Category Archives: pseudo-freedom

The GOP Doesn’t Have a Line in the Sand | Dame Magazine

Whether this country can recover and restore itself to a functioning democracy is an open question, but the answer will be “no” without a drastic change in tactics by all of us, without a recognition of the challenges we face and the nature of the Trump/Republicans’ war on democratic values. For Trump is unraveling, becoming more unhinged and erratic, more despotic, almost by the day. He is in open cognitive decline. You don’t have to be a shrink or neuropsychologist to see it. Read the transcript of any of his recent speeches: He is incoherent, free-associating, and paranoid, as he warns that his live TV appearance will be “leaked.” He mixes up words, can barely utter a complete sentence. (Don’t mock his confusion of “oranges” for “origins.”  It’s a function of dementia, not stupidity.) That cognitive decline would be scary and destabilizing enough on its own, but married to the character traits of a sociopath, it is even more dangerous. The rage and lack of capacity, the flailing, the insults, the paranoia and conspiracies, the self-aggrandizement, the raw hatred, the lies, the attacks on others, the rejection of facts, the assaults on the most basic of democratic institutions,

Source: The GOP Doesn’t Have a Line in the Sand | Dame Magazine

Trump’s emergency: the arbitrary action of an instinctive autocrat | Simon Tisdall | US news | The Guardian

The declaration, or attempted diktat, is the arbitrary action of an instinctive autocrat. It trashes convention, and co-equal Congressional rights and oversight. It is the product of an immature, egotistic mind. And it is based on a lie – namely, that Trump repeatedly promised he would make Mexico pay for the wall, not US taxpayers. More than anything, the wall is physically as well as politically divisive – and division is a trademark of Trumpism. It features in almost everything he does, whether the issue is race in the US, gun control, press freedom, Venezuela, Iran or the Israel-Palestine conflict. Trump is not alone in his myopic, fearful outlook. Walls, or the more euphemistic, antiseptic “separation barriers”, have been proliferating globally in recent years – in the West Bank, between India and Pakistan, and between EU countries, the Balkans and the Middle East. Another may soon be erected, in one form or another, on the island of Ireland. The world can be divided into those who build walls and those who build bridges. There is no doubt which side Trump is on.

Source: Trump’s emergency: the arbitrary action of an instinctive autocrat | Simon Tisdall | US news | The Guardian

Rambling Trump calls an emergency in speech that goes on and on and on | US news | The Guardian

Trump’s White House screed was him at his Trumpiest – the old man at the bar sounding off about the world’s ills

Source: Rambling Trump calls an emergency in speech that goes on and on and on | US news | The Guardian

German bank to determine whether Jewish peace group is anti-Semitic | +972 Magazine

Bank für Sozialwirtschaft says it will conduct a ‘scientific review’ of Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East after the group was accused anti-Semitism over its support for the BDS movement.

Source: German bank to determine whether Jewish peace group is anti-Semitic | +972 Magazine

The pressure on both Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East and Bank für Sozialwirtschaft, began in 2016, after the Jerusalem Post published an article on several Jewish German groups that had demanded the bank shut down the organization’s account over the latter’s support for BDS. The bank gave in and the account was shut down — the first time a German bank had shut down a Jewish organization’s account since the fall of the Nazi regime — only to be re-opened in 2017.

Measles: WHO warns cases have jumped 50% | Society | The Guardian

In 2018 measles caused approximately 136,000 deaths around the world, according to the WHO’s preliminary figures. The highly contagious disease can cause severe diarrhoea, pneumonia and vision loss. It can be fatal in some cases and remains “an important cause of death among young children” according to the WHO. The disease can be easily prevented with two doses of a “safe and efficient” vaccine that has been in use since the 1960s, the UN agency says. Facebook under pressure to halt rise of anti-vaccination groups Read more Up until 2016 the number of measles cases had been steadily declining but since 2017 the number had soared, according to Katrina Kretsinger, who heads WHO’s expanded immunisation programme. “There are a number of outbreaks … which are driving some of these increases,” she told reporters, pointing to significant outbreaks in Ukraine, Madagascar, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Chad and Sierra Leone. In Madagascar alone “from October 2018 through 12 February 2019 a total of 66,278 cases and 922 deaths have been reported”, the WHO said.

Source: Measles: WHO warns cases have jumped 50% | Society | The Guardian

Wife of White House communications chief goes on anti-vaccine tirade | US news | The Guardian

Darla Shine, a former TV producer, is married to Bill Shine, the former executive at Fox News who was appointed last year as Donald Trump’s deputy chief of staff for communications. Faced with criticism over her comments, Shine accused “the Left” of attempting to smear her. She also suggested, without evidence, that measles can cure cancer, pointing to a 2014 case that was far more complex and did not draw any kind of definitive conclusions. Advertisement This is not the first time Darla’s Shine’s public statements have sparked controversy. She once declared that sunscreen was “a hoax” and on numerous occasions pushed debunked theories about the danger of vaccines. Other unearthed tweets found Darla Shine making profane remarks about race, questioning why white people were considered racist for using “the n’word” given its use by black people and defending the Confederate flag. She has repeatedly struck a dismissive tone when discussing allegations of sexual assault, be it in the military or at Fox News.

Source: Wife of White House communications chief goes on anti-vaccine tirade | US news | The Guardian

Will Chinese company’s stake in Reddit normalise censorship? | Emily Bell | Media | The Guardian

The creation of concentration camps for a million Uighurs in Xinjiang has not been enough to persuade any of the Silicon Valley entrepreneurs receiving funds from Chinese companies to refuse the cash. Neither is it apparently enough of a deterrent to stop the US companies investing in China to stop their plans to enter the market. Trade tensions between the US and China revolve entirely around tariffs and not around human rights. Most troubling of all, against a background of demonstrably tightening censorship, internment camps and an extension of totalitarianism, the narrative of western companies is that their presence in China, and the presence of Chinese money in western companies, is helping ease those restrictions. All the evidence says this is not true.

Source: Will Chinese company’s stake in Reddit normalise censorship? | Emily Bell | Media | The Guardian