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Jan 2019 picks

The top five mainstream media myths that perpetuate income inequality

The Real News Network
The Real News takes aim at the top 5 mainstream myths that bolster income inequality and tout the ultra-rich.

Number 5: Your living wage is killing us
Number 4: The unaffordable care act
Number 3: The rich deserve more
Number 2: Neoliberalism to the rescue
Number 1: Small steps to nowhere

US government entitled to seize Snowden's profits from memoir

Permanent Record, in which Snowden recounts how he came to the decision to leak the top secret documents revealing government plans for mass surveillance, was published in September. Shortly afterwards, the US government filed a civil lawsuit contending that publication was “in violation of the non-disclosure agreements he signed with both the CIA and the National Security Agency (NSA)”, and that the release of the book without pre-publication review by the agencies was “in violation of his express obligations”. Snowden’s lawyers had argued that if the author had believed that the government would review his book in good faith, he would have submitted it for review.

In response, Snowden wrote on Twitter: “The government may steal a dollar, but it cannot erase the idea that earned it … I wrote this book for you, and I hope the government’s ruthless desperation to prevent its publication only inspires you read it – and then gift it to another.” 
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/dec/…

Bolivia’s free territory of Chapare has ousted the coup regime and is bracing for a bloody re-invasion

Spending time with the union members of Chapare, who run society in a collective fashion, offers special insights into the resistance to the coup. They succeeded in expelling the police, but now fear a bloodbath in retaliation.

by Ollie Vargas
Part 1

Known as Bolivia’s Chapare region, the Tropico of Cochabamba is a sanctuary for elected President Evo Morales’ most dedicated base of support. Since the November 10 coup, it has effectively become a self-governing territory where the military junta is absent.

The police and military were sent in full retreat from this area the coup began and were told they would only be welcomed back if the they “get on their knees and apologize” to the community.

In this 12,000 square kilometer swath of land, hundreds of unions have flourished over the years. I spent several days with the union rank and file, witnessing how they run society in a collective fashion, and how they have organized ferocious resistance to a right-wing coup government that threat…

US-backed parties have infiltrated Lebanon’s protests, pushing the country toward war amid economic collapse

By joining the roadblocks around Beirut, protesters allowed themselves to be used by US-allied parties playing a dangerous game that has the potential to explode into open warfare
by Rania Khalek
Part 4 - Cooperation and integration versus the West’s recipe for fragmentation
The Lebanese economy is facing imminent collapse. Unemployment is spreading, prices are spiking and the street price of the Lebanese lira continues to devalue. There is little that can be done to avoid the collapse, which has been thirty years in the making.

The implosion of the Lebanese economy is spilling over into Syria, which was already teetering on the edge of economic collapse due to eight years of war, government mismanagement and US sanctions designed to collapse the country. Syria was relying on Lebanon as its access point to purchase goods for imports. Now that too is gone. Lebanon’s economic crisis is also affecting Syrian elites who placed their money in Lebanese banks during the war and cannot access i…

Don’t let the smears that sank Corbyn tank Bernie Sanders

by Asa Winstanley
Part 4 - The smears worked
Meanwhile, Israel and its lobby groups inside and outside the Labour Party continued to attack Corbyn.

Even on polling day, Shurat HaDin, an acknowledged front-group for Israel’s Mossad spy agency, tweeted at high-profile Labour supporters accusing them of encouraging a “a vote for terror.
Earlier in the week Yair Lapid, co-leader of Israel’s main opposition party openly stated he was going to “interfere” in the UK’s election.

He then asserted that “Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite.

This came after years of open and covert interference to abort the threat of Corbyn reaching 10 Downing Street.

The lie was always the same – presented without evidence – that the massive popular movement that elected Corbyn to the leadership was infested by anti-Semites.

But propaganda – as powerful and widespread as it was – is not the main reason the anti-Semitism smears worked.
Source, links:
https://electronicintifada.net/content/dont-let-smears-sank-corbyn-t…

Antisemitism claims have one goal: To stop Jeremy Corbyn winning power

The Jewish community’s alienation from Labour has been years in the making - but it is Johnson's Conservatives who have embraced hostility to minorities
Jonathan Cook
Part 11 - One-sided programme
Respondents had been influenced, Philo pointed out, by headlines like “Corbyn’s antisemite army” or descriptions of Labour as “riddled with antisemites”. He also noted the role of the BBC, which is widely trusted, in bolstering the misleading coverage. 
Its recent Panorama programme “Is Labour Anti-Semitic?” presented 17 former Labour staffers attacking the Corbyn-led party. But the programme-makers failed to identify who these critics were. Many were in fact Israel lobbyists – one was even a former employee of the Israeli embassy in London.

While the show included one person replying to the complaints, it entirely excluded the many Jewish voices in Labour that defend Corbyn. Philo observed that both the BBC and Guardian, two media organisations often seen as offering a counterweight to th…

The dream is over: how Boris Johnson won the UK election

by T.J. Coles
Part 1
After the shock and the grief comes reflection. After reflection comes renewed determination. But under Britain’s sham of a democracy, the public won’t get the chance to remove the vile creature put into No. 10 by 14 million or so voters for at least five years; and even then, a government has the legal right to seek a general election prior to the five-year period if it is doing well in the public opinion polls, effectively giving itself long-term reign. The defeated Labour party’s forthcoming decision will be fateful. 
With Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership position now untenable, will the party members elect another Blairite (i.e., someone to the right of the party and the voting public) amid the media clamor of “we told you so,” in reference to Corbyn’s dangerous “radicalism” (read: centrism). Or will they elect a Corbynista to lead the party into the next general election and stick to the principles of democratic-socialism, at least to a degree?
Labour’s electoral p…

Roger Waters on Julian Assange: UK's national security state doesn't care about the law!

Going Underground
Afshin Rattansi speaks with Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters on the UK General Election 2019 results. Waters discusses the media's campaign against Corbyn, anti-Semitism allegations against Corbyn and the Labour Party, why he believes Boris Johnson is an 'oaf and a complete buffoon', why the national security state feared Jeremy Corbyn.

Abby Martin & Lowkey: a deeper look at the UK election

Empire Files
Abby Martin is joined by legendary British-Iraqi rapper and political activist Lowkey. They discuss the recent election loss by Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party but go beyond the headlines, discussing the legacy of the British Empire, neoliberal austerity, how the military and intelligence agencies interfered in the elections, the role of Israel, and the lessons the Bernie Sanders movement can learn from the left-wing loss.

The impeachment's moral hypocrisy

The impeachment process was a nauseating display of moral hypocrisy. The sound bites by Republicans and Democrats swiftly became predictable. The Democrats, despite applauding the announcement of the voting results before being quickly silenced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, sought to cloak themselves in gravitas and solemnity. Pelosi’s calculated decision to open the impeachment proceedings with the 1954 “under God” version of the Pledge of Allegiance was an appropriate signal given the party’s New McCarthyism. The Democrats posited themselves as saviors, the last line of defense between a constitutional democracy and tyranny. 
The Republicans, as cloyingly sanctimonious as the Democrats, offered up ludicrous analogies to attack what they condemned as a show trial, including Rep. Barry Loudermilk’s statement that “Pontius Pilate afforded more rights to Jesus than the Democrats have afforded to this president.” The Republicans shamelessly prostrated themselves throughout the 10-hour …

The Boris Johnson version of Iliad!

Jo Di

As a native Greek speaker who studied ancient Greek, the Iliad and Odyssey (and other ancient Greek texts/plays) over 4 years at high school (part of the compulsory curriculum in Greek state schools) I can confirm I understood absolutely nothing of what he is saying. https://t.co/E4Yxrp4nCn— Yiokasti Mouratidi (@YiokastiM) December 24, 2019

Suppression before uprising: how the system attempts to push societies away from the practice of protesting

globinfo freexchange
Six years ago we wrote that controlled information that reaches the media and reproduced by them, may include the overestimated capability of governments to monitor, for example, an extremely large number of phone conversations. Even if there is such a possibility, such huge amount of data is extremely difficult to be processed. However, the technology is evolving rapidly, and possibly will allow processing of large amount of data in very short time, in the near future. When technology will allow this, people will have already become familiar with the idea that any conversation can be investigated and processed any time.
Today, it seems that not only we reached that point, but the establishment apparatus seeks to 'train' us to accept an elevated form of suppression, through a rapidly growing surveillance technology.

A recent article published in NY Times proves that the establishment apparatus will seek to expand the suppression state in unprecedented leve…

While Evo’s MAS party regroups, Bolivia’s coup leaders are eating each other alive

Humiliating scandals are destroying right-wing leader Luis Fernando Camacho and the right is fracturing as a more militant MAS party readies for an uphill election battle.
by Wyatt Reed
Part 3 - MAS re-emerges from the coup more militant and motivated for victory
In Cochabamba on December 7, thousands of members of Bolivia’s MAS party descended on the Coliseo de la Coronilla to determine the future of the left-wing political powerhouse, which led the impoverished Latin American country to unprecedented levels of shared prosperity under the tutelage of President Evo Morales.

From exile in Mexico, Morales phoned in to announce to raucous cheers that he had accepted his nomination as MAS campaign director for the upcoming proposed elections. Outside, vendors hawking indigenous Wiphala flags and DVDs documenting the recent army massacres in Sacana and Senkata struggled to be heard above the roar of flyovers by Bolivian military, who buzzed the massive crowd periodically with the same aircra…

US-backed parties have infiltrated Lebanon’s protests, pushing the country toward war amid economic collapse

By joining the roadblocks around Beirut, protesters allowed themselves to be used by US-allied parties playing a dangerous game that has the potential to explode into open warfare
by Rania Khalek
Part 3 - Fear of Amal, hatred of corrupt leadership, and lack of ideology
In Tyre, protesters tore down Berri’s posters and torched the Tyre Rest House Resort, which they believe is owned by Randa Berri, though Nabih Berri denied it. When I visited Tyre two weeks later, hundreds of new posters of Berri had been erected that read, “the guarantor of Lebanon” and “we are all with you [Berri].”

The posters surrounded the small protest encampment located in a roundabout on the beach road. The protest was part art fair, part concert for families, with liberals and a few leftists filling the ranks. Demonstrators were careful not to name leaders like Berri in their chants and when interviewed, they often spoke in vague terms out of fear of Amal. Later in the night, Amal members provoked the protesters…

Don’t let the smears that sank Corbyn tank Bernie Sanders

by Asa Winstanley
Part 3 - Right-wing propaganda
This woeful situation came about because the British establishment, the Labour right and the pro-Israel lobby teamed up to fight a war to the death against Corbyn and what he represents.

Labour’s long-dominant and intransigent right-wing always refused to accept the democratic result of the 2015 leadership election, launching a failed coup against Corbyn in 2016.

But the right continued to sabotage the party, even as many anti-Corbyn lawmakers quit Labour.

Britain’s permanent security-intelligence apparatus was also involved.

Former and current military and intelligence sources constantly leaked and fabricated claims against Corbyn portraying him as a “security threat” and “extremist.”
In the days before the election a group of “former” British spies even peddled a far-right conspiracy theory against Corbyn, dubbed “Hijacked Labour.

It was published by The Sun, Britain’s most read newspaper and a cheerleader for the Conservative Party.

