News 16.12.03

Apparently, and this is truly great news, Facebook is seeing a surge in resignations from among its employees by persons upset over so many users being censored. Facebook is so trigger-happy, they have even deleted posts from Mark Zuckerberg, mistaking them for fake news.

Adam Johnson has composed a masterful piece summing up the current melodrama of fake news, especially where regards the sketchy PropOrNot group’s unfounded and unsourced list of supposed Russian propagandists pushed so heavily by the Washington Post, NPR and others. The core issue seems to be that “unpopular” stories, “propaganda” stories and outright “fake” stories are all being mistaken for one another, and by people who really ought to know better. Not to mention the idea that Russia or any other foreign power being more culpable in whatever disruptions to America’s public discourse than the American government itself, is an easily disproven thing.

Irregardless of all rationality, the U.S. House of Representatives has swimmingly just passed a new “intelligence” bill, designed to squelch Russia’s influence over people and governments. So we can safely conclude that everybody in the House is long-fried on coke.

Across the globe, French President François Hollande is dropping his candidacy bid from France’s election, after his reactionary increases to state surveillance and reneging on taxing those who most need to be taxed have proven contrary to the will of his people. Trying to be like President Obama, basically. Max Fisher reports that such alterations in the popular tide on the French political scene might be suggestive of a broader European shift towards Russia as a favored uncle rather than America, something which I have been suggesting for a spell now. And the more this shift expands the more loudly will America insist that Russia is duping everyone concerned.

Another example to this end could be found in what German Chancellor Angela Merkel is beginning to experience, the widescale disgruntlement over the WikiLeaks revelation concerning the long-term secretive alliance between the American NSA and German BND.

Craig Murray provides some honest words concerning the insistence by very ignorant parties online that Julian Assange is either dead or imprisoned with WikiLeaks now suspect, something else I’ve commented on previously.

And new malware designed for exploiting Google’s Android devices has evidently led to the biggest hack of Google user accounts publicly know. This is also truly great news, as Google has definitely interfered in foreign politics to degrees far more than Russia or any other non-American agency could even dream of. Google’s users are like drunk drivers who need their keys taken away, no thought given to the ramifications of their actions.

Editor’s note: This entire post serves to further my application for inclusion onto PropOrNot’s listing of fake news websites subversively pushing Russian propaganda. I sincerely hope that I have now met the criteria for questioning the required levels of American icons and policies.

News 16.12.02

A new federal rule from the Department of Housing and Urban Development aims to ban smoking from all public housing residences nationwide. Forcing mandates for public health is only the latest example for how the American government believes that it literally, physically, owns the very lives of its citizenry. The logic for smoking bans on public spaces is at least somewhat rational, while bans in businesses should be left to the business owner. Banning smoking in private homes however, even in situations where Uncle Sam is the landlord, is just plain inexcusable.

If people can be trusted to responsibly prepare meals where they reside without risk of burning the property down, then they can probably handle a cigarette. Or a bong. In fact, looking at the U.S. Fire Administration’s own statistics we find cooking listed as the leading cause for house fires (50.0%), followed by heating (12.5%) and electrical malfunctions such as faulty wiring (6.3%). Smoking is the tenth possibility on the list (2.0%), so put that in your pipe and smoke it.

In Michigan, the state’s Department of Health and Human Services has just finished a year-long test on random welfare recipients for substance abuse, finding that of the 14 people studied only one tested positive for drugs. Much to the chagrin of conservatives in the region, no doubt, who generally fail to see how people who cannot afford food probably cannot afford drugs either. Along with that national smoking ban for public housing residents, this amounts to punishing poor people for being poor, forcing undue scrutiny and regulation upon them that is never expected of those enjoying higher income brackets.

The Cato Institute’s National Police Misconduct Reporting Projects lists 8 incidents for November 23, 11 incidents for November 28, 9 incidents for November 29, and 8 incidents for November 30. As the Fraternal Order of Police themselves assert, police departments in the north were founded for the purposes of collecting taxes, and in the south for the purposes of recapturing escaped slaves, so the police as well exist merely to punish poor people for being poor.

Back in Michigan, the Nestle corporation has inked a deal to buy 100 million gallons of drinking water from the city of Evert for just 200 bucks, to then resale for profit. While the city of Flint continues to suffer a long-running and apparently ongoing crisis of poisonously contaminated drinking water. From the article:

“Psychologically, it’s devastating to our citizens,” Francis Gilcreast, president of the NAACP’s Flint branch, told the Detroit News Monday. “For our government to have done this and then turned its back on our citizens — there is no way that three years into this we should still be suffering with this.”

Meanwhile, Jill Stein unironically tries to explain her rationale for a Michigan presidential recount. From that article:

So why is she doing it? The number of blank ballots in Michigan’s presidential election results were a “red flag” to her.

“In part, Michigan has this very high level of under votes; that is, blank ballots,” Stein said during an interview today on “Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson” on WDET radio.

Henderson, also the Free Press editorial page editor, pointed out that 84,000 ballots had no presidential choice.

“Exactly,” Stein replied. “That is quite an unusual number. This is breaking records, blowing through the roof. This may be a tip off, or a red flag that there’s either been machine error, or in some cases tampering.

Here’s a tip for you, Jill. Maybe those blank ballots were from people who know from personal fucking experience that elected leaders have never and will never do any good for the general public.

News 16.12.01

Egyptian archaeologists have located something special, a city lost along the Nile believed to be around 7000 years old. From the article: “This city was found just 400 meters (0.25 miles) from the Temple of Seti I in the sacred city of Abyd. Experts are already coming out to comment on the find, saying it’s so important because it appears to be the beginning of Egyptian history.”

Now for all the bad news.

Banks across the United States are reporting a 13% rise in profits for the third quarter of 2016. Meanwhile the fight to raise the federal minimum wage continues, with the Economic Policy Institute pursuing its own analysis of the Fair Labor Standards Act and related amendments, concluding that wages have stagnated dramatically in spite of the national economy’s apparent long-term growth. Hundreds of workers have been arrested in recent days all around the country, protesting for livable incomes. Ironically, while some detractors are saying that raising minimum wage would be an act of rampant Socialism, the current low wages must actually be subsidized by taxes on everybody, which would mean that if employers paid fairly then taxes could honestly be reduced. Traditional welfare programs such as food stamps and WIC exist to fill the massive void created in the low pay offered by the larger fast food chains and other nation-wide employers. These companies are cheats.

President-elect Trump is adding antitrust expert David Higbee to his transition team for the Justice Department, thereby following through with his promise of deregulating corporations all the more.

Like kids whose fattened hands have been caught in the proverbial cookie jar, billionaires of the world appear to be preparing for a major crisis, from expanding their security squadrons to building survival shelters and underground bunkers. A guilty conscience, or a preemptive response to the public punchline of a private joke? Maybe they dread the potential fallout of solar flares massive enough to nix the internet and knock down power grids round the globe. Such solar flares seem to be threatened every few months, so they may just serve as a cover story for illicit experimentation perpetrated by extra-shadowy government organizations should whatever illicit experimentation get out of hand. Generally this is how these things work.

Do not support the troops.

Do not support the troops.

Not that there would be anything wrong with nullifying the electro-magnetic field or whatever, what with the U.K. bill ordering for tech firms to store all online histories having passed with flying colors. (But services like iPredator might help circumnavigate those efforts.) The ruling by the United Nations to free Julian Assange has endured a rejected appeal from the British government, with the U.N. even having to go so far as to issue a reminder to editors covering the story that decisions made by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention are in fact legally-binding. Meaning the British government is openly and willfully defying international law.

Ministers of Parliament have just voted against a motion to hold former Prime Minister and current Spice Girls backup dancer Tony Blair from being held accountable over repeatedly lying to his nation about justifications for the Iraqi war. Meaning the British government is openly and willfully defying even their own laws.

Even the government of Canada’s domestic spying is being called into question regarding its blatant disregard for all sorts of laws. Understudy to the United States by all appearances.

Professor Said Shahtahmasebi wisely asserts that suicide is not a mental health issue, suggesting that everything else mentioned in this post creates the environment more likely at fault. Blaming the natural world for unnatural problems is really fucked up when you think about it.

News 16.11.30

Yesterday was the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

Rachel Hosie reports on a new study carried out by eHarmony Australia, declaring that the persons dating as many as 6 people at once are apparently the new norm. Which I’m fairly certain is equally as trustworthy as the unquestioned surveys of men where each respondent declares their penis size to be 7 or 8 inches. Sexual exploration is a fundamental step towards self-awareness, granted, but either eHarmony is only dealing in whores or they want people to be fine with the ramifications of a world filled with whoring, the health risks, the broken homes and the financial instability that ensue. Intimacy, especially of the emotional variety, is the opposite of putting water-down versions of one’s entire life on display at whatever online social networking site popular at the moment. It may as well be a textbook definition for an incomplete connection. Male or female, to deny intimacy is just cold.

It's getting hot in here.

It’s getting hot in here.

