Samizdat

Samizdat is the name given to the underground passing of messages between dissidents in the old Soviet Union. Where everybody knew that Pravda was lying to them. Now it refers to all of us, bloggers, news aggregators, citizen journalists, even legal monitors the most famous being Judicial Watch.

It’s happened in the United States and Great Britain for the same reason it did in the Soviet Union, the legacy media almost never tells us the truth. And now, if you read these sources, you know more about what is happening than anybody at the NY Times or the Guardian, in the boardroom of any of our large corporations or especially broadcasters like CNN (coming to be better known as XiNN) or the BBC.

One of the reasons this grassroots (real ones) effort is so successful is simply because it bounces around the Anglosphere so quickly. You may well get a story from Australia first here, or on some British blogs before your local Australian paper deigns to cover it (if they ever do). Just as happened with that young, pregnant mother arrested and handcuffed in front of her kids for making a Facebook post.

Somebody else who has noticed is Jack Cashill writing at American Thinker. He says:

[Speaking of professional sports] The players all endorsed the BLM movement or appeared to. So did the sportscasters, the advertisers, the TV networks, Hollywood, Big Tech, the New York Times, the major magazines, and just about everyone with a prominent soapbox except for Fox News — and even Fox waffled.

Had the execs been paying attention, however, they would have understood that the same forces that supported the BLM protest also supported Hillary Clinton. In 2020, as in 2016, the major media’s collective control of the BLM messaging was subverted by the samizdat’s ability to record and distribute the facts on the ground. For the first time in history, ordinary people know more real news than do the people in control of America’s major newsrooms.

V.P. candidate Kamala Harris has yet to catch on. Allying herself with Kenosha’s Jacob Blake, Harris paid a visit to Blake’s family last week and spoke to Blake on the phone. “I mean, they’re an incredible family,” said Harris. “And what they’ve endured, and they just do it with such dignity and grace.”

Times readers applauded. They, like Harris, did not know what the samizdat knew. For starters, the dad of this incredible family, Jacob Blake, Sr., is likely no fan of the Times, having tweeted not too long ago, “The Jewish controlled media tells you what they want you to hear.” This was one of many anti-Semitic tweets from the old man.

The samizdat also know that the son from this incredible family, Jacob Jr., broke into the home of an ex-girlfriend, digitally raped her in front of a sleeping child, and stole her car keys and debit card. Police issued an open warrant for Blake’s arrest on sexual assault charges and a restraining order, the violation of which prompted a call to the police.

The day when Joseph Pulitzer could tell a photographer, “You provide the photographs and I’ll supply the war.” are long gone.

It’s most advanced in the United States, but Britain and Australia are quickly narrowing the gap. And those who know are getting angrier by the day. Yes, we have President Trump, who knows this, but they haven’t managed to find their equivalent yet. I predict they will.

Kipling was right though, and they should fear his words.

Richmond and Press Bias

So, the Virginia 2d amendment rally was entirely peaceful. No real surprise to anyone but the media. As the Babylon Bee says:

Somber members of the press offered their thoughts and prayers that someone would start some violence at the gun rights rally in Virginia today.

Reporters expressed their grief and condolences as the violence they hyped has so far failed to materialize.

“Nobody has so much as fired a shot. This is an unbelievable tragedy,” said one teary-eyed MSNBC reporter, clearly caught up in the anguish of the moment.

John Hinderaker at PowerLine adds:

Antifa threatened to show up at the rally, and likely would have created violence if it had done so. But for some reason, the group’s leaders changed their minds. Maybe they focused on the fact that the 2x4s, pipes and baseball bats with which they are used to beating up innocent bystanders might not fare so well in this crowd. One young guy who looked suspiciously like a leftist advocated jumping the fence and killing people. The genuine demonstrators denounced him as an “infiltrator”–which I suspect he was–and told him to “get the f*** out.”

No surprise at all in any of that. How did we ever survive without the Babylon Bee though? In a related matter…


David Weinberger at The Federalist has some thought on why the media can not be unbiased. Let’s look.

