Saturday, September 30, 2023

Time To Declare War On Urban Disorder

thephiladelphiacitizen  |  In the post-mortem press conference of Tuesday night’s looting throughout the city, Interim Police Commissioner John Stanford went to great pains to make clear that those who broke into stores to steal and destroy property had nothing to do with the protest that preceded the marauding mob. That was a peaceful gathering in reaction to Judge Wendy Pew’s mystifying dismissal of all charges for the shooting and killing of Eddie Irizzary by police officer Mark Dial. What followed, Stanford said, was committed by “criminal opportunists” who were “taking advantage of a situation” and trying “to destroy our city … This had nothing to do with the protests.”

He’s no doubt right, on one level. But on another, his analysis begs some deeper context. Judging by the social media chatter, it was anger over the judge’s ruling that at least prompted some chatter about an anti-social response: “WHAT TIME WE GOING SHOPPING?” read one post.

But let’s widen our lens even further. There’s plenty of evidence, which we’ll get to, that civic disorder is viral in nature. Citizenship is, after all, a social compact. We live together voluntarily, and when messages get sent time and again that our once agreed-upon rules no longer apply, or that they only apply to some, we know what happens: The compact breaks. We get anarchy. We get nihilism. We get streets that feel unsafe, even if crime rates are coming down.

We are in a crisis of disorder

Make no mistake: Philadelphia, like other cities, finds itself in a crisis of disorder — the bigger picture Stanford didn’t touch on. Think about the messages Philadelphia sends out every day: Shoplifting under $500 is all but legal now. ATVs can menacingly roar through city streets with impunity, despite a law signed by former Mayor Michael Nutter banning the same. So-called drag racing “meet-ups” are hijacking city roads and highways in the dead of night. In Kensington, police practice a policy of containment when it comes to perhaps the most dystopian scene in the nation. And now, a municipal court judge extends a special privilege and lets a police officer walk for an act that certainly warranted a full hearing in a court of law.

“Our clients never get to argue a justification defense at a preliminary hearing,” Keisha Hudson of the Defender Association of Philadelphia wrote in a statement after Pew’s stunning dismissal of the charges against Dial. “Instead, our clients — all of whom are poor and almost exclusively Black and Brown people — have their cases held for trial, and they sit in jail for months awaiting their day in court.”

Obviously, this is no excuse for looting and rioting and other antisocial acts. But how many times do we have to see that law-breaking is contagious when laws are not enforced? Which brings us back to the broken windows theory of policing, which I’ve written about before.

“We found that when people observe that others violated a certain social norm or legitimate rule, they are more likely to violate even other norms or rules, which causes disorder to spread.” — researchers in a Science study.

Oh, no, he didnt. Isn’t broken windows discredited? No. A Northeastern University study — which was essentially a study of studies — tried to debunk it, but unwittingly validated it. (“Disorder does not encourage crime, but makes it easier to commit crimes” essentially parrots the theory.) But wasn’t broken windows racist? Hells, no. In the popular debate, broken windows has often erroneously gotten lumped in with stop-and-frisk tactics — and the concomitant legitimate concerns of racial profiling.

Broken windows, which legendary former Police Commissioner Bill Bratton employed to turn around crime rates in both New York and Los Angeles, is a theory of policing that mitigates against the virus of disorder. That’s much needed in a city where a judge refuses to hold a cop accountable, where kids are drag racing at 2am, where shots ring out on crowded streets, and where shoplifters are effectively playing The Price Is Right in retail outlets every day.

Broken windows grew out of an Atlantic magazine article written in 1982 by Harvard’s James Q. Wilson and George Kelling, a criminal justice professor at Rutgers University. At a time when policing was mostly reactive, they argued that small things matter in communities, and that when nothing is done about the small things, they grow to become big things. Prior to his passing a few years ago, Kelling explained in Politico:

We expressed this in a metaphor. Just as a broken window left untended in a building is a sign that nobody cares, leading typically to more broken windows — more damage — so disorderly conditions and behaviors left untended in a community are signs that nobody cares and lead to fear of crime, more serious crime, and urban decay. Good broken windows policing seeks partners to address it: social workers, city code enforcers, business improvement district staff, teachers, medical personnel, clergy, and others. Arrest of an offender is supposed to be a last resort — not the first.

Here’s what’s critical: They came to this conclusion by actually listening to those in poor, mostly minority, communities who were most proximate to the problem. Even in neighborhoods with high murder rates, residents would list comparatively minor transgressions like graffiti, teens drinking beer in public parks, and subway turnstile jumping as their top concerns. Why? Because they’d seen the degree to which, once those conditions ran rampant, gun violence was not far behind. Add drag racing and judges who make up the rules as they go along to that list, right?


Everything's Free In Center City Philadelphia With Promo Code: “The Big Guy 2024.”

endoftheamericandream  |  It can be difficult to believe that the wild scenes that we are witnessing on the streets of America are actually real.  Earlier this week, I wrote an article entitled “What Life Is Really Like In America’s Hellish Inner Cities”.  I wrote that article before the widespread looting that just erupted in Philadelphia.  Just when I think that conditions in our core urban areas have reached a low point, they seem to find a way to get even worse.  Unfortunately, this is just the beginning of this crisis.  As economic conditions continue to deteriorate, countless numbers of people will become very desperate.  And when countless numbers of people become very desperate, our society will descend into a permanent state of chaos.

On Tuesday night, dozens of young people went on a rampage in the city of Philadelphia.

It is being reported that “stores in several areas of Philadelphia” were hit…

Dozens of people faced criminal charges Wednesday after a night of social media-fueled mayhem in which groups of thieves, apparently working together, smashed their way into stores in several areas of Philadelphia, stuffing plastic bags with merchandise and fleeing, authorities said.

A total of 52 arrests have been made so far, police said Wednesday.