One perfectly valid example of people generally not getting so cozy with each other so easily, can be found in the complaints by Native American tribes and regional locals of white activists car-jacking the Dakota Access protests into hippie festival territory. Unity of shared resources is a fundamental step to any effective protest, but as seen with the ill-fated Occupy movement, not every participant can choose the main dish at the table.

Meanwhile, North Dakota state officials, who evidently could not and would not give a rat’s arse about Native Americans or the hacktivists from out of town, are announcing their plan to begin blocking any and all supplies incoming to the protest sites. With winter approaching.

President elect Donald Trump has just declared that anybody caught burning an American flag should be subjected to incarceration and/or a loss of their citizenship. Exceptions for Free Speech means there is no Free Speech. Besides, such punishments would technically be illegal. And more importantly, nothing in the world is sacred.

Elian Gonzalez had some stirring comments in the aftermath of the death of Fidel Castro. The idea of the American government vilifying anybody as a threat to peace is the pot calling the kettle black personified. This is hollow, like outrage over the eugenics practices of the Nazis in the 1940s while the American government was forcing vasectomies on mental patients all the way into the late 1960s. Castro was far from desirable, but without him Cuba would be as bad off as Haiti, or worse. Castro’s struggle reminds me of the movie titled Pitch Black, where everyone was going to violently die unless the serial killer saved them and fought battles they could not.

And journalist Adam Johnson has unintentionally provided a nice after-thought to my closing rant from yesterday’s posting.

News 16.11.29

Political prisoner Barrett Brown is to be released from prison today.

In more good news the world’s oldest bank, Italy’s Monte dei Paschi de Siena, is facing a series of civil suits which could cost the banking giant billions of dollars.

The Heritage Foundation, a think-tank for Republican agendas, has issued a new report that is a blatant lie from start to finish. Despite having more military bases than every other nation on Earth combined, and in spite of spending more on its military than any other nation-state on the planet, America’s military industrial complex is apparently so crippled that it might not be able to safely win multiple wars at once. So maybe it should, oh I don’t know, STOP INSTIGATING WARS.

Jessica Stillman reports on barely shocking new research which suggests that non-conformists make the best employees. Which in turn reminded me of a Terence McKenna quote:

Progress of human civilization in the area of defining human freedom is not made from the top down. No king, no parliament, no government ever extended to the people more rights than the people insisted upon. And I think we’ve come to a place with this psychedelic issue. And we have the gay community as a model, and all the other communities, the ethnic communities. We simply have to say, Look: LSD has been around for fifty years now, we just celebrated the birthday. It ain’t going away. WE are not going away. We are not slack-jawed, dazed, glazed, unemployable psychotic creeps. We are pillars of society. You can’t run your computers, your fashion houses, your publishing houses, your damn magazines, you can’t do anything in culture without psychedelic people in key positions. And this is the great unspoken truth of American Creativity. So I think it’s basically time to just come out of the closet and go, “You know what, I’m stoned, and I’m proud.”

Heini Järvinen reports on a new leak shining much-needed light on the trampled civil liberties offered by the pending Trade in Services Agreement, an agreement currently being negotiated between 23 members of the World Trade Organisation, including the European Union. But what really concerns the unwashed masses:

Well actually, yes. They should. That’s the thing about living in a consumerism-driven culture, that everybody must pay for their interests themselves, rather than be paid for their interests. The only alternative would be to overthrow the government, hang all of the bankers and napalm the holy hell out of Wall Street.

I know it often appears otherwise, what with so many pundits all over cable television and the internet sharing their opinions on this and that. And the argument could easily be made that such vocations as “market analysts” and “terrorism experts” ultimately give as much to the mass of humanity as do comic book reviewers. But what separates these commentators with the larger and more profitable sandboxes from persons who run comic book news blogs is that they are not sharing their interests, or even their own opinions. They make money because they are paid to share the interests and opinions of agencies both willing and able to pay for such trivialities, namely giant corporations and banking conglomerates, lobbying groups representing military industrialists, the pharmaceutical and insurance industries, partisan political PACs, oil companies, etc. These people make money because they are not sharing their hobbies, their passions. In a consumerism-driven culture the only passion that matters is the passion to consume. And the only hobbies that matter are those supporting giant corporations and banking conglomerates, lobbying groups representing military industrialists, the pharmaceutical and insurance industries, partisan political PACs, oil companies, etc.

The entire point of mainstream/commercial media is to sell interests and opinions to the consuming masses, to manufacture for them hobbies and passions that are wholly focused with consumption, from disposable products to throwaway endeavors. Nobody cares what the consumer thinks. They are at the bottom of the dog-pile by design, and nobody gets paid to be at the bottom of a dog-pile. Why not pay a dumpster for graciously accepting your trash?