Americans generally agree that news media should be “objective” and “report the facts.” But as I recently explained, there is no such thing as merely reporting “the facts.”

Consider a simple example. Imagine a drunk driver kills someone. Which facts are relevant to report? Does it matter where the accident occurred? How about the identities of the people involved? Do their backgrounds matter? What about where the driver was coming from and where he was going? Is race important? Should the media report anything about their families’ reactions to the incident?

Ought the details of the vehicle be reported? What if it is later revealed that the brakes were faulty? Does it matter whether the driver is a citizen? What if he is an illegal immigrant? Are there then possible implications for public policy, and if there are, ought they be reported? Furthermore, how much time should news media devote to this matter — a 10-minute news segment, an hour, or possibly even a 24-hour news cycle or more?

Facts alone cannot answer these questions. Discerning which facts to report requires judgment, and judgment requires morality. As the late Leo Strauss observed, “We cannot observe facts without selecting facts, and we must therefore have principles guiding our selection.” Put simply, the notion that facts are completely severable from values — an idea known as the “fact-value distinction” — is untenable, and no news outlet should pretend otherwise.

Lest this be misunderstood, the news media do bear a responsibility to report the facts they select as accurately as possible, but facts do not select themselves. No outlet is therefore free from ideology. Rather than feign objectivity, it would be more responsible for news outlets to drop the pretense altogether and instead invite the best opposing thinkers to debate the issues of the day. In other words, “diversity of ideas,” not “report the facts,” is a more sensible goal for news media.

Keep reading at the link above.

He makes excellent points here, no matter how we try, we cannot be unbiased, the best we can do is admit our bias and try to read around a subject getting several viewpoints. All stories have at least two sides, after all, and most have many more – the world isn’t black and white but a technicolor extravaganza.

You want an example? I looked at probably 20 (or more stories) in the last 24 hours before I selected these two, the very selection, and my comments on them reflect my biases. So does everything else you’ll read today and in the future. Your judgment and discernment are called for to cut through the chaff and find the grain.

It’s actually always been that way, we just had this spell where we thought we could depend on the organized media to do the job for us. We can’t and we never could, we just got lazy. This is a country where people are required to think for themselves, mob tactics are antithetical to self rule.

System Fail, Mueller, and the Expert Class

There’s actually nothing here that you don’t know, but there is a lot that has not been said out loud. How many of you sit there looking at the paper, or the broadcast news, and simply gape in amazement at the garbage they throw your way. Part of it likely is the 24-hour news cycle, all that time to fill with something, insane or not, part of it is the effect of the internet on the old media. But the main result is that almost all of the media is not only going broke but is entirely despised by the people. Here’s part of why, from Lee Smith.

It will take weeks for the elite pundit class to unravel all the possible implications and subtexts embedded in Robert Mueller’s final report on the charge that Donald Trump and his team colluded with Russia to fix the 2016 election. The right claims that the report exonerates Trump fully, while the left contends there are lots of nuggets in the full text of the final report that may point to obstruction of justice, if not collusion.

But here’s all you need to know about the special counsel probe:

First, after nearly two years, the special counsel found no credible evidence of collusion. It found no credible evidence of a plot to obstruct justice, to hide evidence of collusion. The entire collusion theory, which has formed the center of elite political discourse for over two years now, has been publicly and definitely proclaimed to be a hoax by the very person on whom news organizations and their chosen “experts” and “high-level sources” had so loudly and insistently pinned their daily, even hourly, hopes of redemption.

Mueller should have filed his report on May 18, 2017—the day after the special counsel started and he learned the FBI had opened an investigation on the sitting president of the United States because senior officials at the world’s premier law enforcement agency thought Trump was a Russian spy. Based on what evidence? A dossier compiled by a former British spy, relying on second- and third-hand sources, paid for by the Clinton campaign.

That is one lesson and a very big one.

The campaign was waged not in hidden corners of the internet, but rather by the country’s most prestigious news organizations—including, but not only, The New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, and MSNBC. The farce that has passed for public discourse the last two years was fueled by a concerted effort of the media and the pundit class to obscure gaping holes in logic as well as law. And yet, they all appeared to be credible because the institutions sustaining them are credible.

