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Just Because The System Is Stacked Against You Doesn’t Mean The Universe Is

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 13/01/2021 - 2:38pm in

Image via Pixnio

It’s intense right now. Damn intense. Especially in America.

Liberals and progressives fear their nation is on the brink of a violent fascist uprising and civil war, and the mass media are happily feeding into that fear. Rightists are outraged over internet censorship and the belief that their democracy has been taken over by Deep State ChiComs (or whatever they’re on about at the moment). People who don’t buy into any particular partisan perspective are being shrieked at by those who do for their refusal to move with the herd.

Wherever you’re at on the political spectrum, it’s intense. And it’s scary. And that’s just the latest development in what looks to conventional wisdom like a decaying society on a dying world. So it’s very easy for a sense of despair to set in.

As things get increasingly weird and the possibility of a healthy impulse seizing control of the reins in this chaos and guiding us to sanity looks more and more remote, it’s common for people to assume they’re watching a disintegration that reflects the actual fundamental nature of humanity, or of reality itself. That maybe humanity is just awful, or we were born into a dark universe of terrible suffering. That life sucks and everything is shit.

It’s one of those beliefs that can creep in unnoticed, without ever even really being consciously put into words in your mind. It can just kind of hang out in your subconscious, pulling the strings of your thought and attention without your ever necessarily being aware of it.

But it’s not true. It’s not true at all.

Things aren’t bad because the world we were born into is innately bad, things are bad because a few manipulative sociopaths have made them that way. A few manipulative sociopaths set up a system that is designed to preserve the status quo which feeds them wealth and power at the expense of the health and wellbeing of everyone else, and at the expense of the health and wellbeing our ecosystem. This system is designed to keep everyone poor and propagandized so that nobody can challenge the power of the manipulative sociopaths whose rule depends on exploitation and endless bloodshed.

The universe is not against you. Just because the system is stacked against you doesn’t mean the universe is. We’re up against the ephemeral agendas of a few mortals whose lives are tiny specks in a yawning infinity. They are tiny wisps of nothing against the vast backdrop of reality.

There is so very, very much more to humanity than conventional wisdom can currently perceive. We have so very, very much untapped potential that simply hasn’t unlocked yet. There are mysterious forces at work in our species, and it just so happens that the very worst-equipped among us to reckon with those forces are the manipulative sociopaths.

Sociopaths do not have inner vision. Their narcissistic wiring and lack of empathy allows them to use people as tools to get them what they want where the rest of us would shy away from such actions, but it blinds them to things like inspiration, healing, and insight.

Things are unpacking in ways that conventional wisdom can’t really understand and language can’t adequately point to, and the very last people who will recognize the fruits of that unpacking are the manipulative sociopaths who run things.

Despair is an irrational position when looking at our plight, because it assumes we possess a kind of omnipotence which can perceive all the factors at play in our situation and rule out the possibility of a desirable outcome. And we just can’t. Anyone who’s had sufficient experience with inner exploration or psychedelics knows there are massive levels of our consciousness which haven’t even come into play yet in our collective functioning as a species, but they are there, all ready to go when the time comes.

What we know is dwarfed by what we know we don’t know, and what we know we don’t know is dwarfed by what we don’t know we don’t know. Anything can happen. Bad things. Good things. A wildly unprecedented world in which humans find a way to collaborate harmoniously with each other and with their ecosystem.

The manipulative sociopaths and their schemes are just the faintest blips against that vast backdrop. And then they die, as Sheldon Adelson has so kindly reminded us.

The universe is not against you. The bastards have not won. Keep your head high and your eyes wide, beautiful rebel.

______________________________

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my new book Poems For Rebels or my old book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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FYI Trump’s Latest Yemen Move Is Far Worse Than The Capitol Riot

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 12/01/2021 - 3:26pm in

Tags 

War, Yemen, News

While the Capitol riot is being hysterically compared to Pearl Harbor and Kristallnacht by the political/media class, the Trump administration has done something far, far worse that is receiving far, far less attention.

The US State Department has officially announced its intention to designate Yemen’s Houthis as a terrorist group, as many had previously warned. Humanitarian organizations have been condemning the move as it will make it more difficult to provide aid to a population that is already being brutalized by the worst mass atrocity in the entire world, a Saudi-led atrocity which could not occur without the help of the western power alliance.

We are already seeing some effects of this designation.

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Antiwar’s Dave DeCamp reports the following:

The terror designation will hamper the efforts of international charities that deliver food to Houthi-controlled areas, where 70 percent of Yemen’s population lives and malnutrition is the most widespread.

Aid agencies fear their work in north Yemen will now be criminalized since the Houthis are the authority they have to deal with and make transactions with. US terror designations open up sanctions on any individuals or entities that do business with those Washington brands as terrorists.

Pompeo said exemptions would be made for humanitarian goods. But any additional roadblocks for aid agencies will cause more suffering in Yemen since the situation is so dire. “Even with exemptions, the operation will be compromised,” said Janti Soeripto, the president of Save the Children, according to AP News.

The United Nations conservatively estimates that some 233,000 Yemenis have been killed in the war between the Houthis and the US-backed Saudi-led coalition, mostly from what it calls “indirect causes”. Those indirect causes would be disease and starvation resulting from what UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calls “the worst famine the world has seen for decades”.

When people hear the word “famine” they usually think of mass hunger caused by droughts or other naturally occurring phenomena, but in reality the starvation deaths we are seeing in Yemen (a huge percentage of which are children under the age of five) are caused by something that is no more natural than the starvation deaths you’d see in a medieval siege. They are the result of the Saudi coalition’s use of blockades and its deliberate targeting of farms, fishing boats, marketplaces, food storage sites, and cholera treatment centers with airstrikes aimed at making the Houthi-controlled parts of Yemen so weak and miserable that they break.

In other words, the US and its allies have been helping Saudi Arabia deliberately kill children and other civilians on mass scale in order to achieve a political goal. Which would of course be a perfect example of any standard definition of terrorism. The unfathomably savage and bloodthirsty US empire designating the Houthis as a terrorist organization is the least funny joke that has ever been told.

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This move is quantifiably far, far worse than anything Trump could possibly have done to incite the Capitol riot, as it will kill far, far more people, yet the mass media fixate on one news story while virtually ignoring the other. This is because the Capitol riot story feeds into partisan narratives and manufactures consent for authoritarian domestic terrorism laws, while the Yemen story highlights the depravity of US imperialism. The plutocrat-owned media does not exist to give you a truthful representation of the world, it exists to keep the wheels of the empire rolling along.

There’s a weird taboo against saying some things are worse than other things, especially when it involves things the mass media tell us are of cataclysmic significance. People shriek “Why are you minimizing the Capitol raid??” and “Why are you comparing them! It’s not a pissing contest!” This is stupid. All things are not equal to all other things, and figuring out the ways in which news coverage is disproportionate and not reflective of reality is a very important part of making sense of the world.

So now Americans are being fed a steady diet of narratives about the threat Trump’s radicalized base poses to people of color, while ignoring the fact that Trump is currently implementing policies which facilitate the butchery of people of color. Only difference is the latter is hidden behind geographical remoteness, and is far more egregious.

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It matters that the mass media do not cover news stories with an accurate degree of proportion. It matters that they keep the public’s gaze diverted from the horrors of empire while radically distorting their sense of reality. This isn’t some idle “contrarian take”. This matters.

In the last couple of centuries we’ve progressed all the way from expecting our leaders to murder brown-skinned people while saying racist things to expecting our leaders to murder brown-skinned people while condemning racism. The murder hasn’t changed, and the racism hasn’t really changed either. All that’s changed is the norms of how it is put into practice.

This matters.

_______________________

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my new book Poems For Rebels or my old book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

Non-MAGA Activists Caught in Social Media War as Twitter Begins Purge

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 12/01/2021 - 3:43am in

Few could have predicted the huge fallout from the Stop the Steal rally in Washington, D.C. that saw the president of the United States banned from virtually every social media platform, including his favorite, Twitter. 

In solidarity with Trump, tens of thousands of conservative users appear to be deleting their accounts and moving over to pro-Trump Twitter clone Parler. Celebrities, politicians, and social media figures — particularly conservative ones — have registered losing tens of thousands of followers in a matter of hours. Twitter’s share price plunged by 7% this morning, knocking around $2.5 billion off its market value in one fell swoop. 

While the massive publicity generated would normally be positive news for Parler, which brands itself as a “free speech app,” it seems to have suffered a far worse fate than Twitter. The app was deleted by Google and Apple from their app stores over the weekend. But it was Amazon’s decision early this morning that proved a more fatal blow. The company, whose cloud computing business, Amazon Web Services, hosts the app and website, decided to pull it, effective immediately. “We cannot provide services to a customer that is unable to effectively identify and remove content that encourages or incites violence against others,” Amazon said in a statement.

Before it was taken offline, however, activists and researchers had begun a project to download and archive vast quantities of information, totaling over 70 terabytes, including deleted posts, videos, and users’ location data. They intend to use it as evidence to find and prosecute those individuals involved in the storming of the Capitol Building last Wednesday, an action that led to Congress and the Senate being evacuated and five people dying. Those leading the action allegedly used Parler to plan and organize the events and to communicate with each other during the violence. 

The president himself encouraged the crowds to go to the building and “fight like hell” to stop what he regards as a “stolen election,” where he was the legitimate winner. “You’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong,” he added. 

In response, a host of popular social media platforms, including Twitch, Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat froze Trump’s accounts on the grounds that he was directly inciting violence. Discord and Reddit also banned popular Trump forums. 

 

While many who opposed the president celebrated, whistleblower and internet freedom advocate Edward Snowden warned that allowing social media companies to set a precedent where they could effectively ban whoever they want from their services set a chilling precedent. “I know a lot of folks in the comments [who] read this are like ‘YAAAAS,’ which, like — I get it. But imagine for a moment a world that exists for more than the next 13 days, and this becomes a milestone that will endure,” he wrote on Twitter.

Almost immediately, a number of non-Trump accounts began to face problems, with pro-Assange journalist Suzie Dawson locked out of her account, educational file sharing website Sci Hub’s account suspended, and the Red Scare podcast’s profile deleted. Other figures began to demand that the accounts associated with the Venezuelan and Chinese government be removed from social media platforms as well. 

 

If Parler can find a way past its massive data hack and a company to host it, it still faces a number of huge problems, including rampant racism and false information predominating its platform. There are also large numbers of fake accounts purporting to represent public figures. The company has also broken its free speech absolutism promise as well, deleting incendiary tweets from Trump-supporting lawyer Lin Wood calling for Mike Pence’s head. 

Perhaps more ominous for America, however, is a media reality where different groups of people become completely insulated from one another on the basis of political identification. Already, algorithms have split us off from others who think differently, showing wildly contrasting news and views to us based on our prior actions. However, until now, this was at least happening on the same platform, meaning there was some overlap. If, however, liberals and conservatives are using entirely different social media websites, any chance for inter party debate is lost. 

The storming of the Capitol Building on Wednesday was a prime example of what can happen when one group of Americans lives in an entirely alternative reality. Further disintegration of media will only accelerate this trend, making incidents like this more likely in the future. 

Feature photo | Shutterstock

Alan MacLeod is a Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent. He has also contributed to Fairness and Accuracy in ReportingThe GuardianSalonThe GrayzoneJacobin MagazineCommon Dreams the American Herald Tribune and The Canary.

The post Non-MAGA Activists Caught in Social Media War as Twitter Begins Purge appeared first on MintPress News.

Scottish Newspaper: Philosophy is a “Vaccine” Against Future Trumps

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 12/01/2021 - 12:00am in

Tags 

Media, News

The Scotsman, one of Scotland’s leading newspapers, called for a greater emphasis on philosophy in education, saying “we need to vaccinate ourselves against the virulent lies of people like Trump and the best way to do that is to teach the wisdom of Socrates and co to our children.”

In a brief editorial on Sunday, the editors quote remarks by Irish president Michael Higgins shortly after the election of Donald Trump:

The teaching of philosophy is one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal to empower children into acting as free and responsible subjects in an ever more complex, interconnected and uncertain world… A new politics of fear, resentment and prejudice against those who are not ‘like us’ requires the capacity to critique, which an early exposure to the themes and methods of philosophy can bring.

Noting that “since the mid-20th century, philosophy has not been given the same level of importance as it was in the past,” the editors state that philosophy can help counter “bizarre conspiracies” and other false beliefs that animate far-right populists. “We are heading towards a new world in which philosophy and the ability to think logically become increasingly important,” they write.

While philosophers may find the editorial’s argumentation for its conclusion a bit wanting, the call for more teaching of philosophy in a major newspaper may nonetheless be significant as an indicator of a more welcoming attitude toward philosophy in the broader culture, or an opportunity to push for more philosophical initiatives.

The post Scottish Newspaper: Philosophy is a “Vaccine” Against Future Trumps appeared first on Daily Nous.

‘Journalists’ Who Smear Assange Are Pure Scum

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 11/01/2021 - 2:46pm in

James Ball, pure scum

I wouldn’t have thought that any mass media reporters would have the temerity to continue the public smear campaign against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after it became clear to everyone that he was the subject of a brutal Trump administration prosecution aimed at criminalizing inconvenient journalism. But if there was going to be anyone to take up that flag, it would be the odious James Ball.

Ball, who as activist Suzie Dawson documented in 2016 has been working within the plutocratic media to destroy Assange’s reputation for years, has just published yet another disgusting smear piece titled “Julian Assange is no hero. I should know — I lived with him and his awful gang”, this time with Murdoch’s Sunday Times. Claiming that Assange is “Reckless and immoral in deed and word”, Ball spins the tortured journalist as a monster who must remain marginalized and never be trusted by sources again.

This would be the same James Ball who, as Financial Eyes recently observed, “admits to having taken money from the Integrity Initiative, a government and NATO funded propaganda unit designed to shape opinion in a direction hostile towards Russia and favourable towards increased militarism.”

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This would also be the same James Ball who, a year before Assange was dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy in which he’d taken political asylum fearing US extradition, authored a Guardian article titled “The only barrier to Julian Assange leaving Ecuador’s embassy is pride” and subtitled “The WikiLeaks founder is unlikely to face prosecution in the US, charges in Sweden have been dropped — and for the embassy, he’s lost his value as an icon”.

“There is no public criminal case against Assange or WikiLeaks in the US,” Ball argues in his January 2018 article, claiming there is “no real reason to believe anything has changed with Assange’s situation in the US.”

Well something had indeed changed in the US. Assange was being spied on by US intelligence with Trump megadonor Sheldon Adelson acting as a liaison between the CIA and a private intelligence corporation, and in December 2017 the Trump administration had ordered Assange’s arrest and begun orchestrating an international plot to enact it after the CIA Director branded WikiLeaks a “non-state hostile intelligence service.”

If I had written an article in a major publication claiming there was “no real reason” to believe Assange would face extradition proceedings if he left the Ecuadorian embassy, and then that claim had proved horrifyingly wrong, I personally would have done what any normal person would do and shut the entire fuck up about Julian Assange for the rest of my life.

Not James Ball though. There’s a certain type of personality that guarantees it will always fail upward because it possesses a remarkable combination of power-worshipping obsequiousness, a total lack of shame, and a complete lack of scruples. It’s the same type of personality that still gets lucrative punditry work after pushing for the Iraq invasion. James Ball has no more business opining about Julian Assange than John Bolton has about the merits of interventionist foreign policy, yet both remain visible and vocal. Because they are the same kind of creature.

https://medium.com/media/c0d16f80e9b507653d57d77d0b96eab5/href

I’m pretty good with words, but I’ve never succeeded in finding any which adequately articulate the absolute depravity of the mass media smearmeisters who’ve spent years getting paid to churn out deceitful hit pieces about Assange while he’s silenced and unable to defend himself. There’s simply no one lower. There’s shit, there’s the shit that would come out of shit if shit could shit, and then there’s people like James Ball.

I’ve worked a lot to debunk this smear campaign, and it’s sucked because I know for a fact that Assange could have done an infinitely better job of it than I can if he still had internet access. He knows all the facts about his work inside and out, and could have knocked out the smears as they came.

But that was the whole idea. That’s why they silenced him, long before they dragged him out of the embassy. The empire needed the public to consent to his persecution, and he was running interference on their consent manufacturing campaign. And now they kick him while he’s down, continuing to stomp his reputation into the ground even as he’s being unjustly locked in Belmarsh after a judge already blocked his extradition.

The torture and brutalization of Julian Assange has only been made possible by the fact that the public consents to it, and the public only consents to it because of a concerted mass media smear campaign that took place between late 2016 and his arrest in April 2019. People like James Ball are directly responsible for the empire’s ability to make an example of what happens to a journalist who exposes US war crimes, and they must never be forgiven for it.

__________________________________

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my new book Poems For Rebels or my old book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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Patriot Act 2, Censorship, And Other Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 10/01/2021 - 3:09pm in

Patriot Act 2.0 will be rolled out with a lot of mindless bleating about white supremacists and fighting fascism and the actual policies and laws put into place will have virtually nothing to do with any of those things. It will be geared at preventing the revolutionary changes that need to be pushed for via grassroots activism in the United States.

Listening to US politicians and pundits the last few years you’d assume it’s been raining actual 9/11s and Pearl Harbors in America 24/7.

“Our democracy has been attacked!” screamed the political establishment that just forced you to choose between Donald Trump and Democrat Donald Trump for president.

Saying there’s been an attack on American democracy is like saying there’s been an attack on Kazakhstan’s fjords.

Liberals learned the words “coup” and “insurrection” like five seconds ago and now they are academic experts on both of these things.

The narrative managers’ ability to move liberals and progressives from “Defund the police” to “MOAR POLICING” in just a few months was even more impressive than their ability to move them from “Believe Women” and #MeToo to “Tara Reade is a lying grifter”.

Here’s how politicians, media and government could eliminate conspiracy theories if they really want to:

  • Stop lying all the time
  • Stop killing people
  • Stop promoting conspiracy theories (eg Russiagate)
  • Stop doing evil things in secret
  • End government opacity
  • Stop conspiring

To support the censorship of online speech is to support the authority of monopolistic tech oligarchs to exert more and more global control over human communication. Regardless of your attitude toward whoever happens to be getting deplatformed today, supporting this is self-destructive.

I don’t share people’s magical fascination with the word “tolerance”. As far as I can tell it’s an empty and irrelevant concept. This isn’t about tolerance, it’s about trusting government-tied tech oligarchs to regulate speech around the world on monopolistic speech platforms.

The future of humanity depends on our ability to wake up a critical mass of people to how fucked things really are, and if speech which doesn’t conform to establishment orthodoxy is censored on the platforms the mainstream crowd use to share ideas, that will become impossible.

“We need to stop fascism so let’s give massive sweeping powers to an elite alliance of unelected authoritarians.”

“Well I’m a leftist and I haven’t been banned on social media.”

That’s because the left is politically impotent in our society. Unless this is just a hobby for you, at some point you should plan on the left becoming a threat to the oligarchs and warmongers. What do you think happens then?

Do you really think if the left actually becomes a threat to the status quo the Neera Tandens and Rachel Maddows aren’t going to suddenly discover a reason why you’re dangerous and need to be censored? The only way to be fine with censorship is to plan on never challenging power.

Tech billionaires are not on your side, and neither are the government agencies and plutocratic media leaning on them to implement censorship. Those institutions don’t give a shit about silencing the right, they want to implement measures to silence you. The left is being censored already, but it hasn’t seen anything yet.

“As a leftist I’m fine with censorship because it’s not like the leftist revolution is going to be organized on social media.”

Social media isn’t for organizing the leftist revolution you bonehead, it’s for creating more leftists. It’s for reaching the mainstream.

A leftist’s first and foremost job is to create more leftists. If the left becomes a potent political force, all the censorship protocols they’ve been putting into place these last few years will be used to stop it from infecting the mainstream herd. You shouldn’t want this.

Trying to stop fascism by making it invisible is like trying to avert a charging bull by putting your hands over your eyes.

If you want to stop the rise of fascism you need to change. Change your sick society. Profoundly. Not just cover up the manifestations of that sickness. Compartmentalizing and covering up the problem instead of pouring money and resources into creating a healthy society which addresses the underlying problems is the most shitlib thing ever.

Saying you are free to leave these monopolistic platforms and go to some fringe website no one uses is the same as saying you are free to dig a hole and yell into it. There is no magical free market solution to this problem, because the problem is that imperial power structures are deliberately herding people onto monopolistic speech platforms that they can then censor under the guise of terms of service.

All of the most critical factors determining what people’s lives are like are invisible now. Most people don’t even know they’re happening. Oligarchy. Neoliberalism. Imperialism. Used to be you knew who the king was, and he’d openly do anything he wanted. Now that’s all kept carefully hidden.

Why is it kept hidden now? Well there are a lot of factors, but mostly it’s because the rank-and-file public discovered guillotines. Ever since then your rulers are out of necessity kept hidden from you, and so is their totalitarianism.

The US government is the most evil and destructive force in the world. Not Trump. The US government. This will not change in any meaningful way when Trump leaves. Massive amounts of manipulation have been poured into keeping you from seeing this.

____________________

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my new book Poems For Rebels or my old book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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The Boot Is Coming Down Hard And Fast

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 09/01/2021 - 3:26pm in

A lot’s been happening really fast. It’s a white noise saturation day and it’s impossible to keep track of everything going on, so I’m just going to post my thoughts on a few of the things that have happened.

Biden has announced plans to roll out new domestic terrorism laws in the wake of the Capitol Hill riot.

“Mr. Biden has said he plans to make a priority of passing a law against domestic terrorism, and he has been urged to create a White House post overseeing the fight against ideologically inspired violent extremists and increasing funding to combat them,” Wall Street Journal reports.

Did you know that Biden has often boasted about being the original author of the US Patriot Act?

The first draft of the civil rights-eroding USA PATRIOT Act was magically introduced one week after the 9/11 attacks. Legislators later admitted that they hadn’t even had time to read through the hundreds of pages of the history-shaping bill before passing it the next month, yet somehow its authors were able to gather all the necessary information and write the whole entire thing in a week.

This was because most of the work had already been done. CNET reported the following back in 2008:

“Months before the Oklahoma City bombing took place, [then-Senator Joe] Biden introduced another bill called the Omnibus Counterterrorism Act of 1995. It previewed the 2001 Patriot Act by allowing secret evidence to be used in prosecutions, expanding the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and wiretap laws, creating a new federal crime of ‘terrorism’ that could be invoked based on political beliefs, permitting the U.S. military to be used in civilian law enforcement, and allowing permanent detention of non-U.S. citizens without judicial review. The Center for National Security Studies said the bill would erode ‘constitutional and statutory due process protections’ and would ‘authorize the Justice Department to pick and choose crimes to investigate and prosecute based on political beliefs and associations.’

Biden’s bill was never put to a vote, but after 9/11 then-Attorney General John Ashcroft reportedly credited his bill with the foundations of the USA PATRIOT Act.

“Civil libertarians were opposed to it,” Biden said in 2002 of his bill. “Right after 1994, and you can ask the attorney general this, because I got a call when he introduced the Patriot Act. He said, ‘Joe, I’m introducing the act basically as you wrote it in 1994.’”

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A recent Morning Joe appearance by CIA analyst-turned House Representative Elissa Slotkin eagerly informed us that the real battle against terrorism is now inside America’s borders.

“The post 9/11 era is over,” Slotkin tweeted while sharing a clip of her appearance. “The single greatest national security threat right now is our internal division. The threat of domestic terrorism. The polarization that threatens our democracy. If we don’t reconnect our two Americas, the threats will not have to come from the outside.”

“Before Congress, Elissa worked for the CIA and the Pentagon and helped destabilize the Middle East during the Bush and Obama admins,” tweeted journalist Whitney Webb in response. “What she says here is essentially an open announcement that the US has moved from the ‘War on [foreign] terror’ to the ‘War on domestic terror’.”

In response to pressures from all directions including its own staff, Twitter has followed Facebook’s lead and removed Donald Trump’s account.

And it wasn’t just Trump. Accounts are vanishing quickly, including some popular Trump supporter accounts. I myself have lost hundreds of followers on Twitter in the last few hours, and I’ve seen people saying they lost a lot more.

It also wasn’t just Trump supporters; leftist accounts are getting suspended too. The online left is hopefully learning that cheering for Twitter “banning fascists” irrationally assumes that (A) their purges are only banning fascists and (B) they are limiting their bans to your personal definition of fascists. There is no basis whatsoever for either of these assumptions.

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Google has ratcheted things up even further by removing Parler from its app store, and Apple will likely soon follow. This push to marginalize even the already fringey social media sites is making the libertarian/shitlib argument of “If you don’t like censorship just go to another platform” look pretty ridiculous.

This is all happening just in time for the Biden administration, about which critics had already been voicing grave concerns regarding the future of internet censorship.

The censorship of a political faction at the hands of a few liberal Silicon Valley billionaires will do the exact opposite of eliminating right-wing paranoia and conspiracy theories, and everyone knows it. You’re not trying to make things better, you’re trying to make them worse. You’re not trying to restore peace and order, you’re trying to force a confrontation so your political enemies can be crushed. You’re accelerationist.

A Venn diagram of people who support the latest social media purges and people who secretly hope Trumpers freak out and attempt a violent uprising would look like the Japanese flag.

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The correct response to a huge section of the citizenry doubting an electoral system we’ve known for years is garbage would have been more transparency, not shoving the process through and silencing people who voice doubts and making that entire faction more paranoid and crazy.

Supporting the censorship of online speech is to support the authority of monopolistic tech oligarchs to exert more and more global control over human communication. Regardless of your attitude toward whoever happens to be getting deplatformed today, supporting this is suicidal.
____________________

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my new book Poems For Rebels or my old book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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Stop Trivializing The Term ‘Coup’: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 08/01/2021 - 2:52pm in

Tags 

USA, News, america, Politics

Stop trivializing the term “coup”. It’s a real thing the US government really inflicts on other countries in a way that actually does topple governments and cause immense destruction. You cannot take over the US government with a small squadron of wingnuts. That’s not a thing.

A coup attempt doesn’t have to be successful for that term to be legitimate, but it does have to have some possibility of success. Trump has no more likelihood of being in office after January 20th than I do; he’s got nothing resembling the kind of support from the military, political establishment, oligarchs and other backing he’d need to accomplish such a thing.

I hereby declare the US election invalid and I, Caitlin Johnstone, am the new President of the United States.

Have I just instituted a “coup”? Or does my complete inability to put such a claim into effect make the use of that term silly?

And now Trump has conceded. My, what a funny looking coup.

It’s very telling how fast the plutocratic media have been to use the word “coup” to describe some idiots interrupting congress for a few hours, since they bend over backwards to avoid using it when their government enacts blatant coups of infinitely greater destructiveness.

Here are some of the headlines from when the US-backed coup in Bolivia was taking place:

“Bolivian President Evo Morales steps down following accusations of election fraud” proclaims CNN.

“Bolivia’s Morales resigns amid scathing election report, rising protests” reports The Washington Post.

“Bolivian Leader Evo Morales Steps Down” says The New York Times.

“Bolivian President Evo Morales resigns amid fraud poll protests” declares the BBC.

“President of Bolivia steps down amid allegations of election rigging” we are informed by Telegraph.

“Bolivia’s President Morales resigns after backlash to disputed election” says the Sydney Morning Herald.

In reality Morales was forced from office by the military after winning a legitimate election, which is exactly the thing that a coup is. This has never been anywhere remotely close to a possible outcome for Trump, but since it doesn’t interfere with imperialist agendas they’re allowed to use it.

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Narrative managers have been falling all over themselves to tell us that conspiracy theories on the internet are going to get everyone killed. They want conspiracy theories censored, especially the ones about how the government murders people around the world and lies about it. FYI your government is many orders of magnitude more dangerous, deceitful and deadly than even the craziest conspiracy theories.

Also, nobody who spent years saying the highest levels of the US government had been taken over by Russia has any business bitching about conspiracy theories.

Modern liberalism is just QAnon for people with diplomas on their walls.

The left is always the real target of pushes for more censorship and surveillance. They’re not worried about rightists, who support most of what the establishment wants and who can be manipulated into compliance with a simple 8chan psyop. They’re worried about the faction that wants to dismantle the oligarchic empire.

Rightist wingnuts are always used to justify policies that are designed to neuter the left. That’s why any leftist who’s cheered internet censorship for the wingnuts has been applying their own muzzle on behalf of the authoritarians. Many still don’t realize this.

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Sometimes things happen that make people frightened and angry, and there’s a major push (always spearheaded by the plutocratic media) for more authoritarian government control to shut down the bad guys. You can choose to get swept up in that frenzy. Or you can choose not to.

Just so we’re clear, the policing lesson of the Capitol Hill riots was not that cops should have been more brutal with the Trumpers, it was that they should have been much more restrained during the BLM protests but chose not to be. Don’t let them troll you into cheering for police brutality.

None of Trump’s post-election shenanigans rank anywhere near the top ten worst things he’s done while president. Mass media coverage hasn’t reflected this fact because they regard imperialist warmongering as normal presidential stuff and don’t regard its victims as human.

It will never stop being hilarious when Americans rend their garments about the death of a “democracy” that does not exist.

Americans finally discover they can storm the Capitol to demand what they want, and they do it to defend a corrupt plutocrat.

Americans think only about America while their rulers think only about conquering the rest of the world.

What’s it going to take to get American progressives to understand that the Democratic Party is explicitly and deliberately rigged against progress? It’s simply not the tool for advancing progressive agendas. It’s like watching a kid try to open a can of beans using a sneaker.

FYI you don’t actually need to keep begging for the permission of condescending gatekeepers to push progressive agendas; you can just do it. They’re not the left’s supervisors, they’re just people who speak in a forceful and assertive tone. You are the left.

You’re trained to see one mainstream political faction with all its politicians, pundits and rank-and-file members versus the other faction with all its politicians, pundits and rank-and-file members. Really it’s the politicians and pundits of both factions versus everyone else.

While the poor have been inundated with religions glorifying poverty, meekness and obedience, the rich have been circulating their own private doctrines among themselves about why it’s fine for them to have so much while everyone else has so little. They have their own religions.

Feel free to reject anything at all about your society, your culture, or any traditional relic at all. Our species is now staring down the barrel as a result of everything we’ve done up to this point. The old ways have failed. They are demonstrably bad. Try something new.

Unless we make drastic changes, and make them approximately now, we will likely go extinct due to climate chaos or nuclear war. Everything that brought us to this point has failed as spectacularly as anything can fail. Don’t cling to the old ways. Bring in the unprecedented.

Trust is a very simple thing: you can trust people to act out the behavior patterns they normally act out. Behavior patterns are generally pretty trustworthy. You can trust nurturing people to do nurturing things, and you can trust destructive people to do destructive things. As long as you’re trusting someone to do what they normally do instead of what they don’t normally do, your trust will probably be well-placed.

We’re so far from justice that even the table scraps of “You’re too crazy to extradite” are welcomed. You want justice? Free Assange, shower him with awards and compensation, and lock up everyone who helped persecute him. That would be justice. Then you’d be getting somewhere.

We fight on.

Sometimes it knocks the wind out of us.

Sometimes it knocks us down.

And we lie there and blink a minute.

Just lie there.

And then, after a bit, the air begins sucking back into our lungs.

And the strength returns to our limbs.

And we get up.

And we fight on.

_____________________

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my new book Poems For Rebels or my old book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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MSM Already Using Capitol Hill Riot To Call For More Internet Censorship

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 07/01/2021 - 3:16pm in

The United States received a very small taste of its own medicine today as rioting Trump fanatics temporarily forced their way into the nation’s Capitol building, and now the whole nation is freaking out.

I am being generous when I say that America was given a very small taste of its own medicine; unlike the horrific coups and violent uprisings the US routinely orchestrates in noncompliant nations around the world, this one stood exactly zero chance of seizing control of the government, and only one person was killed.

I am also being generous when I say the rioters “forced their way” in; DC chose not to increase its police presence in preparation for the protests despite knowing that they were planned, and there’s footage of what appears to be cops actively letting them through a police barricade. There was some fighting between police and protesters, but contrasted with the unceasing barrage of police brutality footage which emerged from Black Lives Matter demonstrations a few months prior it’s fair to say the police response today was relatively gentle.

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Predictably, this entirely American disruption has blue-checkmarked commentariat shrieking about Vladimir Putin on social media.

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Just as predictably, it’s also got them calling for the censorship of social media.

The New York Times has published two new articles titled “The storming of Capitol Hill was organized on social media” and “Violence on Capitol Hill Is a Day of Reckoning for Social Media”, both arguing for more heavy-handed restrictions on speech from Silicon Valley tech giants.

In the former, NYT’s Sheera Frenkel writes “the violence Wednesday was the result of online movements operating in closed social media networks where people believed the claims of voter fraud and of the election being stolen from Mr. Trump,” citing the expert analysis of think tank spinmeister Renee DiResta of “Tulsi Gabbard is a Russian asset” fame. As usual no mention is made of DiResta’s involvement in the New Knowledge scandal in which a Russian interference “false flag” was staged for an Alabama Senate race.

“These people are acting because they are convinced an election was stolen,” DiResta said. “This is a demonstration of the very real-world impact of echo chambers.”

“This has been a striking repudiation of the idea that there is an online and an offline world and that what is said online is in some way kept online,” DiResta adds.

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This narrative which seeds the idea that unregulated communication on the internet will lead to violent uprisings is funny coming from Frankel, who, as a Twitter follower recently observed, wrote a piece in 2018 condemning the Iranian government for restricting protesters’ social media access during the demonstrations at that time.

“Social media and messaging apps have become crucial to antigovernment demonstrators around the world, as a means of both organizing and delivering messages to other citizens,” Frankel wrote. “Not surprisingly, restricting access to such technology has become as important to government crackdowns as the physical presence of the police.”

In the other article, co-authored by Frankel, Mike Isaac and Kate Conger, the message is driven home even less subtly.

“As pro-Trump protesters stormed the Capitol building on Wednesday and halted the certification of Electoral College votes, the role of social media companies such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube in spreading misinformation and being a megaphone for Mr. Trump came under renewed criticism,” reads the article, adding, “So when violence broke out in Washington on Wednesday, it was, in the minds of longtime critics, the day the chickens came home to roost for the social media companies.”

The article reports on the US president’s temporary suspension of social media privileges for allegedly inciting violence with his posts, then discusses the various kinds of disinformation and violent ideation being circulated in Trump discussion forums.

“Those alternative social media sites were rife with Trump supporters organizing and communicating on Wednesday,” NYT tells us. “On Parler, one trending hashtag was #stormthecapitol. Many Trump supporters on the sites also appeared to believe a false rumor that Antifa, a left-wing movement, was responsible for committing violence at the protests.”

“We know the social media companies have been lackadaisical at best” at stopping extremism from growing on their platforms, Jonathan Greenblatt, director of the Anti-Defamation League, told NYT. “Freedom of expression is not the freedom to incite violence. That is not protected speech.”

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We will likely see many more such articles in the coming days, arguing for increased regulation of internet communication to prevent future incidents like today.

In and of itself this won’t sound terribly concerning to the average citizen. Nothing wrong with taking steps to prevent people from plotting violence and terrorism on social media, right?

But how do you predict what protests are going to be “violent”? How do you decide which protests and what political dissent need to be censored and which ones should be permitted to communicate freely? Do you just leave it up to Silicon Valley oligarchs to make the call? Or do you have them consult with the government like they’ve been doing? Are either of these institutions you’d trust to regulate what protests are worthy of being permitted to organize online?

Because the actual power structures in the United States seem to be interested in simply censoring the internet to eliminate political dissent altogether.

In 2017 top officials from Facebook, Twitter and Google were brought before the Senate Judiciary Committee and admonished to come up with policies that will “prevent the fomenting of discord” in the United States.

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World Socialist Website reported the following in 2017.

Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii demanded, for her part, that the companies adopt a “mission statement” expressing their commitment “to prevent the fomenting of discord.”

The most substantial portion of the testimony took place in the second part of the hearing, during which most of the Senators had left and two representatives of the US intelligence agencies testified before a room of mostly empty chairs.

Clint Watts, a former U.S. Army officer, former FBI agent, and member of the Alliance for Securing Democracy, made the following apocalyptic proclamation: “Civil wars don’t start with gunshots, they start with words. America’s war with itself has already begun. We all must act now on the social media battlefield to quell information rebellions that can quickly lead to violent confrontations and easily transform us into the Divided States of America.”

He added, “Stopping the false information artillery barrage landing on social media users comes only when those outlets distributing bogus stories are silenced — silence the guns and the barrage will end.”

That sounds an awful like government officials and operatives telling social media corporations that it’s their job to censor communication which could facilitate any kind of unrest, no matter how justified.

Do you trust these monopolistic megacorporations to decide whether or not people’s dissident speech is acceptable? I don’t.

As Julian Assange is condemned to remain falsely imprisoned and the mass media ramp up their case for more imperial narrative control, we are now in a battle for the sovereignty of our very minds.

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Georgia Dems Relied Heavily on Massive Corporate War Chest to Cinch Historic Election

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 07/01/2021 - 6:48am in

In order to beat GOP incumbents David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler in the Georgia Senate elections, Democrats had to spend big, raising hundreds of millions of dollars in the process.

The two Georgia Senate elections — called today for the Democrats — were easily the most costly in history, amounting to nearly $830 million in total ($468 million for the race between  Democrat Joey Ossoff and Republican David Perdue and more than $361 million for the special election between Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock and Republican Kelly Loeffler.

The Democrats’ massive war chest came in no small part from hefty contributions from corporate America. According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, tech companies rallied around the Democratic challengers, plying the two campaigns with millions of dollars. Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent organization, was the largest single source of funds, their PACs, shareholders, or employees donating almost $1 million to Ossoff’s campaign alone with other big tech companies cracking his top ten, all with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of donations from the like of Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, and AT&T. The rest of the top ten were made up by universities.

The Republican candidates also relied on large corporations for much of their funding. Perdue’s biggest donors included Delta Airlines, Home Depot, Goldman Sachs, and Bank of America, while Loeffler was generously supported by oil and chemical giant Koch Industries as well as a number of financial institutions like Ryan LLC and Blackstone Group.

However, Democrats decisively outraised their opponents, giving them a critical edge. Ossoff outraised Perdue by $138 million to $89 million while Warnock received $124 million to Loeffler’s $92 million. With over 98% of the votes counted, Warnock has been declared the winner, with 50.6% of the vote. Ossoff, meanwhile, is all but assured of winning as well, and has already declared victory.

Thus, both contests have conformed to political scientist Thomas Ferguson’s “Golden Rule” of politics: that the party that spends the most almost always wins the election. Ferguson’s 1995 thesis, “The Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Party Competition and the Logic of Money-Driven Political Systems,” argued that elections are essentially contests between rival big businesses and that the two political parties compete to serve those who pay them, not the public. Nearly 20 years later, a University of Princeton study of 1,779 policy issues found that,

Economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence.”

Empirical evidence seems to support this notion. Data from the Center for Responsive Politics shows that, since 2000, the candidate spending the most money has won between 70% and 98% of their races in the House or Senat

The 2020 election was already by far the most expensive in history, even before the Georgia numbers were added into the mix. The sums of $468 million and $361 million are comfortably higher than any of those from two months ago, the most expensive of which was the $299 million contest in North Carolina between Thom Tillis (Republican) and Cal Cunningham (Democrat).

Many were heralding the Democratic upset in Georgia as the start of a new era and a victory against racism and hate. “The votes of Black people have been suppressed in this nation for a very long time. This is the dawning of a new day,” said Bernice King, daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Warnock, who will become the state’s first black senator, agreed. “Tonight we proved that with hope, hard work, and the people by our side, anything is possible…All of us have a choice to make; will we continue to divide, distract and dishonor one another, or will we love our neighbors as we love ourselves?” he said in his victory speech.

Yet while corporations continue to have such an outsized role in funding both major political parties, it is unclear whether substantive change is even possible. The debate over whether this represents a victory for racial justice can be had, but what seems unmistakable is that the real winners in this election were corporate America, who could not lose, whoever won.

Feature photo | Senate candidate Jon Ossoff introduces President-elect Joe Biden in Atlanta, Jan. 4, 2021, as he campaigns for Raphael Warnock and Ossoff. Carolyn Kaster | AP

Alan MacLeod is a Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent. He has also contributed to Fairness and Accuracy in ReportingThe GuardianSalonThe GrayzoneJacobin MagazineCommon Dreams the American Herald Tribune and The Canary.

The post Georgia Dems Relied Heavily on Massive Corporate War Chest to Cinch Historic Election appeared first on MintPress News.

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