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Bill Gates admits his ‘large carbon footprint’ makes him a ‘strange person’ to pressure others – as he plugs climate-change book

RT | February 23, 2021

Microsoft founder Bill Gates has admitted his private jet and billionaire lifestyle make him a “strange person” to advocate against climate change, but insists he’s doing his part bankrolling obscure tech years away from adoption.

While Gates acknowledged his critics had good reason to question why a man with “the biggest carbon footprint west of the Mississippi” was “preaching” to them about climate change, the software magnate-turned climate crusader insisted he was sincere about trying to shrink even his own massive consumption levels.

In a chummy discussion with MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough on Tuesday, Gates was asked warm and fuzzy versions of some of the questions he’s gotten from the political right and left, taking the opportunity to puff up his new book “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster,” published on Tuesday.

The tech tycoon stressed that he was moderating his own hyperconsumption by buying “green aviation fuel” and paying for “direct air capture” to stop his private jet and other costly indulgences from being such a burden on the planet. However, his protestations aren’t necessarily reflective of the wider industry – “green” fuels represented less than 0.1 percent of all aviation fuel by 2018, and just five airports regularly offered biofuel distribution by the following year, even as the industry hopes to cut carbon emissions in half (from 2005 levels) by 2050.

While Gates lacks any credentials in climate science (or indeed any academic credentials at all, not having graduated from college), his prodigious financial resources have earned him entrée into essentially any industry he takes an interest in – and the force to exert his influence over whoever works in that industry.

Thus, while Gates repeatedly stressed that the country “needed” certain “breakthroughs” – by 2050 at the latest – regarding renewable electricity in order to avoid the predicted “climate catastrophe,” he suggested that relying on government to implement these breakthroughs was a recipe for disaster. The private sector would have to take an end run around government in order to ensure any policies put in place under one party wouldn’t just be stripped out by the other party four years later, he argued.

Gates couldn’t resist hinting at his ‘prediction’ of the Covid-19 pandemic again, either, warning that if the world didn’t listen to him on climate change, countries would be caught unawares in the same manner they had been when the coronavirus epidemic hit. Solving Covid-19 was “easy” compared to fighting climate change, Gates told the BBC last week.

MSNBC began life as a joint venture between Microsoft and NBC, and while the software giant sold its 50 percent interest in the network in 2012, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation continued to make hefty donations to its parent company NBCUniversal, including $1 million that same year for “special projects,” another $1.34 million in 2013, and $2.03 million in 2010 for “global policy and advocacy.”


Paul Joseph Watson | February 19, 2021

February 23, 2021 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | Leave a comment

Congress Escalates Pressure on Tech Giants to Censor More, Threatening the First Amendment

In their zeal for control over online speech, House Democrats are getting closer and closer to the constitutional line, if they have not already crossed it.

By Glenn Greenwald | February 20, 2021

For the third time in less than five months, the U.S. Congress has summoned the CEOs of social media companies to appear before them, with the explicit intent to pressure and coerce them to censor more content from their platforms. On March 25, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will interrogate Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, Facebooks’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Sundar Pichai at a hearing which the Committee announced will focus “on misinformation and disinformation plaguing online platforms.”

The Committee’s Chair, Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), and the two Chairs of the Subcommittees holding the hearings, Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), said in a joint statement that the impetus was “falsehoods about the COVID-19 vaccine” and “debunked claims of election fraud.” They argued that “these online platforms have allowed misinformation to spread, intensifying national crises with real-life, grim consequences for public health and safety,” adding: “This hearing will continue the Committee’s work of holding online platforms accountable for the growing rise of misinformation and disinformation.”

House Democrats have made no secret of their ultimate goal with this hearing: to exert control over the content on these online platforms. “Industry self-regulation has failed,” they said, and therefore “we must begin the work of changing incentives driving social media companies to allow and even promote misinformation and disinformation.” In other words, they intend to use state power to influence and coerce these companies to change which content they do and do not allow to be published.

I’ve written and spoken at length over the past several years about the dangers of vesting the power in the state, or in tech monopolies, to determine what is true and false, or what constitutes permissible opinion and what does not. I will not repeat those points here.

Instead, the key point raised by these last threats from House Democrats is an often-overlooked one: while the First Amendment does not apply to voluntary choices made by a private company about what speech to allow or prohibit, it does bar the U.S. Government from coercing or threatening such companies to censor. In other words, Congress violates the First Amendment when it attempts to require private companies to impose viewpoint-based speech restrictions which the government itself would be constitutionally barred from imposing.

It may not be easy to draw where the precise line is — to know exactly when Congress has crossed from merely expressing concerns into unconstitutional regulation of speech through its influence over private companies — but there is no question that the First Amendment does not permit indirect censorship through regulatory and legal threats.

Ben Wizner, Director of the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, told me that while a constitutional analysis depends on a variety of factors including the types of threats issued and how much coercion is amassed, it is well-established that the First Amendment governs attempts by Congress to pressure private companies to censor:

For the same reasons that the Constitution prohibits the government from dictating what information we can see and read (outside narrow limits), it also prohibits the government from using its immense authority to coerce private actors into censoring on its behalf.

In a January Wall Street Journal op-ed, tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and Yale Law School’s constitutional scholar Jed Rubenfeld warned that Congress is rapidly approaching this constitutional boundary if it has not already transgressed it. “Using a combination of statutory inducements and regulatory threats,” the duo wrote, “Congress has co-opted Silicon Valley to do through the back door what government cannot directly accomplish under the Constitution.”

That article compiled just a small sample of case law making clear that efforts to coerce private actors to censor speech implicate core First Amendment free speech guarantees. In Norwood v. Harrison (1973), for instance, the Court declared it “axiomatic” — a basic legal principle — that Congress “may not induce, encourage or promote private persons to accomplish what it is constitutionally forbidden to accomplish.” They noted: “For more than half a century courts have held that governmental threats can turn private conduct into state action.”

In 2018, the ACLU successfully defended the National Rifle Association (NRA) in suing Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York State on the ground that attempts of state officials to coerce private companies to cease doing business with the NRA using implicit threats — driven by Cuomo’s contempt for the NRA’s political views — amounted to a violation of the First Amendment. Because, argued the ACLU, the communications of Cuomo’s aides to banks and insurance firms “could reasonably be interpreted as a threat of retaliatory enforcement against firms that do not sever ties with gun promotion groups,” that conduct ran afoul of the well-established principle “that the government may violate the First Amendment through ‘action that falls short of a direct prohibition against speech,’ including by retaliation or threats of retaliation against speakers.” In sum, argued the civil liberties group in reasoning accepted by the court:

Courts have never required plaintiffs to demonstrate that the government directly attempted to suppress their protected expression in order to establish First Amendment retaliation, and they have often upheld First Amendment retaliation claims involving adverse economic action designed to chill speech indirectly.

In explaining its rationale for defending the NRA, the ACLU described how easily these same state powers could be abused by a Republican governor against liberal activist groups — for instance, by threatening banks to cease providing services to Planned Parenthood or LGBT advocacy groups. When the judge rejected Cuomo’s motion to dismiss the NRA’s lawsuit, Reuters explained the key lesson in its headline:

Perhaps the ruling most relevant to current controversies occurred in the 1963 Supreme Court case Bantam Books v. SullivanIn the name of combatting the “obscene, indecent and impure,” the Rhode Island legislature instituted a commission to notify bookstores when they determined a book or magazine to be “objectionable,” and requested their “cooperation” by removing it and refusing to sell it any longer. Four book publishers and distributors sued, seeking a declaration that this practice was a violation of the First Amendment even though they were never technically forced to censor. Instead, they ceased selling the flagged books “voluntarily” due to fear of the threats implicit in the “advisory” notices received from the state.

In a statement that House Democrats and their defenders would certainly invoke to justify what they are doing with Silicon Valley, Rhode Island officials insisted that they were not unconstitutionally censoring because their scheme “does not regulate or suppress obscenity, but simply exhorts booksellers and advises them of their legal rights.”

In rejecting that disingenuous claim, the Supreme Court conceded that “it is true that [plaintiffs’] books have not been seized or banned by the State, and that no one has been prosecuted for their possession or sale.” Nonetheless, the Court emphasized that Rhode Island’s legislature — just like these House Democrats summoning tech executives — had been explicitly clear that their goal was the suppression of speech they disliked: “the Commission deliberately set about to achieve the suppression of publications deemed ‘objectionable,’ and succeeded in its aim.” And the Court emphasized that the barely disguised goal of the state was to intimidate these private book publishers and distributors into censoring by issuing implicit threats of punishment for non-compliance:

It is true, as noted by the Supreme Court of Rhode Island, that [the book distributor] was “free” to ignore the Commission’s notices, in the sense that his refusal to “cooperate” would have violated no law. But it was found as a fact — and the finding, being amply supported by the record, binds us — that [the book distributor’s] compliance with the Commission’s directives was not voluntary. People do not lightly disregard public officers’ thinly veiled threats to institute criminal proceedings against them if they do not come around, and [the distributor’s] reaction, according to uncontroverted testimony, was no exception to this general rule. The Commission’s notices, phrased virtually as orders, reasonably understood to be such by the distributor, invariably followed up by police visitations, in fact stopped the circulation of the listed publications ex proprio vigore [by its own force]. It would be naive to credit the State’s assertion that these blacklists are in the nature of mere legal advice when they plainly serve as instruments of regulation.

In sum, concluded the Bantam Books Court: “their operation was in fact a scheme of state censorship effectuated by extra-legal sanctions; they acted as an agency not to advise but to suppress.”

Little effort is required to see that Democrats, now in control of the Congress and the White House, are engaged in a scheme of speech control virtually indistinguishable from those long held unconstitutional by decades of First Amendment jurisprudence. That Democrats are seeking to use their control of state power to coerce and intimidate private tech companies to censor — and indeed have already succeeded in doing so — is hardly subject to reasonable debate. They are saying explicitly that this is what they are doing.

Because “big tech has failed to acknowledge the role they’ve played in fomenting and elevating blatantly false information to its online audiences,” said the Committee Chairs again summoning the social media companies, “we must begin the work of changing incentives driving social media companies to allow and even promote misinformation and disinformation.”

The Washington Post, in reporting on this latest hearing, said the Committee intends to “take fresh aim at the tech giants for failing to crack down on dangerous political falsehoods and disinformation about the coronavirus.” And lurking behind these calls for more speech policing are pending processes that could result in serious punishment for these companies, including possible antitrust actions and the rescission of Section 230 immunity from liability.

This dynamic has become so common that Democrats now openly pressure Silicon Valley companies to censor content they dislike. In the immediate aftermath of the January 6 Capitol riot, when it was falsely claimed that Parler was the key online venue for the riot’s planning — Facebook, Google’s YouTube and Facebook’s Instagram were all more significant — two of the most prominent Democratic House members, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), used their large social media platforms to insist that Silicon Valley monopolies remove Parler from their app stores and hosting services:

Within twenty-four hours, all three Silicon Valley companies complied with these “requests,” and took the extraordinary step of effectively removing Parler — at the time the most-downloaded app on the Apple Store — from the internet. We will likely never know what precise role those tweets and other pressure from liberal politicians and journalists played in their decisions, but what is clear is that Democrats are more than willing to use their power and platforms to issue instructions to Silicon Valley about what they should and should not permit to be heard.

Leading liberal activists and some powerful Democratic politicians, such as then-presidential-candidate Kamala Harris, had long demanded former President Donald Trump’s removal from social media. After the Democrats won the White House — indeed, the day after Democrats secured control of both houses of Congress with two wins in the Georgia Senate run-offs — Twitter, Facebook and other online platforms banned Trump, citing the Capitol riot as the pretext.

While Democrats cheered, numerous leaders around the world, including many with no affection for Trump, warned of how dangerous this move was. Long-time close aide of the Clintons, Jennifer Palmieri, posted a viral tweet candidly acknowledging — and clearly celebrating — why this censorship occurred. With Democrats now in control of the Congressional committees and Executive Branch agencies that regulate Silicon Valley, these companies concluded it was in their best interest to censor the internet in accordance with the commands and wishes of the party that now wields power in Washington:

The last time CEOs of social media platforms were summoned to testify before Congress, Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) explicitly told them that what Democrats want is more censorship — more removal of content which they believe constitutes “disinformation” and “hate speech.” He did not even bother to hide his demands: “The issue is not that the companies before us today are taking too many posts down; the issue is that they are leaving too many dangerous posts up”:

When it comes to censorship of politically adverse content, sometimes explicit censorship demands are unnecessary. Where a climate of censorship prevails, companies anticipate what those in power want them to do by anticipatorily self-censoring to avoid official retaliation. Speech is chilled without direct censorship orders being required.

That is clearly what happened after Democrats spent four years petulantly insisting that they lost the 2016 election not because they chose a deeply disliked nominee or because their neoliberal ideology wrought so much misery and destruction, but instead, they said, because Facebook and Twitter allowed the unfettered circulation of incriminating documents hacked by Russia. Anticipating that Democrats were highly likely to win in 2020, the two tech companies decided in the weeks before the election — in what I regard as the single most menacing act of censorship of the last decade — to suppress or outright ban reporting by The New York Post on documents from Hunter Biden’s laptop that raised serious questions about the ethics of the Democratic front-runner for president. That is a classic case of self-censorship to please state officials who wield power over you.

All of this raises the vital question of where power really resides when it comes to controlling online speech. In January, the far-right commentator Curtis Yarvin, whose analysis is highly influential among a certain sector of Silicon Valley, wrote a provocative essay under the headline “Big tech has no power at all.” In essence, he wrote, Facebook as a platform is extremely powerful, but other institutions — particularly the corporate/oligarchical press and the government — have seized that power from Zuckerberg, and re-purposed it for their own interests, such that Facebook becomes their servant rather than the master:

However, if Zuck is subject to some kind of oligarchic power, he is in exactly the same position as his own moderators. He exercises power, but it is not his power, because it is not his will. The power does not flow from him; it flows through him. This is why we can say honestly and seriously that he has no power. It is not his, but someone else’s.

Why doth Zuck ban shitlords? Is the creator of “Facemash” passionately committed to social justice? Well, maybe. He may have no power, but he is still a bigshot. Bigshots often do get religion in later life—especially when everyone around them is getting it. But—does he have a choice? If he has no choice—he has no power.

For reasons not fully relevant here, I don’t agree entirely with that paradigm. Tech monopolies have enormous amounts of power, sometimes greater than nation-states themselves. We just saw that in Google and Facebook’s battles with the entire country of Australia. And they frequently go to war with state efforts to regulate them. But it is unquestionably true that these social media platforms — which set out largely for reasons of self-interest and secondarily due to a free-internet ideology — have had the censorship obligation foisted upon them by a combination of corporate media outlets and powerful politicians.

One might think of tech companies, the corporate media, the U.S. security state, and Democrats more as a union — a merger of power — rather than separate and warring factions. But whatever framework you prefer, it is clear that the power of social media companies to control the internet is in the hands of government and its corporate media allies at least as much as it is in the hands of the tech executives who nominally manage these platforms.

And it is precisely that reality that presents serious First Amendment threats. As the above-discussed Supreme Court jurisprudence demonstrates, this form of indirect and implicit state censorship is not new. Back in 2010, the war hawk Joe Lieberman abused his position as Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee to “suggest” that financial services and internet hosting companies such as Visa, MasterCard, Paypal, Amazon and Bank of America, should terminate their relationship with WikiLeaks on the ground that the group, which was staunchly opposed to Lieberman’s imperialism and militarism, posed a national security threat. Lieberman hinted that they may face legal liability if they continued to process payments for WikiLeaks.

Unsurprisingly, these companies quickly obeyed Lieberman’s decree, preventing the group from collecting donations. When I reported on these events for Salon, I noted:

That Joe Lieberman is abusing his position as Homeland Security Chairman to thuggishly dictate to private companies which websites they should and should not host — and, more important, what you can and cannot read on the Internet — is one of the most pernicious acts by a U.S. Senator in quite some time. Josh Marshall wrote yesterday: “When I’d heard that Amazon had agreed to host Wikileaks I was frankly surprised given all the fish a big corporation like Amazon has to fry with the federal government.” That’s true of all large corporations that own media outlets — every one — and that is one big reason why they’re so servile to U.S. Government interests and easily manipulated by those in political power. That’s precisely the dynamic Lieberman was exploiting with his menacing little phone call to Amazon (in essence: Hi, this is the Senate’s Homeland Security Committee calling; you’re going to be taking down that WikiLeaks site right away, right?). Amazon, of course, did what they were told.

(Along with Daniel Ellsberg, Laura Poitras and others, I co-founded the Freedom of the Press Foundation in part to collect donations on behalf of WikiLeaks to ensure that the government could never again shut down press groups that it disliked through such pressure campaigns and implicit threats, precisely because it was so clear that this indirect means of attacking press freedom was dangerous and unconstitutional).

What made Lieberman’s implicit threats in the name of “national security” so despotic was that they were clearly intended to punish and silence a group working against his political agenda. And that is precisely true of the motives of these House Democrats in demanding greater censorship in the name of combating “misinformation” and “hate speech”: their demands almost always, if not always, mean silencing those who are opposed to their ideology and political agenda. As but one example: one is perfectly free to opine online, as many Democrats do, that the 2000, 2004 and 2016 presidential elections (won by Republicans) were the by-products of electoral fraud, but making that same claim about the 2020 election (won by a Democrat) will result in immediate banning.

The power to control the flow of information and the boundaries of permissible speech is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime. It is a power as intoxicating as it is menacing. When it comes to the internet, our primary means of communicating with one another, that power nominally rests in the hands of private corporations in Silicon Valley.

But increasingly, the Democratic-controlled government and their allies in the corporate media are realizing that they can indirectly and through coercion seize and wield that power for themselves. The First Amendment is implicated by these coercive actions as much as if Congress enacted laws explicitly mandating censorship of their political opponents.

February 20, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Progressive Hypocrite | | 1 Comment

The Decline of the West: American Education Surrenders to ‘Equity’

By Philip Giraldi | Strategic Culture Foundation | February 18, 2021

Public education in the United States, if measured by results, has been producing graduates that are less competent in language skills and dramatically less well taught in the sciences and mathematics since 1964, when Scholastic Aptitude Test scores peaked. The decline in science and math skills has accelerated in the past decade according to rankings of American students compared to their peers overseas. A recent assessment, from 2015, placed the U.S. at 38th out of 71 countries in math and 24th in science. Among the 35 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD), the United States came in at 30th in math and 19th in science. Those poor results must be placed in a context of American taxpayers spending more money per student than any other country in the world, so the availability of resources is not necessarily a factor in most school districts.

Much of the decline is due to technical advances that level the playing field for teachers worldwide, but one must also consider changing perceptions of the role of education in a social context. In the United States in particular, political and cultural unrest certainly have been relevant factors. But all of that said and considered, the U.S. is now confronting a reassessment of values that will likely alter forever traditional education and will also make American students even more non-competitive with their foreign peers.

Many schools in the United States have ceased issuing grades that have any meaning, or they have dropped grading altogether, which means there is no way to judge progress or achievement. National test scores for evaluating possible college entry are on the way out almost everywhere as they are increasingly being condemned as “racist” in terms of how they assess learning based solely on the fact that blacks do less well on them than Asians and whites. This has all been part of an agenda that is being pushed that will search for and eliminate any taint of racism in the public space. It has also meant the destruction or removal of numerous historic monuments and an avoidance of any honest discussion of American history. San Francisco schools are, for example, notoriously spending more than $1 million to change the names of 44 schools that honor individuals who have been examined under the “racism and oppression” microscope and found wanting. They include George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Paul Revere.

The new world order for education is built around the concept of “equity,” sometimes described as using the public education system to “ensure equitable outcomes.” But the concept itself is deeply flawed as the pursuit of equity means treating all Americans unequally to guarantee that everyone that comes out of the schools is the same and has learned the same things. That is, of course, ridiculous and it penalizes the good student to make sure that the bad student is somehow pushed through the system and winds up with the same piece of paper.

And the quality overall of public education will sharply decline. One might reasonably observe that imposition of a totalitarian style “equity” regime based on race will inevitably drive many of the academically better prepared students out of the system. Many of the better teachers will also move to the private academies that will spring up due to parental and student demand. Others will stop teaching altogether when confronted by political correctness at a level that prior to 2020 would have seemed unimaginable. The actual quality of education will suffer for everyone involved.

All of that has been bad enough, but the clincher is that this transformation is taking place all over the United States with the encouragement of federal, state and local governments and once the new regime is established it will be difficult or even impossible to go back to a system where learning is actually a discipline that sometimes requires hard work and dedication. In many school districts, the actual process of change is also being put on the back of the taxpayer. In one Virginia county the local school board spent $422,500 on a consultant to apply so-called Critical Race Theory (CRT) to a new program of instruction that will be mandatory for all employees and will serve as the framework for teaching the students. When schools eventually reopen, all kindergarteners, for example, will be taught “social justice” in a course designed by the controversial Southern Poverty Law Center and “diversity training” will be integrated in all other grade levels. Teaching reading, writing and arithmetic will take a back seat of “social justice.”

Critical Race Theory, which is being promoted as the framework for reorganizing the schools along lines of racial preferences, has been fairly criticized as it pretends to be an antidote to systemic racism but is itself racist in nature as it opposes a race neutral system that equally benefits everyone. It proposes that all of America’s governmental bodies and infrastructures are racist and supportive of “white supremacy” and must be deconstructed. It requires everything to be examined through a value system determined by identity politics and race and it views both whites and their institutions as hopelessly corrupted, if not evil.

Fortunately, some pushback to the Jacobins of political correctness is developing. Parents in many school districts are starting to attend school board meetings to register their opposition and even some school board members and teachers are refusing to cooperate. The teachers do so at risk of losing their jobs. At the elite Dalton private school in New York City parents have sent a letter to the Head of School Jim Best complaining how the newly introduced “anti-racist” curriculum has been gravely distorted by Critical Race Theory and the pursuit of “equity” to such an extent that it has included “a pessimistic and age-inappropriate litany of grievances in EVERY class. We have confused a progressive pedagogical model with progressive politics. Even for people who are sympathetic to that political viewpoint, the role of a school is not to indoctrinate politically. It’s to open the minds of children to the wonders of the world and learning. The Dalton we love, that has changed our lives, is nowhere to be found. And that is a huge loss.”

The letter also stated that “Every class this year has had an obsessive focus on race and identity, ‘racist cop’ reenactments in science, ‘decentering whiteness’ in art class, learning about white supremacy and sexuality in health class. Wildly age-inappropriate, many of these classes feel more akin to a Zoom corporate sensitivity training than to Dalton’s intellectually engaging curriculum.”

Ironically, much of the new curriculum is being driven by a core of radicalized Dalton faculty members, who in December signed on to an “anti-racism manifesto” which demanded that the school “hire 12 full-time diversity officers, abolish high-level academic courses if Black students’ performance isn’t on par with White students’, and require anti-racism ‘statements’ from all members of the staff.”

Inevitably what is going on at Dalton and elsewhere is also playing out at many of America’s top universities, so the rot will persist into the next generation when today’s college students themselves become teachers. A black Princeton professor of classics is calling for all classics departments to be done away with because they promote “racism, slavery and white supremacy.” America’s education system, once upon a time, benefited the nation and its people, but we are now watching it in its death throes. And please don’t expect the Joe Biden administration to do anything to save it. They are on the side of the wreckers.

February 18, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Progressive Hypocrite | , | 1 Comment

Pelosi’s 9/11-Type Commission to Give More Powers to US Domestic Spying Apparatus

By Ekaterina Blinova – Sputnik – 18.02.2021

On 15 February, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced plans to form a “9/11-type commission” to probe the Capitol protests. The Dems real aim is to give more powers to US spy agencies, expand homeland security, and anti-terrorism measures and use them against the American right-wingers, US observers say.

A new independent 9/11-type Commission will be assigned to “investigate and report on the facts and causes relating to the January 6, 2021 domestic terrorist attack upon the United States Capitol Complex,” Pelosi wrote to her party fellows on Monday. According to CNN, the commission of this nature is typically established by a statute, passed by both chambers of the Congress and signed into law by the president.

9/11-Type Commission to Bolster Domestic Surveillance

The original 9/11 Commission was established on 27 November 2002 by President George W. Bush and the United States Congress with the aim “to prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11 attacks.” The bipartisan body consisted of five Democrats and five Republicans and was chaired by former New Jersey Republican Governor Tom Kean.

​”The 9/11 Commission was supposed to be a bipartisan effort to find out what went wrong on 9/11,” says American author and political analyst William Stroock. “Today the Dems will use this ‘9/11’ style commission to stoke fears of Q, white nationalism, Trump and his supporters in general. This commission will not be independent at all and will not be interested in ascertaining facts, only in assigning blame to Republicans, conservatives and Trump supporters.”

​Nearly 20 years on, it’s clear that 9/11 has proven disastrous for the US in many ways, according to Strook. However, first and foremost it led to the creation of a “vast domestic spying apparatus with secret courts and gave the Feds vast new spying powers,” says the political analyst. Stroock suggests the Democrats “will want to give even more power to the domestic spying apparatus and turn it upon the right.”

Irreconcilable Contradictions in Democratic Party’s Policies

Meanwhile, the Biden administration plans to expand grants from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for studying and preventing “domestic violent extremism”, according to NBC News’ Friday report. Earlier, on 27 January, the DHS released its first-ever national terrorism bulletin warning about the looming threat of violent domestic extremism supposedly encouraged by the Capitol Hill protests.

​In the wake of the DC incident, the Democratic Party also pushed ahead with the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act (DTPA). Andrew McCarthy, former assistant United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, suggested in his January op-ed for National Review that the bill “is not about countering terrorism” but “weaving a political narrative.”

The legislation fell short of targeting jihadists, Antifa or Black Lives Matter militants, while focusing on white supremacists, “or, more specifically, Trump-inspired insurrectionists in the wake of the January 6 Capitol riot,” according to the lawyer.

“The double standard here is appalling,” says Stroock. “The Democrat Party has winked and nodded at the BLM/Antifa riots… The media even invented a new term to describe the orgy of looting and destruction, ‘mostly peaceful.’ To see them comparing the Capitol Hill riot to the 9/11 terrorist attacks is pretty rich.”

It’s not the only controversy haunting the Democrats, according to American independent journalist Max Parry: the Dems have previously supported the BLM’s “defund the police” movement and now they are advocating the expansion of homeland security and anti-terrorism measures.

“These are an inherent and irreconcilable contradictions,” Parry says. “Meanwhile, curiously absent is any mobilisation to demilitarise the police, which under the 1033 Program with the Pentagon has hyper militarised US domestic law enforcement even in small towns in the past few decades, yet numerous studies shows has not resulted in lower crime rates… So the irony of calling to ‘defund’ the police while trying to ram through legislation that would likely increase their counter-terrorism training and militarisation is incompatible.”

The movement to “defund the police” was well intentioned but potentially misguided where the legitimate concerns of citizens about the need to reform law enforcement could be used for other agendas, the journalist warns.

How GOP May Give Dems a Taste of Their Own Medicine

While cracking down on Trump supporters in the aftermath of the DC protests, the Dems have failed to convict former President Donald Trump over the alleged incitement of insurrection. As a result, Trump was once again acquitted in the Senate.

​”It seems they really thought they would convince 17 Republicans to crossover and vote to convict”, notes Stroock. “Only seven Republicans did so and they’re now in deep trouble with their voters back home. Several have already been censured by their state parties. The Democrats had a plan, a bad one, and had no idea what to do when the plan was foiled by reality.

Now that the Dems created a new legislative tool, the “snap impeachment,” the GOP could hypothetically fight back and give their political opponents a taste of their own medicine, the political analyst presumes.

“Given the way political gravity works, the Republicans will almost certainly win control of the House and Senate in 2022,” he says. “The Republican base will call for the GOP to impeach Joe Biden. Given the Dem’s own precedent, why not?”

Kamala Harris may also find herself in a heap of trouble given that she earlier tweeted support for a fund that bailed out rioters, according to Strook. Following Trump’s acquittal Republican Senator Lindsey Graham warned that Harris could be impeached because she “actually bailed out [BLM] rioters,” pointing to her support of a Minnesota-based bail fund.

“It’s quite a bit of a stretch to say that Harris could be impeached for asking to contribute to a fund that went towards bailing out activists, especially since there is no evidence she herself bailed anyone out,” Parry suggests. “However, that Graham made such threats does show how the prospect of impeachment is now being thrown around so loosely as a political football since the bar has been set so low by the Democrats who impeached Trump over a dubious phone conversation.”

While a lot may happen before the 2022 midterms, the GOP should jump at the opportunity to instrumentalise the potential 9/11-style Commission, argues Strook.

“The Republicans will (or should) approach this commission with great skepticism, turn the camera around and highlight the violence and racism of the left. This commission is a tremendous opportunity for the GOP,” the political analyst believes.

February 18, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Progressive Hypocrite | , | 1 Comment

Tehran to halt Additional Protocol unless other parties return to full JCPOA compliance

Press TV – February 15, 2021

Tehran says it will end its voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Safeguards Agreement should the other parties to the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement fail to honor their commitments by the deadline of February 21.

“This measure means an end to inspections beyond the Safeguards Agreement, but does not mean an end to all inspections. In fact, Iran is a member of the Safeguards Agreement and the NPT, but the implementation of the Additional Protocol will be halted,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said at a weekly press conference on Monday.

Khatibzadeh emphasized that Iran will nonetheless continue to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and report its new nuclear undertakings to the IAEA beforehand, as has always been the case.

He reiterated Tehran’s position that all of its measures are “easily reversible” provided that the other parties to the nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPAO), return to fulfilling their abandoned commitments.

The JCPOA was unilaterally ditched by former US President Donald Trump in May 2018, in pursuit of what he called the “maximum pressure” policy against the Islamic Republic through unilateral sanctions. Iran has denounced the policy as an act of “economic terrorism”.

The US withdrawal from the deal was met with worldwide criticism, and was followed, a year later, by Iran’s gradual reduction of its nuclear commitments. However, Tehran has repeatedly proclaimed that it will return to its nuclear obligations as soon as its interests under the JCPOA are met.

Khatibzadeh’s announcement comes more than two months after the Iranian Parliament passed a law to further accelerate the development of the country’s nuclear program.

The law, among other things, tasked the Iranian administration to stop allowing inspections beyond the Safeguards Agreement, including the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol, if the other parties to the JCPOA failed to deliver on their commitments, normalize Iran’s banking relations and remove obstacles to Iran’s oil export.

“According to this law, the inspections beyond the Safeguards Agreement will be halted, which we had voluntarily accepted within the framework of the Additional Protocol,” Khatibzadeh reiterated.

Nothing changed under Biden admin

Asked to offer his take on the new US administration of Joe Biden’s Iran policy almost a month into his presidency, the spokesman said the Biden administration, unfortunately, treads in the footsteps of the Trump administration.

“What is happening today is not different from what was happening before January 20 … The same maximum pressure and crime, committed through the cruel sanctions against the Iranian people, continues today,” he said.

“This should actually bring a stain of disgrace to those who based their election campaign on distancing themselves from the bullying policies of the Trump administration,” Khatibzadeh said, referring to Biden, who prior to the November presidential election promised to rejoin the deal but has so far reneged on his promise.

In similar remarks on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said, “I feel that the Americans have not yet decided on their policies. That’s why the White House had to correct Mr. Biden’s remarks many times.”

Zarif made the remarks a week after Biden said in an interview with CBS that he would not lift sanctions in order to encourage Iran to return to the negotiating table.

Iran’s stance on nuclear weapons unchanged

Elsewhere in his presser, Khatibzadeh said the Islamic Republic’s stance on the use of nuclear weapons has not changed.

Iran underlines the peaceful nature of its nuclear activities and this stance has not changed, he said.

“The fatwa (religious decree) issued by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution on the prohibition of the use of weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons remains in place,” he added.

In recent days, Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi has been rebuked over saying that persistent Western pressure on Iran could push the country to fight back like a “cornered cat”.

“If they push Iran to that [corner], then it will not be Iran’s fault,” he said in a televised interview last Monday, in remarks that were widely viewed in the world as a threat on Iran’s part to seek nuclear weapons.

The Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear program, however, is based on a fatwa issued by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei that categorically bans the production, possession and stockpiling of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.

February 15, 2021 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite | , , | Leave a comment

Trump Acquitted (Again), But Trump Hatred Continues

By Ron Paul | February 15, 2021

Last week’s second impeachment trial of former President Trump should serve as a warning that something is very wrong in US politics. Far from a measured, well-investigated, rock-solid case against the former president, America was again abused with day after day of character assassination, innuendo, false claims, and even falsified “evidence.”

The trial wasn’t intended to win a conviction of Trump for “incitement” because the Democrats already knew that the votes were not there. So, just as with the last impeachment trial, the goal was to fling as much dirt at Donald Trump as they could while the cameras were rolling. Their hatred of Donald Trump is so deep and visceral that probably a psychologist would have been more beneficial to them than yet another impeachment trial.

It would be incorrect to say that the House managers’ case fell apart, because they had no case to begin with. They never had a case because they made no effort to develop a case. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court saw from the beginning that this was no legitimate impeachment trial and informed Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer that he would not preside. Without the Chief Justice, there was no Constitutional impeachment trial. So they put on a show trial instead.

As Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley kept asking, why didn’t the House schedule a single hearing to investigate what really happened up to and on the day of the Capitol melee on January 6th? They had weeks to do so. Professor Turley believes they might even have been able to make a decent case if they had tried.

Why did they not call witnesses? Were there no rioters who could be called to explain under oath how Trump’s speech had inspired them to enter the Capitol building to overturn the election?

Were they afraid that under cross-examination we might have found out more about Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows’ claim that Trump offered to deploy 10,000 National Guard troops in Washington before January 6th but that his offer was rebuked? What about reports that Capitol Hill Police were left without back-up and unprepared for what happened? House and Senate leadership is responsible for security at the Capitol and they obviously failed. Why?

The House and Senate Democrats (and a few Republicans) did not succeed in their ultimate goal: preventing Trump from ever running again for political office. But that doesn’t mean they are giving up. They are not about to give citizen Trump a moment of peace. They are intent on continuing their witch hunt but it looks less and less like any desire for justice. It looks like fear. They are afraid if he is allowed to run again he may be elected. So they cannot allow that vote to happen.

And they accuse Trump of undermining democracy.

There were a number of reasons to impeach and convict President Trump while he was in office. Bombing Syria on bogus grounds without authorization was one of them. But Democrats love war as much as Republicans so they weren’t about to uphold their Constitutional obligations.

Impeachment 2.0 may be over, but those blinded by hatred for Trump are not about to give up. They are irrational and obsessed. They are also dangerous.

Copyright © 2021 by RonPaul Institute.

February 15, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Progressive Hypocrite | | Leave a comment

Trump won the Super Bowl

By William Stroock | February 15, 2021

Last Sunday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV (55). This was the 7th Super Bowl victory for the Buc’s starting quarterback Tom Brady (the guy who takes the ball and throws it). Without a doubt, Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time and one of the greatest athletes in American history. Brady is also a friend of Donald Trump’s. Some in the increasingly Woke sports world have criticized Brady for not disavowing the former president and remaining his friend.

Everything in America today is political, even the television commercials. In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Super Bowl commercials, usually a highlight of the telecast, were restrained. In one advertisement, rock star Bruce Springsteen drove a Jeep to a chapel in Kansas and spoke of Americans ‘meeting in the middle’, a message of unity in the politically polarized post-Trump world. Previously, Springsteen had called Trump, ‘a threat to our Democracy’, a ‘con man’, and said his presidency was a ‘nightmare’. A few days after the game, TMZ revealed that last year Springsteen was arrested for drunk driving.

After the Bucs victory, tens of thousands took to the streets of Tampa and central Florida in raucous but peaceful celebration. Seeing her constituents enjoying themselves in large crowds, many without masks, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor declared, ‘I’m proud of our community, but those few bad actors will be identified, and the Tampa Police Department will handle it.’ Soon after, critics produced photographs of Mayor Castor celebrating the Tamp Bay Lightning (National Hockey League) winning the Stanley Cup.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has opposed strict lockdown measures and, for the most part, he has kept the state’s economy open. DeSantis has even made masks optional in many circumstances. As of this writing, Florida ranks 15th in Covid-19 cases per 100,000 while locked down New York is 5th and New Jersey is 6th. Last Wednesday, The Miami Herald reported that the Biden Administration was actively considering travel restrictions within the United States, including restrictions on travel to Florida. DeSantis and other Florida Republicans condemned the idea, and the Biden Administration denies it has any such plans.

Super Bowl LV’s ratings were down 8% from the previous year. The second impeachment’s ratings are down as well. The broadcast drew fewer television viewers than former FBI director James Comey’s testimony in 2017 and the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination hearings in 2018. On Saturday night, the local news here in the New York metro area led with the impending ice storm. The second impeachment was, as they say in American television, a ratings bust. First, the Senate heard arguments about the constitutionality of the single article of impeachment charging Trump with ‘incitement’. The senate voted 56-44 that the trial was constitutional, with six Republican Senators breaking ranks. Even if the GOP had maintained party discipline resulting in a 50-50 tie, the article of impeachment still would have gone to trial as Vice President Kamala Harris is President of the Senate and has the tie breaking vote.

On Saturday, the Democrats second impeachment of Trump ended with almost comic ineptitude. Democrat impeachment managers spent their time accusing Trump of inciting a riot. In response, Trump’s lawyers presented a video montage of Democrats using violent rhetoric to encourage their voters. On Saturday morning, the Senate voted to call witnesses. But, when the GOP threatened to call House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and DC mayor Muriel Bower to testify, the Dems panicked and agreed to hold the final vote. Only 57 senators voted to convict, resulting in an acquittal. Trump is the most acquitted president in American history, the Deplorables joke.

Though he voted to acquit, Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell excoriated Trump and seven GOP senators voted to convict. Several of these senators have already been censured by their state Republican parties. Censure is the base’s preferred way of expressing displeasure with the GOP Establishment. Wyoming representative and GOP house caucus chair Liz Cheney has been formally condemned by the Wyoming Republican Party for voting for impeachment. The South Carolina GOP censured House Member Tim Rice for doing the same. In Arizona, where pro-Trump forces just won a bruising battle for party control with the Establishment GOP, the state GOP censured former Senator Jeff Flake and John McCain’s widow for criticizing Trump. Meanwhile, Trump’s former national security advisor, Nikki Haley slammed her former boss, ‘We need to acknowledge he let us down,’ said the presidential hopeful. ‘He went down a path he shouldn’t have. And we shouldn’t have followed him. And we shouldn’t have listened to him. And we can’t let that ever happen again.’

Haley will certainly gain favor with the media for slamming Trump, but she has severely hurt her standing with the GOP base, which already suspected the former South Carolina governor of being a female version of failed presidential candidate Jeb Bush. Perhaps Haley, Bush, and company can find a home in the new political party several dozen former GOP operatives and Bush Administration alumni are building. She may have to. A Morning Consult Poll taken in late January found 81% of Republicans approved of Donald Trump and 50% said Trump should play a ‘major role’ in the Republican Party. A CBS poll found that 70% would consider joining a Trump Party. The GOP establishment is badly losing the war for control of the Republican Party.

February 15, 2021 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite | , | 2 Comments

As fears rise over SF-area attacks on elderly Asians by Black assailants, NPR finds the real culprit: White people

RT | February 14, 2021

The Lunar New Year passed in the San Francisco Bay area with fears rising over a series of unprovoked attacks on elderly Asians by black men, but leftists may have found some solace by finding the real perpetrators: white people.

As Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen explained, Asians shouldn’t respond to the horrific attacks with “knee-jerk” calls for more policing but must instead recognize the violence as “part of a pattern of white supremacy.” Even if the assailants are “people of color,” he added, “the solution is not to fall back on racist assumptions of our own but to hold the system of white supremacy responsible for dividing us.”

Despite his literary talents, Nguyen apparently missed the irony in the notion of avoiding “racist assumptions” by blaming people of a certain skin color for the attacks – in this case, people of a different skin color than those involved in the incidents – but he wasn’t alone in identifying whites as the problem.

Manju Kulkarni, executive director of the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council, told NPR that “xenophobic policies and racist rhetoric” pushed by former president Donald Trump was behind the violence. Oakland City Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas told local Fox TV affiliate KTVU that crimes against Asians and “anti-blackness” are both on the rise “because we live in a system rooted in white supremacy.”

The rise in violence forced many businesses in Oakland’s Chinatown area – where there have reportedly been more than 20 attacks against Asians in the past two weeks – to reduce hours during the busy shopping season before Friday’s Lunar New Year. Those cutbacks came on top of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, which curtailed celebrations for the holiday.

In addition to robberies and other crimes involving theft, there have been unprovoked, daylight attacks on elderly pedestrians. An 84-year-old immigrant from Thailand was killed in late January in San Francisco when a man came running from across the street and slammed into him, knocking him to the ground. A 19-year-old black man, Antoine Watson, has been arrested in the case and was charged with murder last week.

Another high-profile incident came on January 31 in Oakland, when a man shoved a 91-year-old Chinese man to the pavement from behind. The suspect proceeded to knock down two other Chinese, a 55-year-old man and a 60-year-old woman, on the same day and on the same block. Yahya Muslim, a 28-year-old black man, has been arrested for the attacks. He was already in custody for a separate elder-abuse case when police identified him as the alleged perpetrator of the Oakland attacks.

The effort to transfer guilt for the crimes to white people was met with scorn on social media. Author Ben D’Alessio said he is removing Nguyen’s novels from his reading list. Writer Wesley Yang said Nguyen was essentially “telling poor Asian people that they’re racist for wanting police protection.”

“How sheltered do you have to be for ethnic-studies jargon to be more real to you than the bodies of grandma and grandpa laid out on the street?” Yang asked. He added that such race rhetoric gave cover for the “vicious sadists” who are committing the crimes while denying protection for the vulnerable people who are being targeted.

February 14, 2021 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite | | 8 Comments

The American establishment has lost its mind in its obsession with trying to discredit Trumpism

Protest against U.S. President Donald Trump on Veterans Day on November 11, 2019 in New York City. © Getty Images / Stephanie Keith
By Michael Rectenwald | RT | February 12, 2021

An appallingly biased new article on Trumpism in Foreign Affairs shows that if the American establishment was an individual, it would be diagnosed as clinically insane, likely suffering from delusions of persecution and paranoia.

Yet this same establishment calls half the population of the US conspiratorial, delusional, and terroristic, even as it parades a lunatic’s version of events during a second unfounded, evidence-free impeachment trial of former President Donald J. Trump, and as it continues lamentations over the supposed malignancy of his presidency, weeks after it has ended.

At this point, it would be a misdiagnosis to call this illness Trump Derangement Syndrome. The idée fixe persists unabated, even in the absence of its favorite bogey, and extends well beyond any reasonable obsession with Trump himself. This syndrome, whatever it is, appears to be resistant to treatment. The ministrations of political outsiders have only left the patient with a firmer ideational conviction. Electoral engineering and repeated political exorcisms have apparently been to no avail.

This illness has affected every element of the broad political left, the political and corporate establishment, and the mainstream media. Unsurprisingly, the nation’s foreign policy “experts” remain in its thrall. Like Jonathan Kirshner, political science and international professor at Boston College, they display its symptomology without remission.

In an article titled Gone But Not Forgotten: Trump’s Long Shadow and the End of American Credibility, Kirshner exhibits the signs of the recalcitrant derangement with a fact-free, hyperbolic prognosis of US foreign policy in the wake of the Trump presidency. Like others bewitched by him, Kirshner repeats the tired shibboleths associated with hallucinatory Trump repudiation: he cozied up with dictators, scorned long-term allies, and represents “a deeply regrettable, and in many ways embarrassing, interlude” in American international relations.

The patient refers to Trump’s management of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, and alludes to Trump’s most unreasonable demand that NATO partners pay their fair share of dues to the European peace-keeping organization that’s waning in importance. Yet evidence of the widespread “anarchy” caused by Trump is never given–no doubt because it doesn’t exist.

Kirshner exhibits the typical apriorism expected from the afflicted. Trump is guilty–of something, anything–in advance. The point of the exercise is to look for crimes committed by the presumed villain, even as the language for conviction must remain forever nebulous and abstract, as it does in this piece of feigned objectivity.

Somewhat off-topic for a commentator on foreign policy, Kirshner immediately excoriates Trump’s handling of “a pandemic that killed well more than a quarter of a million of the people under his charge.” Kirshner’s guilty verdict is meted out without evidence, and despite the fact that the death rate in the US is broadly on par with that of Europe and elsewhere.

It’s not as if Italy has fared any better, or that Sweden, which eschewed draconian lockdown laws, did any worse than Italy or France. But carrying on about Trump’s supposedly disastrous pandemic response measures is a requisite symptom of the establishment’s disorder, and Kirshner must display it like all the others. Never mind that, soon after taking office, Biden stated that there was nothing he could do to stem the spread of the virus.

As Kirshner sees it, one of Trump’s most egregious transgressions was the withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) during the first week of his presidency. No mention is made of the fact that no one really knew what was in the deal. Never mind that, like NAFTA, it would likely cost more Americans their jobs, jobs probably shipped to China, where wage slaves work under penal colony conditions. And never mind that it would likely gut environmental regulations to please China.

Kirshner levies the usual charges against Trump’s foreign policy: “isolationism,” “nationalism,” and “knuckle-dragging Americafirstism.”

“America first” has been the most maligned and misrepresented element of the Trump doctrine, and Kirshner’s declamation is no exception. Like other detractors, he refuses to acknowledge what Trump meant by the phrase: the interests of the majority of Americans should come before all else when making any political decision, not that America should become a selfish, dominating player on the world stage. From the standpoint of the economic and political oligarchy, who stood to lose the most by it, “America first” was unconscionable, and remains impossible to excise from national and international consciousness.

Kirshner barely acknowledges the fact that the Trump doctrine follows from a particular brand of populist American nationalism, including a foreign policy stemming from 19th-century Republican politics. Those who have subscribed to this political position have been traditionally non-interventionist, while demanding that a premium be laid on national self-determination, the protection of national sovereignty via strong borders, and the promotion of national self-interest over international or “globalist” entanglements. Instead, Kirshner misrepresents “America first” by surreptitiously associating it with fascism and Nazism.

No mention is made of the fact that, of the past five presidents, Trump was the only one not to begin a new war, and the only one not to extend the American military presence throughout the world. Instead, Kirshner gives away his hand by mourning that the US may “soon simply be out of the great-power game altogether.” This admission signals Kirshner’s allegiance to the neocon military establishment, and practically disqualifies him as an interlocutor supposedly concerned with international order and stability. It’s as if George W. Bush’s unprovoked and disastrous invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq have been entirely forgotten and forgiven, while Trump’s partially flouted attempts to withdraw troops from the Middle East and Afghanistan are the real international crimes.

Yet the biggest specter haunting Kirshner’s storyline is “the significant possibility of a large role for Trumpism” in the future, regardless of whether or not Trump himself continues to play a role in national politics. This is the crux of the matter, and the real problem Kirshner sees. How can the US be a reliable international partner while Trumpism persists? Kirshner’s real concern is that Trump’s policies were actually popular, and that Trumpism thus cannot instantly be extirpated from the national identity.

This fear of Trumpism haunts the entire political establishment. It explains the second impeachment trial, the calls for re-education, and the characterization of Trump supporters as “terrorists” and “the enemy within.” It is this new leftist McCarthyism, and not Trumpism, that really afflicts the country. And it is this which makes the US an unreliable player on the international stage. For how can the US act as a single nation when the entire establishment suffers from schizophrenia?

Michael Rectenwald is an author of 11 books, including the most recent, Thought Criminal. He was Professor of Liberal Arts at NYU from 2008 through 2019. Follow him on Twitter @TheAntiPCProf

February 12, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Progressive Hypocrite | | 2 Comments

Jolani gets a make-over in Idlib

By Steven Sahiounie | Mideast Discourse | February 9, 2021

The administration of [proclaimed] President Joe Biden may use a new tactic to bring Damascus to its knees. The ‘regime-change’ policy of Obama, which spawned ‘forever-wars’ in Libya and Syria, has a new twist.

Biden could choose to solve the Syrian conflict through diplomacy, but he may have tasked Secretary of State Anthony Blinken with re-inventing a terrorist following Radical Islam, and with a $10 million bounty on his head, as the new leader of Syria.

Abu Mohammed Al-Jolani, the leader of Syria’s Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS), which had been previously named Jibhat al-Nusra, and where the Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria, had changed their name in a previous bout of re-branding their image.

The US is now in the process of changing the mask on HTS in Syria, as the group is listed by the US, EU, Russia, the UN, and Turkey as a terrorist group. Jolani took off his guerrilla warfare uniform and switched to a business suit recently in a PBS “Frontline” interview with journalist Martin Smith. Western audiences may be fooled by the new look, but the residents of Syria know the true Jolani. Washing away the gallons of blood on his hands will take a much deeper sanitizing than a new suit. Biden may have a hard time explaining the support of Jolani to French President Macron, who has officially declared war on Radical Islam.

The US had justified their illegal occupation of Syria as necessary to fight Islamic State (IS) terrorist group. The group was successfully dislodged from the territory they had held in northeast Syria.

The sole remaining territory held by an armed group following Radical Islam is Idlib, in the northwest, an area which US officials once described as “the largest al-Qaeda safe haven since 9/11”. Western media describes Idlib as ‘a last stronghold of Syrian rebel groups’. The US and its media outlets have used the terms ‘terrorists’ and ‘rebels’ interchangeably, which has effectively re-branded blood-thirsty criminals into freedom fighters.

Trump had inherited the Syrian conflict from Obama, and he did not work toward any solution but held the status-quo, which saw US troops illegally stationed in Syria to steal the oil. Trump allowed Saudi Arabia to write the US foreign policy on Syria, due to his tight relationship with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The US refused to beat HTS, instead, they protected them in Idlib, and have denounced Syrian and Russian attacks on the group. Now, the US has joined with HTS leader Jolani as their new man to lead Syria, still committed to the US policy of ‘regime change’.

The names change, but the essence is the same. In Syria, there were many armed groups, from the Free Syrian Army to Al Qaeda, and IS. Each had a leader, and a name, but in essence, all were the same: men killing people in the name of God. Their goal is ‘regime change’ and the regime they seek to install in Damascus is an Islamic government, with Sharia as the constitution and rule of law.

Turkey invaded Idlib and has 20,000 troops there, but has been reluctant to publically support HTS, because of the ‘terrorist’ listing. The US may begin a process to remove HTS from the terrorist label, which would open up greater aid and western investment in Idlib. At the same time, this close cooperation in Idlib between the US and Turkey could strengthen a fragile relationship between the two NATO partners. However, Turkey is ruled by a Muslim Brotherhood partyAKP, and there are calls by many in the US and the Arab Gulf states, to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group.

The sizable Christian population in Idlib has suffered greatly at the hands of HTS and other Radical Islamic terrorist groups. Not only physical suffering but their properties were seized and they were made destitute and homeless.

The Russian-Turkish ceasefire remains fragile, while joint patrols along the M4 highway have essentially halted since August from terrorist attacks on trucks and civilians. The March 2020 agreement between Russia and Turkey explicitly calls for both sides to “combat all forms of terrorism, and to eliminate all terrorist groups in Syria as designated by the UN Security Council, which includes HTS.

Jolani fought in the post-2003 Iraq war as a member of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI, which later became ISIS), and in 2011 brought ISIS to Syria. He left ISIS in 2013, and declared allegiance to Al Qaeda, and established their affiliate in Syria, Jibhat al-Nusra.

Al-Nusra became known for being more brutal than all others and was feared and loathed by the Syrian civilians who were their victims. The group carried out war crimes and massacres of unarmed civilians sleeping in their own homes near Latakia in 2013. Killing, maiming, raping, and kidnapping was their calling card.

Jolani has been recast as the local Syrian leader capable of governing Idlib. However, Syria is a much bigger place than Idlib, which is a small agricultural area, only known for its olives. What about the biggest city, Aleppo, or the capital Damascus: what would the residents there think of an ex-ISIS member being in charge of Syria? The Syrian people have lived under a secular form of government for 40 years, and have fought against Radical Islam for ten years. Morphing a terrorist into a leader is a fantasy conjured up in Washington, DC. but will not play well to a Syrian audience.

Steven Sahiounie is an award-winning journalist.

February 9, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Progressive Hypocrite, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

The Trump Political Show Trial

By Ron Paul | February 8, 2021

The Senate trial for now twice-impeached former President Donald Trump is set to begin this week, with little doubt over the outcome. A procedural vote in the Senate on the constitutionality of “removing from office” someone who is not in office revealed that nowhere near enough Republicans were willing to join their Democrat counterparts in voting to convict.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who is required by the Constitution to preside, has by refusing to participate made it clear that he does not consider the upcoming action in the Senate to be a legitimate impeachment trial.

So if it is not a legitimate trial, what is it, then? Judging from the House impeachment resolution, it looks more like a banana republic “show trial” than a careful case detailing Trump’s “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Trump was impeached by the Democrat-controlled US House for “incitement of insurrection” over the January 6th melee at the US Capitol. Telling his supporters they must fight or they’re “not going to have a country any more” was cited in the impeachment resolution as evidence that Trump “gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government” and has “demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office.”

Trump also told them to march to the Capitol “peacefully and patriotically” to encourage Congress to consider his claims of election fraud, but Democrats in the House say that he didn’t really mean it.

Why the snap impeachment? Why not, as Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley has written, hold hearings and call witnesses to explore whether the former president actually had insurrection on his mind? Did he call off or delay the National Guard troops from protecting the Capitol, for example?

Or was he simply using heated political rhetoric that his accusers in Congress have also used plenty of times?

Weeks of hearings in the House with dozens of witnesses could have helped make the case for the Senate that Trump was guilty of inciting insurrection. Such hearings could have turned the tide against Trump in the Senate, where he is certainly not universally supported within his own party.

But the House had no interest in such hearings. They wanted a snap impeachment. They wanted no witnesses. They wanted to benefit from the universal mainstream media narrative that the mob who entered the Capitol building was not just unruly Americans angry over what they believed was a rigged election, but was actually trying to overthrow the government to keep Trump in power.

The House Democrats knew that the “insurrection” narrative would not stand the test of time – anyone familiar with “color revolutions” or coups overseas would easily recognize that this was not one. So they rushed through the impeachment not because they wanted to remove him from an office he no longer occupied, but because they wanted to bar him from ever running for office again.

It does raise the question: what are they afraid of? They called their impeachment a victory for democracy, but isn’t preventing Trump from running again a subversion of democracy?

Trump would do well to ignore the Senate proceedings. There is no reason to participate in a show trial. The media has reported that he intends to focus on the “stolen” election in his defense before the Senate. That would be counterproductive. The right question to ask is, “what if they held a show trial and nobody came”?

Copyright © 2021 by RonPaul Institute.

February 8, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Progressive Hypocrite | | 2 Comments

Iran to withdraw from NPT if US does not lift sanctions: FM spokesman

By Yusef Jalali – Press TV – February 8, 2021

Tehran – You first, me next.

Since Joe Biden became the [proclaimed] new US president, Tehran and Washington have each been asking the other side to return to the 2015 nuclear deal.

On Sunday, Joe Biden said the US will not lift the sanctions until Iran stops enriching Uranium.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, however, made it clear, saying his country will live up to its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal IF the US removes the sanctions it illegally re-imposed against Tehran.

Once hailed as a victory for diplomacy, the nuclear deal has been hanging in the balance since Donald Trump pulled his country out of the international accord unilaterally and reinstated sanctions against Iran in 2018.

In return, Tehran began a gradual suspension of its nuclear commitments, the last of which was the resumption of Uranium enrichment at the 20-percent purity level.

In December last year, the Iranian parliament also passed a bill requiring the government to limit the International Atomic Energy Agency’s inspection of the country’s nuclear sites. The law also tasks the government to pull Iran out of the Non-Proliferation Treaty as of February the 20th.

I asked Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman if Tehran is determined to do so; he said it was up to the US.

Since the US left the deal, the remaining signatories to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action have been trying to save the deal, which promised Iran the lifting of sanctions in return for the country’s curb on its nuclear program.

Iran says the three European parties to the pact have done nothing to offset the impact of the US’s withdrawal from the accord.

The Islamic Republic says its steps toward suspending its JCPOA commitments are within the framework of the nuclear deal and seek to keep the balance between its obligations and rights under the agreement.

Now as Iran and the US are stuck in a standoff, Tehran says the ball is in Joe Biden’s court. The Islamic Republic has made it clear that there’s only one way ahead to save the 2015 nuclear deal; the US should lift all sanctions; or else, Tehran will continue to scale back its obligations to the JCPOA.

February 8, 2021 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, Wars for Israel | , , | 1 Comment