Both…

Antisemitism claims have one goal: To stop Jeremy Corbyn winning power

The Jewish community’s alienation from Labour has been years in the making - but it is Johnson's Conservatives who have embraced hostility to minorities
Jonathan Cook
Part 10 - Wildly inflated figures
Jews are as susceptible as everyone else to media propaganda and manufactured “moral panics”. And given their justifiable fears of a revival of antisemitism, they are likely to be even more open to manipulation by a media determined to block Corbyn’s path to power.

How effective this campaign has been outside the Jewish community is highlighted in a new book, Bad News for Labour
Academics Greg Philo and Mike Berry have noted the astonishing power of the media’s wildly inflated claims against Labour to dupe the British public. This has been equally true of Labour Party members, even when the media’s claims conflict with their own direct experience.

One survey they undertook for the book shows that on average respondents estimated that 34 per cent of Labour members had been accused of…

Technocracy now: The US is working to turn Lebanon’s anti-corruption protests against Hezbollah

While Lebanon’s protests remain focused on the economy and widespread corruption, Washington is increasingly determined to exploit the movement as a geopolitical weapon in the region.
by Rania Khalek
Part 8 -  Bringing Ukraine to Beirut
Hong Kong is not the only US-backed color revolution upheaval being marketed to protesters in Lebanon.

On November 8, a group called ARD.NEWS screened the controversial Netflix documentary “Winter On Fire.” The film presents a one-sided view of the Euromaidan protests, completely erasing the neo-Nazi and ultra-nationalist elements that formed the front lines of the demonstrations to topple the government and replace it with a hopelessly corrupt, EU-friendly technocracy.

This conflict has turned Ukraine into Europe’s poorest country, rendering its citizens dependent on a remittance economy and desperate to leave. A civil war has broken out in the country’s east, where the US has supplied arms to the Ukrainian military and ancillary groups like the neo-Na…

Promoting 'authoritative propaganda': YouTube openly admits it systematically suppresses independent media!

globinfo freexchange

On mid-July we wrote that an increased number of people who run independent YouTube channels reported that are being demonetized. Also, they see the number of viewings and subscribers being reduced significantly.

We observed that while the blog subscribed to various independent YouTube channels, when we go to the first page and search specific terms like "Syria", "Venezuela", "Bernie Sanders", "Tulsi Gabbard", etc., the first results give numerous videos from Western mainstream media like MSNBC, FOX News, CNN, BBC, etc. We can hardly find a video from our subscriptions, way below those results.

We concluded that all signs show that we have to deal with a well-organized operation.

On the one hand, YouTube algorithm directs audiences to the mainstream media propaganda, in an effort to bound them tightly to the establishment narratives. On the other hand, independent YouTube channels will be gradually eliminated due to the sig…

Evo Morales: in the capitalist system, in imperialist politics, the social movements are terrorists

redfish interview with Evo Morales
"The unity of the people will always be the defeat of the empire."
Bolivia’s ousted and exiled president Evo Morales speaking on the coup, the role of capitalism and imperialism in Latin America and the future of the struggle.

George Galloway: where are the pussyhats to defend Manning and Assange?

RT America
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange argued before a London judge via video he should not be extradited to the United States to face espionage charges because the offenses are political in nature. Assange's attorney, Edward Fitzgerald, also told the judge Assange is protected by a 2007 extradition treaty between the US and the UK. Former UK MP George Galloway weighs in.

How to save the world from financialization

The Real News Network
Labour Party advisor and author Grace Blakeley discusses her just released book, Stolen: How to Save the world from Financialization.

Newsweek reporter quits after editors block coverage of OPCW Syria scandal

The Grayzone
Journalist Tareq Haddad explains his decision to resign from Newsweek over its refusal to cover the OPCW's unfolding Syria scandal. According to whistleblower testimony and leaked documents, OPCW officials raised alarm about the suppression of critical findings that undermine the allegation that the Syrian government committed a chemical weapons attack in the city of Douma in April 2018. Haddad's editors at Newsweek rejected his attempts to cover the story. "If I don’t find another position in journalism because of this, I’m perfectly happy to accept that consequence," Haddad says. "It’s not desirable. But there is no way I could have continued in that job knowing that I couldn’t report something like this."

