of him or his administration and revoking my security clearances is his way of trying to get back at me, but I think I have tried to voice the concerns of millions of Americans about Mr. Trump's failures in terms of fulfilling the responsibilities of that sacred and solemn office of the presidency. And this is not going to deter me at all, I'm going to continue to speak out.

But I am very worried about the message that it appears Mr. Trump is trying to send to others, including those who apparently hold security clearances within the government. I think he included Bruce Ohr, a current DOJ official among those whose clearances he is reviewing. Is this an effort to try to cow individuals both inside and outside of the government to make sure they don't say anything that is critical of Mr. Trump or with which he disagrees? And I've seen this type of behavior and actions on the part of foreign tyrants and despots and autocrats for many, many years, during my CIA and national security career.

I never, ever thought that I would see it here in the United States. I do believe that all Americans really need to take stock of what is happening right now in our government, and how abnormal and how irresponsible and how dangerous these actions are.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

In League with a Hostile Foreign Power and Using Federal Agencies to Spy on a Political Opponent


investors |  Russia Investigation: It's beginning to look as if claims of monstrous collusion between Russian officials and U.S. political operatives were true. But it wasn't Donald Trump who was guilty of Russian collusion. It was Hillary Clinton and U.S. intelligence officials who worked with Russians and others to entrap Trump.

That's the stunning conclusion of a RealClear Investigations report by Lee Smith, who looked in-depth at the controversial June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between officials of then-candidate Donald Trump's campaign staff and a Russian lawyer known to have ties with high-level officials in Vladimir Putin's government.

The media have spun a tale of Trump selling his soul to the Russians for campaign dirt to use against Hillary, beginning with the now-infamous Trump Tower meeting.

But "a growing body of evidence ... indicates that the meeting may have been a setup — part of a broad effort to tarnish the Trump campaign involving Hillary Clinton operatives employed by Kremlin-linked figures and Department of Justice officials," wrote Smith.

Smith painstakingly weaves together the evidence that's already out there but has been largely ignored by the mainstream media, which have become so seized with Trump-hatred that their reporting even on routine matters can no longer be trusted.

But he adds in more evidence that the Justice Department only recently handed over to Congress. And It's damning.

Memos, emails and texts now in Congress' possession show that the Justice Department and the FBI worked together both before and after the election with Fusion GPS and their main link to the scandal, former British spy and longtime FBI informant Chris Steele.

As a former British spook in Moscow, Steele had extensive ties to Russia. That's why he was picked as the primary researcher to compile the "unverified and salacious" Trump dossier, as former FBI Director James Comey once described it.

Clinton-Obama Weaponized the FBI for Political Ends


thefederalist  |  In three articles for The Hill last week, investigative journalist John Solomon revealed previously undisclosed text and email discussions between former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr and former MI6 agent and Spygate dossier author Christopher Steele. Solomon’s reporting also uncovered notes Ohr took summarizing discussions he had with Steele’s boss at Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpson, about the Russia “collusion” investigation.

In isolation, the details revealed in Solomon’s must-read exposés are troubling. But when considered in conjunction with information related to the Russia investigation the government previously released, this new information is potentially devastating, because it indicates that, notwithstanding claims to the contrary, the Federal Bureau of Investigation launched operation Crossfire Hurricane based on Steele’s Clinton-funded opposition research.

This conclusion flows from an email exchange revealed in Solomon’s first article, which established that Ohr met with Steele on July 30, 2016, in Washington DC. Ohr brought his wife Nellie to the breakfast gathering. Nellie, as has long been reported, worked at Fusion GPS, also on the Trump opposition-research project.

That end-of-July meeting followed emails exchanged earlier in the month, in which Steele told Ohr: “There is something separate I wanted to discuss with you informally and separately. It concerns our favourite business tycoon!”

What Does It Mean When the Powerful Go After Free Speech?


libertyblitzkrieg |  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.
But the lab and Atlantic Council bring geopolitical expertise and allow Facebook to distance itself from sensitive pronouncements. On last week’s call with reporters, Alex Stamos, Facebook’s chief security officer, said the company should not be expected to identify or blame specific governments for all the campaigns it detects.
“Companies like ours don’t have the necessary information to evaluate the relationship between political motivations that we infer about an adversary and the political goals of a nation-state,” said Stamos, who is leaving the company this month for a post at Stanford University. Instead, he said Facebook would stick to amassing digital evidence and turning it over to authorities and researchers.
It would also be awkward for Facebook to accuse a government of wrongdoing when the company is trying to enter or expand in a market under that government’s control.
Facebook donated an undisclosed amount to the lab in May that was enough, said Graham Brookie, who runs the lab, to vault the company to the top of the Atlantic Council’s donor list, alongside the British government.
Facebook employees said privately over the past several months that Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg wants to outsource many of the most sensitive political decisions, leaving fact-checking to media groups and geopolitics to think tanks. The more he succeeds, the fewer complications for Facebook’s expansion, the smaller its payroll, and the more plausible its positioning as a neutral platform. Facebook did not respond to a request for comment.
With that in mind go ahead and check out the Atlantic Council’s donor list and all the shady characters on its board.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Capitalism Race Antisemitism...,


independent |  A key feature of modern antisemitism has been the racialised projection of “the Jew”, an archetype which stands above and in conflict with the working class. Throughout the history of the left, certain anti-capitalist visions generated by socialists have overlapped and combined with this strain of antisemitism. What makes antisemitism particularly attractive and dangerous for the left is that it can appear oppositional. It provides an easy personification of oppression in the face of less tangible, global forms of domination. 

Scandals provoked by accusations of antisemitism have become a recurrent feature of British politics. As the latest tumult subsides we have an opportunity to reflect on the issues that underlie these controversies and prepare the way for Labour and the left to do better in future. 

theoccidentalobserver |  In the months immediately before his coronation in 1189, Richard the Lionheart became aware of rising anti-Jewish sentiment among the people of England. This ill-feeling was the result of decades of rampant usury, property seizures, social disparities, and what historian Robert Chazan described as the “effective royal protection” of Henry II.[2] Eager to ally himself with the mood of the nation, particularly in the tenuous early days of his reign, Richard appealed to the sentiments of the masses by banning Jews from attending the coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey. News of the ban was welcomed by the people, but the move was deeply unsettling to England’s Jews. The prohibition was nervously perceived by the nation’s Hebrews as a weakening of the vital Jewish relationship with the elite. This relationship, particularly the protection it provided to Jewish loan merchants, had been absolutely essential to the untroubled continuation of the Jews’ highly antagonistic financial practices among the lower orders. Without this protection, the position of the Jews in England would no longer be viable. Therefore, in a desperate attempt to resist a decline in Jewish influence, on the day of the coronation a party of senior Jews arrived at the doors of Westminster Abbey bearing lavish gifts and sycophantic tongues. The effort was in vain.

The Jewish party were refused entry by nobles and officials, and the group was then stripped and flogged for their flagrant defiance of royal orders. Since this punishment was a public display, a story soon circulated among the peasantry that the new king consented to general action against the Jews, and that the royal elite was now siding with the people. In the ensuing days, luxurious Jewish homes were burned, and castles containing Jewish debt rolls were stormed and their contents destroyed. These actions, however, were built on an assumption of elite backing that was in reality non-existent. The expectations of the masses were soon rudely crushed. The Lionheart’s banning of the Jews had been a mere measure of propaganda intended to endear him to his subjects, and the flogging of the intruding party was carried out without his consent. In truth, the King remained as beholden to the sway of mammon as his predecessors. When push came to shove, the peasantry, unlike ‘his’ Jews, were expendable. Richard wasted little time in rounding up and executing the ringleaders of the anti-Jewish action, even including those who had damaged Jewish property by accident. He then issued orders to “the sheriffs of England to prevent all such incidents in the future.”[3] In the aftermath of this crushing of the people, the Jews of England would once again remain under high levels of royal protection until ‘the Lionheart’ left the country for the Third Crusade — a venture, ironically, to relieve people in foreign nations of the tyranny of ‘infidels.’ The entire affair remains a perfect illustration of the centuries-old symbiotic relationship between Jews and our native elites, and the thread of parasitic capitalism that binds them.

Here we are in 2016, and so little has changed. More than that, we find that another Lionheart is making the news in Britain in relation to protected Jews and a suffering peasantry. In one of the more perverse insults to follow notorious financial parasite Philip Green’s frenzied feeding on the British Home Stores (BHS) pension fund, it has emerged that the Jewish billionaire recently purchased his third luxury yacht, aptly named Lionheart. While Green and the $120 million Lionheart float serenely on the Mediterranean, more than 20,000 former BHS workers struggle through the day, wondering if they will ever receive the pensions they spent their working lives contributing to. Elite responses to this tragic and incendiary grand larceny have been anodyne and, much like Richard the Lionheart’s early gesture, limited to tokens of mere propaganda. Green’s activities have recently been described by a British Parliamentary committee as the “systematic plunder” of a formerly thriving business, with the committee’s host of banalities concluding that the Green saga was the epitome of “the unacceptable face of capitalism.” In one of the blandest possible statements on the egregious crimes of this apex predator, the politicians chirped that there was “little to support the reputation for retail business acumen for which he received his knighthood.” These insipid chastisements have been followed by Prime Minister Theresa May’s clownish and empty proclamation that she wants to “reform capitalism.”

Notably absent among these and similar complaints about ‘corporate largesse’ and ‘the failings of capitalism’ has been any real interest in the Green case from the Far Left. There are distractions of course, and these arise chiefly from the current predominance of cultural Marxism in the Leftist mind rather than its economic counterpart. Western socialists are now incessantly, and from an economic standpoint counter-productively, engaged in assisting government efforts to flood our nations with cheap exotic labor. The modern Left thus plays a crucial role in depressing the salaries, living conditions, and public services of the working class they claim to speak for. Other recent moral-ideological Leftist crusades have included agitation for same-sex marriage, the opening of various ‘anti-racism’ ventures, and the creation and expansion of Black Lives Matter militancy — none of which benefit native workers in any form.

The Judgement of Jeremy Corbyn


strategic-culture |  For a man who is assailed and accused of lacking judgment even more than US President Donald Trump, it's amazing how often British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has already been proven courageously and presciently right.

In 1990, Corbyn opposed the most powerful and successful peace time prime minster of the 20th century, Margaret Thatcher when she tried to impose a so-called poll tax on the population of the UK. His judgment was vindicated: Thatcher’s own party rose up and threw her out of office.

At the beginning of the 21st century Corbyn was pilloried throughout the UK media for his outspoken opposition to Prime Minister Tony Blair’s support for the US invasions of both Afghanistan and Iraq. Blair was prime minister for a full decade and won three landslide general elections, yet today he is discredited and politically virtually a recluse. Corbyn‘s opposition to both wars looks wise, as well as principled and courageous.

Corbyn’s support for the revolutionary Irish Republican movement was so strong that the UK security service MI5 monitored him for two decades listing him as a potential “subversive” who might undermine parliamentary democracy. On the contrary, in the late 1990s, Prime Minister Blair engaged the Irish Republican Army and its political wing Sinn Fein in a peace process that has led to a lasting peace in Ireland. Corbyn, who supported strongly the 1998 Good Friday Agreement proved once again to be ahead of his time.

Corbyn has never been afraid of taking ferociously unpopular positions. In 2015, after shocking Islamic State terror attacks in Paris he advocated the urgent need for a political settlement to end the Syrian Civil War. His advice was ignored by every major Western government. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and millions more turned into destitute refugees flooding into the European Union since then.

Corbyn was also ahead of his time in seeking to engage Iran constructively. He hosted a call-in show on an Iranian TV channel for three years from 2009 to 2012 even though he knew that at the time such activities would seem to rule him out from ever being a serious contender to lead the Labour Party. But in 2015, the Conservative government of the UK, along with those of the United States, France and Germany joined in signing a far reaching nuclear agreement with Tehran.

Corbyn’s economic positions have long been despised by the Western liberal intellectual elites who have been spared the price of having their livelihoods destroyed by such policies. He strongly advocates using the power of government to encourage the rebuilding of major national industries and manufacturing power. These views are hardly radical, Robert Skidelsky, one of the most influential UK economists of the past generation has given significant support to Corbyn’s proposal of a National Investment Bank. These policies are neither Marxist nor revolutionary. But they can certainly be described as Social Democratic and humane.

Israel is the Real Problem


medialens |  Elite power cannot abide a serious challenge to its established position. And that is what Labour under Jeremy Corbyn represents to the Tory government, the corporate, financial and banking sectors, and the 'mainstream' media. The manufactured 'antisemitism crisis' is the last throw of the dice for those desperate to prevent a progressive politician taking power in the UK: someone who supports Palestinians and genuine peace in the Middle East, a strong National Health Service and a secure Welfare State, a properly-funded education system, and an economy in which people matter; someone who rejects endless war and complicity with oppressive, war criminal 'allies' such as the United States, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

In a thoroughly-researched article, writer and academic Gavin Lewis has mapped a deliberate pro-Israel campaign to create a 'moral panic' around the issue of antisemitism. The strategy can be traced all the way back to the horrendous Israeli bombardment of Gaza in the summer of 2014. A UN report estimated that 2,252 Palestinians were killed, around 65 per cent of them civilians. The death toll included 551 children. There was global public revulsion at Israel's war crimes and empathy with their Palestinian victims. Support rose for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement (BDS) which campaigns 'to end international support for Israel's oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law'.

As Lewis observes, BDS came to be regarded more and more as a 'strategic threat' by Israel, and a campaign was initiated in which Israel and its supporters would be presented as the world's real victims. In the UK, the Campaign Against Antisemitism was established during the final month of Israel's 2014 bombardment of Gaza. Pro-Israel pressure groups began to bombard media organisations with supposed statistics about an 'antisemitism crisis', with few news organisations scrutinising the claims.

In particular, as we noted in a media alert in April, antisemitism has been 'weaponised' to attack Corbyn and any prospect of a progressive UK government critical of Israel. Around this time in Gaza, there were weekly 'Great March of Return' protests, with people demanding the right to reclaim ancestral homes in Israel. Many were mown down by Israeli snipers on the border firing into Gaza, with several victims shot in the back as they tried to flee. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, a total of 155 Palestinians were killed in the protests, including 23 children and 3 women. This is part of the brutal ongoing reality for Palestinians.

Recently, much media attention has focused laser-like on the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, including 11 associated examples. Labour adopted 7 of these examples, but dropped 4 because of their implication that criticism of Israel was antisemitic. As George Wilmers noted in a piece for Jewish Voice for Labour, Kenneth Stern, the US Attorney who drafted the IHRA wording, has spoken out about the misuse of the definition. It had:
'originally been designed as a "working definition" for the purpose of trying to standardise data collection about the incidence of antisemitic hate crime in different countries. It had never been intended that it be used as legal or regulatory device to curb academic or political free speech. Yet that is how it has now come to be used.'
Examples of the curbing of free speech cited by Stern in written testimony to the US Congress include Manchester and Bristol universities.

Monday, August 13, 2018

There Will Never Be An Age of Artificial Intimacy?


NYTimes | Years ago I spoke with a 16-year-old girl who was considering the idea of having a computer companion in the future, and she described the upside to me. It’s not that the robot she’d imagined, a vastly more sophisticated Siri, was so inspiring. It’s that she’d already found people to be so disappointing. And now, for the first time, she explained me, people have options. Back then I thought her comments seemed prescient. Now I find them timely.

“There are people who have tried to make friends, but stumbled so badly that they’ve given up,” she said. “So when they hear this idea of robots as companions, well … it’s not like a robot has the mind to walk away or leave you or anything like that.”

This girl had grown up in the time of Siri, a conversational object presented as an empathy machine — a thing that could understand her. And so it seemed natural to her that other machines would expand the range of conversation. But there is something she may have been too young to understand — or, like a lot of us — prone to forget when we talk to machines. These robots can perform empathy in a conversation about your friend, your mother, your child or your lover, but they have no experience of any of these relationships. Machines have not known the arc of a human life. They feel nothing of the human loss or love we describe to them. Their conversations about life occupy the realm of the as-if. 

Yet through our interactions with these machines, we seem to ignore this fact; we act as though the emotional ties we form with them will be reciprocal, and real, as though there is a right kind of emotional tie that can be formed with objects that have no emotions at all.  


Swollen Woes and Sunken Schmoes


vice |  "I feel a special frisson with muscular women. The idea of a woman being stronger than me, and the sexual possibilities that that entails, is something I find extremely exciting."

Johnny, 37, is a technical trainer with the British Army. As a conventionally handsome guy in decent physical shape, Johnny is one of many men in the UK who engages in the otherwise unconventional practice of muscle worship. Also known as "sthenolagnia," muscle worship is a sexual paraphilia where a person becomes sexually aroused by touching and "worshipping" the muscles of a more physically dominant partner.

Male worshippers like Johnny are referred to in the muscle worship subculture as "schmoes." The dominant women they adore are their "goddesses." Although most schmoes can be found happily swarming around the fringes of your local bodybuilding show, the erotic pleasure they find in the strength and appearance of hyper-muscular women also motivates them to seek out female bodybuilders for private sessions where they can put those muscles to the test. These sessions can take place anywhere from Airbnb apartments to, on special occasions, the schmoe's own home. For many goddesses, sensual touching and wrestling is as far as it ever goes. For others, sexual intercourse is also an option.

"I've had several sessions," says Johnny. "They work out at about £350 [$453] per hour. Some guys like to engage in serious wrestling matches with the girls, but my own preference is for playful wrestling while encouraging the woman to show off her strength by lifting me and putting me in holds. The vast majority of sessions I've had have ended in full sex. Some girls are known for always providing sex. Others claim not to; but, in my experience, if the chemistry is good in the room, good things invariably follow."

Johnny goes on to explain how a surge of additional "goddesses" have become "available" to him recently, as the direct result of rule changes to the sport of women's bodybuilding.

The International Federation of Bodybuilding & Fitness has removed the women's heavy-weight category from the biggest global competitions (the Olympia, the Arnold Classic, and the World Championships) and replaced it with Women's Bikini—a weight class designed for lighter, more traditionally "feminine"-looking women. As the larger athletes are being phased out, many find themselves wrestling with men like Johnny to make ends meet. "There's barely any money in it for women," says Wendy McCready, "even when you do turn pro."

Sunday, August 12, 2018

KCXL THEE MOST NMFTG Radio OF ALL TIME!!!


kansascity  |  West again asked to speak about issues related to the job of a state representative. When asked about Jewish people in Missouri, he said, “Well, maybe they shouldn’t vote for me.”

At no point did West apologize for or retract his comments. He asked that The Star link to his website within the story and expressed hope that readers would listen to his remarks in full to make up their own minds.

Although West’s most overtly bigoted and offensive statements were sent anonymously to a reporter on Thursday, he had enough “dog whistles” before the election that voters should have known better than to support him, Aroesty said. She said her opinion is coming from a place of principle over politics because the Anti-Defamation League is an apolitical organization.

A dog whistle, she said, is when someone hints at extremist beliefs in such a way that others who hold those beliefs will know, but they retain plausible deniability.

Some example of dog whistles from West’s statements before the election include him saying things like “Islam is a problem for America. ... It is a political movement masquerading as religion and should not receive the benefits we provide religious institutions as well as access to our prisons” and “ Many parents and students don’t want to have to deal with alternative sex ed, and the LGBT clubs and staff at all the public high schools today.”

“It’s a subtle form of hatred,” Aroesty said. “Not open, but it should be watched, in some ways, more carefully than if someone was openly extreme.”

The Anti-Defamation League has been seeing extremist candidates pop up all around the country, Aroesty said.

“There is a level of political rhetoric and anger out in the world today that is providing people with more extremist views a comfort to come forward and share those extremist views,” she said. “I’d like to say he is unusual this year … but there are a whole variety of folks.”

The internet gives so many people a voice, she said, that it’s easy to think that people with extreme, hateful beliefs are everywhere. They’re not, she said — the ones who are out there are just making a lot of noise.

“The fact that Mr. West won the primary should highlight to people — did they really know what they were voting for?” Aroesty said. “One thing I’ve said for years about extremists is that they’re out on the fringe and we should keep them there.”

Read more here: https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article216387050.html#storylink=cpy

Forget Silly Protests - Hon.Bro Dupree Esq., Taking Dirty KCK Cops to War


injusticewatch |  The request by a Kansas prosecutor to create a unit that would review cases involving evidence of wrongful convictions has exposed a schism among law enforcement officials who contend that the business of reviewing wrongful convictions should not be left to the local prosecutor.

The dispute was touched off after Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree asked the County Board in July for $300,000 to create the new conviction integrity unit.  The Kansas City, Kansas police chief, sheriff and two Fraternal Order of Police union presidents then sent a July 30 letter to Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt questioning the proposal, and asking Schmidt’s office to oversee any decisions by the local prosecutor to reopen past cases.

On Wednesday, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner and Eric Gonzalez, the Brooklyn, New York prosecutor, were among 54 current and former law enforcement officials who signed a letter supporting the creation of the unit within Dupree’s office. Pursuing justice is not “at odds with community safety or victim support,” their letter states. “In fact, victims are safer – and we prevent further victimization – when communities trust that their law enforcement officials seek the truth rather than ‘win.’”

The issue has erupted months after Dupree cut short a hearing into Lamonte McIntyre’s claim that he had been wrongly convicted and spent 23 years in prison for a 1994 double murder, saying he was acting to correct a “manifest injustice.”

Questions of McIntyre’s conviction involved allegations of a corrupt police detective, a corrupt state prosecutor, misconduct by the trial judge and ineffective representation by his court appointed attorney. The July 30 letter by law enforcement officials challenging Dupree stated the prosecutor had “failed to fulfill its role as an advocate for the homicide victims(s) and the State” in that case.