Hillary Clinton

The Result of Mueller’s Investigation: Nothing

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 18/02/2018 - 12:00pm in

by Paul Craig Roberts Robert Mueller discredited himself and his orchestrated Russiagate investigation today (Friday, February 16, 2018) with his charges that 13 Russians and 3 Russian companies plotted to use social media to influence the 2016 election. Their intent, Mueller says, was to “sow discord in the US political system.” What pathetic results to come from a 9 month investigation! Note that the hyped Russian hacking of Hillary’s emails that we have heard about every day is no where to be found in Mueller’s charges. In its place there is “use of social media to sow discord.” I mean, really! Even if the charge were correct, considering the massive discord present in the last presidential election, with the Democrats calling Trump voters racist, sexist, homophobic white trash deplorables, how much discord could a measly 13 Russians add via social media? Note also that the Trump/Putin conspiracy is also not present in Mueller’s charges. Mueller’s charges say that the Russians’ plan to sow discord began in 2014, before there was any notion that Trump would …

“Russian Hacking”, a dangerous delusion

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 13/02/2018 - 2:00am in

by Kit The Guardian published this short opinion piece today, its headline reads: America lost a cyberwar to Russia in 2016. When will we have truth? Refuting the stale claims repeated in the headline, and expanded upon in the prose, is but the work of a moment. Hitchens’ razor states that any claim made without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence. A Yale professor should know that. Therefore the refutation of the claim “Russia hacked the election” can be made in three simple words: No, they didn’t. Job done. I consider the article dealt with. But now we have to deal with the undertone. Now we have deal with why this article is scary. The scary part of this article isn’t the war-like talk about Russia. The scary part isn’t that this seemingly delusional man is apparently a professor at one of the most auspicious institutes of learning in the Western world (although, that is cause for some concern). The scary part isn’t an elitist “academic” sweepingly dismissing the electoral process of his own country, …

The “Steele Dossier” on … Me:Why I won’t praise the FBI lie & spy machine

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 12/02/2018 - 8:44am in

By Greg Palast

Surveillance Team for Paul "The Vulture" Singer tracks Greg Palast (from The Best Democracy Money Can Buy)

Do we hate Trump so much, we’ll cheer FBI perjury, cheer the monstrous FISA star chamber and the surveillance horror show exposed by Ed Snowden?

Let me be clear: Despite Rep. Devin Nunes' assertions, nothing in his memo — none of this FBI misconduct, however unacceptable — undermines Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Trump and gang.

But, like it or not, that creepy little GOP shill Nunes, revealed facts that should scare us. First, FBI agents failed to tell the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court that the file it used to justify spying on a US citizen, the “Steele dossier,” was paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

True, the FBI dropped a footnote about the source coming from a "political entity," a fuzzy cover-our-ass comment that failed to state known partisan bias. But failure to tell the court the whole truth and nothing but the truth is perjury.

Ironically, Nunes himself commits the same perjury, by failing to mention the original creator of the report.  Before Hillary paid for a copy, the file was already written for a news front sponsored by Republican billionaire Paul Singer.  Singer: Better known as “The Vulture.”

Singer The Vulture, the court should have been told, has a long history of creating what ousted FBI Director James Comey himself called “salacious and unverifiable” files on his enemies.

I know. Because The Vulture created a file on me. And on elected officials worldwide who got in the way of his next billion. Poisonous garbage – but really effective, deadly garbage.

In 2011, I flew to the Congo and discovered that The Vulture had seized the funds meant to end a cholera epidemic. I reported on Singer’s deadly capers at the top of the BBC news, on the front page of the Guardian, and on Democracy Now!

To spike the story, The Vulture’s PR flunky called BBC and said, “We have a file on Greg Palast.”  Apparently, it contained the same kind of salacious garbage peddled by Steele.

The BBC pressed Singer's flak to turn over the actual dossier. Singer’s flunky backed down after admitting it contained old fabricated smears that had been long discredited. (In fact, a US power company had to write me a fat check in punishment for the libel.)

So, it’s personal. When I hear that some Trump toady is slimed by a suspect Singer file, I don’t clap with joy.

Steele-style dossiers by GOP Vulture

Singer has slipped secret, poisoned dossiers to media outlets to destroy the reputations of elected officials from Argentina to the Congo — all to make another billion.

Indeed, his PR flak boasted how he had planted stories about the president of the Republic of Congo with a pliant Washington Post. It was part of Singer's campaign to seize $400 million from the Congo for old bonds he bought for just $10 million during the nation’s civil war. Singer seized funds that were made available to the Congo by US and European taxpayers to help the destitute nation clean its water supply and end a cholera epidemic.

Even the US Treasury has accused him of “extortion.”

Singer’s smear campaign shifted to Argentina. The nation’s President Cristina Kirchner refused to pay “El Buitre” (The Vulture) the billions he demanded for old bonds based on legal flim-flam. Vulture-financed groups deployed dossiers that accused Kirchner of murder!

It worked. The new president, Mauricio Macri, in his first days in office, paid Singer the billions of dollars Kirchner had refused.