While Evo’s MAS party regroups, Bolivia’s coup leaders are eating each other alive

Humiliating scandals are destroying right-wing leader Luis Fernando Camacho and the right is fracturing as a more militant MAS party readies for an uphill election battle.
by Wyatt Reed
Part 2 - From right-wing golden boy to “damaged goods”
Luis Fernando Camacho rose to political prominence months ago, but cemented his status as coup figurehead after he broke into the Palacio Quemado, Bolivia’s presidential palace, with police assistance. In a bizarre act of colonialist kabuki theater, he placed a Bolivian flag and enormous Bible on the floor and declared that God had returned to the Presidential Palace.

Moments later, the pastor by Camacho’s side promised that “Pachamama will never return to the palace,” in a reference to the Andean spirit of Mother Earth.

As the former leader of the undeniably fascistic Union Juvenil Crucenista paramilitary and the separatist Santa Cruz Committee, Camacho has struggled to shake off a history of white supremacy and anti-indigenous violence. 
Marco Pum…

US-backed parties have infiltrated Lebanon’s protests, pushing the country toward war amid economic collapse

By joining the roadblocks around Beirut, protesters allowed themselves to be used by US-allied parties playing a dangerous game that has the potential to explode into open warfare
by Rania Khalek
Part 2 - In the South, Hezbollah and Amal clash
Western and Gulf media have attempted to portray the protests as an uprising against Hezbollah, losing themselves in an anti-Iran fantasy. There may be some elements of the protests that have chanted against Hezbollah and their weapons, but they reflect a small minority. Despite all outside attempts to co-opt the movement, the protests remain solidly focused on opposing corruption and the government as a whole.

Meanwhile, the international media has continued to erase the Hezbollah supporters who were crucial to the first two days of protests. The Western press has also ignored the ever-present chants against Israel and burning of American and Israeli flags. 

When Amal supporters from a nearby Shia neighborhood beat up protesters in downtown Bei…

Don’t let the smears that sank Corbyn tank Bernie Sanders

by Asa Winstanley
Part 2 - Smeared from the start
When it became clear in 2015 that a veteran Palestine solidarity activist would lead Britain’s main opposition party, the campaign began to falsely paint the movement that swept Corbyn into the leadership as anti-Semitic.

People are not stupid and usually know when they are being lied to. But propaganda sustained for long enough works. In this election, the lie began to cut through to the electorate.
Several Labour activists told me anti-Semitism came up on the doorstep and in conversations as reasons people could not vote Labour.

These views were held in a shallow, but wide fashion. When challenged, they crumbled.

But the problem was they were so rarely challenged as mainstream media repeated the claims about the party’s anti-Semitism as a given, with no need for evidence.

Indeed, Labour activists were even punished for challenging the smears.
A national poll commissioned by the Jewish News – a consistently anti-Palestinian publication…

Antisemitism claims have one goal: To stop Jeremy Corbyn winning power

The Jewish community’s alienation from Labour has been years in the making - but it is Johnson's Conservatives who have embraced hostility to minorities
Jonathan Cook
Part 9 - Revealing prejudices
The assumption of his critics – revealing their prejudices rather than his – is that Corbyn is referring to “Jews” when he speaks of bankers, capitalists, a corporate elite or the establishment. This process was tentatively started by Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle, but has become commonplace since. 
Marking the 10th anniversary of the financial crash last year, Corbyn warned that he would crack down on those responsible for nearly wrecking western economies by creating a giant Ponzi scheme that repackaged debt. He tweeted: “The people who caused it now call me a threat. They’re right.

Pollard responded: “This is ‘nudge, nudge, you know who I’m talking about, don’t you?’ And yes I do. It’s appalling.”  As writer David Rosenberg observed: “Stephen Pollard and Jeremy Corbyn. One o…