Free Speech

The Anti-Empire Report #121 by William Blum

Off the Keyboard of William Blum

Published  in The Anti-Empire Report, October 7, 2013 

Waronterror2_Frank151

The War on Terrorism … or whatever.

“U.S. hopes of winning more influence over Syria’s divided rebel movement faded Wednesday after 11 of the biggest armed factions repudiated the Western-backed political opposition coalition and announced the formation of an alliance dedicated to creating an Islamist state. The al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra, designated a terrorist organization by the United States, is the lead signatory of the new group.” 1

Pity the poor American who wants to be a good citizen, wants to understand the world and his country’s role in it, wants to believe in the War on Terrorism, wants to believe that his government seeks to do good … What is he to make of all this?

For about two years, his dear American government has been supporting the same anti-government side as the jihadists in the Syrian civil war; not total, all-out support, but enough military hardware, logistics support, intelligence information, international political, diplomatic and propaganda assistance (including the crucial alleged-chemical-weapons story), to keep the jihadists in the ball game. Washington and its main Mideast allies in the conflict – Turkey, Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia – have not impeded the movement to Syria of jihadists coming to join the rebels, recruited from the ranks of Sunni extremist veterans of the wars in Chechnya, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, while Qatar and the Saudis have supplied the rebels with weapons, most likely bought in large measure from the United States, as well as lots of of what they have lots of – money.

This widespread international support has been provided despite the many atrocities carried out by the jihadists – truck and car suicide bombings (with numerous civilian casualties), planting roadside bombs à la Iraq, gruesome massacres of Christians and Kurds, grotesque beheadings and other dissections of victims’ bodies (most charming of all: a Youtube video of a rebel leader cutting out an organ from the chest of a victim and biting into it as it drips with blood). All this barbarity piled on top of a greater absurdity – these Western-backed, anti-government forces are often engaged in battle with other Western-backed, anti-government forces, non-jihadist. It has become increasingly difficult to sell this war to the American public as one of pro-democracy “moderates” locked in a good-guy-versus-bad-guy struggle with an evil dictator, although in actuality the United States has fought on the same side as al Qaeda on repeated occasions before Syria. Here’s a brief survey:

Afghanistan, 1980-early 1990s: In support of the Islamic Moujahedeen (“holy warriors”), the CIA orchestrated a war against the Afghan government and their Soviet allies, pouring in several billions of dollars of arms and extensive military training; hitting up Middle-Eastern countries for donations, notably Saudi Arabia which gave hundreds of millions of dollars in aid each year; pressuring and bribing Pakistan to rent out its country as a military staging area and sanctuary.

It worked. And out of the victorious Moujahedeen came al Qaeda.

Bosnia, 1992-5: In 2001 the Wall Street Journal declared:

It is safe to say that the birth of al-Qaeda as a force on the world stage can be traced directly back to 1992, when the Bosnian Muslim government of Alija Izetbegovic issued a passport in their Vienna embassy to Osama bin Laden. … for the past 10 years, the most senior leaders of al Qaeda have visited the Balkans, including bin Laden himself on three occasions between 1994 and 1996. The Egyptian surgeon turned terrorist leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri has operated terrorist training camps, weapons of mass destruction factories and money-laundering and drug-trading networks throughout Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Bosnia. This has gone on for a decade. 2

A few months later, The Guardian reported on “the full story of the secret alliance between the Pentagon and radical Islamist groups from the Middle East designed to assist the Bosnian Muslims – some of the same groups that the Pentagon is now fighting in “the war against terrorism”. 3

In 1994 and 1995 US/NATO forces carried out bombing campaigns over Bosnia aimed at damaging the military capability of the Serbs and enhancing that of the Bosnian Muslims. In the decade-long civil wars in the Balkans, the Serbs, regarded by Washington as the “the last communist government in Europe”, were always the main enemy.

Kosovo, 1998-99: Kosovo, overwhelmingly Muslim, was a province of Serbia, the main republic of the former Yugoslavia. In 1998, Kosovo separatists – The Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) – began an armed conflict with Belgrade to split Kosovo from Serbia. The KLA was considered a terrorist organization by the US, the UK and France for years, with numerous reports of the KLA having contact with al-Qaeda, getting arms from them, having its militants trained in al-Qaeda camps in Pakistan, and even having members of al-Qaeda in KLA ranks fighting against the Serbs. 4

However, when US-NATO forces began military action against the Serbs the KLA was taken off the US terrorist list, it “received official US-NATO arms and training support” 5 , and the 1999 US-NATO bombing campaign eventually focused on driving Serbian forces from Kosovo.

In 2008 Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia, an independence so illegitimate and artificial that the majority of the world’s nations still have not recognized it. But the United States was the first to do so, the very next day, thus affirming the unilateral declaration of independence of a part of another country’s territory.

The KLA have been known for their trafficking in women, heroin, and human body parts (sic). The United States has naturally been pushing for Kosovo’s membership in NATO and the European Union.

Nota bene: In 1992 the Bosnian Muslims, Croats, and Serbs reached agreement in Lisbon for a unified state. The continuation of a peaceful multi-ethnic Bosnia seemed assured. But the United States sabotaged the agreement. 6

Libya, 2011: The US and NATO to the rescue again. For more than six months, almost daily missile attacks against the government and forces of Muammar Gaddafi as assorted Middle East jihadists assembled in Libya and battled the government on the ground. The predictable outcome came to be – the jihadists now in control of parts of the country and fighting for the remaining parts. The wartime allies showed their gratitude to Washington by assassinating the US ambassador and three other Americans, presumably CIA, in the city of Benghazi.

Caucasus (Russia), mid-2000s to present: The National Endowment for Democracy and Freedom House have for many years been the leading American “non-government” institutions tasked with destabilizing, if not overthrowing, foreign governments which refuse to be subservient to the desires of US foreign policy. Both NGOs have backed militants in the Russian Caucasus area, one that has seen more than its share of terror stretching back to the Chechnyan actions of the 1990s. 7

“Omission is the most powerful form of lie.” – George Orwell

I am asked occasionally why I am so critical of the mainstream media when I quote from them repeatedly in my writings. The answer is simple. The American media’s gravest shortcoming is much more their errors of omission than their errors of commission. It’s what they leave out that distorts the news more than any factual errors or out-and-out lies. So I can make good use of the facts they report, which a large, rich organization can easier provide than the alternative media.

A case in point is a New York Times article of October 5 on the Greek financial crisis and the Greeks’ claim for World War Two reparations from Germany.

“Germany may be Greece’s stern banker now, say those who are seeking reparations,” writes the Times, but Germany “should pay off its own debts to Greece. … It is not just aging victims of the Nazi occupation who are demanding a full accounting. Prime Minister Antonis Samarass government has compiled an 80-page report on reparations and a huge, never-repaid loan the nation was forced to make under Nazi occupation from 1941 to 1945. … The call for reparations has elicited an emotional outpouring in Greece, where six years of brutal recession and harsh austerity measures have left many Greeks hostile toward Germany. Rarely does a week go by without another report in the news about, as one newspaper put it in a headline, ‘What Germany Owes Us’.”

“The figure most often discussed is $220 billion, an estimate for infrastructure damage alone put forward by Manolis Glezos, a member of Parliament and a former resistance fighter who is pressing for reparations. That amount equals about half the country’s debt. … Some members of the National Council on Reparations, an advocacy group, are calling for more than $677 billion to cover stolen artifacts, damage to the economy and to the infrastructure, as well as the bank loan and individual claims.”

So there we have the morality play: The evil Germans who occupied Greece and in addition to carrying out a lot of violence and repression shamelessly exploited the Greek people economically.

Would it be appropriate for such a story, or an accompanying or follow-up story, to mention the civil war that broke out in Greece shortly after the close of the world war? On one side were the neo-fascists, many of whom had cooperated with the occupying Germans during the war, some even fighting for the Nazis. Indeed, the British Foreign Secretary, Ernest Bevin, acknowledged in August 1946 that there were 228 ex-members of the Nazi Security Battalions – whose main task had been to track down Greek resistance fighters and Jews – on active service in the new Greek army. 8

On the other side was the Greek left who had fought the Nazis courageously, even forcing the German army to flee the country in 1944.

So guess which side of the civil war our favorite military took? … That’s right, the United States supported the neo-fascists. After all, an important component of the Greek left was the Communist Party, although it wouldn’t have mattered at all if the Greek left had not included any Communists. Support of the left (not to be confused with liberals of course) anywhere in the world, during and since the Cold War, has been verboten in US foreign policy.

The neo-fascists won the civil war and instituted a highly brutal regime, for which the CIA created a suitably repressive internal security agency, named and modeled after itself, the KYP. For the next 15 years, Greece was looked upon much as a piece of real estate to be developed according to Washington’s political and economic needs. One document should suffice to capture the beauty of Washington’s relationship to Athens – a 1947 letter from US Secretary of State George Marshall to Dwight Griswold, the head of the American Mission to Aid Greece, said:

During the course of your work you and the members of your Mission will from time to time find that certain Greek officials are not, because of incompetence, disagreement with your policies, or for some other reason, extending the type of cooperation which is necessary if the objectives of your Mission are to be achieved. You will find it necessary to effect the removal of these officials. 9

Where is the present-day Greek headline: “What The United States Owes Us”? Where is the New York Times obligation to enlighten its readers?

The latest step in the evolution of America’s Police State

“If you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear.”

So say many Americans. And many Germans as well.

But one German, Ilija Trojanow, would disagree. He has lent his name to published documents denouncing the National Security Agency (NSA), and was one of several prominent German authors who signed a letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel urging her to take a firm stance against the mass online surveillance conducted by the NSA. Trojanow and the other authors had nothing to hide, which is why the letter was published for the public to read. What happened after that, however, was that Trojanow was refused permission to board a flight from Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, to Miami on Monday, September 30. Without any explanation.

Trojanow, who was on his way to speak at a literary conference in Denver, told the Spiegel magazine online website that the denial of entry might be linked to his criticism of the NSA. Germany’s Foreign Ministry says it has contacted US authorities “to resolve this issue”. 10

In an article published in a German newspaper, Trojanow voiced his frustration with the incident: “It is more than ironic if an author who raises his voice against the dangers of surveillance and the secret state within a state for years, will be denied entry into the ‘land of the brave and the free’.” 11

Further irony can be found in the title of a book by Trojanow: “Attack on freedom. Obsession with security, the surveillance state and the dismantling of civil rights.”

Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr., who oversees the NSA and other intelligence agencies, said recently that the intelligence community “is only interested in communication related to valid foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes.” 12

It’s difficult in the extreme to see how this criterion would apply in any way to Ilija Trojanow.

The story is a poignant caveat on how fragile is Americans’ freedom to criticize their Security State. If a foreigner can be barred from boarding a flight merely for peaceful, intellectual criticism of America’s Big Brother (nay, Giant Brother), who amongst us does not need to pay careful attention to anything they say or write.

Very few Americans, however, will even be aware of this story. A thorough search of the Lexis-Nexis media database revealed a single mention in an American daily newspaper (The St. Louis Post-Dispatch), out of 1400 daily papers in the US. No mention on any broadcast media. A single one-time mention in a news agency (Associated Press), and one mention in a foreign English-language newspaper (New Zealand Herald).

Notes

  1. Washington Post, September 26, 2013
  2. Wall Street Journal, November 1, 2001
  3. The Guardian (London), April 22, 2002
  4. RT TV (Moscow), May 4, 2012
  5. Wall Street Journal, November 1, 2001
  6. New York Times, June 17, 1993, buried at the very end of the article on an inside page
  7. Sibel Edmonds’ Boiling Frogs Post, “Barbarians at the Gate: Terrorism, the US, and the Subversion of Russia”, August 30, 2012
  8. Parliamentary Debates, House of Commons, October 16, 1946, column 887 (reference is made here to Bevin’s statement of August 10, 1946)
  9. Foreign Relations of the United States, 1947, Vol. V (U.S. Government Printing Office, 1971), pp. 222-3. See William Blum, Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, chapter 3 for further details of the US role in postwar Greece.
  10. Associated Press, October 2, 2013
  11. Huffington Post, “Ilija Trojanow, German Writer, Banned From US For Criticizing NSA”, October 1, 2013
  12. Washington Post, October 5, 2013

Any part of this report may be disseminated without permission, provided attribution to William Blum as author and a link to this website are given.
 

 

William Blum is an author, historian, and renowned critic of U.S. foreign policy. He is the author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II and Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower, among others.

Any part of this report may be disseminated without permission, provided attribution to William Blum as author and a link to this website are given.

Dialogue Destruction

Article off the keyboard of RE
Podcast off the microphones of RE & Monsta

Published on the Doomstead Diner on August 4, 2013

internet-censorship

Discuss this article at the Guerrilla Internet Free Speech Table inside the Diner

logopodcast

Last week in the Sunday Brunch article I discussed the problems of Censorship in the Commentary of many if not most Collapse Blogs & Forums.  This is just one prong of a multi-faceted issue of developing real debate about what is certainly the most Important Topic of Our Time, if not the most Important Topic of ALL TIME.  If Collapse leads to the Near Term Extinction of Homo Sapiens per Guy McPherson, this debate fits the latter category.

The issue I would like to discuss this week is the lack of a real Dialogue between what now is a fairly large community of “Collapse Professionals”.  The lack of Dialogue is a corollary problem to the Commentary Censorship problem, and follows directly from it.

I began my investigation into Collapse Dynamics not as a Blogger, not as an Academic Researcher, but as a member of the Commentariat of the Peak Oil Message Board, back in what was its heyday during the financial collapse of 2008.  In the case of a Forum as opposed to a Blog, all the folks in there discussing the issues are relatively Equal, though some are more Equal than others once they rise to the level of the Mod Squad on the Forum.  Said designation usually comes after a Commenter has spent enough time on the board and is sufficiently in line with the Group Think of the website to be asked onto the moderating staff.

http://www.mitchellteachers.org/WorldHistory/AncientEgyptNearEastUnit/Images/KushEgyptiansHomagetoPiye_large.jpgMuch different dynamic exists on Blogs by a single author, where that Blogger is KING, and generally expects the Commentariat to be Humble and appreciative of his/her Greatness.  If you post consistently CRITICAL commentary on the Blog, you get the designation of “Troll”.  Anyone who disagrees often enough and at enough length to give the blogger a headache is a “Troll”.  LOL.

Returning to the Forum dynamic, there basically everyone is an Expert with their own ideas, but in terms of justifying those ideas what they often do is take Quotes from recognized “Collapse Stars”, who in those days back on Peak Oil included authors like Joseph Tainter (Collapse of Complex Societies) or researchers like Richard Duncan (the Olduvai Theory).  Who NEVER shows up in the commentary to discuss what these guys wrote about?  The AUTHOR himself!  So you can’t actually discuss these ideas with the guy who originally wrote about them, only acolytes who use the material to justify their own POV.

In many cases today though, the Authors of Books and Theories on Collapse run their own Blogs as well, and sometimes they allow commentary; occassionally they actually participate in the commentary; and sometimes they allow no comentary at all on the blog.  In the case of those who do allow commentary and who do occassionally respond as well, the real Collapse Afficionado may drop in to discuss some ideas expressed in the authors latest Blog.  That is where then the Censorship begins taking place as mentioned above and in the last article.  So you do not get real dialogue going on these Blog Commentaries either, because everyone who posts up is expected to pay homage to the Author’s Greatness, not take him to task for his ideas.

There is still ANOTHER effect of this dynamic, which is Who ALMOST NEVER shows up on the Blog of a Collapse Star to discuss ideas they have which conflict with the ideas of the Blog Proprietor?  Other Collapse Stars!  So what would really be the MOST INTERESTING of Dialogues, two Pundits with conflicting ideas about Collapse facing down in a Commentary and Challenging each other on their ideas NEVER HAPPENS!

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-O3eIVl-7ve0/TyiUH5h4K_I/AAAAAAAALU4/XQoioThhz-o/s400/house%2Bof%2Bcards%2Bfalling.jpgThere are MANY subjects in the Collapse Panopoly of Ideas which have various Pundits with Diametrically Opposed conclusions about Collapse Dynamics which would benefit from these folks directly discussing Publically their ideas with each other.  A few I can think of off hand would be say John Williams (Hyperinflationista) and Nicole Foss (Deflationato).  John Michael Greer (Slow Catabolic Collapse) and David Korowicz (Fast Systemic Collapse). Antal Fekete (Gold Bug) and Ellen Brown (Debt Free Credit Money).  I could go on and on with this, but of course the fact of the matter is none of these folks ever show up in the Commentary of their Evil Twin to hash it out online.

Why do these folks who have fundamental disagreements rarely show up in the Commentary of another Collapse Star to debate the points?  Reasons are many.

First off, generally speaking a Collapse Star is a Bizzy Person, working on his Next Book some days, working on his Next Blog other days, Booked for a Speaking Engagement other days, and of course most of them still have some IRL JOB they have to do also.  Just responding in your OWN Commentariat if you run one is time consuming, much less travelling over to another Collapse Star’s Commentariat to take him to task for an opposing idea.

Second, the Collapse Star has more to LOSE than to GAIN by going Mano-a-Mano with another Collapse Star.  If they get Bested in the Debate, their Rep is Diminished.  When you go offsite to somebody else’s Blog, you are always of course in the position of subservience to the Blog Author, so even another Collapse Star could have his posting Censored at a certain point if he pursues the argument too long.  This is what REALLY gets you identified as a “Troll” by a Blogger.

Here is how it goes, even for the Smarter than the Average Bear Troll like yours truly on a given Blog in the Commentary.  This is generic, it has occured for me on Market Ticker (Denninger) and Dark Ages America (Berman).

I make Post #1, questioning some ideas presented in the Original Article.  Collapse Star responds mostly amiably in Rebuttal, then I come back with Post #2, Dissecting the Rebuttal.  Collapse Star responds a good deal LESS AMIABLY with the next Rebuttal, with perhaps a WARNING that if I continue, my Posting will be Sent to the Great Beyond.  I respond with a 3rd Post, which usually does not show up but if it does is followed by Napalm from the Blog Author and I am Permanently BANNED from said Commentary.  LOL.  So MAX here you have about 3 posts before you are Identified as a “Troll”.  A Troll is anyone who keeps going on an argument longer than the patience of the Collapse Star will hold out, which usually is around 3 posts.  LOL.

Contrast that of course to the Debates that go on inside the Diner.  We have numerous Debates here that run 30-50 PAGES in length, with each page harboring 15 posts on the topic, and often a Principal in the Debate will have a dozen or more rebuttals that each themselves is of Blog Length.  Go to the Hyperinflation vs Deflation debate or the Waste Based Society debate to get examples of what I am talking about here.  Said Debates go on for MONTHS, in perpetuity really.  They are fundamental questions which constantly have new input from the Real World to hash over, that impact substantively on the debate.  They never end, but that does not mean you don’t keep learning from them as they progress over time.

Anyhow, we have fairly successfully overcome the napalm issues involved with long debates here inside the Diner between the Diners (though we still do occassionally EXPLODE with a Napalm Contest), but that STILL does not get Collapse Stars dropping on inside the Diner to clarify issues they wrote about which we Cross Posted as fodder for discussion.  So, STILL no ability here to make inquiries of the Original Author of the Ideas in a Free and Open Debate situation.

To resolve this issue somewhat on the Diner, we started doing Podcasts.  In the Podcasts, we invite various Collapse Stars to come on and Pontificate on their philosophy, and whoever is doing the Podcast as Host (me and Monsta usually, but also other Diner Admins like Surly, WHD and Haniel) gets to ask them questions about their ideas.  This has worked out very well generally speaking, we have some fabulous recordings with people like George Mobus, David Korowicz, John Michael Greer, Gail Tverberg, etc. However, we still do not have the situation where these folks directly discuss Collapse with EACH OTHER.  That would be the Next Step I would hope to achieve with Diner Podcasts.  Working with the Database Cavalry from California on jacking on some nifty Video Conferencing software to accomplish this next Techno-Feat on the Diner.

http://www.docmercury.com/rainy/wp-content/uploads/cavalry.jpg

There are ISSUES with doing this of course, main one being again it is not necessarily in the interest of the Collapse Star to get involved in the Podcast where their Ideas might be seriously CHALLENGED.  This was the Genesis of the No-Show of Charles Hugh Smith to a Podcast we scheduled a couple of weeks back, and led to the Charles Hugh Smithless Podcast Monsta and I did as a Comedy Sketch which heads this article.  I sent Charles a Script of questions, along with questions embedded in a Post made by Agelbert, one of the most Active Diners.  Charles was REPULSED by the tone of Agelbert’s questions, and emailed me that he did not want to participate in a Podcast where people were SCREAMING at each other in VOLUMINOUS DISSENSUS along the lines of a Rush Limbaugh show.  Which we never do here in our Podcasts, but Charles did not bother to listen to any of them to see what goes on, he just nixed it and did not show up.

Still uncertain as to whether we can EVER get the various Collapse Stars together, either in Text Debate on the Diner Pages or in Verbal Debate on Diner Podcasts.  IMHO, this kind of DIALOGUE is a necessary part of elucidating the TRUTH about the Collapse, and what we might do to ameliorate the consequences of reduced per capita energy as the Industrial Society spins down.

http://dellkimberly.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/image51.jpg?w=630So I plug onward here, clearly not the most Popular Guy in the Collapse Blogosphere because I get on EVERYBODY’S Case for Censoring their Commentary and not engaging in Dialogue with others who ponder on the issues of Civilization Collapse in great detail.  This discussion must take place in REAL TIME, here and now, because sure as fuck it is not taking place in the MSM or at the Political Level amongst the purported “Leadership’ class of our society.  I put up the Diner as a place where ALL can Speak Free, Pundits and Commenters alike.  Here on the Doomstead Diner, NO COMMENT ever gets DELETED.  No Diner ever gets BANNED.  That does not mean you are FREE to trash a debate with Napalm, you most certainly cannot do that here, because I will SQUASH YOU LIKE A BUG if you try that tactic.  Been at this game a long time now, know all the tricks,  BTDT myself on MANY boards.  You cannot pursue this paradigm here.  On the Diner, I am ADMIN.

POWER OF GOD ON A FORUM.

RE

Constitutionally Hypocritical

Off the keyboards of RE & William Hunter Duncan

Published on the Doomstead Diner on July 28, 2013

internet-censorship

Discuss this article at the Guerrilla Internet Free Speech Table inside the Diner


When I began the Diner with Peter, Surly and a few other Founding Diners, my objective was not to just run my own Blog to Pontificate on Collapse, but to bring together and highlight the work of other Collapse Bloggers as well.  This sort of Blog is called a Compilation Blog, there are examples all over the net, Seeking Alpha is one, Peak Prosperity another, Zero Hedge perhaps the most famous and successful of all the Compilation Blogs.  My friend and ex-blogging partner Jim Quinn on The Burning Platform also runs a Compilation style Blog.

http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/182yfl30plji2jpg/ku-xlarge.jpgI have some very strict principles of Protocol I adhere to in Compiling Blogs on the Diner besides my own and those of other Native Diners, first one is I never Cross Post any blogger until I have had Email contact with them and received from them EXPLICIT permission to use their Blogs on the Diner.  Even if said Blogger has a Creative Commons Attribution license on their Blog (which basically says as long as you are not doing it for MONEY, it is OK to repost), I still ask first.  Just good Netiquette there.  I have some other Protocols I adhere to as well, main one as the Diners know is I am positively FANATIC about Free Speech in the Commentary with a No Ban, No Censorship Policy on Commentary here.  So even if a given Blogger deletes your commentary on their Blog, it will show up here if you post it to the parallel thread on the Diner.

Which brings me now to the reason I am writing this Blog (co-writing actually with WHD, my fellow Admin here on the Diner who will drop in here in a bit with his own inimitable style. LOL).  Recently WHD got in a pretty HOT debate over on Alt-Market, run by the Libertarian Defender of the Constitution Brandon Smith.  Brandon WAS a Cross Posted Blogger here a while back, officially approved by Brandon, but I STOPPED cross posting his Blogs for quite a few reasons.  Here is Brandon’s OK to repost on the Diner sent to my email back in February of 2012, right after we got the Diner off the ground:

February 27, 2012
You are more than welcome to reprint articles from Alt-Market, we only
ask that you link back to us the original source.  Thanks for your
interest in my writing, and I look forward to seeing how your new
website grows.

Brandon Smith
www.alt-market.com

First reason I shit-canned Brandon as a Cross Blogger on the Diner was lack of Reciprocity.  Brandon’s Alt-Market is ALSO a Compilation Blog, he posts Blogs from numerous other sources on A-M all the time.   I don’t expect any Blogger I cross post who runs a Personal Blog to cross post articles from the Diner,  but if you run a Compilation Blog it is a I Scratch Your Back, You Scratch Mine kind of thing.  Jimbo on TBP and I do this all the time these days, I put up Blogs of his I think will play OK with Diner Readership; he puts up blogs of mine which he thinks will play OK with TBP readers.

Anyhow, after cross posting a few of Brandon’s Blogs, I sent him a couple of Links to Blogs I felt would fit OK on Alt-Market.  Economic stuff I write here along with discussing meta-topics like the Internet Censorship Issue and Free Speech Principles.  Not only did said blogs not go up on Alt-Market, I didn’t even get an acknowledgement to the Email that I sent them to him, or a rationale for why he would not publish them.

So I am a bit peeved here now at Brandon by this time, but I am still Cross Posting some of his Blogs on the nature of the Police State we live under, which is a subject of general Diner interest.  Since he is not Cross Posting any of my Blogs, I decide I will start dropping in on his Commentary to occasionally Plug the Diner, as I am wont to do on a few Blogs, notably Economic Undertow run by Steve from Virginia and Our Finite World run by Gail the Actuary, aka Gail Tverberg as well as Jim Quinn’s The Burning Platform of course.  I always embed my Plugs in a post which is to Topic of the given Blog I drop the comment on.  Here is a Sample of a Plug I just made over on OFW for our Podcasts, relating to the topic of Gail’s Recent Blog, which is Feedback Loops in Energy and the Economy:

Welcome Back Gail!

I’d like to let the OFWers know that we recently got up the first 2 of a 3 Part Series with David Korowicz of FEASTA, author of the paper Trade Off: Financial system supply-chain cross contagion – a study in global systemic collapse and more recently Catastrophic Shocks in Complex Socio-Economic Systems—a pandemic perspective on Diner Podcasts.

http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/podcasts/

Many aspects of Systemic Feedback Loops in the Monetary System and Industrial Economy are discussed in these Podcasts. The final part will be released in the next week or two, after we get up a Podcast by John Michael Greer of The Archdruid Report as well as the last installment of the marathon Podcast with George Mobus of Question Everything. Upcoming also is another quite long one recently completed with Ugo Bardi of the Cassandra’s Legacy Blog.

Stop by the Diner OFWers to listen in on the latest in Collapse! :)

RE

Gail has been very tolerant of my Plugging in the Commentary of OFW, and in return for that she got First Billing as one of our First Offsite Podcasts, and she has a great listenership there, well over 450 listens last I checked on her most successful Podcast, and 2nd only to Uber Doomer Guy McPherson over 800 Listens now.  Guy is the Secretariat of the Collapse Blogosphere with his Extinction theory.  You can’t get any Doomier than THAT!  LOL.

http://www.championsgallery.com/Secretariat%20The%20Photo.jpg

Here is another Plug I recently dropped on The Burning Platform in Jimbo’s awesome recent Feature Article, TRYING TO STAY SANE IN AN INSANE WORLD – PART 1

23rd July 2013 at 10:18 pm

Reverse Engineer says:

“The rule of law does not exist for the ruling class.”-JQ

It never has. The legal system is designed to keep Elite in power, not to protect J6P. It was like this when Woodrow Wilson admitted the country was ruled by a small group of Capitalist Industrialists. These folks have proceeded to steal the natural resource wealth of the continent and have been at the game at least since the Railroads began spreading their tentacles across the once pristine landscape in the 1820s-1830s. You will note about all those railroads went bust, the tycoons of the era walked away with the credit issued and the taxpayers were saddled with the debt, then as now. Capitalism began destroying the country in around 1830, and has more or less completed the job in slightly under 200 years.

The difference now is that globally there is insufficient stored energy that can be extracted at a cheap price, so these folks no longer can leverage up on it. They are quite finished here as it spins down.

I’ll cross post this probably on Wednesday.

RE
http://doomsteaddiner.org

Notice that the response is entirely to topic, even if my anti-Capitalist Spin runs counter to the Group Think on TBP.  I also advertise the fact I will cross post Jim’s Blog on the Diner. Anyhow, point is here it is You Scratch My Back, I Scratch Yours, and it tends to help all of us Collapse Bloggers when we cooperate in this way.

So now back to Mr. Lexington & Concord Brandon Smith here, what happens when I start showing up in the Commentary on Alt-Market?  He DELETES just about every last one of the posts I make there!  The posting is not Napalm, it is all to topic. You will see a Sample demonstrated further down in this article. I didn’t even Plug the Diner in every one!  So this does it for me, I NIX Brandon as a Cross Poster on the Diner and stop reading or commenting on his Piece of Shit Blog, I have plenty to do on my own fucking Blog anyhow! LOL.

So now you think the Story is OVER, right?  Nooooo.  You see, there are quite a few Bloggers on the Diner, I am not the only one.  One of them, William Hunter Duncan is also an ADMIN here on the Diner, though Brandon “Lexington & Concord” “Mr. Constitution” Smith does not know this.  The shit Brandon has been writing of late BUGS William, so finally HE drops in on Brandon’s Comment Stream to take him to task for his completely absurd arguments on Peak Oil and Energy, which have been utterly destroyed on just about every decent Energy related Blog, but Brandon goes on making the same old dumb ass arguments as ever that all of us in the Energy Blogosphere have dealt with Ad Infinitum for the last DECADE in some cases.

At this point, I will step back and let William take over describing the course of this Debate, and what went down before he himself ALSO finally got AXED by Brandon.  Take it away, William!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks, RE

I am an American. I was Born on the Fourth of July. My mother is a radical Christian Constitutionalist, first generation immigrant. Naturally then, I have some affiliation with the Liberty, Patriot and Tea Party movements. I whole-heartedly agree that the Constitution has been eviscerated, that those in power in America seek to divide and conquer America, that they might continue to control the empire that the Republic has become. I agree with some core conservative tenets, that individual empowerment, individual sovereignty, is a core and necessary element to being human. I also agree that the Federal government, and government generally, is a means to consolidate and centralize power, for the benefit of the few at the expense of the many, inevitably. That this Federal Government particularly will prove itself capable of ANYTHING, to maintain control, “to maintain the Union.”

That said, my affiliation with these conservative movements ends there. For an abundance of reasons, namely, that Western ideological exploitative command and control dominator attitudes toward the earth and people, are alive and well among so-called Liberty folk and Patriots, Tea Party etc. That they generally hate government but love Oligarchs; that it is not the abuse of power they object to, but mostly who is the one abusing it. That these movements are largely an extension of Christian “go forth and have dominion over the earth,” that there is no exploitation of the earth that is not sacred, provided it is for private benefit. That individual sovereignty means you can pollute the air or water or soil for everyone else, if it is a function of you exercising your liberty. That they hate government but don’t generally have a problem using government to terrorize cannabis users/growers, or sticking trans-vaginal ultrasound rods up women’s yoni’s in the name of protecting the unborn, or expelling Hispanics, demonizing Muslims, homosexuals, etc. Or their fetishization of weaponry.

Of particular concern is the turn of many of that (admittedly broad brush) crowd, in the direction of absolute denial that Humans are having anything like a detrimental effect on the biosphere: i.e. denial of Climate Change. For some Conservatives, disconnected as they are from the earth (like most Liberals), they have come to believe that peak oil, peak energy, peak growth, is a false narrative – which Brandon Smith says is meant to facilitate global governance and ultimately the deliberate killing of most of (conservative) humanity, by an elite Illuminati whomever. Now, I don’t discount that there are entrenched, nefarious interests driving this train called Progress. Nor do I discount the idea that said nefarious, entrenched interests might see that humanity is facing peak everything, and might take it upon themselves to initiate some apocalyptically hideous response, reducing our numbers. Denying outright though, that anything like climate change is even happening, many American conservatives reveal that they are at their core entirely captive to the mythologies of progress and growth that drive empire America, and they mostly just want to take the reign of it.

Brandon Smith is an excellent example of such disconnect, the fetishization of markets and the individual and the defilement of ecosystems (relationships) (while the Liberal fetishizes the collective – gov – at the expense of the earth.)  He also has a tendency toward cruel condescension, denouncing whole segments of the population as “stupid”, immature, etc. He also shows a propensity for manipulating the commentary on his website, to make himself look better. Which is all whatever, it’s just a blog – except maybe such tendencies might not be what you want in those exhorting you to armed confrontation with the Federal Government, i.e. the shooting and killing of your fellow Americans, your fellow humans. Sounds more to me like him making of himself a martyr or a messiah, willing to take others with him. Nevertheless, I do believe he believes the narrative,  “when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” He is brilliant. In a very stiff, logical, absolutist way…(after all, the Feds are known to kill cult members – Waco – which this Liberty dude keeps calling anyone who acknowledges peak energy or climate change a cultist. LOL I call that daft – and dangerous.) Though I do say in fact, I do think he cares about people – or he wouldn’t be exhorting people to learn mechanical or craftsman skills, or gardening or the saving of heirloom seeds, etc.

So I like to drop into Alt-Market every once in awhile, like I have done at Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, to stir things up a bit. My commentary gets expunged as often as not, at Alt-Market, just like it does on Huffpost. As always, you be your own judge about what you read, what you think. Difference here @ the Diner is, while we moderate the Forum, we don’t eliminate commentary. We let commentary speak for itself.

What follows is a conversation that took place between myself, Brandon Smith, and RE @ the Alt-Market, in the commentary to an article by, Brandon Smith, Get Ready For The Next Great Stock Market Exodus http://www.alt-market.com/articles/1587-get-ready-for-the-next-great-stock-market-exodus Several commentators had challenged Brandon on his ideas about Peak Oil. That is where I stepped in, four days after the article release, when few people were paying attention, and Brandon I judged, felt more free to debate with me rather than just expunge me, whom I judge he takes for Joe Schmo Idiot Tool. LOL

RE stepped in late and offered the last, perfectly innocuous comment. His comment and my last were EXPUNGED.

 

Peak Oil
written by William Hunter Duncan , July 16, 2013

Peak Oil is the point at which you have to keep the price of oil @ $100/brl to pay for all that hideously destructive fracking, tarsands, deep water activity, to maintain baseline supply. You either keep it at $100-ish, or noboby makes any money. Which also conspires to create demand destruction, which means a further increase in price hammers demand, while a collapse in price destroys the capacity of the industry to frack, etc.

Which, what is the real cost of pumping fracking fluids into the aquifers of half the nation, in the exploitation of oil and gas? How about having to gather water from the sky only, because the surface waters and below ground are all severely polluted – in a time of radically shifting climate patterns?

Votes: -1

Brandon Smith


written by Brandon Smith , July 16, 2013

@William

And where is your evidence that fracking is now the primary source of oil production? Where is the lack of supply from the Middle East, or Russia, or Africa, for instance? What demand is not being met by standard oil production?

Again, where is the scarcity? For prices to rise based on scarcity, someone, somewhere, MUST have a demand for oil that is not being met. WHERE ARE THESE PEOPLE? Show me on a map.

Why can no peak oil cultist answer this simple question? And why can no peak oil cultist fathom that perhaps, just perhaps, price increases are being caused by dollar devaluation, and that their entire religion of peak oil is based on a con designed to distract the masses away from hyperinflation?

Also, William, it is not surprising that you believe in the now debunked Climate Change con as well, since both Peak Oil and Global Warming were designed by globalist interests at the Club Of Rome in order to terrorize dupes like yourself with false environmentalism, and get you to go along with their agendas of population reduction and energy dominance.

Votes: +1

0

Hmmm…
written by William Hunter Duncan , July 18, 2013

Dupe? Con artist? Cultist? Advocate for population reduction and energy dominance? How about you try flinging some more shit at me, to see if it sticks?

How about peak energy, then. Seven billion people adding 80 Million a year? If you want to persist with the fantasy of unlimited growth, go ahead. If you want to imagine oil is infinite, abiotic, whatever. Climate Change is Debunked! I’ll say again, as I’ve said before, I don’t think you give a damn about the health of the earth or it’s people.

I’d say you know jack about the Club of Rome, but whatever. As for fracking being our primary source, where’d you get such an idea that I would ever say such a thing? I said basically, if oil were unlimited like you seem to think, we wouldn’t have to be fracking above aquifers, gouging it out of the surface like they do in Alberta, or attempting to drill in the Arctic, or in ten thousand feet of water.

Finally, as for Peak Oil, it shouldn’t take a child to get that if you have a fixed amount of apples and oranges, sooner or later you are going to run out.

Votes: +1

Brandon Smith


written by Brandon Smith , July 19, 2013

@William

You still haven’t answered my question, which tells me you don’t have the answer. And if you don’t have the answer to that very simple question, then your position on Peak Oil is essentially irrelevant.

Show me WHERE in the world demand for petroleum is not being met. Where?

Also, where is your proof that oil is a fixed resource? There is plenty of evidence to suggest that the creation of oil is an Abiotic Process, a cycle like volcanoes and rain that functions perpetually. Old oil wells have been found replenished in the NE United States, and new wells are found yearly. Again, if you can’t back your position with facts, then you are basing it on pure faith and assumption. This is what a cultist does, or a child, not a logical adult thinker.

I care about REAL environmental issues, not fake issues created by a bunch of elitists seeking to frighten thick headed people into going along with their agenda. By blindly following the lies of Peak Oil and man-made Climate Change, YOU are hurting the Earth, because you are wasting your time and energies on false notions rather than legitimate issues. It’s sad.

 

Votes: +0

0

@ Brandon
written by William Hunter Duncan , July 21, 2013

Where in the world is a demand for oil not being met? How about Japan? How about the whole of Africa? Surely many of the people of Japan and Africa would appreciate more oil than they have access to. Not to mention the whole of Europe. You think the English wouldn’t like to find a Gwhar field under the Tower of London about now?

You might want to back your assertions that oil wells in the NE are refilling, with something resembling evidence. LOL. Abiotic! Anything like 85 million barrels a day, what humanity is using about now? If that’s the case WTF are we doing fracking, etc for?

As to your last paragraph, yeah, the end of easy oil and radical climate change isn’t anything like a legitimate issue. OK bubble boy.

As for those other serious issues, like the evisceration of the Constitution, or the increasingly police/facist State, or High Finance looting of the global economy, etc, there’s a lot more cross-over between you and me than that shit you flung in an earlier comment would suggest.

BTW, I do think you care about the earth and it’s people, or I wouldn’t bother. I just think you are getting carried away by your own BS.

WHD

Votes: -1

Brandon Smith


written by Brandon Smith , July 21, 2013

@William

Where in Japan is demand not being met? Show me a specific example. Where in Africa? Where in Europe? Show me where specifically people in these countries are lined up for gasoline and not getting any. You clearly have little to no grasp of the concept of supply and demand.

And yes, petroleum has even been found on other planets, including the moon Titan:

http://www.space.com/4968-titan-oil-earth.html

Where did this oil come from? Dinosaurs? I think not. This is hard evidence that petroleum molecules are produced Abiotically. If you had ever done any research outside your own cultism, you would have already known this information.

And yes, older oil wells have been found replenished all over the world:

http://www.viewzone.com/abioticoilx.html

As far as climate change goes, show me the source data for NASA and the CRU’s experiments on global warming. Show me the proof that what they say about man-made global warming is true. You’ll never find the source data, because even after hundreds if not thousands of FOIA requests, climate “scientists” still refuse to release it to the public. Why would they be afraid to release their own data to the public for scrutiny unless it was all garbage?

Again, William, you have been duped. You’re no different than a 9/11 dupe, or a Federal Reserve dupe, or a Boston Bombing dupe. You continually refuse to answer my questions with any specifics, so I have to say that there is little purpose to discussing the matter with you further. If you are comfortable in your ignorance, then nothing can be done to help you.

 

EXPUNGED

Written by William Hunter Duncan, July 21, 2013

Isn’t this fun. I get to call you bubble boy, and you are game enough to let me, while then slinging that shit about me being a cultist and a dupe and ignorant. 🙂

I don’t understand demand? Are you telling me the Japanese wouldn’t be burning oil like mad if they could get it for $20/barrel? Humans would be burning 200 million barrels a day, more than twice what we are, if they could get it. Again, abiotic anything like 85 million barrels a day? I say your conception of demand is stiff and narrow, which is what I would expect from an absolutist.

I dont give a shit about the source data. What I care about are things like the fact that as the climate becomes increasingly variable and unstable from my perspective, the more hysterical the Liberty movement, conservative circles, Patriots become that climate change is entirely a hoax perpetrated by global government boogeymen. Infowars loves to rave that CO2 is Good For You! Well, not @ 400ppm, while they are cutting down rainforests to plant Monsanto soybean fields.

As for that last link, isnt it great that this one Swedish study proves that oil is abiotic, wells are replenishing – contrary to the, um, not-evidence apparently, that we are fracking, gouging and deep sea drilling as fast as we can just to stand still, aka the red queen syndrome.

As for 9/11, or the Fed, or the Boston Bombing, you want to list anything else I am not a dupe about?

Written by RE, July 21, 2013

However, you never answered my question. WHERE is this so called scarcity? Where is demand for oil not being met amply? If there is scarcity, then someone, somewhere, is not receiving the “dope” they desire, right? “-BS

Many places now are being triaged off the Oil Economy by Economic means. Greece, all the PIIGS Nations, Egypt etc.  Demand for gasoline is cratering in Europe, and it is in serious decline here as well.  Steve on Economic Undertow refers to this as “Conservation by Other Means”.  A barrel of Oil not consumed in Europe is one left for a bit more Happy Motoring for a few people here.

This is happening first at the periphery of the Industrial Economy, but is working its way inward at quite a rapid pace really.

RE

——————————————————–
RE back at the keyboard here.

Notice a few things about the comment stream there.  WHD’s first Comment is entirely to topic, and there also are no Plugs for the Diner.  Fortunately, since if WHD had copped to being a Diner Admin at the beginning, his first post would have been Expunged.

How does Brandon come back at WHD?  He NAPALMS him!  Calls him a “dupe”, “blind follower”, “cultist” etc, trigger words all over the place in his responses.  He doesn’t ever address the fact there is plenty of evidence of Oil Scarcity issues, it’s the whole reason the economic system has gone so outta whack here!  All you gotta do is spend a couple of days reading Steve from Virginia’s Blogs on Economic Undertow, and you’ll see the picture quite clearly, at least if you have any CFS* you will.

(CFS: Diner acronym for Common Fucking Sense)

It is at this point WHD drops a note on the Diner that this Napalm Contest is going down, so I decide to go back over there and Chip In my Opinion. 🙂 I know the post won’t stay up long, but I give it the old College Try by being 100% Rational, no Napalm, no Diner Plug.  Indeed, my post has a lifespan on Alt-Market measured in minutes, and this is at something like 9PM Mountain Time as I recall.  Brandon is on the Ball here!  LOL.  Said post was not in fact my last one, I made one more after Brandon Shit Canned it.

« Reply #468 on: July 22, 2013, 12:10:19 AM »

My recent post on Alt-Market, not long for this world over there but available in perpetuity here on the Diner!  LOL.RE

Quote from: RE

Heavy censorship hand you have there dude.

What ever happenned to Constitutional Guarantees of Free Speech?  Suspended on Alt-Market?

Anyhow, said post is up on the Diner @

http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php?topic=535.msg27862#msg27862

Have a Nice Day.

RE

Brandon Smith spouting Ideologically driven propaganda

Brandon Smith of Alt-Market spouting Ideologically driven Propaganda

So now you come to the crux of the matter here, WTF is Brandon Smith, Mr. Constitutional Protections & Rights doing the Joseph Goebbels thing and CENSORING everything I drop on as a comment on Alt-Market, and why does he Napalm WHD for pointing out the issues with Oil Fracking?  What nasty thing did I ever do to Brandon? My only relationship with him was to cross post some of his Blogs with his explicit permission to do so!  I never even got in a Napalm Contest on Alt-Market ONCE!  LOL.

The reason is that Brandon’s ideological box does not allow him to accept ideas of Climate Change or Energy Depletion, and he doesn’t want any of that “trash” polluting his website!  LOL.  His Solution is not to debate the points, but rather to either Napalm the poster as a Brainwashed Cult Moron, or failing success with that to Expunge the offending posts from the Alt-Market board!

The Irony of course here is beyond belief, this fellow who constantly writes about how our Constitutional Rights are being undermined himself cannot maintain the most BASIC of Freedoms on his website, that of Free Speech!  Imagine if Brandon was made Minister of Propaganda for the New Republic after the next battle at Lexington and Concord with the FBI, DHS and ATF, if he actually won that battle.  You think Brandon would let me keep the Diner up on the New Republic Net?  In a Pig’s Eye he would!  The dude can’t even leave up a post which points out the obvious Economic Effects of Demand Destruction!

Anyhow, the point of this exercise besides revealing the TRUTH about this particular case of Blogosphere Censorship by Ideologically Driven Blogger Propagandists is to make Blog Readers more aware of the fact that the Expunging of Critical Commentary by MANY Bloggers is systemic around the Collapse Blogosphere, Brandon is by no means the only one who does this.  In fact many if not most of them do.  I won’t name names here, but I have and will continue to do so inside the Diner any time one of my comments gets deleted.  Anytime I suspect a Blogger of this nefarious form of Propagandizing his point of view, I will Mirror the Posting on the Diner Forum before it goes up on the given Blog, Just In Case.  If this is being done to your posting, I invite you also to cross post your comments here, where they will NEVER be deleted, at least not until the boys in the Black Cadillac Escalades show up at the Cabin to ship me off to GITMO.

You want Constitutional Protection of Free Speech?  You GOT IT here on the Doomstead Diner.  It is the CODE OF THE DINERS!

RE

That Was The Week That Was In Doom June 30, 2013

From the Keyboard of Surly1

Originally published on the Doomstead Diner on June 30, 2013

http://991.com/newGallery/That-Was-The-Week-That-W-That-Was-The-Week-473964.jpg

Discuss this article here in the Diner Forum.

surveillance

Reality is for people who can’t face drugs.~ Laurence Peter

“Imagine a society that subjects people to conditions that make them terribly unhappy then gives them the drugs to take away their unhappiness. . .  In effect antidepressants are a means of modifying an individual’s internal state in such a way as to enable him to tolerate social conditions that he would otherwise find intolerable.”  ― Theodore Kaczynski

With every news cycle we  move into times more absurd and cruel then we could possibly imagine. The daily headlines have outstripped the creativity of satirists and humorists. The mainstream media lies, and reminiscent of the Soviet Union of bygone days, only comedians are able to tell the truth.  Brain-eating amoebas! Plot to execute Occupy leaders abetted by FBI!  This week we learned that an activist faces 13 years in prison for wielding sidewalk chalk, banksters caught dead to rights colluding in fraud face nothing,  we connect the dots on species extinction, and we are shocked… shocked to learn that the last people that the NSA wants to surveil are terrorists.  The president of Ecuador tweaks the New World Order,  Phyllis Schafly rises from her crypt, and Fukushima continues to tick away, glowing in the dark with malevolent certainty. There is a reason the proverb has it, “many a truth is told in jest.”  So, barkeep, for my friends here antidepressants all around with a Prestone chaser. Belly up to the Diner bar for yet another round.

