Home » Posts tagged 'dissent'

Tag Archives: dissent

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Catacylsm
Click on image to purchase

Post categories

Chris Hedges: The Cost of Resistance

Chris Hedges: The Cost of Resistance

You can measure the effectiveness of resistance by the fury of the response by ruling elites.

Two of the rebels I admire most, Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks publisher, and Roger Hallam, the co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, are in jail in Britain. That should not be surprising. You can measure the effectiveness of resistance by the fury of the response.

Julian courageously exposed the lies, deceit, war crimes and corruption of the ruling imperial elites. Roger has helped organized the largest acts of mass civil disobedience in British history, shutting down parts of London for weeks, in a bid to wrest power from a ruling class that has done nothing, and will do nothing, to halt the climate emergency and our death march to mass extinction.

The governing elites, when truly threatened, turn the rule of law into farce. Dissent becomes treason. They use the state mechanisms of control – intelligence agencies, police, courts, black propaganda and a compliant press that acts as their echo chamber, along with the jails and prisons, not only to marginalize and isolate rebels, but to psychologically and physically destroy them.

The list of rebels silenced or killed by ruling elites runs in a direct line from Socrates to the Haitian resistance leader Toussaint L’Ouverture, who led the only successful slave revolt in human history and died in a frigid French prison cell of malnutrition and exhaustion, to the imprisonment of the socialist Eugene V. Debs, whose health was also broken in a federal prison.

Detroit, 2009. (CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

Rebel leaders from the 1960s, including Mumia Abu Jamal, Sundiata Acoli, Kojo Bomani Sababu, Mutulu Shakur and Leonard Peltier, remain, decades later, in U.S. prisons. Muslim activists, including those who led the charity The Holy Land Foundation and Syed Fahad Hashmi, were arrested, often at the request of Israel, after the hysteria following 9/11, and given tawdry show trials. They also remain incarcerated.

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

Social Media Censorship Reaches New Heights As Twitter Permanently Bans Dissent

Social Media Censorship Reaches New Heights As Twitter Permanently Bans Dissent

Mnar Muhawesh, founder, CEO and editor in chief of MintPress News, speaks with journalist Daniel McAdams about being permanently banned from Twitter, social media censorship and more.

It’s an open secret. The deep state is working hand in hand with Silicon Valley social media giants like Twitter, Facebook and Google to control the flow of information. That includes suppressing, censoring and sometimes outright purging dissenting voices – all under the guise of fighting fake news and Russian propaganda.

Most recently, it was revealed that Twitter’s senior editorial executive for Europe, the Middle East and Africa is an active officer in the British Army’s 77th Brigade, a unit dedicated to online warfare and psychological operations.

In other words: he specializes in disseminating propaganda.

The news left many wondering how a member of the British Armed Forces secured such an influential job in the media.

The bombshell that one of the world’s most influential social networks is controlled in part by an active psychological warfare officer was not covered at all in the New York TimesCNNCNBCMSNBC or Fox News, who appear to have found the news unremarkable.

But for those paying attention and for those who have been following ’MintPress News’ extensive coverage of social media censorship, this revelation was merely another example of the increasing closeness between the deep state and the fourth estate.

Amazon owner, and world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos was paid $600 million by the CIA to develop software and media for the agency, that’s more than twice as much as Bezos bought the Washington Post for, and a move media critics warn spells the end of journalistic independence for the Post.

Meanwhile, Google has a very close relationship with the State Department, its former CEO Eric Schmidt’s book on technological imperialism was heartily endorsed by deep state warmongers like Henry Kissinger, Hillary Clinton and Tony Blair.

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

So Sorry, Your Karma Ran Over Your Dogma

So Sorry, Your Karma Ran Over Your Dogma

When dogmas lose their grip on believers, they collapse in spectacular fashion.

Karma covers a lot of ground, but it boils down to consequences: consequences not just from your actions but from your convictions, schemes, obsessions, and yes, dogmas.