FBI texts: truly dangerous

Not all dangerous thumbs belong to Trump. While Nunes’ memo is poisoned by comically pro-Trump bias, we cannot ignore his exposure of the ill influence of partisan FBI agents like Peter Strzok.

I ask you to read the texts to his love-interest, Justice Department attorney Lisa Page. I don’t give a toot about their fooling around, I care about how they deliberately bent the investigation of Hillary Clinton to protect her.

Bernie Sanders supporters take note. Strzok admitted that the FBI somehow overlooked the fact that Clinton’s email server, which she claimed was used for wedding invites and the like, contained several emails marked with a ‘c’ for “confidential.”

Worse, Strzok wrote that he saw himself as providing an “insurance” policy against Trump’s election. Remember that Comey press conference in which he stated that Clinton was “extremely careless” in handling classified emails? The Democrats blamed that for Hillary’s loss. In fact, it would have been far worse, except that Strzok convinced Comey to change the language to “extremely careless” from the much harsher – and possibly criminal – “grossly negligent.”

You can hate Trump all you want, but when FBI agents bend official statements to protect one candidate over another, our democracy is shot in the stomach.

Is Trump a bloviating bigot, a nuclearized narcissist miscreant? That’s a fact. So, why are we rushing to join his bonfire of our liberties?

Take my word for it: you don’t want the FBI picking our presidents.

The choice between FISA and freedom

Finally, I cannot believe my fellow progressives are now cheerleaders for the FISA court, the very agency Edward Snowden courageously exposed as the judicial inquisitors blessing an ugly police spy state.

Just one of the thousands of FISA court spy authorizations — revealed by Snowden — permitted the National Security Agency to get every single phone call made by Verizon callers, and similar demands were approved to seize the records of every major phone carrier.

The ACLU has been in legal combat with the FISA court over "mass, warrantless surveillance of Americans," allowing use of  "Network Investigative Techniques" (i.e. malware), and information collected under the law without a warrant that could be "used to disproportionately target disfavored groups, whether minority communities, political activists, or even journalists."

I ask a simple question: have we no shame?

Again, the Nunes Memo does not discredit Mueller nor his investigation.

Nevertheless, the Nunes Memo exposed FBI perjury, how in secret the FBI brought the full dark powers of the surveillance state down on US citizens based on fabricated slanders, and used official power to flak for a Presidential candidate. And progressives are applauding?

So I ask you what Snowden asks: When you’ve crossed the wrong billionaire, when they come for you, will they quote your own words in praise of the Gestapo Lite?

 

A version of this story was first printed in Truthout

* * * * *Before turning to journalism as an investigative reporter for The Guardian and BBC Television, Greg Palast was an investigator of fraud and racketeering for governments and labor unions worldwide. Known as the reporter who exposed how Katherine Harris and Jeb Bush purged thousands of Black voters from Florida rolls to steal the 2000 election for George Bush, Palast has written four New York Timesbestsellers, including Armed Madhouse, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, and The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, now a major non-fiction movie. The post-election update of the movie, subtitled The Case of the Stole Election, has just been released on Amazon — and can be streamed for FREE by Prime members!

Stay informed, get the signed DVD of the updated, post-election edition of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: The Case of The Stolen Election, a signed copy of the companion book — or better still, get the Book & DVD combo.

Visit the Palast Investigative Fund store or simply make a tax-deductible contribution to keep our work alive! Alternatively, become a monthly contributor and automatically receive Palast's new films and books when they're released!

Or support the The Palast Investigative Fund (a project of The Sustainable Markets Foundation) by shopping with Amazon Smile. If you use Smile, Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchases to the Palast Fund — and you get a tax-deduction! Click here for more info.

Subscribe to Palast's Newsletter. Follow Palast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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The post The “Steele Dossier” on … Me:
Why I won’t praise the FBI lie & spy machine
appeared first on Greg Palast.

The “Steele Dossier” on… Me: Why the Nunes Memo should scare you

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 10/02/2018 - 6:01am in

By Greg Palast for Truthout

Surveillance Team for Paul "The Vulture" Singer tracks Greg Palast (from The Best Democracy Money Can Buy)

Progressives should not be cheerleaders for the FBI when it shaves the truth, even if the bureau is now portrayed as Donald Trump's enemy. This is, after all, the FBI infamous for the wiretap of Martin Luther King Jr., the broader COINTELPRO operation, and, recently, smearing antiwar and environmental activists with claims of Russian influence.

Like it or not, that creepy little GOP shill Rep. Devin Nunes is stating a fact when he writes that FBI agents failed to tell the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court that the file it used to justify spying on a US citizen, the "Steele dossier," was paid for in part by Hillary Clinton's campaign.

True, the FBI dropped a footnote about the source coming from a "political entity," a fuzzy cover-our-ass comment that failed to state known partisan bias. But failure to tell the court the whole truth and nothing but the truth is perjury.

Ironically, Nunes himself commits the same perjury by failing to name the original creator of the report. Before Clinton paid for a copy, the file was already written for a news front sponsored by a Republican billionaire named Paul Singer.

Singer, the court should have been told, has a long history of creating what former FBI Director James Comey himself called "salacious and unverifiable" files on his enemies.

I know something about this history, because Singer created a file on me. He also created files on elected officials worldwide who got in the way of his next billion. The files consisted of poisonous garbage — but really effective, deadly garbage.

In 2011, I flew to the Congo and discovered that Singer had seized the funds meant to end a cholera epidemic, which I reported at the top of the BBC news and on the front page of the Guardian.

To spike the story, Singer's PR flunky called my BBC "Newsnight" producer and said, "We have a file on Greg Palast." Apparently, it contained the kind of salacious garbage peddled by Steele. The BBC was un-moved, saying, it seems that "Palast has a file on you."

 

The BBC pressed Singer's flak to turn over the actual dossier. They backed down after admitting it contained old fabricated smears that had been long discredited. (In fact, a US power company had to write me a fat check in punishment for the libel.)

So when I hear that some Trump toady is slimed by a Singer file, I don't clap with joy.

Singer has used secret, poisoned dossiers slipped to media outlets to destroy the reputations of elected officials from Argentina to the Congo — all to make another billion.

Indeed, his PR flak boasted how he planted stories about the president of the Republic of Congo with the pliant Washington Post. It was part of Singer's campaign to seize $400 million from the Congo to pay off interest and penalties on ancient debts of the war-ravaged nation that Singer had picked up for just $10 million.

Singer has seized millions in Congo assets — funds that were made available to the Congo by US and European taxpayers to help the Congo clean its water supply and end a cholera epidemic.

The Singer-funded groups in Argentina that smeared former President Cristina Kirchner with allegations of murder, all to get her removed from office. It worked. Despite large public protests, the new president, Mauricio Macri, in his first days in office, paid Singer the billions of dollars Kirchner had refused.

Singer — a top funder of Marco Rubio's candidacy against Trump and leader of the "Never Trump" campaign — then decided to use the tricks that succeeded in other countries on our nation.

Let me be clear: Despite Nunes' assertions, nothing in his memo — none of this FBI misconduct, however unacceptable — undermines Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Trump and gang.

Still, I cannot applaud billionaires bending our elections, manipulating — wittingly or unwittingly — the FBI.

And I cannot believe my fellow progressives are also cheering the FISA court, the very agency Edward Snowden courageously exposed as the judicial inquisitors blessing an ugly police spy state.

Just one of the thousands of FISA court spy authorizations — revealed by Snowden — permitted the National Security Agency to get every single phone call made by Verizon callers, and similar demands were approved to seize the records of every major phone carrier.

The ACLU has been in legal combat with the FISA court over "mass, warrantless surveillance of Americans," allowing use of "Network Investigative Techniques" (i.e. malware), and information collected under the law without a warrant that could be "used to disproportionately target disfavored groups, whether minority communities, political activists, or even journalists."

So I ask you what Snowden asks: When you've crossed the wrong billionaire, when they come for you, will they quote your own words in praise of the Gestapo Lite?

Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.

* * * * *Before turning to journalism as an investigative reporter for The Guardian and BBC Television, Greg Palast was an investigator of fraud and racketeering for governments and labor unions worldwide. Known as the reporter who exposed how Katherine Harris and Jeb Bush purged thousands of Black voters from Florida rolls to steal the 2000 election for George Bush, Palast has written four New York Timesbestsellers, including Armed Madhouse, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, and The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, now a major non-fiction movie. The post-election update of the movie, subtitled The Case of the Stole Election, has just been released on Amazon — and can be streamed for FREE by Prime members!

Stay informed, get the signed DVD of the updated, post-election edition of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: The Case of The Stolen Election, a signed copy of the companion book — or better still, get the Book & DVD combo.

Visit the Palast Investigative Fund store or simply make a tax-deductible contribution to keep our work alive! Alternatively, become a monthly contributor and automatically receive Palast's new films and books when they're released!

Or support the The Palast Investigative Fund (a project of The Sustainable Markets Foundation) by shopping with Amazon Smile. If you use Smile, Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchases to the Palast Fund — and you get a tax-deduction! Click here for more info.

Subscribe to Palast's Newsletter. Follow Palast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

GregPalast.com

The post The “Steele Dossier” on… Me:
Why the Nunes Memo should scare you
appeared first on Greg Palast.

Fabian Pamphlet From the 1980s: What Women Want are Left-Wing Policies

For a very brief period in the 1980s I was a member of the Fabian Society. The other day I managed to dig out of my collection of old Fabian pamphlets one by Patricia Hewitt and Deborah Mattinson, entitled Women’s Votes: the Key to Winning, published in 1989.

I haven’t read it yet, but the first page, in the introduction, astonished me by completely challenging the received wisdom about women’s voting preferences. As Hewitt and Mattinson point out, women have been considered far more Conservative politically than men. But at the last general election (1987), they supported the Labour party and left-wing policies just as much as men. The Introduction runs

The Labour Party needs women’s votes in order to win the next election. The evidence suggests that these votes can be won but the Party must persuade women that it will not only stand by it values but also carry out its policies when in government.

Until quite recently, it was accepted political wisdom tht women were more conservative than men. Within the labour movement, women voters were widely blamed for electing Mrs Thatcher and it was believed that a future Labour victory would depend more on men than on women.

Before the 1987 general election, the Conservatives generally did better amongst women than amongst men. The reverse was true for Labour. There was a ‘gender gap’, and it worked in the Tories’ favour.

That has now changed. In 1987 Labour closed the gender gap for the first time. There is good evidence for believing that, in future, Labour will do better amongst women voters than amongst men.

We start by looking at the 1987 and 1983 voting patterns to analyse Labour’s relative strength amongst women and men, and amongst different groups of women. We then look in more detail at women’s and men’s values and attitudes, drawing on recent opinion polling and qualitative research, including a series of small discussion groups undertaken especially for the Fabian Society and reported in this pamphlet.

Next we examine attitudes to issues and suggest the policy areas on which Labour should concentrate, before turning to proposals for how Labour can become more representative of women. Finally, we briefly consider unplublished and published material from Australia and the USA, where the Australian Labor Party and the American Democrats are reaching similar conclusions to our own.

The evidence strongly suggests that women voters are more likely to share and respond to Labour’s values than men. They are more likely to vote for an ‘enabling’ state which intervenes to protect the environment, regulate business and industry, redistribute income and wealth, provide a high level of social and welfare services, and promote greater equality between women and men. Increasingly, women are Labour’s natural constituency. (Emphasis mine.)

This bears out the ideology behind much of the right-wing, Conservative, and Libertarian misogyny in the US. The Libertarians, right-wing Republicans like Anne Coulter, and the Fascists in the Alt-Right, would like to deprive women of the vote partly because they see them as more left-wing than men, and more willing to expand the power of the state. Which challenges their notion of freedom under classical liberal economics, in which the ideal state is that of the mid-19th century.

It also shows why millions of women did not vote for Killary. For all Clinton’s promotion of herself as a feminist representing women, she signally did not. She was a bog-standard, corporatist politician and foreign policy hawk. Her gender made absolutely no difference whatsoever to the policies she promoted and espoused. She was far too right-wing for many American women, who voted with their feet. And they did so not because they were told to by their husbands and boyfriends, as Killary later claimed, or because of misogyny by nonexistent ‘Bernie Bros’.

The same goes for the female Blairites in the Labour party. They’re simply a continuation of Blair’s pro-corporate, neoliberal programme, which was basically just reheated Thatcherism with sickly grin. The comments by some of these female faux ‘moderates’ that they will be even harder on the unemployed than the Tories is not going to impress ordinary working women, already doing the worst paid jobs and, like working men, suffering from precarious unemployment conditions.

And this shows how desperate and threadbare the corporate, mainstream media has been in pushing the narrative that the Labour party under Corbyn, and Bernie Sanders’ supporters in the Democrats in America, are misogynists. Because they aren’t, and the neoliberal entryists know it. Hence too the portrayal by some of these corporatist women to draw a difference between themselves, representing the glorious middle-class, pro-woman future, and male-dominated, working class Old Labour.

The truth is, women seem to be more left-wing than corporatist, neoliberal shills like Hillary Clinton, Angela Eagle and the rest of the post-Blair faction in the Labour party. And its frightening them, and the rest of the Right-wing establishment. And so we’re left with stupid lies about misogyny and intimidation from them and the corporate media.

Hypocrite Tory George Freeman Defends BoJo’s Anti-Black Racism, Accuses Labour of Anti-Semitism and Misogyny

Last Tuesday, Mike put up a piece commenting on an interview on that day’s Daily Politics of the Tory MP, George Freeman by Jo Cockburn. Cockburn had let Freeman’s comments that the Labour party was ‘nasty and intolerant’, with anti-Semitic and misogynist abuse rife in the party.

This is, of course, a falsehood. The anti-Semitism accusations and the witch-hunt against those accused of it is entirely political, and has zero to do with real anti-Semitism. It’s a campaign by Zionist organisation like the Jewish Labour Movement, formerly Poale Zion, which states in its Constitution that it is a Zionist organisation, to defend Israel from criticism and opprobrium over its ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. Those accused are not just gentiles, but also self-respecting, secular and Torah-observant Jews. The non-Jews they also accuse are similarly very often convinced anti-Fascist activists, and campaigners against racism and anti-Semitism. It’s a tactic used by Zionists across the globe. Norman Finkelstein, one of the leading critics of Israel’s maltreatment of its indigenous Arabs, has described them as ‘a factory for making anti-Semites’. Mike is one of those smeared. So is Jackie Walker, the anti-racist daughter of a Russian Jewish father and a Black American mother. Her parents met on a Civil Rights march. Mike’s article comments on the way a Zionist troll, Emma Pickens, smears her by confusing her with another Jackie Walker. Which he observes is par for the course. The Zionists smear, lie and distort and twist evidence without compunction.

As for the ‘misogyny’, that’s similarly illusory. A group of 30 Labour female MPs accused Momentum of this, writing to Jeremy Corbyn to stop it. They were all entitled Blairites, who were frightened for their seats now that Corbyn moderates were the ascendant, and ready to reverse the decades of Thatcherism that has wrecked this country and impoverished its great people. And the way they decided to do this, was by following Killary’s lead against her left-wing opponent in America, Bernie Sanders. She made up stories about his followers being misogynists, and invented a class of supporters she called ‘Bernie Bros’. There was no misogyny on that part of the Left, and the ‘Bernie Bros’ existed only in her imagination. It’s the same with these ladies and their accusations, but it’s all grist to the mill for Tory and establishment propaganda.

