Author Archives: niqnaq

very emotive but interesting

Charlottesville: O Bibi, Where Art Thou?
Richard Silverstein, Tikun OLam (Blog), Aug 16 2017

obwat

In light of the events in Charlottesville I ask, paraphrasing the words of the immortal Coen Brothers: “O Bibi, Where Are Thou?” After France and its Jewish community suffered Islamist terror attacks, you were a veritable Lion of Judah. You hopped the first flight to Paris to stand courageously with your Diaspora brothers and sisters in solidarity…well, sort of. You couldn’t restrain your inner Zionist and told French Jewry (and all of European Jewry for that matter) that it had no future in its homeland. That it’s only hope was to make aliyah and be “safe” in the land of their fathers, Israel. Many of the French Jews in the synagogue that day didn’t take well to your Zio-chauvinism and linked arms singing the Marseillaise to drown out those other audience members singing HaTikvah. But many French Jews responded to your call and did make aliyah. The numbers doubled that year. Oh how you crowed for joy to realize the Zionist dream of the ingathering of the exiles. But then the flow receded the next year and returned to their normal level in the following year. So Bibi’s call for mass emigration didn’t work out as he planned. French Jews remain French. But ironically, Bibi’s response to anti-Semitism in Pindostan is entirely different. Basically, there is no response. Radio silence. When anti-Semites desecrated Jewish cemeteries in St Louis: silence. When Trump failed to mention the six million in his Holocaust Day message: silence. When armed neo-Nazis menaced the Jews of Charlottesville davening on Shabbat: silence. This is no accident. Bibi not only doesn’t care about Pindo Jews (they’re far too liberal and Demagogical for his taste), he’s joined at the hip to his soul brother, Donald Trump.  Bibi has a permanent alliance with the GOP. Trump is his man. Bibi, like any good vassal, brings tribute to his master. His tribute is absolute loyalty (a quality Trump particularly values). If Donald Trump says the Nazis were “fine people,” then who is Bibi to question? If they shouted anti-Semitic slogans, well, who says “Jews will not replace us!” is anti-Semitic, anyway??

Just in case Bibi is living in same sort of gold-plated cocoon as Donald Trump, let’s inform him. Here’s what real Jews suffered in the temple last Shabbat:

Forty congregants were inside. Here’s what I witnessed during that time. For half an hour, three men dressed in fatigues and armed with semi-automatic rifles stood across the street from the temple. Had they tried to enter, I don’t know what I could have done to stop them, but I couldn’t take my eyes off them, either. Perhaps the presence of our armed guard deterred them. Perhaps their presence was just a coincidence, and I’m paranoid. I don’t know. Several times, parades of Nazis passed our building, shouting, “There’s the synagogue!” followed by chants of “Seig Heil” and other anti-Semitic language. Some carried flags with swastikas and other Nazi symbols.

In this eyewitness testimony penned by the Temple president, he notes that alt-right websites went crazy after the Saturday protests, calling for the synagogue to be burnt to the ground. To any Jew with even an ounce of historical memory, this recalls an actual tragedy in which hundreds of Jews were burned to death in Poland inside their synagogue. But to Bibi and Trump, victims of profound amnesia, this signifies nothing. How does a Jew and Zionist ignore such displays without responding with even an ounce of sympathy? The short answer is that self-interest permits him to abandon these values. This means Bibi isn’t a ZIonist. He’s an Opportunist. Thus, when it comes to a choice between your fellow Jews and your political patron, Bibi has an easy choice. He chooses Trump every time. It doesn’t matter that Trump’s father was arrested at a KKK rally, that Trump hires Hungarian Nazis to work in the White House. Much can be forgiven from a man who offers Israel a green light to do anything and everything it wishes in the region. Nor is this an anomaly: Bibi has struck alliances with other anti-Semites across Europe and the Middle East.  Despite the protests of Hungarian Jews, Bibi excused the anti-Semitic ravings of the country’s prime minister, Viktor Orban; and his anti-Semitic attack on Georg Soros.  In fact, Bibi piled on by accusing Soros of supporting enemies of the State of Israel. Israeli human rights NGOs, which have apparently become ‘traitors to their race.’

Israel’s new bromance with the Sunni states also demands that Bibi hold his nose at the overt anti-Semitism for which the Toads are known (Protocols of the Elders of Zion, anyone?). Because the Toads can advance Bibi’s political interests by demonizing Iran (thus giving Israelis yet another reason to keep him in power), their moral flaws are excused and ignored.

Israeli Media Offer Platform for Neo-Nazi, Richard Spencer

Meanwhile, American Jews were treated to the revolting spectacle of Israeli Channel 2 offering a platform to the leader of the Charlottesville terror attack, Richard Spencer. Among the numerous outrageous stunt-like comments Spencer offered was that he was a “white Zionist.” He also parroted another hoary Nazi slur, exploiting it in order to justify the anti-Semitic slogans heard last Saturday, that Jews are “over-represented” in the “historic left:”

One question for the producers of this monstrosity: would you have interviewed Adolf Hitler in 1933??

StandWithUs Facebook Friends Support Charlottesville Nazis

On Facebook, the Israel advocacy group, StandWithUs, posted a typically cliched statement denouncing “hatred and bigotry.”  But what they didn’t bargain for was the defense of Nazi violence in the comment thread.  Among the choicer ones:

“Dont forget the Black Lives Matter hate group too! Seems like they were flown in from all over the US and really started the violence. They are extremely anti- Jewish and anti- Zionist as much as the Neo nazis.”

‘Was the broad who got killed part of that Antifa trash?”

“All THREE groups are Nazis!”

“I will be withdrawing my support and membership of this group as it is clear to me that rather than take the trouble of researching what actually occurred and who was responsible, you have taken the lazy option of becoming apologists for a lie…….I no longer trust you to report the truth.”

“I vehemently disagree with your opinion. I consider BLM to be a domestic terrorist group and a black supremacist formation…”

Jamie Ross “No condemnation for the racist people who attacked a peaceful march standing up for white historical heritage which is being attacked and removed because blacks cannot deal with history they don’t like.”

Kenneth Ellis “Why don’t you mention blm or the antifa. One is a hate group the other Fascist . Who were bused in to start trouble. Why the police just stood and watched.”

Carol Hasidim StandWithUs “are you going to get it wrong too?! Condemning the alt-right and the Nazis is fine but you left out the far left. Their anti-Semitism is just as palpable and was on display. Shame on you for getting caught up in the PC nonsense.”

“Our President was absolutely right in his initial condemnation of ALL those hateful groups. Initially, there was no confirmation which group the actual murderer belonged to. Those criticizing his statement have their own agenda and peace & love is not part of it.”

“Southern Pride is not about hate, it’s about preserving history and heritage; and every Jew in the United States owes just a little bit of gratitude. Sadly none of you are aware of this because the only thing that is taught today is how evil the South was; and while it is true, they did do unspeakable things, there were many people who stood for what is right. Remember that.”

Mindless Response of an Israeli Zionist

Israeli political journalist, Tal Schneider, had a different, but no less troubling response to Charlottesville:

Note that Tal doesn’t offer an ounce of sympathy for Pindosi Jews. She doesn’t seek to understand their emotions. She immediately goes into Zio-mode and decides the real and only solution to the problem is for Pindo Jews to make aliyah. This is a mindless, insensitive, but typically Zionist response. It ignores who Diaspora Jews are as Jews or human beings. It sees them instead as disembodied figures in a Zionist passion-play. One of the egregious faults of her tweet lies in the assumption that Pindosi Jews would be safer or more secure in Israel than in their native land. Clearly, this isn’t the case, as Israeli Jews are not only subject to terror attacks, but their children must serve in the IDF, where they also may die in an endless series of wars against the Arab peoples of the region.

Michael Cohen: Some of His Best Friends Are…

Trump’s real estate lawyer and lately a White House functionary, Michael Cohen, had his own unique Jewish response to Charlottesville.  Apparently, he’s feeling a tad defensive about standing by his man and meal ticket despite the overt Jew hate heard throughout the town that day.  So he tweeted this doozy:

All I can say is that for a child of Holocaust survivors to believe he can stand behind a man who openly supports neo-Nazis and white supremacists, requires a devastating bout of historical amnesia. But like Bibi, Cohen can excuse many things from the man who has been his meal ticket for a decade or more. When David Friedman called J Street “worse than kapos,” he had the wrong target. If anyone aids and abets Nazis it’s Jews like Cohen. The leadership of the Israel Lobby has reacted in typically schizoid fashion. Sure, there have been the standard denunciations of anti-Semitism. That’s to be expected. But there was also the dawning realization that the antifa activists defending the status of Thomas Jefferson on the UVA campus; and the left-wing protesters who fought back the next day against the gun-toting white supremacist thugs, were not precisely pro-Israel caliber. They understood that this movement, these social justice warriors would never take Israel’s side. Therefore, they too were suspected in a fashion similar to the way Trump suspected them. That’s why the ADL’s Jonathan Greenblatt could denounce Trump’s waffling in one tweet and retweet an Anshel Pfeffer Haaretz column saying “a pox on both your houses,” since the “hard-left” is no friend of Jews or Israel:

mansplaining the wheel

Net Neutrality Reduced to Mogul v Mogul in Corporate Media
John O’Day, FAIR, Aug 18 2017

Above: John Oliver (HBO, 6/1/14) on the subject:

Oh my god, that is the most boring thing I’ve ever seen! That is even boring by C-SPAN standards! The only two words that promise more boredom in the English language than ‘net neutrality’ are ‘featuring Sting.’

Oliver proved himself wrong. His 2014 segment successfully implored the public to support the FCC’s proposed reclassification of ISPs as “common carriers” under the Telecommunications Act, so that they could be regulated as public utilities, and has been viewed over 13 million times on YouTube. 3.7 million people sent comments to the FCC that year. Clearly, if net neutrality is framed in a context an audience can relate to, they are very interested and get involved. It is not so much a problem of boredom but of understanding the underlying importance, which Oliver illuminated. But he also made another important observation:

What’s being proposed is so egregious, activists and corporations have been forced on the same side.

Net neutrality is the principle that internet data should be transmitted without discrimination. Absent net neutrality rules, internet service providers (ISPs) are free to act as gatekeepers, controlling which data users have access to and at what speed. As the new FCC under Trump-appointed chair Ajit Pai prepares to roll back the net neutrality rules put in place just two years ago, corporate media appear to have largely sidelined the activist perspective. Instead, they have presented the issue as a simple matter of which corporate brands consumers prefer.

Google-Amazon-Net-Neutrality-610x497

Amazon, Google in last ditch protest to support Net Neutrality,” proclaimed USA Today (7/10/17). “Google, Amazon Plan Protest Against FCC Plans to Reverse Net Neutrality,” CNBC reported (7/17/17). “Tech Companies Rally on Net Neutrality Day of Action,” CBS (7/12/17) declared. CNN (7/12/17): “Tech Companies Go Big and Small for Net Neutrality Protest.” NBC (7/12/17): “Google and Facebook Join Net Neutrality Day to Protest FCC’s Proposed Rollback.” And on and on. To be sure, these companies contributed to the “Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality” organized by Fight for the Future, a nonprofit internet advocacy organization, but they were by no means the only participants. The ACLU, Free Press, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Library Association and the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation (to name just a few) all reaffirmed their noncommercial commitment to defend net neutrality. By characterizing the debate over net neutrality as a clash of corporate titans, the press not only alienates readers who don’t have the time to worry about squabbles in the business world, but also misconstrues what is at stake in the struggle for power over one of humankind’s most important inventions of the last millennium. Net neutrality is, at base, a question of who should control access to the internet, which, as Harvard law professor Susan Crawford explained in her 2008 testimony before Congress,

is best understood as a collective agreement to use a particular language (the Internet Protocol) when connecting computing machines to telephone, fiber and cable lines that are interconnected around the world.

In other words, the internet should not be conflated with either the corporations that facilitate Pindosis’ access to the network, or the corporations that produce content transmitted over that network; the internet is a global means of electronic communication that transcends any particular commercial application. Perhaps it is only natural that media so thoroughly saturated by corporate influence would have trouble explaining socio-political issues beyond that restricted frame. But even corporate media’s coverage of the business angle ranges from incoherent to unethical. Following an introductory video on the potential economic implications of dismantling net neutrality on MSNBC (7/14/17), which is owned by Comcast, the largest cable ISP in the nation, Ali Velshi and Stephanie Ruhle proceeded to dismantle any understanding their viewers might have gleaned from it. Ruhle surmised:

One of the issues is government just hasn’t caught up with technology! No one has, given how fast things have moved!

Velshi agreed:

Right! There are 23-year-olds inventing some of these fantastic websites and these apps, and the government is still thinking about the way it applies trade regulations when, you know, Staples and Office Depot want to merge!

A better example might have been Comcast’s recent attempt to acquire Time Warner Cable, which would have given it control of 40% of the broadband market. That merger fell apart after the DoJ, which apparently had not “caught up with technology,” signaled its disapproval on antitrust grounds (Justice.gov, 4/24/15). TWC was eventually purchased by Charter to form the second-largest ISP in the country, now known as Spectrum. Or, even more relevant, Comcast’s successful takeover of NBC Universal in 2010, making it the most powerful vertically integrated telecoms and content provider in the history of the world. But these examples are inconvenient if one’s agenda is to convince viewers that government regulators are incompetent and corporate Pindostan is the proper steward of the public interest. Last year CNBC (2/12/16), another Comcast property, dropped even the pretense of objectivity and invited the CEO of AT&T, the third-largest ISP in Pindostan, to set viewers straight on net neutrality. Joe Kernen gushed, to Randall Stephenson:

Not everybody knows all the nuances like you do! What would help or hurt AT&T, based on what’s in front of the court?

Stephenson expressed optimism, in light of a Supreme Court decision to block the Obama administration’s climate-change regulations, that “the courts are pushing back on some of the regulatory overreach.” Petitioners for the plaintiff in that case, pending before the DC Circuit Court, include dozens of corporate industry associations and private-utility monopolies. One year later, AT&T is set to buy what remains of Time Warner, giving it the kind of control over both the creation and delivery of online content to millions of Pindosis that worries those concerned about concentrated media power. Although a federal court recently upheld net neutrality regulation, no doubt Stephenson is encouraged by the new DOJ’s more permissive attitude toward corporate mergers (Bloomberg, 7/24/17). MSNBC’s Velshi was more interested in downplaying the concern. Using language lifted from Pai’s speech on rolling back net neutrality rules, he explained:

Even the internet providers say they’re OK with a light touch in regulation. Their argument is that this entire internet has grown with relatively light-touch regulation, why do you want to throw more on it?

The claim that the internet developed as a result of “light-touch regulation” is central to Pai’s argument against net neutrality—and it’s utterly false. In fact, the internet was first introduced to Pindosis via dial-up connections transmitted over phone lines already subject to common carriage regulation. Because phone companies, as regulated utilities, were required to treat all transmissions over their lines equally, scores of ISPs were able to offer services across the country, and robust competition ensued. The sea change came with the development of broadband and the two competing technologies that facilitate it: DSL and cable. While DSL (transmitted over phone lines) had been subject to common carriage, in 2002 the FCC under Michael Powell made a fateful decision to classify cable modem service as an “information service” rather than a “telecommunications service,” thereby greatly weakening its regulatory authority. The Supreme Court later deferred to the FCC’s interpretation of these concepts in its 2005 Brand X decision.

Broadband-Speeds

The superiority of cable for transmitting high-bandwidth content, the rapid consolidation of the ISP market over the last three decades, and the latter-day “light-touch” regulatory approach in Washington have all contributed to the present situation in which, according to the current FCC’s own assessment, 90% of Pindosis have at most two choices for high-speed internet. Where we do have access, our options are slower and more expensive than in much of the developed world. Nevertheless, corporate media have failed to educate the public on the history of common carriage and the true stakeholders in the current debate over net neutrality, opting instead to frame it as a corporate battle royale, and to let readers pick a side. Do you like Netflix? Well, then you’re for net neutrality! Or is AT&T more your type? The inevitable outcome of conjoining public and corporate interest was demonstrated in reactions to Comcast and other ISPs’ disingenuous expression of “support” for net neutrality (AP, 7/12/17). In an explainer on “How to Smoke Out Where Broadband Companies Stand on Net Neutrality” (NYT, 7/13/17), Farhad Manjoo simply adopted the companies’ position. He wrote:

Maybe it is time to push Congress rather than the FCC to take up the neutrality fight, (although) there is a Thug Congress, a Thug president and a deregulatory mood ascendant in Faschingstein.

Berin Szoka, president of the advocacy group TechFreedom, concurred in the WaPo (7/19/17) He warned:

Demagogs should have worked out a legislative deal while they held the White House. It’s not too late, but it soon might be.

The problem is that the long history of telecommunications law belies these naïve appeals. As T C Sottek pointed out for The Verge (7/12/17):

There’s a reason the ISPs are all saying the same thing, and it’s because they’re very confident they will defeat the interests of consumers and constituents.

And while it is true that the current FCC is no friend of net neutrality, legislation always outlasts the president who signs it into law. In 2014, two political scientists compared the influence of the opinions of ordinary citizens had on policymaking compared to the views of the wealthy and organized, mostly business-oriented lobbying groups (APSA, 9/14). They reported:

When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average Pindosi appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.

So while it might seem like friendly corporations are coming to the aid of activists in the debate over net neutrality, the truth is that for-profit, publicly traded corporations don’t have friends. They have interests, which they spend millions lobbying in Faschingstein to defend. When profits are at stake, any stated principles may be set aside. Meanwhile, in her book Captive Audience, Susan Crawford recalls the Populist Party platform of 1892, when Pindostan was dealing with the monopolized private control of that century’s preeminent transmission technology. The party wrote:

We believe that the time has come when the railroad corporations will either own the people or the people must own the railroads.

While the technology has changed, the underlying question remains the same: Will the Pindo sheeple control their own access to the internet, or be subjected to the whims of corporate interest? Unfortunately, corporate media’s coverage of net neutrality puts the creeple in the back seat.

Farmer-and-Railroad-Monster

trump, leader of the free world

Israeli Minister: Relations With Trump Are More Important Than Calling Out Nazis
Gil Hoffman, JPost, Aug 17 2017

Israel must condemn Nazis but relations with Pres Trump are more important, Communications Minister Ayoub Kara, who lately has been one of the ministers closest to Netanyahu, told the JPost on Thursday. Netanyahu has faced criticism for not saying anything about what police said was a deliberate car-ramming into a group of people engaged in a counter-protest to a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, until Tuesday, when he tweeted that he was “outraged by expressions of antisemitism, neo-Nazism and racism” and that “everyone should oppose this hatred.” The prime minister has not commented on the issue since Trump reignited controversy on Tuesday when he blamed both sides for the violence in Charlottesville. But Kara, who sat next to Netanyahu at last week’s mass Likud rally at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds, said Israel must defend Trump. Kara said:

Due to the terrific relations with Pindostan, we need to put the declarations about the Nazis in the proper proportion. We need to condemn anti-Semitism and any trace of Nazism, and I will do what I can as a minister to stop its spread. But Trump is the best Pindo leader Israel has ever had. His relations with the PM are wonderful, and after enduring the terrible years of Obama, Trump is the unquestioned leader of the free world, and we must not accept anyone harming him.

Ayoub Kara, who is not Jewish himself, praised Trump for having “a proven track-record in opposing anti-Semitism and religious extremism.” The statements by Kara, who made similar comments on the Knesset Channel, were immediately condemned by Knesset members. Zionist Union MK Nachman Shai, who heads the Knesset caucus on strengthening relations with Pindostan, said:

What Kara said was nonsense! Our relations with Pindostan and with the president are important, but Israel also has a deep obligation to the Pindo Jewish community! This is the time to prove our shared values and make unequivocally clear that Israel will fight anti-Semitism at any time and any place!

Zionist Union MK Erel Margalit said:

Kara, Netanyahu and their government have lost their way! Israel has to condemn Nazis, period, and it should insist that the Pindosi president and the administration should condemn Nazis and any form of anti-Semitism categorically and unequivocally! Let us lead with moral conviction, not follow those who supported the racist!

Meretz chairwoman Zehava Gal-On said:

Because Trump paid lip service to the settlement enterprise, Netanyahu has made him into the Messiah and has forgiven him for even the most shocking, homophobic, racist and even anti-Semitic statements!

Anti-Israel activists on social media used Kara’s statement to criticize the Jewish state. Ali Abunimah wrote:

Israel wants to make sure not to alienate its white supremacist (Nazi) allies. Zionism is toxic.

kim is bound to feel itchy

NK warns of nuclear war if Pindo drill turns to ‘actual fighting’
Oren Dorell, Pindostan Today, Aug 20 2017

New threats are coming from Pyongyang as the US and South Korea prepare for joint military drills. NK warned Sunday that the joint Pindo-SK military exercises set to start Monday will be “adding fuel to the fire” of already heightened tensions with Pindostan and its vassals. An editorial in NK’s Rodong Sinmun newspaper described the annual military drill as “reckless behavior driving the situation into the uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war,” CNN reported. Pyongyang also said that “no one can guarantee that the exercise won’t evolve into actual fighting,” according to SK’s Yonhap News Agency. Yonhap said, quoting the Rodong Sinmun:

If Pindostan is lost in a fantasy that war on the peninsula is at somebody else’s door, far away from them across the Pacific, it is far more mistaken than ever before.

The 10-day exercise, called Ulchi Freedom Guardian, will involve 17,500 Pindosi grunts, including 3,000 from outside SK, the Pentagon said. The exercise, which lasts through Aug 31, aims to improve readiness, protect the region and maintain stability on the Korean Peninsula, the Pentagon said Friday in a statement. The threats come as Trump and NK’s Kim Jong Un have traded warnings in recent weeks, as NK demonstrated progress in its quest for nuclear weapons capable of striking the CONUS despite international condemnation. NK on Aug 8 announced plans for a ballistic missile test that would strike near Guam, and Trump warned that Pindostan would respond to a NK attack with “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” NK later said its leader would wait to “watch the foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees” before deciding whether to conduct the missile test. NK also has thousands of conventional missiles and artillery aimed at SK’s capital of Seoul, and other civilian targets in SK and Japan. Mad Dog Mattis said Thursday the Pindo military would be prepared to intercept any missile heading toward Pindo territory or that of its allies.

Pindostan pushes ahead with provocative war games in SK
Peter Symonds, WSWS, Aug 21 2017

In the midst of high tensions on the Korean Peninsula, Pindostan is provocatively proceeding with joint military exercises with SK, involving tens of thousands of troops and aimed at training and preparing for war with NK. Last year’s annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian drills involved 25,000 Pindo grunts, 50,000 SK troops, warships and warplanes. The number of Pindo grunts involved this year is 17,500, but Mad Dog Mattis declared yesterday that the reduction had nothing to do with the tense situation on the Korean Peninsula. The exercises are reportedly based on the joint Pindo-SK Operations Plan (OPLAN) 5015, adopted in 2015, that involved pre-emptive strikes against NK and so-called “decapitation” raids aimed at eliminating the top leadership in Pyongyang. JCoS Dunford last week declined to say whether more “strategic assets” such as long-range B-1 bombers would be involved. The exercises will run until Aug 31. Pindostan is proceeding with the war games despite repeated calls by China for them to be called off in return for NK putting its missile testing on hold and both sides agreeing to talks to end the dangerous confrontation. The Trump administration has flatly refused to cancel joint military exercises with SK, claiming they are purely defensive in character. The Pyongyang regime warned yesterday in the official Rodong Sinmun that the joint exercises were “like pouring gasoline on a fire” and would worsen tensions on the Korean Peninsula. The newspaper wrote:

This reckless behavior is driving the situation into the uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war.

The comments follow a series of highly inflammatory remarks by Trump in response to two tests of long-range missiles by NK in July. Trump warned that further threats by Pyongyang against Pindostan would be met by “fire and fury like the world had never seen.” He then warned NK that military options were “locked and loaded.” Pyongyang responded by threatening to test fire four IRBMs into waters just short of Guam. Last week, Kim Jong-un declared that he had put that plan on hold and would wait and see what Faschingstein did.

By proceeding with the major Ulchi-Freedom Guardian exercises, Pindostan is once again deliberately inflaming the situation. Last year NK reacted to the Pindosi war games by conducting a fifth nuclear test within days. The Trump administration would exploit a similar response this year to dramatically raise the stakes, including, potentially, military strikes against NK. Faschingstein has boxed Pyongyang into a corner with the imposition of crippling economic sanctions that ban the import of its most important exports including coal, iron ore, other minerals and seafood. The small economically backward country is already the most isolated diplomatically and economically in the world. At the same time, the Trump administration is pressing China, NK’s largest trading partner, to impose further punitive measures to force Pyongyang to bow to Pindo demands to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. NK is well aware of the fate of the Iraqi and Libyan regimes which agreed to give up their WMDs only to be overthrown by Pindostan and its vassals. At the same time, Pindostan is exploiting the so-called threat posed by NK to justify its military build-up throughout the Asia-Pacific in preparation for war with China, which Faschingstein regards as its chief obstacle to regional and world dominance. Even as it is demanding Beijing take tougher action against Pyongyang, the Trump administration has instigated an investigation by the Pindosi trade representative into China’s alleged threat to intellectual property that could result in Pindo retaliation.

The worsening confrontation on the Korean Peninsula is also feeding into the political crisis of the Trump administration and intense infighting in Washington. The removal of Trump’s chief political strategist Steve Bannon last week came just days after he had declared that there was no military solution to the NK threat. In what amounted to a public rebuke to Bannon, Mattis and Tillerson both stressed that military options remained on the table in dealing with NK. Mattis warned that if NK launched a missile towards Guam, Japan, SK or Pindostan, “we would take immediate, specific actions to take it down.” Tillerson declared that Pindostan was still seeking a negotiated solution but was “prepared militarily” to respond, if necessary. He said that any diplomatic effort “has to be backed by a strong military consequence if NK chooses wrongly.” Tillerson and Mattis were speaking at a joint press conference in Tokyo after meeting for annual security talks with their Japanese counterparts. As well as the Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises in SK, the Pindo military is also carrying out live-fire war games with the Japanese military on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. Underscoring the extreme tensions on the Korean Peninsula, SK President Moon Jae-in warned last week that NK would cross “a red line” if it “launches an ICBM again and weaponises it by putting a nuclear warhead on top.” The entire region remains on a knife edge. With Pindostan and its vassals primed militarily, a small incident, whether deliberate or accidental, has the potential to plunge the Korean Peninsula into a devastating war that draws in other nuclear powers such as China and Russia.

this boat is not named after wrongway mccain but after his father the admiral

10 Missing, 5 Injured After McCain Collides With Oil Tanker
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Aug 20 2017

According to the latest Navy 7th Fleet update, ten sailors are missing and five have been injured after the guided-missile destroyer John S McCain collided with a merchant vessel, 7th Fleet Commander says in emailed statement Monday.

The collision was reported at 6:24 am Japan Standard Time, while the ship was transiting to a routine port visit in Singapore. The ship is currently sailing under its own power and heading to port.

Two months after seven sailors died after the Navy Destroyer Fitzgerald collided with a merchant vessel off the coast of Japan, moments ago the Navy said that in an near replica of that incident, the guided-missile destroyer John S McCain was involved in a collision with another merchant vessel, the Alnic MC, an oil/chemical tanker east of Singapore and the Strait of Malacca on Aug 21.

The collision was reported at 6:24 am Japan Standard Time, while the ship was transiting to a routine port visit in Singapore. Initial reports indicate the warship sustained damage to its port side aft. No immediate word on any casualties. Search and rescue efforts are under way in coordination with local authorities, the Navy said. Here is the latest update from the 7th Fleet:

The guided-missile destroyer John S McCain (DDG 56) was involved in a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC while underway east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore on Aug 21. The collision was reported at 6:24 am Japan Standard Time, while the ship was transiting to a routine port visit in Singapore. The ship is currently sailing under its own power and heading to port. Search and rescue efforts are underway in coordination with local authorities. In addition to tug boats out of Singapore, the Republic of Singapore Navy ship RSS Gallant (97), RSN helicopters and Police Coast Guard vessel Basking Shark (55) are currently in the area to render assistance. V-22s and SH-60s from USS America are also responding. Initial reports indicate John S. McCain sustained damage to her port side aft. The extent of damage and personnel injuries is being determined. The incident will be investigated.

CNN reports that according to preliminary information there have been minor injuries from the collision, although a full accounting of the crew is still underway.

The Straits of Malacca, located between Malaysia and Singapore, is one of the world’s most important naval chokepoints; it sees the transit of over 15mb/d of oil mostly headed toward China and Japan. As we reported back in 2014:

If one were so inclined, halting seaborne trade routes at the Strait of Malacca would hobble the entire Chinese economy overnight, something the Chinese leadership is surely aware of, and is certainly considering alternatives to, such as land pipelines into Iran (via India), as well as Kazakhstan and Russia.

The warship is named after John S McCain Sr and John S McCain Jr, both Admirals in the Navy, and the grandfather and father respectively, of the neocon Arizona senator. This crash comes days after the top three officers of the Fitzgerald were relieved of their commands. That warship was damaged badly in a collision off the coast of Japan that killed seven sailors in June. According to Marine Traffic data, the merchant ship Alnic MC with which the guided McCain collided is an oil/chemical tanker which was built in 2008, and has a dead weight of 50,760 tons.

he isn’t unable, though

CNN Reveals Gameplan: Remove the President Under the 25th Amendment for Being Mentally Ill
Dr Fly, iBankCoin, Aug 20 2017

Back in July, Fox News columnist, Steve Kurtz, asked the question regarding the 25th amendment: Constitution or Coup? But that wasn’t the first time the 25th amendment was mentioned by demagogs. They’ve been pining to use it to remove Trump from the day he took office. Since the events in Charlottesville, this narrative has exploded inside the media, with one story after the next calling for the removal of the President under the terms of the 25th amendment:

Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Here is a collogue (sic) of media headlines, asking whether America should remove its President in less than 1 year from being elected. This is just a sample. I could’ve posted dozens of headlines if I wanted to.

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Defenders of Trump will point out that his behavior has been consistent over decades and what you’re seeing now is merely a continuation of his eccentric demeanor. In a CNN program this morning, CNN’s Brian Stelter, joined by WaPo’s Carl Bernstein and two other Never Trumpers, asked whether the President should be removed from office using the 25th amendment. Bernstein said it should be the primary goal of the media to get republicans on the record calling for his removal, emphatically believing the President was mentally ill. Stelter posed the question to his audience: “Is the President of the United States a racist? Is he suffering from some kind of illness? Is he fit for office? (feigns fake concern) And if he’s unfit, then what?”

In summary, Trump could not win the election — because he was a joke. Trump ended up winning, but only thanks to Russian hackers. Since Trump was helped by Russian hackers, he must’ve colluded with them. If Trump colluded with them, he should be impeached (cue Muller). Since the Mueller investigation is taking forever, let’s remove him for daring to suggest that ANTIFA thugs, who regularly beat up people for exercising free speech, were bad actors. Notice how Stelter posed his multi-tiered question, leading with ‘Is Trump a racist?’ Get the audience to first agree to something they’ve been programmed to believe, and then the rest will fall into place — sales 101. In short…

note the care kessler takes to write himself plausibly out of the public sphere

Leaked Chat Logs Reveal White Supremacists Joked About Ramming Before Event
ZeroPointNow, Zero Hedge, Aug 20 2017

Less than a week after white supremacist James Alex Fields drove his car into a crowd in Charlottesville, VA, leaving one dead and 19 injured, leaked chat logs from several weeks before the event reveal protesters joking about mowing down counter-protesters blocking their path. Of note, several conservative groups around the country who are not affiliated with white supremacy or neo-Nazi movements, such as The Three Percenters, have severed all ties with the protests in the aftermath of last weekend’s deadly events.

While we support and defend everyone’s right to free speech, we will not align ourselves with any type of racist group.

In screenshots from a ‘Discord’ chat room moderated by former liberal Obama activist turned white supremacist event organizer Jason Kessler (username ‘MadDimension’), attendees can be seen discussing transportation in case things turned violent. While one member’s suggestion to use Uber was shot down, another participant suggested coordinating with Enterprise rent-a-car in case of a ‘worse case scenario.’ In a subsequent comment, user AltCelt(IL) posted a picture of a two buses being mobbed by protesters, typing ‘this will be us’ below.

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In response, an event organizer named ‘Tyrone’ who worked closely with Kessler, advised the group that it would be legal to mow down protesters under certain circumstances:

I know NC law is on the books that driving over protesters blocking roadways isn’t an offense. This is crossover for this channel and VA law. Sure would be nice – Tyrone

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It is unknown whether or not 20-year-old James Alex Fields, the white supremacist arrested after his 2010 Dodge Challenger plowed into a crowd of counter-protesters, was in the Discord chat room at the time, however members of the group Vanguard America, which Fields belonged to, participated in Kessler’s server.

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What we do know is the same ‘Tyrone’ who made the vehicle-ramming comments also made several posts telling members that attending the event ‘in general’ would be risky.

prepareatyourownrisk1atyourownrisk

What else do the chat logs reveal?

Over 300 screenshots leaked exclusively to unicornriot.ninja were made available in a 65 MB .zip archive on Friday. Here are a few more notable finds:

Kessler organized the event with military precision

To preface, perhaps this 2015 blog entry of Kessler’s can shed some light on how a hyper-liberal Occupy activist did an ideological flip and wound up leading a group of white supremacists in a protest that has since polarized the nation:

kessblogJason Kessler‘s Running Thoughts Blog

And while I’m sure Jason Kessler’s white power buddies didn’t know he had a Jewish girlfriend and African roommates, or wrote and performed African revenge-porn poetry, slamming the “evil” white man:

They didn’t know he was a huge Obama supporter who was heavily involved with the Occupy movement, writing two articles for CNN on the topic, even intervening when participants got into a fight. Kessler sure organized last weekend’s white power rally like a pro!

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And in addition to applying for a license to hold the protest in Emancipation Park and successfully utilizing the ACLU to sue the city when it was rejected, Kessler issued instructions to the group regarding the tiki torch ceremony and other matters.

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Kessler was concerned about optics …

When one participant in the discord chat asked another protest participant if he was in ‘Vanguard’ and if Vanguard was in the ‘National Socialist Front’  (Also known as the National Socialist Movement, or NSM), the other user replied ‘Yup,’ adding ‘Nsm is not the optic Kessler wanted tho.’

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Although I guess he didn’t mind the optics in May when he was hanging out with white supremacist Richard Spencer at Jackson Park:

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Some have questioned whether or not the May demonstration was a ‘dry run’ for last weekend’s ill-fated rally. Note Kessler’s long pause at the :15 second mark when asked.

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Kessler also didn’t mind the optics of the haircut he got to match his new friends attending the ‘Unite the Right’ protest he organized.

The group also discussed using burner phones and cash to avoid doxxing:

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‘Unite the Right’ attendees were also weary of was VA felony mask laws, something the police did not enforce when it came to masked Antifa, as well as whether or not they’d be turned away if the wore shirts with swastikas instead of the polo / khaki ‘uniform’ most of the group can be seen wearing. Going back to Kessler: it appears he’s taken himself out of the equation. Right before deleting his Twitter account, Kessler made a wildly inappropriate tweet about Heather Heyer, the counter-protester killed in Charlottesville:

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This allowed Richard Spencer to cauterize the compromised Kessler from the tiny movement I’m sure we haven’t heard the last of.

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After his offensive tweet, Kessler explained himself as follows:

Strange things indeed …

madgone

the spite of the jews (against polanski, of course)

Judge rejects bid by Polanski’s 1977 rape victim to end case
Jill Serjeant, Reuters, Aug 18 2017

LOS ANGELES – A Los Angeles judge on Friday rejected a request by the woman who was raped by director Roman Polanski 40 years ago to have the criminal case against him dismissed. Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon ruled that Polanski remained a fugitive from justice and that the court could not dismiss a case “merely because it would be in the victim’s best interest.” The ruling follows the first appearance in June in the case by Samantha Geimer, who was 13 years old when Polanski sexually assaulted her in Los Angeles in 1977. The director, who admitted raping Geimer, spent 42 days in pre-trial custody. He then fled Pindostan, fearing a plea bargain with prosecutors would be overruled and that he would get a lengthy prison term. The director, who turned 84 on Friday, has never returned and numerous attempts by his lawyers to strike a deal without him spending more time in prison have failed. Gordon wrote:

The defendant in this matter stands as a fugitive and refuses to comply with court orders.

Geimer went to Los Angeles Superior Court in June pleading for his case to be resolved, saying she had forgiven Polanski years ago and wanted the case put to rest “as an act of mercy to myself and my family.” Geimer, who has three sons and now lives in Hawaii, said in June that Polanski had apologized to her years ago, but that she continued to remain a victim because of media attention each time there was a new development in the case. Gordon on Friday also rejected a request by Polanski’s attorney, Harland Braun, to unseal testimony about the 1977 plea deal. Braun had hoped to use the testimony to persuade European authorities to rescind the international arrest warrant against Polanski. Two recent bids by Pindostan to extradite Polanski, from Switzerland and Poland, have failed. Braun says Polanski wants to be able to travel freely and to visit the grave of his wife, Sharon Tate, who was murdered in Los Angeles in 1969. Polanski’s career has flourished despite the notoriety of the rape case (There is some unstated assumption about the social responsibility of the employers of film directors here – RB). In 2003, he won an Oscar for directing the Holocaust film “The Pianist” but did not travel to the United States to collect it. Braun on Friday expressed frustration at the failure to resolve matters, saying:

This case is 40 years old, with an 84 year-old defendant and a 50 year-old victim requesting that the matter be resolved. It appears that a resolution of this case should be simple.

normality jam

CNN Normalizes Antifa: Leftists ‘Seek Peace Through Violence’
Penny Starr, Breitbart News, Aug 19 2017

In a feature story on Antifa protesters who physically assault those they disagree with, CNN lays out the narrative that the leftist protesters are driven to violence in an effort to achieve peace. CNN reports:

On the morning of Donald Trump’s inauguration, Keval Bhatt hunted through a closet in his parents’ Virginia home for the darkest clothes he could find. The 19-year-old didn’t own much in black, the color he knew his fellow protesters would wear head to toe on the streets of Washington that day. Bhatt told CNN: “I thought, there’s a very good chance that I might get arrested, that my whole life could be radically altered in a negative way if I kept driving, and I was really close to turning around, but I think the rationale is that even if it did negatively affect my life, I had still contributed to this movement that was necessary. I was still making an effort to make other people’s lives better, even if it made my life worse, and once I realized that, I had no regrets.”

Bhatt, who was arrested, is used as an introduction to the people who identify as the Antifa movement, which CNN reports is not the same at the Democrats or other liberals who support them. According to CNN:

Antifa has come to represent what experts who track these organizations call the ‘hard left’ — an ideology that runs afield of the Democratic Party platform and supports oppressed populations as it protests the amassing of wealth by corporations and elites.

CNN also speculates that Antifa is a grassroots organization that lacks central leadership, although it has been documented by Breitbart News that powerful Leftists, including George Soros, are funding protests and protesters. Describing those protesters as anti-Trump on “society’s fringe,” including illegal aliens and transgender people, they embrace violence. CNN reports:

Antifa leaders admit they’re willing to physically attack anyone who employs violence against them or who condones racism — as long as force is used in the name of eradicating hatred.

CNN also notes the connection between Antifa and Nazi Germany, even if the media outlet and many others characterize people who are targeted by Antifa as the ones with Nazi sympathies. CNN reports:

Anti-fascists and the black bloc tactic originated in Nazi Germany and resurfaced in UK in the 1980s. Large numbers of Antifa activists first appeared in Pindostan at anti-WTO protests in 1999 in Seattle, and then more recently during the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Citing their involvement in the riots in Berkeley, California, where Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter did not speak as planned because of violence, CNN reports:

White nationalists, neo-Nazis and others — who have been blamed for provoking violence at last week’s ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville, Virginia — claim it was Antifa groups that first got aggressive.

CNN reports that Antifa members have been involved in violent clashes across Pindostan and around the world, including in Chicago, Philadelphia, Houston, Alabama, and Nebraska and at the G20 summit in Hamburg. CNN reports:

Antifa is impossible to track.

CNN notes that “very few” were willing to take their masks off during interviews and that it took “months” to find those who would “share their stories.” CNN concludes that the people who Antifa targets describe themselves as “alt-right” and are inspired by Trump, who they say instigated violence during his presidential campaign by calling out protesters that showed up at his rallies. Antifa, according to CNN, claims their violence is “self-defense” against “hate speech” and people with whom they disagree. CNN reports:

It’s a position taken by many Antifa activists: ‘This is self-defense.’ Antifa activists often don’t hesitate to destroy property, which many see as the incarnation of unfair wealth distribution” and “sometimes launch attacks against people who aren’t physically attacking them.

Quoting John Adams, Scott Crow, a longtime Antifa member, said:

Don’t confuse legality and morality. Laws are made of governments, not of men. Each of us breaks the law every day. It’s just that we make the conscious choice to do that.

CNN reports Antifa memebers use Facebook to organize their protests or counter protests and take martial arts classes and “strategize” on how to achieve their goal of “taking down fascists.” Members of a Portland-based Antifa group “don’t apologize” for the violence, according to CNN. The group’s leader said:

You have to put your body in the way, and you have to make it speak in the language that they understand. And sometimes that is violence.

the donald actually wrote “we will heel and be stronger”

Donald Trump: ‘We Will Heal and Be Stronger’
Charlie Spiering, Breitbart News, Aug 19 2017

boston-Michael-DwyerAP-640x480Photo: Michael Dwyer/AP

President Donald Trump praised protesters in Boston on Saturday, after an estimated 40,000 people arrived in the city to challenge a planned free speech rally of about 300 right-leaning people. The protests were contentious but lacked the same level of violence demonstrated in Charlottesville after riot police dispersed the rally. Trump unexpectedly praised the counter-protesters after he had criticized many of them as “anti-police agitators.” He wrote:

He also praised the Boston mayor and law enforcement officials for a quick response:

According to the Boston Police Department, 27 arrests were made. The Boston Police commissioner confirmed that “bottles of urine” and other items were thrown at the police officers.

Trump’s first tweet deliberately misspelled the word “heal” as “heel” twice, before he deleted and corrected it, prompting jeers from his critics: