Facebook Sells Disabled Iraq Vet $300,000 In Ads, Then Deletes His Influential Pages

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Facebook banned several pages operated by disabled by Air Force veteran Brian Kolfage, after he says he spent $300,000 on advertising. The social media giant removed without warning Kolfage's Right Wing News and Military Grade Coffee Company (which donates 10 percent of all profits to veteran organizations), in a site-wide effort to crack down on "misinformation" on the network.

Right Wing News alone had over 3 million followers at the time of its banning. 

According to his new wesbite, Kolfage, a triple amputee, explains: 
I’m not a 'conservative.' I’m not a 'liberal.' I’m an American, with deep beliefs in what our country stands for. I proved this by vowing to protect and fighting for Americas greatest tenet: free speech.

Many Americans have fought for these political freedoms … freedom of speech … and every American has enjoyed those freedoms … UNTIL TODAY. On October 11, 2018, Facebook shut down thousands of Facebook accounts for their political opinions, saying in effect that they don’t have a 'legitimate political argument.' STOP SOCIAL MEDIA CENSORSHIP NOW! -Fight4freespeech.com
Kolfage says his "income as a father and husband is threatened," and that he "invested over $300,000 in ads at Facebook's own request," according to Breitbart's Lucas Nolan. 

In a Facebook post on his personal page, Kolfage wrote "Facebook lied, they shut down my page because it was conservative, powerful, and the elections are in 2 weeks.

Operation Iraqi Freedom

In 2004, Kolfage was on his second deployment in Iraq when his airbase came under rocket attack. He would lose both legs and an arm as a 107mm rocket shell "exploded about three feet" away, throwing him into the air and against a wall of sandbags.
Airman Kolfage’s best friend was thrown from his bed during the attack. He heard the screams and rushed outside to find his friend bloody, mangled, and clinging to life. The Airman and a medic rushed to help Airman Kolfage, who was struggling to breathe with only one lung after the other had collapsed. Brian’s friend desperately tried to divert his attention from the seriousness of his injuries, but calmly, Airman Kolfage assured him that he already knew the extent of his wounds, and that he just wanted to go home to his family. -Briankolfage.com 
Brian spent 11 months at Walter Reed medical center, and claims that to this day he is "still the most severely wounded Airman to survive any war." 

Not going quietly

"If I have to roll into their headquarters and sit there with people in the media, I will," said Kolfage of his plans to fight Facebook's decision. "I will be there exposing everything they’ve done to me and my family and our employees. We’re going to take legal action if we don’t get our pages back. It’s just going to turn into a sloppy mess for them. I think they’ve underestimated what they’re dealing with, attacking me, attacking conservatives in general, right before the elections. Never once did Facebook come to us to say there was any issue with RWN or our other pages. Never. But they sure loved taking our money." 

Reprinted with permission from ZeroHedge.

Court in Crisis: How Much Partisan Justice Is Too Much?

This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record, revenge on behalf of the Clintons and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups.

— Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate testimony, September 27, 2018

The integrity of the US judicial system is actively, albeit quietly, in play. A sitting federal judge, or more likely a panel of sitting federal judges, will be required in the near future to render an assessment of the honesty, integrity, and fitness of a Supreme Court justice to retain his lifetime appointment. The process and the result of the federal judges’ decision will, together, render a judgment as to the integrity of not just one Supreme Court justice but the federal courts as a national institution.

The stakes are as high as they are simple: Will our court system choose to defend the position of its own members or will it choose to defend the integrity of the US judicial system? There is no possibility it can do both with any credibility.

This is a morality play that began at a time uncertain, reaching back decades. The curtain opened as the president named Brett Kavanaugh to fill a seat on the Supreme Court despite – or because of – his long history of playing Republican hardball against the Clintons over Whitewater, against the Clintons over Monica Lewinsky, for George Bush over the Florida vote count in the 2000 election, for fake intelligence in the lead-up to the Iraq War, and for the White House in its efforts to spy on or torture anyone they chose. On occasion even as a federal judge, Kavanaugh has proved the perfect partisan.

Kavanaugh’s history was a concern when he was first nominated for the federal bench in 2004, but he managed then to get confirmed with only limited doubt about his ability to tell the truth under oath. This year, when his Senate confirmation hearings began on September 4, the concerns about his integrity were still there, but Kavanaugh was protected from his own record because the White House kept most of it secret. Kavanaugh’s refusal to give full and complete answers to questions about his career as a political operative prompted the first formal ethics complaints (even before the Dr. Christime Blasey Ford story broke). One of those complaints, filed by attorney J. Whitfield Larrabee on behalf of two clients – all “under penalty of perjury” – summed up the case against Kavanaugh this way:

Kavanaugh received stolen information taken from Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee while he worked in the White House and he perjured himself while testifying about the matter in Congress in 2004, 2006 and 2018. Kavanaugh violated Canons 1 and 2 of Code of Judicial Conduct by committing crimes of dishonesty while he was a federal judge, by obtaining confirmation of his appointment as a federal judge by false and perjurious testimony, by concealing and covering up his criminal actions and by obstructing justice. He is unfit to serve as a judge by reason of his corrupt, unscrupulous, dishonest and criminal conduct.

This indictment is followed by five pages of factual allegations citing chapter and verse of some of Kavanaugh’s perjurious representations. The complaint concluded with a call for an investigation leading to a recommendation to Congress:

… that Kavanaugh be impeached in accordance with Rules 20 and 23 of the Rules for Judicial-conduct and Judicial-Disability Proceedings.

This is only one of a reported 15 or more formal ethics complaints made about Kavanaugh before the Dr. Blasey Ford farce or his confirmation to the Supreme Court. All the complaints made their way to the chief judge of the Court of Appeals, DC Circuit, on which Kavanaugh then sat. That chief judge is Merrick Garland, whose own appointment to the Supreme Court in 2016 was stonewalled by Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans (illegitimately making the seat available to usurper Neil Gorsuch). Garland, faced with the complaints against Kavanaugh, did the non-partisan thing and recused himself, leaving the first assessment of the complaints to someone else.

According to an October 6 press release from DC Circuit judge Karen LeCraft Henderson (a Bush appointee and Kavanaugh’s colleague on the bench):

After the start of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, members of the general public began filing complaints in the D.C. Circuit about statements made during those hearings. The complaints do not pertain to any conduct in which Judge Kavanaugh engaged as a judge. The complaints seek investigations only of the public statements he has made as a nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States.

This characterization is misleading if not just false. The complaints may only refer to false public statements (most of the complaints have not been made public), but those false public statements were, in fact, made by a sitting judge (just not while he was in court, apparently). Judge Henderson is implicitly arguing for a judicial standard that allows judges to lie whenever they want when they’re off the bench. This is not the standard of judicial temperament most of us thought we signed up for.

According to a letter from Chief Justice Roberts on October 10, he first heard officially about the Kavanaugh complaints starting on September 20. By October 6 he had received 15 complaints that were deemed worthy of review (it’s uncertain how many, if any, were dismissed as frivolous). In conveying the complaints to the chief justice, Judge Henderson, concerned “that local disposition may weaken public confidence in the process,” requested that the complaints be transferred to another circuit (as provided by Rule 26). In his October 10 letter, the chief justice did exactly that:

I have selected the Judicial Council of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit to accept the transfer and to exercise the powers of a judicial council with respect to the identified complaints and any pending or new complaints relating to the same subject matter.

The chief judge of the 10th circuit, based in Denver, is Timothy M. Tymkovich (a Bush appointee). He was also on the White House short list with Kavanaugh. And now he is, at least for the moment, in charge of 15 or more Kavanaugh complaints. As of October 15, he had not yet announced how the complaints would be handled. Nor has he publicly addressed his own political bias or his clear conflict of interest in the matter. Early reporting on the Kavanaugh complaints has been somewhat sketchy and sometimes dismissive.

On October 4, the House Progressive Caucus sent a letter to the president in a last-ditch effort to have the Kavanagh nomination withdrawn. The letter, signed by 39 members of Congress, outlined Kavanaugh’s partisan political past and his efforts to minimize or hide it. The letter demanded a full investigation of Kavanaugh’s record and promised impeachment proceedings if the Senate’s accusations of lying under oath were borne out. The letter concluded: “The credibility and reputation of the country’s highest judicial body is at stake.”

Even if the Kavanaugh complaints continue to get scant media coverage, the issue seems unlikely to go away. The Supreme Court is on trial and the chief justice knows it. He also knows that Rules for Judicial Conduct say unambiguously: “As long as the subject of the complaint performs judicial duties, a complaint alleging judicial misconduct must be addressed.” [emphasis added] The chief justice also knows that Kavanaugh’s partisan outburst (quoted at the top) seems to clearly violate the judicial conduct rule against “making inappropriately partisan statements.” The Supreme Court, led by a man with a reputation for defending institutional integrity, is faced with finding a way to justify its own probity – or join the rest of the wreckage of the Trump era.

The Saudis are publicly divided

De-fusing the plot to bring down the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed ben Salmane (« MBS »), has caused several members of the Royal family to flee. While King Salmane personally assured the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, that he knew nothing about the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, it was rumoured that his son, MBS, had definitely requested that he be presented with the head of Prince Al-Waleed's right hand man. Prince Ahmed ben Abdelaziz, King Salmane's brother, has set up a permanent base (...)

Stanley Kowalski for President?

There’s even something -sub-human -something not quite to the stage of humanity yet! Yes, something – ape-like about him, like one of those pictures I’ve seen in – anthropological studies! Thousands and thousands of years have passed him right by, and there he is – Stanley Kowalski – survivor of the Stone Age!

— Blanche Dubois from Streetcar Named Desire [The author highly recommends reading what the link leads to… to be able to fully appreciate his conclusion.]

President Trump — who folks ought to stop calling president, as it confers too much respect — has chosen to (once again, as he seems to do daily) underscore just how “sub-human” he is, praising a gubernatorial candidate in Montana for body slamming a reporter. This on the heels of “investigations” into the complicity on the part of Saudi Arabia’s leader in the Khashoggi murder and dismemberment.

Greg Gianforte, a truly brutish politician, pleaded guilty in June, 2017, paid a $385 fine, completed 40 hours of community service, 20 hours of anger management training, wrote an apology letter to the Guardian journalist he had injured, and donated $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists, but the Empire’s Commander-in-Chief has chosen to put a positive spin on the whole enchilada.

Where are the Democrats on all this? Not a significant peep from their quarters as far as I can tell. In fact, everyone in my household talks regularly about how they seem to have dropped off the planet in general. Meaning, as disgusting as they are, one would at least expect (and wish) that they would be securing “equal time” in mainstream media circles to balance the incessant coverage of Trump trailblazing across the country at rallies every single day (it seems); my impression is that Trump commands virtually ALL the media focus, his opposition failing to demand an equal playing field. Of course, this is NOT to be rooting for that other party, but — rather — to wonder out loud why no member of the opposition from any quarters is creatively forcing the mainstream media to spotlight their opposition to Trump’s stances on California fires, feminist outrage, or the abuse of journalists, among many other issues. On an ungoing basis.  We know why Democrats (in bed with the Republicans respecting WAR) don’t recoil in horror in front of the cameras over atrocities in Yemen and the like, but it’s hard to figure out what they’re thinking as they allow the ongoing dominance of Trump on the major networks in general.

Perhaps they’re meeting in secret, attempting to find a way to come up with a guy or gal with the goods that are popular today  … for 2020. They’ve got to know already that a Biden or a Warren won’t cut the muster. Maybe they’re pushing one another’s envelopes privately with regard to how best market a Stanley Kowalski of their own.

Their biggest challenge, however, must be how they’re going to pull of renaming their organization The Party of Apes.*

* With apologies to the Kinks

Stanley Kowalski for President?

There’s even something -sub-human -something not quite to the stage of humanity yet! Yes, something – ape-like about him, like one of those pictures I’ve seen in – anthropological studies! Thousands and thousands of years have passed him right by, and there he is – Stanley Kowalski – survivor of the Stone Age!

— Blanche Dubois from Streetcar Named Desire [The author highly recommends reading what the link leads to… to be able to fully appreciate his conclusion.]

President Trump — who folks ought to stop calling president, as it confers too much respect — has chosen to (once again, as he seems to do daily) underscore just how “sub-human” he is, praising a gubernatorial candidate in Montana for body slamming a reporter. This on the heels of “investigations” into the complicity on the part of Saudi Arabia’s leader in the Khashoggi murder and dismemberment.

Greg Gianforte, a truly brutish politician, pleaded guilty in June, 2017, paid a $385 fine, completed 40 hours of community service, 20 hours of anger management training, wrote an apology letter to the Guardian journalist he had injured, and donated $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists, but the Empire’s Commander-in-Chief has chosen to put a positive spin on the whole enchilada.

Where are the Democrats on all this? Not a significant peep from their quarters as far as I can tell. In fact, everyone in my household talks regularly about how they seem to have dropped off the planet in general. Meaning, as disgusting as they are, one would at least expect (and wish) that they would be securing “equal time” in mainstream media circles to balance the incessant coverage of Trump trailblazing across the country at rallies every single day (it seems); my impression is that Trump commands virtually ALL the media focus, his opposition failing to demand an equal playing field. Of course, this is NOT to be rooting for that other party, but — rather — to wonder out loud why no member of the opposition from any quarters is creatively forcing the mainstream media to spotlight their opposition to Trump’s stances on California fires, feminist outrage, or the abuse of journalists, among many other issues. On an ungoing basis.  We know why Democrats (in bed with the Republicans respecting WAR) don’t recoil in horror in front of the cameras over atrocities in Yemen and the like, but it’s hard to figure out what they’re thinking as they allow the ongoing dominance of Trump on the major networks in general.

Perhaps they’re meeting in secret, attempting to find a way to come up with a guy or gal with the goods that are popular today  … for 2020. They’ve got to know already that a Biden or a Warren won’t cut the muster. Maybe they’re pushing one another’s envelopes privately with regard to how best market a Stanley Kowalski of their own.

Their biggest challenge, however, must be how they’re going to pull of renaming their organization The Party of Apes.*

* With apologies to the Kinks

Vanquishing the Republic: Harry and Meghan in Australia

The establishment of a republic… means insurrectionary war, it means the desolation of a thousand households.  When the question shall arise, it will be determined… by balls from cannon and from musket, by grape and shrapnel, by bayonet and by the sword.

— Sir Alfred Stephen, NSW Legislative Council, June 16, 1887

The republic has tended to be a dormant idea in Australian politics for decades.  The People’s Advocate, a Sydney-based publication, was unduly optimistic in its June 17, 1854 note which spoke of, “The independence of the Australian colonies” being more than an “abstract idea.  It is certainly approaching as it is the dawn of tomorrow’s sun.”  Occasional flashes of republican sentiment can be found in the historical record, but these have been, in the main, suppressed in favour of a monarchy housed in residences ten thousand miles away.

In 1999, the Republic idea was essentially buried by vote, a feat not without some genius on the part of the then Prime Minister, John Howard. Sensing that more than a few Australians were keen to detach the British dominion from its monarchical moorings, Howard first initiated a “people’s convention” which, he sensed, would botch up any prospect of advancing a decent model to vote upon.  The Republican grouping, distant and smug, was (and here, history is instructive) led by the now deposed Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Pro-monarchist groups such as Australians for Constitutional Monarchy pursue a line not merely paradoxical but absurd.  The British Crown is raised to the level of sacrosanct mother, protector, and unifier. How this squares with sovereignty is a baffling exercise of self-delusion, but one happily embraced by such individuals as Gregory R. Copley, President of the International Strategic Studies Association based in Washington, D.C.

As the globe is fractured by bursts of populist dissatisfaction, suggested Copley at the Annual Conference of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy held at the New South Wales Parliament earlier this month, monarchy was indispensable. “It is an appropriate time, then to ask where Australia would be today, without the enduring presence of the Crown – our most visible icon of sovereignty and unity — in Australian life.”  In a paean to monarchical systems of government, Copley goes dew-eyed at the fate of monarchies in the 20th century, whose collapse “was the precursor of today’s global framework.” This unfortunate turn of events left “a global strategic framework which was inherently fragile.”

The visit by Prince Harry and his new wife, Hollywood second (third?) tier actress Meghan Markle, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, has turned the Australian public — or a good part of it at least — to a grotesque, gibbering sight. This is not sovereignty extolled but emotional slavery demonstrated, the psyche imprisoned in a historical, hereditary system of government. There have been scenes of imbecilic insensibility as the couple do the rounds. Young mothers, with their barely sentient offspring, have been waiting at strategic points for the young couple as they arrive at various venues. Bad weather has proven no deterrent.

People of all age groups have gathered, phones at the ready, to take those snaps that will be shared with the enthusiastic dissemination of a nymphomaniac with venereal disease.  Hours have been expended in the hope to gain a fleeting glance of the royal candy. Even more unforgivably, nominally respectable journalists have taken to holding flags in anticipation, becoming the very spectacle they are covering.

The words of the Dubbo speech by Prince Harry have been poured over with a reverence befitting subjects rather than citizens, an immaturity that does much to dispel notions of a firm egalitarian sensibility.  The prince was, after all, speaking to “the salt of the earth”, the “backbone of this country.”  Harry had turned shrink — or at least a patient healed by one. The rural occupants of Australia’s farming communities, earth’s salt and national backbone, duly listened. “We know that suicide rates in rural and remote areas are greater than in urban populations and this may be especially true among young men in remote regions.” He spoke of “one huge community and with that comes an unparalleled internal support and understanding.”

The Duke and Duchess were being portrayed as the accessible royal couple, and those who dare venture into the outback. “The best part about visiting country Australia,” claimed the prince, “is the people.”  Well and good, but Harry was merely following a scheduled pattern stretching back to 1954 when his grandmother made Dubbo a stopping point to visit her subjects, all part of visiting “her people”.

Former residents made their return just to see another royal visit. The Dubbo-born sisters Elizabeth Atkin and Sharon Askew (nee Hind) expressed their gushing desire to revisit some family folklore, given that their grandmother had been asked to prepare a posy of flowers for Queen Elizabeth on that Dubbo tour. “It’s because of this history and it is important to us,” explained Atkin, “it has become your family folk-law.” The Daily Liberal, one of the papers covering the events in Dubbo enticed readers to search through any pictures that might have been snapped of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex during their “Picnic in the Park.” “See if… you’re in our pictures.”

Some local must always be selected for the occasion, the point where the royal meets subject, and that subject, it so happens, was Luke Vincent of Buninyong Primary School. Of immediate interest to the child was the Prince’s beard — the royal facial hair within hand’s reach. Principal Anne van Dartell was beside herself in ecstatic observation; Luke’s mother, Danielle Sparrow, “just started crying and shaking” being “happy because that’s just Luke and the love he shows.” The lachrymose campaign had taken hold. “That’s our Lukey, the Lukey-love-effect, he’s just full of lots of love.”

The visit had brought out the obsessives, the surveillance vultures keen to capture every single moment of the tour.  An Instagram fan page dedicated to the couple notes with somewhat creepy insistence each “special moment”, a “pretty much minute by minute” account on “cute” scenes. The vanquishing of any Australian republic, without bayonet, cannon or musket, has been assured, not merely because of a continued desire to see monarchy as the tit of reassurance, but its youth as modern celebrities of a social media world which has sacralised them as creatures to be revered rather than mocked.

  • Related: “Canada’s Head-of-State.”
  • The Negan Syndrome

    Overnight, like a flash of light, the far right took another big step forward on the world stage. Brazil’s latest voting results as of October 7th are testimony to the grinding power and overwhelming influence of the irrepressible far-right, a worldwide phenomenon that brings in its wake the death knell of liberal democracy, aka the establishment, aka neoliberal globalism pick one the same as another.

    Like a powerful grinding machine that never lets up, far-right-wingers are gaining ground in key political battlegrounds across the globe. And, guess what? They’re popular, very popular. People like them and vote for them. It’s why they’re winning big, very big!

    It’s only too obvious that voters like the roughness and toughness of far-right candidates, similar to the ornery, conniving Negan character in the wildly popular (in the recent past) The Walking Dead TV series that clearly revealed, for all to see, no compunction whatsoever about bashing in the heads of iconic establishment characters, utilizing “Lucille,” Negan’s baseball bat wrapped with barbed wire.

    As one of the great villains of all-time, Negan mercilessly bashed-in the heads of Abraham and Glenn, two favs of the long-standing TV series, while they sat on their haunches, hands tied behind their backs. Did the TV audience watch without covering their eyes, and how many were wide-eyed and filled with great anticipation and intrigue over the upcoming bloody disfigurations.

    It is instructive that Negan’s victims were defenseless with hands tied behind their backs in a lineup including the TV series established characters, from Rick to Carol to Daryl, grieving in the wide open spaces as Negan’s boorish crew “the Saviors” stood by as their leader swung Lucille (named after Negan’s wife) before stopping at the first victim: Whack, Whack, Whack, followed by a strange lowly gurgle.

    The juxtaposition of Negan taking down establishment actors of the TV series to Trump taking down America’s establishment leaders at the Republican presidential debates is too perfect to pass up.

    Thereafter, the highest-ranking Democrat fell in similar vein as Trump stalked Hillary’s every move, in Negan’s irritating fashion, at every chance in public debate. Voters ate it up, not missing a beat and cast their votes based upon manliness.

    Notably, the Negans of the world are very popular. People vote for them. Their underlying message is deadly as for the established order, Democrat or Republican or Social Democrat, whichever, and anything “establishment” is red meat.

    Wherefore, Brazilian Congressman Jair Bolsonaro takes center stage. He is running for the presidency of the fifth largest country in the world (population 210M). They call him “Brazil’s Trump,” but he is more Negan than Trump.

    Bolsonaro one-ups Trump on multiple levels similar to Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte or Egyptian dictator General Abdel El-Sisi. Similar to Duterte, Bolsonaro proposes to unleash the military and police into the nation’s slums to “indiscriminately murder anyone suspected of being a criminal.” Kill them!

    And, just for good measure, he has also put a target on the chests of several mainstream Brazilian politicians “to be killed!” Down with the establishment. Kill them!

    Bolsonaro is the “Negan of Brazil” and looks promising to be elected el presidente on October 28th. In fact, it’s almost a given that he’ll become the new president, running against the leftist candidate in the runoffs ex-São Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad.

    Bolsonaro “crushed it” in recent runoff elections, gaining a mind-boggling 60% of the votes in the State of Rio de Janeiro. Not only, his party swept to victory all across the country, registering shockingly high margins of victory. It stunned the establishment into a state of abysmal silence, somewhat similar to Trump’s eye-bulging surprise win.

    For example, former President Dilma Rousseff, who had a strong lead by wide margins in polls for a Senate seat, was decimated; fourth place behind two far right wing candidates. She was creamed!

    Remarkably, Bolsonaro couldn’t be stopped by a knife wound to the gut in early September (putting him in intensive care), or by hundreds of thousands of women publicly demonstrating against his merciless misogyny (late September), or by mainstream journals like The Economists labeling him “Latin America’s Latest Menace” or by The New York Times declaring “Brazil Flirts With a Return to the Dark Days” all of which seemed to drive more voters to booths en masse.

    The bitter truth is that Brazilian voters casts ballots in opposition to the establishment ruling class that has failed them on many levels. This modus is all too familiar worldwide as the establishment throughout the world caves-in time and again in the face of a distraught working class that has lost all hope.

    As for one fitting example, Obama won on promises of hope. His most effective electioneering ploy was the iconic “HOPE” poster designed by street artist Shepard Fairey. Voters reached out to that message but to no avail.

    The “deplorables” (Hillary Clinton’s biggest mistake and a misnomer) are, in fact, voters found in large numbers everywhere from the Philippines to the United States to Brazil. In the U.S. they embraced Trump with fervor, and he awkwardly addressed some of their grievances, like unfair trade blamed for loss of good-paying jobs. It is true. Good-paying jobs have gone offshore for more than a generation, exported to the lowest common denominator of wages and benefits. The lower, the better. This has gone on now long enough to sink into the fabric of working class mentality: They’ve been screwed, and after a while it hurts, a lot, and they know it and vote it!

    The backlash against liberal democracy’s nightmarish creation called “neoliberal globalism” is fierce and deep and bitter. That backlash knows no boundaries because hope is as dead as a doornail. Hope is the final frontier of political leadership, but Obama bushwhacked hope. Ipso facto, Trump unwarily stumbled into riding on a wave of fierce backlash by the workers of the world, which includes all classes below the elites; take notice.

    The frustration is everywhere as the far-right mushrooms in popularity throughout the world, Albanian National Front Party, Peoples Reconstruction Party (Argentina), National Socialist Movement of Denmark, European Alliance for Freedom, National Front (France), National Democratic Party of Germany, Golden Dawn (Greece), Icelandic National Front, American Freedom Party (U.S.), National Front (UK) amongst many, many more, all enlarging like the spread of an uncontrollable breakout of the plague that decimated the European continent in the 14th century.

    Alternative for Germany (far right) is now Germany’s second most popular party behind Chancellor Merkel’s coalition government. And in Italy, the Interior Minister Matteo Salvini is the poster boy for Europe’s resurgent far-right. According to a Bloomberg analysis, support for far-right parties is at a 30-year high as one of the biggest motivators; i.e., migrant arrivals, has dropped off precipitously.  Yet, national populism is strongest where the fewest refugees or migrants arrived, for example, in Hungary.

    Not only that, but in America Black, Latino, and Asians are joining multiracial right wing groups. This strange paradox is really no paradox at all according to Yale associate professor Daniel Martinez-HoSang, author of Producers, Parasites, Patriots: Race and the New Right-Wing Politics of Precarity, (University of Minnesota Press, April 2019, in hardcover).

    Martinez-HoSang describes a multiracial far-right that is equally far-right in terms of beliefs, hierarchy, embracing violence, necessity of strong state authority, but remarkably not clashing with belief in a white ethnostate. It’s a clever political twist unified by allegiance to strongman personalities.

    With hindsight, it is fascinating that the Trump presidential campaign identified a huge overlap with the audience of The Walking Dead as potential Trump voters. During the election campaign they committed funds heavily to Trump ads during The Walking Dead TV series and on social networking to fans of the program.

    In like spirit, The Walking Dead was all about a life-and-death struggle between the “I” and the “Other,” fear of strangers, enclosing of borders, and strong statehood over universal values. Significantly, strongman Negan ruled by fear, similar to what underlies an embarrassing cave-in by the Congressional Republican acquiescence to Trump, similar in fashion to reverence for Negan by the Saviors.

    Meanwhile, Brazil’s strongman Bolsonaro is the embodiment of the brutish Negan Syndrome as he willy-nilly dictates death warrants but still garners votes galore. He buries establishment candidates.

    And, not to forget that Trump did say he could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and not lose any voters. Similar to Bolsonaro, he was right. Fascinatingly, Trump thoroughly, very assiduously understands the Far Right, maybe better than Bolsonaro or Duterte or El-Sisi. Imagine that!

    US-Russian Exchanges Gather Momentum

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    If a single exchange stood out during the tense interview of President Trump with the CBS News 60 Minutes on Sunday — Washington Post listed 8 of them — I would say it was when he tried to filibuster Lesley Stahl over the topic of ‘Russian meddling’ in the American elections.

    Stahl kept taunting Trump but all she’d get was Trump repeating, ‘But China also meddled in the US elections.’ When she pointed out that she was asking about Russia, Trump repeated calmly, “And I think, frankly, China is a bigger problem”. Later, Stahl recounted that out of all 4 interviews she’s taken with Trump in the past 2 years, he was different this time: “He’s truly President. He felt it, I felt it.” Now, that was fulsome compliment from someone who is known to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.

    Most certainly, Trump is unceremoniously shifting the narrative on Russia by laterally inserting China into it. He calculates that it pays, since ‘Russia collusion’ did not turn out to be a campaign issue in the midterm election in US, after all. Besides, the tide of opinion in the US regarding China has changed so dramatically and the focus is no longer on Russia. Arguably, engaging Russia as ‘counterweight’ to China might even appeal to the American opinion. Henry Kissinger long advocated it.

    Suffice to say, US National Security Advisor John Bolton’s visit to Moscow next week will be taking place in a rapidly changing international setting. The Russian side has highlighted Syria and North Korea as key topics in Bolton’s talks with his Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev.

    Meanwhile, an Israeli foreign ministry delegation also held consultations in Moscow today. The Russian readout said, “The sides have exchanged opinions on a broad agenda, including current issues of Russian-US relations, international security, issues of arms control and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction with special attention paid to the situation in the Middle East.” Simply put, Bolton will be travelling to Moscow with inputs from Tel Aviv.

    In fact, “a full round of consultations on the situation on the Korean Peninsula” was due to take place today in Moscow between the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov and the US Special Representative for North Korean Stephen Biegun.

    On Monday, curiously, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu made a public overture to Russia that he highly valued friendly relations with President Vladimir Putin and their mutual respect. Netanyahu said this at the Knesset. He said he maintained direct contact with Russian President Vladimir Putin and placed high value on their friendly relations and respect for each other. “This helps us cope with the most serious challenges in our region,” Netanyahu added. He stressed the importance of this for Israel’s security.

    Clearly, Bolton will also take note that Russian-Israeli relations are returning to ‘business as usual’. Indeed, the reopening of the Quneitra border crossing between Israel and Syria last week has been a major Russian initiative. Again, the Russian deployment of S-300 missile system in Syria has brought about a degree of predictability to the security situation, which provides a platform for Russian diplomacy to address the other issues of Syria’s stabilization.

    In this sudden burst of diplomatic activity, it cannot be accidental that the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov did some some loud thinking today that Moscow regards it “useful” if a meeting between Putin and US President Donald Trump takes place on the sidelines of the festivities to mark the centenary of the end of World War 1 in Paris on November 11 – although this “has not been raised by either party yet and no preparations are underway in this area.” Now, it’s no big secret that Peskov says only what Putin wants him to say.

    Of course, Russians just hinted that they’d welcome a meeting between Putin and Trump in Paris – so that Bolton can come prepared with a response. There is very little time left for the Paris event to prepare for a summit. The Russian assessment seems to be that given the perceptible mellowing of American rhetoric lately, a summit meeting might prove productive. US-Russia talks on arms control is an urgent priority as well for Moscow.

    Significantly, Peskov also hyped up Russia’s cooperation with European countries. He said, “This cooperation never ceased to exist, its volume either shrinks or increases, we are faced with a set of negative factors, which exert a restraining impact on this cooperation, but our interaction never came to a halt and will never stop as well.” Again, Peskov spoke to no audience in particular, but the remarks come after a string of European pronouncements lately, including at the level of French President Emmanuel Macron, stressing the importance of Russia as the West’s interlocutor for addressing various regional and global issues.

    All in all, the signs are that Russian-American exchanges are resuming with a degree of seriousness. One way of looking at it is that the relations had become so bad that they can only improve now. However, there could even be positive fallouts on the Syrian situation.

    If a Trump-Putin meeting takes place in Paris on November 11, it will be just 5 days after the results of the mid-term election get known. But from Peskov’s remarks, the Russian side isn’t particularly perturbed. The big question is what happens to the Robert Mueller investigation on ‘Russian collusion’. In the CBS interview on Sunday, Trump kept open his presidential prerogative to terminate the investigation.

    Reprinted with permission from India Punchline.

    How the Corporate State Murders Free Speech

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    If you read anything today, read Andre Damon’s analysis of the concerted  effort by the state and its corporate partners—the very essence corporatism, fascism as Mussolini described it—to once again dominate the narrative as it did before the internet and the web.

    Damon critiques a paper put out by the Atlantic Council. The author, John T. Watts, a former Australian Army officer and consultant to the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security, writes that in order for the state to regain its monopoly over the narrative, it must engage in censorship

    The problem, according to Watts, is that “Technology has democratized the ability for sub-state groups and individuals to broadcast a narrative with limited resources and virtually unlimited scope… In the past, the general public had limited sources of information, which were managed by professional gatekeepers.”

    Damon clarifies:
    In other words, the rise of uncensored social media allowed small groups with ideas that correspond to those of the broader population to challenge the political narrative of vested interests on an equal footing, without the “professional gatekeepers” of the mainstream print and broadcast media, which publicizes only a pro-government narrative.

    The most striking element of the document, however, is that it is not describing the future, but contemporary reality. Everything is in the present tense. The machinery of mass censorship has already been built.
    If the dismemberment murder of Jamal Khashoggi demonstrates anything, it is that the state will use the most extreme measures to maintain its monopoly of power.

    The uninformed may argue this would never happen in America. Granted, the liquidation of serious opposition to the neoliberal regime usually does not require murder and dismemberment, although it has resorted to assassination in a number of cases (the murders of the Kennedy brothers, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and Fred Hampton come to mind).

    The state always wars against dissent. From the Palmer Raids to COINTELPRO and beyond, there is a mechanism waiting in the shadows to undermine, sabotage, and eliminate political dissent.

    Reprinted with permission from KurtNimmo.Blog.

    Tucker Carlson’s Marijuana Malarkey

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    In August, Tucker Carlson declared at his Fox News show that it would be an act of war on the United States for the Mexico government to cease engaging in a war on heroin. Carlson even supported his wacky conclusion by pointing to drug overdose deaths in America, despite those deaths in fact being multiplied because of the US war on drugs. On Wednesday, Carlson was back at his show spouting drug war nonsense — this time expressing his dread of marijuana legalization that kicked in this week countrywide in Canada potentially spreading throughout America.

    The nonsense starts in the first words Carlson states in his introduction of guest Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project. Carlson begins: “Well Canada has become just the second country in the history of the world to fully legalize the sale of marijuana as well as the recreational consumption.” The inclusion of the phrase “in the history of the world” gives the impression that prohibition has been the norm throughout world history, from thousands of years BC until Uruguay legalized marijuana sales in 2017. Carlson would need look no further than his own country of America to see the ridiculousness of this suggestion. From the founding of the Unites States government in the 1700s through the early 1900s, the national government did not prohibit the sale or use of marijuana. In fact, it did not prohibit the sale or use of other now-illegal drugs such as cocaine either.

    Next up, Carlson dwells on the danger that marijuana “makes people less likely to act” and “more passive.” Of course, that is not true across-the-board as marijuana use can help people see things in a new way, leading to innovations in how they act in the future. Think of it as a form of brainstorming aid. It can also serve as rejuvenating relaxation and distraction, as can taking a break from work and chores to listen to music or play a sport. Nevertheless, assuming that Carlson’s assessment is correct, it would just as well be an argument for making illegal many other activities, such as watching a TV sitcom, taking a walk, or playing a card game.

    One thing Carlson seems to be trying to argue is that legalization leads to a bunch of people turning into Cheech-and-Chong-style full-time “stoners.” As Tvert responds to Tucker, “that’s like saying everyone who enjoys a cocktail after work with their friends is a lush.” And even if marijuana use makes some people less productive, that is how freedom operates. With freedom, someone can choose to become an overachieving business dynamo or to be mellow, taking time to smell the roses and, maybe, eat a marijuana brownie.

    Where Carlson’s comments may be most outrageous in the interview is when he responds to Tvert’s statement that “hundreds of thousands of Americans are arrested every year for marijuana.” Responds Carlson: “No, no one in most places is arrested for a joint.” Here are the numbers Tom Angell at Marijuana Moment derived from US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) data: 659,700 marijuana arrests in America in 2017, accounting for 40.4 percent of drug arrests that year and made up mostly of arrests for mere marijuana possession, instead of for selling or growing the plant.

    Further, if Carlson’s declaration that Americans are not being arrested for possessing marijuana were true, that would undercut his primary assertion that keeping marijuana illegal is needed to prevent the marijuana zombie apocalypse.

    Watch Carlson’s complete interview with Tvert here:



    Fundamentally, the reason marijuana should be legal is that people have a right to use it, even if their choosing to use it has negative consequences. But, Carlson makes clear in this Fox News interview that he is not interested in this sort of argument, telling his guest near the end of their discussion, “don’t give me that personal freedom garbage.”