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World Economic Forum makes censorship pledge to “tackle harmful content and conduct online”

By Tom Parker | Reclaim the Net | June 29, 2021

The World Economic Forum, an international group that works to “shape global, regional and industry agendas,” has formed a new “Global Coalition for Digital Safety” that’s made up of Big Tech executives and government officials and intends to come up with new “innovations” to police “harmful content and conduct online.”

The scope of so-called “harmful” content that will be targeted by this Global Coalition for Digital Safety is far-reaching and encompasses both legal content (such as “health misinformation” and “anti-vaccine content”) and illegal content (such as child exploitation and abuse and violent extremism).

Big Tech companies already censor millions of posts under their far-reaching rules that prohibit harmful content and misinformation. They also publish detailed quarterly reports about this censorship.

But according to the World Economic Forum, Big Tech’s current metrics, recommendation systems, and complaints systems are “deficient” which is why “more deliberate coordination between the public and private sector is needed.”

The World Economic Forum intends to deliver this “more deliberate coordination” through its Global Coalition for Digital Safety which will work to tackle what it deems to be harmful content through a series of measures.

These measures include exchanging “best practices for new online safety regulations,” taking “coordinated action to reduce the risk of online harm,” and creating global definitions of harmful content “to enable standardized enforcement, reporting, and measurement across regions.”

The members of this Global Coalition for Digital Safety include officials from the governments or government regulators in Australia, the UK, Indonesia, Ukraine, Bangladesh, and Singapore, an executive from the tech giant Microsoft, and the founder of the artificial intelligence (AI) powered content moderation and profanity filter platform Two Hat Security.

“Global online safety is a collective goal that must be addressed by working across borders as well as by individual nations,” Ofcom Chief Executive Dame Melanie Daws said. “We look forward to collaborating with international Coalition members to reduce the risk of online harms and build a safer life online for everyone.”

Microsoft’s Chief Digital Safety Officer, Courtney Gregoire, added: “The World Economic Forum is uniquely positioned to accelerate the public-private collaboration needed to advance digital safety globally, Microsoft is eager to participate and help build whole-of-society solutions to this whole-of-society problem.”

The formation of this global coalition is reflective of tech companies’ increased willingness to collaborate with global governments to censor legal content that they deem to be harmful and to push these governments to introduce more expansive speech regulations.

Just a few months before this coalition was announced, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki called for global coalitions to address content that’s “legal but could be harmful” at the World Economic Forum Global Technology Governance Summit 2021.

And last year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, pushed for “more guidance and regulation” from world leaders on what people are allowed to say online.

Similar global coalitions that have attempted to create global censorship standards, such as the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT), have resulted in the automated censorship of satire, media reports, and other types of legal content.

June 29, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , | 6 Comments

Covid19 – the final nail in coffin of medical research

By Dr. Malcolm Kendrick | June 28, 2021

“The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.” Edward Grey

Several years ago, I wrote a book called Doctoring Data. It was my attempt to help people navigate their way through medical headlines and medical data.

One of the main reasons I was stimulated to write it, is because I had become deeply concerned that science, especially medical science, had been almost fully taken over by commercial interests. With the end result that much of the data we were getting bombarded with was enormously biased, and thus corrupted. I wanted to show how some of this bias gets built in.

I was not alone in my concerns. As far back as 2005, John Ioannidis wrote the very highly cited paper ‘Why most Published Research Findings are False’. It has been downloaded and read by many, many, thousands of researchers over the years, so they can’t say they don’t know:

‘Moreover for many current scientific fields, claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias.’1

Marcia Angell, who edited the New England Journal of Medicine for twenty years, wrote the following. It is a quote I have used many times, in many different talks:

‘It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgement of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine.’

Peter Gotzsche, who set up the Nordic Cochrane Collaboration, and who was booted out of said Cochrane collaboration for questioning the HPV vaccine (used to prevent cervical cancer) wrote the book. ‘Deadly Medicine and Organised Crime. [How big pharma has corrupted healthcare]’.

The book cover states… ‘The main reason we take so many drugs is that drug companies don’t sell drugs, they sell lies about drugs… virtually everything we know about drugs is what the companies have chosen to tell us and our doctors… if you don’t believe the system is out of control, please e-mail me and explain why drugs are the third leading cause of death.’

Richard Smith edited the British Medical Journal (BMJ) for many years. He now writes a blog, amongst other things. A few years ago, he commented:

‘Twenty years ago this week, the statistician Doug Altman published an editorial in the BMJ arguing that much medical research was of poor quality and misleading. In his editorial entitled ‘The scandal of Poor Medical Research.’ Altman wrote that much research was seriously flawed through the use of inappropriate designs, unrepresentative sample, small sample, incorrect methods of analysis and faulty interpretation… Twenty years later, I feel that things are not better, but worse…

In 2002 I spent eight marvellous weeks in a 15th palazzo in Venice writing a book on medical journals, the major outlets for medical research, and the dismal conclusion that things were badly wrong with journals and the research they published. My confidence that ‘things can only get better’ has largely drained away.’

Essentially, medical research has inexorably turned into an industry. A very lucrative industry. Many medical journals now charge authors thousands of dollars to publish their research. This ensures that it is very difficult for any researcher, not supported by a university, or a pharmaceutical company, to afford to publish anything, unless they are independently wealthy.

The journals then have the cheek to claim copyright, and charge money to anyone who actually wants to read, or download the full paper. Fifty dollars for a few on-line pages! They then bill for reprints, they charge for advertising. Those who had the temerity to write the article get nothing – and nor do the peer reviewers.

It is all very profitable. Last time I looked the Return on Investment (profit) was thirty-five per-cent for the big publishing houses. It was Robert Maxwell who first saw this opportunity for money making.

Driven by financial imperative, the research itself has also, inevitably, become biased. He who pays the paper calls the tune. Pharmaceutical companies, food manufacturers and suchlike. They can certainly afford the publication fees.

In addition to all the financial and peer-review pressure, if you dare swim against the approved mainstream views you will, very often, be ruthlessly attacked. As many people know, I am a critic of the cholesterol hypothesis, along with my band of brothers… we few, we happy few. In the 1970s, Kilmer McCully, who plays double bass in our band, was looking into a cause of cardiovascular disease that went against the mainstream view. This is what happened to him:

‘Thomas N. James, a cardiologist and president of the University of Texas Medical Branch who was also the president of the American Heart Association in 1979 and ’80, is even harsher [regarding the treatment of McCully]. ”It was worse than that – you couldn’t get ideas funded that went in other directions than cholesterol,” he says. ”You were intentionally discouraged from pursuing alternative questions. I’ve never dealt with a subject in my life that elicited such an immediate hostile response.

It took two years for McCully to find a new research job. His children were reaching college age; he and his wife refinanced their house and borrowed from her parents. McCully says that his job search developed a pattern: he would hear of an opening, go for interviews and then the process would grind to a stop. Finally, he heard rumors of what he calls ”poison phone calls” from Harvard. ”It smelled to high heaven,” he says.’

McCully says that when he was interviewed on Canadian television after he left Harvard, he received a call from the public-affairs director of Mass. General. ”He told me to shut up,” McCully recalls. ”He said he didn’t want the names of Harvard and Mass. General associated with my theories.’ 2

More recently, I was sent a link to an article outlining the attacks made on another researcher who published a paper which found that being overweight meant having a (slightly) lower risk of death than being of ‘normal weight. This, would never do:

‘A naïve researcher published a scientific article in a respectable journal. She thought her article was straightforward and defensible. It used only publicly available data, and her findings were consistent with much of the literature on the topic. Her coauthors included two distinguished statisticians.

To her surprise her publication was met with unusual attacks from some unexpected sources within the research community. These attacks were by and large not pursued through normal channels of scientific discussion. Her research became the target of an aggressive campaign that included insults, errors, misinformation, social media posts, behind-the-scenes gossip and maneuvers, and complaints to her employer.

The goal appeared to be to undermine and discredit her work. The controversy was something deliberately manufactured, and the attacks primarily consisted of repeated assertions of preconceived opinions. She learned first-hand the antagonism that could be provoked by inconvenient scientific findings. Guidelines and recommendations should be based on objective and unbiased data. Development of public health policy and clinical recommendations is complex and needs to be evidence-based rather than belief-based. This can be challenging when a hot-button topic is involved.’ 3

Those who lead the attacks on her were my very favourite researchers, Walter Willet and Frank Hu. Two eminent researchers from Harvard who I nickname Tweedledum and Tweedledummer. Harvard itself has become an institution, which, along with Oxford University, comes up a lot in tales of bullying and intimidation. Willet and Hu are internationally known for promoting vegetarian and vegan diets. Willet is a key figure in the EAT-Lancet initiative.

Where is science in all this? I feel the need to state, at this point, that I don’t mind attacks on ideas. I like robust debate. Science can only progress through a process of new hypotheses being proposed, being attacked, being refined and strengthened – or obliterated. But what we see now is not science. It is the obliteration of science itself:

‘Anyone who has been a scientist for more than 20 years will realize that there has been a progressive decline in the honesty of communications between scientists, between scientists and their institutions and the outside world.

Yet, real science must be an area where truth is the rule; or else the activity simply stops being scient and becomes something else: Zombie science. Zombie science is a science that is dead, but is artificially keep moving by a continual infusion of funding. From a distance Zombie science looks like the real thing, the surface features of a science are in place – white coats, laboratories, computer programming, PhDs, papers, conferences, prizes etc. But the Zombie is not interested in the pursuit of truth – its citations are externally-controlled and directed at non-scientific goals, and inside the Zombie everything is rotten…

Scientists are usually too careful and clever to risk telling outright lies, but instead they push the envelope of exaggeration, selectivity and distortion as far as possible. And tolerance for this kind of untruthfulness has greatly increased over recent years. So, it is now routine for scientists deliberately to ‘hype’ the significance of their status and performance and ‘spin’ the importance of their research.’ Bruce Charlton: Professor of Theoretical Medicine.

I was already pretty depressed with the direction that medical science was taking. Then COVID19 came along, the distortion and hype became so outrageous that I almost gave up trying to establish what was true, and was just made up nonsense.

For example, I stated, right at the start of the COVID19 pandemic, that vitamin D could be important in protecting against the virus. For having the audacity to say this, I was attacked by the fact checkers. Indeed, anyone promoting vitamin D to reduce the risk of COVID19 infection, was ruthlessly hounded.

Guess what. Here from 17th June:

‘Hospitalized COVID-19 patients are far more likely to die or to end up in severe or critical condition if they are vitamin D-deficient, Israeli researchers have found.

In a study conducted in a Galilee hospital, 26 percent of vitamin D-deficient coronavirus patients died, while among other patients the figure was at 3%.

“This is a very, very significant discrepancy, which represents a big clue that starting the disease with very low vitamin D leads to increased mortality and more severity,” Dr. Amir Bashkin, endocrinologist and part of the research team, told The Times of Israel.’ 4

I also recommended vitamin C for those already in hospital. Again, I was attacked, as has everyone who has dared to mention COVID19 and vitamin C in the same sentence. Yet, we know that vitamin C is essential for the health and wellbeing of blood vessels, and the endothelial cells that line them. In severe infection the body burns through vitamin C, and people can become ‘scrobutic’ (the name given to severe lack of vitamin C).

Vitamin C is also known to have powerful anti-viral activity. It has been known for years. Here, from an article in 1996:

‘Over the years, it has become well recognized that ascorbate can bolster the natural defense mechanisms of the host and provide protection not only against infectious disease, but also against cancer and other chronic degenerative diseases. The functions involved in ascorbate’s enhancement of host resistance to disease include its biosynthetic (hy-droxylating), antioxidant, and immunostimulatory activities. In addition, ascorbate exerts a direct antiviral action that may confer specific protection against viral disease. The vitamin has been found to inactivate a wide spectrum of viruses as well as suppress viral replication abd expression in infected cell.’ 5

I like quoting research on vitamins from way before COVID19 appeared, where people were simply looking at Vitamin C without the entire medico-industrial complex looking over their shoulder, ready to stamp out anything they don’t like. Despite a mass of evidence that Vitamin C has benefits against viral infection, it is a complete no-go area and no-one even dares to research it now. Facebook removes any content relating to Vitamin C and COVID19.

As of today, any criticism of the mainstream narrative is simply being removed. Those who dare to raise their heads above the parapet, have them chopped off:

‘Dr Francis Christian, practising surgeon and clinical professor of general surgery at the University of Saskatchewan, has been immediately suspended from all teaching and will be permanently removed from his role as of September.

Dr Christian has been a surgeon for more than 20 years and began working in Saskatoon in 2007. He was appointed Director of the Surgical Humanities Program and Director of Quality and Patient Safety in 2018 and co-founded the Surgical Humanities Program. Dr. Christian is also the Editor of the Journal of The Surgical Humanities.

On June 17th Dr Christian released a statement to over 200 of his colleagues, expressing concern over the lack of informed consent involved in Canada’s “Covid19 vaccination” program, especially regarding children.

To be clear, Dr Christian’s position is hardly an extreme one.

He believes the virus is real, he believes in vaccination as a general principle, he believes the elderly and vulnerable may benefit from the Covid “vaccine”… he simply doesn’t agree it should be used on children, and feels parents are not being given enough information for properly informed consent.’ 6

When I wrote Doctoring Data, a few years ago, I included the following thoughts about the increasing censorship and punishment that was already very clearly out in the open:

… where does it end? Well, we know where it ends.

First, they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist

Then they came for the socialists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist

Then they came from the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist

Then they came for me, and there was no-one left to speak for me

Do you think this is a massive over-reaction? Do I really believe that we are heading for some form of totalitarian stated, where dissent against the medical ‘experts’ will be punishable by imprisonment? Well, yes, I do. We are already in a situation where doctors who fail to follow the dreaded ‘guidelines’ can be sued, or dragged in front the General Medical Council, and struck of. Thus losing their job and income…

Where next?

The lamps are not just going out all over Europe. They are going out, all over the world.

1: https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124

2: https://www.nytimes.com/1997/08/10/magazine/the-fall-and-rise-of-kilmer-mccully.html

3: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0033062021000670

4: https://www.timesofisrael.com/1-in-4-hospitalized-covid-patients-who-lack-vitamin-d-die-israeli-study

5: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/14383321_Antiviral_and_Immunomodulatory_Activities_of_Ascorbic_Acid

6: https://off-guardian.org/2021/06/25/canadian-surgeon-fired-for-voicing-safety-concerns-over-covid-jabs-for-children/

June 29, 2021 Posted by | Book Review, Corruption, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , | 2 Comments

Palestanian Protesters Recount Harrowing Details of Torture at the Hands of Israeli Police

By Jessica Buxbaum | MintPress News | June 25, 2021

NAZARETH, ISRAEL — In May, the world watched Israel’s brutal occupation on full display: The forcible displacement of Sheikh Jarrah residents was underway; Israeli security forces attacked Muslim worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan; Israeli rocket fire rained down on Gaza; and Jewish extremists chanted “Death to Arabs!” in the streets.

According to multiple testimonies, Israeli police in Nazareth ran a “torture room” where they ruthlessly attacked Palestinian detainees during the wave of demonstrations against Israel in May.

Now, as international headlines fade on Palestine, Israeli violence continues.

The floor of the room was covered in blood’

Faiz Zbedeiat was talking on the phone about 20 feet away from a protest in Nazareth. The moment the 21-year-old student hung up the phone, Israeli police threw a stun grenade into the street. An officer then charged at him and punched him in the nose. Zbedeiat was soon encircled by police who grabbed him, hit him, and pushed him toward a Border Police officer who tried to slam his head against a wall.

“I asked why they were hitting me when I’m not resisting,” Zbedeiat said. “I put my hands behind my back even though they didn’t handcuff me. Nevertheless, the same Border Police officer hit me in the nose with the walkie-talkie that he was holding.”

The officers dragged Zbedeiat by his head to the police station, beating him along the way.

“On the way, we met a policeman who appeared to be an officer, and he started laughing and said to them: ‘Did you only arrest him? That’s not enough. We need more,’” Zbedeiat said.

The beating continued inside the police station. Cops kicked, slapped, and hit detainees with batons, laughing as they struck them.

Zbedeiat detailed how one officer smacked detainees with an M-16 rifle. He watched as one man with a broken nose — face covered in blood — was continuously hit by officers. Then Zbedeiat described his own treatment:

A police officer approached me and whispered in my ear, threatening me. He cursed my mother, my sister, and my wife. He then asked, ‘Did you understand?’ I didn’t answer, and he immediately slapped me in the face. He asked me again: ‘Do you understand?’ I still didn’t answer and he slapped me again in the face. Finally, he said ‘Go explain to your friends.’ He pushed me back down to the floor and hit me again.”

Zbedeiat’s violent detention in May is one of many such, according to Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel. The advocacy group collected multiple sworn affidavits attesting to the abuse of Palestinian protesters by Israeli officers, attorneys, bystanders, and children inside Nazareth’s police station from May 9 to May 14. The majority of the violent arrests and most of the abuse were conducted by Israeli special forces, including undercover Mista’aravim (counter-terror units within the Israeli Army, Border Police, and Israel Police) officers pretending to be Palestinians.

Adalah submitted a complaint to Israel’s Attorney General and the chairman of the Police Investigation Department on June 7. In their letter, Adalah wrote:

Police officers led the detainees to a room located on the left side of the entrance corridor to the station, forcing them to sit on the floor handcuffed, to lower their heads towards the floor, and began to beat them on all parts of their bodies, using kicks and clubs, slamming their heads against walls or doors, and more. Officers wounded the detainees, terrorized them, and whomever dared to lift his head upwards risked more beatings by officers. According to affidavits, the floor of the room was covered in blood from the beatings.

Police violence amounting to torture

Under Israeli law, authorities must respond to the letter within 45 days. But Adalah attorney and co-author of the complaint, Wesam Sharaf, told MintPress that Adalah has not received a response from the Attorney General or Police Investigation Department. Adalah did receive a response from Nazareth’s Chief of Police, stating that he will cooperate if there’s an investigation and will take the appropriate disciplinary actions.

“What happened inside the police station in Nazareth amounts to torture and ill-treatment, and requires the immediate opening of a criminal investigation to examine the circumstances and conditions of the protesters’ detention at the station – including the investigation and prosecution of police officers involved in the violence,” Adalah attorneys wrote in their complaint.

Sharaf explained that the witness and victim accounts of police brutality inside the Israeli police station describe activity deemed torturous under international law:

What we have seen in the police station is that instead of investigating the people, the police would beat them up. [The police] deny [the detainees] in need of medical attention that medical attention and make them sign [false] affidavits as a condition to get medical attention… When this treatment is [directed at] detainees, it may amount to torture according to international law.”

Torture is defined under international law as intentionally inflicting severe pain or suffering in order to obtain a confession or information, intimidate or coerce the individual, or as punishment for alleged offenses. Torture is illegal and considered a war crime.

In a statement to MintPress News, Israeli Police said:

We emphasize that an investigation branch officer contacted the director of detention on behalf of the Public Defender’s Office and requested the presence of defense attorneys at the station, and accordingly, when the detainees arrived at the station, two defense attorneys were present to advise them. Unfortunately some of the lawyers complaining about the appeal were at the entrance to the station, tried to create provocations on the spot. Notwithstanding the foregoing, they were periodically allowed to enter the station and tour the facility in order to prove that the detainees were being treated properly.”

The police spokesperson also noted that medical staff was present at the station and detainees in need of medical care were promptly treated.

Israel’s mass-arrest campaign targeting Palestinians

In a move largely seen as squelching Palestinian dissent, Israel Police launched a mass-arrest campaign in May, targeting Palestinian citizens of Israel who participated in protests against ethnic cleansing in Sheikh Jarrah, attacks at Al-Aqsa Mosque, and Israel’s assault on Gaza.

Israeli police arrested 2,142 individuals and filed 184 indictments during “Operation Guardian of the Walls” and “Operation Law and Order.” According to Sharaf, more than 150 Palestinians were arrested in Nazareth in May, and about one in ten were indicted.

Ashraf Mahroum, an attorney representing nine people detained by police in Nazareth, said his clients and others were charged for protesting illegally, creating illegal organizations, and assaulting police officers. Maroum’s clients allege police fired rubber bullets at the upper parts of their bodies during the protests — a direct violation of the law governing use of rubber bullets. During their detention, officers struck them with batons and smacked them over the head with guns. Most of his clients’ injuries were on the head and face. Some were forced to sign affidavits stating they won’t disclose what happened to them in order to receive medical treatment.

Evidence of similar police violence against Palestinians appeared in other cities across 1948-occupied Palestine (modern-day Israel) including in Lydd, Akka, Yaffa and Haifa, Sharaf said, adding detainees in these localities arrived in court with visible signs of abuse. Sharaf concluded:

[Adalah] “has other testimonies about police brutality in different areas; some of this brutality was against protesters and some of it has been inside police stations against detainees. With the systematic ill treatment that we have witnessed from the 9th of May to the 14th of May, we can assume that more people have been subject to such kind of treatment.”

Israel’s expanding history of torture

The Israel Security Agency (ISA) has long used torture as a standard tactic during interrogations of Palestinian residents of the Occupied Territories. Until the late 1990s, the ISA was allowed to use “psychological pressure” and a “moderate degree of physical pressure” in order to “prevent terrorism,” according to 1987 recommendations from a state commission. The commission’s opinion permitted the ISA to use methods of torture in their interrogations under the “necessity defense” clause found in Israeli penal law.

The Israeli Supreme Court banned the use of physical methods during interrogations in 1999 after a series of petitions were filed by human rights organizations and Palestinians who experienced ISA interrogations. However, the court ruled the practice of physical pressure could remain in urgent cases as part of the “ticking bomb” exception under the necessity defense. This legal loophole has allowed torture and ill treatment to persist in ISA interrogations, despite the Israeli Justice Ministry having drafted a law to criminalize torture.

Israel torture

An illustration from a 1991 B’Teslem report detailing torture methods used by Israeli forces

According to the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), 1,300 complaints regarding the use of torture against Palestinian citizens in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) by the ISA have been submitted to the Ministry of Justice since 2001. These complaints resulted in only one criminal investigation and no indictments.

PCATI receives dozens of complaints each year attesting to brutality occurring during arrest, detention, interrogation and imprisonment of Palestinians from the OPT. The nonprofit organization estimates 5% to 10% of these cases amount to instances of severe torture.

Severe interrogations increased sharply in 2020. “In the passing year, more people were tortured in Israel than in any other year in the past decade,” PCATI said in their 2020 situation report on torture of Palestinians by Israeli security forces. While cases of torture are prevalent within the OPT, Tal Steiner, Director General of PCATI, said 1948-occupied Palestine is now experiencing an escalation of torture incidents. Steiner told MintPress:

[PCATI] “has seen attributes that are usually found in the West Bank trickling into Israel. There’s administrative arrest, prevention of rights to seek counsel, to receive medical attention — those are things that are quite unfortunately common in the West Bank and the Occupied Territories that have now become more evident within Israel proper… This is not something that’s usual or routine within Israel for Israeli citizens — Palestinian or not. So it’s a turn for the worse.”

Israel torture

An illustration from a 1991 B’Teslem report detailing torture methods used by Israeli forces

Steiner attributed this surge within Historic Palestine to a culture of impunity spurred by Israeli politicians like former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, explaining:

“When the police and military forces entered the mixed cities within Israel to so-call restore the peace, then-Prime Minister Netanyahu was quoted saying, ‘Go ahead and do your job and don’t worry about any commission of inquiry.’ These types of announcements by the prime minister and other Israeli leaders can also be a reason why police officers thought they could get away with it. They can use extreme force toward citizens, demonstrators, and especially toward people from minority groups, and go unpunished.”

“I thought I was going to die”

On May 13, the eve of the Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr, Nazareth resident Omaiyer Lawabne was out with friends to celebrate. As he approached an ATM to withdraw money, he saw an officer decked in full riot gear running toward him. Instinctively, he began running away.

“The cops started throwing grenades at me, and I kept running because I knew that if I stood still I could be badly wounded by the grenades,” Lawabne said. “While I was still running, one of the policemen raised his hand and hit me in the left eye, and I fell to the ground.”

Police surrounded Lawabne on the pavement, kicking him in the face and head. One officer pressed his boot into Lawabne’s head and shoulder. “I felt intense pain all over my body, from my head to my legs. One of them started kicking me in the artery behind the ear,” Lawabne said. “At that moment, I thought I was going to die.”

At the police station, Lawabne saw detainees stuffed into a room, resembling “prisoners of war.” They sat on the floor with their legs folded under them and heads bent. A masked officer paced around the room with a club-like object in his hand. Any detainee who lifted his head met the full swing of the officer’s bat on their head.

“They pushed me down into a corner and I lowered my head and curled up. Nevertheless, the same police officer hit me hard on the head with that object,” Lawabne said.

Days after his detention, Lawabne still felt excruciating pain throughout his body. He couldn’t sleep from the dizziness. He couldn’t eat without vomiting. He couldn’t speak coherently. He still doesn’t understand why he was arrested when he wasn’t participating in any nearby protests.

“It was the first time I had been arrested, an arrest that I believe was illegal, pointless, and very violent,” Lawabne said.

Jessica Buxbaum is a Jerusalem-based journalist for MintPress News covering Palestine, Israel, and Syria. Her work has been featured in Middle East Eye, The New Arab and Gulf News.

June 29, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 2 Comments

DuckDuckGo is now the second most popular search engine in the West

By Didi Rankovic | Reclaim the Net | June 29, 2021

DuckDuckGo is one of the privacy-focused alternatives to Google’s massive ad business operation taking place under the guise of a search engine.

Regardless, Google Search has for years if not decades been the most widely used search tool, at least in the western world. Installed and integrated into every Android device and made default even in Google’s rival browsers, the search market is an effective monopoly that’s a very hard nut to crack.

However, DuckDuckGo is now reporting that it has seen significant growth, both in terms of numbers and market status, having had over 50 million app downloads over the last 12 months – which is said to be more than in all previous years put together.

At the same time search traffic increased 55%, and all this propelled the engine to the number two spot on mobile apps in the US, Canada, Australia, and the Netherlands.

One of DuckDuckGo’s features is not to track users, which makes it difficult to know precisely how many of them there are, but a blog post said that market share estimates, downloads, and national surveys put that number at between 70 and 100 million.

According to DuckDuckGo, this answers the question of whether people who say they care about online privacy are actually willing to do something about improving it. The conclusion is that in order for more people to take action, companies providing alternatives to dominant platforms and services need to take ease of use into account.

Those behind the family of products – the search engine, the mobile DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser that replaces Chrome and extensions for desktop versions of other browsers – believe they have this solved by bundling them into one app that is available cross-browser and cross-platform.

About to hit beta is DuckDuckGo Email Protection, which aims to improve email privacy without forcing users to switch to a different email service. Other improvements include tracker blocking for Android, expected to roll out as yet another beta during the summer, while the mobile app’s desktop version is planned by the end of 2021. According to DuckDuckGo, it will be usable as a primary browser.

June 29, 2021 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 5 Comments

Tucker Carlson’s allegation that the Biden administration is spying on him should worry everyone in the media

By Micah Curtis | RT | June 29, 2021

The Fox News host alleges the National Security Agency is spying on him and his show. If true, this violation of American freedoms should concern us all. So, how “wrong” does an opinion have to be to attract the NSA’s attention?

I would like to preface this article by saying that what Tucker Carlson claims still needs verification, but if it’s true, it sets a horrifying precedent. On his show last night, the political commentator claimed the Biden administration was spying on him, and a whistleblower had come forward with evidence proving it was going on.

During the broadcast, he alleged the whistleblower had presented him and his team with a communication about a story they were going to run that only someone within that team would have known about, and that they could only have known about via his own SMSs or emails. According to Carlson, there was no other possible source for that information.

He went on to state the following: “The Biden administration is spying on us. We have confirmed that. This morning we filed a FOIA request – a Freedom of Information Act request – asking for all the information the NSA and other agencies have gathered about this show. We did it mostly as a formality. We’ve also contacted the press office of both the NSA and the FBI. We don’t expect to hear much back. That’s the way that usually goes. Only Congress can force transparency on the intelligence agencies, and they should do that immediately. Spying on opposition journalists is incompatible with democracy. If they are doing it to us – and, again, they are definitely doing it to us, they are almost certainly doing it to others. This is scary, and we need to stop it right away.”

If what Carlson says is correct, this should make every single person who works in the United States media scared out of their minds. The idea of either political party, when in power, spying on the goings-on of news programs and media outlets is anathema to press freedom. What could conceivably be the reason behind such intelligence-gathering? The Biden administration keeps saying it wants to go after “white supremacists,” so are they going to try to lump Tucker Carlson in with that group? Will they try to do this to other conservative media personalities? Lord knows, the critical race theory they seem so fond of would certainly allow them to consider such people to be hateful bigots stained with the original sin of whiteness.

This is the problem with the United States government having the ability to spy on its own people. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) once made the point that the measures in place since the Bush era have not caught a single domestic terrorist. It makes you wonder if they’re now going to be used simply to hammer down on law-abiding citizens who just don’t have the ‘right’ opinion. When you’ve found a way to make conservative commentators such as Tucker Carlson or Ben Shapiro seem as extreme as neo-Nazi Richard Spencer, everyone can become a target.

It doesn’t matter who’s in charge. Whether you’re on the right or the left, it should absolutely horrify you that a sitting administration is spying on the press. In fact, I think members of the press need to answer a question for themselves now: would you rather have a president who has a negative view of your work and dismisses you as a jerk, or someone who spies on you for expressing the ‘wrong’ opinions? The former is an annoyance. The latter is an Orwellian nightmare.

June 29, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , | 1 Comment

Who Stole the People’s Money?

BY PHILIP GIRALDI • UNZ REVIEW • JUNE 29, 2021

Too many American politicians at all levels of government have come to believe that your money is their money. Federal, state and local tax rates are set annually and often arbitrarily based on the issues that elected officials and tax managers consider to be important. Input from the public is basically unwelcome except at election time but, even then, the breakdown of dollars and cents that will be coming out of one’s pocket is rarely under discussion.

It is past time to consider what the pie in the sky being proposed by the Democrats, since they are currently in power, will actually cost the American taxpayer. Bear in mind, that Democratic Party proposals that are now being floated are directed at certain constituencies that the party is seeking to weld into an unbeatable coalition that will defy all Republican attempts to recover either Congress or the Presidency. Similar activity is taking place at the state and local level. There is no consideration of the fact that government, at least theoretically, is intended to benefit all of the citizenry, not a select portion thereof that will henceforth be required to deliver the vote loyally. Politicians who manipulate the system with that in mind should be sent to jail, but alas, in the US system no one is ever punished, even if they start a war under false premises as did former President George W Bush and his apparatchiks.

Under the Democrats, the entire process whereby the spoils derived from being in power are distributed is being driven by social engineering, i.e. race and gender. One of President Joe Biden’s first moves upon taking office was to propose special payments and other incentives for black farmers, who, his administration argued, had been disadvantaged because they had been systematically denied loans for many years. It should seem outrageous that federal tax dollars were to be used to support only one racial group, but not a single Democrat appeared to be disturbed. Fortunately, a federal court ruled favorably in a case brought by a white farmer claiming that racially directed government assistance is unconstitutional as it violates the “equal protection under the law” principle. The Democrats are, however, continuing to push for their program of tying blacks firmly into their coalition, even if it means creating a system that is manifestly and even transparently unfair.

One of the most bizarre news stories of the past several weeks has to be the revelation that the Defense Department will be paying for transgender surgery for those biological males in the ranks that want to become women and vice versa. One can honestly accept that there are transgender individuals in the so-called armed services and they deserve respect for what they perhaps quite genuinely are, but this goes well beyond that. In the usual squeaky-voiced pander much favored by the Biden Administration, Veteran Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough announced during “Pride Week” that the new guidelines would create a “safe and caring” environment for all veterans, while also citing the “dark history” of discrimination against gay and transgender military personnel. “Safe and caring?” Our military? Hope they never have to fight a real war.

The White House also got into the promotion, releasing a statement that “President Biden believes that gender identity should not be a bar to military service and that America’s strength is found in its diversity. This question of how to enable all qualified Americans to serve in the military is easily answered by recognizing our core values. America is stronger, at home and around the world, when it is inclusive. The military is no exception. Allowing all qualified Americans to serve their country in uniform is better for the military and better for the country because an inclusive force is a more effective force. Simply put, it’s the right thing to do and is in our national interest.”

The statement is, like many Executive Order signing statements coming out of the Biden White House, complete nonsense. The historically most effective fighting forces have had high levels of cohesion, not diversity and it is difficult to imagine what the national interest would be in having an army that can’t fight. Transgenders were, in fact, first allowed to serve, predictably, under President Barack Obama before being blocked by President Donald Trump. They are now again a cherished part of the military community under Honest Joe Biden and both active duty transgenders and veterans will soon be able to receive gender-transition surgeries, mostly through the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care coverage. It is estimated that there are now 15,000 transgender individuals on active duty while possibly as many as 135,000 more are veterans. The numbers seem impossibly large, but gender transition surgeries will now be covered by the string of military hospitals and the veteran healthcare network.

Bear in mind that transgender transformation surgery is not urgent care or even health maintenance: it is an optional procedure intended to turn G.I. Joe into G.I. Jane or the reverse. Also bear in mind that the US taxpayer submits to the burden of the enormous and growing so-called Defense budget in the belief that it exists to protect the United States, not to change genders of American citizens who might be enlisting in the military precisely to obtain that benefit. According to a recent estimate the cost of the procedure can range from $15,000 up to more than $50,000 depending on how extensive the surgery is. Multiply that by 150,000 to get some idea of what the pander to gender obsessed fanatics in the Democratic Party and among its limousine liberals base will cost the average taxpayer, who will get nothing in return from it.

The Pentagon, of course, is fully engaged in the war on extremism and is also actively promoting the racist Critical Race Theory while rooting out extremists, which means white people, who are evil supremacists both genetically and by definition. CRT is, by the way, a remarkable Marxist-based invention that blames most bad things in America on white people. And it is being forced on the public by the usual zealots with the claim that it will make everyone the beneficiary of “equity.” On the contrary it makes Americans less well educated and dependent on government for handouts.

Even counties and school districts that have had no racial issues are being forced to hire Diversity & Equity Managers and high-priced consultants to explain the new reality. As a manifestation of CRT thinking, Fred Reed observes how increasingly in American schools “Math curricula are being dumbed down because blacks do poorly at math, English grammar instruction eliminated because blacks can’t or won’t learn it, entrance exams for the elite and demanding high schools eliminated because blacks don’t pass them, SATs dropped because blacks score poorly on them, promotion exams in police departments eliminated because blacks don’t pass them. Entrance requirements at medical school are lowered because not enough blacks pass them, AP courses in high school eliminated because too few blacks get into them… White parents are forced to see their children subjected to what they regard as obscene, semiliterate, violent, stupid, a culture dominated by what seems to them, (and would to any First World country) the opposite of cultivation.”

And, to be sure, the military is leading the way to join the new world order. Seeking to promote both racial and gender diversity in its ranks, the Navy has created a task force designed to “combat discrimination,” which inter alia requires sailors to take a pledge to “acknowledge all lived experiences and intersectional identities,” whatever that is supposed to mean. The Army is also doing its bit. In a recent appearance before Congress Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley “defended the teaching of critical race theory at West Point and, referencing the January 6 Capitol riot, said, ‘it is important that we train and we understand … and I want to understand white rage. And I’m white.’”

Milley, who seems unaware of the “black rage” that has been burning, looting and shooting over the past year, particularly stressed the impact of the January 6th Capitol Building “insurrection,” saying “What is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America? What caused that?”

It is important to seek to understand what Milley has bought into: putting the military squarely on the side of the administration in the cultural wars currently being endured while making clear who the enemy is: white America. Some cynics observed that Milley and the military-industrial-complex behind him, who collectively speaking cannot any longer fight and win a war, are chiefly concerned with the hundreds of billions of dollars that they enjoy annually. To secure that it is necessary to play nice with whatever the White House, and the woke media, are peddling. Again, it all comes down to money that is stolen from taxpayers in this country. Time for the taxpayers themselves to put an end to the nonsense.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is a veteran of the US Army and a former Central Intelligence Agency Case Officer.

June 29, 2021 Posted by | Corruption | | 2 Comments

US officials warn against all travel to Russia, citing ‘terrorism’ concerns & inability to provide consular support

RT | June 29, 2021

The US State Department has told its citizens not to travel to Russia under any circumstances, with Washington suggesting that Americans could be kidnapped, arrested, tortured and even supposedly jailed on trumped-up charges.

A new travel advisory, issued on Monday by diplomats, gives Russia the same danger categorization as countries including Afghanistan, Uganda and Syria. As well as specifically advising against visits to southern regions like Chechnya and Crimea, US citizens are now being told to avoid the world’s largest country altogether.

The statement cites “terrorism” as one reason for US tourists to steer clear of the nation, despite the fact no serious incidents have been reported in recent years. While a number of other European nations have received similar categorizations over the Covid-19 situation, destinations like France and Germany avoid the highest level of warning, despite enduring more frequent terrorist incidents.

In addition, the US officials caution against travel due to purported “harassment by Russian government security officials” and what it calls “arbitrary enforcement of local law.” The officials claim that “spurious charges” have been leveled against Americans, and that religious workers, as well as government personnel, could be at risk.

Since President Vladimir Putin met with his US counterpart Joe Biden in Geneva earlier this month, a number of prisoner exchanges have been anticipated. Konstantin Yaroshenko, a Russian airplane pilot, is mooted to be at the top of Moscow’s list after he was arrested and taken to the US in 2011, where he was convicted over drug-smuggling allegations.

For the American side, Paul Whelan, a former US Marine and IT consultant arrested in Russia on espionage charges, is said to be a priority for any exchange. He made a personal video appeal to Biden from behind bars in the run up to the summit, and the American president announced that he had raised Whelan’s case with Putin.

Another inmate who Biden discussed with his counterpart was another former Marine, 29-year old Trevor Reed. Reed was arrested in Moscow in 2019 and handed nine years in prison for assaulting a police officer after a night of heavy drinking. Both Whelan and Reed deny the charges against them.

At the same time, Washington’s new travel advisory cites its limited ability to provide support to US citizens from its embassy in Moscow. In April, the diplomatic mission announced it would reduce its staff numbers by around 75% after it was banned from employing locals as part of a decree signed by Putin in response to “unfriendly acts,” rules imposed by Washington on Russia’s diplomats in America.

As a result, the US embassy in Russia will no longer “offer routine notarial services, Consular Reports of Birth Abroad, or renewal passport services for the foreseeable future,” its envoys said. In 2018, the US closed its consulate in St Petersburg and, in December last year, shuttered its offices in both the Ural city of Ekaterinburg and the Far East capital of Vladivostok. The decision, which Washington said came as part of a dispute over diplomatic representation and would save cash, left America with no diplomatic representation in Russia outside of Moscow.

June 29, 2021 Posted by | Russophobia | | 2 Comments

Canada wants to fine people up to $50,000 for “online hate speech”

Canada’s proposals would make it one of the most oppressive nations when it comes to free expression

By Dan Frieth | Reclaim the Net | June 29, 2021

The “Liberal” Canadian government plans to pass a law that criminalizes so-called online “hate speech,” with the punishment being fines ranging from $20,000 to $50,000. The law only punishes social media users, it does not punish the platforms hosting the alleged hate speech and will introduce a new definition of “hate” that is yet to be revealed.

The law criminalizes online hate speech, with first time offenders getting a fine of C$20,000 (about US$16,200) and second time offenders getting a fine of C$50,000 (about US$40,500).

According to Canada’s Attorney General David Lametti, the proposed law targets extreme forms of hatred, which “expresses detestation or vilification of a person or group on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination,” not “simple expressions of dislike or disdain.”

“Hate speech directly contradicts the values underlying freedom of expression and our Charter of Rights,” Lametti added. “It threatens the safety and well-being of its targets. It silences and intimidates, especially when the target is a vulnerable person or community. When hate speech spreads, its victims lose their freedom to participate in civil society online.”

While announcing the proposed law the government released a statement explaining its intended goals. Per the statement, the proposed law, dubbed Bill C-36, will amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to define a new discriminatory practice of communicating hate speech online and add a definition of “hatred” to section 319 of the Criminal Code based on Supreme Court of Canada decisions.

The government also announced that it would publish a “detailed technical discussion paper” in the near future to explain the proposed law in detail.

Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault said: “Online platforms are central to participation in public life and have enormous power over online speech and Canadians’ everyday lives. While they allow us as Canadians to stay in touch with loved ones, learn and debate, they can also be used to discriminate, harm and silence.”

“In consultation with Canadians, the Government of Canada is committed to taking action to put in place a robust, fair and consistent legislative and regulatory framework on the most egregious and reprehensible types of harmful content,” Guilbeault continued. “This is why we will engage Canadians in the coming weeks to ask for feedback on specific, concrete proposals that will form the basis of legislation.”

June 29, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | 2 Comments

NOVA SCOTIA FEARS PEOPLE GATHERING AND SPREADING THE TRUTH

Lockdowns are being used for prevention of free discourse

Fact Seekers | June 28, 2021

They finally admit it.

June 29, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | 2 Comments