Yeah, I know that we're surrounded by propaganda these days. This blog has been fighting the NDAA for a while -- and the fight just became more significant than ever, now that we learn of a new provision which allows the DoD to foist lies on the American public
The NDAA amendment lifts bans on propaganda that have been around since the 1940s, neutralizing laws put in place to protect the American people from its government’s own “misinformation” campaigns.
“It removes the protection for Americans,” a Pentagon official told Buzzfeed, who broke the story. "There are no checks and balances. No one knows if the information is accurate, partially accurate, or entirely false.”
The amendment would remove all distinction between a hostile foreign audience and American one, turning the massive information operation apparatus within the federal government against its own people.
Click on the link to learn what you can do.
Speaking of propaganda... New York City
just played into the hands of conservative propagandists who want to portray "blue state" governments as intrusive and controlling. In order to combat obesity, New York just banned restaurants and movie theaters from selling sugary sodas in sizes over 16 ounces.
In the first place, this kind of regulation really is
intrusive and controlling. Government has no business telling citizens which foods they may or may not consume, as long the public is not misled into buying spoiled or poisonous foodstuff. In the second place, the plan is foolish and unworkable, since most fast food joints (and some movie theaters) offer free refills. In the third place -- what about diet drinks?
The divine gaffe.
Normally, I dislike our media's focus on the Great Gaffe Game, since these inane "gotcha" moments never amount to anything significant. But I do love this one; it comes from Mitt Romney's new phone app.
In fact, I consider "AmerCIA" to be the finest blunder that any politician has given us since Ronald Reagan's sublime "Facts are stupid things."
Bravo, Mitt! May "AmerCIA" enter the lexicon!
The SEC is useless.
You already knew that, of course. But just in case you didn't, check out Matt Taibbi's latest
: "SEC: Taking on Big Firms is 'Tempting,' But We Prefer Whaling on Little Guys."
The S.E.C. in recent years has failed in almost every possible way a regulator can fail to police powerful criminals. Failure #1 was that it repeatedly fell down on the job even when alerted to problems at big companies well ahead of time by insiders.
The S.E.C.’s attitude toward whistleblowers at powerhouse companies has not just been aloof or indifferent, it’s been downright hostile at times. Whistleblowers commonly report being treated as though they're the criminal.
In the last year or so I’ve heard from several attorneys who represent smaller clients who tell me they’re flabbergasted, watching the S.E.C. give the Chases, Goldmans, and Citigroups free ride after free ride while their pockmarked little clients at fledgling public companies get served the whole regulatory meal for minor disclosure violations – even cases that simply involve bad paperwork, where money isn’t even stolen. If you’re a little tech startup and there’s a $100,000 problem in your books, you can expect the full Princess Bride torture machine treatment, with multiple agents assigned to your case, serious criminal penalties, asset seizures, etc.
Have we been told the truth about the Syrian massacre?
This is a huge damned story -- one which I have been rather too cowardly to deal with, since the initial questioning of the official version appeared on some rather "iffy" sites, including one run by the dreaded Alex Jones. But now the BBC
is lending credence to the theory that the massacre was committed not by the Syrian government but by the America-supported rebels.
Yes, him again.
I don't want to pay much more attention to the Brett Kimberlin meme, since no-one outside of the right seems interested. To the denizens of Glenn Beckistan, Evil Kimberlin is the most insidious liberal mastermind since the manufactured menace of Saul Alinsky.
But to everyone else, he's still "Brett who
That said, I must make note of the latest news, since it is rather astounding. The backstory: Kimberlin got into a tiff with a blogger named Aaron Walker, a conservative who hates him -- really, really
hates him, with that special kind of hyper-hate known only to jilted lovers and far rightists in the throes of rage-gasm. I don't know the details, but apparently Kimberlin, claiming harassment, asked for a restraining order (or something similar, as provided by Maryland law) against this Walker fellow. Walker, of course, complained that Kimberlin was harassing him
Frankly, I expected this courtroom row to go against Kimberlin, if only because the guy's rep is lower than an ant's ankles. We're talking about an ex-con who had been jailed for a very serious crime, and who was later portrayed as a con artist in a book by a New Yorker
writer. One would not expect a judge to show Brett Kimberlin any favor.
I still don't know exactly what happened in that Maryland courtroom, but whatever it was -- not only was Kimberlin exonerated, Walker has gone to jail
Judge ruled that case was built upon FALSE NARRATIVE that Aaron Walker created as revenge plot against Mr. Kimberlin.
Judge ruled that Aaron Walker did in fact ASSAULT Mr. Kimberlin.
Judge ruled that Medical Records that Mr. Kimberlin had produced at a prior trial were in fact legitimate medical records pertaining to the assault – and not forged documents as Mr. Walker had claimed in a number of articles.
Judge ruled that Mr. Walker had a clear purpose/motive in inciting people to attack Mr. Kimberlin.
Video that Aaron Walker used to claim exoneration did not in fact exonerate him of an assault.
It is difficult or impossible to feel much sympathy for a man with Brett Kimberlin's record, so one can only imagine how Walker behaved in that courtroom if he evinced such a reaction from a judge. As noted above, I do not yet know the details of this case. But I do know this: A restraining order is a restraining order, assault is assault, the law is the law, and even people we do not like have rights. Kimberlin paid for his crimes, and now Walker must do likewise.