Freeman then went on to excuse Boris Johnson’s comments, made over a decade ago during or after a trip to Africa, about Black Africans. BoJo had written a piece about ‘picaninnies’ with ‘watermelon grins’. BoJo himself has apologised for these comments, but when asked about them, Freeman responded that ‘it was just Boris’. It’s all ‘journalistic language’. Or something like that. It doesn’t wash. Buddy Hell, of Guy Debord’s Cat, stated quite rightly that Johnson would not get away with writing similar material which used anti-Semitic stereotypes against the Jews. Many others on Twitter were also disgusted with BoJo’s racism, and Freeman’s defence of it.

Boorish Johnson’s dated vocabulary brings to mind some of the sputtering of that other right-wing journo, who spent his time abusing and sneering at the left, Auberon Waugh. Waugh once complained in an interview in the 1980s to one of the middle market tabloid Sunday supplements – either for the Mail on Sunday or the Sunday Express – that his daughter had gone to Ethiopia to teach ‘Blackamoors’.

Going further back, it also recalls the racist invective poured out by Enoch Powell in his notorious ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech. He made comments there about ‘grinning picaninnies’, along with all the racist incidents, which also happened only in his imagination.

I did wonder if Johnson’s anti-Black spleen was the result of extenuating circumstances. Africa is a continent with huge potential and a creative people, beset by terrible problems. Many of its countries are so corrupt that the Financial Times described them once as ‘kleptocracies, which are only considered countries courtesy of the UN’. The various warlords, who have arisen to plunge these nations into civil war are often guilty of the vilest human rights abuse. If you want examples, look up the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, and the horrific abuse they mete out against the children they kidnap as recruits. I think BoJo encountered some of these private armies and their commanders, and that would leave a very bitter impression. Although Whites, who have settled in Uganda have praised ordinary Ugandans for their great national character. These butchers are not representative of Black Africa as a whole.

But I don’t think this washes any more. Neither do I believe that it is just how Boris writes. Most people don’t make those comments, and many Whites would probably feel embarrassed reading them out in front of Blacks, even their Black friends. Several generations of children have been taught to know better. I can remember when I was at junior school, I picked up a few nasty racist terms for Blacks from the other pupils. When I tried them out that evening, I was told very firmly by my mother that these were certainly not ways to talk to, or about, Black people. And that if I did ever use it to one of them, it would get me hit, and quite right too. And I’m sure other people have had similar experiences.

Johnson may have been told this, but he clearly decided to reject it before he wrote the offending article. And I honestly don’t believe he’s the only one. Back in the 1990s a backbench Tory MP was thrown out for using similar racist terms about Blacks. In the 1980s there was a resurgence of ‘racial nationalism’ – the ideology of the NF and BNP – in many parts of the Tory party. And going further back to the various British Fascist groups during the Second World War, the aims of one of them was ‘to purge the Conservative party of Jewish influence.’

Johnson’s image of an accident, gaffe-prone ‘lovable oaf’ – at least, that’s the image he and his supporters want to project – is very carefully crafted. In private his hair is carefully combed, but he messes it before appearing on TV. He is also a very shrewd, calculating, aggressive political manipulator. And those who know him have said that the bonhomie he exudes on programmes like Have I Got News For You is similarly false. In reality he has a vicious temper.

I simply don’t believe that Johnson’s vile comments about Black Africans are simply his way of writing about them. He’s made enough mistakes like that in his career as Foreign Secretary to show that he has no clue about not offending people, but I think this goes much further than that. I think this is how he, and a very large proportion of his party, sincerely feel about Blacks. Though in journalism they have been very careful to dress it up in dated language, in order to camouflage it and present it as a bit more upmarket than the gutter abuse spat out by the avowed Fascists.

And under Johnson there was an undercurrent of real anti-Black racism in the Spectator. Taking their cue from the Republicans’ appeal to ‘angry White men’, one piece in the Speccie began with the remark that there was only one ethnic group not welcome in inner London: White men. A piece in another issue by one of their other hacks told the story about how he had his mobile stolen by a Black man, and how mistaken he was when the thief phoned him to tell him he’d return it, only to do nothing of the kind. It was a scam designed to help the thief prolong the use he had of it before he had to ditch it. The writer of the piece added to this story his experience of giving the Black thief the benefit of the doubt, only to be disappointed. It was a coded piece designed to appeal to White prejudice about Black criminality.

Johnson is a racist, in my opinion, who appeals to the racist elements that still survive in a very racist party. Despite David Cameron’s attempt to purge it of racism and connections to the Far Right. And George Freeman looks very much like one of the racists. Meanwhile, they retail all the Blairite and Zionist lies about anti-Semitism and misogyny in the Labour party, while doing nothing – absolutely nothing – about the real bigots and vicious racists in their own.