Burglary, theft and other counts have been filed so far against at least 30 people, all but three of them adults, according to Jane Roh, spokesperson for the Philadelphia district attorney’s office.

he largest group consisted of approximately 100 young people, and there was violence when the police finally confronted that group outside of a Lululemon store

Police in the city said that a large group of around 100 juveniles kept moving from store to store and looting them.

Videos shared on social media show officers attempting to grab thieves, some of whom are wearing Halloween masks, as they run riot through a Lululemon store.

One officer manages to hit one of the looters with a punch after tackling them to the ground.

Many on social media seem to be quite entertained by videos of the looting, but the truth is that this footage should break all of our hearts.

Friday, September 29, 2023

Come 2024 - Democrats Are Stuck With Biden

nueburger  |  Silver piece is titled: "It's probably too late not to nominate Biden". A bit of an awkward title, but you get the idea. In it he answers the question: Do Democrats have a better chance of winning in 2024 with a different nominee?

• With medium confidence, I think the risks of a serious primary challenge to Biden at this point in time would outweigh the benefits for Democrats.

• With low confidence, I think the risks of Biden volunteering not to run for a second would also outweigh the benefits for Democrats, but this is closer.

• With low confidence, and taking full advantage of hindsight bias, I think Democrats probably would have been better off if Biden had announced 6-12 months ago that he wouldn’t seek a second term.

• I think Biden’s situation is somewhat unprecedented and that these are hard questions for Democrats. Almost no matter what happens, people in 2025 will treat the answers as having been more obvious than they actually were. [emphasis Silver's]

In other words, Silver thinks the Democrats — meaning Biden at this point, since other Dem leaders seem totally deferential — have lost their window to change horses. Here's why he thinks that matters:

[L]et’s imagine that one of the candidate’s on Chris Hayes’s list —Whitmer, Josh Shapiro, JB Pritzker, Raphael Warnock and Gavin Newsom — announces tomorrow that they’re challenging Biden. ... What would happen?

Well, for one thing there would be an absolute media shitstorm. It would displace everything else from the news cycle — yes, even the Taylor Swift-Travis Kelce news. Every critique of Biden would be highlighted and validated.

Still, the challenge probably wouldn’t work. The opposing candidate would be very much at a standing start — none of the candidates I mentioned have run for national office before, and a presidential campaign typically takes six months to a year to get up to speed. The value of optionality would be considerably diminished if voters and party elites didn’t have enough time to fully evaluate all their options. So the most likely outcome would be Biden being nominated anyway, but with battle scars that were probably harmful to him in the general election. [emphasis mine]

That's scenario 1. Here’s scenario 2:

Let’s say Biden calls a surprise press conference tomorrow — and he announces that he’s had second thoughts and won’t run for a second term.

This at least eliminates the possibility of primary-challenge-damaged-Biden being the party nominee anyway. However, it creates other issues for Democrats. The main one is what the hell happens to Vice President Kamala Harris. Harris consistency polls worse than Biden does against Trump. But Biden would be under pressure to give her a full-fledged endorsement. Even if Biden believed deep down that she wasn’t the best nominee, a non-endorsement or half-assed endorsement would make for another huge media shitstorm, without the party having little time to navigate out of it.

What if that process did start now? What would be required to maximize the chance of success?

You’d need Biden to stand down, you’d need party leaders to send a clear message that they wanted an open nomination process and not just Harris by default, and you’d need to make sure that Whitmer and/or other candidates the establishment liked were actually interested in running and the choice didn’t feel force-fed to voters. Ideally you’d also want to do all of this without someone leaking to Politico or the Washington Post and upending the process.

Silver dryly concludes "that’s probably too much to ask for." Too much indeed.

Thursday, September 28, 2023

I'd Wager That Official Estimates Only Count 1-in-4 Homeless

NYTimes  | Garbage, feces and needles run through the rivers in Missoula, Mont. On the streets of San Francisco, tents are so thick that sidewalks in the Tenderloin neighborhood have become “unofficial open-air public housing.” In Portland, Ore., a blaze shut down an on-ramp to the Steel Bridge for several days in March after campers tunneled through a cinder block wall and lit a campfire to stay warm.

In a surge of legal briefs this week, frustrated leaders from across the political spectrum, including the liberal governor of California and right-wing state legislators in Arizona, charged that homeless encampments were turning their public spaces into pits of squalor, and asked the Supreme Court to revisit lower court decisions that they say have hobbled their ability to bring these camps under control.

The urgent pleas come as leaders across the country, and particularly in the West, have sought to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic and restore normalcy in cities. In more than two dozen briefs filed in an appeal of a decision on homeless policies in a southern Oregon town, officials from nearly every Western state and beyond described desolate scenes related to a proliferation of tent encampments in recent years.

They begged the justices to let them remove people from their streets without running afoul of court rulings that have protected the civil rights of homeless individuals.

“The friction in many communities affected by homelessness is at a breaking point,” the attorneys for Las Vegas, Seattle and more than a dozen other cities, as well as national municipal organizations, wrote in one brief. “Despite massive infusions of public resources, businesses and residents are suffering the increasingly negative effects of long-term urban camping.”

Homeless rights advocates agreed that tent encampments were unsafe both for their vulnerable occupants and the communities around them. But they said the gathering legal campaign was merely an attempt to fall back on timeworn government crackdowns rather than pursue the obvious solutions: more help and more housing.

“They’re seeking to blame and penalize and marginalize the victims rather than take the steps they haven’t found the political will to take,” said Eric Tars, the senior policy director at the National Homelessness Law Center.

Homelessness has increasingly overwhelmed state and local governments across the country. In California alone, more than 170,000 people are homeless, accounting for about one-third of the nation’s homeless population. More than 115,000 of those homeless Californians sleep on the streets, in cars or outdoors in places not intended for habitation, according to a federal tally of homelessness conducted last year.

