Sunday, August 12, 2018


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more here:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Permitted Discourse: Silicon Valley is a Creature of the State

antiwar |  The theme of today’s column is suppression – of antiwar voices, of news that doesn’t fit into preconceived narratives, and of our very ability to raise our voices in protest.

If you’re paying attention, you’ve probably already heard about the banning from Twitter of anti-interventionist author and former US diplomat Peter van Buren, a whistleblower whose book on the Iraq war exposed the lies at the heart of that devilish enterprise. When van Buren tweeted that his tenure at the State Department required him to lie to reporters, and that the paladins of the Fourth Estate were all too ready to passively record these lies as truth, the Twitter brouhaha took on seismic proportions. Several journalists were involved, attacking van Buren for showing them up, and one – Jonathan M. Katz, supposedly a New York Times writer – reported van Buren to the Twitter Authorities for allegedly threatening “violence.” Van Buren did no such thing: it was a mere pretext to get him banned. And ban him they did – for life. His account was scrubbed: years of informative tweets were erased. 

There were two other casualties in this little Twitter war: our very own Scott Horton, who joined the fray and was suspended for using the “b-word,” and Daniel MacAdams, the director of the Ron Paul Institute, whose “crime” was retweeting Scott’s contribution to the discussion.

This occurred in tandem with the purge of Alex Jones from Facebook, YouTube, and Apple platforms – an obviously coordinated effort undertaken to make an example of the infamous performance artist masquerading as a conspiracy theorist.

All this wasn’t good enough for Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut), who demanded to know if the plan was to only take down “one web site.” No doubt he has a whole list of sites he’d like to take down. Even more ominously, it was revealed that a direct threat had been made to these companies by Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia), who sent out a memo listing all the ways the government could crack down on Big Data if they refuse to go along with cleansing the internet of “divisive” material.

The Bottomline Difference Between Donald Trump and Barack Obama

strategic-culture |  Both Obama and Trump have been aiming to extend America’s aristocracy’s dominance around the world, but they employ different strategies toward that politically bipartisan American-aristocratic objective: the US Government’s global control, for the benefit of the US aristocracy, at everyone else’s expense. Obama and Trump were placed into the White House by different groups of US billionaires, and each nominee serves his/her respective sponsors, no public anywhere — not even their voters’ welfare.

An analogous example is that, whereas Fox News, Forbes, National Review, The Weekly Standard, American Spectator, Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, Breitbart News, InfoWars, Reuters, and AP, are propagandists for the Republican Party; NPR, CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, Mother Jones, The Atlantic, The New Republic, New Yorker, New York Magazine, New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, and Salon, are propagandists for the Democratic Party; but, they all draw their chief sponsors from the same small list of donors who are America’s billionaires, since these few people control the top advertisers, investors, and charities, and thus control nearly all of the nation’s propaganda. The same people who control the Government control the public; but, America isn’t a one-Party dictatorship. America is, instead, a multi-Party dictatorship. And this is how it functions.

Trump cancelled the Iran deal because a different group of billionaires are now in control of the White House, and of the rest of the US Government. Trump’s group demonize especially Iran; Obama’s group demonize especially Russia. That’s it, short. That’s America’s aristocratic tug-of-war; but both sides of it are for invasion, and for war. Thus, we’re in the condition of ‘permanent war for permanent peace’ — to satisfy the military contractors and the billionaires who control them. Any US President who would resist that, would invite assassination; but, perhaps in Trump’s case, impeachment, or other removal-from-office, would be likelier. In any case, the sponsors need to be satisfied — or else — and Trump knows this.

Trump is doing what he thinks he has to be doing, for his own safety. He’s just a figurehead for a different faction of the US aristocracy, than Obama was. He’s doing what he thinks he needs to be doing, for his survival. Political leadership is an extremely dangerous business. Trump is playing a slightly different game of it than Obama did, because he represents a different faction than Obama did. These two factions of the US aristocracy are also now battling each other for political control over Europe.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Heard this Spiel on the Radio Yesterday Morning, and Said Hmmm.....,

ICH |  Most Americans would be shocked if they knew how many foreign citizens are in our federal government—and at what levels. They don’t know because the mainstream media (or the conservative media, for that matter) almost never talks about it. It is one of the biggest secrets in Washington, D.C.

Back in 2015, Michael Hager wrote a very important missive that appeared in The Hill. Hager said:

The Biblical injunction that “No one can serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24) doesn’t apply to nations. Almost half of the world’s countries, including the U.S., recognize dual citizenship—even when they don’t encourage it for the complicated legal issues it often raises.

For example, one who obeys a requirement to give allegiance to a country or votes in a foreign election may be regarded as having renounced citizenship in the other country. What happens when the legal claims of one country conflict with those of the second country? Which of the two countries has an obligation to assist a dual national in distress?

Until the Supreme Court decided otherwise in the 1967 case of Afroyim v. Rusk, a U.S. citizen who voted in a political election in a foreign state would forfeit his or her U.S. citizenship. From that point on, dual citizens have maintained their right to vote and hold public office without penalty.

Anyone can become a dual citizen, even members of Congress, high court judges and top officials of the executive branch. There’s no law or regulation against it. Nor are they required to disclose such dual citizenship.

So what’s the problem?

In my research for this column (which was not exhaustive), I found over 100 members of the U.S. government who are known to be dual U.S.-Israeli citizens. Here is a short sample list (compiled from public documents):

Michael Chertoff
He was the 2nd United States Secretary of Homeland Security (2005 – 2009), serving under G.W. Bush and Barack Obama. He was co-author of the USA PATRIOT Act, Federal Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (2003 – 2005) and United States Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division (2001 – 2003).

Chertoff’s father was Rabbi Gershon Baruch Chertoff (a Talmud scholar and the former leader of the Congregation B'nai Israel in Elizabeth, New Jersey). His mother was Livia Chertoff (née Eisen), an Israeli citizen who worked for the Mossad.

Researcher and investigative journalist Christopher Bollyn (author of the blockbuster book The War On Terror: The Plot To Rule The Middle East) writes this about Chertoff:

As Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division of the Dept. of Justice, Chertoff personally supervised and controlled the entire FBI non-investigation of 9-11. Chertoff is the responsible person for the obstruction of justice and blocking access to the evidence since September 11, 2001.

Chertoff is the co-author, along with Viet Dinh, of the USA PATRIOT Act, signed into law on October 26, 2001. As head of the Justice Department's criminal division, he advised the Central Intelligence Agency on the legality of torture techniques in coercive interrogation sessions.

From 2001 to 2003, he headed the criminal division of the Department of Justice, leading the prosecution against terrorist suspect Zacarias Moussaoui. In this role, Chertoff was central in creating the 9-11 myth by providing the list of the 19 Arab suspects and supervising the FBI's confiscation of evidence and the non-investigation of 9-11.

Who Designed and What is the Purpose Of the Department of Homeland Security?

americanthinker |  Last week, the House Appropriations Committee passed its 2019 budget for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which, if passed, will squash President Trump's border security plan, force DACA amnesty, and give millions of illegal aliens free passes into your community.  The wall is not mentioned.  At all.

As congressional disapproval climbs north of 90%, House members have again openly refused to provide the necessary funding even to scratch the surface of President Trump's request to fund the wall.  In a public display of political grandstanding, remarkable only in its dishonesty, DHS subcommittee chair GOP rep. Kevin Yoder touted this bill as taking "the largest steps in years toward finally fulfilling our promise to the American people to secure the border.  We add funding for more than 200 miles of physical barrier[.]"  Really, Kev?  A word search of the bill fails to find the word "wall" or "barrier" anywhere in the document.  Simply put, Yoder and his GOP co-conspirators are once again lying directly to the public.

Echoing Yoder's yodel of self-praise, Appropriations Committee chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen said, "This bill ... also provides the necessary funding for critical technology and physical barriers to secure our borders[.]"  Do you see the age-old ploy of "one politician lies and the other swears to it" on full, unabashed display?

So what about the $5 billion allegedly for a wall that members are falling over each other to tweet about?  While most other funding for DHS must be doled out within a year, House GOP members deliberately stretched out the $5 billion through September 30, 2023, five long years down the road.  How can we trust them, especially since the bill never mentions the wall or a barrier?  Doing the math, and assuming (foolishly) that $1 billion each year will be allocated for Trump's wall, it will take 25 years to complete!  By then, another 25 million illegal aliens will have illegally invaded the country, birthing another 50-100 million more anchor babies, while draining billions in taxpayer dollars from an already depleted U.S. bank account.  

It gets worse.  Democrat members proposed amendments designed to undermine the president on almost every aspect of his immigration policy.  To do this, Democrats needed GOP members to vote for adoption, and the GOP co-conspirators complied.  Here is a list of important amendments that passed the "voice vote" roll call, which hides GOP members' identities.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

#WalkAway: Wow, Am I Still On Yahoo?

yahoo  |  On Nov. 8, 2016, Donald Trump was elected as the 45th President of the United States — and Brandon Straka, a gay man and artist living in New York City, posted a video of his reaction to Facebook. “I was devastated. I voted for Hillary, and I was one of those people who was going on social media, crying, making videos,” says Straka.

Almost two years later, Straka posted another video that has since gone viral and spawned a movement. “I became a liberal because I am against racism, I’m against judging people based off of their sexual orientation or their gender. But what I started to see happening more and more all the time were these very same behaviors sort of in the reverse of what is stereotypical.”

It was this disconnect that led Straka to create the #WalkAway campaign in mid-June of 2018, a social media movement that encourages lifelong liberals and Democrats to “walk away” from their party and explore conservative politics with an open mind.

For Straka, the left practices tolerance and diversity in a superficial way, with no regard to individual thought or personal belief: “If you express an opinion that’s outside of what is their ideology, there is no tolerance and there is no diversity.”

“I don’t think that being hostile towards heterosexual people helps gay people,” he says. “I don’t think that being hostile towards men empowers women. I don’t think that being hostile towards white people empowers black people.”

Having grown up in a small town in Nebraska, Straka knew a lot of people who voted for Trump. “I was really on a quest to try and understand why did they vote for this man who was a racist, who was a bigot.” A friend who is a lifelong conservative contacted him, sending a link to a YouTube video titled “Debunking That Trump Mocked the Disabled Reporter.” Straka was skeptical: “I almost still sort of had that liberal rage inside of me, that sort of thought, ‘I can’t wait to watch this and then tell her how stupid she is for being brainwashed by this idiocy.’” The video was a compilation of footage of Trump performing the same flailing hand gestures and rambling voice that he had enacted when imitating a disabled reporter. Brandon was shocked. “It became clear to me that he didn’t mock that man’s disability whatsoever. Yes, the man was disabled, but what he was really doing was making fun of the fact that this person who happened to be disabled was caught in a lie. You know, it blew my mind.”

#WalkAway: Nothing To See Over Here But Russian Bots

WaPo  |  On the pro-Trump Internet last weekend, the #WalkAway hashtag was the nexus of an exciting idea: that “millions of Americans are walking away from the Democrat party,” as one pro-Trump account put it. Breitbart said that the hashtag had gone viral; the Epoch Times said it represented a “growing movement” of Democrats — particularly minority Democrats — abandoning their party, and liberalism.

#WalkAway, the hashtag, went viral this weekend, as something of a delayed reaction to a popular video renouncing liberalism by Brandon Straka, who described himself to the Epoch Times as a New York hairdresser and aspiring actor. The video, posted in late May, now has more than 1 million views on Facebook. In it, Straka says he was once a liberal, but now he is not.

“If you are a person of color, an LGBT person, a woman or an American immigrant, the Democratic Party wants you to know you are a victim,” Straka says in the video. “This is perhaps the Democratic Party’s greatest, and most insidious, lie.”

“I am walking away. And I encourage all of you to do the same. Walk away,” Straka concludes. The video was meant to spark a movement; this weekend’s going viral of the hashtag has been cited as proof that Straka has succeeded.

As the Internet fragments, our understanding of what it means to go “viral” has become complicated, and increasingly meaningless. A hashtag claiming to capture a movement among liberals has gone viral, in this case, almost exclusively on the right-wing Internet, as a reinforcement of one of its binding ideas.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Who Will Dare Tell the Truth About the Government?

straightlinelogic |  In America, there is no one villain or group that one can point to as responsible for the erosion of rights. Begun the day the Constitution was ratified, it’s been a gradual process. We’ve reached the point where only a few of the rights guaranteed in the Constitution and Bill of Rights still receive any measure of government solicitude.

Property and contract rights are out the window; the government routinely abridges them. You have no right to your own income, or to conduct your legitimate business or trade free from government regulation and interference. Much of the Bill of Rights is either irrelevant now or has been rendered a dead letter. In terms of individual rights, only the Second Amendment’s much infringed right to bear arms, and the First Amendment—the prohibition against the government establishing a religion, free speech, press, and assembly, and the right to petition the government—are still hanging by a thread.
Which is why the fate of Julian Assange takes on such significance. While the government has prosecuted those like Chelsea (formerly Brad) Manning who have stolen government secrets and classified information, it has not prosecuted the press individuals and organizations who have published them. That is WikiLeaks’ business model: it receives, vets, and publishes stolen information, often from governments.

The government has not gone after publishers because it would be a frontal assault on the First Amendment that it would probably lose. Any exception would swallow the general rule of press freedom. Say the Supreme Court recognized an exception: classified information whose publication would constitute an imminent and grave threat to the security of the United States. Who decides what’s an imminent and grave threat? The government would have the power to classify whatever information it pleases under that exception and put those who publish it at risk of prosecution, their only recourse years of costly litigation spent arguing that the information didn’t fit the exception.

Many Trump admirers resist the notion that their man is interested in the acquisition and use of power, but his and members of his administration’s hostility to individual civil liberties belies that resistance. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a gung-ho supporter of the civil-liberties-eviscerating-government-power-expanding War on Drugs and civil asset forfeiture.

In the latter, a government seizes assets it claims were involved with crimes and makes their owners jump through myriad legal hoops—including proving the negative that their assets weren’t involved in a crime—even if the owners themselves were never convicted, or even charged, with a crime. Assets that are not “acquitted”—cars, cash, boats, houses, etc.—are kept and used by the government. President Trump has endorsed civil asset forfeiture, and has extended it outside America’s borders via an executive order (see “By Imperial Decree,” SLL, 1/2/18).

Trump’s Secretary of State and former director of the CIA, Mike Pompeo has fashioned a legal approach the administration might use, in a case against WikiLeaks and Assange, to slither around the First Amendment. In April, still director of the CIA, he delivered a speech in which several passages demanded, but never received, careful parsing from the mainstream media. They are still obsessing over a February Trump tweet in which he declared the US media an “enemy of the people.” This is considered a threat to the First Amendment, but Pompeo’s speech was mostly ignored.

Pompeo called WikiLeaks “a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia.” Most press organizations, and almost all that consistently challenge the state, are non-state. WikiLeaks has published state secrets, undoubtedly considered hostile acts by those states, but how is it an intelligence service? Pompeo is arguing that WikiLeaks cannot be considered part of the press, consequently it’s not protected by the First Amendment.

Freedom Means Subordination to the Decisions of Concentrated Unaccountable Private Power

jacobinmag  |  Since the late 1970s political parties all over the world have embraced a politics of free markets, privatization, and financialization. While promising freedom, this political project — typically referred to as neoliberalism — has brought record levels of economic inequality and significant democratic retrenchment, particularly in the advanced capitalist world.

Scholars often explain this shift by pointing to the victory of the New Right — personified by figures like Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. But a new book by sociologist Stephanie Mudge tells a different story.

In Leftism Reinvented: Western Parties from Socialism to NeoliberalismMudge looks at left parties in advanced capitalist countries over the last century and shows how the experts aligned with those parties pushed them in the direction of spin doctors and markets. In the process, left parties’ ability to represent the interests of their own working-class constituencies was eroded — and ordinary people were shut out of the halls of power.

Political organizer and socialist activist Chase Burghgrave recently spoke with Mudge about her new book, the role of experts in democratic societies, and whether a more vibrant, egalitarian politics is possible.

Peddling the Mythology of Continuous Neoliberal Progress

eand  |  Every year of my life so far, it seems, some wise and learned old man publishes a book which recites the same old gruesome and weird myth, almost word for word. It’s like groundhog day, but for…

The myth goes like this. Capitalism! Yay! It saved the world! The latest such person is Steven Pinker, and it’s his third? fourth? book proclaiming so. Needless to say, it must be something people feel the need to hear, over and over again,a And so it’s very much a modern myth: a tale we tell, ritually, to comfort ourselves. But from what, exactly? Probably from the sinking feeling, that, right about now, the myth is probably about as true as Snow White being rescued by Prince Charming, which is to say, not very.

Have you looked at the stronghold of capitalism, the United States, recently? It’s not exactly bubbling over with prosperity, whether it’s called happiness, sanity, wealth, democracy, or wisdom. If capitalism didn’t save America, the most capitalist society in human history — how could it have saved anyone else? The myth falls apart the very instant we think about it, instead of recite it. So what happens if we go on questioning the fairy tale that capitalism is the Prince Charming of human progress, or, if you like, the magical perpetual motion machine of neoliberalism? What might we discover?

(The first thing we’d probably think is that no one in their right mind should be proclaiming “progress!!” in a summer when ruinous heatwaves due to climate change are sweeping the globe, and so are pulsating waves of fascism — both catastrophic depletions of natural and civic capital. The true story of capitalism, in other words, is as much about catastrophic hidden costs, or “externalities”, as much as “benefits” . Those costs are obvious, though, if we care to look. Centuries of slavery. Segregation. Colonialism. Speculative frenzies which lead to depressions, which cause world wars. No accounting of capitalism is complete with any of those — but for that precise reason, because it’s the logic of capitalism, “accounting” isn’t the way we should think of human progress at all.)

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Anonymous Operation QAnon

We've been watching the interwebs from deep within our basements, flinging data bits and bytes here and there - living the stereotypical hacker life, you know; eating Doritos and drinking the Dew, (we do the dew - that shit's trademarked by the way), and we've been watching the world burn at the hands of idiots. We've slapped around a few people for being ignorant morons, sure - we're totally not sorry for taking down racist websites or helping antifascist movements, leaking ICE data, and also all the little things we do when people don't pay attention... 

Anyhow Q, we've been watching you too - and you're quite funny. We were all like "yo, check this troll out! He has them convinced that he's on the inside and they're eating it up like sheep!" 

We all knew who was responsible for Q, and we thought the insanity would end with a final punch line of lulz - yet u 8 chan freaks never delivered that shit. Nope, you tossed it aside and let it grow into a deformed Alex Jones conspiracy thought bubble. Someone is gonna get hurt, so we have to put our foot down and start some shit with you all, oh kay? We don't know if you can hang with the real thing, cuz believe it or not - we're kind of upset that you'd try to even associate yourselves with our decentralized collective. 

 That crazy pedophile conspiracy you Q's are throwing around while ignoring Trump's own connections makes us wonder why? Seems you have some kooky political agenda. We don't like brainless political agendas; hell we don't even like political agendas at all, so get your asses ready for a thrashing of butt hurt. You got all these foolish people all riled up with no proof, no leaks. We have plans. We will not sit idly by while you take advantage of the misinformed and poorly educated. In our collective we all have our differences and internal drama but we do have one thing in common; none of us are happy with your bullshit.

And oh my god, oh no - it's teh real "Anonymous" they deep state fedz oh my god ohmygod *insert conspiracy* theory omg help.

We gonna wreck you. We are Anonymous, We are legion, We do not forgive, We do not forget.

Two Pathetic Asses Say A Whole Lotta Nothing To The Masses

kansascity |  Given the futility of lobbying, James said, he would consider trying to mobilize on a large scale, with numbers that showed “some mass behind the ass.”

Bernice Brown, 43, was killed Wednesday afternoon while trying to break up fight involving her son. Later that afternoon Xindong Hao, 38, was killed when a man police say was on PCP killed him with a shotgun. Tyrone Standifer, 54, was found fatally shot Thursday in a vehicle with a wounded man. Two women, not yet identified, were found dead in separate crime scenes early Sunday morning brought the death toll to five.

But then, Monday afternoon, police announced that a man shot late Saturday night near 39th Street and Chelsea Avenue had succumbed to his wounds, bringing the toll to six.

chicagotribune |   “All of us know that this is not Chicago, what we saw,” an emotional Emanuel, sounding a familiar refrain as he seeks re-election to a third term, told reporters. “We are better than what we saw.”

At least 74 people were shot, 12 fatally, between 3 p.m. Friday and 6 a.m. Monday. The victims ranged in age from 11 to 62.

According to Tribune data, it marked the worst violence of any single weekend in Chicago since at least before 2016, the year in which homicides hit records unseen for two decades.

And Sunday saw more victims shot in a single day since at least September 2011 when the Tribune began tracking every shooting in Chicago. For the entire day, 47 people were shot, including a stunning 40 during a seven-hour period early Sunday.

At a late-morning news conference at the Gresham District station on the South Side, Johnson acknowledged in answer to a reporter’s question that no arrests had been made in any of the dozens of shootings over the weekend.