Mike’s article is at: https://voxpoliticalonline.com/2018/01/23/in-the-labour-anti-semitism-debate-daily-politics-hosts-a-genuine-tory-racist/

Go and read it.

Cartoon of the day

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 28/01/2018 - 12:00am in

welcome_to_davos__enrico_bertuccioli

Special mention

f9f145b32efd26b4fec47618e24c33b8

Oprah Winfrey: The Corporate Democrat’s Choice to be the Next Presidential Candidate

The corporatist, Clintonite wing of the Democrats has looked at the success of Donald Trump, and drawn precisely the wrong lesson from it. They concluded that after a millionaire reality TV star won the Republican nomination and then the presidency, what they had to do was field their own millionaire TV star as a candidate. And in this instance, they’ve decided that this candidate might be Oprah Winfrey. The idea’s gone over well too in the press on this side of the Atlantic. The ‘Opinion Matrix’ column in the ‘I’ newspaper quoted two newspapers raving about what a wonderful idea this would be.

In this clip from The Jimmy Dore Show, Dore and his co-host, Ron Placone, talk about why Oprah would be a terrible candidate. There’s a lot in there, but essentially the argument is very simple.

They quote a long article from the Guardian, one of the few newspapers, which doesn’t think it’s a good idea to choose Oprah. This points out that the problems afflicting ordinary working Americans come from the very nature of free market capitalism. People are becoming poorer and more insecure because of the destruction of what remained of the American welfare net, outsourcing, privatisation, low wages and job insecurity. All of these need to be tackled.

But this is precisely what Oprah will not do. She’s another neoliberal, who believes that it’s not the system that needs to be changed, but you. If you look inside yourself, you can improve your place in society, and rise up to be anything you want. It’s a reassuring message for some people, as it tells them that America is still the land of opportunity. Even though it isn’t, and hasn’t been for a very long time. Way back in the 1990s there was little difference between social mobility in the UK and the US. An article commenting on this in the Financial Times made this point, and argued that what gave American society its attractive power was the myth that it was, that ordinary people could still move up to be president, or a company director, or whatever. This is now no longer true, and in fact there’s greater social mobility in Europe.

This explains why Oprah’s so attractive to the corporate elites. She’s a black woman, so if she got the presidency, it would be a symbolically liberal gesture. Just like Killary and her team were arguing that the election of Clinton would be a victory for all women. Even though Clinton has done and would do nothing for America’s working people, and especially not women, who do the lowest paid work. It was all identity politics, with Killary claiming to be the outsider because she was a woman. Even though she’s in the pocket of Wall Street and other corporations, and as thoroughly corporate and corrupt as any of them. But if you didn’t back her, and instead chose Bernie, who actually stood for policies that will benefit America’s working people, you were automatically smeared as a ‘misogynist’. This included women voters, who, La Clinton declared, were only doing what their husbands and boyfriends told them.

The same’s going to be the case with Oprah Winfrey. It’s more identity politics, even though identity politics didn’t work with Clinton, and they probably won’t work with Oprah. Winfrey offers ordinary working Americans nothing, which is presumably why the corporate press in Britain was raving about what a good candidate she is. All the billionaires now owning papers, who don’t pay tax in this country, are presumably salivating at the thought of another president, who’ll do just what business leaders tell them.

As for what effect her presidency will have on Black Americans, you only have to look at Barack Obama to see that this prospects aren’t good. Despite all the racist screaming from the Republicans that Obama was an anti-White racist, who was planning to exterminate White Americans, Obama in many ways was a completely unremarkable, corporate politico. And he did precious little to solve the various problems facing Black communities in America. Oprah will be exactly the same, only the poverty will be worse. Economists have looked at the decline in the household wealth of working Americans. This has declined drastically. But the decline in White household wealth is nowhere as severe as that experienced by Black families. It’s been estimated that in a few years, their average household wealth will be $8.

Oprah has nothing to say to that. Absolutely nothing. Except that people should look inside themselves, believe in themselves, work hard and then magically their dreams will come true.

Except we live in a harsh, cruel neoliberal corporate hell, rather than the dream reality held out by corporate shills like Killary.

And domestic poverty isn’t the only reason why Oprah would be an awful president. She’s another hawk in foreign policy. In this clip from the Sam Seder’s Majority Report, they comment on a piece in her show where she promotes the invasion of Iraq, repeating the lie that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.

Hussein didn’t have any weapons of mass destruction. There was no connection between him and Osama bin Laden. It was a Likudnik and Neocon lie to invade Iraq, steal their oil and plunder their state industries. The result has been chaos and mass death, carried out not just by Sunni insurgents, but also by the mercenaries under General McChristal, who was running death squads against the Shi’a.

If Oprah gets in, there’ll be more wars in the Middle East and elsewhere, as the American military machine keeps demanding more conflict and more funding.

Now I’ve nothing against Oprah Winfrey personally. She’s glamorous, intelligent and a genial TV host. But that’s all she is. In terms of policies, she offers absolutely nothing to ordinary Americans, except more corporatism, bigger profits for the rich, and more poverty and exploitation for the poor, including and especially Black Americans. And as far as foreign policy goes, she’s a danger to world peace. The Iraq invasion destroyed one of the most successful secular states in the Middle East, where women were safe to hold jobs outside the home, into a sectarian bloodbath. All for the profit of multinational corporations.