Five years ago, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in case from Boise, Idaho, that it was unconstitutional for cities to clear homeless camps and criminally charge campers unless they could offer adequate housing. In the nine Western states covered by the circuit, that ruling has since prompted billions of dollars of public spending on homelessness.



One Way Or Another, Critical Mass Will Bring About Changes

tomsdispatch  |  Today, more than 38 million people officially live below the federal poverty line and, in truth, that figure should have shocked the nation into action before the coronavirus even arrived here. No such luck and here’s the real story anyway: the official measure of poverty, developed in 1964, doesn’t even take into account household expenses like health care, child care, housing, and transportation, not to speak of other costs that have burgeoned in recent decades. The world has undergone profound economic transformations over the last 66 years and yet this out-of-date measure, based on three times a family’s food budget, continues to shape policymaking at every level of government as well as the contours of the American political and moral imagination.

Two years ago, the Poor People’s Campaign (which I co-chair alongside Reverend William Barber II) and the Institute for Policy Studies released an audit of America. Its centerpiece was a far more realistic assessment of poverty and economic precariousness in this country. Using the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure as a baseline, which, among other things, measures family income after taxes and out-of-pocket expenses for food, clothing, housing, and utilities, there are at least 140 million people who are poor — or just a $400 emergency from that state. (Of that, there are now untold examples in this pandemic moment.)

As poverty has grown and spread, one of the great political weapons of politicians and the ruling elite over the past decades (only emphasized in the age of Trump) has been to minimize, dismiss, and racialize it. In the 1970s, President Richard Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” coded it into Republican national politics; in the 1980s, in the years of Ronald Reagan’s presidency, the fabricated image of “the welfare queen” gained symbolic prominence. In the 1990s, President Bill Clinton’s welfare “reforms” enshrined such thinking in the arguments of both parties. Today, given the outright racism and xenophobia that has become the hallmark of Donald Trump’s presidency, “poor” has become a curse word.

It is, of course, true that, among the 140 million poor people in the U.S., a disproportionate number are indeed people of color. The inheritance of slavery, Jim Crow, never-ending discrimination, and the mass incarceration of black men in particular, as well as a generational disinvestment in such populations, could have resulted in nothing less. And yet the reality of poverty stretches deep into every community in this country. According to that audit of America, the poor or low-income today consist of 24 million blacks, 38 million Latinos, eight million Asian-Americans, two million Native peoples, and 66 million whites.

Those staggering numbers, already a deadweight for the nation, are likely to prove a grotestque underestimate in the coronaviral world we now inhabit and yet none of this should be a surprise. Although we couldn’t have predicted the exact circumstances of this pandemic, social theorists remind us that conditions were ripe for just this kind of economic dislocation.

Over the past 50 years, for instance, rents have risen faster than income in every city. Before the coronavirus outbreak, there was not a single county in this country where a person making a minimum wage with a family could afford a two-bedroom apartment. No surprise then that, throughout this crisis, there has been a rise in rent strikes, housing takeovers, and calls for moratoriums on evictions. The quiet fact is that, in the last few decades, unemployment, underemployment, poverty, and homelessness have become ever more deeply and permanently structured into this society.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Please, If You Can, Stay Free....,

thesun  |  The Canada-based platform has come under scrutiny after being used by Brand to share videos as he denies allegations of rape and sexual assault.

He has been posting daily episodes of his Stay Free programme on Rumble since signing a deal with the website a year ago.

It now faces being regulated by UK media watchdog Ofcom under the new Online Safety Bill, which was approved by Parliament last week and is due to become law next month.

Tougher new rules could prompt Rumble's bosses to stop broadcasting to Britain, a tech expert has now suggested.

The new law says internet firms must prevent children from seeing pornography as well as any material promoting eating disorders, self-harm and suicide.

Violent content and material harmful to health, including misinformation about vaccines, will also be barred.

And platforms will also be told to take down illegal material such as videos inciting violence or race hate.

Former Facebook executive Lord Allan of Hallam told The Times a new crackdown could deter Rumble's management.

He said: "You can’t get out of this by saying, 'I’m a crazy American platform, that’s not OK’, and that somehow you get a free pass - they don’t get a free pass.

"Their whole philosophy is freedom of expression, a kind of 'screw you'.

"So when they get a letter from Ofcom saying, ‘Here are all the things you’re going to have to do’, it seems to me the most likely reaction is going to be they’re going to say, ‘Well, we won’t operate in the UK any more'."

Failing to co-operate with Ofcom could put Rumble executives at risk of arrest if visiting Britain, it has been suggested.

Dame Caroline Dineage, who chairs the Commons' Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, wrote to Rumble last Thursday asking whether they would be "suspending Brand's ability to earn money".

The comic and film star has 1.4million followers on Rumble.

Her letter came as YouTube announced it would be demonetising his account on their platform, meaning Brand could no longer cash in on ads accompanying his clips there.

The BBC and Channel 4 also removed content featuring Brand from their streaming sites.



The U.K. KARENWAFFEN Caroline Dinenage And Mark Lancaster

thegrayzone  |   Caroline Dinenage served as the UK government’s Digital and Culture minister from February 2020 to September 2021, making her de facto chief of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). 

In this capacity, she was personally responsible for overseeing construction of the repressive, World Economic Forum-endorsed Online Safety Bill, which has been criticized by rights groups for threatening the rights to free expression, and privacy. For her leading role in crafting the speech-muzzling bill, Dinenage was honored by Princess Royal with the title of Dame Commander of the British Empire.

Moreover, during this period, the DCMS was home to the shadowy, intelligence official-run Counter-Disinformation Unit (CDU), which policed “COVID-19 disinformation narratives” online.