The reason why Karma runs over Dogma is that nobody clinging to a dogma sees themselves as dogmatic. The true believer never sees their conviction as dogma, but as Revealed Truth, as self-evident, a view that is buttressed by all the other True Believers who surround the believer, reinforcing their conviction and soothing any nagging doubts by mocking, “debunking” or marginalizing heretics and critics.

In our society, the mass media serves as a soothing echo-chamber of dogmas. It must be true, the news anchor said it on TV, etc.

Dogmas generate power and profits. Trillions of dollars flow into a few pockets because people believe the dogmas that “you need a college diploma to succeed” and “America’s healthcare system is the best in the world.”

As evidence-based doubts seep in, those at the top of the “faith” who have the most to lose become increasingly fanatical and rabid, pushing an increasingly restrictive Orthodoxy on true believers and establishing an Inquisition to excommunicate or eliminate any heretical doubts or dissenting views.

As the increasingly detached-from-reality leadership senses their power waning, they double-down, exhorting the faithful to support the orthodoxy even as the orthodoxy reaches new heights of fanaticism.

As moderates drift away (or sneak away, loudly proclaiming their fealty to cover their escape), the leadership triples down, demanding unwavering loyalty of the remaining believers, who themselves triple-down by reassuring each other that they really are on the right track and the world is about to awaken to the correctness and righteousness of their cause.

The problem with dogmas is that they are detached from the real-world consequences of dogmatic convictions. 

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

The Coming Wave Of High-Tech Authoritarianism

The Coming Wave Of High-Tech Authoritarianism

One of history’s hard lessons is that collapsing financial systems beget authoritarian politics. 

Today’s world, alas, is following this script, as rising debts lead to wrenching political changes in nearly every country that holds free elections, while fascism and socialism are once again being taken seriously by people who in normal times would inhabit the political center. 

But there’s one big difference this time around: the advanced state of social control technology. Past governments, when trying to tamp down dissent, were limited to blunt-instrument policies like curfews, phone taps and press shutdowns. Today’s would-be Big Brothers can do vastly more, and in many cases will use the coming financial/political emergency as an excuse to place Orwell’s proverbial boot on their citizens’ necks. 

Some examples from a recent Wall Street Journal article titled The Autocrat’s New Tool Kit:

• Chinese authorities are now using the tools of big data to detect departures from “normal” behavior among Muslims in the country’s Xinjiang region—and then to identify each supposed deviant for further state attention. 

• The Egyptian government plans to relocate from Cairo later this year to a still-unnamed new capital that will have, as the project’s spokesman put it, “cameras and sensors everywhere,” with “a command center to control the entire city.” 

• Moscow already has some 5,000 cameras installed with facial-recognition technology, and it can match faces of interest to photos from passport databases, police files and social media.

But scary as these things sound, they’re crude compared to what’s coming. From the same WSJ article:

“Microtargeting” enables governments to build personality assessments of citizens and tailor propaganda for targets’ psychological weak spots. Russia’s Internet Research Agency reportedly harvested data from Facebook to craft specific messages for individual voters during the 2016 US presidential race. Private firms are developing artificial intelligence that can automate this customization for whole populations.

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

France in a Nutshell: “The Government Stopped Listening to the People 20 Years Ago”

France in a Nutshell: “The Government Stopped Listening to the People 20 Years Ago”

The elites’ clever exploitation of politically correct cover stories has enthralled the comatose, uncritical Left, but not those who see their living standards in a free-fall.

A family member who has lived in France for decades summarized the source of the gilets jaunes protests in one sentence: “The government stopped listening to the people 20 years ago. It would be difficult to deny the generalization of this: many if not most governments stopped listening to their people decades ago, preferring instead to listen to financial and political elites and entrenched cultural eliteswho view commoners with disdain.

Legions of commentators are weighing in on the economic and cultural sources of France’s distemper. Many have characterized the protests as working class, broadly speaking, the multitudes who have seen an erosion in the purchasing power of their wages or pensions while France’s financial, political and cultural elites have feasted on whatever meager gains the French economy has registered in the past 20 years.

The protesters rightly perceive that they are politically invisible: the ruling class, regardless of its ideological flavor, doesn’t believe it needs the support of the I>politically invisible to rule as it sees fit. The ruling class has counted on the cultural elites to marginalize and suppress the politically invisible by dismissing any working-class dissent as racist, fascist, nationalistic and other words expressly intended to push dissent into the political wilderness.

The cultural elites reckoned their ceaseless depiction of working-class dissent as racist-fascist populism would continue marginalizing the commoners, but the worm has turned: the financially, politically and culturally marginalized classes are fed up.

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

Facebook Allows Governments to Decide What to Censor

Facebook Allows Governments to Decide What to Censor

Photo Source Mike Mozart | CC BY 2.0

Facebook and other social media companies give governments free reign to censor political dissent on their websites – and that is not “fake news.” Facebook’s unholy alliance with government actors includes Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United States. These partnerships have led to arrests and killings both in the US and abroad.

Glenn Greenwald reported last year on Facebooks’ admission that it unashamedly deletes accounts at the behest of the US and Israeli governments. An example he gives is the deletion of the Facebook and Instagram (Facebook owns Instagram) accounts of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov. Facebook’s reasoning was not that he had been accused of human rights violations or due to the content of his page, but simply because he had been added to a United States sanctions list. This came after reports that a Facebook delegation had met with Israeli officials to improve “cooperation against incitement” –which led to the deletion of pro-Palestinian accounts and news agencies. Hundreds of cases in which Palestinians were arrested for their Facebook postssubsequently took place also.

US support of Israel has a lot to do with maintaining hegemony in the Middle East. One of the reasons Saudi Arabia is such an important partner to the United States government is because of its role of backing US and Israeli policies and influence in the Arab world. An example is Saudi Arabia’s support of US and Israeli efforts to undermine the governments of Iran and Syria.

US social media companies work with the Saudi Arabian government to censor dissent and to cover up wrongdoing. In August, when news broke out that Saudi Arabia was planning on beheading Esra al-Ghamgam for peacefully protesting (which they did) Facebook and Twitter deleted hundreds of anti-Saudi accounts.

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

The United States of Empire

The United States of Empire

We’re getting close to the end now. Can you feel it?  I do.  It’s in the news, on the streets, and in your face every day. You can’t tune it out anymore, even if you wanted to.

Where once there was civil debate in the court of public opinion, we now have censorship, monopoly, screaming, insults, demonization, and, finally, the use of force to silence the opposition. There is no turning back now. The political extremes are going to war, and you will be dragged into it even if you consider yourself apolitical.

There are great pivot points in history, and we’ve arrived at one. The United States, ruptured by a thousand grievance groups, torn by shadowy agencies drunk on a gross excess of power, robbed blind by oligarchs and their treasonous henchmen and decimated by frivolous wars of choice, has finally come to a point where the end begins in earnest. The center isn’t holding… indeed, finding a center is no longer even conceivable. We are the schizophrenic nation, bound by no societal norms, constrained by no religion, with no shared sense of history, myth, language, art, philosophy, music, or culture, rushing toward an uncertain future fueled by nothing more than easy money, hubris, and sheer momentum.

There comes a time when hard choices must be made…when it is no longer possible to remain aloof or amused, because the barbarians have arrived at the gate. Indeed, they are here now, and they often look a whole lot like deracinated, conflicted, yet bellicose fellow Americans, certain of only one thing, and that is that they possess “rights”, even though they could scarcely form an intelligible sentence explaining exactly what those rights secure or how they came into being. But that isn’t necessary, from their point of view, you see.

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

Facebook, Twitter Purge More Dissident Media Pages In Latest Escalation

Facebook, Twitter Purge More Dissident Media Pages In Latest Escalation

Facebook has purged more dissident political media pages today, this time under the pretense of protecting its users from “inauthentic activity”. In a statement co-authored by Facebook Head of Cybersecurity Nathaniel Gleicher (who also happens to be the former White House National Security Council Director of Cybersecurity Policy), the massive social media platform explained that it has removed “559 Pages and 251 accounts that have consistently broken our rules against spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior.”

This “inauthentic behavior”, according to Facebook, consists of using “sensational political content – regardless of its political slant – to build an audience and drive traffic to their websites,” which is the same as saying they write about controversial things, and posting those political articles “in dozens of Facebook Groups, often hundreds of times in a short period, to drum up traffic for their websites.”

In other words, the pages were removed for publishing controversial political content and trying to get people to read it. Not for writing “fake news”, but for doing what they could to get legitimate indie media news stories viewed by people who might want to view it. The practice of sharing your material around in Facebook groups is common practice for most independent media content creators; I did it myself a lot in late 2016 and early 2017, and pretty much all my indie media peers at the time did too.


Excellent breakdown the of the Facebook purge by @RealAlexRubi with commentary from some of the page owners who have poured countless hours over the last few years into building reputable Facebook pages that still dare to challenge the mainstream narrativehttps://sputniknews.com/us/201810121068814924-Reporters-Pages-Shut-Down-By-Facebook/ 

EXCLUSIVE: Meet the Reporters Whose Pages Were Shut Down By Facebook

Facebook purged hundreds of pages from its platform on Thursday. But instead of the usual targets – namely Russia and Iran – Thursday’s ban shut down accounts operated by independent American…

sputniknews.com


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

The Social Media Purge and How It Affects Everyone

The Social Media Purge and How It Affects Everyone

Just about every website owner I know is feeling personally victimized by the recent social media purge that has been going on.  But here’s an interesting fact: it isn’t, as is widely perceived, just conservative voices that are being silenced. It is dissenting voices.

It’s the voices of critical thinkers whose ideas run the gamut of philosophies who find that they no longer have much in the way of reach.

This social media purge affects everyone, even people who are not on social media. It does so in several ways:

  1. Dissenting information is silenced which stifles discussion
  2. Young people who are avid consumers of social media are being literally brainwashed because they only see one side of the story – any story
  3. The social media purge harms websites that post non-establishment information because it stamps out their ability to reach readers who would be interested in their content.
  4. The unfairly biased search results show people who are trying to learn more about a topic only one side of the information.

You don’t have to be on a Twitter feed to see how this is an overwhelmingly anti-American problem. Like it or not, social media is a monumental source of information these days, and when it’s censored to only show one point of view, the future of our republic is in peril. We are well on our way to peak censorship and this has been carefully orchestrated.

Non-establishment websites are in trouble.

Their website traffic is plummeting because they no longer show up anywhere near the top of search results. Their posts on social media are not presented to the public – or even the people who deliberately opted to “follow” them.  Here’s an example from my own page.

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

Hold the Front Page, the Reporters are Missing

Hold the Front Page, the Reporters are Missing

Photo Source Lisa Abitbol/Nieman Foundation for Journalism | CC BY 2.0

The death of Robert Parry earlier this year felt like a farewell to the age of the reporter. Parry was “a trailblazer for independent journalism”, wrote Seymour Hersh, with whom he shared much in common.

Hersh revealed the My Lai massacre in Vietnam and the secret bombing of Cambodia, Parry exposed Iran-Contra, a drugs and gun-running conspiracy that led to the White House. In 2016, they separately produced compelling evidence that the Assad government in Syria had not used chemical weapons. They were not forgiven.

Driven from the “mainstream”, Hersh must publish his work outside the United States. Parry set up his own independent news website Consortium News, where, in a final piece following a stroke, he referred to journalism’s veneration of “approved opinions” while “unapproved evidence is brushed aside or disparaged regardless of its quality.”

Although journalism was always a loose extension of establishment power, something has changed in recent years. Dissent tolerated when I joined a national newspaper in Britain in the 1960s has regressed to a metaphoric underground as liberal capitalism moves towards a form of corporate dictatorship. This is a seismic shift, with journalists policing the new “groupthink”, as Parry called it, dispensing its myths and distractions, pursuing its enemies.

Witness the witch-hunts against refugees and immigrants, the willful abandonment by the “MeToo” zealots of our oldest freedom, presumption of innocence, the anti-Russia racism and anti-Brexit hysteria, the growing anti-China campaign and the suppression of a warning of world war.

With many if not most independent journalists barred or ejected from the “mainstream”, a corner of the Internet has become a vital source of disclosure and evidence-based analysis: true journalism.

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

Mapping The Countries Shutting Down The Internet The Most

With President Trump raising the threat rhetoric over conservative bias among the giant US megatech firms, it is worth remembering that when it comes to curbing dissent and freedom of expression, some governments take the drastic step of shutting down the internet.

Across the world, as Statista’s Niall McCarthy notes, internet shutdowns and deliberate slowdowns are becoming more common and they generally occur when someone (usually a government) intentionally disrupts the internet or mobile apps to control what people do or say.

According to Access Now data reported by Vice News, India has the most shutdowns of any country by a huge distance – 154 between January 2016 and May 2018. By comparison, second-placed Pakistan only had 19 shutdowns during the same period.

Infographic: The Countries Shutting Down The Internet The Most | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

In many countries, flicking the off switch on the internet is a preemptive or reactive measure in response to mass or potential unrest.

Egypt’s 2011 revolution and the failed Turkish military coup of 2016 are prime examples.

This is also true in India to a certain extent where internet access is cut off due to political turmoil, protests and military operations.

Shutdowns are even known to occur in certain regions to prevent cheating during examinations. Recent cases include a 45-day internet shutdown in Darjeeling in West Bengal due to political demonstrations and protests from activists seeking a separate state while Nawada in Bihar experienced a 40-day shutdown due to communal clashes.

Given how important the internet has become, limiting access to it can have financial consequences. In India, the huge number of shutdowns and their length, are getting very expensive. A report by The Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), found that 16,315 hours of intentional internet downtime between 2012 and 2017 has cost the Indian economy $3.04 billion.

Congress Weighs Indefinite Detention of Americans

Congress Weighs Indefinite Detention of Americans


Under the guise of exercising supervisory power over the president’s ability to use military force, Congress is considering writing Donald Trump a blank check to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens with no criminal charges. Alarmingly, this legislation could permit the president to lock up Americans who dissent against U.S. military policy.

The bill that risks conveying this power to the president is the broad new Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), S.J.Res.59, that is pending in Congress. Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair Bob Corker (R-TN) and Democratic committee member Tim Kaine (VA) introduced the bipartisan bill on April 16, and it has four additional co-sponsors.

This proposed 2018 AUMF would replace the 2001 AUMF that Congress gave George W. Bush after the September 11 attacks. Although the 2001 AUMF authorized the president to use “all necessary and appropriate force” only against individuals and groups responsible for the 9/11 attacks, three presidents have relied on it to justify at least 37 military operations in 14 countries, many of them unrelated to 9/11.

But the 2018 AUMF would codify presidential power to make war whenever and wherever he chooses.

S.J.Res.59 allows the president “to use all necessary and appropriate force” against Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Libya and Somalia, al-Qaeda, ISIS (also known as Daesh), the Taliban and their “associated forces” anywhere in the world, without limitation.

Kaine: Introduced bi-partisan bill. (Photo from US Department of Education)

However, the bill contains no definition of “co-belligerent.” A president may conceivably claim that a U.S. citizen who writes, speaks out or demonstrates against U.S. military action is a “co-belligerent” and lock him or her up indefinitely without charge.

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

The League of Assad-Loving Conspiracy Theorists

The League of Assad-Loving Conspiracy Theorists

So the global capitalist ruling classes’ War on Dissent is now in full swing. With their new and improved official narrative, “Democracy versus the Putin-Nazis,” successfully implanted in the public consciousness, the corporatocracy have been focusing their efforts on delegitimizing any and all forms of deviation from their utterly absurd and increasingly paranoid version of reality.

The Democratic Party is suing Russia, the Trump campaign, and Wikileaks (seriously … they’ve filed an actual lawsuit in an actual court of law an everything) for launching “an all-out assault on democracy” by publishing the DNC’s emails, “an act of unprecedented treachery,” according to Party Chairman Tom Perez. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, having already spent the last six years in a room in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid being arrested by the British authorities, extradited to the United States, and imprisoned for the remainder of his natural life, has been cut off from the outside world in order to prevent him from further “interfering” with democracy by expressing his opinions.

In Syria, where the “international community” has been battling the “global terrorist threat” by supporting moderate jihadist militias intent on overthrowing the government and establishing a fundamentalist theocracy, the corporate media have been hard at work sanctifying the official story of the “chemical weapons attack” in Douma. According to this story, Bashar al-Assad, an uncooperative brutal dictator whom the corporatocracy has been trying to replace with a more cooperative brutal dictator, dropped a lot of chlorine gas bombs (and possibly sarin, the deadly nerve agent), onto a house full of innocent babies. He did this on the eve of victory over those moderate jihadist militias the “international community” has been supporting in their eight-year attempt to take over his country, slaughter him and his entire family, mount their severed heads on spikes, implement nationwide Sharia law, and then go out hunting homosexuals and heretics to gruesomely behead on YouTube.

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

MSM Is Frantically Attacking Dissenting Syria Narratives, And It Looks Really Bad 

MSM Is Frantically Attacking Dissenting Syria Narratives, And It Looks Really Bad 

I write a lot about how, in a political environment that is saturated in disinformation and propaganda, it’s important to ignore people’s words and watch their actions instead to get a clear picture of what’s really happening. You could not ask for a better illustration of this than the recent behavior of the mass media with regard to Syria.

The always excellent Moon of Alabamaput out a piece yesterday detailing the immense deluge of attack editorials disguised as information that have been churned out recently about anyone who questions the establishment Syria narrative, including a single day in which no less than seven smear pieces were issued by prominent publications. Seven. In one day.

If you look at the words within these smear pieces, you will gather that there has been a sudden disturbing emergence of evil bloggers, tweeters and activists who are hell bent on deceiving you into falling in love with Bashar al-Assad and pledging allegiance to the Russian flag. If you look at what these outlets are actually doing, however, you see a very different picture indeed: an aggressive, spurious campaign to inoculate the English-speaking world against the influence of anyone who disagrees with yet another war against yet another Middle Eastern country.

And people are noticing. It’s getting too blatantly obvious, like a stranger coming up to you and talking about climate change while openly masturbating; what he is doing would eclipse interest in whatever he is saying. The frenetic publication of hit pieces against anyone who fails to fall in line with the establishment Syria narrative is fast becoming the real story here.

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

Turkey Detains Nearly 600 for Opposing Syria Invasion

Turkey Detains Nearly 600 for Opposing Syria Invasion

Erdogan Spokesman: Opposing War Means Glorifying Terrorism

As Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria continues, so too does their policy of arresting anyone seen as even sort of opposed to the attack. The Turkish Interior Ministry now says 449 people have been detained for criticizing the war on social media, and 124 more detained for taking part in actual protests.

Riot police detain a demonstrator during a protest against Turkey’s military operation in Syria’s Afrin region, in Istanbul, Turkey

Turkey’s Erdogan government doesn’t have a lot of patience for dissent, or for Kurds. Unsurprisingly, dissent about a war against Kurds is being cracked down on intensely. Erdogan’s spokesman warned that statements criticizing the war amount to statements “glorifying terrorism,” and that the government is just enforcing the law as written.

With Turkey’s largely state-run media praising the war, public support for it is still relatively strong. Opposition is mostly in the ethnic Kurdish region, which Turkey is more than willing to crack down on at any rate, and political opponents.

When other NGOs issue statements against the war, as did a medical union in the country, President Erdogan has condemned them as traitors, and arrested 11 of their senior members for a statement calling for “peace immediately.”

With the war continuing and casualties rising, war exhaustion is inevitable. For now,however, expressing opposition to the conflict is a very dangerous crime indeed in Turkey.

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase