Author: Kit

Bias – The New Impartiality

You know what happens when you split equal time between the flat-Earth and round-Earth arguments? The flat-Earther loses. Because an impartial viewing of the evidence proves them wrong. Propaganda is fragile. A false consensus has fault lines. Lies can be torn down by the gentlest of winds. The truth always wins a fair fight.

NYT Admits “no evidence” of Russian Collusion.

The headline says it all really – it’s not exaggeration or spin on our part. For months, years even, we’ve been told that Trump is “the Siberian candidate”, or “Putin’s puppet” and “Russia’s Weapon”. The evidence was never supplied, but those who questioned the claim were mocked, derided and ignored. None of that matters now…because today, in the New York Times, these words were published: …no public evidence has emerged showing that his campaign conspired with Russia in the election interference or accepted Russian money.” For proof, and just in case they take it down, here’s the screen cap they took over at Moon of Alabama: Right there in black-and-white. There are other words, of course, thousands of them, a quarter of a novel. All designed to blow smoke over this para and give the opposite impression without actually lying. But none of the others matter: these 20 words prove Russiagate is fake, and that the NYT knows it and just hopes its readers don’t catch on. That para is basically a full on admission …

Three Point Failure: The Guardian’s racist campaign against “dirty Russian money”

by Kit Since the initial press hysteria over the Skripal case, the major political parties of the UK have been clambering over each other in an effort to scale the highest peak of moral high ground. Every paper, pundit and career minded MP only too eager to denounce the inherent badness of Russia, and everything Russia-related. RT was attacked again – despite having literally nothing to do with the Skripal case – and threatened with having its broadcasting license revoked, whilst the Tories and Labour argued over who appeared on the channel the most. The “liberal” press, and even some Labour MPs who should know better, went on the attack over “dirty Russian money” in the Tory party. Just as in the US, with the ludicrous “Russia-gate” investigation, any kind of connection to Russia was treated as an automatic taint, and MPs and journalists alike rushed to wash themselves clean and make it clear they were the most anti-Russian. The pro-Corbyn Left missed the mark to greatest degree, overly keen to smash their “soft on …

Skripal Case: Luke Harding’s latest work of fiction

Kit Luke Harding likes writing books about things that he wasn’t really involved in and doesn’t really understand. Unfortunately for the rest of the world, that covers pretty much everything. His book about Snowden, for example, was beautifully taken down by Julian Assange – a person who was actually there. He’s priming the traumatised public for another of his works, this time about Sergei Skripal. This one will probably be out by Christmas, unless he can find someone else’s work to plagiarise, in which case he might get it done sooner. It will have a snide and not especially clever title, perhaps a sort of pun – something like “A Poison by Any Other Name: How Russian assassins contaminated the heart of rural England”. It will relate, in jarring sub-sub-le Carre prose, a story of Russian malfeasance and evil beyond imagining, whilst depicting the whole cast as bumbling caricatures, always held up for ridicule by the author and his smug readership. There’s an extract in The Guardian today. It’s not listed as one, but trust …

UPDATED: Skripal Case: Gaping Holes in New Narrative

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) named their suspects in the poisoning of Sergei Skripal et al. today. The two men – named as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov – entered the country on legal VISAs but are alleged to be travelling under aliases. The CPS has charged the men with a laundry list of offenses, but not applied to Russia for extradition as it is forbidden, by the Russian Constitution, for the Russian federation to extradite a citizen.

These are the new facts, but like all the previous announcements in this bizarre odyssey, they present more questions than answers.

First they came for the home-schooled….

There is a war being waged. Not the one in Syria or Yemen. Not the Nazis shelling the Donbass or the warlords selling slaves in Libya. Not America’s drones executing an entire garden party in Pakistan because somebody on that street might have googled “bomb components” and “American Airlines” on the same day 10 years ago. Not even between the ridiculous buffoon Trump, and the equally absurd “resistance”.

A different kind of war.

5 timely reminders that the media think you are an idiot…

The corporate media think we are stupid. All of us. They have as much respect for our intellect or ability to reason as they do for the truth. This is displayed, in size 20 font, on the front page of every newspaper every single day. They paint a picture of an absurd world, and expect us all to nod along with it, blithely accepting their stories as true, no matter what laws of reason – or even physics – they bend to suit their purpose.

The world in the newspaper and on the television is not real in any true sense of the word. Merely a crazy fun-house mirror reflection of the truth. Important features shrunk to nothing, tiny flaws blown up out of proportion. Apparently solid shapes that – on inspection – are nothing but strange plays of light and shadow.

With that in mind, let’s remind ourselves of the kind of completely bonkers things we’re all expected to believe.