 

 

_____________________________________________________________________________

California Man Faces 13 Years In Prison For Offending Bank of America With Kiddie Chalk

Yes friends, in the wake of last week’s whistleblower story about Bank of America comes this story about the wheels of justice. And no, we are not making this up. Daily Kos reports:

Jeff Olson, the 40-year-old man who is being prosecuted for scrawling anti-megabank messages on sidewalks in water-soluble chalk last year now faces a 13-year jail sentence. A judge has barred his attorney from mentioning freedom of speech during trial.According to the San Diego Reader, which reported on Tuesday that a judge had opted to prevent Olson’s attorney from “mentioning the First Amendment, free speech, free expression, public forum, expressive conduct, or political speech during the trial,” Olson must now stand trial for on 13 counts of vandalism.

In addition to possibly spending years in jail, Olson will also be held liable for fines of up to $13,000 over the anti-big-bank slogans that were left using washable children’s chalk on a sidewalk outside of three San Diego, California branches of Bank of America, the massive conglomerate that received $45 billion in interest-free loans from the US government in 2008-2009 in a bid to keep it solvent after bad bets went south.

The Reader reports that Olson’s hearing had gone as poorly as his attorney might have expected, with Judge Howard Shore, who is presiding over the case, granting Deputy City Attorney Paige Hazard’s motion to prohibit attorney Tom Tosdal from mentioning the United States’ fundamental First Amendment rights.

You read that correctly. By order of the judge,  the defendant’s attorney may not mention that pesky free-speech-first-amendment thingy during the trial. Seriously. Can you say, “mistrial?”

The backstory was thus: apparently, Darell Freeman, Bank of America’s Vice President for Global Corporate Security, confronted Olsen and a friend as they were protesting in front of a B of A branch.

A former police officer, Freeman accused Olson and Daniels of “running a business outside of the bank,” evidently in reference to the National Bank Transfer Day activities, which was a consumer activism initiative that sought to promote Americans to switch from commercial banks, like Bank of America, to not-for-profit credit unions.

At the time, Bank of America’s debit card fees were among one of the triggers that led Occupy Wall Street members to promote the transfer day.

“It was just an empty threat,” says Olson of Freeman’s accusations. “He was trying to scare me away. To be honest, it did at first.”

Former cop Freeman repeatedly pressured the San Diego police to attack Olson’s chalk-based activism with the same legal force used to prosecute violent gang members. And, this being the America we no longer recognize from our youth, he got want he wanted.

More experiments in the laboratory of democracy.

 

_____________________________________________________________________________

Bankers Caught On Tape, Joking About Bailout, And How They’d Never Pay It Back

Earlier this week, a story moved that went to prove everything you thought about the behavior of bankers but were unable to produce a smoking gun.

The Irish Independent, a Dublin-based newspaper, has uncovered tapes of an internal phone conversation from September 2008 between two executives at Anglo Irish Bank during its bailout deal and they sound pretty scandalous.  The Irish Independent points out that the recordings show they misled the Central Bank.

The executives from the recording have been identified as John Bowe (head of the bank’s capital markets) and Peter Fitzgerald (director of retail banking).

However, Bowe “categorically denied” that he misled the Central Bank and Fitzgerald, who wasn’t involved in discussions with regulators, said he was unaware of any intention to mislead, the report said.

In this regard, we are reminded of Bill Clinton’s repeated denials about his serial infidelities and one notorious intern. But there’s more.

Bowe tells Fitzgerald that they met with the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority (IFSRA) the previous day about getting €7 billion.  They laugh how they will never be able to pay it back. 

Bowe:  “So we went down … and we basically said. In Central, yeah. And I mean, to cut a long story short we sort of said. ‘Look, what we need is seven billion euros…and we’re going to give you and we’re going to give you, what we’re going to give you is our loan collateral so we’re not giving you ECB, we’re giving you the loan clause. 

“We gave him a term sheet and we put a pro not facility together and we said that’s what we need. And that kind of sobered up everybody pretty quickly, you know.” 

Fitzgerald: “Yeah.”

Fitzgerald: “And is that €7 billion a term?”

Bowe: “This is €7 billion bridging.” 

Fitzgerald: “Yeah.”

Bowe: “So … so it is bridged until we can pay you back … which is never.” (Both laugh)

And we know you’re laughing, too.  even though these fiduciaries are intent on committing a fraud, one would assume that they had at least done the math to compute the amount of their losses that the resulting fraud with sponge up, correct? Uhhh …

Fitzgerald asks Bowe how he came up with the 7 billion figure.  Bowe responds that like then-CEO David Drumm, he picked it out of his “arse.”

Fitzgerald: “Ah we are, yeah, yeah and, em, what, how did you arrive at the seven? 

Bowe: “Just, as Drummer would say, ‘picked it out of my arse’, you know. Em … I mean, look, what we did was we basically said: ‘What is the amount we can securitize over the next six months?’ And basically say to them: ‘Look our problem is time, it’s not our ability to create the liquidity, the enemy is time here.'” 

Fitzgerald: “Yeah.” 

Bowe: “So we can rebuild, in other words, we can rebuild the liquidity off our loan book, but what we can’t do, we can’t do it now and the balance sheet’s leaking now.” 

So we will essentially torture Bradley Manning and subject him to a political show trial, and hunt Edward Snowden to the ends of the earth. We will prosecute those who reports wrongdoing though official channels to demonstrate the futility of using those channels, and to send a message to other potential whistleblowers. We will foment wars all over the earth in order to enrich a handful of arms manufacturers. And if American boys need to die in pursuit of that particular pocket of profit, so be it. But this scum, and their ilk on this side of the water, walk free, and proud knowing they’re doing “God’s work.”

As noted above, the Independent also has a media-filled story about how these two deceived the Irish government and cost Ireland sovereignty.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Humans ARE directly to blame for a rise in the number of endangered species

Researchers from Ohio State University discovered that as human numbers rise, the number of animals and species in the same region decrease with the study predicting that 11% of animals will be endangered by 2050. Increasing numbers of animals are moving from endangered to extinct lists, like the Western Black Rhino of Africa, pictured

It might seem to be CFS, or “common fucking sense,” as re: would’ve her, to find a direct link between increase in population size and the number of life forms on planet Earth threatened with extinction. Yet in every gathering of sub-literates, whether it be the corner bar or Congress, there are those will argue otherwise. No more.  Research findings just in from Ohio State University demonstrate that there is a direct link between human activity and the extinction and endangerment of certain animals.

Researchers from Ohio State University discovered that as human numbers rise, the number of animals and species in the same region decrease with the study predicting that 11% of animals will be endangered by 2050.

Previous studies have suspected that the number of threatened species could be linked to the size, density and growth of the human population yet research from Ohio State University is the first to have confirmed the theory.

. . .

They found that changes in human population density had ‘measurable consequences’ on changes in the number of threatened species by nation.

The average nation with a growing population can expect a 3.3 per cent increase in the number of threatened mammals and birds over the 10 years and a 10.8 per cent increase by 2050, based on human population growth alone.

Another animal edging up the endangered species list towards extinction is the Philippine Tarsier. The Tarsier feeds on tiny insects and is believed to be the world’s smallest primate

The implications of the study are quite clear:  human population density is at the very heart of extinction threats to both mammals and birds. The report does not directly suggest conservation efforts, but the future conservation efforts and certainly consider the impact of human population.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Surveillance not for terrorists

surveillanceA Bloomberg article  thankfully reminded us of the real issue at the heart of the NSA surveillance/Edward Snowden drama.  As some of us have seen, to our horror, ordinary Americans seem to not mind the government’s digital monitoring of their communications as long as it seems to be genuinely targeted terrorists. That’s really not the case. The government’s monitoring of our communications and days of our digital privacy is really targeted at ordinary, law-abiding citizens.

The infrastructure set up by the National Security Agency, however, may only be good for gathering information on the stupidest, lowest-ranking of terrorists. The Prism surveillance program focuses on access to the servers of America’s largest Internet companies, which support such popular services as Skype, Gmail and iCloud. These are not the services that truly dangerous elements typically use.

In a January 2012 report titled “Jihadism on the Web: A Breeding Ground for Jihad in the Modern Age,” the Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service drew a convincing picture of an Islamist Web underground centered around “core forums.” These websites are part of the Deep Web, or Undernet, the multitude of online resources not indexed by commonly used search engines.

The Netherlands’ security service, which couldn’t find recent data on the size of the Undernet, cited a 2003 study from the University of California at Berkeley as the “latest available scientific assessment.” The study found that just 0.2 percent of the Internet could be searched. The rest remained inscrutable and has probably grown since. In 2010, Google Inc. said it had indexed just 0.004 percent of the information on the Internet.

Websites aimed at attracting traffic do their best to get noticed, paying to tailor their content to the real or perceived requirements of search engines such as Google. Terrorists have no such ambitions. They prefer to lurk in the dark recesses of the Undernet.

 Undernet?  Really? I’m not sure most Americans, including this writer, could find the undernet if provided a map and a Chilton’s Guide.  Given the fact that no self-respecting terrorist would use the open Internet for communications of any sort, one is left to consider the implications of just why the government is hoovering up all manner of personal communications of law-abiding citizens. Perhaps it’s to create the “surveillance effect” of demoralizing an already cowed populace now used to serial fingering and probing by uniformed TSA goons?

…Monitoring phone calls is hardly the way to catch terrorists. They’re generally not dumb enough to use Verizon. Granted, Russia’s special services managed to kill Chechen separatist leader Dzhokhar Dudayev with a missile that homed in on his satellite-phone signal. That was in 1996. Modern-day terrorists are generally more aware of the available technology.

At best, the recent revelations concerning Prism and telephone surveillance might deter potential recruits to terrorist causes from using the most visible parts of the Internet. Beyond that, the government’s efforts are much more dangerous to civil liberties than they are to al-Qaeda and other organizations like it.

Surveillance societies exist to disrupt and prevent change to the status quo. Here’s a theory: having successfully prosecuted a 35 year class war to extract the  accumulated wealth of the American middle class, the elites now have a militarized police force and a state surveillance apparatus  in place to prevent social movements that will lead to change. Especially political movements, like Occupy. All the better for the 1% to keep their ill–accumulated gains off the table and  safely in their Cayman Islands accounts.

A related story:

None Dare Call it FASCISM: How the NSA has (already) privatized tyranny

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Add Michael Hastings

HuffPo moved an article last Monday about Michael Hastings’ last communications. Speculation continues about the circumstances of his death.

Hours before dying in a fiery car crash, award-winning journalist Michael Hastings sent an email to his colleagues, warning that federal authorities were interviewing his friends and that he needed to go “off the rada[r]” for a bit.

The email was sent around 1 p.m. on Monday, June 17. At 4:20 a.m. the following morning, Hastings died when his Mercedes, traveling at high speeds, smashed into a tree and caught on fire. He was 33.

Hastings sent the email to staff at BuzzFeed, where he was employed, but also blind-copied a friend, Staff Sgt. Joseph Biggs, on the message. Biggs, who Hastings met in 2008 when he was embedded in his unit in Afghanistan, forwarded the email to KTLA, who posted it online on Saturday.

Here’s the email, with the recipients’ names redacted.

Subject: FBI Investigation, re: NSA

Hey (redacted names) — the Feds are interviewing my “close friends and associates.” Perhaps if the authorities arrive “BuzzFeed GQ,” er HQ, may be wise to immediately request legal counsel before any conversations or interviews about our news-gathering practices or related journalism issues.

Also: I’m onto a big story, and need to go off the rada[r] for a bit.

All the best, and hope to see you all soon.

Michael

Rumors that the FBI was investigating Hastings began the day after his death, with a couple of mysterious WikiLeaks tweets.

In a rare move, the FBI issued a statement denying that Hastings was under investigation. The Los Angeles Police Department also said it had found no evidence of any foul play in his death.

Hastings, an accomplished war correspondent and sharp political reporter, was best known for writing a critical Rolling Stone profile of General Stanley McChrystal that led to his resignation.

It’s unclear what “big story” Hastings was working on prior to his death, but it might have to do with yet another military bigwig, this time retired general David Petraeus.

The LA Times reported that Hastings was researching a story about a privacy lawsuit brought by Jill Kelley, the Florida socialite who took center stage in the Petraeus cheating scandal, against the Department of Defense and the FBI. According to a person close to Kelley, the paper said, Hastings had plans to meet a representative of hers to discuss the case next week.

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Ecuador offers U.S. rights aid, waives trade benefits

 

For those of us following the Edward Snowden/NSA story with the avidity of a drama, the statements made this week by Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa certainly compelled our attention.  Correa rejected trade benefits and courted the risk of sanctions, plus tolerated threats from a number of American politicians  as a result of considering asylum for Edward Snowden.

(Reuters) – Ecuador’s leftist government thumbed its nose at Washington on Thursday by renouncing U.S. trade benefits and offering to pay for human rights training in America in response to pressure over asylum for former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

The angry response threatens a showdown between the two nations over Snowden, and may burnish President Rafael Correa’s credentials to be the continent’s principal challenger of U.S. power after the death of Venezuelan socialist leader Hugo Chavez.

“Ecuador will not accept pressures or threats from anyone, and it does not traffic in its values or allow them to be subjugated to mercantile interests,” government spokesman Fernando Alvarado said at a news conference.

In a cheeky jab at the U.S. spying program that Snowden unveiled through leaks to the media, the South American nation offered $23 million per year to finance human rights training.

The funding would be destined to help “avoid violations of privacy, torture and other actions that are denigrating to humanity,” Alvarado said. He said the amount was the equivalent of what Ecuador gained each year from the trade benefits.

Ironies abound.  Yet the fact that the president of a small, Latin American country can give voice to the many of us still inside the FSA who reject the Washington consensus  is a thing of beauty.  The wholly-owned corporate media simply gives no play to domestic critics of the new world order or any of its instrumentalities.

“They’ve managed to focus attention on Snowden and on the ‘wicked’ countries that ‘support’ him, making us forget the terrible things against the U.S. people and the whole world that he denounced. The world order isn’t only unjust, it’s immoral,” Correa continued, taking an aggressive new rhetorical tack on the case.

A sentiment now forgotten in most quarters within the FSA.

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Deregulation Makes Things Blow Up

Charlie Pierce of Esquire made note of the fact that, when there is no oversight and regulation, owners won’t spend any money on safety or their people in pursuit of maximum profit.

 

Meanwhile, Congress seems to be getting interested in what happened in Geismar. Today, the Senate Committee On The Environment And Public Works held a hearing into what happened in both Texas and Louisiana. The committee’s chair, Barbara Boxer of California, said that, “This should be a wakeup call for all of us, and we must take steps to ensure that such a disaster never happens again. Here’s the good news: under existing law, EPA can strengthen safety at facilities that handle dangerous chemicals.”

If only the EPA had, you know, a director right now.

Meanwhile, Kim Nibarger, an environmental specialist for the United Steelworkers minced no words about what’s really going on here. Decades of deregulation and removing the dead hand of government from American corporations have turned far too many American factories and storage facilities into mini-Bhopals in waiting.

This is Rick Perry, Governor Of Texas, including the city of West,on the EPA and environmental regulations:

“… tell the EPA that we don’t don’t need you monkeyin’ around and fiddlin’ around and gettin’ in our business on every kind of regulation that you can dream up. You’re doin’ nothin’ more than killin’ jobs. It is a cemetery for jobs at the EPA.”

This is “Bobby” Jindal, governor of Louisiana, including the city of Geismar, on government regulations:

“We believe in planting the seeds of growth in the fertile soil of your economy, where you live, where you work, invest, and dream, not in the barren concrete of Washington. If it’s worth doing, block grant it to the states.”

This is Mike Pence, governor of Indiana, including the city of Union Mills, on the same topic:

“Over several decades the proliferation of administrative rules and regulations at all levels of government has increased the complexity and expense of economic life. Reducing this regulatory burden will promote citizens’ freedom to engage in individual, family and business pursuits.”    

Yeah, that’ll work.

Self-reporting is a joke. Leaving it to the states is an open invitation to the wild kingdom, Right now, the occasional death of a worker or three is cheaper than installing sprinklers or something. When your state’s governor starts spouting off about creating a “business-friendly environment” in your state, this is what he’s talking about.

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 Schlafly: Latino voters “don’t understand” the Bill of Rights “at all”

The blogging gods are good this week…

Conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly is still telling anyone who will listen that the Republican party should only pay attention to white voters (something that it is already pretty good at doing, according to recent data).

This is a popular refrain for Schlafy, even though, as Jordan Fabian at ABC News notes, this is precisely the strategy that lost Republicans the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections, to say nothing of how offensive it is to suggest the GOP disregard entire segments of the voting population based on race and ethnicity.

Schlafly was a guest on a conservative California radio show when she fired off her latest proclamation about the future of the GOP, announcing that courting Latino voters is a waste of the grand ol’ party’s time because they “don’t have any Republican inclinations at all,” and are “running an illegitimacy rate that’s just about the same as the blacks are.”

As Hunter S. Thompson would undoubtedly observed, Res ipsa loquitor.

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Radiation Levels Skyrocket at Fukushima

The Accident Is NOT Contained

What better way to execute a “Great Culling” than to poison groundwater?  Washington’s Blog moved this story. Record high levels of radioactive tritium have been observed in the harbor at Fukushima.

Japan Times notes:

The density of radioactive tritium in samples of seawater from near the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant doubled over 10 days to hit a record 1,100 becquerels per liter, possibly indicating contaminated groundwater is seeping into the Pacific, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.

***

Tepco said late Monday it was still analyzing the water for strontium-90, which would pose a greater danger than tritium to human health if absorbed via the food chain. The level of cesium did not show any significant change between the two sample dates, according to the embattled utility.

On June 19, Tepco revealed that a groundwater sample taken from a nearby monitoring well was contaminated with both tritium and strontium-90.

***

During a news conference Monday in Tokyo, Masayuki Ono, a Tepco executive and spokesman, this time did not deny the possibility of leakage into the sea, while he said Tepco is still trying to determine the cause of the spike.

Kyoto reports:

A sample collected Friday contained around 1,100 becquerels of tritium per liter, the highest level detected in seawater since the nuclear crisis at the plant started in March 2011, the utility said Monday.

***

The latest announcement was made after Tepco detected high levels of radioactive tritium and strontium in groundwater from an observation well at the plant.

Indeed, the amount of radioactive strontium has skyrocketed over the last couple of months at Fukushima.

The New York Times writes:

Tokyo Electric Power, the operator of the stricken nuclear power plant at Fukushima, said Wednesday that it had detected high levels of radioactive strontium in groundwater at the plant, raising concerns that its storage tanks are leaking contaminated water, possibly into the ocean.

***

The company has struggled to store growing amounts of contaminated runoff at the plant, but had previously denied that the site’s groundwater was highly toxic….

Xinhua reports:

Very high radioactivity levels were detected in groundwater from an observation well at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, said the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) Wednesday.

***

The observation well was set up on the Pacific side of the plant’s No. 2 reactor turbine building last December to find out the reasons why radioactivity levels in seawater near the plant remained high. The company said the sampled water could be from the contaminated water that seeped into the ground.

Just a reminder that weather patterns move West to East.

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Brain-eating amoebas thrive in US lakes as global warming heats waterways

 

These deadly invaders from the deep are showing up in surprising locations

For some people, a fatal infection without any obvious treatment strikes the sufferer down. After a swim on a hot summers day, the swimmer inadvertently inhales and me big organism which travels through the nasal passage into the brain where it multiplies devours cerebral fluid and gray matter and causes death.

And if you live in the North, it’s coming to a theater near you.

These “brain-eating amoebas” — known to doctors and scientists as Naegleria fowleri, or N. fowleri — aren’t believed to kill often. In the US, researchers estimate that between three and eight people die from N. fowleri disease, commonly referred to as PAM (primary amebic meningoencephalitis) each year. But that might not be the case for long. In recent years, N. fowleri has popped up in unexpected locations, which some experts suggest is a sign that warmer waters — caused by brutal summer heat waves and rising temperatures across the country — are catalyzing their spread.

 “The climate is changing, and let me tell you, so is this,” says Travis Heggie, an associate professor at Bowling Green State University who’s tracked the amoebas for several years. “If warm weather keeps up, I think we’ll see N. fowleri popping up farther and farther north.”

That speculation seems to be reinforced by recent cases of PAM, once a health woe confined to fresh water in southern states like Texas and Arizona. In Minnesota, public health officials were stunned to see two fatalities caused by N. fowleri — both young children — in 2010 and 2012. 

 

 

And this from an earlier article:

Here’s a ghastly thing that has been making headlines lately: Naegleria fowleri, a.k.a. brain-eating amoebas. So far this summer, this microscopic mind-muncher has claimed the lives of three people in three different states: Virginia, Florida and Louisiana. According to MSNBC:

“Naegleria fowleri moves into the body through the nose and destroys brain tissue, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The bug causes primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, a nearly always fatal disease of the central nervous system, the CDC reported. … Naegleria fowleri is usually found warm, stagnant water in freshwater lakes, ponds and rivers. It can also be found in wells.”

The good news is that brain-eating amoeba infections are very rare, and there’s no sign of any sort of outbreak at this time. Nevertheless, the Naegleria fowleri is one of nature’s many ghoulish, nightmarish creepy-crawlies, ranking alongside flesh-eating bacteria, which destroys skin and muscle tissue by releasing toxins, and the human bot fly, and insect that implants its larvae into human skin. Parasite rex, indeed.

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FBI Document—“[DELETED]” Plots to Kill Occupy Leaders “If Deemed Necessary”

In a story that would strain credulity even in these credulity-straining times when the daily headlines outstrip The Onion for absurdity, comes this piece of journalism from Dave Lindorff.

 

 

 

 

 

“Would you be shocked to learn that the FBI apparently knew that some organization, perhaps even a law enforcement agency or private security outfit, had contingency plans to assassinate peaceful protestors in a major American city — and did nothing to intervene?

“Would you be surprised to learn that this intelligence comes not from a shadowy whistle-blower but from the FBI itself – specifically, from a document obtained from Houston FBI office last December, as part of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by the Washington, DC-based Partnership for Civil Justice Fund?

“To repeat: this comes from the FBI itself. The question, then, is: What did the FBI do about it?”

Many will recall that the Occupy movement swept the US beginning in mid-September 2011, taking root in a number of urban areas. It was rare for a city of any note not to have a couple of bedraggled activists in residence, many of whom had visited the OWS encampment in Zuccotti Park to see how Occupy was done. In October of that year the movement came to Houston. Given the prevailing, uh, local political temperature, the local powers-that-be, including law enforcement, banking and oil execs reacted even more strongly than in some other places.

The push-back took the form of violent assaults by police on Occupy activists, federal and local surveillance of people seen as organizers, infiltration by police provocateurs—and, as crazy as it sounds, some kind of plot to assassinate the “leaders” of this non-violent and leaderless movement.

Here’s what the document obtained from the Houston FBI, said:

An identified [DELETED] as of October planned to engage in sniper attacks against protestors (sic) in Houston, Texas if deemed necessary. An identified [DELETED] had received intelligence that indicated the protesters in New York and Seattle planned similar protests in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin, Texas. [DELETED] planned to gather intelligence against the leaders of the protest groups and obtain photographs, then formulate a plan to kill the leadership via suppressed sniper rifles. (Note: protests continued throughout the weekend with approximately 6000 persons in NYC. ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protests have spread to about half of all states in the US, over a dozen European and Asian cities, including protests in Cleveland (10/6-8/11) at Willard Park which was initially attended by hundreds of protesters.)

Occupiers Astounded—But Not Entirely

Paul Kennedy, the National Lawyers Guild attorney in Houston who represented a number of Occupy Houston activists arrested during the protests, had not heard of the sniper plot, but said, “I find it hard to believe that such information would have been known to the FBI and that we would not have been told about it.”  He then added darkly, “If it had been some right-wing group plotting such an action, something would have been done. But if it is something law enforcement was planning, then nothing would have been done. It might seem hard to believe that a law enforcement agency would do such a thing, but I wouldn’t put it past them.”

Seeking confirmation, the reporters and asked the FBI about this document—which, despite its stunning revelation and despite  press releases, was, per usual, generally ignored by mainstream and “alternative” press alike.

The FBI confirmed the authenticity of the document and that it originated in the Houston FBI office. (The plot is also referenced in a second document obtained in PCJF’s FOIA response, in this case from the FBI’s Gainesville, Fla., office, which cites the Houston FBI as the source.)  That second document actually suggests that the assassination plot, which never was activated, might still be operative should Occupy decisively re-emerge in the area. It states:

On 13 October 20111, writer sent via email an excerpt from the daily [DELETED] regarding FBI Houston’s [DELETED] to all IAs, SSRAs and SSA [DELETED] This [DELETED] identified the exploitation of the Occupy Movement by [LENGTHY DELETION] interested in developing a long-term plan to kill local Occupy leaders via sniper fire.

Remington Alessi, an Occupy Houston activist, was one of the seven defendants whose felony charge was dropped because of police entrapment. He speculates that the plot could have been the work of a police or a private security group.

Alessi, who hails from a law-enforcement family and who ran last year for sheriff of Houston’s Harris County on the Texas Green Party ticket, garnering 22,000 votes, agrees with attorney Kennedy that the plotters were not from some right-wing organization. “If it had been that, the FBI would have acted on it,” he agrees. “I believe the sniper attack was one strategy being discussed for dealing with the occupation.” He adds:

I assume I would have been one of the targets, because I led a few of the protest actions, and I hosted an Occupy show on KPFT.  I wish I could say I’m surprised that this was seriously discussed, but remember, this is the same federal government that murdered (Black Panther Party leader) Fred Hampton. We have a government that traditionally murders people who are threats. I guess being a target is sort of an honor.

This simply cannot go on.

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Quick hits

This is a number of odd bits collected throughout the week. Some of these stories received national play, and need no attention here. As for the others, after you get past 5000 words, you simply need to quit.

New hero in Texas
http://site.pfaw.org/site/MessageViewer?dlv_id=52542&em_id=38761.0

Texas Abortion Bill Filibustered By State Senator Wendy Davis Is Dead
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/26/texas-abortion-bill_n_3501005.html

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Who they are.

Yeah____________________________________________________________________________

Renewables projected to overtake natural gas as world’s second-largest power source

http://www.theverge.com/2013/6/28/4473694/iea-says-renewable-energy-overtakes-natural-gas-nuclear-by-2016
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Mixed week for SCROTUS

http://mariopiperni.com/conservative-media/scotus-rules-jesus-weeps.php

Who Are the REAL Traitors?

Off the keyboard of Jim Quinn

Published on The Burning Platform on June 18, 2013

edward_snowden_2sm

Discuss this article at the Heroes of the Revolution Table inside the Diner

“I’m neither traitor nor hero. I’m an American.”Edward Snowden

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”  – Samuel Adams

 

There are weeks that change the course of human history. There are weeks when people must choose sides. There are weeks that expose the real American traitors. There is no middle ground in this debate. You are either on the side of freedom, liberty, truth, transparency and the U.S. Constitution or you are on the side of mindless obedience, oppression, deception, corruption and tyranny. A courageous young Millennial named Edward Snowden has risked his life and his future to expose the illegal, surreptitious surveillance programs being conducted by the United States government in clear violation of the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The NSA, with the full knowledge of Barack Obama and Congress, has been covertly collecting phone and internet records on millions of Americans with the full cooperation of Verizon and other mega media/data corporations. Our owners have been using the U.S. Constitution to wipe their asses. The 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is so unambiguous that any intelligent politician, bright journalist or fifth grader in Miss Sabatini’s history class could interpret its meaning and intention. Our founding fathers believed in truth, clarity and simplicity. The traitorous sociopaths in control of our government today believe in obfuscation, ambiguity and complexity.

File:Upstream slide of the PRISM presentation.jpg

Living Constitution?

Do you believe the mass collection of metadata information from millions of Americans with no probable cause is an unreasonable search as defined by the 4th Amendment? Do you believe the complete lockdown of one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the country and the door to door search by heavily armed government security thugs for one wounded teenager, without warrants or probable cause, was a violation of the 4th Amendment? Do you believe secretive governmental agencies have the right to partner with the biggest internet/communications/mass media corporations in the world to record your phone calls, read your emails, and monitor your internet communications under the bogus justification of the War on Terror (you are more likely to be struck by lightning twice than to be killed by a terrorist)?  Do you believe that government agencies tasked with revenue collection can be used to create an enemies list based upon whether you donated to the Ron Paul campaign, believe in liberty, or belong to a Tea Party organization? Do you believe allowing minimum wage government drones to molest little old ladies, paraplegics and three year old children, while conducting full body scans on all airline passengers really makes you safer from phantom terrorists? Do you believe having 30,000 high tech surveillance drones that can see you picking your nose in your driveway from 25,000 feet are not a violation of your privacy rights?

Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

If you answered in the affirmative to any or all of the questions above you are either a government apparatchik, someone dependent upon the surveillance state for your paycheck, a victim of decades of mind control through corporate mass media propaganda, or one of the willfully ignorant masses. Of course the ignorant masses will not be reading these questions as they are focused on the inbred royal family saga, Kim Kardashian’s bastard child pregnancy, and the upcoming episodes of Honey Boo Boo, Teen Mom, I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant, Duck Dynasty, Real Housewives of Idiocracy or paying $200 on their plastic debt accumulator to watch multi-millionaire freaks of nature play children’s games. Those who argue the U.S. Constitution is a living document open to interpretation by the interchangeable corporate fascist parties that control the reins of power at Versailles on the Potomac are nothing but apologists for the corrupt status quo. The American people are provided the illusion of choice by their owners, but the major policies are kept intact – never ending war, never ending currency debasement, and never ending screwing of the middle class.

The revelations by Millennial martyr, Edward Snowden, about the PRISM program and the fact that the NSA harvests data directly from the servers of Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Apple, Yahoo and other corporate co-conspirators came just days after disclosure that our Orwellian trained keepers had been shredding the 1st Amendment. The Obama administration has continuously flaunted the Bill of Rights when they interfere with their mission to create a centrally planned welfare/warfare state. Republicans don’t resist Obama’s efforts on Constitutional grounds, as they have no love for its constraints either. The seizure of AP reporter phone records in an effort to uncover leaks and to intimidate the free press, monitoring of reporter James Rosen using false information to obtain a warrant, and the computer hacking of lead Benghazi CBS reporter Cheryl Attkisson are clearly violations of the 1st Amendment.

There has been faux outrage among those in the establishment. It’s nothing but a game to entertain their rabid disciples. There is virtually no difference between the pretend parties who alternately operate as figurehead leadership in Washington D.C. Both parties cooperated to crush the peaceable assembly of young people exercising their right to petition the government about the blatant criminality of Wall Street bankers. The supposed Soros inspired OWS movement was subdued by Democratic mayors using their local military police hooligans, supported by the Federal surveillance state, in cooperation with the very same criminal Wall Street banks who had destroyed the worldwide financial system in their ransacking of the nation’s wealth through a well planned and executed control fraud.

The cheerleading of this disgusting display of fascist tactics by Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News and the likes of CNN, MSNBC, and Bloomberg News told me everything I needed to know. Those within the status quo will circle the wagons whenever there is a threat to their wealth, power and control. If you make it onto the establishment’s enemies list, the Constitution will not protect you. The only true free speech is being exercised on the internet, for now. The plutocracy of wealthy corporate elite and their captured puppet politicians are attempting to crush dissent and free speech by restricting access to anti-establishment websites, introducing legislation to control the internet and as we now know hacking into sites considered enemies of the state. The guarantee of 1st Amendment protection has increasingly becoming a quaint old fashion notion in this fascist state.

First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The Constitution has been increasingly treated as an optional instructional manual by what passes for leadership in this country. An all-out assault has been waged on the 2nd Amendment by the control freaks who want to create a national gun registry so they know where to send their military assault teams when the time comes. Every assault on our liberties, rights and freedoms is done on behalf of the children. Sinclair Lewis once declared:

“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”

He was wrong. Fascism has come to America, wrapped in fiat currency, carrying a child as a prop, in the name of the War on Terrorism. Presidents have been flaunting their disdain for Article One, Section Eight of the Constitution since World War II. The Imperial American Empire has been militarily enforcing its hegemony over the world since the 1950’s without Congress ever declaring war, as required by the Constitution. Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and now Syria are just the latest victims of our hypocritical interventionist state. Our predator drones roam the skies above foreign countries murdering suspected bad guys at the whim of PS3 trained gutless techno geeks sipping a decaf on their 9 to 5 shift.  The corrupt spineless swine in Congress expose themselves as nothing more than bought off acolytes of the military industrial complex warned about by Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1961:

“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

The citizens of this country have failed to heed his warning. We have not been alert and to describe the narcissistic, delusional, math challenged, willfully ignorant sheep, bleating for their safety and security as knowledgeable is beyond laughable. Security and liberty have not prospered together. The arms dealers formed an unholy alliance with the Too Big To Trust Wall Street banks, their sugar daddy Federal Reserve, easily bought off feckless political class, and sociopathic government bureaucrats to create this corporate fascist welfare/warfare state that has subverted our liberty while obscenely enriching the .1% who have used their unwarranted influence in a traitorous manner. The disastrous consequences for the world continue to build like the dome of a volcano before it detonates and destroys everything in a fiery swath of lava.

New Boss Same As The Old Boss

“If people can’t trust not only the executive branch, but also don’t trust Congress and don’t trust federal judges to make sure that we’re abiding by the Constitution, due process and rule of law, then we’re going to have some problems here.” – Barack Obama

 

The nattering classes who dominate the boob tube spin the storylines of their corporate clients on a daily basis, but the uncovering of the deceitful activities of the ruling establishment by Edward Snowden have exposed the truth about who runs this country. Republicans, Democrats, neo-cons, ultra-liberals, Fox News, MSNBC, the New York Times, Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, military generals, and the government drones who monitor our phone calls, texts, emails and internet postings have all shown their true colors in the last week. They don’t care about truth, justice, or the American people. James Clapper lied during sworn testimony before Congress about spying on millions of Americans because he didn’t think he’d be caught. He was caught red handed. And no one is calling for his apprehension and imprisonment.

We are lied to, misled, misinformed, and inundated with falsehoods and propaganda on a daily basis by our leaders. The proof that we live in a plutocracy dominated by two corrupt political parties (with 250 millionaires in Congress), six Wall Street banks (JP Morgan, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs), six mass media companies (Comcast, Google, Walt Disney, News Corp., Time Warner, Viacom), seven arm dealers (Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrup Grumman, General Dynamics, Raytheon, L-3 Communications, United Technologies), a few politically connected mega-corporations (Exxon, General Electric, Verizon, Microsoft, Wal-Mart, General Motors, Apple, Berkshire Hathaway, IBM), and a few hundred shadowy billionaires is how they have unequivocally declared that Edward Snowden is a filthy high school dropout traitor. He has revealed secrets about how the lords of the manor keep the serfs and peasants under surveillance. Here is a smattering of the vitriol spewed about this American patriot:

“America is now a less safe place. The world is a less safe place because of what Mr. Snowden unilaterally did. He deserves to be prosecuted. I hope they find him in the hole that he’s hiding in in Hong Kong and bring him home and try him.” – Karl Rove

“I hope we follow Mr. Snowden to the ends of the earth to bring him to justice.” – Lindsey Graham

“For this, some, including my colleague John Cassidy, are hailing him as a hero and a whistle-blower. He is neither. He is, rather, a grandiose narcissist who deserves to be in prison.”Jeffrey Toobin – The New Yorker

“What he did was an act of treason.”Diane Feinstein

“He’s a traitor.” – John Boehner

“I think he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I consider him right now to be a defector.” – Peter King

“There is an obligation both moral, but also legal, I believe, against a reporter disclosing something which would so severely compromise national security.” – Peter King

“I can assure you, this is not about spying on the American people.” – Al Franken

“For me it is literally, not figuratively, literally, gut-wrenching to see this happen, because of the huge, grave damage it does to our intelligence capabilities.”James Clapper (Perjurer)

“We do not see a tradeoff between security and liberty.” – Keith Alexander – NSA Director

“The national security of the United States has been damaged as a result those leaks. The safety of the American people and the safety of people who reside in allied nations have been put at risk as a result of these leaks.” – Eric Holder

“I think he’s a traitor. I’m suspicious because he went to China. That’s not a place where you would ordinarily want to go if you are interested in freedom, liberty and so forth. It raises questions whether or not he had that kind of connection before he did this.” Dick Cheney – The Dark Lord

“And I hope that he is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” – Mitch McConnell

“Now you’ve got this 29-year-old high school dropout whistleblower making foreign policy for our country, our security policy. It’s sad, Brian. We’ve made treason cool. Betraying your country is kind of a fashion statement. He wants to be the national security Kim Kardashian. He cites Bradley Manning as a hero. I mean, we need to get very, very serious about treason. And oh by the way, for treason — as in the case of Bradley Manning or Edwards Snowden — you bring back the death penalty.”Fox and Friends

“Can intelligence operate effectively if every starry-eyed analyst feels entitled to be a self-appointed whistle-blower?” – Gary RosenThe Wall Street Journal

“Edward Snowden should go to jail, as quickly and for as long as possible.” – John Yoo – The National Review.

“I think on three scores—that is leaking the Patriot Act section 215, FISA 702, and the president’s classified cyber operations’ directive—on the strength of leaking that, yes, that would be a prosecutable offense. I think that he should be prosecuted.” – Nancy Pelosi

“Who is a journalist is a question we need to ask ourselves. Is any blogger out there saying anything – do they deserve First Amendment protection? These are the issues of our times.” – Lindsey Graham

“This lens makes you more likely to share the distinct strands of libertarianism that are blossoming in this fragmenting age: the deep suspicion of authority, the strong belief that hierarchies and organizations are suspect, the fervent devotion to transparency, the assumption that individual preference should be supreme. You’re more likely to donate to the Ron Paul for president campaign, as Snowden did. But Big Brother is not the only danger facing the country. Another is the rising tide of distrust, the corrosive spread of cynicism, the fraying of the social fabric and the rise of people who are so individualistic in their outlook that they have no real understanding of how to knit others together and look after the common good.” – David Brooks

It seems the ruling oligarchs, their mouthpieces in the mainstream media (both conservative & liberal), Machiavellian politicians on both sides of the aisle, unscrupulous military commanders and deceitful government bureaucrats have all rallied to shield their existing perverted surveillance state. These people actually believe that what is best for their own personal interests is best for the citizens of this country. There is only one Party – the Establishment Party. The smear campaign against Edward Snowden began immediately. The vitriolic accusations, venomous scorn, malicious ridicule and pathetic attempts to discredit Edward Snowden for sacrificing everything on behalf of the country he loves has revealed more truth about how the real world operates than the thousands of articles written by supposed “conspiracy theorists” over the last decade. Anyone with their eyes open and mind not controlled by the regime know the real criminals in this tragedy. Leon Trotsky, who also participated in a brutal fascist surveillance state, put it best:

“The real criminals hide under the cloak of the accusers.”

In a country where those in power encourage and participate in the plundering of people’s bank accounts by billionaires, the largest financial control fraud in world history by the biggest Wall Street banks, treating every citizen as a suspect until proven otherwise under the auspices of the ironically named Patriot Act, creating an Orwellian surveillance state of cameras, drones and snitches, torturing suspected enemies, conducting military exercises in the skies above our cities, seizing reporters’ personal records, using government agencies to harass political opponents, listening to our phone calls with warrantless wiretaps, reading our emails and texts, brutally crushing peaceful protests, attempting to disarm us, locking down an entire city and kicking doors down while searching for a hapless wounded teenager, appropriating our DNA, detaining us without charges, assassinating suspected dissidents, regulating what we can eat, drink or smoke, passing 2,500 page corporate lobbyist written bills that no one has read, using laws to enhance the wealth of the .1%, creating a tax code designed to minimize the burden on the .1%, the feeding of economic information by the Fed and Federal government to connected crony banks minutes before the public so they can pre-program their HFT computers to profit at the expense of the muppets, conducting cyber-attacks on sovereign countries and then feigning outrage when the favor is returned, and militarily intervening around the world under the false guise of strategic interests, we are supposed to trust the establishment? As we descend further into tyranny, I don’t know which is sadder – the pure evil of these men or the apathy and complacent acquiescence of the willfully ignorant masses to the methods employed by their owners. The numerous laws passed by those in power are just more proof of how corrupt our society has become.

 “The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.” – Tacitus

The threat of tyranny was still raw in 1975, after the Watergate cover-up, when Senator Frank Church warned about the National Security Agency:

“I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.”

Again, we failed to heed his warning. We’ve crossed over the abyss and the vision of our future will be the boot of a DHS thug stomping on the face of an American citizen – forever.

True Ruling Power of Our Country

“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” – Thomas Jefferson

  

Whenever I would use the term oligarchs, ruling elite, powers that be, owners, .1%, or ruling class, it always sounded too conspiratorial. But after years of reading the writings of Edward Bernays, Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, Ron Paul, George Carlin and a number of other “crazy” bloggers, while witnessing with my own two eyes what is happening in this country, I’ve come to the conclusion that our country is run by an invisible government consisting of a small cadre of rich powerful men who manipulate, obfuscate, eliminate and fabricate in their insatiable greed for glory, riches, power and control. They thought they had perfected the art of propaganda:

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.” – Edward Bernays

The disclosure of the unholy alliance of corporations and the government to secretly spy on millions of Americans, while attempting to intimidate journalists and crush dissent from political opponents, is throwing the master plan of the ruling elite into disarray. The conspiracy of silence and denial is fraying at the edges as the truth continues to leak out:

“The contents of a phone call could be accessed simply based on an analyst deciding that. If the NSA wants to listen to the phone, an analyst’s decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required.” – Democratic Rep Jerrold Nadler

There have been a few lone voices in the wilderness warning about the rise of this corporate fascist surveillance one party state, but they have been scorned, ridiculed, marginalized and ignored. It seems the libertarian minded men and women of this country have been right all along.

“We’ve slipped away from a true republic. Now we’re slipping into a fascist system where it’s a combination of government, big business and authoritarian rule, and the suppression of the individual rights of each and every American citizen. When it comes to any significant differences on foreign policy, economic intervention, the Federal Reserve, a strong executive branch, a welfarism mixed with corporatism, both parties are very much alike.  The major arguments in hotly contested presidential races are mostly for public consumption to convince the people they actually have a choice.” – Ron Paul

True liberty minded Americans and those who value freedom and the Constitution have rallied to the defense of a true patriot. “We the People” must reclaim this country from the unelected .1% who has conducted a silent coup while we were pre-occupied with our techno-narcissism and consumed by the urge to consume. We have an omnipotent outlaw government with concentrated overwhelming power. The out of control bureaucracy devouring treasure, the blood of our young, civil rights, and the Constitution will not yield of its own volition. When the government tyrants classify all of us as enemies of the state, it is time to dismantle the state and water the tree of liberty with some blood, if that is what is required.

“Perfect safety is not the purpose of government. What we want from government is to enforce the law to protect our liberties. The government does not need to know more about what we are doing. We need to know more about what the government is doing. We need to turn the cameras on the police and on the government, not the other way around. We should be thankful for writers like Glenn Greenwald, who broke last week’s story, for taking risks to let us know what the government is doing. There are calls for the persecution of Greenwald and the other whistle-blowers and reporters. They should be defended, as their work defends our freedom.” Ron Paul

The country is being run like a mafia crime family. The Don and his family of criminals operate in secrecy, eliminating their opponents, buying off the press, bribing the police for protection, running the rackets, and collecting their tribute from those that want to do business with them. They go to war against the other families whenever they want to expand their turf. The country has been captured by an organized crime syndicate and it will require an Elliot Ness type character with many strident Constitutionalists to rid the land of these evil, lawless, egocentric men. One of those evil men slithered out of his lair onto the neo-con network – Fox News – to declare Edward Snowden a traitor and spy. Mr. Snowden responded to chicken-hawk Dick “Deferment” Cheney during another freedom of the press in a foreign country event:

“Further, it’s important to bear in mind I’m being called a traitor by men like former Vice President Dick Cheney. This is a man who gave us the warrantless wiretapping scheme as a kind of atrocity warm-up on the way to deceitfully engineering a conflict that has killed over 4,400 and maimed nearly 32,000 Americans, as well as leaving over 100,000 Iraqis dead. Being called a traitor by Dick Cheney is the highest honor you can give an American, and the more panicked talk we hear from people like him, Feinstein, and King, the better off we all are. If they had taught a class on how to be the kind of citizen Dick Cheney worries about, I would have finished high school.

Who has done more to shred the Constitution and strip us of rights, liberties and freedoms in the last thirteen years – Cheney or Snowden?

This brings us to the question of our times. Who are the patriots and who are the traitors? Those in power have been using the Bernaysian propaganda technique of conscious and intelligent manipulation of the public mind by using the corporate media to convince the distracted ignorant masses that Edward Snowden has committed treason against his country and should be punished for his crime. Interestingly enough, treason is addressed in Article III Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. 

At the same time it would make sense to define the term patriot:

A person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors.

Does Edward Snowden fit the definition of a traitor as described in the Constitution? The shallow vacuous pundits in the corporate mainstream media complex blather on about treason while focusing their in-depth journalism on pictures of Snowden’s girlfriend from her Facebook page. This is what passes for journalism in America today. A man uncovers the largest spying conspiracy in human history and highly paid mouthpieces for the establishment focus on pole dancing. The last time I checked, Congress hadn’t declared war on anyone, so Snowden isn’t a traitor under that clause. He must be providing aid and comfort to our enemies. Who are the enemies today? They seem to change on a daily basis. I guess since we are considered potential enemies of the state, his revelations were giving the citizens of the United States aid and comfort.

On the other hand, a patriot is someone who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice on its behalf against those who would damage or hurt that country. The government of the United States (President, Congress, Judiciary), in conjunction with their corporate, banking and media co-conspirators have knowingly and willingly subverted the Constitution of the United States and have therefore committed treasonous acts that have endangered the rights, freedoms and liberties of the people. A corrupt regime will use their thousands of laws to ensnare anyone in some violation of those laws. But at the end of the day a critical thinking individual knows right from wrong without being told by a government bureaucrat. Edward Snowden is a patriot of the highest order. His act of heroism, knowing he would be despised, attacked and hunted down by the American Thugocracy, is on par with the actions of our Founding Fathers who knew they would be hung if their Revolution failed. A true patriot must be ready to defend his country against a tyrannical government. Edward Snowden just dumped the tea into the Boston Harbor.

Edward Snowden is standing up to the autocratic powers that have seized control of our Constitutional Republic. Other patriots (Thomas Drake, William Binney, J. Kirk Wiebe, Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, Aaron Swartz, Daniel Ellsberg) have sacrificed their careers and lives to reveal the truth about government corruption and malfeasance.  Ben Franklin pondered whether we could keep the Republic they had given us. He understood human nature and the likelihood that we as a people would become corrupted, vote for people who promised us the most, and would willingly sacrifice our independence, freedom, liberty and rights for the presumed safety and security of a despotic government:

“In these sentiments, sir, I agree to this Constitution with all its faults; if they are such; because I think a general government necessary for us, and there is no form of government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered; and I believe, further, that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other.”

Words of a Traitor?

“…I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.”Edward Snowden

The key terms are “good conscience” and “secretly”. Doing what is right does not mean doing what the authorities declare to be the law. Edward Snowden has a conscience. Barack Obama, Dick Cheney, James Clapper, John McCain, Diane Feinstein, Ben Bernanke, Jon Corzine, Jamie Dimon and the rest of the sociopathic criminal governing class have no conscience. Their souls are blackened with their crimes and misdeeds. In our Bizarro world, Nobel Peace Prize winners slaughter Muslim children indiscriminately with their squadrons of killer drones. Those in power are allowed to operate in the shadows, hiding anything that might incriminate them and secretly spying on millions of citizens without probable cause, while we the people have no right to privacy or freedom from surveillance in this plutocracy. We are all suspects in the eyes of the state and can be terminated at the whim of a government apparatchik:

“Because even if you’re not doing anything wrong you’re being watched and recorded. And the storage capability of these systems increases every year consistently by orders of magnitude … to where it’s getting to the point where you don’t have to have done anything wrong. You simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody – even by a wrong call. And then they can use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you’ve ever made, every friend you’ve ever discussed something with. And attack you on that basis to sort to derive suspicion from an innocent life and paint anyone in the context of a wrongdoer.” – Edward Snowden

Our greatest fear at this point in history is the continued apathy, ignorance, slothfulness, and delusional thinking of our narcissistic populace regarding the most important issue of our time – freedom or tyranny? Will enough people stand and fight the encroaching surveillance state and the evil men pulling the levers? Change will not happen through the ballots box, as the system is rigged and the democratic process has been subverted. It will require patriots taking to the streets and more people like Edward Snowden stepping forward to lead us back out of the abyss into which we have fallen. Time is growing short. Will we rise to the occasion or will we cower and wait until the satanic Eye of Sauron turns in our direction?

“The great fear that I have regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change. [People] won’t be willing to take the risks necessary to stand up and fight to change things… And in the months ahead, the years ahead, it’s only going to get worse. [The NSA will] say that… because of the crisis, the dangers that we face in the world, some new and unpredicted threat, we need more authority, we need more power, and there will be nothing the people can do at that point to oppose it. And it will be turnkey tyranny.” Edward Snowden

 

“I do not expect to see home again.” Edward Snowden

Over the course of decades we have allowed ourselves to be corrupted by the love of material possessions, the lure of a debt based faux wealth, the money for nothing entitlement promises of dishonorable politicians, the evil of currency debasement, the effectiveness of mass media propaganda, and the belief that we could sacrifice freedom and liberty for promises of safety and security made by a cabal of powerful rich men. Power has been concentrated into the hands of the few, who operate in secrecy and despise the people. They don’t want transparency or open debate. Freedom of speech is nothing but a thorn in their side. They believe they are smarter than the serfs and have no morality when it comes to committing illegal acts and disregarding the Constitution. They are not acting in the public interest. Their abuse of power and looting of the national wealth have put us on a path towards a bloody revolution. This is not a time for conformity, obedience or submission. It’s time to stand up and expose the evil doers. It’s time to rally around those who care about this country. Who are the real traitors? You know the answer. What are you going to do about it?

“The issue boils down to this: do we care about freedom? Do we care about responsibility and accountability? Do we care that our government and media have been bought and paid for? Do we care that average Americans are being looted in order to subsidize the fattest of cats on Wall Street and in government? Do we care? When the chips are down, will we stand up and fight, even if it means standing up against every stripe of fashionable opinion in politics and the media? Times like these have a way of telling us what kind of a people we are, and what kind of country we shall be.” – Ron Paul

 

WARNING: The National Security Agency is likely recording and storing this communication as part of its unlawful spying programs on all Americans … and people worldwide. The people who created the NSA spying program say that this communication – and any responses – can and will be used against the American people at any time in the future should folks in government decide to go after us for political reasons. And private information in digital communications may be given to big companies by the government.

Edward Snowden-American Patriot

Off the keyboard of Jim Quinn

Published on The Burning Platform on June 9, 2013

Discuss this article at the Heroes of the Revolution Table inside the Diner

The smear campaign will begin immediately. The US government is predictable. They will use their corporate MSM mouthpieces to denigrate and trash this martyr for American freedom and liberty. There will be an avalanche of negative articles and news reports by the usual faux journalists. They will attempt to convince the willfully ignorant masses that his revelations have endangered them and made them less safe. There is nothing further from the truth. This brave noble man has put his life in danger to reveal the Orwellian methods being used by the Federal government to control and monitor you. Edward Snowden is a true American Patriot. His plight should be the rallying cry for a revolution against the corrupt, dangerous, power hungry elitists that control this country. Think for yourself. Don’t let the controlled media tell you what to believe. This man has done a national service in revealing this secret spying effort that affects every person in this country.

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Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations

The 29-year-old source behind the biggest intelligence leak in the NSA’s history explains his motives, his uncertain future and why he never intended on hiding in the shadows
Q&A with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: ‘I do not expect to see home again’

 

The individual responsible for one of the most significant leaks in US political history is Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden has been working at the National Security Agency for the last four years as an employee of various outside contractors, including Booz Allen and Dell.

The Guardian, after several days of interviews, is revealing his identity at his request. From the moment he decided to disclose numerous top-secret documents to the public, he was determined not to opt for the protection of anonymity. “I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong,” he said.

Snowden will go down in history as one of America’s most consequential whistleblowers, alongside Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning. He is responsible for handing over material from one of the world’s most secretive organisations – the NSA.

In a note accompanying the first set of documents he provided, he wrote: “I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions,” but “I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant.”

Despite his determination to be publicly unveiled, he repeatedly insisted that he wants to avoid the media spotlight. “I don’t want public attention because I don’t want the story to be about me. I want it to be about what the US government is doing.”

He does not fear the consequences of going public, he said, only that doing so will distract attention from the issues raised by his disclosures. “I know the media likes to personalise political debates, and I know the government will demonise me.”

Despite these fears, he remained hopeful his outing will not divert attention from the substance of his disclosures. “I really want the focus to be on these documents and the debate which I hope this will trigger among citizens around the globe about what kind of world we want to live in.” He added: “My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them.”

He has had “a very comfortable life” that included a salary of roughly $200,000, a girlfriend with whom he shared a home in Hawaii, a stable career, and a family he loves. “I’m willing to sacrifice all of that because I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.”

‘I am not afraid, because this is the choice I’ve made’

Three weeks ago, Snowden made final preparations that resulted in last week’s series of blockbuster news stories. At the NSA office in Hawaii where he was working, he copied the last set of documents he intended to disclose.

He then advised his NSA supervisor that he needed to be away from work for “a couple of weeks” in order to receive treatment for epilepsy, a condition he learned he suffers from after a series of seizures last year.

As he packed his bags, he told his girlfriend that he had to be away for a few weeks, though he said he was vague about the reason. “That is not an uncommon occurrence for someone who has spent the last decade working in the intelligence world.”

On May 20, he boarded a flight to Hong Kong, where he has remained ever since. He chose the city because “they have a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent”, and because he believed that it was one of the few places in the world that both could and would resist the dictates of the US government.

In the three weeks since he arrived, he has been ensconced in a hotel room. “I’ve left the room maybe a total of three times during my entire stay,” he said. It is a plush hotel and, what with eating meals in his room too, he has run up big bills.

He is deeply worried about being spied on. He lines the door of his hotel room with pillows to prevent eavesdropping. He puts a large red hood over his head and laptop when entering his passwords to prevent any hidden cameras from detecting them.

Though that may sound like paranoia to some, Snowden has good reason for such fears. He worked in the US intelligence world for almost a decade. He knows that the biggest and most secretive surveillance organisation in America, the NSA, along with the most powerful government on the planet, is looking for him.

Since the disclosures began to emerge, he has watched television and monitored the internet, hearing all the threats and vows of prosecution emanating from Washington.

And he knows only too well the sophisticated technology available to them and how easy it will be for them to find him. The NSA police and other law enforcement officers have twice visited his home in Hawaii and already contacted his girlfriend, though he believes that may have been prompted by his absence from work, and not because of suspicions of any connection to the leaks.

“All my options are bad,” he said. The US could begin extradition proceedings against him, a potentially problematic, lengthy and unpredictable course for Washington. Or the Chinese government might whisk him away for questioning, viewing him as a useful source of information. Or he might end up being grabbed and bundled into a plane bound for US territory.

“Yes, I could be rendered by the CIA. I could have people come after me. Or any of the third-party partners. They work closely with a number of other nations. Or they could pay off the Triads. Any of their agents or assets,” he said.

“We have got a CIA station just up the road – the consulate here in Hong Kong – and I am sure they are going to be busy for the next week. And that is a concern I will live with for the rest of my life, however long that happens to be.”

Having watched the Obama administration prosecute whistleblowers at a historically unprecedented rate, he fully expects the US government to attempt to use all its weight to punish him. “I am not afraid,” he said calmly, “because this is the choice I’ve made.”

He predicts the government will launch an investigation and “say I have broken the Espionage Act and helped our enemies, but that can be used against anyone who points out how massive and invasive the system has become”.

The only time he became emotional during the many hours of interviews was when he pondered the impact his choices would have on his family, many of whom work for the US government. “The only thing I fear is the harmful effects on my family, who I won’t be able to help any more. That’s what keeps me up at night,” he said, his eyes welling up with tears.

‘You can’t wait around for someone else to act’

Snowden did not always believe the US government posed a threat to his political values. He was brought up originally in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. His family moved later to Maryland, near the NSA headquarters in Fort Meade.

By his own admission, he was not a stellar student. In order to get the credits necessary to obtain a high school diploma, he attended a community college in Maryland, studying computing, but never completed the coursework. (He later obtained his GED.)

In 2003, he enlisted in the US army and began a training program to join the Special Forces. Invoking the same principles that he now cites to justify his leaks, he said: “I wanted to fight in the Iraq war because I felt like I had an obligation as a human being to help free people from oppression”.

He recounted how his beliefs about the war’s purpose were quickly dispelled. “Most of the people training us seemed pumped up about killing Arabs, not helping anyone,” he said. After he broke both his legs in a training accident, he was discharged.

After that, he got his first job in an NSA facility, working as a security guard for one of the agency’s covert facilities at the University of Maryland. From there, he went to the CIA, where he worked on IT security. His understanding of the internet and his talent for computer programming enabled him to rise fairly quickly for someone who lacked even a high school diploma.

By 2007, the CIA stationed him with diplomatic cover in Geneva, Switzerland. His responsibility for maintaining computer network security meant he had clearance to access a wide array of classified documents.

That access, along with the almost three years he spent around CIA officers, led him to begin seriously questioning the rightness of what he saw.

He described as formative an incident in which he claimed CIA operatives were attempting to recruit a Swiss banker to obtain secret banking information. Snowden said they achieved this by purposely getting the banker drunk and encouraging him to drive home in his car. When the banker was arrested for drunk driving, the undercover agent seeking to befriend him offered to help, and a bond was formed that led to successful recruitment.

“Much of what I saw in Geneva really disillusioned me about how my government functions and what its impact is in the world,” he says. “I realised that I was part of something that was doing far more harm than good.”

He said it was during his CIA stint in Geneva that he thought for the first time about exposing government secrets. But, at the time, he chose not to for two reasons.

First, he said: “Most of the secrets the CIA has are about people, not machines and systems, so I didn’t feel comfortable with disclosures that I thought could endanger anyone”. Secondly, the election of Barack Obama in 2008 gave him hope that there would be real reforms, rendering disclosures unnecessary.

He left the CIA in 2009 in order to take his first job working for a private contractor that assigned him to a functioning NSA facility, stationed on a military base in Japan. It was then, he said, that he “watched as Obama advanced the very policies that I thought would be reined in”, and as a result, “I got hardened.”

The primary lesson from this experience was that “you can’t wait around for someone else to act. I had been looking for leaders, but I realised that leadership is about being the first to act.”

Over the next three years, he learned just how all-consuming the NSA’s surveillance activities were, claiming “they are intent on making every conversation and every form of behaviour in the world known to them”.

He described how he once viewed the internet as “the most important invention in all of human history”. As an adolescent, he spent days at a time “speaking to people with all sorts of views that I would never have encountered on my own”.

But he believed that the value of the internet, along with basic privacy, is being rapidly destroyed by ubiquitous surveillance. “I don’t see myself as a hero,” he said, “because what I’m doing is self-interested: I don’t want to live in a world where there’s no privacy and therefore no room for intellectual exploration and creativity.”

Once he reached the conclusion that the NSA’s surveillance net would soon be irrevocable, he said it was just a matter of time before he chose to act. “What they’re doing” poses “an existential threat to democracy”, he said.

A matter of principle

As strong as those beliefs are, there still remains the question: why did he do it? Giving up his freedom and a privileged lifestyle? “There are more important things than money. If I were motivated by money, I could have sold these documents to any number of countries and gotten very rich.”

For him, it is a matter of principle. “The government has granted itself power it is not entitled to. There is no public oversight. The result is people like myself have the latitude to go further than they are allowed to,” he said.

His allegiance to internet freedom is reflected in the stickers on his laptop: “I support Online Rights: Electronic Frontier Foundation,” reads one. Another hails the online organisation offering anonymity, the Tor Project.

Asked by reporters to establish his authenticity to ensure he is not some fantasist, he laid bare, without hesitation, his personal details, from his social security number to his CIA ID and his expired diplomatic passport. There is no shiftiness. Ask him about anything in his personal life and he will answer.

He is quiet, smart, easy-going and self-effacing. A master on computers, he seemed happiest when talking about the technical side of surveillance, at a level of detail comprehensible probably only to fellow communication specialists. But he showed intense passion when talking about the value of privacy and how he felt it was being steadily eroded by the behaviour of the intelligence services.

His manner was calm and relaxed but he has been understandably twitchy since he went into hiding, waiting for the knock on the hotel door. A fire alarm goes off. “That has not happened before,” he said, betraying anxiety wondering if was real, a test or a CIA ploy to get him out onto the street.

Strewn about the side of his bed are his suitcase, a plate with the remains of room-service breakfast, and a copy of Angler, the biography of former vice-president Dick Cheney.

Ever since last week’s news stories began to appear in the Guardian, Snowden has vigilantly watched TV and read the internet to see the effects of his choices. He seemed satisfied that the debate he longed to provoke was finally taking place.

He lay, propped up against pillows, watching CNN’s Wolf Blitzer ask a discussion panel about government intrusion if they had any idea who the leaker was. From 8,000 miles away, the leaker looked on impassively, not even indulging in a wry smile.

Snowden said that he admires both Ellsberg and Manning, but argues that there is one important distinction between himself and the army private, whose trial coincidentally began the week Snowden’s leaks began to make news.

“I carefully evaluated every single document I disclosed to ensure that each was legitimately in the public interest,” he said. “There are all sorts of documents that would have made a big impact that I didn’t turn over, because harming people isn’t my goal. Transparency is.”

He purposely chose, he said, to give the documents to journalists whose judgment he trusted about what should be public and what should remain concealed.

As for his future, he is vague. He hoped the publicity the leaks have generated will offer him some protection, making it “harder for them to get dirty”.

He views his best hope as the possibility of asylum, with Iceland – with its reputation of a champion of internet freedom – at the top of his list. He knows that may prove a wish unfulfilled.

But after the intense political controversy he has already created with just the first week’s haul of stories, “I feel satisfied that this was all worth it. I have no regrets.”

Guerilla Internet Free Speech-The Oil Drum Debate

Off the Keyboard of RE

Discuss this article at the Guerilla MRE Foxhole of the Diner

A few days ago a Refugee from The Oil Drum, Futilitist Loren Soman arrived in the Diner after being BANNED from the Commentariat there.  The main point of contention in that Banning seems to have been Loren’s low opinion of the work of Arch Druid John Michael Greer. He published his recounting of the discussion on TOD which led up to it on his new Futilitist Blog, and I cross posted it on the Diner.

Part of the Guerilla Internet Free Speech Project is that the Diner will Publish at least inside the Diner any Banned Commenter from any other Website, which I did shortly after the Futilitist was banned.  If the content is good enough and the Banning capricious enough, I will publish a Blog article to highlight it also.  This I did as well.

What makes a Banning Capricious?  Well, it’s one thing if a Commenter gets Banned for hurling around a lot of foul language on a website that does not allow that.  Although I don’t agree with such a banning it is not capricious, it is a clear violation of a standing rule the participants tacitly accept on the website.  Another non-capricious Ban is when a commenter SPAMS a site with completely off-topic material.

After reading through the posting, neither of these conditions were met.  The discussion was about the theories of John Michael Greer, and all the posting was to that topic.  The ostensible reason for the Ban was that the Futilitist was “Trolling” and making Ad Hom attacks on JMGs Intellectual Honesty.  This is certainly a valid criticism of any Pundit, and there was no foul language involved, so why the Ban?  Just because you disagree with this evaluation by a given Commenter?  If you disagree, just knock down the argument with counter examples.

So in all respects, this Ban met my conditions for Full Guerilla Support of the Futilitist.  I don’t necessarily agree with his opinions, but I support his right to express them on a Website open to the Public which presents such ideas and allows commentary.  The second part of Full Support is my Promise to go over to the Website in the aftermath of the Ban and Lawyer it for the Victim of the Banning.

So I registered on TOD a couple of days ago and dropped in on the September 1st “Drumbeat”, the Column which Admin of TOD Leanan writes her material in.  Actually writes is something of a misnomer, since she basically seems to compile Newz Stories in the Drumbeat.  I have a History wih Leanan, she was Newz Editor of Peak Oil during my time spent in the Commentariat of that Forum.  I began with a Greeting and an oblique reference to the JMG controversy, after which Leanan and I engaged in a protracted 2 day discussion of the Principles of Free Speech as they pertain to Blogs and Forums on the Internet.  The COMPLETE discussion follows below here.  It’s LONG.

In the debate, Leanan claims to be a supporter of Free Speech, while at the SAME time maintaining it is her right to Censor or Ban any commentary on the site for whatever reason she deems is appropriate.  Her rationale is that only if Da Goobermint suppresses Free Speech is the principle violated.  The “Private” ground of Internet Blogs and Forums can be Censored by the Owner/Admin without violating Free Speech according to Leanan.

The problem of course with this idea is that about all Information Media are “Privately Owned”, from Newzpapers to TV Stations to even the BIGGEST of all now Google, and of course all of us Pipsqueak Bloggers as well.  You can take it as Axiomatic that Newzpapers owned by Rupert Murdoch and TV Stations owned by Clear Channel Communications are not going to provide Free Speech opportunity to the masses, and Google is in the bizness of real information editing through access to their Search Engine.  For the most part, if you cannot find the links on Google, even if the Information exists somewhere on the net, it might as well not exist at all, nobody will ever find it or read it.

Similarly, if you start one of the Bazillion Blogs on Blogspot, the chances you will find any readership are pretty small.  Even a first class Economic Blogger like Steve from Virginia has MINISCULE readership for his Economic Undertow Blog, he’s even way below the Diner in Alexa Ranking.

So in terms of “Free Speech” exactly WHERE in the Media is J6P supposed to exercise this RIGHT guaranteed by the Constitution and actually be HEARD?  Nowhere really, except for one possible place, the Blogosphere of fairly successful Blogs and Forums like The Oil Drum, Denningers Market Ticker, The Automatic Earth, Zero Hedge etc.  On these Blogs, there is substantial Readership, so if you make a Comment, it likely gets a whole lot more Readership than your Blogspot Blog does.  ideas can actually be EXCHANGED ebtween commenters.  The veracity of Articles can be EXAMINED.

This cannot happen of course if you go about capriciously BANNING people just because they annoy you and don’t buy the Spin of your blog hook,line and sinker.  The only people who remain in the commentary are those who buy the Group Think and don’t make any waves.  The result is not FREE SPEECH, it is PROPAGANDA.

At the end of this protracted debate, I INVITED Leanan to make a Voluntary Commitment with the Diner to support Free Speech on The Oil Drum.  She refused the offer.  So chalk up The Oil Drum as being yet another Propaganda Website feeding out their spin on Energy Issues.  Like Denninger’s Market Ticker, don’t take a contrary opinion to Karl’sKapitalista Spin on Ticker Forum.  Like TAE, don’t question the Energy Expertiese of Stoneleigh, and DEFINITELY don’t cross swords with Ilargi, you’ll get your First Class Ticket to the Great Beyond of that website faster than you can say “EROEI”.  Don’t question the Intellectual Honesty of John Michael Greer on The Oil Drum either.  This in the mind of Leanan is “Free Speech”, since Da Goobermint isn’t the one doing the Censoring.

In a Pig’s Eye.

RE

 

 Reverse Engineer on September 2, 2012 – 4:05pm Permalink | SubthreadComments top

Greetings Leanan!

Long time no chat. You may remember me from the Peak Oil Forum.  Other TOD members of the commentariat also may remember my Nom de Plume. 🙂

Just registered here on TOD, resultant from a recent discussion on the theory of Catabolic Collapse of John Michael Greer.  Discussion in that topic is apparently closed now.

Anyhow, for all Old Friends from Peak Oil, I would like to invite you all to the Doomstead Diner, an Industrial Civilization Collapse Blog and Forum dedicated to principles of Free Speech on the Internet.

You can find the Diner at http://doomsteaddiner.net

The Diner features the ability of all Commenters to create their own threads, as well as place Multimedia like Graphics and YouTube Videos into all their posting.  No commentary is ever Censored on the Diner (except for clear SPAM).

Come on over to the Diner and join the fray as we hash out the implications of Industrial Civilization Collapse at the End of the Age of Oil.

RE

 Leanan on September 2, 2012 – 5:38pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthreadComments top

Threads automatically close for comments here after a week (I think).  It’s an anti-spam measure.  Generally, a thread more than a few days old is no longer active.  Spammers swoop in after people are no longer reading the thread and fill it up with spam.

If there’s still an active discussion, I can open up the comments again, or you can bring the discussion forward.  (Generally, I discourage bringing old discussions into new threads, but if the original thread is old enough that it’s closed for comments, it’s different.)

 

 Reverse Engineer on September 3, 2012 – 12:40am Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthreadComments top

I never close threads on the Diner. When Spammers show up to clog up a thread with Pharmaceutical Ads, I just eliminate whatever they got up and then Ban the IP Addy.  Long as you have a few people monitoring this it is not hard to sweep out the SPAM as it shows up.  It is annoying, but overall a tractable problem.

Is it possible here for Members to Originate threads?  I could not find  how to do that if it is possible.  Seems all you can do is Comment on a thread already originated by yourself or a few others.

RE http://doomsteaddiner.net

 

 Leanan on September 3, 2012 – 3:47am Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthreadComments top

Long as you have a few people monitoring this it is not hard to sweep out the SPAM as it shows up. It is annoying, but overall a tractable problem.

It’s more difficult here.  This is a blog, not a message board.  We’ve got a huge database of articles now, and posts with new comments don’t “pop to the top” as they do with the message board system.  So spam would go unnoticed for years before we started “age-ing out” comments.  Just because of the structure of this site, there’s no point in leaving comments open forever.

Is it possible here for Members to Originate threads?

No.  Call us elitist, but we’ve decided we want quality rather than quantity, and that means strict control over the articles that are posted here.  Even those on staff cannot get their articles posted unless they get enough votes from the other editors.  (Drumbeat excepted, of course.)

 Reverse Engineer on September 3, 2012 – 12:57pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthreadComments top

Very limited system, IMHO.  You can have both Quality & Quantity by marrying Blogs and Message Boards.  You can maintain editorial control over the Blog while allowing members to begin their own threads on the Forum.  That is how I have the Diner set up.

Also, you never miss SPAM as it gets dropped on the Forum, since it queues to the top of the list of most recent posts.You knock it down as soon as it gets posted up.

Anyhow I notice you are cross posting some of Gail’s articles, who should I submit mine to here?

RE http://doomsteaddiner.net

 Leanan on September 3, 2012 – 5:10pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthreadComments top

Very limited system, IMHO.

We know that, and we’re fine with it.  Our intent is not be an “everything bagel” – all things to all people.  We are what we are.  People who come here are here because they like what we are.  People who don’t like it can go elsewhere, or set up their own sites.

Why should we try to do what you’re doing, when you’re already doing it?

Anyhow I notice you are cross posting some of Gail’s articles, who should I submit mine to here?

Use the editors address (on the right sidebar).

However, the standards for accepting articles are fairly high, and the acceptable topics somewhat narrow.  Don’t be upset if you are turned down.

 

 Reverse Engineer on September 3, 2012 – 8:21pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthreadComments top

“Why should we try to do what you’re doing, when you’re already doing it?”-Leanan

Because it would improve the experience of the Commentariat and provide more information accessibility to your readership.

“However, the standards for accepting articles are fairly high, and the acceptable topics somewhat narrow.”-Leanan

I have read through a number of articles here and I can’t figure out exactly what the standards are or what fits the category of acceptable topics.  The quality varies tremendously, and the range of topics isn’t that narrow far as I can tell.  Do you have a style sheet you can send me?

RE http://doomsteaddiner.net

 Leanan on September 4, 2012 – 2:47am Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthreadComments top

Because it would improve the experience of the Commentariat and provide more information accessibility to your readership.

I disagree.  The internet provides plenty of information, and plenty of opportunity for free speech.  Far more than any one person can make use of.  What people are looking for is a gatekeeper.  Some people want stricter gatekeepers than others, but that’s what you’re really selling when you put up a web site: a gatekeeper.

I have read through a number of articles here and I can’t figure out exactly what the standards are or what fits the category of acceptable topics. The quality varies tremendously, and the range of topics isn’t that narrow far as I can tell. Do you have a style sheet you can send me?

You’ll have to ask the editors.  I have nothing to do with the key posts.  I only do the Drumbeat.

I will say our structure and focus changed recently – within the last year or two.  So look at recent articles, not the older ones.  I believe the idea is to focus more narrowly on oil and energy, and also to provide more solid data and analysis, rather than the more speculative stuff.

Reverse Engineer on September 4, 2012 – 3:58am Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthreadComments top

“I disagree. The internet provides plenty of information, and plenty of opportunity for free speech. Far more than any one person can make use of. What people are looking for is a gatekeeper. Some people want stricter gatekeepers than others, but that’s what you’re really selling when you put up a web site: a gatekeeper.”-Leanan

I could not disagree with this more.

Free Speech exists almost nowhere on the Internet, certainly not in the Blogosphere Commentariats.  I not only was regularly Censored on Peak Oil, I was Banned not once but TWICE from that Forum.  Similarly Banned on Market Ticker and The Burning Platform as well.  I gather from recent action here that some of the Commentariat have been either Censored or Banned as well.  How is that Free Speech?  I suspect I will be banned here as well, but until I am banned I will elucidate this for you.

MOST commenters have neither the time, energy or expertiese to run their own Blogs/Forums.  So if/when they get BANNED, their Speech is SHUT UP.  Each and every Blog has its own “Spin” and “Group Think” and if you deviate from it too far and persist in deviate thinking, you get accused of “Trolling”.

You cannot get a full perspective on Peak Oil or the Economic spin down so long as you persist in this type of Censorship.  I have been the victim of such censorship more times than I can count, but unlike most “Trolls” I do have expertiese enough and time and energy enough to create an alternative Forum for Free Expression and Discussion of the concepts underlying Peak Oil and the Economics of Industrialization.

You have a CHOICE as a Proprietor of a Newz Information Medium, either to provide Free Speech or to Limit Speech only to “approved thought”.  Long as you choose the latter alternative, you are simply doing Propaganda.

This is my last word on this subject here, I won’t Troll you and make a nuisance of myself here.  I will however post to Topic on the threads on this website as long as I am not CENSORED.  When that occurs, you identify yourself as an Enemy of Fr4ee Speech on the Internet.

RE http://doomsteaddiner.net

 Leanan on September 4, 2012 – 4:21am Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthreadComments top

MOST commenters have neither the time, energy or expertiese to run their own Blogs/Forums.

This is simply not true.  Anyone with Internet access can put up a blog for free, no expertise needed.  Indeed, that is how this site started: as a free blog on Blogspot.  If you have time to comment on another blog, you have time to post on your own. Heck, it’s easier to post at Blogspot than it is to post here.

Each and every Blog has its own “Spin” and “Group Think” and if you deviate from it too far and persist in deviate thinking, you get accused of “Trolling”.

I don’t see anything wrong with that.  Each site is different.  You just have to find (or create) the one that suits you.

Be warned: this site is tightly moderated.  Probably far more so than PeakOil.com.  Our guidelines are here, but we also reserve the right to remove any comments for any reason.  In particular, off-topic posts, political rants, and conspiracy stuff will probably be removed.

I am all for free speech on the Internet, but it doesn’t all have to be here.  As Nate put it, Gresham’s Law applies: bad posters drive out the good ones.  That’s the reason we moderate this site.

I also think you’re being somewhat naive.  If you achieve any kind of success with your site, I suspect you’ll find you have to censor some posts.  Heck, even 4chan censors some things.

“I also think you’re being somewhat naive. If you achieve any kind of success with your site, I suspect you’ll find you have to censor some posts. Heck, even 4chan censors some things.”-Leanan

Clearly you have not visited the Diner.

I have plenty of tools available to marginalize a persistent ******* without resorting to a Ban or Censoring a post.  I’ve been at the game of board moderation since AOL days.  Quite a bit before you ever got on the net moderating boards I am sure.  Naive I am not.

ANYTHING that ANYONE has to say on the relevant topics can be posted on Doomstead Diner, and it does not stop good analysis from happening at the same time.  All the tangents have some value, we have people analysing the perspectives from Fundamentalist Christian Perspective to New Age Philosophers and SERIOUS Conspiracy Theorists, you name it.  There is MUCH more to consider in this dynamic than just EROEI or depletion rates.

I censor NOTHING besides clear Pharmaceutical SPAM really.  You should try reading the Dirdy Birdy Chronicles to see that I not only will not Censor, I in fact will PROMOTE idiosyncratic arguments on the Diner.

Anyhow, as I said, I will not Troll you, I will just point out to you that the Banning and Censorship you are engaged in now is counterproductive.  I am in the Bizness of trying to get the MESSAGE out of Industrial Civilization Collapse, so I do not want to get Banned here myself.  You have to accept however that you ARE engaging in propaganda the way you run this website.

RE

Leanan on September 4, 2012 – 4:48am Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthreadComments top

Sorry, had to censor your post.  We don’t allow profanity here.

RE – I can understand your frustration: “Free Speech exists almost nowhere on the Internet, certainly not in the Blogosphere Commentariats. I not only was regularly Censored on Peak Oil, I was Banned not once but TWICE from that Forum.” But I think there’s something very important that you and others who feel the same completely miss. Free speech also includes not being required to listen to someone else’s speech. You have absolutely no right to express your opinions to me unless I choose to hear them. I’m free to have any conversation I want just as much as I’m free to not have that conversation. The Oil Drum, as well as nearly every other web site, is privately owned and was created for the benefit of a defined group. And each web site has the right to restrict membership as it wishes. If the Oil Drum only allowed folks over 6’4″ with blue eyes to post on its site then that’s as much about free speech as anything else IMHO. Those of us shorter types with brown eyes might not like those rules but that is the nature of freedom, isn’t?

Someone doesn’t have time or capability to build their own web site? So what? Where is it written that it must be so? If you owned a web site would you allow anyone to post if they didn’t follow guidelines you set up? Or would you let the site go completely uncontrolled and allow anyone and everyone to post anything they wanted? I seriously doubt it. I, for one, hope you stay around. Conversations with opposing views are more interesting IMHO. I would hope you have the capability to structure your posts so they stay within the parameters that the OWNERS of TOD have established. If not I’m sure you can find other sites more accomidating.

 

Reverse Engineer on September 4, 2012 – 5:01am Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthreadComments top

“If you owned a web site would you allow anyone to post if they didn’t follow guidelines you set up? Or would you let the site go completely uncontrolled and allow anyone and everyone to post anything they wanted? I seriously doubt it.”-Rockman

I DO “own” a website Rockman, and I in fact DO allow “anyone and everyone” to post whatever they want!  LOL.  So your assumption and “serious doubt” is WRONG from the GET-GO.  You just got no clue dude on how it can be done.

Come visit the Doomstead Diner and LEARN what Free Speech really means and how you can allow all perspectives to be heard, without BANNING and CENSORING the Commentariat.

http://doomsteaddiner.net

RE

Leanan on September 4, 2012 – 5:09am Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthreadComments top

I’d go so far as to say it’s necessary to have some restrictions in order to create a space for reasonable discussion.  As we see in the comments at MSM sites, the same old partisan liberal vs. conservative rants take over, driving out all other discussion, if you don’t limit them.

We started out pretty much “everything goes” here, but as the site grew, it simply became untenable.  In theory, the answer to bad speech is more speech; in practice, it doesn’t work that way.  At least, not on the Internet.  On the net, the people who have the most time and inclination to post are often…um…”neurologically atypical”?  I can’t count the times I’ve sent someone a warning and got a reply along the lines of “Sorry, I’m on new meds and they’re not working.”  They’re on disability, and have nothing to do but post all day, and there’s no way people who have jobs and families can keep up.

I’d go so far as to say you are WRONG, you just need to segregate discussions by type and by participants.  You create separate categories for those who Napalm and those who write off toic and those who actually make intelligent and to topic commentary.  You move the posting as necessary tot he approrpiate category.  Readers can view what category pleases them to read.  All the wirters can write what they want, all the readers can read what they want. Win-Win for all.

RE

All the wirters can write what they want, all the readers can read what they want.

But that’s kind of the point of having different sites on the net, isn’t it?

We simply aren’t interested in some topics and some posting styles.  Why should we devote our time, energy, and money to supporting them?  There’s plenty of other places where people can post political rants, argue about whether AGW is real, debate 9/11 “truth,” etc.

This site is designed to be easy for the staff to run.  The theory being that whether peak oil looks like the Greater Depression or Mad Max, it’s likely we are all going to have less time to babysit our blog.

It’s a big Internet.  There’s room for your site as well as ours, and many others.  Why not give people the choice?  Why should we be like you? Vive la difference.

I am all for variety and “Vive la Differance”, issue being that the Doomstead Diner is an Anomaly, it is not the NORM.  Sites like TOD are the Norm, and these are the preponderance of sites that people seeking information arrive at as they awaken to the problems.

About ALL the most read sites engage in Censorship, I know Zero Hedge does I know y9ou do, I know The Automatic Earth does.  It is exceedingly rare to find a site where Censorship is NOT engaged in reularly.  Karl Denninger does it, and Peak Oil did it as well when you were Newz Editor there.  So how can you make the case that there is “Free Speech” on the Internet when about every website BESIDES the Doomstead Diner engages in this sort of Propagandizing?

I am trying to motivate other Bloggers to be more FREE in speech, and I can show how to do it also without diminishing the Quality of your website.  It truly angers me to se intelligent posters BANNED for “Trolling”, mainly because they just do not buy the groupthink of the website.  Its not abotu off color language, I got now problem with you putting a bunch of **** for a one of George Carlins Seven Dirty Words, it is about IDEAS beign censored.  Valid Critiques of people liek John Michael Greer, who while he has a decent grasp of history also has his own spin he is promoting and his history is colored by that.

You told me in order to drop an article on TOD, I gotta meet some requirements which you do not really specify.  You are publishing only what YOU think is valid.  How can anyone get a complete perspective that way?  Sure, you can bookmark 100 websites all with different spins, but again MOST people do not have time to surf through so many sites.  If you just put up ONE spin, you are no better than the MSM and Rupert Murdoch.

Grow out of such a narrow perspective Leanan, it is not productive.  It does not serve to rbing all thoughts TOGETHER, it it isolates rather than consolidates.

Anyhow, I am done tonight with making this case.  Do as you will with TOD.  I just see it as sad that on such a well read website you will pursue these policies when they are not necessary at all to pursue.

RE

I am all for variety and “Vive la Differance”, issue being that the Doomstead Diner is an Anomaly, it is not the NORM.

Perhaps this is because Doomstead Diner is not what most people want?

Valid Critiques of people liek John Michael Greer, who while he has a decent grasp of history also has his own spin he is promoting and his history is colored by that.

Valid critiques are fine.  Just don’t cross the line into personal attacks. And people who do stuff like create sockpuppets and post comments to support and attack themselves are likely to get the banhammer.

You told me in order to drop an article on TOD, I gotta meet some requirements which you do not really specify.

Sorry, but as I said, I really don’t know what the requirements are.  I am not on the board or the editorial staff (by my own choice), and I have never tried to submit an article myself.  Asking me about it is like asking an Orthodox rabbi about the best way to cook bacon.

It does not serve to rbing all thoughts TOGETHER, it it isolates rather than consolidates.

I think it’s the opposite.  We’ve made a conscious decision to remain small.  Everyone who posts here has to share the Drumbeat, and the result is an interesting synthesis that might not happen on a message board.

 

Reverse Engineer on September 4, 2012 – 12:36pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthreadComments top

Perhaps this is because Doomstead Diner is not what most people want?-Leanan

On the contrary, just about everyone I have spoken with finds the type of censorship engaged in here to be damaging to its credibility, and are looking for alternatives.  The Diner grows as a result of such censorship on sites like TOD, TAE and others.

I think it’s the opposite. We’ve made a conscious decision to remain small. Everyone who posts here has to share the Drumbeat, and the result is an interesting synthesis that might not happen on a message board.-Leanan

You’ve made a CONSCIOUS choice to marginalize yourself and engage in Group Think?  That is NUTS.

RE http://doomsteaddiner.net

Think of it this way.   We’re a small specialty store.  You want to know why we aren’t trying to be Wal-Mart.  Well, because we don’t want to be Wal-Mart.

We’re not for everyone.  We’ve never been the biggest peak oil site on the net, nor the most accessible, and do not aspire to be. If that’s what you want to be, go for it.  I wish you all the success in the world, if only because maybe you’ll draw off some of the spammers, trolls, scammers, nutburgers, industry shills, etc. that make moderation necessary.

Who’s asking you to be Walmart?  I’m asking you to stop CENSORING and BANNING commenters on your Blog who are doing nothing more than expressing a contrary opinion (albeit at some length, but then those articles you drop on are plenty long themselves).

Nor does the Diner aspire to be Walmart either, I like to think of it as a Smorgasbord where you can sample Caviar and Crepe Suzette, Potato Chips and Onion Dip, Chocolate Covered Grasshoppers, along with some dishes from Outer Space 🙂  LOL.  You pick what appeals to you.

Don’t count on my saving you from “spammers, trolls, scammers, nutburgers, industry shills,etc”. They don’t last long on the Diner.  I can out-Troll anybody.  😉

RE

I’m asking you to stop CENSORING and BANNING commenters on your Blog who are doing nothing more than expressing a contrary opinion (albeit at some length, but then those articles you drop on are plenty long themselves).

I don’t think I do that, but why do you care?  You have your own site.  Run it as you wish. I promise I will not show up there making demands that you change to accommodate my desires.

I CARE because a main focus of the Diner is to defend the principles of Free Speech on the Internet.  I CARE because this sort of Capricious Banning is what I was subjected to on Peak Oil, where in fact you were Newz Editor at the time.

I suggest you read my article on the Guerilla Internet Free Speech Project to understand my POV on this better.

http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2012/06/27/guerilla-internet-free-spe…

RE

I tried reading your link, but it makes no sense to me since I am not involved in those sites and do not know who you are talking about, or what happened.  However, I support TAE’s right to moderate their own site as they see fit.  I think small sites like TAE are best run with a policy like that at The Big Picture:

This may be a free country, but The Big Picture is my personal fiefdom. I rule over all as benevolent dictator/philospher king/utility infielder. Fear my wrath, mortals!

I will ban anyone whom I choose from posting comments — usually, for a damned good reason, but on rare occasions, for the exact same reason God created the platypus: because I feel like it.

You don’t know who Ilargi and Stoneleigh of The Automatic Earth are? Good grief, Stoneleigh was editor of TOD Canada! Ashvin Pandurangi either?  I find that hard to believe.

“I will ban anyone whom I choose from posting comments — usually, for a damned good reason, but on rare occasions, for the exact same reason God created the platypus: because I feel like it.”

In other words, you do not support Free Speech, you support Capricious Censorship by Newz Organizations for no better reason than you “feel like it”.  Because people accept this is why we have Newz Organizations like Fox and MSNBC.  People don’t grasp they are being fed only what the proprietors of those sites want them to read or hear.  So it is here on TOD as well, just on a much smaller scale.

At least you admit to being a Propagandist and Censor though, that is some level of honesty.

RE

I know who Stoneleigh and Ilargi are, but I don’t regularly read their site.  So I don’t know what’s going on there. No clue who Ashvin Pandurangi is.

I support free speech, but I believe the concept applies to the government, not individuals – or web sites.  I feel very strongly that everyone has the right to run their sites as they see fit.  It’s like a private home.  If you’re going to visit, you have to obey the house rules, and if the owners decide they want to kick you out, you should go.  It’s the civilized thing to do.

Ashvin is the other Admin of TAE along with Stoneleigh and Ilargi.  He ran the site while they were Globe Trotting in OZ.

Far as supporting Free Speech, you don’t practice what you preach.  That is not support.  “Government” doesn’t run Newzpapers, TV Stations or Websites, Private Enterprise does.  If the individuals who run these organizations will not practice Free Speech, it does not exist.  You are contributing to the totalitarian state by silencing those who do not agree with you.  You are not a supporter of Free Speech if you will not practice it on your website.  You are a Propagandist.

RE

I didn’t even know they were globetrotting in Oz.

Not a big fan of the MSM in the US, but I don’t think having the government running newspapers and TV stations is the answer.  I’d rather have private enterprise and individuals doing it than the government.  As long as the government doesn’t censor them, free speech is upheld.

“Not a big fan of the MSM in the US, but I don’t think having the government running newspapers and TV stations is the answer. I’d rather have private enterprise and individuals doing it than the government. As long as the government doesn’t censor them, free speech is upheld.”-Leanan

Who would approve of Goobermint running TV and Newz Stations?  This is another Strawman like your Walmart argument.  The point here is if the 4th Estate does NOT practice Free Speech (and TOD is a member of the 4th Estate reporting on Energy issues), there is no Free Speech.  You EXPLICITLY ADMIT you do not practice Free Speech, so it CLEARLY is not upheld by you.  You are a Censor and a Propagandist, just cop to it.  You don’t Walk the Walk.

RE

As I said, I think freedom of speech applies to the government, not to web sites or the MSM.  And no, I don’t think TOD is part of the 4th estate.  We’re just a little blog.  Size matters.

The real problem with the MSM is that they are giving people what they want.  And apparently, what people want is views that support their own.

There’s other sources out there.  Al-Jazeera, BBC, Press TV.  During the Gulf War, I remember going to foreign news sites to find out what was really happening.  I was not censored.  Unlike in China, where CNN and other US news sources were blocked.  The information is out there, if people want it.  They don’t want it.

“The information is out there, if people want it. They don’t want it.”- Leanan

Really?  You believe that?  You think people WANT to be fed lies?  Pardon me for saying so, but you are outta your mind.

I now understand how you rationalize your behavior.  Have a nice day.

RE

The thing is…they don’t believe it’s lies.  They believe everything else is lies, and they don’t want to hear it.

I say this as someone whose parents have become complete Fox News groupies.  It’s on 24/7, and they gripe like crazy if they go someplace where CNN is on the TV.  CNN is all lies, see.  Fox News is the “no spin zone,” where the truth and only the truth is heard.  Seriously…it reminds me of the TV commercial with the girl who’s convinced you can’t put anything on the net if it’s not true.  My parents believe that if it’s on Fox News, it must be true.  They have graduate degrees and strictly limited my TV viewing when I was a kid.  And now this.

You don’t GET that you do precisely the same thing as Fox Newz does?  You eliminate contrary opinion on your channel.  You accept articles only from Editorial Board Approved Pundits. You just are not as big as Fox is, but the PRINCIPLE is the same, and it is the principle that counts, not the size.  If the discussion is not proceeding as YOU would like it to, you’ll hit the Ban button whenever it suits you to do so. You explicitly said so. Who but other people who March to the same Drumbeat you do will ever expect a level playing field for debate about some of the most important subject matter of our time on a website with such a policy?

They have graduate degrees“-Leanan

Ph.Ds have no more CFS than anybody else.  You find at least as many cockamamie ideas being spouted off by folks with Grad degrees as anybody else, in fact probably a good deal more of them.  Case in point would be a few of the folks with Grad degrees you publish here on TOD on a regular basis.  Every idea under the sun has somebody who wrote a doctoral dissertation defending the idea.  The reason you need free and open discussion is so that these ideas can be refuted and repudiated as necessary.  If you don’t allow that, your website is just a Propaganda organ for a given subset of ideas that YOU think are true.

You can run your website however you please, but I will call you out for what you are.  A Censor and Propagandist in the Fox Newz mold.

RE

Leanan on September 4, 2012 – 6:07pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthreadComments top

I said I support private enterprise in the MSM.  Or at least, I don’t see any better alternative.  I don’t care to watch Fox News myself, but I don’t think it should be banned.  Nor do I think the government, or you or I, should be telling them what they can or cannot say.

What is the alternative?  Government rules determining what must be shown on TV or printed in newspapers?

Reverse Engineer on September 4, 2012 – 6:41pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthreadComments top

“What is the alternative? Government rules determining what must be shown on TV or printed in newspapers?”-Leanan

The ALTERNATIVE is for Private Proprietors of Websites to VOLUNTARILY open their websites up to Free and Open discussion with a No Ban/No Censorship Policy.

Unlike Newzpapers, you have essentially Unlimited numbers of Pages and no real limit on Space.  Particularly if you use linking and store high bandwidth material offsite, like Videos on YouTube.  You can create hierarchies for viewing and publication, so you can “spin” your website as you please while still allowing the readers to have their say.

The real Revolution in communication that is the Internet is that it provides for 2-Way communication, not just Writer to Reader.  Any Reader can become a writer, and vica-versa.  Not if you pursue the policy of Banning and Censoring what “malcontents” and “trolls” will post though.

Look, if it wasn’t possible to do this, I could see the rationale for some Banning and Censoring, but it IS possible to do it.  I do it on the Diner.  You just have to set your systems up correctly.

It all depends on the Individual and his/her beliefs and Commitment to the Principles of Free Speech.  Those of us who are proprietors of Information Websites are at the leading edge of this, and if we do not provide the mechanism for the Average J6P to get his Voice Heard, NOBODY will do it.  Da Goobermint certainly will not, and the MSM will not either.  Who is LEFT Leanan?  Just you and me.  Join with me VOLUNTARILY in this adventure.  You can reconfigure this website with better tools for management of trolls and industry shills.  I will help, pro bono, no charge.  I don’t do this for money, I am on a Mission From God on the Issue of Free Speech.

It is UP TO US.  WE HAVE TO PROVIDE THE MEDIUM.  Most people cannot do this.  We CAN.

RE

Leanan on September 4, 2012 – 6:49pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthreadComments top

I can’t do it.  I don’t particularly want to, either.  But I’m glad you are.  Best of luck.

Reverse Engineer on September 4, 2012 – 7:00pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthreadComments top

You can, you just don’t WANT to.  Just don’t claim to be a supporter of Free Speech.  You are not.

RE

THE SATURDAY ESSAY: The battle for liberty will be won or lost in cyberspace

Off the Keyboard of John Ward

Published originally on The Slog on August 18, 2012

Discuss this article at the Epicurean Delights Smorgasbord of the Diner

For information only, I copied a Sloglink to a senior contact in Goldman Sachs two weeks ago. He emailed back to say that Goldman wouldn’t allow him access to the site.

In China, you can’t receive The Slog. All EU addresses in Brussels and Washington Government offices ban it. It is banned from commenting at The Guardian, and Huffington Post. If you leave a Sloglink at Huffpost, it will be automatically erased. The Financial Times will not allow anyone to say ‘bollocks’, even though virtually nobody today would be offended by the word in a well-argued context. No Newscorp title allows any leaving of live links to other sites (The Times itself is, like the FT, behind a paywall).

If, using my own pc with its clear relationship to The Slog’s identity, I Google even well-known political sites in Germany, I get redirected to an Austrian site for gays. While this suggests that even spooks have a sense of humour, it does make the flesh creep to discover that using someone else’s pc allows me to get through straight away.

No member of UNITE the Union can follow Slog links in the office. Nor can anyone working for at least two big UK banks – which (if nothing else) shows that my detractors are econo-politically eclectic.

I could go on and on with the list of those who refuse to allow access to the site. I find it flattering, but above all worrying, that a site this small in the greater scheme of things is worth their attention – whoever ‘they’ are. Commercially, cyber-banning (and deliberate blocking) is now an industry in its own right. The Russians, Chinese and Americans lead the way in this area, as they do in the area of cyberblagging crime. Talk to any senior UK policeman off the record, however, and he or she will tell you that Merrie Olde Britannia is pretty clueless in this area.

Blacking out what The Other Side says has become one of those activities where the unthinking no longer even discuss the right of every individual to receive news of no real threat no national security. Instead, they do presentations to equally morally dead clients about ‘incoming traffic purity’ and other such Orwellian tosh. I think this reflects the growing trend over the last decade away from debate among equals, towards the trashing of those designated ‘the enemy’. In economics, climatology, nuclear generation, social ideology, finance, and of course politics, it is a slanging match between two sets of tiny, extreme minorities, during which the rest of us remain unrepresented.

Think for a minute or two about that deadly combo of adjectives: censorious and unrepresentative. They are two of the prime requirements – along with dictatorial elite megalomania, and a distracted electorate – required for the easy creation of a totalitarian State. With the arrival of casual cyber-blocking, Britain has the full set. We’re not the only ones – but we are worse than most.

This oddly mechanical approach to denying access to objective analysis produces insane combinations of policy and ‘correctness’. Observations about them are waved away in a blasé manner by everyone from Dan Hannan to Harriet Harman, but they are no less real for all that. Hannan himself is an interesting case in point, in that he is both wronged and wrong. Those self-same Leftists who claim to be pacifist – and emit affected shock at the use of words like housewife or immigrant – are quite happy to call Dan ‘Tory scum’ and carry placards saying ‘Smash the Government’. Whereas while Mr Hannan gleefully retweets everything these knuckle-heads tweet at him, he is very careful never to retweet a reasoned deconstruction of his viewpoint.

Of late, the chorus of those Slog threaders trying to put me into the cyber-banner sin-bin has become inordinately loud – dare I say, suspiciously so. Their chief inabilities are the wilful refusal to accept that first, breaking the site’s comment rules with personally offensive resentment of myself and others is, um, breaking the rules. So they get banned from commenting. As I’ve said before, this is culling, not censoring. And second, that The Slog is genuinely unaligned with either mainstream political philosophy in the West.

At best, such is seen as indecisiveness on my part, and at worst as a lie. Put simply, if they’re Left wing I’m really a closet Nazi; and if they’re Right Wing, I’m just a fluffy old Leftie pretending I’ve changed but I’m still the same Commie bastard really. Now any even cursory perusal of the site content would tell a balanced reader that it is oligarchic, privileged and unacountable Establishments that I am against; and that what I’m for is the removal of all monied and other power influences upon the political process. But the charges continue anyway. In these cases, my tendency to ban such threaders is more often than not based on a sort of informal Mental Health Act.

Now and again, however, evidence rears its extremely ugly head (evidence is near-universally ugly, because it tends to confirm the existence of things we wish weren’t there) and in the case of Troll-swarms at The Slog, there’ve been one or two odd patterns of late. The one that has me most worried is a correlation between comments to the effect that “You’ve sold out, I used to like this site but now it’s obvious you’re really working for Them” and the cloning of some of my now largely redundant Microsoft Outlook email addresses. (They’re redundant, by the way, because Microsoft blocked my send capability after a few probing pieces about Bill Gates, anti-Trust bribes and so forth. It’s all part of the same syndrome.)

My assumption is that these are all the same sender, but one is still left asking why anyone could hate a blogger so much, he would keep on going to the trouble of inventing aliases all designed to persuade regulars that (a) my facts are wrong or (b) I’m some kind of Fifth Columnist. In short, my suspicion is that the person is a professional troll – ie, he works for someone with a broader agenda. One must watch and see: at the moment, I have an open mind. But a female Blogista remarked to me recently that she suspects the same concerted attempt to spin against her.

It simply won’t do to dismiss this as paranoia. The recent Bell Pottinger revelations showed how perniciously history itself was being written by some of the Bell-ends. It became obvious that Lord Bell’s ‘pr’ company was corrupting Wikipedia entries about an Asian country whose completely illiberal and torturous regime were paying him fat fees. It has always, I’m sad to observe, been obvious that Tim not so much lacks a moral compass, as refuses one on the grounds of them being surplus to his ethical requirements. But there are legions of folks around far, far worse than Tim Bell.

Every major comms service provider on the Net now cooperates with (indeed, gives 100% unfettered access to) the security services in every country where it has a business base. Over the past seven years to my certain knowledge, we have been told so many blatant lies about the cybernation of surveillance, it is no longer valuable to point them out: people either don’t care, or already know. It’s roughly on the same level as saying “the EU hates democracy”. For anyone even half-awake with an IQ over 80, it’s obvious.

In my days as a Student (when I was a liberal, but miles to the Right of most of my peers in the Politics Department) the standard response to any rebuttal of Soviet or Maoist or Trotskyist claims was either (1) to yell “Fascist!” or (2) to describe in an intolerably patronising manner how and why one was the sadly misguided victim of Western propaganda. I remember one particular chap at the time telling me, “There are no facts. Facts are a myth. All truth is relative”. He retired recently, having spent most of his working life as a foreign currency buyer for the Bank of England. So it’s highly likely he still thinks this to be true.

Two things have made the reality (and potential effect) of ‘propaganda’ more real fifty years on…even though, ironically, the word used these days is ‘virtual’. The first is 24/7 news stations, preferring as they do speed and quantity over considered analysis. The outcome of this is the vastly increased ability to tell a dramatic lie and remain undetected…in other words, for ridiculous shibboleths to become received truth. The second – less well understood, but even more Stasi-like in its ability to keep like-minded people apart and dismiss the truth – is proactive cyber truth-bending, blocking and fact invention. This is now the big growth area.

I realise I have blogged this point many times before, but please allow me to say again that, if we care more about our liberties and personal dignity than we do for political affiliation, the internet remains the home of the Real Opposition. However, if we want to have an effect on the culture and constitution of our various societies, there are in turn two realities to face.

The first is that the pressure will be more valuable if it is applied to those who fund (by which I mean bribe) the Establishment. The second is that we all need to raise our awareness of when dirty tricks are in play…and how to combat them.

Anyone in good mental health is rightly suspicious of conspiracy theories. But over the last five years, senior civil servants, MPs, globalist media owners, bankers and governments have shown themselves to be pretty adept at conspiring. And the real inequality in Western society – that placed before the law – has shown how profoundly unwilling Estalishments are to prosecute wrongdoers.

Twas ever thus, but twas never as well armed as it is today. Think on it.

Pump Up The Volume

off the keyboard of RE

Discuss this article at the Kitchen Sink of the Diner

I am going to leave the Over The Road series here briefly to cover another portion of my Life in the Age of Oil,  which in many respects has much more to do with the Doomstead Diner than my years driving OTR does.

In fact, this period of  my life began very early, around the age of  6 years old in Rio de Janeiro on Rua Joachim Nabuco right off of Ipanema Beach.  That was where I lived from the age of 5 to 9 years old while my Dad (the Pigman) who worked as a Vice President for Chase Manhattan Bank (predecessor before numerous Mergers & Acquisitions since to become JP Morgan Chase, the Bank currently headed up by Jamie Dimon and still of course primarily owned by the Rockefellers) was acquiring small Brazilian Banks for Chase and also making innumerable Bad Loans to the rest of South America.

Rua Jaochim Nabuco

Living also on Rua Jaochim Nabuco was a boy named Randy, the son of a fellow who was working for the United Nations as a Fisherie Expert. I’m going to be vague here about these names but if you read through the references later in this article you probably  can figure out who I am talking about. The names are in the Newz in the Public Record.

In fact it is pretty likely Randy’s Dad was really working for the CIA, not the UN and I think in those days practically EVERYBODY who lived on Rua Jaochim Nabuco was either a Rockefeller Bankster Apparatchik,  FSofA Military, State Department Diplomat, or UN/CIA.  From my POV at the time, the Military Brats and State Department kids had it best, they had access to “PX Priviledges”.  This meant they could get hold of things like Cheerios otherwise unavailable in the Brazil of the Era.

 ALL of the children of these folks went to the same  School, “Escola Americana”, run under the auspices of the United Nations. Randy was 3 years older than I was, but we became friends riding on the same bus to school.  He was Legally Blind, which impacted tremendously on his life in many ways.  One of them was that he became very interested in the Music of the era. At Escola Americana,  he actually got his first”DJ”position over the Loudspeaker system of the school in his Middle School years,after I had left Brazil. Before I left though, we spent many days playing the records of the 1960s era Folksingers like Phil Ochs and early Rockers like  the  Beatles and the  Rolling Stones in his apartment.  Randy also had an old style Reel-to-Reel tape deck to edit music and sound effects and record us.  In those days to edit you physically cut and spliced the tape.  No digital computers and software to do the job for you..  He barely could see, but whether he was Splicing Tape or Soldering Circuit Boards,  Randi would work with the stuff right up to his NOSE, and he was very meticulous. His Gadgets always worked,although he took hours and days often to complete the work.

I lost touch with Randy for a couple of years after that when my parents divorced and I moved back to live in NY Shity, eventually ending up in a McMansion in Flushing, Queens of NY Shity my Mom got as part of the Divorce settlement. That was the House I lived in until I went off to the dormitories of  Columbia University.  By a sort of Coinkidink though, Randy’s UN/CIA Dad  got transferred to NY Shity and bought another Queens McMansion no more than Mile from the one I was esconsed in.  It was an easy Bike Ride away for an 11 year old by that time.  Randy was then around 14, and was not adjusting well to Public HS in NY Shity.  He eventually dropped out.

How Randy spent his time after Dropping out of NY Shity HS was in working in his CIA Dad’s Basement building a Pirate Radio Station. I cannot possibly detail all the battles he had with both his parents over these years, but in the end he mainly won them. He got to the point of setting up a Radio Tower in the backyard, and “WQLB” was born!  Later to be renamed Stereo 9, then later an “RNI” afffiliate.  It operated at the bottom end of the FM Frequency Band at 88.9 Mhz. Power was such it covered most of Queens when switched on.

By the time Randy got his station Operational, I was around 13 years old.  On weekends, I would go over his house, and late at night we would switch  on the Transmitter and begin to Broadcast Illegally far as the FCC was concerned.  The image you see of the Audio Board in the Pump Up the Volume video is the spitting image of the Audio Board we used at the time. Professional Analog Mixing Boards of this type in that period ran into the thousands of dollars, Randy put his together from Radio Shack parts for less than $100 I think.  He was really a fucking GENIUS with this stuff.

 My On Air Alias during this period was “Stony Stevenson”, and I did a regular 3 hour show on Saturday Nights from Midnight to 3AM.  Played Folky Protest Songs from Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan and lambasted the Nixon Administration of the era.   I did that as a 13 Year Old Boy!  My voice had already broken and was pretty close to what it is now, very basso profundo.  You really could not know from listening I was just 13.   I had a nice Fan Club too. Sadly, never got laid by any Groupies, but ego got massaged nicely on air over the Phone Calls we took.  Amazing thing in that era was we could actually take said Phone Calls, and the FCC Nincompoops were so dumb and disorganized they could not find us right off the bat.

Anyhow, we were not the ONLY Pirate Radio Station operating in NY Shity at the time, a bigger one was being operated by a fellow Allan and his friend Joseph Paul in Yonkers.  We eventually got together and became loosely “affiliated” in a Pirate Radio “Network”.  There were many battles though though this period and falling outs between the priniciples.    I fell out of this group  once I went off to Columbia, a couple of years earlier than normal at the age of 16.  Skipped a couple of years through the system of education over the years.

Radio New York International Offshore Broacasting Ship

Allan in particular did not stop his Obsession with Pirate Radio and Free Speech though, and neither did Randy.  Allan went so far as to buy a WRECK  of a cargo ship he named the “Sarah” sitting in a dock in the Boston Harbor.  He bought this ship for I think it was $500.  It was a good 100′ at the waterline I am pretty sure.  Nothing on it worked. The guy who sold it to him I think did it just to get the Docking Fees off his books.  He never thought the thing would sail again.  Allan fixed EVERYTHING, including the fucking engines.  He was an even BIGGER Electronics and Mechanical Wizard than Randy was.  He also put up a tower on it to broadcast from, and finally did get the thing Off Shore of Long Island to Broadcast.  The FCC of course did shut him down in short order though.

Radio North Sea International Offshore Broadcasting Ship

This whole deal was modelled after a similar Pirate Radio adventure undertaken over in Eurotrashland which persisted a bit longer, Radio North Sea International.  In the end though, “Pirate Radio”, which was the effort by a few mostly pretty young  individuals to take back control over the Conduit of the airwaves without going through Goobermint Channels was pretty well squashed out by the late 1980s.

Here is a short history from one of the principals in the Radio New York Internation Offshore Pirate Radio  adventure:

1987 was a strange year for Brooklyn pirate radio station WHOT. The FCC had paid us a visit in November of 1985 (we didn’t let them in), and we never heard another peep from them. The threat seemed like a distant memory due to the lack of any further noise from our friends at the Commission. At the same time, WHOT was exploding. Listenership kept growing in leaps and bounds, and each show seemed like it was more fun than the last one. We had really honed the “WHOT Sound” – a little bit of everything for everyone. Music, talk, comedy, jingles, reverb and punchy, killer audio. It was infectious to everyone involved – both for us AND the listeners.Spring was around the corner when we were first approached by Allan Weiner with a proposal. Allan had operated several New England-based pirates in the 70s and 80s, and Hank and Jim had known him for many years.  He was about to embark on a project of epic proportions called Radio NewYork International – “RNI” for short, as a tribute to the old Radio Northsea International.“RNI” would be the first U.S. attempt to broadcast in the same manner as the legendary European pirates: on a ship, off the coast, in international waters – out of the reach of the FCC. Allan felt that the heart of RNI’s staff should be made up of current pirate operators, and he wanted us to be a big part of it. After giving the project much thought, we decided to do it – if for no other reason, for the adventure. Allan worked towards smoothing over the “pirate disagreements” of the previous year and managed to get most of the New York area pirates on board.The idea sounded crazy, but it also sounded like it could be great. Allan secured an old Japanese fishing trawler to house RNI and turned it into “The Radioship Sarah”, installing transmitters on AM, FM, short wave and even long wave. I wondered if he could actually pull it off…he certainly seemed serious about it.RNI’s eventual goal was to broadcast 24 hours a day, seven days a week with a variety of programming. The core of the staff would be “the WHOT Good Guys” along with other pirates – Randi Steele (who had been running Stereo Nine FM as “Ed Armstrong”) was named Operations Manager and eventually others like Johnny Lightning of WJPL, along with a non-defined cadre of spurious pirate folk that  came and went throughout the project.Also along for the project was Ivan Jefferies, a WHOT listener who had recently started doing some guest appearances on the air with us, bringing his twisted syntax and genuine good humor to the shows, as well as lending his classic radio expertise to various “special segments”.As RNI neared completion, Hank and I put our lives on hold and traveled up to Boston to help, where The Sarah was being readied for its journey. The studio and transmitters were now in working order, but the ship itself needed a LOT of readying and sprucing up. We spent a large chunk of the early summer sanding, stripping, sweeping and painting. Meanwhile, Jim was in Brooklyn keeping WHOT on the air. Coming into June, the air was thick with anticipation as we closed on the target day to set sail for the waters off Long Island (where RNI would make its home). At night, Hank and I would lay out on the deck and wonder…how will people react? Will the news media cover it? Will people even listen to it?I had never worked so hard on something that wasn’t an actual “job” in my life. As the sail date neared, Hank went back to Brooklyn to take care of some of his personal stuff AND help Jim give WHOT a proper “sign off”. I had already decided to take the summer off and be a bum, so I stayed in Boston to work on the ship with Allan. Those days were rough. I remember hauling two-ton anchor chain in the hot July sun and thinking, “boy, I’m dying…I hope this is gonna be worth it…”.Hank returned to Boston on July 18th with Jim, Ivan and a few other friends that were expected to participate in RNI once it was on the air. That weekend, The Sarah played host to a who’s-who of the New York and New England pirate radio scene, and a party atmosphere permeated the ship’s studio and transmitter room as everyone looked around in amazement…sitting behind the board, fiddling with the knobs and getting themselves familiar with the setup.  It was really gonna happen, and everyone was excited! We even shot some video to record the historic moment.On the overcast morning of July 20, 1987, Allan, Hank, Ivan and I left the ‘dirty water’ of Boston’s Charles River and set sail for the waters off the coast of New York City. It was time for RNI to turn the world (and all our lives) upside down. The Sarah had no working engines to sail on it’s own power, so it had to be towed out by this huge towing ship called The Munzer. When we reached the desired destination, we dropped the world’s biggest (10,000 pound) anchor and that ridiculously big anchor chain, and the Munzer was gone, headed back to Boston. We had reached the point of no return!Allan had secured a small Liberty Launch boat to be used as a shuttle / supply boat for going back and forth from The Sarah to shore. Hank and I jumped on it and returned to Brooklyn to prepare for whatever sort of press reaction RNI would get once the broadcasts started. At the start, each broadcast would be six hours – from 6PM to Midnight – carried simultaneously on FOUR frequencies: 1620 AM, 103.1 FM, 6240 SW as well as an experimental transmission on Long Wave. Allan fired up all the transmitters on the night of July 23rd and played some announcer-free music, just to see if everything was still in working order. RNI’s first ACTUAL test transmission took place the night of July 24th, featuring Allan and Ivan. Hank and I sat on the stoop of his house with a GE Superadio and our hearts skipped a beat when the dead carrier was broken at 6PM ET by an RNI promo followed by “Come Sail Away” by Styx. RNI was actually on the air! The media reaction was immediate and tremendous – WAY more than I had expected from just the first night of broadcasting!The following days were spent entertaining members of the press, who came out in droves. The nights were spent broadcasting. Randi and Ivan did a special midday show for the benefit of the assembled media on the 25th, and Allan and Ivan did another six-hour “test” program that evening. On the third day (July 26th) the FCC finally decided to show up. It was mid-afternoon when the Coast Guard pulled up next to The Sarah with several FCC agents in tow. They boarded the ship, looked around, handed some legal papers to Allan and left – but not before promising they’d be back. Since the ship WAS in international waters, we truly felt we were not breaking any laws. To make this point, RNI kept on broadcasting that very evening, with another 6PM test show from Randi Steele and a post-midnight show from Ivan.While this was all going on, WHOT was still broadcasting (around RNI’s shows) so we could say a proper “farewell” to the HOT listeners. We assumed the launch of RNI would mean the end for all land-based pirates for an unforeseen amount of time, so we wanted to say goodbye in a way fitting of The HOT One – loudly, over three nights. We told the listeners to “watch the news, read the papers – we’ll be back”. Both the print and broadcast media were already covering RNI at saturation level, so we knew the listeners would connect the dots and make the connection eventually.Hank and Jim hit the RNI airwaves with another six-hour test show the evening of July 27th (the plan was to continue with the 6PM to Midnight schedule until launching full 24-hour broadcasts on August 1). As luck would have it, this was at the moment that the press coverage was reaching it’s height. Everyone was running around trying to take it all in, while at the same time worrying about what the FCC’s next move would be. I was busy working the phones like a madman and preparing to do MY first show, which was scheduled for the next evening on the 28th.Instead, July 28, 1987 would become a day that would live in underground radio infamy…

Allan went on to buy a small Radio Station with a License from the FCC in Maine.  I don’t know what happenned to him after that.  I also lost touch with Randy many years ago, last I heard he had moved up to around Bethel, NY near the old Woodstock Festival site.  I had no participation in Pirate Radio after around 1978 or so.  I missed being Arrested on the Sarah with Randy and Allan and Joseph Paul, although I did have the chance to go out with them, which sadly I turned down. Hadda be the experience of a Lifetime. My life had gone in another direction by then though.

When the film Pump Up the Volume came out,  it was Jaw  Dropping for me.  So much of that story came from what we did in the 70s it was incredible.  I am pretty sure whoever wrote that had contact with Allan and Joseph Paul at least, if not Randy also.

Pirate Radio had many similarities to today’s Blogosphere, though it was even more “edgy” since much of it was explicitly Illegal, at least under administrative laws.  In fact, the FCC rarely successfully prosecuted any Pirates, and the smaller ones generally had such sparse listenership it wasn’t worth the expense to try to track them down.  Certainly the dramatization in the film Pump Up the Volume is Hollywood Fiction, but it was a fun movie nonetheless, especially for anyone who was involved in Pirate Radio of the era.

Pirates were fighting very much the same battle against Corporate Control of the Media then that Bloggers fight against the MSM now.  At the time, Clear Channel Communications was busy buying up every Radio Station in the country with the same packaged Playlists and syndicated Jocks like Casey Casem and Talk  Show Hosts like Don Imus.  Alternative music only made it onto some College Stations and the Pirates.  Far as Newz Commenters on the radio in any way deviating from the Konsumerist Message, they became nonexistent and are so to this day.

The internet has changed this dynamic again, with the Podcasts, the Livestreams, the You Tube Channels and of course the Blogosphere.  We do have a chance here again to get the Message Out.  I am glad here as I near the end of my years walking the Earth to do once again what I did in my youth so many years ago now in a short career as a Pirate Radio Disk Jockey and Talk Show Host.  I once again have the chance to….

PUMP UP THE VOLUME ON THE DOOMSTEAD DINER!

RE

Guerilla Internet Free Speech Project

 Guerilla Internet Free Speech

Lively day today on the Doomstead Diner and The Automatic Earth.

The issue of the Banning of Karpatok on TAE resulted in the further Closing of the thread discussing the merits of Banning and Censorship on an Internet Forum by Ilargi of TAE.

Ilargi wrote:

This silly waste of time topic is closed, any additional comments will be deleted.

Clearly this is a matter of Opinion.  I certainly do not think the Banning of a member and a discussion of Free Speech issues on the Internet is a “silly waste of time”.  Ilargi far as I can tell did not really “lock” the thread though as in make it impossible for people to post in it, he just made clear he will delete any and all comments which refer back to this issue in that thread.  Evidence for that is Snuffy posted up AFTER Ilargi declared the thread “Closed”.

What does this mean here now?  Well, not only is Karpatok shut out from commentary on TAE, now all the rest of the members cannot even continue to DISCUSS the issue there!  ADMIN HAS SPOKEN!

“This person and this issue is DEAD to us here now, purge it from your memory and let us move on to discuss what Admin wants to discuss.”

I have spent most of my years since 2007 when I got my Wake Up Call on the Collapse with the failure of Bear Stearns not as a Blogger with my own Platform, but as a member of the Commentariat, first on the Peak Oil Message Board.  I was Purged not once but TWICE on Peak Oil, first as Rogue Economist, then as Reverse Engineer.  After that I migrated to Market Tickerwhere I met Peter, and eventually I got Purged there for getting in one too many arguments with Karl Denninger over the merits of Capitalism and frankly carved him up like Thanksgiving Turkey in a couple of them.  Then of course is the experience on The Burning Platform, which is somewhat Legendary now in terms of the Battles with Admin and the Napalm that was thrown in the Commentariat on that board.  It makes what Karpatok threw at Ashvin on DD look like softballs.

A few people Stood Tall for me when I got Banned, but few indeed, because they got THREATENED also if they continued to discuss “He Who Cannot Be Named”, they ALSO would be sent to the Great Beyond.  To his Great and Everlasting Credit (for which he will be rewarded Handsomely in the Great Beyond I am sure),  Surly is among the very few who EVER went to Bat for me when I got Banned, and the ONLY one I am sure of who ALSO payed the Ultimate Price and got Banned himself for it.

And so together with Peter,and Surly and a few other friends I had accumulated over time on the net, for quite some time we Holed Up on our own little Yahoo Group of Reverse Engineering, batting ideas back and forth with each other, and accummulating a few other members along the way.  Eventually because of again issues with CENSORSHIP being done automatically by Bots that monitor the Yahoo Groups, we finally left that tiny little apartment to move into the Mansion the Peter Built, The Doomstead Diner.  Quite a Platform it is as well, I do not think there is a better one on the Net at the moment, and getting better all the time as Peter tweaks it in his Spare Time.  He does that, I do what I always have done, which is to pound the keyboard faster than anybody else can discussing the issues of Collapse with whomsoever arrives to take a Meal at the Diner.

Do I have any control over who walks through the Diner Doors to pitch out their own ideas?  No I do not, but I welcome them regardless of WHAT those ideas are.  Do I BAN them from the Diner if they PUKE all over the Diner Floor?  No I do not.  Do I APPROVE of what every person on the Diner writes, either in ideas or in Ad Hom attack of another member, including myself?  Hell no I do not, but I will NOT BAN them for that.

That is the background to the Banning of Karpatok.  Far as I am concerned, it does not matter what she wrote on the Diner or on TAE either (though in neither case could I see anything THAT awful), it was the simple fact she was being SQUASHED LIKE  A BUG by ADMIN!  How could I let that Stand, when it has been done so many times to me?  I could not DO such a thing and remain true to my own principles, no way, no how.  I am ADMIN of DD, and a member also of TAE, and so I came to her defense on those pages as well as here on my own Platform.  Because I am Admin here, I CANNOT be Squashed like a Bug anymore.  I can be deleted as a member from another website, or I can boycott the website, but I can’t be made to DISAPPEAR anymore from the minds and memory of all who read the net.  The Great MANSION, nay CASTLE that Peter Built prevents that from occurring now.

I do know to this day that on MANY Forums and Blogs, Contrarian Authors often find their posts Edited or Censored, this is by no means limited to TAE of course.  It is particularly bad on MSM websites of course, but it certainly is quite endemic to the Blogosphere as well.  You can make statements like “Hey, not Happy here?  Set up your OWN Blog dude!” but in fact that cannot be done by most commenters, they just do not write enough to maintain a decent Blog.  Even those that do write enough (say minimum one good article a week) will not get much readership, that is not how the Blogosphere works.  There are thousands (millions?) of Blogs out there nobody ever reads except the Family Memebrs and Close Friends of the Blogger.

So for the Commenter who just occassionally gets really PISSED OFF at something being said on a given Blog and wishes to express their disgust  with the ideas or even the Autor of those ideas, setting up their own blog to do that is not a reasonable alternative.  Pondering on this problem today as I worked it through my head, I realized that I have to do more than just go out there and Lawyer for Karpatok. And so I will.

I will be opening up a new Thread in the Kitchen Sink, the Guerilla Internet Free Speech thread.  The Kitchen Sink in the Diner I have left open for all to read, and for guests to post in as well, though Guest Posting is previewed before posting.  If anyone on any Blog or Forum is getting their posting Edited or Deleted, Copy/Paste it into the GIFS Thread, and I will Publish it.  Indicate in the Post the URL of the Board or Blog on which your posting is being Censored.

I will not Guarantee the post you make remains in that thread if it is vitriolic and nasty overall and has no redeemimg social value. LOL. My decision there to make.  I will NOT delete it though.  I will just move it into the Smokehouse and create a yet DEEPER Dungeon for ABSOLUTE CRAP.  It will still be out there for people to read, but they sure will have to dig deep to find it! LOL.  You ever try to find a file that you layered six folders deep on your Hard Drive?  Forget it.

However, I do not think most Deleted Posting is the result of it being trash without redeeming social value, most stuff gets Deleted simply because the Admin of the site does not agree with the Spin of the Contrarian Author.  Perhaps I will be proven wrong on that assumption, only time will tell on that one.

In the Meantime, I will make the Doomstead Diner a “Home of the Free and Land of the Contrarian”, and give anyone who is being Banned or Censored on any other Board or Blog on the Net the opportuity to Speak their Mind on DD.  I am declaring a Guerilla War against Censorship on Internet Blogs and Forums here on the Doomstead Diner.

I will ALSO volunteer my services if your complaint is IMHO a valid one to go in an Lawyer for you if you are Banned on any Website, if you get Banned.  Caveat there being, I gotta be able to Register myself on the site AND I probably get Banned Myself also, but I will give it the old College Try anyhow.

The MSM represses Free Speech in so many uncountable ways already, and the Blogosphere is about the last place left now where there is some Free Flow of ideas.  If the Blogger/Admins ALSO will go and Censor Cotnrarian viewpoints, there is no HOPE here at all that this medium can really allow all to speak their minds in free and open discussion.  My MISSION FROM GOD now is to go out in the DEFENSE of anyone who is being Censored or Banned as I was so many times before Peter and I openned the Doomstead Diner for Bizness.

SPEAK FREE ON THE DOOMSTEAD DINER!

RE

 

Christian Apologetics

Religion, Ethics and Morality have become the subject of Great Debate inside the Diner lately.  This generally is the result of a long running series of debates between Ashvin Pandurangi  and myself on both of our Forums for Discussion, respectively The Automatic Earth and the Doomstead Diner.  Part of a bigger series of debates between Ashvin and myself I discussed in the Holmes and Watson article.

Why on two Blog/Forums which both are mainly concerned with the Economic aspect of the Collapse of Industrial Civilization has Religion become such a Hot Topic of Debate?  The reason is of course that Fundamental Ethics infuse all the Economic Decisions ever made anywhere at any time.  Religions all concern themselves with Ethics and Morality, and if those in charge of the Economic System and those participating in it are not living up to those Ethics, fundamental questions and answers of a Religious nature are often used to both explain what is going on as well as attempt to offer solutions to it.

This is an EXTREMELY complicated issue on many levels, which also brings to the surface powerful Emotional Reactions in all who participate in such discussions, whether as reader, writer or both.  In fact the discussions in this case became so intense that it resulted in the BANNING of one member of both forums from the TAE forum, a Commenter who goes by the nom-de-plume of Karpatok.  As of this writing, Karpatok remains BANNED from TAE.

I am a long time contrarian writer on the Internet who has had the experience on MANY occassions of being BANNED for what I wrote on what I refer to as “OPBs”, aka Other People’s Blogs/Boards.  It is extraordinarily frustrating for a Writer to be Muzzled in this way, and with very few exceptions such a response from BoardModerators and Admins is UNACCEPTABLE.  The main reason the Doomstead Diner exists at all is because without such a platform where *I* am the Admin, I simply cannot consistently get out the message I am trying to deliver.

Not everyone however either has the time, inclination, writing skills,  knowledge, money or expertiese to set up a Blog/Forum like DD.  In fact without my partner Peter who is the designer of this Platform, I never could have done it myself.  I still identify with the plight of the Commenter who gets BANNED from a Blog or Message Board, and when I witness such an event it makes my blood boil.  Really, to Ban someone has to take an extraordinary disruption of a Message Board, and should only be undertaken after ALL other means of resolving the issue have failed.  This was not the case with the Banning of Karpatok, who although she clearly has her own agenda wasn’t really making all that big a splash on TAE.  She certainly isn’t SWAMPING commentary there like I do anyhow.  Her posting could have been moved, she could have been marginalized in many other ways besides a Ban.

Free Speech issues aside here, the Debates on Religion, Ethics and Morality continue on here on the Doomstead Diner, to a much greater depth of detail than they are occurring on The Automatic Earth right now.  These debates have spawned two extremely detailed threads, Fun with Fundies where the Religion of Christianity is questioned on its fundamental tenets, and Christians Debate Christianity, where Christians question each other on their interpretation of the Bible and the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Both of these threads provide far more reading and detail then I can possibly drop in one article here on the Diner Blog.  I encourage all who are interested in such topics to explore both of these threads.  Below here in this article, I am including one post I made in Fun with Fundies on the topic of Christian Apologetics, which attempts to rationalize the Religion of Christianity.  I will in the future also post an article from one of the Christians on the board outlining some Christian perspective as well.

The Doomstead Diner is a place where we discuss the most important issues of our time, and most certainly Morality, Ethics and Religion sit right at the TOP of such discussion.  In the end, just about all discussions run back around to these ideas, even if they just begin with Natural Gas Fracking or a PIIGS default on debt.  I believe it is important for anyone who Blogs on these issues to be Up Front and Honest about their Belief Structure, because without that the reader really has no context from where the Blogger is writing.  My viewpoint is clear, as you will see I think when you read “Christian Apologetics”.  For the rest, join us inside the Doomstead Diner.

RE

Christian Apologetics 

As should be obvious already to any readers of this thread so far, I am no big fan of Christian Fundamentalism or “Fundies” as I label the practitioners of this Black Art.

Indicated as well in the thread above is that Watson is BY NO MEANS the first Fundy I have ever gone Mano-a-Mano with, though he is among the best of them. One fellow I ran into who changed his whole life around age 50 to go back to Fundy Preacher Seminary for some fragment of the Baptist Denomination was also Fabulously Well Read in the Bible and Christian Apologetics.

For those of you who do not know what Christian Apologetics are, this represents a very LONG history of trying to present a rational explanation for the tenets of Christianity.

Christian apologetics (Greek: ἀπολογία, “verbal defence, speech in defence”)[1] is a field of Christian theology that aims to present a rational basis for the Christian faith, defend the faith against objections, and attempt to expose the flaws of other world views.

I’ve always found the label for this field of study to be rather ironic, since it carries with it the notion that Christians need to APOLOGIZE for being Christian. Of course, that isn’t the sense the word is being used in here, but you can’t help but make that association.

So anyhow, Watson is a Christian Apologist of the first order, he has clearly been studying this field for quite some time, though I can’t say exactly how long. What first led me to grasp he was a practitioner of this Black Art was all the references he made to Biblical Scholars through history. Nobody is familiar with this stuff unless they have studied Apologetics, and nobody spends a great deal of time studying that stuff unless they are either Fundy or else possibly an Academic who studies Comparative Religions. So Watson had to be one or the other, and for a while I figured it was coming from the Academic side, since he writes in such an Academic fashion and clearly has that kind of background. However, when he went ballistic on me for taking Biblical quotes out of context and mounting his own “In Context” arguments, I realized he was in fact a Fundy, not just an Academic researcher.

Now, why do I refer to Apologetics as a “Black Art”. The reason for that is that you can’t ever argue with a Christian Apologist without them telling you that you haven’t studied the Bible well enough and all the REAMS of stuff other Apologists have written over CENTURIES about every freaking last Chapter and Verse in the Bible.

Really good Fundies who have studied this stuff for a few years can quote Chapter and Verse out of the Bible on almost any topic you can imagine. They don’t even need to Google it, they have it committed to memory. If you have ever had a Verbal argument with a Fundy of this type, you will know that in the course of a debate they will Recite a Verse or Two at incredibly high speed in talking. In the mind of the Fundy, BAM they GOTCHYA! They pulled out of their head the EXACT passage in the Bible that PROVES you don’t know WTF you are talking about and they do.

Ultimate Fundies are people like David Koresh, who did not just have a few hundred verses memorized to demonstrate his points, he memorized the entire freaking Bible, lock stock and barrel. Stories I read from some of his disenchanted followers said they were amazed early on by his ability to recite entire Books of the Bible in Sermons that went on for HOURS, without so much as glancing at the Bible.

So anyhow, in an argument with a Fundie Apologist, unless you have spent at least as much time as they have reading and researching all that was ever written on Biblical Philosophy, they let you know you cannot possibly know WTF you are talking about since you haven’t researched it well enough. Argument over.

So what has occurred here over the Centuries is many Apologists all debating with other Apologists over the Meaning of the Bible, and as a result over the centuries they have come up with marvelously internally consistent explanations for every last thing written in there. If anybody comes up with an alternative explanation, they get jumped on by 50 other Apologists all seeking to show why he is wrong, and somebody eventually does of course.

Now, I clearly have not spent years studying the Bible or Apologetics. I just have a few years of Sunday School to work with and occassionally sitting down to read some Chapters over the years. Not very comprehensive study by any stretch of the imagination. What I am pretty familiar with though is the history of Christianity and the behavior of all the folks I ever met who purport to be Christians. To synopsize that, its a big freaking MESS all the way round. They don’t follow the teachings of Jesus most of the time, and on a historical level the Religion has caused at least as much Grief as it did Helping anybody. All sorts of folks used it for their own ends always.

In our own time here now, the Christian Fundy movement has had all sorts of negative consequences, aka BLOWBACK. The Anti-Abortion aspect probably is the best example there. In response to “Baby Killers”, some Fundies will go ahead and Bomb Abortion Clinics. This is of course a response to the WWJD question that is completely incorrect, but nevertheless it IS the response that comes back here.

Fundies go on and on about the Sanctity of Life, but once born for all practical purposes the vast number of infants born to the poor are left hung out to dry. Then the Fundies feel Guilty about this so they start shovelling out the Food Aid to “help” all these starving kids and the Christian Children’s Fund comes on TV with some big Doe Eyed kid from Nicaraqua who you can “Save” for just $1/day!

None of this bizness of Charity has ever worked very well in anything but the smallest of Communities, and I am not even sure how well it works there either. Well off Haves in the society will occassionally feel Guilty enough to throw some Charity at the Poor, but if it is a persistent problem they become hardenned to it. Certainly once even just 50% or so of the society has fallen into desperate poverty, the Haves just give up on Charity. There are TOO MANY poor people! You can’t feed all of them without bankrupting yourself! this of course represents the negative reaction to the Welfare State and the Taxation that results from that as more and more people become dependent on the Charity of the State.

So, the fact is that all these Christian principles regarding the Sanctity of Life and the value of Charity don’t really WORK in the Ag society that developed before Christianity ever came on the scene at all. You can argue to death that the Principles are Sound and Internally consistent, but they don’t WORK, and they never have, not for 2000 years here. It doesn’t match up with REALITY which includes both Human Behavior and Resource Constraints. Don’t argue that with a Fundy though, they will tell you if you just Love Thy Neighbor and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, all will be well. If not in This Life, then in the Afterlife. If you don’t BELIEVE that, go read the Words of Jesus and 1000 Apologists for Jesus that will demonstrate to you the TRUTH of these arguments.

It is in a word, Horseshit. It doesn’t WORK, it never worked, and Jesus himself makes the disclaimer it won’t work, but only because not enough people will stick to his Principles. How come Jesus, Son of God and the Pure Virgin Mary could not come up with a set of Principles people actually WOULD stick to? I mean really, with that lineage he should have been able to come up with a Plan that WORKS, rather than one destined for FAILURE with an end result of a Final Battle of Good vs Evil for All the Marbles, right?

I have been grappling with all these questions for pretty much my entire life and taking on Fundies of various kinds through the whole time. I haven’t studied Christian Apologetics, and I never will. Why? Because on First Priciples alone, the whole thing just does not WORK. To spend years reading stuff people have written to APOLOGIZE for the fact it does not work is a waste of time.

RE

Out with the Internet, In with Da Goobernet: Register to Read

Discuss this article inside the Diner

 

I was doing my usual Googling to read through the MSM reports on the latest in Collapse topics, and there were a couple of article titles regarding Spain and Rajoy I wanted to read. One from the WSJ, other from FT.

Now, in prior Google adventures in surfing, most of the time even if something was “premium content”, if you came in via a Google search you could at least read that article. No more, at least as far as WSJ and FT are concerned. For WSJ, you get just a couple of lines and if you wanna read the rest, you gotta pay. For FT, you don’t have to pay as of yet, but you do have to Register to Read.

Now, I don’t about the rest of you guys, but I try not to register an email addy on every goddam site I go read at even if its free. It ALWAYS ends up with more SPAM in your mailbox of course. Besides that, it’s still more Data Mining on your preferences and proclivities by TPTB. The only time I register is if I want to participate on the site in some way, or of course also when you buy something online you can’t help but register including your credit/debit card number. If I have to register on every site I just go to READ, fuhgeddaboudit.

So, in terms of really being able to freely surf the web and research information, the window here is rapidly closing. For the most part the Blogs are still free and don’t require registration to read, but popular pundits more and more only SELL their information with Premium Memberships. Chris Martenson does that, John Hussman and even Speedy Gonzalo Lira does it, although I just cannot IMAGINE who is paying him $300/year to read his bloviations.

Anyhow, now except for other Bloggers with memberships who paste info from the WSJ in their posts, I won’t be getting any more stories to write about from them. Which is probably good, since reading Hilsenrath’s trash just rots your brain with propaganda anyhow. Hopefully for a while more at least Al-Jazeera and Russia Today will allow free reads.

Eventually I can see a day coming where all Bloggers will have to register with Da Goobermint and pay a scaled price depending on your readership base for the priviledge of Blogging on the Goobernet. This first of all forces all Bloggers to be Registered with the Ministry of Propaganda and regularly reviewed for the “appropriateness” of your content. Second, it will then force the Bloggers to pass on the cost of this to their Readers, unless they are independently wealthy and wish to pay the cost themselves. Then as a Blog Reader, unless you are independently wealthy, you probably only will pick 2 or 3 Blogs to read maybe because the costs would quickly add up even if you were only charged say $1/mo per blog. I’m sure in the course of a month I read at least 50 different Blogs at least once when following Links. If each time I went to a new one I had to register and pay to read, I’m not going to do it.

In this way, Da Goobermint achieves Economic Censorship without actually “Censoring Free Speech”. Because there IS no “Free Speech” on the Internet after a while, it all COSTS MONEY.

Its still possible to set up a Blog for free on Blogspot, and even buying your own domain and doing a WP Blog isn’t very expensive at least as long as you have a friend like Peter who knows how to install the software on the server space you buy. Also still possible to read most of these Blogs for Free without Registering also. The writing is on the wall though, and even if the Internet survives a few more years, as a medium for the free flow of information it will wither and die and become pretty much strictly a Goobermint/Corporate Propaganda tool. The only Websites which will be “Free” to read are those being supported by Goobermint Tax Dollars or Corporate Profits as a means either to Propagandize or Advertize.

Meanwhile for a Blogger like yourself who gets most of his information to write about by sifting through the MSM and the rest of the Blogosphere, my source material gets thinner by the day. Still can read the Headlines and the Newswire stuff from AP and Reuters usually as well, but as far as what the NYT, WP and WSJ have to say about anything, I’m clueless. I just don’t read them anymore because I am NOT going to pay to read their Propaganda.

RE

Knarf plays the Doomer Blues

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Scientists have unlocked the power of gold atoms b [...]

Quote from: azozeo on August 14, 2019, 10:41:33 AM [...]

Wisconsin Bill Would Remove Barrier to Using Gold, [...]

Under extreme conditions, gold rearranges its atom [...]

The cost of gold futures on the Comex exchange inc [...]

OK, I gave it to myself.    Guaranteed FREE Shippi [...]

The remission is OVAH!  The Cancer is BACK!  I got [...]

1 week, even 2 here in Alaska is total BULLSHIT! Y [...]

Now UP on GEI!  REposted on 01 December 2019A Worl [...]

Alternate Perspectives

  • Two Ice Floes
  • Jumping Jack Flash
  • From Filmers to Farmers

Missing In Action By Cognitive Dissonance     As a very young pup, whenever I was overdue and not ho [...]

Politicians’ Privilege By Cognitive Dissonance     Imagine for a moment you work for a small or medi [...]

Shaking the August Stick By Cognitive Dissonance     Sometime towards the end of the third or fourth [...]

Empire in Decline - Propaganda and the American Myth By Cognitive Dissonance     “Oh, what a tangled [...]

Meanderings By Cognitive Dissonance     Tis the Season Silly season is upon us. And I, for one, welc [...]

Event Update For 2019-12-07http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2019-12-06http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2019-12-05http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2019-12-04http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2019-12-03http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

With fusion energy perpetually 20 years away we now also perpetually have [fill in the blank] years [...]

My mea culpa for having inadvertently neglected FF2F for so long, and an update on the upcoming post [...]

NYC plans to undertake the swindle of the civilisation by suing the companies that have enabled it t [...]

MbS, the personification of the age-old pre-revolutionary scenario in which an expiring regime attem [...]

Daily Doom Photo

man-watching-tv

Sustainability

  • Peak Surfer
  • SUN
  • Transition Voice

First cut of the Madrid climate summit"“Buying an offset to fly here is absurd. It takes decades for a tree to grow enough to recoup [...]

"The drift towards near-term human extinction must be averted at all costs."I confess. I a [...]

"Since 2005, winters in Mexico have been my Hemingway Machine."  As winter descends upon m [...]

Waterboarding Flounder"Serious oxygen loss between 100 and 600-meter depths is expected to cover 59–80% of the ocean [...]

Of Warnings and their Ripple Effects"We need wooden ships, char-crete buildings, bamboo bicycles, moringa furniture, and hemp cloth [...]

The folks at Windward have been doing great work at living sustainably for many years now.  Part of [...]

 The Daily SUN☼ Building a Better Tomorrow by Sustaining Universal Needs April 3, 2017 Powering Down [...]

Off the keyboard of Bob Montgomery Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666 Friend us on Facebook Publishe [...]

Visit SUN on Facebook Here [...]

What extinction crisis? Believe it or not, there are still climate science deniers out there. And th [...]

My new book, Abolish Oil Now, will talk about why the climate movement has failed and what we can do [...]

A new climate protest movement out of the UK has taken Europe by storm and made governments sit down [...]

The success of Apollo 11 flipped the American public from skeptics to fans. The climate movement nee [...]

Today's movement to abolish fossil fuels can learn from two different paths that the British an [...]

Top Commentariats

  • Our Finite World
  • Economic Undertow

wholly appropriate comment on the severe global recession which is almost upon us... [...]

There has to be a story that people can tell that allows a better tomorrow than today. Assuming a di [...]

I think the sweet spot for oil prices is long past. We need prices higher than $120 per barrel for t [...]

Her answer will probably be NO. Just look at what happens when oil breaks north of $65, the economy [...]

No by industrialism I meant the broader energy picture. The surplus value labour produces requires c [...]

That was a good piece - not sure that was exactly what Steve was saying about Marx and industrializa [...]

Steve wrote a couple of articles last year, Marx & Debtonomics: https://www.economic-undertow.co [...]

Wait - when did Steve say that about Marx? I must have missed an interesting discussion along the wa [...]

@Ellen, I concur with Steve that Marx understood the problems with capitalism but failed to place th [...]

RE Economics

Going Cashless

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Simplifying the Final Countdown

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Bond Market Collapse and the Banning of Cash

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Do Central Bankers Recognize there is NO GROWTH?

Discuss this article @ the ECONOMICS TABLE inside the...

Singularity of the Dollar

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Kurrency Kollapse: To Print or Not To Print?

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SWISSIE CAPITULATION!

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Of Heat Sinks & Debt Sinks: A Thermodynamic View of Money

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Merry Doomy Christmas

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Peak Customers: The Final Liquidation Sale

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Collapse Fiction

Useful Links

Technical Journals

Climate change imposes great challenges on the built heritage sector by increasing the risks of ener [...]

Deterministic–stochastic empirical mode decomposition (EMD) is used to obtain low-frequency (n [...]

At the sub-national level, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) proposes [...]

The recent droughts in the American Southwest have led to increasing risks of wildfires, which pose [...]