The Evening Blues - 11-28-22
Hey! Good Evening!
This evening's music features blues slide guitarist Casey Bill Weldon. Enjoy!
Casey Bill Weldon - Blues Everywere I Go
"Why should freedom of speech and freedom of press be allowed? Why should a government which is doing what it believes to be right allow itself to be criticized? It would not allow opposition by lethal weapons. Ideas are much more fatal things than guns. Why should any man be allowed to buy a printing press and disseminate pernicious opinions calculated to embarrass the government?"
-- Vladimir Lenin
News and Opinion
US Gov Pretends To Care About Persecuted Russian Journalist
US Officials Concern Troll About World Press Freedoms While Assaulting Them
I will never get used to living in a world where our rulers will openly imprison a journalist for telling the truth and then self-righteously pontificate about the need to stop authoritarian regimes from persecuting journalists.
Just today US State Department spokesman and CIA veteran Ned Price tweeted disapprovingly about the Kyrgyz Republic’s decision to deport investigative journalist Bolot Temirov to Russia, where press freedom groups are concerned that the Russian citizen could face conscription to fight in Ukraine.
“Dismayed by the decision to deport journalist Bolot Temirov from the Kyrgyz Republic,” said Price. “Journalists should never be punished for doing their job. The Kyrgyz Republic has been known for its vibrant civil society — attempts to stifle freedom of expression stain that reputation.”
This would be an entirely reasonable statement for anyone else to make. If you said it or I said it, it would be completely legitimate. But when Ned says it, it is illegitimate.
This is after all the same government that is working to extradite an Australian journalist from the United Kingdom with the goal of imprisoning him for up to 175 years for exposing US war crimes. Price says “Journalists should never be punished for doing their job,” but that is precisely what the government he represents is doing to Julian Assange, who has already spent three and a half years in Belmarsh Prison awaiting US extradition shenanigans. This is in top of the seven years he spent fighting extradition from the Ecuadorian embassy in London under what a UN panel ruled was arbitrary detention.
A UN special rapporteur on torture determined that Assange has been subjected to psychological torture by the allied governments which have conspired to imprison him. Scores of doctors have determined that his persecution is resulting in dangerous medical neglect. Yet he is being pulled toward the notoriously draconian prison systems of the most powerful government in the world, where he will face a rigged trial where a defense of publishing in the public interest will not be permitted.
All to establish a legal precedent that will allow the most powerful empire that has ever existed to extradite journalists from anywhere in the world for exposing inconvenient truths about it. But sure, Ned, “Journalists should never be punished for doing their job.”
Earlier this month US secretary of state Antony Blinken posted a tweet of his own commemorating the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, without the slightest trace of self-awareness.
“No member of the press should be threatened, harassed, attacked, arrested, or killed for doing their job,” Blinken said. “On the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, we vow to continue protecting and promoting the rights of a free press and the safety of journalists.”
Two weeks later, the Biden administration shockingly granted Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman immunity from lawsuits regarding the gruesome assassination of US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi, thereby slamming the final door on all attempts to hold the tyrannical ruler responsible for his brazen assault on the press.
“No member of the press should be threatened, harassed, attacked, arrested, or killed for doing their job.”
We are ruled by tyrannical, hypocritical freaks who do not care about truth and freedom; they care only about power and what they can use to obtain it. The only press they support are those whose persecution can be politically leveraged, and those who can be used to peddle propaganda like the notorious AP editor who recently said she “can’t imagine” a US intelligence official being wrong.
Pointing out hypocrisy is important not because hypocrisy is an especially terrible thing in and of itself, but because it draws attention to the fact that the hypocrite does not really stand where they claim to stand and value what they purport to value. The rulers of the western empire care about press freedoms only exactly insofar as they can use them to concern troll foreign governments they don’t like to advance their global power agendas. And not one molecule further.
Bakhmut, leaving ZNPP, invading Russia, and Polish soldier casualties
Poland upsets some by rebuffing German air defense system
Poland’s government says an anti-missile system which Germany offered to send to Poland should instead go to Ukraine, a proposal that is a likely non-starter for Berlin because it would significantly ratchet up NATO involvement in Ukraine.
Poland’s surprising response to Berlin’s offer was welcomed by Ukraine, which is desperate to protect its airspace as barrage upon barrage of Russian missiles have knocked out power across the country. But Germany’s Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht stressed that use of NATO defense systems outside its territory needs to be agreed by all member states. ...
In Poland, critics of the populist ruling party accused it of sacrificing the country’s security with a war next door in Ukraine for the sake of a domestic political struggle which exploits anti-German sentiment for short-term gain.
The Rzeczpospolita daily called the new proposal by Poland’s leaders “shocking,” arguing that it would require sending German soldiers operating the system to Ukraine, and “that, in turn, would involve NATO in a direct clash with Russia, something the alliance has been trying to avoid from the beginning.”
“This proposal affects Poland’s credibility and, worst of all, its security. The Germans get a clear signal that we do not want their help, so the defense potential of the Polish sky will be lower,” deputy editor Michal Szuldrzynski wrote. “In the worst war in Europe since 1945, this is an unforgivable mistake.” An aide to Poland’s President Andrzej Duda said the president has not been consulted on the decision.
This Is How America Ends
The Pentagon fails its fifth audit in a row
Last week, the Department of Defense revealed that it had failed its fifth consecutive audit.
“I would not say that we flunked,” said DoD Comptroller Mike McCord, although his office did note that the Pentagon only managed to account for 39 percent of its $3.5 trillion in assets. “The process is important for us to do, and it is making us get better. It is not making us get better as fast as we want.”
The news came as no surprise to Pentagon watchers. After all, the U.S. military has the distinction of being the only U.S. government agency to have never passed a comprehensive audit.
But what did raise some eyebrows was the fact that DoD made almost no progress in this year’s bookkeeping: Of the 27 areas investigated, only seven earned a clean bill of financial health, which McCord described as “basically the same picture as last year.”
$20B+ In Ukraine Aid UNACCOUNTED FOR As Biden Admin CLAMBERS To Track Ahead Of GOP Probe
Chevron To PUMP OIL In Venezuela Again
US Grants Chevron License to Pump Oil Again in Venezuela
The US has granted Chevron a limited license to restart pumping oil in Venezuela in the most significant easing of sanctions on the country since the harsh measures were imposed by the Trump administration.
The move came after the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro signed a deal with an opposition coalition to unlock about $3 billion in Venezuelan funds that were frozen by US and European banks. Under the deal, the funds will go toward humanitarian and economic development projects.
According to the Treasury Department, the license granted to Chevron prohibits the Venezuelan state oil company PdVSA from receiving profits from any oil sales by Chevron. The license is only limited to Chevron and does not allow any other companies to work with PdVSA.
The Treasury Department said that all other sanctions on Venezuela will remain in place and that the US will “vigorously enforce these sanctions.”
Kim Jong-un daughter inspects another ICBM as leader hails North Korea’s nuclear power
Kim Jong-un has said North Korea intends to have the world’s most powerful