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Could this US case explode the global censorship cartel orchestrated by the BBC?

By Serena Wylde | TCW Defending Freedom | January 19, 2023

As the legacy media are showing no let-up in their vicious mendacity, particularly concerning Andrew Bridgen MP, it seems pertinent to highlight the likely next steps in the landmark case against the BBC-orchestrated cartel, the ‘Trusted News Initiative’, recently filed in Texas by Children’s Health Defense, their founder Robert F Kennedy Jr and others. As we reported here, the TNI, comprising the BBC, the Associated Press, Reuters, the Washington Post and a raft of others, stand accused by the plaintiffs of both violating the anti-trust laws which protect against collusion between commercial competitors, and the First Amendment of the US Constitution which protects freedom of speech, on the grounds that the purpose of the cartel is to prevent anyone publishing content that undermines the commercial and reputational interests of its members.

Jed Rubenfeld, the lawyer responsible for crafting the case against the media giants, foresees that they will throw unlimited funds at legal teams to generate a barrage of motions to have the case dismissed on one basis or another before it reaches court. They will argue on every pretext that the plaintiffs don’t have a claim. As each of these motions will have to be fought by the plaintiffs, this is a tactic of drowning the adversary in paperwork to exhaust its resources before any damage can be done in the form of exposure by the case coming to court. RFK’s legal team expect to be out-resourced and outspent by TNI’s deep pockets, and because the secretive cartel has everything to lose if the case proceeds to trial. But they will fight the motions tooth and nail as they believe the facts and the law are on their side, and once this major hurdle is surmounted, the plaintiffs will then be granted ‘discovery’.

The potential discovery process has RFK highly motivated, not only because it grants access to the internal communications between the defendants, essential to proving the case, but because he wants to interrogate each defendant as to why they signed up to being a part of a worldwide censorship campaign in direct betrayal of their role as the gatekeepers of liberty, in service of the people against the oppressive tendencies and overreach of government. In his words, he wants to confront each and every one of them and ask them what individual advantage they saw from this secret arrangement, and whether they believe in censorship.

Prior to the American Revolution, suppression and censorship of free speech in the American Colonies was fiercely pursued under the laws of the British Crown, which mercilessly prosecuted the dissemination of information unfavourable to it under the crime of ‘seditious libel’. This is why James Madison introduced his original version of the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights of 1789 by stating: ‘The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, to write, or to publish their sentiments; and the freedom of the press, as one of the great bulwarks of liberty, shall be inviolable.’ And why in the First Amendment jurisprudence of the US Supreme Court, a judgment from some eighty years ago contains the words: ‘The freedom of speech depends on the widest possible dissemination of information from diverse and antagonistic sources. It is vital to the welfare of the Republic.’

The American War of Independence was won in 1783. Two hundred and forty years on, it is hard to imagine Providence will reverse the most vital of principles it led to. But we have some way to go yet. If the case proceeds, RFK’s legal team have asked for a trial by jury, a fitting request for a case which breaches everyone’s rights, and thus should be adjudicated by a jury of regular people. Litigation is expensive, which raises the question: if the BBC is funded by the licence-paying public, who will foot their bill?  Initially, lawyers for them will be preparing to prevent the case from being heard. But if that fails and the case proceeds, there will be legal fees for defending the case in court. And if they lose in court, there will be very considerable damages to pay, plus the adversary’s legal fees. As for the reputational damage to the corporation, that will be for the demos to decide.

January 21, 2023 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Get it Right, Washington Post, Climate Change Isn’t Causing a Decline in Coral Reefs

By H. Sterling Burnett | Climate Realism |November 21, 2022

The Washington Post (WP) published a story detailing how the efforts by a Malaysian “coral gardener,” Anuar Abdulla, to restore coral reefs near his home have resulted in him being consulted on coral restoration efforts globally. Unfortunately, rather than simply delivering well earned praise to Abdullah for his worthwhile efforts, the WP had to turn the story into another in its on-going “Climate Solutions” series, blaming coral decline on climate change. This is false. Some corals have declined in recent years, others have expanded, and new colonies have been discovered. Of those that have declined, there is little support for any link to climate change, and a great deal of evidence pointing to other factors being behind local coral declines.

In the story, titled “One man’s lonely quest to save the world’s corals draws a following,” reporter Rebecca Tan writes:

For nearly four decades, the coral gardener [Anuar Abdullah] worked alone.Abdullah has spent his entire adult life restoring coral reefs, until recently working in obscurity — and at times, in poverty.

In a world rapidly losing its reefs to climate change and to environmental damage, he is now emerging as an increasingly influential expert on how to revive them. Governments and resorts have come calling, asking whether he can help with reefs lost to natural disasters and overtourism.

Tan acknowledges factors besides climate change are contributing to coral decline. She should have explored those in greater detail and left off her misplaced climate change harangue because there is no data to support the claim that long term climate change is causing coral decline.

As discussed at Climate Realismhere, for example, corals are hardy and resilient. The first corals arose during the Cambrian Period about 535 million years ago and the number and type corals increased dramatically more than 400 million years ago, coming into existence when global temperatures and carbon dioxide concentrations were much higher than at present. Coral have proved adaptable, expanding their range, evolving, and thriving through periods of higher and lower temperatures than the Earth is either currently experiencing or can be reasonably expected to experience in the foreseeable future.

As discussed in Climate at a Glance: Coral Reefs, coral thrive in warm water, not cold water, and recent warming has allowed coral to expand their range poleward, while still thriving near the equator. Despite bleaching events, coral have expanded their range, and new coral reefs are discovered all the time. Science also shows that scientists have woefully undercounted the number or coral reefs and colonies in existence.

Nor, climate alarmists claims to the contrary, is there any evidence rising carbon dioxide levels are making Earth’s oceans and seas acidic. Since the oceans and seas are not becoming acidic, it is impossible for “ocean acidification” to be harming coral colonies.

If not warmer waters or ocean acidification, what factors are likely to have driven coral bleaching events in recent years. Tan named two of the culprits: natural disasters and overtourism. As explained in multiple Climate Realism posts other factors that have caused temporary or permanent damage to some coral colonies in various locations include: fishing and coral harvesting; coastal development and associated siltation and pollution; agricultural runoff; and pollution tied to sun block used by swimmers. While rapid influxes of warmer waters from natural shifts in ocean currents have caused temporary bleaching events on occasion, experience shows most coral recover from such events and multiple studies show corals can and do adapt to the gradual long-term pace of global warming.

Coral reefs are critical to ocean biodiversity. The world should be grateful for Anuar Abdulla’s efforts to restore coral reefs. He deserves all the praise he receives for this work. However, looking at coral reefs more broadly, in order to help coral reefs recover or make them more resilient to harmful impacts, one must first accurately identify the causes of their decline. The Washington Post, for the most part failed here. Because climate change isn’t harming coral reefs, trying to protect coral health by fighting global warming is a misplaced effort. Resources spent there, could be better applied to reducing or mitigating the true causes of coral losses—which, of course, is precisely what Abdulla is doing on a case by case basis.

