Bulletin from a battleground of the people’s revolution 8

The rulers of Europe and their supporting media are beginning to feel seriously embattled. They are aware and frightened of a spreading discontent, a darkening mood of defiance and even rebellion among the peoples they lead.

Their instinct – the instinct of tyrants – is to protect themselves by using government to silence criticism.

Of all the members of the European Union, Germany, it seems, is where the ruling class feels most insecure and is responding with most high-handed imperiousness. This is not hard to account for. Germany is anxious to live down its appalling modern history; dissolve its guilt in the wider sea of a European state; dilute its very nationhood in a flood of immigrants bringing different laws, culture, and religion.

But rising populist movements are demanding the dissolution of the European Union and a stop to Muslim immigration.

From Gatestone by Stefan Frank:

The elites and intellectuals are apparently now counted among the German minorities in need of protection.

Toward the end of last year, Germany experienced a previously unheard-of boycott campaign – funded by the German government, no less – against several websites, such as the popular Axis of Good (Achse des Guten). The website, critical of the government, was suddenly accused of “right-wing populism”.

The German government’s efforts at thought control seem to have begun with the victory of Donald J. Trump in the US presidential election – that seems to set the “establishment” off. Germany’s foreign minister and the probable future federal president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier – one of the first to travel to Iran after the removal of sanctions there to kowtow to the Ayatollahs – called America’s future president a “hate preacher”.

Herr Steinmeier, uniquely among European leaders, has come to his senses since then, recognized that there has been a world-transforming political upheaval in America, and plans to talk to President Trump in an effort to understand what the popular revolution is all about.

Germany’s newspapers were suddenly littered with apocalyptic predictions and anti-American fulminations.

For hard-core Trump-haters, however, a witch hunt by itself is insufficient; they want activism! Since November, Germany’s left-wing parties have had a strong increase in membership, as reported by Der Spiegel. At the same time, the federal government evidently decided, at least regarding the federal elections taking place in 2017, that it would no longer count on journalists’ self-censorship.

The German government, instead of merely hoping that newspapers would voluntarily – or under pressure from the Press Council – refrain from criticising the government’s immigration policies, decided that it, itself, would inaugurate censorship.

To this effect, as reported by Der Spiegel, the Federal Interior Ministry, intends to set up a “Defense Center against Disinformation (“Abwehrzentrum gegen Desinformation“) in the fight against “fake news on social networks”. “Abwehr” – the name of Nazi Germany’s military intelligence agency – is apparently meant to demonstrate the government’s seriousness regarding the matter.

“It sounds like the Ministry of Truth, ‘Minitrue,’ from George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984,” wrote even the left-leaning daily, Frankfurter Rundschau.

Frank Überall, national head of the German Association of Journalists (DJV), bluntly stated: “This smells like censorship.”

It seems that all ideas suspected of being “populist” – or simply those ideas without the blessing of the elites – will now be banned in Germany. This restriction applies to criticism of the government (especially regarding immigration and energy policies), of the EU, of Islam, of government officials and of the media.

The Federal Agency for Political Education – the information agency of the Interior Ministry – is quite open about it: “Anti-elitism”, “anti-intellectualism”, “anti-politics” and “hostility toward institutions” are “the key characteristics of populism”.

Toward the end of 2016, one of the biggest German media scandals in recent memory erupted when Gerald Hensel, undoubtedly a member of Germany’s elite, tried to introduce a new form of internet censorship with the help of a team of media agencies and political players. Until recently, Hensel was “Director of Strategy” at Scholz & Friends, one of Germany’s two big advertising agencies. The firm counts among its clients multinational corporations such as General Motors, the German federal government and the European Commission; so one might say the company is close to the state.

Apparently in anger over Trump’s election victory, Hensel demanded: “Let us freeze the cash flow of the right-wing extremist media!” He had previously written a strategy brief declaring debate to be useless; instead, the political enemy — the “populists” – needed to be fought, even with questionable methods:

The liberal center must, especially in these new digital and information-based wars, take off the kid gloves. We have to turn the tables and learn about populism, particularly on the Internet … Thus, we have to respond in a more wide-spread digital manner and with explicitly less sympathy to those people who want to force their own future on us – and do this long before the next federal election … Political storytelling, targeting the political enemy, influencers, forums, rumors…”

“Measures,” he added, have to be taken against the “new right” – measures that:

… [A]re “Below the Line” and also digital. We need “good” troll factories in our fight against [European “populist” leaders] Frauke Petry, Beatrix von Storch, Geert Wilders, Marine Le Pen and the fat stupid white men behind them. Ideally, as quickly as possible. Starting in 2017, they will continue to dismantle the EU and thus our future and that of our children.

Toward the end of November, Hensel appealed to his colleagues in various advertising agencies, under the banner of “no money for the right”, to boycott all those who fit the description of his bogeyman – because they were “hostile towards the EU”, or because they might even harbor sympathies for Donald Trump. He was jumping on a bandwagon. A witch hunt was already under way against the American website Breitbart, due to the closeness of its former executive chair, Steve Bannon, to Donald Trump.

Without providing any kind of proof, countless German newspapers and broadcasters claimed that Breitbart was “racist”, “sexist”, “xenophobic”, “anti-Semitic” and “Islamophobic”, and a “hate site”. The state-owned German television station ARD described Breitbart as an “ultra right-wing” platform for “white supremacy”. Other journalists followed suit.

Hensel went one step farther. In the style of a prosecutor during the Inquisition, he called to break the “dominance of right-wing micro media”. He seems to consider particularly dangerous and subversive, anyone who reads articles that do not originate from one of Germany’s media empires:

“While I may satisfy my thirst for information with my subscriptions to ZEIT or Le Mode Diplomatique, the brave new-right freedom-fighter likes to stay informed via online media such as the Axis of Good or Breitbart News.”

This alone raises several suspicions. Hensel, whose website (which since December can only be accessed with a password) is graced by the display of a Soviet red star, likes to eliminate his opponents swiftly. Breitbart, for example, is deemed fascist (“salon-fascists”). Why? Because the blog — and here he, supposedly for simplicity’s sake, quotes an article from the Süddeutsche Zeitung — “covers all the topics of German right-wing populism”; Breitbart reports about “the migrant and refugee policies of the German federal government, as well as of supposed criminal acts conducted by migrants and Islamic activities”.

There is freedom of speech in my stupid little world. Undoubtedly, websites such as Breitbart News and the Axis of Good … are legal media. Nevertheless, one could ask brand names whether they … are aware that their banner ads appear on these particular websites and represent their brand there.

This type of “asking”, of course, roughly corresponds to the mafia “asking” the pizzeria owner if he has fire insurance.

Hensel also considerately provided detailed instructions for his readers. Those employed by an enterprise should check whether the websites that he deemed “right-wing” are registered on a blacklist. Employees of advertising agencies should form a team, with Hensel and other authoritarians, for internet censorship:

If your career in a media agency has propelled you a little higher up the hierarchy, you might be able to bring up the topic at the next media get-together with colleagues. 2017 is an election year. You, dearest colleagues, clearly have a part in determining who receives our advertising dollars.

Hensel also suggests that consumers put direct pressure on companies or approach them via social media, to dissuade them from advertising on “hate publishers” and “destroyers of the future”.

This manifesto was only published on a private blog — one that barely anyone had ever heard of before. But the power of which Hensel boasted – the networks in the advertising agencies and editorial offices – is real. On Hensel’s command, big newspapers and websites reported on the operation with much sympathy, along with the hashtag #NoMoneyForTheRight.

Large companies such as Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile), BMW, Mercedes-Benz and the supermarket chain REWE obeyed straightaway, and promised to place “Breitbart” on the blacklist immediately and never to advertise there againDer Spiegel cited Hensel’s “resistance” (!) and pilloried one business that did not follow suit: A plucky little pizza delivery service that responded to the blacklisting demand by declaring that it was “not the morality police”. The company was denounced by Der Spiegel as “inept”, and after “protests from customers”, it ended up capitulating, as the newspaper reported with much satisfaction.

Breitbart will cope with missing out on a few hundred dollars of advertising revenue from Germany. Hensel, however, was successful in his attempt to motivate his ad agency colleagues against German websites such as the Axis of Good. Within a few days, none of them advertised there anymore. Advertising revenue, equally important for websites as it is for newspapers, came to a halt. Hensel had achieved his goal.

For this campaign, Hensel also received support from the group Network Against Nazis (Netz gegen Nazis), which receives financing from by Germany’s federal government, the German Football Association and the newspaper Die Zeit, and which, until recently, also counted Scholz & Friends among its supporters. In the tried and true Orwellian fashion of calling things their opposite, the definition of “Nazi”, for Network Against Nazis, encompasses anyone who is “Islamophobic” or “hostile toward the media”.

Shortly after Hensel’s call for boycotts, the Axis of Good was placed on a list of “popular right-wing blogs” by Network Against Nazis – together with the liberal publisher Roland Tichy and the evangelical civil rights activist Vera Lengsfeld (who is a thorn in the side of communists, because she fought against the East Germany’s dictatorship in the 1980s). The Amadeu-Antonio Foundation, which runs the Network Against Nazis website, receives almost a million euros per year from the federal government. Not surprisingly, it demonstrates its gratitude with character assassinations of critics of the government.

Within a short time, Hensel had put together a kind of mafia, bent on economically ruining whoever rejected his ideological commands, by using libel and slander to scare away their customers.

As the Frankfurter Allgemeine daily newspaper commented:

It is very fashionable right now to stigmatize people and denounce them as “right-wing” if they do not share your views. Companies want nothing to do with that label, and, as you can see on Twitter, they quickly change direction if they are aggressively made aware that they support the wrong side with their ads (which are often automatically activated and run on the internet).”

The Left’s lie that Nazism (National Socialism) was “right-wing” rather than one of its own branches – which it was – has stuck, giving the Left one of its few lasting victories.

In response to the boycott campaign against it, the Axis of Good showed how a business can defend itself: the editors raised a public alarm about Hensel’s campaign in a series of reports and commentaries. Thousands of readers complained on the Facebook page of Hensel’s employer, Scholz & Friends, which, after its initial support, began to distance itself from its employee’s campaign and finally severed ties with him.

According to Hensel’s version, his campaign was “so successful” that he wanted to take his employer “out of the line of fire”.

My former employer and I became the victims of a massive hate storm consisting of countless tweets, emails and comments on social media … This is a systematic campaign.

As if that was a wicked thing, and as if his campaign had not been “systematic”.

Of course, it was Hensel himself who initiated a systematic campaign, including dirty tricks, which were waged with an eye to the government’s apparent plans to consolidate the population ideologically.

That is the chilling plan, precisely worded. And that is true Nazism, true Stalinism. 

As research by the Axis of Good has revealed, Hensel’s boycott operation was closely tied to the plans by the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs to conduct an advertising campaign in support of an open-door immigration policy in 2017. For this, an advertising agency was necessary, as reported in September by an industry journal:

As revealed by a Europe-wide announcement, the Federal Minister of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth is looking for an agency to advertise the brand “Living democracy! Actively against right-wing extremism, violence and inhumanity”.

Ad agencies were invited to submit their suggestions by the middle of December. The Axis of Good concluded:

There is a suspicion that this [boycott] operation was a hurried pilot project for the bid for the million-euro project by [Federal Minister] Schwesig’s Family Ministry. A free trial run for the so-called “advertising pitch”.

Regarding the question of how much economic damage was caused to the Axis of Good by the boycott campaign, Henryk M. Broder, the website’s publisher, told Gatestone:

It is significant, but how big it really was, we will only know in a few months. After all, it is not the companies themselves that stopped advertising, but the agencies. The damage for Scholz & Friends could be even bigger, but they do not talk about it.”

The Hamburger Abendblatt daily referred to Hensel’s campaign as an “attack on the freedom of the press,” adding: “It seems as if the shot from the activists backfired.”

As in communist dictatorships, the more obvious the failings of the government, the more aggressively the establishment attacks those who speak out about them.

The dying Left 1

We wrote yesterday that a century of Leftism is coming to an end. (See the post immediately below, End of an atrocious era). The death throes can be seen in France, where the Socialist Party is about to lose power.

This is from PowerLine, by Paul Mirengoff:

The French Socialist party held its primary [on January 22] in the race to succeed Francois Hollande as the party’s standard bearer. Hollande’s presidency has been such a disaster that he declined to stand for re-election.

Former education minister Benoit Hamon came in first with around 36 percent of the vote. He will face former prime minister Manuel Valls, who captured around 31 percent of the vote.

Hamon is a left-winger. He represents what the BBC calls “the angry, radical wing of the Socialist party.” Apparently, his central policy idea is a guaranteed minimum income.

Valls is a centrist by French Socialist standards, anyway. As prime minister, he tried to implement a somewhat pro-business agenda. He also declared that France is at war with radical Islam and stated that if Jews flee France in large numbers, “France will no longer be France” and “the French Republic will be judged a failure.”

Unfortunately, Hamon has a very clear edge in the run-off. The third-place finisher, left-winger Arnaud Montebourg, is backing him. Combined, Hamon and Montebourg received more than 50 percent of the primary vote.

Valls has characterized the run-off as a choice “between an assured defeat [in the general election] and possible victory”. He’s right, I think, that defeat is assured if Hamon is the Socialist candidate. But it is probably a reach to say that victory is possible under Valls.

The big question is whether the Socialist candidate can finish second in the general election and thus make the runoff against against Francois Fillon, the closest thing to a Reagan-Thatcher conservative, at least when it comes to economic policy, ever nominated by a major party in France. Standing in the way is Marine Le Pen of the National Front party, a right-wing ultra-nationalist outfit. As far as I can tell, most observers expect that it will be Fillon vs. Le Pen in the runoff.

The bigger story here may be the collapse, at least for now, of socialist parties throughout Europe.

So Mirengoff cautiously allows for a resurrection of Socialism. We concede that its specter may haunt the world for ages yet, but we do not foresee it reigning again.

He quotes an article by Alissa Rubin in the New York Times:

The collapse of the establishment left in France is hardly a unique phenomenon. Across Europe, far-right populist parties are gaining strength, including in France, while the mainstream left, which played a central role in building modern Europe, is in crisis.

From Italy to Poland to Britain and beyond, voters are deserting center-left parties, as leftist politicians struggle to remain relevant in a moment when politics is inflamed by anti-immigrant, anti-European Union anger.

In Italy, constituencies that used to routinely back the center-left Democratic Party are turning to the new anti-establishment Five Star Movement, which is Euroskeptic and anti-globalization

Rubin quotes a professorial view:

Wherever you look in Europe the Socialists are not doing well, with the exception of Portugal,” said Philippe Marlière, a professor of French and European politics at University College London. …

And Mirengoff comments, “Europe is in a state of tremendous flux and possibly a state of crisis.”

It is definitely in a state of crisis. At this critical moment in their history, Europeans have to choose between letting the socialist parties (a category that includes the parties calling themselves “conservative”) continue in power, which means the preservation of the European Union and the Islamization of the continent; or saving their nation states, their identity, their culture, their law, their heritage, their traditions, their liberty – in short, their civilization – by supporting the populist parties indiscriminately labeled “far-right” by the establishment and the media.

The outlook is brightening for the populist parties since Donald Trump won the US presidency. His success has invigorated them. Chances are they will soon win power in France, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy … and eventually even in Portugal.

Intelligence disservices 1

What disservice have these four men done to the Intelligence Services of the United States – which they have been in charge of under Obama, the Disserver-in-Chief?:

James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, who informed Congress that the Muslim Brotherhood was “largely secular”.

Mike Morell, former Director of the CIAwho helped concoct White House lies to cover-up the horrific treachery that was “Benghazigate”.

John Brennan, Director of the CIA, who defends Islam in this age of a renewed Islamic onslaught on the West

James Comey, Director of the FBI, who protected Hillary Clinton from prosecution for her many serious crimes.

Have they turned the Intelligence Services into the enemies of the new United States administration? A Democratic Senator and a journalist who “held positions as the Germany bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal and Germany correspondent for Time magazine” and is now with the Brookings Institution, claim that that is what has happened.

Cliff Kincaid writes at Canada Free Press:

Echoing New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer’s warning that the intelligence community is out to “get” President-elect Trump, a Brookings Institution expert who served in the Clinton administration says that Trump’s treatment of his spies will “come back to bite him” in the form of “devastating” leaks to the media that will make him look foolish or incompetent.

“Leaking by intelligence officials and analysts is, of course, illegal. The intelligence community doesn’t leak as much as the Pentagon or Congress, but when its reputation is at stake, it can do so to devastating effect,” says Daniel Benjamin of the Brookings Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence. Benjamin previously served as the principal advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on counterterrorism and was embroiled in the controversy over Mrs. Clinton’s failure to stop the massacre of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya.

The Bookings Institution is generously funded by Arab governments.

Benjamin’s article, How Trump’s attacks on the intelligence community will come back to haunt him, did not refute the widely held belief that President Obama’s CIA and its director John Brennan were behind the recent leaks to The Washington Post and New York Times depicting Trump as a Russian puppet. In fact, the implication is that the CIA and the rest of the intelligence community will seek further revenge on Trump if he continues to criticize them.

At his recent news conference, in regard to the leaks about his meetings with intelligence officials, Trump noted that “I think it’s pretty sad when intelligence reports get leaked out to the press. I think it’s pretty sad. First of all, it’s illegal. You know, these are classified and certified meetings and reports.”

But it appears that some intelligence officials believe they are above the law and can use illegal leaks to damage an elected President who has been critical of their work product. In the most recent case, CNN and BuzzFeed were leaked a document offering unsubstantiated claims of Trump being sexually compromised by Russian officials. CNN summarized the document; BuzzFeed published the whole thing.

Trump denounced these leaks, with Director of the Office of National Intelligence James Clapper disclosing that he had called Trump about them and had declared his “profound dismay at the leaks that have been appearing in the press …”. He said that he and Trump “both agreed that they are extremely corrosive and damaging to our national security”.

Trump said Clapper “called me yesterday to denounce the false and fictitious report that was illegally circulated.”

“I do not believe the leaks came from within the IC [Intelligence Community],” Clapper said. However, he did not indicate what investigation, if any, he had conducted to make this determination.

“When something goes wrong — say a military deployment to combat jihadi insurgents in the Middle East blows up in the Trump administration’s face — the press will overflow with stories telling of intelligence reports that were ignored by the White House and briefings the president missed,” Benjamin wrote. Such stories, of course, would be based on illegal leaks.

“Imagine what an aggrieved intel community might do to a genuinely hostile president,” he said. Benjamin’s comments suggest that the intelligence community will use the media to blame Trump for things that go wrong in foreign affairs, in order to protect its own reputation.

It’s reputation? It’s reputation now, thanks to its own leaders, needs improving, not protecting.

The Brookings expert said, “The CIA is usually one of the very first agencies to establish a relationship with new chief executives, because of the briefings it delivers before elections have even occurred and the beguiling prospect it offers of handling missions quietly and efficiently.”

It’s not clear what he means by this. The Obama CIA’s “covert” arms-running program in Syria has backfired in a big way, provoking a Russian military intervention, the loss of up to 500,000 lives, and a refugee crisis which threatens the future of Europe.

Benjamin speculated that Trump will ask the CIA to organize a covert operation to undermine the regime in Iran, a state sponsor of terrorism, and that the agency will offer him options that don’t guarantee success and which he may have to reject. He wrote that “…it is an iron law of bureaucracy that no agency will knock itself out for a leader it deems capricious, especially one who cannot be relied on to defend his own if something goes wrong.”

“The answer from the intel community will never be no,” he said. “Instead, the planners will brief the president on three different approaches. Then they will assess the risk of failure for each at 60-80 percent, providing the Oval Office with a dare it cannot possibly accept. For some, of course, this could turn out to be a silver lining in an otherwise dismal story.”

In short, the CIA will look for excuses not to proceed, and then get back to the business of leaking damaging stories to the press when terrorist incidents and other problems occur.

Is the CIA really the “invisible government” that the so-called “conspiracy theorists” have warned about? Is there a “deep state” that tries to run the government behind-the-scenes? 

Here is the video clip – we view it gain and again for the sheer pleasure of it – in which President-elect Trump treats journalists who try to traduce him with the powerful scorn they deserve:

Who are the news fakers? 2

CNN is “fake news”, Trump said, and BuzzFeed “is a failing pile of garbage”.

Right!  President-elect Trump says it as it is. (That’s why he’s been elected president.)

Here’s the story as Cliff Kincaid tells it at GOPUSA, somewhat shortened:

On Tuesday, January 10, … the CIA used CNN to air unsubstantiated …

And completely false … 

… charges against [President-elect] Trump.

CNN didn’t delineate the bizarre sexual nature of those charges; that was left to a left-wing “news” organization by the name of BuzzFeed, which posted 35 pages of scurrilous lies and defamation.

Demonstrating the sad state of ethical standards at CNN, Wolf Blitzer hyped the story into “breaking news”, when the allegations had been circulating for months, and Jake Tapper was brought on the air, “joining me with a major story we’re following right now.” Blitzer emphasized, “We’re breaking this story.” It was the beginning of CNN regurgitating what President-elect Trump called “fake news”. 

What followed was a low point in Tapper’s career, as he willingly participated in a ginned-up controversy using anonymous sources to report on “information” about Trump that started falling apart shortly after CNN aired its “breaking news”.

“That’s right, Wolf, a CNN exclusive,” said Tapper, apparently unaware that he was recycling a document that had been passed around for months. It was CNN, which uses former CIA official Michael Morell as an on-air contributor, that ran with it. Morell has worked for Beacon Global Strategies, a firm founded by former Hillary Clinton aide Philippe Reines, since November 2013.

Trying to distance himself from the controversy, Morell went on CNN to refer to some of the information as “unverified” in the “private document”.

But the damage had already been done, and Morell knew it. CNN had manufactured a controversy over Trump yet again

Ironically, CNN is a “partner” in an effort known as the First Draft Coalition that is dedicated “to improving practices in the ethical sourcing, verification and reporting of stories that emerge online”.

Sure it is. It’s the ethical way. Same way Saudi Arabia heads a Human Rights agency of the UN.

“CNN has learned that the nation’s top intelligence officials gave information to President-elect Donald Trump and President Barack Obama last week about claims of Russian efforts to compromise President-elect Trump,” said Tapper. “The information was provided as part of last week’s classified intelligence briefings regarding Russian efforts to undermine the 2016 U.S. elections.”

Trying to pump up the “claims”, Jim Sciutto, Chief National Security Correspondent for CNN, said, “To be clear, this has been an enormous team effort by my colleagues here and others at CNN.”

A team effort to verify what? It looks like they were handed a 35-page document from the CIA and decided to publicize it. They failed to reveal the details precisely because they could not verify the document.

Sciutto said, “Multiple U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the briefings tell CNN that classified documents on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election presented last week to President Obama and to President-elect Trump included allegations that Russian operatives claimed to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump.” …

Later, Tapper said the charges were “uncorroborated as of now”, indicating that they might be confirmed by somebody at some time in the future. There was “no proof” of the claims but “confidence by intelligence officials that the Russians are claiming this”.  …

CNN was reporting “news”, since a two-page CIA summary of this dirt was attached to a classified CIA report on Russian hacking and election influence that was given to Trump … But it was “fake” in the sense that CNN had no way of knowing if the charges had been completely made up.

On this basis, the story could and should have turned against the Intelligence Community, with reporters asking why unverified information had been used against Trump and whether this was retaliation for his criticism [of the “Intelligence Community”]. But this course of action by CNN would make it impossible for CNN reporters to go back to these same sources for scurrilous information and false charges in the future. This fact makes it abundantly clear that the news organization was being used by anonymous sources in the Intelligence Community, most likely the CIA.

Since CNN likes anonymous sources, I will use one of my own. “This is a classic CIA blackmail operation where the CIA under Director John Brennan uses someone else’s dirt for the blackmail, and postures themselves as ‘innocent’ in presenting it to Trump,” one observer of the Intelligence Community told me. This is certainly the real story — that an intelligence agency run by Obama’s CIA director would use an American television network to attack the President-elect with scurrilous and unsubstantiated charges.

Is America a constitutional republic ruled by the people through their elected representatives? Or do the intelligence agencies rule America and try to blackmail our leaders?

The President-elect said it would be “a tremendous blot” on the record of the Intelligence Community if they did in fact release the document to the media. At another point, he said, “I think it was disgraceful, disgraceful that the intelligence agencies allowed any information that turned out to be so false” get released in that fashion to CNN and BuzzFeed.

CNN is “fake news”, Trump said, and BuzzFeed “is a failing pile of garbage”. 

The intelligence chiefs are being unintelligent. The media people who are continuing to malign and antagonize President-elect Trump are being foolish.

Thing is, “gentlemen” and “ladies” of the fourth estate, if you like your toadying you can keep your toadying – only change the object of it from crushed Clinton to triumphant Trump. It’s the smart thing to do. If you can’t change your nature, change your idol. Serve your own interest. Be nice where the power lies.

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Post Script: Republican Senator John McCain, who has great guts but little brain, has admitted it was he who gave the FBI the fake dossier that smeared Donald Trump.

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Post Post Script: Newsmax reports that Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer posted in Britain’s Moscow embassy in 1990, is the author of the controversial dossier on President-elect Donald Trump. Hnow runs the private Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd. in London. He reportedly prepared the dossier on Trump at the request of Republicans running against him in the presidential primaries and later by the Hillary Clinton campaign. It was  obtained by a former British ambassador, who forwarded it to Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain last year, who passed it along to the FBI.  Steele, fearing anger over the matter by Russia, has fled his London home. Though he is no longer a British agent and compiled the dossier for his private company, the U.K. government was nonetheless concerned the matter could damage relations with the incoming administration, and British security services attempted to block news agencies from reporting Steele’s name.

Populism versus globalism 8

Tony Blair was a prime minister of post-Thatcher Britain for 10 years (1997-2007).

As such, he was a prime member of the leftist elite that has done so much harm to the world. They call themselves the “globalists”. They expected to extend their rule over the whole world, modeling their new world order on the corrupt undemocratic European Union.

But the first and only genuine workers’ revolution in history has brought a patriotic capitalist, Donald Trump, to power in America. And the British people voted to leave the European Union. And now the days of the globalist cabal are numbered.

They won’t go quietly. They are beginning to make a clamor. They think that somehow they can mount a serious threat to the new US government and all the new patriotic governments that will soon be elected in Europe.

They call the rise of the people against them “populism”. Well, so it is. It could also be called democracy. The demos – the people – have voted, or soon will vote, to reclaim their countries and their liberty.

So it’s “populism” against “globalism”.

The weak outgoing US president, Barack Obama – a globalist – is promising to be the leader of an American resistance movement against the Herculean incoming president, Donald Trump.

And Tony Blair is setting himself up as Obama’s counterpart on the other side of the Atlantic.

Nick Hallett at Breitbart reports:

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is to invest £9.3 million of proceeds from his lobbying business in a new institute that he is setting up to fight populism.

Mr Blair said last month he was creating the Tony Blair Institute (TBI) aimed at combatting populism and “making globalisation work”. On Wednesday, he confirmed he has given £9.26 million net assets of his company Windrush Ventures limited to the new institute …

Mr Blair said last month the TBI would be a “platform” offering “thought leadership” on anti-populist, pro-globalisation policies.

He added it would “build a new policy agenda” for what he called the “centre ground” of politics, as well as allowing “a reasonable and evidence based discussion of the future which avoids the plague of social media-led exchanges of abuse.”

Oh, those pestilential social media, which ordinary people use to spread their opinions – and information that the globalist-supporting mainstream media do their best to keep hidden!

In terms of actual policies, he hinted it would champion the continuation and strengthening of the European project, and also open borders.

He said:

Part of its focus will plainly be around the European debate; but this will not be its exclusive domain. It has to go far wider than that since in many ways the Europe debate is a lightning rod for the whole of politics.

Mr Blair has said several times that Britain should consider holding a second referendum on Brexit, just in case the public change their minds and want to remain in the European Union.

In October, he said:

If it becomes clear that this is either a deal that doesn’t make it worth our while leaving, or a deal that is so serious in its implications that people may decide they don’t want to go, there’s got to be some way, either through parliament, through an election, possibly through a referendum, in which people express their view.

He is a true believer that the globalists’ new world order is the only way for the human race to go if it wants to save itself from “serious implications”. To him, Brexit was a disaster of the same order as Trump’s election was for Obama and his party.

They both seem to believe that because they once had the power of government, they themselves are intrinsically powerful.

We expect they can be little more than a nuisance, and that only for a short time, and then – no more of Obama and Blair.

The arbiters of truth 5

From now on, when you write news on Facebook, it will be judged by certain people – specially talented, it is implied, in being totally uninfluenced by their own likes and dislikes – and if they reject it as untrue, it will be …

Deleted? Banned? Demoted? Obscured?

Discredited, anyway.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Facebook Inc. is inching closer to fact-checking the news on its platform, a role that Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg shunned a month ago, by rolling out steps to weed out “the worst of the worst”, the social media platform said on Thursday.

It has inched all the way. It is commissioning fact-checking.

Facebook said it has identified several markers of sites that consistently peddle fake news, and it will demote posts from those sites in people’s news feeds.

It is also outsourcing the delicate task of determining whether individual stories are true or false to a few external organizations and tweaking its news feed algorithm based on their rulings. It is unusual for Facebook to entrust outsiders with this much power to influence the way posts are played in the news feed, the central stream of information that is customized for each user by Facebook’s algorithm. …

Mr. Zuckerberg initially dismissed concerns over fake news, but later backed away from that stance. Still he remains wary of Facebook becoming the “arbiters of truth” … 

By drafting the help of a network of fact-checking groups affiliated with the Poynter Institute, a journalism nonprofit based in St. Petersburg, Fla., Facebook is seeking to keep the task at arm’s length. …

(More about Poynter below.)

The fact-checking organizations — Snopes.com, PolitiFact, ABC News, Factcheck.org and the Associated Press — will sift through the flagged stories to determine if they are fake. It will be up to those organizations to determine whether or not to fact-check them. …

Facebook’s partnerships immediately sparked questions among users and conservatives on the neutrality of the fact checkers themselves.

“Fact checkers all seem to be from the left,” said a Twitter message from the account of Republican strategist Evan Siegfried. “Not good for conservatives.”

If a fact checker determines articles are untrue, those stories will appear lower in Facebook’s news feed and publishers can’t promote them with Facebook ads, the company said. The links will also carry a warning label to indicate that their accuracy is in dispute.

ABC news and the Associated Press (AP) as arbiters of truthful reporting? Orwell, your Ministry of Truth exists, and rules over us! Both are notoriously left-biased. (Read about ABC’s bias here. As for AP – Google “Associated Press misreporting” and see instantly on page one just some of the topics they’ve lied about.)

But wait! Worse is to come.

Aaron Klein writes at Breitbart:

The organization partnered with Facebook to help determine whether a certain story is “disputed” is financed by billionaire George Soros and a slew of other left-wing funders.

The partnering organization is Poynter. It has set up a new subsidiary for this task, the International Fact-Checking Network, and yes, it is funded by George Soros, the ideal man to head Orwell’s Ministry of Truth!

The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) drafted a code of five principles for news websites to accept, and Facebook yesterday announced it will work with “third-party fact checking organizations” that are signatories to the code of principles.

Facebook says that if the “fact checking organizations” determine that a certain story is fake, it will get flagged as disputed and, according to the Facebook announcement, “there will be a link to the corresponding article explaining why. Stories that have been disputed may also appear lower in News Feed”.

IFCN is hosted by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. A cursory search of the Poynter Institute website finds that Poynter’s IFCN is openly funded by Soros’ Open Society Foundations as well as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, and the National Endowment for Democracy.

Poynter’s IFCN is also funded by the Omidyar Network, which is the nonprofit for liberal billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. The Omidyar Network has partnered with the [Orwellian-named] Open Society on numerous projects and it has given grants to third parties using the Soros-funded Tides Foundation. Tides is one of the largest donors to left-wing causes in the U.S.

Another significant Poynter Institute donor is the Craig Newmark Foundation, the charitable organization established by Craigslist Founder Craig Newmark. On Monday, just days before the announcement of the Facebook partnership, Poynter issued a press release revealing that Newmark donated $1 million to the group to fund a faculty chair in journalism ethics.

States the press release:

The gift will support a five-year program at Poynter that focuses on verification, fact-checking and accountability in journalism. It’s the largest donation Poynter’s ever received from an individual foundation.

The Newmark Chair will expand on Poynter’s teaching in journalism ethics and develop certification programs for journalists that commit to ethical decision-making practices. The faculty member will also organize an annual conference on ethics issues at Poynter and be a regular contributor to Poynter.org.

Newmark funds scores of liberal groups also financed by Soros, including the Sierra Club, the New America Foundation, and the Sunlight Foundation.

Newmark also finances the investigative journalism group called the Center for Public Integrity, where he serves on the board.  Soros’s Open Society is another Public Integrity donor.

Soros has earned his megafortune in part by short selling currencies and causing economic crises. He is credited with breaking the pound on September 16, 1992 in a day that became known in Britain as “Black Wednesday.” He reportedly made $1.2 billion from that crisis.  In 2002, he was convicted for insider trading.

And that’s the least of his offenses. See the very long list of the organizations through which he works his evil will, and read what their principles and purposes are.

Poynter, meanwhile, has hosted controversial journalism programs in the past, including one that was accused of downplaying the threat of global Islamic terrorism. FoxNews.com reported the course suggested reporters “keep the death toll from Islamic terrorism in ‘context’ by comparing that toll to the number of people killed every year by malaria, HIV/AIDS and other factors”.

It is typical of the Left to compare terrorism to accidents and diseases, as though no moral decision is involved in the committing of random murder. This amounts to a condoning of terrorism, which positively encourages it.

The course taught reporters that the term “jihad” means internal struggle, and it discussed what it claimed was the issue of “right-wing activists” attempting to link American Muslims to terrorism.

As examples of fact-checking, the propagation of such blatant lies does not inspire confidence.

The section includes the good-journalism tip that reporters should check to see if experts they’re interviewing “have a bias or a stake in the story you are covering.” But then it only cites examples of anti-Muslim groups.

The course in Islam, Fox News reported, was supported by a group calling itself the Social Science Research Council, which has received funding from Soros-financed groups.

In response to the report, the Poynter Institute explained that it created the course “as a tool for journalists who want to be accurate in educating their audience about the religion and culture of Islam, Muslim communities in the U.S., and the distinctions between Islam as a political movement and the radical philosophies that inspire militant Islamists”. 

As there is NO distinction to be drawn between “Islam as a political movement and the radical philosophies that inspire militant Islamists”, those journalists who long to achieve strict accuracy will be teaching a lie from the get-go.    

“We believe there is a need to better understand the complexities of Muslim societies and the online course offered by Poynter and Washington State University is a vital resource toward that end,” Poynter added.

The values underpinning the course are truth, accuracy, independence, fairness, minimizing harm and context — the core journalistic values on which we build all our teaching here at Poynter.”

No one should be surprised at Poynter’s capacity for self-deception. It is what makes Leftism possible.

What of the other “fact-checkers”  on which Facebook will rely?

Poynter owns the Tampa Bay Times, and the Tampa Bay Times owns Politifact,

Politifact declares about itself:

PolitiFact is a project of the Tampa Bay Times and its partner news organizations to help you find the truth in American politics. …

Control of the newspaper and its operations, however, lies with a single executive. Upon retirement, that leader picks a successor. …

We received a grant from the Democracy Fund that has assisted us in expanding to new states. …

For our PunditFact project — which fact-checks talking heads and opinion leaders – we have received grants from the Ford Foundation and the Democracy Fund. Seed money for the project was provided by craigconnects. …

The Democracy Fund is administered by the iniquitous United Nations. The Ford Foundation funds such causes as Black Live Matter.

 When it comes to the question of “Who is PolitiFact?” or “Who pays for PolitiFact?”, we can assure you that no one is behind the scenes telling us what to write for someone else’s benefit. We are an independent, nonpartisan news organization. We are not beholden to any government, political party or corporate interest. We are proud to be able to say that we are independent journalists. …

Sorry, but we find that really, really hard to believe.

Then there is Snopes.com. It too is heavily left leaning(Read about it here and here.)

And what of Factcheck.org?

We quote from (conservative) Free Republic, which investigated it:

The “Truthfulness” website called FactCheck.org is itself decidedly BIASED toward the LEFT …

Among several proofs of this assertion, it cites this:

The sponsoring agency behind FastCheck.org, is itself supported by the same foundation, the ANNENBERG FOUNDATION, that Bill Ayers secured the 49.2 million dollars from to create the Chicago ANNENBERG Challenge “philanthropic” organization in which Barack Obama was the founding Chairman of the Board for and Ayers served as the grant writer of and co-Chair of for its two operating arms.

That’s Bill Ayers the terrorist. Read here how he and Barack Obama tried to “push radicalism in schools” through the Annenberg Challenge.

Free Republic concludes its report on Factcheck.com with a question:

Does the LEFT have no conscience at all?

Answer: Absolutely none.

Has all this been revealed to Mark Zuckerberg? Does he not know or not care?

Facebook is a global platform. With this ploy, the lying Left has brought off a power-grab of immeasurable proportions. From now on it will be the arbiter of truth, all over the world.

And for the Left, “truth” equals political correctness.

But does anyone over there on the Left know what you stand for now? Where you’re going, or why?

To shrink bureaucrats and swat pundits 4

Adolf Hitler. Dictator of Germany. Oppressor of nations. He launched a world war that destroyed tens of millions of lives. He ordered the murder of millions more by execution, torture, incarceration, starvation, forced labor.

Or didn’t he? There are American media people, opinion-writers, who seem to think that he didn’t do any of those things. In their view Hitler was just an authoritarian figure who powerfully opposed political correctness, safe spaces, redistribution, and combating climate change by driving Priuses and recycling garbage. Therefore, any American who comes to power by democratic election and is against those things, is just like Hitler.

Or Hitler’s Italian ally, Mussolini.

Persons who hold that view are ill-informed, under-educated, and/or intellectually stunted. But they are many. They are the rulers of the press and the airwaves; they constitute the greater part of the American Fourth Estate.    

William McGurn writes at the Wall Street Journal:

Guess it depends on what you mean by “authoritarian”.

During the election, Donald Trump was routinely likened to Hitler. The headlines suggest not much has changed.

From the New Republic: “Donald Trump Is Already Acting Like an Authoritarian”.  National Public Radio: “Donald Trump: Strong Leader or Dangerous Authoritarian?” The New York Times: “Beyond Lying: Donald Trump’s Authoritarian Reality”. The New Yorker: “Trump’s Challenge to American Democracy”.

What’s striking here is that the same folks who see in Mr. Trump a Mussolini in waiting are blind to the soft despotism that has already taken root in our government.

This is the unelected and increasingly assertive class that populates our federal bureaucracies and substitutes rule by regulation for the rule of law. The result? Over the Obama years, the Competitive Enterprise Institute reckons, Washington has averaged 35 regulations for every law.

In the introduction to its just-released report on how to address this federal overreach, CEI President Kent Lassman puts it this way: “It is time for a reckoning.”

Philip Hamburger is a law professor at Columbia and author of “Is the Administrative State Unlawful?” He believes the president-elect’s cabinet selections thus far — Scott Pruitt for the Environmental Protection Agency, Betsy DeVos for Education, Ben Carson for Housing and Urban Development, Andrew Puzder for Labor — may give Mr. Trump a unique opening not only to reverse bad Obama rules but to reform the whole way these agencies impose them. If Mr. Trump really hopes to drain the swamp, says Mr. Hamburger, cutting these agencies back to constitutional size would be a terrific start. 

For one thing, almost all these departments are legacies of some progressive expansion of government. While an uneasy William Howard Taft, for example, made Labor its own cabinet office on the last day of his presidency, Woodrow Wilson named its first secretary.

Meanwhile, HUD is a child of LBJ’s Great Society. The EPA was Nixon’s attempt to buy liberal approval for his administration. As for the Education Department, it was a reward from Jimmy Carter for the endorsement the National Education Association gave him in 1976. At the time this cabinet seat was established, even the New York Times called it “unwise” and editorialized against it.

There’s a good case that Americans would be better off without most of these departments meddling in our lives and livelihoods, however politically unfeasible this might be. The next best news, however, is that Mr. Pruitt, Dr. Carson, Mr. Puzder and Mrs. DeVos are not beholden to the orthodoxies that drive the rules and mandates these bureaucracies impose.

Mrs. DeVos, for example, has spent her life promoting school choice, and her husband founded a charter school. It is difficult to imagine an Education Department under Secretary DeVos ever sending out a “Dear Colleague” letter to bully universities into expanding the definition of sexual harassment and then encouraging them to handle allegations in a way that has turned many campus tribunals into Star Chambers. Not to mention making a federal case about bathrooms.

Ditto for HUD. Under President Obama, HUD bureaucrats, under the banner of “fair housing”, have taken it upon themselves to decide what the right mix of race, income and education is for your town — and will impose fines and punishments for communities that resist. Anyone remember the people’s elected representatives directing HUD to impose its ideas of social engineering on the rest of America?

Or take the EPA. Whether it’s some Ordinary Joe running afoul of wetlands laws or the department’s deliberate attempt to destroy the market for coal, the EPA needs more than good science. It also needs some honest cost-benefit analysis about the prescriptions it pushes.

And then there’s Labor. Under Obama Secretary Tom Perez, the department has so overstepped the authority Congress gave it (for example, on its overtime rule) that federal judges have stepped in to block it, notwithstanding the courts’ traditional deference. As an employer himself, Mr. Puzder appreciates the fundamental reality of labor: which is that you don’t help workers by making them too expensive to hire.

The good news is that Mr. Trump does not have to fight government by regulatory fiat alone. House Speaker Paul Ryan has a raft of legislation that would reassert the authority of the people’s elected representatives over an unaccountable bureaucracy — including a regulatory budget that would limit the costs an agency can impose each year.

Even without legislation, there are things Mr. Trump could do. Mr. Hamburger, for example, dreams of a president ordering federal agencies to submit all their rules to Congress for approval. He further believes the stars are in rare alignment for reform, with Mr. Ryan pushing it in the House, cabinet secretaries who appear sympathetic to the cause and a popular mandate against rule from above.

“Oddly enough, the danger is that Mr. Trump will not think big enough,” says Mr. Hamburger. “To paraphrase him, the impact of changing the way Washington issues rules would be YUGE—and it would make him a historic and transformative president.”

And he won’t be putting his enemies into concentration camps. Or launching a world war.

And the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN and the rest of them will no doubt claim he’s only refraining from such actions in order to prove them wrong.

Called to account 1

Tucker Carlson performs an autopsy on a smear.

Posted under media, Race, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, November 23, 2016

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Pusillanimous punditry 1

On Fridays, Bret Baier, in his Special Report on Fox News, asks his panel of pundits who they each think is “the winner and the loser of the week”.

On the Friday of the week in which Donald Trump proved himself one of the biggest winners in recorded history, three days after his election to the most powerful position in the world, NOT ONE of the pundits picked him as the “winner of the week”! (One of the panelists, a woman, actually chose his defeated rival Hillary Clinton as her “winner’ – for being the “first woman nominee” for the presidency.)

Why? We guess because none of them likes Trump. So … they advertised what poor judgment they have. We don’t remember who they all were, but one of them, sad to say, was the wise, humorous, cultured, judicious Charles Krauthammer.

What’s more, in the week before the election the whole panel, which again included Krauthammer, placed their biggest bets on Hillary Clinton winning the election. The nasty, corrupt, criminal Hillary Clinton. And NOT ONE of them said what a disaster that would be.

The lesson we learnt from these events: don’t listen to pundits.

Posted under media, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, November 15, 2016

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US news reporters the worst in the world 3

Is it not an astonishing thing that so may well-informed people, people who know that Hillary Clinton is corrupt, nasty, crooked, and even treasonous, yet do all they can to get her elected to the presidency?

We’re talking about thousands of American journalists.

They do not work under state censorship. Unlike their co-professionals in many other countries, they can report the truth without fear of being punished for it. They are protected by the First Amendment. But they choose not to report facts of enormous importance to American voters.

They choose deliberately to sabotage the democratic process. 

They go to great lengths to conceal from the voters what they themselves know perfectly well about this immoral, incompetent, vicious monster. They do this, presumably, because they fear that many of those who might vote for her knowing nothing much about her, would not vote for her if they did know the true facts: that she is corrupt, nasty, crooked, immoral, incompetent, and vicious.

They want such a person to be president, knowing that most people do not.

They do not want voters to know that the Department of Justice is corrupt, also doing all  it can, with its immense power, to conceal the crimes of Hillary Clinton.

That is a huge story, the stuff of history, but they hope that if they keep silent about it, it will bring about a (dreadful) result that they themselves desire.

Brent Bozell and Tim Graham write:

While most of America was transfixed by Game 7 of the World Series, Fox News Channel was doggedly pursuing a new story: The FBI’s probe into pay-for-play schemes at the Clinton Foundation and the State Department has been far more expansive than anyone reported so far and has been going on for more than a year. FBI sources even warned there could be indictments down the road.

Then, The Wall Street Journal broke another new story online, saying, “Secret recordings of a suspect talking about the Clinton Foundation fueled an internal battle between FBI agents who wanted to pursue the case and corruption prosecutors who viewed the statements as worthless hearsay.” Senior officials wanted to tell FBI agents to “stand down” from a Clinton Foundation probe.

That’s two nuclear explosions in one night. What was the reaction from the news media? Crickets.

The network blackout so far on this FBI probe is beyond the pale. Everyone knows what the media reaction would be were there a report about likely indictments related to the Trump Foundation. There would be an immediate flash mob of reporters camped in front of Trump Tower, breaking away from regularly scheduled programming and offering play-by-play commentary. Anyone denying the double standard is lying.

This is just the latest Clinton scandal scoop out of hundreds over the last 24 years that the networks have skipped or downplayed or just dismissed as toxic waste. This is why an overwhelming majority of Americans tell pollsters it’s obvious the media are undisguised Hillary boosters. Their credibility is shot with the public.

Within 18 hours, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell was bizarrely denying there was any story or any investigation worth noting. She said: “She’s not under criminal investigation. In fact, it’s not an investigation. It’s just a review of the e-mails. She did not lie to the FBI, according to James Comey. There was no grounds to prosecute her. So there are no lies, there’s no criminality.”

This is the kind of spin you expect from defense attorneys, not reporters.

It’s sinking in across America that our “news” media are not First Amendment heroes or watchdogs of government. Many of them are coddling deeply corrupt politicians and denying any evidence that these people have been engaged in what appears to be a criminal conspiracy to enrich themselves using the federal government.

We are looking right down the barrel of the greatest government crisis since the Civil War, with charges — like handing over our uranium mining capacity to the Russians — that could possibly reach the height of treason itself.

And there’s no  coverage.

Were it not for a small minority of honest professional journalists, and the “social media”, we would be kept in the dark about the most important things going on in our world.

Posted under media, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, November 4, 2016

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