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The BBC Has Legal Protection to Spread Fake News: the Curious Case of ISIS, Andrew Neil and Jeremy Corbyn

The BBC Has Legal Protection to Spread Fake News: the Curious Case of ISIS, Andrew Neil and Jeremy Corbyn

Photo Source Edwardx | CC BY 2.0

The BBC spreads fake news. We all know that. From the uncritical parroting of the British government’s Iraqi weapons of mass destruction claims to the unchallenged lies spouted by war-mongering politicians, that Libya’s dictator (who was armed and trained by Britain, incidentally) was going to commit a “bloody massacre” in Libya’s Benghazi region. (A postwar British government report confirmed that the “ethnic cleansing” claim was based on what they cautiously called poor intelligence. The cruel irony is that after the BBC helped whip up support for the invasion, it reported on a real ethnic cleansing of black Libyans committed by the Islamist terrorists organized by the US and Britain to topple Gaddafi.)

But what if the BBC had legal protection to tell and spread lies? As I document in my book Real Fake News, the answer to a Freedom of Information Act request revealed that, as an arts, literature, and news organization, the BBC has no legal obligation to give its audience any information about its sources. Often, journalists cannot and should not name their sources, for obvious reasons; the main one being that no one will tell them anything in confidence ever again. However, when general claims that contradict the customary understanding of things are made, and without supporting evidence, it’s only fair to ask where the person making the claim obtained their information.

ISLAMIC STATE IN IRAQ BEFORE 2003? GET OUTTA HERE!

During an interview with the antiwar leader of the British Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, BBC presenter Andrew Neil claimed that ISIS existed in Iraq beforethe 2003 invasion by the US and Britain. Corbyn stated, in gentle terms, that US-British foreign policy had smashed up Iraq and Libya.

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

How George W. Bush Corrupted America’s ‘News’-Reporting

How George W. Bush Corrupted America’s ‘News’-Reporting

How George W. Bush Corrupted America’s ‘News’-Reporting

In order to understand today’s demonization of Vladimir Putin, one must go back to US President George W. Bush’s propaganda for “regime-change in Iraq” and demonization of Saddam Hussein at that time. The US regime now has come to recognize that with Putin’s high approval-ratings from the Russian public, the US aristocracy’s dream of fomenting Putin’s ouster by Russia’s voters will not work; and, so, all foreign leaders who cooperated with Russia, such as Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Viktor Yanukovych, and Bashar al-Assad, were first targeted by the US regime for “regime-change,” so as to isolate Russia and soften it up for the demanded US-takeover (‘democracy’, ‘free market’, etc., which Russia actually now already has, at least as much as America does); and, then, since that hasn’t yet worked, came the US aristocracy’s campaign to ‘protect The West’ by NATO troops and weapons surrounding Russia and forcing regime-change in Russia. It has escalated now to the point where World War III is more likely than ever it was during the Cold War.

Regime-change in Russia will thus either occur by the democratic vote of the Russian public at some distant time and produce a Russian Government that’s likely to be against the US regime in every possible way (which the current Russian Government is not), or else it will require a US-and-allied invasion of Russia, and that would destroy the world (but the US aristocracy want it anyway).

However, America’s aristocracy (or as they call it when referring to the same thing in low-income countries, “oligarchs”) — basically just its billionaires — are very impatient; they want to control the entire planet during their own lifetimes, and care little (if at all) about what will happen to the planet after they’re gone.

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

What to Do When You’re Overwhelmed by All the Terrible Events Going On In the World

What to Do When You’re Overwhelmed by All the Terrible Events Going On In the World

Looking at the news lately is bound to hit you right in the feelings. It’s almost impossible not to be overwhelmed by it all.

There are so many terrible things happening. Massacres in places of worship. Thousands of people heading to the US all at once, demanding to be let in. Bombs being sent through the mail. A heated election cycle that is only a glimpse of the coming presidential election. One horrific crime after another.

And at the foundation of everything is hatred.

The venomous things that people are saying to one another all in support or rejection of these dreadful occurrences are the most dangerous part of it all.

If you’re a peace-loving person who just wants to get along with his or her fellow American, all of this stuff can be enough to make you want to crawl under the nearest rock, preferably a rock without Wi-Fi or a cell signal.

When you spend your days engrossed in the news

Sometimes I get emails from people who wonder how I can write about the things I do and still remain upbeat.

I’ve been working in the alternative news industry since 2011. There have been days at I time I was glued to my laptop covering manhunts, constitutional insults, or scenes of horror. It would be a lie (not to mention rather unhinged) to say that I was unmoved by it all.

Sometimes I ended the day with such awful scenes playing through my head that my night was filled with restless nightmares replaying all that I had learned. Sometimes the last thing I wanted to do the next morning when it was time to start work was switch on that laptop and see the most recent gruesome act of hatred humans had perpetrated on one another.

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

The Press Makes the News – They No longer Report It – A Sign of the End of Political Times

QUESTION:  Mr. Armstrong –
On 08/23 you wrote a blog entry that seems to espouse two incongruous claims: (1) That the press has distorted & propagandized its news reporting so egregiously now that the American people give little credence to what it tells them (as evidenced by the Gallup polls results you showed), and (2) That the press is yet still managing to rope-along enough gullible emotional people that they are dividing the country and will be at fault if it breaks-up. How do you reconcile these two assertions ?: Isn’t it more likely that the press is simply helping to incite those who already left-tending “true believers” as well as the deep state which is the real entity brokering all this enmity against Trump (and the real player with enough clout to foment/incite division of the country in service of its own selfish power & privilege) ?

SIC

ANSWER: I do not believe that the press is capable of altering society insofar as changing the minds of the majority. If you look at the presidential elections, only three people EVER won 60%-63% of the popular vote – FDR, LBJ, and Richard Nixon. If you look at the winning votes, you will see that most are in the mid 50% range – (usually 51 to 54%). Less than 10% of the people are independent. The bulk of the people are predisposed Democrats or Republicans. Those who watch CNN do so because they WANT to hear negative things about Trump and those who listen to Fox want to listen to negative things about the Democrats. People far too often believe what they want to believe. That is what I never try to change someone’s mindset – it is pointless. Tech ONLY those who want to learn – the independent thinkers who see life as a quest for knowledge.

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

How the media encourages – and sustains – political warfare

Since his inauguration, President Donald Trump has been waging war against the American press by dismissing unfavorable reports as “fake news” and calling the media “the enemy of the American people.”

As a countermeasure, The Washington Post has publicly fact-checked every claim that Trump has labeled as fake. In August, The Boston Globe coordinated editorials from newspapers across the nation to push back against Trump’s attacks on the press. The Associated Press characterized this effort as the declaration of a “war of words” against Trump.

News organizations might frame themselves as the besieged party in this “war.” But what if they’re as much to blame as the president in this back-and-forth? And what if readers are to blame as well?

In an unpublished manuscript titled “The War of Words,” the late rhetorical theorist and cultural critic Kenneth Burke cast the media as agents of political warfare. In 2012, we found this manuscript in Burke’s papers and, after working closely with Burke’s family and the University of California Press, it will be published in October 2018.

In “The War of Words,” Burke urges readers to recognize the role they also play in sustaining polarization. He points to how seemingly innocuous features in a news story can actually compromise values readers might hold, whether it’s debating the issues further, finding points of consensus, and, ideally, avoiding war.

A book born out of the Cold War

In 1939 – just before Adolf Hitler invaded Poland – Burke wrote an influential essay, “The Rhetoric of Hitler’s ‘Battle,’” in which he outlined how Hitler had weaponized language to foment antipathy, scapegoat Jews and unite Germans against a common enemy.

After World War II ended and America’s leaders turned their attention to the Soviet Union, Burke saw some parallels to Hitler in the way language was being weaponized in the U.S.

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

OPINION: CBS’s & NPR’s Rabidly False ‘News’ About the Khashoggi Case

OPINION: CBS’s & NPR’s Rabidly False ‘News’ About the Khashoggi Case

CBS

It’s a lie to say, as CBS ‘News’ did on October 24th, that Saudi Crown Prince Salman couldn’t have done what Turkey says he did in the Khashoggi case — couldn’t do it,  because it’s not in the Saud family’s “DNA” to do such things. To the exact contrary: it is the norm for the Saud family, and has been for decades if not longer. What’s not normal in the Khashoggi case is that it was being done to a Saudi who has so many admirers and friends at high places in The West. That’s what makes the Khashoggi case different from all the others. And the evidence for this — and for the pervasive propagandistic fakery in U.S. mainstream ‘news’ reporting about foreign affairs (such as CBS did there) — will be presented here. This routine and unchallenged lying by the ‘news’-media is a super-scandal that the U.S. and UK press don’t report, but instead they all hide that they had lied and routinely do lie. So, since it’s totally unaddressed, it continues, on and on, for at least decades. Probably none of the major American or British ‘news’-media will publish this American samizdat, exposing the press, but this is being submitted to them all, in the hope that maybe at last, some or at least one of them will finally relent, and break open this mega-scandal — about the press itself. It needs to be made public

The constant lying, at any rate, must stop, regardless how it’s done. Though the problem itself, of repeatedly deceiving-the-public-into-wars, is not being reported, some U.S. and UK ‘news’-media are starting to come clean on aspects of the resulting disaster. 

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

Blowout Week 251

Blowout Week 251

We are told that the cost of Li-ion storage batteries is decreasing. Not so with Tesla, which has just increased the price of its 13.5 kWh Powerwall unit plus supporting hardware from $US6,600 ($489/kWh) to $7,800 ($578/kWh). The $100/kWh “holy grail” price considered necessary to support mass deployment of battery storage is obviously still some way off. To follow we have our usual mix – the latest doings of OPEC; natural gas in California; coal in the US, Germany and Finland; nuclear in Japan, Ontario, India, Belgium and Germany; hydro and pot in Canada; 100% renewables in Puerto Rico and Scotland; the Ireland-Wales Greenlink; the UK backs off EVs; car bodies made from carbon fiber batteries and what climate change is going to do to beer.

Greentechmedia: Tesla Hikes Powerwall Prices to Better Reflect ‘Value’

If you looked at Tesla’s Powerwall website earlier this week you might have noticed that the price for “supporting hardware” had quietly ticked up.

That hardware, known as the Gateway, was previously listed at $700. Recently, it climbed to $1,100. Today, Tesla followed up with an official global pricing adjustment for the Powerwall, its famed home energy storage system. In addition to the Gateway increase, the price of the Powerwall itself rose to $6,700 — up $800 from $5,900. The company already increased the Powerwall price once earlier this year, from $5,500 to $5,900. “We occasionally adjust our global pricing to best reflect what we’re offering to customers and the value of our products,” a Tesla spokesperson wrote in a Friday morning email. “The price adjustments made today are the latest example of that.”

Reuters: Saudi Arabia assures OPEC there will be no crude shortage

Saudi Arabia has assured OPEC that it is “committed, capable and willing” to ensure there will be no shortage in the oil market, OPEC’s secretary-general said on Wednesday.

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

How To Make A Solid, Customized News Stream That Isn’t Manipulated By Silicon Valley

How To Make A Solid, Customized News Stream That Isn’t Manipulated By Silicon Valley

It can be hard to find a supply of information about what’s going on in the world that isn’t being manipulated by power. You find a news outlet you like, then you start to notice them hiring reporters who regurgitate the establishment line on WikiLeaks or Syria. You shift to trying to get your news from the voices you follow on social media, and you find that the good stuff gets (A) diluted by dopey social media drama and (B) actively hidden from your view by shadowbans and algorithmic shenanigans. Googling the news is the same as turning on CNN since they hide all voices which share unauthorized narratives, and alternative search engines often aren’t much better, so what’s a truth seeker to do?

I’ve been at this job for a while, and there’s a basic trick I’ve been using for a long time to stay informed about what’s going on in the world enough to write about it lucidly. Anywhere information is centralized you’ll find the fingers of power doing everything possible to manipulate it, so rather than relying on centralized outlets or Silicon Valley algorithms to find out what’s going on, I use a private Twitter list which I’ve filled with the handles of individual journalists and commentators I’ve come to trust as reliable sources of information and insight. It bypasses shadowbans and algorithms, it’s the first thing I check online every morning, and it’s the most frequently used bookmark on my browser.

I’ve found Twitter ideal because most journalists and commentators have a presence there for sharing their ideas and material. To make a private list there you’ll need a Twitter account, but you don’t ever need to post anything or participate in Jack Dorsey’s endless ego masturbation orgy to any extent if that’s not your thing; you’re only using it for news here.

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

New Vehicle Sales “Collapse” And Pending Home Sales “Plunge” As America’s Economic Slowdown Accelerates

New Vehicle Sales “Collapse” And Pending Home Sales “Plunge” As America’s Economic Slowdown Accelerates

In late 2018, the bad economic news just keeps rolling in.  At a time when consumer confidence is absolutely soaring, the underlying economic numbers are clearly telling us that enormous problems are right around the corner.  Of course this is usually what happens just before a major economic downturn.  Most people in the general population feel like the party can go on for quite a while longer, but meanwhile the warning signs just keep becoming more and more obvious.  I have been hearing from people that truly believe that the economy is “strong”, but if the U.S. economy really was in good shape would new vehicle sales be “collapsing”?

According to the latest estimates released by Edmunds, new vehicle sales for September are expected to collapse both on a monthly basis and year-over-year basis. The company predicted that 1,392,434 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. in September, which makes for a estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 17 million. This will be a 5.4% decrease from last month and an 8.3% drop from September of last year.

Those are absolutely terrible numbers.

And this news comes after all of the major automakers had already revised earnings guidance lower.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

The drop in sales capped another rough month for the auto industry during which Detroit’s carmakers all revised their earnings guidance lower and Ford embarked on a five-year restructuring plan. Earlier this week, we reported that Ford’s CEO claimed that President Trump’s auto tariffs had cost the company $1 billion in profits.

Sadly, this may just be the very beginning of the auto industry’s troubles.

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

We Need More, Not Less, Separation of State and Journalism

We Need More, Not Less, Separation of State and Journalism

“Newspapers are dying,” writes Rob Kall, Editor-in-Chief of progressive (but refreshingly open-minded) opinion site OpEdNews, in a (recently updated) 2010 op-ed. “Let them. There may have been people who wanted to rescue the buggy whip industry. But they were misguided. It was transportation they really cared about. We need to initiate dynamic, bottom-up approaches to support the ailing field of Journalism, not newspapers.”

Kall’s analysis is as trenchant now as when he first addressed himself to the decline of the newspapers that previous generations knew, and to what looks like a “market failure” on the part of today’s Internet-based news culture. Any mistakes in translating that analysis here are mine, by the way. Here we go:

The rise of free content and ease of entry into the field has us getting more “journalism” … but less real information. Opinion writers (like me) are a dime a dozen. Amateur stringers and glorified copy editors cover five-point-lede “hard news” on the cheap. But the shock troops of news, full-time investigative journalists, have to learn the ropes and they have to be paid. That’s not happening. The result: Many important things get missed and many things that aren’t missed get only insufficient, inaccurate — or worst, sponsor viewpoint biased — coverage.

Kall’s proposed solution: “If the US government invests directly in journalists, so their writings and reports can be freely used by any media organization or site, that investment will yield big results.” He suggests a $3.5 billion program, translating to 50,000 investigative journalists receiving salaries of $60,000 per year with benefits.

My response to Kall: “If the US government invests directly in journalists, we’ll get the journalism the US government wants us to have.”

Kall’s response to me: “That’s a knee-jerk, anti-government reaction. If the funding is structured so journalists can be independent … it doesn’t have to be that way.”

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

ThinkProgress Censored By Facebook After Cheerleading Facebook Censorship

ThinkProgress Censored By Facebook After Cheerleading Facebook Censorship

In an article last month titled “Facebook announces that fake accounts are now coming not just from Russia”, fauxgressive establishment apologia firm ThinkProgress falsely reported that I have been writing for an outlet that is alleged to be part of an Iranian propaganda campaign. I repeatedlybrought this false claim to the attention of Casey Michel, the article’s author, telling him that ten seconds of research or any attempt to contact me would have shown him that the articles published by the outlet in question were just reblogs of earlier publications from my platform, but Michel ignored the many notifications he received from myself and my Twitter followers and went on merrily interacting with other posters. As of this writing, the article remains uncorrected.

In the article, Michel documented Facebook’s heroic efforts to shut down alleged Iranian propaganda outlets, ominously warning his readers that “Russia is by no means the only foreign adversary exploiting social media’s inherent openness.” In other articles for ThinkProgress, Michel is repeatedlyseen wagging his finger at Facebook and Twitter for not doing more to censor “Russian propaganda”, and in a July article titled “Facebook says both sides share fake news, defends Infowars’ presence on its platform — Mark Zuckerberg has an interesting way of prioritizing ‘high quality news’” another ThinkProgress author criticized Facebook for not censoring Alex Jones. Jones was censored by Facebook the following month.

So I think it’s understandable that those of us who have been warning of the dangers of internet censorship find it a bit funny to see ThinkProgress now complaining that it has been censored by Facebook.

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

That Time CNN Staged A Fake Interview With A Syrian Child For War Propaganda

That Time CNN Staged A Fake Interview With A Syrian Child For War Propaganda

Imagine if you and some friends wandered into a completely dark room together for some reason. You’ve never been in this room before, and you can’t see a thing.

Now imagine one of your friends says he can see everything in the room perfectly, and starts describing the different things that he sees in a confident, assertive tone of voice. You know for a fact that there’s no light in the room, so you are doubtful that your friend is able to see any better than you are, but one by one your other friends start talking about the objects in the room as though what he is saying is true. After a while your group starts telling you you’re crazy and evil because you remain skeptical of your first friend’s ability to see the room in pitch darkness, despite his assertive tone of voice and despite the fact that everyone else believes it.

Western public discourse about Syria is very much the same. All the time I get people coming up yelling at me about what a butcher Bashar al-Assad is, how he loves gassing children because he’s an evil monster, how he’s killed hundreds of thousands of civilians in his own country out of sheer sadism, and all I can say to them is, you don’t know that. You don’t know any of those things, you’re just pretending you do because that’s what everyone else is doing. I know you don’t know any of those things because you’re looking at the same information landscape as I am, and it’s chock full of war propaganda. The media matrix is too full of obvious psyops meant to manufacture public consent for military interventionism in Syria for any westerner to have a clear idea of what’s actually happening in that country.

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

How US Government Relies on Lying Media

How US Government Relies on Lying Media

How US Government Relies on Lying Media

On Friday, August 31st, the neoconservative US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said “The 3 million Syrians who have already been forced out of their homes and are now in #Idlib, will suffer from this aggression. Not good. The world is watching.”

By “this aggression,” he was referring to the completion, by the Syrian Government and its allies Russia and Hezbollah, of their elimination of jihadist terrorists from Syria. Pompeo’s remark was a veiled threat, especially to Russia, not to intervene in the US-led invasion of Syria, which Pompeo and his boss, US President Donald Trump, and the US ‘Defense’ Department, have planned, in continuation of the policies of aggression against Syria, by the prior US President, Barack Obama, and by his Administration — their policies to protect and train and arm those terrorists, so as to overthrow and replace Syria’s Government.

Pompeo, as a politician, can say things like that — pontificate ‘morality’, to the portion of the world that’s deceived by their national ‘news’-media to believe the opposite of what is about to be documented here. He can do it only because of what the US-and-allied ‘news’-media have assiduously kept hidden from their respective publics. The Syrian people blame US — not Assad — for the ‘civil war’ there, which they know actually has been a US-Saud-led invasion of Syria, an invasion and military occupation so as to overthrow Syria’s Government, and to replace it by the Sauds’ s‘elected’ stooges.

So that the publics in the US and its allied countries can know the truth here, they must be informed, finally, of truths hidden by the media, truths such as these:

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

Chuck Todd Blames Fox For Press Distrust, Urges Liberal Media To ‘Rise Up’

In what we initially assumed was a satire piece, NBC News’ ‘fair and balanced’political chief Chuck Todd has taken to the auspiciously open-minded pages of The Atlantic to pen an op-ed  explaining how we’ve all got it all wrong – it is Fox News’ Roger Ailes who is to blame for press distrust and in fact, it is time for the mainstream liberal media to ‘rise up’ and defend their work.

Presented with no comment (but some emphasis), here is Chuck Todd explaining that “It’s time for the press to stop complaining… and start fighting back.”

Via The Atlantic,

A nearly 50-year campaign of vilification, inspired by Fox News’s Roger Ailes, has left many Americans distrustful of media outlets. Now, journalists need to speak up for their work.

I’ve devoted much of my professional life to the study of political campaigns, not as a historian or an academic but as a reporter and an analyst. I thought I’d seen it all, from the bizarre upset that handed a professional wrestler the governorship of Minnesota to the California recall that gave us the Governator to candidates who die but stay on the ballot and win.

But there’s a new kind of campaign underway, one that most of my colleagues and I have never publicly reported on, never fully analyzed, and never fully acknowledged: the campaign to destroy the legitimacy of the American news media.

Bashing the media for political gain isn’t new, and neither is manipulating the media to support or oppose a cause. These practices are at least as old as the Gutenberg press. But antipathy toward the media right now has risen to a level I’ve never personally experienced before. The closest parallel in recent American history is the hostility to reporters in the segregated South in the 1950s and ’60s.

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

How To Wake Up

How To Wake Up

I’ve been putting off writing this article all year, but readers keep asking for it, and since I’ve been writing about mass enlightenment a lot lately I figure I might as well slip it in now.

It is a well-documented fact that it is possible for the human organism to move into a far more healthy relationship with thought than the one which most people experience. This shift has been written about for as long as there has been written language, and scientists have been confirming its existence using modern studies now. Spiritual enlightenment is real, and it is possible. It is possible for thought to take on a role as a useful tool that one can pick up and use in a wholesome way when it’s needed and put down when it isn’t, rather than being the writer, director and star of the entire show as is typical in human experience. If this is possible for the individual, it is possible for the collective.

Our species is at an evolve-or-die crossroads. We will cease destroying our ecosystem and flirting with nuclear armageddon in the very near future, or we will go the way of the dinosaur. The reason we continue on our current trajectory is because a few sociopathic plutocrats have seized control of the dominant narratives we tell ourselves about what’s going on in the world by buying up the news media people use to keep themselves informed. The plutocrat-controlled media manipulate the ways we think and vote to ensure that we will continue supporting the ecocidal, omnicidal, Orwellian status quo upon which the oligarchs have built their empire, instead of rising up and demanding a system that prioritizes human thriving and peaceful coexistence with each other and our environment.

…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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