Friday, November 30, 2018

Turkey and Erdogan tricks during the month of October and November, 2018


As I keep this blog of mine as more of a political diary, it would be amiss to not stress on what's happening with Erodgan and Turkey.  IMO, Turkey under  Erdogan has become the most powerful nation among Muslim nations. If Turkey had been inducted in the EU, it would have been a matter of less than two decades for Turkey to turn the entire EU into a Muslim Brotherhood stronghold.  The leaders of UK, Germany, France, Italy ... knew this, even if they are credited with  only a dime's worth of brain matter. I don't know how many folks caught that one dynamite sentence of UK's Cameron .. "Turkey will NEVER be in EU"  when he was making his rounds on the speaking circuit just before the  BREXIT referendum.  That was a slip of course, but the truth comes out many a time at the most inappropriate times. Erdogan got the message long before that slip from Cameron, he's anything but dumb.

If not for USA's  obsession with Iran, they would be able to see the forest if not for the trees, trees planted there with great care by Israel.  Iran's focus on religious nonsense and their rule by mullahs will keep it backward for decades to come, no nation thrives when it's ruled by theocracy, especially in matters of human rights and justice for their citizens.  Iran is not the enemy, it's too weak to be considered one just cause Israel says so and Israel's bribed and bought politicians in the USA believe Israel's falsehoods to keep the greenbacks flowing from the Jewish oligarchs into the pockets of the corrupt American elite.  The real powerhouse is Turkey.  Saudi Arabia is a nation of   bribe-givers and primitive slave-owning gangsters. Saudi Arabia along with Israel are allies of USA  because both are testers of American-made WMDs on human beings.  Israel has been doing it forever and a day and Saudi Arabia has started from 2011. 

If an Erdogan-induced war breaks out in that part of the world,  my bets would be on Turkey coming out on top....especially since Turkey has Russia as an ally.  
Forget Iran as the boogie man, the real danger to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Iran, Iraq, Syria and others is Turkey.  But hey ... what do I know?  I am just a dodo.  



https://www.reuters.com/article/turkey-economy-erdogan/erdogan-says-turkey-will-overcome-attacks-on-economy-idUSA4N1UF00L 
Erdogan says Turkey will overcome attacks on economy
President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday fluctuations in the lira do not reflect economic reality and Turkey was on the verge of overcoming what he described as attacks on the economy.
In a speech to a new session of parliament, Erdogan also said Turkey’s economy was rebalancing. He said he hoped that strained relations with the United States, which led Washington to impose sanctions and raise tariffs, would improve soon....

https://turkeypurge.com/turkish-activist-osman-kavala-spends-another-birthday-in-istanbul-prison Turkish activist Osman Kavala spends another birthday in İstanbul prison
 Turkish businessman and activist Osman Kavala turns 61 in İstanbul’s notorious Silivri Prison where he has been held in pre-trial detention since November 2017 on terror and coup charges.
Artists, academics and activists gathered in various cities around the world to celebrate Mr. Kavala’s birthday.
Detained upon his arrival to İstanbul’s Atatürk airport late on Oct 18, Kavala is accused of “attempting to abolish the constitutional order” and “attempting to remove the government of the Turkish Republic,” according to media.

https://www.reuters.com/article/usa-iran-sanctions-turkey-erdogan/turkey-will-not-abide-by-u-s-sanctions-on-iran-erdogan-says-idUSA4N1UF02H 
Turkey will not abide by U.S. sanctions on Iran, Erdogan says
 Turkey will not abide by the United States’ sanctions on Iran, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday, describing Washington’s move as aimed at unbalancing the world.
Erdogan’s comments to reporters in Ankara came a day after Washington reimposed sanctions, abandoning a 2015 deal between world powers and Iran over its nuclear programme, while temporarily allowing major customers including Turkey to keep buying crude from the Islamic Republic. (Reporting by Gulsen Solaker Writing by Ezgi Erkoyun Editing by Ece Toksabay)...

https://turkeypurge.com/new-reportworld-sees-at-least-58-suspicious-deaths-in-turkish-prisons-since-july-15-2016 [NEW REPORT]World sees at least 58 suspicious deaths in Turkish prisons since July
Turkey survived a failed coup attempt against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government on July 15, 2016. An ensuring crackdown has produced thousands of victims as it has gone beyond punishing those involved, resulting in an across-the-board iron fist against dissidents of all kinds in Turkey. More than 170,000 people have lost their jobs. Some 160,000 have passed through police custody while 90,000 have been remanded in pre-trial detention. Some 700 children, aged between 0 to 6, are now accompanying their parents in jail. Established to document the rights violations in the aftermath of the failed coup, TurkeyPurge.com now presents this report to help its readers better understand the scope of the Turkish government’s crackdown since the failed coup attempt.
Here are the detailed list of those who died in Turkish prisons since July 15, 2016:............


https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/10/turkish-prosecutor-seeks-10-year-jail-term-pastor-181012073353582.html US pastor Andrew Brunson leaves Turkey after release
Pastor at heart of Washington-Ankara diplomatic dispute leaves Turkey after a court ordered his release.
An American pastor has flown out of Turkey after he was released by a Turkish court following two years in detention.
Andrew Brunson, whose detention caused a diplomatic crisis between Washington and Ankara, left on a US military flight bound for Germany on Friday. The White House said Brunson will arrive at a military base in Maryland on Saturday.
The evangelical pastor was convicted of terror-related charges and sentenced to three years, one month and 15 days in jail on Friday. 

But he was immediately freed, taking into account the time already served and good conduct during the trial. The court also lifted his house arrest and overseas travel ban, paving the way for his return to the US....

 https://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-security-erdogan/turkish-armory-explosion-kills-seven-soldiers-in-southeast-erdogan-idUSKCN1NF0BA Turkish armory explosion kills seven soldiers in southeast: Erdogan...
 
 https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/10/jamal-khashoggi-killing-erdogan-hardens-tone-saudi-arabia-181026132507277.html
Erdogan slams 'childish' Saudi explanations over Khashoggi murder
As probe into journalist's killing progresses, Erdogan ramps up pressure on Riyadh and says Turkey has more evidence.
Turkey has ramped up pressure on Saudi Arabia over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, demanding Riyadh reveal who gave the order to kill the journalist in the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul. 
"If you are determined to lift this shroud of mystery, then this is the key point of our collaboration," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech on Friday in the capital Ankara.
Addressing provincial members of his Justice and Development Party (AK Party), the president said Turkish authorities have gathered more evidence, which will be made public "when the time comes". .....
  
 https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/11/saudi-top-prosecutor-seeks-death-penalty-khashoggi-murder-181115103958916.html 
Saudi prosecutor seeks death penalty for five in Khashoggi murder
Riyadh's latest account dismissed as inadequate by Turkey as US sanctions 17 Saudis it said were involved in killing.....

 https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-khashoggi-france-idUSKCN1NH0P1 
French remarks on Khashoggi affair prompt Turkish anger
 Turkey reacted with fury on Monday after French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said President Tayyip Erdogan was playing a political game over sharing intelligence about the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.....

 https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/10/erdogan-inaugurates-istanbul-airport-world-largest-181029141622294.htmlErdogan inaugurates Istanbul Airport, one of world's largest
Once completed in 2028, the new facility in the Turkish megacity is expected to handle up to 200 million passengers.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has inaugurated a massive new airport project in Istanbul, which, once complete, is expected to become one of the world's largest.
More than 50 foreign dignitaries from at least 18 countries on Monday attended the lavish opening ceremony of the first phase of the new facility, called Istanbul Airport, local media reported.
"Istanbul is a beautiful jewel between two seas ... that's why we called [the airport] Istanbul," Erdogan said at the ceremony which coincided with the 95th anniversary of the Turkish Republic.
"We see Istanbul Airport as investment not only in our country but also in our region and the world," he added....

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/11/erdogan-trump-meet-paris-khashoggi-crisis-181111081437235.html 
Erdogan and Trump meet in Paris amid Khashoggi crisis
Meeting came hours after Turkish president announced that Ankara shared tapes related to Khahsoggi's murder with the US.....

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/11/saudi-cover-team-dispose-khashoggi-body-report-181105094945308.html 
Saudi 'cover-up team' sent to dispose of Khashoggi body: report
A Turkish newspaper report suggests a Saudi investigative group included two experts who attempted to erase evidence....

https://turkeypurge.com/9-intl-organizations-urge-eu-to-raise-turkeys-freedom-of-expression-crisis-during-upcoming-meetings 
9 int’l organizations urge EU to raise Turkey’s freedom of expression crisis during upcoming meetings
 The nine international organizations, on Wednesday, issued a letter aimed at European Union officials who are scheduled to meet with a Turkish delegation this week, urging them to take action to address the freedom of expression crisis in the country.
“More than 160 journalists are imprisoned in Turkey today, with hundreds more on trial for exercising their right to freedom of expression. …The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) response to this situation has been weak until now,” the letter read before outlining their recommendations....




https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-khashoggi-turkey-idUSKCN1NW0J8
Turkey says Saudi prince has asked to meet Erdogan at G20
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview published on Tuesday that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had asked for a meeting with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and that there was currently no reason not to meet him.
 https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/11/soros-foundation-close-turkey-bashed-erdogan-181127061557606.html 
Soros foundation to close in Turkey after being bashed by Erdogan
Turkish president blamed US billionaire philanthropist last week of trying to 'divide and destroy' nations......

 https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/11/27/erdogan-implies-us-has-to-choose-between-turkey-and-ypg/
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday implied that the US has to choose between Turkey and a Kurdish militia in Syria as “it is the end of the road.”
“Today we’ll take very important decisions. They need to see that it’s the end of the road. This is a chance for those who claim to be our allies and strategic partners,” Erdoğan said in a speech to his party’s group in parliament.
Ankara sees the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) as an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Turkey, which is also designated as a terrorist organization by the US and the European Union......




http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-11/29/c_137637991.htm
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed separately the recent tension in Kerch Strait with his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts on Wednesday, state-run Anadolu News Agency reported.
In separate phone calls with Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko, Erdogan expressed his concern and called on the two sides to resolve the confrontation via diplomacy.....
 
https://timesofislamabad.com/29-Nov-2018/turkeys-erdogan-urges-islamic-world-to-use-national-currencies-in-trade Turkey's Erdogan urges Islamic world to use national currencies in trade
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the Islamic world to use national currencies in trade so as to be free from "imperialist shackles."




Monday, November 26, 2018

A rare creature in the US Senate


Man with a conscience in the US Senate?  Who woulda thought, eh?


From Global Research
US Has Established 17 Illegal Military Bases in Syria: State Senator Richard H. Black
 
Virginia State senator Richard H. Black has made it clear that the United States makes trade between Iran and Syria more difficult by occupying the north of the Euphrates River in accordance with ‘Plan B’ announced several years ago by Secretary of State John Kerry.
He told the Syriatimes e-newspaper that The U.S. has attempted to block routes between the countries wherever possible and it has established 17 bases in Syria without the slightest lawful justification for doing so.
“The United States has established a semi-autonomous region dominated by Syrian Kurds to control the region. Since Kurds make up only 20% of the area’s population, allowing them to dominate the region creates a political unstable situation; the much larger Arabic population is almost certain to take up arms to avoid falling under the domination of the Kurdish minority. This creates a situation where ethnic violence provides justification for the U.S. to remain in the area indefinitely, since the United States has announced its intention to prevent the resurgence of ISIS. The reemergence of violence in the area would likely be attributed to ISIS and used as a pretext for continued occupation,” the senator said.
U.S. refuses to publicize barbaric nature of its premier “moderate rebel” group
Asked about the US use of internationally banned weapons in attacking areas in the north of Syria, Sen. Black replied:
“There are reports that the U.S. has used cluster bombs and white phosphorus in Syria. The U.S. has denied those allegations. Meanwhile, the U.S. led coalition repeatedly complains about the use of so-called “barrel bombs” by Syria. It is not clear what the distinction is between a barrel containing explosives and shrapnel and a 15,000 pound “bunker-busting” bomb that hurls razor-sharp shrapnel great distances.”
He pointed out that during his recent visit to Syria [in September 2018] he entered a building that contained “barrel rockets” that were manufactured by the terrorists who were driven from Aleppo.
“Some people claim that “barrel bombs” should be illegal because they are not precision-guided. The “barrel rockets” were fired by terrorists into random civilian areas for the sole purpose of killing innocent people. I have not heard any of Syria’s military opponents complaining about the use of “barrel rockets” by the terrorists. In fact, the west has never complained about any legal violations by terrorists that they support,” the Senator stated.
He made it clear that the United States refuses to publicize the barbaric nature of it’s premier “moderate rebel” group [the Free Syrian Army], and its constant cooperation with terror forces like al Nusra and ISIS.
“We know, for example, that the Free Syrian Army frequently beheads and mutilates captives. We know they have cannibalized soldiers in battle. We know that they have thrown postal workers from municipal buildings to their death. Within the last several weeks, the Free Syrian Army distributed a video depicting one of its soldiers carrying out an “honor killing” of his own sister by machine gunning her to death,” the Senator said.
He indicated that he traveled five hours from Damascus to Aleppo on his trip to Syria this September......

Cartoons on Trump





Cartoon by Steve Greenberg - Climate Change Denial

 Cartoon by Lisa Benson -

Make a stand and "Opt Out"



AGREE!!!!

Dr Ron Paul at TheRon Paul Institute For Peace and Prosperity
Allow Americans to ‘Opt Out’ of Abortion and War

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently released proposed rules allowing individuals to opt out of Obamacare’s abortion and contraception mandates for moral or religious reasons. These new rules should be cheered by all who agree with Thomas Jefferson that forcing people to subsidize that which they find abhorrent is “sinful and tyrannical.”

Sadly, Congress continues to pass, and President Trump continues to sign, spending bills subsidizing abortion providers. When government gives taxpayer money to abortion providers, it forces anti-abortion taxpayers to fund something they believe is murder. This is every bit as “sinful and tyrannical” as forcing health plans to pay for abortion and contraception.

If Congress is going to continue giving taxpayer dollars to abortion providers, then it should at least find a way to protect those with moral or religious objections to abortion from subsidizing the practice with their tax dollars. Creating a special fund for the taxes of those who object to abortion and ensuring money in that fund is not used to subsidize abortion providers would help ensure that anti-abortion taxpayers are no longer directly subsidizing what they believe is the murder of unborn children. However, it would force pro-life taxpayers to indirectly subsidize abortion because money is fungible. So, if the government used money from the pro-life taxpayers to increase spending on programs that do not subsidize abortion, it would be able to use a greater percentage of the taxes collected from other taxpayers to fund abortionists.

A better way to protect anti-abortion taxpayers is to give them an expanded charitable tax credit. Pro-life taxpayers could use the credit to support crisis pregnancy centers and other charities that help pregnant women and new mothers. This approach would increase funding to private charities, while ensuring that, since the plan reduces government revenue, anti-abortion taxpayers are neither directly nor indirectly subsidizing abortions..........

Did Israel Kill Yasser Arafat like it has done countless other presumed enemies


To read the transcript in full go to Did Israel Kill Yasser Arafat? Stunning Investigation Exposes Israel’s Secretive Assassination Program



 Israeli intelligence officials desperately tried to prevent Ronen Bergman from writing “Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations,” a stunning book exposing the details of Israel’s extrajudicial killing program. Israel even changed and extended secrecy laws to prevent Bergman from gaining access to historical documents. Despite this, Bergman gained unprecedented access while writing the book, scouring thousands of documents and meeting with some 1,000 sources. The result is a stunning investigation that dives deep into the targeted killing programs of Israel, which has assassinated more people than any other country in the Western world since World War II. We speak with Ronen Bergman about Israel’s many attempts to kill the former chair of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Yasser Arafat, and the possibility that they succeeded.
Transcript
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We’re continuing our discussion with Israeli investigative journalist Ronen Bergman, author of a stunning book on the long, secretive history of Israel’s extrajudicial killing program, Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations. It’s a book that Israeli intelligence officials desperately tried to prevent Bergman from writing. They even changed and extended secrecy laws to prevent him from gaining access to historical documents. Despite their efforts, Bergman gained unprecedented access while writing the book, meeting with a thousand sources, from Israel political leaders and Mossad heads to the assassins themselves. He also obtained thousands of classified documents illuminating the shadowy corners of Israeli spy agencies.
AMY GOODMAN: The result is an exhaustive, illuminating investigation that dives deep into the targeted killing programs of Israel, which has assassinated more people than any other country in the Western world since World War II. It looks at the way Israel’s assassination program has influenced America’s post-9/11 foreign policy under Bush as well as President Obama.
Ronen Bergman writes on the book’s prologue, “Nowadays, when the same kind of extrajudicial killing that Israel has used for decades is being used daily by America against its enemies, it is appropriate … to study the high moral price that has been paid, for the use of such power.”
Ronen Bergman, we thank you for staying with us. Again, we’re getting a number of hits on this Tel Aviv satellite, so we’re going to try to stick with you as long as we can hear you. But in the note on your sources at the beginning of your book, you talk about how difficult it was to get access. You say a petition to the Supreme Court for an order forcing compliance with the law, that was to get you information, was dragged out over years with the complicity of the court, ended with nothing but an amendment to the law itself. The secrecy provisions were extended from 50 to 70 years—longer than the history of the state. Many in Shin Bet and Mossad were warned not to speak to you. How did you get access to this information, and what did you find?...............

