Home » Liberty (Page 2)

Category Archives: Liberty

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Catacylsm
Click on image to purchase

Post categories

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Cataclysm
Click on image to purchase

The Responsibility to Protect the World … from the United States

The Responsibility to Protect the World … from the United States

One of the most ingenious propaganda weapons ever developed is that the powerful nations of the West—led by the United States—have a moral responsibility to use military force to protect the rights of people being repressed by their governments. This “responsibility to protect” (R2P) always had a dubious legal standing, but its moral justification also required a psychological and historical disengagement from the bloody reality of the 500-hundred-year history of U.S. and European colonialism, slavery, genocide and torture that created the “West.”

This violent, lawless Pan-European colonial/capitalist project continues today under the hegemony of the U.S. empire. This then begs the questions of who really needs the protection and who protects the peoples of the world from the United States and its allies? The only logical, principled and strategic response to this question is citizens of the empire must reject their imperial privileges and join in opposing ruling elites exploiting labor and plundering the Earth. To do that, however, requires breaking with the intoxicating allure of cross-class, bi-partisan “white identity politics.”

Neocons like William Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Pearl were the driving forces in pushing for the war in Iraq. They understood if they wanted to sell war, “Americans” needed to believe the conflict was about values, not interests. The neocons dusted off and put a new face on that old rationalization for colonialism—the white man’s burden. Interventions were to bring democracy and freedom to those people who were struggling to be just like their more advanced models in the white West. Liberal interventionists further developed those ideas into “humanitarian interventionism” and the “responsibility to protect.”

The fact that the United States and Europe can wrap themselves in the flag of morality, practice savior politics and get away with it is a testament to the enduring psychopathology of white supremacist ideology.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Wormwood and a Shocking Secret of War: How Errol Morris Vindicated My Father, Wilfred Burchett

Wormwood and a Shocking Secret of War: How Errol Morris Vindicated My Father, Wilfred Burchett

Still from “Wormwood.”

We see a wall with murky brown floral wallpaper and a door with a peephole and the number 1018A. A man is talking on the phone. He says: “See you tomorrow. I love you, Alice.” The camera pans out and reveals another man, sitting on the twin bed next to the first man. He’s smoking a cigarette and watching a boxing match on an old black and white TV set. The first man gets up and turns off the TV. He returns to his bed and starts reading a passage from the Holy Bible he’s holding:

“And the Third Angel sounded; and there fell a great star from Heaven, burning as if it were a lamp; and it fell upon the third part of the rivers and upon the fountains of waters; and the name of the star is called Wormwood; and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.”

Someone tries to open the hotel room door. The first man goes to the door and looks through the peephole. He goes out into the corridor. There’s no one. He returns to the room.

A window shatters. The first man bursts through it head first and begins falling in slow motion, while Perry Como sings “No other love have I, only my love for you” and the opening credits roll.

Thus we are sucked into Wormwood, Errol Morris’s mesmerising new six part docu-drama.

1953 appears on the screen and a voice asks “What were you told at the time of your father’s death?”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Facebook Introducing Sweeping Changes: Will Prioritze Only “Trustworthy” News

In the latest move that is set to infuriate news organizations that are not deemed “trustworthy”, Facebook is set to introduce “sweeping changes” to its newsfeed as early as next week, prioritizing trustworthy sites and removing “clickbait” and low quality news publishers, while promoting posts from friends and family, the WSJ reports.

Under its new approach, Facebook would evaluate parameters such as public polling about news outlets, and whether readers are willing to pay for news from particular publishers. Such variables would inform its algorithm that determines which publishers’ posts are pushed higher in the feed, one of the people said.

It is not known how Facebook will decide which publications are deemed trustworthy.

The move would thrust Facebook into an even more active role in deciding what content is acceptable on its site, in other words censoring content it deems inappropriate while promoting news outlets that are ideologically aligned with the organization.

While the WSJ writes that Facebook hasn’t decided whether to proceed with the shift, and it may choose not to do so, the FT disagrees and reports that the world’s largest social network will unveil the change imminently, according to people briefed on the plans, hoping to differentiate between salacious content and quality news. “Zuckerberg has finally realized that not all news is equal,” said one publisher – clearly on the promoted sight of “equal” – briefed on the plans.

While Facebook will try to make the newsfeed a place for personal sharing and in-depth discussions – similar to Snapchat – and move other content from pages and publishers to a separate space within the app, the move is widely expected to infuriate news organizations which are not deemed trustworthy or high quality by the site.

Meanwhile, the change to the algorithm is sure to have a dramatic impact – whether positive or negative – on the revenue of virtually all news organization who now rely almost exclusively on facebook for inbound traffic referral.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

House Passes Legislation Renewing Controversial NSA Surveillance Program

Update 3: The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act has been renewed by the House of Representatives. Originally enacted in 1978, the act outlines the lawful procedure for collecting foreign intelligence. FISA Section 702 allows the US government to pull in communications from foreign nationals but does not permit surveillance of US citizens, even if they are suspected of criminality or terrorism. Ahead of a vote to extend FISA for six years, US President Donald Trump initially hit out at the key intelligence provision, although later updated his stance through a tweet declaring that the country needs FISA.


“House votes on controversial FISA ACT today.” This is the act that may have been used, with the help of the discredited and phony Dossier, to so badly surveil and abuse the Trump Campaign by the previous administration and others?

With that being said, I have personally directed the fix to the unmasking process since taking office and today’s vote is about foreign surveillance of foreign bad guys on foreign land. We need it! Get smart!


As Glenn Greenwald notes, this is the list of House Democrats who stood with Trump, Devin Nunes and the NSA to ensure ongoing warrantless eavesdropping on Americans, adding “Note how many of the leading #Resistance leaders are on this list.

55 House Democrats – including Pelosi, Hoyer, Schiff – voted to kill a surveillance reform bill that would have (among other things) added a warrant requirement to 702 searches.

Full list of Dem ‘no’ votes:


…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Project Veritas Exposes Twitter “Shadow Banning”, Blocking Opposing Views

In the latest of a series of undercover operations targeting the mainstream media and now Social Media, James O’Keefe of Project Veritas has just dropped a new undercover video which reveals Twitter “shadow banning” and creating algorithms that censor certain ideas.

The first clip features a former Twitter software engineer who explains how/why Twitter “shadow bans” certain users:

Abhinav Vadrevu“One strategy is to shadow ban so you have ultimate control. The idea of a shadow ban is that you ban someone but they don’t know they’ve been banned, because they keep posting but no one sees their content.”

“So they just think that no one is engaging with their content, when in reality, no one is seeing it. I don’t know if Twitter does this anymore.”

Meanwhile, Olinda Hassan, a Policy Manager for Twitter’s Trust and Safety team explains on December 15th, 2017 at a Twitter holiday party that the development of a system of “down ranking” “shitty people” is in the works:

“Yeah. That’s something we’re working on. It’s something we’re working on. We’re trying to get the shitty people to not show up. It’s a product thing we’re working on right now.”

In the full video (see below) Twitter Content Review Agent Mo Nora explains that Twitter doesn’t have an official written policy that targets conservative speech, but rather they were following “unwritten rules from the top”:

“A lot of unwritten rules, and being that we’re in San Francisco, we’re in California, very liberal, a very blue state. You had to be… I mean as a company you can’t really say it because it would make you look bad, but behind closed doors are lots of rules.”

“There was, I would say… Twitter was probably about 90% Anti-Trump, maybe 99% Anti-Trump.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Big Brother = You


Giorgione The Tempest 1508
Happy belated new year. Belatedly. Thought I’d sit out a few days, since there wasn’t much news to be expected. And it did pan out that way, other than Trump bogarting the limelight; but then, that isn’t really news either. Anything he says or does triggers the expansive anti-Donald echo chamber into a daily frenzy. And frankly, guys, it’s not just boring, but you’re also continuously providing him with free publicity. At least make him work for some of it.

Then, however, the big microprocessor (chip) security ‘flaw’ was exposed. And that’s sort of interesting, because it concerns the basic architecture of basically every microchip produced in the past 20 years, even well before smartphones. Now, the first thing you have to realize is that we’re not actually talking about a flaw here, but about a feature. We use that line a lot in a half-jokingly version, but in this case it’s very much true. As Bloomberg succinctly put it:

All modern microprocessors, including those that run smartphones, are built to essentially guess what functions they’re likely to be asked to run next. By queuing up possible executions in advance, they’re able to crunch data and run software much faster. The problem in this case is that this predictive loading of instructions allows access to data that’s normally cordoned off securely..

And:

Spectre fools the processor into running speculative operations – ones it wouldn’t normally perform – and then uses information about how long the hardware takes to retrieve the data to infer the details of that information. Meltdown exposes data directly by undermining the way information in different applications is kept separate by what’s known as a kernel, the key software at the core of every computer.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The US Has Devolved into a Police State

The US Has Devolved into a Police State

Yesterday I posted at this URL — https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/01/09/democracy-america-oxymoron/ — a news report and two vidos of a white female school teacher being removed and brutalized by a black police officer from a public meeting of school teachers with the school board while the school teacher was engaged according to the rules in normal conversation with a school board member.

The school board is comprised of both genders and both races. (Yes, I know that today we have more than two genders and there are more than two races.) Obviously, the school teacher was removed at the order of the school board or some member of it.

The school teacher is surprised to be interrupted in her conversation with a school board member by a policeman. She attempts to continue the conversation and is ordered to leave the room by the black cop. She complies with the black cop’s illegal order. As she leaves the room, the black cop knocks her down, handcuffs her, calls backup, and sends her to jail.

This is an accurate picture of America today. The woman did nothing, broke no law, no school board rule, no meeting rule, complied with the black cop and was still brutalized and arrested. The black cop as he brutalized her kept saying “stop resisting.” It is perfectly clear from the video that there is no resistance only assault by the black cop in what is clearly a criminal action against a member of the public by the police.

Will the black cop get away with it. Of course.

What was it all about.

The meeting was about the school board’s approval of a raise in salary for a school board member equal to the annual pay of school teachers, while the teachers themselves received not one cent.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

I Don’t Want Your Leaders

I Don’t Want Your Leaders

In 2017, I wrote a lot about how dangerously centralized our political system in the U.S. has become, and how we need to decentralize governance in order to restore power, liberty and policy experimentation to the local level. This notion that a sprawling and culturally diverse nation of 325 million individuals should constantly battle to the death over the ring of political power in Washington D.C. so as to impose their view on the other half of the country which completely disagrees is patently ludicrous. States, and even metro areas themselves, should be making most of the important decisions that impact their citizens’ lives on a day to day basis.

This isn’t complicated. People who live in Boulder, Colorado such as myself have a very distinct worldview on most things from the average resident of let’s say Houston, Texas. This isn’t to say one is superior to the other, we’re just talking generally different mindsets and cultures. The residents of these distinct places should be able to express themselves via policy in a way that most fits the desires and values reflective of these particular regions. While this does happen to some degree, all U.S. citizens are still beholden to the whims of centralized political power in Washington D.C. to a very unhealthy and dysfunctional degree.

One of the worst side effects of centralized power in Washington D.C. is most Americans waste all their political energy speculating on, or rooting for, who will be elected the next supreme ruler (President) every four years. This is such a gigantic waste of time and energy, but one reason it happens is because the U.S. has an imperial Presidency these days. The executive simply acts in a manner that the founders had never intended, and the other branches of government (legislative and judiciary) permit it.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

US Opens 2018 with Fake-News Bang, Suggests Russia Plotting to Cut Trans-Atlantic Internet Cables

US Opens 2018 with Fake-News Bang, Suggests Russia Plotting to Cut Trans-Atlantic Internet Cables

US Opens 2018 with Fake-News Bang, Suggests Russia Plotting to Cut Trans-Atlantic Internet Cables

Well, that didn’t take long. Just five days into 2018, and the American fake news industry is already up and running, churning out tasteless whoppers faster than Burger King.

Wired magazine has joined the greasy ranks of other Western mythmakers now fueling a black wave of anti-Russia hysteria by mass-producing a never-ending unsubstantiated claims and outright lies against the Kremlin.

The article begins with a doomsday scenario involving some “terrorist organization or nefarious nation” making the reckless decision to cut the undersea fiber optic cables that connect people across the world. So out of all the numerous diabolical groups that now populate the planet, who did Wired nominate as the most likely to pull off such a wanton act of sabotage? Yes, you got it. Putin’s Russia.

The obvious question for any rational thinking person is: Why would Russia do such a thing? Because, according to Wired, the Russian Navy has been “repeatedly caught snooping near the cables” that run along the entire expanse of the North Atlantic Ocean. Wired conveniently fails to remind its readers, however, that any country with a naval force would be forced to pass these lines on numerous occasions in the course of its travels. But acknowledging as much would be putting facts before fiction, and of course we can’t have that.

So where does Wired get its information regarding these latest nefarious plans on the part of Russia? From yet another purveyor of Russian fake news – arguably second only to the Washington Post – the New York Times.

“Russian submarines and spy ships are aggressively operating near the vital undersea cables that carry almost all global Internet communications, raising concerns among some American military and intelligence officials that the Russians might be planning to attack those lines in times of tension or conflict,” the Times breathlessly reported back in 2015.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Why Governments are Like an Ameba

QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong; You may be called the legend because of your forecasts on so many levels, but it might also be because you have met with more governments than probably any economist or analyst. My question is simple. From your experience, do you believe you can prevent the economic carnage that is becoming so obvious to everyone except those in government?

SK

ANSWER: The idealistic belief in intelligence and goodness embedded within human beings is increasingly confronted with the harsh experiences of reality. We all indeed act in our own self-interest or we would take no action (Smith’s Invisible Hand). Even an ameba, which lacks consciousness as we define it being self-aware, still responds to its surrounding and engulfs its prey to survive. It responds due to its hardwired nature. Unfortunately, humans also possess at that inner level this same survival instinct that is hardwired. This makes it increasingly unlikely that willingness to change gains sufficient strength in time before the abyss is reached. Hence, we must crash and burn.

Because the government will respond in the same manner as an ameba, there is no hope that they will spontaneously look in the mirror and reach an OMG moment of realizing that they are causing the demise of our society. Consequently, they will consume our liberty until they push it to the point that society will then act only in its self-interest to survive. Historically, all governments collapse once they have consumed rights, liberty, and privileges in their desire to maintain control and in the end, die by their own greed for power. They lack any consciousness of what they are doing precisely as an ameba. There is no reasoning for there is no one single mind to reason with.

Therefore, neither I nor anyone else, possess the power to prevent the cycle from unfolding. The very best I can hope for is perhaps to influence the reconstruction.

Governments Try to Control Language to Hilarious Results

Governments Try to Control Language to Hilarious Results

In the region formerly known as Yugoslavia, everyone speaks the same basic language, despite the individual countries’ governments insisting that they don’t.

It is quite interesting to see how widespread some languages are, with some having over a billion speakers while others are spoken by a single tribe. Languages have evolved due to the need for people to communicate and have likewise undergone changes over time.

The differences between are as little as the differences between English in Britain and in the US.

There is a rather peculiar case of languages in the former Yugoslavia, where governments have created four supposedly different languages out of one single language. The people of Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, and Montenegro all speak the same language, the Serbo-Croatian language, yet their respective governments claim that they speak Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian and Montenegrin. This would be the equivalent of Australians claiming that they speak Australian, Americans claiming that they speak American, and the British claiming that they speak British, despite all of them speaking English and perfectly understanding each other.

In reality, the differences between how people speak in the former Yugoslavia are as little as the differences between English in Britain and the United States. The only notable thing to mention is that Serbia and Montenegro have, in addition to the Latin alphabet, also the Cyrillic one, but apart from this, these four countries speak the same exact language. Nonetheless, their respective governments sought to courageously protect their people from not speaking a language named after their national identity.

The Origin Language and Its Subsequent Divisions

Serbo-Croatian was created in 1850 in Vienna by mutual agreement from several scholars.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

First France, Now Brazil Unveils Plans to Empower the Government to Censor the Internet in the Name of Stopping “Fake News”

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks at a press conference at the French Embassy in Beijing, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, Pool)

YESTERDAY AFTERNOON, the official Twitter account of Brazil’s Federal Police (its FBI equivalent) posted an extraordinary announcement. The bureaucratically nonchalant tone it used belied its significance. The tweet, at its core, purports to vest in the federal police and the federal government that oversees it the power to regulate, control and outright censor political content on the internet that is assessed to be “false,” and to “punish” those who disseminate it. The new power would cover both social media posts and entire websites devoted to politics.

“In the next few days, the Federal Police will begin activities in Brasília [the nation’s capital] by a specially formed group to combat false news during the [upcoming 2018 presidential] election process,” the official police tweet stated. It added: “the measures are intended to identify and punish the authors of ‘fake news’ for or against candidates.” Top police officials told media outlets that their working group would include representatives of the judiciary’s election branch and leading prosecutors, though one of the key judicial figures involved is the highly controversial right-wing Supreme Court judge, Gilmar Mendes, who has long blurred judicial authority with his political activism.

Among the most confounding aspects of the Twitter announcement is that it is very difficult to identify any existing law that actually authorizes the federal police to exercise the powers they just announced they intend to wield, particularly over the internet. At least as of now, they are claiming for themselves one of the most extremist powers imaginable – the right of the government to control and suppress political content on the internet during an election – with no legal framework to define its parameters or furnish safeguards against abuse.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The vision of technocracy and your future

The vision of technocracy and your future 

“Well, boys, we’ve got this strange thing called THE INDIVIDUAL. Could somebody tell me what he is? He’s not conforming to our algorithms. He’s all over the place. And while we’re at it, what the hell is this IMAGINATION? It keeps slipping out of our grasp, it doesn’t fit the plan…”

PART ONE

—Technocrats say they want to wipe out poverty, war, and inequality. But in order to achieve these lofty goals (or pretend to), they need to re-program humans—

Technocracy is the basic agenda and plan for ruling global society from above, so we need to understand it from several angles.

Consider a group of enthusiastic forward-looking engineers in the early 20th century. They work for a company that has a contract to manufacture a locomotive.

This is a highly complex piece of equipment.

On one level, workers are required to make the components to spec. Then they must put them all together. These tasks are formidable.

On another level, various departments of the company must coordinate their efforts. This is also viewed as a technological job. Organizing is considered a technology.

When the locomotive is finished and delivered, and when it runs on its tracks and pulls a train, a great and inspiring victory is won.

And then…the engineers begin to think about the implications. Suppose the locomotive was society itself? Suppose society was the finished product? Couldn’t society be put together in a coordinated fashion? And couldn’t the “technology of organizing things” be utilized for the job?

Why bother with endlessly arguing and lying politicians? Why should they be in charge? Isn’t that an obvious losing proposition? Of course it is.

Engineers could lay out and build a future society that would benefit all people. Disease and poverty could be wiped out. Eliminating them would be part of the blueprint.

This “insight” hit engineers and technicians like a ton of bricks. Of course! All societies had been failures for the same reason: the wrong people were in charge.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Romans and Us. Why State Violence is on the Rise 

The Romans and Us. Why State Violence is on the Rise 


The Spanish police injured hundreds of people, including women and the elderly, during the referendum for the independence of Catalunya, in 2017 (image source). It was not the worst that states can do – and have have been doing – to their citizens, but it is an indication that state violence is on the rise. Perhaps we can find reasons for this trend if we look back at history, all the way to ancient Rome. The Romans were extremely cruel and violent, perhaps an effect of their reliance on slaves. In our case, we have replaced human slaves with fossil slaves (fossil fuels) but, as they are abandoning us, we risk to return to the violence of ancient times.

The more you study ancient Roman history, the more you realize how similar to us the Romans were. The economy, money, commerce, travel, bureaucracy, laws – so many things in our world find a parallel in the Roman world, even though often in a much less sophisticated form. So, if you were to use a time machine to be transported to ancient Rome, you would find yourself in a familiar world in almost all respects. Except for one thing: you would be startled by the violence you would encounter. Real, harsh, brutal violence; blood and death right in front of you, in the streets, in the arenas, in theaters. It was not the random kind of violence we call “crime,” it was violence codified, sanctioned and enacted by the state.

When we think of violence in Roman times, we normally think of gladiator games. Those were surely bloody and violent, but just part of the story of how the Roman state managed violence. The Roman courts meted capital punishment with an ease which, for us, is bewildering. Poor people, slaves, and non-Roman citizens were especially likely to be declared “noxii” (plural of noxius) and condemned to death.
…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Lies We Tell Ourselves

Lies We Tell Ourselves

Pixabay

Life, to be sure, is nothing much to lose,
But young men think it is, and we were young.

— A. E. Housman, 1859-1936

Seven of my soldiers are dead. Two committed suicide. Bombs got the others in Iraq and Afghanistan. One young man lost three limbs. Another is paralyzed. I entered West Point a couple of months before 9/11. Eight of my classmates died “over there.”

Military service, war, sacrifice—when I was 17, I felt sure this would bring me meaning, adulation, even glory. It went another way. Sixteen years later, my generation of soldiers is still ensnared in an indecisive, unfulfilling series of losing wars: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Niger—who even keeps count anymore? Sometimes, I allow myself to wonder what it’s all been for.

I find it hard to believe I’m the only one who sees it. Nonetheless, you hear few dissenting voices among the veterans of the “global war on terror.” See, soldiers are all “professionals” now, at least since Richard Nixon ditched the draft in 1973. Mostly the troops—especially the officers—uphold an unwritten code, speak in esoteric vernacular and hide behind a veil of reticence. It’s a camouflage wall as thick as the “blue line” of police silence. Maybe it’s necessary to keep the machine running. I used to believe that. Sometimes, though, we tell you lies. Don’t take it personally: We tell them to each other and ourselves as well.

Consider just three:

1. Soldiers don’t fight (or die) for king, country or apple pie. They do it for each other, for teammates and friends. Think Henry V’s “band of brothers.” In that sense, the troops can never be said to die for nothing.

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Cataclysm
Click on image to purchase