Michael McFaul was U.S. ambassador to Moscow—he knows everything about Russia. He wouldn’t invent stuff about national security matters out of thin air. Jane Mayer is a national treasure, one of America’s greatest living journalists who penned a long profile of Christopher Steele in the pages of the New Yorker. Susan Hennessy is a former intelligence community lawyer, who appears as an expert on TV. And how about her colleague at the Lawfare blog, Benjamin Wittes, a Brookings Institution fellow and a personal friend of James Comey? You think he didn’t have the inside dope, every time he posted a “Boom” GIF on Twitter predicting the final nail just about to be hammered in Trump’s coffin?

Many more jumped on the dog pile along with them, validating each other’s tweets and breathless insider sourcing. The point was to thicken the echo chamber, with voices from the right as well as the left in order to make it seem real. Hey, if this many experts are saying so, there must be something to it.

Except, there wasn’t—ever.

Read it all at The Tablet, via Ace.

Absolutely correct, I believe. Like the fake testimonials of so many snake oil salesmen in the old west, not only was there was not a sliver of truth in what these feather merchants were trying to sell us, it was all based on actual purchased lies. Given a thin veneer of respectability by being purchased from a British former intelligence spook. But Cristopher Steele, no matter what these fools think, is no James Bond. He’s just another grifter trying to get rich trading on his contacts.

And mind, I put the political consultants on TV and in the press in exactly the same category. If Karl Rove was so good, he wouldn’t be flapping his jaw on Fox, he’d have real clients, running for office, and winning. He and all the rest of them are losers, with middling excuses, and an ability to spin a tale, no truth necessary, one listens to them at one’s peril.

Manic Monday

Well, Monday was quite the day, wasn’t it?

The Creepy Porn Lawer (CPL AKA Michael Avenatti) got himself indicted by the Southern District of New York for attempting to extort millions from Nike, on video no less. And he was indicted in Los Angeles a few minutes later for essentially stealing a client’s settlement. The IRS would also like to have a word with him. This is serious stuff. The Victory Girls have more.

Also, The Right Scoop adds that Mark Geragos, a long time CNN legal contributor, now fired, has been named a co-conspirator with CPL in the Nike case. Some of his other clients included Jussie Smollett, Colin Kaepernick, Michael Jackson, and Chris Brown. They make a good pair, I think.

CNN had a doubleplusungood day yesterday with this coming on top of being rendered totally not credible, maybe incredible is the word, by the report of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller.

But they are hardly alone in that, as The Federalist tells us.

After spending two years perpetuating allegations that President Trump colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election, news anchors were visibly shaken by the findings of Robert Mueller’s investigation.

From the time news broke on Friday that there would be no more forthcoming indictments from Mueller, to the revealing of Attorney General William Barr’s letter on Sunday exonerating Trump of collusion, cable news outlets were reckoning with their crumbling conspiracy theories in real time.

On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Friday morning, host Mika Brzezinski became visibly confused as she read the breaking news off her teleprompter.

Couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch of scumbags, in my opinion. Overdue, in fact.

The Federalist, who has done a lot of extremely good work on the whole Russia, Russia, Russia thing, especially Mollie Hemingway, also reminds us that the country itself has been damaged.

If our country is ever to recover from this mess, we can’t forget how we got here. Russians were attempting to hack both the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee in late 2015. Whether the DNC was ultimately hacked or suffered an internal leak, the truth remains that the DNC documents and emails obtained by WikiLeaks showed the entire country that Hillary Clinton, and those around her, were corrupt and would bend the rules (or worse) for power. There was never a real and fair contest between her and Bernie Sanders.

As soon as the Clinton campaign realized its misdeeds toward Bernie had been made public, they blamed Russia. They immediately began putting out a narrative that attempted to say Russia had acted to favor Trump, which included paying Fusion GPS—a notorious propaganda outfit with ties to loads of so-called journalists—to create ties between Trump and Russia.

Fusion GPS then hired a former British spy, Chris Steele, to boost their credibility. He used a different British guy with ties to the Kremlin, Edward Baumgartner, who employed unknown Russians to write a series of Word documents that alleged Trump-Russia collusion.

Meanwhile, Clinton stooge Cody Shearer wrote other documents that alleged Trump-Russia collusion, and Clinton stooge Sidney Blumenthal disseminated those documents into the Obama State Department with the help of would-be Clinton administration secretary of state Victoria Nuland. The State Department people then gave those documents to the FBI.

It turned out to be an excellent way to make people even more distrustful of a government grown over-large, and far too arrogant. It will echo for decades, at least. And it should.

Alan Dershowitz makes the point that Mueller’s report reads like a law school exam, telling us all sides, but never taking one. He’s supposed to be a prosecutor, not a law student. And that leaves it open to partisan wrangling and spinning from now to doomsday. I think he has a point.

Meanwhile, as the clock runs down on Brexit, my read is that the law says they leave at 11 pm this Friday unless a law changes that. But everybody in the UK seems to read it differently, and also differently than they do in Brussels. The more I read, the more confused I get, which of course, is the EU way. Good luck mates.

Scandal of Silence

It’s always interesting, at least to me, what others see when they look at us, with all our kerfluffles, contretemps, and even the occasional very real scandal. Makes me grateful that they still have such expectations of us, after seeing how sordid our dirty laundry really is.

In any case, Melanie Phillips wrote Sunday about that House Memo that has so not been making the news, but we all know about anyway, and how horrible it sounds. Here’s Melanie filling in the cousins about it.

If you are in Britain and relying on the BBC and mainstream media for your information, you probably won’t know that a political scandal has been developing in the Washington swamp which has the potential to make Watergate look positively puny by comparison. You probably won’t know that what passes for the accepted wisdom about President Trump may be in the process of being turned on its head.

The reason there’s been no news coverage is that it suggests Trump has been not the instigator but the target of collusion – between the FBI, the Justice Department, the Democratic party and the Russians, first to prevent him from being elected US President and then to lever him out of office.

Last Thursday, some Republicans in Congress who had seen a secret memo, apparently compiled by House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes and fellow Republicans on the panel and which involved the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), were so disturbed by what it contained that they called for it to be made public immediately. They were not at liberty to divulge what it said, merely to express their concerns. But the assumption is that it supposedly contains evidence that the Obama administration made illegal use of FISA warrants to spy on both the Trump campaign and transition teams.

“The allegations contained in this important intelligence document”, Rep. Matt Gaetz told Fox TV, “go to the very foundations of our democracy. I am calling on our leadership to immediately hold a vote on the floor of the house to make public the key contents of this intelligence memo regarding the FBI, the Department of Justice and President Trump.”

According to Fox News contributor Sara Carter, the contents of the memo were so explosive “that it could end special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe once and for all”. Gaetz later told Sean Hannity’s show: “I believe people will go to jail.”

On Friday, Gaetz went further. “Our republic is in jeopardy if we allow this type of a palace coup environment to continue to persist… If we get this memo into the public square heads are going to roll at the FBI and the Department of Justice… What I’m worried about is that the cast of characters in the memo are not a group of people that are gone. Many of these people are still in our government. They still wield influence… It’s easy to see after reading this memo why Senator Grassley and why Senator Graham wanted to refer this matter for criminal prosecution. Laws were broken…”

By the way, if you were to ask me why I rarely listen to the BBC anymore, it is quite simple, it is simply another CNN, spouting the same fake news, designed to undermine the President of the United States as well as western civilization, and I don’t need it in stereo, or at all.

Think about that, denizens of the swamp perp walked in orange jumpsuits, what a wonderful, improbable vision. But it may be so, this is that big.

[…]Democrat Rep Adam Schiff has been pushing the same line. So shouldn’t this material be made public so that people can make up their own minds? Oh no, says Schiff, that would be a really bad idea “because the American people unfortunately don’t have the underlying materials and therefore they can’t see how distorted and misleading this document is”.

Never trust the people to think independently if you’re a Democrat, eh.

Yesterday, the Daily Caller featured this video interview with a former federal prosecutor, Joe diGenova. He brandished a document he said was now in the public domain but which the media had ignored. This was a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court decision on April 7 2017 which, he said, claimed there had been systematic violations of the law by the Obama Administration in a “brazen plot to exonerate Hillary Clinton” and “frame an incoming president with a false Russian conspiracy”.

“DiGenova condemned the FBI for working so closely with the controversial Fusion GPS, a political hit squad paid by the DNC and Clinton campaign to create and spread the discredited Steele dossier about President Donald Trump. Without a justifiable law enforcement or national security reason, he says, the FBI ‘created false facts so that they could get surveillance warrants. Those are all crimes.’ He adds, using official FISA-702 ‘queries’ and surveillance was done ‘to create a false case against a candidate, and then a president.’

“In this highly detailed video interview, he holds up an unreported April 2017 99-page FISA court opinion that ‘describes systematic and on-going violations of the law [by the FBI and their contractors using unauthorized disclosures of raw intelligence on Americans]. This is stunning stuff.’ ”

It’s stunning stuff, for many of us, the stuff of our worst nightmares, and time to take it out and examine it in the cold light of day.

But wait, there’s more!

Holy crap is there more. From Melanie’s post yesterday, which explains the unexplainable as best it may be explained.

Ok, this is all getting completely out of hand. Here are some more amazing developments in the Washington swamp of which you may be unaware if you rely on the mainstream media.

To recap. Last year saw revelations about FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page. The significance was this. Strzok, when deputy chief of counterintelligence, oversaw the Trump investigation when it was opened in July 2016 and had previously been a top investigator on the Clinton email probe.

Both Strzok and Page worked on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation until July 2017. Strzok was removed after the Justice Department’s inspector general discovered text messages he exchanged with Page with whom he was having an affair. In these exchanges, Strzok spoke insultingly about Trump. In another, he referred cryptically to an “insurance policy” that the FBI sought to take out in case Trump defeated Clinton in the election.

Now read on – and hold onto your jaw as it drops to the floor.

The Justice Department has told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in a letter that the FBI has LOST five months of email messages between the pair.

The letter states: “The Department wants to bring to your attention that the FBI’s technical system for retaining text messages sent and received on FBI mobile devices failed to preserve text messages for Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page.” he failure was put down to “misconfiguration issues related to rollouts, provisioning, and software upgrades that conflicted with the FBI’s collection capabilities. The result was that data that should have been automatically collected and retained for long-term storage and retrieval was not collected,

Pretty convenient, ain’t it, especially since the period they couldn’t manage to record the texts for is from December 14, 2016, to May 17, 2017. In other words from the date (approximately) of the Electoral College electing Trump until the very date, Mueller was appointed. Obviously a coincidence. Yeah right, there’s this bridge for sale up in Brooklyn.

We can’t prove it yet, but it is a coup, pure and simple. The evidence is out there, the internet is forever, as we all know, some of us to their sorrow. And as always, it is not so much the crime, as the cover-up.

Rope, Constitution Avenue lamposts, some assembly required.

The New and Improved Sausage Factory

This is interesting, especially if you are like me, and believe almost nothing you hear, and well less than half as much of what you read. Yeah, I know, hell of a way to run a railroad, but then again Lee Smith, writing in The Tablet magazine does, I think, shed some light on the new and improved sausage factory. See what you think.

Donald Trump, Jr. appears to be the latest figure in President Donald Trump’s inner circle to be caught in the giant web of the Great Kremlin Conspiracy. Trump the younger said he was promised dirt on Hillary Clinton, but that all he got in his June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer was an earful about dropping the Magnitsky Act, which sanctions Russian officials involved in the death of a Russian lawyer who was killed in detention.

If the Trump, Jr. meeting is just another chapter in the Beltway telenovela about Trump selling out America to the Russians through an ever-changing cast of supposed intermediaries—come back, Mike Flynn and Carter Page, we hardly knew ye—it sheds valuable light on the ways and means by which the news that fills our iPhone screens and Facebook feeds is now produced. You see, the Russian lawyer—often carelessly presented as a “Russian government lawyer” with “close ties to Putin”—Natalia Veselnitskaya, who met with Trump, also worked recently with a Washington, D.C. “commercial research and strategic intelligence firm” that is also believed to have lobbied against the Magnitsky Act. That firm, which also doubles as an opposition research shop, is called Fusion GPS—famous for producing the Russia dossier distributed under the byline of Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent for hire.

Steele’s report, a collection of anonymously-sourced allegations, many of which were said to come from “high-ranking former Russian government officials”—i.e. not exactly the kinds of people who seem likely to randomly shoot the shit with ex-British spooks—detailed Trump’s ties to Russian officials and strange sexual obsessions. Originally ordered up by one of Trump’s Republican challengers, the dossier circulated widely in D.C. in the months before the 2016 election, pushed by the Clinton campaign, but no credible press organization was able to verify its claims. After Clinton’s surprise loss, the dossier became public, and it’s claims—while still unverified—have shaped the American public sphere ever since.

If you haven’t noticed, there is almost no substance to any of this bullshit. I don’t carry water for Trump, but this is ridiculous, if you are going to attack the President, one should at least have him acting as the getaway driver for a two-bit robbery, but most of this seems made out of the whole cloth. And the main loom operator seems to be Fusion GPS.

Fusion GPS was founded in 2009—before the social media wave destroyed most of the remaining structures of 20th-century American journalism—by two Wall Street Journal reporters, Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch. They picked up former colleagues from the Journal, Tom Catan, and Neil King, Jr., who were also well-respected by their peers. When the social media wave hit two years later, print media’s last hopes for profitability vanished, and Facebook became the actual publisher of most of the news that Americans consumed. Opposition research and comms shops like Fusion GPS became the news-rooms—with investigative teams and foreign bureaus—that newspapers could no longer afford.

As top reporters themselves, the principals of Fusion GPS knew exactly what their former colleagues needed in order to package and sell stories to their editors and bosses. “Simpson was one of the top terror-finance investigative reporters in the field,” says one Washington-based journalist, who knows Simpson professionally and personally, and who asked for anonymity in discussing a former reporter. “He got disillusioned when Rupert Murdoch took over the Journal because there was less room for the kind of long-form investigative journalism he thrived on.”

And now, says the journalist, “they’re guns for hire. They were hired to dig up dirt on donors to Mitt Romney’s campaign, they were hired by Planned Parenthood after a video exposing some of the organization’s controversial practices.”

Besides Russia, Fusion GPS has also worked with other foreign countries, organizing campaigns and creating news that furthers the aims of the people who pay for their services—using the fractured playing field of “news” to extend old-fashioned lobbying efforts in a way that news consumers have been slow to understand.

Fusion GPS, according to the company’s website, offers “a cross-disciplinary approach with expertise in media, politics, regulation, national security, and global markets.” What does that mean, exactly? “They were hired by a sheikh in the UAE after he was toppled in a coup and waged an information war against his brother,” one well-respected reporter who has had dealings with the company told me. “I believe they seeded the New Yorker story about the Trump Hotel in Azerbaijan with alleged connections to the IRGC. They may have been hired to look into Carlos Slim. It’s amazing how much copy they generate. They’re really effective.” (About the former example, New Yorker editor David Remnick said this was not true.)

Yet it is rare to read stories about comms shops like Fusion GPS because traditional news organizations are reluctant to bite the hands that feed them.

There’s lots more at the link above. I think you should read it, and attempt to understand it. I think it explains quite a lot of what we see in the legacy media, often well and truly called #Fakenews, not least because it is bought and paid for by actors who have an agenda, which may or may not be compatible with the Administration, or for that matter what the people want. In any case, it is advocacy, not reporting as any of us understand it. And that is very bad for a free country or even one that is trying to hang on to its citizen’s freedom.

The answer? I have no idea, and doubt anyone else does either. But the first step to solving anything is to recognize and define the problem. This goes some distance in doing that. In the meantime, Distrust and verify.

 

%d bloggers like this: