Saturday 8th of August 2020

a secret cornerstone upturned at the guardian...

cornerstone

Amid the US push for regime change in Venezuela, RT speaks with investigative journalists who looked into the eBay founder and self-described “progressive” billionaire Pierre Omidyar, a major patron of regime-change operations.

An ongoing series in MintPress News, written by Alexander Rubinstein and Max Blumenthal, is a rare look into the projects undertaken by the “progressive philanthropreneur,” who has been praised by the liberal interventionist establishment for following in the footsteps of George Soros but attracts far less media attention.

“Part of the reason for doing this investigation was to inspire more scrutiny of Pierre Omidyar,” Rubinstein told RT. “There are mountains of newsworthy bits of information about many of the organizations he funds, but the sad reality is that it would require a team of at least half a dozen journalists working overtime to fully make sense of it all.”

The second part in Blumenthal and Rubinstein’s series, published Wednesday, took a particular interest in Omidyar’s ties to organizations promoting “regime change.” In Ukraine, it was a TV station (Hromadske) that backed what turned into a violent 2014 coup against the government in Kiev. In Zimbabwe, Omidyar money funded a “cultural activist network” that campaigned for the ouster of President Robert Mugabe in 2017. And in the Philippines Omidyar is backing The Rappler, a news site opposed to President Rodrigo Duterte that is developing surveillance technologies like a “mood meter” of the audience to capture – and channel? – “non-rational reactions.”

Not progressivism but power

Omidyar is not doing this on his own, either, working hand in hand with US Agency for International Aid and Development (USAID) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

“He has the money and – for one reason or another– the desire to participate in such destabilizing policies,” Rubinstein told RT, noting that the billionaire’s embrace of such projects makes him “the perfect private partner for the US government” in seeking regime change abroad.

How does a self-described progressive find himself riding the horse of regime change? This is one of the questions Rubinstein and Blumenthal hope further research will answer. Their digging has found Omidyar’s money behind the Alliance for Securing Democracy and The Bulwark – projects led by NeverTrump neoconservative Bill Kristol that push “Russiagate” and carry the torch of interventionism.

“If partnering with the neocon think tank guru who was a main conduit for US government messaging in the lead-up to the Iraq War is ‘progressive’ then I think it’s time we retire the term,” Rubinstein told RT.

He believes that Omidyar is not driving the regime-change agenda, but going along with it in “the perfect alliance of convenience.”

“If you’re looking for a coherent ideology that permeates through each of Omidyar’s investments, it’s not progressivism: it’s power… and power lies with empire,” Rubinstein said.

More specifically, Omidyar is looking to manage all areas of modern life, from journalism and transportation to banking and finance and government administration, journalist Yasha Levine, author of ‘Surveillance Valley: The Secret Military History of the Internet,’ told MintPress.

To him it’s not just about running a single service, but integrating things together to give technocrats, business executives and government officials a God’s-eye view of the world – to manage and control society more efficiently.

The role of Omidyar and other billionaires – who would be called ‘oligarchs’ if they were Russian but keep being presented as ‘philanthropists’ in the West – in influencing media and politics around the world is woefully under-examined, Rubinstein and Blumenthal argue.

Controlled or ‘responsible’ opposition?

Part of the problem is that Omidyar funds a wide range of media outlets through foundations, nonprofits and other cutouts, and many journalists who consider themselves independent or progressive aspire to work at Omidyar-backed Intercept, famous for publishing (some of) the documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/452209-omidyar-network-regime-change/

 

joining the dots...

This website started as a way to air opinions that The Guardian would not allow in their comments section. Over time it evolved into fact-checking. Rarely has it been so simple. This is The Guardian’s latest story on the unfolding crisis in Venezuela, it is headlined:

 

Venezuela: Maduro accuses US of trying to ‘get hands on our oil’

 

That headline is technically true. Nicolas Maduro – the beseiged Venezuelan President and the MSM’s current “monster of the week” – did accuse the USA of wanting to control Venezuela’s vast crude oil deposits. He cited Iraq and Libya as recent examples of similar behaviour.

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This article in OffGuardian does not explain WHY the Guardian would be "trying" to unseat Maduro while the Guardian claims to be from the "left".  The article above with information sourced from an article written by Alexander Rubinstein and Max Blumenthal thus explains exactly the relationship between “progressive” billionaire Pierre Omidyar and the Guardian, including with LUKE HARDING... see:

when the guardian descends into the pit of hell-shit...

 

Meanwhile:

The narrative about dictator Maduro starving his own people aims to split a polarized Venezuela where the poor still support the government, while those backing the opposition are cashing in on the crisis, Max Blumenthal told RT.

Despite mainstream media painting a dire picture in which the entire Venezuelan society –of course, besides Maduro himself and his corrupt inner circle– are in desperate need of food and basic necessities, the independent journalist discovered a different situation while touring parts of the country.

“The problem here is with speculation,” Blumenthal told RT from Caracas, explaining that, while many food products indeed suffered from the massive hyperinflation triggered by the falling oil price and US sanctions, local supply to the population sometimes costs them nothing at all.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/452214-maduro-humanitarian-aid-blumenthal/

the guardian needs to examine its own brain...

..

Particularly when a statement feels “fluent” (easy to process) and familiar, we tend not to focus on the details and instead go with the gist. Unfortunately, there are many simple ways that purveyors of misinformation can tweak the presentation of their claims to increase a statement’s fluency and familiarity. 

One example is the use of imagery – photographs help us to visualise statements, which means they can be processed fluently – and therefore seem truer. We can see this with medical stories: people are more likely to believe a pseudoscientific claim if it has a brain scan alongside it.

Read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/apr/01/why-smart-people-are-more-...

 

 

This article is about a study by a young guy, David Robson,’s book: The Intelligence Trap: Why Smart People Do Stupid Things and How to Make Wiser Decisions

Nothing new here, Old Gus combats daily his own moronic, imbecilic, foolish, idiotic, cretinic, doltish, halfwitted, dunced, dullarded, simpletonian, nincompooped, blockheaded, ignoramus, cloddy, doped, thickheaded, dimwitted, dummy, knobhead, asshatted side (probably the left) of his brains. And I ask myself: "why did you do that for?"

A tad (more han a tad, truthfully) of red ned helps lower the tone of Gus's supersmartness so that he doesn't get fooled by being too smart. The point here is that if you don't undertand nor try to understand, you can't be fooled. Huh? Easy. Your mind is blank and stays blank...

And YES, purveyors of misinformation can tweak the presentation of their claims to increase a statement’s fluency and familiarity — including THE GUARDIAN's own bias. Sometimes the claims "may not be wrong" but are designed to push us into the wrong direction: the diagnostic could be right but WE ARE PRESCRIBED THE WRONG PILLS.

 

See also URGENTLY: 

dealing with the moronic one notion’s crew and the noah’s social club's chief, on a chemically lucky planet…

 

But the main point which is puzzling: who actually fools "intelligent people"? More intelligent people? Deceiving fools? Uncle Rupe?

uncle rupe

 


india develops fake science pride...

In recent years, "experts" have said ancient Indians had airplanes, spacecraft, the internet, and nuclear weapons—long before Western science came on the scene. Such claims and other forms of pseudoscience rooted in Hindu nationalism have been on the rise since Prime Minister Narendra Modi rose to power in 2014. Some researchers say they're a threat to science and education that stifles critical thinking and could hamper India's development. They blame the rapid rise at least in part on Vijnana Bharati, the science wing of Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, a massive conservative movement that aims to turn India into a Hindu nation.

 

Read more:

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/363/6428/679

 

Meanwhile in Poland:

 

Catholic priests in Poland burned objects and books they denounced as sacrilegious, including tales of fictional child wizard Harry Potter. On Facebook, the group quoted Bible passages condemning all forms of divination and magic.

The priests hail from ‘Fundacja SMS Z Nieba’, meaning ‘SMS from Heaven Foundation’, so-called because the order sends out religious messages via phone texts. The book burning took place at a church in Koszalin on Sunday.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/455281-poland-priests-burn-books/

the guardian in bed with the state...

The Guardian had been put in a position it never wanted. Its liberal reputation, and previous disclosures, had made it the newspaper of choice for WikiLeaks’ and Snowden’s revelations. But the scale of what had been uncovered threatened the fundamental interests of British and US imperialism. It therefore rolled over when the government told it to cease and desist, before taking its place alongside the rest of the right-wing media on the secret committee responsible for press censorship and propaganda dissemination.

One of Assange’s persecutors-in-chief, Luke Harding, enjoys the most intimate relations with the security services. His notorious November 2018 fabrication, claiming Assange held meetings with US President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort, was published in the Guardian just two weeks after Johnson was thanked for “re-establishing links” with the MoD. The story was widely cited and formed a keystone of the efforts, spearheaded by the Democrats in the US, to present WikiLeaks and “Russian interference” as the causes of Trump’s 2016 election victory.

Harding played a central role in silencing questions over the UK government’s bogus account of the Skripal affair in mid-2018. These events were the subject of at least one D-notice, issued while Paul Johnson was on the responsible committee.

An unintended but valuable consequence of the WikiLeaks exposures has been to explode the fraud of the Guardian’s claim to any critical independence from the state. The crimes of the major imperialist powers against the world’s population made available by WikiLeaks were so great that they could not be neutralised, even by the Guardian’s professional gatekeepers of the “truth.” Not a word published in this imperialist propaganda sheet can ever be taken at face value.

 

Read more:

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/06/22/guar-j22.html

 

See also:

http://yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/35882

 

 

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why does the guardian sully itself?...


From OffGardian...
Every week, on a Sunday, we like to highlight three or four stories that go full-Guardian, but don’t require an entire article of refutation.We encourage reader-participation here, so if you come across something you feel should be included in the next edition either post a link below, or send us an e-mail.

WEAPONISING THE LGBT VOTE

Both sides of the identity politics coin presented themselves in the Graun this week, both concerning LGBT rights and both concerning the Democratic Primaries.

To be brief, Warren is great and Bernie is shit.

