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Saudis Use Orwellian App to Identify Dissidents, Imprisoning Some for Decades

FILE PHOTOS. (Credit: Facebook / @kamnapp; Saudi Media Ministry)

Saudi Arabians are using a mobile app sold by both Apple and Google to snitch on their fellow citizens for dissenting against government authorities. As a result, activists and others are going to prison for more than 30 years in some cases, Business Insider reported on Friday.

On August 16, Saudi national Salma el-Shabab, a PhD student at Leeds University, was sentenced to 34 years in prison for tweets “in support of activists and members of the kingdom’s political opposition in exile,” the report said. Though the posts were made while she was in the UK, el-Shabab was nonetheless reported through the “Kollona Amn” app and immediately arrested upon returning home.

“Every day we wake up to hear news, somebody has been arrested, or somebody has been taken,” Real, a Saudi women’s-rights activist using an alias, told Insider.

Kollona Amn – which roughly translates to “We Are All Security” in Arabic – was launched by the Saudi Interior Ministry in 2017, but the last few years have seen a “dramatic” surge in court cases referencing the app, according to legal-rights activists.

The app “encourages everyday citizens to play the role of police and become active participants in their own repression. Putting the state’s eyes everywhere also creates a pervasive sense of uncertainty – there is always a potential informant in the room or following your social media accounts,” said Noura Aljizawi, a researcher at Citizen Lab, which focuses on threats to free speech online.

The Orwellian nature of the app is such that users often report on people “defensively,” fearing they could face punishment themselves for merely overhearing speech deemed offensive to the regime. In some cases, the app has also been used for “blackmail” and to “settle scores,” Insider noted.

…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…

Delta variant throws the world back into Orwellian autocracy

Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, risks to your prosperity… and on occasion, inspiring poetic justice.

Doctors could lose medical licenses if they spread vaccine “misinformation”

The Federation of State Medical Boards told doctors they could lose their medical licenses if they spread Covid-19 vaccine misinformation on social media.

The July 29 news release says doctors “must share information that is factual, scientifically grounded and consensus-driven for the betterment of public health.”

Consensus driven? Since when did science become a popularity contest? The entire idea is to present a hypothesis, and gather data to prove or disprove that hypothesis.

Conclusions should be driven by data, not by what’s popular or convenient.

Incredible. People who spent their entire careers studying the human body are now being threatened with cancellation if they spread fact-based information that the establishment wants to keep suppressed.

Click here to read the statement.

Australia Descends into Authoritarian Orwellian Hell

The Australian state of New South Wales, which includes Sydney, is in the midst of a nine week lockdown; and this lockdown is being enforced with the military and helicopters.

One video shows a helicopter blasting a message over a loudspeaker to a handful of young men playing soccer. It says what they are doing is illegal, and that if they don’t ’t disperse the police would fine them.

Army personnel will also be going door-to-door in Sydney to make sure everyone is staying home.

Thousands of people turned out last weekend for a protest against the insane lockdowns— which prompted an Australian politician from New South Wales to propose Draconian fines for free speech.

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

“A Truly Orwellian Culture” – Amazon Removes COVID Skeptic’s Book For Violating Content Guidelines 

Around the time Twitter purged New York Post’s bombshell stories about Hunter Biden from its platform, late last week, Amazon was busy censoring any criticism against the “official” COVID-19 narrative, with the banning of at least one book from its Amazon Books store.

Political writer James Perloff’s latest book, “Covid-19 and the Agendas to Come: Red-Pilled,” was removed from Amazon on Thursday, he tweeted.

“BAD NEWS. After selling over 3,500 copies for Amazon since publication on August 20, Amazon has banned my book “COVID-19 and the Agendas to Come, Red-Pilled.” Individual orders can still be placed at…” Perloff tweeted.

Book: “Covid-19 and the Agendas to Come: Red-Pilled” 

Perloff spoke with RT News about the incident, which he outlined how Amazon’s act of censorship validates his book’s findings, expressing concern that “the censorship on Covid has been getting progressively stronger, even as the death rate from Covid has been getting progressively lower.”

“We are in a truly Orwellian culture,” he warned.

