Thoughts On The Persecution Of Julian Assange

Thoughts On The Persecution Of Julian Assange, by Caitlin Johnstone. Some really important points about reality today:

Assange started a leak outlet on the premise that corrupt and unaccountable power is a problem in our world, and that the problem can be fought with the light of truth. Corrupt and unaccountable power has responded by detaining, silencing and smearing him. The persecution of Assange has proved his thesis about the world absolutely correct.

Anyone who offends the US-centralized empire will find themselves subject to a trial by media, and the media are owned by the same plutocratic class which owns the empire. To believe what mass media news outlets tell you about those who stand up to imperial power is to ignore reality.

Corrupt and unaccountable power uses its political and media influence to smear Assange because, as far as the interests of corrupt and unaccountable power are concerned, killing his reputation is as good as killing him. … Someone can be speaking 100 percent truth to you, but if you’re suspicious of him you won’t believe anything he’s saying. If they can manufacture that suspicion with total or near-total credence, then as far as our rulers are concerned it’s as good as putting a bullet in his head.

Relentless smear campaigns against Assange have given the unelected power establishment the ability to publicly make an example of a journalist who published uncomfortable truths without provoking the wrath of the masses. It’s a town square flogging that the crowd has been manipulated into cheering for. Narrative control has enabled them to have their cake and eat it too: they get to act like medieval lords and inflict draconian punishment against a speaker of undeniable facts and leave his head on a spike in the town square as a warning to other would-be truth tellers, and have the public believe that such a bizarre violation of modern human rights is perfectly fine and acceptable. …

We live in a reality where unfathomably powerful world-dominating government agencies are scrutinized and criticized far, far less than a guy trapped in an embassy who published inconvenient facts about those agencies. …

Anyone who participates in the ongoing smear campaign against Assange and Wikileaks is basically just saying “Extremely powerful people should be able to lie to us without any difficulty or opposition at all.”

Men die on the job more often than women, but no one cares

Men die on the job more often than women, but no one cares, by Nicole Russell.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that, in 2015, men dominated the 20 most dangerous occupations in the United States. Logging is the most dangerous job in the U.S., followed by fishing. Mining is the 20th most dangerous profession. More men than women occupied these jobs by anywhere from 85.4 to 99.9 percent.

Still, very few feminists, or anyone really, make a stink about the gender gap in casualties on the job. Perhaps because men earn so much doing it? Or they don’t deserve recognition because the patriarchy discovered logging and it’s getting what it deserved? Whatever the reason, it’s rarely mentioned, certainly not by feminists. I didn’t see “safety at work” anywhere in the #HumanRightsDay memes or tweets — but I did see calls for healthcare, contraception, and awareness of global warming as human rights.

University of Wollongong first to run Ramsay’s Western degree

University of Wollongong first to run Ramsay’s Western degree, by Jordan Baker.

The Ramsay Centre has found a home for its controversial Western civilisation degree at the University of Wollongong.

The centre, funded through a bequest from the late healthcare magnate Paul Ramsay, will give UOW more than $50 million over the next eight years so students can study great thinkers, philosophers and scientists of the Western tradition.

The first 30 Ramsay scholars — who will need an ATAR of 95 to be admitted — will begin their three-year degree in early 2020 and receive a scholarship of at least $27,000 each.

The UOW course will be closer to the centre’s vision than the one proposed by Sydney [University]; it will preserve the term ‘civilisation’; be a full degree rather than a major; and focus on European art and architecture as well as books. …

The degree proposed by the Ramsay Centre uses the Socratic method of teaching, in which small groups of students, facilitated by an academic, explore their material in depth, discussing and debating its themes. …

The university will spend the next year recruiting 10 academic staff to a new School of Liberal Arts.

The degree is modelled on great books and core curriculum courses in the United States, such as the one at Columbia. But they have been controversial there, too, with Stanford cancelling its version in the late 1980s after protests.

Never heard the Wollongong song? It’s oddly memorable:

Anyone remember Norman Gunston, from 1970s Australian tv?

I’m sure Western Civilization will flourish just fine in Wollongong. Snooty PC Sydney University misses out because it is barren ground for learning what made our civilization great.

hat-tip Joanne

Putin Unveils Huge Solzhenitsyn Statue with Christian Imagery in Moscow, Urges Young to Read Him

Putin Unveils Huge Solzhenitsyn Statue, Urges Young to Read Him, by Lew Rockwell.

Putin is a huge Solzhenitsyn fan, and made this very clear while the writer was alive by publicly meeting him and praising him, (pictures below), and attending his funeral.

Significantly in his speech, Putin criticized the “totalitarian system which brought suffering and severe trials to millions of people”, and praised Solzhenitsyn for criticizing it and for calling for morality.

Solzhenitsyn was a staunch Christian in his later years and urged his countrymen to look to their traditional religion for moral strength.

Putin:

I remember well all the meetings with Alexander Solzhenitsyn – his wisdom, his prudence and a deep understanding of history.

His heart and soul, his thoughts were filled in equal measure with pain for the Fatherland and unlimited love for it. These feelings fueled all his work. He clearly delineated the true, genuine, people’s Russia and the totalitarian system, which brought suffering and severe trials to millions of people. But even being in exile, Solzhenitsyn would not tolerate anyone to speak evil or scornfully of his homeland, and opposed any manifestations of Russophobia.

A man of integrity, an exceptionally principled person, Solzhenitsyn never wanted to be comfortable. In his writings, in his literary, journalistic and social activity, he openly and consistently defended his views and convictions, and argued the unconditional value of the morals that provide for a healthy society.

Without understanding the country’s past there can be no meaningful movement into the future, Solzhenitsyn believed. Therefore, he directed his efforts toward finding and designating ways to improve Russia, so that the hardest and most dramatic trials that befell our country would never happen again, so that our multiethnic people would live in dignity and justice.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘Green New Deal’ Is Neither ‘New’ Nor ‘Green’ — It’s Just Socialist

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘Green New Deal’ Is Neither ‘New’ Nor ‘Green’ — It’s Just Socialist. By Joel Pollack.

Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has championed the “Green New Deal,” an idea rapidly gaining traction in Democratic Party circles.

The “democratic socialist” from New York has pushed for the policy in alarmist terms: “People are going to die,” she says, unless it becomes law. Or perhaps “Americans are dying” already. Either way, we face “cataclysmic climate disaster” unless Congress can “plan and implement a Green New Deal” in ten years.

But the “Green New Deal” has little to do with the environment. It is the latest incarnation of a “red-green” strategy, developed decades ago, which seeks to achieve socialist economic policy through the ruse of environmental crisis. …

The main demand: a shift to 100% renewable energy sources by 2030. The promise, as with Van Jones in 2008, is that the shift will create massive numbers of new working-class jobs. …

The “Select Committee” Ocasio-Cortez is demanding would draft legislation to achieve the “Green New Deal.” Along with 100% renewables, her plan also calls for “upgrading every residential and industrial building for state-of-the-art energy efficiency, comfort and safety”; and “funding massive investment in the drawdown and capture of greenhouse gases.”

By any measure, Ocasio-Cortez is calling for huge government intervention in the economy.

This is the modern version of Keynesian stimulus by useless activities. The classical standard is employing people to dig holes and others to fill them in.

It’s just the broken window fallacy in new clothes. No, breaking windows does not stimulate overall economic activity, even though it causes more work for glass manufacturers and glaziers. It merely transfers expenditure from something else to repairing windows, from useful activity to unnecessary activity. Breaking windows does not stimulate the economy, it just wastes time and money and thereby weakens the economy.

Spending our resources on expensive energy — renewables work out about three to ten times more expensive than coal and nuclear — just makes society and people poorer. Resources are wasted on unnecessary activities, instead of being spent on furthering human welfare.

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific

Christopher Steele: I Was Hired to Help Hillary Clinton Challenge the 2016 Election Results

Christopher Steele: I Was Hired to Help Hillary Clinton Challenge the 2016 Election Results, by Joel Pollack.

Christopher Steele, the former British spy who prepared the Russia “dossier” that has led to more than two years of investigations into President Donald Trump’s campaign, has told a London court that he was hired to provide a basis to challenge the legitimacy of the 2016 presidential election in the event that Trump won. …

“Based on that advice, parties such as the Democratic National Committee and HFACC Inc. (also known as ‘Hillary for America’) could consider steps they would be legally entitled to take to challenge the validity of the outcome of that election.”

Steele’s dossier was used by the FBI to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to spy on several Trump associates. The FBI never told the FISA court explicitly that the Democratic National Committee or the Hillary Clinton campaign had paid for the dossier, though it did indicate that the document had been compiled as opposition research.

The dossier, and rumors of its contents, circulated widely throughout elite Beltway circles both before and during the election. The document — whose main claims have never been corroborated — is directly responsible for claims about Russian interference in the election, which Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party, and the media have used to cast doubt on the 2016 election — just as Steele’s employers had allegedly intended.

The left’s charges of Trump not accepting election results and of conspiracy involving Russians are just more leftist projection.

UPDATE: The White House issues a more strongly worded statement than usual:

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific

Scary AI Generates Humans That Look 100% Real

Scary AI Generates Humans That Look 100% Real, by Jesus Diaz.

The technology works so well that we can expect synthetic image search engines soon — just like Google’s, but generating new fake images on the fly that look real. Yes, you know where that is going — and sure, it can be a lot of fun, but also scary.

Rather than trying to copy and paste elements of different faces into a frankenperson, the system analyzes three basic styles — coarse, middle, and fine styles — and merges them transparently into something completely new.

Coarse styles include parameters such as pose, the face’s shape, or the hair style. Middle styles include facial features, like the shape of the nose, cheeks, or mouth. Finally, fine styles affect the color of the face’s features like skin and hair. …

Not only the generative adversarial network is capable of autonomously creating human faces, but it can do the same with animals like cats. It can even create new cars and even bedrooms.

Some sort of threshold has been crossed. All pictures can be faked now.