Read more here:

Read more here:

Monday, August 06, 2018

First Passah, Now Alex Jones' Whole And Entire Cross-Platform Ghetto Pass Revoked Today...,

cnn |  Each social media platform said Monday that it had removed content from Jones or InfoWars because it had violated their policies. The companies' moves shut down key distribution channels that had given the controversial media figure easy access to millions of internet users. 

The most dramatic action came last, from YouTube, which is owned by Google (GOOGL). It removed many top channels associated with InfoWars, including The Alex Jones Channel, which had 2.4 million subscribers and videos that were viewed over 1.5 billion times. 

"When users violate ... policies repeatedly, like our policies against hate speech and harassment or our terms prohibiting circumvention of our enforcement measures, we terminate their accounts," said a spokesperson for YouTube.

Some channels for some of InfoWars' top personalities were still on the platform, however.

InfoWars is notorious for spreading demonstrably false information and conspiracy theories on a host of issues. It has suggested that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax, and that the September 11 terrorist attacks were an inside job orchestrated by the US government.

InfoWars did not respond to a request for comment.

Po Folk Create Their Own Aesthetic

medium |  Walking into a beauty supply store in the hood is like walking into a parallel universe. Cheap bright lipsticks grab your eye immediately. Hair hangs from the ceiling. There is an abundance of dyes, cheap gold jewelry, and every hair accessory known to man. It is a familiar home to Black and Brown women struggling to make themselves beautiful in a world that pays them no mind. If you look past the owners — who are often not of the community and who follow patrons around as if they are going to steal something — and past the lasting effects of colonization, buried in the ingredients of the skin lightening creams on the third shelf of the skin care aisle, it is almost perfect. Almost.
But while it may not be perfect, it is home.

It has the kind of magic that is a byproduct of most hood creations. You tried to destroy us, but [bitch] we’re here. Mining the grime at the bottom of the barrel and turning it into gold.

It is in our strut.

It is in our fashions.

And our fashions, specifically femme fashions, have existed as a subversion of the politics of poverty that says poor people can’t have nice things. Our fashions are loud, making up for the years they tried to take our voices. How fitting that people who are told they are worth nothing adorn themselves like royalty?

This is the genesis of what has come to be known as the “baddie aesthetic” of Instagram and Tumblr. People don’t want to talk about how white and racially ambiguous girls on social media are profiting off of the style of the women from my hood, the mamas who were donning five-inch acrylic nails with three gold rings on every finger long before it was cool, but I do.
Okay you don’t see us as beautiful, you won’t make anything for us; we’ll create our own world, our own beautiful, our own aesthetic.
I grew up being taught that the visible markers of Black style, of deep deep hood Blackness, were unsophisticated and should be looked down upon. Don’t wear bamboo earrings, that’s ghetto. Don’t wear 15 bangles on each wrist, thats ghetto. Don’t mix patterns, that’s ghetto. Even something as innovative as a digital name belt, something so futuristic(!), was something to shy away from. It didn’t matter that these looks belonged to the people of my community, who were sweet and kind to me, the goal was not to be a “ghetto girl.”

A Vast And Lucrative Stream Of Nonsense Flows Into The Peasant Trough...,

NYTimes  |  “So here we have an ancient grid structure, probably built by extraterrestrials, possibly to power their craft, that’s now being reconstructed today by the military.”

Such broad, unverified claims are why “Ancient Aliens” is taken by some to be carnival entertainment (see the Viceland stoner spinoff “Traveling the Stars: Action Bronson and Friends Watch ‘Ancient Aliens’”) — and by others as something darker, a show that traffics in intellectual hucksterism and challenges facts.

The Idiocy, Fabrications and Lies of ‘Ancient Aliens,’” reads one headline from Another critique, posted to Medium by Barry Vacker, a professor at Temple University, argued that since the Apollo 11 mission, Americans have lacked a popular narrative to explain the vast cosmos and our origins and destiny within it. 

“In ‘Ancient Aliens,’ we can see philosophy’s mediated corpse,” writes Mr. Vacker, who called the show “an attack on logic, rationality, and the nature of evidence.” 

For Kevin Burns, naysayers like Mr. Vacker add little to the discussion. A veteran TV producer who is often confused with the highbrow filmmaker Ken Burns (“I do the ones in color,” he likes to say), he was old enough to remember “Chariots of the Gods?” and to notice similarities with the 2008 movie “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” which Lucasfilm hired him to promote with a TV special. 

Envisioning an updated “Chariots,” he approached the History Channel with the “Ancient Aliens” concept, which grew from a two-hour special into a series.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Why Do Peasants Stay Inside The Cattle Pen Of Permitted Discourse?

caitlinjohnstone  |  Plutocrat-owned news media outlets lie constantly. When I say this I don’t mean that everything they say is false; many of the events reported by mass media are for the most part factual. Whenever it’s convenient for the loose alliance of western plutocrats, the political establishment those plutocrats own and operate, and the secretive government agencies with which they are allied, the plutocratic media tell the truth to the extent that it advances plutocratic agendas. But only telling the truth when it suits one’s agendas is the same as lying constantly.

A good liar doesn’t simply say the opposite of what’s true all the time; nobody does that. A good liar tells the truth enough of the time to gain a reputation as an honest and trustworthy source of information, and then, when the truth poses an obstacle to their agendas, they put the slightest spin possible on it to nullify that obstacle. They tell half-truths, they omit key pieces of information, and, with really important maneuvers like manufacturing consent for a strategic military destabilization in the Middle East or new cold war escalations against a nuclear superpower, they shift accountability for factual reporting from themselves onto secretive military and intelligence agencies. In this way they keep full control of the narrative and still ensure that the public supports agendas which do not serve the public interest.

This is evidenced by the fact that the public has continued collaborating with a system which kills the ecosystem we depend on for survival and allows people to die of poverty while spending trillions of dollars in needless wars overseas and an ever-expanding Orwellian surveillance network. Everyone besides the most powerful and their lackeys is aware on some level that the current system is not working for them, and yet the overwhelming majority of people keep playing into it by supporting mainstream parties that are fully owned and operated by wealthy oligarchs, and then shrugging and sighing when things keep getting worse.

This is because their consent has been successfully manufactured. Due to the fact that the governed will always vastly outnumber their government, any government necessarily depends upon the consent of the governed. The entire American populace could theoretically wake up tomorrow morning and decide they want to literally eat everyone on Capitol Hill, and there’s not actually anything anyone could do to stop them. The only thing holding existing power structures in place is the fact that the public consents to it, and, in a system which does not serve the interests of the public, the only thing holding that consent in place is the ability of those in power to manufacture it.

So if there’s ever any doubt that international network of ruling elites would pour billions of dollars into controlling public narratives, remember that their power (and potentially their very lives) fully depends on their ability to manufacture the consent of the governed. Whoever controls the narrative controls the world. If they lose control of the narrative, they lose everything.

Saturday, August 04, 2018

The Computational Propaganda Project |  The manipulation of public opinion over social media platforms has emerged as a critical threat to public life. Around the world, a range of government agencies and political parties are exploiting social media platforms to spread junk news and disinformation, exercise censorship and control, and undermine trust in the media, public institutions, and science. At a time when news consumption is increasingly digital, artificial intelligence, big data analytics, and “black-box” algorithms are being leveraged to challenge truth and trust: the cornerstones of our democratic society.
In 2017, the first Global Cyber Troops inventory shed light on the global organization of social media manipulation by government and political party actors. This 2018 report analyses the new trends of organized media manipulation, and the growing capacities, strategies and resources that support this phenomenon. Our key findings are:
  1. We have found evidence of formally organized social media manipulation campaigns in 48 countries, up from 28 countries last year. In each country there is at least one political party or government agency using social media to manipulate public opinion domestically. 
  2. Much of this growth comes from countries where political parties are spreading disinformation during elections, or countries where government agencies feel threatened by junk news and foreign interference and are responding by developing their own computational propaganda campaigns in response.
  3. In a fifth of these 48 countries—mostly across the Global South—we found evidence of disinformation campaigns operating over chat applications such as WhatsApp, Telegram and WeChat.
  4. Computational propaganda still involves social media account automation and online commentary teams, but is making increasing use of paid advertisements and search engine optimization on a widening array of Internet platforms.
Social media manipulation is big business. Since 2010, political parties and governments have spent more than half a billion dollars on the research, development, and implementation of psychological operations and public opinion manipulation over social media.  In a few countries this includes efforts to counter extremism, but in most countries this involves the spread junk news and misinformation during elections, military crises, and complex humanitarian disasters.

Friday, August 03, 2018

The Modeling Religion Project

theatlantic |  Another project, Forecasting Religiosity and Existential Security with an Agent-Based Model, examines questions about nonbelief: Why aren’t there more atheists? Why is America secularizing at a slower rate than Western Europe? Which conditions would speed up the process of secularization—or, conversely, make a population more religious?

Shults’s team tackled these questions using data from the International Social Survey Program conducted between 1991 and 1998. They initialized the model in 1998 and then allowed it to run all the way through 2008. “We were able to predict from that 1998 data—in 22 different countries in Europe, and Japan—whether and how belief in heaven and hell, belief in God, and religious attendance would go up and down over a 10-year period. We were able to predict this in some cases up to three times more accurately than linear regression analysis,” Shults said, referring to a general-purpose method of prediction that prior to the team’s work was the best alternative.

Using a separate model, Future of Religion and Secular Transitions (FOREST), the team found that people tend to secularize when four factors are present: existential security (you have enough money and food), personal freedom (you’re free to choose whether to believe or not), pluralism (you have a welcoming attitude to diversity), and education (you’ve got some training in the sciences and humanities). If even one of these factors is absent, the whole secularization process slows down. This, they believe, is why the U.S. is secularizing at a slower rate than Western and Northern Europe.

“The U.S. has found ways to limit the effects of education by keeping it local, and in private schools, anything can happen,” said Shults’s collaborator, Wesley Wildman, a professor of philosophy and ethics at Boston University. “Lately, there’s been encouragement from the highest levels of government to take a less than welcoming cultural attitude to pluralism. These are forms of resistance to secularization.”

It's Politics Before Religion (Except For You Kneegrows...,}

religionnews |  “Political science sometimes assumes religiosity is a fixed and stable trait, like gender and race – things we think of for the most part as unchanging,” she said. “But there’s a whole literature out there that says it changes over time.”

The idea upends conventional thinking based on Americans’ lives of 100 years ago, when young people typically got married at age 18 and had their first child at 19. Today, young adults leave home for college. Then they take jobs. They marry later in life and have children even later.

During that transition, Margolis wrote, whatever religion they had fades into the background and they begin to form a political sensibility. Only when they’re ready to settle down and have a family does religion re-enter the picture.

“When it comes time to make religious decisions in adulthood, we have these formed partisan identities,” Margolis said.

Sharpening this political-religious split is the fact that many white Americans who end up as Democrats don’t come back to church, while Republicans tend to become more religious to better align with their political convictions. (She concedes the theory does not apply to African-Americans, who are highly religious and vote solidly for Democrats.)

“It may seem counterintuitive, if not downright implausible, that voting Democrat or Republican could change something as personal as our relationship with God,” Margolis wrote in a recent New York Times op-ed. “But over the course of our lives, political choices tend to come first, religious choices second.”

Thursday, August 02, 2018

#YouToo: Public Banking Would End Parasitic Pimpster Bankster Rapinage...,

nakedcapitalism |  Michael Palmieri: So, Michael we’ve talked a little bit about the different indicators that point towards a financial crisis. It’s also clear from what you just stated from a regulatory standpoint that the U.S. is extremely vulnerable. Back in 2008 many argue that there was a huge opportunity lost in terms of transforming our private banking system to a publicly owned banking system. Recently the Democracy Collaborative published a report titled,The Crisis Next Time: Planning for Public ownership as Alternative to Corporate Bailouts. That was put out by Thomas Hanna. He was calling for a transition from private to public banking. He also made the point, which you’ve made in earlier episodes, that it’s not a question of ifanother financial crisis is going to occur, but when. Can you speak a little bit about how public banking as an alternative would differ from the current corporate private banking system we have today?

Michael Hudson: Sure. I’m actually part of the Democracy Collaborative. The best way to think about this is that suppose that back in 2008, Obama and Wall Street bagman Tim Geithner had not blocked Sheila Bair from taking over Citigroup and other insolvent banks. She wrote that Citigroup had gambled with money and were incompetent, and outright crooked. She wanted to take them over.
Now suppose that Citibank would had been taken over by the government and operated as a public bank. How would a public bank have operated differently from Citibank?

For one thing, a public entity wouldn’t make corporate takeover loans and raids. They wouldn’t lend to payday loan sharks. Instead they’d make local branches so that people didn’t have to go to payday loan sharks, but could borrow from a local bank branch or a post office bank in the local communities that are redlined by the big banks.

A public entity wouldn’t make gambling loans for derivatives. What a public bank woulddo is what’s called the vanilla bread-and-butter operation of serving small depositors, savers and consumers. You let them have checking accounts, you clear their checks, pay their bills automatically, but you don’t make gambling and financial loans.

Banks have sort of turned away from small customers. They’ve certainly turned away from the low-income neighborhoods, and they’re not even lending to businesses anymore. More and more American companies are issuing their own commercial paper to avoid the banks. In other words, a company will issue an IOU itself, and pay interest more than pension funds or mutual funds can get from the banks. So the money funds such as Vanguard are buying commercial paper from these companies, because the banks are not making these loans.

So a public bank would do what banks are supposed to do productively, which is to help finance basic production and basic consumption, but not financial gambling at the top where all the risk is. That’s the business model of the big banks, and some will lose money and crash like in 2008. A public bank wouldn’t make junk mortgage loans. It wouldn’t engage in consumer fraud. It wouldn’t be like Wells Fargo. It wouldn’t be like Citibank. This is so obvious that what is needed is a bank whose business plan is not exploitation of consumers, not fraud, and isn’t gambling. That basically is the case for public ownership.

#YouToo: Pulpit Pimps Molest And Harvest Community Valuables THEE MOST!!!

urbanfaith |  In the Black Church it is popular to give leaders a free pass. Usually when someone dares to speak out against someone in ministry they are quick to hear “Touch not mine anointed” or “Don’t put your mouth on the man of God.” The idea is that God calls the preacher/pastor and therefore he is answerable only to God. Therefore there is no accountability between him/her and the congregation or other pastors.

Having been in the pastor role myself I believe that we should give pastors the respect they deserve because it is a tiresome and demanding job to shepherd a faith community. At the same time, I think that when the pastor breaks some of the standards for a Christian leader outlined in the New Testament (1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9) someone should call them to account for their actions.

But is it right for a pastor to let another pastor know when they are out of line? Is it right for church members to correct their pastor? Based on scriptural principles and examples the answer to both questions is an emphatic “Yes!” In regard to church members calling their leaders to account we can examine 1 Timothy 5:19-20. Here Paul lets Timothy know that he is not to receive an accusation against an elder unless two or three witnesses can support it. By stating how these accusations are to be received these verses assume that accusations can be brought against an elder or church leader.

In regard to pastors calling other pastors to account Paul provides an excellent example. When Peter shows prejudice against the Gentiles at Antioch, Paul rebukes him to his face Galatians 2:11-12. Paul went in on Peter in front of everyone! Paul was also vocal in calling out false teachers. He warns Timothy not to follow in the footsteps of Hymenaeus and Alexander in regards to his Christian faith 1 Timothy 1:19-20. Notice that he calls them out by name. Paul also calls out Hymenaeus and Philetus in 2 Timothy 2:17-18.

When leaders are out of line other leaders need to publicly let them know. When leaders are out of line their followers need to let them know.  One thing that needs to be taken into consideration is whether the preachers have been given the opportunity to change. The site warns others of their faults and sins but is there a way to offer grace and restore these fallen pastors.

Another thing that we do not know is whether the church members have already addressed these issues with the pastor according to Matthew 18:15-17. has taken it upon themselves to be an advocate for those who feel abused by their pastor but have the members themselves done the biblical thing and talked it out with the offenders. This would be the best way to handle these situations.

What do you think? Should pastors be held accountable by other pastors? Should pastors be held accountable by other members? Is a site like necessary?

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

#YouToo: Capitalism is Socialist Rape-Culture

eand |  Capitalism is produced by socialism. It socializes losses. It privatizes gains. It needs social investment and support to keep doing both, in fact. Why? And why do we let it? Why does capitalism always seem to need capital from society to plow on, and losses to socialize right back — which also means that a noble laissez faire state of capitalist nature is an old wives’ tale? Whether it’s armies to enforce slaves, bailouts for banks, or loans for the American Dream (no blacks allowed, please)?

“Capitalism” is really just a way to say that “governments support private ownership of things.” Sometimes, those things are factories, sometimes they’re bonds, and sometimes, quite terribly, they’re even other people. But note the wrinkle. The job of a “government”, as far as “capitalism” is concerned, is to keep privately owned things running, going, operating — and yet that alone says that capital can’t really exist by itself. Who’ll do the work of quelling the slave rebellion? Of funding the frontier? Of bailing out the hedge funds? Who’ll pipe that house and pave those roads? Yet without those, capitalism would have ceased to function in the blink of an eye, time after time. Without social investment and support, capitalism would stop overnight — even in America. Imagine if the skies turned black, or the phone lines went down, or the internet became gobbledygook, or the trees attacked us, instead of stood there pleasantly, giving us air to breathe.

That means that “capitalism” is a system of a very specific kind. One where those who have the least capital are always subsidizing those who already have the most of it — and hoping for a little bit in return. And that means that those already who have the most capital will always win. Imagine that you have a hundred times more money than me. Won’t you have the power to demand all kinds of concessions from me? Imagine you have a hundred times more social capital than me. Won’t that make your power over me even greater? And so on. And yet here I am, not just begging you for a job — but subsidizing you while I’m doing it, paying for that bailout, paying back that extortionate interest, paying for the democracy which keep your contracts worth a dime while you wreck it, and so forth.

The problem, then, is a kind of paradox. “Capitalism” means the job of a government is that society supports and nurtures, protects and subsidizes, the capitalist, not vice versa. But the capitalist is the one who already owns the most, by definition. He has the least to lose. He has the most information. He can buy up all your alternatives. So this idea of governance itself means the capitalist always wins — because the government is enforcing his rule now: those who have the most capital receive the most capital, and those who have none receive none.

That is why the history of capitalism seem always to be those who already have the most capital amassing the most, and those who have the least amassing the least. Not any specific individual — but certainly amongst social groups. It’s not a coincidence that American billionaires are mostly white men — and white men were slaveowners, not slaves. Whites amassed so much capital thanks to slavery that they still hold ten times more, on average, than blacks. So of course it’s vastly more likely that whites will be billionaires, or even millionaires. Capitalism is a construction of socialism — a system in which society subsidizes those who own the most, not vice versa.

Isn’t that what’s happened in America today? Late on your bills? We’ll hunt you down. Bad credit? Kiss a home goodbye. Can’t afford your deductible? Too bad, I guess the cancer’s going to get you. The government is enforcing the capitalist’s rule — whomever has the most capital receives most, and whomever has the least loses the most, or at best, wins the least.

#MeToo: Is Western Culture Fundamentally Rape Culture?

strategic-culture |  The AP headlined on July 27th "#MeToo reaches Vatican as nuns denounce abuse from priests” and reported that the Vatican has continued to tolerate rape by its priests, and: Revelations that a prominent US cardinal sexually abused and harassed his adult seminarians have exposed an egregious abuse of power that has shocked Catholics on both sides of the Atlantic. But the Vatican has long been aware of its heterosexual equivalent — the sexual abuse of nuns by priests and bishops — and done little to stop it, an Associated Press analysis has found.

More people receive their morality from the Roman Catholic Church than from any other (or from any scientific basis); and, so, it is remarkable that this sort of exploitation is allowed to continue on, for decade after decade, and the pews not to be emptied-out by these and other ongoing church-scandals. However, if those congregants will then go to different denominations, will the results be any different? Many, if not most, faiths (especially the most conservative ones) have been revealed to be equally exploitative and tolerant of exploitation. Obviously, the problem here isn’t only the Roman Catholic Church. It goes far deeper than that. Throwing stones from glass houses against glass houses can’t help anyone but will only make things worse for everybody. The problem here is the supremacist culture, which exists everywhere, and which oppresses everywhere.

It is reflected in the politics of every nation; and it is especially reflected in the essentially lawless “Wild West” that constitutes the relations between nations — the field where wars and mass-killing, and military invasions and occupations, occur and are accepted by the perpetrator-countries, the invading and occupying nations, as if there were some sort of ‘right’ to perpetrate such things, for example, as was the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003 on the part of the invading and occupying nations.

The deeper problem is that there is no right by anyone to invade anywhere. There is no right that any clergy-person has to deceive or violently to force any person to do anything, and there also is no right that any nation has to rape another.

My July 19th article, “Vladimir Putin’s Basic Disagreement with The West” presented that “disagreement” as being between Putin’s commitment to the idea that only the residents in a given land-area can ever rightfully have sovereignty there, versus The West’s commitment to the idea that foreigners can have a right — maybe even a higher right — to sovereignty over that land.

Two representatives of the view that controls in The West were quoted there, at length, in defense of the asserted right of foreigners to control a government: Cecil Rhodes during the 1800s, and George Soros during the 21st Century.