Perloff said Amazon contacted him on Thursday, asking him to “clarify [his] rights to the book” – something he said was already completed in August when the book went up for sale on the e-commerce platform. As RT explains:

“But before he could finish gathering the material required to prove once again that he owned the global rights to his own work, he received another email from Amazon, this time claiming they had removed his book “during a quality assurance review of [his] catalog” because it “violated content guidelines.””

Amazon’s Response To Perloff

He then “asked them [Amazon] to specify what guidelines [he] had violated,” they responded that the book violated “our content guidelines.”

Spirits in the Material World

SPIRITS IN THE MATERIAL WORLD

Image result for spirits in the material world

There is no political solution
To our troubled evolution
Have no faith in constitution
There is no bloody revolution 

The Police – Spirits in the Material World

As I was driving home from work last week, an almost forty-year-old song began emanating from my radio. I’ve always appreciated the music of The Police, but was never a huge fan. Spirits in the Material World was a relatively minor hit from their 1981 Ghost in the Machine multi-platinum album. I’ve probably heard it hundreds of times over the last four decades, but the lyrics struck me as particularly apropos at the end of a week where lunatic left-wing politicians staged a battle royale of ineptitude, invective, and idiotic solutions, in front of a perplexed public in a Vegas casino. Sting wrote the lyrics to this song in 1981 at the outset of the Reagan presidency. It is less than 3 minutes in length, but says much about humanity and the world we inhabit.

The interpretation of Sting’s (Gordon Sumner) lyrics depends upon your position in the generational kaleidoscope of history. As a boomer, Sting came of age during the 1960s and 70s. He was thirty years old in 1981 as the Second Turning (Awakening) was winding down and Reagan’s Morning in America was about to launch the Third Turning (Unraveling) in 1984.

His passionate idealism and search for spiritual solutions to the problems of the day had not been extinguished. The raging inflation of the 1970s had led to the worst recession since the Great Depression. The Cold War was at its coldest. Politicians had been discredited as criminal (Nixon) or incompetent (Carter). Sting and many others of his generation had lost faith in the political system. His viewpoint fit perfectly into the Strauss and Howe assessment of our last Awakening period (1964 – 1984).

Image result for awakening strauss and howe

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

Roger Waters Stunned At Assange’s Plight: “Orwell & Huxley Were Both Right”

Roger Waters Stunned At Assange’s Plight: “Orwell & Huxley Were Both Right”

Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters has been an outspoken advocate for Julian Assange, but the most recent sight of the reporter’s physical and mental health, at his recent court appearance, has Waters stepping up his criticism of the establishment’s slow-assassination of the exposer of US war crimes.

Referring to a UK judge’s decision on Monday to deny the WikiLeaks founder a delay in US extradition proceedings, Waters proclaimed:

“Orwell and Huxley were always arguing about who had the closest view of what dystopia might look like in the future… I think we got a lot of both.” 

As RT summarizes, the world described by George Orwell in ‘1984’ was one of mass surveillance and paranoia, where anyone could be snatched off the street by the state and made disappear for ‘wrongthink’. In ‘Brave New World’ Aldous Huxley, on the other hand, described a future where mass entertainment and the easy availability of pleasure-giving drugs made dissent virtually impossible.

“We have the ‘Big Brother’ Orwellian dystopian nightmare, it happened two days ago in that magistrate’s court,” he explained to RT.

And, exposing our ‘Brave New World’-isms, Waters points out that:

“You only have to look out in the street and see the people, the walking dead going by… and taking absolutely no notice of the fact that this journalist is being murdered by our government.”

“And we walk by with our earbuds in… clicking away on our iPhones as we walk unthinking, unfeeling, uncaring through our lives, and allow this bullshit to take place in our names, in our courts,” Waters concluded.

Together with veteran journalist John Pilger, the Pink Floyd frontman hosted a rally for Assange in front of the British Home Office in September, that went unreported by every single British newspaper.

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

Forget 1984, We’re Facing a Brave New World

Forget 1984, We’re Facing a Brave New World

I see quite frequently, people warning that the US is becoming an ‘Orwellian nightmare,’ or that we’re living in a country that’s fast becoming a new 1984. I think they’re wrong. It’s worse.

We here in the US look at what China’s doing as if they’re on a reality TV show. Seeing what they’re doing with surveillance and their social credit system as if we’re watching some kind of dystopian entertainment series fashioned after the George Orwell book, 1984. Our burgeoning dystopia isn’t as overtly dystopian as Orwell warned against, and that’s the problem.

If you haven’t read 1984, you really should. I’m not really a fan of the storyline since it’s pretty crappy but the message still comes through, and it’ll give you an idea of why people reference it so much when talking about governments gone awry. Then, get yourself a copy of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and you’ll start to see the problem. The story’s a little better, but not much. The message is more apropos, however.

1984 was about a government that would ban information and rule with a leather boot on your throat, whereas Brave New World was about a system that would slowly seep into our life like a drug. In other words, Orwell warned us about a dystopia that we wouldn’t be able to stop, Huxley warned us about a dystopia that we would beg not to stop. The US isn’t becoming Orwellian, it’s becoming Huxleyan.

Social credit systems are coming.

In 2013, China started its social credit system, coordinated by the Central Comprehensively Deepening Reforms Commission. What they’re planning to do by next year is to have a comprehensive credit system under one roof that will cover pretty much everything in the lives of its citizens. It’s already well on its way.

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

The Day America Died

The Day America Died

Salvador Dali Hallucination. Six Images of Lenin on a Grand Piano 1931

47 years ago in American Pie, Don McLean talked about The Day The Music Died. Or of course the music didn’t really die, but at the same time it did. “The three mean I admired most, the father, son and the holy ghost, they caught the last train for the coast, the day the music died.” 

Back then you could still have claimed the country merely lost its innocence. And you could have said the same in 1861 or 1914 or 1941. Today, not to take anything away from music, or the song, something much bigger died. America itself died, not just its music or innocence. America didn’t just lose its innocence, it pled guilty.

No doubt most of you would proclaim that’s a gross exaggeration, and an insane hyperbole, but you would all be wrong, sorry. There’s no way back this time.

America, the United States, with all its initial prejudice and lethal screw-ups, was founded as a place where people could direct their own lives without having to fear any other party, let alone a government, that would stand in their way while they did it. And a big part of not having to fear one’s government is not having to fear that government purposely lying to its citizens. The Founding Fathers, for all their faults, got that right. And today erases all of that in one fell swoop.

That is what died today. Or, you know, it may have died much earlier, and a thousand times before as well, but with the arrest in London of Julian Assange, an Australian citizen wanted by the US Deep State, a myriad of strands connecting, and connected to a bloated dying corpse came together. And now we know there is no salvation possible.

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

Orwellian Hate Crime Database to Be Set Up For Thought Criminals in Michigan

Orwellian Hate Crime Database to Be Set Up For Thought Criminals in Michigan

Only in a world where the novel 1984 has become the evening news can we get a state’s Attorney General working with the Department of Civil Rights to create a database for people committing “hate and bias incidents that don’t rise to the level of a crime or civil infraction.”

This “hate crimes unit” apparently comes on the advice of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which issued a report about a rise of extremism and hatred within the state of Michigan.  This itself is more than ironic, since it was reported last year that the organization had to pay $3 million for falsely labeling the Quilliam Foundation as an example of “anti-Muslim extremism. ”

Nevertheless, the SPLC still seems to be the go-to group for databasing the speech of the public at large; they’ve previously been linked to Google, currently the largest such de facto database in existence.

Predictably, then, there has been pushback right out of the gate for those who have received the label of hate-monger from the SPLC and, by extension, the government of Michigan.  As The Detroit Newsreports:

Church Militant/St. Michael’s Media in Ferndale is listed by the law center as an “anti-LGBT” hate group. The group’s editor-in-chief, Christine Niles, rejected the label and said, to her knowledge, the group’s presence on the list is a first.

“We’re not entirely sure what that means,” Niles said, noting that the group and its work is faithful to the Catholic Church’s teaching on marriage being between a man and a woman. “We have a right to believe that without being called a hate group.”

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

Screw the Pooch

Screw the Pooch

Jan van Eijk The Arnolfini portrait 1434

I first asked Dr. D. a few years ago if I could turn one one his comments at the Automatic Earth into an essay. The following illustrates why I asked. Not sure he understands why some of his rants stand out while others do not, but they certainly do. Go to the Automatic Earth comments section to figure that one out. He’s there every day.

And you’re free to disagree of course. And I myself am good, have an essay on the same topic waiting but love the view from over there. Nothing not to like.

It USED to be that when a newspaper catastrophically screwed the pooch as we Yanks say, people would cancel their subscription to such a piece of pure, useless, misleading garbage. 

Dr. D.: Legally, the path is pretty clear and incredibly old. It’s always been illegal to slander (in voice) or libel (in print) someone. The Covington kids are following this right now. It’s illegal everywhere, including Britain and New Zealand, and the legal threshold has a couple of bullet points. There has to be provable damage, the facts provided have to wrong, they have to be specific, and so on. Then you sue civilly for compensation in measure with the damage caused. Pretty simple. But if it’s actual libel of the sort anyone actually means, not just “I disagree with you”, then all these elements are absolutely in play. No false accusations, no just getting the facts wrong on accident.

What’s more, the government is never the plaintiff. Although in theory I suppose they could get standing, in practice slander and libel are prosecuted BY private people AGAINST private people, which eliminates a major element of government censorship and repression.

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

Amazon Goes Full Orwellian

Amazon Goes Full Orwellian


Bezos poised to become knower of all things, with strategic moves to collect info on individuals inside and out.

“We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it,” came a warning from George Orwell’s novel, 1984, that is rapidly, wickedly, becoming prophecy with new Amazon eye-in-the- sky technology and a dark and disturbing twist. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is poking that eye with a sharp stick.

And Jeff Bezos is not feeling the love.

In what appears to be Bezos’s latest strategic move in the quest to replace God as knower of all things is a hybrid monster of facial recognition software and a doorbell camera widget manufactured by Ring, a company that Amazon bought earlier this year.

In a gross assault on the right to privacy, a patent filed months ago essentially describes a product that captures information on people who as much as walk past a doorbell, sending real-time information to police databases.  It also will allow customers the ability to upload to law enforcement photos of anyone they deem might be a sketchy individual.

What does a non-sketchy, normal person wear when ringing a doorbell?

Jacob Snow, a technology and civil liberties attorney for the ACLU, is fired up and fighting:

“It’s rare for patent applications to lay out, in such nightmarish detail, the world a company wants to bring about.  Amazon is dreaming of a dangerous future … ”

Or perhaps Bezos dreams of ruling the world.

Biometrics Bastardization

But attaining an unlimited collection of facial snapshots is just the beginning. A deeper dive into the patent application reveals that Amazon is prepping to expand its unlimited munitions stash of photos with other biometrics.  And what it plans to extract from unsuspecting folks will horrify freedom-loving Americans.

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

You Are Well Inside the Matrix


Berthe Morisot The old track to Auvers 1863 
Our politicians and media are not going to allow us to see Russia, and any incidents the country can be linked to, in any other way than black and white, in which we are the good party and they are the black, evil and guilty ones. So we’ll have to do that ourselves.More than enough has been said about why NATO should have been dismantled when the reason for its existence, the Soviet Union, was dissolved, but nobody listened and NATO has kept expanding eastward and demanding more money, more members, more weapons.

NATO demands an enemy, and their chosen enemy is Russia. This has nothing to do with anything Russia has done or is doing at the moment. We can only hope that people are willing to accept that simple fact. And not passively go along with the flow of badmouthing and smear that decides what our picture of the country is.

Russia ‘invaded’ Crimea? Russia ‘downed’ MH17? Russia sent two hapless and inept blokes to kill the Skripals? Russia launched an unprovoked attack on three Ukrainian vessels in the Sea of Azov? Russia colluded with the Trump campaign against Hillary Clinton? And collaborated with Julian Assange to make that happen?

What all these allegations have in common is that there is no evidence any of them are true. Oh, and that nobody’s really trying to prove them anymore. Because you’ve already accepted them as gospel.

90% or so of Crimeans voted to be part of Russia, after the west had tried their hand at regime change in Kiev, with John McCain and Victoria Nuland opening the gates for various neo-nazi groups to enter government.

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

What Will Europe’s Internet Look Like After Passage Of Orwellian Directive?

Last month, members of the EU Parliament voted to advance a controversial copyright directive that contains provisions forcing tech giants to install content filters, while also setting in place a potential tax on hyperlinking.

The bill, known as Article 13, would filter everything anyone posts online and match it to a crowdsourced database of “copyrighted works” which anyone can add or change.


Good job, EU.
Once again, you have proven that your MEPs are old people who have not understood until today and who also boast of their “fight against unauthorized sharing” so that they leave like him:


Another portion of the directive, Article 11, is a “link tax” that would ban a quoting more than one word from an article which links to another publication – unless you are using a platform which has paid for a linking license. The link tax does however allow member states to create limitations and exceptions in order to protect online speech.

What comes next?

Now that the directive has passed through Parliament, the next step, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, is the “trilogues,” which are closed-door meetings between European government officials, the European commission and the European Parliament – which will be the last time that the Directive’s language can be substantially changed without a second debate in Parliament.

That said, one woman is committed to shining light on the secret discussions:

Normally the trilogues are completely opaque. But Julia Reda, the German MEP who has led the principled opposition to Articles 11 and 13, has committed to publishing all of the negotiating documents from the Trilogues as they take place (Reda is relying on a recent European Court of Justice ruling that upheld the right of the public) to know what’s going on in the trilogues).

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

Empire of Lies: Are ‘We the People’ Useful Idiots in the Digital Age?

“Back in the heyday of the old Soviet Union, a phrase evolved to describe gullible western intellectuals who came to visit Russia and failed to notice the human and other costs of building a communist utopia. The phrase was “useful idiots” and it applied to a good many people who should have known better. I now propose a new, analogous term more appropriate for the age in which we live: useful hypocrites. That’s you and me, folks, and it’s how the masters of the digital universe see us. And they have pretty good reasons for seeing us that way. They hear us whingeing about privacy, security, surveillance, etc., but notice that despite our complaints and suspicions, we appear to do nothing about it. In other words, we say one thing and do another, which is as good a working definition of hypocrisy as one could hope for.”—John Naughton, The Guardian

“Who needs direct repression,” asked philosopher Slavoj Zizek, “when one can convince the chicken to walk freely into the slaughterhouse?”

In an Orwellian age where war equals peace, surveillance equals safety, and tolerance equals intolerance of uncomfortable truths and politically incorrect ideas, “we the people” have gotten very good at walking freely into the slaughterhouse, all the while convincing ourselves that the prison walls enclosing us within the American police state are there for our protection.

Call it doublespeak, call it hypocrisy, call it delusion, call it whatever you like, but the fact remains that while we claim to value freedom, privacy, individuality, equality, diversity, accountability, and government transparency, our actions and those of our government rulers contradict these much-vaunted principles at every turn.

For instance, we claim to disdain the jaded mindset of the Washington elite, and yet we continue to re-elect politicians who lie, cheat and steal.

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

OMG This This This This!

OMG This This This This!

That’s right, I’m writing an entire goddamn article about a single tweet made by another political commentator. It probably won’t even be a long article, because the excellent Tim Black said it all. Call me lazy, I don’t care, this is the most interesting thing I’ve seen all day:

“Last night, one of my callers said we needed journalists and commentators willing to die for the truth,” Black tweeted. “I disagreed. We need journalists and commentators willing to give up their status, quit their jobs and make less money telling truth and sadly to most that’s the same as dying.”

There’s so much truth in that I just want to unpack it a bit and riff on its implications from my own perspective. What would happen if a significant percentage of journalists got fed up with spoon feeding lies to a trusting populace and decided to place truth and authenticity before income and prestige? Or, perhaps more realistically, what if people who are interested in reporting and political analysis ceased pursuing positions in the plutocrat-owned mass media and pursued alternate paths to getting the word out instead?

I contend that if enough people did either of the above, it would save the world. The omnicidal, ecocidal Orwellian power establishment that is oppressing us into heartlessness and driving our species towards extinction depends on deception and manipulation to manufacture support for depraved plutocratic agendas, so truth is poison to those agendas. The plutocrat-controlled media outlets advance that deception and manipulation, and honest alternative media outlets disrupt it. If enough talent began flooding into the latter instead of the former, it would become impossible to manufacture the consent of the governed for the deranged agendas which imperil our whole world.

…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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