Monday, March 12, 2018

Headlines Focusing On One Word: Jews

Forward |   In an interview with NBC’s Megyn Kelly in Moscow that aired on March 9, Russian President Vladimir Putin was asked about the 13 Russian nationals indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller for interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election with a covert social media campaign.

Through a translator, Putin responded:

“Maybe they’re not even Russians. Maybe they’re Ukrainians, Tatars, Jews, just with Russian citizenship. Even that needs to be checked. Maybe they have dual citizenship. Or maybe a green card. Maybe it was the Americans who paid them for this work. How do you know? I don’t know.”

The reaction from U.S. and Israeli media outlets was immediate and angry, with headlines focusing on one word: Jews.

Slate went with “Putin: Maybe it Was the Jews Who Meddled in U.S. Presidential Election”, New York Magazine with “Putin Says Jews Might Be to Blame for 2016 Election Hacking”, and the Jerusalem Post with “Putin: Jews might have been behind U.S. election interference”, as a representative sample.

The American Jewish Committee called Putin’s remarks “eerily reminiscent of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” a parallel also drawn by the head of the Anti-Defamation League. Democratic lawmakers also condemned the remarks, including Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, who tweeted, “Repulsive Putin remark deserves to be denounced, soundly and promptly, by world leaders. Why is Trump silent? Intolerance is intolerable.”

This reaction, while understandable, fundamentally misrepresents both what Putin said and the cultural context in which he said it.

This is not to defend Putin for his smug and condescending tone throughout the interview, his palpably dishonest statements regarding whether the Russian government meddled in the 2016 election, or his unhelpful injection of ethnicity into the debate. Nonetheless, it’s important to be accurate about what Putin most likely meant and whether it represents a deeper animus toward Jews. Anti-Semitism in Russia is a real problem, but the panicked responses to Putin’s offhand comments miss the mark.

Valodya: No More F**ks To Give...,

WaPo |  Jewish groups and U.S. lawmakers condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s suggestion that the 2016 U.S. presidential election may have been manipulated by Russian Jews.

Putin’s remarks came during a long and occasionally surreal interview with NBC News on Saturday, in which he speculated that nearly anyone other than the Russian government could have been behind a program to disrupt the election. U.S. intelligence agencies believe Putin ordered the effort to undermine faith in the U.S. election and help elect Donald Trump as president.

“Maybe they’re not even Russians,” Putin told Megyn Kelly, referring to who might have been behind the election interference. “Maybe they’re Ukrainian, Tatars, Jews — just with Russian citizenship.”
He also speculated that France, Germany or “Asia” might have interfered in the election — or even Russians paid by the U.S. government.

But his remark about Jews, which seemed to suggest that a Russian Jew was not really a Russian, prompted particular outrage among those who remember Russia’s centuries-long history of anti-Semitism and Jewish purges. Some groups compared the statement to anti-Jewish myths that helped inspire the Holocaust.

“Repulsive Putin remark deserves to be denounced, soundly and promptly, by world leaders,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) wrote on Twitter. “Why is Trump silent?” Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) also demanded a response by Trump, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

On March 1st, Putin Announced The Total Categorical Failure Of The U.S. Intelligence Community

strategic-culture |  But the real game changer is the Russian ability to negate America’s ability to project power through its navy. The already deployed air-launched Kinzhal anti-ship missile has a range of 2000 kilometers and a hyper-sonic speed that makes it nearly impossible to intercept. The development has made America’s thirteen aircraft carrier groups obsolete. President Putin made clear that Russia now has an overwhelming military advantage in cruise and ballistic missiles that are capable of penetrating U.S. defenses.

The new reality may or may not impel policymakers in Washington to approach Moscow and seek a new round of negotiations for arms control, but the real shock deriving from the Putin announcement is the failure of the intelligence community to anticipate the developments and advise their significance. Some of the new systems were hardly secret, with development of the Sarmat, for example, known to western governments for a number of years.

There will no doubt be a blame game in Washington over the inability to learn of Russia’s arms programs, but the questions that probably will not be asked relates to the intelligence agencies themselves and their capabilities, or lack thereof. It is no secret that organizations like the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have seen their basic missions change since 2001. An organization that used to pride itself on its ability to conduct classic espionage operations involving recruiting and running spies suddenly heard from policymakers that those skills were no longer in demand. Many officers who were made redundant or forced to retire were precisely those individuals who had cut their teeth on running operations directed against the old Soviet Union. They had the language and cultural skills necessary to collect information on Russia. With their departure, those capabilities also largely vanished.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

With Warsocialism Obsolete - America Has An Opportunity To Do Over

russelltexasbentley |  To My Family and Friends, and All Good People of the USA,

You may not know it yet, but the world changed on March 1st, 2018, an old era was ended, and a new era begun.        In very great part, the meaning of this new era is up to you.

On that historic day, Vladimir Putin revealed to the world that the US military is now obsolete, and no longer capable of "projecting power", committing war crimes, or intimidating and destroying smaller nations around the world. That day has ended forever, one way or another.  The US military is still completely capable of the mission it needs and deserves to do, which is to defend the territory and people of the United States of America.  You are safe. There is no threat.  But the days of your government threatening and destroying other countries is over. I hope you understand this.

Putin's revelation of Russia's game-changing weapons, against which the US military is literally defenseless, is not a threat or a bluff. Only liars and fools speak of "Russian aggression", and the stupidity of anyone who says or believes "Putin is bluffing" is beyond measure. Russia's weapons are real, and the US military industrial complex (that Dwight Eisenhower warned about 57 years ago) has absolutely no defense against them. In spite of plundering and squandering literally trillions of dollars from the US treasury and the American People in the name of  "defense", they are defenseless.

Russia's new weapons present no threat to the American People, unless you allow the people who own and control your government to to start a world war and force the Russians to use them. But if you do allow that to happen, the American people will get exactly what the "good Germans" got in 1945. And you will deserve it, just as much as they did. For the exact same reasons.

Speaking Softly As Always, Valodya Ended U.S. Superpower

straightlinelogic |  During his State of the Nation address on March 1, Russian president Vladimir Putin claimed that Russia had developed six new weapons. For Putin’s descriptions of the weapons and more details about them, please read the above-linked article by Alexander Mercouris, which was posted on SLL.

Four of the six weapons Putin mentioned are, if Putin is to be believed, already developed: the Sarmat heavy Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), a nuclear powered cruise missile, a nuclear powered underwater drone, and an aircraft launched Kinzhai hypersonic missile. They are breathtaking for their speed, range, maneuverability, undetectability, and miniaturization of nuclear reactor technology. The other two, the Avangard hypersonic projectile and laser weapons (which Putin only cryptically mentioned), are believed to be still under development.

Hypersonic means a minimum of at least 5 times the speed of sound (Mach 1 or 741 mph, Mach 5 is 3705 mph). Putin claimed the Kinzhai hypersonic missile travels at Mach 10 (7410 mph). The Avangard hypersonic projectile may hit Mach 20 (14020 mph). Intercepting missiles traveling at supersonic speeds (Mach 1 to Mach 5) has proven difficult enough. Even in the limited, controlled tests that have been conducted, present technology has not been 100 percent effective. Presumably, in real world situations they would be even less effective. The difficulties of intercepting weapons traveling at hypersonic speeds are obvious and daunting.

Compounding those difficulties are the weapons’ range and maneuverability. The Sarmat ICBM is believed to have range of at least 10,500 miles (Putin said it has “practically no range restrictions”) and can attack targets via either the North or South Pole (US missile defenses are oriented towards the North Pole). It is able to constantly maneuver at a speed of what is believed to be Mach 5 or Mach 6, and to carry 15 warheads with yields estimated at 150 to 300 kilotons (the Nagasaki atomic bomb had a yield of 23 kilotons).

Powering cruise missiles and underwater drones (both of which can carry nuclear warheads) with miniature nuclear reactors gives them virtually unlimited range. Putin claimed the Kinzhai missile, “can also manoeuvre at all phases of its flight trajectory, which also allows it to overcome all existing and, I think, prospective anti-aircraft and anti-missile defence systems.”

Friday, March 09, 2018

Obamamandian Imperative: Crushing Peasants With A Privatized Presidential Center

WashingtonExaminer |  A panel of national and local experts, comprised mostly of African-Americans, lambasted Chicago city officials in a meeting Wednesday night for how they have worked closely with the Obama Foundation to build the Obama Presidential Center on public land despite criticism and serious concerns from representatives of the South Side neighborhood.

"You have all this talk about collusion between Trump and Russia, right? To me, that sounds like collusion between the city and the university, and we see the same thing happening in relation to this," one of the panelists, Jawanza Malone, executive director of the Kenwood-Oakland Community Organization, said.

University of Chicago professors, leaders in the black community, and experts on historic preservation and architecture repeatedly condemned former President Barack Obama and his organization for engaging in closed-door negotiations with the university and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who served as Obama's first term chief of staff, and said the Democratic leader is ignoring the historic black community's needs.

Panelists indicated that their main gripe is the lack of representation by those overseeing the project. The speakers also listed other grievances they had with the current plan, though they agreed the center itself was not the issue, but rather how it was being rolled out.

Below is a list of 13 of those concerns.
1. Despite receiving invitations to attend and participate in the discussion, no one from the Obama Foundation, city of Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office, the park district, or University of Chicago chose to attend the meeting, university professor Tom Mitchell announced.

2. The Obama Foundation has refused to sign a Community Benefits Agreement, which Mitchell said would put in "writing the many glowing promises that protect low-income residents from eviction and higher rents." The idea of a CBA was "declared out of bounds with a promise that the Obama administration would do even better than such an agreement." No such deal has been struck in the four years that organizations and residents have voiced concerns about gentrification due to the project.

3. In the early planning stages for the center, which was rolled out in 2014 as a plan for a library, the Obama Foundation did hold community meetings, but Mitchell said they were "more like marketing exercises, sometimes like pep rallies, featuring glossy PowerPoints, but relatively few opportunities for open public discussion.

Instead, we were given breakout groups, which fragment the public and questionnaires that reduce the public to statistical interest groups." Mitchell added that on the "rare occasions when an open discussion was allowed, questions were too often or evaded."

4. What started as a presidential library that would be overseen by the National Archives quickly turned into a privately run operation that saw other private entities try to get a piece of the deal. A PGA golf course scheme and five-acre parking garage were both announced as additions to the center, only to be rescinded later due to public outcry.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

God Cares Nothing For Your Suffering....,

medium |  What does it mean to be American? To really “be” — see, feel, think, act American, so much so that you are not self-aware of it, because it is unconscious, reflexive, invisible, this way of “being”?

Well, it means what it always has. Punching down, not lifting up. Punching down is hardwired into America by now, thanks to a unique history of settlers — who had never had any — punching the next wave down for relative hierarchical position. An attitude of cruelty was born. And so today cruelty is the point of its institutions, the purpose of its norms, and the linchpin of its perverse idea of virtue, that by punishing people, we can better them. It is all that Americans expect from each other — and give to each other. That is the terrible burden of a Promised Land that history’s despised warred among one another for domination of.

The problem is this. A society of people punching one another down must collapse. What else could it do? It cannot rise, can it? If I am punching you down, and I am punching the next person down below me, how can anyone ever lift anyone up? But without lifting one another up, a society cannot grow in quantity or quality of life. This, too, is what happened to Soviet Russia.

America has never reckoned with its history of cruelty. Instead, it developed a defensive mythology of being welcoming — even while every new wave of immigrants had to fight, sometimes quite literally little street by street, against the last wave, for a piece of the Promise Land. Like all myths, that one — was a lie that revealed the truth: America was a Promised Land for the huddled masses to roam free — but only if they could fend off the other tribes, by punching them down, endlessly,.

A Promised Land is like a Garden of Eden. But who can live in the Garden peacefully but angels? Human beings, flawed, indelicate things, are only meant to be cast out— they are ever in conflict, in tension, hungry and ravenous. And that is never truer than for their most despised — who need to be healed most, or else will ravage their Gardens worst.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

"Progressive Journalists" All-In On Russiagate...,

consortiumnews |  Jane Mayer of The New Yorker and Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks are the latest progressives to jump on the anti-Trump, pro-Russiagate bandwagon. They have made it crystal clear that, in Mayer’s words, they are not going to let Republicans, or anyone else, “take down the whole intelligence community,” by God.

Odd? Nothing is too odd when it comes to spinning and dyeing the yarn of Russiagate; especially now that some strands are unraveling from the thin material of the “Steele dossier.”

Before the 2016 election, British ex-spy Christopher Steele was contracted (through a couple of cutouts) by the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee to dig up dirt on candidate Donald Trump. They paid him $168,000. They should ask for their money back.

Mayer and Uygur have now joined with other Trump-despisers and new “progressive” fans of the FBI and CIA – among them Amy Goodman and her go-to, lost-in-the-trees journalist, Marcy Wheeler of All of them (well, maybe not Cenk) are staying up nights with needle and thread trying to sew a silk purse out of the sow’s-ear dossier of Steele allegations and then dye it red for danger.

Monday brought a new low, with a truly extraordinary one-two punch by Mayer and Uygur.

Democracy Now Suspect? Say It Isn't So...,

strategic-culture |  The following report exposes one faux-‘progressive’ war-monger and propagandist for U.S. invasions of countries that never invaded nor even threatened the U.S.: Amy Goodman, and her “Democracy Now!” ‘alternative’ ’news’ media for Democratic Party billionaires’ international operations (such as for regime-change in Syria). These propaganda-operations (just like the acknowlegedly mainstream ones, such as TIME) promote using U.S. taxpayers’ money (the U.S. military, which is the most respected institution amongst Americans and thus receives “the benefit of the doubt” regarding any atrocities it may perpetrate — such as its having poisoned Iraq with depleted uranium, for example) — using taxpayers’ money for so-called ‘humanitarian’ reasons that are actually just sales-angles for American billionaires’ bloody conquests of resistant foreign countries (in this case, Syria). This propaganda is aimed at fooling liberals, or even “peaceniks,” into supporting what are actually hidden financial benefits for these behind-the-scenes billionaires.

Exposed here will be the depths that hypocrisy and psychopathy (both of which are pervasive at the very top of society, amongst the aristocrats and their retainers) plunge down to, in American ‘news’. This type of operation can be done only by taking advantage, especially, of well-intentioned Democrats, in order for billionaires to become enabled to use taxpayers’ money, to boost actually the private wealth not only of Democratic Party billionaires, but even of Republican Party billionaires — even of ‘the political opposition.’ The example that will be presented in detail here, typifies a depraved scheme for the warfare-state (not the welfare-state, which instead becomes proportionately reduced as the warfare-state becomes increased), a scheme (support of the military-industrial complex, or “MIC,” and its permanent-war-for-permanent-peace economy) which largely controls America, in order to build and maintain the public’s support for obscenely high ‘defense’ spending and billionaires’ ‘defense’ profits, which government-spending produces catastrophes for the victim-nations, such as Iraq 2003, Libya 2011, and Syria 2012-, all of which invasions are especially profitable for the owners of America’s ‘defense’ contractors such as General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin, which depend upon war in order to funnel money from the domestic masses, to the domestic classes, via taxes. And, of course, American resource-extraction corporations, such as oil-and-gas giants, also benefit handsomely from it, by grabbing foreign resources. Megabanks benefit, too. After all: it’s the U.S. aristocracy that’s behind this, the ultimate paymasters for these propaganda-operations (and some details of this fact of aristocratic sponsorship will be documented here).

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

On Second Thought, Propagation of the Faith May Be Even More Fundamental...,

vanityfair |  When I first came out to L.A. [in 1968], my friend [photographer] Joel Bernstein found an old book in a flea market that said: Ask anyone in America where the craziest people live and they’ll tell you California. Ask anyone in California where the craziest people live and they’ll say Los Angeles. Ask anyone in Los Angeles where the craziest people live and they’ll tell you Hollywood. Ask anyone in Hollywood where the craziest people live and they’ll say Laurel Canyon. And ask anyone in Laurel Canyon where the craziest people live and they’ll say Lookout Mountain. So I bought a house on Lookout Mountain. —Joni Mitchell

jaysanalysis |  It seems more and more as if we are living in a bad B movie, replete with cheesy set pieces and a Casio keyboard score – and the reason for that is because we are.  We have focused on Hollywood and propaganda often at JaysAnalysis, but we have not looked at the music industry, aside from brief mentions and a few shows.  When it comes to the score for that B movie we all live in, the best analysis I’ve read in a good while is none other than recently deceased Dave McGowan’s excellent work, Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon: Laurel Canyon, Covert Ops & the Dark Heart of the Hippie Dream.  I also have the honor of Amazon classing my book, Esoteric Hollywood, with McGowan’s, in the “readers also purchased” section.  I get emails on  daily basis requesting book recommendations (which is much harder to choose than you’d expect), so I think for the spirit of my site, no better book could be suggested for a reading list than Weird Scenes (aside from my own book, of course).

McGowan’s thesis is simple: The 1960s counter-culture movement was not what it appeared to be.  In a purple haze of pot smoke, free love, booze and LSD tabs, the fog of the 60s is believed by most baby-boomers to be a genuine (monstrous for faux conservatives) reaction against the system.  From student protests to politically active musicians, the anti-war, anti-establishment ethos of the 60s was, so the story goes, a natural, organic reaction to a hawkish, greedy corporate demon, embodied in “the man,” opposed by all those revolutionaries who love freedom, expressing themselves in the “arts.”  After reading McGowan’s analysis (a self-confessed fan of this era), it would appear the mainstream view is only slightly correct – some artists were political and genuinely anti-establishment, but the big names, and the movements as a whole, were promoted and directed by design, for large-scale social engineering.

McGowan begins his argumentation by pointing to Jim Morrison’s father, Navy Admiral George Stephen Morrison, who played a central role in the Gulf of Tonkin’s false flag event.  Morrison, curiously, avoided this association, stating his parents were dead, adding fuel to his mythical narrative of having no musical training and supposedly becoming a musical shaman following ghostly encounters and hallucinogenic trips.  While some of that may have been the case (such as the trips and witchcraft initiation, for example, as shown in Oliver Stone’s The Doors), the real story is likely much closer to McGowan’s analysis – Morrison was promoted and made into an icon by the system because of these high level connections.  However, being well-connected was not the only explanation – the establishment had a specific motive of derailing any legitimate anti-war activism or artwork, as well as moving the culture into a more degenerate state for social engineering.

Protecting Profit Is The Fundamental Objective

RollingStone |  For years, YouTube profited off all kinds of extremist content; its three-strike policy was directed at copyright infringement. Its current and newly aggressive posture towards content stems from the advertiser revolt that erupted following Trump’s surprise victory. Within weeks of the 2016 election, brands like Johnson & Johnson, and ad-tech companies like AppNexus, began taking steps to distance themselves from Breitbart and other purveyors of "fake news" and extremist content. In early 2017, companies like Starbucks and Walmart started pulling their ads from YouTube, worried that their marketing was sandwiched between clips featuring foaming-at-the-mouth racists and child abusers. In a watershed moment, the global buying agency Havas pulled its ads from Google/YouTube U.K., after the Times of London detailed how ads for well-known charities were supporting Neo-Nazi articles and videos. When the influential research group Pivotal downgraded Google stock from a buy to a hold, Google suddenly grew concerned about the kind of content its proprietary algorithms had been promoting for years – intentionally and by design.

This is not a conspiracy theory worthy of a "strike," but the testimony of a former YouTube engineer named Guillaume Chaslot, who was profiled by the Guardian in early February. Chaslot, a Ph.D. in artificial intelligence, explained how his team at YouTube was tasked with designing algorithms that prioritized “watch time” alone. “Watch time was the priority,” he told the paper. “Everything else was considered a distraction… There are many ways YouTube can change its algorithms to suppress fake news and improve the quality and diversity of videos people see… I tried to change YouTube from the inside, but it didn’t work.” 

When Chaslot conducted an independent study of how his algorithms worked in the real world, he found that during recent elections in France, Germany and the U.K., YouTube "systematically amplifie[d] videos that are divisive, sensational and conspiratorial." (His findings can be seen at At the height of the advertising revolt, in March of last year, YouTube announced that it was "taking a hard look at our existing community guidelines to determine what content is allowed on the platform – not just what content can be monetized." CEO Susan Wojcicki announced the company would hire thousands of human moderators to watch and judge all content on the site.

YouTube's new policies were part of an industry-wide course correction. Over the past year, under the banner of combatting hate speech and fake news, Google and Facebook began to cut off search traffic and monetized content-creator accounts, not only to dangerous scam-artists like Jones, but to any site that garnered complaints or didn't meet newly enforced enforced and vaguely defined criteria of "credible" and "quality."

The Internet "Defeated Censorship"? What A Quaint Notion...,

oftwominds |  This opaque corporate censorship amounts to a private-sector Stasi, pursuing an Orwellian world of profits reaped from the censorship and suppression of dissent
My longtime friend GFB recently suggested I revisit my position on RussiaGate, the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election.
I have been dismissive of the investigation because the idea that a pinprick of Facebook advertising ($100,000) could influence the sprawling ocean of public opinion struck me as preposterous.
But GFB suggested I look a bit deeper and consider the consequences of the Russian interference, however modest it might have been; and I have taken his sage advice and reconsidered.
I've reached the conclusion that Facebook, Google and Twitter should be operated as public utilities, not as for-profit corporations beholden solely to their shareholders and managers.

Here is my thinking:
1. As GFB so insightfully observed, Facebook says it sells advertising, as this is uncontroversial. But what Facebook is actually selling is data on its users. This enables enterprises to deliver adverts to highly specific audiences (surfers between the ages of 18 and 34 with an interest in traveling overseas, etc.), campaigns that are known only to the advertiser and Facebook, not to the targeted users. But it also enabled the Russian crew to target audiences most likely to be receptive to divisive, inflammatory content.
2. If we follow this dynamic to its conclusion, we realize that these for-profit corporations are threats to democracy, or incompatible with democracy, if you prefer that wording, as they directly enable the relatively affordable and easy sowing of intentionally divisive content. 

A recent article, Inside the Two Years that Shook Facebook--and the World, describes Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's realization that the technology he'd assumed was both incredibly profitable and helpful could be used as a force for exploitation and propaganda.

3. In response, the social media/online advertising quasi-monopolies--Facebook, Google and Twitter-- have all pursued censorship as their "solution" to "fake news."
But as we all know, censorship isn't quite as easy as the corporate technocrats reckoned; algorithms designed to sort out "fake news" inevitably end up axing legitimate content, particularly legitimate dissent, which often shares certain traits with what's conveniently labeled "fake news," that is, anything that veers from supporting the conventional status quo.

As the failure of the quick-and-dirty algorithms has became painfully visible, the for-profit quasi-monopolies have hired humans to sort the wheat of legitimate "news" (and what exactly defines legitimate news?) from the chaff of "fake news," and discovered to their dismay that the people they hired are biased against various dissenting views.
4. This opaque corporate censorship amounts to a private-sector Stasi, pursuing an Orwellian world of profits reaped from the censorship and suppression of dissent, all in the name of "getting rid of bad players."

5. Democracy depends on the free and open distribution of a wide spectrum of opinion, and an electorate which is skeptical enough to decide for themselves what's inflammatory nonsense and what contains kernels of truth that deserve further inquiry. The dominance of corporations seeking to maximize profits via selling user data invites the sort of private censorship we are now witnessing--a trend that is poisonous to a free press and democracy.

Monday, March 05, 2018

What Was Up Until Valodya Discussed His NextGen Hypersonic Weapons...,

strategic-culture |  Like was shown in the movie 1984, in its two-minute section “Two Minutes of Hate,” the US-installed Ukrainian regime on Russia’s doorstep, will soon be debating a bill to make hate of Russia obligatory to be inculcated into all Ukrainian children.

The Hill, on 9 November 2017, had the extraordinary courage to publish an opinion-piece that condemned the mainstream news-media’s charges that reports of widespread “neo-Nazi formations in Ukraine” are nothing but “Russian propaganda.” An editor who would accept a submission like that at such media as the Washington Post, New York Times, New Yorker, The Atlantic, or just about any other in America, would probably be fired or else re-assigned, so as to prevent a repeat. It’s the way to achieve mass-indoctrination, which the Ministry of Truth specializes in. Thus, among the reader-comments to that bold article, the top-listed one under “sort by best” (in other words, the most popular) was the anti-Russian “Have you counted how many neo-Nazis are in the Russian army as well?”

But there is actually nothing at all in Russia which even begins to approach the outright nazi displays and rallies that are routine in today’s Ukraine, and some of which Ukrainian marches are publicly displaying symbols from Hitler’s regime — in fact, it’s all outright illegal in Russia, which had lost (by far) more of its citizens to Germany’s Nazis (13,950,000, or 12.7% of its population) than did any other country (except Belarus — another state within the Soviet Union — which lost 25.3% of its population). (The US, which might be where the obvious bigot who wrote that reader-comment resides, lost 419,400, or 0.32% of its population.) Metaphorically spitting like that, onto such millions of victims’ corpses, is to be expected from bigots, and from the fools who “up-vote” them. Furthermore, the US CIA provided protection and employment in Germany for top members of Hitler’s equivalent to the CIA, the Gehlen Organization. (America’s CIA continues flagrantly to violate the law and hide from Congress and the American people crucial details of its relationship with the Gehlen Organization.) By contrast, the Soviet Union was unremitting in killing Nazis whom it captured. Understandably, Hitler is admired far less in Russia than in today’s far-right United States, despite any lie such as “Have you counted how many neo-Nazis are in the Russian army as well?”

You Can Already Tell That A Wrinkle In Time Is Gonna Suck And Flop

NYTimes  |  The Oscars are here: the first Oscars since powerful men started falling to #MeToo, a Trump-era Oscars, a #TimesUp Oscars, an Oscars in the shadow of “Black Panther.” Some big chairs will be empty. Some big secrets will stalk the red carpet, newly unleashed.

In an America where the ruling party seems willing to sacrifice many things — including decency and justice — to reassert white Christian masculinity as the tentpole of the universe, the best picture category offers a contrasting vision: a flaw-free indictment of that same colonial pathology (“Get Out”), a blazing affirmation of young womanhood (“Lady Bird”) and an aching gay romance (“Call Me by Your Name”), among others.

Jordan Peele has the chance to become the first black person ever to win best director; Greta Gerwig would be only the second woman. Yance Ford, whose film “Strong Island” is up for best documentary feature, would be the first trans director to win an Oscar. Vulture reported last week that some older Academy voters refused to even watch “Get Out,” calling it “not an Oscar film,” a dismissal more air horn than dog whistle. Identity politics loom large over the 90th Academy Awards, as well they should.

TV and film are in the thick of an unprecedented sociopolitical reckoning, the first ever of such scale and ferocity, a microcosm of our ever-more-literal national culture war. But to make that reckoning stick, we have to look ahead and ask ourselves what we want of this new Hollywood, and look back to avoid repeating the past.

Hollywood is both a perfect and bizarre vanguard in the war for cultural change. Perfect because its reach is so vast, its influence so potent; bizarre because television and movies are how a great many toxic ideas embedded themselves inside of us in the first place.

The Opinion Control Monopolies Are Finished


Sunday, March 04, 2018

Twitter In The Crosshairs: Is We Sick Boss?

Stakes is High with all these global governance challenges....,

WaPo  |  Twitter is sick. And it’s sorry for infecting you. Oh, and — do you have an aspirin?

That was the gist of Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey’s mea culpa this week. In a series of tweets Thursday, Dorsey confessed that the company “didn’t fully predict or understand the real-world negative consequences” of the instant, public and global messaging it pioneered. “We aren’t proud of how people have taken advantage of our service, or our inability to address it fast enough,” he said. “We’ve focused most of our efforts on removing content against our terms, instead of building a systemic framework to help encourage more healthy debate, conversations, and critical thinking.” 

Dorsey is asking the public to help Twitter get better. It is inviting outside experts to submit proposals for ways to define and measure the “health” of conversation on the platform, presumably as a first step toward improving it. As a first attempt, Dorsey has suggested four metrics based on the work of an MIT-affiliated nonprofit: shared attention (is there overlap in what we’re talking about?); shared reality (are we using the same facts?); variety (are we exposed to different opinions grounded in shared reality?); and receptivity (are we open, civil and listening to different opinions?). 

It is good to see that Twitter is finally acknowledging its ill health. It is even better to hear it’s open to intervention. The problem is that the service may be too far gone to recover — and it is unclear whether this initiative is a last gasp or a real attempt to change.

The reasoning behind this proposal is probably not just a noble commitment to public health. Platforms such as Twitter have clearly realized that if they don’t begin to self-correct, the government is going to do it for them through regulations that may not be as gentle as those they would impose on themselves. And in the long run, the flaws in their systems represent an existential threat worth getting ahead of. Being seen as a destroyer of democracy and a net negative to public trust isn’t exactly great branding. A short-term cure, if painful, might offer the inoculation that platforms such as Twitter need for long-term survival.

Saturday, March 03, 2018

#Resistance Just So Much Astroturfed Bullshit...,

medium |  Anti-Trumpism has never been about opposing Trump. It’s about killing off what remains of the true left in America by bullying them into falling in line with the establishment and accusing them of supporting an evil Nazi traitor if they don’t. It’s about manufacturing support for new cold war escalations with Russia. It’s about manufacturing support for internet censorship to quash anti-establishment ideas. It’s about rescuing the career of every MSM pundit who’s been proven wrong about everything since 2015. It’s about distracting from the DNC scandal which proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that democracy does not exist in America in any meaningful way. It’s about pacing rank-and-file Democrats into alignment with Bush era neoconservatives. Opposing Trump has nothing to do with it.

No, when it comes to actual policies that actually matter, Trump and those who McResist him are playing for the same exact team. Same expansion of the US war machine, same expansion of unaccountable Orwellian surveillance networks, same increasing government opacity and persecution of whistleblowers, same increasingly militarized police state, same soul-crushing Walmart economy, same subversion of anything resembling democracy, same oligarchy, same agenda. Same play, different masks.

The two parties are both lying to you and the entire show is fake. US politics is a WWE performance with the audience deeply invested in the outcome of the match, each side of the stadium screaming for their favorite wrestler when the only determining factor is what will make Vince McMahon the most money. It’s all a fake spectacle, and it’s designed to screw you over.

Ignore the political theater and watch what actually happens, and you will see a very, very different America than the one you are told to see by proponents of mainstream narratives. Ignore their words and watch their actions, and oppose everyone who’s on the side of the machine.

Why Would The U.S. Govt Fund TOR/Dark Web If These Limited Its Power?

The Tor Project, a private non-profit that underpins the dark web and enjoys cult status among privacy activists, is almost 100% funded by the US government. In the process of writing my book Surveillance Valley, I was able to obtain via FOIA roughly 2,500 pages of correspondence — including strategy and contracts and budgets and status updates — between the Tor Project and its main funder, a CIA spinoff now known as the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). These files show incredible cooperation between Tor and the regime change wing of the US government. The files are released to the public here. —Yasha Levine

surveillancevalley |  I obtained the documents in 2015. By then I had already spent a couple of years doing extensive reporting on Tor's deeply conflicted ties to the regime change wing of the U.S. government. By following the money, I discovered that Tor was not grassroots. I was able to show that despite its radical anti-government cred, Tor was almost 100% funded by three U.S. national security agencies: the Navy, the State Department and the BBG. Tor was military contractor with its own government contractor number — a privatized extension of the very same government that it claimed to be fighting. 

This was a shocking revelation. 

For years, the Tor Project — along with other government-funded crypto tools like Signal — has been seen in almost religious terms by the privacy community as the only way to protect people from government spying online. 

The Electronic Frontier Foundation held up Tor as the digital equivalent of the First Amendment. The ACLU backed it. Fight for the Future, the hip Silicon Valley activist group, declared Tor to be “NSA-proof.” Edward Snowden held it up as an example of the kind of grassroots privacy technology that could defeat government surveillance online, and told his followers to use it. Prominent award-winning journalists from Wired, Vice, The Intercept, The Guardian and Rolling Stone — including Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald and Andy Greenberg — all helped pump up Tor's mythical anti-state rebel status. Even Daniel Ellsberg, the legendary whistleblower, was convinced that Tor was vital to the future of democracy. Anyone who questioned this narrative and pointed to Tor's lavish government support was attacked, ridiculed, smeared and hounded into silence. I know because that's what Tor supporters tried to do to me. 

But the facts wouldn't go away. 

The initial evidence that I had gathered in my reporting left little room for doubt about Tor's true nature as foreign policy weapon of the U.S. government. But the box of FOIA documents I received from the BBG took that evidence to a whole new level.

Why would the U.S. government fund a tool that limited its own power? The answer, as I discovered, was that Tor didn't threaten American power. It enhanced it. 

The FOIA documents showed collaboration between the federal government, the Tor Project and key members of the privacy and Internet Freedom movement on a level that was hard to believe:

The documents showed Tor employees taking orders from their handlers in the federal government, including hatching plans to deploy their anonymity tool in countries that the U.S. was working to destabilize: China, Iran, Vietnam, Russia. They showed discussions about the need to influence news coverage and to control bad press. They featured monthly updates that described meetings and trainings with the CIA, NSA, FBI, DOJ and State Department. They also revealed plans to funnel government funds to run "independent" Tor nodes. Most shockingly, the FOIA documents put under question Tor's pledge that it would never put in any backdoors into their software. (See below.)

Snitches Don't Get Stitches, They Get Gubmint Jobs....,

theintercept |  Patrick Ryan, a congressional candidate from New York, is leaning on his experience as a small business entrepreneur to establish his readiness for office, but he has curiously failed to mention the business he used to work in: domestic surveillance.

Seven years ago, Ryan, then working at a firm called Berico Technologies, compiled a plan to create a real-time surveillance operation of left-wing groups and labor unions, hoping business lobbyists would pay top dollar to monitor and disrupt the actions of activist groups across the country. At one point, the proposal included the idea to spy on the families of high-profile Democratic activists and plant fake documents with labor unions in a bid to discredit them.

The pitch, a joint venture with a now-defunct company called HBGary Federal and the Peter Thiel-backed company Palantir Technologies, however, crumbled in 2011 after it was exposed in a series of news reports. 

Years later, Ryan pivoted to a startup called Dataminr, a data analytics company that provided social media monitoring solutions for law enforcement clients. Dataminr, which received financial support from the CIA’s venture capital arm, produced real-time updates about activists for law enforcement. For example, according to documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union of California and reported by The Intercept for the first time, Dataminr helped track social media posts relating to Black Lives Matter.

The candidate’s history of spying on progressive groups has been conspicuously absent from the personal history he has presented to voters.

The biography section of Ryan’s campaign website references only another technology business he helped found, called Second Front Systems. That company deploys “cutting-edge data analytics software to our troops on the front lines,” according to the site. Ryan continues to own a 10 percent stake in the firm, valued between $15,000 and $50,000, and has discussed his work with the startup as part of his experience of building a business and providing jobs.

But that business venture appears not to have been as successful as Ryan’s domestic surveillance work — at least not from a moneymaking perspective. His candidate ethics disclosure, which covers money made in 2016 and 2017, does not list any income from Second Front Systems — of which he is still a director — but it reveals that in 2016, Ryan collected $325,510 as a vice president of Dataminr. 

In an hourlong presentation to local Democratic voters with Ulster Activists and Move Forward New York, Ryan stressed his experience as a small business entrepreneur. At one moment during the January 7 event, Ryan referenced his job at Dataminr, but did not mention the company’s name or the type of work it engaged in. In a question about whether taking a job in Congress would constitute a pay cut, Ryan said yes and that he had taken work at another “another tech company” in which he “leads the government team.” In terms of his business career, Ryan talked at length about his efforts to employ former veterans.

Friday, March 02, 2018

South Africa and American Cities Have Much In Common

go-ogle |  Deindustrialization, disinvestment in urban public infrastructure, the expanding criminal justice system, and the privatization of correctional facilities create the nexus in which the school-to-prison pipeline is the logical outgrowth. The relationship between urban public schools and the criminal justice system was fostered by a variety of forces that systematically excluded black populations from participation in economic and social development. The economization of incarceration has further influenced a political environment where crime control is the reigning logic of governance of the urban poor. Residential and school segregation spatially and socially marked the urban poor and the black population was targeted and object of social ill.

De-industrialization of inner cities in the 1940's marked a new era in racial and social disparity. Facilitated and accelerated by government subsidies, the movement of resources out of urban centers was a precondition of poor urban isolation. As manufacturing jobs shifted out into the suburbs, and later abroad, employment opportunity for inner city folks dwindled. Federal subsidies such as FHA and VA facilitated suburbanization beginning in the late 1940's, creating a mass exodus of middle-income and white households. There is an established pattern of discretionary action on behalf of banks and public institutions that excluded black folks from partaking in these opportunities to move out into the suburbs. Access to superior living conditions, better funded schools, and higher-paying work was significantly limited. White flight signaled the beginning of a systemic disinvestment in public urban institutions. With homeowners now mobilized in America's suburbs, local politicians were advocating for resources that privileged their propertied constituents. Meanwhile, in cities, high unemployment rates compounded with low performing urban schools further ossified the color line. City schools as public institutions are thus situated within a larger political economy of post-industrial urban change. In Ghetto Schooling, Jean Anyon writes:

In the years between 1945 and 1960, a number of developments coincided to lay the foundation for the isolation and alienation of the urban poor that characterize our cities-and our city schools-today. the migration to cities of southern blacks fleeing poverty, segregation, inadequate education, federally subsidized suburbanization of white families and manufacturing firms leaving these same cities, federal and state policies that did not adequately address the problems festering in urban neighborhoods, corporate disinterest, and local political patronage and corruption.

Within two decades, major American cities had drastically transformed from predominantly manufacturing to white collar industry. In the early 1940's, New York's manufacturing industry employed a little over 40 percent of the total working population. By the 1960's, the vast majority of those jobs had been displaced by employment opportunities in the corporate, real estate, banking, financial, legal, and insurance industries, as well as civil service jobs in the growing bureaucracy of New York. Under the auspices of Fiorello LaGuardia and Robert Moses, New York was transformed from an industrial working-class city to a corporate center with a booming middle-class. Investments shifted from the funding and supporting of urban infrastructure, including city schools, to financing middle-class housing and a growing service industry. Meanwhile, in 1950's New Jersey, the dispersal of manufacturing jobs from urban centers to the suburbs (and later abroad) accelerated the pace. The relocation of the manufacturing sector outside the reach of poor urban communities of color was aided by federal subsidies worth a little over 120 billion dollars. Resources for sustaining a viable community in poor areas, many of which were predominantly black or latino, were increasingly scarce. White flight and deindustrialization shifted good jobs away from them, creating a socially isolated superfluous population without the means to access white-collar jobs.

The effects of white flight and urban disinvestment would have generational reverberations, many youth of color were effectively shut out from jobs in the high-tech industry through the lack of educational preparedness available to them. Public schools in poor urban communities did little more than warehouse children in poor conditions. The institution funneled these youth into positions of subordination in the new economuy. Urban schools prepared youth for low-wage service sector jobs through a curriculum that emphasized discipline and conformity. They also pushed insubordinate youth into the juvenile justice system. City schools just did not have the adequate resources to provide a contemporary and quality education for its poor children.

Ruthless Afrikaner and ANC Predation Configured South African Apocalypse...,

News24 |  It completely makes sense for someone to be impatient when, 23 years after the dawn of democracy, he still feels excluded from our country’s economy, while some foreigners are relatively well of.

I must also quickly hint that the issues raised by some protestors that 1) foreigners are taking their jobs; 2) foreigners shut their businesses through illicit operations; and 3) foreigners promote drug and human trafficking, are simply symptoms of our real problem. Our real problem is general lack of loyalty by the rich, who are mostly white. For example, for many of our people to be unemployed, it is mainly because of the failure by business to promote broad-based black economic empowerment. For our young sisters to be slaves of prostitution, it is because of joblessness and poverty. And for many of our foreign nationals, especially Africans, to come to South Africa, it is because of the desperate conditions in their countries, which are still reeling in the effects of neo-colonialism.

In their paper Capital flight From South Africa, 1980 – 2000, (2004), Seeraj Mohamed and Kade Finnof argue that if capital flight is not addressed, it will impede the country’s “ability to deal with structural issues such as high unemployment and concentration of wealth.” According to the paper, between 1980 and 2000, capital outflows amounted to an average of 6.6% of GDP per annum. But the paper also strangely finds that during the relatively politically stable, post-Apartheid period from 1994 until 2000, capital outflows increased to an average of 9.2% of GDP per annum.

“We suggest that the higher capital flight observed in the relatively more politically and economically stable period 1994 to 2000 (compared to the pre-democracy period 1980 to 1993) is reflective of the attitudes of wealthy white South Africans about the transition to democracy rather than political and economic uncertainty”, the paper states. Such increased outflows are strange because, in a normal environment, capital outflows are understood to be choices by individuals or firms to move money offshore because of fears of political or economic instability. But the South African experience shows that racial prejudice, anger at loss of power and sheer lack of patriotism played a more significant role in these on-going outflows. 

Guardian |  Jacob Zuma, South Africa’s unpopular president, has finally been removed. Yet the terms of his departure were deeply problematic. In what was a painfully tortuous process, the ANC could not even agree on a timeframe for his departure.

Although Zuma was embroiled in many scandals – acquitted of rape after being accused by the daughter of a friend; refusing to pay for a massive building project at his palatial home; a questionable friendship with a family alleged to have benefited from corrupt state tenders – the ANC failed to act against him for years. When asked “Why now?”, party leaders seemed dumbstruck – exemplified by the stumbling response of Ace Magashule, the new ANC secretary general, after he was pressed to explain what exactly Zuma had done to provoke the recall procedure.

A recent leak of files linked to the Gupta family, close associates of Zuma and his family, showed the depth of the patronage network. Many members of his cabinet and those responsible for state-owned enterprises and ancillary services had been sponsored by the Guptas for holidays to Dubai. It was evident that the hypocrisy would rankle the public. Even Malusi Gigaba, the minister of finance appointed by Zuma and a man closely associated with both the president and the Guptas, appeared on TV to issue Zuma an ultimatum. Many political observers noted the irony.

None of this bodes well for the fortunes of the party. The disastrous Zuma years are over, but the ANC’s renewal is far from certain. In addition to purging the party of corrupt individuals – many in the ranks of the senior leadership – Cyril Ramaphosa, the new president of the party, will have to address the corruption of the party’s internal processes. Since Zuma’s ascent, charges of vote rigging and the manipulation of the electoral system at all levels – from branches to the national executive – have been rife. Re-energising the party’s base will be an uphill battle, and some voters may choose to punish the once mighty ANC at the polls.

Still, politics in South Africa continues to be defined by history. The Democratic Alliance, the largest opposition party, continues to be seen as a party that serves the interests of the minority white population despite the fact that it is led by a young black man and has increased its black membership significantly. The rising Economic Freedom Fighters may gain at the polls, but for the moment they remain marginal in terms of electoral politics. The ANC is still likely to prevail at next year’s elections, but this certainty should not deter Ramaphosa, the country’s new leader, from enacting wide-scale party reforms.

Speaking of Heavily-Armed Citizens: Apocalypse Imminent in South Africa?

dailymail |  White South African farmers will be removed from their land after a landslide vote in parliament.

The country's constitution is now likely to be amended to allow for the confiscation of white-owned land without compensation, following a motion brought by radical Marxist opposition leader Julius Malema.

It passed by 241 votes for to 83 against after a vote on Tuesday, and the policy was a key factor in new president Cyril Ramaphosa's platform after he took over from Jacob Zuma in February.

Mr Malema said the time for 'reconciliation is over'. 'Now is the time for justice,' News24 reported.
'We must ensure that we restore the dignity of our people without compensating the criminals who stole our land.'

Mr Malema has a long-standing commitment to land confiscation without compensation. In 2016 he told his supporters he was 'not calling for the slaughter of white people - at least for now'.

A 2017 South African government audit found white people owned 72 per cent of farmland.

Rural affairs minister for the ruling African National Congress party said 'The ANC unequivocally supports the principle of land expropriation without compensation'.

'There is no doubt about it, land shall be expropriated without compensation.' 

Freedom Front Plus party leader Pieter Groenewald said the decision to strip white farmers of their land would cause 'unforeseen consequences that is not in the interest of South Africa'.

The deputy chief executive of civil rights group Afriforum said the motion was a violation of agreements made at the end of apartheid.  Fist tap Big Don.


Who Are America's Enemies In Africa?

strategic-culture |  Although AFRICOM is mandated to conduct “stability operations,” there is evidence that the command has engaged in fomenting military coups in Africa. In 2009, a group of Guinean army officers who attempted to assassinate Guinea's President, Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, were operating under orders of US Special Forces assigned to the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) and French military intelligence personnel. Camara, himself, seized power in a December 2008 coup in following the death of Guinea's President Lansana Conte.

Camara had apparently signed a deal with China for that nation to take over bauxite mining contracts from US and French companies with the promise that China would refine bauxite into aluminum by building a factory in Guinea. The Americans and French previously exported raw bauxite to smelters abroad. The offer of the Chinese to smelter bauxite in Guinea, with the promise of well-paying jobs for the impoverished nation, was too much for France and the United States and a "hit" was ordered on Camara, using assets in the Guinean military trained by AFRICOM in Guinea, Germany, and the United States.

The National Security Agency, America’s top signals intelligence (SIGINT)-gathering agency, has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in training intercept operators in a number of languages, including those spoken in Africa. AFRICOM has operated a redundant and dual linguist training program, mirroring the NSA program. AFRICOM has spent millions needlessly duplicating the NSA in training speakers and to be fluent in Bemba, Bete, Ebira, Fon, Gogo, Kalenjin, Kamba, Luba-Katanga, Mbundu/Umbundu, Nyanja, Sango, Sukuma, Tsonga/Tonga, Amharic, Dinka, Somali, Tigrinya, and Swahili. This is just one of many examples by which AFRICOM has served as a complete waste of money in duplicative efforts undertaken by other government agencies and elements.

The June 4, 2017 strangling death in Bamako, Mali of US Army Green Beret Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar by two US Navy SEALs, all deployed under AFRICOM’s direction, was linked to Melgar’s discovery that the two Navy personnel were pocketing official funds used by AFRICOM to pay off informants in the West African country. The fraud was yet another example of the culture of malfeasance present among AFRICOM’s ranks.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Counterinsurgency Governance vs Heavily Armed Citizens

thenation |  Governing through the counterinsurgency warfare paradigm has, since 9/11, been distilled into three core strategies. 

First, bulk collect everything about everyone in the population. This is the model of NSA’s TREASURE MAP program: “every single end device that is connected to the Internet somewhere in the world—every smartphone, tablet and computer” must be known. The data of everyone, especially the neutral or passive majority, is crucial because that is the only way to identify accurately the active minority. This has been turned on the American population since 9/11. 

Second, identify and eradicate the revolutionary minority. Total information about the entire population is what makes it possible to discriminate between friend and foe. Once suspicion attaches, individuals must be treated severely to extract all possible intelligence, with enhanced interrogation techniques if necessary; and if they are revealed to belong to the active minority, they must be disposed of through detention, rendition, deportation, or targeted assassination. Unlike conventional soldiers, these minorities are dangerous not because of their physical presence on a battlefield, but because of their ideology and allegiances. 

Third, the passive majority must be assuaged. Remember, in this new way of seeing, the population is the battlefield. Its hearts and minds must be assured. In the digital age, this can be achieved, first, by offering distractions and entertainment: a rich new environment of YouTubes and NetFlix, Facebook posts and Tweets, Amazon Prime, Second, by targeting enhanced content (such as sermons by moderate imams) to deradicalize susceptible persons—in other words, by deploying new digital techniques of psychological warfare and propaganda. Third, now, with a reality-TV presidential style that turns every new day into, in Donald Trump’s words, “a new episode of a television show.” 

These three maxims have been deployed aggressively in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. But in a historical development that can only be described, tragically, as poetic justice, this counterinsurgency paradigm has been domesticated. Gradually—and increasingly—these strategies have come to shape the way that we, in the United States, govern ourselves domestically. It is Americans who have become the target of their own counterinsurgency strategies: total-information awareness, targeted extraction of minority suspects, and the continuous effort to prevent majority citizens from sympathizing in any way with any minorities.

Anti-Soros Equals Anti-Semite?

thenation |  The word “bizarre” does not begin to capture the everyday craziness of our politics in the Trump era. Here’s the opening paragraph of a column in National Review, titled “An Epidemic of Dishonesty on the Right,” by bona fide right-winger Kevin D. Williamson:
First it was the Holocaust, now Parkland—is there any act of depravity to which the less respectable right-wing media cannot imagine a connection for George Soros?
David Clarke, the sheriff of Fox News, insisted that the Florida students’ reaction to the shooting ‘has GEORGE SOROS’ FINGERPRINTS all over it,’ idiotic capitalization in the original and, one assumes, in his soul. The idiots at Gateway Pundit suggested that one of the student survivors was a fraud because—get this—he’d been interviewed on television before about an unrelated incident.
Had I written the above in The Nation, I would not change a word, except perhaps to add that, roughly simultaneously to all of the above, the head of the Missouri Republican Party was blaming Soros for the indictment of the state’s governor, Eric Greitens, who is accused of taking surreptitious nude photos of his mistress for the purpose of blackmail. 

The desire to attach Soros’s name to virtually everything that Trumpists seek to denounce of late is inextricably tied to the fact that the liberal Jewish billionaire/philanthropist has been turned into a bogeyman for anti-Semites the world over. Soros is today’s stand-in for the time-honored anti-Jewish slanders sensationalized in Europe and elsewhere in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. That’s why Prime Minister Viktor Orbán of Hungary practically turned Soros—whom he blames for “destroy[ing] the lives of millions of Europeans”—into his opposition party in that nation’s recent elections. It’s why, in Macedonia, a group called Stop Operation Soros, or SOS, emerged to try to defend that nation’s corrupt right-wing party. It’s why Poland’s ruling party leader, Jarosław Kaczyński, said he believes that Soros views cosmopolitan societies as “extremely easy to manipulate.” Right-wing idiots have been setting fire to effigies and portraits representing Soros in rallies from Warsaw to Tbilisi. 

One of the gifts that Trump and his “alt-right” acolytes have brought to American politics is the mainstreaming of this particular political poison. It’s no coincidence that the most recent report by the Anti-Defamation League showed a nearly 60 percent spike in anti-Semitic incidents in the US in 2017. “The president’s retweeting of white supremacists and anti-Semitic memes during the campaign and, more recently, sharing tweets from a UK racist group—those are alarming. Those tweets and rhetoric have emboldened and given encouragement to the worst anti-Semites and bigots,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League.