"America, Come Home" ... says an anti-war activist, but to no avail


Quite an eye-opener ... especially to those of us who opened our eyes to the dirty world of politics after 9/11.  While reading his article, let us also wish Justin Raimondo is quick and full recovery.
 

America, Come Home

Justin is recuperating from cancer treatment and under the weather for the next few days. However, we are able to offer some of his “best of” words here – the following columns are remarkably prescient, and, indeed, might have been written – why – yesterday! We at Antiwar.com have been monitoring the world and reporting since before 9/11/ 2001 – since before some of our readers were even born! So, here, we invite you to take a scary ride on the Justin Raimondo Way-Back Machine.

This morning’s [March 27, 2001] New York Times has yet another story about the developing split within the Bush administration over foreign policy, with the partisans of Donald Rumsfeld, unreconstructed cold warrior, versus Colin Powell’s (relatively) noninterventionist State Department. As is usual with the arbiter of the conventional wisdom, the Times defined the two camps in terms of “ideological conservatives” versus “moderates,” with the former allied with Rumsfeld and the latter partial to Powell. But in the post-cold war world, these categories make no sense at all: with the Soviet Union a fading nightmare, and America’s status as the last superpower left standing, the cold war paradigm simply does not apply. There is nothing inherently “conservative” in a policy of perpetual war for perpetual peace: indeed, it seems like the sort of wild-eyed radicalism that energized the Napoleonic foreign policy of the French Revolution – the very antithesis of conservatism – and hardly a force for stability and the preservation of traditional values. But the Times has a natural predilection for mischaracterizing conservatives, for reasons too obvious to state, and, in any case, the right is very divided on foreign policy. Some, like Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz, his neoconservative Svengali, seek to impose an American hegemony on the world, or most of it, and take great pride in a stubborn unilaterialism – even if it means a probable failure to reach their ostensible objectives (containing Saddam Hussein, avoiding all-out war in the Balkans, reducing the threat of a nuclear war, etc.). These ideologues are usually tagged with the term “neoconservative” as if to acknowledge, at least on some level, that this dogma of radical interventionism represents a revision – I would contend a complete reversal – of the original. But, as much as they would like to believe it, the neocons are not the whole show.

A DISSENTING MAJORITY
Others on the right have dissented from this would-be orthodoxy. The collapse of communism, the end of the cold war, and the troubling rise of threatening trends on the home front have all soured grassroots conservatives on the alleged necessity for the US to intervene on a global scale. Pat Buchanan’s critique of Western hubris has garnered considerable support on the right, even if his recent race for the White House did not, as conservatives wake up to the startling and darkly disturbing insight that the enemy is not in any foreign capital, but right here at home. These rightists, faced with the choice of bombing either Baghdad or Washington D.C., would more than likely choose the latter. Llewellyn H. Rockwell, the president of the Mises Institute; Donald J. Devine and David Keene, of the American Conservative Union; and of course the indefatigable scholars over at the Cato Institute, that bastion of libertarianism in the Beltway – all have proffered important critiques of the cold warrior-neoconservative stance, and their views more faithfully reflect the opinions of grassroots activists than the Beltway conservative ‘generals’ intent on re-fighting the cold war.

‘WORLD HEGEMONY’ OR BUST
The Kosovo war was a watershed for many grassroots conservatives: for the first time they began to see the actions of their government as not merely mistaken, but evil. They also began to see, with a new clarity, the domestic uses of our interventionist foreign policy, as Clinton bombed an aspirin factory in the Sudan to get Monica off the front pages. This revulsion at the policies of the most interventionist President since Teddy Roosevelt began to translate, after a while, into a broad criticism of interventionism in general............

"The Doomsday Machine" The Real News Network's interview with whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg


This is part 1 of a 12-part interview with whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg.  To watch the rest of the segments go to The Real News Network





Newsweek "journalist" thinks he knows the ins and outs of international rules on journalism


Anything coming from truth-teller Caitlin Johnstone is hard-hitting and hits where it hurts most.