Internet Censorship: Appeal to Reinstate “American Everyman”

Just a week or so after Spotify, Google, Apple and Facebook made the curiously synchronized move to kick Alex Jones and InfoWars off their platforms, and just days after Facebook shut down Venezuelan news network TeleSur’s facebook page (for the second time), the war on the free internet has opened up another front. Small independent blogs are being shut down, seemingly without reason and certainly without explanation. AmericanEveryman.com has been closed without notice or warning, according to the blog’s owner Scott Creighton. Allegedly for violating WordPress’ “terms of service”, although they have apparently been entirely vague about how. Other such blogs – fellowshipofminds.com and jaysanalysis.com – have suffered the exact same fate, on the exact dame day. There is undeniably a push to silence dissent and purge it from the internet. There may well be dozens – even hundreds – of other examples. If you object to censorship, of any kind, please fill out a form on automattic.com and request that these blogs are reinstated. Please support our friends who wish to do nothing but …

No, Carole Cadwalladr, THIS is what war looks like…

Carole Cadwalladr has been applying her fingertips to her keyboard again. This is usually bad news for anybody offended by giant leaps of logic or insufferable smugness, but it’s also usually inane enough you can just ignore it. Not in this case. The overall standard of Western Journalism has fallen, and it was never mountainously high to begin with, but this tweet is SO offensive, so hubristic and vain and insulting that it merits special attention. It deserves to be called out. Loudly, and often. No – Carole – Facebook profile pictures are NOT “what war looks like now”, and sitting behind a keyboard in the home counties, giggling about Russian bots whilst Wimbledon is muted on the TV behind you, doesn’t make you a fucking soldier. How DARE you write that? Do you have no sense of hubris? Of respect? It is the most disgusting sentence I have ever read. Words cannot express the smallness of the mind and the gargantuan scale of the ego that shat those words into the world, fully expecting …

“Democratic Institutions?” – 10 Lessons from history that will destroy your trust in the CIA

In the hysterical wake of the Trump-Putin Summit in Helsinki, President Donald Trump was roundly criticised in the media for taking the side of a “hostile state” over his own intelligence agencies. The Guardian referred to Mueller as a “heroic marine” who Trump disbelieved in favour of a “Russian dictator”.

In the past, when Trump has criticised the FBI, CIA or NSA he has been accused of “undermining faith in our institutions”. He’s been blamed for a collapse of trust in the government. But was this trust ever earned?

At every corner, we are urged to simply believe what we are told. Whether it is about believing Porton Down and MI6 about “novichok”, or believing the White Helmets about Sarin, or believing the FBI about “collusion”, we are presented with no facts, just assertions from authority. Those who question those assertions are deemed “bots” at best or “traitors” at worst.

Well here, fellow traitors, are the Top Ten reasons to question anything and everything the CIA – or any intelligence agency – has ever told you.

Open Thread: Trump-Putin Summit and Mounting Hysteria

Yesterday, Trump and Putin met for a summit in Helsinki. The resulting hysteria, all throughout the mainstream media and in the minds of neocon and (self-described) “liberals” alike.

Just to be clear – it is not unusual for heads of state to meet. It is not unusual for leaders with different values or interests to discuss international politics. It’s the entire point of diplomacy.

The media at large appear to have forgotten this – giving thousands of column inches to insane ramblings employing words such as “traitor”, “treason”, “puppet” and “surrender”. Words which are rapidly losing their meaning.

What is the Real Agenda Behind the Great “Twitter Purge”?

Kit On July 12th, Twitter launched their announced “purge”. Stripping roughly six percent of all the followers on the platform. Barack Obama lost millions, so did Katy Perry. The stated aim of the exercise was to increase “accuracy” of follower counts, thereby making them more “meaningful”. This was announced in Twitter’s official explanation on July 11th, the day before the “purge”: Twitter has claimed the power to simply force people to stop following certain accounts – they claim to only target “locked” accounts (this isn’t actually true, as we’ll see later), but even if it were…the grounds for “locking” an account are purely subjective. “Unusual activity” is the cited as the reason accounts are locked, and “unusual activity” can mean whatever they want it to mean. Whether or not YOU are considered a real person is now entirely up to people who have never met you, judging whether or not your behaviour is “unusual”. We know, from previous experience, how well this works, considering provably real people such as Ian56 and PartisanGirl were listed as …

Times Headline: Fears Over Prospect of Peace

OffGuardian was founded on the idea that he media should be held to account, corrected, fact-checked and interpreted. A lot of the time that’s job that needs to be done. But sometimes it’s not. Sometimes you just let them talk and their own words condemn them. This is one of those times. The Times is scare-mongering about peace. Nothing more need be said.

“Right to Die”, or Right to Kill?

by Kit The Guardian’s “Comment is Free” section makes for predictable reading this morning. John Harris says Brexit is bad and Corbyn is to blame, Shon Faye writes that trans rights are a class issue and Rhil Samadde going off on one about handshakes and Donald Trump. There’s nothing there about veganism or how Vladimir Putin causes global warming, but it’s still only early. Truly serious issues covered — None. Set-menu “liberal” agendas pushed — Several. Virtue signalled — Loudly and at length. The worst offender is Polly Toynbee, and that’s not really unusual: She thinks we should have a “right to die” law. The Gosport Scandal involved healthcare workers murdering patients with morphine, and Harold Shipman murdered patients with morphine. Polly thinks the best way fix this would be to make murdering patients with morphine legal. The logic is flawless. She outright dismisses the argument such a law could be abused with one sentence: The difference between unwanted death and assisted suicide can be encapsulated in one word: choice. And then does the same …

Obama v. Trump: How the New York Times Lies About Lies

Eric Zuesse Although the New York Times says that President Donald Trump lies vastly more than did President Barack Obama, the definite liar in that comparison — based on the factual record, to be presented here — is the New York Times itself. It lies in alleging this, which isn’t to say that either President lies more frequently than the other, but instead, that the Times’s calculation fails to count, at all, but instead altogether ignores, some of President Obama’s very worst lies — ones that were real whoppers. These were lies that were essential to his maintaining support among Democrats (such as the owners of this corporation, the NYT, are), and that would keep Democrats’ support only if they judged him by his words and not by his deeds: failed to judge him by his actual decisions and actions (such as the NYT’s owners do — or else they secretly know the truth on this, but prevent this truth from being published by their employees). Even to the present day, Obama is evaluated by Democrats on the basis of his lies …

The Parallel Universe of BBC Panorama

The folks at Panorama LOVE Putin, or at least love to hate him. In the last two years there have been no less than five (five!) episodes devoted to the man, and indeed the myth. The most recent Putin-hit piece aired just last week – in the run up to the World Cup – its rather more mundane title simply: “Putin’s Russia with David Dimbleby”. The documentary, for want of a better word, opens on David Dimbleby wandering through a Moscow market looking at *sigh* Russian nesting dolls, and it doesn’t get less predictable from there on in.

January 2016 brought us “Putin’s Secret Riches”, January 2017 “Trump: The Kremlin Candidate”, March of this year brought us two inside a week, “Putin: The New Tsar” and “Taking On Putin!”. As the titles suggest, none of them were especially objective or open-minded. That’s not in the BBC’s remit.

WATCH: Robert F. Kennedy’s Martin Luther King Jr. Assassination Speech

On April 4th 1968 Martin Luther King was shot and killed in Memphis Tennessee. New York’s Senator Robert F Kennedy was in Indianapolis, on the campaign trail for the 1968 Presidential election, when he heard the news. Deciding to break the news to the predominantly black crowd, with only minutes to prepare and no written notes, Kennedy stood on the back of a flat-bed truck and delivered a five minute speech that would define his legacy as the perhaps the greatest POTUS America never had. TRANSCRIPT: I have some very sad news for all of you, and I think sad news for all of our fellow citizens, and people who love peace all over the world, and that is that Martin Luther King was shot and was killed tonight in Memphis, Tennessee. Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice between fellow human beings. He died in the cause of that effort. In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it’s perhaps well to ask what kind of …

VISA Payment Crash and the Dangers of a Cashless World

Yesterday, Visa’s payment system crashed in Europe. Millions of people were unable to complete purchases. Some found themselves trapped overseas. It was a small glitch, apparently, but could have caused a major panic.

This situation should be a special warning to the people of the UK, who on average carry only £17 in cash at any moment, and where 1/4 of us will leave a store if paying by card is not an option. I count myself among those people.

MH17: “New evidence”, same issues

Nearly four years since the incident, and over two years since they last reported any progress, the MH17 Joint Investigative Team (JIT) have held a press conference. To underline their previous position – they still think Russia did it. The timing of this statement could be seen as very politically convenient for the NATO allies and the Kiev regime. The West would have you believe that the proximity to the World Cup is purely coincidental. Whilst those suggesting that this is a great cover for Ukraine’s renewed shelling of separatists regions in the Donbass will surely be dismissed as “apologists” or “cynics”. None of that is really the issue though. Whether they truly have “new evidence”, or whether this is just a rehash of discredited Bellingcat nonsense, is immaterial. If the politically convenient timing is a coincidence or a stunt does not matter. The most important point is that the JIT is fatally and irredeemably flawed. The JIT, made up of investigators from Australia, the Netherlands, Malaysia and Ukraine…but not Russia, has obvious credibility problems …

Profile: Guardian Pass Notes

A quick run-down of that bit of the Guardian where ill-informed anonymous authors take cheap pot-shots at easy targets. Name: Guardian Pass Notes Age: Launched in 1992, canned in 2005, brought back in 2009. So…either 26 or 22 depending on your math preference. Purpose: None that I can find. Where: Down the bottom. Both figuratively and literally. If websites had a back page, it would be around there somewhere. It’s one of the many reasons the Guardian’s banner ads asking for money are getting bigger. Appearance: A sort of faux questionnaire that’s obviously all been written by the same person. Well, that sounds like a cheap way to set up your own snide one-liners: Excellent summary, me. That’s exactly what it sounds like and exactly what it is. It’s the journalistic equivalent of cheating at solitaire. What do they write about? Thankfully they’re mostly confined to the shallow end, everything from Steven Seagal to invisible jeans. So that’s good right? We don’t want important topics covered so flippantly: No we don’t, which is why it’s …