In more detail, this article – ‘I felt seen for the first time’: why trans activists are rallying behind Elizabeth Warren – praises how open Warren is to the rights of transgender individuals. It doesn’t really go into the specifics, because those are hard, but suffice to say Warren made one transgender person feel listened to, so she’s great.

Meanwhile, Bernie praised Cuba – or, more accurately, suggested that in 60 years of governing the country, the Castro regime had managed to do one or two things right. 

This brought down the hammer of an angry gay rights activist in the opinion piece “If Bernie Sanders thinks Cuba is worth defending, he should talk to gay dissidents”. Apparently post-Revolutionary Cuba was very homophobic. The author gives us one anecdote to prove it (he doesn’t cite any legislation since homosexuality was never outright illegal in Cuba, unlike both Britain and parts of the US at that time).

The Wikipedia article on gay rights in Cuba has a few telling quotes, such as:

Many of the progressive LGBT persons who remained in Cuba became involved in counter-revolutionary activities, independently or through the encouragement of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and were jailed.

The author makes out that ALL gay men were detained or punished in Cuba, but that was not the case, it was only those who worked with the US to overthrow the government. Their crime was treason, not being gay. 

There were some homophobic attitudes, of course there were, it was a majority Catholic nation in 1959, but the author is overstating the situation to score easy political points. Which is made obvious by what he refuses to discuss…such as healthcare.

The article doesn’t discuss healthcare at all – where Cuba’s nationalised medicine gives free hormone treatment or gender-reassignment surgeries to transgender individuals, and where the most successful (free) AIDS treatment program in the world doubtless saved the lives of many who, in the US would have died, gone bankrupt or both.

Neither article talks about class. Because that’s what identity politics is for, to cripple real class analysis with surface-level issues which distract from poverty, social security and healthcare. The Guardian is always the tip of that spear.


THE WEST IGNORES THE GROWTH OF ISLAMIST INSURGENTS IN AFRICA AT ITS PERIL

Simon Tisdall is never satisfied. It doesn’t matter how many troops Western countries have stashed around the globe, it doesn’t matter how much tax-payer money is turned into bombs and bullets, it doesn’t matter just how much of the third world is trampled by Western boots…it’s not enough. In the past he has essentially campaigned for wars against pretty much everyone he doesn’t like the look of, up to and including Russia.

But this week it’s about Africa. Pretty much all of it above the equator. They are struggling with a growth of “Islamist insurgents”, and the West needs to “do more” about it. Because the US having bases in nearly every country in Africa isn’t enough. Neither is the UN’s 13,000 strong “peacekeeping” force for the region. The only country doing something is good old France, thanks to their “colonialist ties”.

(Tisdall is perhaps the only person in Europe who seems to like Macron, drooling over his reign in columns like this, while the people that have to live under his government are busy burning their cities down in protest. Bizarre.)

Simon doesn’t say what “do more” means, but we can assume it involves people from here, going there and shooting at things. Also, he never once points out that these “al- Qaida affiliates” we should all be so scared of in Africa…are actually on our side in Syria. His doublethink is complete.

Speaking of Syria…


THE GUARDIAN VIEW ON THE ASSAULT ON IDLIB: THE STAKES ARE RISING

In case any of you needed to know the “Guardian view” on the situation in Idlib is Syria/Russia/Iran = bad, NATO/Turkey/Jihadi proxies = good. This particular anonymous editorial – which always have the ring of a copy-pasted memo from GCHQ – doesn’t deviate from that general theme.

Besides the usual guff (the world’s inaction this or refugees that, spurious statistics about hospital bombing) there are a couple of interesting thoughts on the escalating violence between Syrian/Russian militaries and the Turkish army:

The prospects of European or US support – beyond rhetoric – appear low […] The best-case scenario for Idlib may be that Turkey manages to preserve what is now left of the rebel-held area

It seems that US/UK or other NATO allies aren’t keen to get involved – but have shifted their proxies from the disposable rebels, to the equally disposable Erdogan.

Also, echoing last week’s message from Hasan Hasan, there is the very definite threat of “insurgency”:

But Idlib holds the government’s most committed opponents, and jihadist fighters are already planning for an insurgency. An opposition once contained in the province will probably move undercover.

Meaning, should Idlib fall, the US Empire and it’s “allies” will continue to fund terrorists in a bid to destabilise Syrian reconstruction efforts. Don’t hold out hope for Trump’s so-called “Syrian withdrawal”.


BONUS – GUARDIAN HEADLINE OF THE WEEK

For most of the week this was an easy choice, we decided to create this section entirely because of this headline:

A sustainable vagina revolution is under way [sic]. But beware homemade tampons

But then someone in the comments brought this to our attention:

My boyfriend’s wedding dress unveiled my own shortcomings over masculinity

…which means we have to declare it a tie.

 

* * *

All told, a busy week for The Guardian, we didn’t even touch on how social media is being weaponised by Mike Bloomberg or the fact too many rapists are acquitted in Britain (we don’t know if they’re guilty or not, but the author doesn’t care so why should we?). Did we miss any others? Tell us about them in the comments below, and keep an eye out for articles that should go in the next issue.

 

 

Read more:

https://off-guardian.org/2020/03/01/this-week-in-the-guardian-2/

 

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