Caitlin Johnstone at Medium.com
Newsweek-Employed Spy Explains To Us Why Assange Should Be Prosecuted

 So it turns out it’s really really important for powerful people to be able to lie to us with impunity, you guys. I know this because an actual, literal spy told me that that’s what I’m meant to believe in an article published by Newsweek yesterday.

If you were wondering how long it would take the imperial propagandists to ramp up their efforts to explain to us why it is good for the Trump administration to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after we learned that sealed charges have been brought against him by the United States government, the answer is eight days. If you were wondering which of those propagandists would step forward and aggressively attempt to do so, the answer is Naveed Jamali.

To be clear, I do not use the word “propagandist” to refer to a mass media employee whose reliable track record of establishment sycophancy has propelled him to the upper echelons of influence within platforms owned by plutocrats who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo, as I often mean when I use that word. When I say that Jamali is a propagandist, I mean he is a current member of the United States intelligence community telling Newsweek’s readers that it is to society’s benefit for the US government to pursue a longstanding agenda of the US intelligence community in imprisoning Julian Assange.
 
Jamali is currently a reserve intelligence officer for the United States Navy, and is a former FBI asset and double agent. He is also like many intelligence community insiders an MSNBC contributor, and is a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, a think tank which has featured many prominent neoconservative war whores like Donald and Frederick Kagan, Max Boot, and James Woolsey. Any think tank with the words “foreign policy” in its title is nothing other than a group of intellectuals who are paid by plutocrats to come up with the best possible arguments for why it would be very good and smart to do things that are very evil and stupid, and Naveed Jamali sits comfortably there.

His Newsweek article, titled “Prosecuting Assange is Essential for Restoring Our National Security”, begins with the sentence “Full disclosure: I am not a fan of Julian Assange or Wikileaks,” and doesn’t get any better from there. The article consists of two arguments, the first being that since Assange is “not a journalist” he is not protected by the First Amendment from prosecution by the US government. This argument is bunk because (A) this is a made-up nonsense talking point since neither the US Constitution nor the Supreme Court have made any distinction between journalists or any other kind of publisher in press freedom protections, and (B) WikiLeaks has won many awards for journalism. The second argument is that it is very important for the US government to be able to hide any kind of secrets it wants from the American people.....

Friday, November 23, 2018

Some of my tweets from November 16 - 22




































































Sunday, November 18, 2018

"Red Flag" gun laws in good old America


From the frying pan into the fire.

John Whitehead at Rutherford.Org
"> Red Flag Gun Laws: Yet Another Government Weapon for Compliance and Control


We never learn.
In the right (or wrong) hands, benevolent plans can easily be put to malevolent purposes.
Even the most well-intentioned government law or program can be—and has been—perverted, corrupted and used to advance illegitimate purposes once profit and power are added to the equation.
The war on terror, the war on drugs, the war on illegal immigration, asset forfeiture schemes, road safety schemes, school safety schemes, eminent domain: all of these programs started out as legitimate responses to pressing concerns and have since become weapons of compliance and control in the police state’s hands.
Mark my words: red flag gun laws, which allow the police to remove guns from people suspected of being threats, will only add to the government’s power.
These laws, growing in popularity as a legislative means by which to seize guns from individuals viewed as a danger to themselves or others, are yet another Trojan Horse, a stealth maneuver by the police state to gain greater power over an unsuspecting and largely gullible populace.
Thirteen states now have red flag laws on their books. That number is growing.
As The Washington Post reports, these laws “allow a family member, roommate, beau, law enforcement officer or any type of medical professional to file a petition [with a court] asking that a person’s home be temporarily cleared of firearms. It doesn’t require a mental-health diagnosis or an arrest.
In the midst of what feels like an epidemic of mass shootings, these gun confiscation laws—extreme risk protection order (ERPO) laws—may appease the fears of those who believe that fewer guns in the hands of the general populace will make our society safer.
Of course, it doesn’t always work that way.
Anything—knives, vehicles, planes, pressure cookers—can become a weapon when wielded with deadly intentions.
With these red flag gun laws, the intention is to disarm individuals who are potential threats.
We need to stop dangerous people before they act”: that’s the rationale behind the NRA’s support of these red flag laws, and at first glance, it appears to be perfectly reasonable to want to disarm individuals who are clearly suicidal and/or pose an “immediate danger” to themselves or others.
Where the problem arises, of course, is when you put the power to determine who is a potential danger in the hands of government agencies, the courts and the police.
We’ve been down this road before.
Remember, this is the same government that uses the words “anti-government,” “extremist” and “terrorist” interchangeably.
This is the same government whose agents are spinning a sticky spider-web of threat assessments, behavioral sensing warnings, flagged “words,” and “suspicious” activity reports using automated eyes and ears, social media, behavior sensing software, and citizen spies to identify potential threats.
This is the same government that keeps re-upping the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which allows the military to detain American citizens with no access to friends, family or the courts if the government believes them to be a threat.
This is the same government that has a growing list—shared with fusion centers and law enforcement agencies—of ideologies, behaviors, affiliations and other characteristics that could flag someone as suspicious and result in their being labeled potential enemies of the state.
For instance, if you believe in and exercise your rights under the Constitution (namely, your right to speak freely, worship freely, associate with like-minded individuals who share your political views, criticize the government, own a weapon, demand a warrant before being questioned or searched, or any other activity viewed as potentially anti-government, racist, bigoted, anarchic or sovereign), you could be at the top of the government’s terrorism watch list.
Moreover, as a New York Times editorial warns, you may be an anti-government extremist (a.k.a. domestic terrorist) in the eyes of the police if you are afraid that the government is plotting to confiscate your firearms, if you believe the economy is about to collapse and the government will soon declare martial law, or if you display an unusual number of political and/or ideological bumper stickers on your car.
Let that sink in a moment.
Now consider what happened in Maryland after a police officer attempted to “enforce” the state’s new red flag law, which went into effect on Oct. 1.
At 5 am on a Monday, two police officers showed up at 61-year-old Gary Willis’ house to serve him with a court order requiring that he surrender his guns. Willis answered the door holding a gun.
Mind you, in some states, merely answering the door holding a gun is enough to get you killed by police who have a tendency to shoot first and ask questions later.......

Cartoons





Cartoon by Adam Zyglis - Matthew Whitaker


 Cartoon by Paul Berge -


 Cartoon by Paul Berge -

 




Cartoon by Adam Zyglis - Matthew Whitaker

Lessons in How to be a "Mainstream Journalist"


This is a good one.  Worth reading the whole thing.

 From MediaLens UK
How To Be A Reliable ‘Mainstream’ Journalist


There are certain rules you need to follow as a journalist if you are going to demonstrate to your editors, and the media owners who employ you, that you can be trusted.
For example, if you write about US-Iran relations, you need to ensure that your history book starts in 1979. That was the year Iranian students started a 444-day occupation of the US embassy in Tehran. This was the event that 'led to four decades of mutual hostility', according to BBC News. On no account should you dwell on the CIA-led coup in 1953 that overthrew the democratically-elected Iranian leader, Mohammad Mossadegh. Even better if you just omit any mention of this.
You should definitely not quote Noam Chomsky who said in 2013 that:
'the crucial fact about Iran, which we should begin with, is that for the past 60 years, not a day has passed in which the U.S. has not been torturing Iranians.' (Our emphasis)
As Chomsky notes, the US (with UK support) installed the Shah, a brutal dictator, described by Amnesty International as one of the worst, most extreme torturers in the world, year after year. That ordinary Iranians might harbour some kind of grievance towards Uncle Sam as a result should not be prominent in 'responsible' journalism. Nor should you note, as Chomsky does, that:
'When he [the Shah] was overthrown in 1979, the U.S. almost immediately turned to supporting Saddam Hussein in an assault against Iran, which killed hundreds of thousands of Iranians, used extensive use of chemical weapons. Of course, at the same time, Saddam attacked his Kurdish population with horrible chemical weapons attacks. The U.S. supported all of that.'
As a 'good' journalist, you should refrain from referring to the US as the world's most dangerous rogue state, or by making any Chomskyan comparison between the US and the Mafia:
'We're back to the Mafia principle. In 1979, Iranians carried out an illegitimate act: They overthrew a tyrant that the United States had imposed and supported, and moved on an independent path, not following U.S. orders. That conflicts with the Mafia doctrine, by which the world is pretty much ruled. Credibility must be maintained. The godfather cannot permit independence and successful defiances, in the case of Cuba. So, Iran has to be punished for that.'................

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Some of my tweets Nov 7 - 15