The Avalanche – Snapshot 22 – Oct 3, ’18

“Facebook Allies With U.S. Regime-Change Orgs For ‘Fact Checking’ In Foreign Countries” by B (Moon of Alabama)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

In consequence of the alleged manipulation of new and opinions during the 2016 election, Congress threatened to regulate social media. It demanded testimony by the owners of social media companies – Facebook, Twitter and Google – about their plans to weed out so called “fake news” distributed through their systems. Instead of defending the freedom of individuals and organizations to publish opinions deviating from the mainstream, the companies promised to increase their censorship capabilities. To avoid to make judgments themselves, they decided to outsource these to ‘independent’ fact checking organizations. Anything those deem “fake news” will then be censored.

Facebook Inc just gave such powers to two well known U.S. government regime change operators. These will now have the capabilities to censor content in foreign countries:

Facebook Inc on Wednesday said it would team with two U.S. non-profits to slow the global spread of misinformation that could influence elections,

The largest social network, under intense pressure to combat propaganda, said it would work abroad with the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute, created in the 1980s and funded by the U.S. government to promote democratic processes.

The IRI and the NDI are sub-organizations of the infamous National Endowment for Democracy. They “promote democratic processes” to achieve regime change of governments the U.S. dislikes. The NED is an offshoot of the CIA…

Israeli bomb threat

“Pro-Israeli Terror Threat at Labour Conference Covered Up By MSM” by Craig Murray (Craig Murray)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

A fringe venue at the Labour conference was evacuated last night after the screening of a film about my friend Jackie Walker was cancelled by a terrorist bomb threat. Jackie, a black Jewish prominent critic of Israel, is currently among those suspended from the Labour Party over accusations of anti-semitism which are, in her case, nonsense…

I want you to undertake a little mental exercise for me, and try it seriously. Just imagine the coverage on Newsnight, the Today Programme and Channel 4 News if a Labour Friends of Israel meeting had been cancelled by a bomb scare. Imagine through the experience of seeing or listening to the coverage, on each of those in turn, of a bomb threat to Labour Friends of Israel.

Done that?

Well the bomb threat to the pro-Palestinian rights Jewish Voice for Labour has so far received zero coverage on those programmes.

Israeli government command center (Wikipedia)

“Shutting Down Free Speech in America: Government and Lobbyists Work Together to Destroy the First Amendment” by (American Herald Tribune)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Last October top executives from Facebook, Google and Twitter were summoned to Capitol Hill for a discussion of their role in what is alleged to be Russia’s influence on the presidential campaign and went back home contrite and promising to improve. They have indeed improved by punishing members whose views have been found to be unacceptable, blocking them and suspending their access to the sites. Meanwhile, the federal government for its part has attempted to silence independent non-U.S. based voices by declaring Russian media outlets RT America and Sputnik to be “foreign agents,” requiring them to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (FARA). It is an unprecedented action against a news agency and invites quid-pro-quo for U.S. media operating overseas, leaving the American public more ignorant of world affairs than it already is.

Qatar based Al-Jazeera, which has been particularly targeted by Jonathan Greenblatt of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) as “a major exporter of hate against the Jewish people,” will also be required to register with FARA to comply with the new National Defense Authorization Act… It’s similar series on the activity of Zionist lobbyists in America is on hold due to threats from Jewish organizations to severely punish the network if the documentary should ever be aired.

Brett Kavanaugh and distraction

“5 Major Stories the Media Buried While Obsessing Over Kavanaugh Scandal” by Matt Agorist (The Free Thought Project)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

==== =
The Free Thought Project has compiled a list of fiver major stories Americans missed while the media shoved the Kavanaugh controversy down their throats.

Kavanaugh is on record supporting warrantless searches and increased deep state surveillance of innocent Americans. Kavanaugh not only thinks there it is okay for the police state to trespass on your property and track your every move with no warrant and despite having evidence of a crime, but he advocates for it…

According to a recent article in Forbes, the FBI attempted to hide the fact marijuana arrests are on the rise by not publishing the arrests by drug in its annual data…

In the meantime, as arrests for a plant shoot up, murders, rapes, and violent crimes go unsolved a startling rates. According to VOX’s analysis of the FBI’s latest crime statistics, about 40 percent of the murders, which happen in the U.S., never get solved. Sixty-six percent of the rapes which take place never lead to an arrest. And nearly half of all aggravated assaults do not lead to an arrest…

3. A Congressman exposed how the US government is preying on legitimate fears of human traffic to warrantlessly spy on innocent US citizens…

4. A recent mass shooting was swept under the rug because it simply didn’t fit the establishment narrative…

5. Reddit begins “Quarantining” users who question 9/11 and redirecting them to the government website instead.
= ====

Ian Buruma

“The ouster of New York Review of Books editor Ian Buruma: The #MeToo movement assaults free speech” by David Walsh (WSWS)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

In an extraordinary act of political censorship, New York Review of Books editor Ian Buruma was forced out this week after he published an article by Jian Ghomeshi, the former Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) radio broadcaster accused of sexual misconduct in 2014. The appearance of the Ghomeshi essay provoked a storm of outrage on social media from #MeToo circles, including demands for Buruma’s ouster…

Buruma, 66, a Dutch-born writer and historian, told a Dutch magazine Thursday, according to the Toronto Star, that it was “rather ironic: as editor of The New York Review of Books I published a theme issue about #MeToo-offenders who had not been convicted in a court of law but by social media. And now I myself am publicly pilloried.” He further commented, “I have now myself been convicted on Twitter, without any due process.”

Viktor Mihály Orbán

“The Tories just got a ‘thank you’ note from the last person you’d want one from” by Thomas Wintle (The Canary)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán has sent Conservative MEPs a letter thanking them for voting against the censure of his far-right government…

Yahoo Finance broke the story on Monday 24 September…

For many on Twitter, the letter highlighted the British government’s glaring hypocrisy on antisemitism.

Apparently, people don’t like it when Tories accuse their opponents of failing to tackle racism while receiving far-right thank you notes:


Satellite image of Florence

“Climate Change Made Florence a Monster—but Media Failed to Tell That Story” by Jim Naureckas (FAIR)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

That Hurricane Florence broke rainfall records for tropical storms in both North and South Carolina shouldn’t be surprising, as global climate change has increased extreme precipitation in all areas of the continental United States. One analysis released before the massive storm hit, by researchers at Stony Brook, Berkeley National Lab and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, projected that warming would cause Florence to bring twice as much rain compared to a similar storm with normal temperatures.

But news audiences were rarely informed about the contribution of human-caused climate disruption to the devastating storm, according to a study of hurricane coverage by Public Citizen.

“Facebook expands censorship to photos and videos” by Mike Ingram (WSWS)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

A September 13 statement by Facebook Product Manager Antonia Woodford, titled “Expanding Fact-Checking to Photos and Videos,” marks a significant escalation of the company’s censorship efforts.

Under the pretense of combating so-called “fake news” and “Russian interference,” the social media giant has spent the last two years assembling an army of censors and established partnerships with 27 so-called fact-checker partners in 17 countries. The partners, include the Associated Press, (AP) Agence France-Presse (AFP), Pagella Politica in Italy, Animal Politico in Mexico and others, together with fact-checking sites such as, PolitiFact and At the end of last year, Facebook announced a partnership with the right-wing The Weekly Standard, prompting widespread outrage…

It is not so-called “inauthentic” groups that are the catalyst for incendiary political sentiment, but the conditions of social inequality, police repression and war confronting millions of people throughout the world. Facebook’s attempt to suppress photo and video postings is an intensification of the company’s attempt to hide the true state of American and world society — and more importantly the mounting opposition to it — from the population…

Working with the intelligence agencies and both Democrats and Republicans, the technology giants are seeking to effectively blacklist any viewpoint opposing that of the official political establishment…

UK Conservatives dropping quiet bombshells

“The Conservatives hid alarming news about a ‘historic’ military operation in the most boring speech at conference” by Tracy Keeling (The Canary)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

The Conservatives shared news of a ‘historic’ UK military operation at the party’s 2018 conference. But it happened during quite a dull speech on 30 September. So the alarming revelation has barely raised an eyebrow in the UK.
‘Global Britain’

Defence secretary Gavin Williamson addressed conference on 30 September. He spoke about how the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is promoting the idea of “Global Britain” with its actions around the world. And he also shared a recent military ‘achievement’ with the audience, saying:

“For the first time this week, state-of-the-art lightning jet fighters took off from the deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth, the world’s most advanced aircraft carrier.”

Williamson didn’t elaborate on the operation further, allowing the news to pass with just a round of half-hearted applause…

For many people, the idea that the UK is planning to “promote peace and prevent war” by ensuring it has the power to strike “anywhere in the world” will seem like a contradiction in terms. And that’s because it is. In the world of George Orwell’s infamous novel 1984, people are expected to exercise “doublethink”, whereby they – at the same time and without question – believe in contradictory ideas. One prime example of it exists in a slogan of the ruling party: “War is Peace”. That’s what Williamson is selling us.

“Nicaragua: Amnesty has got it wrong” by Julie Lamin (Investig’Action)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

I have watched through Nicaraguan friends’ Facebook pages the thuggery of the groups who have attacked ordinary people and in particular those whose work is in the public sector – teachers, health workers, police officers. I have seen (or partly seen as it was too upsetting to watch) video footage of the torture carried out by the thugs (now detained and who you are urging release of) against decent men and women who have devoted their lives to Nicaragua’s freedom and prosperity. I have seen how the terrorists dragged a family of five out of their simple rural home and torched it, destroying everything leaving already impoverished children and their parents homeless.

My evidence is from reliable sources. Why isn’t Amnesty reporting on this?…

For years in the eighties when Nicaragua had nothing I was one of thousands who campaigned and raised money for schools. When I visited last year I was delighted to see the good education Nicaraguans now have and some of the fantastic schools, especially in the countryside. I stayed opposite one of the many well-equipped health centres and almost lost count of the number of hospitals and clinics in Managua. Schools, hospitals, health centres, thriving agriculture and growing tourism are all features of Ortega’s presidency, and it is precisely these symbols of progress the thugs and criminals you seek to defend set about destroying after 19 April. Until that date, Nicaragua was the most peaceful country in Central America with low crime – you might like to see how it compares with the terrifying conditions in its northern neighbour, Honduras…

In your Urgent Action and in your minimal understanding of Nicaragua and her people, you are asking Amnesty members to defend criminal action!

I now see Amnesty International as an imperialist charity thinking that it knows best for a developing country, taking no account of the views of the vast majority of Nicaraguans. Even worse, you have been duped by the United States’ deliberate efforts to undermine Nicaragua and the more progressive countries where people genuinely do come first.

I have cancelled my direct debit to Amnesty International and I will also be cancelling my membership. Despite all the excellent work I thought you did, my confidence in your organisation is shattered.

The author of the above article could have used help from someone with English as a first language. The careful reader will get the gist of the article, for sure. But when you read it all, it’s confusing.

Shauna Aminath (Photo: Twitter/@anuahsa)

“Democracy triumphs in the Maldives — despite years of betrayal by the Obama administration” by James North (Mondoweiss)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Here’s one sign of how repressive the regime was in the Maldives, the island nation southwest of India. In 2013, I sat in a restaurant with youth leader Shauna Aminath as a thug tried to frighten her. We were in the Seagull Café in Malé, the crowded capital, and she was telling me about the inspiring pro-democracy movement when a man in his 40s passed by our table and shot her a hard look. She winced. “He wants me to know he’s with the police and that he’s following me,” she said…

Until last Sunday, September 23, the anti-democratic crackdown got worse. The tyrannical leader, Abdulla Yameen, arrested or exiled two previous presidents, jailed members of the Supreme Court, pandered to murderous Islamic extremists in the Muslim nation, and cracked down on the press — before calling an election that everyone was so certain would be rigged that outside observers stayed away… To everyone’s astonishment, [Ibrahim Mohamed] Solih won a smashing victory despite the vote fixing, by such an overwhelming margin that Yameen has been forced to concede…

U.S. silence in no way served the interests of America. Quite the contrary: President Yameen relied for much of his limited support on a vicious local jihadist movement, which murdered Maldivian journalists and sent several hundred volunteers to fight in the Middle East with ISIS, the highest per capita recruitment rate in the world.

The New York Times ran a fairly long report about last Sunday’s election — which made no mention of how the U.S. whitewashed the Maldives’ turn toward repression. The Washington Post article was somewhat better, but it also said nothing about the American policy failure.

“A Loud Whoompfing Sound”

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