But I don’t doubt that if ordinary Americans don’t vote for her, the Democrat propaganda machine will vilify them, just as they smeared everyone who voted for Bernie against Killary. If you don’t vote Oprah, they’ll scream, you’ll be a racist and a misogynist. And no doubt Blacks will be told that they’re all ‘Uncle Toms’ and ‘housen****ers doing what Massah tells them. All while the Black, female candidate doesn’t care a jot about doing anything practical to help working Americans with their real problems, but just promotes the neoliberal myth of American social mobility. While seeing that the corporate rich get even richer, of course.

The Feminist Arguments against the Metoo Activism at the Golden Globes

Last Sunday, 7th January 2018, was the Golden Globes. This got on the news around the world, not just because of the coverage of which actors and films were given awards, but because the female actors wore black in solidarity with all the women, who had suffered sexual abuse, harassment and exploitation. This culminated in one of the leading actors at the ceremony announcing that Hollywood’s ladies would stand in solidarity with every woman, who had suffered such sexual abuse and assault, and that they would be dedicating a special fund to help poor women sue their abusers.

Coming after the scandals about Harvey Weinstein, Roger Ailes and others at Fox News, including its long running host, Bill O’Reilly, such an announcement is clearly well meant, and for many women facing the cost of having to drag their abuser, who is probably their boss, through the courts, the prospect of being able to get some money from a charity dedicated to helping them would surely be welcome. But not all women, and not all feminists, saw it quite like that.

Roza Halibi in Counterpunch and the Sane Progressive on YouTube both put up pieces about it, criticising the move. Many women, including the French actress Catherine Deneuve, are critical of the #Metoo movement as they feel it demonises men. All men are now being viewed as sexual predators, real or potential. They also object to the way distasteful and unpleasant forms of sexual contact – like the boss with wandering hands – has been lumped in and conflated with far more serious forms of sexual abuse, like rape and women being told that if they don’t sleep with their boss, they’ll lose their jobs. Groping is unpleasant and humiliating, and it’s quite right that there should be a campaign to stop it. But it’s not at the same level as the other two.

They also found the stance of the individual actresses involved in the speech and this display of solidarity hypocritical. Weinstein’s behaviour was known for years by people within Hollywood, including Meryl Streep. And at the time they kept their mouths firmly shut. Some of this might have been because Weinstein was a powerful man, and no matter how respected and successful they were as ‘A’ list actors, he could have the power to destroy their careers, as he threatened numerous aspiring actresses if they wouldn’t sleep with him. But some of it no doubt was also the attitude of the time, to put up with it regardless.

But there’s also an attitude that the speeches against sexual harassment and exploitation were also a form of faux feminism, by rich, entitled women, who were trying to appropriate the protests by ordinary, middle and lower class women. Critics like the Sane Progressive and Halibi have argued that the successful protests always come from below. They are won by ordinary working people standing up for themselves and demanding further rights and change. They are not achieved by members of the upper classes deciding that they will charitably act as the saviours of the lower orders. The #Metoo activism at the Golden Globes represents very rich, entitled women trying to take control of a protest by their sisters lower down the social scale, and wrest it away from any meaningful challenge to a corrupt system as a whole.

The same critics have also made the point that the #Metoo activism has also acted as a diversion. Sexual abuse is only part of a whole series of problems corporate capitalism is inflicting on American society. This includes mass poverty and starvation, the further denial of rights to low paid workers, Trump’s attempts to repeal Obamacare and destroy Medicare, the destruction of the environment, and the political paralysis caused by a corrupt party system taking money and its orders from wealthy donors in big business, rather than acting in the interests of ordinary citizens. All of these issues need tackling, but the leadership of the Democrat party has become, under the Clintons and Obama, as thoroughly corporatist as the Republicans, and has no interest in tackling these issues. That would harm the interests of their donors in big business. So they make symbolic liberal gestures. Like Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidency last year. Her policies were more neoliberalism, corporate greed, and aggressive militarism. For ordinary Americans she offered nothing but more poverty and exploitation. But she claimed that, because she was female, she was somehow an outsider, and that a victory for her would thus be a victory for women. Even though, as the lowest paid group, women would have suffered the most from a Clinton presidency. If you didn’t vote for Clinton, you were automatically a misogynist. And if you were a woman, and didn’t vote for her, she and her followers denied it was because you had opinions of your own. Rather, you were just doing what your husband or boyfriend told you. So much for Clinton believing in women’s independence and their agency as human beings.

But this experience of a very rich, entitled woman trying to make herself appear liberal when she was anything but, has clearly coloured some left-wing and feminist attitudes in America towards other attempts by the rich to embrace or promote left-wing causes. Clinton’s liberalism was a fraud, and so some people are suspicious that the actresses stressing their commitment to rooting out sexual abuse are less than wholehearted in their determination to ending the general poverty, exploitation and other issues plaguing American society. And just as the corporate Democrats are desperate to take power away from the real radical left, like Bernie Sanders, so these ladies are trying to take power away from ordinary women, determined to solve the problem their own way. Because this challenges their position in society and their political influence as arbiters and spokespeople of the nation’s conscience.