Investigations by the civil liberties organization Big Brother Watch have revealed that instead of suppressing content that posed risks to public health, the CDU was preoccupied with censoring and deplatforming reasonable online criticisms of the British government’s Covid-19 response, including opposition to lockdowns and vaccine passports. 

According to an official fact sheet, the CDU’s focus turned to the Ukraine proxy war in 2022, and particularly to targeting content suggesting “the Bucha massacre and the bombing of the maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, were both hoaxes.”

Dinenage’s husband is Mark Lancaster, a fellow information warrior dedicated to advancing the propaganda goals of the British government. Lancaster reportedly left his wife and four-month-old daughter in 2013 when he began dating Dinenage, who was herself married at the time to a British Naval officer.

A former Conservative MP and Armed Forces minister, Lancaster helped lead London’s blitz on pandemic dissent as deputy commander of the British Army’s 77th Brigade between June 2018 and July 2022.

Specialized in “behaviour and attitudinal change,” the 77th Brigade maintains a vast militia of real, fake, and automated social media accounts to disseminate and amplify pro-state messaging, and discredit domestic and foreign enemies.

During the pandemic, the 77th Brigade targeted people within Britain and across the West with advanced psychological manipulation strategies honed on battlefields against enemy militaries. The online profile of a 77th Brigade veteran notes they were deployed straight from a tour of the Middle East – where they “successfully implemented behavioral change strategies against ISIS” – to “countering dis- and misinformation during the Covid-19 crisis.”

However, in January, an ex-Brigade whistleblower revealed how the Ministry of Defence and RRU routinely circumvented British law to advance the government’s crusade against pandemic dissent:

“To skirt the legal difficulties of a military unit monitoring domestic dissent, the view was that unless a profile explicitly stated their real name and nationality, they could be a foreign agent and were fair game. But it is quite obvious that our activities resulted in the monitoring of the UK population…These posts did not contain information that was untrue or coordinated [emphasis added].”

As The Grayzone revealed in June 2023, British journalist Paul Mason had attempted to submit a “formal complaint” about The Grayzone to DCMS, believing it would trigger a government investigation into this outlet’s “funding and activities,” and ultimately its deplatforming. Mason’s handler, a British intelligence agent named Andy Pryce, boasted in leaked emails of his personal role in YouTube’s banning of “Russian stuff” in Britain. The CDU has been confirmed as the government body responsible for these censorship demands.

Now, this shadowy, intelligence-linked entity appears to be the spearhead of the campaign to silence Russell Brand.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

The Blob REALLY Doesn't Want The American People To Hear Putin's Voice

azerbaycan24  |   The former Fox News host has questioned why ‘you’re not allowed to hear’ the Russian president’s voice Former Fox News television personality Tucker Carlson speaks to guests at the Family Leadership Summit on July 14, 2023 in Des Moines, Iowa

Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson has alleged in a recent interview that unnamed figures in Washington obstructed his attempts to interview Russian president Vladimir Putin.

“I tried to interview Vladimir Putin, and the US government stopped me,” Carlson claimed in an interview with Swiss publication Die Weltwoche published on Thursday. He also explained that he felt let down by the lack of support for his situation that he says he received from US news media.

He said: “I don’t think there was anybody who said ‘wait a second. I may not like this guy but he has a right to interview anyone he wants, and we have a right to hear what Putin says’.” The 54-year-old added: “You’re not allowed to hear Putin’s voice. Because why? There was no vote on it. No one asked me.”

The often-controversial media personality didn’t elaborate on the circumstances under which he says there was government intrusion into his plans to interview Putin but it appeared to suggest that it was the current Biden administration which was behind the meddling. Carlson also didn’t mention when the interview with the Russian leader was supposed to take place.

Tucker Carlson blasts ‘creep’ US ambassador

“I’m an American citizen,” Carlson told Die Weltwoche. “I’m a much more loyal American than, say, Joe Biden or Kamala Harris, who didn’t even grow up in this country; she grew up in Canada. And they’re telling me what it is to be a loyal American?”

Carlson –previously Fox News’ biggest star– parted ways with the broadcaster in April shortly after the news network settled for $787.5 million a lawsuit with voting-machine company Dominion Voting Systems. Fox News had regularly discussed claims on some of its shows that Dominion’s machines were involved in ‘rigging’ the 2020 US presidential election.

Carlson’s show Tucker Carlson Tonight, during which he frequently discussed issues like gender, race, sexuality and ‘woke’ ideology, was specifically referenced in the Dominion lawsuit.

Since leaving Fox News, Carlson has broadcast abridged versions of his news show on X (formerly Twitter) which regularly draw tens of millions of views.

Meanwhile, Russia TV news channel Rossiya 24 has aired a teaser trailer for a weekend show it says is to be hosted by Carlson. The promo was first broadcast earlier this month and again on September 22 along with the words “at the weekend.” It adds that the “high-profile American presenter is moving to another level. Here.”

Rossiya 24 didn’t state when the show will debut or if it will be original content or translated versions of Carlson’s X broadcasts. (RT)




Tucker Says They're All Afraid

weltwoche  |  When Tucker Carlson departed the Fox News Channel in April, his enemies cheered. But if they thought the happy warrior had finally been defeated, their judgment was as dismal as their approval ratings. With an assist from Elon Musk, Carlson is reaching an even larger, global audience with his new show, “Tucker Carlson on Twitter (now known as ‘X’).”

The veteran newscaster has expanded his mission: to defeat the mainstream media’s suffocating bias and incuriosity not just about critical events at home but in capitals around the world.

When we reach him, Carlson has just returned from the United Arab Emirates where he met with its president, Mohamed bin Zayed. Carlson pronounces the sheikh “the most interesting, wisest leader I've ever spoken to” — a provocative assessment given that the talk show host sat across from Donald J. Trump last month. Of the Arab leader, Carlson enthuses, “I've never met a more humble leader, ever — and I believe humility is a prerequisite for wisdom.”

Carlson is far less kind about his colleagues in the press. “They're all fearful people,” the 54-year-old scoffs. Instead of holding the powerful to account, “they do exactly the opposite.”  Indeed, “they do their bidding.”

Looking ahead to the Presidential elections in 2024, he says: “They're trying to put Trump in prison for the crime of running against Joe Biden … That's what this election's about. Are we going to allow that, or aren't we? And I just don't think we can.”

 Weltwoche: Since leaving Fox and going solo with your new show, “Tucker Carlson On Twitter (now known as ‘X’),” your posts have logged tens and sometimes hundreds of millions of views. You’re taking off like Buzz Lightyear. Are you feeling the freedom? To explore more topics and ideas? To express your views?

Tucker Carlson: Well, definitely. If anything, I've expressed my views less. I haven't done many straight-to-camera scripts where I write the script and give my opinion. I've done what I've wanted to do for a long time but couldn't, which is get on an airplane and go see the rest of the world. I couldn't because I had a daily show I had to do.

I've become convinced over the past several years — particularly since the war in Ukraine began — that the world is changing much more quickly than most Americans understand. And because there's virtually no coverage of the rest of the world in American media, Americans don't have a good sense of it.

What we, in this country, refer to as the "Post-War Order” — the institutions set up in the wake of World War II to keep the world peaceful and prosperous and the United States at the top of the pyramid, and that would include the dominance of the dollar, the SWIFT system, NATO — all of that appears to me to be crumbling. That's my view of it. I've wanted to travel and see if that is, in fact, happening — and it is.

Monday, September 25, 2023

Sergei Lavrov: The World Has A Chance To Achieve Genuine Democratization

azerbaycan24  |  The US and its allies instigate new conflicts to prevent the emergence of a multipolar world, Russia’s foreign minister believes Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov holds a press conference at the UN headquarters in New York, US, on September 23, 2023. © Sputnik / Valery Sharifulin

The world has a chance to achieve “authentic democratization” in international relations by establishing a multipolar world order, marking the first such opportunity since the end of World War II, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on Saturday.

The US and its Western allies seek to prevent such a development by stirring up new conflicts to divide humanity and keep their “hegemony of the global minority” in place, he added.

West is the ‘empire of lies’

The US and its allies still reject the principle of equality in international relations, Lavrov said. Americans and Europeans keep looking down on the rest of the world and that leads to their “total intractability” in any negotiations. Washington and its allies “keep making promises left and right” that end up being reneged-on, the Russian minister added.

“As Russian President Vladimir Putin put it, the West is now the real ‘empire of lies’,” he said.

‘Reckless’ Western politicians have forgotten about self-preservation

NATO activities have reached “unprecedented” levels since the end of the Cold War, the top Russian diplomat believes. The US-led forces of the bloc have conducted drills that involved simulating nuclear strikes against Russia, he claimed, adding that Washington is also actively seeking to project its military might in the Asia-Pacific through establishing military-political “alliances” with nations like Australia, South Korea or Japan and pushing them towards closer cooperation with NATO.

Such actions “risk creating a new explosive geopolitical hotspot in addition to the … European one,” Lavrov warned, adding that Western politicians have been so blinded by a feeling of impunity that they’ve lost “the sense of self-preservation.”

True democracy in international relations is within reach

For the first time since 1945, when the United Nations was established, the world has a chance to establish a truly democratic world order, the Russian foreign minister said. The “global majority” – ie the nations of Asia, Africa and Latin America – are increasingly seeking independence and equality, as well as respect for their sovereignty in international relations.

“It is obvious for Russia that there is no other way,” Lavrov told the UNGA, adding that this fact “encourages optimism in those believing in the rule of international law and wishing to see the UN restored to its role of a central coordinating body of world politics.”

West stands in the way of a just world order

The US and its allies seek to stall the onset of a multipolar world order, in particular by “stirring up conflicts that artificially divide humanity into hostile blocs and prevent it from achieving common goals,” the Russian minister pointed out. The West wants the world to “play by its infamous and self-serving rules,” he said, adding that the international community should instead strive for a world where everyone “agrees on how to solve issues together, on the basis of a fair balance of interests.”

Western sanctions hurt the world

Russia is calling for “an immediate and full” lifting of sanctions imposed against such nations as Cuba, Venezuela and Syria, Lavrov said, adding that such unilateral punitive measures “blatantly violate the principle of sovereign equality of nations” and interfere with these countries’ rights to development.

“One should put an end to any coercive measures imposed in circumvention of the UN Security Council as well as to the West’s … practice of manipulating its sanctions policies to exert pressure on those deemed undesirable,” he added.

Russia’s top diplomat also blasted the US over what he called threats against nations willing to work with Moscow.

“It is shameful for a great power to run around like this and threaten everyone and only demonstrating its obsession with domination,” he told journalists after the UNGA session.

Russia’s stance on conflict in Ukraine

Moscow is ready for talks on its ongoing conflict with Kiev at any time, Lavrov told a press conference on the sidelines of the UN assembly. However, Russia will not consider any deals involving a ceasefire, he said, adding that Moscow and Kiev had supposedly almost reached an agreement in the first months of the conflict following a series of talks in Belarus and Türkiye only for this process to be disrupted, supposedly by Ukraine’s Western backers.

“Putin said it very clearly: yes, we are ready for talks but we will not consider any ceasefire proposals because we did so once and were deceived.”

Russia also respects Ukraine’s sovereignty in accordance with the Ukrainian declaration of independence and its constitution, Lavrov said, adding that both documents also declare the non-aligned status of Ukraine and respect for the Russian language and Russian-speaking minorities.

Ukraine’s sovereignty “was destroyed by those who staged and supported a coup, the leaders of which then declared a war on their own people,” Lavrov said, referring to the 2014 Maidan coup.

West is ‘de-facto’ waging war on Russia

The US and its allies are de-facto engaged in a conflict with Russia, Lavrov told the press conference. “We call it a hybrid war but it does not change things,” he said. Western nations are sending arms to Kiev and training its troops, he explained, so “They are de-facto fighting against us with the hands and bodies of Ukrainians.”

Western nations also openly say that “Russia should be defeated on the battlefield,” Moscow’s top diplomat said, adding that Moscow is ready for such a development. “Under such circumstances, [if they want it] to be on the battlefield, let it be on the battlefield,” he said. (RT)




Sunday, September 24, 2023

Everything The Biden Administration Does Seems Designed To Give Americans The Finger

jonathanturley  |  We previously discussed the defunct Disinformation Governance Board and its controversial head Nina Jankowicz. After the outcry over the program, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas finally relented and disbanded the board while insisting that it was never about censoring opposing views. Jankowicz has sued over the portrayal of her views. Now, Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFPF) has exposed just how broad the scope of the censorship efforts were under the board in combatting “misinformation, disinformation, and malinformation (MDM). This range of authority in what the agency called the “MDM space,” included targeting views on racial justice and the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan.

New documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests show that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) argued that the agency could regulate speech related to “the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, racial justice, U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the nature of U.S. support to Ukraine” as well as “irregular immigration.”

Those subjects stretch across much of the “space” used for political speech in the last few years.

Notably, within DHS, Jen Easterly, who heads the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, extended her agency’s mandate over critical infrastructure to include “our cognitive infrastructure.” The resulting censorship efforts included combating “malinformation” – described as information “based on fact, but used out of context to mislead, harm, or manipulate.” I testified earlier on this effort.

So DHS asserted the authority to target viewpoints on racial justice, Ukraine, and other political subjects, including views based on fact but viewed as misleading in context.

What is also troubling is the continued effort to conceal these censorship activities. Homeland redacted much of this information on a now defunct board under FOIA Exemption 7(E), which protects “techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, or would disclose guidelines for law enforcement investigations.” That claim is itself chilling.

After the demise of the board, National Public Radio ran an interview entitled “How DHS’s disinformation board fell victim to misinformation.”

As the title suggests, NPR just repeated the view of Jankowicz despite the objections of many of us in the free speech community. Jankowicz insisted “we weren’t going to be doing anything related to policing speech. It was an internal coordinating mechanism to make sure that we were doing that work efficiently.” Yet, what were the criminal investigations, prosecutions, and enforcement efforts now being claimed as connected to this work?

Recently, a court found that the Biden Administration’s censorship efforts constituted “the most massive attack against free speech in United States history.” Those words by Chief U.S. District Judge Terry A. Doughty are part of a 155-page opinion granting a temporary injunction, requested by Louisiana and Missouri, to prevent White House officials from meeting with tech companies about social media censorship.

Rupert Murdoch Launched The Hit On Russell Brand

CTH  |   The Sunday Times, a Rupert Murdoch publication in the U.K, published a hit piece against Russell Brand accusing him of rape and sexual assault 20-years ago.  It did not take long before the accusations triggered the cancel culture and YouTube demonetized the actor and pundit.  Russell Brand has vehemently denied the allegations.

However, in a remarkable escalation the U.K Parliament is now targeting Russell Brand.  The British government has sent a letter to U.S. social media companies, including video platform provider Rumble demanding they take action against Brand.  Not only is the British government targeting an individual and demanding action over an unproven allegation, but they are also sending a letter to the U.S. company demanding acquiescence to their censorship demand.

Standing solidly on the side of freedom, Rumble said no. However, now Rumble is the subject of a global smear campaign using a variety of media outlets and constructed controversies.  Today, Russell Brand responded to the overall effort by the British government.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

The New Narrative: How The Wagons Will Circle The Bidens

amgreatness  |  The strategies of saving the Biden presidency from an impeachment and a Senate trial despite overwhelming evidence of his corruption are starting to emerge.

The Family is confronted with damning evidence from the laptop, from the testimonies of Hunter’s business associates Bobulinksi and Archer, from Ukrainian oligarchs and Viktor Shokin, from IRS whistleblowers, from FBI writs, from a likely pseudonymous Biden trove of 4,000 emails to his son and associates, and from the absolute paranoia of a White House that must constantly change its narrative of denials to adjust to a growing portrait of utter corruption, bribery, and perhaps even the treason of warping U.S. policy to fit Biden family interests.

One of their strategies is to deny, then hedge, then ignore, then grow silent—and repeat the wash/rinse/spin cycle of stonewalling as many times as necessary to evade the mounting truth.


Insidiously Joe Biden has retreated from his once loud protestations that he supposedly had no idea of what Hunter and his associates were doing. Such a patently dishonest denial set the model that the President would have no compunction about lying to the American people until the evidence of his wrongdoing becomes overwhelming.

But this first line of defense did not crumble for years—only to be replaced by a second line of denial: Biden may have known of Hunter’s shenanigans, but he had no business interests with him. That was another blatant untruth.

And that additional stalling also allowed Biden to ignore the closing walls of incrimination for even more months. When these two forward lines of defense collapsed, as the Biden consortium knew they eventually would, a retreat to a third line of defense followed: yes, Joe knew, after all, of Hunter’s miscreant shakedowns; and, yes, Joe, after all, conceded that from time to time he did meet Hunter’s business associates, and upon requests made phone calls to Hunter’s clientele. But he did not profit from such knowledge and associations. Instead an upright old Joe from Scranton was playing along with the “illusion” of influence peddling: Scranton naiveté is not D.C. criminality.

Biden’s tripartite lines of defense always got shorter and shallower as evidence mounted. But so far Biden has managed to consume 31 months of his presidency through these strategic retreats. His fourth and final line of defense will likely be that he was involved, that he had rather than feigned contact, but that he did nothing other than what scores of other high-ranking politicians do who rub shoulders with would-be miscreants, sycophants, and crooks—and so did not knowingly take “loans” and “gifts” that had strings attached.

To breach this fourth defense line, House Republicans will have to break through the labyrinth of Biden paywalls and find how much money was rerouted into Biden coffers. And then they must additionally compare what came into the Biden hands with a) what the family reported on their respective income tax returns, and b) whether their various properties and lifestyles were remotely possible without such massive hidden income. And getting bank records from the Bidens will be near impossible.


Mayorkas Lawfare Censorship Advisory Board's Signatories To The Huntergate Laptop Coverup

dailycaller  |  Top Republican lawmakers requested information from Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas regarding an agency group that will include former intelligence officials who signed a letter suggesting the Hunter Biden laptop was a “Russian information operation,” according to a copy of a Thursday letter first obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

DHS tapped former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan and former CIA Operations Officer Paul Kolbe, all of whom signed an October 2020 letter casting doubt on the legitimacy of the Hunter Biden laptop as Russian disinformation, to join the Homeland Intelligence Experts Group. In response, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green and Republican Texas Rep. August Pfluger are demanding to know DHS’ selection process for the group’s members, according to a copy of the letter. 

The Hunter Biden laptop contents were authenticated by the Daily Caller News Foundation, The New York Times, The Washington PostCBS News and other media outlets. No evidence currently exists to suggest the laptop was a Russian disinformation operation.

“Multiple members of this Homeland Intelligence Expert Group have shown an utter disregard for the truth, not to mention brazen political bias. Does Secretary Mayorkas really think appointing leading Russian-collusion hoaxers will increase trust in his department? Clearly, he doesn’t care,” Green said in a statement to the DCNF.

Both Clapper and Brennan have been previously criticized for misleading the American public. On multiple occasions, Clapper gave incorrect information to Congress.

Clapper gave “inconsistent testimony” about contacts he had with the media while in office, Republicans charged. Additionally, Brennan denied that CIA officials had hacked the computers of Senate Intelligence Committee staffers, a statement that was later proven false.

“James Clapper and John Brennan have no place in positions of power—much less on a board of so-called experts where they will surely continue to serve as partisan Democrat operatives disguised as national security officials. The Department of Homeland Security must dispense with its disinformation boards and expert groups and focus on the real national security issues facing our country—such as the thousands of illegal migrants crossing our southern border on a daily basis,” Pfluger, who serves as the chairman of the Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Law Enforcement, and Intelligence, said in a statement to the DCNF.

The group will meet four times per year to advise DHS on intelligence and national security efforts regarding issues such as “terrorism, fentanyl, transborder issues, and emerging technology,” DHS said.

DHS didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.




Friday, September 22, 2023

See Something, Say Something...,

rutherford  |  “There were relatively few secret police, and most were just processing the information coming in. I had found a shocking fact. It wasn’t the secret police who were doing this wide-scale surveillance and hiding on every street corner. It was the ordinary German people who were informing on their neighbors.”—Professor Robert Gellately, author of Backing Hitler

Are you among the 41% of Americans who regularly attend church or some other religious service?

Do you believe the economy is about to collapse and the government will soon declare martial law?

Do you display an unusual number of political and/or ideological bumper stickers on your car?

Are you among the 44% of Americans who live in a household with a gun? If so, are you concerned that the government may be plotting to confiscate your firearms?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you may be an anti-government extremist (a.k.a. domestic terrorist) in the eyes of the government and flagged for heightened surveillance and preemptive intervention.

Let that sink in a moment.

If you believe in and exercise your rights under the Constitution (namely, your right to speak freely, worship freely, associate with like-minded individuals who share your political views, criticize the government, own a weapon, demand a warrant before being questioned or searched, or any other activity viewed as potentially anti-government, racist, bigoted, anarchic or sovereign), you have just been promoted to the top of the government’s terrorism watch list.

I assure you I’m not making this stuff up.

So what is the government doing about these so-called American “extremists”?

The government is grooming the American people to spy on each other as part of its Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships, or CP3 program.

According to journalist Leo Hohmann, the government is handing out $20 million in grants to police, mental health networks, universities, churches and school districts to enlist their help in identifying Americans who might be political dissidents or potential “extremists.”

As Hohmann explains, “Whether it’s COVID and vaccines, the war in Ukraine, immigration, the Second Amendment, LGBTQ ideology and child-gender confusion, the integrity of our elections, or the issue of protecting life in the womb, you are no longer allowed to hold dissenting opinions and voice them publicly in America. If you do, your own government will take note and consider you a potential ‘violent extremist’ and terrorist.”

DHS Just Handed Out $20Million To Grease Those Snitching Skids...,

leohohmann  |  The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced on September 6 that $20 million in federal grants (your tax dollars) will be handed out to 34 organizations to “prevent targeted violence and terrorism.”

Since today is the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, you might think these 34 organizations will be focused on al-Qaeda, ISIS or the Iranian Republican Guard Corps. But you would be wrong. They are focused on Americans who dissent from the prevailing narratives coming out of the federal government and its collaborating partners in the corporate media and major social media platforms.

Whether it’s Covid and vaccines, the war in Ukraine, immigration, the Second Amendment, LGBTQ ideology and child-gender confusion, the integrity of our elections, or the issue of protecting life in the womb, you are no longer allowed to hold dissenting opinions and voice them publicly in America. If you do, your own government will take note and consider you a potential “violent extremist” and terrorist.

The $20 million is going to universities, behavioral and mental-health providers, youth services organizations, schools, churches and faith leaders, and state law enforcement agencies. Their job will be to identify political dissidents and foster interventions among those Americans considered to be “going down a path toward violence.”

This money comes from the Department of Homeland Security Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships, or CP3. The program was started in fiscal 2020 and has to date awarded $70 million in grants to private nonprofits, state and local government agencies.

The following is from the Department of Homeland Security press release announcing the $20 million in new grants (notice the emphasis on public health, which is the same emphasis used by the U.N. World Health Organization, an emphasis also used by New Mexico Governor Michelle Grisham in her recent declaration suspending the Second Amendment).

“Created in 2021, CP3 is tasked with strengthening our country’s ability to prevent acts of targeted violence and terrorism nationwide. To help accomplish this mission, CP3 cultivates partnerships across every level of government and within local communities, provides grant funding and prevention training, and promotes greater awareness and understanding of TVTP (Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention) strategies and best practices.  Leveraging a public health-informed approach, CP3 brings together behavioral and mental health providers, educators, faith leaders, social service providers, nonprofits, law enforcement, and other state, local, and community partners to address systemic factors that can lead to violence while strengthening protective factors at the local level that support the safety, well-being, and resiliency of communities in the United States.”

The CP3 program, according to the release, “helps to prevent targeted violence and terrorism through funding, training, increased public awareness, and the development of partnerships across every level of the government, the private sector and in local communities across our country. Leveraging an approach informed by public health research, CP3 brings together mental health providers, educators, faith leaders, public health officials, social services, nonprofits, and others in communities across the country to help people who may be escalating to violence.”

This all sounds wonderful, until you figure out that it’s not focused on actual terrorists or drug cartel members who slip into our country every day from across wide-open borders with intent to harm Americans. It’s focused on spying on law-abiding Americans who the government considers dangerous simply because of their views on various political or social issues.

This program, administered by DHS and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with the full support of Congress, is “the only federal grant program solely dedicated to helping local communities develop and strengthen their capabilities in this area.” 

Thursday, September 21, 2023

DHS Has Assembled A Rogue's Gallery Of Oxygen-Thieving Turd Burglers To KEEP US SAFE!!!

DHS.GOV  |  Today, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas, Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) Ken Wainstein, and Counterterrorism Coordinator Nicholas Rasmussen announced the establishment of the Homeland Intelligence Experts Group (Experts Group). The group is comprised of private sector experts who will provide their unique perspectives on the federal government’s intelligence enterprise to DHS’s I&A and the Office of the Counterterrorism Coordinator.

“The security of the American people depends on our capacity to collect, generate, and disseminate actionable intelligence to our federal, state, local, territorial, tribal, campus, and private sector partners,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “I express my deep gratitude to these distinguished individuals for dedicating their exceptional expertise, experience, and vision to our critical mission.”

“The Homeland Intelligence Experts Group is being formed at a time of unprecedented challenge, with the U.S. intelligence enterprise facing threats from a range of malign actors, to include foreign nation-state adversaries, domestic violent extremists, cyber criminals, drug-trafficking cartels and other transnational criminal organizations,” said Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis Ken Wainstein. “The Experts Group will be an invaluable asset as we navigate through this evolving threat and operating environment and continue to strengthen our efforts to protect the Homeland.”

“The homeland threat environment is more diverse, dynamic, and challenging than at any point in our post 9/11 history, with threats tied to an array of different terrorist and violent extremist ideologies and narratives,” said Counterterrorism Coordinator Nicholas Rasmussen. “The experience, expertise, and perspective offered by Experts Group members will undoubtedly put the Department in a strong position to confront this threat landscape, and we are grateful for the willingness of the Experts Group members to serve in this important capacity."

The Experts Group will provide DHS with a wide range of views and perspectives, with a membership that includes former senior intelligence officials, journalists, and prominent human rights and civil liberties advocates.

The Experts Group members are the following:

  • John Bellinger, Partner, Arnold & Porter (Former Legal Advisor, Department of State and National Security Council)
  • John Brennan, Distinguished Fellow, Fordham University School of Law and University of Texas at Austin (Former Director, Central Intelligence Agency)
  • James Clapper, CNN National Security Analyst (Former Director of National Intelligence)
  • Rajesh De, Partner, Mayer Brown (Former Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Legal Policy and NSA General Counsel)
  • Thomas Galati, Senior Vice President, East Coast Security Operations, NBC Universal (Former New York Police Department, Chief, Intelligence and Counterterrorism)
  • Tashina Gauhar, Senior Director, Compliance, Strategy and Policy, The Boeing Company (Former Associate Deputy Attorney General and Deputy Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division, Department of Justice)
  • Asha M. George, Executive Director, Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense (Former Subcommittee Staff Director, House Committee on Homeland Security)
  • Karen Greenberg, Director, Center on National Security, Fordham University School of Law
  • Emily Harding, Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of the International Security Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies (Former Deputy Staff Director, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence)
  • Paul Kolbe, Senior Fellow and former Director of the Intelligence Project, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center (Former Operations Officer, Central Intelligence Agency)
  • David Kris, Co-Founder, Culper Partners LLC (Former Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division, Department of Justice)
  • Michael Leiter, Partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Former Director, National Counterterrorism Center)
  • Elisa Massimino, Executive Director, Human Rights Institute, Georgetown Law
  • Gregory Nojeim, Senior Counsel and Director, Security and Surveillance Project, Center for Democracy & Technology
  • Francis Taylor, Principal, Cambridge Global Advisors (Former Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis, DHS)
  • Caryn Wagner, Former Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis, DHS
  • Benjamin Wittes, Senior Fellow in Governance Studies, The Brookings Institution, and Co-Founder and Editor in Chief, Lawfare            

The Experts Group will meet four times annually and leverage the expertise of each member to provide input on I&A’s most complex problems and challenges, including terrorism, fentanyl, transborder issues, and emerging technology.

For more information on I&A’s vital work, please visit Office of Intelligence and Analysis | Homeland Security (