Navalny, Ward, Assange, Snowden and the Attack on Free Speech

by craig on July 25, 2013 4:44 pm in Uncategorized

Russia does not have a functioning criminal justice system at all, in the sense of a trial mechanism aimed at determining innocence or guilt.  Exactly as in Uzbekistan, the conviction rate in criminal trials is over 99%.  If the prosecutors, who are inextricably an arm of the executive government, want to send you to jail, there is absolutely no judicial system to protect you.  The judges are purely there for show.

When critics of Putin like Alexei Navalny are convicted, therefore, we have absolutely no reassurance that the motivation behind the prosecution or the assessment of guilt was genuine.  Which is not to say that Navalny is innocent; I am in no position to judge. People are complex.   I sacrificed my own pretty decent career to the cause of human rights, but in my personal and family life I was by no means the most moral of individuals.  I see no reason for it to be impossible that all of Navalny’s excellent political work did not co-exist with a fatal weakness.  But his criticisms of Putin made him a marked man, who the state was out to get, and the most probable explanation – especially as prosecutors had looked at the allegations before and decided not to proceed – is that he is suffering for his criticisms of the President rather than a genuine offence.

It fascinates me that the Western media view the previous decision by the prosecutors not to proceed as evidence the case is politically motivated against Navalny; but fail to draw the same conclusion from precisely the same circumstance in the Assange case.

David Ward MP has not been sent to jail.  He has however had the Lib Dem whip removed, which under Clegg’s leadership perhaps he ought to consider an honour.  It is rather a commonplace sentiment that it is a terribly sad thing, that their community having suffered dreadfully in the Holocaust, the European Jews involved in founding the state of Israel went on themselves to inflict terrible pain and devastation on the Palestinians in the Nakba.   Both the Holocaust and the Nakba were horrific events of human suffering.  For this not startling observation, David Ward is removed from the Liberal Democrats.  He also stated that, with its ever increasing number of racially specific laws, its walls and racially restricted roads, Israel is becoming an apartheid state.  That is so commonplace even Sky News’ security correspondent Sam Kiley said it a few months ago, without repercussion.  In Russia you cannot say Putin is corrupt; in the UK you cannot say Israeli state policy is malign.  Neither national state can claim to uphold freedom of speech.  Meanwhile, of course, David Cameron announces plans to place filters on the internet access of all UK households.

In the United States, the House of Representatives failed by just 12 votes to make illegal the mass snooping by the NSA which was not widely publicised until Edward Snowden’s revelations.  What Snowden said was so important that almost half the country’s legislators wished to act on his information.  Yet the executive wish to pursue him and remove all his freedom for the rest of his life, as they are doing to Bradley Manning for Manning’s exposure of war crimes and extreme duplicity.

Around this complex of issues and the persons of Manning, Navalny, Snowden and Assange there is a kind of new ideological competition between the governments of Russia, the US and UK as to which is truly promoting the values of human freedom.  The answer is none of them are.  All these states are, largely in reaction to the liberating possibilities of the internet, promoting a concerted attack on freedom of speech and liberty of thought.

States are the enemy.  We are the people.





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  1. Scarlet Pimpers

    25 Jul, 2013 - 4:59 pm

    “If the prosecutors, who are inextricably an arm of the executive government, want to send you to jail, there is absolutely no judicial system to protect you.”

    by your definition above the USA does not have a functioning criminal justice system at all either.

    Manning will go down no doubt about it. Also, when they catch Edward Snowden (eventually), he too will go down.

    America is creating one of the biggest human rights exploitations in the history of the world. Deplorable…

  2. As far as Snowden is concerned, and Assange to some extent, I’m amazed at the people who judge them according to the places they seek asylum. Russia = Bad, so anything worthwhile about Snowden is automatically negated. He’s a traitor, end of story (besides, if you’ve got nothing to hide, etc. etc.). Much the same with Assange – since Ecuador does not have a glowing record on press freedom, Assange must be a hypocrite of the first order, should be ignored, and so on.

    This sort of knee-jerk dismissal of whistleblowers/ publishers has taken place across the political divide – many progressives give them the thumbs down. This, despite the fact that Assange/ Snowden had little choice about where to go – there are few countries with the ability to resist/ ignore US threats and disfavour, but also would not just willingly do whatever the US asks as a matter of policy (such as the UK).

    Recall that US Secretary of State John Kerry recently threatened to ground any Venezuela’s aircraft in US or any other NATO country’s airspace, if Snowden landed up there.

  3. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    25 Jul, 2013 - 5:08 pm

    The twelve votes that were missing (not voting) was no coincidence, craig. Strange alliances unless you consider the NSA has dirt on everyone including the House of Representatives.

    “99% conviction rate” Only about 600 jury trials (12 member) out of one million trials. Ostensibly, a jury trial is available if the defendant wishes. how could anyone NOT want a jury?

    It’s not that bad in the US as of yet. I recently served on a criminal trial and it was a clear case of prosecutorial abuse and police bungling. I think the judge agreed with the jury, but thank the gods for the defendant. If the judge was corrupt, he wouldn’t have had a chance.

  4. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    25 Jul, 2013 - 5:17 pm

    “This sort of knee-jerk dismissal ”

    It’s been interesting seeing the lines in the sand, glenn. I think it may be simplistic analysis, but I have broken it down to two disparate groups.

    1) Authoritarian law-givers, who either make their living as an officer of the Court, or have friends in law enforcement, who believe the LAW is an immutable edifice merely needing to superficially reference Constitutional issues.

    2) Civil rights advocates who recognize the Law is just a temporary structure promulgated by the status quo.

    To me, it’s that simple.

  5. Michael Stephenson

    25 Jul, 2013 - 5:54 pm

    Is Ecuador’s record on press freedom really that bad? How would the US regime react to media that was as critical to the establishment as is tolerated by the Latin American states, and is funded by the US who are trying to bring about a coup.

    The US and the UK will not tolerate PressTV, how’s that for press freedom?

  6. Lots of issues in this post, Craig.

    Are we reaching a stage where there is too much information, too much disinformation, too many distractions, too many incidents of corruption, too many accusations of guilt, too many acquittals and too many relative truths that ordinary people give up trying to understand how it all works and  consequently seek relief by ensconcing themselves in little bubbles of false conciousness to simply get by?

    For every bad thing that people protest and demonstrate over, there are a hundred more bad things waiting for their attention. I sometimes wonder whether the powers that be are trying to overwhelm the common man with so many incidents of injustice that his will to resist collapses.

  7. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    25 Jul, 2013 - 6:19 pm

    Craig is establishing an equivalence between the US, the UK and Russia in the question of whether they are interested in promoting human freedom (his thought being that none of them is).

    It’s sad to see that this simple message – expressed in clear English – simply does not penetrate into the minds of (some) readers, who swerve away from Russia in order to give a supplementary kick to the US.

    Note the very first comment on this thread , from Scarlet Pampers. He says :

    ““If the prosecutors, who are inextricably an arm of the executive government, want to send you to jail, there is absolutely no judicial system to protect you.”

    by your definition above the USA does not have a functioning criminal justice system at all either.”.

    and overlooks entirely the point also made by Craig which is that in Russia the judge is there purely for show. This is not the case in the US, where, apart from having judges who are not there purely for show, there are also juries. THEREFORE what Craig correctly says about Russia (“there is absolutely no judicial system to protect you) is NOT valid for the US (and he does not say it is)and CONSEQUENTLY Scarlet Pampers’ statement that the “USA does not have a functioning criminal justice system at all either” is tosh.

    Some of your commenters really do you no favours, Craig (not that that’s your fault).

  8. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    25 Jul, 2013 - 6:19 pm

    Sorry, I meant Scarlet PIMPERS.

  9. This is both a free speech issue and a monarchy issue.

    “Insulting the French president no longer a criminal offence

    Change to law pushed through after conviction of man who held up a sign telling then-president Nicolas Sarkozy to get lost”

    Hmmm. The UK fares very unfavorably with this.

  10. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    25 Jul, 2013 - 6:31 pm

    @ Jemand

    “For every bad thing that people protest and demonstrate over, there are a hundred more bad things waiting for their attention. I sometimes wonder whether the powers that be are trying to overwhelm the common man with so many incidents of injustice that his will to resist collapses.”

    I think that’s absolutely right (although one could discuss whether the overwhelming is deliberate policy by the powers that be or simply a case of much more information coming out into the open compared to the past).

    It’s a little like so-called compassion fatigue, isn’t it : the more cases of corruption and shady dealings that come out into the open, the more such behaviour inperceptibly becomes to be seen as the norm; the consequences are that public indignation subsides with each new revelation, which in turn emboldens more people to try it on (all the more so as offenders are usually rehabilitated after an interval which appears to be getting shorter and shorter (contrast the John Profumo and David Maws affairs).

  11. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    25 Jul, 2013 - 6:33 pm

    David Laws, of course! (too much beach volley today)

  12. Michael: Slight misunderstanding, those are not my arguments, but those from people who want a reason to bash Assange’s pitching in with Ecuador. For that matter, how’s Ecuador’s record on spying upon not only its own citizens, but everyone else in the world (compared with the US) ?


    Ben: I’d not considered the divide that way before, but now you mention it – bartcop (who used to have a good site) is absurdly authoritarian, particularly on this issue, for someone who likes to call himself progressive. Given the name, perhaps he used to be in law enforcement. I only mention bartcop because it was a rather entertaining place for a long time. Now it’s gone increasingly mainstream and right wing, and so – apparently – are a substantial number of its subscribers.

    Greenwald has also come under the same attack. Contributors who have been on the right side of issues (IMHO, of course!) for years, on the likes of rawstory and so on, can’t find enough unpleasant things to say about him, or with which to mock him, now. Here’s a new interview with Greenwald on the consistently brilliant Majority Report ( :

    Glenn Greenwald NSA revelations fallout, on the Majority Report

  13. I suppose it’s fair enough to say that Russia is currently operating a much less nuanced gangster system than the US, and that’s understandable given the naked power stage they’re at.

    This system was created for them of course by the US neocons, but still it’s what you’d expect at this stage of development.

    Over time you would expect them to develop soft power alternatives. Much easier to maintain. More stable etc.

    The worrying thing is that the US, even with so much soft power still available to it, is increasingly revealing its fangs and opting for the naked power approach, even at home.

  14. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    25 Jul, 2013 - 6:43 pm

    @ Herbie

    I’m not sure that the UK compares unfavorably : is not the difference that there is no specific law in the UK on insulting public officials and perhaps MPs, Ministers and the head of state – any alleged offences would in general be tried under various general common law offences such as “insulting behaviour”, “behaviour likely to cause a breach of the peace”, etc – whereas in some continental countries there are specific offences such as “Beamtenbeleidigung” (Germany)?

    But I stand willing to be corrected (not my speciality).

  15. States are the enemy.

    Do you mean this in a can’t live with em can’t live without em kind of way or something more interesting?

  16. Habbabkuk, I think all judicial systems are functional and therefore serve a function. But was is the function? To quell public unrest? To protect and raise the high standards of humanity? To intimidate people into robotic compliance of state laws? All of the above, it seems to me.

    So many countries have politicised criminal justice systems that are perfunctory exercises in nominal justice but also, more usefully, extensions of state oppression for troublemakers. But that doesn’t let the US justice system off the hook for its own failures.

    The US criminal justice system is a career path for some politicians. Defence lawyers can’t expect many votes coming their way from their legal career in defending pedophiles, rapists and murderers. On the other hand, prosecutors can expect plenty of votes for putting away anyone, guilty or not. There are a few documentaries (by Errol Morris et al) that reveal the political exploitation of the system by (psychopathic) careerist, prosecutors.

    Having said that, I would much rather go to trial in Oz than the US, and the US than Russia, and Russia than China, and China than North Korea.

    But, wherever you are, “justice” is more likely when you have money and clout.

  17. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    25 Jul, 2013 - 6:57 pm

    “The worrying thing is that the US, even with so much soft power still available to it, is increasingly revealing its fangs and opting for the naked power approach, even at home.”

    Herbie; I think it’s easier for most to deal with the stealthy and covert diddling behind the curtain of foreign governments and cold-cocking that influence around the world, when the goodies intended to distract (expanding unemployment insurance to perpetuity) make the medicine go down. Any well-publicized efforts to expand democracy will be lauded in the Media, pushing the untoward stories into the back pages of local fishwrap. It’s an iron fist in a velvet glove and thereby makes criminal governments nearly universal. It’s just a matter of degree.

  18. Habby

    In UK there’s a specific offense under Section 5 of the Public Order Act that makes it an offence to use ‘insulting’ language, which of course has been overused by police in what are now quite notorious cases.

    But if you’re arguing more generally that the UK police, in implementation and using a battery of legislation, are more restrictive in this area than the French, then I’d agree.

  19. There are no juries in most Scottish trials. The Sheriff is god.

  20. Yes, Ben.

    I’ve long been an advocate of seeing ourselves as we’re asked to see others.

    This is why RT and Press TV etc are so useful.

    And yes, they too are more interesting for what they say about us than what they say about themselves. That’s kinda how it works.

  21. Habbabkuk @6.31p

    Yes, correct.

    I believe I see this also in police responses to criminality. If not well managed, crimes can become so overwhelming for the police that their apparent inability to cope is seen as an opportunity to exploit. For criminality, there is likely to be a tipping point at which management rapidly begins to fail.

    And the normalisation of experiences is an important psychological phenomenon. In many parts of the world, petty corruption is unremarkable and flourishes.

    Civilisation appears to be a very thin veneer that is easily scratched.

  22. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    25 Jul, 2013 - 7:15 pm

    glenn; Thx. I hadn’t sen that interview.

    I, too have been horrified at the Nationalism displayed by so-called progressive bloggers and other journos. They seem to be so focused on the cultural opportunity for a black POTUS that they fail to see it a sform of affirmative action due to their enabling behaviors. HE MUST NOT be criticized, and the surveillance issue brings an avalanche of excuses and fly-bys which he then picks up as permission to do what he does. I really think the Neocons did genius-level work at moving the political needle so far right, that the center-right can view themselves as Leftists.

  23. Unfortunately the case for Assange being the victim of a US conspiracy comes unstuck when you notice that the release of the American diplomatic cables didn’t start until the 28th Novemeber 2010; eight days after the arrest warrant was issued and nearly 3 months after the rape complaints were first made.

  24. Kempe says:

    “Unfortunately the case for Assange being the victim of a US conspiracy comes unstuck when you notice that the release of the American diplomatic cables didn’t start until the 28th Novemeber 2010; eight days after the arrest warrant was issued and nearly 3 months after the rape complaints were first made.”

    I do hope Arbed sees this.

    My thinking was that the dropping of the case against Assange, and more particularly its subsequent resurrection by another (more politically linked) prosecutor highlighted the conspiracy rather than weakened it.

    Is this incorrect, and if so why?

  25. Kempe: Are you really that lazy, or just deceptive (and rather poor at it)? Wikileaks revealed that Collateral Murder evidence of a war crime in April 2010. Even you should be able to work out that came well before the rape ALLEGATIONS were made.

    Collateral Murder interview, Amy Goodman, 18/April/2010

    Assange was also interviewed about it on Al Jazeera English on 19/4/2010 . Wikileaks stated in January 2010 that it had this evidence and would be showing it at a later date, such as in this tweet here:

    Wikileaks tweet concerning Collateral Murder

    Aren’t you concerned about your credibility, when you post easily proven falsehoods such as that one just above? CM did make a sound suggestion to you personally a few months back – now why don’t you just follow that advice like a good fellow?

  26. Craig:
    “In Russia you cannot say Putin is corrupt; in the UK you cannot say Israeli state policy is malign. ”

    That says a lot. Another to put it is, “Putin rules Russia, Just as Israel Rules the UK”.

  27. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    25 Jul, 2013 - 7:36 pm

    With all due respect for the Nationalists….Judy Collins…Patriot Game (might need your headphones)

  28. My gut feeling is:

    Blair – Obama – Navalny

    i) Lawyer
    ii) Presentable
    iii) Fond of PR
    iv) Supports change – 3rd way – Hope and change – End corruption
    v) Described as ‘liberal’

    Apparently he went to Yale for ‘training’ as a ‘World Fellow’, receiving $32,000 stipend, and was allowed to take his family. His reported lack of fluency in English apparently caused no problems. Not bad for someone only 6% of Russians have heard of.

    The Yale World Fellow program is aimed at ‘creating a global network of emerging leaders and to broaden international understanding’. Such a global network would be very useful to the global empire.

  29. Flaming June

    25 Jul, 2013 - 7:58 pm

    Anger at BBC’s insistence all Jerusalem is Israeli

    July 25, 2013

    Press release

    Anger at BBC’s insistence that all of Jerusalem is Israeli city

    The BBC’s insistence on describing Jerusalem as an Israeli city, despite such a status not being recognised under international law, has been condemned by Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC).

    In a ruling delivered this week, the BBC Trust appears to have accepted Israel’s facts on the grounds, namely that Jerusalem is a united Israeli city.

    Writing to PSC, the Trust quotes the BBC’s Senior Editorial Strategy Advisor, Leanne Buckle, in her assessment of the BBC’s decision to describe Jerusalem as an Israeli city.

    The Trust writes: “The advisor [Buckle] acknowledged that Israel’s sovereignty over the whole of Jerusalem was not recognized under international law. However, she considered that Israel had de facto control over the entire city in a political, administrative and military sense. She also noted that Jerusalem was administered as a single entity by the Jerusalem municipal authority which made no distinction between East and West.”

    Based on this, the Trust has said it will not consider a complaint by PSC that BBC journalists are breaching the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines on Accuracy when they refer to Jerusalem as an Israeli city.

    Under international law, only West Jerusalem is considered to be under Israeli de facto control, not the whole of Jerusalem. East Jerusalem is described by the UN as Occupied Palestinian Territory that has been illegally occupied and annexed by Israel.


    For BBC throughout, read ZBC.

  30. Flaming June

    25 Jul, 2013 - 8:27 pm

    For David Ward read Jenny Tonge, Paul Flynn, Sir Gerald Kaufman, Jeremy Corbyn, others whose names I have forgotten, who have all been demonized for speaking for Palestine.

    Sir Bob Russell LD Colchester is the latest case in point. He was asking Michael Gove a question about the history curriculum, wishing al Naqba to be included just as Gove intends to include the Holocaust.

    The next thing he is almost being called a ‘Holocaust denier’.

    Some good comments among the 66 which is an unusual number for a provincial paper.

    He has also raised the question of the Bedouin cleansing many times I see.
    Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: Israel (11 July 2013)
    Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many representations he has received in opposition to proposals by the government of Israel to forcibly remove 40,000 Bedouin from their historic lands.

    Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Middle East Peace Process (18 June 2013)
    Bob Russell: Israel, by its policies, is a racist, apartheid state. Will the Foreign Secretary confirm that that all the products we are discussing are produced on land that is illegally occupied?

  31. “Hezbollah: EU listing gives Israel licence to kill”

  32. If there had not been a jury at the inquest into the death of Princess Diana and Jodi Fayad a verdict of “unlawful killing” would not have been brought in, which is probably why Tony Blair interrupted normal proceedings and Lord Hutton was called in to handle an Inquiry only three hours after Dr David Kelly’s body had been found and before a pathologist had seen the body. The British judiciary is so bent Julian Assange has had to seek refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy.

    I posted this link a couple of days ago about the death of doughty journalist Helen Thomas. Well worth watching. Not every president is allowed to get away with everything unscathed.

  33. Flaming June

    25 Jul, 2013 - 9:00 pm

    Journalists at Bradley Manning trial report hostile conditions for press
    Xeni Jardin at 10:05 am Thu, Jul 25, 2013

    Journalists and bloggers covering closing arguments in the military trial of Wikileaks source Bradley Manning are reporting a far more intense security climate at Ft. Meade today, as compared to the past two months of court proceedings.

    @carwinb, @kgosztola, @nathanLfuller, and @wikileakstruck have tweeted about armed guards standing directly behind them as they type into laptops in the designated press area, and extensive physical searches. I visited the trial two weeks ago, and while there were many restrictions I found surprising (no mobile devices allowed in the press room), it wasn’t this bad.

    Tweets from some of them are below; there are about 40-50 reporters present and not all are tweeting. Internet access is spotty today. Oh, wait; as I type this blog post, I’m now seeing updates that they’re being told they are not allowed to access Twitter. So there’s that.


  34. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    25 Jul, 2013 - 10:03 pm

    @ Herbie

    “In UK there’s a specific offense under Section 5 of the Public Order Act that makes it an offence to use ‘insulting’ language..”

    Yes, I know that. What I was wondering was is there a specific law dealing with insulting public officials, MPs, the Head of State, etc. I gather from your reply that there is not such a specific law and that there is only the general law you refer to, which would apply whether I insulted you or the Prime Minister (for example). Correct?

    “But if you’re arguing more generally that the UK police, in implementation and using a battery of legislation, are more restrictive in this area than the French, then I’d agree.”

    No, I wasn’t arguing that at all, and I don’t see how you could infer that from my post. I have no idea whether the French are more restrictive than the British in this area








  36. “The Pentagon’s war plan for China is called “AirSea Battle.” The plan describes itself as “interoperable air and naval forces that can execute networked, integrated attacks-in-depth to disrupt, destroy, and defeat enemy anti-access area denial capabilities.””

  37. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    25 Jul, 2013 - 11:22 pm

    “The United States is preparing for a war with China, a momentous decision that so far has failed to receive a thorough review from elected officials, namely the White House and Congress. This important change in the United States’ posture toward China has largely been driven by the Pentagon. There have been other occasions in which the Pentagon has framed key strategic decisions so as to elicit the preferred response from the Commander in Chief and elected representatives. A recent case in point was when the Pentagon led President Obama to order a high level surge in Afghanistan in 2009, against the advice of the Vice President and the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan. The decision at hand stands out even more prominently because (a) the change in military posture may well lead to an arms race with China, which could culminate in a nuclear war; and (b) the economic condition of the United States requires a reduction in military spending, not a new arms race. The start of a new term, and with it the appointment of new secretaries of State and Defense, provide an opportunity to review the United States’ China strategy and the military’s role in it. This review is particularly important before the new preparations for war move from an operational concept to a militarization program that includes ordering high-cost weapons systems and forced restructuring. History shows that once these thresholds are crossed, it is exceedingly difficult to change course.”

    We sure have heeded Eisenhower’s warning about the Military/Industrial complex.

    A lack of oversight and poor accountability from Security Services, the outsourcing to contractors, and general MILSPEC waste hogs has led to this.

  38. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    25 Jul, 2013 - 11:23 pm

    Sorry someone. forgot to say thanks for the link. I thought it worthy of repetition.

  39. Kempe: “Unfortunately the case for Assange being the victim of a US conspiracy comes unstuck when you notice that the release of the American diplomatic cables didn’t start until the 28th Novemeber 2010; eight days after the arrest warrant was issued and nearly 3 months after the rape complaints were first made.”

    Memory tells me this is false. So I looked it up.

    Started in Feb 2010. Sure, the release in The Guardian etc occurred in November, but the state department already knew who Assange was, and what documents he had. So the US conspiracy argument hasn’t come unstuck, really.

  40. @Jay

    Please don’t shout, I have a headache.

  41. it all reminds me of the shocking treatment dished out to animal rights activist Daniel McGowan, for exercising his First Amendment right of speech, and writing articles for Huffington Post

    On April 4, McGowan was rearrested and jailed. Center for Constitutional Rights lawyers represented him. They said it was because of an article he wrote.
    Their statement elaborated, saying:
    He was “released from the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn where he was taken into custody yesterday and is back at the halfway house where he has been residing since his release from prison in December.”
    “Yesterday, Daniel was given an ‘incident report’ indicating that his Huffington Post blog post, ‘Court Documents Prove I Was Sent to Communication Management Units (CMU) for My Political Speech,’ violated a BOP regulation prohibiting inmates from ‘publishing under a byline.’ ”
    “The BOP regulation in question was declared unconstitutional by a federal court in 2007, and eliminated by the BOP in 2010.”
    “After we brought this to the BOP’s attention, the incident report was expunged.”
    They called BOP retaliation against him “an outrage.”
    McGowan got CMU hard time for writing articles and letters about animal rights. His constitutional rights were violated.
    On April 4, he was jailed again briefly. He was released on condition he’d sacrifice his First Amendment rights. He was told no more articles.
    According to CCR, it’s a “made-up rule applied only to Daniel.” It’s a “further attempt to chill his freedom of speech.”

  42. Despite habby’s protestations

    If the French have a specific law against insulting their President

    And the British have a general law against insulting anyone

    Who is more free to speak their mind. The French or the British?

    If the French go on to repeal the law against insulting their President

    Who is more free to speak their mind. The French or the British?

    There must be a Gillray somewhere that explains this much more succinctly.

  43. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    26 Jul, 2013 - 12:25 am

    Herbie; Check out the political cartoons of Conrad of the LA Times. The best ever.

  44. Ben Franklin at 11.22 pm

    It’s late and I’ve only scan-read the article you posted. My guess is this is sabre-rattling from the Pentagon, and the article states this has not got any approval from government. However it could get approval.

    What is worrying the US is that Russia, France and Germany have, if I understand correctly, withdrawn gold bullion formerly in US custody because of justified fears that the US economy is about to pop. The US national debt is growing faster than any amount of earned revenue or taxation can cover.

    China, and other countries have stopped buying US debt (bonds) because they realise these are going to be worthless. The only thing the US can do, because most of its investment has gone into the military and wars to steal other countries mineral wealth, is to wage war on countries with growing economies, like Germany did on the strength of its mighty Krupps’ factories. This war, if it comes about, would probably wipe out mankind, and life on earth as we know it. Frightening, eh?

  45. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    26 Jul, 2013 - 12:56 am

    “What is worrying the US is that Russia, France and Germany have, if I understand correctly, withdrawn gold bullion formerly in US custody because of justified fears that the US economy is about to pop. The US national debt is growing faster than any amount of earned revenue or taxation can cover.”

    John; You are correctamundo. BRICS is the real threat to USG. The Petrodollar has reigned for some 40 years. BRICS seeks to establish some fiscal credibility by returning to a gold standard.

    This is contra-intuitive to Western interests, mostly the US. The ‘shadow’ economy seeking the continued auspices of the EU and the remainder of the World is critical to keeping the perception that Petrodollars must continue it’s reign of dominance. The dumbing down of silver and gold to record lows since 2008 is part of the plan to keep equity in the markets of choice. But from my perspective gold is not the place to put your confidence because it’s value makes it inefficient for trading. Junk silver is your hedge against future inflationary purchasing power. Lower denominations are easier to carry and trade.

  46. “We sure have heeded Eisenhower’s warning about the Military/Industrial complex.”

    It should be noted that all during Reagan’s presidency he took the orders of Thatcher, except on one occasion, the Grenada invasion in 1983. She told him not to invade, so what had the power that overruled Thatcher…The US “Military/Industrial complex”.

  47. “The Too Big to Fail Insurers – the next bail outs, another nail in Democracy’s coffin.”

  48. “The Madman Strategy”

  49. @John Goss: I’ve probably misunderstood your last couple of posts on the subject… you’re not seriously suggesting that Al “The Fugger” Fayad has been right all along, and Lady Di was assassinated by the UK secret services, are you?

    As far as gold is concerned, it appears you are right – but it could be even worse than you’ve set out here. Germany wants possession of its physical gold, as opposed to “paper gold”. The latter is a piece of paper – gold certificates – indicating your entitlement to the stated amount of gold held in that institution’s vault. The trouble is, there’s a high suspicion that these same certificates have been issued multiple times on the same physical resource.

    That is why Germany has become so suspicious recently about their physical gold held by America, and they’d like to get it back. These suspicions are not in any way alleviated by the considerable reluctance the US to hand it over.

    We might have a situation where the promise to exchange for the bearer the stated weight of gold for their certificate, is not much better than our own certificates – to redeem a UK banknote for the equivalent pounds of silver sterling. My advice is that you should take possession of your actual metal, and put it in your personal bank’s safety deposit box, before the whole thing kicks off.

  50. Me? I just play Strats.

    But i realise,through reading history,that at the end of every empire the veil of the soft state is snatched away and the hard/deep state stands naked,barking and omnivorous in their insane arc.

    Torture,by incompetents-who ought really know better-barely registers to the guy that they want to shut up-or else.

    I’m just a wallflower now-Strats notwithstanding-Eliza.

    My torture was cathartic,to them,over 15 years of complete amateur idiocy that would shame prep school kids.

    I just play Strats,same as it ever was,Jonathan.

    Mostly people tell me i’m really quite adept at that.

    But i already knew that,Stella.

  51. Flaming June

    26 Jul, 2013 - 4:02 am

    Someone and Ben If you put a search for China on

    some mind boggling numbers jump out.

    Also worth a mention is the near doubling since 2007 of the US gross debt as percentage of GDP. Was it all those wars that dunnit plus the crash?

    Entity United States

    2007 62%

    2010 92%

    2011 102%

  52. Flaming June

    26 Jul, 2013 - 5:11 am


    ‘Kicking off a series of speeches about the economy, President Obama told a crowd in Illinois on Wednesday that reversing growing inequality and rejuvenating the middle class “has to be Washington’s highest priority.” During his remarks, Obama failed to mention the bankruptcy filing by Detroit, where thousands of public workers are now fighting to protect their pensions and medical benefits as the city threatens massive cuts to overcome an estimated $18 billion in debt. Detroit’s bankruptcy “is an example of a failed economic system,” says economist Richard Wolff, professor emeritus of economics at University of Massachusetts. “There are so many other cities in Detroit’s situation, that if the courts decide that it is legal to take away the pension that has been promised to and paid for by these workers, you have [legalized] theft. It is class war, redistributing income from the bottom to the top.”‘

    I read elsewhere that the Detroit Red Wings have a new $400m stadium built with taxpayer support.

  53. Maybe the US wants their sovereign debt to become so huge that the world cannot afford to allow the US economy to fail. Provided that they service their existing debts (by sales of high value weapon systems?) they can maintain a perpetual debt that protects it from hostile action – economic or military. Can China afford to go to war with their biggest customer and debtor?

    For those who advocate for currencies to be tied to physical quantities of precious metals, I would ask you to consider the massive environmental damage that would result from exploration and extraction of those metals as their supposed value skyrockets and the relative cost of production plummets. Rain forests and coral reefs would be ripped up in the search for an overvalued scarce resource that has limited intrinsic or natural value. And, in the end, its nominal value is based on trust just like paper currency.

    It is also economic anathema that you can become increasingly wealthy just by sitting on a pile of gold. We should all be so lucky.

  54. The monetary system is the controling state.

    As we all are in debted to this system the state controls us.

    Assets are mostly influence and effluence of this system, ultimately what comes out the ground defines everything.

    How we are organised is state control.

    The real gold is what we say and do, is that down to the individual?

  55. Its God Blight America time now, the sins of Fallujah are coming home to roost in Detroit,etc. And the devils have started yet another Bush/Condi/Mubarak like Sharm el Sheikh “road map” charade, to fool the Arabs (yet again) into supporting another destruction of an Arab country, or even a war on Iran. Its only the fear of the Russian Yakhont that has kept the Generals at bay, if the aircraft carriers move AWAY from Syria or the PG, war is coming then.

  56. Practically speaking its got to be Aquaponics, it would also help to be ready to carry double door fridges/large flat screens on shopping trolleys,as the preppers started practising outside a Wal-Mart in the USA!

  57. There are no juries in most Scottish trials. The Sheriff is god

    On the other hand, there are juries in most Scottish trials dealing with severe offences (assault to severe injury or worse) and the dual system of summary and solemn procedures operating in Sheriff Courts seems to operate at least as well as the English system. The Sheriff is admittedly God – it’s at his discretion whether to opt for summary or solemn – , and there have been one or two somewhat bent ones, true.

    In any case, the Sheriff’s or other presiding nebbie’s function, with or without a jury, is to determine whether or not the law has been broken. If the law is reprehensible, that isn’t his fault.

    In plain, if the law is crap, don’t blame the workmen. Blame the people you have the illusion of having elected. Which is what I take Craig to be saying in his last sentence.

    I think the illusion of democracy is central to what Craig is saying. The Russians are probably under fewer illusions than we are, in that regard. But I don’t think, fundamentally, that there is much difference from our situation except in the degree of coercion our governors are prepared to use in order to entrench their power, wealth and influence. That’s changing all the time. For the worse, as Craig says.

  58. Obviously, our democracy is under threat when an elected MP can be sanctioned by his former party at the behest and on the say-so of a small and unaccountable grouping of British citizens. For breaking no law, but merely for uttering an opinion.

    Something’s badly wrong there.

  59. Flaming June

    26 Jul, 2013 - 9:26 am

    Just in case you missed it, there is a reprise tonight on Sky News – ‘The Son and Heir’!

    And if you are short of something to do in London and have a spare £19!! (adult) or £50 (family) you can see the Queen’s dresses. Many diamonds too.

    ‘Queen’s coronation takes centre stage in Buckingham Palace’s summer show
    Monarch’s coronation robe will be laid out for first time since June 1953, along with personal objects including her coronation service

  60. Flaming June

    26 Jul, 2013 - 9:27 am

    Sorry that s/be on previous thread.

  61. Jay
    25 Jul, 2013 – 10:46 pm

    Quite right Jay. Who has created the State, if not us, the people? You and I, we….all of us have created the State/Society.


    And yes, as inside, so outside. It is our messy consciousness that is the consciousness of mankind. But, when it comes to change, we blame it all on outside factors. We think by playing with the structure somehow we are going to bring about radical change. We don’t want to look at ourselves, our own fragmentation and take any true responsibility towards that. Change can only come one individual at a time — and that must reflect onto ‘Society’ or the State. We live in darkness ourselves but expect the State to be a miraculous shining light of beacon.

    Btw, I like your comment about our own children being little Princes and Princesses and they should be raised as such. But we raise them with the best of will out of our own messy consciousness. So, its CATCH-22. That is where we are and that is what we are perpetuating. It is the same all over the world, be it the US, UK or Russia or the beautiful paradise islands of the Maldives. Its one Earth and its anything but whole or holy.

  62. An excellent and timely post, Craig, not least because some of your followers think the sun shines out of Putin’s backside merely for his thwarting of some of the West’s evil schemes. One must, of course, be careful not to ‘go over to the other side’ – to start hailing Russia, Syria, Iran as paragons of civilized virtue and decency, as some here are wont to do. Russia’s sheltering of Snowden is a geopolitical manoeuvre and has nothing to do with any principled belief in transparency or the rights of whistle-blowers, as the Navalny case neatly illustrates, if, indeed, it needed illustrating at all.

    On another note, I’m glad Mary, Komodo et al are showing signs of having moved on from the royal baby hype. I understand that at moments of great national importance such as the delivery of Prince George, some commentators can get a little carried away amid the hysteria and find themselves thinking of little else . I would therefore suggest the opening of a special thread, similar to the 9/11 ‘dungeon’ and dedicated solely to discussion of the young Prince, so that the debate about names, dress, styles and such like can be continued for as long as the Royal baby watchers see fit.

  63. Times have changed since 1920 when a Liberal party MP could tell it how it is.

    That article leaves no doubts about the motive behind our politician’s support for Zionism.

  64. Sofia Kibo Noh

    26 Jul, 2013 - 9:58 am

    The posts of 9 32 and 9 34 put me in mind of this old Christy Moore song.

    I know it’s a bit early in the day for Happy Hour so I’ll just post the lyrics. For anyone who hasn’t heard this man sing all I can say is he, like Michael D Higgins (122 times better value than UK head of state), is another Irish national treasure.


    For all of our languages, we can’t communicate
    For all of our native tongues, we’re all natives here
    Sons of their fathers dream the same dream
    The sound of forbidden words becomes a scream
    Voices in anger, victims of history
    Plundered and set aside, grown fat on swallowed pride

    With promises of paradise and gifts of beads and knives
    Missionaries and pioneers are soldiers in disguise
    Saviours and conquerors they make us wait
    The fishers of men they wave their truth like bait
    With the touch of a stranger’s hand innocence turns to shame
    The spirit that dwelt within now sleeps out in the rain

    For all of our languages, we can’t communicate
    For all of our native tongues, we’re all natives here
    The scars of the past are slow to disappear
    The cries of the dead are always in our ears
    Only the very safe can talk about wrong and right
    Of those who are forced to choose, some will choose to fight
    For all of our languages, we can’t communicate

  65. Glenn_uk at 2.33 a.m. I posted the link to a film two days ago called “Unlawful Killing” by Keith Allen. Fortunately I got to see it (and I hope you did too) before it was brought down allegedly for ‘copyright infringement’. The BBC reported that Diana had been hounded to death by the paparazzi and has stuck by that story. After days and days of deliberation the jury brought in a verdict which was atually ‘unlawful killing’ or put another way ‘murder’. You can watch this film practically anywhere except in the UK. And basically that appears to be the reason. A verdict of ‘Murder’ should mean the police are looking for a murderer. But they’re not.

    My satirical fairy story, ‘Nanna Babba and the common girl’ was influenced by this film and Barbara Cartland’s articles on Royal Jelly in ‘Here’s Health’ magazine.

  66. On another note, I’m glad Mary, Komodo et al are showing signs of having moved on from the royal baby hype.

    Just staying on topic as recommended by you and other excrescences. Snarked if I do, snarked if I don’t.

    Still, happy to see I didn’t initiate it on this thread.

    @ Fred: Good catch. Worth remembering. And on-topic, too. Think the excrescences will be vocal today?

  67. Ben Franklin at 12.36 ‘Lower denominations are easier to carry and trade.’ I agree. Unfortunately, assuming there is no war, nobody would know what, or which, currency to trust, and people are advised to get themselves a trade so they can trade. George Dalton and several other ancestors on my mother’s side were silversmiths in Norfolk Street, Sheffield, and it might not be a bad trade to get back into. When the crash comes it will be merciless.

  68. “The Zionists are losing the battle – how long can the apartheid State of Israel last?” [David Ward MP]

    That’s it. A tweet.

    Was it the mention of apartheid which caused the offence?

    The Association for Civil Rights in Israel concluded in 2008 that a segregated road network in the West Bank, expansion of Jewish settlements, restriction of the growth of Palestinian towns and discriminatory granting of services, budgets and access to natural resources are “a blatant violation of the principle of equality and in many ways reminiscent of the Apartheid regime in South Africa”.[44]

    Israel has also been accused of apartheid by Michael Ben-Yair, Israel’s attorney-general from 1993 to 1996 [45] and Shulamit Aloni, who served as Minister for Education under Yitzhak Rabin.[46]

    (and much more to think about) here –

    Maybe it was mention of the Zionists in the same sentence?

    Sigmund Freud on being requested to condemn the Arab riots of 1929:

    Letter to the Keren Hajessod (Dr. Chaim Koffler)

    Vienna: 26 February 1930

    Dear Sir,

    I cannot do as you wish. I am unable to overcome my aversion to burdening the public with my name, and even the present critical time does not seem to me to warrant it. Whoever wants to influence the masses must give them something rousing and inflammatory and my sober judgement of Zionism does not permit this. I certainly sympathise with its goals, am proud of our University in Jerusalem and am delighted with our settlement’s prosperity. But, on the other hand, I do not think that Palestine could ever become a Jewish state, nor that the Christian and Islamic worlds would ever be prepared to have their holy places under Jewish care. It would have seemed more sensible to me to establish a Jewish homeland on a less historically-burdened land. But I know that such a rational viewpoint would never have gained the enthusiasm of the masses and the financial support of the wealthy. I concede with sorrow that the baseless fanaticism of our people is in part to be blamed for the awakening of Arab distrust. I can raise no sympathy at all for the misdirected piety which transforms a piece of a Herodian wall into a national relic, thereby offending the feelings of the natives.

    Now judge for yourself whether I, with such a critical point of view, am the right person to come forward as the solace of a people deluded by unjustified hope.

    Your obedient servant,


    Criticism was legitimate then. Or maybe only Jews are allowed to criticise Israel? Ah, that’s it. Self-haters though they may be, G-d gave them the right.

  69. ex·cres·cence


    1.A distinct outgrowth on a human or animal body or on a plant, esp. one that is the result of disease or abnormality.
    2.An unattractive or superfluous addition or feature.

    V. good


    Anon took no notice of my following post saying that I was on the wrong thread. My point in sending the post about the exhibition at Buckingham Palace is that
    a)we paid for these garments and baubles in the first place with buckets full of our taxes and
    b)a charge of £19 is being made to see them

    btw I said nothing about the royal baby. My motto is ‘No child shall be harmed’ which holds no meaning for our warmongering pocket politicians.

  70. Flaming June at 4.02 a.m. (what were you doing up at that time?) the 2011 figures for total national debt stood at 14,200 billion dollars. It is now 16,877 billion and rising but that is just in the US (what it owes itself). The total debt, including that owned by other countries is more than three times that. 47% of the total debt is has been bought by foreign countries (China and Japan being the main holders of government bonds and securities). Why would they want to do that? I’m scratching my heat. As to GDP this is the most misleading of all and I would be tempted to leave it out of the equation. It amounts to all the money in the system (plus exports minus imports) but as governments can print money at will and the national debt is not subtracted from GDP an economy can look healthy even when it is on its knees. Dady Chery, in this article explains GDP, and what is bad for it, and who the vultures are that thrive on it, relating the whole lot to her native Haiti.

  71. Re. David Ward MP, a little recent history:

    Tonge all over again. Some of the rank and file are a little disturbed by this, though –

    Good man.

    LibDem Friends of Israel were the instrument of choice for ensuring that no LibDem ever again is permitted to use the words “Israel” and “atrocity” on the same page. Without a single democratic vote being taken by the rest of the party.

    As their leader, Gavin Stollar, who has failed to get elected since 2001 as an MP, says, LDFoI is not well provided with funds, and is rather dependent on the benevolence of the Israeli government. Which might raise a question or two in itself.

    Our delegates, some of whom had previously visited Gaza with Christian Aid and CAABU, all came back grateful to LDFI for giving them the “balance” they needed. They all expressed appreciation that the issues many thought were black and white were actually more like shades of grey, and sometimes even impossible to interpret.

    Oh yes. That’s a fact.

    The trip confirmed that the power of seeing things firsthand cannot be underestimated.

    As well as the Dimona nuclear facility, they don’t seem to have visited Gaza. Recommended for next time, Stollar.

  72. Though some of the comments appear to have digressed they do fit the last statement.

    “States are the enemy. We are the people.”

    We might not all have been in positions to blow whistles, but we can support the whistle-blowers in our own ways. On Saturday there are hopefully demonstrations all over the country in support of Bradley Manning, whose verdict (probably life imprisonment) is due to be announced around then. Only when the thieves and banksters’ system collapses can people take control of their own resources.

    “States are the enemy. We are the people.”

  73. More Stollar after Clegg’s decision to appoint LDFoI his mentor:

    “Gavin Stollar, LDFI chairman, said that if the group “doubted Mr Ward’s sincerity in engaging in this process, or his willingness to take on board what’s coming, then there’s no question about our intention to feed that back.

    “LDFI has essentially been appointed as probation officers for David Ward,” said Mr Stollar. “If we are not convinced that he is salvageable then we’ll be in the position to report back to the leader and the chief whip and express our views.

    “Rather than making him a martyr, LDFI welcomes the opportunity to educate one of our MPs.

    I didn’t actually believe this assertion, that LDFoI, or any other Fo(any other country)
    could be authorised by anyone to ‘correct’ an elected MP’s opinions. But there it is, in the Jewish Chronicle, not Stormfront or al-Ahram…

  74. That should have read: ..LDFoI Ward’s mentor

  75. And this wonderful piece from LibDem Friends of PALESTINE’s website:

    There’s other material there which supports my suspicion that being a friend of Palestine is not intended to imply support for Palestinians. Or is this just LibDems being the political equivalent of semolina again?

  76. Some people just will not be silenced however…

    They laughed at the Mohammed cartoons. Why aren’t they laughing now?


  77. Uzbek in the UK

    26 Jul, 2013 - 12:29 pm

    Mr Murray,

    You might know that states by their nature are repressive. Their main duty is to provide order (and security) in anarchic system. The problem with freedoms in modern days western societies is that with the introduction of War on Terror discourse western states were allowed to manipulate freedoms (and reduce them to some extend) in order to provide order (and security). Russia aside but in western societies with highly develop civic institutions this reduction of freedom is to great extend fault of western societies themselves. US citizens allow their government to keep people in prison indefinitely without charge and chance of fair trial, British citizens allow their government to participate in rendition and hand over their compatriots to foreign security services.

    There is no one else to blame in this but yourselves. Not you personally of course, as the man who put his career and health on the line to defend these freedoms you are in unfortunately minority camp.

  78. Ottawa keeps silent over Israel’s arrest and abuse of Canadian activist

    The Canadian government has remained silent over the abusive treatment of a Canadian human rights activist in the Occupied Palestinian Territories by Israeli forces amid criticism that Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper prioritizes Israel’s interests over those of its own citizens,

    Interesting to find the corporate media somehow is blind to the abuse of the human rights under their nose, but always on the look out to show boat about the slightest infractions of the Jonny foreigner, that is the right sort of forefinger and not the kosher kind of course.

  79. They laughed at the Mohammed cartoons. Why aren’t they laughing now?

    That is classed as running into a theatre and shouting zionist pigs Fire! (read this aloud and with a guttural hint of Yiddish German.

    pmsl indeed!

  80. The US Dept of Justice is also said to have a conviction rate above 98%. If the Feds want to throw you in jail, they will. Appearances may be more orderly than in, say, Uzbekistan, but is justice being served? The US still likes to lecture others about “human rights” though.

    , “Between 2000 and 2005, 99 percent of the 435,000 federal criminal defendants prosecuted nationwide were convicted” Source: Beating a federal rap not easy – Pittsburgh Tribune-Revie

  81. Any aspiring politicians here will be well advised to ‘forget’, if they ever knew, that the United Nations once upon a time had a policy describing Zionism as a form of racism (“Z=R”).

    Read accounts nowadays, and you’ll hear that the opponents of ditching the said policy were a bunch of rabid Nazis. You wonder just how fucking long the Zionazis are going to be able to run with that one. But no-one ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the conditioned ‘public’, so it’s said.

    When Jenny Tonge was told to choose between “apologising” (!) for her criticism of Israel and losing the Liberal Democrat whip, she told Clegg to shove the whip where the Sun didn’t shine. Got to give credit where it’s due.

  82. States are the enemy. We are the people.

    Without the State, who will protect us from the Corporation?

    I’d like to see the latter dismantled first. Then we’ll deal with the State.

  83. I’m not sure what anyone in the UK could have done to avoid the subversion of our liberties by a state-enemy, Uzbek. Whistleblowers have some effect, but the state has ways of silencing them and redacting their legacy. Did Craig achieve any marked reform either in Uzbekistan or in the FCO? He raised public awareness magnificently, yes, but nothing seems to have altered: the nail that stood up was the nail that was hammered down, as the Japanese saying has it. Mass action has uncertain results, and with a consumerist, drugged population, is impossible to implement. What we are led to believe we are voting for is not recognisably related to what we get – saying it’s our fault implies that there’s a collective will for justice, and there isn’t. There is no visible route to a fair society that I can see, (though I am very open to suggestions).

  84. Andrea Davison, another whistle-blower, is living abroad and has made the following revelations regarding child abuse in Wales.

  85. Colin Brace I can relate to. How to dismantle the corporations? Stop buying stuff. Particularly stuff you don’t need. That IS an effective weapon. Possibly the only one left.

  86. The Daily Telegraph published an article calling Jenny Tonge “Jihad Jenny”.

    The same newspaper also published an article “In Defence of Anders Breivik”, by Roger Hicks.

  87. Flaming June

    26 Jul, 2013 - 1:12 pm

    No UK politician ever goes to Gaza Komodo. B.Liar made a fleeting visit after Cast Lead.

    I know about Stollar. He tried to get into parliament in Buckinghamshire and failed.
    He is one of David Ward’s ‘re-educators’.

    LDFoI is/was run by a fervent Zionist Monroe Palmer. Cleggover has ennobled him. He is a Barnet borough councillor as is his wife Susette.

    He enters his interest in LDFoI and also declares receipt of ‘fees’ but does not give any source for them.

    A puff piece about him here. No mention of Israel of course.

  88. Flaming June

    26 Jul, 2013 - 1:14 pm

    Colin Brace Did you mean the Zionist Broadcasting Corporation or corporations in general? :)

  89. Colin Brace 26 Jul, 2013 – 12:47 pm

    “Without the State, who will protect us from the Corporation? I’d like to see the latter dismantled first. Then we’ll deal with the State.”

    Ah but doesn’t the people’s state immediately becomes the people’s only in name. At least that seems to have happened before and it makes perfect sense. Everyone is corruptible so retaining mechanisms of power invites corruption. In corporations and states.

    I hope for a gradual dismantling of both.

  90. Another LibDem lord who tells the truth and is censured for it –,_Baron_Phillips_of_Sudbury

    The Zionist Federation’s Jonathan Hoffman had this to say about Lord Phillips:

    “Lord Phillips is an obnoxious man and his views are revolting.”

    High praise indeed, considering the source. Imagine if Phillips had said that about Hoffman….

    More on Hoffman here, hilariously acid stuff from a Jewish blogger.

    Put this with your links, please, Craig.

    Now at this juncture we could go all po-faced, condemn his behaviour, and call for the Zionist Federation to sack him. But that would be an error. Jonathan Hoffman is so extreme, so constantly dogmatic, rude, intellectually dubious and pig headed that he constantly brings the Zionist Federation, and his own cause, into disrepute. There can be only one explanation, that he is in fact an Anti-Zionist mole trying to bring down the British Zionist movement. At this, he is doing an excellent job. No other anti-Zionist has had such success in promoting the cause and making Zionism look ridiculous. Whether funded by Hezbolllah, or simply doing it as a hobby Hoffman is the anti-zionist activist par excellence. Jonathan, we salute you!

  91. Flaming June

    26 Jul, 2013 - 2:19 pm

    Have you ever been at a PSC meeting or similar which Hoffman has attended? He arrives with a young helper with armfuls of papers and then attempts to heckle throughout. Most chairpersons are wise to him these days. Is he still around?

    Is he still around? Silly question.

    I see that they are having a go at John Hilley of Zenpolitics and Medialens about his support for David Ward. Written by Matthew Harris ex vice chair of LDFoI in February. Tedious comments are still coming in!

  92. Flaming June

    26 Jul, 2013 - 2:31 pm

    We must watch out for the word ‘so’.

    So, here’s a carefully packaged sentence that shows me in my best light
    In a society where people market themselves as commodities, starting a sentence with ‘so’ signals a desire to impress

    Oliver James

    So what? Care should be taken before building ideological mountains out of verbal molehills. But I think all this So-ing may be a symptom of broader trends. It is a fact that we have become what Erich Fromm characterised as marketing characters in a marketing society. Such characters experience themselves as commodities whose value and meaning are externally determined. They define themselves by having rather than being, by what they own, not who they are. This homo consumens is a thing to be bought and sold, just like a house or a car. All of us are involved in trying to increase the value of the commodity that is us.

    An Australian study of such people showed that, among other things, people who score high on a test of marketing character are heavy consumers, uncritical of society and have a strong drive to publicise and promote themselves. With a 24-hour news cycle, public figures have been forced to become acutely wary of what they say in public. Frank authenticity has almost disappeared. Even the Today programme sometimes seems as if it has given up the struggle to uncover the truth. But, more profoundly, the present ruling elite � many of whom never knew a society that was not governed by Thatcherism or Blairism, have been forced from a young age to market themselves. The pursuit of money, status and fame (affluenza, materialism) are our primary values.

    ‘So’ is a funny little adverb isn’t it?

  93. Sofia Kibo Noh

    26 Jul, 2013 - 2:39 pm

    @ Komodo. 1 32pm

    Thanks for the link.

    But just who is he hinting at?

    “Mr Hoffkuk is the leading thug (sorry spokesperson) of the Zionist Federation and is frequently to be found engaging in vitriol, abuse and wild accusation (sorry ‘hasbara’). What is notable about dear Jonathan is his constant willingness to ‘go there’ – no pussyfooting around for him. So when others merely hint at it, Jonathan will happily declare that anti-zionism equals anti-semitism. He will have no hesitation about tarring all criticism, as ‘anti Israel’, and all opponents as either self-hating Jews or anti-semites. Naturally Jonathan declines to accept that the occupation exists, insists that Israel is a full democracy, that all its actions are 100% justifiable and that human rights campaigners are Islamists in disguise. Jonathan likes to turn up to left wing events and shout, heckle and genuine make an ass of himself. So far so good. But in his latest action Jonathan has surpassed himself.”

    ( I know. Just when you think she’s plumbed the depths Sofia stoops even lower! )

  94. It looks as if the real antisemitic sin is putting the words “atrocity” and “Israel” in the same room together. (and see FJ’s third link @ 2:19)

    Like Ha’aretz did.

    An awful reflection on our own leaders and journalists as much as on Israel’s propagandists that the same headline would be generally inadmissible in a UK paper. (by mutual consent not to attract a shitstorm from BICOM or its offspring)

    Our Press freedom is, de facto, worse than Israel’s. Apparently thanks to Israel. Go figure.

  95. Sophia, it had crossed my mind that Hoffkuk and Hoffkuk were in fact the same poster. Thank you for confirming my suspicions. BTW, if you’re looking for your dad, I saw him earlier trying to look inconspicuous with a petrol can near the Teddington Mosque. Go and get him before he gets into trouble, eh?

  96. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    26 Jul, 2013 - 2:48 pm

    @ Komodo (13h32)

    Excellent quotation in italics from a “Jewish commenter”!

    Here is part of it again, retouched slightly to bring it into accord with the efforts of some of the regular ‘contributors’ to this blog:

    “Flaming June, Komodo et al are so extreme, so constantly dogmatic, rude, intellectually dubious and pig headed that they constantly bring the anti-Israel and anti-Zionist forces, and their own cause, into disrepute. There can be only one explanation, that they are in fact Zionist moles trying to bring down the British anti-Israel and anti-Zionist movements. At this, they are doing an excellent job.”

    I have, actually, long harboured such a suspicion :)

  97. Flaming June

    26 Jul, 2013 - 3:06 pm

    That last is SO funny.

  98. Flaming June

    26 Jul, 2013 - 3:10 pm

    Are the scales are falling off? Habbakuk was the original handle in November 2012.

    Jonathan Hoffman Offline
    Religion: Judaism
    Title:Sophomore Member Join Date: Jan 2013
    Gender: Male
    Posts: 395
    Frubals: 21
    Jonathan Hoffman is an unknown quantity at this point

    Default translates Hab 2:4 as
    2:4 Look, the one whose desires are not upright will faint from exhaustion, 12
    but the person of integrity 13 will live 14 because of his faithfulness. 15!bible/Habakkuk+2

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