The Covid-19 virus came from a weapons-research lab in China 8

Sky News Australia on the origin and purpose of the Covid-19 virus:

Rowan Dean explains how Dr Fauci helped Xi Jinping’s Communist China kill millions.   

All ye need to know 8

The National Review reports that “Classics majors at Princeton University will no longer be required to learn Greek or Latin in a push to create a more inclusive and equitable program” because –

The history of our own department bears witness to the place of Classics in the long arc of systemic racism.

Oh? How?

Here are the appalling facts:

Our department is housed in a building named after Moses Taylor Pyne, the University benefactor whose family wealth was directly tied to the misery of enslaved laborers on Cuban sugar plantations. This same wealth underwrote the acquisition of the Roman inscriptions that the department owns and that are currently installed on the third floor of Firestone Library. Standing only a few meters from our offices and facing towards Firestone is a statue of John Witherspoon, the University’s slave-owning sixth president and a stalwart anti-abolitionist, leaning on a stack of books, one of which sports the name Cicero.

Well, good grief, that’s really too much. It’s a totally convincing case for boycotting Greek and Latin. We ask you, how can the Classics Department – the one that exists to teach Greek and Roman culture – have anything to do with the languages of the Greeks and Romans if there’s a statue in full view from its offices of an anti-abolitionist leaning on a stack of books including one that has the name of Cicero on it?

We await announcements from other departments of Princeton University that the offensive statue compels them to give up teaching everything except “Race and Identity” – the core course that must be taught:

The department of politics added a track in race and identity, which the associate chair of the department said was part of the larger initiative on campus launched by [President Christopher Ludwig] Eisgruber to address systemic racism.

“The politics of race underlies so much of U.S. political history,” said Professor Frances Lee, associate chair of the politics department.

The track will include three main requirements: an introductory core course “Race and Politics in the United States”; three other courses from the 14 focused on race and identity [??]; and a senior thesis that includes the theme.

Black students must learn that they are oppressed, and white students that they are oppressors.

“That is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”

How desires become ideologies – and a rumor became a religion 10

What explains the success of anti-white racism, a cult spreading rapidly throughout the Western world?

How could it happen when “the entire edifice of [anti-white] critical racialism sits on a foundation of fakery and fiction, storytelling, and superstition”?

Stanley K. Ridgley explains how:

If you’ve any interest at all in the current roiling contretemps over “critical race theory” then you’ve seen “The List”,  which is a compendium of 15 qualities that purportedly constitute “white supremacy culture”.

The List is ubiquitous, in workshops on campuses, in corporate diversity sessions, in secondary school programs, and in New York City education workshops for teachers. Versions of the List appear on government websites, on “anti-racist” nonprofit sites, and have made it onto the Race, Research, and Policy Portal of Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center.

Who generates this racialist material, where, and why? Is it the result of sophisticated theorizing? Did this “White Supremacy Culture” emerge in the findings of an extensive, multi-year social science study?

Of course, the most obvious question is: Where did this list originate?

As with all of critical racialist material, it’s traceable to the unsubstantiated opinions of a mere handful of critical racialists.

The author of the List is Tema Okun, a would-be academic. Okun has been trading in the lucrative racialist workshop industry since at least the mid-1990s when she was a disaffected corporate trainer.

But as for the List itself, where did Okun get it? What was the source Okun used for the List in the original article?

Let’s allow Okun to tell us in her own words, found on page 29 of her dissertation.

Sometime in the mid-1990s, I arrived home after a particularly frustrating consultation with an organization I was working with at the time.  In a flurry of exasperation, I sat down at my computer and typed, the words flowing of their own accord into a quick and dirty listing of some of the characteristics of white supremacy culture that show up in organizational behavior.  The paper I wrote in such a frenzy on that afternoon so many years ago lists 15 behaviors, all of them interconnected and mutually reinforcing—perfectionism, a sense of urgency, defensiveness and/or denial, quantity over quality, worship of the written word, the belief in one ‘right’ way, paternalism, either/or binary thinking, power hoarding, fear of open conflict, individualism, progress defined as more, the right to profit, objectivity, and the right to comfort.

Okun simply concocted the list.

She made it up, then put it into an article, then put it into a workbook, then used the workbook as part of her dissertation, then published her dissertation as a book with an obscure independent publisher, and she continues to promulgate this fraudulent List today with the help of hundreds of folks who, most likely, don’t know better and who repeat it in a way designed to legitimize it.

Are you surprised that a disaffected diversity hack scribbled the List in a fit of pique and then cobbled it into an article in 1999, which now appears nationwide in materials presented as fact to the nation’s schoolchildren, teachers, corporations, and college students?