Now I think the #metoo speeches were well meant, regardless of the possible hypocrisy of some of the actresses involved, and hopefully some women will benefit from the money available to sue their abusers. But the Guardian’s Marina Hyde a few years ago wrote a book, Celebrity: How Entertainers Took Over the World And Why We Need an Exit Strategy, pointing out numerous instances where Hollywood celebs decided to take over a cause, only to make the situation worse. There’s a very good case to be made against such Hollywood activism. And this problem may well become more acute, as more celebs decide to promote symbolic issues, while leaving the other problems affecting ordinary people untouched.

Proud Haitians Defend Country as Free Black Republic after Trump’s ‘Sh*thole Countries’ Comments

Yesterday there were mass demonstrations in America, and expressions of outrage around the rest of the world at Trump’s grotesque comments about immigrants to America from ‘sh*thole countries’. As Mike put up on his blog, one of the countries that was most definitely not impressed was Botswana in Africa. This tiny African state, with a population of 2 million, has, as Mike pointed out, the highest growth rate in Africa, and a tradition of stable democratic government. It’s a developing nation, but definitely not a ‘sh*thole’. And the country’s authorities seemed determined to make that point when they called the American ambassador in to explain if their nation was one of the countries Trump was sneering at.

I was particularly impressed by a young Haitian woman, who appeared on the BBC news yesterday when the Corporation covered a demonstration against Trump and his racist comments in Florida. She stated that Haitians were a proud people, and that their country became the first Black republic, where the slaves overthrew their masters. She’s absolutely right. Modern Haiti was created by the ‘Black Jacobins’ under Toussaint Louverture, who organised a slave revolt inspired by the Revolution in France. Haiti had been a French colony, but they toppled colonial rule, and threw the French out. Louverture then renamed the country ‘Haiti’, rather than continue using the old French/ European colonial name, justifying the change by claiming that this was the indigenous name for it.

Lourverture’s revolution sent a shock wave throughout the Caribbean and America. It was an inspiration to Blacks struggling for their freedom, and alarmed the colonial authorities. The late 18th and early 19th centuries saw a series of slave revolts break out in the Caribbean, by enslaved people impatient for their freedom. These were ruthlessly and brutally suppressed, as the colonial authorities feared the influence of Haiti upon their enslaved subjects, and that the slaves would be in contact with the Haitian revolutionaries. And some free Black Americans moved to Haiti after they obtained their freedom. Major Moody, a British army officer, who was sent to the Caribbean in the 1820s to produce a report on whether the enslaved people of the British colonies were ready for emancipation, includes in his report correspondence between a Black American, who had done this, and his former mistress in America, who had freed him.

Haiti is a desperately poor country, as has been shown by the suffering and destruction it has sustained in recent years through a series of disasters. But much of this poverty and deprivation comes from American imperial intervention. The Americans invaded in the 1920s as part of their campaign to assert their dominance over the Caribbean, and defend their economic interests. And they’ve done the same thing at various intervals throughout the 20th and now the 21st century. A little while ago I found a piece on YouTube – I think it might have been by Abby Martin of TeleSur English’s The Empire Files, or it could have been the Real News people, which made the point that when the Americans invaded again a few years ago to overthrow the latest dictator, it wasn’t because of his human rights record. Rather, it was because he was redistributing wealth, which threatened American corporate interests once again. And the dictator’s left-wing opponent was kept from standing and taking over office through armed soldiers posted outside his house. It was the same pattern of invasion and coup that has been repeated over and over again, around the world, whenever a smaller, weaker country elects anyone remotely left-wing, or otherwise threatens the dominance of the big American corporations in their country’s economy. Just like Hillary Clinton five years ago in 2012 gave her backing to the Fascist coup which overthrew the liberal regime in Honduras.

One peculiar consequence of the American invasion of Haiti has been the rise of the zombie movie. The first of these appeared shortly after the 1920s American invasion, and left-wing, anti-colonial critics have argued that the movies represent an attempt by the country’s new colonial masters to present a picture of it as a terrifying land, steeped in superstition and black magic. Since then the zombie movie has moved away from Haiti to America itself, and under George A. Romero also developed satirical overtones criticising contemporary American society and capitalism. Like in one of his movies, the survivors seeks refuge in a mall.

Trump’s comments were offensive, and they clearly stung the pride of migrants to America, who nevertheless still felt strong bonds with their countries of origin, as well as the other peoples in the Developing World. But the young Haitian woman speaking up for her mother country made a very good point about how important it was for Black history. And if many of these countries are poor, ruled over by brutal, corrupt governments responsible for human rights abuses, one of the reasons is because the Americans have assisted these thugs into power to stop any redistribution of wealth or growth of democracy. All under the guise of protecting the world from the threat of Communism, and upholding American corporate interests. People around the world have been demanding that Trump apologise for his comments. They’re right, but it’s not just his comments that need to be critically analysed and opposed. It’s American imperialism itself, and the underlying cynical contempt for the nations of the Developing World and their people, who are there to be abused and sneered at in the interests of American corporate capitalism.

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