The Evening Blues - 7-20-21


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Joe Carter

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features Chicago blues guitarist Joe Carter. Enjoy!

Joe Carter and his Chicago Broomdusters - I'm Worried

"Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day."

-- Thomas Jefferson

News and Opinion

White House Orders Censorship Of Social Media

“We’ve Got To Fight Disinformation,” Says Empire Made Entirely Of Disinformation

The weirdest thing about the Biden administration tasking itself with the censorship of “disinformation” on social media is that the United States is the hub of a globe-spanning empire that is built upon a foundation of disinformation, maintained by disinformation, and facilitated by disinformation.

If the propaganda engine of the US-centralized empire ceased actively deceiving the public about the world, it would collapse immediately. There would be mass unrest at home and abroad, status quo politics would be abandoned, alliances and coalitions would crumble, leaders official and unofficial would be ousted, and US unipolar hegemony would end.

The only thing keeping this from happening is the vast amounts of wealth and energy which are poured into continuously deceiving the people of America and its allies about what’s really going on in their nations and political systems, and in the world as a whole.

Getting people believing they live in separate, sovereign nations which function independently from one another, instead of member states within a single undeclared empire which moves as one unit on the international stage.

Getting people believing they control the fate of their nation via the democratic process, when in reality all large-scale politics are scripted puppet shows controlled by a plutocratic class who owns both the politicians and the media outlets which report on them.

Getting people believing they are part of a virtuous rules-based international order which opposes totalitarian regimes to spread freedom and democracy, instead of a tyrannical empire that works to destroy any nation which disobeys its dictates.

And above all, manufacturing the illusion that the oppressive, exploitative imperialist status quo is normal.

It’s not the big, famous lies like those which preceded the invasion of Iraq that make up the bulk of the adhesive holding the empire together, it’s the small, mundane lies we’re fed every single day by the plutocratic media. The ones which distort our worldview by half-truths, spins and omissions designed to normalize a status quo of murder, theft and ecocide.

This normalization happens in the way pundits and politicians treat any attempt to end wars or redress income inequality as freakish extremism and unrealistic fantasy, when in reality it’s the most sane and normal thing in the world and the only thing unrealistic about it is the fact that attempts to advance those agendas are always sabotaged by those same pundits and politicians.

The normalization also happens in the way endless wars, starvation deaths by US sanctions, the looming threat of total extinction via climate collapse or nuclear war, rapidly exacerbating income inequality and increasing tyranny at home and abroad are not treated as newsworthy stories, while celebrity gossip and partisan bickering between AOC and Marjorie Taylor Greene makes headline news. Every day the news media fail to report on the greatest horrors that the empire has unleashed on our world while focusing on vapid trivialities, they help normalize the horrors.

If the mass media actually existed to share important information about the world, the US-backed genocide in Yemen would be front-page news every day instead of something which gets a marginal mention once every few weeks. Every day it isn’t, this outrageous abuse is normalized.

If the mass media actually existed to share important information about the world, the fact that Americans are getting poorer and poorer while billionaires multiply their wealth during the pandemic would be brought front and center to everyone’s attention. Every day it isn’t, this outrageous abuse is normalized.

If the mass media actually existed to share important information about the world, the fact that the US military just spent trillions of dollars on a decades-long occupation of Afghanistan that accomplished nothing besides making horrible people rich would have been a national scandal. Every day it isn’t, this outrageous abuse is normalized.

But the mass media do not exist to share important information about the world. They exist to share important disinformation about the world. If they did not do this, the same US empire which is decrying the spread of disinformation today would collapse into its own footprint.

The US empire is without exception the single most corrupt and destructive force on this planet, and it’s not even close. It is the very last institution on earth that should be in charge of deciding what online content is true and what is “disinformation”. Absolute dead last, without exaggeration.

Depraved institutions which lie constantly and have killed millions and displaced tens of millions just since the turn of this century should not be the Ministry of Truth for the world’s online communication systems. This should be extremely obvious to everyone.

Amnesty Int’l Calls for Moratorium on Private Spyware After Israeli NSO Group Pegasus Revelations

Edward Snowden calls for spyware trade ban amid Pegasus revelations

Governments must impose a global moratorium on the international spyware trade or face a world in which no mobile phone is safe from state-sponsored hackers, Edward Snowden has warned in the wake of revelations about the clients of NSO Group. Snowden, who in 2013 blew the whistle on the secret mass surveillance programmes of the US National Security Agency, described for-profit malware developers as “an industry that should not exist”.

He made the comments in an interview with the Guardian after the first revelations from the Pegasus project, a journalistic investigation by a consortium of international media organisations into the NSO Group and its clients. ... Snowden said the consortium’s findings illustrated how commercial malware had made it possible for repressive regimes to place vastly more people under the most invasive types of surveillance. For traditional police operations to plant bugs or wiretap a suspect’s phone, law enforcement would need to “break into somebody’s house, or go to their car, or go to their office, and we’d like to think they’ll probably get a warrant”, he said.

But commercial spyware made it cost-efficient for targeted surveillance against vastly more people. “If they can do the same thing from a distance, with little cost and no risk, they begin to do it all the time, against everyone who’s even marginally of interest,” he said. “If you don’t do anything to stop the sale of this technology, it’s not just going to be 50,000 targets. It’s going to be 50 million targets, and it’s going to happen much more quickly than any of us expect.” ...

Snowden said commercial malware such as Pegasus was so powerful that ordinary people could in effect do nothing to stop it. Asked how people could protect themselves, he said: “What can people do to protect themselves from nuclear weapons? “There are certain industries, certain sectors, from which there is no protection, and that’s why we try to limit the proliferation of these technologies. We don’t allow a commercial market in nuclear weapons.” He said the only viable solution to the threat of commercial malware was an international moratorium on its sale. “What the Pegasus project reveals is the NSO Group is really representative of a new malware market, where this is a for-profit business,” he said. “The only reason NSO is doing this is not to save the world, it’s to make money.”

Modi accused of treason by opposition over India spyware disclosures

Narendra Modi’s government has been accused of treason and “unforgivable sacrilege” by the political opposition in India following a series of reports by the Pegasus project revealing several journalists, activists and an opposition election strategist had their phone numbers included in a data leak of more than 50,000 numbers that, since 2016, are believed to have been selected as those of persons of interests by government clients of NSO Group. The stories, published in the Guardian and in partner media outlets around the world on Sunday and Monday, revealed details of hundreds of verified Indian phone numbers that appear in leaked records of numbers.

They include two phone numbers belonging to India’s most prominent political opposition figure, Rahul Gandhi, who led the Congress party to defeat in the 2019 elections. The leaked records show his number was selected as a possible target the year before and in the months after the vote. It is not possible to say whether a phone in the leaked data was infiltrated or successfully hacked without forensic analysis. But the investigation confirmed infections by NSO Group’s surveillance software Pegasus, or signs of potential targeting, on phones linked to 10 Indian numbers and on an additional 27 phones around the world.

The surveillance software, which India has never confirmed using, is licensed only to national governments. Analysis of the phone numbers selected for possible surveillance by the NSO client in question indicates that it was predominately used to target Indian numbers including those of critics of the Modi government. In a statement, Congress accused the Modi government of being the “deployer and executor” of a “spying racket”.

Traces of Pegasus – software with the ability to breach a phone, access its contents and turn it into a portable surveillance device – were found on the device of Prashant Kishor, an election strategist who clashed with Modi’s party during a state vote in April. Analysis of his phone showed he had been hacked using Pegasus as recently as the morning of the forensic examination. Kishor told NDTV on Monday: “We used to suspect snooping but never realised hacking, that too from 2017 to 2021. Although I changed my handset five times, as the evidence suggests, hacking continues."

Amnesty International: Julian Assange’s “Arbitrary” Detention Must End. Release Him Now.

Pushed By Press Freedom Advocates, Garland Limits DOJ's Ability to Seize Reporters' Phone Records

In a move that press freedom advocates said would "ensure journalists can do their job of informing the public without fear of federal government intrusion," the U.S. Department of Justice on Monday announced new rules limiting federal prosecutors' ability to secretly seize journalists' phone and email records, which were expanded under the Obama and Trump administrations as the government sought to crack down on leaks.

In a memo, Attorney General Merrick Garland wrote that the DOJ "will no longer use compulsory legal process for the purpose of obtaining information from or records of members of the news media acting within the scope of newsgathering activities."

The new rules revise the "balancing test" used by federal prosecutors who want to find out who reporters' sources are; previously, the DOJ has pursued unauthorized disclosures of who reporters spoke to via phone or email—but not the content of the discussions—if they could make the argument that doing so was in the interest of national security.

Prosecutors have been able to seek reporters' phone and email records without alerting news organizations if they believed telling the outlet that doing so could impede the investigation.

Such balancing tests "may fail to properly weigh the important national interest in protecting journalists from compelled disclosure of their sources—sources they need to apprise the American people of the workings of their government," Garland said in the memo.

For that reason, the attorney general released new rules stating the DOJ can only seek journalists' phone and email records only if the reporter is under investigation for activities "not based on or within the scope of newsgathering," or is suspected of being "an agent of a foreign power or a member of a foreign terrorist organization."

Exceptions can also be made when seizure of a reporter's records is deemed "necessary to prevent an imminent risk of death or serious bodily harm," the DOJ memo reads. ...