This is how academic fakery enters the popular consciousness to become conventional wisdom. It becomes ritualized, repeated, and unquestioned until its origins become obscured.

Looking for historical precedence for it, Ridgley calls  it “medieval” thinking.

The technique is to simply fabricate something ideologically useful, to pass it off as fact, and then to circulate it with bluff and bluster. It demonstrates the power of medievalist thought, action, and repetition to achieve legitimacy as a ritualized “truth”. 

Only the word  “medievalist” needs to be removed and lo! there is a perfectly explanation of the origin and early spread of Christianity.

Fabrications can always be turned by such means into “truths” because a passionate campaign carried on by a persistent advocate will always persuade others to believe the fantasy if it appeals to their passions too. It was just so that the fakery, the fiction, the storytelling, the superstition concerning “Jesus Christ” were spread in the first instance by the faker, the fictionist, the storyteller St. Paul, wandering preacher and author of (some of) the Epistles, and his side-kick Dr. Luke, author of the Acts of the Apostles.  

Fakery such as the Okun list of “white supremacy culture” becomes part of what anthropologists call a myth-dream or collective story for an ideology.

Ridgley sees that “critical race theory” is a type of “cargo cult”.

The process is like that found in primitive magic-driven societies, which provide excellent examples of communities constructed around a core myth-dream, like the one we deal with here.

Let’s look at the similarities.

Take, for instance, the Pacific Island communities in Melanesia, where storytelling and myth-building are conventional ways of understanding the world. The core myth of a society is eventually ritualized, and it becomes a “historical truth” that is referenced but never challenged as the foundation of a growing corpus of stories and narratives.

The Melanesian cargo cult, for example, has been studied for decades. It’s grounded in magic thinking that exemplifies this process of developing the collective story. As time goes by, the ritualized “truth” enters into the stream of what is commonly believed.

Once a statement or proposition is given consent it becomes True, a part of truth, assuming an existence which is not necessarily contingent on explicit withdrawal of consent. For, having achieved objectivity or truth in a myth a statement may persist in the myth long after those who retail or who listen to the story say they discount its validity for the present. Then the statement becomes a historical truth. And, so it would seem, the longer a statement is contained in a myth as truth the longer it will persist. New truths, or rather, statements which are becoming truths, and which are expressed in the additions of individual storytellers, are extremely vulnerable to, and dependent upon, consent. But once the first tentative consent begins to harden into solid approval [it] becomes more and more secure, more and more independent of explicit consent or inarticulate dissent.

St. Paul was the Tema Okun of his day.

His theory that Jesus was God Incarnate started as just such a cult.

His “statement” – or rumor – became the largest religion in the world.

2020 anarchy: when lives did not matter 4

On May 25, 2021, the anniversary of the death of the violent criminal George Floyd, his fans rioted in Portland, Oregon.

Rioters again enjoyed burning, destroying, assaulting, looting.

It was a grand reprise of the year of rioting over George Floyd’s “martyrdom”.

These facts about the 2020 riots are from an article by Pedro Gonzalez at American Greatness:

Burn, Loot, Murder

The Black Lives Matter riots in 2020  caused more than $1 billion in damage.

The 72 hours that followed George Floyd’s death on Monday, May 25, saw Minneapolis plunged into disorder.

Rioters reduced to ash Midtown Corner, a $30 million, six-story rental complex with 189 apartments for low-income renters, including more than three-dozen units for very low-income tenants. Looters pillaged businesses big and small.

Mobs dominated by minorities devastated minority-owned businesses.

A wheelchair-bound woman was struck multiple times in the head, maced, and sprayed with a fire extinguisher for attempting to stop looters at a store.

Government vehicles were hijacked, looted, and demolished across the city.

On the night of  Thursday, May 28, rioters set fire to the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct. A woman was found dead with visible signs of trauma inside a car. The charred body of a man was found in the wreckage of a pawnshop set ablaze by one of the rioters that night.

Also that night, gunmen attacked two federal protective contractors during a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Oakland, California. David Patrick Underwood, one of the contractors, died of his wounds at the scene.

The next day, in Dallas, Texas, a white man who attempted to scare off mobs of looters with a machete was chased down and severely beaten. Elijah Schaffer, a reporter on the ground, live-streamed rioters pulling a black man out of his car and savagely attacking him on the streets. More than 50 businesses in downtown Dallas were damaged by looters, and many police officers were injured.

On May 31, a woman surrounded by demonstrators was pulled from her vehicle in Niagara Square and beaten in the street.

Insurrection Acts

Monday, June 1, was one of the most violent days in many cities.

Scores of Secret Service Uniformed Division officers and special agents sustained injuries from rioters throwing bottles, bricks, and Molotov cocktails in Washington, D.C.

