Can you imagine doing this at the airport? You take off your shoes, put your liquids in the x-ray tray… and then hand over your unlocked phone to a border agent for them to look through?
In the U.S., a disturbing proposal is on the table: Key U.S. politicians want to force every single traveller crossing the border to hand over their digital devices, unlock them, and provide their social media passwords.1
This week on CounterSpin: “T-Mobile Very Pleased with Direction of Change under Trump Administration, CEO Says.” That headline tells you pretty much what you need to know about Ajit Pai, Trump’s choice of chair for the FCC—the entity charged with representing the public interest in the communications industry. The phone company exec is pleased, he says, because Pai’s appointment signals “an air of less regulation.”
Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily banning refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East has been a major story during the new administration’s early days. As one of Trump’s main campaign promises, this immigration policy has generated untold hours of TV coverage and news headlines.
The policy’s sloppy language, bungled roll-out and punitive real-world impact on innocents have rightly been prominently reported by journalists. Much of the coverage has focused on the widespread backlash to the ban, which has manifested itself in numerous legal challenges and a nationwide series of rapid-response airport protests. Coupled with the new president’s record-low approval ratings, the refugee ban increasingly tells a tale of a White House struggling to impose an unpopular agenda. Continue reading this...
Eight-year-old Nawar al-Awlaki, killed in a US raid in Yemen.
This week on CounterSpin: No one should be surprised that the Trump White House declared the recent commando raid in Yemen that killed at least 23 civilians, including children, “a successful operation.” Some media accounts are describing the first raid on Trump’s watch as “botched,” but that’s not the same as questioning it, much less putting it in a broader context of what’s happening in Yemen and what the US is doing there. We’ll get more information from Zaid Jilani, reporter for The Intercept.
David Frum’s “How to Build an Autocracy” leaves out the first step in the recipe.
In “How to Build an Autocracy” (Atlantic, 3/17), George W. Bush speechwriter David (“Axis of Evil”) Frum begins his warning about Donald Trump’s authoritarian tendencies by imagining Trump’s second inauguration in 2021:
American broadcasting network NBC was the first to report news from a senior US military official that in the first airstrike and military raid carried out under President Donald Trump, two Americans were killed in Southern Yemen on Sunday. One was a member of SEAL Team 6 a U.S. Navy component of Joint Special Operations Command, sometimes referred to as a Special Mission Unit. The raid, conducted by JSOC, was intended to capture valuable intelligence, specifically computer equipment – but local accounts describe US personnel running amok, reporting a body count of 59 combatants and civilians, including women and children.
White “radicals” and Black “nationalists” join with corporate Democrats and “latte” liberals” to mouth nonsense about Russians. Clinton Democrats attack Trump from the right — and sweep know-nothings of all stripes along with them. “Collaboration from the left with the new McCarthyism is providing an opening for the isolation and repression of those of us who were going to have to fight no matter who would have been elected.”
Monsanto Should be Held Accountable in the International Criminal Court
“The British Government has colluded with Monsanto and should be held accountable in the International Criminal Court in The Hague for crimes against humanity and ecocide.” Dr Rosemary Mason.
The British public and the environment are being poisoned with a deadly cocktail of 320 pesticides. Moreover, Wales has become a storage dump for Monsanto’s most toxic chemicals. These are the messages conveyed by Dr Rosemary Mason in her recent open letter to Councillor Rob Stewart, the leader of Swansea City and County Council.
On the day President Trump is inaugurated, thousands of writers in the United States will express their indignation. “In order for us to heal and move forward…”, say Writers Resist, “we wish to bypass direct political discourse, in favour of an inspired focus on the future, and how we, as writers, can be a unifying force for the protection of democracy.”
And: “We urge local organizers and speakers to avoid using the names of politicians or adopting ‘anti’ language as the focus for their Writers Resist event. It’s important to ensure that nonprofit organizations, which are prohibited from political campaigning, will feel confident participating in and sponsoring these events.”
Thus, real protest is to be avoided, for it is not tax exempt.
The US intelligence community looks at RT programming.
The much-anticipated Office of the Director of Intelligence (DNI) Report—the combined assessment of the CIA, FBI, DHS and others—on alleged attempts by Russia to influence the 2016 election was released on Friday to a combination of uncritical boosting and underwhelmed perplexity. To many, it was further proof of Russia’s involvement in the DNC and Podesta hacks; to others–even to typically bullish Daily Beast–it was remarkably thin on details and evidence.
The blockade of water from Wadi Barada to 5 million people in Damascus is taking an interesting turn. The U.S. and UK financed White Helmet organization seems to be directly involved in it. This increases the suspicion that the illegal blockade of water to civilians in Damascus is part of a organized campaign under U.S. command. The campaign is designed to block utilities to government held areas as revenge for the liberation of east Aleppo.Continue reading this...
Obama has formally accused Moscow of interfering in the US elections on behalf of Donald Trump. These are serious allegations. Whereas the sanctions are directed against Russia, the ultimate intent is to undermine the legitimacy of president-elect Donald Trump and his foreign policy stance in relation to Moscow.
According to the US media, the sanctions against Moscow were intended to ”Box in President-elect Donald J. Trump” because Trump “has consistently cast doubt” that Putin was involved in the alleged hacking of the DNC. In an earlier report on Kremlin meddling, the NYT (December 15) depicted Donald Trump as “…a Useful Idiot”… an American president who doesn’t know he’s being played by a wily foreign power. (emphasis added)
Ya make a guy feel humble I make a fool of myself again Ya make me trip and stumble Just go dance by yourself again….
And you’re kinda kute baby, kinda kute baby See you dance in your satin suit baby When you move gotta sit right down No competition with This kinda kutie around — Joe Jackson, “Kinda Kute” 1979, from the album I’m the Man
Kinda Kute, isn’t it, watching the president of the United States whimper and moan about Russian “intervention” in the 2016 election? Kinda precious, isn’t it, watching the titular head of a government that has intervened before, during, and after elections, and with lawyers, guns, money, and drugs, in countries around the world and across decades, whine about the treacherous, nefarious, outrageous actions of the Putin government which violated the gentleman’s code of coup plotting….by hacking and releasing emails?