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Member since: Wed Feb 10, 2010, 12:51 AM
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Journal Archives

The Real News - Media Propaganda and Engineered Consent

Excellent interview with Mark Crispen Miller (Mark Crispin Miller is professor of media studies at New York University) discussing how potent, prevalent, and artful media propaganda has become since the Bush administration. Definitely a must see.

The RealNews: U.S. Might be Sleepwalking into a Doomsday Scenario

Ukraine Declares War on Journalism

Source: New York Times

KIEV, Ukraine — In July 2014, I went to Donetsk, a separatist-controlled region in eastern Ukraine, to cover the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. It was a dangerous place at the time. The Ukrainian military and the rebels were shelling each other, and temperamental men with Kalashnikovs who had been known to kidnap journalists were everywhere.

Like many foreign reporters, I was there to relay what was happening to the remains of the downed flight’s 298 passengers and crew members. Before I went to the crash site, I obtained accreditation from the separatists. This did not guarantee that I would be safe, but it was the only way to get past the armed checkpoints.

Now Ukraine has labeled me an accomplice in terrorism.

On May 7, the website Mirotvorets (“Peacemaker”), courtesy of anonymous hackers, published part of the separatists’ accreditation records. My name, email address and phone number were among those of more than 4,000 journalists, including freelancers like me, as well as correspondents from this newspaper, Reuters, the BBC and other outlets. We were collectively labeled “terrorist collaborators” for gaining accreditation from the separatists. The list’s publishers claimed not to know what the consequences would be of releasing this information, but it seemed clear that the intent was to encourage people to take action against the journalists on their own.

Anton Gerashchenko, a member of Ukraine’s Parliament and an adviser to the Ministry of Interior, praised the publication of the list and called for journalists to assist Ukraine in its “information war” with Russia. Condemnation of the list followed from organizations including the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the Committee to Protect Journalists. Ukraine’s ombudsman called for the website to be blocked. As criticism built, the people running Mirotvorets said they would take their website offline and the Kiev prosecutor’s office began an investigation into whether or not those running the site had committed a crime.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/01/opinion/ukraine-declares-war-on-journalism.html

Ukraine: journalists blacklisted

After the publication of a preliminary list of journalists who had been in Donbass,
two new lists have appeared online

On May 10, Mirotvorets, an Ukrainian website, published a list of all journalists who had worked in the separatist territories of the East during the last two years of war. A group of hackers, linked to an organization founded by Georgiy Tuka, former governor of the Luhansk region and current Deputy Minister for the "temporarily occupied territories," has stolen the journalists' names from the separatist authority’s database. New lists have been added in the past few days.

Over 7 thousand names, mine included, of journalists, photographers, cameramen, fixers and media workers have been listed in an Excel file named "Scoundrels". Even worse, along with their names, other private data such as phone numbers and email addresses have also been made public.

The group behind the operation, which manages a database of separatist militants and collaborators, and reports them to the Ukrainian justice system, said that "the publication of the list is necessary because these journalists have collaborated with members of a terrorist organization."

Continued: http://www.balcanicaucaso.org/eng/Areas/Ukraine/Ukraine-journalists-blacklisted-171341

Close Calls: We Were Much Closer to Nuclear Annihilation Than We Ever Knew


The proposition that nuclear weapons can be retained in perpetuity and never used – accidentally or by decision – defies credibility”.

This unanimous statement was published by the Canberra Commission in 1996. Among the commission members were internationally known former ministers of defense and of foreign affairs and generals.

The nuclear-weapon states do not intend to abolish their nuclear weapons. They promised to do so when they signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) of 1970.

Furthermore, the International Court in The Hague concluded in its advisory opinion more than 20 years ago that these states were obliged to negotiate and bring to a conclusion such negotiations on complete nuclear disarmament.

The nuclear-weapon states disregard this obligation. On the contrary, they invest enormous sums in the modernization of these weapons of global destruction.

It is difficult today to raise a strong opinion in the nuclear-weapon states for nuclear disarmament. One reason is that the public sees the risk of a nuclear war between these states as so unlikely that it can be disregarded.

It is then important to remind ourselves that we were for decades, during the Cold War, threatened by extinction by nuclear war. We were not aware at that time how close we were.

In this article I will summarize some of the best-known critical situations. Recently published evidence shows that the danger was considerably greater than we knew at the time.

The risk today of a nuclear omnicide – killing all or almost all humans – is probably smaller than during the Cold War, but the risk is even today real and it may be rising. That is the reason I wish us to remind ourselves again: as long as nuclear weapons exist we are in danger of extermination.

Full story:

When the System Feels Rigged, How Surprising is Convention Mayhem?

Nevada's Democratic convention devolved into mayhem on Saturday as party pushed controversial new rules and disqualified Sanders delegates
Nika Knight, staff writer

Party officials eventually called in armed security guards and the chair unilaterally declared the convention finished after nearly 17 hours, bringing the chaotic proceedings to a bitter conclusion. (Screenshot: YouTube/anie h.)

The Nevada Democratic convention was overwhelmed by utter turmoil on Saturday after the chair adopted a controversial set of new rules and disqualified 56 Bernie Sanders delegates from participating, handing rival Hillary Clinton a majority of the state's delegates.

This occurred after the Democratic frontrunner lost the state's county level caucuses in April.

The chaotic convention, organized and run largely by Clinton supporters, was yet another instance of what many observers have decried as the party's rigging of the primary process in favor of the establishment candidate.

The party's blatant bolstering of Clinton's candidacy, critics say, has been obvious from the outset—and only grows more transparent as the election continues. They point to the following prior instances as evidence of a rigged process:

The primary debates were scheduled at inopportune times, a move that many interpreted as protecting Clinton from scrutiny and attempting to prevent Sanders from gaining attention.

The Democratic Party's superdelegates, a large majority of whom declared their support for Clinton long before voting occurred, are largely seen to have insulated her from Sanders' insurgent popularity among voters.

The DNC has exploited a fundraising loophole to funnel funds raised for state-level candidates to the Clinton campaign. Widespread disenfranchisement in the Arizona and New York primaries, which went to Clinton, earned accusations of voter suppression from many observers.

Sanders himself wrote to DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schulz (D-Fl.) to point out that the committee in charge of deciding the party platform and rules at this summer's national convention is "stacked" with "Clinton loyalists."

For many, Nevada's tumultuous state convention over the weekend was yet another demonstration of the party's efforts to preserve the establishment.


 The American Foreign-Policy Establishment Is a One-Trick Pony

The military is a flawed tool that rarely produces real results—but try telling that to Washington.
By Tom Engelhardt
The Nation

 President Barack Obama at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. (Reuters / Kevin Lamarque)

 There are the news stories that genuinely surprise you, and then there are the ones that you could write in your sleep before they happen. Let me concoct an example for you:

Top American and European military leaders are weighing options to step up the fight against the Islamic State in the Mideast, including possibly sending more US forces into Iraq, Syria, and Libya, just as Washington confirmed the second American combat casualty in Iraq in as many months.

Oh wait, that was actually the lead sentence in a May 3 Washington Times piece by Carlo Muñoz. Honestly, though, it could have been written anytime in the last few months by just about anyone paying any attention whatsoever, and it surely will prove reusable in the months to come (with casualty figures altered, of course). The sad truth is that across the Greater Middle East and expanding parts of Africa, a similar set of lines could be written ahead of time about the use of Special Operations forces, drones, advisers, whatever, as could the sorry results of making such moves in [add the name of your country of choice here].

Put another way, in a Washington that seems incapable of doing anything but worshiping at the temple of the US military, global policy-making has become a remarkably mindless military-first process of repetition. It’s as if, as problems built up in your life, you looked in the closet marked “solutions” and the only thing you could ever see was one hulking, over-armed soldier, whom you obsessively let loose, causing yet more damage.
How Much, How Many, How Often, and How Destructively

In Iraq and Syria, it’s been mission creep all the way. The B-52s barely made it to the battle zone for the first time and were almost instantaneously in the air, attacking Islamic State militants. US firebases are built ever closer to the front lines. The number of special ops forces continues to edge up. American weapons flow in (ending up in god knows whose hands). American trainers and advisers follow in ever increasing numbers, and those numbers are repeatedly fiddled with to deemphasize how many of them are actually there. The private contractors begin to arrive in numbers never to be counted. The local forces being trained or retrained have their usual problems in battle. American troops and advisers who were never, never going to be “in combat” or “boots on the ground” themselves now have their boots distinctly on the ground in combat situations. The first American casualties are dribbling in. Meanwhile, conditions in tottering Iraq and the former nation of Syria grow ever murkier, more chaotic, and less amenable by the week to any solution American officials might care for.

Full Read at:

Is Washington Preparing for War Against Russia?

Is Washington Preparing for War Against Russia?
by Brian Cloughley



Because the United States administration, at the urging of the Pentagon and its sub-office in Brussels, the HQ of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, had already embarked on a policy of confrontation with Russia, encouraging and subsidizing expansion of that expressly anti-Russia military alliance from 16 to its present 28 countries.

There were corporate benefits for the US along the way, of course. Eight NATO countries bought hundreds of F-16s and all the add-ons, for example, and “NATO Standardization” was military code for “Buy American.” The State Department is barefaced about this. Its head of the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Andrew J Shapiro, proudly declared that “We view the American defense industry as an integral part of our efforts to advance US national security and foreign policy.” You can’t be more open than that.

Mr Shapiro made it clear that the policy of the United States of America is:

“When a country buys an advanced US defense system through our . . . programs, they aren’t simply buying a product, they are also buying into a relationship. These programs both reinforce our diplomatic relations and establish a long-term security relationship. What is generally underappreciated is that the complex and technical nature of advanced defense systems frequently requires constant collaboration and interaction between countries over the life of that system – decades in many cases.” [Original emphasis retained.]

Two years after President Bush welcomed President Putin to Texas, NATO welcomed eight more nations as members, increasing its military presence ever-closer to Russia’s border. Moscow was presumably meant to ignore this menacing development, while NATO’s aircraft flew intelligence-gathering missions along its borders, and US combat ships of its massive nuclear-armed Sixth Fleet made coat-trailing forays into the Black Sea. (One of them ran aground, which might show that Russia doesn’t have too much to worry about ; but it’s the thought that counts.)


(Ukraine Coup)

The United States encouraged a coup in Ukraine in 2014, and although the Ukrainian news agency Interfax reported in June 2015 that President Poroshenko stated that the overthrow of his predecessor was “unconstitutional” there was no change to the ceaseless western propaganda line that the coup was entirely democratic. Similarly the allegations that Crimea was “annexed” by Russia have been successful to the point that very few in the west believe that, as the UK’s Independent newspaper reported, “Fireworks exploded and Russian flags fluttered above jubilant crowds after residents in Crimea voted overwhelmingly to secede from Ukraine and join Russia.” The referendum was a perfectly fair expression of opinion in Crimea. Indeed it would have been very surprising if the vote hadn’t gone in favor of rejoining Russia, because it is undeniable that the vast majority of Crimea’s citizens are Russian-cultured and Russian-speaking, and regard western Ukrainians as foreigners.

The main point, however, is the allegation that Russia was in some way seeking to invade Ukraine itself. There is no doubt that Russia was and continues to be supportive of the separatists of eastern Ukraine, but the notion that Russia wanted or wants to attack and occupy Ukraine is ludicrous.

Full story at:

Bernie has PLANS!

Did anyone else catch that a senior official in the campaign said that Bernie intends to remain a Democrat regardless win or lose?

In the mean time, in states that Bernie is sweeping progressives are gaining footholds in State Organizations.

Bernie is planning on shaking the graft tree further loose of it's moors at the convention.

Folks always talked about President Obama being a "4 Dimensional Chess player".

Well guess what?! Bernie is also a multi-dimensional thinker.

This movement is building the progressive power base in the party not just to take the Presidency.

It ain't anywhere near over. It is just beginning!

Paul Krugman, Bernie Sanders and the truth about the free trade scam

[font size = 3]Paul Krugman, Bernie Sanders and the truth about the free trade scam[/font]
Trade has been a disaster for Democratic voters, but a boon for Democratic politicians
-- especially the Clintons

Paul Rosenberg

Bernie Sanders, Paul Krugman, Hillary Clinton (Credit: Reuters/Bob Strong/Brian Snyder/Photo montage by Salon)

In the wake of Bernie Sanders stunning upset victory in the Michigan primary, there’s a renewed recognition that the negative impacts of global trade matter—a lot. There’s still a broad assumption Clinton will easily win the nomination, but there’s been some talk that she might consider Sherrod Brown, Ohio’s staunchly anti-”free trade” senator as her running mate. And of course, as the New York Times dwells on, Clinton is “sharpening” her “message on jobs and trade.”

But Michigan matters not just for Clinton, but for the Democratic Party as a whole. And it’s going to take much more than sharper messaging to actually make a difference in people’s lives. It’s not just a matter of changing policies around the edges—as Clinton now says that she wants to do—the entire corporate-dominated policymaking process that produces such deals needs to be done away with, and replaced with something far more open, democratic and informed by long-term realism. And that can only happen through a mobilization of political will—or as Sanders would call it, “a political revolution.”

Clinton’s messaging shift is a good indication of how far the establishment is from grasping what’s actually needed. As the Times notes, she’s always been upbeat in the past, stressing “inclusiveness,” as the neoliberal lexicon would have it:

“I want to be the president for the struggling, the striving and the successful,” she often said.

But now, she’s signaled a change:

Stung by the bad showing, Mrs. Clinton was already recalibrating her message, even altering her standard line before the Michigan race had been called. “I don’t want to be the president for those who are already successful — they don’t need me,” she said at a rally Tuesday night in Cleveland. “I want to be the president for the struggling and the striving.”

It’s a characteristically breathtaking move on Clinton’s part. It sounds great, of course. But how can she be a president for the struggling and striving when she’s so out of touch with them that she’s been blindsided by the brokenness of their dreams? There’s so much more than messaging that needs to be adjusted here. As Paul Krugman now admits, “much of the elite defense of globalization is basically dishonest…. So the elite case for ever-freer trade is largely a scam.”


Primary results: Bernie Sanders upsets Hillary Clinton in Michigan

Source: CNN

Washington (CNN)Bernie Sanders won the Michigan Democratic primary, CNN projects, in an upset that delivers a sharp blow to Hillary Clinton's hopes of quickly securing her party's nomination.

Sanders' victory, on the eve of the next Democratic debate clash that will be simulcast on CNN, raises fresh questions about the former secretary of state's appeal to blue-collar Democrats who have embraced the Vermont's senator's populist anti-Wall Street message.

Although Sanders did little to cut into Clinton's overall lead of about 200 delegates, thanks to her win Tuesday in Mississippi, his performance in Michigan suggests Sanders could mount a stronger-than-expected challenge in looming primaries in a string of Rust Belt states, including Ohio, Illinois and Wisconsin.

On the Republican side, Donald Trump will win the Republican primaries in Michigan and Mississippi, according to CNN projections, important victories that propel him closer to the GOP presidential nomination, despite a week of fearsome barrage of attacks from his rivals and the Republican establishment.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, meanwhile, won Idaho, CNN projects, further validating his claims that he is now in a two-man race with the billionaire.

But the big surprise of the night was in the Democratic race.

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/08/politics/primary-results-highlights/index.html

On the main page (CNN.COM under Breaking News):

[font size = 4]"Sanders upsets Clinton in Michigan for Night's Biggest Prize"[/font]

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