Looting, vandalism, and shootings swept through Memphis, Tennessee.

In Las Vegas, a rioter shot police officer Shay Mikalonis in the head, leaving him in critical condition. He is paralyzed from the neck down, requires 24-hour care, and breathes with the assistance of a ventilator.

Three officers at a George Floyd demonstration in Buffalo, New York, were injured when an SUV deliberately plowed into them;.

In Chicago, 132 officers were wounded.

In Davenport, Iowa, officers were ambushed by gunmen.

On Tuesday, June 2, four police officers were shot in St. Louis while confronting protestors. A [black] retired police captain, David Dorn, was murdered by looters while protecting his friend’s pawnshop. 

Responding to reports of 20 to 30 people pillaging a pawnshop near Yankee Stadium, an NYPD sergeant was run over and left with severe injuries. The suspects were arrested on Friday, May 5, in Georgetown, South Carolina. Nevertheless, and though South Carolina suffered its own waves of violence, looting, and vandalism, the Georgetown sheriff, police chief, and mayor all locked arms to march with Black Lives Matter the following day. They joined the various law enforcement, National Guard units, and federal agents across the country who chose to bend the knee to the mob rather than protect communities. 

The arsonists, looters, and murderers were not punished and will not be punished.

Law was not applied to them and will not be applied to them.

Catch and Release

Affected cities released rioters just as soon as they caught them.

Prosecutors in Washington, D.C. released hundreds of rioters, looters, and vandals. Although many of those arrested were charged by police with felony rioting, the charges were dropped by prosecutors. 

“Our office has learned that every single one of the St. Louis looters and rioters arrested were released back onto the streets by local prosecutor Kim Gardner,” tweeted Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt.

In Dallas, Police Chief Reneé Hall reversed her decision to file charges against 674 people who went onto Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge during a demonstration. She, like many officers and city officials, chose to  bend the knee “in solidarity” with the rioters.

New York set loose hundreds of looters and rioters due to the state’s new bail reform law. New York City police chief Terence Monahan said just about all of the looters arrested will be released without bail. Oscar Odom, a former NYPD detective, told Fox News thanks to bail reform, almost all the people arrested and released from jail likely went right back to looting.

In the months leading up to nationwide unrest, cities across the country enacted similar bail reforms with COVID-19 as the pretext to release tens of thousands of inmates.

The Michigan Department of Corrections paroled hundreds of prisoners. A sheet of inmate names shows a litany of charges ranging from homicide, armed robbery, assault with intent to commit murder, criminal sexual conduct with a child under 13, assault with intent to commit rape, carjacking, malicious destruction of fire or police property, arson, and more—all set free to “stop the spread” of the coronavirus.

Governor Jay Inslee released 1,100 criminals in Washington state, from prolific DUI offenders and burglars to drug dealers.

Two convicted murderers were among the more than 200 inmates released by the Massachusetts Department of Correction, one of which had stabbed her victim 108 times.

Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker granted clemency to more than 1,000 prisoners, including rapists, armed robbers, and murderers, “because of the pandemic”.

By April 29, Illinois had unleashed almost 4,000 inmates, including 64 convicted murderers.

Police across the country are increasingly retreating from countering violent crime to acting as the enforcement arm of the Democrat regime.

The military is thoroughly infected with the anti-white, anti-American blight called “critical race theory”.

Corporations gave material and moral support to Black Lives Matter which led the riots that destroyed small businesses, claimed the lives of Americans, and fundamentally changed the country for the worse.

And after all that –

The Left insists that not enough blood and tears were spilled.

Compare and contrast with the treatment of unarmed people who wandered into and about the Capitol on January 6, 2021, having been let in by the Capitol police, and as a result were arrested and jailed. They have been held in solitary confinement for months. Though not charged with any crime, they are accused by the tyrannical Democrat government of “insurrection”.  See here and here and here and here and here.

America has a very stupid president 7

Joe Biden is now in his dotage. But how much dumber has his mental decline made him?

This video demonstrates that “Biden has always been a doofus”:

Posted under United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, May 25, 2021

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The Hamas Charter 1

Here are the main points of the Charter of Hamas.

Hamas is a terrorist organization, a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, and it has the covert support of most Western governments and the overt support of the mainstream media everywhere.

Its Charter, or Covenant, is its manifesto. It can be read in full here.

THE COVENANT OF THE HAMAS – MAIN POINTS

The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement, aka the  Hamas, was issued on August 18, 1988.

The following  are  excerpts  from the HAMAS Covenant:

Goals of the HAMAS:

The Islamic  Resistance  Movement  is  a  distinguished  Palestinian movement, whose allegiance is to Allah, and  whose  way  of  life  is Islam. It strives to raise the banner of Allah over  every  inch  of Palestine.

(Article 6)

 

On the Destruction of Israel:

Israel will exist and will  continue  to  exist  until  Islam  will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.

(Preamble)

 

The Exclusive Moslem Nature of the Area:

The  land  of  Palestine  is  an  Islamic  Waqf  [Holy   Possession] consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgment Day. No one can renounce it or any part, or  abandon  it  or  any  part  of  it.

(Article 11)

Palestine is an  Islamic  land…  Since  this  is  the  case, the Liberation of Palestine  is  an  individual  duty  for  every  Moslem wherever he may be.

(Article 13)

 

The Call to Jihad:

The day the enemies usurp part of Moslem land,  Jihad  becomes the individual duty of every Moslem. In the face of the Jews’ usurpation, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised.

(Article 15)

Ranks will close,  fighters  joining  other  fighters,  and  masses everywhere in the Islamic world will come forward in response to  the call of duty, loudly proclaiming: “Hail to  Jihad!” This  cry  will reach the heavens and will go on being resounded until liberation  is achieved, the invaders vanquished and Allah’s victory  comes  about.

(Article 33)

 

Rejection of a Negotiated Peace Settlement:

Peace  initiatives,   and   so-called   peaceful   solutions  and international conferences are in contradiction to the  principles  of the Islamic Resistance Movement… Those conferences are no more than a means to appoint the infidels  as  arbitrators  in  the  lands  of Islam… There is no solution for the Palestinian problem  except  by Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility.

 (Article 13)

 

Condemnation of the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty:

Egypt was, to a great extent, removed from the  circle  of  struggle [against Zionism] through the treacherous Camp David  Agreement. The Zionists are  trying  to  draw  other  Arab  countries  into  similar agreements in order to bring them outside  the  circle  of  struggle. …Leaving the circle of struggle against Zionism  is  high  treason, and cursed be he who perpetrates such an act.

(Article 32)

Anti-Jewish Incitement:

The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight Jews and kill them. Then, the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, and  the rocks and trees will cry out, “O Moslem, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.”

(Article 7)

The enemies have been  scheming  for  a  long  time  …  and  have accumulated huge and influential material wealth. With  their  money, they took control of the world media… With their money they stirred revolutions in various parts of the globe… They  stood  behind  the French  Revolution,  the  Communist  Revolution  and  most   of   the revolutions we hear about… With  their  money  they  formed  secret organizations – such as the Freemasons, Rotary Clubs and the Lions  – which are spreading around the world, in order to  destroy  societies and carry out Zionist interests… They stood behind World War I  ..and formed the League of Nations through which they  could  rule  the world. They were behind World War II, through which  they  made  huge financial gains… There is no war going  on  anywhere  without  them having their finger in it.

(Article 22)

Zionism scheming has no end, and after Palestine,  they  will  covet expansion from the Nile  to  the  Euphrates  River.  When  they  have finished digesting the area on which they have laid their hand,  they will look forward to more expansion. Their scheme has been  laid  out in the’Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

(Article 32)

The HAMAS regards itself the  spearhead  and  the  vanguard  of  the circle of struggle against World Zionism… Islamic groups  all  over the Arab world should also do the same, since they are best  equipped for their future role in the fight against  the  warmongering  Jews.

(Article 32)

Posted under Islam, Israel, jihad, Judaism, media, middle east, Muslims, War by Jillian Becker on Sunday, May 23, 2021

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Report from Gaza 0

From Instapundit:

 

Hamas spokesman: “The illegitimate Zionist entity must be forced to end its occupation of all of Palestine, from Tel Aviv to Jericho.”

Western Reporter: “So what you’re saying is that you support a peaceful 2-state solution.”

 

Hamas spokesman: “We will kill the sons of pigs and apes like the great Hitler.”

Western reporter: “So what you’re saying is that you object to right-wing Israeli politicians like Netanyahu.”

 

Hamas Spokesman: “We want an Islamic state governed by sharia.”

Western reporter: “Democracy, one-person, one-vote, religious freedom for all. Got it.”

 

Hamas Spokesman: “We thank our great friends in Iran for their money, missiles, and bombs.”

Western Reporter: “Hamas insists on being a grassroots Palestinian movement not dependent on foreign support.”

Posted under Israel, Palestinians by Jillian Becker on Sunday, May 23, 2021

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The danger of benevolence 4

Christianity impoverished, terrified, tortured, and killed uncountable multitudes. And so does Socialism.

Why then are so many who earnestly desire the happiness of humankind drawn to either or both? Because both advertise benevolence as their purpose. And it sells.

But while many, perhaps most, are seduced by Socialism’s imagined benevolence, its political pimps understand how to use its attractive image to gain the power of government.

Roger Kimball, writing at American Greatness, points out:

The party of benevolence is always the party of big government. The imperatives of benevolence are intrinsically opposed to the pragmatism and common sense that underlie the allegiance to limited government.

And –

For centuries, prudent political philosophers have understood that the lust for equality is the enemy of freedom. That species of benevolence underwrote the tragedy of Communist tyranny. The rise of political correctness has redistributed that lust over a new roster of issues: not the proletariat but the environment, not the struggling masses but “reproductive freedom” [aka abortion on demand – ed.], gay rights, the welfare state, the Third World, diversity training, and an end to racism and xenophobia. … Such attitudes are all but ubiquitous in modern democratic societies. Although of relatively recent vintage, they have spread rapidly.

Socialism “flatters the vanity of those who espouse it”.

Even though it “actually creates more of the poverty and dependence it was instituted to abolish” …

The intoxicating effects of benevolence help to explain the growing appeal of politically correct attitudes about everything from race, sexuality, and “the environment” to the fate of the Third World.

Which is why …

… the consistent failure of statist policies [do] not disabuse the advocates of the statist agenda.

And he asks rhetorically:

Where else are the pleasures of smug self-righteousness to be had at so little cost?

*

These signs decorate many front lawns in our heavily Socialist Democrat town:

“Virtue” Boasting

Posted under Christianity, Socialism by Jillian Becker on Saturday, May 22, 2021

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Death and silence under the oligarchy 5

A black policeman shot an unarmed white woman dead on January 6 inside the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

The white woman’s name was Ashli Babbitt.

The anti-white white-dominated Oligarchy refuses to reveal the name of the policeman.

Angelo Codevilla writes at American Greatness:

By precluding criminal proceedings against the unnamed officer who killed Ashli Babbitt as she tried to climb through a window into the House speakers’ lobby on January 6, the U.S. government meant to shield itself from embarrassment. Instead, its indefensible manipulation of the justice system further confirms the patent dishonesty of the narrative by which it tries to frighten potential critics.

The Babbitt family’s $10 million lawsuit against the Capitol police and the officer who killed Ashli will force the government to defend an obviously indefensible act, and the even more indefensible attempted coverup thereof. Unless Babbitt’s attorneys and Republican elected officials prove to be extraordinarily stupid, the lawsuit will discredit the pseudo-security narrative our oligarchs are using to rule us.

The hard facts are not in dispute. On January 6, Ashli Babbitt, a 35-year-old woman weighing around 110 pounds and carrying no weapon of any kind, tried to fit through a broken window. As she struggled to get through, an armed male officer, who was presumably much bigger and stronger, shot her in the neck and killed her.

The allegations surrounding those facts are irrelevant. It seems to be common knowledge that the officer who shot and killed her is black. That may embarrass some. But race is legally and morally irrelevant. And while it is certain that Babbitt meant to demonstrate her lack of faith in the 2020 election’s management, that, too, is irrelevant to the fact that she was killed while posing no physical threat to anyone or anything.

What did the government do with the fact that one of its big, strong, armed agents had killed a small, weak, unarmed woman who was not harming anyone? The statement by which the Justice Department sought to close the case reads: “The investigation revealed no evidence to establish that, at the time the officer fired a single shot at Ms. Babbitt, the officer did not reasonably believe that it was necessary to do so in self-defense or in defense of the Members of Congress and others evacuating the House Chamber.” This assertion of justifiable homicide consists of trying to overwhelm the obvious lack of “reasonableness” by compounding two absences of evidence. Because there is nothing this stratagem would not justify, it does not work. No jury will buy that.

The government’s defense in the Babbitt case cannot survive “discovery” and a jury trial.

Right off, the trial would leave no doubt about the wrongfulness of the officer’s decision to shoot Babbitt. Odds are the government will offer a generous settlement in exchange for silence.

But as the government’s defense in the Babbitt case collapses, the regime-relevant question becomes inevitable. It is not whether Americans are subject to a multi-tier justice system. That has been undeniable for years.

Rather, the question is nothing less than what the government and its associates in society are doing by pretending Babbitt and others posed a danger to what they call “our democracy”?  How? What democracy? What regime? What cause is served by the transparent lies about hundreds of people whose actual offenses, if any, amount to trespassing, but who are being held and maligned as if they are worse than murderers?

This is a political question, properly to be pursued by politicians who purport to represent the millions of Americans whose opposition the current administration and its allies are trying to suppress.

The answer to this question proceeds from separating the “narrative”—i.e. the set of lies—that the regime has purveyed about what happened on January 6 from reality. From what did happen and did not happen.

That separation itself must begin by noting the narrative’s purveyors. The cast, it turns out, is identical with the list of those inside government (intelligence agencies, the Justice Department, assorted bureaucrats) as well as in what used to be called the “private sector” (media outlets, corporations, etc.) who acted jointly between 2015 and 2020 to forestall an electoral challenge to their growing power over our republic. This was an operation by a set of oligarchs to excise permanently the opposition to their consolidation of power over that of American voters. The narrative—repeat, the set of lies—about January 6 means to cap off the earlier one.

The substance of the January 6 narrative, as well as the manner of its purveyance, parallels that of 2015-2020, namely: America’s loser class—ignorant clingers, racists, neanderthals, etc.—aroused by demagogy, threatened the integrity of “our democratic institutions”.  Of “democracy” as in “voting”? No. Instead, they threatened the authority of precisely the bureaucrats, corporations, media, academics, et al., who run America’s institutions. Pretensions about voter sovereignty by these alleged dregs of society, their demands to use procedures to assert their role, was an attack on what oligarchs call “our democracy”, to be punished as a regime crime.

And that punishment is to be part of the warning to whomever might sympathize with them that failure to support earnestly what is now effectively an oligarchic regime will ruin them personally.

The Babbitt family’s lawsuit opens the underlying question about the truth of the narrative by which an oligarchic regime has largely substituted its sovereignty for that of the voters. That narrative’s forceful falsehood enables, among other things, one of the oligarchy’s components, Facebook, to decide in its own sovereign court whom it will and will not allow to communicate to a general audience about who did what to whom on January 6.

If ever there was a frontal attack on the Constitution, of which the First Amendment’s safeguards of freedom of speech and of the press provide the bedrock, this is it. Any politician who claims to represent the republic’s remnants must begin by calling out the official narrative’s fraudulence for what it is: the oligarchy’s attack on our democracy.

Posted under corruption, Crime, Ethics, government, Law, Race, Treason, tyranny, United States, US Constitution by Jillian Becker on Thursday, May 20, 2021

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The media spread lies world-wide 4

… and in doing so co-author terrorism, war, oppression and mass murder.

Almost all news reporting is false. Almost all of it is propaganda. Most of the press, all over the world, is the tool of terrorists, Communists, Islamic religious fanatics, and their useful idiots.

Matti Friedman, a rare truth-telling reporter of Middle Eastern affairs, writes (in part) at The Atlantic (which is woke, so well done Matti Friedman for getting it in there!):

To make sense of most international journalism from Israel, it is important first to understand that the news tells us far less about Israel than about the people writing the news. Journalistic decisions are made by people who exist in a particular social milieu, one which, like most social groups, involves a certain uniformity of attitude, behavior, and even dress (the fashion these days, for those interested, is less vests with unnecessary pockets than shirts with unnecessary buttons). These people know each other, meet regularly, exchange information, and closely watch one another’s work. This helps explain why a reader looking at articles written by the half-dozen biggest news providers in the region on a particular day will find that though the pieces are composed and edited by completely different people and organizations, they tend to tell the same story.

Foreign activists are a notable feature of the landscape, and international NGOs and numerous arms of the United Nations are among the most powerful players, wielding billions of dollars and employing many thousands of foreign and local employees. Their SUVs dominate sections of East Jerusalem and their expense accounts keep Ramallah afloat. They provide reporters with social circles, romantic partners, and alternative employment—a fact that is more important to reporters now than it has ever been, given the disintegration of many newspapers and the shoestring nature of their Internet successors.

In my time in the press corps, I learned that our relationship with these groups was not journalistic. My colleagues and I did not, that is, seek to analyze or criticize them. For many foreign journalists, these were not targets but sources and friends—fellow members, in a sense, of an informal alliance. This alliance consists of activists and international staffers from the UN and the NGOs; the Western diplomatic corps, particularly in East Jerusalem; and foreign reporters. There is also a local component, consisting of a small number of Israeli human-rights activists who are themselves largely funded by European governments, and Palestinian staffers from the Palestinian Authority, the NGOs, and the UN. Mingling occurs at places like the lovely Oriental courtyard of the American Colony hotel in East Jerusalem, or at parties held at the British Consulate’s rooftop pool. The dominant characteristic of nearly all of these people is their transience. They arrive from somewhere, spend a while living in a peculiar subculture of expatriates, and then move on.

In these circles, in my experience, a distaste for Israel has come to be something between an acceptable prejudice and a prerequisite for entry. I don’t mean a critical approach to Israeli policies but a belief that the Jews of Israel are a symbol of the world’s ills, particularly those connected to nationalism, militarism, colonialism, and racism—an idea quickly becoming one of the central elements of the “progressive” Western zeitgeist, spreading from the European left to American college campuses and intellectuals, including journalists. In this social group, this sentiment is translated into editorial decisions made by individual reporters and editors covering Israel, and this, in turn, gives such thinking the means of mass self-replication.

Many freshly arrived reporters in Israel, similarly adrift in a new country, undergo a rapid socialization in the circles I mentioned. This provides them not only with sources and friendships but with a ready-made framework for their reporting—the tools to distill and warp complex events into a simple narrative in which there is a bad guy who doesn’t want peace and a good guy who does. This is the “Israel story,” and it has the advantage of being an easy story to report. Everyone here answers their cell phone, a d everyone knows what to say. You can put your kids in good schools and dine at good restaurants. It’s fine if you’re gay. Your chances of being beheaded on YouTube are slim. Nearly all of the information you need—that is, in most cases, information critical of Israel—is not only easily accessible but has already been reported for you by Israeli journalists or compiled by NGOs. You can claim to be speaking truth to power, having selected the only “power” in the area that poses no threat to your safety.

Many foreign journalists have come to see themselves as part of this world of international organizations, and specifically as the media arm of this world. They have decided not just to describe and explain, which is hard enough, and important enough, but to “help.” And that’s where reporters get into trouble, because “helping” is always a murky, subjective, and political enterprise, made more difficult if you are unfamiliar with the relevant languages and history.

Confusion over the role of the press explains one of the strangest aspects of coverage here—namely, that while international organizations are among the most powerful actors in the Israel story, they are almost never reported on. Are they bloated, ineffective, or corrupt? Are they helping, or hurting? We don’t know, because these groups are to be quoted, not covered. Journalists cross from places like the BBC to organizations like Oxfam and back. The current spokesman at the UN agency for Palestinian refugees in Gaza, for example, is a former BBC man. A Palestinian woman who participated in protests against Israel and tweeted furiously about Israel a few years ago served at the same time as a spokesperson for a UN office, and was close friends with a few reporters I know. And so forth.

International organizations in the Palestinian territories have largely assumed a role of advocacy on behalf of the Palestinians and against Israel, and much of the press has allowed this political role to supplant its journalistic function. This dynamic explains the thinking behind editorial choices that are otherwise difficult to grasp, like the decision to ignore a report about an Israeli peace offer to the Palestinians in 2008, or the idea that Hamas’s development of extensive armament works in Gaza in recent years was not worth serious coverage despite objectively being one of the most important storylines demanding reporters’ attention.

When the UN released its controversial Goldstone report on the Gaza fighting, we at the bureau trumpeted its findings in dozens of articles, though there was discussion even at the time of the report’s failure to prove its central charge: that Israel had killed civilians on purpose. The director of Israel’s premier human-rights group, B’Tselem, who was critical of the Israeli operation, told me at the time that this claim was “a reach given the facts”, an evaluation that was eventually seconded by the report’s author. “If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document,” Richard Goldstone wrote in The Washington Post in April 2011. We understood that our job was not to look critically at the UN report, or any such document, but to publicize it.

Decisions like these are hard to fathom if you believe the foreign press corps’ role is to explain a complicated story to people far away. But they make sense if you understand that journalists covering Israel and the Palestinian territories often don’t see their role that way. The radio and print journalist Mark Lavie, who has reported from the region since 1972, was a colleague of mine at the AP, where he was an editor in the Jerusalem bureau and then in Cairo until his retirement last year. (It was Lavie who first learned of the Israeli peace offer of late 2008, and was ordered by his superiors to ignore the story.) An Indiana-born Israeli of moderate politics, he had a long run in journalism that included several wars and the first Palestinian intifada, and found little reason to complain about the functioning of the media.

But things changed in earnest in 2000, with the collapse of peace efforts and the outbreak of the Second Intifada. Israel accepted President Bill Clinton’s peace framework that fall and the Palestinians rejected it. Nevertheless, Lavie recently told me, the bureau’s editorial line was still that the conflict was Israel’s fault, and the Palestinians and the Arab world were blameless. By the end of Lavie’s career, he was editing Israel copy on the AP’s Middle East regional desk in Cairo, trying to restore balance and context to stories he thought had little connection to reality. He wrote a book, Broken Spring, about his front-row view of the Middle East’s descent into chaos, and retired disillusioned and angry.

I have tended to see the specific failings that we both encountered at the AP as symptoms of a general thought pattern in the press, but Lavie takes a more forceful position, viewing the influential American news organization as one of the primary authors of this thought pattern. This is not just because many thousands of media outlets use AP material directly, but also because when journalists arrive in their offices in the morning, the first thing many of them do is check the AP wire (or, these days, scroll through it in their Twitter feed).

Journalistic hallucinations occur when reporters are not granted the freedom to write what they see but are rather expected to maintain a “story” that follows predictable lines. For the international press, the uglier characteristics of Palestinian politics and society are mostly untouchable because they would disrupt the Israel story, which is a story of “Jewish moral failure”.

Most consumers of the Israel story don’t understand how the story is manufactured. But Hamas does. Since assuming power in Gaza in 2007, the Islamic Resistance Movement has come to understand that many reporters are committed to a narrative wherein Israelis are oppressors and Palestinians passive victims with reasonable goals, and are uninterested in contradictory information.

Hamas is aided in its manipulation of the media by the old reportorial belief, a kind of reflex, according to which reporters shouldn’t mention the existence of reporters. In a conflict like ours, this ends up requiring considerable exertions: So many photographers cover protests in Israel and the Palestinian territories, for example, that one of the challenges for anyone taking pictures is keeping colleagues out of the frame. That the other photographers are as important to the story as Palestinian protesters or Israeli soldiers—this does not seem to be considered.

In Gaza, this goes from being a curious detail of press psychology to a major deficiency. Hamas’s strategy is to provoke a response from Israel by attacking from behind the cover of Palestinian civilians, thus drawing Israeli strikes that kill those civilians, and then to have the casualties filmed by one of the world’s largest press contingents, with the understanding that the resulting outrage abroad will blunt Israel’s response. This is a ruthless strategy, and an effective one. It is predicated on the cooperation of journalists. One of the reasons it works is because of the reflex I mentioned. If you report that Hamas has a strategy based on co-opting the media, this raises several difficult questions, like, What exactly is the relationship between the media and Hamas? And has this relationship corrupted the media? It is easier just to leave the other photographers out of the frame and let the picture tell the story: Here are dead people, and Israel killed them.

In previous rounds of Gaza fighting, Hamas learned that international coverage from the territory could be molded to its needs, a lesson it would implement in this summer’s war. Most of the press work in Gaza is done by local fixers, translators, and reporters, people who would understandably not dare cross Hamas, making it only rarely necessary for the group to threaten a Westerner. The organization’s armed forces could be made to disappear. The press could be trusted to play its role in the Hamas script, instead of reporting that there was such a script. Hamas strategy did not exist, according to Hamas—or, as reporters would say, was “not the story”.  There was no Hamas charter blaming Jews for centuries of perfidy, or calling for their murder. [There is.] This was not the story. The rockets falling on Israeli cities were quite harmless; they were not the story either. [It is.]

Hamas understood that journalists would not only accept as fact the Hamas-reported civilian death toll—relayed through the UN or through something called the “Gaza Health Ministry,” an office controlled by Hamas—but would make those numbers the center of coverage. Hamas understood that reporters could be intimidated when necessary and that they would not report the intimidation; Western news organizations tend to see no ethical imperative to inform readers of the restrictions shaping their coverage in repressive states or other dangerous areas. In the war’s aftermath, the NGO- UN-media alliance could be depended upon to unleash the organs of the international community on Israel, and to leave the jihadist group alone.

When Hamas’s leaders surveyed their assets before this summer’s round of fighting, they knew that among those assets was the international press. The AP staff in Gaza City would witness a rocket launch right beside their office, endangering reporters and other civilians nearby—and the AP wouldn’t report it, not even in AP articles about Israeli claims that Hamas was launching rockets from residential areas. (This happened.) Hamas fighters would burst into the AP’s Gaza bureau and threaten the staff—and the AP wouldn’t report it. (This also happened.) Cameramen waiting outside Shifa Hospital in Gaza City would film the arrival of civilian casualties and then, at a signal from an official, turn off their cameras when wounded and dead fighters came in, helping Hamas maintain the illusion that only civilians were dying. (This too happened; the information comes from multiple sources with firsthand knowledge of these incidents.)

Colford, the AP spokesman, confirmed that armed militants entered the AP’s Gaza office in the early days of the war to complain about a photo showing the location of a rocket launch, though he said that Hamas claimed that the men “did not represent the group”.  The AP “does not report many interactions with militias, armies, thugs or governments,” he wrote. “These incidents are part of the challenge of getting out the news—and not themselves news.”

This summer, the Western press corps showed up en masse to cover the conflict. It was deliberately fought from behind Palestinian civilians, many of whom died as a result. Dulled by years of the “Israel story” and inured to its routine omissions, confused about the role they are meant to play, and co-opted by Hamas, reporters described this war as an Israeli onslaught against innocent people. By doing so, this group of intelligent and generally well-meaning professionals ceased to be reliable observers and became instead an amplifier for the propaganda of one of the most intolerant and aggressive forces on earth. And that, as they say, is the story.

Posted under Israel, media, middle east, Palestinians by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, May 19, 2021

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