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June 29, 2024 Readings

Attempting a new format (that I will probably fiddle with for a week or so) for sharing articles of interest. Below you will find a number of links to those articles. Note that I may add a few before the day ends so check back. Hope this works for everyone…

First-Responder Trauma: A New Framework for Activists

The Future We Deserve

Climate Disaster Preparation Guide | by Climate Survivor | Jun, 2024 | Medium

The World Lost Two-Thirds Of Its Wildlife In 50 Years. We Are to Blame

How Does Anyone Still Care About This Bullshit?

Julian Assange Is Free. Washington Crafter ‘A Face Saving Deal’. Massive Violation of Habeas Corpus as a Favour to Washington. Paul C. Roberts

Health Prepping: Microbiome Maintenance is Key to…Everything

The Coming US Budget Disaster Will Impoverish Americans | Mises Institute

oftwominds-Charles Hugh Smith: 10 Geopolitical / Financial Risks to the Global Economy

Welsh Police Pay Home Visit To Man For Displaying Reform UK Political Sign

American Pravda: JFK, LBJ, and Our Great National Shame, by Ron Unz

The Spread of Artificial Intelligence. The Emergence of ‘Deep Fakes’, Masterful Distortions. ‘Who Controls the Past Controls the Future’

Fact-Checking Network Says Online Face Checks Aren’t Censorship

US Readies To Evacuate Americans From Lebanon If War Erupts, Marines En Route | ZeroHedge

The UN: “We must all work to eradicate (hate speech) completely.

UN food chief: Poorest areas have zero harvests left

Where is the Sense of Urgency? – by Matt Orsagh

A water war is looming between Mexico and the US. Neither side will win | CNN


EU Commission VP: “We Believe Our Fact-Checking Is Already Influencing User Behavior”

If you’re tired of censorship and surveillance, join Reclaim The Net.

The European Parliament (EP) elections are taking place next month and, considering that the president of the European Commission (effectively, “the EU government”) and all its commissioners are confirmed by the EP, no wonder many of them are currently on a campaign trail.

One is European Commission Vice President for Values and Transparency Vera Jourova, and she is toeing the line the EU has taken ahead of this election: fear mongering about misinformation, AI, and Russia.

This is then used to make sure current, contested, and controversial policies remain at a minimum unchanged, and best-case scenario, from the EU bureaucrats’ point of view – ramped up.

What those policies amount to is succinctly demonstrated in just one recent statement by Jourova: not only is the bloc embracing “fact-checking”, and not only is this supposed to take car2 of “misinformation” – the intent seems far more profound, and threatening to democracy : fact-checking is already influencing user behavior, bragged Jourova.

“We believe our fact-checking is already influencing user behavior. We see that when people realize something is wrong with the material, they often refrain from sharing it with friends on social media,” she said.

She chose to take her “Democracy Tour” to a number of EU countries that are likely believed to be the most susceptible to her message of an impending “misinformation” doom around the election (the message framed around by and large unproven allegations of misinformation campaigns).

To promote current EU leadership policies, Jourova talks up all those things that have put the EU and its understanding of democracy and freedom of expression under so much scrutiny over the last years: various new regulations that allow for mass censorship and/or surveillance, and continued reliance on “fact-checkers.”

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

Fact Checkers Caught Looking the Other Way (Again!) As Pfizer Nabbed Spreading Vaccine Misinformation and “Bringing Discredit” on the Entire Industry

Fact Checkers Caught Looking the Other Way (Again!) As Pfizer Nabbed Spreading Vaccine Misinformation and “Bringing Discredit” on the Entire Industry

Pfizer’s COVID vaccine corruption adds further evidence that fact checkers are the pharmaceutical industry’s partners in crime.

A UK pharmaceutical body has accused Pfizer of “bringing discredit” on their entire industry  after Pfizer’s senior executives promoted the COVID vaccine on social media before it had even been licensed, breaching the regulatory code five times by making misleading claims, ignoring industry standards, and marketing unlicensed medicines.

This is the sixth time the body has reprimanded Pfizer over COVID-19 vaccine promotion, a list that includes an incident in late 2021, when Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla was found to have given misleading statements about children’s vaccines during a BBC interview. That same year, CNN Business named Bourla “CEO of the Year,” and his estimated worth is now over $35 million.

Last week’s ruling against Pfizer by the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA) further emphasizes the breadth of Pfizer’s lies about their COVID vaccine. PMCPA found that Pfizer began violating industry standards in 2020 to promote their COVID vaccine, meaning Pfizer was misleading the public about their vaccine throughout the pandemic, even before announcing preliminary results of their COVID-19 clinical trials in late 2020.

How bad are we talking here? Put it this way: PMCPA’s blunt rulings against Pfizer are doubly surprising because the UK pharmaceutical industry set up PMCPA in 1993 as a self-regulating body that is staffed with industry insiders. One wonders how more often the PMCPA would have called out Pfizer for violating regulations if it was actually independent of the very corporations it’s supposed to watch over.

Seriously, people. It’s that bad.

But prepare yourself, it’s gonna get worse.

Snopes Changed Fact-Check After Pressure From Biden Administration: Emails

Snopes Changed Fact-Check After Pressure From Biden Administration: Emails

A ’tough letter’ preceded the change.

The fact-checking website Snopes changed one of its ratings after pressure from President Joe Biden’s administration, newly disclosed emails show.

Snopes on Jan. 10, 2023, said that there was some truth to a claim that President Biden’s administration was planning to ban gas stoves.

Under a heading of “what’s true,” Snopes said that “The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), a federal agency, is currently considering a ban on gas stoves if they can’t be made safer, due to concerns over harmful indoor pollutants that cause health and respiratory problems.”

Under another heading, it said that the ban has not been put in place.

The article quoted Richard Trumka Jr., a CPSC commissioner, as saying that “any option is on the table” when dealing with gas stoves. “Products that can’t be made safe can be banned,” Mr. Trumka told Bloomberg a few days prior.
Pamela Rucker Springs, a spokeswoman for the CPSC, hours after the rating was published contacted Snopes writer Nur Ibrahim, the newly disclosed emails show. She said she it was “not accurate to say that CPSC is ‘considering a ban on gas stoves’ and that Mr. Trumka’s views ”do not represent official statements on behalf of the commission.”

The CPSC “is not currently considering a ban on gas stoves, though a commissioner said ‘anything is on the table’ if they can’t be made safer,” the updated article states.

Ms. Springs sent a link to the updated page to White House official Michael Kikukawa, the newly disclosed documents show. “Sent over tough letter to this writer yesterday when the initial claim was rated as ’mixed,’” she wrote.

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

Social Media Fact Checkers Claim Their Work Isn’t Censorship. Here’s Why It Is.

“Fact-checking” isn’t just labeling. It tanks the visibility of posts.

There’s good news, and bad: first, the fact that “fact-checkers” masquerading as unbiased and accurate moderators of content – while actually unreliable and bias-prone tools of censorship – are now recognized widely enough as just that, to trigger a reaction from some prominent actors.

But then – these “fact-checkers” are reacting in order to double down on their role as something positive, and justified.

Because there are no facts to support this attitude, one of the key “fact-checkers” is hiding behind an opinion piece. But the claim is there: “Fact-checking is not censorship,” a post on Poynter wants you to believe.

This, despite the organization, which acts to “certify fact-checkers” via the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), having a project that has resulted in mass suppression of posts on Facebook.

According to Facebook (Meta) CEO Mark Zuckerberg, posts that get fact-checked experience a 95% drop in clicks. In other words, even if this content is not outright removed, it is made virtually invisible. That’s censorship by any other name.

So how in the world can Poynter claim that activities of those it certifies actually result in “adding to the public debate” rather than suppressing it?

It can, and does. Meanwhile, a report recently published by Meta paints a different picture: the EU that was no doubt happy to share that “fact-checking” reduces users’ attempts to share posts by 47 and 38 percent on Facebook and Instagram, respectively.

Of course, neither Meta nor the EU are offering this data as proof of negative and nefarious efforts resulting in censorship; instead they are treated simply as proof that Meta complies with EU’s “codes” and other rules, also in the end producing more censorship.

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

‘We live in an Orwellian hell-scape’: Facebook fact-checks top economist for stating America IS in a recession after Biden refused to admit it

‘We live in an Orwellian hell-scape’: Facebook fact-checks top economist for stating America IS in a recession after Biden refused to admit it

  • Phillip Magness, the research and education director at the American Institute for Economic Research, believes the U.S. is in a recession
  • Economists usually say it is a recession when two successive quarters have seen negative growth: data on Thursday showed the definition had been met
  • The White House is instead relying on an ‘official declaration’ from the the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), which can be very slow
  • Magness’s post on Facebook about the U.S. being in a recession was fact-checked by Facebook and a warning posted online
  • ‘We live in an Orwellian hell-scape,’ he tweeted. ‘Facebook is now ‘fact checking’ anyone who questions the White House’s word-games’ 

Facebook placed a ‘fact-checking’ label on a post written by a top economist stating that the United States is now in a recession – a move he termed ‘Orwellian’.

Two consecutive quarters of negative growth is the standard definition of a recession, and Phillip Magness, the research and education director at the American Institute for Economic Research, posted on Facebook a commentary about the country now being in a recession.

The post – which is no longer visible – was marked by Facebook’s fact checkers as being misleading.

‘We live in an Orwellian hell-scape,’ he tweeted.

‘Facebook is now ‘fact checking’ anyone who questions the White House’s word-games about the definition of a recession.’

Biden on Thursday (pictured) insisted that the country was not in a recession, despite new data showing a second consecutive quarter with negative growth

Biden on Thursday (pictured) insisted that the country was not in a recession, despite new data showing a second consecutive quarter with negative growth

Phillip Magness, an economic historian, believes the U.S. is in recession - but the White House disagrees

Phillip Magness, an economic historian, believes the U.S. is in recession – but the White House disagrees

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

Digital Brownshirts and Their Masters


Digital Brownshirts and Their Masters

We are under siege. A nihilistic fanaticism is running free among us thanks to the emergence of a journalistic “ethos” that establishes an almost complete equivalence between the “truth” and those utterances that support the strategic goals of the great economic and digital powers of our time.

A few months ago Facebook censored an article in the British Medical Journal that highlighted serious irregularities in Pfizer’s clinical vaccine trials. Then two weeks ago, fact-checkers from the Spanish websites Newtral and Maldita burst into the public square to accuse professor of Pharmacology, renowned expert in drug safety, and ex-WHO adviser, Joan Ramón Laporte of foisting lies and disinformation onto the Spanish populace. This, in reaction to Laporte’s testimony before a Spanish parliamentary commission investigating the country’s vaccination effort.

Despite his towering credentials, his intervention was quickly tarred as problematic by the media and subsequently banned by YouTube. The crime of this new Galileo Galilei? Alerting the assembled parliamentarians to the existence of grave procedural irregularities in the trials for the vaccines, and questioning the wisdom of a health strategy that aims to inject every Spanish child over the age of six with a new, poorly tested, and largely ineffective medication.

This incident reveals that the fact-checkers will attack anyone who does not accept the truth as dictated by the great economic and government centers of the world. This is not the usual official media obfuscation to which we’ve become accustomed over the years, but rather a brazen McCarthyist intimidation device, designed to frighten citizens into submission by appealing to their lowest and most ignoble instincts, an approach lain bare in Maldita’s smug and Manichaean slogan: “Join and support us in our battle against lies.”

Under this harsh binary logic, an internationally famous scientist like Laporte is not even given the opportunity to be judged wrong or misguided in good faith. Rather, he is immediately accused of being a willful and dangerous liar who must be immediately banished from public view.

Fact-checkers as destroyers of science and the public sphere.

Nowadays the word “fascist” is used so profligately that it has lost most of its meaning. But if we are really serious about describing the operational logic of fact-checking entities like Maldita and Newtral we must recur precisely to that term, adding the prefix “neo” to avoid confusion with the original version of this totalitarian sensibility.

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

Fact-Checkers Are Used to Confuse the Public: Sharyl Attkisson

Fact-Checkers Are Used to Confuse the Public: Sharyl Attkisson

Five-time Emmy award-winning journalist Sharyl Attkisson said she has seen an increased effort to manipulate the public to appreciate censorship and disapprove of journalism. One of the strategies that has been employed is the use of third-party fact-checkers, she said.

“Nearly every mode of information has been co-opted, if it can be co-opted by some group, [and] fact-checkers are no different,” Attkisson told EpochTV’s “American Thought Leaders.”

“Either they’ve been co-opted, in many instances, or created for the purpose of distributing narratives and propaganda,” said Attkisson. “This is all part of a very well-funded, well-organized landscape that dictates and slants the information they want us to have.”

Attkisson said she first started to notice news being controlled in the early 2000s when the media company she was working for was actively trying to suppress certain stories.

“The pushback came to be more about keeping a story from airing or keeping a study from being reported on the news, not just giving the other side, not just making sure it was accurately reported,” she said of pharmaceutical company stories she was covering at the time.

In 2016 Attkisson heard former President Barack Obama say news needed to be curated, after which mainstream media outlets started to consistently use the term fake news to describe mostly conservative news stories that they deemed untrue.

“And I remember thinking that was such a strange thing to say, because there was no big movement among the public, that people needed to have their information curated, that someone needed to step in and tell us what to think, curate what was online…

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

British Medical Journal Exposes the Facebook ‘Fact Check’ Scam

British Medical Journal Exposes the Facebook ‘Fact Check’ Scam

In a relatively rare break from COVID orthodoxy by the British Medical Journal, it went nuclear on the Facebook “fact check” scam. But you won’t see it in your Metaverse© NewsFeed©.

A Brief Recap of the Pfizer Fraud Backstory

We previously chronicled the under-reported Pfizer “vaccine” trial fraud, which the multinational corporation used to rush its experimental mRNA gene therapy (deceptively marketed as a “vaccine”) through the regulatory hoops.

In the exposé, a whistleblower (a regional director of Pfizer’s partner contracting firm, Ventavia Research Group, named Brook Jackson) detailed the abuses. She explained how Ventavia and Pfizer systematically skirted regulatory protocols and doctored data to cover up the mRNA shots’ side effects.

You can read the BMJ’s original piece here.

Pfizer, of course, ultimately got approval rammed through despite its criminal malfeasance. As a consequence, pharmacies across the US and the world (which largely follows the American lead) have injected billions of doses of its dangerous genetic material with no long-term safety data. Meanwhile, the corporation generated $131 billion in revenue for itself.

The Facebook ‘Fact Check’ Hitpiece

Instead of going after the Pfizer fraudsters in light of the above revelations, Facebook and the corporate media instead sicced their “fact check” attack dogs on the medical journal that outed the fraud.

(This is the highly ineffective “hammer the whistleblower, bury the crime” model of building public trust in institutions. It harkens back to the Bush-era targeting of Bradley Manning and Julian Assange for blowing the whistle on US government war crimes while prosecuting none of the actors who perpetrated the crimes they exposed.)

Here are a few lowlights from Lead Stories’ flimsy hitpiece:

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

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XXXVI

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XXXVI

On Narrative Control and ‘Fact Checking’

One of the areas of interest for me as I weaved my way through my ten years of formal post-secondary education (yes, I spent the entire decade of the 1980s pursuing four degrees at several different universities; some of it part-time as I waffled between education and full-time work for relatively good pay in a grocery store) was that of epistemology (the nature and origins of ‘knowledge’). It was likely the result of some of my required readings: Stephen Jay Gould’s Ever Since Darwin, Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and Clifford Gertz’s The Interpretation of Cultures. Regardless, I ended up exploring (outside of my regular classes) such topics as deconstructive criticism, hermeneutics, and philology; interesting topics for someone who ended up teaching elementary school students (10 years) and as a school administrator (15 years).

Upon reflection, this exploration of how humans come to ‘know’ what they know (or at least what they believe) has led me to be rather skeptical of dominant narratives, especially of ‘authority figures’. My challenging of ‘authority’, as it were, may have come somewhat ‘naturally’ given I grew up in the household of a police officer. Not that I consider my dad to have been ‘authoritarian’, not at all, but the somewhat ‘natural’ pushback children can give to parents was slightly coloured in our household by the simple fact that my dad was a sociocultural authority figure on top of his role as a father.

Anyways, I believe I have always questioned to a certain extent the ‘popular’ stories we are exposed to. And as I’ve read more widely over the years, I’ve come to hold that these stories tend to always play to the pursuits of the people that dominate society’s economic and power structures.

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


Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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