Garland's announcement came weeks after the DOJ said that during the Trump administration, the department had secretly obtained the phone records of three Washington Post reporters, CNN's Pentagon correspondent, and four journalists at the New York Times, reportedly under the rules put in place by the Obama administration.

US condemns China for ‘malicious’ cyberattacks, including Microsoft hack

The US has led allies in a sharp condemnation of China for “malicious” cyberattacks, including a hack of Microsoft Exchange email server software that compromised tens of thousands of computers around the world earlier this year. The US justice department on Monday charged four Chinese nationals with hacking, as Washington accused Beijing of extortion and threatening national security.

The Microsoft hack affected at least 30,000 US organisations including local governments as well as entities worldwide and was disclosed in March.

Antony Blinken, the secretary of state, accused China of being responsible and said it was part of a “pattern of irresponsible, disruptive and destabilizing behavior in cyberspace, which poses a major threat to our economic and national security”. Blinken added in a statement that China’s “Ministry of State Security (MSS) has fostered an ecosystem of criminal contract hackers who carry out both state-sponsored activities and cybercrime for their own financial gain”. ...

The administration and allied nations also disclosed a range of other cyberthreats from Beijing, including ransomware attacks from government-affiliated hackers that have targeted companies with demands for millions of dollars. The MSS has been using criminal contract hackers, who have engaged in cyber extortion schemes and theft for their own profit, according to a senior US administration official who did not wish to be named.

Pedro Castillo makes unity plea after finally being named Peru’s next president

Pedro Castillo, a rural teacher turned political novice, has become the winner of Peru’s presidential election after the country’s longest electoral count in 40 years. In his first comments as president-elect, he called for national unity. “I ask for effort and sacrifice in the struggle to make this a just and sovereign country,” he said.

Castillo, whose supporters included Peru’s poor and rural citizens, defeated right-wing politician Keiko Fujimori by just 44,000 votes. Electoral authorities released the final official result on Monday in a televised ceremony, more than a month after the runoff election took place in the South American nation. On Monday night, TV images showed Castillo’s supporters pouring out on to the streets, chanting, “Yes, we could.”

Castillo is set to take office on 28 July for a five-year term as leader of the world’s second largest copper-producing nation.

A 51-year-old former school teacher and the son of peasant farmers, Castillo has pledged to redraft the constitution and raise taxes on mining firms, but has in recent weeks softened his rhetoric and hinted at a more moderate, market-friendly approach. Wielding a pencil the size of a cane, symbol of his Peru Libre party, Castillo popularised the phrase “No more poor in a rich country.” The economy of Peru has been crushed by the coronavirus pandemic, increasing the poverty level to almost one-third of the population and eliminating the gains of a decade. ...

Fujimori said on Monday she was bound by law to recognise the official election result. “I am going to recognise the results because it is what the law and the constitution that I have sworn to defend, mandates. The truth is going to come out anyway,” she said.

Oops. I guess the CIA has a lot of ratfucking to do.

Gabriel Boric wins Chile presidential primary as protest generation takes centre stage

A decade ago, Gabriel Boric was a long-haired 25-year old leading thousands of clamouring students through the streets of the Chilean capital with megaphone in hand, demanding free education for all. Boric was part of a radical generation of student leaders who were catapulted into the spotlight in 2011 during an uprising against the disparities in Chile’s education system.

Those protests radicalized a generation and are now seen as a precursor to the wider outbreak of social unrest which exploded across the country in October 2019.

Now, after two terms in congress, Boric has stormed into Chile’s presidential race, winning more than 60% of the vote to become candidate for the country’s leftwing coalition in November’s election. Boric took more than 1m votes in Sunday’s primary, scoring a decisive victory over the Communist party candidate Daniel Jadue, and vowed to lead the assault on Chile’s Pinochet-era economic model.

“We come from social movements [and] were shaped politically by the struggles which have been building throughout history … If Chile was the birthplace of neoliberalism, it will also be its grave!” he proclaimed, fist raised into the night sky. ...

Meanwhile, the former social development minister and state bank president Sebastián Sichel, fought off competition from a conservative mayor and two other former ministers to win a four-way rightwing primary. Victories for Sichel and Boric suggest that while many Chileans want change after a tumultuous 18 months of protests and quarantines, they were unwilling to look to the extremes on either side of the political spectrum.

US-Led Group INSTALLS New Haitian Leader

Haiti, Urged by Foreign Powers, Announces New Government

With foreign powers weighing in, Haitian officials announced a new prime minister on Monday, in an attempt to resolve a caustic leadership struggle in the wake of President Jovenel Moïse’s assassination. Claude Joseph, the prime minister who took control of Haiti’s government immediately after the killing, said he was stepping down in favor of Ariel Henry, a neurosurgeon who had been appointed to the position by the president shortly before he was killed. ...

Ever since the assassination on July 7, Haitian politicians have been at loggerheads, grappling for control of the government. And the scramble for power is being heavily influenced — even directed, some Haitians say — by foreign countries, including the United States, which has held enormous sway in Haiti since invading the country more than 100 years ago.

“Haiti has become a baseball being thrown between foreign diplomats,” Joseph Lambert, the president of Haiti’s Senate, said in an interview, adding that pressure from American diplomats was a major factor in the reshuffling of Haiti’s leadership. As Senate president, Mr. Lambert said, he had sought to lead the nation after the president’s death. But, he said, the United States urged him to stand down. “I received calls from certain American diplomats in Haiti,” he added. “Also I received calls from diplomats in the U.S. State Department, who asked me to postpone so we had time to build a larger consensus.”

American officials said they were pushing for a unity government among the various figures claiming leadership of Haiti, with the aim of paving the way for free and fair elections down the road.

Mr. Joseph said he would now become the foreign minister in Mr. Henry’s cabinet.

Ben & Jerry’s to stop sales in occupied Palestinian territories

Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream has announced that it will no longer sell its ice-cream in the occupied Palestinian territories, saying the sales are “inconsistent with our values.” The announcement on Monday was one of the highest-profile rebukes by a well-known brand of Israel’s settlements which are regarded as illegal under international law. In a statement posted on the company’s website, the Vermont-based ice-cream maker says it recognises “the concerns shared with us by our fans and trusted partners.”

“We have a longstanding partnership with our licensee, who manufactures Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream in Israel and distributes it in the region,” the statement said. “We have been working to change this, and so we have informed our licensee that we will not renew the licence agreement when it expires at the end of next year.”

Aida Touma-Sliman, an Israeli lawmaker with the Joint List of Arab parties, wrote on Twitter that Ben & Jerry’s decision Monday was “appropriate and moral”. She added that the “occupied territories are not part of Israel” and that the move is an important step to help pressure the Israeli government to end the occupation. ...

Israel’s foreign minister, Yair Lapid, called the decision “a shameful capitulation to antisemitism” and said he would take up the issue with the more than 30 states that have legislation against the BDS movement which advocates boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israeli institutions and businesses.

Rising Covid cases spark fears of resurgent pandemic in US

A rapid increase in coronavirus cases in the US and abroad is fueling fears of a pandemic resurgence and on Monday sent shockwaves through the stock market as the highly contagious Delta variant takes hold – and Joe Biden urged Americans to “please, please get vaccinated”.

The number of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths due to Covid-19 have been rising worryingly in recent days, largely driven by outbreaks in parts of the country with low vaccination rates, as officials have been warning of a “pandemic of the unvaccinated”. ...

Covid cases are now rising in all 50 US states and some cities are once again considering or already imposing mask mandates. ...

The available vaccines work against the Delta variant, but lab tests have shown them to be less effective than they were against the original form of coronavirus.

And Biden warned that the US recovery hinged on getting the pandemic under control, noting that four states with low vaccination rates accounted for 40% of all new coronavirus infections last week.

US stock markets tumble as investors fret about Delta variant spread

US stock markets dropped sharply on Monday as investors worried about the impact of the coronavirus Delta variant on the economic recovery. ...

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 725 points, or 2.1%, after losing 946 points earlier in the day. The S&P 500 lost 1.6% and the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite declined 1.1%.

Last week, Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the seven-day average of coronavirus infections had increase nearly 70% in a week, to about 26,300 cases a day.

That news came as cases are rising even in other highly vaccinated nations, including the UK, leading to worries of a broader economic slowdown.

Monday’s selloff was reminiscent of the market losses experienced in the early days of the pandemic, with airlines and travel companies falling hard amid fears of new travel restrictions.

“Heartbreaking”: Judge’s Suspension of DACA Renews Push for Comprehensive Immigration Bill

the horse race

Five Texas Democrats who fled state in protest test positive for Covid

Two more Texas lawmakers who left their state to hobble efforts to pass voting restrictions have tested positive for the coronavirus, raising to five the number of infected people in the delegation.

State representative Trey Martinez Fischer of San Antonio said in a statement he had tested positive. “I am quarantining until I test negative, and I am grateful to be only experiencing extremely mild symptoms,” he said. “When my Texas House Democratic colleagues and I broke quorum to stop anti-voter legislation, we knew that tactic would come with real personal sacrifice.

“Just as these new variants sweeping the country are more aggressive than ever, the wave of anti-voter legislation in this country is worse than we’ve seen in generations. That’s why, I will continue the fight for voting rights with every single fiber of my being.”

the evening greens

Seven Water Protectors Protesting Line 3 Pipeline Arrested at the Shell River

At least seven water protectors from the Indigenous-led movement to stop Enbridge's Line 3 were arrested on Monday while protesting at the Shell River in Minnesota, which the partially completed tar sands pipeline is set to cross in five places.

"Today women and other water protectors from across multiple communities in Minnesota sat together at the Shell River, near Park Rapids, Minnesota, in peaceful prayer to oppose the construction of Line 3," the group Honor the Earth said on Instagram. "These women represent many others who stand in solidarity with the protection of water across Anishinaabe treaty lands."

Honor the Earth executive director Winona LaDuke, one of the Indigenous women leading the fight against Line 3, was among those arrested and zip-tied by officers. According to the group, more than 500 people have been arrested for protesting the Canadian energy company's effort to replace an old pipeline with lower capacity.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has temporarily suspended some surface water-related permits for Line 3 in response to ongoing drought conditions in the state.

As Minnesota-based Bring Me The News reported Monday:

Starting July 15, Enbridge's water sources within the Crow Wing River, St. Louis River, Pine River, and Mississippi River-Brainerd watersheds are suspended. This suspension impacts 10 water sources used in dust control, and 13 water sources used in [hydrostatic testing and horizontal directional drilling].

That includes along the Shell River, where the group Honor the Earth said more than 40 water protectors were on the scene Monday.

Last Thursday, about 200 people—including LaDuke and actor Marisa Tomei—gathered at the Shell River for a "Women for the Rivers" event.

"A society that permits violence on water and violence on women is a society we stand to change," LaDuke said ahead of the gathering last week. "Together on Thursday we will practice treaty rights and rally at the Shell River, where the Enbridge corporation is preparing to drill for the dangerous Line 3 tar sands pipeline—just one of 22 river crossings Line 3 will cross, including the Mississippi River twice! As Enbridge builds Line 3 through Anishinaabe treaty land, we continue to stand strong in our resistance."

The Duluth News Tribune reported that Tomei, during Thursday's event, took aim at President Joe Biden, who ran for office promising to combat the climate emergency.

"It's time to stop playing politics with the future of life on this planet," Tomei said. "If President Biden is serious about climate change, if he's serious about respecting the rights of Indigenous people, and if he's serious about making sure we're on track to have a livable planet then Line 3 must be stopped."

Earlier this month, more than 200 activists, celebrities, Democratic donors, and environmentalists sent a letter demanding that Biden stop Enbridge's pipeline project—like he did with Keystone XL on his first day in office—and to "firmly establish the principle that we will move forward toward real climate solutions."

That letter came after the Biden administration infuriated opponents of Line 3 last month by filing a legal brief in support of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' approval of the project under former President Donald Trump.

Biden's refusal so far to intervene on Line 3 has not deterred the pipeline's critics from continuing to fight against it in court and on the ground with peaceful acts of civil disobedience that have, at times, halted construction.

Much more at the link:

How a powerful US lobby group helps big oil to block climate action

When Royal Dutch Shell published its annual environmental report in April, it boasted that it was investing heavily in renewable energy. The oil giant committed to installing hundreds of thousands of charging stations for electric vehicles around the world to help offset the harm caused by burning fossil fuels. On the same day, Shell issued a separate report revealing that its single largest donation to political lobby groups last year was made to the American Petroleum Institute, one of the US’s most powerful trade organizations, which drives the oil industry’s relationship with Congress.

Contrary to Shell’s public statements in support of electric vehicles, API’s chief executive, Mike Sommers, has pledged to resist a raft of Joe Biden’s environmental measures, including proposals to fund new charging points in the US. He claims a “rushed transition” to electric vehicles is part of “government action to limit Americans’ transportation choice”.

Shell donated more than $10m to API last year alone. And it’s not just Shell. Most other oil conglomerates are also major funders, including ExxonMobil, Chevron and BP, although they have not made their contributions public. The deep financial ties underscore API’s power and influence across the oil and gas industry, and what politicians describe as the trade group’s defining role in setting major obstacles to new climate policies and legislation.

Critics accuse Shell and other major oil firms of using API as cover for the industry. While companies run publicity campaigns claiming to take the climate emergency seriously, the trade group works behind the scenes in Congress to stall or weaken environmental legislation. Earlier this year, an Exxon lobbyist in Washington was secretly recorded by Greenpeace describing API as the industry’s “whipping boy” to direct public and political criticism away from individual companies.

Wind and lightning complicate Bootleg fire as 80 blazes burn across 13 states

The enormous Bootleg fire burning in southern Oregon has grown to a third the size of Rhode Island, fuelled by erratic winds and dry lightning, and is just one of 80 large fires burning across 13 US states.

The challenging weather conditions have added to the dangers for the crews in parched Oregon forests who are battling the fire, currently the largest wildfire in the US. The blaze just north of the California state line has grown to 476 square miles and was 25% contained on Monday.

Meteorologists predicted critically dangerous fire weather through at least Monday with lightning possible in California and southern Oregon.

“We are running firefighting operations through the day and all through the night,” said incident commander Joe Hessel in a statement on Monday morning. “This fire is a real challenge, and we are looking at sustained battle for the foreseeable future.”

Thousands were ordered to evacuate, including nearly 2,000 who live in rugged terrain among lakes and wildlife refuges near the fire, which has burned at least 67 homes and 100 outbuildings. Excessive heat has baked the desiccated region, intensifying drought conditions, complicating fire containment efforts and increasing the risks of new ignitions. Officials are also concerned that dry lightning storms over California and the northern Great Basin could spark new fires. The National Weather Service has issued red flag warnings and fire weather watches from central California to northwest South Dakota.

Also of Interest

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

Coronavirus map of the US: latest cases state by state

German flood alert system criticised for ‘monumental failure’

Media Embellish Protests, Downplay Effects of US Sanctions in Cuba

U.S. Takes Down Israeli Spy Software Company

ASSANGE EXTRADITION: Why the Crumbling Computer Conspiracy Case Is So Vital to the US

Iraqi PM Wants Support From the US But Wants ‘Combat’ Troops to Leave

UK Govt Refuses to Release Venezuelan Gold to Maduro

The Overlooked Factors in Police Abuse Cases

A Battle Royale Has Begun Over Fed Chair Powell’s Fitness for a Second Term

The Amazon is now a net carbon producer, but there’s still time to reverse the damage

How the billionaire space race could be one giant leap for pollution

Democracy Now: Mexico Used Private Israeli Spyware Pegasus to Surveil President’s Family & a Murdered Journalist

Ryan Grim: Assassination Of Haitian President Signals BILLIONAIRES Can Buy A Coup

Krystal and Saagar: Biden's BUMBLING Facebook 'War' Shows Vaccine Ineptitude

Krystal and Saagar: POLLS Shows NOBODY Believes In Kamala For President, Dem Brand Ruined

Krystal Ball: EPIC Battle Between Cash And Culture War Remaking American Politics

A Little Night Music

Joe Carter - Rock Me

Joe Carter & Magic Slim - Soul blues

Joe Carter & Big John Wrencher - Honey Bee

Joe Carter - It Hurts Me Too'

Joe Carter - Hoochie Koochie Man

Joe Carter - I'm Worried

Joe Carter & Kansas City Red - Open Your Heart

Joe Carter - Treat Me the Way You Do

Magic Slim, Joe Carter, Sunnyland Slim - In the Dark

Joe Carter - Dust My Broom

15 users have voted.


15 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


thanks for the video. there's an interesting bit of analysis up over at moon of alabama that is worth taking a peek at, too:

U.S. Takes Down Israeli Spy Software Company.

10 users have voted.

summs up my current reality perfectly. What I see on the ground in NYC everyday, plus what I know from years of close observation, is that very little of what passes for news and info on my City reflects reality.

Caitin's quote is also spot on. All info is or shortly will be controlled.

Thanks for this excellent round-up. Some glimmers of brightness south of our border, especially Peru. Gives us something hopeful.

OTOH, the so-called moderate Leftish politician in Israel, Yair Lapid, seems to have taken leave of his senses. Ben & Jerry's is his target? wtf. B & J are not going to sell their ice cream in the Occupied Territories. Seemsto me that the manufacturers get to decide where they will or will not sell, not a politician. but what do I know....

The good news from Israel----which you will not see too many places---is that control of the budget with regard to payouts to Ultra-religious men who do not work but pray every day at government expense, have seen their welfare being cut and now understand that the change of government will be a change they cannot stop. I am looking forward to public transportation running 7 days a week which will send a very loud signal of change and the end of Rabbi Rule.

13 users have voted.


joe shikspack's picture


heh, interesting that the problem of the media is as old as jefferson (and then some) and worse than ever.

it sounds to me like yair lapid is being ridiculous, but he has a plan. i assume from his statements that his plan is to go to war with ben and jerry's and attempt to turn the states that have passed anti-bds laws into no-go zones for ben and jerry's products until they comply with the zionist agenda. i hope that he fails miserably.

11 users have voted.

@joe shikspack what an ugly fight to pick

7 users have voted.



The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a very complex and sensitive situation. As a global company, Unilever’s brands are available in more than 190 countries and in all of them, our priority is to serve consumers with essential products that contribute to their health, wellbeing and enjoyment.

We remain fully committed to our presence in Israel, where we have invested in our people, brands and business for several decades.

Ben & Jerry’s was acquired by Unilever in 2000. As part of the acquisition agreement, we have always recognised the right of the brand and its independent Board to take decisions about its social mission. We also welcome the fact that Ben & Jerry’s will stay in Israel.

Edited to add the neutral stance of the State Department. /S

U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price declined to respond to Ben & Jerry's decision, calling it "the actions of a private company." But he reiterated the Biden administration's opposition to the global boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement that seeks to isolate Israel over its treatment of the Palestinians.

"We firmly reject the BDS movement, which unfairly singles out Israel," Price told a regular press briefing.

10 users have voted.

@humphrey Right. period.

6 users have voted.





12 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


yep, the elites' gratitude for your years of compulsory service is limited at best.

7 users have voted.

15 users have voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

This is definitely the place to read the one narrative that is guaranteed to be censored tomorrow.

When Jefferson said:

"Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day."

Thomas Jefferson must have been one of the unpopular few who could spot the media-lies in real time. Such people live partially in the future.

If he were alive today, he would happily replace "newspaper" with "US History Book"

No culture on earth is so far removed from historic reality.

14 users have voted.

Add some Truth to your daily news. CGTN — See the difference!

joe shikspack's picture

@Pluto's Republic

in jefferson's time there was a hyperpartisan press. in yours and my lifetime, we experienced a press that was in the earlier years of our existence reined in by social expectations of balance and enforced government policy like the fairness doctrine.

in recent years, those concepts of balance (and the fairness doctrine itself) have been abandoned and along with the concentration of media ownership into a relatively few corporate hands, that abandonment has created a partisan media environment that jefferson would recognize and denounce in the same terms for the same reasons.

have a great evening!

eta: it should be noted that the balance and fairness was always an illusion, the media was always biased in favor of the wealthy ownership class' interests, but it was better hidden and the range of viewpoints that could be expressed in the media was somewhat broader.

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snoopydawg's picture

The article is long, but worth a read.

More info coming out on how the FBI was embedded with the 1/6 event that the Michigan one was a trial run for. Still wondering what Trump’s role in winding people up and then turning them lose on the capital. How long has the domestic terrorist law been written and by who? It just seemed a tad too convenient. Both times cops stood down and let people into the buildings. Add in the blatant calls for censorship and I’m not liking where this is headed.

Sending more messages!

There have been 3 dam collapses in China and no one knows how many deaths.


A few more good quotes.

"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . . Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money-power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”

Abraham Lincoln

“Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.”

John Adams

Yeah you’d think that there would have been some warnings about the massive amounts of rain getting ready to hit parts of Germany. Lots more flood warnings for S Utah this evening. I got a 15 minute shower last night and boy did it smell good.

Thanks for the news.

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In a free country civil liberties are not only for certain groups.
So this is how liberty dies . . . with thunderous applause.
The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

joe shikspack's picture


thanks for the links.

i quickly scanned the buzzfeed piece and what i saw looks interesting as well as familiar after many previous cases where the feebs set up people for terrorism charges.

kevin g's piece is good also. this leapt out at me:

Prosecutors refused to dismiss four additional charges but declined to request a trial on those charges. They left open the possibility of going to trial if they are unsatisfied with the harshness of the sentence. And they now manipulate Hale’s guilty plea in their argument for severe punishment in order to render it insignificant.

“[Hale] apparently does not accept that the documents that he provided to reporter had the potential to cause such ‘serious’ or ‘exceptionally grave’ damage to the national security,” prosecutors contend. “To trigger a reduction in offense level for acceptance of responsibility, a defendant must establish that he has accepted responsibility for all of the charged criminal conduct in the count of conviction (and, of course, all related conduct).”

Prosecutors indicate they would accept a sentence of seven years and 3 months if Hale admitted his whistleblowing risked “serious” or “exceptionally grave” damage to U.S. national security.

In other words, they do not believe Hale’s guilty plea is good enough to receive a sentence of five years or less, and they have trapped a conscientious and vulnerable individual in a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation.

have a great evening!

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@snoopydawg @snoopydawg Does Utah ever use rainbarrels?

I remember that rainbarrels became a thing in CA in the last decade or so. This tune from a galaxy far far away, when kids went out to play and weren't glued to screens popped into my mind this morning.

"Playmate, come out and play with me.....
Climb up my rainbarrel, slide down my cellar door,
And we'll be jolly friends, forever more."

Drought. Wildfires. Unimaginable flash flooding OMG all of it.

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I just networked through a friend who has a friend, etc...and will close on some property in Colorado on Friday. In August, I will go look at it!
The hacking stuff is so scary, and I am not a fraidy cat.
Assange needs to walk out a free man now!
As for everything south of the US border, "Go Sandinistas! Go Bolivarians! And who rocks? CHE ROCKS!

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joe shikspack's picture

@on the cusp

congratulations! i've always enjoyed visiting colorado, it has some really incredible scenery. i hope your new property comes with a fabulous view.

have a great evening!

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@joe shikspack My friend/client said she bought acreage, and that right now it was incredibly cheap, but was inching up, due to explode soon. Her pal, a realtor, had
pals, and they wanted out of their property for what they invested, but on Tuesday, it would be listed for high dollar.
So, I will close Friday, and have friends in the 'hood, and I can put a tent, a camper, and mobile home, a mansion, and see the Rockies.
Just looking at the pictures of acreage that is listed, it doesn't look like ranch or farm possibility. It does look like it is where we want to be during summers.
Husband said, "wow".

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joe shikspack's picture


i would imagine that the office of the censor will require its own building to house all of the little stinkers that will paw through social media looking for "misinformation."

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CB's picture


But China has done BOTH - HS railway AND Super Highways:

The US has no hope in hell of catching up to China.

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janis b's picture


it changes you,” Bezos said. “It changes your relationship with this planet, with humanity. It’s one Earth. It’s an adventure.”

That statement is rich, coming from someone who has no relationship to humanity or reality, regardless of his adventure in space. I don't think he'll ever get the connection no matter how much money and opportunity he has. One of his pipe dreams is probably to out-pioneer NASA. We'd all be better off if he flew with Opium Air ; ).

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mimi's picture

@janis b
your brain thinking you are God and behave accordingly. I think, Only humans could fail that drastically.

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janis b's picture


but they are hardly human. Others find god in something much closer ...


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zed2's picture

I hope people realize why all this is going on right now. This year. Its a taking of democracy and the right to regulate- via- a pair of global trade agreements that steal the right to regulate and set the pieces in place for an economic clusterfuck/cleansing of the people of the world - especially a plundering of the shared assets of countries, to make the rich far richer and make the middle class poorer. Basically most of the things that make a middle class possible are under attack. It's basically a global Enclosure and Taking of the future's important rights and a giving of many new rights to control national laws and monetize peoples personal information by corporations. All of what we think of as public services here in the US are endangered because they are sold somewhere. So the government may be required to stop subsidizing them. Also, government spending may be globalized, leading to lowest bidders, not our young people or unemployed getting jobs funded by tax money, in a global attempt to force wages down by demanding international competitions for vanishing jobs.. A major issue I think is nullifying hope - hope in much of the world for better wages and working conditions, often catalyzed by the existence of the US, in 2019 protestors for democracy often carried the US flag which meant different things to them than it seems to mean here now. For example, it stood for the right to self determination and democracy thats being taken away by trade agreements now. It did not stand for the global restructuring of the entire country that is being foorced on us through decption now. Indeed theyare trying to hide their own disinformation. Our country's flag does not stand for FTAs, in fact our founders warned us about treaties that subsumed democracy. the Propertization of resources or the precariatization of the workforce that we seem to be standing for today. Thats not what we want! Joe, we're not that stupid.

Here is one history of the GATS: The Genesis of the GATS. Many more are linked on my website under the keyword GATS-history.
A bunch of general GATS backgrounder pages are here. These are intros. Note this is all my personal opinion. I am not a trade expert, I just read a great deal and care a lot about the need for real, not fake democracy. Fake democracy cannot actually steer the ship of state, it is non-functional by design. GATS is the real reason our healthcare system is trapped in a permanent gridlock and that we're stumbling into a trap if we try to expand Medicare without leaving GATS first. (We could lose it, and there would be no replacement. This is whats required by its rigid ideology, if we break its hard and fast rules!) See and read the following.

TISA seminar:

GATS and Public Services Systems

Facing Facts

And hundreds of other links here. Democracy, use it or lose it!

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zed2's picture

Do people know how much pollution in the atmosphere the space tourism rockets would cause? A hell of a lot junk in the air more than almost anything else thats polluting our planet right now.

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zed2's picture

Yes we do, but its not a race so much as its our home and our family here on Earth.

Its not a zero sum game. I like Chinese people. the Chinese people are a lot more like us than people from most other countries.

They have had some major setbacks, becuse of wars and bad leadership. Lets not forget we fought on the same side in WWII.

In June 1989 I was one of the first Americans to demonstrate in support of the democracy students in Beijing. And boy am I glad I did.

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zed2's picture

A very short deluge
just hit me here in the NYC suburbs. It would have flooded many had it just gone on a little longer like that. It was a lot of water.

Here are two flooding stories.

Race to rescue missing hundreds as death toll from European floods rises to 125 | ITV News

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zed2's picture

Narcissists often parrot things that normal people say, in their efforts to hide their NPD.

But it's fake. They are other peoples feelings, not their own.

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