The Avalanche – Snapshot 2 – Oct 22, ’17

Jonathan Cook

Source: Google’s New Search Engine Bias is No Accident | Dissident Voice

An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Jonathan Cook follows:

Alternet has gone public with concerns about the way Google and Facebook have limited traffic to its website and, more generally, undermined access to progressive and independent media…

Nonetheless, there is something deeply misguided, even dangerous, about its description of what is happening. Here is how its executive editor, Don Hazen, describes Alternet’s problems:

Little did we know that Google had decided, perhaps with bad advice or wrong-headed thinking, that media like AlterNet—dedicated to fighting white supremacy, misogyny, racism, Donald Trump, and fake news—would be clobbered by Google in its clumsy attempt to address hate speech and fake news. …

So the reality we face is that two companies, Google and Facebook—which are not media companies, do not have editors or fact-checkers, and do no investigative reporting—are deciding what people should read, based on a failure to understand how media and journalism function.

“Bad advice”, “wrong-headed”, “clumsy”, “failure to understand”. Alternet itself is the one that has misunderstood what is going on. There is nothing accidental or clumsy about what Google and Facebook are doing. In fact, what has happened was entirely predictable as soon as western political and media elites started raising their voices against “fake news”.

Jonathan’s report on Alternet’s experience is educational. One, It’s another example of killing communication. Two, It’s an example of the killing of communication by a voice that isn’t truly progressive. Alternet is partially George Soros-funded. On it’s website where it talks about funders, it notes that some of them wish to be anonymous. I’m sure. “Discover The Networks,” a rightwing but useful resource lists the following funders for Alternet. I can’t say whether the list is accurate or up to date, but it reveals something about Alternet. Ford Foundation? Open Society Institute? Bank of America? Rockefeller Foundation? Really? Here’s DTN’s list:

AlterNet is financed through individual donations, advertising revenue, and grants from charitable foundations. Among its larger funders are the Arca Foundation, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, the Bauman Family Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Four Freedoms Fund, the Funding Exchange, the Glaser Progress Foundation, the McKay Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Open Society Institute, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy, the Threshold Foundation, the Town Creek Foundation, the Wallace Global Fund, and Working Assets.

“Veterans to Amy Goodman of Democracy Now” – by Daniel Borgström

The following is an excerpt from the above linked-to blog post by Daniel:

==== ==== =
Dear Amy Goodman of Democracy Now,

We are a group of military veterans who are hoping NOT to be blown off the face of this planet in a nuclear exchange precipitated by events in Syria…

As former military persons, we see no military advantage or rationale for the Assad regime to have used poison gas in those situations. On the other hand, there are people who would be glad to use the incident to pull the U.S. into the war. This should be clear to even the most casual observer, and yet it is being ignored by the mainstream media.

Why is there no need for evidence?…

Unfortunately, with only rare exceptions, DEMOCRACY NOW has NOT been raising such questions either in regards to Syria. On your Friday, April 7th show, you featured numerous guests discussing Syria, some openly accusing Assad, but nobody asking about evidence…

Hoping to stay alive,

Daniel Borgström, USMC (ret.)
for Veterans for Peace,
East Bay Chapter #162

April 14, 2017

*** *** ***
*** *** ***

Over 2 months have passed and we received no response.
= ==== ====

I emailed Daniel to say thanks for his letter to Amy Goodman. He then thanked me for that. A short while later, I read an interview of Daniel by “Black Agenda Report” editor Anne Garrison in which Daniel says things about John Kennedy that reveal he is infected with Camelot propaganda. I then emailed him to point out that problem, providing him with some links and info. He graciously accepted those and promised to look into the information. I have no idea whether he did or whether he’s still a JFK worshipper. See my previous blog post titled “The Power Of White.”

Flooding from Tropical Storm Harvey can be seen in this aerial photo over Port Arthur, Texas, Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

“Texas Town’s Residents to Get Harvey Aid Only if They Won’t Boycott Israel” by Emily Wells

The following is an excerpt from the above linked-to article by Emily Wells:

The city of Dickinson, Texas, which was hit exceptionally hard by Hurricane Harvey, is requiring applicants for Harvey rebuilding funds to vow they won’t boycott Israel in a move the American Civil Liberties Union has called “an egregious violation of the First Amendment.”…

“The First Amendment protects Americans’ right to boycott, and the government cannot condition hurricane relief or any other public benefit on a commitment to refrain from protected political expression,” said ACLU of Texas Legal Director Andre Segura. “Dickinson’s requirement is an egregious violation of the First Amendment, reminiscent of McCarthy-era loyalty oaths requiring Americans to disavow membership in the Communist party and other forms of ‘subversive’ activity.”

That is frightening. And fascist. BDS is a PEACEFUL means to put pressure on Apartheid Israel. It helped in South Africa and rightwingers today have no problem with that. The abandonment of Apartheid in South Africa didn’t make the racists quit racism, but it did show the world that racists don’t always have to get their way. (Not only did the racism continue – while the discrimination diminished – but the country, as Noam Klein explains in “The Shock Doctrine,” didn’t end up free. As one African activist (Rasool Snyman) put it, “They never freed us. They only took the chain from around our neck and put it on our ankles.”

I don’t know what the English sign in Tel Aviv is about. But the image is taken from the attached article.

“Thousands Of Israelis Take To The Streets Calling For Palestinian Genocide” by Whitney Webb

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

The Tel Aviv rally—organized to support an Israeli soldier who murdered a wounded Palestinian by shooting him in the head as the victim lay on his back—was marked by chants and banners calling for mass murder.

Massive rallies and Facebook campaigns calling for Palestinian genocide are ignored by Western mainstream media and Facebook despite concerns and collaborations aimed at stopping “calls to violence”.

Since last October, the Israeli government has accused Palestinians and their allies of “inciting violence” against Israelis, despite the fact that only 34 Israelis have died in that time frame compared to 230 Palestinians. The uptick in violence has been attributed to an internationally condemned Israeli encroachment of Palestinian lands in the contested West Bank.

Israeli government concern over recent violence has led them to arrest Palestinians for social media content that could potentially lead to crimes. So far, 145 Palestinians have been arrested this year for “pre-crime” via social media “incitement.” This practice eventually led to a collaboration between Facebook and the Israeli government, whose joint effort to curb social media “incitement” has led to the banning of several Facebook accounts of Palestinian journalists and news agencies.

“A Loud Whoompfing Sound”

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1 Response to The Avalanche – Snapshot 2 – Oct 22, ’17

  1. Arrby says:

    Why is this snapshot out of order? Someone entered my apartment when I wasn’t there (despite locked doors) and went into my administrator area of my blog on my laptop at home, which I don’t always shut down and with my WP open and not always logged out of and changed the look of my blog. It wasn’t drastic. They simply entered bio information, turning an “About Arrby” into a lewd pitch for sex. My first response was to post a comment on the WP forum, under Support. The fix was simple and involved simply deleting the bio, which I did. I just hadn’t used those settings in so long, I didn’t remember where they were.

    Then the fun began. A WP staffer suggested changing my password. (I truly don’t believe that that was the problem, but I want to cooperate.) Each time I came up with a new password, which I hadn’t used before (being complex and for sure something new), I was met with a message that I’ve used that password before. And then my own password wouldn’t work! Therefore I tried one last time to change my password, but this time I used WP’s own strong password generator. That worked and now I have a password that I DO NOT WANT!!!! I hate WordPress.

    Anyway, One of my first attempts to fix this, regrettably, involved simply copying the entire contents of snapshot 2 (the first snapshot post I notice the lewd “About Arrby” on) and reposting it. That didn’t fix my problem, of course, and it placed snapshot 2 out of order on my blog. But no damage was done. For other politicized bloggers out there, you may find this interesting:

    “Activists Are Being Targeted By Spy Agencies — Interview With The Internet Party’s Suzie Dawson” by Caitlin Johnstone

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