December 5, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | | Leave a comment

Journalists Continue Their Valiant Struggle to Make Monkeypox a Thing

eugyppius | a plague chronicle | october 28, 2022

Remember that scary rash-cum-fever from Africa that was going to be The Next Pandemic before it turned out to infect almost exclusively gay men having unprotected sex with other gay men? Well, you’ll be happy to know that there are still a few media outlets out there trying to make somebody care about it:

Monkeypox is causing devastating outcomes for people with severely weakened immune systems, even as new cases continue to decline in the United States, according to a federal report released Wednesday. At least 10 people hospitalized with monkeypox have died.

More than 28,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported since the U.S. outbreak began in May. While the vast majority recover within weeks, some patients with untreated HIV experienced especially dire consequences, such as losing function of their brain or spinal cord, eyes and lungs despite being given antiviral medication.

The report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is based on the agency’s consultations with clinicians treating 57 U.S. patients hospitalized with monkeypox complications from the outbreak’s peak in mid-August through Oct. 10. It presents the most comprehensive picture of the severe consequences of infection and who is most at risk for serious complications.

You know what other viruses cause “devastating outcomes for people with severely weakened immune systems”? Basically all of them. If you’re sick and dying even the common cold can be dangerous, and here monkeypox is the least of anyone’s worries. Ten deaths (of which seven are still “under investigation” with no officially determined cause) from 28,000 cases works out to a case fatality rate of .036%.

But wait! Monkeypox might still turn out to be bad, somehow, maybe! The outbreak might “accelerate and affect increasingly wider communities,” if it could only be persuaded to circulate among heterosexuals! Or maybe “the virus could get established in an animal host”! Just don’t ask how that could happen! (And who knew the Post would stoop to such unsavoury homophobia?)

It’s funny to laugh at these guys, but sobering to consider how ramped up the pandemic panic machine must be, that even this obvious non-starter got the mileage that it did. This bodes poorly for the future.

October 28, 2022 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | | 1 Comment

Pelosi’s Taiwan Trip Exposes Foolishness of Interventionism

By Ron Paul | August 8, 2022

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s “surprise” trip to Taiwan last week should be “Exhibit A” as to why interventionism is dangerous, deadly, and dumb. Though she claimed her visit won some sort of victory for democracy over autocracy, the stopover achieved nothing of the sort. It was a pointless gesture that brought us closer to military conflict with zero benefits.

As Col. Doug Macgregor said of Pelosi’s trip on a recent episode of Tucker Carlson Tonight, “statesmanship involves advancing American interests at the least cost to the American people. None of that is in play here. … Posturing is not statesmanship.”

Pelosi’s trip was no outlier. Such counterproductive posturing is much celebrated by both parties in Washington. Neoconservative Senators Bob Menendez and Lindsey Graham were thrilled with Pelosi’s stop in Taipei and used it as a springboard to push for new legislation that would essentially declare war on China by declaring Taiwan a “major non-NATO ally.”

The “one China” policy that, while perhaps not perfect, has kept the peace for more than 40 years is to be scrapped and replaced with one sure to provoke a war. Who benefits?

Foolishly taking the US to the brink of war with Russia over Ukraine is evidently not enough for Washington’s bipartisan warmongering class. Risking a nuclear war on two fronts, with both Russia and China, is apparently the only way for Washington to show the rest of the world it’s serious.

The Washington Post’s neoconservative columnist Josh Rogin accurately captures the mindset in Washington DC with a recent article titled, “The skeptics are wrong: The US can confront both China and Russia.”

For Washington’s foreign policy “experts,” those of us who don’t believe a war with both Russia and China is a great idea are written off as “skeptics.” Count me as one of the skeptics!

During the Cold War there were times of heightened tension, but even in the darkest days the idea that nuclear war with China and the Soviet Union could be a solution was held only by a few madmen. Now, with the ideological struggles of the Cold War a decades-old memory, such an argument makes even less sense. Yet this is what Washington is selling.

The US fighting a proxy war with Russia through Ukraine and Nancy Pelosi provoking China nearly to the point of war over Taiwan is meant to show the world how tough we are. In reality, it demonstrates the opposite. The drunken man in a bar challenging everyone to a fight is not tough. He’s foolish. He has nothing to gain and everything to lose from his display of bravado.

That is interventionism at its core: a foolish policy that provokes nothing but anger overseas, benefits no one in the US except the special interests, and leaves the rest of us much poorer and worse off.

There may be plenty to criticize about China’s government and policies. They are far from perfect, particularly in protection of civil liberties. But have we already forgotten that our own government shut down the country for two years over a virus, and then forced a huge number of Americans to take an experimental shot that is proving to be as worthless as it is dangerous? Let’s look at the log in our own eye before we start lobbing missiles overseas.

Copyright © 2022 by RonPaul Institute

August 8, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , | 1 Comment

Pulitzer Board Turns Down Trump’s Request to Rescind Prizes Given to NYT, Washington Post

Samizdat – 19.07.2022

WASHINGTON – The Pulitzer Prize Board has rejected former US President Donald Trump’s appeal to revoke awards given to The New York Times and The Washington Post for their reporting on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

“The 2018 Pulitzer Prizes in National Reporting stand,” the Pulitzer Prize Board said in a Monday statement, explaining that it had received several inquiries, including from Trump, about The New York Times and The Washington Post reporting, but independent reviews have found nothing to discredit the prize entries.

“Both reviews were conducted by individuals with no connection to the institutions whose work was under examination, nor any connection to each other. The separate reviews converged in their conclusions: that no passages or headlines, contentions or assertions in any of the winning submissions were discredited by facts that emerged subsequent to the conferral of the prizes,” the Pulitzer Prize Board said.

In October of last year, Trump sent a letter to the Pulitzer Prize Board demanding that it rescind the prizes given to over a dozen articles from The New York Times and The Washington Post, arguing that the publications engaged in “false reporting.”

Russia has repeatedly denied claims of its meddling in the 2016 presidential election in the United States.

July 19, 2022 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | 3 Comments

US State Department alleges Moscow prepared ‘crisis actor’ video to invade Ukraine, refuses to offer evidence

RT | February 3, 2022

The US has accused Russia of creating a propaganda video featuring crisis actors, staged fake explosions, and NATO military equipment such as Turkish drones, as a pretext for invading Ukraine in the coming days.

The claim was first published on Thursday morning by the Washington Post, which cited an unnamed US official quoting US intelligence assessments. It was then picked up by CNN and other outlets. On Thursday afternoon, State Department spokesman Ned Price said the government “made public” that intelligence, and echoed the description of the alleged video featured in the Post and CNN stories.

The video is “entirely fabricated by Russian intelligence” and is “one of a number of options the Russian government is developing as a fake pretext to initiate and potentially justify military aggression against Ukraine,” Price claimed. He added that the US is making the claim public as a way to deter Russia from its “destructive and destabilizing disinformation campaign” against Ukraine.

Pressed to show any evidence for the claim, Price said his own statement constituted evidence, and that it was “derived from information known to the US government, intelligence information that we have declassified.”

“If you doubt the credibility of the US government, of the British government, of other governments, and want to find solace in the information the Russians are putting out, that is for you to do,” Price told AP’s diplomatic correspondent Matt Lee, dismissing his line of questioning.

“Russia never does such things,” Moscow’s ambassador to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, told RIA Novosti on Thursday, when asked about the new US allegations.

As proof of alleged Russian ‘actions’ in Ukraine, the State Department spokesman quoted the allegation anonymous US officials made to CNN in mid-January, claiming that Russia had sent a “group of operatives” trained in urban warfare to attack “Russia’s own proxy forces” in the two disputed regions of eastern Ukraine, in order to create a pretext for an “invasion.”

Moscow dismissed these claims as “unsubstantiated” hearsay. Several days later, leaders of the Donetsk militia told reporters it was British-trained Ukrainian saboteurs that were planning attacks they would then attribute to Russia as ‘false flags’.

February 4, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | 2 Comments

Colorado’s Marshall Fire: Has Funding Needs Corrupted Climate Science?

By Jim Steele | Watts Up With That? | January 2, 2022

I was totally shocked to hear the claims by a fire scientist I had once admired and often quoted in my blog posts about wildfire. In a National Public Radio interview Jennifer Balch said, “Climate change has lengthened the state’s fire season”. Then she said “”Climate change is essentially keeping our fuels drier longer. These grasses that were burning, they’ve been baked all fall and all winter.”

Having studied fire ecology for 30 years and knowing her published science, I could only believe she had been corrupted by the need to attract large amounts of funding, and these days that comes to those who blame the climate crisis. And here’s why I now hold that opinion so strongly.

Colorado’s Marshall Fire was a grassfire that happened with temperatures hovering around freezing. All fire experts and fire managers know grasses are 1-hour lag fuels. That means in dry conditions grasses can become flammable within hours. Attempting to link CO2 global warming, she and other alarmists were now blaming the Boulder area’s grass flammability on the warm dry conditions from July through November. But dry conditions in the past months are totally irrelevant. Those months could have also been cold and wet, but just one day of dry conditions is all that is needed for grasses to burn.

To minimize recklessly set fire that often occurs as people burn away unwanted dead vegetation, the Nova Scotia government felt the need to counter the Myth that “It’s safe to burn grass as long as there is still some snow on the ground.”

The Fact is: “Within hours of snow melting, dead grass becomes flammable, especially if there have been drying winds. Grass fires burn hot and fast and spread quickly around, and even over, patches of snow.” That’s a fact that Balch and every other fire expert should know!

Apparently, Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at the University of California Los Angeles and the Nature Conservancy and acolyte of climate alarmist Michael Mann and Noah Diffenbaugh, also failed to understand grasses are 1-hour fuel. He stated in an interview for NBC’s article How climate change primed Colorado for a rare December wildfire that “Climate change is clearly making the pre-conditions for wildfires worse across most fire-prone regions of the world,”

But dry grasses are not the pre-condition to be worried about. The pre-conditions that neither Swain nor Balch shared with the public is well known: Boulder County’s invasive grasses increase fire danger. The “main offender is cheatgrass, which was likely introduced to the area alongside agriculture and ranching” and “is increasing fire danger by 29%

In fact, in 2013 Balch published, Introduced annual grass increases regional fire activity across the arid western USA (1980–2009), writing “Cheatgrass was disproportionately represented in the largest fires, comprising 24% of the land area of the 50 largest fires” and that “multi-date fires that burned across multiple vegetation types were significantly more likely to have started in cheatgrass.”

It was also very disingenuous for Balch to say “Climate change has lengthened the state’s fire season”. It is the very same meme that every climate alarmist regurgitates that climate change has made “a year-long fire season the new normal”. But in 2017 Balch published in Human-started wildfires expand the fire niche across the United States that human ignitions “have vastly expanded the spatial and seasonal ‘fire niche’ in the coterminous United States, accounting for 84% of all wildfires”. Balch’s published graph clearly shows that human ignitions have extended fire season all year long. Based on her own research, a more relevant comment would have mentioned that Louisville, Colorado’s population had jumped 10-fold; from 2,000 in 1950 to about 20,000 today. Does a 10-fold increase in population create a 10-fold increase in fire probability. The Marshall Fire was not naturally started by Lightning.

In 2015, Balch created the Earth Lab program at Colorado University. In 2017 it became part of CIRES, a partnership of NOAA and CU Boulder. Earth Lab, got increasing attention from mass media that’s always seeking click-bait. As Earth Lab’s team began blaming more fires on climate change, it got more attention and Balch got more interviews.

Earth Lab hired Natasha Stavros as Earth Lab’s Analytics Hub Director. In videos posted by the Washington Post, she claimed climate change causes “longer, hotter, and drier fire seasons” reflecting Balch’s conversion to a climate crisis narrative. To get around Balch’s earlier scientific research Stavros deflected, “We are not talking about the ignition source” or the “availability of fuels”, “what we are talking about are the conditions of those fuels”. But in the case of the Marshall Fire, 1-hour grass fuels have nothing to do with climate change. It only takes a few hours to be in highly flammable conditions. That’s weather, not climate!

Although lacking in scientific integrity, pivoting to a climate crisis narrative worked in Balch’s favor. The U.S. Geological Survey has selected the University of Colorado Boulder to host the North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center (NCCASC) for the next five years. Balch, as director of CIRES’ Earth Lab, and now NCCASC Director had attracted $4.5 million in funding. Universities around the country similarly create such centers to attract such major funding. Certainly, blaming fires on a climate crisis attracts more funding than if its director sounded like a “denier” blaming invasive grasses and human ignitions.

The politics of funding research requires a major level of group think. Daniel Shechtman won the Nobel Prize for discovering quasi-crystals that are now used in surgical instruments. But when he first announced his observations, he was kicked out of his lab by his colleagues. They saw him as a threat to the lab’s prestige and funding because observing quasi-crystals contradicted the consensus that was enforced by Linus Pauling that quasi-crystal did NOT exist.

Similarly, esteemed atmospheric scientist Dr Cliff Mass was criticized by Washington University administrator’s for detailing how an episode of problematic acidic waters that had been pumped into the state’s oyster’s hatcheries, was due to natural upwelling events, not climate change. But contradicting the climate crisis angle threatened funding to WU’s Ocean Acidification Center. Up until then Mass had been the Seattle Times go-to person for all weather events, but that stopped when his one analysis didn’t support climate crisis groupthink. Dr Peter Ridd was fired for presenting evidence showing his colleague’s claims of coral reef destruction were exaggerated.  So, all savvy university professors know you can’t contradict the meme if you want funding, or worse, keep your job.

Climate crisis groupthink, also ignores natural climate change, as did Balch and Swain. But one meteorologist confidently blamed the lack of snow and dryness on a natural La Nina. The science is well established that depending on how colder Pacific surface waters set up during a La Nina, atmospheric currents can carry higher or lower amounts of moisture to different regions. California had record snowfall this December while Colorado snowfall was very low. And if the Marshall Fire had been ignited just 2 days later, there would have been a snowfall to suppress the fire.

However too often, alarmist scientists cherry-pick one-year events. They weaponized this year’s low snowfall while ignoring that last year’s Colorado snowfall was far above normal. In November last year, Fort Collins received more than 15 inches of snow on its way to 80 inches, which is 25 inches more than normal. Again, such variations in snowfall are weather, not climate.

Alarmists also weaponized the dry conditions as solely due to global warming drought. They ignored the drying and warming effects of the Chinook winds that are very common in Colorado. Chinooks are known as “snow eaters” because as the winds pass over the mountains of the western USA they are forced upward and precipitate all their moisture. When those winds descend from the Rockies down to Boulder, temperatures rise adiabatically (due to pressure not added heat) and the warm dry air quickly removes moisture or snow from the surface. Southern California’s Santa Anna winds are similar and drive large fires.

Sometimes Boulder’s winds reach speeds of 100+ mile per hour. NOAA reported The Chinook Wind Events Winter of 1982 during which peak wind gusts more than 100 mph damaged areas around Boulder. Weatherwise journal reported 100+MPH winds over Boulder on January 7, 1969, which snapped power poles and toppled planes as seen in the photographs below. In November 2021 the weather service gave a red flag warming due to the high winds from a Chinook event. But without a coinciding human ignition, there was no rapidly spreading fire.

I would like to believe that Balch’s Earth Lab scientists have been campaigning for the housing developments in Boulder’s suburbs of Louisville and Superior to create a system of firebreaks and defensible space. Those suburbs had built into easily ignited grassland in a region where fires are rapidly spread by the dry Chinooks descending from the Rockies. Such natural fire danger is not always obvious to the public looking for affordable housing. But it is not obvious that was ever done, at least not as obvious as faulty climate change narratives.

Fire experts should have pushed for building codes, requiring adequate spacing between new houses. As a story in Wildfire Today reported today, one common feature of the surviving homes was they were more distant from neighboring homes. Many houses in the devastated subdivisions were only 10 to 20 feet apart. Without adequate fire breaks or defensible space, if just one house allowed the fire to reach it, the heat of that burning house is enough to ignite any house next to it. Similar dynamics were seen in California’s Tubbs and Camp Fires that demolished neighborhoods.

But perhaps local governments were greedy. Eager to build a tax base a growing Louisville population was most important. Politicians had worked hard to present Louisville as one of the top 10 most livable little cities. Putting natural fire danger front and center, might put a damper on the city’s attractiveness. And not surprisingly the Denver Democrats didn’t waste time to capitalize on the Marshall Fire devastation. The released a statement claiming “This fire has also punctuated our climate crisis and made abundantly clear the need for bold action. The science is clear, and the impacts are very real. We will continue to work with our community and legislators to ensure climate change is treated with the urgency and attention it deserves.”

But the science does not show a connection between the Marshall Fire and Climate Change. And due to the greed of the media, politicians, and selfish scientists, only scientific integrity is facing a real crisis.

Finally, it is worth noting that some scientists are acutely aware of the increasing fire danger presented by the build-up of dead vegetation. To remove that hazard prescribed burns are being performed. But sometimes prescribed burns get away and burn down people’s homes. So prescribed burns are carefully planned for times when fires are most easily controlled. So, one must wonder just how unusually dangerous local conditions were if the City of Boulder planned a prescribed burn on Monday, December 13, 2021, just 2 weeks before the Marshall Fire. Had climate change really made conditions so dangerous?

Jim Steele is Director emeritus of San Francisco State University’s Sierra Nevada Field Campus, authored Landscapes and Cycles: An Environmentalist’s Journey to Climate Skepticism, and proud member of the CO2 Coalition.

January 3, 2022 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Max Boot’s Rant Against Oliver Stone

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | December 22, 2021

Max Boot, a conservative who has long favored regime-change operations on the part of the U.S. national-security establishment, is going after Hollywood producer and director Oliver Stone. His beef with Stone? He’s upset because Stone has long maintained that the U.S. national-security establishment employed one of its patented regime-change operations here at home, against President John F. Kennedy. 

The title of Boot’s piece, which was published in the Washington Post, is “Oliver Stone Just Can’t Stop Spreading Lies About JFK’s Assassination.” In his article, he attacks Stone not only for his 1991 movie JFK but also for Stone’s latest update to the movie, JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass.

Interestingly, Boot makes a reference to Stone’s accusation “that Kennedy’s autopsy reports were falsified.”

Actually, the more accurate way to put it is that the U.S. national-security establishment conducted a fraudulent autopsy. That fraud was reflected in both the autopsy photographs as well as the final autopsy report.

But like many other proponents of the official lone-nut theory of the assassination, Boot doesn’t address any of the main features of the autopsy fraud in his rant against Stone.

Let’s take two examples. (Others are detailed in my two books The Kennedy Autopsy and The Kennedy Autopsy 2.) 

For 30 years, the national-security establishment had falsely claimed that there was only one brain examination in the Kennedy autopsy. 

It was a lie. And when people are lying about something that important, you know that they are up to something that is rotten and no good.

In the 1990s, the Assassination Records Review Board determined that there were two different brain examinations in the JFK autopsy, the second of which involved a brain that did not belong to Kennedy.

How did they determine this? The official photographer for the autopsy, John Stringer, was at the first brain exam. He stated that at that brain exam, the brain was “sectioned” or cut like a loaf of bread is cut. That’s standard procedure with an autopsy that involves a gunshot to the head. Stringer took photographs of the brain, which also is standard procedure.

One of the three military pathologists who conducted the autopsy, Col. Pierre Finck, stated that he attended the brain examination. But he was not at the brain exam that Stringer attended. Stringer verified that. That means that there was a second brain exam. At that second brain exam, a different photographer was present taking photographs. The brain at the second brain exam was not “sectioned.”  A sectioned brain cannot be reconstituted into a non-sectioned brain. That’s how we know that the brain at the second brain exam had to be a brain of someone other than Kennedy.

It’s also worth mentioning two other things about the brain exam. First, when Stringer was asked to examine the official photographs of Kennedy’s brain, he specifically denied that those were the photographs he took. Second, the autopsy report reflects that Kennedy’s brain weighed 1500 grams. An average brain weighs around 1350 grams. Everyone agrees that an extremely large portion of Kennedy’s brain was blown out by the shot that hit him in the head. At the risk of belaboring the obvious, there is no possibility that Kennedy’s brain could have weighed 1500 grams after having a large portion of it blown away by the gunshot.

What does Boot say about the two brain exams? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. 

There is something else worth noting. If it hadn’t been for Oliver Stone’s movie JFK, we would never have learned about this fraud. That’s because the national-security establishment would have continued lying about there being only one brain exam. It was Stone’s movie that led directly to the JFK Records Act and the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) whose job it was to enforce it. That’s how we learned about the fraud relating to the two brain exams.

The ARRB also discovered the existence of a woman named Saundra Spencer. She was a chief petty officer at the Navy’s photography laboratory in Washington in November 1963. She had a top-secret security clearance. She had worked closely with President Kennedy on both classified and unclassified photographs. She told a remarkable story to the ARRB.

On the weekend of the assassination, Spencer was asked to develop the Kennedy autopsy photographs. Since she was led to believe that the operation was classified, she had kept her secret for some 30 years. When the ARRB showed her the official autopsy photographs, she said that those were not the photographs she developed on the weekend of the assassination. The ones she developed showed a massive exit-sized hole in the back of JFK’s head. The official autopsy photographs show the back of JFK’s head to be intact — i.e., no massive exit-sized hole.

If Spencer’s testimony was true and accurate, then that could mean only one thing: the national-security establishment’s autopsy photograph was fraudulent.

What does Boot say about Saundra Spencer? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Spencer’s testimony matched what Dr. Robert McClelland, who was one of JFK’s treating physicians at Parkland Hospital, said. He stated that Kennedy had a massive exit-sized wound in the back of his head. McClelland wasn’t the only one who said that. So did the other treating physicians, nurses, a Secret Service agent, two FBI agents, and others. 

What does Boot say about Dr. McClelland and all those other witnesses who stated that JFK had a massive exit-sized wound in the back of his head? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. 

It’s again worth noting that If Oliver Stone had not come out with his movie JFK, we would never have learned about Saundra Spencer and the role she played on the weekend of the assassination. 

What does a fraudulent autopsy have to do with the assassination? It tells us that the assassination was a regime-change operation, no different from other regime-change operations carried out by the national-security establishment, in places like Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), Indonesia (1958), Congo (1961), Cuba (1960 to date), Chile (1970-73), and others.

That’s because, as I have repeatedly emphasized in the past, there is no innocent explanation for a fraudulent autopsy, especially when the scheme for a fraudulent autopsy was launched the minute that Kennedy was declared dead. That was when a team of Secret Service agents, operating on orders and brandishing guns, screaming and yelling profanities, and exercising violence, forced their way out of Parkland Hospital with Kennedy’s body, so that they could get it in the hands of new President Johnson, who, in turn, would dutifully deliver it into the hands of the national-security establishment. In the process, that Secret Service team refused to permit the Dallas County Medical Examiner to conduct the autopsy, which was required by state law. 

Thus, there is but one reason that the national-security establishment would carry out a fraudulent autopsy — to cover up its own regime-change operation. There is no other reasonable conclusion that can be drawn.

After the U.S. government was converted from a limited-government republic into a national-security state, conservatives as well as liberals reveled in the regime-change operations, including assassinations and assassination attempts, that were being carried about by the U.S. national-security establishment. The Cold War notion was that the national-security establishment was protecting “national security” by keeping us safe from the communists, who were supposedly coming to get us (much like the terrorists, the Muslims, the drug dealers, and the illegal immigrants are supposedly coming to get us today).

What they still have a hard time accepting is that the little monster they love when it regime-changes foreign leaders is the same little monster that regime-changed John Kennedy for doing precisely what those foreign leaders were doing during the Cold War racket — reaching out to those horrible Russians and to Cuban communist Fidel Castro in a spirit of peace and friendship.

If regime-changed foreign leaders like Jacobo Arbenz, the democratically elected president of Guatemala, and Salvador Allende, the democratically elected president of Chile, posed a grave threat to “national security” for reaching out to the Reds in a spirit of peace and friendship, why wouldn’t a U.S. president who was doing the same thing pose an even graver threat to “national security”? (See FFF’s book JFK’s War with the National Security Establishment; Why Kennedy Was Assassinated.) Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, Max Boot doesn’t answer that question.

December 23, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

Sen. Johnson Requests Records From Top Medical Journals on Retracted Studies, Including Flawed HCQ Study

The Defender | December 21, 2021

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) has written to The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine seeking records on two retracted studies from mid-2020. Johnson particularly called out The Lancet study, which suggested hydroxychloroquine could boost the risk of death in COVID patients.

“Although this fraudulent study was ultimately retracted, it is concerning and shameful that, in the midst of a pandemic, The Lancet published such a misleading paper on a potential early treatment for COVID-19,” said Johnson, the ranking member on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, in a letter dated Dec. 14.

Johnson seeks all records of the journals’ communication on the two studies, including communication with the papers’ authors; U.S. government employees; individuals who encouraged the studies’ publication; and the supplier of the two studies’ datasets, Surgisphere, a healthcare analytics company.

Despite The Lancet paper’s retraction, its initial publication halted trials on hydroxychloroquine’s use and sullied its reputation more broadly. The Washington Post and other major media headlined the increased risk of death, and health authorities took action globally within days of the paper’s publication.

The World Health Organization and the UK’s drug regulator halted trials of the drug in COVID settings. France reversed an earlier decision to allow hydroxychloroquine’s use in COVID patients.

Readers of The Lancet quickly noted the study cited implausibly high numbers of COVID cases in 2020, and journalists failed to find any hospitals that had contributed data, despite the study’s claim that more than 96,000 hospital patients participated.

The Lancet retracted the study two weeks after publication.

Sen. Johnson also requested information from The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) on another study retracted in June 2020.

Johnson explained in his letter, the NEJM paper reportedly found that “taking certain blood pressure drugs, including angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, didn’t appear to increase the risk of death among COVID-19 patients, as some researchers had suggested.”

However, the study’s authors wrote to the NEJM a few weeks after the study was published, acknowledging they could not validate the primary data supporting the study and apologized “to the editors and to readers of the Journal for the difficulties that this has caused.”

Johnson has requested all records by Jan. 4, 2022.

© 2021 Children’s Health Defense, Inc. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of Children’s Health Defense, Inc. Want to learn more from Children’s Health Defense? Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. Your donation will help to support us in our efforts.

December 22, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

How the Corporate Media Launched a Disinformation Campaign to Protect Fauci

By Leighton Woodhouse | December 1, 2021

By now you’ve surely heard about Anthony Fauci and his laboratory beagles, but in case you haven’t, it goes like this: For forty years, Fauci, as the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), has funded gruesome experiments on animals. Beagles in particular are one of the favored species for these experiments, because of their docile and people-pleasing nature, which makes for less hassle for the humans who subject them to pain and suffering. In one of these NIAID-funded experiments, in Tunisia, sedated beagles’ heads were put into mesh bags with swarms of starved sand flies, who fed on the live dogs.

The other thing you may have heard is that the story is just another right-wing conspiracy theory. You may have heard this from The Washington Post, from any of a number of self-proclaimed “fact checkers,” or maybe even from the globally renowned Beacon of Honesty David Frum of The Atlantic.

I’ve been reporting on this story for the past few weeks. In fact, I’ve been reporting it as closely as anyone, if not more so. It’s been an extremely educational experience for me, but not because I was unfamiliar with the industry of animal experimentation, or NIAID’s leading role within it. What’s been educational is seeing up close and first-hand how the mainstream media constructs and deploys a brazen misinformation campaign.

First of all, just to get this detail out of the way: the story is true. As head of NIAID, the second biggest institute within the National Institutes of Health, Anthony Fauci has spent billions of dollars over four decades funding scientific experiments on animals, many of them stomach-turning. NIAID does not deny this. In fact, the published scientific papers that describe these heinous experiments routinely credit NIAID and NIH as their funders, and sometimes as direct collaborators. You can look them up yourself: here are just a few of them.

Of the numerous horrific experiments on dogs funded by agencies and budgets controlled by Fauci, there’s only one that is in dispute: the one in Tunisia. That is the experiment which involved placing sedated beagles’ heads in mesh bags with swarms of starved sand flies, which feasted on the live dogs in order to transmit to them a parasite that carries a disease called “leishmaniasis.” The scientific paper that described the results of that experiment, published on July 15, originally credited NIAID as a funder.

“Enhanced attraction of sand fly vectors of Leishmania infantum to dogs infected with zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis,”PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, July 15, 2021

But after this ethical monstrosity was publicized and denounced by an anti-animal testing group specializing in a building left/right coalitions — the White Coat Waste Project, which, as Glenn Greenwald reported in this space two weeks ago, became the target of a Washington Post hit piece as punishment for denouncing Fauci — this particular experiment created a minor media sensation and a major headache for NIH. In the wake of that recent controversy, the paper’s authors — just three weeks ago, on November 11 — suddenly retracted their statement about NIAID funding. In wooden language that reads like a hostage note, they now claim that when they said that NIAID had paid for this experiment, it was by accident.

“Correction” in the PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Nov. 11, 2021

There are plenty of reasons to doubt that denial, which I’ll go into shortly. But ultimately: who cares? This was just one revolting NIAID-funded experiment among many that White Coat Waste exposed, and not even the worst of them. NIAID does not deny funding any of those other experiments, which are just a few out of thousands of animal experiments which NIAID has underwritten going back to the 1980s. It has long been known that experiments on dogs rarely if ever yield any tangible benefits for medical research regarding humans, making these experiments not only morally reprehensible but useless. Even if we were to concede NIAID’s denial that they funded this one specific test — and there is no reason to grant them that (again, I’ll get into this shortly) — it would put only the slightest dent in the overall story, which is that Anthony Fauci is personally accountable for billions of dollars worth of wasteful and cruel experiments on innocent, terrified animals.

Fauci’s highly cynical strategy — and therefore the strategy of his media allies — is to focus everyone’s attention on this one sole project in Tunisia, then deny that he funded it. The obvious goal is to obscure and bury what they cannot deny even if that denial were true: namely, that agencies and budgets controlled by Fauci fund thousands of similar or worse experiments on dogs. Not only does NIAID not deny this core fact, but, as demonstrated above, they admit this in multiple reports and experimentation reports.

But now we get to the part of this episode that was particularly educational to me. That single denial — a highly dubious one — generated an orgy of mainstream media reporters tripping over each other to dismiss the entire story of Fauci animal abuse as “misinformation.”

Before NIAID issued this denial, there was almost no coverage at all of the story in the mainstream media. With a few isolated exceptions, it was covered only in conservative media, independent media, and social media for obvious reasons: since it reflects poorly on Fauci, the liberal sector of the corporate media has no interest in doing anything other than burying it. But as soon as NIAID chummed the water with its questionable denial, suddenly it was a hot topic in the press: not as a story about animal abuse, but about “right-wing misinformation.” In other words, corporate journalists had no interest in any of this — including the misuse of taxpayer funds to support ethically monstrous and medically useless experiments — until they found a way to wield it as a cudgel to attack right-wing media and shield Fauci.

Such cynical partisan scheming is appropriate or at least expected from DNC operatives, but not actual journalists. But that, of course, is the point: these corporate journalists resemble and see themselves far more as the former than the latter. And their conduct here proves that.

The first journalist to ride to Fauci’s rescue was The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank. In his October 25 column, Milbank cited NIAID’s denial and, from that alone, concluded that the entire story was a product of “the right-wing disinformation machine and its crusade against Fauci.” (When I challenged Milbank on these claims on Twitter, he blocked me.) Then, following Milbank’s lead, suddenly a slew of “fact checker” websites that had never weighed in on the subject before put up posts casting doubt on the story. … Full article$$$

December 2, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Cynical and Dangerous Weaponization of the “White Supremacist” Label

By Glenn Greenwald | November 27, 2021

Within hours of the August 25, 2020, shootings in Kenosha, Wisconsin — not days, but hours — it was decreed as unquestioned fact in mainstream political and media circles that the shooter, Kyle Rittenhouse, was a “white supremacist.” Over the next fifteen months, up to and including his acquittal by a jury of his peers on all charges, this label was applied to him more times than one can count by corporate media outlets as though it were proven fact. Indeed, that Rittenhouse was a “white supremacist” was deemed so unquestionably true that questioning it was cast as evidence of one’s own racist inclinations (defending a white supremacist).

Yet all along, there was never any substantial evidence, let alone convincing proof, that it was true. This fact is, or at least should be, an extraordinary, even scandalous, event: a 17-year-old was widely vilified as being a white supremacist by a union of national media and major politicians despite there being no evidence to support the accusation. Yet it took his acquittal by a jury who heard all the evidence and testimony for parts of the corporate press to finally summon the courage to point out that what had been Gospel about Rittenhouse for the last fifteen months was, in fact, utterly baseless.

Washington Post news article was published late last week that was designed to chide “both sides” for exploiting the Rittenhouse case for their own purposes while failing to adhere carefully to actual facts. Ever since the shootings in Kenosha, they lamented, “Kyle Rittenhouse has been a human canvas onto which the nation’s political divisions were mapped.” In attempting to set the record straight, the Post article contained this amazing admission:

As conservatives coalesced around the idea of Rittenhouse as a blameless defender of law and order, many on the left just as quickly cast him as the embodiment of the far-right threat. Despite a lack of evidence, hundreds of social media posts immediately pinned Rittenhouse with extremist labels: white supremacist, self-styled militia member, a “boogaloo boy” seeking violent revolution, or part of the misogynistic “incel” movement.

“On the left he’s become a symbol of white supremacy that isn’t being held accountable in the United States today,” said Becca Lewis, a researcher of far-right movements and a doctoral candidate at Stanford University. “You see him getting conflated with a lot of the police officers who’ve shot unarmed Black men and with Trump himself and all these other things. On both sides, he’s become a symbol much bigger than himself.”

Soon after the shootings, then-candidate Joe Biden told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that Rittenhouse was allegedly part of a militia group in Illinois. In the next sentence, Biden segued to criticism of Trump and hate groups: “Have you ever heard this president say one negative thing about white supremacists?

Valuable though this rather belated admission is, there were two grand ironies about this passage. The first is that The Post itself was one of the newspapers which published multiple articles and columns applying this evidence-free “white supremacist” label to Rittenhouse. Indeed, four days after this admission by The Post‘s newsroom, their opinion editors published an op-ed by Robert Jones that flatly asserted the very same accusation which The Post itself says is bereft of evidence: “Despite his boyish white frat boy appearance, there was plenty of evidence of Rittenhouse’s deeper white supremacist orientation.” In other words, Post editors approved publication of grave accusations which, just four days earlier, their own newsroom explicitly stated lacked evidence.

The second irony is that while the Post article lamented everyone else’s carelessness with the facts of this case, the publication itself — while purporting to fact-check the rest of the world — affirmed one of the most common falsehoods: namely, that Rittenhouse carried a gun across state lines. The article thus now carries this correction at the top: “An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Kyle Rittenhouse brought his AR-15 across state lines. He has testified that he picked up the weapon from a friend’s house in Wisconsin. This article has been corrected.”

It continues to be staggering how media outlets which purport to explain the Rittenhouse case get caught over and over spreading utter falsehoods about the most basic facts of the case, proving they did not watch the trial or learn much about what happened beyond what they heard in passing from like-minded liberals on Twitter. There is simply no way to have paid close attention to this case, let alone have watched the trial, and believe that he carried a gun across state lines, yet this false assertion made it past numerous Post reporters, editors and fact-checkers purporting to “correct the record” about this case. Yet again, we find that the same news outlets which love to accuse others of “disinformation” — and want the internet censored in the name of stopping it — frequently pontificate on topics about which they know nothing, without the slightest concern for whether or not it is true.

Those who continue to condemn Rittenhouse as a white supremacist — including the author of The Post op-ed published four days after the paper concluded the accusation was baseless — typically point to his appearance at a bar in January, 2021, for a photo alongside members of the Proud Boys in which he was photographed making the “okay” sign. That once-common gesture, according to USA Today, “has become a symbol used by white supremacists.” Rittenhouse insists that the appearance was arranged by his right-wing attorneys Lin Wood and John Pierce — whom he quickly fired and accused of exploiting him for fund-raising purposes — and that he had no idea that the people with whom he was posing for a photo were Proud Boys members (“I thought they were just a bunch of, like, construction dudes based on how they looked”), nor had he ever heard that the “OK” sign was a symbol of “white power.”

Rittenhouse’s denial about this once-benign gesture seems shocking to people who spend all their days drowning in highly politicized Twitter discourse — where such a claim is treated as common knowledge — but is completely believable for the vast majority of Americans who do not. In fact, the whole point of the adolescent 4chan hoax was to convert one of the most common and benign gestures into a symbol of white power so that anyone making it would be suspect. As The New York Times recounted, the gesture has long been “used for several purposes in sign languages, and in yoga as a symbol to demonstrate inner perfection. It figures in an innocuous made-you-look game. Most of all, it has been commonly used for generations to signal ‘O.K.,’ or all is well.”

But whatever one chooses to believe about that episode is irrelevant to whether these immediate declarations of Rittenhouse’s “white supremacy” were valid. That bar appearance took place in January, 2021 — five months after the Kenosha shootings. Yet Rittenhouse was instantly declared to be a “white supremacist” — and by “instantly,” I mean: within hours of the shooting. “A 17 year old white supremacist domestic terrorist drove across state lines, armed with an AR 15,” was how Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) described Rittenhouse the next day in a mega-viral tweet; her tweet consecrated not only this “white supremacist” accusation which persisted for months, but also affirmed the falsehood that he crossed state lines with an AR-15. It does not require an advanced degree in physics to understand that his posing for a photo in that bar with Proud Boys members, flashing the OK sign, five months later in January, 2021, could not serve as a rational evidentiary basis for Rep. Pressley’s accusation the day after the shootings that he was a “white supremacist,” nor could it serve as the justification for five consecutive months of national media outlets accusing him of the same. Unless his accusers had the power to see into the future, they branded him a white supremacist with no basis whatsoever — or, as The Post put it this week, “despite a lack of evidence.”

The only other “evidence” ever cited to support the rather grave accusation that this 17-year-old is a “white supremacist” were social media postings of his in which he expressed positive sentiments toward the police and then-President Trump, including with the phrase “Blue Lives Matter.” That was all that existed — the entirety of the case — that led the most powerful media outlets and politicians to stamp on this adolescent’s forehead the gravest accusation one can face in American culture. This is really the heart of the matter: this episode vividly demonstrates how cheapened and emptied and cynically wielded this “white supremacist” slogan has become. The oft-implicit but sometimes-explicit premise in liberal discourse is that everyone who deviates in any way from liberal dogma is a white supremacist by definition.

Within this rubric, perhaps the most decisive “evidence” that one is a white supremacist is that one supports the Republican Party and former President Trump — i.e., that half of the voting electorate in the U.S. at least are white supremacists. A subsidiary assumption is that anyone who views the police as a necessary, positive force in U.S. society is inherently guilty of racism (it is fine to revere federal policing agencies such as the FBI and other federal security forces such as the CIA, as most Democrats do; the hallmark of a white supremacist is someone who believes that the local police — the ones who show up when citizens call 911 — is a generally positive rather than negative force in society).

An illustration of how casually and recklessly this accusation is tossed around occurred last year, shortly after the George Floyd killing, when my long-time friend and colleague, Intercept journalist Lee Fang, was widely vilified as a racist and white supremacist, first by his own Intercept colleague, journalist Akela Lacy, and then — in one of the most stunningly mindless acts of herd behavior — by literally hundreds if not thousands of members of the national press, including many who barely knew who Lee was but nonetheless were content to echo the accusation (that Lee is himself not white is, of course, not an impediment, not even a speed bump, on the road to castigating him as a modern-day KKK adherent). As Matt Taibbi wrote in disgust about this shameful media episode:

[Lacy’s accustory] tweet received tens of thousands of likes and responses along the lines of, “Lee Fang has been like this for years, but the current moment only makes his anti-Blackness more glaring,” and “Lee Fang spouting racist bullshit it must be a day ending in day.” A significant number of Fang’s co-workers, nearly all white, as well as reporters from other major news organizations like the New York Times and MSNBC and political activists (one former Elizabeth Warren staffer tweeted, “Get him!”), issued likes and messages of support for the notion that Fang was a racist.

Writing in New York Magazine, Jonathan Chait documented that “Lacy called him racist in a pair of tweets, the first of which alone received more than 30,000 likes and 5,000 retweets.”

What was the evidence justifying Lee Fang’s conviction by mob justice of these charges? He (like Rittenhouse) has expressed the view that police, despite needing reforms, are largely a positive presence in protecting innocent people from violent crime; he suggested that resorting to violence harms rather than helps social justice causes; and he published a video interview he conducted with a young BLM supporter, who complained that many liberals only care when white police officers kill black people but not when black people in his neighborhood are killed by anyone who is not white.

Now-deleted tweets from Intercept reporter Akela Lacy, accusing her Intercept colleague Lee Fang of being a racist, June 3, 2020.

That such banal and commonly held views are woefully insufficient to justify the reputation-destroying accusation that someone is a white supremacist should be too self-evident to require any explanation. But in case such an explanation is required, consider that polls continually and reliably show that the pro-police sentiments of the type that caused Rittenhouse, Fang, and so many others to be vilified by liberal elites as “white supremacists” are held not only by a majority of Americans, but by a majority of black and brown Americans, the very people on whose behalf these elite accusers purport to speak.

For years, polling data has shown that the communities which want at least the same level of policing if not more are communities composed primarily of Black, Brown and poor people. It is not hard to understand why. If the police are defunded or radically reduced, rich people will simply hire private security (even more than they already employ for their homes, neighborhoods and persons), and any resulting crime increases will fall most heavily on poorer communities. Thus, polling data reliably shows that it is these communities that want either the same level of policing or more — the exact view which, if you express, will result in guardians of elite liberal discourse declaring you to be a “white supremacist.” Indeed — according to one Gallup poll taken in the wake of the George Floyd killing, when anti-police sentiment was at its peak — the groups that most want a greater police presence in their communities are Black and Latino citizens:

In the wake of anger over the Floyd and Jacob Blake cases, several large liberal cities succeeded in placing referendums on the ballot for this year that proposed major defunding or restructuring of local police. They failed in almost all cases, including ones with large Black populations such as Minneapolis, where Floyd died, precisely because non-white voters rejected it. In other words, expressing the same views about policing that large numbers of Black residents hold somehow subjects one to accusations of “white supremacy” in the dominant elite liberal discourse.

What all of this demonstrates is that insult terms like “white supremacist” and “racist” and “white nationalist” have lost any fixed meaning. They are instead being trivialized and degraded into little more than discourse toys to be tossed around for fun and reputation-destruction by liberals, who believe they have ascended to a place of such elevated racial enlightenment that they are now the sole and exclusive owners of these terms and thus free to hurl them in whatever manner they please. It is not an overstatement to observe that in elite liberal discourse, there are literally no evidentiary requirements that must be fulfilled before one is free to malign political adversaries with those accusatory terms. That is why editors at The Washington Post published an op-ed proclaiming Rittenhouse was plagued by “deeper white supremacist orientation” just four days after its news division explicitly concluded that such an accusation “lacks evidence” — because it it permissible to accuse people of racism and white supremacy without any evidence needed.

It is inherently disturbing and destructive any time a person is publicly branded as something for which there is no evidence. That is intrinsically something we should collectively abhor. But this growing trend in liberal discourse is not just ethically repellent but dangerous. By so flagrantly cheapening and exploiting the “white supremacist” accusation from what it should be (a potent weapon deployed to stigmatize and ostracize actual racists) into something far more tawdry (a plaything used by Democrats to demean and destroy their enemies whenever the mood strikes), its cynical abusers are draining the term of all of its vibrancy, potency and force, so that when it is needed, for actual racists, people will have tuned it out, knowing that is used deceitfully, recklessly and for cheap entertainment.

A similar dynamic emerged with accusations of anti-semitism and the weaponization of it to demonize criticisms of Israel. It is, of course, true that some criticisms of the Israeli government are partially grounded or even largely motivated by anti-semitism — just as it is true that some championing of the local police or support for Trump grows out of racist sentiments. But the converse is just as true: one can vehemently criticize the actions of the Israeli government the same as any other government without being driven by an iota of anti-semitism (indeed, many of the most vocal critics of Israel are proudly Jewish), in exactly the same way as one can be highly supportive of the local police or Donald Trump without an iota of racism (a proposition that should need no proof, but is nonetheless highlighted by the uncomfortable fact that growing numbers of non-whites support both Trump and the police). But the cynical, manipulative weaponization of anti-semitism accusations to smear all critics of Israel has rendered the accusation far weaker and more easily dismissible than it once was — exactly as is now happening to the accusatory terms “white supremacist” and “white nationalist” and “racist,” which are being increasingly understood, validly so, not as a grave and sincere condemnation but a cheap tactic to be applied recklessly, for the tawdry entertainment one derives from public rituals of reputation-destruction.

BBC, Nov. 22, 2020

Ever since his acquittal, Rittenhouse has made a series of public statements directly at odds with the dark, hateful image constructed of him by the national press over the last sixteen months, while he was forced to remain silent due to the charges he faced. He has professed support for the Black Lives Matter movement, argued that the U.S. is plagued by structural racism, and suggested that he would have suffered a worse fate if he had been Black. The same people who are smugly certain that his entire character and soul was permanently captured by that fleeting moment in a bar when he was seventeen and flashed an “okay” symbol — and who are certain that his denials that he knew what it meant or with whom he was posing are false — have, of course, scoffed at these recent statements of his as self-serving and insincere, even though they offer far greater insight into Rittenhouse’s actual views on questions of race than anything thus far presented.

But that is the point. The political and media faction that casually and recklessly brands people as “white supremacists” the way normal people utter “excuse me” while navigating a large crowd have no interest at all in whether the accusation is true. They are devoted to reducing everyone whose political ideology diverges from their own to their worst possible moment — no matter how long ago it happened or how unrepresentative of their lives it is — in order to derive the most ungenerous and destructive meaning from it. It is a movement that is at once driven by rigorous rules resulting in righteous decrees of sin and sweeping denunciations, yet completely bereft of the possibility of grace or redemption.

And its most cherished weapon is accusing anyone who they decide is an enemy or even just an adversary of being a white supremacist, a white nationalist, a racist — to the point where these terms now sound more like reflexively recited daily prayer slogans than anything one needs to take seriously or which has the possibility to engage on the merits. For fifteen months, it was gospel in political and media circles that Kyle Rittenhouse was a “white supremacist terrorist” only for The Washington Post to suddenly announce that this claim persisted “despite a lack of evidence.”

But that lack of evidence really does not matter, which is why that announcement by The Post received so little notice. Under the rules of this rotted discourse, evidence is not a requirement to affirm this accusation. All that is needed is an intuition, a tingly sensation, and — above all else — the realization that hurling the accusation will yield some personal or political advantage. Like all cynical weapons, it worked for awhile, but is rapidly running out of efficacy as its manipulative usage becomes more and more visible. The term is still needed as a tool to fight actual racism, but those who most vocally and flamboyantly proclaim themselves solemnly devoted to that cause have rendered that tool virtually useless, thanks to their self-interested misuse and abuse of it.

November 28, 2021 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment