The Evening Blues - 10-16-18



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The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Duke Ellington



Hey! Good Evening!


This evening's music features jazz composer Duke Ellington. Enjoy!



Duke Ellington - The Mooche

“When you tear out a man's tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you're only telling the world that you fear what he might say.”

-- George R.R. Martin


News and Opinion


Facebook’s purge of left-wing media: A frontal assault on freedom of speech

On Thursday, Facebook carried out a mass purge of left-wing political pages as part of an ongoing conspiracy by the state and the technology monopolies to censor the internet. Over 800 pages and accounts, with a combined following in the tens of millions, were summarily removed. The banned pages include highly popular postings by groups opposing and publicizing incidents of police violence such as Police the Police, Cop Block and Filming Cops, as well as prominent left-wing news pages such as Anti-Media, Reverb Press, Counter Current News and Resistance.

The removal of these pages is an unconstitutional assault on freedom of speech and expression. Facebook, acting in coordination with the US government, is violating the most fundamental rights of the American population. Facebook’s claim that the pages are being removed for “inauthentic behavior” is a transparent fraud. It is a pretext for political censorship. No less shocking than the brazen actions of Facebook is the response of all of the mainstream political news outlets, which have parroted the company’s absurd lies, citing “experts” who label constitutionally protected speech as “spam.”

Facebook’s actions are the latest and to date the most aggressive moves in a systematic campaign aimed at delegitimizing political opposition in preparation for the forcible suppression of oppositional groups and news outlets. ...

The censorship drive will not stop with the removal of Facebook accounts. PropOrNot, a shadowy organization whose 2016 blacklist, published by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Washington Post, helped launch the censorship campaign, hailed Facebook’s purge of accounts. In so doing, it made clear that this was only the beginning. PropOrNot pointed out that all of the organizations targeted by Facebook still “have websites,” and added, “but one thing at a time.” In other words, after removing targeted publications from search results and shutting down their social media accounts, the next step will be the forcible suppression of the websites themselves.

The forces leading the censorship campaign have been remarkably open about their motivations and aims. The Atlantic Council think tank, one of Facebook’s official “partners,” spelled out the aims of the government’s effort to censor the internet in a document published last month summarizing the proceedings of a US Special Forces conference on “sovereignty.” The document argues that the growth of political opposition in the United States presents an existential threat to the state. This crisis, it warns, can be resolved only by removing the “virus” of political opposition. The most effective way to do this, it explains, is to recruit US technology corporations to play a “central role” in carrying out censorship on behalf of the state.

Internet Censorship Just Took An Unprecedented Leap Forward, And Hardly Anyone Noticed

While most indie media was focused on debating the way people talk about Kanye West and the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, an unprecedented escalation in internet censorship took place which threatens everything we all care about. It received frighteningly little attention. After a massive purge of hundreds of politically oriented pages and personal accounts for “inauthentic behavior”, Facebook rightly received a fair amount of criticism for the nebulous and hotly disputed basis for that action. What received relatively little attention was the far more ominous step which was taken next: within hours of being purged from Facebook, multiple anti-establishment alternative media sites had their accounts completely removed from Twitter as well.

As of this writing I am aware of three large alternative media outlets which were expelled from both platforms at almost the same time: Anti-Media, the Free Thought Project, and Police the Police, all of whom had millions of followers on Facebook. Both the Editor-in-Chief of Anti-Media and its Chief Creative Officer were also banned by Twitter, and are being kept from having any new accounts on that site as well.

“I unfortunately always felt the day would come when alternative media would be scrubbed from major social media sites,” Anti-Media’s Chief Creative Officer S.M. Gibson said in a statement to me. “Because of that I prepared by having backup accounts years ago. The fact that those accounts, as well as 3 accounts from individuals associated with Anti-Media were banned without warning and without any reason offered by either platform makes me believe this purge was certainly orchestrated by someone. Who that is I have no idea, but this attack on information was much more concise and methodical in silencing truth than most realize or is being reported.”

It is now clear that there is either (A) some degree of communication/coordination between Twitter and Facebook about their respective censorship practices, or (B) information being given to both Twitter and Facebook by another party regarding targets for censorship. Either way, it means that there is now some some mechanism in place linking the censorship of dissident voices across multiple platforms. We are beginning to see smaller anti-establishment alternative media outlets cut off from their audiences by the same sort of coordinated cross-platform silencing we first witnessed with Alex Jones in August. ...

Any time you try to talk about how internet censorship threatens our ability to get the jackboot of oligarchy off our necks you’ll always get some guy in your face who’s read one Ayn Rand book and thinks he knows everything, saying things like “Facebook is a private company! It can do whatever it wants!” Is it now? Has not Facebook been inviting US government-funded groups to help regulate its operations, vowing on the Senate floor to do more to facilitate the interests of the US government, deleting accounts at the direction of the US and Israeli governments, and handing the guidance of its censorship behavior over to the Atlantic Council, which receives funding from the US government, the EU, NATO and Gulf states? How “private” is that? Facebook is a deeply government-entrenched corporation, and Facebook censorship is just what government censorship looks like in a corporatist system of government.

Google’s CEO defends the move to launch in China: it’s only a bit of censorship

Google CEO Sundar Pichai spoke publicly Monday about controversial efforts to launch a censored search app in China — defending the decision by saying that “well over 99 percent of queries” would be served. Pichai appeared at the Wired conference in San Francisco, where he was asked to address the controversy that prompted criticism from within the company, as well as from governments, activists and rights groups.

The Intercept reported in August on a secret Google project called “Dragonfly” in which a censored version of the search app for the Chinese market would automatically blacklist words such as “human rights,” “student protest,” and “Nobel Prize” to placate Beijing. The executive admitted the company was looking into the possibility but said it had taken no decision to launch the product. ...

Pichai’s comments contradict the leaked transcript of a July meeting conducted by Ben Gomes, the company’s search chief, where he said the plan was to launch the app as soon as possible. The CEO did not address a report that the app would link users’ personal searches to their phone numbers.

Ecuador tells Assange to avoid political activity online – and feed the cat

Ecuador has laid out a stringent new set of house rules for Julian Assange, warning the whistleblower to avoid online comments about political issues – and ordering him to clean his bathroom and take better care of his cat, or risk losing his pet. Assange, who has been living in Ecuador’s UK embassy since June 2012, must obtain approval for all visitors from diplomatic staff three days in advance. He is expressly banned from activities which could be “considered as political or interfering with the internal affairs of other states,” according to the memo seen by the Guardian.

The Ecuadorian government partially lifted restrictions Assange’s internet access at the weekend, but the document stipulates that the WikiLeaks founder will only be allowed to use the embassy wifi for his personal computer and phone. ...

“It’s virtually a prison regime,” Carlos Poveda, Assange’s lawyer in Quito told the Guardian. “This new regime goes against his basic human dignity as an asylee,” he said. Poveda added that as of Monday Assange had not had his internet restored and had not been able to read and understand the memo as it had not been translated from Spanish.

The memo implored Assange and his guests to keep the bathroom clean and stated the diplomatic mission would not pay towards his food, laundry or any other costs related to his stay from 1 December 2018 onwards. Assange must also have quarterly medical check-ups that he must pay for too, it stated. Any failure to comply with the news house rules “could lead to the termination of the diplomatic asylum granted by the Ecuadorian state,” it added.

Jimmy Dore - 3 Part Interview w/Chris Hedges

Brazil: infighting snags efforts to unite leftists against frontrunner Bolsonaro

Efforts to unite the Brazilian left against rightwing presidential frontrunner Jair Bolsonaro have snagged on internal squabbles, making it even harder to close a gap in opinion polls less than two weeks before the runoff election. The latest poll, released by Ibope late on Monday, showed that Bolsonaro had a commanding lead over leftist rival Fernando Haddad, with 59% of valid votes against 41% for Haddad.

The poll, details of which ran in newspaper Estado de S Paulo on Tuesday, showed Haddad with a higher rate of “rejection” among voters ahead of the 28 October runoff, due in part to dislike of his Workers Party (PT) even among fellow leftists. About 47% of people polled said they would never vote for him, compared with 35% rejecting Bolsonaro.

The bad news for Haddad came as efforts to attract the voters of Ciro Gomes, who came third in the first round of voting on 7 October after a center-left campaign on the Democratic Labor party ticket, devolved into a shouting match at a campaign event on Monday night. At a rally in the northeastern state of Ceara, which Gomes won in the first vote, his brother and campaign manager Cid Gomes was called upon to formally endorse Haddad.

But Cid Gomes took the opportunity to call for a mea culpa over sprawling graft schemes orchestrated by leaders of the PT. The party’s founder, former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, is doing jail time for a corruption conviction. Videos of the event showed Cid Gomes was met with rowdy boos. “You’re going to lose the election, and it’s your fault,” Cid Gomes shot back. “You morons! Lula is in prison!“

Political Violence Surges in Brazil as Far-Right Strongman Jair Bolsonaro Inches Closer to the Presidency

As Brazil's far-right presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro steams ahead to what seems a likely victory on October 28, a climate of fear is spreading amid mounting reports of violence against non-supporters and journalists — including online intimidation, physical attacks, and even murder. His rival, Workers’ Party candidate Fernando Haddad, trails by 18 points in the latest polls.

In Salvador, the country’s capital of Afro-Brazilian culture, Paulo Sérgio Ferreira Santana was jailed last week for the killing of Moa do Katendê, a master of the Afro-Brazilian martial art capoeira, in a bar, hours after Bolsonaro narrowly missed winning the election in the first round of voting. Eyewitnesses said the pair argued about politics and traded insults before Santana, a Bolsonaro supporter, paid his bill, left, returned with a knife, and stabbed the capoeira master, a Workers’ Party supporter, 12 times in the back.

At a rally last month, Bolsonaro grabbed a camera tripod and pretended to shoot it like a rifle, telling a crowd of enthusiastic supporters, “Let’s shoot the petralhada here,” using a derogatory term for Workers’ Party voters. It was hardly an isolated comment in his decades-long career of praising torture, hate crimes, and political violence. The candidate, however, denied any responsibility for Katendê’s death. “Some guy with one of my shirts commits an excess,” said Bolsonaro. “What do I have to do with it? I lament it.” ... Since September 30, more than 70 politically motivated attacks and threats have been documented across Brazil — at least 50 of which were perpetrated by Bolsonaro supporters and six against them, according to data from the Brasil.io data lab, Agência Pública, and Open Knowledge Brasil. The numbers do not include online threats and harassment.

Brazil is one of the world’s most violent countries, with nearly 64,000 homicides last year, the vast majority of which have gone unsolved. Political murders and violence are common in the country: An average of nine elected officials are killed per year, and 28 candidates were murdered nationwide in the 2016 municipal election cycle — but usually because of land, property, or economic interests. “People didn’t kill each other before because of what another demanded from the world politically. It’s a result of this election,” said Bruno Paes Manso, a researcher at the Center for the Study of Violence at the University of São Paulo, which maps and publishes data on Brazil’s homicides.

The Saudis want out of the Khashoggi crisis — so they might just admit they killed him

Mike Pompeo landed in Riyadh Tuesday for crisis talks over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi amid reports Saudi authorities were preparing to admit that they killed him. ... The New York Times reported that the regime is preparing to say that a friend of the crown prince, an official within the kingdom’s intelligence services, carried out the killing but not on the orders of the royal family.

First reported by CNN, and confirmed by The Wall Street Journal, CBS and NBC, the Saudi version of events would admit that Khashoggi died within the consulate during an interrogation that went wrong. The admission would say Prince Mohammed had approved the journalist’s interrogation or rendition back to Saudi Arabia but not his murder, which would be framed as a tragic accident.

When asked about the reports Monday night, President Donald Trump — who earlier in the day had floated the theory that “rogue killers” were responsible — said: “I just don't know. I'm going to have to see what they say. Nobody knows if it's an official report. So far it's just the rumor of a report coming out.”

Erdogan: toxic materials and evidence of repainting found in Saudi consulate

Some areas have been repainted at the Saudi consulate where missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was last seen alive, the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has said, as investigators prepared to enter the nearby Saudi consul’s house after the diplomat left the country.

Erdogan told reporters on Tuesday that police had found evidence of toxic materials and signs that some surfaces had been repainted at the consulate where investigators say the missing journalist was killed. “My hope is that we can reach conclusions that will give us a reasonable opinion as soon as possible, because the investigation is looking into many things such as toxic materials and those materials being removed by painting them over,” he said.

Turkish officials continued to leak to news outlets on Tuesday that police found evidence in the nearby consulate building during Monday’s search that proved Khashoggi was killed there. Turkish sources allege the body was then transported to the consul general’s house nearby and disposed of. Of particular interest to the forensics team in the new search is the garden, where it is believed the journalist’s remains could have been buried, and a garage under the house, where cars with diplomatic plates spent several hours after driving from the consulate building on the day he vanished. At least four diplomatic vehicles are included in the investigation.

Mohammad al-Otaibi, the consul general, has not been seen in public since the scandal erupted. Turkish television and semi-official Anadolu news agency said on Tuesday evening that he left Turkey on a commercial flight hours before his residence was expected to be searched.

Salvadoran Archbishop Óscar Romero Is Canonized as Murder Remains Unsolved

Tax evasion: blacklist of 21 countries with 'golden passport' schemes published

A blacklist of 21 countries whose so-called “golden passport” schemes threaten international efforts to combat tax evasion has been published by the west’s leading economic thinktank. Three European countries – Malta, Monaco and Cyprus – are among those nations flagged as operating high-risk schemes that sell either residency or citizenship in a report released on Tuesday by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The Paris-based body has raised the alarm about the fast-expanding $3bn (£2.3bn) citizenship by investment industry, which has turned nationality into a marketable commodity. In exchange for donations to a sovereign trust fund, or investments in property or government bonds, foreign nationals can become citizens of countries in which they have never lived. Other schemes, such as that operated by the UK, offer residency in exchange for sizable investments.

The programme operated by Malta is particularly popular because as a European member state its nationals, including those who buy citizenship, can live and work anywhere in the EU. The country has, since 2014, sold citizenship to more than 700 people, most of them from Russia, the former Soviet bloc, China and the Middle East. But concern is growing among political leaders, law enforcement and intelligence agencies that the schemes are open to abuse by criminals and sanctions-busting business people.

Also on the OECD blacklist are a handful of Caribbean nations that pioneered the modern-day methods for the marketing of citizenship. These include Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, and St Kitts and Nevis, which has sold 16,000 passports since relaunching its programme in 2006. After analysing residence and citizenship schemes operated by 100 countries, the OECD says it is naming those jurisdictions that attract investors by offering low personal tax rates on income from foreign financial assets, while also not requiring an individual to spend a significant amount of time in the country.

'Lives Hang in the Balance': 21 Days Before Midterms, McConnell Admits GOP Still Salivating to Gut Medicare and Social Security

Openly confirming that it has been the GOP's plan all along to ram through deficit-exploding tax cuts for the rich and then gut crucial safety net programs to pay for the difference, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday falsely blamed America's soaring deficit on "entitlements"—the scare word Republicans use in place of Medicare and Social Security—and said these programs must be cut to bring federal spending under control.

"I think it would be safe to say that the single biggest disappointment of my time in Congress has been our failure to address the entitlement issue, and it's a shame, because now the Democrats are promising Medicare for All," McConnell said in an interview with Bloomberg less than 24 hours after Treasury Department figures showed that the federal deficit has reached its highest point in six years. "It's very disturbing, and it's driven by the three big entitlement programs that are very popular: Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid," McConnell added. "There's been a bipartisan reluctance to tackle entitlement changes because of the popularity of those programs. Hopefully at some point here we'll get serious about this. We haven't been yet."

Progressive advocacy groups, analysts, and lawmakers were not at all surprised by McConnell's attempt to shift blame for the soaring budget deficit away from the deeply unpopular tax bill and onto the safety net. As Common Dreams has reported, progressives have been warning since before the $1.5 trillion in tax cuts passed last year that the next step on the Republican agenda is a full-scale attack on Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. "This has been their plan since Day 1," People for Bernie declared in response to McConnell's comments. "It's exactly three weeks until the midterm elections and the the Republican Senator Majority Leader is calling to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. We're calling to expand them. Let this be known far and wide."

Nation Warned That Trump's "Horrifying" Medicaid Pick Hired With "Express Purpose to Dismember" Program

Provoking immediate warnings about what is now in store for the most vulnerable people in the United States, President Donald Trump on Monday reportedly tapped Maine's former health commissioner Mary Mayhew—who was instrumental in Republican Gov. Paul LePage's efforts to block Medicaid expansion in the state—to run the program at the federal level.

Critics such as Zak Ringelstein, a Democratic U.S. Senate candidate from Maine, rapidly denounced her appointment as "horrifying." People for Bernie co-founder Winnie Wong warned, "She's coming for Medicaid."

"This is horrible news," responded Maine-based Dr. Cathleen London. "She destroyed Medicaid in Maine now she will destroy it in the whole country." Healthcare policy expert Andy Slavitt—who ran the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) under the Obama administration—declared: "The Medicaid director from the state that refused to implement Medicaid expansion is now apparently to run the Medicaid program nationally under Trump."

Former Maine state Rep. Diane Russell, a Democrat, expressed her alarm in a series of tweets. "Make no mistake, she was hired for her cruelty with the express purpose to dismember Medicaid," Russell charged, referencing a 2017 Portland Press Herald column that detailed the findings of a federal audit that showed gross failures while Mayhew was the state's top health official responsible for administrating MaineCare, the state's version of the program. ...

The ACLU of Maine turned to Twitter on Monday to highlight a blog post from last year that outlined how "Mayhew has staked her career on reducing the number of Mainers who can access MaineCare." The group points out that "under her stewardship, the state has reduced MaineCare's enrollment by 37 percent, taking health insurance away from approximately 80,000 poor Mainers."

Cursed: witches are planning a public hexing of Brett Kavanaugh

A coven of witches will gather in an occult bookstore in Brooklyn, New York, on Saturday to place a hex on the supreme court justice Brett Kavanaugh. Tickets to the event, which cost $10, with half the proceeds going to women’s and LGBT charities, have already sold out. The event is not out of the ordinary for Catland Books, which describes itself as “Brooklyn’s premier metaphysical boutique and event space”. They have previously held ceremonies to hex Donald Trump as well as a “hex your ex” ceremony on Valentine’s Day.

Dakota Bracciale, co-owner of the store, told the Guardian the event will be an important act of protest and community outreach, even if some attendees are skeptical.

“The whole thing is going to be really cathartic, whether you believe it or not. The right has churches but the left is scattershot. The left is where you’re going to find atheists, secularists, humanists, people who follow non-traditional religions. So how are you going to get all of us together in times of trouble? That’s what we’ve been doing.”

The ceremony has become a talking point for some rightwing commentators, who see it as part of a pattern of leftwing attacks on leading Trump allies. On Fox News last Friday, Tucker Carlson discussed the coven’s plans, taking particular umbrage with their idea to donate 25% of proceeds to Planned Parenthood, which he said would “help them continue to fund their human sacrifice rituals”.


Amy Kremer, the co-founder of the Women Vote Trump Pac, brought the event up in a roundtable on MSNBC, describing it as an escalation of attempts to publicly shame Republicans. “It is a scary time right now. Sarah Sanders has been run out of restaurants. I mean, there’s a list of things going on. Now you’ve got witches that are placing a hex on Brett Kavanaugh.” The event’s Facebook page has also been flooded with comments opposing the event, many of them proclaiming it an affront to Christianity. “Kavanaugh is a Christian. True Christians have the protection of our heavenly father against others that desire a demon attack against them,” wrote one commenter.



the horse race



Worth a look. Here's an excerpt from the intro:

how the gutting of the voting rights act led to hundreds of closed polls

In 2013, the Supreme Court gutted the core of one of the crowning achievements of the civil rights movement: the Voting Rights Act. The 1965 bill, propelled by the historic march of protestors from Montgomery to Selma, Alabama, officially put an end to the literacy tests, poll taxes, and voting restrictions that had disenfranchised millions of minority voters for decades. And it went further than that: it also required areas of the country with a history of using these discriminatory tactics to get federal approval before making any changes to voting.

But in

Shelby County v. Holder
, the court allowed these areas of the country free reign over voting rules once again. For the first time since 1965, local officials could now close polls or change voting laws without the permission of the federal government. In the 5-4 ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts implied that the problems of systemic racism and voter discrimination were part of a bygone era: The Act’s rules, he wrote, were “based on decades-old data and eradicated practices.” At the time, critics feared that local and state governments suddenly freed to pass voting laws without oversight would start to implement sweeping discriminatory policies; others warned of small, localized changes, such as closing polling places in neighborhoods where minorities vote.

Now, an exclusive analysis by VICE News has found that these worries were justified. In the years following the
Shelby decision, jurisdictions once subject to federal supervision shut down, on average, almost 20 percent more polling stations per capita than jurisdictions in the rest of the country. There are now 10 percent more people per polling place in the formerly-supervised areas than in the rest of the country. Furthermore, within 18 counties in 13 states examined at a granular level, many of the closed polls were in neighborhoods with large minority populations. This analysis is the first attempt to look nationally at poll closures since the heart of the Voting Rights Act was removed.

Ari Berman: Republicans in North Dakota Are Attempting to Disenfranchise Thousands of Native Voters

Stormy Daniels defamation lawsuit against Trump dismissed

A defamation lawsuit filed by adult film actor Stormy Daniels against Donald Trump has been dismissed by a federal court, with the judge saying the tweet at the heart of the case was protected by free speech laws.

Daniels has said that in 2011, a man approached her in a Las Vegas parking lot and threatened her after she had agreed to talk about her experience with Trump in an interview. She then released a sketch of the man. In the lawsuit, Clifford alleged that a Trump tweet, which said she had fabricated the encounter, had defamed her, saying it made her out to be a liar. ...

In Monday’s decision from S James Otero, a federal judge in the central district of California, it was found that “Mr Trump’s statement constituted ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ that is protected by the first amendment.” He noted “if this court were to prevent Mr Trump from engaging in this type of ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ against a political adversary, it would significantly hamper the office of the president. Any strongly-worded response by a president to another politician or public figure could constitute an action for defamation.” Otero also went on to order Clifford to pay Trump’s legal fees, but has not yet fixed an amount.





the evening greens


Humanity is ‘cutting down the tree of life’, warn scientists

Humanity’s ongoing annihilation of wildlife is cutting down the tree of life, including the branch we are sitting on, according to a stark new analysis. More than 300 different mammal species have been eradicated by human activities. The new research calculates the total unique evolutionary history that has been lost as a result at a startling 2.5bn years. Furthermore, even if the destruction of wild areas, poaching and pollution were ended within 50 years and extinction rates fell back to natural levels, it would still take 5-7 million years for the natural world to recover.

Many scientists think a sixth mass extinction of life on Earth has begun, propelled by human destruction of wildlife, and 83% of wild mammals have already gone. The new work puts this in the context of the evolution and extinction of species that occurred for billions of years before modern humans arrived. “We are doing something that will last millions of years beyond us,” said Matt Davis at Aarhus University in Denmark, who led the new research. “It shows the severity of what we are in right now. We’re entering what could be an extinction on the scale of what killed the dinosaurs.

The new research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, did not simply add up the number of lost species, as this fails to capture how unique each species is in evolutionary terms. Instead, the researchers added up the amount of time each lost species had spent evolving since it emerged, a measure called phylogenetic diversity. There are hundreds of species of shrew, for example, but just two species of elephant. Losing elephants would therefore be like chopping a large branch off the tree of life, said Davis, whereas losing a shrew species would be like trimming off a small twig.

From the rise of modern humans to the year 1500,2bn years of evolutionary history was lost due to mammal extinctions, the researchers calculated. Since 1500, another 500m years has been lost. If the current high rate of extinctions continues for 50 years, a further 1.8bn years of phylogenetic diversity will disappear, the scientists found. There are still many mammal species left, but all of these would have to evolve for 5-7m years into the future to get back to the level of diversity present before modern humans arrived, the researchers estimated.

Worth a full read:

Last stand in the swamp: activists fight final stretch of Dakota pipeline

As the flat-bottom fishing boat speeds through waterways deep inside Louisiana’s Atchafalaya basin, the largest river swamp in the US, the landscape suddenly shifts from high banks of sediment and oil pipeline markers on either side to an open grove of cypress trees towering above the water. Flocks of white ibis appear, seemingly out of nowhere, to nest and hunt amid the moss-dripped, century-old wetland forest. “This is what the entire basin is supposed to look like,” explained Jody Meche, president of a local crawfishermen alliance and a lifelong resident with a thick Cajun accent.

And it is in peril. Degraded by decades of oil and gas development and lax permit enforcement, the swamp has now emerged as a flashpoint for environmental activists seeking to stop construction of the tail end of the controversial Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL), which was the subject of mass protests in 2016. The 160-mile Bayou Bridge pipeline, as the section of DAPL is known, will cross Native American land and 700 bodies of water, terminating in St James, a tiny African American community in Louisiana’s “Cancer Alley”, where some residents are already so hemmed in by industrial infrastructure that they lack an emergency evacuation route.

In a last-ditch effort, one group of activists is staging an unprecedented and divisive physical protest campaign. They have locked themselves to construction equipment, forced construction stoppages by kayaking up to worksites and dangling from trees on makeshift platforms to delay clearcutting.

The Bayou Bridge pipeline (BBP) provides the final link between fracked oil from the Bakken shale fields of North Dakota and the refineries and export facilities of the Gulf coast. It is the latest addition to 125,000 miles of pipeline that already snake through Louisiana. Environmental advocates contend the pipelines are fueling the state’s coastal land loss crisis by blocking the natural flow of sediment through waterways. This causes the delicate wetlands along the coast to wash away more quickly by rising sea levels and leaves coastal communities more vulnerable to hurricanes.

Many here allege that the problem is greatly exacerbated by weak regulation and enforcement. Pipeline developers, they say, have illegally left behind mounds of dredged sediment called spoil banks – a byproduct of the construction process – that act as artificial dams, creating stagnant pools where crawfish and other wildlife can barely survive. Natural bayous, once rich fishing grounds, have silted up. “Thousands of acres are just lost,” said Meche, who is also a member of Atchafalaya Basinkeeper, a local not-for-profit group founded by fishermen that is working to restore and protect the area from further destruction. “Big oil, they’ve gotten away with it.”

As Judge Considers Letting Monsanto Off the Hook, Jurors Demand Court Respect Their Historic Verdict Holding Company to Account

Learning that a judge may overturn their historic decision to hold the chemical company Monsanto-Bayer accountable for manufacturing cancer-causing weedkillers, several jurors are demanding that their verdict in a case decided in August be upheld.

Gary Kitahata and Robert Howard are among the jurors who unanimously found that Monsanto was liable for $289 million in damages, to be paid to former school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer after spending years using Monsanto's products at his job. In two separate letters written in recent days, Kitahata and Howard appealed to California Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bolanos this week after she announced her consideration of a retrial and indicated she might overturn nearly all of the damages the jury awarded to Johnson.

While Bolanos argued the plaintiff's legal team did not prove Monsanto knew about the dangers of its product, Kitihata told the the San Francisco Chronicle on Monday that the judge "had a chance to raise these questions during trial and even during jury deliberations. I thought it was the jury's role to be the judge of evidence." Kitihata and the other jurors found that Monsanto owed $250 million to Johnson in punitive damages as well as $31 million for shortening his life expectancy. Bolanos said in a public hearing last Wednesday that she may overturn both sums, leaving Johnson with $8 million. The judge is expected to reach a decision by next Monday.

After a six-week trial involving testimony from medical and scientific experts, the jury found that Monsanto had sold glyphosate-based products to Johnson's school district even though it knew the chemical could cause cancer. "You may not have been convinced by the evidence, but we were," Kitahata wrote to Bolanos in his letter. "I urge you to respect and honor our verdict and the six weeks of our lives that we dedicated to this trial." The possibility that the jury's "unanimous verdict could be summarily overturned demeans our system of justice and shakes my confidence in that system," wrote Howard in his own letter.

Glyphosate was classified by the World Health Organization as a "probably human carcinogen" in 2015, the same year Johnson as diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and a year after a previous diagnosis of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Johnson's case was just the first to go to trial out of more 4,000 lawsuits against the company, with plaintiffs across the country arguing Monsanto's products contributed significantly to their cancer diagnoses.



Also of Interest

Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.

The US military’s vision for state censorship

How Guantanamo Set the Stage for the Kavanaugh Hearings

How Capitalism Torched the Planet by Imploding Into Fascism

UN Says Climate Genocide Is Coming. It’s Actually Worse Than That.

Chicago Will Finally Release Video of Police Officer Shooting Unarmed and Disabled Ricky Hayes

A Super PAC Is Spending Millions Attacking Democrats Who Can’t Lose. What’s Going On?

Ted Cruz’s Pressure on the EPA Helped Create a Huge Windfall for His Biggest Corporate Campaign Donor


A Little Night Music


Duke Ellington - Bundle of Blues

Duke Ellington - C Jam Blues

Duke Ellington - Harlem Speaks

Duke Ellington w/Irving Mills - Doin’ The New Low Down

Duke Ellington - Daybreak Express

Duke Ellington - Blues In Orbit

Duke Ellington - Black And Tan Fantasy

Duke Ellington & His Cotton Club Orchestra - Doin' The Voom Voom

Duke Ellington - Take the A Train



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WindDancer13's picture

Class action law suit based on restrictions to freedom of speech? Should also include Alex Jones.

But then again, we could see a ruling like the one in the article you posted:

In the 5-4 ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts implied that the problems of systemic racism and voter discrimination were part of a bygone era: The Act’s rules Amendment [ed.], he wrote, were “based on decades-old data and eradicated practices.” [emphasis added]

More roadblocks

OPINION: Taking Down Goliath: A Constitutional Challenge to Mueller's Powers

Kamenar's arguments can be summarized as follows: no matter how you look at Mueller's appointment, it was done unconstitutionally. According to Kamenar's brief, there are a few constitutionally permissible options for lawfully appointing Social Counsel, but Mueller's appointment did not follow any of these legal avenues.

Jeff Sessions Inveighs Against Federal Judges in Heritage Foundation Speech

Sessions’s remarks at Heritage, a conservative group sympathetic to the Trump administration’s policies, were an extended rebuke of the federal judiciary and highlighted other gripes he has previously expressed.

He repeated his oft-spoken criticism of nationwide injunctions as example of what he described as “judicial encroachment.” Since President Donald Trump was elected, Sessions said, 27 district courts have issued these injunctions. The Supreme Court declined the Justice Department’s invitation, last term in the travel ban litigation, to curtail the power of federal trial judges to issue nationwide injunctions.

Be Aware: For those who are not aware of it wsws.com (World Socialist Web Site) is not as liberal as some might think. Be careful to read fully read their articles. If you post comments that challenge them (I do not mean nasty ill-conceived comments, but rational discourse), check back later to see if your comment is still up.

Thanks, Joe!

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

snoopydawg's picture

@WindDancer13

First off - where's the crime? What crimes did the Trump campaign commit? There has to be a crime on the books in order to appoint a SP and do an investigation it.

Secondly - Rosenstein appointed Mueller after Comey leaked his notes that he took when he spoke with Trump. He purposely leaked them to his friend so that a special prosecutor would be appointed. Which leads us back to where's the actual crime?

Obama was going to use Russia Gate if Trump had lost and then refused to accept the results which he said he wouldn't. This was so that his supporters wouldn't go ape sh*t because Hillary was going to be president. (will look for the article)

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WindDancer13's picture

@snoopydawg

just suspected wrongdoing. They are appointed in cases in which there is a conflict of interest.

There was already a probe in place long before the special prosecutor was selected. The FBI had begun investigating in July 2016. After Comey's notes, it would, of course have required a special prosecutor due to the conflicts of interest. See Timeline of Russia Investigation

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

snoopydawg's picture

@WindDancer13

Since July 2016, the FBI has been investigating the Russian government’s attempt to influence the 2016 presidential election, including whether President Donald Trump’s campaign associates were involved in those efforts.

“Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election” between Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, according to the U.S. intelligence community. Russian intelligence services gained access to the computer network of Democratic Party officials and released the hacked material to WikiLeaks and others “to help President-elect Trump’s election chances,” the IC said in a report released in January 2017.

is just malarkey in my opinion. The investigation that was happening was the FBI's attempt to frame people from the Trump campaign into meeting with Russians so they could get their FISA warrant to spy on them. I feel the same way about the ones that state that Russia hacked the DNC computers. Hillary and Podesta Maude that up to keep people from talking about how she rigged the primary. It worked.

Good grief. Just typing this makes me question my sanity.

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Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

WindDancer13's picture

@snoopydawg

for eons to just about any country on earth. The ONLY difference is that we don't like it when it is done to us.

As for HRC, I have simplified my life and kept my sanity by just not believing a work that comes out of her mouth or out of the mouths of anyone who has ever been in the same room with her.

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

joe shikspack's picture

@WindDancer13

given the current legal climate, i'm not sure how far a first amendment claim against facebook and twitter for censorship would go. on the other hand, given that the government could be seen as compelling social media outlets to censor their clients, facebook and twitter would certainly have standing to bring an action against the government. whether, say, a group of facebook or twitter users who have been censored would be seen by the courts to have standing, i don't know.

i dunno about that aide to roger stone's case. at least to me, it doesn't look like a strong case. but then again, i am not a lawyer. townhall.com is a right-wing site, so i can see why they would be hopeful, though.

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WindDancer13's picture

@joe shikspack

A lawsuit brought by the people who have been ousted fit under the first neatly and under the other two by reason:

The party is directly subject to an adverse effect by the statute or action in question, and the harm suffered will continue unless the court grants relief in the form of damages or a finding that the law either does not apply to the party or that the law is void or can be nullified. This is called the "something to lose" doctrine, in which the party has standing because they will be directly harmed by the conditions for which they are asking the court for relief.

So against, FB and Twitter, they have a case per above. For a Constitutional case, they would have standing, I think, under all three also, but most particularly under the second one which allows for suits under public interesting stand, especially under the

the so-called "chilling effects" doctrine.

Yeah, it was the site with the most information, so I went with it. = )

By the way, I am not a lawyer either, but I did sleep on the couch last night. (Is that too lame? Considering I have not watched TV in over 10 years, that really has to be an ancient commercial by now.) I did take an awful lot of law classes while working on my degrees, mostly just for interest, but as a single parent had to drop the idea of law school.

However, you are quite right about the state of the federal courts now. Including Alex Jones might help. = )

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

I had not watched/listened to MSNBC in a while.

The new push from that farce of a "news" network is that partisanship, division, etc. is bad. We all should love our neighbors, despite political differences.

I guess Democrats have decided to stop fighting the idea that they are Pub Lite by teaching us that membership in the duopoly is the high road.

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joe shikspack's picture

@HenryAWallace

yep, it looks like the plan for media is to proclaim that there is a mainstream center and take potshots at anybody that appears to be to the right or left of joe lieberman.

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@joe shikspack

nolabels.org

Back to MSNBC, though: I just saw George Will on a panel during the Chris Matthews show. I though it was bad when MSNBC hired Michael Steele as a recurring "guest."

What I noted then: Whenever MSNBC was about to bring a Republican into the fold, they would have him or her on the Rachel Maddow Show, as though her implicit imprimatur said it all.

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JekyllnHyde's picture

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A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma

joe shikspack's picture

@JekyllnHyde

great cartoon. it appears that trump has discovered $110 billion worth of inconvenient truths.

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divineorder's picture

... Just Foreign Policy email today:

Dear [divineorder],

Urge your Rep. to sign the Khanna-Pocan letter demanding the Administration disclose what it knows about the Saudi assassination of
Jamal Khashoggi.

In the wake of the Saudi regime’s assassination of Saudi-American journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Senator Bernie Sanders is promising to bring back SJRes 54 for a vote next month to end U.S. participation in the catastrophic Saudi war in Yemen. This is key because we need Americans to look anew at U.S. participation in the Saudi war in Yemen now in light of the Saudi regime’s assassination of Khashoggi, and we need Americans to engage Congress now to help make sure we win the Yemen war powers votes in the House and Senate in November.

Sanders said:

"The recent disappearance and likely assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi only underscores how urgent it has become for the United States to redefine our relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Since 2015, the Saudi-led war in Yemen has become the world's largest humanitarian disaster. Earlier this year, along with Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), I introduced Senate Joint Resolution 54, which uses 1973 War Powers Resolution to compel the Trump administration to withdraw U.S. involvement in this war. This past March, the Senate tabled this resolution by a vote of 55-44. This crisis has only gotten worse since then, and our complicity even greater. Next month, I intend to bring SJ Res 54 back for a vote to give the Senate another opportunity to end U.S. support for this catastrophe, to reassert Congressional authority over matters of war, and to show the Saudi government that they do not have a blank check from the United States to continue human rights violations."

Bernie told CNN
:

"I think one of the strong things that we can do is not only stop military sales, not only put sanctions on Saudi Arabia, but most importantly, get out of this terrible, terrible war in Yemen led by the Saudis."

Meanwhile, Ro Khanna and Mark Pocan are organizing to force a vote to end the war in the House in tandem with the vote that Bernie is going to force in the Senate. Khanna and Pocan are pressing U.S. intelligence agencies to publcly disclose what they already know about the Saudi regime’s plotting to harm Khashoggi.

This morning, the New York Times reported:

“The Saudi ambassador to the United States, Prince Khalid bin Salman, left Washington last week, returned to Riyadh and will not be returning...Prince Khalid is the crown prince’s younger brother.”
[...]
“American intelligence agencies had previously intercepted communications of Saudi officials discussing a plan to draw Mr. Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia from his home in exile in the Washington area and then detain him...Those intercepts were shared with senators in classified materials last week, making it impossible to suppress them. It is highly unlikely an attempted rendition of Mr. Khashoggi could have been carried out without the knowledge of Saudi rulers.”

This strongly suggests that the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. was involved in the plot to abduct Khashoggi and that the U.S. government already knows it, because it appears that the U.S. government has intercepted communications about the plot between the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia and his brother, who was the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. Khashoggi tried to get the documents he needed from the Saudi government in the U.S.; they told him he had to go to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to get the documents, and that's where they killed him. This Saudi ambassador is the same man whose "assurances" regarding supposed Saudi efforts to reduce civilian casualties in its war in Yemen were cited by Members of Congress as an excuse to continue supporting the war.

That’s why the Khanna-Pocan effort to force the U.S. government to disclose what it already knows about the assassination is important for our effort to end U.S. participation in the Saudi war in Yemen.

Urge your Rep. to sign the Khanna-Pocan letter demanding that the U.S. government disclose what it already knows about the Saudi regime's assassination of Khashoggi.

Thank you for all you do to help make U.S. foreign policy more just,

Robert Naiman, Sarah Burns, and Hassan El-Tayyab
Just Foreign Policy

If you think our work is important, please support us with an $18 donation.

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/

Something distressing to me I learned about Yemen is that they traditionally import 80-90% of their food. Trouble ahead, trouble behind....

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A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

joe shikspack's picture

@divineorder

i hope that as this latest outrage unfolds it will finally supply washington with the motivation to give the saudi dictatorship the old heave-ho. it will be difficult, though, given all that sweet, sweet saudi cash that they spread around town so liberally.

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divineorder's picture

@joe shikspack

given all that sweet, sweet saudi cash that they spread around town so liberally.
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6 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

Azazello's picture

@divineorder
than just the cash they lay out for arms deals, think tanks, and lobbyists.
What if they quit buying US Gov't debt, quit financing our trade deficit ?
What if they sell their oil for another currency besides the US Dollar ?
What becomes of the Petrodollar, of the Empire ?

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Raggedy Ann's picture

I watched that Chris Hedges interview with JD earlier. He espouses what I espouse - revolution is the only way to change our trajectory. Interesting.

There’s now an audio out of the Kasshoggi (sp-using my phone) murder. Apparently graphic. Maybe the Saudi’s finally shit in their own shoes. We’ll see.

It’s cold here. Sleeting at the house - gotta drive home in it, ugh. Oh well, it’s moisture!

Have a beautiful evening, everyone! Pleasantry

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"If there is not justice for the people, let there be no peace for the government." Emiliano Zapata

divineorder's picture

@Raggedy Ann

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5 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

Raggedy Ann's picture

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4 users have voted.

"If there is not justice for the people, let there be no peace for the government." Emiliano Zapata

divineorder's picture

@divineorder

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8 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

joe shikspack's picture

@Raggedy Ann

yep. the government we have is utterly impermeable by reform efforts, all of which have failed. wholesale change is the only way to restore anything like democracy (not that we ever really had true democracy in our republic).

i suspect that the audio (and video if they have it) will be leaked by the turks who have a significant opportunity now to trip up a rival for power. i'm sure that erdogan has his staff up all night sharpening the knives.

glad that you are getting some precipitation!

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divineorder's picture

@joe shikspack for months and months, but a search lead me to GOS tonight.

His current fp post was very interesting to me, and though I won't link it, it is based on a Buzz Feed work, think it is worth a read. " There really are 'rogue killers'—and they're from the United States" .

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/aramroston/mercenaries-assassinatio...

American Mercenaries Were Hired To Assassinate Politicians In The Middle East

“There was a targeted assassination program in Yemen. I was running it. We did it.”

Aram Roston

BuzzFeed News Reporter

Posted on October 16, 2018, at 5:53 a.m. ET

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8 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

snoopydawg's picture

@divineorder

I read that diary this morning and I agree with you on this. I do read some of the diaries there just to see what they come up with and sometimes it's just so damned funny how they make up facts that fit the narrative.

The Saudis of course didn't do this by themselves. Vlad was involved with the decision to first kill him and then dismember him because that's something Russians do. No matter the topic there someone will always bring Vlad into the diaries. Hey. Mornings are ruff and starting my day off with humor helps.

Smile

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lotlizard's picture

@snoopydawg  
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=lawyers+in+love+jackson+browne&iax=videos&ia=v...

Lawyers in Love

I can’t keep up with what’s been going down
I think my heart must just be slowing down
Among the human beings
In their designer jeans
Am I the only one who hears the screams?
And the strangled cries of lawyers in love

God sends his spaceships to America, the beautiful
They land at six o’clock and there we are, the dutiful
Eating from TV trays
Tuned into Happy Days
Waiting for World War Three while Jesus slaves
To the mating calls of lawyers in love

Last night I watched the news from Washington, the capital
The Russians escaped while we were watching them, like Russians do
Now we’ve got all this room
We’ve even got the moon
And I hear the U.S.S.R. will be open soon
As vacation lands for lawyers in love

(Visual of Mueller, Rosenstein, Comey, and Strzok arm in arm, dancing)

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divineorder's picture

www.nirs.org email

Here's why this is so important, even if you don't live in Texas.

If the dump is approved, transport of 40,000 tons of irradiated ("spent") nuclear reactor fuel by rail, highway or barge would create risks for nearly all of us. Intensely radioactive shipments would travel near schools, hospitals, businesses, and farms, on and over lakes, rivers, and waterways, through areas where our food is grown and our families live, play and work. No public meetings are planned in Texas or elsewhere.

They are asking for people to comment:

Dear Friend,

The deadline for public comments opposing a high-level radioactive waste dump proposed for Texas is Friday.

If you've already submitted a comment the Nuclear Regulatory Commission -- thank you! If not, please do so now. And in both cases -- please tell your friends by sharing this link on email or social media:

http://org2.salsalabs.com/o/5502/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY...

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11 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

joe shikspack's picture

@divineorder

funny how nobody wants a nuclear sacrifice zone to be their backyard.

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divineorder's picture

@joe shikspack anywhere on the same continent!

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5 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

joe shikspack's picture

@divineorder

hell, i don't want it on the same planet. Smile

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point. When the 99% left & right get past the narcissim of small differences we can possibly see some big changes--but probably not before.

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chuck utzman

You can blame me. I did not vote for Her Heinous.

Azazello's picture

@chuckutzman
like you, I flagged a couple of good points in Part 2. At about 2:55 he says,
"... television in low income communities is a form of violence ..." because of the way it portrays a standard of living that is unobtainable in those communities. At the 10:00 mark he gives us this one, about media manipulation, "People confuse what they are made to feel with knowledge." Ain't that the truth.

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joe shikspack's picture

@chuckutzman

yep, it is unlikely that a successful revolution is possible without the left and right coming together to fight the oppressive power of the .1%.

until the left and right make common purpose, it is much more likely that the right-wing fascists will make common purpose with the .1%, regardless of whether they get much for their effort beyond the satisfaction of enacting their racism, sexism and assorted violent fantasies.

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snoopydawg's picture

Prop or Not works in conjunction with the Atlantic Council and they created a list of websites that spread Russian propaganda. According to them.

An Initial Set of Sites That Reliably Echo Russian Propaganda

We assess that this overall Russian effort is at least semi-centralized, with multiple Russian projects and influence operations working in parallel to manage the direct and outsourced production of propaganda across a wide range of outlets. It is data-driven, and rewards effective entrepreneurship and innovation with increased funding and other resources. There are varying degrees of involvement in it, and awareness of involvement. Some people involved seem genuinely unaware that their outlets are being used by Russia as conduits for propaganda.

We would also like to be clear: We strongly believe in the First Amendment rights to freedom of expression and freedom of the press. Diverse and independent media are vital to the health of free society. Non-profit and commercial, alternative and mainstream - all are critical to our democracy. Americans have the right to echo, repeat, be used by, and refer their audiences to Russian official and semi-official state media, including “fake news” propaganda - just as we have the right to analyze and highlight that, without fear or favor. This list was never intended to be “black”. This is NOT a list of “paid” or “knowing” propaganda sources. It is NOT an attempt to censor, blacklist, or tar anyone.

Of course the list isn't a preview for which websites are going to be banned. This country believes that the constitution and bill of rights is sacred. At the bottom of the article is a big, big list of Russian propaganda websites. According to our friends at the Atlantic Council. Our dear Blue Blog is not on it. ....

But I find it very interesting that the websites that 'police the police' have been banned by Facebook and Twitter. And that most of the websites listed here have seen traffic to their sites decreased bigly because of Google changing its algorithms.

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joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

wow, that's quite a list, some of the entries are quite surprising.

i guess one can interpolate what it is that frightens the powers that be from the list.

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snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

and the PTB can't have any websites that doesn't tow the party line telling us what is actually happening. I was surprised by some of the names on it and wondered how whoever made this list up decided which sites to include? This had to be a lot of work unless a computer had some algorithm for certain topics? But we now know what's coming. Just not when.

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6 users have voted.

Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

OzoneTom's picture

@snoopydawg

"...unless a computer had some algorithm for certain topics"

I doubt that they would trust a computer to come up with the "correct" list.

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lotlizard's picture

@joe shikspack  
(I like to think of JackPine Radicals as our “sister site” because its relationship to the web forum Democratic Underground is like c99’s with regard to TOP.)

(They even have the euphemism “SV” — for “Site Voldemort” — which serves the same function over at JPR that the euphemisms “TOP” or “GOS” serve at c99.)

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TheOtherMaven's picture

@snoopydawg

The more things change, the more they stay the same. How soon can we expect a revived House Un-American Activities Committee?

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

lotlizard's picture

@TheOtherMaven  
Jeff Bezos can chair it.

With hearings broadcast in “Prime“ time . . .

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Azazello's picture

Jimmy Dore just dropped this, from one of his live shows. He keeps saying he wants to interview Chomsky. Well, Chomsky lives in Tucson. His live show in Arizona should be here instead of Phoenix.

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joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

thanks for the video! i'd be interested in seeing dore interview chomsky. i think that if they got onto the topic of manufactured consent, it might be something that dore might be able to run with.

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gulfgal98's picture

filled with Duke Ellington music. My father thought that the Duke was the greatest musician who ever lived. Daddy called his music "harmonious discord" which was a huge complement to the genius of Duke Ellington.

The single two greatest influences upon my early music listening were Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald, both of whom I still revere today.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." Sun Tzu

joe shikspack's picture

@gulfgal98

i think that your dad was on to something. Smile

i saw ellington on teevee not too long after i saw the beatles on the ed sullivan show. they had ellington records at the public library (they wouldn't allow the beatles records in their collection) and it really expanded my appreciation of music and confused the hell out of my parents. Smile

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WindDancer13's picture

LOL

Trump’s Attacks on the Press Are Illegal. We’re Suing. A coalition of free-press advocates is taking on the president.

That is why this week PEN America, an organization of writers that defends free expression, together with the nonprofit organization Protect Democracy and the Yale Law School Media Freedom and Information Clinic, is filing suit in federal court seeking an order directing the president not to use the force of his office to exact reprisals against the press.

Cannot stop him from saying stupid things, but can stop his reprisals:

While the president’s actions are unprecedented, the law here is established. A 2015 judicial opinion by the Seventh Circuit’s (now-retired) Judge Richard Posner makes clear that “a public official who tries to shut down an avenue of expression of ideas and opinions through actual or threatened imposition of government power or sanction is violating the First Amendment.” Similarly, a 2003 Second Circuit opinion found that the First Amendment was violated when an official’s statements “can reasonably be interpreted as intimating that some form of punishment or adverse regulatory action will follow the failure to accede to the official’s request.’”

More examples in article, but here is one:

Trump has also repeatedly attacked the Washington Post and threatened to target its owner Jeff Bezos’s biggest holding, Amazon. This spring the president followed through on his threats, ordering the Postal Service to review rates for the online shopping behemoth. Coming in the wake of the president’s eruptions directed at the Post, that order too appears to be punitive.

Trump is really going to regret those rallies. He likes to make his opinion known through those rallies as well as his tweets, so he has been recorded, and deny it as he will, everything is there in full color.

Hope Warren takes him to court for the $1 million to charity. Actually, I think the charity can do that, so she isn't caught in the mess that will ensue.

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8 users have voted.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

lotlizard's picture

@WindDancer13  
Going to bat for that poor, bullied small-business owner Jeffie Bezos and his small business, Amazon, and the tasks Amazon does for the CIA — is what class struggle looks like now?

That’s serving up some seriously twisted activism to go with our inverted totalitarianism.

Imagine it’s 1898 and the president says — which McKinley certainly didn’t, but let’s suppose he did — “The press is lying, the explosion of the Maine was an accident.”

And then people come out who are moralists, and tell us, hey, we have to defend William Randolph Hearst because what kind of a world would it be if Hearst can’t lie to gin up war with Spain without being called on it?

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WindDancer13's picture

@lotlizard

some people would miss the true message regarding the importance of the lawsuit, so here are some others from the same article, so those who choose not to read it can save themselves a click:

After repeatedly attacking CNN’s news coverage as “fake,” “garbage” and “terrible” and personally pledging to block a proposed merger of its parent company, Time Warner, with AT&T, the Trump administration opposed the deal, a vertical merger that would not normally attract antitrust scrutiny.

In other cases, too, the president seems to be retaliating against individuals for their coverage. Trump threatened to withdraw the press credentials of reporters who criticized him; in August CNN’s Kaitlan Collins was barred from a Rose Garden press conference for asking questions the White House judged impertinent.

Curtailing the president’s violations of the First Amendment is unlikely to halt some of its most dangerous ripple effects. The last few months have brought violent attacks on journalists, some clearly inspired by the president’s invective. In August a man was arrested for threatening to murder Boston Globe journalists parroted the president’s “enemy of the people” language. White House radio reporter April Ryan, the New York Times’ Bret Stephens, CNN’s Andrew Kaczynzki and others have received death threats.

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

lotlizard's picture

@WindDancer13  
But the profound absurdity of Jeff Bezos, the Washington Post, and Amazon striking a “Help, help, oh, poor us, whatever shall we do” victim pose is a total red flag (casting about for a choice of words to sound less dated and more up-to-the-minute) is just so triggering for me.

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WindDancer13's picture

@lotlizard

They are still used for a lot of emergencies. Unless, of course, you mean "red flag" in terms of the Cold War, in which case, it is coming back into style/usage.

The article used the Bezos as an example of Trump's actions rather than him personally crying for help. As I have boycotted Amazon and avoid WaPo as much as is humanly possible, any cries from him would fall on uncaring ears. The lawsuit would be a second person one rather than something Bezos is filing himself.

The lawsuit is interesting to me for an additional reason beyond freedom of the press as, depending on how fast it runs through the courts (as in before a black hole swallows Trump), it could find its way to the Supreme Court and test Kavanaugh's allegiance to the king. That could set off quite a furor (pun opportunity,,,fuhrer).

I did appreciate the humor of your response even though my reply did not suggest that.

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4 users have voted.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

it is much more likely that the right-wing fascists will make common purpose with the .1%, regardless of whether they get much for their effort beyond the satisfaction of enacting their racism, sexism and assorted violent fantasies.
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is exactly the kind of manipulation Hedges was talking about.
Yes, it will probably take the MAGA voters some time to see Trump for the con-man he is. But it took some of us an embarrassingly long time to figure out Obama.
Please give 99% folks a little more time to figure things out, and try not to fan the flames created by the MSM. We can win this with a little more effort towards understanding and love.

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chuck utzman

You can blame me. I did not vote for Her Heinous.